A vacuum is a necessary household tool for cleaning hard floors and carpets, but many vacuums are heavy and difficult to maneuver. Traditional vacuums can weigh up to 20 pounds, which is one reason lightweight models are becoming more popular.
Lightweight vacuums can weigh as little as 8 pounds and are easier to operate than their cumbersome counterparts. They’re also easier to carry and use on stairs, they can negotiate tight corners easily, and they take up less room in a storage closet. If looking for the best lightweight vacuum, keep reading to discover some top picks.
- BEST OVERALL: Eureka Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight Bagless Upright
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: BISSELL Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless
- UPGRADE PICK: Eureka RapidClean Pro Lightweight Cordless Vacuum
- BEST UPRIGHT: Eureka PowerSpeed Lightweight Upright Vacuum
- BEST STICK: Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST HANDHELD: Shark WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum
- BEST FOR PET HAIR: BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Lightweight Vacuum
When looking for a new lightweight vacuum, shoppers must consider the vacuum’s battery life, its filtration system, the accessories that come with it, its effectiveness, and more. Read on to learn more about what to consider before buying a lightweight vacuum.
The three basic types of lightweight vacuums on the market are upright, stick, and handheld.
- Upright vacuums can get deep into carpet fibers to clean dirt and dust. But because they tend to be larger than stick and handheld models, even a lightweight upright vacuum can be a little difficult to maneuver.
- Stick vacuums, also called cordless vacuums, allow the user to move around the house without staying tethered to an outlet. They’re often slender, which makes cleaning tight spaces and storage easier.
- Handheld vacuums, the smallest of the three, can tackle small messes or spot clean. While they’re easy to store and use, they typically have a short battery life.
At a weight between 5 to 20 pounds, lightweight vacuums weigh less than full-size units and are easier to use. Upright vacuums weigh the most (13 to 18 pounds) because they have large dust bags or bins. They also come with attachments and cleaning accessories that can add to the weight. With no dust bag and a slender “stick” profile, stick vacuums usually weigh just 4 to 7 pounds. Handheld vacuums usually weigh less than 4 pounds.
Corded vs. Cordless
Powered by rechargeable batteries, many lightweight vacuum cleaners are cordless, allowing the user to move around the house freely without being tied to an outlet. However, the batteries must be recharged.
Corded vacuums are powered by electricity. Vacuum cords are usually at least 25 feet long, but longer cords allow users to vacuum multiple areas. An automatic cord rewinder is a handy feature to look for in a corded vacuum cleaner.
In a cordless or handheld vacuum, look for a model with a battery life of at least three to four hours. Shoppers may want to consider a lightweight vacuum with a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, which charges quickly and doesn’t lose its charge when idle.
Vacuums are either bagged or bagless. A bagged vacuum sucks dirt and debris into a bag. When the bag is full, it must be thrown away and replaced. These bags do a good job of trapping dirt, but they’re less eco-friendly and more expensive than bagless options.
Bagless lightweight vacuum cleaners have a dustbin, a small container that’s part of the vacuum. When the dustbin is full, it must be emptied, so look for a vacuum with an easy-to-dump dustbin.
A bagless vacuum contains a filter to prevent dust and debris from escaping the dustbin which must be replaced every few months. The best bagless lightweight vacuums have HEPA filters, which help the vacuum retain at least 99 percent of the dust particles it suctions. For those with allergies, a HEPA filter keeps allergens from reentering the air. Although most lightweight vacuums with dustbins have a HEPA filter, always double-check.
Most of today’s lightweight vacuums come with cleaning attachments (such as a crevice tool) to help clean tight spots. An upholstery brush can be used on upholstered furniture. Many lightweight vacuums also have extension wands to access harder-to-reach places.
High-end vacuums sometimes include a mattress tool, which not only can clean dust and dander from a mattress but also vacuum the dust from ceiling fan blades.
Our Top Picks
The best lightweight vacuum cleaners are comfortable to use and powerful enough to clean your home’s floors and other surfaces in one pass. While these vacuums are available in many colors and designs, top-quality models are made of durable materials, have adequate suction, are easy to maintain, and are lightweight.
When determining these recommendations for the best lightweight vacuum, considerations included battery life, cord length, ease of emptying the dustbin, quality of the filter, and, of course, weight.
