Best Cordless Vacuum in 2019

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Best Cordless Vacuums in 2019 (Comparison & Review)

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

We’ll be comparing the best cordless vacuums from different brands like Dyson, Shark, Bissell and much more.

Scroll down as we compare 5 of the best in terms of features, run time, value for money and cleaning performance.

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by Garrick Dee
Updated Mar. 3, 2019

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Technology has improved much over the past few years that a cordless cleaner can replace a plugin vacuum as the main vacuum cleaner in the right setting.

Brands like Dyson and Shark are pushing the boundaries of performance which is good news for us consumers.

The Dyson V8 Absolute, in my opinion, is still the best cordless vacuum thanks to its combination of power and versatility.

Related: You can also find the best Dyson deals here to get the best price possible on various Dyson products.

It is easily the most powerful option of the five vacuums on this list.

Since the V10 has come out, the price of the V8 has gone down to levels that make it attractive to purchase.

Don’t sleep on the other brands as well.

For instance, the Shark IONFlex Duo Clean will give the Dyson a run for its money thanks to the Duo Clean cleaning head with LED headlights (something not found in a Dyson!).

This variant is as versatile as the Dyson V8 with a cleaning head that will work well on both carpet or hard floors.

The number 2 vacuum in the list is the Black & Decker BDH2000FL which in my opinion is still the best true handheld available right now thanks to its flexible hose that allows it to clean tight spots.

It is the lightest and most compact of the five, making it ideal for quick clean ups.

If the Dyson V10 or the V8 is too expensive, then the Dyson V7 looks promising, combining new bin of the V8 plus the features of the V6.

It’s is a good compromise if you don’t want to spend $400 or more. Take note that the V7 isn’t as powerful as the V8 so if you’re cleaning carpet, the V8 is a better option.

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Here’s a review of the top 5 cordless vacuums

A glance at the features, strengths, weaknesses and why they rank as such. Make sure to click on the link to see the latest discounts (if any).

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Our Pick: Dyson V8 Absolute


The Dyson V8 Absolute will work best inside homes with carpet and hard floor. The interchangeable tools and extension wand make this one of the most versatile options available right now. If you don’t mind paying the $400++ price tag, then this is a good option.

Pros

  • The most versatile choice of all the vacuums in this list
  • Excellent cleaning performance for a cordless
  • Lifetime filters mean no additional running costs

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Does not have any hose attachment that would have been great for vehicles

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Dyson has been 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.

If you ask me that name fits this product because the performance is absolutely amazing.

More power and run time

According to Dyson, the 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 a 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).

It allows it to clean thicker pile carpet than any cordless vacuum in the market right now.

But wait there’s more.

Dyson also addresses two of the most significant issues.

First was how messy 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

The V6 relied on gravity for emptying the dust cup. To empty it, you had to push a lever to release a hinge that held a door in place.

Without any device to push dirt down, stuff like dust clung on which made emptying a messy chore.

It was a universal problem across the V6 product line.

Dyson engineers have solved this issue with their new design.

When you pull a lever, the whole dust cup goes down – pushing dirt in the process.

It doesn’t push all of it out, but it is a much better design.

New max switch

The V6 had another flaw; the max button placement was at the back of the HEPA filter housing.

It made it awkward when trying to engage the max function because you had to press on it hard.

The design isn’t bad per se. I’d say the designed is flawed because it lacked precision.

Dyson has improved the design. The new switch ditched the push button functionality and replaced it with a more traditional looking slide switch.

Max switch

The bottom line

The Dyson V8 Absolute is a beast of a cordless that’s why it takes the top spot. With the Dyson V10 on board, V8’s prices have gone down below the $400 threshold which makes it more attractive. It has the most versatile toolset of all the vacuums in this list, capable of cleaning both carpet and hard floors equally well.

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The Best HandHeld: Black & Decker Platinum BDH2000FL

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

Pros

  • Lightweight option weighing less than 4 pounds
  • Flexible hose allows this to reach tight spots not just in your home but also the vehicle
  • Decent suction for its size
  • A good option for cleaning pet hair from upholstery

Cons

  • Small dirt bin
  • Can’t use this for cleaning carpet

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At first glance, the Black & Decker 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.

Why did this make it to this list?

The unique design of the hose is smart 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?

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

The 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.

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Cheaper Dyson: Shark IONFlex 2X

The Shark IONFlex Duo Clean is a cheaper alternative to the Dyson V8 Absolute. It isn’t as powerful, but the Duo Clean technology will work very well on bare floor and carpet. However, the large body makes this very top heavy and would make it difficult for someone weaker to clean above floors. The bin is also smaller than a Dyson so you’ll have to empty it more frequently.

Pros

  • Almost $100 cheaper than a Dyson V8
  • It comes with two batteries so it’ll provide at least twice the run time of a Dyson
  • Duo Clean head will work great on carpet and bare floor
  • LED headlights help in terms of visibility
  • MultiFlex technology provides better maneuverability under furniture
  • Interchangeable tools make this as versatile as a Dyson cordless vacuum

Cons

  • More top-heavy than the Dyson
  • No HEPA filtration
  • Swivel isn’t as smooth as a Dyson
  • Small bin means more frequent trips to the trash bin

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I thought I’d never see a product that would come close to a Dyson in terms of performance and features but we have one in our midst.

Before this product came along ,there was no product that matched the Dyson V6 or V8 that had the same type of cleaning tools for both bare floor and carpet.

With the IONFlex cordless series, Shark has narrowed the gap between Dyson and has features that not even found in a James Dyson product.

What makes the Shark IONFlex a good option?

First, it’s one of the few cordless stick vacuums that come with the soft roller cleaning head that transforms how this machine cleans on the bare floor.

Second, it’s got LED headlights to help with visibility.

Lastly, the extension wand is bendable that makes it even more maneuverable under furniture. This feature also makes this one of the very few 2-in-1 stick vacuums that can stand on its own.

If you’ve followed how Shark has designed their products ,you’ll know how these guys are innovative.

Instead of using separate tools for bare floor and carpet, Shark has integrated it into one tool called the DuoClean technology.

This is the same cleaning head found in their upright and corded stick vacuum that has gotten great reviews because it truly performs.

The two lithium-ion batteries will run for about 20 to 30 minutes each so combining them will give you as much as a 1 hour run time which is plenty.

Other tools include a mini turbo brush tool for cleaning pet hair off the upholstery, crevice tool and brush tool.

Bottom line:

The Shark IONFlex cordless stick is the closest thing to the Dyson V8 without needing to spend close to $500 for one. There are two cordless variants – the IF251 and IF201. Both will have the same power and cleaning head but the IF251 has two batteries while the IF201 only has one but it’s more than $100 cheaper. Also it fewer tools included in the package.

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More Than A Stick Vac: Hoover Air Cordless Lift

The Hoover Air Cordless Lift gives you upright-like dirt capacity not found in the other vacuums in this list so you don’t need to empty as often. It still has a similar versatility as a Dyson thanks to the “lift” feature. However, it will not clean as well as a Shark or Dyson so manage expectations accordingly.

Pros

  • Larger than usual dirt bin
  • Lift-Away feature gives it lots of reach and flexibility in terms of what it can clean
  • Extra battery essentially doubles its usual run time to up to 50 minutes

Cons

  • Cleaning performance not up to par with the Shark ION Flex or Dyson
  • Not great for cleaning pet hair on upholstery

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Out of the five vacuums in this list, I’m sure you’ll agree that the Dyson V8 Absolute is hands down the most versatile and feature-rich however it’s crazy expensive.

There’s another product in the market that aims to challenge Dyson in terms of cleaning performance and versatility.

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.

Hoover calls this the “Lift” feature.

With a push of a button, you can separate the canister from the body. It transforms this stick into a canister vacuum. Pretty neat huh?

Why did this make it to this list?

Most cordless cleaners in the market will run for roughly 15 minutes. It perhaps is its biggest chink in the armor.

The Air Cordless Lift changes all of that. Combine the two lithium-ion batteries included and you’ll get a whopping 50 minutes of run time.

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 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 a small home clean.

The bottom line

This machine is a viable alternative to the V6 Absolute if you find it too expensive. While it won’t match it in terms of weight and maneuverability, it makes up for it with the longer run time. The lift feature also gives this machine its measure of versatility.

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Old Reliable: Hoover Linx StickO

Despite its age, the Hoover Linx stick vacuum is still a great option for folks looking for a decent and affordable stick vacuum for cleaning high traffic areas. The biggest issue with this product is it’s strictly limited to cleaning floors and nothing else and it’ll run for just 10 minutes with the brush roll on.

Pros

  • Very decent floor cleaner on both bare floor and carpet
  • Decent sized dirt bin

Cons

  • Can’t clean anything above floors
  • Poor run time with the brush roll on

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Before Hoover released the Hoover Air Cordless and the Air Cordless Lift, they already had a stick vacuum that consumers loved and still continue to do so because it simply works.

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 8,000 reviews in Amazon and counting, 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 cheerios or crackers, the Linx Stick has a small opening in the middle that funnels all the larger debris inside.

This prevents the dreaded snowplowing effect that you see in other vacuums (like the Dyson) that don’t have this feature.

It also has a brush roll on and off switch which means you can turn off the motorized brush just in case you need to clean your hard floors.

This is a great feature if you have easy to scratch hardwood flooring at home.

What are the potential issues?

The biggest Achilles’ heel in the Linx’s armor would be that small mounting point between the handle and body.

A single screw holds these two sections together. The issue is the material used in the mounting point which is plastic.

Over time as this product begins to age and wear there is a chance this part breaking.

If you accidentally drop this, then a roll of duck tape may come in handy.

And yes, consumers have resorted to duct tape to hold these two parts together.

But they didn’t seem to mind because it cleaned well enough to ignore this issue but it is something to consider.

Another issue is the run time

Unlike the newer Air Cordless Lift that has nearly a one hour run time, this cordless only has a maximum run time of 15 minutes minus the brush roll.

Not long enough to clean an entire room but good enough for spot cleaning.

With the brush roll spinning, run time goes down to around 10 minutes.

Also, this vacuum cannot clean anything above the floor since it lacks a hose or tools that you can use to clean upholstery.

The bottom line

This lightweight stick vacuum is great people looking for a quick cleanup tool for bare floor or carpet. The short run time limits the coverage of this vacuum. But it makes up for it with a better overall cleaning performance than a DC59 (that’s according to CNet). This is a cheaper alternative to a Dyson if you cannot afford one but you will need a handheld to pair with this.

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Run Time Comparison

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Dyson V8 Absolute
up to

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Black & Decker BDH2000FL
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Shark IONFlex Duo
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Hoover Air Cordless Lift
up to

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Hoover Linx Stick
up to

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If you look at sheer suction power, it outclasses a Dyson V6 and DC59 (in normal mode).

This little dynamite has 35 air watts as compared to just 28 for the former.

What I like about this compact vacuum is the foldable nozzle. It will come in handy when cleaning areas over your head.

It has a brush at the end that folds in and out which makes it usable for cleaning dust on vents, keyboards, and ceiling fans.

Pull the nozzle all the way, and you’ll have a powerful handheld capable of cleaning loose debris on upholstery.

The beauty of this design is it allows you to set it at different angles to clean areas high up there — areas like the tops of cabinets.

However, It lacks a hose and a pet hair cleaning attachment that would benefit pet owners.

The bottom line

It is another underrated product from Black & Decker that you should sleep on. It has as much power as the Dyson V6 but much more affordable. The lack of a hose tool makes this limited inside vehicles. The lack of a pet attachment tool means pet owners should look elsewhere.

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How about budget options?

If spending $150 or more isn’t an option for you 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 another for ones below $200.

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1. Shark Navigator FreeStyle

The Shark Navigator FreeStyle is a capable stick vacuum that will clean decently on low to medium pile carpet. It does not have the versatility of a Dyson V8 or Hoover Air Cordless Lift but heck, it’s cheap. Make sure to pair this with a good handheld vacuum because it will only clean floors.

Pros

  • The most versatile choice of all the vacuums in this list
  • Excellent cleaning performance for a cordless
  • Lifetime filters mean no additional running costs

Cons

  • Lacks versatility (can only clean floors)

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One big advantage stick vacuums like this have over vacuums the have a similar design to a Dyson cordless (meaning bin is right beside the motor on top), is the larger capacity.

You will not have to empty it as often.

Unlike the Hoover Linx Stick, this lightweight vacuum will swivel.

It is a must-have feature if your home has lots of furniture.

Turning on this vacuum wouldn’t require you to bend down because the power switch is at the base.

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.

The short one year warranty is a turn-off, but it’s cheap enough to ignore it. Besides you can get an extended warranty (up to three years) in Amazon for just under twenty bucks.

Buying from a reputable store like Amazon alleviates some of these concerns because it has a robust return policy.

The bottom line

It is a solid spot clean up performer that will not put a significant dent on your wallet. This vacuum will work 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.

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2. Black & Decker BDH2000PL Pivot

The Black & Decker BDH2000PL may be just what the doctor ordered if you need a lightweight and highly maneuverable handheld to for cleaning small spills that can complement an upright.

Pros

  • Foldable nozzle works great at cleaning areas high up there like ceiling vents and fans
  • Great suction for picking up stuff like cheerios
  • Decent run time for up to 20 minutes

Cons

  • Small dust cup

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If you look at sheer suction power, it outclasses a Dyson V6 and DC59 (in normal mode).

This little dynamite has 35 air watts as compared to just 28 for the former.

