Are Cordless Vacuums As Good As Corded?

Are cordless vacuums as good as corded? If you’re looking around for a new vacuum cleaner you may have noticed a number of options for cordless vacuum cleaners.

This may have left you wondering whether cordless vacuums are as good as corded vacuums.

The fact is they both have their pros and cons. Ultimately which one is best for you very much depends on your needs as well as which model you actually go for.

Below we go into detail about the pros and cons of each before looking at the best available models in each category.

What Are Cordless Vacuums?

When people refer to cordless vacuums they typically mean cordless stick vacuum cleaners (like the Dyson V7 displayed below).

They’re typically composed of a lightweight construction and are battery operated.

Their compact and slim design make them ideal for whizzing around the home taking care of clean-ups in double-quick time though their design can have its disadvantages.

Are Cordless Vacuums As Good As Corded?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of cordless vacuum cleaners.



Cordless vacuum cleaners do not require bags and instead rely on dust compartments to store dirt.

This has a major advantage over corded vacuums because it saves you on having to buy replacement dust bags.

Over the life of a corded vacuum cleaner they can add up. They can also be a nuisance if you forget to actually buy them. Wird a cordless vacuum cleaner you don’t have this problem.

Lightweight Construction

Unlike corded vacuums, cordless units tend to be far lighter.

They typically weigh around 3kg whilst their corded counterparts can weigh around 6/7kg.

This makes them far more manoeverable around the home and particularly useful when your home is split across multiple floors.

Not Restricted By Plug Locations

One of the biggest advantages of the cordless vacuums is the fact you’re not restricted in how you use them as they do not depend on power points.

With corded vacuum cleaners you are restricted by (i) the length of cable and (ii) where your plug sockets are located around your home. With cordless as they are battery operated you are not restricted by either of these factors which makes them ideal if your sockets are in awkward locations.

Can Also Be Used As Handheld

A big feature we’re fans of is the fact you can also use the upright cordless vacuums as handheld cleaners.

Rather than having to buy a separate handheld unit for smaller more intricate jobs like cleaning the car, in most cases you can simply remove the hose section and get to work.

Easier To Store

The slim and compact design of most stick cordless vacuums makes them super easy to store.

With no long tube and hose to contend with, cordless vacuums are ideal if you are tight for storage space in your home.

Some such as the Dyson V range tend to come with wall mounting brackets so you can hang them up and charge them at the same time.


Battery Life

Perhaps the biggest drawback of cordless models is the relatively short battery life. For 1 – 4 hours of charging, you typically get 20 – 45 minutes of cleaning time which is not always the best trade off.

Battery spans have improved in recent years but you’ll still be hard pressed to go beyond 60 minutes on a single charge. And if you do, you’ll need to pay a hefty premium for it.

Most come with a high power mode which tends to deplete the battery even quicker so something to bear in mind.


Due to their lightweight design the dirt capacity for cordless vacuums tends to be relatively small when compared to their corded cousins. A cordless dust compartment typically has a capacity of around 0.5/0.6L whilst a corded vacuum can hold around 2 – 3L. This means you have to empty the cordless dust compartment much more frequently.

This results in you coming into contact with the dust much more frequently than you otherwise would. If you suffer from dust allergies this is definetly something to think about.

You’ll also need to clean the filter more frequently to keep the suction at its strongest.

Suction Power

The suction power for some cordless vacuum cleaners can be quite woeful when compared to corded cleaners.

Suction power is created by the battery so in some instances as this starts to deplete the suction goes with it.

Cordless vacuums with lithium batteries tend to provide better suction but only those at the high end of the market will give you comparable suction to corded models.

If you have a home with lots of carpet a cordless may not necessarily be the best option as you are likely to need to use the turbo/max suction mode to get everything out. Alternatively you’ll need to be happy to clean often.

Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

We’ve seen there are pros and cons for each type. Now lets take a look at some of the best cordless vacuum cleaners available.

1 – Shark Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner IZ201UK Anti Hair Wrap

It takes some doing to be the #1 pick in a highly competitive field but the Shark Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner IZ201UK Anti Hair Wrap packs a real punch.

It’s difficult to find a cordless vacuum cleaner that gets universally praised by its users’ and provides value for money to the extent that the Shark Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner Z201UK does.

