Corded vs Cordless Vacuum Cleaner: Which One Is For You?

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by Ivana Hamilton February 21, 2019

Corded vs Cordless Vacuum Cleaner: Which One Is For You?

Cordless vacuum cleaners have been popular among customers who want to upgrade their cleaning routine. At first glance, it seems that these cord-free machines with portable and lightweight design are easier and more efficient to use compared to the corded vacuum cleaners. But should you replace your vacuum cleaner with a cordless one? Every household has unique needs and preferences, so it’s up to you. To help you make the right decision, we have compared the corded vacuum cleaners against the cordless ones.

Corded vs Cordless Vacuum Cleaner: Which One Is For You?

The Pros and Cons of a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

The main difference between corded and cordless vacuum cleaners is the cord itself. Cordless vacuum cleaners use batteries to get energy. Additionally, the cordless vacuum cleaners are very lightweight, weighing an average of 3kg compared to standard ones that weight about 7kg. These two advantages allow you to move freely with the cordless vacuum cleaner without worrying about where to plug it. Dealing with the cord might be a problem for parents with small kids or pets owners. Even some older people might opt for cordless cleaners to avoid tripping over the cord. Therefore, cordless vacuum cleaners are safer to use in some cases.

The cordless vacuum cleaners do a better job when it comes to hard-to-reach areas. Some cordless models even come with different accessories for different cleaning situations. Standard vacuum cleaners are usually bulkier making it hard to clean tight places. Cordless devices also save you electricity because they work on a battery. You can use them in places where you don’t have electricity, like a garage, or a cabin in your yard or even for cleaning your car.

Corded vs Cordless Vacuum Cleaner: Which One Is For You?

Pros of a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

  • Not limited by cord length or nearness to outlets

  • Lightweight and provides freedom of movement

  • Does a better job for cleaning smaller or hard-to-reach areas

  • Smaller and easier to store


Although the cordless vacuum cleaners have many advantages compared to the standard ones, there are some things that you should know before making the final decision.

First of all, these devices use batteries which means less power and limited performance. With cordless vacuums, you have to work on a timer. The average performance time is between 15min - 40 min. Note that some cordless vacuum cleaners last as little as 7 minutes on turbo setting. On the other hand, some expensive models last up to one hour or have interchangeable batteries. Those who live in bigger houses or apartments may need to take breaks between rooms because of the short battery life of the cordless vacuum cleaners.

Cordless models have a smaller dust capacity compared to standard ones. The average dust capacity of cordless vacuum cleaners is 0.6 liters. On the other hand, standard vacuum cleaners have a capacity of 2-3 liters.  Although the cordless vacuum cleaners will save you time when cleaning, you will need to empty the machine and clean the filters more often. In contrary, the performance will be slower and less effective. If you decide to go cordless you will have more frequent contact with dust. For those suffering from allergies, standard vacuum cleaners are definitely a better option.

All things together, cleaning with a cordless vacuum has a higher price tag and requires more frequent maintenance. You have to charge the batteries and empty the dust quite often to be able to clean larger areas.

Corded vs Cordless Vacuum Cleaner: Which One Is For You?

Cons of a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

  • Limited battery life
  • Smaller dust capacity
  • Frequent maintenance needed
  • May require a wall mount or storage space near an outlet for charging

Corded Vacuum Cleaner vs Cordless Vacuum Cleaner: Which One Cleans Better?

Undoubtedly, the most important thing about a vacuum cleaner is how well it cleans. Due to the limited power, you might want to use standard vacuums for heavy-duty cleaning. Some of the priciest cordless cleaners on the market clean almost as good as the corded ones. Anyway, if you decide to go cordless, you have to be ready to pay more for a powerful vacuum cleaner manufactured by trusted brands.

Cordless vacuums pick up less dust than standard vacuums. Keep in mind that corded devices perform better at cleaning carpets while cordless ones have trouble to pick up embedded dust and dirt. Due to limited battery life, cordless vacuums don't have the best suction power. Their effectiveness depends on the battery consumption which isn’t the case with standard vacuums that have a consistent and powerful performance.

Generally speaking, corded vacuums clean better than cordless ones.

Is a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner For You?

Corded vs Cordless Vacuum Cleaner: Which One Is For You?

It all comes down to your personal preferences. In terms of the price, corded vacuums are more economical. On the other hand, cordless devices make cleaning easier because they are lighter and allow you to move freely. However, these devices have a limited battery life which means you might not be able to clean the house in one go. Additionally, if your house or apartment is carpet-heavy, you need to use the cordless vacuum on turbo setting. Take into consideration the battery life on turbo setting because some batteries last less than ten minutes.

Besides the battery life, you need to get informed about the recharging time. It can take between two and more than sixteen hours to recharge the batteries of the cordless vacuum cleaners. Don’t get fooled by the price. Cheaper cordless models usually have short battery life and take hours to recharge meaning that you’ll need quite a lot of time to clean your place.

Remember that standard vacuums have better cleaning power. You might opt for cordless one because it’s easier to operate and safer around kids and pets. However, an average cordless vacuum can’t compete with an average corded vacuum when it comes to the quality of cleaning.

Modern households especially those with small kids might fall for the ease and the elegance of the cordless vacuum cleaner. On the other hand, traditional cleaners who prefer to get the job done in one go will most certainly opt for corded vacuum machines.

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