Offers up to 60 minutes of runtime on a full charge. Removable cleaner head is ideal for hard-to-clean spaces. Intuitive suction optimizes power based on floor type and soil level. Advanced filtration system captures 99.99% of dust particles.
Some users have said the fairly heavy Dyson V11 is difficult to hold upright for wall and ceiling cleaning.
Quite affordable. Offers features and capabilities for a reasonable price, including multi-floor cleaning and a sturdy build. Battery life consists of 40 minutes of fade-free operation. Lightweight and easy to maneuver. Available in 4 colors.
Suction and cleaning performance are not as powerful as some competitors. The vacuum may clog, and some longevity concerns have been noted.
Powerful suction from a lightweight stick vacuum, with up to 210AW of power. Easy to maneuver at only 6 pounds. Equipped with a telescoping pipe for hard-to-reach and high-up spots. Runs for up to 60 minutes on a charge from the removable battery. Digital LCD display tells you how much battery time is left and allows you to select levels of suction power.
Charge runs out much faster on higher suction speeds.
We love how easily the Shark converts into a handheld vacuum for cleaning steps, cars, and more. Delivers decent suction power that picks up pet hair well. HEPA filtration traps dirt particles and allergens. Small footprint makes for easy storage.
Top-heavy. Battery life is not impressive. Noisy. May clog.
Features 3 suction power modes and a sealed filtration system that traps fine dust particles. Runs up to 40 minutes on a single charge. Capable of lying flat or converting into a compact handheld vac to clean up inconvenient spots. LED lights increase the visibility of dust and dirt.
Some questions regarding lifespan and durability. Several users have complained about weak suction.
After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested the Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuums to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.
Untether yourself while cleaning and reach those tricky spaces around the home with a cordless vacuum. With a lightweight, compact frame, cordless options are great for tackling messes, which may lie just beyond the reach of a corded vacuum, quickly and effectively with the convenience of a rechargeable battery.
Think about the types of messes you intend to clean: bigger messes require more power and better brushes and attachments. The most important considerations for finding a capable cordless vacuum include the power (measured in volts), the dustbin size, and of course, the battery life. The greater your space, the more battery life you will require to thoroughly clean up your space. Batteries come in nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion forms, both of which can offer around 15 to 20 minutes of use on a single charge – and sometimes more.
There are three types of rechargeable batteries used in cordless vacuums, each with its pros and cons, from shelf life to power to cost.
NiCad batteries are the least expensive of the rechargeable battery types and work best when completely drained before recharging. With a limited shelf life and a lower charge capacity, they need to be replaced more often than the other types of batteries in these vacuum cleaners.
Li-ion batteries are lightweight with a long shelf life and a superior energy capacity – and what’s more, they charge quickly. However, they can be sensitive to overcharging and are more expensive than NiCad batteries.
NiMH batteries work best in appliances that are used often and require a lot of power. They’re expensive, but because of the amount of power they hold in each charge, they are cost-effective in the end. While their shelf life is limited, their performance makes them one of the top rechargeable batteries.
For cordless vacuums, power is measured in volts. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the vacuum. Notably, rotating brush rolls or “power” modes, which help pick up more dirt and pet hair, require a higher voltage and consume more power.
Before you purchase a cordless vacuum, consider how long it takes for the battery to charge. This will vary by model because of differing power demands.
Battery type will also affect the runtime. Most cordless models can run for 15 to 20 minutes on a single charge, but there are a few that can go 60 minutes at a time.
Cordless vacuums have a dustbin rather than a bag. The ease of emptying the dust container varies by model. One-button release systems are the easiest to use.
Others have a more complicated removal process that may require reading through the manual.
Whatever type of vacuum you choose, be sure to hold the dustbin over a garbage can while removing the container, as some dustbins open upon release.
Cordless vacuums take up less storage space than full-size vacuums. Some come with a charging dock that needs to be mounted on a wall or in a closet. Others have a plug-in charger that can be placed anywhere in the house. If space is a concern, there are vacuums that fold down to make their footprint even smaller.
Cordless vacuums are lighter than traditional corded upright vacuum cleaners, which makes it easier to clean stairs, under furniture, and other hard-to-reach places. Some extras that add even more convenience to a cordless vacuum include the following:
HEPA filtration systems trap dust and allergens and are suitable not only for allergy sufferers but for pet owners as well. Look for a vacuum with a HEPA filter if this sounds like you.
If ease of use is a concern, look for a cordless vacuum with a rotating or swiveling head. The “swivel” feature allows the machine to easily maneuver around furniture and corners as well as reach underneath furniture.
Nozzles, swivel heads, crevice cleaners, and extension cleaning heads are just a few of the attachments that can come with a cordless vacuum. Before buying a vacuum with a long list of attachments, check to see how they are stored — onboard or separate.
Some vacuums include a power boost that increases the rotation of a brush or increases the suction in short bursts. This gives you extra power when you need it without draining the battery as fast.
A rotating brush is an absolute must for pet owners dealing with pet hair. Some vacuums turn the brush on or off, which you’ll need if you have hard floors.
Converting a vacuum cleaner to a handheld mode makes cleaning spills easier and adds a greater degree of versatility. The ability to transform your machine into a handheld vacuum is ideal for spot cleaning in the house or car.
For under $50, you’ll find basic cordless vacuums that are lightweight and have a good amount of power. These are often cordless stick vacuums that don’t have the extra attachments, cleaning heads, and features of higher-priced models. You may notice a difference in the runtime and battery life, which correlates with price. For people with minimal cleaning needs, an inexpensive vacuum like this is often the best buy. That said, if you have a lot of carpet in your home, you may wish to keep an upright vacuum cleaner in your closet as well.
Between $60 and $150 are larger cordless vacuums with more features, like crevice tool attachments, a variety of brush heads, and swiveling cleaning heads. You can also find a few that convert to a handheld vacuum and some that are engineered to pick up pet hair. In this pricing bucket, you will find top picks from companies including Tineco, Eurkea, and Bissell.
At $150 and above, you will find the “Cadillacs” of the cordless world – the best cordless vacuum cleaners in their appliance category. These vacuums have powerful motors, plenty of cleaning heads and attachments, and impressive conversion abilities. They often require more expensive batteries, like the relatively new NiMH batteries, and they frequently deliver longer runtimes than average. That said, all of these extra features could also result in shorter battery life. Look for top picks from the likes of Shark, Tineco, and Dyson here.
A. Yes and no. While robot vacuums are certainly a type of vacuum, they technically do not have cords. While they are most certainly vacuum cleaners, they are unique enough to be considered in a class of their own. The best robot vacuums are made by reputable companies including iRobot, Roomba, Eufy, and Shark … and robotic vacuums offer some distinct advantages over manual vacuum cleaners, the most obvious of which is that the human owner does not have to do much of the physical work.
The cordless vacuum cleaners of which we speak in this review are still manually operated, but they operate on battery power, so the length of time you can use one is dictated by the battery life of a single charge. It’s good practice to keep your charging dock in an easy-access location so, after cleaning, you can return it to the charging dock so it’ll be ready for your next cleaning session.
A. Traditionally, battery-operated appliances offer a little less oomph than their electrically corded counterparts, but the technology is changing – and improving. As such, it is quite possible to obtain a cordless vacuum cleaner that satisfies your cleaning needs as well as a plug-in vacuum cleaner would.
That said, it’s critical that you take note of a cordless vacuum’s suction power if you want something that works as well as a plug-in machine. Whether you purchase a cordless vac from Amazon, Walmart, or similar online retailer, take note of customer reviews. And of course, our matrix of the top five recommended cordless vacuum cleaners is a great place to start your product search.
A. Yes. There may be a specific upholstery cleaning head included with your vacuum, depending on the type of machine it is. If not, consider using your machine’s crevice tool. If it has a soft brush attachment, this would also be an appropriate choice. But regardless of which cleaning heads you use, be sure to work carefully, reducing the suction power if necessary to protect any delicate fabrics in your upholstery.
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