Discover the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs

The stairs.

You’re standing there with your vacuum cleaner, and is it just you or are they getting longer?

The hose never seems to quite reach the top, and balancing the vacuum precariously beside you is a game you’re not up for playing. It’s stressful, we’ve all been there, but guess what? It doesn’t have to be this way. 

Sure, you can pick up a cordless or a handheld vacuum cleaner, but that doesn’t work for everyone, and they aren’t always as effective at cleaning. 

Instead, sit back and relax as we take you through our guide to the best vacuum cleaner for stairs. You’re sure to find what you’re looking for. 

best vacuum for stairs

Best Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs Review (In Order)

Shark NV681UKT Upright Vacuum Cleaner

1. Shark NV681UKT Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Our Editors Pick

Key Features
  • Run Time: N/A
  • Charge Time: N/A
  • Weight: 6.1kg
  • Dust Capacity: 2L
  • Noise: 80db 

What we loved about this vacuum cleaner is the Powered Lift-Away. Many

Shark vacuum cleaners use the Lift-Away technology, allowing you to remove the main body of the vacuum to create a more portable machine. 

The Good

This one incorporates Powered Lift-Away, which means you still get full function of the main floorhead while in portable mode. It’s incredible. 

The main floorhead of this full-size vacuum cleaner is designed in such a way that suction comes from all sides, making it rather effective at edge cleaning throughout the home. The main floorhead can be used on the stairs thanks to the Powered Lift-Away technology.

The edge cleaning on stairs when using the floorhead is good, but you can really get into the nooks and crannies when using the provided crevice tool. Additionally, it sports an 8m cord, and when combined with the Lift-Away, provides a large cleaning radius.

This means you don’t need to stretch between sockets too much, and also helps when you are carrying it up the stairs. It’s fantastic at collecting large and small debris, including fine dust, from both hard floors and carpets.

This versatile cleaning means that you can sleep easy knowing that your carpets have had a deep clean, and hard floors are free from grime. 

The Not So Good

It can be a little heavy compared to some cordless models.

Our View

This model also comes with a pet tool for fuzzy spots.

We’ve chosen this model as our Editor’s Pick because of its fantastic cleaning power, its ease of use with stair cleaning, and its ability to get right up to the edge of each space.

It might be the only full-size vacuum here, but it’s also arguably the best of the bunch. Read the full single review here

Key Features – 

– Powered Lift-Away for portable cleaning

– Wide cleaning radius

– Great for homes with pets

– Fantastic on hard floors and carpet

– Vacuum for stairs

VYTRONIX NIBC22 22.2v Cordless

2. VYTRONIX NIBC22 22.2v Cordless

Best Budget Pick

Key Features
  • Run Time: 45mins
  • Charge Time: 3-4 hours
  • Weight: 2.3kg
  • Dust Capacity: 0.5L
  • Noise: 85dB 

This budget vacuum cleaner is ideal for those who don’t have a lot to spend but want a vacuum cleaner that’s still capable of keeping the house clean. 

The Good

We like the fact that it transforms into a handheld vacuum cleaner for the stairs, making your life easier. 

You can even use the crevice tool for edge cleaning, ensuring that you have perfect results every time. 

However, as with many cordless models, it can struggle to thoroughly clean carpets.

The running time is fantastic for a budget model at 45 minutes, and the battery can be swapped out freely so that you can keep going for longer. 

The Not So Good

It can be a little heavy compared to some cordless models.

Our View

It’s lightweight and compact, offering plenty of versatility when using it.

Hard floors are a breeze for this model, collecting fine dust with little effort. 

Key Features – 

– Lightweight and compact design 

– Perfect for hard floors 

– Smart storage solutions 

– Handheld mode

– Great vacuum for stairs

Hetty HET160 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum

3. Hetty HET160 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum

Best Bagged Cylinder for Stairs

Key Features
  • Power: 620 watts
  • Run Time: N/A
  • Charge Time: N/A
  • Weight: 8kg
  • Dust Capacity: 9L
  • Battery Voltage: 230v
  • Noise: 72db

What we loved about this vacuum cleaner is the fact that you can purchase additional hoses to make it long enough to reach the top of the stairs. 

