Similar to the technological progression of printers, drills, and phones, the cordless revolution has pushed vacuum makers into offering shoppers grab-and-go accessibility in slimmer profiles that allow for more storage space in the closet. For speedy carpet and floor cleanups in any size home, a cordless vacuum can be a time-saving investment. Those who have a small home may only need a cordless vacuum, while others with a large home may want to consider a cordless vacuum as supplementary to a corded model that won’t run out of power to do a thorough house cleaning.
The best cordless vacuum will depend on the specific user’s lifestyle, the type of flooring in the home, and if there are pets sharing the space. And buying a quality product is paramount, as there are few things more frustrating than using a pricey tool like a vacuum that doesn’t do its job well. Ahead, learn about key factors to consider when shopping for a cordless vacuum and find out why the following cordless vacuums are some of today’s top choices.
- BEST OVERALL: Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Cordless Vacuum
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Prettycare Lightweight 6-in-1 Stick Vacuum
- UPGRADE PICK: Dyson Cyclone V10 Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Eureka Stylus Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST HANDHELD: Tineco Pure One S11 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST WET/DRY COMBO: Bissell Crosswave Cordless Max Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST FOR HARDWOOD FLOORS: Whall Cordless 4-in-1 Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST FOR PET HAIR: Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST FOR STAIRS: Black+Decker Furbuster Handheld Vacuum
How We Chose the Best Cordless Vacuums
We researched the most sought-after cordless vacuums in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their type, weight and maneuverability, dust and debris capacity, included accessories, and other special features often included by top brands.
After extensive product research, we included options in our list of top picks that were upright, stick, and handheld in design to suit multiple consumer preferences. We also included cordless vacuum cleaners with lightweight construction for easy maneuvering and large dust, debris, and pet hair capacities to make light and heavy cleaning jobs a cinch.
As for ease of use and convenience, we selected cordless vacuum cleaners that could tackle most any household vacuuming job, including cleaning floors, furniture and upholstery, draperies, tight spaces, and more with the help of included accessories like floorheads, crevice tools, brush heads, and dusting brushes.
Many of the cordless vacuum cleaners that made our list come with wall-mounted chargers, swivel heads, and LED lights for added convenience. We have not included the best robot vacuums as these are featured in a separate article here.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a cordless vacuum needs to have enough suction to clean up everyday floor messes, and both it and its attachments must be easy to use. Each also comes with a battery that’s powerful enough to keep the vacuum running as long as typical users need to complete a cleaning chore at home. The following cordless vacuums are well suited to various types of floors and lifestyle situations—each is sure to be an asset in many cleaning arsenals.
Get the handiness of a cordless vacuum without spending a fortune with the Shark Navigator Freestyle upright cordless vacuum that offers battery-powered convenience in a classic upright style. The vacuum comes with a larger-than-average dustbin, so you won’t need to dump it as often, and it features swivel steering for maneuvering around chair and table legs. The Navigator has three LED lights along the front of the powerhead so users can see where they’re vacuuming, and it’s suitable for use on both carpets and hard floors.
Unlike other cordless vacuums, this option comes with a rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery that will power the upright vacuum for around 20 minutes. This Shark vacuum is strictly for floors, as it doesn’t come with any accessories. However, it offers cordless convenience at an attractive price point.
- Type: Upright
- Battery life: 17 to 24 minutes
- Weight: 7.5 pounds
- Accessories: None
- High-quality vacuum offers a good compromise among cleaning power, weight, and price
- Swivel steering head for easy maneuvering plus large dustbin with a 0.64-quart capacity
- 3 LED lights make it easy to see dust bunnies and debris under furniture
- No pull-out extension or accessories, so it only cleans carpets and hard floors
Get the Shark cordless vacuum at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.
The Prettycare stick vacuum has all the features we expect from this type of device, and it’s offered at a very reasonable price. The unusual bendable wand and tilting head make it easy to reach under furniture without bending, and the hand vacuum section detaches easily for cleaning fabric, stairs, and other small areas. There’s a crevice tool and two-in-one dust brush, and its light 3-pound weight makes it easy to raise above head height when cleaning curtains, for example.
The cyclone design creates high suction and helps to prevent tangles. Runtime is up to 30 minutes, and there’s a useful LED display for battery level remaining. Its four levels of filtration, including HEPA, ensure that small particles are trapped and not passed back into the room. When not in use, the Prettycare cordless vacuum will stand on its own. A wall mount is also provided.
