Dyson V6 Animal
Dyson V6 Animal

Best cordless stick vacuum

Most experts say that a stick vacuum can't replace a dedicated upright, but the Dyson V6 animal may just prove them wrong. This powerful, versatile vacuum is at the top of every "best of" list and professional test that we saw. Yes, it's expensive, but thousands of happy owners say it's worth it. This stick vacuum is just one in the Dyson V6 line, it converts to a handheld and includes tools to help handle pet hair on any surface. Step-down models cost less, and there's a step-up model too.

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Dyson V6 Cord Free Vacuum
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $299.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Hoover Linx BH50010
Hoover Linx BH50010

Best value cordless stick vacuum

The Hoover Linx BH50010 is another top pick in stick vacuum reviews, and reviews say that it's a terrific value as well. Experts say it works well both on carpets and hardwood floors, excels at pet hair pickup, and holds a charge long enough to clean a moderate-sized living space. Its lithium-ion battery means it will maintain full suction until it's completely run down. Owners note that, at about 7 pounds and with conveniently located controls, the Hoover Linx is very easy to use.

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Shark Rocket Ultralight
Shark Rocket Ultralight

Best corded stick vacuum

Owners give the Shark Rocket Ultralight the kind of love you don't see very often in user reviews, and experts also highly recommend it. Many say it works better than the full-sized upright vacuum they traded it in for, and that it performs equally well on hardwood, carpet and area rugs. The Ultralight also converts to a handheld vacuum for cleaning stairs and upholstery, and comes with a full complement of accessories for cleaning crevices and edges, and tall or hard-to-reach areas. It includes a wall mount for storage.

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Eureka Easy Clean 2-in-1
Eureka Easy Clean 2-in-1

Basic corded stick vacuum

It's somewhat less versatile than the Shark, but the Eureka Easy Clean 2-in-1 is also much less expensive and reviewers say it's a great choice as a basic stick vacuum for keeping things tidy in between regular cleaning sessions, even on low-pile carpet and area rugs, thanks to its removable handheld vac. It's also quiet and has a small nozzle for easy maneuverability. In spite of its low price, the Eureka Easy Clean is exceptionally durable -- owners say it lasts for many years of typical use.

See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

Stick vacuums are convenient for quick jobs

Stick vacuums are lightweight, smaller versions of the traditional upright vacuum. They are extremely handy to keep around for quick pick up jobs, like spilled flour, dust bunnies, pet hair, or the crumbs that seem to follow small children everywhere.

In the past, stick vacuums were considered appropriate only for cleaning hardwood floors and very low-pile carpet. However, some of today's stick vacuums are more powerful than ever, and some people will be able to use them as their main vacuum. They're not the best choice, though, for deep-pile carpet or for extended cleaning jobs (most cordless stick vacs have a limited run time, whereas corded stick vacuums limit your range). If you need a vacuum for heavier, longer tasks, upright vacuum cleaners and canister vacuum cleaners, both of which we cover in separate reports, are better choices.

Regardless of your home size or floor type, a stick vacuum can be a great time-saver compared to hauling out the bigger vacuum, and they can't be beat for spot messes. Stick vacuums are also more convenient than a broom and dustpan because you don't have to bend over during use; they also pick up smaller particles and do a more thorough job because of their suction action. Stick vacs don't use bags, they capture debris in a dirt cup which makes disposal simple, though sometimes messy. Stick vacuums are also better suited than upright vacuums for sweeping under furniture; plus, because of their light weight, they're easy to lift and carry. Some stick vacs come with a swivel head that makes cleaning around obstacles an easy task. Included attachments can help with cleaning hard-to-reach areas.

Many stick vacuums come with an integrated, detachable handheld vacuum. These 2-in-1 models share a single dirt collection container and are as compact and lightweight as stick vacuums that don't convert. If you need to clean both floors and other surfaces, this type of stick vacuum can be a cost-effective solution. If you want a simple vacuum just for clean ups on something other than floors (upholstery, for example), you might be interested in our separate report on handheld vacuums, where we recommend the best choices.

Stick vacuums can be cordless or corded

Cordless stick vacuums are better suited for quick cleaning tasks because they can only run for about 15 to 30 minutes per charge, and recharging takes several hours. However, the lack of a cord makes them very convenient to use; you don't have to plug and unplug it and deal with the range limits of a power cord. Many reviewers say cordless vacuums are faster to use than corded vacuums and the run time is plenty long for most tasks. That said, cordless stick vacs rely solely on battery power and when the battery dies, you can't continue with a cleanup until the battery recharges. Some models use replaceable batteries and you can extend your cleaning time by swapping out a depleted battery for a fully charged one. However, spare batteries are sometimes expensive and buying one will add to the overall cost of ownership.

Corded stick vacuums don't have any limitations on power, but they do tether you to a cord that might not be long enough to clean a whole room without unplugging it and plugging it back in elsewhere. Some smaller, cheaper vacuums have very short cords; larger, more expensive vacuums usually have longer cords. Corded stick vacuums tend to get better reviews overall for durability; some models in this report are still going strong after 5 or 10 years, according to owners.

How we chose the best stick vacuums

Stick vacuums are quite popular and, as a result, there are a good number of professional tests and expert reviews and roundups available. Most helpful were testing sites like ConsumerReports.org, Reviewed.com and TheSweethome.com. Good Housekeeping and Real Simple also have useful roundups, but their testing methods are less well explained and they name just a few models. Also extremely helpful are the thousands of owner reviews we analyzed at retail sites, such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com and BestBuy.com, to name just a few. These user reviews give the best overview for how each stick vacuum operates in real-world, long-term use. In evaluating these reviews, we consider performance on different flooring surfaces, pet-hair pickup, features and attachments, and ease of use and durability to help you find the best stick vacuum for your cleaning needs.

Elsewhere in this report:

Best Cordless Stick Vacuums | Best Corded Stick Vacuums | Buying Guide | Our Sources

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