The 5 Best Cordless Vacuums in 2021 [Unbiased Guide]
Many companies have joined the contest to produce the best cordless vacuum, creating a broad array of designs and qualities. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to discern which vacuum is the best.
Join me as I investigated the world of cordless vacuums to help you find the best cordless device for your cleaning needs.
In my quest to find the best cordless devices, I learned some invaluable truths.
- Cordless vacuums are excellent for portability and maneuverability.
- Their positive traits are offset by a lack of storage space and limited battery lives.
- The best devices are lightweight, easy to use, maneuverable, and have battery lives of at least 40 minutes.
- Its lightweight power, versatility, and 60-minute battery life make the Dyson V11 the best overall choice in cordless vacuums.
- The power and efficiency of the Hoover Linx Signature make it the best budget buy.
- Its portable design and lightweight efficiency make the VacLife VL706 ideal for someone wanting a handheld cordless.
- Cordless vacuums are excellent devices if you buy the right type.
- The Dyson V11 has the longest battery life among cordless vacuums.
- It’s essential to keep your vacuum’s roller, filter, and dust cup clean.
- When possible, deactivate the vacuum roller before cleaning pet hair.
What I Look for in a Cordless Vacuum
When I conduct any type of vacuum review, I look for critical qualities that define the ideal device. In cordless devices, I discovered the following essential aspects:
Battery life: With any cordless device, you need batteries that will last as long as possible. The best devices have batteries that last for 50-60 minutes when fully charged.
Some types have smaller batteries and are effective for 30-40 minutes. The worst devices on the market may work for only 10-20 minutes before the battery dies.
I typically recommend devices that have 40-60 minutes of runtime.
Suction power: While the main attraction of a cordless vacuum lies in its portability, you still need enough power. I only present devices that were similar to mid-range corded vacuums with excellent suction.
Weight: Many customers don’t consider this factor before purchasing a device. Some cordless vacuums weigh in at more than seven pounds and become bulky after a while.
Experts have found that a vacuum cleaner’s center of mass (CoM) significantly impacts its user. A lower CoM takes less physical exertion than a higher one.
The best machines weigh between two and four pounds, allowing you to vacuum comfortably for extended periods. These devices also have a lower CoM to provide optimum efficiency. I would recommend any device in that weight range.
Roller type: A vacuum’s roller can be an irreplaceable accessory, but it can also become a hassle. When you have pets that shed regularly or have long hair, the roller can easily clog.
For cleaning situations involving pet fur or long hair, I recommend a vacuum with a removable roller. Failing that, a device that allows you to switch off the roller will work equally well. I like to recommend machines with a detachable roller, when possible.
Dust receptacle type: The type of the cordless vacuum’s dust receptacle influences the ease of use. Some devices have removable vacuum bags, while other machines have a plastic canister.
The fabric bags once used as receptacles for these machines tend to leak dust. Plastic canisters are generally easier to clean as long as they’re easy to remove from the device. I only recommend devices with a canister or dust cup.
Charge time: Some cordless devices have amazing battery lives but with inordinate charging times. While charging for four hours to get an hour’s charge time is passable, you don’t want to charge for five hours to get 20 minutes.
The most efficient cordless vacuums either have excellent charge times or offer independent battery charging. With independent docking, you can charge spares while using the primary battery. This way, you can keep cleaning even when a battery runs down.
I typically recommend devices with charge times of three to four hours unless more charge time correlates to longer battery life.
Warranty: The best manufacturers provide a warranty to cover any repairs within a specific timeframe. Since you’re new to the device, mistakes may be more likely, and a warranty is desirable.
Many companies offer a limited warranty for the first year. These often cover any essential repairs if there aren’t signs of misuse.
Other companies have enough confidence in their products to offer full warranties. These agreements last for two to five years and cover most problems. I like to recommend devices with at least a one-year warranty.
The Five Best Cordless Vacuums: My Selection
Below, I’ve listed what I consider the most useful cordless vacuums. These machines have power, battery life, and efficiency on their side. Let’s take a look.
Captain’s Choice for Overall Quality: Dyson V11 Torque Drive
James Dyson was one of the founding fathers of the modern vacuum cleaner. Thanks to him, we have the bagless devices that we all know and love.
The Dyson V11 maintains the legacy of this company for producing excellent products. At 6.68 pounds, this is the lightest non-robotic device on my list.
As you’d expect from a Dyson machine, the V11 is bagless, and the dust cup is easy to remove. The suction power on this machine beats most devices, and you can convert it to a handheld device.
Perhaps the most impressive function of the Dyson V11 is its multiple operating modes. You can use one of three modes: auto, eco, or boost.
The Eco mode gives you up to 60 minutes of run time, while the boost gives closer to 20. The auto mode is intuitive and automatically makes changes for different floor types.
- Multiple operating modes
- Long battery life (up to 60 minutes)
- Several different attachments]
- Easy conversion to a hand vac
- Not the most affordable cordless vacuum
- Hand vacuum setup is bulky
- Hair sometimes clogs in the roller
Weight: 6.68 lb.
Dust canister: Removable dust cup
Battery life: 60 minutes
Charging time: 4.5 hours
Warranty: 2 years
Overall, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is the best cordless vacuum I can recommend. Get yours today, and keep your world spotless.
Best Budget Buy: Hoover Linx Signature
Not every buyer wants to spend over $500 on a cleaning device. The Hoover Linx Signature is an ideal choice for the budget-conscious consumer.
Hoover is yet another founding father that helped make the vacuum industry what it is today. Although this is my budget selection, you know that you get a quality vacuum for the price.
The Linx Signature is medium weight and the second-lightest device on my list, only weighing 10 lbs.
This device is only a cordless stick vacuum and doesn’t switch to a handheld setup. The low-profile stick design compensates for this by making it easy to clean under furniture and other fixtures.
The Linx Signature has an extensive charge time of three hours for every 15 minutes of use. Hoover has compensated for this inefficiency by creating batteries that charge on a docking device.
You can charge your secondary or tertiary batteries while using the first. As a result, your potential cleaning time extends significantly.
- This device’s interchangeable batteries are easy to replace
- Low profile for easy cleaning under furniture
- Automatically compensates for different floors.
- Batteries charge independently of the device
- The battery gauge lets you know how much cleaning time you have left.
- No hand vacuum mode
- Short battery life
- Long charge time for little use
Weight: 10 lb.
Dust canister: Removable dust cup
Battery life: 15 minutes
Charging time: 3 hours
Warranty: 2 years
If you’d like to know more about other affordable vacuum cleaners, try our guide to the best vacuums for under $200.
Best Handheld Cordless Vacuum: VacLife VL706 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Some buyers don’t require a full stick vacuum and just want the handheld version. If you’re one of those customers, this device is perfect for you.
The VacLife VL706 comes with three different attachments which allow you to clean upholstery, crevices, and hard-to-reach places. Weighing in at 31 ounces, this machine is highly portable and facilitates easy cleaning.
This model has a removable dust cup and washable filters, so you can keep it clean.
The battery life isn’t the strongest out there, but it’s excellent for a handheld device. You can clean for 25-30 minutes on maximum power before you need to charge the VacLife again.
This device isn’t an ideal choice if you want to clean floors since there’s no floor head. If you’re going to clean counters, upholstery, and other small areas, consider this machine.
- Lightweight (only 31 oz.)
- Long battery life for the type of device
- Multiple attachments for removing hard-to-reach locations
- Excellent for cleaning pet hair off upholstery
- Convenient for use in the car
- Limited suction power
- You can’t replace the battery yourself
- Long charge time for the battery life
Weight: 31 Oz.
Dust canister: Removable dust cup
Battery life: 30 minutes
Charging time: 3-4 hours
Warranty: 2 years
Best Cordless Robot Vacuum: iRobot Roomba 614
Robot vacuums have become all the rage and are technically all cordless vacuums. For more information about robot vacuums, read our best robot vacuums lineup.