The Good

It’s disappointing that the provided hose isn’t long enough, but the option to purchase one that is is a welcome addition.

Additionally, it comes with a specially designed nozzle for stairs, providing edge cleaning as well as general cleaning. 

The long 10m cord means that you have an increased cleaning radius, and while the provided hose tends to just reach 11 steps from the bottom, the purchasable extras can do so much more.

The Not So Good
The hose that this model comes with does not reach the top of the stairs, which can make things a little tricky.

Our View

As a Numatic, you can expect superb suction power as well as thorough cleaning capabilities across hard floors and carpets alike. 

Everything from fine dust to chunky debris doesn’t stand a chance when put against this powerhouse. 

It’s compact and easy to store away, as well as having bags with a huge capacity that are sealed to keep asthma and allergy sufferers safer. 

Read the full Hetty HET160 review here

Key Features – 

– Powerful suction

– Great with hard floors and carpets 

– Small and compact design 

– Option to purchase longer hoses for stair cleaning 


Q: Is there an air release on Hetty? If it only has one suction level it could power if used on rugs etc and would lift them.

A: Yes there is an air release on this hetty compact

Dyson V7 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

4. Dyson V7 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Our Pick for Best Cordless Vacum For The Stairs

Key Features
  • Run Time: 23 mins
  • Charge Time: 3.5 hours
  • Weight: 2.47kg
  • Dust Capacity: 0/4L
  • Noise: 74dB 

The thing we really love about the V7 is the fact that it’s so lightweight and easy to handle. 

The Good

Above floor cleaning is a breeze, and you just have to remove the wand to turn it into a handheld vacuum cleaner that can blitz the stairs in no time. 

Edge cleaning? No problem, you have a crevice tool that is highly effective at removing dirt and debris from every corner. 

However, it does have a great run time of up to 23 minutes, which is perfect for most homes, and the battery can be swapped out if needed, which gives you even more time to clean. 

The Not So Good
No bad reviews so far.

Our View

It works wonders on hard floors for both fine dust and large debris, and while it does a good surface job on carpets it can’t provide the deep clean it tends to need.

Read more on the review of Dyson V7 Absolute.  

Gtech Multi MK2 Vacuum

5.  Gtech Multi MK2 Vacuum

Our Pick For Lightweight Vacuum for the Stairs

Key Features
  • Run Time: 20 minutes
  • Charge Time: 4 hours
  • Weight: 1.5kg
  • Dust Capacity: 0.4L
  • Noise: 65dB 

We absolutely love how compact this vacuum cleaner is.

It might be a handheld vacuum, but it has a lot of power behind it.

It even has a run time of 20 minutes, which is impressive for a model that is solely handheld. 

The Good

It’s lightweight and comfortable to hold, providing you with flexibility while you clean.

It is pretty good with edge cleaning and has a crevice tool to help. 

The Not So Good

The big downside with this model is that it’s only handheld, so it’s not the kind of vacuum that can handle your whole house. 

Our View

However, it is exceptional on both hard floors and carpets with regards to cleaning, and it even does a good job with pet hair.

The kind of suction you get from this model is something you would expect from a full-size cordless vacuum which is impressive.

Key Features – 

– Powerful suction 

– Great on carpets and hard floors 

– Lightweight with comfortable handling 

– Great with pet hair

– Completely handheld

Shark Cordless IZ251UKT

6.  Shark Cordless IZ251UKT

Best Longer Life Vac for Stairs

Key Features
  • Run Time: 80 Mins
  • Charge Time: 3.5 hours
  • Weight: 4.1kg
  • Dust Capacity: 0.4L
  • Noise: 70dB

The thing that we love about this vacuum cleaner is its versatility, but also the fact that it uses Shark’s new Anti-Hair Wrap technology. 

