10 Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners in 2019: Reviews and Comparison

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Cordless vacuums are one of the most versatile tools you can have for cleaning the home. The absence of the cord allows you to bring this machine anywhere.

In this guide, we’ll be looking at the best cord-free vacuum cleaners and dig deep into its strengths and weakness to help you choose the best option for your cleaning needs.

What’s The Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaner?

Dyson V10 Absolute

The results don’t lie; the Dyson V10 Absolute is the best cordless vacuum cleaner right now. In an industry-standard deep cleaning test done, the V10 was able to pick up 100% of fine sand from medium pile carpet thanks to the bump in suction power and upgraded Torque Drive cleaning head. It isn’t as powerful as the V11, but it is cheaper. If you don’t mind spending more, then I would suggest going with the Dyson V11 Torque Drive.

Dyson says that this cordless will run for up to 60 minutes, but this is only possible in specific configurations.

Using the crevice tool, the V10 will exceed the 60-minute mark at 61 minutes to be exact.

Using the Torque Drive tool, it will run for up to 46 minutes in normal mode and 26 minutes in the medium setting. In the highest setting, it will only run between 6.5 minutes and 9 minutes.

The good news is that the medium setting is more than enough for vacuuming carpet as proven in the cleaning tests.

There are three sub-models available for the V10 – the Absolute, Animal, and MotorHead.

The only two I’d recommend is the V10 Absolute and Animal. The difference between the two would be the soft roller cleaning head which excels on bare floor. But since the V10 has the upgraded Torque Drive head with the adjustable gates, it is capable of cleaning large debris like cheerios.

Upgrade Option

Dyson V11 Torque Drive

The best performing and most powerful cordless with all the bells and whistles is the Dyson V11 Torque Drive. All this translates to better cleaning performance, especially on carpet. It has the most powerful of all the cord-free vacuum cleaners I’ve covered in my blog with 185 air watts. It has more suction power than some of the Dyson uprights vacuum, which is pretty darn impressive. The big question is the willingness to spend on this technology.

The Dyson V11 is another step closer to James Dyson’s vision of replacing plugin uprights with cordless options. It has the most suction power with 185 air watts of suction. Combine it with the upgraded Torque Drive head; it is capable of not just cleaning surface dirt but also those embedded under carpet strands.

If the V11 Torque Drive is too expensive, then have a look at Shark vacuums. These products aren’t as costly but provide some compelling features such as the Zero-M and DuoClean technology that will make your life easier cleaning.

Consumer Reports says the Dyson V11 scored the highest of all the cordless stick vacuums in their cleaning test.

It also scored high in their emissions test, which makes this a viable option for allergy sufferers who prefer a bagless system.

The larger lithium-ion battery boosts run time. Dyson says it will run for 60 minutes. However, tests show that it will run for as much as 74 minutes in the lowest setting using a non-motorized attachment and 66 minutes using the torque drive head.

Best Cordless Handheld

Black & Decker Platinum BDH2020FLFH

This handheld may not be the most potent option, but it’s one of the most versatile. The Black & Decker BDH2020FL has a feature that not a lot of handheld vacuums have – a 4-foot flexible hose. This feature alone increases the vacuum’s reach. It allows consumers to put more weight on the surface when cleaning pet hair off upholstery and reach into tighter crevices.

Handhelds vacuums are useful for quick cleanup tasks, and the Black & Decker BDH2020FL is a capable option. It is lightweight and has enough suction for daily cleanup tasks.

This vacuum will not be able to clean floors because it lacks a floor cleaning tool. It is strictly a spot cleaning specialist because of the short 15-minute run time.

Not only will it clean small messes, but it can also pick up small doses of pet hair thanks to the pet hair tool.

Table of contents

Here’s a quick overview of the best cordless vacuum cleaners.

Take note that airflow represents how much air passes through the suction port. An anemometer is the tool of choice to measure airflow.

I added these figures on the chart for comparison purposes. There’s a correlation between airflow and performance on hard surfaces – the higher the airflow, the better the vacuum does.

But there are other factors to consider, such as brush roll design, clearance, and such that contribute to how a vacuum does.

Run time represents how long the vacuum will run fully charged until empty. The number you see is the longest that the vacuum ran in the tests using a suction only tool. Again, take these figures with a grain of salt because there is a margin for error in these tests. Just use it as a reference on what to expect in terms how long these vacuums will run.

BEST OVERALL

Dyson V10 Absolute
  • Airflow: up to 53 CFM
  • Run time: 61 mins
  • Weight: 5.9 pounds
  • Type: Stick Vacuum
  • Warranty: 2 years

UPGRADE OPTION

Dyson V11 Torque Drive
  • Airflow: up to 59 CFM
  • Run Time: 66 mins.
  • Weight: 6.68 pounds
  • Type: Stick Vacuum
  • Warranty: 2 years

BEST CORDLESS HANDHELD

Black & Decker BDH2020FL
Black & Decker BDH2020FL
  • Suction: 24 AW
  • Run time: 14 mins.
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Type: Hand Vacuum
  • Warranty: 2 years

BEST CORDLESS VACUUM FOR HARD FLOOR

Shark ION P50
  • Airflow: up to 44 CFM
  • Run time: 31 mins.
  • Weight: 12.03 pounds
  • Type: Stick Vacuum
  • Warranty: 5 years

LONGEST RUN TIME

Shark ION F80
Shark ION F80
  • Airflow: up to 38 CFM
  • Run time: 87 mins.
  • Weight: 8.07 pounds
  • Type: Stick Vacuum
  • Warranty: 5 years

VALUE FOR MONEY

Dyson V8 Absolute
  • Airflow: up to 46 CFM
  • Run time: 42 mins.
  • Weight: 5.75 pounds
  • Type: Stick Vacuum
  • Warranty: 2 years

REASONABLY PRICED OPTION FOR CARPET

Dyson V7 MotorHead
  • Airflow: up to 45 CFM
  • Weight: 5.7 pounds
  • Run time: 32:36 mins.
  • Type: Stick Vacuum
  • Warranty: 2 years
Hoover Linx Signature Series
  • Airflow: up to 31 CFM
  • Run time: 23:24 mins.
  • Weight: 7.3 pounds
  • Type: Stick Vacuum
  • Warranty: 2 years

BEST CORDLESS UNDER $100

Dirt Devil Reach Max
  • Airflow: up to 45 CFM
  • Run time: 24:06 mins.
  • Weight: 5.7 pounds
  • Type: Stick Vacuum
  • Warranty: 2 years
Bissell Multi Reach
  • Airflow: up to 31 CFM
  • Run time: 20.08 mins
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Type: Stick Vacuum
  • Warranty: 2 years

Best Overall: Dyson V10 Absolute

Dyson V10 Absolute Review

Around a year unveiled the Dyson V8, they have something new once more – the Dyson V10. This vacuum is one of the more powerful options available. What makes it a great choice is the price drop with the release of the newer V11.

It is a significant upgrade over the V8 series vacuums with most of the components redesigned.

These improvements aim to improve airflow, thus increasing suction power.

What makes this a great option?

  • Long Run Time: At full charge, this vacuum will run for up to 60 minutes. There aren’t a lot of alternatives that boast of such.
  • Upright Performance: This vacuum has 151 air watts of suction which is at par with some of the Dyson compact uprights. When it comes to performance, this stick vacuum will deliver.
  • Great For Larger Homes: The strong airflow and lengthy battery life make it an ideal option in smaller homes.
  • Versatile: It comes with a total of eight attachments capable of cleaning dry dirt in most parts of the home or inside the vehicle.
  • Improved Dirt Bin: Dyson also has upgraded the dirt bin making it bigger (by around 50% than the V8) and easier to empty.

Some potential issues

  • Expensive: Buying technology like this won’t come cheap. However, the good news is the price has come down with the Dyson V11.

One of the significant changes that Dyson did is changing the alignment of the dirt bin. In the V8, it is aligned vertically, but with the V10, it’s aligned horizontally, so the canister, motor, tools, and extension tube are in a straight line.

Making that alignment change has another benefit – a larger dirt bin. The Dyson V10 can hold up to 0.77 liters of dry dirt versus the 0.54 liters in the V8.

In the cleaning tests that I saw, the V10 performed almost flawlessly. It has scored high in cleaning tests is done by various tech blogs; picking up everything in sight on hard floors.

Here’s the clincher – it can also deep clean medium pile carpet, picking up 100% of sifted sand.

The V10 Absolute is excellent inside homes that have a mix of hard floors and carpet. It has the soft roller and new torque drive attachments to handle these surfaces, but this option is more costly.

A less expensive option is the V10 Animal but that model only has the torque drive tool with the adjustable gates.

These gates allow it to pick up more significant bits of dirt making it very usable on bare floors despite not having a brush roll on/off feature.

Having the adjustable gates make it possible for the Torque Drive attachment to clean larger bits of dirt.

There isn’t much of a need to use the fluffy attachment as much inside homes with a mix of rugs, carpet, hard floors.

It saves you the hassle of carrying an extra tool and continually switching.

Any long term concerns?

There’s no question that the Dyson V10 can perform but how does it stand up long term? It’s too early to say because it’s been only a year since it came out, but James Dyson says that the batteries will last for 15 years.

One potential issue long term would be the battery. Some have said that you won’t be able to replace it. However, this video says otherwise. Using a Philips screen driver, the battery is detachable. Since the V10 is relatively new, there are no replacement batteries available just yet but there will be in the near future.

Bottom line

One significant reason why I picked the V10 Absolute over the V11 Torque Drive is the price. Make no mistake that the V11 is closer in terms of deep cleaning performance to an upright than the V10, but there is a price to pay to enjoy the bump in performance.

Upgrade Option: Dyson V11 Torque Drive

At first glance, you’d think that the Dyson V11 is just a slight upgrade over the V10 as both these look almost alike. But these upgrades go deeper than the aesthetic.

Out of all the alternatives out there, this model will perform closest to an upright. That’s something I did not think was possible five years ago.

According to Vacuum Wars, the Dyson V10 had around 111” (or 28,000 pascals) of water lift which is more suction than uprights such as the Kenmore Elite and the Shark Rotator Lift Away.

That number is pretty good for an upright but an insane number for a cordless vacuum cleaner.

What makes this a great option?

  • Deep Cleaning Performance: This is the first cord-free cleaner to have deep cleaning performance. It has up to 185 air watts of suction and capable of cleaning sand even on medium pile carpet.
  • Auto Adjust Feature: Inside the Torque Drive head is a sensor that tells the vacuum the surface it is cleaning. It will automatically adjust the suction depending on the surface, which increases efficiency and run time. There’s no need to do it manually.
  • Extended Run Time: Even with the upgraded motor and power, Dyson was still able to maintain run time at around 60 minutes max. The trigger switch helps further maximize it because you’ll only use the power on demand.
  • Smart Features: Behind the motor is an LCD screen that provides vital information. These include how much time run time is left, filter status and even clogs and how to fix it. It’s like having a computer screen on the vacuum.
  • Large Capacity Dirt Bin: This cordless can hold up to 0.76 (or 0.2 gallons) liters of dry dirt – that’s almost double the size of the Dyson V8.

Some potential issues

  • Insanely Expensive: The Dyson V11 is currently the most expensive option available. It’s one of the few cord-free stick vacuums capable of deep cleaning carpet as well as an upright.
  • Not Self Standing: This vacuum will not stand on its own. You’ll need a wall bracket to store this neatly or lay it down on the floor which takes up more space.
  • Longer Recharge Time: It will take around 4.5 hours to recharge the larger capacity batteries of the V11 compared to the 3.5 hours in the V10.
  • Heavier: The larger battery pack in the V11 means it’ll be heavier.

The sheer power of this vacuum makes it effective at cleaning carpet, hard floors, pet hair, edges, and much more.

In industry-standard deep cleaning tests which is an accurate measure of how vacuums perform on carpet, the V11 Torque Drive was able to pick up 101% of a mixture of sand and powder on medium-pile carpet.

The floor tool in the Dyson V10 and V11 is a significant improvement over the V8. This tool now has two adjustable gates where larger debris will fit.

With this tool on board, there isn’t much of a need for the soft roller tool and the hassle of switching tools when there is a transition from various surfaces.

In the United States, only the Torque Drive head is available. The Absolute version of the V11 is only available in the United Kingdom.

Dyson also found a way to make it quieter than the V10 despite the bump in power. The V11 will only produce 73.1 decibels of noise while the V10 produces 81.5 decibels.

Looking at the spec sheet, Dyson says that it will run for up to 60 minutes, but that’s with the non-powered attachments like the crevice tool.

In actual tests, the V11 actually exceeded that mark; 81 minutes to be exact using the soft roller tool, 74 minutes with the crevice tool and 66 minutes with the torque drive head. All of these are at the lowest setting.

Consumer Reports say that using the powered tools, run time is at 43 minutes.

Why the discrepancy? Although they didn’t mention it, I think that Consumer Reports tested this using the medium setting.

The best setting for cleaning carpet would be the medium setting. Using the Torque Drive attachment, you’ll get up to 43 minutes of run time – which is pretty consistent with the test done by Consumer Reports.

All this adds up to a 30% increase to the Dyson V10.

It also scores high in terms of filtration in the Consumer Reports and Vacuum Wars fog test.

Any long term concerns?

One concern would be how long it holds up long term. Dyson all of their cord-free vacuums with a two-year warranty. I hope that it would be longer with the price structure of a Dyson but it is what it is.

Earlier I told you that the new 7-cell batteries that Dyson put in the V10 series and above will last for 15 years. It remains to be seen if it will hold up that long.

The good news is the batteries are replaceable using a simple Philips screwdriver. Another thing that will make this vacuum last a long time would be how you take care of these essential parts – main cleaning head, dirt bin, and the filters.

Bottom line

The Dyson V11 is another massive step in James Dyson’s vision of replacing plugin uprights with cordless stick vacuums. It has the most power of any option available right now and more efficient thanks to the floor detecting feature on the Torque Drive head. The most significant barrier would be the high cost of this product.

Best Cordless Handheld: Black & Decker BDH2020FL

This vacuum is hands down the best pure handheld available right now.

It is an excellent complement to any upright or stick vacuum. The flexible hose is a game changer in that it extends the reach even to the tightest spots.

At first glance, the Black & Decker BDH2020FL doesn’t look anything like a cordless, 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 the car’s interior or the creases around the sofa bed.

What makes this a great option?

  • Lightweight Option: This handheld vacuum only weighs 4 pounds – great for portable cleaning.
  • Great Reach: The flexible hose increases the reach of this vacuum. It allows it to reach areas even a Dyson cannot.
  • Pet Hair Cleaner: This handheld has a unique tool to clean pet hair on upholstery. The hose allows you to put more weight to add more agitation.
  • Decent Suction: Don’t expect this to have the same power as a Dyson handheld, but it has enough for spot cleanups, which is its primary purpose.

Some potential issues

  • Small Dust Cup: This vacuum won’t hold a lot of dirt – only 0.2 liters worth so you’ll have to empty it often.
  • Can’t Replace The Battery: You will not be able to replace the battery of this handheld because it is built-in the unit. When it fails, you’ll have to send it to Black & Decker for replacement or trash it.

The 20-volt lithium battery gives you roughly 15 to 20 minutes of run time that will take 5 hours to recharge.

The unique design of the hose is smart and adds to the versatility and reach.

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.

The 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 prematurely.

Fortunately, the B&D Platinum series comes with a 3-year warranty, so you’re guaranteed at least three years of service life.

Bottom line

This handheld is a great spot up cleaner that is light enough to carry with you anywhere you go. Whether you’re inside the kitchen or in the car, this will be capable of picking up loose dirt like spilled chips or cheerios. It also comes with a nifty pet hair tool that is surprisingly effective.

Best Cordless Vacuum for Hard Floor: Shark ION P50

Many brands mimic Dyson in terms of design, but only a few can match it in terms of overall performance, ergonomics, versatility, and filtration.

The Shark ION P50 is one of those few products with that capability.

That is a testament to the effort that Shark has put into their products not merely content in copying but innovating.

This variant offers the same versatility as the Dyson V10 but does it differently.

Instead of just blatantly copying Dyson’s tube design, it has its system they call the Lift-Away.

One advantage of this system is that it shifts the weight from the handle down to the base where the motor is.

There will be less pressure put on your arm as you clean floors. And it’s a better option than the V10 when cleaning different floor types.

What makes this a great option?

  • Close To Dyson In Terms Of Power: The ION P50 is close to Dyson V10 in terms of airflow.
  • Sealed System: This cordless is one of the few options with a truly sealed system. It means that allergens up to 5 microns will stay inside the bin.
  • Better Ergonomics For Cleaning Floors: The ION P50 is different from the Dyson in that it has the lift away system that shifts the weight from top to bottom. This feature makes it more ergonomic to use on floors.
  • Transitions Smoothly On Different Floor Surfaces: Unlike the Dyson V8 or V10, you don’t need to switch floor tools just when cleaning rugs, carpet or bare floor. The Duo Clean system cleans any surfaces well.
  • Large Dust Bin Capacity: This vacuum can hold up to 0.9 liters of dry dirt – more than most cordless options.
  • Extended Warranty: The new Shark cordless stick vacuums have a five-year warranty – 3 more than the Dyson.

Some potential issues

  • Does Not Deep Clean As Well: The Duo Clean head works great at surface dirt pick up but won’t do as well as a Dyson in deep cleaning carpet.
  • Weighs Over 10 pounds: This vacuum weighs more than 10 pounds – almost twice more than the Dyson V10.

One reason why the ION P50 is almost flawless on hard surfaces is this tool.

This tool is what Shark calls the Duo Clean head. It combines the soft roller bar and a bristle brush. The bristles on the second brush are stiff and capable of cleaning well even on carpet.

However, don’t confuse this with a Dyson V11, it isn’t as good on carpet. Whereas the V11 picked up 100% on medium-pile carpet, the Duo Clean was only able to pick up 86%. Not great, but for a cordless stick vacuum, it’s still excellent.

One more thing unique about the Shark is how it easily transitions from cleaning floors to areas above it.

With a Dyson, you remove the wand and attach the tools directly on the vacuum. In the Shark ION P50, it has the lift away system that transforms this from a cordless stick to a canister vacuum.

Even in lift-away mode, you can still use the main cleaning head. It increases reach and allow it to reach further under furniture.

Any long term issues?

When it comes to quality, Shark has got to be up there with Dyson, so there’s no doubt in my mind that this cordless will hold up the warranty period.

One thing going for the Shark is the 5-year warranty which is 3 years longer than the Dyson.

If there is a concern, it would be the main cleaning head. The soft roller part is removable, but the bristle part isn’t.

This becomes an issue long term if you don’t clean it regularly. The battery should not be an issue because you can replace it easily without any tools and Shark sells them.

Bottom line

The Shark ION F50 is an excellent alternative to the Dyson if you want to save some cash. It doesn’t deep clean as well as the Dyson V11 or V10, but it shines on debris pick up. This vacuum will clean pet hair, cheerios, chips, etc.

Longest Run Time: Shark ION F80 IF281

The Shark ION F80 IF281 is the upgraded version of the IONFlex 2X with a longer run time of close to 90 minutes in real-life testing.

It has many of the same features as the IONFlex 2X such as the DuoClean technology, Multi-Flex and LED headlights on the cleaning head.

The most significant upgrade is the way Shark was able to extend run time using the same batteries. The IONFlex 2X almost doubles the battery life from 48 mins to 87 mins.

Shark was able to extend the battery life by toning down the airflow to 24 CFM on the lowest setting, which is the same as the Dyson V10.

At the highest setting, the F80 will have 38 CFM, lower than the Dyson V10 at 53 CFM at the cleaning head.

What makes this a great option?

  • Excellent Agitation: The beauty of the Duo Clean cleaning head is the amount of agitation it provides. It’s the only vacuum that least relies on suction to pick up dirt.
  • Long Run Time: The two lithium-ion batteries enable this vacuum to run for more than 80 minutes, which is easily the longest.
  • Great For Cleaning Under Furniture: Even if it looks gimmicky, the Multi-Flex feature does work making under furniture cleaning easier.
  • More Visibility: One feature that the Shark has that Dyson does not is the LED headlights on the main cleaning head.
  • Removable Battery: One underrated pro with this Shark cordless stick vacuum is the removable battery. Having this feature allows you to the option to replace the battery just in case it fails.

Some potential issues

  • No HEPA filter: This variant does not have any HEPA filters which mean it’ll spit out allergens out the exhaust. Not an option for folks with allergies.
  • Smallish Dirt Bin: The F80 can only hold up to 0.28 liters of dirt – much smaller than the Dyson V10 or V11.
  • Poor Weight Distribution: Even if the Shark F80 weighs almost the same as the V10, the weight distribution isn’t as balanced. If you use this above floor with the wand, your arms will hurt more.

One thing to note about the Shark ION F80 is that it doesn’t rely as much on suction as other brands. That’s the beauty of the Duo Clean system.

You don’t need two separate cleaning heads for carpet and hard surfaces, this tool can do the task for both.

The biggest strength of the Duo Clean system is its ability to pick up all sorts of debris from large cheerios to dust.

It also has the capability of deep cleaning carpet but not as good as the Shark ION P50. The F80 was able to pick up 84% of 100-gram mixture of sifted sand and talc powder on medium pile carpet.

Take note that the mixture was not just scattered on the surface but rubbed deep into carpet strands.

Not as good as the Dyson V10 or V11, but this option is much cheaper.

On hardwood, it did much better picking up everything on its path.

The Duo Clean head works great any virtually any type of debris such as pet hair, dust, powder, etc.

Bottom line

The Shark F80 is a good alternative if you’re not willing to spend the $$$ for a Dyson V10. It isn’t as powerful and won’t clean as well, but it will provide the same versatility thanks to the array of attachments you’ll get. Filtration is another issue as this vacuum does not have a HEPA filter.

Value for Money Dyson: Dyson V8

One nice benefit of having new models coming out is the price drop that comes along with it for the older variants.

The Dyson V8 was once the top-of-the-line option Dyson has, but with the V10 and V11, it’s now their mid-priced option.

Still, don’t sleep on this product because it still performs well.

One thing that the Dyson V8 does not have is the upgraded Torque Drive head found in the V10 and V11 that has the adjustable gates which enables it to clean significant bits of dirt.

What’s makes this a great option?

  • Still An Excellent Performer: Despite being an older variant, the V8 will perform as well as the V10 at least on hard surfaces.
  • Offers A Lot Of Versatility: You can use this product as a handheld or stick vacuum.
  • Very Decent Run Time: In real-life tests done, the V8 actually can run past the 42-minute mark with the non-motorized attachment like the crevice tool. In max made it to the 9-minute mark.
  • Hygienic Bin: The V8 has the sanitary bin emptying system that makes it easier to empty.
  • A Capable Carpet Vacuum: Despite being cordless, the V8 is capable of picking up fine particles of dirt on carpet picking up 92% using an industry-standard test.

Some potential issues

  • Expensive: This cordless stick vacuum is still costly, even with the price drop.
  • Small Dirt Bin: The V8’s dirt capacity is 0.54 liters, which equates to around 2 cups – a decent number but not great.

What this means is you’ll need to use the right tool to maximize the results.

On bare floor, you’ll have to attach the soft roller cleaning head, and on carpet, it’s the direct-drive cleaning head.

There is that element of removing and attaching a tool that is an extra layer of effort.

You can use the direct-drive head on bare floor, but only for cleaning small pieces of dirt.

If you try using it on stuff like cheerios, you’ll end up with this.

The direct drive head on the V8 does not have the adjustable gates that the V10 and V11 has so significant bits of dirt will get pushed forward.

To clean these types of messes you’ll need to switch to the soft roller head.

The soft roller tool is excellent at surface dirt pickup even on carpet.

This cordless is light weighing a smidge under six pounds, and weight distribution is excellent.

Using the V8 above floors puts less stress on your arms than a Shark F80 that’s more top-heavy.

Cleaning carpet is another strong point for the V8. It was able to pick up 92% of talc and fine grade sand on carpet. Not the level of the Dyson V11 but considering this cordless is cheaper, it is still impressive.

Bottom line

If you’re not willing to spend top dollar for the top-spec Dyson V10 or V11, the V8 is a great option. It won’t clean as well as the other two Dyson vacuums, but the difference isn’t very significant. The V8 also provides the versatility of a handheld and stick vacuum capable of cleaning your home or vehicle.

Reasonably Priced Option for Carpet: Dyson V7 Motorhead

The Dyson V7 is an excellent in-between option for the V6 and V8. It’s got the same power rating as the V6 and the same dust cup design as theV8.

One complaint that consumers have with the V6 is the difficulty they have with debris disposable, which can be messy at times. The V7 Motorhead solves this issue with the hygienic bin from the V8.

What makes this a good option?

  • Hygienic Bin: The V7 is the cheapest Dyson cordless with the hygienic system. Having this feature reduces the amount of mess when disposing of dirt.
  • Above-average run time: This variant will run for up to 32 minutes and 36 seconds in the default setting and 7 minutes and 56 seconds in the max setting.
  • An excellent option for carpet: The direct drive head on the V7 works great inside homes with lots of carpets.
  • Lightweight and versatile: It comes with a variety of attachments like the crevice, combination, and mini motorized brush that brings a lot of versatility to the table. With the extension tube and primary cleaning nozzle, this vacuum weighs just 5.7 pounds. In its handheld configuration, that number drops down to 3.11 pounds.

Potential issues

  • Not so good on hard floor: The lack of the soft roller tool hampers the V7’s ability to clean hard surfaces. Sure it can clean stuff like dust and small debris, but it will struggle with anything more substantial.
  • No HEPA filter: The V7 does not have a fully-sealed system or a HEPA filter that block allergens escaping from the exhaust port.

The V7 Motorhead will run to up to 32 minutes in normal mode, but that number will go down to around 7 minutes in the highest setting.

Like the V6 and V8, this variant has two suction modes – normal and max.

The MotorHead will give you the same versatility as the V6 and V8 MotorHead because it has the same set of attachments.

You’ll get the direct drive cleaning head, crevice tool, and combination tool. Depending on where you buy it, it may or may not come with the mini-turbo brush.

Since it only has the direct drive cleaning head, it will do better on carpet than it will on hard floor because it does not have the adjustable gates found in the newer Dyson V10 and V11.

In terms of surface pickup, it will do well on carpet and bare floor. However, don’t expect it to deep clean as well as higher-end stick and upright cleaners.

Bottom line

Homeowners looking for a reasonably priced stick vacuum capable of cleaning carpet and upholstery should look at the Dyson V7. It’s got above average battery life and the hygienic bin system making it more sanitary to empty.

Run Time Comparison

Check out the table below for actual run times of the vacuums featured above. With the exception of the Shark ION F80 in low power mode, all of the figures are done with the main cleaning head-on.

The run time will be longer with the non-motorized tools, but this is a good benchmark of what to expect.

ModelModeRun Time
Dyson V11Low66 mins.
Medium43 mins.
High8 mins.
Dyson V10Low46:16 mins.
Medium26:57 mins.
High6:30 mins.
Shark ION P50Low31 mins.
High20.05 mins.
Shark ION F80Low57 mins.
High27 mins.
Dyson V8 AbsoluteLow33:30 mins.
High9 mins.
Hoover Linx Signature SeriesHard floor23:24 mins.
Carpet19:25 mins.
Dirt Devil Reach MaxHigh24:06 mins.
Low14:58 mins.
Bissell Multi ReachOne Setting20:08 mins.

Other (This Includes Budget) Options

Next up, let’s look at other options that did not make it to the top. Some of these include cheaper vacuums that fall under the $200 mark.

One thing to note about these cheaper vacuums is these options don’t have a sealed system or HEPA filtration. What does this mean? It means that fine allergens that go in will seep through the exhaust.

Not a big deal if you don’t have any respiratory condition like asthma. However, if you are asthmatic or have rhinitis, these budget vacuums will do more harm than good.

Hoover Linx Signature Series

This Hoover is unique that it’s the only one in this list that’s for floors. It doesn’t have any attachments that make it usable above floors.

At first glance, you’d think it’s an upright as it has the same design cues.

One benefit of this design is that there’s less weight at the handle making it less tiring to use when cleaning a larger area.

What makes this a good option?

  • Excellent on hard surfaces and carpet: This vacuum has enough airflow and agitation to get the job done on carpet and hard floors. It’s one of the few options with the brush roll on/off feature that helps prevent the brushes from scuffing any sensitive wood flooring.
  • Easy to empty bin: The dust cup is removable and debris doesn’t stick as much. It is easy to disassemble if you need a more thorough clean.
  • Decent battery life: On bare floor the Linx Signature Series will run for up to 23 minutes and up to 19 minutes on carpet.

Some issues

  • No versatility: This product is strictly a floor cleaning vacuum.
  • Smallish dirt capacity: Despite having an upright type design, it can hold only up to 0.5 liters of dirt.

Using this stick vacuum is equivalent to just carrying over a pound of weight whereas the Dyson V10 is like carrying over three pounds when cleaning floors.

One thing is does great is cleaning floors whether it is hardwood or carpet – it will do the job.

It has a brush roll on/off dial that turns the brush off to prevent the bristles from scratching on a soft hardwood surface.

In the middle of the main nozzle is a funnel that allows more significant bits of dirt to pass through to prevent any snowplowing of larger debris.

It can also deep clean at short burns picking up 78% of sand on medium pile carpet.

Dirt Devil Reach Max

Dirt Devil Reach Max

The Dirt Devil Reach may be the best budget cord-free option available right now. It has the combination of power, versatility, and run time that you want in a cordless.

Let’s break down the features one by one. First would be power. The Dirt Devil Reach has more power in its default cleaning mode at 29 CFM, which is more than the Dyson V10 and V8. But it lags below in its high power mode at 33 CFM on high power.

What makes this a good option?

  • Outstanding airflow for the price: The high airflow of the Dirt Devil Reach allows it to perform well at surface pick up tests with 33 CFM at the high power setting.
  • Low cost: Folks looking for an inexpensive cordless stick vacuum should consider this model. It’s the cheapest of all the options in this list.
  • Lightweight: The whole vacuum with the main cleaning head and wand weigh just a touch over 6 pounds

Some issues

  • Challenging to clean dust cup: The Dirt Devil dust cup has lots of tight crevices making it very difficult to clean. It doesn’t fully disassemble which makes the task harder.
  • Does not have a sealed system: Like all budget stick vacuums, this variant does not have a fully sealed system. Don’t buy this if you have allergies.

How does this translate to real-world cleaning? In cleaning tests, it did well at picking up surface dirt on carpet and hardwood but will not do as well in deep cleaning carpet.

Part of this is that does not have stiff bristles that are essential for deep cleaning.

The larger clearance makes it great at picking up larger debris on hard surfaces but will not do as well cleaning crevices.

Dirt Devil says that this vacuum will run for 20 minutes, but real-time tests how that it will run a bit further than that.

Battery life tests show that the Dirt Devil Reach Max will run for a shade over 24 minutes in normal mode and a tick under 15 minutes in max mode which is pretty good for a cordless.

One issue with the Dirt Devil Reach is the dirt bin that has a lot of small crevices where dirt can latch on making it tedious to clean.

Bissell Multi Reach Plus

The Bissell Multi Reach is another versatile budget option you should consider. It’s more expensive than the Dirt Devil with a smaller bin size but it will perform better on hard surfaces.

One of the unique features of this Bissell would be the floor tool.

On the forward pass, the gate on the nozzle opens up so larger debris fit and closes on the pull for a better seal.

What makes this a good option?

  • Excellent on hard floor: The unique design of the primary floor tool allows larger bits of dirt to fit through on the forward pass then seals on the backward pass to pick up fine debris.
  • Also great for upholstery and stairs: It has a lightweight design and interchangeable tools that make cleaning upholstery or stairs a breeze.

Some issues

  • Won’t Clean Embedded Dirt: This Bissell lacks agitation and suction for deep cleaning carpet but for surface dirt, it won’t be an issue.
  • Small dust cup: The 0.54 liter capacity is similar to the Dyson V8.

This feature is why the Bissell Multi Reach does well on carpet. However, it will not do as well in deep cleaning tests.

It has only one power mode and will produce 31 CFM which is two down from the Dirt Devil Max on its high setting. Run time will be a little over 20 seconds.

The dust cup is also on the smaller side at around 2 cups or 0.54 liters which is the same as the Dyson V8.

How to Choose a Cord-Free Vacuum? The selection process

Product turnover is relatively high in this industry.

It seems like a new product comes out every day, but typically the top brands release a new version every year or so to have one leg up over the competition.

Over the past five years, I’ve reviewed more than 40 models.

Some of them are no longer in production.

I’ll be continually updating this page once something new comes out. Technology is ever-evolving, and so are vacuum cleaners.

Here are features that you have to check.

Must-have Features

  • Lithium-ion battery: A good baseline would be an 18-volt battery that will work well in most homes. A higher voltage does not necessarily mean more power, but it’s a good measuring stick of how it will perform. Avoid buying something with a NiCad battery because these take much longer to recharge and they tend to lose power halfway through the cleaning cycle.
  • 15 minute run time: This is enough time to clean a room, high traffic areas, or picking up small messes. The good news is the newer cordless stick vacuums will run longer thanks to improvement in battery technology.
  • Interchangeable tools: Having tools extends the functionality of a cordless. You don’t want to buy something that cleans one area. It defeats the purpose of getting one. Look for something with a brush tool and crevice tool (at least).
  • Motorized brush: A must-have if you’re looking for something that will clean floors. Of course, vacuums with this feature will cost more so weigh your priorities accordingly.
  • 2 Year Warranty: If you’re spending lots of $$$, make sure it comes with at least a 2-year warranty. An extended warranty gives you some peace of mind just in case it fails prematurely.

