UPDATED JANUARY 2019 - 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 V6, V7, V8 and V10 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|
|3||Tineco A10 Hero||190|
|2||Shark ION X40||200|
|4||Bissell Air Ram||200|
|5||Hoover Platinum Linx (BH50020PC)||165|
You can see this list and our other best vacuum lists in our special Vacuum Cleaner Advisor page on Amazon.
#1) Dyson Stick Vacuum
A Dyson stick vac is our first choice for a cordless vacuum but there are different models within each 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||More affordable||Approx cost (USD)|
|Dyson V8 Absolute||$375-$400|
|Dyson V10 Absolute||$600|
|Dyson V7 Motorhead||$250|
|Dyson V10 Motorhead||$400|
Note1: Animal versions are also good machines but they are not as good as the Absolute for hard floors (but they have more tools than the Motorhead). 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: If you have about the same amount of bare floors and carpet consider the Absolute.
Note4: It is not essential to have the soft roller cleaner head (that comes with Absolute) for bare floors, but it works best.
Note5: If you're stumped between the V8 and the V10 read our V8 vs V10 article in which there is a video discussing both vacuums.
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.
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.
DYSON V7 MOTORHEAD
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).
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?
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.
The remainder of the vacuums in our list are perhaps not as highly recommended as the Dysons, but they are less expensive and still deliver good bang for your hard-earned buck.
#2) Tineco A10 Hero
#3) Shark ION X40
#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.
#5) Hoover Platinum Linx
The Linx gets very good consumer ratings and isn’t too heavy at 7.3lbs (best model is the BH50020PC). 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