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Don't Buy cordless vacuum cleaners

by Matthew Knight

These Don't Buy cordless vacuum cleaners are so poor at cleaning that they're not worth wasting your money on.

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A bad cordless vacuum cleaner will leave dust and debris behind on your floors and will struggle with tougher jobs like cleaning up pet hair. In our independent lab tests, Best Buy cordless vacuum cleaners suck up more than 80% of the dust in carpets, whereas a Don't Buy cordless vacuum cleaner will manage less than 10%.

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Cordless vacuum cleaners to avoid

One of our Don't Buys might be a tempting price when you see it in the shops, but once you get it home you'll be left high and dry. The worst models we've seen in our tests are poor at cleaning, a faff to use and make a racket.

In contrast, the best cordless vacuums can compete with regular vacuum cleaners, sucking up more than 80% of the dust we grind into thick carpet, and making switching between floor and handheld cleaning modes simple and painless. Avoid the shoddy vacuums that will make cleaning a chore by choosing one of our recommended cordless vacuums.

How we uncover the best and worst cordless vacuum cleaners

We test cordless vacuum cleaners from all of the major brands, including Bosch, Dyson, Gtech, Hoover, Vax and more. We also try out cheaper own-brand models. This means we can tell you which cordless vacuums are a good investment, and which models are a waste of money. Our in-depth reviews allow you to compare models to find the right one for you, whether you want a cheaper option or one that's great for a specific requirement, such as getting rid of pet hair.

  • Our lab experts put every cordless vacuum through a raft of tough tests, including cleaning on different surfaces and ease of use around the house and in the car, so you know what to expect when you get it home.
  • We test how long each vacuum's battery lasts, so you know if you'll have enough time to get the weekly clean sorted. Some last for less than 20 minutes, while others will keep cleaning for more than an hour.
  • The worst models struggle to pick up fur and fluff, meaning you have to go over the same spot repeatedly. The best will suck it up in no time.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

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