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We’d be lying if we said that vacuuming was one of our favorite afternoon activities, but we will say that the chore becomes way less of a slog when you’re not lugging around several pounds of machinery yolked to a wall outlet by a cord that is impossible not to trip over.
A good cordless stick vacuum answers most of these issues — just make sure you don’t settle for a poor quality appliance with a weak motor and shallow dustbin that can’t keep up with your main tool.
What Are the Best Cordless Stick Vacuums?
The best cordless stick vacuums deliver the same cleaning and suction power of a traditional vacuum, in a lightweight, wireless unit. Because they aren’t tethered to an outlet, you’re able to easily shift between floorboards to ceilings and everything in between. Here’s what else you need to know.
Power: First things first – a physically smaller motor can sometimes mean it’s weaker, but not always. We prioritized vacuums with serious suction power that efficiently collect dust, dirt, pet hair, spilled cereal, whatever.
Battery Life: Cordless vacuums rely on rechargeable battery power, so it is obviously important to look for a model with at least a few hours of solid run time before it wipes out. Some vacuums actually come with a convenient back up battery, in case your vacuum runs out of life mid-use. This way, you can just swap and keep going.
Dustbin: Because they’re smaller vacuums, stick vacuums don’t come with the huge bag capacity of large, standing vacuum cleaners. We think the exchange is worth it for the ease-of-use, but you still want to make sure the dustbin is large enough for several uses before you have to dump.
Size and Design: The best cordless vacuums should be as lightweight and easy to maneuver as possible. We also look for vacuums that come with handy storage functions, most often a wall-mounted dock. The vacuum’s head and attachments should also be flexible and maneuverable enough to reach even the most out-of-the way corners and baseboards.
1. Roborock H6 Cordless Vacuum
Lightweight and user-friendly, the Roborock cordless vacuum addresses a lot of the drawbacks you often see in similar products. The lock-on function, for instance, is great because it means you don’t need to keep your finger on the on-switch the entire time the vacuum is in use. We also love the LED display, which shows how much battery life the vacuum has left before it shuts down.
Speaking of battery life, when fully charged, this vacuum runs for 90 minutes when in eco mode, which gives you more than enough time for a thorough clean. It also has three power settings and great suction (though the battery life is diminished in the highest setting, which shouldn’t be necessary most times).
This is one of the most efficient, reliable vacuums on the market, delivering a ton of cleaning power in a fool-proof package.
2. Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum
As with most Dyson products, this one comes equipped with one or two extra techy features. Like the vacuum above, the Dyson has an LED display which shows the current stats, including which power mode you’re using, remaining run time, filter reminders, and blockage reports.
It comes with three settings: eco mode, auto mode, and boost mode, but the auto mode is the real star of the show. While in auto mode, the vacuum’s sensors will automatically adjust the power level depending on the surface, so you don’t even have to think about it when moving from hardwood to area rug.
Despite its small size, this is a powerful vacuum and reliable for the whole house. Don’t let the small dustbin fool you either — it holds a lot before needing to be emptied.
3. BISSELL ICONpet Cordless
If you have a particularly shed-prone pet, this Bissell was designed with you in mind. Even long and shaggy pet hair is efficiently collected and wrapped around the vacuum’s “Tangle Free Brush Roll” without getting clogged. Another useful feature is the LED headlight function on the end, with bright lights that spotlight what areas still need some attention.
The dustbin canister is easy to remove, and we’re impressed with the little appliance’s power and maneuverability. It is a little top-heavy, so it won’t stand up on its own, but this is common among stick vacuums like this.
4. Shark ION Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum
If we had to choose the most annoying part of vacuuming, it’s that one, out-of-the-way spot in the corner or behind the fridge that the vacuum can never reach without some complicated gymnastics and furniture rearranging. This is why we love that this Shark vacuum, which seems to have been designed with this exact spot in mind.
The vacuum head is slim and relatively narrow, which is ideal for tight corners, while the MultiFLEX feature allows the wand to bend to the angle you need. You can now suck up all the dust bunnies wedged by the baseboards under your bed that you haven’t been able to access in years. The cordless feature alone is a great help when it comes to maneuverability, and for above ground vacuuming needs, it easily transforms to a handheld with the push of a button.
The Shark’s slightly underwhelming battery life is compensated for in that there are two of them. So when the first runs out, you can easily replace it with the second, freshly-charged battery. Together, this amounts to 80 minutes of total run time at the lowest setting.