Best cordless vacuum cleaners 2023, from Dyson to Shark, Vax and Henry (2023)

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While still not as powerful as their mains-powered counterparts (especially the most powerful cylinder vacuum cleaners), new technology such as long-lasting lithium-ion batteries means that the best cordless vacuum cleaners from brands like Shark, Dyson and Vax now offer enough cleaning power for most homes, in a much lighter, more manoeuvrable and affordable format.

Cordless vacuums use less electricity than traditional vacuum cleaners, since they have smaller motors and only draw power when they’re recharging. That becomes more and more appealing as the cost of energy rises. (Admittedly robot vacuum cleaners use even less, but those remain a niche proposition.) If you need a vacuum for pet hair removal, especially from sofas and beds, a light and handy cordless makes a lot of sense.

Another factor in their popularity is that they’re often discounted. Scroll down for our full reviews of the ten best cordless vacuums on the market this year, followed by answers to some frequently asked questions, such as how long the batteries last. If you’re in a rush, here’s a quick look at our top five:

The best cordless vacuum cleaners for 2023, at a glance

How to choose the best vacuum cleaner

There are a few factors to consider when shopping. The first is suction power. Cordless models are low on suction power compared to plug-ins, but some are more powerful than others. Most can tackle most dirt, grime and surface stains. For more persistent staining you may need a carpet cleaner or a steam cleaner.

The second factor is weight, as some of the heavier cordless vacuum cleaners make hoovering your sitting room seem like an upper-body workout.

The third is battery life: the vacuum cleaner you choose will need to last long enough to get round your home on one charge, otherwise it will take just as much effort to clean with as a corded model. Don’t expect to get much more than quarter of an hour’s use when cleaning carpets. Always use less energy-intensive hard floor modes where possible to extend the run-time.

It’s also worth bearing in mind any extra features you want – we consider extra tools, such as a dust brush and crevice tool, to be essential. And, as you’ll see below, some models offer extra batteries, light-up floor heads and other extras to make cleaning easier than ever before. For these, though, you’ll likely pay a premium.

How we tested the best cordless vacuum cleaners

We compared them for weight, battery life, ease of use and flexibility to manoeuvre on wooden floors, carpet, linoleum and tiles. We also conducted a ‘flour test’ on a grey rug, spilling flour and then hoovering it up to test performance (you can see one result above). We also considered the bin capacities of each.

We also took affordability, value for money and any extra features they offer into account. Here’s what we found on our hunt for the best cordless vacuum cleaners, starting with our favourite…

Best cordless vacuum cleaners

1. Dyson Gen5 Detect Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

£849.99, John Lewis

Most powerful cordless vacuum

We like: it’s the most impressive cordless vacuum cleaner on the market

We don’t like: Dysons can be quite fragile compared to cheaper brands

  • Weight 3.5kg
  • Battery life up to 70 minutes, recharge time 4hr 30 minutes
  • Bin capacity 0.77l

To address the elephant in the room, the Dyson Gen5 Detect is a significant outlay – just shy of £850, to be exact. That’s almost £200 more than Dyson’s ex top of the range model, the Dyson V15 (£699.99). So what’s new?

It’s Dyson’s most powerful model yet with a suction power of 262 Air Watts on boost mode, compared to the V15’s 230. Air Watts measure the power of airflow per second in vacuum cleaners. The new HEPA filter supposedly means the vacuum can suck up viruses, although that’s obviously difficult to test.

The Gen5 Detect converts to a handheld simply by detaching the stick - a dusting and crevice tool is built into the vacuum which is very handy. It also uses an on and off switch like the Dyson V12 (£529.99) rather than the trigger tool favoured by every other Dyson vacuum.

Like previous models, the Gen5 Detect has three power modes: ‘Auto,’ which intelligently adapts to different floor types, ‘Eco,’ which saves power, and ‘Boost,’ for intensive cleaning. It also races ahead of competitors when it comes to battery life, with a maximum run time of 70 minutes. The battery is removable – spares are available to buy from Dyson should you wish to double your run time.

In practice, the Gen5 Detect is impressive. I have a long-haired tabby cat who malts so much it’s a wonder she has any fur left. It’s the kind of thick fur that seems to stick to everything, nothing can budge it except this vacuum.

