Fed up with cords? A cordless vacuum cleaner could be the perfect solution. After many hours of research, here are our current recommendations (2019) for the best cordless vacuum cleaner in the UK.
Please note: this section is for upright or cylinder models. For handhelds, please view the handheld section.
- Which are the Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners?
- What to Look for in a Battery Vacuum
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Cordless Vacs for Specific Tasks
- A-Z of In-Depth Cordless Vacuum Reviews
Are you tired of tripping over your vacuum’s cord? Or fed up with lugging a heavy upright vacuum up the stairs?
If so, you’re not alone!
Cordless vacuums have rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years – and are arguably now the most popular type of vac. Brands such as Dyson and Bosch are falling over themselves to release more powerful machines with longer battery life, lightweight design and advanced features, so it’s a great time to buy one.
Let’s take a step back though. What can you realistically expect from a cordless vac? And what should you look for when reading cordless vacuum cleaner reviews?
Cordless vacs, also known as battery vacuum cleaners, don’t need to be plugged into a power socket when in use. Instead, they run on battery power.
Powering appliances with batteries is nothing new. But the amount of suction required by a vacuum meant that, until recently, they couldn’t be powered by battery alone.
That’s all changed now though, and you can buy a number of powerful cordless models from major brands such as Dyson, Vax, Shark and Bosch. You can also purchase both handheld and upright machines, and the top cordless vacs have a relatively long run-time.
But aside from eliminating the risk of tripping over a cord, what are the advantages of running a vacuum on battery power? We’ll discuss this in more detail later in the article, but some of the primary advantages include that they are convenient, lightweight, perfect for quick and easy cleaning and can be used conveniently in a car.
Of course, there are some downsides too. They tend to be more expensive, and the suction is often reduced compared to similar priced models powered by mains electricity.
Even so, we think the convenience makes them worth the extra money – especially as many are great for cleaning upholstery, stairs, above furniture and car interiors.
So if you want to find the best cordless vacuum cleaner – keep reading. We’ve listed our top models below along with links to specific vacuum cleaner reviews. Each is manufactured by a top brand and provides excellent performance. Let’s get started!
Which are the Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners?
|Name||Run-Time||Weight||Dust Bin||Voltage||Price||Read More|
|TOP PICK!||Dyson V10 Cyclone Absolute||60 minutes||2.68kg||0.76 litres||22.5V||£££££||View Price|
|Dyson V8 Animal||40 minutes||2.61kg||0.54 litres||21.6V||££££||View Price|
|Dyson V7 Motorhead||30 minutes||2.3kg||0.54 litres||22.5V||£££||View Price|
|Bosch Ultimate Athlet BCH732KTGB||75 minutes||3.7kg||0.9 litres||32.4V||££££||View Price|
|Gtech AirRam Mk2||40 minutes||3.5kg||0.8 litres||22V||£££||View Price|
|Vax Blade Pro TBT3V1P1||45 minutes||3kg||0.6 litres||32V||££||View Price|
|Vax U85-ACLG-BA Lift Solo||30 minutes||5kg||1 litres||20V||££||View Price|
|BUDGET PICK!||Hoover FD22G||25 minutes||2.2kg||0.7 litres||22V||£||View Price|
|Morphy Richards 732000||20 minutes||3.9kg||0.3 litres||14V||£||View Price|
1. Dyson V10 Cyclone Absolute
The latest Dyson “V” series is the V10 Cyclone. It has a more powerful motor and new bin design compared to the V8, and provides outstanding cleaning performance on all surfaces.
Let’s start with the main differences between the V10 and other Dyson cordless vacs.
The maximum battery life has been increased to 60-minutes. This is only possible on the lowest power mode and without a motorised tool, but the V10 still provides plenty of power on this mode (unlike many alternatives).
Unlike the V6, V7 and V8, the V10 Cyclone’s bin is parallel to the stick. This has allowed Dyson to increase the bin size by 40%, so you won’t need to empty it as often. The design also makes it easy to point the canister deep into a bin when emptying, which reduces the amount of dust and other allergens that escape into the air.
Most importantly, the V10 is brilliant for cleaning carpets, hardwood floors, laminate and tiles. Dyson’s V10 motor provides great suction even on “Low” and “Medium” modes, so you won’t need to switch to “High” for most tasks (which greatly reduces battery life). The standard direct-drive cleaner head, which is included with all versions of the V10, is also excellent for digging into carpet fibres and removing more dust and dirt.
Like previous Dyson cordless vacs, the V10 is highly mobile and versatile. The detachable handheld mode is great for car interiors and stairs, while the mini turbo tool is perfect for removing pet hair from upholstery. People with allergies will also be pleased to hear that the V10 provides excellent filtration, due to the combination of 14 cyclones and post-motor filter.
Are there any downsides though?
The biggest drawback is the price. The cheapest model (Animal) has an RRP of £400, so it’s a significant investment. When it comes to cleaning performance and all-round mobility, however, there aren’t any cordless vacuums that can match the V10.
