Consumer Guides

Consumer Guides

Best Vacuum for Pet Hair

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Whether you just have one feline or canine companion, or several pets, you’ve likely found yourself having to battle pet hair and allergens at some point. Fur can be especially difficult to remove from carpets, but even if you have hard flooring you likely still have to spend ages hoovering your furniture, curtains and of course, pet beds. If you regularly take your dog on trips in your vehicle you’ll also need an effective, versatile pet hoover to keep it valet-clean.

Our Recommended Best Pet Vacuum Cleaners

These days consumers have the luxury of choice, although it can still be very easy to make the wrong one. We’ve put together a few of our top pet vacuum cleaner picks below. In order of most to least expensive:

Dyson V10 Total Clean

Design & Accessories – Most advanced cordless vacuum cleaner on the market. It’s bagless and Includes a plethora of accessories, including a direct drive cleaner head for carpets and mini motorized tool for stairs and upholstery, both of which are capable of picking up pet hairs.

Usability & Performance – The HEPA filtered V10 is very lightweight and efficient for a battery powered hoover, with three suction modes depending on your needs. It can be used as both a ‘stick’ hoover and a handheld which makes it ideal for floor to ceiling cleaning.

Value – The Dyson V10 Total Clean is the company’s flagship model and the price reflects this at just under £500. However, you are paying for practicality and a cordless hoover that has the ability to not only clean your home and vehicle but tackle pet fur as well. You can also choose the ‘Animal’ model which is cheaper and has fewer accessories, though includes the direct drive cleaner head for carpets.

Philips PowerPro Ultimate

Design & Accessories – Very modern looking cylinder hoover that is bagless and features HEPA13 filtration for allergy sufferers. It features two heads (one for various flooring types, and another for hard floors), a 2-in-1 brush tool and a crevice tool.

Usability & Performance – It’s a large cylinder vacuum but is easy to manoeuvre around the house due to its large wheels and 11-meter radius. At 650 watts the PowerPro is energy efficient while still providing powerful suction. It does lack a roller brush so it’s not the best for pet hair but still does the job due to its efficient air flow and cleverly designed tools.

Value – At a little under £300 The PowerPro Ultimate is an expensive cylinder vacuum cleaner, but it’s helped a lot of people with allergies to find relief. It’s a good choice if you have pets, but don’t have too much of a problem with embedded fur.

Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog

Design & Accessories – Simple in design, but very well made, the C3 Cat and Dog is a cylinder vacuum cleaner with an 11 layer filtration system (including a charcoal exhaust filter for odours), and a number of pet fur specific attachments. These include a turbo brush head and mini brush tool for carpets and upholstery, as well as a crevice tool, upholstery tool and dusting brush.

Usability & Performance – The new C3 has an 890-watt motor that is capable of producing a surprising amount of suction for all your cleaning needs. It has 6 suction settings, a 4.5-litre bag and built-in integration for your mini attachments. It’s also very efficient at removing pet hair from your floors, furniture and vehicle.

Value – Priced at just under £270 and with the option to extend the 2-year warranty to 8 years, the C3 Cat and Dog offer value as it should last you a long time. Additional attachments are also available for purchase.

Shark Lift Away True Pet

Design & Accessories – Innovatively designed to offer the convenience of an upright, but with the ability to have the main unit ‘lifted away’ from the wand, the bagless True Pet also has the same versatility of cylinder vacuum cleaners. The main head features a motorized brush, but also included is a mini motorized brush, 2-in-1 duster/crevice tool and an upholstery tool.

Usability & Performance – The Shark Lift away is unique but has been very favourably received by the majority of purchasers. It can be used for floor to ceiling cleaning (with the ability to easily reach under furniture when you lift away the unit), but really does excel at picking up pet hair of all kinds. The design takes some getting used to, but is a pleasure to use once you do.

Value – Sitting at just under £200 the Shark Lift Away True Pet is the cheapest of our recommendations, but should be considered seriously as it does what it sets out to do. It’s also backed by a standard 5-year warranty which is almost unheard of.

What are Pet Vacuum Cleaners?

Pet vacuum cleaners, as you would assume, are specifically designed for homes with pets. While they are very similar to normal hoovers in functionality, there are three important factors that make them stand out:-

  • Filtration

It’s estimated that one in two people in the UK suffers from allergies; the most common being pollen, followed by house dust mites and pets. While some people might only have minor symptoms to these allergies such as sneezing, a runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, congestion and so on, there are those who suffer from much worse which includes rashes, eczema and even difficulty breathing – the last symptom is especially an issue if it affects asthma sufferers. Although cat allergies are more common than dog allergies (most likely due to their allergens being more sticky), they are all caused from a reaction to the proteins found in the animal’s saliva, skin cells and urine.

This is why when you choose a pet vacuum cleaner it’s important to choose one with adequate filtration. Most top of the line vacuum cleaners come with HEPA filtration, but it’s the HEPA13 filter in particular that works especially well for capturing allergens. Of course, this depends on how sensitive you are. Some pet hoovers use micro fibre filtration which can still be very effective, and some also include a charcoal filter to capture pet odours.

  • Suction Power

Although the EU has now limited power of all newly manufactured vacuum cleaners to 900 watts, technology has allowed them to still have as much or more suction than their predecessors. The main reason for this is due to how efficiently the vacuum cleaner uses its air flow to create suction using the floor heads or additional attachments. It’s always important to read user reviews and check videos to find out whether a model lives up to its marketing hype. This is why we like to purchase all of the vacuum cleaners we review (see our best pet hoovers below) to give consumers the information they need to make smart decisions.

  • Pet Specific Attachments and Versatility

Following on from the last point, while suction is vital to be able to clean your home and vehicle thoroughly when it comes to embedded or trodden in pet hair (not to mention dirt), it’s the attachments that make a difference. The hair has a horrible habit of becoming interwoven with fabric which can make hoovering seem pointless. What makes pet vacuum cleaners more efficient at removing the hair are the roller brushes (or beater bars) – both on the floor heads for carpets and the mini attachments that can be used for stairs and upholstery. Some of these are motorized, while others rely on the suction alone to spin the bristles as you clean.

