The 10 Best Stick Vacuums

Updated December 15, 2017 by Tina Morna Freitas

10 Best Stick Vacuums
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. In most homes, there are many times when you want to pick up a mess quickly without dragging out the heavy, full-size vacuum cleaner. These compact and lightweight stick models are small enough to keep close at hand, often with the added bonus of a detachable handheld unit. Some have suction and cleaning power to rival the big boys. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best stick vacuum on Amazon.

10. Bissell Featherweight

Weighing in at less than three pounds, the Bissell Featherweight lives up to its name. This ultra-compact unit comes in three fun colors making it ideal for young people to use in dorm rooms or small apartments and works well on stairs and under furniture.
  • does not scratch floors
  • not great for pet hair removal
  • power cord could be longer
Brand Bissell
Model 20334
Weight 4.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

9. Prolux Ion

The convenient Prolux Ion is bagless and cordless to help make cleaning easy. It has brilliant front-facing LED lights and 24 volt suction, so you don't miss any dust bunnies. Its convenient handheld vac releases with one button and comes with slide-on dusting brushes.
  • can stand by itself
  • filter is difficult to clean
  • small dirt container
Brand Prolux
Model pending
Weight 10.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Eufy HomeVac Duo

The Eufy HomeVac Duo offers extended cleaning time with an eco-mode option that almost doubles the battery life. The dust collector and filter are quick to take apart and rinse clean, while the space-saving collapsible handle makes it easy to store.
  • available in three color choices
  • upright charging base
  • crevice tool is too wide
Brand eufy
Model AK-T24001L1
Weight 9.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

7. VonHaus 2-in-1

The VonHaus 2-in-1 is a value-priced choice with an impressively large 1.2-liter dirt container. The telescoping handle can be extended with one hand, and it can stand on its own, so it's easy to leave in a corner for quick access.
  • comes in orange or gray
  • hepa sponge filtration
  • will not pick up large particles
Brand VonHaus
Model EPT2
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. Black + Decker Max

With Smart Tech sensors, the Black + Decker Max allows you to clean on auto pilot. It automatically adjusts suction when you move from bare floors to carpet, and features an indicator light that tells you when to clean the filter and exactly how much battery life is left.
  • base swivels around furniture
  • picks up debris in one pass
  • battery is not replaceable
Model HSVJ520JMBF27
Weight 9.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Hoover Linx

The Hoover Linx utilizes robust Wind Tunnel technology to provide excellent suction for surface and embedded dirt. The edge cleaning bristles get right up to the wall without scuffing it, while it's low profile allows it to glide under furniture.
  • large 11-inch wide cleaning path
  • also available as a corded option
  • battery takes a long time to charge
Brand Hoover
Model BH50010
Weight 10.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik

The classic, budget-friendly Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is the perfect option to keep handy for quick cleanups. While not as effective on carpet as pricier options out there, it's so light and inexpensive, even a young child could use it to start learning about chores.
  • onboard crevice tool
  • weighs less than 4 pounds
  • falls over easily
Brand Dirt Devil
Model SD20000RED
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Shark Ion DuoClean

The versatile Shark Ion DuoClean can be upgraded with a second battery for double the run time. The multiflex stick can bend into different positions to access hard-to-reach places, like under furniture. It's an expensive option, but the extra features make it worth it.
  • soft brush roll polishes hard floors
  • can be folded in half for storage
  • a lot heavier than most stick models
Brand SharkNinja
Model IF201
Weight 14.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Bissell PowerEdge Pet

The Bissell PowerEdge Pet features a smart, V-shaped head ideal for reaching those tight and awkward spots where pets love to play. It sucks up hair that other vacuums leave behind using its rubber wipers that naturally attract fur and dander.
  • picks up kitty litter easily
  • safe to use on hard floors
  • works well with large kibble too
Brand Bissell
Model 81L2A
Weight 9.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Dyson V7 Motorhead

For a cordless clean that rivals the quality of an upright, the convenient Dyson V7 Motorhead converts easily to a handheld unit and has a wall-mounted docking station. The powerful battery provides up to 30 minutes of suction that doesn't fade.
  • deep bristles remove ground-in dirt
  • 15 cyclones capture fine dust
  • touch-free dirt bin
Brand Dyson V7 Motorhead
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Suction Without The Stress

A vacuum cleaner can be a peaceful thing. As a baby, I needed noise to fall asleep, the more droning and consistent the better. Car rides with the windows down, televisions set to static, ocean waves, crickets, and vacuum cleaners running in the next room made up the soundtrack of my early slumbers.

