Looking to buy a cordless vacuum? These are your best bets.
You’re looking for a cordless vacuum. Maybe you want something that can get into those little cracks and crevices, maybe you want something more portable, and maybe you’re just sick of maneuvering around that cord.
One thing is sure: You want to buy the vacuum that’ll give you the most bang for your buck. You want it to last. You want it to do the job you need it to do. And you don’t want something that’s cumbersome or difficult to use.
For this article, we searched for the best cordless vacuums, and came up with seven winners. All of them are good, but not all will work for everyone. That’s why, in the second part of this article, you’ll find a list of things to consider before making the leap.
Table of Contents
- #1. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute – Best Overall
- #2. Shark IONFlex 2x DuoClean IF251 – Best for Budget
- #3. Dyson V8 Absolute – Best Value
- #4. iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner – Best for Busy People
- #5. Bissell 1984 AirRam – Best for Basics
- What you need to know before buying a cordless vacuum:
- Should you buy a cordless vacuum?
- How well do cordless vacuums work?
- What are the drawbacks of cordless vacuums?
- Should you buy additional accessories?
- Bagless vacuums or vacuum bags?
- Bottom Line
#1. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute – Best Overall
Intended to beat the company’s previous best vacuum, the V8 Absolute, Dyson’s Cyclone V10 Absolute is a powerful cordless vacuum with all the benefits of its predecessor and more: It can be used as a handheld or stick vacuum, and has a HEPA filtration system that cleans the air, moderate noise level, and an easy-to-empty bin.
That said, it does have several nice features that the previous version doesn’t offer – including three power modes instead of two and a longer warranty. And like Dyson’s other vacuums, this model is sleek, lightweight, and easy to use.
The good: Dyson’s V10 Absolute has great suction and is easy to handle. It also has indicator lights so you know how much charge is left. Another light tells you when it’s time to clean the filter. Also, the bin is easy to empty, the vacuum converts easily from stick to handheld, and it comes with a wide variety of tools.
The not-so-good: The price. While it does come with a 5-year extended warranty to make up for it, the V10 Absolute is far from cheap – especially since the V8 Absolute is still available and offers most of what the V10 does.
The best: The Dyson V10 Absolute has three power modes and a battery life of up to 60 minutes. Plus, it has a relatively large bin and its HEPA filter cleans the air as well as the floor.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for THE top-of-the-line cordless vacuum and can afford the expense, Dyson’s V10 Absolute is the one for you.
* battery life indicator
* filter indicator
* variety of tools
* battery lasts up to 60 minutes
* converts from stick to handheld
* easy-to-empty bin
* expensiveClick here to see today's price for the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute on Amazon
#2. Shark IONFlex 2x DuoClean IF251 – Best for Budget
The Shark IONFlex 2x DuoClean IF251 vacuum cleaner is a middle-of-the-road cordless vacuum: Without a super-long battery life, but with a reusable filter and an extra battery pack, this vacuum is perfect for those who want the convenience of a cordless vacuum without the high price tag.
That said, there’s no question it’s the V10’s runner-up. The Shark offers similar quality and most of the same features, for a significantly lower price. And its additional battery means you get double the cleaning time before it needs to be recharged.
The good: The Shark IONFlex 2x DuoClean can be used as a stick vacuum or as a handheld, and its handle bends to allow better access to those hard-to-reach areas. The vacuum also has strong suction and comes with several accessories.
The not-so-good: Each battery lasts just 20 minutes, and this isn’t the lightest cordless vacuum out there. Also, even though it’s allergen-friendly, it doesn’t have a true HEPA filter – and it tends to be noisy.
The best: The IONFlex 2x DuoClean IF251 has two battery packs, allowing you to use one while charging the other and minimizing the fact that each battery lasts for just 20 minutes of cleaning.
Plus, Shark offers a 5-year warranty – longer than most of the other vacuums mentioned in this article.
Is it for you? If you’re looking to buy a good cordless vacuum without breaking the bank, Shark’s IONFlex 2x DuoClean IF251 is a good choice.
* two batteries
* converts to handheld
* 5-year warranty
* flexible handle
* battery lasts 20 minutes
* relatively heavy
#3. Dyson V8 Absolute – Best Value
Without a doubt, Dyson’s V8 Absolute is one of the best cordless vacuums out there. A slim stick, this vacuum can be used both a stick vacuum and a handheld. Compared to earlier Dyson vacuums, the V8 Absolute offers stronger suction, a longer battery life, and more attachments.
