Stick Vs Upright Vs Canister Vacuum Cleaner Differences

Stick vacuum vs. upright vs. canister, which type of vacuum is the best? Let’s look in more detail at each one to know the pros and cons then decide which one is best.

Upright Vacuum Cleaner Facts To Know

upright vacuum cleaner facts to know

An upright vacuum cleaner is the best option for homeowners with large houses and hard or rough surfaces.

Upright vacs are versatile, easy to use, and can pick up a good amount of dirt. Picking hairs from a carpet is usually a challenge when we use other vacuum cleaners, but an upright vacuum does the job with so much ease. Below are some of the upright vacuum cleaner facts that we should all know.

  • They use larger cleaning heads to collect dirt.
  • Though most are bagless vacuums, some use bags.
  • They’re heavier than canister and stick vacs.
  • They come with motorized brush rolls.
  • Their cleaning heads are broader, meaning they can clean quickly.
  • They come as a single unit.
  • Some of them use two motors.
  • Most upright vacuum cleaner designs are for carpets.
  • They come in both corded and cordless options.

Upright Vacuum Pros & Cons


  • Upright vacs clean faster than canister and stick vacuum cleaners.
  • They’re suitable for a larger house and a hard floor.
  • Their rotating brush rolls enable them to pick hairs and other tiny debris from the carpet easily than any other vacs.
  • They come as a single unit, so we don’t have to assemble them before use.
  • They’re more comfortable to use due to their long handles.
  • Their larger cleaning heads quicken the cleaning process. They pick up more dirt and can clean a large surface at a go.
  • They have an adjustable height feature.
  • They have a straightforward design that is easier to maintain.


  • They’re heavy.
  • They are not portable.
  • They are not ideal for hard-to-reach spots like under beds and sofas.
  • They can be loud.

Canister Vacuum Cleaner Details To Know

canister vacuum cleaner details to know

For canister vacs, the dirtbag and motor lie separately with the handle and cleaning nozzle. There’s a hose connecting the two pairs and a pair of wheels for easy movement.

Canister vacuum cleaners are quieter than upright vacs, portable, and ideal for bare floors. These cleaners are also lightweight because there’s a weight balancing between the two pairs separated by the hose.

Thanks to their long and extendable hose, we can easily reach and clean hard-to-reach surfaces. Plus, they can easily maneuver through corners and tight spots. With all these nice features, any house with bare floors, multiple rooms at different levels, and inaccessible areas will find canister vacuum cleaners suitable.

Canister Vacuum Pros & Cons


  • They’re lightweight.
  • They have wheels hence excellent maneuverability.
  • They’re a lot quieter than the upright vacs.
  • They have powerful suction.
  • They can extend and reach tight spots in a house.


  • They come in separate parts that need assembly before use.
  • With their design, one must bend to use them, hence less comfortable and can cause back pains.
  • The canister vac is a bagged vacuum.
  • More expensive than upright vacuum cleaners.

Stick Vacuum Cleaner Facts and Details

stick vacuum cleaner facts and details

Though upright, stick vacuum cleaners are less powerful but lighter to carry around the house. They have long sticks that one can easily detach from the powerhead whenever necessary. The motor and dust bag usually lie near the handle while the cleaning head sits at the end of the stick.

Here are a few facts about stick vacuum cleaners.

  • They come in two types, corded and cordless.
  • They are quite ideal for low pile carpets.
  • Though the two types are portable, the cordless vacuum cleaner is even more portable.
  • One must first assemble the parts before use
  • We may or may not use a brush roll on them
  • Easily convertible to a handheld vacuum

Stick Vacuum Pros & Cons


  • They’re lightweight.
  • They can maneuver through narrow and tight spots.
  • Some come with wall mounts for easy storage.
  • They’re highly portable.
  • You can choose between two options.
  • They are ideal for low pile carpets and bare floors.
  • They move easily on stairs.
  • They’re smaller in size compared to canister and upright vacs.
  • They take less time to clean.


  • You must empty the dirt containers more frequently since they’re a lot smaller.
  • They are not ideal for a hard floor or a thick carpet.
  • They need assembling.

