Best cordless vacuum cleaners 2021 – our top 12 stick vacuums, reviewed

Our top 12 cordless vacuum cleaners from Dyson, Miele, Beko, Bissell, Halo, Vax, and more, reviewed on hard floors, carpets, and pet hair
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  • They may look alike, but the best cordless vacuum cleaners in 2021 will offer a range of different features that make them perfect for hardwood floors, carpets, and even pet hair. All 12 of our best cordless vacuum picks have been reviewed hands-on by members of the Ideal Home team, so if you’re looking for reviews of Vax, Shark, Miele, Beko, Bosch, Halo, and Dyson cordless vacuum reviews, you’ve come to the right place.

    Some will be looking for a cordless vacuum under £200 to keep on top of day-to-day dust and pet hair, whereas others will be looking for something powerful enough to replace even the best vacuum cleaners with corded or canister capabilities. Of course, cordless vacuums have so many advantages over corded vacuums too. They’re designed to be lightweight and because they don’t need to be plugged in you can use them to dash around your home if you’re in a rush to neaten things up, with no plugging and unplugging to get in the way. While they used to lack the power of their canister alternatives, the best stick vacuums are now more than capable of rivalling them when it comes to picking up pet hair and dust. And like traditional vacuums, you can even buy bagged cordless vacuum cleaners to make emptying the dustbin easy.

    What is the best cordless vacuum?

    With a great balance between value and high performance, the Beko Powerclean VRT94929VI Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is our top pick of the best cordless vacuums. We have voted the Dyson V11 Absolute as the best cordless vacuum cleaner in 2021 if money is no object. The Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 is our favourite budget vacuum cleaner.

    Best cordless vacuum cleaners 2021

    1. Beko Powerclean VRT94929VI Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

    Best cordless vacuum overall

    Beko Powerclean VRT94929VI Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.8Ltrs
    Weight: 2.9kg
    Reasons to buy: comes with a great range of tools, and can pivot to reach under furniture
    Reasons to avoid: switching out brush rolls is fiddly

    The Beko Powerclean has a similar design to some of the best Shark vacuum cleaners, featuring an elbow feature that can bend down to reach under furniture without making you reach so far. It’s immensely powerful, too. There are three strength modes, but we found that we hardly needed to use the stronger settings because the lower mode was more than capable of tackling most messes.

    With the Beko Powerclean you get a good range of attachments, including the crevice tool, carpet and hard floor brushes, mini motorised brush head, flexible extension, and dusting tool. Switching out the tools is easy enough, but you need to twist a little screw attachment to remove the brush rolls and switch between hard floor and carpet. This takes a minute or so, but we also experienced that both carpet and hard floor attachments were versatile enough to do a good sweep of the entire home without switching.

    The vacuum has a stand included, with a groove to hold the vacuum handle and charge it when not in use. Charging takes three hours, and the battery life is about 45 minutes. Controls work with a thumb trigger, and above this are the plus and minus buttons you’ll need to adjust strength.

    From the LED headlights to the incredibly strong suction the Beko Powerclean VRT94929VI Cordless Vacuum Cleaner seriously wowed us.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Read our full Beko Powerclean VRT94929VI Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review

    2. Dyson V11 Absolute

    Best cordless vacuum for power


    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.7ltrs
    Weight: 2.97kg
    Reasons to buy: impressive runtime and power, plus easy dust tank emptying
    Reasons to avoid: a little heavy when used as a handheld

    The Dyson V11 Absolute promises twice the suction (at the cleaner head) of any cordless vacuum cleaner. But it also costs twice as much as competitors. So is it worth the money?

    We found that the 60-minute battery life holds true as advertised. Not only did it pick up the dirt we could see, it managed to catch a lot of invisible dust from carpets and even hard floors. We love the look, which is as high-quality as you would expect from an expensive Dyson vac. It doesn’t take the number one spot because it’s undeniably expensive compared to some other five-star options.

    Attachments include a fluffy hard floor roller and four smaller accessories. The fluffy roller did well on wooden floors, but what we loved was the high torque floorhead which cuts back on power when working on hard floors and automatically increases it on carpets. You can monitor this with the bright display, which also shows how many minutes are left in your current mode. Not quite done? Just switch to a lower setting to make the most of your vacuum life.

    Capacity is higher than ever and it’s easy to empty. But the run time and power controls are the stars of the show. If money’s no object, buy the V11: you won’t be disappointed.

