Best Stick Vacuums 2019

The House Method team tested a variety of stick vacuums and rated them on a range of factors including suction power, maneuverability, noise, mobility, and more. Read our full review here.

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Stick vacuums are great for quick pick-ups and are ideal for apartment dwellers, pet owners, and parents. Most vacuum manufacturers have at least one stick in their lineup, which means there are a lot of options to choose from. To make your search easier, we compared and reviewed the best stick vacuums on the market. Here are our top picks.

Best stick vacuums

Conclusion
Pros
Cons
Best product

Dyson V8 Absolute

Conclusion

One of the most powerful sticks on the market, the Dyson V8 provides unbeatable suction power, tight maneuverability, and a lightweight design for great overall cleaning performance.

Pros

It removes all types of debris (think: Cheerios, kitty litter, coffee grounds, and pet hair). It’s also one of the quietest sticks we tested.

Cons

Power comes with a price. This is one of the most expensive models we reviewed.

Shark Rocket DuoClean Corded Stick

Conclusion

A more affordable alternative to the Dyson V8, this Shark stick vacuum packs a powerful punch and offers 2 speed settings.

Pros

It easily converts into a portable handheld vacuum and comes with a variety of cleaning tools and accessories.

Cons

This corded vacuum doesn’t have the maneuverability that cordless sticks possess. It also doesn’t have a HEPA filter.

Hoover Linx Cordless Stick

Conclusion

This is one of the most basic and affordable stick vacuums available.

Pros

Lightweight and powerful, this Hoover stick features a great battery life and end-to-end bristles that ensure you don’t miss debris in corners.

Cons

Pet hair can get caught in the brushroll.

Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik Corded Bagless Stick Vacuum

Conclusion

This innovative, no-frills stick vacuum includes a detachable hand vac and is capable of picking up all types of debris on carpets and hard floors.

Pros

This is one of the lightest stick vacuums on the market—it weighs less than 4 pounds.

Cons

The filter can get stuck with pet hair and isn’t washable.

Best value

Bissell AirRam Cordless 1984

Conclusion

Small and powerful, this compact stick vacuum weighs less than 8 pounds and has a multi-surface brushroll that delivers high performance on hard floors and carpets.

Pros

With 40 minutes of cordless power, this vacuum can clean your home quickly and efficiently. It also has an easy-to-empty dirt bin.

Cons

Some consumers have reported the handle breaking off after a few months of use.

Dyson V8 Absolute

The Dyson V8 is the best stick vacuum on the market. With unbeatable suction power, an improved battery life, and multiple accessories, this vacuum is a top choice for those looking for a solution to quick pick-ups and entire-home cleaning.

Design

Lightweight and versatile, this stick vacuum is designed for floor-to-ceiling cleaning. It has a motor-driven brush bar that’s covered in soft, woven nylon to trap large debris, while its anti-static carbon fiber filaments are great at removing finer particles. This stick vacuum can transform into a handheld with the push of a button and an an easy-to-empty dust canister makes maintenance a breeze.

How this vacuum cleans

With a fully sealed filtration system that traps 99.97% of particles, this stick vacuum will leave your floors looking spotless. The Dyson V8 features two power modes: MAX and Powerful. MAX mode gives you seven minutes of high-power cleaning (perfect for tougher messes) while Powerful mode gives you up to 40 minutes of power for wall-to-wall cleaning.

Usability

The Dyson V8 features a lightweight design that makes it easy to carry and transport throughout your house as you clean. It’s also incredibly simple to assemble this vacuum—it two steps, you attach the vacuum cleaner head to one end of the stick and then attach the handheld vacuum to the other end.

Accessories

The Dyson V8 comes with four accessories: a docking station, a combination tool, a crevice tool, and a mini motorized tool.

  • Docking station—This accessory allows you to hang your stick vacuum on the wall and charge it at the same time.
  • Combination tool—This two-in-one piece is meant for simple switching between floor surfaces.
  • Crevice tool—Designed for precise cleaning around edges and narrow gaps, this tool gives your home a more precise clean.
  • Mini motorized tool—This tool uses a motorized brush bar that tackles hair and embedded dirt.

Our recommendation

If you’re looking for a solid, all-around stick vacuum to clean hard floors and carpets with powerful suction, the Dyson V8 is your best bet.

Buy the Dyson V8 Absolute

Shark Rocket

This stick vacuum provides powerful, uninterrupted suction across all floor types and easily converts into a portable, handheld vacuum to reach cracks and crevices throughout your home and in your vehicle.

Design

This corded stick vacuum cleaner is extremely lightweight and has a modern and sleek design. In our opinion, the heaviest part of the Shark Rocket is the handheld portion, but we don’t think it’s obtrusive enough to hinder vacuum performance. Another important design feature included on this vacuum is LED lights on the cleaner head that help spot hidden debris throughout your home.

How this vacuum cleans

The Shark Rocket integrates a dual brushroll system in a single head for hard floor and carpet cleaning. With Triple Particle Cleaning, this vacuum cleaner pulls in large, small, and stuck-on particles from floors and carpets. This lightweight vacuum can also easily convert into a 4.6-pound hand vac for more versatile cleaning.

Usability

If you have a house with carpets, hard floors, or both, you’ll find that the Shark Rocket DuoClean corded vacuum is easy to push back and forth on all floors and is relatively lightweight compared to other stick vacuums. It also effortlessly switches into a handheld, making hard-to-reach places easier to clean.

Accessories

This vacuum cleaner comes with a 12-inch crevice tool, a dusting brush, an upholstery tool, a wall mount, and a storage hook.

  • Crevice tool—The crevice tool is perfect for cleaning in-between tight spaces and reaching baseboards.
  • Dusting brush—This brush is ideal for cleaning window frames, blinds, and ceiling fan blades.
  • Upholstery tool—This is great at removing pet hair and lint from furniture and stairs.

Our recommendation

We recommend the Shark Rocket if you’re looking for a 2-in-1 vacuum that removes fine particles and large debris.

Buy the Shark Rocket

Hoover Linx Cordless Stick

Hoover brings more than 100 years of powerfully designed, easy-to-use vacuums to the table and the Hoover Linx is no exception. It’s the only stick vacuum with Hoover WindTunnel technology and cyclonic filtration.

Design

This gray and black stick vacuum has a compact design that affords extreme recline and a wide cleaning path. It has intuitive power controls that are positioned right at your fingertips and a battery fuel gauge that allows you to instantly see how much battery life the Linx has left. Like other stick vacuums, the Hoover Linx has a bottom-release dirt cup that allows you to empty the contents without getting your hands dirty.

How this vacuum cleans

Featuring WindTunnel 3 Technology, this stick vacuum creates three channels of suction to lift and remove surface debris and deeply embedded dirt. It also features edge-cleaning brushes that remove dirt, dust, and pet hair from corners and edges.

Usability

With multi-floor cleaning capabilities, this stick vacuum can transition from carpet to hard floors with ease. It also has a low-profile base that allows the vacuum to fit under counter edges and furniture.

Accessories

This stick doesn’t come with any accessories.

Our recommendation

If you’re looking for a stick vacuum that can clean edges and remove debris from corners, we recommend the Hoover Linx.

Buy the Hoover Linx Cordless Stick

Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik

A three-in-one vacuum, this stick is perfect for rugs and hard floors. It doesn’t do the best on high-pile carpet, so we recommend going with another stick vacuum if you have carpet all over your house.

Design

A lightweight design lets you move the vacuum from room to room and up and down stairs. The Simpli-Stik also has a smart, bagless design that makes the vacuum extremely easy to empty. Perhaps one of its greatest design features is how light it is—at just 3.8 pounds, this stick is easy to carry and transport while cleaning.

How this vacuum cleans

With a 1.25 amp motor and a 16-foot power cord, this vacuum delivers adequate suction power for small homes and apartments. It doesn’t have an advanced brushroll or edge-cleaning bristles like other stick vacuums do, but it still provides multi-surface cleaning for all types of debris.

Usability

Since this stick is corded, simply plug the cord into the outlet and start cleaning. This vacuum cleaner also contains a hand vac that can easily be lifted off of the machine and used for spot cleaning smaller messes.

Accessories

This stick vacuum features onboard crevice tools that allow you to reach tight spaces in corners, around furniture, and along the edges of your wall.

Our recommendation

If you want the best stick vacuum for hard floors and area rugs, we highly recommend this option.

Buy the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik

Bissell AirRam Cordless 1984

Equipped with a 22V Lithium-ion battery, this cordless stick vacuum delivers up to 40 minutes of powerful, fade-free suction across carpets, hard floors, and area rugs.

Design

The lightest stick vacuum we’ve seen, the Bissell AirRam weighs less than one pound. It features swivel steering and a lay flat handle, allowing you to maneuver it under and around furniture with ease. This stick vacuum also features LED lights (similar to the Shark Rocket) that illuminate hard floors and assist in locating fine dirt and debris.

How this vacuum cleans

With powerful, multi-surface cleaning, an innovative power foot design, and a multi-surface brushroll, the Bissell AirRam delivers high-performance cleaning on hard floors and carpets. This cordless vacuum delivers up to 40 minutes of fade-free suction.

