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: INSE Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, 23Kpa 250W 5-in-1
- UPGRADE PICK: Dyson Cyclone V10 Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Eureka Stylus Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST HANDHELD: ONSON Cordless Vacuum, 4 in 1 Lightweight Handheld
- BEST FOR HARDWOOD FLOORS: whall Cordless Vacuum Cleaner 5 in 1
- BEST FOR PET HAIR: Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST FOR STAIRS: BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld 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.
If you’re looking for a cordless vacuum that cleans floors, windowsills, sofa cushions, and more, look no further than the INSE 250W 5-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner. Weighing in at just 5.38 pounds, the INSE is easy to carry and maneuver. 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.
This 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 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. The INSE is suitable for use on carpet or hard flooring.
With the ability to clean crumbs and debris from virtually any surface in your home, the Dyson V10 Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is the ticket to 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 features a powerhead for picking up pet hair and crumbs from the carpet and converts to a handheld model for cleaning upholstery, stairs, and even car seats. The V10 comes with point-and-shoot bin dumping for reduced messes.
This vacuum comes with advanced filtration that captures particles as small as 0.3 microns so the air in your home stays cleaner. Run time is up to 60 minutes on a single charge. You’ll also receive a mini powerhead for handheld use, a crevice tool, two brush attachments, and a combination tool.
Weighing in at just over 5 pounds, the Eureka Stylus Deep Clean 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 40 minutes on a single charge. The vacuum adjusts to clean both carpet and hard flooring and features LED lights on the front of the powerhead so you can see where you’re vacuuming.
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 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.
Just remove the tube extension on this cordless vacuum and connect the powerhead to the handle for a powerful handheld vacuum that will make quick work of cleaning upholstered furniture and stairs. The ONSON 4 in 1 Super Suction stick and handheld vacuum features an integrated lithium-ion battery that runs up to 25 minutes on a single charge. The ONSON comes with a swivel head for vacuuming around furniture and LED lights for searching out hard-to-see dust.
Weighing in at just over 3 pounds, the vacuum is easy to carry and use. It comes with a wall-mount docking station for charging and storage. Accessories include a sofa brush, crevice tool, and hair-cleaning tool.
Hardwood flooring is beautiful, but strong powerhead bristles may scratch the finish. If you have hardwood flooring, check out the whall 5-in-1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, featuring an interchangeable fluff roller brush that won’t scratch wood floors. It also comes with a V-shaped roller brush for cleaning the carpet. The vacuum’s powerful lithium-ion battery provides up to 50 minutes of run time, and you 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 your 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. You’ll also receive a wall-mount bracket, a 2-in-1 brush, and a cleaning brush.
If you share your home with furry friends, you’ll likely enjoy the Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. Stiff nylon bristles on the powerhead roller coax hair and fur from even thick carpet fibers so visitors will never know you have a pet-friendly home, unless your pets come out to greet them.
If you’re not using a motorized accessory, the Dyson’s powerful lithium-ion battery offers up to 60 minutes of run time. The high torque cleaner head automatically adjusts to deep clean different floor types without having to change cleaner heads. The integrated battery charges when you put the vacuum in the wall-mount docking station.
For cleaning either carpeted or hardwood stairs, check out the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster AdvanceClean+ Cordless Vacuum. 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 comes with a powerhead with 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. This handheld vacuum will run up to about 30 minutes on a single charge.
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.