Best vacuum cleaners: 11 best vacuums from cordless Dyson to robot Roomba

best vacuum cleaner 2018

You want the best vacuum cleaner. We can help.

We're talking about cleaners that give dirt and dust no place to hide, that leave your floors and carpets looking sparkling and shimmery, that filter the air they pump out and – perhaps most importantly – don't add any more stress to what is already a tedious chore.

In fact, some of the best vacuum cleaners on the market today will happily do most of the hard work for you, and we're here to point you in the right direction. 

We've tested every one of the machines listed below in our own dusty abodes to find the best vacuum cleaner of 2018, so you know you're getting the best of the best recommendations (our homes are actually pretty messy).

Get yourself one of these vacuum cleaners, and sucking up unwanted dust and debris is easier than ever – and of course the less time you spend on cleaning chores, the more time you can enjoy your home with family and friends. 

Over the past few years, the best vacuum cleaners money can buy have gotten smarter and lighter, as well as simpler to use, and with this list to hand you shouldn't struggle finding the top cleaners of 2018. We can tell you first-hand that these vacuums suck, and we mean that as a good thing.

[Update: Two more Shark vacuum cleaners have been added to our list: the Shark ION Robot 750 and the Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean, both offering incredible power and truly eye-catching designs. We wish the battery life on the DuoClean was longer and the bin in the ION Robot 750 bigger, but aside from these drawbacks, both are worthy considerations for adding to your cleaning collection.]

As you read through the list, you'll note many of the best vacuum cleaners of the moment do away with the massive cord that was always a tripping hazard, and instead feature a cordless design. 

As a sign of how outmoded corded vacuums have become, Dyson – one of the biggest vacuum manufacturers on the planet – has now vowed to stop developing corded vacuums all together after launching the cordless Cyclone V10 (which we've included on our list).

Not only are vacuum cleaners today much slimmer than the monstrous vacuums of yore, but some even have brains of their own: choose a robot vacuum cleaner and you don't have to lift a finger. You can even set them off when you're not at home – welcome to the future.

Whether it’s a lightweight cordless, a super-powerful upright or a “who needs humans anyway?” super-advanced robot cleaner you’re after, these are the best vacuum cleaners TechRadar has used. Now no more excuses – it's time to clean your house!

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

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

Unrivaled design
Powerful suction
Battery drains fast on highest setting
Expensive

Dyson's newest cordless vacuum cleaner is so good, the company is no longer producing new corded vacuums. That's how confident Dyson is that the Cyclone V10 and the vacs that follow will meet all your cleaning needs. 

Simply put, the Cyclone V10 is the best vacuum Dyson has ever made. Dyson has redefined its cyclone technology to produce more suction power than ever; the new V10 digital motor is 20% more powerful than the previous V8, and, we can assure you, it definitely sucks a lot (in a positive sense).

You'll notice a number of crucial changes between the V10 and older V models. For example, the barrel is now front-facing, and all attachments connect here directly. The design allows for greater suction efficiency, according to Dyson. The V10 is smarter than ever before, too, and can even detect differences in altitude, air pressure and temperature, and adjust itself for maximum performance. 

Prices and models vary across regions, but you do pay for the Cyclone V10's souped-up suction. And while the Cyclone V10 is more powerful than ever and boasts a more energy-dense battery than previous models, putting it on the highest setting will drain the battery in about five minutes. At the lowest setting, however, you'll get up to 60 minutes of use, and that should be plenty for your everyday messes. 

Read our full Dyson Cyclone V10 review

Shark IF250UK

Shark IF250UK

Shark IF250UK

Power supply: : Cordless, battery | Weight: : 4kg | Bin size: : 0.33L | Suction power: 25.2AW

Easily portable
Powerful suction
Variety of cleaning modes
Heavier than some of the competition

Don't want a Dyson? This Shark IF250UK is a cheaper and rather decent alternative to some of the top-end products from Dyson that sit in this list. It's another cordless cleaner that can run for 22 minutes from a single charge – but the best bit is there are two batteries in the box, so you can just hot swap out mid-clean and get 44 minutes in total.

We really like the design of the Shark IF250UK, although it is a little on the heavy side. It comes with Shark's Flexology technology that means you can bend the cleaner at the mid-way point, so you can get those hard to reach places like under your sofa without having to get down on your hands and knees.

It's not as lightweight as the Dyson listed above, but we still found it easy enough to carry, and suitably portable as well. 

