We will look here at some general pointers and also at 3 different options. First of all, though, what is a stick vacuum?
The name comes from the elongated handle which has the appearance of a stick. They are also sometimes referred to as electric brooms. They make a very versatile addition to your cleaning arsenal.
The Shoping Guide
These stick vacuums are light, portable, very easy to store and more than capable of dealing with all your daily household cleaning needs.
If you fancy avoiding excessive bending and need something quick and simple to grab from the cupboard then a stick vacuum is tailor-made.
If you need to suck up dust or lighter household debris then this type of vacuum cleaner excels, and if you have pets or young children in your home then this type of cleaner is perfect to use in between more extensive vacuuming.
While a stick is no replacement for your regular cleaner, it can definitely sideline the dustpan and brush.
Previously, this style was slated for possessing inadequate suction power. Technology is advancing at such a rate that this claim is diminishing in accuracy.
In general, these tend to be cordless although we will look at two corded models as well. While you will obviously need to account for charging, the inbuilt bonus is enhanced maneuverability. It’s also much safer if you do not have the potential danger of a trailing cord. Some models actually feature a short emergency cord. Get the best of both worlds!
As with any product you buy, part of your research should first be an honest appraisal of what you need from that product.
Here are some questions to think about:
Area for cleaning
Will you be using the stick vacuum in a small area? If you have a compact house or apartment then this type of machine is perfect for the job. Much easier than a pan and brush and much more effective too.
Some stick vacuums are cordless, some have a cord, other an emergency cord. Pay close attention here and decide if the cord is adequate. Bear in mind that a cable which is too short can make cleaning larger areas more problematic. This is wise to look at in tandem with its weight…
Most of these models are lightweight but some are heavier than others. If you place a particular premium on something extra-portable then double down on the weight.
Be aware when conducting your research that not all of these variants perform well on carpet, especially high-pile. If your home is predominantly floored in this manner then either choose a stick vacuum to cope with it or assess whether or not an upright would be better suited to your needs. Most of them do acquit themselves well on both hard flooring and carpet so check it out.
If you have animals in your house then determine whether or not the cleaner you are looking it will cope well with pet litter and hair.
Bag or Bagless?
Some of the bagless options have particularly small dirt cups. These delicate filters can be tough to clean or remove when you need to empty them out. Also, because of their size, emptying itself needs to be done pretty frequently. If you plan to work on large, messy areas this is something to ponder before you purchase.
Value for money
Buying any product is not simply about the bottom line. Price is obviously important but are you getting value for money? Some of the more expensive models may cost more but if they offer great suction, hold their charge admirably, come equipped with multiple attachments or work favorably on different surfaces then perhaps the investment is worthwhile.
Consider the whole package as well as your budget and make an informed choice.
Tread carefully with budget, no-name brands. They may also fail to offer an adequate warranty and you may come to wish you’d taken this old saying on board: “Buy cheap, buy twice.”
Top Stick Vacuum Cleaner
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Design: Very sleek upright vacuum which is both cordless and bagless
- Battery: 18-Volt Lithium Ion battery. This is interchangeable and offers fade-free power
- Power: A very capable 12-amp motor
- Filter: Extremely easy to clean
- Attachments: Brush tool, crevice tool, motorized nozzle
- Brand: You can rely on Hoover for high quality products
- Affordability: This is not a budget model but is not overly expensive either and weighs in at much less than models from some other manufacturers
This is the very first stick vacuum to harness Hoover’s patented WindTunnel technology.
If you are looking for a no-frills cleaner from a big player then the BH50010 might be just what you are looking for.
The Linx is a very basic model regarding features. There are two main choices. You can use suction only for bare floors or hardwood. If you are tackling carpets then opt for suction and brush roll. If you are faced with particularly stubborn stains or a larger mess then use max power mode for a short burst. Throw in a bottom-opening dust bin and that’s about it for features. The Linx does the job and does it well and you are not paying for needless extras.
It operates purely from the detachable battery. A handy LED display indicates clearly how much life is left before it needs more juice. While the battery might only provide around twenty minutes of use on full power, this should be more than enough to deal with small spillages. Recharging time is in the region of three hours.
Handy hint: remove the battery from the charger when it is fully charged.
The Hoover works very well on both carpets and hardwood floors so is a versatile choice for those with both types of flooring at home. The gentle bristles present no problem with scratches on wood either.
Suction is great for this type of cleaner. Most dirt is removed with a single pass.
Dust capacity is 0.23 gallons which is fairly standard for a stick vacuum. It’s recommended, though, that you empty it after each usage for optimum results.
Special edge cleaning bristles work strongly in tight spaces.
The 2 year limited warranty from the manufacturer covers the battery and its recharging unit.
Overall, the Linx is very simple to maintain – less than a minute to get rid of dirt and wash the filters – and is ideal for all surfaces. Lightweight and with adequate power, most users report an extremely positive experience.
The only significant reported issues are a slightly short battery life and a user manual which could be clearer in places.
Bissell Poweredge 81L2A
- Weight: 7.1 pounds
- Design: Subtle but sturdy V-shape
- Battery: None. Corded
- Power: Copes very well with all messes. Strong suction
- Filter: Easy to clean and quick to empty
- Attachments: None
- Brand: A name you can trust
- Affordability: Extremely good value for money with the features you need at low cos
The Bissell is the ideal choice for those who want a stick vacuum and have mainly hardwood floors and pets in the home.
The shape of the base means that suction power is maximized. This is not at the expense of maneuverability so working around furniture need not be a chore. The swivel head also helps with this. Its V-shape means that larger debris is directed into the center suction paths. The narrow arms of the V deal with smaller particles.
