Best Vacuum For Stairs

Generally, the task of house cleaning can be quite daunting and, to make it even more overwhelming, some parts of the house can be difficult to clean, except, of course, if you are using a specialized equipment.

One of such difficult to clean areas of the house is the stairs and staircase. The architectural design of the stairs, coupled with the fact that they make one section of the house that sees the most traffic daily, makes them more susceptible to attract a lot of dirt, dust, debris, hairs and fur from humans and pets.

What Is a Vacuum for Stairs

Despite being tedious, stairs cleaning can be a lot easier if you are using a vacuum for stairs. This is a type of vacuum that is specially devised to handle and make the job of stairs cleaning thorough and easy.

This type of vacuum is equipped with all the necessary features for reaching into and cleaning the edges and corners of the stairs, as well as around the balusters.

Benefits Of Using a Vacuum for Stairs

Besides ensuring that the stairs are properly cleaned, a vacuum for stairs offers several benefits. Some of them are:

Saves Time and Energy

The design of the vacuum for stairs, along with its unique features, cut down the time spent on the tedious task of stairs cleaning thereby, helping the user to maximize time and conserve energy that would have been exerted if the right vacuum wasn’t used.


The vacuum for stairs is equipped with an array of specialized tools. This makes the device useful in cleaning other surfaces and household items, apart from the stairs.

Easy to Maneuver

The unique features of cleaners for stairs are, for example, lightweight, long and adjustable hose of the canister, which makes them convenient and easy to use while reaching into every angle and corner of the stairs, which a standard vacuum can’t do.

Tough on All Kinds of Dirt

The vacuum for stairs operates a powerful suction necessary for lifting and pulling out trapped dust, dirt, hair and all kind of debris, leaving the stairs and staircase clean and crisp.

How Does a Vacuum for Stairs Work

How Does a Vacuum for Stairs Work

The vacuum for stairs, with the aid of its various and specialized tools like power nozzles, crevice tool, dusting brush, etc. works  by picking up dirt from surfaces and carpet piles.

While vacuuming them, it uses its powerful suction and traps dirt into the dirtbag or bin, leaving the surfaces clean. Most models come with several attachment tools that are devised to make stairs cleaning efficient, regardless of the surface material.

Whether they are carpeted, tiled, made of hardwood or covered in laminate or vinyl, vacuum for stairs comes with the necessary tools for cleaning them safely.

Types of Vacuums for Stairs

Canister Vacuum for Stairs

These types of vacuums have a canister body. They combine the power of the upright vacuums and the maneuverability of the stick vacuum, as some of the models have retractable cords. They are ideal for cleaning hard surfaces, car interiors or small carpeted areas like the stairs and other household items like curtains, wooden shelves and sofas.

If you are looking to pick out the best carpet vacuum for your carpeted stairs, choosing from the canister model of vacuums will be your best bet, because of their motorized brush head attachment, sometimes referred to as “power nozzle,” which is useful for cleaning carpets.

Canister vacuums are usually less noisy, despite having strong suction, even stronger than that of the upright vacuums. They are efficient in tackling stairs cleaning as they employ a suction hose, which is useful for enhancing reach and picking up dirt and debris.

Handheld Vacuum for Stairs

As their name implies, handheld vacuums are portable. Their portability, which is enhanced by their cordless nature, makes them easy to lift and maneuver. 

Due to their design, they are perfect for cleaning upholstery, car interiors and hard-to-reach corners like the stairs, that a bulky vacuum can’t easily reach.  

However, one lag the handheld vacuums have with stairs cleaning is that most of the models do not have the capacity and power required for the task, though some of them could be sufficient for small uncarpeted stairs.

Upright Vacuum for Carpeted Stairs

The upright vacuums for stairs provide energy sufficient enough for removing dust, dirt, debris and hair. These types of vacuums operate an electric beater brush which is useful for loosening and removing dirt particles through suction. 

Most upright vacuum models come with a variety of attachments which allow for versatile use of the machine. Some of them are designed with bags for collecting dirt and debris, while others are bagless.

