• You are here:
  • Home »

Best Vacuum For Stairs 2018: 5 Top Cordless Models For Carpet Or Hardwood

Image & Award

Product Name

Our Rating

Motor Power (Watt)

Bin Size (gallons)

Weight (lbs)

Best Overall

shark duoclean powered lift away upright best pick





Dyson Cyclone V10





Best Budget

hoover linx signature cordless stick





dyson v8 absolute





shark duoclean rocket corded





In a hurry? Best Budget Choice: Hoover Linx | Best Overall Choice: Shark DuoClean Lift-Away

Admit it, you have on more than one occasion when you have been vacuuming the house, skipped the stairs altogether!

Hey, I am not judging, I am right there with you as vacuuming the stairs is a colossal pain, especially if you have a standard upright vacuum with no attachments at all.

It is awkward, annoying and more than likely you end up hitting yourself with the vacuum or dropping it on yourself someway! No one likes vacuuming the stairs as it is always a hassle, but that is what I am here to help you with today, to make your life much easier.

In short, you want a vacuum that can do the whole house and when I say whole house I do not just mean the drapes, the sofas, under the coffee table… I mean the stairs too! That is why I am putting together this list of the best vacuum for stairs.

I want you to be able to vacuum your whole house as quickly and easily as possible. I have handpicked five of the very best vacuums on the market right now and have put them through their paces to let you know just how good they are!

1. Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away

Here we have the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away which is one of the best vacuums for stairs and also one of the best bang for your buck vacuums on this list.

Shark does a great job in giving us high power, but at a more affordable price than what a company like Dyson for example offers.

It is a reason as to why Shark is becoming more and more popular.

Lift-Away Canister For Hard to Reach Areas

While it may look like your standard upright vacuum, Shark has been very clever in making sure it is suitable for the whole house… including the stairs.

What makes this great for vacuuming the stairs is the crafty way that the big brains at Shark have made it so you can remove the whole canister (hence the lift away in the name) from the main body of the vacuum.

This way you hold the vacuum in one hand, the hose in the other and you can just go to town.

It allows you to really give each stair a proper cleaning and it can handle any kind of carpet and even hardwood as well.

Once you are done vacuuming those stairs and wondering why dog hair likes to grip to it like it is made from glue, you simply place it back in the main body and you are good to go.

DuoClean Technology For Deep Cleaning

While this is not the most expensive vacuum on the market, it is still very powerful. The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away is called the “DuoClean” because it has a bristle brush and a soft brush roll that work in tandem to make sure that things that are in there deep and things that are on the surface are sucked up nice and easy.

Which is exactly what you want when you are not just doing the stairs, but the whole house in general.

It allows you to vacuum much quicker and from my experience even larger messes like half a bowl of Rice Krispies (thanks to the kids) only take one or two times going over with the vacuum.

While you are giving your floors and hallways a good working over with this vacuum, you will want to have it in the standard upright mode. The power here is really evident and you will be pleased with how much quicker you can do the house.

Of course, as you can take the canister off, you can clean the sofas, under the sofas, the beds and anywhere else that is hard to reach.

Flexible Even In Upright Mode

The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away even in upright mode is very flexible thanks to the way the head can move, which by the way has LED lights which is pretty neat for seeing what mess the kids and dogs have hidden all over the house.

Shark has done a great job with this vacuum and you will often find it on a list of best vacuums in general, not just the best Shark vacuum for stairs like I am looking at today. If you have been struggling to keep your stairs as clean as the rest of the house, this vacuum will take care of that for you, not just that, but the whole house in general.

The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away is a fantastic vacuum that will keep your whole house nice and clean, best of all it is being sold for a phenomenal fair price.

2. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is the newest stick vacuum from the guys at Dyson and the first thing that captures your eye is the design.

Dyson really does make some of the coolest looking vacuums on the market and this one is perhaps the coolest looking.

Not only have they made it look really smart, Dyson has also managed to make this vacuum nice and light, despite the horsepower that it has which is very impressive.

Impressive Handling

Let’s start with how well this vacuum handles the stairs as that is the main reason we are here today. The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute handles any kind of stairs that you may have like a dream.

If you have hardwood or carpeted stairs, this vacuum will not just make quick and easy work of it, it will allow you to do the stairs very quickly.

This is the most powerful stick vacuum you can buy right now. The new motor that Dyson has used allow it to be 25 percent more powerful, and it is not just this extra suction power that makes it so good at giving your stairs a really good vacuuming.

You can of course just leave it as a stick vacuum, but you can change it to a hand vac and this is how you should be cleaning your stairs.

Hand Vac Mode Makes This The Best Handheld For Stairs

In hand vac mode, you literally run it along the stairs and that is it. The power means that you need to run it across just once, twice tops and it is done.

The fact that this is so lightweight coupled with the extreme power make vacuuming your stairs super easy.

Dyson Cyclone V10

Now I know that you may be looking at the asking price of this and perhaps thinking twice, but as well as the stairs the Dyson Cyclone V10 makes vacuuming the whole house super easy.

The stick mode allows you to clean the floors, no matter if they are thick and shaggy, really thin or even hardwood. You can clean the floors very quick and easy and thanks to the weight, you can lift it up and clean the drapes, curtains or even the corners of the rooms that get cobwebs in them.

While being able to vacuum the stairs, the floors and even the roof is awesome, Dyson has made it so this vacuum is great for vacuuming things like the beds, the sofa, under the tables and so on. If you want a vacuum that is going to allow you to get into every nook and cranny as well as the stairs, this is it.

60 Minute Run Time and HEPA Filter

The 60 minute run time is longer than what most other cordless vacuums offer you so that is a very nice bonus. Plus this keeps all those nasty dust mites and other nasty things that float around away as this catches as much as 99.97 percent of the dust thanks to the HEPA filter.

Also when it comes to getting rid of all the mess it picks up, it could not be any easier, you never need to touch it. You place it over your garbage can, pull and then it all falls in!

The Dyson Cyclone V10 may be rather pricey, but that price is justified as it is the most powerful cordless vacuum on the market today and if you want to make vacuuming your stairs as easy as possible, you do not get much easier than this!

3. Dyson V8 Absolute

Here we have the Dyson V8 Absolute which is a fantastic option if you like the look of the V10 but feel that the price tag is a little too high.

With this one here, you get that raw Dyson power, but it is a couple of hundred bucks cheaper.

Cordless Stick Style Is Ideal For Stairs

Of course, this is a cordless stick-style vacuum, something that Dyson does arguably better than anyone else on the market right now.

Thanks to the stick design and the cordless nature of it, taking care of your stairs is a piece of cake… and if you have kids there is a high chance you will be vacuuming cake of those stairs at some point.

Some folks may indeed just keep this as a stick vacuum while they are taking care of the stairs and that would be fine, but you can make it even easier on yourself by changing it to hand vac mode.

Hand vac mode lets you blast it along each step and thanks to the direct drive cleaner head, those bristles get right in deep and pick up anything that is on the carpet. It cleans your stairs efficiently and quickly.

Plus if you have some very nice hardwood stairs, this will remove dog hair, dust, mud and anything else that is on there nice and easy all without scratching them up.

40 Minute Run Time For Whole House Cleaning

From a single charge, the Dyson V8 Absolute gives you around 40 minutes of vacuuming time. That is more than enough for you to do the whole house and the whole house you can.

The stick design means that you can get up high so Spider-Man in the corner with all his webs is no longer safe and even right at the back of the sofa can be reached. There is not a part of your home that this vacuum will not be able to clean.

Even though this is not the latest Dyson vacuum, it is still very, very powerful and will be an upgrade to most vacuums.

Especially as far as vacuuming your stairs and those other awkward areas of your house. The Dyson V8 Motor still puts out an incredible 110,000rpm so no matter what you are trying to get off the floor, stairs or whatever, this will make light work of it.

Easy Charging And Easy Empty

The ease of use extends to charging the vacuum as well. They give you a really neat charging stating with this, which you can attach to the wall and is a real space saver and very handy. In addition to this, Dyson makes getting rid of the mess this vacuums up nice and easy as well.

You never have to touch it as you hold it over the garbage, push the button and it is gone! When you do this, you do not have to worry about breathing it all in as when you are vacuuming the Dyson V8 Absolute manages to pump out cleaner air than you are actually breathing in which is crazy!

While this is not the latest vacuum cleaner on the market, it is still one of the most powerful and it is great if you are looking for a vacuum that cannot just do the floors, but also things like the stairs which is what I am looking for today.

4. Shark DuoClean Rocket Corded

At a little under 200 dollars, there is no denying that the Shark DuoClean Rocket Corded is one of the most amazing value vacuum cleaners on this list.

Shark is doing a great job and this is one of the crown jewels in their DuoClean line.

Powered By DuoClean And Lots Of Attachments

I talked about it before, but the DuoClean series is all about two heads working together One gets in super deep and the other is what finishes things off perfectly. Of course, the reason you are here is that you want to know if this is a suitable staircase vacuum cleaner? Well, let’s take a look.

