This inexpensive cleaner is easy on the eye, lightweight and stows away neatly. We wouldn’t recommend buying the Beldray Airgility Pet Max as your main, or only, vacuum, but it is perfect for those quick scat abouts between the full-on weekly clean.
Good on solid floors
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If Beldray isn’t a brand you are familiar with, then you’re probably not spending enough time shopping at the likes of Wilko, B&M or Aldi. In these prime bargain-hunting hotspots, Beldray has a firm fanbase, and – fun fact – the company is credited with inventing the adjustable ironing board!
Before writing this review, I switched out my regular cordless stick vacuum for the Beldray Airgility Pet Max for six-ish weeks, dragging it all over the house to deal with all manner of minor messes and spills. I still used our main vacuum for the weekly ‘Big Clean’, after quickly realising this vacuum wasn’t man enough for all the carpets upstairs. But our robot vacuum was given an extended vacation and the Beldray Airgility Pet Max was called into action at least once a day on the hard floors.
There are a few notable benefits to the Beldray Airgility Pet Max, price being the biggest one, but is the joy of bagging a bargain going to be quickly overshadowed by performance disappointment? Read our review to find out if this affordable pick is worth a spot in our round-up of the best vacuum cleaners.
- Cleaning time: up to 50 minutes
- Charging time: 5.5 hours
- Dimensions: H110cm x W13cm x D23cm
- Dustbox size: 1.2L
- Power settings: 2
- Weight: 3.5kg
Linda Clayton is a professionally trained journalist who has specialised in home tech, interior design and fitness for more than two decades. She’s a fastidious product reviewer, design obsessive, serial renovator, and amateur runner.
She was sent the Beldray Airgility Pet Max Cordless Vacuum to test in her Devon home and find out how well it performs in a chaotic family setting, which includes two young girls, both mad keen bakers, and far too many pets.
We are not given any compensation for our reviews, but we may be gifted the product meaning that we can test it over a greater length of time and update our reviews if required. We may receive affiliate commission for some products bought through our site.
Who will the Beldray Airgility Pet Max Cordless Hand Vacuum suit?
Anyone on a tight budget, or who just doesn’t want to shell out £200+ on a vacuum. The Beldray Airgility Pet Max would also potentially suit those with mobility or dexterity issues, particularly in terms of reduced strength as it feels very light and is easy to push around.
It’s not overly powerful so wouldn’t be ideal for anyone looking to use it as their only vacuum, unless they only have hard flooring, without rugs. Chilly.
How easy is the Beldray Airgility Pet Max Cordless Hand Vacuum to set up?
Setting up the Beldray Airgility Pet Max doesn’t take long, especially since it doesn’t have a wall-mounted base to install. Inside the box (which is neatly packaged with minimal plastic waste) there is the main vacuum unit, extension tube, floor head, a 2-in-1 nozzle, the battery pack and charger and Pet brush attachment.
I started by sliding the 29.6v battery into the grooves on the motor unit, as it won’t charge unless the battery is installed. The power connects into a small hole in the main motor unit and there are three lights that indicate power levels as they charge up. It takes 5.5 hours to reach full charge, which is longer than I’m used to having tested similar size vacuums. To be fair, this will only be a problem if you like to vacuum for longer than 50 minutes two or more times a day, which has never happened here!
What is the Beldray Airgility Pet Max Cordless Vacuum like to use?
The Beldray Airgility Pet Max is turned on using a retracting switch on the handle; press again for the higher power mode, and again to turn it off. There’s no need to keep pressure on the trigger to keep it running, which those with hand mobility issues may appreciate.
It took me a little while to get used to moving my hand off and away from the trigger. I kept finding myself accidentally switching it into higher power or off, until muscle memory finally kicked in and the action became second nature.
Pushing the main floorhead around our floors was easy, perhaps a little too easy. The floorhead is very light and that means it didn’t always land flat to the floor when moving from a thick rug to carpet or hard flooring. Turning the floorhead into tight corners was also a little clumsy, as the connection between floorhead and extension pole doesn’t twist smoothly.
Speaking of connections, switching heads from floorhead to Pet brush or crevice nozzle is a little stiff, you have to yank quite hard, but this is something that often improves with time and use. The Pet head is aimed at targeting pet hairs of course, but I also found the smaller size more convenient for doing the stairs and upholstery like the ottoman and bed headboards.
The LEDs on the floorhead are nice and bright and I found the extra illumination very useful when vacuuming our rather light-starved hallway. The nifty little 2-in-1 crevice tool is also handy. It’s not a new concept to Beldray but being able to switch from brush nozzle to normal nozzle on the one unit saves having to carry two accessories around and saves space in the broom cupboard.
How good is the Beldray Airgility Pet Max Cordless Vacuum at cleaning?
On hard floors
The majority of our ground floor is solid flooring; mainly wood but also terracotta and porcelain tiles, plus laminate flooring in the playroom. The Beldray Airgility Pet Max did a perfectly adequate job of sucking up daily dirt and debris (which is typically 80% pet hair) on all of these hard surfaces.
