Top 12 Best Vacuums for Stairs in 2019: Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to the areas of a house that must be vacuumed, stairs are by far the most difficult. Components like the tread, risers, nosing, skirt boards and balusters come together to create corners, edges and awkward crevices where dust, dirt, hair and debris all too easily find their way.
Getting into these nooks and crannies can feel like an insurmountable task. There is also the issue of climbing, which is exhausting when you have to drag a vacuum cleaner up and down a flight of stairs while you bend and stoop to clean every corner and edge of the staircase.
While your trusty upright vacuum serves you well for general vacuuming purposes, this type of vacuum can be inefficient and cumbersome to use on stairs if it isn’t optimized for portability.
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Top 12 Best Vacuum Cleaners to Clean your Stairs
It’s a little over 1 foot tall and one-half foot wide and deep, so the vacuum is definitely compact; these measurements also make it suitable for automobile detailing. The vacuum is even equipped with a curved looped handle to make toting it up and down the stairs a breeze.
With its 6-inch cleaning path, you can vacuum each tread in just two swipes. You also get the benefit of Eureka’s 1-year limited warranty to cover any malfunctions.
The 5.5-amp handheld vac generates strong suction to lift embedded dirt, pet hair and large debris, and it contains two motors, each of which has a different purpose. One motor turns the power on and off to the rotating brush while the other controls the suction.
You’ll appreciate how simple it is to change the brush roll and suction setting as you clean. There is one push-tab switch that you can operate with your fingertip as you hold the vacuum cleaner.
This switch allows you to simultaneously run the brush roll and suction or just the suction as well as turn off the vacuum and release the dust cup where you have access to the washable filter.
Since the power cord is 20 feet long, you can clean an entire staircase without the need to switch electrical outlets. To keep the cord neatly organized, there is a recessed cord wrap on the back of the vacuum cleaner. The EasyClean comes with a crevice tool, which is a must-have accessory for stair cleaning. This attachment can be stored on the vacuum, and it pushes onto the stretchable hose to give you a total reach of 23 feet.
However, the vacuum’s most exciting feature is its riser visor, which is a clear plastic cover that flips up for vertical vacuum jobs like risers and chair backs. Simply flip it down for cleaning flat surfaces such as stair treads and couch cushions.
At its widest point, the slim-profile handheld vac is only 4.3 inches, and it’s 16.1 inches tall. Thanks to the D-shape handle, you can easily hold it as you clean up and down the stairs.
The user-friendly features don’t stop there. The on-off switch is located just a fingertip’s reach away on the handle. Homasy not only offers a 12-month warranty on this model but also gives you a 45-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied for any reason.
You don’t have to contend with a power cord because this vacuum cleaner runs off a 2,200 mAh lithium-ion battery. Therefore, you are free to move anywhere you need to go. This powerful battery provides 30 minutes of run time, which is long enough to clean your stairs, and it has a decent charging time of 3 to 5 hours.
An on-board LED indicator light tells you when the vacuum is done charging. Simply put it on the space-saving charging stand until the red light turns green.
Powered by a 90-watt motor, you get 6 kilopascals of suction that is strong enough to lift crumbs, pet hair and cat litter. Since the suction system consists of radial cyclones, this handheld vac is a pro at suctioning fine dust, which is great if your stairs are hardwood laminate. In addition, the vacuum has the ability to clean up wet spills with its 100-milliliter rubber jar insert. For dry messes, you can use the brush tool and crevice attachment.
Emptying the 0.6-liter dust cup is an effortless task. Push the release button to remove the dust cup from the handle, dump the contents and snap it back into place. While the dust cup is open, you have direct access to the washable filter.
Homasy even includes two extra filters to save you money on replacements. To prevent debris from scattering, Homasy thoughtfully built the vent into the side of the vacuums, eliminating a problem that plagues all too many handheld vacuums.
In handheld mode, its weight is only 4.6 pounds. You also get the benefit of an extra-long 30-foot power cord, a lifetime warranty and an integrated handle.
