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20 Best Vacuums for Stairs: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Lawrence -  Last updated on May 31, 2021
vacuum for stairs

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If you’re like me, you put off vacuuming the steps because it’s a hassle.

Maybe the vacuum is too heavy and awkward, or it just takes too long to do the job.

In that case, you’ll benefit from one of the best vacuums for carpeted stairs.

Until they start selling a stair vacuum robot, these are the easiest tools to get the job done.

How Do You Vacuum Carpet on Stairs?

Have you ever tried to swing your upright from step to step to clean the carpet?

That’s awkward.

The best way to clean carpet on stairs is with an attachment on a long hose or a lightweight handheld vacuum.

You’re more likely to have success with a canister vacuum as most uprights have short hoses.

And unfortunately, Dustbusters don’t have motorized tools to scrub hair out of the fibers.

The most efficient way to clean your stairs is to start at the top and work your way down.

First, move obstacles (like shoes and the cat) out of your way.

Second, dust the handrail.

Third, grab your vacuum cleaner and use the crevice tool to sweep the edges and corners.

Fourth, pop on a larger nozzle and vacuum the rest of each step.

Fifth, remember to do the vertical sides of each step, too.

Of course, you could do all this work by parking your vacuum cleaner at the top, but then you run the risk of it toppling down on you. It’s safer to leave it below you and stretch the hose upward.

Or better yet, take a look at these vacuums that are made specifically for carpeted stairs and similar tasks.

20 Best Vacuums for Stairs (2021 Update)

1. Shark Rocket Ultra-Light

The best Shark vacuum for carpeted stairs is the Rocket Ultra-Light. It weighs under 4 pounds and has a motorized brush. The brush agitates dust, dander, and hair out of rugs.

This is a bagless model. Press the button, and the bottom drops open to release debris straight into the trash can.

The 15-foot power cord is the only downside as you’ll need a power outlet near the stairs or an extension cord. Fortunately, it does have a stretchy air hose.

It comes with a foot-long crevice tool and a dusting brush, too.

2. Shark Cordless Pet Perfect (LV801) Handheld Vacuum

Shark also makes a cordless Dustbuster-like vacuum. The advantage is its detachable motorized pet brush.

If you don’t want to use the motorized nozzle, you can remove it for straightforward suction only.

The package includes a crevice tool as well.

3. Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

If your budget allows it, the Dyson V7 handheld vacuum is a worthwhile investment for the meticulous cleaner. It’s handy for stairs, furniture, mattresses, and cleaning the car.

It runs up to 30 minutes, and the suction won’t fade as the lithium-ion battery runs dry. Then when you’re done, the press of a button releases the debris into the garbage bin.

The kit includes a motorized tool to agitate the carpet, a crevice tool, and a combination duster for curtains and lampshades. Dyson offers a two-year warranty.

Also Read: Dyson DC33 Review

4. EUREKA EasyClean Lightweight Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Eureka’s handheld vacuum is a budget option that weighs under 5 pounds. It has a 20-foot power cord, stretchy hose, and a crevice tool.

The front of the vacuum cleaner has a small brush roller powered by its motor. Or you can turn that off and use the hose only.

It comes with a one-year warranty plus a money-back guarantee and it is easy to carry around.

5. Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum, 47R51

Bissell’s Cleanview handheld weighs about 5 pounds and has an 18-foot power cord and a two-foot hose. Combined with the wide-mouth tool and crevice tool, it’s a good choice for cleaning stairs.

But you’ll also be interested in trying the rubber nozzle right on the front of the vacuum. The little rubber teeth help pick up hair off the carpet.

Bissell offers a one-year limited warranty.

6. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand and Car Vacuum, 1782

Bissell’s handvac comes with a motorized brush to remove embedded hair and dirt. If you pull that off the front, you can attach an upholstery tool or a crevice tool.

Altogether, it weighs around 3 pounds.

Like many other hand vacuum cleaners, this one has basic filtration. It also comes with a one-year warranty.

7. Eureka 72A EasyClean Deluxe Lightweight Handheld Cleaner

You can set the Eureka EasyClean vacuum down on a step and use the hose with attachment to clean the stairs. Or you can grip the vacuum cleaner in your hand and use the motorized brush on the front.

The motorized brush roller has something they call the Riser Visor. It allows you to sweep the vacuum upward to clean the vertical surface of each step.

It has a 20-foot power cord and a crevice tool that stores on board. The whole machine weighs about 6 pounds which makes it very easy to move around.

8. BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, AdvancedClean+

The famed Black + Decker Dustbuster has a new look and a lot more power.

It weighs just over 3 pounds, but the extra ounces are worth it as it provides four times the suction as older models. Just use the Power Boost button.

Moreover, it runs 90% longer.

It also has an extra-long crevice tool to keep your back from aching as you clean the steps.

9. BLACK+DECKER Flex Handheld Cordless Vacuum, HFVB320J27

But if you have a lot of stairs to clean, the Black + Decker Flex cordless vacuum is better than a handvac. Besides, it only weighs 3.2 pounds.

There are a crevice tool and a pet hair brush attachment that works well on carpeted steps. And instead of sweeping the vacuum itself across the stairs, you’ll mount the attachment on the four-foot extension hose.

10. Sanitaire S3681D Sanitaire Electrolux Canister Vacuum

This diminutive canister vacuum is up to cleaning your entire home. It has automatic carpet height adjustment for floors, not just stairs. Plus, there’s a 20-foot power cord.

It has a basic filtration system that uses bags. Additionally, it comes with a crevice tool, combination floor tool, horsehair dusting brush, and a telescopic wand.

