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Best Stick Vacuum 2017

UPDATED OCTOBER 2018 - This is our list of the best stick vacuums for 2018.  After reviewing a large number of stick vacuums we have found the top 10.  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 5 manufacturers who seem to be making a real effort in the stick vacuum arena and are leaving quite a few other manufacturers behind.  Our 2018 list includes units from Dyson, Shark, Hoover, Bissell and a machine from newcomer Tineco.

Best Stick Vacuums in 2018

 

Top-end
 Rank  Stick Vacuum  Approx Cost (USD)
 Best  Dyson V8 Absolute  $400
 #2  Dyson V7 Motorhead     $300
 #3  Dyson V10 Absolute     $600
 #4  Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382     $300
 #5  Shark IonFLEX 2X     $300
 
Mid-range
 Rank  Stick Vacuum  Approx Cost (USD)
 Best  Tineco A10 Hero        $200
 #2  Bissell Air Ram  $200
 
Inexpensive
 Rank  Stick Vacuum  Approx Cost (USD)
 Best  Shark Rocket HV302      $130
 #2  Hoover Linx BH50020  $120
 #3  Hoover SH20030  $90

 

 

TOP-END STICK VACUUMS

 

Dyson V8 Vacuum

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:

PROS

CONS


Dyson V7 Motorhead
Dyson V7 Motorhead - The V7 motorhead is a fantastic stick vacuum and it can usually be had for much less than the Dyson V8 Absolute.   The “Motorhead” is the least expensive V7 model but it still has most of the things that make these stick vacuums so great to work with.  You definitely get “bang for your buck” with this machine.
 
Lightweight:  The V7 weighs 5.45 lbs which is less than the V8 at 5.75 lbs.  The V7 is easy to lift, and easy to turn and maneuver.
Low noise level:  The V7 (like the V8) is less noisy than the V6.  We have done noise tests on all three machines.
A 2-in-1 vacuum:  This is both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum.
Hygienic dirt emptying system:  Both the V7 and the V8 have Dyson’s hygienic dirt emptying system which makes emptying the dust canister easier and more effective.  This feature is not on the V6.
Great on carpet:  We’ve run the V7 through a host of tests on carpet and pickup is very good.
Fast recharge time:  The V7 battery can be fully charged in about 3.5 hours.  This is faster than the V8 which takes closer to 5 hours.
Washable filter:  The V7 only has 1 filter and it is rinsable in water and can be reused.  A rinsable filter and a bagless design reduce operating costs.
Two power modes:  Like the V6 and the V8, the V7 has two power modes – Low and Max (only the V10 has three power modes).
 
The V7 Motorhead is kind of a stripped down V8 Absolute.  It has slightly lower suction (see our Dyson Stick Vacuum Battery Life video), a smaller battery, no HEPA filter, no mini motorized tool, no dusting brush and no soft roller cleaner head.  If you need these things then get the V8.  If you don’t need these things the V7 is great. 
 
One thing to consider is whether or not you will be doing lots of bare floor cleaning.  The soft roller cleaner head is better on bare floors than the direct drive cleaner head and only the “Absolute” models come with the soft roller cleaner head. 
 
You can read much more about this vacuum in our detailed Dyson V7 Motorhead review.  You may also want to check our pro and con videos.
 
PROS

 
CONS


Dyson V10 Absolute

Dyson V10 Absolute - We’ve been holding off on recommending the V10 because it is very expensive for a stick vacuum.  However prices have started to drop and this is indeed a top-notch vacuum cleaner so it is now in our list.  The V10 is Dyson’s latest stick vacuum and it is also the largest and most powerful.

Lightweight:  Despite being the heaviest of the Dyson stick vacuums, the V10 is still fairly lightweight when compared to much of the competition.  The vacuum also moves well.
Powerful:  In Maximum power mode the V10 generates 151 Air Watts of suction which is more than any of the other Dyson stick vacuums.
3 power modes:  Has Low, Medium and Maximum power modes.
Long run time:  In Low power mode the vacuum will run for 35+ minutes with a powered cleaner head.
Reasonable recharge time:  To charge a fully depleted battery takes 3.5 hours.  This is faster than the V8.
HEPA filter: It has a post-motor HEPA filter which is easy to remove.  It is also rinsable and re-usable.
Sealed system:  A sealed system when combined with quality filtration ensures properly filtered air being released back into the home.
A 2-in-1 vacuum:  Like all Dyson stick vacuums, the V10 can be both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum.
2 cleaner heads: The V10 Absolute includes a torque drive cleaner head that works well on carpet, and it includes a soft roller cleaner head which does a great job on bare floors.
Includes several tools:  Comes with a mini motorized tool, a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and a combo tool.
Hygienic dirt emptying system: Dyson created an emptying system that does a more thorough job of removing debris from the dust canister.
You can read our very detailed Dyson V10 vacuum review.  You can also see our V10 pro and con videos below:

PROS

CONS 


Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382

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:

PROS

CONS


Shark IonFlex

Shark IonFlex 2X - The IonFLEX has a rather unique feature – the wand can be bent a full 180 degrees.  Interestingly this is the one feature we really didn’t care for, although quite a few consumers do like the idea.  We were quite impressed with many of the vacuums other characteristics however. 

We really like the fact that the IONFlex 2X comes with two swappable batteries.  This approach effectively doubles your run time, and run time is often a major issue with cordless vacuum cleaners.  The batteries are also designed to attach and detach very easily.  The system is well designed all-around.
 
