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Your staircase is probably among the most challenging areas to clean regardless of its size. What makes it tricky to tackle are the many nooks and crannies that most stairs have.
While some people think hard floors are easier to clean than carpet, that’s not always the case. With the right vacuum cleaner, you can achieve spotless stairs regardless of the flooring type.
What makes the best vacuum for stairs? Things like powerful suction, ease of use, and several accessories can make a difference in how efficient a vacuum is for this type of job. Size also plays a significant role in how easily you can maneuver the vacuum in such a tight space.
Continue reading if you need some help finding the best vacuum for stairs. We’ve included the best and most versatile models as well as a buyer’s guide to help you choose among them.
|Product||Dimensions||Weight||Run Time / Cord Length|
|4.5 x 16 x 5 in||4.25 lbs||17 min|
|9.7 x 4.9 x 13.6 in||3.7lbs||15 ft|
|6.3 x 4.8 x 15.5 in||2.48 lbs||15 min|
|12.5 x 8.3 x 43.3 in||5.03 lbs||25 min|
|21.2 x 14.2 x 22.9 in||18.5 lbs||20 ft|
|30 x 15 x 6 in||6.61 lbs||100 min|
|12 x 6 x 6 in||5.6 lbs||19.5 ft|
|18 x 6.9 x 6.8 in||3.75 lbs||12 min|
|9.9 x 8.9 x 49 in||5.75 lbs||40 min|
|7 x 15 x 8 in||4.85 lbs||20 ft|
Top Rated Stair Vacuum
BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion
Pet Hair Eraser is a well-known handheld vacuum from Bissell. You should know that Bissell donates money to its pet foundation upon every purchase and activation.
This handheld is an ideal choice if you have pets that use your stairs regularly. It comes with a motorized brush tool, going deep into the carpet fibers to remove even the most embedded dirt. You’ll also receive an upholstery tool and a crevice tool for some added precision.
The vacuum is cordless, featuring a 14V lithium-ion battery. It offers some 17 minutes of runtime, which should be enough for most stairs.
Much like all handheld vacuums, Pet Hair Eraser is bagless. It has an easy-to-empty dirt cup with a capacity of approximately 0.7 liters. Also, its triple filtration system ensures that none of the vacuumed dust goes back onto your floors.
- It takes 7 hours to recharge
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV292
This Shark Rocket is one of the best vacuums if you’re looking for something easy to use and store away. It weighs less than 4 pounds and is so compact that you can easily store it anywhere.
It comes with several different accessories such as 12” crevice tool, dusting brush, and an extended-reach stretch hose. This one also features TruePet motorized brush, allowing you to pick up even the most persistent pet hair.
Although it’s handheld, the HV292 vacuum is corded, offering unlimited runtime. However, make sure that the 15 ft. long power cord can reach the top of your stairs.
Also, this bagless handheld has a dust cup that you won’t have to empty as often. It’s equipped with washable filters that don’t require any replacement.
- Stretch hose included
- Unlimited runtime
- Short power cord
Shark Cordless Pet Perfect Lithium-Ion (LV801)
Shark Pet Perfect is among the most compact cordless vacuums. It’s a lightweight and portable handheld that’s ideal for large staircases.
It’s equipped with a lithium-ion battery, enabling unlimited reach and effortless maneuverability. The battery lasts enough for you to clean a whole set of steps or the interior of your car.
This one features Twister suction technology, providing the same amount of power until the battery is dead. It’s bagless, featuring an easy-to-empty 0.43 dry quarts dust bin.
Also, the vacuum comes with a detachable motorized pet brush that’s ideal for picking up even the most persistent hairs from your stairs. It’s efficient on upholstery, car mats, seats, carpets, and other similar surfaces. The package also includes a crevice tool, suitable for stairs, corners, and edges.
