Which? verdict on the best cordless vacuumsNew test puts cordless vacuums head to head

20 August 2014

Dyson DC44 Animal cordless vacuum

Just tested: Dyson DC44 Animal cordless vacuum

Three of the top 10 biggest-selling vacuums in the UK are now compact cordless models - but can they match the cleaning power of a conventional corded cleaner? We tested 14 models from brands big and small to find out, uncovering two Best Buy recommended models along the way.

This new breed of sleek vacs is designed to be easier to lift, store and manoeuvre, and they run off a rechargeable battery. The idea is that a cordless vacuum should be a quicker and more convenient alternative to a normal vacuum for blitzing everyday spills, fluff and dust.

Several of the big brands have launched cordless vacuums, including Dyson with its DC59 and DC44 Animal vacuums (pictured) and Bosch with its newly launched Athlet range. Alongside well-known brands in our test was relative newcomer Gtech, which hit the headlines in 2012 with the launch of its Gtech AirRam vacuum, which it claimed can out-perform the UK's leading mains-powered vacuums.

To find out the best and worst on test, don't miss our cordless vacuum cleaner reviews section - including the only three models to earn our Best Buy recommendation.

Best cordless vacuums

Overall, cordless vacs achieved consistently higher ease of use ratings in our tests than conventional vacuums. But, in terms of suction, only the very best cordless models are comparable to corded on hard floors; and on carpets, even the best do not come close to the level of cleaning you can expect from a good corded model. 

Which? vacuum cleaner expert Matt Knight says: 'On carpet, the very best cordless model will pick up 69% of the dust, and the worst an appalling 17%. Best Buy corded models will consistently pick up more than 80% of dust in the same test. So if you are after a really deep clean, it may not be time to replace your corded just yet.'

Many cordless vacuums claim to match the suction power of traditional corded vacs and are marketed as a full replacement. Others are simply designed to complement your main vac for quick, lighter touch cleaning jobs. The difference between the two categories sounds subtle, but makes a big difference to the results you can expect.

We tested seven models of each type, and discovered that some of the lighter touch models actually provided better suction than than the full replacement models, read our cordless vacuum cleaner reviews to find out which ones.

Cordless vacuum cleaner with Best Buy logo

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Cordless vacuum reviews

Below is a full list of the cordless vacuums we’ve just tested.

  • AEG ErgoRapido AG3003 - £190
  • AEG ErgoRapido AG3012 - £230
  • AEG UltraPower AG5012UK - £230
  • Bissell Lift-off 2-in-1 Cyclonic 1189E - £140
  • Bosch Athlet BCH61840GB - £240
  • Bosch Athlet BCH625KTGB - £290
  • Dyson DC44 Animal - £300
  • Dyson DC59 Animal - £350
  • G-Tech AirRam AR02 - £200
  • Hoover Continuum CO180B2 - £150
  • Hoover Unplugged UNP300R - £200
  • Morphy Richards 731000 Cordless 2-in-1 - £100
  • Morphy Richards 732000 Supervac - £100
  • Vax U91-LF-B Life - £200

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