How we tested
Hi, I’m Jon Chan, the senior lab technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it’s likely I oversee it’s testing in our labs.That includes everything from detergents to full-sized vacuums. When it comes to cordless vacuums, I like models that provide excellent battery life and value.
When we test cordless vacuums, we’re looking for long battery life, ease of use, and powerful suction. To test battery life, we charge each model for 24 hours. Once charged, each vacuum is run at its highest settings and timed until it stops working. If the vacuum doesn’t meet its manufacturer’s advertised claim about its total runtime, we take note and adjust our expectations to see if, under laboratory conditions, the vacuum can still adequately do its job.
Cleaning shouldn’t be complicated, so we take note of how intuitive the design of the vacuum is: Can we figure out how to use it without opening its manual? We also consider the little things: how easy it is to use; and how quickly we can change a vacuum’s attachments, plug in the charger, store it, or empty its dirt bin.
To test cleaning power, we placed 20 grams of sand on a testing platform covered in medium-pile carpet. Before use, this sand is sifted through a specialized mesh to ensure a consistent size of grains between 420 and 595 microns. After evenly spreading the sand across our test platform, we run each vacuum over the carpeted platform once, on max settings. We also check to see if each vacuum could pick up large debris like uncooked rice and macaroni. This test is conducted twice: once with the vacuum’s motorized head and once with its crevice tool.
What you should know about cordless vacuums
Can cordless vacuums replace regular ones?
For the most part, cordless vacuums should be viewed as supplementary cleaning tools to be used in between uses of heavier cleaning equipment or in situations where a full-sized vacuum is too cumbersome. That said, if you’re willing to pay a higher price for the privilege, a cordless vacuum can stand toe-to-toe with a full-sized vacuum. Our top pick has a suction force similar to that of a regular vacuum. But, this amount of suction comes at a price: You’ll only be able to use the Dyson V11 Torque Drive for this level of cleaning for about 9 minutes before it runs out of power and needs to be recharged.
What’s the difference between cordless vacuums and hand vacuums?
In many cases, the only difference between a cordless vacuum and hand vacuum is the cordless vacuum’s long extension, which allows the brush head to reach the floor. Although rare, some two-in-one–models come with a handheld vacuum that can be removed and used to clean, without the floor extension—a real bonus when you’re cleaning furniture or a flight of stairs.
Other vacuums we tested
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