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Best cordless vacuum cleaner 2022: Powerful portable cleaning

Cut the cable not your cleaning quality: Trusted Reviews uses its in-depth testing to bring you the definitive list to the best battery-powered vacuums

Introduction

Cordless vacuum cleaners are the easiest way to keep your home clean, giving you grab and go portability without having to faff around with plugs. Thanks to recent advances in technology, cordless cleaners now come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, designed to suit all kinds of users and jobs. With the power and battery life on offer, you can even buy models suitable for whole home cleaning, so that you don’t even need a traditional plug-in vacuum cleaner any more.

Of course, if you still want full power of a plug-in model, you can check out our guide to the best vacuum cleaners, and if you want to put your feet up, then check out our guide to the best robot vacuum cleaners.

There’s a huge range of cordless vacuum cleaners, depending on what you want. If you want to replace that old plug-in cleaner, you’re looking at a flagship model with long battery life and powerful suction; if you want a cordless cleaner to complement a plug-in one, then less battery life and power will work for you.

Then, there are handheld cleaners: grab and go models with short battery life but powerful suction, designed for quickly tidying up a small mess, such as after you’ve prepared a meal.

Form factor is important, too. Most cordless vacuum cleaners are stick cleaners: you hold the vacuum and attach accessories to the long wand. This form factor works well for most, but it does mean you have to hold the heaviest part of the vacuum cleaner. If you want something easier to use, then a cordless upright cleaner may make more sense.

We review all of our vacuum cleaners based on the target audience and job they’re designed for. We measure cleaning quality, testing how well each vacuum can deal with the mess on the carpet and hard floors, and how well they can clean up to the edges of rooms. We also test with pet hair. Cleaning ability is the most important factor when choosing a cordless model.

We test raw power in airwatts (AW). Most cordless cleaners have a low power mode, designed to maximise battery life, but the suction here is often so low as to be unusable. It’s better to focus on the mid-range power setting, which should be around 65 to 85AW on average. This is less than on a plug-in cleaner, but cordless models make up for lower suction with smart floor heads that use spinning brushes to agitate dirt to be sucked up. Most cordless cleaners have a higher-power ‘boost’ mode, which should top out at 180AW to 200AW or more. This mode kills battery life but if gives you maximum suction for the occasional tough job.

We also measure battery life, as that’s hugely important for all cordless models. But, don’t just look at the figures, read our advice: a rubbish cordless cleaner with long battery life is worse than an excellent cleaner with shorter battery life. Ultimately, it’s about how far you can clean on a charge, rather than the battery life as such. We’ll make that clear in our reviews.

In this list, we’ve got all of the best cordless vacuum cleaners for every budget and need.

Best cordless vacuums at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test vacuum cleaners

Every vacuum cleaner that we test goes through exactly the same tests. We use both real-world tests and technical measurements to tell the good from the bad. First, we measure suction power in Air Watts (AW), which is a combination of suction and airflow. This lets us compare the raw power of each cleaner.

Actual performance depends on a lot of factors including the quality of the accessories and the ability of a vacuum to agitate dirt. For that reason, we take before and after pictures of dust collection on carpet, hard floors and with pet hair.

We don’t weigh the before and after results, as this test is notoriously difficult to do properly, as vacuum cleaners will pick up fibres from the floor that will add to the weight collected. And, without a super-sensitive set of scales it’s impossible to measure fine differences between machines.

If you want to learn more, please visit our detailed page about how we test vacuum cleaners.

Dyson V15 Detect

The best cordless vacuum cleaner
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Pros

  • Laser highlights dirt on hard floors
  • Anti-tangle heads
  • Smart automatic mode
  • Tonnes of accessories

Cons

  • Laser only works on hard floors
  • Expensive


The Dyson V15 Detect is about more than raw power, although it has this in spades: it’s about making vacuuming easier and more efficient. With its excellent range of tools, laser dust highlighter, brilliant battery life and top-notch cleaning, this is the overall best cordless vacuum cleaner, and one that’s capable of replacing a plug-in model.

Let’s talk about that laser first. Available on the hard-floor head only, it shines a green laser to highlight dirt on the floor. In our review we found that this worked brilliantly, highlighting dirt on floors that looked clean to the naked eye, and directing us to clean more thoroughly.

