Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and to bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most cases I receive referral commissions. Eventually, I may earn enough to buy a beer or two 🙂
If you don’t already own a cordless vacuum, you need one in your life. Find the best stick vacuums cleaners for 2021 right here. These flexible little machines speed up cleaning times and allow you to access areas where a corded model would struggle reaching.
Portable batteries have evolved to the point where a cordless vacuum can virtually take the place of a plugin as the predominant domestic vacuum cleaner.
Manufacturers such as Hoover, Shark and Dyson are continuously improving their cordless vacuums and as a result, we are starting to see stronger suction and longer running times.
Choosing a Cordless Stick Vacuum
The cordless vacuum industry is a fast market. The options are endless and it seems like a new cordless is released each week. Generally, household names such as Dyson will bring out their latest offerings yearly to stay a step ahead of their rivals.
Though things move quickly, the benchmarks are mostly similar. Here are some important features to look out for and what they mean:
Features worth considering
- Running Time- Battery times vary between models but as a rule of thumb you should get a cordless with a minimum run time of 20 minutes. Premium models can last for twice as long providing a remarkable 40 minutes or more of run time.
- Exchangeable Accessories- Attachments turn your cordless into a versatile workhorse. Make sure you get a model with a good range of accessories such as a crevice tool, dusting and brush tools and turbo heads.
- Lithium-ion battery- The benchmark for cordless batteries is 18-Volts, this should be adequate for most domestic scenarios. A battery with increased voltage doesn’t always result in more power, however, it’s a good gauge of the machine’s performance. Stay away from models with NiCad batteries as these are not as good as Lithium-ion and take more time to charge.
- Powered Brush- This feature is essential especially for carpeted homes. It’s worth paying a bit more for a model with motorized brushes to help loosen stubborn dirt.
- How long is the Warranty? If you’re investing a bit of money into a cordless vacuum it should come with a 2-year warranty at the very least. Longer warranties give you the assurance that your machine is covered should anything go wrong.
- Machine Power- A decent cordless vacuum should easily pick up dust and dirt from carpets and hard floors, however, some models do this better than others. We’ll reveal the best choices further down.
- Swivel– The cleaner head should swivel seamlessly whenever you turn or tilt the machine. Most manufacturers will employ clever designs to ensure the best agility as you move across your floors.
- User-friendly– Good design and high-quality materials are the foundation of a cordless that is a joy to use. Bear in mind that this will be one of the most used domestic appliances, therefore, it should be comfortable to use for extended periods and effortless to move. A lightweight units goes a long way, our selections weigh less than 8 pounds. The bin should also be easy and hygienic to empty.
The pricing of a good cordless stick cleaner ranges from about $115 to $399. Cheaper models don’t come with motorized brushes. It’s possible to get lower-cost units for less than $90 but these tend to be very basic and are more suited to vacuuming the occasional spot of dirt rather than a deep clean.
If you decide to buy a cordless stick vacuum, from a reputable brand, and it costs more than $350 you should expect adequate suction power and running times of more than half an hour. Various models are supplied with unique tools made specifically for hard floors and carpets.
Best All-Inclusive Cordless
Hoover LiNX Cordless Stick
The Hoover LiNX cordless stick vacuum is slightly bigger and weightier than alternative models on our shortlist, however, it performs better than most of its rivals and it comes in at an affordable cost.
This model ticks virtually all the boxes and delivers all the convenience expected from a cordless vacuum. You get powerful suction at a decent price. The LiNX vacuum isn’t a conventional stick design i.e. the primary unit is sat on top of a lengthy tube, however, it’s a portable design when placed side by side with a standard upright. It also weighs 50% less than full-sized models.
The unit is very slim and it picks up debris better than most of the stick vacuums currently available. The bin detaches easily from the main body, therefore, you don’t need the hassle of taking the whole machine with you to the bin.
The 20-minute battery life is at the minimum threshold of running times, however, you can buy an additional battery to swap when the power fades. The bigger capacity dirt cup means that you get longer intervals between dirt disposal. The suction power is on par with models that cost more than double the price.
One of the drawbacks with the Hoover LiNX is that it doesn’t perform as good on carpets as we would like. If your home is mainly carpeted then you are better off with an alternative model further down this list.
The most common use of a stick vacuum is for fast vacuuming usually in the kitchen to pick bread crumbs, cereals, dust and small bits of debris. The LiNX unit is ideal for this. It cleans quieter than costlier rival machines.
The LiNX vacuum is pleasantly lightweight and because of this, it can easily be lifted from one area to the other without causing strain. An advantage of using this model is that it can almost tilt horizontally to the floor, therefore, cleaning underneath furniture, bed frames, couches and tables isn’t a problem.
