The Best Vacuum for Small Apartments

When you have a small apartment, space becomes precious. It’s hard to sacrifice any more of it, especially for a vacuum cleaner.

Luckily, compact vacuum cleaners exist. They can also be lightweight and maneuverable. If you want, they can even be cordless. You should be able to clean with convenience, after all.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the best vacuum for small apartments. Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What’s the Best Vacuum Cleaner for You?

When buying a vacuum, every product may blur into the next. After all, don’t all of them perform the same task? 

Ever since the vacuum cleaner was patented by Daniel Hess in 1860, its purpose has remained the same.

Nevertheless, the ideal vacuum should give you the best value for money. To get that full value, you need to determine what’s important for you in a vacuum.

Weight

Weight is important for many reasons. For example, if you’re choosing between handheld vacuums, you should consider opting for the lighter option. Remember: you’re going to be carrying that vacuum around for a good amount of time, so you want to prevent sore arms.

A big number of upright vacuums weigh more than 20 lbs. However, there are plenty of models which manage to keep their weight under that range.

You’ll find that the best upright vacuums are the heaviest ones. That isn’t to say that lightweight models aren’t almost just as effective, though.

Size

Naturally, the size of your vacuum should be compatible with the size of your apartment. It’s only practical. The size will play a big role in portability, but it’ll mainly decide how easy storage will be.

Plus, the small size can help enhance a vacuum’s versatility. If it’s small enough, you can use it for your car, or even your RV. This can be really helpful if your pet accompanies you on rides. After all, pet hairs are a challenge to clean.

Efficiency

This is where you pinpoint your needs. Are you a pet owner? Or are you just trying to get a spotless house? Some vacuums were made with pets in mind. This is why some are simply better at cleaning pet hairs. Others, while all for their promises of powerful suction, struggle to catch pet hairs on different floors.

 You also want to make sure you’re buying a vacuum suited to floor type. Most vacuums support both carpeted floor and hard floor. Some even support tiles. Whatever material you’re working with, it’s good to make sure the vacuum you’re buying will clean it well.

 If you’re intending to clean more than just floors, then you might consider looking into attachments as well. Certain attachments can help you clean ceilings and even ceiling fans. For this, it’s important to check the wand’s length.

 Meanwhile, other kinds of attachments can help you clean upholstery. They can also assist with curtains and inaccessible corners.

Maneuverable

In a small apartment, space is precious. You need to use it wisely. Things can get cluttered easily, and it can be a real hindrance when trying to get any work done.

This is where maneuverability matters. Since you don’t have much space to move around in, you need something that’s easy to steer in small areas. Moreover, it needs to be smooth in movement, so you can get around furniture without much hassle.

 When shopping, try to check for swivel-steering and good wheels. You need those wheels to be able to turn in all directions without getting stuck. This will help in cleaning around corners and edges.

Bagless or Bagged?

Bag-free vacuums hold a lot of appeal. For starters, you don’t have to buy any vacuum bags. That extra cost is saved.

 However, emptying a bagless vacuum could be a bit messy. No matter how careful you are, it doesn’t take much for the dust to get everywhere. If a person has allergies, a bagless vacuum might not be the best choice.

 A bagless vacuum usually has a smaller dust capacity. This results in more frequent emptying of the vacuum. On the contrary, a bagged vacuum has a larger dust capacity. It’s also tightly sealed, so it causes less of a mess and emptied. There’s also the low exposure of dust and dirt.

Usage

Now, what kind of surface are you going to be mainly dealing with? A carpeted floor shouldn’t receive the same treatment as a hard floor. For example, a carpeted floor needs a powered brushroll to move ground-in dirt.

 If your apartment has both carpeted floors and hard floors, opt for a vacuum that’ll allow you to switch the brushroll on and off. This is one of the biggest problems you could face, as some vacuums can’t let you turn the brushroll off. It’s always spinning. This can damage hard floors and cause scratches.

 It’d also be ideal if you could opt for a vacuum that features height adjustments. This will help you with multi-floor cleaning. You should also remember to check the included attachments. After all, some hard-to-reach places in your apartment may require special accessories.

Cordless or Corded?

A cordless vacuum may seem like the better option. It forgoes the cord, so you get all mobility you could want in a small space. You don’t have to get tangled up in a cord anymore. You also now can access hard-to-reach spaces, like tiny corners and beneath furniture.

After 3 – 5 hours of charge, these cordless units can last for 30 – 40 minutes. Though, it’s common for the battery to degenerate with frequent usage. You’ll notice that after two years or even less, these vacuums aren’t as good as they used to be.

It’s definitely expected. It’s widely known that cordless models can’t be used for heavy-duty vacuuming. These vacuums are thought more of as “accessory” vacuums. They’re basically what you pull out when the job is light and you want it done quickly and smoothly. So they’re perfect for car cleaning! Plus, cordless vacuums are suitable for upholstery.

If you’re looking for a “primary” vacuum, I’d advise you to opt for a corded vacuum. The hassle of the cord can be worth it. It can disturb dirt in high-pile carpets and work at eliminating stubborn stains.

All you have to do is make sure you’re buying a unit with a long cord. The standard cord length of upright vacuums is usually around 25 feet. Some models offer longer cords. Just make sure it’s longer than 20 feet.