Not as important features:

  • Power: An excellent cordless stick vacuum should at least have enough power to clean dust on bare floor and carpet. A brush roll helps a great deal on carpet, but it doesn’t hurt to have power.
  • Ergonomics: Since you’ll be using these products daily, look for something easy to move around and comfortable to hold. All the models I looked weigh less than 8 pounds and easy to use. Having intuitive controls and easy to empty bin are also things that I factor highly.
  • Extended run time: Having a long run time doesn’t hurt and lessens the downtime. The 15 minutes I said earlier is just a baseline, looking for something that’ll run longer is always a plus.
  • High consumer ratings: Anything below four stars could mean there are some performance or quality control issues.
  • Swivel: This is a pretty standard feature on a decent brand cordless. If it does not have this, then you better consider something else.

For a decent cord-free stick vacuum expect to pay between $120 and $350. If it doesn’t have any motorized tool, it’ll be closer to the $120 range. Cheap vacuums at the $50 to $90 are decent but don’t expect in terms of features – these are just basic machines that will do the job.

Spending more than $350 will give you an excellent product with decent power and run times extending close to an hour.

Some of these machines have specialized tools specifically designed for carpet and bare floor.

The Verdict: Which Cordless Vacuum is the Best?

Choosing the right vacuum is all about making the right compromise.

To help answer this question, I’ll separate the nominees based on the category to help you make an informed decision based on data.

Best Option for Extended Run Time

Take a look at this table to see how long each vacuum will run using different power settings.

ModelModeRun Time
Dyson V11Low66 mins.
Medium43 mins.
High8 mins.
Dyson V10Low46:16 mins.
Medium26:57 mins.
High6:30 mins.
Shark ION P50Low31 mins.
High20.05 mins.
Shark ION F80Low57 mins.
High27 mins.
Dyson V8 AbsoluteLow33:30 mins.
High9 mins.
Hoover Linx Signature SeriesHard floor23:24 mins.
Carpet19:25 mins.
Dirt Devil Reach MaxHigh24:06 mins.
Low14:58 mins.
Bissell Multi ReachOne Setting20:08 mins.

All the figures you see are with the main cleaning head attached since you’ll be using it in this configuration so it makes sense.

If you time the vacuums with the main cleaning head attached, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive will run the longest at over 66 minutes on the lowest setting.

The Shark ION F80 comes in second at 57 mins with the Dyson V10 third at 46 mins.

The V11 offers the best combination of power and airflow. For homes with lots of hard floors, the F80 would be the better option thanks to the DuoClean head.

Best for Suction/Airflow

Airflow is important because it dictates how much air gets sucked into the chamber. This matters more on hard floor since most vacuums will rely on suction.

But for some brands like the Shark, it doesn’t matter because the DuoClean head has excellent dynamics that it is capable of pulling surface dirt despite having less power.

Here’s the chart comparing the airflow between these options

ModelModeAir Flow
Dyson V10Low24 cfm
Medium31 cfm
High53 cfm
Dyson V11Low30 cfm
Medium36 cfm
High59 cfm
Shark ION P50Low26 cfm
High36 cfm
Shark ION F80Low24 cfm
High38 cfm
Dyson V8 AbsoluteLow25 cfm
High46 cfm
Dyson V7Low23 cfm
High45 cfm
Hoover Linx Signature Series30 cfm
Dirt Devil Reach MaxHigh33 cfm
Low29 cfm
Bissell Multi Reach31 cfm

When it comes to pure suction, the Dyson V11 is the king of the hill besting all competitors with 59 CFM with the main cleaning head.

The V10 is a close second with 53 CFM of airflow at the nozzle.

Vacuums that have this much suction will perform better at cleaning embedded dirt on carpet.

Best for Deep Cleaning

Thanks to advancements in vacuum technology, companies are able to put in bigger motors that produce more suction.

Manufacturers like Dyson and Shark are at the forefront making vacuums that will clean better.

Let’s now look at how these vacuums compare when it comes to cleaning embedded sand on medium pile carpet.

ModelDeep Cleaning Test *
Dyson V10 Absolute99%
Dyson V11 Torque Drive100%
Black & Decker BDH2020FLN/A
Shark ION P5086%
Shark ION F8084%
Dyson V8 Absolute92%
Dyson V7 MotorHeadN/A
Hoover Linx Signature Series78%
Dirt Devil Reach MaxN/A
Bissell Multi Reach PlusN/A

The Dyson V10 and V11 topped the list with 100 and 98 percent pick up on medium pile carpet.

One thing to note is that the V11 is better at sustaining deep cleaning performance. In its medium setting, it was still able to pick up around 98% versus the 89% of the V10.

Best for Usability on Floor

If there’s one issue with the larger stick vacuums it is the weight. I have to point out that this is two-fold.

There’s the product weight and the heaviness on the handle when cleaning floors.

For variants like the Dyson V10 which is extremely top-heavy, the handle weight can go as much as 4 pounds.

The Shark ION P50’s unique design with most of its weight at the base is extremely light on the handle at around 1 pound.

Unfortunately, for the V11, it’s bulkier because of the larger battery and motor, it isn’t as light as the V10.

For people looking for a lightweight Dyson, either the V7 or V8 is an excellent choice because these options are lighter.

If you have any questions about the vacuums in this list please feel free to comment below.

