Stick Vacuum vs Upright – 6 Factors to Consider When Buying

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The time has come for you to choose the right vacuum for your home and you’re stuck making the choice between a stick vacuum vs upright vacuum. If you don’t have any experience with either, it’s important to think about the pros and cons of each as well as common features that you can expect from a stick model and an upright model. This guide is designed to make buying vacuums simpler, as we compare both types to help you make the perfect choice for your space.

  1. Unique Features

When you take a look at unique features that can be included in either a stick or upright vacuum, they have the tendency to be the same, though some models may offer more cleaning attachments or cleaning options than others.

Eureka Home Lightweight Mini Cleaner for Carpet and Hard Floor Corded Stick Vacuum with Powerful Suction for Multi-Surfaces, 3-in-1 Handheld Vac, Blaze Black
  • 3-in-1 design with onboard crevice tool allows you to customize your vacuum for your needs. At only 4 pounds, you can take the Eureka blaze anywhere
  • Eureka's signature swivels steering improves maneuverability and cleaning efficiency when compared to standard stick vacuums
  • Eureka's capture nozzle picks up larger debris with ease unlike other stick vacuums that push larger particles around. Effectively removes surface dirt and dust from multi-surfaces and leave your home looking and feeling refreshed.
  • Powerful 2 amp motor picks up particles like dust and pollen, while the washable filtration system captures the debris and improves air quality
  • 18' power cord and X-Large dust cup ensure you get the job done faster - No more outlet hopping or frequent trips to the trash can with the Eureka blaze. 9.44 inch cleaning

Last update on 2024-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As an example, you can find certain upright and stick vacuums that also have wet carpet or wet tile cleaning components. You’ll also find the majority of models are equipped with a variety of cleaning attachments ranging from extension rods to pet hair removers.

The only important difference to consider is that since an upright vacuum is traditionally larger in size, you might be able to get additional features such as an integrated HEPA filter to help eliminate traces of dust and dander in the air.

  1. Maintenance for a Stick Vacuum vs Upright Vacuum

The maintenance associated with a stick vacuum and an upright vacuum is similar as the construction of their dirt reservoirs is essentially identical. If you choose a stick or upright vacuum with a bag, you’ll be responsible for replacing it when it gets full. Whereas with a bagless model, all you’ll have to do is remove the dirt reservoir and empty it as you please.

Bissell Cleanview Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, Orange, 1831
  • Every purchase saves pets
  • One pass technology with powerful suction and innovative brush design to clean on the initial pass (removes most surface debris based on visual test BTP0221)
  • Powerful, multi cyclonic suction system for lasting suction that captures and keeps dirt in the bin, where it belongs
  • Multi-level filtration with a washable filter helps reduce household dust and allergens. Power: 8 amps
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry and push without sacrificing power. Automatic cord rewind no. Surface type: Bare floors, carpet, sealed hard floors, low pile carpet, stairs, upholstery

Last update on 2024-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the benefits of bagless stick or upright vacuums is you can easily wash the removable reservoir to keep the unit clean and fresh after every use. Also, it’s far more cost effective to not have to worry about purchasing bags along with the base model.

Another important maintenance tip is to take a look at the rotating brushes at the bottom of the units to ensure there isn’t a buildup of hair or threads that could prevent the brushes from picking up dirt and debris. This should typically be completed once a month so you can receive optimal suction with every use.

  1. Ease of Use

Depending on the type of flooring you have in your home, a stick vacuum may be preferable to the upright vacuum and vice versa.

Stick vacuums are recommended for hardwood, tiles, and any other type of hard flooring, as they’re generally not designed to deal with highly textured and plush surfaces, such as carpet. If you were looking for a vacuum to deal with high pile rugs or plush flooring, an upright model would be preferable.

The ease of use for each model depends on personal preference and the jobs you wish to complete. With an upright vacuum, you’ll be able to adjust the height of the rolling brushes to accommodate both high pile and low pile carpet. Many home owners also find it can be simple to use their upright vacuum on harder floors, though it won’t be as efficient with picking up small debris when compared to a stick vacuum.

A stick vacuum is great for individuals that just need a unit to use for small and quick jobs as they typically offer an on/off switch and no customizable cleaning options. This is why apartment owners prefer them or people who have smaller rooms in their home.

  1. Cost

There isn’t a drastic price difference between a typical stick vacuum and upright vacuum, in fact, the difference is within tens of dollars in most cases. If you decide to opt for more expensive brands, such as Dyson in comparison to less expensive brands such as Hoover, that is where you’re going to see a significant difference in price.

Overall, stick vacuums are going to carry a lower price tag than a traditional upright vacuum because they typically have a smaller motor and require fewer parts to manufacture.

  1. Power of a Stick Vacuum vs. Upright Vacuum

The most important factor to think about when you’re buying any type of vacuum is how powerful it is. The stronger the motor, the more suction you’ll receive and that will result in a deeper clean.

Since upright vacuums are larger in size, they’re going to be built with a larger motor than their smaller counterparts. Meaning, you’ll get the most for your money with an upright instead of a stick model.

If you’re searching for a vacuum that is going to pick up small amounts of hair, fine dust, and other minimal types of debris on hard floors, a stick vacuum is your best bet as the brushes are designed for minimally plush surfaces.

  1. Adaptability

Aside from power, stick vacuums are far more adaptable to everyday living situations than upright vacuums. Upright models are larger and weigh more, which can make them difficult to carry upstairs or around your home.

Stick vacuums are also much thinner due to their smaller dirt reservoir, which is an essential feat for storing them in small spaces such as broom closets.

Stick Vacuum vs Upright Vacuum – Pros and Cons

Stick Vacuum Cleaner


  • Easy to maintain
  • Smaller in size
  • Recommended for hard floors
  • Portable and convenient to store
  • Powerful for small jobs
  • Removable and washable dirt reservoir
  • Simple on/off switch


  • Less rotating brush heads
  • Small dirt reservoirs

Upright Vacuum Cleaner


  • Easy to maintain
  • Larger in size
  • Multiple rotating brush heads
  • Recommended for carpet
  • Large dirt reservoirs
  • Powerful motor for both small and large jobs
  • Removable and washable dirt reservoir
  • Additional customizable cleaning options


  • Portable yet hard to store in small spaces

As with any type of vacuum, you’re going to want to consider the jobs you need it to perform before deciding on a final model. Stick vacuums are convenient, easy to transport and store, and are great for hard floors. Whereas upright vacuums are phenomenal for deep cleans, recommended for carpeted surfaces, and offer more power.

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