Best Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaners for 2021
Stick vacuum cleaners are lightweight and rather compact and slim upright vacuum cleaners. They come in a broad range of subtypes and varieties, depending on the power source, convertibility options, dirt collection, air filtration, cleaning attachments, etc.
Stick vacuum cleaners are commonly used as the second vacuum cleaners, especially in larger homes and apartments, although some models are often used as the main vacuums, not only in smaller homes and apartments.
Due to the lightweight design, they are also the preferred choice as the best vacuums for elderly people.
Updated: August 18, 2021.
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Convertible vs. Non-Convertible Stick Vacuum Cleaners
Stick vacuums are commonly designed as slim and narrow upright vacuums, except that stick vacuums are lighter than full-size upright vacuums, usually have somewhat weaker suction motors, slightly narrower cleaner heads, smaller dirt cups, etc.
As such, stick vacuums are very maneuverable units, being able to easily navigate around the floor objects and obstacles and can be used by elderly people and even kids - kids under the supervision of adults, of course.
However, in order to make them even more versatile, some models are designed as 2-in-1 (or even 3-in-1) units, combining stick and handheld vacuums in one unit, hence the name.
Such 2-in-1 units can be used for vacuuming practically all surfaces from the floor to the ceiling, using main cleaner head(s) and available cleaning attachments.
But, in order to make them convertible, such units usually have slightly lower dirt cup capacity, lighter and somewhat weaker suction motors, more complex design, etc. You win something, You lose something :)
Cordless vs Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaners
Mains power lets any vacuum operate as long as there is a mains power present in the form of the wall power socket.
The vacuuming range of corded vacuums is limited by the length of the power cord, which must be pulled around during vacuuming.
Corded stick vacuums feature suction motors in the 600-700 watts range, rarely more. Stronger motors create stronger suction, but they are also heavier, bulkier, and require better sound insulation. Also, they cost more.
Cordless stick vacuums are mostly powered with power fade-free lithium-ion batteries. Some older models still use Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries, but they are being slowly phased out.
Lithium-ion batteries come mostly as 4-cells 14.4 volts, 5-cells 18 volts, 6-cells 21.6 volts, 7-cells 25.2 volts, or even 8-cells 28.8 volts battery packs.
There are lithium-ion battery packs with 3 or less or 8 or more battery cells, but they are not very common.
Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight, have larger capacity when compared with other battery types, have no memory effect and mostly feature fade-free power - as long as there is some charge in the battery, the vacuum can operate at full power.
Lithium-ion batteries on the other hand do cost more than NiMH batteries, but the performance difference justifies the price difference. Also, these batteries are sensitive to charging conditions and MUST be charged only with the proper chargers intended for these batteries!
Cordless stick vacuums feature suction motors mostly in the 100 - 300 watts range. Stronger motors require larger batteries that store more energy and they can be costly.
However, high-end cordless stick vacuums like Dyson Cyclone V10 feature 7-cells 25.2 volts lithium-ion batteries based on Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium (NCA) technology, that are being able to provide enough energy for their 525 W motors for 8 minutes, creating 150 Air Watts of suction. And Dyson V11 is even stronger than Dyson V10...
In order to preserve the energy stored in the onboard battery, cordless vacuums often have power controls that allow the user to set different suction power.
For example, Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute has three power settings with the operating time up to 60 minutes when set to lowest power, up to 23 minutes when set to medium power, and up to 8 minutes when set to burst mod power.
Note: such performances come at a high price and Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute or Dyson V11 Torque Drive (or V11 OutSize) are some of the most expensive cordless stick vacuums on the market. But, their performances are very close to the performances of corded units, comparable (up to the point) even with the large upright vacuums.
Bagless or Bagged Stick Vacuum Cleaners
Most stick vacuum cleaners are by default bagless units.
They usually feature transparent dirt cups/bins, allowing the users to see the type and amount of the vacuumed dirt. The capacity of such dirt cups is smaller when compared with the dirt bins of large bagless units - stick vacuums are, after all, designed to be compact and slim, sacrificing the volume, including the capacity of the dirt cups.
The typical capacity of dirt cups is in the 0.4 - 0.9 liters range, rarely more.
Some dirt cups are detachable, allowing the users to empty them directly into the trash can. Units with the fixed dirt cups usually feature a bottom emptying system, allowing the users to empty the dirt cups directly into the trash can, but holding the whole unit (or just handheld part).
Cleaner Heads and Cleaning Tools and Attachments
In order to be able to clean various floor types and elevated surfaces, stick vacuums feature main cleaner heads optimized for vacuuming certain types of floors, like bare floors or carpeted floors.