This thing is powerful too. If you own a pet, you can get a special edition version that comes with in-built pet cleaning features, but in an animal-free home we found the Shark IF250UK cleaned up easily when using its maximum suction mode.

For a lower price than the Dyson V10, the Shark IF250UK is a very good pick for your next vacuum cleaner: it's just as powerful as the competition and easy to use to boot.

Read the full Shark IF250UK review

Dyson V8 Absolute

Dyson V8 Absolute

Dyson V8 Absolute

Power supply: : Cordless, battery | Weight: : 2.16kg | Bin size: : 0.54L | Suction power: 22AW (115AW in MAX mode)

Lightweight
Portable and modular
Strong suction
Expensive

Formerly the best cordless vacuum experience that money could buy, the Dyson V8 Absolute is still a top-of-the-line battery powered vacuum cleaner, even as the Cyclone V10 has dethroned it as the very best. It also remains an absolute joy to use.

First, the design. With a removable extender pole and equipped with six different heads for different surfaces and use cases, the V8 Absolute is lightweight and easy to run around the house. With the suction motor in the pistol-grip handle area, you can also easily clip a head directly onto the main unit, turning the whole thing into a portable cleaner – perfect for going up the stairs or decrumbing the car.

A full charge will give you around 40 minutes of use, which is really impressive for a cordless cleaner – though mileage will vary once you start using on the motorized heads, or switch on the V8 Absolute’s MAX mode. You'll rarely need it though – for a handheld, this cleaner will rival even an upright for sheers dirt-sucking power. Its large bin will take in plenty of trash too before needing emptying, which is another convenience not often seen in a cordless.

Best of all though, it is genuinely fun to use. The sci-fi aesthetic makes it one of the few "white goods" gadgets you'll happily leave on show in the house, with the transforming design as useful as it is clever. It's still worth a look.

Gtech AirRam MK2

Gtech AirRam MK2

Gtech AirRam MK2

Power supply: Battery (cordless) | Weight: 3.5kg | Battery live: 40 minutes

Lightweight, easy to carry and move
Easily accessible bin
Bin is small
No attachment tools

The Gtech AirRam MK2 blends the flexibility of a cordless vacuum with strong suction performance and ease of use, making it a great choice for those looking for a vac they can quickly whizz around the home.

It's super-simple to setup out of the box, and after the the initial charge (it takes four hours to fully charge from flat) you're ready to go. The need to charge however can be a hassle, especially if an accidental spillage has occurred and you want to quickly clean it, only to find the AirRam MK2 is out of battery. You could use it if plugged into the wall, but with such a short charging cable supplied that'd be wholly impractical.

An hour on the charger will give you a short burst of power to address a spillage, but if you're planning on doing a general clean you'll want a fall charge, which gives you around 40 minutes of use – similar to what you'd get from Dyson's V8 Absolute.

While charging may be a little inconvenient at times, it means you're never tethered to a cord when using the Gtech AirRam MK2, and that's where it comes into its own. The lightweight and highly maneuverable body allows you to quickly and efficiently move round your home.

Meanwhile, Gtech's Airlock technology automatically adjusts the head for different flooring types, and suction is generally very good – without being the absolute best on offer.

The collection bin may be a bit on the small side too, but it's incredibly easy to empty and ensures you don’t get your hands dirty, with the removable cylinder featuring a sliding lever that pushes out all the nasties.

The vacuum cleaner is easy to carry up and down stairs, but with no hose or attachments you can’t easily clean stairs or other hard-to-reach areas of your home with it. Its price tag makes it a more approachable option than the Dyson however, so if you're on a budget it's certainly worth considering.

Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor

Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor

Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor

Power supply: Corded | Weight: 6.9kg | Cord length: 9.4m | Suction power: 90AW

Impressive, continuous suction
Multi-functional tools included
Heavy to carry up stairs
Cord is annoying

If you want serious suction from your vacuum cleaner, Dyson is the market leader. Its cyclone technology has long been touted as the best sucker around, and on the Light Ball Multi Floor we can safely say this thing sucks big time. In a good way.

With 90AW of suction power the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor tackles carpet, wood floors, laminate and more. Each pass hoovers up dust, hair and other particles struck inside your carpets too, not just those sitting on top.

We were surprised and impressed with the amount of stuff it picked up during the first few trips around our house – clearly our previous vacuum wasn’t doing the job as effectively.

When the large bin fills up, it's just a simple one button release from the body of the Light Ball, and then another one button press to dispense its contents into the bin – although with the large flag that opens at the bottom you'll need to angle the cylinder accordingly.

