The 5 Best Cordless Vacuums, According to Our Tests

These lightweight yet powerful models will clean hardwood floors and carpets with ease.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Cordless Vacuums

Real Simple / Jessica Juliao

If you're in the market for a lightweight vacuum cleaner, then a cordless vacuum is the way to go. They're much more compact than traditional upright vacuums, so they're easier to maneuver—and you don't have to worry about finding an outlet before you start cleaning.

But not all appliances are created equal, so we spent six days testing 22 vacuums in our lab. After evaluating them for things like ease of use, maneuverability, and effectiveness on multiple surfaces, we narrowed it down to the cordless stick vacuums on this list. We also considered factors like battery life and overall value when coming up with our recommendations.

The Tineco Pure One S11 earned the top spot on our list because it has all the features you need in a cordless vacuum, including powerful suction, LED lights, and high-tech sensors that detect dirt and dust. Plus, it's really easy to use and weighs just 3.5 pounds.

Learn more about our recommendations for the best cordless stick vacuums below, and keep scrolling for tips on how to shop for a vacuum.

Best Overall: Tineco Pure One S11 Cordless Vacuum

Tineco Pure One S11 Cordless Vacuum

Amazon

Who it's for: People who want a powerful yet lightweight vacuum that performed well in our tests.
Who it isn't for: People who aren't willing to mount the charging dock to the wall.

The Tineco Pure One S11 is hands-down one of our favorite cordless vacuum cleaners. It earned the top spot on our list because it's lightweight, easy to maneuver, and powerful, plus it converts to a handheld model and comes with accessories like a crevice tool and a mini power brush for cleaning tight spaces and stairs. Our testers were really impressed with this vacuum's suction strength, and they loved the LED lights that illuminate your path and the lock that keeps the power on (so that you don't have to constantly hold your finger on the trigger). In our tests, this Tineco vacuum successfully picked up debris like dirt, crushed cereal, and cat litter from a variety of carpeted and hard surfaces. It was even able to clean up long hair and pet hair that was embedded in thick carpets. But as with most vacuums, some strands got tangled in the brushroll and needed to be manually removed.

The Tineco Pure One S11 is high-tech in ways that are actually useful. There's a smart sensor that detects dust, dander, hair, and more, and adjusts the suction power as needed. The colored ring changes from red to blue while you vacuum so you know when the surface is actually clean. The vacuum can even connect to Wi-Fi and sync with the brand's app for things like maintenance reminders and battery level (but it still works without Wi-Fi).

The removable battery lasts up to 40 minutes depending on suction power, but people with large spaces to clean should consider purchasing an additional battery. One downside of the Tineco cordless vacuum is that it requires a wall mount to charge the battery and hold accessories. This could be problematic if you live in an apartment and can't drill holes into the wall. The vacuum can't stand up on its own without the dock, but it proved itself to be pretty durable when we leaned it against the wall and let it fall during testing.

Product Details:

  • Battery Life: 40 minutes
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Accessories Included: Crevice tool, mini power brush, and two-in-one dusting brush
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Best Cordless Vacuums

    Real Simple / Jessica Juliao

Best Budget: MOOSOO Cordless Vacuum

4.7
Moosoo 4-in-1 Cordless Vacuum

Walmart

Who it's for: People who want a cordless vacuum that won't make a huge dent in their wallets.
Who it isn't for: People who anticipate needing to vacuum up larger debris (like cereal) regularly.

If you're looking for something more affordable than our top pick, the Moosoo 4-in-1 cordless vacuum is an alternative that's just a fraction of the price. In our tests, we found that it performed about the same as some other models that were much more expensive. This stick vacuum works better for cleaning up small debris like dirt and cat litter because it can easily get clogged by larger items like whole pieces of cereal. Like many other cordless vacuums, this lightweight model can be used as a handheld vacuum and comes with attachments that make it even more versatile. It also has LED lights that are helpful when cleaning dark areas, like under furniture.

You only have to click three parts together before it's fully set up, so it's very easy to assemble. Our testers appreciate that the battery charges separately, which is nice if you want to store the vacuum in a closet while the battery is plugged into an outlet (it takes about five hours to fully charge). The dustbin is easy to open, but it did require getting our hands dirty to remove hair that wrapped around the filter. It's also worth noting that many of the cordless stick vacuums we tested were long, but the Moosoo was a great length for shorter people to comfortably use.

Because this Moosoo model is the most budget-friendly cordless vacuum we tested, we think it would be a good first vacuum or spare model. But if you want to clean up big messes, our testers recommend opting for a higher-end model that can handle those tough jobs.

Product Details:

  • Battery Life: 35 minutes
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Accessories Included: Dusting brush
  • Warranty: One year
Best Cordless Vacuums

Real Simple / Jessica Juliao

Best for Carpet: Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

4.8
Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum

Amazon

Who it's for: People who want the flexibility of a cordless vacuum with the power of an upright model.
Who it isn't for: People who want a super lightweight model that's very portable.

The Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins cordless stick vacuum was one of the easiest-to-use models that we tested. It wowed us in practically every test, cleaning up popcorn kernels and cereal from all of our test carpets in just one shot. We recommend this vacuum for people who have carpets in their homes because it has all the benefits of a cordless model with the powerful suction of an upright model. The maximum suction setting was so strong that it made it a bit hard to push, but it wasn't a dealbreaker and can always be adjusted.

The Shark Vertex can bend while you're vacuuming, which makes it easy to clean under coffee tables and couches. Our testers raved about how easy it is to maneuver the vacuum, noting that it practically moves itself—even on high-pile carpets. For a deeper clean, the vacuum has a dual brushroll that consists of a soft brushroll and another with a feature the brand calls PowerFins, which helps it stay in contact with the floor.

This vacuum also folds in half for easy storage, but keep in mind that it can't stand up on its own while fully extended. Even though the vacuum converts to a handheld model, our testers noted that at 9 pounds, it felt a bit heavy. It comes with three separate tools that you can attach to the vacuum while it's in handheld mode, but there isn't anywhere on the vacuum that can hold the included attachments when not in use. This means you'll need to store them separately, which comes with the risk of misplacing them. In case any problems arise, the Shark Vertex comes with a five-year warranty—the longest of all the cordless vacuums on this list.

Product Details:

  • Battery Life: 60 minutes
  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Accessories Included: Crevice tool, pet multi-tool, and anti-allergen brush
  • Warranty: Five years
  • Best Cordless Vacuums

    Real Simple / Jessica Juliao

Best for Hardwood Floors: Dyson Omni-glide Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

4.4
Dyson Omni-Glide Cordless Stick Vacuum

Bed Bath & Beyond

Who it's for: People who only have hard floors (like wood or tile) in their homes.
Who it isn't for: People who want one vacuum that works well on all types of surfaces.

If the floors in your home are primarily hardwood, laminate, or tile, then the Dyson Omni-Glide is a great cordless stick vacuum to consider. It's extremely easy to maneuver because its two soft rollers practically glide in all directions—even side to side. You don't have to pick it up and reposition it every time you want to vacuum in another direction, and you can navigate it into tight corners without a problem. It also converts to a handheld vacuum.

This model performed extremely well in all of our tests on hard surfaces, whether we were cleaning up dirt, pet hair, or cat litter. Even though this cordless Dyson isn't designed to be used on carpets, we tested it on rugs anyways—and it struggled to pick up whole pieces of cereal from a low-pile carpet. "It could work in a pinch on a small area rug, but it may take a few extra passes," one tester said.

We also found that it has stronger suction than you'd expect from a model this small and lightweight. Despite not having a traditional handle, the Dyson Omni-Glide wasn't that difficult for our testers to grip. But if you have poor dexterity, then you might have a hard time holding this model. Our testers appreciated that this vacuum operates with a button instead of Dyson's typical triggers, which can tire out your finger. Keep in mind that it does have a short battery life (20 minutes on eco mode) and a very small dustbin, but you can empty it directly in the trash without getting your hands dirty. When you're done cleaning for the day, you can place the vacuum on the compact docking station until next time. Plus, the vacuum is slim enough to be stored in small closets that might already be full to the brim.

Product Details:

  • Battery Life: 20 minutes
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Accessories Included: Combination tool
  • Warranty: Two years
Best Cordless Vacuums

Real Simple / Jessica Juliao

Most Versatile: Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

4.8

Who it's for: People who need a powerful cordless vacuum that comes with versatile attachments.
Who it isn't for: People who want a vacuum with a dustbin that empties with one touch.

The Samsung Jet 90 cordless vacuum seriously impressed our testers with its performance and versatility. It comes with two interchangeable brush heads: a soft brush that's designed for hard floors and a turbo brush that works on all surfaces (but is especially effective on carpet). It also comes with convenient attachments that can come in handy while cleaning hard-to-reach places. For example, there's an extendable crevice tool that fits into tight corners and a mini motorized tool that works on furniture and stairs.

No matter what we put in its path, this vacuum cleaned it all up with ease. In our tests, we found that it was able to suck up whole pieces of cereal and strands of pet hair in just a few passes. The Jet 90 even removed all the cat litter from a shag rug without leaving anything behind—most of the other vacuums missed a few pieces in this test.

The Samsung Jet 90 has an impressive battery life that lasts up to 60 minutes. Even on the medium setting, the cordless vacuum's suction power was strong enough for most tasks (there are also maximum and minimum modes). It comes with a freestanding charging base that holds the vacuum and two extra attachments, although it was a bit difficult for one person to assemble the base. Another great feature is the telescopic stick, which is adjustable to four lengths ranging from about 36 to 44 inches.

As for maintenance, the dustbin is a bit difficult to empty. We were disappointed that there isn't a button or lever that empties that dustbin with one touch, a feature that many other cordless vacuums on the market have. There are multiple pieces that need to be taken apart (including the various filters in the five-step filtration system) just to dump the debris in the trash. One plus is that the dustbin is completely removable so you can wash it by hand or put it in the dishwasher.

Product Details:

  • Battery Life: 60 minutes
  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Accessories Included: Mini motorized tool, crevice tool, and dusting brush
  • Warranty: One year

Final Verdict

The Tineco Pure One S11 is our top pick for cordless vacuums because it's lightweight, powerful, and designed with helpful features (like LED lights to illuminate your path). It also has a smart sensor that detects dirt and debris so it tells you if the floor is actually clean. But if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, we recommend the Moosoo Cordless Stick Vacuum. It cleans up small debris like dirt and dust just fine, and it's just a fraction of the price of other models.

Best Cordless Vacuums

Real Simple / Jessica Juliao

Our Testing Process

To come up with our cordless vacuum recommendations, we spent six days testing a wide variety of vacuum cleaners on the market. Our testers evaluated each cordless stick vacuum for its effectiveness by pouring things like cereal, dirt, and hair on multiple surfaces (including high-pile carpets, low-pile area rugs, and hard floors). We also considered factors like maneuverability, battery life, weight, ease of emptying, and overall value. Then, we sent some of the most promising models home with editors to get their real-life feedback.

shark vertex duoclean powerfins lightweight cordless stick vacuum handheld

Real Simple / Phoebe Cheong

How to Shop for Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

Battery Life

When shopping for cordless vacuums, one of the most important factors to consider is battery life. Keep in mind that battery life can vary depending on the settings and attachments that you use, so it might not always be exactly what the manufacturers list. If you have a large home and like to clean it all at once, then we suggest choosing a cordless vacuum with a removable battery so that you can buy an extra, keep it charged, and swap it as needed.

Weight

Cordless stick vacuums are generally much more lightweight than upright and canister models, but some are still heavier than others. A lighter vacuum is much more portable because it's easier to carry up and down stairs or hold above your shoulder (when used as a handheld model). The vacuums on this range from 3.3 to 9 pounds, so make sure to consider your physical abilities and preferences before choosing one.

Accessories

Most cordless vacuums come with a variety of attachments—like crevice tools and dusting brushes—that make them even more versatile. You can use these special attachments to clean curtains, vents, furniture, and more. Also keep an eye out for other accessories that your vacuum might come with, like charging docks or wall mounts that keep your vacuum and its attachments in one place.

More Cordless Stick Vacuums to Consider

Shark Wandvac System: The Shark Wandvac is an extremely compact cordless vacuum that could fit almost anywhere in your home. It has a tiny dustbin, so it's best for everyday maintenance rather than deep cleaning.

Dyson V11 Cordless Vacuum: This cordless vacuum from Dyson performed well in most of our tests, but the suction power wasn't as great on high-pile rugs. The trigger is also pretty sensitive and you have to constantly press it down while vacuuming.

Questions You Might Ask

What are the benefits of using a cordless vacuum instead of a corded model?

One of the best parts about using a cordless vacuum is that you don't have to worry about cord length or outlet placement while cleaning. There's also no risk of getting the cord tangled. Plus, they're significantly more lightweight than upright models, which makes them more convenient to grab for quick cleanups.

Just take note that when you first make the switch to a cordless vacuum, you might notice a difference in performance. "A battery unit cannot give you the same amount of suction as an electric vacuum," says Len Morse, president of Vacuum World.

How can I make the battery on my cordless vacuum last longer?

Higher settings (like max modes) give you some "extra power for carpeting," according to Morse. But they'll drain the battery much faster than lower settings (which are sufficient on bare floors). Some vacuums have minimum or eco modes that use even less suction power, but help make the battery last longer. "If the run time has decreased significantly, it may be time to replace the battery," Morse says.

What's the best way to clean and maintain my cordless stick vacuum?

It's important to regularly clean your cordless vacuum so that it maintains its performance level. Morse's number one tip is to regularly empty the dustbin. "It will help maintain the suction and also prevent backup and clogging."

Besides emptying the dustbin when it's full, you can also wash removable parts when they're dirty to prevent smells and blockages. "Also make sure that you keep the filter clean," Morse says. "A dirty filter will reduce the efficiency of the vacuum."

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Amina Lake Abdelrahman, a commerce editor for Real Simple with nearly four years of experience writing about home products. She has personally tested dozens of vacuums over the years, including many of the cordless models on this list. During our lab tests, Amina helped evaluate these cordless vacuum cleaners for maneuverability, ease of emptying, suction strength, and more. She has been using the Samsung Jet 90 in her own home for nearly a year, and she raves about it to anyone who will listen. For expert advice on cordless vacuums, Amina also interviewed Len Morse, president of Vacuum World.

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