Buying a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Picture this: you’ve just stumbled home from work. You’ve had a long week, but tomorrow, guests are coming over, and the house… well, the house could do with a bit of cleaning up. Should you mop the floors? No, that would be too messy. Pull out the central vacuum cleaner? No, that would be far too much work. What you need is a cordless vacuum cleaner – a lightweight cleaning tool that’s perfect for quickly tidying the floor without a lot of effort.

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Why Go Cordless?

A cordless vacuum cleaner offers a number of advantages over a large, loud and centrally-located vacuum system:

1. Portability. Cordless vacuums can be moved easily from one room to another, taken upstairs into bedrooms and attics, or downstairs into basements. All without having to plug and unplug, looking for power outlets when moving room to room. They’re also easy to store – a small closet, shelf or spare corner will do.

2. Lower cost. Many high quality central vacuum systems cost in excess of £350 to £400. Their cordless counterparts are more affordable, more economical, and in many living situations, all that’s necessary.

3. Ease of use. Cordless vacuum cleaners are small and lightweight. Many can be operated with one hand, and can be used in confined spaces, making it possible to finally get rid of those dust-balls that have been living under your bed for the last five years! But probably to best feature of a cordless vacuum cleaner is not having to deal with messy wires getting in your way… Effortless vacuuming without tripping over the cord or having it snag on furniture.

4. Less Mess. Some cordless vacuums such as the Gtech AirRam will compress the dust and dirt into small cubes for easy disposal, eliminating the common dust cloud associated with emptying traditional vacuum cleaners. Other popular models are bagless and super easy to empty!

More Power Equals Better Performance

Most cordless vacuum cleaners are rated in volts (12V, 24V, etc.), or watts (W). The higher the voltage or wattage, the more power the vacuum has, and the better it will be at removing dust, dirt, cobwebs and crumbs. If the vacuum cleaner has enough power, it may include a rotating brush bar that allows you more effectively clean your carpet, especially if it’s full of pet hair.

How Much Runtime Will You Need?

When a cordless vacuum cleaner is in use, it runs on batteries. The greater the batteries’ capacity, the longer the runtime (how long you can use the vacuum cleaner before it needs to be recharged). Consider what you’d like to use your vac for – if it’s just to give the bathroom or kitchen a quick going over, a model with a 15 or 20 minute runtime may be perfectly sufficient – but if you anticipate cleaning several rooms, going into corners and underneath beds, look for a model with a runtime of 30 or more minutes. An advantage of higher-capacity batteries is that you’ll have to recharge your vacuum cleaner less frequently.

Lithium ion batteries – the same sort that power your laptop and smartphone – are smaller, lighter, more powerful, faster-charging and longer lasting than older battery technologies. If your cordless vacuum cleaner will be your primary cleaning tool, look for a lithium ion-powered model.

Capacity Counts

Cordless vacuum cleaners use rigid canisters in which dirt and dust are collected. Canisters are superior to the old style dust-bags, which were notorious for puffing out large clouds of stale, allergenic dust every time you tried to empty or replace them. The canisters found on cordless vacuum cleaners range in size, typically between 0.3 and 1 litre (or a bit larger).

For small or less-frequent cleaning jobs, a smaller capacity is adequate – but for larger, more-frequent, or dirtier jobs, consider a vacuum cleaner with a bigger canister – it will need to be emptied less often, and will allow the vacuum to run at full power longer, saving you time and effort.

How Much Weight Can You Comfortably Manage?

Most cordless vacuum cleaners are quite light in weight — some weigh just a little over 2 kg, while others are closer to 4 kg. These weights are manageable for most people, but it’s still something to think about, particularly if the person using the vacuum cleaner has any sort of physical limitation.

Also, take into consideration how the vacuum will be used – a heavier model will be less of a detriment if it’s designed to be pushed back and forth over the floor than if it’s meant to be lifted above your head to clean windowsills, corners and high-up shelves.

What Will You Use Your Cordless Vacuum Cleaner For?

There exist a few types of cordless vacuum cleaners. Which one is appropriate for you depends on your needs:

  • Standard models resemble the old, upright style of vacuum cleaner, but in a smaller, lighter and easier to use format. They’re designed to be pushed along the floor, and may include hoses and nozzles that allow you to reach further, or clean tricky areas, such as stairs.
  • Two-in-One or extendable models feature detachable bodies, giving you the power of a larger cordless vacuum cleaner with the flexibility of a smaller handheld model that’s perfect for tidying up in hard-to-reach areas, like your car’s grimy floor mats.
  • Handheld models are best reserved for quick, light-duty cleaning jobs. Though they’re extremely portable and don’t weigh much, their runtime is usually quite limited, and they can’t deliver as much power as a larger model.

Accessories Increase Versatility

Look for a cordless vacuum cleaner than includes accessories such as soft brushes for fragile items, stiff brushes for loosening patches of caked on dirt, and angled or wedged cleaning wands for getting into corners or under objects which sit close to the floor – like dressers and beds.

You Get What You Pay For – To a Point

There’s no sense in buying the cheapest cordless vac you can find. Chances are that it’ll be poorly made, likely to break or simply not powerful enough. Spend a bit more for a high quality cordless vacuum, from a reputable manufacturer. You don’t need to fork over a fortune, but don’t skimp, either.

A cordless vacuum cleaner is the perfect solution for keeping your home tidy. It bridges the gap between a dustbin and handheld brush, and a costly, full size and often needlessly powerful central vacuum system.

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