The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

12 best cordless vacuum cleaners for hassle-free hoovering

Make light work of chores with these machines that perform just as well as their corded counterparts

Sarah Finley
Tuesday 15 June 2021 14:56
<p>We’ve tested the different models, multiple times, on carpets, hard floors, rugs and upholstery</p>

We’ve tested the different models, multiple times, on carpets, hard floors, rugs and upholstery

Cordless vacuums have become one of the best tools to invest in – with no cords getting stuck under furniture or behind doors, you can simply pick them up and go.

Dyson revolutionised the cordless vacuum market back in 2006 with its first cordless invention, which has since been updated multiple times – while other brands have also jumped on the bandwagon to help us keep our homes and offices spotless, in an effortless manner.

And while Dyson is still a strong contender, Samsung, Shark and Miele have all launched competitive models that are as unique as they are powerful. For those with smaller budgets, dupes of the pricier models mean we can enjoy no-fuss cleaning without splashing the cash.

But which one is right for you and your cleaning needs? Powerful suction, of course, is key for any good vacuum to do its job, so we’ve tested the different models, multiple times, on carpets, hard floors, rugs and upholstery – checking to see if they can handle dirt such as mud and pet hair, but also crumbs and dust particles.

The weight of the machine is also a big factor – too light and it could have been manufactured with cheap materials, but too heavy and it will feel more like an all-over body workout than a quick clean. All the cordless vacuums run off batteries, with some having a longer charge time than others, or docking stations and wall brackets, which act as charging stations, too. Run time can differ, but an average is around 30 minutes, going up to a full hour if you have the vacuum on lower settings.

Read more:

How we tested

We tested these machines multiple times across all floor types – carpet, laminate and floorboards. We also took into consideration ease of use, value for money and the vacuum’s overall appearance as we tested the different models.

The best cordless vacuum cleaners for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner with flexology and truepet: £354,
  • Best for a deep clean – Samsung jet 90 pro cordless vacuum: £599,
  • Best for picking up dust – Hoover H-free 300 pets: £149,
  • Best for large spaces – Miele triflex HX1 cat and dog vacuum cleaner: £579,
  • Best for big families – Dyson cyclone V10 animal cordless vacuum: £349.99,
  • Best for an all-rounder –Bissell multireach active 21V: £299.99,
  • Best for the environmentally conscious –Halo capsule: £249.99,
  • Best for muddy surfaces – Gtech pro 2: £179.99,
  • Best for attachments – Vax onepwrblade 4 cordless vacuum cleaner: £179.99,
  • Best: lightweight model – Roidmi H10 cordless vacuum cleaner: £229,
  • Best for high tech on a budget – Proscenic P10 pro cordless vacuum cleaner: £149,
  • Best for an effortless clean – Tower RF1PRO 29.6V cordless 3-in-1 vacuum cleaner: £119.99,

Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner with flexology and truepet

Best: Overall

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.7l
  • Charging time: 3.5 hours
  • Running time per charge: 120 minutes (40 minutes per battery)
  • Weight: 4.1kg
  • Dimensions: 118cm x 26cm x 24.5cm

With a run-time of up to 120 minutes, this vacuum is perfect for anyone who has both carpets and wood flooring or simply forgets to charge their machine regularly. It gives the impression of a bigger model, with its large duoclean head, but it’s relatively light and the stick has a foldable function that allows you to tuck it into itself – making it great for storing. With significant suction and different settings for hard floor and carpets, the vacuum also has a turbocharge trigger, which performed really well for us on ingrained carpet dirt.

One of the vacuum’s best qualities is its anti-hair wrap function – if you have long hair, you’ll know is the bane of your carpet cleaning – which cleverly removes hair from the brush-roll as you clean. Easy to charge, the smaller motorheads are simple to attach to the main vacuum – where they quickly transform the model into a handheld to clean animal hair from sofas and rugs. The smaller attachments give you a flexible way to get into small corners, while emptying is a breeze. This is a well-priced machine with some brilliant features.