It’s noticeably heavier than previous models. Though only 0.5kg heavier than the V15, that weight is all in the top which makes it cumbersome as a handheld - unfortunate given the upgrade Dyson has made on immersing the handheld inside the regular vacuum.

That and the premium price tag would be my only two complaints. If you can afford it and have pets or a big house, you won’t find a better clean.


Price at

John Lewis

2. Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum

Currently £379.99, Shark

Best value vacuum cleaner, 9/10

We like: the flexible wand

We don’t like: dust bin is awkward to empty

  • Power 309 Watts
  • Weight 4.1kg
  • Battery life up to 60 minutes, recharge time 4 hours
  • Bin Capacity 0.7 litres

Reviewed by Rebecca Astill

So, this vacuum cleaner’s full name is: ‘Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum (Single Battery)’. Slightly wordy, but don’t be put off. Shark is the favourite brand of celebrity cleanfluencer Mrs Hinch. So, if you want a home as clean as hers, it appears this Shark is the way to get it.

I’ve previously used Shark’s Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum and I’d say this new Stratos model is definitely worth the upgrade.Why? Well, the DuoClean (essentially, two brush-rolls in one) floor head is now bigger and more powerful. There’s a new anti-odour feature, consisting of replaceable cartridges that slot into the floor head to prevent bad smells in the dust cup. It truly does work - although it doesn’t quite perfume the air as it claims.

But the most noticeable difference was how much better the anti hair wrap function is. Both my flatmate and I have long hair which, previously, we’d have to cut out from the brush head every few uses. The Stratos sucked it up straight into the dust bucket with no issue. The Stratus picks up both short and long hair equally well, which will make it especially good for cleaning up pet hair.

The LED headlights make it easier to see dust and there’s a feature called Clean Sense IQ, which claims to pick up 50 per cent more dirt by sensing the level of dust and self-adjusting the suction power – although it’s hard to say how much this helped.

It comes with a great range of attachments: a crevice tool, a multi surface dusting tool, a dedicated pet tool and an accessory bag. My favourite bit was the hinge in the middle, which allows you to bend the vacuum under sofas, cupboards and other harder to reach places, and also folds completely in half for storage. One battery lasts 60 minutes meaning I could comfortably vacuum my entire flat in one go, though if you have a bigger house you might consider investing in the double battery version.

Overall I found the Shark very easy to set up and use, although emptying the dust bin was a bit fiddly. It’s also slightly more cumbersome than our top choice, the Dyson, as it weighs a reasonably hefty 4kg.

3. Roidmi X30 VX Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

£599, Roidmi

Best vacuum and mop, 9/10

We like: remarkably good at both functions

We don’t like: small capacity (both bin and mop chamber)

  • Power 400 Watts
  • Weight 2.7kg
  • Battery life up to 80 minutes (on eco mode), recharge time 2hr 30mins
  • Bin capacity 0.55 litres

Reviewed by Rebecca Astill

Roidmi started in 2015 in China and is still little-known in the UK, although its models are sold by big names like Harrods. It markets itself on innovation, and this combined vacuum and steam mop is a perfect example.

The Roidmi X30 VX looks good in silver and has all the features you’d expect in a luxury vacuum cleaner: an LED display, up to 80 minutes run time, a dark-detecting LED light and an easy-empty dust container. It also has a few features you won’t have come across before, including a 200rpm (revolutions per minute) steam mop head. As someone who lives in a tiny flat, the idea of having two otherwise bulky appliances in one is attractive.

In practice, the vacuum cleaner is most effective in eco mode on hard floors. It needs the normal or boost mode to give it the best chance at tackling carpets. In boost mode, the vacuum only lasts 10 minutes, which is impractical for anyone with a big house full of carpets, but the normal mode is fine if you’re vacuuming often.

As for the steam mop, it has a water tank capacity of 240ml which will give you 30 minutes of use. That’s far less than best steam mops, but unless you’re cleaning on an industrial scale, it’s perfect. It also still vacuums as it mops, which saves sweeping beforehand. The steam mop comes with an automatic cleaning station that cleans and dries the microfibre cloths after use, which saves sticking them through the washing machine after every use. After giving it a good go on a crumby floor, it left the kitchen spotless and shiny.