It’s a shame that there’s not something similar for the carpet head. We were pleased to see that Dyson has finally added anti-tangle tech to this head: we’ve not had it clog with hair since starting to use it. In the box, you get a great selection of tools, including a mini tool (anti hair wrap), which is great for sofas and stairs, a brilliant dusting brush that we use in preference to a dusting cloth, and a crevice tool for detail work. There’s a clip on the cleaner’s wand for one accessory, and the charging dock will hold two more.

Using technology from its fan purifiers, the V15 detect shows you on its LCD the level of dirt it’s collecting, and it uses that information to adjust motor power on the fly. We found that it worked brilliantly, upping power for very dusty areas and dropping down for cleaner parts of the floor.

Power fluctuating all of the time makes battery testing hard, but we think you’ll get up to 40 minutes of usable battery life, which we found was enough to clean our entire home.

In terms of power, we measured the mid-power mode at 99AW, which is at the top of what we’d expect from a cordless model. Turbo mode came in at 281AW: that’s true plug-in power, although you’ll only get around 10-minutes of battery life, so use this mode sparingly.

Fortunately, the LCD shows battery life in minutes on the back, which made us more confident in using this cleaner, as we could see exactly how long it would run for.

Weighing just 3.08kg, this is actually one of the lightest cordless vacuum cleaners, so easy to use even for long periods.

If you want to replace plug-in with cordless, then the Dyson V15 Detect is the pinnacle of cordless technology.


Reviewer: David Ludlow
Read the full review: Dyson V15 Detect review

Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins, Powered Lift-Away & TruePet ICZ300UKT

The best upright cordless vacuum cleaner
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Pros

  • Very flexible
  • Replaceable batteries
  • Great selection of tools

Cons

  • No onboard tool storage

As good as cordless stick vacuum cleaners are, they all take a bit more effort to hold and use than a regular upright cleaner, as they put all of their weight in your hand. Not so with the Shark ICZ300UKT, which packs all of its power into a traditional upright form factor. With the performance to match plug-in models, this is our top choice for anyone that wants the convenience of a cordless cleaner with the ease of use of a plug-in model.

Coming in at 6.2kg, the ICZ300UKT is a little heavier than most cordless vacuum cleaners, although that shouldn’t matter too much, as we rarely had to lift it. As this is an upright, we just hit the power button, tilted the handle back and pushed the vacuum cleaner around. In that regard, this vacuum is lighter and easier to use than plug-in upright cleaners. Don’t forget the other advantage that this style of vacuum has: it stands upright by itself.

We love the position of the controls, too. For this model, they’ve been relocated from the cleaner’s body to the handle, just where our thumb goes. Toggling power and changing mode has never been so easy.

We found the ICZ300UKT easy to push around, and it’s far more nimble than you may think. That large 0.6-litre bin sticks out the front, which we found got in the way of the vacuum cleaner getting under dining chairs. Fortunately, this cleaner has Shark’s Lift-Away trick.

Hit the button on the side, and the cylinder lifts out, so you can use the long hose and floor head (or attachments) to get under furniture, tackle stairs, or get into tighter areas. We thought that this made the ICZ300UKT one of the most flexible cordless vacuum cleaners that we’ve tested.

From Shark’s plug-in range, the ICZ300UKT inherits the DuoClean floor head. This has both a soft roller and a brush, so it works just as well on hard floors as carpets, and you don’t have to switch heads as you do with a Dyson vacuum cleaner. It also has Shark’s Anti Hair wrap technology: try as we did, we never found any hair wrapped around the brush, even in a house with several people with long hair.

On the most useful middle level of power, we measured the cleaner at 57AW, which is towards the lower end of what we’d expect; on its high mode, power jumps to a more respectable 185AW: that’s plug-in levels of power for tough mess.

Fortunately, the medium power level combined with the efficient floor head proved good enough for most jobs. On carpet, a single sweep picked up dirt and pet hair, and only edge performance could be better (we had to get the last bits with the crevice tool. Hard floor performance was flawless.

Battery life is around 30 minutes on medium power, which should see you get through most of a house clean, given the power on offer. There’s a removable battery, so technically you could buy a second one if you wanted to extend run time.

