No matter your level of experience with cleaning stairs, almost everyone will agree it may be one of the worst household chores. That being said, it is a necessary chore that cannot be avoided since staircases tend to get a lot of traffic and therefore a lot of dirt and debris. Through research and experience, we have culminated a list of best vacuums for stairs that will make vacuuming your stairs less of an inconvenience.
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- Carpet Sweepers and gliders
- Portable carpet cleaners over here
9 Best Vacuums For Stairs 2020
Shark Rocket Corded Ultra-Light Handheld Vacuum – Our favorite vacuums for stairs
There are plenty of things we love about this handheld vacuum cleaner for stairs, but one of the things at the top of our list is the power it packs in. Not just that, but unlike most vacuums,Shark Rocket doesn’t lose power as the dust cup gets full. Despite all that power, we’ve still found that it’s refreshingly lightweight. When you’re talking about vacuuming your stairs, the last thing you need is a heavy, unwieldy tool to do it. We certainly agree, and the fact that this best handheld vacuum cleaner actually weighs less than four pounds is a huge bonus.
If you have pets, you know how hard it is to keep your stairs clean. We were excited to find that this vacuum cleaner has everything you need to get pet hair out of the creases and edges in stairs. That’s thanks to both the suction power, and the motorized brush for pet hair it comes with. We’ve also used it to clean all those tough areas where debris and pet hair gathers, which other vacuums can’t really get to (or clean properly).
While it doesn’t come with a chest full of accessories, it does have all the essentials we’re looking for in a vacuum cleaner to take care of cleaning the stairs. The hose extension makes it much easier to reach tough places, or clean the stairs upper part without needing to move much. Clean the stairs with the long cord? We were more than sold on it. The cord length reaches 15 feet, so you don’t need to worry about switching outlets to clean an entire set of stairs.
This is our favorite best vacuum for stairs, and for good reason. It’s extremely light, super powerful, and ideal for homes with pets. While it might not have all the accessories to give your entire home a spring cleaning, it’s the best vacuum for stairs.
- Large dust cup, hassle free emptying
- Doesn’t lose power as dust cup fills
- Comes with motorized brush for pet hair
- Very lightweight (3.7 pounds)
- Affordable and high quality
- Extensions make it lose a little suction
- Handle design could be better
Eureka EasyClean – Versatile vacuum for stairs and more
We love pretty much any appliance that does double duty (or even more when it can!). That’s one thing that really made this Eureka model one of the best vacuums for stairs we had to review. One of the first things we look for in a vacuum for stairs is how easy it is to move around. We can tell you that this Eureka EasyClean certainly fits the bill.
It’s a small thing, but don’t let that fool you. It can get just about any job done, and in little time too. It packs in much more power than your typical handheld vacuum, and it only takes a few seconds to see how efficient it is.
You might not want to try and use it to clean a whole level of carpeting, but it’s good for pretty much everything else. While it is a corded vacuum, it’s still really easy to maneuver over stairs, and you can take it outside of the house if you need to tidy up the garage or even clean up your car. It does have a washable filter, which you can wash and reuse, but it doesn’t require a dust bag, both of which are positive points when you’re looking for long term savings.
Like our first pick, this vacuum is lightweight, which makes it much easier to use to clean stairs. While it is a bit heavier, it still weighs in at under 5 pounds. However, the power cord is even longer than our first pick, and it gives you an ample twenty feet of reach.
If you want a vacuum that’s great for stairs, but also works on other places (especially for above the floor cleaning), this vacuum is a good choice. While we didn’t bring up the price point before, we will now. Suffice it to say it’s practically a steal for what it gives, and it fits into nearly any budget.
- Very long cord, 20 ft reach
- Ideal for stairs, and good for cars too
- Weighs under 5 lbs
- Compact design
- A little noisy
- Seems to put out a lot of air
Dirt Devil Quick Flip Plus – Top Cordless for Stairs
One concern most people (ourselves included) have with cordless vacuum cleaners is how well the battery works. It’s not just about how well powered the vacuum is. It also needs to have batteries that have enough life to allow you to finish a cleaning job. On top of that, the batteries also need to charge without taking too much time. That’s one of the first things that caught our attention with this cordless Dirt Devil.
The batteries definitely last long enough for you to clean a set of stairs, and depending on how much you need to clean, you can get well beyond that too. When it comes to charging, we were pleasantly surprised. High powered vacuums can take a long time to charge. Thankfully this vacuum still has plenty of power, and a pretty short charge time to. When compared to other similar cordless vacuums, it charges about twice as fast.
