Best Cordless Vacuum for Stairs – You Best Options For Cleaning Stairs

Best Vacuum For StairsThe stairs has got to be one of the toughest spots to clean inside your home.

With a traditional upright vacuum it is virtually impossible because of the sheer size.

Even uprights with hoses will have some trouble cleaning this area because you are limited by the length of the hose and you cannot just place an upright on any of the steps because it might topple over if you pull too hard on the hose.

Fortunately there are manufacturers who’ve created innovative products that make stair cleaning possible.

Primarily I’ll be focusing on the cordless variants because this site is about cordless vacuums but don’t worry I’ll have some suggestions for corded variants below it.

Cordless vacuums are great options for stairs because you are freed from the burden of managing cords as you clean each step and with newer battery technology that last at least 15 minutes, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of a cleaning cycle but don’t worry I’ll included corded options if you feel the need for more power and deep cleaning (if your stairs are carpet).

To help you navigate through this guide click on any of the links below just in case you’re in a hurry but I’d recommend reading all of it to give you a better idea on what vacuum is best for your needs…

ModelDyson V6 Absolute

Dyson V6 Absolute
Makita XLC02R1W 18V

Makita XLC02R1W 18V
Black + Decker BDH2400FH

Black + Decker BDH2400FH
Shark Pet Perfect II Hand Vac Review

Shark Pet Perfect II Hand Vac
Dirt Devil BD10175 Review

Dirt Devil BD10175
Read Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full Review
Battery22.2 volt Nickel
18 volt Li-ion18 volt Nickel Cadmium18 volt Nickel Cadmium18 volt nickel cadmium
Charge time3.5 hrs25 mins16 hours16 hours24 hrs
Run time26 (normal) mins
6 (max) mins
15 mins15 mins
(less if the motorized brush is attached)
15 mins
(less if the motorized brush is attached)
15 to 30 mins
100-Aw (max)
Washable filterYesYesYesYesYes
Motorized brushYesYesYesYesYes
AttachmentsSoft roller cleaner head

Direct-drive cleaner head

Mini motorized tool

Mini soft dusting brush

Combination accessory tool

Crevice tool
Crevice tool

Extension wand

Floor tool
Extension and Wand

Floor Head

Dusting Brush

Powered Brush
Motorized Brush

Crevice tool

Dusting Brush
Motorized brushroll

Pull out crevice tool
Cleaning path
Weight (pounds)4.6 pounds2.7 pounds6.5 pounds4.92 pounds4.1 pounds
Warranty2-years3 years on vacuum
1 year on battery and charger

First let’s start off with what to look for in a cordless vacuum for stairs?

The first criteria would be run time, if your vacuum only runs for 5 minutes what good is that? You’ll need something that will at least run for 15 minutes – it’s long enough to clean a normal flight of stairs without having to recharge.

Next would be portability and versatility. It has to weigh less than 10 pounds so you don’t strain your hands and wrists. And this if possible look for something with a wand where you can attach a motorized attachment but not may have this feature.

Lastly it should have attachments to be able to clean carpet or bare floor. Not all the vacuums here will have that but some will come close, just scroll down to find out.

Our Pick – Dyson V6 Absolute

Our Pick: Dyson V6 Absolute CordlessThe V6 Absolute is probably the most versatile and most powerful cordless vacuum out there in the market. V

ery few will be able to match it in these areas which is a big reason why many consumers love it.

Not only does this machine do well on floors but it does well on stairs thanks to the lightweight design, tools it comes with and suction power.

First let’s focus with the product design.

The innovative design allows consumers to use this as a stick vacuum and handheld.

When you attach the extension wand and the floor tool – this is a fully functional stick vacuum capable of cleaning either carpet or bare floor equally well thanks to the two main floor heads it comes with – a soft roller cleaner head on bare floor and direct driven cleaner head on carpet.

The magic of this design is the interchangeability of these parts. If you need to clean stairs just take off the long extension wand and attach either the soft roller head or motorized floor head and you can clean bare floor or carpeted stairs easily.

