Fed up with cords? A cordless vacuum cleaner could be the perfect solution. After hours of research, here are our current recommendations (2018) 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.
Contents of This Page
- Which are the Best Cordless Vacuums?
- What to Look for in a Battery Vacuum
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Best Cordless Models for Specific Tasks
- A-Z of In-Depth Cordless Vacuum Reviews
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 cordless models from major brands such as Dyson, Vax and Morphy Richards. You can also purchase both handheld and upright machines, and the best cordless vacuums 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 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 power 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 just as convenient to use on upholstery, stairs, above furniture and in cars as they are on floors.
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 has received excellent reviews from buyers. Let’s get started!
Which are the Best Cordless Vacuums?
|Name||Run-Time||Weight||Dust Bin||Voltage||Price||Read More|
|TOP PICK!||Dyson V8 Absolute||40 minutes||2.61kg||0.54 litres||21.6V||££££||View Price|
|Gtech AirRam Mk2||40 minutes||3.5kg||0.8 litres||22V||£££||View Price|
|Dyson V6 Fluffy||20 minutes||2.3kg||0.4 litres||21.6V||£££||View Price|
|Bosch BCH625KTGB Athlet||60 minutes||5kg||0.9 litres||25V||£££||View Price|
|BUDGET PICK!||Morphy Richards 732000||20 minutes||3.9kg||0.3 litres||14V||££||View Price|
|Vax U85-ACLG-BA Lift Solo||30 minutes||5kg||1 litres||20V||££||View Price|
|Hoover FD22G||25 minutes||2.2kg||0.7 litres||22V||££||View Price|
|Bosch Ultimate Athlet BCH732KTGB||75 minutes||3.7kg||0.9 litres||32.4V||££££||View Price|
1. Gtech AirRam Mk2
When it comes to innovation, the original Gtech 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 (this is significantly longer than many other models). The AirRam 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 directly 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.
One of the best things about the AirRam is that it’s great at picking up dirt and dust – and in many cases can almost match a corded vacuum. 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, there’s no option to use it in a handheld mode. It’s also not the best cordless for pet hair, as it struggles to remove hair from carpet fibres.
In summary, there’s little doubt the AirRam Mk2 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 pet 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
- Dust 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
2. Dyson V6 Fluffy
The Dyson V6 range, with its stick design and detachable handheld mode, has proven to be one of the most popular cordless models – and for good reason. This is a powerful vacuum that’s versatile and lightweight. The only downside is its price, although it’s significantly cheaper than the newer V8 Absolute.
While we’re a fan of the V6 in general, we think the Fluffy model provides the greatest value for money if you have hard floors – although the right choice depends on your personal requirements. The Fluffy comes with a soft roller cleaner head that’s great for hard floors, mini-tool for pet hair along with a motorised head for carpets.
It doesn’t include the direct-drive head for extra carpet cleaning depth though – for that you’ll need the Total Clean (which has a 35W direct-drive head) or the Absolute (with a 50W direct-drive head but no soft head for hard floors).
As you would expect from Dyson, the V6 Fluffy is built to a high standard. It’s relatively quiet, provides excellent suction and is easy to use. The handheld mode is also great for above floor cleaning and stairs. The relatively short 20 minute run-time may be an issue if you want to use it for full-house cleans though.
Overall, the V6 Fluffy is an excellent machine. While the different V6 models can be confusing, the Fluffy is probably the best choice if you’re on a budget and have both hard floors and carpets – although check out our Dyson V7 comparison to see whether this version might be a better option for you. For maximum cleaning power, the Absolute is the obvious choice, while the Total Clean is the only model to provide both the direct-drive cleaner head and soft head for hard floors.
- Price Range: £££
- Power: 100AW (max mode)
- Weight: 2.3kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.4 Litres
- Powerful suction from the V6 motor
- Motorised cleaner head and soft head for hard floors
- Converts to handheld cleaning and has a mini-motorised tool for pet hair
3. Dyson V8 Absolute
If money was no issue, the Dyson V8 Absolute is probably the best cordless vacuum available at the time of writing. However, money is an issue, at least for most people, so it’s debatable whether the V8 Absolute provides the greatest value for money compared to the other models in this list.
In terms of performance though, this is an incredible 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.
So what makes the V8 Absolute stand out? Firstly, it comes with both a soft cleaner head for hard floors (this was not included with the V6 Absolute) and powerful direct-drive head for carpets, like the previous V6 Absolute. It’s also built with Dyson’s “whole machine filtration,” can be converted into a handheld mode and uses a total of 15 cyclones to capture dirt and dust.
