The 5 Best Vacuums For Carpeted Stairs

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There's no bigger pain than cleaning the stairs, especially when they're covered in thick carpet. Unless, of course, you have one of the best vacuums for carpeted stairs, which are designed with portability and convenience in mind. When shopping around, there are several things you'll want to look for in a vacuum to ensure that you end up with one that's up to the task of vacuuming stairs with carpet.

First, you'll want a vacuum that's lightweight and compact. A heavy vacuum cleaner will be a hassle to carry up and down the stairs, and a bulky design will be hard to maneuver. The best vacuum cleaner for stairs will have a slender profile that doesn't weigh too much. If it has a removable component to use on stairs, that's even better.

Next, you'll need the cord to be long enough to extend up the whole flight of stairs without having to switch outlets midway up. A 15-foot cord should be long enough for most homes. If you really hate the hassle of the cord, or just don't have an outlet near your staircase, consider a cordless vacuum — just remember that the tradeoff is having to keep it charged.

Finally, you'll want features like a strong motor, smooth-rolling wheels, and allergen-free filters that are easy to change. And if it has special attachments that work well on the stairs, that's a huge plus, too.

To help you in your quest to find the perfect stair-cleaning machine, I've put together a list of the best vacuum cleaners for carpeted stairs. Take a look, and prepare for life to get much easier.


The Best Upright Vacuum

Cord length: 25 feet

Includes: Pet power brush, dusting brush, and crevice tool

What's great about it: This SharkNinja vacuum cleaner, which is already extremely lightweight for an upright vacuum, features a removable canister that functions as a handheld cleaner. Just press a button and it pops right out. This makes it exceptionally convenient for use on stairs (or anywhere else you want to carry it). On top of that, it has a special attachment head designed specifically for steps that works great on carpet. This versatile cleaner also has easy, swivel steering and a HEPA filter that tackles 99.9% of allergens.

What fans say: "I absolutely love my Shark! I love that it lifts away for east stair cleaning, the suction is amazing, and washable filters and bagless! You don’t get better than that! It is easy to maneuver, it doesn’t weigh to much, the cord is a nice longer length. I have had mine for 7 months and I just love it!"


The Best Cordless Vacuum

Cord length: No cord

Includes: Crevice nozzle, charging base, and AC power adapter

What's great about it: If you hate dragging a cord around or just don't have enough accessible outlets, this convertible cordless vacuum cleaner is the way to go. It's super lightweight and has strong suction that works wonderfully on pet hair and deeply embedded dirt, according to Amazon reviewers. The convenient two-in-one design lets you convert it from an upright into a handheld, making it even easier to use to navigate steps (or even take out to your car). The powerful 2200 milliamps per hour battery lasts more than 20 minutes on one charge. Other great features include smooth-rolling rubber wheels and handy LED corner lights to help you see under furniture.

What fans say: "I love that I can vacuum every room in my home without needing to worry about the wire and outlet.. I can go upstairs and downstairs with no problems since it is so light. I use this vacuum on hardwood and porcelain tile floors and it does a great job! Also the handheld little carrier is so easy to use on my stairs which I can further appreciate since I have a bad back. [...] Charges quick! Tucks away in my closet nicely!"


The Best Handheld

Cord length: No cord

Includes: Crevice tool, upholstery tool, motorized brush roll tool, and charging adapter plug

What's great about it: Don't have the storage for a full-sized vacuum? Opt for this lightweight handheld vacuum cleaner. Constructed with an ultra-portable design, it handles carpet effortlessly on stairs, and the whole thing weighs just 3 pounds. It's also a great option if you're looking for the best vacuum for stairs and pets — it comes with a motorized brush that lifts pet hair and other debris from carpet, three-stage filtration, and an easy-to-clean 0.7-liter dust cup rather than an allergy-ridden bag. Wheel- and cord-free due to the handheld cordless design, it features a 14.4V lithium-ion battery that can run for up to 17 minutes on one charge.

What fans say: "Perfect size for stairs [...] I use this vacuum for pet hair on upholstery and it does an amazing job. It is also perfect for vacuuming the carpeting on stairs. Easy to use and lightweight but powerful suction."


The Best Budget Option

Cord length: 16 feet

Includes: Carpet/upholstery nozzle and hard surface nozzle

What's great about it: For those on a budget, this affordable handheld vacuum cleaner offers an effective way to clean your stairs at very little cost. For under 40 bucks, it's made with a multi-layer filtration system and a motor that other reviewers say is strong for its size. With more than 13,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.4. star rating, it comes with distinct two nozzles — one for hard surfaces and one for dense carpet. The only drawback is that, unlike some mini-handhelds, this one has a cord; however, for the price, you really can't beat it.

What fans say: "Love the GREAT suction, love all it tackles - pet hair, carpet stairs, messes, etc. It plugs in, tho long cord. Two nozzles - yay! Great filter setup, can clean easily. Easy to use, tho a little heavy. LOVE it!! Use it all the time!"


The Best For Spot-Cleaning

Cord length: 15 feet

Includes: 3-inch "tough-stain" brush attachment

What's great about it: This compact vacuum cleaner is one part vacuum, one part carpet shampooer. It's designed to spot-clean your carpet after spills or tackle small areas that are especially dirty. This tiny cleaner is super lightweight with a compact tank that's easy to remove and fill. The 3-inch tough-stain tool helps scrub extra-grimy spots, and it's perfect for cleaning steps. The machine has a strong motor, smooth wheels, and a sleek design that's easy to store.

What fans say: "Love this cleaner. Used it within a day and have used it multiple times since receiving. Cleaned my stairs with it and they turned out beautiful. Great for my pet clean ups. Easy storage and cleaning. Length of cord is great for cleaning stairs."

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