We tested and tried different cordless vacuum cleaners, and at the end of our test, we present to you the best cordless vacuum – Makita BCL180Z 18V LXT Cordless Vacuum Blue.
After extensive trials, we figured that Makita BCL180Z 18V LXT Cordless Vacuum Blue is the best in terms of the features it offers, price and overall satisfaction levels. This product is made of superior quality materials, so it scores high on durability too. It is also perfect for all kinds of floors, even hard wood ones as it is easy to run it through any floor.
The most important aspect of a vacuum cleaner is its ability to clean the area thoroughly, and Makita BCL180Z 18V LXT Cordless Vacuum Blue scores high on that too. There is a marked difference before and after its use, and this thorough job is also one of the reasons why we think it is the best in the market today.
For some reason, if you are unable to find this product, then consider our second choice – Hoover Presto 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum Stick With 14.4 V of cordless power, this is also a powerful cleaner that can get much dirt off your floors and surfaces. Additionally, it comes with the convenience of having a stick and hand vacuum to give you greater flexibility while using it.
If you are unable to find both these products, then opt for our budget pick – this vacuum has many features that are sure to fulfill your immediate cleaning needs. Its two-stage filtration process helps to keep the filters clear without compromising on the suction strength or performance. Though it does not have all the features of our best pick, or even our second pick for that matter, it is nevertheless a good buy for its price.
Basics of a vacuum cleaner
Vacuum cleaner, as you know, is used worldwide for cleaning dirt and messes on the floor, sofas, seats and other surfaces. The design of these vacuum cleaners are based on the motions of a broom, that was used to clean floors before vacuum cleaners were made.
Regardless of the model and type you buy, all vacuum cleaners have a motor that in turn propels a fan to pump out air from its exhaust port. This force creates a suction effect at the intake port to pull all kinds of dust and other small particles towards it. This debris and air pass through a filter, where only the debris is collected while the air passes through. This filter is attached to a removable bag or container that can be emptied often. Some models even come with a motorized brush to help remove the debris from the filters.
What is the history of a vacuum cleaner?
Vacuum cleaners evolved from brooms, with the first manual models coming out in the 1860s. Daniel Hess, a manual sweeper from Iowa, created a carpet sweeper that came with a rotating brush to generate suction. This is the first known model of a vacuum cleaner, and in the subsequent years it was improvised by many others. By 1870s, the available models were bulky and was difficult to operate. As a result, the response from customers was mixed. In 1898, John Thurman of Missouri filed a patent for a motorized vacuum cleaner that was powered by gasoline and gathered a reasonable amount of dust.
The credit for making the first motorized vacuum cleaner goes to Hubert Cecil Booth of the UK. In 1901, he created the first model, a lot of which was based on Thurman’s design. This was the first time that vacuum cleaners used suction through long tubes and filters for removing the debris. Though the initial model was bulky, it nevertheless laid the foundation for future models.
The first commercial handheld vacuum cleaner hit the markets in 1905,and was a big hit as it was easy to use and store. Many improved models flooded the market since then, but it continued to be a luxury item until the Second World War, after which it came to be used by middle class families too. During that time, it was more popular in Western countries that had wall-to-wall carpeting, when compared to the hardwood floors of Asian countries, as these could be cleaned easily with mops. More evolutions in vacuum cleaners made it a good choice for all floors, so its popularity has spread worldwide.
Today, a range of different configurations, designs and technologies go behind the manufacture and use of these vacuum cleaners. All these different aspects make vacuum cleaners one of the most sought after tools today for cleaning any surface.
What are the different types of vacuum cleaners available in the market?
Vacuum cleaners come in many types, to suit the needs of different customers. So, it’s important for you to know your options before you head out to buy one.
Upright vacuum cleaners
These are the most common types of vacuum cleaners in the United States, England and other Commonwealth countries. In this type, the base is a cleaning head on which a handle and a bag are attached. The cleaning head has a brush roll or beater bar to sweep and vibrate at the same time. Both these movements are effective in removing dust and other debris.
Upright vacuum cleaners come in two types, namely, dirty-air and clean-air type. Dirty-air is the older of the two types, and comes with an impeller mounted close to the suction pipe to allow dirt to pass through before blowing it into the bag. Separate cooling fans are used to cool down the impeller. Due to this mechanism, they are effective in deep cleaning carpets and work well with even low amounts of power.
