Having a cordless vacuum cleaner is no longer a high-tech dream. In fact, most of the newest and best vacuum cleaners on the market have cut the cord completely; they are replacing the traditional vacuum cleaners due to the convenience and features they bring.
The main benefit of having a cordless vacuum is that you can cut down on the faff of constantly plugging and unplugging the vacuum cleaner. At the same time, the slimline and portable design of cordless vacuum cleaners makes them light and convenient to move around the house, unlike the traditional models. They can also be easily hidden away in a cupboard, taking up less room than a traditional barrel or upright vacuum cleaner.
Having said this, most cordless vacuum cleaners do have their limitations like small dust capacity and short battery life, which also means that they aren't suitable for all homes.
For cordless vacuum, the more juice in the battery, the better the performance is likely to be. And they generally lose power as their battery gets used up. However, with new designs and technology, such as lithium-ion batteries, have led to improved charging/running times and dirt pick-up.
Just a decade ago, there were not many contenders for the best cordless vacuum. But in recent years, Dyson dominates the cordless vacuum cleaner market even more than the conventional barrel and upright market, and it's a niche where Dyson can deliver. The company offers lightweight vacuum cleaners that are engineered to perfection, designed with busy, messy lives in mind and pack in more sucking power than you can shake a cordless stick at.
Dyson's small motor technology is a part that contributes to their success; they've spent a great deal of resources developing these compact electric motors and implementing them in their products. However, other brands have also produced good models that have made it into our recommended list.
Why should you buy a cordless vacuum cleaner?
Pros of cordless vacuum cleaners
- Lighter than traditional vacuum cleaners
- Not restricted by cord length or distance to power sockets
- Can be used as a handheld vacuum for awkward jobs such as cleaning the stairs or in a car
- Smaller and easier to store
Cons of cordless vacuum cleaners
- Limited by shorter battery life
- Dust capacity is smaller
- More frequent maintenance needed
- Storage may need a wall mount / accessible plug point for charging
Types of cordless vacuum cleaner
There are five main types of cordless vacuum cleaners:
Stick vacuum cleaners: This type of vacuum is great for smaller homes with mostly hardwood floors where suction power isn't the top priority. They are also the most common type of vacuum cleaners. Usually, a compact handheld vacuum cleaner with a slim cleaning tube for floors, which can be converted easily into a handheld vacuum.
Cylinder vacuum cleaners: They worked like an old-style vacuum, with a barrel on wheels, and a long flexible cleaning tube, such as the Karcher VC3 vacuum.
Upright vacuum cleaners: These are usually bulkier than the stick versions, and is the granddaddy of vacuum cleaners in terms of power and deep cleaning capability. They are packed with the most suction power and the strongest agitation and may have a detachable canister for added flexibility.
Robot vacuum cleaners: The first robot vacuum was invented in 1996 by Electrolux, which worked well but had frequent problems. In recent years, robot vacuum cleaners have evolved and became so great at cleaning, without getting stuck on carpets or rugs, and can even work with a multitude of floor types. Programming one to vacuum your home daily can help maintain the cleanliness of your home, without much effort.
Handheld vacuum cleaners: They are usually lightweight and nimble, which comes in handy when you clean up a bowl of chips, biscuit, or even pet litter. However, they are only useful in helping you clean up small messes, but not the whole house.
Key features to consider
Regardless of the brand and model, here're some vital features to keep in mind when finding the best cordless vacuum cleaner for your home:
Cordless vacuum cleaners are lighter than most conventional upright vacuum cleaners, weighing an average of 3 kg as compared to 7 kg for a standard vacuum. Most cordless vacuum cleaners are light, quiet, and easy to maneuver.
Many come with wall mounts, so it creates an additional convenience for users where they can just grab and go. This feature also makes them ideal for quick clean-up jobs, such as when you've spilled crumbs over the kitchen. Some are designed just for floor cleaning, but others have accessories that make tackling smaller cleaning jobs such as cleaning your car or the stairs more effectively.
Many early models barely lasted 20 minutes, but runtime has improved drastically on more premium models over the years. You have to look for models that run for a useful length of time based on the size of your house and don't take too long to charge. Some may need to charge overnight, or even longer, which you need to wait between each job.
Models with higher voltage batteries – 18 V and up – tend to perform better. Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are the most common types of battery for cordless vacuum cleaners. They generally perform better and last longer than nickel-cadmium (NiCd) and lead-acid batteries, which are still used in some models.
Also to check the warranty details for the battery. Some warranties only cover the battery for a few months, even if they cover the vacuum cleaner itself for a year or more.
Batteries should last for a few years of typical use, but eventually, they will lose their ability to hold a charge. Once this happens, it's usually cheaper to just buy another vacuum cleaner.
