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Hoover HF500 Anti-Twist Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review: An affordable vacuum built for smaller homes

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £280
inc VAT

The Hoover HF500 is great value for money cleaner, ticking many boxes; but it’s best suited to smaller homes


  • Affordable
  • Good at cleaning
  • Easy to use and store


  • Small bin capacity
  • Short battery life
  • Limited accessories

The Hoover HF500 Anti-Twist Cordless Vacuum Cleaner has an informed, intelligent design. Instead of simply ramping up the main specifications for boosted suction or improved capacity, Hoover has approached the design of this device from a usability angle. And in doing so, the company appears to have considered where rival cleaners excel, and where they fall short, tweaking its model to make its users’ lives simpler.

For example, unlike most other cordless stick vacuums, the HF500 can stand upright unaided, so you don’t have to find somewhere to prop it up mid-clean. In addition, it features an anti-tangle floor head, its battery recharges in 2.5 hours, it can pick up larger particles without pushing them ahead of itself, and it can easily be stored in an under-stair cupboard, for example, without leaning against anything. None of these features on their own are revolutionary, but together they make for a compelling product.

With so many boxes ticked and problems solved, at a price that’s just a fraction of the cost of flagship models from the likes of Dyson, is the HF500 the perfect cordless stick? Let’s take a closer look.

Hoover HF500 Anti-Twist Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review: What do you get for the money?

The Hoover HF500 Anti-Twist arrives in two versions. The basic red model reviewed here originally launched at £279, but at the time of writing has been widely available for £220. The blue Pets version costs £20 more and comes with an additional mini-motorised head for upholstery cleaning; but I didn’t get the opportunity to test this. Otherwise, the two models are identical.

The vacuum measures 250 x 200 x 1,080mm (WDH), and weighs just 2.5kg. This is light for a fully loaded cordless, which makes it easy to handle and carry around. It’s also worth mentioning that, for storage purposes, you can remove the handheld unit from the top of the extension wand and hang it further down the stick. This reduces the vacuum’s height to 688mm, which is handy for storing it away in cubby holes.

At 0.45l, the collection bin is relatively compact for a full-size cordless, so you can be pretty certain that it will need emptying at the end of most significant cleaning jobs.

Both the standard and Pets model come with two attachments – a crevice tool and a combination dusting brush and furniture tool. You’ll need to find somewhere to keep the crevice tool, but the combi tool is pre-attached to the neck of the main vacuuming unit. A button on the attachment lets you pull it forward to click it into place, and you switch between its two modes by removing it and rotating it 180 degrees, before clipping it back on.

It’s the motorised floor head I was most excited about, however. First up, it has a comb system that extracts long hairs from the roller as it goes, stopping them from winding round and becoming tangled in a clump. The roller has three types of brush attached to its single roller: one soft, one stiffer, and a third set of even stiffer fabric fins, similar to those on a Shark IZ300UKT.

What it doesn’t have is a fluffy roller for hard floor cleaning. You can switch off the rotating brush bar if you’re working on delicate floors, but you can’t switch it out for an alternative.

One thing I particularly like is that it’s possible to lock the extension wand into place at the cleaner’s ankle, and the vacuum stands upright unsupported. This means you can walk away from the vacuum mid-clean without having to find a surface to prop it  against. When locked in place in this way, you can even shorten it for storage (as I mentioned above), and it will remain upright and self-supported. To unlock it, you only need to place your foot on the floor head and pull back on the handle; you don’t need to release any buttons or even bend over.

READ NEXT: The best Dyson vacuum cleaners

Hoover HF500 Anti-Twist Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review: What’s it like to use?

The Hoover HF500 is compact, light and easy to move around. I particularly welcomed the buttons on the latches that connect the various components together; they’re easy to press and release, but click together in a solid, satisfying manner.

You can empty the collection bin by opening a door at the bottom, either while it’s still connected to the vacuum or by removing the bin first. It’s easy to take off – simply twist the cup and pull it down – but I found it more difficult to snap back into place. The cup needs to be in exactly the right position for it to slide back into place; otherwise, it doesn’t fit straight and won’t seal. It’s all clearly labelled, but almost impossible to do without looking quite closely at what you’re doing.

In use, I found the battery needed recharging regularly, making the HF500 best suited to small spaces and lighter jobs. Hoover quotes the battery life at up to 45 minutes, but I assume that’s only possible with the motorised floor head switched off. With the floor head powered, I found the vacuum lasted 26 mins 10 secs – which, as you can see from the chart below, is one of the weakest battery performances you’ll find among similarly priced vacuums.

