Cleaning-wise, the stairs are one of the pain points in your house. There isn’t a lot of space to move about, they are awkward to get to with the conventional vacuums, and since they are in constant use, they are the center of a lot of dirt and debris.
The vacuum for stairs can help maintain these sections spot less, but with the scores of options on the market, choosing the right machine is overwhelming. Luckily, we have done all the dirty job and prepared a list of the best vacuums for stairs.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick is the Shark Rocket Vacuum (HV292), a powerful yet portable vacuum that conquers various tasks. Equipped with a plethora of tools, this unit handles easy pick-up jobs and complex extraction tasks. With a reasonably-sized dirt cup, this Shark Rocket is vicious against dirt and pet hair. Better yet, its price point also makes it an affordable option for small households.
The Best 6 Vacuum for Stairs Reviews
Best Overall: Shark Rocket Vacuum (HV292)
Although the 15-feet cord on this vacuum could restrict movement, it provides just enough cleaning reach without worrying about running out of juice. The portable design, small size, and array of attachments make this machine quite versatile for use on the stairs. Weighing less than 4 pounds, this unit is easy to transport up and down the staircase and the TruePet motorized brush makes extraction of build-up pet hair for carpets a breeze.
Since this is a rocket, these is a sense of power with its 400W motor and a guarantee to never lose suction. We were also impressed by the fact that the dust cup is easy to empty; just hold it over a bin, press a knob, and it pops out. Besides, the filter is fully washable.
This Shark Rocket is a good handheld vacuum that has no problem cleaning both carpeted and hard stairs, and anything else you need to vacuum. If it falls within your budget, it should obviously top your list.
- Easy to change attachments
- Dust cup is easy to empty
- Powerful suction
- The rotating brush delivers a deep clean
- Cleaning instructions are simple
- Filters are easy to access for cleaning
- Well-made vacuum
- Has no carrying or storage dock for easy storage
- The power cord doesn’t retract so you must wind it up yourself
- The cord is shorter compared to other corded modes
- The power brush doesn’t get deep enough into your carpet
Runners-Up, Best Overall: Bissell Pet Hair Vacuum 33A1
Following closely for the top spot is the Bissell Pet Hair Vacuum 33A1, a well-priced, handheld, bagless vacuum that’s designed to pick up pet hairs easily. This machine is equipped with two nozzles; a specialized rubber nozzle that removes dirt and attracts hair from stairs and a suction nozzle that picks up dry messes like pet litter or treats.
With a power rating of 4 amps, this vacuum offers just enough power to clean your stairs. The 16-foot power cord is long enough to cover one level of stairs in addition to a 0.78 liter dirt cup that takes longer to fill up. And for pet parents, this vacuum cleaner offers a lightweight construction, an easy-to-access on/off switch, and a comfortable easy-grip handle.
Bissell’s multi-level filtration system helps reduce household allergens from filling your indoor air. Basically, this little handheld vacuum should meet most of your cleaning needs, even if you’re not a pet owner.
- Phenomenal for removing pet hair
- Two nozzle selection options
- Easy to switch out attachments
- Has great suction
- Easy to handle with one hand
- Easy to assemble
- The motor blasts out air which makes it difficult to suck in dust
- It is relatively loud
- The filter isn’t easy to clean
- Comes with poor ergonomics
- The filter is rather small and quickly gets covered by fur and fine dust
Best Bagged: Dirt Devil Bagged Vacuum M08230RED
If you’re looking for a bagged handheld vacuum that picks up where other units leave off, then the Dirt Devil is what you need. Often considered the ultimate in convenience and power, this unit is equipped with a motorized brush roll that easily lifts dirt and hair from upholstery, car interiors, and stairs. The hose and crevice tool are designed to accommodate switching between cleaning modes.
This vacuum comes in two speeds which let you vary suction; the lower speed is gentle and doesn’t provide sufficient suction while the higher speed could be agonizingly loud. The machine’s 20-foot cord offers a large vacuuming radius and the cord strap offers a convenient storage.
We advise against using this machine to vacuum long strands of human hair since they are easily caught in the rotating brush. The Dirt Devil is a great bagged vacuum choice. It is relatively inexpensive, offers good functionality, and the rotating brush aids in deep carpet cleaning. If you want to know how to deep clean the carpet using steam cleaner, Check our detailed review Best steam cleaners for carpet.
