If you live in a small home, it doesn’t mean that you can’t reap the rewards of a good vacuum. But where do you begin when choosing one that’s appropriate for your limited space?
Are there any differences between vacuums for smaller areas and those for larger houses? Which factors should you consider to ensure that you’re saving money and energy while keeping your home spic and span?
Vacuums for Small Apartments: What to Consider
Most vacuums on the market are built with larger spaces in mind. But you could save money and effort by choosing wisely. There are a few things you should focus on, to be sure that your vacuum suits your apartment.
- Dimensions: You don’t want a vacuum that won’t fit comfortably inside your home, so size is the first thing to consider. It’s easy to do when you’re in a brick and mortar store, but it can be difficult to gauge when shopping online. So, for your convenience, we’ve listed the dimensions of each of our recommendations below.
- Versatility: The best way to get value for money is to buy a multi-purpose machine. That way, you won’t need different tools for each of your cleaning jobs, so you’ll save cash and storage space. Multi-floor machines are the most common. However, you can branch out to various surfaces and even wet/dry capacity too.
- Storage: Speaking of space, consider how simple storing or stowing your vacuum will be. Don’t forget to account for its components and attachments. Smaller vacuums will be less of a hassle than rigid models or those requiring assembly.
- Portability: You may not have a great need for a portable vacuum inside your apartment, but think about how you will get it there. If you live in a high rise building, delivering a large or heavy vacuum could be problematic. It may even cost you extra! In comparison, a portable vacuum will take up less room and be cheaper too.
- Noise: If possible, find out how much noise your vacuum will make. This is an important consideration if you live with others in a cramped space. Most standard vacuums register at approximately 70 decibels. So if you can, opt for something quieter (1).
Types of Vacuums for Small Apartments
You can pick any vacuum that you prefer, but we think some types are more suited to small homes than others. Here’s what we recommend:
Stick vacuums cost more than traditional vacuum cleaners, but are by far the most convenient. They’re built to compete with the suction power of larger models, as compactly as possible. These models almost always come with mountable docks for easy storage.
Another great benefit to sticks is their versatility. More often than not, they convert into handheld vacuums and are cordless. It’s also common to find sticks with multi-purpose attachments.
- Cordless options.
- Typically wall-mountable.
- Charging may be required.
- Not as durable as traditional models.
A canister vacuum won’t cost you an exorbitant amount, and you’ll get great value. They’re often overlooked in small homes because it’s believed that their shape makes them difficult to stow. To the contrary, canisters can be dismantled — an advantage you won’t get from most other vacuums.
Canisters are versatile too. They tend to come with an array of useful attachments for use on various surfaces and in tight spots. You also won’t lack suction power, and they’re lighter than uprights for better portability.
- Can be dismantled.
- Attachments included.
- Reasonably priced.
- Lighter than uprights.
- Highest capacity.
- Assembly required.
- Not ergonomic.
Robot vacuums are the most advanced models you can buy. They’re tiny too, so storage won’t be a problem at all, even if you live in a single-room home. No labor is necessary with robot vacuums, because they’re programmed to do all of the work for you.
Appealing features include scheduling, remote control and monitoring, automatic floor adjustments and built-in safety features. They’re quieter than larger vacuums as well. A drawback, however, is that they’re not versatile.
- Automated functions.
- Less noise.
- Easy storage.
- Charging required.
- Small capacity.
- For floors only.
We can’t talk about space conservation without mentioning handhelds. These are perhaps the easiest to store of them all, because they can fit almost anywhere. Like sticks, they’re often wall-mountable, though some come with table-top stations for easy access.
Handhelds are perfect for small tasks, but they’re not intended for deep floor cleaning. So, if you’re pressed for space, or can’t invest in a more advanced model, these are an excellent supplement to sweeping.
Their greatest benefit is that they’re the most affordable vacuum cleaners on the market. So long as you use them as intended, they’ll go a long way in your small home.
- Easiest to store.
- Most portable.
- Cordless options available.
