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Revealed: the best cordless vacuum you can buy in 2019

Which? tests uncover the best cordless vacuum cleaner ever, and a dirt-cheap alternative for those on a budget

Revealed: the best cordless vacuum you can buy in 2019

Our latest tests have uncovered the best cordless vacuum cleaner money can buy.

This peerless vacuum gets a chart-topping 85% – the highest score we’ve ever seen.

It’s brilliant at cleaning everything from carpets and hard floors to sofas, cars and stairs, as well as being easy to use. Equally important, it will trap pesky fine particles and allergens, so they don’t escape back into your home.

At the other end of the scale, we’ve had to slap our Don’t Buy label on two terrible new cordless vacuums, bringing the total number of cordless vacuum cleaners on our blacklist to 38.

That means there are nearly twice as many dodgy cordless vacuums reviewed as there are genuinely excellent models that will leave your home dust-free, so it pays to choose with care.

Discover which cordless vacuum we recommend above all others in our round-up of the best cordless vacuum cleaners. And make sure you know the models to avoid in our list of Don’t Buy cordless vacuums.

Cheap corded vacuum cleans up

It’s hard to find a cordless vacuum that cleans well for less than £100, but if you’re willing to stick with the cord, it’s possible – although rare – to get a great-,,value vacuum that still does the job properly.

Our most recent tests found one such vacuum. This cheap and cheerful vac defies the odds and cleans well for less than £50.

It won’t give the top-notch cleaning performance you’d expect from a Best Buy vacuum cleaner on carpets and hard floors, but it still cleans these surfaces effectively, and is good in most other areas too.

Head to our vacuum cleaner reviews to discover our top value pick. You can filter results by price, type and test performance to find the best for you.

Dyson, Gtech, Shark and  Hoover vacuum cleaners put to the test

The Dyson V11, G-Tech’s Pro K9 Pet vacuum and the latest Hoover H-free Pet cordless vacuum are in the ring this time round, plus Numatic’s Henry Allergy vacuum. So what do these models offer?

Dyson V11 cordless vacuum, from £500

Dyson’s newest model, the V11, comes with a smart digital display that lets you know exactly how much cleaning time you have left. Less hi-tech, but still useful, is the handy clip accessory which allows you to attach the mini tools to the cleaning tube so you have them to hand as you work your way round the house.

The pricier V11 Absolute version (£600) comes with a dynamic load-sensing Torque floorhead. This adapts the suction power to match the floor surface you’re cleaning, optimising battery life.

It’s the most expensive cordless vacuum around, but is it also the best? Read our full independent review of the Dyson V11 Absolute to find out.

Dyson cordless vacuum reviews – see how the whole range compares

Gtech Pro K9 Pet, £250

The Gtech Pro K9 is a rare beast in the world of cordless vacuum cleaners – it’s a bagged, rather than bagless, vac. This gives it a hygienic advantage when it comes to the messy job of emptying and disposing of dust.

It can pack more in, too, with a roomy 1.3-litre dust capacity compared with the Dyson V11’s 0.9 litres. That means fewer trips to the bin, although you will have to buy replacement dust bags.

This model is aimed at homes with pets. The dust bag has a carbon layer to neutralise odours, and a replaceable ‘scented cartridge’ to leave a fresh smell after cleaning. There’s also a mini turbo brush for banishing fur and fluff from sofas and stairs.

Is it the ultimate solution for homes with furry inhabitants? Read the full Gtech Pro K9 review to get our verdict.

Hoover H-Free 700 Pets, £220

Another pet-focused option. Hoover’s H-Free 700 Pets cordless vacuum cleaner comes with a turbo-brush pet tool and a crevice tool and upholstery brush to help you clean.

Hoover says that its battery lasts around 35 minutes, which is relatively short, although pretty standard for a cordless vacuum at this price. LED lights on the floorhead illuminate dusty corners, and you can flip between hard floor and carpet modes easily.

Does it make short work of dust and fluff, or just highlight the dirt it can’t reach? Find out in our full Hoover H-Free 700 Pets review.

Choosing the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair

Manufacturers often sell pet-friendly versions of popular vacuum cleaners. Pet-specific features usually include:

  • Mini turbo tool – handy for lifting fur and fluff from stairs, cars and sofas. The most common extra.
  • Turbo floor tool – if the standard floor tool doesn’t have a turbo brush, you may get an extra one for tackling fur-strewn carpets.
  • Charcoal/carbon filter – this is intended to neutralise pet odours.
  • Scented cartridges – less common, but aims to leave a fresh scent behind.

However, in our experience some pet vacuums are surprisingly poor at picking up fur and fluff, while other vacuum cleaners that don’t specify they are for pets are actually brilliant at clearing stray hairs from your carpets.

We go to great lengths to test how effective each and every vacuum cleaner is at sucking up pet hair. We painstakingly comb and roll real cat and dog hair into thick carpet, making sure it’s properly bedded in – just like it would be in your home.

The best vacs banish all traces of pet hair in seconds, while the worst still leave strays behind even after going over the same area for several minutes.

See our Best Buy vacuum cleaners for our top picks for pets.

Don’t forget the filters

If you’re prone to allergies, a vacuum with an effective filter and a tightly sealed unit is also important, to prevent fine particles and allergens leaking back into the room as you clean.

The very best vacuums have filters which trap nearly all of the particles they suck up, while the worst can let more than through gaps in the filter or filter casing, undoing all your hard work.

Find the best vacuum for you

Gtech also says its cordless vacuum cleaners are better for pets, as they can’t get tangled in the trailing wires, but is a cordless vacuum necessarily best for you? Get expert advice on choosing the best vacuum cleaner for you in our full vacuum cleaner buying guide.

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