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Cordless vs Corded Vacuum

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Updated February 18, 2023

The ultimate showdown between a cordless vs corded vacuum is here. If you’re looking to buy any type of leading corded stick vacuum cleaner, you’ll undoubtedly have to choose between these two styles. Also, the best vacuum cleaner comes in one of these styles. Understanding how the two compare and where either falls short is crucial to that decision.


  • Corded options are better for those who need stronger suction and have multiple floor surfaces to clean.
  • Cordless vacuums offer less suction power but make up for it by being portable, easy to use, and generally more maneuverable.
  • Choosing between a high-end cordless vacuum or corded option means thinking about your lifestyle, household needs, cleaning schedule, and general budget.

Cordless and Corded Vacuum Cleaners Compared

When thinking about a cordless vs a corded vacuum, it’s essential to understand the difference between the two options. It isn’t just about the power source, as you’ll learn about in our Tineco vacuum review. There are a few categories that are important to go over before making a decision.


Comparing Vacuum Types

There is a multitude of different categories you can use to decide on your new vacuum. With the price of vacuums rising every year, you should always think of a new vacuum as an investment and research accordingly. The categories below are the most important when determining whether corded or cordless vacuums are suitable for you. There are various types of vacuums out there, like ones for the home, garage, lawns, and pools, that is if you already know how a pool vacuum cleaner works.

Suction Power

Cordless vacuum cleaners are generally going to score lower when it comes to powerful suction. The reason for this is that battery-powered vacuums aren’t able to pull an unlimited amount of electricity. Battery power has a hard time keeping up with the unlimited power source available to a corded option. A more expensive model, like a high-end Dyson, will offer better battery power. However, a reasonably-priced corded model, like you’ll read about in our Shark Rocket corded ultra light review, can be a great option, too. Some cordless vacuums are still good choices for certain debris or surfaces, like a handheld vacuum for pet hair that can be used on furniture. If you want a quiet vacuum cleaner, you might want to opt for a cordless vacuum that tends to have lower suction power versus corded models. However, if you need a more heavy-duty vacuum, we have you covered with a great guide to finding you the best commercial vacuum.

Flexibility and Maneuverability

When it comes to flexibility and maneuverability, cordless vacuum cleaners reign supreme. If you have a model with great battery life, you can easily vacuum your entire house, including the tight spaces. Cordless stick vacuums offer the best opportunity for flexibility and should be your first choice if that’s high on your list. Though even some corded stick vacuums can be easy to maneuver, like the best vacuum for vinyl floors.

Floor Types

If you solely have hardwood floors in your home, your needs will be drastically different from those with carpeted floors. Since cordless vacuum cleaners struggle to supply suction power, they tend to work poorly on medium-pile carpets. That doesn’t mean all corded options are perfect, however. Corded stick vacuums will struggle to provide sufficient cleaning on the carpet.


Are cordless vacuums as good at cleaning?

The short answer is no. Unfortunately, their lack of consistent suction power means they fall short compared to corded models with more powerful motors.

Which vacuums are best for pet hair?

Pet hair is a big problem for a lot of people. Luckily, there are several vacuum cleaners out there that are made specifically to deal with pet hair. Some are convenient by being cordless for flexible navigation like the best cordless vacuum for pet hair.

Which vacuums are better on hard floors?

Generally, robot vacuum cleaners tend to be the best choice because they offer consistent cleaning. A great Dyson stick model is another excellent choice for hardwood floors.

Which vacuums are easier to maintain?

All vacuums need to be cleaned and maintained regularly to stay in good condition. The answer also depends on what you mean by maintaining. Here are a few low-effort options:

  • Bagless Model
  • Handheld Vacuums
  • Robot Vacuum Cleaners

STAT: According to EnergyStar, upright vacuum cleaners have a 70 percent market share in the United States. (source)

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