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 (for now at least) our top-rated vacuum cleaners are all cordless. Cordless cleaners can do pretty much everything that a corded cleaner can, and also that's where companies are focusing their energies - so that's where the innovations are.

Still, 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. We'd also 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

1

The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Duo Clean IZ201 - Best value cleaner

Shark Anti Hair Wrap Duo Clean IZ201 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
  • Pros
    • Flexology wand
    • Headlights
    • Storage mode
    • Price
  • Cons
    • 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.

Read our full Shark Anti Hair Wrap Duo Clean IZ201 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review

2

Halo Capsule - Best design

Halo Capsule
  • Pros
    • Brilliant design
    • Light weight
    • Effective
    • Environmentally friendly
  • Cons
    • 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

3

Dyson V15 Detect - Best Dyson tech

Dyson V15 Detect
  • Pros
    • Outstanding cleaning
    • Replaceable battery
    • Laser lets you see the dust
  • Cons
    • Expensive
    • 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

4

Samsung Jet 90 - Most versatile cleaner

Samsung Jet 90 (Pro)
  • Pros
    • Light weight
    • Powerful
    • Comfortable to use
    • Great cleaning accessories
  • Cons
    • 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

5

Dyson V11 Absolute - With LCD display

Dyson V11 Absolute
  • Pros
    • Powerful suction
    • LCD screen
    • Auto mode
  • Cons
    • 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

6

Dyson Omni-glide - Best for hard floors

Dyson Omni-glide
  • Pros
    • Manoeuvrable
    • Easy to use
    • Light
    • Slim
  • Cons
    • Short battery life
    • Tiny bin that clogs easily
    • No grip on the handle

This is a brilliantly designed vacuum cleaner for hard floors. Its manoeuvrability takes a lot of the labour out of vacuuming.

But it is specialist vacuum cleaner. It won't be ideal if you have (for example) a large, fluffy dog as pet fur is likely to clog up the tiny bin and get tangled in the casters that give the Omni-glide its impressive moves.

Still, if you have a city pad, or if you're looking for a second vacuum cleaner as a kitchen runaround, we'd recommend it. 

Read our full Dyson Omni-glide review

7

Miele TriFlex HX1 (Dog & Cat) - Best upright cleaner replacement

Miele TriFlex HX1 (Cat & Dog)
  • Pros
    • Comfortable to use
    • High quality
    • Versatile
  • Cons
    • Price
    • 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

8

Hoover H-Free 500 - Most compact cleaner

Hoover H-Free 500
  • Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Light
    • Compact
  • Cons
    • 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

9

Proscenic P11 - Luxury features, budget price

Proscenic P11
  • Pros
    • Touchscreen
    • Mop
    • Headlights
    • Light weight
  • Cons
    • 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

10

Roidmi X20 - Solid all-rounder

Roidmi X20
  • Pros
    • Mop
    • Headlights
    • Light weight
    • Good suction
  • Cons
    • 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.