The design of the DuoClean Rocket Corded makes it very easy to keep the dog hair and other mess off your stairs, no matter what they are made of. Thanks to this being an upright stick/design, you can just leave it at that or you can use one of the many attachments to clean the stairs.

The DuoClean technology makes cleaning the stairs very easy so you are looking at a few minutes to do your whole staircase which is very nice indeed!

LED Lights And Free Moving Head

I touched on how the upright/stick design is great, but the attachments that come as part of this package make not just cleaning the stairs, but the whole house so much easier.

The head moves very freely so getting around chair legs, under the sofa and so on is very easy. The lights on the front of it are great and a feature many Shark vacuums use. This may seem pointless, but it really does highlight any hard to see mess very well.

The main head can come off the vacuum (which can be really handy if you have narrow stairs) and from here you can use one of the attachment tools that Shark give you with this vacuum.

The hair removal tool is fantastic if you have dogs that like to shed all over the place. Dog hair is very annoying to pick up with a vacuum, but this tool is designed to make it as easy as possible.

The duster crevice tool is fantastic and this will maybe be what many people use to handle cleaning stairs, but this can also do the side of the sofa, under the cushions, the beds and all those really awkward spots that you pretend do not exist rather than do the horrible job of trying to clean them.

This crevice tool makes cleaning these hard to reach areas a breeze.

Functions As A Hand Vac

It even has hand vac functionality which when you have it as a hand vac, the whole thing weighs less than five pounds.

Shark has really worked hard to make sure that the DuoClean Rocket Corded is perfect for everyone. Now true this is not cordless, but they do give you a very nice long cord that easily wraps up once you are done.

The Shark DuoClean Rocket Corded is certainly worth a spot on my list. Shark have managed to give you a whole lot of power here, many different accessories and do it all while keeping the asking price right around the budget range which is a steal for how good this is.

5. Hoover Linx Signature

Last, but by no means least on my list of best vacuum for stairs I have the very affordable Hoover BH50020PC Linx Signature, which as of writing is the cheapest on this list.

What I love about this (besides the price of course) is how Hoover has gone above and beyond to make a powerful vacuum with some of their best technology, but also make sure that they keep the price as low as possible.

Cordless And Lightweight At A Budget Price

At first glance, you think it is just your standard upright vacuum cleaner. However this is actually fully cordless, which is great as while having a cable running behind you when vacuuming the stairs is tolerable, it is less than ideal. This is the first way that this vacuum makes it easier for you to ensure the stairs are clean.

Now, this may not have any fancy hose attachments or anything like that, but even though this is an upright vacuum, it is very light.

This means that due to the weight and lack of a cord, you can easily vacuum each stair thoroughly and it even has brushes along the side of the head which means that you can get really snug into the side of your stairs which is where dog hair seems to like to stay welded onto!

The brushes that hoover use are very smart and sophisticated, especially when you consider the price. So no matter if you have a shaggy carpet on your stairs or if you have some lovely hardwood, this is going to be able to get rid of any mess that is on them and do it quickly too.

WindTunnel Technology For Powerful Suction

While this is going to make vacuuming the stairs very easy, the Linx Signature gets rid of pretty much anything that is on ground level.

Hoover have what they call, “Wind Tunnel” technology. This basically creates a really powerful suction that lifts and sucks the dirt, dust and whatever else right into the vacuum.

You may think that as this is an upright vacuum and that there are no fancy attachments that you are limited to what you can vacuum. Well, that is not actually the case.

Of course, it handles floors (long carpet, fine carpet, and hardwood) with ease, but the way Hoover has designed this allows you to recline it to the point that it is nearly flat.

So you can get in and under really tight spots, and you do not have to rearrange the living room or the kid's bedrooms in order to vacuum.

Removable Battery And Large Dust Cup

The battery is powerful enough to allow you to vacuum a whole floor of your house with ease, maybe even the whole house.

What is neat about the battery is that it slides out of the vacuum and they give you a charging dock to charge it. The canister is on the back and once full (which takes a long time) you just take it off and empty it all in the trash.

The Hoover Linx Signature may be the most simple vacuum on this list, but it will certainly make it easy for you to vacuum your stairs. Not only that this is great for doing the whole house and the asking price is much lower than the other vacuums I have looked at today.

The Problems Of Vacuuming Stairs And How To Solve Those Problems


I have said it multiple times today, but vacuuming the stairs can be a major pain! Here I am going to show you that you are not alone with your hatred of vacuuming the stairs as I look at what some of the main problems are when it comes to vacuuming the stairs.

Do not worry though as I also have some great tips to make vacuuming your stairs much, much easier.

Here are a few of the common problems that we have all faced at one time or another when it comes to keeping the stairs clean.

