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Vax Air Cordless review

Vax Air Cordless 6
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £279
inc VAT

A distinctly average cordless upright vacuum, the Vax Air Cordless is better than its cheaper rivals but not by much


Dimensions (HxWxD): 1130x280x260mm, Weight: 4.6kg, Bin capacity: 1.05L, Vacuum Type: Cordless upright, Bagless: Yes, Motor power – stated (V): 20V



With only one power level, I measured suction at 7.5kPa with an empty bin. This is almost half the suction of one of Dyson’s cordless models, and a third of what they are capable of when used in MAX mode. Disappointingly, this power quickly drops off to 6kPa when the bin gets filled; while this was still sufficient for dust and light spills like paper shreddings or Rice Krispies, it then struggled with heavier bits like cat litter.

Hard floors are a real weak point for the Air Cordless, particularly when fine dust and dirt is involved. A baking powder spill on tiles left lots of dusty streaks after a single pass and needed six slow swipes to collect everything. Even then, there was a fine amount of dust that was left behind. You can see the before and after results of a single pass below.

Vax Air Cordless - tile test (before)

Vax Air Cordless - tile test (after)

Spills comprised of larger particles were even worse, with cat litter remaining on the floor even after ten passes. The small wheels made it hard to push the vacuum over a big spill, and the lack of suction meant dirt was frequently left in crevices between floorboards.

The Air Cordless fared better on carpets, where the direct drive brush bars could be used to better capture larger particles. Around 80-90% of a cat litter spill was picked up on the first pass, but it left a lot of fine grains behind. It took several more sweeps before the carpet looked clean, but this was with an empty bin; it struggles when the bin is full.

Battery life is something of a mixed bag. You get two in the box, meaning you can leave one on charge and swap out the other when it runs out of juice; they clip into the front of the vacuum, with a release lever popping them back out again when they are drained. Charging takes around three hours per battery, and each one should last for around 25 minutes of use. The 50-minute total runtime should mean you can clean an entire house without needing to wait for it to recharge, although that figure will drop if you engage the brush bars because they are driven by the vacuum rather than by your sweeping motions. You’ll also have to go over areas multiple times in order to leave them completely clean, which isn’t the case with Dyson’s cordless models. You do at least get a three-stage power indicator LED, letting you know when it’s time to swap out the batteries. Should you completely run out of power, the vacuum will simply shut down; there’s no loss of suction as the battery drains.

Vax Air Cordless 5


The Air Cordless has merely average suction for a cordless vacuum, and while the design might appeal to those more familiar with an upright cleaner than a handheld one, it’s not as efficient as a mains-powered machine; you’ll often have to cover the same area multiple times to ensure it’s clean.

It’s hardly cheap at £280, so while it undercuts Dyson’s models, it’s just as expensive as many mains-powered vacuums. If an upright vacuum is a must, a wired model makes more sense; it will do a better job with less effort, and you don’t have to worry about recharging batteries. If wireless convenience is more important, you really should save up and pick up a Dyson V6 Absolute instead. If you’re looking for something a bit different then check out our Best vacuum cleaners 2015.

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Dimensions (HxWxD)1130x280x260mm
Noise – Stated82dB
Bin capacity1.05L
Vacuum TypeCordless upright
Floor typescarpets, hard floors
Telescopic tubeNo
AccessoriesSpare battery, 2-in-1 dusting brush/crevice tool, soft dusting brush
Power and capacity
Motor power – stated (V)20V
Suction – empty (kPa)7.5kPa
Suction – half full (kPa)7kPa
Suction – full (kPa)6.5kPa
Run time50 minutes
Charge time3:00:00

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