To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Bosch Unlimited 7 review: A good cleaner lacking some essential modern features

Our Rating :
£299.00 from
Price when reviewed : £400
inc VAT

The Bosch Unlimited 7 gets many things right, but doesn’t keep pace with the latest cordless stick developments


  • Strong in crevices
  • Tidy emptying
  • Dual batteries (not all models)


  • Weak suction
  • No anti-tangle
  • Basic controls

With its rivals brimming with innovative new features, the Bosch Unlimited 7 seems like a surprisingly old-fashioned cordless stick vacuum cleaner. Bosch hasn’t added screens or electronic controls. It hasn’t even brought in an anti-tangle floor head, or made much more than a token gesture towards the fact that most modern households have both carpet and hard floors.

Despite this, the Unlimited 7 isn’t exactly cheap. The base model retails at £300, and the dual battery model under review is £400. While that’s significantly cheaper than a top-of-the-range Dyson V15 Detect, it isn’t dramatically undercutting the likes of the Hoover HF9 or the Vax Blade 5.

Bosch Unlimited 7 review: What do you get for the money?

There are three models in the Bosch Unlimited 7 range. The Bosch Unlimited 7 Graphite BCS711GB (RRP £300) is the base model, which comes with a single battery, a charging station and three accessories: a short crevice tool; a long, flexible crevice tool; and a two-in-one furniture brush/upholstery nozzle. The extension wand and floor head units are identical across all the Unlimited 7 models.

The next model up, and the one on review here, is the Bosch Unlimited 7 White BCS712GB (RRP £400). This has everything from the previous model, but also includes a second battery and a separate quick charger, so you can charge the extra battery without having to dock the vacuum cleaner.

Finally, the Bosch Unlimited 7 ProAnimal Red BCS71PETGB (RRP £350) also comes with all the same bits as the single-battery BCS711GB but adds a mattress funnel, an animal mini power brush with a spare roller, and a keyboard and drawer nozzle – which is a bit like a crevice tool, but with a crimped end, so that it doesn’t suck up small but important items. It’s cheaper than the dual battery model, though, which sacrifices attachments for charge.

Fully assembled, the Unlimited 7 stands 131.5cm tall and weighs 2.9kg. The three components are easy to clip together and pull apart, and you can even use your foot to remove the floor head, saving you from bending down or having to upend the whole unit. With the handheld element removed, the wand and floor head can be left in a standing position, so you don’t need to find somewhere to lean it while it’s not in use. However, unlike the Hoover HF9 or HF500, the Unlimited 7 can’t support its own weight when the handheld unit is attached. Instead, Bosch has added an “easy parking clip” to the back of the wand, which you can hook over the back of a chair or lean on a table or work surface and, since it’s rubberised, it will stay put without fear of scratching.

The floor head is relatively basic. It has a strip of LED lights across the front, but that’s about as modern as it gets. Inside, the roller has two brush strips spiralled around it – a short stiff brush for carpet and a longer soft brush for sweeping hard floors – but there’s no soft roller or mechanism for keeping the system free from hair tangles.

All versions of the Unlimited 7 come with a docking station designed to be screwed onto a wall. It has a magnet to hold the cleaner securely and the charging cable can be incorporated into it, allowing you to charge the vacuum just by placing it into position. Of course, the charging cable can also be connected manually, should you prefer to put it away in a cupboard after charging.

The dual-battery model also comes with an external quick charging block that you can use instead. You simply remove the battery from the vacuum cleaner and slot it into the top of the charger. It has lights to indicate when charging has completed, and can take batteries from Bosch’s compatible range of power tools.

READ NEXT: The best cordless vacuum cleaners

Bosch Unlimited 7 review: What’s it like to use?

Operation of the Bosch Unlimited 7 is very much at the basic end of the spectrum – the only control is a four-way sliding switch located on the handle. The first position is off, then you can slide it to Eco, Turbo or Auto modes. It sits nicely under your thumb while you’re vacuuming, but the writing is small and easily obscured. It won’t take long to memorise the positions, though, and you can easily work out the settings by clicking through the options and listening to the motor.

There’s also a battery indicator light just below the switch that splits the battery into thirds, so you can keep an eye on roughly how much charge is left. It’s useful, but nowhere near as accurate as the screens that count down in minutes or percentage points that can be found on rival vacuums.

The vacuum is an average weight so isn’t too heavy to push around, though I found that it could be quite grippy on a medium pile carpet at full suction. However, this isn’t a mode you’ll be using much and is really just for cleaning stubborn dirt. In general use it was well balanced, with the Auto mode adjusting appropriately to the suction requirements of different surfaces.

The extension wand has a hinge about two-thirds of the way up that can be released to allow it to bend up to 90 degrees. This is particularly useful for getting under low furniture. The long, bendy crevice tool is also handy for getting into narrow spaces behind wardrobes and radiators. It’s not unique to Bosch, but there aren’t many models that come with one of these as standard.

When it comes to suction, the Unlimited 7 proved to be a bit of a lightweight in our tests. A good vacuum cleaner isn’t only about the suction, but power in this regard certainly helps. On its most powerful setting, the vacuum only measured 11kPa. As you can see from our chart below, that’s only just over one-third of what a Dyson V15 Detect can manage (before it cuts out), and its similarly priced rivals are all more powerful even in low-power mode.

