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Best Stick Vacuums

By: Kelly Burgess on April 10, 2018

Editor's note:
Dyson is still the best in class when it comes to full-featured, high-performing cordless stick vacuums. Newer models have made Dyson's older, but still great, stick vacs more affordable, too. But if you just need a stick vacuum for basic tasks, or prefer a corded model for unlimited run times, we found some other great choices.

Dyson V8 Absolute Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Weight - 5.7 lbs Run time - 40 mins Charge time - 5 hrs

Best cordless stick vacuum

Finally, a lightweight, cordless stick vacuum that can replace your heavier upright or canister vac, as well as your handheld. The Dyson V8 boasts a long, 40-minute run time on its normal power setting, and enough power and suction to clean even thicker carpets. This versatile stick vac is at or near the top of every "best of" list and professional test that we saw. It's pricey, yes, but you can sell your other vacuums to defray the cost.

Bissell AirRam 1984 Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Weight - 7.9 lbs Run time - 40 mins Charge time - 5 hrs

Basic stick vacuum

It's just for floors, there are no other attachments, but the Bissell AirRam 1984 is an excellent performer on both carpet and hard floors. It gets high scores for wrangling pet hair and folds and almost completely flat for cleaning under beds and other low furnishings. The battery in the AirRam 1984 is removable so you can buy a backup to double its 40 minute run time. The handle retracts for storage and the vacuum can stand alone.

Buy for $199.00
Hoover Linx BH50010 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Weight - 7.3 lbs Run time - 20 mins Charge time - 3 hrs

Best cheap cordless stick vacuum

If you just want a cordless stick vacuum to quickly touch up your carpet or clear smaller messes on hard floors, the Hoover Linx BH50010 is a good choice. In testing, it works well both on bare floors and low pile carpet, and does a good job keeping pet hair and dander under control. At about 7 pounds and with conveniently located controls, the Hoover Linx is very easy to use. It has a 20-minute run time.

Buy for $128.63
Shark Rocket Complete HV382 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Vacuum weight - 9.9 lbs Handheld weight - 3.5 lbs Cord length - 30 ft.

Best corded stick vacuum

The Shark Rocket Complete HV382 is another vacuum that can probably replace your heavier upright or canister vacuum, as well as your handheld. Compared to the 15 to 25 pound weight of most uprights, this Shark weighs less than 10 pounds and, unlike cordless models, this corded model has an unlimited run time. In testing the HV382 earns excellent scores for cleaning both carpet and hard floors. The HV382 also comes with a couple of great accessories for dealing with pet hair.

Buy for $249.99
Bissell PowerEdge 81L2T Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Cord length - 20 ft. Vacuum weight - 7.5 lbs. Converts to handheld - No

Basic corded stick vacuum

It's less versatile than the Shark, but the Bissell PowerEdge 81L2T is also much less expensive and reviewers say it's a great choice as a basic corded stick vacuum for keeping things tidy in between regular cleaning sessions. It sports a unique, V-shaped nozzle that excels in cleaning in corners and crevices without the need to switch out attachments. It's also a superior performer on pet hair and sand, so might be a perfect choice for a vacation home.

Buy for $69.99

Types of Stick Vacuums

Cordless Stick Vacuums

Lacking a cord, these vacuums are extremely easy and convenient to use. Cordless stick vacuums used to be considered just "part-time" tools, useful for cleaning up quick, light messes. However, both run times and performance have improved to the point that some can now be used as your main vacuum, especially in smaller homes. Of course, increases in power come with increases in price, and some of the top cordless vacuums are quite expensive. But most people really only need a cordless stick vac for touch ups between regular cleanings. In that case, a less-expensive stick vac with a run time of 15 minutes or so will be more than adequate. All cordless vacuums take several hours to fully recharge.

Corded Stick Vacuums

Corded stick vacuums don't have any limitations on run time, 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 (or using an extension cord). 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 than cordless models.

Stick vacuums are convenient for quick jobs

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 vacs don't use bags; they capture debris in a dirt cup, which makes disposal simple. 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.

If you need a vacuum for heavier, longer tasks, upright vacuums and canister vacuums, both of which we cover in separate reports, are better choices. For even lighter tasks, a handheld vacuum might be a better choice for some. If you prefer to avoid vacuuming altogether, a robot vacuum will do the work for you. Pair one with a stick vacuum and we can guarantee your cleaning days will be a lot easier.

Finding The Best Stick Vacuums
Our Sources
"Stick Vacuums"
2. CNET
"Best vacuum cleaners 2017"
"The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum"

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 Consumer Reports, Reviewed, Wirecutter, TechGearLab and Good Housekeeping. Stick vacuums have become so high tech that vacuum testing and reviews of individual vacuums have also become common at technology sites, too, like CNET, Wired and Digital Trends.

Just as helpful are the thousands of owner reviews we analyzed at retail sites, such as Amazon, Walmart and Home Depot, 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.

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Stick Vacuums buying guide

What every best Stick Vacuums has:

  • Good suction power.
  • Good performance on edges.
  • Hand-vac conversion.

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