Clean-air upright vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, comprises of a motor that is mounted after the filter bag, so the dust is blown into the filter, and the clean air reaches the motor and cools it down. As a result, they are good for cleaning the surface area of carpets, but need high amounts of power.
In general, upright vacuum cleaners are ideal for cleaning large areas of floor, furniture or stairs, but are not ideal for industrial cleaning and liquid messes.
These models are prevalent in continental Europe and are ideal for cleaning floors, furniture and stairs. In this type, the motor and the dust bag are mounted separately and are connected to the vacuum’s head through a pipe. The two biggest advantages with this model is that they can bend anywhere, and this makes cleaning areas under the furniture and other hard-to-reach places easy. Also, the vacuum heads can be changed to meet your cleaning needs, and this gives greater flexibility for users like you. The downside is that they cannot clean liquid spills and messes, and are not suited for industrial cleaning.
Wet/Dry vacuum cleaners
As the name suggests, these vacuum cleaners are used to clean both dry and wet messes. It can be used both indoors and outdoors, and this gives enormous flexibility to users. Further, some models come with a detachable blower to reverse the airflow, and this feature can be particularly useful for clearing clogged hoses. The obvious disadvantage is that it is too small to be used for industrial clean-ups.
Pneumatic vacuum cleaners
Pneumatic vacuum cleaners are a form of dry/wet vacuum cleaner that use compressed air for cleaning. It is mostly used for cleaning large industrial areas and manufacturing spills.
Hand-held vacuum cleaners
Hand-held vacuum cleaners are a popular type used by people worldwide for cleaning small spills. The biggest advantage with this model is that you can hold it in your hands, so the flexibility you get is enormous. You can reach anywhere that your hands go, and this aspect makes it handy to clean furniture, beds, counter-tops and more. It works well with both wet and dry spills, and can be powered using rechargeable batteries or electricity. Most handheld vacuum cleaners are cordless, and gives you the option to easily carry it from one room to another. They are obviously not ideal to clean large areas, especially industries and other manufacturing facilities.
Robotic vacuum cleaners
During the 1980s and 1990s, many companies experimented with robotic vacuum cleaners that clean carpets thoroughly with limited suction power, and many of them have been successful too. The robotic vacuum cleaners available today can move independently and can reach even the hardest to reach areas easily. Once cleaning is done, they come back to the docking station to recharge themselves and to empty the dust into collection bags kept at these docking stations. These robotic vacuum cleaners are often seen as the next evolution of vacuum cleaners as they can operate without the need for human intervention. The disadvantage with this type is they are not ideal for cleaning furniture, and don’t work well with liquid spills.
Central vacuum cleaners are those that have a central motor and dust collection bag, and this unit is connected by pipes spread across a larger area. When turned on, the pipes use suction to remove dust and deposit them in the bag. If needed, you can even carry the hose and cleaning head to different rooms. This vacuum cleaner is most ideal for those with respiratory allergies, as the dust will not be blown back into the same room, like many other models.
What are the features I should look for before buying a cordless vacuum cleaner?
Before buying a vacuum cleaner, it’s important to understand the purpose for which it will be used, so that you can choose the features needed accordingly.
In general, some of the aspects that should be considered before buying a vacuum cleaner are:
Cordless vacuum cleaners come in many weights and sizes, so you have the choice to decide which weight is ideal for you. For some people, heavy vacuum cleaners affect maneuverability, and cause a lot of strain while others may need bulky vacuum cleaners to get a thorough clean. So, it totally depends on your personal preferences.
A major aspect that you should take into account while buying a cordless vacuum cleaner is the battery life. Here too, you have wide choices as some models can operate without power for only five minutes while others can go on for 30 minutes or more. Also, the amount of time it takes for vacuum cleaners to charge also varies, though quick-charging models are more energy efficient.
The capacity, yet again, depends on your needs. There are vacuum cleaners that come with large dust collection bags to accommodate more debris while others come with smaller bags for collecting only small amounts. If you are planning for industrial use, then opt for models with large capacity to avoid cleaning the bags often.
