Vacuuming wouldn’t be such a chore if it weren’t for all the peripheral stuff: untangling your machine from its awkward home in the back of the closet, attempting to empty the dusty contents without creating a new mess to clean up, and having to unplug and replug the cord when you can’t reach the far corners of a room. But all of those hassles can be avoided with a cordless vacuum. Cordless vacuums are less bulky and easier to store. And since there’s nothing tethering you to an outlet, you can freely move from room to room sucking up pet hair, dust, and spilled Cheerios. According to Jon Gibbons, a cleaning consultant and vacuum technician for the site Smart Vacuums, you should consider four things before buying a cordless vacuum: suction power, filtration, run time, and accessories. To help you find the right cordless vacuum for your home, we asked Gibbons, along with nine other cleaning experts and Strategist writers, about their favorites, from cordless stick models to handheld dustbusters.
Best cordless stick vacuum overall
Most of the experts we talked to mentioned Dyson’s V series cordless stick vacuums because they are powerful, and they’re easy to use, store, and empty. Cleaning expert and entrepreneur Melissa Maker, whose Youtube channel Clean My Space boasts 1.53 million subscribers, says there’s no better cordless vacuum than the Dyson V11 with the multiuse head. When fully charged, the V11 runs for up to an hour, which gives Maker plenty of time to clean. It’s actually the only vacuum she uses in her house. “I use mine everyday because I have a 2 year old and she eats things she finds on the floor,” she says. Maker also likes that it has lots of room to hold dirt, three different power modes (which automatically kick in when you change from hardwood floors to rugs if you have the multiuse head), and excellent filtration. “Most people don’t realize that the hot air that hits them in the face when they’re vacuuming is actually dirty air carrying tiny bits of allergens and dust,” she says. Although Dyson vacuums are more expensive, Maker says they have the best filtration on the market.
Best (less expensive) cordless stick vacuum
We’ve written a lot about the Eufy Robo Vac, which several Strategist team members own and love. So we weren’t too surprised to find that Erin Conway, design blogger, product stylist, and mom of two recommends the brand’s new cordless stick vacuum. Conway’s favorite aspect of the Eufy HomeVac S11 Infinity is that it’s versatile. When fully charged on regular power, the HomeVac runs for up to 30 minutes, but you can also add a backup pack of rechargeable batteries to get you 80 minutes of dirt-sucking power. The S11 also comes recommended by cleaning influencer Sarah Symonds, who likes how easy it is to use and says “Our previous vacuum scratched the floors very easily. But this one has a softer brush that won’t damage floors, as well as many other tools.” Those tools include a crevice tool, extension hose, and a motorized textile brush. The S11 also has LED lights on the main head attachment to illuminate dark corners.
Best cordless stick vacuum for allergy sufferers
For a good all-around cordless vacuum, Gibbons recommends the Dyson V7 Allergy vacuum with HEPA filter. Although it has only half the runtime of the V11, it’s several hundred dollars cheaper and comes with a motorized head, furniture attachment, crevice tool, and a washable HEPA filter you never have to replace. It also has two power modes: regular and max, which gives you six fade-free minutes of increased suction for tough ground-in dirt. Like the other Dyson Stick vacuums this one conveniently transforms into a handheld for small spills and tight corners. Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst uses the V7 at home and loves that it can be used as both an upright vacuum cleaner and a handheld dustbuster.
Best cordless stick vacuum for pet owners
We discovered this cordless stick vacuum while researching the best vacuum cleaners for pet owners. It comes recommended by Bobbi Brown, the owner of both a rescue dog and The George, a pet-friendly boutique hotel. Brown calls the Oreck her “go-to home vacuum” because it’s light, easy to use, and a life saver for people with dogs who shed a lot. The Orek also features a flattened head which makes cleaning under low furniture a cinch. Instead of traditional bags or containers, this vacuum uses disposable pods that expand as you go and seal in dust, dirt, and pet dander so you never have to touch it.
Best cordless handheld vacuum overall
Abe Navas, General Manager of Emily’s Maids, a house cleaning service in Dallas, often borrows the corded ProTeam backpack vacuum he uses at work for deep cleaning his home. In between those deep cleans, he uses this handheld Black and Decker vacuum for maintenance. Navas recommends the 20-volt model because it’s powerful, durable, and easy to use. Like the Dyson Stick vacuums, it uses cyclone technology to spin dirt and debris away from the filter, ensuring long-lasting strong suction. And the swivel head makes hard-to-reach areas easy to clean. It also comes recommended by Max Appel, a cleaning expert and founder of Powerizer Complete and Strategist writer Lauren Ro, who uses it at home.
Best (less expensive) cordless handheld vacuum
Strategist writers Nikita Richardson, Hilary Reid, and Karen Adelson all have this 16-volt handheld vacuum. It’s not as powerful as the 20-volt version above, but it is about half the price and comes with a lot of the same features. Richardson says it has changed her life, and that she couldn’t own a cat without it.
Best wet/dry handheld cordless vacuum
“This is the only handheld wet/dry vacuum you should use to pick up wet spills,” says Appel, who also points out that the flexible hose allows you to get into small areas. Perhaps the biggest selling point of this vacuum is that it’s compatible with standard Dewalt 20-volt battery packs, so you can operate it with the same battery you use in your Dewalt drill.
Most powerful handheld cordless vacuum
Like Navas, Dean Davies, cleaning supervisor at Fantastic Services, uses professional grade vacuum cleaners on the job. But for home use, he recommends this powerful and lightweight 22-volt cordless vacuum cleaner from Gtech. In general, Davies suggests looking for a cordless vacuum with at least 15 volts and a long enough battery life to clean the whole interior of your car. When fully charged, this vacuum runs for up to 30 minutes, and it comes with a handful of attachments including a crevice tool and carpet brush.
Best handheld cordless vacuum for pet hair
At 1.4 pounds, the Shark WANDVAC handheld vacuum is a great choice for small everyday messes. It comes with a crevice tool and an upholstery brush, and its high-speed brushless motor provides compact yet powerful suction. Chelsea Brownridge, the founder of DogSpot, recommended the Shark for our story on the best pet vacuums, and it snagged a spot on our list of the best-reviewed handheld vacuums on Amazon, with reviewers praising its long-lasting battery, great suction, and stylish design.
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