The “High” power mode also reduces run-time to just 5-7 minutes. We would have liked the V10 to come with a replaceable battery, but the excellent suction on “Medium” mode means you’ll rarely need to switch to full power anyway.
We recommended getting the V10 Cyclone Absolute if you have laminate, tile or hardwood floors in your home. This is the mid-range model, and comes with the Soft Roller cleaner head that’s brilliant for tiles and hardwood flooring. With that said, if your home is mainly carpets you can save money by choosing the V10 Animal, which doesn’t include the Soft Roller (we’ve written a full comparison of the various V10 models here).
So, if you’re looking for the #1 cordless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson V10 Cyclone series is the clear winner. There are no major drawbacks, aside from the price, and its cleaning performance is a match for most upright vacuums. It’s an astonishing vacuum that sets a new standard for cordless vacs.
- Price Range: £££££
- Weight: 2.68kg
- Capacity: 0.76 litres
- Filter Type: Whole Vacuum
- Up to 60 minutes run time when in low power mode
- Three power level settings for different tasks
- Direct-drive cleaner head digs deep into carpets
- Soft Roller head is great for cleaning floors
2. Dyson V8 Animal
Until recently, the Dyson V8 Absolute was our top pick for a cordless stick vacuum. Dyson has restructured their models due to the release of the Cyclone V10 series though, so the V8 Animal is now the only V8 currently in production.
In practical terms, there is little difference between the Animal and Absolute, so the V8 Animal is still one of our top recommendations – especially if the V10 is outside your budget. The main difference is the Animal doesn’t include the soft roller cleaner head for hardwood floors – although you can purchase this separately.
So what makes the V8 stand out compared to other vacs?
In terms of performance, this is a brilliant vacuum. With powerful suction, a longer run-time and a new motor, it’s probably as close to a corded cleaner replacement as you’re likely to get.
This performance is partly due to the powerful direct-drive head for carpets. The brush bar digs into carpets to remove dust and dirt that’s buried in fibres, while untangling cat or dog hair. The Animal also comes with a mini turbo tool for upholstery and cars.
Allergy sufferers will be pleased with Dyson’s “whole machine filtration,” as it does a good job of keeping allergens trapped. The V8 can also be converted into a handheld mode and uses a total of 15 cyclones to capture dirt and dust.
This is where the specification starts to diverge from the previous V6 range. Inside is the V8 motor, which Dyson claims is the most powerful in any cordless (at least until the V10 came along). The run-time of 40 minutes is significantly longer than the V6 Absolute’s 20 minute lifetime. It also comes with a docking station for charging and space for attachments.
Despite its price, the V8 series has proven to be a popular model due to its versatile and powerful design. It was also awarded the “Which? Best Buy” rating in August 2016.
So, there’s no doubt that the Dyson V8 Animal is an outstanding cordless vacuum. With its powerful new motor and battery combination, along with the excellent direct-drive floor-head, it can give many corded models a run for their money. If you want a Dyson cordless but the Dyson Cyclone V10 is too expensive, the V8 Animal is an excellent alternative.
- Price Range: ££££
- Weight: 2.61kg
- Capacity: 0.54 Litres
- Powered by Dyson’s V8 motor
- New battery (Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium) doubles the run-time of the V6 Absolute
- Direct-drive head and mini tool for hair
3. Dyson V7 Motorhead
The Dyson V6 range, with its stick design and detachable handheld mode, was one of the most popular cordless models – and for good reason. It was a powerful vacuum with a lightweight and versatile design, while being significantly cheaper than the V8 Absolute.
Dyson doesn’t manufacture the V6 anymore – but the V7 series is an excellent replacement with several improvements.
The biggest difference is the longer 30-minute run-time. The V6 was criticised for its 20-minute battery life, which was too short for cleaning a home in one session. The V7 provides up to a half-hour of fade-free suction – although this drops if using a motorised tool.
Dyson has also included their no-touch dirt emptying system with the V7. Instead of a simple trap door, you empty the vacuum by pulling up a lever. This opens the hatch while simultaneously forcing dust and dirt out rather than relying on gravity.
Aside from these additions, the V7 Motorhead provides all the features you expect from a Dyson cordless. It has a detachable handheld mode, two-tiers of radial cyclones for consistent suction, “MAX” power mode, and a lightweight 2.3kg design. The V7 is also quiet and easy to use, while the handheld mode is great for above floor cleaning and stairs.
It also provides outstanding cleaning performance on almost any surface. The direct-drive cleaner head (which wasn’t included with the standard V6) digs deep into carpets to remove more dust and dirt. It also does a great job of sucking up both fine dust and small debris from hard surfaces, and is highly effective at removing animal hair.
So, there’s no doubt the V7 is one of the most effective cordless models on the market – but which version should you buy?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that all V7 vacuums have the same core design. The only difference between the Motorhead, Animal and Total Clean are which tools are included.
