New Best Henry Hoover

best henry hoover

There’s no doubt that the smiley-faced Henry Hoover is one of the best options for anyone looking for the best combination of performance, reliability and value for money.

Given you’ve landed on this post by searching for “best henry hoover”, or a similar phrase, I’m guessing you’ve already come to that conclusion, but you’re wondering which is the best Henry hoover for you?

In this article, I’m going to be going through all of the various different Henry hoover models and sharing the difference with you in a way that hopefully will be really easy to understand, and won’t have you nodding off by the time you’re done reading. 

First, though, a few bits of mildly interesting information about Henry hoovers with which to impress (or irritate) your friends and loved ones.

Henry isn’t a Hoover

Giving this happy-looking vacuum cleaner a name beginning with H, leading to most people referring to it as Henry “hoover”, I believe was a masterstroke by Henry’s inventor.

I’ve spoken to people in the past who haven’t actually realized that Hoover is a brand, and that Henry is nothing to do with that brand. To many people, especially younger generations, a hoover is anything that performs the verb of hoovering. A shaver shaves, a washer washes, and a hoover hoovers.

This isn’t technically incorrect either, given that the word hoover as in “hoover up” is a verb you’ll find in the dictionary, described as to “clean (something) with a vacuum cleaner”.

But while Henry does of course perform the verb “hoovering”, and is usually referred to not just as Henry, but as “Henry hoover”, the Henry vacuum cleaner has never had anything to do with the brand Hoover.

Henry wasn’t the first vacuum cleaner to have a human name

One of the very earliest vacuum cleaners was invented by a British engineer called Hubert Booth, and was called “Billy” or “Puffing Billy”. Hubert towed Billy to his client’s homes via horse & cart, delivering one of the first ever cleaning services including a vacuum cleaner.

Henry’s ancestors were made from oil drums and suitcase handles

The first vacuum cleaners made by Numatic, the British company who still produce the Henry hoover today were designed to clean boilers that were powered with coal, gas & oil. 

They were made in a tiny garage-sized “factory” to begin with, with just a handful of staff using the cheapest and most durable parts available, in order to produce a product which was robust, reliable and affordable.

These first sturdy workhorse vacuum cleaners consisted of oil drums, with a washing up bowl inside, a suitcase handle on the top, and furniture castors for wheels. 

Henry is still made in the UK

It’s rare to find a product being manufactured in Britain, but Henry hoover is still made here in the UK, by the same company (Numatic International) that was initially founded in Somerset in the late 60s, in that little garage-sized factory.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons the name Henry is synonymous with reliability and durability. We all know it’s cheaper to manufacture products in huge quantities in the far East, but that doesn’t always lead to the best when it comes to reliability. 

The fact that so many products that were once made in Britain are now manufactured thousands of miles away and imported, may well be the reason for the very popular phrase “they don’t make ‘em like they used to!”. 

With Henry, though, they do make them like they used to, as little has changed since they began making Henry back in 1981.

Henry smiles to keep cleaners happy

When Chris Duncan developed the Henry vacuum cleaner during the 1970’s (released in 1981) it was made with cleaners of schools and hospitals in mind. 

Knowing that cleaners often worked on their own, late at night and early in the morning, doing what can be a thankless task, he gave Henry a smile to keep the cleaners of Britain happy.

This unique & friendly character combined with their performance, durability and affordability is undoubtedly responsible for their rise to being among the most popular vacuum cleaners in the UK.

So now you’re armed with this information, make sure you spread the word, your family and friends will love hearing this new knowledge you’ve amassed about Henry hoover ;-).

Why is Henry hoover still so popular in 2022?

Due to the constant developments in technology not many products stand the test of time. When it comes to vacuum cleaners, as with other continually developing technology, whatever brand new amazingly high tech model you might buy today, it’ll be yesterday’s news tomorrow when a new kid on the block is released. 

So in such a competitive market with brands such as Dyson and Shark constantly developing new state of the art vacuum cleaners, often costing several times the RRP of Henry hoover, why is Henry hoover still a best seller, being just as popular in the UK in the 2020s as it was in the 1980s?

I think the simple answer to this is that it’s simple, affordable, reliable, has fantastic suction power and it does a great job of cleaning your home at a very reasonable price.

It’s quite easy to get sucked into the marketing and advertising of premium brands and be led to believe that you need to spend hundreds of pounds on the latest technology with a myriad of features, abilities and accessories.

Not everyone needs or wants to use a complex vacuum cleaner that converts into a handheld and different parts come off so you can attach others to clean different parts of your home. Part of the beauty of Henry lies in its simplicity. 

You turn it on and it instantly jumps into action, and after owning one for years (as I have) you’ll come to know that whenever you need to hoover up, Henry will be there for you, with his pleasant demeanour & hard to beat performance. 

