vacuum for stairs

For pet owners, pet hair and stairs can present a special challenge. Hair from pets is tracked throughout the house and gathers on stairways where it can pack together and collect in the crevices of the stairs. This can soon start to look horribly messy but it is difficult to vacuum stairs and edges if you lack the proper equipment. The challenge is to find a vacuum cleaner that is suitable for stairs yet powerful enough to take care of the dust and pet hair. It can be difficult to navigate the challenge of comparing several products, so we have reviewed the top models that are easily the best vacuum for stairs, best vacuum for stairs and hardwood floors, and best handheld vacuum for stairs and pet hair.

Finding a suitable vacuum to tackle the unique issue of cleaning stairs can be a challenge. It is important to consider the following points. The surface, whether it is tiled, hardwood or carpeted stairs, number of stairs in the area that will be cleaned as well as how often it will be done. Some like to make vacuuming a constant part of their lives, with regular vacuuming a part of the normal clean up routine. Vacuum cleaners that are light, compact and easy to move with that have a long cord length or are cordless work best for use on stairs.

Vacuum For Stairs

Best Choice – BLACK+DECKER Max Flex



Max Flex is around for quite a while, and it’s still one of the best options when it comes to cleaning stairs. Yes, you’ll have to bend in order to use it. But in most cases, bending is needed for a thorough clean. The 24 AW suction power is not that impressive, but it’s good enough to get the job done. It’s easy to empty, easy to wash and easy to move around, as it weighs only 3 lbs. The 3 accessories are all that you need to get those stairs sparking. The price is decent. And the 2-year warranty is a treat.

Best Budget Option – Eureka Easy Clean Hand Vac 71B

Eureka 71B

Eureka 71B

The Eureka EasyClean is a corded hand-vacuum that works exceptionally well on stairs, car interiors, and other above-the-floor cleaning chores. Measuring only 7 x 15 x 8 inches, the Eureka 71B has a versatile design that offers ample options for easy maneuvering. The vacuum boasts a hose that can be enhanced with a crevice tool to collect dust, allergens, dirt, fabrics, pet hair, and anything else. The vacuum offers one of the most substantial suction powers in the handheld world, mainly because it’s a corded product. Also, the filters are removable and washable. And the best part is that it’s less than $50.



MOOSOO is a cheap cordless vacuum, priced at $101.65, but which packs all the right features. It’s powerful, delivering 17 kpa of air pressure in MAX mode (with a run-time of 15 mins), and ten kpa in Standard mode (with a run-time of 30 mins). It has HEPA filtration. It’s lightweight, at 3 lbs. And it has a lot of accessories, such as a charging base, a wall holder, a 2-in-1 cleaning brush, a 2-in-1 square brush, and a crevice nozzle. The 2-year warranty is a nice touch for an entry-level cordless. Overall, the MOOSOO delivers one of the worthiest stair vacuums.

Tineco A11 Hero Plus

Tineco A11 Hero

The A11 Hero is a cordless stick which I presented in detail a while ago. It’s not the latest product from Tineco, so what makes it the smart choice? First of all, it’s cordless, so you don’t have to worry about the power cord. It features interchangeable batteries and comes with a base that charges two at the same time. It’s a stick that weighs less than 6 lbs. And it has a sturdy brush roll which can take care of any floor surface. It comes with a few ideal accessories, which also increase its effectiveness on stairs.
Last but not least, because it appeared in 2018, it now costs much less than newer models. IMO this product blends all the right features for the right price. It has that perfect price/quality ratio you should search for when buying anything, not just vacuum cleaners.

Tineco PURE ONE S12 Plus

Tineco PURE ONE S12 body

Tineco PURE ONE S12 body

The latest cordless vacuum from Tineco is the PURE ONE. Unlike the A11, this appliance can be connected to your smartphone, if you ever need to track your vacuuming patterns, battery life, or cleaning cycles. I don’t see the added value here, but there are also design and performance improvements that can’t be overlooked. The Tineco S12 comes with a longer runtime (100 minutes if both batteries are used), it’s quieter, and it’s also more efficient, thanks to a dirt sensor that adjusts the suction automatically, based on its floor readings. Unfortunately, the PURE ONE is as expensive as a high-end Dyson, but you can think of it as an investment.

Best Cordless – Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Dyson V11

Dyson V11

The Dyson V11 is one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners money can buy in 2019. Although there are some people who are not satisfied with the fact that in MAX Suction mode the power juice runs dry in 7-8 minutes or with the fact that they can not replace batteries with pre-charged ones as it is in the case of the Shark F80, this product has the lightest weight and the most powerful motor. It can tackle any mess on your stairs, couches, carpets, and hardwood floors. The Dyson V11 has a larger bin, a more efficient battery, and a more powerful motor than the outgoing V10. Because it’s cordless, it’s ideal for people with mobility or back problems who want to have their stairs spotless.

