Vacuuming the stairs isn’t an easy job. Do you find it a struggle to get into all the nooks and crannies? On top of the tight spots, carrying a heavy machine doesn’t make the job any easier.
If you’ve ever tried to use an upright vacuum on the stairs, you know how much of a hassle it can be. Reaching the entire floor surface is hard enough without dealing with the dust on the railings.
But don’t give up just yet. We’re on a mission to make cleaning your stairs a breeze by helping you find the absolute best vacuum for stairs.
- Excellent for pet families
- Easy-to-clean dust bin
- Washable filter
- Excellent attachments
- Large dust bin
- Triple filtration system
- Lift-away function
- LED lights for dark colors
- Swivel steering
- Three attachments for deep cleaning
- Powerful battery
- Ergonomic design
- Smart charge technology
- Washable dust bin
- Strong suction
- Specialized harness
- Multiple attachments
- Effective filter & dust bin
- Signature swivel steering
- Picks up large debris
- Easy to assemble
Review Methodology: At Oh So Spotless, we are dedicated to providing you with an in-depth analysis and assessment of the best vacuums for stairs, using our hands-on experience and research to rank and compare products on various criteria. Our evaluation process includes examining factors like performance, design, user experience, and key decision-making aspects such as suction power, ease of use, weight, and attachment options. We test and measure the effectiveness of each vacuum, tracking their results to give you a professional and objective review. By sharing our findings and first-hand evidence, we aim to help you make an informed decision when choosing the best vacuum for your needs, and to demonstrate our expertise in the field. Trust in Oh So Spotless to provide you with data-driven, reliable, and relevant information on the top vacuums for stairs in the market.
The Best Vacuums for Stairs Reviews of 2023
Here are our top seven vacuum cleaner choices for spotless stairs.
Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus Handheld Vacuum
Best Vacuum for Stairs with Attachments
This is an excellent choice if you need a vacuum to tackle your carpeted stairs. The Shark UltraCyclone comes with various attachments to accommodate the task ahead.
It’s lightweight and has a comfortable handle for an easy grip. Weighing only 2.8 pounds this is more than enough for smaller staircases.
The dust bin is also large, meaning you won’t have to empty it halfway through the job. It’s easy to maintain the Shark vacuum since you can clean the container and the filter is reusable.
What We Like
Includes a Number of Attachments
Despite its small size, this Shark UltraCyclone can do a lot. The crevice tool is excellent for getting rid of dust and debris hiding in deep corners.
The scrubbing brush is gentle yet effective on hard surfaces. There’s also a detachable pet power brush for difficult places which is a major plus.
Excellent for Pet Families
If you’re a family with pets, you know the struggle of getting rid of fine hair from sofas and carpets. The Shark UltraCyclone is a dream come true for pet parents. It comes with a Pro Pet motorized brush — the perfect tool to tackle stubborn fur.
A common concern with brushes is that hair can get stuck. However, you can easily use scissors to cut it free when this happens.
Easy-To-Clean Dust Bin
The dust bin holds 0.43 liters. While not the biggest, it’s excellent for such a compact vacuum. The maximum-fill line is conveniently marked, so you don’t have to guess when it needs to be emptied.
Simply dump the contents and then rinse it with warm water. Then, let it dry before placing it back into the vacuum.
The Shark UltraCyclone filter is washable with tap water – just remember to allow them to air-dry completely. This saves you bucks compared to replacing filters every now and then. Cleaning needs not to be expensive, honey!
What We Don't Like
Unfortunately, because this is a cordless vacuum, it has a limited capacity in terms of usage which will only give you 10 to 12 minutes runtime. Several customers find this inconvenient when they want to finish up several messes.
|Item weight||2.8 pounds|
Bissell Cordless Vacuum Pet Hair Eraser
Best Vacuum for Stairs for Pets
Families with pets often have to deal with shedding hair. This can cover the couch and make the carpets look slightly fluffy. Getting rid of this furry problem requires the right equipment.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser was specially designed for the task. It’s a small handheld device that runs on batteries. There’s no cord to limit you, and you can use it on the stairs as well as in the car.
The Pet Hair Eraser comes with a large dust bin to hold all the fur. It also comes with several useful attachments.
What We Like
The Pet Eraser comes with an upholstery tool — perfect for soft surfaces such as the couch or mattress. The long crevice tool is great at getting deep into the corners of the stairs.
You also get a motorized brush specifically designed to get rid of fine pet hair. It moves smoothly over carpeted floors and stairs. Plus, the size lets you cover a more extensive area in one go.
Another excellent addition is the crevice tool. Stairs have many tight places that need cleaning, which helps get the job done.