These roller brush tools contain bristles that rotate and capture the hair which is then sucked up into a dirt receptacle or hoover bag. The air goes through the pre and post motor filters and is expelled from the exhaust leaving behind air that is more hygienic as you clean.

What Type of Pet Vacuum to Buy?

Now there are a huge number of pet specific vacuum cleaners on the market, many of which simply don’t live up to the sales spiel. This is why it’s important to read user reviews, and also carefully consider what you will be using the hoover for before you buy. When purchasing a pet vacuum that will last years, it’s a good idea to perform your due diligence and spend more money to get a quality unit. After all, a clean home leads to a better state of mind in addition to better health. There are three main types of pet hoovers to choose which are upright, cylinder and ‘stick’.

The upright hoovers are heavier and are best utilized for carpeted homes without the need to vacuum stairs or upholstery; cylinder vacuum cleaners are typically lighter and more versatile for a wide range of cleaning needs; and ‘stick’ hoovers are often very light, cordless and can be used for a wider range of floor to ceiling cleaning applications (i.e. the Dyson V10).

Another consideration to make is whether you want a bagged or bagless model. In the past, bagged models had better filtration and better-eliminated allergens, but HEPA filters and modern technology means this is no longer the case. The only concern you may have with bagless models is releasing some dust back into the air when you empty it, and that they will need to be emptied more often. However, many people still prefer them as they don’t need to worry about purchasing bags and the hoovers that are bagless are typically lighter. It all comes down to preference and budget, but in the end, as long as the vacuum performs as it should then it shouldn’t matter one way or the other.

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Consumer Guides

Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum

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The industry’s first handheld vacuum cleaner was released more than 80 years ago in 1937 (known as the Royal Prince), so it’s safe to say that they aren’t new to the market. This machine in particular, although innovative, was very heavy and not much different in operation (or size for that matter) to the old-fashioned upright.

These days, however, there are countless models available, some of which are nothing more than paperweights, while others are superbly designed to make your life easier. That’s why it’s so important to learn all you can before making a purchase to ensure the product you buy is one that does the job and stays with you a long time.

Our Recommended Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners

While there is a wide range of handheld models on the market, we’ve provided five bagless recommendations based on budget and application. Below are our picks in order from most to least expensive.

Dyson V7 Trigger

Design & Accessories – State of the art cordless handheld with two power modes and a wide range of accessories for various cleaning uses. These include a combination tool (regular nozzle and dusting brush), crevice tool, and motorized mini brush. Unfortunately it lacks an extension hose, but still takes the ‘handheld’ to a new level.

Usability & Performance – The V7 Trigger is lightweight and very comfortable to use, whether you’re using it to pick up mud from your entrance hall carpeting, cat hair from your furniture, or using it exclusively to keep your car ‘valet’ clean. Provides powerful cyclonic suction for up to 30 minutes on the standard setting.

Value – Targeted toward users who want to shell out for a handheld they can use for a long time – whether it’s kept in the garage or the kitchen. It’s the most expensive model here, although you might be able to get it at a discounted price for a little under £200.

Our rating

Battery Life8.5/10
Design & Accessories9.5/10

We rated the Dyson V7 Trigger you can read our entire review here.

Gtech Multi Mk2

Design & Accessories – Modern and stylish cordless handheld designed for a wide range of home and vehicle cleaning uses. Tools include a roller brush, dusting brush, crevice tool, flexible built-in hose and a 36cm hard plastic extension.

Usability & Performance – a powerful handheld vacuum that maintains suction whether you are dusting the home, picking up spills or cleaning upholstery. Ergonomic handle, built-in accessory storage and LED lights to help you see what you are cleaning. Has a run time of up to 20 minutes.

Value – Targeted toward the high end of the market (though still cheaper than the Dyson) at just under £150, the Multi Mk2 can be an invaluable purchase due to its wide range of possible uses.

Our rating

Battery Life8.5/10
Design & Accessories9.5/10

We rated GTech MK2 the you can read our entire review here.

Black + Decker 18V Dustbuster Flexi

Design & Accessories – Uniquely designed cordless handheld that features a 1.5-meter flexible hose with a flat nozzle for normal spills and a flick-up brush for dusting. Also includes a crevice tool that can replace the standard nozzle.

Usability & Performance – The style of the Flexi means that you need to use two hands (i.e. one for the main unit and another for the hose), although it has a lot of practical applications around the home. It works best for odd spills and dusting and has a run time of up to 15 minutes.

Value – Low to mid-priced at a little less than £100, though it’s a versatile handheld that is capable of helping with a myriad of cleaning chores.

Our rating

Battery Life8.5/10
Design & Accessories9.5/10

We rated the Black & Decker 18V Dustbuster you can read our entire review here.

Black + Decker 18V Dustbuster Pivot

Design & Accessories – Unlike the Flexi the Pivot is a handheld that you only need one hand to operate. It’s a modern take on an old-fashioned design with a flip-up dusting brush and extendable crevice tool. The patented nozzle also pivots up to 200 degrees which can come in handy when cleaning on top of tall furniture or appliances.

Usability & Performance – The Pivot is simple to use and more compact than the Flexi, although it has a smaller runtime of up to 10 minutes. It’s more practical than your standard handheld and works well on various surfaces (carpets, hard flooring, table tops etc.).

Value – The Pivot is more affordable than the previous two models at under £90, is easy to use and empty, and can be used for various applications. Most who are looking for a simple handheld with built-in tools will be happy with this purchase.

Our rating

Battery Life8.5/10
Design & Accessories9.5/10

We rated the Black & Decker Dustbuster Flexi you can read our entire review here.

