Best cordless vacuum cleaner 2020: the best cordless vacuums and stick vacs

Best cordless vacuum cleaners do battery-powered battle

Best cordless vacuum cleaner
(Image credit: Samsung)

With home living spaces getting smaller, carpets getting less deep pile and cordless vacuum cleaner tech improving beyond all recognition in recent years, the best cordless vacuum cleaners are now easily as effective as traditional vacs. They're also much more versatile – making them among the best vacuum cleaners you can buy.

Just a few years ago, there weren't many contenders for best cordless vacuum. You could choose from one of the best Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners, or check out the best best Dyson deals, or settle for a chasing pack of wannabe best cordless vacs that were certainly cheaper, but also certainly worse. However now, those other brands have raised their game. The result is a huge boom in sales of the best cordless vacuum cleaners and a range of choices to suit most budgets.

A lot of these cordless vacuum cleaners turn up in sales and there are always cordless vac offers and deals to be had. Cordless vacuums will definitely be among the Amazon Prime Day deals.

What is the best cordless vacuum?

Our top choices for best cordless vac come from Vax and Dyson (twice). The best cordless vacuum cleaner overall, and just the best vacuum cleaner period, if your house isn't enormous, is the new Dyson: Dyson V11 Absolute. This will quite happily take over from your corded vac and although the 15 minutes or so of cleaning that you get on its highest setting seems rather fleeting, the two lower suction settings last much longer. 

I just keep it plugged in when not in use and it has literally never run out of juice in mid-clean, so theoretical arguments about how long it does or doesn't last seem rather moot. Also, the V11 adds, for the first time, a battery meter that actually counts down the time to the next required charge, so if nothing else, you can't claim to be taken by surprise.  

The closest thing to a true 'Dyson killer' so far, Samsung's Jet 90 Pro is also a cordless vac I unreservedly recommend.

Those wanting a proper handheld-type vac (that's what cordless vacuum cleaners ALL used to be, before Dyson started making ones with long tubes, designed to be pushed around more like a lightweight upright) should consider the Dyson V8.

It's smaller, and way more manoeuvrable than the V11, and hence much better for using on tables, shelves, car boots and so on. It's no slouch when it comes to doing floors, though.

Those seeking a cheap Dyson alternative should get the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4, pretty much matches the Dysons when it comes to floor cleaning. Another excellent affordable option is the UK's Halo Capsule, which is a bagged, cordless vac that costs just £250, is made of carbon fibre, and sucks like a big sucking thing. 

How to buy the best cordless vac for your space 

The best cordless vacuums come with one obvious advantage: no cord. This makes them so much easier to push around than their corded brethren and they're also light enough to clean everywhere from the ceiling to the skirting board, as well as sucking up kitchen spills from worktops, dust from shelves (high and low), and so on.

Because of the way they've developed since Dyson made them a more premium, versatile product, they're good for everything from traditional uses, such as cleaning out the footwell of your car, to properly vacuuming large expanses of carpet.

Cordless vacs do come with disadvantages. In order to keep the weight low enough to make them useful, the lithium-ion batteries they use can't be all that big and heavy, and so their battery  life is invariably quite short – usually no more than 20 minutes at full power, up to 40 or so at the lower power settings (that nobody uses). Dyson has addressed this by gradually improving its batteries over the years, but now some other brands are taking a rather simpler approach to the problem and including two batteries.

A lot of homes' floors can be given a good enough clean in 20 minutes, especially if you're using your handheld daily to maintain a dust-free domicile. Your other option, of course, is to buy a corded vac for the weekly/monthly/annual Big Vacuuming and use the handheld for smaller tasks.

If you live in a house with lots of carpets and two or more bedrooms, a cordless vac is still a great supplement to your mains one. If you have a flat with mainly hard floors, you can probably forget about a cylinder or standup. 

Nearly all cordless vacs are bagless, which seems like a great feature initially. Then, when you come to empty their often small, usually translucent dust bins, you may initially find yourself cursing the day you ever bought one. With practice, if the vac is sufficiently well designed, this will become less of a problem, but the only one we'd unreservedly recommend in this department is the Dyson V8. Its bin emptying mechanism is sheer poetry in motion.

