Is cleaning becoming too much of a hassle? Do you get exhausted dragging a big machine around your home? Vacuuming can be a lot of effort, especially if you’re using a bulky, heavy upright vacuum. The task can be strenuous and a real chore.
It may be time to switch to a lighter vacuum. We’re betting there are lots of models out there that are as powerful, but not as heavy, as your current machine. But there are some features you should consider besides weight.
In this guide we’ll show you everything you should consider before buying, and what we think are the best lightweight vacuums currently on the market.
Why Buy a Lightweight Vacuum?
Does it make a difference if your vacuum is lightweight or heavy? We definitely think it does, and we’ll show you our top reasons why.
1. They Are Portable
If you struggle to lift your vacuum up the stairs, it may be time to look at a lightweight model. Most stick and handheld vacuums weigh around three to eight pounds. This is a lot less than uprights and canisters which can weigh closer to 16 pounds.
Plus, a lighter vacuum means portability. You’ll be able to transport it around the house without a problem. With some models, you can even take them outside to clean your car.
2. Easier to Store
The two common types of lightweight vacuum cleaners are stick and handheld. Some available designs even combine both.
Most stick vacuums not only weigh less, but are also slender and compact. This means they’re easier to store in the laundry room or wherever you keep your cleaning supplies. You can tuck them away in a cupboard and still have room for your other products.
The same is true for handheld vacuums. You can put them up on a shelf where they’re easily accessible. In both cases, you’ve saved precious storage space.
3. More Efficient Cleaning
When a vacuum feels light, you can glide it around easier, and clean faster. You don’t have to put as much effort into it; it doesn’t feel like hard work. As a result, you are likely to cover a larger area in less time than you could before.
Because it’s lightweight, you can lift your vacuum to different heights too. This enables you to clean ceilings, high shelves, or drapery. It’s also easier to get down low, even underneath your furniture — hard-to-reach spots become accessible.
4. Can Reduce Lower Back Pain
Using a lightweight vacuum and the right cleaning technique helps to prevent back pain. Often with heavier upright models, it can be tempting to push and pull with your arms while bending at the waist.
This movement can strain the muscles in your back, causing pain and discomfort (1).
So, the best thing you can do is choose a lighter vacuum and use it correctly. Keep your hips and shoulders moving as you vacuum, to avoid twisting your back. You can also step forward with one foot as you clean.
How to Choose the Best Lightweight Vacuum
We obviously think that weight is important for a vacuum. However, it’s not the only factor you should think about. There are a few other features to keep in mind. These can make cleaning easier for you, so we’ve highlighted them here.
The size of a vacuum — not necessarily its weight — can make a difference. So, even if your “normal” vacuum isn’t that heavy, it might be problematic. In comparison, stick and handheld vacuums tend to be more compact, easier to handle, maneuver and store.
2. Power Input
One of the big choices you’ll have to make is whether the vacuum is corded or cordless. Both offer unique advantages. So, you’ll have to decide what makes the most sense for you.
Cordless vacuums tend to be more portable, with no power outlet to restrict movement. But you’ll want to look for one with around 30 minutes to 60 minutes of runtime. These are usually powered by lithium-ion batteries. Make sure it’s fully charged before you use it.
Don’t Overcharge Your Vacuum
With a corded vacuum, however, there’s no need to recharge. You can enjoy constant power straight from the electrical outlet. In this case, though, you want to make sure that it has a long enough power cord for your needs.
Around 20 feet to 25 feet should be enough for most homes.
3. Motorized Brush Roll
The main purpose of your vacuum will be to clean hard floors and carpet. But if you have lots of rugs, look for a machine with a motorized brush roll. This has rotating bristles that can agitate the carpet to pull out the dirt.
For a home that isn’t fully carpeted, look for a machine with a shutoff for the motorized brush roll. This will prevent the bristles from damaging unprotected floors.
4. Handheld Conversion
If you want to clean surfaces and upholstery, as well as flooring, look for a stick model that converts to a handheld. This makes your vacuum more versatile, and even more portable.
5. LED Lights
Do you have trouble seeing underneath furniture? Are there a lot of dark or shaded spots in your home? Additional lighting can help you clean more efficiently by letting you see what you might otherwise miss.
You may want to consider a vacuum with LED lights on the base. They can make a world of difference, brightening up those hard-to-see places. Models with a row of LED lights give you the best visibility.
Sometimes, you do get what you pay for. So, if you’re looking for a reliable vacuum, it is best to stick with a trustworthy, well-known brand. We’re talking about names like Dyson, Shark, Bissell, and Hoover.
