Stairs will probably always be the bane of every housekeeper. They have to be out in the open, yet collect a large amount of dust, dirt, hair, and other debris every single day. Plus, it’s a whole new story when you get out the vacuum cleaner for a spot of proper cleaning. The narrow space and tight places in most staircases make them an overwhelming chore.
It’s not just that everything gets embedded into these corners. The task of lugging the vacuum cleaner up and down, pausing at every step, and struggling with the cord—all of this could understandably become too much to handle.
However, there is a way to get rid of that frustration and have spotless, gleaming stairs (or passably clean ones) every single day. There are now vacuum cleaners made especially for stairs, so let’s think about getting one!
Would you like a lightweight, cordless, upright vacuum cleaner, or something with a little more bulk? There are so many options available.
Let’s discuss what to look for below:
Choosing and Maintaining the Best Vacuum for Stairs
When I look for the best vacuum cleaner for my stairs, I’d probably go for something that’s lightweight yet powerful enough to suck up every speck of dust! Of course, there are several other preferences one might have. Have a look at the following factors and pick out the best vacuum for your needs:
What to consider before choosing the best vacuum for stairs?
Here’s what everyone should look at before deciding upon their handy stairs vacuum:
Size and Kind
Among the first factors, we should consider is the size of the vacuum as well as its make and design. Handhelds are a popular option, but they can come with a hose and canister, or simply in one piece.
If you go for a single piece, you might find it a bit limiting. Sure, it’ll be easier to clean the stairs, but you might want something more flexible and versatile that can also clean your sofas, curtains, and the occasional throw rug.
Detachable upright vacuums are a great choice, but the versatility also comes at a higher price.
Certain features make a vacuum cleaner easier to handle, especially if you’re using it for the stairs. It should be easy to clean and empty when you’re done, for instance. Do you have to remove a dust cup, a bag, or simply press a button to release the dusty debris?
Bagless vacuums are all the rage these days but think upon the practicality of having a bag or not. A friend of mine has a child with severe dust allergies, and she says the bag is effective in keeping everything in. This limited contact with the dust is definitely worth considering.
While corded vacuums might be more powerful, you have to look at how much reach they give you. This includes the cord length as well as the attachments you’re using. Is your power outlet close to your staircase? If not, you might want to go for the cordless option.
If a vacuum cleaner includes the right attachments, you can use it for several purposes other than the stairs. I know I’d love to have a motorized brush for getting out every bit of dirt from the carpets!
Another attachment might be a crevice tool. This is an excellent item to have for cleaning the staircase. The standard brush might not get into all those nooks and crannies, so that small, pointed crevice tool is probably a must-have.
The suction power of a vacuum cleaner for stairs naturally needs special consideration. The stronger the power of the vacuum, the more effective it will be. You’ll find many manufacturers giving their products a power rating, but this doesn’t always equal suction. The build, make, quality, and age of the unit also matters.
How to maintain the vacuum for stairs?
When you do get your vacuum, maintaining it should be a priority. The older a vacuum cleaner gets, the less effective it becomes. It’s not hard to maintain a decent vacuum cleaner, but these tips might help:
Change/Clean the dirt container
Bagless vacuum cleaners usually gather a lot of dirt inside. Empty the container regularly even if it’s not full yet. This will prevent the dirt from settling in or caking. See if your model allows for rinsing with water.
For the bagged variety, change the bag when it’s two-thirds full. Is the cleaner leaving dirty marks? That’s a sign that the bag is full. Too much dirt in the bag will make the machine work harder and eventually break down more quickly.
Clean the brush roll
A brush roll is the beater bar that spins under your vacuum cleaner. It can get a lot of hair entangled inside it, along with other forms of debris. Eventually, this could make the brush stop spinning altogether.
Clear out the brush with scissors, your hands, or a comb depending on the level of dirt and your own expertise. You may have to remove the whole thing for proper cleaning if things have gone too far.
Check the hose
The vacuum hose could have larger items stuck inside it from time to time. A wad of paper, a stray sock, or your kid’s toy could be the most common culprits. This will cause issues with suction, so check your hose regularly. Look down the hose and use a long piece of wire or a broomstick to move the offending item (if there is any).
The Best Vacuum Cleaners for Stairs Today
We now come to the top vacuum cleaners for stairs that are available today.
BESTEK Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner
This vacuum cleaner is both upright and handheld; giving us two features in one go. It has an effective HEPA filtration system, which locks in the tiny particles instead of leaving them to whirl around in your indoor air. This is why we’d probably peg this as one of the better options for houses with allergy-prone occupants. It’s also a bagless option, so you wouldn’t need to bother with replacements.
- Lightweight for easy carrying up and down the staircase or anywhere else in the house
- Excellent suction for stairs, hardwood flooring, and upholstery
- Versatile; suitable for use with or without an extension tube
- Crevice tool included for cleaning tight corners
- Easy maintenance—dust holder and filter are washable, while you can also take apart the whole thing for deep cleaning
- Its bagless, which means that it doesn’t require replacements or manual emptying
- Not suitable for thick carpets
- It can be difficult to attach the handle and the post to the vacuum in a secure fashion. Once you get it right, though, the hold is quite firm.
- Cord might be on the short side if you have a long flight of stairs
Shark Rocket Corded Ultra-Light Hand Vacuum
This handheld vacuum has a bagless canister, a 15-foot power cord, and the patented TruePet motorized brush. You’ll also get a crevice tool measuring about 12 inches, and a dusting brush among the attachments.
All in all, this is the vacuum cleaner to get if you want something for the rest of the house as well as the stairs. It’ll help you in cleaning the upholstery, the curtains, and any other place where your regular vacuum cleaner might not come in handy. The unique combination of a cord with a handheld option might confuse some, but at least there’s no headache of waiting for a full charge.