The digital display is useful but not obvious. You need to refer to instructions to understand the messages. On the other hand, the app is extremely useful. It easily connects via Bluetooth and tells you battery level, standby time, how big an area you’ve cleaned and time spent cleaning.

As if all that tech wasn’t enough, the Roidmi vacuum can also charge wirelessly, by leaning against a charging port designed to be stuck on your wall. If you have a lot of carpet, or already own a decent mop, you probably don’t need all the bells and whistles offered by the Roidmi X30 VX. If you like fancy tech, the Roidmi is a worthy investment and a plausible rival to Dyson.


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4. Vax Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless vacuum cleaner

£279, Amazon

Best cleaning on the first pass, 8/10

We like: wide cleaning head, two batteries for longer run time

We don’t like: not quite as nippy as the previous model

  • Power: not given
  • Weight 3.25kg
  • Battery life up to 45 minutes, recharge time 3 hours
  • Bin Capacity 0.7 litres

Reviewed by Rebecca Astill

The Vax Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car is the latest model from Vax’s Blade series and the most high tech to date. With current pricing, it’s more than £100 more than the previous model (below) - so is it worth the extra money? There’s a brand new floor head with two brush bars, it’s the first Blade with a digital display and it comes with two removable battery packs for double the run time.

Let’s zone in on the head for starters. The two brushes means the size of the overall head is bigger, which has made it slightly harder to manoeuvre than previous versions but far more efficient at picking up mess on its first swipe, on both floor and carpet. It’s especially efficient on the boost setting, though that setting is noisy and goes through the battery in around 12 minutes.

As for the digital display, which has become a staple of cordless vacuums these days, with Dyson, Miele, Samsung and Shark all using the feature, you can use it to see how much run time you have left based on the mode you’re using. It also shows maintenance pop ups, like whether you need to clean or replace the feature. It’s a handy upgrade, but isn’t as advanced as displays on the likes of Dyson, with some models telling you how much dust you’ve sucked up.

We still rate the Vax Blade 4 highly, as you can read below. The Blade 5 sees Vax venturing into the luxury vacuum market but, although the price has gone up, it’s still affordable compared to its counterparts.


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5. Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 cordless vacuum cleaner

£179, Amazon

Best budget cordless vacuum, 8/10

We like: the easy to empty bin

We don’t like: some key attachments are sold separately

  • Power 72 Watts
  • Weight 3.1kg
  • Battery life up to 45 minutes, recharge time 3 hours
  • Bin Capacity 0.6 litres

Reviewed by Abigail Buchanan

This cordless vacuum cleaner has lots to offer – I was hugely impressed with its 45 minute battery life (and the fact that it comes with an extra battery to double runtime), powerful suction, easy-empty bin and extra features. Put simply, it rivals more expensive models for a far better price.

It performed exceptionally well on hard floors and carpets alike, and it has a handy illuminated floor head and hardy brush mode that made light work of leeching dust and debris from my rugs. At 3.1kg, it’s a touch heavier than some of the other models on this list, but still plenty light enough to use for cleaning surfaces and corners as a handheld device.

It only comes with a crevice tool, but if you order from Vax direct they throw in an extra £50 worth of attachments including an upholstery brush and an extended crevice tool. It has an extra-powerful ‘Turbo’ mode, but I didn’t find I needed to use it often as it offers ample suction even on the standard setting.

Also of note is how incredibly easy it is to use and empty. You can charge the 4.0Ah battery in a charging dock – no need to plug the whole machine into the wall – and the 0.6l bin has an easy release mechanism that makes emptying quick and tidy.

It is also worth mentioning that Vax offer a two-in-one cordless vacuum and floor cleaner: the Vax ONEPWR Glide hard floor cleaner (£199.99, Vax). It gets the whole job done in one go, but its actual vacuuming performance is slightly lacking compared to the Blade 4, with 30 minutes battery life. You simply pull the trigger to coat the roller in antibacterial cleaning solution and vacuum as you would normally. It does a great job of cleaning my kitchen floor, sucking up dust and grime then scrubbing it clean in a fraction of the time such a job would normally take.


