The market for cordless vacuum cleaners has grown over the last few years as a generation used to cell phones, tablets and e-book readers crave a freer, less tethered vacuuming experience.
The Corded Problem
If you were to ask the average person what they dislike most about vacuuming, I would be willing to bet that enmity towards tangled cables would be high up on the list (along with back aches and nagging their kids to do it once in a while).
For as long as men and women have been vacuuming, they have been complaining about cables and the attendant task of plugging in and out, each time they change rooms.
This is not to mention snagging the cables under doors and other unexpected nasties. A ‘First World Problem’ I hear you say; of course, but we all have our crosses – or vacuums – to carry!
Batteries to The Rescue
As long as there have been vacuum cleaning machines, you can bet your dusty ol’ carpet there have been those who wished they could rid themselves of those pesky cables. Of course, it was never going to be as simple as sticking a couple of double-A batteries in the side. It really took the development of long-lasting lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries in the nineties for cordless vacuums to become commercially feasible.
The Facts About Cordless and Corded Vacuum Cleaners
If you are thinking about going cordless, these are some of the facts you need to consider:
- Cordless vacuums come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small and compact; others look like a regular cleaner.
- They generally have Li-ion batteries or similar that must be charged and not allowed to completely discharge.
- In general, cordless cleaners are not as powerful as corded ones, thus they are usually not the best choice for vacuuming hardwood floors or pet hair, which both require a significant amount of suction power.
- Cordless vacuum cleaners are very convenient for spot-cleaning and vacuuming your car.
- Corded vacuums are better for deep-cleaning of carpeted floors.
- Battery longevity. Although it has improved a lot from the early days, it will still deteriorate slowly over time.
What About My Old Vacuum?
I can already hear your question: “But will I have my living room even done before I get to the kids’ bedroom?” Let’s not even get into whether you would be prepared to tackle such a daunting task as the kids’ room. Well, the truth is that vacuums drink a lot more juice than say, a TV or light bulb, so you’re not going to get hours-on-end of vacuuming fun from a single charge.
Brands and models also vary, but a typical cordless vacuum battery will operate for less than one hour, sometimes significantly less.
Having only a cordless cleaner may be feasible if your house has mostly smooth-surface floors, but for heavily-carpeted homes, I would certainly recommend keeping your old vacuum (in addition to your new cordless machine).
Choosing a Cordless Model
If you decide to go for a cordless machine, there are plenty of options available. The best things in life may be free, but as with most consumer goods, you get what you pay for.
If you decide to go for a cordless vacuum, do your research and find the right balance of quality, power, and affordability depending on your budget. Do not be unrealistic in your expectations; it will add a degree of convenience to your domestic routine, but I wouldn’t throw out the old vacuum just yet.