Henry Cordless Review : A Modern Twist on an Old Favourite

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Last Updated on May 6, 2024 by James Cook

It is thought that approximately 30% of UK households have no access to off-street parking and although my family and I are not amongst this number, I was recently reminded of what a limitation it is to be forced to park a great distance from your front door, on a trip to Center Parcs.

You see, after our journey there, with our two kids munching on snacks the entire way, our car was in quite a state and once the car was unloaded, I really wanted to give it a vacuum before it was once again loaded up again in a few days time, for the journey back. However, the James Vacuum that I found in the storage room only had a 10m long cable and if you have ever been to Center Parcs, you know that you park quite a distance from the lodges. It was then that I considered the idea of getting a cordless vacuum cleaner that wasn’t terribly under-powered and fiddly.

The parking at Center Parcs Longleat Forest.

Having previously reviewed a few of the vacuum cleaners from the Henry range, I knew that they did produce a cordless version of the classic Henry and now I had a real inclination to put one through its paces.

Henry Cordless
£179.99
Pros:
  • Useful if you have no access to mains power
  • Good for people with mobility issues
Cons:
  • It is double the price of the standard Henry
  • The battery lasts just 20 minutes
Buy Now Direct Check Amazon Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Is the Henry Cordless the right fit for you?

The Henry Cordless is double the price of the regular Henry, so if you are looking to save money I would go for that original machine instead. However, if you are in the market for a cordless vacuum cleaner because you don’t want to be restricted to a cleaning range from a socket, this is a strong market contender. Many cordless vacuum cleaners and underpowered but the Henry Cordless provides almost as much as the original Henry. Furthermore, it comes with some really sturdy attachments that are versatile, the large 6 litre dust bag that is easy to change and inexpensive to replace and the machine itself is tough and well-built.

This is not a fancy vacuum cleaner but it is powerful and it has the convenience of being cordless, so if you have no access to off-street parking or you want to be able to vacuum your shed, attic or other place with no access to power, this is a great choice. Additionally, if you just like the idea of not tripping over a cord as you vacuum around your home, then read on.

A Henry Cordless being used to vacuum an attic.

Unboxing and Assembling

Everything included in the box that comes with the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.

In the box you will find all of the regular attachments that come with the Henry, Hetty and James, which includes the upholstery brush, soft dusting brush, crevice tool, universal adapter and floor head. Also, you will find the two metal extension tubes plus the handle, the hose, a spare dust bag, the instruction manual and lastly the battery and charging station.

All I had to do was connect the three extension tubes together and then attach one end of the hose to the tube handle. The other end needed to be screwed onto the nose of Henry and the floor head slid onto the other end of the extension tubes. Once the battery had been charged (I was expecting it to be fully charged out of the box but it was not) it was pretty easy to just clip it into its housing on top of the machine.

There was already an additional dust bag pre-loaded inside so in just a few minutes everything was assembled and I was ready to start using it. All in all, it was effortless and I didn’t even look at the instruction manual!

How does Henry Cordless differ from Henry?

The Henry Cordless next to the original Henry Vacuum.

Apart from the obvious fact that the Henry Cordless has no cord, there are a couple of diferences between this machine and the original corded Henry. Firstly, the fact that it has no need for the cable rewind mechanism means that it is 1.1 kg lighter. This is a significant difference and it is really noticeable when you are carrying the machine around, especially when you are vacuuming the stairs. Secondly, the cordless model is noticeable quieter but it also produces a little less suction power (1200mm H20) compared to the original Henry (2300mm H20). Other that that, the attachments and dimensions are the same.

Henry Cordless
4.5
£179.99
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Battery Life and Charging

The battery for a Henry Cordless sitting on top of its housing.

The battery in the Henry Cordless, along with its charging dock, resembles that of a cordless screwdriver or drill (just much bigger). To charge it up, you simply click it into the docking station and then you are shown a red indicator light. Once it has finished charging, the light will change to green. Then, slide it into its housing on top of the machine and you are ready to go.

Unfortunately, all lithium batteries will degrade over time, so the fact that Henry’s battery is removable means it is going to be far cheaper to replace just the battery, instead of the whole machine. Additionally, it is convenient being able to charge the battery on a kitchen worktop, in the corner of the room or on a side table, instead of having to plug the machine in and leave it in the corner of a room, or in a hallway.

The Henry Cordless battery charging dock.

There is a battery indicator light that shows you how much charge it has, on top of the Henry Cordless. However, it took me a few seconds to realise that you have to actually switch on the machine in order for this light to work. There are also two speeds for the Henry Cordless (high and low) and you can choose either by flicking the green switch either left or right.

The battery indicator light on the Henry Cordless and the high/ low power switch.

The setting that you choose to run the Henry on is important because it will dictate how quickly the battery drains. On the low setting, you can expect to get 30 minutes of runtime but on the high setting, you will get just 20 minutes. I have to say that I found this to be a little disappointing and I was expecting more from such a large battery. It is probably on-par with the average cordless vacuum cleaner but then again, the suction power provided by the Henry Cordless is very good (more on that later).

The battery takes 3.5 hours to charge fully, so you need to either plan ahead or purchase a second battery, to ensure that you are always ready to vacuum. The batteries are not cheap however.

Storage

The Henry Cordless being stored inside a wardrobe.

The Henry Cordless is not as big as you think. Indeed, I found him easy to store under the stairs and even inside a wardrobe. The only limiting factor is the wand, which you will mostly likely need to disconnect and store elsewhere, or fully disassemble. The wand is very easy to disconnect from the hose and this makes the whole machine quite easy to pack away, out of sight.

At the rear of the Henry Cordless is a really useful storage caddy, which allows you to store two attachments at a time on the machine itself. This means that you don’t have to carry these attachments on your person, or have to keep returning to a specific spot to change them. The real key to efficient cleaning with the Henry vacuum cleaners is to keep switching out the attachments as you go along, so this is a really practical and useful storage feature. This same caddy allows you to clip in the extension tube (or wand), making it easier to store fully assembled (if you have the space).

The storage caddy on the Henry Cordless.

Dust Capacity

The Henry Cordless has a very large dust capacity of six litres, which is the same as the original Henry and Hetty. Now if you are anything like me, you hate the job of emptying a dust compartment in a vacuum cleaner or changing the bag, so the fact that the capacity is so large means that each one will last you quite a few weeks, before it requires changing.

A comparison betwee the dust bag size of the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner and a pillow.

On the side of the machine are two clips which, upon releasing outwards, allow you to lift off the top of the Henry Cordless to reveal the filter underneath. Then, all you have to do is lift the filter out to access the dust bag, which slides on and off of the interior end of the hose. When the bag is full, there is a flap that will stop the contents spilling out and then all you have to do is pop it into your outside bin and place a new one on as a replacement.

The clips on the side of the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.

The interior of the Henry Cordless including the filter, dust bag and motor.

Henry Cordless
4.5
£179.99
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Manoeuvrability

The Henry Cordless sits on two large rear wheels and two front casters, both of which have a rubber coating to prevent damage to hard floors. As I moved around my home cleaning, I dragged the machine behind me using the hose, which feels incredibly tough and strong. I did notice on a few occasions that I accidentally bumped Henry Cordless into sofas, walls and skirting boards and I was a little concerned that I would damage both the machine and my house but to my great delight, I could see that Numatic have included a rubber buffer ring that runs around the circumference, which will absorb any blows and hopefully prevent mutilation.

The wheels and casters on the underside of the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.

The rubber buffer ring on the circumference of the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.

The rubber bumper ring on the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.

Performance

Prior to purchasing the Henry Cordless, I read a few reviews online that commented on the suction power being less than that offered by the original, corded Henry. So, I wanted to carry out a direct comparison between this machine and the original one, on both hard floors and carpets, to see if this criticism holds and weight. For the comparison below, Henry Cordless was used on its high power setting.

Carpets

For this test, I used a mixture of lint from the tumble dryer filter, as well as dust and debris that was already in my Henry’s bag (including a large quantity of christmas tree pine needles). The chosen battleground is my kids bedroom.

A traditional Henry corded vacuum cleaner next to a cordless version.

Carpet Cleaning Before and After (1 stroke up and 1 stroke down)

The Henry Cordless is on the left and the original Henry is on the right. For this test I stroked once upwards and once back downwards.

A test between the Henry Cordless and Original Corded Vacuum Cleaner on Carpets

The cleaning results of a Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner vs an original corded on carpets.

So which one came out on top in terms of carpet cleaning performance? I have to say that I did not see any difference between the two. The Henry Cordless produces a lot less noise, which for some reason I thought would mean less suction, but I cannot say that this is the case at all. I was pleasantly surprised that they both seem to perform exactly the same on carpets, using the combi floor tool.

Hard Floors

Moving on to the hard tile floor in my bathroom, I used the same detritus. Once again, Henry Cordless is on the left and the original Henry is on the right.

Hard Floor Cleaning Before and After (1 stroke up and 1 stroke down)

A before shot of a comparison betwen the cleaning abilities of a Henry Cordless and traditional corded Henry on hard floors.

A after shot of a comparison betwen the cleaning abilities of a Henry Cordless and traditional corded Henry on hard floors.

Once again, performance was very similar between these two on hard floors but if you look closely at the floor just above the floor tool for the Henry Cordless, you will see a little extra detritus left behind. So, if I am being very picky I will say that the traditional corded Henry performs slightly better on hard floors, but it is very close and the difference is negligible.

Once thing I did notice is that this combi floor tool seems to be better suited for carpets, as it tended to push some of the dirt along instead of suck it up on the hard floor test. I found that I had to tilt the head slightly to create a larger gap between the head and the floor.

Henry Cordless
4.5
£179.99
Buy Now Direct Check Price Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Attachments and What they Do

Combi Floor Tool

Speaking of the comi floor tool, this is the main attachment that you are going to want to use for 90% of your vacuuming with the Henry Cordless. It is rectangular in shape and has been designed to tackle your floors. On the underside, there are a couple of ridges that funnel the dust and dirt from the entire width of the floor head. Additionally, there are two foot pedals on top, which will either lower or raise a brush bar (which helps to agitate dirt and hair when vacuuming carpets).

The top of the combi floor tool attachment for the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.

The underside of the combi floor tool attachment for the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.

Brush Bar (Up vs Down)

A comparison between the brush bar on the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner being up and down.

I found the combi floor tool to be very versatile for both hard and soft floors. As already mentioned, I did find myself having to lift or tilt the head upwards on hard floors, and for when large debris wasn’t quite getting underneath the head on carpets, but it wasn’t much of a hindrance. The plastic it is made from feels hard and strong and the brush bar did collect quite a bit of hair from my carpets (which I picked off with my fingers and let the suction take it down the hose).

Reach

Now if you are anything like me, you neglect the carpets and floors underneath your beds, due to the fact that it is often quite hard reaching the whole way underneath and it can be quite an arduous vacuuming task. I really wanted to see how well the Henry Cordless would tackle this hard-to-reach and often neglected area of the home, so I pulled out the storage boxes that we have under our master bed and set about it with the combi floor tool attached to the full extension wand.

In terms of reach, I was able to get as far as 1/3 of the way to the other side of our double bed, which I thought was pretty good. For the remaining distance, I switched out the floor tool for the upholstery brush (more on that attachment below), so finish vacuuming the carpet.

The reach of the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner's combi floor tool underneath a bed.

Upholstery Brush

The upholstery brush is essentially a micro version of the combi floor tool, with a brush bar that you can slide on and off, depending on whether you are tackling hard or soft floors.

The upholstery tool attachment for the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.

The upholstery tool is for vacuuming stair treads, sofas, chairs, car seats and anything that is flat but too small to use the combi floor tool on. I was particularly impressed with the results I got on our stairs, with the brush bar attached.

Upholstery Brush Before and After (Multiple Strokes)

Cleaning results of the Henry Cordless upholstery brush on stair tread.

I was able to get some really good results on the stairs with the upholstery brush but it did take quite a few strokes back and forth. I did notice that the really large debris tended to get stuck around the hole, which I picked out and sent on its way back down in smaller clumps. However, for everyday smaller dust and dirt, I don’t think this will be an issue.

Soft Dusting Brush

The soft dusting brush is circular and small, with some very fine bristles around its circumference that are meant to gently agitate dust on delicate items in your home, such as picture frames, ceiling fans and any other delicate surfaces where attachments with harder bristles could cause damage. You can use this attachment to quickly vacuum in and around all of your knick knacks on your mantle piece or shelves, for example, without fear of any breakages.

The soft dusting brush for the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.
The soft dusting brush attachment for the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner being used on a picture frame.

The upholstery brush on the Henry Cordless being used to clean a ceiling fan.

Soft Dusting Brush Before and After (Multiple Strokes)

Cleaning results of the Henry Cordless upholstery brush on a ceiling fan.

Crevice Tool

The crevice tool attachment for the Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner.

The crevice tool is not the attachment that I used the most during this review but it is the one that I most enjoyed using. It is long and cylindrical in shape, with a very narrow opening, and it is ideal for getting into those really tight gaps down the side of sofas, as well as the tight spots that are usually missed by the larger combi floor tool, such as the gap between your floors and skirting boards. There is a lot more noise produced when the crevice tool is attached, so it is not one to use next door to your sleeping baby.

Crevice Tool Before and After (1 Stroke)

Cleaning results of the Henry Cordless' crevice tool on a skirting board.

Henry Cordless
4.5
£179.99
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Car Cleaning with Henry Cordless

A Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner being used to clean a car.

I was really curious to see how well the Henry Cordless would perform on the stubborn mud, dirt, snacks and old pieces of sandwich in our car. For me, car cleaning for those that can’t realistically reach where they park from where they live is a major reason for a cordless vacuum cleaner to exist, so it really had to perform well to make it worth the extra money.

Initially, It was great not having to find an extension lead, although my drive is quite small so I technically could manage without one. However, if you had to carry this machine some distance to your car, it would not be much of a struggle because you have no need for the heavy metal extension wand, so you only have to carry the machine itself, plus the three attachments you are going to want to use (upholstery brush, crevice tool and soft dusting brush).

I found that the upholstery brush was the attachment I used on the floors and mats, as well as in the boot. The thick, hard bristles did a good job of agitating the dried mud.

Car Mat Cleaning with the Upholstery Brush Before and After (Brushing for 1 Minute)

Cleaning results of the Henry Cordless upholstery brush on car mats.

I was pleased with the results. It did take a fair bit of elbow grease and the suction power wasn’t enough to lift up some small stones that were left remaining, but all in all the bristles did a great job and I got some impressive results in a short amount of time.

Next up was the soft dusting brush, which I found to be perfect for the air vents and the rest of the dashboard, including around the stereo knobs, cup holders and gear stick. Additionally, I used this attachment for our children’s car seats in the back and the results were really good.

The Henry Cordless soft dusting brush attachment being used to clean a car dashboard.

The upholstery brush on the Henry Cordless being used to clean a child's car seat.

Lastly, the crevice tool was perfect for reaching the incredibly tight gap between the car seats and the doors, as well as the center console. The suction power of the Henry Cordless being funnelled through such a narrow attachment meant that I was able to get some really good results.

The crevice tool on the Henry Cordless being used on car seats.

Stair Cleaning

A Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner being used to clean a staircase.

Henry Cordless, or any other Henry machine for that matter, is not very well suited or stair cleaning. Firstly, due to its size and shape, it doesn’t fit on the depth of the average sized stair tread, so you have to carry the machine in one hand as you vacuum with the other, which is not particularly convenient.

A Henry Cordless vacuum cleaner balancing on a stair tread.

Secondly, the weight of this machine (albeit lighter than the corded Henry) is still significant, so if you have any strength or mobility issues, this could really hinder you.

One way of getting around this is to leave the machine at the bottom of your stairs and then attach one of the attachments to the end of the extension hose. However, this still didn’t reach the top of our staircase.

The reach of the Henry Cordless for stair cleaning.

Our Verdict

The Henry Cordless offers the same tough, durable and versatile attachments that the original corded machine comes with and they are incredibly useful at tackling all of the different vacuuming tasks that we need vacuum cleaners for. The suction power is very good, although probably not quite as good as the corded Henry (but there isn’t much in it) and even though this is a modern take on an old model, it is still simple at its heart and it retains what made the original machine special.

However, are the benefits of not having a cord worth the price tag? Remember, this machine is almost twice the cost of the corded Henry. The answer all depends on your situation. If you are one of the unlucky people that have no access to your car with an extension cord, or if you worry about tripping over a lead, then the Henry Cordless is a great fit for you. However, if this doesn’t sound like much of an issue, I would go for the traditional corded Henry instead as the limited 20 minute run-time of the battery is quite a large downside.

Overall though, I was impressed with this battery powered cordless vacuum cleaner. I was expecting the suction power to be underwhelming but that was simply not the case. It is sturdy and tough with well thought out attachments that are likely to last just as long as everything that Numatic makes.

Where to buy Henry Cordless

Henry Cordless
£179.99
Pros:
  • Useful if you have no access to mains power
  • Good for people with mobility issues
Cons:
  • It is double the price of the standard Henry
  • The battery lasts just 20 minutes
Buy Now Direct Check Amazon Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
James Cook
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