The Good

This involves the use of a silicone guard along with the brush roll that will help prevent pet hair from getting tangled, sending it straight up to the bin instead. 

Combined with classic DuoClean tech, you’ll find it cleans hard floors and carpets beautifully. 

Plus, for those big cleaning jobs, you have dual batteries.

The Not So Good

Like most cordless vacs, it doesn’t quite deep clean carpets, but the surface cleaning is good and it excels with pet hair. 

Our View

It’s also brilliant with fine dust, and handheld mode means that you can clean stairs quickly and efficiently, using the crevice tool for improved edge cleaning and getting into every nook and cranny.

Key Features – 

– Uses Shark’s DuoClean technology 

– Anti-Hair Wrap technology 

– Dual battery for longer run time 

– Handheld mode 

– Great with pet hair 

– Great on hard floors and carpet

Holife Handheld Vacuum Cordless

7. Holife Handheld Vacuum Cordless

Our Pick for Best Handheld Stairs Model 

Key Features
  • Power: 85-90 watts
  • Run Time: 30mins
  • Charge Time: 3-5 hours
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • Dust Capacity: 0.6L/100ml
  • Battery Voltage: 100v
  • Noise: 78db 

Sometimes your best option is to pick up a little handheld vacuum cleaner that you use solely for the stairs.

The Good 

Holife isn’t just a great brand; they also manufacture the best handheld vacuum cleaners for really scrubbing the stairs.

Take a look below and see what you think of this compact model.

This handheld vacuum cleaner is ideal because it can clean both wet and dry messes, so while it is perfect for the stairs, it is also great for little spillages around the home.

The battery is excellent as it lasts for around 30 minutes, which gives you more than enough time to do the stairs, as well as smaller areas in your house.

Plus, the overall operation is very quiet and the handle comfortable.

Lightweight and easy to handle, you will barely notice it when you are cleaning and are sure to be impressed by the amount of suction that it is able to offer you.

It has also been designed for both hard floors and carpets, which gives it something over most other handheld vacuums on the market.

It also comes with a range of attachments to help you reach tight corners, and is easy to empty.

The Not So Good
The capacity is quite limited due to its size, and the suction is not as good as more expensive models on the market.

Our View
This Holife handheld vacuum cleaner is incredibly cheap and offers you excellent value for money.

It is ideal for cleaning the stairs due to its compact size, and while more expensive models have better suction, this one will still do an incredible job. 

It is lightweight and easy to use, and the fact that it comes with a good number of attachments is really useful in terms of keeping the house clean.

Of course, you also have to remember it has wet and dry functions, making it even more desirable and worthwhile.

Key Features

– High-performance motor 

– Long Runtime

– Guaranteed by a 3-year warranty

– 600ml dust bowl is large enough to store more dust

Dyson V10 Absolute

8. Dyson V10 Absolute

Great for Pets

Key Features
  • Power: 115 watts
  • Run Time: 60
  • Charge Time: 3.5
  • Weight: 2.6kg
  • Dust Capacity: 0.76L
  • Battery Voltage: 230v
  • Noise: 72db 

Dyson is a vacuum cleaner brand that we can all rely on, and one of the leading manufacturers.

This cordless model is incredibly versatile, and may just be able to offer you everything you need to clean your home and your stairs.

Take a moment to read the reviews below and see what you think of it.

The Good
The V10 cleaner has a slim and lightweight build, which makes it ideal for cleaning the entire home – including the ceiling and other high up areas.

It converts easily into a handheld vacuum as well, making it compact and very easy to use when cleaning the stairs as well as upholstery and car interiors.

The new bin emptying system is also much easier and cleaner.

The total running time is 60 minutes, although it will be a little shorter when you use the turbo setting, and it only takes 3.5 hours to charge.

You can mount it on the wall for charging and storage, or pack it away neatly into a cupboard.

