As seen in:
Dyson
Animal Cord-free Vacuum
Hoover
Linx Cordless
Shark
Bagless Navigator Freestyle
Eureka
Quick Up 2-in-1
Dirt Devil
Accucharge
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price
Good

The Rolls Royce of vacuums. User-activated trigger can preserve battery life. Warranty covers battery -- a money-saving perk.

Excellent suction. Great for cleaning crevices and stairs. two-year warranty.

Battery lasts longer than some other contenders (up to one hour).

Base detaches and can be used as a hand vac.

A full-size vacuum. Good for filtering dander, dust, and allergens.

Bad

Battery takes a long time to charge and doesn't stay charged for very long. The most expensive product on our shortlist.

Shorter-than-average battery life. Locked wheels limit maneuverability somewhat.

Includes no brushes or other attachments (other than charger and stand.)

Short operating time. (Best for smaller tasks.) No crevice tools.

Few additional features/attachments.

Bottom Line

An exceptional vacuum from a company with a reputation for superior suction. The best on the market.

The best value vacuum on the market when it comes to cleaning, ease of use, and helpful features.

A heavier stick vacuum that is best suited for open floor plans -- both carpet and hardwood.

An affordably priced vacuum. Suitable for smaller spaces or as a secondary cleaning system in a larger home.

A bargain-priced, Energy Star-compliant vacuum that is ideal for spot cleaning and light maintenance. The best money-saving deal.

How we decide
BestReviews is committed to providing comprehensive and trusted reviews for products that matter to consumers. We do the research to help you save time and money.
0
Products received from manufacturers
93
Models Considered
37
Hours Spent
1
Experts Interviewed
173
Consumers Consulted

Best Cordless Vacuums

When the first cordless "stick vacuums" appeared on the market, they were hampered by limited battery life and anemic performance. However, recent improvements in both battery technology and vacuum efficiency have raised the bar to the point where many people are now replacing their primary corded upright or canister models with more portable and efficient cordless vacuum cleaners. We carefully examined dozens of cordless vacuum cleaner models, and here are our top five contenders:

Products we Considered

Dyson
Animal Cord-free Vacuum
Hoover
Linx Cordless
Shark
Bagless Navigator Freestyle
Eureka
Quick Up 2-in-1
Dirt Devil
Accucharge

Considerations

Battery Performance

Rechargeable appliance batteries generally run along two lines: Lithium-Ion (LiPo) and Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad). Some of our top contenders also utilize energy conservation systems and advanced battery types such as NiMh. In our evaluation, we consider factors such as battery performance per charge, recharging and recovery time, cost of replacement batteries, and on-board performance indicators.

Ease of Use

Many consumers purchase cordless vacuum cleaners because they are lighter than traditional corded uprights and can access challenging areas such as stairs and under furniture. Cordless vacuums with the ability to lie flat to the floor or detach for niche cleaning earn extra praise from us. The models that impress us the most are the ones that duplicated many of the features found on corded vacuum cleaners, such as agitator brushes and specialized attachments.

Additional Features

A quality cordless vacuum cleaner should be more than just a dust buster on a stick. In this part of our ratings, we examine additional features that would be useful to potential owners such as high capacity collection bins, filtration systems, attachments, and specialized performance settings.

Price

The price points on cordless vacuums are surprisingly wide, but the cost of a particular brand does not necessarily correlate with performance quality or features. Money is an important issue for many consumers, so we focus on models that deliver quality for a reasonable price.

Considerations

Battery Performance

Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

The Hoover Linx uses a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. (According to some satisfied customers, this battery was a "deal-maker.") Average charge time for the 18-volt LiPo battery in this model is about three hours; total operating time varies from 20 minutes to an hour. The Hoover Linx boasts a power- conservation technology called Fade Free that delivers steady power until the battery falls to around 20-percent capacity. Our advice on LiPo batteries is to remove them from the charger unit when 80-100 percent charged and store them in the appliance itself. (Allowing LiPo batteries to discharge completely is considered a bad idea because it can reduce their overall lifespan.) One recurring concern among customers is shorter-than-average battery life. Following the manufacturer's instruction on charging and storage is crucial for maximizing the battery life of the Hoover Linx.

Dyson Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

The Dyson Animal cordless vacuum uses a re-purposed nickel manganese cobalt battery. Because the Dyson uses a motor capable of generating 110,000 rpm, the battery is only expected to last 26 minutes per charge. If the user decides to use the "boost" setting for tougher jobs, the total operating time can fall as low as six minutes. Considering the fact that it takes an estimated three hours to fully recharge, Dyson owners need to prioritize their vacuuming needs. The unit does have one energy-saving feature: a user-activated trigger that only powers the motor on demand. Other cordless vacuums tend to remain "on" during use, causing the battery to die faster.

