Similar to the technological progression of printers, drills, and phones, the cordless revolution has come for vacuums to offer users grab-and-go accessibility and more storage space in the closet. If you have a large home, you may want to consider a cordless vacuum as supplementary to a corded model that won’t run out of power when you need to do a thorough house cleaning. For speedy carpet and floor cleanups, however, a cordless vacuum is a timesaving investment.
The best cordless vacuum for you will depend on your lifestyle, the type of flooring in your home, and whether you have pets sharing your space. And buying a quality product is paramount, as there are few things more frustrating than using a vacuum that doesn’t do its job well. Ahead, learn what factors to consider when shopping for a cordless vacuum and find out why the following cordless vacuums are top choices.
- BEST OVERALL: EUREKA Stylus Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- RUNNER UP: INSE Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- UPGRADE PICK: Dyson Cyclone V10 Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST FOR HARDWOOD FLOORS: whall Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST FOR STAIRS: BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum
- ALSO CONSIDER: ONSON Cordless Vacuum
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cordless Vacuum
In the past few years, cordless vacuums have exploded on the consumer market, turning a few manufacturers into household names. Cordless vacuums are lightweight, with many being stick-type models, although a few are upright vacuums; both types are powered by rechargeable batteries.
Power and Run Time
Cordless stick vacuums are not as powerful as corded vacuums, but they make up in convenience 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.
Run time is also associated with power, and batteries with higher voltages tend also to have longer run times. 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 hold a full charge for up to three years, after which you 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. With a removable battery, the user can buy a second battery to lengthen run time or replace a worn battery with a new one. 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.
Maneuverability and Attachments
One of the most significant upsides to cordless stick-type vacuums is their light 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, you’ll 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 upside is that smaller dustbins are less cumbersome, so you can store the stick vacuum in a narrow spot in most closets.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a cordless vacuum should have enough suction to clean up everyday floor messes, and both it and its attachments should be easy to use. It should also come with a battery that’s powerful enough to keep the vacuum running as long as you need to complete your cleaning chore. The following cordless vacuums are well-suited to various types of floors and lifestyle situations—one is sure to be an asset in your cleaning arsenal.
Weighing in at just over 5 pounds, EUREKA’s stick vacuum is easy to carry from room to room and a breeze to use. A powerful built-in lithium-ion battery enables you to vacuum for up to 40 minutes on a single charge, and the unit adjusts to clean both carpet and hard flooring.
If you’ve had a stick vacuum in the past, you already know it doesn’t stand up by itself when you need your hands free to pick something up. The EUREKA solves that problem by including a notch on the handle that allows you to balance the vacuum against a counter or a table. Helpfully, there are also LED headlights on the front of the unit so you can see where you’re cleaning.
If you’re looking for a cordless vacuum that cleans floors, windowsills, sofa cushions, and more, consider INSE’s cordless stick vacuum. Weighing in at 4.5 pounds, the INSE is easy to maneuver and control. Meanwhile, its powerful, rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides powerful suction for up to 45 minutes on a single charge. The battery is removable for convenient charging.
The INSE stick vacuum features a swivel powerhead and a jointed stick that allows the user to vacuum around chair legs and under furniture with ease. The vacuum also comes with several accessories, including a mini powerhead for use as a handheld option, a crevice attachment for ferreting crumbs from behind chair cushions, and a 2-in-1 brush.
With the ability to suck up crumbs, dust, pet hair, dirt and debris from virtually any surface in your home, the Dyson is a powerful, premium household cleaning tool that converts to handheld operation as needed. On a single charge, the Dyson vacuum can run for up to 60 minutes, while its advanced filtration system captures particles as small as 0.3 microns, helping to improve air quality.
The Dyson comes with point-and-shoot bin dumping for reduced messes, as well as a charging station that can be mounted on a wall for space-saving storage of the unit when not in use.
Hardwood flooring is beautiful, but strong powerhead bristles can leave scratches in the finish. This cordless stick vacuum from whall stands out as a top option for vacuuming hardwood flooring safely and effectively, because it features an interchangeable fluff roller brush—a unique and welcome feature.
Though it can operate without doing damage, the whall vacuum is by no means a light-duty tool. Its powerful lithium-ion battery provides up to 50 minutes of run time, and you can adjust suction modes at will. Plus, in addition to a standard filter, the unit also boasts a high-efficiency high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to keep dust, pollen, and tobacco smoke from recirculating back into your home’s air.
The vacuum’s powerhead features LED lights for illuminating dust and crumbs, and its detachable battery, conveniently, can be charged in or out of the vacuum. Attachments include a wall-mount bracket, a 2-in-1 brush, and a cleaning brush.
For cleaning either carpeted or hardwood stairs, check out this handheld option from BLACK+DECKER. It comes with a nozzle small enough to remove dust and debris from between balusters and features suction powerful enough to clean away dirt and crumbs embedded at the base of carpeted stair treads. It can also suck up pet hair, thanks to its anti-tangle rubber bristles. With a 20-volt lithium-ion battery, the BLACK+DECKER can run for up to about 30 minutes on a single charge.
The ONSON vacuum, with its integrated lithium-ion battery, runs for up to 32 minutes on a single charge and at just over 8 pounds, it’s easy to use and move about with. The unit comes with a wall-mount docking station for charging and storage, and a handful of helpful accessories are included—a 2-in-1 vacuum dusting brush, a small brush tool, and a charging adapter. The ONSON also features LED headlights that can help you seek and find hard-to-see dust, while its swivel-head design goes a long way to facilitate vacuuming in corners and around furniture.
FAQs About Cordless Vacuums
Cordless vacuums are, relatively, the new kids on the block, and 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.
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.