- Small capacity.
- Charging required.
- Not intended for deep cleaning.
Benefits of Vacuums for Small Apartments
Choosing a vacuum for small apartments has more benefits than you may realize. Here’s why you should opt for a compact model instead of a standard domestic one:
- You’ll save money: Even if you opt for a stick vacuum, you could still save money because they use less electricity. Canisters save you money on tools and attachments, while handhelds are the most affordable of all vacuums. Less really is more in this case.
- Use less energy: There are two sides to this. For one, compact vacuum cleaners are lighter and easier to operate. Plus, since your space is smaller, you’ll spend less time cleaning — less energy expended.
- Better for the environment: Cordless vacuums are green because they run on batteries. It’s also likely that your vacuum will have reusable filters or dust bags, since their capacity will be lower.
- Reduced maintenance: Sure, the lower the capacity the more time you’ll have to spend clearing your machine. However, since your place is small, you will have less to clean anyway. So your vacuum won’t fill up as fast. And, if you use a handheld alongside sweeping, its small capacity will go a long way.
- They’ll last longer: Less frequent use will prolong your vacuum’s lifespan. You won’t have to pay for repairs or replacement parts as often, so you’ll save money too. This is significant for sticks, which don’t last long with excessive use.
The Best Vacuums for Small Apartments of 2020
The only thing left to do is to go shopping. We’ve spent hours researching the best vacuums for small apartments — from scouring manufacturer specs to reading product reviews. We chose these according to their utility, size, affordability and customer feedback.
1. Eureka HyperClean
You can use this stick vacuum for all your needs, from carpets to car interiors. It’s got a 220-watt motor and will last you for 30 minutes a run. You can boost it to MAX mode for extra power with the push of a button.
This model only weighs 6.5 pounds. Assembly is quick and easy, and it converts into a handheld vacuum. The dust cup has a release button, and there’s a washable anti-allergen filter for easy maintenance.
Two other included accessories are a crevice tool and a 2-in-1 upholstery tool. The value for money you get with this model is excellent.
Why We Love It
At just 6.5 pounds, this model is incredibly light, even by stick vacuum standards. It not only makes operating and moving the vacuum easier, but saves you effort in storage too. You could mount or stow this vacuum almost anywhere without straining to retrieve it.
If you need an extra suction boost, you can easily switch this model’s power from normal to MAX. It’s great for stubborn dirt or problem areas, or simply faster, more efficient cleaning.
This stick vacuum is easy to empty thanks to the release button for the dust cup. The dust cup detaches effortlessly for when you need to give it a rinse. We also like the washable filter, which saves you money on replacements.
Keep In Mind
Better for Carpets
Many customers say that while this vacuum is great for carpets and fabrics, it struggles a bit when it comes to hard floors. It might also hiccup over larger debris, like cat litter. So, it’s best suited for light or moderate cleaning.
It’s far more affordable than high-range stick vacuums, but you get what you pay for. There is some criticism toward the durability of this model. However, treat it with care and don’t overuse it to prolong its use.
|Dimensions||11 inches by 11 inches by 44.3 inches|
|Features||Handheld convertible, MAX mode, 30 minute run time, LED headlight, rubber wheel, detachable battery|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, 2-in-1 upholstery tool, washable anti-allergen filter|
2. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
Dyson is a top choice in vacuuming and the V10 Absolute is a customer favorite. It’s a powerful vacuum that gives you up to an hour’s worth of suction when charged. It features the Torque Drive cleaner head for deep penetration of carpets, while a soft roller is perfect for hard floors.
There are three power modes to choose from. You can easily dock or mount this vacuum so it saves space too. It converts into a handheld and is suitable for most surfaces.
Why We Love It
Great for Carpets
The Torque Drive cleaner head is designed to dig deep into carpet fibers for more effective cleaning. Not all stick vacuums will have this facility. If you live in a carpeted or multi-floor apartment, you should give this one a try.
Its soft roller doesn’t only pick up more dirt, it preserves hard floors as well.