With so many vacuum cleaners these days being so technologically advanced, it’s easy to lose sight of what you actually need when you’re purchasing a vacuum cleaner, vs what clever marketing companies want to sell you. 

For anyone who isn’t easily sold on the importance of gadgetry, bells & whistles, and who simply wants a powerful vacuum cleaner which they can afford, is simple to use and will keep their home sparkling clean, Henry ticks all these boxes, which is why he’s remained so popular over so many years.

So which is the best Henry hoover for you?

This is going to depend on whether you’re looking for a henry for cleaning just your home or you’re a professional cleaner (as many pros use Henry) or whether you need a specific type of vacuum cleaner for particular tasks. 

This is an important point to mention, by the way, that many professional cleaners use Henry. If you want to know what is the best “whatever”, a good question to ask yourself is “what do the professionals use?”.

While you may be aware that most professional cleaners use Henry, you may be surprised to learn that Henry hoover and some of his siblings are very popular for industrial use due to their power and practicality. 

If you’re shopping for a vacuum cleaner for your home, which is the best Henry for you will depend on the size of your home and whether you have specific requirements such as needing to also be able to wash carpets and hoover up spills.

As you’ll see, some of the models only differ in the size of the waste bins and the number of accessories and have the same suction power and reliability Henry is known for. So whatever your needs, there’ll be a Henry, or a machine in the Henry family that works for you.

At the latest count, there are 6 Henry hoovers to choose from but if you’re talking about the entire Henry hoover family including Hetty, Charles & George, there are 15 variations of this amazing vacuum cleaner that has been a part of the British landscape since 1981 and is still going as strong as ever.

These are the best Henry Hoovers available in the UK:

Henry Hoover Xtra HVX200 Vacuum Cleaner

This is where it all began all those years ago. Henry was initially conceptualized in the early 70s, and eventually released in 1981, and very little has changed since then, just a few upgrades to the internal components. 

This is definitely a great example of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.

Originally called just “Henry” it has been changed to Henry Xtra as an alternative has been released since with a smaller waste bin so you can choose between the two according to how much waste capacity you need and how often you want to empty it.

The key features are:

A massive 9-litre bag. Many vacuum cleaners these days come with a 1-litre waste bin so this is huge compared to the average.

It’s going to last you a very long time before you need to empty it and when you do it is self-seal so you’ll never get any dust or dirt being released back into the air and no regular trip to the bin to try and empty the dirt without it going everywhere.

A very long 10-metre cable to ensure that you won’t need to mess about changing the plug socket very often

3 different floorheads to cover whatever surface you need to clean and a whole bunch of different accessory attachments

henry hxx200 accessories

Exceptional suction power that is as good as anything you will find anywhere and that includes Dyson.

This updated original Henry hoover is a rare product indeed. In this day and age, some products such as phones and TV’s are discontinued and replaced with newer updated models after barely a year so it says a lot about this hoover that it has been around for decades and is still going strong.

A popular version for professional cleaners, the Henry Xtra is also the choice of people with larger homes, with its large capacity bag and accessories for every eventuality.

This is still a brilliant and great value for money vacuum cleaner despite all the latest innovations from the like of Dyson and others.




Henry Hoover HVR160 Vacuum Cleaner

This version is very similar to the Xtra version except it is smaller and has less accessories.

Numatic came to the conclusion that there were some users to whom the 9 litre waste bin and the number of floorheads was a bit over the top for some people, so they created this version with every day household use in mind. 

You get everything that the Xtra has but only one floorhead instead of three and it has a 6-litre waste bin instead of 9 litres on the Xtra.

Bear in mind that 6 litres waste capacity is still very large compared to the vast majority of vacuum cleaners.

You get the same 620 watt motor that provides exceptional suction that will leave nothing behind no matter how muddy or deeply ingrained in your carpet.

These are the accessories that come with this so you can compare to the Xtra above.

henry hvr160 accessoires

This version is perfect for small to medium-sized homes that just don’t need the extra floorheads that the Xtra comes with and a 6-litre waste bin is fine for most homes considering that’s about 6 times more than you can expect from most other vacuum cleaners.



See the full review of the Henry HVR160 vacuum cleaner


Henry Hoover HVR160E Eco Vacuum Cleaner

If you are a fan of energy-saving this newer model has 30% more energy efficiency than other models and so will save you money on your electricity bill over time.

You also get an extra floorhead compared to the standard version that is more efficient at drawing dirt out of carpet and hard floors.

The 6-litre bin, excellent suction and long 10-metre cable come as standard with this model.

These are the accessories that come with Henry Eco:

henry eco accessories


Henry Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Traditionally all Henry hoovers have been corded and come with a very long 10-metre cable but if you want to eliminate the cord and give yourself more freedom of movement around your home then you can opt for this cordless model.

