Best Cordless Vacuums

Best Cordless Vacuums

Our expert editors independently review, test, and recommend products to help you make an informed decision.  We may earn commissions on purchases made from our product links. 

Many people are reluctant to switch to a cordless vacuum, as they are worried about sacrificing performance for convenience. But the best cordless vacuums perform almost as well as their corded counterparts and make it much easier to get into every corner of your home.

Which of the many models available on the market is right for you depends on your cleaning needs. What type of floors do you have? How big is your home? Will you be dealing with heavy-duty dirt such as pet hair?

We have come up with a list of the eight best cordless vacuum cleaners on the market in 2020, and something for every type of floor and cleaning approach.

Our buyers guide also goes through everything you need to know about cordless vacuum cleaners, and the main things to consider when it comes to choosing the right cordless floor cleaning option for you.

8 Best Cordless Vacuums

PRODUCT
Shark ION P50 Powered Lift-Away Cordless Upright
  • Works well on tile floors
  • Works well as a car vacuum
  • HEPA filter and foam filter are both washable
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Dyson V11 Animal Cord-Free Stick
  • Longest possible run time on our list
  • An LED screen posts the cleaning mode
  • One-touch dust bin release
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Bissell Adapt XRT Pet Cordless Stick
  • Combo of stick and small handheld unit
  • The brush head can be turned off
  • LED lights
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Hoover Linx Signature Cordless Stick
  • Electronic brush roller can be adjusted with a fingertip switch
  • Removable battery
  • Reclines to get under furniture
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Hoover Air Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
  • Great suction power
  • Power boost mode
  • Good for basic carpet hair and for solid floors
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Tineco Pure ONE S12 Plus Smart Cordless Stick
  • Lightweight
  • Highly maneuverable
  • Four-stage HEPA filter
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
APOSEN Cordless 18KPa Vacuum Cleaner
  • Powerful
  • Ultra wide motor brush
  • Four-stage HEPA filtration system
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Eureka 95B 2-in-1 Stick and Handheld Cordless
  • Nice price-to-value compromise
  • Washable filter
  • Removable dust cup
View On Amazon →Check Our Review

Best Overall: Shark ION P50 Powered Lift-Away Cordless Upright

  • Style: Upright + stick + handheld
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A
  • Battery Life: 50 min.
  • Accessories: B+
  • Weight: 12.0 lbs.

It’s not always easy to find a selection of cleaning capabilities on par with big canister vacs all in a cordless, but Shark’s done it. Given this kind of suction, this is a great vac for pet hair ground in deep carpets and also works well on tile floors. Users note that the carpet brush is always in the down position, even when off, so this is not recommended for delicate hardwoods.

Fully loaded as an upright, this vacuum takes care of all kinds of debris. Use it as a stick for quick pick-ups or under furniture and on stairs. In the handheld mode, it works well as a car vacuum or for drapery rods, dust and anything in between.

The total battery life of 50 minutes is based on using the ION™ power mode. Using higher suction settings reduces the time between recharges.

If you think your regular use might exceed this, you can buy a second battery; the removable interchangeable battery can be charged in the vacuum or plugged in directly to the wall charging unit.

In addition to an easy-to-empty dust cup, the HEPA filter and foam filter are both washable, further controlling your ongoing costs while covering cleaning needs for households with allergies to dust and dander.

This vacuum stores standing up, making it easier to keep in a closet. With the single drawback of not being the best vac for hardwoods, this Shark vacuum ticks more all-around boxes than any other cordless on our list.

Best For Heavy Traffic: Dyson V11 Animal Cord-Free Stick

  • Style: Stick + handheld
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A
  • Battery Life: 60 min.
  • Accessories: A
  • Weight: 6.7 lbs.

Dyson was something of a pioneer in cordless technology, and coupled with its power suction advances, it has owned the cordless stick market on and off for years. Its newest entry is no exception to the manufacturer’s drive to always find better ways to tackle cleaning needs.

Often, a cordless vacuum’s weight comes from the battery pack. Dyson vacuums have found a way to make lithium ion batteries lighter while increasing the total possible run time.

This model has the longest possible run time on our list when in eco mode; the two other settings eat through power more quickly.

