Ultimate Guide to Stick Vacuums


    What Are Stick Vacuums?

    What Are Stick Vacuums

    Stick vacuums are a convenient tool to help clean bare floors and low pile carpets. They are great secondary vacuums that help you clean small messes and quickly clean up around your home. Therefore, you do not have to pull out your heavy-duty upright or canister vacuum multiple times a week.

    Stick vacuums are designed to be lightweight and easy to use over various surfaces. You can use them to clean hardwood floors, carpets, and other surfaces. They combine the easy maneuvering of canister vacuums, the portability and convenience of handheld vacuums, and the powerful suction of corded vacuums into a single device.

    These vacuums also come with various useful attachments that can help clean different areas of your house. These attachments include a crevice tool that can help clean awkward and hard-to-reach places like cars and underneath sofas, an upholstery tool that is perfect for de-crumbing sofas, and a motorized brush that can pick up stubborn pet hair from your couches. 

    Stick vacuums use batteries to power the motor, which usually lasts a few minutes up to an hour. Therefore giving you plenty of time to clean your home. Some vacuums also come with two batteries, so you can keep one for backup if you do a deeper clean. 

    Things To Consider Before Buying a Stick Vacuum

    Things To Consider Before Buying a Stick Vacuum

    If you are looking to purchase a stick vacuum, it is essential that you keep a few features in mind so that the device caters to all your cleaning needs. 

    Weight and Balance

    Weight is an essential feature you should keep in mind when purchasing stick vacuums because you do not want to get a device that is too heavy for you. If you plan to use your stick vacuum for prolonged periods, ensure that the vacuum is not over 3kg. Otherwise, there is a danger of overexertion and strain-related injuries to your wrist.

    Therefore, before you purchase a stick vacuum, hold it in your hand and see if it feels comfortable. Additionally, some stick vacuums have their motor by the head to improve suction power, and some have it by the handle to enhance maneuverability. 

    Both configurations change the vacuum’s weight and center of gravity, causing them to feel very different when used. Therefore, it is essential that you try out both kinds to see which feels more natural in your hand.

    The Run Time

    Stick vacuums power their motor using a battery, which is why they have a short run time. On average, they run for 15 to 30 minutes and take around 5 hours to charge. This average may change depending on how large the vacuum’s battery is and how powerful the motor is. 

    Therefore, it is crucial that you weigh in on the time the vacuum takes to charge and the amount of time you will be using it. To get the most out of stick vacuums, purchase one that comes with a charging dock so that you do not have to plug it in manually to charge, and its port does it for you. 

    Power Settings

    Most cordless vacuums come with 2 or 3 power settings which range from minimum to maximum. When purchasing a stick vacuum, you need to evaluate whether or not you need a high-power vacuum depending on how regularly you clean your home. You will most likely not need a powerful stick vacuum if you clean regularly. 

    However, if you plan to use your stick vacuum for more intense tasks, such as challenging areas like rugs and curtains that require more suction, it would be beneficial to choose a model that has a boost mode. Such modes allow you to have the extra suction power to tackle those hard-to-clean areas. 

    Maximum or boost modes drain the battery faster, which is another aspect you should consider before purchasing a stick vacuum that is well known for its high power modes.


    The performance of a stick vacuum is one of the most crucial factors to consider because it indicates how good the vacuum is at cleaning various surfaces. Since stick vacuums are mostly cordless and use batteries, they are less powerful than the corded variety. However, they should still be able to clean small everyday messes, dirt, dust, and pet hair. 

    Furthermore, ensure that the vacuum you are about to purchase can be used on multiple floorings because most homes have a mixture of carpets and hardwood flooring. 

    Corded or Cordless 

    When purchasing vacuums, there are two kinds that you can choose from. These are the corded stick vacuums and cordless stick vacuums, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. 

    Corded Stick Vacuums Cordless Stick Vacuums
    They can work non-stop, and there is no need to charge the battery. You are not tethered to an outlet and can move freely.
    They are much more powerful due to being connected directly to the outlet. Most cordless vacuums come with a dock where the vacuum can be stored and charged at the same time.


    If you are planning on purchasing a particular stick vacuum, ensure that it comes with various accessories to increase the device’s versatility. Some standard accessories include a dusting brush, a pet brush, and a brush roll. 

