Today, we want to make everything quicker and easier. Hence the invention of online shopping, Uber Eats, delivery drones – and stick vacuums. The best stick vacuum is easy to maneuverer and store, light to push around, is multi-use (converts to a hand vac for car-and-more cleaning) and makes short work of pesky mess, including pet hair. Here are Australia’s top stick vacuums, which we’ve chosen from hundreds of hours of research, including real customer reviews.
How we picked
To choose the best cordless stick vacuums in Australia, we started wide – with the web. We began by looking at popular stick vacuums worldwide. From there, we could narrow down our list to which ones are easily available online in Australia.
This left us with hundreds of potentials. So, we turned to Choice – Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group – Consumer, and Consumer Reports (the NZ and American equivalent) to see if they had reviewed or recommended any of these models. We preferred to consider stick vacuums that had been reviewed as we felt that the independent research and backing gave them the edge. This allowed us to begin ranking our picks.
Next, we were keen to understand actual Australians’ experiences of the vacuums. Enter ProductReview.com.au. Sifting through these reviews gave us an idea of the good, the bad and the ugly bits. Anything scoring less than a 4 out of 5 was discounted. We looked for vacuums that had hundreds of positive (4 and 5-star) reviews.
This narrowed our list considerably. We could now move onto looking at each of the vacuum’s features. We were looking for features that justified choosing a stick vacuum over its non-stick siblings: convenient cordless cleaning; effortless steering; and lightweight.
We were hoping for a long runtime (20 minutes+) with a short charging period (sub 4 hours) but that’s one of the biggest issues with a stick vacuum. Because cordless stick vacuums are battery operated, not mains powered, they can become less effective over time.
Finally, we considered price. Cordless stick vacuum cleaners are traditionally more expensive than other vacuums, because of the convenience factor and how much they’re cramming into a battery-operated slimline machine. If we felt that a stick vacuum could replace your corded vacuum, we allowed a higher price point. But we also included more affordable ones that would work as quick pick-me-ups.
That left us with Australia’s 9 top cordless vacuums, including our 3 top picks.
The 9 best stick vacuums in Australia
Important features to consider
These are the features we think you should be looking for in a stick vacuum.
Non-stick vacuums tend to be bulky, especially the carpet brush heads. This, combined with the weight of lugging it around on its cord, makes it hard to reach places like under furniture and in tight corners. Choose a low-profile stick vacuum to reach further into these difficult spots.
Swivel steering makes a stick vacuum easier to manoeuvre around furniture. This helps you get into tight areas and makes a more pleasant user experience – you won’t be exerting much effort to push it around.
You want your stick vacuum to work just as hard as a traditional vacuum, if not harder. So, look for one that offers more. Perhaps it converts into a hand vacuum which is handy for cars, windowsills, shelves, stairs and more. Or it comes with multiple attachment tools, like crevice or upholstery ones. This will allow you to complete all your cleaning tasks with one machine.
Battery and runtime
Look for a minimum 20-volt battery – this should deliver some decent suction. Runtime is tricky with cordless stick vacuums. Because they run on batteries, you need to consider the recharge time and how long it’ll run before it needs to recharge.
Some manufacturers claim their model can run over 1 hour before needing a charge – we’ve found very few models that deliver this. Most last around 20 minutes, some even less than 10. Consider how large your home is and whether this is intended to be your main vacuum. That should guide your ideal runtime.
The optimum balance is short charge time (sub 4 hours), long runtime (around 20 minutes, which we felt would be enough to cleaner a larger home than just a small apartment).
A stick vacuum is supposed to be convenient. This includes storing it. If you’re limited on space, or don’t want to make a feature of it on your wall, ensure you choose a thin, lightweight unit that can easily fit in your storage space.
Good for all surfaces
A cordless stick vacuum allows you to move around your home quickly and easily. This probably means you’ll be going through a variety of floor surfaces, from carpet to tiles to floorboards and more. Ensure it’s suitable for all surfaces and won’t scratch more delicate flooring, like lino.