Finally, most stick vacs come with a range of heads for different surfaces, crevices, pet hair and so on. You can usually also buy cheaper versions of the vacs with just one or two basic heads, but, as the old saying goes, more heads are better than some. 

The best cordless vacuum cleaners in order

Best cordless vacuum cleaner 2020: Dyson V11 AbsoluteT3 Awards 2020

The all-conquering V11, with its three battery/power modes

1. Dyson V11 Absolute

Best cordless vacuum cleaner, thanks to extra suction 'at the head', smarter power management and a battery gauge

Specifications
Power: 28AW-185AW
Power boost: Yes
Weight: 2.97kg
Maximum run time: About 20-60 mins depending on power setting
Reasons to buy
+Replaces your corded vac+Doubles well enough as a handheld+More powerful and longer battery life than previous range-topper the V10
Reasons to avoid
-Heftier than the old-but-still-great V8-Could be described as a tad pricey

This looks a great deal like the V10 (#4 in this list) but adds more suction, especially on carpet, better battery management and a power gauge that tells you when to start panicking because the battery is running out. A clock actually counts down, based on estimates determined primarily by what power mode you're using.

The good news is that, although you aren't likely to get more than 15 minutes of suck out of this if you only use the highest, 'Boost' setting, the 'Auto' mode, which adapts suction based on use conditions such as whether you're on carpet or hard floor, lasts a lot longer and is highly effective. The 'Eco' mode which can last for up to an hour, is also not bad at all.

For a mid-sized, modern-ish home with a mix of carpets and hard floors, I can't really think of how a vac could be better than the Dyson V11 Absolute. 

Due to its size it's not as satisfying to use as a handheld (for shelves, surfaces, the car etc), as the older V8 but it works well enough when doing that. Also, the increased bulk is balanced by the fact it allows for much more suction power, and a bigger bin. Granted, the bin is still hardly gargantuan at 0.76 litres, but it's sufficiently easy to empty to make that a non-issue.

The 'Dyson premium' is well worth paying for the V11 Absolute. Sell your corded vac to contribute towards the cost. The cheaper V11 Animal, incidentally is excellent but alas, lacks the Absolute's High Torque head, which is one of the real killer features here. So you will have to go all in if you want the current state of the art in vacuum cleaning. The Bissell and Vax at #2 and #3 are great anyway, so if you can't afford this, that's fine.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: Samsung Jet 90 ProT3 Awards 2020 - Highly Commended

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. Samsung Jet 90 Pro

The best Dyson clone ever

Specifications
Power: 200W
Power boost: Yes
Weight: 2.8kg
Maximum run time: 6-60 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Genuine corded vac replacement+Lots of useful tools+A handy stand too
Reasons to avoid
-Not sure about that spinning mop head

Ever since Dyson started making a mint by selling premium cordless vacuum cleaners that could, in many homes, replace corded ones there have been two types of cordless vac. On the one hand, Dyson cordless vacs, and arrayed against them, vacs that are just like Dyson cordless vacs but not quite as good. Nearly always more affordable, and always somewhere between a bit crappier and a lot crappier. Now though? I'm not so sure. 

Nearly all the other products in this list will do an excellent job as a 'Dyson alternative' but this Samsung one matches it in practically every way, and will almost certainly end up being cheaper. 

You already get a lot for your money. The Jet 90 Pro comes with a proper stand to hold and recharge it when not in use – it's perhaps not as neat as the Dyson wall mount, but it's considerably more substantial, and you don't have to screw it in to a wall, which a lot of people will prefer. It also has attachments for 4 tools instead of the Dyson's endlessly irritating limit of two.

Then you get a revolving mop head for wet and dry cleaning of hard floors, a bendy attachment for going under beds and other furniture, a main suction tube that you can extend to the length of your choice – admittedly more useful for adjusting to your height or for storing away, rather than reaching up particularly high, but still a neat touch.

You also get all usual, Dyson-esque stuff, with an efficient HEPA filter and attachments for dusting and 'crevices' – does anyone actually use crevice tools? The battery life is between 6 minutes and 60 minutes, depending on which of its tools and three power settings you use, while a screen shows you what setting you're on, and how long you have left. All just like the V11 above, in fact.

