The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum

The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum

Our pick

Dyson V7 Motorhead

Dyson V7 Motorhead

Cordless convenience, great on rugs

Dyson sticks are much better at cleaning rugs than any other brand’s cordless vacuums. The base-model Dyson V7 has enough battery life to clean most apartments and some smaller houses on a single charge.

Buying Options

$285* from Amazon
$300 from Wayfair

*At the time of publishing, the price was $290.

Dyson V8 Absolute

Dyson V8 Absolute

More run time, more tools

The Dyson V8 series has more battery life and a bit more cleaning power than the V7, but they are pretty similar otherwise. This variant comes with special attachments for cleaning bare floors and upholstery.

Buying Options

$350 from Dyson
$380 from Amazon

We test any cordless vacuum that claims to be a strong cleaner or to have tons of battery life, or that our readers want to know more about—and none of them have performed nearly as well as Dyson cordless vacuums on rugs. We’ve tried all kinds of tests, from controlled tests where we measure out debris, to simply letting our own rugs at home get filthy and seeing what works in real life. Dyson always wins. It’s not particularly close, and the thicker the rug, the greater the advantage Dyson has. Most people find that Dyson cordless vacuums are a pleasure to use, too.

The downsides: Even compared with other cordless vacuums, Dyson sticks are expensive, and repairs are pricey too. Also, these vacuums aren’t especially reliable over time (though they’re not as bad as some reviewers make them out to be). Some people find that the Dyson sticks’ top-heavy design and trigger-style power switch are uncomfortable to use. If you don’t have rugs or don’t care whether your cordless vacuum really keeps them clean, then a Dyson will be overkill. Otherwise, it’s your only great choice.

The V7 series usually runs for about 25 minutes (enough to clean most apartments and some small houses); the V8 is a bit stronger and can go for about 35 minutes. Variants within those series come with different sets of tools and sometimes filters.

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Upgrade pick

Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Dyson V11 Torque Drive

In a class of its own

The flagship Dyson automatically adjusts suction according to the surface it’s on, and it cleans carpets better than even some plug-ins. The V11 is significantly more expensive than any other cordless vac, but it may make vacuuming actually enjoyable.

Buying Options

$550* from Amazon
$700 from Wayfair

*At the time of publishing, the price was $670.

To get even more battery life and carpet-cleaning power, you can step up to the Dyson V10 or even V11 series. The flagship Dyson V11 Torque Drive is a wonderful cleaner, with some of the strongest cleaning we’ve seen from any vacuum (including plug-ins), clever features that make the most of an already-generous battery life, and a screen that takes away most guesswork and uncertainty. Some of the quirks that turn people off from cordless vacuums, and Dyson sticks in particular, are still present here. And the V11 is still too new for anyone to know whether it will prove reliable over time, so the high price makes it a risky investment. The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal is a more-affordable option if you want better cleaning and a longer run time than you’d get with the V7 or V8, though the V10 is not quite as powerful or refined as the V11.

Also great

Shark Ion F80 MultiFlex

Shark Ion F80 MultiFlex

For Dyson haters

The Shark Ion F80 lets you swap battery packs to extend the run time. It has a regular on/off button that’s easier for those with hand and wrist issues to operate than a trigger, and its dual-roller cleaning head works well on bare floors and short-pile rugs.

Buying Options

$320 from Amazon

The Shark Ion F80 MultiFlex seems like it was purpose-built to be the opposite of a Dyson, in all the ways that some people find Dyson sticks frustrating. The Shark design has a removable battery, so you can swap packs to extend the run time (it comes with two packs, which can power the vacuum for up to 80 minutes). The power switch is a regular on/off button instead of a trigger. The Ion F80’s cleaning head has a unique dual-roller design that’s better at picking up big debris (like cereal) from bare floors than most stick vacs, and it’s still pretty good on short-pile rugs. The Ion F80 can also stand up on its own. If you don’t like the Dyson design and you’re not so concerned about carpet-cleaning performance—maybe you don’t have any thick rugs, you already have a strong vacuum, or you don’t care about the few grams of dust that you’ll never see buried between the fibers of your rugs—the Ion F80 could be a good option. But if you want it, you might need to get it soon, because it looks like Shark has discontinued it.

Budget pick

Hoover Linx

Hoover Linx

Lower price, for easy jobs

This affordable cordless vacuum offers a decade’s worth of solid reviews, good-enough handling, and enough power to tackle easy jobs on bare floors. It doesn’t double as a handheld vacuum, though.

Buying Options

$180* from Walmart
$120 $100 from Amazon

You save $20 (17%)

*At the time of publishing, the price was $120.

If you don’t want to spend much money on a cordless vacuum, don’t expect it to get your rugs very clean. As long as you’re cool with that, any cheap cordless vacuum works fine when it’s new. But if we had to recommend one budget-friendly cordless vacuum, we’d suggest the Hoover Linx, because we’re confident that it will last longer than most of the discount Dyson knockoffs littering Amazon’s listings these days. The Linx has been available for about a decade, building a respectable track record for durability. The battery life and cleaning performance are solid for the price. Although you can’t use it as a handheld vacuum, as you can our other picks, it can stand up on its own for easy storage, unlike many of its competitors.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Dyson V7 Motorhead

Dyson V7 Motorhead

Cordless convenience, great on rugs

Dyson sticks are much better at cleaning rugs than any other brand’s cordless vacuums. The base-model Dyson V7 has enough battery life to clean most apartments and some smaller houses on a single charge.

Buying Options

$285* from Amazon
$300 from Wayfair

*At the time of publishing, the price was $290.

Dyson V8 Absolute

Dyson V8 Absolute

More run time, more tools

The Dyson V8 series has more battery life and a bit more cleaning power than the V7, but they are pretty similar otherwise. This variant comes with special attachments for cleaning bare floors and upholstery.

Buying Options

$350 from Dyson
$380 from Amazon

Upgrade pick

Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Dyson V11 Torque Drive

In a class of its own

The flagship Dyson automatically adjusts suction according to the surface it’s on, and it cleans carpets better than even some plug-ins. The V11 is significantly more expensive than any other cordless vac, but it may make vacuuming actually enjoyable.

Buying Options

$550* from Amazon
$700 from Wayfair

*At the time of publishing, the price was $670.

Also great

Shark Ion F80 MultiFlex

Shark Ion F80 MultiFlex

For Dyson haters

The Shark Ion F80 lets you swap battery packs to extend the run time. It has a regular on/off button that’s easier for those with hand and wrist issues to operate than a trigger, and its dual-roller cleaning head works well on bare floors and short-pile rugs.

Buying Options

$320 from Amazon

Budget pick

Hoover Linx

Hoover Linx

Lower price, for easy jobs

This affordable cordless vacuum offers a decade’s worth of solid reviews, good-enough handling, and enough power to tackle easy jobs on bare floors. It doesn’t double as a handheld vacuum, though.

Buying Options

$180* from Walmart
$120 $100 from Amazon

You save $20 (17%)

*At the time of publishing, the price was $120.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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