Not Enough Room

This is the main one most of us deal with and that is the stairs simply are not large enough to put the vacuum on so you can get a good run on them to pick up all the mess.

That is why when I have been looking at the best vacuum for steps, I tried to look at ones that are light and have attachments that allow you to use a smaller tool to vacuum the stairs.

Holding The Vacuum

If you are using a standard upright vacuum (and boy do I feel sorry for you as vacuuming the stairs with one of these is brutal) you have to keep hold of the vacuum the whole time…… or it falls down the steps!

The problem is your vacuum does not feel heavy until you have to keep hold of it while you are vacuuming the stairs.

It is just so awkward, annoying and makes the whole process a real chore. This is especially true if you have an older vacuum as some of those require you to have the strength of Hulk Hogan in order to lift them.

The Power Cable

Cordless Vacuum

If you are lucky enough to have a cordless vacuum and hopefully that is the way they are all going and future generations will never have to know the pain and hassle of vacuuming the stairs with a vacuum that has a long and thick power cable.

It somehow manages to get in the way on every one of your steps and if you are super unlucky, your power outlets will work in a way that you have to stop when you are half way done so that you can go and plug the vacuum into a different power outlet so you can finish the job!

Stairs Have Nooks And Crannies Too!

This is one that can really put you over the edge. If you do not have a vacuum that has different tools then getting right into each of the three edges is near enough impossible and you will find that you spend most of your time using your fingers to pull little bits of rubbish from the edges so that they can be vacuumed up.

Staircases Are High Traffic Areas

It can seem like the stairs are never properly clean and that is because the stairs are one of the highest traffic areas of your house.

Be it the dogs, the kids or even yourself, you are up and down a lot more than you realize and the bouncy motions shake off any debris that is on you all over them.

That is why steps can look kind of dirty, just hours after you have cleaned them, so do not beat yourself up over it too much.

Plus if the kids are making too much mess on them, you can just set up a ladder outside that goes directly into their room so then they do not even have to step on them….. I am joking, but it would be sweet if we could do that wouldn’t it?

How To Make Vacuuming Steps Easier

Here I have a few ways that you can make vacuuming the stairs a less stressful job which will make you feel better and also result in a lot less cursing.

Get A New Vacuum

Vacuming Staircase New Vacuum

Well, that is the point of what I have been talking about today. I know that many people want the best vacuum for their stairs and that is why I have picked the five vacuums I have today.

They make vacuuming the stairs so much easier, especially the ones that can turn into a hand vac and allow you to get right into the edges without any fuss.

Pick Up Larger Bits Of Debris

If there are large bits of paper, Lego’s or even Oreos which seem to end up all over the house, on the stairs, pick those up as you go. As I said, vacuuming the stairs does not give you a lot of room to work with so picking up any tougher pieces of garbage can make things a lot easier in the long run.

Have A System

Do not just vacuum each stair for three seconds like a crazy person. Do each stair the same. Do the horizontal and the vertical just a couple of times over is all that is needed. You get into a rhythm and you will be done in no time at all.

Plus your stairs will be nice and clean, until three seconds later when the dogs or one of the kids tramples up them. Doing each stair the same way ensures a nice thorough clean for the whole staircase.

Get In Those Corners

I touched on this just before, but stairs really do have far more nooks and crannies that people realize and it is at the sides and especially the corners where dust really builds up.

A vacuum with some kind of crevice tool or even just the ability to turn into a hand vac is really going to help you out here. So in other words, do not ignore the corners!

What Is The Best Vacuum For Stairs?

Shark DuoClean Powered Review

I have looked at five fantastic vacuums today, from all areas of the pricing spectrum.

Picking a clear winner is always going to be hard in a case like this. Of course, the easiest thing for me to say is that you go for the Dyson V10 Absolute. 

It is the latest and greatest vacuum from Dyson, has a lot of power, can be a hand vac and is perfect for the stairs and the whole house. Of course, this is also one of the most expensive vacuums on the market right now, but if you want the best you have to pay for it.

The Dyson V10 Absolute is probably out of reach for most people, so I recommend the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away as the best all-rounder.

It is easy to use on stairs, is very powerful, and reasonably priced.

Some of the other vacuums I have looked at such as the Shark DuoClean Rocket Corded, and even the V8 version of the Dyson Absolute are fantastic vacuums in their own right and the asking price for these is very, very reasonable, especially the two from Shark.

When it comes to looking for the best vacuum for stairs, as well as the price look at those attachments! These are what will allow you to really get in and clean those stairs (and the other awkward parts of the house) quickly, easily and thoroughly.

This post was last updated on January 18th, 2021 at 03:10 pm