But this is where the specification starts to diverge from the previous V6 range. Inside is the new V8 motor, which Dyson claims is the most powerful in any cordless. 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. If you’re looking for a cordless to replace your corded vacuum, this is the one to go for. It was also awarded the “Which? Best Buy” rating in August 2016.
So, there’s no doubt that the Dyson V8 Absolute is an outstanding cordless. With its powerful new motor and battery combination, along with the excellent floor-heads (especially the direct-drive for carpets), it can give many corded models a run for their money. Even so, the price will unfortunately be a barrier to many.
- Price Range: ££££
- Weight: 2.61kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.54 Litres
- Powered by the new V8 motor for Dyson’s strongest suction yet
- New battery (Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium) doubles the run-time of the previous V6 Absolute
- Direct-drive head for carpets and soft roller head for hard floors
4. Morphy Richards 732000 2 in 1
The Morphy Richards 732000 is significantly cheaper than the GTech AirRam Mk2, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking features. This popular model comes with 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 floors, 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 lightweight enough, at just 3.9kg, to be used as an everyday cleaning tool instead of just for big jobs.
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.
If you’re looking for a cheap model with both upright and cordless handheld vacuum functions, the Morphy Richards 732000 2 in 1 is an option to consider. It might not have the suction power of more expensive corded models, and has a relatively small capacity of just 0.3L, but makes up for this in versatility and ease of use. You can read our full review here.
- Price Range: ££
- Power: 900W
- Weight: 3.9kg
- Dust 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
5. 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.
How does it perform when cleaning though? Don’t expect the same performance as the Dyson V8 – but it’s an excellent cordless for cleaning hard floors or laminate. 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 pet 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. It’s great on hard 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
- Dust Capacity: 0.7 Litres
- Filter Type: Washable
- Great on hard floors and laminate
- Detachable handheld mode
- Relatively cheap price
- 25 minute run-time
6. Bosch Ultimate Athlet BCH732KTGB
The Bosch Ultimate Athlet BCH732KTGB is a powerful model that’s 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 floors and carpets. It’s even capable of removing dust and dirt between floorboards. Unlike cheaper cordless vacs, it’s also excellent at cleaning pet 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 hard 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 dust capacity than most cordless vacuums. 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 vacuum, we recommend either this or the Dyson V8.
- Price Range: ££££
- Weight: 3.7kg
- Dust 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
7. Bosch BCH625KTGB Athlet
If you’re looking for an upright cordless vacuum cleaner with an ultra-long battery run-time, the Bosch BCH625KTGB could be the best choice. It’s a highly rated model with up to 60 minutes run time when using the lowest energy power level – but it also comes with a turbo setting when you need more suction. This is achieved with a 25V Lithium-Ion battery.
Other features of the Bosch BCH625KTGB include a bagless design that promotes high airflow, an “all-floor” brush that can clean any surface and a flexible nozzle for cleaning under and around furniture. You also get an accessory kit with the BCH625KTGB, containing several different tools.
This version of the Bosch Athlet provides relatively strong cleaning performance and dust pickup. It’s also simple to assemble and easy to empty, so it’s a convenient choice.
The Bosch BCH625KTGB, like the Dyson V6, isn’t a cheap machine. It’s also heavier than the other models on this list. However, it justifies its relatively high price tag with exceptional performance and ease of use. So if your budget can stretch to it, the BCH625KTGB is an option to look closely at – especially as Bosch cordless vacuum cleaners are often highly rated. Click here to read our full review.
- Price Range: £££
- Power: 1800W
- Weight: 5kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.9 Litres
- Filter Type: Standard
- Up to 60 minutes run time when in low power mode due to a 25V Lithium-ion battery
- Three power level settings for different tasks
- Power brush that’s suitable for all floors
- Several tools
8. 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 floors 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.
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
- Dust Capacity: 1 Litre
- Filter Type: Washable
- Lift-out canister vacuum
- Boost mode for tricky spots
- Lithium-ion battery
What to Look for in a Battery Vacuum
There’s no doubt that 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 £100 – 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 power. This is especially important for battery models, as the fact that they run on battery rather than mains power means suction power is often reduced.
As a general rule, the higher the battery voltage the more power it’ll have. And the more power it has, the more efficiently it can remove dirt from a carpet or other flooring. Voltage doesn’t always mean more suction power though, which is why it’s important to read cordless vacuum cleaner reviews from previous buyers.
Cordless vacuum cleaners are powered by batteries, so they have a limited run time. This run time varies depending on the brand and type of battery used. Lithium batteries, in particular, usually last longer than other types and also charge faster.
