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For many people, pulling out your regular vacuum for spot cleanings throughout the week isn't necessarily quick and easy. So when your home needs some sprucing up, it isn't always efficient to tackle those messes with a full-sized vacuum. Instead, consider turning to a cordless stick vacuum.
These models run on battery, rather than being powered through an outlet, and are often lighter, quieter, and more versatile than upright or canister vacuums. "Cordless stick vacuums are great for small to mid-sized, multi-floor homes," says Lauren Simonelli, cleaning expert and co-founder of ThreeMain. "They are often lightweight compared to corded vacuums, making it easier to carry up and down stairs, and in and out of different rooms."
In many cases, they're also less powerful, so they are better suited to small homes or as a second vacuum that's reserved for in-between deep cleans. And having to rely on battery power often means a more limited clean: "They may not work for larger homes that take longer to clean, as you are dependent on the charge of the battery," says Simonelli.
Whether you're looking to clean a small home or a small mess, here are the best cordless stick vacuums to consider for your needs.
Best Overall: Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Weight: 5.75 pounds | Battery Life: 40 minutes | Bin Volume: Not Listed | Included Accessories: Motorized tool, brush tool, combination tool, crevice tool
Long battery life
Converts to handheld vacuum
Trigger must be held down continuously
The Dyson V8 is one of the best cordless stick vacuums you can buy, as it delivers power, convenience, and versatility. This cordless stick vacuum comes with a variety of useful attachments, and it delivers up to 40 minutes of run time when using a non-motorized tool and 8 minutes on its max-power setting. Its sound rates around 65 decibels on lower power settings, while max-power mode bumps that rating up to about 72.
The Dyson V8 delivers 150 percent more brush bar power than other Dyson stick vacuums, and it has whole-machine HEPA filtration to help capture small particles (for more vacuums that boast a HEPA bag or filter, take a look at the best vacuums for allergies). It comes with a direct-drive motorhead, soft roller cleaner head, a mini-motorized tool, soft dusting brush, and more which allow you to use it for a wide variety of applications. Plus, you can take the stick portion off to convert it into a handheld vacuum.
This vacuum is compatible with voltages from 110 to 240 volts, and comes with a wall-mounted charging port, and it’s surprisingly powerful for a battery-powered machine. Plus, the hygienic dirt ejector allows you to empty the bin by simply pulling a lever—no need to get your hands dirty!
"It took just one pass with the vacuum to clean our hardwood floors and low- and high-pile carpets, and it even pulled up little particles from between our floorboards. " — Camryn Rabideau, Product Tester
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Weight: 7.3 pounds | Battery Life: 30 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Included Accessories: None
Less effective on high-pile rugs
Another top-performing cordless stick vacuum is the Hoover Linx. While this lightweight model resembles a small upright vacuum, it manages to deliver the same power you’d expect from a regular Hoover vacuum. Why? It's powered by a fade-free lithium-ion battery system, and unlike other cordless vacuums, it has a removable battery that you charge in a port, as opposed to plugging in the whole tool. The controls for this vacuum are right on the handle, and the battery fuel gauge lets you know how much battery life is left.
Most vacuums struggle to reach underneath furniture for a deep clean, but the low-profile base and extreme-recline handle allow the Hoover Linx to thoroughly clean hard to reach areas. This 18-volt machine also has edge-cleaning bristles that let you clean closer to walls, and the wide brush head will shave minutes off your cleaning time.
While it may not have the longevity of other stick vacuums, and it doesn’t include any attachments, the Hoover Linx is a great option for those who want a quiet, lightweight vacuum at a reasonable price.
"When it comes to suction, this stick vacuum isn’t the most powerful tool ever, but it does a sufficient job picking up dirt, hair, and other debris from both hardwood floors and low-pile carpets. It undeniably struggled to clean a shag carpet, though—even with the beater bar on—so it’s not the best option for deep-cleaning thick rugs." — Camryn Rabideau, Product Tester
Best 2-in-1 Model: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Stick Vacuum with SMARTECH
Weight: 9 pounds | Battery Life: 20 minutes | Bin Volume: 16.9 ounces | Included Accessories: Extension tool
Optional beater bar
Difficult to steer
Battery not replaceable
You can get both a stick vacuum and handheld vacuum with the versatile BLACK+DECKER 20V Cordless 2-N-1 Stick Vacuum. This handy two-in-one model is easy to push thanks to the swivel steering, and it has several helpful features that make it a valuable tool to have around the house.
This stick vacuum has automatic suction adjustment as you move from hard floors to carpets, and its powered beater bar agitates dust and dirt that might be trapped in your rugs. It can vacuum for up to 20 minutes at a time or 2,500 square feet per charge, and the Smart Tech sensing technology lets you know how much battery power is remaining. The vacuum comes with an extendable crevice tool and brush attachment, as well as a washable filter.
This vacuum stands up on its own and includes a handheld vacuum. Plus, many say the suction is impressive for such a small machine, and you can’t beat the reasonable price.
"The dustbin on this vacuum is fairly small at just 0.5 liters. We got close to filling it after vacuuming just two rooms, so you may need to empty it a few times if you plan to clean your whole home at once." — Camryn Rabideau, Product Tester
Best Splurge: LG CordZero Bagless Cordless Stick Vac with Kompressor Technology
Weight: 5.95 pounds | Battery Life: 120 minutes | Bin Volume: 33.8 ounces | Included Accessories: Combination tool, brush tool, extension wand, crevice tool
Not as effective on hard floors
If you are looking for the ultimate cordless dirt buster for your home this new, 25-volt LG buy does it all. It has 200 watts of suction and when you use the backup battery, you get 120 minutes of run time. The HEPA-filter reduces 99.9-percent of dust so you can breathe easy, and it operates at a relatively low volume.
Our tester remarked that after she vacuumed with a regular vacuum she used this model and so much more dirt came up in the vacuum. Her small children were also a big fan of it and it was easy to maneuver for the whole family. One con she experienced was that this wasn't that great at picking up Cheerios!
Best Budget: Dirt Devil Versa 3-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Weight: 5 pounds | Battery Life: 12 minutes | Bin Volume: 13.53 ounces | Included Accessories: Crevice tool
Three different cleaning tools in one
Short battery life
High-end cordless stick vacuums can cost $500 or more, but if your purse strings are a little tight, you may want to consider a more affordable option like the Dirt Devil Versa. This 3-in-1 vacuum can be used on rugs, hard floors, carpeted stairs, and more, and it even converts into a handheld vacuum to clean up smaller messes.
This 16-volt cordless stick vacuum is the perfect combination of lightweight and powerful, thanks to its lithium battery that delivers fade-free suction for up to 12 minutes and faster charging. The Spin3Pro Brushroll works on a variety of surfaces, and the vacuum is light enough that you can easily use it overhead to clean the walls, windows, or molding. Plus, you won’t have to worry about losing the charger, as there’s a spot to store it right on the vacuum. The Dirt Devil Versa has a rinsable filter and easy-empty dirt bin, and it's the perfect tool for touch-ups throughout the week.
Best for Hard Floors: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Weight: 5.9 pounds | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Bin Volume: 25.6 ounces | Included Accessories: Motorized tool, brush tool, combination tool, crevice tool
Adjustable suction levels
Soft roller cleaning head
Limited run time in max power mode
Some vacuums don’t do a good job cleaning hard floors, so if your home has a lot of hardwood or tile, you’ll want a powerful cordless stick vacuum like the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute. With more power and a bigger dust bin, this vacuum will be your new favorite tool when it comes to cleaning hard floors.
The Dyson V10 Absolute can run for up to 60 minutes per charge, depending on what setting you’re using. It comes with a special soft roller cleaning head that won't scratch the finish on hard floors, and it's engineered to pick up both large debris and fine dust particles. Choose from three power modes, depending on what type of mess you’re tackling and how big it is. Although it's overall quieter than corded vacuums, it will be slightly noisier on higher-power settings. Plus, it boasts whole-machine filtration system that traps small debris to keep your air cleaner.
This vacuum's voltage ranges from 110 to 220 and it can transform into a handheld for smaller jobs, and it includes the standard drop-in, wall-mounted dock that comes with most Dyson stick vacuums. Thanks to its ability to pick up dirt, dust, and hair off hardwood, tile, and laminate floors, this stick vacuum is comparable to a full-size corded model.
"We love how compact this Dyson is...it’s slimmer, lighter, and more balanced than any other stick vacuum we’ve tried and it made dusting and reaching awkward spaces—like under the sofa—super easy." — Deanna McCormack, Product Tester
Best Multi-Surface: Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Stick Cordless Bagless Vacuum
Weight: 7.5 pounds | Battery Life: Not listed | Bin Volume: 20.48 ounces | Included Accessories: None
Easy to assemble
Lengthy recharge period
You can clean both carpets and hard floors with the Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner. This highly rated model has an extra-large dust cup, is easy to move around, and works especially well for pet hair!
This 14-volt vacuum's biggest advantage is that it can be used on different types of flooring. It has a two-speed brush roll that you can adjust, and the bristles on the brush roll are soft so they won't scratch shiny hardwood floors. The powerful suction system, which runs at volume levels ranging from 58 to 82 decibels, will capture dirt, dust, hair, and more. When you're done cleaning, it charges in roughly four hours.
"The Shark Freestyle Pro's two-speed brush roll is gentle enough for hardwood floors with powerful suction for high-pile carpets. I was very impressed with its performance. The vacuum picked up dry dog food and cereal that had spilled on my hardwood kitchen floor. I used it on the high-traffic rug in my entryway, which collects leaves and other debris."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Lightweight: MOOSOO M Cordless Vacuum
Weight: 2.84 pounds | Battery Life: 30 minutes | Bin Volume: 16.9 ounces | Included Accessories: Brush tool, crevice tool
Limited dustbin capacity
Less effective on carpet
If you’re looking for an incredibly light and quiet stick vacuum that won’t strain your hands or arms, one of the best choices is the MOOSOO Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, which weighs less than 3 pounds. This handy, bagless vacuum has a high-powered motor that runs quietly and can last up to 30 minutes per charge depending on the power mode.
This 200-watt MOOSOO vacuum comes with a motorized brush roll, as well as a soft brush roller, dusting brush, and crevice nozzle. There are two power modes (standard or max) to choose from, and the vacuum has a HEPA filter that will capture 99.99 percent of little dust particles, keeping your air clean. The large dust canister empties with a push of a button, and the MOOSOO Vacuum delivers impressive suction on a variety of surfaces.
Best for Pet Hair: Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Weight: 6.68 pounds | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Bin Volume: 25.6 ounces | Included Accessories: Extension wand, crevice tool
Motor speed automatically adjusts
Extremely powerful suction
Slightly messy to empty
Fight back against pet hair with the super-powerful Dyson V11 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum, which has several features specially designed for those with pets. It delivers twice as much suction as other cordless vacuums, and it can run for up to an hour per charge.
The Dyson V11 comes with three settings—eco, auto, and boost mode—and it automatically changes the motor speed as you move between carpets and hard floors. With a relatively low operating volume, this 21-volt stick vacuum is unbeatable when it comes to removing pet hair from carpets and upholstery, and the whole-machine filtration system removes microscopic particles from the air (hint: you can also keep your air clean by using an air purifier). The Dyson V11 comes with a wall-mounted charging dock, and it's a must-have tool for anyone who has multiple pets, as it will help you get the hair off your belongings more quickly.
For the best cordless stick vacuum on the market, we recommend the Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum (view at Amazon). It delivers up to 40 minutes of run time and has whole-machine HEPA filtration to help capture debris. Our runner-up is the Hoover Linx 5H50010 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner (view at Amazon), which is both lightweight and powerful.
What to Look for in a Cordless Stick Vacuum
Most cordless stick vacuums have run times between 15 and 40 minutes. Look for lithium or lithium-ion batteries, which charge faster and last longer. A vacuum that runs for 20 minutes or more will sufficiently clean a small apartment or roughly 1,000 square feet.
Voltage indicates power, which affects the machine’s ability to suck up dust, dirt, and other debris. A vacuum with 18 volts will suffice, but you’ll notice the difference in a 20-volt vacuum.
Vacuum noise is rated by decibels. A typical conversation has a decibel rating of about 60, while the standard vacuum clocks in between 70 to 80 decibels. Some premium models have decibel ratings as low as 65.
Are there bagged cordless stick vacuums?
Cordless stick vacuums tend to be bagless, due to their slim, minimal design. Instead, they rely on built-in dust cups and filters to contain the dust, dirt, and debris they suck up. As such, "they aren’t the best choice for those with allergies," says Simonelli, "[since] they require more frequent emptying and exposure to dust."
As with your standard bagged vacuum, it's important to empty your stick vacuum regularly to ensure optimal performance.
Do all cordless stick vacuums have docking stations?
Docking stations are a common two-in-one charging and storage solution for cordless stick vacuums, but there is a chance that your model of choice won't come with one. Instead, it will either have a simple charging cord or use replaceable batteries. Models that don't come with docking stations may fold up or break down for easier storage.
What can I expect from a cordless stick vacuum in terms of suction?
While advanced cordless stick models offer plenty of suction in a relatively compact package, you shouldn't expect the average stick vacuum to match the kind of suction you'd expect from an upright vacuum. In general, cordless stick vacuums work best on lower-pile rugs and hard floors (high-pile carpets demand stronger suction than they can provide). This makes cordless stick vacuums the better choice for small homes or quick, supplemental cleaning, as opposed to whole-home deep cleaning.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was edited and updated by Sara Coughlin, a freelance writer and The Spruce’s small appliances expert. From canister models to dustbusters, she’s researched what it takes for a vacuum to stand out in a vast and broad market—and what to look for in up-and-coming models. When selecting products for this round-up, she consulted dozens of customer and third-party reviews, considering factors like capacity and battery life.
For additional background, we consulted with cleaning expert Lauren Simonelli. As the co-founder of ThreeMain, a subscription-based, eco-friendly cleaning brand, she knows the ins and outs of all that it takes to maintain a clean, healthy home. We also gained insight from product testers for several products on this list.