The best stick vacuum cleaners will quickly become a staple item in any household. Just imagine having to clean up all the biscuit crumbs on your carpet without a vacuum cleaner and you’ll see why.
Homes that are packed with furniture and other personal items don’t leave much space for a large vacuum cleaner to maneuver around in.
That’s where the best stick vacuums come into play. Small and easy to move around your house, these stick vacuums can also be compactly stored away when not in use.
With so many stick vacuums to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones are the best stick vacuums.
That’s where we come in to help.
We will cover important features to look out for when purchasing a stick vacuum, as well as our top pick for best stick vacuum for pet hair, and the best corded stick vacuum.
We'll spend some time outlining all of the features you should pay attention to in a stick vacuum. If you just want to skip ahead to our recommendations, though, just click through in the Quick Navigation setting!
A good stick vacuum will serve you faithfully for many years, provided that you keep up with vacuum cleaner maintenance.
The type of surface where you will be using your stick vacuum should always be considered. Not all vacuums have special adjustable features where you can tune up or down the suction power or brush roll action.
It would be absolutely horrible if your vacuum cleaner ruined a priceless handmade rug.
Vacuum cleaners without a good filtering system can cause a lot of grief for your family. These vacuums can spray dust everywhere with each use, aggravating allergies or your asthma.
So, it’s not just about trying to keep a clean home that you need to choose the best stick vacuum. It’s also about keeping your family healthy.
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for Pet Hair
There are a lot of different features contained in your vacuum cleaner that you should pay attention to if you want to get the best out of your dirt gobbler.
After reading this list, you’ll have more knowledge to help you make an informed decision about the best stick vacuum and what features they should contain.
Suction power is one of the most important things about a stick vacuum. The whole purpose of your vacuum cleaner is to suck up the debris. What point is a vacuum that sucks at the one thing it is supposed to be good at?
When stick vacuums were first introduced, they didn't have a whole lot of suction power. They were best used for a quick pickup on hardwood floors, and nothing more.
Nowadays, some stick vacuums have as much power as their corded upright counterparts. Companies like Hoover, Bissell, and Dyson have brought their signature cyclonic technology over to their stick vacuums, making them highly efficient and effective.
In general, stick vacuums now have plenty of suction for your bare floors and low pile carpet. Some are even designed to handle thicker carpet.
We'll provide the power for each of the vacuums we recommend. But, not all vacuum motors are created equal. Read our reviews, as we'll call out the most powerful vacuums with the highest suction.
Of course, suction power isn’t the only thing that is required of your stick vacuum to be an efficient power. Just sucking up dust that is trapped in the fibers in the carpet isn’t going to clean it alone.
That’s where the brush roll comes in.
Brush rolls are designed to agitate and shake loose the dirt and debris that is in your carpet. Combined with good suction power, these two features work together together to get your floors and carpet clean.
The brush roll has bristles and the entire brush roll rotates at a high speed, agitating the dirt that is trapped in your carpet. Once the dirt has been freed, the suction power of the vacuum sucks it up and into a dust container.
So, you can see that the brush roll is an important feature of cleaning your home efficiently.
Some brush rolls have different shapes and contours, which affects the air flowing over the brush roll, thus changing the performance of your stick vacuum.
Brush rolls are much more important for cleaning carpet than they are for hardwood or bare floors. If you're going to be using your stick vacuum on carpet, even low pile carpet or area rugs, you're going to want to ensure you have a brush roll.
Be careful, though, if you have hardwood floors.
Equally as important, you need to consider the type of brush roll if you'll also be using the stick vacuum on hardwood floor. This is because the bristles of the brush roll can scratch your floor.
To overcome this issue, some stick vacuums have an option to turn the brush roll on or off. This allows you to use your stick vacuum on all surfaces of your home, rather than having two separate vacuums for cleaning the different areas in your home.
Other stick vacuums make a brush roll that doesn't turn on or off, but is designed with soft bristles that won't scratch your hardwood flooring.