Our minor complaint about this model is that while it has a lot of tools, there’s no onboard storage, so you need to find room to keep them all.

There are more powerful cleaners in this round-up, but if you want an upright cleaner but without the hassle of plugs, this is a great choice.


Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins, Powered Lift-Away & TruePet ICZ300UKT Review

Shark Premium Handheld Vacuum WV270UK

The best handheld vacuum
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Pros

  • Powerful
  • Decent battery life
  • Neat charging dock

Cons

  • No motorised tools

For those smaller jobs where you need a grab-and-go cleaner, the Shark Premium Handheld Vacuum WV270UK is a great choice at a superb price. Delivering more power (we measured it at 75AW max, which is the same power as a regular cordless on its standard mode) via two selectable modes, and a decent 15-minute runtime, this is a compact vacuum cleaner with the power to compete with a full-sized model.

Although the vacuum can be used without attachments, Shark provides two additional tools in the box: a crevice tool with a flip-down brush for dusting, and an upholstery tool for cleaning soft furnishings. There’s no motorised pet tool, however. The small 0.1-litre bin doesn’t sound particularly big, but it’s actually roomy enough for the types of jobs for which the WV270UK is built.

Its power makes the WV270UK a super-capable cleaner. It’s useful for small jobs, such as picking up spilt food. The WV251UK picked up every grain of rice from a worktop, with the boost mode making the job even faster. It also performed admirably in our carpet tests, while the upholstery brush

Battery life on standard power was just over 15 minutes in my tests, while it lasts for 10mins 38secs on the highest power setting. That’s almost double the standard battery life of the original, which is impressive.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Shark Premium Handheld Vacuum WV270UK review

Beldray Airlite Cordless Graphite BEL01096

The best budget handheld cordless vacuum cle
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Pros

  • Great value
  • Cleans well but slowly
  • Nice charging dock

Cons

  • Low suction
  • Fiddly to empty

If you want a quick grab-and-go handheld vacuum cleaner that won’t break the bank, the Beldray Airlite Cordless Graphite BEL01096 is for you.

It certainly doesn’t skimp on features with a charging dock on offer (as opposed to a plug-in power adapter, which we were expecting to see), as well as a handy 2-in-1 tool for cleaning that works as both a dusting brush and crevice tool. Moreover, at just 580g, it’s also an especially lightweight option and one that made cleaning a pleasure. Getting started with the Airlite is as easy as ever, with a single power button that controls cleaning modes – press once to turn the vacuum on, press twice for high-speed mode, and pressing it a third time will turn the cleaner off.

There isn’t a battery indicator here to portray how much charge is left, which at this price, is a minor issue. A 0.1 litre bin is fine considering this cleaner is designed for smaller jobs, but the emptying process is a little fiddly given the mess it may create if not done properly.

High power suction of 19AW is comparatively low when pitted up against other cleaners, although don’t let that discourage you from considering this vacuum. In our real world testing, the Airlite offered decent performance for flour and rice, picking it up in smaller lots at a measured pace. It didn’t deal all too well with pet hair given the lower suction. A noise level of 74dB on average makes this a noisy vacuum, but that level isn’t too out of the ordinary for handheld options, while the 20-25 minutes of battery life is decent for tackling a good quantity of smaller jobs.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Beldray Airlite Cordless Graphite

Samsung Bespoke Jet

The best cordless vacuum for all-round cleaning
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Pros

  • Powerful
  • Cleans well on all surfaces
  • Can tackle hard floor cleaning

Cons

  • Requires two plugs
  • Needs a lot of storage space

More than just a cordless vacuum cleaner, the Samsung Bespoke Jet can tackle hard floor mopping, while its clever Clean Station makes it super-easy to empty without making a mess, making this a great choice for allergy sufferers, as well as those that want one device for all cleaning jobs.

There are multiple versions of the Bespoke Jet, with different tools. We’ve reviewed the Bespoke Jet Pro Extra, which comes with everything.

Core to every version is the attractive Clean Station. This acts as a charging dock but it’s also a self-emptying dock, using its own vacuum cleaner to empty out the corldess vacuum’s bin. Dirt then goes into a bag, that can be cleanly removed and disposed when full. This genuinely makes the Bespoke Jet the easiest cordless vacuum cleaner to empty that we’ve ever seen, and there was absolutely no mess.

