In the last ten years, cordless cleaners have gone from cupboard clutter to household must-have. For some, a high-quality cordless may be all you need.
But there are some factors to take into consideration before you buy. The most important of these is battery life. How big is your house? The best cordless cleaners will still only give you about an hour of cleaning time – and that will usually be on the lowest suction setting.
If you only have a cordless cleaner, no matter how organised you are with cleaning and recharging, there will definitely be times when your vac runs out of battery life mid-clean or when you’ve just had a spill.
That’s why some cordless cleaners – including models from Samsung, Miele and Shark – have a removable battery and the option to buy a second one that can be charged up and waiting. If you have a larger home and only want a cordless cleaner, this will make your life much easier.
Other considerations are the weight of the vac, the size of the bin, its suction power and charging time. You’ll also find that the kind of attachments you get vary and that some will make a surprising amount of difference in how easy it is to clean.
Many cordless cleaners will transform from a stick into a handheld – and this is a huge plus in terms of versatility.
Finally, if you or anyone in your family has a dust allergy, you should look for a HEPA filter, which will capture 99.97% of particulate matter larger than 0.3 microns (for reference, a human hair is approximately 75 microns wide). But bear in mind that if you choose a bagless cleaner, you’ll be releasing some of this dust back out into the air.
Here are the best cordless cleaners, as tested and reviewed by Tech Advisor staff.
Samsung Jet 90 (Pro)
This vacuum cleaner is our recommended all-rounder. It has everything. And more stuff on top of that. It’s even got a mop attachment that – in a surprising break from tradition – works brilliantly. As well as being designed for every type of cleaning you can imagine, it’s also light, comfortable to use and has a long battery life.
While people with larger homes may think that a cordless is not for them, the Powerstick Jet could change their minds. It’s powerful enough that, even on its lowest setting, it can give a really deep clean. It also has space to charge a second battery (which you’ll need to buy separately), so if you run out of power before you finish, you can swap it out and keep going.
This isn’t a vacuum cleaner for minimalists. You’ll need space to store its large stand and attachments but if you can find such a spot, it’ll amply reward you with its usefulness and flexibility.
Read our full Samsung Jet 90 (Pro) review
This is a great product, at a great price, particularly when compared to market-leading brands. Capsule is an independently-designed and produced vacuum cleaner, the creation of an engineer with two decades of industry experience.
Cordless, manoeuvrable and very light at 2.6kg – thanks to its carbon-fibre shell – it has the power of an upright and some very nice design features that set it apart from competitors.
Its specifications are also an improvement on those of rival products. Capsule needs three hours to charge its lithium-ion batteries and after that will run for at least half an hour without a loss of suction. It also has a dust-collection capacity of 1.6 litres.
It is recommended for smaller homes, flats or as a versatile handheld.
Read our full Halo Capsule review
Dyson V11 Absolute
The V11 is an iterative update on the Cyclone V10 in terms of pure power, but a more substantial one when it comes to user experience.
Silly as it may sound, the introduction of an LCD screen on the handle is a genuine innovation, giving live battery updates and troubleshooting advice on the go. The High Torque head’s Auto mode is also ideal for those of us used to ploughing ahead with the same old attachment no matter the surface, with the V11 now capable of making up for our laziness.
The extra suction power is welcome, but with minimal battery improvements and extra weight compared to previous models, this might not win over anyone yet to be convinced by Dyson's cordless cleaners.
At the end of the day, this is probably still the most powerful cordless vacuum on the market, and at this price it would have to be. For most people, a more budget-friendly cleaner will do the job just as well. And with the Auto mode strictly Absolute-only (in the UK), there's little to recommend the cheaper Animal model.
Read our full Dyson V11 Absolute review
Tineco Pure One S12
The Tineco Pure One S12 is one of our favourite vacuum cleaners, offering a combination of sleek design, a lightweight body and a range of easy-to-swap accessories. It also stands out for its trigger activation system, which allows you to easily turn the vac off and on mid-clean to save battery life. There’s also a trigger lock, in case you don’t get on with it.
