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Plug-in vs cordless: which vacuum is right for you?


Everyone’s priorities will be different when it comes to finding the right vacuum, so it is important to consider what you specifically want from your cleaner. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important factors to help you decide whether you should go plug-in or cordless with your next model.


If a lightweight, maneuverable cleaner is top of your wishlist, then a cordless vacuum will likely be the way to go. Without the need to contend with any wires, a cordless model will provide more freedom and flexibility to clean hard to reach spots, and will make the task less strenuous.

However, corded vacuums are beginning to level the playing field when it comes to maneuverability, with modern technologies allowing for more flexibility. Many of the best plug-in vacuum cleaners on the market will have been designed with mobility in mind, meaning this factor is no longer a huge drawback to corded cleaners.


Typically, cordless vacuums are far more expensive than their corded counterparts, which will be an important consideration for many shoppers. Cordless generally include more advanced technologies as well as lithium batteries which can contribute to the higher the price point.

Whilst you can get some cheaper cordless models, these will generally perform worse and will be far less reliable. If price is the most important factor to you, then you will likely be better off shopping in the corded market.

Cleaning power

When comparing the two types for how effective they are at picking up dust and allergens, corded vacuums will regularly come out on top. In fact, research has shown that on average, corded cleaners pick up up to 30% more dirt from carpets than cordless models.

This category will be particularly important for households with allergy sufferers, since plug-in cleaners are typically far more effective at removing allergens from your home. Furthermore, households with pets and lots of carpets will greatly benefit from investing in a more powerful corded cleaner, as they will be more proficient in avoiding the build up of pet hair and dirt.

Only the very best cordless cleaners will be as effective at picking up dirt as standard corded ones, meaning you will likely have to pay much more to get a similar outcome.


Convenience can be a big determining factor for many shoppers in the market. There are many things that can affect a cleaner’s level of convenience, from battery life, to storage space, to capacity. As they will generally be much smaller, cordless cleaners will take up less storage space, and will therefore be preferable for smaller homes with less free space.

If battery life and capacity are more important to you, then corded will be the way to go. Particularly if used on the turbo setting, cordless cleaners can run out of battery very quickly, with some models lasting just seven minutes on full power. On the other hand, you will never need to worry about battery life with plug-in cleaners, which is a major plus for consumers with larger homes especially.

Furthermore, corded vacuums will tend to come with far greater capacity. The capacity of plug-in models can often be as much as three to four times greater than cordless versions. This means you will need to empty the vacuum far less often and maintenance will be made easier, with filters needing to be replaced less frequently than with cordless models.

Infographic created by DuroVac – osha compliant vacuum
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