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The Best Stick Vacuum

Last updated on April 9, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Stick Vacuums and dug through the reviews from 64 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Consumer Reports, New York Mag, Vacuum Cleaner Advisor, CNET, Mommy's Weird and more. The result is a ranking of the best Stick Vacuums.

Best Dyson Vacuum

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Stick Vacuums and also dug through the reviews from 64 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Consumer Reports, New York Mag, Vacuum Cleaner Advisor, CNET, Mommy's Weird and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Stick Vacuums.

Our Picks For The Top Stick Vacuums

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Shark

IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light Cordless Vacuum

Overall Take

The slim Shark IONFlex DuoClean has an LED light that's great for visibility under tight crevices, where it can reach with ease. Its suction power is suitable for cleaning both hardwood and carpet. Plus, a 5-year warranty makes for extra reliability. It's also versatile, with great handling and numerous attachments... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Tech Gear Lab and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Cordless operation. Converts to a handheld vacuum. Crevice and upholstery tools included. Stick bends in the middle to enable you to easily reach underneath objects. Good at sucking up pet hair."
Cons
"It’s not quite as strong of a carpet cleaner, either, and the battery lasts for only 20 minutes."

Shark

Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vacuum

Overall Take

While not cordless, the Shark Rocket has a cord length that can accommodate most rooms. It's maneuverability is a highlight, with suction that can tackle most carpets and attachments that can convert it to a hand vacuum for small cleanups or detail work. A series of washable filters makes for... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus BestReviews, CNET, Best Handheld Vacuums, The Floor Care and 5 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Suction rivals upright vacuums. Accessories for everything from car detailing to cleaning computer keyboards. Converts to hand-vac easily."
Cons
"The Rocket's cord is inconvenient and means that you likely won't use it for quick clean-up."

Dyson

V7 Motorhead Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Overall Take

This stick vacuum's battery charges in under an hour and runs for up to 30 minutes on some modes. Its motor is relatively quiet, efficient and tough enough to tackle any surface in small to medium-sized homes. For allergy sufferers, the easy-to-empty canister is also a plus.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Wired, Consumer Reports, Vacuum Cleaner Advisor, Trusted Reviews and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Target.
Pros
" Snap on extra parts easily for a full customized house cleanse. Comes with a HEPA filter to reduce allergies. Cord-free. Up to 30 minutes' run time. We love that it's one of the few vacuums described as fun to use."
Cons
"The V7 is a very expensive vacuum. But if you want a cordless vacuum that can clean your whole home as thoroughly as a good plug-in model, this is how much it costs."
  The Best Value

Hoover

Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Overall Take

A lightweight but effective cleaner, the Hoover Linx delivers plenty of suction for its low price. It boasts a respectable battery life and has a foam filter that can be cleaned in under a minute. It works best on bare floors, but has a good dust cap capacity to hold debris from multiple cleanings.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Top Ten Reviews, CNET, Nerd Wallet, Vacuum Wizard and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Lightweight but surprisingly powerful. Battery life is extremely good, especially if you don't use the brush."
Cons
"The lack of a swiveling head makes it hard to access some spots."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the stick vacuums available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products to review and score.

View All Product Rankings

64

Expert Reviews Included

Reviews from our DWYM category experts and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: BestReviews, Consumer Reports, New York Mag, Vacuum Cleaner Advisor, CNET.

72,216

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target and 3 others.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Shark IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light Cordless Vacuum

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
695 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

The slim Shark IONFlex DuoClean has an LED light that's great for visibility under tight crevices, where it can reach with ease. Its suction power is suitable for cleaning both hardwood and carpet. Plus, a 5-year warranty makes for extra reliability. It's also versatile, with great handling and numerous attachments for upholstery or car cleaning.

