The best cordless vacuum can rival traditional corded models when it comes to cleaning power. Not only can they collect fine dust and dirt from carpets and hard floors with ease, but long-lasting batteries mean you can clean anywhere in your home without needing an electrical socket close by.
Cordless hoovers - the moniker vacuums are sometimes given because Hoover was one of the first brands to manufacture vacuum cleaners - use rechargeable batteries, and you can expect anywhere from between 15 and 60 minutes cleaning from one charge. Many come with swappable batteries, which means you don’t have to delay completing your cleaning session if the battery dies either.
A number of designs in our round-up of the best vacuums are cordless, which is no surprise considering they’re lightweight and easy to maneuver around your home. The best robot vacuums are also cordless cleaners, although they can make their way around your home unaided, ensuring you can completely outsource the shore of floor cleaning.
Cordless vacuum cleaners are versatile as many can be converted into a handheld cleaner by removing the floor cleaning head and the wand - the component that leads to many cordless cleaners being nicknamed stick vacuums.
So, how much will cordless vacuum set you back? The models we’ve included in this list are the best of the best, and the most affordable is priced at $100 / £120. While it is possible to purchase some cordless vacuums for less than this, they compromise on suction power and battery life.
Having one of the best cordless vacuums is half the battle, but it’s also key that you know how often you should vacuum and how to clean your vacuum to ensure your floor cleaning sessions are as efficient as possible.
There’s a wide range of cordless vacuum cleaners on the market from brands such as Dyson, Shark, and Roidmi, and selecting the best model for you may leave you feeling perplexed. However, we’ve put an array of designs to the test to discover which is the best cordless vacuum for 2021.
The best cordless vacuum 2021
Dyson's latest vacuum cleaner really is its best yet. 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 review: Dyson V15 Detect Absolute
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.
Easy to use in both stick cleaner or handheld mode, and lightweight, this cordless vacuum cleaner also comes with a good selection of tools, including a motorized mattress brush to make upholstery cleaning easy.
Read our full review: Roidmi R10 cordless vacuum 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 review: Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog
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.
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 to be steered in any direction. It can even lie
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, 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 review: Dyson Omni-glide
A 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), while the cleaning head is wider than usual, which means you’ll be able to cover more ground than with a standard cordless cleaner.
Its powerful suction 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 review: Dyson V11 Outsize
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, and we liked the modular design where the main body detaches from the main 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 review: Lupe Pure Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
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, it collected fine dust for 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 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.
Read our full review: Shark WandVac
Not only is this cordless vacuum excellent at cleaning pet hairs from rugs and dry spills from tiles, but it’s also a high-tech choice that comes with an app to let you know when the bin needs emptying and provides the battery level too. It’ll even keep track the calories you've burned while cleaning. Although we found the app fiddly to set-up.
It doesn’t quite manage the deep cleaning we’ve seen on the very best cordless models, but with three cleaning modes and a collection of eight different tools, it’s certainly versatile.
It's nicely lightweight and the super-powerful turbo mode doesn’t disappoint, although the run-time is relatively short
Find out more: Hoover H-Free 800 - should I buy one?
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. We found on 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.
It’s got the same size dust bin and matches the V11 on an up-to 60-minute runtime, 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 review: Dyson V10 Cyclone
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 many cordless vacuums on the market, 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 review: Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins & Flexology IZ300
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.
What to consider when buying a cordless vacuum
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 if the battery runs out of power mid-clean, you don’t have the 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.
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).