Unlike other parts of the house, stairs tend to pose a great challenge when it comes to cleaning. Whether hardwood, carpeted or tiled, they are awkward to get to and have very little space to move about, especially with conventional vacuums.
Considering their frequent use also, stairs often attract a lot of dirt, dust, and debris which are not easy to get rid of using a standard vacuum. In other words, to maintain this part of your house or premise spotless, you need to invest in the best vacuum for stairs.
With this in mind, we’re going to take you through the top 6 vacuum cleaners that are specially designed for cleaning stairs and can make the job much easier for you.
We’ve enlisted only the best units available on the market with qualities that guarantee impeccable cleaning results. They are lightweight, compact, offer easy maneuverability and can tackle all kinds of dirt from tight corners to narrow staircases.
Along with the in-depth reviews, you will also find buying tips herein that you can use to narrow down your options to the perfect unit that will meet your needs. So, read on and find out what makes an ideal vacuum for stairs plus the best models you can buy in 2020.
Best vacuums for stairs in 2020
Stair vacuum reviews
Eureka EasyClean 71B – Best overall
The Eureka EasyClean is by far the best overall corded vacuum specifically designed for cleaning stairs. This unit strikes a good balance between performance, ease of use, quality of construction and maneuverability.
Design and build quality
The design of this Eureka unit is simple and yet sophisticated. This utilitarian styled machine weighs 4.8 pounds and its body is 16-inches long. As a lighter unit, it’s easier to carry and moved with ease.
This yellow and black machine is mostly plastic, yet relatively durable. Overall build quality is high with a few other small parts that can break.
The Eureka 71B uses a two-motor system with a total power strength of 5.5 amp. The high-power suction picks up dirt from upholstery, carpets, couch, cars, hardwood, and stairs.
One of the motors powers the rotating brush head and the other one is just for suction power. Depending on your needs, you can use both features simultaneously or one at a time.
The riser visor is the best feature that sets Eureka 71B apart from most handheld vacuum cleaners. The riser offers excellent rotating cover that flips up so that you can easily clean the horizontal and vertical surface as well as deep cleaning.
With riser visor, vertically cleaning the stairs is a piece of cake. The plastic visor adjusts over the brush roll which picks up any dust by concentrating the suction power for a completely clean finish.
This machine performs many tasks probably what other vacuum doesn’t. It’s designed for rapid pickup of dust and dirt on multiple floors. The visor flips up when cleaning upholstery, stairs, and carpets.
On the other hand, for the vacuum to pick up dirt and dust from hardwood floor, laminate, countertops, and tables you have to shut off the brush roll.
It comes with a crevice tool that attaches to the hose for cleaning less accessible areas where the brush roll can’t reach. It’s also a perfect vacuum that can pick up tiny pieces of dirt from your car seats and plus it gets deep into nooks and crannies.
Due to its size, the Eureka EasyClean 71B doesn’t have a bag. This means the units fill up rather fast, hence you have to frequently empty the dust cap. The filters are not as excellent as the suction power, they tend to clog easily.
It’s quite easy to remove debris from the dust cup with just a touch of a button. Yet cleaning the filter can be a messy process and probably the major setback of Eureka 71B.
Compact in size, this unit is well balanced and feels comfortable on the wrist. Its ability to move vertically and horizontally allows you to clean stairs with much ease.
The ultra-stretchable hose and the 22-foot power cord enable you to reach from one end of stairs to the other. Using the button control you can switch off or on for hardwoods, carpets, and the dust cap release.
Setting up this unit is easy and simple. No tools required or installation once unpacked and plugged in you are good to go. Plus, vacuuming with the brush roll on this machine produces standard noise like many other units.
Being lightweight maneuverability is very portable and flexible. Though vacuuming an entire large surface with Eureka handheld can be tiring.
Overall the Eureka EasyClean 71B really stand out as the best overall vacuum cleaner for stairs. It’s simple to use, versatile and built to great quality. If you are looking for a multipurpose unit that can handle all kinds of cleaning whether it’s on stairs, upholstery or even your car, then this is the option to go with.
