Cordless vacuums are lightweight, convenient and easy to maneuver. From Dyson and Samsung to Tineco and Shark, here are the top models on the market today.
Updated Nov. 3, 2023 1:57 p.m. PT
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Ry CristSenior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
ExpertiseSmart home technology and wireless connectivityCredentials
10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
When it comes to discerning the best cordless stick vacuums on the market, the ones that are lightweight, maneuverable and deliver comparable cleaning power to that of a corded model -- and without costing too much, either -- are nearly always the standouts. CNET's experts have spent years of testing dozens of models. Our ultimate favorite cordless stick vacuum is the Tineco Pure One S11. It has a lightweight design and a lower asking price than models from the likes of Samsung, Dyson and other competitors. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the epic cordless cleaning power this model is capable of.
With that in mind, there are a variety of perfectly capable cordless vacuums on the market that we can recommend, too. To pick through the best, we've devoted countless hours into putting the top models from brands like Bissell, Shark, Dyson, Eureka, Tineco and Samsung to the test at the CNET Home product testing lab in Louisville, Kentucky. Our rigorous slate of tests determine each vacuum's capabilities when it comes to cleaning different sorts of messes on a diverse array of floor types. Whether it's collecting crumbs and pet hair off of hardwood floors or sucking fine particles like dust and sand out of thick, plushy carpets, we take an overall look at each vacuum's performance in a controlled setting before suggesting anything.
So which cordless vacs did the best in our tests? Glad you asked. Our picks for the best cordless vacuums are listed below -- and keep checking back, because we'll update this list periodically whenever new models make their way through our lab.
The 15 cordless vacuums we've tested in recent years range in price from $105 to $899. The Tineco Pure One S11 sits right in the middle of that pack with a retail price of $400 -- but it performs as if it costs a lot more, with outstanding results in each of our main cleaning tests.
To be specific, the Pure One S11 tied for second place among all of our lab's cordless vacuums on hardwood floors, sucking up 99% of the sand we scatter to simulate dust and other fine particles, and 100% of the black rice we use as an analog for crumbs and other larger bits of debris. It was our No. 1 finisher on low-pile carpet, with a sand score of 93% and another perfect 100% with the black rice. It's a strong performer on plushier, midpile carpet, too, which is our most difficult test. The Pure One S11 finished in third here, gathering up 78% of the sand and, once again, 100% of the black rice. Crumbs don't stand a chance against this thing.
Like just about every cordless vacuum, the Pure One S11 comes with a variety of useful cleaning attachments, and it shrinks down into a handheld vacuum that you can use to give your furniture or the inside of your car a quick clean, too. It features four-stage HEPA filtration to help keep your home's air quality in check, and we were also intrigued by the subtle ring of color-changing lights on the top of the canister that glow red whenever the vacuum detects dirt, then change to blue as it sucks everything up. When cleaning is finished, you can stash the thing away on its wall-mounted charging dock.
The Pure One S11's black-and-white build is perhaps a bit bland, and we wish that it offered a bit more than 40 minutes of runtime under optimal conditions. Still, those are fair trade-offs at this price, especially considering how well it cleans. At $400 or less, it's the first cordless vacuum we'd recommend for just about anyone in need of a new one.
Say hello to the best Dyson cordless vacuum, the Dyson V15 Detect. As the company's flagship cordless vacuum, it's expensive, retailing at $750 -- but, like its predecessor the V11, the V15 ripped through our suite of vacuum cleaner tests with ruthless competence.
The trick up this Dyson's sleeve is the whopping 230 air watts of suction power from the cleaning head, which is 100 air watts more than any Tineco vacuum, and more than you'll get from Samsung vacuums that are even costlier than the V15. That suction translates into performance. Remember how our top pick from Tineco removed 78% of sand from midpile carpet in our toughest test? The V15 Detect was able to remove 88% in the same challenge, as well as 95% from low-pile carpet. The V15 is a great cordless vacuum for pet hair, too: No matter if it was vacuuming across hardwood floors or low-pile or midpile carpeting, the V15 barely left a tuft in its wake.
