Best Cordless Vacuum 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Cordless appliances are taking the world by storm. Whilst you were once restricted with where you went and how far you could reach, a cordless vacuum can help you to tackle larger areas without having to bother about changing the plug socket you are using or not being able to get right into the corner.

They are also great if you need to clean stairs, or indeed take the vacuum up the stairs, as they are lighter than upright corded models. All you do is charge the battery up, then lift the vac from its docking station and take it to where you need to go.

But unlike upright models, they aren’t always suitable for every occasion. Many are best for wooden floors as opposed to carpet, and some don’t feature attachments for stairs or corners. You also have other considerations to factor in, such as battery life, dust compartment size and how well it performs on every surface.

To find the best cordless vacuum for your needs, read our reviews and check the dedicated buying guide below.

The Best Cordless Vacuums – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Shark DuoClean Cordless TruePet with Flexology IF260UKTH
  • Capacity: 0.3L
  • Charge Time: 3.5 hours
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Wall Mounted?: Yes
  • Convertible?: Yes
  • Extra Features: LED lighting
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Dyson V11 Absolute
  • Capacity: 0.76L
  • Charge Time: 4.5 hours
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Wall Mounted?: Yes
  • Convertible?: Yes
  • Extra Features: LCD screen
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Gtech AirRam MK2 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
  • Type: Cordless
  • Power: 22V Lithium-Ion battery
  • Capacity: 0.8L
  • Floor Types: Carpet/Hard
  • Sound Power Level: 70dB
  • Weight: 3.5kg
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Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

Shark DuoClean Cordless TruePet with Flexology IF260UKTH

The non-TruePet version of this vacuum retails much cheaper, and we gave it rave reviews for its suction power. So how can this update possibly go one better and give us even more?

Well firstly, you get a much larger run time. 60 minutes compared to 22 will make a massive difference if you have a large home to clean, or know that you’re going to have to use maximum power. This is because it uses twin battery technology, so even if you will only take 20 minutes to get the job done, you don’t have to rush to charge the battery up for next time. To say it still only takes the same 3.5 hours to charge is pretty amazing.

You only get a marginally larger dust collection bin, but rather than seeing this size as a negative we are going to say that it is simply a great way of encouraging us to empty it more often to keep it running at its best.

A dedicated pet tool will help those with four-legged companions. It gets deep into material fibres to remove every last hair, and the LED light will even help you tackle under the bed or chairs.

Special technology traps 99.9% of dust and allergens. Anti-allergen complete seal keeps them in the collection bin until they are firmly in your waste disposal so they won’t get released back into the atmosphere again.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.3L
  • Charge Time: 3.5 hours
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Wall Mounted?: Yes
  • Convertible?: Yes
  • Extra Features: LED lighting

We like

  • Can bend to get under furniture
  • Suction power takes you around the carpet
  • Easy to get to batteries, filter and bin

We dislike

  • Price (but worth the jump in cost)

Final Verdict

Cordless vacuums have come a long long way, but this is quite simply one of the best vacuums out there full stop. The two batteries round it off

Dyson V11 Absolute

Dyson have always been the leaders of the vacuum world, but today they face an awful lot of competition – especially in the cordless market.

This is their latest offering, and it certainly boasts more power and features to make a difference. Dyson say it boasts twice as much suction power as other cord-free models on the market, and it is safe to say you certainly feel the effort it is putting in.

There are three suction levels so it is suitable for whatever the task is. With a long 60 minute run time in Eco mode, you can probably tackle the whole home without having to pause for a few hours.

It can work on carpet, hard floor, laminate and tile so is great for the whole home. Just use the auto mode to ensure it glides seamlessly over each so you don’t have to manually change the settings. The lifetime washable filter will ensure you can always keep it dust free for maximum performance, and won’t have to purchase a new one every few months.

We would say it is best if your home is mostly made up of hard floors, because the dedicated soft roller cleaner head sucks up both larger items and fine dust without damaging them. But suction levels are still great for soft surfaces too, and the High Torque cleaner head and stiff nylon bristles work their way deep into the fibres.

