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
|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|
|Rank||Stick Vacuum||Approx Cost (USD)|
|Best||Tineco A10 Hero||$200|
|#2||Bissell Air Ram||$200|
|Rank||Stick Vacuum||Approx Cost (USD)|
|Best||Shark Rocket HV302||$130|
|#2||Hoover Linx BH50020||$120|
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:
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
MID-RANGE STICK VACUUMS
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 - 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 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 - 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.
Frequently Asked Questions