Shark Bagless Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum

The Shark Bagless Navigator uses a rechargeable NiMh battery with an advertised output of 10.8 volts and an average recharge time of 4-6 hours. What sets the Shark apart from other models on our list is its extended operating time per charge. While other cordless vacuums with even more powerful battery packs deliver 20-30 minutes of run time, many satisfied Shark Bagless Navigator customers report up to one solid hour of run time. (Realistically, however, run times between 30 and 45 minutes would not be unusual.) This can be enough to complete an entire apartment or most of an average house. We give extra points to the Shark for overall battery performance, especially since it doesn't employ any special energy-conserving technology.

Eureka Quick Up 2-in-1 Cordless w/Bonus Battery Pack

The Eureka Quick Up cordless vacuum uses NiCad batteries to produce about six volts of power. This may sound meager compared to the contenders with 18-volt outputs, but total voltage is not everything. The Eureka's motor is surprisingly efficient, requiring only about half the voltage of comparable models. Total battery life per charge, however, is a different story. Users report run times anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, which is not really enough time to complete major cleaning projects. We do like the fact that the Eureka Quick Up comes with a bonus battery; this will bring another 10-20 minutes of power to the task. The model includes a wall mount that should be positioned near an outlet for recharging. Because of its limited operating time, we suggest owners keep it in reserve for smaller tasks between cleanings.

Dirt Devil Accucharge 15.6V Cordless Bagless Stick Vacuum

We were unable to determine the type of rechargeable battery used in the Dirt Devil Accucharge cordless vacuum cleaner, but we suspect it is in the NiCad family. The average run time per charge, according to owners, is around 20 minutes -- although the manufacturer claims a much better performance. One feature we appreciate is the proprietary Accucharge battery conservation technology. Ordinarily, rechargeable batteries stay in a power-draining mode following a full charge. The Dirt Devil's Accucharge system, however, constantly monitors the battery and reduces the idle electric output to a trickle. This is supposed to result in a 70-percent savings on electricity and a longer battery life. The battery does produce 15.9 volts of power, but it is only rated for a 120-volt American outlet, not a 240-volt European outlet. Consumers should be aware that there is an average recharge time of six hours, so this model may be better suited for spot cleaning and floor maintenance between regular vacuuming.

To help consumers save energy, the Dirt Devil's Accucharge system constantly monitors the battery and reduces the idle electric output to a trickle.
Considerations

Ease of Use

The Hoover Linx is remarkably easy to use. All of the power switches and indicators are located on the handle, which means the user only needs thumbs to control everything. With an 11-inch wide suction tube, the Hoover picks up a lot of debris and dirt per pass. Suction is aided by Hoover's acclaimed WindTunnel technology and is very strong. Rotating side brushes push debris into the suction tube, allowing the unit to get very close to walls during operation. It is also light enough for the user to clean staircases comfortably. The base can be unlocked in order to lie flat under most furniture. Some owners express some disappointment with the locked wheels, which limit maneuverability somewhat.

Weighing only 4.6 pounds, the Dyson Animal's strongest suit is its ease of use. The entire base, wand, and handle are expertly balanced at the factory, which means a person of average strength can easily lift it from the floor to the ceiling. The base vacuum can also be detached for hand-held use, and a smaller motor attachment makes tough jobs like pet hair quite easy. Dyson's patented Cyclone technology helps propel the Animal's extreme suction. The clear and generously sized dust canister allows users to see how much dirt and debris have been collected, and the canister releases that dirt with just the touch of a button.

At 11 pounds, the Shark Bagless Navigator may a little heavy for staircases and ceilings, but it works very well on both hardwood and carpeted floors. (The unit offers two power settings: one for carpeting and one for hardwood flooring.) Other cordless vacuum cleaners only give owners the option of activating or deactivating the agitator brush, but the Shark can also boost power to the motor. This motor boost is very helpful for pulling pet hair and other heavy debris from carpeting. Unlike some other models on our list, the wheels on the Shark's base can swivel, allowing for easy navigation around furniture and other obstacles.The bagless dust canister is extra-large and is easily removed for emptying. This product arrives with no additional attachments. As such, it's more suitable as a maintenance vacuum than a traditional upright cleaner. In spite of its small list of vacuuming options, the Shark does its designated job very well.

The Eureka Quick Up is incredibly light and easy to operate. The detachable base lies flat, allowing the suction tube to access difficult areas such as couches, beds, and stairs. It also functions as a handheld vacuum for quick dusting and cleaning jobs. (A positive note for potential buyers: Eureka's wider blade sets it apart from the older, Dust Buster-style handheld vacs!) The dust cup is fairly generous for a bargain-priced cordless vacuum, and there is a basic filter in place. The entire appliance can be stored upright or mounted to a wall while recharging. Replacement battery packs, filters, and parts can be ordered from the manufacturer or authorized dealers directly.