Cordless With 30 Minute Run Time
You can take the Pet Hair Eraser anywhere you need. It runs on batteries and therefore isn’t limited by a cord.
The 14V lithium-ion battery is ideal for cordless vacs because it’s lightweight and has a long life. It gives this vacuum cleaner up to 17 minutes of runtime.
Many users note that they actually get more than 17 minutes. Some report a full 30 minutes of low suction cleaning.
Large Dust Bin
The dust bin can hold around 0.7 liters. It’s easy to remove and empty – just lift the lid and dump the contents in the garbage. You can wash it whenever needed.
Triple Filtration System Capture Dust
Families with pets often have to deal with allergies or irritation from shedding hair. So, it’s crucial to remove it from your carpets, especially if you have a crawling baby.
The Pet Hair Eraser comes with a triple-level filtration that eliminates the smallest dust particles. This is excellent at eliminating minor allergens before they cause trouble.
What We Don't Like
Long Charge and Short Life
Because this is a cordless vacuum, you rely on the battery’s runtime. It will often give you about 17 minutes to get the cleaning done. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough for bigger homes with more to cover.
Several customers have said that the charging time was too long compared to the runtime. However, they still thought the vacuum was worth it since it performed very well.
|Item weight||4.54 pounds|
|Manufacturer||Bissell Homecare Inc.|
|Batteries||4 lithium-ion batteries are included|
Shark Rotator NV501 with Lift-Away Hand Vacuum
Best Vacuum for Stairs and Floors
If you’re not into the idea of having multiple vacuums, you could benefit from a two-in-one. The Shark Rotator is an upright bagless vacuum with the option of converting it to a handheld.
You can use it anywhere in the house to clean floors, sofas, and stairs. It has an active filter that seals allergens inside.
The Shark Rotator was designed to make cleaning easier with added features such as LED lights. It’s a heavy device, but it’s strong and durable.
You also get a few attachments to make vacuuming the stairs easier. One is specialized in digging deep into carpets.
What We Like
With the click of a button, you can remove the canister and use the vacuum as a handheld. This makes it simple to take up and down the stairs as you won’t have to drag a heavy machine.
Simply attach the long crevice tool or the power brush to remove fine dust hiding between the balusters. The cord is a whopping 25 feet long. This will give you even more freedom as you clean your way up or down the stairs.
Great for Families with Pets
Dealing with loose hair everywhere can be annoying. This is especially important if you have family members sensitive to allergens.
The Shark Rotator comes with a Pet Power Brush designed to dig deep into carpets and get out even the finest hair. As a welcome bonus, it works well on flat surfaces as well.
It picks up pet hair even better than some more expensive vacuums.
Families dealing with allergies know the massive difference a good vacuum can make. Fine dust and pet hair are often triggers, but you don’t have to live with them.
The Shark Rotator comes with a HEPA filter that captures 99.9 percent of dust and debris. It traps everything inside the XL dust bin. It’s then easy to empty, which is always a plus.
Vacuums can often feel stiff, and you can quickly find yourself with sore wrists. But the swivel steering on this one makes it a breeze to move around furniture and tight corners. You won’t have to lift tables and chairs to get a good clean.
What We Don't Like
Dust Bin Creates Dust
The filter and dust bin are excellent at capturing debris and pet hair. However, some users have had problems when emptying it. It reportedly spreads dust back into the air if you’re not careful. So, take extra care when dumping the contents to prevent this.
|Item weight||15.5 pounds|
|Cord length||25 feet|
Taylor Swoden Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Best Vacuum for Wet and Dry Messes
Living with young children, you get used to seeing spilled milk or juice — it’s all part of parenting. However, you sometimes can’t help but cringe when you think of how difficult these can be to clean.
This small ergonomic handheld vacuum from Taylor Swoden might be just the solution. It can clean up dry and wet messes. This saves you from having to mop them up with a bunch of paper towels.
Literally, no more crying over spilled milk!
There’s a small but powerful 5000 pascal that gives excellent suction power. However, this vacuum isn’t ideal for big vacuuming jobs, it’s perfect for the stairs and smaller areas.
What We Like
Three Attachments for Deep Cleaning
The vacuum comes with three attachments to suit the surface you’re cleaning. One of our favorites is the long brush that effectively cleans surfaces like carpets and mattresses.
The second attachment is the air blower tool. Finally, the third is a crevice tool. This long tube provides a strong suction that attracts every particle it encounters.
Smart Battery With 20 Minute Runtime
After three to five hours of charging time, you get about 20 to 30 minutes of full cleaning power. This is an impressive result considering that it’s a small handheld vacuum cleaner.
