Best Stick Vacuums of 2022

·8 min read

Quick cleaners from Bissell, Shark, Tineco, and others stand out in CR's tests

By Mary H.J. Farrell

The compact size of stick vacuums certainly makes them convenient. But that’s not their only selling point.

“In the past few years, stick vacuum suction has gotten a lot stronger, especially in battery-powered stick vacuums,” says Frank Rizzi, a senior test lab engineer at Consumer Reports. “If you don’t have wall-to-wall carpet, these machines can do a lot of cleaning.” (If you do have wall-to-wall carpet, read our article on the best upright vacuums.)

Among stick vacuums, cordless models dominate. According to the market research firm Gap Intelligence, more than 100 cordless stick models are currently available at major retailers, compared with fewer than 30 corded stick vacuums.

But cordless stick vacs aren’t problem-free. In an exclusive CR survey, our members told us that almost half of new battery-powered stick vacuums developed problems within five years. That’s why we analyze the reliability of cordless and corded stick vacuums separately.

Because of poor reliability in our member survey, no cordless model earns a place on our list of recommended products despite scoring well in our lab tests. To learn more about cordless stick vacuum performance, read “The Problem With Cordless Stick Vacuums? The Battery."

Still, run times for cordless stick vacuums can vary widely. In Consumer Reports’ tests, some stick vacs lose power in as little as 15 minutes and others run for up to an hour. Some brands include an extra battery with their cordless stick vacuums so that you can have one charging while you’re cleaning with the other. (You can also buy an extra battery for some models.)

How We Test Stick Vacuums

Because stick vacuums don’t have the same deep carpet-cleaning capability as full-sized vacuums, CR conducts a carpet surface cleaning test, evaluating how well the appliances pick up sand, rice, and cereal in a certain amount of time.

Full-sized vacuums face a more challenging embedded-dirt test, in which our engineers try to clean up sand that has been ground into pile carpet.

In our bare-floor cleaning test for cordless stick vacuums, we scatter litter on a tiled floor with grout grooves, which increases the difficulty. We also conduct a pet-hair removal test on medium-pile carpet, as well as a clean-emissions test to see whether a vacuum is releasing the dust that it just sucked up.

Here are the best performers of each type, listed alphabetically and not in CR rank order.

Best Corded Stick Vacuums

Bissell CleanView Pet Slim 28311

Bissell CleanView Pet Slim 28311
CR’s take: The Bissell CleanView Pet Slim 28311 certainly lives up to its name. Not only is it slim; it also aces our pet-hair-removal test, earning an Excellent rating. It’s also top-notch on bare floors and almost as good at cleaning carpet. And it does all this quietly. The cord is 30 feet long, so you have plenty of running room. It didn’t do so well getting the grit out of edges, but its biggest downfall was on the emissions tests, meaning some of what you vacuum up may be released back into the air.

Shark Rocket HV302

Shark Rocket HV302
CR’s take: The corded Shark Rocket HV302 delivers both on carpet cleaning and bare floors. It earns an Excellent rating for its pet-hair pickup, leaving little fur behind on a grooved tile floor in our tests. Added bonus: It can convert to a handheld vacuum as well. And in our member survey, Shark gets top marks for both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.

Shark Rocket HV322

Shark Rocket HV322
CR’s take: The Shark Rocket HV322 corded vacuum excels in carpet cleaning and pet-hair pickup. It converts to a hand vacuum, and comes with a bare floor tool and a motorized small brush accessory. This model can be stored compactly, and the dirt chamber can be emptied in just one step. Its Overall Score gets a boost from surveyed owners who give the brand high marks for reliability and satisfaction.

Shark Rocket Zero-M Ultra-Light ZS352

Shark Rocket Zero-M Ultra-Light ZS352
CR’s take: The Shark Rocket Zero-M Ultra-Light ZS352 is no lightweight when it comes to cleaning bare floors and picking up pet hair, earning Excellent ratings on those tests. Its one downfall is that it’s only so-so at carpet cleaning. Otherwise, it zips along edges collecting debris, operates quietly, and contains all the dust particles it collects. The cord is 29 feet long, so you won’t have to change outlets too often, especially if you’re working in a small space.

Shark Vertex Ultralight HZ2002

Shark Vertex Ultralight HZ2002
CR’s take:
The “Ultralight” moniker for the Shark Vertex Ultralight HZ2002 refers to its light weight (2.9 pounds) when used in hand vac mode (without the stick). For comparison, the hand vac of the Shark Vertex Ultra IZ462H weighs 3.7 pounds and the Tineco A10 Dash weighs 2.7 pounds. The Shark aces our tests for carpet, bare floors, and pet hair, and earns a Very Good rating for edges. Although not as versatile as a cordless vacuum, this model has a 30-foot cord that is long enough so that you won’t have to constantly map out your electrical outlets.

Best Cordless Stick Vacuums

LG A9 Kompressor

LG A9 Kompressor
CR’s take: The LG A9 Kompressor lands near the top of our list of worthy contenders. It aces our carpet, bare-floors, and pet-hair tests and leaves nothing behind when you vacuum along the edges of a room. It’s not quite as quiet as the three Tinecos below, but it won’t bother you during short bursts of cleanup. It runs for almost a full half-hour on one battery charge. Better yet, it comes with two batteries. Because LG is a relatively new entrant to this category, we don’t yet have enough data to rate LG cordless vacs for reliability.

Samsung Jet Light VS70 VS15T7031R4/AA

Samsung Jet Light VS70
CR’s take: This lightweight, cordless Samsung stick vac excels at all of CR’s tests. Testers like that the digital display allows you to check the power level, the battery life, and any maintenance issues such as clogging. In CR’s tests, it runs for about 36 minutes per charge on low power and 7 minutes on high power. As for performance, it gets top-notch scores across the board on all our major tests and is quiet to boot. Plus, it doesn’t spew out the debris you just cleaned up.

Tineco Pure One S11

Tineco Pure One S11
CR’s take: The Tineco Pure One S11 cleans impressively in all our major tests and has many features to boot. An LED panel shows how much battery life you have left, as well as the suction level, which varies when you switch from bare floors to carpet. A sensor detects the amount of debris and adapts the suction power accordingly. If you’re so inclined, you can connect to a Tineco app on your smartphone that indicates cleaning performance and battery life. In CR’s tests, it ran for 22 minutes per charge when using both the high and low settings. Tineco is fairly new to the U.S. market, and we don’t have enough data yet for a brand reliability rating.

Tineco Pure One S11 Tango EX

Tineco Pure One S11 Tango EX
CR’s take: The feature-packed Tineco Pure One S11 Tango EX costs a bit more than the Tineco Pure One S11, but the performance is similar. This model has all the bells and whistles of its brandmate, including an LED panel that indicates battery life and suction power. It costs a bit more because in addition to the main power brush, it comes with a soft power brush, a nice extra if you have wood floors. It runs for 17 minutes on one charge. You can use Tineco’s app to monitor battery life, but if you don’t want to be bothered with another app on your phone, you can get all the information you need from the LED panel.

Tineco Pure One S12

Tineco Pure One S12
CR’s take: An all-around top-notch performer, the high-end Tineco Pure One S12 is also packed with features. And its cleaning ability is impressive; the model earns top marks on all our cleaning tests, including an Excellent rating for pet hair. An LED panel on the top of the handle displays the power level and battery time remaining, and lets you know if you have a clog or tangle. You can adjust the power settings by swiping up or down on the screen, and a dust sensor detects the amount of debris and adapts the suction power accordingly. It comes with a second battery, runs very quietly, and has clean emissions.



More from Consumer Reports:
Top pick tires for 2016
Best used cars for $25,000 and less
7 best mattresses for couples

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2022, Consumer Reports, Inc.