    Ideal Home’s rating 5 out of 5 stars

    3. Vax ONEPWR Blade 4

    Best value cordless vacuum


    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.6L
    Weight: 3.1kg
    Reasons to buy: comfortable to use with impressive results
    Reasons to avoid: small bin capacity which will need emptying regularly

    This stick-style cordless vacuum cleaner has a slight design difference to most of the vacuums in our guide: the cyclone cylinder sits sideways. But the thing that really stands out is its comfy grip. It’s perfectly shaped and has a soft touch. It feels nice enough in the hand that its 3.1kg weight doesn’t feel too heavy.

    Buttons are under your thumb and responsive. One turns it on and off, another cycles between the two power settings (it remembers which one you were on last time) and the third turns on the floorhead’s powered brush and headlights.

    It boasts triple filtration and runtime is quoted as 45 minutes but it will be much less on high power, using the floorhead. Its vacuuming was impressive on both power settings.

    Tools are impressive too. It comes with a crevice nozzle and dusting brush, both of which are well designed. But at the time of writing it also came with a free Cordless ProKit 2 accessory pack.

    This gives you an extendible, flexible crevice nozzle for tricky gaps, an upholstery tool, a stiff brush for tough dirt and a stretch hose so you can use the tools without the weight of the cleaner in your hand. The toolkit comes with a fabric storage bag too, but it would have been great if this could clip to the Vax.

    The battery comes off and docks in a charger. And the Vax comes with a wall mount, so you can hang it up when not in use. Meanwhile, the 0.6-litre capacity dust canister isn’t large but it comes off easily and then is straightforward to empty.

    We were really impressed with the Vax’s comfort, array of tools and cleaning performance for a mid-priced machine.

    Ideal Home’s rating 5 out of 5 stars

    4. Roidmi RS60

    Best cordless vacuum cleaner and mop combo

    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.55 litres
    Weight: 6.6kg
    Reasons to buy: quiet operation, smart LCD display, mop attachment
    Reasons to avoid: it’s quite heavy, and not the cheapest

    A mop and cordless vacuum rolled into one, the Roidmi RS60 has a high-quality, weighty feel that isn’t burdensome, but does feel like it’s designed to last. Other attachments include a mattress cleaner, soft roller, and crevice tool. There’s even a pet brush, which is designed to literally suck up the hair from your pet as you brush it. A smart idea, if you can get your cat or dog to cooperate.

    It has a medium-sized dustbin of 0.55 litres, which does require regular emptying, but is easy to eject once you’ve removed the stick attachment. One of the most impressive things was the battery life, which lasted over an hour in testing, making it more than adequate for large homes.

    The LCD display shows which of the three power modes you’ve opted for, and when you’re done cleaning, it even displays the amount of calories burned. The on button is lower down than the button that you use to switch modes, which we did find a little fiddly, but it’s useful if you switch between different power modes on a regular basis. While it’s not cheap, it’s a quality pick.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    Read our full Roidmi RS60 review

    5. Dyson V11 Outsize

    Best cordless vacuum cleaner for large homes

    Dyson V11 Outsize

    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 1.7ltrs
    Weight: 3.5kg
    Reasons to buy: incredible suction, easy to handle with a large dust tank and floorhead
    Reasons to avoid: a little top heavy and it’s not really any good on small rugs, because of that suction

    The Dyson V11 Outsize has re-engineered the Absolute to include a 150% larger bin, 25% bigger cleaner head, with up to 60 minutes of runtime. It also offers 20% more suction compared to the V10, which was a popular model just a couple of years ago.

    Our reviewer was impressed from the start since the vac arrived in packaging made from recyclable cardboard, and how easy it was to assemble. It also already arrives with 20% of it’s 60-minute battery life so if you just can’t wait to take the V11 Outsize for a walk around the home, then this allows you to do just that. We found that this battery life – when fully charged – was more than suffice for whipping around a 2-bed terraced home. You also have the ability to adjust the cleaning modes which can make a difference to the battery life, and noise level.

    It performed exceptionally well on large rugs and hard flooring (with the soft roller head attached). The suction is really good and the larger floorhead helps to cover more ground, quickly. Turning to a smaller rug with a 60cm dia, however, the cordless vac either wanted to move it around or just grind to a halt.

