12 Best Vacuums for Stairs in 2018
Quite a few resources out there tell you what vacuum to purchase if you have stairs in your home.
What many of them are lacking, however, is an explanation of the buying process.
Wouldn’t you like to know why you should purchase a particular product and what to look for as you are shopping?
We feel that both are important, which is why our experts will share some useful tips for you in this guide.
After you’ve compared and contrasted the top models in our table, continue reading to see how you can determine which is the best vacuum for stairs in your home and see our detailed reviews of the top five products.
Top 12 Vacuums for Stairs Comparison Table
Do You Have Hardwood or Carpeted Stairs?
It is always best to choose a vacuum that matches the type of flooring you have, so start off by choosing one based on the surface you will be cleaning.
- For Carpeted Stairs – You might find that a handheld vacuum with special attachments allows you to clean more thoroughly. Sometimes the hose of your regular vacuum isn’t long enough to reach up or down the stairs, which means you will have to rest it directly on the stairs as you vacuum.
Needless to say, this is a risky move that might result in a broken vacuum cleaner!
- For Hardwood Stairs – You might appreciate a lightweight stick vacuum or electric broom to help you remove dirt, dust, hair, and any other fine particles. The vacuum head is narrower on a stick vacuum, which makes it easier to fit on each stair.
Another thing we would like to mention before moving on to the next section is in regards to the canister vacuum.
We will be honest – it is not the best vacuum for stairs, yet we included a few on our list. Why?
Because if you only have a few stairs to clean, you can easily reach them without having to move the body of the vacuum off the main floor.
If you have hard flooring with a few stairs or a mixture of carpet, rugs and bare floors with stairs, then a canister is a great match for your cleaning needs.
Cordless or Corded
There are pros and cons of both corded and cordless vacuums, so take them all into consideration as you narrow down the choices.
- Cordless – Cordless vacuums make it easy to travel up and down the stairs without having to worry about cords and outlets. They are, undoubtedly, the most convenient option.
What we don’t like about them is how they limit your cleaning time to the length of the battery life.
- Corded – Corded models provide you with constant suction, and you don’t have to worry about waiting for a battery to charge or the battery dying when you’re only 5 minutes into your cleaning session.
Cord length, on the other hand, can limit your range, and if you don’t have an outlet close enough to the stairs, you will have to rely on an extension cord to get the job done.
We found some great corded and cordless models that work great for stairs, but overall, corded vacuums are more popular.
Consider an Upright with a Detachable Handheld
If you need to invest a new vacuum for your entire home yet need it to handle the stairs, then an upright model with a detachable handheld is the most convenient solution.
We found three great models that perform well across the board, including the Dyson V8 Animal (the most expensive option), the Shark Rocket DeluxePro (a more affordable alternative), and the VonHaus 2-in-1 Upright Vacuum (the most budget-friendly option).
When you can use a compact upright vacuum for the main flooring and then detach the main body to use it as a handheld, your stair vacuuming problems are solved.
Just be sure you pay attention to the types of attachment heads they include since you need them to be effective on the surface that you will be cleaning.
What to Buy If You Already Have a Great Vacuum
If you already own a quality vacuum cleaner that works great on your regular flooring, don’t feel like you should run out and replace it just because of the stairs.
The best solution is to opt for a lightweight, inexpensive handheld or a stick vacuum that doesn’t take up much storage space since you know you will be relying on your main vacuum for the rest of your home.
We liked the Shark Rocket Hand Vac (HV292) for small carpeted areas, and the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is great if you have pets in the home and need a versatile unit that you can use on stairs and upholstery.
Our favorite stick vacuum was the Bissell 3-in-1, which we will be discussing later in our “Review” section.
Top 5 Best Vacuum for Stairs Reviews
We all know that Dyson vacuums are a serious investment, but the company makes great vacuums, and one of their most popular models is definitely the V8 Animal.
The previous version – the V6 – was a huge hit, and based on customer feedback, Dyson improved a few things before releasing the new version, the V8.
They’ve doubled the battery life on this model, offering you a full 40 minutes of fade-free suction on a full charge.
We should clarify that while we give this the green light for both carpeting and hard floors, the direct-drive cleaner head that it comes with is designed to help you deep clean carpets. Yes, you can still use it on hard flooring, too, but they do sell a separate head attachment for them that we recommend you purchase if the majority of your home is covered in hard flooring.
When you want to clean carpeted or wood stairs, just detach the handheld unit and choose an attachment. The Quick Release Mini Motorized Tool is especially great for carpeted stairs and upholstery.
If you’re looking for a cordless vacuum that can handle the entire household, then consider the V8 Animal.
Shark makes some of the most popular vacuums on the market, and many consumers are impressed with the way that they balance quality and price.
When it comes to cleaning stairs, we preferred their little Rocket Corded Handheld model and appreciated all of the handy attachments that came with it.
The TruePet Motorized Brush made pet hair (and human hair) removal a breeze, and it works just as well in your car and on your furniture as it does on carpeted stairs.
It also comes with a crevice tool for corners and a dusting brush that works well on hardwood stairs.
We really don’t have any complaints to report. It provides better-than-average suction; it is lightweight and easy to carry up and down the stairs, and the fact that it is corded means that you will never lose suction power.
If the Dyson V8 sounded like a good match for your cleaning needs but was simply out of your budget, then consider Shark’s Rocket DeluxePro.
It also functions as a compact, lightweight upright but can convert into a handheld when you need to access hard-to-reach areas such as stairs.
Just like the previous Shark vacuum, this one also comes with the handy TruePet Motorized Brush. In addition to this, you also get the Pet Multi-Tool and a microfiber pad attachment that you can use to remove large debris and dust from bare floors gently.
The main vacuum head is ideal for cleaning the rest of your home, whether carpeted or if you have area rugs, and you can choose two different speeds.
This vacuum is lightweight (only 9 pounds), affordable, and perfect for homes with a variety of surfaces to clean!
Moving back to handheld vacuums again, we highly recommend this one from Bissell to all of the pet owners out there.
What makes it so unique is the fact that it has a rubber head attachment that will attract pet hair like a magnet. Since rubber is naturally sticky, this handy head will help you remove even the most stubborn pet hairs that have worked their way down into the carpet or upholstery fibers.
We don’t recommend this one for hard flooring simply because the additional attachments aren’t really designed for it. One of the heads has two strips of soft velvety material on the bottom, so you could use it on hard flooring in the beginning, but over time and with regular use, those strips tend to wear down and you don’t want to risk scratching your floor. The other two tools have no padding, so we don’t recommend them for hard floors.
To make the deal even sweeter, Bissel even included a HEPA Media Filter in the vacuum to help keep the air a bit cleaner as you vacuum.
We had to mention a good stick vacuum in our top five, and the Bissell 3-in-1 was the model that impressed us the most. As we mentioned earlier, a stick vacuum is a great option if you already have a decent “main” vacuum since it is much lighter and easier to take up or down the stairs.
You can use this pretty much everywhere in your home, and it cleans well on both carpeted and hardwood stairs.
The main body detaches so you can use it as a handheld, and as a corded unit, you won’t have to worry about the suction fading as you use it.
Our advice is that you keep your expectations real when purchasing a product this affordable. The suction power isn’t fantastic and on a side note, it can be a bit loud.
If you’re on a budget, however, and just need a simple tool to help remove hair, dust and other small debris, it’s a great match.