Best cordless vacuum 2022: top portable vacuums

best cordless vacuum is the Shark Stratos cordless
(Image credit: Future)
Editor's Note: December 2022

It's happened. We've knocked the Dyson V15 Detect off our top spot and replaced it with the Shark Stratos. It has all the tech for an effective and effortless clean. We were really impressed with it and feel that it deserves to be voted the best cordless vacuum cleaner for November. Will it be rivalled? We'll see.

Jennifer Oksien, Editor - Homes

The best cordless vacuum cleaners are efficient and convenient tools for getting that cleaning job done. Because they won't keep you tethered to the outlet, cord-free vacuums give you the freedom to suck up all that dust, pet hair, litter tracking, and small debris. 

Among the best vacuum cleaners for homes and businesses, cordless vacuum cleaners are one of the most convenient and versatile appliances you can ever own. 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, you need to invest in one.

In fact, now might be the best time to start shopping around since there are still some Black Friday deals to be had. You might even find some Black Friday Dyson vacuum deals or, for more affordable options, we also have a few Black Friday Shark vacuum deals for you to browse through.

Choosing a cordless vacuum isn't a difficult decision to make, despite the numerous options, and we're also here to help. 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 gathered the best cordless vacuum cleaners in this guide for you to choose.

If you're hoping for something even more convenient, the best robot vacuums are worth checking out. Want to go traditional, we also found the best upright vacuums on the market. 

Best cordless vacuum 2022: tried and tested

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Cordless Vacuum [1 Battery] IZ400UK cut out on white background

(Image credit: Shark)
The best cordless vacuum overall

Specifications

Power supply: Cordless
Weight: 4.07kg
Bin size: 0.7L
Runtime: Up to 60 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Flexible wand lets you easily vacuum under furniture 
+
Clean Sense IQ can detect how dirty a floor is 
+
Powerful suction on carpets, hard floors and furniture 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Dust brush only moderately effective 
-
 Floor head can’t fit into narrow spaces 

The Shark Stratos is a new line of vacuum cleaners from one of the best cordless vacuum cleaner brands there is. We reviewed the cordless model, but the new tech is also available as a corded and upright vacuum cleaner.

Known as the Shark Stratos Cordless with Clean Sense IQ IZ862H in the US or the Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Cordless Vacuum [1 Battery] IZ400UK in the UK, we were incredibly impressed with this vacs ability to sense how much dirt is on a floor and increase the suction power accordingly. It's even said that this tech - Clean Sense IQ - will increase dirt pick up by up to 50%. We also love that it has  Anti-Odor Technology built in to the floor head which prevents any unpleasant smells from building up inside.

It comes with an Anti-Hair Wrap brushbar which is mega useful for households with long and short haired residents, and the flexible wand puts vacuuming the floor under the couch / sofa within reach. The only thing we found that the floorhead didn't do so well is to get into narrow spaces, but there's the crevice and multi-surface tools for that.

Read our Shark Stratos Cordless review (opens in new tab)

Best cordless vacuum Roidmi R10 cordless vacuum cleaner on a white background

(Image credit: Roidmi)
The best budget cordless vacuum

Specifications

Power supply: Cordless
Weight: 2.4kg
Bin size: 0.4L
Runtime: Up to 40 minute

Reasons to buy

+
Super lightweight
+
Quiet
+
Sleek Design

Reasons to avoid

-
Suction could be stronger on carpet
-
Shorter runtime than rival vacuums

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

Best cordless vacuum Dyson V15 Detect on a white background

(Image credit: Dyson)
Best premium cordless vacuum cleaner

Specifications

Power supply: Cordless
Weight: 3.1kg
Bin size: 0.75L
Runtime: Up to 60 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful Suction
+
Laser highlights hidden dust
+
Informative LCD Screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Average-sized dust canister
-
Noisy on full power

Dyson's latest vacuum cleaner really is its best yet and one of the very 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

Best cordless vacuum Miele Triflex HX1 on a white background

(Image credit: Miele)
The best cordless vacuum for pet hair

Specifications

Power supply: Cordless
Weight: 4kg
Bin size: 0.5L
Run time: Up to 60 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful suction
+
Can be used as a stick vacuum or a handheld cleaner
+
Swappable battery means fewer interruptions to your cleaning

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive compared to the rest of the market
-
Heavy to use as a handheld cleaner

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

Numatic Henry Quick cut out on white background

(Image credit: Numatic)
The best bagged cordless vacuum (UK ONLY)

Specifications

Power supply: 25.2 V battery
Weight: 3.2kg
Bin size: 1 litre
Run time: 60 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
No more messy emptying
+
Powerful and flexible suction
+
Decent battery life
+
Scent booster

Reasons to avoid

-
Additional cost of new bags
-
A tad heavy in longer use
-
You can’t see how much dirt you’ve blitzed

The bagged vacuum cleaner is an older appliance tech which may have been bitted by the dust, until Numatic launched their first ever cordless stick vacuum cleaner. Let us introduce the Henry Quick.

This cordless vacuum has proven to us that old ideas can also be some of the best. On review, it did away with any dust clouds rising from the bin upon emptying, or that moment you go to grab the vacuum and realise the recently washed filter is still dripping wet, because since it's bagged, you can just release the bag and get on with your day. 

We found that it isn’t 100% perfect - heavy when in use for long times and the cost of bags is an ongoing cost - but it’s strong, powerful, low-maintenance and easy on the eye.

Read our full Henry Quick review (opens in new tab)

Best cordless vacuum Dyson Omni-glide on a white background

(Image credit: Dyson)
The best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors

Specifications

Power supply: Cordless
Weight: 1.9kg
Bin size: 0.02L
Run-time: Up to 20 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful suction
+
Dual soft brush bar protect hard floors
+
Can be steered in any direction

Reasons to avoid

-
Only suitable for hard floors
-
Expensive compare to the rest of the market

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 

vax blade 5 cut out on white

(Image credit: Very)
Best cordless vacuum for home and car (UK ONLY)

Specifications

Power supply: Cordless
Weight: 3.8kg
Bin size: 0.6L
Run time: 90 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Two brush bars provide optimum pick-up
+
Digital panel displays remaining battery life
+
Second back-up battery included in the set

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most streamlined cordless we’ve tried
-
Can get quite noisy
-
You need room to store all the parts

This cordless vacuum cleaner from Vax gets our vote for use inside the home and outside in the car. It comes with a suite of attachments and has an impressive battery life of up to 90 minutes, meaning that even if you have parked down the road you'll have plenty of juice to see you through the clean.

We also found that it does a good job of picking up dirt and dust from hard floors and carpet. The three-stage infiltration claims to remove up to 99.8% of particles such as fine dust and pet dander down to 0.3 microns in size. And the new CleanControl digital display shows you how much run-time you have remaining while you vacuum, and a second battery provides back-up for a seamless clean. 

Weighing in at 3.8kg, it isn’t the lightest cordless we’ve tried. We also found that although great that there's lots of attachments, when it comes to storing you'll need a fair amount of space because on-board storage is pretty limited.

Read our full Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet and Car review (opens in new tab)

Best cordless vacuum Dyson V11 Outsize vacuum cleaner on a white background

(Image credit: Dyson)
The best cordless vacuum for large homes

Specifications

Power supply: Cordless
Weight: 3.5kg
Bin size: 1.9L
Run time: Up to 60 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful suction
+
Much larger bin
+
Wider cleaning head speeds up vacuuming

Reasons to avoid

-
Most expensive vacuum we've tested
-
Cumbersome to use in handheld mode

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

Best cordless vacuum Shark WandVac on a white background

(Image credit: Shark)
A particularly good cordless vacuum for small spills

Specifications

Power supply: Cordless
Weight: 3kg
Bin size: 0.25L
Run-time: 16 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Strong suction
+
Easy to empty

Reasons to avoid

-
Short battery life
-
Small dust cup

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

Best cordless vacuum Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute on a white background

(Image credit: Dyson)
The best affordable cordless vacuum cleaner from Dyson

Specifications

Power: Cordless
Weight: 2.6kg
Bin size: 0.75L
Run time: Up to 60 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to use
+
Powerful suction
+
Converts into a handheld cleaner

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery drains fast on highest setting
-
Can't automatically adjust usction power

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

Best cordless vacuum Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins & Flexology on a white background

(Image credit: Shark)
Particularly good reach under low furniture

Specifications

Power: Cordless
Weight: 4.58kg
Bin size: 0.7L
Run time: Up to 60 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Flexible for reaching under furniture
+
Powerful suction

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy
-
Noisy in use
-
Flicked around large debris on hard floor

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.   

Read our full Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner review

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. 

If you’re still unsure, read our advice on which type of vacuum should you buy and read our comparison of canister vs upright vacuums.

Henry Quick arriving in a box

(Image credit: Future)

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. 

Jennifer Oksien
Homes Editor

 Jennifer Oksien is TechRadar’s Homes Editor. Jennifer (Jenny) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible. 

With contributions from