As well as acting as a standard upright cleaner, the Light Ball also comes with a built in hose and tools, allowing you to tackle hard to reach places, ceilings and stairs with relative ease.

It's still a bit of a beast to carry up and down stairs though, and at times the long 9.4m cord does get in the way, making you wish this was a cordless vacuum – but the trade off will be inferior suction.

If you're in the market for a vacuum cleaner that will give your floors a seriously good seeing too, then the easy-to-use, highly maneuverable and surprisingly quiet (considering the suction) Dyson Light Ball could be right up your street.

Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner

Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner

Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner

Power supply: Battery | Weight: 2.4kg | Bin size: 0.33Lm | Suction power: 20AW

Quiet operation
Compact width
Not the most thorough clean
Tall height

With AI smarts improving all the time and robotics increasingly at home in the home, the sci-fi dream of having a little robot helper to potter about the house is fast becoming a reality. The Dyson 360 Eye is the vacuum cleaning company's first effort in the space, and makes a good account of itself.

After a relatively painless app-powered set-up process, the camera-equipped Dyson 360 Eye is able to navigate your home, weaving around obstacles on a cleaning routine you again establish through the app. 

Considering its small size, it's surprisingly capable at sucking up the rubbish in your home, and when the battery gets low and it's time for a recharge, the 360 Eye will intelligently return to its charging station without any prompting. 

It's a premium product, commanding a high asking price that's best used as a supplement to your usual cleaning rota rather than a replacement. With the 360 Eye doing the rounds once every day, you'll find that your home will need a "deep clean" vacuum session by your own hand far less often. 

But there's still room for improvement if the company ever make a second generation – the tall clearance makes it difficult for the 360 Eye to fit under furniture, a bigger bin would lessen the need to keep emptying it out, and a larger battery would give it a better chance of completing a whole-house sweep in one pass without a recharge session. 

The limitations of the wider product category taken into consideration, this is a solid luxury cleaning product regardless. Bear in mind though that Dyson just announced its successor, the Heurist.

iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner

iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner

iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner

Power supply: Battery | Weight: 3.94kg | Bin size: 0.6Lm | Suction power: 33AW

Environment mapping
Relatively low clearance
Sluggish app control
Struggles with cables

Dyson’s not the only company working with robotics in the home space, and many rate iRobot and its Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner very highly, too.

A low-clearance, dirt-sucking disc, it’s likewise intelligent enough to go about its business in your home without much prompting from its human owners. The Roomba 980 will intelligently map your home for problem spots, kicking into a high-power mode when carpets are identified, and weaving around chair legs and other potential obstacles. 

With a two hour battery life, it will manage a longer cleaning cycle than the Dyson before it too heads back to its charging dock.

Other smart features of the Roomba 980 include its battery-powered “Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers” which signal to the bot which area to avoid if placed across a doorway, and more granular control over its cleaning procedures through its accompanying app. 

However, the Roomba 980 has room for improvement as well, with its app not always terrible intuitive, and the robot itself sometimes getting bamboozled by cables.

It's another pricey cleaning luxury, and making the choice between it and its Dyson rival will be a tough one. But for those that can afford it, the Roomba 980 is another excellent cleaning convenience. 

Read our full iRobot Roomba 980 review

Eufy RoboVac 11

Eufy RoboVac 11

Eufy RoboVac 11

Power supply: Battery | Weight: 3.02kg | Bin size: 0.6Lm

Low price compared to competition
Lots of cleaning settings
No companion app
Limited battery life

You may not have heard of the name Eufy before, but this more affordable robot vacuum cleaner offers some fantastic value and it comes from the sister brand of Anker, which is the closest thing to a household name in the world of portable chargers.

The RoboVac 11 has lots of cleaning settings included an automatic mode, maximum power, edge cleaning, single room cleaning or a mode that specifically focuses on one small area.

The problem is, unlike the two vacuums above, you can't connect the RoboVac 11 to an app – and so you can't monitor or set your robot cleaner to go when you're not in the house.

Instead it's all activated through a remote control that comes in the box with the RoboVac 11. You can set it up on a timer so the cleaner will automatically head on its journey once a day, but it's not as useful as having an app to do it from anywhere in the world.

There's also no mapping technology built-in, and instead the RoboVac 11 will just make its own way around your home until the battery runs out. It uses infrared sensors to avoid bumping into furniture in your home, but it can be quite frustrating if you're sitting and watching it work – it doesn't clean quite as efficiently as some other cleaners.

