Cordless vacuums are increasing in popularity due to their growing intelligence, power and capacity. In the past people perhaps didn't want to give up their powerful corded vacuum for a cordless alternative because they didn't have as much power, suction, capacity or charge to vacuum the whole house.

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But as technology has improved, cordless vacuums have become more and more impressive, leading people to switch out their old vacuum for a brand new cordless one. There are many benefits to cordless vacuums such as not having to plug and unplug as you move around the house, ease of reaching under tables and high up areas and of course, they make the difficult task of vacuuming the stairs that little bit easier. You can even get some models that double up as mops or floor and carpet cleaners.

However, there are now so many cordless vacuums on the market and finding the right one for you can be difficult. To help you find a cordless vacuum to suit you, we analysed the market (including an in-depth analysis of Shark vs Dyson vacuums) and spoke to experts for their advice on choosing a cordless vacuum. We also spoke to parents in our Top Testers Club about the vacuums they use and love.

Best cordless vacuum cleaners at a glance

  • Best cordless vacuum for anti hair wrap: Shark Classic Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Pet Vacuum, £379.99
  • Best free-standing cordless vacuum: Hoover HF9 Anti-Twist Cordless Vacuum Pets Edition, £399.97
  • Best cordless vacuum for an intelligent clean: Dyson v15 Detect Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, £629
  • Best cordless vacuum for vacuuming & mopping: Bissell Crosswave Cordless Max, £429.99
  • Best budget cordless vacuum: Beko VRT61814VR Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, £79.99
  • Best lightweight cordless vacuum: Dyson v12 Detect Slim, £529
  • Best upright cordless vacuum: Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum, £399.99
  • Best cordless vacuum for carpets: VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, £259.99
  • Best cordless vacuum for an all-in-one clean station: Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra, £849
  • Best cordless vacuum for anti-odour: Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum (2 battery), £549.99

What to consider when buying a cordless vacuum

Size – Cordless vacuums tend to be smaller than corded but if you don't have much storage space then it's still important to check the size and make sure it will fit where you intend to keep it.

Weight – We all know how heavy corded vacuums can be, and lugging them up and down the stairs is no easy task. Cordless vacuums overall are a lot lighter. However, some models are much lighter than others so consider how important this is to you. The lightest option on the list is number 6, the Dyson v12 Detect Slim, weighing just 2.2kg. The heaviest on the list is the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum (number 7 on the list), weighing 5.5kg.

Run time – Most cordless vacuums have around 30-60 minutes run time. It's a good idea to check this if you have a fairly large house, as you may require a vacuum with a longer battery life. There are some that come with 2 batteries, giving you up to 12o minutes run time (number 9 and 10 on the list). It's also possible to purchase additional batteries.

Charge time – You should also consider charge time – how long it takes to charge the battery from 0% to 100%. This tends to be around 3-5 hours with 3.5 being the most common. If you vacuum frequently then you may want to pick one that has the shortest charge time.

Pet model – If you have pets or long/thick hair yourself, then you will understand the issue of vacuums getting clogged up, or hair getting tangled around the brush. Motorised pet brush tools and anti hair wrap technology work to solve this issue. Many vacuum brands offer both a regular and a pet model (which is usually a bit more expensive). It's always a good idea to check if the pet model offers the key features to really help you clean up pet hair.

Capacity – A cordless model will not have the capacity of an upright vacuum, as the weight would make it impossible to use. 0.7L seems to be the average capacity for a cordless vacuum and should be efficient enough for most houses. If you want a smaller vacuum then you will have to settle for a smaller capacity and empty it much more frequently.

Attachments – Most vacuums come with a set of attachments. These can be really useful to clean different areas of your house. A nozzle and a brush are good for tough corners or curves. One of the most important attachments for pet owners, as mentioned above, is the pet brush designed specifically for hair. If the vacuum you want doesn't come with an attachment you need, it's usually possible to buy the attachments separately on the manufacture's website.