Higher suction due to its proprietary cyclone technology translates into being able to pick up larger pieces of debris and not have them stall in the vacuum tube. An LED screen posts the cleaning mode you’re in and any maintenance alerts. The High Torque cleaner head has a smart sensor to adjust to the surface, and it is said to be safe for cleaning laminate or wood floors.

The one-touch dust bin release wins praise from some users and complaints from others. The unit transforms into a handheld vac by removing the vac tube, and either the full-length or the handheld portion can be used with the various electronic tools.

Some users note that removing the tube or the head can be difficult if the push lever does not operate smoothly. All in all, however, this V11 will probably rule some comparisons in the future as more people test it.

Best For Pets And Carpets: Bissell Adapt XRT Pet Cordless Stick

  • Style: Stick + handheld
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Battery Life: 40 min.
  • Accessories: B+
  • Weight: 7.9 lbs.

The Bissell cordless entry is a combo of stick and small handheld unit. The hand vac is a lift-off and brings the dust cup and motor with it. The head on this part is a tube vac working with the various attachments for quick pick-ups or tight spaces.

The stick portion features an articulating handle to work under furniture. Bend it down at the brush head and up at the handheld spot and you can reach without having to bend over as far. The brush head can be turned off to vacuum laminate or hardwood floors, and it sucks up pet hair with ease.

Users note that the 40-minute battery life must be what’s available under ideal conditions. The unit does not always last as long, but there’s no mention of what power level was being used. It must then be plugged into the wall for recharging, with a full charge taking eight hours. Battery life is the chief complaint from reviewers overall.

The swivel head maneuvers well around obstacles, and the LED lights help you see what areas you might be missing in your cleaning. Its light weight keeps many people happy. With the easy to remove and replace handheld unit, this Bissell can fulfill many cleaning needs for the average household with pets.

Best For Solid Floors/Hardwoods: Hoover Linx Signature Cordless Stick

  • Style: Stick
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A-
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Battery Life: 20 min.
  • Accessories: F
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs.

While this Hoover works well on carpets, users rave about its performance on solid surfaces. Hardwoods, laminate, and other solid surfaces remain safe with the electronic brush roller that can be adjusted with a fingertip switch for the surface it’s on. Changing from cleaning carpet to solid surface and back again is an easy and effective transition.

The battery is removable and charges in a stand you can place close to any electrical outlet while you store the vac in a closet. Short battery life is the chief complaint from users. A battery life indicator under the fingertip controls at the handle let you know how much time you have left.

Buying an extra battery is a good idea to avoid running out of power when you’re cleaning. This is a bagged vacuum, so expect an ongoing replacement cost. Filters are also replaceable, though there have been no significant issues with short lifespan for those.

This vacuum reclines to get under furniture. A bumper edge-to-edge technology allows you to get tight against walls and molding and pick up hidden debris without slinging it away from the brush head. No attachments are available, but for solid floor cleanup, this Hoover does the job.

Best Upright: Hoover Air Cordless Bagless Upright

  • Style: Upright + handheld
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A-
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Battery Life: 50 min.
  • Accessories: B+
  • Weight: 12.4 lbs.

The usual benefits of an upright vac are greater suction power, a wider brush roller, and greater dust bin capacity. On all three counts, this Hoover does not disappoint.

Note that the handheld portion is actually a canister of everything except the brush head, so it is not small.

The buttons to control the power boost and the brush roll surface settings are located on the top of the dust bin and motor on the handle. Some users note this isn’t the easiest placement for use. Another issue is the lithium battery life remaining indicator, which is on the front of the vac above the brush head.

This unit is not the lightest vacuum on our list, with two pounds of that weight coming from the rechargeable battery. Buying a second battery is a good idea if you have a lot of space to clean or plan to use the power boost mode. Batteries charge in a freestanding cradle you can plug into any electrical outlet, even when you store the unit in a distant closet.

Reviewers note this machine is good for basic carpet hair and dust and for solid floors, but a regular complaint is that it does not pick up larger particles, even in boost mode.

Others say they’ve had difficulties in getting Hoover to honor their warranty on broken parts or overall system failure. However, many customers are delighted with their models, recommend it to others, and are repeat buyers.

