Central vacuum systems are a wonderful extravagance for those with large homes and plenty of money to spend. Upright and canister vacuums are a must-have for most homeowners, because of their power (particularly with cyclonic models) and ability to fully-clean carpets and bare floors. Robot vacs are cool, and many feel they’re a great supplemental way to keep a house or apartment clean on a daily basis.
But when you spill some food on the floor or a flowerpot falls over, nothing can beat the convenience of a lightweight, portable cordless stick vacuums for cleaning up a small mess.
Corded vs. Cordless Vacuums
The first stick vacuums introduced into the marketplace, like the ElectricBroom so popular in the mid-20th century, were all corded models. They were lighter and definitely more convenient to use than a large canister or upright but still tethered the user to a power source.
Many corded models remain on the market. However, the most popular stick vacuums today are cordless. They can be taken anywhere quickly, vacuum up small areas, and be put away again – all in the matter of a minute or two. And the best cordless stick vacuums have almost as much power as much bulkier, unwieldy standard units.
Choosing a Cordless Stick Vacuum
Since the number-one arguments for a stick vacuum are its light weight and maneuverability, those are the most obvious criteria for picking the model that’s right for your home.
You won’t find any of our top 5 best rated cordless stick vacuums failing that test; our first choice comes in at well under five pounds and is able to get around corners or into tight areas with ease, while others are quite a bit heavier but still maneuver well.
Another consideration in this category is ease of storage, since the whole point of having a stick is convenience; some have fold-up handles, which can be a plus in smaller living room.
The power of a stick model is almost as obvious a criterion for making your choice. Once again, all of the best sticks will have more than enough oomph to take care of small spills or light dirt, but a few stick vacuums which make use of cyclonic technology and motorized cleaning heads deliver enough power to rival small upright models.
You should carefully consider what you’ll be using your stick vacuum for before spending big on the most powerful models because most small clean-up jobs don’t require a powerhouse.
One important caveat: cordless stick vacuums aren’t ideal for cleaning deep-pile or shag carpeting; you’ll usually need a bigger vacuum for those tasks. Some of the more expensive sticks have roll brushes that can do an effective job on plush carpets, but the best uses for stick vacuums – even expensive, powerful ones – are on hardwood floors or thinner rugs.
Secondary Considerations When Choosing The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum For Your Home
There are other factors that should enter into your final decision, including the vacuum’s runtime on a charge and how long it takes to recharge the battery, the size of the nozzle (a narrower one is better for tight spaces but will take longer to clean a clear area), the capacity of the dust container and how easy it is to empty, and whether attachments like crevice tools are available.
Some cordless stick vacs allow you to remove the vacuum from the stick so the machine can be used as a handheld vacuum, and that may be a feature that appeals to you as well.
Finally, of course, there are the always-important considerations – performance and price. Price is self-explanatory, and we’ve mentioned, all of our top choices will do a good job on the traditional clean-up chores assigned to stick vacuums. However, some units are better for low-pile carpet while others are desirable for their ability to pick up pet hair.
Always understand your real-world needs before simply picking the one that’s lightest or has the most power.
Here’s our best cordless stick vacuum cleaners review – let’s clean up!
1. Dyson V6 Cord Free Vacuum
You’re probably not surprised that a Dyson makes the top of our list, but this selection wasn’t an easy one for the Groom+Style review team. We were pretty sure a Dyson would be in this spot, but the company actually makes three higher-level stick vacuums which deserved consideration as well.
We went with the V6 because it does an outstanding job of cleaning, at a lower price. The other models, the Motorhead, Animal, and Absolute (links to Amazon) have a direct-drive brush bar instead of simply a motorized head, and some have mini pet hair tools or HEPA filtration.
Those options typically add a few hundred dollars to the price but don’t add noticeably to the performance required for simpler clean-up jobs.
You can immediately tell this is a Dyson because the “guts” of the machine are up by the handle and not along the stick. As with other smaller Dyson units, though, the grip is ergonomically designed and the stick is well-balanced, so you get used to having the actual vacuum up by your hand quickly.
The digital motor is louder than some competitors, but more importantly, it combines with the motorized head for suction power that cleans floors exceptionally well and low-pile carpets better than most.[youtube id=”HhMcPMDDzJs” width=”750″ height=”340″ position=”left”]
Just don’t use it on a carpet with loose fibers or you may find yourself pulling up fibers along with the dirt. A great carbon fiber/nylon head has the right bristles for both floors and carpets, and this model does a nice job getting into edges and tight spots.[youtube id=”aNb2cI00eL4″ width=”750″ height=”340″ position=”left”]
You’ll get about 20 minutes of cleaning time on a four-hour charge with the V6, but battery power is only used when you depress the cleaning trigger meaning that’s 20 minutes of actual cleaning time, not total usage. A convenient wall-mounted charging dock is a definite plus as well, and the stick can be removed for use as a hand-held vacuum.
The Dyson V6 is more expensive than the other cordless stick vacuums in the Groom+Style rankings. We believe it’s worth the price for those who want a powerful stick that can almost challenge bigger and heavier upright and canister vacs from many manufacturers.
