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Monday 5 December 2016

Cordless models cleaning up market

Handheld vacuums leave their more cumbersome cousins in the dust

Isabel Hayes

Published 09/10/2015 | 02:30

Cordless models are hoovering up the market
Cordless models are hoovering up the market

When it comes to tedious household chores, vacuuming has got to be one of the worst. Between lugging a bulky vacuum cleaner out from under the stairs, dragging it from room to room and grappling with an unwieldy cord, it's no wonder floors are often left to gather dust.

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One solution for those who hate vacuuming is the cordless vacuum cleaner. Light and easy to use, stick vacuum cleaners remove much of the backbreaking work from the chore. And they've come a long way in recent years.

According to Gerard Shortall of Harvey Norman, the current demand for cordless vacuum cleaners is at an all-time high. "As the battery has improved, they've got more and more popular. Cordless vacuums have got so good, they're nearly replacing the regular vacuum" he says.

Some of the bestselling stick vacuum cleaner brands in Ireland include Dyson, AEG, Bosch, Hoover and Vax. Buying a cordless vacuum can cost about as much as a traditional model, with prices ranging from around the €150 mark right up to €550 for a top-of-the-range model. It therefore pays to think about whether you expect your cordless to take on all of your hoovering needs, or whether you want it for quick cleans only.

Cordless vacuums tend to be a perfect standalone solution for apartment dwellers who have limited storage space and a smaller area to clean. They are also ideal for older people and those who are unable to lug a heavy machine around.

For customers with bigger houses, the experts agree that traditional vacuum cleaners are probably still necessary. Stick vacuum cleaners have a smaller dust capacity and need to be emptied more often. They also have a limited battery life, which may not be suitable for covering larger areas. However, retailers find many large homeowners are investing in a cordless model to use in conjunction with their traditional vacuum.

Cordless vacuum cleaners need to be charged before use and many come with a wall-mounted charging stand for easy access. Battery life varies considerably from 13 minutes right up to 60 minutes - an important concern for those with bigger areas to clean. Boost or turbo functions on many models also dramatically reduce the battery life. Dyson's new V6 cordless vacuum cleaner range, which launched earlier this year, has a battery life of 20 minutes. But its manufacturers point out the battery is fade-free, meaning it remains powerful from start to finish.

"For many years the size of a traditional motor restricted the capabilities of battery-powered vacuums," says Matthew Kelly, Dyson Design Engineer. "They were cumbersome and they used copper slip rings and carbon brushes, which wear out and need replacing."

After years of research, the motors on the Dyson V6 range are now half the size and weight of a conventional motor. "They reduce the size of our machines and drastically increase performance, enabling our latest cordless machines to be as powerful as mains vacuum cleaners," he says.

Stick vacuum cleaners are bagless and their capacity to hold dust varies widely. Models range in volume from around 0.3 to one litre, meaning some are only good for one or two rooms before they need to be emptied. This is quite limited compared to most mains vacuum cleaners, which have a capacity of between two and three litres.

When it comes to weight, cordless machines are up to four times lighter than the bulkiest regular vacuums. The lightest model is just over 2kg, while most hover around the 3.5kg mark. Mains vacuum cleaners tend to weigh between 6-8kg.

This lightweight design means cordless models are ideal for getting into hard-to-reach areas and almost all models come with attachable tools for tackling ground-in stains, stairs and upholstery. Some cordless vacuum cleaners, like the AEG Ergorapido 2-in-1, come with a detachable dustbuster for cleaning the car and mini-spills.

According to John Lawlor of Electrolux Ireland, demand for their AEG Ergorapido cordless vacuum range doubled in Ireland between 2013 and 2014, with growth for this year also looking promising.

"They're easy to use, lightweight and the suction watts are becoming very good compared to corded vacuums, which are cumbersome to use if you're in a hurry," he says.