Best cordless vacuum cleaners

1. Shark Classic Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Pet Vacuum, £379.99

– Best for anti hair wrap

Shark Classic Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Pet Vacuum being tested

Size: H118cm x W26cm x D24.5cm | Weight: 4.1kg | Charge time: 3.5 hours | Run time: 40 mins | Pet model: Yes | Capacity: 0.7L | Attachments: Motorised pet tool, crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool

This cordless vacuum has an excellent anti hair wrap feature making it great for people with pets and long hair. Parent tester Cat loves her Shark, "It's fantastic for cleaning up after the puppy and toddler, plus all the hair etc. I also like that it's cordless and light and you can detach the head to make cleaning the stairs easier."

Parent tester Eleanor uses this vacuum and agrees the anti hair wrap function is great, "It's the best purchase I've made as previous vacuums would clog up nearly instantly with my long hair and I would have to clean it out after vacuuming each room. The Shark has amazing battery life too and my hair never gets caught up in it. I would never go back to a budget vacuum after spending the money to get a decent one."

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It has a handy DuoClean floorhead which combines 2 motorised brush-rolls that work on both carpet and hard floors. There's no need to change the head as you change floor surface, simply switch modes on the handle.

If you're lacking space or need to get in hard to reach areas then you'll especially love the flexology feature this Shark vacuum offers. The wand is flexible and bends to clean and the LED lights located at the front help you see where you're cleaning and highlight any dust you may not usually see. The flexible wand also makes it great for storing away as it folds down compactly.

This cordless vacuum takes 3.5 hours to charge and runs for 40 minutes (not on turbo mode). To charge, you can either remove the battery and charge it or attach it to the docking station and charge it on the wall.

For cars, sofas, stairs and other areas you can transform the vacuum into a handheld vacuum cleaner and attach any of the useful attachments. The handheld mode is also good for dusting corners or curtains as you can reach up high and it's light to hold.

Once you've finished vacuuming just press the button to release the dust cup.

Pros: Fantastic anti hair wrap, great for pet hair, work on all floor surfaces, flexology, LED lights
Cons: Shorter battery life, slightly heavier option

Available from: Very, Shark Clean and Amazon

2. Hoover HF9 Anti-Twist Cordless Vacuum Pets Edition, £399.97

– Best free-standing cordless vacuum

Hoover HF9 anti-Twist Cordless Vacuum Pets Edition being tested

Size: H111cm x W26cm x D21cm | Weight: 3.4kg | Charge time: 3.5 hours | Run time: 30 mins | Pet model: Yes | Capacity: 0.7L | Attachments: 2-in-1 dusting/upholstery tool, crevice tool, motorised mini turbo pets brush

Many cordless vacuums don't stand on their own, so if you want a break when vacuuming you have to lean it up against a wall. Hoover's new HF9 model has a really useful quick park-and-go function, just pull it up and it will stand up. It's advised that you don't leave it like this for storage though as it may get knocked over.

The vacuum has a 30 minute run time which should be enough to clean an average sized house. Like most cordless vacuums it takes 3.5 hours to charge the battery.

If you want a bit of extra power it has a turbo mode, but this does reduce the run time. I've tested this vacuum and was very impressed with the suction and found you only really needed turbo mode on particularly dirty areas with lots of pet hair.

The vacuum is easy to clean too, the anti-twist floor head works like Shark's anti hair wrap function and prevents hair wrapping round the roller. If you do need to clean the roller, it's super easy thanks to the transparent window that pops off for instant access.

Whether you're doing hard floors or carpets, you can change the mode to adjust the roller speed. I tested the vacuum on laminate, carpet and tiles and found it worked great on all the different surfaces.

One added feature I loved on this hoover was the LED lights which are very helpful when vacuuming on hard wood floor as they show up dust you wouldn't normally be able to see.

The motorised pet tool attachment is really useful for sofas, especially if you let your pet up and there's a lot of hair.

