The humble hoover packs in a lot more tech these days and we've tested the best on the market. Some of the vacs we've looked at recently have brilliant problem-solving features that make cleaning much easier. So, if you have issues with your current vac, you'll definitely find a solution in the round-up that follows.
When you check out our round-up, you'll notice that now our top-rated vacuum cleaners are all cordless. That's not only because cordless cleaners can do pretty much everything that a corded cleaner can, but also because that's where companies are focusing their energies - so that's where the innovations are.
At least four of the cordless vacuum cleaners in our top ten would be highly recommended even for people with very large homes. A vacuum cleaner with a removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery is key to making a cordless work for you if you live in a big place. However, we'd recommend you invest in a second battery so you don't run out of juice mid-clean.
If you want some tips on specs, features and terminology to help you make your choice, have a look at the guide that follows after our top ten rundown. And if you'd like to see more budget-friendly options, check out our round-up of the best cheap vacuum cleaners.
The best vacuum cleaners
The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Duo Clean IZ201 - Best value cleaner
- Flexology wand
- Storage mode
- Battery life
The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Duo Clean Cordless Vacuum Cleaner (IZ201) has pretty much everything you could want in a vacuum cleaner, except for a snappy name.
It has many of the features of a luxury cleaner, but at half the price of the market leaders. It's powerful, it has headlights and its jointed "Flexology" stick makes it easy to vacuum under furniture without stooping or bending.
Its specifications are comparable to the best on the market as well, although with a maximum cleaning time of 40 minutes compared to rivals' 60 minutes, a second battery would be a useful purchase.
Happily, you can buy a model with a spare battery, and with that in mind, this is a budget-friendly cordless that we're happy to recommend to people with a home of any size.
It has an RRP of £349 but if you shop around, you should be able to buy it for £249 and at this price, it's a bargain.
Halo Capsule - Best design
- Brilliant design
- Light weight
- Environmentally friendly
- Forget any bells and whistles
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.
Replacement parts are easily available and Capsule's makers encourage you to send it in for servicing, so it's both environmentally friendly and budget friendly as well.
There are no bells and whistles, just solid cleaning power. We'd highly recommended it for smaller homes, flats or as a versatile handheld.
Read our full Halo Capsule review
Dyson V15 Detect - Best Dyson
- Outstanding cleaning
- Replaceable battery
- Laser lets you see the dust
- Short battery life on carpets
- Full charge takes 4.5 hours
The latest Dyson vacuum cleaner not only ups the power (from the V11's 185AW to 240AW) but adds totally new technology in the form of a green laser, which illuminates dust that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. Bear in mind that this is only effective on hard floors, not on carpets.
But that's not all. A piezo sensor links to the LCD screen, showing the size and volume of dust particles captured, allowing you to see exactly how much dirt you've sucked up. Is it a bit of a gimmick? Maybe, but it's pretty addictive to use and gives you a sense of a job well done. The screen also displays arguably more useful info, such as the battery life and troubleshooting help.
On the minus side, the battery will only last you for about 20 minutes if you're using the High Torque head in Auto mode and it then takes 4.5 hours to charge. A second battery will solve this problem but will add to the V15 Detect's already significant price.
Read our full Dyson V15 Detect review
Samsung Jet 90 - Most versatile cleaner
- Light weight
- Comfortable to use
- Great cleaning accessories
- Small dustbin
- You’ll need space for the large charging dock
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 Jet 90 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
Dyson V11 Absolute - With LCD display
- Powerful suction
- LCD screen
- Auto mode
- Heavier than the V10
- Neither the most up to date nor the best value D
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 one of the most powerful cordless vacuums 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
Dyson V11 Outsize - Best for large homes
- Powerful suction
- Swappable battery
- Wealth of accessories
- LCD screen
- Trigger creates extra work
- Second battery sold separately
The Outsize is a powerful cordless cleaner, with 220AW of suction (against the already powerful V11 Absolute's 185AW). With a much larger dust collection bin and a wider cleaning head, this vacuum cleaner is made to tackle larger homes. It comes with a huge selection of cleaning accessories as well.
It also has some great features, including its LCD screen, which tells you in real time how much longer you can vacuum for with your current battery life. It also features a swappable battery, so you can keep another one charging and never be caught out. But bear in mind that you'll have to buy a second battery separately, which adds to its already high cost.
But there's a price to pay for its increased size. The Outsize is heavy and the fact that you have to keep the trigger pressed down while you clean makes it extra hard work to use.
Buy it if you have deep pockets, strong arms and a large home.
Read our full Dyson V11 Outsize review
Miele TriFlex HX1 (Dog & Cat) - Best upright cleaner replacement
- Comfortable to use
- High quality
- Weight in handheld mode
- Basic accessories
This high-quality cleaner would be an excellent option for people with larger homes who are looking to replace their upright with something cordless. However, we'd recommend investing in a second battery, or buying the Pro model, which comes with one.
The TriFlex is a solidly built appliance that we would expect to last for a very long time. As a trade-off, it's heavier than the V11 and the Samsung Jet 90. This isn't an issue in Comfort mode, which is where the TriFlex really comes into its own and beats the competition hands-down (and, in fact, hands-off). It bears its own weight and will stand up by itself, unlike most other stick cleaners, so it has all of the advantages of an upright cleaner, without the cord.
However, in its Range and Compact modes, it's a little heavier than competing stick/handheld cleaners. But if you want a replacement for an upright, with the versatility you need to clean upholstery, blinds and curtains, the TriFlex is our recommended option.
Read our full Miele TriFlex HX1 (Cat & Dog) review
Tineco Pure One S12 - Smart cleaning functionality
- Colour display
- Auto adjusted suction
- Comes with spare battery
- Not the best at picking up larger debris
- Small dustbin
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 (unlike most Dyson models).
