The stairs are the most ignored part of the house because it is difficult to clean. They get the most dirt, debris, and stains as we use them most frequently.
Having the best vacuum cleaner for stairs will save you from all this trouble.
Since it is crucial to understand what a brand offers in terms of quality, features, and performance before you make a purchase, we will take a closer look at each vacuum cleaner. It will help you figure out which product is right for you.
Therefore, we have tested and listed the best vacuums for stairs along with their features, pros, and cons. The first part of this content will help you get a clear picture of the different offerings provided.
When you know what the best products in the market are like, there will be a buying guide for you so that you can understand what features you need to give priority to and how you can find out which product is most suitable for your needs.
Our Top 3 Recommendation
Shark Navigator NV360
Miele Compact c2 Electro+
How We Picked The Top Products
We first picked the top 20 vacuums for stairs by evaluating their features, expert reviews, and customer experiences. We categorized the features into essentials and extras and prioritized them according to their usefulness for cleaning stairs. The top priorities were the size, suction power, and performance.
We asked many experts to weigh in with their top picks and looked at customer reviews to find out their experiences with the products. Combining these results gave us a starting point for testing the units considered to be the best by the vast majority.
After going through numerous products in the market and comparing them to each other, we came up with a list of 20 vacuum cleaners.
Then, we put them through a rigorous testing procedure to select the top 9, which we have presented to you below.
How We Tested These Our Top Contenders
The shortlisted products went through a series of tests to gauge their performances and verify the claim of manufacturers.
We tested the products in different situations to find out what kind of surfaces they work best with and which are their Kryptonite. An equal amount of dirt, debris, and pet hair were scattered on hardwood stairs, tiled stairs, and carpeted stairs, and we checked the performance of all products in all situations.
The frequency with which we had to go over certain spots to clean them was also evaluated. We measured the noise level of every product via a decibel meter, especially at its peak power settings. We have evaluated each product weight before and after using it on the surface to find out if they get heavy while in use.
We also evaluated their maintainability. Vacuums that were easy to clean were scored more than the ones that weren’t.
Top 9 Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs Review 2020
After going through these tests and scoring all products, we came up with a list of top 10 vacuums for stairs, which has been provided below.
1. Shark Navigator NV360 – Best Vacuum for Stairs 2020 (Editor’s Pick)
The Shark Navigator is a reasonably priced vacuum with incredible features. It comes with the Anti-Allergen Seal Technology and HEPA filters, which benefit the environment by eliminating harmful bacteria, allergens, and pathogens from the air.
You can easily clean the filter with water. After cleaning, you must keep it outside the vacuum to let it air-dry to avoid any mold from growing. It contains a large dirt cup, which means it does not require frequent cleaning.
Another unique feature that it comes with is swivel steering, which enables the user to maneuver the machine under and around difficult-to-clean areas such as furniture and stairs. The Lift-Away canister is also a noticeable feature, which allows you to clean ceilings, upholstery, and furniture with ease.The only drawback you might see while using this vacuum is that you have to clean the filter more frequently. Plus, cleaning the brush roll tool is tough if you have pets with long hair.
- Uninterrupted suction power
- Large dirt cup for less frequent cleaning
- Keeps the air clean
- Easy maneuverability
- Can deal with pet hair
- Reasonable price
- Comparatively shorter cord than other Shark upright vacuums
- Long pet hair is harder to clean from the brush roll
2. Miele Compact c2 Electro+ Canister – Best for Stairs and Hardwood Floors
Who does not like an all-rounder machine to get the cleaning job done with efficiency? The Miele Electro+ canister vacuum will clean efficiently, whether you have carpeted stairs or simple hardwood flooring.
It comes with two flooring attachments and three cleaning attachments. The Electro Plus Floorhead attachment will help you deeply cleanse carpets, but we advise you not to use it with soft carpets as it is too powerful.
The other flooring attachment is the Pure Suction Floorhead, which is suitable for all kinds of hard flooring. It can quickly pick up all the dirt and debris from the corners and other difficult places with its easy maneuverability and narrow design.
