Best cordless vacuum 2021: our top 8 stick vacuum cleaners – tried and tested

The best cordless vacuum cleaner will ensure your home is left crumb-free, all without being tethered to a plug

best cordless vacuum - Vax onepwr 4
(Image credit: Vax)

If you like the idea of ditching the cable to go cord-free as you vacuum then the best cordless vacuum (your) money can buy will make this a reality. They are often lightweight, easy on the back and give you the freedom to move about the house without getting in a tangle. But features vary between models so you'll need to ensure that you do a little research before parting with any money.

With all the top brands innovating to step away from the plug, we know that it can be an overwhelming search to find which stick vacuum is right for you. Some now even convert into a smaller handheld vacuum for use in the car or on the sofa, so there's lots of things to consider. Fear not: we've taken the due diligence to try, test, review (and rank) the top vacuum cleaners on the market which we've featured in this guide. Some also feature in our list of the overall best vacuum cleaners so you know you are on to a winner. 

Keep scrolling to see our rankings – all models have been reviewed in our own homes, and nothing with less than four stars has made the list.

The best cordless vacuum

If you want to buy the best cordless vacuum cleaner we wouldn't hesitate to checkout the  Vax ONEPWR Blade 4. Featuring a sleek and lightweight design, the vacuum has a run time of 45 minutes, a capacity of 0.6 litres and it's pretty great at sucking up everything from crumbs to pet hair and even leaves. When the time comes, it's also very easy to empty.

Alternatively if you would prefer to have a smaller, more compact cordless vac then we can highly recommend you buy the Dyson V7 Trigger. It's a powerful device which is mega handy to have around to vacuum-away any rogue crumbs or pet hair, inside the home or car.

Best cordless vacuum 2021: more about our top picks

Vax Blade 4Real Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Cordless Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum: a flexible cleaner with powerful suction that rivals the top corded sellers on carpet!

Specifications
Best for: Suction
Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 45 minutes
Charging time: 3 hours
Capacity: 0.6ltrs
Noise: 79dB
Weight: 2kg
Reasons to buy
+Sleek and lightweight design+Has a light so you can see underneath furniture+Great for pet owners+Handy for the car
Reasons to avoid
-A full set of tools could cost you extra

This vac gets our vote for the best cordless vacuum because it has incredible suction, it's lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. Overall, we think it is a great piece of kit and is one which is reasonably priced, too.

What's it good at?
The Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 has almost three times more suction power than any of the other cordless vacuum cleaners, and you can tell by the fact that it'll actually try to suck up your flooring while you're cleaning. This model also has a DustTracker with LEDs in the brush head so you can easily she what else needs a clean, or what you've missed. 

What else?
The brush head of the Blade 4 swivels with ease which means that it will go exactly where you want it to go. It's also low enough so it will easily go underneath furniture, and light enough to carry up and down the stairs.

What we don't like?
We've put the full set of tools down as a reason to avoid because this could easily set you back £50. They're may well be deals on where the tools are being offered for free when you come to buy the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4, so keep a look out for this.

Dyson v7Real Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

2. Dyson V7 Trigger Handheld Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum which is a handheld: a powerful device for quick, daily clean ups

Specifications
Best for: Power
Cordless: Yes
Weight: 1.38kg
Battery life: 30 mins
Capacity: 0.4L
Reasons to buy
+ Quiet  + Long battery life for a handheld model 
Reasons to avoid
-Investment price tag, but so worth it

If a smaller, more compact cordless vacuum cleaner is what you are looking for then it may be worth considering investing in a handheld vacuum cleaner. The Dyson V7 Trigger is our pick of the best handheld vacuum cleaner – as featured in our guide – and is why it has our nice yellow badge plastered on it, too.

What's it good at?
The V7 Trigger has powerful 15 cyclones are designed to catch even the finest of dust particles, making this a good option for those with allergies.

What do we like about it?
It’s super-quiet, so if you’re a bit of a Monica from Friends and find the sudden urge to clean at a ridiculous hour of the morning, then you won’t wake the entire household in the process. It also comes with combination tools which make accesses all areas easy, yup, including stairs, room corners and even the car. And for a cordless handheld, it also has surprisingly good battery life of up to 30 minutes so you can clean uninterrupted. 

What else?
There is a dual mode option which allows you sacrifice battery life for a more intense vacuum for those hard to clear areas. Then when you're done emptying is as easy as pulling one tag when held over the bin, simple.

What we don't like?
Aside from the price (which is a little steep) we can't fault it.

DYSON V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum CleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

3. Dyson V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum from Dyson: it has super powerful suction and transitions well from hard floor to carpet

Specifications
Best for: Lightweight power
Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 40 minutes
Charging time: 4.5 hours
Capacity: 0.76ltrs
Noise: 82dB
Weight: 2.97kg
Reasons to buy
+Incredible power+Easy to manoeuvre +Long running time+Notifies you when it needs to be emptied
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Takes a while to charge-Not the lightest 

This stick vacuum would be our number one choice, if it weren't for the BIG price tag. It is, however, our choice of the best Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner, with its powerful suction and exceptional transitioning between floor surfaces. It will easily work its way around the home on a single charge, and it won't need recharging until you've finished the job.

What's it good at?
The highly efficient filter captures allergens and it offers the best one of the best levels of suction around. It also comes with a number of attachments for cleaning crevices and a variety of surfaces. Great for cleaning the car and stairs too, so for people who do lots of spot cleaning, it could be a good replacement to your standard vacuum.

What do we like about it?
It's most redeeming feature though is its weight – or lack of weight for that matter. Although not the lightest Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson V11 is suitably lightweight for carting up and down stairs; even for users with mobility issues. And unlike other super light cordless vacuums, you don't have to compromise on power or running time.

What else?
A single lever pull over a bin cleans this beauty in seconds, but some users found the filter is a little too efficient meaning it needs cleaning quite regularly. 

What don't we like?
Is it good? Yes. Worth the hefty price tag – not quite. A couple of things could make this the perfect cordless vacuum cleaner. While it is very good at cleaning, for tougher jobs you need the max power setting which eats battery and means lots of short bursts of cleaning rather than a whole-house job. 

Shark Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner [IC160UKT]Real Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away with TruePet Cordless vacuum

Best cordless vacuum for upright lovers: feels like an upright, works like a cordless and converts to a handheld

Specifications
Best for: Allrounder
Type: Upright
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 50 minutes
Charging time: 3.5 hours
Capacity: 0.6ltrs
Noise: 72dB
Weight: 5.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Great suction+Versatile cleaning styles for lovers of uprights (and cylinders)+Floor illumination+Battery can be charged separately
Reasons to avoid
-Long hair can get tangled-Heaviest model on this list

If you struggle with adapting to a stick-style cordless vac and want more power, then this cordless vacuum is for you.

What's it good at?
This vacuum cleaner is a powerful cordless that can be used like an upright, or your can lift away the dust canister for a small, handheld cylinder style. If you want the convenience of a cordless but aren't sure about making the switch to a stick model, this is perfect.

What do we like about it?
It is surprisingly quiet considering how powerful and effective it is at cleaning. It also has a longer running time than some cordless machines and we love that you can buy a spare battery to charge separately while it is in use. 

It also comes with a great range of tools and has a button to adapt from hard flooring to carpet. The Lift-Away function means you will find cleaning the stairs a doddle. And as the name suggests, it is designed to work well on pet hair, either with the main foot, or the range of attachments.

What else?
Using the boost button does shorten battery time, but for keeping on top of dirt and fluff every couple of days, this won't be a problem. Just make sure you have a second battery charged for a deep clean.

It has a light too that is great for illuminating pesky dust particles.

What don't we like?
It is heavier and pricier than some of the models on this list, but this is because Shark have managed to pack as much of the functionality of a corded upright into a cordless as possible. The weight doesn't pose an issue for use as an upright and the canister is light to hold when cleaning the stairs.

While it has TruePet technology, our reviewer did find that longer hair got tangled in the brush and needed removing.

Best industrial cordless vacuum: NUMATIC Henry Hoover Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

5. NUMATIC Henry Hoover Cordless Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum (industrial) : Henry’s back in a brand new form for convenient, cordless cleaning

Specifications
Best for: Industrial-level cleaning
Type: Cylinder
Bagless?: No
Battery life: 30 minutes
Charging time: 3.5 hours
Capacity: 6ltrs
Noise: 72dB
Weight: 6.4kg
Reasons to buy
+Classic Henry design, but cordless +Two speeds for ground-in dirt +Two batteries so you can get twice the cleaning time
Reasons to avoid
-A bit cumbersome-Tricky on stairs-Not great with pet hair or allergens

Good news for everyone who loves this friendly-faced fella but doesn’t want to be tethered by wires; this Henry Hoover is a modern incarnation of a household classic. Behold, the best cordless vacuum cleaner for demanding cleaning jobs – this one has even made it onto our best Henry vacuum guide.

What's it good at?
Surprisingly for a cordless vacuum, it's just as powerful as the corded Henry, making for respectable suction. The two-speed function allows you to dial up the power for more determined dirt, and its huge 6-litre capacity is a massive wow-factor for a cordless vacuum, and in the long-term equals less-emptying. 

What do we like about it?
For both price and power, you really can't go wrong. It comes with two batteries so you can replace when it runs out and get up to an hour of cleaning time. The HEPA filter and bags make it great for allergy sufferers and if you want the best cleaning, no wires attached, this is your man.

What else?
It is over a kilo lighter than a standard Numatic Henry, so if you are a fan of the Henry fam, but want to speed up your clean by ditching the plug, give it a go. It is about twice the price mind you...

What don't we like?
Being one of the most cumbersome products on the list, Henry falls down on his manoeuvrability and can be tricky to fit on stairs – if you think this defeats the point of being cordless, don't buy. For those who have trouble lifting, we wouldn't recommend him due to size, however, he's perfect for those who live in a bungalow or flat.

Shark IZ251UKTDB stick vacuum cleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Shark)

6. Shark Anti Hair Wrap & DuoClean IZ251UKTDB

Best cordless vacuum with flexology: it's a stick vacuum cleaner which will bend for easy reach and storage

Specifications
Best for: Flexible cleaning
Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: up to 120 minutes
Charging time: 3.5 hours
Capacity: 0.7L
Noise: rating not available
Weight: 4.1kg
Reasons to buy
+Up to 120 minutes of power+Great for homes with pets+Easy-to-empty dust container+Good set of attachments
Reasons to avoid
-A bit noisy on carpet--Tricky to direct accurately under furniture

Looking for a stick vacuum with more flex? The Shark Anti Hair Wrap & DuoClean IZ251UKTDB has got this and more - it is a premium cordless stick vacuum cleaner after all.

What's it good at?
We like how easy this vac is to set up and operate. Our reviewer found that the Shark tech performed as promised, too. 

What do we like about it?
The Anti Hair Wrap meant that neither human hair nor the very generous contributions made by small furry housemates had entwined itself around the brushes of the floorhead or the motorised pet tool. Having Flexology was also really handy because it meant that our reviewer (and therefore you) can get your vac under the beds and various items of furniture that are raised up on legs.

What else?
This vac will easily convert into a handheld to tackle the smaller jobs around the home, such as removing crumbs or pet hair from the sofa. The motorised pet tool can be slotted on for a thorough job.

The attachments make it a versatile choice since it comes with a 20cm crevice tool, upholstery tool, a dusting brush, and an anti-allergen dusting brush.

What don't we like?
Attachments don't ride on board with the vac, which does mean that you'll need to go to and fro between them. And the weight of the vac is concentrated at the top which will make it tricky to navigate under furniture when using Flexology.

best cordless vacuum: Miele Triflex HX1 Pro Cordless VacuumReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. Miele Triflex HX1 Pro Cordless Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum for busy family homes: the first (ever) cordless vacuum from Miele which has epic suction and a long battery life

Specifications
Best for: Busy family homes
Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: Up to 120 minutes
Charging time: 4 hours
Capacity: 0.5ltrs
Noise: 80dB
Weight: 4kg
Reasons to buy
+Flexible design+Battery life+Epic suction
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy-Fiddly to empty

If you are looking for a powerful cordless which has an incredible suction and epic battery life, then this is the vacuum cleaner for you.

What's it good at?
As the name suggests, this cordless vacuum is flexible. Its 3-in-1 design solves multiple cleaning conundrums with three cleaning modes: compact, range and comfort, which can reach high and low to give you a result to be proud of.

It's brilliant at cleaning carpets, and our reviewer found it did a fine job on dust, feathers, dog (and human) hairs, too. This vac even has an automatic detection when you glide over different floor types, so it adjusts its suction accordingly.

What do we like about it?
We really like the deep-down cleaning performance of this cordless model. It has incredible suction power, which is easily on par with a high-end corded vacuum, and is achieved without sacrificing battery life. It's this battery life, with a run-time of up to 120 minutes, which rivals the other cordless vacs on our list so we feel it is very well suited to large, busy family homes.

What else?
The Triflex HX1 Pro comes with three attachments; a crevice nozzle, dusting nozzle and upholstery brush, all with a home on the wall mounting unit, which covers all cleaning bases.

What don't we like?
Although it is not the smallest capacity on our list, for the run-time the 0.5L the dust cylinder is annoyingly small and needs emptying far too often. The emptying action is easy enough, though, if a little stiff so if you don't mind frequently emptying the cylinder then you'll have no other quibbles.

bissell vacuum cleaner - real homes best cordless vacuum cleanersReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Bissell)

8. Bissell Icon 25V Cordless Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum for hair: an easy to use cordless vacuum cleaner with tangle free brushes

Specifications
Best for: Hair
Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 50 minutes
Charging time: 4 hours
Capacity: 0.4ltrs
Noise: 81dB
Weight: 3.18kg
Reasons to buy
+Up to 50 minutes cleaning+Tangle free brushes+Each reach under furniture
Reasons to avoid
-Heavier to use than some

If you're looking for a cordless vacuum cleaner with an impressive long running time and is not adverse to vacuuming-up hair, then this cordless vacuum from Bissell is for you.

What is it good at?
This cordless vacuum cleaner proved itself a hard worker on all the floors during testing, and the handheld came in handy when it came to stairs cleaning. It's pretty intuitive to put together too, as well as when it comes to emptying the dust container, so the actual operation of this cordless vacuum cleaner is pretty seamless.

What else?
The Bissell Icon 25V promises up to 50 minutes of fade-free cleaning, and it certainly delivered. The removal of the dustbag is also super easy to do; just remove the lid to empty.

The cordless vacuum cleaner also has a Smart Seal allergen system which can be washed under the tap.

What don't we like?
The Bissell Icon 25V is one of the heaviest we have tested and featured on our guide of the best cordless vacuum cleaners, but it's not an issue if it is converted to a handheld.


How to choose the best cordless vacuum

With our busy work and home schedules you'll need a cordless vacuum cleaner which really does the job, and does it well. Here are a few things to consider...

Battery life
This is one of the most important features of a cordless vacuum. All of our cordless vacuums have at least 20-minutes battery life and one has two hours. Less than 20-minutes is not practical, but if you vacuum more regularly than others, this is enough for a quick whizz round to spruce up your home.

Weight and manoeuvrability
To really enjoy the freedoms of cordless a lighter vacuum cleaner is preferable, but be aware that there is some correlation between weight, power, dirt capacity and battery life. If you intend this to be your main vacuum cleaner, we recommend choosing something with the best battery life and suction so that you can do a good job without having to recharge mid-clean – if this means a heavier machine, so be it. For quick cleaning, light and easy-to-move is the way to go.

Try and choose one with attachments too for complete versatility, and make sure the foot can easily get under furniture.

Why not try a robot vacuum cleaner?
Most people choose a cordless vacuum for the convenience of quick and easy cleaning. So, if you have a larger budget you could consider a robot vacuum cleaner that will make regular cleans totally hands-free.

Capacity
Dust chamber capacity is usually under a litre which doesn't sound like much but helps ensure the machine is smaller and neater. Also, as cordless vacuums are designed to be quicker and easier to manoeuvre you might find you use it more regularly and have less dirt to tackle in the first place. 

Storage
All of these machines are much more compact that cylinder and upright machines, making them a great choice for small homes. Some even come with a bracket to hang them in your cleaning cupboard.

When it comes to finding the right product, keep a close eye on our spec items below, which will tell you:

  • How long the battery lasts on default mode
  • How long it takes to recharge
  • The dust chamber capacity
  • What we think each one is best suited to
  • How much it weighs

Don't miss our guide to how to vacuum like a pro (yup, there are techniques to get it done quicker and better). Take a read of our 50 best home cleaning essentials for product recommendations to help keep your house clean.

How we test cordless vacuum cleaners

At Real Homes we like to review each of the products before considering them in any of our buyers' guides. To do this means that each time we hear of a new product announcement or we see a product with outstanding user reviews, we just have to call it in.

A number of stick vacuum cleaners which you see featured in this guide have all been tested in the same way by one of our appliance experts. They've been used for a number of weeks (sometime months) in our own homes so that they are faced with real-life hurdles – such as the stairs – and messes. We're even fortunate enough to sometimes keep hold of the vacuum cleaners after testing which means that we can update our guides as we continue to learn about then over a long period of time. We've considered factors such as manoeuvrability, run-time, emptying of the canister (or bag) and general controls and matched this against the price tag so we can weigh up what it is exactly you're getting for your money. In any instance where we have been unable to review but couldn't miss not featuring the vac, we've sought  feedback from users who have left reviews on the website where they have bought it from. 

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