The cordless vacuum revolution is upon us, and there’s no turning back. Gone are the days of wrangling with yards of cord, stooping to find the right outlet and, then, with one wrong move, hearing the power cut off and seeing the plug and cord tangle beneath you.
In reality, the cordless vacuum doesn’t seem like a revolutionary idea. After all, it’s just as efficient as a corded vacuum, but ergonomically, it is head and shoulders above it. Reaching cobwebs in the corner of a ceiling, and vacuuming crevices, baseboards, and window sills are all done by a flick of the wrist. Best of all, you’re no longer tethered to the location of an outlet. Making the switch to a cordless vacuum just makes a lot of sense. Your cordless vacuum will always be ready at a moment’s notice and it will charge itself during its downtime.
Over a 6-week period we tested a variety of vacuum cleaners across top brands like the Miele Triflex HX1, Dyson cordless vacuum, Shark vacuum, Bissell, and more. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of what the best cordless vacuums in 2021 have to offer.
Factors to Consider When Shopping For a Cordless Vacuum
Let’s face it – choosing a vacuum is a highly personal experience. It may sound crazy, but in reality, your vacuum is one of the most personal appliances in your home. You use it to clean up the dirt your son tracked in after baseball practice or the pollen your dog rolled around in at the park. It’s the tool you pull out when the glitter from your child’s science project ends up all over the floor – or after you have friends over for dinner and someone (not naming names, of course!) leaves a trail of crumbs behind.
At the end of the day, your vacuum choice should be based on your lifestyle. To help guide you through the decision-making process, we’ve compiled a list of eight important factors to consider while shopping for the perfect cordless vacuum.
Our Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Ratings
|Model||Convenience||Performance||** Noise Level**||Battery Life||$$/Value||Total|
|Dyson v11 Torque Drive||4/5||5/5||3/5||4/5||3/5||19/25|
|Dyson v8 Animal||3/5||4/5||3/5||4/5||3/5||17/25|
|Shark ION F80||3/5||3/5||2/5||4/5||3/5||15/25|
Part of the beauty of a cordless vacuum is that it’s much more convenient than a traditional canister or upright vacuum. After all, carrying around a canister vacuum can feel more like a workout than a quick chore. However, a good cordless vacuum is designed to be lightweight, versatile, and easy to store. It should also have a strong battery life to carry you through the entire cleaning process. In best-case scenarios, a cordless vacuum should also stand up on its own to save you the trouble of bending down to pick it up off the floor when it’s not in use.
- Product Suggestion: Dyson v11 Torque Drive
- Winner(s): Dyson v11 Torque Drive and Miele Triflex
Size of the Cleaning Area
The size of your home is also an important factor in determining which cordless vacuum is right for you. A small studio apartment with hardwood flooring has vastly different cleaning needs than a four-bedroom home with a mix of various flooring types. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you have a cordless vacuum that can adequately meet the needs of your space. This also means looking into each vacuum’s battery life so that you can ensure one charge will last long enough to fulfill your needs.
Shark ION F80, Miele Triflex, and Dyson v11 Outsize come with replaceable batteries. Select models with Shark and Miele even come with two batteries.
- Product Suggestion: Shark ION F80
- Winner(s): Shark ION F80 and Miele Triflex
Performance is essential when talking about vacuums. Many people are hesitant to commit to a cordless vacuum out of fear that it will not be as powerful as a canister vacuum. However, the cordless vacuum industry has made leaps and bounds towards increased suction and versatility in recent years. Many of them even perform well on all types of flooring! Therefore, there’s no longer a need to have different vacuum cleaners to clean different types of surfaces in your home. Cleaning performance is one of the most aspects of any vacuum cleaner comparison. Therefore, we compared Miele vs Dyson cordless vacuums, the two leaders, on our in-depth article.
A good cordless vacuum should pick up everything from dust bunnies and pollen to Cheerios and kitty litter. The secret is that the suction should be powerful enough to pick up debris without dispersing coarse crumbs.
- Product Suggestion: Miele Triflex HX1 Base Model (in Gray, White, or Red)
- Winner(s): Dyson v11 Torque Drive and Miele Triflex
Allergy or Asthma Concerns
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you know the importance of having a clean, dust-free home. Vacuuming your home regularly is an integral part of dust management. When looking for a vacuum to manage allergies, there are a few key terms you should know:
- HEPA Filter – According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the term HEPA filter stands for “high efficiency particulate air filter.” These filters can trap at least 99.97% of particles like dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria and mold – making them a must for those with allergy concerns.
- Sealed System – If a vacuum has a sealed system, it means the air it releases into the room is cleaner than the air it took in. It’s basically a little built-in air purifying system!
In a perfect world, cordless vacuums should have both a sealed system and a HEPA filter to ensure allergens are trapped in the vacuum and the air in your home is purified.