The only minor failing of the Jet 90 Pro is it doesn't seem to clean quite as well as the Dyson – that's based on abstract tests such as sucking a pile of ricicles, as well the more general feeling gathered during day-to-day use. There's very little in it, though. 

I am not sure the mop head attachment spins quickly enough to be really effective, but again it certainly isn't bad – and Dyson doesn't even make such a thing, so it's a USP of sorts. 

In summary, I still narrowly prefer the look and cleaning performance of the Dyson, which also has a bin that's slightly bigger and slightly easier to empty. The Dyson also handles better when used for dusting surfaces but again not by much. Actually it might just be that I'm more used to the Dyson. Samsung hasn't cut any corners with the Jet 90 Pro, and if you see it at the right price in the widgets above – ie: that bit cheaper than the Dyson V11 Absolute – I would not hesitate to recommend it. 

Best cordless vacuum cleaner 2020: Vax Blade 2

3. Vax ONEPWR Blade 4

Best cheap cordless vacuum cleaner

Specifications
Power: 40v
Power boost: Yes
Weight: 4.5kg
Maximum run time: 'Up to 45 minutes'
Reasons to buy
+Excellent floor cleaning+Cheaper than a Dyson+Easy to empty bin+Solid battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Not as good for handheld use as a Dyson-Emits horrendous racket

• Buy Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 at Amazon

The much improved Vax Blade 4 has now arrived to replace the Blade 2. No, we don't know what happened to Blade 3. 

This new cordless Blade from Vax is a lot cheaper than the Dyson V11. While it doesn't look like it will last as long as a Dyson, and it looks pretty drab in comparison,  there's remarkably little to tell between them in terms of cleaning power. In fact, Vax is adamant that it's 'Proven to clean carpets better than the UK’s Top 3 best selling cordless vacuums, with the cleaning performance of the best selling corded uprights.' 

Okay, most tests for vacuum cleaners are ridiculous and bear no resemblance to how people actually vacuum their floors, but we'll just say this Vax definitely cleans very well and leave it there.

Battery life seems at least as good as the V11. It's hard to declare a precise battery life for cordless vacs because of the varying real-world ways they get used, but the Blade 4 generally seems to last as long if not longer than the Dyson in both Max Power and standard modes.

That's particularly impressive given that, unlike any Dyson to date, the Blade 4 incorporates a headlight, which activates alongside the brush bar and really helps with cleaning in dimly lit areas. The bin mechanism isn't as ingenious as Dyson's but it's easy enough to empty.

The main drawback of the Vax Blade 4 compared to Dysons is that it's much less fun to use as a handheld, when cleaning surfaces shelves and cars, rather than your flooring.

Also, the Blade 2 is clearly not as chic as a Dyson. It's not hideous, though, and I dare say most people probably aren't that bothered what their vac looks like anyway. It does make a much more horrible racket, though. Seriously, it is like 1,000,000 banshees escaping from Hell. That aside, the Blade 4 comes very highly recommended.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner 2020: Shark Anti Hair Wrap IZ251UKT

(Image credit: Shark)

4. Shark Anti Hair Wrap IZ251UKT

Best cordless vacuum for pets (and humans) with long hair

Specifications
Power: 25.2v
Power boost: Yes, two power settings
Weight: 4.1kg
Maximum run time: Up to 80 mins (40 minutes per battery)
Reasons to buy
+Excellent suction+Folds in half for easy storage+Tangle-free roller+Comes with two batteries+Long run time
Reasons to avoid
-Fairly heavy in the hand-Almost too many tools

• Buy the Shark Anti Hair Wrap IZ251UKT from Amazon

Please note that the number IZ251UKT refers to the version of this vac that comes with two batteries and pet-friendly air filtering and additional tool. Also available are the IZ251UK, which has two batteries but no pet-specific features, and IZ201UK which only has one battery.

Shark enjoys a significant presence in the vacuuming arena which is of no surprise given the general effectiveness of their products and the great prices. This new, very well engineered pet-specific model comes with a tranche of clever design flourishes, including a folding main tube for easy storage. This is a major plus because a common issue with most cordless vacs is that they’re so top heavy they can’t stand up on their own; hence they either need to be stored on a provided wall mount or left loose in a jumbled mess in the cupboard under the stairs. Another cool byproduct of the articulating main tube is that it allows the cleaning head to reach deep under beds, sofas, chairs and cupboards. If you wish to do some detailed cleaning simply remove the main tube and use it as a hand held.

If you’re concerned about battery consumption then the good news is that this model comes with two, plus a charging station that accommodates both batteries at the same time. Shark states a combined running time of 80 minutes and this writer won’t argue with that.

Bar the Miele reviewed below, practically all cordless vacs of this nature site the motor housing and dust collector near the top just below the handle, and this of course adds extra weight on the wrist and forearm. This model is no different but in its favour it does feel fairly light in the hand, especially if you use it at the end of a relaxed arm. The anti-allergen dust collector is of average size – ie quite small – and super easy to empty without creating too much dust in the process. 

One of the main selling points of this model is that it comes with Anti Hair Wrap tech that uses a series of prongs to prevent long hair and threads from wrapping around the cleaning roller; it works extremely well. And speaking of rollers, this one comes with two rotating rollers – a front mounted towel-covered one for catching larger detritus and a brush roller behind it for deep cleaning.

This writer has two dogs and three cats and the ravenous Shark collected a remarkable amount of hair and other stuff I didn’t recognise after just a few sweeps. The steerable head – replete with LED headlights – was easy to manoeuvre, too, and surprisingly easy to push around. 

The Shark comes with two suction levels plus a ‘Boost’ trigger under the handle that ramps it up to near mains-powered levels of suction. In fact, I did most of the test using the lowest suction level with only occasional need for the boost. Very impressive. As is the case with all cordless vacs, the Shark comes with an assortment of tool attachments – almost too many – for detailed cleaning of stairs, shelves and crevices.

If you’re in the market for an impressively specced, well designed and remarkably quiet pet-specific cordless vac that truly sucks in the real sense of the word, then make a beeline for this proficient contender.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner 2020: Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog

(Image credit: Miele)

5. Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog

Miele sidles in with a cracker that sucks like a limpet

Specifications
Power: 25.2v
Power boost: No, three power settings
Weight: 4kg
Maximum run time: About 60 mins on low
Reasons to buy
+Excellent suction power+Superior build quality+Good choice for pet owners+Red-hot, three-way action
Reasons to avoid
-Heavier and less well balanced than arch rival Dyson V11

• Buy Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog from John Lewis & Partners

• Browse Triflex HX1 range at John Lewis & Partners from £479

Miele’s first cordless vac is tough as nails and embodies a clever three-in-one system that allows you to configure it in a number of ways. If you have the strength of Hercules, you can use it with the main power unit-cum-dust collector positioned near the top of the suction tube. Most cordless vacs use this method but many of them suffer as a result of the extra weight on the wrist and forearm – that’s the case with this model which is about 1kg heavier than the average Dyson.

Just as well, then, that Miele’s engineers gave us another option to mount the power unit to just above the cleaning head. This method is not only far easier on the wrist and forearm, it enables the unit to stand up on its own for easy storage and behave more like a standard upright cleaner. However, it doesn’t provide quite the same level of flexibility (getting under sofas and into tight spaces, etc). The third configuration involves removing the main suction tube and using it as a hand vac for stairs, shelves and hard-to-reach areas.

For some reason (maximum battery efficiency apparently), Miele recommends the very first charge is carried out while the battery is attached to the power unit (oops). From thereon in the battery can be removed and charged separately. Unfortunately, there’s no status light on the battery or the charging plug (an oversight) so we’d recommend always leaving it attached to the power unit which at least has a row of battery status lights.

As the moniker suggests, the Trifolex HX1 Cat & Dog is designed for pet owners. It certainly passes much muster in the pet hair arena though the small bagless dust collector does fill up very quickly, especially if your pet is of the long-haired variety. On the plus side, the collector is a doddle to empty.

