While buying a Vacuum Cleaner, choosing between the stick vac and the upright vac can be confusing. Should you pick the stick vacuum for its easy control and lightness? Or do you want the power of an upright vac? Stick vacuum vs upright vacuum: What suits you more?
Stick vacs are famous for their lightweight body and fantastic maneuverability. On the other hand, upright vac models provide incredible power and cleaning. A user may wonder which is a better vacuum cleaner to use. But the answer depends on the user’s needs.
Today we are going to discuss these two types of vacuum cleaners – and perhaps settle the “upright vs stick vacuum” debate for you! So keep reading.
What are Stick Vacuums?
Stick vacs are hugely popular vacs, and they have become great favorites in the last two decades. That’s because stick vacs are compact, easy to move, and super convenient. Thus, they are ideal for nuclear families and small houses and apartments.
Stick vacuums get their name from the stick-like design of the suction tube. Its dust container and the motor are set at the top near the handle. The cleaning head is at the bottom. Most stick vacs allow you to detach the suction tube from the top to convert it into handheld devices.
Stick vacuum cleaners are usually cordless, though you’ll find corded variants. Since they mostly run on batteries, you won’t need to worry about a power source to plug the cleaner. You won’t need to trip over a cord or keep plugging and unplugging in different rooms.
With no cord to deal with, you won’t have to clean only within a particular range. You can clean any part of the house – and go outside to clean the garage, porch, sheds, or car where power outlets may not be there. They are excellent for short and quick bursts of cleaning.
They come with a rechargeable battery and a charger. You just have to charge the device overnight and go on a cleaning spree for as long as the battery will support. They are great for keeping upholstery, stairs, and hardwood floors clean. They also clean pet hair quickly.
The design of stick vacs is such that you can use them to clean tight spots that larger vacuum cleaners will fail to reach. They can also clean corners efficiently. Plus, they are small and weigh less. So they are easy to use for long hours without tiring your arms.
However, the device has its own range of issues. As a cordless device, it cannot be used for unlimited cleaning. The battery will run out after a few hours of cleaning, and you’ll need to charge it again. Plus, they usually have a less powerful motor and suction.
Stick vacs can’t handle a pile carpet and rug overload or clean the house in one go. It may run out of power, especially when the battery is almost depleted and the charge capacity is poor. They’re usually bagless and have small dust collectors that need emptying repeatedly.
Pros and Cons of Stick Vacuum Cleaners
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to use and maneuver
- Reaches tight spots and corners
- Ideal for a quick clean-up, regularly
- Can clean anywhere without wire range
- Less motor power and suction
- Needs recharging between long cleaning
- Low dust containment capacity
What are Upright Vacuums?
Upright vacs are the most popular among traditional vacuums. Despite new designs of vacs, upright cleaners have continued to maintain their charm. They are unstoppable vacs engineered to cater to the heavy cleaning needs of big properties and large families.
Upright vacs have a single-piece unit design. The motor and large cleaning head are at the bottom. With the canister on the floor, they stand easily, which is how they have got the name. Though they’ve gotten smaller over time, they’re still quite big and bulky.
Upright vacs are usually corded, which means you can clean for as long as you want and cover the entire property’s cleaning in a single session. You don’t need to worry about recharging the device or getting interrupted when the cleaner’s battery runs out of juice.
But the cord can be a little inconvenient. That’s because it can come in your way while working and also get stuck to furniture legs. Plus, you have to keep looking for a power source. It’s even more problematic if the cord is not long enough for large rooms and tight spots.
Nothing can beat the motor strength and suction capabilities of an upright vac. It can clean large areas of flooring at a quick pace. Its large suction head adds to the speed, too, while cleaning a large floor space – along with constant power flow for uninterrupted cleaning.
Thus, an upright vac is the best device to handle the cleaning needs of a large property fast. This is especially true if the property has several carpets and rugs that trap dust, hair, and more. Due to the strong suction of these vacs, you can depend on them for cleaning them.
Plus, modern upright vacs have innovative features and equipment. One of them is the beater bar. It beats the carpet surface to loosen the dirt and debris before sucking it all up. Another feature is the motorized brush roll that goes deep into a carpet’s pile for better cleaning.
Upright vacuum cleaners are equipped with large dirt containers. That means they can hold more debris while cleaning, and you do not need to repeatedly empty them while cleaning a large house. But if it’s not a bagless vac, changing the bag can be a hassle.
Pros and Cons of Upright Vacuum Cleaners
- Uninterrupted power and cleaning
- Powerful motor and suction
- A quick and efficient cleaning device
- Capable of handling stubborn debris
- No need to empty the dust container frequently
- Large and heavy design and hard to maneuver
- Limited in the coverage area by cord length
- Not ideal for tight spots, edges, or corners
Detailed Comparison of Upright and Stick Vacuum
You have received an overview of the differences between the two types of vacs. Now, let’s analyze the differences between upright and stick vacuums more deeply.