- Type: Stick
- Battery life: Up to 30 minutes
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Accessories: Long crevice tool, 2-in-1 dust brush
- Versatile device offers good power and high filtration at a very competitive price
- Has bendable wand and flexible head for easy reach in difficult areas without bending
- Self-standing when not in use so can store almost anywhere (wall mount also included)
- Some users report that it doesn’t provide enough suction for their needs
- Canister fills quickly if vacuuming pet hair, which requires more frequent dustbin dumps
Get the Prettycare cordless vacuum at Amazon.
With the ability to clean crumbs and debris from virtually any surface in a home, the Dyson V10 lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner helps achieve a cleaner and healthier home. It comes with a powerful built-in lithium-ion battery and features a charging station/holder that can be mounted on a wall for recharging and storing. The Dyson V10 has a powerhead for picking up long hair, pet hair, and crumbs from the carpet, and it converts to a handheld model for cleaning upholstery, stairs, and car seats. It also has a point-and-shoot dumping bin for reduced messes.
This vacuum comes with advanced filtration that captures particles as small as 0.3 microns so the air in any given home stays cleaner. Runtime is up to 60 minutes on a single charge. Users will also receive a mini powerhead for handheld use, a crevice tool, two brush attachments, and a combination tool.
- Type: Stick
- Battery life: Up to 60 minutes
- Weight: 5.9 pounds
- Accessories: Crevice tool, 2 brush attachments, combination tool
- High-performance cyclone system with maximize suction for straight-line debris
- Powerhead converts into handheld unit, plus motorized mini tool for hair and ground-in dirt
- Filtration captures debris down to 0.3 microns plus point-and-shoot waste disposal
- It’s expensive, although faults aren’t common
- Bin size is petite and needs frequent emptying for larger cleaning projects
Get the Dyson Cyclone cordless vacuum at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Weighing in at just 6.4 pounds, the Eureka Stylus stick vacuum is easy to carry from room to room and a breeze to use. The stick handle lowers to a flat position for cleaning under sofas. With the Stylus’ powerful built-in lithium-ion battery, you can vacuum for up to 45 minutes on a single charge. The vacuum adjusts to clean both carpet and hard flooring, and its LED lights on the front of the powerhead helps you see where you’re vacuuming.
Users who have had a stick vacuum in the past know that they don’t typically stand up unassisted. The Eureka Stylus solves that problem by including an Easy Rest notch on the handle that allows you to balance the vacuum against a counter or a table.
- Type: Stick
- Battery life: 10 to 45 minutes
- Weight: 6.4 pounds
- Accessories: Crevice tool, 2-in-1 brush tool
- Lightweight model provides good maneuverability with detachable hand vacuum for stairs, furniture, or car
- 3 power modes manage suction and runtime plus Easy Rest notch for breaks while cleaning
- Has LED lights to brighten dark areas and 1-touch dust cup emptying
- It’s hugely popular, but a variety of defects suggest quality control is inconsistent
Get the Eureka cordless vacuum at Amazon or Walmart.
The Tineco Pure One cordless stick vacuum is another model with a detachable handheld unit. This one offers a couple of unusual features that set it apart from similar rivals. Maximum cleaning efficiency is provided by iLoop smart sensors that detect hidden dirt and then adjust suction power to suit. This not only means it will pick up debris others might leave behind, but it also means that when high power is not required, battery life will be extended. This results in an impressive runtime of up to 40 minutes.
Two power brushes are included for multisurface cleaning, and the inclusion of HEPA filtration also helps combat allergies. A top-mounted LED display gives clear indication of performance and warns of roller tangles or blockages. There is also a smartphone app that provides maintenance reminders and troubleshooting tips.
- Type: Stick
- Battery life: Up to 40 minutes
- Weight: 5.96 pounds
- Accessories: Crevice tool, dusting tool, mini power brush
- Offers self-adjusting suction for maximum efficiency in both stick and handheld modes
- Clear all-in-1 display provides easy-to-reach control and useful information
- Smart app integration offers performance feedback, maintenance reminders, troubleshooting, and tech support
- One of the more expensive models, and there are a few reports of modest durability
Get the Tineco cordless vacuum at Amazon, The Home Depot (pet edition), or Walmart.