More so, their upright design eliminates the need to bend while cleaning, which can cause strain on the back, making them an excellent choice when it comes to stairs cleaning, especially for the elders or those who suffer from back problems. 

The versatile attribute of the upright vacuum is seen in the adjustability of some of the models to fit different heights, such as hardwood or thick carpet, by just flipping a switch.

Robot Vacuum for Stairs

Robot Vacuum for Stairs

These types of vacuums are cordless and compact. They only require you to set them to clean specific areas, using boundary detector sensors. They clean within little time with precision.

Their compact design makes them perfect for cleaning stairs as they can reach all the corners of the stairs and operate with a powerful suction necessary for eliminating dirt, dust and debris that are usually trapped in the edges and corners of the stairs.

Bagged vs Bagless Vacuum for Carpeted Stairs

Bagged vacuums use bags for the collection of dust, dirt and other particles that are lifted during cleaning. They are known to do a great job of containing particles, dirt and dust that have been vacuumed keeping them from escaping back into the air. 

Also, some of the dirt bags can seal themselves once removed, thus making for a clean and smooth waste disposal. However, these types of vacuums require that you continuously change bags once due (and this comes at a cost) or else your device’s hose or chamber can clog causing a reduction in suction and machine efficiency.

Conversely, the bagless vacuum has a bin or cup in place of bags for collecting dirt from cleaning.

Though they are sufficient for a thorough cleaning, they expose the user to so much dirt and debris while cleaning because particles stick easily on parts of the machine while in use and any attempt at removing the obstruction with the fingers can leave the hand covered in dust and dirt. 

More so, emptying the dirt cup (which might be done several times during cleaning) can send dust flying everywhere, unless it is disposed into a deep and empty trash can. However, because you can empty the dirt cup on demand, the chances of the hose or chamber clogging because of dirt buildup are almost non-existent.

What Makes a Great Vacuum for Stairs

If you desire to have and maintain clean and spotless stairs and staircase, it is advisable that you consider what are the factors that make a great vacuum for stairs before purchasing one. Below are some of them:


Your needs are central to what makes a great vacuum for stairs. What type of stairs do you need the vacuum for? Are they carpeted, tiled, hardwood or covered in laminate? Do you intend to use the vacuum for cleaning other things and surfaces other than the stairs? You should consider these questions and some more in choosing the best vacuum for your stairs.

If your stairs are made of either hardwood or tiles, for example, it will be advisable to opt for a vacuum with powerful and adjustable suction to ensure that dirt and debris are pulled out effectively with the right amount of suction that is safe and adequate for these surfaces.

Alternatively, you can either go for a durable sweeper or any of the premium steam cleaners available, as each of these can do an excellent job on either of the respective surfaces without causing any damage.


This is a vital consideration when looking for the best vacuum for stairs. A vacuum for stairs should be essentially lightweight to allow for easy maneuvering as you clean. Having to drag or lug around a heavy vacuum while cleaning the stairs can make the task more arduous, while using either a small portable vacuum or a convertible stick vacuum can make the job a lot easier.


Vacuum for Stairs Attachments

These are vital, especially if you are opting for a handheld vacuum, considering that because of their portable design, they are usually useful for cleaning other things like upholstery, curtains, beddings, etc. and not just floors.  

For instance, with the right attachments, a vacuum for stairs can also work perfectly as a vacuum for pet hair. More so, a vacuum cleaner that comes with a variety of accessories allows you to get the best use of your machine beyond just its basic functionality. 

Some of the attachments you should be looking for when picking the best vacuum for stairs are motorized brushes (though some vacuums have brushes fitted as part of the unit), which is necessary if your stairs are carpeted, crevice tool, which is efficient in cleaning stairs due to its ability to fit into the edges and tight corners of the steps, as well as the balusters of the staircase and upholstery tool for cleaning sofas, mattresses and cushions.

The bottom line remains that it is advisable to go for a vacuum which offers an array of attachments to allow for versatile use of the device.


The suction system of a vacuum is a crucial consideration when picking the best vacuum for stairs because the stronger the suction, the better the vacuum will be in lifting dirt and debris that are stuck in the edges and corners of the stairs. 

