- Cords are a pain — especially when you’re trying to vacuum.
- Cordless vacuums keep gaining in popularity, and Dyson’s V Series of vacuums are the best ones you can buy with their powerful suction, reasonable battery life, and helpful accessories.
Vacuuming isn’t a chore that many people like, but it’s still something that has to get done. Of course, just because you may not enjoy cleaning, that doesn’t mean you should try to find ways to make it as painless as possible. Perhaps the first step in doing so is ensuring that you have tools that actually work.
A great vacuum can make a world of difference when you’re trying to suck up that dirt and animal hair. Many prefer the convenience of the cordless vacuum, which eliminates the annoyance of being tethered to a much-too-short cord that limits where your vacuum can reach.
Getting rid of a tether isn’t the only reason to choose a cordless vacuum. Normally, cordless vacuums are also a little lighter than their wired counterparts and they’re quicker to set up and tear down, so you can get the house tidied up quickly if you’re on a time crunch.
So what should you look for in a cordless vacuum? Well, because there is no cord, these vacuums rely on battery power, so you’ll want to ensure that the battery can last long enough for you to clean the house. Normally, batteries last anywhere between 15 and 40 minutes, and for most, that will be enough to clean the carpet in the house, but those with larger homes should look for something with longer battery life.
You should also consider things like weight, included accessories and extensions, and whether or not the vacuum can clean hardwood floors or just carpets.
As for the appeal of cordless vacuums? Anyone who’s ever had their ankles tangled up while vacuuming, or has gotten to the end of a room only to run out of cord, knows the pain. We’ve done the research to find the very best cordless vacuums you can buy.
Here are the best cordless vacuum cleaners of 2019:
- Best cordless vacuums overall: Dyson V series cordless vacuums
- Best cordless vacuum for less than $300: Shark DuoClean Cordless IONFlex Vacuum
- Best cordless vacuum for pet owners: Shark Navigator Freestyle
- Best cordless vacuum that’s a full-size crossover: Hoover Air Lift
Updated by Caitlin Petreycik on 10/04/2019: Updated prices and formatting.
The best cordless vacuums overall
Dyson makes the best cordless vacuums hands down — they’re light, powerful, and easy to use.
Dyson is a household name in the vacuum business, and for good reason. The company has built a reputation on delivering powerful, high-quality vacuums. Sure, Dyson vacuums aren’t always the cheapest options out there, but if you can swing it, the extra cash may be well worth it.
We’ve tried several versions of Dyson cordless vacuums, and we’re always impressed by them. The older V7 and V8 models are still excellent cleaners that will get the job done. You’ll get less suction power and shorter battery from them compared to the newer models, but they are still worth buying.
The more recent V10, and V11 models are Dyson’s top-of-the-line models, and we highly recommend them for people who have the cash. I’ve been using a V10 in my apartment for months now, and it’s the best vacuum cleaner I’ve owned.
Turbo mode may not last long, but when your cat knocks coffee grounds all over the floor or you break a glass and you need to clean up fast, it works like a charm. The included attachments are also great and make this vacuum versatile. I often use it as a hand vacuum for quick cleaning and only add the big carpet-cleaning attachment when my area rug needs a good cleaning.
If you’re looking for the Cadillac of cordless vacuum cleaners, your search will end with Dyson. Devotees of this brand swear it’s the most powerful product in its category, but there’s a hefty price to pay for top quality, making this an investment that only people who truly enjoy vacuuming (yes, there are some of you out there) will go for. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: Very versatile, can clean both hard floors and carpet, relatively light
Cons: Somewhat short battery life, small dust capacity, relatively expensive
The best cordless vacuum for less than $300
The Shark DuoClean Cordless IONFlex Vacuum is great at picking up crumbs and pet hair, plus it costs less than a Dyson vacuum.
The Shark DuoClean Cordless IONFlex Vacuum may not be as powerful or as long lasting as a Dyson vacuum, but it is quite a bit cheaper and still a very effective cleaner.
It has a few key features that make it stand out, but its biggest one is the removeable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Most other cordless vacuums have the battery built in, so when it fails, you have to buy a whole new vacuum. With this Shark model, you can just replace the removable battery pack.
The vacuum has a cool feature that makes it flexible for reaching under furniture without having to strain your back or get down on the floor. It’s also great at picking up pet hair and crumbs — especially from hard floors.
Shark’s vacuum uses a bristle brush and a soft brushroll to pick up dust, hair, crumbs, and debris from carpets and other flooring. In its tests, The Wirecutter found that this vacuum was best at cleaning hard floors, but good enough on carpet. That’s why it won the second place position in the guide.