If you suffer from allergies, it can capture 99.97% of dust particles, even those which are microscopic, so you can breathe easier. When you’re done, just slide it out of the bin using the ‘point and shoot’ system. Our favourite addition has to be the LCD screen however. It will tell you how long you have left on the battery, and which power mode you’re using.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.76L
  • Charge Time: 4.5 hours
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Wall Mounted?: Yes
  • Convertible?: Yes
  • Extra Features: LCD screen

We like

  • Works well on all floor types
  • Effortless to control
  • LCD screen takes away the guesswork

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

We love appliances which help us out this much yet give us control too. If you’re set on a cordless, then this is the best cordless Dyson we reviewed by far

Gtech AirRam MK2 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

This Gtech AirRam model flows seamlessly between hard and soft floor surfaces, so you don’t have to do any extra work. The runtime of this cordless vacuum is 40 minutes on a single 4-hour charge, which is impressive given its powerful suction. With redeveloped AirLoc technology, this appliance has been designed to not only pick up fine dust and debris particles but also larger items.

One of the standout features of the Gtech line of vacuums is the dirt collection system; any debris is compacted into a small tubular dirt bale and easily discarded thanks to the handy ejector arm. This is ideal for any allergy sufferers as the particles are less likely to become airborne again.

It is easy to use and transport around the house and will even lower to access hard-to-reach areas such as under sofas and beds. It is ridiculously light, and there is no cord to worry about. There is a four-stage LED indicator which quickly lets you know when the battery is running low, and a 1-hour boost charge will be enough to clean one room.

Its only downfall is that it isn’t as powerful on deep-pile carpets, so if this surface type is widespread throughout your house you may have to employ a heavier corded appliance in-between uses.

Specifications

  • Type: Cordless
  • Power: 22V Lithium-Ion battery
  • Capacity: 0.8L
  • Floor Types: Carpet/Hard
  • Sound Power Level: 70dB
  • Weight: 3.5kg

+ Downloads

Gtech AirRam MK2 Cordless Vacuum user manual

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We like

  • Lightweight and cordless
  • Easy to remove collected dirt

We dislike

  • No hand tools for stairs/furniture

Final Verdict

A nifty cordless appliance which takes care of your low-pile floors without any hassle

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson recently revealed that they have stopped developing corded machines, believing that cordless is the future. A downfall of hand stick vacuums is that they’re usually not as powerful as bulkier upright models, but Dyson’s latest V10 digital motor is a massive step-up.

The Cyclone Absolute forcefully picks up any debris in its path, and the Torque drive cleaner head eliminates 25% more dust than the V8 model (which was a revolutionary cordless cleaning appliance in itself).

There are three power modes, and a brushed and roller cleaner head for transitioning between carpet and hard floor. It also quickly transforms into a handheld, for use on the stairs and even in the car. To give it an edge over many other cord-free vacuums, it is suitable for use with handheld attachments. It comes with all the useful tools you need to clean those hard to reach spaces.

The point-and-shoot emptying mechanism pushes the debris straight into the bin, so you don’t have to go anywhere near it. Cord-free versatility means it can be taken anywhere. With up to 60 minutes of fade-free suction, it will clean your whole house on one charge. To charge, drop it into the wall-mounted dock. The only downside is that this obviously needs to be fitted near a power socket, so may not offer you a lot of flexibility.

Specifications

  • Type: Cordless
  • Power: 25.2V
  • Capacity: 0.76L
  • Floor Types: Carpet/Hard
  • Sound Power Level: 72dB
  • Weight: 2.6kg

+ Downloads

DYSON Cyclone V10 Absolute user manual

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We like

  • Transforms into a handheld
  • Most formidable cordless Dyson to date

We dislike

  • Maximum power setting is impressive but drains the battery rapidly
  • Low dirt capacity

Final Verdict

The most efficient and reliable pick of the cordless (and Dyson) models on the market

Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away TruePet IC160UKT

We are a huge fan of the Shark vacuum cleaner range here at Appliance Reviewer, and if you’ve been looking for the most powerful option on the market, then they’ve probably caught your eye too. They are even the choice of Mrs Hinch, which speaks volumes of its power.

Even though they are pretty nifty to use thanks to the Liftaway feature, this cordless model takes it up a level by making it completely untethered by power cables. You still have all of the other standout features – powerful suction, the ability to move from hard to soft floors without changing settings, the ease of coping with stairs and under furniture – but now in a rechargeable option.

Whichever mode you use it in, all allergens are picked up and locked away with no risk of them escaping again thanks to the HEPA filter. Perfect if you suffer with dust or pollen. There is also a line of lighting at the front of the appliance, so if you’re cleaning in low light, you can still see every last bit of dirt that needs to be picked up.

Because it is cordless, it isn’t quite as powerful as the upright models. The boost button gives a good burst of suction, but it is not ideal to hold this down during the entire cleaning session. We found it works better on carpets than hard floors but if you have a steam mop or brush this probably won’t be a massive issue.

If you have low pile carpets or no pets and kids to mess things up, then it is a great cordless option. It is still one of the best cordless options out there, but just misses the exact suction power of the upright Sharks or Dyson and G-Tech models.

Specifications

  • Power: 28.8V
  • Capacity: 0.6L
  • Run Time: 50 mins
  • Charge Time: 3.5 Hours

+ Downloads

SHARK DuoClean Powered Lift-Away TruePet IC160UKT User Manual

Download

We like

  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to use and set up
  • LED lighting along base

We dislike

  • Suction not amazing for the price paid

Final Verdict

When comparing against other cordless vacuums, it is superior in a lot of areas. Corded options still offer the best power for family homes, but it is an ideal solution for anyone who just needs to give the carpets a quick once-over every few days

Shark DuoClean with Flexology IF200UK

We love the Shark range as you can tell from their heavy presence in this rundown, and this model is no exception. Two brush rolls will tackle both the usual dirt and dust and small spills, which makes it a great idea for any kitchen or other hard floor areas which often see bits of drinks or the dog’s water end up on the ground.

Flexology design helps when you need to get under the settee or around tight corners, as it gives you more control without becoming a burden. You get a Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush and Upholstery Tool to help you out when you convert it to a handheld.

It has a 22 minute run time, which is disappointing compared to the others on the market which can get up to an hour on their lowest setting. But if you want a cordless vacuum which acts as a backup to your upright, or know you can clear the house within this time, then it shouldn’t be a massive issue.

The capacity is also around half of many others. Despite us having to mention these issues, we don’t want them to put you off buying this vacuum though. We guarantee it will pick up things you can’t see with your eyes, and will also collect a lot more than you think there is on your carpets. Suction is simply fantastic, and the filters can be rinsed every month to help it working at its best.

Grab this model if you love the look of the TruePet model but don’t want to spend quite that much – you still get fabulous suction and good extras.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.3L
  • Charge Time: 3.5 hours
  • Run Time: 22 minutes
  • Wall Mounted?: Yes
  • Convertible?: Yes
  • Extra Features: Light bar

We like

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Headlights help illuminate under beds etc

We dislike

  • Low capacity and run time - but suction power makes up for this

Final Verdict

Even if you think you have the cleanest carpets in the land, it will pick up an amount which will surprise you. Suction is so great that it almost pulls itself along too.

Vax Blade 2 Max 40V

Vax are possibly Dyson’s closest rivals in the vacuum category, but they are possibly more known for their carpet cleaners and ordinary uprights than their cordless options.

At around a third of the price of the latest Dyson, we were excited to see whether it was relative in performance. We’d say it did even better than we hoped and is a great option for anyone wanting to buy the best cordless vacuum under £200.

The overall design is lightweight and innovative to ensure it is easy to use. It takes four hours to charge fully, which is good going in comparison to some others, but you can also charge it for less if you just need to give the floor a quick clean. Four hours will give you up to 45 minutes of run time.

The twin helix brushbar gives this vacuum a unique and optimised design and it works at 4200 RPM to maximise pick up performance. Suction is always top-level too, even when the battery is running low. Dual Cyclones remove dust and the dual layer electrostatic filter captures the finest particles, which makes it great for anyone with allergies.

It is convertible, so will detach and turn into a handheld to help you clean the stairs and car. The LED tracking lights will help illuminate the more difficult areas, such as under the sofa or kitchen table, so you can get every last crumb. On-board storage will also help to keep your handheld attachments safe.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.6L
  • Charge Time: 4 hours
  • Run Time: 45 minute
  • Wall Mounted?: Yes
  • Convertible?: Yes
  • Extra Features: LED lights

We like

  • Price
  • Easy to convert to handheld
  • Simple to empty and wash filter

We dislike

  • Loses power a little on rugs and carpets

AEG FX9 Ultimate Reach

A cordless stick upright vacuum and handheld all in one, the FX9 can help get your entire home dust-free – even those tricky corners behind the telly.

When it converts to a handheld, it is slightly different to other adaptable cordless models. Rather than using the existing wand, you can use a flexible hose – just as you would with a corded upright. This makes it ideal for anyone who may want to reach the more difficult places more carefully, such as shelving without moving all the ornaments or around the seats in your car. You get a 3-in-1 Smart Nozzle and Multi Angle Tube.

Charging takes about six hours for an hour of battery life, and when you need to top it up just return the appliance to the floor docking system. Dust pick up is rated C on carpets and A on hard floors, so while it is definitely better for the latter surfaces, it will still make a notable difference to short pile carpets.

A 98.6% micro-dust filtration may not be the best on paper compared to a few of the others which promise 99%, but the likelihood you’ll notice a difference is pretty much non-existent. Filters are washable, which helps the situation and also means no on-going costs.

A lightbar will illuminate darker corners, and we love that the tube is telescopic. It can be adjusted to suit your height and comfort, and also what you are cleaning – the shorter the wand, the more accuracy and control you have. Three power levels will further help you out.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.7L
  • Charge Time: 6 hours
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Wall Mounted?: No
  • Convertible?: Yes
  • Extra Features: Light bar

We like

  • Bag full indicator
  • Three power settings
  • Auto function for cleaning different surfaces

We dislike

  • Battery really does get sapped on highest setting

Final Verdict

A great rare mixture of light materials with a strong build. There is the option to buy a car cleaning kit accessory pack, too

Cordless Vacuum Buying Guide

What To Look For In A Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Battery Life

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

Settings

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

Weight

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.

Floor Type

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

Auto Shut-Off

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

Capacity

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

Price

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

FAQ’s

Why Buy A Cordless Vacuum Over A Corded?

Whilst many aren’t as powerful as their corded upright cousins, there are so many benefits to cutting the cord. You have much more freedom as to where you go, which is great if the layout of your plug sockets seems to have been designed by someone who had never lived in a house, or if your rooms are larger. They also give you less bother – having to keep a hold of the cable and move it from one side of the vacuum to the other as you manoeuvre around the room can be a pain.

Do be aware there are negatives too, however. They don’t often do well on deep pile carpets, and can be limited when it comes to adapting them into a device which reaches into the corners or in your car, so you may have to buy a handheld model too

Are Cord-Free Vacuums Good For Allergies And Pet Hair?

If you have these requirements, then we would say a cylinder or upright would be better. Cordless models are usually bagless which can make emptying them risky, and they also aren’t often as powerful at picking up deeply-ingrained or worn in allergens such as dust or pollen from fabrics. There are a couple of bag cordless vacuums about however, but you won’t have as much choice when it comes to your other specifications.

There is nothing to stop you having one of each, of course, if budget permits. A battery-powered vac could mean you are more likely to clean once or twice daily, and then a more powerful dedicated allergy-busting model would collect anything left behind and you’d only have to use this every few days