But it’s the cleaning performance that really matters, and the Pure One S12 excels in that department as well. The motorised brush head is compatible with both carpet and hardwood floors, helping to get up ingrained dirt and hairs - but that’s not the best part.
The Pure One S12 comes with an iLoop system that intelligently analyses how much dirt and dust is being picked up and automatically adjusts suction power. It saves battery life and allows the vacuum cleaner to operate at relatively low settings most of the time.
With two removable batteries offering a combined 100 minutes of use during auto mode, it should be more than enough to clean most homes, and the accessories included will allow you to tackle just about any environment.
Admittedly, it is a premium option, but you really do get what you pay for when you buy the Pure One S12.
Read our full Tineco Pure One S12 review
Dyson Cyclone V10
The Cyclone V10 is undeniably a phenomenal cordless vacuum. It packs more than enough power to justify the steep price, with three settings, multiple attachments, and a slick design with added options like wall-mounting.
The hour-long battery life (less on higher speeds) isn't quite enough to clean a big house top-to-bottom, and the weight will also be an issue if you're trying to clean for that long anyway, but for most people, this will be plenty.
Just stick to the Animal model, and resist paying over the odds for unnecessary add-ons in the Absolute and Total Clean versions.
Read our full Dyson Cyclone V10 review
Philips SpeedPro Max
The Philips SpeedPro Max is an excellent cordless vacuum, operating at a similarly high level to Dyson's Cyclone V10.
There's little to choose between the two, with features including a modular design, powerful suction and three speed settings. We like the LED headlights and the battery life is slightly longer, but not enough to make a huge difference.
The Dyson V10 narrowly pips it as it's (still) slightly more budget-friendly and has more attachments.
Read our full Philips SpeedPro Max review
Hoover H-Free 500
For its reasonable price, the Hoover H-Fee 500 is a decent little stick vacuum. And we mean little: it's really lightweight and packs away in a cleverly compact, transformer-like way.
Like other vacuum cleaners, it offers a modular system so you can clean in different ways. We found it to be very versatile and reasonably powerful, too.
However, the turbo mode will only give you eight minutes of cleaning and it has an average of 25 minutes across all modes, which is not very long. This, combined with a small dustbin, means it's more suited to flats and small homes. You might want to consider an Energy model, which comes with an extra battery.
Read our full Hoover H-Free 500 review
If you’ve got pets in the house (or just some seriously shaggy carpets), then the Gtech HyLite won’t have the power to keep up. Similarly, if you’re lucky enough to live in a mansion, it might not make it all the way round thanks to just 20 minutes of battery life.
But for everyone else, this is an affordable contender, combining an astonishingly compact design with a lightweight modular build, and an eco-friendly design ethos that should help ease your guilt next time you sneak some recycling into the regular rubbish.
This is proof that good things come in small packages.
Read our full Gtech HyLite review
The Roidmi F8 is one of the best cordless vacuums we've seen to date. It is impressively lightweight at only 1.5kg, while still offering great suction and almost an hour of battery life on a single charge, along with a variety of attachments and novel features including smartphone support.
Our biggest gripe is with the small, 0.4 litre bin, which means you'll have to empty it fairly regularly. But beyond that, this is an easy cordless vacuum to recommend, offering performance close to the best from Dyson and Philips, at a significantly lower price.
Read our full Roidmi S1 review
The Roidmi X20 cordless vacuum cleaner looks and feels good, hits a nice compromise point between weight (1.5kg) and battery life (60 minutes), and offers respectable suction power - its rating of 140AW is below the premium models in this category, but we never had a problem getting the job done.
Chuck in some bonus features such as wet cleaning, a moderately handy app and a little light that comes on automatically when the cleaning head goes into a dark space, and you're looking at a solid mid-price option.
Read our full Roidmi X20 review