Keep your house dust- and dirt-free without the hassle with our selection of the best cordless vacuum cleaners
Nobody loves cleaning, but cordless vacuum cleaners make the whole ordeal a little bit more bearable. They’re wonderfully convenient and are able to handle most dirt spillages without you ever having to drag the cumbersome Henry out from under the stairs. The problem is that there are so many brilliant handheld vacuum cleaners, it can be tricky to pick out which is the best cordless vacuum for you.
While most models look the same, not all are created equal. This is where we come to the rescue – we’ve rounded up the best handheld and cordless vacuum cleaners you can buy right now. Below, you will find our pick of the best cordless vacuum cleaners to buy in 2023. Whether you’re tired of lugging a hefty cylinder vacuum around your home or you just need something to clean up after a messy pet/child/partner, we’ve got you covered.
How to choose the best cordless vacuum cleaner for you
What specifications should I pay attention to?
There are a handful of specifications to look at before you begin, of which the most crucial are weight, bin capacity and battery life.
Weight: It isn’t so much of an issue when you’re vacuuming the floor, but you will certainly notice a heavy model when you’re standing on a chair and cleaning a lampshade or lugging it up and down the stairs. The lightest models we’ve seen are around 1.3kg, while the heaviest can weigh more than 2kg – that may not sound like a big difference, but you will notice the extra weight when you’re holding a handheld vacuum at arm’s length.
Bin capacity: This determines roughly how much dirt you can collect before you have to empty the vacuum. The models on this list range from tiny handhelds with 250ml capacities to larger uprights with up to 1.2l of bin space. Even if a model has a small bin, however, it’s not a deal-breaker as long as the bin is quick and easy to empty.
Battery life: Or perhaps more accurately battery power determines roughly how much suction power a vacuum will have, as well as how long it will last on a single charge. The models on this list range in longevity from under ten minutes up to one hour, which is a pretty good cross-section of cordless vacuums more generally.
Keep in mind that handheld cordless vacuums won’t last anywhere near as long as upright models. On the flip side, however, keep in mind that even a seemingly miserable eight-minute battery life will be enough to deal with a car interior or unexpected kitchen spillage.
What accessories and features are worth having?
Accessories: Keep an eye out for detachable hoses or pivoting nozzles for awkward spaces; crevice tools for sofa cushions and tight spots; and powered vacuum heads for stubborn carpets. There are other, more unusual accessories, but these are the most common.
Charging: Most of the models on this list will come with either a charging dock – many of which can be mounted to a wall – or a standard DC mains plug and cable. Some smaller models come with removable batteries or, in rare cases, a second power pack so you can switch batteries mid-clean and enjoy twice the longevity.
How we test cordless vacuum cleaners
We test all our cordless vacuum cleaners in the same way, so we can compare the performance of a new model with every vacuum we’ve reviewed in the past. With a cordless unit, this starts with a battery rundown test, to see how long the battery lasts at each of its power settings on short-pile carpet with the floor head attached. Then we measure the suction (in kPa) and the air flow.
To test each vacuum’s cleaning ability, we weigh out measured quantities of flour and Cheerios, and spill each one onto both carpet and hard floor. We allow the vacuum a single pass over the spill, weighing the vacuum’s collection bin before and after cleaning. In this way we can see exactly how good the device is at collecting these tricky materials from both types of surface.
We also use each vacuum intensively in a range of regular household chores to test in real world conditions. These invariably include tricky additional tests for cleaning pet hair and long human hair. We’ll also test all of a device’s attachments, too.
READ NEXT: Best full-sized vacuum cleaners
The best cordless vacuum cleaners to buy in 2023
1. Dyson Cyclone V10: Best Dyson for most people
Price when reviewed: £460 | Check price at Amazon
The Dyson Cyclone V10 was once the king of cordless vacuum cleaners and was a noteworthy improvement over the V8 in almost every way, but it’s still worth a recommendation today. It’s incredibly powerful – so much so that Dyson ceased development of new corded cleaners because of this vacuum – and we agree that the V10 is easily good enough to replace your old upright if you’re hoping to upgrade.
Considering how powerful it is, the Dyson V10 Cyclone has an excellent battery life of up to 60 minutes in the default mode and 30 minutes on the more powerful “Max Boost” setting. The dust container is also 40% larger than the V8 (it’s now 0.76l) and while that makes it more expensive, it’s still exceptional value if you want to keep your house spotless.
