Cordless vacuum cleaners have only really been coming into their own recently. Yes they've been around for some time but they have historically been plagued by weak suction and short run times. However, current cordless machines have much more power and we are starting to see run times of 20 minutes or more on a single charge. Also, some of the outliers are reaching run times as high as 40–45 minutes (while still generating effective suction levels), and we believe this will be the norm in the coming months/years. This is being driven not only by new battery technologies but also by the relentless demand for cordless vacuums. Homeowners like the light weight, maneuverability and portability of these machines. Expect to find more and more of these appearing on the market.
Following is out list of the top 5 cordless vacuums on the market today.
|Rank||Manufacturer & Model||Approx. Cost (USD)|
|1||Dyson V6 Absolute||500|
|2||Bissell Powerglide 1534||200|
|3||Shark Navigator Freestyle||120|
|4||Hoover Platinum Linx||130|
Dyson V6 Absolute
Despite the hefty price tag this is our first choice for best cordless vacuum cleaner. It is also happens to be our top pick for best stick vacuum. The V6 Absolute is the pinnacle of Dyson’s cordless stick vacs and it comes with two cleaner heads - one for carpet and one for bare floors. The wand can also be removed to create a powerful handheld vacuum. This is our go to machine around the house for quick cleanups and for stairs.
The Absolute weighs just over 5 lbs and is very maneuverable. It is also quite powerful for its size and is easy to use and maintain. This is a bagless vacuum and all filters are washable, including the HEPA filter. It has a small footprint so it conveniently tucks away in the closet. While you only get 15-20 minutes of run time, it is sufficient for small area cleaning and quick pickups. Read our comprehensive Dyson V6 Absolute review and see our Dyson V6 Absolute Pros & Cons videos.
When this cordless vacuum first appeared on the market it was about $600 but it has come down in recent months and is now about $500 and sometimes even less. The Absolute is the top of the V6 stable but we should mention that there are less expensive V6 models available. Base models (without all the "Absolute" bells & whistles) can be found for around $300.
NOTE: In Nov. 2016 we had the opportunity to review the new Dyson V8 cordless vacuum. It is very similar to the V6 and every bit as good, so it is something to consider if you like the V6. You may wish to read our Dyson V8 review.
Bissell Powerglide 1534 (April, 2017 Update - we've removed this from our list due to an increasing number of mediocre ratings)
This cordless machine is somewhere between a stick vacuum and an upright. As a stick vacuum one might be a bit disappointed as it weighs 11 lbs, but as an upright it is rather lightweight. The 1534 is good on bare floors and low pile carpet but isn’t the right machine for deeper pile carpet. Most cordless machines do not excel on deep carpet (this requires quite a bit of power)
Taking a page out of the “Shark” playbook, the Powerglide has what Bissell are referring to as “Lift-off technology”. This is the same feature found in Shark’s Lift-Away vacuums whereby the dust canister, motor and hose/wand assembly can be detached from the vacuum body and carried for portable cleaning.
One of the most interesting features of this cordless vacuum is the run time. The Powerglide 1534 gets close to 45 minutes of run time on a single charge. This is quite a bit longer than most of the cordless machines we have seen. Also, the unit can be fully charged in 2-4 hours which is a respectable recharge time. Read our Bissell Powerglide 1534 review.
Shark Navigator Freestyle
The Freestyle is a great machine and at 7.2 lbs it is very lightweight. It also has two power modes - low and high. On high it will provide about 17 minutes of vacuuming and on low about 24 minutes.
The Freestyle also has a motorized brushbar and is designed for cleaning both carpet and bare floors. It is quite maneuverable (has swivel steering) and is also good at picking up pet hair. It is bagless and has washable filters but it does not have HEPA filtration or brushbar on/off controls.
It is compact and therefore easy to store, and it carries a 1-year limited manufacturer's warranty. For more details read our Shark Navigator Freestyle review.
Hoover Platinum Linx
The Linx gets very good consumer ratings and isn’t too heavy at 7.3lbs (almost the same as the Shark Navigator Freestyle). In addition, it has good suction.
This is a great cordless machine for smaller area vacuuming and it is capable of picking up dust and debris from both carpet and bare floors fairly well. It is not a full size vacuum however and it also lasts about 15 minutes on a charge. Like many cordless vacuums the Linx receives some criticism regarding length of battery charge, but 15+ minutes is actually not too bad. While it may cause consumer grumbling, it is not always easy to find a battery powered stick vacuum that provides more than 20 minutes of strong suction on a single charge (although we are starting to see this barrier more commonly broken recently – see the Bissell Powerglide 1534 and the Hoover Air).
You may wish to read our Hoover Linx review.
Hoover Air Cordless
This vacuum is serious competition for the Bissell Powerglide 1534 as it comes with 2 swappable batteries that together provide about 50 minutes of run time (25 minutes each). However, each battery takes 3 hours to charge so you can’t keep swapping them out continuously. Also, like the 1534, the Hoover Air is something between an upright and a stick vacuum.
This unit weighs about 10 lbs and also has a short hose and a few tools. It has brushroll on/off controls and even comes with 2 brushrolls – 1 for carpet and 1 for bare floors. This is a compact machine and is easy to store. It also carries a respectably long 5-year warranty. See the Hoover Air review.