Easy waste removal
Again, it’s all about convenience. Go for a bin that easily releases and empties, without covering you in dust. Bonus points for a washable filter – or no filter at all. Extra bonus points for a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter that reduces dust mite allergens, making them an excellent choice for allergy sufferers.
You can get corded stick vacuums. To us, this reduces the convenience factor massively. Yes, it’ll probably be lighter than non-stick vacuums, but you’re still limited by the reach of the cord. In return for the convenience of cordless, you’ll get a less powerful vacuum with a shorter life span that may lose its effective battery charging ability over time.
To guide your cordless / corded decision, you should consider how large your cleaning area is and whether you’re happy to wait for the battery to recharge. Large home and want instant cleaning power? Consider corded. Or better yet, leave it to a robot vacuum.
What you get if you spend more
Spend more money and you might get some extra features. These could be useful, depending on your circumstances.
More cleaning power
You might get stronger suction and improved cleaning power. But if you don’t have deep carpets or deal with regular ingrained messes (think chips smushed into the carpet), you might not need this. If you’re only looking for a quick spot clean on hard floors, you’ll probably be ok without upgrading.
Better battery life
You might get better than a 20-minute runtime, but you’ll pay for it.
Extra cleaning tools
Although we wanted multi-use stick vacuums that would handle a range of cleaning scenarios, we didn’t want to be overwhelmed by extra tools that don’t deliver massively improved cleaning.
Best Overall: Dyson V8 Absolute
Our research confirms that the Dyson V8 Absolute is the king of stick vacuums. It’s the same price as our runner up, the Dyson V7 Animal, but packs more in. It has more attachments to help it clean upholstery and floorboards better, a longer battery life, and better suction than its V7 sibling.
It has 2 different clean heads for different floor types. There’s the soft roller cleaner head, designed for hard floors and to pick up large bits of mess and fine dust equally well. There’s also the direct drive cleaner head, designed for carpets. With stiff nylon bristles, it drives deep into your carpet pile to help remove ingrained dirt and pet hair. It also comes with 4 cleaning tools, including a mini motorised tool for cleaning upholstery, especially of pet hair, a mini soft dusting brush (useful for electronics), a crevice tool, and a combination tool.
Dyson claims the V8 Absolute runs for up to 40 minutes, although this reduces to 25 minutes if you use the motorised floor tool. Our research shows that this runtime is accurate. It also has a max power mode which delivers higher suction for extensive messes. Although using this does reduce the battery life.
The high price point is justified in a way, because you’re getting 2 different vacuums in 1. It quickly and easily transforms into a handheld. This is handy for spot cleans and cleaning difficult places, like stairs, desks, or your car’s footwells or boot. Because it’s lightweight and easy to hold, you can clean up high even when it’s in its non-handheld form.
With a docking station that charges the machine and holds all the attachments, your V8 Absolute is conveniently stored away, ready for use.
Aussies agree with our winning choice. ProductReview.com.au has hundreds of happy customers praising how easy it is to use, how great it is at picking up animal hair and agree that it’s "so much better” than big corded vacuums.
Why buy the Dyson V8 Absolute
Battery life – our research confirmed than the runtime on the V8 Absolute, on the standard power setting, is around 40 minutes, as Dyson claims. This is massive - double the runtime we were looking for. 40 minutes would be enough to clean the entire average Aussie home. Bonus, it only takes 4 hours to fully recharge.
Using the max power mode, you’ll get around 10 minutes of cleaning time. This would be enough to give an area a deep clean.
2-in-1 – It’s not only a stick vacuum, but a hand vac too. This means you can use it to clean the inside of your car far easier than a corded vacuum. It’s also handy for quick pick ups and for getting into difficult to clean places like stairs, windowsills and shelves. You’re basically getting 2 vacuums in 1.
Multi-functional – The 4 cleaning attachments makes the V8 Absolute convenient for cleaning everything. Add the mini motorised tool and clean curtains, drapes, blinds and sofas. Add the combination tool and clean the ceilings. This means 1 stick vacuum covers all your cleaning tasks, from your floors to your pet-hair-covered couch to your kid’s Twisties-encrusted car seat.