AEG AG71a RapidClean

Design & Accessories – The RapidClean is a bulky, corded handheld that has been specifically designed to clean stairs with its motorized brush but also has a built-in stretchable hose and crevice tool. It also features a flip-down stiff-bristled brush for, especially dirty areas.

Usability & Performance – Although less practical due to the cord, the 6-meter length means you won’t need to change power outlets often. Due to the size and weight, it’s not ideal for tabletop messes, but it is great for those who struggle with keeping their stairs and rugs clean. The included hose makes it more versatile for other household or car cleaning tasks.

Value – A very well received handheld that is affordably priced at less than £45. However, it’s primary market is those who need a handheld to clean their stairs rather than use their main hoover.

Our rating

Battery Life8.5/10
Design & Accessories9.5/10

We rated the AEG AG71a Rapid Clean you can read our entire review here.

VonHaus 2-in-1 Stick

Design & Accessories – The VonHaus 2-in-1 Stick hoover is retro in styling and can be used both as an upright and a handheld. It’s a corded model with a large 1.3-litre dirt capacity and includes a hose, crevice tool and upholstery brush to be used with the ‘handheld’.

Usability & Performance – Although it lacks a swivel head, the lightweight design makes it an easy-to-use upright which works best on hard flooring. The 2-in-1 functionality (removable telescopic handle) means that it’s a very versatile machine, though it’s limited by the non-motorized brush head and the 6-meter cord.

Value – At less than £30 the VonHaus 2-in-1 offers great value for money, though don’t expect it to be as effective or simple to use than the more expensive models.

Our rating

Battery Life8.5/10
Design & Accessories9.5/10

We rated the VonHaus 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum you can read our entire review here.

What are Handheld Vacuum Cleaners?

Handheld vacuum cleaners come in a range of styles and sizes and are essentially just smaller and portable versions of your typical hoovers. While they will never replace your main vacuum for wall to wall carpet or hard floor cleaning, they are designed to tackle the little jobs. This can include everything from carpeted stairs (never a favourite area of the home to clean), home and vehicle upholstery, random spills (i.e. kitty litter or coffee grounds), dusting and more. You’re truly only limited by your budget, though there are well-reviewed options at various price points depending on your needs.

Why Choose a Handheld Hoover?

If you’ve ever purchased a handheld hoover that made your life easier, this is a redundant question. However, for those who are still looking or are in the market for a replacement, it’s a good one. Simply put, a handheld vacuum cleaner is a portable tool you can add to your cleaning arsenal to ensure your home (or vehicle) is spick and span. It’s designed to do this quickly and efficiently which means less time cleaning and more time living in a hygienic environment. However, your needs will largely dictate how versatile the machine needs to be, and whether it should be corded or cordless. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when looking for a model.

Handheld Features to Consider before Purchasing:

Corded vs Cordless

Most of the handheld vacuum cleaners available for purchase today are cordless models, however, there are still many that come with a cord. The biggest complaint that people had with cordless models was the lack of power, but recent technological developments have made this much less of a deciding factor. What you should really consider before choosing one or the other is whether you will need to use it for a long period of time between charges and whether you mind being tethered by a cord. The corded models will also generally be much cheaper, especially compared to models with a similar power output or suction capabilities, but then you’re paying for the luxury of practicality. 

Battery Life and Charging

Almost all cordless appliances now use lithium-ion (as opposed to the earlier nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal-hydrate) batteries which are lightweight, hold a charge for a long time, have no memory effect and are capable of producing large amounts of power. Even so, the runtime can vary wildly depending on the size of the battery (i.e. voltage), the size and efficiency of the motor it will be operating. Some handheld vacuums can only run for 10 minutes while others can run for 20 minutes or more between charges. This may seem more than adequate, but keep in mind that it can typically take up to 4 hours to fully charge a depleted battery (in some cases more).

Always check the specifications, but compare them to customer reviews as the results in the real world usually differ (even if only slightly). Another consideration to make is whether you want a model with an LED indicator to let you know when it’s charged and how much juice is left while you’re cleaning. Lastly, some models have a plug-in wall charger, while others come with a docking station. This usually isn’t a deciding factor as most people like to put their handhelds out of sight when not in use.

Power and Suction Capabilities

It can be difficult to ascertain the suction capabilities of a handheld vacuum cleaner from the power specifications – a comparatively higher voltage battery usually means a hoover can run for longer but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more powerful. For this you’ll look at the air wattage, or if the data is available the air flow which gives some indication as to the hoover’s suction capabilities. We provided specifics on how these are measured in our cordless vacuum buying guide. However, the truth is that customer or unbiased reviews become priceless when comparing models as they can provide a real indication as to what a handheld’s capabilities are.


Most handhelds are very light in weight, usually ranging from around 1.5kg to 3kg in weight. Some may be lighter while others can be heavier. Keep in mind that while the specified weight often appears insignificant, after cleaning the house for 20 minutes you may feel more fatigued than you think. If you have arthritis in your hands or other limitations then consider going for as light a model as you can find – within reason as it still needs to perform the task you want it to. Also, consider how ergonomically designed the hoover is and how the included attachments (if applicable) will affect the weight and balance.

Dirt Capacity and Filtration

Unlike the original Royal Prince, the majority of handheld vacuum cleaners are now bagless. They aren’t designed for floor cleaning so the dirt capacities won’t be impressive, hovering around the 0.4-litre mark. Rather than focusing on the capacity too much, rather consider how easy it is to clean the handheld and whether you’ll be exposed to the dust and allergens in the process. If you are purchasing a 2-in-1 model (i.e. an upright that can also be used as a handheld) then you’ll find the dirt capacity will be much larger. The Dyson V8 is a popular top of the line 2-in-1 model which you can read about here.

In regards to filtration try to find a product with HEPA or micron filtration to ensure it picks up the finest particles and traps them, ensuring allergens aren’t expelled back into the air. Most handhelds have washable filters (either by machine or with running water), although some may need to be replaced. Filters can still become less effective and/or eventually reduce the suction capabilities of a hoover so check for the availabilities of spares before making a purchase. 

