If you want to make your weekly chores that little bit easier, the newest cordless vacuum cleaners on the market are here to help. We’ve spotted all sorts of interesting new features as the big brands try to outdo each other with attention-grabbing extras.
2019 has seen a wave of major new launches from the likes of Dyson, Gtech, Hoover, Samsung and Shark, plus newcomer Tineco. The line-up includes vacuums that do the thinking for you, clean themselves or are ultra-lightweight and flexible.
They don’t all cost a fortune, either. We’ve rounded up some of the hottest new releases and features worth having below – along with a few you can probably live without.
Fancy features don’t always mean better cleaning, though, so make sure you’ve got a vacuum that will do a proper job of the cleaning with our round-up of Best Buy cordless vacuum cleaners.
1. Automatic cleaning modes and digital displays
Dyson and Tineco have both brought out cordless vacuum cleaners which have automatic suction control. This adjusts the power level depending on the type of floor surface (Dyson), or how dirty the floor is (Tineco).
This helps to optimise the battery life, saving the suction for jobs that really need it, and means you don’t have to faff around with adjusting the power settings to get the best cleaning results on different floor surfaces.
They also have sleek digital control screens, with dynamic battery life countdowns. Dyson’s even adjusts to reflect the power setting you’re on.
We found this handy, as both vacs allow you to take control and up the suction manually if needed. It will cost you, though. Both vacuums are near the top end of the spectrum price-wise, at around £500.
2. Anti-tangle brush bars
As any person with longer hair will know, one of the most tedious and unpleasant maintenance jobs is getting rid of all of the hair and fibres that might have tangled themselves around your vacuum’s brush bar.
This needs to be done regularly otherwise it can affect suction and damage the bristles on the brush bar, making your vac less effective at lifting dirt. Usually, you’ll need to remove the bar and cut it away with scissors, then pull it off by hand.
But Shark’s new Anti Hair Wrap range has a nifty built-in comb that it says will clean the vacuum’s brush bar for you as you go, allowing trapped hair to be sucked up along with everything else.
We’re still testing the cordless version, but we’ve already tried the corded models: check our Shark XL Lift-Away Anti Hair Wrap Pet vacuum review (£300) to get our verdict on the detangling function.
3. Smart vacuum cleaners
Yes, you did read that correctly. It’s now possible to buy smart vacuum cleaners that you can control with your phone or tablet.
They can also track your steps while you clean, send cleaning reminders and maintenance alerts to your phone, and let you know exactly how much dust you’ve sucked up (if you really care to know).
You can even adjust the power settings through your phone, although we think that’s more of a faff than just using the vacuum controls.
While the maintenance alerts and troubleshooting is handy, and a good reminder to do those pesky jobs such as cleaning your vacuum’s filters to ensure that suction stays strong, we think some of the smart cleaning features are a bit gimmicky.
4. Ultra-light and compact vacuum cleaners
Cordless vacuum cleaners are already pretty light and compact compared with standard plug-in vacuums, weighing an average of 3kg (compared with 6.5kg for a corded model). But they’re also awkwardly tall, often can’t stand by themselves, and require a wall-bracket and nearby plug point for charging.
Enter the new breed of ultra-compact and light models. Both Hoover and Gtech have developed cordless cleaners that fold down or split into much smaller parts so they’re easy to store:
- Gtech Hylite – this vac (pictured above) weighs just 1.6kg and, thanks to a collapsible handle and modular design, is small enough to be stored in a drawer
- Hoover H-Free 500 HF522U – claimed to be Hoover’s lightest and most compact vacuum ever, it weighs 2.2kg, and the collapsible cleaning tube, removable battery and self-standing design means you can stash it in a tall cupboard
Check our cordless vacuum reviews to see if these lightweight models can clean effectively without weighing you down.
5. Versatile vacs that do more
The latest Dyson rivals are looking to add flexibility and versatility to the mix in order to stand out:
- Samsung Powerstick Jet VS9000 (pictured above, £599) – has a mophead floor attachment that you can use to clean hard floors after you’ve vacuumed them. The spinning circular sweepers work with washable micro-fibre pads or disposable cloths. It also has an adjustable cleaning tube for different-height users.
- The Miele Triflex (from £499) is due in shops in early 2020, this model allows you to change the position of the dust canister so it’s either next to your hand or the floor head, changing the weight distribution. It’s similar to a feature that we’ve also seen on the AEG FX9 ultimate cordless vacuum.
- The Shark Flexology (£279) and Shark LiftAway (£379) models have flexible cleaning tubes for easier access to tight spaces.
Other handy features to look out for
Some once-innovative features are now becoming more common, such as:
- LED headlights – most cordless vacuums now have this feature, Dyson models being a notable exception. They can be handy for lighting up dirt under furniture and in corners.
- Soft brush rollers are found on Dyson, Samsung and Shark models. These are designed help to draw in larger crumbs, rather than sending them flying.
- Continuous power mode – as battery life improves, lots of brands now have a flick switch that allows you to keep the power on without having to constantly hold a trigger button down. Again, Dyson is an exception here. They say it’s to preserve battery life.
Just want the best all-rounder for your budget? Check our cordless vacuum reviews for the models that impressed in our tough tests, including the best cheaper cordless vacuums
Features vs cleaning power
Some of these vacuum cleaner features can make your life easier and cleaning less of a chore. But they’re only good if they’re backed up by effective cleaning.
We test how good vacuums are at both, as we know there’s no point having a vacuum that sucks up everything in its path, but is such as faff to use you never get it out of the cupboard.
As well as testing the important things you can’t tell from just using the vacuum, such as how effective its filters are at trapping the microscopic dust particles that spell bad news for allergy sufferers, our expert panel of ease of use testers try out every vacuum we test, looking for the handy extras or annoying niggles that make the difference to using, maintaining and storing your vacuum.
We also keep an eye on new trends and adapt our testing, so we can tell you if that auto-clean mode really does a good job compared with the standard cleaning mode, so you know if it’s really worth paying out for.
See which models we recommend in our round-up of the best cordless vacuum cleaners.
Don’t Buy cordless vacuum cleaners – we reveal the models to avoid