This is our list of the best stick vacuums for 2017. After reviewing a large number of stick vacuums we have found the top 8. Vacuum cleaners were chosen after carefully considering our testing, consumer ratings and comments, as well as length of warranty, features and cost. Vacuums that stood out scored well in most if not all of these areas.
Stick vacuums range from inexpensive to somewhat pricey and as a result we have divided our list into three categories: top-end, mid-range and inexpensive. All choices this year are produced by only 3 manufacturers who seem to be making a real effort in the stick vacuum arena and leaving other manufacturers behind (the 2016 list had machines from 6 manufacturers). Our 2017 list includes units from Dyson, Shark and Hoover.
|Rank||Stick Vacuum||Approx Cost (USD)|
|Best||Dyson V8 Absolute||$600|
|#2||Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382||$300|
|#3||Dyson V6 Absolute||$450|
|Rank||Stick Vacuum||Approx Cost (USD)|
|Best||Shark Rocket Powerhead||$170|
|#2||Shark Rocket HV302||$180|
|Rank||Stick Vacuum||Approx Cost (USD)|
|Best||Shark Navigator Freestyle||$90|
TOP-END STICK VACUUMS
Dyson V8 Absolute - This stick vacuum has been making waves in the market since it was released in 2016. So much so that many other manufacturers are making similarly designed machines to capture some of the market for this popular unit. However, to date nobody has topped the original V8.
So what makes the V8 so good?
Lightweight and easy to maneuver: This is one of the first things you notice about this vacuum. It is very light (5.75 lbs) and it moves/turns with a twist of the wrist.
Compact: The vacuum is small and thin. You can simply lean it against a wall or place it in the provided wall hanger. It stores very easily.
Capable on both bare floors and carpet: Many stick vacuums don’t work well on carpet. The V8 Absolute comes with 2 cleaner heads - one specifically for bare floors and one specifically for carpet. Both cleaner heads are motorized.
A 2-in-1 vacuum: The V8 is both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum.
Quality filtration: It has both a HEPA filter and a sealed system to ensure only highly filtered air is expelled.
Minimal consumables: This is a bagless vacuum and all the filters are washable.
Low noise level: Some machines are annoying loud. Not the V8. It has sound dampening insulation.
Easy to empty: Dyson have designed the V8 with a hygienic dust canister emptying system. This helps remove dust and debris from the canister without having to pull it out with your hands.
Includes several tools: Dusting brush, combo tool, crevice tool, motorized hand tool.
2 power modes: Can be set to standard power or high power.
Reasonable run time: It has longer run times than its predecessor the V6. On standard power mode it will do 25-30 minutes with the powered cleaner heads and up to 40 minutes with the non-powered tools.
We have the V8 Absolute and it is definitely our go-to machine for quick cleanups and for stairs. Read more in our comprehensive Dyson V8 review and watch our V8 PROS & CONS videos below:
Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382 - this stick vacuum comes with the 2 brushrolls and is a corded vacuum unlike many stick vacs today which run on rechargeable batteries. This vacuum is a good choice for a smaller home or apartment as it is not as large as a full size upright. However it still packs a punch and it performs well when removing pet hair from carpeted areas and smooth flooring.
DuoClean Technology seems a little odd at first - 2 brushrolls? But in practice it works remarkably well. The front soft brushroll helps clean right up to the front of the cleaner head, makes picking up larger debris easier, and also dusts bare surfaces. The second stiffer brushroll is like a typical brushroll. It sits closer to the center of the cleaner head and it helps deep clean carpet. We were impressed with the capabilities of this new approach (which you can also see on the Shark NV801).
The HV382 also comes with quite a few tools:
- TruePet mini-motorized brush (for pet hair and dander removal on stairs and upholstery)
- Under-appliance wand (adjustable length 36-inch tool for cleaning under appliances)
- Upholstery tool (for pet hair and debris removal from upholstery and other fabrics)
- Duster crevice tool (gets into very tight areas)
- Dusting brush (adjustable bristled head for picking up debris/dust on delicate surfaces)
The “TruePet Mini Motorized Brush” is a hand tool with a motorized brushroll and, as the name suggests, is designed to pick up pet hair. This tool works well and is also small enough to get into nooks and crannies that the main cleaner head cannot.
The HV382 can be used as both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum. So the “TruePet Mini Motorized Brush” can be used on the end of the handheld vacuum or on the end of the wand which makes it quite versatile - it is great for upholstery and other above the floor cleaning. The unit is bagless and the filters are washable which keeps maintenance costs down.
There is no HEPA filter or Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology but it does come with a very respectable 5-year warranty.
You may wish to read our Shark Rocket Complete HV382 review. In addition, we have created PRO and CON videos:
Dyson V6 Absolute - Despite the hefty price tag this continues to be in our list of best stick vacuums. Before the V8 this was out first choice. Like the V8 it comes with two cleaner heads (one for carpet and one for bare floors) and even doubles as a hand vacuum. This is very similar to the V8 but a little lighter and with a shorter run time. It is a great machine around the house for quick cleanups and for stairs.
