17 Oct Best Corded Vacuum Cleaner
Given that you’re looking for the best corded vacuum cleaner, you clearly don’t suffer with filophobia, the phobia of wires. This is a real phobia, by the way, I’ve not made it up. It may seem like a strange one, but it’s not as strange as anatidaephobia which is the phobia of being watched by a duck!
One person who does appear to have a phobia of power cables is James Dyson, given that Dyson have turned their back completely on corded vacuum cleaners, so if you’re looking for the best corded vaccum cleaner, it’s more than likely not going to be a Dyson.
Just to clarify, Dyson still offer corded hoovers but only old models. They’re still manufacturing their older corded models but all of their efforts when it comes to developing new and improved features, is focused on cordless. So if you want to invest in a modern corded vacuum cleaner which combines the best modern vacuum cleaner features with the benefits of having a power cable, you’ll probably not be shopping for a Dyson.
What’s so Good About Corded Vacuum Cleaners?
I’m probably preaching to the converted here, as you wouldn’t have landed on a post about the best corded vacuum cleaners if you weren’t already of this opinion, but in case you’re on the fence about corded vs cordless hoovers, let’s just discuss why corded vacuum cleaners are such a great option.
Cordless vacuum cleaners are all the rage, but what’s so special about them, really? The main thing about cordless hoovers is, obviously, that they’re cordless, which means they’re lacking a power cable.
If it were as simple as that, and the only difference between cordless and corded was the presence or the lack of a power cord, then I think cordless vacuums would be the obvious choice, because, yes, to most of us power cables are a slight annoyance that we’d probably prefer not to have to deal with if we didn’t have to.
But when choosing cordless over corded, you’re actually making a number of sacrifices in order to not have the power cable, so once you fully understand the sacrafices you’re making, many people will determine that they’re happy to put up with the power cable.
Battery Power Vs Wall Power
The main technical difference between corded and cordless vacuum cleaners is that cordless vacuums have to be able to run off a limited amount of power, while corded vacuum cleaners run off unlimited wall power, as long as you’ve not run out of 50p pieces and we’re not currently having a planned blackout. This power source difference causes a limitation with cordless hoovers which isn’t there with the best corded vacuum cleaners.
This limitation simply comes down to the relatively slow rate of evolution of small appliance battery technology.
Some of the latest premium cordless models do boast suction power that can rival corded vacuum cleaners, but this is mainly down to clever developments in increasing suction efficiency, rather than due to the development of rechargeable batteries. As a result, even with the really crazy-priced cordless vacuums, the impressive suction is usually only available on boost mode, for a matter of minutes before the battery is drained.
Given the increasing importance of rechargeable batteries these days with so many car manufacturers moving to electric power vs petrol or diesel, I’d imagine that this evolution of battery technology will eventually have a knock-on effect on the smaller rechargeable batteries used for hoovers, leading to smaller batteries being less expensive, providing more power, and being quicker to charge.
We’re not there yet though, and the gains that have been made in cordless hoover tech is mainly in other areas, the power limitation is still very much a consideration for cordless vacuum cleaners, and this leads to four main sacrifices if you just can’t stand the thought of having a power cable.
Cleaning Time on High Power.
The top brands such as Dyson or Shark make claims such as up to 60 minutes of cleaning time on a single charge, and while this is technically true the cleaning time quoted is usually based on using the hoover on “eco mode”, in other words on a lower power setting.
When you read the marketing blurb of some of the best selling cordless models, you’ll quickly gain the impression that the lack of a power cable doesn’t come with any downsides, and that you’re buying a vacuum cleaner which is equally as powerful as a corded vacuum, with all the benefits of cordless, but as discussed, this isn’t quite the case.
If your home doesn’t get particularly dirty, if you don’t have children, pets and/or a messy significant other, and you’ll seldom require the max suction mode, and/or if you live in a particularly small home where you’d be able to get through all of the cleaning on max power on one battery charge if needed, then this might not be an important consideration.
If you have a herd of mess-generating kids/pets and/or a larger home, then you may be better off choosing one of the best corded vacuum cleaners, meaning that you’re never limited by battery power.
