Think of the best cordless vacuum cleaners – and the best vacuum cleaners, come to that – and you naturally tend to think of market leader Dyson. Its dominance has been under attack for several years now from some superb rival products – we recently started testing the new Samsung Jet 90 Pro, for instance, and it is absolutely stunning. However, when it came time to decide who would be declared Top Vac in the T3 Awards 2020, we still couldn't quite think of anything to top the Dyson V11 Absolute.
The secret of the V11's success is the way it marries power and convenience. The High Torque cleaner head (with 'Dynamic Load Sensor') serves up 20% better suction than the older V10 Absolute and greatly improves performance on mucky carpets.
Cleaning, as ever with Dyson is also excellent on hard floors, whether you use the standard head or the spongey 'soft roller' head also included in the package.
With the High Torque head and the top 'Boost' power setting employed, the V11 is easily as good as even the best corded vacuums. What's really impressive, however, is that performance is maintained even on the lower 'Auto' and 'Eco' settings, particularly on hard floors and surfaces.
Auto adapts suction based on whether you're on carpet or hard floors, to extend the battery life, while the lower-wattage Eco mode lasts up to 60 minutes per charge. Very handily, a new LCD screen, as well as showing the name of the mode you're in, also displays an accurate estimate of remaining run time.
Advanced filtering means that 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns are safely processed – good news for allergy sufferers. The bin is easy to empty, with a very satisfying mechanism.
Highly Commended: Samsung Jet 90 Pro
This arrived just too late for us to use it enough before the winners had to be decided but there's no doubt this is one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners ever. It is usually slightly cheaper than the Dyson V11 Absolute and its performance, style and the way it balances beautifully in your hand are all very similar to its arch rival.
Adding even more value, the Jet 90 Pro comes with a very neat charging stand that also holds your accessories, and a rotating mop head attachment for cleaning hard floors. This initially appears slightly ridiculous and gimmicky, but it really works.
Finally, there's a telescopic tube that you can easily adjust for length. This is useful for people of varying heights, and also for certain cleaning tasks. Samsung's cordless vacs are improving so rapidly, Dyson will have to up its game to retain this T3 Award next year…
• T3 Awards 2020 – all the announcements so far.