5 of the Best Cordless Vacuums
Reviews, Comparison Charts and Much More
A lot has changed ever since I started this blog in 2013, gone are the days were cordless vacuums were thought as weak, overpriced, novelty tools that can’t clean a lick.
If you take a look at the latest products, these machines are more than capable than ever in tackling the at times frustrating job of keeping your homes clean.
Armed with larger batteries and better designed brushes, innovative companies like Dyson, Bissell, Shark and Hoover to name a few are leading the way with better performing products with more power and better run time that will not disappoint.
There’s also a review section that explains how each vacuum works, its strengths, weaknesses, how it’ll help clean different parts of the house, how it performs on different surfaces such as carpet, hard floor and rugs.
So, scroll away and see what’s in store for you!
Below is the comparison chart for the five best cordless vacuums available in the market today.
Dyson V6 Absolute
Black & Decker Platinum BDH2000FL 20-Volt
Dyson V8 Absolute
Hoover Air Cordless Lift Bagless Upright BH51120PC
Hoover Linx Stick
|Nooks & Crannies|
|Battery||22.2 volt Nickel|
|20 volt Li-ion||Lithium ion||2 x 20-volt lithium ion batteries||18 volt Lithium Ion|
|Charge time||3.5 hrs||5 hrs||N/A||3 hours (each battery)||3 hrs|
|18 - 30||40 mins.|
25 mins. (w/ the motorized tool attached)
7 mins. (max mode)
|50 (2 batteries combined)||10 to 15|
|Attachments||Soft roller cleaner head|
Direct-drive cleaner head
Mini motorized tool
Mini soft dusting brush
Combination accessory tool
|4" Flexi hose|
Pet hair cleaning tool
|Soft roller cleaner head|
Direct-drive cleaner head
Mini motorized tool
Mini soft dusting brush
Combination accessory tool
|Pivoting Dusting Tool|
Extended Crevice Tool
The list above is broad and includes a mix of handhelds and stick vacs but don’t worry, We’ve prepared something more targeted based on factors such as the surface you’ll clean on, type of dirt that needs to be removed, budget, and much more. Stand by as we work on the pages, I’ll update it as soon as I can.
- Battery – states the type of battery whether it uses an older ni-cad or a modern lithium ion plus how much voltage it cranks out. Take note that battery voltage will not accurately reflect on the power, it merely tells you how much volts the motor needs to function. Refer to the air watts for suction power
- Charge time – how long it takes to fully charge – numbers are based on either manufacturer claims or customer reviews to give you a baseline figure
- Run time – how long the charge will last – these are also based on either manufacturer claims or customer reviews to give you a baseline figure
- Power (Air Watts) – It measures the suction power directly on the vacuum inlet and not from the motor. If you’re a gearhead think of it this way watts = bhp, air watts = wheel hp, bhp measures power from the crank, wheel horsepower measures power directly from the wheels
- Motorized brush – this is a powered brush that helps the vacuum pick up more stubborn dirt like pet hair off hard floor and carpet. A must have if you want to remove hair and dust
- Attachments – lets you know if it has any attachment included in the package such as a pet hair, crevice or brush tool, the type of charger included and if it has any extra batteries
- Cleaning Path – this refers to the width of the cleaning head where all the dirt gets sucked in
- Weight – how heavy the product is (in pounds)
- Price – Since prices in amazon change frequently because of promotions, availability and various other reasons, we will not list the prices. Refer to these instead – $ = below $50, $$ = $51 – $100, $$$ = $101 to $200, $$$$ = $201 and up
- Rating – Rating in amazon
A cordless cleaner isn’t meant to fully replace a corded vacuum because it isn’t as powerful. Even models with the best run times give you around 45 minutes max per charge so you cannot realistically expect this to clean the whole house in a single charge.
Fully carpeted homes will need at least one upright or a canister that has enough power to deep clean. A cordless only becomes a necessity if you need to spot clean an area in your home. It also comes in handy if you want to tidy up your car’s interior. For homes with hard wood floors, it is plausible to only use cordless because no deep cleaning is needed.
There isn’t a one size fits all model that’s the best, you’ll have to look at your needs. Are you primarily using it to clean floors? What type of floor does your home have? carpet, tiled or wood?
There are vacuums designed specifically for non-carpet like the Dyson Hard and there are more versatile models that can work on both carpet and hard surfaces like the Hoover Air Cordless. Do you have pets? Then you’ll need something that won’t clog up easily and has enough power to suck up pet hair.
Are you using this in your vehicle? Then look for something small and lightweight that’s easy to carry around and can fit in tight areas, with enough tools to reach tight nooks and crannies.
Look at the list above and compare features such as power, battery life, charging time and weight.
We’ve gathered all these information from different sources so you don’t need to go back and forth between sites just to look for it.
All you need to do is read the reviews, compare the features and then make an informed choice before splurging on your next purchase.
We’ve created a guide to help you understand the features listed and how to use that information to narrow down which one to buy.
Remember to always look at the facts first before believing in all the hype that you see on TV.
