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Halo Capsule review: Is the ultra-light cordless vacuum cleaner worth £249.99?

We took the handy tool for a spin and asked – is it really as powerful as its full-size rivals?

Emily Goddard
Monday 16 August 2021 12:18
<p>Made largely from recycled materials, our tester gave this appliance a big tick for eco-credentials </p>

Made largely from recycled materials, our tester gave this appliance a big tick for eco-credentials

How many times have you found crumbs on the floor of your kitchen or an abundance of fur on the sofa where your cat had been curled up and wished you had a handy compact device to make the mess instantly disappear?

A cordless vacuum cleaner is an obvious tool for those jobs that just don’t feel worth bringing in the full-size corded machine, but can’t be tackled with a dustpan and brush. The technology isn’t new – cordless vacuums have been around for years, with high-end models that will set you back more than £600 and budget buys for under £100.

But there’s a newish contender on the market, the Halo Capsule, with a middle-of-the-road price tag. What does that mean, though, for its capacity, ease of use and performance?

In reality, the Halo Capsule is pretty tricky to compare with other cordless vacuums because it has several features that make it unique – it’s bagged, and made from recyclable materials, for example. So, we decided to put it to the test on its own to see if it is worth the £249.99 asking price.

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How we tested

We put the Halo Capsule to the test over a few weeks of daily use in a busy three-bedroom family home with stone, ceramic tile, wooden and carpeted floors. We used it for small jobs like when the cat knocked over some flowers and sent petals everywhere, bigger jobs such as the stairs and on all settings, but mostly performance.

We used all the accessories included – the crevice tool for picking up from tight corners and around things like the washing machine, the soft bristle brush for dusting all surfaces and collecting cobwebs in hard to reach corners of rooms, the upholstery tool for the sofa and cushions and the motorised head with the brush off for hard floors and with it on for carpets and rugs.

Halo Capsule cordless vacuum cleaner

Buy now £249.99, Capsuleclean.com

  • Bagged or bagless? Bagged
  • Capacity: 1.6l
  • Floor types: Carpet and hard floor
  • Charging time: 3 hours
  • Running time per charge: Up to 60 minutes
  • Weight: 2.6kg
  • Dimensions: 124cm x 13cm x 14cm
  • Variable power? Eco, performance, boost and brush
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Rating: 9.5/10 

Design and features

That the Halo Capsule is unlike any other cordless vacuum cleaner is immediately apparent. While other brands’ devices typically feature a tiny plastic dust compartment at the top of a long nozzle, this model features a stylish grey cylindrical body that is a fraction longer but narrower than usual with a handle at the top.

Interestingly, the shell of the Halo Capsule’s body is made from ultra-thin (1mm, to be precise) robust and lightweight carbon fibre. Carbon fibre is more commonly used in aerospace, civil engineering, military machines and racing cars, where its low weight to strength ratio is vital for performance.

The use of the material in this cordless vacuum cleaner results in a model that is one of the lightest, at 2.6kg (less than half the weight of traditional full-size uprights), and most compact among its competitors. Halo says it also allows ample space for a more powerful motor than some other cleaners – that can be seen in its performance, which seriously impressed us.

Read more: 8 best robot vacuum cleaners that clean floors effortlessly

The power can also be adjusted with three settings – eco, performance and boost – and the brush can be turned on and off at will. Naturally, the life of the lithium-ion batteries is affected by which setting you use. In eco mode, you’ll get a full hour of cleaning, which we found was more than enough for cleaning a three-bedroom house over two floors. But use it on boost with the brush spinning, and you’re looking at something closer to 10 minutes max.

What also sets the Halo Capsule apart from competing cordless cleaners is that it uses bags rather than a dust compartment that requires emptying. This, for us, is a huge plus and makes the capsule cleaner and more hygienic. It will be for you, too, if you’ve accidentally inhaled a lung full of dust when emptying bagless vacuum cleaners as many times as we have. The capacity of the bags is a brilliant 1.6l, which means they’ll rarely need changing – over a fortnight of testing, we used just one.

Aesthetically, the mostly grey machine features contrasting, visually appealing yellow buttons on the body and connections. Three yellow buttons at the top of the body control the power and brush, while backlit battery and bag icons allow you to easily and instantly see where you are when using the Halo Capsule.

Accessories

A cordless vacuum cleaner needs to be an all-rounder that can be used for several jobs throughout the home, and this is where the accessories come into play. The Halo Capsule comes with a motorised brush head for regular cleaning, a crevice tool for corners and tight spots, a brush tool (we used this for dusting) and an upholstery cleaning tool for freshening up furniture and cushions.

The tool you’re likely to use most often is the motor brush head. It can be used with the brush on or off, which is adjusted by pressing a button on the body. And it can be used with the long nozzle for conventional floor cleaning or attached to the body for the stairs.

