There is a certain type of stick vacuum cleaner, however, that functions much like a traditional handheld vacuum. These 2-in-1 handheld & stick hybrid vacuum cleaners tend to operate intentionally as if you were going to use the product for both features. Many of these “hybrids” can balance out the raw suction power of a traditional upright or stick model while still working with the light maneuverability of a handheld vacuum. There are many variants of the 2-in-1 model, but this article focuses on four Best 2 In 1 Vacuum versions that we feel lead the pack. After our overview of these top 4 2-in-1 vacuums, best 2 in 1 vacuum and carpet cleaner and best 2 in 1 corded vacuum options on the market, we’ll be breaking down the specific information you need to keep in mind before you purchase one of these versatile and capable products.
One of the major selling points for stick vacuum cleaners is their ability to be quickly adjusted into a handheld model by swapping the brush roll with one of the included nozzles. Most people who swear by stick vacuum cleaners enjoy moving quickly from countertops to carpet or hardwood.
best 2 in 1 vacuum and carpet cleaner
best 2 in 1 vacuum
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302
Stick | 25 ft cord | Bagless | Washable Foam Filtration | 7.6 lbs | X Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Shark’s Rocket line of stick vacuums with handheld functionality has always been top contenders, and this product is no different. The HV302 proves its worth with a powerful brush roll and LED lights, alongside many attachments. It can be a little heavy relative to our other picks, but maneuverability is more than made up for with functionality.Check Amazon Price
- LED lights aid in locating debris
- Powerful brush roll great for carpets
- Easy controls for carpet/hardwood switching
- A little heavier than other options in this category
- No motorized attachments
- Does not stand independently
- Dual storage capability
- Home & Car Detail kit
- Attachments: Dusting brush, crevice tool, upholstery took, hard floor hero
- Warranty: 5-year Limited
The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302 is a powerful stick vacuum cleaner that works to compete alongside models from companies like Dyson. Using a powerful motorized brush roll that can be turned off seamlessly in the middle of operation, the Shark Rocket is a no-brainer for homes that have both hardwood and carpet. As a stick and upright vacuum cleaner, there’s virtually nothing to complain about. While Shark’s stick vacuums function more like a capable stick vacuum than a traditional 2-in-1 model, this Rocket model vacuum has more than enough strength to make handheld mode worthwhile for cleaning.
As a handheld product, however, you may need a little bit of elbow grease to get the Rocket moving. At a little under 8 pounds, the Rocket can be a bit heavy to maneuver around with one arm. As a corded vacuum, there’s little worry about running out of power, but moving this motor and bin around is going to take some work on your end. Thankfully, there are more than enough attachments to maximize your time spent cleaning. This model also cannot stand upright, but an included wall mount fixes this problem easily.
The Home & Car Detail kit is a welcome addition and makes this a worthy product to use as a car vacuum on top of a 2-in-1. The dusting brush and crevice tool are also long and easy to use, and when it comes to floors, the hard floor hero works best for tight corners and the like. So provided you’re willing to bulk up a bit and take some time to get used to a few quirks, this product has something for everyone.
Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick
Stick | 40 min Battery | Bagless | HEPA filtration | 5.75 lbs | X Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Dyson’s V8 stick vacuum cleaner, as the name implies, is all about suction power. Versatile functionality is sacrificed in the hopes of producing the most powerful 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner in the market. Dyson may have succeeded on that end, but a high price tag and lost features might not be a worthy trade for some.Check Amazon Price
- Powerful, long-lasting suction
- Excellent build quality and great attachments
- Long-lasting battery
- Uncomfortable operation
- Max power mode drains battery quickly
- HEPA filtration
- Max power mode
- Dirt ejector
- Attachments: Soft brush roll, crevice tool, motorized pet tool
- Warranty: 2-year Limited
2-in-1 vacuum cleaners, as we’ll be getting into a little bit later on, are not known for their powerful suction power but rather their versatility. This Dyson product manages to keep the 2-in-1 model while still maintaining their standard of power.
The Dyson V8 is Dyson’s premiere stick vacuum, which, like the Shark Rocket, can be quickly converted into a handheld product. This Dyson also includes a brush roll that can be turned off and even a soft brush roll attachment that will protect hardwood floors while still cleaning in between planks and panels.
Suction power has always been the primary focus of the Dyson company, and this holds true with the V8. That strength results in significantly reduced functionality. The attachments included especially the motorized pet tool, are well-built and work great, though the trigger-based operation is often reported to be uncomfortable. If you manage to hold down the trigger constantly, the vacuum will drain far faster than its reported 40-minute runtime, which can be a big issue for larger homes. Still, build quality and suction are second-to-none when compared to others on this list. If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 vacuum with a focus on flooring and strength, the Dyson V8 might be the pick for you.
