Suck it up: The best cordless vacuums for convenient and easy cleaning

·11 min read

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Hand-held portable vacuum cleaner for furniture
Hand-held portable vacuum cleaner for furniture

Keeping your living and work environment clean can prevent allergies and illness, improve productivity and even put you in a good mood. But the actual process of pulling out a big burly vacuum cleaner is a hassle, and there’s always a neglected area that the cord just won’t let you reach. Having something you can quickly whip out without worrying about plugging it in or struggling to get into those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies makes cleaning fast and efficient.

The good news is that you can tidy up only minutes before dinner guests arrive, do a one-minute pre-meeting clean-up, and suck up spills effortlessly with a cordless vacuum. Our guide to the highest-rated cordless vacuums of 2022 will help you choose a model that’s easy to store, has great battery life, and boasts good suction power. Read on for the finest products that will keep your space effortlessly clean!

Top Picks

Best overall: Eureka Cordless Vacuum

A lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner from Eureka
A lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner from Eureka

The Eureka RapidClean Pro is our top pick for a cordless vacuum, not only because of its multi-functional use but because it has an ultra-smart design. The dust cup of the vacuum is conveniently situated on the top end of the device. This ensures that you won’t have any trouble cleaning under low furniture items and allows you to maneuver the machine into almost any tight space. Its unique ‘easy rest’ feature lets you prop the vacuum against a counter or furniture while the LED headlights help you easily spot any dirt you may have missed. This product can be used to clean wood, tile, low-pile rugs, and upholstery.

Key Features:

  • Settings: High and low suction variable switch

  • Run time: Up to 40 minutes

  • Color: Available in three options

  • Battery: Features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery

  • Accessories: Includes a crevice tool, dusting brush, charger, and wall mount

Most lightweight: Shark IX141 Cordless Vacuum

A removable handheld cordless vacuum from Shark
A removable handheld cordless vacuum from Shark

This cordless vacuum cleaner from Shark is super lightweight, making it easy to use and maneuver without your arms getting tired. Whether you’re cleaning up pet hair, your toddler's spilled food, or dust from underneath the sofa, it’ll get the job done effortlessly. It can also transform into an even smaller hand vacuum. Once you’re done vacuuming, simply press to open the dirt ejector for hands-free dirt disposal. The crevice tool can get into ceiling corners, and tight spaces behind furniture, and effectively clean around baseboards, ensuring that every nook and cranny of your home is free of dust and debris. This product is recommended for carpets as well as bare wood and tile floors.

Key Features:

  • Settings: Hypervelocity suction for incredible performance

  • Run time: Up to 40 minutes run time

  • Color: Available in two options

  • Battery: Features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery

  • Accessories: Includes a crevice tool, pet tool, and charger

Best for pet hair: Black+Decker Cordless Vacuum

A power series cordless vacuum from Black+Decker
A power series cordless vacuum from Black+Decker

The Black+Decker Powerseries Extreme features multi-speed control to clean hardwood floors and tile, area rugs, and carpet. Designed with pervasive pet hair in mind, this is a great choice for people who have dogs or cats. The patented brush bar has rubber bristles to get rid of those stubborn pet hairs that stick to sofa upholstery, carpets, and pillows. In addition, the front-facing dirt chamber allows you to lay the device flat to reach under the lowest furniture without any difficulty. The battery can be charged in or out of the vacuum, which means you can store and charge your vacuum at the same time.

Key Features:

  • Settings: Three speeds for different surfaces

  • Run time: Up to 55 minutes

  • Color: Only available in one option

  • Battery: Features a rechargeable and removable battery with a multiway charger

  • Accessories: A crevice attachment with a flip-out brush, pet attachment, accessory holder, washable filter and pre-filter, and wall mount

Best allergy prevention: whall Cordless Vacuum

A brushless cordless vacuum from whall
A brushless cordless vacuum from whall

With cyclone technology, this option is a great choice for people who are sensitive to dust and other allergens. The high-density HEPA filter cleans fine dust and prevents secondary air pollution. A great thing about this cordless vacuum is that the filter can be detached and washed so you don’t need to replace it as often. There is also an extra filter, too. With a V-shaped roller brush combining hard and soft bristles, this gadget is great for cleaning any area of your home or office including the interior of your car, carpets, upholstery, and shutters or blinds. This product comes with a 12-month guarantee in case you’re not satisfied or any quality issues arise.

Key Features:

  • Settings: Three suction modes

  • Run time: Up to 53 minutes standard cleaning and 14 minutes deep cleaning

  • Battery: Features a rechargeable and removable battery

  • Color: Available in two options

  • Accessories: Includes a brush attachment, two filters, and a wall mount

Buying guide: Cordless vacuums

Cordless vacuum cleaners are designed to be easy to maneuver, comfortable to hold, and effective in reaching high angles and tight spaces. The model you choose will most likely depend on the space you intend to use it in. If you just want something to keep a small office clean you can get by with a much simpler model than something you’re using for an entire house.

Cordless vacuums are best for regular cleaning as opposed to achieving a deep clean, especially if you have high-pile carpets that trap a lot of dust and dirt in the deeper layers. They are ideal for the home and office, but when the super suction power is required for flawless vacuuming, you may need to whip out a large and powerful vacuum after all.

There are a few things you want to consider to ensure the unit you choose is of lasting quality and that it can effectively get rid of pet hair and tough dirt on furniture and carpets.

Benefits of a cordless vacuum

Besides getting rid of pet hair, cordless vacuums are lightweight and easy to operate. Their long extendable handles allow for ergonomic use and are perfect for evacuating spiders living rent-free in ceiling corners. Some units are detachable so you can use them as a handheld device as well, which is perfect for cleaning the car and tight, hard-to-reach places.

Models that have high suction and low suction settings are a time saver when it comes to cleaning blinds and upholstery. High-powered machines can easily rip blinds while something with a low suction setting can remove dust from the slats without causing damage. Cordless versions generally come with dusting attachments for exactly this purpose.

Stairs, closet spaces, and hallways are all a breeze to clean with a cordless vacuum since you don’t have to keep changing outlets or cause a short circuit due to connecting multiple extension cords. Since they’re lightweight and generally smaller than regular electric-powered units, cordless vacuums can be transported between locations quite easily and don’t require much storage space either.

Things to consider when choosing a cordless vacuum

There are a few important factors worth considering when making the choice between different cordless vacuums.

1. Stick or handheld

Cordless vacuums are available as small handheld devices, stick vacuums with a long handle, or as a combination cleaning tool which you can alternate between a handheld or stick vacuum as it suits you.

Handheld-only types are better for cleaning spills, getting rid of pet hair, and sucking up dirt in small spaces such as a car. They won’t be great for getting under furniture or reaching high angles. Stick handle units offer an ergonomic benefit so you can stand comfortably while operating the machine. They also allow you to get behind, above, and under furniture with ease. Detachable units are, of course, the ideal choice, offering the best of both types. Each of the cordless vacuums reviewed in this guide can be used in both stick and handheld forms.

2. Suction power

A vacuum's wattage is often mistaken for its suction power. High wattage does not automatically relate to high suction power. The wattage is the energy consumed during operation while the performance or suction is indicated using ‘water lift’ or ‘vacuum’.

Cordless vacuums don’t offer the same suction power as robust electric versions. If you need something to remove dust settled into carpets or to clean during renovations or construction work, you’ll need a powerful unit. For regular surface cleaning and low pile rugs, a lower suction unit will suffice. Some cordless vacuums allow you to switch between high and low suction power which is beneficial if you’re also using the vacuum as a dusting tool.

3. Airflow

The airflow is what moves the dirt along to the vacuum bag or dirt chamber once sucked up.

It is indicated in liters per second or cubic feet per minute with a higher airflow measurement resulting in better cleaning quality.

4. Battery

The battery power is one of the most important considerations when choosing your vacuum. High voltage battery units (18V and more) generally perform better than lower voltage models.

The type of battery also affects the performance longevity. Choose a model with a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery rather than something with a lead-acid or nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery.

The battery warranty may differ from the device warranty, so you’ll want to check exactly what the warranty includes as well as whether the unit comes with a spare battery that can be switched out for longer periods of use. Some cordless vacuums will indicate the charge left on the batteries which can be very helpful.

The batteries will eventually lose their ability to charge over time, so it may be useful to check whether you can purchase a replacement battery separately or if you’ll need to replace the vacuum altogether.

5. HEPA filter

A high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filter is a mechanical pleated air filter designed to remove 99.97% of common allergens of a size of 0.3 microns. This includes dust, pollen, and mold. If you suffer from allergies, consider a cordless vacuum with a HEPA filter — just don’t forget to replace it periodically to ensure optimal benefits.

6. Accessories

Since cordless vacuums are great for getting into corners and crevices while doubling as a duster, they should be accompanied by a few attachments that make cleaning not only easier but more effective. These may include upholstery brushes, corner nozzles, and dust brushes. They can also help you clean air vents effortlessly and remove pet hair from couches and pillows.

7. Wall or floor mounted

Cordless vacuums are generally charged on a floor-mounted base which means you can move the charging station around if you need to. Wall-mounted charging stations require you to have a specific place where your vacuum lives and recharges when not in use. Some units have a removable battery so you can charge the battery while the vacuum is stored in the cupboard.

8. Wet and dry

Although most cordless vacuums are for cleaning dry areas and messes only, you do get combination types that can be used for wet spills. Keep in mind that they only have a small capacity to hold liquids (usually less than one cup) and the indicated capacity should never be exceeded. You will also need to clean the unit after every use when cleaning wet spills.

9. Other considerations

Most handheld or cordless stick vacuums are too small to require vacuum bags and have a compartment that can be cleaned and emptied directly in a waste bin. If the unit does require any bags, make sure they are easy to find or that there are alternative options available.

The same goes for the filter. These will need to be replaced in accordance with how much you use the machine. Some purchases include an extra filter. If not, you can likely purchase these online as well.

All parts of the machine should fit securely without anything becoming detached during use. If you are a cleaning fanatic, you might also love a unit with an LCD screen to tell you when the filter needs changing, the battery needs charging, or if there’s any obstruction.

People also asked

Q: Are bagless vacuums more environmentally friendly?

A: Whether emptying a bagless vacuum compartment or throwing out a vacuum bag, consider where the waste is going. If you are emptying the compartment waste into a plastic bag, it is not environmentally friendly. But if you’re disposing of the waste into your main trash can or directly into a dumpster, it is. The best way to go green with a vacuum is to use biodegradable bags or those made from recycled material, whether it’s inside the vacuum cleaner or just to empty the dust and dirt into.

Q: What caused sudden decreased suction power in my vacuum?

A: If your machine suddenly has lower suction power than usual it may mean that the filter needs to be replaced or that the dust compartment needs to be emptied. We advise also checking for any obstructions in the suction opening or in the tube.

Q: How long will a cordless vacuum cleaner’s battery last?

A: Depending on the type of battery and how you go about charging it, a good quality battery can last up to four years, while its run time on a single charge can last between 30 and 60 minutes.