When it comes to any household task, there will be some aspects that are more difficult to tackle than others. When dusting, ceiling fans and blinds always prove to be a challenge, and getting stains out of clothes can be a real pain. And when it comes to vacuuming, the stairs are always the hardest part. Which is why any owner of a multilevel home needs the best vacuum for stairs.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Vacuum for Stairs
In order to purchase a good vacuum for stairs, you need to think about the specific problems you encounter when vacuuming them. Yes, you encounter these problems at least once a week, but chances are you haven’t given them much thought beyond what a pain they can be. So, to help you in your purchase, let’s take a look at the unique considerations to keep in mind.
The Corner Attachment:
Needing a corner attachment isn’t unique to the task of vacuuming stairs, but how often you need it is. Vacuuming corners is always a pain because the dirt and debris gets in there and your standard hose attachment cannot get it out. But while most rooms only have four corners, your stairs are a massive series of corners. To effectively clean them, you need attachments with the right angles or flexibility to get in there and get the dirt out.
The Weight of the Vacuum:
When vacuuming the floors in your home, this isn’t usually a problem. Vacuums are designed to move easily when being pushed or pulled, so it isn’t until you need to lug them up the stairs that the weight becomes problematic. To prevent back pain and other possible injuries, lightweight vacuums are best suited to stairs.
The Size of the Vacuum:
This might seem like it is related to the weight, but thanks to the use of lightweight plastics, it is possible for a vacuum to be both large and lightweight. The problem here is that your stairs are a narrow surface and you need your vacuum to comfortably and safely fit on them. Upright vacuums tend to be the largest, with canister vacuums in the middle and handheld options being the smallest.
The Surface of the Stairs:
There are very few vacuums that are equally effective on all surfaces, which means that when you are shopping for your vacuum, you need to think about the surface of your stairs and those in the rest of your home. For example, the vacuum for shag carpet and the vacuum for hardwood floors are unlikely to be the same. If possible, you will want to purchase a vacuum that is effective on all surfaces of your home, and if it is not possible, you might need to purchase two different vacuums.
The Length of the Cord:
Do you have an electrical outlet in your stairwell? Chances are the answer is no, which means the length of the cord is something to consider when making your purchase, unless you want to install a new outlet or replug the vacuum in the middle of your chores. One solution is to purchase a cordless vacuum, but that leads to another concern.
The Life of the Battery:
Some cordless vacuums will run out of battery in the middle of the job. The more stairs you have, the more likely this is to occur. And stopping your work to wait around for a battery to charge is frustrating. You will want to make certain the battery offers enough time per charge or that it comes with more than one battery, allowing you to rotate them.
Why the Right Vacuum Matters
Your stairs are just a small portion of your home, so you might be wondering if it is really that big of a deal to have a vacuum suited for stairs. In our opinion, yes, it is, and this is for a few reasons.
A Clean & Healthy Home
If you aren’t getting your stairs perfectly clean, you are wasting your time and energy on the task. And anything less than a thorough cleaning can put your health and the health of your family at risk. This is especially true if anyone in your home suffers from allergies.
Less Physical Burden
Vacuums that are not made with stairs in mind are difficult to use. You have to lug them up the stairs, keep a hand on them to stop them from toppling over, and contort yourself to force the attachments into all the nooks and crannies on the stairs. This can deplete your energy or even injure you.
We already noted that vacuums not designed with stairs in mind can injure you, but they can also injure others. Upright or wide vacuums can become unbalanced and fall down the stairs, injuring family members and pets. Using extension cords to reach outlets increases the risk of a fire. And larger vacuums are harder to maneuver yourself around them, making it more likely that someone is going to end up falling down the stairs.
Best VACUUM FOR STAIRS Reviews 2018 – COMPARISON TABLE
Seeing as there are thousands of vacuums on the market, we want to make your purchase easy for you. To help, we have compared all the top options and narrowed them down to the top 5 stair vacuums based on the criteria above.
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1. Shark Navigator Lift-Away
If you are looking for a vacuum that can handle the majority of tasks, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away is the right choice for you. This lightweight Shark vacuum is easy to maneuver around the home as well as carry up the stairs. While it is an upright model when fully assembled, which is not ideal for stairs, you can lift away the body from the frame and use it as a canister-style vacuum. The 25-foot cord gives you plenty of reach, eliminating the need for extension cords, and its many attachments ensure you always have the best tool for the job.
Of course, every product will have its downsides, and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away has a few. Perhaps the greatest downside is that it is not a good choice for shag carpeting. Due to its strong suction, it tends to cause high-pile carpeting the fray and become fuzzy. Also, some users have reported problems with the wand hose being too short and inflexible. Finally, the vacuum does not feature storage for all of its attachments, so you will need to carry them with you or run to storage to get them and change them out as needed.
