Despite its relatively low price, the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex is a powerful, long-lasting cordless stick cleaner that can tackle tough jobs. The automatic mode may not be quite as responsive as I’d hoped for, but it’s still a welcome option on a more budget vacuum cleaner. Overall, it’s flexible and simple to use; the only thing I’d really like to see is on-board storage for the tools.
- Excellent value
- Powerful cleaning
- Replaceable battery
- Automatic mode not that responsive
- UKRRP: £259.99
- TypeA cordless stick cleaner
- Battery lifeExpect up to 40 minutes on the low setting, and a little less on automatic mode
Levoit was started to create consumer appliances that were easy to use and less bulky than their mainstream counterparts.
You can see that in action with the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex, a cordless vacuum cleaner that’s light and even comes with an automatic power mode.
Design & Features
- Standard design for a cordless vacuum
- Easy to hold
The Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex looks much like any standard cordless stick cleaner, with a main unit that you grip and use handheld for detail work, or with the wand attached for reach and floor cleaning. It’s super-comfortable to hold, with the handle positioned at just the right angle for the vacuum cleaner to sit securely and snugly in the hand. At 3.2kg, this vacuum is lightweight, too.
There is a standard power trigger present, but this doesn’t need to be gripped. Instead, the vacuum cleaner turns on its automatic mode, which adjusts power based on the level of debris it finds. If you don’t want to adjust power automatically, there are five power modes from which you can choose, using the plus and minus buttons on top.
Having an automatic mode is impressive at this price; it’s a feature usually reserved for more expensive models, such as the Dyson V15 Detect. I’d prefer slightly fewer manual modes, though: five feels too many, and realistically, I’d be unlikely to use them all. Three would be ideal.
This model includes a removable battery pack, although there’s just a single battery in the box. There’s a charging point on the back of the battery, but it’s easy to affix the charging dock to a wall, and then drop the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex into it to start charging.
At the rear of the vacuum cleaner is the HEPA filter, which Levoit says should be cleaned every six months. There’s a spare filter in the box; this was handy, since it meant I could swap out the filters and continue cleaning while waiting for the original one to dry having been rinsed clean under a tap.
The bottom flap of the 0.6-litre bin swings open for emptying dirt into the bin, although do so tidily proved tricky. You can remove the entire bin, along with the internal mesh filter, which makes it easy to clean out the entire unit.
The “Flex” in the name refers to the angle joint you’ll find at the centre of the wand. Press the button on the back, and the wand bends in the middle to allow you to clean under sofas and furniture without having to change your position. I like this type of design, but it isn’t quite as flexible as the similar Shark IZ320UKT.
Shark’s Flexology tech enables the wand to fold fully in half, so that the vacuum cleaner can stand up unaided; the Levoit Flex tech delivers just over a 90-degree bend.
This model arrives with a standard floor head, with bristle brushes designed to agitate dirt from a carpet. It isn’t an anti-tangle design, so you’ll probably need to cut away trapped hair from time to time.
There’s a decent selection of accessories in the box. The extendible crevice tool proved terrific for getting right under furniture and behind radiators; plus there’s a two-in-one dusting brush and upholstery tool, and a mini motorised brush for cleaning sofas and stairs.
While two accessories can clip onto the wall dock, there’s no on-body storage to carry around any tools as you clean, which is a bit of a shame.
- Automatic mode is a little variable
- Decent battery life
- Powerful suction
I started by measuring the raw power of the Levoit VortexIQ 40 in AirWatts (AW). On its lowest power setting it measured in at 38AW, which is similar to the lowest power setting on the Shark IZ320UK. I then went for the middle mode (or the third mode of the five), where power jumps to a significant 105AW. On its highest mode, the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex topped out at 180AW, which isn’t too far behind the Dyson V12 Detect.
I then moved to my real-world tests to see how this raw power translates to actual performance. I began with the carpet test, sprinkling a teaspoon of flour onto the carpet and then running the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex through the centre of the test patch on its automatic power setting.
The automatic mode uses an IR sensor to detect the level of dirt, adjusting power automatically. With my test flour, the vacuum didn’t noticeably adjust power. The dust sensor on the Dyson V12 and Dyson V15 vacuum cleaners is far more sensitive to all types of dust.
In this case, the swipe through collected the flour in the vacuum’s path, but since the cleaner remained on the lowest power setting, a small amount of dust remained.
I then cleaned the carpet on the middle power setting, which did a much better job, removing all dirt.
It was a similar story in the tough edge test, with flour sprinkled right up to the skirting board on carpet tiles. Running the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex down the skirting board on its auto setting saw quite a bit of mess remain, both on the carpet and on the edge.
The middle power setting picked up the dirt on the floor, but even the maximum power setting wasn’t enough to clear all dust at the edge of the room. I had to switch to the crevice tool to lift it all.
Combing cat hair into my test carpet, I found that the automatic mode was sufficient to clean up all of the pet hair.
Finally, to the hard floor test, where I sprinkled a teaspoon of rice onto the floor. This time, the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex was more reactive in its automatic mode, adjusting power to pick up everything without dropping a grain back onto the floor.
For noise, the vacuum cleaner registered 67.8dB on its lowest setting, 72.7dB on its medium setting, and 76.6dB on its maximum setting. I found that the cleaner displayed a low hum, so it wasn’t unpleasant to use at all.
Battery life is quoted at a maximum of 40 minutes, although this is using the lowest power setting. In my experience, using the vacuum in automatic mode, it ran for close to this time – although this was because the vacuum didn’t jump to higher power levels that often. On the middle power setting, which is the best option for cleaning on most surfaces, the battery lasted 20mins 25secs, which would be sufficient to clean most of a regular-sized house. On the maximum setting, battery life was just 7mins 32secs, although I didn’t need to use that option very often.
Spare batteries can be bought for £79.99 each, so you can double up on power if you need to. And, you can buy a spare power adapter for £15.99, too, which will allow you to charge both batteries at the same time.
Should you buy it?
If you want a good-value cordless vacuum cleaner with enough power to tackle any job, this is a great mid-range option.
If you want a vacuum that can stand up unaided, or that has a more reactive automatic mode, look elsewhere.
For just £259.99, the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex offers rather good value. Sure, it’s automatic power mode isn’t quite as good as the one on the Dyson V12, but then this vacuum cleaner is much cheaper than that model. For larger debris, as you vacuum an entire room, the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex will adjust power. However, on those occasions that you notice that the vacuum hasn’t adjusted the power on its own, it’s worth upping the power mode manually.
On its middle setting, I found that this vacuum cleaner was powerful enough to deal with all of my test spills, bar edge cleaning on carpet tiles. Overall, performance for the price is very good.
With the flexible wand and decent range of tools, the Levoit Vortex IQ 40 Flex is a solid mid-range cordless vacuum cleaner with some neat features. If you’re after something a bit different, then check out my guide to the best cordless vacuum cleaners.
How we test
We test every vacuum cleaner we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main vacuum cleaner for the review period
Tested for at least a week
Tested using tools to measure actual suction performance
Tested with real-world dirt in real-world situations for fair comparisons with other vacuum cleaners
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Yes, and new ones are easily available on Amazon, so you can extend run-time with a spare.
It uses an IR sensor to detect the amount of dust being picked up, increasing power when there’s a lot of dirt.
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