Best For Smart Model: Tineco Pure ONE S12 Plus Smart Cordless Stick

  • Style: Stick + handheld
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A
  • Battery Life: 100 min.
  • Accessories: A
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs.

If you are willing to spend a bit more for the latest technology, then this smart model from Tineco has a lot of amazing features that make for some very happy cleaning. Start with the impressive 100-minute run time, thanks to a nifty dual battery system, more than enough power to vacuum even the largest homes.

The model is also lightweight, highly maneuverable, converts into a handheld cleaner, has attachments for every surface, and works equally well on both carpet and hard floors with special rollers for both.

The direct-drive power brush digs into carpets to capture embedded debris, dirt, and pet hair. The soft roller brush for hard floors is made from woven nylon, which easily captures both large debris and fine dust. It also comes with a variety of other attachments for every home surface.

But what is really special about this model? How about the iLoop Smart Sensor that detects dirt and debris and automatically adjusts the suction power to ensure you’re getting everything without draining your power? How about the four-stage HEPA filter that leaves your home hypo-allergenic and ensures against blockages in the system from hair? Or maybe the smart LED display and the mount for your smartphone which lets you monitor your vacuum’s performance … or watch YouTube.

Yes, you’ll be able to hear your favorite shows since this machine is ultra-quiet. It emits only 71 dB of sound while delivering 500 watts of suction power.

This vacuum delivers on all the details from the filtration system to the wall mount. Naturally, you should expect to pay for all the amazing features with this model, which is even more expensive than a Dyson. But if you love having the latest and best gadgets in your home, you will love this Smart vacuum.

Best Large Head: APOSEN Cordless 18KPA Vacuum Cleaner

  • Style: Stick + handheld
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: B
  • Battery Life: 30 min.
  • Accessories: B+
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs.

This stick cleaner from APOSEN is designed to be powerful enough to match your corded vacuum cleaners. It manages this with a 250-watt brushless digital motor, which means that it can continuously provide 18KPa suction power when on the maximum setting. This means it can effectively pick up debris off any surface, including both carpet and hard surfaces.

But with that much power, the battery life is relatively short, at around 30 minutes, and less if you keep it on the highest setting. So, despite the relatively large cleaning head, don’t expect to get your whole house done in a single clean. You can purchase a spare battery to swap out if you want to be able to use the machine for more time.

The other thing we really love about this option is the four-stage HEPA filtration system that ensures all allergens and odors are eliminated. This means that when you clean your hard floors or carpets, they look and feel clean afterward. The detachable, handheld part of the machine means it’s easy to do cars as well.

We would have liked to have seen this model come with a few more attachment options, but it is pretty easy to buy compatible options separately if you want something specific.

Best For Budget: Eureka 95B 2-in-1 Stick And Handheld Cordless

  • Style: Stick + handheld
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: B+
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
  • Battery Life: 15 min.
  • Accessories: C
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs.

This Eureka is a nice price-to-value compromise if your cleaning needs are not heavy-duty. The battery is a NiMH, which should not be stored fully charged or left completely discharged.

That lessens its ability to recharge, which is the most common complaint among users. This battery needs to be used according to the instructions to last any length of time at all.

To convert to a handheld, you remove the handle. This means it’s probably more like a handheld unit to which you can add an extended handle rather than a true stick. Reviewers say the conversion is easy and the handheld unit weighs about four ounces less.

The machine has a dust cup you remove from the front of the unit to empty. The washable filter inserts inside this. It can suck up everything from fine dust to things like cereal, so the ability to wash the filter and dust cup is a nice benefit.

While this is not a machine for heavy-duty use, it does pick up materials on multiple surfaces. People recommend it for homes with toddlers or for those of us who like dry mess art projects (think glitter). It’s a good basic machine for those kinds of special uses.

Back to Top

The Complete Cordless Vacuums Buyer’s Guide

What You Need To Know About Cordless Vacuums

Not so long ago, cordless vacuums were known for their short battery life, light suction power, and lack of durability. Advances in batteries and design technology changed what’s available to cordless vacuums that have completely replaced corded units in some homes.

If you’re looking for a vacuum for a smaller house, apartment, or condo, or a secondary unit to deal with a single story of a larger place, a cordless vacuum can often meet all your cleaning needs.

