Vacuum Cleaners for Stairs Review (The Top 15 in 2021)

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Cleaning the stairs must be one of the most loathed chores in the house. And even if you’re a clean freak, just the thought of moving up and down a staircase with a vacuum cleaner is enough to discourage anybody. 

It’s understandable to be daunted by the arduous stairway cleaning task, but it might not be too difficult with the right equipment. 

There are many vacuum cleaners available right now, and trying to pick just one out of the myriad of options, can prove quite challenging. Questions like the right size, corded or cordless, amongst others, will arise.

Here, we take a look at the best vacuum for stairs, the perfect size and length, and other considerations to make while preparing to clean those stairs. But just before that, let’s discuss the need to clean the stairs.

Why Do I Need to Clean the Stairs?

Just in case you need extra motivation, cleaning the stairs will improve the house’s look while improving your surroundings’ smell. Also, with constant cleaning, you can extend the longevity of your carpets.

Since the stairs see quite a lot of up and down traffic, it’s only logical to clean the stairways at intervals properly.

Types of Vacuum

There are four major types of vacuums available. The general idea is to get one that isn’t too heavy and easy to use while providing optimal cleaning. 

Stick Vacuum

The stick vacuums are pretty light and slim. These type of vacuums are a favorite among households as they’re easy to move around. Many of the recent stick vacuums are powered by batteries. And the best part is, you can also use them as upright vacuums.

Upright Vacuum

Many prefer opting for the upright vacuum, seeing as it reduces bending to a minimum. However, these vacuums can be a bit bulky, and some have complained of falling over when using them. If you choose to go for an upright vacuum, one with ample room to maneuver around will come in handy.

Handheld Vacuum

The handheld vacuum is the easiest to operate, as they come with no cords and no hassles. However, the main issues with handheld vacuums is that you might need to do a lot of bending to reach those nooks on the stairs, and since most of them are powered by batteries, they might not have enough suction to give your stairs the thorough clean it deserves. If your preference is handheld equipment, make sure to pick a vacuum with powerful batteries.

Canister Vacuum

Although a few of these vacuums would work well with stairs, they’re primarily bulky. Unless your canister vacuum has an extended hose that runs the entire length of your stairs, you might find it challenging to handle.

How to Pick the Best Vacuum Cleaners for Stairs

Cleaning the stairs is more arduous than cleaning the floor; those who’ve done it before can attest. There’s plenty of climbing to do when cleaning the stairs, and given that the surface is uneven, there are crevices and nooks that are difficult to access.

With these in mind, here are a few things to consider when looking for the best vacuum for stairs

  • Utility

Depending on how old or young you’re, the weight of a vacuum cleaner may be a problem or not. Older folks and those with restricted mobility will not appreciate cumbersome cleaners.

Upright and stick vacuums are the best in this regard because they’re generally lighter and convenient to use. Handheld cleaners are also lightweight and can get into those nooks, but they come with lots of bending.

The best option when considering ease of use is stick vacuums with no cord. If you choose to go for an upright vacuum, be sure to look out for those with a 180-degree range from your body. However, lightweight vacuum cleaners still remain the best option.

Convenient controls also factor in, as you wouldn’t enjoy running up and down the stairs to turn off the equipment. Vacuum cleaners with an easily accessible switch button and foot pedals are preferable, as they’re easy to use.

  • Bags

Some vacuum cleaners come with bags, while others don’t. The bagged models need an extra replacement once it becomes full. With a bagged vacuum, dust or dirt can’t escape.

On the other hand, the bagless models don’t have any bags and might need frequent emptying. Bagged vacuum cleaners have a larger capacity and are particularly useful when cleaning the stairs.

If you have children and pets at home, the bagged version will be the best. However, if you’re looking to save cost, bagless vacuums are better, as you don’t need to replace the bags periodically.

  • Cords

Cords are a crucial consideration when going for vacuum cleaners. Short cords can limit your reach when cleaning the staircase. 

Cordless models provide more room and are easy to use. Since vacuums without cords don’t have power outlets, you can carry them around without much fuss.

The major disadvantage of cordless models is that they’re battery-powered and last for an average of 30 minutes. Although with the more expensive options, you can get vacuums that last for as much as 45 minutes, so you don’t have to interrupt your cleaning to recharge the batteries.