The beauty of this setup is that even without the extension wand, you can still swivel it which is a feature not found in many vacuums.

In addition to these tool main floor tools, it also comes with a mini motorized attachment that is also found in the Dyson Mattress.

To show you what I mean – watch this video on how the V6 Absolute is able to clean this flight of stairs…

In the early part of the video, you can see that even with the extension wand and the direct driven cleaner head attached on the vacuum it still nimble enough to move around the step and it picked up quite a lot!

And when you remove the wand and attach the mini turbo brush this is where it shines, not only can you clean the part you step on but also the vertical parts of the stairs – try cleaning that on your upright!

Remember that the V6 Absolute isn’t your only option if you opt for a Dyson, there are a total of 10 different V6 variants each armed with a set of tools for a specific purpose.

This particular variant is perfect for stairs both for homes with or without carpet and it can double as a handheld vacuum as well that’s why it’s on top of the list.

Bottom line: The V6 Absolute is hands down the best stair cleaning vacuum available right now in the market regardless whether it is a corded or cordless vacuum. It’s unique design combined with the suction power allows you unmatched flexibility to clean up not just bare floor stairs but also carpeted stairs – though it won’t have the deep cleaning ability of a corded vacuum which is the only downside I see aside from the price.

Super-Fast Charging: Makita XLC02R1W 18V

Super Fast Charging Makita XLC02R1W 18VThe biggest obstacle in a lot of cordless vacuums right now is the long charging time. Even with brands that are equipped with modern lithium ion batteries, you’ll need to wait a few hours to fully charge your vacuum.

There’s one brand in the market that designed their batteries to be able to fully charge in less than an hour, around 25 minutes to be exact.

Here’s the Makita XLC02R1W stick vacuum. This is an updated version of the BCL180W that is not currently available in Amazon.

In terms of functionality, this Makita vacuum is similar to the V6 Absolute which means you can attach the main floor too to the vacuum itself and remove the wand making it a very capable floor cleaner especially on hard floor surfaces.

The suction is pretty impressive that it is capable of sucking in large stuff like bolts and nuts. In a way Makita designed this to be a shop vacuum for DIY folks who like to make their own stuff. Imagine what this can clean – saw dust, clips, small bolts and the like.

The downside with this product is the lack of a motorized brush which means you cannot use this on medium to plush carpet but on bare floor and low pile stairs it should be able to do the job.

Bottom line: This vacuum isn’t popular but don’t ignore it if you need something robust that can clean fine stuff like saw dust or large items like bolts. Heck, it’s a shop vacuum without a cord – add to that the 25 minute charge time, you have a handy little tool that you can use inside your garage and in your home.

Next Generation: Black + Decker BDH2400FH 2-in-1

Next Generation: Black + Decker BDH2400FHThe success of the Dyson cordless vacuum has spawned a lot of imitators and this vacuum is one of them – in a subtle way. When you look at the design and the filtration the BDH2400FH has some of the DNA of Dyson which makes it a viable option for stairs and a cheaper option at that.

This vacuum is part of the next generation Black & Decker vacuums equipped with the ORA technology. What is the ORA technology? It is a fancy term used by Black and Decker to describe the cyclonic technology it uses in their vacuums which isn’t a bad thing though because cyclonic filtration is a tried and tested system and will decrease the amount of times that you have to clean the filters.

In terms of design, I’ve mentioned earlier that this vacuum is in a lot of ways a Dyson-clone in terms of the ability to interchange parts. Like the V6 Absolute, this vacuum comes with an extension wand that turns this to a stick vacuum and similar to the Dyson, you can attach the main floor head to the vacuum motor and use this to clean stairs.

The floor head comes with swivel steering so maneuverability is not an issue.

In terms of power, this vacuum has pretty decent air watt numbers – around 40 which is more than the Dyson in normal mode but it does not have the Max mode where that number jumps up to 100 but still 40 air watts is pretty decent when you need to clean up bare floor or low pile carpet.

