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Which? tests uncover 11 Don’t Buy cordless vacuum cleaners

Cordless vacuum cleaners have become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional vacuums, but choosing the wrong product could leave you bitterly disappointed, as we’ve found a record number that do a terrible job of cleaning. In our latest lab tests, we uncovered 11 cordless vacuums that are so poor at sucking up dust and dirt we’ve named them Don’t Buys. One model picked up just 1% of the dust we put down on floorboards, and a measly 10% of dust from carpet.

But it’s not all bad news. Some cordless vacuums proved themselves worthy additions to your home, cleaning brilliantly and delivering on the ease of movement that cordless vacs are noted for. Four made the grade as Best Buys.

Find out which cordless vacuum cleaners will keep your home free of dust, and the ones to avoid, in our cordless vacuum cleaner reviews[1].

Top cordless vacuum reviews

We have just tested 23 cordless vacuum cleaners, ranging in price from ?60 to more than ?400. Here’s a rundown of the big 2017 launches that have gone through our tough lab tests.

Dyson V7 Animal, ?320

The Dyson V7 sits between the older V6 range and the pricey V8 range of Dyson cordless vacuums.

It has a 28-minute run time – better than the relatively short 20 minutes you get with the V6, and just a little under the 32-minute run time of the Dyson V8[2]. Like the V8, it has Dyson’s bin-emptying feature that pushes dirt out from the dust container when you empty it. This is a welcome update, as we found you can end up scrabbling around to retrieve trapped debris on the V6.

Which cordless Dyson is best? See how the V7 compares in our Dyson vacuum cleaner reviews[3].

Vax Blade 32V Pro, ?300

You can pick up the Vax Blade 32V Pro for less than ?200 when it’s on special offer, which makes it a tempting prospect.

Like the Dyson cordless models, this Vax has a detachable handheld unit that can be used for fiddly cleaning jobs. Vax has also taken the unusual step of turning the dust canister on its side so it meets the cleaning tube at a right angle. Vax says this provides a clear path from floor to dust container, allowing for better cleaning.

We found the battery lasted for 51 minutes on its standard setting, which should be more than enough for a thorough clean of most homes. It won’t be a bargain if it leaves your floors strewn with dust, though. Read the full Vax Blade 32V Pro review[4] to find out if it’s worth buying.

Numatic Cordless Henry HVB160-12, ?300

Most cordless vacuums have a slim stick design and a small dust capacity to match, typically around half a litre.

Not so for the Cordless Henry vacuum cleaner. It uses dust bags and has a market-beating 2.3-litre dust capacity. This could be handy if you want the convenience of cordless but don’t like bagless cleaning.

The Cordless Henry comes with two battery packs that each last for just under 30 minutes, giving you almost an hour of cleaning time on the standard setting. The battery slots into the top, but otherwise this vacuum looks and feels very similar to the original Henry. Find out how the Cordless Henry fared in our tests in the full Numatic Henry HVB160-12 review[5].

How corded and cordless vacuums compare

We compared the average dust pick-up scores on three key cleaning tasks for recently tested vacuum cleaners and found that, on average, cordless vacuum cleaners are still some way behind traditional models when it comes to the basics of cleaning.

Most cordless vacuums will do a decent job of tackling dusty laminate floors, but they struggle to do the same on other floor types, such as carpets. Results vary wildly, though: some stand-out cordless vacuums rival corded models for cleaning power, while others leave more dust behind than they actually pick up. One of our Don’t Buy cordless vacuums sucked up only 1% of the dust in our floorboard cleaning test, 10% in our carpet test, and 57% in our laminate floor test.

It’s not just dustbusting that the worst cordless vacuums fall down on. Plenty of them can’t keep hold of the dust they actually do pick up. While most traditional vacuums will trap nearly all of the fine dust and allergens they suck up, we’ve found that some cordless vacuums will leak as much as 11% back into your home.

Should you buy a cordless vacuum cleaner?

If you find a traditional vacuum cleaner cumbersome, a good cordless model can make life easier, but you’ll need to choose wisely to ensure you get the best clean.