It doesn’t have quite as much power as the corded models but the suction is still very strong and the best in its class at this price level and it still comes with a very large 6-litre waste bin.

This model comes with 2 power levels, low and high, so that you can preserve battery life if you don’t need high power. On high power it will give 20 minutes of battery life which is enough for most homes but if that is not enough for you then it is available with two batteries as well as one.

Just keep in ind that the twin battery version is only slightly more expensive, so it’s well worth considering that version unless you have a particulary small home, so you can be assured of 40 minutes cleaning time in one go.

You get a good suite of accessories for cleaning all parts of your home and car and one or two batteries depending on which one you go for.

henry cordless accessories



That covers all of the best traditional red Henry’s, but Henry hoover now has a number of siblings with different names and different colours, all with a very familiar happy face. 

These are all the best of Henry hoover’s siblings:

Hetty Hoover Vacuum Cleaner

Despite the colour change, Hetty is exactly the same as the Henry HVR160 shown above.

You still get the amazing suction power that all Henry’s offer, all of the same accessories, a large 6-litre waste container and a 10-metre cable.

So if you prefer pink to red, or if you prefer a vacuum cleaner to have eyelashes, then Hetty is just as good a choice as any other Henry but with a different name and colour. 

Although Hetty is known as the pink, more feminine looking version of henry, it’s worth noting that you can now also get Hetty in Yellow, and you can also get Henry in blue, or yellow. Presumably this is in a bid to stay up to date with the times where linking any particular colour to femininity or masculinity is no longer the done thing.



Harry Hoover Vacuum Cleaner

The pet specialist, Harry hoover, looks after any home that is shared with furry pets, and accordingly comes with numerous additional features and accessories.

You still get a huge 9-litre dust capacity before you have to change the bag but you also get a special charcoal filter that is even more efficient at keeping everything that gets sucked up in the bag.

In addition, you get an extra motorised “Hairo” brush head with a brush that spins and digs down deep into carpet fibres to ensure that no hair is left unturned!

Harry enjoys the same mega suction power that all corded Henrys have and when you combine that with the pet brush then you know no dust, dirt or hair will be left behind.

Here are all the accessories that come with Harry:

harry accessories

If you have cats or dogs in your home it’s well worth considering Harry which is basically the pet version of Henry.



George Hoover Vacuum Cleaner

The Shrek of vacuum cleaners, If you want a model that does it all then George has been a proven winner over many years. It truly is an all in one appliance that does so much more than just hoover your carpet.

It works as a standard vacuum cleaner in the same way as Henry does to be used for your regular hoovering and you get the same Xtra large waste capacity.

George also does wet cleaning, and I’m not just talking about small spills. It comes with a container specifically for liquid collection. Pop that in and you get the full 9-litre capacity for wet. 

So if you need to drain anything or you have a leak in your home then George is more than capable of dealing with it.

George is also a carpet cleaner which is different from a wet liquid collector in that it sprays detergent and water onto the carpet before powerfully sucking up all the dirty water. 

It washes hard floors as well with a specific attachment that you can see in the below image of all the accessories and attachments that George comes with:

george accessories

If you want something that does everything when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your floors then George is a great value for money option.



See the full review of the George all in one vacuum cleaner


Charles Hoover Vacuum Cleaner

Charles is essentially George but without the carpet & hard floor cleaning capability. 

A popular choice for tradespeople & DIY enthusiasts Charles may be blue but he’s hardly a smurf, boasting exactly the same power & wet and dry capability of George but for people who wouldn’t have the need to wash carpets or hard floors. 


Is Henry Hoover better than Dyson?

Better is a subjective term, usually when I’m asked is one product better than another, this would prompt the question “what do you mean exactly, by better?”.

For many people, when discussing the best vacuum cleaners, “better” would be a case of weighing up overall cleaning performance and reliability against price. 

With this in mind, looking specifically at the price of a Dyson vacuum cleaner and then the price of a Henry and comparing the suction power and the reliability Henry are renowned for, then I think there’s a strong argument for Henry being better than Dyson.

Henry and Dyson are completely different types of vacuum cleaner though as Dyson purely produce cordless vacuum cleaners now and no longer make anything with a cord on it, while all Henrys are corded and need to be plugged into the wall.

So if “better” for you means being able to use without a power cable, for example, and you’re not looking for a corded canister vacuum cleaner, then for you personally maybe one of the Dyson models would be better suited. 

If that doesn’t bother you though and all you care about is getting all of the dust and debris removed from your floors in the most effective way then Henry will deliver that for you at a much lower cost than a Dyson will.

Similarly, if “better” for you means being ultra-lightweight making hoovering stairs and hard to reach areas less of a task, then again maybe one of the Dysons will be better for you if you value these abilities as being worth the extra investment. If it’s just carpets and hard floors you want to keep clean, and if you only have a relatively small staircase to keep clean, then Henry will compete with any dyson for performance and certainly for cost effectiveness.