11. Eureka Mighty Mite Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Pet

We selected the Pet version of the Mighty Mite vacuum cleaner. That’s because it has the attachments you’ll need to clean a variety of surfaces besides stairs.

The vacuum also doubles as a blower to clear leaves off the driveway and sidewalks. With only a 20-foot power cord, you might want an extension for working outside.

This is a bagged canister vacuum. But on the bright side, it has a no-mess method for swapping the bags.

12. Metro Vacuum VM6SB500 Professional Hand Vacuum

This retro-looking chrome hand vac isn’t just decorative. It has 60 inches of water lift but weighs only 2.7 pounds.

The MetroVac comes with a brush nozzle, a wide-mouth nozzle, a crevice tool, and an extension hose.

This all-steel bagless vacuum is made in the USA. The company offers a five-year warranty on the motor.

13. Oreck Commercial BB900DGR XL Pro 5 Super Compact Canister Vacuum

If you don’t mind carrying your vacuum around with you, the Oreck commercial canister is all-around handy.

It weighs 5 pounds and comes with a shoulder strap and an integrated handle. There’s also a 30-foot power cord.

The 4-foot air hose and adjustable wand give you plenty of reach without straining your back. Not only can you clean stairs, but you’ll be able to suck down cobwebs and sweep floors.

Other accessories include a full set of detailing tools plus one disposable bag and filter. Oreck manufactures this vacuum in the USA and provides a one-year commercial warranty.

14. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner – Corded

Bissell’s SpotClean isn’t exactly a stair vacuum. It’s a portable carpet cleaner that weighs just over 13 pounds.

This compact machine is convenient for cleaning up little messes and stains. And that’s why it’s perfect for cleaning the carpet on the steps. It even comes with a stair tool.

To keep you from interrupting your work, it has a three-quarter gallon tank, a five-foot hose, and a 22-foot cord.

15. Kenmore Elite 21814 CrossOver HEPA Canister Vacuum with Pet PowerMate

Kenmore’s CrossOver canister vacuum comes with a motorized nozzle to clean up pet hair. It’s ideal for vacuuming the stairs.

Interestingly, it’s the only vacuum we found with a built-in stair grip. It’s made to stay put on a step and not topple over. It helps that it has a 26-foot power cord.

Furthermore, this is a vacuum you can use throughout the house. It works well on bare floors as well as rugs.

The HEPA filtration system reduces allergens like dust mites and dander. And the five accessories clean every surface imaginable.

16. Shark IONFlex DuoClean IF205 Cordless Ultra-Light Vacuum

This Shark cordless stick vacuum pulls apart into a hand vac. Or you can fold it by way of the flexible wand to reach underneath furniture. (This second option allows for compact storage.)

Mount the crevice tool, upholstery tool, or dusting brush depending on the job you want to do.

While Shark doesn’t say how long the runtime is, they offer the option to add extra batteries and extend it. We have also reviewed this powerful vacuum in our Shark IONFlex vs Dyson V8 comparison guide.

17. Bissell Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum

The Bissell Featherweight vacuum is a two-in-one machine. It converts into a hand vacuum that can use the same floor nozzle as it does in the stick format.

Or you can pull off the floor nozzle and use the crevice tool on the stairs.

Either way, it has a 15-foot power cord.

18. Eureka NES215A Blaze 3-in-1 Swivel Handheld & Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Eureka’s Blaze transforms into a hand vacuum as well. It weighs about 4 pounds.

On bare floors and low pile carpets, it sucks up debris in a hurry. The same capture nozzle fits on the front when you convert it to a hand vacuum.

Otherwise, you can add on the crevice tool.

19. Bissell Bolt Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum

The Bissell Bolt is a stick vacuum that weighs under 6 pounds. While I suppose it wouldn’t be as awkward as some uprights to use on steps, there is a better option.

You can pull it apart into a hand vac to clean stairs. Add the pet hair nozzle tool if you need more than just suction.

The lithium-ion battery life lasts up to 25 minutes.

The package includes a scoop and sweep tool, a crevice tool with a dusting brush, and an advanced pet hair brush roll.

20. Shark WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum

We couldn’t ignore the Shark Wandvac. It’s like a next-generation Dustbuster.

On the upside, it has a brushless motor that should last for years of service. Brushless motors also extend runtime on battery-powered vacuum cleaners like this one.

The tool itself weighs under a pound and a half. It has a crevice tool and a multi-surface tool for all the nooks and crannies around the house or in your car.

What’s more, you can hold it over the trash and press a button to dump the debris at a distance.

On the downside, even the multi-surface tool is pretty small when you need to tackle a lot of steps.

Will There Ever Be a Robot That Vacuums Stairs?

After reading reviews of the best vacuum for stairs, you might still wish you had a robot to do the job for you.

Take heart. The experts are working on it.

Platypus Labs is developing a stair-climbing robot vacuum called Tenzing. It will have a mobile app that will show cleaning status and allow scheduling. The robot will also be able to vacuum corners.

Conclusion

Treat yourself to a stair-cleaning vacuum, and you’ll discover how much easier it is to get your work done.

Take into account the vacuum’s weight, the power cord length, and the accessories that come with it to ensure you get what you need.

If we helped you find a new vacuum cleaner today, let us know in the comments below.

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One response to “20 Best Vacuums for Stairs: Reviews & Buying Guide”

  1. […] was only until it emerged that they too had limitations. Except for a few models, not all are ideal vacuums for cleaning stairs. Moreover, with most people preferring cordless to any other construction, choosing any others such […]

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