Our reviews identify which stick vacuums have brush rolls, and we've even reviewed which stick vacuums are the best specifically for hardwood floors.
It is increasingly common to find stick vacuums of the cordless variety. After all, stick vacuums are supposed to be the height of convenient floor cleaners, and what is more convenient than being cordless?
Cordless vacuum cleaners come with brilliant advantages.
The most obvious one being you don’t have a long cord trailing around behind you that you have to be wary of. No more getting the cord tangled around furniture.
Or of a long cord stretching across the room posing a tripping hazard for clumsy people.
Another great thing about being a cordless stick vacuum is that you don’t need to plan your cleaning routine based on the location of power sockets.
But of course, nothing is perfect and there are some downfalls of having a cordless vacuum as opposed to a corded stick vacuum.
The corded stick vacuum excels because you can turn it on and leave it running for as long as you want. That’s because its power source is coming from the main power supply for your home.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of your cordless vacuum.
The battery life of your cordless vacuum is about enough to clean a standard sized house on a normal power setting.
Crank up the power to vacuum a particularly dirty spot in your home and you can watch as your battery’s life drains away.
Most batteries can last between 20 and 30 minutes after being fully charged. Some cheap models may only last as little as 7 minutes!
Some cordless vacuums offer a second battery which can be swapped in while the first one is charging but this will cost you extra. Recharging a flat battery can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. The best stick vacuum on the market might take a little less time, but you're still looking at several hours for a charge.
That’s a long time to wait if you’re needing to clean your house in a jiffy.
So, despite the cordless vacuum’s ability to be used anywhere in your home without restriction, if you have a large house, a cordless vacuum just won’t have enough power in it to clean the whole house in one charge. You’ll need a corded vacuum for that job.
As mentioned earlier, it’s not a good idea to use a stick vacuum with a brush roll on a hard surfaced bare floor as it can scratch your floor.
It’s also a bad idea to use a brush roll on hook rugs or other delicate materials as it can damage them.
It is possible to find vacuum cleaners that have brush rolls that are adjustable so that you can turn off the brush roll feature and clean purely by the suction power.
If you don’t need to clean any carpet at all, then it’s just as easy to find stick vacuums designed specifically for cleaning hard floors.
However, those types of vacuums will be fairly powerless at cleaning carpets since they don’t have the ability to agitate the debris out of the carpet fibers.
With technology today, it is possible to get the best of both worlds by investing in a stick vacuum that can turn the brush roll on and off.
We may not like emptying the dust container but it needs to be done to keep your stick vacuum functioning at its peak.
There are now a few ways of emptying the canister depending on the type of stick vacuum you have.
Most are still the usual – remove the canister, tip out the dust and replace. Just take care to not inhale any of it.
Some other stick vacuums are more advanced. Some vacuums have a dirt ejector. Just lift the hatch of the dirt canister and the in-built mechanism pushes out the dust and into the bin.
You don’t have to touch the dust and there’s no concern of accidentally breathing in the dust. Our opinion? That's the best of both worlds.
This also keeps the dirt and dust from going back into your house and onto your floor. No matter how hard you try, it seems inevitable when emptying a standard dust container that some makes its way back out.
How often do you want to be emptying the dust container? Well, that does depend on how often you vacuum your home but it also depends on the size of the canister.
A small canister means your stick vacuum will be less bulky and heavy but will need to be emptied every week or so.
A larger canister doesn’t require as frequent emptying but will be unsightly and take up a lot more space on your stick vacuum.
Considering the best part about the stick vacuum is the minimal storage space it requires, the large canister somewhat defeats the purpose of its easy storage features.
However, if you have a large home, vacuum frequently, or don't like emptying the cannister frequently, then you'll probably prefer to opt for a larger dust canister.
The edges and corners of the house are not always the easiest to clean. After all, the head of the stick vacuum is probably too big to fit into those tiny and awkward gaps.