Usability

Probably one of the easiest vacuums to use, the Bissell AirRam has a removable dirt bin with a built-in Easy Empty slider that pushes out debris, hair, and dirt. It also has maximized maneuverability with swivel steering and a lay flat handle.

Accessories

The Bissell AirRam doesn’t come with any accessories.

Our recommendation

If you want an extremely basic, no-frills stick vacuum, go for the Bissell AirRam. We also recommend this stick for those who have difficulty holding heavy objects for an extended period—weighing less than one pound, the AirRam is a great, lightweight option.

Buy the Bissell Air Ram 1984

Our pick

After factoring in suction power, accessories, maneuverability, and price, we believe the best stick vacuum on the market is the Dyson V8. It delivers unmatched power, comes with helpful cleaning accessories, and is one of the easiest vacuums to maneuver under and around furniture.

Best stick vacuum for each type of floor

Before buying a stick vacuum, you’ll want to make sure the vacuum you choose can effectively remove substances from the type of flooring within your home. For example, you wouldn’t want to buy a stick vacuum that does better on carpet if your house is covered in hardwoods or tile. We were surprised to find that there wasn’t one stick vacuum that performed overarchingly better than another during our suction tests; in fact, there was a different winner for each floor surface.

Best stick vacuum for hard floors

The Shark Rocket received a perfect score during our hard floor suction test and is therefore the best stick vacuum for hard floors. It had no problem sucking up Cheerios, kitty litter, coffee grounds, and pet hair. Unlike the Dyson V8, which struggled to pick up Cheerios, the Shark tackled this debris with its large, motorized head and sucked up the mess in one pass.

Best stick vacuum for high-pile carpet

The best stick vacuum for high-pile carpet is the Dyson V8. It picked up three out of the four substances in a single pass and never got stuck on the thick carpet fibers.

Best stick vacuum for low-pile carpet

The Dyson V8 is also the best stick vacuum for low-pile carpet. It sucked up the Cheerios, kitty litter, coffee grounds, and pet hair in a single pass.

Why choose a stick vacuum

It’s no secret that your floors will get dirty, but having the right vacuum to tackle your messes can make cleaning your floors a little easier. Stick vacuums are a great option for smaller spills and day-to-day messes in smaller homes or apartments. Because of their ergonomic design, they’re also great for people with arthritis or for those who have difficulty holding heavy objects.

Lightweight and portable, most stick vacuum cleaners can convert into a handheld appliance, making them a viable option for those who are constantly cleaning up after pets and children. Some sticks have comparable power to upright vacuums, making them a great alternative for those who don’t want to lug around a heavier vacuum as they clean.

The major downside to stick vacuums is how much more expensive they are than upright or canister vacuums. Stick vacuums also have smaller dustbins and a short battery life (if they’re cordless), so they wouldn’t be the best option for larger houses. However, the dust bins are extremely easy to remove and empty, so maintenance shouldn’t be an issue. And if you’re using a stick vacuum for smaller messes, you may not need to empty the dust bin very often.

7 factors to consider before buying a stick vacuum

Assembly

In general, stick vacuums are some of the easiest vacuums to assemble. With the ones we tested, the only assembly required was clicking a few parts into place. They all came with a partial charge, so we didn’t even have to fully charge them before use (though it’s recommended that you charge a stick vacuum before using it for a longer run time and better cleaning experience).

Corded vs. cordless

Corded vacuums are lightweight and have incredible suction power, but the cord limits them to a single room (you’ll have to unplug the vacuum and plug it back in when going from room to room). Cordless vacuums are the easiest to transfer around the home. However, because they’re battery-powered, they may need to be recharged in the middle of a cleaning job, especially if they have a short battery life.

Battery life

Cordless stick vacuums are battery-powered. Look for sticks with a voltage of 18 or higher and a runtime of around 30 to 40 minutes for the best cleaning performance. The Dyson V8 and Bissell AirRam come with 40 minutes of fade-free suction. For sticks with a shorter run time, don’t be surprised if you find yourself constantly having to recharge the vacuum during a cleaning job.

Two-in-one feature

One of the best features of a stick vacuum cleaner is its ability to convert into a handheld vacuum to help you clean those hard-to-reach spaces. You can use the portable handheld vacuum to clean stairs, your vehicle, and under furniture. Some stick vacuums even come with extension tools that can be connected to your handheld vacuum to clean upholstery and other delicate materials like drapes or ceiling fan blades.

Weight

While stick vacuums are relatively lightweight, there are some models that are lighter than others. Three of the five stick vacuums that we reviewed were between five and seven pounds, and two were under five pounds. If you have arthritis or struggle to carry heavy objects for an extended period, look for sticks that have ergonomic features or ones that weigh less than five pounds. The Bissell AirRam weighs less than one pound and is a great option for those who can’t carry heavy objects.

Maneuverability and usability

Stick vacuums are great for those who have limited mobility or arthritis. Look for one with a swivel head (this design feature will allow you to navigate the vacuum around tough corners and under furniture) and an on/off switch instead of a trigger—this is especially important for those who have arthritis and don’t want to be putting pressure on a trigger while vacuuming.

Accessories

Most models come with some variation of a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and a brush tool. Other tools you may want to look for include a pet tool, extension tool, and dusting brush. Note: most stick vacuums don’t have room to store the included accessories and tools, so you’ll have to find a separate place to store them.

Stick vacuum care and maintenance

All stick vacuums are bagless, meaning that the dust and debris collected during a cleaning job lands in a dust cup. Because sticks are smaller than uprights and canisters, the dust cup capacity will also be smaller. If you need a vacuum with a large dust cup, consider purchasing an upright or canister vacuum.

Regarding maintenance, all of the stick vacuums we tested were very easy to empty. In general, most sticks require you to remove the dirt bin from the holster and then press a button to release the contents from the canister. Additionally, all of the sticks have a filter that should be cleaned at least once a month to keep the vacuum performing at its best.

Is a stick vacuum right for me?

Ask yourself these five questions to determine if a stick vacuum is right for you and your cleaning needs:

1. Do you live in an apartment or a large home?

Stick vacuums are great for cleaning apartments, condos, or small homes. Because some sticks are cordless and have a short battery life, it’d be difficult to clean a multi-level home without having to recharge the vacuum at least once. Additionally, sticks don’t have a large dust cup capacity and would have to be emptied frequently when vacuuming a larger home.

2. Do you like to vacuum the whole house at once or do you go room-by-room throughout the week?

If you prefer to vacuum individual rooms throughout the week, opt for a cordless stick vacuum. These can be removed from their storage space and used to clean individual rooms within the given run time.

3. What type of flooring do you have?

If you have hard floors (tile, linoleum, hardwoods, etc.) or low-pile carpet, a stick vacuum cleaner is a great option. Sticks don’t perform as well on high-pile carpet, mainly because some don’t have the incredible suction power that uprights do. If you have high-pile carpet throughout your home, we recommend an upright or canister vacuum to effectively deep clean and remove all of the dirt and debris on your floors.

4. How often do you vacuum?

If you vacuum frequently and need a vacuum cleaner that you can easily take in and out of storage, a stick vacuum may be just what you need. Because they’re so lightweight, they can be transported from room to room without constantly unplugging and plugging in a cord (unless you purchase a corded stick vacuum). Even with a corded stick, you’ll find that its lightweight design makes it more convenient to use than a heavy upright vacuum cleaner.

5. Do you have pets or kids?

If you’re constantly vacuuming up pet hair or cleaning messes made by your little ones, a stick vacuum is the way to go. Sticks can easily be converted into a handheld vacuum, allowing you to spot clean small messes.

Check out more vacuum cleaner reviews:

Frequently asked questions

Which stick vacuum has the best battery life?

Out of the five stick vacuums we tested, the Dyson V8 and the Bissell AirRam 1984 had the best battery life with a run time of 40 minutes.

Which stick vacuum has the longest warranty?

The Shark Rocket has the longest warranty with a limited five-year warranty.

Which stick vacuum makes the least amount of noise?

The Shark Rocket is the quietest vacuum, measuring 71.7 decibels or slightly louder than the sound of your shower. The loudest stick vacuum we tested was the Dyson V10, which measured 79.3 decibels or just about as loud as an alarm clock.

What is the best cordless stick vacuum?

The best cordless vacuum is the Dyson V8. With a 40-minute runtime and powerful suction on all types of surfaces, this Dyson stick vacuum comes out on top.

What is the best corded stick?

The best corded stick vacuum is the Shark Rocket. It’s more affordable than the Dyson V8 and easily transforms into a portable vacuum. With excellent swivel technology and two different suction controls, this Shark stick vacuum gives you a more precise clean.

What is the best stick vacuum for pet hair?

The best stick vacuum for pet hair is the Dyson V8. It truly is one of the most powerful vacuums on the market and effectively removes pet hair from hard floors, low-pile carpet, and high-pile carpet. Not to mention, it has a large dust container to hold all of the pet debris you suck up and it comes with HEPA filtration.

About the author

Kealia is a staff writer and social media coordinator for House Method. She writes for a variety of beats, including home inspiration (her favorite), real estate, and home wellness.


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