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How to Choose a Cordless Vacuum for Mom

My mom’s canister Electrolux hit her in the ankles when she pulled the hose too hard. The exact same thing happens to me with my Electrolux canister. I’m also a little sick of carrying the canister down the stairs. Either I’m going to trip on the cord, or the canister is going to fall to its death. You know what’d be nice? A lightweight, battery-operated vacuum cleaner that deeply cleans the carpet and stairs. One that’s as powerful as our trusty — if ancient — Electrolux canisters. No wires, only a little bit of weight, and no cord-tripping hazards.

The battery-operated, cordless vacuum cleaners are finally strong enough to compete with the cleaning power we get from our old canister vacs. Most are excellent on floors. You have to really search for the needle in the haystack for the ones that truly deep clean the carpet fibers. The best cordless vacuum for mom looks like this:

  1. The vacuum is lightweight
  2. The vacuum doesn’t have a cord to trip over
  3. Its batteries have enough power to give you time to clean the floors
  4. The vacuum has a truly sealed HEPA filtering system
  5. It has enough power and agitation to clean the deep dirt from the carpet
  6. The vacuum has a motorized smaller head for cleaning stairs
  7. The vacuum comes at a good price, from a company that backs its warranty

I found a vacuum that meets all of our requirements, and has a ton of accessories besides. Below I’ll show you how to evaluate the best vacuum for mom. To view the best vacuum for mom, click to the Editor’s Choice for Best Cordless Vacuum here.

What Goes Into the Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaner for Mom

I love the idea of cordless vacuum cleaners. They are lightweight. They have no cord to trip over. They’re easy to maneuver. You never have to pull a cordless vacuum’s canister into the room with you, or untangle its cord from the chair it’s wrapped around.

So you’d think that a cordless vacuum cleaner for mom is the easy choice. Not so fast, because if you buy just any cordless vacuum cleaner, you might really regret your choice.

What can go wrong with a cordless vacuum that will make you regret buying it?

Maybe the filter is not sealed, so the vacuum spews the dirt it sucked up right back into the room.

Maybe the head doesn’t agitate the carpet, so that it’s impossible to get the carpet really clean.

Or perhaps the stair accessory is not powered. It’s as wimpy on stair carpet as the bigger head is on the rest of the house’s carpets.

I studied scores of cordless vacuum cleaners. I called vacuum manufacturers. I gathered data about how strong each vacuum really is.

This research is what made me realize that you need more than a cordless vacuum to make a great gift for mom.

You need one that meets all of our Mom-Approved Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Requirements.

We want a lightweight, well-sealed, HEPA filter vacuum cleaner with good battery power, agitating brushes, a powered accessory brush, and a good warranty. It’d be nice if it didn’t cost as much as a Dyson, too.

The Best Vacuum for Mom is Cordless and Lightweight

Are we in abusive relationships with our heavy, old vacuum cleaners? Have you ever picked up your vacuum and thought “I’ve never been young enough for strong enough to carry this heavy, annoying piece of machinery”?

The new cordless vacuums are amazingly light weight. We’re talking 3 to 8 lb. lightweight.

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That’s with no cord and no hose to trip you while you move the machine from room to room, or up and down the stairs.

In my old-lady years, I want my house to be clean, but I’d be happy if I never picked up my canister vacuum again.

The Ideal Cordless Vacuum for Mom Doesn’t Make Her Rush

If you’ve used a cordless vacuum — maybe a DustBuster that hung on the basement stairs? — you know that they have a limited use time.

You have just so many minutes before the battery runs down.

The vacuum cleaner is useless until its battery re-charges.

There are many ways to prevent mom falling. Here’s a new one. Don’t make mom rush to get the vacuuming done because she’s afraid the battery is going to run down. That rushing around is a fall waiting to happen.

The better cordless vacuum cleaners change how much power they use based on either floor surface or how much dirt they sense requires cleaning.

Some Dyson vacuums recognize when they go from floor to carpet, and increase power. Then they decrease power when going from carpet to floor.

Some Tineco vacuums use a dirt sensor to decide how much power to put out. Dirtier surfaces get more power. You can override this feature with your own power setting too.

The second key to long battery life is having more than one battery charged and ready to go. So it’s really important to get a cordless vacuum cleaner that allows you to change out the battery. If the battery is sealed in its housing, then you are completely dependent on that battery for your vacuuming time. You’re going to rush, and then you’re going to fall, and you’re not even going to give me the chance to say “I told you so.”

Get a vacuum that lets you replace the battery. Double the battery time with two batteries, and triple it with three. The better cordless vacuum cleaners allow you to charge two batteries at the same time.

Besides the longer run time, the replaceable battery also gives you more time with the vacuum over the years. When a sealed battery unit dies, you have to throw away the whole vacuum cleaner.

The Best Cordless Vacuum for Mom Seals Dirt Inside the Dirt Bin

Is your vacuum cleaner a double agent? Does it pretend to work for you, but it also works for the dirt?

We innocently believe our vacuum cleaners help clear the air, when they’re actually doing the opposite.

We expect a good vacuum cleaner to pull dirt up from the floor and carpet. If it does that, we think, “This is a good vacuum cleaner.”

A good vacuum cleaner doesn’t spit the floor dirt into the air. It seals that dirt in its dirt bin until you are ready to throw it away.

The fact is that many vacuum cleaners are not sealed well enough to contain the dirt in their bins. These vacuums pollute the air with the dirt they pull up from the carpet.

The best cordless vacuum cleaners hold onto their dirt until you empty it.

I recently realized that my Electrolux canister was spewing dog fur smell into the air.

While many vacuum cleaner experts claim that you need a bag to get the house truly clean, my dog’s fur disagrees.

Something’s getting out of the vacuum cleaner bag to make that smell. And I’m breathing whatever that bag is letting loose.

I don’t think bagged or bagless is the key. I think what makes the biggest difference is whether the vacuum cleaner is sealed.

Even vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters are not good for allergies if the HEPA is not in a sealed canister.

In a leaky vacuum, the wind blows the HEPA filter dirt right back into the air!

The best vacuum cleaner for mom is completely sealed.

I don’t care if it has a bag or not. Keep the dirt in the dirt bin to truly clean the home.

Make the Carpet Let Go of the Dirt

I looked for a cordless vac years ago. Those vacuums weren’t yet strong enough to use on carpeted floors. They definitely didn’t work on carpeted steps. They were good for floor vacuuming, but not carpet.

Now we’re in the 2020’s. I don’t need a flying car. Just a cordless vacuum that’s strong enough to pull carpet dirt from my stairs.

As my new research reveals, it turns out that manufacturers are finally making cordless vacuums strong enough to pull dirt from carpet fibers.

There are two keys to this success. These secrets are power and agitation.

Good cordless vacuum cleaners agitate the carpet fibers to loosen the dirt.

The vacuum head sends the carpet dirt flying.  While the dirt is loose in the air, the powerful vacuum sucks it into the dirt bin.

There are only a few battery-operated vacuums out there right now that can do this.

Even among the best brands, not all of the models can perform well on carpets.

The best cordless vacuum cleaner agitates the carpet to loosen the dirt.

I’m Pretty Sure Stairs are Not Clean

I’m even more sure that my carpeted steps are full of sand and dirt.

If I dislike the canister hitting me in the ankles, I really dislike the vacuum cleaner trying to push me down the stirs.

A heavy canister with a cord and hose is just awkward.

“Awkward” and “stairs” are a bad combination.

If you have carpeted stairs, and a  plug-in canister vacuum, you know what I’m talking about.

Try not to trip over the cord while you’re vacuuming the stairs.

What about carrying the canister down each step? The canister is wider than my stair is deep, so the canister is always threatening to tilt and fall down the stairs.

Now that I think of it. The canister doesn’t just threaten to fall down the stairs. Sometimes it actually does fall all the way to the first floor.

It’s a strong, if very annoying vacuum cleaner.

Vacuuming the stairs is a broken neck waiting to happen. The wobbly canister threatening to fall. The cord wrapping around my ankles. The whole procedure is annoying and dangerous.

As a result, my carpeted stairs are dirty, despite my really wanting them not to be that grungy. There’s sand in dirt in those steps dating back to the Clinton administration.

The cordless vacuum stick is usually too long to get  a good purchase on the stairs. So you use the handheld version of the cordless vacuum with a smaller head. This is where the agitation comes in again.

Carpeted steps are still carpet. If you don’t agitate the carpet, the dirt will not fly into the dirt bin.

That’s why the best cordless vacuums include a powered accessory to attach to the handheld unit for the stairs. Agitate the fibers, get the stair carpet dirt loose, and suck that dirt into the bin.

The best cordless vacuum for mom includes a powered accessory head for the stairs.

Corded Vacuum Cleaner Prices and Warranties

Dyson is currently the king of cordless vacuums, but this does not make them the best cordless vacuum manufacturer. While Dyson does offer some very powerful cordless machines that can strip the dirt out of a shag rug, these are not the best cordless vacuum cleaners for mom.

I don’t care how good a feature is, the whole machine has to be good or I won’t buy it. Too many people report that Dyson’s break, and worse, Dyson customer service doesn’t support these customers with broken vacuums.

In my search for the best vacuum cleaner for mom, I found a company that not only makes the ideal cordless vacuum, they also have an enthusiastic and responsive customer service department. This company is Tineco, and they make the cordless vacuum cleaner model I picked as the Editor’s Choice for Best Vacuum Cleaner for Mom.

Tineco gives you the lightweight, sealed HEPA, carpet agitating, stair cleaning cordless vacuum cleaner with plenty of battery life. They give you more accessories than pretty much any cordless vacuum cleaner on the planet. Their prices are lower than Dyson’s. And they respond to customer service requests by email and right on Amazon’s review pages.

Now that you know how to pick the best vacuum cleaner for mom, look at the Tineco I picked as the best cordless Editor’s Choice vacuum cleaner.

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