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6. Henry Quick Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

£300, Argos

Best for bin capacity, 8/10

We like: the disposable bin pods: no dust when you empty it into the bin

We don’t like: slightly taxing on the wrist

  • Power 300 Watts
  • Weight 3.2kg
  • Battery life up to 60 minutes, recharge time 2hr 30mins
  • Bin Capacity 1 litre

Reviewed by Rebecca Astill

The Henry Quick is everything the UK loves about the traditional cylinder model, transformed into a cordless design which comes in Henry red, Hetty pink, or graphite. It’s reliable, sturdy and considerably more powerful than most (only the Halo Capsule below outperforms it), but for many the standout feature will be the removable dust pod which gives dust-free emptying.

With one click, you release it directly into a bin and then fit another one. Each standard purchase of the vacuum comes with 26 Henry pods which are made of up to 65 percent recycled material and carbon offset, so you can go through them relatively guilt-free.

The Quick comes with three detachable heads for the floor and carpet, upholstery and crevices and a power boost for the more trying messes. The pack does only come with one battery, which takes two and a half hours to fully charge and only lasts between 14 and 60 minutes, depending on the mode. That being said, during my testing, I found the standard mode picked up everything I needed it to on carpet, so the battery life will usually be nearer to the 60 minutes.

The Henry is not the heaviest we tested, but the weight distribution means it is quite taxing on your wrist, especially in handheld mode. That’s justified by the high suction power and the dust capacity of one litre. It definitely packs a punch in what is a compact design. Considering the traditional Henry vacuum is pretty substantial, this new Henry Quick is versatile, powerful and easy to use.


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7. AEG Ultimate 8000

£399.99, AEG

Best for attachments, 8/10

We like: the excellent motorised brush

We don’t like: high power mode drains the battery very quickly

  • Power 153 Watts
  • Weight 2.9kg
  • Battery life up to 60 minutes, recharge time 2hr 30min
  • Bin Capacity 0.6 litres

Reviewed by Simon Lewis

A lovely bit of German engineering, the AEG is like a Mercedes in a world of Vauxhalls, although that is certainly reflected in the price. I loved the motorised Brush Roll Clean feature for intense carpet cleaning. Used in high power mode, it worked almost as well as the much more powerful Dyson, although you only get about 10 minutes out of it in this setting. (A second battery is available separately.) It makes the vacuum much harder to push around, but that’s a sign of its intensity.

Swap it out for the hard floor cleaning attachment and you get similarly impressive results for a longer run time. Actually the range of attachments was one of the things I like the most. Mine came with hard and soft motorised heads for carpet and hard floors, a Pet Pro motorised head with rubber bristles, which really worked, and various crevice and brush tools.

They all fit beautifully on the storage stand. A pet peeve of mine is vacuum attachments with nowhere to put them, so I loved this feature more than I probably should. The stand also recharges the vacuum on contact, like an electric toothbrush.

One black mark is the small bin, which fills up very rapidly and is not easy to get on and off. In its favour, the AEG 8000 is extremely light (not much more than half the weight of the Shark) and extremely well-balanced, with simple buttons making it very easy to use. And it simply looks lovely – like having a sports car in the cupboard under the stairs. I should probably get out more.


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8. Hoover H-Free 300 cordless vacuum cleaner

£101.99, Amazon

Lightest cordless vacuum cleaner, 7/10

We like: the easy manoeuvrability

We don’t like: slow recharge time

  • Power 65 Watts
  • Weight 2.5kg
  • Battery life up to 40 minutes, recharge time 5 hours
  • Bin Capacity 0.7 litres

Reviewed by Abigail Buchanan

Though distinctly underpowered, I loved the compact design of Hoover’s cordless model, its simple controls and its easy-empty dust container. It’s the lightest one we tested, is suitable for all types of floor and can be converted to a handheld Hoover for spot cleaning or use in a car. You can also switch between 90 and 180-degree cleaning angles to get around furniture and into tight corners and click it into a vertical position for temporary storage. I was similarly impressed by the premium features that punch above its price tag, including LED lights in the head to illuminate hidden dust.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it on price and ease of use – but on recharge time and suction power it doesn’t quite cut it. This was reflected in the flour test – it was able to suck up the flour efficiently, but didn’t quite get every trace at the edges of the brush head.


