Best Vacuum Cleaners for Stairs


Why Get a Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs

One of the problematic things you would encounter in vacuuming are stairs. Anyone who has ever held a vacuum cleaner and tried to clean stairways with it will probably know why that is. Stairs are narrow and it’s hard to navigate through them especially when using a full-sized upright model.

Furthermore, it makes it especially difficult if your machine is heavy because you’re going to have to carry it around majority of the time. This is the most common problem with upright vacuum cleaners. But does that mean you can’t choose an upright model if you have stairs in your home? Not at all. Upright vacuums can still be great even if you have stairs. You just have to choose one with versatile options that will be covered in this guide.

How to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs

So how do you choose the best vacuum cleaner for cleaning stairs? First of all, let us acknowledge the fact that canister vacuums are still considered to be the best models for cleaning stairs. They are lighter, smaller, and they have longer hose and extension wands that could reach those tight areas. But what if you really prefer an upright model? Or some other model, for that matter, but you have a lot of stairs? Here are some of the most important things to remember when vacuuming stairs.

  • Body – For upright models and sticks, the body which also serves as the dust canister, is connected to the base or the cleaning head. This is potentially problematic because as the name suggests, it stands in an upright position. If the body is big and if it is too near the cleaning head, it will be almost impossible to navigate through stairs. Either choose a different model, or use an attachment. Ultra-light vacuums, on the other hand – the type that has the motor attached to the handle, are very slim so it will be easy to place them on your stairs. The problem with this is it may not be easy to maneuver on tight spaces. In that case, check if there is an option to shorten the wand so you have better control of the machine.
  • Mini Brush – Using a mini brush attachment instead of using the main cleaning head will be a good way to tackle stairs. It attaches to the extension wand so it is easier to handle.
  • Attachments – Aside from the mini brush, there are other attachments that would be helpful in cleaning stairs like the crevice tool – which is great for the stair’s edges or corners.
  • Maneuverability – This applies to upright vacuum cleaners. Some models offer swivel steering which would help in navigating through the steps.
  • Brush Roll – If you have stairs that are not carpeted, it’s best if the brush roll can be turned on and off. This way, you can just turn the brush off when cleaning wooden stairs. If not, make sure there’s a hard floor attachment that you can use.
  • Hose – Whether you’re using a canister vacuum or an attachment with an upright vacuum cleaner, the hose should be long enough for you to clean as much steps upward so you don’t have to carry the machine the whole time.
  • Cord Length – The cord should also be a good length so you can avoid using extensions especially if you have high staircases.

Highly Recommended Models

Given those factors to consider, you now have a better idea of how to choose a vacuum cleaner that will be great for cleaning stairs. With that in mind, you can go with any model of your choice, even if it is designed for a different specialization. It doesn’t have to be specifically intended for cleaning stairs just as long as it passes the requirements mentioned above. But as you might want to know, here are a few products that have special features to make the job easier.

  • Convertible – There are some full-sized vacuum cleaners that can be turned into a portable like the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum Cleaner. It becomes a canister vacuum by lifting the body or the dust canister away from the base. Thus, the name. This way, you have all the benefits of an upright vacuum while still being able to conveniently clean stairs as you would with a canister type. There are other models like this that are advertised as 2-in-1.
  • Handheld and Cordless Vacuums – Another great type of vacuum cleaner for stairs is the handheld. You can invest in one in addition to your full-sized vacuum. Cordless models are also great because you can easily move around without worrying about stepping on cords.


The most important thing to remember about choosing a vacuum cleaner for any special purposes is versatility. It’s still best to have one that can do multiple things. The fact remains that canister vacuums are still the best for stairs. The above are just special considerations if you want to consider a different model.

Recommended Vacuum Cleaners for Stairs

Further Reading on Best Vacuum Cleaners