The Best of the Best Cordless Vacuum for 2017 is the Dyson V8 Absolute, while the Bissell AirRam 1984 is the Best Mid-Range Cordless Vacuum, and the Dirt Devil Accucharge BD20035RED is the Best Cordless Vacuum on a Budget according to Gleason’s Survey of the world’s leading consumer publications. Our Cordless Vacuum Guide selections are based on what the top experts have chosen after testing hundreds of machines. Read on for The Editors’ Full Report on each of these cordless stick vacuum cleaners and our ROUNDUP OF THE BEST DEALS currently available from the top online retailers…
Best of the Best Cordless Vacuum — Dyson V8 Absolute
The experts agree, The Top-Rated Dyson V8 Absolute cleans exceptionally well on carpets, bare floors, edge-cleaning and removing pet hair. It is easy to maneuver under furniture. Convenient one-step emptying of the dirt bin means you don’t get your hands dirty pulling out clumps of hair.
The included HEPA-filter means very low dust emissions — in fact Dyson claims this vacuum will actually clean the air in the room. At only 5.6 pounds it is very light and easy to control with just one hand. In addition the V8 absolute quickly converts to a powerful handheld vacuum to use on furniture and upholstery. Battery endurance is an important consideration and this vacuum uses a clever trigger feature with helps to conserve the battery when you aren’t actually cleaning (which is more often than you might think!) This makes a huge difference in battery life since you don’t need to drain the battery while getting the vacuum into position.
What’s In The Box
- Dyson V8 Absolute cordless portable vacuum cleaner
- Soft Roller Cleaner Head – This is especially for hard floors. Soft Woven nylon that allows larger debris to enter the vacuum without having to lift the head off of the floor. Special Anti-static carbon fibers help to reduce static charge that can hold dust particles to the floor. The motor is integrated into the roller for an elegant, compact and lightweight design.
- Direct Drive Cleaner Head – This powered cleaner head is great for carpets, as the edge-to-edge stiff nylon bristles penetrate deeply into carpets to remove tough ground in dirt.
- Mini-Motorized Tool – Small head (6 inches) and stiff nylon bristles are perfect for cleaning pet hair from upholstery and vaccuming carpeted stairs and other tight areas where the Direct Drive Cleaner Head is too wide.
- Other standard tools included are the Combination Tool, Rigid Crevice Tool, an Extension Hose, a Mattress Tool, and a Mini Soft dusting Brush.
- Docking Station – Stores and charges the vacuum so it’s always ready to go. A convenient place to keep the other attachments.
A 21.6 volt Lithium-ion battery powers the Dyson Digital Motor V8 for the most powerful cordless suction available. This great battery combines with Dyson’s patented cyclone technology to ensure increased air flow and to capture fine dust. Remember the old Dyson commercials? The whole point of the Dyson design is to never lose suction even as your vacuum fills up. Cordless Work Time Dyson claims a maximum cleaning time of up to 40 minutes on a charge. This is on the regular power mode, of course, and without using the powered heads. Using the “Max Power” mode will reduce the time to just 7 minutes, but you would never need to use this mode for more than a few seconds at a time. Reviewers tended to get around 20 minutes of charge with regular usage – more than enough to clean a two-bedroom apartment. The clever trigger operation means that you only have to use the battery while cleaning and not when you are moving and re-positioning the vacuum. Those extra moments really add up and it is a great feature of this vacuum.
Light Weight At 5.7 Lbs. this is a real lightweight. Competes with corded upright vacuums despite its low heft. Transforms to a Handheld for convenient upholstery cleaning and touch-ups.
Filtration The Dyson V8 Absolute’s 15 cyclones spin the dust and dirt out of the airflow. Dyson says that the air that leaves the unit, after the HEPA filter, is cleaner than the air that went in!
Easy One-touch Emptying of the Dirt Bin
A single action dirt-ejector keeps it simple and means no reaching in to pull out clumps of hair.
Docking Station/Charger A convenient included docking and charging station means it is always ready to go and you have a nice spot to store all of the attachments.
A full 2 years
Best Mid-Range Cordless Vacuum – The Bissell AirRam 1984
The Bissell AirRam 1984 is a great all-around cordless vacuum that comes in at less than half the price of the Dyson. For that money you don’t get attachments or the ability to convert it to a handheld. What you do get is excellent overall performance. This self-standing cordless vacuum cleaner is very effective on carpets and bare floors, and at removing pet hair. And it does all of it superbly without having to use attachments. It’s not quite as good as the Dyson in terms of edge cleaning but it still performs very well. Some have questioned the durability of the lightweight design – especially the handle — but there is no compelling evidence that it is less durable than other vacuums in this category and it does come with a 2 year limited warranty. No matter how you look at it, the Bissell AirRam is a great all-around performer and the top pick if you want a powerful cordless vacuum cleaner but don’t want to spring for the Dyson. It is the top recommended portable stick vacuum at Consumer Reports.
