8 Best Vacuums for Stairs (Lightweight, Cheap and Powerful)

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best vacuum for stairsVacuuming stairs is a notoriously tricky task. If not tackled with the proper vacuum cleaner, it can be the source of countless household headaches. But  with the appropriate vacuum cleaner, cleaning stairs is nothing to sweat over. 

We put together a list of the 8 Best Vacuums for Cleaning Stairs, and a guide to help you know what to look for in a vacuum cleaner.

What to Consider When Buying Vacuum for Stairs

HEPA Filters

 If anyone in your home has airborne allergies, then it might be wise to buy a vacuum that uses HEPA filtration.  This process will ensure the air leaving the vacuum is free of allergens and pollutants. In fact, the air leaving a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner is usually cleaner than when it was sucked in.

Mobility and Flexibility

You’ll be tackling an area of your home with various crevices and sharp angles. Because so, you’ll want to make sure your vacuum cleaner can reach all of them. Ones that have hinged or ball-jointed bases are ideal for making sure every part of your stairs is clean.  Avoid vacuums that have rounded or bowing bases.  These won’t be able to get into the sharp corners bordering your stairs.

Accessories and Hoses

 Vacuums with long hoses and accessories should sit high on your shopping list.  These versatile cleaners will allow you to clean your stairs thoroughly. Also, some vacuums have long enough hoses that they can sit on the base of the stairs while you clean. These hoses can save you from having to haul up the entire cleaner from stair to stair.

Handheld Vs. Full-sized Vacuums for Stairs

handheld vs. full-sized vacuumsIf you’re looking for a device to clean the stairs,  a handheld device might be perfect for you.  These portable vacuums are lightweight, and easy to use along stairs. And to boot, they usually cost a fraction of the price of full-sized vacuums.

Lightweight Designs

Vacuum cleaners can be quite bulky. The last thing you want for a vacuum cleaner that has to go up and down stairs is for it to be heavy.  Look for vacuums that use weight-saving designs to save you from future backaches. 

Consider the Type of Stairs You’re Cleaning

The type of stairs your home has will impact your final buying decision. For surfaces like laminate and wooden flooring, a brush-less vacuum will work. But, if your stairs have thick carpets, you’ll want to make sure your vacuum has a brush bar and powerful motor.

Cordless or Corded Design

If there’s no electrical outlet near your stairs, then it’s best to look for a vacuum that’s cordless. However, if there is an electrical outlet near those stairs, you can safely stick to a corded design. For battery-powered designs, make sure it’s either fully charged, or you’re aware of how much charge you have left.  If not, it could die midway through cleaning and leave only parts of your stairs clean, and the others still dirty.

8 Best Vacuum Cleaners for Cleaning Stairs

 Below we’ve put together reviews of vacuums that are great for  cleaning stairs. 

HOOVER T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Plus Bagless Corded Upright Vacuum

The HOOVER T-Series WindTunnel Rewind is an ideal vacuum for cleaning stairs.  Featuring a  long cord and lightweight design,  the HOOVER is easy to move up and down the stairs. It also  has a “No-Scuff Bumper,” which protects the area around your stairs as you clean along edges.  The vacuum also comes with an extension hose. This hose is compatible with the included crevice tool, dusting brush, and power attachment brush for cleaning upholstery, fabrics, and stairs.

This vacuum by HOOVER also includes a  reusable HEPA filter.  Because the design is bagless, you’ll never have to worry about buying any bags for it.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design makes it is easy to take up and down stairs.
  • HEPA filter helps to clean the air as it leaves the vacuum.
  • Vacuum includes an accessory brush for cleaning crevices, corners, and stairs.
  • “No-Scuff Bumper” makes sure your walls stay scuff-free.
  • Has long suction hose for cleaning hard-to-reach places.
  • 25-foot-long cord allows it to be used away far away from where its plugged in.
  • Includes long-reaching hose and accessories to use with it.
  • Five-way positional carpet height adjustment allows you to choose vacuuming heights

Cons:

  • Bagless design is hard to empty.
  • HEPA filter needs regular washing to perform at its best.
  • Fairly pricey
The HOOVER T-Series WindTunnel Rewind is a fantastic full size, lightweight vacuum. It may be a bit pricier than most but is a worthwhile investment for keeping your home clean for years to come.

Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum with OnePass

The Bissell 9595A CleanView is an excellent full-size vacuum that doesn’t skimp on features. The entire vacuum weights  less than 20 pounds.  It also  comes with a washable filter and easy-to-empty dirt compartment.  And unlike other vacuums, a high-powered brush accessory comes included.

Each vacuum comes with a  25-foot-long cord and long-reaching hose.  The Bissell 9595A CleanView is a great choice for those looking for a portable vacuum.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design and generous grips to grab onto while moving it.
  • Bagless design empty with the push of a button.
  • Handle has easy grip points.
  • Filter is reusable and washable.
  • The included “TurboBrush” is fantastic at cleaning pet hair and other debris.

