If you don’t want to be limited by the length of vacuum cord when you clean your floors, a cordless model is your best bet. Powered by a rechargeable battery, these cleaning machines are less restrictive than their corded counterparts.
If you’re considering a cordless vacuum, you may be concerned about suction power. While it’s true that cordless vacs lose power when they’re in need of recharging, quality models charge quickly, get long battery life and deliver suction that rivals that of corded vacuums.
Reliable suction is arguably the most important characteristic shoppers consider when choosing a cordless vacuum, though there are other important factors to take into account.
Most cordless vacuums are designed with a compact dirt cup attached to a long, thin body. While they aren’t traditional stick models, they’re often referred to as stick vacuums thanks to their streamlined construction. A few manufacturers make cordless upright models, but they too are trim and resemble stick vacs.
Most handheld vacuum cleaners are cordless. However, these small cleaning machines have limited power and are best used for spot cleaning and small messes. Robot vacuums are also cordless, but they’re powered by robotic technology and fall into a separate category.
Another selling point of cordless vacuums is that they’re typically lightweight and easy to maneuver. Swivel heads and easy-to-grip handles simplify the motions necessary to clean large areas and move around objects. Some cordless models have additional features that enhance their maneuverability, such as flexible bodies that are easy to push under furniture and lift-away technology that makes it possible to remove the unit from the body and use it as a handheld for reaching steps, corners, ceilings and more.
Cordless vacuums get varying lengths of runtime per charge. While some may only run for 15-20 minutes once charged, some high-end models can run for an hour or longer. On average, most quality cordless vacs run between 30 and 40 minutes before needing to be recharged. For best results, the battery should be allowed to achieve a complete charge before use, which typically takes between two and eight hours.
Just like many other types of vacuums, most cordless models have one or more filters that trap dust and impurities to keep them out of the air. HEPA is a reliable type of filtration that’s available in most top-selling models.
The lightweight builds and powerful suction of cordless vacuums make them versatile. Most models can be used to clean carpet and flooring and transfer seamlessly from one flooring type to another.
Samsung Jet 90 Cordless Stick Vacuum
Thanks to cyclonic technology, this cordless vac has powerful suction that does an excellent job grabbing dirt and debris. It gets as much as one hour of runtime with each full charge. Five-stage HEPA filtration adds to its cleaning capabilities.
Sold by Amazon
Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum
This popular vacuum can convert to a handheld and is lightweight and easy to maneuver. It boasts a digital motor that produces strong suction that’s designed to whisk away dirt and animal hair. The large selection of on-board tools are helpful for tight spaces as well as cleaning carpet and hard flooring.
Sold by Home Depot and Amazon
Tineco A11 Hero Cordless Stick Vacuum
The A11 Hero is affordable and offers three power levels for different cleaning needs. It’s lightweight and converts to a handheld in seconds for suctioning dirt away from hard-to-reach spaces.
Sold by Amazon, Home Depot and Kohl’s
Shark IX141 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum
An ultra-slim design, reasonable price and strong suction make the Shark pet model perfect for homes with pets. It runs for about 40 minutes with a full charge. The headlights, pet multi-tool and crevice tool are handy extras that simplify cleaning chores.
Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Dyson Outsize+ Cordless Stick Vacuum
This is another amazing cordless vac by Dyson that’s packed with impressive features, including dirt-sensing technology and laser illumination for capturing tiny dirt particles, plus dual batteries for up to 120 minutes of runtime. It can be used as a handheld as well. Although expensive, it’s a capable cordless vacuum by one of the top names in the industry.
Sold by Home Depot
Shark ICZ362H Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away Cordless Vacuum
The Vertex Pro works like an upright but is incredibly lightweight and compact. HEPA filtration, 60-minute battery life and handheld lift-away technology are parts of its feature set.
Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s and Home Depot
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.