The vacuum has a lithium-ion battery with a 2000mAh capacity. A great thing about this battery is that it has short circuit protection. That means it guards the vacuum’s battery with power surges. Batteries from other vacuums do not have this feature and are prone to damage and shorten their lifespan.
Quiet Volume at 70 Decibels
Vacuuming isn’t a job to do when everyone’s asleep, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for a loud device. This vacuum has a low operation mode, with a sound level of 70 decibels. It’s ideal for families with young kids who take naps or those with pets who are sensitive to noise.
A common problem with handheld vacuums is the working angle. Many are awkward to hold, resulting in a sore wrist. This vacuum is lightweight at 1.4 pounds and won’t cause any trouble while cleaning the stairs.
What We Don't Like
Small Dust Cup
The dust cup needs to be emptied regularly – you should do this instantly. However, it’s sometimes tedious and annoying, especially when cleaning a large area.
|Item weight||1.4 pounds|
Black+Decker CHV1410L Dustbuster Cordless Vacuum
Best Lightweight Vacuum for Stairs
Quicker cleanup sessions don’t require a heavy, bulky machine to get the job done. This Black and Decker model is extremely lightweight but very powerful.
It has a smart design and a convenient handle that allows for a solid, comfortable grip. We also love that it’s cordless and runs on a lithium-ion battery.
The vacuum comes with a translucent dust bag that is easy to empty and clean. If you have pets, you probably know that crunchy feeling when you step on food or cat litter. The Dustbuster is perfect for this job, and the strong suction will remove any leftovers in a snap.
What We Like
Smart Charge Technology
The lithium-ion battery has a long life. It will also hold its charge for up to 18 months when not in use. This makes the vacuum ready to use at any moment.
The charger is designed with a Smart Charge Technology that uses 50 percent less energy. The vacuum comes with a convenient charging station.
Never leave the vacuum on the charger for an extended time. Overcharging the battery can kill the battery or reduce its runtime.
Washable Dust Bin
The Dustbuster comes with a transparent dirt bowl that can hold up to 20.6 ounces of dirt. Push a button to disconnect it quickly, and you can wash it whenever needed.
The dust bin is also not difficult to remove for cleaning, which is always a plus. Some vacuums seem to make this overly complicated – but not this one. You can also take out the filters to wash them with tap water.
Extra Tools Built In
With most vacuums, when you need to change between tools, you first have to stop and attach them to the unit. But, with this model, they are all built-in. This means you can quickly and easily switch between the regular nozzle, crevice tool, and a small brush.
The crevice tool is extendable and snaps into place when pulled out. The small brush is quickly flipped up or down to use as you need it.
Strong Suction for a Small Device
You get a lot of power when operating this vacuum. It may not equal larger canister vacuums, but it’s pretty impressive for such a light device.
It’s more than enough for cleaning your stairs and taking care of minor messes around the house.
What We Don't Like
Awkward Charging Base
The charging base looks like a small plate. But when you place the vacuum on top of it, there’s nothing to click into place. Some customers find this a bit awkward and are concerned about how easily it might tip over.
There is, however, a blue light that goes on to indicate the vacuum is charging.
|Item weight||2.6 pounds|
Hoover C2401 Lightweight Backpack Vacuum
Best Professional Vacuum for Stairs
Having a large house with many areas to vacuum can quickly feel like mission impossible — especially with more than one staircase. But Hoover might just have the answer to your prayers.
This backpack vacuum is a robust device that – as the name explains – you can place on your back.
It comes with a comfortable harness so you can carry it for long periods without getting sore. It’s intended for professional use, but who says we aren’t pros at home?
This Hoover comes with several attachments and has an incredibly long cord. It’s also reasonably light compared to how powerful it is.
What We Like
Specialized Harness for Easy Carrying
Backpacks are convenient to carry. However, they can sometimes do more harm than good if the weight isn’t distributed correctly. Chiropractors designed the harness on this machine to reduce strain on your back and shoulders.
It gives you more freedom since you don’t have to drag a bulky canister around. The vacuum also has a 48-foot power cord — an incredibly impressive length.
Multiple Attachments for Every Cleaning Task
You get a variety of attachments to suit the job. The crevice tool is six inches long, making it excellent to reach the deep corners of the stairs. There’s also a 2-inch dusting brush for hard-to-reach places between the balusters.
To effectively clean the steps or floor, you get an 11-inch turbo floor tool. It quickly sucks up dust and debris. The 4-inch upholstery tool cleans dirt and hair from sofas and mattresses without damage.
Quiet Operation, Handy for Kids and Pets
To vacuum without disturbing the whole neighborhood shouldn’t be too much to ask for. Thankfully, this model has a very quiet operation. This makes it a good fit for families with small children or pets.