Of the devices on the market, the iRobot Roomba 614 is my favorite. It’s not a lightweight device, but that matters little since the machine is automatic.
The Roomba 614 can operate for 90 minutes after each charge. It also docks and charges automatically, saving you time and effort.
Since robotic vacuums have limited space, the dust cup isn’t giant. As with any cordless design, the manufacturers favor efficiency over storage space.
It’s an excellent option for keeping floors clean and has retractable brushes to clean corners. Robot vacuums aren’t a great choice if you need an all-in-one device.
You can’t use a Roomba for cleaning couches, your car, or cobwebs in the corner. For general, hassle-free floor cleaning, the robotic vacuum is ideal.
- Long (90 minutes) battery life
- Automatic docking and charging when needed
- Retractable brushes for cleaning crevices
- Dirt detection technology for flawless cleaning
- Works well on pet hair
- Lacks virtual room mapping
- Small dirt cup
- Only cleans floors
Weight: 11.5 lb.
Dust canister: Removable dust cup
Battery life: 90 minutes
Charging time: Automatically docks and charges
Warranty: 1 year
If you need a cordless device that functions with seamless efficiency, consider the iRobot Roomba 614. Remember to empty the dust cup regularly, and it will require minimal input from you.
Get your iRobot Roomba 614 today.
Best for Pet Hair: Shark NV356E S2 Navigator
Shark has been making vacuums for some time now and has built a solid reputation. The NV356E S2 Navigator displays all Shark’s usual finesse.
This device is widely acclaimed as the best cordless vacuum for pet hair, thanks to its suction power. It has a fully sealed filtration system, ensuring that allergens don’t distribute further.
You can deactivate this machine’s rolling device to prevent it from getting clogged by fur. This is a significant advantage when faced with a shedding pet.
This isn’t the lightest machine on my list, weighing in at 13.7 pounds. What it lacks in portability, it makes up for with maneuverability.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away has a swivel head, allowing you to clean corners and crevices easily. You can also lift away the canister and use the vacuum as a handheld device.
Considering its size and suction power, this device has good battery life. You can vacuum for 17-25 minutes before charging. The charge time is four hours between cleaning cycles.
- Extra large (2.2 quarts) dust cup
- Roller can be deactivated
- Easy conversion to a handheld device
- Fully sealed filtration system
- Efficiently removes hair and fur
- This is a heavy machine
- Long charge time for short battery life
- Handheld mode is clunky
Weight: 13.7 lb.
Dust canister: Removable dust cup
Battery life: 17-25 minutes
Charging time: 4 hours
Warranty: 5 years
I’ve rounded up some of the frequently asked questions about cordless vacuums. If I haven’t answered your question, please drop a comment below.
Are Cordless Vacuum Cleaners Any Good?
Cordless vacuum cleaners are brilliant tools, as long as one remembers their purpose. These devices are not intended to be heavy-duty, industrial vacuums.
Instead, they offer maneuverability and portability for home use. The best cordless devices are lightweight, versatile, and provide powerful suction.
If you want a machine to clean a mountain of debris off your floors every day, consider buying a corded vacuum cleaner. You can find my recommendations for that category in the best-corded stick vacuums roundup.
Canister vacuums are another excellent option for regular, intensive cleaning. I have the best canister vacuum guide to help you find that as well.
Cordless vacuums are excellent for regular, standard cleaning practices and will be an asset in most homes.
What’s the Best Cordless Vacuum for Hardwood Floors?
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is an excellent option for hardwood floors. It’s relatively lightweight and offers plenty of versatility. From a soft but thorough clean for hardwoods to a deep clean for carpet. For hardwood, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away is the way to go.
What’s the Best Cordless Stick Vacuum?
The Dyson V11 is a cordless stick vacuum with excellent qualities. Not only is it lightweight, with excellent battery life, it’s also easy to clean.
Dyson’s multiple operating modes also ensure that you get the clean you’re looking for. I’d call the V11 the best on the market.
What’s the Best Cordless Vacuum for Pet Hair?