These companies specialize in vacuums and cleaning products, so extensive research is part of their development. Of course, a name does not equal a guarantee. But it’s often a way to reassure yourself that you’re getting a quality product for your money.
You may also want to watch out for warranties included with the purchase. Not all manufacturers offer warranties on their products. But when they do, it’s usually an indication that they trust the design of their models and are willing to back it up.
You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your machine will be repaired or replaced if something goes wrong. One to five-year warranties are not uncommon for vacuums. Extended warranties might also be available for an additional cost.
Whether you’re choosing a handheld vacuum or a stick with handheld conversion, you’ll want to consider the accessories.
Some manufacturers include extra cleaning tools that attach to the machine. They can also help you clean other things in your home beyond your floors.
For grabbing dirt and dust from worktops and tables, look for a vacuum with a dusting brush. This has soft bristles to lightly scrub away the debris. They may be rectangular or circular, with suction provided through the middle.
An extension wand is a handy accessory for cleaning high or hard-to-reach spots. This gives you a way to vacuum drapes, upper shelves and even ceilings. Some extension wands also have a fabric strip, which can capture lint.
For cleaning sofas, mattresses, and other soft materials, look for an upholstery tool. This has bristles and a wide cleaning head to rub the fabric and remove any clinging dirt and debris.
To get into corners, along edges and into narrow spots, consider a vacuum with a crevice tool. It looks like a long, thin pipe and concentrates the suction power to capture dirt.
Pets are notorious for shedding their fur, which then sticks to everything and can be difficult to remove. Cleaning it is easier with a mini motorized tool. This allows good suction and can loosen and scrub away pet hair.
9. Swivel Steering
Upright vacuums are often rigid and inflexible. The machine moves back and forth – that’s it. It can crash into objects and then you have to lift it awkwardly to change direction. This is one of the reasons some people don’t like using them.
In contrast, many stick vacuums have swivel steering. This allows the body of the machine to flex from side to side. You can glide around objects while staying on the same cleaning path.
10. Lay-Flat Design
Another drawback of traditional style vacuums is that they aren’t the best for reaching underneath furniture. This leaves dirt and dust hiding in your home, which may, in turn, aggravate your allergies.
Many stick vacuums, on the other hand, have the ability to lay flat. This helps them to slide easily underneath low furnishings, grabbing all debris in its wake.
Some of these models have handles that both extend and fold. This allows the vacuum to lay flat without your having to crouch awkwardly. Choosing this feature will also help you avoid back injuries and uncomfortable positions.
11. Non-Marring Wheels
The wheels of some vacuum cleaners can leave streaks on your floor. These look like black skid marks and are the last thing you want when you’re cleaning your home.
Plastic wheels can be particularly bad for this. They sometimes scratch the top layer of flooring when you move the vacuum cleaner.
12. Filtration System
If you suffer from seasonal allergies or are sensitive to dust, you will benefit from a good filtration system. A lot of vacuums include washable filters. These capture allergens and prevent them from recirculating back into the air.
A HEPA filter can collect 99 percent of fine particles (4). This helps to prevent sneezing and other unpleasant symptoms that you develop when you’re exposed to allergens.
It’s also beneficial to look out for a double or triple filtration system. This ensures that dust and tiny contaminant particles don’t escape from the vacuum back into your air.
The Best Lightweight Vacuums of 2020
Our team has carried out extensive research to find the best lightweight vacuums on the market. These recommendations are the fruits of our labors reading customer feedback and product specifications. We reviewed the good, the bad, and the really bad, and these are the top seven — the best of the best.
1. Hikeren Stick Rechargeable Bagless Vacuum
Our favorite feature of this Hikeren vacuum is the LED headlights. But there is a lot more to love about it as well.
You can choose between two vacuuming modes, depending on the flooring you need to clean. Use low-speed mode for hardwood floors and high-speed for carpets.
Another great feature of this model is that it can convert into a handheld. It’s easy to detach to clean sofas, curtains and even inside your car.
It has a filter that you can wash. Just clean it with water and leave it to dry in the sunlight. Plus, it comes with two attachments: a crevice tool and brush.
Why We Love It
Sometimes it’s hard to spot dust bunnies and debris hiding out of sight. With the strip of LED headlights on the front of the vacuum, the visibility is great.
They light up the ground in front of the vacuum so you can clean dark, shaded spaces. This is great for seeing what lurks underneath furniture such as sofas and beds.
Swivel Design for Easy Maneuvering
This vacuum has a unique design that lets you clean those hard-to-reach spots. It can swivel 180 degrees to the side and also 90 degrees up and down.
The rotating head ensures it can easily move past objects. So you won’t have to lift and reposition it if there is furniture in your way. You can simply move around it.
It can also lay flat on the ground, making it easy to get underneath those same objects.
Wall Mount for Storage
The Hikeren stick is very easy to store. You attach the screws to the wall and insert them into the included mount. Then, you can hang up the device neatly.
This will save you cupboard space and keep the vacuum within easy reach whenever you need it.
Not all cordless vacs have great runtime, but this one certainly does. The 2500 mAh lithium-ion battery will keep going for an impressive 30 to 40 minutes.
A full recharge takes about three to four hours to complete. There’s an LED indicator to let you know when it’s done.
Keep In Mind
A few users have had problems with the durability of the machine. There have been complaints about broken parts after only a few uses. While this isn’t a very common grievance, it’s something to be wary of.
|Runtime||Up to 40 minutes|
2. Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Vacuum
A lot of people worry that corded vacuums can be limiting, and they can. But that’s definitely not a concern with this offering from Shark. With a power cord 25 feet long, the possibilities are practically limitless.
What’s more, this vacuum only weighs 8.2 pounds. It has 500 watts of power that provide good suction for getting rid of dirt and debris.
The swivel steering means it’s easy to glide around objects. It also converts to a handheld so that you can clean furnishings and surfaces in addition to your floors and rugs.
The dust cup holds up to 0.48 liters of dirt and debris. And once you’re finished cleaning, it’s easy to empty.
Why We Love It
Long Power Cord
The Shark Rocket has the longest power cord of any model on our list – it’s 25-feet long. Even though it’s a corded machine, you still have a lot of freedom of movement. So, you don’t have to constantly switch between different power outlets.
The handle is ergonomically designed, so it is comfortable to hold and functional. The brush roll switches are located on the handle. This makes them easy to access any time you need to adjust the speed of the vacuum or change the cleaning mode
You’ll receive four different attachments with this vacuum. The first is an extension wand, for those hard to reach high spots. There is also a dusting brush for cleaning surfaces.
Then, the pet upholstery tool will get rid of stubborn hair and fur. Finally, there’s a 12-inch crevice tool.
Two-Speed Brush Roll
The motorized brush roll makes this Shark Rocket a good choice for homes with a lot of carpeting.
You can set it to work at one of two speeds. Simply select the intensity of the brush roll depending on your specific cleaning needs at the time.
Storing this vacuum cleaner is not a problem at all. It’s compact enough for a cupboard, or you can take advantage of the provided wall mount. The handle has a storage hook too.
Keep In Mind
Small Dust Canister
The dust canister only holds up to 0.48 liters of dirt. This can fill up quite quickly, especially when you’re doing a deep clean. The size of the container means you’ll have to empty it more often.
3. Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead Vacuum
With a long runtime on a cordless vacuum, you can deep clean your home without any problems. Thankfully, this stick vacuum offers up to 60 minutes of suction power on a single charge. That should be enough to make it through plenty of rooms in your home.
Along with its excellent runtime, another great feature of this vacuum is the HEPA filtration system.
It’s lightweight at five pounds and you can easily transform it into a handheld vacuum. Plus, its low-profile is perfect for scooting underneath furniture.
You can choose from three attachments — a dusting brush as well as crevice and combination tools.
Why We Love It
We like this cordless vacuum’s runtime, which is the longest of all the vacuums on our list. You can enjoy up to 60 minutes of cleaning before it has to be charged up again. This does depend on the setting you use, though.
In total, there are three power modes: I, II and max suction. The one-hour runtime is with the first mode. On mode II, you’ll get about 20 minutes of powerful suction.
You can use the trigger to activate the vacuum and when it runs out of battery, replace it on the docking station. It takes around 3.5 hours to fully charge.
HEPA Filtration System
The HEPA filter is efficient at capturing pollen, pet dander, smoke, and other contaminants. This will keep your house clean and can limit sneezing, skin irritation, and wheezing from dust allergies.
Dyson boasts that this machine is able to trap 99.97 percent of allergens as small as 0.3 microns. It’s perfect for protecting family members that suffer from allergies or asthma.
To keep it working properly, however, it’s recommended to wash the filter unit at least once a month. Rinse it thoroughly with cold water and let it dry completely (about 24 hours). Then insert it back into the vacuum and you’re ready to go.
Three Power Modes
Not every cleaning situation requires the same amount of power. With this lean machine, you can choose from three different modes. Each cleaning mode offers a specific level of suction.