    Using with the attachments such as the mini motorized tool and combination tool were useful around the home, across all levels, but there are 11 tools in total to opt for to give you yet more freedom to clean. There is no way to store these attachments on board the stick vacuum cleaner, however, so finding some suitable cupboard space for this would be useful. And lifting up the vac to use as a handheld is slightly heavier than previous models because of the enlarged dust tank although it’s not too uncomfortable.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    6. Bissell ICON 25V

    Best designed cordless vacuum cleaner


    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.4ltrs
    Weight: 3.2kg
    Reasons to buy: performs really well and the design has some impressive details
    Reasons to avoid: the bin isn’t the easiest to empty and the design is a little top heavy

    The Bissell ICON 25V really impressed us. It performs really well and the design includes impressive attention to detail.

    Bright headlights on the floorhead illuminate cleaning. Run time is up to 50 minutes but it will be much less on high power. There are three power levels and the medium one is fine most of the time, but the vac doesn’t remember your last setting, it always starts at top whack, which reduces battery life.

    The floorhead claims to beat the problem of hair tangles and we certainly didn’t manage to get it badly tangled. It’s also smaller than the Shark Anti Hair Wrap IZ251UKT floorhead. The 0.4 litre bin isn’t the easiest to empty but it’s ok.

    Weighing in at 3.2kg, the design is a top-heavy stick that converts to handheld. It comes with just one tool, a crevice nozzle that converts to a brush. That’s great: you only really need those two tools. Though ironically the designers have given you space to store multiple tools at the charging dock.

    We were even bowled over by tiny design details. For example, built into the inside of the dock is a little spirit level, to make it very easy to mount the dock level. Another one: the tip of the crevice tool lights up when it’s in use. We could go on. It’s a mid-priced cleaner but the performance and design combine to impress.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    7. Miele Triflex HX1 Cat&Dog

    Best cordless vacuum cleaner for pet hair


    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.5ltrs
    Weight: 3.6kg
    Reasons to buy: mega versatile
    Reasons to avoid: small bin capacity which will need emptying regularly

    Miele’s first cordless claims to be powerful enough to be your only vacuum cleaner. It’s also supremely convertible: you can rearrange the pieces to convert from an upright cleaner (bottom-heavy, perfect when you’re just vacuuming floors, stands up by itself) to a stick cleaner (top-heavy, very manoeuvrable) to a handheld.

    It comes with three tools: crevice nozzle, dusting brush, flat upholstery tool. We weren’t convinced that you need the pet turbo brush unless your furniture is plagued with pet hair. But a second battery might be worthwhile.

    The Miele Triflex HX1 Cat&Dog is easy to use, well designed and impressively powerful on floors and more. It really offers the cleaning power you’d expect from a corded cleaner. But the ‘up to 60 minutes’ run time is 34 minutes if you’re using the floorhead (which you probably are) and just 17 minutes at top power. Fortunately the lower power setting is good enough and 34 minutes is long enough for a couple of rooms.

    You wouldn’t be able to vacuum a whole house thoroughly on one charge. You’d need a second battery or to clean little and often. Its 0.5-litre capacity is on the small side too. You’ll need to empty the dirt canister regularly, but this is easy and isn’t messy.

    The Miele Triflex HX1 gives Dysons a run for their money. We missed the Dyson V11 Absolute’s charging dock and fluffy hard floor roller, but the Miele’s convertibility and sheer cleaning power won us over. If you don’t mind the price, the HX1 is a great buy. If you want the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair, we’ve also got another dedicated guide.

    Ideal Home’s rating 5 out of 5 stars

    8. Dyson Micro 1.5kg

    Best cordless vacuum cleaner for small homes

    Dyson Micro 1.5kg

    Image credit: Dyson

    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.1Ltr
    Weight: 1.5kg
    Reasons to buy: super lightweight, glides across hard floors, very powerful
    Reasons to avoid: not designed for carpeted floors

    The Dyson Micro 1.5kg is part of a new fleet of cordless vacuum cleaners from Dyson. It’s the lightest and smallest cordless vacuum in this guide, and with an entry-level price when compared to other Dyson models. The vacuum is very powerful, and we were impressed with the way hair didn’t get stuck around the roller brush.