Read our full Dyson Cyclone V10 review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 250 x 256 x 1,249mm; Weight: 2.68kg; Bin capacity: 0.76l; Runtime: 60mins; Warranty: 2yr RTB
2. Shark IZ300UKT: Best Dyson alternative
Price when reviewed: £230 | Check price at Amazon Shark’s cordless vacuum cleaners have an array of features that its rivals don’t have. One of the best is its DuoClean floor head, which incorporates both a fluffy roller and a brush bar in a single unit. This means you don’t have to switch floor heads when you move from carpet to hard floor, which saves both time and hassle.
The IZ300 range uses its new PowerFins technology on the brush bar: these stiff fabric fins work alongside the usual brushes to agitate your carpet more vigorously. In our tests, we saw this help the vacuum perform as thorough a job on our controlled spills of cereal and flour as we’ve seen from any cordless vacuum, including more expensive models.
Read our full Shark IZ300UKT review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 260 x 245 x 1,180mm; Weight: 4.58kg; Bin capacity: 0.7l; Vacuum type: Cordless stick; Bagless: Yes; Vacuum power: 309W
3. Dyson V15 Detect Absolute: Best cordless vacuum
Price when reviewed: £700 | Check price at John Lewis If you want the very best cordless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute is king of the hill. It takes the brilliant form factor of Dyson’s previous models, beefs up the suction without compromising battery life and introduces a raft of new features to help you clean.
For those with hard floors, the Slim Fluffy motorised head now comes with a laser that shines out at the front, illuminating tiny dust particles. This helps you spot places that need a clean and provides reassurance that a quick pass with the V15 has done its work. The other motorised heads in the box have anti-tangle rollers.
The most important thing is the cleaning ability of the device, though, and the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute happily powered through our tests with ease. It isn’t cheap but, if you can afford it, it’s easily the best.
Read our full Dyson V15 Detect Absolute review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 250 x 252 x 1,264mm; Weight: 3kg; Bin capacity: 0.76l; Runtime: 60mins; Warranty: 2yr RTB
4. Dyson V12 Detect Slim: Best cordless vacuum for smaller spaces
Price when reviewed: £530 | Check price at John Lewis If your living space doesn’t really warrant the purchase of a full-sized Dyson, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is a brilliant alternative. It comes with most of the bells and whistles of the more expensive Dyson models, but in a more compact device.
Both of Dyson’s best floor heads come included; the De-tangling Motorbar for all floor types, and the fluffy illuminated head that’s so good at cleaning hard floors. The vacuum also features a bright OLED screen for selecting settings, keeping an eye on battery life, while also providing data on exactly the number and type of particles it’s pulling off your floor.
The vacuum is less powerful than Dyson’s larger models, and the collection bin is smaller, meaning you’ll need to empty it more often. However, in our tests it cleaned just as efficiently as its larger siblings.
Read our full Dyson V12 Detect Slim review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 250 x 252 x 1,234mm; Weight: 2.2kg; Bin capacity: 0.35l; Runtime: 60mins; Warranty: 2yr RTB
5. Hoover HF9: The best mid-priced cordless vacuum
Price when reviewed: £267 | Check price at Amazon
There are plenty of cordless vacuum cleaners that cost around £300, making them a bit more expensive than the cheapest budget models, but still more affordable than the latest flagships. The Hoover HF9 is a good choice in this category. It offers plenty of features and accessories that lift it above the most basic budget cleaners, without having to spend as much as you would on a flagship model.
In the HF9, Hoover includes many of the features you’ll find in the top of the range cleaners. These include an anti-tangle floor head, so you won’t have to cut off long hair that’s become wrapped around the brush roll. This Pet model also comes with a crevice tool, a mini motorised tool (for cleaning upholstery and also great on the stairs) and a combination dusting brush and funnel tool. What you won’t find is a soft roller for hard floors, although you can instruct the main brush roller to switch to a slower, gentler hard floor mode from the control panel.
One of the best things about this cleaner is that it can stand up unsupported. If you want to put down most cordless sticks mid-clean, you need to find somewhere to lean them. The HF9 clips into an upright position and stays there.
Read our full Hoover HF9 review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 260 x 210 x 1,110mm; Weight: 3.4kg; Bin capacity: 0.45l; Battery power: 21.6V; Runtime: 30mins; Warranty: 5yrs
6. Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car: Best-value cordless stick for tackling pet hair
Price when reviewed: £301 | Check price at AO
Anyone with a furry friend in their lives will understand how important it is to have a vacuum cleaner that isn’t just good at extracting hair off carpet, but can tackle hard floor, furniture and car interiors, too. The Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car is perfect for such tasks, with exactly the right attachments included for the job.
