In the beginning was the vacuum cleaner, and lo, t'was wired and heavy. And then the cleaning gods cast out the wires, and the bags, and all the heavy bits. And lo' we were left with the best cordless vacuum cleaners, and it was good.
Which is a flowery way of saying that, after years of being just 'OK', cordless vacuum cleaners are now very good indeed.
From brands like Dyson and Shark, the best cordless vacuums today are lightweight, engineered to perfection, and packing in more sucking power than an arena full of talent show rejects.
And that's before you even consider the robot vacuum cleaners on the market, free to roam and tidy your home without you so much as lifting a finger.
So, if you're on the market for one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners in 2018, you've come to the right place as we count down our favorites. We'll have your home spotless in no time at all.
Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
Power supply: : Cordless, battery | Weight: : 5.9 lbs / 2.6 kg | Bin size: : 0.75L | Run time: : Up to 60 minutes
Is this the perfect cordless vacuum cleaner? A few niggles aside, it very nearly could be. Dyson is so confident in the Cyclone V10 Absolute that it's stated since its release that it will no longer be building corded vacuum cleaners – that's just how good the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is.
If you're familiar with Dyson's other cordless vacuum models, you'll know what you're getting here – a stylish and transformable handheld cleaner with removable heads and an optional extender pole, making it as well suited to cleaning the car as hard to reach corners.
You'll get up to an hour's worth of battery life from a single charge which is great compared to the competition – though do be aware that if you push it to its most powerful suction settings that figure drops dramatically.
Add in a larger bin size than previous models and a 20% improvement in max suction power and this is the cleaner to beat right now.
Read our full Dyson Cyclone V10 review
Power supply: : Cordless, battery | Weight: : 4kg | Bin size: : 0.33L | Suction power: 25.2AW
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is superb, but it's also superbly expensive. If you're after something a little less extravagant, but just as well served in the sucking stakes, consider the Shark IF250UK instead.
It can run for 22 minutes on a single charge...but also offers hot-swappable batteries, with another popped in the box essentially doubling that running time.
It's a little more cumbersome than the Dyson models, but an articulated mid section makes the Shark IF250UK well suited for cleaning those hard to reach places underneath the sofa.
And, if you're a pet lover, there's an animal-focussed version available too with a selection of attachments dedicated to getting stubborn fur out of where it shouldn't be. A worthy alternative to the Dyson elite.
Read the full Shark IF250UK review
Dyson V8 Absolute
Power supply: : Cordless, battery | Weight: : 2.16kg | Bin size: : 0.54L | Suction power: 22AW (115AW in MAX mode)
Were it not for the Shark and newer Dyson models above, the Dyson V8 Absolute would still be our top pick of the cordless vacuum cleaners on the market. And though it's getting a bit long in the tooth, as an older model now commanding more affordable pricing, it's still well worth giving a try.
Another transforming cordless vacuum cleaner, like the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute it too features a pistol-grip power button, meaning it's only drawing from the battery and sucking up grime when it's actually being held down and used. As such, its 40 minute running time can feel much longer than that – though again the more powerful settings and motorized heads will see that figure drastically reduced.
Fitted with a large bin and sold complete with a ton of accessories, it's a great package and, best of all, it's fun to use – its sci-fi aesthetic will make you feel like a Ghostbuster while you're doing your chores.
Gtech AirRam MK2
Power supply: Battery (cordless) | Weight: 3.5kg | Battery: 40 minutes
"AirRam" sounds almost like too cool a name for a white goods product – it could be a special move in Street Fighter or something like that. But the Gtech AirRam MK2 backs it up with respectable sucking action, and at a palatable price point too.
Designed like an upright, you'll get about 40 minutes out of the AirRam MK2 per charge, giving the Dyson V8 Absolute a run for its money. It'll run off a mains power supply too, though don't expect to go very far with the short cable that's supplied.
Gtech Airlock technology adapts the head for different flooring types which guarantees a good suction seal whether tackling carpet or hardwoods, while a removable cylinder bin lets you easily dispose of any collected grime.
But though it's not too heavy, the lack of a hose or different attachments makes it less versatile than some of the other products on this list. Still, it gets the job done, and at a far more affordable price than the competition to boot.
Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner
Power supply: Battery | Weight: 2.4kg | Bin size: 0.33Lm | Suction power: 20AW
Not content with just building traditional vacuum cleaners, Dyson has also tried dipping its toes into the world of robotics too. And with the Dyson 360 Eye, it's made one of the most impressive robot vacuum cleaners on the market.
Run a relatively smooth app-driven set up process, allowing the Dyson 360 Eye to map your home, set a cleaning schedule for the bot, and you're away.
Dyson's robot is intelligent enough to avoid table legs and clothes left on the floor, as well as damaging drops like stairs. Its camera and AI smarts still get caught out at times, and it's too chunky to slide comfortably under most sofas, but you can reliably let it get the job done for you, provided you're prepared to do some of the bigger jobs that occur every once in a while.
What is intimidating though is the price – Dyson products already command a premium, and with all the smart connected and imaging technology crammed in here, it's one of the priciest items they offer. An extravagance then, but a very cool one.
Read the full Dyson 360 Eye review
iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner
Power supply: Battery | Weight: 3.94kg | Bin size: 0.6Lm | Suction power: 33AW
Another pricey, but super-cool bot is iRobot's Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner. It's neck and neck with the Dyson as to which robot cleaner is our favorite at the moment.
Like the Dyson, it'll intelligently map your home and keep an eye out for problem zones, and will know exactly when to jump between high and lower power modes depending on whether or not its on carpets or hard floors.
It has a few advantages over the Dyson alternative, with a lower clearance letting it get under more types of furniture, and a two hour battery that will let it clean for longer before needing to return to its charging station. You can also set up battery-powered “Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers”, which send a signal to the Roomba preventing it from passing between two points – perfect for blocking off doorways to areas you'd rather it not disturb.
It's pricey, and has a particular dislike of cables on the floor, but if you're after a luxury robotic cleaner, and don't much fancy the Dyson competitor, it's definitely one to consider.
- Happy with a few cables? Then check our full best vacuum cleaners guide