As a full-size stick vacuum, the Dirt Devil Accucharge can be used in place of a traditional upright, especially in smaller living spaces. The base is flat enough to reach under couches and beds, and unlike some of its competitors, the Dirt Devil's wheels do swivel somewhat. A handy lever disables the agitator brush whenever the user swtiches from bare floor to carpeting. The roller brush does have a tendency to become tangled with pet fur or long hair, but it can be removed from the base and cleaned manually. (The dust cup's filter prevents dust and allergens from returning to the air –- a huge benefit for allergy and asthma sufferers.) Suction power varies, but satisfied owners say the model picks up heavier debris like cereal and dry pet food without problems. When not in use, the Dirt Devil stores easily thanks to its folding handle.

All of the Hoover Linx's power switches and indicators are located on the handle, which means the user only needs thumbs to control everything.
Nina
Expert Consultant
Nina
Gourmet Chef, Health Care Executive

Nina is a longtime gourmet chef, interior designer/decorator, and events planner. She has accomplished all of this in addition to maintaining a stellar career as a healthcare executive, where she helps alter the course of people’s lives via preventive care and healthy living. Nina’s hobbies include learning new recipes, planning and executing amazing dinners to impress local chefs, and hiking around the world.

Considerations

Additional Features

Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

The Hoover offers a number of useful additional features. An easily detachable, bottom-opening dust cup is always a plus, as no one wants to handle dust, dirt, and pet hair with their bare hands! Fade Free technology prevents the unit from running completely out of juice; customers appreciate the onboard battery power indicator that keeps them informed of battery life while they're working. (LiPo batteries should be recharged when they are at 20 percent capacity. The indicator will start blinking when that percentage has been reached.) The Hoover Linx includes a two-year warranty – a remarkable feature considering that most comparable models come with limited warranties of one or two years.

Dyson Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Save the Dyson's mountable charging station, the original package includes few extras. Additional cleaning tools, such as a crevice attachment and curtain brush, can be ordered separately from authorized Dyson dealers. The product comes with a two-year warranty which covers the battery as well as the machine. This is an important feature to note, as replacement batteries can cost nearly as much as the unit itself. Considering its higher price, we do wish that the Dyson included a few more amenities.

Shark Bagless Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum

The Shark Bagless Navigator cordless stick vacuum includes no attachments or other tools, but it does include a charger with a built-in stand for convenient storage. Customers truly appreciate the Shark's extended battery life per charge – after all, there's nothing more frustrating than having to wait four hours before resuming a vacuuming session! Many owners compliment the Shark's exceptional suction power, especially when it comes to picking up pet hair. We wish the Shark kit included brushes to pull corner and edge dirt toward the suction tube, but it seems to do a decent job without them.

Eureka Quick Up 2-in-1 Cordless w/Bonus Battery Pack

Because the Eureka Quick Up is a basic model, it does not arrive with many additional features. The base can be detached and used as a hand vacuum for tight spaces and stairs, but there are no crevice tools or brush attachments available. There is a switch that will turn on the agitator brush for use on carpeted floors and turn it off for use on hard flooring. The motor maintains steady power during operation, but once the battery reaches a certain percentage of capacity, it stops working automatically. At that point, the user can easily slide the old battery pack out of the base and slip a fully charged pack into the slot for additional use.

Dirt Devil Accucharge 15.6V Cordless Bagless Stick Vacuum

As a bargain-priced cordless vacuum, the Dirt Devil Accucharge does not arrive with many attachments or other additional features. Customers appreciate the Dirt Devil's collapsible handle, which makes storage even easier between uses, and the charging base, which adds some much-needed support. The Accucharge is Energy Star compliant -- an important consideration when it comes to home utility bills. At 5.9 pounds, the it's also exceptionally light and maneuverable. We wish the base unit were detachable for smaller vacuuming jobs, but its presence is not necessarily a deal breaker. Being cordless, the entire unit can be used outdoors to clean boats, cars, and campers without the need for a bothersome extension cord.

The Hoover Linx includes a two-year warranty -- a remarkable feature considering that most comparable models come with limited warranties of only one year.
Considerations

Price

Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

At $89, the Hoover Linx cordless stick vacuum is among the more expensive models on our shortlist. However, the Hoover brand name is known for its top-notch performance and service, and the technology used on the Linx -- such as the WindTunnel bagless suction -- matches the technology used in Hoover's traditional upright and canister vacuum cleaners. Other cordless vacuum cleaners allow the batteries to discharge completely without warning, but the Linx provides a convenient, on-board battery monitor and Fade Free technology that keeps the unit running consistently. Add in a two-year warranty, and this product is tough to beat!