The Shark NV356E S2 Navigator is one of the best devices for vacuuming pet hair. It has strong suction, and the roller brush is excellent for removing both pet and human hair. Since you can deactivate the roller, it’s easy to prevent clogging.
You can read more about other ideal vacuums for removing pet hair in my best vacuums for pet hair roundup.
Can a Cordless Vacuum Replace a Corded Device?
If you clean regularly and don’t require Herculean suction power, you can easily choose a cordless vacuum. Cordless vacuums are best for situations where intense high-power cleaning isn’t routinely needed.
If you decide to go cordless, bear in mind that these devices have limited battery lives. When you have a large home, office, or apartment, you may have to stop charging the vacuum before you can finish.
Which Cordless Vacuum Has the Best Suction?
In many ways, the Dyson V11 is one of the best cordless machines out there. It has the best suction of the vacuums on my list and is one of the best overall.
Which Cordless Vacuum Has the Longest Battery Life?
Several different cordless vacuums have a battery life of up to 60 minutes. Among those champion devices is the captain’s choice, the Dyson V11. Depending on which mode you use, the battery can last from 20 (in boost mode) to 60 (in eco-mode) minutes.
Background Info & Helpful Tips
Now that I’ve answered the most pressing questions, and discussed my favorite devices, let’s look at the potential advantages and disadvantages of owning cordless vacuums.
Why Choose a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
There are many reasons why one might want a cordless vacuum cleaner.
- Cords are a tripping hazard and limit mobility.
- You often have to move the cord through the dirt to clean the floor, which carries the dirt elsewhere.
- A lightweight cordless device is handy for quick cleaning sessions.
- You can easily pack your cordless vacuum when you go on a trip.
- Their low profile design allows you to easily clean under furniture and in corners.
Pros and Cons: at a Glance
Cordless vacuums are the industry’s version of pineapple on pizza. Some people love them, and others hate them. I’ve listed a few positive and negative elements for your convenience.
- The cordless design makes these vacuums portable.
- Their design makes them easy to store.
- Cordless devices can reach nooks and crannies, which are inaccessible to large machines.
- Most cordless vacuums are easy to clean and empty.
- You can tuck a small cordless device in your baggage when taking a trip.
- Some cordless vacuums have short battery lives.
- Forgetting to charge a cordless vac can leave you stranded.
- These devices lack the power of larger, corded devices
I’ve put together some handy tips to help you keep your cordless vacuum in optimal condition.
- Deplete your vacuum’s battery before charging it again. Even the best rechargeable batteries can build up a ‘memory’. When you repeatedly charge a battery that hasn’t been fully depleted, it ‘learns to charge only part of the way. It’s best only to charge a battery once it no longer has power.
- Unless the label states otherwise, don’t vacuum liquids. Wet and dry vacuums have a peculiar design that allows them to deal with debris of either kind. In most cases, not even the best cordless cleaner will deal well with liquids.
- Vacuum small amounts of dust regularly. These machines tend to have small dust cups to keep the machine light. It’s better to vacuum often and remove little dust than to try and clean less often. You won’t need to charge the battery, or empty the dust cup, as often with frequent cleaning.
- When possible, deactivate the roller before cleaning up pet hair. If you have a device with a detachable roller or one you can deactivate, do so before cleaning pet fur. This simple step will prevent the device’s roller from clogging, saving time and effort.
- Keep the filter, roller, and dust cup clean. Most vacuums have a filter somewhere, whether it be a filter pad, a water filter, or a cartridge. Keeping the filter clean prevents debris buildup that can lead to fatal (for your vacuum) problems. Also, ensure that neither the roller nor the nooks of the dust cup get clogged.
Cordless vacuums are an engineering marvel and can be helpful. They’re portable and maneuverable, which makes them easy to use by even the most inexperienced. I hope that you find the portable vacuum of your dreams and experience cleaning Nirvana.
If you found this roundup of the best cordless vacuums useful, you may enjoy some of our corresponding articles. For example, our comprehensive vacuum guide will teach you all about different vacuums.
We also have many how-to guides, like how to clean Berber carpets. See for yourself, and you won’t be disappointed.