Included with this vacuum is a wall mount that’s easy to install and use. All you have to do is drop your Dyson into it. It keeps your vacuum out of the way and within reach for when you need it.
It also serves as a convenient, space-saving charging station for this vacuum.
One Hour Run Time
An hour is a lot for a stick vacuum. It’s more than sufficient for small apartments and exceeds the run time of most other sticks.
Keep In Mind
Suction vs Battery
Users note that when you boost the suction, the vacuum’s battery drains. So, if you want to get your full hour, you’ll have to operate this vacuum on its lowest setting. You’ll still get sufficient suction if you do.
Another criticism is that the dust cup is a little finicky. Removing it is challenging at first and will take some practice. Maintenance might be a hassle because of this, but overall feedback is good regardless.
|Dimensions||9.5 inches by 10.1 inches by 49.2 inches|
|Power||525 watts / Max. 150 air watts|
|Features||Handheld convertible, three suction modes, 60 minutes run time, Torque Drive cleaner head, soft roller brush|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, combination tool, mini soft dusting brush, mini motorized tool, wall-mountable charging dock|
3. Audew Cordless Handheld
If you’re looking to save space, effort and money too, have a look at this handheld vacuum. It’s one of the most budget-friendly models we’ve ever seen, and you get amazing value for money.
This ergonomically designed vacuum is capable of cleaning all surfaces, and liquids too. Its battery, which comes with an indicator light, lasts for up to 30 minutes. At 3500 pascals, it’s a powerful handheld with impressive suction.
It comes with a washable HEPA filter and a few handy accessories. You’ll get a brush suction nozzle, crevice attachment, extension hose, adapter, and a carrying bag. It’s a great option for pet-friendly homes.
Why We Love It
This is a versatile handheld vacuum that you can use all around your home. We think it’s great that it can clean spills. Wet/dry capacity is always handy, but not as common as you may think.
Handhelds are limited in their range. So, the addition of an extension hose will make a big difference in what and how you clean. This model has more reach than others of its kind.
It’s a great budget option. This is a powerful vacuum that hasn’t lost any of its efficiency in its low cost. We recommend this model as a supplement to larger machines. It also works as a cost-effective tool for tidying up small messes in your home.
Keep In Mind
We were surprised to find out that this vacuum registers at approximately 80 decibels. Most traditional machines don’t even reach such noise levels, so for a handheld, it’s excessively high.
It won’t deafen you and shouldn’t cause discomfort. But it’s simply worth noting so that you know what you’re in for.
Customers say that this model is smaller than they expected it to be. It’s lightweight, easy to use and does its job well. However, it’s not suitable for large messes and could struggle with stubborn debris.
|Dimensions||13.58 inches by 4.13 inches|
|Features||Washable HEPA filter, a battery indicator light|
|Accessories||Brush suction nozzle, crevice attachment, extension hose, adapter, carry bag|
4. Shark Rocket DeluxePro
This light Shark stick vacuum weighs in at approximately 9 pounds. It converts into a handheld and comes with a duster crevice tool and a pet-multi tool. We recommend it to pet owners as a multi-purpose and versatile vacuum for all your needs.
More features include swivel steering, an extra-large dust cup and LED headlights. This model is designed to retain its suction power and is suitable for all floor types. Bonus accessories include a wall-mount and a Hard Floor Hero attachment.
Why We Love It
Your vacuum is designed to help you tidy up after your pets. You can use it to clean your floors, furniture and upholstery. The included crevice tool will help you reach tricky spots too.
Hard Floor Hero
This model is also worth considering if you have hard floors in your apartment. The Hard Floor Hero attachment cleans fine and stubborn dirt from your smooth floors. We like that this vacuum is an all-rounder.
Controlling this vacuum is easy, and this feature comes in handy in cramped spots. You won’t struggle to maneuver this machine around your furniture. The swivel steering will save yourself a lot of effort and frustration.