Suction is excellent but you do have to keep the main brush head moving on carpets or it may stop spinning (a byproduct of the design that allows you to stand the unit upright while still on if pausing between sessions). Power wise, the Trifolex comes with three levels of suction and runs for about 60 minutes on the lowest setting and about 17 minutes on the highest. Mind, the suction on even the lowest setting is ample for most vacuuming duties.

This pet-specific model comes with two heads: the main revolving Electrobrush Multi Floor which features LED headlights and a smaller ‘Electro Compact’ head with long revolving bristles for removing obstreperous pet hair.  It also comes with the obligatory trio of small crevice tools. A long-life HEPA filter completes a very efficient but pricey package that will appeal to fans of both the brand’s build quality and its renowned reliability record. Available in any colour as long as it’s black.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: Halo Capsule

(Image credit: Capsule Clean)

6. Halo Capsule

Dyson is no longer the only Great British cordless vac

Specifications
Power: 32.4v
Power boost: Yes
Weight: 2.6kgs
Maximum run time: 'Up to 60 minutes'
Reasons to buy
+Excellent cleaning power+Not bagless… but it comes with 52 free bags!
Reasons to avoid
-Somewhat rudimentary design

• Buy Halo Capsule from Amazon

• Or buy direct from CapsuleClean.com

This British-made vac delivers similar cleaning power and innovation to its compatriots at Dyson – although Halo's styling and marketing budgets are clearly somewhat lower than Lord Dyson's stable.

This is for some reason made of carbon fibre, which seems to be the go-to design idea for brands with no aesthetic sense and a desire to seem high-tech. Unlike almost every other cordless vac it uses little tiny bags rather than being bagless, and the dirt collection area is not a cunningly designed capsule that pings out at the press of a button. Instead, it is held on by a clamp, a bit like something you'd take on a camping holiday circa 1978. 

However, that all rather fades into insignificance when you clean floors with it, as it performs supremely well. The Halo Capsule is far cheaper than the Dyson V11 and it doesn't emit a horrific shrieking sound as works, unlike its budget rival Vax. On hard floors in particular, cleaning performance is comparable to both, as is overall battery life.

For cleaning spills, car interiors and surfaces as a handheld, the shape and weighting of it mean it's nowhere near as good as the Dyson or Vax. It also feels a bit ridiculous to be using bags in a vac in 2020. Still, given that Halo throws in no fewer than 52 of them with every purchase, you at least can't complain that the brand is milking you by selling its hardware cheap and its software expensive. 

If you're in the market for a cordless vac under £250, this is definitely well worth considering.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner 2020: Dyson V8

7. Dyson V8 Absolute

Best cordless vacuum for handheld use on surfaces and spills

Specifications
Power: 21.6v
Power boost: Yes
Weight: 2.6kgs
Maximum run time: About 10-40 mins depending on power setting
Reasons to buy
+Genuinely works as both handheld and 'proper' vac+Solid battery life+Compact and stylish 
Reasons to avoid
-Less oomph than V10 or V11

Dyson has been making cordless vacs for quite some time now, but 2016's V8 was where it finally really cracked it. It is also still the best option if you want a vac to use mainly handheld, rather than as a floor cleaner. Although it is also pretty damn good at that.

Another great feature is that it's sufficiently attractive and compact to just leave lying around in the kitchen or hallway – or attached to the wall with its well-made mount. So when a spill occurs or you notice a messy bit of floor, you don't have to go and retrieve it from 'the special cupboard'. It is the ultimate 'clean a little, but often' vac.

Those with large houses or a more 'traditional' attitude to cleaning might find it a bit underpowered. The number of extra tools required to make it as versatile as it it can initially leave you scratching your head figuring out which one to use for what (although, in my experience, the 'main' head is just as good as the 'spongey' one for hard floors, and the pet hair sucking one is probably overkill if you don't have allergies or a near pathological aversion to pet hair (remind me, why did you buy that golden retriever, then?) 

The V8 was the first Dyson that really started to solve the problems previously inherent in cordless vacs. Firstly, the bin. Emptying this used to involve digging around it with a chopstick, which just doesn't feel that premium. With the V8, you just pull up a red latch and the entire motor and filter arrangement lifts out, as the bottom hatch opens, emptying everything into the bin, with nothing stuck to the filter. Push the filter and motor back into place and anything stuck to it is squeegeed off by its housing. Then just flip the lid shut.