What I like about this compact vacuum is the foldable nozzle. It will come in handy when cleaning areas over your head.

It has a brush at the end that folds in and out which makes it usable for cleaning dust on vents, keyboards, and ceiling fans.

Pull the nozzle all the way, and you’ll have a powerful handheld capable of cleaning loose debris on upholstery.

The beauty of this design is it allows you to set it at different angles to clean areas high up there — areas like the tops of cabinets.

However, It lacks a hose and a pet hair cleaning attachment that would benefit pet owners.

The bottom line

It is another underrated product from Black & Decker that you should sleep on. It has as much power as the Dyson V6 but much more affordable. The lack of a hose tool makes this limited inside vehicles. The lack of a pet attachment tool means pet owners should look elsewhere.

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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 just to have one leg up over the competition.

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

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.
  • 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.
  • 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. A long warranty gives you some peace of mind just in case it fails prematurely.

Not as important features:

  • Power: Good cordless 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 on a daily basis, look for something that’s 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 cordless vacuum expect to pay between $120 and $350. Obviously, 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.

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Who should go cordless?

The main advantage of a cordless vacuum is convenience. Minus the cords and excess weight, these machines are nimble, maneuverable and versatile.

However, these features will come at a premium cost. If you are willing to pay for this luxury then, by all means, go for it.

Advancement in battery technology has allowed the best cordless vacuums to match the power of even good plug-in vacuums.

These new batteries have allowed some of the variants to run as much as an hour. This much run time was unheard of even five years back where a cordless with a 20 minute run time was already considered long.

It is now possible to clean a small home between 2,000 and 2,500 square feet in a single charge!

Aside from not having to wrap or unwrap cords, you don’t have to deal with carrying something that weighs 15 pounds or more.

If you live in a small home, a large upright vacuum may not be the best option. Imagine lugging around a 15-pound vacuum, unwrapping a 30-foot power cord just to clean your dining room. That’s not some that I’d want to do daily.

A cordless vacuum would solve this issue because it won’t be as heavy – a good one will weigh less than 8 pounds.

However, this convenience comes at a premium price. It is perhaps the biggest downside of a cordless. You can buy a comparable plug-in cleaner for a few hundred less.

Even with the improved run time, you can’t use this as a standalone cleaner in homes with more than 2,500 square feet. Brands that use lithium-ion batteries will take around 2 to 4 hours to recharge. Once the battery is out of power, you’ll have to wait a bit.

Lastly, don’t expect these lightweight machines to be deep clean because it lacks power and agitation.

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What is the best cordless vacuum to buy?

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, tile or wood?

A Dyson Fluffy would be great inside homes that do not have any carpet.

If a Dyson is too expensive, a cheaper option would be a Hoover Linx Stick that performs almost as well but lacks versatility and has a shorter run time.

Do you have pets? Then you’ll need something that won’t clog up quickly and has enough power to suck up pet hair.

To remove pet hair on upholstery, a vacuum equipped with a flexible hose like the Black & Decker BDH2000FL or something that has a mini-motorized brush like the Dyson V8 would be good options.

Are you using this in your vehicle? Then look for something small and lightweight that’s easy to carry around, has a hose and can fit in tight areas, with enough tools to reach tight nooks and crannies.

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Do you need something more specific?

The list above includes a mix of handhelds and stick vacuums if you want something more targeted click on any of the links below or click on this link to see the latest in-depth guides in this blog.

What type of vacuum are you looking for?

What’s your budget?

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The Verdict: Which One is the Best Cordless Vacuum?

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

You either pony up enough cash and buy something that performs well or be thrifty and get something that doesn’t clean as well.

Our top pick is the Dyson V8 Absolute which is cheaper right now with the release of the V10. It’s a bit more powerful than our old pick the V6 Absolute. If you’re willing to spend $400 for a cordless, then this is a great option.

A good alternative to the V8 and V6 would be the Dyson V7. It’s more expensive than the V6 but not as expensive as the V8. This variant solves two issues – the hard (and mess) to empty bin and max switch.

Other options

The other options listed here are cheaper just in case you’re not willing to spend $$$ on a Dyson. Nonetheless, these are great options.

Don’t sleep on the Black & Decker handhelds listed here because these are small, yet powerful tools that will clean up small messes efficiently.

Choosing between the two will boil down to need, and priorities so make sure to list those down before purchasing.

Hoover is another excellent alternative to the Dyson. Not as versatile but it offers comparable cleaning performance for less.

If you think we’ve missed out anything in the list, let us know by posting it in the comments section below. We want to be as objective as possible and appreciate your input.

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