Dust capacity (and filter)
With more capacity, you will be able to save time when cleaning with a cordless vacuum cleaner, as you'll likely spend more time emptying it and cleaning the filters. Without frequent maintenance of the vacuum cleaners, it may get less effective at picking up dirt as it gets blocked up. If you've asthma or allergies, this isn't ideal either as it means you have to be in more regular contact with the dust. It is also best to consider one with a HEPA filter.
The standard addons to check for are a dusting brush and crevice tools. Other accessories may include squeegee tools, an extension tube, or a pet hairbrush. These are especially useful if built-in or stored on the vac itself, rather than separately or on the charging cradle.
Some models come with a handy mounting base will help to keep the vacuum cleaner readily accessible and fully charged.
Features (Variable power/suction, fallout flap, wet and dry)
Variable power allows you to control the suction strength, noise level, as well as how fast the battery discharges. This control will enable you to lower the suction, which is handy when cleaning fabric items like curtains or upholstery.
Fallout flap prevents dirt from falling back out of the vacuum when you carry it with the nozzle facing downwards, such as when moving between cleaning tasks.
Some models are designed to be able to suck up wet material or liquids. However, they can usually only take a reasonably small amount (about 150 mL), and you shouldn't fill the bin with liquid past the indicated maximum level. The bin and filter need to be cleaned and dried separately after usage.
Cordless vacuum cleaners range in price from around S$90 to S$1,100. Models from brands such as Bosch, Dyson, Samsung, and Shark will usually set you back at least S$300. This step quickly narrows down your potential targets to models within your price range. More expensive vacuums have more features and feature newer batteries, but there are lesser-known brands that are cheaper and will work as well, but they'll lack certain features, so for the sake of meeting the budget, you'll need to find a middle ground as you narrow down the list.
Airbot Supersonics Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – Check out now!
Priced under S$100, this vacuum cleaner is a steal! It has a relatively powerful suction power of 17 kPa, which should be more than enough for daily vacuum chores. A 2200 mAh Li-ion battery also allows you to vacuum continuously for a maximum of 45 minutes, depending on the power setting. It takes around 4 hours to fully charge, which is a pretty acceptance timing and weighs just 2 kg.
Pullman Oktopus E10B Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – Check out now!
Pullman is one of the newer and upcoming cordless vacuum cleaners that is entering the Singapore market. The specifications of this machine are impressive, with a suction power of 19 kPa, which is much better than most entry-level models from Airbot and Dibea. Lightweight yet powerful, the Pullman Oktopus E10B was engineered to ease day to day cleaning, weighing about 2.2 kg.
Xiaomi Roidmi F8 Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – Check out now!
You may not have heard of Roidmi, but you may have heard of the phone manufacturer, Xiaomi, which invests in companies that develop products for its ecosystem, including the Roidmi brand. You may think that it's yet another Chinese Dyson clone, but the Roidmi F8 has a different design, resembling more of the Dyson V10 with its horizontally-aligned bin. It outperforms the older V8 in terms of specifications, with its lightweight (1.5 kg), faster charging time, and slightly longer runtime (55 mins).
Dibea F20 MAX Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – Check out now!
Dibea is not a newcomer to the vacuum cleaners market; in fact, it can be considered as one of the best brands when it comes to a cordless vacuum cleaner, besides Dyson. The Dibea F20 MAX is the company's new flagship product in 2019, featuring an impressive suction power, improved power, and a longer-lasting robust motor that stretch five times longer lifespan compared to its older models. There are three power setting which sets the vacuum cleaner's suction power at 7 kPa, 13 kPa, and 25 kPa. Although it is an efficient vacuum, the filtration system level is below that of HEPA, and may not guarantee protection from allergens. At the same time, it is heavier (2.5 kg) than most of the brand's lower-end models, due to its more powerful motor.
Dyson V11™ Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – Check out now!
Dyson is one of the most popular cordless brands, and it has a wide range of models to choose from. As you go up the ranges, you get improved battery life, more features, and increased capacity. The Dyson V11 is Dyson's latest and greatest cordless vacuum cleaner. It's also the most expensive machine in our recommendations. That said, this flagship model delivered a best-in-class performance to match its steep price. This model is a significant improvement from its predecessors, adding more suction, especially on carpet, better battery management (about 60 mins runtime), and a power gauge that tells you when to start panicking because the battery is running out. The Dyson V11 has three different battery modes: auto mode, boost mode, and eco mode. Eco mode is best for extended cleaning sessions, sacrificing its suction power while Boost mode will let you run the motor with close to 5 times the suction power of Auto mode, draining the battery extremely fast.
Philips SpeedPro Max Stick Vacuum Cleaner – Check out now!
The Philips SpeedPro Max is an attractive cordless vacuum cleaner that boasts a convenient turbo mode. It is a sleek, multi-colored vacuum which claims to have a runtime of 65 minutes when used on low power mode. If you're using on full power, the runtime drops to around 21 minutes. The charging time is 5 hours long, but the results of this vacuum are worth the wait. The machine also features a 360° suction nozzle picks up more dirt with every stroke, forward and back – even along walls and furniture.