25 thoughts on “10 Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners in 2019: Reviews and Comparison”

  1. This is one terrific website. Very complete, very helpful. We highly recommend it to anyone in need of a cordless vacuum.

  2. Never thought I’d look forward to vaccuming! The cordless Gtech Air Ram is very well-designed, user friendly, easy on my back and has terrific suction. Very happy with it!

    • Great to know that you’re enjoying your Gtech AirRam. Yup, vacuuming can be a chore but with the right tools it can be enjoyable.

  3. WOOD FLOORS– dust/ underbeds, kitchen floors, dyson looks most functional?

    • Joe, If you want to clean underbeds, Dyson is the most effective. For kitchen floors even the Hoover Air 3.0 will work well.

      • To use a stick vacuum under beds requires you to get on your knees. Use one of the robot vacuums and never have to do it by hand again. We own 2 – a Dyson and a Samsung.

  4. I received a Dyson DC59 for Christmas. What a disappointment!! Yes it has power, that i will say was excellent. But, you have to hold the power button down the whole time you vacuum. I tried vacuuming my moms apt. after only doing the living room, kitchen and bath it came to a complete stop. No for warning of the battery dying, just done. Also the canister does NOT just dump out like it advertised. My mother lives by herself and i had to take a knife to get the lint completely out of the canister there is very little space around the filter and canister. There are 3 great attachments that come with the Dyson, but there is not a place for them to be on the vacuum, making it to where you have to carry them with you from room to room. ( there is a storage place to hang only 2 of them with the vacuum when not in use., making it to where you still have an attachment laying around to get lost). To say the least, I am returning the Dyson with its expensive price tag!

    • Thank you so much for the review Linda.

    • I bought the Dyson also! and was so disappointed! keep on cleaning the bag! Battery gave up after 15 min! Just a terrible vacuum! I chose the Bissel, 45min running, did the whole house 5 bedroom, kitchen, 2 bathrooms ect..

  5. Plenty of welcome detail on this site. Can you please help with these queries?.
    I have tried to find a store where I may see some of these machines, so far I have failed. I do not want or intent to buy blind. We are both almost 80yrs old and find driving a task. However apart from telephone calls and emails, we have managed to visit two stores. I was most interested in the Gtec Air Ram and the Bosch, but so far we have not found either in stores. Can you say who may stock either one please? (Or one you may suggest)
    I am finding my latest vacuum to heavy and suffer back and leg pains when using it. From what I have just read, I should keep this for possibly a monthly clean, using the cordless daily. I have two large short haired dogs, am I looking at the best vacuum please can you help?

    • Hi Kate,

      Sorry for the very late reply. If you’re interested at buying a GTech, you can buy it directly from their US store here: http://www.gtechvacuums.com/airram

      If budget is not an issue, I’d highly recommend the Dyson DC59 or the newer V6 model, both are very powerful for a cordless vacuum plus you can clean areas above the floor with it.

  6. I have the Gtech but it is wrecking my loop carpets with the brushes. Is there a cordless upright that doesn’t have brushes please? My Miele corded head doesn’t have brushes (just a push down edge for hard floors).

    Thanks

    Andy

  7. Garrick…no where does it show you how you recharge the cordless system….we are considering buying the GTECH AIRRAM but how much room does the charging unit need please and does the complete hoover unit need to plug into the charger or is the battery seperate…..

    Alan

    • Alan, you don’t need to remove the battery, you can charge it with the battery plugged in the vacuum.

  8. Hi Garrick, which type of hoover uses more electricity, a cordless or a corded one?

  9. I have 4500SQ ft house with concrete floor. I need coordless. Any suggestion? I was thinking to buy Dyson but some of my friend recommend Shark. Any advice???

  10. The Black & Decker MAX Pivot is definitely one of the most under-rated vacuums on the market. Yes, it is a handheld but it really does outperform some of the more expensive upright and canister vacuums.

  11. Anyone ever thought of the Riccar Cordless SupraLite R10CV or the Oreck TaskVac CK93010?

  12. I love cordless toys!! so I bought the Hoover. It has been a lemon from the start. When it works–you can’t beat it. Easy to use, good suction, excellent machine but it has been broken more than running. I tried to get Hoover to just replace it since it has a 5 year warranty, but they want me to take it to a dealer that is 60 miles from me to let him look at it. Now every manufactuer has lemons–I guess I just got the lemon. But it is a great little machine. Just check around and see if you have an authorized service center close by before you buy a Hoover or really any of the brands. I don’t have a whole day to take to center, drive home, then another day to drive back to pick it up. But I guess I will have to.

  13. I just have hard floors and would like a cordless, but everyone I looked at didn’t tell how you recharge it.

  14. You didn’t mention testing for lines in carpet. I can attest to the fact that Shark leaves unsightly grooves in my low density carpeting–so bad that I returned it.

  15. I have a Black and Decker cordless vacuum with 15.9V Lithium Ion battery. It works great. Has wonderful suction, easy to use, and easy to empty/clean filter and canister. However, after the 2 year warranty expired, so did the battery. I called the B & D customer service to order a new battery pack. No replacement battery is available. I opened the unit by removing a few screws and I was able to easily unplug the battery pack so it can be recycled. I wish I could install a new battery pack. Now I have to toss the whole unit in the landfill and buy a new one. And do it all over again in 2 years. What a waste! I wish the cordless vacuum manufacturers would make the battery pack replaceable. I see that Ryobi makes a handheld cordless vacuum with a removable rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack. I own Ryobi tools, a charger, and 2 batteries. This appears to be a better system that allows battery replacement. Does anybody have experience with the Ryobi vacuum? Is it a good product?

  16. Is cordless vacuum, even relevant in comparison with corded? All those charging on and on?

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