It’s not a vacuum you’ll use to clean an entire floor in your house, but it certainly gets the job done when you need to clean your stairs. Stairs can gather a lot of gunk, so we always look for a stronger vacuum to get everything out of the carpet. That’s another reason we really like this vacuum. It’s strong enough to get caked in messes out of the carpet fibers, even if they’re really stuck deep in it.
If you hate messing with cords, and want a strong vacuum for tough stair messes, you’ll want to check out the Quick Flip Plus. It’s the ideal solution for quick clean ups on the staircase.
- Very powerful suction
- Charges twice as fast as other cordless vacuums
- Handheld cordless design makes cleaning easy
- High capacity dust bin
- No docking station (just comes with a charger)
- Not designed for large cleaning jobs
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (33A1B) – For Homes With Pets
One of the hardest parts of stair cleaning is getting pet hair out of all the creases and crevices. No matter how powerful the vacuum is, if it isn’t designed to pick up pet hair, you’ll probably end up leaving some behind. Bissell is a brand we love for their pet hair vacuums, and this Pet Hair Eraser has everything we expect from them. It’s a corded model, so you will have to plug it in. However, the cord length is 16 feet long, so you have ample slack to move up and down as you clean the stairs as you need to.
We also really like how the nozzles make it versatile enough to use on either carpet or hardflooring. It comes with two separate nozzles you can use depending on what you need to clean. If you’re looking for a vacuum that works for hard surfaces stair cleaning too, then you’ll really want to take another look at this one.
Like most of our favorite handheld vacuums, this handy little helper is lightweight. It weighs only about five pounds, so don’t worry about your hand or arm getting tired, no matter how long the job takes. It also has a nice, compact design, which makes it easier to get into small spaces that are otherwise pretty tough to clean. It’s all around easy to use, and even the power switch is designed to be easy to reach with one hand.
This is a great little vacuum to get pet hair (and other tricky messes) off your stair c. Even better, it works on any type of surface, whether that’s hardwood, carpet, tile, or anything else.
- Works on hard and soft surfaces
- Powerful suction easily picks up pet hair
- Comes with HEPA filter to reduce particles and allergens
- 16 foot cord
- Well designed and easy to use
- Side vents blow out a lot of air (which can blow debris around on hard flooring)
Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
We always love a good cordless vacuum, and this one packs in plenty of power, which we definitely need for our stairs. Dyson vacuums program designed to provide a means of high quality construction and powerful suction. This V7 model certainly follows the trend, and it seems to be one of the most powerful cordless vacuums out there today. We also like that the suction power stays consistent throughout cleaning, even when the battery starts running out.
It’s made to clean for at least half an hour and it doesn’t take too long to recharge either. Battery life and powerful suction aside, there were some other really standout vacuum features that we need to mention. First, it comes with a lot more tools than most hand vacuum especially cordless ones. The motorized brush tool is great for tough messes and pet hair. Then, you also get a crevice tool, which is ideal for getting those small spaces in stairs. To top the crevice tools off, it also comes with a combination tool. Between the crevice tools and super strong suction, you can take care of any mess that gets into your stairs.
Another thing we love about this stair vacuum is the warranty it comes with. The warranty covers any parts and labor you might need to keep it in shape. It’s warranty is long enough warranty too, so you’re covered for two years. It’s easy to empty too, and you don’t even have to get your hands with a lot of dirt and debris. Just hold the canister over your trash can, press the button, and you’re done with cleaning up.
This Dyson cordless vacuums might be a little pricier than other models, but it definitely works hard enough to justify the price. Plus, it comes with plenty of tools to take care of any cleaning job.
- Very powerful suction
- Includes motorized brush, combination tool, and crevice tool
- Two year warranty covers labor and parts
- Easy, no mess clean up
- Higher price point than others
- Best for cleaning under 30 minutes
BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L Hand Vac – Energy Efficient Cleaning
Black Decker hand vac makes a lot of power tools, so you might be surprised to see one of their hand vac products on our list. However, just like their tools, this hand vacuum has high powered efficiency that makes it worth considering. Like any good stair vacuum, it has plenty of suction to get the debris that goes deep into your carpet.
While the nozzle is somewhat smaller than some of the other vacuums on our list, it works hard enough to make up for it. However, there are some really special design aspects that also make up for it having a smaller nozzle. Unlike other vacuums that come with separate tools you need to attach before using them, this one has them already built in. For us, that’s a nice timesaver, and a great way to ensure you don’t accidentally lose the tools you need.
For example, rather than looking for your brush roll tool and attaching it, you can just flip it up and get going, no complicated process or attaching tools. It’s the same way for the crevice tool. It’s already built into the vacuum’s design, and it’s there the moment you need it.
If you consider yourself an eco friendly person (or you’re just looking for more ways to cut down your energy bill), we have good news for you. This is an energy efficient stair vacuum. While you do need to charge it, it takes around half the energy that other cordless vacuums do.
This cordless vacuum has an innovative design with built in tools. We love how easy that makes it to clean stairs, and any kind of mess that gathers on them.
- Takes less energy to charge
- Built in tools are very convenient
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Long battery life
- Smaller nozzle
- Dust cup isn’t very big
Holife Handheld Vacuum – Best Ergonomic Design
This is another cordless vacuum that we love to use on our stairs. It has a pretty good battery life too, and it can run for about half an hour. If you’re just concerned about getting a vacuum that makes cleaning your stairs easier, you’re unlikely to need much more time than that. For a lot of cordless vacuums, the battery can make the vacuum heavier overall. However, we found that this isn’t really the case with this Holife vacuum. It’s still very lightweight, which reduces wrist and arm strain when you clean.
However, it’s not just the lightweight design that makes this vacuum more comfortable to use than others. It’s actually made with an ergonomic design, which fits your hand and wrist perfectly while you clean. We’re always fans of tools that are comfortable and effective, especially for tough areas like stairs. This vacuum gets another big win in this category too.
Here’s another thing that made this vacuum stand out to us: the noise. Or rather, the lack of noise it makes. It’s refreshingly quiet, especially compared to most other cordless vacuums. Don’t worry about interrupting that video conference or waking anyone up, this is one silent vacuum. That might not say a lot about its cleaning power (which is also really good), but for us, it’s a big bonus.
This vacuum does everything we’re looking for, and then some. It’s quiet, comfortable, and an efficient cleaner. If you want a vacuum for an easy way to vacuum your stairs, this is it.
- Surprisingly quiet operation
- Lightweight ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use
- Cordless design with 30 minutes of battery
- Under 4 lbs
- Recharging takes longer than other vacuums
MOOSOO K17 – Our Choice for Upright Design
You’ve probably noticed that most of our favorite best vacuums for stairs are handheld. Whether cordless or not, these are some of the most common designs for vacuums geared toward cleaning stairs. However, we’d be leaving out another major category if we completely neglected stick and upright vacuums. Not everybody is comfortable using a handheld to clean their stairs (we understand, it can strain your back over time).
This vacuum is surprisingly lightweight. In fact, it weighs only about three pounds. As a bonus, there’s no power cord to mess with either. It’s completely cordless and even comes with its own charging base and wall holder to make charging and storing it even easier.
We also love how many extras it comes with. Unlike a lot of other cordless vacuums, it comes with regular mode as well as a ‘max’ mode for the messes that are really ground into your carpet. It comes with a ton of accessories, like a crevice tool, 2 in 1 square brush roll, and even a 2 in 1 cleaning dusting brush. If you thought it couldn’t get any better, we didn’t get the job done yet. It also comes with a two year warranty and HEPA filtration system.
If you hate bending over to clean the stairs, this is the perfect solution for you. It comes at a great price, with plenty of tools and extras. We’d call this a definite steal.
- Lightweight (weighs 3 lbs)
- Includes a ton of tools
- Comes with 2 year warranty
- Upright design isn’t for everyone
Shark ION F80 MultiFlex – For Cleaning Stairs and More
As you might have noticed from our first review, we’re big fans of Shark vacuum. They’re known to be reliable, powerful vacuum that incorporate great design to make cleaning a breeze. We also recommend this vacuum for anyone that has pets or has an allergy sufferer in the home. Because it has a HEPA filter, you can count on it to get all of the allergens out of your carpet.
It’s one of the best and our favorite vacuum for a more intense clean, and with the DuoClean system, and regular and ‘max’ mode, it gets the job done. It also has the Active Glide system, so the best vacuum does most of the work for you. Add in the LED lights so you can spot debris hidden in little spots, and you’re more or less guaranteed a super thorough clean.
With all the power it packs in, you might expect it to be a noisy vacuum. However, we’re pleased to report it runs fairly quietly, and certainly more so than other vacuums.
This is a strong best vacuum that you can use on your stairs and pretty much anywhere in your house. If you’re a stickler for super tidy floors, this is the vacuum for you.
- Great suction power
- Built in LED lights and Active Glide
- Includes regular and boost mode
- Runs a little pricier than some others
How to Vacuum Stairs
Anyone who has vacuumed stairs before knows that it really isn’t convenient or an easy task, so what is the best approach to vacuuming stairs? Most tend to begin vacuuming their stairs at the top, making their way down the stairs, though depending on where you store your vacuum and where your nearest outlet is, it may be more logical to do the opposite.
If you have a vacuum with separating attachments like a hose, it is usually easiest to leave the vacuum at the bottom of the stairs, rather than the top, so you do not risk pulling it down. Above anything else, your method for vacuuming stairs will depend on your type of best vacuum since cordless vacuum or vacuum with detachable hoses will offer you easier accessibility.
Factors to Consider
Cord vs. Cordless
You would be hard pressed to find someone who would favor a corded hand vacuum over a cordless vac for vacuuming stairs. Between having to find an outlet and having to avoid vacuuming/tripping over the cord, a corded best vacuum only makes vacuuming your stairs more of a chore than it already is.
That being said, corded vacuum generally tend to have stronger suction power, which is necessary if you are trying to deep clean carpeted stairs. If you have carpeted stairs and would prefer a cordless vacuum, you should be on the lookout for cordless vac made for carpets or with stronger suctions. Off of convenience alone, a cordless vacuum is almost always the best choice to clean your stairs.
Upright, Handheld, Canister or Stick
Upright vacuum are likely the most common type of vacuum which the user can use standing straight up. While they are a good option for those who cannot bend over for long periods of time, they can be inconvenient when trying to vacuum hard to reach, angled or vertical areas which are quite common with stairs. Upright vacuum are generally heavier than the other options available.
Handheld vacuum are extremely convenient for cleaning stairs since you can easily swipe along the usually hard to reach or inconvenient sections. That being said, handheld vacuum are generally less powerful than upright vacuum (though there are some pretty powerful options available) and require the user to bend over or sit when cleaning which can be hard on the back, shoulders and neck.
Canister vacuum usually have extremely strong suction power which makes deep cleaning carpets a breeze. That being said, it will generally have to be plugged in and the bulkiness of the canister makes it inconvenient to move up the stairs. To make vacuuming your stairs more convenient, try and find a canister vacuum with a hose that will reach the top stairs when the canister is at the bottom.
Stick vacuum tend to be the most popular choice for stairs since they are lightweight, cordless and you can use them upright. If you have carpeted stairs, it is important to choose a stick vacuum with a high suction power, otherwise it will not be able to offer as deep of a clean as a canister of upright vacumms.
With or Without a Hepa Filtration System
Different vacuum cleaners offer differing filtration systems, which vary in effectiveness. If your stairs get a lot of use, you have allergies, or pets, you may want to consider a vacuum with a filtration system HEPA which tends to be the most effective choice. On the other hand, if you have non-carpeted stairs which don’t accumulate a lot of dust, the extra cost of a HEPA filtration may not be necessary.
Bagged vs. Bagless
With bagged versus bagless vacuum cleaners, one is not more effective than the other, rather the maintenance is different, and so it really comes down to preference. Bagged vacuum has larger capacities than bagless vac, which is extremely convenient if you will be vacuuming a lot/vacuuming an area with a lot of debris which would fill up the bin quickly. However, the disadvantage is that you will need to replace the bag when it fills, which can be inconvenient at times.
On the other hand bagless vac’s bins never need replacing, but you will need to empty it at the end of every use or every time the bin fills up. If your stairs get a lot of use, get very dusty or accumulate a lot of debris/pet fur it may be extremely inconvenient since you may have to empty out the bin a few times during usage. When deciding between bagged and bagless vac it is important to consider how much traffic the area gets, if your stairs accumulate a lot of debris (carpet will accumulate more than hardwood) and how many stairs you have and how wide your stairs are (since more/larger stairs may fill up the bin more quickly.)
Though weight should always be a consideration when investing in a vacuum, it is especially necessary to consider when choosing a vacuum intended for cleaning your stairs. A heavy vacuum will not only tire you out faster, but it will also be harder to maneuver at the awkward angles for stair cleaning often requires. Vacuuming your stairs is already incredibly inconvenient, if possible try not to choose a heavy vacuum that will only make the process of cleaning more difficult.
Unlike with a corded vacuum, a cordless vacuum will not really require any extra attachments to get the job done, though a crevice tool, dusting brush or any other tool aside from a crevice tool to help you access inconvenient areas will make perfect for cleaning the stairs easier. Depending on your circumstances for example if you have pets or carpeted floors, you may want to seek best out a vacuum that has extra attachments such as the best pet hair brush roll. With a corded vacuum, a hose or smaller handheld attachment will make vacuuming far more convenient since you will have more maneuverability and less weight than with the main vacuum.
If cleaning stairs is your greatest nightmare, or at least one of your least favorite chores, maybe you are using the wrong vacuum not the best one. The vacuum that will work best for your situation really depends on your specific staircase and preferences. Do you have carpeted stairs or hardwood? High traffic stairs that accumulate a lot of debris? If you take into account the staircase you want to clean and the factors listed above, you should be able to find a vacuum that will make cleaning your stairs a little less of a hassle.