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Top five cordless vacuum cleaners for 2019

By Matthew Knight

From the best cheap cordless vacuum to which Dyson is best, we recommend the top cordless vacuum cleaners to buy in 2019.

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Cordless vacuum cleaners can be a lighter, more convenient and easier-to-use substitute for an ordinary vacuum cleaner. But we've found plenty that aren't up to the job, failing to pick up dust, dirt and fluff from your floors and surfaces. Get straight to the best cordless models with our round-up of five top picks.

The cordless vacuum cleaners recommended below have all gone through our rigorous lab tests, so you can be sure that they'll do a brilliant job of cleaning your floors - and other spots around your home. We've hand-picked our favourite options from our full list of the best cordless vacuum cleaners, including our cheapest Best Buy, the best option if you're keen on a Dyson, and our highest-scoring cordless vacuum.

We've also uncovered several models that are so dreadful at cleaning we think you should avoid them. See further down the page for the three worst cordless vacuums we've seen.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations and the models to avoid in the tables below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner

81%
£445.00
Reviewed

This is the best of the Dyson cordless range and the joint best cordless vacuum overall. It's good at cleaning all floor types, excellent at picking up pet hair, and keeps allergens safely locked up. It's a little noisy, but otherwise it's a top-notch vacuum.

Best for larger homes

80%
£300.00
Reviewed

One of our top picks, this cordless vacuum cleans up in our tough dust and debris tests, leaving carpets and hard floors spotless. Pet hair is quickly dispatched and the battery lasts for well over an hour - handy if you've got a lot of floorspace to cover. Handheld mode is clunky, as you have to hold the vac over your shoulder with a strap, but overall it cleans so well on floors that it's worthy of a place at the top.

Best cheap cordless vacuum

75%
£194.00
Reviewed

This cordless vacuum cleaner has many of the benefits of the best cordless vacuum cleaner we have tested, and it's at least £100 cheaper. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but it cleans brilliantly and is easy to use. It's a great budget option, if you can make do with a slightly shorter battery life.

Best cordless vacuum for pet owners

75%
£299.00
Reviewed

This cordless vacuum comes with a mini pet tool which is great for sucking up hair and fibres from upholstery. It can also clean carpets and hard floors brilliantly - whether it’s fur, dust or larger debris that’s in your path, this cordless vacuum will effortlessly whip it away.

Best vacuum cleaner

79%
£249.00
Reviewed

OK, so this isn't a cordless vacuum cleaner, but bear with us. A good cordless vacuum cleaner tends to be on the expensive side, their battery life is limited and the cleaning isn't quite yet up to the extremely high standards of the very best mains-powered equivalents, such as this one. This vacuum cleaner is a great all-rounder and has a variable suction dial that means you can dial the power up and down to suit your needs. It's not as easy to use as a cordless cleaner, and it is much heavier, but it's one of the very best vacuum cleaners we have tested.

Recommendations last updated: 6 March 2019

Three cordless vacuum cleaners to avoid in 2019

There's a lot to like about cordless vacuum cleaners, but it doesn't include this bunch of poor performers. Even if you see these cordless vacuums at an attractive sale price, or starring in a glossy TV advertising campaign, they are best avoided. All three fail to achieve the most basic standards of cleaning you'd expect from a cordless vacuum.

35%
£140.00
Reviewed

This is a genuinely awful vacuum. It's rubbish at cleaning carpets, and it's not much cop for floorboards either, leaving dust behind in the crevices. To top it off it has poor allergen filters, so dust can leak back into your home. We wouldn't recommend it.

39%
£100.00
Reviewed

This Dyson-clone cordless stick vacuum is poor at cleaning carpets and in crevices, and has inadequate filters that allow dust and allergens to leach back into your home. The price might be tempting, but it will leave you disappointed.

30%
£90.00
Reviewed

This Pifco is one of the worst we've ever tested for carpet cleaning. It’s awful atsucking up hair and fibres too, and has some of the least effective filters of any vacuum we've tested, meaning that the dust you do manage to suck up can leak back out into the room again.

Opting for well-known brand, or spending more, won't guarantee you avoid a dud. We've found pricey cordless vacuums and models from the big brands that fail to make the grade. See our full list of Don't Buy cordless vacuums for the models to steer clear of.

Should you go cordless in 2019?

We're passionate about finding the brilliant vacuums that will help you keep your house looking spick and span for years to come. Decades of experience testing vacuum cleaners means we can tell you how cordless vacuums compare on cleaning power, and which models can truly replace your main vacuum and still provide a superior clean. 

If you're thinking of going cordless, it's worth considering the following before you buy:

  • Budget - if you're on a strict budget, you might find it easier to get a top-notch mains-powered vacuum rather than a cordless vacuum cleaner. Our cheapest Best Buy cordless vacuums start from around £180, whereas we have a couple of Best Buy vacuum cleaners for under £150.
  • Maintenance - cordless vacuum cleaners have much smaller dust containers than ordinary vacuums, so you'll find you need to empty them more frequently. For many, this is a small price to pay for easier cleaning, but if you have allergies, cordless might not be the best option for you.
  • Battery life - cordless vacuum cleaner battery life can range from less than 10 minutes to nearly an hour. Some models have the option to swap batteries and continue cleaning, while others will have an indicator so you know when you are running low. Consider how much floor space you have to cover before buying. A smaller home with mainly hard floors may be fine with 20 minutes of battery life, while a larger, carpeted home will need more juice.

For more advice, try our guide to corded vs cordless vacuum cleaners.

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