this thing's incredible

This Cordless Vacuum Makes Cleaning My (Creaky, Dusty) Berlin Flat a Delight

Photo-Illustration: retailers

In the Berlin Alt-Bau flatshares and sublets that I bounced between throughout my 20s, hoovering always required a choreographer’s grace and an architect’s diligence. With one hand on the handle and the other on the cord, I moved across uneven floorboards with whichever dinosaur of a vacuum had come with the flat, making sure never to tug too hard or wander too far into a corner of a room lest the vacuum come unplugged. Long, narrow hallways were obstacle courses for bulky-bodied hoovers; navigating the nozzle into irregular corners and around odd angles was the worst game of Tetris. Dusty skirting or corner cobwebs were a lost cause — they required a broom and dustpan, rendering a quick clean-up into an afternoon-long affair.

When one particularly archaic vacuum bit the dust, I searched the internet for a better solution: I wanted to find something sleek and easy to store — something, preferably cordless, that could handle everything from upturned potted plants to spilled coffee grounds. I found AEG CX7. Standing at just above hip-height, the CX7 is lightweight but durable, with a swiveling head that can curl into tight corners or around table legs without pause. A set of LED headlights help lead the way under beds and chests of drawers, and sturdy wheels guide the nozzle across broken floorboards, uneven tiles, and worn rugs all the same. Unlike other cordless models, the CX7 is just as powerful as a full-bodied vacuum despite its slight frame.

With the press of a button, the core console pops out of the CX7’s body, revealing a handheld vacuum that can be run along kitchen surfaces, across the tops of furniture, and into the hard-to-reach corners that collect cobwebs and dust. It comes with a brush extension as well, which I run along the skirting, between radiator coils, and behind pipes. Cleaning the vacuum itself is just as painless: Another button releases the central filter cartridge, which can be emptied directly into the trash without wasting a bag or fiddling with messy tubing.

In the three years I’ve sworn by the CX7, it has proved its worth again and again by making quick clean-ups quick again. It’s faster and more efficient to tidy a spill as I’m running out the door than it would be to sweep it under the rug, and twice as satisfying. The CX7 also comes with a discrete charging station that is lightweight and can easily be stored in a supply closet or drawer — the battery life lasts for a long time, though, so just remember where you hid it.

And another CX7 model.

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This Cordless Vacuum Makes Cleaning My Berlin Flat a Delight