Read the full Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner review now

Samsung jet 90 pro cordless vacuum

Best: For a deep clean

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.6l
  • Charging time: 3.5 hours
  • Running time per charge: 45 minutes (10 minutes on turbo)
  • Weight: 2.8kg
  • Dimensions: 112.5cm x 28cm x 19cm

A very stylish model, it’s also very compact, with an adjustable stick and small container for the dirt you suck up. The vacuum turns on with a touch of a button, while the mini LED screen shows your power options. At full power we found the suction very powerful on our carpets, and it performed well on pet hair.

The battery charger is heftier than any of the other models but also acts as a stand, while you can attach an extra stick to the vacuum, allowing you to store all your attachments as one. We found the mini motorised tool to be perfect for cleaning rugs, although we were not keen on its movable head, which would work better if you could click it in and out of place. The vacuum’s spinning sweeper attachment was our favourite, as it acts as a mop for hard floors and can wipe away spills, or just clean floors after you’ve vacuumed them.

The dust container filled up quickly but was easy to empty and can be washed out. At nearly £600 you’re paying for the name, but if you want a high-suction, compact model with extra quirky add ons then this is definitely it.

Read the full review of the Samsung jet 90 cordless vacuum

Hoover H-Free 300 pets

Best for: Picking up dust

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.7l
  • Charging time: 5 hours
  • Running time per charge: 40 minutes (12 minutes in turbo mode)
  • Weight: 2.5 kg
  • Dimensions: 115cm x 25cm x 23cm

This incredibly light cordless vacuum from Hoover is easy to put together and charge, but we did find it quite noisy. The model’s “flat & drive” nozzle means it moves around the floor with ease, getting into corners and tight spots, while we loved the LED lights, which helped us to spot dust on wooden floors. Its run time was cut down considerably, to 12 minutes, when used in turbo mode, but it picked up dirt well, with good suction. Our hair did wrap around the main motorised head, but luckily it slides out easily so you can remove it.

Unlike some other models, it’s very steady and has a “park & go” feature to let it stand unattended for short periods, and it also has a wall mount for when you want to store it. However, some of its attachments weren’t as effective as we’d hoped: its crevice tool, which attaches to the main part of the vacuum, kept popping off when we attempted to clean down the sides of the sofa. Easy to empty with a quick eject button, it filled up quickly due to its small capacity. As the vacuum is so slight, it’s also easy to store in a corner or a cupboard.

Read the full Hoover H-Free 300 pets review

Miele triflex HX1 cat & dog vacuum cleaner

Best for: Large spaces

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.5l
  • Charging time: 4 hours
  • Running time per charge: 60 minutes (17 minutes on turbo)
  • Weight: 4kg
  • Dimensions: 129.7cm x 26cm x 28cm

This attractive-looking model is on the larger side, so you’ll need space to store it, but it has impressive suction. The brand’s first cordless stick vacuum, it’s a sleek model with rose gold finishings and three settings. We loved using the max setting on stubborn dirt and pet hair, but the 28cm-wide multifloor XXL floorhead can also automatically detect the type of flooring and will increase the speed of the spinning brush. The machine has a Hepa filter, too.

The battery lasts up to an hour, and sometimes even more. The set-up can also be changed, moving the battery and dustbin to the bottom of the stick. However, we found this set-up slightly odd and it made the vacuum feel heavier. It comes with three attachments – including a handheld brush, which is great for pet beds or upholstery. We found it tricky to empty and piece back together again, but Miele’s YouTube videos sorted any confusion. Attaching the vacuum to the wall is probably the best option as the model is top-heavy and doesn’t stand well on its own. It’s definitely on the pricier side, but if you want to buy into a household name, it’s worthy of the investment.

