Tineco Pure One S12 cordless stick vacuum review: lightweight vac built for tough messes

Tineco’s Pure One S12 Cordless Stick vacuum has the cleaning power to reach where others won’t – picking up all traces of pet hair and crumbs

Image of Tineco Pure One S12 Cordless Stick Vacuum in promotional image being used to pick up mess
(Image credit: Tineco)
Real Homes Verdict

A truly innovative model, the Tineco Pure One S12 Cordless Stick Vacuum has smart suction and an iLoop Dust Sensor in order to clean effectively and efficiently. With a running time up to 100 minutes, this cordless vac doesn’t stop until surfaces are spotless.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Super lightweight and easy to maneuver

  • +

    Gets into corners and hard-to-reach areas

  • +

    iLoop technology adjusts the suction automatically

  • +

    Color ring tells you where to concentrate

  • +

    Picks up more dust and dirt than any other vacuum I’ve owned

  • +

    Long battery life for regular cleans

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Loses charge quickly when on the highest setting

Exactly what I needed for a house full of kids and pets, the Tineco Pure One S12 Cordless Stick Vacuum was a very welcome addition to my cleaning supplies. Cordless vacuums can be difficult to adjust to if you're used to more traditional corded options, which was why I was interested to see how this vac fared in a series of at-home tests. 

Thanks to a flexible handle and brush, corners shouldn't be a concern for the Pure One S12 and with a 500-watt motor, the suction power shouldn't be anything to worry about either. Loaded with smart features such as iLoop technology and a color ring that indicates problem areas, it should be able to tackle more dirt and grime in a cleaning session too.

I tested the Pure One S12 for six weeks to see if it was worthy of a spot in our round-up of the best cordless vacuums, giving myself time to use each attachment and use the vacuum in each setting. Keep reading to discover if this is the best vacuum for your home, and to see exactly how it performed in our tests.

Tineco Pure One S12 Cordless Stick Vacuum specs 

Image of Tineco Pure One S12 Cordless Stick vacuum

(Image credit: Tineco)
  • Model number: Pure One S12
  • Battery run time: 100 minutes
  • Charge time: 240 minutes
  • Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.8 x 44”
  • Bin capacity: 0.16 gallons
  • Cleaning width: 10.3 inches
  • Bagged or bagless: Bagless
  • Vacuum type: cordless stick
  • Weight: 6.35 pounds
  • Accessories: crevice tool, long crevice tool, hair cleaning tool, mini power brush, dusting brush, LED power brush, mounting dock
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • RRP: $499.99/£499.99
Courtney Irwin head shot
Courtney Irwin

Courtney is a mom of three young kids and a dog, so naturally crumb trails follow her everywhere. It’s safe to say she’s spent a small fortune testing vacuums, so reviewing them is right up her alley. She lives in a four bedroom home with all types of flooring (carpet, hardwood and tile), the ideal environment to test a vacuum. This Tineco was used regularly for a number of weeks in order to share a thorough review. 

Image of the Tineco S12 Pure One vacuum cleaner during unboxing

(Image credit: Future/Courtney Irwin)

Unboxing and first impressions

Opening up the Tineco vacuum was quick and painless. The cardboard organizer held several accessories, which the manual easily identified. Putting the vacuum together was just as simple as unboxing, and it was ready to use right away. Charge time is right around four hours, but it arrived almost fully charged, which was a nice surprise.

Each accessory that comes with the Tineco is interchangeable with the base and/or stick, making it even easier to use. Attachments are equipped with clasps that lock into place when connected, and come undone at the touch of a button. 

Locating the charging port was slightly confusing because the two white pieces look alike, but after reading the instructions, it was clear. You can either attach the docking station to the wall, or manually plug-in the battery to charge. 

Who will the Tineco Pure One S12 suit?  

The Pure One S12 is great for anyone and everyone who loves a frequent cleaning schedule. If you have a super large house, don’t be surprised if you have to empty the bin several times, as it is super effective at dust collection. I tried this vacuum on my carpet, hardwood and car interior– and it worked magically on all surfaces. I’d say this is a winner for all flooring types.

 What is it like to use? 

Image of Tineco S12 PURE One vacuum in use

(Image credit: Future/Courtney Irwin )

Using the Tineco Pure One S12 is a breeze. Attachments are easily removed and added by the press of a button, and each of the accessories is useful. One thing I particularly appreciate about this model is the simplicity of emptying the bin. If you’ve ever emptied an old-school vacuum, you’ve probably experienced the cloud of dust that makes you want to hop in the shower right away, and thankfully there's none of that here.

After charging the vacuum can be turned on one of two ways. You can either pull the latch on the base as you vacuum or turn it on using the lever. Using the latch, the vacuum turns off as soon as it’s released. If you use the side lever, it will remain on until turned off. The suction is fantastic and made a visible difference to my floors.

Image of Tineco Pure ONE S12 in use

(Image credit: Future/Courtney Irwin)

A few notes: the vacuum is lighter than expected, does a great job cleaning vehicles, and the accessories are thoughtfully designed. Each one serves a purpose, especially the long crevice tool, which I used in my SUV. The vacuum loses charge quicker than I’d hoped, but still lasts long enough to clean my entire house once. If I wanted to do a double pass in certain areas, it would require an extra charge or battery. 

I tested this in all areas of my house, and can confirm the color ring truly senses grimy areas. If it’s on the auto-setting, it will adjust to the dirt level on its own, which is nice. If you’re worried about Tineco’s ability to pick up small crumbs, or leaving some behind, then don’t be. I found that this vacuum quickly got rid of the remnants of Cheez-its my kids had the pleasure of crushing.

Image of Tineco Pure ONE S12 results

(Image credit: Future/Courtney Irwin )

 Cleaning and maintenance

Cleaning the Pure One S12 takes minimal effort, and doesn’t cause a mess, which is what everyone is looking for when it comes to vacuum maintenance. Emptying the bin is done at the touch of a button, and the filter is stainless steel – so it can be hand-dried. Most comparable models use cloth filters, which require 24 hours to dry.

My daughter and I have long hair, so it wasn’t a surprise when I had to remove hair from the brush. I used a pair of scissors to remove the hair, and it was cleaned up in no time. If you want to bypass this sort of task altogether, then one of the best vacuums for pet hair with anti-hair wrap technology will be for you. With this vacuum, I thought that the hair surprisingly didn’t affect the vacuum’s ability to suck up dirt, which is a solid selling point for anyone with long locks. 

Storage is great for small spaces – so if you’re living the apartment life, this is for you. The wall dock fits perfectly in a closet, laundry room, or even in a hallway. Accessories are compact, too, so hiding them away in a cabinet is a breeze.  

Image of Tineco S12 Pure One vacuum during cleaning

(Image credit: Future/Courtney Irwin )

How does the Tineco Pure One S12 Cordless Stick Vacuum rate online?

The Tineco has an average of 4.6/5 stars on most mainstream websites (Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond). Reviewers appreciate its ease of use and love the color wheel that alerts them to extra dirty areas. The most common complaint is the bin fills up quickly. This is a catch-22 if you ask me. It fills up quickly because it’s small, but also because the vacuum has fantastic suction. It picks up everything in its path, but it does mean you'll be emptying it more often.

How does it compare to similar models?

The Tineco Pure One S12 Cordless Stick Vacuum is like every other vacuum I’ve used on steroids. Considering it’s a cordless vac significantly smaller than my other vacuums, my expectations started low. After testing each setting, it effectively cleaned at every level of suction and left my floors spotless.

The color ring is a feature no other vacuum offers, and it’s oddly satisfying, and a motivating force when cleaning. The ring turned red in high-traffic areas and goes blue when debris has been cleared. It is similar to the Dyson V15 Detect in this measurement of dirt, but the color coding gives you something a bit more actionable to take a lead from while the Detect just tells you 'wow this is super dusty' with its dust particle counter. That said, suction on the Dyson V15 Detect is phenomenal, too.

Before the S12, the predecessor for Tineco was the S11. According to reviewers, the S11 lacked suction and had a shorter battery life in comparison to the newer model. The upgraded vacuum also has a more sensitive auto-max mode, adjusting more accurately to surfaces. 

Should you buy the Tineco Pure One S12 Cordless Stick Vacuum?

The Pure One S12 is worth every dime. It’s great for the house, car, small crevices, and hard-to-reach areas. It’s louder than I’d like, but it gets the job done, and then some. It was simultaneously amazing and disgusting to see how much dirt this machine sucked up from my floors. If there is such thing as a deep cleaning vacuum, this is it. 

Although it’s on the higher end of models, I would consider this vacuum money well spent, and the sleek design is sure to help encourage you that this is a purchase worth having in your home.

Midwestern freelancer Courtney Irwin is a working mom of three who loves nothing more than a good deal. Equal parts entrepreneur and family-gal, she believes hard work deserves to be celebrated. Often times in the form of a new gadget or sun-filled vacation (don’t forget the large glass of vino)! When she’s not on the hunt for the next big trend, you can catch her in her kitchen, which is currently under construction. Courtney has spent years curating home renovation and beauty content, and is excited to join the Real Homes' Real Reviewers team and try out all of the latest and greatest things home.