However, the battery performed well in its Turbo mode, delivering 13 mins 15 secs of cleaning before giving out. The other saving grace is that the battery takes only 2.5 hours to fully recharge, which is significantly faster than most rivals.

The vacuum is simple to control via the bank of three buttons that you’ll find just above the handle, requiring just a thumb press. The main on/off switch is a physical button that needs a light press to get the vacuum going. The other two are touch controls, one for switching between regular and Turbo modes, and the other for activating the carpet-sweeping brush bar in the floor head.

Hoover HF500 Anti-Twist Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review: How well does it clean?

As you can see from the chart below, the Hoover HF500 more or less holds its own in terms of suction power. However, it’s worth noting that the vacuum only has two power settings, where some rivals have three. For example, the Shark IZ300UKT has a standard power setting whose suction sits between its weakest and most powerful settings, designed for everyday cleaning. The HF500 has only standard and Turbo modes, so its standard suction is only a little better than the Shark model’s lightest, most economical setting.

It’s also worth noting that the Dyson V8 cuts out when its tubes are blocked by our measuring device, so its results may potentially be a little better than ours.

Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the cleaning, so to speak. We tested the HF500 with our usual suite of challenging tests, spilling both flour and Cheerios on both carpet and hard floor, then measuring how much the vacuum collects on a single pass.

Starting with the Cheerios, the HF500 performed well. There are vents at the front of the floor head – gaps that can draw in and swallow larger items, such as chunky breakfast cereal.

Even on hard floors, this allowed the vacuum to gather Cheerios into the collection bin. It managed 88% before a few got stuck at the entry point to the collection bin, creating a blockage at the top of the cleaner. Although everything passed under the vacuum and was sucked up the extension wand, the remaining 12% fell back out of the device when the vacuum was shut down.

Repeating the experiment on carpet, the vacuum was better, with no blockage at the top. As a result, it collected 96% of the Cheerios, with only the odd one or two hitting the brush bar at the wrong angle and being fired out of reach as a result. Many stick vacuum cleaners struggle with Cheerios, particularly if they don’t have soft rollers for hard floor cleaning, so this is an impressive performance.

The flour test is just as problematic for some vacuums, but the Hoover HF500 performed well here, too. On hard floors, it collected 98% of the flour I spilled in a single pass, leaving only a very light but still visible dusting behind.

It wasn’t as effective on short-pile carpet, with 80% of the flour collected on the first pass. Subsequent passes managed to take that figure up to 86%, but I couldn’t get the last of the residue cleared up. Note that I went over it afterwards with a Dyson V15 Detect, which visibly picked up the remainder of the flour with relative ease – but Dyson’s flagship is more than twice the price of the HF500.

Overall, as you can see from the chart below, this was a decent performance from the Hoover HF500 cleaner. It performed better than Eufy’s HomeVac S11 and the Dyson V8. The Shark IZ300UKT was better still with its dual-function brush bar and fluffy roller, picking up more spills overall – even if you don’t count the normally tricky Cheerios on hard floor test.

READ NEXT: The best handheld vacuums

Hoover HF500 Anti-Twist Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review: Should I buy it?

The Hoover HF500 is an effective, well-designed cordless stick vacuum cleaner. It takes many of the best ideas from more expensive models and has brought them together in a compact and affordable package. I particularly like the anti-tangle floor head, the vacuum’s ability to stand up without support, and the neat way that it can be transformed into a small size that’s easy to store.

However, there have been a few compromises made to reach its affordable price. The capacity of the collection bin is relatively small, and similarly priced rivals deliver more stamina via their batteries. Neither of these are particular problems for smaller homes, however

For better all-round cleaning performance, the Shark IZ300UKT proved stronger in our tests. This has a soft roller for hard floors and can fold up for compact storage. It also comes with a greater number of tools and attachments, although it’s usually a bit more expensive, too. Note that this model can’t stand unsupported when extended, though, so you’ll always need to find somewhere to prop it up mid-clean.

It is possible to pick up a Dyson for a similar price, as long as you’re prepared to opt for the lowliest model in the current lineup: the V8. However, this didn’t fare much better than the HF500 in most of our tests. If you want to go down the Dyson route, we’d suggest saving up a bit more and opting for the V12 Detect Slim or V15 Detect instead.

For those who feel the HF500 is a little light on accessories, the Eufy HomeVac S11 Infinity is worth a look. It comes with an extra battery, a soft roller that you can swap with the brush bar, and a whole host of clip-on accessories to help clean more efficiently.

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