- Product Suggestion: Miele Triflex HX1 Cat and Dog
- Winner(s): Dyson v11 Torque Drive and Miele Triflex
Pets and Pet Hair
It’s no secret that pets can become part of your family. However, you probably don’t want your kids playing on the same floors your dogs shed on. This is one of the many reasons why it’s so important to find a vacuum that’s good on pet hair. Many manufacturers like Miele vacuums and Dyson even have specific products that are made to target pet hair and odor concerns.
There’s nothing more disruptive than a noisy vacuum. Especially during a time when working from home has become the new normal, it’s crucial to have the least number of disruptions possible. The noise level of a vacuum is measured in decibels (dBs). The higher the number, the louder the vacuum. The lower the number, the quieter the vacuum.
In addition to all of the considerations above, there is one more vital factor to take into consideration – your budget. Cordless vacuum cleaners mainly fall into three primary price points:
Vacuums in this price range are typically geared towards hardwood floors and are not suitable for cleaning carpets. If you’re on a tight budget and live in a home or apartment with only hardwood flooring, this may be the best and most cost-effective option. However, these models do not have any kind of advanced filtration and do not have sealed systems to trap microscopic debris or dust. For this reason, these vacuums are not the best option for those who suffer from allergies. These models typically last up to two years before having to be replaced.
The main issue with vacuums in this category is that they may lose suction more quickly than other high-end models. However, they do offer more advanced features than the models in the under $200 range. Shark makes compelling models in budget vacuum space. We compared Shark vs Dyson cordless vacuums to help our readers during their research.
Although these models are more expensive, you definitely get a lot more for your money! These vacuums typically last over 5 years and are backed by strong warranties. They’re great for both hardwood floors and carpeting and also offer the best filtration for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. Overall, you’ll get the most for your money and won’t have to worry about replacing your vacuum every few years.
At the end of the day, your choice will most likely be guided by your budget. Vacuums in the lowest price points will get the job done. However, if your budget allows, it is wise to invest in a model that will give you the most reliable service for many years to come.
Our Top 6 Cordless Vacuum Picks
With hundreds of cordless vacuums available on the market, it may sound silly to narrow the choices down to six. We chose the following cordless vacuum models because we found them to be superior in all the categories listed above. These vacuums offer the convenience you crave without sacrificing powerful performance.
1) Best Overall: Miele Triflex
The Miele Triflex HX1 is the gold standard of cordless vacuums. This innovative new vacuum combines the power and reliability of a canister with the convenience and agility of a cordless. Unlike many traditional cordless vacuums that die quickly, the Triflex HX1 can operate for up to 60 minutes without the necessity of recharging– a huge bonus for those who want to vacuum their entire home without interruption.
Speaking of cleaning your entire home, the Miele Triflex HX1 comes equipped with automatic surface detection technology. This means the vacuum automatically detects the type of flooring it is cleaning and applies the appropriate amount of suction for an effective clean. The Miele Triflex is powerful enough to tackle all kinds of flooring and can even be used on medium and high-pile carpets. The 3-in-1 design allows you to rearrange each piece of the vacuum and change the weight distribution to fit your preferences.
The best part? The Triflex is freestanding, which means you’ll never have to bend down to pick it up off the floor after taking a quick break.
Compared to other manufacturers, the best Miele vacuums are pretty quiet. When operating on the lowest setting (70dBs), the vacuum’s hum is only slightly louder than the volume of a normal speaking conversation.
The Triflex comes in three different models: the Standard ($499), the Cat and Dog ($699), and the Pro ($799).
Miele Service & Reliability
When you purchase a Miele, you’re also getting the best service in the industry. Miele is known for testing its products more than any other manufacturer in the world. The company also releases new products in global markets before making them available in the U.S. in order to work out any kinks. Before the Miele vacuums are released anywhere, they go through rigorous endurance tests that equate to at least 10 to 20 years of use.
The Triflex HX1 models come with a two-year factory warranty, which is double that of most other cordless vacuum manufacturers.
2) Best Capacity: Dyson v11 Torque Drive
Dyson’s v11 Torque Drive is undoubtedly the company’s most powerful and versatile cordless vacuum. This model works great on both carpet and hardwood flooring, and like the Miele Triflex, features automatic surface detection to allow you to easily move between spaces without switching gears. It also comes with a mini motorized brush tool to clean awkward areas and surfaces like steps, car interiors, furniture and bedding. However, many users have reported that the suction power makes it difficult to push on high-pile carpets.
One of the coolest features of the Torque Drive is the LCD screen, which gives a real-time reading of the battery levels based on what type of surface it’s being used on. When placed in eco mode, the Torque can get up to an hour of battery life.
In terms of allergen management, the Torque Drive has a sealed system with a HEPA filter to adequately eliminate allergens from your home.
However, one complaint that users have consistently reported is that the Torque is too top-heavy.
Dyson Service & Reliability
Like Miele, Dyson also subjects its vacuums to rigorous testing. According to the company, during testing, a vacuum is dropped up to 5,318 times to ensure durability. Additionally, Dyson offers 30 and 90-day money-back guarantees on their vacuums if you are dissatisfied with your purchase.
However, in 2019, Dyson’s stick vacuums were stripped of their Consumer Reports recommendation after a high volume of owners reported significant problems with their models within five years of purchase. This means the vacuums were not lasting as long as they should, causing a considerable problem for Dyson’s reputation.
3) Best Spot Vacuum: Dyson v8 Animal
This lightweight Dyson model is known for being agile and convenient. Like the v11 Torque Drive, the v8 Animal comes with a mini motorized brush tool for upholstery, stairs, and otherwise awkward spaces. The cleaning head also swivels from side to side, making it ideal for cleaning under and around furniture. Like the v11, the v8 Animal also has a sealed system with a HEPA filter.
However, the Dyson v8 Animal does not do well with picking up large debris and crumbs from hardwood floors. Although it has no trouble picking up large crumbs on carpet, it merely pushes debris around on hardwood floors. This is less than ideal if you live in a home with young children who often drop cereal and other food on the floor.
4) Best Value: Bissell ICONpet
The Bissell ICONpet is specially designed for households with (you guessed it!) animals. One of the strengths of this cordless vacuum is that pet hair will not easily become tangled in the cleaning head. Although the ICONpet does not have a HEPA filter, it does have a robust, sealed filtration system called the Smart Seal Allergen System.
Like the aforementioned Dyson models, the Bissell ICONpet also comes equipped with a small motorized brush for upholstery and stairs. One of the coolest features of this model is that both the main floorhead and crevice tool have LED lights. This helps to illuminate any pet hair or debris on the floor or between the couch cushions.
When placed in low power mode, the battery gets up to 55 minutes of life, which is pretty impressive compared to most other cordless vacuums. However, this model only gets up to 18 minutes of battery life on high power, making it inconvenient for cleaning large spaces. The battery is also not replaceable, so you’ll have to let it fully charge before each use.
Overall, this vacuum is best for hard flooring and low-pile carpets. It is designed to be a spot vacuum for kitchens and its price is consistent with the value proposition.
Bissell Service & Reliability
Before they are made available to the public, Bissell vacuums are subjected to over 150 different tests. These models are tested for safety, reliability, performance, and durability. Bissell offers a number of different limited warranties, ranging from 90 days to lifetime, based on the model.
5) Best For Under Furniture: Shark ION F80
The Shark ION F80 features Shark’s signature DuoClean technology. This means the floorhead has two brushrolls that work together to remove both large and small debris from hard floors and carpets. However, when using the Shark on high-pile carpets, it seems to take on a life of its own. This is because the Shark is self-propelling and pulls itself through the carpet, making it harder to control. You would think the fact that it’s self-propelling would make it easier to use. But in practice, we found other options like the Miele Triflex to give more control and provide a better overall vacuuming experience.
One of the best things about this vacuum is that it comes with two replaceable, rechargeable batteries. Together, these batteries boast a total runtime of up to 80 minutes, which is huge if you want to clean a large area without taking a break to recharge. Another bonus of the Shark ION F80 is that you don’t have to hold the trigger down while cleaning. One simple press of a button keeps this vacuum running without worry.
Shark Service & Reliability
Like Bissell, Shark offers several different limited warranties, ranging from one year to lifetime. However, unlike Dyson, Miele and Bissell, Shark isn’t transparent about their testing protocols.
6) Best Short-Term Vacuum: Moosoo
Moosoo’s cordless model is one of the best selling vacuums on Amazon. Its low price point has made it a fan favorite, and it even features some of the same elements as its more expensive counterparts. The Moosoo 4-in-1 cordless vacuum comes with a washable HEPA filter, which is a nice bonus not often seen in lower-priced cordless vacuums. The battery is also detachable and has about 20 to 35 minutes of runtime.
However, this vacuum is best for short-term use on hardwood floors. Unlike the other cordless vacuums on our list, the Moosoo is not built to last for a long time. It also doesn’t perform well on carpeting. If you’re looking for a quick replacement vacuum for a home with only hard flooring, the Moosoo is a great choice. However, it is not recommended for those who have heavy carpeting or are looking to invest in a vacuum that will last them for many years to come.
Moosoo Service & Reliability
Moosoo is a relatively new brand that is known for selling its top-rated vacuums on Amazon. The company doesn’t disclose many details about its testing policies but does offer lifetime replacement warranties on its parts and accessories.
Overall, your choice will ultimatelty come down to personal preference. In fact, even within our office, the topic of cordless vacuums has become a topic of debate. Most of our staff swears by the Miele Triflex HX1, while many of our family members were big fans of the Dyson v11 Torque Drive.
Ultimately, our pick for the best cordless vacuum of 2020 is the Miele Triflex HX1. Out of all the cordless vacuums we tested, the new Miele Triflex was by far the best in terms of overall performance, convenience, noise level and filtration. The Triflex takes the best qualities of a canister vacuum and combines them with the convenience, versatility and agility of a cordless vacuum.
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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on August 25, 2021. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.