The holiday season is upon us, folks! And this year, I’m asking for something really sexy and exciting: a new cordless vacuum cleaner. I acquired my current vacuum in 2013 (also a holiday gift – I love a good practical present!), but it’s time to find something that better suits my daily cleaning needs. To that end, I researched hundreds (okay – nearly a hundred, which is nearly every cordless vacuum on the American market today), watched countless YouTube reviews, talked to an expert (my cat’s groomer!), narrowed it down to a few final contenders, and finally found one stick vac that narrowly eked out the rest of the competition (for me, at least). Here were the factors I considered:
- Cordless vs. Corded: I’ve spent nearly a decade schlepping my corded Shark canister vacuum around an array of Los Angeles apartments. While it made sense for my fully-carpeted rental in 2013, I’m ready to upgrade to something a bit easier to manage for daily home maintenance.
- Weight: My current vacuum clocks in around 20 pounds which makes cleaning feel like a drag. I know that the right tools can really transform the enthusiasm I have for tidying and maintaining my home – like, the Disneyland-style broom and pan was the impetus that ignited my love for cleaning – so I’m in the market for something that’s about 5 pounds.
- Battery Life: With 1100 square feet to vacuum, I’m on the hunt for something that can run closer to an hour – 15 minutes seems to be an industry standard – or for a vacuum that offers additional battery packs.
- Canister vs. Bags: Pet hair can fill a bag VERY quickly; the cost of those bag refills really compound up over time. This helped narrow the field – we’re looking for canisters only over here!
- Pet Functionality: A lot of pet-specific models include upholstery brushes, bristles that resist tangling, or an odor-reducing air filter. While all of those features are helpful, none of them are essential (or even more helpful) when it comes to actually getting pet hair off the floor or out of a rug.
- Price: We’re heading into Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so I had a bit more wiggle room here than I would normally – I felt comfortable looking at higher-priced models, knowing that they’ll likely be on sale in some capacity within the next few weeks.
With that criteria in mind, here are 7 cream-of-the-crop options, including the vacuum I gifted my mom (only the best for Brenda!) and the cordless vac that’ll be topping my wishlist this winter…
Dyson V8 Animal
Weight: 5.63 lbs
Battery Life: Up to 40 minutes
Price: Currently $350 – $450
The V8 Animal is the gold standard of cordless pet vacuums and it’s a great entry-level option. Originally released in 2016, it’s Dyson’s longest-running model for good reason – it performs beautifully on both hard floors and low-pile rugs. That said, the short battery life (only up to 7 minutes in its most powerful mode) and long charging time (5 hours) can be disqualifying for those with larger spaces. I decided against the V8 Animal because I wanted a few more bells and whistles, but it’s a great choice for those with primarily hard surfaces or for those working to maintain smaller spaces.
Weight: 7.98 lbs
Battery Life: Up to 120 minutes
Price: Currently $950
This is Dyson’s largest cordless vacuum and includes a whole suite of advanced features, like nearly 2 hours (!!!) of run time, hair-detangling technology, and a laser that helps highlight debris in its path. It boasts a full-size bin (so it’s a great choice for bigger homes, or for fully-carpeted spaces), and while it doesn’t offer specific pet functionality, it HAS anecdotally held its own against the numerous animals currently residing at my mom’s house. It’s a little too much power for my current needs, but it’s an incredible piece of technology for those with a lot of home to clean!
PS. I gifted an Outsize+ to my mom and recommend buying this one straight from Dyson (or at least running a price comparison first) – I nabbed her a discounted Floor Dok AND a free furniture detailing kit, which was a way better value than any comparable sale I could find. Do your diligence, friends! 🙂
Tineco A11 Hero
Weight: 5.5 lbs
Battery Life: Up to 40 minutes
Price: Currently $210 – $260
You can’t beat the price or weight here – the Tineco A11 Hero is a great alternative to the Dyson V8 Animal, especially if you’re trying to find a great product for, uh, not a literal ton of money. (Looking at you, Outsize+!) This one has a trigger lock, so you don’t need to hold down the power button for continuous operation – a huge plus! – and backup batteries are available, too. The A11 seems to excel at picking up pet hair in particular – seemingly at the expense of other items, like cat litter particles – so it does seem like it’d be best suited for dog owners, but this stick vac was definitely a front-runner in my search.
Bissell CrossWave X7
Weight: 10.6 lbs
Battery Life: Up to 30 minutes
Price: Currently $345 – $500
This is Bissell’s top-of-the-line product for homes with pets. The run time leaves a little to be desired, but it’s the only product I considered that can vacuum AND mop at the same time. (Note: most mop vacuums like this are recommended only for area rugs and require about an hour of drying time – use on carpeted flooring is not suggested. Sorry, carpet friends!) Larger homes will require the filling and emptying of the tank several times, but it may be worth it for a product that can knock out two chores at once. I decided against the X7 as I didn’t want to make sure it was clean and dry every time I used it – remember, I’m looking for a daily tool – but if you’re still in the market for a vacuum product with carpet cleaning functionality, I can’t recommend the Little Green Machine enough for smaller jobs!
Roomba i3+ EVO
Weight: No need to carry!
Battery Life: It charges itself!
Price: Currently $443 – $549
Is it cordless? Technically! Is it a stick vacuum? Absolutely not! I hadn’t planned on considering a Roomba – my previous iteration was awesome on hardwoods, but much less effective on area rugs – buuuuuuuuut there have been some huge leaps forward with the i3+ EVO. My personal favorite update: this Roomba can now clean AND empty itself for up to 60 days. TWO MONTHS, GUYS. The i3+ EVO also has updated multi-surface rubber brushes (as opposed to a single bristle brush) that now flex to adjust to different floor types. I’m looking for something with a bit more control – I want to be able to tidy up immediately when I see a mess (or a collection of cat fur tumbleweeds), but this is an amazing choice if you’re more of a “set it and forget it” person.
Shark IZ682H Vertex Pro with Multiflex
Weight: 8.82 lbs
Battery Life: Up to 120 minutes
Price: Currently $500
This one is sick, y’all – my favorite feature is the flexible construction, which allows access to hard-to-reach places AND makes storage a breeze (you can fold it down on itself). The two batteries are a game changer, too – take a peek at the reviews and you’ll see a ton of Dyson V8 Animal converts who appreciate the long battery life of this model. It’s a bit heavier than the other cordless machines on the market, but it more than makes up for its weight with its fin functionality that picks up hair without risk of brush tangles. This was actually my backup choice – it’s easy to argue that it’s one of the top cordless vacuums available right now.
Dyson V15 Detect Absolute
Weight: 6.83 lbs
Battery Life: Up to 60 minutes
Price: Currently $800
DING DING DING – we have a winner, folks!!! The vacuum world is united – this is the best cordless vacuum ever made. (That’s not hyperbole, either – this is genuinely the best-reviewed product on the market right now, according to both experts AND customers.) The V15 Detect Absolute is a Dyson exclusive (and not to be confused with the V15 Detect, a sibling product) and it’s also the vacuum that’s topped my Christmas wishlist this year. Let me sing the praises really quickly: it’s Dyson’s most powerful vacuum (litter particles are no match!); it features laser illumination so you can actually see the dirt and dust you’re vacuuming; there are two cleaner heads engineered for homes with pets; it offers HEPA filtration; there are click-in batteries so you can always be charged and ready to roll; there are special tools, like a low-reach adaptor so you can vacuum underneath sofas and credenzas without crawling…I mean, is there any competition here?
I know the price is a bit high – if you’re also going to ask for one of these for the holidays, be sure to do it before Cyber Week! – but the battery life, weight, and canister size make it the perfect choice for daily usage.
Hoping that this research helps a bit as we head into Cyber Week – please let me know if you end up scoring a deal on any of these vacuums (or if there’s a cordless option that you own and love – I’m pretty set on the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute, but compelling anecdotes from y’all are always welcome!). Let’s chat CLEANING, yeah??? See you down there – have a great Wednesday 🙂 xx
Opening Image Credits: Art Direction by Emily Henderson | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | Styled by Emily Bowser | From: Kids Organization Hacks – Inspirational Ways To Get Them To Do More By Themselves And Make Our Lives Easier