One of the major selling points for stick vacuum cleaners is their ability to be quickly adjusted into a handheld model by swapping the brush roll with one of the included nozzles. Most people who swear by stick vacuum cleaners enjoy moving quickly from countertops to carpet or hardwood.
There is a certain type of stick vacuum cleaner, however, that functions much like a traditional handheld vacuum. These 2-in-1 handheld & stick hybrid vacuum cleaners tend to operate intentionally as if you were going to use the product for both features. Many of these “hybrids” can balance out the raw suction power of a traditional upright or stick model while still working with the light maneuverability of a handheld vacuum.
There are many variants of the 2-in-1 model, but this article focuses on four versions that we feel lead the pack. After our overview of these top 4 2-in-1 vacuums on the market, we’ll be breaking down the specific information you need to keep in mind before you purchase one of these versatile and capable products.
The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302 is a powerful stick vacuum cleaner that works to compete alongside models from companies like Dyson. Using a powerful motorized brush roll that can be turned off seamlessly in the middle of operation, the Shark Rocket is a no-brainer for homes that have both hardwood and carpet. As a stick and upright vacuum cleaner, there’s virtually nothing to complain about. While Shark’s stick vacuums function more like a capable stick vacuum than a traditional 2-in-1 model, this Rocket model vacuum has more than enough strength to make handheld mode worthwhile for cleaning.
As a handheld product, however, you may need a little bit of elbow grease to get the Rocket moving. At a little under 8 pounds, the Rocket can be a bit heavy to maneuver around with one arm. As a corded vacuum, there’s little worry about running out of power, but moving this motor and bin around is going to take some work on your end. Thankfully, there are more than enough attachments to maximize your time spent cleaning. This model also cannot stand upright, but an included wall mount fixes this problem easily.
The Home & Car Detail kit is a welcome addition and makes this a worthy product to use as a car vacuum on top of a 2-in-1. The dusting brush and crevice tool are also long and easy to use, and when it comes to floors, the hard floor hero works best for tight corners and the like. So provided you’re willing to bulk up a bit and take some time to get used to a few quirks, this product has something for everyone.
Stick | 40 min Battery | Bagless | HEPA filtration | 5.75 lbs | X Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Dyson’s V8 stick vacuum cleaner, as the name implies, is all about suction power. Versatile functionality is sacrificed in the hopes of producing the most powerful 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner in the market. Dyson may have succeeded on that end, but a high price tag and lost features might not be a worthy trade for some.
- Powerful, long-lasting suction
- Excellent build quality and great attachments
- Long-lasting battery
- Uncomfortable operation
- Max power mode drains battery quickly
- HEPA filtration
- Max power mode
- Dirt ejector
- Attachments: Soft brush roll, crevice tool, motorized pet tool
- Warranty: 2-year Limited
2-in-1 vacuum cleaners, as we’ll be getting into a little bit later on, are not known for their powerful suction power but rather their versatility. This Dyson product manages to keep the 2-in-1 model while still maintaining their standard of power.
The Dyson V8 is Dyson’s premiere stick vacuum, which, like the Shark Rocket, can be quickly converted into a handheld product. This Dyson also includes a brush roll that can be turned off and even a soft brush roll attachment that will protect hardwood floors while still cleaning in between planks and panels.
Suction power has always been the primary focus of the Dyson company, and this holds true with the V8. That strength results in significantly reduced functionality. The attachments included especially the motorized pet tool, are well-built and work great, though the trigger-based operation is often reported to be uncomfortable. If you manage to hold down the trigger constantly, the vacuum will drain far faster than its reported 40-minute runtime, which can be a big issue for larger homes. Still, build quality and suction are second-to-none when compared to others on this list. If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 vacuum with a focus on flooring and strength, the Dyson V8 might be the pick for you.
2-in-1 | 15 min Battery | Bagless | Filtration | 6.9 lbs | X Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
This traditional 2-in-1 vacuum from Hoover comes with all of the bells, and whistles you would want from a hybrid vacuum, including motorized handheld tools and LED lighting. The battery life leaves much to be desired, but provided you’re willing to wait for it, this Hoover product can put out a significant amount of power in a small package.
- Powerful motorized turbo tool
- Easy on/off brush roll functionality
- Precision crevice tool great for corners and cars
- Short, weak battery
- Can struggle on hardwood floors
- Light on attachments
- Motorized Turbo Tool
- LED Headlights
- Attachments: Crevice tool
- Warranty: 2-year Limited
Hoover’s 2-in-1 entry looks precisely as you would expect a hybrid vacuum cleaner to work, and with a size and cordless variant like this, Hoover clearly took the time to make a product to last. The Hoover 2-in-1 Air Cordless Deluxe stick vacuum cleaner is one of the higher-end models in Hoover’s Air line and comes with battery functionality that can make it a joy to use for smaller homes.
While the Shark Rocket and Dyson V8 focused on flooring, the Hoover’s big strength is its handheld functionality. The motorized turbo tool makes it easy to pick up pet hair and clean upholstery with more detail than many of our other picks, and the crevice tool is thin and small enough to get into the tightest of places. Unfortunately, that’s where the attachments end on the handheld functionality.
In stick vacuum mode, the Hoover 2-in-1 Air uses an on/off brush roll to pick up dirt and debris without damaging your hardwood floors. LED headlights make this a much simpler task in the darker sections of your home, but since the brush roll still spins quite a bit on hardwood mode, you might be spewing dirt around more often than with other products on this list.
The biggest detriment to the Hoover 2-in-1 is the battery life. The 15-minute duration is listed without including the motorized tools, so for larger homes, this could pose a problem. For smaller homes and apartments, however, the Hoover 2-in-1 Air Cordless Deluxe is great option for pet hair, carpets, and most other needs.
Stick | 16 ft cord | Bagless | Rinseable Filtration | 3.8 lbs | X Hose | X Brush Roll
The inexpensive & convenient Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is the go-to option for any apartment dweller on a budget. For the price of a night out, this 2-in-1 vacuum will hit all of your basic needs both in stick and in handheld mode. We wouldn’t expect premium functionality from this budget device, but it gets the job done regardless.
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Good for quick cleanings and touch-ups
- Handy built-in attachments
- No brush roll means a tough time cleaning carpets
- Few attachments
- Small bin size means frequent trips to the trash can
- Attached crevice tool
- Multi-surface cleaning
- Attachments: Attached crevice tool
- Warranty: 1-year Limited
This Dirt Devil product is about as straightforward as a 2-in-1 vacuum can get. Rock-bottom pricing and simple solutions clearly inspired both the design as well as the name of this Dirt Devil product. The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is a lightweight, corded stick vacuum cleaner that features a removable handheld vacuum much like that on the Hoover 2-in-1 Air. Coming in under 4 pounds, there’s little to fear about this vacuum putting dents on furniture or scratching up floors. Unfortunately, this lightweight design means that there’s no brush roll to really pick up debris in carpet fibers.
In handheld mode, the Simpli-Stik benefits from a build in crevice tool. With this, there’s never a need to search for or stow away attachments. There are no additional attachments or features, but the small motor packs enough of a punch to make cleaning simple. The smaller bin size means that emptying the debris will need to take place about every room or so, but since the Simpli-Stik is designed with apartments and small homes in mind, this might not be much of an issue. Long story short: provided you’re alright with the lack of versatility; the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik simply works.
Our picks for best 2-in-1 handheld & stick vacuum cleaners vary intentionally as there are no two homes that have the exact same vacuuming needs. Those who are in the market for these 2-in-1 products will need to carefully select their model to make sure you’ve got the product that’s right for them.
Also, consider that 2-in-1 vacuums are almost always handheld & stick vacuum cleaners. Like both, these sacrifice power for portability, and each can have their long floor attachment removed to easily clean different parts of a room.
Do I Need a Brush Roll?
While three out of our four picks included a brush roll, we know that not everyone will need the most powerful roller for their homes.
Smaller and more affordable 2-in-1 vacuum cleaners, like the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik, skip the brush roll attachment to save on battery life, power, or overall cost. Spinning a brush roll at thousands of revolutions a minute, like on the Hoover 2-in-1 Air Cordless Deluxe or Dyson V8, can be a drain on suction strength and session life.
If you have lots of carpets, however, brush rolls are a must-have to agitate the carpet and push the debris into the air, where it can be vacuumed up. The more carpet your place has, the more important a powerful brush roll is for your hybrid vacuum.
Batteries and Weight
2-in-1 products usually need to focus on getting their weight down. Most of this comes from the handheld functionality. Since you’ll be removing the bulk of the vacuum from the floor tool, the motor in the handheld vacuum will need to be powerful enough to spin the brush roll (if any) but light enough to make handheld functionality effortless.
The more powerful vacuums on our list, like the Shark Rocket and Dyson V8, come with the sacrifice of weight and can be a bit uncomfortable to use in handheld mode. Generally, the more powerful the motor, the more unwieldy handheld mode becomes. Handheld mode rarely comes with motorized tools, so you’ll expect the battery to last much longer when using the 2-in-1 vacuum in this state. The long-lasting battery is a big consideration for those with larger homes, but if you live in an apartment or only need to clean a room or two, weight and battery both become less of an issue.
As a rule, make sure you’re leveraging battery life and weight so that you end up with a model that can last through an entire cleaning session of your space.
Do I Need Attachments?
As you may have noticed, not many of these 2-in-1 vacuums feature attachments.
To keep their lightweight design to make handheld functionality easier for the end-user, many of the 2-in-1 vacuums skip on attachments to cut down on weight. This becomes less of a problem for the budget-conscious or pet-free consumer, but if you need to pick up lots of pet hair, this can pose a bit of a problem. The Dyson V8, as well as the Hoover 2-in-1 Air Cordless Deluxe, come with motorized attachments, which give them a significant advantage to pet owners. If you’re looking to pick up pet hair or deep clean furniture, then one of these two vacuums may work better than others on our list.
The type of home you have plays a big factor into which of these four 2-in-1 hybrid vacuums is right for you. The Dyson V8 is great for power and pet hair, while the Hoover 2-in-1 Air Cordless Deluxe is a great all-around for smaller locations. The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is easy to use and affordable, but only one of these products stands out as the best all-around.
The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302 proves to be the best balance of power, versatility, and attachments. Despite a few quirks, this product works the best in handled mode as well as in stick for almost any home—large, small, carpeted, or with pets.
Otherwise, be sure to consider our Buyer’s Guide and other picks to make sure that the 2-in-1 vacuum you pick has the functionality and strength you need to conquer cleaning day.