    Attachments include a soft roller cleaner head, mini motorised tool, and combination tool. While there is no roller for carpets, the mini motorised tool worked well on rugs and car upholstery in testing. We found that the battery life was just shy of half an hour, which is a way off Dyson’s 50 minute promise, but because the vacuum glides so effortlessly across floors, it made quick work of kitchen floors and hallway dirt and dust.

    While it’s probably not a top pick for large homes thanks to the small size of the dustbin, the Dyson Micro is well suited to flats and would also be a great pick for those who have an upright or canister vacuums for their heavy duty cleans, but want something for those midweek sweeps that can sit pretty when not in use.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Read our full Dyson Micro 1.5kg review

    9. Bosch BCS122GB Unlimited

    Best cordless vacuum cleaner for cleaning time


    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.4Ltr
    Weight: 2.9kg
    Reasons to buy: comes with two interchangeable batteries for a mega long cleaning time
    Reasons to avoid: emptying is a little tricky and the wheels on hardflooring is loud

    The Bosch BCS122GB Unlimited has an innovative design. It may look similar to other stick cleaners but its buttons are extra well thought out and the two interchangeable batteries let you extend its run time, much like you would a powertool.

    It also comes with not one but two chargers. Its wall bracket includes a neat charger plus space to store the two tools (one upholstery and brush tool, the other a long, flexible crevice tool). There’s also a separate, fan-cooled fast charger.

    Unless you’re in turbo mode, run time is 45-60 minutes. But then you can swap to the second battery pack. In fact, charging time is only 60 minutes, so you can keep swapping – and therefore cleaning – for as long as you want.

    Our only quibbles were that emptying isn’t effortless and the wheels on the floorhead are loud on hard floors. But the Bosch is light to steer and its suction and brush floorhead are powerful enough for most uses and great in turbo for stubborn dirt. It’s a bit pricey but it’s impressive.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    10. Vax Blade 32V

    Best cordless vacuum cleaner for affordable power


    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.6Ltrs
    Weight: 3kg
    Reasons to buy: good performance, especially in smaller homes or on the stairs for quick clean-ups
    Reasons to avoid: top heavy and doesn’t come with a charging wall bracket

    The Vax Blade 32V’s cyclonic stick design is reminiscent of Dyson handhelds, but the chamber is horizontal. Tip it to one side and press a button to empty. Twist the other side to remove the washable filter.

    Handling is similar to the Dyson V11 Absolute in terms of size, feel and excellent manoeuvrability. But it comes with just one big brush head and two detail tools (a brush and a crevice tool). Fewer tools then, less to store, but we miss the Dyson V11 Absolute’s soft head for hard floors.

    The trigger is under your thumb and you just press it once, you don’t have to hold it down. Lights indicate charge and there are two extra buttons: one turns boost mode off (the default is on, which increases suction but halves battery life), the other makes the brush bar spin (the default is off).

    Cleaning is impressive. It could replace the main vacuum cleaner in a small home and is superb for stairs and quick clean-ups.

    Again it’s too top-heavy to stand up on its own. It comes with a very simple wall bracket that doesn’t include the charger – you’ll have to plug it in each time.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    11. Shark Anti Hair Wrap IZ251UKT

    Best workhorse cordless vacuum


    Bagged or bagless? Bagless
    Dust tank capacity: 0.4Ltrs
    Weight: 4.1kg
    Reasons to buy: easy to store and hairs don’t get tangled in the brushes
    Reasons to avoid: may be too heavy for some

    The Shark Anti Hair Wrap IZ251UKT is big and heavy (4.1kg) enough that you might forget it’s cordless. So although it’s a top-heavy stick design, you won’t be waving it around. But you’ll also forget because the cleaning power is impressive. Its multi-stage powered floorhead whips up dust and hairs brilliantly and boasts ok headlights.

    Battery life is up to 40 minutes and we tested the pet version that comes with two batteries, so you can double it. It also comes with a host of accessories, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing: where are you supposed to store them? There’s a crevice nozzle, brush, upholstery tool, an adjustable thin wand that’s good for getting behind radiators and under furniture, and because it’s the pet model a small motorised turbo brush too.

    The bulky floorhead does a great job of cleaning: the combination of powered brushes seems to lift everything. They’re also designed not to get tangled with long hairs and our test bore this out. There are two power settings under your thumb, one for hard floors and one for carpets. But you can also pull a trigger with your index finger for a temporary power boost.

    Just as impressive was storage: push a button halfway down the tube and the whole vac folds in half so you can stow it away in a cupboard.

