Stick vs Upright Vacuum: Which One Should You Choose?

Stick vacuums often are lightweight, manoeuvrable, easier to store, cost less, are noisier, offer lesser suction, and are suitable for bare floors. On the other hand, upright vacuums are effective carpet cleaners that are more costly, offer better suction power, are bulky and harder to store.

Are you looking for a new vacuum? Need to know the right kind of vacuum you need? Here’s the answer if you are also caught between selecting a stick and an upright vacuum.

Your needs, preferences, and financial considerations significantly influence the decision between stick and upright vacuums. 

For a detailed analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of both stick and upright vacuums, keep reading:


CriteriaStick VacuumsUpright Vacuums
Suction Power   Winner
Ease of Use    Winner
Ease of Maintenance  Winner
Carpet Flooring   Winner
Hardwood FlooringWinner
Running Power  Winner
Noise LevelsDraw

Stick Vacuums

Dyson V10

A stick vacuum is a more manoeuvrable form of an upright vacuum. Most Stick vacuums are fantastic if you prefer a lightweight vacuum that can easily fit in and out of small areas.

A stick vacuum cleaner has several benefits and drawbacks, some of which are listed below:

Benefits of Stick Vacuums 

  • Compared to conventional vacuum cleaners, stick vacuum cleaners are smaller and lighter. They are portable and great for clearing spills on the spot. 
  • Stick vacuums’ adaptability is yet another fantastic quality. Stick vacuum cleaners are readily turned into highly portable, battery-operated, cordless, light machines. 
  • The fact that stick vacuum cleaners are so much quieter is their finest feature. So, you won’t have to worry about upsetting your family or pets while cleaning; you can easily continue.
  • Due to their convenience in storage, stick vacuum cleaners are perfect for those who live in tiny apartments. Compared to the bulkier versions, these vacuum cleaners use much less space.
  • The stick vacuum cleaner’s design and height-adjustable bar make cleaning an easy chore. To make the cleaning procedure easier, you may change the vacuum cleaner’s height to your preference.

Drawbacks of Stick Vacuums

  • Stick vacuums are compact and limited in size; thus, they don’t offer all the advantages that a normal vacuum would. You can’t trust them for deep cleaning.
  • It might not be suitable for heavy-duty cleaning tasks because the motors are less strong. Therefore, using such a little gadget will become tiresome if you have a large area to clean.
  • Stick vacuums include tiny dustbins. You need to empty the trash cans frequently since they quickly fill up with dust. 
  • The majority of stick vacuums rely on batteries to run. The batteries are not always reliable and have a short running duration.

Upright Vacuums

dyson ball animal 2 upright vacuum

Upright vacuums are those vacuum models that sit relatively high above the knee. They are regarded as fashionable and efficient at cleaning tasks.

Most upright models include a brush agitator that is great for cleaning carpets. They also have several attachments that may be used to clean various other surfaces, such as flooring and furniture.

Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of upright vacuums:

Benefits of Upright Vacuums

  • Upright vacuums are fairly simple to use, and using them doesn’t need much bending as they are a proper height. The upright ones are preferable for many from a health and well-being perspective.
  • These upright cleaners often have a foot lever or a switch built into the handle for their power switching. The vacuums are thus simple to switch on and off. 
  • They can quickly and efficiently clean big areas as they have powerful motors, and there is no question about their effectiveness. Bulky trash and other debris are simple to clean up with upright vacuums. 
  • They also come with a variety of attachments which may help clean carpeted areas. You can also use the brush agitator to clean carpets that work automatically and completes the task effectively and thoroughly.

Drawbacks of Upright Vacuums

  • One of the main issues with upright vacuum cleaners is that they might be unable to access difficult-to-reach areas of the house and other places.
  • These upright vacuums’ fixed wheels make them difficult to manoeuvre, which is another issue. There are, however, certain models that may have solved this issue. 
  • Compared to other vacuum cleaner types, upright vacuums are more expensive. As a result, purchasing an upright vacuum cleaner might not be feasible for you if you have a tight budget. 


Let’s examine the features of a stick vacuum and an upright vacuum side-by-side to give you a clearer picture of which one to buy:


In terms of size, stick vacuum cleaners are smaller and lighter than upright vacuum cleaners. Stick vacuum cleaners are extremely portable and take up less storage space. They are lightweight too.

On the other hand, Upright vacuums are bulky and can require a lot of storage space and strength while operating.

Suction Power

Since upright vacuum cleaners have strong suction, they are perfect for cleaning thick carpeting. Additionally, they use several beater brushes to stir up the dust before vacuuming.

On the other hand, the modest suction force of stick vacuum cleaners makes them ideal for cleaning small amounts of dirt, dust, and pet hair.

They work best to rapidly clean tiny, difficult-to-reach places like your patio, automobile, and other surfaces.

Ease Of Use

Stick vacuums are lightweight and easy to use, and it’s your choice to go for a corded or cordless vacuum.

Additionally, they can fit in small spaces, and handling them, in general, is never a challenge.

There are several uses for a stick handheld vacuum that an upright vacuum would never seem suitable for. Therefore, using a stick vacuum is easier and more convenient than an upright one.

Ease of Maintenance

The ease of maintenance for both vacuums depends upon their dust bag design. You can have a vacuum cleaner with a dust bag or without a dust bag for both stick and upright models.

