Many people are looking for something extremely portable to clean their house and want to know how to find the best lightweight vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners have been a staple of our cleaning supplies for well over a century now. Advances in technology mean that the machines we use today have changed a great deal.
In general, anything under 5kg is labeled lightweight. Some of the slenderer versions can come in at less than 2kg but 5kg is pretty much the standard for a lightweight cleaner. Compare this to 8kg and upwards for most uprights and that’s quite a difference, especially for the elderly or infirm.
The choice of different models on the market can often be negative as well as positive. With so many options to choose from, things can become confusing and overwhelming. Take the time to read through this guide and you will be better placed to make the right decision.
What Types of Lightweight Vacuum Cleaners are Available?
There are three main varieties of cleaner in the lightweight sector.
- Cordless handheld
- Lightweight canister
Note: there are a few upright vacuums that could be termed lightweight but they are principally more heavy duty. For the sake of simplicity we will focus here on the three types above.
Your personal requirements will dictate which option is the most suitable for you.
The handheld is great for those with limited storage for bulkier items. If you have children who tend to frequently make small spillages then, again, the handheld will come into its own. For those who have homes with lots of awkward spaces and also want to clean more than just the floor – think furniture and vehicles – the handheld could be the key. Bear in mind, too, that you will need a certain level of fitness and strength to clean while holding the vacuum.
If the above statements do not apply to you then focus instead on either a stick vacuum or lightweight canister instead.
Practically all canisters cope admirably with stairs and bare floors but they may struggle with carpets. Sticks tend to fall somewhere in between and can acquit themselves on most surfaces (although not with the same deep-cleaning ability as uprights).
OK, having determined which particular kind of lightweight vacuum would be best for your requirements, think now about some more general questions…
What to look for when buying a lightweight vacuum?
What are you cleaning?
One of the main considerations you should bear in mind is precisely what type of floor you will be cleaning.
Different types of vacuum cleaners have certain things at which they excel and also a number of weak points. Homes today come with various floor surfaces. Think about whether your house is tiled, carpeted or covered with hardwood and buy the appropriate cleaner for this need.
If you have hardwood floors then any of the lightweight choices above will be adequate for your needs. If thick carpet covers most of the surface area you might want to rethink and start researching some of the more portable upright vacuums.
In general, size leads to more power but not in every case so study the specifications carefully in order to make an informed decision.
Many people assume that the more powerful the motor the better suction will be delivered. Again, although this can be true it is certainly not always an accurate benchmark.
A surplus of power can actually be a bad thing. Think about it: how much suction do you really need? If more power than necessary is kicked out then the subsequent heat will add to your electricity bill. It will also decrease the lifespan of your vacuum.
Much more important than becoming obsessed with raw power is to take steps to learn how to effectively and efficiently use your cleaning device. Make sure you use the correct brush or extension.
The benefits of handheld and cordless cleaners
One word could best summarize this concept: versatility.
If you have pets and need to clean up lots of hair or the occasional spillage of pet litter then a handheld is ideal for this purpose. Equally, if you find yourself cleaning stairs or thinner carpet then a handheld is tailor-made.
How about cordless vacuums? First and foremost, cordless cleaners tend to be much lighter than their corded counterparts. They are great for dealing with spacious areas where you would otherwise need to keep unplugging your machine and finding another socket. Cordless models are also well-suited to uneven surfaces.
Note: Pretty much all cordless cleaners are bagless. If you suffer from allergies then this might not be for the best. Also, they are generally not as powerful as those with a cord so determine how crucial it is to have something with killer suction.
When you are mulling over the alternatives of handheld, stick or canister variants, storage space should be uppermost in your mind.
Where will you keep the vacuum?
Think about the shape (and also the size) of the cupboard or area where you will stash the cleaning equipment. If you find yourself overloaded with products or space is really at a premium then this could be one driving force behind opting for the handheld variety.
Here are some more pointers to take into account when thinking of purchasing a new vacuum for your home:
Think about how much of an issue this is for you and pay close attention to the reviews on this site and Amazon. If a product is noisy then consumers will be to sure to comment. Pets could be startled by an extra-noisy appliance.
Bagless options can be more convenient in some ways. Bear in mind, though, that disposing of dirt and dust is somewhat easier and cleaner with some bags. Think about how important price of replacement bags is to you when offset against this factor.
Look out for the benchmark High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filters. These are fantastic for getting rid of allergens.