Samsung provides an accessory stand that can also take the second battery for charging, although this does mean that you need two plugs to power everything. The range of accessories is excellent: the Jet Dual Brush floor brush has a hard roller and carpet brush, so can handle all floor types similar to Shark’s DuoClean brush. Then you get a mini motorised tool, extendible crevice tool (this let us get behind radiators), brush and an angle tool, which makes it easy to clean on top of cupboards.

Then, there’s the Spinning Sweeper, which spins two microfibre cloths (or disposable wipes) to clean hard floors in a similar way to the AirCraft Powerglide. Who needs any other tools?

Samsung has revamped the controls for this cleaner. A thumb button turns the power on and off, and then you can use the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons to cycle through the power options. An LCD shows the live battery live in minutes, in much the same way as on the Dyson V15 Detect. We found that this made the vacuum cleaner more comfortable to use, as we didn’t have ‘range’ anxiety.

For comfort, there’s a neat handgrip on the surprisingly light vacuum (2.7kg in total, but just 1.44kg for the handheld unit), and a height-adjustable wand.

I measured raw power on the four power settings. 38AW on low is a little on the weak side and feels more like it’s there to get the longest battery life; on Mid (the default setting) there’s a decent 85AW of power, with Max upping to a large 197AW, and Jet coming in at a ridiculous 344AW, which is the most that we’ve ever seen in a cordless cleaner.

Performance is exceptional: clean sweeps in our carpet, edge, pet hair and hard floor tests, all used with the standard Mid setting.

For mopping hard floors, the spinning sweeper does a good job. There’s a water bottle in the head, so that we could spray stains before tackling them with the sweepers. They largely shift everything, but larger clumps of dirt can be liked around, so we found it best to vacuum first. If you’ve got pets and particularly dirty floors, then a hard floor cleaner that sucks up dirt and debris as it cleans may be better; for a lot of people, the Bespoke Jet is all that’s required.

Battery life on the useful Mid setting is around 24-minutes. The power on offer here means that you can tackle a large area. With the two batteries that our review sample had, we had more than enough power to tackle our entire home.

With all of the accessories and stands, the Bespoke Jet is a bulky choice, but a brilliant one if you want a single device for all of your cleaning needs.


Reviewer:
David Ludlow

Read our full review: Samsung Bespoke Jet review

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute

The best small vacuum cleaner for thorough cleaning
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Pros

  • Clever automatic mode
  • Decent selection of tools
  • Laser lights up dirt

Cons

  • Power button could be more conveniently placed

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute is a smaller and lighter version of the top-end V15 model. It packs in all of the technology that makes the high-end model so good, including the clever dust sensor. Not only does this show you how much dirt is being sucked up, via the fancy LCD screen on the rear, but it allows the vacuum cleaner to adjust power on the fly.

Stick this vacuum cleaner into automatic mode and you can whip around your house and let the V12 decide how much power is required. It’s a system that works brilliantly and takes the guesswork out of trying to work out which power mode is best. You can still choose a power mode manually if you prefer.

This vacuum cleaner also comes with the clever laser-powered hard floor head. This shines a green laser on the floor to highlight dirt. It’s a bit icky the first time you use it, but it’s an exceptional bit of kit, highlighting exactly where you need to clean.

There’s no laser on the standard carpet floor head, but it does at least have Dyson’s anti-tangle technology, so it will not get clogged with hair. Similar tech is included on the small motorised tool.

At 2.4kg, this vacuum cleaner is super light. Unlike its big brother, there’s no trigger here, just a single power button to turn the vacuum cleaner on and off. If you struggle with holding a trigger down, then this vacuum cleaner is for you.

A smaller body means that there’s only a 0.35-litre bin, although that should last for a standard clean. We found that automatic mode gave us around 25-minutes of cleaning time. Given the high levels of suction available (it tops out at plug-in level of power at 204AW in our tests), and the quality of the floor heads, those 25-minutes are enough to clean a small house or average-sized flat in one go.