The Motorhead is the basic version. It comes with the direct-drive cleaner head, crevice tool, combination tool and docking station, so it’s a highly versatile vacuum. If you want a Dyson cordless vac for the cheapest price, the Motorhead is the one to go for (although it’s still not cheap compared to other brands).
With that said, the Motorhead doesn’t include Dyson’s miniature motorised tool for getting rid of hair from upholstery or car interiors. If you have pets, it’s worth paying a bit extra for the V7 Animal which includes this tool. If you have lots of hard flooring, the V7 Total Clean comes with Dyson’s popular soft roller cleaner head, along with a mini dusting brush and turbo tool.
Overall, the Dyson V7 Motorhead is an excellent machine. While the different Dyson models can be confusing, the V7 Motorhead balances excellent performance with a reasonable price – although check out our Dyson V7 comparison if you’re considering the V8.
- Price Range: £££
- Power: 100AW (max mode)
- Weight: 2.3kg
- Capacity: 0.54 Litres
- Powerful suction from the digital V7 motor
- Motorised cleaner head that stirs up dust and dirt from carpets
- Converts to a handheld mode
4. Bosch Ultimate Athlet BCH732KTGB
The Bosch Ultimate Athlet BCH732KTGB is a powerful model designed to provide the same cleaning performance as a conventional vacuum cleaner. This is due to the new AllFloor brush and extra motor power compared to previous Athlet models. Does it live up to the marketing hype though?
In short, yes! This version of the Athlet range provides outstanding suction power that’s great on both hard surfaces and carpets. It’s even capable of removing dust and dirt between floorboards. Unlike cheaper cordless vacs, it’s also excellent at cleaning animal hair, so it’s a good choice if you have a cat or dog in the house.
One of the stand-out features of the Athlet range is the long battery life, and the BCH732KTGB is no exception. It can run for up to 75 minutes on a single charge when cleaning hardwood or laminate floors. If you want to use the maximum power mode for digging deeper into carpets, however, the run-time is much less. We think this is an acceptable trade-off considering its ability to remove dirt from carpet fibres though.
The Bosch has a portable handheld mode. This isn’t quite as convenient as the Hoover FD22G or Dyson V8, as it needs to be slung over the shoulder. It’s still a useful feature to have though – especially for cleaning stairs.
It also has a larger capacity than most cordless models. The capacity of 0.9 litres might not sound big compared to upright vacuums, but it’s considerably more than many stick vacs, so you won’t need to empty is as often. Several accessories are also included, such as a crevice and upholstery nozzle, adaptor with hose and carrying strap.
Like all vacuum cleaners, there are a few drawbacks to this model. The biggest is the price – this is an expensive machine, so it’s not for people on a tight budget. Converting to the handheld mode is also more time consuming and fiddly than other cordless vacuums with this feature.
Even so, the Bosch Ultimate Athlet is one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners available at the moment. It excels at full-house cleaning, as it can handle pretty much any surface and debris. If you’re looking for a powerful model that can replace your corded vac, we recommend either this or a Dyson.
Note: If the Ultimate is outside your budget, the Bosch BCH625KTGB is an alternative to consider. It’s cheaper than the Ultimate, yet still provides strong performance and an efficient filter. Click here to read our full review.
- Price Range: ££££
- Weight: 3.7kg
- Capacity: 0.9 Litres
- Filter Type: Washable
- Powerful vacuum with a relatively large dust capacity
- Great battery life in hard-floor mode
- Strong cleaning performance on almost any floor
5. Gtech AirRam Mk2
The original AirRam vacuum was way ahead of its competition – and the Mk2 improves on an already successful formula. It’s a sleek and stylish model that comes with a number of useful features, including a 40-minute run time (which is significantly longer than many other models).
The Mk2 vacuum also collects dirt and dust in small bundles, rather than spinning it through a cyclonic canister, which makes emptying easier and less messy.
But that’s not all you get with the Gtech AirRam Mk2. The model has been designed from the ground up to compete with mains connected cleaners – at least for floor cleaning. It features a lightweight design at just 3.5kg, excellent performance on both hard floors and carpet, and a low profile for easy mobility.
The Mk2 is similar in many ways to the original vacuum, but has been upgraded in several key areas. The AirLOC system maintains the vacuum’s ability to pick up fine dust, while improving its large debris performance. The dirt system has also been changed to provide extra compression and an easier-to-empty design.
It’s true that these aren’t revolutionary changes. But the Mk2 is certainly an upgrade compared to the original.
Most importantly, the AirRam is great at picking up dirt and dust – and in many cases can almost match a corded model. It’s also a stylish model with excellent build quality.
The biggest downside of this cordless vacuum is that it doesn’t come with any tools or attachments. Unlike cordless vacuum cleaners from brands such as Dyson (such as the Dyson Cyclone V10), there’s no option to use it in a handheld mode. It’s also not the best cordless for hair, as it struggles to remove hair from carpet fibres.