Effective HEPA Filter
The Hoover comes with a hypercone filter that consists of a HEPA media. It gives the vacuum a consistent airflow without clogging up, even after continuous use.
The HEPA filter removes up to 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns. It’s an effective way to get rid of common allergens such as dust mites, pollen, and pet hair. So, this is a great vacuum cleaner for your home if your family suffers from allergies.
What We Don't Like
Not For Quick Jobs
This is not the vacuum to turn to for those in-between, quick jobs. For instance, if you notice crumbs on the floor, you can’t just whip it out. It takes a while to get it on and get started.
However, when you need to clean bigger areas at once, this is without a doubt an excellent choice. Therefore, it might be helpful to keep a small handheld vac on hand for those smaller messes.
|Item weight||9.2 pounds|
|Cord length||48 feet|
Eureka NES210 3-in-1 Swivel Lightweight Vacuum
Best Budget Pick Vacuum for Stairs
Having a single vacuum that you can use for the whole house can save you money. You can customize this model from Eureka to fit your needs. You can use it as a stick vacuum for larger rooms, then convert it into a handheld to clean the stairs.
The Eureka has a few innovative features that improve its efficiency. These include swivel steering and a wide nozzle.
It also comes with an 18-inch power cord. This isn’t the longest we’ve seen, but it’s enough to give you some freedom of movement.
What We Like
Signature Swivel Steering
The swivel steering makes it easy to maneuver around furniture without stopping to move chairs and tables. It moves smoothly and easily with minimum effort on your part.
The Eureka is a lightweight machine, coming in at just under four pounds. It’s easy to carry around, making it especially handy for use on stairs.
Picks up Large Debris
Many vacuums struggle to pick up larger pieces of debris and often end up just pushing them around. The Eureka has a unique wide nozzle with plenty of room to suck everything up. Pet owners find this very useful as it can pick up food debris without getting stuck.
Multiple Uses for Deep Cleaning
You can use the stick vacuum to clean larger floor areas of the house. It has a comfortable height to fit most people.
Then, when you need to move on to the stairs, you can remove the stick and use it as a handheld. It’s compact and light to carry.
Simply attach the wide nozzle for extra suction on the broad steps. Or you can connect the crevice tool to get into the corners of the stairs. It’s also great for cleaning the furniture.
Easy to Assemble
The vacuum is easy to assemble straight out of the box. All you have to do is attach the stick to the canister, and it’s ready to be used. This ease of assembly is certainly a plus when other vacuums can be pretty tricky.
What We Don't Like
Not Good For Carpets
While the vacuum works exceptionally well on hard floors, it’s not quite as effective on carpets. For lower pile rugs, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you have a house full of deep carpets, this might not be the ideal choice.
|Item weight||3.97 pounds|
|Cord length||18 feet|
|Dimensions||6 x 10 x 44 inches|
|Shark UltraCyclone||Attachments||2.8 lbs||SharkNinja||Lithium Ion||N/A|
|Bissell Eraser||For Pets||4.54 lbs||Bissell Homecare Inc.||Lithium-ion||N/A|
|Shark Rotator||Floors & Stairs||15.5 lbs||SharkNinja||N/A||25 ft|
|Taylor Swoden Handheld||Wet & Dry Messes||1.4 lbs||Taylor Swoden||Lithium-ion||N/A|
|Hoover Backpack||Professional Vacuum||9.2 lbs||Hoover||N/A||48 ft|
|Eureka Swivel||Budget Pick||3.97 lbs||Midea||N/A||18 ft|
Which Type of Vacuum Is Best for Stairs?
Figuring out the best type is a personal choice. You might be loving your new handheld cordless device while your neighbor swears by her corded canister.
The type of flooring you have also plays a huge role. Many households have carpeted stairs, which require a much deeper clean than uncovered floors. Then we have hardwood, which is incredibly sensitive to scratches. Hardwood certainly can’t take the same beaters and brushes as carpets.
How your staircase is built is another consideration. Curved stairs can be even more complicated since they have several tight areas. On the other hand, large steps require a bigger vacuum head so that you can do more in one go.
What to Look For
You can use all vacuums on stairs. However, some will make the job more difficult than it needs to be. We’ve made a list of a few characteristics that make a vacuum suitable for this type of cleaning.
Tips to Make Vacuuming Stairs Easier
Vacuuming stairs isn’t an easy task, but there are ways to make the job a little less tedious.
Cleaning the stairs isn’t an easy task, but having the right equipment can make a big difference. Ideally, you want something that’s both lightweight and relatively small. Having to drag a heavy canister up and down can take its toll.
Overall, all of our choices can keep your stairs dirt-free, one step at a time.