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last update: 25th March 2019
What we cover in this guide-> Quick navigation
- Benefits of a handheld vacuum cleaner
- Top rated handheld vacuum cleaners for stairs 2019
- Quick buying tips
- Top model reviews
Cleaning stairs with a standard vacuum cleaner is quite challenging because it is not easy to get the dirt, pet hairs out of corners and it is too tired to carry the machine up and down stairs.
That’s why a handheld vacuum cleaner is one of the best solution for stair cleaning.
Here we bring the definitive guide for choosing a handheld vacuum cleaner for stairs, whether it is carpeted or not, for picking up the dust and pet hairs out of the stair effortlessly.
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Benefits of a handheld vacuum cleaner
- It is versatile, portable, easy to maneuver to use and to clean the edges of the stair
- It is more affordable than a full size vacuum cleaner. If you cleaning demands are mostly about stairs, upholstery, car,… then you do not need to invest a full size unit.
- It is compact, small in size so you can store it conveniently.
Top rated handheld vacuum cleaners for stairs 2019
Quick buying tips
Each handheld vac has its own advantages to satisfy a specific group of users. To make the best choice for your home when choosing a handheld model, you can read our quick buying tips to discover which model is more suitable for you.
Machine design: handheld vs. 2-in-1
Often you will see there are 2 designs when mentioning about handheld vacuum: handheld and 2-in-1.
While the first one is obvious for cleaning stairs, upholstery, auto detailing, the 2-in-1 model can work as a handheld and a full-size vacuum.
A 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner is more beneficial in terms of versatility, on the other hand, a handheld model is more compact and more optimized for corners and edge cleaning.
When cleaning carpeted stairs, one of the most difficult place to clean is the stair risers because not all of the machine is optimized for pick dust and pet hairs there.
If you stairs are carpeted, then you should look for models that can clean this area well to save your manual cleaning efforts.
Bagged vs. Bagless
Bagged dust storage is easier to clean and to empty, but you need to replace the bag filter after 30+ times of using the machine.
Bagless handheld vacuum is a more popular design and since it is bagless, you do not need to spend extra cost for the machine. However, it is a bit dirty when you empty the dust cup.
Cleaning power of a vacuum is equal to motor power x airflow power. Choosing a model with higher cleaning power will beneficial in terms of cleaning, but it costs more than a low cleaning power.
Depending on how much dirt and soils you are encountered, one will be better than another one.
HEPA filter or not
Obviously, a HEPA filter is better because it will trap micro dust and allergens so you can avoid of re-comtammination issues.
However, if you do not have allergy, non HEPA filter (micro layers, sponge filter, multilayers filter) is also a good choice (save more money!).
Thankfully, most of the handheld model are ultra -lightweight so you do not need to worry much about this factor. The machine weight can range from 2 lbs. (lighest one) to less than 6 lbs. (heaviest one)
Corded or cordless
If you choose a corded model, you should choose model with longer cord to maneuver around easier.
If you choose a cordless model, it is better for maneuvering, but the using time is often less than 20 minutes (consecutive running) so think of how long you have to use the machine and pick the right version.
For cordless model, the manufacturers have 2 types of batteries: Li-ion and standard battery. Li-on will be non-faded, lightweight, stable when working and a bit more expensive than standard battery.
Top model reviews
1. Eureka EasyClean Corded Hand-Held Vacuum, 71B
Recommended: for upholstery cleaning, carpeted stair cleaning, and car cleaning. It works well on fabric surfaces than some other models thanks to the rotating brush head.
The Eureka EasyClean is a corded handheld vacuum cleaner that is very popular in the USA. This model is a great alternative for full-size vacuum cleaner when dealing with car detailing, stair cleaning without any hassle.
The most interesting feature is that EasyClean vacuum model has Riser Visor that helps you to clean the stair risers vertically/ horizontally that you can’t find in other handheld models.
Plus, it has is optimized for portability and versatility by ultra-lightweight (4.8 lbs.), long foot cord (20 ft.) and long food reach system (23 ft.), so you can bring this model to the room and you do not need to plug/ unplug often.