Read the full Miele triflex HX1 cat & dog vacuum cleaner review

Dyson cyclone V10 animal cordless vacuum cleaner

Best: For big families

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.76l
  • Charging time: 3 hours
  • Running time per charge: 60 minutes
  • Weight: 2.6kg
  • Dimensions: 124cm x 25cm x 25cm

This isn’t the newest version of the Dyson but it’s just as good – with a sleek pink stick it’s as light as it is compact. It’s easy to move along carpets and wooden floors, while the max setting has incredible suction. As the name suggests, it’s great for picking up animal hair from carpets and upholstery – and we found its direct drive cleaner head best for this job. Its many attachments click on and off with ease, and we also found the dusting brush to be great for spring cleaning dusty bookcases.

Relatively quiet, it didn’t even distract pets, who are normally scared of the vacuum sound. One for bigger houses or families, it’s easy to charge, on the wall mount or by plugging in the battery on its own. Once fully charged, after three hours, it lasts for up to an impressive 60 minutes – we found ourselves barely having to charge it. Easy to remove the dirt, with its slidable eject button, it never left a mess. We think this model would last for years – but at around £350 it is an investment.

Read the full Dyson cyclone v10 absolute review

Bissell multireach active 21V tangle free cordless vacuum

Best: For an all-rounder

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.5l
  • Charging time: 3.5 hours
  • Running time per charge: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 3.6kg
  • Dimensions: 112cm x 28cm x 20cm

This attractive cordless vacuum wasn’t one of the heaviest we tested, but at 3.6kg we could feel the weight as we used it to clean our floors. The powerful suction was one of its benefits, along with how easy it was to attach other accessories. The mini vacuum is easy to detach and is great for the car or difficult-to-reach spots. The LED lights, on both the main head and mini cleaner, were a highlight, and helped us to pick up dust or dirt in low-light spaces such as the cellar.

The main motorised, tangle-free brush roll worked quickly and effectively and avoids hair wrap. Easy to charge, it could be done on its own or via the wall mount, while it lasted for up to 30 minutes from a full charge. We loved the model’s clean slide technology, which meant we could slide the dirt out of the dust container, without it making a mess. We found it to be a good all-rounder and at under £200 we think you’ll get your money’s worth.

Halo capsule

Best for: Environmentally conscious

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagged
  • Capacity: 1.6l
  • Charging time: 4 hours
  • Running time per charge: 60 minutes (9 minutes on turbo)
  • Weight: 2.6kg
  • Dimensions: 124cm x 13cm x 14cm

This vacuum is unique, with a capsule-shaped body and a handle on the top. It’s pretty light, but we found the stick and head hard to attach with clunky clips. The main vacuum was pretty powerful and sucked up hair and dirt from carpets and hard floors, but it was heavy to push, especially on the hardest setting. It is easy to charge and the power lights tell you when it’s at full power – once fully charged we only had to charge it around once a week for a small flat.

One of the only cordless vacuums we tried that uses bags, with a 1.6l capacity, they were a little fiddly to attach – but we love that they’re made from natural materials and are compostable, giving you an environmentally friendly and dust-free way to get rid of your dirt. As it is so slight, it’s easy to store in a cupboard, but it’s quite top heavy, so won’t stand on its own. At this price, we would love to see some other motorheads, as we found the two attachments, a crevice brush and a small brush, quite average, and, again, clunky to attach.

Read the full Halo capsule vacuum review

Gtech pro 2

Best: For muddy surfaces

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagged
  • Capacity: 1.5l
  • Charging time: 4.5 hours
  • Running time per charge: 40 mins
  • Weight: 2.5kg
  • Dimensions: 116cm x 34cm x 25.2cm

This quirky-looking model, in black and green, performs incredibly well on both carpets and hard floors, and we were impressed with its large-capacity bags. With two power settings, we loved the max setting, which can be achieved by simply sliding the green button on the top of the vacuum. It’s quite noisy, but picked up hair and mud from carpets, while its LED light also showed us where we could gather dust particles on wooden floors.

We expected its bags to be hard to attach, but they went on with ease and lasted for weeks, and made emptying the dirt very hygienic. A full charge took a little longer than four hours and when on max it only lasted for around 20 minutes, but the eco settings meant it could last for 40 minutes. Relatively light, the vacuum is top-heavy so hard to park when we were doing a full clean without it tipping over. The main head, unfortunately, isn’t anti-hair wrap, but it does come with a handy tool to cut the hair and scoop it out. A reasonably priced model, it definitely packs a punch.