The suction is fantastic, even for homes with pets, and it comes for a head that is ideal for hard floors – plus a whole load of accessories to help you clean.

I think the Dyson V10 is excellent at cleaning any dust or debris from hard floors and carpets, and it’s fantastic at whisking away engrained hair and fibres too.

The Not So Good
The price tag is quite high when compared to other cordless vacuum cleaners

Our View
This Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner offers powerful suction that can deal with pretty much anything you throw at it.

While the price is quite high for a vacuum cleaner, there are a lot of positives that come with this model. 

It has an amazing running time and short charge period, as well as multiple functions thanks to the handheld conversion.

This also means that it is fantastic on the stairs, leaving them cleaner than they have been in years. It’s certainly one to consider splashing out on.  

Key Features

– Flexi Crevice Tool

– Powered by the Dyson digital motor V10 for powerful suction

– 14 cyclones to capture dirt and debris

– Hygienic bin emptying at the touch of a button

Dyson V8 Absolute Vacuum

9. Dyson V8 Absolute Vacuum

Easy to Use Vacuum for Stairs

Key Features
  • Power: 100 watts
  • Run Time: 40 mins
  • Charge Time: 3.5 hours
  • Weight: 2.5kg
  • Dust Capacity: 0.6L
  • Battery Voltage: 21.6v
  • Noise: 72db

If you want something that is reliable and able to tackle the stairs without any risk to you, then the Dyson V8 Absolute could be what you have been searching for.

One of the best around, all you need to do is take a look at the reviews below to see if this is going to be a perfect match.

The Good
There is one main reason that the Dyson V8 Absolute is the ideal model for stairs, and that is the fact that it is able to convert into a handheld vacuum cleaner.

Not to mention, the conversion process is an incredibly simple one. 

As someone who has stairs that get fluffy very quickly, this has been a lifesaver, and it is much safer to use than a standard vacuum or a cylinder model.

It is the perfect size for stair cleaning, and the swivel head on the mini motorised brush means that you can really get in there and remove all the embedded dirt and debris from your carpets with no issue.

There is even a selection of other tools for you to use to ensure that your stairs (and the rest of your home) are nice and clean.

You also have the added benefit of a canister that is much easier to empty than the V6 Absolute.

The Not So Good
The only real issue is that the canister is a little smaller than most vacuum cleaners.

Our View
This is certainly a great vacuum cleaner, and while it works a treat on your stairs, it is also the ideal model for the rest of your home.

There is an issue with the small size of the canister, but it is larger than the V6 range, and it is much simpler to empty.

Plus, you cannot have a compact and lightweight vacuum cleaner like this with a large canister unless you alter the rest of the model accordingly.

It’s one of my top models for stair cleaning, and I know it could be yours too.

Key Features

– No-touch bin emptying

– Guarantee-2 years parts and labour

– Hassle-free suitable for all floor types

– Captures allergens and expels cleaner air extra tools for homes with pets


Q: What’s the difference between the v8 animal and absolute?

A: The absolute comes with 3x powered heads including the fluffy hard floor head, large brush head and small brush head where the animal omits the fluffy head. Both units have the same motor and battery.

How to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs

So, you’re ready to buy the perfect vacuum cleaner for your stairs? That’s excellent, but have you considered the design aspects of various models when finding the best model for your home? 

Here are the key features you should be thinking about before you buy.

Hose Length. A hose that is too short will not reach the top of the stairs and will require you to balance the vacuum cleaner, putting both you and your appliance at risk. 

Additionally, a longer hose that can reach the top of the stairs will save you loads of time. 

Stair Tool. This little tool is underrated. It makes cleaning the stairs easier with a little power boost, and it is the perfect size to thoroughly clean each step.

Most vacuum cleaners come with one, and it should be considered essential. 

Handheld Option. This is most commonly seen in cordless models, but there are corded ones that use the same concept. 

