For most homeowners, getting the vacuum out to hoover up bits of fluff and dirt released from the lugs of their shoes when coming indoors, is necessary to keep their place looking respectable. Because vacuum cleaners don’t last forever, it’s obligatory every few years to do a bit of research on which one will make the best replacement.
When reaching that stage for your household, you’re then faced with the dilemma of choosing between a cordless vacuum or a corded one.
Therefore, in this article, we’re going to look into this issue and weigh up the pros and cons of both options.
Are Corded Vacuum Cleaners a Relic of the Past?
With the news that Dyson has decided to pull the plug on corded vacuums, it can be expected that other competing brands may choose to follow suit. Actually, this really depends on the households who are buying the vacuums.
The vacuum market is quite divided. Not only across brands but also vacuum types and sizes too.
There are the compact vacuums which are often corded. Then there are the upright models some of which are corded, and others more often than not have become cordless. As a result, there’s no “one size fits all” with vacuums and this goes for the debate of corded over cordless too.
Not everyone wants another device to remember to charge or it cannot be used! As the age range of homeowners is wide, some people won’t want a cordless vacuum no matter how often the cord might get wrapped around a table leg and won’t pull loose!
It’s true that the market is clearly going the direction of cordless with demand in that market segment growing the fastest. But we expect corded vacuums to remain for now as they still represent a significant segment of the vacuum market.
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Corded Vacuum Cleaners
A corded vacuum is what we’ve been used to up until now. These models are now facing stiff competition from their youthful cordless brethren.
Let’s now look at some pros and cons for the corded vacuum variety:
Pros of Corded Vacuums
Increased suction – Plugging into the mains electric provides sufficient power to deliver the suction required. With cyclonic vacuums capable of generating incredible forces, they can suck up embedded particles stuck deep in a carpet.
No battery concerns – One of the main issues with cordless is battery life. There are no such concerns with a corded vacuum other than if there’s a power cut while you’re vacuuming! So, turn the music on, get out the vacuum, and let’s go!
Larger capacity – Typically, a corded vacuum is bigger and so has more capacity for the dust container. Often 3-4 times larger. As a result, it doesn’t need to be emptied as often.
Fewer things to go wrong – A simpler corded vacuum doesn’t have the higher technology that may go wrong later. It’s more basic, far more mechanical and is dependable.
Included accessories – The included accessories with a corded vacuum tends to be more generous too. There are often crevice tools, brushes and other accessories that let you get into difficult to reach spaces in your flat or house.
Lower price – The technology behind a corded vacuum is less sophisticated than a cordless one. A cordless requires a battery and a means to recharge it. A power level meter and other extras are also required. Because corded vacuums have been made for decades, they’re easier to put together using less expensive parts and repairs aren’t difficult either.
Cons of Corded Vacuum Cleaners
Weight – The weight of a corded model is a concern for some homeowners. This is especially true when needing to navigate one or more sets of stairs. The average corded vacuum weighs around 6-7 kg whereas a cordless version is closer to 3 kg. This pushes consumers towards a smaller corded model which has less suction than they need as a bad trade-off due to weight constraints.
Freedom of Movement – The power cord is only so long. Even when adding an extension, it’s easy for the cord to get caught up on something. As a result, a “quick hoover” always takes longer than you think.
Less emphasis on design – It stands to reason that the market is going cordless. Innovation in vacuum design and technology will go towards cordless models, not corded. The lack of design and functional improvements will see corded vacuums fall behind over time.
Less availability – It’s quite likely that soon corded models will be harder to source products, get replacement parts or find skilled people to repair them too.
Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Cordless vacuums were once a curiosity and nothing more. However, advancements in power efficiency during use, higher capacity batteries, lighter designs and compactness while not sacrificing features has changed all this.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of cordless vacuums today:
Pros of Vacuum Cleaners
Indoor and Outdoor Use – A cordless vacuum is ideal for the home, car, garage, patio, or garden shed. Its flexibility to tackle different surfaces in a variety of locations is perhaps its greater strength!
Latest technology – Anything corded is so… last year!
No tripping hazards – The extended power cord or extension added on is a safety risk due as a great way to trip and fall. You can remind people that you’re vacuuming, but especially the kids will still fly through the door without a care in the world and could get caught up. Being cordless is undoubtedly safer, especially with kids around, the elderly or people with poor vision who may not spot the power cord snaking around the corner.
Reduced weight – The average weight of around 3 kg or so is a major plus point. Mobility to use the vacuum virtually anywhere is no use if it weighs a ton! Most cordless vacuums when comparing to cordless options weigh half as much. This is a huge difference when carrying the vacuum down the stairs, out to the patio or across the lawn to the shed, or to the garage to clean the car’s interior.
Suction power – The suction power from cordless models is now high enough to not suffer cleaning deficits when using a cord-free version. Indeed, it’s no longer necessary to vacuum twice because the cordless model wasn’t effective enough. They can now hold their own.
Decent battery life – The battery technology and energy efficiency of the latest cordless models ensures that the limited runtime of the past is history. Most batteries provide at least 20-25 minutes of use. Certain models also allow rapid switchover of replacement batteries to extend that to 40-50 minutes. More than enough for non-mansion owners!
Less tiring – Pulling a corded vacuum around requires a strong forearm. It’s easy to get tired during a long vacuuming session (depending on how large your home is). The same isn’t true of a cordless model that’s a breeze to manoeuvre around.
Finish sooner – It’s possible to finish vacuuming sooner because it can be completed at a faster pace. Once you know the indoor cleaning circuit without banging into walls or doors, speeding up by taking advantage of the lighter machine is a real timesaver.
Cons of Vacuum Cleaners
Reduced dust capacity – A cordless model will need to be emptied more often than a corded version. This is because the typical cordless dust capacity is around 0.6-litres while many corded models provide a 2-litre or greater capacity.
Filter clogging – The filtration system in cordless vacuums gets clogged up more easily than with corded models. The filters must be cleaned regularly and replaced periodically. Corded models provide fewer issues in this regard.
More expensive – A cordless model is significantly more expensive than a corded one. There are several reasons for this including advanced research & development, extra technology including one or more lithium-ion batteries, and paying for the latest innovations.
Running out of power – The 20+ minute runtime of the standard battery is a limitation for some people. Certainly, cordless vacuums must be charged during the week to ensure they have a full battery when pulling them out to use on the weekend. When not planning ahead, you could go to the vacuum and find that the battery is dead.
Founder of homeappliancegeek.com, avid cook, and lover of Asian food.
Signature dishes include Thai Red Curry, Chicken Saag, Bibimbap and Sushi.
Massive clean freak; a habit baked-in after spending 9 years in the catering industry.
The one appliance he couldn’t live without? Easily the dishwasher (total relationship saver!).