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5 things we really love about stick vacuums

These nifty machines can make quick cleans a breeze. Here's what our experts love about them. 

person using stick vac in living room
Last updated: 06 December 2022

Stick vacuums are a quick and easy solution to life's little messes, and can save you from having to drag out your big vacuum or go old-school with a broom and dustpan. 

We asked our experts about the best things stick vacs have to offer. Here's what they said.

1. They're quick

Knocked over the cornflakes? Toddler left crumbs everywhere after lunch? Spotted a dust bunny behind the sideboard? 

Instead of lugging out your heavy barrel or upright vacuum, plugging it in, then putting it away again, your stick vac can take care of the job in under a minute.  

They're also portable and battery-powered so you can pop out to the car with yours to give the carpet a quick once-over, which is much faster than getting a corded vacuum all set up. 

Less time spent cleaning is a win in our book!

2. They're a cinch to store

Instead of having to dedicate half a cupboard or a corner of the spare room to an unwieldy regular vacuum, a stick vac takes up hardly any room: just pop the charging dock behind the pantry door or in a corner and stow your stick vac there. It'll look nice and tidy and won't clutter up the floor. 

Just make sure that you buy a model that has good storage for all the accessories and tools – otherwise your space-saving stick vac won't actually save much space. 

Some models allow you to store the main tools on the stick vacuum itself, while others are designed so you can store accessories on or inside the charging dock. 

Our expert testers assess how easy the supplied accessories are to use and store, and this makes up part of the overall score, so while you're checking our reviews of the best stick vacuums, take a look at the 'Ease of use' score and the good and bad points for more info. 

woman using vacuum to clean car

3. They're light and easy to manoeuvre

Regular vacuums can be heavy and hard to move around, especially if you have mobility issues or chronic pain. Upright vacuums in particular can be particularly difficult to push across carpet as you vacuum due to their weight. 

By contrast, stick vacs can be light, versatile and easier to handle. Even the heaviest stick vacuum we've tested weighs only 4kg, while barrel and upright vacuums can weigh up to 10kg. 

However, if you're using your stick vac to clean up high (taking care of cobwebs, for instance), then even 4kg can feel like hefting a boulder. And if you're using it in handheld mode you'll need to support the dust bin at the same time – no easy task. But for regular vacuuming, a stick vac is nice and easy to handle. 

Our detailed stick vacuum reviews include information about weight so you can choose the best lightweight vacuum for your needs. 

4. They have great add-ons

Stick vacs can be more versatile than you'd imagine – especially if they have handy accessories and tools. 

At the very minimum, they'll probably come with a dusting brush and crevice tools, but tools may include a mopping attachment, flexible crevice tool for hard-to-reach areas, pet hair brushes, and a special soft or fluffy head specifically for hard floors. Some high-end vacuums even have the ability to detect the surface you're vacuuming, adjusting the suction accordingly without having to swap heads.

Just make sure you buy a model that has good storage options for all those tools – they're not much use to you if they're buried at the bottom of a drawer or lost somewhere in a cupboard. 

A swappable battery is a great accessory to have – when one battery runs out you can simply replace it and double your cleaning time. 

using a stick vacuum to clean

5. They're good at cleaning hard floors

As a general rule, most stick vacuums will do a great job on your hard floors – be it tile, timber, stone or vinyl. And you don't necessarily need to buy an expensive model to get a pretty good clean – even the cheaper stick vacs we've tested perform quite well on hard floors. 

Of course there are exceptions to this, so find out which stick vacuums are best for hard floors and carpet before you buy. 

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.