Going from upright to handheld is a breeze. Simply push the button on the wand to remove the handheld portion or press the pedal on the floor nozzle with your foot to use the extension tube with the handheld vacuum for extra reach, which comes in handy for stair cleaning. Shark includes a slide-on TruePet motorized brush that gets deep into carpet fibers and lifts clingy pet hair from hard surfaces.
The duster-crevice attachment stored on the vacuum allows you to remove debris from edges and corners as a crevice tool or push the brush part down to suction around the balusters of your staircase. To make sure you don’t miss a single speck of dirt, the hand vac is equipped with an LED light.
When you use the vacuum as an upright, you can clean all types of floors. The Rocket DuoClean’s floor nozzle has a dual-brush setup. The hard-bristle brush roll lifts dirt and debris from carpets, and the soft brush roll collects larger particles while it lightly buffs your hard floors.
Maneuvering the vacuum in upright mode is easy since the floor nozzle is designed to swivel and has a pair of headlights. When you’re finished vacuuming, hang the vacuum on the wall mount to save floor space.
All the hair, dirt, dust and debris suctioned by the Rocket DuoClean must pass through a double-layer pre-motor filter before it enters the dust cup, which can hold 0.91 quarts of dry particles. Dust and particles that don’t get caught by the foam and felt filters or dust cup must go through the post-motor filter, drastically reducing the release of dust from the vent.
In order to empty the dust cup, squeeze the release buttons to completely remove it or press the empty-cup button to dump its contents while the cup is still attached to the handheld vacuum.
It features a soft rubber built-in handle for a comfortable grip. When used as a stick vac, the floor head pivots and the wand lays flat, allowing you to clean under furniture with ease. The full row of headlights on the nozzle as well as the pair of lights on the handheld vac illuminate dark spaces. Plus, you get 2 years of warranty coverage from Bissell to take care of any issues that may arise.
Some convertible vacuums shorten your reach when you’re in handheld mode. However, the Bissell Multi Reach gives you the option of keeping the quick-click wand attached while using the handheld vac. The brush roll within the floor nozzle works well on hard floors and carpets. With the brush’s suction squeegee and fine bristles, you’ll have no trouble removing pet hair and dust from any horizontal surface.
There are three attachments included with this vacuum. The upholstery tool is ideal for vacuuming risers while the flexible bristles of the dusting brush make cleaning around balusters, skirt boards and nosing less tedious. You also get a crevice tool, which stores neatly inside the handle.
With the 22-volt lithium-ion battery, you have the limitless reach that only cordless vacuums can provide. This battery is strong enough to give you 20 minutes of run time, and the plug-in power adapter charges the battery in 5 hours. For your convenience, you can keep the battery pack connected to the handheld vac or take it out altogether, and there is a four-bar light indicator that tells you the battery’s charge at a glance.
This indicator does double duty as a brush roll indicator, blinking red when the brush is jammed. However, the brush roll configuration is a far cry from the cumbersome brush garages that require a screwdriver to open. Simply turn the rotating latch, and the brush bar slides out of its container.
The 0.4-liter dust cup is just as easy to release by pulling it out, and it has a bottom-release door for mess-free emptying.
Inside of this handheld vac, there is a powerful 400-watt motor, which gives you lasting suction from start to finish. With the 1-year warranty from SharkNinja, you can use this vacuum as often as you want and have coverage if a part prematurely fails.
With this vacuum, you get 15 feet’ worth of power cord, which is a sufficient length for staircase cleaning. When vacuuming a straight staircase, you won’t have to stop in the middle of cleaning to plug in the cord to another outlet. One attachment that you’ll probably use often is the wide dusting brush. When you utilize the click-in-place flexible hose with this attachment, you can extend your reach several additional feet.
There is also a crevice tool that measures 12 inches long, so you don’t have to hunch over to vacuum stair edges and corners. Like the DuoClean at number 10 on this list, the Shark Rocked Hand Vacuum comes with a TruePet motorized brush, which makes vacuuming pet hair and stair treads quick and easy.