Even when compared to the V10, the V8 does well: While it’s true that the V10 picks up more dirt and has a larger bin, Consumer Reports noted that the V8 is significantly quieter. So while this may not be the *best* cordless vacuum out there, if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, the V8 is going to be your go-to vacuum.
The good: The Dyson V8 Absolute is easy to use as both a handheld and stick vacuum, and switches easily between the modes. It’s relatively lightweight and has a HEPA filter, which the company advertises as cleaning your air as well as your house.
This vacuum offers strong suction, as well as two modes – Powerful and MAX – for day-to-day or deep cleaning.
The not-so-good: This isn’t the cheapest vacuum on the market, and some reviews say other Dyson vacuums, such as the V7 or V10, give you more bang for your buck.
Also, the V8 has technically been discontinued. That said, it’s still available in most stores, as well as on Amazon.
The best: The V8 Absolute comes with a wide variety of tools, has a washable lifetime filter, and it’s easy to empty. Dyson also advertises the V8 as being allergen and allergy friendly.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line vacuum and don’t mind spending a little extra, the V8 Absolute is the cordless vacuum for you.
* hygienic bin emptying, allergy-friendly
* cleans the air with HEPA filter
* powerful suction
* can be used as a handheld or a stick vacuum
* expensiveClick here to see today's price for the Dyson V8 Absolute on Amazon
#4. iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner – Best for Busy People
A cordless robot, iRobot’s Roomba does the cleaning for you. While the other vacuums in this article are manual, the Roomba can be programmed to clean your home for you, while you shop, work, or spend time with friends and family.
At the same time, it bears mentioning that no robotic vacuum will do as good a job as a human – at least, not yet. But while the Roomba may not be good for getting at cobwebs on the ceiling, it does a great job at the day-to-day cleaning.
Note that even though the Roomba can clean for you, it can’t get at anything above the floor.
The good: iRobot’s Roomba has a two-hour battery life, and the vacuum cleaner returns to its base automatically in order to recharge. This vacuum has relatively strong suction and does a good job at cleaning, including underneath furniture and near walls.
The not-so-good: The Roomba is relatively expensive, and it only has a 1-year warranty.
The best: The Roomba comes with virtual walls, allowing you to block off rooms or areas you’d rather not disturb. It can be operated manually or by using Roomba’s app.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for a cordless vacuum that’ll do the cleaning work for you, this is the vacuum for you.
* robotic, controlled via app or manually
* two-hour battery life
* strong suction
* two virtual walls
* 1-year warranty
See our comparison of Roomba models. Or…Click here to see today's price for the Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner on Amazon
#5. Bissell 1984 AirRam – Best for Basics
The Bissell 1984 AirRam is an upright-style stick vacuum that’s lightweight and relatively inexpensive. Though it doesn’t come with a range of accessories, its flexibility and maneuverability mean you’ll be able to reach under almost every piece of furniture.
Many people looking to purchase a vacuum wonder what the difference is between the Gtech AirRam and Bissel’s 1984 AirRam. The bottom line is that the two models are the same, and the USB port Gtech used to feature is not included in the newer Gtech models.
The good: The 1984 AirRam has LED lights and a removable battery, as well as a sliding, easy-to-empty bin. It cleans well, and has a half-hour run time.
The not-so-good: This vacuum is slightly difficult to pull backwards, and it doesn’t come with any attachments.
The best: Bissell’s AirRam has an extendable/ collapsible handle which acts not only as a long arm, but also allows for easier storage. The handle not only swivels, but can also lie almost completely flat – perfect for easy access to those hard-to-get spots beneath furniture.
Is it for you? If your biggest cleaning issue is getting under furniture, or you want an upright style but are tall or short, this is the cordless vacuum for you.
