The best cordless vacuums you can buy

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the best cordless vacuums

  • Cords are a pain — especially when you’re trying to vacuum.
  • Cordless vacuums keep gaining in popularity, and Dyson’s V Series of vacuums are the best ones you can buy with their powerful suction, reasonable battery life, and helpful accessories.

Not many people like cleaning, but it’s still something that has to get done. Of course, just because you may not enjoy cleaning, that doesn’t mean you should try to find ways to make it as painless as possible. Perhaps the first step in doing so is ensuring that you have tools that actually work.

A great vacuum can make a world of difference when you’re trying to suck up that dirt and animal hair. Many prefer the convenience of the cordless vacuum, which eliminates the annoyance of being tethered to a much-too-short cord that limits where your vacuum can reach.

Getting rid of a tether isn’t the only reason to choose a cordless vacuum. Normally, cordless vacuums are also a little lighter than their wired counterparts and they’re quicker to set up and tear down, so you can get the house tidied up quickly if you’re on a time crunch.

So what should you look for in a cordless vacuum? Well, because there is no cord, these vacuums rely on battery power, so you’ll want to ensure that the battery can last long enough for you to clean the house. Normally, batteries last anywhere between 15 and 40 minutes, and for most, that will be enough to clean the carpet in the house, but those with larger homes should look for something with longer battery life.

You should also consider things like weight, included accessories and extensions, and whether or not the vacuum can clean hardwood floors or just carpets.

As for the appeal of cordless vacuums? Anyone who’s ever had their ankles tangled up while vacuuming, or has gotten to the end of a room only to run out of cord, knows the pain. We’ve done the research to find the very best cordless vacuums you can buy.

Here are the best cordless vacuum cleaners of 2019:

  • Best cordless vacuums overall: Dyson V series cordless vacuums
  • Best cordless vacuum for less than $300: Shark DuoClean Cordless IONFlex Vacuum
  • Best cordless vacuum for pet owners: Shark Navigator Freestyle
  • Best cordless vacuum for less than $75: Bissell Lift-Off
  • Best cordless vacuum that’s a full-size crossover: Hoover Air Lift  

Updated by Malarie Gokey on 04/09/2019: Updated prices and formatting. Added a pick for less than $300 and updated the list of Dyson vacuums with new models.

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

The best cordless vacuums overall

Why you’ll love it: Dyson makes the best cordless vacuums hands down — they’re light, powerful, and easy to use.

Dyson is a household name in the vacuum business, and for good reason. The company has built a reputation of delivering powerful, high-quality vacuums. Sure, Dyson vacuums aren’t always the cheapest vacuums out there, but if you can swing it, the extra cash may be well worth it.

The Dyson V7 is older, but it’s still a great deal at $230, and the V8 starts at $380 now, so it’s a good buy. You can also opt for the newer V10, which costs between $400 and $700, or the latest model, the V11, which costs $600 to $700.

We’ve tried several versions of Dyson cordless vacuums, and we’re always impressed by them. The older V7 and V8 models are still excellent cleaners that will get the job done. You’ll get less suction power and shorter battery from them compared to the newer models, but they ares till worth buying. 

The more recent V10 and V11 models are Dyson’s top-of-the-line models, and we highly recommend them for people who have the cash. I’ve been using a V10 in my apartment for months now, and it’s the best vacuum cleaner I’ve owned.

Turbo mode may not last long, but when your cat knocks coffee grounds all over the floor or you break a glass and you need to clean up fast, it works like a charm. The included attachments are also great and make this vacuum versatile. I often use it as a hand vacuum for quick cleaning and only add the big carpet-cleaning attachment when my area rug needs a good cleaning.

Dyson’s vacuums are among The Wirecutter’s top picks for cordless vacuum cleaners, too. Dyson offers a two-year warranty, too.

If you’re looking for the Cadillac of cordless vacuum cleaners, your search will end with Dyson. Devotees of this brand swear it’s the most powerful product in its category, but there’s a hefty price to pay for top quality, making this an investment that only people who truly enjoy vacuuming (yes, there are some of you out there) will go for. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Very versatile, can clean both hard floors and carpet, relatively light

Cons: Somewhat short battery life, small dust capacity, relatively expensive

Shop all Dyson V Series cordless vacuums on Amazon for $230 to $700

Read our Dyson V8 and Dyson V11 reviews

The best cordless vacuum for less than $300

Why you’ll love it: The Shark DuoClean Cordless IONFlex Vacuum is great at picking up crumbs and pet hair, plus it costs less than a Dyson vacuum.

The Shark DuoClean Cordless IONFlex Vacuum may not be as powerful or as long lasting as a Dyson vacuum, but it is quite a bit cheaper and still a very effective cleaner.

It has a few key features that make it stand out, but this biggest one is the removeable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Most other cordless vacuums have the battery built in, so when it fails, you have to buy a whole new vacuum. With this Shark model, you can just replace the removable battery pack.

The vacuum has a cool feature that makes it flexible for reaching under furniture without making you straining your back or get down on the floor. It’s also great at picking up pet hair and crumbs — especially from hard floors.

Shark’s vacuum uses a bristle brush and a soft brushroll to pick up dust, hair, crumbs, and debris from carpets and other flooring. In its tests, The Wirecutter found that this vacuum was best at cleaning hard floors, but good enough on carpet. That’s why it won the second place position in the guide.

The vacuum weighs 8.7 pounds, so it is a bit heavier than the Dyson. It also comes with a five-year warranty should anything go wrong. You will need to clean the filter and dust cup regularly so it performs well.

In the package, you get several accessories and tools, including the battery, charger, duster crevice tool, dusting brush, wide upholstery tool, and anti-allergen dust brush. You can buy extra batteries to replace yours when it completely stops working. If you’d like to have an extra on hand for when your battery loses juice and you need to recharge it, you can do that, too. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Effective, good suction, decent battery, light weight, multiple attachments

Cons: Pricey

Buy the Shark DuoClean Cordless IONFlex Vacuum on Amazon for $289.99 (originally $369)

The best cordless vacuum for pet owners

Why you’ll love it: The Shark Navigator Freestyle is great for both standard cleanups and for sucking up pet fur.

Perhaps the only thing worse for your floors than crumb-dropping kids is hair-shedding pets. But not to worry, the Shark Bagless Navigator Freestyle will restore your floors to furball-free status in minutes.

Pet owners face a special kind of necessary cleanup, and a good vacuum can mean a world of difference in making that cleanup a quick and easy process. The Shark Navigator Freestyle has been highly rated for all kinds of uses, but it’s especially good at cleaning up rogue pet fur.

The Shark Navigator Freestyle stands out among other cordless vacuums with its ability to easily swivel around furniture and other household items. The vacuum is also relatively lightweight, and instead of a bag, the vacuum has a large dust cup, which is easy to take off and empty.

The Shark Navigator Freestyle is also pretty well-built. It features rubberized wheels to help minimize any scratching on hard floors, and the battery, which will run for around 17 minutes, is replaceable — so if it eventually wears out you won’t have to get rid of the vacuum altogether. It also has a one-year warranty.

What makes this vacuum stand out from others in its category is the longer run time it gets (nearly an hour), and that it only take four hours to recharge.

There are a few negative things to consider about the vacuum before you buy. For example, the vacuum is somewhat bulky despite being light, and it doesn’t come with any attachments to clean up areas above the ground — this is a ground-only vacuum.

Pros: Easy swivel, well-built, replaceable battery, relatively inexpensive

Cons: Relatively short battery life, no above-ground attachments

Buy the Shark Bagless Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum on Amazon for $89.99 (originally $129.99)

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