On this handheld vacuum, there is a 0.42-quart collection cup, eliminating the hassle of changing messy dust bags. You don’t have to remove the cup to dump the contents. Instead, just press the button to open the swing-hinge lid, and the dirt and debris drop straight into your garbage can.
Accessing the filters is also a problem-free process. At the top of the Shark HV292 Rocket Corded Hand Vac, there is a hatch that lifts open to reveal the dual-layer pre-motor filters, which you only need to rinse once per month.
With a weight of 3.3 pounds, you won’t get tired carrying it around while you suction dirt and debris on your stairs, and its D-shaped handle offers an ergonomic grip. For peace of mind, HoLife provides warranty coverage on this handheld vac for 12 months, and the company lets you return the vacuum for a refund in the first 30 days after purchase – no questions asked.
Thanks to its strong motor, the vacuum gives you 6,000 pascals of pressure at a rate of 18 liters per second; therefore, the hand vac can handle stubborn debris such as pet hair and cat litter. With its cyclone-type suction, you get consistent suction no matter how much charge is left on the battery. Even though the motor is powerful, it’s surrounded by sound-dampening material that tempers the noise to a conversation level of fewer than 78 decibels.
Inside of this vacuum cleaner, there is a 14.8-volt battery that lasts for a full 30 minutes between charges. This integrated lithium-ion battery also charges fast. On a 0-percent charge, the battery takes about 4 hours to replenish itself, which is a great charge time compared to many handheld vacs that take 5 or even 6 hours to recharge.
When the battery is done charging, the indicator light turns from red to green, so you don’t have to guess how much time is left.
The way the charger is configured allows the hand vac to sit vertically on the dock to maximize the space on your table or counter.
You can utilize the vacuum’s lengthy operating time and powerful suction with or without its slide-on attachments. It comes with a brush nozzle, which works great for cleaning carpeted stairs. There is also a crevice tool that is narrowly tapered for efficient corner and edge vacuuming.
As you clean, it’s easy to control the power switch with your fingertip. When you’re done, push the release button to empty the 0.6-liter dust cup or wash the filter. To quickly suck up small pools of liquids, simply push the rubber jar into the vacuum’s nozzle.
When in its upright configuration, you can tote it by the convenient carrying handle, and the rubber-covered built-in handle helps you maintain your grip when in handheld mode. In its entirety, the vacuum cleaner weighs 8.7 pounds, so you won’t struggle under its weight.
The handheld vacuum is 13.4 inches long and 10.2 inches wide, making it compact and easy to maneuver on the stairs. Thanks to SharkNinja’s 5-year limited warranty, you will get years of use out of this convertible vacuum cleaner.
With the Multi-Flex wand, vacuuming under your furniture is a breeze. This wand bends in the middle while cleaning and even lets you fold the vacuum in half when you’re storing it. You can also detach it along with the handheld vacuum for staircase cleaning and other non-floor vacuuming tasks. It comes with three attachments, including an anti-allergen brush for removing fine dust from hard objects and getting into narrow spots.
The pet multi-tool is perfect for picking up hair on fabric, and there is a duster-crevice combo attachment, which makes light work of vacuuming the edges and corners of your staircase.
Even the brush roll configuration is designed to be versatile. The floor head contains two brushes – one hard-bristled brush that deep cleans carpeted areas and one soft rolling brush that sweeps up debris on hard surfaces. With Shark’s Smart Response technology, you can change the brush roll’s speed and the suction’s strength with just the touch of a button.
You also get cordless convenience that gives you free range of motion. However, Shark takes the concept of battery-operated vacuuming one step further with its ION Power Pack System. There are two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries as well as a charging dock, so you can charge one battery while you use the other.
This system doubles the vacuum’s run time to approximately 40 minutes. The charging time is rather impressive too, taking just 3.5 hours to go from 0 to 100 percent. Want to buy the innovative Shark IF251 IONFlex 2x DuoClean Cordless Vacuum_ Go ahead and check out the link below.
5) BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum Review
From its size to the way it sits on the charging cradle, there is nothing about the BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum that is bulky or cumbersome. This 15.2-watt handheld vac weighs right at 2.6 pounds, so it’s more than lightweight enough for vacuuming a staircase. It’s also slender with a length of 17.2 inches and a width of 5.5 inches.
The vacuum features a looped handle that makes holding the vacuum a pleasure. With the integration of cyclonic suction, lifting fine dust and heavy dirt is no problem. You also get a 2-year limited warranty from Black & Decker.
Keeping up with the two attachments is easy. The hinged brush is connected to the nozzle, and all you need to do to pull out the extending crevice tool within the nozzle is lift the brush.
Black & Decker put a lot of thought into the battery they chose to power this vacuum. Thanks to the inclusion of a 16-volt battery, you get suction that doesn’t waver and lasts for 15 minutes per charge cycle, which takes just 4 hours. In contrast to nickel-metal hydride batteries, this lithium-ion battery doesn’t have that annoying memory effect that reduces the battery’s charge capacity over time.
Plus, the small, circular charging dock allows the handheld vac to sit diagonally on the charger at the perfect grab-and-go angle. When the battery is fully charged, the charger immediately turns off to protect the battery’s lifespan.
Like the rest of the BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum, the dust cup is designed to be user-friendly. It’s made of translucent, durable plastic, so you can see how full it is at a glance.
Releasing it is a cinch thanks to the fingertip cup release button located next to the equally easy-to-operate power button. By pressing the side nozzle release buttons, you can quickly remove the washable filter and plastic pre-filter any time you need to clean them.
4) Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum Review
The 5.8-pound convertible stick-handheld vac boasts Dyson’s digital V8 motor and two-tier radial cyclone configuration that consists of 15 cyclones stacked in two rows to maximize the vacuum’s airflow to 115 air watts on its highest suction setting.
When it comes to versatility, this vacuum has it in spades. There are two interchangeable floor heads that you can instantly release with the trigger-style button. Use the efficient, durable direct-drive floor head to deep clean carpet and the soft brush floor nozzle to remove debris and dust from hard floors. When you need a rapid burst of power, slide the switch to max mode to get 7 minutes’ worth of extra-strong suction.
In handheld mode, there are three locking attachments you can utilize for stair cleaning. The motorized mini tool lifts embedded dirt and pet hair like a champ, and the triangular brush is ideal for cleaning the corners and risers of your stairs. You also get a crevice tool and combo tool to take care of the staircase’s edges, skirt boards and balusters.
Since it runs off a lithium-ion battery, you are not restricted by a power cord. This battery provides a whopping 40 minutes of operating time, which is more than enough time to clean your entire staircase. When you use the motorized floor head in stick vac mode, you get 25 minutes of operating time, which is still impressive.
During its 4-hour recharge period, on-board indicator light bars keep you updated on the battery’s charging status.
Knock out the dander, pollen and other allergens lurking around your house with the vacuum cleaner’s HEPA filter. This filter is easy to take care. By washing it regularly, it will last a lifetime. Thanks to the 0.53-liter bin’s bottom door, you won’t have to come into contact with nasty dirt and dust.
When you are ready to call it day, simply click the Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum into place on the wall mount and slide the attachments into the individual slots on the mount’s tool caddy.
3) BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FLFH MAX Lithium Flex Vacuum Review
With its stick vac attachment and powerful battery, this is one of Black & Decker’s most innovative, efficient handheld vacuum cleaners to date. Plus, it’s extremely compact, weighing just 3.2 pounds and standing only 6.5 inches high. Inside this small hand vac is a smooth-running motor that produces 24 air watts of cyclonic suction.
You can count on the BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FLFH MAX Lithium Flex Vacuum to help you keep your house clean because it’s backed by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
As you carry the vacuum cleaner by the top curved handle, you can slide on the long crevice tool for stair edge cleaning or the rubber pet-hair brush for removing clingy pet hair from the treads and risers.
