Best Cordless Vacuums of 2020

A cordless vacuum enables you to clean up small messes quickly and easily. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best cordless vacuum to clean up your family's little spills.

Mess Be Gone: Your Guide to the Best Cordless Vacuums

Cordless vacuums are lightweight, battery-powered vacuums that make cleaning up small messes a breeze. Unlike traditional upright vacuums, cordless vacuums move from room to room seamlessly without the worry of locating a power outlet or tripping over a cord.

While cordless vacuums can't entirely replace their upright counterparts, they're ideal for quick cleaning. But with so many options on the market, finding the right cordless vacuum for you is not so easy.

Luckily, that's where we come in. At BestReviews, we do thorough research, test products in our labs, grill the experts, and poll real-life customers, so we can help you make the best shopping decisions. We never accept free products from manufacturers, and when we are done compiling our reviews, we donate the gently used products to charity.

If you're ready to purchase a cordless vacuum, take a look above at BestReviews' top picks. For everything you need to know about cordless vacuums before you buy, you've come to the right place.

Got hardwood floors? Look for a cordless vacuum that can accommodate a mop attachment.

Why Buy a Cordless Vacuum?

If you already have a corded upright vacuum, you may wonder if you need a cordless vacuum, too. Let's look at what a cordless vacuum can add to your cleaning arsenal.

  • With a cordless vacuum, there's no need to fiddle with a cord or risk tripping over it.
  • Cordless vacuums are lighter than corded upright vacuums.
  • Cordless vacuums are easier to maneuver than corded vacuums.
  • With a cordless vacuum, you can reach hard-to-clean areas like ceilings.
  • There's no need to find a wall outlet with a cordless vacuum.
  • Cordless vacuums tend to be quieter than other vacuums.

Cordless vacuums are ideal for cleaning small spaces or accidental spills.

Handheld vs. Stick vs. Convertible

What kind of cordless vacuum do you need? That depends on the type of cleaning you plan to do.

  • Handheld Cordless Vacuums: Handheld cordless vacuums are suitable for small messes, but they usually have shorter runtimes. They are lightweight, extremely portable, and easy to store. Handheld cordless vacuums are a great choice for cleaning the interior of a vehicle or getting at hard-to-reach spaces like between couch cushions.
  • Stick Cordless Vacuums: Stick cordless vacuums are also lightweight and don't take up a lot of space. They generally have less power and suction, however. Stick cordless vacuums are an excellent choice for light messes or maintenance cleaning.
  • Convertible Cordless Vacuums: Convertible cordless vacuums transform from stick vacuums to handheld vacuums and offer the most versatility.

A cordless vacuum's reported runtime may not take into account the fact that as the battery dies, the vacuum's suction lessens.

What to Consider to Find the Cordless Vacuum for You

How strong is the suction on the cordless vacuum you're considering? If you have a house with pets, strong suction is necessary to pick up the hair your pet sheds. Pet owners should look for cordless vacuums with a lot of power.

Cordless vacuums have limited runtimes since they do not rely on electrical power. Consider your cleaning habits before settling on a cordless vacuum. Do you clean your whole house at once? A cordless vacuum with a long battery life is what you need. Larger homes require a longer runtime as well. The battery life of cordless vacuums ranges from 15 minutes to one hour.

Cordless vacuums are lighter than corded vacuums, but size still matters. Is your potential new cordless vacuum small enough to be stored with your other cleaning tools? Some cordless vacuums come with charging docks, which also take up space.

While a cordless vacuum is best for light cleaning, the dustbin should still be big enough that you don't have to empty it multiple times during a cleaning session. If you will be picking up a lot of pet hair, go with a cordless vacuum with a larger capacity.

Because cordless vacuums are lightweight, they are easy to maneuver into corners, edges, and tight spots. If you want to use your cordless vacuum to suck up dust from your ceiling or curtains, look for a cordless vacuum with an extendable handle.

Wet Clean-Up
Some cordless vacuums can clean up wet spills. These cordless vacuums switch from wet-vac to dry-vac mode either manually or by automatically detecting the type of mess. If you have kids, a cordless vacuum with a wet clean-up function is a good choice for cleaning up messy liquid spills.

Most cordless vacuums come equipped with HEPA filters. HEPA filters keep dust and debris from being released back into the air after vacuuming. If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, a cordless vacuum with a HEPA filter is a must. When choosing a cordless vacuum, consider whether the filter can be easily replaced and how much the replacement filters cost. Some cordless vacuums feature washable filters, which need to be replaced less often.

Think about which attachments you will actually use. If you want to clean dusty curtains or high ceilings, finding a cordless vacuum that comes with an extendable handle and a gentle cleaning head is key. However, if you don't have carpeting in your house, roller brushes will be an unnecessary extra.

Ease of Use
Ease of use is an essential factor with any cleaning appliance. Look for cordless vacuums with dustbins that are easy to empty and filters that can be washed or easily replaced.


Cordless Vacuums Can Help with Allergies

A cordless vacuum with a HEPA filter is the best option for filtering out harmful allergens.

How Much Should You Pay for a Cordless Vacuum?

  • Inexpensive: Most cordless vacuums under $100 are best for cleaning very small messes or small areas. They are less powerful and generally have shorter runtimes.
  • Mid-Range: If you're looking to clean up pet hair on a regular basis, a cordless vacuum with good suction is the right choice. Cordless vacuums suitable for vacuuming pet hair and larger areas cost $200 or more.
  • Expensive: The most powerful cordless vacuums retail for well over $500. These are the highest-quality cordless vacuums with every attachment and feature.
Some cordless vacuums can run on backup battery power. Just pop in a fresh set of batteries to keep vacuuming between charges.


Q. I'm looking for a vacuum to pick up impromptu kitchen messes. Which type of cordless vacuum is right for me?
A. An inexpensive cordless vacuum can handle small kitchen messes. Stick cordless vacuums and handheld cordless vacuums are both lightweight options that are easy to store. A cordless vacuum with a wet clean-up option is useful if many of your messes are liquid.

Q. How long does it take to charge a cordless vacuum?
A. It depends on the cordless vacuum. Some cordless vacuums charge quickly, while others can take several hours to fully charge. When choosing a cordless vacuum, consider if a quick recharging time is an important factor for you.

Cordless handheld vacuums are the right tool for vacuuming your car's interior.

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