New to this model is the dual roller floor head which features both a regular brush roller and a soft roller for tackling hard floors. For lifting pet hair from furniture and upholstery, it comes with a motorised mini accessory, which is also handy for smaller areas such as stairs and mats. For car interiors, there’s a handy flexible hose to reach into all the nooks and crannies.
Last but certainly not least, the kit comes with two batteries, so you can charge one while using the other. This provides a combined run time of well over 40 minutes, if using the vacuum’s most economical suction setting, but it can last well over 15 minutes even at full pelt if you switch batteries part way through.
Read our full Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 270 x 260 x 1,040mm; Weight: 3.85kg; Bin capacity: 0.7l; Runtime: 45mins; Warranty: 3yr
7. AEG QX9: Best cordless stick/handheld hybrid
Price when reviewed: £229 | Check price at Amazon
The AEG QX9 is an unusual cordless stick vacuum: instead of a stick with the motor at the handle and a motor head attached to the bottom, it’s made up of an alloy frame with a space in the middle where the vacuum resides. This part can be removed to be used for small jobs such as the stairs or the inside of your car and replaced when you simply need to vacuum your carpets.
In stick form, the AEG QX9 is easy to manoeuvre, has great battery life and cleans well. It can’t quite match the most powerful cordless vacuums on the market for cleaning power but it did well in our tests, and it also comes with anti-hair wrap tech so you don’t need to get your hands dirty removing tangles.
Read our full AEG QX9 review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 256 x 132 x 1,102mm; Weight: 2.8kg; Bin capacity: 0.3l; Vacuum type: Cordless stick/handheld; Bagless: Yes; Suction power: 30W
8. Shark ICZ300UKT: Best cordless upright
Price when reviewed: £430 | Check price at Amazon
Anyone looking for something with a bit more power than a cordless stick should seriously consider the Shark ICZ300UKT. It has many of the benefits of a cordless stick but it’s heavier duty and configured for more serious work. Unlike most cordless vacuums, it can also stand up by itself, so you don’t have to keep finding somewhere to lay it down or prop it up.
Although it’s heavier than many cordless alternatives, all the weight is kept at the bottom, near Shark’s useful multi-surface DuoClean floor head, so it’s not cumbersome to push around. When required, the floor head can be disconnected and the body lifted away ready to tackle stairs, mattresses and upholstery or to reach dust and dirt in high places.
Read our full Shark ICZ300UKT review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 260 x 250 x 1,080mm; Weight: 6.2kg; Bin capacity: 0.6l; Vacuum type: Cordless upright; Bagless: Yes
9. Hoover HF500: Best self-supporting cordless vacuum
Price when reviewed: £280 | Check price at Amazon
One of the biggest annoyances of cordless vacuums is that you have to find somewhere to lean them when you’re mid clean. The Hoover HF500 doesn’t have this problem. When it’s upright you can let it go and hey-presto, it waits there, ready to resume cleaning when you want to restart.
It’s not the only balancing act it can perform. You can also remove the vacuum section from the top and hang it further down the extension wand, reducing its height significantly for storage purposes. It supports itself in this position, too.
Factor in the anti-tangle floor head and sensible price, and you’ve got a real winner, particularly for anyone who’s cursed their previous cordless vacuum cleaner for not being able to stand by itself.
Read our full Hoover HF500 review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 250 x 200 x 1,080mm; Weight: 2.5kg; Bin capacity: 450ml; Battery power: 22V; Runtime: 45mins; Warranty: 1yr
10. Dyson Omni-glide: Best cordless vacuum cleaner for hard floor
Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at John Lewis
Where most of Dyson’s cordless vacuum cleaners follow a familiar design, the Omni-glide is something different. With a tiny bin and low suction power, the specification doesn’t look that great, but by introducing an incredible new type of motorised floor head, Dyson has created a cordless vacuum cleaner that’s perfect for small flats with hard floor throughout.
The cleaning action has to be experienced to be believed. The vacuum glides around your floor like a hovercraft, with a unique joint between the handle and the floor head that lets you spin and rotate the vacuum into the tightest places.
It’s not kitted out to cover much more carpet than the occasional small rug (using the supplied small carpet head), but if that suits your lifestyle the Omni-glide is an excellent vacuum that’s very good at its specialist subject.
