A good cordless vacuum is a helpful 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 have.
We've tested over 100 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best cordless vacuums to buy. We selected these picks based on their performance on different surface types and their feature set, battery life, and price. For more options, look at our lists 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 cordless stick vacuum does a superb job cleaning pet hair, small debris like rice, and bulky material like cereal from bare floors. Suction performance remains consistent as its dustbin fills up, which is good if you have several large messes to deal with. Its washable allergen-trapping HEPA and pre-motor filters keep recurring costs low.
Thanks to its relatively lightweight construction and pivoting vacuum head, this vacuum is remarkably maneuverable, even in cluttered areas. You can easily reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum to spot-clean hard-to-reach areas, and it comes with an upholstery tool, a hard-bristle brush, and a crevice tool for clearing debris from tight corners. Its maximum battery life of roughly 40 minutes is also decent, though this can drop to little over 10 minutes if you run it continuously in its high-suction "MAX (BOOST)" mode.
Unfortunately, this vacuum has quite a few parts that need periodic cleaning, though they're easy to access for the most part. In addition, while it feels decently well-built, some components, like its clear plastic dirt compartment, are a little fragile. Otherwise, its highly maneuverable design and fantastic performance on bare floors make it one of the best cordless stick vacuums that 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 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. You can use it in a handheld mode to clean awkward areas like stairs or shelves, and you can reconfigure it into a stick vacuum by moving the main body above the wand. It's easier to maintain, but its dirt compartment is smaller and needs emptying 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 cleaner for carpets that we've tested. This cordless stick vacuum delivers incredible performance on low-pile carpet and does a fantastic job sucking up debris like pet hair, sand, or baking soda from high-pile carpet. You can rotate a gate on its motorized head to accommodate different surface types, and the vacuum's 'Auto' mode allows it to self-adjust its suction power based on the surface that it's cleaning.
It also comes with tools and accessories to help make cleaning tasks a little easier, including a dusting brush, a dedicated upholstery tool, and even a secondary vacuum head with a soft brushroll and a laser light to help illuminate hard-to-see debris. Depending on your choice of suction power mode, attachments, and usage patterns, it supplies roughly anywhere between under 10 and over 70 minutes of runtime on a single charge, which is generally sufficient for most spaces.
Unfortunately, while this vacuum's lightweight construction makes it easy to pick up and carry, its strong suction force can sometimes cause it to drag around some rugs. Many parts require regular cleaning, but thankfully its allergen-trapping HEPA filter is washable, so recurring costs are virtually nonexistent. Overall, this vacuum's versatile performance and rich feature set make it one of the best multi-surface vacuum cleaners we've tested.
If you don't want to spend as much on a stick vacuum, consider the Simplicity S65S. Compared to the Dyson V15 Detect, it comes with far fewer tools and accessories and lacks a surface-type adjustment feature, but it is substantially less expensive. It's also easier to maintain, as it doesn't have as many parts that require regular cleaning. It's fitted with a marginally larger dirt compartment that shouldn't need emptying quite as often. Performance on high-pile carpet is excellent, and it does a good job of clearing debris on low-pile carpets, but it struggles notably more than the Dyson when it comes to clearing fine debris like baking soda from the latter surface type. Its allergen-trapping HEPA filter is the only component that needs periodic replacing, so recurring costs are low. However, while this vacuum can charge faster than the Dyson, its maximum battery life of over 30 minutes is considerably shorter. That said, it's worth noting that this can vary somewhat in the real world.
Get the Dyson if you want a better-performing vacuum with a wider range of tools and accessories, but take a look at the Simplicity if you're looking for a slightly more value-conscious option.
The best cordless vacuum we've tested in the robot vacuum category is the iRobot Roomba S9. This premium vacuum feels well-built and comes with sophisticated automation features. The iRobot Home companion app lets you schedule cleanings for specific rooms, set virtual boundary markers, and more. The vacuum also uses camera navigation to develop increasingly efficient cleaning patterns.
It performs amazingly well on bare floors, picking up pet hair and small debris with ease. That said, it struggles with bulkier material like cereal as its dirt compartment fills up. It also does an impressive job on low-pile carpets and a good job on high-pile carpets. It has a remarkably long battery life as well, supplying roughly 50 to 150 minutes of runtime on a full charge, depending on what settings you use. It also recharges relatively quickly, so it can provide continuous operation without too much interruption.
Unfortunately, it has several parts that need regular maintenance and cleaning, some of which also need frequent replacing, leading to high recurring costs. If you're looking for a robot vacuum with excellent automation features, a long battery life, and great overall performance on various surface types, this is a very solid option.
If you're on a budget, the best cordless vacuum we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This cordless handheld vacuum is small and light enough to easily carry to hard-to-reach areas. It also feels well-built, is easy to maintain, and incurs few recurring costs since only its dust cup filter needs periodic replacing.
It does a fantastic job clearing debris like pet hair, rice, and cereal from bare floors and performs superbly well on low and high-pile carpet. It also comes with a combination upholstery tool/turbo brush that has a self-cleaning brushroll, not to mention a crevice tool, and a hard-bristle brush for dislodging stuck-on debris.
Unfortunately, it only provides little over 10 minutes of continuous runtime on a single charge, so you need to work fast when dealing with bigger messes. It also lacks a suction power adjustment feature and doesn't come with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, which could be an annoyance if you have a pet that sheds heavily. Still, its compact design and strong overall performance make it one of the best handheld vacuums that we've tested.
If you'd like a budget-friendly cordless upright vacuum, consider the BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet. It doesn't feel as sturdily built as the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ and doesn't come with a turbo brush, but its upright design makes it a better option for cleaning larger areas. It's highly maneuverable thanks to its lightweight construction, and as long as its mesh filter screen, dust cup filter, and pre-motor mesh filter get a regular cleaning, it shouldn't incur any recurring costs. It also performs decently well on low-pile carpets and does an excellent job of cleaning pet hair and small debris like rice from bare floors. However, bulky material like cereal can clog the entry to its dirt compartment. It also really struggles with sucking up fine debris like baking soda and larger material like sand from high-pile carpets. Its maximum battery life of roughly twenty minutes is longer, but unfortunately, it takes roughly three times as long to recharge.
Get the Shark if you want a better-performing budget-friendly vacuum, but consider the BISSELL if you're on a tight budget and need something to clean bigger areas.
Oct 01, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock. Removed Neato Botvac D7, Shark ION F80, and HoLife HM036E from Notable Mentions due to current availability. Added Dyson Micro 1.5kg, JASHEN V16, and Shark Vertex Pro to Notable Mentions.
Sep 01, 2021: Checked accuracy and availability of picks; no change to recommendations.
Aug 06, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for their given category.
Jul 08, 2021: Verified the availability of all main picks are still in stock and made sure that they're the best choice for their given category.
Jun 09, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
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.