Once again the Appliance hunter has gone out in search of the best of the best, this time finding all the Best Vacuum Cleaners For Stairs.
It wasn’t easy but I managed.
And I took the time to update this article in 2023 making sure it’s up-to-date with all the latest and greatest stair vacuum cleaners.
I’ve put together a buying guide for all the different things you’ll want to look at, then reviewed the best of the best at the end. I’ve grouped them into different categories so you can find exactly what you need.
Or, have a look below and check out the best choices.
Top 5 Best Vacuum Cleaners For Stairs
- Top Choice – Shark Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner [IZ201UK] Anti Hair Wrap
- Best handheld for stairs and pet hair – Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum
- Best Budget handheld Choice – Vax gator Cordless Handheld Vacuum
- Best Upright Vacuum for stairs – Shark Upright Vacuum Cleaner [NZ801UKT] Powered Lift-Away with Anti Hair Wrap Technology
- Best Stick vacuum For stairs – Morphy Richards 2-in-1 Cordless Supervac
1. Top Choice – Shark Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner [IZ201UK] Anti Hair Wrap
Type: Cordless Stick
- Hair doesn’t tangle round brush head
- DuoClean head makes it good on hard floor and carpet
- Lightweight for carrying up stairs
- 40 minute run time
- 3.5 hour charge time
- Bagless emptying
- Sometimes need to use hand to empty
- Need to hold turbo mode trigger for stairs
This is the ideal vacuum cleaner for cleaning a house with stairs, it’s a lightweight cordless vacuum that’s easy to use and works straight on carpets and hard floors.
And for stairs, you can change to handheld mode but still put the main cleaner head on to give your stairs a really deep clean.
You’ll need to hold the turbo mode to really get into carpet on the stairs which drains the battery faster, but if you get the two battery model you’re going to have plenty of charge to turbo the stairs and regular mode the rest of the house.
You could likely even use turbo mode around the whole house but your finger will get tired from holding the trigger!
It’s also got Shark’s anti-hair wrap which means no turning it upside down and trying to cut away hair! I hate that job so to be able not to do it makes the whole vacuuming process a lot easier.
Overall, Easy to use, great suction power for pick up and superb battery life, this will make vacuuming a breeze.
2. Best Handheld for Stairs and Pet Hair – Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum
Type: Cordless Handheld
- Crevice tool and upholstery nozzle included
- motorized brush roll for deeper clean
- Great on furniture and cars too
- Two-stage easy clean filtration system
- Only 15 minute run time
- A little heavy
This is the most powerful handheld vacuum cleaner for stairs, it’s got a motorized brush roll that spins to beat dust dirt and pet hair out of carpet for a more efficient clean.
It’s also got a strong suction but that comes at the price of it being a little heavier and the run time is only 15 minutes. Long enough for your stairs but it’s on the shorter side.
The crevice tool works to get right into the corners of the stairs and makes cleaning furniture easier too.
It’s on the expensive side for a handheld vacuum cleaner but it’s cheaper than a new vacuum if your current vacuum is good but not good enough for stairs.
And if you have pets you’ll be surprised at how handy this is and how much hair it picks up from unsuspecting places. In and around radiators, down the sides of cabinets, off furniture.
The filters are two-stage to make them longer lasting and easier to clean which is something you’ll want to do fairly often if you have pets.
Overall, perfect for stair cleaning, you couldn’t ask for a more effective handheld vacuum.
3. Best Upright Vacuum for Stairs – Shark Upright Vacuum Cleaner [NZ801UKT] Powered Lift-Away with Anti Hair Wrap Technology
- Hair doesn’t tangle
- Great on hard floors and carpet
- Pet hair attachment
- Body lifts away for easier stair cleaning
- HEPA filtration system for catching all tiny dust particles
- Washable filter
- Quite heavy
- Sometimes falls over when using the hose
This is the perfect choice if you don’t want to have to deal with charging up your vacuum cleaner.
It’s got a lift away body which is what makes it ideal for stair cleaning, the body is much lighter and still works with the main brush head for a deep clean of carpeted stairs or you can use it with the attachments for more precise and lighter cleaning.
It’s durable and long-lasting which is why they’ve got a 5-year guarantee and the suction is high powered for deeper clean. This also has the same DuoClean head the cordless model has which means you can seamlessly go from carpets on to hard floors of any type.
The cord is 8m long which is more than enough to make your way around the house with as few plugins as possible.
Now the downside…
This is pretty damn heavy for a vacuum, it’s because there’s a bigger motor for more suction and the features of the cleaning head. So it does a good job but if you want a lightweight design you’ll want to go with the cordless vacuum cleaner that’s my top pick.
4. Best Budget Handheld Choice – Vax Gator Cordless Hand Vac
Style: Cordless Handheld
- Easy to Use
- Easy To empty
- 12 Hour Charge Time
The biggest design flaw in this is that it takes 12 hours to charge and you get 15 minutes of run time. Not a great return.
