Best Cordless Vacuum


Best Cordless Vacuum 2017

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. 

Top 5 Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

Rank Manufacturer & Model Approx. Cost (USD)
1 Dyson V8 Absolute 500-550
2 Dyson V6 Absolute 450 - 500
3 Shark Navigator Freestyle 100
4 Bissell Air Ram 200
5 Hoover Platinum Linx 130


Dyson V8 Absolute

1) Dyson V8 Absolute

This stick vacuum has been making waves in the market since it was released in 2016.  Many other manufacturers are making similarly designed machines to capture some of the market for this popular unit.  What makes the V8 so good?

Lightweight and easy to maneuver:  This is one of the first things you notice about this vacuum.  It is very light (5.75 lbs) and it moves/turns with a twist of the wrist.
Compact:  The vacuum is small and thin.  You can just lean it against a wall or place it in the provided wall hanger.  It stores very easily.
Designed for bare floors and carpet:  Many stick vacuums don’t work well on carpet.  The V8 Absolute comes with 2 cleaner heads - one specifically for bare floors and one specifically for carpet.
A 2-in-1 vacuum:  The V8 is both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum.
Minimal consumables: This is a bagless vacuum and all the filters are washable.
Low noise level:  Some machines are annoying loud.  Not the V8.
Easy to empty:  Dyson have designed the V8 with a hygienic dust canister emptying system.  This helps remove dust and debris from the canister without having to pull it out with your hands.
Includes several tools: Dusting brush, combo tool, crevice tool, motorized hand tool.
Quality filtration:  It has both a HEPA filter and a sealed system to ensure only highly filtered air is expelled.
2 power modes: Can be set to standard power or high power (for tackling tougher cleaning jobs).
Reasonable run time:  It has longer run times than its predecessor the V6.  On standard power mode it will do 25-30 minutes with the powered cleaner heads and up to 40 minutes with the non-powered tools.

We have the V8 Absolute and it is our go-to machine around the house for quick cleanups and for stairs.  Read more in our comprehensive Dyson V8 review and watch our Dyson V8 Pros & Cons videos.

Dyson V6 Absolute

2) Dyson V6 Absolute

This is the predecessor to the V8 Absolute and is very similar with a few small differences:
- the V6 has a smaller battery and thus a shorter run time
- the battery recharge time is faster on the V6
- the V6 has slightly less power on Max mode (but the same on Standard mode)
- the V6 weighs a bit less
- the V6 is a little noisier
- the dust canister is smaller on the V6
- emptying the dust canister on the V6 can be more troublesome

Design, cleaning capability and maneuverability are similar between the V6 and the V8.  You can see much more detail and comparisons of the V6 and the V8 in our Dyson V8 review.

The V6, like the V8, is very popular and it gets excellent ratings from owners.  When the V8 came out prices for the V6 dropped some, so it is less expensive today than when it was first on the market.  You can also read more in our Dyson V6 review and watch or Dyson V6 Pros & Cons videos.

Shark Navigator Freestyle

3) 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.

Bissell Air Ram

4) Bissell Air Ram

This is a bagless, cordless stick vacuum that isn’t too heavy at 7.75 lbs.  People really like the unit’s maneuverability and report that the swivel steering and light weight allow it to glide around furniture easily.  

Most owners praise the Air Ram’s performance on bare floors, pet hair and low pile carpet.  It has a motor driven brushroll which helps with vacuuming carpet - however the brushroll cannot be turned off.  In some cases this can be troublesome as bare floor vacuuming is often done with the brushroll off.  In the case of the Air Ram it is designed so the entire brushroll can be removed for bare floor cleaning – it is an odd solution but it does work.

The vacuum has a 30 minute run time on a single charge which is quite good.  It also sport LED headlights and a washable filter (non-HEPA).  Unlike the Dyson stick vacs this is not a 2 in 1 machine so there is no handheld component, and it does not come with any tools or attachments.  However consumers report that it has strong suction – a key component for a good stick vac.  You can read much more in our Bissell Air Ram review.

Hoover Linx Cordless

5) 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

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0 # Anthony 2017-04-14 13:10
What do you think of the hoover air lift bh51120/bh51120pc ? It seems very similar to the #2 Bissell you mentioned on this page.
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0 # Nigel 2017-04-14 20:43
Hi Anthony,

You may have noticed the Hoover Air BH50140 in #5 position on this page. As far as we can tell the BH50140 and the BH51120 are essentially the same machine with different tools sets. So it has made our Best Cordless Vacuum list.
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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.  

I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.


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