- Direct Suction option
- Pet motorized brush included
- Lightweight and ergonomically designed
- Expensive replacement batteries
Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
A10 Hero is a good choice if you’re looking for a full-size vacuum to use throughout your house. This is a stick vacuum that converts into a handheld, making it easier to clean stairs, upholstery, and other above-floor surfaces.
It’s cordless and equipped with a 2000mAh detachable lithium battery that lasts about 25 minutes. Its 350W brushless motor provides powerful suction, picking up embedded dirt, dust, and allergens.
It comes with a Tineco High Torque multi-task brush that’s ideal for carpeted steps. However, it’s equally as efficient on hard floors, delivering scatter-free performance.
Its 4-stage filtration system traps even the smallest particles, pollen and allergens. Also, this one comes with several accessories such as the Multi-Task LED power brush, mini power brush, 2-in-1 dusting brush, crevice tool, storehouse, and a charging adapter.
- Two suction power modes
- Mini tools included for precise spot-cleaning
- Low-noise operation
- Only 6 minutes in MAX mode
Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine
Hoover Power Scrub cleaner might be your best option if you’re looking for a way to deep-clean your steps. It’s a vacuum and shampooer in one, deep-cleaning the toughest dirt from your carpeted stairs.
The vacuum has powerful 360° brushes, going deep into your carpets to clean the embedded dirt. The Dual-V nozzle cleans all surfaces with equal efficiency and suction power.
However, you don’t have to worry about wet carpeting because this Hoover for stairs has heat force that ensures your carpets are dry. It speeds up the drying process while removing persistent stains and debris.
One thing you should keep in mind is its overall weight. This one weighs nearly 19 pounds, which might be a bit heavy for some people, especially when it comes to cleaning stairs.
The package includes a crevice tool, upholstery tool, stair tool, and an 8′ hose.
- Shampoo sample bottle included
- Ideal for carpet deep-cleaning
- Faster drying time
- It’s heavy
Tineco Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, Pure ONE S12
This one might seem quite similar to the Tineco A10 Hero vacuum we reviewed earlier in the article. However, it’s its younger brother that’s also smarter and more innovative.
The Pure ONE S12 is a smart stick vacuum, featuring iLoop sensors, powerful suction, and Clever Noise Optimization. Its noise level is at 71dB, so it’s not going to scare your pets or the rest of your household.
It’s a cordless vacuum, featuring dual-charging 2500mAh li-ion batteries and some 100 minutes of runtime. Also, the vacuum connects to Tineco App, allowing the most advanced performance.
Trough the app, you can receive reminders and automatic troubleshooting. The LED display on the vacuum shows battery life, working status, and maintenance indicators. On top of that, it comes with a crevice tool, dusting brush, flexible hose, and mini power brush.
- Easily converts into a handheld
- Dual-charge batteries included
- Self-cleaning filtration
- It tends to overheat
VonHaus 2 in 1 Stick & Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
VonHaus 2-in-1 vacuum is one of those easy-to-use cleaners you can use throughout your house. It’s compact and straightforward, which makes it ideal for stairs as well as other areas.
It’s a bagless vacuum with a 1.3L tank that’s easy to empty.
It features HEPA filtration, so it’s suitable for allergy-prone people and pet owners. The filters trap even the tiniest allergens, ensuring that none of that goes back into your breathing space.
It’s important to note that this one is corded, unlike many stick/handheld combination vacuums. It features a 19.5 ft. quick-release cord and an extendable handle for some more reach. The package also includes crevice tools, small brush for handheld, shoulder strap, and hose adapter.
- HEPA filtration
- Comes with a shoulder strap
- Extendable handle
- Not for carpets
This Black Decker vacuum is probably one of the smallest handhelds in the market. It weighs less than 4 pounds, but it’s equipped with plenty of useful features and standout specs.
You’ll maybe have to empty its 15-ounce dust bowl a few times throughout use, depending on how dirty your floors are. However, it’s relatively easy to empty, and the process shouldn’t take more than a minute.