The cleaning attachments include the upholstery tool, dusting brush and crevice tool, which you can find on the VarioClip.
Furthermore, you can experience an allergen- and pathogen-free air after every cleaning session thanks to Miele’s AirClean Sealed System, which is a nine-layer filtration system including the HEPA filter. Let’s not forget that it also comes with a retractable cord, which will save you from that extra work of putting the cable back into the machine.
While this vacuum has a compact design with quality features, it comes at a high price and is incredibly noisy. However, its performance and quality are worth every penny you spend.
- Six settings of suction power to adjust the machine according to the surface being cleaned
- 9-stage filtration system to remove all allergens from the air
- Easy to use
- One-touch retractable cord
- Two flooring and three cleaning attachments
- 33-foot cleaning radius
- Not as lightweight as comparable vacuums
3. Dyson V8 – Best Upright Option
The Dyson V8 serves as a cordless handheld as well as a corded upright vacuum. You can pick any style to clean according to the task at hand, though both styles are great for stairs.
If you attach the shaft it comes with, you can clean floors and it will be easier to reach ceilings as well. On the other hand, after detaching the rod, you can clean with the best handheld vacuum. Both will be able to effectively clean tough stains and dirt particles.
In the cordless mode, you can work with this machine for up to 40 minutes with fade-free suction, though you will only get 25 minutes if you are working with the motorized brush. Its elegant design gives you a comfortable grip and easy maneuverability.
When it comes to the attachments, you will get a direct-drive cleaner head, soft-roller cleaner head, combination tool, rigid crevice tool, and mini motorized brush tool. These tools are everything you need to clean your entire home.
The direct-drive cleaner head allows you to deep clean carpets, while the soft-roller cleaner head makes your hard floorings dirt- and debris-free. Moreover, the motorized brush tool is an excellent tool for the stairs, so you will not have to put in a lot of effort in your cleaning sessions.
The only factor which will make you think twice about getting the Dyson V8 is its price as it is a bit on the expensive side.
- 40-minute battery life
- Various attachments and tools for every cleaning task
- HEPA filters to pump out clean air
- Mini motorized brush to clean stairs
- Pretty Expensive
4. Bissell 1985 – Best Cordless Vacuum
The Bissell 1985 is so lightweight that you can finish cleaning the stairs and even your entire house without any backache. It is a cordless machine, which means you do not have to look for power outlets everywhere you clean. Since it is a portable and lightweight device, it is easy to carry and you will not be tired after cleaning.
Like many other vacuums, it comes with different attachments to make it easier for you to clean stairs efficiently. It offers an extension hose, a motorized brush, and a crevice tool. The built-in extension hose allows you to clean hard-to-reach areas and can even help you clean your vehicles, while the motorized brush tool is handy if you have pets who shed hair everywhere. The brush tool is also great for cleaning upholstery and carpeted stairs.
The dust bin is easy to detach and attach and despite its excellent performance, this vacuum is affordable.
The Bissell 1985 works with a 22V lithium-ion battery, which needs to be recharged after every fifteen minutes, so you might face issues with cleaning the entire house in one go. Furthermore, its dust bin has a capacity of only four liters, so you will have to empty it frequently, especially if your stairs have been ignored for a long time.
- Cordless and portable
- Comes with helpful attachments
- Built-in hose extension to clean hard-to-reach areas
- Small bin capacity
- Can work for 15 minutes
5. Eureka EasyClean – Best Corded Handheld Vacuum
The Eureka EasyClean is another lightweight tool. It is useful for cleaning stairs, upholstery, and floors. It comes with two motors, one for the brush tool and the other for the suction.
The vacuum come with an onboard crevice tool, which helps you easily clean stairs and upholstery. Its stretchable hose is also a noticeable feature, which allows you to gain access to even the hardest-to-reach places to remove dirt and dust.
The feature that makes it perfect for cleaning stairs is its Riser Visor system, which allows it to work both horizontally and vertically. Hence, you can easily clean stairs vertically. It comes with a washable filter as well, which is easy to detach and clean.
