Stick Vacuum Comparison
|2 Tier||2 Tier||2 Tier||2 Tier||2 Tier||2 Tier||2 Tier||3 Tier||2 Tier||2 Tier|
|Voltage||110 – 240 V||110 V||110 V||120 V||110 V||110 V||110 V||110 V||110 V||110 V|
|Amperage||1 A||1.2 A||2 A||1.25 A||2 A||1.2 A||1.35 A||1.2 A||1.35 A||2 A|
|Warranty||2 Years||6 Years||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||2 Years||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
Stick Vacuum Buying Guide
What is a Stick Vacuum?
Stick vacuums are smaller and lighter than a traditional household vacuum. They are also referred to as broom vacuums, not because they sweep the floor but because of the lightweight, simple “stick” design. They are the perfect size and power for small areas such as dorm rooms and do really well on hardwood floors and little area rugs. While they are not meant for thicker, plush carpets, you can use them on low pile varieties that are usually found in restaurants, offices and similar places.
There are several different styles and types of stick vacuums. Some are cordless and go on a charger between uses; others have regular power cords and can be converted into a handheld vacuum with ease. Before you begin your search for the right stick vacuum, you need to ask yourself a few questions that will steer you in the right direction.
There are some vacuuming jobs that a stick vacuum just won’t be good for, due to the lighter weight and dirt capacity. There are a few things that you need to think about when deciding on the right stick vacuum for your needs. These things are all circumstances where stick vacuums will be really good for cleaning. If these things apply to you, a stick vacuum is your best choice. We’ve outlined these points below.
- Do you have a lot of wood, tile or linoleum floors?
- Is the space you have to vacuum relatively small?
- Will you be going up and down stairs frequently to vacuum?
- Are you looking for an easy to handle vacuum for a restaurant or office?
- Are you looking for a vacuum for a college student dorm room?
Stick vacuums are the perfect choice if any of the above situations apply to you. Many people have more than one vacuum so there is nothing that says you can’t have both a stick vacuum and a larger, heavier duty household vacuuming for the big jobs. Stick vacuums are usually so reasonable in price, getting one as a means of handling the smaller clean up jobs makes a lot of sense.
Be sure that you are not expecting a stick vacuum to have the cleaning ability and suction of a regular full sized household vacuum. They are not designed to have a ton of power and that is what makes them great as fill-in vacuums and vacuums for small areas (like a dorm room) Expecting a stick vacuum to have the same power as a regular one will only disappoint you. They are designed for the small jobs, for when dragging a big heavy regular vacuum out of the closet is not convenient. They were not designed to compete with or replace regular vacuums.
Cordless – Many styles of stick vacuums are cordless which provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to moving around. This feature is perfect for restaurants, offices, and dorm rooms.
Converts to a Hand Vac – Another common feature of stick vacuums is that they can either convert to a handheld vacuum by removing the handle or there is a detachable part that is a handheld. This feature makes them great for cleaning vehicles, furniture, and for cleaning up tiny little messes that bringing a full sized vacuum out to do, is a nuisance.
Bagless – Most stick vacuums are bagless eliminating the need for buying replacement bags all the time. The dirt/dust cups are usually small so they don’t hold a lot and will need to be emptied with each use, but removing them to empty is very easy and fast and makes clean up a breeze.
Lightweight – Stick vacuums are notoriously lightweight which makes them a favorite for taking up and down the stairs during cleaning. Some models weigh as little as 3.5 pounds!
Cord Length – For the models that have cords, they can be short or long but the typical length seems to be around 20’ which is a good amount of leeway, especially for a small place. The cord can be wound up around the cord keep for easy storage. You want to be sure that the cord is long enough for you to be able to clean one entire room without having to change outlets.
AMPs – Amps measure the amount of current that is used by the motor. Just because a vacuum has a higher amp it doesn’t necessarily mean the vacuum has more power.
Filter – The level of filtration a stick vacuum has varies from one style to another. The vacuums that have filtration systems, especially HEPA filters, can cost more than those that don’t have it. HEPA filters are great for reducing dust particles in the air which can help those who suffer from allergies.
