A decent mid-range performer, the Hoover H-Free 300 performs well on most jobs, although it's better suited to lighter spills, as an extra to a more powerful plug-in vacuum cleaner. Its average battery life backs that up, too. The lightweight body is excellent, making this stick cleaner easy to carry around, and also handy is that it can stand up by itself. There's a great range of tools in the box, although some means of storage for them would have been welcome.
- Very light
- Exceptionally quiet
- Can stand up by itself
- Good range of tools in the box
- Battery life with motorised tools is average
- No tool storage
- Review Price: £179.99
- Cordless stick vacuum cleaner
- 1135 x 252 x 228mm, 2.5kg
- Motorised floor brush, mini-motorised pet tool, 2-in-1 crevice tool, 2-in-1 upholstery brush
- 0.7-litre bin
- 40-minutes (low), 25-minutes (medium) battery life
Not everyone needs a top-of-line, do everything cordless vacuum cleaner. For some, a cheaper, less powerful model will likely fulfil most needs. Step forward the Hoover H-Free 300, then: a well-priced cordless cleaner with a removable battery, pet tools and a great range of accessories.
Designed to complement a regular plug-in vacuum cleaner, this cordless model can stand up by itself and includes two LED lights. A decent performer with light spills and good at removing pet hair, this is a useful supporting vac to have in your home.
Hoover H-Free 300 design and features – Cleverly, it can stand unaided
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Simple controls, although there’s no status indicator
- Can stand up by itself when not in use
There’s only so much you can do with a cordless stick vacuum cleaner, and the Hoover H-Free 300 doesn’t stray too far from that basic design – although it does have a few tricks. First, when the wand and motorised floor brush are attached, the vacuum cleaner can stand up by itself on a hard floor (or very short-pile carpet).
The vacuum cleaner is a little unstable in this position and can easily be knocked over. However, as a temporary solution during cleaning, self-standing is a handy feature for occasions when you might need to answer the phone or move a bit of furniture, for example, and a capability that I haven’t seen in another cordless vacuum cleaner.
Part of the reason the cleaner is able to stand unaided is its 2.1kg weight; it’s exceptionally light in the hand. That’s great whether you’re cleaning up around the ceiling or just need to move this vacuum cleaner from room to room.
Hoover has also installed two LEDs to highlight the surface you’re vacuuming. The first one is on the main body and is activated only when the main wand isn’t attached, giving you light when you use handheld tools.
Plug in the wand and there are lights on the motorised floor brush, so you can see clearly where you’ve cleaned and where you need to clean.
In the box, Hoover has provided a good range of tools. There’s the floor brush, as mentioned, plus a 2-in-1 crevice tool with brush, an upholstery brush that has a clip-on hard brush, and a mini-motorised pet tool, which is great for use on sofas and stairs. For those without furry friends, there is a non-pet version of this cleaner available (the HF322HM 001) that comes minus this tool.
As is standard for Hoover vacuum cleaners, there’s a rubber wiper in the box that can be slid into the floor head for better suction on hard floors. This also makes the vacuum cleaner harder to push. I’d prefer to see a soft roller, of the type included with the Dyson V11.
Controls are easy to use on this Hoover vacuum cleaner. You squeeze the trigger to turn the vacuum on and squeeze it again to power it off. This kind of design is less tiring to use than models that require you to keep the trigger depressed throughout cleaning.
At the rear, there’s a Power Control touch-sensitive button that you tap to run through the Power mode. With non-powered tools, there are three power modes: Low, Medium and Turbo; add a motorised brush and you just get Medium and Turbo modes.
There’s a decent 0.7-litre bin, which you can empty without removing. Just press the button and the door at the bottom swings open, dumping the bin’s contents. If any dust or debris becomes stuck around the internal filter, you can remove the entire bin and pull out both this filter and the cloth filter on top, and clean them under the tap.
The filter is only basic; it isn’t EPA or HEPA rated. If you any folk in your home who suffer allergies, a vacuum cleaner with better filtration may be required, such as the Dyson Small Ball Allergy.
Hoover provides a single battery for this model, which can be charge in-situ, or pulled out and charged separately. The latter is handy to keep your vacuum cleaner topped up if you don’t have power in your storage cupboard.
There’s a basic wall-mount provided, with the H-Free 300 dropping into it and locking into place. It’s a shame this doesn’t incorporate any storage, as all of the tools have to sit loose wherever you keep your vacuum cleaner.
Hoover H-Free 300 performance – It performs well for clearing up lighter spills
- Works well on carpet, but edge performance could be better
- Picks up easily on hard floors
- Good pet hair removal
The true mark of any vacuum cleaner is its ability to clean well. I start my tests by measuring the power in AirWatts of each mode. I measured the cleaner at 29.13AW on Low power, 64.47AW on Medium power and 118.66AW on Turbo. The Medium and Turbo speeds are similar to the Dyson V11 Outsize’s results on Eco and Medium power settings, and then the Dyson has a Turbo mode that more than doubles the power.
Quality isn’t based on suction power alone, but also the efficiency of the tools, which is where my real-world tests come in. First, I started be spreading an ‘X’ of flour onto a carpeted floor.
Running the H-Free 300 over on Medium power, a single sweep forward and backwards through the mess was sufficient to pick up most of the dirt, but up close there were traces remaining.
I upped the power to Turbo, and used this to sweep up what was left to leave a nice clean carpet.
Next, I spread an ‘X’ of flour on the carpet up to the skirting board to see how good the Hoover performed for edge pick-up. I ran the vacuum cleaner along the skirting board on Medium power. Here, the cleaner struggled; it couldn’t quite get into the edge.
Upping the power to Turbo and pushing the head into the skirting board sucked up more of the flour, but it still fell short of picking up all of it. I had to complete the job with the crevice tool.
Moving to a hard floor, I sprinkled a teaspoon of rice onto the floor, then ran the cleaner through on Medium mode. Here, the Hoover cleared all the spilled grains of rice, without any dropping back out of the head.
Finally, I tackled pet hair combed into a carpet via the mini-motorised pet tool. Thankfully, it picked up everything on Medium power, with not a hair left in sight.
I didn’t find the Hoover H-Free 300 too loud, either, coming in at 67.9dB on Low, 69.5dB on Medium and 74.9 on Turbo. That makes this one of the quietest cordless vacuum cleaners I’ve tested.
Battery life is around 40 minutes on the Low mode, but just 25 minutes when you use the cleaner on Medium. It drops a lot further on Turbo mode, although you shouldn’t need to use this mode too often.
Based on this level of cleaning performance and battery life, the H-Free 300 is a solid mid-range performer, working well as a backup to your main plug-in cleaner.
Hoover H-Free 300 Conclusion
A solid mid-range vacuum cleaner, the light Hoover H-Free 300 is a good grab-and-go cleaner for smaller jobs, although you’ll want a standard plug-in cleaner for deep cleans in your home. Spend a little more and you can get the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4, which is more powerful and comes with a greater range of tools. If you need something to clean your entire house, then my guide to the best cordless vacuum cleaners can help.