The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

Best cordless vacuum cleaners for hassle-free hoovering, from Shark to Dyson

Make light work of chores with these best cordless vacuum cleaners that perform just as well as their corded counterparts

Zoe Griffin
Monday 20 November 2023 14:27
<p>We’ve tested different models multiple times, on carpets, hard floors, rugs and upholstery</p>

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

Our Top Picks

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,
  • Best budget cordless vacuum cleaner – Vactidy cordless vacuum cleaner V8: £103.21,
  • Best cordless vacuum cleaner for pet owners – Dyson V12 detect slim absolute vacuum cleaner: £429,
  • Best cordless vacuum cleaner for hard floors – Dyson omni-glide hard floor cleaner: £199.99,

Shark stratos anti-hair-wrap plus pet pro cordless vacuum

  • Best: Cordless vacuum cleaner overall
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.7l
  • Charging time: 4 hours
  • Battery life: 120 minutes
  • Weight: 2.16kg
  • Why we love it
    • Powerful LED headlights
    • Anti-odour packs make rooms smell amazing
    • Excellent suction power
  • Take note
    • Expensive RRP

If having a clean home fills you with joy, the Shark stratos will make you euphoric. The suction power on carpet and hard floors is a dream. It’s constantly working out what power levels you need to pick up the most mess. All you have to do is steer, and it uses clean sense IQ technology to automatically sense the mess you can’t see and adjust cleaning power for up to 50 per cent more dirt pick-up.

No pet hair, clothing fluff or larger than usual objects came close to getting stuck in the brush, making it useful for busy households when there’s barely enough time to use it, let alone untangle things that are clogging it up. We love the LED highlights that helped us make the most out of every use, showing us where dirt had piled up and illuminating under furniture. It was also super easy to convert into a handheld vacuum for cleaning staircases or car upholstery.

But there were three features that impressed us the most. Firstly, it has a dual battery pack offering 120 minutes of runtime, which is double the next best model. Secondly, you can attach an anti-odour pack to make the floors smell as good as they look. Finally, the hose folds back on itself, for compact and freestanding storage and charging.

Continue reading...


Vactidy V8 cordless vacuum

  • Best: Budget cordless vacuum cleaner
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 1.2l
  • Charging time: 2.5 hours
  • Battery life: 35 minutes
  • Weight: 3.35kg
  • Why we love it
    • Fast-charging
    • Flexible hose
  • Take note
    • Feels slightly flimsy

For under £115, this is convenient to store, fast to charge and light to push around to clean up dirt fast. With a wall-storage bracket, you can keep clutter off your floors and easily find the V8 when you need it. The hose was also surprisingly flexible – we didn’t expect it to have a 180-degree sideways swivel and a 90-degree up and down angle, given the low price.

Another stand-out feature was the brush. It’s a two-in-one turbine electric floor brush in which stiff and soft bristles are integrated together on one roller. This makes it extremely versatile for use on carpets, up on ceilings and inside cars. Allergy sufferers will appreciate its high-density HEPA filter, which removes up to 99.99 per cent of microscopic dust particles and ensures this dust will not go back into the air to cause secondary pollution.

Continue reading...


Dyson v15 detect absolute cordless vacuum

  • Best: Cordless vacuum cleaner for a complete clean
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.76L
  • Charging time: 4.5 hours
  • Battery life: 60 minutes
  • Weight: 3kg
  • Why we love it
    • Automatically adjusts suction power
  • Take note
    • Hands may ach with constant pressure on the trigger

If you really want to know your house is clean, no other vacuum comes close to Dyson’s cordless whizz. The space-age stick has an ingenious sensor that continuously sizes and counts dust particles, automatically increasing the machine’s suction power when needed. It also logs precisely how much dirt has been collected and displays real-time results on an LCD screen, so you know when floors are immaculate. There’s no need to rely on your eyesight either – the Dyson has an eye-safe laser to magically reveal even invisible dust on hard floors.

