In recent years we seem to have become a nation of cleaning addicts. And it isn't just a loyal band of Instagrammers following every Zoflora-scented tip from Mrs Hinch either – a recent study by Airtasker found that the average Brit will spend approximately eight years of their life on household chores, with houseproud homeowners in Norwich dedicating as many as 15 hours a week to cleaning. Of this, around 67 minutes a week is spent on vacuuming our homes...
However, the latest stats from the vacuum cleaning industry show massive growth in the cordless vacuum cleaner sector of the market and suggest changes in how we are cleaning. Although still outsold by traditional upright and cylinder models, cordless vacuum cleaners are seeing year on year growth of 33% in sales value and now account for over 40% of the market. So, what is driving the mass uptake and why should you jump on the bandwagon by investing in one of the best cordless vacuums? To find out, we spoke to industry experts and looked at what the cordless vacuum offering now includes. If you are sitting there faced with a big clean tomorrow morning, you will want to read on...
1. Cordless vacuums change the way you clean your home and save time in the process
While our grandparents would have hauled everything out into the yard for a good spring clean, taken all the rugs out to beat and cleaned carpets, curtains and flooring throughout, the amount of stuff we own today makes this less feasible and tech has offered us alternative ways to clean up. In fact, more and more of us are doing away with the weekly big clean too, finding time too precious to dedicate a whole day to getting our homes in shape.
Paul Bagwell who designed cordless vacuum Capsule and launched the Halo brand, said: “In the past families set aside whole mornings of their weekend for cleaning, believing this once-a-week routine was the only way to do the job properly. But life has changed, technology has changed and our family and leisure time is increasingly more precious."
The best modern vacuums mean you can have your home dust-free in an hour (depending on how big it is), but many of us have swapped our corded models for a quick and easy cordless that can be used for quick cleans throughout the week rather than one big, long job. No plugging and unplugging, no dragging a heavy cylinder upstairs then having to go back for the attachments – a cordless means you can clean any room, any time and spread your clean throughout the week. A medium room can easily be done in less than 10 minutes, with a quick whizz round a flat done in the average cordless vacuum battery life of 30 minutes.
“Dirt and dust can be quickly and efficiently cleaned with a grab-and-go cordless," adds Paul. "Advances in technology, in particular more powerful suction using lighter materials, added to much bigger dirt capacities, means it’s both quicker and easier to clean when you need to, and emptying the vacuum is a less frequent and much cleaner job in itself."
So if you want to reclaim your weekend, a cordless vacuum could be the way to go. Cleaning little and often – say a quick clean while your dinner cooks midweek – could save a big weekend job.
2. Competition has made them more affordable and no longer a premium product
There are so many cordless vacuums on the market with the top competitors releasing upgrades on a yearly cycle to keep up with one another. This drive to be the best has created so much choice for the consumer that not only do we see all the great advances in battery life, usability and suction that you would expect, but the price of a good cordless vacuum cleaner means it is no longer a luxury. The most expensive models cost around £500 to £600, but for £250 or less, you can get your hands on a cordless with up to 60 minutes of run time and suction on a par with most corded models.
3. Battery life is becoming less of a concern
On a recent visit to Vax's testing facility, their engineers explained to us how the cordless vacuum industry is constantly finding ways to produce maximum performance and battery life which doesn't make the battery – and therefore the product – too heavy for use. This balancing act is leading to innovation in rechargeable battery technology that means we are seeing ever-increasing battery lives and most models comfortably boast at least 30 minutes of run time, with some models offering up to 60.
While this is enough to do a quick clean, a few cordless vacuum manufacturers are upping their game with removable batteries that can be charged while you have a spare one in use. Vax have recently released their ONEPWR battery available for their new Vax Blade 4 cordless vacuum, the Vax Glide hard floor cleaner, and the Vax Spotless Go carpet spot washer – all models use the same battery that can be interchanged offering a full suite of floor cleaning products with one power source.
4. They are well-suited to people with mobility issues
Each cordless vacuum cleaner has been designed to be lightweight for easy use, with enough weight in the head to make pushing it across surfaces easier. This means they cut the back breaking work you can find with many cylinder and upright models – even those designed to be lighter.
People with mobility issues, or back and knee problems find cordless vacuums far more comfortable to use. They are much easier to move around your home and to carry upstairs, and don't have the trip hazard of wires. Furthermore, some of us take for granted the effort required to bend down to plug and unplug a vacuum as we move it around the home – if you have ever put your back out, you will know that not having to do this is a blessing.
Most cordless vacuums also convert to a handheld and can be used to clean your car, furniture and awkward nooks and crannies around the home.
5. Not all cordless vacuums are bagless and stick style
People hate change, and sometimes, swapping to a cordless stick vacuum is too big a jump from what they are use to cleaning with. However, the cordless market has been mindful of people's personal preferences and kept certain familiarities to their models. For example, if you find the swap to a stick style offputting, Shark have created a cordless in upright style in the form of the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Cordless Vacuum. It has no wires so you save time plugging and unplugging, but it can also be detached and carried like a small cylinder vacuum so it suits lots of cleaning styles.
Numatic have also produced a cordless version of their beloved Henry vacuum cleaner. The Numatic Henry Cordless will set you back twice the amount of a classic Henry, but is a kilo lighter and has no wires.
Finally, if you are not one for bagless vacuum cleaners, finding bagged less messy and easier to empty, the Capsule Halo is a cordless stick vacuum but with bags. It comes with 52 dust pouches which hold up to 1.6 litres of dirt which is comparable to some of the smaller corded upright and cylinder vacuums.