Construction – Stick vacuums can be made from plastic or metal or a combination of the two. Metal vacuums are more durable and last longer, but they are also heavier and cost more as well.
Brush Rollers – Most stick vacuums don’t have a brush roller system which is why they don’t do well on carpeted areas. Some have a means of either adding a brush roller or dropping one down from inside the mechanism. Brush rollers are for use on carpet not wood or tile floors so whenever you switch from carpeting to flooring be sure to lift or remove (whichever applies) the roller brush to avoid scattering dust and debris all over the room you’re trying to clean.
Edge Cleaner – Some styles of stick vacuums are built to be able to get right up against edges and clean them sufficiently. This is to avoid having to use a broom and dustpan. For the styles that have this edge cleaning capacity, users will find it is a great feature to have as it saves having to resort to brooms and dustpans.
Lighting – There are a few stick vacuums that have lights on the front of the base for additional visibility especially when vacuuming under furniture and beds. Most models do not have this feature, so it’s nice when you can find a model with it.
Onboard Tools – Sometimes called crevice tools, these small attachments add other functions to the stick vacuum such as cleaning out window sills, ceiling corners, along baseboards, under couch cushions and more. Some models have onboard tools included and others do not. Having these attachments makes the job a bit easier so if possible your stick vacuum should have this feature. Detachable tools include:
- Detachable hose
- Upholstery brushes
- Hose extensions (for ceilings and crown molding)
- Corner cleaners
Many units have a place to store all these attachments onto the vacuum itself. If not you can designate a place for the extra tools and keep them there at all times when not in use.
What to Look?
Comparing one stick vacuum to another is how you can choose which one fits your needs the best. There are a few points in which you should compare models against each other. This is how you will tell what kind of stick vacuum you are actually getting compared to another model. If you can’t try them out in person (which is very unlikely to happen) reading reviews like we have here are always a good choice to take a look at, to see how things are going and what people are saying about what you’re interested in.
Reliability, Quality and Cost
Stick vacuums range in price from very inexpensive to expensive but that depends largely on features, power and even brand name sometimes. A higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean a better product so be sure to do your homework and look at what each model offers, the reviews on that model and what the customers are saying about it.
A well constructed stick vacuum will be made of metal or hard plastic that is resistant to breakage. Most, if not all stick vacuums come with a manufacturer’s warranty of some kind. Warranties are usually a minimum of 1 year but others offer 2 or 3 year warranties as well. Stores or the seller should have a return policy as well to protect you against getting the vacuum home and hating it. If this should happen, you should know the steps to get the product returned correctly.
Features and Attachments
This is another important area in which stick vacuums can be compared against each other. Some features will cause the vacuum to be higher in price while others will not seem to affect the price at all. Look to see if the models you’re comparing have attachments for additional cleaning capabilities, can they be turned into a handheld model and so on. You want to make you choice based on the stick vacuum that most closely matches what you need it for.
You want to look for a stick vacuum that has at least a few basic attachments such as a crevice tool, brush and an extension wand. These are the attachments that you will use most often and come in handy to have. Not all stick vacuums come with attachments but there are many that do and those are the ones that make cleaning a bit easier. Trying to get into tight corners and crevices with a wide base or nozzle is not going to do the same job as one that has the capability to do a thorough cleaning.
Corded vs. Cordless – Which One is Best?
There are two types of power that a stick vacuum can use to operate: power cords and battery packs. There are pros and cons to both types and we’ll go over that below so you can see the differences and benefits of both types.
Benefits of Corded Stick Vacuums
- Not reliant upon batteries being charged
- Tend to be more powerful
- No batteries to buy
Cons of Corded Stick Vacuums
- Cords can sometimes be too short
- Has to have power to work
- Not as easy to get around, especially vacuuming on the stairs
Benefits of Cordless Stick Vacuums
- No cords to worry about
- Easier to get around things
- Makes vacuuming up or down stairs simple
- Doesn’t need power to work once battery is fully charged
Cons of Cordless Stick Vacuums
- Not as powerful as the corded varieties
- Has to have batteries charged to work
- Must buy replacement batteries
- Only has about a 20 minute run time, more often, even less.
There are pros and cons to each kind which means it really boils down to personal preference and what you are specifically looking for. For the person who wants as much power as possible during vacuuming, corded models will be the best bet. If you’re looking for a vacuum you can use all over the house without worry about cords and outlets, the cordless models will be your choice. The best choice for you will be determined by the amount of usage you plan on having with it and how messy things usually are when you clean.
Comfort is a factor when it comes to the type of stick vacuum you choose. Ergonomic handles, power controls higher up on the handle to avoid having to bend over a lot and other design factors all can make one style of vacuum stand out above another.
You can’t totally avoid having to bend over, but you can look for models that have ergonomics and comfort in mind when they design their vacuums. If you do a lot of cleaning you will be grateful that you do not have to constantly bend over to turn it on and off, switch attachments and use the hose.
When using your vacuum, there are some basic safety guidelines that you should be aware of. Following these simple guidelines will ensure that you are as safe as possible. A lot of these safety tips will apply to corded styles.
- When you’re not using your stick vacuum, make sure the cord is properly put away, whether it’s a retractable cord or a cord wrap variety. Don’t just toss the cord around it as it can get caught on things and break the wires within the cord or it can become tangled around other things wherever you’re storing it and it can cause those items to get pulled over onto the person who is trying to take the vacuum out of its storing place.
- Only use your stick vacuum indoors. Wet/Dry vacuums are for indoor and outdoor use but stick vacuums are not and should only be used on carpets, wood floors, tile floors and linoleum. It is also important to store them indoors.
- Put the vacuum in its spot when not in use and DON’T leave it plugged in. Children can “play” housekeeper and get injured, people can trip on the cord or the vacuum itself and other mishaps.
- Stick vacuums are not meant to vacuum up wet spills so save this for a wet/dry vac or use the old fashioned way and get some rags and clean it up that way FIRST. Vacuuming wet carpets or floors can damage the motor and also puts you at risk for getting shocked. If your vacuum has been exposed to water, it is much safer to have a technician take a look at it before using it again to avoid electrocution.
- Never pull the plug out of the wall socket by the cord. This damages the cord and can cause shocks and break the wires in the cord.
- All fingers and hands and feet should be kept away from all the powered moving parts such as the roller brush and bottom suction area. If you must check on something that you think you accidentally vacuumed up, shut the vacuum off, unplug it and wait for the roller to stop completely before checking it.
- Stick vacuums may look like fun but they are not toys and younger children should not use them. Teens can use them as long as you go over the safety instructions and they are responsible enough to know how to use the vacuum safely.
- Never vacuum toxic or flammable materials with a stick vacuum. If you’re not sure what substance is on the floor, check it out first before vacuuming.
- Never vacuum up sharp objects with your stick vacuum. These include things like glass, nails, screws, coins and pieces of toys. As much of a hassle as it is, especially when you’re already vacuuming, stop and pick up the small pieces first, and then continue vacuuming.
- Never operate a vacuum with wet hands. This can result in a hock as well.
- Store the vacuum in a cool, dry location. Damp areas are not the place to store electrical tools of any kind, and this includes your stick vacuum.
- When using a cordless, you still need to not vacuum up wet areas because of the damage to the motor that can occur.
- Keep the charging unit for the stick vacuum in a safe, dry place and check for battery corrosion occasionally. This isn’t a usual problem but if the vacuum is rarely used and the area is damper than you realize, problems could develop.
With all of the information you have at your disposal here, you can search the available stick vacuums with confidence that you know what to look for and what the features are that are listed and so on. Having this knowledge ensures that you are not just guessing at which vacuum is best for you; you can actually use what you know to eliminate models that don’t fit the criteria you’re looking for. Stick vacuums can be a real boost to quick clean up jobs and making sure you buy one that you will love using make clean up much easier and better.
- Bissell – http://www.bissell.com/
- Dirt Devil – http://s7d4.scene7.com/
- Eureka – http://images10.newegg.com/
- Bissell – http://www.bissell.com/
- Dirt Devil – http://dirtdevil.com/