Stairs are a hot spot for dirt and dust and if you don’t clean them routinely, they can get really gross. It's a big challenge for many home owners to find a best way to maintain their stairs. It's even more difficult finding the best vacuum for stairs.
Many vacuums claim to be suitable for stairs and some are marketed particularly towards them but very few live up to their claims.
So how do you go about it? Don’t worry, we present to you our top picks of the best stair vacuum of 2021. We’ve also included a detailed buyer guide so that you’ll know exactly what to look for when you purchase your unit.
My Top Picks:
Best Overall- Dyson Cyclone V10
Best Budget- Shark APEX Upright Vacuum
Best For Carpeted Stairs- Dyson V7 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Now that, you know what vacuum is best for stairs, its time to learn more indepth about selecting the best unit.
Which Type Of Vacuum Should I Select For Stairs?
Vacuums come in various shapes, sizes and types and it can be difficult figuring out which one is more suitable for stairs. Every type has its own advantages and disadvantages and as such you should be well-versed with their functionality.
Upright vacuums use a beater bar or a rotating brush roll which eliminates dirt, debris and other tiny particles with a combination of vibration and sweeping. Generally, they feature a tilt and push design, powerful suction and come in bagless and bagged options.
These units are fantastic for back and forth cleaning and work well on mostly carpeted and hardwood floors. Few upright models also include extendable wand or hoses for cleaning stairs and upholstery without any effort. However, they can be quite heavy and struggle with tight corners and crevices.
They are quite similar to upright models but are more lightweight and easier to use. These units feature a petite structure and a long stick like handle. The suction of stick units are not as powerful as upright or canister models, therefore they're not suitable for deep cleaning carpets or hardfloors. However, they are excellent for some quick touch-ups or vacuuming tricky-to-reach tight spots.
Canister vacuums feature a retractable cord and a suction hose. They are a unique combination of power of the upright models and the portability of the stick units. They work better than upright units when it comes to cleaning bare floors, under furniture, drapes, upholstery and smaller carpeted areas.
These vacuums maintain a separate unit for the receptacle and motor for versatility and maneuverability. Since the motor is housed in a separate unit, they produce lesser noise than upright models. On top of that, the extendable hose attachment makes them super convenient for cleaning stairs and other hard to reach areas. However, they're heavier than the upright or stick units.
As the name suggests, handheld vacuums can be held with just one hand making them the most portable units for cleaning staircases. They do an excellent job at cleaning those hard to reach areas and tight corners but will be exhausting and time consuming for general floor cleaning. They are available in various forms at different price points.
Here's The Winner:
Well, for cleaning stairs, you must focus on two things: suction power and portability. As such, both upright and stick models are excellent for vacuuming stairs. Few canister vacuums are also work just fine with carpeted stairs. They feature attachments and accessories particularly designed for stairs. However, other models can also be suitable depending on the unit.
Corded Vs Cordless: Which Type Is Best For Cleaning Stairs?
A constant confusion in choosing vacuums for stairs is whether to go for a corded or a cordless unit.
In general, corded vacuums offer uninterrupted power whereas cordless units provide better portability and convenience. Corded units feature more suction power and airflow than the cordless units. Therefore, a corded unit will be more efficient than a battery powered or cordless unit in terms of cleaning hard to remove dirt and stains. However, the length of corded units can also limit your reach if you have particularly long stairs.
Cordless units are more suitable for cleaning stairs as they are lightweight and easy to maneuver and you don’t have to worry about some wires getting in your way which might even make you trip and fall.
Best Vacuum For Carpeted Stairs: A Buying Guide
Through our years of experience, we know what features are essential in vacuums. During our review, we paid special attention to these features and you must also look out for them when you purchase your unit.
The first one is quite obvious. You must ensure that your vacuum has enough power to lift away all the dirt and debris. Typically, the more power it has, the better it’ll be at cleaning. You must also ensure that your unit comes with variable power settings so that you can personalize the suction power according to your requirements. This is particularly essential if you use your vacuum on various surfaces and floors.
Efficient Brush roll:
In vacuums, the brush roll design is crucial when it comes to removing unwanted particles especially pet hair. They are generally constructed of wood or plastic and feature bristles. They help in loosening dirt and debris making it easier for the suction to pull it in.
If you have both hard floors and carpets in your home, make sure that your unit includes a revolving dual brush roll system so that you can vacuum multi surface areas. It's also important to ensure that the brush roll has strong bristles embedded into the roll itself.
Weight And Portability:
While cleaning stairs, lifting a heavy vacuum as you go up the stairs and maneuvering it can be a nightmare. As such, you must invest in a compact and lightweight unit.
Other than the unit’s weight, also ensure that it has a slender construction. Generally, handheld and few canister vacuums are lightweight; making them most suitable for vacuuming stairs. Some cordless stick vacuums can also be good options.