Available Tools

Some handheld vacuum cleaners don’t include any attachments and are only designed for picking up small messes (i.e. kitty litter or crumbs), while others have a plethora of tools for a wide range of uses. When searching for a model, decide on what you intend to use the hoover for. Below are some common attachments or features that may or may not be available.

  • Extension Hose – While some units are standalone models, others have an incorporated flexible extension hose to help you reach difficult areas. Other models may also have a hard plastic extension tool to let you better reach higher areas. The Gtech Multi Mk2, for instance, has both.
  • Crevice Tool – A crevice tool is one of the most popular attachments on hoovers as they can help you to clean tight spaces (i.e. between cushions and floorboards, corners etc.).
  • Upholstery Brush – An upholstery brush can sometimes be similar to a dusting brush with soft or hard bristles, although some are specifically designed for car or home upholstery.
  • Dusting Brush – If you plan on using your handheld to clean dust from counter tops, mirrors, paintings, pictures, around ornaments and so on, you’ll want one with a dusting brush. This ensures you pick up the dust rather than just moving it around as you would with a regular duster.
  • Roller Brush – Although not a common feature on handheld vacuum cleaners, some models now include a roller brush (motorized or air driven) for better stair and upholstery cleaning. If you have a lot of pet hair to pick up this is one feature you should consider. Other models like the AEG RapidClean also include a flip down stubborn brush to better help you pick up embedded hair and dirt/food.

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Consumer Guides

Best Vacuum Cleaner

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What is the best vacuum cleaner on the market today? A simple enough question, with a not so simple answer!

Unfortunately, it isn’t as clearcut to say that such a vacuum is the best choice, firstly there is a wide range of types of vacuum cleaner, then you have to consider the individual’s circumstances. Do they have a specific budget in mind? Do they have pets? Do they have a large 5 bedroom house or a 2 bedroom apartment? Is storage space a concern? Lightweight vs heavyweight, corded vs cordless, bagged vs bagless and much more.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through these important factors below.

What is your budget?

An easy place to start when shopping for any product is your budget, this allows you to quickly reduce the number of products you can consider. It also allows you to see whether or not your wants and needs are realistically reflected in the price range. For example, if you were looking at cordless vacuum cleaners then for a top performing choice you would need £300+, compared to a top performing upright corded vacuum cleaner coming in the region of £200.

Throughout this website, we recommend two products in each guide – the ‘money is no object’ vacuum cleaner and the ‘affordable high performer’ vacuum cleaner.

[supsystic-price-table id=8]

What type of vacuum cleaner do you need?

This is the key question in your search for the best vacuum cleaner, this can be determined by understanding what job you are trying to fulfil with the vacuum. Each type of vacuum cleaner has its advantages and disadvantages when tackling various tasks and our job over the upcoming weeks and months is to help you find the best vacuum within each type, both high performance and affordable.

Below we have broken down each type of vacuum cleaner at a very basic level:

Upright vacuum cleaners – These are a fantastic all-purpose choice, which drastically vary in prices and are usually equipped with multiple attachments and accessories.

Cordless/Stick vacuum cleaners – A newcomer to the industry, these are typically lightweight and do a fairly decent job at tackling everyday hoovering.

Handheld vacuum cleaners – These are typically used for spot cleaning and they’re especially useful around children and pets as well as being used in vehicles especially for those nooks and crannies!

Cylinder/Canister vacuum cleaners – Often quite bulky, they can be a pain to manoeuvre but offer relatively good performance and flexibility at an affordable price range.

Robot vacuum cleaners – The ultimate lazy persons tool, the robotic vacuum offers automated cleaning and can be used on hardwood floor and low profile carpets. There is a range of more expensive models which also support high profile carpets.

When trying to decide what type of vacuum cleaner you should be looking for, there are several other factors that may be relevant including:

  • Do you have any pets?
  • Do you have children?
  • Do you have stairs?
  • Is storage space an issue?
  • Do you have carpet, hardwood floors, tiles or a combination?
  • Do you have any experience/favour a particular brand?
  • Is the weight of the product a concern?

These are just a handful of factors that are typically considered when in the market for a vacuum cleaner and we are trying to tackle each and every one of them throughout our website.

Best Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Best Cordless/Stick Vacuum Cleaners

Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners

Best Cylinder/Canister Vacuum Cleaners

Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners

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Consumer Guides

Best Cordless Vacuum

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When it comes to choosing a cordless vacuum cleaner, you’ll have little choice but to shell out for a model that can easily replace your existing main unit and perform superbly. However, if you’re just looking for a second unit for spot cleaning then the cheaper models should be more than sufficient. Below you will find our 5 best cordless vacuum cleaners including our most recommended and best value recommendations.

Our Recommended Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners in 2018

best cordless vacuum

Dyson V8 Absolute

Design & Accessories – Stylish lightweight design, 2-in-1 functionality, and a range of accessories including a mini soft dusting brush, crevice tool, combination tool, mini motorized head for the handheld, and two main motorized heads (one for carpeting and another for hard flooring).

Usability & Performance – Highly ergonomic design for floor to ceiling cleaning. Simple to use with normal and turbo modes. Performs well on all surfaces and has a maximum run time of 40 minutes. Also suitable for homes with pets, though there is a pet specific version available.

Value – Top of the line do-it-all cordless model. At a little under £400 it’s at the high end of the market, but a cordless vacuum that should take care of all your cleaning needs.

Our rating

Battery Life8.5/10
Design & Accessories9.5/10

We rated the Dyson V8 Absolute 9/10 you can read our entire review here.

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Bosch Athlet

Design & Accessories – Modern upright design with an attachable hose and shoulder strap for flexible cleaning. Hose accessories include an upholstery and crevice tool.

Usability & Performance – Works brilliantly as an upright with three modes: suction only, suction and motorized brush, and boost mode with the motorised brush. Cleaning head works on both carpet and hard flooring. Impressive 60 minutes runtime.

Value – Sitting at just under £250, this is a mid to high priced cordless vacuum designed for whole home cleaning with some interesting features.

Our rating

Battery Life9/10
Design & Accessories8/10

We rated the Bosch Athlet 8.5/10 you can read our entire review here.

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Gtech AirRam MK2

Design & Accessories – Simple but effective upright vacuum with a telescopic handle and headlights to better see dirt.

Usability & Performance – Easy to operate and compatible with all flooring types. Capable of reaching under furniture thanks to it’s horizontal ‘ultra-low’ profile. Contains a motorized roller brush and operates for up to 40 minutes on a single charge.

Value – Costing a little under £200 this is a mid-priced model that is ideal for those looking for a floor-only cordless vacuum.

Our rating

Battery Life9/10
Design & Accessories8.5/10

We rated the GTech AirRam MK2 8.7/10 you can read our entire review here.

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Vax Blade 32V

Design & Accessories – Contemporary stick design model with 2-in-1 functionality that comes with a soft dusting brush and crevice tool. Possible to use the main head on the handheld for stair cleaning. Additional kit available for purchase which includes a mattress tool, radiator tool, pet and stairs tool, up top tool and soft dusting brush.

Usability & Performance – Slightly heavy as a handheld. Compatible with all flooring types though works best with hard flooring. Easily selectable motorized brush and boost modes. Provides up to 45 minutes of run time using the normal mode.

Value – At well under £200, this is an affordable mid-priced option. However, if you have carpeting you will find it ideal for cleaning in short bursts using the boost mode, or as a second vacuum for spot cleaning.

Our rating

Battery Life8.5/10
Design & Accessories9/10

We rated the Vax Blade 32V 8.7/10 you can read our entire review here.

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Morphy Richards Supervac 2-in-1 Vacuum

Design & Accessories – Classic upright style vacuum with 2-1 functionality and a few useful accessories including a crevice tool, upholstery tool and dusting brush.

Usability & Performance – Swivel head makes it easy to use around the home as an upright, and the ability to easily convert it into a handheld makes it good for tackling furniture as you clean. Single mode with motorized brush and a runtime of up to 35 minutes.

Value – Highly affordable cordless model at less than £100, though best suited for smaller homes with hard flooring, or as a second vacuum for spot cleaning.

Our rating

Battery Life8.5/10
Design & Accessories9/10

We rated the Morphy Richards Supervac 8.8/10 you can read our entire review here.

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What are Cordless Vacuum Cleaners?

Cordless vacuum cleaners come in a range of styles, but most commonly resemble the traditional upright models rather than the cylinder “Henry” types. They are often referred to as “stick” vacuums due to their low profile and are designed to be lightweight, compact (easy to use and store), and most of all practical. This makes them great options for busy people who like to keep their homes clean at all times rather than dragging out the old corded model for a once a week thorough clean. Additionally, their lightweight designs make them especially popular for the elderly and those with disabilities or certain limitations (i.e. arthritis or back pain).

Instead of drawing power from the mains, cordless models typically use lithium-ion batteries which allows them to produce large amounts of power for short intervals and without fading as the battery depletes. As a result, it’s no surprise that there is a race between manufacturers to be able to produce cordless vacuums with the largest amount of suction and the longest runtime. Sometimes there is a compromise between the two, but many of the high-end models do a great job of combining these attributes. This fact also means that consumers are spoiled for choice.

Why Choose a Cordless Vacuum?

Vacuuming is a chore that we all need to live with, but many people who have purchased a cordless vacuum cleaner now find it a novelty (and one that doesn’t wear out quickly). Although most cheaper cordless models are only ideal as supplementary vacuums for spot cleaning high traffic areas such as the entrance, kitchen and bathroom; there are models that can easily rival and surpass leading corded models for cleaning the entire home.

Because they are designed to be lightweight most units only have a small dirt receptacle so you will find you’ll lead to empty a cordless more often. However, the ability to grab it quickly to clean up a mess or tackle the entire house without changing power outlets often more than makes up for this. In short, the cordless vacuum market is booming because it makes an age-old chore easier.

Cordless Features to Consider before Purchasing:

 Battery Life 

One of the primary considerations you should make when choosing a cordless vacuum cleaner is the battery power, run time and charging time. In the majority of cases, the larger the voltage the longer the runtime. The indicated runtime you’ll find on most product specifications usually only refers to the lowest power setting (some models have one setting while others have multiple). For instance, the Dyson V8 is an efficient, industry-leading cordless vacuum with a 21.6V battery and a 40-minute runtime. The standard mode is usually powerful enough to clean your whole home, but it also has a turbo mode that runs for around 7 minutes for exceptionally dirty areas.

The charging times vary depending on the voltage and type of battery used, but most take upwards of 4+ hours to charge – you’ll also find that some can charge fully quicker than the specified times. While some cordless vacuum cleaners use other battery types (i.e. NiMH or nickel metal hydride batteries which have a higher capacity than older lead or nickel-cadmium batteries, hold the charge for longer periods of time and are cost-effective), the majority now use lithium-ion batteries. The reason for this is that, although more expensive, they are much lighter, have a longer shelf life, hold a higher capacity, and have no memory effect. Although not necessarily a must-have feature, it can be beneficial to choose a cordless model with a battery life indicator.

Power and Suction Capabilities

You may find that some cordless models may include or omit certain specifications as to the power attributes which can make it difficult to compare models. This will include watts and amps (i.e. input power) or air watts (air flow x vacuum/8.5). Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute, and vacuum is measured in inches of water lift.

Airflow is the most important specification as it refers to the force of air across a surface that picks up the dirt. However, because many cordless models have multiple or different sized cleaning heads and accessories this information isn’t readily available or it simply isn’t possible to make a fair comparison. This is why it’s so important to read the best cordless vacuum cleaner reviews before making a decision.

