What To Look For In A Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
You’ll be lucky if you can find a cordless vacuum which can reach close to two hours runtime on a single charge, but most now will give you around an hour of power on average. Some of the more powerful or compact ones may only get to around 40 minutes, so it depends whether you need one specification over the other. You also have to bear in mind how well the battery lasts on different power settings.
Some models may come with a second battery, or at least give you the option to buy an additional one, which would give you twice the running time
Some cordless vacuums offer different power levels, which is great if you want to conserve some energy. As we have just mentioned, battery life can vary from the advertised times depending on the setting you use. The lower the setting, the more likely it will last the full time, but a high suction setting will drain the battery quicker.
If you’re using the vacuum in short bursts but need concentrated power, then using the Turbo/Max suction setting which only lasts 20 minutes would be better than the Eco setting which lasts 90 minutes but won’t pick up what you need it to. A model which can do both may be the best for you
Convertible Lift-Away Handheld Option
A downside to cordless vacuums when compared to corded is that many don’t come with hoses or tubes which can detach and be used to clean corners or high-up places such as the ceiling. For this reason, you may wish to pick one which has a handheld vacuum function.
This can come in the form of a pull-out separate vacuum, or you can switch the ordinary floor head for a nozzle or brush. If you want to clean the car or stairs you may need this function to avoid buying an additional handheld model
The idea of one of these vacuums is that you are untethered, but that is not much good if you can’t actually push or lift the thing. Most are relatively lightweight, but some are still around what an upright would weigh. You may wish for a slightly more powerful battery-powered vacuum however, in which case the heavier options may have to be the choice
Charge Time/Cleaning Duration
The longer the charging time, the longer the vacuum battery will usually last. If you want a vacuum which can give you an hours-worth of cleaning so you can tackle the whole house at once, then you may have no choice but to go with a model which needs to be charged for a good few hours.
Some don’t do as well as they promise, in which case we have mentioned the models to be aware of.
Cord-free battery vacuums still often lack the power of an upright, and can also lack brush bars and other functions which are required for carpets, especially if yours is deep pile. Should you need a product which can tackle your carpet in the bedrooms as well as it can clean the laminate in the living room, ensure the vac is rated highly for carpet use before you purchase. Likewise, if you only have hard floors, then a model with a roller brush rather than a traditional brush bar may be better
If the vac becomes clogged or can’t pick up what you are trying to collect, then it may shut down as a safety precaution. This is great if you sometimes accidentally pick up Lego bricks or hair clips which have been left dotted around, but not so great if you do a lot of DIY and need to pick up dust and debris.
For this reason, if you are aware there may be the odd stone brought in on someone’s shoes, keeping a trusted upright around may be best too. Don’t push the cordless models to the extreme or you could risk damage
Again, this is much less than upright models on average. You may get around half a litre, whereas some cord vacuums offer over 2 litres. Bear in mind that you will consequently have to empty the collection chamber more often. The majority of cordless vacs are bagless but there are a few bagged models around if you are cautious about coming into contact with allergens, or the mess emptying a bale can cause
Other Features To Consider
- LED lighting – great for vacuuming under the sofa or coffee table if you want to be able to see what you are doing
- Flexible cleaning tube – more flexibility can make it easier to get under these low areas, too, without having to get down on your knees
- Power switch – whilst the majority have a simple on/off switch or button, some may have a trigger which you must continually press to give the machine power. This is great if you want to save some energy but not good if you think it would hurt your hand
- Battery indicator – there may be a light or power level gradient which lets you know when it needs charging, or how long you have left
You will likely pay more for a cordless vacuum than an upright, and you won’t have as much choice and freedom when it comes to your budget either. They are still a new and developing technology in the grand scheme of things. In general, you’ll be paying over £200 for names such as Shark, Dyson and Vax, but there are a few gems around £100 which are still worth the effort.
Older models will often be sold for less than their newer rivals, but just be aware you may be missing out on some of the latest innovations and updates if you don’t get a more modern model