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9. Miele Triflex HX2 Pro cordless vacuum cleaner

£749, John Lewis

Best looking cordless vacuum cleaner, 7/10

We like: much greater suction than the power rating suggests

We don’t like: the price makes Dyson look cheap

  • Power 322 Watts
  • Weight 3.6kg
  • Battery life up to 120 minutes, recharge time 4 hours
  • Bin Capacity 0.5 litres

Reviewed by Rebecca Astill

What first struck me about this vacuum cleaner were its looks: all grey pearlised body and metallic accents. I wouldn’t spend nearly £800 on a vacuum for looks alone, but luckily it has impressive performance credentials too.

Its main point of difference is the three-in-one design. The dust bin can either fix onto the top as shown above, which allows greater flexibility for harder-to-reach nooks and crannies (such as under the bed), or on the bottom, directly above the floor head, for a more comfortable vacuum. The third configuration is to remove the long stick and attach the head directly to the handle, using it as a handheld.

I was surprised how much the weight distribution affected the ease of use. With the dust bin at the bottom of the vacuum, manoeuvring was light and easy. It also stood up on its own, a rarity among cordless vacuums. Fitted to the top, it felt bulky and awkward, which unfortunately extended to the handheld mode. This is not a light machine.

In its defence, the HX2 is extremely powerful and definitely punches above its 322W rating. I’d say its suction power was equivalent to the Dyson Gen5 Detect at the top of this list.

It comes with a great range of attachments including an upholstery nozzle, crevice nozzle, dusting brush and floorhead with light. An extra battery is also included, which doubles the cleaning time to an incredibly impressive 120 minutes. What’s not so impressive is the four hours it takes to recharge.

It doesn’t have a digital display: instead you mechanically switch between eco, min and max mode. This will suit those of us more comfortable with older tech, but I’d expect more modernity from Miele. I have to be extra picky with this vacuum cleaner, because of the cost. For £749, I really was expecting a flawless vacuum. If what you’re looking for is a high quality, long-lasting and easy to use vacuum, this is it. But if, like me, you expected more premium features – like anti hair wrap and a digital display – opt for the Dyson Gen5 Detect or the Shark Stratos in the top two positions.


Price at

John Lewis

Cordless vacuums FAQ

Why should I get a cordless vacuum?

When cordless vacuum cleaners first came out, they weren’t very good: they had a low run time and poor suction. Over the past few years, however, they have improved dramatically. These days, you can get suction as effective as a corded device; battery life of up to an hour; and a whole host of attachments for versatile cleaning – but you do have to pay a little more to do so.

However, the biggest draw is convenience – a cordless vacuum cleaner allows you to clean little and often rather than doing one weekly deep clean, and to easily spot-clean dust or spillages without the faff of dust bags and cables.

A good cordless vacuum cleaner should come with further attachments like crevice tools for skirting and other tight corners; dusting brushes; and a docking and charging station. You could use a brush for table tops, for example. Just attach it to the handheld section and get rid of all those crumbs in no time at all.

The best I tested were equally comfortable on thick carpet, wood, sofas and skirting; and the very best were just as efficient as corded varieties.

What’s the battery life like?

There’s quite a big range in battery life. While some last under 10 minutes on the maximum setting, others go for much longer. The Dyson Gen5 Detect, for example, will function for just over an hour on the lowest setting, without losing power as the battery life diminishes. And, for what it’s worth, the lowest setting on the best devices was more than enough: I didn’t really find the need to use any on the max setting.

Charging the batteries is straightforward. You’ll get a plug to charge wherever you like, but you can also connect it to a wall mount (which has to be attached to your wall, and will become your charging station). Trickle charging ensures the battery won’t be depleted by being left on the charger like, say, an iPhone.

You’ll also get useful lights on the handheld section of the machine, to tell you how long you’ve got left. If you’re worried about the battery life, unless you have a huge home which you want to clean in one go, you should be fine. Never did I run out of battery, albeit in a small three-bed flat.

Do they have good dust capacity?

Aside from the Henry Quick, the machines I used are all bagless. Instead, they have dust canisters. A smaller canister can fill up quickly if you’re cleaning your whole house, but emptying is as simple as flicking a switch or clicking a button.

A bagged option might be better for dust allergy sufferers, or asthmatics, as there is a danger of breathing in particles when emptying the canister. It is also important to maintain your device properly by taking the filter out and cleaning it to prevent blockages and a decline in performance. Cleaning the filter is as simple as running it under the tap and leaving it to dry.

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