Best cordless vacuum 2020: 8 vacuum cleaners from Vax, Dyson and more

Find the best cordless vacuum cleaner for ease of use, excellent battery life and multi-tasking cleaning, at the best price

best cordless vacuum - bissell icon review - real homes
(Image credit: Bissell)

Having one of the best cordless vacuums in the home will make cleaning, on all levels, a whole lot simpler. And, what with the summer months fast approaching bringing pollens into every room, there has never been a better time to free yourself from being tethered to the plug for a quick and easy vacuum around the house.

A cordless vacuum will most certainly make vacuuming the house top-to-bottom a much easier task. It will enable you to clean upholstery, curtains, and hard-to-reach areas in the house at the same time as cleaning your floors. And, with brands such as Dyson, Shark and Vax, offering lightweight vacuums which are engineered to perfection, they offer stiff competition to their corded rivals.

With everyone cutting the cord, it can be an overwhelming search to find the best cordless vacuum for your needs. Fear not: we've taken the due diligence to try, test, review 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 or best vacuum cleaner for pet hair, so you know you are on to a winner. 

Keep scrolling to see our rankings – all models have been reviewed by our appliance expert Sarah, and nothing with less than 4 stars has made the list.

  • Looking for a bargain? Browse our vacuum cleaner sale page which is regularly updated with the best deals around

The best cordless vacuum cleaners for 2020

best cordless vacuum: Dyson V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum

(Image credit: Dyson)

1. Dyson V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum

Best Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner: 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 vac gets our vote for the best cordless vacuum AND 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. 

Read our Dyson V11 cordless vacuum review for deeper insight.

Dyson does a few models of cordless vacuum cleaner. See the best Dyson cordless vacuums.

  • Buy the Dyson V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Cordless Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: 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

If you're a fan of uprights but want something a little lighter to use, then this is a great bit piece of kit to have around the home.

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.

Take a look at our Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 cordless vacuum cleaner review for more information.

  • Buy the VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Cordless Vacuum 

best cordless vacuum cleaner - shark

(Image credit: Shark)

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

Best cordless vacuum cleaner 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.

If you would like to know more about this Shark vacuum, read our Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away and TruePet cordless vacuum cleaner review

  • Buy the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away with TruePet

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: dyson heurist

(Image credit: Dyson)

4. Dyson 360 Heurist Robot Vacuum

Best robot cordless vacuum cleaner: a robot vacuum cleaner with powerful suction

Specifications
Best for: Robot cleaning
Type: Robot
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 75 mins
Charging time: 2.4 hours
Capacity: 0.33ltrs
Noise: 70dB
Weight: 2.51kg
Reasons to buy
+Detects drops+Great suction +Adapts & learns from your home layout+Captures 99.97% of allergens+Control with Dyson Link app, or simple touch controls
Reasons to avoid
-A little noisy as it moves between surfaces-Small dust tank

This little fella gets our vote for the best robot vacuum cleaner, and it's easy to see why. The result of more than  20 years' robot vac development, the Dyson 360 Heurist is the new kid on the block which has taken over from the 360 Eye retaining the powerful suction that Dyson is known for, plus a host of gizmos and gadgets to boot.

What it's good at?

As with the rest of the Dyson range, this little robot vacuum cleaner doesn't lose suction. In fact, it has 20% more suction and 20 times more memory than its predecessor, the Dyson 360 Eye. It is also smaller than similar models meaning it can get into tricky areas such as between chair legs. And it won't get stuck or lost either  because it has intelligent Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) vision system for accurate navigation

What do we like about it?

The Dyson 360 Heurist has eight advanced sensors so it can see precisely where it's going and, therefore, rarely bumps into obstacles as a result. It's full width-brush bars will also get right to the edges of rooms for excellent ground coverage.

That's one of the reasons this is a perfect robot vacuum cleaner for those with lots of furniture or units with legs. The Dyson 360 Heurist will continually learn and adapt to your home by mapping out its route so you don't have to worry about moving your house around every time the vacuuming needs doing. It also means you don't need to worry about it damaging itself or anything else in your home.

Anything else?

It can be controlled by buttons on the unit itself, or using a smart phone app that is available for both iOS and Android operating systems. You can also pair it with Amazon Alexa devices and control it by voice command.