Dust bin – The V8 Absolute is so effective the dust bin can fill quickly. But it’s easy to empty. Simply pull a lever and release everything into the bin – no touching, no mess. Plus, with no filters to change or clean, it’s even easier.
The HEPA filter – The V8 Absolute has a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, making it perfect for allergy sufferers. A sealed system, it captures allergens for cleaner air. The V8 Absolute has even been approved by Australia’s National Asthma Council’s Sensitive Choice programme, giving you confidence that it does what it claims to. Of our 9 models, we believe only the Dyson vacuums offer an actual HEPA filter.
What’s the big deal about a HEPA filter?
Well, any decent vacuum will capture dust mites, pollen and pet dander – particles that are bigger than 0.3 micrometres. The HEPA filter excels because it’s designed to capture particles smaller than 0.3 micrometres and filter out 99.7% of bacteria, pathogens and microbial spores. Because of their size and ability to be inhaled deeply into your lungs, it’s these small particles that can cause health issues. This means you don’t have to be an allergy sufferer to benefit from a HEPA filter.
The not-so-good bits
Price – it’s up there, especially when you compare it to a corded cleaner with a longer life expectancy and warranty. But a machine this good should be your main vacuum cleaner, not a supplementary one. This might justify the expense.
Trigger – to operate the V8 Absolute, you need to squeeze the trigger. This is instead of flicking a traditional on / off switch. Constantly holding the trigger can be uncomfortable, especially if you have chronic wrist pain or are older.
The Dyson V8 Absolute is Australia’s top cordless stick vacuum. It offers flexibility, excellent cleaning power, a long (compared to standard) runtime, speedy charge time and a unique HEPA filter. With all its cleaning tool attachments, it’ll give your home – and car – a quick yet effective top to bottom clean.
Also Great: Dyson V7 Animal
The Dyson V7 Animal is a wonderful stick vacuum and a seriously close runner-up. Choosing between the V7 Animal and V8 Absolute isn’t easy, but we reckon you can’t go wrong choosing either of them.
Dyson V7 Animal vs Dyson V8 Absolute
With the V7 Animal you get:
- Just 1 cleaner head. This is the direct drive cleaner head, for deep cleaning your carpets. It’s especially effective at dealing with pet hair. That means you don’t get the V8 Absolute’s soft roller cleaner head, ideal for hard floors.
- 3 cleaning tools compared to the V8 Absolute’s 4. These are the crevice tool, combination tool and mini motorised tool. That means no mini soft dusting brush that’s useful for cleaning electronics.
- A max power mode to boost the cleaning action for stubborn mess, like the V8 Absolute.
- A still impressive up to 30 minutes of suction. This is compared to the V8 Absolute’s up to 40 minutes.
- The same 2-in-1 action that transforms it into a handheld vacuum.
- The same no-mess, no-touch disposal bin.
- A charging and storage stand.
The Dyson V7 Animal is also loved by Aussies on ProductReview.com.au.
The Dyson V7 Animal is a great stick vacuum, with all the major features of the V8 Absolute. If you’ll be cleaning carpets more than hard floors, have a small area to cover that means 30 minutes cleaning time is enough and aren’t too bothered by not having a mini soft dusting brush, you’ll do well to consider the V7 Animal.
Also Great: Bosch Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal
The Bosch Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal’s bizarre name reflects its intended use: picking up pet hair. Because it’s specially designed for this purpose, it’s got great suction on a range of floor types. This means, unlike our Dyson winner, it’s only got 1 brush head and no hard floor specific one.
At around $300 less than our top picks, the Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal is a more affordable option. But it still has everything you need for a thorough floor clean, including an upholstery tool, a crevice tool and a ProAnimal specialised brush which helps you brush hair off upholstery.
It has 3 speed modes, including a turbo function for ingrained dirt. The battery is the same as the battery used in Bosch power tools. This means you’ll get up to 60 minutes of runtime. The pay off? Six hours charging time.
Bosch reckons they pay close attention to noise, to ensure you’re not deafened while using it. Our research shows that Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal is marginally quieter than the Dyson V8 Absolute and about the same as the V7 Animal. So, you probably won’t notice it being significantly quieter. But none of them sound like an airplane taking off when you’re using them.
The Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal has a LED indicator which alerts you when the filter needs cleaning. For extra convenience, this filter is washable. A freestanding design, it doesn’t have a charging dock or wall mount – unlike both of our Dyson picks. This means it can sit snugly in the corner or cupboard, without being a wall-hung focal point.
The Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal is recommended by Consumer, New Zealand’s consumer protection agency, and loved by Aussies on ProductReview.com.au.
Why the Bosch Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal is worth considering
Long runtime – Bosch claims the Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal runs for 60 minutes. This is massively impressive for a stick vacuum. However, we haven’t found much evidence to back this up. Independent testing reveals a runtime less than this. Customer feedback on ProductReview.com.au suggests around 40 minutes, on the lowest power setting. That’s the same as the Dyson V8 Absolute (which is around $300 more expensive) and more than the V7 Animal (again, $300 more expensive). Other reviewers state it does last for 1 hour. We think 40 minutes upwards is a great runtime.
Flexible – it cleans well across all floor types with a range of attachments to boost your cleaning range. This includes an upholstery tool, crevice tool and specialised brush for tackling pet hair on upholstery. You’ll be able to clean floors, ceilings and tight corners with the Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal. It’s also great for stairs.
Pet hair – it’s designed specifically to effectively suck up pet hair. Independent testing and customer reviews confirm this. So, if you have lots of pets, or long-haired ones, the Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal is the best choice for getting rid of their discarded hair.
On / off switch – unlike our 2 Dyson picks, the Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal has a traditional on / off switch. This makes it far easier and more pain-free for older people, or people suffering from chronic wrist pain, to operate.
3 speeds – the Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal offers 3 speeds. Our 2 Dyson picks offer 2. There’s level 1 for easy cleaning jobs and maximum runtime, level 2 for normal cleaning jobs and medium runtime and level turbo for difficult cleaning jobs and the shortest runtime. This is a good feature if you’ve got mess that’s between ‘light’ and ‘extreme’.
No charging stand – it’s designed to charge in any wall plug outlet, which means no bulky charging stand taking up floor space. Unlike Dyson stick vacuums, it won’t become a wall-hung feature.
The not-so-good bits
Charge-time – it takes 6 hours to fully charge the battery which is a long time – 50% longer than our Dyson picks.
Small bin – the 0.4L bin fills up quickly, which means more emptying. However, it’s the same size as the V8 Absolute so we don’t think that’s a big deal. You need to pull out the filter to empty the bin. This can allow some dust to escape.
No HEPA filter – the HEPA filter is unique to Dyson models so not surprising. You can wash the filter for easy care.
No accessory storage – because it doesn’t have a charger / holder, all the accessories aren’t stored neatly alongside it.
Not handheld – this is a big thing for us. The Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal doesn’t transform into a hand vac. Instead, it has a shoulder strap so you can carry it around easily. Which means it’s possible to use in your car but it’s not as easy as our Dyson picks.
The Bosch Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal is an affordable stick vacuum cleaner. An impressively long runtime, excellent cleaning of pet hair, and a wide range of attachment tools make it a great choice for any size home, especially homes with pets. Although not as impressive as the Dyson V8 Absolute and V7 Animal, it still performs well for a more acceptable price.
The biggest thing we found with stick vacuums is how you intend to use them. If it’s going to be your main vacuum, you’re probably best to go for a higher price point. You’ll get better cleaning and more tools. But if you’re using a stick vacuum as supplementary to your main vacuum, you can get away with a far more affordable option.
These are the stick vacuums that didn’t make the cut but could be right for you.
Dyson V10 Absolute+
Yep, another Dyson. This is an upgrade to our top pick, the Dyson V8 Absolute. It comes with an upgraded price tag. What do you get for the extra dollars? Not enough to justify the price hike.