The hose length of the vacuum cleaner is another key consideration when it comes to cleaning a long staircase. A vacuum with long hose attachment enables you to clean tight corners and hard to reach areas that your vacuum’s base cannot otherwise reach.
They also support attachment of tools and accessories for specialized cleaning like carpets, stairs, upholstery etc. Make sure that the hose is made of high-quality materials and suitable for your cleaning requirements.
Many people often ignore the handle design but it’s an essential feature especially for cleaning stairs. Make sure that your unit sports an ergonomic handle design that’s easy to hold and maneuver. Before purchasing your unit, you must try out the handle and ensure that it fits comfortably in your hands.
Another important consideration is the position of the power button; it must be well placed and within your reach which is critical especially while working in small spaces like stairs.
Most vacuums come with various accessories but many are sub-par in quality. With these accessories and attachments, you can personalize your vacuum for various cleaning tasks such as cleaning your car, upholstery and stairs. Its not just the number of accessories that’s important but also the quality.
Read online reviews and make sure that they perform their tasks efficiently. Some essential vacuum tools and accessories include a dusting tool, crevice tool, pet hair tool and a motorized stair tool.
Top 10 Best Vacuum For Stairs Reviews
1. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute: Best Vacuum For Stairs On the Market
Reasons to Buy:
Dyson is a trustworthy brand and the Dyson V10 is one of its best dyson vacuum you can buy for stairs. It delivers a decent suction power, versatility and convenience.
The first thing you’ll notice about this unit is the super slim frame and weighing in at just 5.9 pounds, it was a breeze lifting and moving this unit with one hand. Therefore, you can easily vacuum the hard-to-reach areas of your staircase.
This cordless stick vacuum has 3 power settings that you can personalize according to your preferences. It delivers upto 20 minutes run time on medium power setting and 8 minutes on highest setting, which is definitely more than other stick vacuums in this price range. However, we also notice that, the battery takes longer time ( more than 3 hours) to get fully charge.
It features two brushroll design for hardwood and carpets. The torque drive cleaner head works excellently well on carpeted stairs and pet hair. On top of that, it has a large suction gate at the front of the cleaner head and it handles both small and large debris pretty well.
The Cyclone V10 is able to pick up more surface debris and has more cordless power than its closest competitors Shark IONFlex 251. However, the V10 comes with a single battery where the Shark 251 offers 2 rechargable batteries for a longer cleaning session.
The Dyson V10 comes with a charging station and a whole filtration system that’s capable of eliminating 99.97% of all allergens. Many users were impressed by its portability and performance at cleaning stairs. However, few customers were unhappy that the V10 doesn’t come with on/off switch. It’s also an expensive unit which might put off some customers.
The Dyson V10 is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a portable yet powerful stick vacuum for carpeted stairs. With a slender frame and strong suction, you’ll be able to remove all dust and debris in no time.
2. Shark APEX Upright Vacuum (AZ1002)
Reasons to Buy:
The Shark Apex Upright Vacuum is also another great choice for vacumming stairs. For an upright vacuum, it sports a compact design and is very well-built, you’ll certainly be using it for a long time.
You can use this bagless vacuum in three modes and the powered lift away mode with its portability and detachable canister is excellent for cleaning stairs. It has a stronger suction power than many premium vacuums like-Dyson ball animal and can lift even large debris with ease.
In our testing, we were impressed by efficiency of the dual brush roll system and this vacuum does an amazing job in picking up pet hair and finest dust on carpet and hard floors. On top of that, the zero M brush roll technology ensures that there is minimum hair left behind. This feature is really useful especially if you've pet with long hair.
An overwhelming majority of users were impressed with the detachable canister and longer power cord for cleaning stairs. Plus, many like its upgraded wheel design and sturdy hose attachment. On the downside, some users were displeased with the heavy weight of the unit.
If you have pets and they leave behind a lot of hair on your stairs, the Shark Apex Upright Vacuum will be an excellent choice. The brush roll picks up even long human hair and the detachable canister makes cleaning stairs a breeze.
3. Dyson V7: Best Handheld Stair Vacuum Cleaner
Reasons to Buy:
Handheld units have a lot of advantages in cleaning stairs and other high reach places. The Dyson V7 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is one of the best handheld stair vacuum we’ve come across. It's also one of the best dyson vacuum for carpeted stairs.
Its super lightweight and we love the ergonomic handle design; you won’t face any fatigue even if you use this unit for a long time. Despite its lightweight built, it boasts with decent suction power to remove dirt and dust from various surfaces.
The Dyson V7 also comes with many tools and attachments for various cleaning tasks. The mini motorized tool does a fantastic job at removing pet hair and dander which is quite rare for handheld units. It also includes a crevice tool which does a great job at vacuuming those tight corners and edges.