Dyson Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

At $349, the Dyson is definitely on the high end of our cordless vacuum pricing spectrum. Customers who buy this product are investing in the advanced technology and attention to detail that Dyson products are known for. Other cordless vacuums might deliver the same level of performance, but they are not Dysons. Superior suction and the ability to compete with corded uprights could be appealing enough for discerning customers to make the investment.

Shark Bagless Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum

At $79, the Shark Bagless Navigator cordless stick falls into a price range that is comparable to the Hoover and Eureka -- both worthy contenders. However, some customers find the Shark's lack of attachments and limited portability to be a serious drawback. This cordless stick vacuum is designed to compete with lightweight upright corded vacuums, not hand-held models. If you're looking for a truly cordless floor vacuum cleaner, this is one to consider. If you're looking for an upgrade from handheld portable vacuums, then other contenders may be more suitable.

Eureka Quick Up 2-in-1 Cordless w/Bonus Battery Pack

At only $59, the Eureka Quick Up is definitely among the more affordable contenders on our elite list. We strongly recommend it as a secondary vacuum system for smaller apartments and quick brush-ups between regular cleanings. The fact that the Eureka includes a bonus battery pack is also a plus, as suitable NiCad replacement batteries can cost $40 or more when purchased separately. The Eureka Quick Up may not offer much in the way of attachments or tools, but it does provide owners with a choice between a handheld and stick vac configuration. It can also be used for outdoor cleaning jobs (cars, boats, outbuildings, etc.) For its ultra-low retail price, the Eureka Quick Up cordless vacuum should provide decent service for light-duty projects.

Dirt Devil Accucharge 15.6V Cordless Bagless Stick Vacuum

Priced at only $73, the Dirt Devil Accucharge is among the least expensive of our top contenders, but it offers the same performance quality as models costing three times as much. While more expensive cordless vacuums do offer additional features, the same vacuum cleaning technology still exists beneath it all. All five of our top contenders are capable of producing clean floors and carpets, but the Dirt Devil Accucharge's low retail price is difficult to overlook. We can easily see this model being a great housewarming present or entry-level appliance purchase for younger adults.

The budget-priced Dirt Devil Accucharge offers the same performance quality as models costing three times as much.

Best of the Best

Having a reliable cordless stick vacuum around for spills and quick touch-ups is a good idea, and the Dyson Animal has everything we look for in that respect. On top of that, the Dyson includes some features that make it useful as a small upright floor vacuum. While it is more expensive than most other cordless vacuums, you are paying for a true top-of-the-line appliance that will last you a very long time.

The Dyson uses battery-conserving technology not found on cheaper models -- a huge differentiator from its peer group. Owners love the fact that the Dyson, at only 5 pounds, is extremely light and portable, and its base, wand, and handle are specifically engineered to balance effortlessly in your hands. Its superior suction performance and large dust canister also separate it from the rest of the pack, making the Dyson the most reliable cordless vacuum on the market today. We heartily declare it to be the Best of the Best.

Best of the Best
Check Price
The Hoover Linx's side brushes pull dirt from edges and walls, allowing the unit to pick up debris that other models leave behind.

Best Bang for your Buck

With many cordless appliances, there can be a trade-off between convenience and performance. In the case of cordless vacuum cleaners, the ability to reach difficult areas or spot clean on demand is often offset by limited battery life or reduced motor performance. We have no such concerns about the Hoover Linx cordless vacuum, however. It's the Best Bang for Your Buck for several important reasons.

For all intents and purposes, the Hoover Linx is fully functional upright vacuum cleaner that just happens to use a different power supply. Many customers say they originally bought the Hoover Linx as an auxiliary floor maintenance tool but have since decided to use it as their primary vacuum cleaner. That kind of consumer confidence speaks volumes for the product.

The best cordless vacuums provide nearly the same performance as their corded counterparts. With a wide, 11-inch suction tube that picks up as much dirt and debris per pass as a standard corded upright, the Hoover Linx achieves this high standard. And, best of all, there's no need to search for an available outlet. Other cordless vacuums may lose suction and brushing power as their batteries die, but the Linx's Fade Free technology maintains a steady performance. The agitator brush can be turned on for use on carpeting and switched off immediately from the handle to work on bare floors. Side brushes pull dirt from edges and walls, allowing the unit to pick up dirt other models leave behind. In short, the Hoover Linx delivers on every feature we consider to be important. We are pleased to declare it the Best Bang for Your Buck.

Best Bang for your Buck
Check Price
The team that worked on this review
  • Michael
    Michael
    Creative Lead
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jasmin
    Jasmin
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations