Best cordless vacuum 2020: 7 top vacuums from Shark, Dyson and more

The best cordless vacuum cleaners are easy to use, have a long battery life and offer multi-tasking cleaning

best cordless vacuum: Dyson V11 Absolute
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(Image credit: Dyson)

Ready to go cordless? Good choice. Owning one of the best cordless vacuums will revolutionize how you vacuum your house: no more running out of cord length juuust before you get to that last corner, knocking over furniture as you drag the cord across the floor, or lugging a heavy canister vacuum up and down the stairs.

If you've only ever used corded vacuums, you'll find the cordless life much easier in comparison. But with no shortage of options on the market, finding the best cordless vacuum isn't quite as simple. Top brands like Dyson, Shark and Hoover all offer their version of the cordless vac, each engineered to near-perfection.

To help aid in your search, we did our due diligence by trying, testing, and reviewing the best cordless vacuums on the market, then putting together a shortlist, below. Some of these models even make an appearance in our list of the overall best vacuum cleaners, so you know you've landed on a winner. 

Keep scrolling for the full rankings.

What is the best cordless vacuum?

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

Another cordless vacuum we love is from Shark — it feels like an upright, works like a cordless and converts to a handheld. That versatility is just one of the reasons why we recommend the  Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away with TruePet. 

Keep scrolling to find out more about these two cordless vacuums and our other top picks, so you can be sure you're getting the best cordless vacuum for you.

The best cordless vacuum cleaners for 2020

best cordless vacuum

(Image credit: Hoover)

1. Hoover ONEPWR Blade+ 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: 35 minutes
Charging time: 3 hours
Capacity: 0.6ltrs
Noise: 79dB
Weight: 6.8 lbs.
Reasons to buy
+Sleek and lightweight design+Has a light so you can see underneath furniture+Great for pet owners
Reasons to avoid
-Battery life cut short when used on full power

If you're a fan of uprights but want something a little lighter to use, the Hoover ONEPWR Blade+ Cordless Vacuum is a great option to have around the house.

What we like about it

The Hoover ONEPWR Blade+ has high-powered suction, which you can tell by the fact that it'll actually try to suck up your flooring while you're cleaning. This model also has DustTracker LED headlights in the brush head so you can easily see what else needs a clean, or what you've missed. 

The brush head of the Blade+ swivels easily, so it goes where you want it to go. It's also low-profile enough to easily clean under furniture, and light enough to carry up and down the stairs.

Finally, this model is well-priced for a cordless vacuum — a category which can command up to $600 for top-of-the-line models (including a couple on this list). The Blade+ typically retails for around $200, but we often see it on sale for as little as $149.

Things to note

The one thing about this vacuum that we don't love is the battery life. While it can run up to 35 minutes per charge (average for the cordless category), that's only when it's used on the eco setting. When it's used at full power, the battery runs down more quickly.

Dyson v11 best vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Dyson)

2. Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum

Best vacuum cleaner upgrade: 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: 6.5lbs
Reasons to buy
+Incredible power+Easy to maneuver +Long running time+Notifies you when it needs to be emptied
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Takes a while to charge-Not the lightest 

The Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum vacuum gets our vote for the best cordless vacuum cleaner worth a splurge, thanks to its powerful suction and exceptional ability to transition between floor surfaces. It will easily work its way around the home on a single charge.

What we like about it

The Dyson V11 Animal has one of the best levels of suction around, and a high-efficiency filter to capture allergens. It also comes with a number of attachments for cleaning crevices and a variety of surfaces. This cordless vacuum is great for cleaning everything from the inside of your car to hard-to-vacuum stairs, so if you do a lot of spot cleaning, it's a worthy replacement for a standard vacuum.

Its most redeeming feature, though, is its weight (or lack thereof). Although not the lightest Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson V11 is suitably lightweight for carting up and down stairs, even for those who may struggle a bit with mobility. And unlike other super-light cordless vacuums, it doesn't compromise on power or running time.

This cordless vacuum is easy to empty, too: A single lever pull over the garbage can cleans this beauty in seconds.

Things to note

We love this vacuum. But if we had to nitpick, we'd call out the fact that on tougher jobs, the max power setting eats into the otherwise impressive battery life. Some users have also found that the filter is a little too efficient, which means you need to clean it pretty regularly. Finally, there's no denying that it's one of the highest-priced models on our list.

best cordless vacuum

(Image credit: Shark)

3. Shark Rocket IX141 Cordless Pet Stick Vacuum

Best cordless vacuum cleaner for small spaces: lightweight, powerful and under $200

Specifications
Best for: Value
Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 40 minutes
Charging time: 4 hours
Capacity: 0.37 ltrs
Weight: 6.9 lbs
Reasons to buy
+Great suction+Lightweight+Mid-range price
Reasons to avoid
-Small capacity

If you're in the market for a cordless vacuum for an apartment, or a second model to keep upstairs, the Shark Rocket IX141 is a great fit.

What we like about it

One of the Shark Rocket IX141's best features is that it doubles as a handheld vacuum: Simply remove the handle from the stick and attach the crevice or pet tool directly to the vacuum head for easy maneuverability in the car, or while vacuuming furniture.

Also, the Shark Rocket boasts one of the top run time stats on our list — up to 40 minutes of battery life.

It's also lightweight, has a washable filter, and comes with turbo mode, which gives it extra power for tough jobs (but sucks battery life, too).

Things to note

The canister capacity for this model is among the lowest on our list, which is why we recommend it for small spaces or spot cleaning. But reviewers note that it's unlikely to fill up before the battery life runs out. 

best cordless vacuum

(Image credit: Shark)

4. Shark ION P50 Cordless Powered-Lift Away Vacuum

Best large capacity cordless vacuum: big dust canister and long battery life

Specifications
Best for: Big jobs
Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 45 minutes
Charging time: 4 hours
Capacity: 2 ltrs.
Weight: 12 lbs
Reasons to buy
+Great suction+Lightweight+Mid-range price
Reasons to avoid
-Heaviest on our list

If you have a larger home to clean and want to do it in one pass, the Shark ION P50 Cordless Powered-Lift Away Vacuum offers great dust capacity and run time for under $300.

What we like about it

This vacuum cleaner is a powerful cordless that can be used like an upright, or you can lift away the dust canister to transform it into a small, handheld cordless vacuum. If you want the convenience of a cordless but aren't sure about making the switch to a stick model, this is perfect.

The Shark ION P50 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 the vacuum is in use. 

If you plan to use your cordless vacuum to clean furniture or the car, you'll be happy to note that this vacuum comes with a few specialty surface-cleaning tools. It also has a button to adapt from hard flooring to carpet, and the Lift-Away function that transforms it into a handheld makes this vacuum easy to handle on the stairs. As the name suggests it's also designed to work well on pet hair, either with the main foot or with the range of attachments.

Finally, we like the headlight on this model — it does a great job of illuminating any dust or dirt you may have missed on the first pass. 

Things to note

This cordless vacuum is heavier and pricier than some of the models on this list, but this is because Shark has 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.

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.

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: 8.7 lbs.
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 vacuum

The iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum is one of the most efficient robot vacuum cleaners on the market — we even consider it one of the best options for dealing with pet hair. So if you are looking for a vacuum to give you the easiest clean ever, then this is for you.

What we like about it

Like all robot vacuum cleaners, this may not be a replacement for your regular vacuum cleaner; but it's great for keeping on top of the annoying little bits of dust and dirt that accumulate through the week. 

The iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum not only works well on hard floors, but it's also capable of picking pet hair off carpet. An intelligent sensor detects what sort of sensor it's running on and adapts the suction accordingly. The low-profile design is very handy, too; the iRobot Roomba 980 can under more furniture much more easily than most of the models on this list.

We also love that you can just leave it to run while you're away or asleep, then return (or wake up) to a cleaner home. If you're out of the house, you can check its status and set its cleaning schedule from your smartphone, or with the help of a smart assistant like Alexa or Google Home Assistant. 

The iRobot is also smart enough to return to its dock before its battery runs out; basically, it recharges itself. Even without that feature, its battery life is the best on the list. 

We love this robot vacuum for allergy sufferers who need to stay on top of their cleaning; its efficient filter captures 99 percent of allergens.

Finally, there's no need to worry about your expensive robot vacuum running itself off the stairs: It has special "Cliff Detection" sensors to keep that from happening.

Things to note

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 its round shape means it can't get into corners, crevices or furniture like standard cleaners.

That said, a cordless vacuum is usually used as a second option to help you keep on top of dirt in a larger home. This takes the effort out of those regular mini cleans and is particularly well-suited to people with lots of hard floors, which this model cleans very well.

bissell vacuum cleaner - real homes best cordless vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Bissell)

6. Bissell ICONpet Cordless Stick Vacuum

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

Specifications
Best for: Hair
Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 30 minutes
Charging time: 4 hours
Capacity: 0.4 ltrs
Noise: 81 dB
Weight: 7 lbs.
Reasons to buy
+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 enough suction to vacuum up pet hair, then the Bissell IconPet Cordless Vacuum is for you.

What we like about it

The Bissell IconPet promises up to 50 minutes of fade-free cleaning, and it certainly delivered in our hands-on testing. It proved to be a hard worker on all floors, and the ability to turn the vacuum's handle/dust container into a short handheld unit is useful for cleaning stairs. 

The actual operation of this cordless vacuum is pretty seamless; it's intuitive to handle, the dust container is easy to empty, and its LED headlights work well in both modes (handheld and full-body vacuum). It also has a Smart Seal allergen system that helps trap dust and allergens inside the vacuum, and which can be washed under the tap.

Things to note

The Bissell Icon 25V is one of the heaviest cordless vacuums we've tested — although when you're using it in handheld mode that becomes a non-issue.

How to buy the best cordless vacuum

If you have busy work, home or school schedules in the family, you need a cordless vacuum cleaner that really gets the job done well — no second and third passes to pick up missed dirt, thank you very much. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing the best cordless vacuum:

Battery life

This is one of the most important features of a cordless vacuum. All of our cordless vacuums have at least a 20-minute run-time; any less than that just isn't practical. If you vacuum more regularly than others, 20 minutes is enough for a quick zip around to spruce up your entire home.

Weight and maneuverability

If you want to really enjoy the freedom of owning a cordless vacuum, that vacuum should be light enough that you don't mind carrying it around. But be aware that there is some correlation between weight, power, dirt capacity and battery life. 

If you intend for this to be your main vacuum cleaner, we recommend prioritizing battery life and suction power, so you can do a good job without having to recharge mid-clean. If this means a heavier machine, so be it. If you're only looking to do quick spot cleaning, light and easy to move is the way to go.

You'll also want to make sure the cleaning foot of your cordless vacuum can easily get under furniture, and choose a model with the right attachments for cleaning any other surfaces you might want to tackle, like upholstery or curtains.

Why not try a robot vacuum cleaner?

Most people choose a cordless vacuum for the convenience of quick and easy cleaning. If you have a larger budget you could consider a robot vacuum cleaner — although you'll still have to do touch-ups by hands for places the robot can't reach (like stairs and corners), it takes most of the labor off your hands.

Capacity

Dust chamber capacity is usually under a liter. That might not sound like much, but that limited size helps ensure the machine is small and light enough to carry around. Also, as cordless vacuums are designed to be quicker and easier to maneuver, you might find you use it more regularly and have less dirt to tackle in the first place. 

Storage

All of these cordless vacuums are, by design, much more compact that conventional vacuums — so they're a great choice for small apartments and homes. Some even come with wall-mounted charging brackets that let you hang them in your cleaning closet or utility room.

When it comes to finding the right product, keep a close eye on the specifications we list for each vacuum. These will tell you:

  • How long the battery lasts on default mode
  • How long it takes to recharge
  • The dust canister capacity
  • What we think each model is best suited for
  • 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).

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