- Offers deep carpet cleaning
- Has an improved design compared to its predecessors
- Pick dirt up easy and quick
- The hose feature is great for getting into crevices and small cracks
- The bag is easy to change
- Easy to store
- Budget friendly
- It leaves pet hair on carpeted stairs
- Loud operation
- After months of use, there could be problems with suction
- It has no filter
- It doesn’t get in between banister posts
Best Bagless: Bissell Lithium Ion Handheld Vacuum
This Lithium-ion battery powered cleaner from Bissell is compact, easy to handle, and offers great cleaning convenience. You can easily maneuver up and down your stairs however you want. This vacuum comes with a crevice tool and motorized brush, both of which help clean the tight spots along your staircase. The vacuum’s dirt bin is large so it takes more vacuuming to fill up. It is also easy-to-empty out.
The 14v Lithium-Ion battery offers up to 17 minutes of run time, which is enough for a quick stairs job. The triple level filtration aids in improving cleaning performance while ensuring removal of most allergens from the air. A quick word of advice is that this vacuum is small so you will take more time cleaning considerable ground. However, this shouldn’t be a concern since it will eventually get the job done. Besides, you should not use this vacuum to pick up combustible or flammable materials.
- Functional plastic assembly
- Triple level filtration ensures the exhaust air is clean
- Dirt bin is fairly easy to empty
- Easy to switch between attachments
- Cleaning the machine is easy
- Pretty purple color
- Pulls a lot of dirt
- The battery take long to charge (up to 5 hours)
- You must replace the filter after sometime
- You might feel a light static when you place your thumb on the power button
- Trash gets stuck between the plastic housing and filter restricting air flow.
Most Powerful: Miele Electro + Canister Vacuum
If you are looking for a compact vacuum that attacks dirt on your stairs with ferocity, then the Miele Electro + Canister is what you need. Powered by a 1200 Watt Vortex motor, this unit gives dirt no chance. In addition, the six-setting adjustable speed motor lets you adjust vacuuming power depending on the surface.
The vacuum’s Electro Plus floor head can tackle any carpet. It also features a five-level adjustment that allows for quick and in-depth cleaning of various carpet heights. The floor head is also equipped with an electrical beater bar that removes dirt that’s deeply embedded in your stair carpet. The SBB Parquet suction floor head also glides smoothly with supple bristles for an effortless clean. Better yet, the wide suction inlet sucks up all dirt and dust in its vacuuming path.
The vacuum’s filtration system consists a motor protection filter, Miele dust bag, and a HEPA exhaust filter for optimal filtration. This vacuuming unit also comes with three extra accessories; a crevice tool, upholstery tool, and dusting brush, all of which are cleverly clipped to the hose.
- Powerful than other vacuums on this list
- Equipped with the HEPA air filter
- Power cord is retractable
- Easy to maneuver in tight spaces
- Pleasantly quiet
- High quality construction
- The bag capacity is fine
- This vacuum is quite pricey
- The crevice tool is really short
- Telescoping handle is heavy and bulky
- Many users have found the hose too short
- The accessory holder around the hose detaches quite easily
Best on Budget: Eureka EasyClean Vacuum Cleaner 71B
Eureka offers a full line of vacuum cleaners and if you’re on the market looking for great handheld unit at an attractive price with several incredible features, then the Eureka EasyClean should be your top choice. This vacuum comes equipped with a brush function on its front and an extendable hose that you could use with the attached crevice tool for upholstery cleaning. The vacuum’s Riser Visor system makes vacuuming vertical upholstery or stairs easy by concentrating the suction to specific contact points.
Besides carpets, this vacuum works best for hardwood floors as well as tile, vinyl, laminate or and you could use it with or without its roller brush. And should you need to do any above-floor cleaning tasks, this vacuum is lightweight and glides smoothly on tables and countertops.
We were particularly impressed by the two motors present in this vacuum, one for suction and one for the brush to ensure thorough vacuuming. The 20-foot cord offers extended reach to clean an entire set of stairs at a go. The integrated filter cleans up the sucked air while the easy-to-empty canister adds convenience.
- Could be used on multiple surfaces
- An easy-to-empty canister
- Comes equipped with two motors
- The riser visor feature is ideal for stairs
- The fan outflow pushes away from the vacuum
- Smooth rolling brushes
- The bright yellow color looks nice
- The hose is wonderfully flexible
- The cord wraps around the base for convenient storage
- The filter is more difficult to clean than advertised
- Wrapping and unwrapping the power cord could be annoying
- Vacuum feels heavy after extended use
- The handle feels bulky in smaller hands
Features To Look For While Shopping for a Vacuum for Stairs
Vacuums comes in a range of cool colors, sleek shapes, and designs. However, what matters most is how best they clean. One vacuum model could have features that appeal to you but isn’t a good fit for your cleaning needs. Here are features you ought to look for while shopping for a vacuum for stairs.
