The 5 Best Stick Vacuums for Both Quick and Deep Cleanings

Updated: Jul. 01, 2024

Ditch the bulky sweepers in favor of the best stick vacuums, made for tidy touch-ups and thorough cleanings.

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The 6 Best Stick VacuumsVIA MERCHANT

Vacuuming the house from top to bottom is an essential part of spring cleaning—not to mention keeping up with the usual everyday messes. But lugging a large canister or a heavy upright can make the task more challenging when it comes to vacuuming the stairs or cleaning pet hair from higher surfaces. Plus, they’re not ideal for taking care of a little spill from time to time.

Fortunately, the new generation of the best stick vacuums pack the power to be a primary home vac and excel at touch-up cleaning. Generally, stick vacuums are very lightweight and compact, which make them easy to store and use without strain. They succeed at spot cleaning and small messes in places like the kitchen, bathroom and entryway. Plus, their space-saving designs work for apartments and dorms.

Ready to find one that works for your home? Consider that you may prefer the portability of a stick vacuum or handheld vacuum to an upright vacuum cleaner. Some even convert to double as the best car vacuum cleaner, so you can stop spending your hard-earned coin at the car wash.

1 / 5
Hart 20v Cordless via merchant

Best Value Stick Vacuum

Hart 20-Volt Cordless Vacuum

The Family Handyman team tested the 20-Volt Cordless Stick Vacuum from Hart Tools. With a powerful motor, long-lasting lithium-ion battery and reasonable price tag, it was basically made for a new homeowner or someone looking to replace an upright vacuum for something lighter (without sacrificing the ability to tackle the toughest messes).

Its cleaning power comes from a more powerful brushless motor—the central component to Hart’s line of power tools. In our tests, this best stick vacuum did a nice job of pulling pet hair out of carpet, no easy task for smaller vacuums. It also converts to a handheld to get behind the cushions, in the car or any nook and cranny where you might need it.

The 20-volt battery ran 45 minutes on a single charge in our testing, more than enough time to sweep the entire house for most people. The battery takes two hours to reach a full charge, and it’s interchangeable with Hart’s other 20-volt cordless tools and other products. It comes with a battery and five tools, including a pet/upholstery tool that dog and cat owners will appreciate.

Pros

  • Includes plenty of features for the price
  • Has a powerful motor and LED lights
  • Features a low-power mode for small jobs
  • Comes with five vacuuming tools

Cons

  • Top heavy

2 / 5
Eureka Blaze via merchant

Best Budget Stick Vacuum

Eureka Blaze Stick Vacuum

Most vacuums under $40 aren’t worth considering, but the Eureka Blaze consistently earns high marks for its formidable cleaning power. If you live in a smaller space and are on a budget, this the right stick vacuum for you.

This vacuum works with a floor nozzle or detaches and works by itself as a handheld, part of the model’s three-in-one design. It’s got a unique swivel steering design that improves cleaning efficiency and maneuverability, helping get into the hard-to-reach spots. The nozzle head picks up larger debris with ease, and a washable filtration system captures fine dust particles.

The crevice tool can be used with the handheld option to get under those couch cushions, and the floor nozzle attachment adapts for stairs. Put it together as a stick vacuum and it handles hard floors and carpet like a more expensive model. There’s no need to sacrifice your high cleaning standards based on your budget.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Converts to a handheld vacuum
  • Has a large dust cup
  • Includes a washable filter

Cons

  • Attachment crevice tool may have trouble staying in place

3 / 5
Dyson Outsize via merchant

Best Splurge Stick Vacuum

Dyson Outsize

Dyson is still the top of the line when it comes to cordless stick vacuums, and if you’re a cleaning connoisseur who will spare no expense in keeping your house spotless, then you’ll want to consider the newest version of Dyson’s Outsize. It’s also a solid choice if you want a stick vacuum to clean a large house.

The vacuum’s full-size dustbin means longer cleans between emptying. Plus, the two batteries give you a lengthy 120 minutes of cleaning time. You can keep track of the battery life with the LCD screen built into the top of the vacuum, which also displays performance and maintenance alerts.

This best stick vacuum comes with fives Dyson-engineered tools, including a mini motorized upholstery tool and hair screw tool that gets rid of pet hair. It also converts to a handheld for cleaning cars, stairs and upholstery.

Pros

  • Dyson’s most powerful cordless vacuum
  • Has Eco, Auto and Boost modes
  • Is quiet and has a full-size bin
  • Comes with five versatile tools

Cons

  • Doesn’t have LED lights on the cleaning head

4 / 5
Makita 18 Volt Lxt via merchant

Best Basic Stick Vacuum

Makita 18-Volt LXT Cordless Vacuum

Tool fanatics will appreciate the Makita LXT Cordless Vacuum. It can be used in the garage, on jobsites or as a touch-up vacuum at home. This is a powerful, reliable vacuum that gets the job done with the same batteries found in your favorite cordless drill.

At a full charge, the 18-volt 5.0 Ah LXT battery gives you up to 33 minutes of run time. Weighing in at just over 3.5 pounds with the battery attached, the lightweight design won’t hold you back from carrying it from room to room. A bagless two-stage cloth filtration system allows for easier cleaning and quicker debris disposal, and the large dustbin lets you to get more cleaning done before having to empty it out.

Pros

  • Compact with a no-frills design
  • Works for quick cleans and small messes
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Batteries and charger sold separately

5 / 5
Dyson V8 Absolute via merchant

Best Stick Vacuum for Pet Hair

Dyson V8 Absolute Vacuum

If you suffer from allergies, be sure that your vacuum isn’t aggravating your condition. Dyson’s V8 Absolute has one of the most efficient contained filter systems available on a stick vacuum. It’s cordless, lightweight and versatile, but still packs plenty of cleaning power. A direct drive cleaner head drives stiff nylon bristles into carpets to capture deep-down dirt, and the lifetime filter is washable.

Not only is the HEPA filtration of this Dyson the best, but it also has unparalleled power for this type of vacuum. It’s bold of Dyson to call this vacuum the Absolute, but its smart design and quality features make it worthy of that title.

Pros

  • Includes hair screw tool for pet and human strands
  • Lightweight with powerful suction
  • Delivers up to 40 minutes of cleaning time
  • Comes with attachments for additional messes

Cons

  • Expensive

What to Consider When Buying a Stick Vacuum 

One of the first things you’ll want to consider when looking at the best stick vacuums is the battery life. If you’re someone who will use it for quick spot cleans and small messes, then a cordless stick vacuum with a short battery life will probably work for your needs. However, if you’ll use your stick vacuum throughout the entire house, then you’ll want to shop for one with a longer battery life or with a plug-in cord.

Another thing you’ll want to look at is your stick vacuum’s compatibility with different floor types. Some vacuums are made for a particular type of flooring, like these vacuums for laminate floors. That said, some stick vacuums are better suited for carpet, some are better suited for hardwood and some work on both.

How We Found the Best Stick Vacuums

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

FAQ

How much do stick vacuums cost?

Stick vacuums can range in price anywhere from $30 to nearly $1,000 (yes, really). But you don’t necessarily need a high-end option to get the job done.

Do stick vacuums work as well as regular vacuums?

The latest generation of stick vacuums tends to perform very well on hard floors. If your home has a lot of high-pile carpeting, you might find better results with an upright or canister vacuum.