With the new EU regulations limiting the power wattage of corded vacuum cleaners to 900W as of 2017, many cordless models are now actually capable of producing more power than their predecessors. Cordless hoovers aren’t exactly new additions to the home cleaning market. However, with the development of new technologies including lithium-ion batteries, they are now both practical and efficient. As with all products though, not all cordless vacuum cleaners are created equal.
When it comes to choosing a cordless vacuum cleaner, you’ll have little choice but to shell out for a model that can easily replace your existing main unit and perform superbly. However, if you’re just looking for a second unit for spot cleaning then the cheaper models should be more than sufficient. Below you will find our 5 best cordless vacuum cleaners including our most recommended and best value recommendations.
Our Recommended Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners in 2018
Dyson V8 Absolute
Design & Accessories – Stylish lightweight design, 2-in-1 functionality, and a range of accessories including a mini soft dusting brush, crevice tool, combination tool, mini motorized head for the handheld, and two main motorized heads (one for carpeting and another for hard flooring).
Usability & Performance – Highly ergonomic design for floor to ceiling cleaning. Simple to use with normal and turbo modes. Performs well on all surfaces and has a maximum run time of 40 minutes. Also suitable for homes with pets, though there is a pet specific version available.
Value – Top of the line do-it-all cordless model. At a little under £400 it’s at the high end of the market, but a cordless vacuum that should take care of all your cleaning needs.
We rated the Dyson V8 Absolute 9/10 you can read our entire review here.
Design & Accessories – Modern upright design with an attachable hose and shoulder strap for flexible cleaning. Hose accessories include an upholstery and crevice tool.
Usability & Performance – Works brilliantly as an upright with three modes: suction only, suction and motorized brush, and boost mode with the motorised brush. Cleaning head works on both carpet and hard flooring. Impressive 60 minutes runtime.
Value – Sitting at just under £250, this is a mid to high priced cordless vacuum designed for whole home cleaning with some interesting features.
We rated the Bosch Athlet 8.5/10 you can read our entire review here.
Gtech AirRam MK2
Design & Accessories – Simple but effective upright vacuum with a telescopic handle and headlights to better see dirt.
Usability & Performance – Easy to operate and compatible with all flooring types. Capable of reaching under furniture thanks to it’s horizontal ‘ultra-low’ profile. Contains a motorized roller brush and operates for up to 40 minutes on a single charge.
Value – Costing a little under £200 this is a mid-priced model that is ideal for those looking for a floor-only cordless vacuum.
We rated the GTech AirRam MK2 8.7/10 you can read our entire review here.
Vax Blade 32V
Design & Accessories – Contemporary stick design model with 2-in-1 functionality that comes with a soft dusting brush and crevice tool. Possible to use the main head on the handheld for stair cleaning. Additional kit available for purchase which includes a mattress tool, radiator tool, pet and stairs tool, up top tool and soft dusting brush.
Usability & Performance – Slightly heavy as a handheld. Compatible with all flooring types though works best with hard flooring. Easily selectable motorized brush and boost modes. Provides up to 45 minutes of run time using the normal mode.
Value – At well under £200, this is an affordable mid-priced option. However, if you have carpeting you will find it ideal for cleaning in short bursts using the boost mode, or as a second vacuum for spot cleaning.
We rated the Vax Blade 32V 8.7/10 you can read our entire review here.
Morphy Richards Supervac 2-in-1 Vacuum
Design & Accessories – Classic upright style vacuum with 2-1 functionality and a few useful accessories including a crevice tool, upholstery tool and dusting brush.
Usability & Performance – Swivel head makes it easy to use around the home as an upright, and the ability to easily convert it into a handheld makes it good for tackling furniture as you clean. Single mode with motorized brush and a runtime of up to 35 minutes.
Value – Highly affordable cordless model at less than £100, though best suited for smaller homes with hard flooring, or as a second vacuum for spot cleaning.
We rated the Morphy Richards Supervac 8.8/10 you can read our entire review here.
What are Cordless Vacuum Cleaners?
Cordless vacuum cleaners come in a range of styles, but most commonly resemble the traditional upright models rather than the cylinder “Henry” types. They are often referred to as “stick” vacuums due to their low profile and are designed to be lightweight, compact (easy to use and store), and most of all practical. This makes them great options for busy people who like to keep their homes clean at all times rather than dragging out the old corded model for a once a week thorough clean. Additionally, their lightweight designs make them especially popular for the elderly and those with disabilities or certain limitations (i.e. arthritis or back pain).
Instead of drawing power from the mains, cordless models typically use lithium-ion batteries which allows them to produce large amounts of power for short intervals and without fading as the battery depletes. As a result, it’s no surprise that there is a race between manufacturers to be able to produce cordless vacuums with the largest amount of suction and the longest runtime. Sometimes there is a compromise between the two, but many of the high-end models do a great job of combining these attributes. This fact also means that consumers are spoiled for choice.
Why Choose a Cordless Vacuum?
Vacuuming is a chore that we all need to live with, but many people who have purchased a cordless vacuum cleaner now find it a novelty (and one that doesn’t wear out quickly). Although most cheaper cordless models are only ideal as supplementary vacuums for spot cleaning high traffic areas such as the entrance, kitchen and bathroom; there are models that can easily rival and surpass leading corded models for cleaning the entire home.