The best stick vacuum will come with attachable brushes. These brushes can be added to the head of your vacuum cleaner to allow you to clean the gap between the carpet and the edge of the wall.
Some of the more expensive stick vacuums come with all the bells and whistles, including a multitude of attachments for every unique cleaning circumstance.
Also, many of the stick vacuums we've reviewed are 2-in-1 cleaners, meaning that they double as a handheld vacuum. This can be convenient for cleaning your stairs or car.
In the end, all you really need is a crevice attachment to get your stick vacuum into tough places.
This will remove all the dirt and debris that always somehow ends up getting trapped in the corner.
If you're looking for this stick vacuum to replace your larger upright model, then take a look at some of the other additionals.
No vacuum cleaner is complete without the amount of noise it makes when it’s having its meal of dust and other dirt and rubbish on the floor.
Of course, some vacuum cleaners will be louder than others. Generally speaking, stick vacuums are quieter than your average standard vacuum. But, some stick vacuums are quieter than others.
If you don’t like the loud noise or want to be able to listen to music while you’re cleaning, then it may be a good idea to invest in a quieter model.
If on the other hand, the sound of the vacuum cleaner serves as an alarm clock for the rest of your family to wake up, then by all means go with one of the louder models. (That's our best attempt at inserting a little sarcasm).
Finally, if possible, determine where you will be using your stick vacuum. What parts of the house will you need the stick vacuum in?
This, above everything else we've listed, might be the most important thing to consider.
For example, lets say that you are buying a stick vacuum to use in your heavily trafficked areas of the house. This is a common reason. You have a large, bulky upright vacuum that does an amazing job, but it is cumbersome and annoying to get our frequently.
In that case, you'll probably want to opt for a lightweight, cordless stick vacuum. You can store it in your hallway closet, where you'll have easy access. Since you don't need it for a large space, a cordless stick vacuum will maximize ease and efficiency, without any drawbacks.
However, lets say instead that your situation is different. Perhaps you have a small apartment or home, and you're looking for a stick vacuum to clean your entire space. Rather than buy a huge, expensive vacuum, you'd rather buy a stick option.
In this situation, you'll probably opt for a corded stick vacuum with a nice brush roller than can be turned on and off. The corded option will give you more power. And, the brush roller will allow you to handle carpet adequately.
Think through where you'll be using the stick vacuum, and let that help you guide your decisions.
With all these different features to consider and the variety of stick vacuums available on the market, we have hand-picked the best stick vacuums on the market. And, we've even provided a few runner ups for you to have at your disposal.
The Hoover Linx cordless stick vacuum is an exceptional vacuum cleaner in a class of its own. If you want just a single vacuum cleaner that can clean your entire house without any fuss, then this is the best cordless stick vacuum for you.
Containing the Windtunnel Technology, this includes 3 tunnels through which air and dirt can be sucked through, enhancing the suction power of the Hoover stick vacuum. This technology also sucks in allergens and expels cleaner air, acting to filter the air in your home while you are vacuuming.
One of the most important things for a versatile stick vacuum is how it handles on a variety of surfaces, ranging from hardwood and laminate flooring to low pile and thick carpeting. The Hoover Linx handles all surfaces well in our testing.
With just a press of a button, you can activate or deactivate the brush roll. This allows you to switch from cleaning your carpet to vacuuming the hard floor.
The amazing edge cleaning bristles allows you to clean close to the edge of the walls and in the corners.
The Hoover Linx Cordless contains a battery gauge which alerts you when your battery life is almost over. Those nasty surprises where the vacuum cleaner suddenly dies is not a concern anymore!
The Hoover Linx is a bag-less vacuum, so you don’t have to spend money on buying new vacuum bags. However, you do need to clean out the filter and dust containers to maintain the high performance of this stick vacuum.
Furthermore, the 18V lithium ion battery is “fade free” – so even as the battery starts to drain as you’re using the vacuum, the performance of the vacuum isn’t affected at all. You can be safe that you will have high quality cleaning performance right up until the battery dies.
