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 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.
This vacuum has a long power cord, enabling you to clean larger areas without swapping outlets, though you need to wind back its power cord manually. 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. Its bagless design and washable HEPA filter keep recurring costs to a minimum, and its spacious dustbin shouldn't need emptying too often.
Unfortunately, this vacuum has quite a few components that need regular cleaning. Also, while it feels decently well-built overall, its clear plastic dustbin does feel as if it could break if you were to drop it. Its hose is short, too, making it challenging to clean hard-to-reach areas, like high-up shelves, when using the vacuum in its semi-handheld configuration. Still, its onboard HEPA filter and versatile performance on a variety of surfaces make it one of the best vacuums for pet hair that we've tested.
If you're looking for a more portable corded stick vacuum, consider the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. Unlike the Shark APEX UpLight, this vacuum doesn't have an allergen-trapping HEPA filter and feels less sturdily built. However, it's lighter, making it easier to pick up and carry from room to room. It delivers superb performance on bare floors and sucks up an impressive amount of debris on low-pile carpet. It does a good job on high-pile carpet, though you may need to make an extra pass to fully clean very fine debris. You can easily reconfigure it into a compact handheld vacuum, and if you purchase it with the 'Home and Car Detail' kit, it comes with a variety of very small brushes and tools to better-clean tight spaces. Unfortunately, while it does have a two-level brushroll speed adjustment feature for cleaning different surfaces, you can't adjust the floorhead's brushroll height, which could be annoying when cleaning very dense carpeting.
Get the APEX UpLight if you're looking for a sturdier vacuum with a HEPA filter, but consider the Rocket Ultra-Light if you prioritize portability.
The best corded canister vacuum we've tested is the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. This bagged canister vacuum has a wide range of convenience features to help make cleaning easier. There's an onboard storage compartment for its three included attachments, a power cord that retracts with the press of a button, and an automatic stop switch that turns off the suction motor when the wand is docked at the back of the vacuum. It also feels amazingly well-built and is very easy to take out various parts for routine maintenance.
This vacuum delivers outstanding performance on bare floors and does a great job clearing debris on low and high-pile carpets, with no significant loss in suction performance as its dustbin fills up. Its allergen-sealed construction, GN AirClean 3D dirtbag, and onboard HEPA filter help keep the spread of allergens to a minimum. It doesn't make too much noise either, and its smoothly-rolling rubber wheels and reasonably compact size make it easy to maneuver in cluttered areas.
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. This variant of the C3 also doesn't come with a floorhead that has a motorized brushroll or air-driven turbo brush, so you might want to consider a pricier variant like the C3 HomeCare+ if you have a lot of dense shag carpeting in your home. Its power cord is short, so you might need to swap outlets when vacuuming larger areas. If you're looking for a well-built, highly maneuverable vacuum that delivers strong performance, it's a great option.
If you're looking for a bagged canister vacuum that incurs much lower costs, consider the SEBO Airbelt D4. Its stiff hose and bulkier design make it more of a hassle to maneuver than the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine, but it does incur significantly lower recurring costs. According to the manufacturer, you should only need to swap in a new dirtbag every six to 12 months, and you only need to replace its filters after swapping out 10 to 20 dirtbags. It also feels remarkably well-built, is exceptionally easy to maintain, and has a larger operating radius. The manufacturer advertises its three-stage filtration system as being capable of trapping 99.9% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter, which is great if you suffer from allergies. Performance on bare floors is superb, and the vacuum does a very good job of dealing with debris on low and high-pile carpet. However, this variant doesn't come with a motorized floorhead included in the box, so you'll need to purchase a SEBO ET-1 or ET-2 power head separately or spring for the pricier D4 Premium, which comes bundled with a power floorhead, if you have a lot of shag-pile carpeting in your home.
Get the Miele if you're looking for a bagged canister vacuum that's more comfortable to maneuver and operate. Consider the SEBO if you want a bagged vacuum that incurs low recurring costs and has a longer range.
The best corded upright vacuum 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, though you may need to make an extra pass to clear very fine material on carpeted surfaces. Better still, 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, enabling you to quickly adapt to different floor types.
This vacuum's '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. This vacuum's bagless design and washable filters also help keep recurring costs to a minimum. Its allergen-sealed construction and on-board HEPA filter also help limit the spread of fine particles as you clean.
Unfortunately, this vacuum has quite a few parts that need regular cleaning. It can be difficult to clean under tables and chairs due to its bulky front-mounted dustbin, though it does have a rotating floorhead that makes it a little easier to navigate around obstacles. Overall, it's a good option if you're looking for a versatile vacuum that can easily handle most kinds of debris, and it's also one of the best upright vacuums that we've tested.
If you're looking for an upright with fewer maintenance requirements, consider the Kenmore Intuition Bagged. It incurs higher recurring costs than the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV since you need to swap out its dirtbag once it fills up. However, it doesn't have as many parts needing regular cleaning, and its bagless design, combined with its onboard HEPA filter, should result in superior air filtration performance. While it struggles slightly more in clearing pet hair on bare floors, its performance on this surface type is still fantastic, and it sucks up an impressive amount of debris on low and high-pile carpet. Its 'Lift-Up' design allows you to unlatch its canister from its main body and clean hard-to-reach areas with its hose and selection of attachments. However, while it does have a brushroll on/off switch to help you avoid scratching bare floors, you can't change its head height, so it can struggle to climb over obstructions like electrical cords.
Get the Shark if you want a vacuum that incurs lower recurring costs, but consider the Kenmore if you're looking for something easier to maintain.
The best corded vacuum cleaner at a budget-friendly price that we've tested is the Eureka Mighty Mite. 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.
This vacuum's lightweight construction lets you pick it up and carry it from room to room with minimal effort. It has a very simple design, with the few parts that need regular cleaning or replacing being within easy reach. Its primary floorhead has bristles that can be extended or retracted depending on the floor type that you're on. You can also remove its wand components and floorhead, allowing you to clean hard-to-reach areas with either its combination hard-bristle brush/upholstery tool or its crevice tool.
Unfortunately, this vacuum incurs some recurring costs over time since you need to replace its dirtbag once it fills up, though it does have an impressively large capacity. Its power cord and hose are short, so you might need to swap outlets when cleaning larger areas. If you're looking for a budget-friendly canister vacuum that can handle most kinds of debris on most surfaces, it's a great option.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly corded vacuum that incurs virtually no recurring costs, consider the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This canister vacuum isn't as easy to maintain as the Eureka Mighty Mite. Since it doesn't use a disposable dirtbag and has washable filters, recurring costs shouldn't be an issue. It also delivers fantastic performance on bare floors and does an excellent job on low-pile carpet. It clears a good amount of debris on high-pile carpet, though you may need to make an extra pass to fully deal with very fine material. Its floorhead has bristles that you can extend or retract, depending on the surface you're cleaning. The vacuum's lightweight construction and compact body make it very easy to maneuver. However, its power cord and vacuum hose are rather short, so you may need to swap outlets when cleaning larger areas. It also lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter.
Get the Mighty Mite if you prioritize ease of maintenance, but consider the Whirlwind if you don't want to have to worry about recurring costs.
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.
Dec 06, 2021: Slight article reworking to better align with user expectations. Moved Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister from Notable Mentions to 'Bagless Alternative' pick. Added Shark Rocket Ultra-Light as new 'More Portable Alternative' category pick.
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 no vacuum is 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.