The V8 can go for 40 minutes as a handheld, with the basic but well designed brush and crevice tools, and 15-20 with the extension tube and powered floor brushes fitted. That's on the standard power setting. With the turbo setting on, it's more like 10 minutes or so, but you do find that is sufficient, if you use it little and often and leave it on charge when not wafting the V8 about.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: Bissell Icon

(Image credit: Bissell)

8. Bissell Icon

Very good, relatively affordable cordless vacuum cleaner

Specifications
Power: 25v
Power boost: Yes
Weight: 3.2kg
Maximum run time: 'Up to 50 minutes'
Reasons to buy
+Excellent headlights+Good cleaning+Solid battery life+Excellent build quality for the price
Reasons to avoid
-Can't quite match the cleaning power of the vacs above

If this Bissell came out about 12 months ago, it would have been a sensation, offering Dyson-like cleaning for way less money. However, the sad fact of the matter is that a lot of brands have now caught up with Dyson in terms of cleaning, and the likes of Vax are offering it for less money than what Bissell is asking. 

I also have no idea what the brand is thinking of giving this the clunking name of 'Icon'. Surely an icon is meant to be something unique, or exceptional? This Icon is neither. Sure, I know Bissell can't call their vac 'Competent Dyson Rival' but that would be way nearer the truth.

That is not to underestimate the Icon, however. It sits very neatly in the gap between the Dyson V11 and Vax Blade 4 in the most important ways: price, build quality and looks. 

It's very light but the Icon feels better made than the Vax. It also offers a headlight not only on its main cleaning head but also on its small dust tool. I think that is a first. Okay it is arguably not very useful, and the dust tool overall is quite poor, due to its vertical-rather-than-horizontal shape… But it is a first. 

Other than that, everything about the Icon is good to excellent. The bin is easy to empty, after a little practice, there are three power settings so you can balance suction and battery life and it looks quite handsome. 

Overall cleaning performance is generally very good, even if it falls short, on average, of the vacs above it in the list. If you have hard floors there's nothing to complain about but it can struggle to pluck debris out of carpets at times. 

It was overpriced at launch, but for the price it's now being sold at, the Bissell Icon is a very worthy contender. It's a textbook example of a cordless vacuum cleaner in 2020.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: Gtech AirRam Mk 2

9. Gtech AirRam Mk 2

Best upright-only cordless vacuum

Specifications
Power: 22v
Power boost: No
Weight: 3.5kgs
Run time: 40 mins
Reasons to buy
+Exceptionally easy to use+Efficient pet hair collector+Excellent run time
Reasons to avoid
-Clearly a less versatile device

Taking a totally different approach to Dyson and co, the AirRam Mk 2 is a traditional upright vac, stripped down to the lightest, simplest form possible, yet still highly effective.

Its 22-volt Lithium Ion battery provides up to 40 minutes of vacuuming – enough charge for a two bedroom house – and although it takes about four hours to charge, that means I don't obliged to leave it habitually plugged in, as I do with the Dyson.

The dirt collection system, like Dyson's is great. All detritus is compressed into a cylindrical capsule positioned just behind the front roller brush. To clean, you just remove the bin, flip it open above a bin and slide an ejector arm across to pop the compressed dirt out of the side.

If you're used to dragging a standard vac around, the AirRam is a revelation. It's so light to manoeuvre – all the weight’s at floor level – and the vertically adjustable handle articulates to the sides for literally 'steering' around corners. It can also go very low to the ground, to get under beds and other furnishings with legs.

Use the AirRam on a hard kitchen floor or a dog-hair strewn carpet and it will collect more dirt and hair than you'd think possible. It's at least as good as the Dyson. And one thing it has that the V8 lacks is a bright LED headlamp, which is extremely useful – it's actually slightly chastening to see just how much dust is on the floor, when it's suddenly illuminated by a bright LED light.

The only surfaces the AirRam struggled with are thin rugs, as the fast-spinning rotary brush is positioned at a low, non adjustable height, it tends to suck them up into its maw. A lot of vacs do that, but the thing about the AirRam is it only has one power setting, so you can't really get around it

That small limitation aside, the AirRam is great. It's quick, effortless and proficient for both quick shufties round the living room and full house jobs, and the small footprint and upright design mean it’s a doddle to store.

