Cordless Stick Vacuums With the Best Battery Life

Great vacs from CR's tests that won’t leave you powerless mid-mess

Three cordless stick vacuums with the longest runtime.
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With their slim, storage-friendly profiles and ever-improving performance, cordless stick vacuums are sucking up an ever bigger chunk of the vacuum market. But cutting the cord presents a trade-off: convenience vs. run time.

The batteries that power cordless stick vacs have a limited run time, and it can take hours for them to fully recharge. Manufacturers are aware of the problem.

“We found in talking to consumers that they need to be able to get the same cleaning performance they expect from a corded cleaner and not be left stranded in the middle of a cleaning task," says Kevin Pohlman, vice president of engineering at TTI Floorcare, which owns Hoover, among other brands. 

In an exclusive survey of its members who own cordless vacuums, Consumer Reports found that almost half of cordless stick vacuums develop battery problems within five years. Still, if you want a convenient cordless vacuum, you should look for one that will get you through a cleaning task uninterrupted.

To see how long a vacuum will last on one battery charge, CR's testers run it until the battery dies—twice on high, twice on low—then average the times. "The results vary widely,” says Sue Booth, who oversees our vacuum tests. For instance, the Bissell Air Ram 1984, reviewed below, clocked in at 47 minutes of vacuuming time on a full battery, while the Kenmore 10340 lasted a mere 15 minutes.

Here are the vacuums with the longest run times among models that perform well in our vacuum tests. They’re listed in order from the most to the least run time.

Bissell Air Ram 1984
Bissell Air Ram 1984

    Bissell Air Ram 1984

    Run time: 47 minutes
    Charge time: 5 hours
    CR’s take: The cordless Bissell Air Ram 1984 is a good choice if you have pets and a variety of flooring. It earns an Excellent rating in our tests for cleaning carpet, bare floors, and pet hair. It quietly zips along edges, leaving them debris-free, and easily scoots under furniture. Its 47 minutes of run time is the longest of any stick vac in our tests.  

    Dyson V11 Torque Drive
    Dyson V11 Torque Drive

      Dyson V11 Torque Drive

      Run time: 43.2 minutes
      Charge time: 4 hours
      CR’s take: One of the newer Dysons on the market, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive packs more run time than the brand’s earlier generations of stick vacuums. It earns our top rating for cleaning carpet, floors, edges, and pet hair, as well as for clean emissions. And it’s one of the quieter models in our ratings, earning an Excellent rating for noise—an improvement over the V10 below.

      Dyson V11 Outsize
      Dyson V11 Outsize

        Dyson V11 Outsize

        Run time: 40 minutes
        Charge  time: 5 hours
        CR's take: The powerful Dyson V11 Outsize aces all of CR's performance tests, but at almost 8 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than some stick vacuums. Testers especially like the LCD screen that shows cleaning status. An auto mode changes the vac’s suction according to floor type. A few nice features: a wider powerhead for more floor coverage, a big dirt bin for easier emptying, and two batteries so that you don’t have to interrupt cleaning to recharge.

        Kenmore CSV Go 10438
        Kenmore CSV Go 10438

          Kenmore CSV Go 10438

          Run time: 31.5 minutes
          Charge time: 4 hours
          CR's take: This cordless vacuum may not be ideal if you have a lot of carpeting. But if you have bare floors and a pet, this will do fine because it aces both of those tests. At less than 5 pounds, it’s lightweight, and it has a handy multicolored LCD battery indicator so that you can see how much vacuuming time you have left. Emissions are clean, and this vacuum operates quietly.

          Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
          Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

            Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

            Run time: 29 minutes
            Charge time: 3 hours
            CR’s take: The predecessor to the Dyson V11, the Dyson Cyclone V10 clocks in at just shy of a half-hour of cleaning time. We paid $700 for the model we tested, but it now costs much less. In our tests, it performs equally well at cleaning carpets and bare floors, and at removing pet hair. The edges of your rooms will be spotless, but you’ll have to put up with a little noise to get them that way.  

            Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead
            Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead

              Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead

              Run time: 27 minutes
              Charge time: 3 hours
              CR’s take: The Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead powers on for 2 minutes less than the V10 Absolute but is just as good at cleaning. It’s superb on carpets and bare floors, and at getting rid of pet hair. Like the V10 Absolute, it makes a bit of a racket as you work, but you’ll appreciate the clean emissions.  

              Oreck Pod BK51702
              Oreck Pod BK51702

                Oreck Pod BK51702

                Run time: 27 minutes
                Charge time: 3 hours
                CR’s take: Unlike most cordless vacuums, the Oreck Pod BK51702 vacuum has a bag, or "pod." Though the pod is easy to install, it’s not reusable, so you’ll have to replace it from time to time, which adds to the overall cost of the vacuum. It’s not the most stellar performer, especially if you have carpet. But it earns an Excellent rating for removing pet hair and does a good job on bare floors.  

                Hoover ONEPWR Blade Max BH53350
                Hoover ONEPWR Blade Max BH53350

                  Hoover ONEPWR Blade Max BH53350

                  Run time: 26.2 minutes
                  Charge time: 4 hours
                  CR's take: The cordless Hoover ONEPWR Blade Max is an impressive performer in CR’s tests, earning top-notch scores for cleaning bare floors and removing pet hair, and it holds its own on carpeting, earning a Very Good rating. Plus it zips along the edges of a room, leaving little to nothing behind. It has two cleaning head options: a hard floor nozzle (no brush roll) and a carpet nozzle (with a brush roll). The battery is replaceable and can be used with any tool in Hoover’s ONEPWR system.

                  Hoover Fusion Max BH53110
                  Hoover Fusion Max BH53110

                    Hoover Fusion Max BH53110

                    Run time: 26 minutes
                    Charge time: 3 hours
                    CR’s take: This Hoover Fusion Max BH53110 makes quick work of removing pet hair and cleaning along edges. It's a quiet little number that's equally good at cleaning bare floors and carpeting. But it earns a Poor rating for emissions, meaning it kicks some dirt back into the house. So if you have allergies, try another vac listed here.  

                    Shark ION F80 Cord-Free MultiFLEX IF281
                    Shark ION F80 Cord-Free MultiFLEX...

                      Shark ION F80 Cord-Free MultiFLEX...

                      Run time: 24 minutes
                      Charge time: 4 hours
                      CR’s take: Both of the Shark stick vacs featured here run for 24 minutes. The Shark Ion F80 tackles pet hair and bare floors with ease but struggles on carpet, so it might not be the best option if you have a lot of carpet or area rugs. But it comes with two batteries, so technically you’re getting twice the cleaning time. It earns an Excellent rating for noise, and emissions are clean.  

                      Shark ION X40 Cord-Free Ultra-Light IR141
                      Shark ION X40 Cord-Free...

                        Shark ION X40 Cord-Free...

                        Run time: 24 minutes
                        Charge time: 4 hours
                        CR’s take: Unlike the Shark above, the Shark Ion X40 comes with the usual single battery. It's top-notch at cleaning bare floors and removing pet hair but falls short when cleaning carpet, earning a middling rating of Good on that test. The Shark is stealthily quiet, though, and its emissions are clean. 

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                        Mary H.J. Farrell

                        Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.