Read more: 8 best carpet cleaners to keep your floors pristine

Because you’re going to want to find a home for storing your Halo Capsule when it’s not in use, it also comes with a wall dock and the fittings needed to mount it. The wall dock holds not only the main vacuum cleaner itself but also the accessories so you can create a hub for all your vacuuming needs in a tiny space.

Notably, the Capsule comes with a whopping 26 dust pouches, which means you won’t need to order new ones any time soon because the capacity is not far off that of a full-size corded upright vacuum. When you do need to buy replacement dust pouches, they are affordable, at £29.99 for a pack of 52 (Capsuleclean.com).

Usability

If you’re anything like us and are desperate to give any new cleaning device a spin the second it arrives, you’ll be thrilled with the Halo Capsule. From opening the box to getting it running took mere moments. Just attach the nozzle and motor brush head, and you’ll be vacuuming in a jiffy (a bag was already in place when it arrived).

We found changing accessories was straightforward and quick, too – simply slot them into a hole on the bottom of the body or onto the end of the nozzle for upright cleaning or tackling cobwebs on ceilings. The upholstery tool left our sofa fresh and cat-hair free while the brush attachment is excellent for dusting and removing crumbs from surfaces before washing with a liquid.

Changing the bag is a clean, quick process. Just unclip the latch at the bottom of the vacuum’s body to reveal the bag that can be dropped straight into the waste bin – no dust cloud, no fiddling. Putting in a new bag is just as simple and took no time at all. Place the opening of the dust pouch onto a nozzle inside the body of the cleaner and close the latch. There are also instructions inside the body for quick reference if you don’t want to get out the instruction manual.

Read more: 9 best steam cleaners to keep your floors sparkling

Charging is no more complicated than plugging a wire into the top of the body and waiting three hours, which is fairly rapid compared to competitors.

After using the Halo Capsule for a few weeks, our favourite tool remains the motor brush head for cleaning floors. The brush works outstandingly on both carpets and hard floors, and the head naturally swivels to allow you to get into corners if you can’t be bothered to switch to using the crevice tool, although we’d recommend you do if you want to get into tight spots.

Performance

Let’s get down to business. Does the Halo Capsule pick up dirt like a standard vacuum as promised? The short answer is very nearly almost.

Our tester’s home is about 50/50 carpets and hard floors, so we could thoroughly assess its cleaning performance on both. And we were blown away by how well the Capsule picks up from different types of floors. It makes short work of a few crumbs here and there, but we also pushed our luck and tried to suck up bigger pieces of dirt with the motor head (brush on and off) and were amazed when they disappeared up the nozzle into the bag.

Read more: Is the Dyson V11 outsize cordless vacuum cleaner worth £650?

The suction never wanes and is so powerful that we have found we are now using the Capsule more than we use our main corded vacuum cleaner. For those living in smaller homes or a room in a shared house, we’d question whether you’d need a full-size plug-in vacuum.

Eco credentials

We wondered whether having a bagged cleaner would make us less environmentally responsible, but Halo has already considered this in the manufacture of the Capsule. Firstly, the bags are completely free of plastics and are instead made from sustainable paper. This means they are compostable and will degrade over time like other paper products. Interestingly, all major components of the machine itself, including the batteries, engineering polymers and carbon fibre, can be recycled.

But the Capsule is designed to last. It comes with a two-year warranty but has been tested for a 10-year life. To make the most of and extend that life, Halo offers a Capsule refresh service for £79.99 beyond the two years after purchase. The unit is shipped back to Halo, where it is cleaned, new batteries fitted (removed ones are recycled), the filters replaced, and the software updated. It will come back as good as new. The brand compares it to servicing your car and says it will keep your vacuum in peak performance. In a throw-away world, we love this philosophy of mending and improving rather than chucking out and starting again.

The verdict: Halo Capsule cordless vacuum cleaner

We’ve tried several cordless vacuum cleaners before, but they usually get ignored in favour of the main vacuum because their performance is just not up to scratch. This has all changed since the Halo Capsule came into our lives. The cleaning performance and suction are outstanding, it is easy to use and having bags rather than an emptiable dust compartment make it a game-changer. It is also far from the most expensive cordless vacuum cleaner on the market without compromising on power, and the replacement dust bags are affordable.

Above all, we love that environmental responsibility has been considered in the manufacture of this vacuum. We can use it confidently, knowing we aren’t contributing waste that takes hundreds of years to decompose. It really does tick all the right boxes.

The only problem is that our main vacuum cleaner is gathering dust in the cleaning cupboard. At least the Halo Capsule will be able to suck that up too.

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For more easy cleaning, check out our pick of the best handheld vacuum cleaners for hard to reach spots

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