There is also a flip-up dust brush that is highly adept at working around balusters. When not in use, the carrying handle acts as a convenient storage compartment for the hose.
You won’t get frustrated by weak battery power. The MAX Lithium Flex contains a 20-volt lithium-ion battery to give you suction that lasts an entire charge cycle. With a 20-minute run time and no-fade suction, you can tackle your staircase and other intensive chores.
Thanks to the battery’s 4-hour charge time, you don’t have to wait long to use the hand vac again. As a bonus, the charger offers a place for you to store the vacuum’s attachments.
The BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FLFH MAX Lithium Flex Vacuum also boasts an excellent filtration system. Both the inner pleated filter and outer plastic pre-filter are reusable, and they work together to trap large and small particles, including fine dust. With the vacuum’s cyclonic action, most of the dirt and dust enters the easy-open 18.9-ounce debris container, prolonging the life of the filters.
2) Deik Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Review
It’s hard to believe that a 5.11-pound vacuum cleaner has a suction strength of 7 kilopascals, yet the lightweight 2 in 1 Deik Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is that powerful.
Even better, you can use this vacuum as an upright or handheld, so you can clean your floors and your stairs. All it takes to remove the handheld portion is touching a single button. To minimize the release of all the particles and allergens it suctions, the vacuum contains a washable HEPA filter and a 0.5-liter dust bin with a bottom-open lid. It also comes with 1 year of warranty coverage.
You still get plenty of versatility in handheld mode. The same headlight-equipped floor head that you use in upright mode can be attached to the nozzle of the hand vac, so you can quickly clean stair treads. Deik also included the essential attachments you need for above-floor cleaning.
There is a crevice tool for stair corners and edges and a dust brush for risers and balusters. Thanks to the handheld’s looped handle and power button, you won’t experience hand fatigue.
To give you 30 minutes of working time, the Deik Vacuum Cleaner has a 2,200 mAh lithium-ion battery. Therefore, you can clean your whole staircase with battery life to spare.
To recharge the battery, simply place the vacuum on its charging base for 4.5 hours. The LED indicator light lets you know when the battery is fully charged. The stand not only gives you a secure place to charge the vacuum but also offers a place to keep the handheld’s accessories, so you don’t have to worry about misplacing your tools in between vacuuming sessions.
1) Dyson V8 Animal Cord Free Vacuum Review
The last vacuum cleaner on our list is another wonderful Dyson model. The Dyson V8 Animal Cord Free Vacuum is a stick-handheld hybrid that provides the portability you need for off-floor vacuuming, including stairs, automobiles and ceilings. It weighs 5.6 pounds, and the hand vac is 9.9 inches by 8.8 inches.
In upright mode, the vacuum stands 49 inches tall, preventing the need for hunching over to clean your floors. With its V8 motor, pet fur and large debris don’t stand a chance. Of course, you get Dyson’s standard 2-year limited warranty to protect your investment.
There is also a triangular soft brush for vacuuming corners, and you can use the combo or crevice tool to remove dirt and debris from edges and nosing. If you have a difficult mess to clean, push the sliding switch to max mode to enhance the vacuum’s suction.
Even though the lithium-ion battery provides 40 minutes of operating time, you want to get the most out of every charge. Therefore, Dyson implemented a trigger switch, so you can turn the vacuum on and off instantly and conserve the battery.
With a short 3.5 hours of recharge time, you don’t have to wait long to use the vacuum again. To keep the vacuum off the floor when you aren’t using it, the wall mount gives you a place to hang the V8 Animal and the attachment tools.
The Dyson V8 Animal Cord Free Vacuum boasts an advanced dust elimination system. It starts with the 15 radial cyclones that are configured in two layers, keeping dust away from the filter while boosting the vacuum’s airflow. The HEPA filter traps 99 percent of dust particles that don’t find their way into the 0.14-gallon collection bin, preventing the dust and other irritants from being released into the air.