    Upholstery or pet brushes allow you to clean furniture and carpets thoroughly so you can effectively remove all kinds of crumbs, pet hairs, and allergens. 

    Brush rolls are another essential tool if you own rugs and pile carpets you want to clean because they help you collect debris and dust that has settled into the tufts of such surfaces. They are also helpful for bare floors, as they can effectively collect debris. However, when using your stick vacuum on bare floors, ensure that you use a fluffy rotating brush roll to avoid scratches. 

    Wall or Floor Mountable Charging Base

    Neatly and safely storing away your stick vacuum cleaner is essential in ensuring the longevity of your device. Therefore, you should choose a vacuum with either a wall or floor mountable charging base. Such bases allow you to keep your vacuum readily accessible and always fully charged. 

    These charging bases are either floor mounted, or wall mounted. Floor-mounted charging bases can be plugged into an outlet, and they charge your vacuum for you. Wall-mounted charging bases are attached to walls and also become a stand where you can hang the vacuum. If you purchase a floor or wall-mounted stick vacuum, ensure it is placed on a stable and level surface. 


    Most stick vacuums use filters that help capture dust and allergens from your cleaning surface. Ensure that the stick vacuum you choose to buy has filters that are easy to remove and clean. Suppose you have asthma or any sort of dust allergies. In that case, you may benefit from selecting a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. This filter is designed to filter out almost 99.97% of dust particles sized at 0.3 microns.

    However, no matter which filters your stick vacuum uses, you must replace them regularly. It is advised to change vacuum filters at least once a year because they can become clogged, which makes them less efficient. 


    Suppose you plan to clean awkward spaces around your house or in your car. In that case, you will benefit from purchasing a convertible stick vacuum that can convert into a handheld vacuum. Most stick vacuums on the market are designed to be converted into handheld vacuums by either removing the handle or popping off the motored top. 

    However, some come with separate handheld units that you can snap onto the stick vacuum’s body and convert into a handheld vacuum. This option increases the usability of the vacuum because now you can maneuver the vacuum into hard-to-reach places that you could not clean with the stick attached to the vacuum.

    Noise Levels

    Vacuums are generally noisy tools because of their motors; the more powerful the motor is, the louder it will be. However, suppose you choose a stick vacuum with variable power. In that case, you can adjust it to a lower power setting, making it quieter. Therefore, it is perfect for indoor use, but you will have to make a pass for weaker suction.


    Dustbin designs vary significantly between brands, so before you purchase a stick vacuum, ensure that the dustbin is easy to empty and clean. Some vacuums feature dustbins with flaps, which are excellent at preventing dust from falling out of the nozzle when facing down.

    Additionally, you should also take note of the size of the dustbin. If you choose a stick vacuum with a smaller dustbin, you will need to empty it often if you use it for extensive tasks. However, a small dustbin will not be an issue if you use your vacuum for small tasks. 

    Ease of Usage

    Generally, cordless vacuums are extremely easy to use because you can carry them around without being tethered to an outlet. However, there are corded stick vacuums as well, which are much more powerful than their cordless counterparts. Therefore, if you opt for a corded vacuum, ensure that the vacuum has a long cord because it will allow you to move around with more freedom. 

    Additionally, the stick vacuum should also be easy to maneuver and comfortable in your hand. Choosing a vacuum that feels heavy or awkward in your hand may lead to wrist pain. Another feature that makes stick vacuums challenging to use is the power button. Some vacuums require you to hold down a button to clean, which can become uncomfortable over a long period.

    Therefore, you should choose vacuums that have a clickable button, which does not require you to press down a button while using it. 

    How To Maintain Your Stick Vacuum

    How To Maintain Your Stick Vacuum

    Stick vacuums are delicate because they use batteries, which deteriorate over time. Therefore, the best way to maintain your stick vacuum is to maintain its battery life. Usually, companies recommend you overuse your stick vacuums, use them on maximum power, and only charge them when they are out of charge. However, it is recommended that stick vacuums should be kept at full charge as much as possible. 

    Furthermore, you should also set up a maintenance schedule for your stick vacuum, where you clean out all the parts and check for any clogs that need to be removed. 