The best cordless vacuums are easy to use and can clean up all manner of dust and debris with ease.

You don’t necessarily need to break the bank, either, as our Best Buys start from around ?180.

See all the cordless models we recommend in our round-up of the best cordless vacuum cleaners for 2017[6].

References

  1. ^ cordless vacuum cleaner reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Dyson V8 (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Dyson vacuum cleaner reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Vax Blade 32V Pro review (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Numatic Henry HVB160-12 review (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ best cordless vacuum cleaners for 2017 (www.which.co.uk)

Top five cheapest energy deals for August 2017

If you’re a British Gas customer facing its latest price rise, switching to August’s cheapest deal could save you ?286. We’ve also uncovered a pricey deal with one of the biggest energy firms – if you’re on this tariff, switching to one of this month’s cheapest gas and electricity deals could save you up to ?353 in a year. The small energy firms are offering the cheapest deals again this month.

Iresa is offering the cheapest gas and electricity deal, and both its fixed and standard variable tariffs are currently the same price for a year. But standard variable tariffs are not usually the same price as firms’ fixed deals. They’re often a supplier’s priciest deal and the one you’ll automatically be transferred to if you take no action with your energy bills.

British Gas increased the price of its standard deal[1] earlier this week. So dual-fuel British Gas customers will see a ?76 increase in their bills, on average, over the next year. Read on to see the cheapest energy deals available this month and how much money you could save.

Compare gas and electricity prices to find the best deal for you using our independent gas and electricity comparison website Which?

Switch[2]. Or you can phone Which? Switch on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.

Save up to ?353 on your energy bill

The cheapest gas and electricity deal (from Iresa[3]) costs ?834 on average for a medium user per year.

Switch to it from Npower’s[4] standard tariff and you could save ?353 in a year. Even if you switch from British Gas’s[5] standard tariff (still the cheapest of the Big Six, for a medium user, even after its price rise), you’d still save ?286 per year. Standard tariffs have no exit fee or end date, so you can switch whenever you like.

Four of this month’s cheapest deals also come without an exit fee, leaving you free to switch energy firm again before the end of the deal if you spot a cheaper one.

Five cheap gas and electricity deals for August

We’ve calculated the five cheapest energy deals if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. The list below shows how much each tariff would save you per year, compared with British Gas or Npower’s standard tariff. We’ve chosen these because they’re the cheapest and priciest standard tariffs from the Big Six energy companies at the moment.

British Gas announced earlier this week that it will increase the price of its dual-fuel standard tariff by 7.3% from 15 September 2017. So we’ve based our calculations on its new price, as this is what you’ll be paying, per year, in a few weeks’ time.

  1. ?834 Iresa Limited Iresa Flex4 12month Fixed Direct Debit – Paperless. Fixed tariff with no exit fee. ?353 saving from Npower, ?286 saving from British Gas.
  2. ?834 Iresa Limited Iresa Flex4 Standard Variable – Paperless.

    Variable tariff with no exit fee. ?353 saving from Npower, ?286 saving from British Gas.

  3. ?843 Economy Energy Online Saver. Fixed tariff with ?25 exit fee per fuel. ?343 saving from Npower, ?277 saving from British Gas.[6]
  4. ?854 Tonik Energy Positively Renewable – Paperless. Fixed tariff with no exit fee. ?333 saving from Npower, ?266 saving from British Gas.[7]
  5. ?857 Avro Energy Simple and Value – Paperless.

    Fixed tariff with no exit fee. ?330 saving from Npower, ?264 saving from British Gas.[8]

If you live in Northern Ireland, our dedicated Northern Ireland electricity and gas suppliers[9] guide reveals the best and worst firms you can switch to, rated by their customers.

Energy tariffs to watch out for

Ovo Energy[10] launched a tariff aimed at drivers of electric cars[11] this week. EV Everywhere is a two-year fixed deal including membership of a network of electric vehicle charging stations for the period of the deal. The company estimates that Britain will have one million electric vehicles by 2022, after a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars[12] from 2040.