But that’s only if you run it flat, if you run it for a couple of minutes a time it’ll last a week and you can charge it on the weekends. Or if you only use it for a couple of minutes you can charge it for a few hours and it’ll be back to full. It has a charging light on it that’ll keep you right.
But if you just need quick spot cleaning it’s ideal, it can tackle the stairs in just a few minutes and you just press a button and the top pops off and you can empty it. It opens like a ‘gators mouth, hence the name.
This one’s good for the diversity, you can use it all over the house to get into little nooks and crannies and you can use it for your car as well.
It’s got a good enough suction so if you have hard floor stairs or thin carpet then it’s ideal but shaggy carpets will cause it more problems.
Overall, a great cordless vacuum for stairs and other small cleaning tasks, nice and light and easy to empty, one of the best handheld vacuums for sure.
5. Best Stick Vacuum For stairs – Morphy Richards 2-in-1 Cordless Supervac
Brand: Morphy Richards
- Has A Removable Handheld Vac Attachment
- 35 Minute Run Time
- Collapsible Handle For Storage
- Bagless vacuum
- Needs Emptied Often
35 Minutes of run time is great, it has two power settings so that’s on the lower setting, on the more powerful setting it’ll be closer to 25 or 20 minutes. Then charge time is about 5 hours which is quite good.
The handheld vacuum just slots out which you can use for the stairs, though it’s not as practical as the shark above it’ll still get your stairs clean! And the fact it’s cordless makes it ideal for quick clean-ups.
It’s not great to keep anything with batteries on charge so best to charge it then turn the charger off and charge it for each use.
If you only used it for a couple of minutes no big deal, you can use it a couple of times, but if you have a full vacuum of the house stick it back on charge for about 5 hours and then take it off charge and leave it till you need it next. That’ll keep the battery working properly.
The real problem is that the canister for collecting dust is really small, so you’ll probably need to empty it after every use. It’s nice and small and super easy to empty but if you get a bit lazy or forget to empty it then the suction is going to suffer.
Overall, it’s a really popular vacuum, great for stairs but changing the canister after each use is a pain to be aware of.
What Type Of Vacuum Is Best For Cleaning Stairs
What you don’t want if you have to vacuum the stairs is a big heavy upright vacuum cleaner, they’re just too bulky.
You want either a nice lightweight stick vacuum, if you want to do more than just the stairs, or a handheld vacuum.
Handheld Vacuums For Stairs
Handheld vacuums are great for cleaning stairs because you can get right into the corners. Plus, you can use them on the sofa and they’re handy to spot clean with.
Pros of a Handheld vacuum for Stairs
- Easy To Manoeuvre.
- Can Clean Sofas, curtains and other hard to clean surfaces
Cons of a Handheld Vacuum For Stairs
- Can’t vacuum whole house
- Small Canister for Dust Collection
Stick Vacuum For Stairs
Stick vacuums are much lighter than bulky uprights and they tend to have more cleaning power than their handheld counterparts.
Pros Of A Stick Vacuum For Stairs
- More Powerful Suction
- Can Vacuum More of Your House
- Bigger Canister
Cons Of A Stick Vacuum for Stairs
- Not as manoeuvrable
The best vacuum for Stairs is a 2 in 1, A stick vacuum that doubles as a handheld
And you’ll be pleased to hear such a thing does exist! The Shark True pet does just that, keep reading to read the review and find out where you can buy yours.
Corded vs Cordless Vacuum For Stairs
Which one is better is entirely up to you. Cordless vacuums need charging which some people don’t like.
Meanwhile, Corded vacuums, of course, need a plug near the stairs which is a pain for some but to others not so much so it’s what you need.
The other pain is, of course, having to charge your vacuum after every use, charging can take up to 12 hours and if you don’t charge it, it stops working and you have to wait till it’s charged to use it.
Other Things To Consider
Just a couple of other things you might want to consider when you’re buying a vacuum cleaner for your stairs.
This is how much you’re going to need to empty it.
If you just use it for the stairs no big deal but if you’re using it for your whole house and the stairs then you’re going to need a bigger canister.
How Long Is The Power Cord
I touched on this a bit but just wanted to say, I’ll include this where possible further on in the reviews. Most modern vacuums have a nice long cord so this isn’t much of an issue anymore.
Do You Have Pets?
If you have pets you’re going to need a more powerful suction. Dog hair and cat hair just get everywhere and can be a real pain to try and vacuum up.
Now it doesn’t necessarily have to be a vacuum specifically designed for pet hair (though that is great) but checking for some sort of description that says “powerful suction”, or just check out the appliance hunters recommendation further down. I’ve hunted hard and only settle for the best.
Does It Have A HEPA Filter
Hepa Filters are great additions to any vacuum cleaner, they purify the air while you vacuum.
Any air that gets sucked through then has 99.9% of allergens and bacteria removed. Great if you have pets because it will save anyone who visits who might have allergies.
F.A.Q on The Best Vacuum Cleaner For Stairs
What about canister vacuums with a long nozzle?
Canister vacuums are great for cleaning and they can be used for the stairs if they’re split level, so halfway up you can put it on the middle landing.