You won’t have to spend money on replacing the washable HEPA filter because it lasts the entire life of the vacuum cleaner.
Vacuum for Stairs Buying Guide
Cordless Is Safer But Corded Can Work Too
The debate between cordless and corded has gone on for years. Usually, deciding between a corded or a cordless vacuum is a matter of personal preference. However, for vacuuming stairs, a cordless vacuum is safer because there’s no cord causing a tripping hazard. Plus, you won’t have to deal with running out of slack halfway up the stairs.
Although there is a cord with which to contend, you don’t have to scratch off corded vacuums from your shortlist. The key to finding a workable corded vacuum cleaner is getting one with a long enough power cord. Regardless, don’t discount cordless vacuums for their suction power. Modern cordless vacuums rival corded ones in terms of suction strength.
A Vacuum You Can Carry Comfortably
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of choosing a vacuum is getting one you can maneuver easily. Make sure the vacuum is lightweight enough for you to lift. Most people can manage to tote 10 pounds or less up and down a staircase. However, those who have chronic joint pain may want to go a little lighter.
Don’t forget the handle. Avoid any vacuum with a handle that contorts or strains your wrist. Handles that are looped or D-shaped are the most comfortable. The gun-grip style of handle is also ergonomic. All the controls it has, such as the power or variable-suction button, should be within easy access.
Hard or Carpeted Stairs
Hard-surface stairs and carpeted stairs don’t require the same level of vacuuming power. Vacuums without a brushroll work well for stairs covered in hardwood. The same rule applies to tiled stairs. Suction alone is sufficient for these surfaces. A bristled brushroll could scratch hardwood and tile; however, a vacuum with a soft roller is perfectly fine.
For stairs covered in carpet, straight suction won’t clean them, and a soft roller can’t penetrate below the surface of the carpet’s fibers. Only a brushroll with hard bristles can reach lift all the dirt from your carpet. If you have pets, a brushroll-equipped vacuum cleaner is a must-have.
Attachment Tools for Detailed Vacuuming
No matter the flooring on your stairs, there are at least two attachments you’ll need – a crevice tool and a flexible hose. The crevice tool is a tapered wand with an angled or a flat edge. This wand will get rid of all the dirt that settles on the wall and riser edges of each tread.
Cleaning in between the balusters is tricky. A crevice wand alone won’t be able to reach all the awkward spots because it can’t bend. However, if you attach the crevice tool to a flexible hose, you’ll be able to vacuum around the balusters without hurting your wrist or leaving debris behind.
You also need a brush attachment. For hard floors, a non-motorized brush with stationary bristles will attract dust and pet hair. If there is a low-pile runner on the stairs, a non-motorized brush is a gentle yet effective choice. To vacuum fully carpeted stairs, the brush attachment should have a rotating bristled roller – often called a motorized brush.
Types of Vacuums You Can Use on Stairs
With the exception of a robo vac, any type of vacuum is a conceivable choice. Stick vacuums reign supreme for use on staircases. Canister vacs are another great choice. However, you can make an upright or a handheld vacuum work too. A central vacuum is also an option. Of course, all types have their pros and cons.
Stick Vacuums for Stairs
Stick vacuums are the most popular choice because they are all lightweight. They are also smaller in terms of width, making them easy to maneuver on a staircase. If you want more versatility from your stick vac, there are many models that transform into a handheld that you can use for quick spot cleaning.
These vacuums come in corded and cordless versions. Cordless stick vacs are more convenient, and they seem to be the current stick vac trend. Although they usually don’t produce as much suction as full-sized uprights and canisters, their suction is anything but weak.
Canister Vacuums for Stairs
Canister vacuums produce plenty of suction to lift dirt from carpeted stairs. You can get a canister vac with or without a bagged dirt-collection system. Since the pole is attached to a flexible hose, you don’t have to tote the canister up each step as you vacuum.