Many vacuum cleaners come with an extra battery, so you could charge one while using the other to maximize your cleaning time.

Corded models often have a higher suction power and are more effective when cleaning large areas. To prevent moving the equipment up and down, go for a vacuum with a lengthy, retractable cord. A 15-foot cord will often be enough to run the stairs’ length in many homes.

  • Suction Power

Suction power is the capacity of a vacuum cleaner to dig deep into your carpet and suck out deep-set debris. 

The floor’s texture in your home largely determines the type of suction power you can buy.  Smooth surfaces like tiles and hardwood don’t need as much suction power as thickly carpeted staircases and high-pile rugs. If you’re using carpets in your home, you might want to check the best vacuums for carpets to ensure your home is always spotless.

Suction power comes in air watts (AW). The greater the air watts, the more powerful the vacuum cleaner. Upright and canister vacuums should have at least 150 AW for optimal performance while cleaning the stairs. 

Cordless machines, however, should have at least 90 AW. Battery life is also essential when selecting cordless models. Models with double batteries are the best as they will give you ample time to finish your cleaning.

A vacuum with a motor run brush expands the machine’s capacity to clean deep-seated debris in the carpet.

  • Accessories

Vacuums now come with additional appliances, which help the user to access every part of the stairs. 

If you have a pet, a pet hair brush will come in handy. Brush extensions are valuable in removing debris from carpeted stairs. A slender, pointed hole device will clean those difficult to access edges around your staircase.

For smooth floors and those without rug carpets, a straight wide device with short bristles can help clean flat surfaces without scratching them. 

Top Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs

With all these factors in mind, the best vacuums for stairs aren’t bulky, are easy to use, and help you effectively clean those nooks that are difficult to access.

Here are our top vacuum cleaners for stairs.


1. Best Stick Vacuum: Dyson V8 Animal

Best Stick Vacuum Dyson V8 Animal

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Item size, 8.2 x 9.8 x 49 inches
  • Item weight, 5.64 pounds
  • Cordless
  • Whole machine filtration
  • 2 tier radial cyclones

The Cordless Dyson V8 Animal is a lightweight vacuum that’s easy to move around. It ticks the size and utility boxes. 

The attachments that come along with this impressive vacuum include a tool that allows for a 180-degree extension and a turbo brush that deals with accumulated debris.

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Pros
  • Reusable filters
  • You can convert it into a handheld device
  • Helpful for reaching into crevices
  • It cleans pet hairs pretty well
Cons
  • Longer charge time

Why You Should Buy This Product

Dyson V8 Animal is a powerful vacuum that makes cleaning your stairs easier. The machine handles pet hair pretty well. Also, you don’t need to bend since it’s a stick vac.

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2. Best Budget Vacuum: HoLife HM036B

Best Budget Vacuum HoLife HM036B

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size, 17.13 x 7.48 x 6.3 inches
  • Product weight, 3.52 pounds
  • Dust container, 0.6 liter 
  • 7KPa suction
  • 2-in-1 base station
  • Wet and dry vac

At $51.99, the HoLife HM036B is easily the best vacuum for those on a budget. The machine has no cord and is handheld.

As a wet and dry vac, HoLife HMO36B offers the dual functionality of cleaning up a liquid spill and debris so you can complete different cleaning tasks. If you’re tired of regular vacuum noise, you’ll enjoy using this vac, seeing as it lowers its noise to 78dB when it’s in use.

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Pros
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for all surface types
  • Portable
  • Easily maintained
  • Low noise
Cons
  • Low suction power
  • Short battery life

Why You Should Buy This Product

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly vacuum cleaner that outperforms its peers on the same price range, then the  HoLife HM036E is for you.

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3. Best Handheld Device: Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+

Best Handheld Device Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Item size, 20 x 6.5 x 6 inches
  • Item weight, 7.92 pounds
  • Dust cup capacity, 0.45 quarts
  • Cleantouch dirt eject
  • Washable filter

The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ is a lightweight handheld device with a compact design built for quick and thorough cleaning. The handheld nature of the vacuum makes it easy to reach tight corners and fish out dirt.

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Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Cordless
  • Turbo brush for removing hair wraps
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Slow battery charge

Why You Should Buy This Product

Portability is one of the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ strengths. The machine has a high level of performance and can clean deep into your carpets.