* 30-minute run time
* easy-to-empty bin
* removable battery
* collapsible, swiveling handle
* no attachments
* hard to use backwards
|Weight||Battery life||Charging time||Type||Bin volume||Reusable filter?||Warranty|
|Bissell 1984 AirRam||7.75 lbs||30 or 40 minutes (not clear)||4-5 hours||Stick/ upright||0.16 gallons||Yes||2 years|
|Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute||5.9 lbs||Up to 60 minutes; up to 40 minutes in Suction Mode I, up to 20 minutes in Suction Mode II||3.5 hours||Stick/ upright||0.2 gallons||Yes||5-year extended warranty when product is registered|
|Dyson V8 Absolute||5.75 lbs||Up to 40 minutes in Powerful mode, up to 25 minutes with motorized cleaner-head||Before first use: 4 hours.||Stick/ handheld||0.14 gallons||Yes||2 years|
|iRobot Roomba robot vacuum cleaner||8.7 lbs||2 hours||No information||Robot||No information||No||1 year|
|Shark DuoClean Cordless TruePet IF250UKT||4 kg (8.81 lbs)||Up to 44 minutes (not clear if this is with 1 battery or 2)||3.5 hours||Stick/ hand held||0.33 liters (0.08 gallons)||Yes||5-year limited warranty, 2-year warranty for batteries|
What you need to know before buying a cordless vacuum:
The different types of vacuums: (canister, stick, upright, handheld)
Vacuums come in four main types: canister, stick, upright, and handheld. Upright vacuums are the classic vacuums – they stand upright, have a handle you push and an upright body which contains the dirt, and a large dirt-eating machine on the bottom. These are the ones most of us grew up on.
Canister vacuums have a long tube, a smaller body which usually sits on the floor, and are usually easier to maneuver than uprights. They may be smaller and require more frequent emptying than upright vacuums.
A stick vacuum looks like an upright, but instead of a huge body and base, it has a slim stick for a body and a smaller base.
Handheld vacuums are useful for reaching those difficult-to-access places, such as cobwebs on the ceiling or narrow spots where the base of an upright or stick vacuum wouldn’t fit.
Upright and canister vacuums tend to be the most powerful types, with stick and handheld vacuums performing at a significantly lower level. (There are exceptions, of course.)
A fifth type of vacuum is the robot: These vacuums clean your house, or a specific room, while you’re out or doing something else. They’re not as powerful as upright or canister vacuums, but they do a nice job, and take the burden off your family.
Should you buy a cordless vacuum?
That depends what you need. Cordless vacuums generally require long charging times but only work unplugged for a relatively short time. (Some vacuums come with two batteries, so you can charge one while using the other.) If you have a large house, you may find that you need to vacuum in shifts.
But cordless vacuums are useful if you have a lot of places that are hard to reach, inconveniently placed outlets, or need to get
How well do cordless vacuums work?
Depending on the model, cordless vacuums can work just as well as old-fashioned corded models. However, their run time is usually limited, which means you’ll either need to vacuum one room at a time, or you’ll need to work fast.
If you have an apartment or small house, though, you may be able to vacuum everything at once – provided you purchase a vacuum with about 40 minutes of run time.
What are the drawbacks of cordless vacuums?
Cordless vacuums usually have shorter lifespans – and warranties – than regular vacuums. They also tend to be more expensive, and unless you buy one of the better models, they won’t work as well as corded models.
Also, even though the batteries are rechargeable, cordless vacuums usually take at least 3.5 hours to fully charge.
Should you buy additional accessories?
Probably not. Most vacuums come with the accessories you need to clean efficiently. Unless you have a specific need for a tool that doesn’t come with your vacuum, there’s no real reason to make an additional purchase.
Also, remember that not all accessories can be used with all vacuums: Before purchasing, make sure the accessory you’re eyeing is compatible with the model you own. If possible, purchase the accessory from the company which manufactured your vacuum.
Bagless vacuums or vacuum bags?
Whether you’re buying an upright, canister, or something else, you’ll find yourself faced with two choices: vacuum bags, or bagless vacuums?
Vacuums which use bags tend to hold more dirt and need less frequent emptying than bagless vacuums. They’re also easier to empty, since you don’t have to deal with the dirt spreading all over, or flying into the air. This is especially good for those suffering from allergies.
And while bagless vacuums save you money on the bags, they also require more frequent filter replacement.
All of the vacuums listed in this article are bagless.
If you’re looking for the top-of-the-line, go for Dyson’s V10 Absolute – and if you want a Dyson, but don’t need the top, choose their V8 Absolute. You’ll love Dyson’s powerful motor and strong suction, and you’ll love the freedom and flexibility these vacuums offer.
If you’re a more traditional type, and just want to get rid of the cord, try Bissell’s 1984 AirRam.
Those who are on a budget but want a full-fledged stick and handheld vacuum will enjoy Shark’s DuoClean Cordless TruePet vacuum cleaner.
Of course, if you’re looking to avoid vacuuming but aren’t looking to hire cleaning help, iRobot’s Roomba will be the perfect solution.
Do you own one of these vacuums? Know of any others that should be included but weren’t? Let us know in the comments!