We Put the Best Stick Vacuums to the Test, and These 7 Are Actually Worth the Money
Keeping your floors clean can be a time-consuming and tedious process, especially if you're using a clunky old vacuum cleaner to get the job done. Instead of sweeping with a heavy vacuum that's difficult to maneuver, consider purchasing one of the best stick vacuums of 2022.
While larger upright or canister vacuum cleaners may give the impression that they're better at purging your home of dust and dirt due to their size, they can be unwieldy to use and take up a lot of unnecessary space when stored. The best stick vacuums have a high amount of suction power and can often pick up just as much clutter as their larger counterparts. Their slimmer size allows them to fit in hard-to-reach spaces, and cordless models free up the need to switch power outlets as you move through your house.
We spent three days testing 14 of the most popular stick vacuums to determine which ones are actually worth buying for your home. Our tests included spilling cereal, popcorn kernels, dirt, and hair on hardwood floors and carpets, then running the vacuums across each one to see how easily they picked up the debris. Additionally, our testers made detailed notes about the vacuum's noise level, ease in maneuvering around and underneath furniture, its handheld usability (if applicable), and the overall quality of the vacuums to inform our final selections.
Our top pick is the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum because of its superior maneuverability, built-in HEPA filter, and its ease in picking up dirt from carpets, hardwood floors, and rugs alike.
- Best Overall: Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum
- Best Cordless: Dyson Outsize Absolute+
- Best Corded: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Stick Vacuum
- Best Convertible to Handheld: Black+Decker PowerSeries Two-in-One Cordless Stick Vacuum
- Best for Hardwood Floors: Eureka Flash Stick Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Wet/Dry Vacuum: Shark VacMop Wet/Dry Stick Vacuum
- Best Affordable: Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum
What We Recommend
Best Overall: Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum
Best Cordless Stick Vacuum: Dyson Outsize Absolute+
Best Corded: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Stick Vacuum
Best Convertible to Handheld: Black+Decker PowerSeries Two-in-One Cordless Stick Vacuum
Best for Hardwood Floors: Eureka Flash Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Best Wet/Dry Vacuum: Shark VacMop Wet/Dry Stick Vacuum
Best Affordable Vacuum: Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum
The Bottom Line
When it comes to picking out the best stick vacuum for your home, it's important to keep in mind what flooring types you have, how many rooms you'd like to clean at once (which impacts the battery life you'll need—or whether a corded model would be best), and the amount of storage space you have. Our top overall pick for the best stick vacuum is the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum because of its incredible versatility across hardwood floors and low- to high-pile carpets. We also found its flexible wand, LED headlights, and built-in HEPA filter to be super helpful in ensuring your home is free of dirt and allergens.
Our Testing Process
We compiled a team of expert testers to use and review a variety of different stick vacuums from our lab in Industry City, Brooklyn. Each test involved unboxing and assembling the vacuums according to the instructions, then running the vacuums across a hardwood surface and three different types of carpet. Then, we measured each vacuum's ability to suck up hair, cereal, and popcorn kernels from each flooring type, making note of how many passes were needed to clear away the materials. In order to test their mobility, our testers ran the vacuums around and underneath furniture such as couches and coffee tables. Finally, we evaluated them based on weight, portability, and ease in emptying the dustbin.
What to Know About Stick Vacuums Before Shopping
Flooring Type: Keep in mind what types of flooring you have in your home. The best stick vacuums should be able to suck away materials on hard flooring, carpets, and even fluffy rugs, but if your home only has one or two flooring types, you won't need to be as picky.
Common Debris: While everyone has dust and dirt in their home, some people also need a vacuum to pick up particles like pet hair and allergens. If you're a pet owner, you'll want to consider a vacuum specifically designed to tackle pet hair, whereas someone with asthma or allergies may benefit from a stick vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Battery Life: Depending on the size of your home and the number of surfaces you're intending to clean, vacuuming could be a time-consuming chore. If you're shopping for the best cordless stick vacuums, keep an eye out for models that offer a long-lasting battery life. While some models we found only run for 20 minutes at a time, other options can last up to two hours.
Weight/Maneuverability: One of our favorite features of the cordless stick vacuum is how lightweight and easy it is to move around your home. People with lots of tight corners in their house or furniture they'd like to vacuum under will want to look for models that offer maximum flexibility. Some stick vacuums can rotate nearly 180 degrees, while others are flexible enough to lay completely flat when cleaning under a couch or behind furniture.
Other Stick Vacuums We Tested
During our testing process, we also reviewed the Dyson V11 Animal cordless stick vacuum, the Shark WandaVac cordless stick vacuum, and the Samsung Jet 70 Pet vacuum. While we liked the Dyson Animal vacuum, the company no longer sells that particular model. We found the Samsung Jet 70 to have lower ratings than competing models when it came to vacuuming hardwood flooring and high-pile carpets. During our testing, the Shark WandaVac performed well on hard surfaces, but it pushed around larger debris and had lower ratings on carpet than other models featured in this article.
Your Questions, Answered
Are stick vacuums worth the money?
Stick vacuums can be a great solution to cleaning up dirt, pet hair, allergens, and more from your home without sacrificing storage space or having to push a heavy vacuum for long periods of time. Even though they're significantly lighter than most other vacuum cleaners, the stick vacuums we tested offered powerful suction and a brushroll to remove even ground-in debris from multiple flooring types. Many stick vacuums come with handy attachments, allowing you to convert it into a handheld device to clean couch cushions, dusty corners, and hard-to-reach places in your home. You can even find cordless stick vacuums, which run without the need for a cumbersome power cord. Plus, there are plenty of options available from top retailers like Shark, Dyson, and Bissell in a variety of price ranges, making it a little easier to find the right features for your needs.
How long do vacuum cleaners last?
According to Consumer Reports, the average vacuum lasts about eight years, but this number can vary greatly depending on how often you use it, how much dirt and pet hair are in your home, and even the brand of vacuum. However, there are plenty of things you can do to increase the lifespan of your vacuum, such as cleaning out the dust bin regularly, removing hair or dirt that's been caught in the brush roll, and wiping down the exterior when it's dirty.
How do I charge my cordless stick vacuum?
Since cordless stick vacuums don't plug into an outlet for power, their batteries will need to recharge for a few hours after each use (the vacuums we tested had a battery life ranging from 20 minutes to 2 hours). Every cordless stick vacuum comes with a charging cord, and some also include a convenient docking station, which you can attach to your wall to store and charge your vacuum. Keep in mind that it'll take several hours for your cordless stick vacuum to fully recharge, so you'll want to consider battery life and how long your typical vacuum session lasts when choosing the right model for you.
Who We Are
Samantha Jones is a commerce home editor at Better Homes and Gardens, writing about a variety of topics including vacuums, patio furniture, and meal delivery services. She researched the ins and outs of stick vacuum cleaners for this story, comparing our test results from the lab with customer reviews, product specifications, and the latest vacuum models on the market.
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