Ease of emptying
One aspect you must consider is the ease of empting the dust collection bag. It’s always a good idea to choose a model that comes with easy to remove bags, or you opt for models that empty the bin when you press a switch.
Do you usually have only dry debris and dust or also wet spills? The answer to this question determines if you should buy the more expensive wet and dry vacuum cleaner. If you are likely to have only occasional spills that can be wiped off with a wet cloth, then go for the traditional dry vacuum cleaners.
Another important aspect to take into consideration is the number of attachments that come with each model. In most cases, the type and number of attachments you get depends on the purpose of the vacuum cleaner. Most upright and canister vacuum cleaners come with standard attachments such as an extension wand to reach difficult areas, a crevice tool to clean narrow areas and a dusting brush to clean window sills and other areas where dust tends to accumulate.
Besides these standard attachments, there tends to be others such as a pet grooming tool for cleaning and grooming your pets, blind brush for cleaning window blinds and a spinning brush to clean your furniture. However, these add-on attachments may not come with the product and you will have to spend extra money to buy them.
The choice to spend on these accessories or even to choose a model that comes with certain accessories depends on how you plan to use the vacuum cleaner.
Many upright and canister models come with two types of dirt containers, namely, bags and reusable plastic containers. The difference between the two types is the cost involved. If you buy a model that comes with bags, then you have to bear the recurring cost of replacing these bags once every few days. On the other hand, if you opt for bagless vacuum cleaners or the reusable plastic containers, then you can save that money. However, you will have to clean the reusable plastic containers often.
Like with any device, more powerful vacuum cleaners clean more thoroughly, but consume more power. The suction force depends to a large extent on the size and power of the motor, so you have to go in for more powerful models when you want a better clean. If you are opting for handheld models, then go for the most powerful ones because you need maximum suction power for the best clean.
Energy efficient vacuum cleaners help to save on utility bills without compromising on the performance. Many cutting-edge models have emerged in the recent years, and they use advanced technology to deliver maximum performance with minimal power requirements. These cordless vacuum cleaners charge quickly and turn off automatically when the maximum charge is reached. Though these models may cost slightly more than your regular models, they can eventually save you a lot of money in the long run.
Filters are one of the most important features of a vacuum cleaner as they are the ones that prevent the dust from getting released back on to the surface. No wonder you have many choices in this attachment, with HEPA filters being the most popular. Some buyers even prefer to go in for washable filters to save money in the long-run, as these filters need not be replaced often.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a cordless vacuum cleaner?
As with all products, cordless vacuum cleaners come with their own advantages and disadvantages too.
The biggest advantage with cordless vacuum cleaners is their easy maneuverability, as you can use it to clean any part of your house with relative ease. In this sense, these models are a great alternative to the back-breaking upright or canister models that tend to be heavy and difficult to move.
Also, the flexibility that comes with cordless vacuum cleaners are huge as you can quickly use it to clean a spill or dust without waiting for your scheduled cleaning day. Hence, your big clean-up day will be easier, as you don’t have to deal with everything at one go. Further, you can use it on just about any surface, ranging from stairs to car seats and more. It is this versatility that appeals to many users.
Additionally, cleaning takes a lot less time since they are not tethered to any wire. You can move it around quickly as they are lighter, and all this means your house will be clean with reduced time and effort.
Cordless vacuum cleaners come with some weaknesses too, with cost being the major one. Most models available in the market are more expensive than the upright or canister models because of the extra flexibility and versatility they offer.
Secondly, some cordless models do not give the same level of clean as corded models because they have less powerful motors. While these motors reduce the size and bulkiness of the vacuum cleaner, the downside is that they tend to have less suction.
Battery life of these models vary largely, and generally the most expensive ones have longer battery life. It also depends to a large extent on the power of these cleaners, as more powerful motors tend to have a shorter battery life. In this context, the choice is a trade-off between performance and cleaning time, as powerful motors give a better performance but lesser cleaning time, and vice-versa.
How we tested the products?
To give you our best picks, we tested more than 20 products in this category. We brought in a team of experts that included those who have been in the cleaning profession for many years and stay at home moms and dads who did the bulk of cleaning at home. Along with this group, we had a panel of in-house experts who joined them to test the different products.