Weight and Design

The stick-like design of cordless vacuum cleaners allows them to be much lighter than normal upright or cylinder vacuum cleaners. Depending on your preferences, you may choose a model based on weight alone. For instance, some cordless models can be as light as 2kg while others weigh closer to 5kg. It’s usually the more expensive models that are lighter as more research and development has gone into making them more compact with better materials although this is not always the case.

Some models are only designed to be used as upright models (in which case make sure they at least offer flexible swivel type heads for getting around the house and under furniture), while others are designed to be used as handhelds as well. These latter models with 2-in-1 functionality can be used as an upright for floor cleaning, but then quickly detached from the main unit or disassembled to be used as a simple handheld for cleaning vehicles, upholstery, table tops and so on. Others have more unorthodox designs such as the Bosch Athlet which allows you to remove the main cleaning head, attach a hose and strap it to your back.

If you’re looking for a cordless vacuum to use on the fly, consider a model with a wall charging dock. Some models need to be plugged in to charge, while others require the battery to be removed to be charged separately from the main unit.

Floor Type and Pets

What floor type you have and whether you have furry companions will play a large role in your decision. Typically the less powerful cordless vacuums are better suited for hard flooring but have trouble picking up dirt and hair from carpeting. There are also vacuums with multiple heads so you can use one for carpets and another for wood or tiled flooring, and others with flexible heads that are equally effective on both. Some units also have heads that are specially designed for picking up pet hair. It’s therefore important to carefully consider your needs before deciding on a model.

While some heads don’t have motorized brushes and rely on suction alone, the motorized brush in addition to the suction power is usually what makes one cordless vacuum better than another. Another factor to keep in mind is how easy it is to remove and clean the brushes as they do frequently become tangled with hair – especially if you have pets. Additionally, whether a model has a boost mode should weigh in on your decision as this can sometimes come in handy when cleaning deep carpeting, pet beds, or very dirty areas.


Versatility is a large reason why people choose cordless models. While many models are designed for one task such as the Gtech AirRam Mk2 which can only be used as an upright model for all flooring types, there are others that are better designed for a plethora of tasks. Following on from the previous section, knowing your needs will help you to decide what accessories you can and can’t live without.

Most attachment-friendly models usually include at least an upholstery and crevice accessory. However, some offer more comprehensive options or even additional purchasable took kits which can include extendable hoses and various other accessories for cleaning mattresses, curtains, behind radiators, skirting boards, stairs as well as brushes with both stiff and soft bristles.

Bagged vs Bagless and Filtration

The majority of cordless vacuums are bagless with removable dirt receptacles that can be emptied once they are full. Many people like this prevalent feature as it means there is no need to purchase additional bags, though considering that receptacle capacities range from 0.5 – 1 litres you’ll find that you will need to empty them often. However, this will just become commonplace, particularly if you are looking for a cordless vacuum to clean your entire home.

The pre and post motor filters are also usually washable and can be used for a long time without needing to be replaced. The filtration is often more than adequate (i.e. HEPA) for capturing allergens from the air, though those who have severe dust allergies may find that emptying the dirt receptacle into a dustbin isn’t ideal and would be better off using a bagged model. Having said that, many models have improved the dirt removal action that prevents any contact with dirt or debris. It’s important to read reviews to learn more about these features prior to purchasing as some are better than others.


Pros & Cons & Bottom Line for each product

Product Summary

  • Design & Accessories
  • Usability
  • Performance
  • Value

Comparison Graphs

  • Battery Time Comparison
  • Charging Time ComparisonBest Cordless Vacuum - Charging Time Comparison
  • Bin Capacity Comparison
  • Noise Comparison
  • Weight Comparison
  • Height Comparison
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Consumer Guides

Best Robot Vacuum

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Although it’s taken longer than science fiction fans have anticipated, we’re slowly entering the age of intelligent robotics. Many of the first robotic or ‘autonomous’ machines worked just as well as the contraptions in the 1984 Gremlins movie. However, ever since the first robotic vacuum in 1996 by Electrolux, companies have been scrambling over each other to release more improved models each year.

Granted, it wasn’t until 2002 when iRobot released their Roomba that the robot vacuum transformed from a gimmick into a practical, helpful machine, but now there are countless models on the market. Luckily, we’re here to help you navigate the unfamiliar terrain by discussing important features and providing unbiased reviews.

Our Recommended Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners

There is a multitude of robot vacuum cleaners at various price points. While it’s a general rule of thumb to go for the more expensive models when you can to ensure they do a fantastic job, recent developments have led to cheaper models that are more than capable of competing – though will likely have fewer bells and whistles. Below are our top picks in order from most to least expensive. All of these are fairly low profile which means they’re great at reaching those tricky areas under furniture, though the Dyson 360 is the tallest due to its all-seeing camera.

Dyson 360 Eye

Design & Features – State of the art robot vacuum that uses 360-degree camera imaging to assist with navigation and mapping. It also has app functionality and a variety of features which includes voice control, scheduling, and single floor cleaning (i.e. move it to another floor without the dock, press the clean button on the machine and it will return back to the position once it’s cleaned the floor or run out of battery).

Performance – Using Dyson’s Radial Root Cyclone technology, this is a powerful robot vacuum that can pick up particles as small as 0.5 microns. It can be used on all flooring types as it uses a full-width motorized brush bar with 5,468 stiff nylon bristles for carpet cleaning and 2,376,000 anti-static carbon fibre filaments for hard floor cleaning. It also has tracks to ensure it doesn’t have trouble navigating tricky terrain.

Value – In true Dyson fashion the 360 Eye is a little too expensive at just under a grand, but they’ve tried hard to really make this compete with regular vacuums due to the powerful V2 digital motor. It’s a robust and well thought out machine, but you could save money and go with the slightly cheaper Roomba 980 or Botvac D7 models that have similar features and abilities.

We rated the Dyson 360 Eye 8.8/10 you can read our entire review here.

