Best Cordless Vacuums for 2019 (Under $300)
May 16, 2019 Appliances Gifts Office By ReviewDecide Staff
Vacuuming the Easy Way!
While once defined by products with fantastic features that were many hundreds of dollars on the one end, and substandard models for cheap that lacked suction and battery capacity on the other, cordless vacuum technology has finally caught up with consumer needs. Today it is possible to get a cordless vacuum with more than enough battery life and suction power for under $300, and in some cases closer to the $200 and even $100 mark. Read about our top picks below...
- OUR TAKEPROSCONS
- OUR TAKE
- A powerful, high quality vacuum with enough battery power for most home tasks, making it our top pick. Although pricey, its versatility across all surfaces make it worth the extra dough if your home has hard surfaces and carpet.
- Up to 30 minutes of run time (only 6-to-7 minutes if using a motorized application in MAX mode which we still find is plenty—more on this below).
- Fantastic suction.
- Effective on hard surfaces as well as carpet.
- List price is higher than our runner up models.
- Battery is not detachable.
- Not equipped with HEPA filter (special HEPA model exists but can be difficult to find).
- No LED "headlights" for floor attachment.
- OUR TAKE
- Comes with great features such as washable allergen filters, a removable battery, one touch start and accessories to boot. Its brush roll is also tailor made for hard surfaces, making this vacuum our "tile and hard surfaces" runner up.
- Competitive price point (under $150).
- Washable allergen filters.
- Detachable and long lasting battery (~17 minutes run time).
- Specially designed for hard surfaces and able to suction larger debris.
- Not the best choice for medium or high pile carpets.
- No LED "headlights" for the vacuum head.
- Floor cleaning extension comes with internal tube that can clog.
- Only one power setting (i.e. no "max").
- OUR TAKE
- A great device considered by many to be a close second to the Dyson. This unit is loaded with features and competitively priced to boot. If you will be using on carpeted flooring and don't want to break the bank, give our "carpet" runner up a try.
- Competitive price point.
- Detachable battery (option to purchase additional battery to extend run time).
- Equipped with HEPA filter.
- Lightest vacuum in our comparison.
- Includes motorized brush that is great for carpet.
- Floor cleaning extension comes with internal tube that can clog (similar to the Shark and Eureka).
- Floor cleaning extension struggles with larger debris on hard surfaces (low clearance pushes them along instead of vacuuming up).
- OUR TAKE
- A unit with a high list price (actually the highest in our comparison) but which is almost always on sale, enabling it to effectively meet our price threshold. Not our favorite choice given reports of issues with clogging and overheating.
- MultiFLEX capability allows for vacuuming under tough-to-access tables and other low hanging items.
- Includes attachments.
- Comes with additional detachable battery.
- LED "headlights" for floor attachment.
- Consumer complaints about overheating and suction power.
- Internal hose in certain accessories can clog.
- Highest list price at the time of our comparison (only makes the price threshold for this comparison when on sale).
How We Chose
Suction Power and Versatility Across Surfaces
While reviewing the products in today’s comparison, we searched around the web and found that consumers frequently complain about the battery life and suction power found in cordless vacuums. Ultimately, we believe this comes down to an issue of expectations—a cordless vacuum will simply not be able to achieve the suction power, let alone the run time of a cord vacuum. Although there is a power and run time trade-off, we've found that the portability and ease-of-use found even in budget cordless vacuums more than makes up for these shortcomings. At the end of the day, most consumers are likely to use a cordless vacuum much more often than cord-bound models—often for quick cleanups around the house—dramatically enhancing the utility of these devices. As an aside, if you still don't believe us and are looking for something that will come closer to the performance of a corded vacuum, you'll need to go with a premium model, which we've reviewed HERE.
Ultimately, we chose the Dyson as our top pick because we found it had more than enough battery life and suction power for cleaning the typical home, and is also great on both hard as well carpeted surfaces. While many might look to the Dyson’s “best case” run time of up to 30 minutes when making their initial purchase and be disappointed to find the “Max” mode only allows for a reduced 6-to-7 minutes of run time, we found that the Dyson could still comfortably cover a 1,000 square foot area in MAX mode and a 2,000 square foot area in regular mode if working quickly (with that area consisting of hardwood floors, area rugs and two fabric sofas).
We made the Eureka our "tile and hard surfaces" runner up because it is not only specifically designed for hard flooring and low pile carpet, but also has a host of great features, such as a one-touch power button (other models, with the exception of the Tineco, require you to continuously hold the trigger), washable allergen filters and a dust bin that can either be emptied with a quick release or screwed-off (helping to prevent fine dust particles from scattering). What's more, this unit comes with accessories and has the lowest price at the time of our writing.
The Tineco is our "carpet" runner up because it includes a motorized brush that is great for carpet, and has detachable batteries, a one touch power button, great suction and HEPA filtration. It is also the second cheapest unit at the time of our comparison and comes included with a host of accessories.
The Shark ION F80 didn't make our top spots because it is comparatively pricey (the list price is actually higher than the Dyson) and consumers have experienced problems with the unit overheating and clogging. If we had to speculate, this is because of the ridged vacuum tube that gives ION F80 its MultiFLEX capability. While worth a look, especially if you want an extra battery and accessories, we would lean towards the other units in this comparison at this price point.
Specific Considerations To Guide Your Selection
As alluded to in our comparison grid above, many of the models in today's review are geared towards different flooring types:
Hard Floors – For those with "harder" flooring in their home—such as hardwood, tile or low pile carpet—the Eureka is a great option as it comes included with a plush brush roll that is tailor made for these surfaces. The Eureka's brush roll also has a high clearance, making it great for pickup up larger debris.
Medium-to-High Pile Carpet – For those with carpeted interiors the Tineco is a great budget choice, as it comes with a motorized brush that is great on carpeted surfaces. The Dyson is also a standout on carpeted surfaces.
Carpet and Hard Flooring – For those with a combination of carpet and "hard" flooring we recommend the Dyson. It is a standout on carpet and does great on hard surfaces as well, although it can struggle with larger debris. If you are looking for a slightly cheaper option, Tineco sells a version of the A10 called the Master with an extra battery and an expanded set of accessories that includes a soft roller for hard surfaces (the link in our comparison grid above will take you there as well). This will run approximately $100 more than the A10 model in our comparison, but still represents a great value.
While all of the devices in today's comparison come with filters to catch dust and fine particles, the Tineco is the only one with a HEPA filter (as mentioned above, Dyson sells a HEPA version of the V7 but this can be difficult to find). The Tineco also comes with a fully sealed filtration system, making it the best choice in this comparison for allergy sufferers (it should be noted that there are better options on the market for allergy sufferers, such as the Dyson V10, but not in the price range of today's comparison).
Just behind the Tineco for allergy sufferers is the Eureka. Although it does not have a HEPA filter for the finest dust, it does have a washable anti-allergen filter (make sure to completely dry before placing back in the unit!) and the option of unscrewing (as opposed to quick releasing) the unit's dust bin. While it might not seem like a big deal with respect to allergies, this last feature is crucial. Specifically, it can prevent a plum of fine dust from erupting from your trashcan that can occur when using the quick release bins found on all of these models (i.e. it allows you to gently pour out the dust bin's contents as opposed to having them essentially ejected into your trash).
Among the items in today’s comparison, the Dyson is the only unit that does not come with detachable batteries. While nice to have, this is NOT a make-or-break feature for us because we have found that cordless vacuums are typically used for quick cleans around the house. What's more, the charging time for all of these devices is 3+ hours, meaning that even with 1-or-even-2 extra batteries you won't be able to swap them out for continuous cleaning.
This being said, if you plan to use your vacuum for "whole house" cleans, consider purchasing a unit with a detachable battery as well as an extra battery. This will enable you to extend your available run-time. Keep in mind that although these units are a great way to accomplish A LOT in a little bit of time, they do not have the suction power and run time of a cord vacuum (although you can comfortable place your cord vacuum in the attic as you will be using it a LOT less). These devices are literally life changing, but it's important to know the limits.
Some General Pointers...
Accessories – Some of the items it today's comparison, such as the Dyson, can be purchased for less with only one or two accessories (our link above is to a set with accessories). If you do not go with any of our suggestions, we still recommend that you consider buying a complete set of attachments with your initial purchase. Specifically, adding a package of attachments to the base vacuum at the time of your initial purchase may offer you significant savings when compared with buying attachments one-by-one at a later date.
Make Sure to Go Bag-Less – All of the vacuums in today's comparison have plastic collection bins that can be simply emptied. Whatever vacuum you decide to purchase, make sure it is bag-less as well—this will enable you to avoid the hassle and expense of having to constantly change vacuum bags.
Tax Deductible? – As alluded to in the introduction to today's comparison, cordless vacuums are not only great around the home, but also around the office. In fact, we use ours to clean hallways, receptions areas, under desks and even our break room (we obviously haven't quite stepped up to the big leagues where janitorial services are on offer). The point being, if you own a small business like us, your cordless vacuum purchase may be tax deductible if you intend to use it for your office. If you aren't familiar with the requirements for taking a business deduction, check with your accountant for the specifics.
Lastly, A Little Convincing...
Why You Should Go Cordless
Going cordless will enable you to quickly grab your vacuum for a host of small tasks that you may have previously let “slide,” making your home or office much cleaner. Going cordless also enables you to quickly cover a large area by avoiding the need to plug and unplug your vacuum at multiple locations around the house—simply grab the vacuum and clean where needed.
We know it sounds funny, but these units are truly life changing. So much so that some of our employees even travel with them on occasion (they are great for cabins and vacation homes).
Give one a shot and you will thank us! We are certainly thanking ourselves that we did!
The ReviewDecide Method
We started ReviewDecide on the premise that a great deal of the information required to properly evaluate a given product is already right in front of your (and our) eyes. In fact there is too much information! A crucial skill necessary to picking the best products is instead the ability to cull through the available information, focusing on what should really drive a purchase decision.
To make those crucial determinations as to what matters and what doesn’t, we begin by thinking through what really matters to us when we use a particular product. We then use the that type of product to further refine the features we care about and that we think you will care about too. Next we search the web, looking to manufacturer’s websites, product specifications, consumer reports, expert blogs, research reports and the like to obtain crucial insights and the facts.
Finally, we distill the results of our research and combine it with our own experiences as consumers, professionals, techies, mothers, fathers, hobbyists, designers, software engineers, attorneys (sorry) and more. Ultimately, this process results in the reviews we present to you. We hope you enjoy!
- Photo of lady vacuuming room from iStock.
- Photo of cordless vacuum iStock.
- Photo of man with dog from iStock.
- Photo of warning about pollen season from iStock.
- Photo of batteries in cardboard box from iStock.
- Photo of hand unplugging power cords from iStock.
- Photo of group jumping in office from iStock.
*Images have been cropped and/or resized.