Dirt Devil SD12000 – Best vacuum for carpeted stairs
The Dirt Devil SD12000 model is the best model for carpeted stairs featured with a motor-driven rolling brush that tackles tough embedded dirt. It’s a small and compact unit, but a powerful beast of a machine that lives up to its name.
Design and build quality
It incorporates a stylish red on black design, a wide nozzle that holds the high-speed brush roll. The vacuum is lightweight weighing only 2.8 pounds with a small footprint making it outstanding for picking various sizes of debris and dirt.
Motor-driven high-speed brushroll
This is the main brush designed to deal with tough stains and dislodging deeply embedded dirt. The brush has stiff bristles, which are continuously rotated at high speed, digging into the carpet fibers to easily collect dirt and debris of different sizes.
The brush roll combined with the powerful suction power makes it ideal for picking up pet hair. The 6.5 wide brush roll nozzle is wide enough for fast cleaning carpeted stairs or any other rugs and upholstery.
Efficient suction power
The Dirt Devil SD12000 vacuum runs on a 2-amp motor which is very economical. It combines its strong motor with the high-speed rotating brush coupled with a belt to remove tough dirt and debris stacked in the carpets.
Dust cap capacity and filtration
This bagless unit has a dust cap with a capacity of about 0.6-liters enough size to clean up and down stairs at a time. It’s very easy to dispose of dust with just a push of a button. Also, the washable filter is reusable with less maintenance needed. However, the filters are not close to the standards of HEPA filters, yet they’re of good quality.
Its long 20-foot power cord easily cleans your stairs without necessary unplugging. It can be wrapped around the base of the machine, which allows easy transportation and cleaning. In addition, the long cord has integrated storage for tools.
The operation of this unit is very quiet meaning that you can vacuum your stairs any time without causing any noise disturbance.
On the downside, the Dirt Devil SD12000 comes with no attachments or any other special feature. However, no installation is required.
All in all, combining the strong suction power, motor-driven high-speed brush roll, and high portability, the Dirt Devil SD12000 is an excellent unit specifically designed to offer the best carpet cleaning solution.
BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser – Cordless vacuum for stairs
Bissell is always on the forefront when it comes to manufacturing of reliable vacuums. The Bissel Pet Hair Eraser cordless unit is very convenient and powerful handheld vacuum design to deliver astounding cleaning performance on your stairs.
Design and build quality
This cordless unit is built in a long, tube-like shape with the ergonomic handle on the rear end of the machine. On the back side of the vacuum, there’s a small hole, where the charger is plugged in. This Bissel Pet Hair Eraser is fairly compact in size and light weighing roughly 4 pounds.
This new brush is equipped with its own motor-powered brush roll with stiff bristles that remove clingy hair and dirt. Especially useful in cleaning fabrics embedded with deep dust, dander and pet hair.
Impressive cleaning tools
One of the most exciting features of this cordless unit is all the attachments included in the package. One tool is the crevice nozzle which enables you to reach deep into crevices and corners that are harder to reach.
Another attachment is an upholstery tool. It’s wide and can be easily attached for cleaning more delicate fabrics such as furniture and upholstery.
Large dirt bin
The dirt container of this cordless vacuum has a large capacity of 0.7 liters. This is a pretty huge capacity that can last you a complete cleaning round with just a few emptying.
Included in the transparent container, is a triple level filtration system. The filters in conjunction with the felt filters work together to trap small and large particles of dust delivering excellent cleaning performance.
Equipped with 14.4-Volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery getting away with the nuisance of a power cord. The battery can run up to 20 minutes, which more than enough time to clear out small mess or pet hair around your stairs.
Charging the unit takes 8 hours, plus you get an alert from indicator light when the battery is 100% charged. In addition to the unit being cordless, it saves you the hustle of looking for the nearest socket to plug-in the power cord.
This unit boasts an ergonomic looped handle with both control buttons located on the handle making it very convenient to use. It has no setup and the tube-like shape allows it to fit into tighter areas and corner.
Since there are no cords, plus tits lightweight body it is easy to maneuver virtually anyone without being restricted by the cord length.
The filter cup can be easily cleaned after every wash for optimal filtration. Just like its compact size, the noise level is relatively lower than most vacuum cleaners.