In summary, there’s little doubt this is one of the best cordless upright vacuum cleaners on the market for floor cleaning. Keep in mind that it doesn’t come with any tools or a hose though, so it’s not the right choice for above-floor or car cleaning. It can also struggle with hair.
Can’t decide between the AirRam or Dyson? Read our Gtech AirRam Mk2 Vs. Dyson V8 comparison.
- Price Range: £££
- Battery: 22V Lithium-Ion
- Weight: 3.5kg
- Capacity: 0.8 Litres
- Filter Type: Washable
- 40 minute run-time after a 4 hour charge (Lithium-ion battery)
- Lightweight vacuum at just 3.5kg
- Improved large debris pick-up compared to the original
6. Vax Blade Pro TBT3V1P1
If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive cordless vacuum that can match the Dyson V8 when cleaning carpets, the Vax Blade Pro TBT3V1P1 could be the ideal choice.
It’s a lightweight vacuum with a 32V Lithium-Ion battery, powerful boost mode and up to 45-minute run-time. Like the Dyson V8 Animal, it also comes with a pet tool for getting rid of hair and a handheld mode for stairs.
How does it perform when cleaning though? Don’t expect the all-round performance of the Dyson V8 or V10 – but it’s an excellent cordless for cleaning carpets. This is due to the powerful suction and great floor head design. It also makes quick work of both animal and human hair.
Aside from its carpet performance, we like how easy the Blade Pro is to use. It has a lightweight design and multi-positioned handle, so it always feels comfortable to hold. The “Smart Control” dial is really just a glorified battery power and mode indicator, but gives the vacuum a modern feel.
There are a few drawbacks of the Blade Pro – although you expect this from a relatively cheap cordless (at least in comparison to Dyson and Bosch models). It’s not terrible on hard flooring, but it’s not as effective as the top models on laminates or floorboards. It’s also slightly heavier than the V8.
Even so, the Vax Blade Pro TBT3V1P1 is a stylish and versatile cordless vacuum. It’s great on carpets, while the handheld mode makes it easy to clean stairs or above furniture. If your home is mainly carpeted and the Dysons are outside of your price range, it’s an option to consider.
- Price Range: ££
- Weight: 3kg
- Capacity: 0.6 Litres
- Filter Type: Washable
- Great performance on carpets
- Balanced and comfortable to hold
- Powerful boost mode
7. Vax U85-ACLG-BA Lift Solo
The Vax U85-ACLG-BA Life Solo has the most “upright” appearance of any vacuum on this list, which suggests it’s meant for real cleaning rather than just spot jobs. This is backed up by Vax calling it a “full size” cleaner.
One of the best features of the Vax U85-ACLG-BA is the lift-out cylinder. This makes carrying it up stairs or using it on sofas much easier. The cylinder is also quick to detach using just a single button.
The one litre capacity is the largest on this list, although it’s smaller than most corded cylinders or uprights. The downside to this larger size is the 5kg weight, which is relatively heavy. This isn’t the light and manoeuvrable V8 by any stretch.
Other features of the Vax U85-ACLG-BA include an easy-to-steer design, 30 minute run-time (due to the lithium-ion battery) and modes for both hard surfaces and carpets. The filter is also washable and the model includes a boost mode when you need additional suction.
One of the biggest selling points of the Vax Vax U85-ACLG-BA is that it provides great value for money. The easy-to-clean design and detachable frame also make it convenient to use – although it’s not as versatile as models with detachable handhelds.
In summary, the Vax U85-ACLG-BA is a great vacuum if you want to replace your corded model but with the added convenience of no cord. It has strong suction, a relatively large capacity, and provides decent cleaning performance. It’s not as manoeuvrable or nimble as some of the stick cordless vacuums on this list, but provides excellent value for money.
- Price Range: ££
- Weight: 5kg
- Capacity: 1 Litre
- Filter Type: Washable
- Lift-out canister vacuum
- Boost mode for tricky spots
- Lithium-ion battery
8. Hoover FD22G
If you’re looking for a low-budget cordless vacuum cleaner with a similar design to the Dyson ranges, then the Hoover FD22G could be the ideal choice. It’s a lightweight vacuum with a 22V Lithium-Ion battery, rotating brush bar and 25-minute run-time. Like the Dyson V6 and V8, it also has a detachable handheld mode.
Can it compete with the other vacs on this list though?
The FD22G can’t match the Bosch Athlet Ultimate or Dyson V10 for all-round performance – but at less than half the price you wouldn’t expect it to. It’s great for cleaning tiles or laminate though, and the handheld mode also makes quick work of stairs.
One of the things we like about the FD22G is it has both trigger and continuous suction modes. The trigger mode is great for conserving battery life, while the continuous option is useful if your finger is getting tired.
