Do Cordless Vacuums Work as Well as Corded Ones?

Written by Alfie
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a woman cleaning a hard wood floor using cordless vacuum.

Do cordless vacuums work as well as corded ones? Or does one type outcompete the other in terms of convenience and suction power?

Having tried both, I can say that each type has its pros and cons. While cordless vacuums set high standards regarding convenience and portability, corded vacuums win the best suction power. But that’s not it!

Let me tell you about the features to consider when choosing between corded and cordless vacuum cleaners.

Key Takeaways

Here’s a quick summary of my takeaways regarding the two types of vacuum cleaners:

  • Corded vacuums have higher suction power and dust capacity, so they’re better for dust-prone floors and large houses.
  • Cordless vacuums are more convenient and portable, so they’re better for small homes with limited storage spaces.
  • Corded vacuums pose a tripping risk while working, so they might not be the best option for places with children and pets.
  • Cordless vacuums are more expensive, so they’re not for people with limited budgets.

Cordless vs. Corded Vacuums: The Ultimate Comparison!

a woman is using a cordless vacuum cleaner on the floor.

In this section, I’ll take you through my comparison feature by feature so that you know which vacuum wins the argument.

Suction Power

Corded vacuums operate on electricity, so they have an unlimited source of suction power that doesn’t deplete over time. Meanwhile, cordless vacuums operate on batteries. So naturally, when the battery life drains, the suction power decreases.

Now, if you have carpeted floors that are more prone to dust than others, you’ll need sufficient and consistent suction power to clean them every other day. This is only achievable through a corded vacuum. But if you don’t have carpets, a cordless vacuum will do you just fine.

Dust Capacity

One of the selling points of cordless vacuums is their compact designs and small sizes. However, while this feature improves storage options, it affects the dust capacity of the vacuum. But how?

Smaller vacuums naturally have smaller dust collectors and filters, so they’ll fill up with dirt faster. Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to empty the filter more frequently, which might not be convenient.

On the other hand, corded vacuums are larger and can take much more dust. A corded vacuum’s average dust capacity is 2-3 liters. Compared to the 0.5-0.6 liters capacity of a cordless one, the winner here is obvious.

Portability and Storage

Most cordless vacuums have stick-like designs, which are compact, lightweight, and easily portable. The average weight of a cordless vacuum is about 3-5 pounds. This feature makes it better suited for people with mobility or health issues, as they can move the vacuum around effortlessly.

Corded vacuums have bulkier bodies and are heavier. The average weight of a corded vacuum is 10-15 pounds. While this feature gives them better dust capacity, it makes them less portable and more challenging to store. You can push a stick vacuum in any cupboard without an issue, but you’ll have to find ample space for a corded vacuum.

Battery Life

I think you’ll all agree when I say that corded vacuums win this argument every time. Since they operate on electricity, they won’t turn off unless there’s a power outage.

I can’t say the same for cordless vacuums, though. Most of these operate on batteries that last an average of 15-60 minutes and need to be charged for 3-15 hours. While their operating time is more than enough for small places, it won’t be enough if you live in a vast, multi-floored house. Charging the vacuum in the middle of using it is highly inconvenient.


In terms of maneuverability, cordless vacuums reign. Their stick-like designs allow them to clean even the narrowest of places. Also, the absence of cords makes them safer around children and pets and more convenient. You can take your cordless vacuum anywhere, whether indoors or outdoors. You don’t even need to look for an electrical outlet.

However, corded vacuums don’t share the same privilege. They’re bulkier, thus more challenging to maneuver around narrow places. Also, their cords are inconvenient to walk around, which affects their portability. You can’t take a corded vacuum cleaner anywhere. You need to make sure first that there’s electricity available.


Since cordless vacuums have more advanced technologies and features, they usually cost more than corded models. If you’re well off, this won’t pose much of an issue to you. 

But if you’re on a limited budget, you’ll appreciate the affordability of corded vacuums more.

Noise Level

In my opinion, both vacuums are noisy on some level. Getting a quiet vacuum cleaner would be a dream come true, but we aren’t there yet.

Having said that, some cordless vacuums come with noise mufflers, so they’re a little less loud than their corded counterparts. But while that makes them more convenient, I still wouldn’t turn on mine while on a call.


The average lifespan of a corded vacuum cleaner is 8 years. However, most models last 4-5 years before needing serious repairs or replacements. 

Meanwhile, cordless vacuums last an average of 2-3 years before needing replacement. While this isn’t the case for all brands and models, it indicates which type will likely last longer.

Final Thoughts

The answer to your question is that, yes, cordless vacuums work as well as corded ones. While the suction power and dust capacity of corded vacuums is better, I like to look at the big picture. Cordless vacuums excel in maneuverability, portability, and convenience, which makes up for the parts they drawback in.

Ultimately, the choice depends on the size of your house and the type of your floor. If you have a large place with carpet floors, then getting a corded vacuum is a no-brainer. But if you have hardwood floors and a reasonably-sized house, cordless vacuums are the way to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve gathered the most popular questions and answered them below.

Corded vacuums are better for cleaning pet hair because they boast higher suction power, which naturally removes more dirt. However, pets drop hair everywhere, even in narrow places. In this case, cordless vacuums win the argument because you can maneuver them anywhere inside the house.

Both types need regular maintenance for consistent and powerful dust removal. While maintaining cordless vacuums is more challenging when you need to change the battery, the difference between the two isn’t a deal breaker.

Cordless vacuums are more convenient for cleaning outdoors because they don’t need an electrical outlet. So if your patio doesn’t have plugs but often gets dusty, you can clean it without an issue. Also, cordless vacuums are easier to carry around.