No Need to Get Wound Up, These Are the Best Cordless Vacuums


Vacuuming is enough of a hassle without having to drag a heavy corded vacuum from outlet to outlet. If you’re tired of trying to angle the unwieldy thing into tight corners and hard-to-reach places then it’s time to make the switch to a cordless vacuum. Designed for both carpet and hardwood floors, these lightweight vacuums are easy to maneuver over various surfaces. They offer all the convenience of a handheld vacuum while maintaining the cleaning ability and powerful suction of a corded vacuum.

The best cordless vacuums are also versatile: Most can handle different types of flooring, from a hardwood floor to a thick carpet, from a bare floor of linoleum to tile, both because they’re easy to maneuver and because of their suction power. With the best cordless vacuum models on your horizon, dust and debris don’t stand a chance. 

Cordless stick vacuums and standard models alike often come with useful attachments (a brush head is especially useful) to help with cleaning around the house. If you have the choice between a big, clunky machine that weighs a ton and an easy-to-maneuver, powerful vacuum that you can carry around with one hand, well, you’re probably gonna pick the latter every time. The following products will stop you from getting hung up every time your vacuum cord catches on your furniture or the door frame, so you can simply clean without complications. 

One company in particular saw this trend coming. Dyson was the first to pioneer this field with a series of capable — and pricey — Cyclone V series stick vacs designed with impressive suction and cleaning power to leave the competition in the dust. Rivals have since followed suit and now sell cordless vacuums of their own. Some manufacturers of cordless vacuum cleaners have even shamelessly cloned Dyson products. Others are distinctive new riffs on the cordless vacuum, with innovative dust busting features all their own.

Watch this: How We Test All Types of Vacuums in Our Custom-Built Lab

When we tested vacuum cleaners, we put them through a rigorous series of floor-care tests on hardwood floor and other bare floor types, carpet and other surfaces. The process took over 150 hours to complete. It also consumed many pounds of sand and rice, plus hundreds of handfuls of pet hair. Based on that, we’ve determined that the products in this roundup are our picks for the best cordless vacuum for 2022. Keep checking back, because we update this best cordless vacuum list periodically.

Read moreBest Robot Vacuums for 2022: iRobot Roomba, Neato and More

Brian Bennett/CNET

Say hello to Dyson’s latest and greatest stick vac, the $750 Dyson V15. As the company’s flagship cordless vacuum, the V15 has a sky-high price to match. It’s by far the most expensive machine in our test group. Like its predecessor the V11, the V15 ripped through our suite of vacuum cleaner tests with ruthless competence. 

This cordless stick vacuum didn’t just outperform competitors from other brands. The V15 demonstrated more suction power than the Dyson V11, the previous cordless vacuum champion. The V15 also achieved these cleaning performance results on our most difficult trial, sand. 

It was able to remove 88.4% of test sand we placed on midpile carpeting. The V11 managed 71.6% on the same test. More impressively, the V15 pulled 95.3% of sand particles we dropped onto low-pile carpeting. That’s a lot better than the 78.4 percent the V11 was able to muster here. The V15 wasn’t fazed by pet hair either. No matter if it was vacuuming across hardwood, 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 ahead as you clean. Its purpose is to highlight dust and other small bits of debris otherwise hard to spot with the naked eye. The system does work and we observed plenty of dirt we’d normally miss. One drawback though is that the laser isn’t visible under strong indoor lighting or sunlight. 

Also interesting is a readout on the back of the vacuum. This report lists the ratio of dirt collected by particle size. Other than that, and a battery that’s easier to remove, the D15’s bagless vacuum design remains much the same. That’s a good thing, since we found both models’ dustbins easy to empty. 

Bundled with the vacuum are seven different cleaning attachments, including the Laser Slim Fluffy. You also get a High Torque cleaner head, a Hair screw tool and crevice tool, just to name a few. All this adds up to why the Dyson V15 Detect is currently the best cordless vacuum cleaner around, if spending lots of money is no barrier.

Read more about the Dyson V15.


Brian Bennett/CNET

As the second-best performer in our current test group, the Tineco A11 Hero represents an outstanding deal. So much so that it has officially bumped the Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless out of our top pick for best midrange cordless vacuum. With an average 72.5% sand pickup from midpile carpeting, and 82.5% sand removal from low-pile carpet, the Hero performs better. This cordless stick vac also costs less than the Shark, a fact that’s hard to overlook.

 The A11 Hero tackled pet hair without too much trouble as well. Barely a trace of the material remained after the machine vacuumed midpile carpeting and hardwood floors. The Hero left some strands visible when traveling across our low-pile test carpet. Midpile carpeting usually causes vacuums more problems. 

The design of the Hero isn’t too shabby either. Its dustbin is almost as easy to empty as the Rocket Pet Pro. The bin’s release valve is tricky to engage compared with Shark’s model. That said, its battery pack is removable. There’s also a handy trigger lock lever to keep the vacuum running without constant finger pressure.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Moosoo isn’t exactly a household name. Nevertheless, the Moosoo M X6 cordless vacuum packs a respectable punch, considering its low price. Despite costing much less than competing cordless vacuum cleaner options, the M X6 was the fourth-best performer in our test group of eight models.

The stick vac picked up 99% (on average) of our test sand from hardwood. On low-pile carpet, that figure sank to 41.3%. The M X6 fared better across thicker midpile carpet, earning a higher sand pickup average of 52.2%.

Black rice, our large particle test soil, was a breeze for the Moosoo vacuum. It managed pickup averages above 90% on hardwood, low-pile and midpile carpet (95.4%, 96.8% and 94%, respectively).

Don’t buy the Moosoo M X6 if you’re a pet owner, though. At least some visible dander remained after vacuuming, no matter the test surface. The brush roll tends to wrap strands of hair around itself as well.

If you want cordless vacuuming on a tight budget, however, do consider the Moosoo M X6. This cordless stick vacuum cleaner just does what you need, and for much less cash than many models.

Chris Monroe/CNET

If you’d like to own a Dyson vacuum but you’d rather not spend top dollar, consider the Dyson V8 Absolute hand vac. This step-down cordless model is a few years old, but it still has powerful suction and performs like a champ. On our floor-cleaning tests, the V8 came in a respectable third. In our test group, only the Dyson V11 and Shark Rocket Pet Pro scoured floors better than the V8.

On a hard floor, the vacuum managed to pick up an average of 98% of the sand we dropped. For low-pile carpet, that average fell to 68.3%. The average slipped further across midpile carpet, though remained at a respectable 52%.

Pet hair didn’t faze the V8 hand vacuum much either. The stick vacuum pulled hair away from midpile and low-pile carpets completely. It did fail to remove a small amount of dander on hardwood. Additionally, some fibers became wrapped around the vacuum’s brush roll. But the washable filter was handy.

And like the V11 Torque Drive, the V8 Absolute upright vacuum comes with a generous assortment of add-ons. That includes gadgets for dusting, a crevice tool for reaching into narrow areas, a soft cleaning head for bare floors, a motorized brush roll for grabbing ground-in dirt and debris and a docking station for charging the battery. So for those who’d like to own a Dyson-brand stick vac for a little less cash, the V8 Absolute is worth a look.

Read our Dyson V8 hands-on first take.


How we test cordless vacuums

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. We run each vacuum in a straight line across three different surfaces (hardwood, low-pile carpet, 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. We measure this width 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 an international standards body responsible for managing vacuum testing procedures, among other things, for vacuum manufacturers.

We test vacuums on three types of floor surfaces.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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 our mixture of clippings sourced to us through our local pet groomer. 


We run tests in a straight line across all three floor types.

Brian Bennett/CNET

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. We weigh the vacuum’s dust bin both before and after each run. 

Percentage of sand removed

Aposen Cordless Vacuum Cleaner


Sand from low-pile

Sand from hardwood

Sand from midpile


Results listed are the average percentage of total material removed from test surface

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.

Percentage of rice removed

Aposen Cordless Vacuum Cleaner


Rice from low-pile

Rice from hardwood

Rice from midpile


Results listed are the average percentage of total material removed from test surface

Want more cordless vacuum options? Here’s a list of the other cordless stick vacuums we tested besides the models recommended above:

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. It removed the most sand, rice and pet hair out of all the stick vac cleaners we’ve evaluated so far. And it did so across multiple floor types.

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