The best part about the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is that it comes with a lot of accessories.  This offers you a lot of versatility. It is worth noting that the Dyson V11 comes in 2 different models in the US: Torque Drive and Animal. Dyson decided to release these two different models to meet varying consumer needs. The difference between them is that the Torque Drive has an additional attachment (the mini dusting brush) and features an LCD screen that can show the run-time counter. Unfortunately, the V11 is also the most expensive cordless vacuum from Dyson. Nevertheless, don’t despair; there are some discounts every once in a while.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Total Clean

Dyson Ball Animal 2 - Total Clean model

Dyson Ball Animal 2 – Total Clean model

One wouldn’t expect to see too many uprights in this top, especially one that is as heavy as the Dyson Ball Animal 2. What makes this vacuum cleaner great for stair cleaning is its long power cord and hose, adding up to a reach of 50 ft. Another selling point for the Total Clean is the large set of accessories. It even has a stair tool, a nozzle made just for this chore alone. The price is a bit stiff, but given the versatility of this product, it is worth it.

Shark ION F80 MultiFlex

Shark ION F80

Shark ION F80

Shark is a popular and trusted brand. They are well-known for churning out excellent quality vacuum cleaners. And the ION F80 MultiFlex is one of their most recent and most popular products. The MultiFlex is the most complete cordless unit from Shark. It’s half the price of a V11 Torque Drive (the main contender from Dyson). The MultiFlex blends the simplicity of an upright vacuum cleaner with the finest features of a cordless vacuum system. The unit is designed as a complete HEPA sealed system. Being cord-free, it has the flexibility to handle nearly all cleaning tasks – from hairballs under the furniture to carpeted stairs. Shark hasn’t revealed the suction power, but independent tests rate it at 38 CFM/24 CFM (highest and lowest settings respectively). The transparent bin fits nicely into the main system and can hold up to 11 oz of waste. Other special features include fingertip controls, LED lights, the Active Glide, and DuoClean technology. The machine is quieter than previous versions. Overall, the Shark F80 is a great fit for individuals searching for an all-round vacuum that won’t clean just stairs and floors, but also other places like vents, crevices, and so on. If you’re into this vacuum, keep an eye on seasonal discounts offered by Shark.

Best Upright – Shark APEX DuoClean

Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M

Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M

One of the best uprights ever created by Shark is the Apex DuoClean with Zero-M. This is a vacuum cleaner that has a lot of technologies included: Powered LiftAway (you can lift the main pod and thus, have closer access to your staircase), DuoClean (cleans bare floors better), AntiAllergen Protection (it’s completely sealed), and Zero-M (the brushroll doesn’t tangle). Things can’t get much better than this. But they are, as the price is almost half of Dyson’s Total Clean.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional

Shark Navigator Lift Away Professional

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to spend so much money on a complete vacuuming solution that can also tackle stairs, the Navigator Lift-Away Professional is your safest bet. Since its introduction, this vacuum has been verified by thousands of consumers, and most of them are satisfied with its quality and performance. For a reasonable price tag, you get a strong product, with a big dirt bin and an excellent filtration system. When it comes to cleaning stairs, this Navigator uses the same LiftAway concept to allow you to reach every possible spot.

Dibea F20 Max

Dibea F20 Max

Dibea F20 Max

Dibea is a small player on the cordless vacuum market. Their most recent model titled F20 Max has great specs. For starters, it’s light, weighing only 5.5 lbs. It’s powerful, delivering up to 48 CFM, which is on the same level as the Tineco S12 Pure One Plus. The 9″ cleaning path makes it comfortable to be used on most types of stairs. Last but not least, it comes with a reasonable asking price.

Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new vacuum.

Getting Started

Deciding on the perfect vacuum for your home can be tricky. There are a lot of styles, functions and high-tech features to choose from. So which one is right for you? This guide has been created to make your vacuum shopping experience as easy as possible. So let’s dive in!.Shop Vacuums


There are a few different types and styles of vacuums that we are going to address in this buying guide. We are sure you will find just the one to fit all of your cleaning needs.

