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Best Cordless Vacuums – 2024

The current Vacuum Wars Best Cordless Vacuum ranking based on our own independent evaluation.

Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum

Dyson V15 Detect

Dyson Gen5detect

Dyson Gen5detect

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Shark Vertex Pro

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Shark Stratos Cordless

Shark Stratos

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Tineco Pure ONE Fur Free Cordless Vacuum

Tineco Pure ONE Station FurFree

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How We Test Cordless Vacuums

At Vacuum Wars, we are dedicated to providing the most thorough and insightful vacuum cleaner reviews. This commitment is embodied in our detailed and specialized testing methods designed to assess various aspects of vacuum performance, from basic suction to more complex tasks like hair entanglement and battery efficiency.

Cordless Vacuums we have evaluated at Vacuum Wars.
Cordless Vacuums we have evaluated at Vacuum Wars. © Vacuum Wars

We do not claim that our testing methods are the gold standard, or anywhere near true laboratory tests, but they are our best efforts at honestly and fairly evaluating the relative differences in these products from a consumer advocate perspective. And we have many years of data from doing these tests the same way over and over for hundreds of products. So we can easily spot if a product is much better, or much worse than average.

Each of these tests are carefully designed to mimic real-life situations that a vacuum might encounter, ensuring that our reviews are both comprehensive and useful to consumers.

Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum Evaluations
Vacuum Wars checking out the Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum in our studio. © Vacuum Wars

Here's an in-depth look at our cordless vacuum testing methods:

Cordless Vacuum Power Tests

Unsealed Suction Test

In our "unsealed suction test," AKA “usable suction” we have connected a digital manometer to a specially designed testing surface so that we can evaluate the real-world cordless vacuum suction performance.  This approach allows us to take into account the entire design of the vacuum cleaner, in particular the influence of the floor head elements, such as air gates and the seal created by certain elements on the bottom of the floorhead. These factors play a crucial role in the vacuum’s cleaning efficiency. This test is done on max power, and the highest score (in Kpa) is recorded. We like it because its not just about raw power but vacuum engineering as well.

Measuring Suction
Measuring Suction of a Dyson Gen5 Detect © Vacuum Wars

Airflow Test

We measure airflow using a digital anemometer, which calculates the volume of air passing through the vacuum in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Airflow is the stream of air that moves through the vacuum cleaner, carrying dust and debris from the cleaning surface into the vacuum and through to the dust collection system. Higher airflow means that more air is moving through the vacuum, which can carry more particles and larger debris with it. Essentially, better airflow results in better overall performance, though this is not always the case. 

We focus on measuring airflow at the brush and any other operational configurations such as from a detachable hose, or at the wand, in order to understand how the vacuum performs in diverse household scenarios. We typically measure the airflow in all of the power settings of the vacuum, though our scores are based on the maximum power setting.

Measuring Suction and Airflow of the Shark Detect Pro Cordless
Measuring Suction and Airflow of the Shark Detect Pro Cordless © Vacuum Wars

Cordless Vacuum Filtration Tests

At Vacuum Wars, our filtration tests assess how effectively vacuum cleaners can enhance indoor air quality and control allergens, which is especially crucial for individuals with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. Using a fog machine, we visually confirm the effectiveness of the vacuum's filtration system and its capacity to contain vacuumed particles. This approach allows us to directly observe and evaluate the vacuum's ability to prevent these particles from re-entering the home environment, thereby providing a clear and tangible assessment of its filtration performance.

  • HEPA Filtration: We score higher for vacuums that use HEPA filters. Defined as High-Efficiency Particulate Air filtration, HEPA filters must meet stringent 3rd party standards that requires them to capture at least 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter. The benefits of such high-efficiency filtration include significantly reducing household dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens.
  • Sealed Systems: Our filtration test ensures that the vacuum is sealed effectively. A vacuum with a sealed system ensures that the air drawn into the machine passes through the filter before being expelled back into the room. This prevents unfiltered air from escaping through gaps in the vacuum’s body, which is essential for trapping allergens, dust, and particles inside the vacuum and preventing them from being recirculated into the air. Our tests check for the integrity of these systems, confirming that they work effectively alongside the HEPA filters to enhance the vacuum's overall filtration efficacy.
Fog testing the BeLife cordless vacuum. © Vacuum Wars

Cordless Vacuum Cleaning Efficiency Tests

Carpet Deep Clean Test

In our Carpet Deep Clean Test, we evaluate a vacuum’s ability to pick up fine debris that settles below a carpet’s top surface area, becoming embedded between the carpet fibers.

In this test, we apply 100 grams of sand to an area of medium-pile carpet, and we work the sand into the carpet fibers to ensure that the sand has come to rest below the surface of the carpet.  The vacuum is run over the carpet a set number of passes at the same basic rate of motion. These tests are performed on the vacuum’s maximum power setting. If the vacuum has adjustable gates, the tests are performed with the gates set to their lowest setting.

After vacuuming, the content of the vacuum’s dustbin is weighed to determine how much sand has been picked up. We typically run this test at least three times to ensure accuracy. A perfect score of 100 indicates that all the embedded material was removed from the carpet.

Performing the Carpet Deep Clean Test - Tineco Pure One S11 Cordless
Performing the Carpet Deep Clean Test - Tineco Pure One S11 Cordless © Vacuum Wars

Crevice Pickup Test

The crevice pickup test is an assessment of the vacuum’s power and floorhead design, showing its ability to effectively vacuum debris that can collect in the cracks and crevices of a floor’s surface, such as seams, transitions, or tile grout.

In this test, we apply coffee grounds over a specially designed testing surface that has a ¼ inch deep crevice and a 1/8 inch deep crevice.  We run the vacuum over it once at its highest setting, with adjustable gates closed if applicable. Vacuums that collect all of the debris from both crevices get a perfect score.

Cleaning Tests - Crevice Pickup - Dyson V8 Review
Cleaning Tests - Crevice Pickup - Dyson V8 Review © Vacuum Wars

Surface Debris Pickup Test

In the Surface Debris Pickup Test, we assess how well vacuums pick up debris on hard floor and carpet without needing to adjust their settings. We use various sizes of debris, such as fine coffee grounds to the largest items such as cereal. The aim is to assess both the effectiveness and the aesthetics of the cleaning, ensuring that vacuums can handle everyday messes across different surfaces.

We take away points for issues like:

  • Snowplowing: Snowplowing is where the debris is pushed forward ahead of the vacuum instead of being picked up.
  • Scattering Debris: Some vacuums will scatter debris, particularly fine debris, instead of quickly picking it all up.
  • Ineffective Pickup: A vacuum is simply leaving behind debris that it has passed over and should have been able to pick up.

Anti-Hair Wrap Test

The Anti-Hair Wrap Test challenges vacuums to handle 1 gram of 7-inch and 14-inch hair without getting it tangled in the brush roll. This test is crucial for understanding how well the vacuum deals with hair, a common issue for many homeowners, especially those with pets. In this test we lay the hair before the vacuums, run a pass over the hair, and then visually inspect the roller for hair tangles. Vacuums with no hair tangles receive a perfect score.

Testing Hair Pickup - Samsung Jet 90 Review
Testing Hair Pickup - Samsung Jet 90 Review © Vacuum

Battery Efficiency Test

Our battery efficiency and suction power test measures how long a vacuum can run on a single charge across different settings and how effectively it adjusts its power in response to detected dirt levels. This test is particularly relevant for cordless vacuums, which need to balance power and battery life to be practical for everyday use.

Belife BVC-B11 Battery Testing
Belife BVC-B11 Battery Testing © Vacuum Wars

Cordless Vacuum Maneuverability Testing

During our vacuum testing process, we assess the vacuums in a simulated household environment that includes common obstacles such as chair legs, low furniture, and area rugs. Our focus is to evaluate whether the vacuum navigates easily across both hard floors and carpets and if it can be smoothly steered around furniture. This testing helps determine the vacuum's maneuverability and overall ease of use in typical home settings.

Laresar Elite 3 Cordless Vacuum at Home
Laresar Elite 3 Cordless Vacuum at Home © Vacuum Wars

Cordless Vacuum Feature Evaluations

Finally, we also award points for the inclusion of features that enhance the functionality and effectiveness of cordless vacuums. These feature assessments include:

  • Soft Rollers: Highly effective at picking up various sizes of debris.
  • Duo Clean Technology: Combines a soft roller and a standard brush roll in one floorhead, proving effective on multiple surface types.
  • Floor Washing Attachment: A modern innovation that transforms a fully functioning vacuum into a floor washer.
  • Motorized Tool: A powered attachment designed for handheld vacuuming.
  • Number of Attachments: Points for additional tools like a crevice tool or dusting wand. We also perform standard vacuum attachment efficiency tests.
  • LCD Screen: Displays various readings and facilitates one-touch operation.
  • Digital Battery Life Indicator: Indicates the remaining time for a vacuum session.
  • Particle Collection Display: A new feature that provides a visual assessment of the debris being collected.
  • LED Lights on the Floorhead: Illuminates debris or indicates the cleanliness of the floor’s surface.
  • Pivoting Wand: Features a joint that allows the vacuum to bend, making it easier to reach under furniture.
  • Bin Size: Larger bins support longer vacuum sessions without the need for emptying.
  • Charging Dock: Simplifies the connection of the cordless vacuum to its charging base.
  • Detachable Battery: Offers flexibility in charging locations and storage.
  • Handle Weight: The weight of the handle affects the ease of maneuvering and using the vacuum, especially when cleaning for extended periods.
  • Noise Level: The operational sound level of the vacuum.

Vacuum Cleaner Comparative Analysis

When we have completed our evaluations of a vacuum, we log and track the results according to our established cordless vacuum testing standards. This structured approach enables us to compare the performance of each vacuum against others we have tested within the same category. By doing so, we can tailor our recommendations based on specific criteria such as price category, floor type, and features. This methodical comparison ensures that our vacuum performance testing and recommendations are objectively grounded, providing a consistent, fair, and unbiased framework for our analysis.

#NotSponsored Vacuum Cleaner Reviews

Vacuum Wars has made a significant shift towards complete independence by officially adopting a policy of not accepting free products from companies or doing sponsored content. This ensures that all reviews are based on products purchased with our own funds, thereby eliminating potential bias that might come from manufacturer influence.

Our latest Best Cordless Vacuum competition.

Cordless vacuum shopping? Check out our cordless vacuum reviews, comparisons and guides.

Best of the Best

Current Vacuum Wars product rankings:

Best Cordless Vacuums
Best Robot Vacuums
Best Upright Vacuums
Best Carpet Cleaners
Best Air Purifiers