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Our guide to cordless vacuums

Light and portable floorcare right this way…


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Looking for a new vacuum? Thinking of cutting the cord (not literally) and going for a cordless cleaner? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of cordless vacuums, and answer all the big questions…

How does a cordless vacuum cleaner work?

A cordless vacuum cleaner operates on battery power, so doesn’t need to be plugged into a wall socket. It works by using a rechargeable battery (usually fitted in the handle) to power the motor.

When you turn on a cordless vacuum, the motor rotates the brushroll and creates suction. This pulls dirt, dust and nasties into the cleaner’s dustbin or filter which can be easily emptied.

Pros and cons of cordless vacuum cleaners

Cordless vacuums have some major benefits that really take the stress out of home cleaning:

Hassle-free. Cordless = convenience. No more cords getting tangled up, wrapped around and slowing you down. Plus, less plugging and unplugging is better for your back.

Lightweight. No more lugging a heavy vacuum around. Even if you’ve got lots of stairs, you’ll be able to clean the whole home without feeling it on your wrist.

• Super-portable. Get into all those nooks and crannies that used to be unreachable, like ceiling corners and under the sofa. You can even take your cordless vacuum outside to clean the car.

Quick and easy. Spotted some crumbs on the couch before visitors arrive? Switch on your cordless and get rid, fast.

What about the cons of cordless cleaners? The only two we can think of are suction power and battery life. But are they still actual drawbacks?

Suction power. A few years ago, the suction power on traditional vacuums beat cordless cleaners hands down. That’s not the case anymore, and most good cordless cleaners have suction to match the mightiest plug-ins. For example, the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute cordless cleaner has a powerful motor that can generate 240AW of suction power. A typical upright corded cleaner has about 200AW.

Battery life. This is another so called con that’s getting better all the time, with lots of cordless cleaners now lasting an hour on a single charge. Plus, some cordless cleaners now have interchangeable batteries, so you can swap one out and keep on cleaning.

Corded vs cordless vacuum cleaners

Whether you need a corded or cordless vacuum cleaner depends on what you’ll be cleaning, and how you want to clean it. If you're looking for a portable and convenient cleaner, cordless vacuums tick those boxes.

If you’ve got a big space to clean you might prefer a corded vacuum, because they can run for as long as you need to clean your space. But don’t forget what we said above about the improving battery life of cordless cleaners – and the fact that swapping batteries is an option to extend your cleaning time.

More questions on going cordless…

Need more help?

Need some more advice on choosing a vacuum cleaner for your home? Our floorcare buying guide is a great place to start. If you want to speak to an expert, pop in-store or make a video call using ShopLive. You won’t even need to leave the sofa.

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