While canister vacuums on wheels offer incredible under and around-furniture cleaning action, they aren’t the best choice for steps. Wheeled canister vacs tend to be too bulky to fit on a step, and it’s difficult to keep them stationary on a staircase. Although you’ll have to pick up the canister, wheel-free models are slimmer and more stable.
Backpack vacuum cleaners are a spinoff of the canister vacuum. As their name suggests, you carry the housing on your back by securing the straps to your shoulders, chest and torso. The appeal of a backpack vacuum is that it leaves both hands free. While some weigh almost 20 pounds, there are many half that size.
Upright Vacuums for Stairs
Uprights are the old traditional standby. They generate strong suction, and you can use an upright to vacuum almost any type of flooring. As with canister vacs, uprights are an excellent whole-house vacuum, but not all models are suitable for stairs.
If you decide to buy an upright vacuum, make sure it’s lightweight – 12 pounds or under. A slim space-saver will have a small enough floor nozzle to fit on a step without hanging over the side. A few manufacturers produce uprights with a lift-off canister that make staircase vacuuming much less of a hassle.
Handheld Vacuums for Stairs
If weight is a big concern, you won’t find a lighter vacuum than a handheld model, which ranges from 3 to 5 pounds. Since they’re much smaller than any other vacuum, maneuvering one is no problem. You’ll have to bend over to use it, so those who have mobility issues may want to pass on a hand vac.
When picking out a hand vac, look for one with an ergonomic handle because it will take you longer to clean the stairs than if you were to use a larger vacuum. You’ll need one with a crevice attachment to vacuum along the stair edges and a lithium-ion battery or a power cord to get reliable suction.
Central Vacuums for Stairs
Stick, canister, upright and handheld vacuum cleaners are all portable. For people who live in two-story and multi-story homes, toting a vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs eventually becomes cumbersome. However, central vacuums provide a fixed alternative, and they last for about 20 years.
You don’t have to strain your back because you’ll only carry a hose attached to a wall receptacle. Plus, there are no cords to plug in or batteries to recharge. The majority of vacuum hoses stretch to 30 feet, which is more than long enough for cleaning stairs, and you can get a crevice attachment to fit it.
Vacuum for Staircases FAQ
Staircases are one the most high-traffic areas of the home. However, they usually don’t get enough attention because cleaning them is tedious and time-consuming. No matter how well-kept the rest of your home looks, a neglected staircase detracts from the home’s overall cleanliness.
With the right vacuum, you can streamline this chore. However, use the wrong vacuum, and the task becomes something you dread. If you’ve already begun your stair vacuum search, you undoubtedly have a few questions.
A stick vacuum is a great alternative to the upright since stick vacs have a slimmer profile. Either way, the vacuum will need attachments to get the job done.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is the canister vacuum. With a canister vac, you have the ability to roll the vacuum over the floors in your house while still getting the portability you need to lift and carry the vacuum up those pesky stairs. These vacuums usually come with an array of attachments and a long hose to make detailing easier. A more compact choice is the handheld vacuum.
Although you can’t use a hand vac to clean your floors, these vacuums are easy to use on the stairs. If you just can’t decide, there are also convertible vacuums that go from upright or stick to handheld or canister, giving you the best of both worlds.
Since cordless vacuums run off battery power, you can only vacuum for as long as the battery stays charged. When buying a cordless vac, you want to make sure the battery has enough juice to make it through an entire staircase cleaning.
Look for vacuums with a lithium-ion battery as opposed to a nickel-metal hydride battery because lithium-ion batteries have the lasting power that the nickel-metal version doesn’t have.
As far as any attachment goes, the longer it is, the easier vacuuming will be on your back. Tools like flexible hoses and sliding wands extend your reach too.
Since staircase vacuuming requires you to carry the vacuum in one hand, you’ll need the power button to be within reach of your fingertips, not somewhere that forces you to let go of the hose or attachment and use the other hand.
A trigger switch eliminates the issue of placement because these switches are always built into the handle, allowing you to squeeze it to run the vacuum and simply let it go to stop the vacuum. Of course, if you have small hands, carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritic joints, a trigger switch may not be the best option.
