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The Best Vacuums for Stairs

Keeping your staircases groomed expands the life of your runners and carpets, and makes the home look good. You can use the typical vacuum, but they're designed for larger spaces. Even a device with the most adjustable features may not be able to do the job properly or with ease. In this case, we recommend to use a bagless model, such as a handheld vacuum cleaner with enough suction power to get all the pet hair, different types of debris, and to get into tight corners and hard-to-reach areas.

You need a solution that gets between treads, risers, and stair noses that can manage all your high-traffic pathways. You also want lightweight engineering for maneuverability. Not a canister vacuum, you need cordless models like handheld vacuum, upright vacuums or a cordless stick vacuum. 

What follows are the best vacuums for stairs and what to look for when shopping for one. This models include washable filter for any floor types, with powerful suction for carpeted stairs, different types of vacuums for tight corners, and bagless vacuums to be light. 

Best Overall

The Miele Triflex is a unique three-in-one cordless vacuum. It can alternatively be an upright, compact, or stick cleaner, making it ideal for a variety of projects.

It’s a bagless option. Its container is small so the Triflex needs frequent emptying. The upside is that the device is intuitive and you won’t have any issue getting up piles of rice or cereal. Doesn’t include a crevice tool for reaching around furniture and appliances, you can buy it for around $25.
The vacuum’s easy to maintain and well built. Refitting the Triflex for new attachments won’t require a lot of work. Its price, ease of use, and durability makes this one the best cordless vacuum for stairs.

Runner Up

On its lowest power setting, you’ll get over 60 minutes of use. That makes the Dyson Animal Cordless it’s a powerful cordless stick vacuum ready where and when you need it most. Its compact styling makes it an excellent stair vacuum, with a HEPA filter. 

It grabs pet hair as well as debris of all sizes. Engineered from sturdy plastic, this vacuum incurs almost no running costs. Its overall performance on your stairs and floors promises to impress for the long-term. Removes pet hair and dirt from carpet and upholstery.

Most Affordable

Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Held Vacuum Cleaner
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07/17/2022 12:54 am GMT

The Hoover Cordless Hand Held is a compact, lightweight, and battery-powered monster. It’s an ideal choice for not getting tethered to a cord as you work through every nook and cranny of your stairs.

It comes with a ONEPWR lithium-ion battery and offers fade-free performance. The rechargeable and removable ONEPWR delivers uncompromised cord-free versatility. 

The cordless Hoover makes for quick work of messes around the house and in the car. It gets into tight spaces and corners with no fuss. It has an extra-large cup and built-in crevice tool for getting at anything fouling your floors. If you have furry friends, this portable vacuum will get all the pet hair.

Things to Consider

A good cordless vacuum for stairs is for quicker and easier cleaning. These portable options make what are normally clumsy projects, such as vacuuming the stairs, easy-peasy. Once considered an accessory to full-blown cleaners, the latest tech in cordless provides power and service good enough to replace corded vacuums.

Types of Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

A lot of cordless vacuums are bagless. Some stair vacuums come with a disposable dust bag. Those vacuums offer larger dirt capacity.

There are four standard cordless cleaners. They include the stick vacuum cleaner, the handheld models, the cylinder vacuums, and the upright models. There are also corded stick vacuums that are cheaper but lack power for carpeted floors. 

Stick vacuums are the most common and popular type. They are usually designed with a slim tube and often convert to handheld options. The cylinder vacuum cleaner looks more like an older version. It has a barrel on wheels and comes with a flexible, longer cleaning tube. The upright vacuum cleaner tends to be bulkier than the other types. But it comes with additional versatility via its detachable canister.


To get the best out of your vacuum for stairs, look for the following.

Lift-away Hand Holding

Cordless vacuum cleaners often have a feature to make it a handheld vacuum for stairs. It’s either the common stick design for swapping floor tools for mini ones or a pull-out handheld vacuum.

There’s also the ability to remove the cleaning tube and attach tools to the main unit. That creates a small handheld cleaner. Use this to get into tight spaces, small areas, up high, and difficult spots in the car and stairs.

Depending on its intended use, you could purchase a standalone handheld. The option will cost less and may be all you need to tackle the stairs.


Charge times will significantly impact the function of your cordless vacuum cleaner. Lithium-ion batteries are highly recommended for their longer lifespan and quick recharging.

When looking at the life of a cordless, make sure the battery offers the following:

  • Solid Runtime: Battery charges can vary from as little as 15 minutes to over an hour. Decide what kind of time you’re more likely to need.
  • Charge Time: Depending on the vacuum cleaner, charges may take anywhere between an hour and 16 hours to fully charge.
  • Standard vs. Maximum: A higher-end cleaner will have settings that cut battery life. If you need that kind of power, fine, but this can cut the charge usage significantly.
  • Swappable: Consider a model with a spare battery or buy an additional one. If one dies on you, you can quickly change it and keep working.
  • Capacity: Cordless devices will have smaller baskets than corded vacuums. Most are bagless as well. If you have a problem with debris and dust contact, you want to consider a vacuum that’s bagged. You can also get a unit with a larger basket. You’ll have to empty the vacuum less frequently.
  • Weight: The design of a cordless will always incorporate easy transport so weight is a major consideration. No one wants to struggle up and down the stairs with a heavy machine, especially one with a cord.

Additional Considerations

These are features that will make getting the job done easier.

  • LED Lights: LEDs on the floorhead go a long way illuminating dark corners.
  • Flexible Tubing: Flexible tubing is great for getting under the couch.
  • Power Triggering: Some models ask you to hold the power button throughout the cleaning process. It’s a good idea because it saves battery life. But some prefer to not have to hold that button.
  • Battery Life Indicators: An indicator will be useful to see how much charge you have before you get into a project.
  • Robot Vacuum Cleaner: We do not recommend robot vacuums, as there is no model that can climb stairs yet. 


Hang onto your corded vacuum. It’s still a great tool, especially if you have a large home. But a cordless makes for a great supplement, letting you get up and down the stairs and into corners and around the railing. Just make sure you choose a vacuum for stairs wisely.

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