While cordless vacuums have made strides in terms of runtime in recent years, corded vacuums are still the best option for thoroughly cleaning large spaces since you don't have to worry about running out of charge mid-way through your cleaning session. The best corded vacuum cleaners should offer strong performance on a variety of surface types and thoughtful quality-of-life features that make vacuuming a little bit easier.
We've tested over 115 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best corded vacuums to buy. We selected these picks based on their performance on different surface types and their feature set, design, and price. For more options, look at our lists of the best vacuums, the best upright vacuums, and the best canister vacuums.
The best corded vacuum we've tested is the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. This bagged canister vacuum delivers outstanding performance on bare floors and does a great job clearing debris on low and high-pile carpets. Its three-stage filtration system also allows it to filter fine particles, which is great if you suffer from serious allergies. It's worth noting that this variant of the C3 can be a little hard to find, but the currently-available C3 HomeCare variant comes with a similar range of equipment and attachments, along with the addition of an extra parquet brush floorhead for bare floors. It has an onboard storage compartment for its three included attachments, doesn't make too much noise, and is fitted with a trio of smoothly-rolling caster wheels that make it easy to maneuver. It also feels amazingly well-built and is very easy to maintain, since you can quickly take out various parts for routine maintenance.
Unfortunately, this vacuum does incur somewhat high recurring costs; you need to replace its pre-motor filter every four dirtbag replacements, while its HEPA filter is rated for 50 hours of operation. If you're looking for a similarly high-performing vacuum that incurs lower costs of ownership, the SEBO Airbelt D4 is worth a look, as it uses bigger dirtbags and much longer-lasting filters. However, it's bulkier and heavier than the Miele, making it more of a hassle to maneuver in tight spots.
If you're looking for a corded vacuum at a slightly more affordable price point, the Miele Classic C1 PowerLine Pure Suction is worth looking at. It's less sturdily built than the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine and lacks the former's onboard tool storage compartment, but it still delivers strong performance on a wide variety of surface types at a notably lower price. It easily clears away debris on bare floors and does a very good job on carpets, even with a relatively simple pure suction floorhead. It's also highly effective in sucking up debris in cracks and crevices, which is great for vacuuming tile floors. It features six levels of suction power adjustment, enabling you to adapt to a multitude of surfaces with the twist of a dial.
This vacuum is remarkably easy to maintain, though, like the C3, it incurs high recurring costs over time since you need to replace its filters and dirtbag periodically. Thankfully, its relatively compact size makes it easy to maneuver in tight spots. It doesn't make much noise, so you shouldn't disturb people in nearby rooms while cleaning.
If you're looking to spend less on a corded vacuum, the Eureka Mighty Mite is worth a look. Despite its budget-friendly price point, this compact corded vacuum still manages to deliver exceptional performance on bare floors, easily cleaning pet hair as well as bulky and small debris. Even though its floorhead doesn't have an electrobrush or a turbo brush, it can still clean a very good amount of debris on low and high-pile carpets and rugs. Its lightweight construction allows you to carry it from room to room, but its overall range is short, so you might need to swap outlets when cleaning bigger rooms. Its floorhead has bristles that can be extended or retracted depending on the floor type that you're on. You can also remove its wand to clean hard-to-reach areas with either its combination hard-bristle brush/upholstery tool or its crevice tool.
Unfortunately, this vacuum incurs recurring costs over time since you need to replace its dirtbag once it fills up, though it does have an impressively large capacity. If you'd rather not deal with the hassle of swapping out a dirtbag, you could also look at the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister, which performs similarly to the Mighty Mite. Unfortunately, it has an even shorter range and only comes with a soft-bristle dusting brush, with no crevice tool for tackling messes in tight corners and no dedicated upholstery tool for easier cleaning of fabric-lined furniture.
The best corded stick vacuum we've tested is the Shark APEX UpLight. This relatively lightweight vacuum delivers superb performance on bare floors and does an excellent job cleaning pet hair and various other kinds of material on low pile carpet. It struggles a little more with fine debris on high-pile carpet, but its overall performance on this surface type is still good. You can clean hard-to-reach areas by detaching its wand and cleaning with its hose and attachments, including a turbo brush and a crevice tool. It has a twin brushroll floorhead, with one brushroll having angled plastic fibers meant to reduce the incidence of hair wraps and the other being a soft roller that you can remove for easier cleaning of stuck-on debris or hair tangles.
This vacuum has a long power cord, letting you clean larger areas without swapping outlets, though you need to wind back its power cord manually. Its bagless design and washable HEPA filter keep recurring costs to a minimum, and its spacious dustbin shouldn't need emptying too often. Unfortunately, some components of its mainly plastic construction feel a little flimsy, like its dustbin. Its hose is short, making it challenging to clean hard-to-reach areas when using the vacuum in its semi-handheld configuration.
The best corded vacuum cleaner with an upright design we've tested is the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV. This upright vacuum delivers exceptional performance on bare floors and does a very good job sucking up debris on carpets. Suction performance remains consistent even as its dustbin fills up. It also features three levels of height adjustment for its floorhead and two suction power modes, letting you quickly adapt to different floor types. Its 'Lift-Away' design allows you to pick up and carry its canister body separately from its upright portion, making it easier to clear messes in hard-to-reach areas or on top of furniture. It comes with a turbo brush, an extension wand, a crevice tool, and an upholstery tool with a clip-on hard-bristle brush. Its bagless design and washable filters also help keep recurring costs to a minimum.
Unfortunately, this vacuum has quite a few parts that need regular cleaning. If you're looking for something easier to maintain and prefer the cleaner means of debris disposal that come with a bagged vacuum, you could also consider the Kenmore Intuition Bagged. The Kenmore is less maneuverable and struggles more with pet hair.
Jun 13, 2022: Article restructuring to align with user needs and expectations. Recategorized Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine as 'Best Corded Vacuum' pick. Added Miele Classic C1 as 'Best Mid-Range Corded Vacuum' pick. Removed Shark Rocket Ultra-Light, SEBO Airbelt D4, Kenmore Intuition Bagged, and Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister from main recommendations. Removed Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away from Notable Mentions.
Apr 04, 2022: Added SEBO Airbelt D4 as new 'Alternative With Lower Recurring Costs' pick. Added Shark APEX Upright Vacuum, Shark Vertex UltraLight Corded, and Miele Classic C1 to Notable Mentions.
Feb 01, 2022: Verified that all picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.
Jan 11, 2022: Ensured that all main picks are available and represent the best option for their given category.
Dec 21, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for their given category.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best corded vacuums. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also factors like availability, price, and reader feedback.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our corded vacuum reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While there's no single vacuum cleaner that's perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.