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4. Best Canister Vacuum: Miele Complete C3 Alize

Best Canister Vacuum Miele Complete C3 Alize

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size, 12 x 20 x 12 inches
  • Product weight, 16 pounds
  • Filter bag, 4.5 liters
  • AirClean Sealed System
  • It comes with a 3D bumper
  • 36-foot operating radius with auto-rewind

Designed for hardwood and smooth floors, the Miele Complete C3 Alize, is a silent and powerful vacuum cleaner.

With six different suction power levels, this vacuum cleaner automatically detects which is best for your floor and optimizes energy usage.

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Pros
  • Long cord
  • Lightweight
  • Auto rewind
  • Telescoping handle
  • LED headlight
  • Automatic setting
Cons
  • Corded
  • Not suitable for rugs

Why You Should Buy This Product

The Miele Complete C3 Alize can be described as an intelligent vacuum cleaner, incorporating a powerful cleaner with an equally innovative footswitch. So you’re sure of getting maximum value for your money when you buy this vac.

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5. BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033

BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size, 8.3 x 9.5 x 44.25 inches
  • Product weight, 2.6 pounds
  • Dirt cup capacity, 0.67L
  • Corded electric vac

If you need an inexpensive vacuum with lightweight features, then the BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 is for you.

At $30, the vacuum is considerably cheaper than most and offers a decent enough performance. This equipment can be used as an upright vacuum or easily converted into a handheld vacuum.

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Pros
  • Great price
  • Removes pet hair and litters
  • Lightweight and compact
Cons
  • No roller brush
  • Short cord
  • Weak suction power
  • Very small

Why You Should Buy This Product

You probably won’t get any vacuum at a cheaper rate. This vacuum is portable and easily convertible to a handheld device to reach those hidden spots on your stairways.

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6. Black Decker Dustbuster CHV1410L

Black Decker Dustbuster CHV1410L

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size,17.25 x 5.5 x 7.75 inches
  • Product weight, 2.6 pounds
  • A translucent bagless dirt bowl
  • Smart Charge Technology
  • Cyclonic Action for strong suction

The Black Decker Dustbuster is ideal for cleaning up small messes around the home instead of large-scale cleaning.

This portable handheld vacuum is perfect for cleaning up bare floors. Its suction power is superb, and even when the dirt compartment is full, it doesn’t wane off.

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Pros
  • Good for pet litters
  • Strong suction power
  • Washable filter
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Longer charging time

Why You Should Buy This Product

If you’re looking to buy a vac with excellent suction power that focuses on cleaning smaller portions of the stairs with accumulated dirt, this Black Decker Dustbuster is for you.

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7. The Shark Rocket Pet Pro

The Shark Rocket Pet Pro

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Item size, 30 x 11.5 x 7 inches
  • Item weight, 3.34 pounds
  • Self-cleaning brush roll
  • Anti-allergen complete seal
  • Dirt engage technology

Another mobile stick vacuum converted into a handheld machine, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro, was explicitly designed with household animals in mind.

Apart from pet hairs stuck on the carpet, the vacuum cleaner does a good job tidying up dirt on smooth surfaces and carpeted areas. It combines a self-cleaning brush roll and powerful suction to deliver outstanding cleaning on both carpet and hard floors. With its Dirt Engage technology, you’re sure of deep cleaning even the tiniest debris. 

The accompanying MultiFlex technology helps you to reach under appliances and furniture easily.

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Pros
  • Portable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Cordless
  • Suitable on all surfaces
Cons
  • Small dust cup
  • Limiting accompanying tools

Why You Should Buy This Product

Shark Rocket Pet Pro is perfect for people living with pets. The vacuum is relatively easy to handle, perfect for every surface and picks up pet hairs with ease. It’s a vac that’s guaranteed to give you value for your money.

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8. Samsung Jet 90

Samsung Jet 90

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size, 8.5 x 9.8 x 44.7 inches
  • Product weight, 6.2 pounds
  • 5-layer filtration system
  • 200 air watts cleaning performance
  • Telescopic pipe
  • Turbo action brush
  • Washable dust bin

The Samsung Jet 90 vacuum is a powerful machine built to clean most surfaces.  It works perfectly on tiles and hardwood.

The Samsung Jet 90 comes with a turbo action brush suitable for use on multiple surfaces thanks to the vac’s 180-degree swivel flexibility and 200 air watts intense suction power. Its 5-layer HEPA filtration system helps filter 99.99 percent microdust in your home.