Read the full Gtech pro 2 review

Vax ONEPWR blade 4 pet cordless vacuum cleaner

Best: For attachments

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.6l
  • Charging time: 3 hours
  • Running time per charge: 90 minutes (two batteries)
  • Weight: 3.1kg
  • Dimensions: 114cm x 24cm x 19cm

The Vax has a sleek design that doesn’t take up too much space, and a simple wall mount to keep it secure and upright. The weight for this cordless is all in the handle; however, the flexible floorhead is much lighter, making it a little hard to control as you vacuum – but you soon get used to the movement and can zoom around the room quickly. The model’s detachable battery has a separate dock that isn’t part of the wall bracket, so you simply charge it and click it into place when it’s time to clean. One charge lasts up to 45 minutes, but don’t expect it to last as long if you’re using the higher suction and motorised brush-head.

Most importantly, the Vax has powerful suction – it may not feel it as it glides easily along the floor in standard mode, but it won’t leave anything behind. It worked at its best on hard floors and tiles, while its special powered pet tool gives a much tougher clean, and a separate “pro kit” set includes a more flexible crevice tool, a tough dirt tool with stronger bristles, a textile tool for upholstery and a stretch hose to reach tricky areas. Once finished, it’s fairly easy to empty – all it takes is a pinch to remove the container, which you can then release and empty over a bin. Overall, it’s good value for money thanks to the powerful suction and flexibility of the tools.

Read the full Vax ONEPWR blade 4 pet cordless vacuum cleaner review

Roidmi H10 cordless vacuum cleaner

Best: Lightweight model

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.65l
  • Charging time: 3 hours
  • Running time per charge: 60 minutes
  • Weight: 1.55kg
  • Dimensions: 75cm x 33cm x 17cm

A sleek model, we loved the white and silver Scandinavian design, which gave it a very Apple-esque look. Incredibly light at just 1.55kg, it was easy to pick up for quick jobs around the house, while it moved with ease over both carpets and harder floors. Despite having noise reduction technology, it was noisier than some of the other vacuums we’ve tested, especially at its maximum level. We found the suction quite poor on its lower setting, but picked up more as you increased through its three power settings.

Charging was simple, with lights on the top of the vacuum indicating when it was fully charged, which takes three hours. The model comes with one accessory, a crevice tool, which attaches easily and is good for getting into gaps and corners. If you want any extra accessories – including a flexible extension tube, pet brush or Roidmi’s wet cleaning accessory for hard floors – they come at an extra charge. The capacity of the model’s bin was quite tight, but it was one of the easiest to empty. We also loved its magnetic wall-mounted dock – which also acts as a charger, as well as an attractive way to store it.

Proscenic P10 pro cordless vacuum cleaner

Best: For high tech on a budget

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.6l
  • Charging time: 4 hours
  • Running time per charge: 52 minutes
  • Weight: 3.71kg
  • Dimensions: 74.2 x 30.5 x 15.2 cm

With a similar design to that of the Dyson models, this cordless vacuum didn’t quite have the same performance. The sleek look encompasses Dyson’s cyclone design and a similar roller head, but with a smaller dustbin capacity. With the P10’s suction power of 25,000pa, we were looking forward to a powerful clean, but while we found the vacuum was good for larger pieces of dirt, it struggled to pick up smaller particles. We also found that it worked more efficiently on harder floors than on carpets. The model also has anti-tangle Z-shape technology, meaning no hair will get caught in the motor.

Easy to start, its LED touchscreen was a highlight, helping you change power settings quickly. Its attachments were hard to get on and off, as the buttons were a little clunky, but the mini motorised tool worked well on stairs and sofas. For those with allergies the vacuum also has anti-pathogen sealed technology and a 4-stage Hepa filtration system that ensures that 99.9 per cent of particles are trapped in the cleaning process, keeping dust and allergens out of the air. If you want a Dyson, but don’t have the budget, this is definitely a cheaper alternative – but don’t expect the same results.

Tower RF1PRO 29.6V cordless 3-in-1 vacuum cleaner

Best: For an effortless clean

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagless
  • Capacity: 0.3l
  • Charging time: Five hours
  • Running time per charge: 55 minutes
  • Weight: 1.2kg
  • Dimensions: 103cm x 25cm x 15cm

Easy to put together, this black and rose gold cordless vacuum slides effortlessly across all floor types. We loved its foldable telescopic tube in the middle of the stick, which means you have flexibility when cleaning beneath furniture. The battery is easy to attach, while it charges directly onto the docking station. We did find five hours for a full charge relatively long, but it did last for 55 minutes – around a week’s worth of cleaning capacity.

Light and relatively quiet, it has one of the smallest brush heads we tested. We also found its extra tools – a crevice and a brush head –useful, acting like a handheld vacuum for quickly cleaning stairs and the inside of our car. The only slight downsides was the time it took us to attach and detach the accessories and the small capacity of the dustbin. A reasonable price for a quick, light and well-performing vacuum that you can charge and store easily.

Cordless vacuum cleaner FAQs

Are cordless vacuums powerful enough?

This is a fast-changing industry – the cordless vacs coming out now are far more advanced than those launched even just a few years ago.

Before, batteries lasted 20 minutes if you were lucky. Now, some vacuum cleaners can run for more than an hour, although note that the turbo/boost button on many models will reduce this significantly. Some brands also tend to exaggerate run times in their marketing, so read reviews before you buy.

They are also becoming increasingly lightweight, and in some cases more powerful, with significantly more suction power. In fact, the best ones now give just as deep a clean as their corded counterparts

Some models are suitable for all floor types (and many come with pet attachments). Newer machines are more intelligent too, with some automatically adapting to the type of surface you are cleaning. Many also have advanced LCD screen displays.

Dyson has so much faith in the cordless vacuum market that it has stopped developing new technology for corded models (although it is still producing them) to focus on no-cord machines.

Tanks or bags?

Bagged vacuum cleaners usually have a greater capacity for storing dust and dirt, so you have to empty them less often. But new bags cost extra and it can be a messy job.

Bagless machines collect debris in a canister, which you empty, so there’s no need to buy replacement bags and, with some machines, it’s a very quick and simple job.

How often do you need to charge them?

Cordless vacs use rechargeable batteries, which need to be charged when the battery runs low. Run times vary between 15-20 minutes to an hour, with an average charge time of four hours (although many are a lot quicker). If the machine has a turbo button, the battery will run lower more quickly, but the best machines work so hard on this mode that you may find this seemingly short run time is actually enough to clean your home.

Note that machines with lithium batteries tend to have a longer run time and charge up more quickly. Some machines even come with a pair of batteries so you can swap them over for a longer run time. But even machines with a shorter running time and/or those that only come with a single battery can be useful for quick jobs like cleaning small spaces or regular tasks like tackling crumbs after a meal.

Benefits vs corded

Corded vacs tend to be smaller, lighter and more manoeuvrable than their corded counterparts. This makes them easier to use, carry and store and better for jobs such as stairs or cleaning the car.

The verdict: Cordless vacuums

We were very impressed with the overall performance of the Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner with flexology and truepet – its battery power lasted for weeks, while its anti-hair wrap function was one of its best qualities. It performed well on all floor types, while the model’s foldable function meant, even though it looked big, it could be tucked away in a corner – and all at a great price.

If your budget can stretch further, the Samsung powerstick jet cordless vacuum may be worth the investment – once set up, it charges well on its dock, is compact and its spinning sweeper attachment means it gives your hard floors a deeper clean than any vacuum can.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on home appliances, try the links below:

For more vacuum recommendations, read our guide to the best upright models that tackle large areas with ease,or for effortless cleaning try our article on the best robot vacuums.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.