Once you’ve recovered from the shock of spotting areas you’ve always missed, you’ll be wowed by this vacuum’s overall performance. It’s a dream to glide between hard floors and carpets, adapting power for each as it goes, and suction doesn’t falter for the entire hour’s running time.

Unlike many cordless vacuums, it has no problem tackling larger debris, while its anti-tangle technology clears hair from the brush bar, so you don’t end up with a matted mess. We also loved the slim 25cm-wide cleaner head, which could reach into narrow gaps and around table legs, so we didn’t miss a single spot.

Our only slight grumble is you do have to press the trigger constantly while vacuuming, which gets a bit tedious. But the smug satisfaction of knowing your house is scientifically sparkling makes it totally worth it.

Read the full Dyson V15 review

Continue reading...


Eufy T2501K23 homevac S11 reach cordless vacuum cleaner

  • Best: Cordless vacuum cleaner for longer cleans
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.65l
  • Charging time: 3.5 hours
  • Battery life: 40 minutes
  • Weight: 2.5kg
  • Why we love it
    • Two batteries means 80 minutes run time
  • Take note
    • Struggles to suck up larger particles

A major drawback with cordless vacuums is they have a limited run time so might not quite stretch to a full house clean before they need charging. This smart white stick vacuum neatly solves the problem by arriving with two batteries. Each one lasts for around 40 minutes on low-power mode so you can carry on cleaning for 80 minutes without interruption if you really want to. We even found we could eke out a little extra time by charging the first battery while we used the second, making this a great option to entirely replace a corded model.

It’s very lightweight too, tackling both carpets and hard floors easily, and reaching well under furniture with its flexible head. There are LED lights to illuminate hard-to-spot dust, and the bin is very easy to empty.

It didn’t suck up larger particles quite as well as some of the most expensive models, but getting two batteries for this price means we’re prepared to overlook the occasional stray Bran Flake.

Continue reading...


Hoover H-free 500 cordless vacuum cleaner

  • Best: Lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.45l
  • Charging time: 6 hours
  • Battery life: 40 minutes
  • Weight: 2.2kg
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to store
  • Take note
    • Takes six hours to do a full charge

If other cordless models prove a handful, this is the vacuum for you. It was one of the lightest models we tested, with an excellent flat nozzle that swivels 180 degrees, can steer around table legs without extra effort, and slides seamlessly under sofas. Better still, it’s not necessary to hold a trigger constantly as you clean, making this model the ideal option if you struggle with mobility in your hands or fingers.

We also appreciated the fact the vacuum can stand upright on its floor brush rather than having to lean against a wall, and as it’s just 69cm tall, it’s not difficult to find somewhere to store it. The included crevice and dusting tools are both stored on the vacuum, so you won’t need to scrabble around to find them.

However, a full charge does take a whopping six hours, so we’d advise leaving it plugged in all the time, so it’s ready to go whenever you need a quick blitz.

Continue reading...


AEG QX9 cordless vacuum cleaner

  • Best: Cordless vacuum cleaner for in-between cleans
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.3l
  • Charging time: 4 hours
  • Battery life: 55 minutes
  • Weight: 2.75kg
  • Why we love it
    • Super lightweight at 2.75kg
  • Take note
    • Small bin capacity

This compact cleaner is a great option if you need an additional vacuum to spruce up between bigger cleans, have lots of stairs at home or want to keep your car pristine.

While its bin capacity is too small to manage a large house clean in one go, we liked the fact it stands up on its own, is very easy to manoeuvre and comes with a smaller brush head that works a treat on stairs and car upholstery. At 2.75kg, it’s also lightweight for lugging around the house, while the handheld unit on its own is a mere 1.5kg.

There’s no loss of suction even towards the end of the battery’s life and it’s fairly quiet to use, so you can clean after the kids are in bed. There’s also a foot pedal to clear hair from the brush roll, which worked well on all but the longest strands.