This handheld vac has 2 speed of suction power and you can get a run time of 5-6 minutes on its max setting. Therefore, it's recommened for smaller jobs only like vacumming stairs, couches or cleaning car etc.
Reviewers and users raved about the performance of the motorized tool in picking up pet hair from carpets and rugs. They also love the hygienic dust disposal system of this unit. A significant drawback of this vacuum is the lack of a hepa filter and detachable battery.
However, if you 're serious about having a vacuum with an efficient filtration system, you can get the upraded version, Dyson V7 Trigger PRO which comes with a Hepa filtration system.
If you want a portable and easy to use handheld vac for your stairs, the Dyson V7 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is a must buy. It's a perfect stair cleaning tool at a reasonable price .
4. Shark Rocket Hand Vacuum (HV292)
Best Vacuum For Carpeted Stairs
Reasons to Buy:
If you’re looking for an ultra-lightweight vacuum for your stairs, the Shark Rocket Hand Vacuum will be a top choice. Its ergonomically designed with a well-placed button on top of the handle and at just 3.7 pounds, you won’t break a sweat using this vacuum for cleaning your stairs.
It’s a corded unit so you won't have to worry about running out of power and with a long 15-foot power cord, you’ll have plenty of reach. In our testing, the powered pet brush did a great job at picking up pet hair and other loose debris from any surface. This vacuum also has a crevice tool for cleaning tight corners and edge of carpets. Even, it does an excellent job while cleaning carpeted stairs and upholstery.
The Shark Rocket Hand Vacuum features a transparent dust canister so you can see when it is time to empty. The canister is easy to empty and attach.
Going by user reviews, the powerful suction and rotating brush roll were the most raved about features. On the other hand, some users complained about the price and the lack of storage for wrapping the cord.
The Shark Rocket Hand Vacuum is a best choice if you want a corded handheld unit. The corded feature ensures that you have unlimited power supply and it comes with various attachments to make your cleaning easier.
5. Bissell 9595A CleanView
Best Upright Vacuum For Stairs And Upholstery
Reasons to Buy:
In our review, we were also impressed with the Bissell 9595A CleanView for its bagless and lightweight design. Its very well made and we are sure it’ll last for a long time.
This Bissell 9595A bagless vac comes with a large 2.0 L dirt tank capacity so you don’t have to bother about routinely emptying the dirt tank. The budget friendly upright vacuum also features a long 25-foot power cord providing you with sufficient reach.
In our testing, we were impressed by the powerful suction and it easily picked up all sorts of dirt, debris and cat hair from your rugs and carpets. The turbo-brush tool is also worth mentioning and is very suitable for cleaning your upholstery and stairs. The addition of the extension wand makes it easier to vacuum stairs without lifting the whole unit.
The Bissell 9595A upright vacuum is a clear standout from other bagless vacuums in this price range. It has an easy to empty dust bin and a washable filtration system for easy maintanance. It also includes many useful tools and accessories including a crevice tool, dusting brush etc to make your cleaning more effective.
Customers raved about its performance on carpets and easy manoeuvrability. However, few users found it difficult to assemble the unit.
If you have long stairs in your home, this is certainly a great vacuum to consider. The 25-foot power cord will provide you with ample reach and the powerful suction will leave no dirt or debris behind.
6. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1: Best Handheld Pet Vacuum for Stairs
Reasons to Buy:
Pet hair on stairs can be a nightmare but the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 makes light work out of it. Sporting a compact and lightweight frame, it’s easy to use and store the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1. Thanks to the bagless design, this unit is also easy to empty.
It’s a corded unit so you’ll have endless power supply as long as you’re connected to a power source. However, the 16-foot power cord length is not that long in comparison to other corded units in our list. This mini hand vac has been designed for smaller jobs around your house. You can vacuum upholstery, sofa, stairs and even your car interior with this unit.
This machine features 2 type of nozzle for more versatile cleanup. In our testing, we found the rubber nozzle is very effective at picking up pet hair, dirt, dry messes etc from stairs and upholstery.
Putting the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 head to head with other similar models, it is more convenient and even features a multi-filtration system. Based on testimonials and customer reviews, the specialized rubber nozzle and the ergonomic handle design were the most raved about features of this vacuum. On the downside, many users were unhappy with the loud operation of the unit.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a handheld pet vacuum for your stairs. The dedicated suction and specialized rubber nozzle will remove pet messes and hair in no time.
7. Tineco A11 Hero Stick Vacuum
Reasons to Buy:
For those looking for a stick vacuum for stairs, the Tineco A11 Hero Stick Vacuum is an excellent option to consider. This vacuum is a stunner and weighing in at just 5.5 pounds, moving it around while cleaning stairs is a breeze.