The cordless V6 Absolute only weighs about 5 lbs and is very maneuverable. It is also quite powerful for its size and is easy to use and maintain. It is bagless and all filters are washable, including the HEPA filter. It has a small footprint so it conveniently tucks away in the closet. It also has plenty of suction and recharges in about 3.5 hours. While you only get 15-20 minutes of run time, it is sufficient for small area cleaning and quick pickups.
When this stick vac first appeared on the market it was about $600 but it has come down in recent months and you should now be able to find it for about $450 or so if you shop around. You can check the price on Amazon if you want. You may also wish to read our Dyson V6 Absolute review and view our PRO and CON videos below (note that these were made before the V8 was released).
MID-RANGE STICK VACUUMS
Shark Rocket Powerhead (model AH452) - The Shark Rocket Powerhead is somewhere between an upright and a stick vac but as it is lightweight and has no hose or attachments we will consider it a stick vacuum here.
The Powerhead sports some innovative features, including having the dust canister, all filters and the motor in the nozzle. It also comes with 2 brushrolls (1 for carpet and 1 for bare floors) which can be swapped out through a top-opening door on the cleaner head (unlike DuoClean Technology this machine only uses one brushroll at a time). Cleaning performance is quite good and the unit’s 9 lbs weight makes it maneuverable and easy to carry from room to room or up and down stairs. It also has a respectably long 5-year warranty. We find this vacuum really simple and easy to use.
Shark Rocket HV302 - Like the Shark Rocket Powerhead (above) the HV302 is somewhere between a stick vac and an upright. It is larger and heavier than the Dyson V6/V7/V8 stick vacs and it has a power cord. The Dyson stick vacuums are also substantially more expensive.
Consumer ratings are very good for the Rocket. Owners like that the machine has strong suction, is fairly maneuverable, and is effective at dealing with pet hair. But, unlike the Powerhead, where the motor is in the nozzle, the motor on the HV302 is at the handle end of the vacuum. This makes it a little top heavy and prolonged vacuuming can be bit hard on the wrist. The HV302 is slightly more expensive than the Powerhead - check out the price on Amazon. You can also read out Shark Rocket HV302 review.
INEXPENSIVE STICK VACUUMS
Shark Navigator Freestyle - It was a close race between the Shark Freestyle and the 2 Hoovers below but the better Shark consumer ratings trumped the longer 2-year warranty of the Hoovers (the Shark only carries a 1-year warranty). The Freestyle is a great machine. At 7.2 lbs it is very lightweight and it has 2 speeds - low and high. On high it will operate for about 17 minutes and on low for about 24 minutes.
The vacuum also has a motorized brushbar and is designed for cleaning both carpet and bare floors. However some owners report that the power on/off button isn't that sturdy and it may jam or break - although this isn't a common problem. For more details read our Shark Navigator Freestyle review. You may also want to check the latest pricing on Amazon.
Hoover SH20030 - We really like this corded stick vacuum and it isn't too pricey for such a good machine. It is typically available for under $100 (see latest price on Amazon).
It has brushbar on/off controls making it capable on both bare floors and carpet and it is not too loud. The SH20030 has strong suction, washable filters and an easy to empty dust canister. It is also a very easy machine to maneuver. As it is corded some folks indicate that they would like more than the 20 feet of power cord.
However, the biggest issue here is that this vacuum is getting hard to find. Some places are no longer stocking it although it can still be found. Read our Hoover SH20030 review.
Hoover Platinum Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum - The Linx gets excellent consumer ratings, isn't too heavy at 7.3lbs, and is good on both bare and carpeted floors. In addition, it carries a 2-year warranty. It is battery operated and has decent suction and battery performance.
This machine can generally be found online for under $150 (we've actually seen this as low as $115 on occasion)). It does everything well, and while not at the lowest end of the market, it will not empty your wallet.
This is a great vacuum for smaller area vacuuming and it is capable of picking up dust and debris from both carpet and bare floors fairly well. It is not a full size vacuum however and it also lasts about 15 minutes on a charge. You may wish to read our Hoover Linx Stick Vac review and view the video at the bottom of the review.
Like many battery powered handhelds or stick vacuums the Linx receives some criticism regarding length of battery charge, but 15+ minutes is actually not too bad (although some of the newer machines are getting longer and longer run times). One has to be a little cautious with "run times" these days though as manufacturers are producing vacuums with multiple power settings and it is not too difficult to get a long run time on a very low power setting - but this low power setting may not provide strong enough suction for quality cleaning. Corded stick vacs don't have this issue but they often have relatively short cords and involve plugging in the machine whenever and wherever you wish to use it. Check out the latest Linx pricing and ratings on Amazon.
Note: Something to consider when looking at consumer ratings is that expectations understandably drop with lower product pricing, so a $50 machine that gets consumer ratings of 9 out of 10 (for example) isn't necessarily a better machine than a $200 vacuum that is rated 8 out of 10 by consumers.
Frequently Asked Questions