Hoover Air Cordless 2-in-1 Deluxe Stick BH52120
2-in-1 | 15 min Battery | Bagless | Filtration | 6.9 lbs | X Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
This traditional 2-in-1 vacuum from Hoover comes with all of the bells, and whistles you would want from a hybrid vacuum, including motorized handheld tools and LED lighting. The battery life leaves much to be desired, but provided you’re willing to wait for it, this Hoover product can put out a significant amount of power in a small package.Check Amazon Price
- Powerful motorized turbo tool
- Easy on/off brush roll functionality
- Precision crevice tool great for corners and cars
- Short, weak battery
- Can struggle on hardwood floors
- Light on attachments
- Motorized Turbo Tool
- LED Headlights
- Attachments: Crevice tool
- Warranty: 2-year Limited
Hoover’s 2-in-1 entry looks precisely as you would expect a hybrid vacuum cleaner to work, and with a size and cordless variant like this, Hoover clearly took the time to make a product to last. The Hoover 2-in-1 Air Cordless Deluxe stick vacuum cleaner is one of the higher-end models in Hoover’s Air line and comes with battery functionality that can make it a joy to use for smaller homes.
While the Shark Rocket and Dyson V8 focused on flooring, the Hoover’s big strength is its handheld functionality. The motorized turbo tool makes it easy to pick up pet hair and clean upholstery with more detail than many of our other picks, and the crevice tool is thin and small enough to get into the tightest of places. Unfortunately, that’s where the attachments end on the handheld functionality.
In stick vacuum mode, the Hoover 2-in-1 Air uses an on/off brush roll to pick up dirt and debris without damaging your hardwood floors. LED headlights make this a much simpler task in the darker sections of your home, but since the brush roll still spins quite a bit on hardwood mode, you might be spewing dirt around more often than with other products on this list.
The biggest detriment to the Hoover 2-in-1 is the battery life. The 15-minute duration is listed without including the motorized tools, so for larger homes, this could pose a problem. For smaller homes and apartments, however, the Hoover 2-in-1 Air Cordless Deluxe is great option for pet hair, carpets, and most other needs.
Dirt Devil SimpliStik SD20000RED
Stick | 16 ft cord | Bagless | Rinseable Filtration | 3.8 lbs | X Hose | X Brush Roll
The inexpensive & convenient Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is the go-to option for any apartment dweller on a budget. For the price of a night out, this 2-in-1 vacuum will hit all of your basic needs both in stick and in handheld mode. We wouldn’t expect premium functionality from this budget device, but it gets the job done regardless.Check Amazon Price
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Good for quick cleanings and touch-ups
- Handy built-in attachments
- No brush roll means a tough time cleaning carpets
- Few attachments
- Small bin size means frequent trips to the trash can
- Attached crevice tool
- Multi-surface cleaning
- Attachments: Attached crevice tool
- Warranty: 1-year Limited
This Dirt Devil product is about as straightforward as a 2-in-1 vacuum can get. Rock-bottom pricing and simple solutions clearly inspired both the design as well as the name of this Dirt Devil product. The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is a lightweight, corded stick vacuum cleaner that features a removable handheld vacuum much like that on the Hoover 2-in-1 Air. Coming in under 4 pounds, there’s little to fear about this vacuum putting dents on furniture or scratching up floors. Unfortunately, this lightweight design means that there’s no brush roll to really pick up debris in carpet fibers.
In handheld mode, the Simpli-Stik benefits from a build in crevice tool. With this, there’s never a need to search for or stow away attachments. There are no additional attachments or features, but the small motor packs enough of a punch to make cleaning simple. The smaller bin size means that emptying the debris will need to take place about every room or so, but since the Simpli-Stik is designed with apartments and small homes in mind, this might not be much of an issue. Long story short: provided you’re alright with the lack of versatility; the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik simply works.
Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner
The old vacuum cleaner has “bitten the dust” and you need a replacement. One quick look online is all it takes to realize that choosing a new machine might be more challenging than you thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the “latest and greatest” when perusing vacuums online or in magazines and end up with a machine that is either too much or not enough, or just doesn’t fit your needs.
We’ve put together a few questions for consideration to help focus your search efforts before purchasing that new vacuum cleaner. Maybe you’ve already thought about some of these, so please use the following list to quickly navigate to the concerns most important to you.
What Flooring Types Do I Have?
Probably the most obvious consideration is whether you have mainly carpeting, hard floors, or a fairly even combination of both. Generally speaking, for homes with a lot of carpeting, especially in large areas, an upright vacuum cleaner is a good choice. However, if your personal preference tends toward canister style vacuums, there are quite a few excellent choices available. You will want to be sure that it has a floor nozzle with a motorized brushroll and height adjustment options for various pile carpets.