Regular vacuum cleaner cleaning and maintenance can assist in preventing the accumulation of bad odors. It’s easier to clean a vacuum cleaner with a dustbag; however, that only depends upon whether it’s a stick vacuum or an upright vacuum.

Types of Flooring

Let’s examine the two most typical floor types and also how they adapt to stick and upright vacuums, including both:


If your house floor is covered with carpet, you must immediately choose an upright vacuum cleaner.

A stick vacuum cleaner often performs just as well, but it seldom puts too much strain on the wallet.

As a result, an upright vacuum is the best option for you because it does the task effectively and provides excellent value.


Since hardwood floors don’t require a lot of suction force, a stick vacuum cleaner is considered the ideal option.

Given its portability and ease of usage, cordless stick vacuums would be perfect for this floor.


If you live with a dog or cat, you probably know how difficult it is to remove pet hair from surfaces. It may be a little difficult to use a stick vacuum to remove pet hair since the dust container is too tiny.

Additionally, the battery on this vacuum cleaner may deplete too quickly if you use it at its maximum capacity for an extended amount of time.

Upright vacuums not only have better runtime but can also collect larger amounts of pet hair, so upright vacuums will perform better in this regard.

Running Power

Since upright vacuums are generally corded, they have no bar on how long they can function. On the other hand, stick vacuums, while portable, can’t work for long as they are dependent on batteries.

However there are corded stick vacuum cleaners in the market, but that defies the whole purpose of buying a portable stick vacuum.

So, if you live in a sprawling estate and want your vacuum to endure longer, an upright vacuum is the choice.

Noise Levels

It’s impossible to make the point that the vacuum of a certain type makes less or more noise. It can only be ascertained when talking about a specific model.

So, it’s not a stick or upright vacuum, but what model you choose will determine whether it makes more or less noise.


When it comes to cost, there are a few differences between stick vacuums and upright vacuums.

But compared to upright vacuum cleaners, stick vacuum cleaners are more affordable.

The brand and model you select will also affect how much the vacuum cleaner costs. 

Which Option Is Better?

When it comes to cleaning their home, every person has distinct demands. Some individuals only clean or sweep their hardwood floors, while others have to do a lot of carpet vacuuming. 

If you need to clean big sections of carpet or hard surfaces swiftly, upright vacuums are perfect. Typically, they are one-body machines with big cleaning heads and a few attachments for dragging dirt from small crannies.

Cleaning big rooms like living rooms or bedrooms is a breeze with the finest upright vacuums. Since they are usually corded vacuums, they have comparatively stronger suction too. 

If you need something portable and looking for some handy cleaning options, stick vacuums might suit you better.

Stick vacuums are lightweight and ideal for getting rid of dust from difficult-to-reach places. These vacuum cleaner models are best suited for small to medium-sized apartments. They fit into cramped spaces and are easy to store.

Are stick vacuums better than upright?

No, not necessarily. It all depends upon your particular requirements. Compared to stick vacuums, upright ones aren’t quite as agile or manoeuvrable.

While certain attachments with upright models might be useful, they are less efficient than others. You’ll need to utilize the hose attachment to tackle the edges of the rooms, upholstery, and stairs.

If you struggle to access such locations without an extension, this might be challenging to do with an upright vacuum.

Our Verdict

As mentioned before, it depends upon your cleaning needs. The stick vacuum can be appropriate if you clean your house daily. The smaller dustbin of this vacuum will do because you will probably just be eliminating dirt and debris accumulated in a single day.

The upright vacuum may be the better option for you if you’re the type of person who cleans once a week. Higher suction power will let you constantly clean your house without emptying the trash and will enable you to remove heavier layers of dust and filth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cordless vacuums as good as upright ones?

The answer to this question largely depends on what you’re looking for in a vacuum cleaner. A Cordless stick vacuum cleaner is great for convenience, portability and ease of use, but it doesn’t have the same power or suction as an upright vacuum.

Upright models offer more powerful motors and deeper cleaning capabilities, but they are larger, heavier and not as easy to maneuver around furniture and tight spaces. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and your cleaning job.

If you’re looking for a lightweight and maneuverable vacuum, then a cordless model might be best – but if you’re looking for powerful suction and deep cleaning, then an upright vacuum will be your best bet. Either way, you’ll have to do some research to ensure you get the best model for you.

Do stick vacuums have less suction?

The power of a stick vacuum’s suction depends on its motor and other components, such as the filter system. Generally speaking, stick vacuums usually have a less powerful motor than their upright counterparts, so they may not be able to pick up as much dirt and debris. However, some models are equipped with strong motors that can produce powerful suction.

Additionally, some stick vacuums are designed with specialized filters and HEPA filtration systems that can help to reduce the amount of dirt, dust, and other particles circulating in your home’s air.

Therefore, while they may not be as powerful as an upright vacuum cleaner in terms of suction power, they may still be capable of providing adequate cleaning performance.

Robbert Randy

Robbert is an expert in vacuums. He graduated from the University of Applied Science with a degree in Commercial Economics in 2019. He tests and provide troubleshooting tips to vacuum users on his website. He don’t do this for profit–he simply want to research the best models out there and share his findings.

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