What don't we like?

Although we have yet to review this robot vacuum cleaner, the price could put most people off but then again it may cut the time you spend doing chores in half (or more!).

  • Buy the Dyson 360 Heurist Robot Vacuum

Best robot vacuum cleaner for pets: iRobot Roomba 980

5. iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum cleaner for hands-free cleaning: for an effortless clean

Specifications
Best for: Hands-free cleaning
Type: Robot
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 2 hours
Charging time: 3 hours
Capacity: 0.6ltrs
Noise level: 70dB
Weight: 4kg
Reasons to buy
+High-efficiency filter +Multi-surface detection +Smart compatible (Alexa and Google)
Reasons to avoid
-Loud-Small capacity-Pricey for what will be a second vac

This is one of the most efficient robot vacuum cleaners on the market – we even call it out as a great option for pet owners in our list of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair. So if you are looking for a vacuum to give you the easiest clean ever, then this is for you.

What it's good at?

Like all robot vacuum cleaners, this may not be a replacement for your regular vacuum cleaner, but it will keep on top of the annoying little bits of dust and dirt that accumulate through the week. This one is great on hard floors but capable of picking pet hair off carpet too so you can set it off while you are out or asleep and return to a cleaner home.

What do we like about it?

It has an intelligent sensor that detects different surfaces so it adapts it's suction as it moves from hard to soft flooring. Being super low profile it gets under furniture with more ease than some of the other models on this list. And it has Cliff-Detection so you don't have to worry about it falling down the stairs.

The battery life is the best on this list and it will return to it's dock if it needs more juice so it certainly has the convenience advantage over most stick cordless vacs. Finally it does everything at the push of a button – be that on the machine itself, or programmed via the app on your smartphone. It also works with Alexa or Google Home Assistant via smart speaker.

Anything else?

The iRobot HOME app allows you to plan a cleaning schedule from your phone. You can check the status as it cleans, but you don't need to do anything other than that to keep on top of the little cleans that a cordless vac is so well suited to.

What we don't like?

Since the Roomba doesn't have traditional beater brushes, you can't expect it to be as powerful or effective as some of the other cordless models on our list. And you certainly can't count on it as your only vacuum cleaner because it can't get into corners, crevices or furniture like standard cleaners.

That said, a cordless vac is usually used as a second vac in larger homes to keep on top of dirt two or three times a week. This takes the effort out of those regular mini cleans and is particularly well suited to people with lots of hard floors which it cleans very well.

Plus, the efficiency filter captures 99 per cent of allergens, making it a good choice for allergy sufferers.

If you want to see if this is the best robot vacuum for you, read our iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner review

  • Buy the iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum

Best industrial cordless vacuum: NUMATIC Henry Hoover Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

6. NUMATIC Henry Hoover Cordless Vacuum

Best industrial cordless vacuum: 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.

  • Buy the NUMATIC Henry Hoover Cordless Vacuum

best cordless vacuum: Miele Triflex HX1 Pro Cordless Vacuum

(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.

Read our Miele Triflex HX1 Pro cordless vacuum review to see if this is the vacuum cleaner for you.

  • Buy the Miele Triflex HX1 Pro Cordless Vacuum

bissell vacuum cleaner - real homes best cordless vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Bissell)

8. Bissell Icon 25V Cordless Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum cleaner 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.

Take a closer look at this cordless vacuum in our Bissell Icon 25V vacuum cleaner review

  • Buy the Bissell Icon 25V Cordless Vacuum

How to buy 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.

About our reviews – and our reviewer

Our vacuum reviewer is Sarah Warwick, a homes, property and interiors writer with 20 years experience in the industry. Sarah is a serial house revamper who has written for nationals, magazines and websites. She gives the vacuum cleaners she reviews a serious run for their money over various surfaces, from floors to upholstery.

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.

What is the best cordless vacuum?

Let's recap...if you want to buy the best cordless vacuum cleaner (in our opinion), we wouldn't hesitate to buy the Dyson V11. As with all Dyson vacuums, it's got mega powerful suction and easily transitions 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.

Don't have quite enough budget to stretch to a Dyson? No worries: in this case we would highly recommend you buy 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...

More vacuum cleaner recommendations: