Stick Vacuum Vs Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Stick Vacuum Vs Upright Vacuum

We all love our vacuum cleaners. They keep our homes clean and fresh, and sometimes they work as diffuses, spreading pleasant smells around. Our vacuum cleaners are important to us, so it only seems right that we chose very carefully.

Vacuum cleaners used to come in only one style, which is the upright vacuum cleaner. It was probably the first vacuum cleaner a lot of us had. However, innovation brought us the stick vacuum cleaner, which is lighter and easier to maneuver.

Now, this doesn’t mean the upright vacuum isn’t excellent or modern enough to use. On the contrary, a lot of new models of the upright vacuum cleaner come out yearly. This article is merely comparing the stick vacuums vs uprights and pointing out their different features so that a buyer knows which one appeals to them more.

In Brief,

A Stick vacuum is great for small or mid sized apartments were cleaning won’t last more than 30 minutes as they are battery powered and have limited run time. They are also great for everyday uses.

Uprights are a little bulky and are great for carpets and hardwood floors, but not other smaller household items as their weight doesn’t gives convenience to carry them everywhere. If you have a single floored structure, they are great, but for multi-storied, consider Stick or other models.

Stick Vacuums

Dyson V10 Absolute Cordless Stick

Stick vacuums started becoming popular a while ago when a need for a quick and easy vacuum cleaner arose. These vacuum cleaners are light and easily manoeuvred to target hidden dirt and dust from hard to reach places.

People who have wall-to-wall carpeting should probably not consider this type of vacuum cleaner because it is better suited to hard floors like wood and tiles. The suction on these vacuum cleaners can’t clean thick carpets, because they don’t have beater bars to disperse the dirt hidden in most carpets.

Another thing about stick vacuum cleaners is that they are cordless and they usually come with a rechargeable battery.

Sometimes you want to get the dog hair your dog just left on your carpet. That’s when the stick vacuum comes in handy. You can also use it for quick bursts of regularly cleaning to avoid too much dust build-up.


  • Lightweight and small
  • Works well with hard floors
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Portable and easy to store
  • Easy to maintain
  • Good for quick cleaning


  • Low suction strength
  • Does not come with a beater bar
  • Small dirt canister/bag

Upright Vacuums

Bissell Cleanview Upright 1831

Upright vacuum cleaners typically have a cleaning head, beater bar, a bag or canister, and a handle. There are several models, some of them bulky, with different modes of operation. Apart from sticks, they  are also compared with canister, so if you are still unsure, read our article on Upright vs canister vacuum cleaners.

Upright vacuums specifically work for deep cleaning of carpets. You can use them on your hardwood floors also, but they work better with carpeting because of the beater bar and high suction power.

These types of vacuum cleaners are mostly reserved for serious cleaning because they are not easy to move around. Most models also have cords attaching them to an electric source, which keeps them running. Generally, an upright vacuum cleaner is a good choice when you don’t need to vacuum several times a day.


  • Effective for full-size cleaning
  • Easy to maintain
  • Works well with carpets
  • Big dirtbags/canisters
  • Strong suction power
  • Comes with several brush heads
  • Suitable for deep cleaning


  • Hard to store
  • Bulky build

Stick Vacuum Vs Upright Vacuum

Now that we have outlined the various strengths and weaknesses of the two types of vacuum cleaners, we can compare them. They will be analysed based on how well they perform and their general features.


The performance of a vacuum cleaner is one of the first things you should look out for. Upright vacuums have a more powerful suction power than stick vacuums. They also come with multiple beater brushes to stir up the dirt before vacuuming, something that stick vacuums don’t have. This is why they are better vacuum for carpeted floors.

So, if you have a hard floor, it is best to buy a stick vacuum cleaner for your home. They can also be an addition to your upright vacuum cleaners for those quick cleans and spills.


Stick vacuum cleaners are more convenient than upright vacuum cleaners because of their light weights and maneuverable designs. The only drawback is the constant recharging you have to do to clean for an extended period. In that aspect, upright vacuum cleaners are more convenient because they remain plugged in for as long as you want.

Ease of maintenance

Both styles of vacuums can be easy to maintain depending on the design of their dirt reservoirs. If they both use dirt bags, you only have to empty and change the bags regularly.

For the models that do not use bags, maintenance involves emptying and washing the canister regularly to keep it clean. Once in a while, you can disassemble the machine and wipe it down, according to the manual. This regular cleaning can prevent the vacuum from developing a bad smell.

An extra maintenance tip for upright vacuums is to check the beater brushes to avoid hair and lint buildup that can affect its efficiency.


Usually, upright vacuum cleaners and stick vacuum cleaners don’t have a significant disparity in prices. Stick vacuum cleaners are usually a bit cheaper than upright vacuum cleaners from the same or a similar brand.

On the flip side, a stick vacuum cleaner from a high-end brand will most likely be more expensive than an upright vacuum from a low-priced brand. The same applies to model types.


Both vacuum types have additional features that can affect their performance and price. These features are usually similar because they both do the same work, but there are some features, like the addition of a HEPA filter, that you can only find in upright vacuum cleaners because of their size, and vice versa.


The major difference between stick vacuums and upright vacuums is their design, and this is also the reason for some of the different features and options they have.

For example, the slimmer design and lighter weight of the stick vacuum are what makes it so easy to manoeuvre, use, and store, which is the opposite of the upright vacuum cleaner. However, the superior suction power and size of the upright vacuum cleaner makes it a better carpet cleaner and allows it to have a larger dirt bag or canister. 

Wrapping Up

After a thorough review of both styles of vacuums, the deduction is that neither one is superior. The most important thing is to buy a good model that will last and give you great value for your money.

Upright vacuum cleaners are perfect if you have a large house with single floor and most of the area is carpeted, that requires regular cleaning. The superior suction power and efficiency makes it the most logical choice for carpeted floors.

Stick vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, are perfect for hard floors and cleaning that doesn’t require much power, so they are better for small or medium sized apartments. They are also convenient, easy to use, mostly wireless and therefore portable.

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