- Can be used as an upright model or a canister model
- Long cord
- Many attachments
- Can damage high-pile carpeting like shag carpet
- Short and inflexible hose
- Lack of attachment storage
2. Hoover Linx BH500010 Cordless Stick Vacuum
While this vacuum is technically an upright model, it is actually quite effective when used on stairs. As a stick vacuum, it has very little weight at the top; coupled with a narrow base, there is little chance of it falling or injuring anyone. Because it is a cordless vacuum for stairs, it eliminates the risk of anyone tripping over the cords. It is designed to handle many types of flooring, though like the model above, it isn’t the best on shag carpeting, and the handle reclines almost completely, making it easy to vacuum underneath furniture.
As a cordless vacuum, its biggest downside is naturally going to be the battery dying while you are using the vacuum. However, when compared to other cordless vacuums, this is less of a risk. It gets about 20 minutes of cleaning timer per charge and comes with an extra battery so you can switch it out and continue your work. It also does not come with any attachments, and there are no kits you can purchase that will work with the vacuum. Finally, many users report human and pet hair getting caught in the bristles and needing to clean the brush frequently.
- Upright design but safe for stairs
- Effective on hardwood, tile, and low-pile carpeting
- Full recline on handle
- Extra battery
- 20 minutes of battery life on a single charge
- Not ideal for high-pile carpeting
- No attachments
- Hair gets caught on brush
3. Eureka EasyClean Corded Hand-Held Vacuum
The Eureka EasyClean Corded Hand-Held Vacuum is tiny but powerful. It has two motors powering it, one rotating the brush and one powering the suction. This is a great vacuum for stairs and hardwood floors, as well as low-pile carpeting, but the amount of suction makes it less suited to shag carpeting. It features onboard storage of attachments, including the crevice tool you will need for the stairs. At just six pounds, it is incredibly light, ensuring that you will not strain yourself when cleaning.
Because it is a hand-held model, it is not a vacuum you will be able to use for the entire home, which can be a downside for some buyers. The brush has a plastic shield that can make it difficult to vacuum up larger items, such as dog kibble. Finally, some users have noted difficulty in cleaning the filter as part of their regular maintenance.
- Powerful suction
- Multiple attachments
- Incredibly light
- Cannot be used for whole-home cleaning
- Plastic brush shield makes it difficult to pick up larger items
- Filter cleaning can be difficult
4. Bissell Multi Handheld Cordless Car Vacuum
If your biggest concern with a vacuum for stairs is it being lightweight, this is a great vacuum for you. At just 3.9 pounds, it is as light as they come. Because it is cordless, you do not need to worry about plugging it in or getting tripped up. Despite its size, it comes with multiple attachments, including a crevice tool suited to stairs. It is also very easy to clean.
However, while it might be easy to clean, you will be cleaning it frequently as the bin fills up fast. Since it is a hand-held vacuum, it won’t be suited to cleaning the whole home. Finally, the battery only offers 14 minutes of use per charge, and no extra batteries are included.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Multiple attachments
- Easy to clean
- Must be cleaned frequently
- You will need another vacuum for whole-house cleaning
- Battery only offers 14 minutes per charge
5. Miele Complete C2 Limited Edition
Miele is known for its luxury-class vacuums, and if price were not a factor, it could have easily been out top pick. However, if you are willing to pay for top-quality that lasts, this might be the best choice for you. The Miele Complete C2 Limited Edition is a canister-style vacuum that easily fits safely on stairs. Unlike other models on this list, you can use it with some types of shag carpeting thanks to the adjustable suction levels. It comes with the longest cord and hose on the list, giving it a 33-foot operating radius, which means you move the vacuum less as you work.
In terms of downsides, there are some. Unlike most models on this list, it does require bags. At 19.4 pounds, it is much heavier than the other options we have reviewed. Finally, because it is a canister vacuum, when you need to move it around, it can be awkward to do so and may not be a good choice if you have a bad back.
- Fits well on stairs
- Can be used on some types of high-pile carpeting
- 33-foot operating radius
- Uses bags
- Nearly 20 pounds when fully assembled
- Awkward to move around
So, Which Vacuum Should You Choose?
Ultimately, there is no one vacuum that will be right for every household with stairs. However, we have researched the options on the market and narrowed the options down to the best 5 vacuums for stairs.
We are confident that one of these five options is the best vacuum for you. Be sure to consider the features that are most important to you and the needs of your home to guide you in your choice. Good luck, and happy shopping.