Good Energy and Ecotricity also offer tariffs for electric cars. Meanwhile, we’ve been keeping an eye on the priciest energy tariffs. Small supplier Glide[13]‘s variable dual-fuel tariff (Electricity and Gas – Paperless) has been the priciest for at least the past three months.

It costs ?1,404 per year for the average user. That’s ?570 more than this month’s cheapest deal.

?570: the amount you could be overpaying if you’re on the priciest tariff available

Glide says it’s the ‘market-leading utility provider for shared accommodation’ and specialises in supplying tenants, landlords and letting agents. It provides home phone, broadband and TV, as well as gas and electricity, on one bill to tenants in shared accommodation who only each want to pay their own share.

Economy Energy is also currently offering a deal that costs more than Npower’s standard tariff. Economy Energy’s Evergreen Direct Saver costs ?1,128 per year – ?394 pricier than the cheapest deal. (How our prices are calculated: Prices are based on a dual-fuel tariff for an average user (using 3,100kWh of electricity and 12,500kWh of gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless bills and are averaged across all regions.

Exact prices can vary according to region, usage and payment method. Prices are rounded to the nearest whole pound. The prices given in the list above are correct as of 2 August 2017.)

References

  1. ^ British Gas increased the price of its standard deal (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Which?

    Switch (switch.which.co.uk)

  3. ^ Iresa (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Npower’s (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ British Gas’s (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ Economy Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ Tonik Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ Avro Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  9. ^ Northern Ireland electricity and gas suppliers (www.which.co.uk)
  10. ^ Ovo Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  11. ^ electric cars (www.which.co.uk)
  12. ^ ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars (www.which.co.uk)
  13. ^ Glide (www.which.co.uk)

Is the £30 Lidl blender any good?

Lidl’s Silvercrest blender claims to crush ice and nuts, as well as make delicious summer smoothies Lidl’s budget personal blender is back in stores from today. The Nutrition Mixer Pro claims to can crush ice and blitz nuts as well as whizz up summer smoothies.

With branded blenders such as the Nutribullet costing ?70 or more, could this cheap Lidl version do the trick? The Silvercrest Nutrition Mixer Pro has a powerful 900W motor and comes with two blade units for wet or dry blending and three plastic blending cups – two small one-portion cups and one larger two-portion cup. It also includes two lids for taking your smoothie on the go.

That’s a pretty good haul for a cheap blender. We tried the Lidl blender out when it first appeared in stores in summer 2016 and now it’s back as part of a kitchen gadget store offer. It’s only available while stocks last, which usually means a couple of weeks at most, though if you’re keen it’s best to get to Lidl fast to avoid missing out.

Read the full Lidl Silvercrest Nutrition Mixer Pro first look review to find out whether we think this cheap Nutribullet rival is worth snapping up.[1]

Lidl Silvercrest blender

This Lidl blender is more powerful than the original Nutribullet 600, thanks to its 900W motor, though our tests have shown a bigger motor doesn’t always mean better results. Like many Nutribullet lookalikes, it keeps things simple with one speed setting, and is switched on and off by twisting the blending cup onto the base. To test it out, we used it to make fruit and veg smoothies, crush ice and nuts, and blend soup.

The smaller cups mean it’s well suited to for making drinks for one or two people. If you want to blend a larger batch of soup, you’ll need to split it into portions. If you’re keen on a personal blender like the Lidl, we’ve found some tried-and-tested options that do a good job and won’t break the bank either, so it’s worth browsing our blender reviews[2] first to see what your options are if you’re on a budget.

How much should you spend on a personal blender?

Nutribullet blenders start from around ?70, but can cost more than ?150, depending on the model you opt for.

More widely, we’ve tested personal blenders ranging from ?17 to an eye-watering ?400. Our tests reveal that paying more won’t guarantee you a better blender and that you can bag a bargain Best Buy, if you choose wisely. We’ve found Best Buy mini blenders for less than ?70, as well as blenders costing less than ?30 that narrowly miss out on our Best Buy accolade and are still a good choice.

Find out which blenders we recommend in our list of the best blenders for 2017[3].

References

  1. ^ Lidl Silvercrest Nutrition Mixer Pro (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ blender reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ best blenders for 2017 (www.which.co.uk)

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