Entertainment The best cordless vacuum 2022: top portable vacuums
The best cordless vacuum 2022: top portable vacuums
Only the best cordless vacuum cleaners can get that cleaning job done efficiently and cord-free. Going cordless will give you the freedom to vacuum all that dust, pet hair, litter tracking, and small debris without having to worry about a pesky cable getting into everything.
Best yet, cordless vacuums not only tackle hard floors and carpeted surfaces inside, but also help you with outdoor cleaning jobs as well. In addition, they all come with useful accessories to help you get into hard-to-reach places, clean upholstery or vacuum overhead. They are one of the most convenient and versatile household appliances you can ever own.
If you’re worried about short battery life and poor suction, which gave these vacuums a bad rap before, those days are long gone. Advancements in vacuum tech mean longer battery life and better dirt collection than ever before – especially if you take the time to find an excellent model.
In fact, many of the top-notch cordless stick vacuums have made it into our best vacuum cleaners list. And, they’ve joined the ranks of the best robot vacuums and the best upright vacuums on the market.
Whether you’re looking for a cord-free vacuum for a quick spruce up between deeper cleans or you’re after one with powerful suction that can replace a bulkier corded model, there’s plenty of options. Choosing one isn’t hard either, especially since we’ve gathered all the best performing models in this guide.
We’ve tested and reviewed our share of vacuum cleaners. We’ve vacuumed carpets, hard floors and even timed the battery life on a range of models from big brands like Dyson and Shark, to more budget friendly lesser-known brands to bring you the best cordless vacuum. And, we’re here to help you make the right choice.
The best cordless vacuum 2022
Dyson’s latest vacuum cleaner really is its best yet and the best cordless vacuum on the market, hands down. It may be expensive but with better cleaning performance and suction power than the Dyson V11, and the same long-lasting battery for the same price tag, it’s worth every penny.
On test, we found it excelled when cleaning hard floors, thanks to the inclusion of a laser that highlights microscopic dust invisible to the human eye. We were impressed that when used on Auto mode, the vacuum conserves the battery by adjusting the suction power to suit the floor type and the amount of dust automatically. There’s also a handy LCD screen that displays the remaining runtime, too.
The V15 Detect Absolute has an average-sized dust canister, and is noisy when used on full power. Not to mention, it’s fairly pricey, but we think it’s worth the money if you want the best vacuum cleaner on the market.
Read our full Dyson V15 Detect Absolute review
If you’re on a budget but still want a cordless cleaner that gets the job done well, the Roidmi R10 is worth considering. It may not rival the Dyson V15 Detect when it comes to suction power but we were still impressed with its dust pick-up on hard floors.
There are some compromises to keep the price tag affordable of this model, which was previously called the Roidmi S1E. The 40-minute runtime is shorter than other cordless vacuums on the market, and it struggled to deep clean carpet. However, while its decibel levels are similar to other cordless vacuums, its softer tone feels less intrusive, and you can chat while cleaning without having to shout.
This cordless vacuum cleaner is easy to use in both stick cleaner or handheld mode, and lightweight. And, it comes with a good selection of tools, including a motorized mattress brush to make upholstery cleaning easy.
Read our full Roidmi R10 cordless vacuum cleaner review
After a vacuum cleaner that will collect the hair, your furry friends have shed around your home? Look no further than the Miele Triflex HX1. During testing, we were impressed at its suction power, which matched the Dyson V15 Detect, while the additional pet hair tool ensured there wasn’t a scrap of pet hair left on our floors.
It comes with a hefty price tag, but has LEDs on the cleaning head, making it easier to see the dirt you’re collecting in awkward spaces. We were also impressed the main unit can be moved closer to the cleaner head converting it into a cordless upright cleaner. Not only does this make the cordless vacuum easier to maneuver, but it also ensures it can be left free-standing. The battery lasts up to 60 minutes between charges and is swappable to reduce the interruptions to your cleaning session.
The Miele Triflex HX1 can also be converted into a handheld mode. However, we found it heavy to use in this mode.
Read our full Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog review
For homes kitted out solely with hard floors, the Dyson Omni-glide is the best cordless vacuum you can buy. With not one, but two soft brush bars, it ensures you can vacuum your home faster than ever without damaging the hard flooring. And we found dust and dirt pick up to be very effective during testing.
Released just days after the V15 Detect Absolute (above) the Omni-glide can lie flat on the floor so it can be easily maneuvered under low-lying furniture, while four 360-degree castors on the bottom of the cleaning head ensure the vacuum can be steered in any direction. It can even lie flat.
The Dyson Omni-glide can only last for 20 minutes between charges, although the battery, which is housed inside the vacuum’s handle, is swappable. This did mean, however, during testing we found the vacuum cumbersome to use in handheld mode.
The Omni-glide is one of Dyson’s more affordable vacuums. But, it’s still pricey compared to the rest of the market, especially when you consider it can’t be used on carpet.
Read our full Dyson Omni-glide review
The best cordless vacuum with a large dust canister is a must if you have a big home, and the Dyson V11 Outsize really fits the bill here. The 1.9-liter dust canister holds 150% more debris than the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute (above) and means you shouldn’t have to empty it too often. The cleaning head is also wider than usual, which means you’ll be able to cover more ground than with a standard cordless cleaner and is another feature that makes it well suited to larger homes.
In our tests its powerful suction meant it collected discarded biscuit crumbs, ground-in dirt, and even cereal and cat biscuits with ease. However, this is the most expensive vacuum we’ve tested, putting it out of reach of some, and we found the larger size made the vacuum cumbersome to use in handheld mode.
Read our full Dyson V11 Outsize review
Founded by two former Dyson engineers, Lupe is a relative newcomer to the vacuum market, but its Pure Cordless Cleaner is a solid choice, and is one of the only cordless vacuums that features a hose attachment.
It impressed us with its suction power during testing, with very strong suction on the most powerful of the three settings. And we liked the modular design where the main body detaches from the tube and floor head assembly, so it can also be used as a lightweight, portable vacuum for cleaning stairs or up high. Although, we did find you’ll need two hands to use it in portable mode.
It also comes with a swappable battery, which helps reduce interruptions to cleaning sessions. However, it’s heavy and bulky and certainly not the most stylish vacuum on the market.
Read our full Lupe Pure Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review
A compact and lightweight cordless vacuum that’s close to hand is ideal for quickly and efficiently cleaning up small spills, and the Shark WandVac really fits the bill for this type of device.
Simple to use, during testing it collected fine dust from hard floors and carpets with ease, although for larger debris, we found it required several sweeps to scoop up all of the mess. It can be used either as a stick vacuum, or in handheld mode. The dust canister is smaller than average, so will need to be emptied more frequently, but we found it was easy to empty.
The Shark WandVac is loud in use and the runtime is around a quarter of that offered by rival cordless cleaners. So, it’s the best cordless vacuum for quick clean ups rather than a deep whole house clean.
Read our full review Shark WandVac review
The predecessor to Dyson’s V11 range, the Dyson V10 cyclone offers impressive cleaning power but at a slightly more affordable price, although not quite as competitive as other models on the market.
It’s on par with the V11 when it comes to cleaning performance. In our tests we found that on both carpets and hard floors it did a sterling job of sucking up fine dust, pet hair, and even larger debris such as cereal and cat litter.
The dust bin size and up-to 60-minute runtime match the V11, though do be aware that if you push it to its most powerful suction settings that figure drops dramatically. It can be converted into a handheld cleaner like other Dyson cordless vacuums.
At full power, it doesn’t last quite as long as the V11 either, and it doesn’t have the ability to automatically adjust the suction power to suit the floor type you’re cleaning. There’s no LCD display either, but it is lighter and cheaper.
Read our full Dyson V10 Cyclone review
Struggle with hair wrapped around your vacuum’s brush roller? The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins & Flexology may be the answer.
This vacuum, which is called the Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum with DuoClean PowerFins (IZ662H) in the US, features Anti Hair Wrap technology that prevents hair from getting tangled up, so you no longer have to spend hours picking out the strands yourself.
On test, we were impressed with the suction power. The main ‘stick’ of the cordless vacuum is bendable which makes it much easier to clean under furniture and in tight spaces, too.
Heavier than of the best cordless vacuums on this list, it’s one of the noisiest vacuums we’ve tested, and the wheels on the back of the cleaner head flicked some of the oats around rather than collecting them when we tested it on hard floor. This meant we had to make several passes to ensure the mess was cleared.
How to choose the best cordless vacuum for you
With such a wide array of cordless vacuums on the market, choosing the right one might feel like an overwhelming task. However, if you focus on these considerations you’ll quickly be able to identify the model that’s best suited to you.
Start by checking how long the battery will last between charges and whether it’s swappable, so that if the battery runs out of power mid-clean, you don’t have to wait for the vacuum to recharge before you can carry on. Similarly, the size of the dust canister will also affect how many interruptions there are to your cleaning session. If you have a bigger house, look for models with larger than usual dust cups.
If you have hard floors, look for a cordless vacuum that comes with a dedicated cleaner head, which has a softer brush roll to ensure the flooring isn’t damaged when vacuuming.
Also, check the vacuum will be able to reach under furniture and in any tight spaces, you have in your home to ensure you’re thoroughly cleaning your floors every time you push a vacuum around.
If you’ve got furry friends, you’ll be pleased to know, there are plenty of models designed to suck up pet hair from your floors as well as your soft-furnishings. Cordless vacuums are designed to be on hand whenever you need them but how often you should vacuum will depend on how many people and pets are in your house as well as how much you’re at home.
How we test cordless vacuum cleaners
To find the best cordless vacuum cleaner, we evaluate how successfully each model collects everything from fine dust and dirt to larger debris such as cookie crumbs and cereal. As well as assessing how well floors are cleaned, we’ve also compared how easy the vacuum cleaners are to maneuver on carpet and hard floors, as well as whether dust pick up is evenly distributed across the cleaning head, or concentrated in one area.
We rated each design on how durable it is, as well as simplicity of emptying, how loud it is during use and how long the battery lasts. For each model we wanted to know whether it was easy to convert into other modes; such as a handheld vac, the useful tools and accessories it came with to clean edges or remove pet hair, and that it didn’t require reading a thick instruction manual before use.
Is Shark better than Dyson?
Shark and Dyson are two of the biggest brands in the cordless vacuum market right now. They seem evenly matched when it comes to suction power, but Shark’s designs are slightly more affordable than Dyson’s models, which may leave you wondering if Shark is better than Dyson?
To keep the price tag low, Shark’s vacuums are not as sleek and stylish as Dyson’s. They’re often heavier too, and while they come with useful technology such as the ability to stop hair getting tangled around the brush air, and flexible wands to ensure you can clean in hard-to-reach places, they’re not as high-tech as Dyson’s offering.
For example, the Dyson V15 Detect, which is the brand’s latest top-of-the-range cordless vacuum comes with a laser built-into the floor cleaning head to highlight hidden dust, ensuring your home is thoroughly cleaned. They also have longer-lasting batteries than Shark’s models too.
So are Shark vacuums better than Dyson? It very much depends on the layout of your home, your budget and the types of surfaces you want to clean. Read our Shark vs Dyson article for a more in-depth look at the two floor-cleaning brands.
How to vacuum properly
Surely using a vacuum cleaner isn’t rocket science, right? However, many of us could be wasting effort by not vacuuming in the correct way. Whizzing around your floors as fast as you can is fine for a quick clean before guests come over, but it’s not going to be enough to clean your floors thoroughly each time.
When you want to give your flooring a deep clean, start at the edges of the room using a crevice tool. Work your way around the room slowly swiping the crevice tool in side-to-side motions so that it picks up the dust that has settled next to your baseboards.
Once you’ve done the edges of the room, use your vacuum’s normal floor head and work back and forth slowly across the room. Repeat the same motions in the opposite direction across the floor so that nothing is left behind.
We’ve got plenty more tips and handy hacks for making sure your vacuum performs as well as possible in our feature on how to vacuum like a pro.
Are cordless vacuums worth it?
Cordless vacuums have come a long way in recent years and these appliances can now rival the power and performance of premium upright and canister vacuums. With many models suitable for use as a handheld vacuum too, cordless vacuum cleaners now leave little to be desired and can be used as your sole vacuum, rather than as a handy extra to a bulkier upright model.
The downside, of course, is that you have to charge cordless vacuums but many are now available with a second battery, and with up to 60-minutes run time, it’s likely you’ll be able to make it around your home on a single charge (unless your house is very large).
Bagged vs bagless vacuums
Unsure whether a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum is a better choice? When it comes to suction power, the pair are evenly matched and will make light work of collecting fine dust and debris from hard floors.
Bagged vacuums are easier to empty, which makes them a better choice for allergy sufferers. The dirt is contained in the bag, which should just be lifted out of the vacuum and placed straight in the garbage. Unlike bagless vacuums, there’s little chance of some of the dust and dander making its way into the hair.
However, a bagged vacuum can work out more expensive in the long term, as you need to purchase replacement bags for the appliance. It’s also harder to know when the bag needs replacing, as some models only have a tiny indicator that may not be visible at quick glance. Whereas with bagless vacuums, the dust canister is usually made of clear plastic so it’s easy to see when it needs emptying. Bagless vacuums are also a more eco-friendly choice as well as currently vacuum bags aren’t biodegradable.
Are cordless vacuums as good as corded?
Cordless vacuums have been available for more than two decades, and while the early models were not as good when it came to dust pick up, that’s no longer the case.
Many of the cordless vacuums on the market are as comparable, and in some cases better, to corded vacuums when it comes to collecting dust and dander from carpets and hard floors. They’re more versatile than corded vacuums too, as they can be converted into lightweight, handheld cleaners that are suitable for use on upholstery, up high, and even in vehicles.
However, there is one area where they struggle to match corded vacuums, and that’s the capacity of the dust canister. On average, cordless vacuums have dust canisters with a capacity of anywhere between 0.2 and 0.75 liters, whereas traditional corded vacuums, whether it’s an upright or a canister, have a capacity of anywhere between 1 and 2 liters. The only exception is the Dyson V11 Outsize, which has a 1.9-liter capacity. However, it’s also extremely expensive compared to other cordless vacuums and much bulkier.
Which cordless vacuum has the longest battery life?
Cordless vacuums can last anywhere between 10 and 60 minutes depending upon which suction level they are used on. The more powerful the suction, the shorter the battery life.
In our tests, we found the Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog to have the longest battery life. As while it offered 60 minutes on the lowest suction power, just like the Dyson V15 Detect, the Dyson V11 Outsize and Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins & Flexology, it lasted for just over 16 minutes on the most powerful suction power.
Whereas the Dyson V15 only managed 15 minutes and the Shark Just 11 minutes. It’s also worth noting that all three of the vacuums we’ve mentioned here, have swappable batteries. This means, providing you purchase additional batteries from the manufacturer, you can remove a battery that’s run out of power and replace it with a fully-charged battery, rather than having to stop vacuuming and put the entire appliance on charge, only resuming when the battery has full power again.