We did find it performed a little better on carpets than hard floors but generally loved how easy it was to keep our house spick and span with this lightweight vacuum.

Continue reading...


Dyson V12 detect slim

  • Best: Cordless vacuum cleaner for suction
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.38l
  • Charging time: 4 hours
  • Battery life: 1 hour
  • Weight: 2.2kg
  • Why we love it
    • Automatically adjusts suction power
    • Clear LED screen displaying performance metrics
  • Take note
    • It costs more tha £500

Dyson was the world leader in vacuum cleaner technology with the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner, invented in 1993. Now, 30 years later, it’s still at the top of the game when it comes to inventing new features and making vacuum cleaning feel like playing with a tech toy.

Moving the sleek, slimline V12 around the house feels like you’re holding a tablet that cleans. The LED screen shows what’s been sucked up, displaying real-time scientific proof of a deep clean. The performance is unbeatable. We were impressed that it never lost any suction power during the whole 60 minutes of usage and zapped up all visible dirt into its insides like it was nothing. This could be down to the inclusion of a piezo sensor, which continuously sizes and counts dust particles – automatically increasing suction power when needed.

Pet owners will really appreciate the hair-screw tool, which is an anti-tangle conical brush bar that spirals hair off your surfaces and into its bin. And as pets can often bring germs and invisible dirt into the house, there’s a precisely angled blade of light, which makes invisible dust visible on hard floors – so you don’t miss anything.

When the vacuum’s full, you don’t have to touch any dirt or hair, thanks to a fast, easy ejection mechanism. Press the button and it drives dust and debris deep into your bin, in one action.

Continue reading...


Samsung jet 70 pet VS15T7032R1/EU cordless vacuum cleaner

  • Best: Cylinder cordless vacuum cleaner
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Charge time: 3.5 hours
  • Battery life: 40 minutes
  • Weight: 2.6kg
  • Why we love it
    • Strong 200W suction power
  • Take note
    • Only 40 minutes of battery life

While this may have just 40 minutes of battery on a full charge, it does offer an impressive 200W of suction power. In theory, that means you only need to go over an area once to make it look fresh and bright, and therefore you can clean faster.

Spinning around 3,750 times per minute, the turbo action brush picks up visible dirt fast. It has jet cyclones to boost the airflow so you get stronger suction for longer. We were also impressed by the complex filtration system to ensure less than 0.0001 per cent of this is released back into the air, which is great for allergy sufferers and homes with young children or elderly people.

Superficially, it’s extremely easy on the eye too – the silver and mint design looks fresh and modern. Plus, there will never be any loose dirt spoiling the aesthetic when it’s being stored, as you can wash the entire dust bin, including the multi-cyclone system. Be prepared to get a lot of compliments from house guests if you store it in plain sight.

Continue reading...


Bosch unlimited 7 BCS711GB prohome cordless vacuum cleaner

  • Best: Cordless vacuum cleaner for speedy cleaning
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.3l
  • Charging time: 5 hours
  • Battery life: 40 minutes
  • Weight: 2.8kg
  • Why we love it
    • Impressive 10-year guarantee
    • Bendable tube for cleaning under furniture
  • Take note
    • No LD screen to display power level

For quality and reliability when it comes to household appliances, Bosch always delivers. Although this was in the middle of the price range of all the vacuum cleaners we tested, it performed better than most. It also comes with an impressive 10-year guarantee, which effectively makes it work out as £25 a year, which is a price to get excited about.

However, the real amazement for us came from the nozzle foot release. Tap gently on it with your foot and the nozzle detaches from the brush so you can clean corners or ceilings. Not only do you never have to bend down to clean hard-to-reach places, but you don’t have to stretch or struggle with any hose adjustment ever again. For that reason, we’d highly recommend this for elderly people or those with limited mobility.