1.Bagged vs. Bagless
This is an important aspect to consider since bagless vacuums will save in the cost of buying bags but will need more filters that require occasional cleaning or replacing which could be more expensive than bags. Besides, the mess and dust of emptying the bin of a bagless vacuum could be problematic to allergy sufferers.
Some canisters and upright vacuums use bags while some collect dirt in a bin. Bagged vacuums usually hold more dirt and emptying them doesn’t release much dust into the air.
2. Carpet Pile-Height Adjustment
This feature lets you adjust the height of your vacuum brush roll to the carpet pile height for easier movement and thorough cleaning. Adjustments are usually automatic on some vacuum models, but a manual control has more precision.
3. Brush Agitator
Commonly referred to as the roller brush, this feature is located on a vacuum underside. It has bristles attached, spans the width of the base and dislodges grit, dirt, and dust from your carpet so that suction picks it up easily. Some models come with a switch to turn off the agitator for cleaning tiles as well as bare stairs. A rotating brush on wooden stairs will move debris and dirt around, making suction difficult.
4. Add-On Cleaning Tools
Most vacuums for stairs come with basic tools – a round brush for dusting, an upholstery brush, and a narrow tool for crevices – which should be sufficient for most cleaning jobs. Edge cleaners are often an optional tool and help pick debris beneath the cleaning head. This is useful when doing wall-to-wall vacuuming since the machine cleans to where your stairs meet the wall.
5. Cord Control
This feature is common in canisters and it lets you rewind the power cord with the push of a button or a slight tug. Most vacuums have a cord at least 20 feet long, while others have it longer than 30 feet. Most upright vacuums come with a cord-release clip that frees the entire electrical cord at once instead of one wrap at a time.
This feature relies on a drive system and transmission to assist the pulling and pushing of the machine, thereby requiring minimal effort by the user. The downside of this feature is that it adds weight and could make your vacuum difficult to carry around.
Almost all vacuums not claim to filter all fine particles that could pass through the unit and get into the air via the exhaust. While micro filters offer a higher level of filtration than the conventional models, either through a separate filter or bag, it is probably not as high as HEPA filtration. This type of filtration could benefit people with asthma or allergies.
Is There a Better Way To Vacuum Your Stairs?
Even with a vacuum model meant exclusively for staircase upkeep, the machine itself won’t streamline the cleaning process if you don’t use the most efficient approach. So how should you handle this house chore? Before powering your vacuum, you must clear the steps.
This implies picking up all toys, shoes, and other random items your pets or children carelessly on the staircase. The last thing you want is a clogged vacuum because of a stray sock or broken crayon.
Once your vacuum is powered up, start with areas where dirt accumulates the most – the corners, edges, and around the balusters. This is when vacuum attachments like the crevice tool should come into action. Work your way up the staircase from the bottom, focusing on corners and where the tread and risers meet. Now go ahead and vacuum around the circumference of every baluster as you walk back down to your starting point.
After you’re done with the detailing tool, pay more attention to the tread and risers, vacuuming from riser to tread and back to riser as you move up the stairs. These instructions are easier to execute if you’re using the right vacuum cleaner.
How To Maintain a Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs?
The best advice for maintaining vacuums for stairs is pretty much standard and universal. This is because vacuums have many similar components. All the same, here are some things to keep your vacuum cleaner for stairs in good condition and for a long time:
- Empty the Dustbin or Bag – When the bin is too full, it could result in loss of suction. For utmost safety, we recommend emptying dustbins and bags when they’re about ¾ full. Some vacuums won’t have a full bin indicator and even when they do, it is often inaccurate. Be sure to check this for yourself regularly.
- Clean or Replace the Filters – Whether it’s the HEPA filters you find in more advanced models or the foam filters present in the cheaper vacuum models, be sure to clean them or replace them regularly. You could lose suction by failing to do so.
- Clean out the Brushes – Always inspect your brushes and comb them regularly. Clean brushes spin more freely and non-spinning ones pick up more pet hair if they’re clean.
There you have it all, the best 6 vacuums for stairs but it is easy to call out the winner; Shark Rocket Vacuum (HV292) which impressed with its balance of suction power, versatility, and storage convenience. All-round, we have made sure there is a vacuum for everyone, from powerful to versatile to budget friendly.
Should you have a recommendation or query or general comment to make, drop it right below. We would love to read your thoughts on the same.
Harvey is a content marketer, traveler, fitness enthusiast with many other things. When it comes to outdoor and technology, Harvey is our go-to guy.