Best Cordless Stick Vacuums
Reviews Of The Most Maneuverable and Versatile High Traffic Cleaners
These are exciting times for consumers when it comes to buying options for stick vacuums.
Dyson has now introduced the new V8 Absolute, Bissell has come out with their version of the Air Ram (not sure if they bought the rights to it from Gtech) and Hoover has the Dyson V6-clone called the Cruise.
With more power and run time than ever before, I am not shy recommending stick vacuums. Even as a replacement to upright vacuums if your home does not have any carpet.
But if your home has you will still need a tool to clean high traffic areas and keeping dirt from piling up.
Those are the times when a full-sized vacuum or even a canister vacuum isn’t practical because of the long wires and heft.
Even if newer generation uprights and canisters are lighter, nothing beats the nimbleness of a cordless stick even with less power on tap.
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In this article we’ll feature 5 of the best stick vacuums we have right now and any one of them would be a great addition to your home.
Choosing one will depend on your budget, cleaning needs, how large your home is and floor type.
Dyson V8 Absolute
Dyson DC59 MotorHead
Hoover Air Cordless Series 3.0 Bagless Upright
Hoover Air Cordless Lift
Hoover Linx Cordless Stick
|Battery||Lithium Ion||22.2v Nickel Manganese Cobalt/Li-ion||2x extended life 20-volt LithiumLife batteries||2x extended life 20-volt LithiumLife batteries||18 volt li-ion|
|Charging time||Not specified||3.5 hours||3 hours (per battery)||3 hours (per battery)||3 hours|
25 mins. (w/ the motorized tool attached)
7 mins. (max mode)
|26 minutes (normal)|
6 minutes (boost)
|50 minutes (combined)||50 minutes (combined)||15|
100 AW (Max/boost)
|Warranty||2 years on parts and labor||2 years on parts and labor||5 years on the whole unit||5 years||2-years|
Since you’re using this to clean floors, you’ll need something with at least 15 minutes of run time.
This ensures that you’ll be able to at least clean one room with it. Provided that it’s just a spot clean and not a deep cleaning job.
Look for something with a brush roll. This really helps in picking up dirt on both hard floor and carpet. It also helps in dealing with pet hair. A lot of modern stick vacuums have this feature but others don’t so make sure it has one.
You’d also want something that can swivel. This means it has a joint at the base that enables you to turn the handle from side to side making it easy to maneuver.
Take note this isn’t a standard feature in all stick vacuums. Those equipped with one will be a bit more expensive.
It should not weigh more than 8 pounds.
Anything more than this would make it difficult to carry while cleaning stairs. That’s why you want a cordless, you don’t want the extra weight.
One of the most difficult areas to clean are spaces under furniture like tables, chairs, and the most difficult of all, under a bed.
A cordless stick vac that can fully rotate 180 degrees flat or at least close to it allows you to clean those difficult to reach areas without the need to move anything.
Take note that you also have to consider the design of the body if it can fit the clearance under your bed for example.
Some stick vacuums have thicker bodies that will need a higher clearance. While others like the DC44 use a tube which minimizes the clearance needed to reach under.
This feature is often overlooked but it shouldn’t be because a lot of time is wasted going over corners and edges repeatedly.
Choose something that will be able reach all the way to the edges.
Different brands do it in various ways. Some have edge cleaning bristles. And others have funnels that run all the way to the edges and use suction to pick up dirt.
I didn’t expect Dyson to upgrade their V6 product line this quickly but I’m not complaining.
The Dyson V8 Absolute is the latest and best Dyson cordless in the market right now, period.
Nothing in the market, I mean nothing comes close to it in terms of power and agitation.
No other cordless vacuum out there can beat it in terms of cleaning performance but price is another matter as the V8 will lighten your wallet by around $490!
Aside from the obvious improvements in power and run time, the V8 also made some subtle changes to two key features based on consumer feedback.
Biggest improvement would be the bin design.
Earlier models used a door like mechanism that relied solely on gravity to push down collected dirt, dander, pet hair, human hair and whatever dirt it was able to pick up.
While it worked for certain types of dirt like maybe cheerios or powder but it gets messy if you’re cleaning dander, hair, dust bunnies and stuff like that.