Cons:

  • The filter is not HEPA rated.
  • The vacuum only has a few height options to choose from.
  • Brush roll can tangle easily if not cleaned often.
For those looking for a budget-friendly vacuum, then this machine is perfect for you. Its lightweight design and included “TurboBrush” make it exceptional at tackling stairs.

Eureka EasyClean Lightweight Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

The Eureka EasyClean Lightweight Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is perfect for those occasions when you only want to clean the stairs, and not the whole house. The bagless design makes emptying its contents easy and cost-effective. This Eureka vacuum also  features two motors, one for the brush and the other for suction. 

The vacuum is also lightweight, coming in at  less-than 5 pounds, complete with a 25-foot-cord.   This vacuum  also features an easy on/off switch for the brush motor,  making the transition between carpet and hard flooring effortless.

Pros:

  • Only Eights 5 pounds in total.
  • The vacuum has a long cord for easy use around the home.
  • Has a double-motor design that cleans thoroughly.
  • The vacuum doesn’t require any bags.
  • Incredibly budget-friendly.

Cons:

  • Uses a sub-part filter that isn’t washable.
  • Needs regular emptying and cleaning to operate well.
  • Isn’t intended to clean the whole home.
Among other handheld vacuums, the Eureka EasyClean Lightweight Handheld Vacuum sticks out. Between its long power cord and powerful dual-motor design, it’s a top-notch choice.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum is a great vacuum to help clean your stairs. The corded design features a  16-foot-long power cord and features a bagless design.  And because it’s so small and compact, it’s easy to move up and down stairs.

 A specialized rubber nozzle helps to remove dirt and hair from stairs and upholstery.  The rubber nozzle is usable with the two specially designed attachments, as well.

Pros:

  • Long cord makes it easy to use up and down stairs
  • Bagless design makes for no-fuss cleanup.
  • Rubber nose helps to clean stairs.
  • Comes with two attachments to help clean crevices.
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry.
  • Ergonomic handles is comfortable to grab and use,
  • In-compartment filter cleans the air as it leaves the vacuum.
  • Affordable price point.

Cons:

  • Not intended to vacuum the entire home.
  • Must be emptied of its contents often.
  • Can be noisy when operating.
  • The vacuum does not have a brush roll.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum is a budget-friendly handheld option. Because of its long power cord and rubber nose, its ideal for vacuuming stairs.

VonHaus 2 in 1 Corded Bagless Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner

The VonHaus 2 in 1 Corded Bagless Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner is an excellent and affordable vacuum. The vacuum’s  two-in-one design  means it can be detached and double as a handheld vacuum.  The  5.5 amps of sucking power  allow for ample strength to collect dirt, hair, and grime from hardwood stairs.

This VonHaus vacuum also only  weighs in at under six pounds,  making it easy to lug around the house. It also comes with detachable accessories that attach to the base. It also features a 19.5-foot-long power cord.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry around the home.
  • Bagless design empties with the push of a button.
  • The price point is very budget friendly.
  • Strong suction motor.
  • Long power cord allows you to use far away from where it’s plugged in.
  • Attachable accessories for the base allow it versatility in various situations.

Cons:

  • The vacuum doesn’t have a long-reach hose.
  • Doesn’t’ have an in-compartment filter to clean the air
  • The vacuum is recommended for only wood and other hard, flat floorings.

HOOVER Sprint QuickVacBagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, UH20040

The HOOVER Sprint QuickVacBagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner is an affordable option. Its bagless design is incredibly compact, weighing in at  less than 14 pounds.  The  23-foot-long power cord  gives it convenient reach around the household.

The vacuum also features a  seven-foot-long hose that can be used to clean stairs.  The HOOVER Sprint QuickVacBagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner can adjust to three carpet heights to suit your needs.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry around the home.
  • Long power cord allows you to use far away from where it’s plugged in.
  • The price point is very budget friendly for a full-sized vacuum cleaner.
  • Uses a HEPA filter to clean the air that’s sucked in and then released.
  • Comes with a long-neck accessory that makes it easy to reach ceilings, fans, etc..

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a brush accessory to help easily clean hair and grime off stairs.
  • Grabbing handle has been said to be “flimsy.”
The HOOVER Sprint QuickVacBagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner’s long power cord and accessories are nice features, especially for the price point.

Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum SD20005RED

The Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum is a fantastic option for those looking to clean stairs. Coming in at  4 pounds,  this handheld vacuum by Dirt Devil is as portable as it is efficient. The bagless vacuum  powerful seven-amp motor  makes quick work of any staircase mess.  For hard to reach corners, use the “Integrated Quick Flip Crevice Tool.” 

The Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum comes with a  16-foot-long power cord.  This generous cord allows you to stray far away from an outlet while cleaning. After cleaning or when the dirty tray is full, empty it into the trash with a single click of a button.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design makes it easy to take up and down stairs.
  • Long cord allows you to use it around the home freely.
  • The dirt tray is substantial in size.
  • The “Integrated Quick Flip Crevice Tool” works well to get into corners and in between molding.
  • Bagless design means you don’t have to worry about replacing bags.
  • The powerful suction motor makes vacuuming quick and efficient.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have an in-vacuum air filter and can clog with dust, if not cleaned often.
  • The machine has no hose or attachments.
  • The vacuum inlet is quite small, so you may have to go over a large area repeatedly.
Overall, this machine is perfect for those who want to spot small clean messes. 

HOOVER WindTunnel 3 Pro Bagless Corded Upright Vacuum UH70901PC

The HOOVER WindTunnel 3 Pro looks like something from a Terminator film.  The vacuum’s WindTunnel 3 Technology creates three channels of suction that help remove surface and embedded debris.  The air is then filtered through a HEPA filter and released into the room cleaner than when it was before.

You can use the device’s  “Multi Brush On and Off Switch”  to transition between surfaces while vacuuming. With its  23-foot-long cord,  the HOOVER WindTunnel 3 Pro can travel throughout the home. The vacuum’s  10-foot-long extension hose  makes cleaning hard to reach places a breeze. Three attachments come with the vacuum, including the “Turbo Boost” brush designed to clean types of furniture and stairs.

Pros:

  • Good amount of hose accessories means you can clean a wide array of places.
  • Powerful motor and brush bar make for quick and thorough vacuuming.
  • Long power cord and hose ideal cleaning stairs.
  • Ergonomic handles is comfortable to grab and use.
  • HEPA filter helps to get rid of indoor air pollutants and allergens.
  • “Multi Brush On and Off Switch” saves you from having to adjust brush bar height continually.
  • “WindTunnel 3 Technology” makes sure carpets get clean deep down.
  • Bagless designs are easy to empty with the push of a button.

Cons:

  • A bit pricier than other vacuums that offer similar features.
  • More substantial than most other stair vacuums.
  • Doesn’t have a multi-directional base, so cleaning around furniture can be difficult.
If you want to make sure your floors and stairs are spotless from top to bottom, then this device won’t let you down. While it isn’t the most portable vacuum, the Hoover WindTunnel 3 Pro is one powerful cleaning machine.

Frequently Asked Questions for Vacuum Cleaning Stairs

Before using your vacuum for the first time, you should consult your owner’s manual.   Never vacuum over spills or wet materials unless your vacuum states otherwise.  Curtains and shag carpets can stop vacuums dead in their tracks, so avoid vacuuming on them.

Will All Vacuums Work for Cleaning Stairs?

While all vacuums can suck up messes, not every device is suited for cleaning stairs. Those who have hardwood or other like-surface stairs, a brushless vacuum can get the job done. But  if you’re stairs are carpeted, you’ll need a vacuum that has either a brush bar or brush-like extensions. 

Backpack vacuums also makes good vacuums for using on stairs because of their portability.

Will Vacuuming Scratch Hardwood Surfaces on My Stairs?

vacuuming hardwood surfaces on stairs The bristles used in vacuums are soft enough that they won’t scratch wooden floorings.  However, it’s always a good idea to check for objects stuck in the brush bar. When the brush bar is spinning, harder objects can scuff or scratch hardwood flooring. Cleaning brush attachments and brush bars often will make safeguard your hardwood flooring.

Are Cordless Vacuums the Easiest to Use on Stairs?

The answer to this question largely  depends on how close an electrical outlet is to your stairs.  If there isn’t one nearby, a cordless vacuum will be much easier and convenient to use. If there’s an electrical outlet close to the base of your stairs, a vacuum with a long power cord will work just fine.

Will I Need High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) Filter for my Vacuum?

Using HEPA filters are a great way to ensure the air around your home is both fresh and free of pollutants. Vacuums that include HEPA filters clean the air as they leave the machine.

What Accessories Should I Look for When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner to Clean My Stairs?

 Brush-like accessories  are great to have for cleaning stairs. These  hose attachments  help collect dirt and debris. The  crevice attachments  are helpful to clean between edges, moldings, and inside corners. But just like the vacuums they’re attached to, make sure to clean these accessories often.

If My Vacuum Cleaner Gets Clogged or Tangled, What Should I Do?

Before trying to unclog or untangle your vacuum, make sure it’s off. Check around the brush bar and vacuum inlet openings for blockages or knotting. If the brush bar becomes tangled with hair and other debris, try using a pair of scissors to cut it free.  For blockages, empty out the dirty tray or replace the vacuum bag before turning on the device again.  Emptying and replacing these usually allow blockages to pass through the vacuum with ease.

A top vacuum for cleaning stairs is light weight, effective and high quality. This is reflected in our top list. If there is a vacuum cleaner that you like, and think we forgot, please mention that in the comments.

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AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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