While this cleaner is cheaper than its big brother, it is still quite expensive, and you can get cleaners with more tools and longer battery life for less. However, if you can afford it, the quality of cleaning is exceptional.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute review

Dyson Omni-glide

The best for small homes with hard floors
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Pros

  • Very light
  • Powerful
  • Incredibly easy to manoeuvre

Cons

  • Not ideal for use on carpet

Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners have mostly been multi-purpose, but the Dyson Omni-glide is a smaller cleaner, targetted at hard floor use only. Short battery life means that this is the ideal backup cleaner or one for use in smaller flats.

This cleaner gets its name from its special floor head, which has two soft rollers that are designed to pick up dirt from hard floors before the vacuum sucks everything into the bin. Dyson has gone for the ultimate manoeuvrability here. This head can spin, glide and shift around furniture, and we found it the most flexible floor head that we have ever used.

Want to get under furniture? No problem, the cleaner goes pretty much flat to the floor, so you can right under cabinets and the like.

Dyson has redesigned the stick vacuum for the Omni-glide. Rather than a ‘gun’ where you squees the trigger, there’s a simple stick-like handle. As the cleaner weighs just 1.9kg, we found it so easy to move around; we could barely feel that we were carrying it.

We measured power on the low setting at just 24AW, which is a very basic amount of power; on High, the measured power of 85W is what we’d normally expect from a cordless cleaner on its middle setting. Yet, don’t panic: thanks to the clever floor head, the fluffy rollers pick up a lot of the dirt and the suction on offer is enough to clean well even on low power.

We found that hard floor performance was excellent, with all of our test mess gone on a single swipe. Now, this isn’t a vacuum cleaner designed for carpet, but we tested it anyway: the results are pretty poor. If you’ve got the odd short-pile rug or mat, you can tackle the mess with this vacuum cleaner, but if you’ve got carpets forget it.

We love the range of accessories: the mini tool (also anti-tangle) got our sofas back to looking fresh, the crevice tool/duster is great for detail work, and there’s a nifty desktop tool that helped us declutter a well-used and very dusty desk. Shame there’s no storage for this stuff.

Battery life is 18 minutes on the low setting, so this limits how far you can clean. We think that Omni-glide is best suited to small apartments or as a grab-and-go cleaner for smaller spills. The small 0.2-litre bin backs this opinion up.

It won’t suit everyone, but if you’ve got hard floors and want something light and easy to use on them, the Omni-glide is an impressive bit of kit.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Read the full review: Dyson Omni-glide review

Halo Capsule

The best bagged cordless vacuum cleaner
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Pros

  • Very light
  • Excellent cleaning performance
  • Large and cheap bags

Cons

  • Battery life could be longer
  • Few accessories


The Halo Capsule is different to most of the competition, as it takes bags. As bags capture all of the dirt and make for easier emptying, the Capsule is our favourite bagged cordless vacuum cleaner, and ideally suited to allergy sufferers thanks to its clean emptying.

Of course, bags add to the running cost, but not too much in this case. Halo sells a pack of 26 1.6-litre bags for £25.99. That’s excellent value, and with the bags being the size they are, we think that a pack of bags should last more than a year. Given the price of some bags, we can honestly say that Halo isn’t overcharging.

The Halo Capsule also uses a different design to most other cordless vacuum cleaners. Rather than a ‘gun’ shape where you squeeze a trigger, the capsule is a lozenge that you hold at the end. It’s a large and very comfortable handle that gives you plenty of grip. Plus, at just 2.6kg, this is one of the lightest cordless vacuum cleaners, particularly when you factor in its large bin.

There’s no trigger to hold in, with a power button to turn the vacuum on and off, and a mode selector button (Eco, Performance and Boost). Plus, you can turn the motorised brush off, which helps on hard floors: with bigger debris, turning of the brush stopped dirt being flung around in our tests.

Aside from the floor brush, there’s a crevice tool and a brush in the box, both of which can be stored on the charging dock. The lack of a mini motorised tool is a bit of a shame, particularly for those of us with pets.

We measured the vacuum cleaner’s raw power. On Eco mode, it came in at 25AW, which is weak; 66AW in Performance mode is better, although towards the bottom end of the range that we’d expect; 185AW in Boost mode puts this cleaner towards the top end of the expected range.

Testing with our real-world dirt tests, we found that the Halo Capsule picked up most dirt on carpet using Performance mode, although it left a small trail towards the sides of the floor head: the main suction power appears to be in the middle. Pet hair removal was no problem.

