Big or small, your space is going to get dirty. The difference is the fact that you can easily store away a handheld vacuum cleaner in one while you’re scratching your head on where to find a compact one that can perform as well as its bigger siblings or robotic ones. Well, let’s be honest here. Small vacuums are never going to be as powerful as full-sized ones. But there are pint-sized models that are powerful enough to get most jobs done. The only problem is, finding the right vacuum that will fulfill your needs and easily store away once you’re done. Which is why we’ve listed down the best small vacuum cleaners for your small apartment.
Top 10 Vacuum Cleaners For Small Apartments
1. Dirt Devil SD20000RED Simpli-StikBest Bagless Vacuum Cleaner For Small Apartment
The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stick Vacuum is an innovative model that has been perfectly designed to fit small apartments and limited budgets. For less than $40 (on sale, you can get it for less than $20), you can get an all-in-one vacuum that features a 1.25 Amp motor. By detaching the main body of the vacuum from the stick, you transform this unit into a handy, er, hand vacuum for on-the-spot cleaning. With the onboard crevice tool, you transform the vacuum into a unit that can clean tight spaces, along with the edges of window sills as well as electronics.
This vacuum weighs less than 4 pounds with built-in smooth-rolling wheels. It’s going to make transporting it from one room into another. Even better, this vacuum comes with a washable filter. What’s the catch then? It only has a small hole that sucks all the dirt in so you have to make sure that you run the vacuum directly over every inch of the floor. Also, it doesn’t feature a motorized brush for deep cleaning carpets. Also, it’s around 2 feet high which isn’t ideal for tall individuals unless they don’t mind bending over while vacuuming.
- 3-in-1 vacuum
- Very affordable
- Small suction hole
- Not for really tall individuals
- Not for thick, plush carpets
2. Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum CleanerBest Vacuum Cleaners For Small Spaces
Compared to the Dirt Devil stick vacuum, this one from Hoover costs 5x more. But it also offers more features for that amount of money. The Linx BH50010 is a cordless vacuum that runs on a fade-free lithium-ion battery. And have we mentioned that the battery is taken out for charging? Which means you can have an extra one on hand and keep one charging while you use the other. The vacuum is very “flexible” with its extreme recline handle that lets you clean under furniture without having to push your sofa, bed, or whatever heavy thing is in your apartment.
The edge cleaning bristles are easily able to clean edges, as the name suggests instead of having the dirt pushed to the sides. There’s a fuel gauge that lets you know how much power is left. And it uses the Hoover WindTunnel technology and cyclonic filtration which lifts dirt from your floor and sucks it right into your vacuum. Plus, it can do both bare floors and carpets! However, there is no attachment to help you clean hard-to-reach places such as tight corners. Also, to give it that slim profile, the canister is a bit on the small side. The extra battery and charger (if you wish to get it) cost almost as much as the vacuum itself.
- Extreme recline handle
- Long runtime – 30 minutes
- Strong suction
- Extra battery and charger are expensive
- Small canister
- No hose attachment
3. VonHaus 2 in 1 Stick Vacuum
Like the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stick Vacuum, the VonHaus 2-in-1 can be transformed from a stick vacuum to a handheld vac. It also comes with a crevice tool to help you clean the spaces in tight corners as well as edges of delicate electronics. But there are several other things that make this vacuum stand out in our eyes. This baby comes with a few other accessories aside from crevice tools; you also get an extension tube, a shoulder strap, and a mini brush.
The vacuum is powered by a 5.5 Amps motor with 14 KPA of suction power. The dust container has a 1.3-liter capacity. The quick release cord is a lovely 19.5 feet long. And the filtration system features a HEPA filter which can remove 99.97% of all particles that are as small as 3 microns in size. However, this is not for carpet cleaning. It is designed for cleaning hardwood floors. If you want the rotating brush accessory for your carpet, it’ll cost you as much as a brand new vacuum. Also, we noticed that the attachments seem to pop off easily. It would be better if there was a lock or latch to ensure they stayed put until you were done.