Cordless vacuum cleaners have to be made differently from corded hoovers from the outset due to the limitation of small lightweight rechargeable batteries. What this means is that corded vacuum cleaners are usually far superior to cordless options it comes to suction power. There are exceptions to this, especially at the very premium (and expensive) side of things, but only for a relatively short amount of time.
Like for like (because the best cordless vacuum cleaners are usually far, far cheaper than the best cordless vacuum cleaners) you’re going to get far better overall cleaning performance for your money with corded vacuums vs cordless.
Simply put, the best corded vacuum cleaners are much cheaper (in some cases several times cheaper) than the best cordless vacuums, so if you like to get the best bang for buck (or should that be suck for buck?) you’re going to find much better value for money in corded hoovers vs cordless.
There are a couple of reasons corded vacuum cleaners are much more affordable, one is very obvious and that is that high-quality small and lightweight batteries are expensive, so the fact that you don’t need the battery or the battery charger is clearly a big positive for corded vacuums where value for money is concerned.
The other not so obvious reason that corded vacuums offer better value for money is that if you want similar cleaning power to corded but without the power cable, you need to go for one of the latest, most modern higher suction power cordless cleaners that are offered by the premium vacuum cleaner brands.
If money isn’t an issue, for example maybe you were digging a pond in the back garden and stumbled upon Honjo Masamune’s long-lost sword or The Amber Room (or both if you want the latest Dyson) then by all means, go for the very latest Dyson or Shark cordless vacuum cleaner. If you don’t want to part with this kind of money, though, but you do want great cleaning performance, then corded vacuum cleaners are the smart choice.
Waste bin size.
There are exceptions to this, but most cordless vacuum cleaners are handheld, in that the main body of the vacuum cleaner including the waste bin is held by the user, so the technology is continually getting smaller and lighter, and this usually means that cordless vacuum cleaners have much smaller waste bins.
While the best corded vacuum cleaners can have waste bin capacities at several litres, most cordless vacuums tend to have waste bins that are described in millimetres rather than litres, due to the lack of space available in the design, for the waste container.
Most of us prefer to empty the vacuum cleaner into the outside bin, because emptying a hoover inside the home and allowing the tiny airborne nasties including allergens back in, doesn’t sound like the best plan. So if a trip to the outside bins is insignificant to you, just a short trip from whatever room you may be in at the time the waste container is full to the max, then this isn’t going to be too much of a problem.
If, on the other hand, you either live in a very large home, or you live in an apartment, for example, and having to take your hoover to where you’d usually empty the bin is a bit of a trek, then you may find that the larger waste capacity of most corded vacuum cleaners is more suitable for you.
These are the best corded vacuum cleaners in the UK:
Henry Hoover HVR160 Vacuum Cleaner
This might be the best corded vacuum cleaner of all time and it’s not just us that think so. It’s not often that you can classify a vacuum cleaner as a classic but Henry definitely falls into that category.
Literally millions of people have bought this hoover over the last 40 years since it first came out and it is still going strong today.
It provides suction as strong as the most expensive cordless stick vacuum cleaners from the big brands but it costs a fraction of the price.
It’s manufactured in the UK and the company that makes it has resisted the temptation to move manufacturing somewhere cheaper because they want to maintain its reputation as something that is made to last.
Many people that own a Henry have had it for 10 years or more so you can be pretty sure this is not an appliance that going to need to be replaced in a hurry.
It’s also very easy to use and comes with a bunch of accessories that ensure you can clean every part of your home, high or low:
It also comes with a 6-litre waste bin so you won’t need to be emptying it after every clean and in fact, it’s unlikely you’ll need to empty it even once a month.
Shark Stratos HZ3000UKT Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Fantastic value for money with similar performance to a Dyson without the nonsense sky high prices. Suitable for all homes at this price but especially good if you have pets. See my full review from using this product on a daily basis over a long period of time here:
Shark NZ801 / NZ850 / PZ1000 Corded Upright Vacuum Cleaner
This is a cheap way to get a high-quality premium branded vacuum cleaner. It delivers the same suction power and performance as Sharks more expensive cordless models and still comes with a whole load of features to make cleaning your home a lot easier.