Edge performance in Performance mode left some diry behind, but the impressive Boost mode proved powerful enough to suck up everything. On our hard floor test, the Capsule picked up everything on Performance mode.

Battery life in the most useful Performance mode is around 25 minutes, dropping to under 10 minutes in Boost mode. Based on the quality of the cleaning, the Halo Capsule didn’t quite make it around our entire house on a charge, and we had to tackle cleaning on different floors on different days.

For smaller homes or those happy to spread out their cleaning, the Halo Capsule offers something a bit different to the main competition, with its easy-to-empty bags a winner for allergy sufferers.


Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Halo Capsule Review

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum IZ420UKT

The best cordless vacuum cleaner for flexibility
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Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Automatically adjusts power
  • Powerful new floor head

Cons

  • No onboard tool storage

Brand-new technology makes the Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum IZ420UKT stand out from its predecessors. First, this cleaner now has an automatic power mode via CleanSense, which detects who dirty an area is and adjusts power on the fly.

There’s no more guessing which power mode is best. Vacuuming around our test lab, with a regular level of dirt, we found that the IZ420UKT would last around 27-minutes on a single battery. With two batteries in the box, both of which can be charged at the same time, that’s near-on an hour’s worth of vacuuming in one go. In other words, there’s more than enough power to tackle your entire home.

This vacuum cleaner has the new DuoClean floor head, with an improved anti-tangle design. In our testing, we didn’t see any hair wrapped around the floor head. It’s good to see the Anti-Odour pod, too, which releases a scent as you vacuum. It left our house smelling as good as it looked.

Performance is excellent. On Boost, we measured the vacuum at 219AW, making it one of the most powerful vacuum cleaners we’ve tested, and great for very tough spills; on regular automatic mode, suction will be around 118AW, which is a huge amount of power.

This vacuum cleaner did perfectly in all of our tests, including the tough edge and pet hair tests. There’s no job that this cleaner can’t tackle.

Flexology makes a return here, and the vacuum cleaner’s wand bends in half, so that you can clean under sofas without having to bend over. Plus, you can fold the cleaner over, and it stands up by itself, which is a neat trick.

A great price, long battery life and a decent range of accessories make this a great-value cordless stick. We would like to see some on-body storage for the tools, though.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Shark IZ420UKT Review

Hoover H-Free 300

Best budget cordless vacuum cleaner
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Pros

  • Very light
  • Exceptionally quiet
  • Can stand up by itself
  • Good range of tools in the box

Cons

  • Battery life with motorised tools is average
  • No tool storage

The best cordless vacuum cleaners cost a fortune, but if you’re mostly after a backup to a plug-in cleaner, the lightweight Hoover H-Free 300 is our top budget cordless cleaner. It lacks the full cleaning power of other models on this list, but for smaller daily jobs it’s a handy tool to have.

One of the main reasons that we like this cordless vacuum cleaner so much is that it’s super light at just 2.5kg. There are lighter vacuum cleaners on this list, but they have other compromises, such as small bins: here the 0.7-litre bin is good enough for a long cleaning session. We found that after using the cleaner for smaller jobs, we only needed to empty the bin once a week or so.

That lightweight has another advantage: the H-Free 300 can stand up by itself. It’s quite the trick and far more handy than you may think: in the middle of cleaning, we found being able to leave the vacuum cleaner by itself was really handy. There’s no more hearing a crash from a precariously balanced vacuum cleaner.

The cleaner we reviewed came with a motorised floor brush, a 2-in-1 crevice tool and brush, an upholstery brush and a mini-motorised pet tool that worked wonders on stairs and sofas; you can buy the none-pet version that doesn’t have this tool, although it’s a useful addition for upholstery. It’s a shame that there’s no storage for these tools.

Raw performance is more basic on this vacuum cleaner. The 29AW on Low power is a little too weak to do much; 69AW on Medium is better but towards the lower end of the scale; and 118AW on Turbo is a way off the pace and closer to most other cordless cleaners on their medium setting.

These results carried through to our real world test. A sweep on carpet on Medium left traces of dirt behind, and we had to tackle the mess multiple times; Turbo did better and proved itself for bigger spills. Edge performance was a little weak and we had to finish the job with the crevice tool.