There are a few drawbacks of the FD22G – although you expect this from a relatively cheap cordless. It’s not terrible on carpets, but it doesn’t dig into fibres as deeply as we’d like. It does, however, struggle with hair, so it’s not a great option if you have dogs or cats.
Even so, the Hoover FD22G is a stylish and versatile cordless vacuum – plus it’s much cheaper than most of the models on this list. It’s great on hardwood or laminate floors, while the handheld mode makes it easy to clean stairs or above furniture. If you don’t have pets, it’s an option to consider.
- Price Range: ££
- Weight: 2.2kg
- Capacity: 0.7
- Filter Type: Washable
- Great on tiles and laminate
- Detachable handheld mode
- 25-minute run-time
9. Morphy Richards 732000 2 in 1
The 732000 is significantly cheaper than the AirRam Mk2 (or most other vacuums in this category), but it still comes with some useful features. This popular model has two modes – upright and hand-held – making it suitable for cleaning even those difficult to reach places. It’s also able to handle almost any surface, including carpets and hard flooring, and the canister is easy to empty.
Other features include a 20 minute run-time, which is admittedly on the low-end for a battery powered vacuum cleaner, easy-to-store design and swivel head for excellent manoeuvrability. It’s also relatively lightweight (3.9kg), so it’s suitable for quick clean-ups.
The 732000 cordless vacuum provides surprisingly strong performance considering the low price. It also charges relatively quickly and has a compact design, so it’s a decent all-rounder.
It’s important to have realistic expectations though. This is a low-budget cordless that isn’t designed to tackle hair, stubborn dirt or other difficult jobs. For quickly clearing dry spills it can be a useful tool – but it’s not in the same league as the , Bosch, Vax and Gtech models on this list.
Even so, if you’re looking for a cheap model with both upright and cordless handheld vacuum functions, the 732000 2 in 1 is an option to consider. It might not have the suction power of more expensive corded models like the Cyclone V10, and has a relatively small capacity of just 0.3L, but makes up for this in price and ease of use. You can read our full review here.
- Price Range: ££
- Power: 900W
- Weight: 3.9kg
- Capacity: 0.3 Litres
- Filter Type: Standard
- Handheld and upright modes
- Capable of cleaning any surface
- Collapsible handle for easy storage in cupboards or other small spaces
- 20 minute run time with a 14V battery
What to Look for in a Battery Vacuum
There’s no doubt cordless vacuums have a number of advantages over traditional models. Even so, not all are created equal, so it’s important to know the various considerations before you buy. Here’s a list of factors to look for when choosing a cordless vacuum cleaner.
Your budget is probably the most important factor when choosing a vacuum cleaner. The cordless cleaner reviews listed above give you a good idea of the top models available in different price ranges, but without knowing how much you’re willing to spend it’s difficult to make the right decision.
As with all new technologies, cordless cleaners have begun to come down in price. However, if you’re looking for a high-quality vacuum, we recommended spending at least £150 – if not more. Fortunately, you can often find deals on cordless vacuum cleaners that push the price below this lower limit. We don’t recommend choosing a cheap cordless vacuum just because of the price though, as you may be disappointed by its performance.
One of the key considerations when choosing any vacuum is the suction strength. This is especially important for battery-powered models, as low-quality models often have weak suction.
It’s important to understand that cleaning performance isn’t only related to suction though. The vacuum’s airflow technology and floorhead design also play a role. Many also have a boost mode for removing stubborn dirt – although this can drastically reduce battery life.
Cordless vacuum cleaners are powered by batteries, so they have a limited run time. This varies depending on the brand and type of battery used. Lithium batteries, in particular, usually last longer than other types and also charge faster.
Most high-quality battery vacuums can clean for 20-45 minutes on a single charge, which makes them suitable for most jobs – as long as you remember to charge them! The Bosch Athlet range is the king of battery life, with some models lasting up to 75-minutes on low-power mode.
Be aware of models with very short battery life though. The worst may last as little as ten minutes or less. This may not be an issue if you only plan on using it for small jobs, but can be frustrating if you want a vacuum for a proper clean.
These days, most cordless machines have a run-time of at least 20-minutes. Make sure you know how long a model lasts on a single charge before you buy though.
One of the great things about cordless vacuum cleaners is that they can be taken around the house without needing to change plug socket. However, this isn’t as useful if the model is too heavy for you to comfortably carry. Heavy appliances are also tiring to push around for even short periods of time – which is why lightweight cordless vacuum cleaners are popular.
As a general rule, cheaper vacuums are heavier while more expensive models tend to be lighter. There are exceptions, however, so it’s important to check the weight before you buy. The good news is that the majority of models in this category are lightweight, as manufacturers tend to place an emphasis on convenience and manoeuvrability.
Linked closely to weight is the size of the vacuum. A small cordless can be highly convenient when it comes to storage, especially as it has a docking station attached to the wall. The downside is that the capacity will be smaller.