Not only do batteries now last longer, but they have more power overall, and that means more suction. Brush heads have all of the functionality of larger corded uprights and canisters, and even dust bins have grown more substantial as electronics elsewhere are miniaturized. Of course, all of this latest and greatest also creates higher production costs, and you see that in the price tags.

What do you need to know about cordless vacuums to make a well-informed buying decision? It usually comes down to how well it handles and how much of your typical types of debris it can pick up. There’s a lot more to these cordless models than you’d first think, based on size and looks alone.

Cordless Vacuum Best For Style
Shark ION P50 Powered Lift-Away Cordless Upright Best Overall Upright + stick + handheld
Dyson V11 Animal Cord-Free Stick Best for Heavy Traffic Stick + handheld
Bissell Adapt XRT Pet Cordless Stick Best for Pets and Carpet Stick + handheld
Hoover Linx Signature Cordless Stick Best for Solid Floors/ Hardwoods Stick
Hoover Air Cordless Bagless Upright Best Upright Upright + stick
Tineco Pure ONE S12 Plus Smart Cordless Stick Best Smart Model Stick + handheld
APOSEN Cordless 18KPA Vacuum Cleaner Best Large Head Handheld
Eureka 95B 2-in-1 Stick And Handheld Cordless Best for Budget Stick + handheld

Cordless Sticks

If you’re looking at a cordless vacuum, it’s a sure bet your choices are the model type known as ‘stick’. It’s self-explanatory: it has a motor and dust bin on one end, brush head on the other, and a long stick (the tube where debris flows) in between. This design is great for overall weight but does not necessarily have the best cleaning strength.

The reason is motor size. More substantial suction comes from a larger motor, and that needs more power to run, draining the battery faster. In a perfect world, each end of the machine is in balance with its opposite end and the wand part is easy to move, but that’s not always the case.

Cordless sticks are notorious for twisting due to length or shifting in your grip due to weight distribution. For large cleaning jobs, they might not have the power you need to cover the complete floor or do the furniture work you desire.

They have a sweet spot to fill in most homes, though, and that’s where you have one unit on each level of your house or use it for touch-ups.

Cordless Handhelds

This is often thought of as a subset of the regular cordless stick vacuum because it is a piggybacked system packed into the same unit.

Generally, the lift-off portion contains the motor, dust bin, and nozzle for small accessories or tools. However, they have come into their own as a series of small models designed for specific uses.

Handhelds are primarily used for tight spaces and small expanses. They have limited battery power in order to make them lighter. Their compact size is good for cleaning the inside of your car, vacuuming small messes at home, or doing quick pick-ups that haven’t spread far.

Cordless Uprights

Where the handheld is a mini-stick, cordless uprights are like a stick on steroids. They feature wider brush heads and larger dust bins. Sometimes they sport larger batteries too, which translates into longer cleaning time between charges.

These uprights are not necessarily adequate for cleaning your whole house, though. Think of places where you need to do a quick vacuuming but not all of your floors and carpets. High-traffic areas or localized larger cleaning jobs would be good applications.

Maneuverability

While you’d logically think a cordless vacuum is light and easy to move, that’s not always the case. Too much suction on some surfaces can make the head difficult to pass back and forth.

A brush head with small wheels can get stuck in deep pile. Even the infamous ball head on one model can track too well in grooves or refuse to reverse against a wall.

No model is problem-free under all circumstances. An added tip is to remember that you’re using your arm to hold the weight of the machine, and your shoulder guides the movement. This puts a lot of pressure on those joints, so if shoulder or elbow pain is chronic in your life, think twice about buying a cordless stick.

Air Filtration

If you live with pets or in a dusty area, you probably have a light coating on your floors and furniture at most times. Pet hair and dander, pollen, and dust are the usual culprits thwarting your attempts to keep the interior of your house pristine.

Add grass clippings, leaves, and anything else the dog or cat dragged in to what we track on our shoes, and you have fine particles and larger pieces ready to challenge any vacuum.

Cordless vacuums come with different types of filters, and only HEPA filters are rated for an allergy-free, dust- and dander-proofed environment.