Some manufacturers equip their units with universal main cleaner heads, enabling the units to be effectively used on different floor types using a single main cleaner head.
In order to be able to clean elevated surfaces, stick vacuums commonly feature additional cleaning tools like crevice tools, dusting brushes, mini motorized tools, mini flexible cleaning hoses, under appliance cleaning tools, etc.
Also, some convertible units feature simple, detachable cleaning wands, but some come with detachable cleaning wands that feature adjustable length or cleaning angle. Such adjustable wands can be of great help when cleaning hard and awkward-to-reach areas and surfaces. Also, they can make cleaning tasks much more comfortable.
True HEPA Air filtration - Yes or No?
There are several levels of HEPA air filtration, but generally, when somebody says 'true HEPA' air filtration, it means that the vacuum is able to clean and trap inside at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles.
This is not easy to achieve since such HEPA air filters are expensive, and cause larger pressure drop.
Thus, many vacuums feature 'HEPA' air filters that are being able to trap 99.9% of such particles, which is also a very good result, but they cause lesser pressure drop and are more energy-efficient.
Note: Some manufacturers claim that they use air filters made from 'HEPA grade materials' or similar, but they don't state the level of air filtration. That doesn't mean that such vacuums have bad air filtration, just be aware of such practice.
Which Stick Vacuum Cleaner is the Best?
There isn't an easy answer to that question since all people are different and have different requirements regarding the vacuum cleaners, stick vacuums included.
Personally, if you are looking for a stick vacuum cleaner, go for cordless, bagless, convertible vacuum cleaners. Such vacuum can be used even as the main vacuum cleaner in small to medium homes and apartments, can be used as an excellent emergency vacuum, and can be used as the second vacuum cleaner in large homes and apartments.
Just be sure that the main cleaner head fits your floors and that additional cleaning tools allow You to keep the rest of your home clean and pleasant to live in.
And one more thing - be sure that the unit can be left in the charging dock indefinitely, i.e. that it has an intelligent battery charger that stops the charging when the battery is fully recharged. This detail is often overlooked, but it is so important for daily use since it can be rather annoying to wait for the unit to recharge fully and then to unplug it from the charger.
Here is the list of several excellent cordless stick vacuums that can be used even as the main vacuum cleaners in large(r) homes and apartments. Some of them tend to be very expensive, but what You get is what you pay - strong and versatile units that can help You clean your home, saving both time and effort.
Dyson V11 Outsize Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson V11 Outsize features three suction modes and comes with two batteries offering a maximum operating time of 120+ minutes (using both batteries) in Eco mode or 24 minutes (again, using both batteries) in Boost mode.
While in Boost mode, Dyson V11 Outsize features 220 Air Watts suction, which is stronger suction than many corded vacuums (uprights and canisters included)!
All relevant information about the unit is presented to the user via an LCD screen.
The dirt cup is transparent and features a capacity of 0.5 gals (~1.8 liters) - again, Dyson V11 Outsize features a dirt cup larger than most upright vacuums.
When the battery is fully discharged, it takes ~4.5 hours to fully charge it, which is an acceptable charging time considering its capacity.
The list of cleaning tools includes High Torque XL Cleaner Head (featuring Dynamic Load Sensor, ensuring very efficient Auto Mode), Mini Motorized Tool, Combination Tool, Crevice Tool, Mini Soft Dusting Brush, and Stubborn Dirt Brush.
Like other Dyson cordless units, High Torque XL comes with a wall docking/charging station.
According to Dyson, Dyson V11 Outsize is a true HEPA vacuum cleaner that is able to filter out 99.99% of 0.3 microns and larger particles.
Dyson V11 Outsize is anything but a cheap cordless stick vacuum cleaner, but it features excellent suction, a broad range of cleaning tools, excellent air filtration, it is easy to use and maintain, etc.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Dyson V11 Outsize Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Shark IZ462H Vertex Ultra Lightweight Anti-Allergen Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum
When in stick vacuum configuration, Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins weighs 9.04 pounds (~4.3 kg), but the unit feels lighter during use.
Main cleaner head features DuoClean PowerFins technology - main cleaner head comes with two different brushrolls that spin in unison, greatly improving the cleaning effect. The first one is a soft cleaner head optimized for bare floors, while the second one features soft fins (hence the "PowerFins" part of the label) that ensure constant contact with the floor, improving the cleaning of the carpeted areas.
Also, the main cleaner head comes with self-cleaning technology that automatically removes tangled hair, fibers, and lint, greatly helping with the maintenance.
MultiFLEX cleaning wand bends, helping with the vacuuming under sofas and beds.
Thanks to the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology, vacuumed air is not released in the cleaned area until it is properly filtered out.