The vacuum weighs 8.7 pounds, so it is a bit heavier than the Dyson. It also comes with a five-year warranty should anything go wrong. You will need to clean the filter and dust cup regularly so it performs well.
In the package, you get several accessories and tools, including the battery, charger, duster crevice tool, dusting brush, wide upholstery tool, and anti-allergen dust brush. You can buy extra batteries to replace yours when it completely stops working. If you’d like to have an extra on hand for when your battery loses juice and you need to recharge it, you can do that, too. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: Effective, good suction, decent battery, lightweight, multiple attachments
The best cordless vacuum for pet owners
The Shark Navigator Freestyle is great for both standard cleanups and for sucking up pet fur.
Perhaps the only thing worse for your floors than crumb-dropping kids is hair-shedding pets. But not to worry, the Shark Bagless Navigator Freestyle will restore your floors to furball-free status in minutes.
Pet owners face a special kind of necessary cleanup, and a good vacuum can mean a world of difference in making that cleanup a quick and easy process. The Shark Navigator Freestyle has been highly rated for all kinds of uses, but it’s especially good at cleaning up rogue pet fur.
The Shark Navigator Freestyle stands out among other cordless vacuums with its ability to easily swivel around furniture and other household items. The vacuum is also relatively lightweight, and instead of a bag, the vacuum has a large dust cup, which is easy to take off and empty.
The Shark Navigator Freestyle is also pretty well-built. It features rubberized wheels to help minimize any scratching on hard floors, and the battery, which will run for around 17 minutes, is replaceable — so if it eventually wears out you won’t have to get rid of the vacuum altogether. It also has a one-year warranty.
What makes this vacuum stand out from others in its category is the longer run time (nearly an hour), and the fact that it only take four hours to recharge.
There are a few negative things to consider about the vacuum before you buy. For example, the vacuum is somewhat bulky despite being light, and it doesn’t come with any attachments to clean up areas above the ground — this is a floor-only vacuum.
Pros: Easy swivel, well-built, replaceable battery, relatively inexpensive
The best cordless vacuum that’s a full-size crossover
The Hoover Air Lift Cordless vacuum looks like a full-size vacuum, and it comes with plenty of accessories and features — like two batteries.
Looking to go cordless, but don’t like the smaller design of all the others on this list? You’ll forget you’re using a cordless vacuum (apart from the convenience of no cord) with the Hoover Air cordless vacuum.
From the front, the Air looks just like any other full-size vacuum, and it has the accessories to match. The vacuum even comes with a second battery. Each of those batteries lasts around 25 minutes, and while you will have to switch it out mid-cleaning if you go over 25 minutes, in total, you’ll get a hefty 50 minutes of use out of it.
While full-size, the vacuum is lightweight enough to satisfy most people. As you would expect from a vacuum of this size, the Hoover Air has a brushroll on the bottom, meaning it can be used for both the carpet and the hard floors.
It’s gotten good reviews, too. PCMag gave the vacuum a nice 4/5 stars, while CNET awarded it 7.6/10. Part of the attractiveness of this vacuum also comes in the form of its warranty, which lasts five years.
Pros: Two batteries, full-size, lots of accessories, 2 filters
Cons: Expensive, have to switch batteries for full 50 minutes
Check out our guides to more great vacuum cleaners
We combed through top consumer product review websites, Amazon bestsellers, and feedback from vacuum owners to whittle down the many inexpensive vacuum cleaners out there to the five we feel are the best.
These are the best vacuums you can buy for less than $300:
- Bets overall: Shark Navigator Lift-Away
- Best for pets: Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Pet Vacuum
- Best canister vacuum: Eureka Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum
- Best cordless stick vacuum: Hoover Platinum Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum
- Best hand vacuum: Black & Decker Cordless Lithium Hand Vac
- Best robot vacuum: Eufy RoboVac 11S
Vacuuming is a real pain, but robot vacuum cleaners can suck up the dust for you. You can get robot vacuums for as little as $220, but the high-end models run up to $1,000 or more. We tested out a number of highly reviewed robot vacuums that run the gamut from $220 to $900. We also included a $170 robot mop and duster in our guide because it’s a great vacuum alternative for basic cleaning.
Here are the best robot vacuums you can buy:
- Best robot vacuum overall: iRobot Roomba 690
- Best robot vacuum under $250: Eufy RoboVac 11S
- Best robot vacuum for $350: Ecovacs Deebot 711
- Best robot vacuum under $600: iRobot Roomba 960
- Best self-cleaning robot vacuum: iRobot Roomba i7+
- Best self-navigating vacuum: Neato Botvac D7 Connected