Dyson claims the V10 Absolute+ offers up to ’60 minutes of fade-free suction’. Our research shows that this is true but only on the lowest power setting – it offers 3 power modes, unlike the V8’s 2. For the power setting you’ll use most of the time (level 2), our research suggests that it cleans less well than the V8. It comes with 6 attachment tools (2 more than the V8) – a flexi crevice tool and an extension hose. We don’t feel like either of these are necessary.
Customers on ProductReview.com.au are mainly positive with a few concerns about runtime and battery life.
In short, if you really need extra runtime, it could be worth considering. However, it’s extremely expensive for a stick vacuum.
LG CordZero A9 MULTI 2X
The LG CordZero A9 MULTI 2X is more expensive than our 2 Dyson top picks. However, it claims to offer up to 80 minutes of runtime. This is dramatically reduced to 12 minutes if you’re using the turbo mode with either of the brush heads.
It comes with a multi-surface brush head, plus a hard floor specific one, 2 attachment tools (combination and crevice), 2 batteries and a floor-standing dock. The 2 batteries are a nice touch, meaning if you run out you can simply swap batteries, rather than having to recharge the unit.
It’s the only 1 of our picks to be height adjustable. It can adjust to 4 different lengths. This ensures it suits a wide range of people, but also means it can be used on steps or in cars easier.
Again, it doesn’t have a HEPA filter, but it does have a 5-step filtration system that stops dust from escaping back into your home. The filters are removable and washable for easy maintenance. The bin is easy to empty, but the filter is messy to clean.
We feel that given it’s more expensive than the Dyson models, it’s not worth the extra investment. Especially because it’s lacking a HEPA filter and the runtime has been independently tested and wasn’t found to be anywhere near the stated 80 minutes.
Dyson V6 Absolute
And another Dyson. This time, slightly cheaper than our 2 Dyson top picks. It’s very similar to the V7 Animal and V8 Absolute, but has a shorter runtime, around 20 minutes. You’re getting a HEPA filter, max power mode and 3 cleaning tools. Which means it’s very much worth your consideration if you’d like to save a little money.
Shark Rocket Complete DuoClean
The Shark Rocket Complete DuoClean is far more affordable than our 2 Dyson picks, and comparable to our Bosch Athlet Zoo’o ProAnimal pick. It has everything you need in a stick vacuum: 1 brush head, 2 power modes, and 3 attachable tools (crevice, dusting and upholstery). Plus, it has built-in LED lights to help you see any hidden mess in dark areas.
Best of all, it transforms into a hand vac, like the Dyson models. It is corded however, so you’ll need to factor in having to move around that.
It’s positively reviewed on ProductReview.com.au, but there aren’t a huge number of reviews. If you’re looking for a basic and affordable entry-level stick vacuum, the Shark Rocket could be worth a go.
The Bissell AirRam is a basic cordless stick vacuum. You get 1 non-changeable head and no attachment tools. But it does have some nice quirks. Like it doesn’t have a bag or a cylinder. Instead, it compresses dirt into small bales which you then put into the bin. This helps reduce dust. It also has a visible battery gauge, letting you know how much battery power remains. The battery lasts around 30 minutes which is good, and it takes around 5 hours to fully recharge – not terrible.
It’s also seriously bulky (and ugly). Due to its bulky head, it doesn’t clean hard to reach areas very easily. But its impressive suction power and hair pick-up ability makes up for this – a little.
Its popular with Aussies on ProductReview.com.au. So again, it’s a good entry point to stick vacuums.
Kmart 2 in 1 corded stick vacuum
This has an absolute rock bottom price. Which is kind of impressive considering it’s a 2-in-1. It includes a crevice tool and reckons it has a HEPA filter. Given only our Dyson picks feature this technology, at a far higher price point, we’re a bit dubious about this claim.
It’s also corded which means although it transforms into a hand vac, you might struggle to get it out to your car.
But if you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful spot cleaning tool, go nuts with this one. Aussies agree – it’s well-reviewed on ProductReview.com.au.