You will find a fingertip control panel on top of the vacuum, which makes it easier for you to handle the machine. The dust cup is also easy to remove and empty. Although this vacuum is handheld, it is not cordless. However, it does come with a 20-foot cord, so you can easily clean large areas without frequently changing the power outlet.
Furthermore, while the Eureka EasyClean corded handheld vacuum is inexpensive and can easily clean stairs, the warranty for this machine is quite short. If this is not an issue for you, it is an excellent option to pursue.
- 20-foot long cord to easily clean large areas
- Can clean both vertically and horizontally
- Good suction power
- Quiet operation
- Emptying the dust cup is easy
- Only one-year warranty
6. HoLife Cordless Vacuum – Best Vacuum for Cars
HoLife Cordless Vacuum is one of the most versatile vacuums in the market as it will clean not only the dry dirt and debris but also wet mess. With the help of its rubber jar tool, it can clean any surface without any inconvenience. This cordless tool is known to absorb at least 100 ml of liquid. The three different attachments will not give any dirt particle a chance to hide in any corner.
Its dust cup has a capacity of 600 ml for the dry debris it picks up. Moreover, its filter is washable, so you can easily take it out of the machine and rinse it with clean water.
The intelligent power management technology ensures your safety while using this cordless vacuum. It includes different protections such as protection from overcharging, temperature control protection, over-voltage protection, protection from input current and short-circuit protection.
On the downside, this vacuum can only work for up to 30 minutes with its 2000 mAh Li-ion batteries, which take 45 minutes to be fully charged. Furthermore, even if you are not using the machine, you will have to charge it once every three months. The one-year warranty might also be an issue for some users.
- Three different attachments to suck up all debris
- Great for cleaning stairs and Cars
- Intelligent power management technology will keep you protected
- Quiet operation
- Needs to be charged after every three months if not in use
- Needs to be charged every 30 minutes
- Only one-year warranty
7. Black & Decker BDH2000PL – Best Value for Money
The Black & Decker BDH2000PL Pivot Vacuum is known as one of the most powerful cordless vacuums in the market. It has a compact design and is lightweight, which makes it easy to carry without making the cleaning task hectic for you. Its lithium technology ensures high performance with an uninterrupted power supply throughout the session.
It has a built-in crevice and brush tool, which you can use conveniently without attaching them whenever they are needed. You can flip out the brush tool for cleaning upholstery and the crevice tool for cleaning the corners of stairs.
It has a three-stage filtration system, which allows it to pump out clean air while cleaning. Furthermore, the see-through dust cup and filter are easy to clean and wash.
It has a sleek design, which will look good in any home. It comes with a unique pivoting nozzle to clean any area. It also contains a powerful motor to enhance the suction to do its task more cleanly. Another feature that makes the suction power strong is its patented cyclonic technology to keep the filters clear from any dust or debris. It comes with a standing charging base, which charges the vacuum quickly.
The only drawback it has is that it is a bit noisier than other models, and you will also get fewer attachments.
- Three-stage filtration system cleans the air
- Lithium technology for uninterrupted power
- Powerful motor
- Pivoting nozzle to clean every area
- Can charge quickly
- Fewer tools than other vacuums
- Bit noisy
8. Hoover Max Extract 60 Pressure Pro – Best Lightweight Vacuum
Weight is the standard issue when it comes to deep-cleaning vacuums, but the Hoover Max Extract 60 is incredibly lightweight at just 21 pounds. Furthermore, it can easily clean the stairs because of its twenty-foot cord along with its nine-foot hose. Hence, the stairs can be easily cleaned without requiring you to go up the stairs.
If you have carpeted stairs, you will notice that they tend to get more stained and dirtier than usual. The Max Extract 60’s patented SpinScrub technology will ensure that your stairs will be free from all stains and dirt every time you clean them. This technology uses at least sixtyish brushes continuously rotating counterclockwise, which helps deeply clean even the most stubborn stains.