The ultra-lightweight Airspeed bagless vacuum from Eureka is an upright model that weighs just 7.7 pounds. Its powerful suction works on all floor types, and it has a 10.5-inch-wide cleaning path. Some of its best features include a quick-release handle that easily allows the user to attach the accompanying crevice tool or dusting brush and a one-touch dust cup for easy cleanup. The Airspeed can be stored easily. This vacuum comes with one washable filter, eliminating the need to purchase replacement filters.
This BISSELL Featherweight bagless vacuum is essentially three vacuums in one: a stick, handheld, and stair vacuum. Factor in its useful crevice tool and good-for-stairs floor nozzle, and it’s a super-versatile household cleaner.
Though this corded vacuum can be used on hard floors, carpets, area rugs, and even countertops, its cord is just 15 feet long, which is shorter than some. Its dirt cup holds 0.67 liters of debris, which is quite small, but it’s easy to empty. The BISSELL Featherweight Stick comes in four colors—black, blue, lime, and purple—and weighs just 3 pounds.
This Eureka RapidClean Pro is a stick vacuum that converts into a handheld vac, and it includes LED headlights to help spot dust and debris. The cordless RapidClean Pro is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts for about 40 minutes. Though some stick vacuums are top-heavy and topple easily, this product’s easy-rest feature—an indention on the back of the handle—allows the user to prop it on a countertop or table.
A cyclonic filtration system separates and traps dust, debris, and large particles in this 5.26-pound stick vacuum. It can lie flat to reach under a bed or sofa because its dust cup is on the front of the machine, not the back. The RapidClean Pro’s swivel steering allows the user to clean corners and other hard-to-reach places easily. In addition to converting into a handheld vac, the Eureka RapidClean Pro comes with a crevice tool and a two-in-one dusting brush.
Eureka’s 10-pound PowerSpeed upright vacuum is a multifloor, corded machine with a dynamic motor and brush roll for powerful cleaning and a 12.6-inch-wide nozzle tool. This product’s star feature, however, is its 1-liter, extra-large capacity dust cup, which allows ample vacuuming time before emptying the container.
The PowerSpeed has a quick-release handle that’s connected to a stretch hose for above-floor cleaning, a 7-inch-long crevice tool, a dusting brush, and an upholstery tool. The Eureka vacuum comes in two colors and can be adjusted to five different heights to suit hard floors and carpets with different pile levels.
Hoover’s ONEPWR Evolve Pet cordless upright vacuum weighs less than 9 pounds but feels much lighter when using the reclined handle, which allows the vacuum to lie flat to reach under furniture. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to 35 minutes. The vacuum packs powerful vortex suction to remove dirt and debris embedded in the carpet, and an antimicrobial brush roll and filter help prevent bacteria from growing inside the vacuum. It features an extra-large dustbin and a removable brush roll.
Shark’s handheld WANDVAC weighs just 1.4 pounds, and its tapered nozzle can pick up both fine dust and large debris. This Shark vacuum has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that’s powered by an ion charging dock that also stores the vacuum’s accessories. The WANDVAC comes with a duster crevice tool and a multisurface pet tool. Emptying the vacuum is easy thanks to a one-touch button design.
The WANDVAC is priced higher than many of its competitors, and it can’t really clean large messes. Its 0.08-quart dust cup capacity requires frequent dumping.
The BISSELL Cleanview Swivel has a triple-action brush that’s designed to pick up pet hair as well as debris and dust. Pet owners also may appreciate the vacuum’s pet hair-removing attachments, corner-cleaning tool, and an attachment that can help spot clean pet messes.
At 15 pounds, the Cleanview is one of the heavier vacuums on this list, but it features a bagless dirt bin and easy-to-maneuver swivel steering. With a 27-foot cord, users can easily cover large spaces, and its easy-empty dirt bin can hold up to 1 liter of dust.
FAQs About Lightweight Vacuums
Now that you’ve learned some of the important factors to consider when choosing the best lightweight vacuum, questions may still remain. Additional information about choosing and caring for your new vacuum appears below.
Q. What is considered a lightweight vacuum?
A vacuum that weighs less than 15 pounds is a lightweight vacuum.
Q. Is HEPA filtration essential for a vacuum?
Using a vacuum with HEPA filtration helps increase and maintain the cleanliness of your home’s air.
Q. What damages a vacuum’s battery?
Storing a vacuum in direct sunlight or near any heat source can damage a vacuum’s battery.
Q. How can I prolong a vacuum’s battery life?
Store the vacuum at room temperature, regularly clean the filter, and keep the battery charged.