What’s in the Box?
Nothing extra here. Just the Vacuum.
Powerful 22 volt Lithium-ion battery that Bissell claims runs up to 30 minutes. Some reviewers found it lasted even longer. It doesn’t have a trigger like the Dyson, but instead a large power button on the head that can be pressed with your foot.
A Lightweight 7.9 pounds makes this vacuum easy to carry around the house and operate with one hand.
Battery and Charging
This Bissell cordless vacuum cleaner has a powerful 22 volt lithium-ion battery which offers superior charging and durability compared to older nickel-cadmium batteries. The battery takes 5 hours to reach a full charge and Consumer Reports found in their testing that it lasted for an outstanding 47 minutes, exceeding Bissell’s conservative claim of 30 minutes. The battery is removable which is great if it ever needs to be replaced (this limits the life of some competing vacuums) and it also gives you more charging options if you don’t want to have to plug in the whole vacuum. If you forget to charge it, there is a quick-charge option which can get the battery up to about 50% in only 30 minutes.
The Bissel AirRam 1984 has excellent low emissions so the dust stays in the vacuum and isn’t ejected back into the room you’re trying to clean.
How to Empty it
The Bissell AirRam 1984 has an easy-to-remove dirt bin and a thoughtful debris slider to push the dirt out of it without getting your hands messy.
Single Brush Head for Carpets and Hard Floors
While it doesn’t have a separate head for floors, the dual-use brush head is scratch-free and won’t damage floors. There is an emergency shutoff if small carpets get caught up in the roller — a nice touch. One negative is that you cannot turn off the brush head. If you don’t want to use it, you must remove it from the vacuum but this is accomplished with a simple button push.
Best Cordless Vacuum On A Budget — The Dirt Devil AccuCharge BD20035RED
The Dirt Devil Accucharge BD20035RED is the Best Cordless Vacuum for those on a tight budget. Look, there’s pretty much nothing innovative or sexy about this little Dirt Devil Accucharge Vacuum but it does a decent job, without a cord, at a very low price point. Looking for a vacuum to give your college kid to use in the dorm? This is just the ticket. Don’t feel like spending a few hundred on the Bissell or half a grand on the Dyson? Dirt Devil has you covered for around $70. Seriously. And it does a pretty darn good job according to critics!
In this price class, you won’t find the latest tech. There’s no expensive lithium-ion battery, instead the Dirt Devil runs on a still-powerful and efficient 15.6 volt nickel-cadmium (NiCad) rechargeable battery. In the past these batteries have been slow to charge and lacked durability, but Dirt Devil has developed the “AccuCharge” system to make the most of it and bring new life to the technology. The charge time has been reduced to 6 hours for a full charge which is good for about 20 minutes of use. By monitoring the battery during charging, the AccuCharge system is able to reduce power to a trickle, saving energy (as it can store plugged in) and greatly extending the life of the battery. The energy savings qualify this vacuum for the Energy-Star rating. A nice feature is the inclusion of a finger-tip brush-control switch so that you can easily turn off the brush (when vacuuming floors) to reduce energy consumption and increase run time.
Aren’t These Dirt Devil Vacuums LOUD?
Not at all. In tests, reviewers found that this vacuum was quiet — much quieter than other vacuums in its class.
The Dirt Devil Accucharge BD20035RED comes in at a super-svelt 5.8 pounds making it easy to maneuver with one hand. You can empty the dirt-cup at the touch of a button so your hands don’t get messy. Reviewers find that the smallish brush head reaches into tight spaces and can fit under most furniture quite well. The folding handle is a nice bonus and makes for easy storage.
The included filters are easy to rinse by hand and do a great job of catching the dust from the exhaust.
Anytime you go for something with a bargain-basement price there are going to be questions and some people have expressed concerns with the overall durability of the battery. After all, it is not replaceable and if it fails, you’ve got a rather-ugly paperweight. Some Amazon reviewers have posted about failures that have come far to early (and people tend to post when they they have a problem, not when things go as expected). One thing to remember is that this Dirt Devil Vacuum comes with a 2-year limited warranty and judging by the real customer comments on Amazon, they stand by their products. In some cases, they’ve simply FedEx’d out a whole new unit to keep their customers happy. That’s great customer service and should go a long way to alleviating durability concerns.
There’s really no better way to go cordless on a budget than this Dirt Devil Accucharge BD20035RED.