Rather than being dictated to purely by the bottom line, consider value for money too. As the saying goes, “Buy cheap, buy twice.” This can prove to be very true with sub-par vacuum cleaners. Stick to known brands for more assurance of quality. Even the major players have some very cost-effective models if money is a concern.
The most crucial part of this is the weight. Even among lightweight cleaners there is quite a range of sizes so ask yourself if you can comfortably handle the cleaner you are looking at. You need to be sure that the vacuum is not just light but that it is light for you.
Corded or cordless?
Linked to how easy your vacuum is to maneuver is whether or not it needs a cord. Think about the pros and cons listed above and decide which best fits your cleaning regime. If you do go with the cordless than it’s paramount to study the battery life. In the worst scenario you could be out of juice within ten minutes while the stronger offering can yield thirty minutes or more of power. Look carefully, too, at the charging time needed. If you can only operate for ten minutes and needs 10 hours to boost the power then it’s probably not much good for anyone.
With handheld vacuums, the size of the holding tank varies quite considerably from brand to brand and model to model. A large dirt cup which is easy to empty out is clearly what you should look for. Pay close attention to the system as some of them demand that you physically handle the dirt cup which can be a mucky and unpleasant task.
Last but by no means least, spend the time and effort to look at a good selection of impartial reviews from consumers. Most people are fairly honest when reviewing products. Often, they have experienced a problem and would like to warn others. As a rule, if the same point is made repeatedly, whether positive or negative, then it is likely to have at least some grounding in truth. Look at comparison charts and star ratings as well as written reviews. Accumulate as much information as you can. Forewarned is forearmed.
Best Lightweight Vacuum Reviews
1. Dirt Devil SD20000RED
You’ll enjoy an impressive 3-in-1 build with the Simpli-Stick. By separating the middle of the vac from the frame, you can switch from stick to handheld. Using the crevice tool supplied, you can further convert the handheld into an edge-cleaning device. Dirt Devil have you covered on all fronts.
Weighing in at just 4 pounds, this vacuum is truly superlight.
The Simpli-Stick works equally well on low-pile carpets and hard floors. There is no motorized brush roll so you can use it on your bare flooring without any fear of scratching the surfaces. The downside of this is that it’s hard work to clean any kind of thicker carpet. With no brush roll and only packing a 1.25-amp motor, it will struggle with deep-pile.
Corded vacuums do not have the freedom offered by their cordless counterparts. What makes this worse is that Dirt Devil only supplies a 16-foot cord. Think about the layout of your home. Make sure this will not be too restrictive for you.
The wheels combined with the lightweight nature make whizzing around with the Dirt Devil an effortless experience.
The filter is not HEPA-rated but it’s washable which saves you the cost of expensive ongoing replacements.
You can buy with total confidence thanks to the 1-year limited warranty.
If you have a smaller home mainly finished with hard floors, the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stick is a good choice. The crowning beauty is that it comes in at an extremely competitive price point. Check it out. You will not be disappointed.
2. VonHaus 600W2-in-1
Not everyone wants a bulky upright that weighs a ton. If you live in a fairly small apartment, the last thing you need is a huge unit that has more power than you need and is awkward to store.
In steps the VonHaus!
In many ways, you get the best of all worlds with this 2-in-1. In its standard form, you have all the power and performance you’d associate with a stick. Snap off the handheld and you can clean in hard-to-reach places, even take the vacuum outside to clean the inside of your cars.
If you have a variety of surfaces in your house, some carpet and some wooden flooring, the VonHaus is flexible enough to cope with them all. The only place it will struggle is on particularly thick-pile carpeting. Without the benefit of a motorized brush, it struggles to pick up ingrained debris.
You’ll enjoy the protection of a HEPA-rated filter. There is a small downside to this. Unlike many others, this is not totally sealed. If you suffer from allergies, you might need to look closely at this. The last thing you want is to be irritated by small particles of dust.
Do you have pets at home? If so, cleaning up the hair and mess they constantly leave behind can be tiring. The VonHaus will do very well cleaning up after animals on bare flooring but it’s not quite as effective sucking up hair from carpet.
You’ll get a brush attachment, a crevice tool and an upholstery tool. That’s not too much by the way of attachments but it’s reflected in the super-low price.
One thing to take note of is that the power cord is pretty short and needs to be manually retracted.
If you are focused on getting an incredibly lightweight vacuum that does not sell you short in terms of power, pop the VonHaus 2-in-1 on your shortlist. You will not be disappointed.
