Lupe Pure Cordless review in a sentence: If you can't choose between a cordless stick vac and an upright, why not choose a vacuum cleaner that is effectively both?
When it comes to trying to build the best cordless vacuum cleaner, two approaches are usually employed. One is to stick as closely as possible to the approach of the market-leading Dyson V11 Absolute – the best Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner by some distance – and it's big bro the Dyson V11 Outsize. The other approach is to go way off piste and offer something radically different to Dyson design.
Most manufacturers still prefer the stick vac method. Little wonder, since it offers the best of both worlds: general hard floor and carpet cleaning duties plus handheld vacuuming of awkward areas such as stairs, edges, surfaces, corners and hard to reach places.
However, the drawback with cordless stick vacs is that all the weight of the unit’s battery, motor and dust bin is in the user’s hand, making them feel heavy and a bit cumbersome, especially when cleaning areas above head height. Also, you can’t store most stick vacs in an upright position unless they come with a stand, or you can be bothered to actually fix their wall mounts to the wall.
By contrast, an upright cordless model such as the Gtech AirRam Mk2 K9 feels much lighter in the hand because all the weight is on the floor. It’s also very easy to store in an upright position. But of course the Gtech – and uprights in general – aren't much use when it comes to the aforementioned surfaces, corners shelves and sofas.
To get around this conundrum, here's the Lupe Pure Cordless. Like the very plush Miele Triflex HX, it's an ingenious 3-in-1 cordless upright that converts into a stick, and aims to excel in all disciplines.
Lupe Pure Cordless: design
The modular Lupe Pure Cordless is the brainchild of two former Dyson employees, and you can see that in its seemingly rather eccentric looks. It doesn't resemble a Dyson at all, which is laudable, but it certainly looks highly designed and very engineered, which are both Dyson-esque traits.
The dual-role Lupe Pure is – alongside the similar Miele Triflex – something of a breakthrough in the pantheon of cordless vacs. The first thing to mention is how simple it is both to set up and use. There is no reason to refer to the manual with this model because everything about it is self evident.
It’s comprised of eight main parts – brush bar head, motor body, dust collector, battery, handle, hose and two detail attachments. That might seem like a lot, but all the parts click into place with zero fumbling and all buttons, latches and controls are clearly highlighted.
The only bum notes are that the stick vac – unlike the Miele Triflex – isn't a 'standalone' affair; it remains tethered to the upright portion of the Pure. Admittedly, the visual result – kind of like a robot penguin holding a broom – is extremely adorable.
Also, the Pure's bin design isn't really suitable for pet hair – it gets jammed in the top half beyond finger reach. Yes, you can unclip the top, pull out the filter and get to the hair that way, but it's a right faff. Bear this in mind if you have pets.
Unlike the majority of stick vacs that aren’t worth repairing when something internal gives up the ghost, this one has been designed to last possibly forever. According to its designers, every part – both internal and external – is available for easy, cost-effective replacement.
Lupe Pure Cordless: performance
In upright form, the Lupe Pure Cordless is a pleasure to use. By upright standards it is very light and well balanced, and it has arguably the best steering mechanism and comfiest handle in vac land. This vac is just so manoeuvrable and effortless to push around, even in confined spaces.
Because it stays upright when not in use, you can leave it where it’s standing if your session is suddenly interrupted. Its small form also makes it a doddle to store under the stairs or even in a cupboard if the handle is removed.
So how well does it clean? Extremely well, it must be said. Granted, the majority of vacs we’ve tested have performed competently enough even though sometimes it’s taken a few more sweeps back and forth. The Lupe is definitely up there in the higher end of cleaning performance.
Its power head seamlessly moves from one surface to another and is unique in that it’s comprised of a soft black rubber front roller which snatches items while increasing suction power, and a reverse spinning rear brush that agitates the carpet, flinging debris into the extra large one-litre collection bin which, incidentally, is the biggest we've encountered in a cordless, and pleasingly easy to remove for emptying.
The Lupe Pure Cordless's suction is extraordinarily powerful so I’d advise hitting the big ’minus’ button if being used on thicker carpet and some rugs. The filter system is noteworthy, too, and difficult to clog even when vacuuming fine particles like flour. Yes, the Lupe is noisy in full-blast mode but we’ve heard worse.
To use the Lupe as a stick vac, simply remove the handle and plug in one end of the hose. You can now reach high shelves, do the stairs and sofa with the detail attachments. Although it isn’t motorised, the combination brush did a sterling job on the dog’s bed, so a big high five there.
You will need to hold the main component in your other hand, because too long a stretch of the hose will cause it to fall off its feet. This is clearly less convenient that your classic stick vac but for my money, it's a small price to pay for the convenience of having a stick and upright vac in one package.
In terms of battery life, this writer got the stated 60 minutes out of it using the lower but perfectly adequate Eco setting. As is always the case with cordless vacs, using it at full pelt drastically reduces battery life to 10 minutes or so – but battery life overall never seems to be a problem, so long as you charge it between uses, which is an easy task.
Lupe Pure Cordless: verdict
So the Lupe Pure Cordless is a sterling performer that does the job of two vacuum cleaners. Admittedly its design means it is better as an upright, but it is easily good enough as a stick vac.
The RRP is such that you could actually buy both an actual stick vac from a brand such as Vax, AND a Gtech AirRam cordless upright – but then you'd have to store both of them. That's because, rather boldly, Lupe initially pitched the Pure at a higher price than the Dyson V11 Absolute.
However at present, the Lupe Pure Cordless is reduced to £499 (UK only), which seems like a more realistic price. The excellent build quality and the fact that all parts can be serviced and replaced does give me a lot of optimism about its longevity, as well.
As you'd expect at such a premium price point, the Lupe Pure Cordless cleans amazingly well, is incredibly intuitive and considerably easier to store than a brace of vacs. It’s a joy to use, in fact – if vacuuming can ever be considered joyous.