The Best Vacuum for Small Apartments Reviews

Having less square footage doesn’t mean you should compromise on vacuuming. After much research, I’ve gathered some of the best picks for your small space. Check out the reviews below!

1. Eureka NEU100 Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight Compact Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Best Vacuum for Small Apartments - NEU 100 

This vacuum cleaner has a featherweight design. It’s only 7.7 lbs, after all. You can carry it anywhere. Move it around as you like. It’s pretty mobile.

There’s also the quick-release handle. It’s really useful for above-floor cleaning. If you want to go over the ceiling quickly, all you have to do is release the handle. You could even attach one of the included accessories.

The suction itself is quite powerful. It’s undeniable. But the cleaning path helps cover more ground, especially at 10.5”. You’ll get the job done quicker.

Users noted that this vacuum is a little hard to use in carpets. However, they mentioned that the suction is no joke. Adding that it’s extremely powerful, that it can lift up large debris and pet hair with no problem at all.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Quick-release handle
  • Easy to empty

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a switch for bare floors

2. ORFELD Cordless Vacuum

Best Vacuum for Small Apartments - Orfeld Cordless

This is another lightweight vacuum that’s ideal for use in small spaces. Here’s what’s special about it, though: you could easily convert it into a handheld vacuum. It’s perfect for upholstery and curtains.

Not interested in handheld vacuums? Then you just use it as it is. You can even fold the handle by 180 degrees.

You won’t have a hard time using this vacuum. It lets you quickly switch between carpet to a hard floor. Maneuvering around the furniture will be no trouble either since it has excellent swivel-steering control.

This vacuum is ideal for hard floors. It’s gentle enough so it leaves no scratches behind, yet it doesn’t cut back on cleaning and picking up stuck-on debris.

One user noticed how ideal this vacuum is for cleaning stairs. He was glad that it’s ultra-light and compact, so you could easily maneuver it into tight spaces. He also mentioned that it’s great for cleaning the car as well!

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Could be transformed into a handheld vacuum
  • Good with pet hair

Cons

  • Handle wears out after constant use

3. Hoover Linx SH20030 Bagless Corded Cyclonic Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Best Vacuum for Small Apartments - Hoover Cleaner

This product is also compatible with most, if not all, of surfaces. You only have to turn the dial. Then, you can clean low and medium-pile carpet, plush, high pile rugs, hard floors, and even shag rugs.

Maintaining the filter is certainly no great task. It’s both washable and removable. Give it a quick rinse and use it anytime you want.

For me, the great thing about this vacuum is the XL dust cup. It holds dirt for a pretty long time. Nothing is more annoying than frequently emptying your vac, and I like to clean the house in one go. In this area, this product excels.

Most users raved about how storage-friendly this one is. They exclaimed that for a little piece of machinery, it sure gets a lot of work done. Adding that it’s excellent with carpets and rugs, and that it even works just as well on hardwood.

Pros

  • Strong suction
  • Lightweight
  • Compact

Cons

  • Too loud

4. Black & Decker BDST1609 3-in-1 Corded Lightweight Handheld Cleaner & Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Best Vacuum for Small Apartments - Black & Decker

Do you want something quick, light, and easy? This BLACK+DECKER vacuum gets the job done perfectly.

First things first: it’s handheld! You might be worried about the weight since you’ll be carrying it around so much.

Rest assured. It weighs 2.75 lbs. Your arms won’t be sore at the end of the day.

Plus, you could always convert it to a stick vacuum any time you want. Keep it handheld for your car and upholstery cleaning.

The great thing about this vacuum is that it’s so small. This means you can use it to get every nook and cranny: between tables or even behind refrigerators.

Most users noted just how good it is with pet hair. So if you’ve got a little furry friend at home like me, you’ll really understand how useful this is for shedding.

Pros

  • Lightweight; only weighs 4.1 lbs
  • Compact
  • Maneuverable
  • Decent cord length
  • Smooth swivel control

Cons

  • It can be a little difficult to clean dust from the canister

5. iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum

Best Vacuum for Small Apartments - iRobot

Through the name, you can have a good guess at what makes this vacuum so special. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and let this vacuum clean your apartment.

This robot has a full suite of sensors that let it navigate its way around furniture. It’ll clean under and around objects on its own, with absolutely no help.

There’s also the dirt sensors. These sensors alert the robot to high-traffic areas. When alerted, it begins to work harder on certain concentrated areas. It’ll go on cleaning a full 90 minutes (an hour and a half!) before shutting down.

The great thing about this vacuum is the assistant voice controls. You can use Alexa voice commands to control cleaning. There’s even a special iRobot on which you can monitor cleaning sessions from your couch.

Lots of users were surprised by the random pattern the Roomba moved around in. It has a habit of getting stuck in tight places, some of them noted. Yet it always managed to get some impressive cleaning done. Almost all users agreed that it’s particularly efficient when it comes to pet hair.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Quiet
  • Cleans under and around furniture; hard-to-reach places

Cons

  • Expensive

Conclusion

It’s time to set your cleaning gloves aside. These vacuums are surely worth more than a look.

The Black & Decker BDST1609 3-in-1 Corded Lightweight Handheld Cleaner & Stick Vacuum Cleaner is certainly a vacuum you should consider. It’s corded, which can be a disadvantage to some. But it makes up for it in being compact, lightweight, and powerful.

Good luck cleaning!

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