Bottom line: This vacuum is a great option for folks who cannot afford the V6 Absolute, it comes with decent power and the same versatility that the Dyson brings to the table minus the agitation and tools that the former brings to the table but for the price it provides a lot of value.

Good Housekeeping Approved: Shark Pet Perfect II

Good Housekeeping Approved: Shark Pet Perfect IIThis pet hair inhaling hand vac from Shark got positive reviews from both Consumer Reports and Good House Keeping but a couple of flaws kept it from ranking higher.

First, it takes 16 hours to recharge and will run for around 15 minutes on a full charge. Second, the attachments doesn’t lock securely into place, there is a risk of the attachment falling when you don’t push hard enough.

Aside from those two flaws, it works great on stairs, both carpet and hard flooring because of the motorized brush attachment. It doesn’t swivel or pivot but it’ll still do the job. If you have any sort of arthritis, avoid buying this.

The biggest pro, it costs less than $70, the second cheapest of the 5 vacuums here.

Bottom line: If you need to clean some pet hair on your carpet stairs, this is a great option for spot cleaning. Despite getting the nod from Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping, the very long charge time drags its ranking down.

Budget Option: Dirt Devil BD10175

Budget Option: Dirt Devil BD10175This is one of the best bargains so far because it only costs under $50 and it comes with a 3 year warranty! For the price you are getting a lot of value – a motorized brush roll plus a pull out crevice tool. The filter is washable so you save on buying extra filters.

Why did it only make it to number 5?

A couple of reasons, first it takes a whole day to charge, literally. You’ll need to plug it in for 24 hours to fully charge and that’s too long in my option if you’re using this as your primary cleaner but if you’re just using this for stairs, it’s negligible because a full charge will give you roughly 15 to 30 minutes. And you’ll only clean the stairs once a day right, unless you are really obsessive compulsive when it comes to neatness.

Second the opening is smallish, so if you’re cleaning a dirty flight of stairs some dust bunnies or hair may be left hanging on the nozzle and fall back down.

Overall this is a decent option for budget conscious shoppers who want something usable that won’t break the bank.

Bottom line: This is a great option for budget shoppers who wants something cheap and effective but don’t expect the level of performance similar to a Dyson or Makita.

How about corded options?

Well, for this to be a complete guide, I’ll guide some recommendations for corded vacuums for stairs. This guide won’t be complete without it so here goes.

Dyson Clone: Shark Rocket TruePet

Dyson Clone: Shark RocketIf you could ever build a clone of the Dyson V6 series with a cord then the Shark Rocket TruePet would be close. From the placement of the power switch down to the floor head this vacuum screams Dyson and then some.

Like the Dyson, you can attach the main floor tool on the vacuum itself to deep clean carpeted stairs. It also comes with a mini turbo brush, similar to a Dyson that is smaller and will allow you to clean the vertical areas of your stairs.

It has pretty good power at 500 watts and since this is corded, you don’t have to worry about run time but you have to worry about finding a place to plug is in near the stairs – cord length is pretty decent at 32 feet.

Unlike the Dyson V6 Absolute, the Shark Rocket TruePet has LED headlights which mean better visibility when cleaning areas where visibility is poor, areas like under the mattress or tables.

And this is heavier than the Dyson, at over 8 pounds it can be tough to lift this over your head to clean the ceiling as most of the weight is located on the handle.

But it does give you a wider cleaning path (12” vs 9.8”) and a longer reach thanks to the extra-long crevice tool and here’s a bonus. It comes with a hard floor genie tool that looks like the Dyson Hard! You don’t have to that overpriced hard floor cleaner because it’s included in the Shark Rocket.

Bottom line: If you don’t mind the wrapping and un-wrapping the long cord before and after using this then this is a viable (and cheaper) option for stair cleaning as well as general house cleaning but take note that since it has a similar design to the Dyson, it has a small dirt canister which means more frequent trips to the bin.