Read our full Dyson Omni-glide review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 206 x 91 x 1,077mm; Weight: 1.9kg; Bin capacity: 0.2l; Runtime: 20mins; Warranty: 2yr RTB
11. Gtech HyLite 2: Best compact cordless vacuum
Price when reviewed: £150 | Check price at Gtech
If you’re really short on space, the Gtech HyLite 2 can be packed up so small it can be stored in a drawer. Easy to disassemble and put away, this diminutive marvel has a telescopic handle that can be detached and compressed down to a quarter of its full size.
All the vacuuming power is kept in the floor head, including the collection system, which uses small 0.3l disposable bags. These fill rapidly, and the battery only lasts around 20 mins, so it’s best for cleaning smaller properties.
With a vacuum this small, you can’t expect the kind of power we find on larger models, but it still performed surprisingly well in our cleaning benchmarks, collecting 85% of the tricky spillages we tested it with.
Read our full Gtech HyLite 2 review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 280 x 180 x 1,090mm; Weight: 1.5kg; Bin capacity: 0.3l; Battery power: 14.4V; Runtime: 20mins; Warranty: 2yr
12. Numatic Henry Quick: Best cordless vacuum for no-mess emptying
Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at Amazon
You might be more used to seeing the cheery face of Henry on Numatic’s iconic barrel-shaped vacuum cleaner, but it also adorns this cordless stick. As with most sticks, the Henry Quick can be operated as a handheld, or connected to its floor head with an extension wand.
The main difference between the Henry Quick and most of its rivals is that it uses a bag to collect the dirt. These 1 litre Henry Pods slot into the collection bin and work as the filter, helping to keep both the vacuum cleaner and the air around you clean, as well as giving you as-new performance with each replacement Pod. When it’s full, it can be ejected from the vacuum straight into the bin, avoiding the dusty cloud often created by bagless vacuums.
At £373, it’s more affordable than many cordless sticks and comes with 26 Pods – enough to last perhaps a year or so, depending on how dirty your house gets – though it doesn’t come with any fancy accessories, like an anti-hair detangler or a soft floor roller. And, if red’s not your colour, it’s also available in graphite grey and as the pink Hetty Quick.
Read our full Henry Quick review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 240 x 270 x 1,220mm; Weight: 3.2kg; Bin capacity: 1l; Battery power: 25.2V; Runtime: 60mins; Warranty: 2yr
13. Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra: Best cordless vacuum cleaner that empties itself
Price when reviewed: £949 | Check price at AO
It’s not unusual to see self-emptying robot vacuum cleaners, but the Samsung Bespoke Jet is one of only a small handful of cordless stick vacuum cleaners that empty themselves automatically.
It comes supplied with a self-emptying station. When you’ve finished cleaning, simply hook the vacuum onto this free-standing dock, and a secondary vacuum empties the collection bin into a larger 2l bag. This gives it enough capacity to empty the Bespoke Jet at least four times before you need to replace the bag.
There are four models in the Bespoke Jet range, but the Pro Extra also comes with a mopping attachment. This uses a second floor head with two rotating pads and a water reservoir, which is more than capable of giving your floor a good wipe – perfect for households with messy eaters or muddy paws.
Read our full Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 250 x 210 x 1,000mm; Weight: 2.7kg; Bin capacity: 0.5l (vacuum), 2l (emptying station); Battery power: 25.2V; Runtime: 120mins; Warranty: 5yr
14. Roidmi RS70: Best vacuum/mop hybrid
Price when reviewed: £429 | Check price at Amazon
Plenty of robot vacuum cleaners come with a mop attachment but it’s much less common to see them on cordless sticks. Unless, that is, it’s a Roidmi.
The top-of-the-range Roidmi RS70 comes with two heads. The first is a regular vacuum head with a soft brush bar that’s best for cleaning hard floors (although it does have lines of bristles for agitating short-pile carpet). The second is a mop head with two cloth pads that rotate at 200rpm. These are kept dampened with a small reservoir you can fill with tap water, and they do a good job of lifting light stains and other problems that vacuuming alone can’t tackle.
Overall it’s quite pricey, but the RS70 makes a great choice for anyone living in a house with mostly hard flooring.
Read our full Roidmi RS70 review for more details
Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 254 x 152 x 1,219mm; Weight: 2.7kg; Bin capacity: 0.55l; Battery power: 28.8V; Runtime: 80mins; Warranty: 2yr RTB