Pros: Free-standing, good with pet hair, anti twist for hair, easy to clean, works on all floor surfaces, LED lights
Cons: Shorter battery life

Available from: Hoover, Very and Currys

3. Dyson v15 Detect Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, £629

– Best for an intelligent clean

Dyson v15 Absolute being tested

Size: H126.4cm x W25.2cm x D25.2cm | Weight: 3kg | Charge time: 4.5 hours | Run time: 60 mins | Pet model: No | Capacity: 0.76L | Attachments: Torque drive cleanerhead, laser slim fluffy cleanerhead, hair screw tool, quick-release mini soft dusting brush, crevice tool, combination tool

If you really want to see just how dirty your floors are and how deep your clean has been then this vacuum is for you. This is one of Dyson's most advanced and intelligent vacuums which features a piezo sensor that measures microscopic dust particles and increases or decreases suction power accordingly, to provide you with the deepest clean possible.

It goes even further than this too: if you want to see how many dirt or dust particles you've cleaned up, it's displayed right in front of you on the LCD screen on the handle. It claims to capture 99.97% of dust particles.

It has illumination too, which helps with seeing dust and particles that would otherwise be hidden.

Much like Hoover and Shark this Dyson also has anti-tangle technology for carpets, however this vacuum is not specifically for pets so may struggle more with pet hair than other models.

This vacuum works on any floor surface and provides strong and powerful suction, enough to pick up large debris.

For such an intelligent vacuum, it has a decent size capacity and run time whilst still being lightweight. It also comes with lots of attachments and tools to go with it, however this is reflected in the price, being one of the more expensive options on the market. Parent tester Bethany loves her Dyson v15 Absolute (pictured above), "I can do my whole house in 1 charge even using the boost function. Genuinely love it best purchase ever."

Pros: Scientific deep clean, intelligent, LCD screen, illumination, anti-tangle technology, lots of attachments, lightweight, works on all floor surfaces, good for dust allergies
Cons: Expensive option and has slightly longer charging time

Available from: Argos, Very and Currys

4. Bissell Crosswave Cordless Max, £429.99

– Best for vacuuming & mopping

Bissell Crosswave Cordless Max

Size: H115.6cm x W26cm x D25cm | Weight: 5.22kg | Charge time: 4 hours | Run time: 30 mins | Pet model: No | Capacity: 0.82L (water capacity) | Attachments: Multi-Surface Floor Cleaning Solution

The Bissell Crosswave is ideal for busy households prone to spillages, crumbs and muddy footprints. It has multi-surface cleaning capabilities to clean all floor surfaces.

The 3-in-1 cleaning technology allows you to vacuum, mop and dry hard floors and rugs. It has a 30 minute run time and takes 4 hours to fully charge the battery. The brush roll cleans itself in its storage tray after each use.

It has 2-tank technology, storing all the dirty and clean water into separate tanks for easy disposal. The digital controls make it easy to handle and adjust to the settings you need.

Included inside is a Bissell Multi-Surface Floor Cleaning Solution so you can get to cleaning straight away.

Pros: Vacuums, mops and dries, 2-tank technology, digital controls, floor cleaner included
Cons: Not designed for picking up pet hair, no anti wrap, quite heavy, not as long run time as others

Available from: Very, John Lewis and Currys

5. Beko VRT61814VR Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, £79.99

– Best budget buy

Beko VRT61814VR Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Size: H122cm x W27cm x D22cm | Weight: 2.69kg | Charge time: 5 hours | Run time: 45 mins | Pet model: No | Capacity: 0.5L | Attachments: 2-in-1 crevice tool, round brush

If you want a cordless vacuum but don't want to spend the earth and aren't fussed about some of the scientific features the more expensive options offer then this is a great option.

The cordless vacuum only weighs 2.69kg so is easy to carry around the house. This vacuum also has LED lights which make detecting dust and cleaning under furniture easier.

The battery can last up to 45 minutes, enabling you enough time to clean your entire house. It has a foldable handle too, like the Shark vacuum and can fold down for convenient storage.

For sofas and cars you can make it into a small handheld vacuum too.

