Hoover H-Free 300 review: perky performance from a cheap and versatile cordless vacuum

Hoover H-Free 300 is a stick vac for all occasions with a budget price tag that makes it even more appealing

Hoover H-Free 300 review
(Image credit: Hoover)
T3 Verdict

We love the Hoover H-Free 300 with its innovative features, cool design and decidedly perky suction power that combines to deliver a stick vac that can get to dust and dirt just about anywhere.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Solid suction

  • +

    Really portable

  • +

    Self-supporting

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Smallish bin

  • -

    Less powerful than the pricey big hitters of cordless vacuum land

Hoover H-Free 300 is an affordable option when it comes to cable-free cleaning, and among the best cordless vacuum cleaners at its price. 

Household chores didn't use to come much more tedious than vacuum cleaning, which is why there are so many models on the market. The demand for great cleaning devices is there, but the inclination to vacuum never increases. Unless you’ve got a decent machine, which is why we’ve got a best vacuum cleaner guide to help you find the pick of the bunch. The H-Free 300 doesn't quite make it to that list, but we will be adding it to the cordless vac list.

The Hoover H-Free 300 is a very solid stick model to consider if you really can’t be bothered to pull out the ‘proper’ machine from under the stairs, or wherever it is you keep yours. Hoover’s H-Free 300 is a properly handy portable stick design, that is lightweight but powerful and, ultimately, convenient enough to keep on hand for those quick crumb and fluff forays we all need to make every day or so.

Hoover H-Free 300

(Image credit: Hoover)

Hoover H-Free 300: what is it?

The H-Free 300 is one of several Hoover H-Free stick vacuum models ranging from the 100 through to the 800 and the 300 is designed to slot into the middle ground, which it does nicely. There’s also the Hoover H-Free 300 Pets edition too, which comes complete with a motorized mini turbo brush for taking on those more extensive pet fur and hair tasks.

This new machine features the neat Hoover H-LAB Flat&Drive Floor Nozzle as seen on its other models. This allows you maximum freedom thanks to its 180-degree swivel and 90-degree recline capability. Even more usefully, especially if you get driven mad by your vacuum stick falling over and getting in the way all the time, is its Quick Park&Go feature. It’ll stand up on its own. Praise be. Hoover states that the unit should be kept on its wall mount for proper storage however.

Dyson tends to hog the headlines when it comes to finding the best vacuum cleaner model. If you’re on a budget then the Dyson V7 Absolute starter model is worth considering. But the more affordable Hoover H-Free 300 is still well worth your consideration.

Hoover H-Free 300

(Image credit: Hoover)

Hoover H-Free 300: what’s the design like?

Aside from the ability to stand up on its own accord, which makes it a hit with us for starters, the Hoover H-Free 300 looks pretty good overall. Our test model came with a red anodized finish on the aluminium main tube, while the colour scheme overall is a blend of red, dark grey and silver, topped with the iconic Hoover logo on the main body.

Hoover has been designing these things forever, so of course it knows how to produce a decent stick vacuum and we were very pleased with the overall aesthetic appeal of this model. The handle is sufficient to make longer cleaning sessions hassle free and comfortable, while you can easily reach the ‘Power Control’ button on the back of the unit with your thumb to raise or lower the suction level.

Everything comes flat packed in a slimline box and assembly is straightforward and logical. In addition, there’s a great foldout starter guide, which shows you how to get up and running in no-nonsense fashion.

There’s a nice attention to detail on this model too, with dual LED DustLocator lights built in to both the nozzle and the handheld section of the design. That means you’ve got illumination at your disposal to cover all scenarios, from darkened room corners through to those hard to reach shelf and cupboard innards.

Inside the body there's a removable battery pack, but we found the Hoover H-Free 300 convenient for recharging by plugging the supplied cable straight into the port on the body of the unit. In fact, without the stick attached you can perch it on a shelf or at the end of the sofa. An ‘Battery Status’ indicator light on the design of the body shows you when charging is complete, so you can whip it out and vacuum those crisp crumbs off yourself in a flash without barely moving.

Hoover H-Free 300

(Image credit: Hoover)

Hoover H-Free 300: what’s included?

We were impressed by the array of accessories that were included with the Hoover H-Free 300. You get the stick bit obviously, which is aluminium rather than plastic, which adds to the quality feel. There’s a really useful brush attachment too, which features longer bristles that makes it more practical than some of the stubby tools we’ve used with other models.

The bin bit of the Hoover H-Free 300 equation is an integral part of the design, with a drop down lid on the underside so you can dispatch collected dust and dirt straight into the trash. It’s pretty easy to get into this part of the unit to carry out more vigorous cleaning as grime builds up over time. Like most stick vacuums, the capacity of the bin isn’t enormous, but because it’s made of clear plastic you can see when it needs emptying.

There’s also a mounting kit supplied for the Hoover H-Free 300, which allows you to hang it up on the wall or inside a cupboard if that’s your thing. However, this is less of a necessity due to the Hoover H-Free 300’s ability to stand up on its own accord.

Hoover H-Free 300

(Image credit: Hoover)

Hoover H-Free 300: what’s the performance like?

Stick vacuum’s have had a bad rap for their lacklustre performance in the past, but things have got much better with some of the best stick vacuums sucking like there’s no tomorrow. The Hoover H-Free 300 features a brushless Direct Impulse Motor, which is decidedly perky in the performance department spinning at up to 80,000 RPM and delivering 65AW of suction.

Powering up the vacuum is done by pulling the trigger on the front of the handle. By default this starts the machine on its lowest power, which initially gives you the impression that the vacuum will only be useful for those tumbleweed-style balls of fluff and hair that collect on laminate floors. Press the button marked ‘Power Control‘ on the back of the unit though and you can pick up the pace, thanks to the more powerful Turbo setting.

Performance at the highest power level is solid, with very little vibration from that motor and noise levels that are no worse than, say, a beefy hair dryer at full tilt. Suction power is also really good at the top setting, although it does drop away on those other lower settings. These are handy for delicate areas around ornaments and suchlike, but we got most value from the maximum setting.

We also loved the way we could quickly switch configuration mode. Hoover has done a great job with the connectors on the Hoover H-Free 300. Press the small red button located at each pipe junction and you can reduce the unit from a full-on stick down to a compact handheld, and back again, in mere seconds. Impressive. Meanwhile, the rollers on the cleaning head aren't particularly substantial but they served us well enough during testing.

In terms of run time then Hoover claims 40 minutes in Auto Mode. We tended to run the vacuum at full tilt most of the time as this is how it functioned best for our cleaning needs. We got about a half hour from the unit before performance started to drop away using the main motorised floorhead attachment. The bonus with the Hoover H-Free 300 is that it can be quickly plugged in and juiced up while you’re having a tea break. A few hours or an overnight charge is needed to get it back to full capacity.

Hoover H-Free 300

(Image credit: Hoover)

Hoover H-Free 300: what’s the verdict?

We’re rather smitten with the Hoover H-Free 300 cordless stick vacuum. It’s not the most powerful model you can buy, but it’s keenly priced with an RRP of £169.99. If you need more oomph then Hoover has its beefier counterparts to consider if you want to stick with this brand.

The Hoover H-Free 300 has won us over for its general appeal though, with a great little design that makes it super convenient. There’s the ability to stand on its own, that great nozzle and general versatility that allows you to tackle smaller vacuuming jobs in a multitude of locations. That includes the car too thanks to the decent attachments.

Granted, we haven't had it for long enough to tell you how that battery pack fares over time, but aside from that the Hoover H-Free 300 is an excellent stick vacuum that’s perfect for pulling out when you just need a quick refresh and dust down, rather than a full-on spring cleaning session.

Rob Clymo
Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember...