Best Cordless Vacuum 2020


Best Cordless Vacuum 2020

UPDATED JULY 2020 - Cordless vacuum cleaners have been around for some time but only started to become widely popular recently.  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 30 minutes or more on a single charge. Also, some of the outliers are reaching run times as high as 40–60 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.

Today, without a doubt, the most popular cordless vacuums on the market are those manufactured by Dyson.  These include the V7, V8, V10 and most recently V11 series.  Ratings and reviews of these machines are typically very good so there is a reason why they are popular.  We’ve analyzed Dyson cordless vacuums extensively and also believe that in the cordless market these are your best bet – so Dysons rank at the top of our list of best cordless vacuums.  But you need a buying strategy.

Top 5 Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

Rank Manufacturer & Model Approx. Cost (USD)
1 Dyson Stick Vacuum - choose most suitable from table below varies
2 Shark Rocket Pro Cordless 190
3 Shark ION X40 200
4 Bissell Air Ram 200
5 Hoover Platinum Linx (BH50020PC) 165


#1) Dyson Stick Vacuum

A Dyson stick vac is our first choice for a cordless vacuum.  We've worked with many different manufacturer's stick vacs and these are still the standard.  Everyone else is trying to mimic what they have achieved.  But there are different models within each Dyson cordless series and some are better for certain kinds of cleaning than others.  The table should help with your decision.

Model You have mostly bare floors You have mostly carpet Approx cost (USD)
Dyson V8 Absolute      $350-$400
Dyson V10 Absolute      $500
Dyson V7 Motorhead      $250-$300
Dyson V10 Motorhead      $400
Dyson V11 Absolute      $700
Dyson V11 Animal/Torque Drive      $650

Note1: Animal versions are also good machines but they are not as good as the Absolute for hard floors. Consider the Animal if you like the Motorhead but want some more tools.
Note2: If you want to save money a good alternative to the V8 Absolute is the V7 Absolute, but there are some differences between the V7 and V8 models (read our V7 vs V8 article).
Note3: It is not essential to have the soft roller cleaner head (that comes with Absolute) for bare floors, but it works best.
Note4: If you're stumped between the V8 and the V10 read our V8 vs V10 article.
Note5: The V11 Absolute is hard to find in the USA. Also, you can upgrade from the V11 Animal to the V11 Torque Drive if you want the fancier LCD controls. Read our V11 Review or our V10 vs V11 article.

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 Low power or Max power (for tackling tougher cleaning jobs).
Reasonable run time:  It has longer run times than the V6 or the V7.  On Low 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 V10 Absolute
This is the top-end model in Dyson’s latest (and most expensive) series of cord free vacuums.  The V10’s are capable of dishing out more power than previous cordless series and they differ some in design from the V6/V7/V8.  What do we like about the V10 Absolute?
Strong suction:  On Max power the V10 will kick out 151 air watts of suction and you can feel this unit suck itself to the floor.  It is very powerful for a cordless vacuum.
Large dust canister:  The dust canister is 43% larger than the dust canisters on the V7 and V8 and even the V10 Motorhead.  You don’t have to empty it too frequently.
Not too loud:  Dyson have implemented acoustic dampening in their cordless vacuum since the V6 and it shows.
2 cleaner heads:  This is a key component of getting the “Absolute” model.  It includes the direct-drive cleaner head and the soft roller cleaner head.  The soft roller cleaner head is especially good on bare floors.
Reasonable recharge time:  Dyson managed to get the recharge back down to the 3.5 hours.  It is 5 hours on the V8.
Versatility:  This operates as a stick vacuum and also a handheld vacuum, and changing from one to the other is quick and easy.  With the wand and tools it is also great for overhead cleaning.
High quality filtration:  The vacuum has a HEPA filter and also a sealed system to ensure all the air gets properly filtered.  The filter is also rinsable in water.
Tools click fit:  Tools fit securely.  You don’t have to push them on or pull them off.  They click into place and you press a button to remove them.
Includes a host of tools:  Being the top-end model it comes with a number of tools.
You may wish to read our detailed Dyson V10 Absolute review, or see our quick list (with videos) of Dyson V10 Pros & Cons

