Cordless vacuums FAQ
Why should I get a cordless vacuum?
When cordless vacuum cleaners first came out, they weren’t very good: they had a low run time and poor suction. Over the past few years, however, they have improved dramatically. These days, you can get suction as effective as a corded device; battery life of up to an hour; and a whole host of attachments for versatile cleaning – but you do have to pay a little more to do so.
However, the biggest draw is convenience – a cordless vacuum cleaner allows you to clean little and often rather than doing one weekly deep clean, and to easily spot-clean dust or spillages without the faff of dust bags and cables.
A good cordless vacuum cleaner should come with further attachments like crevice tools for skirting and other tight corners; dusting brushes; and a docking and charging station. You could use a brush for table tops, for example. Just attach it to the handheld section and get rid of all those crumbs in no time at all.
The best I tested were equally comfortable on thick carpet, wood, sofas and skirting; and the very best were just as efficient as corded varieties.
What’s the battery life like?
There’s quite a big range in battery life. While some last under 10 minutes on the maximum setting, others go for much longer. The Dyson Gen5 Detect, for example, will function for just over an hour on the lowest setting, without losing power as the battery life diminishes. And, for what it’s worth, the lowest setting on the best devices was more than enough: I didn’t really find the need to use any on the max setting.
Charging the batteries is straightforward. You’ll get a plug to charge wherever you like, but you can also connect it to a wall mount (which has to be attached to your wall, and will become your charging station). Trickle charging ensures the battery won’t be depleted by being left on the charger like, say, an iPhone.
You’ll also get useful lights on the handheld section of the machine, to tell you how long you’ve got left. If you’re worried about the battery life, unless you have a huge home which you want to clean in one go, you should be fine. Never did I run out of battery, albeit in a small three-bed flat.
Do they have good dust capacity?
Aside from the Henry Quick, the machines I used are all bagless. Instead, they have dust canisters. A smaller canister can fill up quickly if you’re cleaning your whole house, but emptying is as simple as flicking a switch or clicking a button.
A bagged option might be better for dust allergy sufferers, or asthmatics, as there is a danger of breathing in particles when emptying the canister. It is also important to maintain your device properly by taking the filter out and cleaning it to prevent blockages and a decline in performance. Cleaning the filter is as simple as running it under the tap and leaving it to dry.