Furthermore, the DualV Nozzle is another useful feature which sucks all the dirty water from the floor for faster drying of carpets. This technology is incorporated with motors for forced heated air, which makes the drying process faster.When it comes to the price, this device is pretty affordable and can be bought by the average person. The only drawback you will notice is that the Max Extract 60 requires water more frequently if you have to clean a lot of tough stains and dirt. Moreover, it offers fewer attachments than other vacuums.
- Quick drying process
- Clean all stains and debris, even from carpeted stairs
- Separate tanks for clean and dirty water with its SmartTanks system
- Pressurized edge-to-edge cleaning
- Long power cord for fewer outlet changes
- Reasonable price
- Comes with only one attachment
- Requires more water than comparable vacuums
9. Shark Rocket (hv292) – Amaizing Handheld Vacuum
The Shark Rocket is among the best corded vacuums in the market. It comes with several attachments to clean hard and carpeted flooring such as the crevice tool, TruePet motorized brush, dusting brush, and a stretchable hose.
It comes with a bagless body and weighs less than four pounds, so you can easily carry it around. It can handle stubborn stains, even in difficult-to-reach spaces, and gives a constant suction power throughout the cleaning process.
You can quickly clean the dust cup with the one-touch ejector. The filters are washable as well and can be rinsed with regular water. Just keep in mind to let the filter air dry after cleaning so that you don’t get any mold because of moisture.
Its 15-foot cord helps you clean the stairs in one go without requiring you to change power outlets again and again. You can easily wrap the wire around the vacuum for convenient storage.
It does not have a retractable cord, and the cord is not long enough to cover a large area. Other than that, it is a bit pricey as compared to other handheld vacuums.
- Lightweight at less than four pounds
- Motorized brush to clean any space
- Easy to clean
- Continuous suction
- Suitable for stairs with a five-year warranty
- Pricier than other handheld vacuums
- The cord is not long enough
Guide for Buying The Best Vacuum for Stairs in 2020
Buying the right device for cleaning the stairs can save you a lot of time and headache. To make the task easier for you, I have mentioned a few factors which may help you get the best vacuum for stairs. Keep these factors in mind while buying the vacuum so that your cleaning task will be stress-free.
The Type of Vacuum
The kind of vacuum you get can make a huge difference in your cleaning experience. There are several types of vacuums, which would be ideal for different areas and purposes. These are usually the kinds of vacuum you will find:
Upright vacuums, as their name suggests, are vertical so that you don’t have to bend down to use them. These types of vacuums are the most commonly used, and they are capable of cleaning nearly every hard space in the home. They are known for deep-cleaning carpets.
However, these vacuums are relatively heavier and noisier than canister and handheld vacuums. You should keep this in mind if you want to get an upright vacuum.
Canister vacuums are known to work perfectly for stairs and can clean up precisely, even on hard floors like tiles. They are comparatively quieter and lighter than upright ones. Also, their wand and attachment head make them easier to carry. They also allow you to quickly clean surfaces under the furniture and experience ease with different attachments. Canister vacuums are the best type for stairs, especially if they have a long hose.
Handheld vacuums are relatively smaller, so you can easily carry them anywhere you want. They are great for cleaning small areas such as stairs. These vacuums can be either cordless or corded. If you want a vacuum cleaner specifically for stairs, handheld vacuums are also a great choice.
Stick vacuums have a long cylindrical stick which aids in cleaning areas while standing straight. They are lightweight and easy to use for cleaning stairs, lightweight carpets and smooth floors. However, their dust containers are usually small, so they are not suitable for large areas. Plus, their performance is not as great as a full-sized or conventional vacuum. Another drawback is that most of them are battery-powered and will need to be charged again and again, and they also do not operate quietly.
Central vacuums are different from other household vacuums as they are installed in the house. You don’t have to carry the heavy vacuum up and down the stairs every time you have to clean. A proper tubing system is installed in the walls, which transfer the dust from the vacuum head to the container. The power unit and the dirt collection container are usually installed in the basement or another remote area of the house. Although these are pretty expensive to install, central vacuums are much more powerful than any other type of vacuum.