All vacuums provide some level of air filtration, achieved with their filters. Some are the kind you can wash and replace in your unit, while others need to be replaced altogether when the time comes.

A system that scrubs as much out of the air sucked inside the machine before releasing it again is your target. Search for a machine that has the best allergy reduction. If you have severe allergies in your household, buy a system with a HEPA filter, even if you have to replace it every few months.

Brush Heads And Rollers

On larger machines of the corded variety, you can find brush heads and rollers that offer an anti-hair cutting system. This keeps the roller free of unwanted human and pet hair tangling in the brushes. Let’s face it, there’s a certain ‘ew’ factor in cleaning that off.

On cordless units, the brush heads attempt to mimic their larger cousins, but they can’t really contain much more in terms of features.

They don’t have the room for the hair-stripping gadgets, though many have the mechanics to turn brushes off and on or lift them based on the surface you’re cleaning. Luckily, most have brush heads that are easy to remove and clean.

What cordless vacs can do, though, they do well. Bristles on the brushes are as dense and strong as corded units, and some heads are wider and larger too. Anything that picks up more debris will cut down the time you spend vacuuming, and that’s always a good thing.

Back to Top

FAQs About Cordless Vacuums

By now, the world of cordless vacuums has matured from the original flimsy, one-off units. Models are known for reliability, power and durability. The quintessential cordless suction power pioneered by Dyson years ago spawned a market filled with vortex designs and competitive claims about cleaning capabilities.

Today, you can expect longer battery life, sturdier build quality, and cleaning efficiency that is often on par with larger corded systems. That doesn’t mean these vacuums are perfect, however. Here are some of the questions people frequently pose about cordless vacs.

Cordless Vacuum Best For Style Ergonomics/Ease of Use Cleaning Effectiveness
Shark ION P50 Powered Lift-Away Cordless Upright Best Overall Upright + stick + handheld A A
Dyson V11 Animal Cord-Free Stick Best for Heavy Traffic Stick + handheld A A
Bissell Adapt XRT Pet Cordless Stick Best for Pets and Carpet Stick + handheld A A-
Hoover Linx Signature Cordless Stick Best for Solid Floors/ Hardwoods Stick A- A-
Hoover Air Cordless Bagless Upright Best Upright Upright + stick A- A-
Tineco Pure ONE S12 Plus Smart Cordless Stick Best Smart Model Stick + handheld A- B+
APOSEN Cordless 18KPA Vacuum Cleaner Best Large Head Handheld A B+
Eureka 95B 2-in-1 Stick And Handheld Cordless Best for Budget Stick + handheld B+ B+

Does A Cordless Machine Have The Power To Clean My Whole House?

If your house is small or you’re concentrating on one floor in a multilevel structure, a cordless can complete the task.

If the battery life is long enough and you aren’t using the machine on a power booster setting to pick up heavier objects, you can clean a typical surface in slightly more time than you would with a corded model. It depends on the width of the brush head and how heavy tracked-in dirt might be.

For example, using the booster setting, which applies more suction to the surface, uses up battery power faster. Having a more powerful machine in terms of suction means you have more weight for a bigger battery or less time between recharges. If heavy-duty cleaning is your need, you’re better off buying a corded unit.

Can Cordless Vacs Be Used For Heavy Debris?

Cordless vacuums are not what we think of traditionally as shop-vacs. They aren’t made to suck up heavy objects (though sometimes they will inhale things you don’t want them to move, like a light rug). Using these cordless systems for work other than regular house cleaning destroys the brush rollers, filters, dust bins, and microelectronics.

If you need a vacuum for wood dust and chips or metal shavings, buy something designed for that. If you have excessive large pieces to clean away, you’ll want a bigger corded vacuum too. While cordless systems are not delicate little violets, they also are not behemoths designed for heavy debris.

Cordless Vacuum Style Battery Life Weight
Shark ION P50 Powered Lift-Away Cordless Upright Upright + stick + handheld 50 min. 12.0 lbs.
Dyson V11 Animal Cord-Free Stick Stick + handheld 60 min. 6.7 lbs.
Bissell Adapt XRT Pet Cordless Stick Stick + handheld 40 min. 7.9 lbs.
Hoover Linx Signature Cordless Stick Stick 20 min. 7.3 lbs.
Hoover Air Cordless Bagless Upright Upright + stick 50 min. 12.4 lbs.
Tineco Pure ONE S12 Plus Smart Cordless Stick Stick + handheld 35 min. 4.9 lbs.
APOSEN Cordless 18KPA Vacuum Cleaner Handheld 30 min. 4.1 lbs.
Eureka 95B 2-in-1 Stick And Handheld Cordless Stick + handheld 15 min. 4.7 lbs.

