Vacuum cleaning is a chore that needs to be done several times a week, especially if you have pets or young children. For that reason, it makes sense to streamline the process as much as possible. Instead of being tied to a power socket when you’re vacuuming, a cordless vacuum cleaner will allow you to move without restriction and reach every edge without thinking about how far a cord can stretch.
Developments in vacuum cleaner technology also mean cordless models have longer battery lives than ever before. Previously, they often died before you could fully clean one room but, these days, they now offer the same suction power as their corded cousins, for up to 60 minutes. That’s plenty of time to scoot over a three-bedroom home, given that they’re light and easy to steer, and you save time on plugging in and out of different power sockets.
Not only do cordless vacuum cleaners save you time, they’re more economical to operate, too. You’re only consuming electricity when they’re charging, compared with corded cleaners that are sucking up your power at the same time as household dirt.
The two main types of cordless vacuum cleaners are handheld and upright stick ones. All of the models we tested were upright ones that lift out to convert to handheld, which means you can use them on sofas and on car upholstery as well as on your floors.
Some had LED lights, so we could see under furniture, while others had anti-hair-wrap brushes to prevent tangled pet hair from getting in the way of cleaning. You can even get ones with digital displays to show what suction power setting you’re on and how much battery time you have left.
How we tested
We tested each cordless vacuum cleaner for a month on carpets and hard floors to assess suction power for all types of clean-up. From picking up crumbs dropped by children at mealtimes to sucking up dog hair, each cordless vacuum cleaner was tested on its dirt removal performance as well as on weight, manoeuvrability and overall design. Top scores were given to models that were compact and easy to store, as well as ones that were sleek, minimalist and easy on the eye.
The best cordless vacuum cleaners for 2023 are:
- Best cordless vacuum cleaner overall – Shark Stratos anti-hair-wrap plus pet pro cordless vacuum IZ420UKT: £292.20, Amazon.co.uk
- Best budget cordless vacuum cleaner – Vactidy cordless vacuum cleaner V8: £103.21, Amazon.co.uk
- Best cordless vacuum cleaner for pet owners – Dyson V12 detect slim absolute vacuum cleaner: £429, Very.co.uk
- Best cordless vacuum cleaner for hard floors – Dyson omni-glide hard floor cleaner: £199.99, JohnLewis.com