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Numatic’s Henry vacuum cleaner goes cordless

How will the first bagged cordless vacuum stack up?

Numatic’s Henry vacuum cleaner goes cordless

A familiar face in many British households, Numatic’s iconic Henry vacuum cleaner has joined the likes of Dyson and Bosch by going cordless. Here’s all you need to know about the new Henry.

With the same old jolly red smiling face, the Henry HVB160 cordless looks very similar to the old plug-in version, but there’s a battery pack where the power cord used to be. The £300 price tag makes it considerably more than the standard model though, which you can pick up for just over £100.

This cordless version of Numatic’s most-loved vacuum is the first bagged cordless cleaner we’ve seen, and is very different to the slim stick designs favoured by rival brands. This means you get a generous dust capacity of six litres. Other cordless models typically have a capacity of one litre or less.

See Henry in action in the video below, and get our verdict in the full Cordless Henry vacuum cleaner review.


How does Cordless Henry compare to rivals like Dyson?

The cordless version of Henry sticks to the same design principles as the classic Henry vacuum. Numatic says this means the cordless version keeps the things owners love about Henry vacuums, with the added convenience of cord-free cleaning. But how does it measure up to the competition?

Bag vs dust container

The key difference is the bagged design, which means you get a larger capacity. Other cordless vacuum cleaners require regular emptying – some almost every time you clean, depending on the size of your home. And, as with all bagless vacuums, this can be a messy affair. However, some people prefer the convenience of not having to buy and replace bags, even if it means emptying the canister more often.

Some cordless vacuum brands have tried to address this issue. For instance, Dyson’s V8 vacuum cleaners have a ‘hygenic dust ejector’ which pushes dust and dirt out of the canister when you empty it, in an attempt to make the process less messy. You can see our verdict on this feature in the Dyson V8 Absolute review.

Cleaning time

Numatic claims that the cordless Henry will run for 20 minutes on high power and 30 minutes on low power, and needs three and a half hours to fully charge up. You get two batteries included, so you can charge one while using the other, which gives you a total cleaning time of 40-60 minutes. That’s pretty good compared to rivals. While most Bosch Athlet models last more than an hour, cordless Dyson vacuums usually last for between 20 and 40 minutes.

Having an extra battery takes some of the hassle out of waiting for a re-charge too. Three and a half hours is less than the four hours you’d have to wait for a Bosch Athlet to charge up, but longer than the fastest-charging Dyson – the Dyson V6, which takes two hours and 20 minutes.


A key selling point of cordless vacuums is their light weight, which can make cleaning around the house easier. Given its larger dust capacity, it’s unsurprising that Henry’s pretty hefty on this measure. At 6.4kg, the cordless Henry is about triple the weight of a Dyson V6 model, and is the heaviest cordless model we’ve seen.

To compare models and find out which ones we recommend, head to our cordless vacuum cleaner reviews.

Why people love Henry vacuum cleaners

Henry may be the friendliest-looking household appliance around, but that smiling exterior isn’t the only reason people love Numatic vacuums. Every year, we survey thousands of vacuum cleaner owners to find out which vacuum cleaner brands are the most reliable and which stay fault-free the longest, and Numatic does pretty well in these stakes. Henry vacuums are also generally loved by their owners, according to our most recent 2016 survey.

This probably contributes to Henry’s enduring appeal, along with the relatively low price compared to vacuums from the likes of Dyson.

You can see how Numatic Henry vacuums compare to other brands by checking our unique guide to the most reliable vacuum cleaner brands.

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