    Choosing a Brand

    Many brands offer stick vacuums, but popular brands such as Dyson, Hoover, and Shark are preferred over others because they are known to use high-quality mechanics latest technology. These brands also offer many different attachments that set their stick vacuums apart from others on the market. 


    Dyson’s stick vacuums are excellent for bare floors because they use lasers that make the dust easier to see. They are also convertible, and can be transformed into the best vacuums for small spaces in the industry. 

    Furthermore, Dyson vacuums offer their customers longer battery life and the option to have a removable secondary battery. A removable battery allows you to charge it on any outlet separately from the vacuum. 

    Dyson’s vacuums are also generally lightweight and easy to maneuver. Some popular Dyson vacuums are the Omni-glide Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, and the V15 Detect Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner. 


    Hoover vacuums are featherlight and excel at sucking up fine dust and larger debris easily. They also come with a variety of different attachments, including the handheld turbo brush, rotating brush, and more, making their stick vacuums extremely versatile. The rotating brush, in particular, is highly efficient at cleaning pet hair, making these the best vacuums for pet hair.

    These vacuums also come with a wall mount, making them easy to store upright in closets. Some popular Hoover vacuums include the Hoover H-FREE 500 Pet HF522UPT Cordless Vacuum Cleaner and the Hoover H-FREE 800 HF822OF Cordless Vacuum Cleaner.


    Shark vacuums are well known in the industry for their long battery life and performance. They are capable of lifting up almost 100% of dirt, dust, and hair from various surfaces. Shark stick vacuums are also designed to be easy to maneuver as it comes with multiple tools that can be swapped easily. Furthermore, the company has designed their vacuums to fold in half so that they can be stored easily and occupy less space in your closet. 

    Some popular models include the Shark Anti Hair Wrap IZ320UKT and the Rocket Corded Stick Vacuum. Stick vacuums from this brand are also affordable and come in corded varieties. 

    When To Retire Your Stick Vacuum

    If you maintain your stick vacuum, it can last you many years. However, since such vacuums use batteries, the vacuum starts to die once the batteries start to deteriorate. You can always replace the battery, which will solve many issues, but the battery’s price can vary and cost up to $200.

    However, the price of changing the battery and the filters are not justifiable if your vacuum is old. There are always better and newer vacuums available on the market that use the latest technology. In that case, you should upgrade to a better vacuum.

    Pros and Cons of Stick Vacuum

    Pros Cons
    They are smaller in size and easy to store They have a small dustbin that requires frequent emptying.
    They can easily fit into tight spaces to clean areas that your regular vacuum would not have been able to  No space to store attachments on-board. You will have to store them separately.
    Easy to maneuver on different surfaces like stairs. It can struggle to clean larger spaces
    On some models, the wand can be detached. Takes a long time to charge.


    1. Are stick vacuums reliable?

    Yes, stick vacuums are excellent secondary cleaning tools that you can use to clean hard-to-reach places and do quick clean-ups of small indoor messes. They are easy to use and have enough power to suction up most dirt, dust, and hair from various surfaces. 

    2. How long do stick vacuums last?

    Stick vacuums generally last around five to eight years if maintained properly.

    3. Do stick vacuums work on carpets?

    Yes, stick vacuums do work on low-pile carpets and bare floors. However, they may have trouble cleaning large carpeted surfaces. Using your heavy-duty vacuum on large areas of carpeted floor is better.

    4. What are the advantages of a stick vacuum?

    Stick vacuums are super lightweight, which makes them easy to push along and transport. Furthermore, they have powerful motors that efficiently pick up dirt, debris, and pet hair. Stick vacuums come in both corded and uncorded varieties, and some even convert into handheld vacuums. This feature allows you to reach and clean places where your regular vacuum would not have been able to. 


    Stick vacuums are lightweight handheld vacuums that make daily clean-ups extremely easy. Most stick vacuums use batteries, which allow you to move around freely and clean all the hard-to-reach places with this device. 

    However, many brands offer stick vacuums and choosing a stick vacuum that fits your needs can be difficult. Therefore, it is essential that you check out the power, weight, noise level, attachments, and run time before you make your choice. If you do so, you will end up with a vacuum that will help you keep your house spotless all day. 

    For more tips and recommendations in choosing a vacuum cleaner, you may check out our Guide to Vacuums for Small Spaces.


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