Plus, if you tap the front of the vacuum gently, the bendable flex tube folds 90 per cent flat for effortless cleaning under furniture. We’ve never seen a vacuum cleaner that folds this flat before, which made it fun to use, as well as less effort. Again, there’s no need at all to do any kind of bending down, even to clean under furniture.

There’s no LED display to tell you how much power you have left, but the LED lamps on the brush are powerful, working like floodlights to show where the dirt is.

Continue reading...


Levoit cordless vacuum

  • Best: Bagless cordless vacuum cleaner
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.6l
  • Charging time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Battery life: 40 minutes in manual mode, longer in auto mode
  • Weight: 3.2kg
  • Why we love it
    • Auto mode senses how much suction power to apply
  • Take note
    • Just40 minutes of battery life

With four suction nozzles, this bagless vacuum cleaner converts from stick vacuum to handheld vacuum with ease, bringing with it all the accessories to deep clean any surfaces that you can think of. And it does that job surprisingly well, given that it’s less than £200.

Allergy UK has certified it as good for allergy sufferers, thanks to two washable HEPA filters and a four-stage filtration process that removes 99.99 per cent of dirt, including particles that are invisible to the naked eye. Generally, bagged cleaners are better for allergy sufferers than their bagless counterparts, but the Levoit holds its own in these circumstances.

We were also impressed that it had an auto mode, which uses sensors to adjust the suction power to the amount of dust and saves battery power. We’re often tempted to whack the suction up to the highest setting, just to be sure that we’re getting all the dust up, so it was handy to have this little helper so we could operate the vacuum for longer. This is very handy if you have a larger home and like to get all rooms done in one go.

Continue reading...


Dyson omni-glide hard floor cleaner

  • Best: Cordless vacuum cleaner for wooden floors
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.2l
  • Charging time: 4 hours
  • Battery life: 20 minutes
  • Weight: 1.9kg
  • Why we love it
    • Excellent suction power on hard floors
  • Take note
    • Small dustbin

Think you don’t need a vacuum cleaner if you only have hard floors? Think again. Although you could use a dustpan and brush on hard floors, you’ll only be getting up less than a tenth of what the Dyson omni-glide will remove from your floors.

The “omni” in the name comes from the fact that the fluffy cleaning head can move in all directions. This means it can clean sideways, as well as front and back. It glides across floors like it’s floating on air, even though we can visibly see it sucking up all the debris we laid for it during our tests.

If you have old wooden floors or especially expensive floors, you’ll appreciate the brush. It consists of two brush bars that are covered in soft nylon to capture large particles without damaging hard floors, while anti-static carbon fibre filaments collect fine dust at the same time.

Remove the main wand and attach a different tool for use as a handheld and you can tackle stairs, inside a car and hard-to-reach places with ease. But since the head measures just 20.7cm, it can tackle most small spaces in stick mode, which is a lot less effort than handheld mode. We would have given it a higher score if the dust tank was slightly larger.

Continue reading...


Bissell crosswave cordless max

  • Best: Wet and dry cordless vacuum cleaner
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0.8l and 0.4l
  • Charging time: 4 hours
  • Battery life: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 5.22kg
  • Why we love it
    • Mops and vacuums simultaneously
  • Take note
    • Short 30 minute battery life

The crosswave max vacuums and mops hard floors at the same time, picking up wet and dry debris simultaneously. To start, we tested it on the crumbs of toast with jam, and it ate those for breakfast, leaving no sign of any stickiness. Then we emptied some cereal and milk onto the floor, and it handled that perfectly, too.

If muddy footprints or pawprints are brought into the house after being outside, this multi-tasking appliance will suck and mop it clean in about a quarter of the time it would take to get a mop and bucket. There are no streaks either, as the crosswave has two tanks, so clean and dirty water are kept separate and you’re never wiping dirty water over your floors. When finished, it has a self-cleaning cycle to flush out dirt and debris, leaving it fresh for the next time you need it.