After using different products over a period of five days, we rated them based on different criteria. The results you see below are the average of all of us put together, and we have presented the findings for the top three models below.
|Criteria||Hoover Presto 2-in-1||Makita BCL 180Z||GTech Air Ram|
|Charge time||3 hours||3 hours||4 hours|
|Attached batteries or charger||No||No||No|
|Sash nozzle accessory for better clean||No||Yes||No|
From the above testing results, it is clear that Makita BCL 180Z is the clear winner as it scored well on every parameter. It is also moderately priced for the features and performance it offers, and this is why we felt that this Makita model is undoubtedly the best choice in the market today.
Our Best Pick
Out of all the products we tested, Makita BCL 180Z scored well on all fronts, and this is why it is our best pick in this category.
It comes loaded with many features such as:
This Makita product has a power of 30 watts, which is one of the highest in this category. Due to this high power, it has strong suction power to catch any kind of dust and debris. The maximum sealed suction for this model is 3.6k Pa while the rate of air flow is 1.3 m^3/minute. This level of suction power coupled with the optimal air flow greatly boosts the performance of this vacuum cleaner. It gives the place a thorough clean, and at the same time, makes it ideal for both home-use and for heavy duty applications.
Large dust capacity
The Makita BCL 180Z comes with a large dust capacity of 0.65 liter, and this means you don’t have to clean frequently. Also, this large capacity gives you the flexibility to use it for heavy-duty cleaning too. Further, this capacity makes it easy to clean two to three reasonably-sized rooms that are quite messy in one go.
Despite such superior performance, the noise levels generated by this device is low, thereby making it ideal for residential use. In fact, this low noise is one of the most salient aspects of this product, and gives you the choice to use it for larger operations too.
Another distinguishing aspect of this product is the ergonomic support it gives for your hands. There is a rubberized soft grip in the handle, and this makes it easy and convenient for you to use this machine. It gives you the much needed extra support when your hands are fatigued after continuous use.
Unlike many other models, the Makita BCL 180Z comes with a straight pipe and a sash nozzle. This setup makes it easy for you to reach even the hardest of places such as wall corners and beneath your furniture to give you a thorough clean. You can even use it to remove cobwebs and other dust particles on the ceiling of your house, furniture edges, stairs, car seats and more.
This product comes with a user manual that describes the product, its set-up and how you should use it. It is comprehensive and covers every part of this product’s working, so if you have any questions just look it up in this manual. No more calling customer service or googling for answers – all time savers in a busy world.
Easy to use
The Makita vacuum cleaner is easy to use and does not require much prior knowledge. Also, it is easy to empty and the cloth filter can be washed and replaced quickly. This means, you can have a clean performance every time, provided you wash the filters often.
The Makita BCL 180Z is made of top quality products, so it lasts for a longer time. In this sense, it is an investment that will keep you good for many years to come.
This vacuum cleaner can be used on multiple surfaces, ranging from carpets to hardwood floors and everything in between. In fact, it gives one of the cleanest performance on hardwood floors – a surprise as the common perception is that corded ones are better for hard wood floors.
This product is fantastic as it has great suction and no cord to avoid tripping accidents. Housework is not enjoyable, but this product makes it easier and quicker.
Flaws, but not dealbreakers
While the Makita BCL 180Z is the best product, it does come with certain minor flaws that do not affect the performance or durability of this product in any way. One aspect that Makita manufacturers could have done is to add the batteries or charger along with this product to make it easy for first-time users. So, you will have to buy these accessories when you buy this Makita vacuum cleaner to be able to use them. But, this is not that big a deal considering the low cost at which it is sold in the market. Other models include this cost too in their price, and this is one of the reasons for their higher price. So, when you buy Makita, make sure to pick BL1830 battery and DC18RC charger. If you have other Makita products, then check if you can re-use any of those batteries or chargers.
Another possible flaw is the need to clear filters often, especially when you clean for extended hours. This is not really a flaw, but just an inconvenience as you can always use multiple filters and clean them all after you finish the job completely. Otherwise, the filter may get clogged and can make it difficult to get a good clean.