The battery provides about 15 to 20 minutes of cleaning time and takes about 3-4 hours to recharge the battery. In the meantime, you can substitute in another battery while the first one is charging.
Since the battery for this Hoover detaches and charges on its own, away from the vacuum, you can charge the battery in a small place. Unlike other cordless vacuum cleaners, you can store this Hoover in a closet where you DON'T have power!
It’s easy to disassemble the filter and dust cup and give them a good shake or brush with an old toothbrush. The filter is even washable if you want to take that extra step (which we recommend every few months).
Overall, the Hoover Linx cordless stick vacuum has all the features you need to make sure your home remains clean and spotless. Easy to maneuver with intuitive controls, the Hoover Linx is our top pick for best cordless stick vacuums.
At such an affordable price for a standard model, Hoover may as well be giving out these stick vacuums for free as you’ll be hard pressed to find another model of the same caliber at such a cheap price.
Finding the best stick vacuum can be hard and we have here an alternative option to the Hoover Linx for a good quality cordless stick vacuum. The Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum stacks up well, and has a couple of unique differences
It’s hard to find a good vacuum for this good a price. The Shark Navigator and the Hoover Linx are the only two cordless stick vacuums that we can recommend at this price point.
Cutting to the chase, both stick vacuums have great suction. The Shark Navigator has a slightly longer run time than the Hoover Linx, and is a lot lighter. On the other hand, the Hoover Linx has a much faster charge time, and does better on carpet
Ok, lets talk more about the Shark Navigator. As mentioned above, this Shark has a run time of around 25 minutes, which is 25% longer than the Hoover Linx. However, it takes a VERY long time to recharge.... 7 hours, to be precise. Compared to the 4 hour total for Hoover, this is almost twice as long.
Another feature to mention - the battery life for use on carpet is significantly shorter, at only 12 minutes. So unless your carpet is already immaculate, it may be a bit difficult to clean the whole house in one charge.
The swivel steering present in the head of the vacuum cleaner gives you the best maneuverability under and around furniture. This swivel steering isn’t present in the Hoover Linx.
The brush roll can be flipped on or off using a foot switch, so you can swap between cleaning the hard floor and the carpet. Using the vacuum on the bare floor only, the Shark Navigator has a run time of around 17 minutes.
We noticed that the Shark Navigator did a great job on bare floors and low pile carpet, but the brush roller wasn't as effective on deeper carpet as the Hoover Linx.
Pet hair can also be hoovered up with this stick vacuum with no added attachments. As a matter of fact, the Shark Navigator does not come with any attachments, so it is strictly a floor cleaning stick vacuum.
While it does take awhile to charge this Shark, the batteries are replaceable. So if you have a couple of batteries, you can just swap another one in while you wait for your first one to charge. That might be a good option to overcome the lengthy charge time.
To summarize, the Shark Navigator is a fantastic cordless stick vacuum, especially given the price point. Lighter weight than the Hoover Linx, it has a slightly longer run time. If you are using this for hardwood floors or low pile carpet, this is a great option.
Corded stick vacuums don't have the convenience of their cordless counterparts, but they are typically cheaper and more powerful. Dollar for dollar, expect to get a better vacuum for your money. And, you'll never have to worry about it running out of power.
The Bissell 3-in-1 corded stick vacuum is amazing, given that it packs all of its features into a stick vacuum. For starters, it is a 3 in 1. Whew, that’s a lot of features. Lets go through what all is included in this vacuum:
The amount of flexibility in the Bissell corded stick vacuum is amazing! And weighing in at only 4.2 pounds, this is one of the lightest stick vacuums available on the market. This is by far the lightest weight stick vacuum we would recommend
Bissell says this stick vacuum is designed for carpet, but we'd like to add a caveat to that. From what we've seen, you can use this vacuum on low pile carpet with adequate results, but it really does terrible on thicker carpets.
