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Is a Cordless Vacuum the Right Choice for Everyone?

Written by James Hall |

An example of a cordless vacuum cleaning underneath a sofa

At, we’re big fans of cordless vacuums. They make cleaning faster and easier, and the latest models solve many of the problems associated with earlier cordless vacuum cleaners.

With that said, we don’t think a cordless is for everyone. Here are four reasons you may want to choose a corded vacuum instead.

Reason #1: You Have a Large House

One of the biggest drawbacks of a cordless vacuum is the limited run-time. If you like to get all the vacuuming done in one go, you might feel restricted by a cordless. Even the longest run-times might not be enough if you live in a large house.

The good news is that battery run-times are improving. The latest Dyson V8, for example, has almost double the battery life of the previous V6 model yet with the same suction power. Bosch also produces a cleaner with a 60 minute run-time, which is enough for almost any home and one of the longest-life cordless vacuums on the market.

Solution: Clean little and often instead of one big session for the whole house.

Reason #2: You Value Suction Power Above All Else

Cordless vacuums have many advantages. Their lightweight design makes them more manoeuvrable and easier to use to clean higher places. You don’t need to worry about tripping over a cord or changing plug sockets. And many come with multiple floor heads and even detachable handheld modes.

One area cordless vacuums struggle though is suction power. As they are powered by a battery instead of the mains electricity supply, it’s harder for manufacturers to build cordless vacuums with the suction power to rival corded models. If you need a vacuum with the strongest suction, a corded model is a better choice.

Solution: Choose a cordless vacuum with an excellent floor head to make up for lower suction, such as the Dyson V8 Absolute.

Reason #3: You Hate Emptying the Dust Canister

A common complaint about cordless vacuums is the size of the dust canister. Most cordless vacs hold less than a litre of dust, compared with 8 litres for the Henry Hoover. This is a necessary sacrifice to maintain a lightweight design and high manoeuvrability.

Small dust capacities aren’t a major problem for most people, but you’ll need to be prepared to empty the canister much more often. This is one of the reasons why we recommend choosing a cordless with a hygienic emptying system.

Solution: There is no solution for this, as there currently aren’t any high-quality cordless vacuums with a large dust capacity.

Reason #4: You Suffer from Allergies

Many cordless vacuums have excellent filtration systems, including HEPA or whole vacuum filters. The problem is that they all have a bagless design. This makes them difficult to empty without letting dust escape.

Solution: Choose a cordless with a high-quality filter and ask someone else to empty it outside.

Why You SHOULD Buy a Cordless Vacuum

We’ve explained the main reasons why you might want to avoid a cordless vacuum – now here’s why they have become such a popular choice.

  • Convenience. Getting rid of the cord makes vacuuming much more convenient. You don’t need to worry about switching sockets or the cord getting tangled around the floor head.
  • Versatility. Cordless vacuums are great for cleaning stairs, cars, caravans and above furniture due to their lightweight design.
  • Great for Quick Cleans. Many people with cordless vacuums change the way they clean. Instead of letting dust and dirt pile up for a week before a cleaning session, cordless vacuums make it easy to clean “little and often.” This means your home is always spotless and you don’t need to dread the weekly clean.
  • Lightweight. If you struggle with heavier vacuums, a cordless is a great choice. Most weigh less than 5kg so you won’t get tired when using them.


Cordless vacuums are rapidly becoming true competitors to corded models. They have some drawbacks though, which is why we don’t think they are the best choice for everyone (yet). Even with these disadvantages though, most people can benefit from buying a cordless vacuum – although you might need to change your cleaning schedule to accommodate a limited battery run-time.

Not sure which vacuum cleaner to choose? Read our complete guide on how to choose a vacuum.

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