In short, these are minor flaws that do not impede the functionality or performance of the product in any way. So, it’s best to either find a workable solution for these flaws or just leave them as they are if do’nt bother you much.
Our Step-Up Pick
If you are unable to find our top pick, then look for our second choice that has most features similar to our top pick. Probably, the only reason why it is not our top pick is the higher cost, which we felt was unnecessary as the same features were available in our top pick too.
The Hoover Presto 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner, is so named because it is a hand vac that is attached to the body of a stick vacuum. As a result, you get two products in the same package, so the name 2-in-1.
The stick side of the vacuum comes with a swivel nozzle, and this makes it easy to reach dirty areas in remote corners and hard to reach places. The handheld vac comes with three different attachments including a crevice tool and a dusting tool to remove dust on all areas except the floor. The third attachment is the upholstery tool that is useful for cleaning different pieces of furniture. This choice to use it both as a hand vac and a stick vac offers some of the highest flexibility for users.
One common concern that exists with such dual products is suction power, but surprisingly this product has a good suction too and thus gives cleaner surfaces when compared to other products in the same category. With 14.4V, this product gives good suction power to clean dust on wood flooring, carpets and other surfaces. It needs about six to eight hours for a full charge, and this almost half of what other cordless cleaners with the same battery need. In this sense, it is super energy efficient and consumes a lot less energy than similar vacuum cleaners.
Another key feature of this product is that it comes with HEPA filters, so it does not release dust back into the air and keeps the indoor air much cleaner. Also, it blocks more than 99 percent of allergens and is truly a blessing for those suffering from allergies and other respiratory ailments.
Finally, this vacuum cleaner is easy to store because you can fold the handles. As a result, it occupies a lot less space and handling it is also comfortable.
Due to these features, the Hoover Presto 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner is a great choice for those looking to get a top quality vacuum cleaner.
Our Budget Pick
If you are looking to fill an immediate need for a vacuum cleaner or want to work with a limited budget, then Black & Decker BDH9600CHV is a good choice. In fact,
its features make this product a great value for your money. It is handy and easy to use, and this is why it has made through our stringent criteria to become our budget pick in this category.
A remarkable feature of this vacuum cleaner is its two-stage filtration process that helps to keep the filter clean, and at the same time, provides a strong suction power to remove all the dust and debris. Also, the filters are washable and easy to clean, and this means, you can re-use the same filters to save money on disposable filters. Its dustbin bowl is also washable, thereby making it more hygienic to use.
Another good aspect of this vacuum cleaner is that it can be charged by standing or by mounting it on a wall. This makes it just a one step process for charging and storing – another convenience that comes with the Black & Decker BDH9600CHV.
However, it comes with just 9.6V, and this means the suction power is not as great as that of our best or second-best pick, but nevertheless it is a good choice for a temporary use.
Other than our top, step-up and budget picks, we have compiled a list of cordless vacuum cleaner products that you can buy if you cannot find any of our choices.
This vacuum is lightweight and makes for easy portability. The overall design is aesthetic and comfortable as it comes with a telescopic handle for added convenience. Hence, you can use it for a long period of time without feeling fatigued.
In terms of cleaning too, this vacuum cleaner is a good choice as it comes with a brush roll system to remove all the dust on top of different surfaces. It’s easy-to-empty dust cup also adds to its convenience. It comes with a 10-inch wide cleaning path to reduce the number of strokes needed to clean a place.
The power is not enormous, but is good enough to do a decent clean. Its wall-mounted charger is a blessing as it occupies lesser space and gives you the flexibility to take it around and charge from anywhere you want. For these reasons, it offers a good value for your money.
Running on a high performance lithium battery, the Electrolux Lithium Handheld vacuum provides the best cleaning performance and high levels of convenience. This is a 2-in-1 product that gives you the option to use it either as a stick vacuum or as a hand-held one, depending on your personal preferences and area of use. Also, the lithium battery that powers this vacuum is powerful, and can provide almost 20 minutes of high performance before needing a charge again.
In terms of performance too, this vacuum cleaner is a good choice. Its motorized brush roll helps to clean all surfaces thoroughly while it’s 180 degrees EasySteer Maneuverability makes it easy to turn anywhere you want smoothly. To top it, this vacuum cleaner generates a good amount of suction power to remove all the dust from your home. Its bagless design and lightweight make it easy to move it from one place to another.
