CR’s Reliability Survey Data Highlights Opportunities for Cordless Stick Vacuums

CR’s recently published vacuum ratings (August 2021) include popular cordless stick models, but although consumers prefer the convenience, nearly half of new battery-powered stick vacs will develop problems within five years, according to CR’s reliability data. 

“CR does not currently recommend any cordless stick vacuums because of the generally high incidence of problems reported by our members. The problems can include batteries that diminish in power over time or die completely. Such problems are particularly acute by the fifth year of ownership.” —

However, many cordless stick vacuums do perform well in our lab tests. “Despite the fact that CR does not recommend any cordless stick vacuums, in the labs, we see battery run times improving,” says John Galeotafiore, Associate Director, CR Home Improvement Testing.

Below is an analysis from CR Data Intelligence that identifies the consumer problem areas with the highest incidence and highest impact on the CR Reliability rating–battery issues and suction are the areas of greatest opportunity for manufacturers.

Consumer Verbatims, Ratings Year 2021

“The battery life was never great from the get go. It gradually got worse over time and just over having it one year, it stopped working completely. After researching potential solutions, I purchased and installed an aftermarket compatible battery that has worked beautifully.”

“The battery did not last very long (shorter and shorter run times); replaced it with cheap battery, but needed to replace that one with a better one in less than a year. Too bad they don’t have instant replaceable batteries like my power tools.”

“Battery does not last long on full charge when using maximum power (suction) setting and the battery had to be replaced.”