Cut the Cord: A Guide to Choosing the Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Traditional corded vacuums have long served homes well, but the hassle of constantly plugging and unplugging as you move room to room is undeniable. Thankfully, cordless vacuum cleaners have arrived with the freedom and flexibility to clean wherever you want, whenever you want.
Cordless vacuums let you easily transition between hard floors and carpets, move up and down stairs with no interruptions, and even clean vehicles, upholstery, and curtains conveniently. No more tripping over cords or relying on enough outlet availability!
In this guide, we’ll cover the top 4 cordless vacuums that deliver outstanding convenience without sacrificing suction power or runtime. We’ll overview the pros and cons of these leading battery-powered models to fit different cleaning needs. We’ll also share key factors to weigh when choosing the best cordless vacuum for your home and lifestyle.
Let’s cut the cord and embrace the ease and portability of today’s high-performance cordless cleaning!
Meet the Top 4 Cordless Vacuum Contenders
Many vacuum brands now offer cordless stick vacuums and handhelds. Here we focus on models from top names known for quality and innovation:
Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum
Dyson dominates the cordless vacuum space, and the Dyson V11 Torque Drive currently leads the pack with outstanding power and runtime. Features include:
- 60 minute maximum runtimewith fade-free lithium battery
- 185 air watts of suctionthoroughly clean carpets and floors
- LCD screendisplays runtime and maintenance alerts
- HEPA filtrationcaptures allergens as small as 0.3 microns
- Auto-adjusting cleaner headadapts suction across floors
- Lightweight at 5.9 lbsfor easy maneuvering
Starting around $599, the V11 proves cordless vacuums can handle whole home cleaning with near-corded power. The fade-free battery maintains strong constant suction.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360
For a more affordable cordless upright, Shark’s Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 packs serious cleaning punch starting under $300. Notable features include:
- Up to 40 minutes of runtimeper charge
- Lift-away canisterfor portable cleaning
- HEPA filtrationtraps 99.9% of dust and allergens
- Brushroll garagefor easy maintenance access
- LED headlightsto see debris and dander
- 2-in-1 crevice toolfor varied reach
This 2-in-1 upright cordless vacuum can clean floors in upright mode before detaching to reach corners, stairs, and cars in portable mode. The generous HEPA filtration also helps control dust and allergens circulating through your home.
Tineco A11 Hero+ Cordless Vacuum
Tineco’s A11 Hero+ stick vacuum combines lightweight portability with surprisingly strong suction starting under $250. Key features:
- 40 minute runtimewith lithium battery
- 420 watts of poweroptimized across floors
- Detachable hand vacfor portable cleaning
- HEPA filtrationsystem locks in fine particles
- Noise reductiontechnology for quiet operation
- 4-stage filtrationincluding an auto-cleaning filter
Tineco delivers great value with two vacuums in one – a floor stick vac and detachable handheld vac. The A11 Hero+ balances power, features, and price.
Bissell ICONpet Cordless Vacuum
For pet owners, Bissell’s ICONpet cordless vacuum packs specialized tools for eliminating pet hair. It offers:
- LED headlightsspot hidden debris and dander
- Tangle-free brush rollavoids jams from pet hair
- Includes specialty pet hair tools
- Up to 40 minutesof fade-free power
- 3-stage filtrationincluding HEPA media
- Flexible wandfolds for storage
- Typically under $250
With specialized brushes and tools for eliminating clingy pet hair, the ICONpet is ideal for pet owners wanting cordless convenience. The effective tangle-free brush roll also helps extract hair from carpets.
Key Considerations for Choosing a Cordless Vacuum
With an overview of leading cordless vacuum models, here are the key factors to weigh for your needs:
Look for at least 40 minutes of consistent fade-free runtime. Models like the Dyson V11 offer 60+ minutes for whole home cleaning. Extra batteries can extend cleaning sessions if needed.
Factor in your home size. Longer runtimes benefit bigger houses with extensive carpeting. Smaller homes and mostly hard floors can get by with 25-30 minutes.
3-5 hours provides full charging from empty. Fast charging gives about 50% power within 30-60 minutes if you need a quick boost. Multiple batteries allow charging one as you use the other.
Power and Suction
Leading cordless vacuums offer 100-220 air watts of suction. This matches or beats basic corded vacuums. Variable speed modes optimize battery vs suction.
Look for motorized powered brush heads for deep carpet cleaning. Check manufacturer testing for spins-per-minute.
True HEPA is ideal, filtering 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns. This includes dust, pollen, dander, and other allergens. Multiple filtration layers keep suction strong.
Bags or bagless with sealed systems prevent dust exposure when emptying. Look for low maintenance and costs of replacing filters.
Dust Bin Size
More generous bin sizes reduce time spent emptying dirt during cleaning sessions. Typical bins hold 0.5 liters or more.
Easy, mess-free emptying such as a slide-out or drop-down bin helps avoid dust clouds.
Weight and Ergonomics
Look for vacuums under 6 pounds for comfortable extended carry and use. A swiveling head or flexible wand also aids maneuverability.
Larger motorized heads add weight but improve floor cleaning. Handle shape should fit your hand and grip comfortably as well.
Look for 2-in-1 crevice tools, soft dusting brushes, upholstery tools, and extension wands in addition to the main cleaner head.
Pet owners need mini motorized pet tools and brushes that reduce tangles. Hard floor cleaners benefit from soft sweeper heads.
Cordless vacuums average 70-78 decibels when running. More muffling materials in the casing reduce noise. This matters if cleaning at night or while others are home.
Stick with proven brands like Dyson, Bissell, Hoover, Shark, and Tineco with reputations for quality vacuums tested by consumers.
Check reviews and feedback carefully before purchasing from lesser known companies. A trusted brand means better reliability and parts/service support.
Cordless Vacuum FAQs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about cordless vacuums:
How long does the battery last?
Quality cordless vacuums provide 25-60 minutes of fade-free power depending on model. Factors like floor type impact runtime per charge. Extra batteries can extend cleaning sessions.
Do cordless vacuums lose suction power?
Lower-end models may fade as batteries deplete. Premium vacuums with lithium ion batteries maintain consistent strong suction until the charge is exhausted.
Are cordless vacuums good for pet hair?
Yes, cordless models today match corded vacuums for pet hair pickup. Look for specialized motorized pet hair tools as well to remove clingy fur from furniture.
Can a cordless completely replace a corded vacuum?
For most homes, a premium cordless like a Dyson V11 can fully replace a corded model with equivalent power and storage. Just maintain batteries properly. Empty runtime can still be limiting in large homes.
How long does charging take?
A full recharge averages 3-5 hours from empty depending on battery size. Quick “boost” charges give partial runtime for emergency cleaning between full charges.
What maintenance is required?
Occasional filter cleaning is needed. Empty debris bin after each use. Clean brush roll of tangled hair regularly. Keep sensors and optic lenses clear of dust buildup.
What surfaces can cordless vacuums clean?
Cordless models today match corded vacuums for cleaning carpets, rugs, hard floors, stairs, furniture, ceilings, cars, and more! Choose cleaning heads optimized for key floor types.
Are cordless vacuums heavy to carry and use?
Leading models weigh 5-7 pounds – quite comfortable for extended carrying and pushing. Advanced plastics and designs reduce fatigue versus heavier predecessors. Stick to under 10 pounds.
Are bagless cordless vacs hygienic to empty?
If properly sealed during use, bagless systems can empty cleanly. Look for easy-release bins and mechanisms that seal in dust. For severe allergies, bagged canisters may be best.
Can I use my cordless vacuum to clean my car?
Yes, cordless models excel at cleaning vehicle seats, floor mats, and tight spaces in your car or truck’s interior. Just use the appropriate attachments to handle varied surfaces and reach into awkward areas.
Our Top Cordless Vacuum Recommendation
Given its winning combination of power, runtime, advanced filtration, and versatile cleaning capabilities across floor types and tasks, our top recommendation is the Dyson V11 Torque Drive:
- Up to 60 minutesof strong fade-free suction
- HEPA filtrationcaptures microscopic particles including allergens
- Automatic adaptionof suction across different floors
- A full range of included accessories and attachments
- Powerful 185 air wattsof suction
- Lightweight designfor easy maneuvering
While pricey, the Dyson V11 delivers corded-vacuum caliber cleaning without cords holding you back. For whole home cleaning convenience and the newest advancements in cordless technology, the Dyson V11 is hard to beat.
Key Takeaways on Cordless Vacuums
Here are the key points to remember when choosing a new cordless vacuum:
- Look for at least 40 minutes of consistent runtime from quality lithium batteries
- Variable suction modes balance power vs battery life
- Advanced filtration like HEPA helps reduce dust and allergens
- Lightweight, swiveling designs make vacuuming effortless
- Include key accessories like motorized pet hair tools if needed
- Stick with trusted brands known for high-performance vacuums
- Bagless models offer visible debris bins but require diligent emptying
With no cords to unravel, charge times between cleaning sessions, or outlets to constantly locate, cordless vacuums offer a freedom and flexibility perfect for quick cleanups or whole home tidying. Choose wisely and maintain properly, and your cordless vacuum will eliminate the cords without sacrificing cleaning power!