Size and Weight
Stick vacs are much smaller and lighter than upright vacs. They have a sleek and compact design that makes them portable, maneuverable, and easy to store. Stick vacs usually weigh between 13lb and 18 lb, while upright vacs weigh 15 lb or more and take more space.
Upright vacuum cleaners are the most dependable due to their suction abilities. Top upright vac models have a power range of 960W. On the other hand, stick figures, with a power of around 240W, are less powerful, though vacs from trusted brands fare pretty well.
While both can handle different types of floor surfaces, they have their own capacities. Stick vacs can take good care of hardwood floors and upholstery. They are excellent at cleaning stair rug edges, too. An upright vac, however, is the king of cleaning pile carpets.
If your house has end-to-end carpets and pile rugs, you need an upright vac. Its beater bar can loosen stubborn dust, while the brush roll is ideal for deep-cleaning. Plus, its suction can remove it all efficiently. A stick vac is not equipped to perform such tasks.
Stick vacs often come with a soft head that makes it easy to remove dirt from hard surfaces. Thus, they are great for cleaning hardwood floors and room or stair corners. Plus, hardwood flooring does not require powerful suction, which is why stick vacs are ideal.
Corded or Cordless
Stick vacs are usually cordless and can clean any part of the house or outside without the hassle of dealing with cords. But upright vacs, which are typically corded, provide uninterrupted cleaning. You do not have to stop and charge to regain battery power.
Upright vacs, with their strong suction, are great for cleaning pet hair. They often have turbo brushes or powerheads to remove pet hairs from carpets. Plus, they have large debris collectors that don’t fill up easily. Stick vacs are good for quick cleaning of pet hairs only.
Upright vacs have strong motors and great suction abilities, powered by a constant flow of electricity. On the other hand, the motor and suction abilities of a stick vacuum cleaner are relatively less powerful and get weaker as the device runs out of battery.
With the improvement of vac technology, the noise levels of both stick and upright vacs have reached similar levels. The noise that these vacs make depends on various brands and models. Generally, the noise made by stick cleaners is more high-pitched.
Due to the small size of a stick vac, it has a smaller dust bin and a lower capacity. So, you must empty it regularly. Upright vacs accommodate larger bags and clean longer before emptying. Stick vacs are always bagless, while upright bags may or may not have bags.
Ease of Use
Stick vacs are smaller, lighter, and, thus, easier to use and control. Plus, with no cord, you can take them anywhere. Upright vacs have reduced in size over time, but they are still bulky and hard to use for a long time. Plus, their cord length determines their radius.
Because stick vacs are smaller, with lower-capacity dust bins, they need to be cleaned repeatedly. But if it is not a bagless design, you’ll need to bear the hassle of changing the bag to an upright model. Upright vacs may have more accessories to clean, too.
The versatility of a vac depends on the user’s point of view. If you want a device that can perform indoor and outdoor cleaning jobs regularly, a stick vac is your friend. But if versatility for you means handling different types of large surfaces, you need an upright vac.
Generally, stick vacs cost more than upright vacs of comparable standard due to lightness, maneuverability, and cordless design. If you look for the best vacuum under $100-$300, you’ll find both stick and upright vacs. But with better features, the price will increase.
Upright Vacuum and Stick Vacuum – Make your Choice
You have understood the advantages and disadvantages of both stick and upright vacs. Now, the question is, which is the right vac for you? That depends on what you are looking for in vac and how you plan to use the cleaner.
Do you want to clean both indoor and outdoor spaces regularly? Do you have a small space? Then a Stick Vac can help keep all surfaces and corners spick and span. You will need to recharge the device regularly and clean the dirt compartment.
What if you have a big house with large areas of carpets – and pets? Just plug the Upright Vac into the power source and start cleaning. It will handle stubborn messes and won’t need you to pull it out every other day as it will tackle a lot of cleaning in one session.
There is no right or wrong way to settle the stick vacuum vs upright vacuum. The answer depends on your cleaning needs. So consider factors like your house area, how frequently you want to clean, whether you have pets, etc. Accordingly, choose the right type of vacuum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Stick Vacuums Good for Carpets?
Stick vacs are excellent for giving your carpets and rugs a quick and regular clean-up to prevent dust and hair from setting. But if you want deep cleaning of pile rugs and carpets, a stick vac may not provide sufficient suction power or specialized accessories.
Do Stick Vacuums Work as Well as Regular Vacuums?
Stick vacs are for overall cleaning of the house, garage, sheds, cars, etc. But they have lower motor power and suction abilities than regular vacs. Battery-powered stick vacs also run out of charge frequently. So they have their own pros and cons compared to standard vacs.
How Long do Stick Vacuums Last?
Once fully charged, a stick vacuum cleaner’s battery can last for 20-45 minutes, depending on the cleaning needs and the brand. If you use your vacuum regularly, you can expect the appliance to last for around 3-5 years before you need to replace any part.
How much do Upright Vacuums Weigh?
Upright vacuum cleaners are large and bulky as they have large motors and dust compartments. Even though they have reduced in size and weight over the years, you can still expect them to weigh between 13 lb and 18 lb. Accessories will add to this weight.