If you’re going the cordless route, you’ll need one with a high-powered battery to give you the necessary suction for vacuuming carpeted surfaces. Otherwise, a brush roll is ideal for cleaning deep into carpet fibers.
In terms of hardwood or laminate wood stairs, you can get away with using a straight-suction vacuum.
In fact, you’ll never have to worry about tough bristles scratching the steps. However, there are vacuum cleaners with soft brush rolls that preserve the integrity of hard-surface steps. Some brush roll vacuums even have two brush rolls to tackle all surfaces while others allow you to turn the brush roll on and off with the flip of a switch.
This means picking up the shoes, toys and other random items your children haphazardly left behind on the staircase as well as that basket of laundry you’ve been meaning to put away for the past two days. You don’t want to risk clogging your vacuum with a stray sock or action figure.
Once the vacuum is out and ready to go, you should start where debris accumulate the most – the edges, corners and around the balusters. This is when attachments like a crevice tool come in handy. Work your way up the stairs from the bottom step, focusing on the corners and where the risers and tread meet. Then, vacuum around the circumference of each baluster as you walk back down to the bottom step.
After you put the detailing tool away, you can point your attention toward the risers and tread, vacuuming from riser to tread to riser as you walk up the stairs one more time. Of course, it’s easier to execute these instructions if you have the right type of vacuum cleaner.
What Is the Perfect Vacuum for Cleaning Stairs?
The answer to this question is partly subjective. You may feel like a handheld vacuum is the most comfortable, convenient option while your neighbor down the street simply can’t live without her canister vacuum. The answer also depends on the type of staircase in your home.
Are the stairs covered in laminate wood, carpet or hardwood with a runner? How are they configured? Curved and spiral staircases are more challenging to vacuum than straight, winder or half-landing staircases.
There are some general characteristics that make a vacuum cleaner well-suited for staircase cleaning.
However, what one person considers light may be too heavy to another. Again, the ideal weight comes down to your personal comfort level.
Usually, a vacuum cleaner under 10 pounds is typically a safe bet because the time it takes to clean a staircase can feel twice as long with a heavy vacuum in your hand. Another facet to keep in mind is the measurements. How long, wide and deep is the vacuum? Is it bulky or slim? It’s always easier to carry a compact vacuum cleaner than a big one.
Some vacuum cleaners are even equipped with a shoulder strap for additional support. There are also vacuums with a telescopic wand that prevents post-vacuuming back and joint aches.
The bigger the cup, the fewer number of times you’ll need to empty it while vacuuming. Another feature to look at is the vacuum’s power cord. A 12-foot cord will have you pausing your cleaning session to switch electrical outlets, which is a time waster. Conversely, a battery-powered vacuum cleaner should offer a sufficient run time between charges, so you can clean the entire staircase in one fell swoop.
However, what matters more is how the attachment connects and detaches from the vacuum cleaner. Can you push it on and pull it off, or is there a button to press that releases it? Most importantly, is there a storage compartment on the vacuum? You want the attachments to be on hand at all times.
Ideally, you want to suck up every piece of dirt and hair in one pass. To enhance a vacuum’s pick-up ability, manufacturers often add a brush roll, which lifts dirt and debris and sweeps them into the suction inlet. Some brush rolls are designed to attract hair while others are made to prevent marking hard surfaces.
Vacuums for Stairs: Recap
You have a wide array of options available for stair vacuuming. Stick vacuums are lightweight wonders, especially stick-handheld combos. Canister, upright and backpack vacuums offer full-powered suction strength. Handheld vacs are small enough to use anywhere, and central vacuums relieve you of carrying a vacuum cleaner altogether.
No matter the type of vacuum or whether it’s corded or cordless, make sure its weight is manageable and its handle is comfortable. Unless it’s a handheld, canister or central vacuum, it should be able to fit on the stairs. You’ll need a hose and a crevice tool, and a brushroll is a must-have for carpeted steps.
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