3. Shark Rocket HV302
It’s a little heavier than some super-lightweight alternatives. At 8 pounds, though, it’s still not hard work to move around.
Shark pioneer Never Loses Suction technology. This means you can enjoy all the benefits of a bigger upright without needing a huge unit.
The filtration on the Rocket is first-rate. If you have asthma or allergies, this makes a smart choice. None of the dander or pet hair will make its way in your direction. You do not need to think about the expense of new filters. You can wash and re-use them fuss-free.
All corded vacuums are to some extent limiting. You need to remain near a power outlet at all times. Where many manufacturers make the cord too short for comfort, with the Shark it’s sufficiently long for most regular cleaning needs.
The Rocket is a highly versatile cleaning solution. In its standard form, it behaves like a powerful upright. Detach the canister and you can work in hard-to-reach areas or use it to clean inside your vehicles. You’ll get a special detail kit for your car which is a great bonus.
The Rocket excels on carpets sucking up all debris with ease. Whether it’s fine dust or bigger pieces, the Shark eats it all up. For hard floors you’ll get a dedicated attachment. You will also get a microfiber pad to buff up those bare floors with ease.
When it comes to storage, the lightweight Shark presents no problem. You can use the wall mount or attach the hand vac to the wand and pop it in the closet.
Maneuverability is another area where the Rocket scores highly. With swivel steering, you can push the compact vac wherever you want with ease.
The dust cup is extremely easy to empty and you get some nifty LED lights to help you scour any dark spaces without straining your eyes.
For 2-in-1 functionality from a brand you can trust, think seriously about adding this Shark to your cleaning arsenal. Whatever the surfaces in your house, the Rocket will get them sparkling clean. The final bonus is the very reasonable price.
4. Eureka EasyClean
The powerful 5.5-amp motor is a surprise on a vacuum this compact. The strong suction combined with a nice flexible hose gives you a top-notch finish. One motor is designed to power the revolving brush while the other is responsible for suction.
With this handheld design, you can clean stairs, upholstery or inside your cars with equal ease. This added versatility is the prime reason many people opt for a handheld. Even if it does not serve as your primary vacuum, it’s well worth considering the EasyClean as a supplementary cleaner.
The 20-foot cord should be just long enough for most requirements although it’s still slightly too short.
As expected with such a cheap vacuum, you won’t get too much by the way of accessories. The standard crevice tool is constructed on-board so there’s no chance of misplacing it. You’ll also get a Riser Visor. This is the perfect solution for cleaning carpeted stairs efficiently.
You can hit a switch to toggle between carpet and hard floor mode.
This vacuum comes in many different models. The numbers refer to the colors. This one is an eye-catching red.
If you want all the convenience of a handheld without settling for limp performance and poor suction, think seriously about this cheap but high quality vac from Eureka. All you need to decide upon is the color!
5. Dirt Devil Scorpion
A bagless handheld, the Scorpion weighs less than 4 pounds so certainly qualifies as a lightweight. Clearly, this is not intended as a standalone primary vacuum. For cleaning up unexpected messes in a hurry, though, it’s tough to beat.
The main selling point of this vacuum, aside from its super-compact nature, is the Quick-Flip crevice tool. If you drop an ashtray or your dog kicks over his food bowl, the Scorpion comes flying to the rescue.
The 7-amp motor generates impressive suction power. Even larger debris will be sucked up with very little effort.
Getting rid of the dirt couldn’t be easier. You twist the center of the base and it comes apart into two separate pieces. The waste can be ditched and the filter cleaned. This means no expensive replacement filters so will save you money over time.
Although it’s incredibly cheap, Dirt Devil backs this product with a 3-year guarantee. This gives an indication of how they stand behind the Scorpion and lets you buy with total peace of mind.
The only real negative is that the cord only measures 16 feet. Given the nature of the cleaning you’ll do, though, this should not be an issue.
If you want an exceptionally lightweight vacuum that will slot alongside your existing cleaner, this Dirt Devil handheld is well worth popping on your shortlist. It delivers in fine style.
There are many different factors to think about before investing in a new cleaner.
Take all of the above points into account. Do not overlook what, precisely, you need from a lightweight vacuum cleaner. We all have slightly different demands and we all have different styles of home.
If you are thinking of buying a new lightweight vacuum cleaner then use the time before purchasing to really establish the pros and cons of the model you have in mind. Look at a good number of models and then decide…