Canister or Bag Capacity
In general, cordless cleaners have a bagless design. While most people prefer a bagless vacuum anyway, as this means you don’t need to pay for bags or struggle with fiddly replacement mechanisms, there are also some advantages to bagged. Bagged vacuums tend to be cheaper, and in some cases can be more hygienic – so a bagless cleaner may not be the best choice if you suffer from allergies.
The capacity of the model is also a vital consideration. Due to their lightweight design, vacuum cleaners in this category usually have small capacities. This means they need to be emptied regularly and suction may decrease over time. As a general rule, larger capacities are more convenient.
You can view a short overview of the different types of filtration system on our homepage, but the main things you need to know is HEPA filters are considered the best at stopping fine particles being pumped back into the surrounding air. This is important for health – especially if you or anyone in your family suffers from asthma or dust allergies.
- 2-in-1 vacuums. Some models, such as the Morphy Richards 732000 listed above, can be used in both upright and handheld modes. This makes them highly versatile and perfect for cleaning almost any area of your home. Most handheld models are also cordless (click here to view our top handhelds).
- Hair attachments. If you have a pet, you’re probably already aware of how much hair they can shed! Some cordless cleaners come with special tools for picking up hair, which can be very useful. The extra mobility also makes them a better option for many pet owners.
- Tools. We’ve already mentioned hair accessories, but there are many more tools that might be useful. These include dusting brushes, crevice tools and tough-bristle brushes for getting rid of stubborn dirt. Make sure you know which attachments a model comes with before you buy.
- Brand. It’s usually a good idea to buy based on the quality of the model, rather than the reputation of a brand. Even so, there are certain brands that have a reputation for quality. A Bosch cordless vacuum cleaner, for example, is more likely to be reliable than a generic brand.
- Your requirements. We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s vital to choose a cleaner that meets your personal requirements. The best cordless vacuum for stairs, for example, may not be the same as the best model for animal hair, which may differ from the top cordless car vacuum (for this see our car page) – even if they all have excellent reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need a cordless if I already have a corded vacuum?
In the past, we’ve been cautious about recommending a cordless as a replacement to a corded vac. This was because even the top cordless cleaners didn’t have the suction to rival corded alternatives. Instead, we recommended buying a cordless for quick clean-ups and clearing dry spills.
While this is still true to an extent, the latest generation of cordless vacuum cleaners get surprisingly close to the suction and cleaning performance of a corded vacuum. The limited run-time is still an issue for full-house cleaning – especially when using boost mode – but the most powerful cordless vacs are now capable of replacing a corded model.
This doesn’t mean all are corded replacements though. While expensive models like the Dyson V8 or Bosch Athlet Ultimate can provide all-round cleaning performance, they are often outside people’s budget. Lower-priced cordless vacuum cleaners may only be suitable for dry spillages, top-up cleaning and for when you don’t want to lug a large vacuum around the house.
But to answer the question, a high-quality cordless vacuum is much more versatile and mobile than a heavy corded model. Even if you have a corded vacuum, you may want to consider getting a cordless – and you might find it replaces the corded model altogether.
Q. How do I care for/maintain my cordless vacuum cleaner?
All vacuums require ongoing maintenance to perform their best. Your machine should come with a manual, regardless of whether you buy from Amazon, John Lewis or anywhere else, and this will contain basic maintenance instructions. Here are some other tips for keeping yours in top condition:
- When the bin is full, air can’t flow properly through the vacuum. This reduces suction. Cordless vacuums often have small dust capacities, which means it’s important to empty them more regularly than a larger model.
- Brush rollers can often become tangled. This is especially likely if you have long hair or pets. Every few weeks, check the brushes and cut any hair that’s preventing it rotating.
- Cleaning your vacuum filter is also vital for proper suction. If a filter is clogged, less air passes through which greatly reduces performance. How often you clean your filter depends on the make and model, but I recommend cleaning at least every 4-6 uses. Make sure the filter is completely dry before using it.
Q. What does the future hold battery-powered vacuums?
I fully expect cordless vacuum cleaners to entirely replace corded models in the future. The slow progress of battery technology is the only thing holding them back – and even that’s becoming less of an issue. Once we have batteries capable of powering motors with the same strength as corded for more than 60 minutes on a single charge, there really won’t be a reason for most people not to use them.
But how long will this take? Honestly, I’m not sure. While battery life has been improving, we are still a way off the power and run-time required.
Even so, there are some exciting developments. The new Dyson V10, for example, aims to entirely replace corded vacs. Bosch already makes vacuums that can last over an hour on a single charge. It will be interesting to see what these companies can come up with over the next few years.
Make sure you regularly check Spotless Vacuum for the latest developments – whatever they may be!
Cordless Vacs for Specific Tasks
The vacuum cleaners listed above are our top all-round cordless vacuums, but what if you want one mainly for a specific task? Here’s a table of common cleaning surfaces and features, along with our current top vacuum for each (these are updated regularly).