Corded Handheld: Eureka EasyClean 71B

Corded Handheld: Eureka Easy Clean 71BIf the Shark Rocket is too bulky for you then here’s a more lightweight corded option – the Eureka EasyClean 71B. This lightweight handheld is another viable option for carpeted stairs because it comes equipped with a motorized brush and it has one unique feature that will allow you to clean carpeted stairs vertically – the riser visor.

Instead of using a fixed nozzle, Eureka allows it to rotate at an angle where you can clean vertical areas. This not only applies to stairs but also on upholstery. The downside to the low profile nozzle is that it will have a snow plow effect when you try to clean larger items like cheerios but for cleaning up dust and dust bunnies on bare floor stairs it shouldn’t be a problem.

One thing I worry about this is the short 20 foot power cord which may not be enough for a tall flight of stairs or stairs that turn. If you don’t have a power cord near your stairs, you may want to opt for something cordless.

Bottom line: This is a great lightweight handheld corded option for folks who don’t mind the have the cord in the way. This little handheld will pick up pet hair on upholstery and stairs but I must warn you that it doesn’t hold as much as the other options here but it still does the job.

Cheaper Than Shark: Bissell 1683A Trilogy

Cheaper Than Shark: Bissell 1683A TrilogyI’ve shared with you the Shark Rocket earlier and I’ll share with you another Dyson clone or shall I say a Shark-clone, the Bissell 1683A Trilogy. Looking at these two products, if both had the same color you’d mistake one for the other but there are key differences.

The main similarity is the design which again is derived from the Dyson cordless series that includes a trigger handle, an extension wand and a power floor head that can be attached directly to the vacuum motor – this makes this a viable corded option to clean stairs and if you are price conscious, a cheaper option.

Both of these also come with a hard floor tool that looks similar to the Dyson Hard, so both of these machines are great options for cleaning bare floor.

But there are differences and I’ll enumerate them one by one.

First, if you look closely at the main floor tool, the Shark has LED headlights and the Bissell does not.

Second difference would be the power, surprisingly this vacuum has more power when you compare it to the Shark, this has 540 watts (or 4.5 amps) while the Shark has “only” 500 watts.

Third would be the power cord length, the Bissell is shorter by 2 feet (30 feet compared to the 32 feet of the Shark).

Last would be the warranty. The Bissell is only backed by a two year warranty while the Shark is backed by a 5 year warranty.

Bottom line: If you cannot afford or not willing to spend for the Shark Rocket, then this is a good/cheaper alternative that performs similarly well and is very capable of cleaning stairs thanks to its product design which is similar to the Shark.

To Wrap It Up

Remember stair cleaning isn’t hard if you have the right tools.

You can go old school with a broom and a dustpan but from experience it’s pretty hard to pick up statically charge dust just a broom. What you need is a tool that sucks up dirt, pet hair, dust bunnies, etc.

If you have carpeted stairs, it is even more important to clean this area because allergens, pet hair and dust will build up and if you fail to clean it, it can be a source of allergies.

In terms of outright performance and versatility the V6 Absolute is your absolute choice. It comes with cleaning designed for both bare floor and carpet plus your other above the floor cleaning needs.

The biggest downside would be the price but if you can afford it, you’d not regret your choice. Even though consumers have complained about the dirt bin that does not empty as easy as advertised.

With regards to the price, you can opt for a refurbished and save hundreds.

If you want a better emptying Dyson cordless then go for the V8 that comes with a more powerful motor, longer run time and a better bin emptying mechanism.

If you feel that I’ve missed on any other models, please let me know in the comment below and I’ll gladly look into it.

Garrick Dee

Garrick is the founder of the Cordless Vacuum Guide that originally focused on cordless vacuums but he has now expanded to reviewing corded vacuums and carpet cleaners to be able to provide a more complete guide in terms of choosing the right cleaner.

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