Why Buy a Stick Vacuum?
The top performers in our reviews are the Dirt Devil Accucharge 15.6V, the Gold Award winner; BISSELL BOLT 2-in-1 Cordless, the Silver Award winner; and the Dyson V6, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a stick vacuum to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of these 10 stick vacuums.
Stick vacuums aren’t meant to be as powerful as heavy, full-sized vacuums. A good stick vacuum can clean a small apartment, cabin or home and doesn’t require a lot of storage space. Stick vacs have versatility you won’t find in larger vacuums. Many convert into a handheld vacuum for cleaning your stairs or cars. Most don’t need to be plugged in. They come with a battery that you can charge when you're not using the vacuum.
You should keep in mind that a stick vac shouldn’t be used for heavy jobs. If there are large pieces of debris, say sawdust or liquids, you are better off using a shop vacuum. For large houses with multiple floors or thicker carpets, consider a full-sized vacuum. Check out our reviews of the best upright vacuums.
Stick Vacuums: What We Tested, What We Found
The two most important components of a stick vacuum are its power and overall features. That is, how many passes it takes to suck up debris and how adaptable it is for different projects and floor types around your home. We took into account that portability and battery power are important, though not at the expense of getting the job done. Beyond this, we considered the overall design and filters.
For our tests, we vacuumed up typical materials you’re likely to encounter in your own home or garage. We spread a healthy sprinkling of sawdust on several square feet of carpet. We then measured how many passes it took to clean up the entire area. We made sure to test the vacuums on both carpeted and hardwood floors. Our research found that stick vacs are often used for households with pets, so we embedded pet hair in the carpet and tested the percentage of pet hair the vacuum was able to suck up. Since many stick vacs are battery powered, we tested the battery life by measuring the time it took for the vacuum to reach a full charge as well as how long the vacuum ran until the battery died. For more information, check out our articles about stick vacuums.
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate products in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experience of the typical consumer. We obtained all stick vacuums for this review from the manufacturers. The companies had no input or influence over our test methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. Results of our evaluations were not provided to the companies in advance of publication.
What Else Is Important in Selecting a Stick Vacuum?
While our test factors should be leading considerations in buying the right stick vacuum, other features and capabilities should factor in to your choice. Here’s a rundown of the most important elements, with several key questions you should ask yourself:
Design: Is the Overall Size Important to You?
Stick vacuums all have a similar design. Simply put, they are long sticks, similar to a broom, with a head no more than 10 inches in length. They are meant to be lightweight, often weighing less than 10 pounds and sometimes as little as 3 pounds. Some heads swivel up to 180 degrees so you don’t have to constantly move them back and forth to change directions. For added convenience and versatility, the best stick vacuums have handles that fold in half, making it easier to tuck away in the corner of your closet.
Cleanup & Filters: How Easy is it to Empty the Vacuum?
The most common method of emptying your stick vacuum is a detachable bin that collects dirt and dust. You should consider how large of a bin you need and whether HEPA filtration is important to you. If a vacuum is HEPA-certified, that means it can remove 99.9% of allergens from the air. Most stick vacs are bagless, but some are not. In addition, many have a button on the bin that opens the container so you can easily empty the canister, but others may require a little more dirty work to empty the bin completely.
Attachments: What Specific Jobs Do You Need Your Vacuum to Do?
Attachments can add a lot of versatility to your stick vacuum. Since these vacuums are meant to not take up a lot of space, the number of attachments is much more limited than other vacuums. At most, you should expect a crevice tool and dusting brush for upholstery. These attachments are helpful when you’re using the hand vac to clean in between your sofa or cleaning out your car.
Stick Vacuums: Our Verdict and Recommendations
Three stick vacuums – the Dirt Devil Accucharge 15.6V, the Bissell Bolt 2-in-1 Cordless and the Dyson V6 stood out compared to the other electric brooms we tested. The Dirt Devil was quiet, ran for the second longest time and cleaned up more than 95 percent of debris. The Bissell performed well in our tests and charged quickly, though it lacked a convenient stand and HEPA filtration. The Dyson did incredibly well in our cleaning tests, but lost points for only running for seven minutes when using its max power.
There were a couple of models that were better at overall cleaning and features but lost points for lacking a rechargeable battery. Both the Hoover Corded Cyclonic and the Eureka Easy Clean 2-in-1 were solid performers, but both need to be plugged in. If your main concern is cleaning power and performance and you aren’t as concerned about running a cord, both would be good options for your home. You should also consider that vacuums without a chargeable battery are usually more affordable.
Whether you need the freedom of a cordless vacuum or the power and price of a corded model, stick vacuums are a lifesaver for those who have a busy family that make small messes from time to time. There’s no need to break your back with a heavy full-sized vacuum when a lighter vacuum can easily and efficiently handle the job.