Three best cordless vacuums

Lauren Corona

The filters in your vacuum will either need to be cleaned or changed, depending on the model.

You've finally managed to psych yourself up to vacuum your floors, and you've just gotten into the swing of it when you run out of cord, forcing you to unplug the cord and plug it back into a closer outlet. Yet another reason why vacuuming is a bore! With a cordless vacuum, you don't have any of that hassle. Just switch it on and you're free to go anywhere.

If this appeals to you, you'll want to find the best cordless vacuum to fit your needs. Our thorough shopping guide will set you on the right track.

Considerations when choosing cordless vacuums

Upright vs. stick

Cordless vacuums come in two main varieties: upright and stick. Upright cordless vacuums are much like traditional corded uprights but without the cord. They also tend to be more compact and lightweight. With cordless stick vacuums, the motor and dirt chamber are at the top, near the handle, with a long tube attachment with the cleaning head at the bottom.

Battery life

Some basic cordless options have a battery life of 20 to 30 minutes, whereas others can run for over an hour between charges. Make sure the battery life of your cordless vacuum is long enough for you to clean your whole house, or you'll need to stop and recharge partway through the job. You can find models with removable, interchangeable battery packs so you can have one charging while you vacuum.

Dirt chamber capacity

One downfall of cordless vacuums is that many models have small dirt chambers, so you might need to stop and empty the container during each vacuuming session, depending on the size of your home and how long you go without vacuuming. If you have a large house, look for a model with extra-large capacity.

Cordless vacuum features

Filtration: A quality filter keeps your vacuum from blowing dust and dirt back into your home. If you suffer from allergies, we'd recommend a model with HEPA filtration.

Attachments: Most cordless vacuums come with at least a couple special attachments to allow you to more easily clean tight corners, stairs, and even upholstery. Think about the types of attachments you might need and check to see if any cordless vacuums you're considering come standard with them.

Handheld option: Some cordless vacuums are able to convert into a handheld vacuum or have a part that detaches to use like a handheld vacuum. The handheld option is great for spot cleaning, reaching into tough corners, and vacuuming vehicles.

Cordless vacuum prices: You can find cordless vacuums to fit all budgets. Basic models start at around $50 to $80, but some of these cheaper models aren't powerful enough to use as your only vacuum, especially in high-traffic households. Mid-range cordless vacuums cost between $80 and $200. You can find some quality models with great suction in this price range. High-end, very powerful cordless vacuums cost $200 to $500.


Q. Are cordless vacuums as effective as corded vacuums?

A. That depends on the quality of the cordless vacuum. The cheapest models can't compete with corded vacuums, but some mid-range and high-end options can.

Q. Are cordless vacuum cleaners easy to store?

A. Cordless vacuums tend to be smaller than corded models, making them easier to store. Many even fold down to fit into even smaller spaces.

Q. I have several pets at home. Will a cordless vacuum be powerful enough to pick up all the pet hair?

A. If you have cats or dogs, a basic cordless vacuum is unlikely to be powerful enough to tackle pet hair, but a high-quality model or one that's specifically designed for pet hair should do the trick.

Cordless vacuums we recommend

Best of the best: Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner 

Our take: An exceptional cordless vacuum from a high-end brand. Outperforms many corded models.

What we like: Incredible suction. Up to 40 minutes of battery life. Converts to a handheld. HEPA filtration.

What we dislike: Too pricey for many budgets

Best bang for your buck: Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Cordless Vacuum 

Our take: With its excellent cleaning power and impressive battery life, this model offers incredible value for the money.

What we like: Extra-large capacity. Tough on pet hair. Two-speed brushroll is great for carpets and hard floors.

What we dislike: Heavier than some alternatives.

Choice 3: Hoover Linx Cordless Vacuum Cleaner 

Our take: Nifty, maneuverable upright that gets into crevices and cleans right up to edges.

What we like: WindTunnel technology tackles ground-in dirt. Interchangeable batteries mean you won't run out of juice.

What we dislike: Some users report issues with battery and charger.

Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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