The Absolute V10 comes with absolutely every kind of brush you'll ever need. Plus, they all attach to a 5.6-pound wall-mountable package, making it one of the lightest cordless vacuums on the market.
Cordless vacuums give you the freedom to track down messes in your home regardless of how close they are to an outlet, fitting into spaces and under furniture that an upright vacuum can't. However, relying on a battery can lead to weaker suction and a smaller selection of features compared to traditional vacuum cleaners.
So we gathered the best cordless vacuums across every corner of the market to see how they performed in our lab. Our standardized tests focus on the elements you care about—battery life, cleaning performance, and overall handling—to find which cordless vacuums can actually deal with big messes.
The Dyson V15 Detect(available at Amazon) ran circles around the competition, earning our best overall ranking. It has moderately good battery life, powerful suction, and a built-in laser that illuminates even the tiniest bits of fine dust on your floors and furniture.
Though the V15 is the top performer, it may not be the best cordless stick vacuum for everyone. We've tested nearly every Dyson on the market, and while their technology and suction are hard to beat, they're definitely on the expensive side. That's why we test vacuums at every price point, so you can find the sweet spot of performance and budget that works for you.
These are the best cordless vacuum cleaners we tested ranked, in order:
Dyson V15 Detect
Tineco A10 Hero
LG CordZero A927KGMS
Dyson V10 Absolute
LG CordZero A9 Ultimate
Dyson V8 Absolute
Tineco Pure One S12
Tineco A11 Master
Kenmore Elite 10441 Complete
Dyson V15 Detect
Battery life: 15 minutes
Weight: 5.7 pounds
Dimensions: 49.6” x 9.8 (L x D)
The Dyson V15 Detect is the latest in a storied lineup of cordless vacuums. This time around, we found two huge upgrades: a dust-illuminating laser and a longer-lasting battery. Many companies often add gadgets and attachments to their vacuums to compensate for a lack of performance. However, the lab test shows that the V15’s technology enhances the cleaning experience
Before we get ahead of ourselves, we should talk about cleaning performance. During our dirt pickup test, the V15 suctioned up about an average of 92% of the detritus we left out on our testing carpet. The V15 also has a long battery life—15 minutes on its max setting.
Based on battery life and cleaning prowess, we are comfortable crowning the V15 as a top contender. Its unique laser and sensor give it an edge. During testing, we found that the laser, which can be turned on and off, illuminates dirt under furniture and on floors much better than standard LED headlights. The V15 also has a sensor that gives you a readout of the particle sizes that the vacuum is picking up.
The V15 has the same smooth glide, sensitive trigger, and lightweight design as other Dyson vacuums. Getting the best comes at a steep price, but its V15’s results put it firmly in the top spot.
The Tineco A10 Hero comes from the same people who brought us the Ecovacs robot vacuum series. It has a lot to live up to, but the A10 makes its robot vacuum cousins proud.
This vacuum, which is covered by a two-year warranty, picked up 47% of the dirt we laid out for it. For the price point, that performance is more than impressive. Plus, the A10 has the endurance of higher-priced vacuums: around 7 minutes on the max settings and 14 minutes on the regular. You can buy additional batteries and swap them in for even more cleaning time.
The A10 comes with the standard assortment of attachments, including a crevice tool, a mini-powered brush, and an upholstery brush. While none of these wowed us, we like the fact that the default brush head has bright LED lights to help us spot dirt and debris under furniture.
When you combine these aspects, this cordless is a great value pick.
Battery life: 8 minutes (16 minutes for both included batteries)
Weight: 6.1 pounds
Dimensions: 44.1” x 10.6 (L x D)
The LG CordZero A927KGMS Kompressor is a cordless vacuum with few equals. During our cleaning tests, it picked up 90% of the sand, pet hair, and crumbs we laid out for it. We found that we could clean carpets for over 80 minutes or big messes for 16 minutes between the two included batteries.
The A9 has two distinct advantages over Dyson cordless vacuums: its charging stand, which lets you store it and its accessories anywhere you want without having to drill holes in the wall, and the Kompressor, which helps increase the dirt capacity and ensures the bin empties fully.
When we first heard about the Dyson V10 Absolute, the details made us skeptical. Dyson is so confident in its cordless vacuums that it stopped developing new corded ones.
However, after spending time with the V10, we found the Absolute moniker to be apt. The V10 comes with absolutely everything: a powered brush roll head that's designed for hardwood floors, a motorized mini brush for cleaning upholstery, a soft brush for hardwood, a combination bare floor/upholstery tool, a crevice tool, a drive cleaner head, and a soft dusting brush for computers and delicate items.
There’s an attachment for nearly every situation and floor type. They all attach to a 5.6-pound wall-mountable package, making it one of the lightest cordless vacuums on the market.
The V10 puts all these tools to good use. In our testing lab, it picked up 89 percent of the dirt we left out for it.
The V10 also dominated the battery tests. On the low setting, it can run for 60 minutes, perfect for day-to-day maintenance. For intense cleaning jobs, you can run the Absolute for 9 minutes on the highest setting.
The one major downside of the Absolute is that it's expensive. In fact, you could buy three of our best value pick for what you'd spend on this Dyson.
Battery life: 8 minutes (16 minutes for both included batteries)
Weight: 5.9 pounds
Dimensions 44.1” x 10.2” (L x D)
LG Cordzero A9 Ultimate epitomizes an easy-to-use cordless vacuum. Its dock can be set up to be free-standing, allowing you to charge anywhere without having to drill holes in the wall. This standing dock also has space for the alternate cleaning head and several attachments. The A9 also comes with two removable batteries, giving you 16 minutes of running time on the highest setting.
We cleaned carpets and bare floors with the A9. This cordless impressed us with its powerful suction, picking up 72.5% of the testing dirt we laid out for it and all of the food debris. We enjoyed using the telescopic wand, adjusting the reach up to 45 inches from handle to tip.
Overall, the A9 is a strong competitor to Dyson's top performers. It may lack the raw power, but it’s easier to store and has more battery life.
The Dyson V8 Absolute almost overwhelms with a number of attachments: a powered brush head that's designed for hardwood floor cleaning, a motorized upholstery brush, a soft brush for hardwood, a combination upholstery/bare floor tool, a crevice tool, and a soft dusting brush. As a hallmark of Dyson design, the handheld unit only weighs 5.6 pounds.
The brush head is made from carbon fiber and nylon. It's softer than a puppy—and infinitely more gentle on floors and better at picking up dirt. In our labs, the V8 picked up 88% of the dirt we put down for our tests.
On the low setting, the battery lasted an amazing 40 minutes. (The max suction power setting will drain the battery in 7 minutes, though.) When you're done, its dust bin empties out dirt with the pull of a single lever on top of the machine.
If you want the V10's sleek design for less, the V8 is a viable option. However, the V8 still costs twice as much as some vacuums on this list.
Battery life: 10 minutes (20 minutes for both batteries)
Weight: 6.8 pounds
Dimensions: 44” x 8.8” (L x D)
The Tineco Pure One S12 is one of the most unique cordless vacuums we've ever tested. It has a user interface that lets you know how much battery life you have left, the amount of suction, and how clean your floor is.
While testing, we found that the S12 was pretty good at estimating how much dirt was on our carpet. It declared a clean surface when 80% of the testing dirt was suctioned up. Overall, the cleaning performance lagged behind other cordless models in the Pure One's price range, but not so much so that it's a deal breaker.
If you want the coolest tech in your home, the Tineco Pure One S12 is a solid choice.
The Tineco A11 Master is like an affordable Dyson V8. Like the V8, it has two different brush heads—one for carpet and one for hardwood—so if you ever find dust sticking to the floor, its specialized brush head may be just the ticket. Beyond the floor, the A11 has tools for cleaning under and around furniture, which we appreciated.
Aside from having more tools, the A11 also comes with two batteries. During testing, the two batteries gave us about 14 minutes of cleaning power on the highest setting.
The downside is that while the A11 apes many of Dyson’s features, it can’t match its power. It needed four passes to get our testing area clean. The V10 only needed two.
LEDs on the brush head make it easier to find dirt
Kenmore makes some of our favorite vacuums. This time around, the storied company wowed us with its Elite 10441 Complete. It comes with a brush head that specializes in carpets and also has a telescopic arm to give you that extra reach, should you need it.
We liked its 13-minute battery life and the fact that it picked up around 45% of the dirt we laid out for it. So, if you like the vibe of Kenmore's canister vacuums, you'll love this vacuum.
When we test battery-powered vacuums, we’re looking for longevity, ease of use, and powerful suction. To test battery life, we charge each model for 24 hours, then run it at its highest settings, timing it until it stops working. If the vacuum doesn't meet its manufacturer's advertised claim about its total runtime, we make a note.
Cleaning shouldn't be complicated, so we take note of how intuitive the design of the vacuum is: Can we figure out how to use it without opening its manual? We also consider the little things: how easy it is to maneuver and use; and how quickly we can change a vacuum's attachments, plug in the charger, store it, or empty its dirt bin.
To test cleaning power, we placed 20 grams of sand on a testing platform covered in medium-pile carpet. This sand is sifted through a specialized mesh to create sand grains between 420 and 595 microns. After evenly spreading the sand across our test platform, we run each vacuum over the carpeted platform once, on max settings.
We also check to see if each vacuum could pick up large debris like uncooked rice and macaroni. This test is conducted twice: once with the vacuum's motorized head and once with its crevice tool.
What To Look For In A Cordless Vacuum
While most cordless vacuums don’t offer the deep-cleaning power of upright vacuums, they do have advantages, including maneuverability and convenience. Here are some other things to consider when purchasing a cordless vacuum:
There’s a cordless vacuum that can fit almost any budget. While some of the Dyson models come with a hefty price tag, they also come with Dyson technology. Meanwhile, there are vacuums that don’t cost as much but still do a good job cleaning, such as our best value pick, the Tineco A10 Hero.
A cordless vacuum is only as good as its battery. Most of the models we reviewed had battery run times of more than 10 minutes on the high settings. Using your vacuum on high does drain a battery quicker, but vacuums will run longer on lower settings.
Not all batteries recharge at the same rate, either, and you don’t want to lose power and have to wait and wait until the battery is ready to go again. To combat that, some models come with an extra battery, which can be swapped out when your other battery dies.
Cordless vacuums have smaller bin capacities than uprights, which is one reason some people look to full-size vacuums for their cleaning. However, bin capacity on cordless vacuums varies, with some of the models we tested holding almost a full quart of dirt. Others had less than half a quart.
Have a pet and a lot of dander to vacuum up? There’s an attachment for that. The same is true if you want to clean your curtains and upholstery. If you have hardwood floors, then you may want a vacuum with a brush roll head.
The real question: Does a cordless vacuum include the attachments you need to handle your cleaning?
What You Should Know About Cordless Vacuums
Can Cordless Vacuums Replace Upright Vacuum Cleaners?
For the most part, cordless vacuums should be viewed as supplementary cleaning tools to be used in between uses of heavier cleaning equipment, or in situations where a corded vacuum is too cumbersome. That said, if you’re willing to pay a higher price for the privilege, a cordless vacuum can stand toe-to-toe with a full-sized model.
What’s the Difference Between Cordless Stick Vacuums and Hand Vacuums?
In many cases, the only difference between a cordless stick vacuum and hand vacuum is the cordless unit’s long extension, which allows the brush head to reach the floor. Although rare, some two-in-one–models come with a handheld mode that can be removed and used to clean without the floor extension—a real bonus when you're cleaning furniture or a flight of stairs.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.