Best cordless vacuum cleaners – 10 of the best stick vacuum cleaners for all budgets

We've tested the best cordless vacuum cleaners to see which felt like clever time-savers, had brilliant suction and decent battery life

Best cordless vacuum cleaners: Dyson v11 lifestyle
(Image credit: Dyson)

If you've been looking for a selection of the best cordless vacuum cleaners then you've come to the right place. Cutting the cord to cleaning around the home is going to unleash the freedom to vacuum not only the floor but up high into the corners of every room, too. It'll also save you valuable time as there's no need to keep plugging in and unplugging. 

With more and more vacuum cleaners now available without the cord it can be pretty overwhelming to find which is the best option for you. To help, we've vetted and reviewed some of the top models to include the latest offerings from brands such as Dyson, Vax and Shark. Each of the stick vacuum cleaners featured in this guide have been around Caramel Quin's home to test them in exactly the same way as you would. We've also considered other customer feedback on the vacuum's ease of use, affordability, manoeuvrability and other functionalities.

Keep scrolling to see which cordless vacs made the cut for an easier clean around the home. Got pets? Check out our best vacuum for pet hair guide to rid your home of fur and fluff with (more) brilliant buys.

Best cordless vacuum cleaners for 2021

DYSON V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum CleanerH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

1. Dyson V11 Absolute

This is the best cordless vacuum cleaner overall

Specifications
Best for: Regular use
Dust bin capacity: 0.7 ltrs
Weight: 6.68lb
Noise: Not disclosed (84.6dB when we tested)
Battery life: 60 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Quality look and feel+Displays remaining run time+Brilliant tools+Long run time+Good dust bin capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-A tad heavy as a handheld

One of the latest editions to the Dyson vacuum cleaner range, the V11 promises twice the suction (at the cleaner head) of any cordless vacuum cleaner. But it also costs twice as much as competitors so is it worth it? We've found out...

Power and debris removal

The V11 is undoubtedly one of the best-designed and most powerful cordless vac on the market. It passed our light debris and mud tests with flying colours. On carpet there was no scatter at all. And on the hard flooring there was a tiny bit of moving debris and dirt around, but the amount not sucked up immediately really wasn’t anything much.

There are three cleaning modes it: eco, auto and boost, which are clearly indicated on the digital display and can be easily switched between with the touch of a button. Which one you opt for can effect the battery life but you can expect a runtime of up to 60 minutes.

Attachments

Aside from the high torque and soft roller floor head (which is perfect for hard floors) this vac also comes with four smaller accessories. You can store two on the excellent wall-hung charging dock and clip the crevice nozzle onto the V11’s wand – together they’re great for cobwebs

What we think about it

If money’s no object, buy the V11: you won’t be disappointed. During testing we found that it's an excellent all-round vacuum cleaner that comes with attachments for every job and lets you know how much cleaning time is left before recharging. When the vacuum cleaning is all said and done for the day we found that the dust container is easy to empty, and the slim stick with compact attachments is easy enough to store away on the wall mount.

BISSELL ICON 25VH&G silver badge

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Bissell Icon 25V

Best designed cordless vacuum cleaner

Specifications
Best for: Vacuuming up hair
Dust bin capacity: 0.4ltrs
Weight: 3.18kg
Noise: 81dB
Battery life: 50 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Headlights useful for cleaning under sofa, etc+Tangle free brushes+Wall bracket that lets you charge+Impressive design details
Reasons to avoid
-Small dust bin-Heavier to use than some

The Bissell Icon 25V is really impressive in design, performance and price. It's one that has a lot going for it which would make it simple ideal as a second vac in the home for quickly taking out for a whizz around...

Design and technical features

With features such as the LED lights on the floorhead and crevice tool and a charging stand (which needs to be screwed to the wall), this vac should make it a definite for your shortlist.

The floorhead – which hangs down rather than being perpendicular – swivels as you go up and down the stairs, and means that the machine lays fairly flat to the wall when charging. Brushes in the floorhead didn’t end up wrapped in hair from the bedroom floor (we're pleased to report). Oh and comparably, it’s also smaller than the Shark floorhead. 

Attachments

This cordless vacuum comes with a crevice tool which has a retractable dusting brush and slots on to the handheld. Our reviewer liked the fact that you didn't have multiple attachments lying around but you may feel slightly short changed because there's no dedicated upholstery tool.

What we think about it

When we took this vac around our own home we found that it is an easy to use cordless vacuum cleaner that’ll get good results on hard flooring and carpet all round your home – and goes a long way on one charge. We're bowled over by tiny design details such as the little spirit level on the inside of the charging dock, to make it very easy to mount the dock level.  It’s a mid-priced cleaner but the performance and design combine to impress.

Miele Triflex HX1 ProH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Miele Triflex HX1Pro

Best premium cordless vacuum cleaner

Specifications
Best for: Versatility
Dust bin capacity: 0.5ltrs
Weight: 4kg
Noise: Info not available
Battery life: Up to 120 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Flexible design+Battery life+Epic suction
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy-Small dust canister

Introducing Miele's first cordless vacuum cleaner which claims to be powerful enough to be your one and only vacuum cleaner. It's one of three new vacs from the brand. We we tested the Pro model but there’s also a regular model that’s a bit cheaper (no HEPA filter, no headlights on the floorhead, no turbo brush for lifting pet hair from furniture) and a Cat&Dog model which offers the same spec but just comes with a pet turbo brush.

Cleaning power and convenience

The Miele Triflex HX1 Pro is easy to use, well designed and impressively powerful on floors and more. It really offers the cleaning power you’d expect from a corded cleaner. It’s worth mentioning that the 60 minute battery life Miele claims is in low power without the electric floorhead but with the extra battery pack, you could find that this vac lasts you up to 120 minutes if you have a large house to vacuum every day.

Its 0.5-liter capacity is on the small side, however, especially if you are going for 120 minutes. You’ll need to empty the dirt canister regularly, but this is easy and isn’t messy.

Attachments

It comes with three tools as standard: crevice nozzle, dusting brush, flat upholstery tool.

The vac is is supremely convertible: you can rearrange the pieces to convert from an upright cleaner (bottom-heavy, perfect when you’re just vacuuming floors, stands up by itself) to a stick cleaner (top-heavy, very manoeuvrable) to a handheld.

What we think about it

Acknowledging the expense and slight weight, our reviewer marked this vac 4.5 stars out of five. It's 'a force to be reckoned with' with suction power which is easily on par with a high-end corded vacuum, which didn't affect battery life in the slightest. With a runtime of up to 120 minutes it'll last longer than anybody should ever want or need to clean. 

VAX ONEPWR BLADE 4H&G gold badge

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

4. Vax ONEPWR Blade 4

Best value cordless vacuum

Specifications
Best for: Value
Dust bin capacity: 0.6ltrs
Weight: 2kg
Noise: 79dB
Battery life: 45 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Sleek and lightweight design+Has a light so you can see underneath furniture+Great for pet owners+Handy for the car
Reasons to avoid
-A full set of tools could cost you extra

A super choice if you're on a budget, this cordless vacuum cleaner from Vax gets everywhere you need it to, and gives brilliant results.

Debris removal

The Vax Blade 4 was a true champ on carpets as it lifted light stuff it was faced with in one efficient move, and did the same job with mud, during testing. It has really impressive suction which is evident from the fact that it will try to suck up your flooring while you're cleaning. This cordless vac is also blessed with a DustTracker with LEDs in the brush head so you can easily she what else needs a clean, or what you've missed. 

Attachments

A dusting brush and crevice tool come with this vac which are useful or getting into those hard to reach places. Both function effectively, but our reviewer felt that it could have come with the extra in the ProKit 2 toolkit (which she already owned) to do all the cleaning jobs around the home. 

What we think about it

We were really impressed with the Vax’s comfort, array of tools and cleaning performance for a mid-priced machine. Our reviewer says that it is a top choice for families, couples and singles. It's also simple to use, light to move about the house with, and cleans all round with ease. It really gives the Dysons and the Miele a run for their money.

Henry cordless

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. HENRY HVB160

Best cordless cylinder vacuum cleaner

Specifications
Best for: All messes!
Dust bin capacity: 6ltrs
Weight: 6.4kg
Noise: 72dB
Battery life: 30 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Well priced+Tough build+Onboard tool storage+Two batteries
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky-Fiddly clips

It's great to see that you can get a Henry vacuum cleaner as a cordless version. These guys are great for vacuuming up pretty much anything so if you have an DIY projects happening, one of these would be a good one to have around the home. We are, admititably, yet to test it but here's why we like it...

A top performer

Just as powerful as the corded Henry, this model will rid the home of all messes. It has a generous 6 ltr capacity which is a massive wow-factor for a cordless vacuum, and in the long-term equals less-emptying. And the HEPA filter and bags make it great for allergy sufferers.

It comes with two batteries which is super handy because it means that you can replace the one that has run out of juice to achieve up to an hour of cleaning time.

Attachments

There's an onboard tool kit which includes a combi floor tool, upholstery nozzle, flexi crevice tool and soft dusting brush. 

What others think about it

Amazon buyers have rated the Henry HVB160 4.4 out of 5 stars. It's scored top marks on ease of assembly, versatility and durability highly. The suction power and the dirt capacity, compared to cordless competitors was also mentioned along with the appreciation of two batteries. 

Over on Argos, the average of 4.6 out of five stars has been awarded because of the quality, ease of use and design. Users felt that it has a good length of hose and choice of tools.

BOSCH BCS122GB

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Bosch BCS122GB Unlimited

Best cordless vacuum cleaner for cleaning time

Specifications
Best for: Low noise levels
Dust bin capacity: 0.4ltrs
Weight: 2.9kg
Noise: 70dB
Battery life: Up to 80 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Innovative design+Two chargers+Quick charging+Light
Reasons to avoid
-Emptying isn't easy

Innovative in its design, this option from Bosch is well thought out and offers a long runtime with quick charge time to finish the task in hand. It is one we haven't yet tested (don't worry, it's on our list) but here's why it's worth considering...

Performance which lasts

The Bosch BCS122GB has two interchangeable batteries which let you extend its run time, much like you would a power tool. It also comes with not one but two chargers which means that it can be fully charged in just 60 minutes.

Unless you’re in turbo mode, you can expect a run time of 45-60 minutes. But then you can swap to the second battery pack and carry on cleaning.

Attachments

This one is equipped with a hose, crevice nozzle, additional battery pack and quick charger.

The wall bracket includes a neat charger plus space to store the tools.

What others think about it

Looking at the reviews at John Lewis & Partners, this Bosch cordless vacuum cleaner has received an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars from customers who have bought it. Most reviewers remark on how pleased they are with the ease of use, powerful performance and simple set up. One user has even said: '...we have never been so clean'

The slight negatives are (in a nutshell) that users don't feel confident in it's ability to remove hair without maintenance. 

Vax TBT3V1P1 Blade Pro

(Image credit: Argos)

7. Vax TBT3V1P1 Blade Pro

Best cordless vacuum cleaner for affordable power

Specifications
Best for: Powerful cleaning on a budget
Dust bin capacity: 0.6ltrs
Weight: 3kg
Noise: Info not available
Battery life: Up to 45 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Excellent manoeuvrability+You don't have to hold down the trigger+Impressive cleaning
Reasons to avoid
-No hard floor head

Offering affordable power (and more) this cordless vacuum cleaner would be a really good one to have handy as a backup option.

The design

Its cyclonic stick design is reminiscent of most handhelds, but the chamber is horizontal on this one which means that you'll need to tip it to one side and press a button to empty.

The innovative smart control dial which can be found on the top of the dust chamber is designed to offer a smarter, more efficient way of cleaning. It'll display how much power you have left which mode you are on; Boost or Brushbar.

Attachments

Pet tool, crevice nozzle and a dusting brush.

What others think about it

Customers who bought this vac from Argos have awarded it 4.5 out of five stars. There's a lot of love for this vacuum cleaner with high remarks on how compact, easy to use and easy to store it is. The battery life could be longer, however, since it's anticipated runtime is just 25 - 45 minutes.

Reviewers at Amazon have given it 3.6 out of five. They are impressed by the overall design and how compact it is, but longevity of it has been questionable with many saying that the suction lasted for all but a year.

Dyson v8H&G gold badge

(Image credit: Argos)

8. Dyson V8 Absolute

Best mid-price stick cordless vacuum cleaner

Specifications
Best for:
Dust bin capacity: 0.54 ltrs
Weight: 2.6 kg
Noise: Info not available
Battery life: up to 40 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+Lightweight+Easy to swap between jobs
Reasons to avoid
-Having to hold the power button down won’t suit every user

The Dyson V8 is one of the earlier releases of the vacuum cleaners in this guide, but we still think that it is worth a consideration since we've tried it and were very impressed. 

Power and debris removal

During testing, we found our results to be a little mixed on hard floors. Dust and light debris was easily removed, whereas mud was scattered a little by the vac, and needed a few extra passes.

It has two power modes but there was a price to pay for the max version which has only seven minutes of running time against the 40 minutes you get from the powerful mode. It's still a good option to have, mind, to quickly whizz around the home when you need to quickly vacuum up any spills since our reviewer was impressed by the suction and ease of use.

Attachments

It comes with a suite of tools including a combination tool, crevice tool, dusting brush and a mini motorised tool (perfect for pet hair).

We we think about it

Our reviewer reaches the verdict that it is a vac that will do spot and regular cleaning with ease and acquit itself well on all manner of surfaces. She gave it 4.5 out of five stars, so have we.

Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away & TruePet ICZ160UKT

(Image credit: Very)

9. Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away with TruePet Cordless vacuum IC160UKT

Best Shark vacuum for pet owners

Specifications
Best for: Allrounder
Battery life: 50 minutes
Capacity: 0.6ltrs
Noise: 72dB
Weight: 5.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Good suction, particularly for hair+Floor light useful in dark corners+Battery can be charged separately
Reasons to avoid
-Feels heavy

We do like a Shark vacuum cleaner so it would be rude not to include one, this one especially. It feels like a traditional upright – and it's more powerful than others on the list.

Powerful debris removal

The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away with TruePet Cordless vacuum has a DuoClean floorhead which means that two brush-rolls work together to seamlessly glide across all floor types. It'll clean deep into carpets while a soft brush-roll draws in large debris, small particles and fine dust from hard floors.

Also featuring Anti Hair Wrap technology which will avid any hair getting tangled and powered Lift Away, you'll be easily able to switch between an upright to handheld cylinder vac.

Attachments

Motorised Anti Hair Wrap pet tool, 20cm crevice tool, dusting brush and wide upholstery tool.

What others thought about it

At Very, customers who bought this vacuum cleaner have scored it 4.3 out of 5 stars. There's a lot of happy users out there who are impressed with how quiet it is, and the useful Lift Away function being a handy addition. The hair removal tool is also seen to be a big bonus, especially if you have a four legged friend in the home. Any negatives cited refer to that it is a little heavy, and suction seems to fade after a while.

Dyson v11 Torque

(Image credit: Argos)

10. Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Best cordless pet hair vacuum overall

Specifications
Best for: Homes with pets
Battery life: 60 minutes
Dust bin capacity: 0.76ltrs
Weight: 3kg
Noise: 80dB
Reasons to buy
+Powerful performance+LCD screen with useful info+Brush adjusts automatically between carpet and hard floors+Sleek design
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Dock won’t hold all attachments

Another (and final) option from Dyson is the V11 Torque. It's similar to the others in the range but this one comes with an extra attachment and an LCD touch screen.

Debris removal

As well as its powerful suction which is said to be twice as powerful as any other cordless vac, its Dynamic Load Sensing technology intelligently adjusts the vacuum's head to the type of surface you’re vacuuming, which, in turn, helps to preserve battery life. 

It also comes to feature Direct Drive will deep clean your carpets and hard floors with its stiff nylon bristles which release even the toughest ground in dirt. This works in harmony with the cyclone technology which Dyson are (pretty) famous for to help deliver strong, consistent suction throughout your round of vacuum cleaning.

What's the difference from other V11s?

This vac has a useful built-in LCD screen so you can see which cleaning mode you’re on – Eco, Auto or Max. The screen also provides maintenance information, such as telling you if there's a blockage that needs clearing.  It also comes with a Torque Drive Motorhead which intelligently adapts suction on carpets for a proper deep clean.

Attachments

Mini motorhead, combination tool, crevice tool, mini soft dusting brush and torque drive cleaner head. Plus a wand storage clip and docking station.

What others think about it

It's a sell out with several retails which is always a good sign but for those shops where you can still buy it have, unsurprisingly, received very high remarks. The vac has scored 4.7 stars out of five at John Lewis & Partners and 4.8 out of 5 stars at Lowe's, for example.


How we test cordless vacuum cleaners

At Homes & Gardens, and all the other Homes titles at Future, we like to get hands-on experience with each of the products we test before including them in our buyers' guides. This means that we can share our experiences and answer any questions which may be holding you back before committing to making a purchase.

We test all types of vacuum cleaners including vacuum cleaners for pet hair, stick vacuums and even seek out the best robot vacuums to help you find the most suitable option for your home. Each model we get the opportunity to review undergoes rigorous testing on a range of flooring from hardwood to deep pile and laminate which is what you would find in most homes.

Each vac you see featured in this guide have all been tested in the same way in our own homes for a number of weeks (sometime months) so they are faced with real-life hurdles – such as the stairs – and messes. In some instances we are even fortunate enough to hand on to the vacuum cleaners so we can keep our guides current with our learnings as we continue to use them. Factors such as manoeuvrability, run-time, emptying of the canister (or bag) and general controls have all been considered against the price tag for what it is exactly you get for your money. We also looks out for feedback from other customers which you've probably seen already on your favorite brand websites.

Why do I need a cordless vacuum cleaner?

Best cordless vacuum cleaner lifestyle Vax

(Image credit: Vax)

Think of a cordless vacuum as a hi-tech replacement for dustpan and brush. Something you’ll use little and often. So power and convenience is good (we like charging stations, so they’re always ready to use.)

Battery life is probably less important but if your home is small, you could consider using a cordless as your main vacuum cleaner – in which case you’ll want it to last more than a few minutes.

How to buy a cordless vacuum cleaner

Our comprehensive video guide will take you through all the elements of a cordless vacuum cleaner so that you can buy the best one for you.

Is Shark cordless better than Dyson?

Both are popular – and we have tested similar Dysons and Shark vacuum cleaners to compare them. Our findings are that Dysons has better suction power than Sharks overall, but are heavier and more expensive. The weight of the Dyson isn't a real issue if you use your cordless vacuum for quick cleaning jobs. If, however, you plan to use a cordless vacuum to do a whole house in one sweep, you may prefer the lighter Sharks. 

How much should I spend on a cordless vacuum?

Budget around £150 for a good-quality cordless with decent cleaning power. But you can spend more than three times as much on premium models. More money can buy you powerful suction, longer battery life or better tools, and are, in our opinion, worthwhile.

Are cordless vacuums worth it?

Yes. In a smaller home, they can be swapped out for a corded vacuum cleaner, especially if you choose a model with good suction. In larger homes, they are perfect for quick clean ups – having one on an upper floor can make cleaning bedrooms quickly a real boost. 

What other key questions do I need to ask about cordless vacuums?

This probably isn’t your main vacuum cleaner, but if you have allergies it is worth getting a cordless vacuum with a HEPA filter. This removes tiny particles from the air, putting a stop to coughs, sneezes and breathing issues.

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