Here’s a short review of the top 5 cordless vacs
A glance at the features, strengths, weaknesses and why they rank as such:
This is the new king of the block. If you think that the Motorhead is good, the V6 Absolute takes it a notch higher thanks to the new tool added – the soft roller cleaner head. This tool makes hard floor clean much easier and more efficient.
Why is it number 1?
The soft roller cleaner head is made from soft nylon that provides enough agitation on bare floor surfaces while minimizes scratches.
In video reviews I’ve seen, it really does its job in picking up everything from fine dust to pet hair.
It does struggle a bit when cleaning large debris and flings a few pieces here and there.
Here’s a big mess test done on hardwood using the fluffy tool.
You will notice that even on normal mode, the V6 was still able to pick up most of the dust, hair and debris even on the cracks thanks to the fluffy tool.
Aside from the bare floor tool, it also comes with a direct cleaner head for carpet with stiffer bristles for better agitation. Dyson also says that this cleaner head will give 70% more agitation compared to the “old” DC59.
To round up the tool set, it comes with a mini-motorized tool, mini dusting brush, combination tool and crevice tool.
If you suffer from allergies, gives this a look because it is equipped with HEPA filtration but since it is bagless you will still be exposed to dirt when emptying it.
In terms of power, it has the same air watt numbers as the Motorhead which is 24 air watts normal mode and 100 air watts in max.
Run time will be the same 20 minutes on normal mode but that will be reduced to 6 minutes when the max button is pressed.
Since this vacuum has been in the market for the past few years and with the release of the Dyson V8, refurbished units are available for around $50 less. This is a great option of you’re looking for additional savings.
What could be better?
If there are complains, it would be the run time, for some consumers 20 minutes is a little bit too low but if you watch the video above it is efficient in terms of how much dirt it picks up on one pass which will negate this limitation.
The other would be the trigger like button that needs to be squeezed to turn on the machine. It does not have an on/off switch.
At first glance, the BDH2000FL doesn’t look anything like a cordless vacuum but the weird design has a purpose – portable cleaning!
It has a 4-foot hose that you can pop out and use to clean up your car’s interior or the creases around your sofa bed.
The 20-volt lithium battery gives you roughly 15 to 20 minutes of run time that will take 5 hours to recharge.
Features at a glance:
- 20-volt lithium ion battery
- 5 hour charge time
- 4 foot flexible hose
- Pet hair attachment
Why did this make it to this list?
The unique design of the hose is clever and adds to the versatility – pop it back in if you’re cleaning wide open areas like your floors or tables but if you need to get in tight spots like your car’s interior the flexible hose comes in handy. It also has a pet hair tool that helps you clean pet hair off upholstery.
Are there any potential issues?
Biggest issue at least for the long term is the built-in battery. As with most battery powered tools – this can be the weak link if it breaks pre-maturely. Fortunately the B&D Platinum series comes with a 3-year warranty so you’re guaranteed at least 3 years of service life.
Update (September 19, 2014) – Black and Decker has released a updated version of this vacuum the BDH2020FLFH. It has virtually the same features – 4 foot flex hose, crevice, combination brush/nozzle and pet hair tool but this newer version is slightly more powerful (25 air watts v.s. 22 air watts) and it has a floor tool / wand attachment that allows you to use this as a stick vacuum. Read the full review here.
Dyson really has been really active in launching new products. Along with their newest robotic vacuum the 360 Eye, James Dyson also has unveiled a brand new cordless vacuum called the V8 Absolute and if you ask me that name fits this product because the performance is absolutely amazing.
More power and run time
According to Dyson the new V8 has around 20% more suction power and 150% more brush bar power compared to any V6 variant.
Another area of improvement is the battery. Dyson says that they’ve “improved the battery chemistry” which means longer run time of up to 40 minutes if you use this as a handheld but with any of the motorized floor tools attached that number drops down to 25 minutes.
When you turn-on the Max button, that number drops down to 7 minutes but it increases power up to 115 air watts (around 15 air watts higher than the V6).
This allows it to clean thicker pile carpet and dig deeper than any cordless vacuum in the market right now.
But wait there’s more…
Dyson also address two of the biggest issues. First was how mess it was to clean the bin and second, the max button behind the HEPA filter that needed some force to turn on.
With the previous V6 emptying the bin was a messy proposition even though their advertorials say otherwise that’s because of the narrow space of the filter and outer shell.
Improved dirt bin
Statically charged dirt like dust bunnies and pet hair get trapped in these areas and you will need to remove the whole bin to empty it properly. With the new V8 that is no longer an issue because the new rubber mechanism pushes everything down for you…
New max switch
With the previous V6 the max button is located on the back of the HEPA filter and you really have to push hard in order to get it to work.
The new design ditches that flawed designed and new uses a more traditional looking switch that you slide from side to side.
Bottom line: The Dyson V8 Absolute is a beast of a cordless and it’s only a matter of time before it beats the other two vacuums on top of this list. One reason that holds it back is the price – at around $600 it is a lot more expensive than a lot of the upright vacuums in the market but remember you are getting a lot for your dollar.
