There's a lot to like about cordless vacuums. They are often lighter, more easily manoeuvred around the house, and can be great for accessing hard-to-reach spots.
On the other hand, there are question marks around how well they pick up dirt, battery life, and smaller capacity.
So we've decided to take a closer look at cordless vacuums, to see whether they are worth your while, or if they will just leave you longing for your old vacuum cleaner.
Is A Cordless Vacuum Worth It?
If you've ever gone shopping for a vacuum cleaner, you'll already know that there are several different types on the market - upright, cylinder, and even robot. And cordless stick vacuums are another variety you can add to the list.
The appeal of a cordless vacuum is immediately obvious. And as with any technology, they have come on leaps and bounds since their earliest incarnations. Battery life has improved in many cases. And some come with even more impressive features - lasers that can detect microscopic dust, for example.
But they do have their disadvantages as well. We'll take a look at both, to help you figure out whether a cordless vacuum will make your housework easier or not.
Cordless Vacuum Pros
There are plenty of good reasons for considering a cordless vacuum:
Weight - One of the most immediately obvious benefits of a cordless vacuum is how much lighter they tend to be in comparison to a corded vacuum. Typically, a cordless vacuum will weigh around 3kg, vs 7kg for a standard vacuum. While this may not sound much, anyone who has tried to lug a corded vacuum up a flight of stairs will be able to confirm that weight matters.
And being lightweight is also important for anyone who might struggle with a heavier machine. You may find a cordless vacuum much easier to use.
Manoeuvrability - Following on from the benefit of their reduced weight, cordless vacuums tend to be much more manoeuvrable. Most obviously, there is no power cord to restrict you. You won't need to worry about how long your cable is, or where the nearest wall socket is.
Additionally, they are much easier to use on stairs, or under beds and other items of furniture. You can even use them to hoover high up (if you're strong enough). And there are plenty of them that come with a wide assortment of tools such as crevice and upholstery attachments, so they can easily be used for more than just floors.
Easy storage - Because cordless vacuums tend to be smaller, it means they are also more easily stored than a bulkier corded vacuum might be. This is a huge advantage for anyone who doesn't have a lot of storage. And many come with a wall mount, which makes them even easier to grab when you need them.
Cordless Vacuum Cons
While there are lots of good reasons to consider getting a cordless vacuum, it's important to recognise that there will be potential trade-offs as well.
Battery Life and Charging Time - While battery life has improved significantly over the years, the fact remains that a cordless vacuum typically offers battery life of between 20 and 45 minutes. Some will struggle to manage ten minutes, while others (if you're prepared to pay) might give you over an hour.
For many people, this will be plenty, but for some, you may find you run out of juice before you've finished your cleaning. This is especially true if you use the high-power mode that many come with.
Which leads us to the second point about charging time. When the battery dies, you will have to stop and wait for it to recharge, which in some cases might take a few hours. This just means it will take longer for you to finish your cleaning. Of course, some cordless vacuums have a swappable battery, but you'll have to pay extra for additional battery packs.
Dust Capacity - There are plenty of benefits to the smaller size of a cordless vacuum. But it does mean that they tend to have a smaller dust capacity. A typical cordless vacuum might have a capacity of around 0.5 litres. A corded vacuum could easily have three or four times more capacity. This means fewer trips to the bin to empty it.
And more emptying trips means coming into contact with dust more often. This is a factor to consider especially if you suffer from allergies.
Cleaning Ability - This is arguably the most important factor to consider. Some cordless vacuums are very good, and comparable to traditional vaccums.
But many aren't as powerful as their corded counterparts, and are simply not as effective at cleaning. So it's really important that you do your research, to make sure what you are buying will actually do the job.
Cordless vacuums are absolutely a viable alternative to traditional, corded vacuum cleaners. But perhaps the most important thing to ask is whether or not one will be right for you and your needs. A few things to take into consideration:
- Budget - a cordless vacuum will often be more expensive than an equivalent corded device.
- Size of your home - bigger houses have more surface to cover, so will take longer. Will the battery last.
- How you intend to use it - is this going to be your main device, or to be used more as a supplementary vacuum, perhaps for cleaning your stairs and your car?
- Do you need or want something smaller and lighter?
Once you've asked yourself these questions, you'll have a good idea of whether a cordless vacuum will do the jobs you need it to do. And for many people, you'll probably find that a cordless will suit your needs just as much, if not more, than a corded one.
Looking For A Cordless Vacuum?
If you've decided that a cordless vacuum is right for you, then here are a few that we think are worth checking out:
- Dyson V11 Outsize Cordless Vacuum Cleaner - This actually negates many of the drawbacks we mentioned above. A larger dust capacity, better battery life, and improved suction for better cleaning.
- Shark WANDVAC System WS632BLBRN - Weighing in at less than 2.1 pounds, this is excellent if you are looking for something as light as possible, without massively compromising on how well it cleans your house.
- Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog - This is on the heavier side for a cordless vacuum. But Miele claims this picks up as well as their corded vacuums. It also has a HEPA filter, and up to 60 minutes of run time on the exchangeable battery pack.