Even if you used your fingers and try to get to it, you won’t be able to because it’s too deep. One solution would be to remove the outer shell of the bin which is fine with me but for others consumers, they find this process messy.
The new design in the Dyson V8 also uses a door but instead of just relying on gravity, the new mechanism actually pushes all the dirt down…
It is actually a less messy cleanup if you ask me and thumbs up to Dyson for listening to their customers.
Another big improvement would the max button design. The older design used a button located at back end of the post motor filter.
While that setup worked, it is in an awkward position and you really have to push hard to turn it on.
With the new design you simply slide a switch from side to side to turn the Max function on or off.
This demotion isn’t a knock on the DC59 but a testament on how good the V8 Absolute is but if spending over $600 for a stick vacuum doesn’t sound appealing to you then the DC59 is a great “budget” option so to speak.
Imagine buying a vacuum that costs around half the price of a V8 but still giving you around 95% of the performance.
Now that’s what I call value for money.
I’ve mentioned before the improvements of the V8 over the V6.
If you’re wondering how the DC59 MotorHead is different from the V6 Animal, there isn’t really much difference. Both these variants use the new second generation direct drive cleaner head. The difference would be the DC59 MotorHead having the mini motorized brush and the V6 Motor Head not having it so and that’s around $20 difference.
You can read more about the V6 product line here.
Why is this number 2?
Adding a motor in the floor tool increased its power by around 75%, this means better dirt pick up, better deep cleaning, particularly on low to medium pile carpet but it will stick struggle somewhat on plush carpet. Make no mistake Dyson is slowly but surely closing the gap between a cordless cleaner and a more powerful corded upright.
Let’s see this power in action in this big mess test on hardwood.
On the first pass, the Animal picked up almost everything in its path and the filtration was excellent, even with the fine dust nothing went past the post motor HEPA filter.
Like all Dyson cordless cleaners, the DC59 is all about versatility. It uses the tried and tested formula Dyson has perfected through the years – detachable tools.
It means use the tools on with or without the extension wand attached. Without it you have a handheld for cleaning upholstery and with it attached it turns into a stick vacuum.
This makes it the easiest of the 5 to clean stairs and the only one of the 5 that can clean all the way up to the ceiling.
Run time is around a respectable 26 minutes but it goes down to 6 minutes when you use the boost function (the Max button) but take note that with the MotorHead tool you may not need to use the boost function as much.
The DC59 can bend almost 180 degrees flat which makes it suitable to clean difficult to reach areas under furniture, particularly beds.
What are the downsides?
The biggest downer is the price.
This baby will set you back a close to $340 but remember you are essentially buying two products in one.
Another con is its inability to pick up large debris if you’re using the floor tool because it sits low on the floor. Large debris also tends to clog the pathway leading to the dirt cup.
Speaking of the dirt cup, don’t expect this to hold a lot of dirt and you may need to empty this outdoors because dust may scatter around and form a dust cloud when emptied high above the garbage bin, so consumers who’ve used this recommend that you empty it inside the trash bin to avoid this.
It does have a large bin but weighs only 10 pounds. The two lithium ion batteries combined will give this around 50 minutes of run time.
Wow. This allows this to clean up to 2,500 square feet based on reviews.
Why is it number 2?
A decent stick vacuum will run for around 15 to 20 minutes before needing a recharge. The Air Cordless 3.0 can run for 50 minutes.
So far this is the longest running cordless cleaner I’ve reviewed so far. The next longest would be the Rowenta Delta Force that has a 45 minute run time but the later only uses a Nickel Cadmium battery that takes 16 hours to fully charge.
Oh and this comes with a 5 year warranty, one of the longest in the industry.
Are there any downsides?
Despite the bulk the Air 3.0 is easy to move around thanks to the swivel feature the turns on a dime – great for cleaning around and under furniture but the bulkiness of the body limits its reach in terms of cleaning under furniture like beds.
What are the downsides?
Aside from the bulkiness that limits the reach underneath furniture, the hose is just too short.
When fully stretched the hose is only 3 feet long so you won’t be using this cleaning the ceiling fan.
But this allows it to clean stairs a little bit easier rather than carrying the whole vacuum just to clean the steps.
This would be great for small to medium sized homes with hardwood and low to medium pile carpeting because of the 50 minute run time the generous 1.05 liter dirt cup capacity.
Before moving on let’s compare the this with DC44…
Cordless vacuum technology has really taken off in the last few years. And the Hoover Air Cordless Lift is a prime example of how far manufacturers have come in terms of innovation, design and functionality.
Here’s another product marketed by Hoover as an upright but in reality it isn’t.
It doesn’t have upright-level suction but makes up for it with above the floor versatility.
With a push of a lever it morphs from a stick to an canister vacuum thanks to the “lift” feature.
This same feature is found in some of the best corded upright vacuums such as the Shark Navigator.
Let’s dig in.
Aside from its main function as a floor cleaner this vacuum has what you call the “lift” feature that basically separates the canister or the body from the handle and main floor tool.
This instantly morphs this stick or upright, whatever you want to call it into a canister vacuum that you can use to clean upholstery, bare floor stairs, vents and other hard to reach places.
It has a 50 minute run time thanks to the two lithium ion batteries included in the package.
Despite the added versatility, I still would rank this below the original Air Cordless because of the big price difference plus it’s around 2 pounds heavier. Since this is a list about stick vacuums, I have to put that into consideration.
But if you’re looking for something more versatile and don’t mind paying a little bit more, this is a viable alternative.
If you want something similar but you can’t afford this then I suggest that you go with the Bissell PowerGlide Cordless.
The Hoover Linx Stick has been around for several years. And still remains popular in stores like Amazon with over 8,000 reviews and counting.
This is a testament to its performance and quality. Sorry for sounding like a salesman, just stating the facts.
The 18-volt Lithium Ion battery in this is also compatible with the Hoover Linx Pet Hand Vac. And you can purchase both if you also need a handheld because of the interchange-ability.
Performance on carpet and bare floor are good based on consumer reviews in blogs, shopping sites and in YouTube.
The glaring weakness here is the battery life which is a meagre 15 minutes. The Delta Force with its older battery technology managed to squeeze out 40 minutes from it. This is the reason why I put this at #4. If it had a longer run time then I would have ranked it higher.
Another issue I can’t ignore is the handle that tends to break if you accidentally drop it.
Several online reviews have confirmed this, even on 4 and 5 star reviews.
Some people sent theirs back while others used the old reliable duct tape to patch it up. The reason behind this issue – only a small piece of metal (plus screws) holds the handle and body together.
Despite the negatives this is still a good option to have especially if you want a stick + hand vac package. And you can’t afford an expensive Dyson.
Bottom line: Despite its age, the Hoover Linx Stick is still a great option for homes with carpet and bare floor. At just a little under $130. You get access to a good performing stick vacuum that has very decent cleaning performance. But do not expect the run time or versatility of the variants above it.
Here’s a little bonus for you…
Why you should consider it?
Unlike other cheap vacuums that don’t perform where it counts, the Navigator FreeStyle one will hold its own against more expensive brands. But run time will be slightly below average between 12 to 17 minutes.
This would be best used as a spot clean up tool in high traffic areas. And will work well on both bare floor and carpet but don’t expect it to deep clean.
Are there any downsides?
The 14.4 volt nickel metal hydride battery will take around 4 to 7 hours to fully charge which is surprisingly good for this type of battery.
Maneuverability isn’t an issue because of the swivel feature. But it does struggle reaching under furniture because of the bulk.
Bottom line: The Shark Navigator FreeStyle is a good option for budget conscious shoppers looking for a good deal. It won’t deep clean carpet. But cleaning performance should be enough for spot cleaning high traffic areas.
Notable improvements to this vacuum include improved run time, max switch, power and the bin emptying mechanism. This I think is the biggest one.
Where as the old one would be messy to empty, the new design is much easier to clean. Thank again Dyson for listening to your customers.
If the V8 is tool expensive, your next best option would be the DC59 Animal, especially on carpet or any of the V6 variants.
Don’t overlook the two Hoover products – the Air Cordless and Air Cordless Lift. These two are almost as versatile as the Dyson but much cheaper.