With a 600 ml bin this will keep going for multiple cleans. We found the battery life to last around 90 minutes on the automatic mode, and a little bit less if you're using the maximum power suction.

The Eufy may not be the most efficient or powerful robot vacuum cleaner on the market, but considering its super low price point, it's impressive how much value for money you get with the RoboVac 11.

Read our full Eufy RoboVac 11 review

Neato Botvac Connected

Neato Botvac Connected

Neato Botvac Connected

Power supply: Battery | Weight: 3.94kg | Bin size: 0.6Lm

Thorough clean
Relatively cheap
Incorrectly assesses its own height
Marks very easily

While not quite as familiar a name as Dyson or Roomba, with the Neato Botvac Connected, Neato has managed to create a vacuum cleaner that definitely gives the others a run for their money. 

At 10 cm tall, it comfortably manages to shuffle under most items of furniture, and uses laser guidance to map the room. It's very satisfying watching it figure out which items of furniture it can navigate under and around. 

A little frustratingly, it doesn’t seem to factor in the little protruding circle on top of the unit that houses the Neato logo, and so does occasionally get caught on items that it only just clears.

You can control the Neato Botvac Connected using your phone, set up routines for when you want it to clean, and even pause mid-clean. There are also convenient buttons on the unit itself: one for 'spot clean' that will do one room, or 'house clean' that will do your entire home before guiding itself back to its base station. 

At 700 ml, the bin size is bigger than both the Dyson 360 and the Roomba, but is still small in comparison to a standard vacuum cleaner, and will need emptying mid-clean if you have a large (or particularly dirty) home. 

There is the option to either have the Neato clean in Eco or Turbo mode, which will give you quieter or deeper cleaning, depending on your preference. From the time that we have spent with it, the deeper cleaning mode provides a very thorough level of cleaning – although it invariably miss areas that require moving of obstacles, so you'll still need an occasional once-over with a hand-held vacuum cleaner.

Shark ION Robot 750

Shark ION Robot 750

Shark ION Robot 750

Powerful suction in a beautiful and intelligent package

Dimensions: 12.6" x 12.6" x 2.6" | Weight: 5.51 pounds | Power: Battery

Sleek design
Excellent cleaning abilities
Has trouble getting onto thick rugs

We've been testing the Shark ION Robot 750 robot vacuum for some time now, and it never ceases to impress us. 

The first thing we noticed is its design; this isn't a boring black puck, but rather a sleek machine with lovely accents and a mix of shine and matte elements that make it stand out from the competition. 

As for performance, the Shark ION Robot 750 cleans like a dream. We were amazed that it picked up that much dirt in our home, and was even able to pick up larger pieces of debris that other robot vacuums simply brushed to the side. 

It has a great sense of its surroundings, rarely bumping into things or getting stuck. It's fast, too; you may be surprised to see it on the other side of your living room when you've turned your back for just a second. 

We wish the bin was a little bigger as it fills up fairly quickly, but then again we have two dogs, so there's a lot of dirt, hair and other detritus to lap up. The battery life is long-lasting, and it's never run out on us during our testing. 

Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean

Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean

Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean

A super-powerful cordless vacuum cleaner

Weight: 3.8 pounds | Bin Capacity: 0.3 dry quarts | Power: Battery

Lovely design
Super-powerful suction
Very short battery life

The Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean is a beautiful beast: it's a lovely shade of metallic blue and shimmery black, and is so powerful, you may be a bit taken aback. 

We love how this vacuum can switch from hardwood floor cleaning to carpet with the push of a button. The detachable motor lets you use it as a handheld too, great for cleaning furniture. It comes with an assortment of attachments for different kinds of cleaning, such as a head specifically designed to clean fabric. 

It's a bit on the heavy side when you slide in the lithium-ion batteries, so you'll definitely get a workout when using this vacuum. But, you'll be cleaning a lot of surface area because it moves so fast and efficiently. 

The bin is big enough, so you should have plenty of room to clean a large room or a few smaller ones before needing to dump it out.

The biggest drawback with the IONFlex 2X DuoClean is the battery. It doesn't last long at all, probably close to 10 minutes or so, before you need to swap out another one. The good news is that the batteries are rechargable – the bad news is that they take a lot longer than 10 minutes to recharge fully. 

That means you'll likely find that you've burned through two batteries quickly, then need to wait a few hours before both are back to full charge. You can use one after it's only charged for a short while, but don't expect it to last very long. 

Still, this cordless vacuum has a lot going for it, so it's well worth considering adding to your cleaning collection.