The dirt cup capacity is 0.34 quarts, which is large enough for most cleaning tasks. Dirt cup can be quickly emptied into the trashcan without ever touching the vacuumed dirt.
When the battery is fully discharged, it takes ~3 hours to fully charge it again.
Note: Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins comes with only one battery, but another battery can be ordered later if/when required.
Runtime depends on the cleaning mode, suction strength, and cleaning tool used and can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 60 minutes.
Additional cleaning tools include Crevice Tool, Pet Multi-Tool, and Anti-Allergen Dusting Brush - if required, other cleaning tools may be ordered later.
Although it is not as strong as Dyson V11 OutSize, Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins is a cheaper vacuum, offering the unit that can be used for vacuuming various surfaces at home, from the floor to the ceiling and that can also be used as the main vacuum cleaner even in larger homes and apartments.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Shark IZ462H Vertex Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Tineco Pure ONE S11 Tango Smart Cordless Stick Vacuum
The runtime of the unit depends on the cleaning tool being used, suction strength, but it also depends on the amount of detected dirt - Tineco Pure ONE S11 Tango comes with the so-called iLOOP Smart Sensor which is able to detect hidden dust and debris and automatically adjusts suction power in real-time, ensuing longer runtime on a single battery charge.
Air filtration is excellent - Tineco Pure ONE S11 Tango is a true HEPA vacuum cleaner, being able to filter 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles.
All relevant information about the unit is displayed on the LED display, but since the Tineco Pure ONE S11 Tango is a WiFi-enabled unit, it also supports Tineco smartphone App featuring real-time performance monitoring, cleaning reports, maintenance reminders, tech support, troubleshooting, etc.
Cleaning tools include multi-floor cleaner head, bare floor cleaner head, small brushroll, dusting brush, and crevice tool.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Tineco Pure ONE S11 Tango Smart Cordless Stick Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
ORFELD EV679 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
ORFELD EV679 is powered by a 200 watts motor, ensuring maximum suction of 18 kPa and a runtime of ~15 minutes or 8 kPa suction and a runtime of up to 50 minutes.
Note: some sources claim that ORFELD EV679 features 200 Air Watts - that would mean that this model features suction strength somewhere between the Dyson V11 Torque Drive and Dyson V11 OutSize for just the fraction of price (and weight!).
When the unit is used as the stick vacuum cleaner, it weighs only 4.6 pounds (~2.1 kg), and as a handheld vacuum, it weighs only 2.7 pounds (~1.22 kg) - almost like a battery on some much stronger units.
Cleaning tools include the main cleaner head and the 2-in-1 dusting/crevice tool.
Air filtration is good - it is designed to capture 99% of microparticles. All air filters are washable, helping with keeping the maintenance costs very low.
Thanks to the ultralight design and full swivel neck, ORFELD EV679 is a very maneuverable unit, allowing the user to easily reach and clean surfaces under or around most common floor objects and obstacles.
ORFELD EV679 features well-balanced design, making it a very popular entry-level convertible stick vacuum that can actually clean very well.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the ORFELD EV679 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Hoover BH53420PC ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Hoover BH53420PC ONEPWR Evolve Pet is intended for vacuuming floors only - it is NOT a convertible vacuum and cannot be used as, for example, a handheld unit.
While this may sound like a handicap, it also allows the unit to be optimized for its cleaning tasks as much as possible - to thoroughly clean various types of floors.
Hoover BH53420PC ONEPWR Evolve Pet is powered by ONEPWR 4.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery, ensuring runtime of up to 35 minutes. If a longer operating time is required, another battery can be ordered.
Note: Each ONEPWR 4.0 Ah lithium battery is compatible with all other ONEPWR units.
The unit weighs 8.6 pounds (~3.9 kg) with the most weight being on the floor - the unit easily glides over different types of floors.
Brushroll can be quickly turned On and Off, allowing the user to clean even very sensitive floors.
The dirt cup capacity is 1 liter, which is excellent capacity in this class.
Another very interesting feature is that the Hoover BH53420PC ONEPWR Evolve Pet is a self-standing unit, helping with the storage.
Note: although the unit is rather stable when standing on its own, don't let the pets and kids play around it!
If You are looking for a vacuum cleaner that will be used for cleaning the floors only, consider this unit - for many reasons, it is one of the most popular units in its class.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Hoover BH53420PC ONEPWR Evolve Pet Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Long Story Short: When Your new vacuum cleaner arrives, be sure to thoroughly read the Manual/Owner's Guide and to get accustomed to your new unit.
When choosing a new vacuum, be sure to choose according to your own needs and requirements.