Are Cordless Stick Vacuums Worth It?

are cordless stick vacuums worth it

Cordless stick vacs don’t have to be connected to a power socket when cleaning a house. They’re pretty ideal for homes with high traffic or many family members. These vacuum cleaners help reduce the number of accidents that occur due to tripping on the cords.

Thinking of how to clean places the corded stick vacuums can’t reach? Why not opt for the cordless vacuum? With this type of stick vacuum cleaner, we don’t get defined by the cord’s length anymore. Simply pick and take them to wherever the mess is.

Overall, cordless stick vacuums are easy to use, safe, and can go anywhere within and outside the house, hence worth investing in.

Should You Get a Canister, Stick, or Upright Vacuum?

should you get a canister stick or upright vacuum

Now that we all know the differences between canister, stick, and upright vacs, it’s about time we pick the one that best fits our needs.

But before choosing, we must first ask ourselves this question, what features am I looking for in a vacuum cleaner? Is it versatility, portability, corded, cordless, quick usage, etc.? Answering this question will help us pick the correct type of vacuum cleaner for our homes.

So, stick vacuum vs. upright vs. canister, which one should we purchase?

Anyone looking for oversized cleaning heads, powerful suction, versatility, and quick usage but doesn’t mind the weight can go for upright vacuum cleaners.

Pick a canister vacuum cleaner if you desire a light, quiet, and high suction power vac that can get to hard-to-reach spots.

Finally, homeowners looking for small vacuum cleaners that are corded or cordless, portable, easy to store, and clean fast should get stick vacs.

Which Vacuum Is Best Used in Which Situation?

Every type of vacuum cleaner excels in one or more situations where other types might fail to thrive. For instance:

  • Upright vacs are excellent for broadly spaced, hard floors because of their larger cleaning heads. They’re also suitable for high pile carpets due to their immense suction power.
  • On the other hand, canister vacs are ideal for a home with many carpets, rags, bare, a hardwood floor, and several stairs. That’s because they have excellent maneuverability and powerful suction.
  • A stick vac is ideal for a larger home with hard-to-reach spots. Stick vacuums are small, light, convertible to handheld vacuums and come in both corded and cordless types.

How Long Do Vacuum Cleaners Last?

how long do vacuum cleaners last

A vacuum cleaner should take up to eight years before the need for replacement. That said, other vacuums may last longer or fewer than eight years, depending on several factors. Some of these factors include:

  • Usage frequency
  • Vacuum type
  • Brand or manufacturer
  • Maintenance

Stick vacuum vs. upright vs. canister, which one serves for long?

Upright vacs, for example, have sturdy construction, hence more durable. Remember, they’re too bulky, making them difficult to move around. While this may seem like a bad thing, this feature helps them stay longer.

Although canister vacs may survive longer than eight years, their lifespan is usually shorter than upright vacuum cleaners. That’s because they’re portable and can easily break when moving around.

Compared to upright and canister vacuums, stick vacs aren’t as durable. That’s because they’re so light and highly portable, hence vulnerable to breakage.

How Much Should I Spend on a Vacuum?

how much should i spend on a vacuum

The price of a vacuum cleaner depends on several factors, including brand, features, and type of vacuum cleaner. But for a good vacuum, spending at least $150 is perfectly fine. Be wary of new vacs or brands that retail at lower prices. Such vacuum cleaners may fail to last for long.

Do You Need a Special Vacuum for Pets?

do you need a special vacuum for pets

Most pet owners would want to buy a vacuum cleaner suitable for pets and home cleaning. Such houses have pet hair all over the place because the furry companions usually shed hair.

For this reason, homeowners need vacuums that can easily remove pet hairs from the house, with features such as HEPA filtration, powerful suction, and brush rolls. Such features can remove any hair from the floor, carpet, and hard-to-reach spots. Upright vacuums are an excellent choice for pet hair removal since they have all the above features.

Getting a special vacuum for pets is necessary to remove fleas, especially if the pet plays outdoors. These vacuums are safe to use on dogs and other furry pets. They can kill all the fleas and stop infestation if used correctly.

James Marshall
About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »