Cordless stick vacuums are useful tools when you need something lightweight and portable. Since they don't have a power cord, you don't have to worry about range or managing the cable when you're done cleaning. They're also easier to carry up and down stairs or into different rooms than traditional upright or canister vacuums. Some people may even prefer how they feel in-hand as they can be lighter to maneuver around the room. That said, they come with disadvantages largely related to their battery performance. If you don't mind the charge time or their short active battery life, they can be a suitable addition to any home.
We've tested over 40 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best cordless stick 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, check out our articles for the best cordless vacuums, the best cordless vacuums for pet hair, and the best vacuums for high-pile carpet.
The Shark Rocket Pet Pro is the best cordless stick vacuum for bare floors that we've tested. It has a self-cleaning brushroll, which helps to remove hair wraps as you clean. It can also pick up pet hair as well as small and large debris from hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors without a problem.
It has excellent maneuverability and is quite portable. It comes with two floor settings: one for bare floors and one for carpets. Even though it's best suited for bare floors, it has a great performance on carpet. It can pick up most large debris, and quite a bit of small debris without compromising performance as its dirt compartment fills up. It comes with a flexible wand that you can fold in half to make it easier to store or if you need to reach under couches and tables. It can even be used in a handheld configuration, which is useful.
Unfortunately, it has a few parts, like its small dirt compartment, that need regular maintenance. Luckily, accessing each part is fairly easy, and as long as you clean each part when needed, there are virtually no recurring costs. While some may find its minimum battery life to be a bit short at only 12 minutes, it can last up to 42 minutes when used as a handheld. Still, it has outstanding performance on bare floors, making it one of the best cordless stick vacuums for bare floors that we've tested.
If you're looking for a cordless stick/handheld vacuum with better battery life and similar overall performance, you may want to consider the Shark ION F80. While it has higher recurring costs than the Shark Rocket Pet Pro and doesn't have a HEPA filter, it delivers almost identical performance on surfaces like linoleum and hardwood and has much longer battery life. Used in its most powerful mode, you can expect roughly 25 minutes of runtime. Decreasing its suction power extends its battery life to over 75 minutes, which is great. Unfortunately, it takes almost seven hours to completely recharge, which is much longer than the Pet Pro, and it has a smaller dirt compartment that needs to be emptied more frequently.
Get the Pet Pro if you want better all-around cleaning performance and lower recurring costs, but consider the F80 if you're committed to a cordless vacuum but want longer battery life.
The Dyson V8 Animal is the best cordless stick vacuum for carpet that we've tested. It delivers great performance on low-pile carpet. It sucks up pet hair without an issue and doesn't struggle too much with either coarse or fine debris, though it may take a couple of passes to fully clean some messes on shaggy high-pile carpet.
It employs a bagless design and has washable, reusable pre-motor and HEPA filters, so recurring costs are practically nonexistent. It's quite lightweight and can be quickly switched into a handheld configuration to help you clean furniture or on top of shelves. While you can drain its battery in under 10 minutes if you run it continuously in its highest power mode, you can extend its runtime to over 40 minutes if you use it more conservatively.
Unfortunately, it takes over four hours to completely recharge, which is quite long. Some may be put off by its plasticky build quality, which feels like it could be damaged if it's dropped. There are also quite a few parts that need to be regularly maintained, though the vacuum itself has a fairly simple design that's easy to take apart and reassemble.
The JASHEN V16 is the best budget cordless stick vacuum that we've tested. It offers a fair cleaning experience on several surface types and can be reconfigured into a handheld for cleaning narrow areas. While it doesn't clean as well as others on this list, it has a better overall battery life, which may matter more to those who have larger rooms or spaces to clean.
This lightweight model comes with several tools and brushes, including two interchangeable brushrolls that are each specialized for different floor types. It's best suited for low or high-pile carpet as it does a fair job picking up pet hair and large debris from these surfaces. It struggles with smaller debris like baking soda, especially on shaggier carpets. That said, it has virtually no recurring costs as long as you properly maintain it.
Unfortunately, it has trouble picking up large debris on any surface type, and this type of debris can get easily stuck in several parts of the vacuum. It also has plasticky build quality, which is to be expected at this price point, and it has a few parts that need ongoing maintenance, which can be a bit time-consuming. However, if you're on a tight budget but don't want to sacrifice too much for a cordless stick design, it offers a reasonable compromise between performance and price.
10/08/2020: Slight changes to the text for accuracy and clarity; no change in product recommendations.
Our recommendations above are based on what we think are currently the best cordless stick vacuums for most people. 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 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.