Mode I is great for every day quick cleanups, and you can use max mode for seasonal deep cleaning. Don’t forget, though, that when using a higher setting, the overall runtime will be less.
Do your kids and pets track dirt and mud into the rugs? Fret not, then. Even ground-in dirt is no problem for this vacuum cleaner.
The Dyson Cyclone V10 has a motorized cleaner head, which is good for scrubbing carpet and getting into the fibers. It also features stiff nylon bristles for loosening dirt that’s stuck deep down.
Keep In Mind
You Have to Hold the Trigger
It’s disappointing that this vacuum doesn’t have a continuous “on” switch. Some people may like the trigger for control of suction. But it doesn’t provide continuous power for deep cleans.
You’ll have to keep the button pressed down the whole time that you’re using this vacuum cleaner.
4. Bissell Featherweight Stick Bagless 2033 Vacuum
If the weight of your vacuum is your top priority, you can’t go wrong with this stick vacuum from Bissell. It only weighs three pounds – the lightest one on our list. It sure does live up to its Featherweight name.
It’s 44.25 inches high, mains operated, and with a 15-foot power cable to reach around your home. We’re big fans of the cord wraps on this machine. They keep everything neat when it’s time to pack it up and store it away.
The dust canister is easy to empty – press the button and drop the contents into the trash. There’s one simple power button on this machine, and the handle is comfortable to hold.
Why We Love It
No doubt you’re reading this article because you’re in search of a lightweight vacuum cleaner. This Bissell only weighs three pounds — the lightest of our recommendations.
It’s incredibly easy to maneuver around the home. This is a great choice for seniors or those with mobility issues.
Three Machines in One
We love that this model converts into three machines. You can use it to clean hard floors as a stick vacuum. It also converts to a handheld device for furnishings and worktops. There’s even a crevice tool you can attach for this job.
Then it’s also great for steps. The floor nozzle attaches to the handheld device and you can use it on your stairs. It’s the right width to cover almost any step in one go.
This three-way functionality makes this vacuum a versatile tool for cleaning any home.
Cord Wraps for Storage
Sometimes corded vacuum cleaners can be a bit of a hassle to store. But there are two cord wraps to keep the cables here neatly tucked away. This prevents it from getting tangled when you’re not using your vacuum.
Keep In Mind
No Brush Roll
We’re disappointed that this vacuum doesn’t have a brush roll. Some prefer to avoid these due to the risk of scratching wooden floors. But for most of us, it’s a plus to have.
Without one, this vacuum cleaner is probably not as effective on medium or long pile carpet.
5. Hoover Linx Corded SH20030 Vacuum Cleaner
Have you noticed that dust, dirt, and pet hair gather in edges or corners? No need to worry. The Hoover Linx SH20030 has special edge cleaning bristles.
This is a slick stick vacuum with cyclonic filtration. It cleans your home with its WindTunnel technology. The handle also reclines all the way back so that you can vacuum underneath furniture. It has swivel steering to glide around furnishings too.
The Hoover Linx SH20030 only weighs eight pounds, making it easy to move around. It has a wide cleaner mouth (11 inches) to capture dirt. Plus, there’s also a reusable, washable, filter.
It’s bagless, with a dust canister that’s simple to empty into the trash. You’ll receive a two-year motor warranty with this product.
Why We Love It
Edge Cleaning Bristles
The dirt that gets stuck in the corners is often the most stubborn. There are edge cleaning bristles on the vacuum base to gather up dirt and debris. This is perfect for grabbing any dust you can’t normally reach.
Motorized Brush Roll
Not every type of flooring has the same cleaning needs. Thankfully, this device does double duty. The motorized brush roll on this Hoover Linx transitions easily from hard flooring to low pile carpet.
Are you worried that your hardwood flooring might get scratched? Don’t be. You can shut off the brush roll to avoid damaging sensitive surfaces.
Turning off the motorized brush roll isn’t the only way this vacuum protects your floors. The non-marring wheels are another excellent feature.
They allow you to move the vacuum cleaner over non-carpeted flooring without worrying about causing unsightly streaks or marks.
While this is a corded vacuum, it still allows you the freedom to move around your home. The power cable is 20 feet long and will easily cover a large room. With a cord that long, you needn’t worry about constantly switching to different outlets.
Keep In Mind
Troubles With the Motor
While not a common complaint, some customers have reported problems with the vacuum’s motor after only a short time.
Thankfully, the manufacturer has included a two-year warranty on this product. Should you face any issues, Hoover will help get them sorted.
