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 50 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 on 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 best cordless stick vacuum for bare floors that we've tested is the Shark Rocket Pet Pro. It does a fantastic job on bare floors like hardwood or linoleum since it can pick up pet hair as well as small and large debris with little problem. It also has a self-cleaning brushroll, which can remove hair wraps while you clean.
This decently well-built model has a flexible wand, which makes it very maneuverable, especially if you need to get underneath tables or chairs. With its handheld configuration, it's easy to clean hard-to-reach areas like crevices. It also comes with a couple of extra tools and brushes like a hard bristle brush for cleaning more stuck-on debris. If you have rugs around the home, it also does a great overall job on these surfaces. It also has a manual floor setting feature to make the brushroll spin faster or slower depending on the surface type.
Unfortunately, it has several parts that need regular maintenance. Luckily, as long as it's properly maintained, there are virtually no recurring costs. While its battery only lasts around 12 minutes on its most powerful mode, you can also get over 40 minutes of continuous vacuuming time when using its default mode. All in all, it offers outstanding performance on bare floors, and it's even one of the best vacuums for tile floors.
If you want a stick/handheld vacuum with longer battery life, consider the Shark ION F80. It has slightly higher recurring costs than the Shark Rocket Pet Pro and has a smaller dirt compartment, but it also has a much longer maximum battery life of almost 80 minutes. It offers similarly outstanding performance on bare floors, as it clears pet hair as well as small and large debris without an issue. It's quite lightweight, which makes it simple to maneuver in tight spaces. It can also be reconfigured into a handheld to deal with messes on shelves and furniture. Unfortunately, unlike the Pet Pro, it lacks a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean.
Get the Pet Pro if you want a portable vacuum with a HEPA filter, but consider the ION F80 if battery performance is a major priority.
The Dyson V8 Animal is the best cordless stick vacuum for carpet that we've tested. This lightweight model offers excellent performance on low-pile carpet as it can pick up pet hair and most small and large debris. While its performance on shaggy, high-pile carpet falls a bit short in comparison, it still does an overall very good job on this surface.
Like most Dyson models, it comes with a variety of tools and brushes to suit your cleaning needs, including a unique 180-degree extension tool, which can help you clean harder-to-reach places. Its handheld configuration is a portable option if you need to get into crevices. Although it lasts around eight minutes on its most powerful mode, it can continuously vacuum for over 40 minutes when used in its least powerful mode.
Unfortunately, its battery can take over four hours to completely recharge. Although it's quite lightweight due to its plasticky design, some parts like its dustbin feel a little flimsy and could crack if dropped. Several parts also need to be regularly maintained, but luckily, each part is easy to access and take care of. That said, this versatile model is one of the best lightweight vacuums we've tested and is a suitable addition to any home with a lot of carpet.
The JASHEN V16 is the best budget cordless stick vacuum that we've tested. It's surprisingly versatile, as it comes with two interchangeable brushrolls to suit either bare floors or carpeting. It also has three different power settings, allowing you to quickly adjust to different surface types on-the-go.
Its bagless design and washable pre-motor and allergen-trapping HEPA filter should keep recurring costs to an absolute minimum. It has a reasonably easy-to-maintain design and can be quickly reconfigured into a handheld to help you clean hard-to-reach areas. While you can drain its battery in roughly 13 minutes if you run it continuously on its highest suction mode, you can extend its runtime to over 40 minutes if you're careful. The prominent battery-mounted LED screen should allow you to keep tabs on current charge status, which is handy.
Unfortunately, it struggles quite a bit with bulky debris, which can get trapped at the narrow entry to the dirt compartment, preventing you from sucking up any more debris. It also has some trouble removing fine debris, such as baking soda, from carpeted floors. Still, if you aren't planning on clearing any large material, this value-conscious vacuum offers quite a few features for the price.
11/19/2020: Minor changes to the text for consistency and accuracy; 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 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.