15 best bagless vacuum cleaners: Choose from upright, cylinder, cordless and robot

Tamara Hinson
·13-min read
<p>Bagless models tend to be easier and quicker to empty than their bagged contemporaries </p> (The Independent/iStock)

Bagless models tend to be easier and quicker to empty than their bagged contemporaries

(The Independent/iStock)

The humble vacuum cleaner has undergone a huge transformation over the past decade and it’s a makeover which has improved every type of model. To start with, bags are almost entirely (thank goodness) a thing of the past. Today, it’s all about bins which empty quickly and easily without coating us with clouds of throat-clogging dust.

Cordless vacuums are lighter and easier to use than ever before, while corded models come packed with design features which make it easy to forget that you’re still plugged in.

And then there are robot vacuums, which come with a wide range of price tags and a mind-bogglingly huge selection of features. Factors worth considering when purchasing a robot vacuum include the usability of the app almost every model will come with, along with its ability to detect objects – the sensors and brushes on robot vacuums come in all shapes and sizes, so for larger homes with unusual layouts, it’s worth considering a robot vacuum with bigger, better detection methods.

Don’t place too much stock in watts and air watts – these factors vary hugely but don’t generally indicate potential power, especially in an age when the average vacuum comes with a huge range of modes which allow more power to be used for more targeted cleaning of certain areas.

Features we recommend looking out for – whatever the model – include bins which are easy to remove and empty (often thanks to a lever which ejects the contents in seconds), lights above the brush (a feature we found more useful than we could ever have imagined) and sensors which automatically detect changes in surface, minimising the risk of unnecessary wear and tear on thick carpets and rugs.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

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eufy HomeVac S11 Infinity

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.65l

Weight: 2.5kg

Charge time: 3.5 hours

A lean, mean dirt-guzzling machine which can be used on a wide range of surfaces, this eufy model is the dirt buster of our dreams – a lightweight cordless vacuum which will run for up to 40 minutes on a single charge (select the ultra-powerful “max-mode” and this is reduced to eight).

Four ultra-bright LED lights above the brush ensure no fur ball, dust speck or crumb evades its superior sucking and the huge range of added extras (including wall mounting accessories, a 2-in-1 crevice tool and additional battery pack) ramps up the versatility. It feels more top-heavy than certain models, although not in a bad way – it’s both stable but incredibly manoeuvrable and easy to direct. Both the battery and bin are easy to remove, too.

Buy now £279.00, Amazon

Dyson V11 absolute vacuum

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.76l

Weight: 3.01kg

Charge time: 4.5 hours

Aston Martin might have produced the V8, but it’s the Dyson V11 we’re blown away by, thanks to its powerful suction, clever design (its hanging bracket doubles as a charging point) and usability, whether it’s the countdown timer (on a large digital display) which allowed us to instantly see when the battery was running low or the ease with which we could scroll through the three cleaning modes.

But it’s the manoeuvrability which impressed us the most – a feature aided by the presence of Dyson’s famous rollerball (instead of wheels). In hindsight, we’d have preferred an on/off switch rather than a trigger-style one, but the light touch required means finger-ache won’t be an issue.

Buy now £599.00, Dyson

iRobot roomba 976

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.6l

Weight: 3.9kg

Charge time: 3 hours

This is the first vacuum we’ve described as cute, but it certainly is – a beeping, dust-busting cyborg which glides across carpets, vinyl and wood, gobbling up anything in its path. Syncing it with the iRobot Home App was quick, easy and absolutely worth it – doing so allowed us to schedule cleaning routines from anywhere, for any time. Its low profile means it slides effortlessly under chairs, tables and beds, and the so-called cliff detection feature helps it avoid sudden drops such as stairs.

Like most robot vacuums, it’s always ready to go, because it automatically returns to its charging base. A word of warning – don’t be offended by its feedback, namely the floor map which appears on the app, complete with markings indicating the dirtiest areas.

Buy now £499.99, iRobot

Gtech airram MK2

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.8l

Weight: 3.2kg

Charge time: 4 hours

We admit it – weren’t over the moon to see that the airram had an old school-style power switch activated with the tap of a foot, but we quickly changed our mind – only the lightest of touches is needed, and at a time when we’re more aware of germs than ever before, minimising hand contact is surely a good thing. Another feature which germaphobes will love is the emptying mechanism – hold the bin over your dustbin and pull the lever to quickly, cleanly eject the contents.

