Cordless stick vacuums are helpful 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 finish 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 related to their battery performance. They can be a suitable addition to any home if you don't mind the charge time or their short active battery life.
We've tested over 130 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best stick vacuums with a cordless design to buy. These picks were selected based on their performance on different surfaces, 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 Dyson V15 Detect is the best cordless stick vacuum we've tested. It delivers superb overall performance on bare floors and low and high-pile carpets, though its strong suction force can make pushing it around on some rugs hard. It can automatically adjust its suction power depending on the surface type you're cleaning. It also has a dirt sensor that measures and counts the size of debris sucked into the vacuum, which will be helpful if you want to know about the presence of fine particles in your home. While this vacuum can run for more than 70 minutes of battery life in its most energy-efficient configuration, its runtime drops to under 10 minutes when using it in its 'Boost' suction mode, so you'll need to work fast when cleaning stubborn messes. It also feels fragile in places, which is disappointing for a vacuum at a premium price point.
If you don't need the Dyson vacuum's automatic surface detection system or particle sensor, the Samsung Jet 90 Complete is a great alternative that delivers similarly strong performance across a wide range of surface types.
The best upper mid-range cordless stick vacuum we've tested is the Shark Stratos Cordless. Compared to the Dyson V15 Detect, this vacuum is noticeably heavier and has a bulkier twin-roller floorhead, making maneuvering in tight areas a little more challenging. That said, it's cheaper and still delivers strong overall performance on most surfaces, thanks partly to its Clean Sense IQ system, which uses an infrared sensor to measure the amount of debris you suck up and automatically adjusts the suction power to match the required demand.
Its dustbin is bigger and won't need emptying as often. Its MultiFlex wand is hinged in the middle, allowing you to clean under most tables and chairs without crouching too much. A replaceable cartridge in its floorhead emits a detergent-like scent to mask unpleasant odors as you clean, though that can become overwhelming if you vacuum daily. Its max battery life of about an hour is also good. However, recharging takes over four hours, which is much longer than the Dyson, leading to a lot of downtime between cleaning sessions if you don't have a second fully charged battery on hand.
The Shark also tends to get bogged down on thick carpeting; if that's a problem, the Miele Triflex HX1 is a good alternative, even if it has a smaller dustbin and a shorter battery life. Alternatively, if you want a more powerful stick vacuum and don't mind losing out on the Shark's automatic power adjustment system, the Samsung Jet 75 is worth a look.
If you're looking for something on the more affordable end of things, the Shark Cordless Pro is a good option. It's got a lot in common with the higher-end Shark Stratos Cordless, with the same Clean Sense IQ system that allows for automatic power adjustment depending on the amount of debris you suck up. It also uses the same odor-neutralizing cartridges to help crack down on unpleasant scents as you clean. That said, a few sacrifices come with its lower purchase price: it has a less powerful motor and a lower-capacity 1900 mAh battery than the Stratos' 2450 mAh unit. This yields a shorter max runtime of about 40 minutes—expect less than that if you run the vacuum in its automatic power adjustment mode and have to clean very dirty floors.
This model is unique amongst other Shark vacuums due to its brushroll. It has a fluffy texture to help collect fine debris on hard surfaces, and you can also take it out of its floorhead, making it a lot easier to clean than most of the company's other models with non-removable rollers.
The Wyze Cordless Vacuum is the best budget-friendly cordless stick vacuum we've tested. This lightweight cordless stick vacuum lacks niceties like the Shark's automatic power adjustment feature and has a limited attachment set. That isn't to say that it doesn't offer a lot for the money, though. It offers strong overall debris pickup performance on both bare floors and carpets, easily clearing away solid debris and pet hair. Unusually for a vacuum in this price range, it also features a HEPA exhaust filter that helps reduce airborne allergens released as you clean. Battery performance is also pretty strong for a budget-friendly cordless vacuum; you can expect a max runtime of almost an hour when you use the vacuum in its most energy-efficient mode, which exceeds the Shark when run in a similar configuration.
Unfortunately, build quality isn't all that impressive, with the plastic used in its construction feeling somewhat thin and toy-like in places. Thankfully, user maintenance isn't all that hard, as the vacuum can be disassembled and reassembled without too much effort for routine maintenance.
If you're looking for a cordless stick vacuum that's lightweight and easy to carry around, the Dyson Omn-Glide is worth a look. At a little over four pounds, this vacuum weighs less than most conventional cordless stick vacuums like the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. Its twin-roller head can also pivot in almost any direction, making it much easier to clean tight spots. However, unlike more conventional alternatives, the vacuum only comes with a set of soft rollers that don't provide any surface agitation on carpets, meaning that the Omni-Glide is only suited for cleaning surfaces like hardwood or tile. Battery life is on the shorter end of the spectrum; it'll run for almost half an hour in its default power mode or a bit less than 10 minutes in its higher-intensity 'MAX' mode.
Its compact design has a few other downsides, like a relatively narrow suction inlet that can get clogged with bulkier debris and a tiny dirt compartment. Thankfully, it does a good job of handling smaller debris, roughly the same size as grains of rice, as well as pet hair.
Check out the Samsung Bespoke Jet if you're searching for a cordless stick vacuum and suffer from allergies. Generally speaking, bagless vacuums like this aren't the best if you have allergies; regardless of how advanced their filtration system is, shaking out a dustbin still releases a cloud of dust, which is much less hygienic than simply tossing out a sealed dirtbag. However, this vacuum differs from most other bagless vacuums by coming bundled with a combination charging rack/self-emptying station, which sucks debris from the vacuum's dustbin through an airtight seal and into a disposable dirtbag when it's docked, meaning you don't have to worry about emptying its dustbin manually. Of course, the vacuum has a five-stage filtration system that's effective in trapping allergens as you clean.
In terms of performance, it does a great job dealing with debris on bare floors and carpeting, though it does fall ever so slightly short of the Dyson V15 Detect on low-pile carpeting and bare floors. One point in its favor is that it comes with two batteries that can be charged simultaneously, effectively doubling your potential runtime and making it a great option for longer cleaning sessions. However, its dual-roller floorhead is considerably bulkier than the Dyson vacuum's single-roller head, making maneuvering more of a hassle.
Jul 06, 2023: Replaced JASHEN V16 with Shark Rocket Cordless (IX140H) as 'Best Budget Cordless Stick Vacuum' pick due to current availability. Replaced Samsung Jet 75 with Shark Cordless Pro as 'Best Mid-Range Cordless Stick Vacuum' due to current pricing.
Our recommendations above are based on what we think are currently the best stick vacuums for most people to buy. We don't just base our results on overall performance but also on 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 reviews of cordless stick vacuums. 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.