Anyone who’s ever had to clean stairs with an upright vacuum cleaner can attest to the back pain that can ensue afterward. Cleaning staircases – whether they be hardwood, carpeted, or otherwise – can pose a unique problem. With little space to maneuver and awkward angles to overcome, you can easily get stuck trying to clean stairs at an uncomfortable angle with a vacuum cleaner that’s probably too heavy for the task at hand.
To simplify the stair vacuuming process, you need a vacuum cleaner that either has amazing reach or a handheld product that’s light enough to give your back a rest. In either case, you need a vacuum cleaner designed for staircase cleaning. To help you in your search for such a machine, we’ve assembled our top four picks for the best all-around vacuum cleaner for staircases. These products will give you the leverage you need to get the job done.
Not all of them are going to work for every home. That’s why, after our Overview, we’ll also be taking a closer look at each product in our Buyer’s Guide in an attempt to better understand which product might be right for you. Finally, we’ll talk about which product we think appeals to the most consumers and staircases out there.
- Miele Compact C2 Electro+ SDCE0
- Boasting a wide range of attachments and nozzles at the end of a seven-foot hose and variable suction canister, this Miele compact canister vacuum cleaner upholds the company’s reputation for innovation, ease of use, and quality.
- Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302
- Shark’s simple corded stick vacuum cleaner is lightweight and portable enough to be used on staircases. The lack of HEPA filtration and the smaller bin is somewhat disappointing, but for low-pile carpeting and hardwood, this is a simple yet excellent vacuum cleaner that can handle stairs in a cinch.
- Dyson V7 Trigger
- Dyson’s trigger-activated handheld vacuum comes with a motorized brush roll for carpeted staircases and offers an impressive amount of suction considering the product weighs under four pounds. However, with no ability to clean other floors and a lack of hose, you’re going to be somewhat limited in what you can clean with this vacuum.
- ProTeam Super CoachVac
- The ProTeam Super CoachVac is the vacuum you turn to when all else fails. It features lots of reach with a ridiculous fifty-foot cord, so you won’t need to worry about stopping as you clean a staircase or two. No motorized brush roll, though, is a setback for those who have thicker-carpeted stairs.
- Vacuum Cleaner For Stairs Buyers Guide
- Back-Saving Vacuum Types
- Stair-Focused Accessories
- Final Thoughts
Canister | 18 ft cord | Bagged | HEPA Filtration | 18.7 lbs | 7 ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Boasting a wide range of attachments and nozzles at the end of a seven-foot hose and variable suction canister, this Miele compact canister vacuum cleaner upholds the company’s reputation for innovation, ease of use, and quality.
- Many great attachments
- Cleans everything from carpets to hardwood
- Variable motor
- Great stair attachment included
- Long-lasting performance
- Shorter hose
- Can be unwieldy
- 6-stage variable speed motor
- Electrobrush for intensive deep cleaning of carpets
- Attachments: Soft parquet brush, hard floor nozzle, Electro plus floorhead, dusting brush, upholstery tool, crevice nozzle
- Warranty: 1-Year Limited, 7-year Body & Motor Warranty
The Miele Compact C2 Electro+ SDCE0 is one of the very Best Miele Vacuum Cleaners. Boasting all of the features you would want within the quality canister you would expect from a company like Miele, you should have no trouble tackling any staircase with this product.
Miele vacuum cleaners come with variable speed motors, which are a must-have for sensitive stairs or above-ground surfaces like curtains. The included attachments are all high quality and allow homeowners to easily clean out smaller crevices, like the spacing between the rail supports.
Of course, this functionality comes at a high cost, so you can expect to pay more for the Miele Compact C2 than many of the other products on our list. You may also need to take the canister up and down the stairs once during a full cleaning, which might be difficult for some homeowners. Still, the Miele Compact C2 Electro+ SDCE0 is one of the best vacuums out there not just for stairs, but for everything else as well.
Stick | 25 ft cord | Bagless | Washable Foam Filtration | 7.6 lbs | X ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Shark’s simple corded stick vacuum cleaner is lightweight and portable enough to be used on staircases. The lack of HEPA filtration and the smaller bin is somewhat disappointing, but for low-pile carpeting and hardwood, this is a simple yet excellent vacuum cleaner that can handle stairs in a cinch.
- Lightweight & portable
- Highly maneuverable
- Easy transition from one type of flooring to another
- Varied attachments for all cleaning situations
- A smaller bin means more trips to the trash can to empty out debris
- Performance can nose-dive on higher pile carpeting
- Top-heavy design
- Home & Car Detail Kit for deep cleaning of vehicles
- Dust Away hardwood floor attachment for bare stair cleaning
- Attachments: dusting brush, crevice tool, upholstery too, accessory bag
- Warranty: 5-year Limited
Despite its stick-based design, Shark’s Ultra-Light upright vacuum cleaner brings a lot to the table. Featuring a simple attach & detach mechanism for the powered extension rod and brush roll, the Shark Rocket can easily be adjusted into a makeshift handheld vacuum to clean staircases. Likewise, the 25-foot cord means there is no need to move a canister up and down staircases.
Coming in at under eight pounds, it shouldn’t be much of an arm workout to tackle stairs. As an added bonus, when you’re done cleaning the stairs, you can also clean up your vehicles with the included Home & Car Detail Kit.
However, we’re a little bit frustrated at a few of the quirks of this design, such as a small bin and unwieldy design. Considering the price tag, Shark has produced a powerful stick vacuum cleaner that’s perfect for quick cleaning jobs on most types of flooring.
Handheld | 30 min Battery | Bagless | Washable Filter Filtration | 3.77 lbs | X Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Dyson’s trigger-activated handheld vacuum comes with a motorized brush roll for carpeted staircases and offers an impressive amount of suction considering the product weighs under four pounds. However, with no ability to clean other floors and a lack of hose, you’re going to be somewhat limited in what you can clean with this vacuum.
- Highly effective mini-motorized tool
- Very lightweight
- Powerful suction
- Cordless design great for staircases
- The battery life isn’t always as advertised
- No hose
- Trigger-based operation can be uncomfortable
- Mini-Motorized tool
- Hygienic dirt-ejector
- Attachments: Combination tool crevice tool
- Warranty: 2-year Limited
While it may not have been the intended purpose of their product, the Dyson V7 Trigger can compete with many fully-fledged vacuum cleaners when it comes to staircase cleaning. Using a trigger-based operation, Dyson’s foray into the handheld vacuum market can clean both carpeted and hardwood staircases. At well under four pounds, this is perhaps the most powerful and feature-filled handheld vacuum cleaner in its weight class.
Unfortunately, the Dyson V7 cannot clean flooring and comes with no extension rods or even a hose. Since the bin assembly is so close to the end of the nozzle, it can be difficult to clean certain areas without bumping the motor into various furniture. Likewise, we definitely find the trigger-based operation to be a strange choice. Still, this product is perhaps the easiest to use out of our picks, and it is also the only handheld vacuum cleaner on our list. We recommend the Dyson V7 Trigger for those who need a handheld vacuum cleaner that can do much more than pick up after minor spills.
Backpack | 50 ft Cord | Bagged | HEPA Filtration | 11 lbs | 4.5 ft Hose | X Brush Roll
The ProTeam Super CoachVac is the vacuum you turn to when all else fails. It features lots of reach with a ridiculous fifty-foot cord, so you won’t need to worry about stopping as you clean a staircase or two. No motorized brush roll, though, is a setback for those who have thicker-carpeted stairs.
- Large bag capacity
- Powerful cyclonic backpack motor array
- Best for bare floors and stairs
- Great HEPA filtration for allergies
- No motorized brush roll
- Not recommended for private use
- Mediocre attachments
- Four-level advanced filtration with HEPA
- Low 66dB operation volume
- Attachments: upholstery tool, crevice tool, Cover Multi-Surface Floor tool, telescoping wands
- Warranty: Lifetime molded parts, 3-year limited motor, labor, and other parts
The ProTeam Super CoachVac is perhaps the best solution for stair cleaning that involves bare surfaces like hardwood, but it’s not exactly something you’d use around the house. This vacuum is a backpack vacuum cleaner, meaning you can wear the unit on your back while you vacuum your space and thus skip the clunky maneuvering of a floor-bound model. In many ways, this category closely assembles the canister vacuum cleaner.
When it comes to the Super CoachVac specifically, two telescoping wands make it simple to pick up debris on stairs without so much as bending over. With a fifty foot power cord and 1- quart capacity, this vacuum is also perfect for cleaning large spaces.
Backpack vacuums work best as commercial cleaners but those with carpet might be disappointed in the model’s lack of brush roll. Purchasing this product for stair cleaning alone might be overkill, but if you need to clean your storefront and have a few bare floor stairs to manage, this could be exactly the vacuum you need.
Vacuum Cleaner For Stairs Buyers Guide
Our picks for best stair vacuum cleaner range widely in their features and functionality. To pinpoint which vacuum may be right for you, consider the following:
Back-Saving Vacuum Types
Since staircases pose a unique problem of uneven surface leaning, figuring out how to clean these surfaces without bending into uncomfortable positions can be the biggest hurdle. The various vacuums on our list manage to do so in different ways.
For instance, the Shark Rocket is a 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner, allowing homeowners to use the included extension wand for floor cleaning or remove it to lessen the distance between the handheld motor and the stairs themselves. Canister and backpack vacuum cleaners both manage to leave the motor, bin, and other superfluous parts of the vacuum behind to give homeowners access to extension wands and hoses to clean debris. Finally, handheld vacuum cleaners like the Dyson V7 Trigger aim to make the lightest vacuum possible to reduce the strain of stooping down as much as possible.
The need to make a back-saving vacuum is also why you won’t find an upright anywhere on our list. Upright vacuum cleaners often have no method to reduce the weight of the product and remove the brush roll from the main assembly. The result is a vacuum that weighs close to 20 pounds, which is an ineffective design to be dragged up and across every single stair.
Attachments and accessories are also important for stair cleaning. The natural design of stairs leaves room for debris to become trampled into uneven surfaces or the crevices between stairs. Likewise, fixtures like stair railings provide lots of nooks and crannies for debris to begin to accumulate.
If you have a staircase that tends to get dirty in hard-to-reach places, you’ll need to pay special attention to the included attachments on each of these four vacuums. Generally speaking, we can say products like the ProTeam Super CoachVac and Miele Compact C2 Electro+ both have a large number of attachments and malleable hoses to maneuver them to the right place.
For carpeted staircases, you’ll also want attachments that include motorized brushes. The Dyson V7 Trigger’s included mini attachment, for instance, is perfect for these purposes.
Finally, as we’ve mentioned before, you’ll need a considerable amount of reach if you’re opting for a vacuum cleaner that can tackle floors as well as stairs. Reach is especially important for products like canister vacuums, which will need to be moved. For instance, if you have a large staircase, you may need to pause cleaning to move the Miele Compact C2 Electro+ either up the staircase or vice versa.
You’ll need to leverage range of use with capabilities when it comes to a stair vacuum cleaner. For instance, range poses little threat to the ProTeam Super CoachVac, but this model won’t be much help in cleaning carpeted stairs. Finding the right balance will lead you to the right vacuum for you.
Each of these vacuum cleaners can make quick work of certain types of stairs, but not all of them are going to be the best for your home. Make sure the product you’ve chosen best aligns with your desires not only for a vacuum cleaner for stairs but for the rest of the home as well.
If you want an all-around product that can handle stairs as well as other types of flooring and above-ground surfaces, the Miele Compact C2 is perhaps the best overall solution. For all of the benefits of substantial reach without the features for carpets and other surfaces, the ProTeam Super CoachVac has you covered.
If you need a small vacuum to handle stairs and possibly clean out crevices in cars, then the Dyson V7 Trigger might be your best bet. Otherwise, the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is an affordable and powerful stick vacuum cleaner that’s good for smaller homes and light jobs around the house.
We hope that our suggestions here have helped you narrow down your choices and pick out the right vacuum. No matter which option you choose, we hope that you spend less time at the chiropractor’s office and more time effortlessly cleaning your home, stairs and all.