Facts and figures on the Dyson V6 Cord Free Vacuum:
2. Hoover LiNX BH50010 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
There aren’t many people on the Groom+Style team who can personally justify spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a stick vacuum – which is why the LiNX is our number two choice, at about one-third the price of the V6.
Like the Dyson (which uses the company’s patented cyclonic technology), the LiNX uses Hoover’s famed wind tunnel technology and cyclonic filtration to put a performance boost into the machine, although it’s far superior on hardwood floors than on low-pile carpeting.
Power is not an issue with the LiNX as long as you don’t expect it to do the job of a full-sized vacuum. You’ll get about 20 minutes of vacuuming time per charge.
There’s a wide cleaning path on this unit, yet it still cleans edges and corners quite well thanks to its well-positioned bristles. The charging base sits on the floor so it takes up more room than the V6’s, but it’s low-profile and not objectionable.
If you prefer to store the vacuum in a closet the handle folds down, and it also reclines to let you easily vacuum underneath furniture.
We like the battery indicator, placed in a well-chosen spot on the handle. One thing the team didn’t like: this Hoover seems more prone to clogging that it should when vacuuming up pet hair.
The LiNX is somewhat heavy for a stick, about twice the weight of the V6. It does a very good job on hardwood floors but isn’t as strong as the V6 on carpets. However, it costs way less than the V6, and for the small jobs that normally call for a stick vacuum, it’s a great value.
More info on the Hoover LiNX BH50010 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner:
3. Bissell Bolt XRT Pet 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum
If there are two groups who get the most use out of cordless stick vacuums, they would be parents of small children and pet owners.
Most sticks can handle the messes faced by the former group. The Bissell Bolt XRT is perfect for the latter, as Bissell is known for vacuums that do a great job with pet hair and this model doesn’t disappoint, thanks to its special pet hair brush roller and nozzle.
The XRT isn’t quite as powerful as the more-expensive Bolt ION, because it has a 14-volt NiMH battery that takes a full eight hours to charge instead of the ION’s faster-charging 18-volt lithium-ion (that also gives you an extra 10 minutes of runtime).
But they both offer a choice of high/low operating power and do a satisfactory job on normal cleaning jobs. The important difference to the review team was that the XRT is far superior when it comes to cleaning up after your pet, even though the dust container has to be emptied frequently.[youtube id=”SOZ8xm4AvuY” width=”750″ height=”340″ position=”left”]
There’s swivel steering and a two-way folding handle which can flip forward or backward, a great convenience for cleaning areas where your pet likes to hide and also perfect for compact storage.
There is, however, no charging dock for the Bolt XRT; you have to plug it in for a very long charge. The stick detaches on this Bissell model, letting you turn the vacuum into a hand-held. Price-wise, it falls into the same range as the LiNX.
Bissell makes other models of stick vacuums with more power, longer warranties, longer run times and shorter charging times. The Bolt XRT, however, makes Groom+Style’s list of the top 5 best cordless stick vacuums because it’s perfect for pet owners who also want to use their stick for more mundane cleaning chores.
Specs for the Bissell Bolt XRT Pet 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum:
4. Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vac
We’ll get the big negative out of the way first: this is the heaviest stick model the Groom + Style team has reviewed (at about eight pounds), which also makes it the least maneuverable of the models on our list. However, there are positives that compensate.
The Navigator Freestyle is almost as good as the Dyson when it comes to power and performance, and is perhaps the best at vacuuming thick carpets in addition to regular rugs and hardwood, thanks to the motorized two-speed (floor and carpet) brush roll which also does an excellent job on pet hair.
One other big plus is the oversized dust cup which can hold a full 1.2 liters, well above the competition. There’s a small charging base.
This Shark Navigator doesn’t turn into a hand-held vacuum, it doesn’t have a foldable handle, and it’s tough to maneuver. But for a very reasonable price, it provides great performance on all surfaces – and that’s the key, isn’t it?
Specs for the Shark Navigator Freestyle SV1106 Cordless Stick Vac:
Groom + Style’s final choice is this Electrolux Model which uses a cyclonic system for suction and motorized brush roll for cleaning, a lithium-ion battery for 20 minutes of run time, has 180-degree steer capability and detaches to become a hand-held vacuum.
So why is it only #5 on our rankings of the top 5 best cordless stick vacuums? It’s somewhat underpowered even though it costs about as much as the LiNX. The battery only delivers 10.8 watts and there’s no charging base. We liked it, and it’s very lightweight so it’s easy to move around, but we just expected more for the price.[youtube id=”r_Hz3G4GHEI” width=”750″ height=”340″ position=”left”]
The Ergorapido performs well when the job isn’t too challenging, and it’s very easy to move from spot to spot to clean up small messes. For the money, however, there are better choices.
Looking deeper at the Electrolux Ergorapido EL2055B 2-in-1 Stick And Handheld Vacuum:
The Groom+Style team hopes you found this review helpful. If you have hard floors in your house and need something to clean and disinfect them, then why not look at getting a steam mop, we have already done the work for you and found the top 5 best steam mops for your home.