What makes it ideal for stairs is its pivoting nozzle. The nozzle is adjustable and versatile, allowing you to get to all the nooks and crannies of your stairs, car interior upholstery, and other similar surfaces.
It features cyclonic action and a 3-stage filtration system that works together to protect the motor, prolonging its lifespan. The package also includes a crevice tool and a brush for more precise cleaning.
- Versatile and easy to use
- Compact and convenient charging base
- 3-stage filtration
- Only about 12 minutes of runtime
Dyson V8 Absolute
The Dyson V8 Absolute is one of the most popular stick vacuums that you can use as a handheld as well. It’s cordless, offering up to 40 minutes in Standard mode and with a non-motorized tool.
The vacuum has two suction modes, and you only get about 8 minutes of runtime in Max mode. You get nearly as much if you’re using a motorized tool. Also, it takes four hours to recharge.
Still, this one is pretty lightweight and easy to use. It converts into a hand vacuum, allowing you to spot-clean stairs, upholstery, and other above-floor surfaces.
It’s engineered to pick up and remove even the tiniest dust particles from carpets and hard floors. Plus, it has HEPA filtration, so it’s suitable for allergy-prone people. The filter is washable and is supposed to last as long as the vacuum itself.
- Convenient and easy to use
- 40 minutes of runtime in Standard mode
- For carpets and hard floors
- Only 8 minutes in Max mode
EUREKA EasyClean 71B
This funny-looking handheld is portable and lightweight enough for most spot-cleaning tasks. It’s ideal for stairs, regardless of whether you have carpets or not.
The vacuum weighs less than five pounds and has an ergonomically-designed handle for smoother operation. It comes with a motorized brush that you can shut off when cleaning hardwood and other similar surfaces.
Its dust canister is easy to empty, although it’s not as big, and you’ll probably have to empty it after each use. The vacuum is corded, featuring some 20 ft. of power cable. This should be enough for an average set of stairs.
Interestingly, this compact vacuum features two motors for a thorough clean. One motor is for the brush, while the other is for suction so that it’s always at its peak.
- Extension hose and crevice tool included
- On/Off motorized tool
- Loud operation
Stairs can be a bit tricky to clean unless you have the right vacuum. For this reason, it’s particularly important to think about the type of stair vacuum you’re opting for and the features it comes with.
While there are plenty of great vacuum models on the market, choosing the best vacuum for stairs requires a bit of thinking. Stay tuned as we discuss all the critical factors you should consider before opting for any particular stair vacuum.
As you’ve probably noticed, the market is packed with uprights, sticks, handhelds, and many other types of vacuums. While it’s great to have as many to choose from, it can also be a bit overwhelming.
You should opt for the one that helps you clean the stairs efficiently and quickly. However, it’s crucial to think about each particular type and whether it would fit your needs and preferences.
Uprights are usually a bit too bulky for stairs. However, many models come with an extension hose and a few other accessories that prove some added reach. This makes it a bit easier, but it’s usually only enough for smaller sets of stairs.
Related Post: Top Rated Upright Vacuum Cleaners
Stick is a good choice for stairs because these modes are usually lightweight and easy to maneuver with. In most cases, a stick vacuum can also be used as a handheld for some added convenience when it comes to stairs.
Plus, most sticks are cordless, which provides you with unlimited reach, suitable for larger sets of stairs.
Read more: Top Picks of Stick Vacuums without a Cord
Handheld is probably the most popular type when it comes to stairs. These are small, compact, and lightweight, providing ease of use and convenience, unlike any other type.
Although they’re less powerful than full-sized vacuums, handheld vacuum cleaners make stairs cleaning fast and effortless. Most models are cordless, but corded ones are available as well.
A canister vacuum cleaner might be a good choice if you’re looking for a carpet cleaner for stairs. These are probably the most efficient to use on carpeted areas, but keep in mind that they’re often bulky and heavy.
Plus, canisters are almost always corded, which might be a bit inconvenient if you have a large staircase.