Sometimes vacuuming is not enough to properly clean floors. The cordless Bissell Crosswave is the solution. It has the ability to mop and vacuum at the same time, so it’s not just more effective; it’s faster, too. It works on both area rugs and hard surfaces like laminate, linoleum, or tiled kitchen floors. It can run for up to 30 minutes between charges.
Better edge suction allows it to pick up dust bunnies and hair right up to the baseboard. Twin tanks ensure that it never tries to wash with dirty water. The self-clean cycle means it’s ready to go the next time it’s needed with minimum fuss. It’s also Wi-Fi compatible, providing useful alerts and tips via smartphone.
- Type: Upright
- Battery life: Up to 30 minutes
- Weight: 11.5 pounds
- Accessories: Spare rollers, multisurface cleaning fluid, floor sanitizer
- Able to vacuum and wash at the same time on area carpets and sealed floors
- Twin tanks mean this tool never mops with dirty water
- Self-cleaning technology plus Wi-Fi connectivity for helpful smartphone alerts and maintenance tracking
- Has a premium price tag, and does not provide above-ground cleaning
Get the Bissell cordless vacuum at Amazon, Walmart, or Target.
Hardwood flooring is beautiful, but its finish can be susceptible to scratches from strong powerhead bristles. Those who have hardwood flooring will want to check out the Whall four-in-one cordless vacuum cleaner, which features an interchangeable fluff roller brush that won’t scratch wood floors. It also comes with a V-shaped brush roller for cleaning the carpet. The vacuum’s powerful lithium-ion battery provides up to 55 minutes of runtime, and users can adjust suction modes—use full suction on floors and delicate suction for cleaning dust from draperies or crumbs from tablecloths.
In addition to a standard filter, the Whall vacuum comes with a second high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to keep dust, pollen, and tobacco smoke from recirculating back into a home’s air. The powerhead features LED lights for illuminating dust and crumbs, and the vacuum comes with a detachable battery that can be charged in or out of the vacuum. Buyers will also receive a wall-mount bracket, a two-in-one brush, and a cleaning brush.
- Type: Stick
- Battery Life: 16 to 55 minutes
- Weight: 8.36 pounds
- Accessories: Brush tool, fluff roller brush, V-shaped brush roller
- Dual-bristle powerhead is designed not to damage hardwood floors and also cleans carpets
- Offers 3 suction modes to adjust power for different surfaces and to manage runtime
- HEPA filtration plus built-in LED lights and folding wand help access more areas
- Faults are rare, though breakdowns aren’t unknown
Get the Whall cordless vacuum at Amazon or Walmart.
If users share their home with furry friends, they’ll likely enjoy the Dyson V11 Animal cordless vacuum cleaner. Stiff nylon bristles on the powerhead brush roller coax hair and fur from even thick carpet fibers so visitors will never know they’re in a pet-friendly home, unless pets come out to greet them.
If users are not using a motorized accessory, the Dyson’s powerful lithium-ion battery offers up to 60 minutes of runtime. The high-torque cleaner head automatically adjusts to deep clean pet hair out of different floor types without having to change cleaner heads. The integrated battery charges when users put the vacuum in the wall-mount docking station.
- Type: Stick
- Battery life: Up to 60 minutes
- Weight: 6.61 pounds
- Accessories: Hair screw tool
- Has hair removal vanes and hair screw tool specifically for long hair and pet hair
- Offers 3 cleaning modes and high-torque cleaner head that automatically adjusts to different surfaces
- Top-mounted LED display provides real-time reporting of runtime to the second
- Comes with a high price tag and has no dust brush or crevice tool
Get the Dyson V11 cordless vacuum at Amazon or Dyson.
For cleaning either carpeted or hardwood stairs, check out the Black+Decker Furbuster handheld vacuum. It comes with a nozzle small enough to remove dust and debris lingering between balusters and suction that’s powerful enough to clean away dirt and crumbs embedded at the base of carpeted stair treads. It also comes with a powerhead that has anti-tangle rubber bristles for lifting away pet fur from stair carpeting and has an optional extending tube for reaching into nooks and crannies.
Its 20-volt lithium-ion battery is integrated and charges by plugging the vacuum into a charger when not in use. The maker claims the handheld vacuum has 145 percent better runtime, though it does not provide a figure.