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Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • The filter is dishwasher safe
Cons
  • Unable to deep clean
  • Poor battery life
  • Longer charging time

Why You Should Buy This Product

With a suction power of 200 AW, it’s suitable for most stairs, and the turbo action brush makes the Samsung Jet 90 such an effective cleaning tool. The price and functions make it a great buy.

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9. Shark Rotator NV752 with Lift-Away Hand Vacuum

Shark Rotator NV752 with Lift-Away Hand Vacuum

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size, 13.2 x 11.9 x 45 inches
  • Product weight, 15.4 pounds
  • Powered Lift-Away detachable pod
  • Anti-allergen complete seal
  • LED headlight

The Shark Rotator NV752 is a 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner. This machine is an upright bagless model which can also serve as a handheld vac.

With a strong filter that locks up allergens, the vacuum can thoroughly clean the stair floors. The bulky device has LED lights to make cleaning easier.

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Pros
  • Lift away function
  • Converts into a handheld vac
  • It comes with multiple tools to aid in cleaning
Cons
  • Spreads dust while emptying the dust bin
  • Bulky

Why You Should Buy This Product

The Shark Rotator is excellent for families with allergies, as its powerful filter seals the debris collected and manages the dust impressively.

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10. Hoover C2401 Lightweight Backpack Vacuum

Hoover C2401 Lightweight Backpack Vacuum

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size, 13.25 x 13.25 x 30 inches
  • Product weight, 9.2 pounds
  • Lightweight
  • Chiropractor-designed harness
  • Extra-long 3-wire quick cord
  • HEPA material Hypercone filter

If you have a lengthy stairway, the thought of cleaning can be intimidating. The Hoover C2401 Lightweight Backpack vacuum exists for tasks like this.

The vacuum is a powerful device that you can wear on your back and has a comfortable harness to prevent a strain on your back. It’s relatively light compared to the workload it carries.

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Pros
  • Perfect for large-scale cleaning
  • Long cord
  • It comes with other attachments to aid in cleaning
  • Low noise
Cons
  • Not portable
  • It takes a while to start up

Why You Should Buy This Product

If you have a big house and multiple stairs, you’ll find the Hoover C2401 Lightweight Backpack Vacuum quite helpful, as it gives that professional feel to cleaning.

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11. Eureka NES210 3-in-1 Swivel Lightweight Vacuum

Eureka NES210 3-in-1 Swivel Lightweight Vacuum

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Item size, 6 x 10 x 44 inches
  • Item weight, 3.97 pounds
  • Cord length, 18 inches
  • Swivel steering
  • 3-in-1 versatility

Multi-purpose vacuums are a big favorite among homes. This Eureka model can serve as a stick vacuum for rooms and handheld for the stairs.

Some of the features include a wide nozzle, an 18-inch cord, and swivel steering. You can transform the Eureka from a stick vac to a hand vac, then a stair vacuum, which makes it perfect for all kinds of cleaning needs.

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Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • Not suitable for carpets
  • Not good for rugs

Why You Should Buy This Product

If you’ve got kids at home, once in a while, something is going to spill, and most probably, on the staircase. So you might want to keep this vac handy. It’s perfect for cleaning up small messes.

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12. Homasy Powerful Cyclonic Handheld Vacuum

Homasy Powerful Cyclonic Handheld Vacuum

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size, 17.3 x 7.7 x 6.1 inches
  • Product weight, 3.4 pounds
  • Dust Capacity, ≥0.6
  • Washable filter
  • LED light

There’s no use crying over spilled milk; you can just clean it up instead. This Homasy Powerful Cyclonic Handheld Vacuum is just the perfect tool for cleaning up spills.

The small handheld vacuum has a 100-watt motor that generates powerful suction to tidy up wet and dry messes. It also comes with a 2200mAh Lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 30 minutes when fully charged.

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Pros
  • 65-degree angle range
  • Low noise
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Difficulty in opening the washable filter
  • Longer charging time

Why You Should Buy This Product

Besides the fact that the vacuum is lightweight, it’s also a quiet option and delivers without much fuss. It’s one vac that overperforms considering its price.