Hard surfaces provide a different challenge to carpets – and not always an easy one. There are no fibres for dirt and dust to get stuck in, but many vacuums do a better job of pushing dirt around than actually picking it up. This is because the vacuum is entirely dependent on suction to remove dirt – it can’t rely on a powerful brush bar.
It’s also important that the brush doesn’t scratch the floor. The best cordless vacuums for hard floors either use a softer brush design or allow you to turn off rolling brushes. While these are important for carpets, as they agitate the fibres to remove more dirt, they are unnecessary for harder floors and can even cause scratches.
That’s why our top recommendation in this category is the Dyson V7 Total Clean. It’s more expensive than the V7 MotorHead, but has a soft roller cleaner head designed specifically for hardwood or laminate.
The key feature of the cleaning head is that it’s “fluffy.” This helps trap larger particles of dirt and other substances, while the carbon bristles use static electricity to attract dust and other smaller particles. This design is much gentler than a regular brush bar, so it’s safe to use on delicate hardwood without worrying about scratches. It also comes with a powered head for carpets and turbobrush for hair.
You can also view how the soft roller floor head works in the following video:
Carpets provide an inviting and warm feeling underfoot. The downside is that they pick up dirt and dust very quickly.
The most powerful cordless vacs can almost match corded models on tiles or laminate, but aren’t able to provide the same level of suction and cleaning on carpets. Even so, they can be great for maintaining your carpet between proper cleaning sessions.
A strong rotating brush bar is essential for carpet vacuuming. This lifts dirt from the carpet fibres, allowing the vacuum to remove as much as possible. It’s also important to buy a cleaner with strong suction to clean deeply into carpets.
For this reason, we think the #1 cordless vacuum for carpets at the moment is the AirRam Mk2. It’s true that there are more powerful options (such as the Dyson V8) and many models with more features. Yet if you need a lightweight vacuum with a strong brush roll that’s perfect for spot cleaning on carpets, it’s one of the best options.
Pet (Cat & Dog) Hair
When it comes to cat or dog hair, both strong suction and a powered brush bar are required. This is something many cordless models struggle with, and until recently there were few vacuums in this category that were up to the job. Fortunately, this has begun to change.
Aside from suction, a pet vacuum should also have an efficient filter. This prevents allergens, such as dust, pet dander and bacteria, from escaping back into the air when vacuuming. While a good filter is important for anyone, it is essential for anyone with a pet allergy.
That’s why we recommend the powerful Dyson V10 Cyclone Absolute as the best cordless vacuum for pet hair. The Cyclone comes with a mini motorised tool for sucking up hair on a variety of surfaces, along with the company’s “Whole Machine Filtration” and additional post-motor filter. It’s not cheap, but if you have a dog or cat it’s one of the best options.
If you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner to use in your car, you’re probably better served by visiting our car vacuum section or even our handheld page. This is because you probably don’t need a full upright or stick vacuum, as the extra size is likely to get in the way (there are some exceptions though).
To make things easy though, we’ll summarise that page here. Cars pick up a lot of dirt and rubbish on the floors and under the seats, so it’s important to choose a vacuum with strong suction. It should also be lightweight and make it as easy as possible to clean in all the awkward places in your car. That means it needs to be able to get into glove compartments, under seats and around the gear stick.
While the best options for this are all corded, due to their stronger suction, if you’re set on getting a cordless model we recommend the Black + Decker Lithium Compact Pivot vacuum. It’s a powerful vacuum with an 18V battery, ECO charging technology (so it charges 4x faster) and a nozzle that pivots for getting into awkward nooks and crannies. We think it’s one of the best cordless vacuums for cars available at the moment, and it provides excellent value for money.
We think a cordless for stairs should be three things: lightweight, portable and powerful. A lightweight vacuum is essential, as you don’t want to carry a bulky, heavy appliance up and down stairs. Portability is similarly important, and the model should make it easy to clean both the horizontal and vertical parts of steps. Finally, it should have enough power to remove dirt and dust embedded in carpet, whilst ideally cleaning right to the edge of steps.
One of the best vacuum cleaners that satisfies these requirements is the Dyson V8 Animal. It’s a powerful vacuum which Dyson claims is twice as much as any other stick model. It also comes with a direct-drive cleaner head and motorised turbo tool. This, as the names suggests, drives bristles into the carpet with more force than other brush bars, allowing it to remove more dirt and dust.
But the Absolute isn’t just about power – it also comes with a range of features and accessories to make stair cleaning easier. The stand-out feature is that you can swap between stick mode and handheld without sacrificing suction. The motorized floor head (or soft head for harder floors) can be directly attached to the handheld, allowing for deep cleaning without carrying an unwieldy stick or upright vacuum. This is great for vacuum cleaning the entire step – not just the horizontal section.
What makes a good caravan vacuum? Our criteria is that it must be small and easy to store, versatile (to get into all the tight areas) yet still powerful enough to give a deep clean on carpets.
For this reason, we’ve chosen a handheld model – the Black + Decker Lithium Flexi. It is built with a lithium battery, providing strong suction that doesn’t decrease while in use. The Lithium Flexi also uses Black + Decker’s ECO technology to charge up to four times quicker than other models.
But the feature that makes this a good choice for caravans is the integrated hose. While this is only 1.5 metres long, it provides much greater versatility than other handheld cordless models. And, when it’s not needed, the hose wraps around the body so it can be used like a traditional handheld. The Lithium Flexi also comes with a variety of accessories, such as a long crevice tool and upholstery brush.
With Hose Attachment
Most cordless cleaners don’t come with a traditional hose attachment. Their increased manoeuvrability and lightweight design often means a hose is unnecessary. Even so, there are some jobs that require a hose attachment – especially if you want to clean high areas or right into corners.
In our opinion, the best cordless with hose attachment at the moment is the Vax U86-AL-B. It comes equipped with double Lithium batteries, which provides an impressive run-time of around 50 minutes, and uses WindTunnel Three technology for greater suction. The vacuum also comes with Vax’s 6 year guarantee for extra peace of mind.
Most importantly, at least for this section, it includes a detachable wand with hose. Reviewers claim that the hose extends to significantly longer than it appears in the photos, which is important for cleaning around furniture and higher places.
With Lithium Battery
Lithium-ion batteries have become increasingly popular for cordless cleaners, mainly because they provide longer run-times compared to other types. But which is the best?
That’s a difficult question to answer, as there are many other factors that affect the right vacuum for your home. But if we had to pick just one model, our favourite at the time of writing is the AirRam Mk2. This model is listed as one of our top all-round models, and we gave it a high rating in our review.
As we’ve already mentioned, the AirRam doesn’t come with any accessories or advanced features, but for cleaning floors it excels. It’s a lightweight model with relatively powerful suction (although probably not as much as the Dyson V6 or V8 range), yet its lithium-ion battery allows for a 40 minute-run time after a four hour charge. This should be enough for cleaning most of the house, which is important if you need a cordless for more than just an occasional spot clean.
If you have the money, the Dyson V8 range of vacuum cleaners also uses a variation of lithium-ion. They are superior vacuums to the AirRam Mk2, but are also expensive.
With Handheld Attachment
The lightweight nature of cordless models provides greater freedom when cleaning. But sometimes anything larger than a handheld just gets in the way. That’s why many vacuums have both an upright (or stick) mode and a detachable handheld function.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Hoover Freedom FD22G is a great choice for this. As the entry-level model in the Freedom range, it’s not powerful enough to be a corded replacement and only has a run-time of 25 minutes. But its lightweight design, easily detachable handheld and low price tag make it a popular model.
If suction power is more important to you than price though, the Dyson V8 Animal is one of the most powerful vacuum cleaners with a handheld mode. It comes with a direct-drive cleaner head for cleaning deep into carpet fibres, along with a turbo tool for hair and stubborn dirt.
There you have it! A list of the best cordless vacuum cleaners and a complete guide to choosing the right model.
Before we sign-off for this post, it’s probably a good idea to talk a bit more about the advantages and disadvantages of cordless models.
The main benefit is obvious – just imagine how much easier your last vacuum cleaning session would have been without having to worry about cords and plug sockets. It really can reduce the stress and frustration of vacuuming.
The downsides are that cordless models tend to be more expensive compared to mains-powered models with similar power and features, and they often don’t have the same suction power. Even so, cord-free vacuums are steadily growing in popularity and have improved immensely.
If you have any questions about this category of vacuum or would like to add something to this page, just leave a comment below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
A-Z of In-Depth Cordless Vacuum Reviews
- Bosch Athlet BCH61840GB Cordless Vacuum Review
- Bosch BCH625KTGB Athlet Upright Cordless Vacuum Review
- Dyson Cyclone V10 Review – Analysis of Battery Life, Price, Performance & Tools
- Dyson DC44 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Review
- Dyson V6 Cordless Vacuum Review
- Dyson V6 Flexi Handstick Vacuum Review – More Tools But Is It Worth The Money?
- Dyson V6 Fluffy Review – The Best Cordless for Hard Floors?
- Dyson V8 Absolute Review – Is this REALLY the Best Cordless Vacuum?
- Dyson V8 Animal Review – Is This Cordless Vacuum Cleaner a True Upright Replacement?
- Gtech AirRam Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Review
- Gtech AirRam Mk2 Cordless Vacuum Review
- Hoover FD22G Freedom Cordless Vacuum Review
- Morphy Richards 732005 2-in-1 Supervac Cordless Vacuum Review
- Morphy Richards SuperVac 732000 2 in 1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Review
- Proscenic P8 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Review
- Vax U85-ACLG-BA Air Lift Solo Review