This cordless stick vacuum has Shark’s DuoClean Technology which utilizes 2 brushrolls in the cleaner head.  The front brushroll is soft and it does a great job on bare floors, picking up large debris and polishing smooth surfaces.  The second brushroll is more the generic stiff bristled brushroll used predominantly for cleaning carpet.  This two brushroll system really does a great job.
 
The IONFlex 2X comes with a nice set of tools depending on which model you purchase.  We have the IF252 which includes a duster crevice tool, an anti-allergen dusting brush, a pet multi tool, and a very long (3 plus ft) multiflex under appliance wand.
 
This is a 2-in-1 vacuum and it can be operated as a stick vacuum and also as a handheld vacuum.  It also has 2 power modes (high and low) and it carries a lengthy 5-year warranty.  We found suction to be strong and cleaning capabilities to be very good.  You may want to see our fully detailed Shark IonFLEX review.  We’ve also created pro & con videos below.
 
PROS

CONS

 


MID-RANGE STICK VACUUMS

 

Tineco A10 Hero
The Tineco A10 Hero is an interesting vacuum.  It is clearly designed after the Dyson stick vacuums and they have paid attention to Dyson customer comments.  It has a trigger lock so you do not have to keep the trigger depressed for the vacuum to run and it has a swappable battery.  There is even a version called the Tineco A10 Master that comes with 2 batteries so you can have one on charge while you are working with the other.
 
We like that the battery lasts for a reasonable amount of time (20 min or so on Low Power Mode with the powered cleaner head) and that the machine does a good job on cleaning low pile carpet.  It also has 2 washable filters, one of which is HEPA grade.  Tineco has also added a row of LED lights on the front of the cleaner head which is a nice touch.
 
The A10 is very lightweight and the dust canister is very easy to remove, empty and to clean.  All of this is provided for a price less than that of any of the Dyson stick vacuums. 
 
However, we don’t like that the tools are compression fit instead of the “click-fit” you get with the Dyson, and it does not come with a wall mount (which is a nice feature for handy storage).   Also, we have not had ours for a long time yet so longevity is something of an unknown at this time. See our A10 Hero review.
 
You can read many A10 reviews on Amazon

Bissell Air Ram

The Bissell Air Ram is a bagless, cordless stick vacuum that isn’t too heavy at 7.75 lbs.  People really like the unit’s maneuverability and report that the swivel steering and light weight allow it to glide around furniture easily.  

Most owners praise the Air Ram’s performance on bare floors, pet hair and low pile carpet.  It has a motor driven brushroll which helps with vacuuming carpet - however the brushroll cannot be turned off.  In some cases this can be troublesome as bare floor vacuuming is often done with the brushroll off.  In the case of the Air Ram it is designed so the entire brushroll can be removed for bare floor cleaning – it is an odd solution but it does work.

The vacuum has a 30 minute run time on a single charge which is quite good.  It also sport LED headlights and a washable filter (non-HEPA).  Unlike the Dyson stick vacs this is not a 2 in 1 machine so there is no handheld component, and it does not come with any tools or attachments.  However consumers report that it has strong suction – a key component for a good stick vac.  You can read much more in our Bissell Air Ram review.


 

INEXPENSIVE STICK VACUUMS


Shark Rocket HV302

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 Shark Rocket Powerhead (another great Shark stick vac) - check out the price on Amazon.  You can also read our Shark Rocket HV302 review.


Hoover Linx Cordless

Hoover Platinum Linx - The Linx gets very good consumer ratings and isn’t too heavy at 7.3lbs (almost the same as the Shark Navigator Freestyle). In addition, it has good suction.

This is a great cordless machine 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.  Like many cordless vacuums the Linx receives some criticism regarding length of battery charge, but 15+ minutes is actually not too bad. While it may cause consumer grumbling, it is not always easy to find a battery powered stick vacuum that provides more than 20 minutes of strong suction on a single charge (although we are starting to see this barrier more commonly broken by the likes of Dyson and Shark, and even a number of newcomers to the cordless vacuum market).

You may wish to read our Hoover Linx review.


Hoover SH20030

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.

 


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.


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Comments  

0 # burhan 2016-11-27 18:42
hi from turkey , dear vac master i would expect more about blackdecker recent models but still thanks anyway so helpful
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0 # LULA 2015-05-19 07:31
This site was very helpful to me deciding best stick vac to purchase
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0 # Sharon 2015-04-10 10:20
What about the Stick Vac by Dirt Devil. Much better than the Eureka.
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0 # Mary Ann 2015-01-18 23:33
Thanks for your excellent, easily understood information, Nigel.

Is there any CORDLESS vac that converts or comes with a handheld for stairs AND is effective on higher pile rugs and dog hair?

I am getting too old for the canister I lug around.
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0 # joyce 2012-06-10 16:18
Thankyou for your free advice...I couldnt believe there was a fee on another site.!!

Easy to follow...now I will buy one.
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0 # Paula 2012-05-03 23:38
Organized under categories with well-compiled information and easy access to best buy prices. Wish more sites were like this one.
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0 # Kelly 2012-03-08 16:26
This site was very nice. I found what I was wanting. I could not choose between the linx or electrolux stick vacuum. You helped me make up my mind. Thanks!!
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+1 # chris 2011-12-17 11:24
Very helpful when needed a vacuum review quickly. Ordered through your link.
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0 # Stephney 2011-07-16 11:10
Very well laid out concise info.
Thank you. This helped
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0 # Kim 2011-06-29 03:07
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About Me

Hello!

I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.  

I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.


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