Those were the behemoth vacuums of the 1980s, which sometimes seemed bigger than the rooms they were meant to clean. One of the most advantageous aspects of the stick vacuums we are reviewing here is that they are extraordinarily slight. They take up extremely little space in storage, and they run much more quietly than the vacuums of yore.

Most of these vacs work on the same principles as any other vacuum cleaner. They create suction by the movements of a small pump system connected to a belt that’s run by a very fast motor. As the motor turns, the belt rotates and moves the pump through its cylinder. The suction this creates also creates an opposite force that you can feel as an air current coming out of the upper parts of the motor.

To help pick up hairs, dust, and debris, each vacuum has a series of stiff nylon bristles clustered at the end of its mouth, where the suction hits the floor. Additional filters trap much smaller dust particles, preventing the projection of allergenic material out of the vacuum’s vents.

The difference between a stick vacuum and any other vacuum, however, lies in the ergonomics of its design. The long, thin shape used by these models allows you to gain access to tighter areas for a more thorough cleaning. The vacuums are also lighter as a result of their streamlined design, so raising them up to clean tough-to-reach areas is much easier, as is their transportation, storage, and cleaning.

The Clean, Clear Choice

I’ll always remember the commercials for the Oreck vacuum cleaner that aired when I was a kid. In them, the inventor of the unit, into his old age, stood before the cameras holding his vacuum aloft with just his pinky finger. The point was that his vacuum was so significantly lighter than its competition that you’d be that much more blown away by its suction power.

Compared the powerful stick vacuums on our list, the original Oreck seems a bit like a dinosaur in the age of man. The units on the market today boast just as much power, however, and most weigh less than that old Oreck.

Weight is the easy measure to understand here, but how exactly does the vacuum industry evaluate the suction force of a cleaner? Than answer is air watts.

Air watts are measured by the amount of suction a vacuum cleaner imposes on a certain amount of water moving through a specific diameter tube. The larger that amount, the better, as it means the vacuum cleaner moves more water through the tube more consistently, which will result in a faster, more thorough cleanup in your home.

Still, weight and air watts aren’t the totality of the picture. You also want to see how a given stick vacuum feels in your hand if you get the chance. Models with their motors and chambers mounted down toward the vacuum head (the more standard configuration) will be easier to push and pull along a carpet, as they have that bottom-heavy stature aiding in their inertia.

Models with motors situated toward the handles, however, might need a little more elbow grease when moving them along a thick, tough carpet. The advantage of such a vacuum is that it’s much easier to pick up if you want to use it on a bed, on some drapes, or anywhere else up high that’s hard to reach with a normal vacuum.

Take a close look at the space you intend to clean before making your choice, and you ought to do just fine.

An Evolution Back Towards Simplicity

While the first vacuum cleaners that actually produced suction by mechanical means came out in the middle of the 19th century, they were manually operated, and motorized vacs wouldn't hit the scene until 1901. That's when an inventor named Hubert Cecil Booth improved upon the motorized cleaner he'd seen at a demonstration a few years earlier at Empire Music Hall in London.

That earlier design blew dust into a receptacle instead of sucking it up into a bag for later disposal, and it was Booth that turned the process around. Those early vacs operated by the power of combustion engines, and a lone hose ran from the engine–which was usually located outside the house–to a wand for directional cleaning.

By 1905, smaller, albeit weaker, models made their way into the wealthier homes of England. What they sacrificed in power they made up for in portability, as these proved to be the first domestically convenient vacuums available. Still, it wasn't until 1907 that anyone successfully ran a portable vacuum with electricity instead of gas.

The elongated wands used in the design of old, domestic vacuums more closely resembles the stick vacuums that are so popular today than the bigger bulkier vacs of the late 20th century. Advances in vacuum power are the primary drivers of this trend toward a slighter, thinner style, and there's no reason to believe we won't soon see the larger vacuums of the 80s and 90s disappear from the market altogether.

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Last updated on December 15, 2017 by Tina Morna Freitas

Tina Morna Freitas is a writer who lives in Chicago with her family and two cats. She enjoys making and sipping margaritas and aspires to be a crazy cat lady once all the children are grown.

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