Reasonable cleaning for a reasonable price, but don’t throw away your mains-powered vacuum
- Light and manoeuvrable
- Low price
- Decent battery life
- Inconsistent cleaning
- Plasticky build
- Cannot run while charging
Beldray may not be a household name, but this British manufacturer does a decent trade in well-priced, belt-and-braces household appliances. It sells its wares mainly online and its latest offering, the Dyson-rival Airgility Max cordless vacuum cleaner, is typical of the type of product the company offers.
Beldray Airgility Max review: What you need to know
Like Dyson’s more famous cordless vacuums, the Beldray Airgility Max is battery-powered and is designed to make carrying out small cleaning jobs quicker and easier than with a traditional corded model. I’d hesitate to say you could replace your main vacuum with this, as it isn’t as powerful as a Dyson V10 and doesn’t come with a huge selection of accessories. However, it’s much cheaper and almost as convenient to use.
Beldray Airgility Max review: Price and competition
That price is the main attraction of the Beldray. It’s currently on discount at Amazon at a very reasonable £130, which is nearly half the price of the £249 Dyson V7 Motorhead and the Vax Blade 2 Max. It’s also £70 cheaper than the Shark DuoClean Cordless (IF200UK), which is my current pick of the more reasonably priced cordless vacuums.
Beldray Airgility Max review: Features and design
Compared with its pricier rivals, the Beldray feels every bit built to that budget. It’s light, plasticky and fairly simple in design. It doesn’t look particularly amazing and the selection of attachments it comes with is limited.
In the box, there’s a motorised, multi-surface brush head and an extension tube to fit this to, a dual-purpose crevice tool and the removable 2,200mAh battery, as well as the battery charger. There’s no wall-mount dock or tool storage, although you can disconnect the main motor unit and hang it on a peg on the tube so it can be stowed away freestanding.
Not that these are particular problems – in fact, I rather like the lightness of the Airgility. The main motor unit weighs a reasonable 1.5kg without the attachments making it easy to wield, both with and without the wand and motor head attached.
It’s pretty easy to use, empty, clean and charge. Like a Dyson cordless, you pull a trigger to start vacuuming, but you don’t need to keep pressure on it while you clean. Instead, a second pull switches the Airgility into high-power mode, while a third switches it off again. Emptying the 1.2l dust container is child’s play, too: simply press a button at the rear of the bin and the door flips open, allowing debris to drop out at the bottom. Removing the washable HEPA filter that sits in the centre of the dust container only takes a half twist, after which the shroud and filter come free.
It’s all sensible and simple – just what you need. In fact, the only negatives I can think of are the aforementioned plasticky build quality and the fact that the vacuum can’t be used while charging.
Beldray Airgility Max review: Performance
As far as cleaning performance goes, it’s pretty decent, but it’s not going to threaten the likes of the Dyson V10 or V11 for outright cleaning power. Perhaps more importantly, the Airgility Max lags quite a long way behind the Shark DuoClean IF200UK in terms of its versatility.
I ran it through our usual battery of tests, using mainly the motorised head, and found it cleaned reasonably well on hard and soft floors but not exceptionally. In our short-pile carpet test, the Airgility coped with large particles quite well, cleaning up 62% of a 26g spill of Cheerios in a single pass at high power. I only needed to roll the head of the motor head back and forth a few more times to clean up the rest.
It didn’t fare quite so well with fine particles. Although it cleaned 48% of a 50g plain white flour spillage in one pass, it failed to completely clean all the flour from the carpet roots, even after going over the same patch multiple times.
The same tests on a hard floor were met with mixed results. This time, it was the Cheerio test that flummoxed the Beldray, the head merely pushing the cereal loops aside instead of rolling over the top and vacuuming them up. When I removed the head to use the extension tube on its own, some of the sugary loops became jammed in the dust container inlet, causing a blockage.
In the flour test on the hard floor, however, the Airgility sucked up the whole spillage in one go. Clearly, the suction power is there, but some elements of the design – the motor head and inlet valve specifically – prevent it from doing its job all the time.
At least the battery life is more impressive. On high power, the Beldray lasted 32mins 2secs with the motor head attached in high power mode, which is long enough that you probably won’t need to worry about dropping down into low power mode to eke out a bit more time. That’s just as well because it takes an age to charge: up to 5hrs 30mins from empty to 100%.
Beldray Airgility Max review: Verdict
All in all, you get what you pay for with the Beldray Airgility Max. It’s not an amazingly powerful vacuum cleaner, certainly not enough to perform a deep clean of your carpet like more expensive cordless models can, but it’s light and comfortable to use, the battery life is decent and the price is very reasonable.
It won’t be dethroning Dyson in a hurry, and it’s not a patch on the £199 Shark DuoClean IF200UK, but if you can’t face paying that much for a cordless cleaner, the Beldray Airgility is worth a look at £130.