    It makes a good handheld vac too, and the dust canister is easy to empty once you remove the tube to convert it. But with the tube, we found the machine too heavy for it to feel easy in the hand for cobwebs.

    In all, with two batteries and powerful cleaning, it makes a good replacement for a corded upright cleaner. You don’t have to plug it in but it’s not really lighter or more manoeuvrable than a corded model. It features in our best Shark vacuum roundup, too.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    12. Halo Capsule Vacuum

    Best lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner


    Bagged or bagless? Bagged
    Dust tank capacity: 1.6Ltrs
    Weight: 2.6kg
    Reasons to buy: mega lightweight with a generous dust tank
    Reasons to avoid: the various buttons are a bit of a fiddle

    This new contender has an unusual design, with a lightweight (2.6kg) carbon fibre body and curvaceous styling. The handle is unusually positioned at the top too.

    It’s a stick-style cleaner with a powered floorhead (no headlights) and two tools: a crevice nozzle and a dusting brush. They push on to the cleaner with the tube for cobwebs and awkward corners, or straight onto the body for use as a handheld vac.

    It’s a bagged cleaner with a decent capacity of 1.6 litres. It comes with 53 compostable paper bags, enough to last years. The run time is up to 60 minutes, but will be much less on high power, using the floorhead.

    The controls are good. A power button under your thumb turns it on and it always starts at the middle one of the three power settings. You press the other yellow button to cycle between them. This works well as you rarely need the top setting and the low setting is a bit weedy.

    The thin blue button in between turns the powered brushes of the floorhead on. Every time you turn the vac on, you have to push this again. That’s a bit annoying.

    Also annoying is the way the floorhead easily clicks to lock at 90 degrees… this top-heavy cleaner can’t stand up by itself, so what’s the point? It’s annoying when it happens mid-cleaning.

    But the floorhead cleans well, with and without the brushes spinning. And we love the fact that the Halo Capsule is lightweight. Even the charger is petite. It leaves us wishing that the tube was in two pieces, so that the whole cleaner could pack down into a small kitchen cupboard: that would be novel.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Everything you need to know about buying a cordless cleaner

    What are the different types of cordless vacuum?

    • Stick vacuum cleaners are handhelds that you add a wand to, to extend the reach – then add a brush head to clean floors or a smaller tool for cobwebs and other hard-to-reach spots. They’re fast, manoeuvrable and good for getting under furniture. But the weight is all in your hand, which can be tiring after a while. They often can’t stand up by themselves if you want to pause to move something.
    • 2-in-1 upright vacuum cleaners look more like traditional upright vacuum cleaners. The weight is fairly low down, but the middle section pops out and doubles as a handheld cleaner for small stuff. Often the upright’s handle also pops off and doubles as a wand, giving the handheld extra reach for high-up stuff like cobwebs.

    How much should I spend on a cordless vacuum?


    Image credit: Vax

    Budget around £150 for a good-quality cordless with decent cleaning power. But you can spend more than three times as much on premium models. More money can buy you powerful suction, longer battery life or better tools.

    Some of the best cordless vacuums we tested came in at the £250 mark. If you can afford it though, it’s worth spending the extra money. More power and longer battery lives will pay off in the long-run, and the convenience of a cordless vacuum won’t be outweighed by limited power.

    What other key questions do I need to ask about cordless vacuums?

    Bagged vs bagless? 

    It’s a tricky choice. On the one hand, bagless vacuums reduce the environmental impact and the expense of buying vacuum bags, only to throw them away. However, removing dirt from a bagless vacuum isn’t without its challenges. Hair can get wrapped around the filter and you’ll likely let off a bit of a dust cloud. Of course, brands like Dyson are constantly developing solutions to this. The new Dyson range has ejector technology that makes emptying the dustbin completely hands-free. For this tech though, you will have to pay.

    Charging your cordless vacuum

    It can take anywhere from three to six hours to charge a cordless vacuum in-between uses. If you plan on using it as your main vacuum cleaner, you need to opt for one with the battery life to make it through your home before you have to recharge, or you’ll have to go back later for different rooms.

    Some cordless vacuums come with replaceable batteries, meaning you can switch out for a new, fully-charged battery if the one you’re using dies. We did text every vacuum in this guide for battery life, the most successful being the Dyson V11 Absolute with a mighty 60 minutes.

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