When you don’t want to haul out your heavy upright or canister vacuum, a stick vacuum can be a lightweight, space-saving alternative. And some stick vacuums are just as good at picking up pet hair and cleaning carpets. Of course, some aren’t as Consumer Reports’ latest tests have shown. We divided our test models into two batches: stick vacuums that weigh 6 pounds or less and those that weigh more than 6 pounds. And some of the lightest models turned out to be the heaviest duty cleaners, easily ridding our test carpets of dirt and pet hair. Here are the stick vacuums that cleaned up in our tests.

Best Stick Vacs for Carpet and Pet Hair

Cleaning up cat or dog hair is a never-ending task so using a vacuum you can easily grab from the closet is a big help. We test our vacuums on medium-pile carpet embedded with dirt or pet hair and many of our regular upright and canister vacuums that ace the pet hair and carpet tests weigh more than 20 pounds. Three Dysons weighing less than 6 pounds did just as well but you’ll pay for that power. Shark dominated the category of stick vacuums that weigh more than 6 pounds and cost considerably less.

6 pounds or less

More than 6 pounds

Best Stick Vacs for Bare Floors

Homes with hardwood and tile floors present another cleaning challenge that not all stick vacuums are up to. Some of the worst scattered the debris around without sucking it up. Some of the best were champs at removing the dirt and debris including one super lightweight model that cost only $30.

6 pounds or less

More than 6 pounds

Most Versatile Stick Vacuums

Although some stick vacs look like an upright that's been put on a diet, many come packed with extra features that add even more convenience. Often they come with a detachable hand vacuum or can be converted into one. Several models include extra brush rolls or tools, and with dirt bins that can be emptied in just one step. The Shark Rocket Powerhead AH452, $170, features an adjustable-height handle and comes with a second brush roll for bare floors. It weighs 11 pounds. The Kenmore 10340, $150, features a foot-operated switch for easily cleaning the brush roll and weighs just 6 pounds.

Need a vacuum? For more choices see our full vacuum Ratings and recommendations of canister, upright, robotic, and handheld vacuums.