Out of the 5 vacuums in this list, I’m sure you’ll agree that the Dyson V6 Absolute is hands down the most versatile and feature rich however it’s crazy expensive. There’s another cordless in the market that wants to challenge Dyson in terms of cleaning performance and versatility, did I mention that it’s cheaper? Let me introduce the Hoover Air Cordless Lift.
No won’t match the Dyson in terms of compact versatility but it has one feature that separates it from other stick vacuums, the “Lift” feature. With a push of a button you can separate the canister from the body and basically transform this stick into a canister vacuum. Pretty neat huh?f
Why did this make it to this list?
One of the big reasons to like this machine is the long run time that combines for a whopping 50 minutes. Another reason is the lift feature that you saw earlier. I don’t think you’ll find this feature in any of the stick vacuums in the market right now.
This feature is a game changer because it allows users to use this above the floor on areas like upholstery and stairs. So essentially you are buying two products for the price.
What are the potential issues?
The biggest issue for me would be the price, at nearly $200 bucks it is a whole lot of dough to fork out for a cordless vacuum but for what you’ll get – I think it is a bargain.
But it is still cheaper than the V6 Absolute and if you don’t mind it not having the type of maneuverability the Dyson has then this would be a cheaper alternative that will help you keep your small home clean.
This is the Hoover Linx Stick vacuum, the other half of the Linx platinum series vacuum cleaner that also includes the handheld version. Both of these products use the same 18 volt lithium ion battery that will last for around 10 to 15 minutes depending on what surface you are cleaning.
With over 6,700 reviews in Amazon and counting, with a lot of them giving high marks – this cordless stick is one of the best-selling vacuums they have anywhere, better than the newer Air cordless series.
Why do consumers love this vacuum?
One of the best attributes of this machine is its carpet cleaning abilities that beat out even a Dyson DC59 in CNet’s controlled tests. Consumers who’ve used this agree that this machine though not a deep cleaner, is a great tool to have for small in-between cleanups on high traffic areas.
Even when you try and clean larger items like a cheerios or crackers, the Linx Stick has a small opening in the middle of the base that funnels all the larger debris inside that prevents the dreaded snowplowing effect that you see in other vacuums (like the Dyson) that don’t have this feature.
It also has a brushroll on and off switch which means you can turn off the motorized brush just in case you need to clean your hard floors – great if you have easy to scratch hardwood flooring at home.
What are the potential issues?
While this product is a good performer one complained I see is the handle that seems to be the weak spot in this vacuum. This vacuum comes in with the handle and body disassembled.
These two parts are held together by a screw and the mounting point of that screw is made from plastic so overtime due to wear and tear or if you drop it – it could cause it to break. Some consumers have resorted to duct tape to hold these two parts together and didn’t seem to mind because of the good performance but this is something to keep in mind.
Another issue is the run time, unlike the newer Air Cordless Lift that has nearly a one hour run time, this cordless only has maximum run time of 15 minutes – not enough to clean an entire room but good enough for spot cleaning.
Also this vacuum cannot clean anything above the floor since it lacks a hose or tools that you can use to clean upholstery.
If spending $150 or more isn’t an option for you well I’ve got some recommendations that will hopefully fit your home cleaning needs. I’ve also published two guides – one for vacuums below $100 and below $200.
Shark Navigator FreeStyle
This stick vacuum is a good performer on both low to medium pile carpet and bare floor surfaces, the great part about this is the price. It only costs a shade under $100, roughly $50 cheaper than other stick vacuums.
For the price you’ll get a light vacuum that swivel which is a must have because this makes it easier to clean around furniture.
The power button is conveniently located on the base of the vacuum and can be switched on using your foot.
Run time is slightly below average between 12 to 17 minutes though some consumers claimed to have stretched the run time to 30 minutes. Charging time would be around 3 to 7 hours.
It only comes with a one year warranty but filters and electrical parts are excluded from it based on this document. Buying from a reputable store like Amazon alleviates some of these concerns because it has a solid return policy.
Overall this is a solid spot clean up performer that will not put a huge dent on your wallet. Works equally well on carpet and hard surfaces. Remember though that this isn’t a deep cleaner but it’ll keep your carpets tidy enough in between deep cleaning sessions.
Black and Decker BDH2000PL Pivot
The BDH2000PL is vastly underrated because of the Black and Decker brand that some people think is inferior but make no mistake this handheld really performs. If you look at sheer suction power, it outclasses a Dyson DC44 and DC59 (in normal mode) – this has 35 air watts as compared to just 28 for the former.
Great for folks looking for a powerful handheld that will complement their stick or upright vacuum, one downside that that this would be limited in terms of picking up pet hair from upholstery or carpet.
Other than that this would be a nice handy handheld to have for those quick pickups around the house.
It’s Your Turn
Now, after reading our reviews and top picks about the best cordless vacuums in the market, it’ll be up to you to pick up something that’ll meet your needs and help you keep your home as clean and as dirt free as possible and do so without breaking the budget. Since this is a consumer product, there will always be new models that’ll be introduced every year by manufacturers so we’ll be updating the chart once that happens.
If you think we’ve missed out on any particular model in our list, let us know by posting it in the comments section below – we want to be as objective as possible and appreciate your input.