How Long Can A Cordless Battery Last On A Charge?

This depends on the brand and machine. Each model has a stated battery life. That reflects normal, non-boosted use and a full charge to begin with.

Over time, batteries may lose some of their charging capability. Some of the cells inside the battery fail, and while you can still get a charge, it won’t last as long.

Other machines come with replaceable batteries, but for most of us, we would use this as a reason to replace the machine and enjoy newer technology and greater capabilities.

How Long Does It Take To Charge A Cordless Battery?

This depends on the charging station (how it hooks into power to recharge) and the battery itself. For example, a lithium ion battery might charge more quickly than a standard cell type (NiMH). The length of time it takes to charge the battery has little to do with how long it will last in use, too.

Does The Battery Lose Power If It’s Not In Use?

There was a time when batteries not in use lost power at a rather fast rate. Some people will also say that once the battery is charged, you should disconnect it from the charging station or risk battery cell failures.

Neither of these is the case with lithium ion batteries, which are the norm in cordless vacs. However, one on our list has a NiMH battery that requires special treatment.

A battery will slowly leak the charge, but it’s so slow you wouldn’t notice it unless you didn’t use the machine for a month or more. Even then, it would still work for a time before stopping.

These days, charging stations are made for vacuums to be plugged into them all the time, and that way you’re always ready to clean when you have the time to do so.

Can Cordless Vacuums Work With Attachments?

Attachments and accessories to vacuums come in two categories: passive ones like a crevice tool, which is a shaped extension of the suction tube, and powered ones like a rotating mini brush head.

The first type doesn’t use any power, so you can put it on any vac with the same diameter tube. The second needs the right connection in the tube or hose to be able to work.

If your machine has a power connection in the head, you will have the ability to attach (or add) different power tools. For the most part, because of battery life and overall size, manufacturers have not made an array of powered attachments to go with their machines.

What’s Not To Love About Cordless Vacs?

Because cordless vacuums rely on battery power, they are never going to feature the same high wattage suction you find with corded units. That doesn’t mean they can’t clean well, but you won’t be sucking in little rocks or heavier wood chips unless you use the turbo boost setting. At that level of power, the battery life will be significantly less.

What Are The Best Cordless Hoovers?

Hoover was once such a dominant brand in vacuuming that “hoover” became a byword for vacuum cleaning. While it has much more competition on the market these days, it is still one of the best vacuuming brands. Of their cordless models, we think the Hoover Air Cordless Bagless Upright stands out.

It offers the power of a corded vacuum with the convenience of a cordless. It is bigger than a lot of other cordless vacuums, which does mean that it is a bit harder to maneuver than some other options.

If you are willing to sacrifice power for something that is lightweight and convenient, consider the Hoover Linx Signature Cordless Stick, which we think is Hoover’s best stick option.

Are Dyson Cordless Vacuums Worth It?

Dyson vacuums have long had a reputation for being among the best, which justifies their relatively hefty price tags. But if you want something that will provide lasting performance, a Dyson is worth the investment.

Cordless Dysons are almost as powerful as their corded models, but with greater maneuverability and convenience. The lithium-ion batteries they use are lightweight and offer significant runtimes of up to an hour.

They work on both carpets and hard floors, and their cyclone technology means that Dyson’s vacuums can pick up large pieces of debris without having to run them up the tube.

Of all the Dysons currently on the market, we think the Dyson V11 Animal Cord-Free Stick is their best, especially for heavy-duty cleaning and dealing with animal hair and dander.

What Is The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum For Hardwood Floors?

You can’t just use any vacuum on hardwood floors, as most vacuum cleaners are designed to pound carpets to stir up dirt and debris to make it easier to remove. This is usually done with a stiff nylon brush, which can easily scratch hardwood floors. But these days, vacuums use different technologies to ensure they work equally well on carpet and hardwood.