Pros: Great value, lightweight, LED lights, foldable handle, handheld option
Cons: Small capacity, lacks technology others have long charge time

Available from: Amazon and Currys

6. Dyson v12 Detect Slim, £529

– Best for a lightweight option

Dyson v12 detect slim being tested

Size: H126.4cm x W25.2cm x D25cm | Weight: 2.2kg | Charge time: 3.5 hours | Run time: 60 mins | Pet model: No | Capacity: 0.35L | Attachments: Illuminated cleaner head, motorbar cleaner heard, hair screw tool, combination tool, crevice tool, reach-under tool

The Dyson v12 Detect Slim is very similar to the Dyson v15 Detect but is extra slim and lightweight making it easy to store and carry around whilst vacuuming.

It has the angled beam to illuminate and highlight any dust and dirt as well as the piezo sensor to monitor and count the dust particles to change the speed accordingly. This is all displayed on the LCD screen.

The vacuum has 60 minutes run time which is great for the size and weight of it. However, the capacity is quite small, so you may have to empty it quite regularly. Thankfully it does have no-touch point and shoot release to make emptying it as mess-free as possible.

It will work on any floor type and has the same anti tangle technology as they Dyson v15.

Pros: Intelligent technology, anti tangle, lightweight, slim, LCD screen, works on all floor types, illumination
Cons: Small capacity, quite expensive option

Available from: Very, John Lewis and Currys

7. Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum, £399.99

– Best for a cordless-upright combo

Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum

Size: H108cm x W25cm x D26cm | Weight: 5.5kg | Charge time: 3.5 hours | Run time: 50 mins | Pet model: No | Capacity: 0.6L | Attachments: Crevice tool, dusting brush, wide upholstery tool

If you want the regular feel of an upright vacuum but without the cord to worry about and trip you up then this vacuum is ideal for you.

It has a twin tech floorhead so works on both carpets and hard floor without any need to change the brush. As with most Shark vacuums it has their fantastic anti hair wrap technology to stop long hair and pet hair from getting tangled around the brush.

The cordless vacuum has up to 50 minutes run time, additional batteries can be purchased if you want a longer battery life. Its handy powered lift-away means you can pick up the main unit to clean under furniture without any heavy lifting.

It has an anti-allergen complete seal as it captures and traps 99.9% of dust. As with all Shark vacuums, it has their signature LED lights to help locate hidden dirt and dust.

Pros: Upright vacuum, twin tech floorhead, works on all floor surfaces, lift-away technology, anti-allergen complete seal, LED lights, anti hair wrap
Cons: Not pet model, quite heavy, different design to regular cordless vacuums, not massive capacity

Available from: Very, Shark Clean and Currys

8. VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, £259.99

– Best for carpets

VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Size: H114cm x W24cm x D18.5cm | Weight: 3.1kg | Charge time: 3 hours | Run time: 45 mins | Pet model: Yes | Capacity: 0.6L | Attachments: Mini motorised pet tool, crevice tool, soft bristle dusting brush

This VAX cordless vacuum is ideal for carpets thanks to its twin helix brush which reaches up to speeds of 4,200 RPM to pick up dirt deeply embedded into the carpet.

The brush has antimicrobial protection to stop any fungi or or bacteria growing on the bristles. The vacuum can be used on all surfaces and has LED lights which are really useful for seeing dirt and dust on hard wood floors.

It's easy to clean too, just remove the brush bar, separator and filter to clean all the components separately. For the car, sofa or other hard-to-reach areas you can detach it and make it into a lightweight handheld vacuum.

Parent tester Jo uses a cordless VAX and it has lasted her for 5 years, "It has a good battery life, lasts around 45 minutes and we have 2 batteries so 1 is always charged for us to swap out. However, it does regularly get clogged with hair, meaning it needs to be cleaned more often."

