I didn’t buy a vacuum until I was in my late 20s. Prior to that I had relied on brooms, dust pans, and the occasional cleaning service to handle my build-up of crumbs and dust bunnies. And let’s be honest—I was an apartment-dweller during that time, residing in spaces no bigger than 800 square feet. But when I finally did take the plunge into adulthood and buy a vacuum, I went for a traditional option like the one I had grown up with and…I hated it. It was enormous and heavy and oh-so-cumbersome. I still have it in a closet and let’s just say it’s been there for years and might be covered in cobwebs.
So when I recently began using a cordless vacuum, my mind was blown. To say it’s a game changer would be an understatement. Lightweight and extremely portable, the cordless aspect of the vacuum is what’s really amazing—it has completely removed the dread I typically feel when a mess breaks out on the floor and I know it’s vacuum time. If you’re a parent dealing with a constant deluge of crumbs, this is going to be the best gift you’ve ever bought yourself. BONUS: You’ll probably find yourself yelling less often—suddenly messes aren’t that big of deal when you can suction them up and put the vacuum away in less than 30 seconds.
Here we’ve rounded up the five best cordless vacuums you can buy right now. Whether you go for the “Rolls Royce” option (and you’ll never, ever regret splurging on a Dyson) or decide to dip your toe into the cordless pond with something more affordable (we’ve got two under $100!), be prepared to have everything you thought you knew about vacuuming turned upside down.
Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Vacuum
Let’s just get this out of the way: Yes, this is the priciest option on our list. But, it’s also the best performing. So, if you’re someone who wants the best-of-the-best, this is it. Why? Well, first-off it's quiet. Really quiet. Second, it provides up to 40 minutes of heavy-duty suction before the battery dies, which is nearly double most of the brand’s previous versions. Also cool? The proprietary HEPA filtration system captures allergens and dispels cleaner air. The V8 comes with five tools, including two cleaner heads for hard floors and carpets (even gathering up hard-to-suck pet hair!), and can easily convert to a handheld option for quick clean-ups on counters, sofas, and tabletops. Finally, the wall-mounted docking station makes for easy access, and you can ditch the dirt you gather into the garbage with one push of a button. It’s really that easy. Unlike some of the cheaper options on the market (and our list), the V8 functions exactly like a traditional vacuum, except—wait for it—it’s cordless!
Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum
Weighing only 7.5-pounds, the Navigator is one of the lightest options on our list, and with a battery that lasts up to one hour, it’s also one of the longest-running (and it only takes four hours to recharge). Its swivel steering makes for easy vacuuming around furniture and corners, and it’s one of the best vacuums on the market when it comes to sucking up dreaded pet hair. The one downside is the lack of attachment tools, meaning the Navigator is solely a floor-cleaning vacuum—but for under $100, maybe that’s okay.
Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
If you’re like me back in the day—meaning you’re an apartment dweller and looking to buy your first vacuum—the Linx is the one for you. Affordable and offering up excellent suction, this vacuum can switch from cleaning hard floors to carpets with the touch of a button, and its low profile ensures it can slide under narrow spaces (like the couch). The shorter-than-average battery life (it maxes out at 16 minutes) means this vacuum is ideal for small living spaces. Also promising? The 8,000+ reviews the Linx has racked up on Amazon, earning it a solid four stars.
Anker HomeVac Duo 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Like the V8, the Anker is able to function as both a cordless and handheld vacuum—albeit at a fraction of the price. Its 24-minute battery life is respectable in comparison to competitors (and even beats the Dyson V6, below) and its 180-degree swivel base makes maneuvering around obstacles a breeze. We also like the collapsible handle and the upright charging features—space-saving details that will surely be appreciated by those living in small spaces.
Dyson V6 Cord Free Vacuum
Yep, another Dyson made it on our list. What can we say? The brand is that good when it comes to suction and design. This model packs the same power that the V8 is known for, but with half the battery life—which might be why it costs half the price. Still, it is equally effective at cleaning hard floors and carpets and also converts to a handheld vacuum. If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, this is it.
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