- Lots of accessories included
- The large capacity dust container
- HEPA filter
- Not for carpet cleaning
- Rotating brush accessory costs as much as the vacuum
- Attachments pop off easily
4. Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G
The Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite is a canister vacuum that’ll get any spot of your apartment as clean as a whistle, whether its carpet, rugs, or bare floors. At less than 9 pounds with big built-in wheels, you can drag it (you shouldn’t) from one end of your apartment to the other without breaking a sweat. It’s extremely maneuverable with an extra long 20-foot cord. It has the power and suction of an upright vacuum along with roller brushes, fingertip controls, and lots of accessories including 2 extension wands and 2 specialty attachments for cleaning stairs and upholstery.
We like the fact that you can easily wrap the cord around the cord wind when storing. The high filtration dust bag ensures you don’t get in contact with the dirt. And the unit even features a blower port for blowing away dirt and debris outdoors (leaf blower, anyone?). However, you’ll need to make sure to replace the bags once full to keep the vacuum working properly which adds to the cost of ownership. The hose also kinks a bit too easily which can get frustrating. Also, it is quite noisy.
- Lots of accessories included
- Blower Port
- Extra long cord
- Dust bag needs replacing frequently
- Hose kinks too easily
5. Hoover SH20030 Cyclonic Stick Vac
The Hoover SH20030 is the perfect choice if you have multiple floor types in your small apartment. This stick vacuum comes with a powered brush roll as well as Cyclonic Technology for great suction and cleaning. It’s lightweight and has a low profile to enable you to clean under most furniture. It has an 11-inch wide cleaning path. It’s great for bare floors and carpets (though not deep cleaning) as well as in pet hair removal. You might have noticed how similar this looks to the Hoover Cordless Linx.
That’s because it’s almost exactly the same except for one thing – this one’s corded. And because it relies on a steady power source that never runs out, this vacuum has better performance (read that: suction) compared to the Linx. However, it does not have any attachments for help cleaning above floors. And the dirt container is a bit on the small side.
- Wide cleaning path
- Great suction
- Low profile
- Not for deep cleaning carpet
- No attachments available
- Dirt container is small
6. Bissell Zing 4122
The Bissell Zing 4122 is another canister vacuum that caught our eye. And it’s not just because of the low price. It features a Multi-Surface Floor Nozzle for cleaning different floor types such as rugs, carpets, and hardwood floors. It also has a telescoping wand for extra maneuverability, enabling you to get at those hard-to-reach areas. And once you’re done, just push a button to get the cord to rewind on its own and then store it away.
Even better, this vacuum comes with a variable suction control and a full bag indicator. Also, this is a bagged vacuum which, as you know, is an added cost. To help with that, Bissell sells this with one bag in the canister along with three extra ones for future use. However, once you run out, you’ll need to shell out money for replacements and these can be expensive. Also, the cord is a bit on the short side. Take note that while thus vacuum comes with attachments, they seem to be cheaply made.
- Telescoping Wand
- Comes with extra bags
- Automatic cord winder
- Cheap accessories
- Expensive replacement bags
- Short cord
7. Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson is the master of suction and would probably be in our number one spot if it weren’t so expensive. But we do admit that the cost is very much worth it if you have the budget. This stick vacuum is cordless, powered by a lithium-ion battery with a run time of 40 minutes, every minute of which provides you with fade-free suction. It features a direct-drive cleaner head for deep cleaning your carpet and comes with soft roller cleaner head for large debris and fine dust on your bare floors. The HEPA filtration system makes sure that any air it expels is clean.
The filter, by the way, is a washable lifetime filter. Other accessories you get include a combination tool, a crevice tool, and a mini soft dusting brush. The docking station makes charging the vacuum easy. It can even hold two attachments for easy storage. Plus, if needed, you can transform this into a handheld vacuum. However, as we’ve mentioned, it costs a ton of money and you can’t replace the battery. Also, it requires you to pull the trigger the entire time you are running the vacuum and this could tire your hand due to the grip.
- Powerful suction
- Lots of accessories
- Washable lifetime HEPA filter
- Can’t replace the battery
- Very expensive
- Gripping the vacuum can get tiring
8. Shark DuoClean Rocket HV382
If the Dyson V8 is too much for your bank account, you can opt for the Shark DuoClean Rocket which has much of the same features. With its DuoClean Technology, you can dig out dirt from thick plush carpet using the bristle brush and clean up bare floors using the additional soft brush roll. This unit also transforms into a hand vacuum for above-the-floor cleaning.