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13. Tineco Pure One S12

Tineco Pure One S12

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Item size,10.3 x 8.8 x 44 inches
  • Item weight, 6.6 pounds
  • Max 145W powerful suction
  • Built-in app integration
  • Power suction control

Priced at $499.99, this Tineco model is one of the latest innovations among vacuum cleaners. The device is a cordless vacuum with powerful suction.

This vacuum has an option where it can be connected to a smartphone to record your cleaning patterns and battery life. Its high-performance brushless motor offers a powerful yet ultra-quiet suction of up to 145W, depending on the mode.

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Pros
  • 100 minutes clean time
  • Automatic sensor
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Cordless
Cons
  • Too expensive

Why You Should Buy This Product

This vacuum’s battery life is impressive for a cordless device and should take you through the cleaning process with minimal interruptions.

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14. Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Dyson V11 Torque Drive

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size, 50.63 x 9.84 x 10.28 inches
  • Product weight, 6.68 pounds
  • The dynamic Load Sensor system (DLS)
  • 14 cyclones
  • Drop-in docking
  • Maintenance alerts

Dyson vacuums are probably the most popular vacuum cleaners around, and the V11 further advances their cause. The V11 Torque Drive has a powerful motor and is lightweight. It also comes with the most powerful Dyson cleaner head with stiff nylon bristles that drive deep into carpets, removing ground-in dirt. 

The vacuum can deal with the debris on every surface, has a large bin, and comes with several attachments.

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Pros
  • Great suction power
  • Cord-free
  • an LCD screen that displays run-time
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • 8 minutes cleaning time in Max mode
  • No provision for extra batteries

Why You Should Buy This Product

The Dyson V11 is your best bet if you’re looking for a vac that cleans up deep-seated debris and works well with carpeted stairs.

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15. Shark ION F80 Multiflex

Shark ION F80 Multiflex

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Key Feature & Specification
  • Product size, 32.5 x 12 x 11.1 inches
  • Product weight, 16.27 pounds
  • DuoClean technology
  • MultiFLEX technology
  • Dual functionality

Rivaling the Dyson V11 in both power and functionality is the Shark ION F80 Multiflex.  It’s an upright appliance that integrates simplicity with efficiency.

The device minimizes allergens escaping into the air around through its HEPA seal filter. More so, the fingertip controls on this device are top-notch, making the vac easy to use.

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Pros
  • Large waste bin
  • Lightweight
  • It can serve as a handheld vac
  • Sucks pet hair
Cons
  • Quite expensive
  • Easily gets clogged

Why You Should Buy This Product

The vacuum offers quality for its price. It’s easy to use, quiet, and functions well on all surfaces.

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FAQs

Which Vacuum Cleaner Is Best for Stairs?

The Dyson V11 is the best vacuum cleaner for stairs. This model’s suction power is twice what any cordless vacuum offers. 

With up to 60 minutes before its next recharge, the run time is adequate for stairs. It also comes with a crevice tool, docking station, torque drive head, and a stubborn dirt brush. These different tools help to keep the stairs spotless.

How Often Should You Vacuum Your Stairs?

There’s no set rule regarding how often you ought to vacuum your stairs. To get the best out of your stairways, vacuum the stairs regularly as you clean the house. Professional cleaning should, however, take place every six months.

Do Any Robot Vacuums Clean Stairs?

While there are robot vacuums that can clean flat surfaces, currently, there are no robot vacuums for stairs.

The reason is that the mechanism involved in climbing and cleaning stairs at the same time may be easy for humans, but no robots have been designed for the purpose yet.

What Is the Best Vacuum for Carpeted Stairs?

The Shark Rotator NV572 comes with a lift-away canister that eases the job of cleaning carpets. This device has a 30-foot cord that can go the length of most stairways. Additional tools for crevices and pet hairs make it the best for cleaning carpets.

What Vacuum Has the Most Powerful Suction?

With up to 7 surface type settings, the Miele Complete C3 Alize has the most powerful suction among vacuum cleaners. The vacuum has a max suction power of 1200 AW, powerful enough to clean every surface.

What Is the Best Hand Vacuum for Stairs?

The cordless Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ aces the handheld vacuum department with a portable design. This device allows for a 65-degree angle use, thereby reaching every corner of the stairs.

What Is the Best Vacuum for Stairs?

If the Dyson V11 Torque is too expensive for you, consider going for HoLife HM036B. This dry and wet vac is quite affordable and very efficient for cleaning your stairs.

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