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 the 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 - Best value Dyson
- Good value for a Dyson
- Still relatively heavy when compared to rivals
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
Hoover H-Free 500 - Most compact cleaner
- Short battery life
- Long charging time
- Small dustbin
For a reasonable price, the Hoover H-Free 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 others, 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, with an average of 25 minutes overall, you'll need to be organised about charging. 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
Lupe Pure Cordless - Buy it for life
- Solidly built
- Handheld mode is hard work
The independently made Lupe Pure has a lot going for it. It's solidly built and undeniably powerful but best of all - it's built for life. It's a very expensive vacuum cleaner but invest and you should only have to buy it once. Replacement parts are readily available and you can send it in to be serviced if problems arise.
But it's not perfect. It's heavy and its handheld mode requires you to carry it around while you use a hose attachment, making cleaning shelves and blinds hard work.
It's now come down in price from £699 to £599, although it's still one of the priciest vacuum cleaners on the market.
Read our full Lupe Pure Cordless review
Roidmi S1 - With smartphone support
- Smart features
- Good suction
- Great price
- Tiny dustbin
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
Gtech HyLite - Eco-friendly option
- Eco credentials
- Not very powerful
- No accessories
- Short battery life
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 around 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
Proscenic P11 - Luxury features, budget price
- Light weight
- Not the most robust build
The Proscenic P11 isn't for everyone, but if you live in a flat and have a fairly minimalistic lifestyle - that is, if you have hard floors, not carpet and don't own a giant shaggy dog - it could be for you.
The P11 has a lot of high-end features, including LED headlights, a touchscreen that displays battery life, two charging options, a swappable battery and a mop attachment. It's also very light and easy to use as a handheld cleaner.
It's not the most powerful vacuum cleaner (in spite of its impressive on-paper suction), and it's not hugely robust. But if you're looking for an appliance to help you with a bit of light cleaning, it's a pleasure to use.
Read our full Proscenic P11 review
Roidmi X20 - Solid all-rounder
- Light weight
- Good suction
- Filter needs to be unscrewed to empty the bin
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 LED headlights that comes on automatically when the cleaning head ventures into the dark, and you're looking at a solid option.
Our only reservation is its price. Since the X20 launched, other manufacturers have upped their game and you can get more cleaning power for less. However, if you see it on offer, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
Read our full Roidmi X20 review
How we test our vacuum cleaners
Rather than performing a series of tests in lab-style conditions, we take the vacuum cleaners home and try them out. We keep products for several weeks and use all of their functions in as many situations as we can, so we can give you an honest evaluation of how well they'll work in your life.
We think that's how you get to know the advantages and annoyances of each model.
We then compare the vacuum cleaners by their specs and come up with an overall rating that reflects how well they work, where we believe they sit in the marketplace and how much easier they'll make your life.
What to look out for when you're buying
Weight: The lightest cordless vac we’ve tested is the Halo Capsule, at 2.6kg, but anything below 3kg is likely to be comfortable to use.
Running time: The best cordless cleaners, using lithium-ion batteries, will promise up to an hour on a single charge. This is on the lowest setting, without motorised attachments. On a medium setting, you’ll be lucky to get half an hour. On a high setting, your charge will only last 5-6 minutes.
One of the innovations from new, top-of-the-line cordless cleaners like those from Dyson, Samsung and Miele is removable lithium-ion batteries that can be charged separately. With another battery ready to go, you can instantly double your cleaning time.
Bag or bagless? Bagless is characteristic of most high-end vacuum cleaners now. It’s certainly the more environmentally-friendly choice. However, if you are dust-sensitive, go for a bagged vacuum cleaner, as much less dust will escape during disposal.
Samsung's new cordless Jet range comes with a bin that empties itself, called the CleanStation, which we reviewed. You simply slot the vac into the station and it sucks the dust away and stores it in a bag. It's a good option for anyone who wants to go bagless without dealing with dust. The Halo Capsule is also a bagged vacuum cleaner, and as a bonus, its dust pouches are environmentally friendly and can be composted.
Charging time: Four and a half hours is decent. Anything less than this is very good.
HEPA filter: This is the current industry standard for a filter in a high-quality vacuum cleaner. HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters must trap 99.97% of particulates that are 3 microns or larger. (A human hair is 50-70 microns thick.) If you have a HEPA filter with a bagless cleaner, don't forget that you'll still have to empty it, which will release some of the dust back into the air.
Capacity: Two litres is good for a corded cylinder. Cordless cleaners have significantly less, meaning you have to take breaks to empty the bin more frequently. A cordless Dyson V11 will give you 0.76L of space and some of its competitors only 0.5L. The new Dyson Outsize has a whopping 1.7 litres.
Suction: Manufacturers can be cagey about this and with good reason, as it’s hard to quantify. Cleaners with a long distance between the motor and the vacuum head use more power to create the same suction. Measurements will either be in W – Watts (not very accurate) or AW – Air Watts (better but controversial). As a rough guide, a good cordless may have 100+ AW, a good upright 250+ and a good cylinder 300+. The Dyson V11 has 185AW and the V11 Outsize has a mighty 220.
Accessories: Manufacturers often have different versions of the same model, and these will come with different accessory sets. Any Dyson product that has 'Animal' after the name will have a specialist cleaning head that's optimised to pick up pet fur. The equivalent Miele cordless is called the 'Dog & Cat' version. Meanwhile, Dyson's 'Absolute' cleaners will come with all of the accessories (minus the pet hair cleaning head). The Miele equivalent is the Pro.
If there's an accessory in particular you're after, you can often buy it separately from the manufacturer's website.