At over 5kg, it is heavier than other cordless vacuums we tested and it had the shortest battery life. You couldn’t clean your whole house in one session, and you can’t use it on carpet, but it’s the perfect tool for hallways, kitchens and open-plan areas.

Continue reading...


Vax onepwr blade 4 cordless vacuum cleaner

  • Best: For range of features
  • Bagless: Yes
  • Dust capacity: 0..6 litres
  • Charging time: 3 hours
  • Battery life: 45 minutes
  • Weight: 3.1 kg
  • Why we love it
    • Antimicrobial treatment on the brush bar to kill bacteria
  • Take note
    • The 0.6l dust bin is relatively small

With 45 minutes of non-stop power, the battery on this lightweight Vax is seriously impressive. When a vacuum cleaner costs under £200, there’s a strong chance that its power will dip after 20 minutes of use but we were able to use this model on full suction for three-quarters of an hour without any noticeable difference in performance.

There are plenty of details that make this 3.1kg cordless vacuum a cut above others in the same price bracket. One is that the LED headlights are extremely bright, illuminating any area leaving the dust with nowhere to hide. Another is that a specially designed floorhead means it moves seamlessly from carpet to hard floor.

But our favourite feature is that it has an antimicrobial treatment on the brush bar, which helps protect your bristles from bacteria and fungi by preventing their growth. If you’ve ever had to vacuum up something unsavoury left behind by kids or pets, it’s a relief to know that the bacteria is cleaned up and you’re not accidentally spreading it to other areas of your house.

Continue reading...


Cordless vacuum cleaner FAQs

What are the main features to look for in a cordless vacuum?

Bagged or bagless – While a bagged vacuum cleaner has a greater capacity, meaning you can empty it less, if you want to avoid the cost and mess of replacing bags, then opt for a bagless model which, in most cases, is a quick and easy job to empty.

Bin capacity – In most vacuum models, a dirt bin capacity of at least 1l is best. This allows the user to vacuum large areas without the disruption of having to empty the bin.

Weight – The larger the weight of your cordless vacuum, the more force is required to push and pull the vacuum while cleaning – so look for as lightweight a model as possible when choosing your model.

Accessories – To get the most bang for your buck, and the most use out of your vacuum, look for a model that comes complete with accessories – including various dusting brushes, crevice tools, pet turbine tool and more.

Charge time and running time per charge – For a smoother and seamless cleaning experience, opt for a cordless vacuum that features a runtime of up to 30-60 minutes, which allows it to clean large areas on a single battery charge.

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’re 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.

Should you choose a vacuum cleaner with a tank or bag?

Bagged vacuum cleaners usually have a greater capacity for storing dust and dirt, so you don’t have to empty them as 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 cordless vacuum cleaners?

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.

The benefits of a cordless vacuum cleaner 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 vacuum cleaners

With a dual battery pack offering 120 minutes of run-time, the Shark stratos anti-hair-wrap pet pro makes an ideal vacuum for larger households, pet owners and anyone wanting to take all the effort out of vacuuming and make the process more enjoyable.

If money is no object, a Dyson V12 also makes life easier with its intelligent LED display and lightweight, slim design. Can’t face the cost? The Vactidy V8 offers an incredible amount of features and suction power for a smidge over £110, which is insane value for money.

For more vacuum recommendations, read our guide to the best upright models that tackle large areas with ease

Voucher Codes

TUI Discount Code
£250 off holidays over £2,500 - TUI discount code for Black Friday
ASOS Discount Code
15% off all orders over £100 using this ASOS discount code
Travelodge Discount Code
5% off all bookings with this Travelodge discount code
The Body Shop Discount Code
20% off everything with The Body Shop discount code
The Perfume Shop Discount Code
15% of all orders with The Perfume Shop birthday discount
Cult Beauty Discount Code
20% off all orders over £40 - Cult Beauty discount code

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in