Upright Vacuums


This style of vacuum is going to be the most popular type of vacuum that can be found in many households today. It’s the best go-to vacuum for removing dust and dirt from carpeting, and is able to clean large areas of carpet quickly. They also work well on area rugs and hard floors.However, it is good to note that not all upright vacuums can be used on hard floor surfaces, since doing so might cause damage to some floors and vacuums. If this is an important factor it’s smart to do research on the brand of vacuum you are looking into, to make sure it works well on hard floors too. A brush on/off switch is recommended, as it will help protect the finish on bare floors.Some other things to look for when deciding on your upright vacuum are onboard attachment, bag-less or not, and the weight of the unit. Upright cleaners come in a variety of styles and sizes, each varying in weight. Some uprights include edge cleaning, which picks up dirt under the entire area of the head. This is a helpful feature especially when cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting. Suction control is another useful feature to look at when cleaning draperies and upholstery.Shop Upright Vacuums

Canister Vacuums


Canister Vacuums are portable and easy to use. They are well suited for people who clean a variety of surfaces but are most popular for those who have little carpeting and like to vacuum their hard surfaced floors. They tend to be lighter than other vacuum designs, plus they have a highly maneuverable power head that can reach tight spots with ease.Canister vacuums have the motor and bag in a separate unit, which is usually mounted on wheels to help with maneuvering. The canister itself is connected to the vacuum head by a flexible hose. By using a revolving brush system or brush agitator, it can dislodge dirt particles from the carpet so they can be picked up easily; this comes in handy when picking up things like pet hair. Without a built-in revolving brush, canister vacuums use straight suction to clean. Most canister vacuums have a bag that needs to be replaced, however there are bag-less models available, which eliminates the additional cost of buying dust bags.Bottom line, this style is perfect for vacuuming hard-to-reach spots and furniture; it’s also great for cleaning cars and drapes as well.Shop Canister Vacuums

Handheld & Stick Vacuums


These types of vacuums are the smallest and lightest options available, they are often cordless and operate on batteries. They also offer lots of convenience when it comes to a variety of cleaning tasks around the house.Handheld vacuums are perfect for cleaning closets, vents, blinds, upholstery or car interiors, and made mostly for above-the-floor cleaning. They’re best used for tasks such as cleaning up small spills, getting cobwebs out of corners or vacuuming dirt out of windowsills.Stick vacuums are very similar to upright vacuums. The design is the same, but stick vacuums tend to be a lot lighter in weight and usually do not come with any attachments. If you have a multilevel home, a stick model vacuum is great to keep on the second floor and eliminate the need to carry your main one up and down the stairs. Not to mention, there are certain models out now which have been designed with handheld features, making it easy to clean stairs, ceiling fans and more.Shop Handheld & Stick Vacuums

Robot Vacuums


Robot cleaners are completely hands-free, battery-operated vacuums. They seek out and suck up dirt, debris and dust from carpets and hard surface floors. They are a great choice for light, daily cleanings and extremely popular with pet owners, allergy sufferers, busy households, or just anyone who wants their floors to stay constantly clean.A robot vacuum is self-propelled and programmable, so you don’t have to do any extra work when it comes to vacuuming. These nifty gadgets use sensors to avoid obstacles and stairs, while smart enough to still easily clean underneath furniture. If you’re someone who simply does not have enough time to vacuum regularly, a robot vacuum can help you solve this problem.Shop Robot Vacuums

Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums

Wet & Dry

Commercial and garage vacuums are often referred to as shop vacs. They offer extra power when it comes to professional-sized messes. These vacuums are the perfect type when it comes to cleaning up things such as sawdust in basements, dirt and water in garages, or any other mess, wet or dry. Many labor workers use them on job sites as they can handle that kind of debris. To choose the right commercial or garage vacuum, one must think about how they will use it and where it will be stored.Smaller models will be easier to move around, but they will not be able to handle larger messes.Shop Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums

Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Carpet cleaners come in a variety of different styles ranging from uprights to portable spot cleaners, even smaller handheld carpet cleaners, all of which are capable of cleaning and disinfecting furniture, drapes or rugs.Even if you vacuum your carpets pretty regularly things such as dirt, pet dander, bacteria and dust mites remain deep in your carpet’s fibers. To fix this issue, carpet cleaners use moisture and heat to loosen the dirt and stains that a regular vacuum can’t suction. Not to mention, they can also disinfect carpets by killing unwanted germs. If you’re looking for a deep clean, a carpet cleaner is your best bet.Steam cleaners have become very popular in recent years because they are considered the healthy and “green” alternative to cleaning. Many steam cleaners look like upright vacuums, they have a large tank that dispenses hot water with a cleaning solution, while another tank holds the dirty water. If you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies and chemical sensitivities, a steam cleaner is a healthy way to deep clean a variety of surfaces without aggravating allergy symptoms. You and your family can live healthier and breath better by using a steam cleaner on a regular basis.Shop Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Central Vacuum Systems