Dyson V7 Motorhead


The Dyson V7 Motorhead is fantastic stick vacuum and it can usually be had for much less than the Dyson V8 Absolute.   The “Motorhead” is the least expensive V7 model but it still has most of the things that make these stick vacuums so great to work with.  You definitely get “bang for your buck” with this machine.
Lightweight:  The V7 weighs 5.45 lbs which is less than the V8 at 5.75 lbs.  The V7 is easy to lift, and easy to turn and maneuver.
Low noise level:  The V7 (like the V8) is less noisy than the V6.  We have done noise tests on all three machines.
A 2-in-1 vacuum:  This is both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum.
Hygienic dirt emptying system:  Both the V7 and the V8 have Dyson’s hygienic dirt emptying system which makes emptying the dust canister easier and more effective.  This feature is not on the V6.
Great on carpet:  We’ve run the V7 through a host of tests on carpet and pickup is very good.
Fast recharge time:  The V7 battery can be fully charged in about 3.5 hours.  This is faster than the V8 which takes closer to 5 hours.
Washable filter:  The V7 only has 1 filter and it is rinsable in water and can be reused.  A rinsable filter and a bagless design reduce operating costs.
Two power modes:  Like the V6 and the V8, the V7 has two power modes – Low and Max (only the V10 has three power modes).
The V7 Motorhead is kind of a stripped down V8 Absolute.  It has slightly lower suction (see our Dyson Stick Vacuum Battery Life video), a smaller battery, no HEPA filter, no mini motorized tool, no dusting brush and no soft roller cleaner head.  If you need these things then get the V8.  If you don’t need these things the V7 is great. 
One thing to consider is whether or not you will be doing lots of bare floor cleaning.  The soft roller cleaner head is better on bare floors than the direct drive cleaner head and only the “Absolute” models come with the soft roller cleaner head. 
You can read much more about this vacuum in our detailed Dyson V7 Motorhead review.  You may also want to check our quick list of Dyson V7 Pros & Cons complete with videos.

Dyson V10 Motorhead

This is the least expensive of the V10 vacuums but it still packs a punch.  It is similar to the V10 Animal and the V10 Absolute but there are a few differences: less tools & attachments, more lightweight, smaller dust canister.  Why do we like it?
More affordable: It can typically be found for substantially less than the Animal and Absolute models – yet it still has the same power output and many of the same features.
Nicer handheld unit: While the dust canister is smaller, this also makes the handheld unit more manageable and we prefer it to the larger Animal and Absolute handhelds.
Easier to empty:  We found the Motorhead easier to empty than the V10 Animal and the V10 Absolute.  The smaller dust canister is just easier to work with.
Lightweight:  This is the lightest V10.  It is lighter than the Animal and the Absolute and is almost the same weight as the V7 Motorhead.
Check out or comprehensive Dyson V10 Motorhead review

Dyson V11 Absolute
This is the most expensive Dyson cordless vacuum on the market today, however it is hard to find this model the USA.  More commonly you will find the Dyson V11 Torque Drive and the Dyson V11 Animal. 
Includes a soft roller cleaner head: This cleaner head increases the vacuum’s cleaning performance on bare floors. 
LCD control panel: This panel provides remaining run time readout in each power mode (counts down in real time). It also shows videos of how to fix potential vacuum problems (issues with filter or blockages for example).
Extra long run times: The large battery is capable of close to an hour of run time in eco mode (the lowest power mode).  It also has a longer run time in Boost mode (the highest power mode) than any other Dyson cordless vacuum.
The Absolute is essentially the same machine as the Torque Drive however it comes with two cleaner heads (High Torque and Soft Roller). The Torque Drive only comes with the High Torque cleaner head.
For much more information read our detailed Dyson V11 vacuum review.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive
The Animal is essentially the same machine as the Torque Drive however it has an LED control panel instead of an LCD control panel.
Animal Model - the most affordable V11: The Animal is about $100 less than the Torque Drive.
Torque Drive Model - has the fancier LCD display with remaining battery power displayed in real time.
High Torque cleaner head:  Both models have this cleaner head which is fairly good on carpet.
Extra long run times: The large battery is capable of close to an hour of run time in eco mode (the lowest power mode).  It also has a longer run time in Boost mode (the highest power mode) than any other Dyson cordless vacuum.
Check out our detailed Dyson V11 vacuum review.

The remainder of the vacuums in our list are perhaps not as highly recommended as the Dysons, but they are still very good and deliver good bang for your hard-earned buck.

Shark Rocket Pro

#2) Shark Rocket Pro Cordless

The Shark Rocket Pro is less expensive than most of the Dyson’s (with the possible exception of the Dyson V7 Motorhead). It is also somewhat unique in that it has fins on the brushroll as opposed to bristles. We were surprised with this approach but when we tested it on our carpet and our tile flooring the results were very good. It has great pickup on carpet AND also great pickup on bare floors. We’ve found many cordless units perform well on carpet but less so on hard flooring. Too view test results and videos please see our detailed Shark Rocket Pro Cordless review.

Like many stick vacuums today the Rocket Pro is a 2-in-1 machine meaning that it is both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum. You simply remove the wand and cleaner head and you have a handheld vacuum. You get two tools that work well with the handheld: a crevice tool and an upholstery tool.

Run time is somewhat average and this machine would be best for a smaller home. We performed run time tests on a hard floor and found that in standard power mode we got 24 min 42 seconds on a full battery. On our low pile carpet in standard power mode we only got 18 min 50 seconds. In boost power mode run times were even shorter (11-13 min or so depending on the surface).

The finned brushroll is self-cleaning and it is fairly effective at reducing hair tangle. This helps cut down the number of times you will have to up-end the vacuum and manually pull or cut away hair/string/thread from the brushroll.

The Rocket Pro does not come with a HEPA filter however, and it does tend to be a little loud.  You may want to read owner reviews on Amazon

Shark ION F80

#3) Shark ION F80

This is a slightly larger and heavier vacuum than the Shark Rocket Pro. But then it has 2 batteries and longer run times. The F80 also has DuoClean Technology which means it has the typical bristled brushroll but also a spinning soft roller brush at the front of the cleaner head. The soft roller brush makes contact with the floor so when you are vacuuming hard floors it is able to pick up stuck on dust/debris. In addition, the soft roller brush pulls in larger debris well – it does not snowplow large debris around like some cleaner heads do.

This is a 2-in-1 vacuum and is both a stick vac and a handheld vacuum. The handheld component can be removed and tools will fit on the end. We did find the handheld a little on the heavy side though and extended use could be a bit tiring.

This vacuum also has a very unique feature. There is a hinge in the middle of the wand which can be bent a full 180 degrees. This allows it to stand on its own (with the head flipped down – have to see the review with images to fully understand this) and it allows the cleaner head to get under really low furniture without you having to bend over. I was originally not quite sold on this feature but I have heard from some owners, especially those with disabilities, that this can really be handy.

We like that the controls on the F80 are all on the back of the handheld and that they can easily be accessed with your thumb.

We also noticed that the post-motor filter on our unit was not HEPA level. Check out owner comments on Amazon.

Tineco Pure One S12

#4) Tineco Pure One S12

This cordless vacuum has been getting pretty good reviews and ratings from owners. We were also pleasantly surprised when we received this machine because it has a feeling of quality that we did not get with the less expensive Tinecos (like the A10 Hero). This unit compares well to some of the Dyson cordless machines.

One of the first things we noticed about the S12 is just how much stuff is in the package – see our S12 review. It comes with many tools as well as a nice bag in which to store them.

The S12 also has 2 batteries that can easily be swapped out (doubles your run time). This is a very handy feature and one unavailable in the Dyson cordless vacuums (with the exception of the very large Dyson V11 Outsize).

Power is also set with a slider so it is much more granular than simply low/med/high (again, see the review for a video showing how this works). In max power mode the power output of the S12 is pretty much the same as a Dyson V10 which is quite respectable.

In our tests we found that cleaning performance on both our low pile carpet and our tile flooring was quite good. We also found that the S12 is very quiet. As a matter of fact it is still the quietest cordless vacuum we have tested to date.

The S12 has a HEPA filter and a sealed system which ensures no unfiltered air escapes the vacuum.

We did find that it had tendency to skate about on our carpet however. It did not have the same “positive” steering that you get from a Dyson. Steering on hard flooring was very good though.  See owner comments on Amazon.

Bissell Air Ram

#5) 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

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0 # Katie Phiilips 2018-11-28 06:08
do you know the battery life of the Dyson V10 and how much to replace it or can you buy a second battery to keep fully charged?

Kind regards

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0 # Nigel 2018-11-28 19:57
Hi Katie. You can get all this info (and a lot more) in these two articles:



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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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-1 # 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.