We took five of the best-selling upright style cordless stick vacuum and put them through a ton of tests to see which one is the best. In this article, we’ll show the results. First, a little about this type of cordless vacuum. They call them upright cordless stick vacuums because they are upright and can stand up on their own, unlike traditional cordless stick vacuums. They also tend to be a little bit lighter on the arm since most of their weight is toward the base of the unit. So they are, in my opinion, much better in the ease-of-use category.
We tested five vacuums for this competition but I’m going to disqualify two right out of the gates: the Eufy HomeVac and the Deik are basically the same vacuum. They have minor differences but are almost certainly made in the same factory or at least with the same plans. The reason I’m disqualifying them so early is that I feel they might have design flaws related to the brush roll which can easily be broken.
To be fair, the Deik was the only one to show signs of this during the test and the newer white version of the Eufy HomeVac did seem to change the design around the problem area. And Eufy, as a company, does seem to be very quick to replace faulty units. Nevertheless, We’re taking them both out of the equation as I don’t feel comfortable recommending them. However, both of them really struggled with larger debris in our tests so it’s no big loss.
The remaining contestants are the Shark Navigator Freestyle, the Hoover Linx Signature, and the Black & Decker PowerSeries Pro Anti-Allergen. We tested the suction and the airflow at the cleaner head and we found that the Black & Decker had the most airflow and suction. And even though it was close with airflow, the Black & Decker has quite a bit more suction than both of them. In case you’re wondering, the Shark was not able to be tested with its suction since the motor is actually in the floor nozzle for some reason.
As far as pickup, they were all very similar and very good on both hard floors and carpet. They were even very good with larger debris, which is not only rare, but very important for vacuums of this type which typically don’t have hoses so they need to be able to pick up as much as possible with a cleaner head alone. And they all do that very well.
But I would rank their pickup ability like this: the Black & Decker number one, the Hoover Linx number two, and the Shark Freestyle number three. The Shark Freestyle wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t as good as the others. We should mention a caveat here. Even though the Black & Decker has a brush roll shut off switch, I found that it was much better with the brush always turned on, even on hard floors.
Cordless vacuums are generally not the best with deep cleaning carpets, but with our embedded sand in the carpet test, we found that the Black & Decker won by getting 84% of the sand, compared to 78% for the Hoover, and 76% for the Shark.
With filtration, it probably would have been a tie if I hadn’t sprung for the anti-allergen version of the PowerSeries Pro which comes with a HEPA filter. But since I did, it was the only one that could pass our smoke test and is therefore the winner in this category.
With attachments and features, it was a no-brainer since neither the Hoover Linx nor the Shark Freestyle came with any attachments. Since they don’t have a hose or convert to a handheld, they just do what they do, whereas with the Black & Decker, it not only has a type of lift away mode where you can use it for cars, upholstery, or stairs, but it comes with a good attachment selection. And it has a lot of features like LED lights, a kind of trash compactor for the dustbin, and an extendable wand for cleaning up high.
Battery life and battery issues are a bit more complicated. Yes, the Black & Decker can technically get 60 minutes on low power with the brush roll off, but it’s not very effective in that mode. You should expect to use it in medium power most often as it’s a good balance of power and battery life.
So factoring all that in, the Black & Decker still wins even when compensating for airflow usage at each power level. Related issues are recharge time and battery replacement. Here the Hoover Linx is the clear winner as it charges in a little more than two hours, compared to the four to five hours with the Shark, and five to six hours with the Black & Decker.
The Hoover Linx and the Shark also have easy to remove battery packs and replacements readily available online where the Black & Decker doesn’t. That being said, I didn’t see any reviews complaining of battery problems with the Black & Decker. It’s just something I look for. In terms of edge cleaning, the Hoover Linx won with the Shark Freestyle coming in second, and despite the Black & Decker having higher power numbers, it came in third in this area.
As far as ease-of-use and maneuverability, it was very close, though the Black & Decker was the heaviest at eight pounds and eight ounces. The difference was hardly noticeable as they are all extremely light and easy on the arm. With maneuverability, however, the Black & Decker and the Shark had excellent swivels where the Hoover Linx swivel was awkward and a little jerky.
So I think you might have guessed that we picked the Black & Decker PowerSeries Pro Anti-Allergen as the winner, with the Hoover Linx second and the Shark Freestyle third. The Black & Decker has the most power, best filtration, best deep cleaning. It’s the most versatile and has the most features. If you’re not concerned with filtration, then you could save a few bucks by going with the Standard PowerSeries Pro.