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iRobot Roomba 980

Design & Features – The Roomba 980 is a not so surprisingly stylish robot vacuum that uses a sunken forward facing camera for navigation and mapping. It also has a host of features through the app which includes automatic carpet boost (it increases power when it detects carpets), cleaning passes (choose whether it makes one or two passes per session), and scheduling, as well as the ability to check the status of the bin, filters and more.

Performance – The 980 can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns and works superbly on hard or carpeted flooring. It also has ‘dirt detect’ technology which means it will comprehensively clean any areas that are excessively filthy. Instead of bristles, it uses two rubber counter rotating extractors to prevent pet hair from becoming tangled.

Value – At a little over £800 the Roomba 980 isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the most intelligent and comprehensive robot vacuum cleaners on the market. If you want a quality high-end robot then this one you shouldn’t dismiss.

We rated the iRobot Roomba 980 8.5/10 you can read our entire review here.

Neato Robotics Botvac D7

Design & Features – The Neato Robotics Botvac D7 is a laser-guided, mapping robot vacuum with app functionality which means it can clean in darkness without any issues. Some interesting features include app controlled ‘no-go’ areas, the ability to manually control it using a remote or app, an ‘extra care’ mode and much more.

Performance – The D7 is ‘D’ shaped which makes it more practical for cleaning corners and edges. It also uses a special spiral combo brush which contains bristles for carpets and rubber blades for hard flooring. It’s great at picking up pet hair and can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Value – This is an interesting product that deserves its place toward the top end of the market (just a little under £800). Although it’s not the most affordable cleaning product, it receives consistently good reviews and is one robot that can make your life much easier.

We rated the Neato Robotics D7 8/10 you can read our entire review here.

Eufy RoboVac 11c

Design & Features – The Eufy RoboVac 11c is a surprisingly well-equipped and elegantly styled robot vacuum at the low end of the market with an app and remote functionality. Although it doesn’t use mapping and cleans in a more random pattern, you can use either option to adjust the cleaning mode or even control it manually.

Performance – This smart little robot vacuum is best suited for homes with hard flooring or thin carpets, but it does a great job of cleaning both. It’s also very quiet at around 40dB which means it can even clean while you’re watching TV.

Value – The RoboVac 11c is one of the cheapest robot vacuums with app functionality which means it can compete with some of the top of the line models at just a fraction of the price – a little over £250.

We rated the Eufy RoboVac 11C 8/10 you can read our entire review here.


Design & Features – The ILIFE A4s is one of the slimmest robot vacuums on the market at 7.4cm and although it doesn’t have app functionality, it comes with a remote control to select the multiple available modes. It’s a simple robot vacuum to use for those who don’t like things complicated, and even easier to maintain.

Performance – Although the A4s doesn’t clean in a systematic pattern or use mapping, due to the long battery life and the ‘V’ shaped brush it does very well at keeping even larger homes clean. It’s designed primarily for homes with hard flooring and thin carpets like many others and can occasionally have difficulty traversing large rugs, but still holds its own.

Value – The ILIFE A4s is one of the cheapest robot vacuum cleaners on the market at just under £200, but it can help you to significantly reduce the number of times you need to bust out the old upright or canister vacuum.

We rated the iLife A4S 8/10 you can read our entire review here.

What are Robot Vacuum Cleaners?

Robot vacuum cleaners are small, battery-powered autonomous machines that have come a long way in their ability to keep homes around the world clean. They have the ability to self-navigate from their charging stations to vacuum your home whether you’re present or at work, and find their way back when they have finished or need to recharge (some of the really cheap models may need to be manually placed back on the charger). They do this using various sensors (which also prevent them falling down stairs) and software which can be complex or simple. Depending on your budget and the type of robot vacuum cleaner you purchase the features, functionality and intelligence will vary quite wildly – as will the performance.

The dirt they pick up is collected in a dirt receptacle you’ll need to empty, though apart from that and keeping on top of routine maintenance (i.e. cleaning filters, sensors and brushes etc.), the whole point of a robot vacuum is for you to be able to relax while it takes care of one of your least favourite chores.

Why Choose a Robot Vacuum?

If you’re someone who is fastidious about keeping your home immaculate, a robot vacuum cleaner may be just what you need, especially if you don’t have a lot of time. Actually, this is also true if you only decide to drag out the vacuum when family come to visit. While a robot won’t replace your main vacuum cleaner (though some folks have gotten away with it), it can significantly cut down on how often you manually hoover your home.

Countless owners expressed the fact that their homes have never been so clean even if they only hoover once a month, and this even true for both budget and expensive robot vacuums. It’s also worth noting that owning a robot vacuum will drastically improve the air quality of your home by eliminating odours and cutting down on the amount of pet hair, dead skin cells, bacteria, pollen and other allergens or irritants.

Robot Vacuum Features to Consider before Purchasing:-

Before you make the decision to purchase a robot vacuum, it’s important to take the time to learn more about their common features. Doing so will ensure you make the right purchase based on your needs and bank balance.

Battery Life

Because robot vacuums dock themselves (at least when they aren’t misbehaving), you’d think that the battery life and charging time wouldn’t be significant. However, if you have a large floor/home it may take a robot several sessions before it completes cleaning. If you also choose to buy a robot without mapping abilities (more on this below), it won’t be able to return back to where it stopped when it had to recharge. As a result, carefully consider your needs and if you need a robot with a long battery runtime. Run times usually vary between 30-140 minutes, though most new models sit toward the high end.

Because they all use a lithium-ion battery which provides fade-free power, the type of battery used isn’t a consideration. However, what you will want to look out for is if the warranty includes the battery as they can be expensive to replace after a year or two. To extend the life of the battery, some models have a main on/off switch or will require you to remove the battery if you aren’t using the robot for long period. There isn’t much to say about docking stations, except that some allow you to wind up cables to prevent clutter, and most need to have adequate free space around them (i.e. 0.5-1 meter on either side and 1-2 meters in front) so the robot has no issues self-docking.