Central Vacuum Systems

Central vacuum systems are the most durable options available. Although they may be a bit more expensive up front, the lack of maintenance and longer lifespan often make up for the cost and then some. Unlike traditional vacuums, the motor and collector of a central vacuum system is installed into the home, typically in the basement or garage. From there, vacuum piping runs through walls, crawlspaces, or other out of the way areas of the home to floor or wall-mounted inlet valves in a handful of locations around the house. By attaching a hose to these inlets, like those used by canister vacuums, you’re able to vacuum all of the areas of your home without lugging around a heavy canister or upright vac. The hoses are typically 30 feet long, allowing you to vacuum multiple rooms from a single inlet. These systems also offer all the same kinds of attachments you’d find on traditional types of vacuum cleaners, from wands to crevice tools to pet brushes.Installing a central vacuum system offers a number of benefits over traditional models. In addition to their longer lifespan, central vacuum systems also provide far greater suction capabilities when compared to other types of vacuum cleaners. More powerful motors translate to greater cleaning potential, allowing you to pull more particles out of thick carpets or upholstery.

Central vacuum systems are also significantly quieter than their portable counterparts. Without the motor roaring next to you as you clean, the only sound is that of fast-moving air. Additionally, central vacs promote cleaner air quality by extracting and containing dust particles, allergens, and other contaminants, whereas other types of vacuum cleaners can end up releasing their smaller particles back into the air, often when being emptied.There are a handful of qualities to look for when deciding between central vacuum systems. First and foremost, you want to be sure to use a trusted brand. While you may save a few dollars opting for a cheap system, you’ll likely end up paying more in the long run with service calls and/or a shorter lifespan. For the best indicator of suction strength look at the Air Watts specification, with higher numbers signifying stronger suction. You also need to make sure the system offers enough suction to cover every corner of your home. Choosing a model that boasts a coverage area greater than the square footage of your home is a good idea as these numbers are calculated with perfect conditions in mind.Lastly, you’ll need to decide between bag systems, those that use filters, a hybrid of the two, or a cyclonic system.

Bagged systems use a bag inside their collector canister to contain debris. Although they don’t require outside venting, using a vent will reduce noise and odor. Filter systems similarly don’t require venting but benefit from it. These systems use one of a handful of filter types to protect dirt from contaminating clogging the motor, filing a canister or bag that needs to be emptied every three to six months. Cyclonic systems are the only ones that require outside venting. Most of the dirt is captured with the canister with a small percentage of tiny particles venting outdoors. Hybrid systems, those that use filters and bags are a great choice. They help keep the motor running clean and offer an easy to dispose of container for debris.Shop Central Vacuum Systems

Useful Features to Consider

Before settling down and picking a vacuum that will work best for you, take a look as some additional features that may be important or become important long-term:


Bag-less designs probably offer the utmost convenience by allowing you to simply detach the container unit from the vacuum. You can then quickly dispose of any dirt inside, without having to pull out and replace a bag. However, bag designs are still nice because they can usually keep dust contained a lot better, since the bag itself seals the dust away. This prevents any further messes from occurring when cleaning out your vacuum. Not to mention, if allergies are a concern the bag is definitely a smarter choice.

Multi-Surface Flooring

If you have a combination of hard surfaced floors and carpets, or lots of hard floors, a multi-surface vacuum is the best way to go. Multi-surface vacuums allow you to turn the brush roll on and off, so you can avoid scratching your hard floors when transitioning from carpets.


Filters are a must-have for anyone who is sensitive to dust or pet hair, as well as allergic to pollen. HEPA filters are considered to be the best because they remove particles such as dust, dander and allergens from the air. Some vacuum models feature a filter that needs to be replaced regularly, while some have started to include reusable filters that allow you to remove, clean and replace the same filter as necessary. Reusable filters would be the ideal kind to use, as they are a great money-saving option.Shop Vacuums

Vacuum Accessories & Attachments

If you’re looking to do more than just vacuum the floors around your home, you may need to consider certain vacuum accessories and attachments. In order to properly clean drapes, sofas and chairs, dust shelves, and get to all the nooks and cracks in your home, you’ll need the right attachments.A crevice tool is great for cleaning corners and tight spaces. A dusting brush can be used to gently dust shelves and tables, as not to scratch them. An upholstery tool is perfect for vacuuming your furniture without causing any damage. Turbo brushes can offer a deeper clean for longer carpets.

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.

1. Handheld

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.

2. Canister

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.

3. Upright

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.

4. Stick

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.

Vacuum Cleaners

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.

Bare Floors:

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.

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