There is the NZ801 / NZ850 and the PZ1000. The only difference between the 3 of them is the size of the waste container so if you have a large home and you want to empty the waste container as little as possible then the PZ1000 has a huge 1.6 litre capacity. Most homes will be fine with either the NZ801 with 0.83 litres and the NZ850 1.3 litres
These all come with “powered lift away” where the central unit detaches from the wand so you can just walk up and down the stairs with zero hassle or reach up to the ceiling with no bother at all.
It also comes with Sharks duo clean technology with a soft roller and a brush roller built in so it cleans hard floors and carpet without having to change the floorhead and you get a long 8-metre cord.
Anti-hair wrap technology stops any hair becoming tangled in the brush. This short video shows how that works:
Vax Airlift Steerable Upright Vacuum Cleaner
If you are not up for spending a few hundred or more on a vacuum cleaner then this corded version from Vax has many of the features of a Shark without the high price point.
The suction is excellent and it comes with a lift away feature the same as Shark making it easy to clean all above-floor surfaces and it comes with a large 1.5-litre waste container as standard.
All of the Shark’s on this list of recommendations are excellent vacuum cleaners but not everyone wants to spend hundreds of pounds on a hoover.
A really good budget alternative to the big brands.
Miele CX1 Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
A cylinder alternative to Shark or Dyson from one of the most trusted brands in the world for kitchen appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.
They also do a mean vacuum cleaner and whilst is not the cheapest out there you know this is built to last.
It has a fully adjustable telescopic pole so you can adjust to perfectly fit your height and the accessories tools sit on board the vacuum cleaner.
There are a number of different models in the range with the basic model (SKRF3) coming with a standard filter and then the next model up (SKCF3) coming with a HEPA filter that ensures 99.99% dust retention and then the cat and dog version comes with a motorised brush tool to deal with stubborn pet hair.
There are 4 different power levels that can be controlled with your thumb from the handle and it has an auto-clean function for the filter so you don’t need to remember to pull it out monthly and give it a clean.
Here is a detailed video that demonstrates the performance of the CX1:
Vytronix Animal Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
This is called the “Animal” for a reason! This is the winner for the lowest cost with the highest amount of suction power.
This has the same amount of suction power as the top end brands but they cost about 10 times more. It doesn’t come with all of the features they have but you can rest assured it will do a good job of cleaning your floor.
It comes with a pet tool and because the suction is so strong it is ideal for anyone with cats and dogs.
You also get a telescopic hose that you can adjust to make cleaning easy for your own personal height and its light at just 6kg
This is quite a rare example of something that is cheap but it does do a good job.
Budget Corded Stick Upright Vacuum Cleaner
A great low-cost alternative to some of the more expensive brands. Great for flats and homes without pets.
Don’t buy a cordless vacuum cleaner at this price level because the suction will be no good but this one delivers on suction because its mains powered and the 10 metre cable means you can get a lot of the cleaning done without changing the socket.
It’s also super light at 1.5kg and comes with a great storage holder if space is tight.
Amazon Basics Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
If you have a flat or smaller home and all you want is a vacuum cleaner that has good suction and will do a good job of hoovering then Amazons basic vacuum cleaner has been made for you.
It doesn’t come with any of the high spec and feature of the some of the others in this list but what it does come with is high performance and a low price.
You get a 5-metre cord that has auto rewind and all the usual accessories for above floor cleaning.
Probably the best thing you get is total peace of mind as its an Amazon branded product and Amazon are renowned for their incredible customer service. It already enjoys overwhelmingly good reviews but if it doesn’t live up to your expectations you know that Amazon will sort it out for you with no fuss.
Difference between corded and cordless vacuum cleaners
Cordless vacuum cleaners are often lighter than corded and that makes them easy to move around but that also means that they very often have much smaller waste containers that need emptying often.
If you think you will find it to be a pain to empty the dust and dirt after every clean or every other clean then corded may be a better option as you can get some huge waste bins on vacuum cleaners like Henry the Hoover that has a bin size up to 9 litres so you won’t have to worry about emptying it more than about once every couple of months if that.
If you have a busy home with pets then you’ll need a top of the range cordless that will set you back hundreds of pounds to get the suction power you need but a good corded hoover with market leading suction will set you back only half that amount.
Bear in mind that with a cordless vacuum cleaner you’ll need to allow about 3-4 hours for it to recharge fully again but with a corded hoover you can whip it out anytime without wondering whether you have enough battery to get the job done.
With cordless you also need to remember to charge it in the first place. Many times I have grabbed the hoover out of the cupboard and then tried to turn it only to be faced with a flat battery because I forgot to put it on charge the last time it was in use.
If you want to avoid that frustration then a corded vacuum cleaner won’t let you down.
Depending on the type of home you have a corded vacuum may be better for you than a more expensive cordless for a number of reasons.
Most cordless vacuums are not worth buying because the suction power just doesn’t deliver what’s needed to remove the dust and debris from your home, especially on carpets.
You need really powerful suction to get right into the carpet fibres and only the most expensive and most powerful cordless models are capable of that.
Most corded hoovers come with a long cord up to 10 metres because manufacturers know that you don’t want to be changing the socket all the time.
If you live in a flat or a smaller home then you may only need to change the socket once or twice to do an entire clean so it’s not much hassle compared to a cordless anyway and you can save a lot of money.
Once everything is taken into account, if you don’t mind putting up with the cord then there is a lot to be said for getting a corded vacuum cleaner not to mention the amount of money you can save as well.
Do Corded Vacuums Work Better?
It’s probably not quite accurate to state simply that corded vacuum cleaners work better than cordless, however the limitations of cordless vacuum cleaners where the power source is concerned, means that usually, when you’re looking like for like (meaning similarly priced options) you’re likely to get better value for money when choosing one of the best corded vacuum cleaners on the market vs one of the best cordless vacuums.
When you’re comparing the best of the corded vs the best of the cordless, I think it’s probably fair to say that in many cases both vacuum cleaners will work well, but due to the power limitation of cordless, the cordless hoovers that can compete with the best vacuum cleaners with a power cable, can usually only do so for a fairly short space of time before the power setting has to be dropped to a more economical level so as not to drain the battery.
Is a Corded Vacuum Better Than a Cordless?
Better is a really subjective term, so it depends on you specifically. For example if for what ever reason, the lack of a power cord is absolutely crucial, then no, a corded vacd cleaner isn’t going to be a better option for you personally, than a corded vacuum cleaner. That’s very obvious but I think it highlights the point I’m making. Generally speaking, corded vacuums are cheaper when you’re looking like for like, than cordless. So if there is no real reason for you to avoid power cables, then there’s often not a huge amount of benefit in going for cordless over corded.
It’s fair to say that cordless vacuums are usually more lightweight and more manoeuvrable than cylinder cordless vacuum cleaners and corded uprights, but but there are many corded vacuum cleaners these days that perform well in these areas, but with all of the aforementioned benefits of being corded.
Do Corded Vacuum Cleaners Use More Electricity?
You’ll often read that cordless vacuum cleaners are more energy efficient than corded hoovers, and it’s fair to say that the best cordless vacuum cleaners on the market are very energy efficient, as this is one of the things that the premium brands developing cordless vacuum technology are competing for, in order to deliver better cleaning power for longer from a rechargeable battery.
This isn’t really the key factor however when working out how much energy is used hoovering a house with a cordless hoover vs a corded model, because it’s down to the power used when charging the battery.
So yes, how much cleaning you can get done on a single charge is important when deciding how energy efficient a vacuum cleaner is, but how much energy is used to fully charge a battery, and how often you need to charge the batteries also needs to be taken into account when you’re trying to figure out if a corded vacuum cleaner or a cordless one would be best for you.
Common sense would say (because of the more powerful motors that corded vacuums usually have vs cordless) that overall, corded vacuum cleaners probably do use more energy, and although it is a bit of a sweeping statement (pun intended…), it’s probably more or less correct to say that cordless vacuum cleaners are more energy efficient. However, this probably comes down to the kind of home you have, the type of floor surfaces and the specific model of vacuum cleaner.
The energy used to power a corded vacuum cleaner is usually going to be very similar whether you’re hoovering the deepest carpet pile or just gliding over hardwood floors, but with a cordless hoover, using the higher power mode in order to do a better job of hoovering thicker pile is going to run the battery down far sooner than using the vacuum at the lowest power setting that you would be more likely to select when hoovering hard surfaces.