A few other features help set the V15 Detect apart. One is the vacuum's Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head. Designed for hard flooring, it shines a green laser out onto the floor as you clean, making it easy to see dust and other small bits of debris otherwise hard to spot with the naked eye. It isn't much help under strong indoor lighting or sunlight, but it's still a nice, unique feature that we found helpful as we cleaned. Also interesting is the readout on the back of the vacuum, which lists the ratio of dirt collected by particle size.
Bundled with the vacuum are seven different cleaning attachments. Along with the Laser Slim Fluffy, you'll also get a high-torque cleaner head, a hair screw tool and crevice tool, just to name a few. If money is no barrier, and you want the most powerful cordless vacuum for your cash, the V15 is tough to match.
The last time we updated our list of the best cordless vacuums, we pointed to the Tineco A11 Hero as an outstanding midrange option. Now, in 2023, it's available for $260 or less, if you catch it on sale (we've seen it fall below $200 pretty regularly in recent months). That makes it more of a value pick -- and as value picks go, it's one of your best options.
Apart from being a strong performer in our pet hair tests, the A11 Hero was near flawless on hardwood floors, vacuuming up 97% of sand and 98% of black rice. It finished just outside the top 5 on low-pile carpet, removing a respectable 83% of sand and a near-perfect 99% of black rice -- and every vacuum that did better in that test costs hundreds more. With all of those extra fibers for dirt to cling to, midpile carpet was more of a struggle, as the A11 Hero's sand score fell to 73%, but it still nailed the black rice test, sucking up 98% of the stuff.
The design of the Hero isn't too shabby, either. The dustbin is a cinch to empty and clean, and the battery is removable, too. Replacements are priced at $80 each, which is pretty reasonable by cordless vacuum standards. There's also a handy trigger lock lever to keep the vacuum running without constant finger pressure.
All of that adds up to a great cordless vacuum at a price that won't clean out your bank account. If you're looking for value, start here.
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Other cordless vacuums we tested
Tineco Pure One S15 Pet: Another top performer from Tineco, the Pure One S15 Pet is nearly identical to our top pick, the S11, but it costs an extra $100 at a retail price of $500. For the money, you're essentially getting the same basic cleaner as the S11, but with an anti-tangle brush head that's better designed for tackling excess amounts of pet hair, as well as a free-standing dock design that doesn't need to be drilled into your wall. It was a top five finisher in both our sand and rice tests, but the S11 actually edged it out on both fronts with even better cleaning power at an even better value.
Samsung Jet 90: Our toughest cordless vacuum cleaning challenge is the midpile sand test, where we see how much sand each vacuum can suck out of thick, plushy carpet. Only three of the 15 cordless vacuums we've tested in recent years have been able to average pickup percentages better than 80% in that test: the Dyson V15 Detect, the Tineco Pure One S15 Pet, and the Samsung Jet 90, which led the way overall with an outstanding midpile sand pickup percentage of 98%. It's a splurge for sure at a retail price of $650, but it's still worthy of consideration if you have lots of thick carpets in your home.
Samsung Jet 75: Nearly identical to the Jet 90, the Samsung Jet 75 offers comparable cleaning power and a similarly attractive build, as well as the same 60-minute battery life, the same HEPA filtration, and the same 200 air watts of suction. Build-wise, the main difference is that the Jet 90 uses a free-standing dock while the Jet 75's dock needs to be drilled into your wall. It wasn't nearly as strong a performer as the Jet 90 in that midpile sand test, but the Jet 75 still performed well overall, and at $600, it retails for a little less.
Dyson V11 Torque Drive: With a motor that automatically adapts to the type of floor it's cleaning and a fancy LCD display, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive certainly feels the part of an upgrade pick. At a retail price of $700, with sale prices often bringing that number down closer to $500, it's priced like one, too. The good news is that the vacuum lived up to the hype with highly consistent cleaning power across all of our tests, but it was outperformed by newer models like the Dyson V15 Detect, as well as competitors that cost less from Tineco and Samsung.
Black & Decker PowerSeries Extreme Max: The Black & Decker PowerSeries Extreme Max had great results across most of the cleaning tests. Even in the ones it didn't excel at, it still had commendable performance. Although none of its features or tools are particularly unique, its retail price of $229 makes it shine as a worthy purchase consideration compared to more expensive options.
Miele Triflex HX2: Unfortunately, testing style is not on our list, or else the Miele Triflex HX2 might have run away with the show. Also unfortunate is how poorly the three-in-one stick vac collected sand in low- and midpile carpets. With those two exceptions, it showed generally stellar performance, but costing upwards of $700-plus, we would have hoped for better results across all our tests.
Greenworks 24V Cordless Vacuum: This vacuum is a true hang-with-them type of cleaner, able to match the performance of some $500 or more hand-held stick vacs, while itself coming in around $300. In addition to all the tools it includes, it touts a fast 30-minute recharge time if its 45-minute runtime isn't long enough.
More cordless vacuum value picks
Shark Rocket Pet Pro: Our previous pick for best value, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro remains a solid budget option in 2023 provided you can find it in stock. Typically retailing for less than $300, it offers excellent cleaning performance on hardwood floors and with crumbs and other small bits of debris, along with satisfactory pickup power on carpets and with dust. It features HEPA filtration and a self-cleaning, anti-tangle brush head that's helpful for preventing pet hair clogs, and it also converts to a convenient handheld cleaner when needed.
Moosoo XL-618: It wasn't a strong performer in our toughest tests, but the Mooso XL-618 proved perfectly capable for basic cleaning -- particularly with crumbs and on hardwood floors. It also converts to a handheld vac you can use to clean your car or clean furniture. Retailing for $150 and frequently on sale for closer to $100, the XL-618 is about as inexpensive as cordless vacuums get, so if you're willing to sacrifice some cleaning power in order to save some cash, it's worth a look.
Lubluelu KB-H009: While the Lubluelu KB-H009 didn't make much of an impression with its capabilities for picking up sand in carpet, it did manage to hold its own in each of the rice tests. Larger crumbs and debris on hardwood and various carpet piles all got sucked up almost completely. The true star of the show, however, is the vacuum's sub-$100 price. A true economical cleaning machine.
Putting cordless vacuums through their paces isn't as complicated as testing a robot vacuum cleaner, but it still takes lots of time and careful effort to find the best cordless vacuum.
To get started, we hauled in 15 of the latest models from leading vacuum brands with high user ratings and reviews, and ran them through a series of tests designed to measure overall proficiency. We also tested cordless vacuums in a range of prices to see how much of a difference you can expect when you opt for a pricier model over a budget pick.
Testing cordless vacuums on different flooring
We run each vacuum in a straight line across three different surfaces (hardwood, low-pile carpet and midpile carpet). On all three test beds, the test area is 30.25 inches long.
The width of the test bed is proportional to the vacuum's nozzle width, which we measure ourselves. We also use nozzle width, plus the flooring type, to calculate the soil density for each test, per International Electrotechnical Commission guidelines. The IEC is a global standards body responsible for managing testing procedures, among other things, for vacuum manufacturers.
Testing the cleaning ability of each cordless vacuum
We use three types of soil. To simulate small particle size, we use a mix of play sand and landscaping sand. To emulate larger dirt particles, we use uncooked black rice. To see how vacuums deal with pet hair, we use a mixture of clippings sourced to us through our local pet groomer.
We perform three runs (at minimum) on each floor type. We also test suction power with sand and rice separately. That comes to at least 18 tests per vacuum. To measure the results, we weigh the vacuum's dust bin both before and after each run.
From there we can calculate the percentage of dirt and debris pickup for every run and the average amount of soil a vacuum manages to remove. Additionally, we run anecdotal (visual) pet hair tests for each vacuum, on all three floor types, to help us select the best cordless vacuum.
Which cordless vacuums cleaned up in CNET tests?
Let's get right to the numbers, starting with our sand tests. The table below tells you the average percentage of sand each vacuum was able to remove from each of our three test surfaces. The vacuums are listed in order of overall sand removed in total, from the most to the least, so feel free to think of this as something of a sand test leaderboard.
As you can see, the Dyson V15 Detect is our top overall cleaner in these sand tests, but note that the Samsung Jet 90 actually outperformed it by a considerable margin on thick, plushy midpile carpet. Sucking sand out of carpets like those is a real challenge -- most of the vacuums we test can't even remove 80% of the stuff when all is said and done. The Jet 90 managed almost 98%, which is pretty outstanding. If you have thick carpets like those in your home, it's definitely worth a look.
Meanwhile, the Tineco Pure One S11 is the only cordless vacuum in the top 5 of our sand tests that retails for less than $500. At a price of $400 (or less, if you catch a sale), it offers a high level of performance at a strong value relative to the competition, which is a large part of the reason why it's our top recommended cordless vacuum.
That does it for sand -- now let's take a look at how the cordless vacuums we tested handled uncooked black rice, our stand-in for crumbs and other larger-sized bits of debris.
As you can see, the black rice test is less of a challenge than the sand test, and a number of the vacuums we tested, including the top-rated Tineco Pure One S11, finished with a perfect rating across all three surfaces. Interestingly, that shortlist of perfect-rated cleaners includes two of our value picks, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro and the Moosoo XL-618. Neither one was a standout with sand (in fact, the Moosoo model was among the worst in those tests), but with larger crumbs at least, both are perfectly capable.
Factors to consider when buying a cordless vacuum
When choosing the best vacuums in various categories we considered other factors associated with each. We noted any vacuums with especially short battery life or a particularly heavy weight that might make them a less desirable option.
Cordless vacuum battery life and runtime
Most of the vacuums on our list feature a runtime of 40 minutes before needing another charge, though a growing number of models are starting to offer higher-capacity batteries with runtimes of 60 minutes per charge. In truth, it's a rare occasion that one would need more than 40 minutes of runtime for a single vacuuming session, and the prevalence of charging docks makes it easy to recharge in between cleaning runs. Because of this, battery life was not weighted as heavily as other features.
Cordless vacuum weight, size and bin capacity
All of the cordless vacuums we tested were between 4 and 7 pounds, but none was so heavy that it affected our recommendation. All of the vacuums on this list were also very similar in height and overall size. The Dyson models are both roughly 49 inches, while the Tineco A11 is shorter at just 43 inches tall.
The Dyson and Tineco models all have bin volumes of about 0.6 liter, which is fairly common across the category. Our alternate budget pick, the Moosoo XL-618, has double that capacity (1.3 liters) so you'll need to empty the bin less often.
Cordless vacuum warranties
Cordless vacuum warranties will vary by manufacturer and by model, but the majority of models we've tested will offer at least a year of coverage, if not two. The Dyson and Tineco models we tested each offer two years of coverage, as does the Samsung Bespoke Jet, though Samsung only offers a single year for its Jet 75 and Jet 90 cleaners.
Cordless vacuum FAQs
Which cordless vacuum has the most suction power?
Right now, based on our tests, the cordless vacuum with the best suction power is the Dyson V15 Detect, which offers 230 air watts of suction. Not surprisingly, the V15 Detect was a powerful performer in our tests, particularly in our sand tests, where it removed the largest cumulative amount of sand from our hardwood, low-pile carpet and midpile carpet test floors.
Are pricey Dyson vacuums worth the money?
Credit to Dyson for pioneering the cordless vacuum category with a series of capable -- yet pricey -- Cyclone V series stick vacs. Many years and many models later, Dyson remains a fixture of the category in 2023, but it's not quite as dominant in our cleaning tests as it was five or 10 years ago. At this point, there are multiple competitors with top models that can go toe to toe with Dyson on our test floors.
Even so, Dyson vacuums consistently test well, and they often come with unique features like dust-revealing lasers and auto-adapting brush rolls that are the result of the company's years of in-house research and iterative design. That makes them a justifiable splurge for many households.
What is good suction power for a cordless vacuum?
Manufacturers will often boast about their vacuum's suction power in terms of air watts, a figure that quantifies airflow in terms of power usage. Generally speaking, more air watts means a more powerful vacuum cleaner, but the actual design of the vacuum head plays a significant role, as well. The tighter a vacuum is against the floor, the greater the suction -- but if it's too tight against the floor, larger bits of debris won't be able to make it underneath the cleaning head, at all. The type of flooring you're trying to clean makes a big difference, too.
All of that is why CNET puts each vacuum we review through rigorous and controlled cleaning tests in order to get a better sense of how their cleaning capabilities compare across different surfaces and with respect to different-sized bits of debris. Currently, our top-recommended cordless vacuum overall, the Tineco Pure One S11, offers 130 air watts of suction power. Meanwhile, our top performance pick with the best overall suction is the Dyson V15 Detect, which offers an advertised 230 air watts of suction power.