We recommend the Hoover Linx Signature Cordless Stick as the best option for hardwood floors. It uses an electronic brush roller that can be adjusted on command to switch between carpet and hard surfaces, so you can use the machine on both types of floors without having to manually change the head.

Back to Top

Selection Criteria For Cordless Vacuums

Since the chief complaint people have had about cordless vacuums is power or the lack thereof, we focus a lot of our criteria on battery life and charging. The cleaning efficiency of the machine is also of keen interest. Power equals suction, and suction equates to how much vacuuming strength your unit will have.

People also want to know how easy it is to use the machine. That focuses us on the weight of the machine and its ergonomics. While a long handle is nice for reaching places without stooping, if it doesn’t lock into place easily or wiggles when you use it, you’ll be putting more effort into cleaning.

Finally, in the past these smaller machines had less room for sound control. Machines were noisy, though that is not as much of an issue with updated models. Here are the selection criteria we used to put together our comparison.

Cordless Vacuum Best For Style Ease of Use Cleaning Effectiveness Battery Life Accessories Weight
Shark ION P50 Powered Lift-Away Cordless Upright Best Overall Upright + stick + handheld A A 50 min. B+ 12.0 lbs.
Dyson V11 Animal Cord-Free Stick Best for Heavy Traffic Stick + handheld A A 60 min. A 6.7 lbs.
Bissell Adapt XRT Pet Cordless Stick Best for Pets and Carpet Stick + handheld A A- 40 min. B+ 7.9 lbs.
Hoover Linx Signature Cordless Stick Best for Solid Floors/ Hardwoods Stick A- A- 20 min. F 7.3 lbs.
Hoover Air Cordless Bagless Upright Best Upright Upright + stick A- A- 50 min. B+ 12.4 lbs.
Tineco Pure ONE S12 Plus Smart Cordless Stick Best Smart Model Stick + handheld A- B+ 35 min. B 4.9 lbs.
APOSEN Cordless 18KPA Vacuum Cleaner Best Large Head Handheld A B+ 30 min. B+ 4.1 lbs.
Eureka 95B 2-in-1 Stick And Handheld Cordless Best for Budget Stick + handheld B+ B+ 15 min. C 4.7 lbs.

Style

Cordless vacuums come in three sizes, each labeled as its own style. Handhelds are the smallest and lightest, and uprights are the largest, often with the heaviest battery. In between, we have the popular stick styles most people think of as the typical cordless vac today.

Ergonomics/Ease Of Use

If the stick flexes when you use it or you can’t control its direction well, vacuuming will be a frustrating chore. On the other hand, if your machine responds to your commands without strain, you’re more likely to use it, and that means you’ll have a cleaner home.

We rate ergonomics and ease of use with a letter grade to indicate how well these machines work in normal use, and expand on any features in our comments.

Cleaning Effectiveness

Poor suction means you will be making multiple passes with your vacuum to pick up dust and debris. Similarly, some brush heads are not made with the same density or structure of bristles to pick up the ick. We rate cleaning effectiveness with a letter grade and expand on advice from users and reviewers in our comments.

Battery Life

Battery life in minutes is a rating provided by the manufacturer for normal use with a full charge to begin with. If users realize significantly shorter times, we note that in our comments. Recall that some degradation in battery life will occur with age of the machine and frequency of use.

Accessories

The letter grade for accessories is based on whether or not they are available, and if they are, how many there might be. A better grade means you have more flexibility in these tools.

Weight

Clearly, one of the reasons we use cordless machines, aside from convenience from the lack of a power cord tether, is lighter weight. This can be something of a trade-off with ergonomics, because a system could be light but unstable, or heavier but better balanced. Consider this statistic together with the ease-of-use grade.

Back to Top

Pros And Cons Of Cordless Vacuums

Still on the fence about whether to make the change and invest in a cordless vacuum cleaner? Let’s take a look at the basic pros and cons of a cordless vacuum cleaner against a traditional corded model.

