A good cordless vacuum is a useful addition to any household cleaning arsenal. If you don't need to worry about staying in range of an outlet, it's easy to clean small, out-of-the-way areas not only inside your home but also tighter spaces like car interiors. You also don't have to worry about a power cord getting snagged on a piece of furniture and bringing a frustrating pause to your cleaning session. However, despite recent strides in extending overall battery life, a cordless vacuum still can't offer the worry-free indefinite runtime of a corded vacuum. For many, however, this trade-off is worth the near-infinite range that these appliances offer.
We've tested over 85 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best cordless vacuums to buy. These picks were selected not only based on their performance on different types of surfaces but also their feature set, battery life, and price. For more buying recommendations, take a look at our list of the best vacuums, our best cordless stick vacuums, and the best vacuums for high-pile carpet.
The Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H is the best cordless vacuum for bare floors that we've tested. This stick/handheld model does an incredible job of cleaning bare floors, where it easily clears pet hair and debris like sand and cereal. Its performance stays consistent as its dirt compartment fills, so you can clean a big room without emptying it very often.
It's quite light, portable, and can be used in a handheld configuration when you want to clean stairs, your car's interior, and other awkward areas. There are several tools and brushes included that can help with different cleaning jobs, like an upholstery tool for cleaning fabric-covered furniture and a crevice tool for cleaning tight corners. It's decently well-built and uses a bagless design and washable filters, so it should incur virtually no recurring costs as long as it's properly maintained.
Unfortunately, if you set it to its most powerful 'MAX (BOOST)' mode, its battery only provides roughly 10 minutes of continuous use. However, if you use less powerful suction settings, it can last for over 40 minutes, and it also recharges fairly quickly. Overall, its superb performance makes it a great choice for keeping your hardwood or linoleum floors clean. It's even one of the best vacuums we've tested.
If you prefer a vacuum that feels more sturdy, consider the Miele Triflex HX1. This cordless upright/handheld model incurs more recurring costs than the Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H, but it has a better build quality, as it's mostly made of plastic that looks and feels premium. It delivers similarly outstanding performance on bare floors, where it easily picks up pet hair as well as debris like rice and cereal. It can be used in a handheld mode if you want to clean awkward areas like stairs or shelves and can also be reconfigured into a stick vacuum by moving the main body above the wand. It's easier to maintain than the Shark, but its dirt compartment is smaller and needs to be emptied more often.
Go for the Shark if you prefer something with a bigger dirt compartment and virtually no recurring costs. Try the Miele instead if you want to do less regular maintenance and prefer a better-built vacuum.
The Dyson V15 Detect is the best cordless vacuum for carpets that we've tested. It offers outstanding performance on low as well as high-pile carpets as it can pick up pet hair in addition to small and large debris without much of a problem. It has very strong suction, so it could be hard to maneuver on shaggy, high-pile carpet, even with its head vents opened partially.
This lightweight stick/handheld vacuum has an alright battery performance and can last over 70 minutes in its 'Eco' mode without any attachment. It's also fairly well-built easy to assemble out-of-the-box. It comes with a variety of unique tools and brushes like its conical turbo brush, too, which can help pick up pet hair from cloth surfaces, and it can be reconfigured into a handheld mode if you need to get into crevices.
Unfortunately, if you need a bit more power, the battery only lasts around eight minutes on 'Boost' mode if you're also using the motorized head. It has a lot of parts that need regular maintenance too. Luckily has no recurring costs so long as the HEPA filter is cleaned periodically.
If you're looking for a more cost-friendly cordless vacuum for cleaning carpets, consider the Simplicity S65S. While it doesn't perform as well on low and high-pile carpet as the Dyson V15 Detect, and it doesn't come with as many extra tools and brushes, the Simplicity still offers a very good price-to-performance ratio. It can pick up most pet hair and small debris from carpet, although it struggles more with finer debris. That said, it's easier to maintain than the Dyson, and its recurring costs are quite low as the HEPA filter needs to be replaced only once a year. However, it can be a bit harder to store, and its maximum battery life is only around 35 minutes.