Robot vacuums are smarter and more automated than the other types. They are primarily equipped with motherboards and various sensors. They can find their way through these sensors and collect all the dust, debris and pet hair in the dust bin which you can easily eject when you need to. Although they might not be as powerful as conventional vacuums, they are the most convenient to use because they do not need any supervision.
From all these different types, the best one for stairs is a lightweight canister or handheld vacuum that comes with a long hose.
The size of the vacuum also plays a significant role in choosing the best product. Generally, all-purpose vacuums are larger with different attachments to adjust the machine according to the task. If you want a vacuum only for cleaning stairs, a small vacuum will do the job for you. Smaller vacuums are more comfortable to carry and can easily clean small areas around the house.
Bag or Bagless
After the vacuum has picked up the dust, it goes into either a bag or a bin. Vacuums with bins are very useful as you can easily dispose of the dirt and debris without having to frequently change the bag. They are not recommended for houses with allergy patients, though. On the other hand, if you are living in an apartment where you don’t have any space to dust off the bag, vacuums with bags can be beneficial for you. However, they can be expensive as you will have to buy bags frequently.
A filter can be either permanent or detachable. Washable filters are easy to take out of the machine and are recommended to be rinsed with clean water. There are also different types of filters such as HEPA filters and HEPA-like filters. Most of the latest models consist of HEPA filters, which purify the air that goes through them and save you from bacteria, allergens, and pathogens. These filters are handy for allergy sufferers. They are not to be confused with HEPA-like filters, as they are not true HEPA filters.
Corded or Cordless
In most houses, there isn’t a power outlet available near the stairs. Hence, if you have a corded vacuum cleaner, you might have trouble finding a near enough power outlet. If you really want a corded vacuum cleaner, make sure to get one with a long cord or stretchable hose so that you can clean the stairs without any problem.
However, cordless vacuums are considered the best for stairs due to the ease they provide. Therefore, try to look for cordless vacuums, especially if there isn’t an outlet near the stairs, as it will free you from the worry of reaching the power supply.
Noisy or Quiet Operation
When buying a vacuum, you need to consider the noise it makes while cleaning. The appropriate noise level for your machine will depend on your preferences. If you don’t want to bear the annoying noise of a vacuum cleaner, go for one which works quietly. However, if noise is not too much of a problem, you should prioritize other features and look for a vacuum cleaner accordingly.
Most vacuums come with different accessories so that you can clean different surfaces and areas. Go for the vacuum which has a stair tool so that you won’t have any issues with cleaning the stairs. There are also many different kinds of other attachments available such as a crevice tool, flex crevice tool, turbo brush, upholstery attachment, and dust brush. They can reduce your headache of cleaning hard-to-reach places like under the furniture, corners, walls and ceilings.
You will find a wide variety in the suction power provided by different vacuums. This is an important feature to consider since it will determine the performance of your vacuum. The higher the suction power, the less frequently you will have to go over the same area to pick up dirt and debris. Vacuums with high suction power can make your hectic tasks easy and can clean any surface precisely. However, you should also know that certain attachments and tools such as a motorized brush can make your vacuum more efficient, regardless of its power.
If you are the type of person who spends a lot of time working and want a vacuum that can clean a staircase layered with dirt or debris quickly, there are some features you can look for to buy the right vacuum. Handheld and canister vacuums are the most obvious options to save you some time as you can easily vacuum a lot of stairs by standing in one place.
Furthermore, cordless vacuums can save you the time of changing the outlets again and again. However, this is only possible if the cordless vacuum you choose has a long battery life, which ca be hard to find. On the other hand, if you get a corded vacuum with a long cord, it will be quicker to use than a cordless one.
Also, the vacuums with big dust cups are useful as you do not have to empty the cup more frequently. Thus, they will allow you to save time while cleaning.