But if you have a straight set of stairs they struggle to get to the middle and top half of the stairs. I have an article coming soon on the best Canister Vacuum Cleaners so stand by for that.
Which is the best vacuum for hard floor stairs?
Any of the ones recommended above are great for hard floors. You don’t need as much suction for wood and tile as you do for carpet so any of the above will be great.
But if it’s hard floor on the stairs just consider sweeping the dust down the stairs then vacuuming it up at the bottom. A lot easier than lugging any vacuum up and down the stairs.
Hoover or vacuum?
I always say “do the hoovering” rather than the vacuuming but Hoover is a brand so I’ve tried to stick to the proper lingo to avoid confusion, apologies if I haven’t though!
Other Vacuums For Stairs Reviewed
Shark Rocket TruePet Ultra-light Vacuum
Style: Corded Stick
- Great On Carpet And Hardwood floor
- Great For Pets
- Changes To A Handheld Vacuum
- Handy Storage Hanger
- Weight is Top Heavy
This vacuum cleaner will make short work of your stairs and manage to likely clean the rest of your house too!
It’s a stick vacuum but can change into a smaller handheld vacuum which makes the stairs a lot easier to deal with. And the smaller handheld is just as powerful as the full size. I’ve got a picture below so you can see what I mean.
It’s got a pet-specific head so that you can clean up hair nice and easy but this means it’s got great suction for hard floors and carpet too.
The main problem this vacuum has is that it’s quite top-heavy, so although it’s lightweight you carry the weight higher up so it can get a little tiring in the wrist if you’re vacuuming for a long time. Not a problem for most but it may cause more problems for the elderly or anyone with wrist problems.
Another great plus is that it has a bracket so you can mount it on the walls when you’re not using it. It doesn’t lean very well so you can’t just prop it up while you’re using it but the bracket makes storage a lot easier. And it means it can’t get lost under piles of stuff so you can get to it when you need it.
Overall, easily the best vacuum for dealing with stairs. Cleans on carpet, hard floor and can deal with pet hair plus it can do the rest of the house too.
AEG Rapid Clean Stair Vacuum
Style: Corded Handheld
- Firm Brush For Deeper Clean
- Great For Carpets
- Powerful Suction
- 6m Cable
- A Bit Heavy
The AEG AG71a might not have the sexiest name, but vacuuming isn’t a sexy job (usually) besides, it does a damn good job.
It’s corded and has a really powerful motor to keep the suction up and it’ll make short work of the stairs. It’s also got an extendable nozzle which comes out about an arm’s length so you can get right into the corners.
The nozzle is designed as a “stubborn brush” so it agitates the carpet fibres loosening off any dirt and providing a much deeper clean.
The cable is 6 meters long so it’ll be more than enough to make its way around the stairs. It’s also got a HEPA filter in it which helps keep the air fresh, ideal for vacuuming somewhere that comes into contact with feet so much!
The canister is quite small, but because it’s only a handheld that’s not as big a deal, you won’t need to empty it each time and just if it looks full, empty it!
A superb small canister vacuum and a great stair tool.
Pifco Stairmaster handheld
Style: Corded Handheld
- Powerful Roller Brush
- Double Motor For Powerful Suction
- Hepa Filter
- No need for a charging base unit
- Quite Heavy
This is sold as a lightweight handheld vacuum but it’s one of the heavier on the list. It’s not super heavy, it’s only 2.9 kg but not ideal for anyone elderly or anyone with weak wrists.
It does come with a shoulder strap though so you can take some of the weight off but it’s quite thin and not the most comfortable.
But, it has a double motor so it has a really powerful suction built into it which is awesome.
The extra suction and the Hepa filter make it ideal for pet hair. Great for getting in and about the sofa or any upholstery as well.
The canister isn’t the biggest but you’ll be able to use it a few times between empties, and it’s really easy to empty.
Overall, a great choice if you have pets and need to clean hair off the stairs, a really powerful motor and roller brush.
Dyson V6 Cordless Vac
Style: Stick Vacuum
- Powerful Suction
- Short 3 hour charge Time
- Easy To Empty
- Can Change to Handheld Vacuum
- Great for floor cleaning
- Lithium-ion battery
- 20 Minute Run Time
You can’t talk about pet hair without mentioning Dyson! The Dyson V6 has great suction, the shortest charge time of all the cordless vacuum and it can change into a regular handheld vacuum for stairs.
It has a wall mount where you can charge it and put it away nice and easy. I don’t recommend keeping it on charge for fire safety reasons but a lot of people on Amazon keep theirs on charge without incident.
It’s nice and lightweight so you can do the stairs without the hassle and the suction is really powerful so it can deal with pet hair easily.
It’s a Dyson! You just can’t go wrong.
Overall, Easily the best vacuum cleaner for stairs and pet hair.
Whether you want a full vacuum for your home and stairs or you want a stairs only vacuum I hope this article was helpful. There are of course other great choices like Holife or Black+Decker but I’m happy with my choices here.