Being able to transform a full vacuum into a handheld one makes life easier for you, and also means you have a more versatile machine that can tackle a whole new range of areas in your home (armchairs, sofas, everything). 

Key Things to Look for

Now that you have an idea of what a vacuum cleaner for stairs should contain, here are some of the other features you should keep an eye out for.

They make life a little easier, and some of them might appeal to your situation. 

Weight. The last thing you want when cleaning the stairs is a vacuum cleaner that weighs the same as a baby elephant.

You want a model that is relatively light and easy to carry, allowing you to get up and down without worrying about the fact you didn’t finish writing your will. 

Edge Cleaning. Reaching the edges of the stairs and getting right into the corners is pretty important when cleaning the stairs. 

It’s so easy for dirt to get shoved in there, and over time it only builds up. If your chosen vacuum isn’t great with edge cleaning, make sure it has a crevice tool. 

Corded or Cordless? Both are great options, but cordless models aren’t always as effective at deep cleaning carpets.

However, cordless vacuum cleaners are usually the best for handheld transformations and the lack of a cord offers more freedom. 

Extra suction power over convenience is often the choice you need to make.

Filtration. A good vacuum cleaner has a good filter, regardless of whether or not you have asthma or allergies.

 A HEPA filter is perfect if you suffer from either of these conditions (and we have a great guide for HEPA vacuums) but if you don’t then any good filter will do. 

It keeps the air clean for you, and we all deserve more breathable air. 

Power. The power of your vacuum cleaner is vital, especially when you are selecting one to use on the stairs. 

It needs to be able to maintain suction through what can end up being a lengthy process, and regardless of your intentions, a powerful vacuum is always recommended.

Warranty. Most vacuum cleaners come with a standard warranty that lasts a year.

However, what many people forget is that you can register them online and most companies will extend it to five years.

Get a good warranty that covers parts and labour to give you peace of mind. 


What is the Easiest Way to Vacuum Stairs?

The easiest way to vacuum stairs is to move from side to side with the hose across each step.It’s best to use the stair tool for this as it will provide the best results. 

You can also attach the crevice tool and use it to reach corners as well as clear the skirting area alongside each step.

You should also vacuum 2-3 times per step for the best results. 

How Often Should You Vacuum Stairs?

You should vacuum the stairs at least once a week, or several times if they have a lot of traffic going over them or you have pets. 

This keeps them clean, and also stops dirt from getting embedded in the carpet for those who have carpeted stairs. 

Do I Need to Vacuum Wood Stairs?

Yes, wooden stairs still need to be vacuumed, just like carpeted ones. If you do not vacuum them, you will find that they become dusty as well as collect hair and dirt. 

You may even discover sticky spots, which are quite unpleasant. 

Can I Use a Handheld Vacuum for Stairs?

Yes, you can use a handheld vacuum for stairs. This is often a good solution for edge cleaning, although we recommend a vacuum cleaner model that can transform into a handheld machine as it will offer better suction and increased power levels – especially for carpeted stairs. 

Final Thoughts

Tackling the stairs with your vacuum cleaner can feel like flipping a coin between life and death. Comical when you look back on it, terrifying at the time. 

With this guide, we hope you no longer have these fears and are instead happily ordering your new (and improved) vacuum cleaner. 

Every single model in this guide is one that we love, but there are a couple that took the cake for us. 

The first of these is the Shark NV681UKT, delivering superb power and suction while also incorporating its famous Lift Away technology to provide you with a portable option for cleaning the stairs.

It’s such a versatile model and really lives up to the brand’s high expectations. 

VYTRONIX also stole grabbed our attention, for a budget model that actually has a lot to offer. 

Did you enjoy our guide to the best vacuum cleaner for stairs? Were you able to find a model that didn’t make you fear falling down the stairs, or are you still searching? 

We love hearing from you, so leave us a message in the comments below.

Last Updated on February 3, 2022 by Gemma Tyler Protection Status