It comes with a Pet Multi-Tool, Duster Crevice Tool, and a Wall Mount Storage Hook. It also features LED lights on the hand vac and nozzle so you can easily see debris under your furniture. All that for a third of Dyson’s price. However, the dust container is fairly small. It doesn’t stand up on its own (though that’s why it has a wall mount). And this doesn’t come with a HEPA filter.
- DuoClean Technology
- Comes with lots of accessories
- LED lights
- Not a HEPA filter
- Small dust container
- Can’t stand on its own
9. Bissell Zing Bagless Canister Vacuum
You’ve probably already noticed that we already have one Bissell canister vacuum. Aside from the fact that this is a bagless vacuum, there are several other differences between the two that warranted this unit a spot on our list. Yes, this model is designed with multi-surface cleaning and automatic cord rewind. However, it also comes with an air flow regulator, a combination crevice tool, and an easy empty dirt cup. In addition, this unit uses three-stage filtration – dirt cup filters, as well as a post-motor filter, ensure that no dirt and dust particles escape back into the air.
These filters are reusable (washable). And with a transparent dust container, it’s easy to see when you need to empty it out. The vacuum has powerful suction and a telescoping wand for increased maneuverability. However, the hose seems to keep falling off which is frustrating and the cord is on the short side. Plus, the added accessories are still flimsy.
- Easy to clean canister and filters
- Air flow regulator
- Automatic cord rewind
- Hose keeps falling off
- Accessories are still a bit cheap
10. Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away
Yes, this is another Shark DuoClean vacuum. But aside from the huge price difference (almost $100 more for this one), there are other things that merit talking about with the Shark NV803. This is a 3-in-1 upright vacuum that can be used as a handheld vac as well as a canister vac. With a 30-foot long cord, you’re definitely going to reach all points of the room that needs cleaning without having to unplug. The cleaning path may not be wide – only 8.5 inches – but the NV803 comes with powerful suction as well as a bristle brush for deep cleaning carpets and a soft brushroll for hard floors.
While this vacuum also features a HEPA filter, it also uses Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology to ensure that 99.9% of all allergens sucked into the vacuum stay there. LED headlights help you easily spy hidden debris. And the extendable under appliance wand ensures that you can really get into those hard-to-reach places like underneath your oven. You also get the following accessories: pet power brush, pet multi-tool, duster crevice tool, and an accessory bag.
However, the container is still fairly small. The width of the head is on the small side as well so you may need to do more passes to cover everything. And the foam roller can be difficult to clean.
- Lots of accessories included
- 30-foot long cord
- 3-in-1 vacuum
- Hard to clean the foam roller
- Narrow cleaner head
- Small dust container
Small Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
When you’ve got limited space, you need to make sure that you make the most out of what you’ve got. That means looking for the smallest appliances that can perform as well as (or nearly as well as) the bigger ones. With vacuum cleaners, it’s easy to see why bigger is better. They are often built with bigger motors, more suction power, and bigger waste containers.
But that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find decent compact-sized models that will provide you with the amount of cleaning you need and be easy enough to store away in your tiny, shoebox apartment. The only problem is how to find it. That’s where we come in. To help you navigate the world of small vacuum cleaners, we’ve constructed a guide that shows you what features are hot and what are not.
What’s the very first thing that I should consider when buying a small vacuum cleaner?
Size matters. We’ve already mentioned this: you want a vacuum cleaner that can be easily stored away but powerful enough to clean your apartment the way you want it to be cleaned. You’ll also want something that’s not too small that you end up emptying the waste container more times than you can count in one cleaning session.
In a small apartment, most upright vacuums may be too bulky which is probably why the more compact stick and canister vacuums are more popular. Canister vacuums like the Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G are usually as powerful as upright ones but aren’t as bulky. The long and allows you to clean hard-to-reach areas and can do a decent job of maintaining both bare floors and carpeted ones.