What other experts liked
Cordless operation. Converts to a handheld vacuum. Crevice and upholstery tools included. Stick bends in the middle to enable you to easily reach underneath objects. Good at sucking up pet hair.
- BestReviews
It’s better at cleaning upholstery and picking up big crumbs off bare floors, and has a longer warranty. The battery pack is also removable and charges in a separate dock.
- New York Times Wirecutter
The floor nozzle also has an indicator light that turns red when one of the brush rolls is stuck and two LED headlights for visibility. The wand-release button allows you to transform the stick vacuum into a handheld appliance for...
- HouseholdMe
Great battery life, fantastic at cleaning hard floors, very easy to use.
- Tech Gear Lab
What other experts didn't like
The dirt cup capacity is small, so you must empty it regularly.
- BestReviews
It’s not quite as strong of a carpet cleaner, either, and the battery lasts for only 20 minutes.
- New York Times Wirecutter
A little pricey
- Tech Gear Lab

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Expert Summarized Score
8.3
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.0
11,812 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

A lightweight but effective cleaner, the Hoover Linx delivers plenty of suction for its low price. It boasts a respectable battery life and has a foam filter that can be cleaned in under a minute. It works best on bare floors, but has a good dust cap capacity to hold debris from multiple cleanings.

What other experts liked
Lightweight but surprisingly powerful. Battery life is extremely good, especially if you don't use the brush.
- BestReviews
It’s one of the most effective cleaners among budget-priced cordless vacs, and it has a respectable 16-minute run time. The foam filter is reusable, clogs and tangles are easy to clear, and the machine doesn’t need much general maintenance. Like its competitors at this price, it’s effective only at cleaning...
- New York Times Wirecutter
January 8, 2019 | Full review
The Hoover LiNX Cordless has a relatively large dust cup so you don't have to empty it too often.
- Top Ten Reviews
May 15, 2018 | Full review
The $179.99 Hoover Platinum Collection Linx cordless stick vacuum impressed us with its strong performance. Even Dyson's $499.99 DC59 fell short in comparison.
- CNET
August 4, 2016 | Full review
Ease of transition from hard floors to rugs or carpeting. Powerful suction
- Nerd Wallet
January 27, 2016 | Full review
Convenient, decent battery life.
- Tech Gear Lab
August 16, 2017 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Skimpy on accessories.
- BestReviews
The lack of a swiveling head makes it hard to access some spots.
- Top Ten Reviews
May 15, 2018 | Full review
This model doesn't come with brush attachments or any other special features -- it's just a stick vacuum. It also doesn’t have as much character as Dyson's colorful DC59.
- CNET
August 4, 2016 | Full review
Didn’t work on pet hair and eventually lost suction.
- Nerd Wallet
January 27, 2016 | Full review
Average at cleaning, harder to use.
- Tech Gear Lab
August 16, 2017 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. Shark IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light Cordless Vacuum

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 9

2. Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vacuum

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 10

3. Dyson V7 Motorhead Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 9

4. Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

5. Bissell Featherweight Stick Bagless Vacuum

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 8

6. Hoover Impulse Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 8

7. Eureka Blaze Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 7

8. Dyson V10 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 9

9. Bissell PowerEdge Stick Vacuum

Overall Score: 7.5
Reviews Included: 8

10. VonHaus Corded Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Overall Score: 7.1
Reviews Included: 8

An Overview On Stick Vacuums

As hardwood floors become increasingly sought after in American homes, the stick vacuum has emerged as the cleaning solution of choice for many. A slimmed-down sister of the old upright vacuum, it does the hard work of tidying up floors without that bulky bag or the bulky profile. The first stick vacuums could store easily in even the smallest closet, and while they couldn’t boast the pickup power of the big uprights, they worked just fine for tile or hardwood. They could also handle tiny crevices and corners with greater agility.

Vacuum technology has come a long way in the last couple of decades, to the point where the best stick vacuums are perfectly capable of picking up dirt from just about any surface — rugs, carpets or upholstery.  Most models now can toggle between modes for cleaning carpets or bare floors. The main difference is typically a stiff-bristled rotating brush, which helps loosen deep-seated carpet dirt. On wood floors, it not only scatters that same dirt but can sometimes harm sensitive surfaces, so choose your setting accordingly.

The initial draw of the stick vacuum — portability — has likewise improved. Even budget models like the Hoover Linx are now cordless, allowing you to the freedom to clean floors, ceilings or patios without worrying where the plug is. Battery life is always a concern, but just mount it for a recharge and you’re ready to go again.

Many modern stick vacuums don’t even need to be confined to the house, thanks to their modular sensibility. Vacuums like the Shark IONFlex DuoClean are light enough in their normal configuration, but you can also detach the vacuum from the floor cleaner. Snap on one of a series of attachments, and you’ve got an effective handheld cleaner that can tackle car interiors or other tough-to-reach areas.

Finally, one of the same things that make stick vacuums so sleek also makes it more sanitary. Instead of the bag container of the classic upright vacuum, stick vacuums trap the dirt they capture in a cup – typically near the handle at the top. This container isn’t as roomy as that of an upright vacuum, meaning you’ll need to empty it more often. But when you do, it will generally mean less mess. Some vacuums double down on that cleanliness with a HEPA filter that traps tiny particles and allergens, but the thickness of that filter can reduce suction power in budget models.

DWYM Fun Fact

The concept of vacuum cleaners has been around since the late 1800s, but the efforts of early inventors were more trouble than they were worth. Daniel Hess’ initial patent for a “carpet-sweeper” involved the use of a manually-operated bellows to create suction, so it’s no surprise that one may never have been created.

The advent of gasoline power didn’t do much to improve the concept. In 1898, John S. Thurman created a “pneumatic carpet renovator” that used a gas engine to blow (not suck) dirt into a large receptacle. The drawback? It had to be carted around in a horse-drawn carriage, with tubes that snaked into a house through the windows or doors. Believe it or not, Thurman actually did have some takers for his offer of house cleaning calls at $4 a pop.

The world’s smallest vacuum cleaner? As of December 2018, that honor goes to Talabathula Sai of India. He created a working 2.13-inch vacuum cleaner using a pen cap, 12-volt battery and a DC motor. We’re not sure what it cleans, but it sounds like it would be perfect for Barbie’s dream house.

The Stick Vacuum Buying Guide

  • The number one concern for anyone buying a vacuum, stick or otherwise, is going to be suction. It’s a difficult thing to quantify, as there’s still no generally accepted measurement of vacuum effectiveness. Not to mention, the fact that suction isn’t consistent even on the best vacuums. It can vary with the type of surface being cleaned, how full the dirt container is or how often the filter has been cleaned. That said, Dyson’s cyclonic filtration innovation has improved vacuum efficiency dramatically by eliminating the filter, and models using that system can be counted on for quality suction. Horsepower is also a good ballpark measurement, and user reviews can be helpful in determining how well a vacuum works and what type of surfaces it handles best.
  • Portability can also be a big concern. Stick vacuums are a favorite in many households primarily because they can maneuver under couches and coffee tables or even into ceiling corners — areas that upright units can’t easily reach. Cordless vacuums can be especially helpful for this, but you’ll want to bear the weight in mind, especially for older users.
  • If you’re choosing a cordless vacuum, research the battery life. The batteries on these vacuums are typically rechargeable, but larger houses may need more than one charge to get the job done. Models like the Shark IONFlex DuoClean have a removable battery, and you can even upgrade to a spare one that can be recharged while you run the original.
  • Depending on what you plan to use it for, attachments can make all the difference. Stick vacuums are versatile to begin with, but many have the added bonus of detaching from the floor cleaner and transforming into a handheld device. From there, you can pop on attachments like brushes or crevice tools to tackle upholstery, car seats or fan blades — if those extras are available for your vacuum.
  • Allergy sufferers are going to want effective suction (and maybe a HEPA filter for severe cases), but they will also want to make sure all those particles and dirt can be emptied out without getting it all over their hands. In that case, look for a detachable cup that can be easily cleaned, or a container like the Dyson V7’s that can be emptied without even touching the lid. Container capacity can be another big plus, ensuring that it won’t need to be emptied as often.
  • You and your floors may love a vacuum with a lot of horsepower, but your sleeping child may not. Some vacuums are definitely louder than others, so if you have sensitive roommates or children, do your research.