This vs That

Cordless VS Corded VS Robot Vacuum: Which Is The Best Vacuum Cleaner For Your Home?

24 October 2023 | BY

Discover which type of vacuum is the perfect cleaning companion for your home.

Corded, Cordless & Robot Vacuum

Vacuums are the trustiest of cleaning sidekicks that most, if not all, homeowners possess in their repertoire of cleaning appliances. But with so many variations in the market, we’re often caught in the paradox of choice, leading us to make hasty decisions and ending up with a vacuum that doesn’t suit our lifestyles at all.

To help you make this decision easier, we look at the main differences between the best cordless, corded, and robot vacuums on the market to help you pick the right one for you and your home.

Cordless vacuums

Cordless vacuumImage credit: Crate and Barrel

When it comes to the world of vacuum cleaners, it’s safe to say that cordless vacuums have made quite the impact with brands like Dyson, Xiaomi and Shark dominating the market place. 

As its name suggests, a cordless vacuum has no wires, but a portable battery that sits squarely on its wand so you don’t have to worry about having your cleaning radius limited by power sockets in the house, or having to whip out that cumbersome extension cord. It’s also relatively slimmer than your typical corded vacuum, so it looks sleeker and is easier to stow out of sight.

Most popular cordless vacuum brands on the market: 

  1. Dyson – For its futuristic design, powerful suction capabilities and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
  2. Samsung – For its minimal design, AI cleaning features and all-in-one cleaning station.
  3. Xiaomi – For its budget-friendly options that rival top brands.
  4. Shark – For its flexiwand and self-cleaning brush feature.

Corded vacuums

Corded vacuumImage credit: Shark

Corded vacuums might seem pretty archaic in this modern age, but there’s a valid reason why many companies still produce them and why homeowners still stick by them to this very day. 

Corded vacuums are generally fitted with wheels and with a relatively long cord that powers up the beast when its suction powers are required. Unlike its cordless counterpart, these vacuums are packed with heaps more suction power and come more affordably priced, but they do lack in the aesthetics department where most of the corded models look the same way they did a decade ago.

Most popular corded vacuum brands on the market:

  1. Karcher – For its bagless design, HEPA filter, and quiet motor.
  2. Miele – For its convenient strong suction power and compact build.
  3. Philips – For its cleaning brush head variety, lightweight design.

Robot vacuums

robot vacuumImage credit: Bissellshop

Smart home systems and AI have been helping us make everyday life more convenient, and robot vacuums are a Godsend. Unlike its predecessors, the robot vacuum runs autonomously, allowing the homeowner to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of this little robot’s labour. 

These little bad boys come loaded with navigational sensors and smart cleaning settings to help them navigate their way around your home and different flooring types. Their price tags are just as jaw-dropping, though brands like Xiaomi have introduced budget options into the market for us strapped working adults.

Most popular robot vacuum brands on the market:

  1. Roborock – For its self-cleaning capabilities, AI intelligence.
  2. Xiaomi – For its budget friendly prices.
  3. Ecovacs – For its voice control and user-friendly app.

Which vacuum should you buy for your home?

Suction power & cleaning ability

Winner: Corded vacuum cleaners

Despite not being as shiny and feature-forward as cordless or robot vacuums, there’s no denying the incredible suction ability of corded vacuums thanks to the fact that its battery is always running at 100%.

These corded vacuum cleaners usually come with a 1,800W motor or above that can tackle anything from reno debris and cooking crumbs to clumps of pet hair or even small pebbles with ease. The larger capacity cleaning tanks of the corded vacuums also make cleaning a larger surface area at one go an easy task, with the exception of finding available power sockets for it to be juiced up.

In comparison, the wattage of a cordless vacuum can range from 100W-500W, and a robot vacuum ranks even lower on the list with a wattage of under 200.


Winner: Corded vacuum cleaners

If you’re looking for something more economical, you’ll find low-end options for both corded and cordless vacuum cleaners in the low hundreds, with some models such as the Electrolux Z1220 CompactGO Bagged Vacuum Cleaner going for as little as $90. The cheapest cordless vacuum cleaner is the Xiaomi Deerma Cordless Vacuum Cleaner VC20 that retails at $123.67 on Shopee.

Conversely, high-end cordless vacuums like the Samsung, Tineco and Dyson often have price tags above $1,000 and have known to run into product problems around the 2-year mark, prompting many owners to buy new ones. Robot vacuum cleaners are on parr with top cordless makes with prices averaging $1.6k online.

Any while corded vacuums are once again the clear winner, those dying for the convenience of a robotcordless vacuum can go for the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum S10 which retails on Shopee for $259.

Ease of use

Winner for big homes: Cordless vacuums

Winner for small apartments with predictable floor plans: Robot vacuum

Robot vacuums definitely take the cake in this area for requiring the lowest amount of effort from the user to get the job done. These vacuums are built to run independently, and some higher-end models such as the iRobot Roomba j7+ can run on a schedule and even tackle moving obstacles. It is also built with a self-cleaning mechanism that empties its own tank.

They work best in HDB flats and condos with squarish floor plans that allow the vacuums to map its best cleaning route around the home without missing any spots.

Having said that, cordless vacuums still trump in landed homes or loft apartments since robot vacuums are unable to move up or down flights of stairs, and will have to be manually moved.

Which vacuum cleaner is the best for your home?

Choosing the perfect vacuum boils down to your unique requirements, the layout of your home, and the depth of your pockets. If you’re seeking a cleaning tool that operates with minimal supervision or human intervention, the autonomous charm of robot vacuums might be just the ticket.

For those with budgetary considerations, cordless and corded vacuum options hold their ground admirably. These reliable workhorses offer excellent cleaning performance, and the choice between them typically comes down to whether you prioritise mobility and ease of use or consistent, unbridled power.

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Cover image from: Shark, Bisselshop, eBay

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