Staircases are notorious for being one of the most difficult places to vacuum in the house. Not only are their edges and corners magnets for dirt and pet hair – their shape limits your mobility and makes it hard to balance the vacuum while cleaning.
And while an upright vacuum might be great for tackling dirt on the floor, oftentimes they can be cumbersome to lift and awkward to operate on stairs.
That’s why you need a vacuum that easily adapts to use on stairs. Generally, a good vacuum to use on stairs will be compact and lightweight, highly portable, and have the attachments you need for your stair type.
Finding the best vacuum for stairs can be challenging with so many products on the market. That’s why we’ve created this guide to show you some of the best options available right now, including key features and information so you can choose the right one for your needs.
Let’s find out what the best vacuums for your stairs are.
The 5 Best Vacuums for Stairs for 2020
Shark Rocket Hand Vac
About Shark Rocket Hand Vac
The first vacuum we have is by Shark, a brand that’s well-known for its innovative, high-performance vacuums.
The Shark Rocket Hand Vac is a corded handheld option that’s ideal if you just need something extra light and portable. And it’s not only great for cleaning stairs – you can use it to tidy up your car’s interior, remove pet hair from furniture, or pick up small messes without lugging out the full-sized vacuum.
This handheld vacuum weighs less than 4 pounds, but it’s packed with power to remove dirt and pet hair from carpets or hard surfaces.
It comes with several attachments to customize your vacuuming experience, including a motorized tool that’s incredibly effective at grabbing pet hair from carpet and upholstery, a 12-inch crevice tool for reaching corners and edges, a dusting brush, and an extendable flexible hose for extra reach.
The vacuum’s dust cup is easy to empty, with a bottom door that flips open at the touch of a button to release debris directly into the trash.
The 15-foot cord provides plenty of reach for cleaning most staircases, and you never have to worry about recharging batteries or fading power.
It also comes with two washable filters that don’t need to be replaced, which can save you money in the long run since there’s no maintenance costs.
This hand vac is a great option for cleaning stairs, with a decent assortment of attachments. We found that the motorized tool does an excellent job at removing pet hair.
This vacuum has very strong suction for a handheld, and it’s comfortable to use for long periods of time, too. It also feels very sturdy and well-built, so it’s likely to hold up well to heavy use.
The 15-foot cord is long enough for most staircases, but it might not be sufficient for some, depending on the location of your electrical outlets. In that case, an extension cord would be a simple remedy.
The only real downside is that it’s somewhat expensive for a handheld vacuum, at around $100. However, the vacuum’s performance does justify the cost in this case.
Take a look at this video to see the Shark Rocket Hand Vac in action.
- Powerful suction
- Lightweight design
- Effective attachments
- Somewhat expensive
Miele C2 Electro+ Canister Vacuum
About Miele C2 Electro+ Canister Vacuum
If you’re looking for a canister vacuum that offers top-of-the-line performance in a smaller package, the Miele C2 Electro+ Canister Vacuum could be a great choice.
This bagged canister vacuum has an AirClean sealed system and HEPA filtration, which is ideal for households where allergies or asthma are an issue.
It has variable suction control that allows you to choose from 6 settings for the perfect amount of suction on your floor type. And when it comes to cleaning options, the C2 Electro+ Canister gives you plenty of versatility.
The vacuum comes with a motor-driven floorhead that digs deep into carpet fibers of any height, a pure suction floorhead with natural bristles for hard floors, a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and an upholstery tool. All of the attachments can be clipped onto the base of the hose for on-board storage, too.
This vacuum is very expensive at around $700, but it’s built to last for 20 years of regular use without any drop in performance. It comes with a 10-year warranty for the vacuum motor, powerhead motor, and vacuum body, as well as a 5-year warranty for all other parts.
While this vacuum is quite expensive, it offers extremely powerful suction. The compact design and lightweight body make it easy to carry up and down stairs, and the motor-driven floorhead’s ability to swivel on the telescopic wand does an excellent job at cleaning stairs.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the vacuum bags are on the small side, so you might find yourself needing to change bags often if you’re dealing with a lot of dust or pet hair.
- Extremely powerful suction
- Lots of accessories
- Compact and lightweight
- Small dust bag
- Very expensive
Eureka EasyClean Handheld Vacuum
About Eureka EasyClean Handheld Vacuum
The Eureka EasyClean Handheld Vacuum is both inexpensive and specifically designed to perform well on stairs, since it includes a Riser Visor that flips up and allows vertical cleaning on stair risers or furniture backs.
This handheld vacuum has a 20-foot long cord for enough reach to clean a whole staircase. It has an on/off switch for the brushroll so you can clean carpets or hard surfaces, and there’s also a 3-foot flexible hose and a crevice tool for more cleaning options.
The filters are washable, which minimizes the need for frequent replacement. But since it’s not designed to last for the life of the vacuum, there will be some minimal upkeep costs.