Is Henry Hoover good on carpet?

Henry is so good on carpet that you may need to turn the suction power down to ensure that it doesn’t end up lifting the carpet off the floor!

Although there is just an on/off button and only one power level, you can turn it down by turning a dial on the pole to reduce the suction power and depending on how thick your carpet pile is you may need to do that.

Henry is an excellent vacuum on both carpet and hard floor and is a proven winner over many years with millions of units sold in the UK.

Can you use Henry as a wet vacuum?

As my son discovered recently when he decided to hoover the floor of his car after water had leaked in and pooled in the footwell… you can’t use a standard Henry for wet hoovering. 

I must point out, however, that even after hoovering up water, henry didn’t break! It was only when my wife wondered why there was liquid dripping down the side and removed the motor, which had water dripping out of it, that we asked the kids if anyone knew what had occurred with Henry hoover.

We put this henry, which we’d had for more years than I can remember, out to dry, and replaced him with a brand new one just to be on the safe side.

If you do want vacuum cleaner for wet hoovering, you can use Henry’s grass-coloured brother George, for both wet and dry hoovering, and as a carpet cleaner and hard floor cleaner. 

George is an outstanding all-in-one floor care appliance so if you are looking to vacuum and clean your carpets George is an excellent solution but it is not recommended to use a regular Henry for vacuuming any liquid.

How much do Henry hoover bags cost?

The genuine Numatic Henry hoover bags will usually only cost you about sixty to seventy pence each for the 6L bags: Hepaflo 9L NVM-1CH, and about ninety pence to a pound for the 9L bags compatible with Henry Xtra and the other larger capacity versions: Hepaflo 9L NVM-1CH. 

Are Henry hoover parts available?

Yes, very much so. One of the great things about the simplicity of the Henry, and the fact that it’s UK made, is that parts and accessories for it are very easy to find. 

Whether you need tools, filters, a new hose, a replacement brush head, a new tube pipe, or something a bit more specialist such as a new on/off switch, or a replacement cable rewind spring, you’ll have no problem getting hold of whatever you might need. 

Can Henry hoovers be repaired?

That’s also a big fat yes. Again, due to their simplicity, and the availability of parts, you’ll find that any vacuum cleaner repair business will welcome Henry hoovers.

They may prefer Dyson or Shark or other brands in some cases as they can rub their hands together and suck air in through the corner of their mouths while working out the repair quote, but most will happily repair a Henry, and you’ll usually find that they’re a simple and inexpensive machine to repair too.

Henry vs Hetty what’s the difference?

Colour and eyelashes. Although they’ve started releasing different colours of both Henry and Hetty, the only difference between Hetty 160 and Henry 160 is aesthetics, colours and eyelashes.

Is Henry hoover pneumatic?

Henry hoover is manufactured by the company Numatic, which of course sounds the same as pneumatic, which does lead some people to think that Henry hoovers are somehow powered by compressed air, which is the meaning of pneumatic, in this context at least. So, Henry isn’t powered by compressed air, you just plug it into the wall like any other vacuum cleaner – you don’t need an air compressor ;-).

What Wattage is Henry hoover?

While Henry was once 1200W, EU regulations were enforced meaning that vacuum cleaners had to be below 900W by 2017. Numatic worked hard to reduce the power way down to just 600W, while making changes to increase Henry’s energy efficiency, making it just as powerful but kinder on the planet, and on your wallet, given that newer Henry hoovers will use around half the juice compared to the older 1200W versions.

How long is Henry’s hose?

Henry boasts a rather long hose at 2.4m, which makes it handy for reaching higher surfaces than floor level, without having to pick Henry up. It’s worth noting too that Henry has a conical hose, which means it’s narrower at the handle end than the vacuum end, in order to increase efficiency and performance while using less power than other vacuum cleaners, and than the older 1200W models.

How long is Henry’s cable?

The standard model, Henry and Hetty 160, both have a huge 10m power cable that neatly retracts inside. This is actually a masterstroke when it comes to increasing convenience, as it increases the ground you can cover without messing about changing plug sockets.

What floor types do Henry hoovers work with?

Henry and Hetty 160, and Henry Xtra are great for vacuuming hard floors as well as carpets, however the great suction power makes Henry particularly good when it comes to carpets. If you have cats and/or dogs though, which shed hair, then while Henry will cope, Harry is the pet specialist.

Henry is also great when it comes to hoovering your car, with his long cable, long hose and various different tools, you’ll have no problem hovering in the footwells, around the pedals getting rid of crumbs & dust from around the gear stick & handbrake etc. Just remember that if you car, or home, has had a flood, you’ll need a Charles or a George, as Henry doesn’t like liquids.

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