Of course the AirRam's massive failing compared to the V8 is that it is just an upright, so you can forget about doing shelves, mantelpieces, behind the TV and up on the ceiling with it. 

However, if you invest in the cordless Gtech Multi handheld at the same time as the AirRam you do get a 50 discount. The Multi is nowhere near as good as the V8, but it's also by no means bad, and the bundle price is considerably less than the price of the V8 on its own. Hmm… decisions, decisions.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: Bosch BCS122GB Unlimited

10. Bosch BCS122GB Unlimited

Superb Dyson clone with two batteries

Specifications
Power: 18v
Power boost: Yes
Weight: 3.5kg
Maximum run time: About 15-25 mins per battery depending on power setting
Reasons to buy
+Two batteries make running out of juice unlikely+Excellent cleaning performance+Awesome 'big crevice' tool
Reasons to avoid
-Actually manages to be more pricey than a Dyson-Crappy dusting brush

• Buy Bosch BCS122GB Unlimited from Amazon

Previous Bosch cordless vacs have been a bit iffy in terms of heft and looks. To be brutally frank, they were fatty boom booms. Not so the BCS122GB Unlimited, which is, if I may again speak frankly, a Dyson clone. But a very, very good one.

There are three absolutely fantastic things about the BCS122GB Unlimited and only one egregiously crap one. Firstly, although its battery life is fairly pitiful, Bosch gets around this by the ingenious means of… including a second battery. 

As they charge fully in about an hour, these 18v cells should keep you vacuuming indefinitely, so long as you're judicious about charging one while using the other. Interestingly (or not, perhaps), they are also the exact same batteries and charger used in all Bosch's 18v power tool range, so you could use the same cell to drill a hole in a wall, and then suck up the debris.

The other selling points are that cleaning performance on carpet and hard floor is excellent, and well up to Dyson standard in real-life, day-to-day use (I try not to get too bogged down in seeing which vac can suck up one square metre of rice crispies or flour the best.) It's even pretty passable without the turbo mode engaged.

Oh, and the long crevice tool. This looks absolutely ridiculous, turning the vac into a sort of robot anteater, but it is fantastically useful for cleaning skirting boards, footwells, down the back of the washing machine and so on. But seriously, just look at it.

Now THAT is a crevice tool

The only real debit, if you ignore the rather premium price and slightly excessive weight, is the duster tool. Dyson has perfected this over the years and it's essential for cleaning dust, crumbs and, I dare say, one square metre of rice crispies off of surfaces in a hurry. The Bosch one is rubbish.

That aside, a near perfect cordless vacuum cleaner, and one that will run and run.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: Philips Speed Pro Max

11. Philips Speed Pro Max

…And another very fine Dyson clone to finish

Specifications
Power: 25v
Power boost: Yes, three power settings
Weight: 2.73kg
Maximum run time: About 20-65 mins depending on power setting
Reasons to buy
+Excellent cleaning performance+Awesome 'big crevice' tool
Reasons to avoid
-Actually manages to be more pricey than a Dyson-No dusting brush

• Buy Philips Speed Pro Max from Amazon

This is what I was alluding to in the intro about the chasing pack catching up with Dyson in the best cordless vacuum cleaner stakes. There is very little to tell between the Dysons at the top and the Dyson rivals from Bosch (above), Shark (below) and this one from Philips.

Once again, cleaning performance is excellent here. However, while the weight is spot on, on paper, the slightly odd design makes it more usable as a push-along floor cleaner than a traditional handheld – it's going after the V10 more than the V8, basically. It's even got a headlight on the excellent floor-cleaning brush, to show you just how gross your hard floors are, even in low light.

I feel like this one falls just short of the Bosch due to the presence of only one battery (albeit a far more powerful one than the pair that Bosch provides). Also, while the handheld 'duster' brush provided by Bosch is a bit rubbish, at least there is one – Philips has painstakingly copied Dyson's approach to vacuum building, yet mystifyingly failed to include such a brush.