The Bissel Pet Hair Eraser is a cordless handheld vacuum powered with lithium battery offers excellent cleaning performance. Its high-powered suction, versatile accessories, triple layered filters, and compact size win it an advantage as the best cordless vacuum.
Bissell 3624 SpotClean – Best spot vacuum cleaner for stairs
The Bissell 3624 portable carpet cleaner is one of the Bissell’s best powerful spot and stain cleaners, especially if you are looking for portability. It has a compact and lightweight design yet powerful enough for cleaning stairs, upholstery, and even the tightest areas.
Design and build quality
This unit weighs 13.2 pounds when empty. It’s small, lightweight and compact so that you can maneuver it up and down the stairs with ease.
The most impressive thing is the hose, which is firmly wrapped along the side of the cleaner. Instead of the usual design, where the hose is wrapped around the base of the machine.
It has a 3-inch brush head with stiff bristles that deal with dirt and spots stacked in your carpets or upholstery. The bristles in the brush tool don’t rotate while cleaning instead they agitate dirt from the carpet fibers.
It’s an ideal model for removing tough stains off your stairs. However, the brush is designed to tackle stains on carpets and furniture and not recommended for wood floor.
6-inch stair tool
Besides the main brush, the unit comes with a 6-inch stair cleaning tool. This tool is obviously ideal for cleaning your stairs, furniture, car seats, and other high-traffic areas. It also includes a professional deep cleaning solution that removes tough stains and dirt embedded on your carpet.
Decent suction capabilities
The machine is equipped with a 5.7-amp motor which offers adequate suction power to extract and remove embedded dirt, stains and spots from the carpet and upholstery.
While the unit uses water, the suction is powerful enough to suck up dirty water. With no HeatForce technology, the carpet remains slightly damp after each pass which allows it to dry fairly fast
The Bissell 3624 features two separate tanks one for holding clean water and another for collecting dirty water. The clean water tank can hold 0.75-gallons of water meaning you no longer have to make more frequent refills when cleaning a large surface or stairs.
The dirty water tank is a little over 2-litres with no air filters. Refilling both tanks is simple and fast. To empty the dirty water from the tank simply tilt and rotate to pour.
The Bissell 3624 is lightweight and compact, using the ergonomic handle it’s easy to carry it up and down stairs when cleaning.
Using the 22 feet long power cord, cleaning high traffic areas is a breeze. The 5-foot hose is also flexible and can stretch out without problems reaching those awkward edges on stairs and under the furniture.
Conversely, it’s a bit noisy when running.
In general, combining powerful suction, scrubbing action, portability and professional cleaning solution, this unit is an excellent product and one of the best portable stairs vacuum cleaner.
Shark Rocket HV292 – Versatile handheld vacuum ideal for stairs
The ergonomic feel of the Shark Rocket HV292 just can’t be overstated. This is a vacuum that feels good in your hand and can be used to clean almost everything. It’s equipped with great features that make it the best handheld vacuum.
Design and build quality
The Shark Rocket HV292 is a lightweight, bagless, corded handheld vacuum. The handheld portion includes the dust bin, power cord and the primary motor which weighs 4.2 pounds. Even with the connection of other attachments, this unit is still light and easy to handle.
Made in China, its sleekly designed mattress works great for stairs, pet hair and small areas full of dirt. The handle grip is neat and subtle. A pretty comfortable and easy to carry unit making it the best handheld vacuum cleaner.
This unit has two cleaning modes. The first mode of cleaning is designed for bare floors and delicate rugs, whereas mode two is ideal for carpets.
TruePet motorized brush
This powered brush has strong bristles essential for deep clean. Particularly if you have pets, the brush removes pet hair, allergens, loosen the deeply embedded dirt and debris.
The brush can be used to clean any surface including upholstery, stairs, hard and soft wood floor, carpets and car seats. Being only 6-inches in width the brush will take longer to vacuum larger surface.
Continuous suction power
This is one of the unique features of the Shark Rocket HV292 vacuum. It’s powerful and best suction technology gives a quick professional cleaning. The suction is great and continuous until the dirt cap is full of dirt. There are no worries of losing suction or running out of batteries life before you get thorough clean stairs.
Other special features
Equipped with other two special features which are the dusting brush and crevice tool. The dusting brush with soft bristles removes dirt from various sensitive areas for an excellent finishing touch.
The 12-inches crevice tool is also a nice feature makes vacuuming on tight spaces, stairs, between car seats and under the couch cushions a breeze work.
The large transparent dust cup
Relatively large dust cup with only a few emptying. It also comes with a washable and reusable air filter which makes the maintenance of this machine easier.
Remember to wash the air filters and air dry thoroughly before the next use. Over time the quality of the filter reduces, so get them replaced once damaged. There’s no messy bag when it comes to Shark Rocket HV292.
This unit is a breeze to control using the switch button. It’ll never lose suction unless your power is lost.
Additionally, it’s lightweight certainly maneuverable without too much effort. The 15-foot power cord is long and flexible enough for cleaning upstairs.
The extended flexible hose, the dusting brush and crevice tool come in handy when you want to suck up dirt from high-traffic areas. The attachments are very easy to install and take off.
On the downside, it has no suction control and just like other vacuum cleaners it produces standard noise.
Overall, the Shark Rocket HV292 vacuum might be the handheld unit that you need for fast vacuuming with no suction power limitation. The best compact handheld vacuum cleaner that can remove pet hair, dirt, and debris from any surface of your stairs.
This portable lift away canister unit makes cleaning stairs, furniture and upholstery easy. Designed with great suction power, motorized brush roll, it deeply clean virtually any type of carpet surface.
Design and build quality
This unit is a compact upright vacuum cleaner solid enough to stand on its own. The gliding wheels are designed to support swivel steering while cleaning. To ensure durability, there’s an in-built anti-allergen technology and a removable canister.
This unit is designed with a wide motorized brush which agitates and removes dirt stacked deep in the carpets. For a gentle clean activate the suction release collar to reduce suction power for a softer surface.
Featuring 11-inch cleaning path, the brush has firm bristles for fast and easy vacuuming over a large surface.
Shark’s suction technology is designed to not lose suction power. It spins air at high speed, separating dust from the air sucked in, which helps to maintain the suction air pressure.
Other special attachments
This unit features a lift-away unit that’s supported by four great tools. The canister detaches from the rest of the machine to form a handheld vacuum used to clean carpeted stairs, furniture, drapes, ceiling fans, and tight spots.
The pet turbo brush works effectively in removing pet hair and dirt embedded in the carpets. While the crevice tool reaches into tight corners or difficult places working with a dusting brush to quickly remove dust from shelves, blinds, and upholstery.
Dust tank capacity
The 2.4-quart dust cup is quite large and can be emptied easily to hold dust for extended cleaning with few interruptions.
Despite being a bagless unit, it features their anti-allergen complete seal innovation. The pre-motor foam and felt filters attract large particles of dust, eliminating them from the fresh air while extending its durability.
Unlike Shark Rocket HV292, this model uses a lifetime HEPA filter which removes over 99% of dust and allergens trapped inside your vacuum. This is a great feature especially for those with light allergy reactions.
Swivel steering works together with smooth-gliding wheels to offer easier maneuverability when cleaning your stairs. In addition, the portability weight of this vacuum makes it easy to carry around.
The suction power is excellent, it pulls deep dirt and hair without losing the suction power. The cord is also long enough for cleaning multiple stairs on a single outlet. Not forgetting how effective and easy it is to use the detachable canister.
Having user-friendly controls, this unit is simple and straight forward to install and disassemble. However, the swivel design can be exhausting for different people.
In general, combining the suction technology, anti-allergen filters, and detachable canister, this Shark Navigator NV360 is simply a very great machine. Scooping high ratings from Amazon, it’s certainly one the most versatile and efficient vacuum for stairs.
Factors to consider when looking for the best vacuum for stairs
It’s vital that you get to know exactly what to look out for when shopping for a vacuum cleaner for stairs. Here is a brief but informative guide to the key things you should consider before picking a particular model.
Corded or cordless?
Vacuum cleaners for stairs can be either corded or cordless. Cordless models are battery powered and both types of vacuum have their pros and cons. Cordless vacuums are super mobile as there’s no cord to limit you only to a particular area. They allow you to move freely which is essential especially when you have multiple staircases to clean.
However, this no-strings-attached advantage does not last long. Eventually, the battery runs out of charge and you have to return the vacuum to the charging station before proceeding with the cleaning.
Corded vacuums, on the other hand, can be constraining and bulky, especially on a staircase. Some units may even require using an extension cord so that you can reach the highest or lowest levels without having to switch outlets.
Nonetheless, unlike a cordless vacuum for stairs, a corded vacuum gives you unlimited cleaning times as it’s on power throughout.
The type of stairs
The floor surface of your stairs is another important variable to factor in when scanning for the best vacuum cleaner for stairs. You need to consider the type of floor you will be cleaning so that you can choose a unit that’s designed to clean it most effectively.
The best vacuum for carpeted stairs, however, is one that has a motorized brush with thick bristles. This kind of brush will provide the right amount of agitation required to dislodge any dirt or debris that’s embedded deep in the carpet fibers. They guarantee more thorough cleaning results than any other standard brush.
Attachments are vital in any vacuum. As much as you want a vacuum designed for cleaning stairs, it’s always good to have a unit that offers some versatility. Generally, you want to consider a vacuum that comes with several useful attachments. Not only will it let you clean stairs as well as bare floors but also other parts and areas like upholstery and furniture.
The two vital tools you should look for are a dusting brush for stirring up dirt and dust for the vacuum to suck them up. The other vital attachment is a crevice tool which is very useful for getting dirt hidden in crevices and corners along the staircase.
Besides these two, look also for specialized attachments like the pet motorized brush and rubber nozzle which are excellent tools for pet hair removal. The main idea here is to find a need that offers as many attachments as possible so that you can able to address different cleaning needs.
A stairs vacuum is meaningless if the suction power is not strong enough. Choose a unit with powerful suction especially if you will be using it to clean carpeted stairs. The stronger the suction, the much better the vacuum will be able to lift up dirt and debris from the carpet’s fibers.
For hard surfaces like tile or hardwood stairs, you may not need such a powerful suction. They don’t pose a huge challenge when it comes to cleaning and as such a standard unit with a 6 to 10 amp motor will do a great job.
Air filtration system
An excellent vacuum for cleaning stairs should at least have an air filtration system. It’s not absolutely necessary but it’s an essential feature to have as it helps prevent dust as well as other particulates from escaping and getting back to the air.
The best vacuum for stairs would be a system that has HEPA filters. A good HEPA filtration system can block up to 99.97% of allergens and particulates from getting back into surrounding air as you vacuum. This is a feature you should highly consider if you have asthma, you’re allergic or have someone around the house that is affected by either condition.
In most cases, power outlets are not always found close to the staircase. Therefore, you want to ensure that you pick a vacuum that can allow you to reach and clean the entire staircase at once without necessarily having to switch outlets part way through.
Choose a unit with a longer power cord if you are going for a corded handheld vacuum for stairs, probably 20 to 30 feet. You should make sure that it has a reasonable length hose because the total reach it will offer would be the sum total of the length of the hose and the cord.
Having a flexible hose and a retractable wand can also come in handy especially when it comes to cleaning hard-to-reach areas and corners. A retractable wand can be quite useful in reaching greater ceiling heights which tend to change in elevation in the case of staircases. Of course, you can avoid all these hustles by going for a cordless model.
Ease of use
The best way to vacuum stairs is by using a machine that’s easier to use. It can be a pretty odious task dragging a bulky, heavy machine up and down a large staircase. You want to opt for a lightweight model that would be easy to carry as you move around the staircase.
The Dirt Devil SD12000, BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser, and the Shark Rocket HV292 are some good examples from our list above. Basically, you get something that weighs 15 pounds and below.
Vacuuming and generally cleaning stairs is no easy work without the right vacuum. You can only make things easier and get commendable results when you invest in a unit that’s tailored to handle such situations.
While your choice will solely depend on your own preference, we’ve made sure in this article to give you the best options that the market has to offer. Therefore, whichever model you decide to pick, we’re confident that it will deliver great results.
Whether it’s the best cordless vacuum like the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser or a multipurpose unit like the Shark Navigator NV360, you can rest assured that the six vacuums we’ve reviewed here will give you a bang for your buck.