The 81L2A comes into its own on hardwood floors but can also be used safely on low-pile carpets.
One of the key strengths is the way in which it deals with the things left behind by your pets. Whether it’s matted hair and dirt or even litter, the Bissell will suck everything up.
One drawback is that the power cord is only 20 feet. Being limited by a cord is one thing but if you have a larger area to clean then you might want to think carefully about this issue.
This mid-range offering is extremely capable, has impressive suction power and is a superb choice if you are an animal lover and want to clean predominantly smooth surfaces.
Dirt Devil SD20000Red
- Weight: 3.8 pounds
- Design: Sleek stick design with striking, bright red color
- Battery: None. Corded
- Power: Poky 1.25-amp motor
- Filter: F25 Filter which is rinsable
- Attachments: Crevice tool
- Brand: Dirt Devil is a brand you can count on
- Affordability: An extremely cheap stick vacuum offering
If you think the time is right to ditch the dustpan and brush, the Dirt Devil SD20000RED fits the bill. Essentially, this model is a three-in-one cleaning tool. It can convert from a stand up to a stick or a pure handheld.
The cord is a little short at 16 foot so, as with the Bissell, pay careful attention to your precise needs and ask yourself if this is adequate. It is so light that if you need to move it around to another plug socket it will present no problem.
The dirt cup is extremely easy to empty and means an end to buying bags.
The crevice tool supplied allows hard-to-reach places to be cleaned without a fuss. Tackle baseboards or couch cushions as well as spaces under your furniture without breaking a sweat.
At only 40 inches high, if you are tall or have back problems then consider whether this is the model for you.
One important thing to note is that this model does require assembly after purchase.
The core intended purpose of this model is cleaning bare flooring. You can use it on carpet but it performs better on wood floors.
For a cheap and cheerful addition to your various cleaning equipment, the Dirt Devil offers performance at an incredibly reasonable cost.
Black and Decker HSVJ520JMBF27
- Weight: 6.2 pounds
- Design: Slick cordless stick with detachable handheld
- Battery: 20-Volt Lithium Ion battery. Vacuum whole house on 1 charge
- Power: Extremely good suction from able motor
- Filter: Easily washable and reusable filter
- Attachments: Extendable crevice tool, brush attachment
- Brand: Superb brand heritage from a global brand
- Affordability: Very reasonably priced
If you are looking for a light yet capable stick vacuum, this cordless from Black and Decker is well worth popping on your shortlist.
You’ll get 2-in-1 functionality as well. In addition to a stick, you can detach a nifty handheld to clean in tight spots or to deal with sudden spills.
Suction is first-rate for a stick. With a powerful motor and a 20-Volt lithium ion battery, you can suck up larger debris or dust with equal ease.
You should be able to get all of your surfaces nicely buffed up before running out of juice. Charging is straightforward and you’ll be good to go once more!
Since it’s so lightweight and also cordless, you’ll enjoy a great deal of freedom when cleaning with the Black and Decker. Storage is also a cinch as it’s so compact.
There is not much by the way of free attachments. You’ll get a crevice tool which extends for further reach. There’s also a brush attachment. What you lose with few accessories, you gain with its 2-in-1 status.
It’s a bagless model. It’s best to empty these each and every time you bring them out to play. You’ll enjoy superior performance and your vacuum will last longer.
You’ll get the standard Black and Decker 2-year limited warranty. You can buy much more confidently knowing the manufacturer backs their product in this way.
Whether you want to clean carpets, rugs or bare floors, the Black and Decker helps take the sting out of tiresome household chores.
For a versatile, affordable stick from a brand you can trust, look no further than the HSVJ520JMBF27.
Miele Swing H1
- Weight: 9.7 pounds
- Design: Attractive stick finished in bright red
- Battery: None, corded
- Power: Capable, variable speed 1000-watt motor
- Filter: HEPA filtration so great if you have allergies
- Attachments: Upholstery tool, crevice tool, multiple configurations
- Brand: An industry heavyweight
- Affordability: This is cheap for a Miele although still fairly expensive
Miele are a major player in the vacuum cleaner industry. They have a solid reputation for producing top-notch vacs that are always pretty expensive.
With the Swing H1, you can bask in this brand quality without needing to spend the earth.
The wide vacuum head will suck up even stubborn debris from carpets. It will struggle slightly with some pet hair. It’s not the greatest on hard floors so think about the surfaces in your home and your cleaning needs.
You can tweak the power delivered by the motor according to what you want to clean up.
There’s a combination floor tool which works on any smooth floor, even low-pile carpeting. Just nudge a switch with your foot to make the transition between different types of flooring.
If you want to take a short break and lean the Miele against a wall, the non-slip stopper means it won’t come sliding down and crashing to the floor.
The HEPA-rated AirClean filtration will grab and retain almost all airborne irritants and dust rather than belching them back into the room.
A helpful onboard caddy lets you stash the accessories just where you want them.
Miele have incorporated a gliding feature so that you can clean any small areas of wooden flooring gently and without causing any damage.
If you are in the market for a solid stick from a brand you can rely on, Miele’s Swing H1 delivers in fine style.
Having taken an honest look at the pros and cons of each of these three models, it’s tough to say which one is best.
As always, the individual needs of a customer play a significant role in any decision.
It’s hard to overlook the extreme value represented by the Dirt Devil or the great technology and durability that comes with the Hoover but for the best all-rounder, the Bissell PowerEdge Corded Vacuum 81L2A offers versatility, power and features along with a very reasonable price tag so our vote goes to the Bissell.