Go for the Dyson if you're looking for a cordless vacuum with a lot of additional accessories to help you clean around your home. However, if you're looking to save some money and don't mind a simpler design, check out the Simplicity.
The best cordless robot vacuum that we've tested is the iRobot Roomba S9. This robot vacuum delivers a good overall performance on low and high-pile carpets, as well as on bare floors like hardwood or linoleum. It also has an outstanding battery life, as it provides roughly 45 minutes to an hour and a half of continuous cleaning time before needing to be recharged.
It's amazing at maneuvering itself, thanks to its iAdapt 3.0 navigation system, which it uses to create more efficient routes and identify spots that need extra cleaning. It's great if you need to clean up after a shedding pet since it easily clears pet hair from any surface type. It's also impressive on bare floors, where it picks up small debris like rice with no issue, as well as most bulkier material like sand. The companion app allows you to create cleaning schedules for different rooms and make virtual boundaries to keep the vacuum out of certain areas.
Unfortunately, while it picks up a good amount of debris like baking soda and sand from carpets, it might take a few extra passes to clear everything. Like many robot vacuums, its maintenance needs are quite demanding since it has several parts that should be removed and serviced regularly, and it also incurs quite a few recurring costs. Still, if you're looking for a cordless model that provides a mostly hands-off cleaning experience, it's definitely worth considering. It's also one of the best robot vacuums we've tested.
The best cordless vacuum in the budget category that we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This handheld model delivers an amazing performance across surface types, from bare floors to low and high-pile carpets. It's lightweight and portable, so you can easily carry it between rooms or out to your car.
It comes with some tools and brushes, including a turbo brush that has a self-cleaning brushroll, so it should detangle hair wraps on its own as you clean. There's also a crevice tool that helps with cleaning tight corners and a hard bristle brush for scrubbing away stubborn debris. It a very easy vacuum to assemble and maintain and incurs few recurring costs.
Unfortunately, it's not ideal for long cleaning sessions since its battery only provides roughly 10 minutes of continuous use. However, if you mostly need a vacuum for quick cleanups, it delivers excellent performance on all surface types and is even one of the best handheld vacuums we've tested.
If you need a vacuum that's better designed for tackling large amounts of flooring, take a look at the BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet. While its performance on bare floors and carpets falls short of that of the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+, the BISSELL can be used in either an upright or handheld configuration. It's well-suited for pet owners as it can pick up pet hair from most surface types without an issue. It also has a lightweight design, and its battery lasts just under 20 minutes continuously. Although it has a bit more demanding maintenance needs, it has virtually no recurring costs as long as it's cleaned regularly. Unfortunately, it can struggle to pick up debris like cereal on bare floors.
Try the Shark if you're looking for a more portable cordless vacuum with a versatile overall performance. However, if you're looking for a wallet-friendly vacuum that can be used in a handheld configuration to get into tight areas as well as upright for cleaning large areas of flooring, go for the BISSELL.
May 10, 2021: Replaced the Shark ION P50 Upright with the Dyson V15 Detect as the Shark isn't currently available. Also added the Simplicity S65S as the 'Cheaper Alternative' to the Dyson.
Apr 14, 2021: Checked picks to ensure that the best products are still being recommended and that they're available.
Mar 18, 2021: Confirmed that all picks are in stock and still the best recommendations for our users.
Feb 18, 2021: Added the Shark Wandvac System WS620 to Notable Mentions. Verified picks to make sure the best products are being recommended and that they're in stock.
Jan 20, 2021: : Added the "Alternative With A Better Build Quality" category and added the Miele Triflex HX1. Removed the "Alternative With More Tools and Brushes" category and moved the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best cordless 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 cordless 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.