- Comes with a dust cup that makes for easy emptying. All you have to do is press a button to make the debris drop out
- Completely washable filter, so no hassle about replacements
- Suction doesn’t seem to fade much with time and use
- All-in-one versatile tool
- Comes with several attachments, including a motorized roller brush, hose, wide mouth brush, and a crevice tool
- Lightweight, with the body weighing less than four pounds
- Can clean both carpets and hardwood floors
- Requires no charging
- You might not appreciate the cord, especially if you have a long staircase or no power outlet nearby
- The extra versatility and attachments do mean a higher price tag
Homasy Portable Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
This portable cleaner is a cordless option, unlike the Shark Rocket we mentioned above. It’s a powerful item nonetheless, with a Quick Charge Tech and a 14.8 lithium battery. What really stands out here is the fact that this is both a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, meaning that it can suck up liquid as well as dry debris. This will certainly come in handy if you have kids or pets in the house, or are a notorious spiller yourself!
- Has a 12-month worry-free warranty and a 45-day money-back guarantee
- Equipped with a strong suction
- Can easily suck up small paper wads, tiny dust motes, etc
- Long cleaning time after a full charge, about 30 minutes
- Has the longest sucking time in the handheld vacuum cleaner market
- Cordless, so not dependent upon a nearby power source
- Easy portability; no need to lift heavy weights while vacuuming stairs
- Dust cap has a large capacity for deep-cleaning needs
- Includes three attachments, including rubber jar for liquids
- Comes with the latest technology for fast charging and intelligent power management
- Fully charges in three or four hours
- Quiet operation of only 78 decibels
- Has a limited capacity for cleaning up liquids
- Not suitable for embedded pet hairs
Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum
The unique aspect of this vacuum cleaner is the curved handle, which makes for a more ergonomic experience. The other features are quite standard for a bagless, handheld, corded option.
- Lightweight at only 4.65 pounds
- Includes wide mouth tool, rubber contour nozzle, crevice tool, hose, etc.
- Dust cup is easy to empty and clean
- The curved handle gives a classic look and is easy to hold
- Multi-level filtration system for extra-clean air
- Great suction performance
- Limited warranty for 1 year
- Dust cup is clear, so it’s easy to monitor
- No brush roll included
- Might be a little pricier than its close competitors
BLACK+DECKER BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum
This handheld vacuum is a cordless option with a lithium battery that’ll last a long time. It weighs around eight pounds. Plus, it’s equipped with a pivoting nozzle and a wide-mouthed design. This makes its appearance a bit different from the other vacuums within this discussion but will clean your stairs very quickly.
- Comes with extra attachments for a versatile cleaning experience
- Powerful performance, comparable with corded varieties
- 3-stage filtration for clean air
- Includes crevice tool, brush, and a charging base
- Cyclonic action for rapid, effective cleaning
- Easy emptying for the cup, which is also washable
- The body of the vacuum is wider than the nozzle, making corners of staircases difficult to clean
- Might be too heavy for easy carrying
HoLife Cordless Vacuum Cleaner with 14.8V Li-ion Battery Powered
The price of this cordless vacuum cleaner is reasonable, though it doesn’t skimp on the cleaning performance. There are also several smart touches that can help you clear up all kinds of debris.
- Includes three spare tools and a rubber jar for both hard and carpeted surfaces
- Crevice tool for in-depth cleaning
- Washable filter for easy cleaning and no replacement issue
- Highly versatile; suitable for the stairs as well as the rest of the house
- Effective suction power that can clean virtually any surface.
• Needs regular charging, especially if you’re storing it for a long time
Dirt Devil Hand Vacuum Cleaner
This option will probably get you excellent performance at a reasonable price. It’s handheld, with a bagless canister, and has a super-light 2.8-pound design. The 20-foot power cord and one-touch disposal are just two of the excellent features that come with this model.
- Handheld for extra convenience
- High-speed brush roll
- Washable and quick-rinse filter
- Excellent cleaning, even for carpets
- Suitable for cars and upholstery as well
- Great suction power that would last for quite some time
- Affordable price range
- Longer power cord than many other options on this list
- Low price means there’s just one function–no additional attachments
- Handheld with cord might limit its reach
Miele Electro+ Canister Vacuum Marine Blue
This is among the tiniest options you can find for vacuum cleaners in general. Its size is what makes it so effective at cleaning stairs, tiny spaces under furniture, in corners, and your curtains. It comes with just about every feature you need for a thorough cleansing no matter how tight the space.
The features here include a strong Electro Plus nozzle that will do wonders for your stairs. The HEPA filter is also a must if you or a family member (pets included!) suffer from allergies. The price might be a bit staggering for some, but you can also expect the unit to last for quite a few years.
- Tightly sealed
- Air does not leave its interior until completely filtered
- Extremely low particle count from exhaust air
- Excellent choice for allergies, as it includes a HEPA filter system
- Compact size and light canister for easy portability
- Very quiet operation without sacrificing power
- Brilliant suction
- Rotating hose at the attachment points (near the body and handle); this prevents a tangled result
- German engineering, which makes for higher durability
- Difficult to maneuver if you’re not used to a canister
- Crevice tool and hole might be too short to reach into deep tight areas
- A bit on the expensive side
Conclusion: What’s the Best One among Them?
While all the vacuum cleaners here are lovely choices, most people will require just one for their stairs. If we absolutely had to choose a cleaner right now, the Shark Rocket Corded Ultra-Light Hand Vacuum would have to be our final choice. This will help in cleaning difficult, awkward spaces in the whole house. It might have a high price, but we’ll get the most bang for our buck!