Battery life swings the scale back in Bosch’s favour. While it can’t touch the Dyson on either power setting, at low power the Bosch battery outlasts the rest of the competition. All this is for a single battery charge, though, and our review unit came with two batteries. Counting the life of both combined, the White BCS712GB outlasts everything.

Emptying the collection bin is a fairly old-school endeavour. It sits at right angles to the extension wand, so this needs removing before the bin can be extracted from the handheld unit. The filter is then lifted out, leaving just the cup full of dust to be tipped into the bin.

I initially scoffed at how basic this is – most rivals have a trap door at the bottom to release the dirt, while Dysons use levers and all sorts. However, the downside of these is that often the final emptying becomes a two-handed operation, making it difficult to keep bin lids open, and there’s usually an accompanying cloud of dust. By contrast, removing the filter on the Unlimited 7 is relatively dust free. The cup can be emptied at arm’s length and barely creates any cloud, particularly if held close to the bottom of a bin.

There’s another benefit to this system. Some cordless sticks with bins that sit in line with the extension wand need a u-turn in the piping to transfer the dirt to the bin, and these are prone to trapping larger particles. We had no such problem here, with the Cheerios collected in our tests flying into the bin with ease (see “How well does it clean?”, below).

I’m getting so used to cordless sticks coming with anti-tangle devices in their floor heads that it’s easy to forget how quickly rollers can clog up with hair. During testing, I found the Bosch was very quick to catch long hair around the roller, and it just kept building up. In the manual, Bosch suggests tackling tangles with scissors. This is fine, and straightforward enough to perform, but it’s one more maintenance task that’s not required with recent models from Dyson, Shark, Hoover and others.

READ NEXT: The best vacuum cleaners

Bosch Unlimited 7 review: How well does it clean?

I wasn’t totally convinced that the design of the Bosch Unlimited 7 would see it through our cleaning tests. While the front end of the floor head has a corrugated moulding, it didn’t look large enough to pass a Cheerio through, and we use Cheerios for our large particle tests. With no fluffy roller to capture and guide them in, it looked like the Bosch was destined to fail.

I started with Cheerios on a hard floor, which is a tough test for most cleaners. Pushing the vacuum slowly into the measured spill saw Cheerios being pushed in front of the floor head, as expected, for some distance. However, the vacuum then trapped a couple, enough to lift the front of the floor head off the ground and enabling it to surf over a significant number of the Cheerios, sucking them up as it went.

In the end, it gathered around 73% from a single pass, which isn’t bad on a hard floor for a device that doesn’t have a fluffy roller. However, the beauty of every cordless stick is that you can ditch the wand and floor head, and use the handheld unit to gather up what’s left.

On short-pile carpet, the added traction helped it gobble up almost everything, leaving no Cheerios behind. The scales were 1g shy of 100% success, but it was certainly good enough as I never found that missing gram and it definitely wasn’t on the floor.

Moving on to flour, the results were impressive again. It collected 98% of our spillage from the hard floor, with barely visible residue, most of it having disappeared into the cracks between tiles, and this was easily solved with a follow-up pass with the crevice tool.

On carpet, a little more was left behind. I measured 96% of the spill collected, though a visible dusting remained after the first pass. I found it was best to employ the upholstery brush, as the velvety bristles had just enough agitation to gather the remnants from our short pile carpet.

It may sound like a resounding success but, as can be seen from our chart below, many cordless sticks are just as good at these jobs. It’s interesting to note that, while the Dyson V15 Detect performed best overall, cheaper models from Hoover, Vax, and Bosch make very effective alternatives.

READ NEXT: The best vacuum cleaners for pet hair

Bosch Unlimited 7 review: Should I buy it?

There are a lot of things going for the Bosch Unlimited 7. A low-fuss device that’s simple to operate and clicks together with the solid build quality you would expect from a power tool manufacturer, it’s well worth considering.

On the downside, it has few of the features that are slowly becoming absolute essentials on a cordless vacuum. While I could live with the clunky emptying (and actually, I’m slightly taken by it), I would find it hard to introduce a vacuum into my household that doesn’t comb hair tangles out of its floor head.

It doesn’t excel on hard floors, and the model we reviewed doesn’t come with a pet accessory, which I feel is a must-have for anyone with stairs, let alone pets. That said, the extra battery and quick charger is great. It’s a shame you can’t have both.

Except, in fact, you can: the Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car comes with all the attachments you might need and a second battery. While those batteries don’t last as long as the Bosch’s, its soft roller helped it perform better in our all-round cleaning tests.

If you like the idea of the Bosch’s bits standing upright when you remove the handheld unit from the top, it’s worth checking out the Hoover HF9 (Pet) as this model stands upright even with its motor unit attached. It may sound like a small benefit but it will leave you wondering why all cordless sticks don’t do this. It also has an anti-tangle system, which you’ll love if you live with long-haired humans or pets.

If money is no object, it’s worth stepping up to a Dyson V15 Detect. With its powerful suction and interchangeable floor heads, it’s always the right tool for any job. However, you’ll need to be prepared to pay almost twice the price for the privilege.

Read more