Pros:

  • Lightweight. Cordless vacuums are lighter than standard vacuums, which makes them easier to maneuver around your home, and puts less strain on your body while cleaning.
  • Maneuverability. As well as being lightweight, some cordless vacuums, such as sticks, offer excellent maneuverability, especially when it comes to getting underneath and behind furniture.
  • Cord-Free. You are not tethered to a certain distance from the closest wall socket, and there is no possibility of knocking anything over with the cord as you try to stretch to get into that one hard-to-reach corner.
  • Handheld. Most cordless vacuums break down into handheld vacuum cleaners, which are convenient for cleaning furniture and upholstery, or to take out to clean the car.
  • Smaller. Cordless vacuums require less storage space and usually store in a handy upright manner.

Cons:

  • Battery Life. Cordless vacuum cleaners inevitably have a limited battery life, as opposed to corded cleaners which can run forever. While you can get cordless vacuums with runtimes of about 80 minutes, they can also be as low as 20 minutes.
  • Suction Power. Corded vacuums, because of their greater power capacity and larger motors, generally have greater suction power. This means they can be better at pulling up hard debris such as pet hair. While it is possible to get cordless vacs that have almost comparable suction, they do tend to cost a little more.
  • Dust Capacity. As cordless vacuums are smaller, their bin for holding dust and debris is smaller, so it does need to be emptied more regularly during the cleaning process.
  • Storage Requirements. While cordless vacuums don’t need much space for storage, they do usually require a wall mount and need to be placed near a plug to enable charging.
  • Cost. You generally pay more for a cordless vacuum cleaner of the same power as its cordless counterpart.

Back to Top

The Verdict

These days, except for the most heavy-duty cleaning, you no longer need to choose between the power of a corded vacuum and the convenience of a cordless model. In 2020, as far as your home is concerned, you can get a cordless vacuum cleaner with enough power to clean your floors properly.

Cordless vacuums, while they might not be quite as powerful as their corded counterparts, are easier to maneuver around your home, which means they can be more effective in other ways. They also usually convert into a handheld cleaner, which is great for cleaning cars and upholstery.

Battery life can vary, which means that some models are better for spot cleaning than doing your whole home in one go. But if you know what you are looking for, you should be able to find a great cordless vacuum on our list of the best options on the market.

If you have any comments or first-hand experiences with cordless vacuums, please post them below or share your pictures via our social media.

Back to Top

Yvonne Kohano

About Yvonne Kohano

Yvonne Kohano never met a remodeling project she didn’t like – almost. Ditto on tools to keep things looking great. She is a fiction author of romantic suspense and psychological thrillers, book/business coach for creatives, and nerdy student of human behavior and the natural world.

1 thought on “Best Cordless Vacuums”

  1. Avatar

    I’m sorry, but to disagree with your hall of honor table order:

    Any cordless vacuum hoover that has the battery integrated on it is a right-down loser. Unless it charges quickly, which most don’t. Also how much spares or repairs cost, all of the above assuming similar cleaning power. As such, the Shark vacuum cleaner has proved better than the Dyson hands down.

    Separate batteries gives you the flexibility of buying a third or fourth one that will allow you to finish your weekly hoovering in one go, rather than having to postpone it for another three hours. Which means your work likely won’t be done on that day, or it’s something you’ll be not looking forward to.

    Second, when the batteries will start to struggle to hold charge, you just ditch a $80ish battery, rather than having to change a whole $400+ hoover (I’ve been told that replacing a Dyson hoover battery is just a rip off).

    Also Dyson relies on a wall charger, hence not being able to take it to your holiday flat, for example, which you could easily do with the Shark, even not taking the twin battery station.

    There is no button to hold, so no strain in the fingers, blisters, etc. Also the filters do not take a day to dry, unless your house is heated at 13C and you don’t bother to put them on a windowsill above a radiator. I have sorted mine in just 6 hours, so I just don’t know where this day thing comes from. Again, the filters are roughly $10, so buying another pair should do.

    And to finish, the main unit costs less than $80, so should you need to change it, it won’t break the bank.

    So all in all, the Shark is a much better all rounder at a cheaper price. My neighbors are Dyson-disillusioned owners and got Shark instead and they are far happier with it. After an exhaustive research and listening to my neighbors, I also bought a Shark dual battery one and have never been happier, more over thinking that I’ve done the best cost-effective decision.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *