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Hoover is more than just Henry, that much is true. So when we were asked to try out their latest creation, the cordless H-Free C300+, we jumped at the chance.
Boasting a runtime of around 60 minutes (yes, you read correctly) and a weight of just over 3kg, the C300+’s specs certainly sound impressive.
But what’s it like when you actually get down to the nitty gritty? Does it really do what it says on the tin box? And how easy is it to use in a regular family home? MNHQ’s very own Reviews team share their thoughts.
Who’s it for?
The C300+ is designed to ‘care for modern families’ – it’s for those of us who want to accomplish as much cleaning as we can in as little time as possible, which basically means all parents ever.
Hoover claims that the C300+ holds enough power to tackle an average-sized three-bedroom house more than once and, while we didn’t try this out ourselves, we can certainly believe it.
Differing in style from other cordless vacuums in the H-Free range, especially when it comes to aesthetics and runtime, the C300+ is both powerful and lightweight.
It has a decent number of settings, a small selection of useful tools and volume levels that aren’t deafening, particularly in eco mode.
We tried the 32.4V model, but Hoover also offer a 21.6V version (the regular C300), which has a shorter battery life of around 45 minutes and a marginally lower price tag.
At first glance
Out of the box, the C300+ looks a little old-fashioned with an unexciting grey and blue design, especially when compared to the slimmer H-Free 700. But, of course, looks aren’t everything.
Measuring 110 cm at its highest point, the Hoover boasts six adjustable height settings, which means it’s easy to store, and it comes with a more than manageable seven parts in total, including a main vacuum head, removable battery and stretch hose.
While other cordless vacuums, such as the Vax Blade 2 Max, seem a little top-heavy, which means they can feel cumbersome to use over time, the C300+ works in the opposite way – the majority of its weight is concentrated at the bottom. This may make for a bulkier-looking vacuum head, but the C300+ feels a lot sturdier this way. The only exception to this is the wheels, which were a bit clunky and didn’t seem that hardwearing.
Because of the weight concentration, the C300+ doesn’t convert to a handheld like many cordless vacuums do, but, to make up for this, the stretch hose that attaches to the head is long enough at a mere 3.5 metres to tackle even the hardest-to-reach places, including the ceiling, which, of course, we had to try.
If you’ve been put-off by the top-heavy weight of a typical cordless model, then the Hoover offers an interesting alternative.
The C300+ is easy to unpack and assemble thanks to clear (albeit mostly visual) paper instructions. All parts required are also in the box, including three small screws which you’ll need for initial set-up.
While anything that comes with screws instantly sounds fiddly – and it would be better if you didn’t need to use a screwdriver at all – you’ll only need to screw on two parts, both of which are hooks on which you hang the stretch hose.
All-in-all, it took our team about 15 minutes get going. As the vacuum was already part-way charged out of the box, we could also start cleaning straight away – something that we were very pleased about. Once empty, it takes about six hours for the vacuum to reach full charge.
The C300+ has a number of features typical of other cordless vacuum cleaners, such as LED nozzle lights and a quick-release bagless bin, but the lengthy runtime and overall weight help set it apart from its competition.
At 3.4kg and 60 minutes respectively, it’s one of the lightest vacuums on the market with one of the longest battery lives, which will likely be very attractive to families who need a reliable model with a good battery that's light enough to lug up and down even the steepest of stairs.
While there are only two power levels (carpet and eco) in addition to the main setting used exclusively for hard floors, carpet mode is, in fact, the real winner here.
It feels much more powerful than regular hard floor mode – the on/off rotating brush bar is activated specifically for carpets so that you can really get stuck into those fibres – and the LED lights help you to spot dirt in the darkest of places, ie under low-rise furniture. We vacuumed coffee granules and biscuit crumbs on both floor types.
By reclining the wand and adjusting the retractable handle, you can also flatten the vacuum to reach under beds and sofas, which is particularly useful when tackling those areas that barely see the light of day. It wasn’t clear in the instructions how to recline the wand without pushing your foot lightly on the vacuum head, though, so this tended to be our go-to method.
In terms of manoeuvrability, we loved the swivel steering (a huge highlight!) as it made the vacuum cleaner super easy to manoeuvre, especially when changing direction – key if you have enthusiastic children running around the house as you’re attempting to clean.
Lastly, the crevice, dusting and upholstery tools come as a 3-in-1 attachment that clicks directly onto the back of the vacuum, which limits the amount of parts you need to store or, indeed, lose.
While we weren’t that impressed with the dusting brush, we found both the crevice and upholstery tools really powerful (less so in eco mode, of course), which is great if you’re regularly grappling with pet hair and skirting board dust.
While we didn’t vacuum pet hair during testing, we did try the upholstery tool out on our small office sofa and it seemed to work well.
What are the main specs and features?
Cordless upright vacuum cleaner
60-minute runtime (full power)
Two power levels – carpet and eco mode
Works on carpet, hard floors, laminate and tiles
Single Cyclone Technology
On/off rotating brush bar
Extension tube with 3-in-1 crevice, dusting and upholstery tool
Retractable telescopic handle
3.5-metre stretch hose
LED nozzle lights
Dimensions: 110H x 31.5W x 29D cm
Manufacturer’s warranty: one year
Let's talk money
At £199.99 RRP (the 21.6V C300 costs slightly less at £179.99), the price of the C300+ is fairly standard as far as cordless vacuums go.
It may not come with a whole host of extras, but considering the impressive runtime and how powerful this model is, coupled with a standard one-year manufacturer’s warranty, we think it offers good value for money.
The verdict (for now)
The H-Free C300+ may look a little industrial at first sight, but it feels sturdy, performs really well and, crucially, won’t break the bank.
We’d have liked to have seen a larger bin capacity and a less bulky vacuum head, but the runtime and lightweight design do well to outweigh any negatives.
If you’re on the look-out for both of these things, then this model may well be worth considering.
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