Power-wise, I did have to move into the higher power setting on the terracotta tiles as they have deep grout lines and divots that tend to hoard dirt (they’re in the boot room so also get the bulk of the dirt from outdoor footwear), which lasted just shy of 30 minutes. Otherwise, the low power setting was fine, and meant I had just over 50 minutes of cleaning time (if I stuck to low), which was more than I ever needed.
To better assess the Beldray Airgility Pet Max’s suction power, I tried sucking up both flour and popcorn kernels (out of date of course) on the wooden floor in our kitchen. I needed the high-power mode for both, but it did a much better job on the flour than it did the kernels. The floorhead just pushed the popcorn around, until I adopted a lift and tilt technique. It felt like they were a little too heavy for the suction power available and only when I took the extension nozzle out of the equation and connected a the crevice nozzle, did I manage to get them off the floor and into the Beldray Airgility Pet Max’s dust bin!
This is where the Beldray Airgility Pet Max’s questionable suction power really becomes noticeable. We have a large, lightweight rug in the kitchen that my regular cordless vacuum (in high power mode) ruckles up because it is too powerful. I have to dial the power right down to vacuum smoothly.
Not so with the Beldray Airgility Pet Max. In high power it moved suspiciously easily across the short pile rug, and although the floorhead brushes were whizzing around nicely, it didn’t remove all of the (many) dog hairs. Switching to the Pet head (which has a coarser bristled brush) helped matters, although it still took a fair few back-and-forth actions to get them all up. Life is too short for that kinda caper!
The Pet head was much more effective at hair removal on the sofas and cushions (our dogs haven’t got the memo about staying off the furniture) but forget anything in velvet. In fairness my own much more powerful cordless vacuum can’t touch the hairs on my velvet cushions, I’ve found a lint clothes roller is the best solution.
Is it easy to empty, maintain and store the Beldray Airgility Pet Max Cordless Vacuum?
Emptying the Beldray Airgility Pet Max is a simple case of pressing a button in the base of the bin and knocking the contents into a bin. I did find dirt trapped around the outer filter casing a little so would usually need to get a stick to knock it off. Push the lid close tightly, making sure you hear the click, otherwise it’ll swing open as you go to connect it back to the extension hose.
The bin is a decent size for this style of vacuum and I didn’t have to empty it too frequently. On the downside, the filter needs washing far more frequently than I’d like; Beldray’s official line is every three weeks but I found I needed to do it at least once a week to maintain precious suction power. The task isn’t hard but then you have to wait for the filter to dry before you can vacuum again so requires an organised approach – or a second filter.
The roller brushes in both attachments, floorhead and Pet, detach easily for cleaning and I was really impressed by how well the main floorhead managed to avoid getting tangled in hairs (mine and the children’s, I mean). This is a real issue in our home, and this is the first time I’ve tested a vacuum for this period without having to hack hair off the roller brush several times.
Although the Beldray Airgility Pet Max doesn’t come with a wall-mounting bracket, it does have a rather nifty clip on the extension hose, which allows you to store the motor unit further down. This means it essentially supports itself, unlike most top-heavy stick vacuum designs, which will come crashing to the floor if you try and prop them against a wall. Compacting the vacuum also makes better use of space so you won’t have to sacrifice quite as much tall storage as you might with a wall-hung design.
How does the Beldray Airgility Pet Max Cordless Vacuum compare?
The Beldray Airgility Pet Max really doesn’t compare to anything along the lines of Dyson, Shark or Gtech – in terms of power or build quality but that shouldn’t surprise you given its price tag.
The Beldray brand is unashamedly entry level, and this is reflected by the build quality. Retailing at £119.99, or less if you shop around, this vacuum is a closer match to the Hoover H-Free 100 Pet, which costs £1.99 less, is a much better sucker and, like the Airgility Pet Max, has a dedicated Pet hair tool. I’d probably only choose the Beldray Airgility Pet Max over the Hoover if I found it on special offer (ideally half price!).
Should you buy the Beldray Airgility Pet Max Cordless Vacuum?
There is no doubt the Beldray Airgility Pet Max can handle quick clean-ups but don’t be throwing out your main vacuum in favour of this machine. This is your go-to for coco-pops on the kitchen floor, not deep cleaning the shag pile.
It is more than capable of clearing dust and dirt from hard floors and upholstery (with the exception of velvet), but I wouldn’t buy it if you have a lot of deep-pile carpet/rugs in your home. The Pet head does remove pet hair, just not especially quickly.
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Linda Clayton is a professionally trained journalist, and has specialised in product design, interiors and fitness for more than two decades. Linda has written for a wide range of publications, from the Daily Telegraph and Guardian to Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She has been freelancing for Ideal Home Magazine since 2008, covering design trends, home makeovers, product reviews and much more.
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