As you might expect, battery vacuums have a relatively short life. Most high-quality cleaners last anywhere between 20-30 minutes on a single charge, which makes them suitable for most cleaning jobs – as long as you remember to charge them! This also means cordless vacs aren’t just for quick jobs or cleaning up a patch you missed with an upright – they are true replacements.
Be aware that there are some models with very short battery life – sometimes 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.
As technology improves, the run-time of battery operated cleaners will increase. But until then, make sure you know how long a model lasts on a single charge before you buy.
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 power 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 below, 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).
- Pet 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 pet hair, which can be very useful. The extra mobility also makes them a better option for many pet owners.
- Tools. We’ve already mentioned pet 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 Vax 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 pet hair, which may differ from the best 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?
While some manufacturers claim their cordless cleaners can replace corded vacuums, for most people this isn’t the case. Until there are further developments in battery design, the majority won’t provide the same suction power as a corded vacuum (although there are some powerful models that get surprisingly close). The limited run-time, even if some models can last the better part of an hour, is also a barrier to full replacement.
The only possible exception is if your home has no carpets, as there are cordless cleaners that excel on hard floors (see below). Expensive models like the Dyson V8 can also provide an excellent clean, but are often outside people’s budget.
For this reason, we recommend every home with carpets has a corded upright or cylinder with the power to clean more deeply. Even so, we highly recommend cordless vacs for dry spillages, top-up cleaning and for when you don’t want to lug a large vacuum around the house.
Q. How do I care for/maintain my cordless vacuum cleaner?
All vacuums require ongoing maintenance to perform their best. Here are some tips for keeping yours in top condition:
- When the bin is full, air can’t flow properly through the vacuum. This reduces suction considerably. Cordless vacuums often have small dust capacities, which means it’s important to empty them more regularly than a larger model.
- The 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. 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. LG, for example, recently revealed their new CordZero canister model. This has an impressive 80V battery to provide powerful suction, along with a 40 minute run-time. LG claims that the “cleaning performance” of the new model is 10% better than their regular 2000W corded model – which is exciting if true.
Make sure you regularly check Spotless Vacuum for the latest developments – whatever they may be!
Best Cordless Models 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 floors 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 hard floors than actually picking it up. This is because the vacuum is entirely dependent on suction power 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 hard floors and can even cause scratches.
That’s why our top recommendation in this category is the Dyson V6 Fluffy. This is more expensive than the standard V6, but has incredible suction power and a cleaner head designed specifically for hard floors.
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 hard floors and hardwood without worrying about scratches. It also comes with a powered head for carpets and turbobrush for pet hair.
You can also view how the Fluffy floor head works in the following video:
Carpets provide an inviting and warm feeling underfoot, especially compared to hard floors. The downside is that they pick up dirt and dust very quickly.
The best cordless cleaners can almost match corded models on hard floors, 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.
Unlike hard floors, 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 power to clean deeply into carpets.
For this reason, we think the best cordless vacuum for carpets at the moment is the GTech AirRam. It’s true that there are more powerful options (such as the Dyson V6) 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.
When it comes to pet hair, suction power is the name of the game. 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 V8 Animal as the best cordless vacuum for pet hair. The V8 is Dyson’s latest range, and the Animal comes with a mini motorised tool for sucking up pet 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 power. 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 the best 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 V6 Absolute. It’s highly versatile and has been well received by buyers on shopping sites. This is largely because of its power, which Dyson claims is twice as much as any other stick model. It also comes with a direct-drive cleaner head. 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 power. The motorized floor head (or soft head for hard 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 and handle hard floors.
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 Gtech 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 Mk2 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 some vacuums have both an upright (or stick) mode and a detachable handheld function.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Morphy Richards 732000 2-in-1 is a great choice for this. As the entry-level model in the SuperVac range, it’s not powerful enough to be a corded replacement and only has a run-time of 20 minutes. But its lightweight design, easily detachable handheld and low price tag (it has an RRP of £100 but is often available for considerably less than this) make it a popular model.
If suction power is more important to you than price though, the Dyson V6 Absolute 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 hard floor head that’s strong enough to remove dust from cracks and crevices. The handheld mode is perfect for spot cleaning, quick jobs and awkward areas.
Both the Absolute and Total Clean have a direct-drive cleaner head which has a more powerful brush bar. The V6 Absolute does not come with the soft roll cleaner head for hard floors though, so for this choose either the Fluffy or Total Clean.
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 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?
- 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