This cordless vacuum supports three power modes and in max mode, we were able to remove even large debris and long pet hair with ease. It's also very effective at deep cleaning carpeted stairs and area rugs.
The Tineco A11 Hero Stick Vacuum sports a longer battery life. It's powered by a 2500mAh lithium battery and we were able to get 30 minutes of run time on a single charge which should be sufficient for most tasks.
The unit is very effective for a long cleaning session. It has a unique continuous vacumming lock feature, so you don't need to keep holding the button all the time. We also love that, this unit comes with headlights making it easy to notice dirt and debris that we would have otherwise missed.
Going by customer reviews, many were happy with the inclusion of the HEPA filtration system as well as the ability to be converted into a handheld vacuum which is beneficial for vacuuming stairs and tight corners. However, many users were displeased with the small size of the dirt container.
If you want a stick vacuum with a powerful suction and filtration system, you must go for the Tineco A11 Hero Stick Vacuum. On max mode, even large debris will be sucked off easily and the HEPA filtration system eliminates 99.97% of all allergens.
8. Shark ION F80: Best Cordless Stick Vacuum For Stairs
Reasons to Buy:
With a sleek design and plenty of useful features, the Shark Ion F80 is another excellent vacuum for stairs. It’s a cordless unit and you can even convert it into a handheld vacuum making it perfect for cleaning above the floors and stairs.
Thanks to the multi-flex technology, you can even bend this vacuum for easy storage. Not just that, the wand is also bendable and it does an excellent job at cleaning those hard to reach places.
The Shark Ion F80 has a longer battery life and performs better than many cordless vac at cleaning tight corners and under furnitures.
A large number of users and reviewers raved about the inclusion of 2 interchangeable batteries which when used consecutively can provide up to an impressive 80 minutes of run time. On the downside, some customers noticed that pet hair tends to get wrapped in the roller brush.
If you want a cordless vacuum that performs like a corded unit and lasts a long time, the Shark Ion F80 is an absolute must-have. With two interchangeable batteries, you can run this unit for up to 80 minutes.
9. Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner (1400B)
Reasons to Buy:
The Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner is an easy to use and versatile carpet cleaner for stairs. It performs particularly well in lifting pet hair from a variety of surfaces including stairs and upholstery. We found it easy to use and thanks to the compact design, you’ll have no problem finding a space to store it.
The best thing of this unit is its on-demand spray nozzle with decent suction power. On top of that, it includes a special brush attachment for deep-down spots and pet stains. These features are really useful to tackle targeted stains from stairs with minimal effort on your part.
The Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner also comes with removable water tanks capable of holding up to 48 ounces of water which should be sufficient for most cleaning tasks. It also features a 15 ft power cord and a 4-inch hose, so you can also use it for cleaning hard to reach areas and even car upholstery.
In comparison to other similar units, the Bissell Carpet Cleaner comes with an affordable price tag. Many users were impressed by the easy to refill water tank and compact design of this unit. However, some users found the unit hard to clean especially the hair that accumulates at the head.
The Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner is a good choice if you’re looking for an affordable vacuum for pet messes and hair. The suction lifts all sort of pet hair and messes and the included cleaning formula is also effective in removing pet stains and odor.
10. BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum
Reasons to Buy:
The Black + Decker dust buster gets full score for portability and efficiency. It sports a clean and modern look and at just 2.6 pounds, it’s the most lightweight unit in our list.
Despite its compact design, it comes with a powerful suction and in our testing, it made light work of litter, dust, hair and crumbs. This unit is easy to clean and empty-you just have to push a button and you’ll have easy access to its dirt tray.
The Black + Decker dustbuster also comes with a charger base and it takes about 2 hours to get the unit fully charged and has a run time of 30 minutes.
Comparing the Black + Decker dustbuster to other handheld units, it sports a much attractive design and is very low maintenance. Customer review consistently praised the easy to use and fast charger base. A drawback of this unit is that it operates quite loudly.
If you’re on the lookout for a user-friendly and efficient handheld vacuum, you can consider the Black + Decker dustbuster. Its easy to empty and the washable filters make it a low-maintenance unit. The suction is also powerful for most cleaning tasks.
The Best Way Of Deep Cleaning Carpeted Stairs:
Final Verdict On the Best Vacuum Cleaner For Stairs:
This brings us to the end of our list for the best vacuum for stairs. All the above-mentioned units will make cleaning stairs easier and more efficient.
Its hard to pick a top choice but the Dyson Cyclone V10 with its portability, efficiency and powerful suction edges out the rest of the competition.
If you want a more value for money option, the Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner is lightweight, easy to use, performs well on stairs and comes with an affordable price tag.