Type of Sensors

Robots come with a wide range of sensors to help them navigate around the home, detect objects and drop-offs. All will come with a combination of sensors through the most common for navigation include:

  • Camera Vision – Some robot vacuum cleaners such as the Dyson 360 use a camera to take multiple pictures and ‘stitch’ them together to create a panoramic image. It then uses these images to triangulate its position and help it to map out areas of the home. This can make it very accurate when used in combination with infrared sensors. These are essentially the smartest navigation systems, though the only negative is that they need adequate light to be able to work so you won’t be able to get the robot to clean while you sleep and the house is dark.
  • Infrared Sensors – Although all robot vacuums will use infrared sensors to help them navigate, detect objects and drop-offs, some use these as their primary sensors to move around the house. The main advantage of infrared sensors is that the robot vacuums can work at night time, though they are slightly less precise when it comes to navigation.
  • Lasers – Robots that use lasers for navigation are usually held in high regard as they can easily navigate very precisely and can also do so at night time. Those who are privacy paranoid about ‘camera’ robots may also choose models that use lasers for navigation.
  • Bumpers – In addition to proximity sensors, almost all robots will use bumpers on the front to help eliminate the risk of damage to the robot or items around the house if it has too many clumsy moments.
  • Other Sensors – Some robots use ultrasonic sensors to help them detect distances, or even if there is an especially dirty area of the floor (i.e. through vibrations as the brush tries to clean) that requires more concentrated cleaning. Other sensors may help with maintenance and let you know when the dirt receptacle is full or the filters need to be cleaned.


If you have specific areas of your home you’d like the robot vacuum to avoid you’ll want to choose a model that uses barriers. Some robots such as the Botvac D7 allow you to create a barrier using an app (only available for robots with mapping, and if the feature is included), or set up little electronic devices on the floor to set up virtual barriers to stop the robot cleaning a room or bumping into a pet’s water bowl. Many also come with magnetic strips which can also act as a barrier.


Mapping simply means that the robot has the ability to create a virtual map of your home (or the main floor it will be used on). It will take some time before it ‘learns’ the layout of the terrain but it will gradually build a map that will allow it to know where it has cleaned, and where it has yet to clean. This is especially important for those with large homes where the robot will need to recharge more than once – in which case it can return to where it paused cleaning once the battery is full. Some robot vacuum manufacturers also allow you to see this data and more on your smartphone or tablet’s app.

As of yet, there isn’t an option to have a robot map more than one floor of your home which isn’t ideal, though it’s something that is certainly in the pipeline. If you need to clean another floor or a single room, all robot vacuums allow you to select the auto clean function. Also, if you decide to choose a robot without mapping capabilities, it can still do a great job of cleaning your home but may do so in a seemingly random order and take more time.

App vs. Remote Functionality (and Modes)

Most robot vacuum cleaners come with a range of modes and features. While some robots can have certain modes that can be activated from buttons on the robot itself (such as auto, spot and edge cleaning) most of the time anything other than the auto cleaning mode will need to be controlled via a remote control or app.

Note that if the robot vacuum cleaner you choose requires an app to get the most out of it, you will need to have Wi-Fi and it will take a little longer to initially set up. The main advantages of using an app over a remote control are that you will be able to control or schedule the robot while you are away from home and see more data. The most common selectable modes include:

  • Auto Cleaning – By choosing this mode the robot will automatically start cleaning the floor the dock has been set on. When it’s finished cleaning or needs to recharge, it will return to the dock.
  • Manual Cleaning – If applicable this mode allows you to manually control the remote via the app or remote (sort of like an RC car).
  • Spot Cleaning – This mode provides you with the option to let the robot clean a certain spot which is handy if you’ve just spilt some sugar for instance.
  • Edge Cleaning – If you feel the edges and corners are being neglected, this mode makes the robot follow along with the edges of a floor or room.
  • Eco/Max Mode – By default most robots will work in a standard eco-mode, although it’s possible to change to a ‘max’ mode if included. Keep this in mind when looking at quoted runtimes as they always refer to the standard model. The max mode usually cuts the runtime in half.
  • Scheduling – One of the biggest advantages of having a robot vacuum is scheduling it to clean when you aren’t home or are asleep. Some allow for daily scheduling, while others can be scheduled to clean more than once a day.

Mobility and Floor Cleaning Performance

The majority of robot vacuums are designed for hard flooring or short pile carpets. If you have long pile carpeting, pay attention to reviews and the type of brush or roller the robot uses. Robots that use a brush are great for cleaning carpets and picking up pet hair, though you will need to remove the brush frequently to cut away the hair and remove any other clogged debris. Some robots use rubber rollers or don’t have rollers at all to avoid this problem, though maybe less effective on carpets.

Mobility is another area you’ll want to pay close attention to. Most robot vacuums won’t have any issues getting over room dividers, but some may have trouble manoeuvring onto rugs, or at the least flick up the edges in the process. Whether the robot has tracks or wheels, the mobility will vary and the best way to ascertain how effective it is will be to read reviews and watch videos before buying.


Lastly, when comparing robot vacuum cleaners consider how large the dirt receptacle is and how easy it is to maintain. You’ll likely need to empty the dirt receptacle once every day or two and clean the filter system at least once a month depending on how dirty your home is. Unless the robot has a bin full sensor, it will probably continue cleaning and perform a less than adequate job until the dirt receptacle is emptied so you’ll have to get into the habit of emptying it.

Some robots have washable filters while others have replaceable filters or a combination of the two. There isn’t necessarily an advantage of one over the other, though replaceable filters are usually the HEPA and will provide better protection against bacteria and allergens.

Another area you’ll want to consider is how easy it is to remove and clean (or replace) the brushes. This will include any side brushes that work to brush dirt and debris into the centre and the main brush that will likely become tangled with hair – especially if you have pets. Lastly, you will occasionally need to use a cloth to polish the sensors to ensure they work properly.

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