The vacuum of your choice should match the flooring. So, you need a stair carpet cleaner if your stairs are carpeted and a scatter-free vacuum if you have hardwood or tile.
Make sure that it has sufficient suction power and all the right accessories you might need to clean the area efficiently.
Strong suction is something that should always be your top priority. It’s what makes the vacuum efficient as it’s what gets the job done.
Make sure the vacuum of your choice has enough suction power to tackle dirt, pet hair, dust, and other debris you might come across.
Cord / Cordless
Many people choose cordless vacuums for their stairs because of the unlimited reach they provide. However, many cordless vacuums last for 10 to 20 minutes on average, so make sure to consider whether this is enough for you.
On the other hand, corded vacuums are ideal for your entire home, including stairs. Still, think about if you have enough available sockets at convenient points.
Bagged / Bagless
For stairs, you can get away with a no bag vacuum regardless of how big its dust cup is. Still, bagged models have more capacity, but aren’t as eco-friendly or cost-efficient as their bagless counterparts.
In most cases, handheld, stick, and some uprights are bagless while canisters are usually bagged.
Your vacuum for stairs might come with a replaceable filter or a washable one. Washable filters are more eco-friendly, yet equally as efficient as replaceable ones.
Consider opting for HEPA if you’re prone to allergies. Some vacuums have sealed filtration, or 3- and 4-stage filtration systems.
As always, the warranty is something you should think about beforehand. Most models we reviewed come with at least a year-long warranty, although many manufacturers offer longer deals as well.
Nonetheless, make sure to check what exactly the warranty covers.
Crevice tools, motorized brushes, dusting tools, and extension hoses are probably the most important when it comes to stair cleaning. You might also want to consider an on/off brush roll as well, depending on the type of surface.
Note that not all vacuums come with the same set of accessories, so make sure to think about which ones you’d need the most.
Most cordless vacuums run for ten to twenty minutes on average. However, some models can go for as long as forty minutes, depending on the suction mode and tools you’re using.
While you should consider the overall run time, you should also check how long does it take for the battery to recharge.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to clean carpeted stairs?
A: If you have carpets, you need a vacuum for stairs that features an appropriate brush roll tool. Motorized tools are ideal for carpeted areas, especially if you have pet hair to clean.
Your vacuum should have strong suction and the right brush attachment that would pick up the embedded dirt. A steam cleaner or shampooer is also a good choice if your staircase tends to get quite dirty.
Another thing that could help is a stiff broom. It’s an ideal solution for quick cleanups, although a vacuum is recommended for more thorough cleaning.
What is the best vacuum for stairs and pet hair?
A: There are plenty of things you should think about if you have pets, and strong suction is probably the most important. Also, opt for a cleaner that comes with pet tools and motorized brushes that can help you remove the persistent hairs and dander.
It should have a reliable and efficient filtration system as well, ensuring that all the removed hairs stay inside the machine.
Do robot vacuums work on stairs?
A: Sadly, robot vacuums don’t work on stairs for several reasons. While they can clean close to your staircase, they can’t clean the actual steps. One of the biggest issues is their rounded shape that can’t get to all the edges and corners of stairs.
Using your full-size vacuum in a tight area such as your staircase is probably a nightmare. For this reason, you should look for a cleaner that’s more convenient and easier to use when it comes to steps.
As we explained, keeping your staircase clean is critical since you don’t want the carry any dirt between floors. Still, the task isn’t always as simple if you don’t have the right cleaner.
If you haven’t made up your mind yet, take a second glance at our list, but this time considering the important factors we discussed in our buyer’s guide. It’s the most effective way of choosing the best vacuum for stairs that would suit your needs and preferences.
Sources and Resources
- Microbial Contents of Vacuum Cleaner Bag Dust and Emitted Bioaerosols and Their Implications for Human Exposure Indoors
- A comparison of the effect of conventional and filter vacuum cleaners on airborne house dust mite allergen.