6 Best Lightweight Vacuums

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4 months ago
Best-Lightweight-Vacuums

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Today’s vacuum is smarter, lighter, and packed with cord-free convenience. But finding the right one is about more than high-tech features or even ease of use. For us, it’s about finding our perfect match – that savvy assistant that can go from deep carpet to hardwood, then stairs and upholstery, picking up pet hair and litter box remnants, as well as general household messes, without straining our backs or annoying our neighbors with a loud machine.

How do you know you have found your perfect vacuum cleaner soulmate? When you are so in love with vacuuming that you do not mind doing it as often as needed, and your house looks like a model home at all times of the day.

So, to find our favorite lightweight household cleaners, we decided to install 25 top-shelf vacuums in our lab and plowed through the competition in a head-to-head fight. We tested their effectiveness on four types of floor and measured how lightweight they are in an overhead carry test. Some models are small enough to fit under beds or closets, while others boast versatile attachments that let them tackle irregular surfaces, like stairs, with ease. Also, some of these cleaners excelled at taking care of pet waste and kitty litter messes, and a few offered quieter operations for use during our rigorous testing sessions.

If you are looking for the lightest yet most effective vacuum cleaners to buy, check our picks below. These models were selected based on their weight, performance, prices, and other crucial factors that matter most to an end-user.

Best Lightweight Vacuums

Top Pick: Eureka Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight (Overall best)

top pick: eureka airspeed ultra-lightweight (overall best)

The AirSpeed vacuum is a long-time favorite of consumers. It’s light and portable, which makes vacuuming difficult areas a breeze, and comes with a wide cleaning path, a three-piece snap-on hose for above-floor cleaning, and a vacuum cleaner head with a dust brush for hard floors. We have used it on rugs and hardwood flooring, and thanks to this little guy, both of which remained clean and free from dust. 

Weighing only 7.7 pounds, it is a lightweight vacuum cleaner that you can easily store and carry to any area needing a good cleaning. Its washable filters never need replacement, so you can save money on expensive maintenance as well.

When not in use, this vacuum stores well both vertically and horizontally. It maneuvers easily under furniture and into tight spaces without causing damage while cleaning up dirt, dust, hair, and debris from hard floors, carpets, and above-floor areas like upholstery.

With strong air suction, you can clean your home thoroughly with just one pass. The Eureka Airspeed comes with a quick-release handle so you can easily convert it to a handheld vacuum cleaner, allowing you to clean above-floor areas effortlessly.

Pros

  • Its quick-release handle makes it possible to remove any mess from the floor and hard-to-reach areas.
  • Produces a high suction power
  • The washable filter can be easily cleaned without the fuss for repeated long term usage

Cons

  • It can get clogged sometimes

Best Budget Pick: Bissell Featherweight Stick

best budget pick: bissell featherweight stick

Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum is lightweight, easy to carry and store, and packs a lot of power in a small package. With only 3.84 pounds and its ability to clean virtually any floor surface, it is the perfect vacuum for smaller homes or apartments, featuring convenient cord-free cleaning over a range of hard floor surfaces to remove dirt, hair, and dust particles. You can easily carry this compact vacuum up and down the stairs or simply use it as an upright carpet cleaner.

If you are looking for a cordless vacuum cleaner that can transition from floors to carpet with ease while transforming into three different cleaning configurations while costing you not more than a day’s meal, then Bissell Featherweight may be the one you need. The multi-functional design allows you to detach the handle from the body and use it as a handheld vacuum, or detach the entire unit from the handle and use it as a stair vacuum for all your hard surfaces. Its extreme suction will remove debris from the dirtiest places in your house or apartment, and the bagless feature makes emptying the bin painless at the same time.

One can quickly rinse the vacuum’s soft and flexible brush under running water in the kitchen sink. Also, unlike other products on the market, this item comes with a built-in space for storing attachments right on the unit. 