- Type: Handheld
- Battery life: Not provided
- Weight: 4.3 pounds
- Accessories: Crevice tool, washable filter, prefilter
- Very light and maneuverable tool that’s great for carpeted stairs, furniture, and hard-to-reach areas
- Powerhead with anti-tangle rubber bristles designed for efficient collection of pet hair
- Features include Powerboost button, long crevice tool, battery-level indicator, and washable filters
- Handheld only, so designed for detail cleaning—not designed for cleaning floors
- Small dustbin can fill quickly, requiring more frequent pauses during cleaning to dump out
Get the Black+Decker cordless vacuum at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.
What to Consider When Choosing a Cordless Vacuum
In the past few years, cordless vacuums have exploded on the consumer market, turning a few manufacturers into household names. While some models are best for hard floor surfaces, others can clean many types of flooring and upholstery. However, as a group, cordless vacuums are lightweight and powered by rechargeable batteries. Most are stick-type models, and a few are upright vacuums.
Power and Runtime
Cordless stick vacuums are not as powerful as corded vacuums, but their convenience makes up for what they lack in power. These vacuums run on lithium-ion batteries that range in capacity from 12 volts up to 40 volts; however, for decent suction, consider a stick vacuum with a battery that’s at least 18 volts.
Runtime is also associated with power, and batteries with higher voltages tend to have longer runtimes. Expect a cordless stick vacuum to run anywhere from 15 to 50 minutes on a single charge. Vacuums with adjustable suction speeds will use up battery power more quickly on the higher speeds than on the lower speeds.
Expect a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to continue to be able to hold a full charge for up to 3 years. Users may want to replace the battery if the vacuum seems to run out of steam quickly. For the best results, charge the battery after each use and don’t leave the vacuum in a sunny window, which can shorten the battery’s useful life.
Built-In vs. Swappable Batteries
Some cordless vacuums come with removable batteries designed to be charged with a separate charger, which may be more desirable than a vacuum featuring a built-in battery. If the vacuum has a built-in battery, the whole vacuum must be replaced when the battery is no longer able to hold a good charge.
With a removable battery, you can buy a second or third battery to extend a cleaning session’s runtime or replace a worn battery with a new one.
Maneuverability and Attachments
One of the most significant upsides to cordless stick-type vacuums like those popularized by Dyson is their lighter weight. Still, for the most thorough (and most effortless) vacuuming experience, look for a vacuum with a side-to-side swivel head that allows you to maneuver closely around furniture legs. A vacuum head that flattens out to allow it to slip under chairs and other furniture is another excellent feature.
The various attachments that come with a vacuum can also increase maneuverability. If the vacuum converts from a stick to a handheld vacuum, users will have the added ability to suck up crumbs from behind seat cushions and clean up debris and cobwebs from windowsills and room corners.
Don’t expect to find a large dustbin on a cordless vacuum—they typically come with relatively small collection bins that require frequent dumping. Unless your home generates a lot of dust, pet hair, and debris, you can probably get by with dumping the bin just once or twice in a vacuuming session.
The dustbins on better cordless vacuums can be dumped out without causing dust and debris to scatter outside of the trash can, which is a key feature for allergy sufferers. The upside is that smaller dustbins are less cumbersome, so users can store the stick vacuum in a narrow spot in most typical closets.
Cordless vacuums are, relatively, the new kids on the block. While they’re convenient and don’t take up a lot of storage space, they’re not for everyone. If you’re shopping for your first cordless vacuum, you likely have some questions. Here are answers to some popular ones.
Q. Are corded vacuums more powerful than cordless models?
Yes, corded vacuums run on an endless supply of electricity when plugged into household outlets. They have more suction and never need charging.
Q. Are bagless vacuums better than those that use bags?
That all depends on your personal preference. Bagless vacuums don’t require buying replacement bags, so you’ll save some money there. But bagged vacuums trap more dust, so it doesn’t get back in the air; dumping a dustbin can be a pretty dusty affair.
Q. Are expensive vacuums worth it?
Premium vacuums tend to last longer because they contain higher-quality parts, and they may also be more powerful. If you think of a vacuum purchase as an investment in keeping your home clean, a more expensive vacuum might be just the ticket.
Q. How do you clean a cordless vacuum?
Dump the dustbin when it becomes full, and replace (or wash) the vacuum’s filter to keep it clean. The rollers on most vacuum powerheads can be taken out and cleaned to remove threads and string that tend to wind up around the rollers, making them less efficient.
Q. How long do cordless vacuums last?
You can expect to get 3 to 5 years of service from a typical cordless vacuum.
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