Because they are designed to be lightweight most units only have a small dirt receptacle so you will find you’ll lead to empty a cordless more often. However, the ability to grab it quickly to clean up a mess or tackle the entire house without changing power outlets often more than makes up for this. In short, the cordless vacuum market is booming because it makes an age-old chore easier.
Cordless Features to Consider before Purchasing:
One of the primary considerations you should make when choosing a cordless vacuum cleaner is the battery power, run time and charging time. In the majority of cases, the larger the voltage the longer the runtime. The indicated runtime you’ll find on most product specifications usually only refers to the lowest power setting (some models have one setting while others have multiple). For instance, the Dyson V8 is an efficient, industry-leading cordless vacuum with a 21.6V battery and a 40-minute runtime. The standard mode is usually powerful enough to clean your whole home, but it also has a turbo mode that runs for around 7 minutes for exceptionally dirty areas.
The charging times vary depending on the voltage and type of battery used, but most take upwards of 4+ hours to charge – you’ll also find that some can charge fully quicker than the specified times. While some cordless vacuum cleaners use other battery types (i.e. NiMH or nickel metal hydride batteries which have a higher capacity than older lead or nickel-cadmium batteries, hold the charge for longer periods of time and are cost-effective), the majority now use lithium-ion batteries. The reason for this is that, although more expensive, they are much lighter, have a longer shelf life, hold a higher capacity, and have no memory effect. Although not necessarily a must-have feature, it can be beneficial to choose a cordless model with a battery life indicator.
Power and Suction Capabilities
You may find that some cordless models may include or omit certain specifications as to the power attributes which can make it difficult to compare models. This will include watts and amps (i.e. input power) or air watts (air flow x vacuum/8.5). Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute, and vacuum is measured in inches of water lift.
Airflow is the most important specification as it refers to the force of air across a surface that picks up the dirt. However, because many cordless models have multiple or different sized cleaning heads and accessories this information isn’t readily available or it simply isn’t possible to make a fair comparison. This is why it’s so important to read the best cordless vacuum cleaner reviews before making a decision.
Weight and Design
The stick-like design of cordless vacuum cleaners allows them to be much lighter than normal upright or cylinder vacuum cleaners. Depending on your preferences, you may choose a model based on weight alone. For instance, some cordless models can be as light as 2kg while others weigh closer to 5kg. It’s usually the more expensive models that are lighter as more research and development has gone into making them more compact with better materials although this is not always the case.
Some models are only designed to be used as upright models (in which case make sure they at least offer flexible swivel type heads for getting around the house and under furniture), while others are designed to be used as handhelds as well. These latter models with 2-in-1 functionality can be used as an upright for floor cleaning, but then quickly detached from the main unit or disassembled to be used as a simple handheld for cleaning vehicles, upholstery, table tops and so on. Others have more unorthodox designs such as the Bosch Athlet which allows you to remove the main cleaning head, attach a hose and strap it to your back.
If you’re looking for a cordless vacuum to use on the fly, consider a model with a wall charging dock. Some models need to be plugged in to charge, while others require the battery to be removed to be charged separately from the main unit.
Floor Type and Pets
What floor type you have and whether you have furry companions will play a large role in your decision. Typically the less powerful cordless vacuums are better suited for hard flooring but have trouble picking up dirt and hair from carpeting. There are also vacuums with multiple heads so you can use one for carpets and another for wood or tiled flooring, and others with flexible heads that are equally effective on both. Some units also have heads that are specially designed for picking up pet hair. It’s therefore important to carefully consider your needs before deciding on a model.
While some heads don’t have motorized brushes and rely on suction alone, the motorized brush in addition to the suction power is usually what makes one cordless vacuum better than another. Another factor to keep in mind is how easy it is to remove and clean the brushes as they do frequently become tangled with hair – especially if you have pets. Additionally, whether a model has a boost mode should weigh in on your decision as this can sometimes come in handy when cleaning deep carpeting, pet beds, or very dirty areas.
Versatility is a large reason why people choose cordless models. While many models are designed for one task such as the Gtech AirRam Mk2 which can only be used as an upright model for all flooring types, there are others that are better designed for a plethora of tasks. Following on from the previous section, knowing your needs will help you to decide what accessories you can and can’t live without.
Most attachment-friendly models usually include at least an upholstery and crevice accessory. However, some offer more comprehensive options or even additional purchasable took kits which can include extendable hoses and various other accessories for cleaning mattresses, curtains, behind radiators, skirting boards, stairs as well as brushes with both stiff and soft bristles.
Bagged vs Bagless and Filtration
The majority of cordless vacuums are bagless with removable dirt receptacles that can be emptied once they are full. Many people like this prevalent feature as it means there is no need to purchase additional bags, though considering that receptacle capacities range from 0.5 – 1 litres you’ll find that you will need to empty them often. However, this will just become commonplace, particularly if you are looking for a cordless vacuum to clean your entire home.
The pre and post motor filters are also usually washable and can be used for a long time without needing to be replaced. The filtration is often more than adequate (i.e. HEPA) for capturing allergens from the air, though those who have severe dust allergies may find that emptying the dirt receptacle into a dustbin isn’t ideal and would be better off using a bagged model. Having said that, many models have improved the dirt removal action that prevents any contact with dirt or debris. It’s important to read reviews to learn more about these features prior to purchasing as some are better than others.
Pros & Cons & Bottom Line for each product
- Design & Accessories
- Battery Time Comparison
- Charging Time Comparison
- Bin Capacity Comparison
- Noise Comparison
- Weight Comparison
- Height Comparison