Noticing, even this is a handheld unit, it uses double motors for better cleaning efficiency: one motor for vacuuming (5.5 amps) and another motor for brush rotating.
On the downside, some users mentioned that Eureka EasyClean vacuum cleaner sometimes lose suction powers and this is due to the fact that there are certain types of fine particles (for example carpet fresheners, powders, and plaster dust) might intervene the airflow and reduce the suction of the vacuum.
Therefore, the manufacturer recommended that to achieve the greatest cleaning results when dealing with such kinds of fine powder, you should empty the dust cup more often.
This model comes with 1-year warranty from Eureka
2 . Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1
Recommended for: when you need a handheld model for specific tasks (stair cleaning, auto detailing and pet grooming), this model is a good option to consider. Because it has the soft contour nozzle so it is very efficient in removing the embedded dirt in corners such as upholstery and problem spots like armrests or so. The soft nozzle is pet-friendly so you won’t scare your pet with this unit.
Another remarkable model is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum.
This model has a unique advantage is that it is capable of working as a pet grooming tool and a handheld vacuum cleaner, giving you a convenient way to clean-up the stairs, stains and do pet grooming conveniently.
The model has a special contour nozzle to clean up dirt, pet hair and effectively remove the dry messes such as pet food, pet feces and more.
Besides, this handheld vacuum uses the multi-layer filtration system to reduce the dust and allergen to keep the air cleaner and fresher.
Some of the highlighting specifications of this unit are that it has a generous power rating of 4 amps, cyclonic cleaning system, and 16 ft. Cord so you can go from room to room easily.
It is a bagless model with multilayer filtration system and it only has one surface height setting and has contour nozzle and hard nozzle tools. This unit comes with 1-year warranty from Bissell brand.
3. Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum SD20005RED
Strongest motor power of 7 amps!! Recommended for: for who dealing with cat litter, auto detailing and who do not want to have defective issues with using time
While there are a lot of great handheld model out there, this SD20005 from Dirt Devil is one of the greatest units because it uses a very powerful motor of 7 amps rating which is nearly double of other units to give you generous suction power.
If you have to deal with sands, litter and long pet hair, then you can rely on this bagless handheld unit.
Another worthy to mention advantage is that it has 3-year warranty from the manufacturer, ensuring you to use this model for a long time without worrying about defective issues.
About the design, this model has a fold-down part to clean small crevices better, it also has the long power cord for easy moving around, the ergonomic design and its ultra-lightweight let you hold the unit for a long time without being fatigued and it is a bagless unit so cleaning the machine is quite simple.
However, because it has the big motor power rating, you should expect it will have a higher noise than casual models.
4. Dirt Devil Hand Vacuum Cleaner Ultra Corded Bagged Handheld Vacuum M08230RED
Recommended for: car cleaning, upholstery cleaning, home with pets
The Dirt Devil hand vac MO8230 is a corded handheld vacuum cleaner from famous brand Dirt Devil.
This model has a similar design with Eureka EasyClean unit, except that the Dirt Devil model use fresh microfilter bag for dust storage.
The Dirt Devil hand vac MO8230 also has 2 motors for vacuuming and brushing, allowing it to pick up the pet hair and dust from carpets and car perfectly.
You should remember because it is a small size, lightweight model, therefore, it is not recommended for picking up long human hair since the long hair will cause the machine to stop vacuuming.
It’s a lightweight (4.45 lbs.) model that has stretched hose and a crevice tool for cleaning hard to reach areas, medium power cord (16 ft.) which is quite shorter than others but still sufficient for moving around.
Especially this model has 2 years warranty from Dirt Devil which is quite a great advantage.
Another issue you should realize this is a bagged vacuum, it uses fresh microfilter bag from the same brand which will leave only fresh airs to the environment so it is quite comfortable when using compared to bagged model but it means you also have to spend adding cost for filter replacements after a few months usage.
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