Corded stick vacuums have a distinct advantage over cordless models -- cleaning time doesn't depend on battery charge life. That means there's no frustration resulting from a dying battery midway through cleaning up a big mess. In terms of corded stick vacuums, the 7.5-pound Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum 81L2T (Est. $50) is both affordable and powerful. With a unique V-shaped nozzle designed to pull debris towards the middle of the nozzle where suction power is the strongest, it's effective at removing dust and debris from hard floor surfaces.
The Bissell PowerEdge has a 20-foot power cord, longer than most corded stick vacs. Still, some owners say that's too short, making it necessary to relocate the cord several times in the midst of a larger cleaning job. It also doesn't have any attachments, like a crevice or upholstery tool. That said, the V-shape of the nozzle creates two pointed ends on either side, which tuck easily into corners and crevices. This is actually more convenient than dealing with switching attachments in and out.
"The suction power, together with the odd-looking but highly effective V-shape front edge, pulls the hair and dirt into the vac rather than pushing it around. It's hard to overstate the 'wow' factor involved as it cleans right up to the baseboards, under the cupboard edges, pulls hair from corners and around chair legs," explains one owner posting feedback to Amazon.com. On the downside, there are mixed opinions on noise. Some owners say it's quite loud, while others don't seem to mind.
If noise is a major issue for you and you don't mind spending a bit more money, the Hoover Corded Cyclonic Stick Vacuum, SH20030 ($80) is another option among corded stick vacuums. Like the Bissell PowerEdge, the Hoover Corded Cyclonic has a 20-foot power cord, though it's slightly heavier at 8.8-pounds. It also doesn't have attachments, and it lacks the Bissell's V-shaped nozzle. That said, it does have a swiveling handle to make it easier to maneuver around chair legs and other pieces of furniture, and the handle reclines and folds down compactly for easy storage.
The Hoover Corded Cyclonic Stick Vacuum is mostly quiet during use. We read just a few isolated complaints about noise among reviews, and in those cases the noise seemed to be related to another malfunction. Overall, the Hoover Corded Cyclonic Stick Vacuum is reliable and durable, and like the Bissell, it does an excellent job at pet hair removal. The Bissell, however, has rubber lips instead of brushes to aid in removing pet hair from bare floors -- but that means it's not designed for use on carpets.
The Hoover, on the other hand, has a powered brush roll for use on carpets, and it performs pretty well compared to some stick vacuums on carpeted floors. It's best on low-pile carpets and area rugs, but owners say it's adequate for occasional carpet use overall.
In terms of filtration, the Hoover Corded Cyclonic uses cyclonic filtration, which separates dirt and dust from the air before it hits the micro filter. The Bissell PowerEdge uses a similar cyclonic filtering system that helps keep the filter cleaner, giving it a longer life span.
If you need a corded stick vacuum to use across multiple flooring types, the Hoover is a better option at a higher price point. But if you're dealing with mostly bare floors and need a powerful stick vac for keeping excess pet hair at bay between regular cleanings, our best-reviewed pick, the Bissell PowerEdge fits the bill at an affordable price.
If you're looking for the most basic corded stick vacuum and cord length isn't an issue, there are more affordable options than the Hoover and the Bissell which also tend to be lighter weight. The Eureka Easy Clean II 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum 169B (Est. $40) , for instance, offers a 15-foot power cord, weighs 4.4 pounds, and converts to a hand vac by removing the handle.
Our best-reviewed pick, the Eureka Easy Clean II is a model that's been around for a while, and it has proven its durability through the test of time. In fact, several owners posting reviews to Amazon.com say they've owned this stick vacuum for years and have experienced no problems. "After 10 full years of use, I would buy this unit again, without hesitation, no questions asked," claims one owner posting a review to Amazon.com. "I have used it light duty for the whole 10 years, on mostly hard floors and a couple of area rugs. It has been bullet-proof," he adds.
The Eureka Easy Clean II works well on bare floors, low-pile carpets and area rugs, and it's a decent performer for picking up pet hair, as well. The Easy Clean II has a washable filter that rarely needs replacing if it's cleaned regularly -- most owners suggest doing so after each use for the longest life span.
One alternative, the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik Lightweight Corded Stick Vac SD20000RED ($30) , weighs just 3.8 pounds and has a slightly longer, 16-foot power cord that many owners say suits their needs. Like the Eureka Easy Clean II, it converts to a hand vac by simply removing the handle for above-the-floor cleaning duties, such as removing crumbs from a coffee table or end table. It too has a washable filter.
In one comparison test of 10 stick vacuums conducted by a professional consumer testing organization, the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik lands at the bottom of the pack overall. It earns just fair scores for its ability to clean carpets and bare floors, as well as its edge-cleaning and pet-hair-removal capabilities. It does earn a very good rating for noise -- although about half of the stick vacuums included in this roundup earn the same rating, while the other half earn the highest rating. In the same test, the Eureka Easy Clean II gets better scores in every rating category, including an excellent rating for edge cleaning and a good score for pet hair removal.
The same professional testing organization found that neither of these vacuums emits emissions. The Eureka and the Dirt Devil both use a standard filtration process.
User-reviewers offer decent feedback for the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik. Owners praise its simplicity for small jobs, such as in small apartments or dorm rooms. Most say it's very effective if you have the right expectations. "While it is obvious this very cheap and small vacuum is not the ideal main vacuum of choice for regular vacuum days or actual houses, this is an absolute perfect product for small jobs or, better yet, smaller spaces (especially if you have). It's lightweight and multiple use design and very good suction power all add up to a great deal that work[s] extremely well," explains one owner posting a review to Amazon.com.
With similar cord lengths and the ability to convert to a hand vacuum, the major differences between the Eureka Easy Clean II and the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik are performance and durability. For about $10 more, opting for the Eureka gives you proven reliability, better edge- and floor-cleaning capabilities, and better pet hair removal. That said, if you're looking for the most basic, simplistic stick vac for a small space, the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik may be adequate for your needs and in the right price range.