Thanks to its smaller motor, a stick vacuum is thinner and far more lightweight than its upright and canister cousins. Stick vacuums, as the name implies, also have a longer reach than handheld models, allowing them to get under furniture with ease and reach cobwebs in corners. What’s more, some sticks are designed to convert into handheld models, and there are cordless vacuum options as well.
These skinny minis might not be able to handle heavy-duty cleaning needs, however, so read on to learn how the best stick vacuum may be able to help around the house and why the models below are considered among the best.
- BEST OVERALL: Tineco Pure One S11 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Dirt Devil Power Express Lite Stick Vacuum
- BEST FOR LARGE HOUSES: Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST FOR HARDWOOD FLOORS: Eureka HyperClean Hardwood Floor Stick Vacuum
- BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Bissell Featherweight Bagless Stick Vacuum
- BEST FOR PET HAIR: Shark Anti-Allergen Pet Power Cordless Stick Vacuum
- BEST LED LIGHTS: Eureka RapidClean Pro Lightweight Cordless Vacuum
- BEST FOR ALLERGIES: Dyson V7 Allergy HEPA Cord-Free Stick Vacuum
- BEST DYSON: Dyson V8 Origin+ Cordless Stick Vacuum
- BEST WITH HEPA FILTER: Inse Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Stick Vacuum
Unlike traditional canister-type or upright vacuums, stick vacuums have relatively small collection bins that can fill up rather quickly with dirt, dust, and debris. Before buying a stick vacuum, consider factors such as how often you clean your floors, the size of the living area to be covered, and how much dust, dirt, and pet hair you typically need to banish.
In general, the more often you vacuum, the less dust and dirt you’ll have in the collection receptacle each time you finish the chore. Stick vacuums are well suited to light and frequent use, such as cleaning the carpet in a small apartment everyday or so. For folks with bigger spaces who vacuum only once a week and must remove ground-in dirt, a more powerful upright or canister vacuum would be a better option.
Size vs. Strength
Instead of a bulky bag or canister, stick vacuums feature a tube or cup that’s only about 4 inches in diameter to hold debris. Being so compact makes these models easy to store, a boon to anyone with limited supply closet space. But their small motors simply can’t deliver the power of full-size vacuums. A few swipes of a stick vacuum can clean dirt and debris from hardwood, concrete, and tile, and a bristled rolling brush can help it handle low-traffic carpet with a low pile no higher than a quarter inch. Skip the stick if you’ve got thick, shaggy carpet or floors soiled by a lot of heavy use—it just won’t have enough juice for optimal cleaning performance.
Cord vs. Cordless
A stick vacuum cleaner with a cord offers a steady, unending supply of power and ample suction. Cordless stick vacuums can go anywhere, but the suction level wanes as the battery life drains; typically, a cordless model may need a recharge after 20 minutes. Charging time depends on the power of the battery and ranges from around 1 to 4 hours to reach a full charge. Cordless stick vacuums are prized for their portability, which makes them ideal for vacuuming a patio carpet or a she shed—situations in which running a long extension power cord isn’t desirable.
When comparing cordless vacuum models, be sure to consider voltage: Higher voltage translates into a longer running time, and stick vacuums range from 12 to 40 volts (V). A model with 20V can typically run for about 15 minutes on one charge; this is usually enough time to cover a space smaller than 1,000 square feet. The best cordless stick vacuums use a highly efficient lithium-ion battery, which will charge faster and last longer than NiCD and NiMH batteries. Some cordless stick vacuums come with a second spare battery (or the ability to purchase one), which can double runtime.
Note that higher battery voltage also relates to the ability to operate powerheads and mini powerheads. These features have a separate motor that spins the round brushes very quickly to get deep within the carpet pile. Using the powerheads demands a lot of juice and pulls more energy from the battery than suction-only modes.
In addition to being slimmer, stick vacuums are lighter in weight, which makes them easier to stow in homes with limited storage space. While traditional upright and canister vacuums can weigh upward of 20 pounds, stick vacuums weigh approximately 3 to 7 pounds, making them well suited for carrying between floors or through the house. The configuration—a single stick—is also easier to grasp with one hand, whereas a canister vacuum requires holding the canister’s handle with one hand and the hose and wand portion with the other hand.
Consider any features that make a stick more convenient and easier to use. Some manufacturers offer a stick vacuum that converts into a handheld simply by disconnecting the top portion’s shaft, where the motor is housed. This enables the unit to do various types of cleaning, such as sweeping up floors as a stick and vacuuming stairs, furniture, and car seats in handheld mode. The addition of accessories that fit the handheld version, such as a crevice tool or a dusting tool, add even more functionality.
