What Are The Pros and Cons of Cordless Vacuums

Written by Alfie
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a person using a cordless vacuum to clean a couch.

Our technology keeps advancing and making our lives more portable. Desktops became laptops, fixed landline phones became mobiles, and, in our topic, corded vacuums became cordless.

However, have these cordless vacuums improved enough to be worth your time? In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of cordless vacuums and answer that question. 

Key Takeaways
  • Cordless vacuums offer superior portability and unobstructed movement due to their lightweight, slim design, and absence of cords, enabling easy cleaning of hard-to-reach areas and eliminating tripping hazards.
  • Unlike corded vacuums, cordless ones don’t rely on power outlets during use, facilitating smooth cleaning processes without interruptions to switch outlets. They are also ideal for spot cleaning and easier to store.
  • However, cordless vacuums face limitations such as restricted battery life impacting cleaning time and performance, smaller dust canister capacity necessitating frequent emptying, and higher average prices compared to corded models.

What Are The Advantages of Cordless Vacuums?

a person using a cordless vacuum to clean a wooden floor.

Here’s where cordless vacuums shine:

Weight and Portability

Cleaning is an already tedious process, so having to carry around a heavy vacuum cleaner can make you postpone the task even more.

Conventional corded vacuum cleaners weigh anywhere between 8–19 pounds. On the other hand, their cordless counterparts average 3–6 pounds, which is almost ⅙ the weight.

Not only that, but you won’t have to drag around a bulky canister as you clean. With cordless vacuums, your vacuum handle is also your canister.

This design allows for great portability and accessibility to places that your regular vacuum can’t reach. For example, you can use a cordless vacuum to clean the floor of your car, which is something your traditional vacuum can’t do unless there’s an outlet nearby. 

Unobstructed Movement

A corded vacuum cleaner is often large and bulky, so the canister itself can be an obstacle you need to remove to clean underneath. 

Let’s not forget the cord. Vacuum cleaner cords are the culprits for so many accidents. Family members, children, pets, and even the person actively cleaning can sometimes trip over the cord. You won’t have to face that with a cordless vacuum. 

Also, most cordless vacuums have slim designs, allowing you to easily use them in tight corners, behind doors, and under furniture. This ease of use is something a conventional vacuum often can’t provide. 

No Reliance on Outlets

How often did you need to walk back and forth, looking for an outlet because the room you’re cleaning is too large?

Conventional vacuums are notorious for having you visit most outlets in your large rooms. You’ll often have to stop cleaning and frustratingly drag that large canister to the next outlet. 

This dragging is a problem you won’t face with cordless vacuums. They do need outlets, but only when they’re charging. However, as long as they’re charged, you can use them inside and outside your house. 

Fantastic for Spot Cleaning

How annoying is it to clean that tight spot on your couch with a bulky vacuum cleaner? Cordless vacuums often do that task with ease.

Because of their lightweight and slim design, they often squeeze between tight spots in your furniture without problems.

Not only that, but they’re also better when cleaning shelves, curtains, and tables. Their weight allows for much bigger freedom on various surfaces. 

Quick and Easy to Use

You’re probably familiar with this story: get the vacuum, undo the cord, attach it to an outlet, clean, re-attach to a closer outlet, clean, gather the cord, and then store. 

How about replacing that with this: get the vacuum, clean, and then store?

Cordless vacuums are always on standby as long as the battery is charged. Just press the power button, finish your chores, and store it again.


Ease of storage is an underrated feature that most people overlook until their household is clogged with devices.  The absence of cords and the sleeker design allows for much less storage space. Transferring the vacuum cleaner from place to place also becomes easier as it occupies less space. 

What Are The Disadvantages of Cordless Vacuums?

Here’s why conventional vacuums are still strong in the market:

Limited Battery

Depending on the model, cordless vacuums can run between 20–75 minutes on a full charge.

However, it’s common for people to put the vacuum aside after they finish without charging it. That may not seem like an issue until you realize how lazy people can be. 

Whether it’s because of laziness or forgetfulness, you run the risk of having the battery die on you mid-cleaning. This scenario is the last thing you’d want when you’re rush cleaning before your guests arrive, especially if you don’t have a conventional vacuum at home. 

The Performance Depends on the Battery

The issue with battery-powered cordless vacuums isn’t just about the battery dying out but also about performance. 

Unlike your phone, which often performs the same regardless of the battery level, cordless vacuums will perform worse as the battery drains. 

The average waiting time for a full charge on a cordless vacuum is 2.5 hours. That’s at least two hours of delay before you finish your chores. 

Limited Dust Canister

The slender design of cordless vacuums comes with a price: limited canister capacity. As such, most cordless vacuums require emptying and cleaning the canister after every cleaning session. This constant cleaning isn’t good news for those who suffer from dust allergies.

Some of the newer models come with self-emptying charging bases, reducing the frequency of emptying the canister after every session. However, you’ll still have to clean it far more than you would with a conventional vacuum. 

The Price

Vacuum cleaners, in general, could be expensive whether they have cords or not. However, the average prices of cordless vacuums are often considerably higher than their corded counterparts.

With all the pros and cons in mind, it’ll be up to you to decide whether a cordless vacuum is worth the increased cost. 

Final Thoughts

Cordless vacuums are fantastic devices that can make your chores a lot easier. They’re lightweight, easy to transport, cordless, and nimble enough to go anywhere.

However, the portability comes with some limitations. You’ll always have to keep the battery charged, and you’ll also need to empty the canister whenever you finish cleaning.

There’s no absolute rule here. Weigh the pros and cons of cordless vacuums yourself and see if they work for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Any standalone device will perform less than it would if constantly attached to a power source.

Cordless vacuums are less effective than their bigger cousins, just like how desktop computers outperform laptops.

However, technology is advancing, and the bridge between both vacuums is narrowing. 

Cordless vacuums don’t use electricity unless they’re charging. And even then, they’ll still be easier on your electricity bill than corded vacuums.

Since most of them use Lithium-Ion batteries, you’ll never have to worry about overcharging or over-draining electricity. 

Because of their stronger motors, corded vacuums excel in cleaning carpets compared to cordless vacuums. 

Fortunately, both types of vacuums perform well on a non-carpeted floor. 

Cordless vacuums aren’t the best choice if you have a large house. They’ll do a fantastic job when you need a quick swipe of a room, but they’re a poor choice if you need to clean your entire house. It’s best to have a backup corded vacuum in that case.