The common consensus seems to be that with this unit you get a highly effective vacuum cleaner that delivers excellent suction, versatility and convenience all in one package.

Typically with cordless vacuum cleaners the battery life tends to be one of the biggest pitfalls but the Shark Cordless IZ201UK Stick Vacuum does not seem to suffer the same fate according to those who use it regularly. With an advertised up to 40 minutes run time on a single charge, this unit offers a very good battery life as far as cordless machines go. And this seems to be reflected in user reviews which stress that the battery life is more than sufficient to cover most reasonably sized homes. With a 40 minute runtime and the quick pick up and go nature that this Shark offers, you’ll quickly get into a routine to have your floors looking neater than ever.

This vaccum cleaner is described as having Anti Hair Wrap technology which ensures that hairs do not become tangled in the brush head. Though this seems to be an area where there is not universal agreement amongst users in terms of its effectiveness.

One of the most unique features of the Shark IZ201UK is the flexible stick which can bend to let you get under furtniture and hard to reach areas. The flexible stick also comes in very handy for storage as it can be folded for freestanding storage at the press of a button.

The lithium ion battery pack can be charged either on the unit or freestanding giving you lots of flexibility.

A major bonus with this cordless stick vacuum is the fact it can be easily transformed into a compact handheld unit which is perfectly suited for the stairs, sofas and your car.

Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete system which it states works to capture and return up to 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum helps to ensure your home is kept as allergen free as possible.

For added peace of mind this unit comes with a 5 year manufacturer’s guarantee and 2 years for the battery.

In summary the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner IZ201UK would make a great addition to your home if you’re after a cordless vacuum with great performance and excellent versatility. With a 40 minute uptime that is backed up by excellent user reviews, this is a rare cordless that offers comparable performance to many corded machines.

2 – Dyson V7 Motorhead Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

The Dyson V7 Motorhead Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is our number #2 pick for the best cordless vacuum cleaner. It is quite easily one of the best options available within the cordless range at a price that’s not eye-watering given the technology you get and quite importantly the performance you are given.

The Dyson V7 is one of two main (we also have a separate Black & Decker handheld in our house) vacuum cleaners we use alongside the Henry HVR 160. As you’ll see in our best corded vacuum cleaners below, the Henry HVR 160-11 is one of the best all-round vacuum cleaners around (corded and cordless) but the Dyson V7 has since overtaken the Henry in our home purely because it is so convenient and performs so well.

The Dyson V7 is a cordless stick vacuum that also easily converts to a small handheld unit. This makes it perfect for both the home and the car. With 3 toddlers making full use of our car, the V7 has been a real welcomed addition into the mix.

The V7 routinely leaves the carpets looking renewed as its powerful suction and direct driven motor head get deep into the fibres removing dirt and anything else. It comes with a range of tools which make it ideal for cleaning the floors (carpet and hard-floors), the stairs, the car as well as curtains and locations with high reach.

This unit comes with two suction speeds (i) maximum suction and (ii) high suction. With the high suction Dyson state you can get up to 30 minutes of run time using the smaller fittings and 20 minutes using the standard brush head. The maximum suction is stated as providing up to 6 minutes of up time though we have used it for longer without any issues. The run time is probably one of only a few areas that could be improved with the Dyson V7 as it can be a tad annoying when you’ve forgotten to re-charge it after its previous run.

What you can’t fail to notice with the Dyson V7, like most Dyson products, is just how slick the design looks. It often feels like it’s something cut out of a high budget superhero flick than a household appliance. You’ll often find yourself simply admiring the design engineering that went into.

All in all the Dyson V7 Motorhead Cordless Handheld Vaccum Cleaner is a great advert for cordless vacuum cleaners. It will leave your floors, stairs, curtains and your car looking renevewed every time you use it. Though as with most cordless models, the battery life can be limited, recharging is easy and the quick convenience of its use means it’s a real winner if you are set on a cordless.

Best Corded Vacuum Cleaners

Here are some of the best corded vacuum cleaners.

1 – Shark Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner [NV601UK]

The Shark Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner is simply one of the best products on the market and our number #1 pick for corded vacuum cleaners.

You get a powerful machine with great suction that performs well whether on carpet or hard floors.

Even better is its signature Lift-Away technology which allows you to easily detach the bagless cylinder and use it as a more lightweight portable cleaner. This feature is great as it essentially means you get to have the benefits of both an upright vacuum cleaner as well as a more portable cylinder type cleaner for the same price without any loss of suction.

For those hard to reach places the Lift-Away comes equipped with an extendable reach wand whilst a number of attachments means its easy to clean your curtains, light fittings and high surfaces in relative comfort.

Swivel steering make this an easy to use cleaner whilst LED headlights will help you to stop dust wherever it hides. One of the few downsides of the Shark-Lift Away is the 8meter cord which will likely mean you need to unplug from downstairs and move it to another socket point upstairs if you live on multiple floors.

Overall this is a highly rated vacuum cleaner and one of the best available on the market especially considering the price.

2 – Shark Upright Vacuum Cleaner [NV681UK] Powered Lift-Away

Our number #2 pick for best corded vacuum cleaner is the Shark Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner NV681UK.

This is another excellent model from Shark with the key feature above our number #1 NV601UK option being the powered brush. This motorised brushroll will continue to power away even in lift-away mode which makes it a perfect option if you have stubborn dirt building up on your stairs and other areas that need a more portable cleaner.

Overall you get a great performing vacuum cleaner that gives you two types in one: (i) Upright and (ii) portable lightweight model with its Lift-Away technology.

The Shark Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner NV681UK is well suited to both carpets and hard floors allowing you to switch effortlessly between the two with the touch of a button high up on the handle.

With swivel steering and LED headlights you’ll be able to easily navigate around your home and find dust wherever it lurks even under dimly lit furniture and corners of the house.

The 8 meter cord however, may be one of the few areas you’re not completely blown away especially if you have a large home as you’re likely to need to switch plug points. Having said that 8m is not an unusual cable length and it’s a relatively minor issue to get around considering everything else you get.

Overall the Shark Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner NV681UK is powerful option that offers great cleaninig performance and a versatile design.

3 – Henry HVR Henry HVR 160-11 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum

If you’ve even had a passing interest in vacuum cleaners previously then you’ll not be surprised to see the trusty Henry HVR 160-11 in our list of the best corded vacuum cleaners. Old Henry is one of our favourite vacuum cleaners full-stop and also one of two that we have in our own home (alongside the Dyson V7).

The Henry brand is one of the most well known in the UK and for good reason as their vacuum cleaners are built to last with over 10 million units sold.

The Henry HVR 160-11 is no different and delivers consistently great performance. We’ve had our Henry for over two years and it performs as well today as it did when we first bought it.

The Henry HVR 160-11 is a great all round peformer that does well on carpets as well as hard-floors. You can easily switch between the two with the flick of a switch on Henry’s floor tool.

The various fittings it comes with make it hugely versatile and we’ve used it with ease in the car as well as inside the house.

The bag has a 6 litre capacity meaninig you won’t have to replace it too often.

Something that’s always stood out when using the Henry is its long reach. Between the 10 meter cable and its long hose and tube, you have great cleaning range from wherever you plug it in. Our home is a reasonably sized 3 bedroom house split over two floors and our Henry is able to clean the whole house from one plug socket in the dowstairs hallway.

One of the best features of the Henry HVR 160-11 is the compact nature of its design.

Once you’re down with cleaning you, can store it away easily as the 10m cable has a retraction wheel so it can be neatly stored away. It is quite difficult to find something wrong with the Henry HVR even after two years of using it but if we were being super-picky we’d say the long hose and tube can sometimes be a tad annoying to tuck away in a cupboard but that is a fairly minor grievance.

Overall, it’s clear to see why the Henry HVR 160-11 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum is such a popular choice and is so highly rated by its many users. It is difficult to find a product that is so universally loved by so many but the Henry manages to achieve this. Having used it regularly for the last two years, we completely agree with the assessment.

Summary – Are Cordless Vacuums As Good As Corded?

So are cordless vacuums as good as corded? When it comes down to it which type of vacuum cleaner is best for you really depends on your needs and the type of home you have. As we’ve seen there advantages and disdvantages of both – what matters is what you need them for.