Pros: Good for carpets, antimicrobial protection, LED lights, pet model, easy to clean, handheld vacuum, pet model, affordable
Cons: No anti hair wrap

Available from: Very, John Lewis and Amazon

9. Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra, £849

– Best for all-in-one clean station

Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra

Size: H30cm x W30cm x D85cm | Weight: 2.7kg | Charge time: 3.5 hours | Run time: 120 mins | Pet model: No | Capacity: 0.5L | Attachments: Pet tool, combination tool, extension crevice tool, flexible tool

This cordless vacuum has something a bit different to all the others on this list, however, this is reflected in the high price tag. The cleaning station is a dock to charge your vacuum but also has a capsule to empty the dustbin using air pulse technology which traps 99.99% of fine dust. The battery takes 3.5 hours to charge and once fully charged you will get up to 1 hour of vacuuming time. There are 2 batteries included so you can get up to 120 minutes of run time.

The vacuum and cleaning station is sleek and stylish too and would look nice in your house.

If that's not enough it also comes with antibacterial dual pads which you can put on to clean the floors and spray out water. The vacuum works on all floor surfaces. The LCD digital display shows the suction power and running time, charging status, maintenance guide and error guide so you know if any problems have occurred with your vacuum and what.

The telescopic pipe has 3 adjustable heights to suit all different users and help reaching up high. As well as the dock for the vacuum it also comes with an accessory cradle where you can neatly store all the attachments included.

Pros: Long battery life, cleaning station, sleek storage, lightweight, antibacterial cleaning pads and spray, LCD digital display, telescopic pipe, accessory cradle
Cons: Expensive, not pet model, no anti hair wrap, fairly small capacity

Available from: John Lewis, Samsung and Currys

10. Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum (2 battery), £549.99

– Best for anti-odour

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum (2 battery)

Size: H114cm x W27cm x D17cm | Weight: 4.07kg | Charge time: 3.5 hours per battery | Run time: 120 mins | Pet model: Yes | Capacity: 0.7L | Attachments: Crevice tool, multi surface tool, anti allergen brush, pet tool

Shark's anti-odour technology has a dial which you can insert into the floorhead to change intensity to protect against odours which come from pet hair, dust and dander.

It also has the same anti hair wrap feature as all other Shark vacuums and works on all floor types without even having to change the head thanks to its DuoClean floorhead. As with all the other Shark models on this list it has their iconic LED lights to see dirt and dust.

The LED smart display shows the battery status and suction level. You can easily control the settings using the controls on the handle. The handy flexology feature allows you to access hard-to-reach areas and means it folds down compactly for storage.

It also comes with 2 batteries providing a run time of up to 120 minutes when you swap the batteries.

The anti-allergen complete seal is great and traps 99.9% of dust.

Parent tester Chloe has this vacuum and was very impressed with it's power and suction: "At first I was worried the suction wouldn't be as good as my plug in Shark Lift-Away Pet, but I was wrong, it's just as good and has a great battery life, I can get up to 2 hours out of my vacuum."

Pros: Anti-odour technology, anti hair wrap, all floor types, DuoClean floorhead, LED lights, LED smart display, flexology, 2 batteries, anti-allergen, great for pet hair
Cons: Not as lightweight as other options

Available from: Very, Shark Clean and Lakeland

Why buy a cordless vacuum?

Catrin Davies, Product Manager at Hoover, explains the advantages of using a cordless vacuum. "They are more slimline, portable, light and convenient for easing around every room in the house or for getting into tight corners, crevices or for moving easily up and down the stairs. You can also use them in handheld mode to clean inside your car."

Do cordless vacuums work as well as corded?

Corded vacuums tend to have slightly more power as they're connected to the mains whilst cordless vacuums are powered by a rechargeable battery. However, with big brands constantly working on improving their cordless models and their popularity increasing, their suction power and advanced technology to help keep your house clean is very impressive.

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What to look for in a vacuum for pet hair?

Expert Catrin Davies advises looking for clever technology such as a motorised power nozzle. This is the ideal tool for pet owners as it effectively cleans dog and cat fur from cushions and other fabric surfaces.

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

When testing and selecting the best cordless vacuum, we looked at models suitable for pets, anti hair wrap, different floor surfaces, weight, size, capacity, battery life and value.

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don't just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

About out expert

Catrin Davies is product manager at Hoover and knows everything there is to know about choosing a vacuum cleaner.

About the author

Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media's Parenting team. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products for parents, ranging from best sleep aids to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development.

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