Lawlor believes traditional vacuum cleaners may become less relevant in the future as technology continues to improve. "There's still going to be a market for traditional vacuum cleaners," he says. "However, I'd say demand will reduce in time."

5 of the best... Cordless Cleaners

Bosch Athlet/BCH625KTGB

With a run-time of up to 60 minutes on the lowest setting, this cordless model promises to replace mains vacuums in all but the largest of homes. It delivers high suction power and has a larger-than-most capacity at 0.9 litres.

Inaccessible areas are made reachable via a shoulder strap and attachable tools.

€349.99; harveynorman.ie

 

Dyson V6 Absolute/SV05V6

This top-of-the-range model is Dyson’s most powerful cordless machine, with the suction power of a mains vacuum cleaner. The cleaner head has 150 times more brush bar power for tackling carpets while the post-motor filter captures allergens and expels cleaner air. It comes with a mini motorised tool for removing pet hair and ground-in dirt. Battery time is up to 20 minutes.

€499; currys.ie

 

AEG Ergorapido 18V 2 in 1 Stick acuum Cleaner/AG3012

This affordable 2-in-1 cordless

model has 180 degree manoeuvrability and flexibility and a removable hand unit for cleaning furniture and the car. It incorporates BrushRoll technology that easily removes hair and fibres from the brush roll into the dustcap. It runs for up to 30 minutes.

€149.95; harveynorman.ie

 

Hoover Unplugged/UNP300R

This red and grey cordless vacuum cleaner gives up to 60 minutes of run time and is suitable for use on most surfaces. It weighs 3.8kg and has a soft bumper and wheels for a quieter performance. It features a washable filter to trap allergens and has an impressive dust capacity of one litre.

€249.99; currys.ie

 

Dyson V6/SV03V6

The entry model in the V6 range is a popular choice, boasting Dyson’s new digital motor and powerful suction. It’s balanced for easy

floor-to-ceiling cleaning and can convert into a handheld for quick clean-ups and hard-to-reach places. It weighs just 2.04kg and has up to 20 minutes of fade-free run time. €349; harveynorman.ie.

5 of the best... Cordless Cleaners

Bosch Athlet/BCH625KTGB

With a run-time of up to 60 minutes on the lowest setting, this cordless model promises to replace mains vacuums in all but the largest of homes. It delivers high suction power and has a larger-than-most capacity at 0.9 litres.

Inaccessible areas are made reachable via a shoulder strap and attachable tools.

€349.99; harveynorman.ie

Dyson V6 Absolute/SV05V6

This top-of-the-range model is Dyson’s most powerful cordless machine, with the suction power of a mains vacuum cleaner. The cleaner head has 150 times more brush bar power for tackling carpets while the post-motor filter captures allergens and expels cleaner air. It comes with a mini motorised tool for removing pet hair and ground-in dirt. Battery time is up to 20 minutes.

€499; currys.ie

AEG Ergorapido 18V 2 in 1 Stick acuum Cleaner/AG3012

This affordable 2-in-1 cordless  model has 180 degree manoeuvrability and flexibility and a removable hand unit for cleaning furniture and the car. It incorporates BrushRoll technology that easily removes hair and fibres from the brush roll into the dustcap. It runs for up to 30 minutes.

€149.95; harveynorman.ie

Hoover Unplugged/UNP300R

This red and grey cordless vacuum cleaner gives up to 60 minutes of run time and is suitable for use on most surfaces. It weighs 3.8kg and has a soft bumper and wheels for a quieter performance. It features a washable filter to trap allergens and has an impressive dust capacity of one litre.

€249.99; currys.ie

Dyson V6/SV03V6

The entry model in the V6 range is a popular choice, boasting Dyson’s new digital motor and powerful suction. It’s balanced for easy floor-to-ceiling cleaning and can convert into a handheld for quick clean-ups and hard-to-reach places. It weighs just 2.04kg and has up to 20 minutes of fade-free run time. €349; harveynorman.ie.

Irish Independent

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