Stick vacuums like the Dirt Devil SD20000RED Simpli-Stik, on the other hand, are less powerful but can still provide decent cleaning. As an added bonus, this is the easiest to store (bar handheld vacuums) because you can easily tuck it in the corner of any closet after each use.
What about handheld vacuums? Well, these babies are handy enough (excuse us the pun) but they are more suitable for on-the-spot and on-the-go cleaning. They aren’t ideal for deep cleaning which means you’ll still need a bigger vacuum on hand.
What will you be cleaning?
Obviously, you’ll be cleaning your apartment. But you need to be more specific than that. What kind of floors do you have? Cleaning bare floors is way different from cleaning carpets. And even then, you’ll need to consider what kind of carpet you have. Thick plush carpets are on an entirely different level. We haven’t even touched on upholstery. If you have a mixture of different surfaces in your home, you’ll need to look for a small vacuum cleaner that can perform well on different floor types.
Another point of consideration is what kind of “messes” will it be cleaning. Pets are the center of our world and the bane of our existence, at least when it comes to cleaning up after them. If you have pets inside the home, you’ll need a vacuum that’s able to deal with pet hair. Not all vacuums are able to do a decent job on this.
Do you want a corded model or cordless?
Cables can get in the way of a good cleaning session. Going cordless will enable you to have more mobility and maneuverability. However, you will have to contend with the limited runtime, though some can have as much as 40 minutes of run time like the Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner. And for some, the amount of power provided by a battery just doesn’t compare to a corded unit which, as you well know, has access to unlimited power.
If you’re going with a corded unit, you need to make sure that it is long enough to allow you to clean an entire room without having to unplug in the middle of your cleaning session. Both types have distinct advantages and disadvantages. You’ll have to weigh them both against your personal preferences, needs, and storage options.
Bag or bagless?
Vacuums can either be bagged or bagless. Bagged vacuums like the Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G are simply those that use a removable dirt/dust bag (hence the name). Once filled, you can throw away the bag which reduces your contact with allergens. However, you’ll need to keep replacing the bag which is an added cost of ownership.
Bagless vacuums, on the other hand, come with a waste container that you can empty out everytime it becomes full. Because this type of vacuum does not require you to replace the container, it is a more eco-friendly and convenient option. However, it will require a filtration system to clean the dust from the vacuum. Unless the filters are washable, you’ll need to replace them every few months as well. The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away, for example, is a bagless vacuum that uses washable HEPA filters.
What other factors should I consider?
If you want a vacuum that is able to deep clean your apartment, you’ll need one that features a motorized brush. This means that the brush comes with a dedicated motor that will spin the brush with more force, enabling you to clean thick plush carpet fibers with ease. Some models such as the Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner has a rotating brush that comes as an accessory to enable you to do some deep cleaning on carpets.
With a vacuum, you want the dirt and dust to be sucked into the machine. You definitely don’t want to have all that going back into the air when you’ve finished cleaning. To prevent polluted air from escaping, you’ll want to get a vacuum with a good filtration system. Preferably one with HEPA filters like the VonHaus 2 in 1 Stick Vacuum.
HEPA filters are able to catch 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. This is particularly useful if you or someone in your apartment has allergies. You might also want to make sure that the filters inside your vacuum are reusable and easy to clean. Replacing filters can cost a lot, around $10 per filter, which is an added expense over time.
Accessories will increase your vacuum’s versatility which is ideal if you have multiple areas to clean and a variety of surfaces. Since you’re going to be buying a compact sized unit, it’s important that your model has available attachments that will allow you to make the most out of your purchase. These could be attachments for cleaning high ceilings, upholstery, and curtains. For example, the Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G already comes with a rotating brush, two extension wands, and 2 specialty brushes.
It doesn’t matter if a small vacuum checks all of your needs and wants if you can’t afford to buy it. You can expect certain brands such as Dyson to cost more than others like Hoover. High-end brands typically have the technology and features that will make both cleaning and storage easy. Some models will have a higher price tag because it offers more accessories. While it would be great to get a vacuum that has all the bells and whistles, it’s important that you only buy what you can afford that also meets all of your cleaning needs.