We also loved its low profile and compact design (the highlight of which is the lightweight handle, which collapses into itself for easy storage) and its ability to suck up different types of dirt from a wide range of floorings without the need to tweak settings or brushes.

Buy now £199.99, Gtech

Roidmi RS60 cordless vacuum

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.55l

Weight: 2.7kg

Charge time: 2.5 hours

This is a powerful vacuum which has a top-quality feel and comes packed with surprises, whether it’s the super-quick charge time (just 2.5 hours for a full charge), the unexpected added extras such as the mattress brush, or its very own app, which you can use to monitor battery life and bin capacity.

An ultra-clear display makes it easy to see the percentage of charge remaining, and the UFO-like row of lights – which magically brighten in areas of darkness – proved to be surprisingly useful. Our favourite feature? The digital display which shows how many calories you’re burning while vacuuming.

Buy now £449.00, Roidmi

Bissell icon pet 25v cordless vacuum

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.4l

Weight: 3.18kg

Charge time: 4 hours

Full disclosure – the clunky head of this vacuum didn’t inspire confidence but for its price point, it’s a brilliant vacuum which does exactly what it says on the box. Although this isn’t a model packed with features – it’s simply got three power settings, and no options to change the movement of the rotors depending on the type of flooring it’s tackling – it’s one of the best vacuums you’ll find for under £200.

We’d have liked to have seen a digital display to help us keep track of factors such as battery life, although we loved the row of ultra-bright lights and the four different heads included as standard.

Buy now £199.99, Bissell

Hoover H-upright 500 sensor plus

Cordless? No

Dust capacity: 1.5l

Weight: 6.25kg

Charge time: n/a

This model proves that corded vacuums can easily outdo cordless ones. In a nutshell, it offers the best of both worlds, with an extra-long 10m cord and an ultra-manoeuvrable head. Our other favourite features included the easily accessible controls, the large bin (it takes a whopping 1.5l of dirt) and the sensor which automatically adjusts the brushes depending on the surface being vacuumed.

Buy now £149.00, Amazon

Vax onepwr blade 4 pet cordless vacuum cleaner

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.6l

Weight: 3.1kg

Charge time: 3 hours

Although Vax’s vacuum feels slightly clunkier than some of the models featured here, it’s incredibly simple to use, with a bin which slides out effortlessly and a simple on/off switch, rather than a trigger-style one which requires constant pressure. Its ultra-bright lights helped us quickly cover a huge amount of space, and an antimicrobial treatment applied to the brush will help prevent fungus and mould forming. We also loved the inclusion of a mini motorised pet hair tool, which effortlessly sucked up the stubbornest of dog hairs.

Buy now £259.99, Vax

Proscenic P11 cordless vacuum cleaner

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.65l

Weight: 2.8kg

Charge time: 2.5 hours

The touch screen was one of our favourite features on this Proscenic model – touch screens can be hard to get right but this one has just the right level of sensitivity. It’s a powerful vacuum perfectly suited to stairs, thanks to its lightweight design and use of an on/off switch rather than a trigger-style one (fiddling around with buttons when you’re tackling tight spots like stairs is never fun).

The battery slips in and out incredibly easily and a magnetic mop head means it will effortlessly remove stains from hard floors, too. Our one complaint? It’s a little on the noisy side, although this minor issue doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s one of the best vacuums you’ll find for under £250.

Buy now £219.00, Amazon

Russell Hobbs RHUV6001 upright vacuum

Cordless? No

Dust capacity: 1.65l

Weight: 7.1kg

Charge time: n/a

This proved to be an exceptionally strong sucker – even for a corded vacuum, which usually provide stronger suction anyway. A minor gripe was that the controls are hand-operated ones rather than the foot-operated switch commonly seen on corded vacuums.

Corded models are inevitably less manoeuvrable so being able to quickly tap the controls with your foot is (at least in our view) an upside we’d look for if going down the corded route. However, we loved the huge bin (it will hold 4.3kg of dirt) and the seven-metre power cord.

Buy now £99.00, Russell Hobbs RHUV6001 upright vacuum

Shark anti hair wrap corded stick vacuum cleaner with flexology and truepet HZ500UKT

Cordless? No

Dust capacity: 0.3l

Weight: 5.25kg

Charge time: n/a

There’s not a lot we don’t love about this vacuum. To start with, there’s the packaging, which is almost entirely plastic-free – the individual parts are contained in individual paper bags, rather than plastic. It’s a machine which offers the best of both worlds – the corded design means you’ll never run out of juice, but it’s got the manoeuvrability of a cordless model, thanks largely to a wand which bends in the centre, making it easy to suck up dirt from beneath sofas, tables and chairs. The ultra-bright lights on the front helped us see the dust and fluff we’d otherwise miss, and the additional air-driven bristle brush does a brilliant job of sucking up pet hair.

Buy now £269.99, Shark

eufy robovac G30

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.6l

Weight: 2.7kg

Charge time: 5 hours

One reason we’ve come to love eufy is the fact that it’s a brand which thinks of everything. Take the robovac G30. The added extras which come with this brilliant robot vacuum include a spare filter, a replacement brush and cable ties to keep everything in place.

Like many robot vacuums, it creates a map of your home as it glides around the different rooms, although in this case, the map can be seen immediately on the easily-navigable app (watching the map enlarge as the vacuum explores is strangely satisfying). Its lower profile helped it slide into the spots other vacuums struggled to reach, and its lightweight design meant that it bumped into obstacles with less force – if we had a home packed with priceless antiques (we don’t, to be clear), we’d have no concerns about using this for all our dirt-busting needs.

Buy now £3199.99, Amazon

Neato D7 robot vacuum

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.7l

Weight: 3.4kg

Charge time: 150 minutes

This laser-guided mean machine has an extra-large brush which allows it to cover more space in less time, and the ability to detect objects, walls and different surfaces has mind-blowing accuracy – it didn’t get stuck once, and deftly avoided furniture which our other robot vacuums nudged into.

The map created by the vacuum is ultra-precise – the D7’s “cleaning summary” is infinitely more detailed than any other we’ve seen. Another favourite feature was the ability to customise cleaning routines, whether it’s with so-called “no go” lines or by programming it to clean specific zones.

Buy now £433.00, Neato

Morphy Richards supervac three in one cordless vacuum cleaner

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.5l

Weight: 3.56kg

Charge time: 4 hours

This is a budget cordless vacuum perfectly suited to smaller properties – although the bin is on the small side, it is lightweight, stylish and flexible, and still comes with all the usual attachments. And while we’re very aware looks aren’t everything, this is certainly one of the most stylish vacuums we’ve seen, with splashes of gold against a sleek white chassis. There are just two power levels, but surprisingly strong suction and the ease with which its nozzles can be switched makes it easy to ensure all dust and dirt is effortlessly sucked up.

Buy now £119.99, Morphy Richards

Ecovacs deebot ozmo t8 AIVI

Cordless? Yes

Dust capacity: 0.4l

Weight: 3.5kg

Charge time: 6.5 hours

This brilliant robot works slightly differently to other models. While most robot vacuums start the process of mapping floor layout while vacuuming at the same time, this one starts by mapping the area in question, without doing any vacuuming. But if the resulting map is anything to go by, this single-minded focus is a good thing – the map was the most detailed one produced by any of our robot vacuums. It also glided easily over uneven surfaces – such as rugs – which other robot vacuums got stuck on, and it’s much nippier, too.

There’s an option to mop the floor as it vacuums, too. The best bit? It’s got a video camera, which means once it’s finished its rounds you can watch exactly where it’s been. If you’re into that kind of thing.

Buy now £480.00, Ecovacs

The verdict: Bagless vacuum cleaners

This was a really tough call – we were blown away (excuse the pun) by all of the vacuums we featured here. The eufy HomeVac S11 infinity gets the gold medal in this case – it’s incredibly easy to use and offers an precedented level of customisable cleaning, thanks to the wide range of added extras and cleaning modes.

Meanwhile, the Dyson V11 absolute proves that the world’s biggest vacuum brand hasn’t lost its ability to roll out powerful, innovative upgrades which are a joy to use, and the iRobot roomba 976 is a brilliant option for anyone looking for a feature-packed robot vacuum which won’t break the bank.

For more cleaning tools, read our review of the best steam cleaners