This versatile vacuum cleaner comes with many features that make cleaning and storing a breeze for you. It’s eight-inch cleaning path can be used both while using it as a stick vacuum as well as a handheld one, and this gives you the flexibility to clean almost every nook and corner of your house. It doubles up as a car cleaner too with its crevice tool and small brush attachments.
In terms of performance too, this product is excellent as it comes with a powerful cyclonic system that gives the perfect finish; while its motorized brush, low-base and a 180-degree swivel head make vacuuming an effortless process. Also, its 1300 mAh Li-ion battery gives you 15 minutes of clean time when it is fully charged, and this is enough to vacuum an average sized room.
Though expensive, this product is a good choice for a clean home.
This product is one of the most expensive and high performing vacuum cleaners available today. Though it can set you back, its V6 digital motor can remove even the finest of dust particles on any surface. The wand also removes easily, when you want to go in for handheld cleaning. You can even opt for the max setting that will give you the highest suction power to remove any dirt.
Almost every person owning or looking to own a vacuum cleaner has a big list of questions, so we thought we would answer some of the more frequently asked ones in this section.
Do all vacuum cleaners come with attachments? Is that something I should look for?
Most models of vacuum cleaners come with basic attachments, namely a crevice tool and a brush, though some models may offer other attachments as a part of the product. If you are looking for a specific attachment, then you’re best chance is to buy it separately. Alternately, you can hunt for a vacuum cleaner that offers this accessory as a part of the market price, though this route is not really recommended because there is always a possibility that this cost will be made up in other aspects such as performance.
Do I need to use HEPA filters? What are its advantages?
It is a good idea to use HEPA filters for your vacuum cleaners, especially if you or someone in your house has respiratory problems or allergies. The advantage with these filters is that they filter out more than 99.97 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns or more, and this means, all possible items such as pollen, dander, mite and other items that cause allergies are removed from the environment when you run vacuum cleaners fitted with these filters.
Would you recommend vacuum cleaners with dust bags?
Yes, if you or other family members have dust allergies. It is always a good idea to collect dust in a bag as it keeps it out of the air. However, there are also some downsides that come with using dust bags because not all bags are created equal. Some bags have large pores, and this becomes a problem as they send allergens out anyway. In fact, vacuum cleaners that use old-style paper bags are the worst of the lot. Also, the cost of buying disposable bags can eat into your monthly budget.
For these reasons, you can try efficient bagless vacuum cleaners as upkeep costs are less. Advanced technologies have also made these bagless vacuum cleaners efficient enough to remove dust and other allergens.
Does a more powerful motor mean a higher suction power?
Not always, as the power of the motor determines its performance and not its suction power. Also, better performance does not always translate to higher suction power, as performance can be determined by other factors like design, filtration process and the rate of air flow.
How often should I vacuum my home?
Ideally, twice a week for those who suffer from high levels of allergy. You can also use it more often if you see a pile up of dust or if you have a pet.
How many times should I run the vacuum cleaner over my carpet for a thorough clean?
To get the best clean, you would need seven strokes in areas that see high-levels of foot traffic and three to four strokes for areas with less foot fall. If you are one of those people who are paranoid about dust, then you can opt to buy a dirt sensor that will tell you if a place is really clean.
How can I best clean my carpeted stairs?
To best clean your carpeted stairs, use the nozzle attachment or a rotating brush as this will help to remove the dust thoroughly. Remember, carpeted stairs need to be cared for regularly.
Wrapping It Up
Want to keep your houses sparkling clean without spending too much time? Then, vacuum cleaners are your best companion. Due to its ubiquitous use, there are many types and models of vacuum cleaners, each having its own set of features. Out of these many types, cordless vacuum cleaners give you the maximum flexibility as is it is easy to carry from one room to another, and a lot of them are powerful enough to give you a thorough clean.
We tested many cordless vacuum cleaner models, and based on this testing, our top pick is the Makita BCL180Z. If you are looking to buy within a smaller budget, then Black & Decker BDH9600CHV is a good choice. Alternately, if you want an ergonomic handle for added comfort, try the Hoover Presto 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner.