Best Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs – The Ultimate Buying Guides

Stairs can be one of the trickiest parts of your home to keep clean. Stairs are a high traffic area. Many people walking best-vacuum-for-stairs-Iup and down daily can compact the carpet fibres making it more difficult for a vacuum to get clean. Dirt and debris collects along the edges and in the corners – those hard to reach places! You may already have a large upright vacuum cleaner that is having trouble meeting your needs. Maybe it falls over when you try to use the extendable hose or maybe the footprint is too large for it to sit comfortably on each step or maybe it is just too heavy to take up and down the stairs regularly. Whether it is time for you to replace your regular vacuum or choose a smaller unit specifically for stairs consider the following features when looking for the best vacuum for stairs.

Features of The Best Vacuum for Stairs

– Lightweight and compact
– Long cord or cordless
– Tools including crevice, upholstery, carpet or hard floor brush/tool
– Bagless or disposable bags
– Powerful suction
– Filters e.g. HEPA

Lightweight and Compact
For a vacuum to be helpful to you in your home for cleaning stairs it needs to be lightweight. As well as light enough to carry in one hand it also needs to fit comfortably on to one step without falling over. Look for a compact or slimline design with a small footprint. Some stick models have a small footprint and are light enough to carry up stairs but they are not as flexible as a wand and hose attachment. Some models even have a shoulder strap for carrying around or a backpack design. Vacuums can vary in weight from around 4lbs up to 20lbs. If the vacuum has a removable canister for stairs then the overall weight of the vacuum is not too much of a consideration as you will likely leave it at the bottom of the stairs anyway. An upright vacuum will take up more storage space than a compact handheld model. You can get upright models where the handle folds down but it still won’t fit on a shelf in your storage cupboard!

Cord or Cordless
A cordless model will allow you to definitely complete multiple flights of stairs without having to move the cord just check it will be powerful enough to do the job. Otherwise you will need to make sure the cord is long enough to reach from top to bottom without the inconvenience of having to unplug. Some upright models although heavier may have a removable canister or super long hose to allow you to vacuum the stairs without moving the entire unit. Cords vary in length from 10 feet to 30 feet. Look for at least a 20 foot cord if you wish to use the vacuum for stairs. The cord should either be retractable (unusual in small models) or wrap neatly around the unit for storage.

Tools and Surfaces
Consider whether your stairs are carpeted or hard surface and whether the vacuum has tools or brushes designed for your stair covering. Do you need the vacuum to also do the car or upholstery? If your answer is yes then check for the inclusion of additional tools for these purposes. Not all vacuums have lots of attachments, some simply have a crevice tool and the original wand. If you are looking to remove pet hair from carpeted stairs then a turbo brush tool would be a great tool to look out for. One of the great features you can get on the best vacuum for stairs is a riser visor. A riser visor is a protective plastic cover that sits over the brushes to stop debris from escaping and not going up the vacuum. The visor can be flipped up to reveal more brush and allow easy cleaning of the vertical rise of stairs (great for chair backs too). Consider if the attachments are suitable for multiple surfaces especially if you have a carpet runner over wooden stairs you don’t want to be changing tools too often! A crevice tool is pretty much essential for getting in to the edges where the regular attachment may not reach even if it has edge bristles.

Bagless or Bags?
Whether you choose to use disposable bags or bagless you will need to look at how easy the unit is to maintain. Can you buy washable bags which are more environmentally friendly than disposable? What is the cost of replacement bags? If the model has a canister how easy is it to clean. Usually they are bottom opening allowing for easy removal of waste into the trash. Some models use a collection cup which often do not have the capacity to hold as much waste as the canister or bag. A lower volume will mean you have to empty more frequently.

Suction
Cordless vacuums do not always have the powerful suction of corded models. Cordless vacuums will also need charging and may not last long enough if you have lots of stairs to do! Check out the power of each model you consider to see if it will meet your needs and have enough suction. Generally cordless vacuums are powerful enough for spills, however not necessarily powerful enough to run brushes. Rotary brushes are needed to pick up dirt from carpeted stairs where the pile may have been flattened due to them being a high traffic area.

Filters
A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter removes allergens (e.g. dustmites and pollen) from your environment trapping them in the vacuum for disposal. Check whether the filters are washable or if they need to be replaced entirely and how often. Proper maintenance of filters will ensure your vacuum does not lose suction.

Price
Handheld vacuums can usually be bought for less than $50. An upright vacuum with a removable canister is more likely to cost around $100 but it will vacuum more than the odd spill or a set of stairs.

You now have a list of features to consider when choosing your next vacuum model. Whether that be a whole new multi-purpose vacuum or one designed specifically for stairs choose wisely to ensure you purchase the best vacuum for stairs for your home or workplace and within your budget.

An overview of the best vacuum cleaners for stairs

Stairs are undoubtedly a challenging place to clean in the home. Using a standard (upright) vacuum means carrying it up and down the stairs. Standard vacs are relatively heavy. Some are too heavy to carry up and down the stairs. The cord may not be long enough to allow for efficient cleaning of stair edges and corners. Choosing the best vacuum cleaner for stairs can be challenging. Different brands promise that their vacuums are the best in the market. The following review will focus on the best vacuums for stairs –

 

  1. Shark Pet Perfect II Hand Vac (SV780)

best vacuum cleaner for stairsThe Pet Perfect II Cordless Hand Vac comes with an 18 volts battery. The detachable motorized brush ensures deep cleaning of your carpeted stairs. The accessories, the crevice tool, and dusting brush allow for easy cleaning on both carpeted and non-carpeted stairs. The dusting brush head comes in handy when cleaning pet hair. The Pet Perfect uses cyclonic technology to maintain strong suction. The charging stand can be mounted on a wall and allows for tool storage. The unit is easy to assemble. There are no easy-to-break parts.

Key points

Lightweight – ensures portability. You can carry it anywhere- in your car, boat, or around the home.

The filters are easily detachable and washable

Strong suction for efficient cleaning

The bagless dust cup is easy to empty

Gets rid of pet hair

Easy to mount and compact unit for charging

Deep cleaning of carpeted stairs

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  1. Dirt Devil Gator 18V Cordless Bagless Handheld Vacuum, BD10175

best stair vacuumThe Devil gator has an 18 volts battery. The detachable brush roll allows you to clean the vertical part of the stairs thoroughly. You can then attach it to clean carpeted stairs. The gator comes with a dirt cup that flips open when you want to empty it. Just press the release buttons. What makes the gator one of the best vacuum for stairs is the smart charging technology. It has in fact earned an energy star rating. The vacuum has such a powerful suction when cleaning carpeted stairs. It begins to suck the crumbs, dust, and debris when the nozzle is about one inch away.

Key points

The dirt cup flips open to enable easy emptying

Strong suction for efficient cleaning

The reusable filters rinse clean

A 3 year limited warranty

Can clean stair edges thoroughly

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  1. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum (NV352)

 

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum (NV352)

This is the first upright vacuum in the review of the best vacuum cleaner for stairs. It uses cyclonic technology that separates fine dirt from the air. The filters cannot, therefore, get clogged by dirt. This technology also maintains suction in the vacuum. The anti-allergen seal technology and HEPA filtration capture all the dust and allergens. Only clean air comes out of the vacuum.  The vac comes with attachments that ensure effective removal of pet hair and ground-in dirt from your carpeted stairs. The vacuum uses 1200 watts of power. It has a 25-foot cord. It has a cleaning path of 9.25”.

 

Key points

Strong suction throughout the cleaning process

Clean air free from dust and allergens

Lightweight – you can comfortably carry it up and down the stairs as you clean them

Gets rid of pet hair and ground-in dirt

Washable and durable filters

Easy to empty dust cup

Wide cleaning path for easy cleaning of stairs’ horizontal surfaces

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  1. Eureka RapidClean Step Handheld Corded Vacuum, 41A

 

vacuum cleaner for stairsThe Eureka has a 25-foot cord and a 3-foot hose. The 6 amp motor ensures a strong suction.One of the most outstanding features that makes the Eureka one of the best vacuum for stairs is the brush roll. It flips down to clean non-carpeted stairs and then flips up when cleaning carpeted stairs. It ensures deep cleaning in carpeted stairs. The powered brush has its own on/off control and gets rid of pet hair.

The clear cover allows you to see the amount of dust collected in the dust cup and empty it. You can wrap the cord around the vac for storage. The crevice tool is used to clean the stairs’ corners and edges.

Key points

The cord length allows you to comfortably clean stairs

It gets rid of pet hair

The vac is not overly loud

It is lightweight thus portable

Easy to use

Strong suction to ensure efficient cleaning

Easy to clean filters

Suitable for both carpeted and non-carpeted stairs

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  1. BISSELL Zing Bagless Canister Vacuum, Caribbean Blue

 

BISSELL Zing Rewind Bagless Canister Vacuum, Caribbean Blue

What makes the Bissell one of the best vacuum cleaners for stairs is its compact design. It has a carrying handle. You can easily carry it up the stairs as you use the floor brush. The detachable extension wand and combination tool/dusting brush will help you to clean above-floor surfaces.

It has a 3 stage filtration system, at the dust cup filters, and post-motor filters. These help to filter more dust and particles, ensuring that clean air is released from the vacuum. It does not take up much storage space.

 

Key Points

Lightweight – it is easy to carry it up and down the stairs

Variable suction for cleaning carpeted and non-carpeted stairs

Easy to empty

Easy to clean the filter and dirt compartment

The vac winds its own cord

Takes up little storage space

Releases clean air from the vac

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  1. Black & Decker FHV1200 Flex Vac Cordless Ultra-Compact Vacuum Cleaner

 

best vacuum cleaner for stairs

The FHV1200 has a great reach, making it one of the best vacuum for stairs. It has a 4” extendable hose to allow you to clean the stairs’ edges and corners. It is cordless so you do not need to plug it into a socket as you clean. Cyclonic action ensures long lasting suction by spinning dirt away from the filter. The motor also ensures a strong suction.

The pet hair cleaning attachment removes pet hair and deep-in dirt from your carpeted stairs. Other attachments include a nozzle/brush tool and a long crevice tool. The storage caddy allows you to store all the attachments neatly in an easily accessible place.

Key points

The canister is easy to empty

Strong suction ensuring optimal performance

Easy access to attachments, thanks to the storage caddy

Easy and comfortable to use

Two year warranty

Gets rid of pet hair and deep-in dirt from carpeted stairs

Since it is cordless, it will allow you to concentrate on cleaning stair edges thoroughly

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  1. Electrolux Ergorapido Lithium Ion 2-1 Stick and Handheld Vacuum, EL2055B

 

Electrolux Ergorapido Lithium Ion 2-1 Stick and Handheld Vacuum, EL2055B

The fact that the Ergorapido is a 2-in 1 vacuum makes it one of the best vacuum cleaners for stairs. It has a Lithium-ion power battery. It allows for at least 20 minutes of run-time on a single charge. The battery is 10.8 V. Cyclonic technology also supports maximum suction. The vacuum charges fast. The crevice tool and dusting brush allow you to clean stair edges and corners thoroughly.

The motorized brush roll helps you to clean non-carpeted stairs. The detachable handheld vacuum can also help you to clean your stairs more thoroughly. The 180 degree easy steer maneuverability ensures easy movement and turning.

Key points

Lightweight, allowing you to easily carry the vacuum up and down the stairs as you clean.

Strong suction for efficient cleaning.

Fast charging

Longer runtime allowing you to finish the cleaning process

Easy maneuverability

2-in-1 vacuum allowing for more cleaning options (with the accessories and handheld vacuum)

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Recommendation

From our review of the best vacuum for stairs, upright vacs seem to outdo handheld vacuums in terms of run time. Some of the handheld vacs have extremely short run times. They can only help to clean stairs if there is accidental spillage. They can also come in handy for cleaning jobs that require very little time.

On the other hand, upright vacs need to be lightweight and have accessories like crevice tools if they are to be efficient in thoroughly cleaning stairs.

All the same, suction, the brush roll and tools that can clean stair edges are the most crucial aspects in the best vacuum cleaner for stairs. Here is the vacuum that meets the aforementioned criteria:

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum (NV 352)

Here are some of its most outstanding features and their benefits:

The Shark utilizes the cyclonic technology to maintain suction

It uses HEPA filtration and allergen seal technology to get rid of all the dust and allergens

The vac is lightweight. You can easily carry it as you clean your stairs

Relatively quiet

Powerful attachments (2 crevice tools, dusting brush, and pet brush) all come in handy to clean both carpeted and non-carpeted stairs.

All in All

The above vacuum cleaners are the best vacuum cleaner for stairs in the market though their performance differs. They have great suction, brushes, tools and attachments that you can use to clean both carpeted and non-carpeted stairs. They are those that you can use for smaller and lighter cleaning jobs and those that are ideal for the tough ones. Most importantly, the best vacuum cleaner for stairs is the one that meets your specific cleaning needs.

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