Reviews You Can Rely On

Hoover WindTunnel Max Review

This upright vacuum does not match the current technology available in other models and exhibited a disappointing performance overall
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Hoover WindTunnel Max Review
Credit: Hoover
Price:  $210 List
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Manufacturer:   Hoover
By Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente  ⋅  Jul 26, 2022
  • Carpet Cleaning - 35% 4.2
  • Ease of Use - 25% 5.7
  • Handling - 20% 3.8
  • Hard Surface - 10% 2.0
  • Pet Hair - 10% 9.3

Our Verdict

While the Hoover WindTunnel Max isn't the worst model we tested, it wasn't far off from being the worst either. This model managed to plow and displace debris better than it lifted debris from carpets, regardless of the size of the material used in our tests. It repeated the same disappointing performance on hard surfaces, proving to be less useful than a broom and dustpan, creating a bigger mess. It is not the easiest model to use either due to an inability to operate effectively at edges and is even worse to maneuver with the lack of a swiveling head. We recommend looking at some of the better-performing uprights in our best upright vacuum review.
Bagged vacuum for the hypersensitive
Long cord
Flings and plows debris
No swivel
Hoover discontinued the WindTunnel Max.

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hoover WindTunnel Max was one of the worst-performing models our team tested and was not a tool our testers enjoyed using.

Performance Comparison

hoover windtunnel max - the windtunnel max is not the best upright vacuum we tested.
The WindTunnel Max is not the best upright vacuum we tested.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Carpet Cleaning

Carpet cleaning is the primary use for most upright vacuum users and, therefore, the most heavily weighted test metric in our set of tests. That being said, the Hoover WindTunnel Max did not perform well in any of our carpet cleaning tests.

This model started out poorly on our first carpet cleaning test, rice. On a low pile carpet, it had a plowing effect, displacing rice and debris before it was able to catch back up after three passes. Rice on higher pile carpet proved to be more challenging. It picked up 99% of the rice in five passes but struggled to pick up smaller broken pieces afterward. It seemed to be pushing down those smaller pieces rather than lifting them away.

hoover windtunnel max - the plowing effect of the windtunnel max on rice.
The plowing effect of the WindTunnel Max on rice.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

The Max continued to perform poorly in our oatmeal tests, repeating a plowing effect on a short pile carpet. It successfully removed larger pieces but struggled with oatmeal dust, requiring an additional seven passes. High pile performance was even worse, again repeating a plowing effect, requiring five passes to pick up large crumbs, and was not able to collect finer crumbs, even with an additional 12 passes.

Performance on cereal tests continued on a trajectory of poor performance. In short, it was a more effective plow than a vacuum, shooting cereal to the right side of the head, and it provided our testers with a horrible and challenging experience.

This model also did a sub-standard job vacuuming flour. It left distinct lines at the side of the vacuum path, meaning it was able to pick up a lot of flour in the first pass but never made improvements. More than a dozen passes later, there was still flour left behind that was distinctly visible.

hoover windtunnel max - the max could not lift all the debris in our test, leaving lots of...
The Max could not lift all the debris in our test, leaving lots of finer debris behind.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Ease of Use

Unfortunately, the Hoover WindTunnel Max isn't the most user-friendly upright vacuum we've ever tested. In fact, it is one of the worst. When it came down to how well the Max handled edges and corners, it seemed to have more of a plowing effect, displacing and pushing debris as much or more than it picked it up. It required additional passes to clean messes at the edges of its head.

A 29-foot cable, which is a length that is on par with much better models, gives users the flexibility to reach places far and away from an outlet. The under furniture reach of this model was average for the entire test group at 8 inches.

The only real user-friendly thing this model has going for it is the ability to adjust the height. To adjust the height requires bending down to manipulate a knob, and while it could be easier, we were pleased it had the ability.

hoover windtunnel max - the lack of a swiveling head is a detrimental limitation to the...
The lack of a swiveling head is a detrimental limitation to the WindTunnel Max.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente


The Hoover WindTunnel Max is a terrible handling vacuum. With the lack of a swivel, our testers had a horrendous time navigating corners, turns, and furniture in all of our tests. The height adjustments for different carpet pile was inaccurate, applying too much pressure to the brush, making the head difficult to move. The pulling and pushing effort required to move this model is nearly guaranteed to give you a workout.

hoover windtunnel max - this was one of the worst handling models our team tested.
This was one of the worst handling models our team tested.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Hard Surface Cleaning

With no option to turn off the brush, the Hoover WindTunnel Max did poorly across all of our hard surface sub-metrics. Rice became projectiles, violently spraying everywhere, and left no hope of ever being able to clean hard flooring.

The Max did not do any better handling oatmeal, cereal, or flour. It proved to be completely ineffective at cleaning hard surfaces, even after 30 passes. Instead of picking anything up, all it did was fling debris and make a bigger mess. Its hard surface performance was horrible, to say the least.

hoover windtunnel max - the windtunnel max did a poor job of lifting flour from a hard...
The WindTunnel Max did a poor job of lifting flour from a hard surface.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Pet Hair

Our pet hair test was the only test where this model didn't completely disappoint our testers. That's not to say it is exceptional either, but it did manage to pick up 93.2% of hair in our tests.

hoover windtunnel max - the max did well when it came to pet hair, but not the best.
The Max did well when it came to pet hair, but not the best.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Should You Buy the Hoover WindTunnel Max?

This Hoover WindTunnel Max is not the worst upright vacuum we have ever tested, but it isn't a whole lot better than the worst-ranked uprights we've tested either. Across the board, we weren't impressed and doubt you will be either. We cannot recommend this model over other more capable vacuums.

What Other Upright Vacuums Should You Consider?

If you expect a vacuum to be a useful cleaning tool, forget the Hoover WindTunnel Max, and plan to increase your budget. For a similarly affordable model but superior performance, consider the Shark Navigator Lift-Away. Budget permitting, for truly premium performance, take a look at either the Shark Stratos or the Shark Vertex.

Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente