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Best Stick Vacuums

Updated April 2024
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Dyson  V15 Detect
V15 Detect
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Best cordless stick vacuum
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With a comfortable, lightweight build, this high-powered cordless vacuum cleans hard surfaces and carpeting as thoroughly as bulkier corded vacuums.


During tests, the stick vacuum tackled both carpets and hard floors in one go, eliminating nearly all debris with a single pass. It includes a Fluffy Optic cleaner head that reveals hidden dirt on hard surfaces. At under 7 pounds, this stick vacuum glides effortlessly around furniture and makes cleaning stairs a breeze. It cleaned for over 60 minutes on a single charge during testing.


Instead of an on/off button, it has a power trigger, which can cause hand fatigue because it must be held down the entire time you clean.

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Samsung  Jet 75+ Cordless Stick Vacuum
Jet 75+ Cordless Stick Vacuum
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Best cordless stick vacuum for pet hair
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With its motorized brush head and multi-layered filtration system, this cordless stick vacuum is particularly effective at removing pet hair and dander.


Its turbo brush agitates carpet fibers to remove embedded pet hair and debris. It has five-layer HEPA filtration to keep the air clean. It easily converts to a hand vac and includes two attachments that allow for above-floor cleaning. It weighs just over 6 pounds, so it’s very comfortable to maneuver. The LED display alerts you when there are issues with the vacuum.


It can sometimes clog with heavier debris. Its size may be a problem for users over 6 feet tall.

Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Stick
Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Stick
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Best cordless stick vacuum for apartment
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The Shark Vertex's unique folding design allows for compact storage, while its lower profile makes it easy to clean under furniture.


It cleaned for 58 minutes during testing before needing to recharge. During testing, it successfully removed fine debris, large debris and pet hair on carpeting and vinyl tile. It folds over to take up less space in storage. Its LED headlights provided excellent illumination when cleaning hard-to-reach corners. In most cleaning modes, it registered at 75 decibels or quieter.


It takes over three hours to fully recharge. Its dusting attachments aren’t adjustable, so cleaning with them in some directions can be awkward.

Tineco  Pure One S11 Cordless Stick Vacuum
Pure One S11 Cordless Stick Vacuum
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Best cordless stick vacuum for carpet
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This powerful stick vacuum offers strong suction that reaches deep into thick carpets to remove dirt, debris and pet hair.


It has excellent suction on carpeting, extracting debris of all sizes. Despite its lightweight design, it has a large-capacity dustbin to cut down on how often you have to empty it. The iLoop Dirt Sensor automatically adjusts suction to extend battery life. Its LED display alerts you when there are issues with the vacuum, and the LED headlights make it easy to clean under furniture.


Its 40-minute run time is ideal for most homes, but consider a longer run time for homes exceeding 2,500 sq. ft. It’s slightly top-heavy, which can lead to fatigue.

Dyson  Gen5 Detect
Gen5 Detect
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Best cordless stick vacuum for hardwood
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The aptly named Dyson Gen5 "Detect" features a special green light built into the cleaning head to help you see dust, hair and other hidden particles for a complete clean.


With a maximum suction power of 280 AW, it offered excellent debris removal on both hard surfaces and carpeting during testing. The Fluffy Optic cleaner head highlights dirt that’s not visible to the naked eye on hard surfaces. It has a one-touch on/off power button to prevent hand fatigue during vacuuming. It cleaned for 67 minutes in Eco mode, 45 minutes in Auto and 13 minutes in Boost during testing.


It is one of the most expensive models we considered. At nearly 8 pounds, it is somewhat heavy for a stick vacuum.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best cordless stick vacuum

Cordless stick vacuums make cleaning your floors much easier and more convenient. Their lightweight, compact design lets you clean anywhere without worrying about finding an outlet. But if you want to find the best cordless stick vacuum for your home, choosing the right balance of suction power and battery life is key. 

To find the best cordless stick vacuums, the BestReviews Testing Lab tested and researched over 20 models to see how well they cleaned. To assess suction power, we put the vacuums to the test with a variety of debris sizes, from sugar and coffee grounds to cereal and pet hair. We used them on hard floors as well as different types of carpeting, so we could assess how thoroughly they cleaned various surfaces. Additionally, we paid attention to how long the vacuums’ batteries ran on a single charge and how long they took to recharge. The vacuums’ weight, maneuverability and ease of use were other factors we considered during testing.

Ultimately, our favorite cordless stick vacuum is the Dyson V15 Detect. It offers powerful suction that rivals a traditional corded vacuum, effectively cleaning both hard surfaces and carpeting.

Expert Tip
When using a stick vacuum, keep the filters clean and cleared out to increase efficacy.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Our top picks

Dyson V15 Detect

Person using Dyson V15 Detect on hardwood floor
The Dyson V15 Detect impressed the testing team with its angled green light that helps you find hard-to-see dirt.

Best cordless stick vacuum

Product specifications

Run Time: Up to 69 min | Suction Power: 240 AW | Capacity: 0.2 gal | Weight: 6.8 lb | Dimensions: 10.5” L x 9.8” W x 49.6” H 

The Dyson V15 Detect packs a punch. It delivers powerful suction (240 air watts) that tackles a variety of surfaces. During testing, it removed nearly all debris in a single pass on laminate, low-pile and even medium-pile carpets. Pet hair was no match either, disappearing with one swipe. This impressive performance puts the V15 Detect in a league of its own, rivaling the cleaning power of some corded vacuums.

Dyson advertises a 60-minute cleaning time for the V15 Detect, but it ran for 69 minutes in Eco mode during testing. In Auto mode, when the vacuum automatically adjusts its suction based on the amount of dirt present, it cleaned for 43 minutes, which was more than enough time to cover 1,000 square feet. Its easy-to-read LCD counts down the remaining battery life for each cleaning mode, so we never ran out of power unexpectedly. Weighing under 7 pounds, the V15 Detect has a lightweight design that was easy to navigate around furniture and obstacles in our testing area. We could even carry it up and down stairs without trouble. 

While the V15 Detect can easily handle hard surfaces and carpeting, it comes with a special Fluffy Optic cleaning head for the most thorough cleaning of hard flooring. It emits a specially angled green light that illuminates unseen dirt and hair. We expected this feature to be a marketing gimmick but were blown away by how much debris was revealed on floors that appeared clean. It also has a piezo sensor that counts and sizes all the particles it picks up and displays the info on a graph to let you know how thoroughly it’s cleaned.

Samsung Jet 75+ Cordless Stick Vacuum 

Samsung Jet 75+ Cordless Stick Vacuum on white background
The Samsung Jet 75+ converts to a hand vacuum for quick and easy cleaning.

Best cordless stick vacuum for pet hair

Product specifications

Run Time: Up to 60 min | Suction Power: 200 AW | Capacity: 0.8 qt | Weight: 6.2 lb | Dimensions: 8.5” L x 9.8” W x 44.5” H 

The Samsung Jet 75+ is a powerful cordless stick vacuum that handles pet hair with ease. Its turbo brush is especially effective on carpeting, pulling hair and debris from the fibers. The cleaner head optimizes airflow for improved suction power, and the five-layer, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter captures up to 99.99% of pet dander, pollen and other allergens to keep the air in your home as clean as possible. Best of all, the Jet 75+ has clog-reducing technology to prevent even heavy hair from clogging the system and reducing suction.

The Jet 75+ doesn’t just remove pet hair from your floors. It converts to a hand vacuum and comes with several tools for above-floor cleaning, including a crevice tool for removing pet hair and other debris from along walls and between sofa cushions, a combination tool for dusting and upholstery and a flex tool that can remove hair from hard-to-reach areas like under furniture. 

Weighing just over 6 pounds, the Jet 75+ is one of the lighter cordless stick vacuums. It easily navigates around furniture and other obstacles, so it’s an excellent option for cleaning stairs and homes with multiple levels. Its digital display provides notifications to let you know if the vacuum has problems, such as a clog or an airflow issue, so you can make sure it’s always cleaning as it should. 

Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless leaning against wall in kitchen
The Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Vacuum passed all our tests, thanks to its powerful suction.

Best cordless stick vacuum for apartments

Product specifications

Run Time: Up to 58 min | Suction Power: 281 W | Capacity: 0.34 qt | Weight: 9.04 lb | Dimensions: 10.24” L x 9.65” W x 46.46” H 

The Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Vacuum weighs just over 9 pounds and features a compact design, making it an excellent option for apartments and small homes. Even better, it folds nearly in half, which makes it easier to store than similar cordless stick vacuums. Its lightweight build and swivel head made it extremely easy for us to navigate around furniture in our testing area, including the areas beneath the sofa and coffee table. 

Don’t let the compact design fool you: The Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Vacuum offers powerful suction. It removed all types of debris, including large cereal pieces and faux fur, in two passes or less. It has different cleaning modes for hard surfaces and carpeting; we merely had to flip the switch depending on the surface we were cleaning. It offered increased suction to draw dirt and hair from carpet fibers and turned off the brush roll to protect delicate surfaces like hardwood. The Vertex has an advertised battery life of up to 60 minutes, and it came close during testing, cleaning for 58 minutes before needing to recharge.

The Vertex Ultra Lightweight’s LED headlights illuminated out-of-the-way corners and under-furniture areas to help us remove as much dirt and debris as possible. And because its dust cup holds a significant amount of debris, we didn’t have to empty it during cleaning. Its one-push emptying design allowed us to dispose of dirt quickly and easily without getting our hands dirty, which we greatly appreciated. 

Tineco Pure One S11

Tineco Pure One S11 on white background
The Tineco Pure One S11 has a lightweight build that makes it easy to maneuver around furniture.

Best cordless stick vacuum for carpets

Product specifications

Run Time: Up to 40 min | Suction Power: 130 AW | Capacity: 0.6 L | Weight: 5.7 lb | Dimensions: 10.43” L x 10” W x 34” H

The Tineco Pure One S11 has a high-performance digital motor that provides strong suction and can deep-clean carpeting and other floor surfaces. Its soft roller brush agitates carpet fibers to pull out stubborn dirt and hair. Its four-stage HEPA filtration system captures even the smallest particles of dirt and allergens, keeping them out of your home’s air. 

Say goodbye to frequent emptying! This vacuum boasts a spacious 0.6-liter dustbin, minimizing your trips to the trash can. What’s more, the one-touch emptying design ensures clean disposal without getting your hands dirty.

At just under 6 pounds, the Pure One S11 is one of the lightest cordless stick vacuums we considered. Its lightweight build makes it easy to navigate around furniture and up and down stairs, and it has a balanced feel when used as a hand vac. The battery can only run for up to 40 minutes, giving it one of the shortest cleaning times among the models we considered. However, its iLoop dirt sensor can sense hidden dirt and debris, so it automatically adjusts its suction power as needed for efficient cleaning.

The Pure One S11 has a full-color LED that monitors battery life and suction performance to alert you to any problems. It can connect to the Tineco app on a smartphone or tablet so you can keep track of its cleaning performance. The vacuum head also has LED headlights that ensure you don’t miss any dirt or debris when cleaning under furniture and in other dark areas. 

Dyson Gen5detect Absolute 

Top view of Dyson Gen5detect Absolute
The Dyson Gen5detect Absolute’s battery lasted nearly 70 minutes on a single charge during our tests.

Best cordless stick vacuum for hardwood floors

Product specifications

Run Time: Up to 70 min | Suction Power: 280 AW | Capacity: 0.2 gal | Weight: 7.72 lb | Dimensions: 9.8” L x 10.87” W x 50.2” H

Like the Dyson V15 Detect, the Dyson Gen5detect Absolute is a highly powerful cordless stick vacuum. It has a max suction power of 280 AW, slightly higher than the V15 Detect, so it’s no surprise that its cleaning performance was just as impressive.

This vacuum conquered most debris on hard floors and carpets in a single pass during testing. For larger debris like dry pet food on tile, a second pass might be needed. The strong suction power sometimes dislodged a few pieces, requiring a quick follow-up.

The Gen5detect is slightly heavier than the V15, weighing just under 8 pounds. However, we didn’t have any trouble maneuvering around furniture and other items in our testing area. Its battery is designed to clean for up to 70 minutes, and we found that it came close, running for 67 minutes in Eco mode before needing to recharge. Like the V15, it has a battery life countdown on its LCD, so we knew precisely when we needed to charge it. This model features a helpful particle graph that updates in real time. As you clean, the display counts and measures the amount of particles picked up, giving you a clear picture of your cleaning progress.

The Gen5detect includes a Fluffy Optic cleaner head with a green laser that helps reveal unseen dirt and hair on hard flooring. It worked just as well as the V15 Detect Fluffy Head, so we could give the laminate and hardwood in our testing area the most thorough cleaning possible. It features other accessories, including a hair screw tool for removing pet hair from furniture without tangling and a built-in dusting and crevice tool for cleaning tight, narrow spaces. 

Dyson Omni-Glide 

Dyson Omni-Glide on white background
At just 4 pounds, the Dyson Omni-Glide was the lightest vacuum we tested.

Best lightweight cordless stick vacuum

Product specifications

Run Time: Up to 20 min| Suction Power: 50 AW | Capacity: 0.05 gal | Weight: 4.18 lb | Dimensions: 3.6” L x 8.1” W x 42.4” H

At just over 4 pounds, the Dyson Omni-Glide was the lightest of all the cordless stick vacuums we tested. Its lightweight design made it easy to maneuver around furniture and in corners during testing. It is also easy to carry up and down stairs if you live in a multilevel home. We appreciated its omnidirectional roller head because it allowed us to hold it almost parallel to the ground so we could reach deep under the sofa in our testing area. 

Given its lightweight build, it’s not surprising that its battery life doesn’t match up to the other cordless stick vacuums we tested. Dyson advertises a cleaning time of up to 20 minutes, but we cleaned for 25 minutes with the Omni-Glide before needing to recharge. Its suction power isn’t as strong as the other cordless stick vacuums we considered, either, but it picked up most debris, such as pet hair, dirt and dry pet food, without issue on hard floors. Ultimately, it worked best for maintenance cleaning rather than deep cleaning, and we wouldn’t recommend it for living spaces with carpets since it doesn’t include a motor bar head for cleaning carpet.

To increase its versatility, the Omni-Glide converts to a hand vacuum and comes with a combi-crevice tool. We found the crevice tool effective at cleaning between sofa cushions and along baseboards. We also used it to clean a car. The brush tool was highly effective at cleaning air vents and window screens, giving us some impressive above-floor cleaning options. 

Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum 

Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum leaning against wall
The Shark Stratos was one of the quietest models we tested.

Best cordless stick vacuum for cluttered homes

Product specifications

Run Time: Up to 60 min | Suction Power: 309 W | Capacity: 0.72 qt | Weight: 8.9 lb | Dimensions: 13.78” L x 10.24” W x 51.18” H

With a swivel head that easily gets into tight corners and under furniture, the Shark Stratos is a cordless stick vacuum that navigates cluttered spaces effortlessly. We could lay the cleaner head and wand almost completely flat against the ground, so we had no trouble cleaning under shelves, end tables and other obstacles in our testing area. It includes accessories for above-floor cleaning, including an anti-allergen brush and a duster crevice tool. We were big fans of the anti-allergen brush, which made it easy to clean window blinds, shelves and even the sides and back of the sofa during testing. 

Shark claims a 60-minute run time for the Stratos, and during our tests, it lived up to that promise. We cleaned for over an hour in Auto mode (which adjusts suction power based on dirt level) across 420 square feet of carpet and hard floors, including window blinds, a sofa and crevices. As the battery depleted, we didn’t notice significant changes in the suction until the battery reached 10% and entered power-saving mode. In general, its suction power was solid. The Stratos needed two passes or fewer to pick up all types of debris on carpeting and vinyl plank flooring, including sugar, cereal and faux fur. 

The Stratos was one of the quietest cordless stick vacuums we tested. It registered between 62 and 72 decibels in regular cleaning mode, which was noticeably quieter than models like the Dyson V15 Detect, the Dyson Gen5detect Absolute and the Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight.

Expert Tip
Don't overcharge the batteries of your stick vacuums. When unpacking your new vacuums, read over information about the battery life.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

How we tested

To thoroughly assess cleaning performance, we put the cordless stick vacuums through a series of standardized tests using various debris types. We tested on various surfaces: hardwood, laminate, tile, low-pile carpeting and medium-pile carpeting. Here's a breakdown of the debris used:

Fine debris

Sugar and ground coffee were used to evaluate how well the vacuums handled light particles across all surfaces. We measured the number of passes needed for complete removal.

Medium debris

We used coarse kosher salt to see how well the vacuums handled medium debris. After placing pre-measured piles of the debris on hardwood, laminate, tile, low-pile carpeting and medium-pile carpeting, we noted how many passes each vacuum required to pick up all the particles.

Large debris

To assess the vacuums’ abilities to pick up large debris, we used dry pet food and cereal. We placed pre-measured piles of the debris on hardwood, laminate, tile, low-pile carpeting and medium-pile carpeting and recorded how many passes each vacuum needed to completely remove the crumbs. 

Pet hair

We tested most of the vacuums in homes with pets, including dogs and cats. To evaluate how well the stick vacuums removed pet hair, we placed small piles of pet hair (or faux fur) on all surfaces. We then noted how many passes the vacuums required to remove all visible hair. 

Why choose a stick vacuum?

Cordless stick vacuums are champions of versatility. Their lightweight design and maneuverability make them suitable for quick cleanups and tight spaces. However, they typically lack the raw suction power of their bulkier corded counterparts, especially upright vacuums. To find the best stick vacuum cleaner for your needs, consider your floor type, the size of your home and what messes you need to clean up.

Cordless stick vacuum pros

  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Their smaller cleaner heads reach places that others can’t, like under furniture
  • More thorough and less expensive than robot vacuums
  • They help you clean surfaces and remove pet hair on furniture

Cordless stick vacuum cons

  • Less suction power than upright and canister vacuums
  • Expensive compared to handheld vacuums and even some upright vacuums
  • Run times range between 20 minutes and an hour, but expect a drop in run time when using the maximum power mode

What features should I consider?

Brushes and suction power

A stick vacuum without a rotating brush roll relies solely on suction for cleaning, which means you’d need at least 18 volts of power to pick up dirt and dust effectively. These vacuums are best suited for picking up dust and surface dirt on bare floors.

A stick vacuum with a brush roll can be used on carpet or a smooth surface. Keep in mind that stick vacuums don’t usually perform as well on carpets as traditional vacuum cleaners do. To get an idea of how powerful a brush is, check its rotations per minute. The manufacturer should list this in the product specs. 

During testing, the Dyson V15 Detect and Dyson Gen5detect Absolute demonstrated excellent suction power on carpeting. Both have a Digital Motorbar cleaner head that can clean carpets and hard floors with a brush bar that automatically clears wrapped hair. Both models removed sugar, coarse kosher salt and dry pet food in a single pass on low-pile and medium-pile carpeting.

If you have hardwood floors, be sure the brush roll can be deactivated so the bristles don’t scratch the floor. The Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Vacuum has settings specifically for hard flooring; the brush roll can be turned off to prevent damage to hardwood and other delicate surfaces.

The Dyson V15 Detect and Dyson Gen5detect Absolute both have a unique cleaning head, the Fluffy Optic cleaner head, for hard surfaces. Not only does this head emit a special light that highlights dirt and debris the naked eye can’t see, but it also features soft nylon and carbon fiber filaments to protect hard flooring. 

Removing and emptying the dustbin

Stick vacuums use a bagless canister, or dustbin, to collect debris. The dustbin should be easy to remove and empty. One-handed disposal features, such as a quick one-button release, enhance this convenience. 

During testing, we were impressed by how easy it was to empty the Dyson V15 Detect, Dyson Gen5detect Absolute and Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Vacuum. These models have a “point-and-shoot” design that allowed us to keep our hands clean during the process. 

Some dustbins have a compression feature that compacts collected debris to reduce how frequently you must empty the dustbin. This can also reduce dust when you empty the debris into the trash.

Stick vacuums with a docking station may automatically empty the dustbin into the station. Of course, you still have to empty the dustbin located in the station itself, but these typically have much larger capacities.

Most dustbins can be hand-washed in the sink. This helps prevent dirt and dust from getting stuck in crevices, which ultimately reduces the debris capacity of the bin. We didn’t even need the sink to clean the bins for the Dyson V15 Detect and Dyson Gen5detect Absolute during testing. Dyson recommends wiping them with a damp microfiber cloth after emptying. As such, each model took less than five minutes to clean. 

Additionally, filters should be easy to access, remove, clean and replace. For homes with pets where allergen exposure is a concern, look for a model with a HEPA filter that removes most allergens, such as pet dander.

Vacuum weight and agility

There are stick vacuums that weigh as little as 4.5 pounds, and many have an ergonomic design for maximized use. The Dyson Omni-glide weighs only 4.18 pounds. We definitely noticed how easy it was to maneuver this machine around furniture and carry it up and down stairs. That said, you usually have to compromise on suction power with such a lightweight model. 

The Dyson V15 Detect weighs 6.8 pounds, yet it provided upright-like power on all flooring surfaces during testing. Since upright vacuums usually average between 12 and 15 pounds, the Dyson V15 is still much lighter than traditional models. We didn’t have any trouble navigating the V15 around furniture, and we even used it to clean a set of carpeted stairs.

Considering that nearly all stick vacuums weigh under 10 pounds, they are a good option for people with limited mobility or medical conditions that weaken the joints, such as arthritis. A swivel cleaner head provides maneuverability around tough corners and can reach places that other vacuums cannot. We were especially impressed with the swivel-steering offered by the Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Vacuum and Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum — both models easily fit into tight corners and around chair and table legs. 

Cleaning time

Cordless stick vacuums feature nickel-cadmium (NiCd) or lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Both types are rechargeable, so you can attach a power cord to the battery, plug it into an outlet and recharge it when your vacuum runs out of power. Li-ion batteries typically provide the longest battery life, giving you the most cleaning time for your vacuum.

The battery life you get from your cordless stick vacuum is tied to how much suction power it provides. As you might imagine, a battery will drain more quickly when you use a vacuum at its maximum suction power. Some lower-end cordless stick vacuums only provide up to 20 minutes of battery life, but higher-end models can offer 60+ minutes of cleaning time. We recommend choosing a cordless vacuum with at least 40 minutes of battery life to ensure you can clean your entire home on a single charge.

Expert tip
If you notice a lack of suction, clean the brushrolls and check the battery level. Stick vacuums need the brushrolls cleared more often than other types of vacuums.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Other important cordless stick vacuum features

Additional features like LED lights and handheld modes can help you clean your floors in one pass.

Wet or dry cleaning

A few stick vacuums can clean up wet messes. The dry bin and wet bin need to be cleaned separately, and all parts should be adequately dried to prevent mold growth. Some stick vacuums also have a mop function. You employ the machine’s water tank mode to wash your floors and then dry them with the vacuum mode.

Cleaner headlights

Although it’s a common misconception, lights on stick vacuums aren't meant for cleaning in the dark. Instead, they cast a low-angle beam that helps reveal hidden dust and debris you might otherwise miss. 

Many stick vacuums have LED lights that shine brightly, making it easy to spot dust bunnies and debris hiding on your floors. These long-lasting lights are a big plus for keeping your home sparkling clean.

During testing, the Dyson V15 Detect and Dyson Gen5detect Absolute offered the most impressive lights with their Fluffy Optic cleaner heads. These heads emit a precisely angled green light that illuminates dirt and hair not visible to the naked eye. We were stunned to see how much debris these lights revealed on floors that appeared clean. They allowed us to achieve a more thorough clean than the other stick vacuums we tested. 

Handheld mode

Many cordless stick vacuums detach into handheld vacuums. You can use these handheld versions to clean stairs, furniture crevices, and even car interiors. Some models have extension hoses you can use to clean drapes and upholstery.

All our tested models converted to handheld mode, but the Dyson V15 Detect truly impressed us. Its balanced design made maneuvering a breeze, even with attachments. More importantly, the suction power remained strong, easily removing pet hair, loose dirt and other debris in handheld mode.

Power modes

Vacuums with different power modes allow you to adjust the suction to handle different types of messes and surfaces. That’s great because what works on an area rug may be overkill for a hardwood floor. Some high-end stick vacuums can detect the surface you are cleaning and adjust power accordingly.

We were big fans of models that automatically adjusted suction power based on the amount of dirt present. The Dyson V15 Detect, Dyson Gen5detect Absolute and Shark Stratos all feature an auto mode that not only removes as much dirt as possible but also extends battery life to maximize cleaning time.

Attachments and accessories

If your cordless stick vacuum is your main cleaning tool, investing in the right attachments is key to achieving a deep clean. As such, you should pay attention to what attachments are included with your purchase. 

Most stick vacuums come with a crevice tool. This is useful for cleaning between furniture cushions and in hard-to-reach areas. Pet owners should look for a model with a mini-motorized brush roll, which is designed to agitate upholstery, mattresses and stairs to remove pet hair and dirt. Other cleaning tools that may be included with your purchase include a dusting brush or extension tube. 

Take note of how the accessories and tools are stored, too. Built-in storage is convenient, but it may add weight.

How much do cordless stick vacuum cleaners cost?


Up to $100, you’ll find basic, cordless models with small heads that include at least one tool. Many at this cost are lightweight and portable. They tend to have less suction power, and they may lack the durability of pricier models. 

Many Li-ion vacuums in this range have excellent suction, reliable cleaning power and included accessories. There are also many two-in-one models with good versatility.


For $100 to $400, you can buy well-designed cordless stick vacuums, some of which offer up to 22 volts for impressive suction. Swivel heads, motorized brush heads with multiple speed options and two-in-one capabilities are common in vacuums at this price. Some of the best midrange vacuums we have seen come from makers like Hoover, Shark, Eureka and Black + Decker.


Expect cordless stick vacuums with high brush speeds that can last for up to 40 minutes of continuous use to cost $400 and up. The battery power should last even longer at its lowest power setting. 

Automatic floor-sensing technology, fade-free power and extensive toolkits are available with these vacuum cleaners. If you're interested in a premium stick vacuum from a top-shelf company and are not concerned about cost, we suggest you look at products from premium brands such as Dyson. You might pay as much as $1,000, but satisfied owners say it is worth the price in terms of suction power and ease of use — especially if you want a cordless stick vacuum that can replace a bulky upright or canister vacuum.


Q. I have difficulty holding and maneuvering appliances for long periods. What should I look for in a stick vacuum?

A. Most cordless stick vacuums are already lightweight, but the lightest models are around 4 or 5 pounds, so we recommend looking for one of these products. A vacuum with an ergonomically designed handle can help prevent fatigue and pain in your hands and wrists. Another helpful feature that reduces fatigue is an on/off switch that can be reached with one hand while holding the handle. Avoid trigger-switch designs that require you to apply constant pressure when running the machine.

Q. What features work best on stairs, drapes, upholstery and under furniture?

A. Look for two-in-one models with a removable handheld vacuum you can use on the stairs and in your vehicles. Another option is a cordless stick vacuum with a small head that can vacuum stairs with one swipe. 

You’ll most likely want something with a crevice tool that can reach into the corners of stairs. An extension tube with a brush tool works best for drapes and upholstery. A swivel head that folds close to the ground works well to reach under furniture.

Q. Do battery-powered stick vacuums lose suction as the battery depletes?

A. Not usually. Most cordless stick vacuums use Li-ion or NiCd batteries, which discharge evenly regardless of their remaining charge. 

However, no rechargeable battery lasts forever. After being charged and depleted over the years, all batteries eventually diminish in capacity. Most manufacturers sell replacement batteries on their website, though you’ll find that they are not cheap to replace. You might also be able to find a replacement through an online retailer like Amazon.

Our expertise

Jennifer Blair has covered vacuums and other cleaning products for BestReviews for seven years, writing more than 100 articles. She uses a cordless stick vacuum, a robot vacuum and an upright vacuum to keep her floors free of dog hair and other debris at home, and she has also personally tested more than 15 vacuums for BestReviews, including models from Shark, Dyson, iRobot and Eufy.