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 90 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 stick/handheld model does an incredible job of cleaning bare floors, where it easily cleans 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 light, portable, and you can use it in a handheld configuration when you want to clean stairs, your car's interior, and other awkward areas. It comes with several tools and brushes to help with 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 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 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 if you want 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 than the Shark, 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 for carpets that we've tested. This cordless stick vacuum delivers incredible performance on low-pile carpet and does a fantastic job of 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 that we've tested.
If you're looking to spend less on a cordless vacuum for cleaning carpets, take a look at the Simplicity S65S. This stick vacuum struggles a lot more with cleaning debris like baking soda from low and high-pile carpet compared to the Dyson V15 Detect, but it's significantly cheaper. There are also fewer parts that require regular maintenance. Unlike the Dyson, the Simplicity also doesn't drag lighter rugs around due to its strong suction force. Its allergen-trapping HEPA filter is washable and doesn't need to be replaced very often, so recurring costs are low. Unfortunately, it comes with very few extra tools, with only a crevice tool and a combination upholstery tool/dusting brush attachment. Depending on your usage patterns and choice of suction power mode, it also only supplies roughly anywhere between under 10 to over 30 minutes of runtime on a single charge, which is notably less than the Dyson, though this difference can vary somewhat in the real world.
Get the Dyson if you want a better-performing vacuum with more tools, but consider the Simplicity if you're on a tighter budget but still want to keep your carpets clean.
The best cordless robot vacuum that we've tested is the iRobot Roomba S9. This robot vacuum delivers good overall performance on low and high-pile carpets and bare floors like hardwood or linoleum. It also has 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, 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 impressive on bare floors, where it picks up small debris like rice with no issue and 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 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 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+. It does a superb job of sucking up various kinds of debris on bare floors, including pet hair and small debris like rice and bulkier material like cereal, and delivers incredible performance on low and high-pile carpet.
This vacuum is very lightweight and compact, making it easy to pick up and carry to far-away areas or to store in a cupboard or a closet. Its dense plastic construction also feels rather sturdy overall and is easy to maintain. The included turbo brush is advertised to be resistant to hair wraps thanks to its self-cleaning brushroll, and you can use its hard bristle brush to dislodge stuck-on dirt from surfaces or use the crevice tool to clear debris in hard-to-reach spots.
Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn't have an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. Its battery life is also short since it only supplies a bit more than 10 minutes of runtime on a single charge, though this can vary in the real world. It also lacks a suction power adjustment feature, which could be frustrating if you wanted a bit more power to deal with stubborn debris or wanted to conserve the battery's charge during longer cleaning sessions. Otherwise, this vacuum's compact size, affordable price, and versatile cleaning performance make it one of the best vacuums under $100 that we've tested.
If you'd prefer a vacuum that can cover larger areas with less difficulty, consider the BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet. This cordless vacuum is less sturdily built than the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ and has a smaller dirt compartment, but its design makes it a better fit for cleaning bigger spaces, as does its longer battery life just under 20 minutes, though this can vary in the real world. It's very easy to maneuver and simple to store, thanks to its folding handle, which reduces its footprint. You can reconfigure it into a handheld for dealing with messes on counters, shelves, or furniture, and it comes with an upholstery tool and a crevice cleaner for tackling messes in tight corners. Unfortunately, while it clears pet hair and small debris like rice on bare floors without too much difficulty, bulkier material like cereal can clog the entry to its dirt compartment and prevent it from sucking up any more debris. It also takes a very long time to recharge.
Get the Shark if you want a handheld vacuum that can deal with a wider range of debris more effectively, but consider the BISSELL if you're on a budget but want to clean slightly bigger areas.
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.
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.
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.