If you love hardwood or tile flooring with a few rugs here and there, or enjoy low-pile carpeting, a canister style vacuum is a great option. Using a specialized floor brush, these are usually very maneuverable for working quickly around and underneath furniture. Some are equipped with combination floor tools that easily switch to effectively clean scatter rugs. For true canister vacuum lovers, there are machines that feature high quality motorized floor nozzles that can effectively handle deep-pile carpets.
Most people have a combination of both carpeting and hard floors. At this point, style preference will be your guide. However, be sure to check for convenience features such as on/off brushroll control, height adjustment, and suction control. Be sure to note whether the brushroll is air-powered or electrically powered as this affects the effectiveness of deep-pile carpet cleaning.
Do I Need to Control Allergens?
This is a key question to consider since we spend, on average, about 90% of our time indoors where pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. This is especially important to ponder if you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies. A vacuum cleaner that provides HEPA filtration can be an important contributor to improving your indoor air quality. HEPA filters capture particulate matter down to 0.3 microns so that the exhausted air is actually cleaner than what was sucked into the vacuum. There are also machines that include some level of charcoal filtration to help control odors—great for pet owners.
An additional consideration is a vacuum that not only uses HEPA filters but does so in a completely sealed system. This means that there is virtually no leakage of air through the housing or fittings of the machine and all air (along with pollutants) is forced through the filtration system, leaving your indoor air allergen free. See this article for more information about allergies and vacuums.
How Often Do I Vacuum?
Something you may not have thought about, the frequency of your cleaning schedule can be impacted by the ease or difficulty of storing and accessing your vacuum. For those folks who shed their shoes the minute they hit the door, walking on floors that quickly accumulate pet fur, crumbs, and tracked-in dirt or sand, daily vacuuming is standard operating procedure. In that case, a vacuum that is difficult to access and use quickly can make this routine a real chore. Consider a robotic vacuum that can be scheduled to clean while you’re at work or running errands so you return to grit-free floors, really nice if you frequently bring home company.
If your debris tends to concentrate in specific areas, a stick vacuum is a champ at quickly taking care of daily messes whether on hard floors or carpets, as well as effectively handling more extensive weekly cleaning. There are also light-weight uprights and compact canisters with parking features that make them easy to store and use at a moment’s notice.
How Many Levels are in My Home?
In other words, how many stairs do you have to carry your vacuum up and down? There are many maneuverable, light-weight cordless vacuums that have great suction power and long run times that can handle multiple floor types. There are also lightweight vacuums in both upright and canister styles that make transporting them between floors easy.
An additional thought is the type of flooring on each level. While it sounds crazy, sometimes more than one vacuum is a very good idea. If you have a main floor that really benefits from a machine that can handle a variety of floor types, your upper floor may only require a vacuum best for carpets or hard floors. Or, the reverse may be true. In either case, consider purchasing a smaller stick vacuum for the space best suited for it, and save yourself grueling trips up and down stairs with your larger machine.
What Additional Surfaces will I be Cleaning?
If you like vacuuming away all the accumulated dust from furniture, curtains, moldings, and baseboards instead of dusting, you’ll want a vacuum that includes a variety of accessory tools. Most include at least a combination brush and crevice tool, while others have additional floor nozzles, an upholstery tool, and specialized accessories for specific types of cleaning. If you own pets, or have a lot of stairs, consider a vacuum that includes a mini-motorized tool for easy cleaning. Some offer an even wider variety of specialized tools and extension wands which you can purchase separately as you need them.
How Much Noise Can I Stand?
Given the technology, if you will, of vacuums, there is a certain amount of expected sound generated during use. Typically, the larger and more heavy-duty the machine for the job, the louder it is. For homes, and for office spaces where a quieter sound level is desired, there are vacuums that have been designed with insulated motor housings as well as newer low-noise motors for quieter operation. Some can run as lows as 47 dB at maximum power while still delivering 120 CFM. Vacuum manufacturers such as NaceCare, Miele, and Sebo have recently redesigned some of their machines for quieter operation. Check specifications for your selection before buying.
How Much Maintenance is Required?
This is a question that really depends on your definition of “a lot” and how tedious different kinds of maintenance are for you. Bagless vacuums don’t have bags that need to be changed, but dust bins still need to be emptied and washed periodically, especially if your home includes allergy-sufferers. Any vacuum with a HEPA filter will need that filter to be replaced when necessary, depending on individual home environments. The same is true for any other type of filter unless it is specified as a washable filter.
Brushrolls will collect pet fur, hair, threads and other debris and will need to be cleaned to maintain top operating capabilities. Ease of access to it should be a consideration. For quality vacuums that last for years, sometimes accessory tools like dusting brushes may need to be replaced. Check to see if these are available for purchase either at retail or from the manufacturer.
The Main Vacuum Types
There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.
Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.
Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.
These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.
While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.
5. Autonomous / Robot
Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.
Location, Location, Location
Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.
If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.
On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.
Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.
To Bag or Not To Bag
The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.
If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.
If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.