- Surprisingly powerful suction at a low cost. It excels at cleaning hard floors.
- It can tilt practically horizontally to pick up dirt that’s underneath furniture.
- The LiNX vacuum is highly adaptable thanks to the cordless design and bigger dirt cup. You can get a lot done in a short timeframe.
- Performance suffers on carpets.
- Battery runtime could be longer.
- There are better options for carpets.
- There is no folding handle for compact storage.
Where can I buy the Hoover LiNX Cordless Vacuum Cleaner?
Shark Navigator Freestyle Vacuum Cleaner
The Shark Navigator Freestyle is bigger than standard stick vacuum cleaners, but it carries out all of the tasks that you’d expect from one and it can be picked up for less than a hundred bucks.
The Shark Freestyle vacuum is halfway between a stick vacuum and a standard upright. It’s the heaviest unit on this list, however, it’s still lighter and more compact than a full-sized vacuum. The Freestyle is a worthwhile model to consider as it still delivers the convenience that you’d want from a stick vacuum.
Let’s put the weight to one side for a moment. The Shark stick vacuum earns its stripes for the cordless functionality and powerful suction. There’s only one other model that performs with better suction (more on that later). If you’re looking for a stick vacuum for cleaning carpets, the Shark Freestyle is highly recommended.
Hard floor cleaning performance could be better but at this price level, the Shark stick vacuum is still a worthwhile choice. The unit comes with a sizeable dirt bin, however, it doesn’t come with the adaptable features that are seen in alternative sticks. The machine doesn’t come with the ability to convert to a handheld cleaner and it isn’t supplied with hand attachments or a hose- it’s purely for vacuuming floors.
- A very affordable option.
- The Shark stick vacuum excels at carpet cleaning.
- A big dirt cup and cordless capability mean that you can get more done.
- This model is heavier and bigger than the competition.
- It only comes with accessories for floor cleaning. Nothing else.
Where can I buy the Shark Navigator Freestyle Vacuum Cleaner?
Best Swankiest Stick Vacuum
Dyson Cyclone v10 Absolute
The Dyson Cyclone v10 Absolute is a costly vacuum cleaner, however, its power and dirt lifting prowess are the best you will find on any cordless stick cleaner. This is the pinnacle of cord-free vacuums.
A cordless vacuum cleaner costing more than $500 won’t suit everyone’s budget, therefore, if you can afford to spend this much money then it might as well be on a machine that can take over from a full-sized vacuum as well as for quick cleaning. In a nutshell, it needs to do everything i.e. cleaning floors, furniture, high reaching areas, car interiors, stairs and so on. The V10 does not disappoint.
The unit is as light as a feather, very user-friendly and provides a high amount of suction power on its standard setting. There is a turbo mode which increases the suction even further and it’s remarkable to see it in action.
Dyson has always designed their products to be as versatile as possible and the v10 Absolute is no exception. It comes with all the attachments you could possibly need and when you detach it from the stick, it transforms into a comprehensive hand vacuum to clean confined spaces and areas above floor level.
Sure you can get an alternative model with similar versatility, but we can guarantee that won’t come with the suction power found on the v10 Absolute. With such high prise, does this unit vacuum have any downsides?
For starters, this model is not self-standing unlike some of the alternative options. Unlike its siblings, it doesn’t come with a wall hanging mount which would be a useful accessory since the v10 cannot stand on its own. The machine noise is slighter louder than other machines, however, this is to be expected with the higher suction power.
- The V10 Absolute delivers the best suction power on a cordless vacuum.
- You have the option to use it as a stick for floor cleaning or quickly convert it to a handheld vacuum for furniture and other surfaces.
- Plenty of attachments are supplied to get the most out of the V10.
- It’s noisier than alternative models (but then again, it’s more powerful too).
- It costs more than $500.
- The machine cannot stand on its own when not in use.
Where can I buy the Dyson Cyclone v10 Absolute Vacuum Cleaner?
Best Multi-Floor Cordless
Dyson V8 Absolute
If your home has a combination of different floor types then you should consider the Dyson V8 Absolute. It comes with an impressive range of tools that transform the V8 in an adaptable workhorse, you’ll struggle to find a better alternative. This model costs a bit more than four hundred bucks, however, it’s one the best stick vacuums available right now.
Increased performance and battery time
The V8 absolute delivers about 20% increased lifting power and more than twice the brush power than its predecessors. The battery has been upgraded too.
With the V8 Absolute, Dyson refined the battery technology and as a result were able to squeeze out an impressive forty minutes running time. Attaching one of the motorised tools will reduce the running time to twenty five minutes.
Similar to other Dyson cordless units, the v8 comes with a Max mode setting. Switching this on will ramp up the power to an impressive 115 air watts but will also reduce the battery time to just 7 minutes. I’d recommend reserving this setting only for the most stubborn dirt.
With the v8 cleaner, you can confidently clean thicker carpets and actually remove the same amount of dirt as a full-sized vacuum. Dyson also set out to improve the drawbacks found on older models.
For starters, dirt disposal on older models was a bit of challenge and secondly, the button for Max mode, located near the filter, wasn’t easy to switch on.
Dirt disposal on the older V6 was a messy process and dust would fly everywhere. The main issue was the small space between the filter and the bin’s shell which would result in the dirt getting stuck.
Better dirt disposal
The problem with the bin on the previous V6 was that it depended on gravity for the dirt to fall out. To empty the bin you needed to push down a lever to open the lid at the base of the machine.
There was no additional device to help push out the dirt that would get stuck between the filter and the bins shell and as a result, dust and hair would always get stuck. This was a common issue with the V6.
The V8 address the above problem and is fitted with a clever system that pushes the dirt down and out. The design is a much-needed improvement which offers an easier disposal process.
A Better Max Button
Another issue with the v6 was the location of Max Mode button which was found behind the HEPA filter enclosure. This made it a bit of a challenge to turn on the max mode and as a result, it needed to be pressed quite hard.
It’s not a major issue, however, this was an area of improvement that Dyson recognised and made good with the V8. The updated switch does away with the push button and exchanges it with a sliding switch that is much easier to use.
- This is one of the most adaptable cordless vacuums. It comes with a huge variety of tools to clean any part of the house.
- The suction power is one of the best we’ve experienced on a cordless.
- V8 Absolute comes with filters that last for the lifetime of the machine.
- A hose attachment should be included to make car cleaning easier but this can be bought separately at a decent cost.
- You’ll need to shell out a bit more money for this model, however, it is less expensive than the V10.
Where can I buy the Dyson V8 Absolute Vacuum Cleaner?
Overall, The Dyson v8 Absolute is a highly capable cord-free vacuum which is hard to beat. Thankfully, with the release of the Dyson V10 we’ve seen the price of the V8 start to reduce, making it a bit more affordable. There is a great range of attachments for both hard floors and carpets. The v8 does a remarkable job on any floor type.
Best Value for Hard Flooring
BLACK+DECKER HSVJ520JMBF27 Cordless 20V Max Lithium 2-N-1 Stick Vacuum
If your house has mostly hard flooring then why not save yourself a bit of money and buy the BLACK+DECKER Cordless 2-N-1 Stick Vacuum? This slimline cordless vacuum is affordable and powerful. It excels on hardwood, tiles, laminate and vinyl floors especially at picking up hairs, dust and food crumbs. This Black + Decker cordless cleans with fewer passes.
Hard floors seem like they should be relatively easy to clean, however, they can be quite tricky if the wrong machine is used i.e. some models will push dirt out of the way instead of sucking it up. The BLACK+DECKER Cordless 2-N-1 stick vacuum addresses this issue- it picks up dirt from hard floors effectively without hassle.
This model can also convert into a convenient handheld vacuum. Simply detach it from the main body and use it to vacuum smaller areas, furniture, mattresses or car interiors.
It’s also less noisy than the competition- producing only 78 decibels of motor sound. The dirt cup is smaller than other models so you should expect frequent trips to the disposal bin. This unit does not come with HEPA, therefore, it’s not a practical purchase for allergy sufferers.
- Easy to use and it converts seamlessly from stick to handheld.
- It offers one of the best performances on hard flooring.
- This Black + Decker cordless is affordable yet it offers similar power to machines that cost more than twice as much.
- The dirt cup could be larger. You will need to empty it frequently.
Where can I buy the BLACK+DECKER HSVJ520JMBF27 Cordless 20V Max Lithium 2-N-1 Stick Vacuum Cleaner?
Fastest Charging Time
Bissell Bolt Lithium Ion Pet Stick Vacuum Cleaner
One of the issues with cordless vacuum cleaners is the long charging times. The Bissell brand offers a slightly better solution by providing a model that charges quicker. The Bissell BOLT charges in just 3 hours which is a marked improvement over some of the rival models that can take up to double the time to recharge. The BOLT is a clear winner.
The average unit will charge for over 4 hours and gives you a running time of about 20 minutes or less. The BOLT cordless cuts the charging time to just 3 hours and offers a battery time of 25 minutes. The performance on carpets and hard floors is average and it needs some extra passes compared to its rivals.
- With the BOLT you get the benefit of quicker charging times.
- It features a 2-way folding handle for a slick storage solution and versatile cleaning positions.
- The charging dock doubles up as clever storage for accessories.
- The dirt lifting performance is average. It will take some extra passes to achieve the same cleaning standard as alternative models.
Where can I buy the Bissell Bolt Lithium Ion Pet Stick Vacuum?
Best Cordless Under $120
ONSON Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
The ONSON stick cleaner is perfect for anyone looking for a high-performance cordless vacuum on a smaller budget. To begin with, this model is highly adaptable and comes with a flexible head to help get into awkward spaces.
It’s a very lightweight unit that boasts an impressive level of suction which I feel was understated by the manufacturer. The ONSON cordless exceeded the performance criteria of similar models in this price range.
The battery time is vastly better than the competition offering a running time of 25- 45 minutes depending on the attachments but even at the lower end, there is enough power to clean the whole house.
Dirt disposal has also been made easy- all you need to do is flip open the cover, empty it and wash the filter if needed. The dirt cup is one of the biggest found on a cordless with a capacity of 1 litre.
The ONSON vacuum transforms to a handheld machine by simply detaching the stick- from there you can use it for smaller jobs and cleaning confined areas. The noise level is pleasantly quieter than the competition and is handy for households with children and pets that might get startled by loud vacuuming.
Another useful feature on the ONSON cordless is the easy access to the brush inside the cleaner head. You can easily remove the brush, clean it and pop it back in. If your budget can’t stretch to buy a premium cordless vacuum such as the Dyson V8 or the V10 then ONSON vacuum is the perfect alternative at a reasonable cost. You will find plenty of positive customer reviews from satisfied owners and it is currently a prefered choice on Amazon.
Overall, the ONSON cordless vacuum provides most of the features found on high-end models at a fraction of the price. You get long running times, a large capacity dirt bin, a high-grade Lithium-Ion battery, HEPA filtration, a mountable charging base and a flexible cleaner head.
- The ONSON cordless is pleasantly lightweight.
- It’s very user-friendly and accessories are easy to attach and remove.
- The battery runs longer than rival units in the same price range.
- HEPA filtration comes as standard and is a big benefit for airborne allergy sufferers.
- Cleaning performance is better on hard flooring than carpets and rugs.
- The wheels on the cleaner head could be sturdier. They feel a bit wobbly.
Where can I buy the ONSON Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner?
Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner Considerations
The majority of stick vacuums cannot deep clean, except for some of the premium units. However, portable stick vacuums are ideal for quick cleanups such as picking up food crumbs, hairs and dust bunnies from hard floors and carpets. Here are some of the aspects to consider when looking to buy a stick vacuum cleaner-
A Flexible Design
Convenience and simplicity should be a stick vacuum’s foremost offering. You want a machine that can be adapted to clean most spaces- a lightweight model with powerful suction is the best option as it gives you quick access to the machine and faster cleaning times.
Stick vacuums should be easy to steer into small nooks and corners, this is where they excel! Ideally, you want a model that can tilt virtually flat against the floor, therefore, it can clean underneath couches, tables and other furniture. If storage space is in short supply, you want to get one with a folding handle- most stick vacuums take up very little room.
Maintenance & Filters
Practically all stick vacuums are equipped with a detachable bin for dirt and dust. All you need to do is remove it and dispose of the mess inside. Easy!
Ideally, you want a larger dirt bin that offers longer intervals between bin emptying. HEPA filters provide the best filtration and are worth considering especially for people with asthma, respiratory issues or suffer from airborne allergies.
Tools & Accessories
The range of tools that are supplied with your vacuum is hugely important. A dusting brush, turbo tool, mattress attachment and crevice tool are among some of the handy tools that could potentially come with your new stick cleaner. Always check what’s included before making a purchase. When it comes to these accessories, the more the better.
Conclusion- The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum
Finding a suitable cordless vacuum depends mostly on your requirements and wallet. Are you willing to stretch your budget to buy a high-end stick with heaps of suction power and long battery life? Or does your budget only allow for a cheaper model that might compromise on running times and performance?
In my opinion, the Dyson V8 Absolute is the best cordless stick as it addresses the common issues of the older range and the benefit is that you can get it for a cheaper price than newer models such as the V11. The V8 is a perfect option if you’re willing to pay a bit more for a quality unit.
Are you considering buying a robot vacuum cleaner from our list or do you already own one? Please leave your comments in the section below. I’d love to hear from you.
Our List of the Best Domestic Appliances
- The Best Home Steam Cleaners
- Best Backpack Vacuums
- Best Window Vacuums
- Best Leaf Blower Vacuum Mulcher
- Best Wall Mounted Vacuum Cleaners
- Best Fireplace Ash Vacuum Cleaners
- Best Commercial Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaners
- Best Affordable Robot Vacuums
- Best Canister Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Robot Vacuums for Pet Hair
- Best Upright Vacuum Cleaners
- Best Cordless Vacuums Cleaners
- Best Upright Vacuums