You may be worried about the power cord, but at 16 foot long power cord is sufficient to clean an entire room without needing to change power sockets.
This Bissell only has a 2 amp motor, but does surprisingly well with it. We were amazed at how much dirt and debris it was able to pick up.
You’ve essentially got 3 different tools. It does a decent job on a variety of surfaces, and is definitely the best cheap corded stick vacuum.
Power and portability make this Shark top our list for the best corded stick vacuum. While this option is in a completely different class than the Bissell 3-in-1, it's also a lot more expensive. This is a fantastic stick vacuum that might be the last one you'll ever need to buy.
Just like our recommendations for the best cordless stick vacuums, the main difference between the Shark Rocket and the Bissell 3-in-1 is their performance on carpet. The Bissell is virtually useless on any carpet thicker than low pile, while the Shark performs wonderfully on all types of carpet.
This Shark has a two speed brush roller, which allows you to treat your floors gently, while at the same time, not having to worry that your vacuum is leaving behind any dirt or debris.
The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is really powerful. It boasts a 4.2amp motor, which results in suction power more than 2X of the Hoover Linx. When we talk about how corded options have more power, that's what we mean.
The Rocket Ultra-Light converts into a handheld vacuum, making it a 2-in-1, and perfect for your stairs, furniture, and car.
This Shark comes with all the accessories you'll need, including a home and car detail kit, dust away floor attachment, and a microfiber pad.
Lastly, the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light comes in at under 8 lbs. While this is no 4.2 lbs like the Bissell 3-in-1, this is still a very lightweight stick vacuum given all the features it provides.
Dealing with pet hair is a completely unique set of criteria for a vacuum. For a stick vacuum to fully pick up your dog hair and cat hair, it needs to combine powerful suction with a specialized brush roller. We've found the very best in the market. It isn't cheap... but it works for all areas of your house, not just with pet hair.
Dyson is a relatively new player in the vacuum cleaner business, starting in 1991. However, they have quickly become known as the leaders in powerful suction technology. Widely considered to be the creators of cyclonic technology, Dyson vacuum cleaners are unparalleled in their quality and power.
Unfortunately, that amazing quality and longevity leads to a much higher price tag. Dyson's are typically double in price of the other vacuum cleaners we've reviewed, and this maintains into their stick vacuum models.
Our favorite Dyson is the V8 Animal Cordless. This is truly the only vacuum cleaner you need, so if you're looking for a stick vacuum to replace all others in the house, this is the one.
This Dyson is also specifically designed with your pets in mind, and as such we rate this as the best stick vacuum for pet hair.
The Dyson battery performs wonderfully, lasting around 40 minutes and taking around 3.5 hours to charge. This is about double the amount of time as the Hoover Linx, with less time to recharge.
The brush roll on the V8 Animal is absolutely amazing, rivaling many upright vacuum cleaners. Dyson has a direct-drive cleaner head on this model, which drives the bristles of the brush roll deep into the carpet you are cleaning.
Another feature that is important in cleaning up pet hair is having good filtration. Dog and cat hair contains a lot of dander, and is highly allergic for some. The Dyson V8 Animal comes with a HEPA filter to remove all of the dirt, dander, and allergens from the air.
This Dyson is a 2-in-1 model, quickly converting to a handheld vacuum for your stairs, furniture, blinds, and even your car. And, it is extremely lightweight, weighing only 5.6 lbs.
This is truly one of the best vacuum cleaners on the market, and you'll be joining the highly-rated Dyson family. However, the price is sky-high, so make sure you'll be able to take advantage of all of it's features before buying.
So, there you have it. We have given our opinions on the best stick vacuums as well as important features to look out for when purchasing a stick vacuum so that you can make an informed decision.
Just remember to always bear in mind what you’ll be using your stick vacuum to clean, whether it’s carpet, hard floor, or upholstery - and then pick a vacuum to suit your needs.
Happy cleaning everyone!
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.