Some stick vacuums also include handles that can be lowered to a horizontal position, so there’s no need to use a wand attachment to reach under furniture. Additionally, stick vacuums with powerheads often have the ability to turn off the rotating brush head to vacuum hardwood floors or bare floors. While powerful roller brushes can scratch the finish on hardwood floors, some stick vacs have brushes with soft silicone bristles designed not to damage hardwood flooring.
Those sensitive to dust, pet dander, and pollen may wish to check out stick vacuums with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These filters can remove up to 99 percent of airborne particulates larger than 0.3 microns. As a comparison, a micron is only 0.00003937 of an inch in length, so a HEPA filter will remove allergens invisible to the human eye.
However, due to their high density, a vacuum with a HEPA filter requires more power to pull air through the filter. In these cases, a corded model may be a better option than a cordless vacuum as it will remove the need to recharge frequently.
Stick vacuums emit about as much noise as traditional upright and canister vacuums, which is in the range of about 70 to 75 decibels (similar to a hair dryer or garbage disposal). Vacuums designed to be quieter can still emit approximately 68 decibels. While running a stick vacuum probably won’t damage hearing, it could wake an infant in an adjacent room or keep family members from being able to hear a conversation or the television.
For many, a home isn’t a home without family members of the furry persuasion. But pets can shed fur and dander (dried skin flakes) that can trigger allergies and leave unsightly hair on carpets and upholstered furniture. A stick vacuum with a roller brush is optimal for getting up pet hair. Some models come with optional mini powerheads that attach to a handheld conversion, making them well equipped forvacuuming pet hair from furniture and carpeted stairs as well.
Our Top Picks
If you’re set on picking up a lightweight appliance to make light work of floor care, check out the quality models here, chosen in accordance with the criteria detailed above.
The high-performance Tineco Pure One S11 runs for up to 40 minutes on a single battery charge and up to 80 minutes if with an additional backup battery (not included). It features a 0.6-liter collection dustbin (about twice as large as others) for longer vacuum time between bin dumps. One of the best cordless vacuums, it comes with a powerhead featuring bright LED lights that illuminate the carpet, making it easier to see pet hair and other messes, even in low-light situations.
The Pure One S11 pet vacuum quickly converts from a stick to a handheld model, making it easy to clean stairs and crevices. Attachments include a mini power brush, a two-in-one dusting brush, and a crevice tool. Tineco’s S11 also features an all-in-one LED display on top of the vacuum, showing users everything from battery level to dust detection, tangled roller, blocked air channels, and even Wi-Fi integration with its phone app. This model also features a mountable charging base that holds the vacuum and its attachments.
- Power: 130 watts
- Weight: Around 11.5 pounds
- Attachments: Full-size multitasker powerhead, mini power brush, 2-in-1 dusting brush, and crevice tool
- Large dustbin
- LED lights illuminate dirt
- Multiple attachments included
- Charging base is mountable
- Difficult to fit under furniture
Get the Tineco stick vacuum on Amazon or at Best Buy.
Enjoy the convenience of a lightweight stick vacuum without paying a steep price. The Dirt Devil Power Express Lite is a corded stick vacuum that converts to a handheld, simplifying the switch between cleaning floors, stairs, and upholstery.
The Dirt Devil stick vacuum comes with a roller brush that loosens ground-in dirt and is suitable for hard flooring as well as carpet. It features robust suction yet weighs in at a mere 3.6 pounds. It has an easy-dump dustbin and a washable filter.
- Power: 120V
- Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Attachments: Brush roll and handheld
- Works on most floors
- Converts to lightweight hand vacuum
Get the Dirt Devil stick vacuum on Amazon.
Hoover’s ONEPWR Evolve Pet cordless stick vacuum weighs less than 9 pounds but feels much lighter while cleaning the whole house and, when using the reclined handle, the vacuum can lie flat to reach under furniture. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to 35 minutes.
The vacuum packs powerful vortex suction to remove dirt and debris embedded in the carpet, and an antimicrobial brush roll and filter help prevent bacteria from growing inside the vacuum. It features an extra-large dustbin and a removable brush roll.
- Power: 110V
- Weight: 9 pounds
- Attachments: Antimicrobial brush roll and filter
- Reclined handle; lies flat under furniture
- Lithium-ion battery-powered; 35 minutes for runtime per charge
- Vortex suction technology
- Extra-large dustbin and removable dust roll included
- Battery may drain quickly when antimicrobial brush is on
- Dustbin should be emptied after every use
Get the Hoover stick vacuum at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.
To clean hardwood floors without scratching, consider the cordless Eureka HyperClean Floor Stick Vacuum. It has the ability to switch off its rotating roller brush when vacuuming hardwood floors to prevent damage. The HyperClean also boasts large rubber wheels that won’t scuff flooring.
The easy-to-assemble Eureka runs for up to 30 minutes before needing a recharge and has a MAX option for jobs that require more power. At 6.5 pounds, this cordless model is easy to carry from room to room. It offers two mess-free options for emptying dirt: Either twist off the cap or press the release button.
- Power: 220 watts
- Weight: 6.5 pounds
- Attachments: 2-in-1 upholstery tool, long crevice tool, and 2 filters
- Detachable battery is easy to replace
- Suitable for all floor surfaces
- Rubber wheels produce less noise
- 30-minute runtime not ideal for large homes
Get the Eureka HyperClean stick vacuum on Amazon.
Those in the market for a stick vacuum that’s easy to tote, store, and maneuver in small spaces may find this Bissell Featherweight Bagless Stick Vacuum a great choice. It’s well suited for quick, convenient cleanups, and it’s corded, so it’s always ready to work as long as an outlet is nearby. While this ultralightweight vacuum doesn’t have a powerhead, its broad suction head covers ample ground.
This Bissell model easily converts to a handheld for use with the suction head, which is ideal for cleaning carpeted stairs and upholstery. An included crevice tool helps reach into tight spots. As this vacuum weighs in at just 2.6 pounds, there’s little effort involved when toting it from room to room, and it features an easy-to-empty bagless dustbin.
- Power: 2 amps
- Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Attachments: Crevice tool
- Compact and easy to store
- Not powerful enough to clean thick carpets
Get the Bissell stick vacuum on Amazon or at Ace Hardware.
Get rid of pet hair on carpeting and furniture with the Shark Pet Power stick vacuum via a self-cleaning brush roll with silicone fins that resist hair wrap. This Shark vacuum weighs 7.17 pounds and boasts a powerful lithium-ion battery that will run up to 50 minutes on a single charge. It comes with hypervelocity-accelerated suction for deep cleaning, and the powerhead features bright LED lights for navigating in low-light situations, such as behind furniture.
The vacuum also offers an LED interface that makes it simple to switch the brush roll on or off while vacuuming. Anti-allergen seals keep airborne pollen and dander from recirculating, leaving the air in the room healthier and cleaner. The vacuum converts from stick to handheld for use with an included crevice tool.
- Power: 181 watts
- Weight: 7.17 pounds
- Attachments: Crevice tool, dusting brush, pet multi-tool, brush
- Anti-tangle brush is great for hair
- Impressive 50 minutes of runtime
- Fits easily under furniture
- Dustbin is quite small and hard to clean
Get the Shark stick vacuum on Amazon.
The Eureka RapidClean Pro is a cordless stick vacuum that converts into a handheld vacuum, and it includes LED headlights to help spot dust and debris. The RapidClean Pro is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts for about 40 minutes. Though some stick vacuums are top-heavy and topple easily, this product’s easy-rest feature—an indention on the back of the handle—allows the user to prop it on a countertop or table.
A cyclonic filtration system separates and traps dust, debris, and large particles in this 5.26-pound cordless stick vacuum. It can lie flat to reach under a bed or sofa because its dust cup is on the front of the machine, not the back. The RapidClean Pro’s swivel steering allows the user to clean corners and other hard-to-reach places easily. In addition to converting into a handheld vacuum, the Eureka RapidClean Pro comes with a crevice tool and a two-in-one dusting brush.
- Power: 25.2V
- Weight: 5.26 pounds
- Attachments: Crevice tool and 2-in-1 dusting brush
- Lithium-ion battery-powered; 40-minute runtime per charge
- LED headlights built in
- Reaches tight corners or under furniture
- Easy-rest feature
- May have limited effect on pet hair
Get the Eureka RapidClean stick vacuum on Amazon.
Trap microscopic airborne particles that can trigger allergy symptoms with the HEPA filter on the Dyson V7 Allergy Stick Vacuum. This cordless stick operates on a powerful lithium-ion battery that will run for up to 30 minutes on a single charge. It features a no-touch emptying bin and converts to a handheld model for use with the included crevice tool and combination cleaning tool.