This factor is essential to consider if you want to buy handheld vacuums since they are to be carried the entire time. You have to take extra care while buying such devices. If you use a heavy handheld vacuum for an extended period, it can be a painful experience, especially for your back and shoulders.
If you want to purchase any other type of vacuum, make sure its weight is light enough so that you can easily carry it upstairs. While heavier vacuums do tend to be more powerful, recent technology is making it possible for a vacuum to be both lightweight and powerful. Hence, you will not even have to sacrifice on performance to get a lightweight model.
Some manufacturers provide a minimum warranty of one year, which does not suit most users. To be on the safe side, you must go for vacuums which provide a longer warranty. This will ensure that you have some relief if the vacuum cleaner stops working unexpectedly. Also, a longer warranty indicates the company’s confidence in the vacuum. After all, a company is not likely to give a long warranty if it is not sure the unit will be able to survive for that long.
FAQs Regarding Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs
What is the best vacuum for stairs?
When it comes to the selection of the best vacuum for stairs, many people prefer to use the Dyson V8 vacuum as a result of it being both a handheld vacuum cleaner that is cordless and an upright vacuum with a cord.
The handheld option allows the easy cleaning of the stairs for those who do not want to bother with an upright vacuum. But this device also comes in the form of a corded upright vacuum as well. In other words, this vacuum cleaner is a two in one device. Thus, depending on your mood and time for cleaning, this will dictate which one you prefer to use.
The handheld vacuum cleaner is great for reaching in crevices when you want to make sure you get every speck of debris, especially if you are having visitors come over. The handheld vacuum is ultra convenient as a result of it not having a cord. The stick vacuum is ideal for those with back troubles who would otherwise find it difficult to bend to use the handheld vacuum on their stairs.
This vacuum cleaner, either in the handheld form or the upright form, is a great option and is ultra powerful to make sure that your stairs are cleaned to perfection every time.
What is the best way to vacuum stairs?
The best way to vacuum stairs is to do so in a position that is comfortable for you, so that you do not strain your back or lose your balance. Some people may want to use the handheld vacuum cleaner for all the vacuuming of the stairs. But some find this time consuming. But the stairs will be ultra clean in all areas most assuredly. Yet, for those who want to use the upright vacuum cleaner for most of the cleaning, it is wise to start with the top stair and to work your way down to the bottom stair.
Then you can add the appropriate thinner attachments to reach into the corners. Or you can use the handheld vacuum to do the crevices to ensure the stairs are ultra clean. Also, the stairs should be vacuumed frequently due to the fact that they get much traffic from feet and paws. Thus, vacuuming the stairs often will help them to stay in good condition.
Do robot vacuums work on stairs?
It is highly advised not to use robotic vacuums on stairs, as they are not designed to be able to climb stairs. The robotic vacuum could fall off the stairs and could become damaged. Or it could damage the floor where it lands.
How do you vacuum carpet on stairs?
You should start with the top stair when vacuuming carpet on stairs. You should make sure that you vacuum every area and in the corners. It is a good idea to use the handheld vacuum cleaner to clean the corners well. In addition, it is important to vacuum the carpet on stairs often, as dust and debris can get trapped in the fibbers of the carpet.
Does carpet powder ruin vacuums?
You really should refrain from using carpet powder due to the fact that it can damage your vacuum cleaner by clogging the filters of the vacuum cleaner. This then causes a restriction in the airflow and can cause the dust to be shot back into the air. This often leads to damaging the motor of the vacuum cleaner as well.
Finding the best vacuum for stairs from so many options is not an easy task. It might take you some time to decide which option to go for, but it will be worth your time and money at the end. Research is important to do before making any purchase and will save you from trouble in the future.
We have listed above different vacuums that are the most suitable for stairs, all of which have been picked for their unique features and performance. You can opt for any option according to your preferences and budget, and you can rest assured that it will meet your expectations.
We also provided you with a buying guide to help you through your decision-making process. You should consider all the factors mentioned above before buying the perfect companion for your stairs. I hope this guide serves its purpose.