Best Stick Vacuums

Editor's note:
I always say that my Dyson V6 is the first thing I'd save in a fire (not joking!), but the new Dyson V8 is giving me serious vacuum envy right now. They're pricey though, so the good news is that you can get a great stick vac at a price that won't make a big dent in your budget.
 
Dyson V6 Review
Specs that Matter
Weight - 4.5 lbs.Run time - 20 minsCharge time - 3.5 hrs
Best Reviewed

Best cordless stick vacuum

Dyson V6

The Dyson V6 is the base model in the wildly popular V6 line, and experts say that it's the best stick vacuum for most households. It's powerful enough to pick up almost any mess quickly and efficiently and, at 4.5 pounds, is light enough for practically anyone to wield. The Dyson V6 is well-balanced, making it easy to use for cleaning even above your head, and, like all Dyson stick vacuums, it converts to a handheld for greater versatility.

Dyson V8 Absolute Review
Specs that Matter
Weight - 5.75 lbs.Run time - 40 minsCharge time - 5 hrs
Runner Up

Whole house cordless stick vacuum

Dyson V8 Absolute

If you want a stick vacuum for more than just touchups and small messes, you need the Dyson V8 Absolute. It boasts a long, 40-minute run time and enough power to make an upright vacuum virtually redundant. This versatile stick vac is at the top of every "best of" list and professional test that we saw. It also comes with enough accessories for top-to-bottom cleaning. It's pricey, yes, but you can sell your other vacuums to defray the cost.

Hoover Linx BH50010 Review
Specs that Matter
Weight - 7.3 lbs.Run time - 20 minsCharge time - 3 hrs
Best Reviewed

Best value cordless stick vacuum

Hoover Linx BH50010

The Hoover Linx BH50010 is another top pick in stick vacuum reviews, and reviewers say that it's a good value as well. In testing, it works well both on hardwood floors and low pile carpet, excels at pet hair pickup, and holds a charge long enough to clean a moderate-sized living space. Owners note that, at about 7 pounds and with conveniently located controls, the Hoover Linx is very easy to use.

Shark Rocket Complete HV382 Review
Specs that Matter
Vacuum weight - 9.9Handheld weight - 3.5Cord length - 30 ft.
Best Reviewed

Best corded stick vacuum

Shark Rocket Complete HV382

Owners give the Shark Rocket Complete HV382 the kind of love you don't see very often in user reviews, and experts also highly recommend it. In testing, it performs equally well on hardwood, carpet and area rugs -- and excels in pet hair pickup. The Complete also converts to a handheld vacuum for cleaning stairs, upholstery or automobiles, and comes with a full complement of accessories for practically any cleaning task you might need.

Bissell PowerEdge 81L2T Review
Specs that Matter
Cord length - 20 ft.Vacuum weight - 7.5 lbs.Converts to handheld - No
Best Reviewed

Basic corded stick vacuum

Bissell PowerEdge 81L2T

It's less versatile than the Shark, but the Bissell PowerEdge 81L2T is also much less expensive and reviewers say it's a great choice as a basic stick vacuum for keeping things tidy in between regular cleaning sessions. It sports a unique, V-shaped nozzle that excels in cleaning in corners and crevices without the need to switch out attachments. It's also a superior performer on pet hair and sand.

Types of Stick Vacuums
Cordless Stick Vacuums

Lacking a cord, these vacuums are extremely easy and convenient to use. Cordless stick vacuums used to be considered just "part time" tools, useful for cleaning up quick, light messes. However, in the past few years both run times and performance have improved to the point that some can now be used as your main vacuum, especially in smaller homes. Of course, increases in power come with increases in price, and some of the top cordless vacuums are quite expensive. But most people really only need a cordless stick vac for touch ups between regular cleanings. In that case, a less-expensive stick vac with a run time of 15 minutes or so will be more than adequate. However, all cordless vacuums take several hours to fully recharge.

Corded Stick Vacuums

Corded stick vacuums don't have any limitations on run time, but they do tether you to a cord that might not be long enough to clean a whole room without unplugging it and plugging it back in elsewhere (or using an extension cord). Some smaller, cheaper vacuums have very short cords; larger, more expensive vacuums usually have longer cords. A lightweight corded stick vac that performs well can replace a heavier traditional upright or canister vacuum, making cleaning easier overall. Corded stick vacuums tend to get better reviews overall for durability than cordless; some models in this report are still going strong after 5 or 10 years, according to owners.

Stick vacuums are convenient for quick jobs

Stick vacuums are lightweight, smaller versions of the traditional upright vacuum. They are extremely handy to keep around for quick pick up jobs, like spilled flour, dust bunnies, pet hair, or the crumbs that seem to follow small children everywhere.

In the past, stick vacuums were considered appropriate only for cleaning hardwood floors and very low-pile carpet. However, some of today's stick vacuums are far more powerful, and some people will be able to use them as their main vacuum. They're not the best choice, though, for deep-pile carpet or for extended cleaning jobs (most cordless stick vacs have a limited run time, whereas corded stick vacuums limit your range). If you need a vacuum for heavier, longer tasks, upright vacuums and canister vacuums, both of which we cover in separate reports, are better choices.

Regardless of your home size or floor type, a stick vacuum can be a great time-saver compared to hauling out the bigger vacuum, and they can't be beat for spot messes. Stick vacuums are also more convenient than a broom and dustpan because you don't have to bend over during use; they also pick up smaller particles and do a more thorough job because of their suction action. Stick vacs don't use bags, they capture debris in a dirt cup, which makes disposal simple. Stick vacuums are also better suited than upright vacuums for sweeping under furniture; plus, because of their light weight, they're easy to lift and carry. Some stick vacs come with a swivel head that makes cleaning around obstacles an easy task. Included attachments can help with cleaning hard-to-reach areas.

Many stick vacuums come with an integrated, detachable handheld vacuum. These 2-in-1 models share a single dirt collection container and are as compact and lightweight as stick vacuums that don't convert. If you need to clean both floors and other surfaces, this type of stick vacuum can be a cost-effective solution. If you want a simple vacuum just for clean ups on something other than floors (upholstery, for example), you might be interested in our separate report on handheld vacuums, where we recommend the best choices.

Finding The Best Stick Vacuums
Our Sources1. ConsumerReports.org
Stick Vacuums2. TheSweethome.com
The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum3. Reviewed.com
Best Cordless VacuumsSee All

Stick vacuums are quite popular and, as a result, there are a good number of professional tests and expert reviews and roundups available. Most helpful were testing sites like ConsumerReports.org, Reviewed.com and TheSweethome.com. CNET also tests vacuums, but with a focus on technologically advanced models, like robotic vacuums, although it tests a few stick vacs as well.

Even more helpful are the thousands of owner reviews we analyzed at retail sites, such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com and HomeDepot.com, to name just a few. These user reviews give the best overview for how each stick vacuum operates in real-world, long-term use. In evaluating these reviews, we consider performance on different flooring surfaces, pet-hair pickup, features and attachments, and ease of use and durability to help you find the best stick vacuum for your cleaning needs.