6. Dyson V7 Trigger Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
If you’re searching for a handheld vacuum for around the house and beyond, look no further. This one from Dyson is cordless and lightweight, weighing only 3.77 pounds.
It has good suction from the Dyson digital V7 motor. You can enjoy up to 30 minutes of cleaning time, thanks to the lithium-ion battery. There’s also a reusable HEPA filter to capture small dust particles.
The vacuum is compact for storage – it’s only 8.11 inches high and 5.17 inches wide. There are two speeds to choose from, and you use a trigger on the handle to activate the power. It comes with a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Why We Love It
Variety of Cleaning Tools
You can select from three different cleaning attachments based on your needs. These include the combination tool, mini motorized tool, and crevice tool.
The crevice tool is great for awkward gaps and edges. We love the combination tool for general dusting around the house.
If you have a dog or cat, you’ll love the third attachment – a mini motorized tool for collecting pet hair.
Large and Easy to Clean Canister
The dust canister is large for the size of the vacuum – it can hold up to 0.68 liters of dirt.
After cleaning, you empty it using the hygienic dirt ejector. Pull the button upward and the base of the dust canister ejects the debris. You don’t have to touch anything – it drops the contents straight into the trash.
Long Cleaning Time
For a cordless handheld vacuum, we are impressed with the cleaning time of the Dyson V7. It’s not unusual to find models that will run for only 15 or 20 minutes before needing a recharge. With this vacuum, however, you can clean constantly for up to 30 minutes, depending on your selected mode.
Keep In Mind
Small Cleaning Path
It may take a while to vacuum with this handheld. It only has a cleaning path of 4.8 inches – best for quick vacuuming tasks. This probably isn’t the machine you want to use for extensive jobs or deep cleaning.
7. Bissell Air Ram Cordless 1984 Vacuum
Vacuums can sometimes be bulky to store – but not this one. It folds down to make storage simple.
Weighing only 7.75 pounds, it can zip around the home easily. It has a swivel design for steering, as well as a lay-flat handle. It’s effortless to glide the vacuum underneath furniture and capture dust bunnies.
The 88-watt lithium-ion battery powers for up to 40 minutes of vacuuming time. You’ll know when it needs to be charged, as it has power indicator lights.
We like the multi-surface brush roll and suction sweep technology. There are even LED lights on the vacuum head to shine the way in dark areas.
Why We Love It
Features Collapsible Handle
To make this vacuum more compact for storage, you can collapse the handle. You can then tuck it away neatly and save precious storage space.
If you don’t have a power outlet in your storage cupboard, you can remove the battery when it’s time for a recharge. The main device can then be stored away out-of-view.
Just make sure your battery is ready for next time by charging it separately elsewhere.
The 0.6-liter dirt cup is removable to simply tip dirt into the trash. It has an easy empty slider that pushes out the debris so you don’t have to touch anything. You can keep it clean without worrying about getting dirty yourself.
Lay Flat Design
Who wants to crawl down on the floor to reach under furniture? Not us, that’s for sure. This vacuum is able to lay flat to the ground and fit beneath sofas, beds, and tables. The handle is also ergonomically designed for this task.
Keep In Mind
Doesn’t Convert to a Handheld
The Bissell Air Ram is the only stick model on our list that doesn’t convert to a handheld vacuum. This might be disappointing for you if you need to clean upholstery or worktops.
|Hikeren Stick||Best For Dark Spaces||6 lbs||Stick||Yes||40 min||Yes|
|Shark Rocket||Longest Cord Length||8.2 lbs||Stick||No||N/A||Yes|
|Dyson V10||Longest Runtime||5 lbs||Stick||Yes||60 min||Yes|
|Bissell Featherweight||The Lightest Weight||3 lbs||Stick||No||N/A||Yes|
|Hoover Linx||Best For Edges||8 lbs||Stick||No||N/A||No|
|Dyson V7 Trigger||Best Handheld||3.77 lbs||Handheld||Yes||30 min||N/A|
|Bissell Air Ram||Easiest To Store||7.75 lbs||Stick||Yes||40 min||No|
Let’s Wrap It Up
Having one of the best lightweight vacuums can transform your cleaning experience. They’re more portable and easier to store. They can also be easier on lower back pain.
Choosing a lightweight vacuum? Look out for the overall size and style of the vacuum. Stick and handheld models are best and conversion capability is advantageous.
Extra accessories can help you clean better. Swivel steering and a lay flat design can help reach tricky spots. You’ll also need to decide whether you prefer a corded or cordless machine. Make sure you pay attention to runtime and cord length respectively.
Do you have a favorite lightweight vacuum you want to share with us? Let us know by commenting below!