However, the price is very low for this vacuum, and you can find it for about $30.
This handheld vacuum is quite powerful for removing dirt, dust, and pet hair from stairs in a few passes. It’s also great for use in the car or in other tight spaces where a full-sized vacuum won’t fit or reach.
It’s very easy to use, and the Riser Visor isn’t just a gimmick – it actually works quite well and allows you to hold the unit horizontally when cleaning the fronts of stairs, which is a lot better than the awkward position required for some handhelds.
The suction power is very strong – enough to pull up area rugs from the floor. But there are a few issues to note, and one is that the vacuum is very loud compared to other handhelds.
Another is that pet hair tends to wrap around the brushroll, limiting its movement. You can take the unit apart to remove the hair, so it’s not necessarily a dealbreaker, just something to keep in mind if you’re planning to use this in a home with heavily-shedding pets.
- Very strong suction
- Designed for use on stairs
- On/off brushroll
- Brushroll requires frequent cleaning
Bissell Lift-Off Floors & More Cordless Vacuum
About Bissell Lift-Off Floors & More Cordless Vacuum
If you’re looking for an affordable vacuum that gives you more versatility than a handheld or full-sized upright alone, the Bissell Lift-Off Floors & More is lightweight and cordless. It has a removable hand vac with a built-in crevice tool for more portable cleaning.
The whole vacuum weighs less than 6 pounds, so it’s very easy to lift and use on stairs. The swivel head is great for getting around furniture and along edges, and the foldable handle helps you get underneath furniture.
There’s an on/off switch for the brushroll, so you can use this vacuum on carpets as well as hard floors. The 10.8-volt battery gives you about 12 minutes of runtime, which isn’t that impressive, but generally you’ll have enough time to vacuum a staircase or a few rooms.
The vacuum also folds up for easy storage in small spaces, too.
This vacuum is ideal if you’re not sure whether to choose a handheld or upright for your stairs, since it combines the best of both into one machine.
Its large dirt cup is easy to remove and empty, and the suction power is decent for the price. This vacuum works best on low carpets or hard surfaces, but it’s performance somewhat lacks on higher carpeting.
You can find this vacuum for around $77, which isn’t too bad considering you’re essentially getting two types of vacuums in one.
- Low price
- Built-in handheld
- Doesn’t work well on high carpets
- Short battery life
Dyson V7 Trigger
About Dyson V7 Trigger
If you’re looking for a high-powered cordless hand vac that can handle just about anything you throw at it, you might want to check out the Dyson V7 Trigger.
This hand vac is perfect for use on the stairs, providing 30 minutes of fade-free runtime in low power mode, as well as 3 tools to choose from that include a motorized brush, a combination tool, and a crevice tool.
You can switch to high power mode for really tough messes and get up to 100 air watts of suction, which is very impressive for a handheld. However, runtime is reduced to 6 minutes in this mode.
The vacuum uses a hygienic dirt ejector that lets you dispose of the dirt and dust by pushing a lever and dropping the contents directly into the trash. It’s great for people with allergies and asthma, since it traps up to 99.9 percent of fine dirt and debris down to 0.5 microns.
This vacuum provided the most impressive suction power out of all the handhelds we’ve seen in this guide, but that comes at a cost. You can find the V7 Trigger for about $200, and it comes with a 2-year warranty.
This vacuum is very easy to use, with a trigger design rather than an on/off switch, and it has a larger dust cup so you don’t have to stop and empty in the middle of your cleaning session.
The assortment of tools makes it easy to find what you need for your floor type, and the motorized brush does a very good job at removing everything from fine dust to bigger pieces of debris from carpets.
Check out this video to learn more about the Dyson V7 Trigger.
- Best suction power in a handheld
- Long battery life
- Multiple attachments
Best Vacuum for Stairs for 2020
Based on everything we’ve seen, the best vacuum for stairs is definitely the Dyson V7 Trigger. The cordless design, extremely powerful suction, and attachments for most surfaces makes this the best overall pick.
If you’re looking for a vacuum that packs the power and versatility of a high-end option at a decent price point, the Shark Rocket Hand Vac takes the lead for best value.
If you’re on a tight budget but need something that’s effective and easy to use on the stairs, the Eureka EasyClean Handheld Vacuum is an excellent choice. While it is on the low end of the price spectrum, it’s surprisingly powerful and effective on stairs.
Choosing a vacuum for stairs comes with a lot of considerations, like what type of attachments you’ll need, how much you can afford, and whether or not you want a cordless model. Any of our top three picks can make vacuuming your stairs a breeze, but all of the options in this guide are decent and reliable choices.
Writer and Product Researcher
Spending the last 10 years researching and writing about various home, garden and electronics topics, Shelley is more than qualified to write for Meccano Home. Her work has been featured on eBay, Pottery Barn, SFGate, TheKnot, Williams-Sonoma and various other blogs and websites.