Pet hair removal was good, with the motorised floor brush really helping, and hard floor work was completed without any dirt falling back down.

Battery life is 25 minutes on the medium mode, although the cleaning power means that you can’t tackle an entire home on this kind of charge. Don’t think of the Hoover H-Free 300 as a replacement for a plug-in cleaner, but more a convenient, light and well-priced complementary tool for smaller jobs.


Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Hoover H-Free 300 Review

Vax ONEPWR Edge Dual Pet & Car

The best budget upright cordless vacuum cleaner
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Pros

  • Dual batteries
  • Good range of accessories
  • Simple to use

Cons

  • No wand
  • Won’t fit under low furniture

Part of the ONEPWR family, the Vax ONEPWR Edge Dual Pet & Car uses the same batteries as other products in the line-up, such as the Vax ONEPWR Glide and Vax ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vac. That’s handy if you buy multiple tools, as you can swap batteries between them to give extended run-times.

Here, Vax provides two of its large 4Ah batteries. In our tests, the batteries lasted for 30m 18s each in standard mode, and just 11 minutes on boost. Still, that’s probably a good hour or so of cleaning, which is enough to tackle even a fairly large home.

This vacuum cleaner apes a standard upright cleaner. Just stick a battery in, turn it on and push it around to get cleaning. It’s very easy to push around, although the bulky dust bin means that you can’t get this model under sofas or some chairs, and there’s no flexible lift-away option on this model.

There’s a great range of tools that can attach to the wand and hose: an extendible crevice tool, motorised pet brush and dusting brush are standard. Buy direct from Vax and you’ll also get a angle tool (great for getting on top of cupboards), radiator tool, textile tool and a tech tool for cleaning keyboards and touchscreens. Sometimes, having a wider range of tools is better than raw power.

Not that this vacuum cleaner is weak: 42AW in our tests on standard power is enough for general cleaning, while the boost power of 148AW is enough to tackle bigger spills. Testing with real-world mess, we found that this cleaner does well on carpet and hard floors on standard power, although we did need short bursts of the boost power to suck up tougher mess.

There are more flexible cleaners and some with more power, but the Vax ONEPWR Edge Dual has lots of tools and cleans well for the price.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Vax ONEPWR Edge Dual Pet & Car

Henry Quick

The best bagged cordless vacuum cleaner
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Pros

  • Great value
  • Cleans well
  • Dust-free emptying
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No onboard tool storage
  • Edge performance could be better

Although there has been a cordless version of the classic Henry, the Henry Quick is the first ‘proper’ cordless vacuum cleaner. A traditional stick cleaner, this model comes in red with Henry’s face on it. We quite like the personality that it gives.

What’s different about this model to most cordless ones is that the Henry Quick takes bags. These 1-litre pods (as they’re known), slide into the vacuum cleaner and eject safely, automatic sealing, when done. This is the cleanest cordless vacuum cleaner that we’ve emptied. There are 26 pods in the box, with replacements costing £12.99 per pack of 10. If you’re sensitive to dust, this is money well spent.

There’s a standard floor head with brush for agitating dirt, but it’s not an anti-tangle head, so it will need some maintenance. Otherwise, in the box, you get a crevice tool and a brush, but no mini motorised tool. Those with pets may be better looking elsewhere.

Performance is excellent. We measured the Henry Quick at a maximum of 192AW, which puts it close to much more expensive competitors. On regular mode, its 62AW power is more than sufficient for removing everyday messes, as our real world tests showed: it got everything on carpet and hard floors, although we did need to use Boost mode to complete the tough edge test.

There’s a scent disc that plugs into the filter, letting the Henry Quick blow out fragranced air as you clean. We found it refreshing, and it’s good to have a house that looks and smells clean.

Real-world battery life, assuming changes between modes, should mean that this vacuum cleaner will last an impressive 45-minutes on a charge, which should be enough to clean most homes.

If you want a bagged vacuum cleaner, this one is a great choice, but those who want a few more accessories in the box, particularly pet owners, may want to look elsewhere.

Full review: Henry Quick review

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Miele Triflex HX2 Pro

The best convertible cordless vacuum cleaner.
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Pros

  • Flexible design
  • Dual batteries
  • Powerful cleaning

Cons

  • Slightly fiddly to move between modes
  • Awkward to change rollers

If it’s an especially flexible cordless vacuum you’re after, the Miele Triflex HX2 Pro should do the trick.