More so, a powerful and adjustable suction is a necessary consideration, as a high suction power is needed to pull dirt effectively and suction control is required to manage the cleaning of different surfaces safely.

Hose Length

It is crucial to consider the hose length, especially if you are opting for a canister model. A long and adjustable hose will enable you to clean the stairs and other far corners without having to move the machine continuously.

Cordless vs Corded Vacuum for Carpeted Stairs

In choosing between a cordless or corded vacuum, it is vital to ascertain the kind of cleaning you will need the vacuum for, the battery life and its long-term durability. The corded vacuums rely on direct power to operate and this can be constraining, especially on a staircase. 

Some machines have long cords, but if you need to clean different spaces, you will need to keep changing plugs throughout the cleaning session, except if you will be using an extension cord to enable you to reach the highest (or lowest) levels of the stairs without battling restrictions and the need for power outlets.

Cordless vs Corded Vacuum for Carpeted Stairs

Conversely, cordless vacuums are powered by rechargeable batteries and tend to be most convenient overall. They provide a wider reach, enabling you to easily clean hard to reach corners and spots and even outdoors without having the need to connect to a power source.

However, if the battery quality is inconsistent or poor or the charge times take excessively long compared to the operation time of the vacuum, then it will fail to be sufficient for the tedious task of stairs cleaning

The battery life of most cordless vacuums usually lasts somewhere around 15–20 minutes, depending on the power settings, while the charge time is about 3 to 6 hours for most of the models. Durability is another issue with the cordless option because the battery has a finite amount of charges before it finally runs down entirely.


The price tag on a vacuum is a vital consideration when choosing the best cleaner for stairs. While some of the models are pricey with so many eye-catching features, opting for an affordable and yet sufficient unit is fundamental. 

How versatile a vacuum is, also plays a part in its price. An option that can clean the stairs efficiently and equally function well in the cleaning of other surfaces and the household appliance will mostly be justified, even if the price point is high, as it will seem to be a bigger and better investment.

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

Several brands and models of vacuums are available to choose from as well as to fit into any budget and need, but if you are looking to buy a specially designed vacuum for stairs, you might have to pay more. 

The price points of these specialized units are usually high because of their unique features and the various specialized attachments for better cleaning experience they offer. This goes to say that the higher the quality of the vacuum, the higher the price tag. However, if paying more will guarantee more value then it is justified, provided that one can afford it.

How to Use a Vacuum for Stairs

You might be using a vacuum explicitly designed for stairs, but that is not enough to guarantee that you are doing an excellent job in cleaning your stairs. Below are steps on how to use a vacuum for stairs:

Step 1 – Clean items that can clog your cleaner

Pick up and remove every item lying around on the stairs, like papers and other bits and pieces that can clog your vacuum. Also, move out of the way any heavy object that would cause an obstruction.

Step 2 – Connect vacuum to power source

Attach the crevice tool, then turn on the vacuum or connect to a power source (if you are using a corded device) then turn it on.

Step 3 – Start cleaning from the bottom of the stairs

Begin from the bottom of the stairs, working your way up. Start with the step corners, edges and baluster where the dirt and debris accumulates the most. Also, pay attention to the points where the risers and tread meet.

Step 4 – Reverse cleaning downwards

After you get to the top of the stairs, turn around and start working downward with the crevice tool still in place. This time, vacuum around each baluster as you step down to the bottom of the stairs.

Step 5 – Remove the crevice tool

Turn off the vacuum to detach the crevice tool. Attach the dusting brush, turn on the vacuum once again, then concentrate on the risers and tread. Vacuum from one riser to tread, then another riser to tread, as you walk up and down the stairs one more time.

Step 6 – Turn off the device

Turn off the vacuum and detach the dusting brush.


How to Clean and Maintain a Vacuum for Stairs

It is essential that the vacuum is cleaned as necessary and maintained to ensure machine efficiency and durability.  Below are some steps for cleaning a vacuum:

Step 1 – Empty and clean dirt cup

After each cleaning session, empty and clean the dirt cup using a damp cloth to avoid dust and dirt build-up.

Step 2 – Detach the filter

Remove the filter (assuming it is detachable) and clean with a rag or wash, if it is washable. If the filter is not removable, you can simply wipe it clean with a rag. This will help to keep allergens away from your living space.

Step 3 – Wipe the exterior

Wipe the exterior of you vacuum using a damp cloth to avoid dirt build-up which can de-face your machine.

Step 4 – Assemble back all parts

Assemble back all the detached parts and keep your vacuum in a safe place.

Quick Vacuum for Stairs Maintenance Tips

Quick Vacuum for Stairs Maintenance Tips

  • If your machine is cordless, it is best to pre-charge it for another use before keeping it safe.
  • If your device is corded, ensure to roll up the cord neatly to avoid tangling, wear and tear.
  • For the bagged vacuum, ensure that dirt bags are replaced when necessary. This also takes care of the filter as they are part of the bag in most models.
  • Accessories and tools require to be cleaned routinely. The beater bar, roller brushes and nozzles will also need a routine cleaning and any dirt or hair stuck on them should be removed. The dusting brush also needs to be washed and dried.

Dos and Don’ts to Do With a Vacuum for Stairs


  • Do buy a vacuum for stairs that suits your cleaning needs to get the best out of your machine.
  • Do vacuum regularly. It is essential that you vacuum regularly, especially the stairs because they are one of the mostly in use parts of the home and they trap so much dirt.
  • Do move objects. Move out of the way objects and furniture that can trap dirt, dust and hair before you begin cleaning.
  • Do use attachments. Use the necessary cleaning tools for specific tasks. These tools are designed to make cleaning more comfortable and better.


  • Don’t vacuum in a hurry. Take your time to go through the spots to ensure thorough cleaning.
  • Don’t wait until the vacuum bag or cup is full before emptying it. Empty cup or replace dirt bag when due.
  • Don’t vacuum water or any liquid with your cleaner. Unless you are using a wet-dry vacuum, this is because your regular household vacuum is designed to pick up only dry objects.
  • Don’t use a dirty filter: Cleaning with a dirty filter in place will hamper the efficiency of your machine, as dirt and allergens will be released back into the air.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to vacuum with the brush roll or straight suction power?

Whether you use a brush roll or straight suction power alone in cleaning will depend on the material of the floor or surface you are cleaning and the strength of the suction. Brush rolls are useful for loosening and lifting dirt and debris off surfaces, especially the carpeted  ones. 

If the surface you are cleaning is either of laminate or hardwood, straight suction can do the job, except if the brush roll on your vacuum is soft enough to clean those surfaces safely. However, in general terms, a cleaner with a high suction power can give your floor a thorough cleaning, even without a brush roll.

Can a vacuum’s battery be extended or maximized?

Yes. A vacuum battery can be extended as well as maximized. This can be done by conditioning the battery, allowing it to charge fully before the first use and then ensuring that it runs out entirely before recharging it.

Once this cycle is repeated a couple of times, the battery will become conditioned on the path of full charging and discharging for a long term basis. Another way to do this is by having a back-up battery (assuming the battery on your vacuum is removable) which you can use while the other is charging.

How often should you vacuum carpeted stairs?

There is no set number of times the stairs should be vacuumed. The stairs, like every other part of the home, should be cleaned frequently to avoid dirt build-up. Moreover, the staircase is one part of the house that is mostly in use. Thus, it accumulates a lot of dirt and its edges and corners trap and harbor so much dirt within little time, so it makes sense to vacuum your stairs each time you are cleaning the house.


The many benefits derived from the use of a vacuum for stairs make it an essential household appliance for homes with one or more flights of stairs. The ease of use of the device and its unique features make the once upon a time tedious task of stairs cleaning a walk over.

There are a variety of models and brands of the vacuum of stairs available for anyone to choose from, regardless of how varied individual needs and budget may be.

Moreover, the versatile design of most of the brands makes owning a vacuum for stairs a significant and justified investment, as long as one can afford it.

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