A powerful motor, large capacity dust cup, multi-level filtration system, and other useful features of Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum make your apartment living more manageable than ever.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight operation
  • Virtually maintenance-free performance over a long period
  • Can be switched to a handheld configuration almost instantly
  • Great overall cleaning capacity, especially pet hair, on all kinds of surfaces.

Cons

  • Build quality could have been a little better

Best Upgrade Pick: Dyson V15 Detect

best upgrade pick: dyson v15 detect

Almost 70% of us suffer from allergies, and dust is one of the most common irritants. Whether it’s dust, pollen, or any other allergy-producing particle, Dyson V15 Detect collects them all without breaking a sweat. This model is comparable to its older version, but with a couple of new features and improvements: 20% more power, digital display that not only allows you to select between multiple modes (Auto, Eco, and Boost) modes but also shows how much battery remains. It performs exceptionally well on both hard floors and rugs.

Although Dyson V15 Detect is not cheap at almost $700 and weighs 6.8 pounds which makes it slightly heavier than other popular cordless vacuums on the market, it impresses us with its host of unique and powerful feature sets and advanced capabilities. 

The V15 is definitely not your grandmother’s vacuum. It has an elegant design made of aluminum and gray plastic and comes with a removable 0.5-gallon dust bag. With its re-engineered motor and robust performance, you can get down deep for dust, grime, and pet hair. Designed to clean carpets and hard floors, this vacuum provides superior filtration with HEPA technology (You can buy a HEPA filter separately) and collects microscopic allergens from the air as you clean.

Pros

  • Suction power improved significantly over the previous model
  • Offers tons of additional useful attachments, including a wall-mounting option
  • Pet hair removal performance is impeccable

Cons

  • Battery life is less than satisfactory

Best Cordless Pick: Eureka NEC222

best cordless pick: eureka nec222

The Eureka NEC222 is a great, mid-priced cordless vacuum. It is a bit cheaper than other high-end models and yet has many of the same features. For example, it has the semi-powerful suction and excellent convenience features found on expensive Dyson cordless vacuums. It has a low profile, making it easy to clean underneath furniture and get around large pieces. The vacuum is also lightweight, so it is easy to move around your house. While it does not have the added air filtration as the Dyson, it does pick up more dirt than your average vacuums and is excellent for areas with moderate pet hair.

This vacuum cleaner’s lights are bright and easy to turn on for hard-to-see areas. It has a handy swivel steering feature so you can maneuver around furniture, look underneath it, and get at those hard-to-reach areas to get the job done. 

The Eureka NEC222 is our pick for the best cordless vacuum for pet hair and fine dust. Not only does it have a mighty motor on the handle, but it converts into a hand vacuum and comes with an upholstery brush and a crevice tool. Despite the motor being located towards the top of the unit, we had no wrist strain from holding it in place during vacuuming, thanks to its lightweight profile at only 6.5 pounds.

Pros

  • Lightweight yet sturdy build quality
  • 45 minutes continuous runtime on a single charge
  • Excellent hardwood performance
  • Quieter operation

Cons

  • Does not come with inbuilt storage for the attachments

Most Maneuverable Pick: Dyson Micro 1.5kg

most maneuverable pick: dyson micro 1.5kg

For a portable cordless handheld/stick vacuum cleaner, the Dyson Micro 1.5kg is a great choice and perfect for quick tidying up jobs in your home. It is very lightweight at 3.3 pounds and incredibly easy to maneuver. It has soft brush rolls installed on its primary vacuum head, so it’s mainly meant to clean bare floors or surfaces – you wouldn’t want to use it on carpeting since it does not agitate the dirt out of the fibers that well. 

Although it has a maximum battery life of 30 minutes, compared with the V8’s 55 minutes, the cleaner offers a very fast battery recharging time if you need to charge in between cleaning multiple rooms on the go. Its dust bin is not as large as some other handheld vacuum models and can get full pretty quickly because of this, but its dirt capacity is still decent enough to be useful for cleaning small messes quickly.

