Cordless vacuum cleaner FAQs
What are the main features to look for in a cordless vacuum?
Bagged or bagless – While a bagged vacuum cleaner has a greater capacity, meaning you can empty it less, if you want to avoid the cost and mess of replacing bags, then opt for a bagless model which, in most cases, is a quick and easy job to empty.
Bin capacity – In most vacuum models, a dirt bin capacity of at least 1l is best. This allows the user to vacuum large areas without the disruption of having to empty the bin.
Weight – The larger the weight of your cordless vacuum, the more force is required to push and pull the vacuum while cleaning – so look for as lightweight a model as possible when choosing your model.
Accessories – To get the most bang for your buck, and the most use out of your vacuum, look for a model that comes complete with accessories – including various dusting brushes, crevice tools, pet turbine tool and more.
Charge time and running time per charge – For a smoother and seamless cleaning experience, opt for a cordless vacuum that features a runtime of up to 30-60 minutes, which allows it to clean large areas on a single battery charge.
Are cordless vacuums powerful enough?
This is a fast-changing industry – the cordless vacs coming out now are far more advanced than those launched even just a few years ago.
Before, batteries lasted 20 minutes if you were lucky. Now, some vacuum cleaners can run for more than an hour, although note that the turbo/boost button on many models will reduce this significantly. Some brands also tend to exaggerate run times in their marketing, so read reviews before you buy.
They are also becoming increasingly lightweight, and in some cases more powerful, with significantly more suction power. In fact, the best ones now give just as deep a clean as their corded counterparts.
Some models are suitable for all floor types (and many come with pet attachments). Newer machines are more intelligent too, with some automatically adapting to the type of surface you’re cleaning. Many also have advanced LCD screen displays.
Dyson has so much faith in the cordless vacuum market that it has stopped developing new technology for corded models (although it is still producing them) to focus on no-cord machines.
Should you choose a vacuum cleaner with a tank or bag?
Bagged vacuum cleaners usually have a greater capacity for storing dust and dirt, so you don’t have to empty them as often. But new bags cost extra and it can be a messy job.
Bagless machines collect debris in a canister, which you empty, so there’s no need to buy replacement bags and, with some machines, it’s a very quick and simple job.
How often do you need to charge cordless vacuum cleaners?
Cordless vacs use rechargeable batteries, which need to be charged when the battery runs low. Run times vary between 15-20 minutes to an hour, with an average charge time of four hours (although many are a lot quicker). If the machine has a turbo button, the battery will run lower more quickly, but the best machines work so hard on this mode that you may find this seemingly short run time is actually enough to clean your home.
Note that machines with lithium batteries tend to have a longer run time and charge up more quickly. Some machines even come with a pair of batteries so you can swap them over for a longer run time. But even machines with a shorter running time and/or those that only come with a single battery can be useful for quick jobs like cleaning small spaces or regular tasks like tackling crumbs after a meal.
The benefits of a cordless vacuum cleaner vs corded
Corded vacs tend to be smaller, lighter and more manoeuvrable than their corded counterparts. This makes them easier to use, carry and store, and better for jobs such as stairs or cleaning the car.
The verdict: Cordless vacuum cleaners
With a dual battery pack offering 120 minutes of run-time, the Shark stratos anti-hair-wrap pet pro makes an ideal vacuum for larger households, pet owners and anyone wanting to take all the effort out of vacuuming and make the process more enjoyable.
If money is no object, a Dyson V12 also makes life easier with its intelligent LED display and lightweight, slim design. Can’t face the cost? The Vactidy V8 offers an incredible amount of features and suction power for a smidge over £110, which is insane value for money.
For more vacuum recommendations, read our guide to the best upright models that tackle large areas with ease