The vacuum has a MAX mode that increases suction for deep cleaning ground-in dirt. Weighing in at 5.29 pounds, this Dyson comes with a docking station that can be installed on the wall to store the vacuum while it’s recharging.
- Power: 120V
- Weight: 5.29 pounds
- Attachments: Combination tool, crevice tool
- Highly reputable brand
- Very easy to empty and clean
- Powerful suction
Get the Dyson V7 stick vacuum on Amazon.
For power, versatility, and a runtime up to 40 minutes, consider the Dyson V8 Origin+ Cordless Stick Vacuum. It runs on a lithium-ion battery, features HEPA filtration, and weighs 5.75 pounds. There are two cleaner heads: one soft roller, which is best suited for smooth surfaces such as hardwood and laminate floors, and one all-purpose brush for deep cleaning carpeting.
Accessories include a crevice tool, a mini-motorized head for ground-in dirt and pet fur, and a soft dusting brush. The dustbin offers easy-release dumping, and the vacuum and accessories all store on a handy docking station that attaches to the wall.
- Power: 350 watts
- Weight: 5.75 pounds
- Attachments: Combination tool, crevice tool, mini-motorized head, dusting brush, soft roller head
- Several attachments included
- Up to 40 minutes of battery life
- Very powerful suction and filtering
- Easy to empty
- Battery power can fade over time
Get the Dyson V8 stick vacuum at The Home Depot.
The HEPA filter on the Inse cordless vacuum keeps dust and pet dander from recirculating in the home. The stick-type vacuum quickly converts to a handheld model for cleaning stairs and car seats. A powerful lithium-ion battery runs the vacuum with its rotating powerhead for up to 45 minutes on a single charge, and the device comes with regular speed and MAX mode for those times when the job requires extra suction power.
Attachments for this cordless stick vacuum cleaner include a long crevice tool for cleaning in tight spots and an oval brush for vacuuming fabrics, upholstery, and drapes. The Inse comes with a mountable charging base, push-button bin dumping, and a two-in-one tool that helps clean pet hair from the powerhead roller. Buyers receive a second HEPA filter to replace the original when it becomes worn. This filter is conveniently washable and reusable.
- Power: 160 watts
- Weight: 3.31 pounds
- Attachments: Crevice tool, oval brush, soft roller brush, stiff roller brush
- Multiple attachments
- High-quality HEPA filter
- Converts from a handheld vacuum to a stick model
- Long-lasting battery
Get the Inse stick vacuum on Amazon.
For a high-quality stick vacuum experience, shoppers can scarcely go wrong with the Tineco stick vacuum, featuring a fantastic LED display to show a range of important information.
For shoppers looking for a more budget-friendly option, consider the Dirt Devil stick vacuum; it’s a lightweight and no-frills model that certainly gets the job done without the fancy extras.
How We Chose the Best Stick Vacuums
When looking through the market for our favorite stick vacuums, we set out to create a list of recommendations that covers as many characteristics as possible. Our top picks include options that range from top-of-the-line brands that feature the latest technology, such as LED headlights that reveal dust on the floor, or tangle-free roller brushes that tackle hair with ease.
We also made sure to include more budget-friendly options for those looking for a simple stick vacuum without the pricier technology. In any case, all of our picks are from reputable brands and are made with long-lasting materials. Some cordless models even feature removable battery packs that can be replaced over time when the battery inevitably starts to become less effective, giving users the cost-saving ability to replace just the battery instead of the entire vacuum.
After reading about some of the best stick vacuums, some questions may linger. Below are answers to some of the most common questions about stick vacuums.
Q. Which cordless stick vacuum is best for pet hair?
Cordless stick vacuums are great for removing pet hair on a daily basis. In this lineup, the Shark Pet Power stick vacuum comes in as the best-for-pets pick for its long runtime and anti-allergen seals to keep dander from recirculating.
Q. Are stick vacuums worth it?
For those living in small apartments, a stick vacuum can serve as the primary home vacuum. Those living in larger homes may want to consider a stick vacuum as a second vacuum that’s used mainly for quick, frequent cleaning.
Q. What is the best portable stick vacuum to buy?
Consider both size and weight when shopping for a portable stick vacuum. The Bissell Featherweight stick vacuum, the pick in this lineup for small spaces, weighs just 2.6 pounds, and the stick detaches for easy transport in a small car trunk or floorboard.