As well as working as a standard cordless upright cleaner, it can also work as a stick vacuum in Reach mode with the wand attached to the end of the handheld unit, and also as a handheld cleaner in the imaginatively titled Handheld Mode. Switching between the three modes requires a fair bit of plugging and unplugging, and it’s worth putting the cleaner in whichever mode you’ll be using the most to save faff.

We used Comfort mode for a lot of the time, with it arguably being the most useful one of the lot. The 0.5 litre bin on offer is enough to handle an entire house clean, and with it comes a dial at the top which aids in releasing dust from the filter to keep it in good condition. While you only get a single floor head, it’s one that comes with three rollers for dealing with carpets and hard floors in one; to go with this, Miele provides a great range of accessories for upholstery, dusting and crevices.

This may not be the most powerful vacuum we’ve tested, with a max power figure of 145AW, but it’s still a respectable result for the Triflex HX2 Pro that puts it well in the mix with some of the top performers. In addition, in day to day cleaning, it dealt with the likes of pet hair and hair impressively, and a noise level of 70.2dB from the main cleaner isn’t bad at all.

Miele quotes the battery life of the Triflex HX2 Pro to be up to 120 minutes, although that is a best case scenario figure with two batteries in use on the lowest power mode. Regular mode should provide around 40 minutes of cleaning time, given the 19 minutes we got using Eco, which should be enough time for most homes to be cleaned.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Miele Triflex HX2 Pro

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FAQs

What type of cordless vacuum cleaner do you want?

Stick cleaners are the most common. These have a main vacuum unit, controlled via trigger, that you connect the wand and floor head to for regular cleaning, and accessories for detail work. These are quick and easy to use, but put all of the weight in your hand.

An upright replacement has to be carried where you want it, but these are easier to push around and most of the weight is on the floor. You can connect accessories via a hose, although you don’t quite get the reach that a stick model gives you.

Finally, handheld or spot cleaners are much smaller, and are designed to be grab-and-go for dealing with quick spills, such as mess in the kitchen after cooking.

What floor head do you need?

Motorised floor brushes help agitate dirt for easier pick up, but make sure you get one built for your type of flooring: carpet or hard floors.
What other accessories do you need? 

You should get a crevice tool for working around the edges of a room and a dusting brush, as a minimum. Upholstery tools make it easy to clean curtains and sofas. If you have pets, a motorised pet tool helps remove pet hair from a variety of surfaces.

How much battery life do you need?

Battery life is measured in minutes, usually topping out at around 45-minutes. This should be enough to clean a small house or flat in one go, as you only use power when the vacuum is on. If you need more run-time, look for a vacuum with removable batteries, so you can swap out and keep cleaning.

How much power do you need?

Our reviews tell you if a cordless cleaner can replace a plug-in model entirely, or if the vacuum acts as a convenient back-up to a bigger one.

What else is important in battery life?

Raw battery life figures are a useful guide but they don’t tell you everything that you need to know. A cleaner’s ability to clean well on a single sweep is also an important metric. As a very basic example, take two cleaners that have the same battery life: the first cleans brilliantly on a single swipe over a dirty area; the second takes two swipes to do the same job. In this example, the first cordless vacuum cleaner can effectively cover twice the ground of the second one on a full charge. Likewise, the width of the head makes a difference: a vacuum with a wider head can tackle more of your floor in one go, so will clean more on the same charge. In our reviews, we give an idea of how long we think each cleaner will last, but we’re working on a new battery test that will give an idea of total cleaning coverage, too.

Do you have to replace a cordless vacuum cleaner’s battery?

Ultimately, batteries fade over time, so runtime will reduce as a battery ages. If you’ve got a vacuum cleaner with replaceable batteries, you can swap out an old one for a new one yourself. If you’ve got a vacuum cleaner with an integrated battery, you may need to send it for repair to have the battery swapped out.

Specs compared

Below are all of the specifications of the cordless vacuum cleaners in this list. Check that the one you’re interested in has the accessories that you want. Be careful of battery run times: it’s more about how far you can clean than battery life in minutes, which is what our reviews tell you.

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Bagless
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