It doesn’t include HEPA filtration or has other advanced features found in professional or industrial vacuums, but you can get it for several hundred dollars less than some other popular stick vacuums, which makes it an excellent value for money portable vacuum device.

Pros

  • One of the most lightweight vacuums on the market
  • Brilliant hard floor cleaning
  • Controls are simple enough to operate even for elders

Cons

  • Carpet cleaning is not its forte

Best Handheld Pick: Shark WANDVAC Handheld

best handheld pick: shark wandvac handheld

Shark WANDVAC is a lightweight handheld vacuum weighing just 1.4 pounds and designed with a tapered nozzle that allows you to remove both fine dust and large debris with ease from everywhere – under tables, furniture, in corners, and along walls. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery lets you use it for up to 25 minutes on a single charge, and its charging dock also stores your vacuum accessories neatly in one place.

The WANDVAC’s powerful suction works well on both hard surfaces and carpet, while its one-touch button emptying system makes cleaning messes as easy as a push of a button. This simple machine is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that recharges on a convenient docking station. Whether you want to clean the stairs or gutter downspouts, the WANDVAC will help you make your home more attractive and liveable.

Pros

  • This 1.3-pound cleaner is easy to handle
  • Robust suction capability
  • Super convenient single-touch emptying 

Cons

  • Smaller dust cup size requires frequent unloading

How we tested the six best Best Lightweight Vacuums: our detailed selection and testing method

While these vacuums operate on different suction principles, each one has its own unique set of features that we explored over three days’ worth of testing. Read on to find out details about our rigorous hands-on and tabletop lab tests.

Raw performance: We used each machine to vacuum up pet hair, cereal, sand, and fine dust. We weighed the amount of debris left behind in testing on both carpet and hard flooring. However, we did not like that some of the vacuums we tested had a tendency to blow large debris out of the back instead of sucking it in, so we lowered their ranking in our list.

We then compared them on performance in mainly five categories: picking up pet hair from the surface, collecting cereal and other fine debris, managing ground-in dirt and sand, sucking up water without spraying it all over the place, and being able to clean both hardwood floors and carpet. We also ensured to test their ability to clean corners.

Finally, the six best lightweight vacuums that ended up in our list were the ones that were able to suck up the most pet hair, sand, and baking soda in a single pass without clogging the brush roll, filter, or causing the vacuum to “backfire” dirt and debris at the operator.

Air quality: The quality of the air in your room is integral to every part of your life, and that includes using a vacuum to maintain your home’s floors. While the best vacuums do a great job at sucking up dirt and keeping your house clean, they are not without consequences. Some vacuums release more airborne particles than others, causing a jump in particle pollution after use. 

To evaluate these negative effects, we measured the air quality before and after various vacuums were used to clean one room for 10 minutes. We tested large particles (PM10) as well as small particles (PM2.5). We used a Dylos Air Quality Monitor that measures PM10 and PM2.5 particle pollution and creates a visual representation of the data in real-time. This can be helpful if you want to see how a particular vacuum cleaner helps with air quality in your home. Some of the vacuums delivered impressive reductions of small particles in our lab while still keeping large particles at a relatively low level. Although a few performed especially well at containing large particles, they left more fine dust behind on surfaces.

Ease of use: We spent six weeks evaluating our top lightweight vacuums in a test that simulated how consumers use these products. We vacuumed rooms on both hard flooring and carpet to judge their usability and maneuverability. When testing these products, we used each vacuum for half an hour at a time.

Last few words:

With so many lightweight vacuum options on the market, finding the best lightweight vacuum can feel like an impossible quest. We were determined to find the most compact, easy to use, and maneuverable ones that did not cause arm fatigue and could get into tight corners and hard-to-reach spots efficiently. Our testers spent hours researching using different models, then narrowed down the list to our top picks of the six best lightweight vacuums based on how well each one performs its most important job: cleaning your home. 

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