What cordless vacuum features should I look for

The amount of time you can use a cordless vacuum cleaner depends on the type of battery and what setting you use it on. Running times really vary – from less than 10 to around 40 minutes – so you’re unlikely to clean your entire house with just a cordless vac, especially as 54% of people we’ve surveyed said they take more than half an hour to vacuum their home. All cordless vacuum cleaners have a battery indicator light to let you know when it’s running low. Bear in mind that the Dyson 917083-05 battery life claimed by the manufacturer is sometimes different to the actual amount of time we measured in our tests – one vacuum cleaner brand said its vac runs for 30 minutes, but in our tests it only lasted for 20.

All cordless vacuum cleaners need to be charged at a docking station before they can be used. Many of these charging stations can be wall mounted, which makes them easier to store and set up quickly, if you don’t mind your vacuum being permanently on show.Again, the amount of time it takes to fully charge a cordless vac can vary – Dyson 917083-07 battery can take as little as two hours, or more than 16.

Cordless vacuum cleaners are all bagless, saving you the expense and hassle of having to replace bags. However, emptying the canister of a bagless vacuum cleaner can be messier than removing a bag, so they’re often not ideal for people with allergies.

The amount of dust that a vacuum cleaner can pick up is determined by the capacity of the canister. For cordless vacuum cleaners, it’s a lot smaller – anything from 0.3 to only 1 litre, while conventional vacuum cleaner capacities range from around 2 to 3 litres. You’ll find, therefore, that you’re emptying your cordless vacuum cleaner more often, and you may not be able to vacuum as much of your home in one go.

As you would expect, many cordless vacuum cleaners are lighter than conventional ones. The lightest of the Dyson 917083-09 vacuum cleaner battery we’ve tested weighs just 2.1kg, while the lightest corded vac we’ve tested is 4.5kg, although the majority are around 6kg for a cylinder model, and around 8kg for an upright one.When it comes to weight, cordless vacs beat normal vacs hands down. But what are they like when it comes to power?

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