Keep In Mind
Some users mention that this stick makes a fair bit of noise. It’s not the loudest on the market, but it is something that you (and your pets) will have to work around.
This is not the most ergonomic of vacuums. Customers, especially petite users, mention some hassle in operating it. It may take some getting used to.
|Dimensions||10.25 inches by 13 inches by 47.5 inches|
|Features||Handheld convertible, Advanced Swivel Steering, LED headlights, extra-large dust cup|
|Accessories||Pet multi-tool, duster crevice tool, Hard Floor Hero attachment, wall mount|
5. Atrix Turbo Red
Here’s a canister that won’t take up much room and has all the features you need for efficient vacuuming. It includes a HEPA filter, so it’s a good option for deep cleaning. The variable speed motor makes versatile cleaning easier, and gives you more control.
This is a multi-surface vacuum that you can use on fabrics and upholstery too. It only weighs 10.9 pounds and is small for hassle-free storage. Its telescopic wand has 17 settings, and an indicator light tells you when the bag needs maintenance.
You get an array of attachments too. These include a floor tool, turbo brush, dust brush, upholstery nozzle and crevice nozzle.
Why We Love It
What this canister lacks in size, it makes up for in versatility. You get more accessories than is usual with canisters, and each one is useful. Switch between them for reach, hard floors, fabrics, carpets or tight spots.
You won’t need much room or closet space to store this little canister. Storage is easy, even if you don’t have a designated spot for it. Though it’s smaller than many, if not most canisters, it’s not lacking any power or utility at all.
It may be small, but we think this model is a good choice if you’re interested in deep cleaning. It has all the tools you need, including HEPA filtration for fresher air. It’s handy in a small space.
Keep In Mind
A few users have mentioned that this vacuum is surprisingly loud given its small size. Regardless, customers are extremely satisfied with its efficiency. The power you get from it is worth this minor drawback.
Users say that this vacuum heats up quickly, so take care not to use it for extensive periods. Give it a break in between bouts of cleaning to preserve its quality and prevent failures.
|Dimensions||18 inches by 8.5 inches by 12 inches|
|Features||HEPA filtration, variable speed motor, dust bag indicator light, telescopic wand|
|Accessories||Floor tool, turbo brush, round dust brush, upholstery nozzle, crevice nozzle, 2 HEPA bags, accessory holder, HEPA exhaust motor filter and cover, internal pre-motor filter and cover|
6. Shark IonFlex 2X
The great thing about this Shark is that it has a backup battery so you get more run time. What’s even better is that you can use one battery while the other charges, so you’ll save time too.
This model has many more cool features, like Multi-Flex technology for increased maneuverability. It also has DuoClean Technology and smart response, to deep clean and preserve your carpets and hard floors.
You get a duster crevice tool and an upholstery tool, as well as all the charging components you need.
Why We Love It
Longer Run Time
We like that this stick has a battery pack that you can alternate between. You won’t have to wait between cleaning bouts for the batteries to recharge. You can charge one, while the other runs.
Plus, depending on your setting, each battery could last for a maximum of 23 minutes.
This means that the wand of this stick is bendable. It increases the maneuverability of the vacuum as a whole. That especially comes in handy when cleaning awkward or tight areas.
This vacuum is made for both carpets and hard floors. DuoClean technology preserves the condition of both. This model’s head also adjusts to your floors using a patented Smart Response system of settings.
Keep In Mind
Users are happy with the efficiency of this vacuum, but some find the attachments to be unsatisfactory. A few customers say that the accessories are flimsy and difficult to connect.
Customers noticed that the dust cup, while easily emptied, can’t disconnect for rinsing. There are ways to work around this, but maintaining the dust cup isn’t easy.
|Dimensions||13.4 inches by 10.2 inches by 45.9 inches|
|Power||300 watts / 115 air watts|
|Features||Handheld convertible, MultiFlex technology, DuoClean technology, Smart Response System, Ion Power Pack|
|Accessories||Duster crevice tool, upholstery tool|
7. Eufy Boost IQ RoboVac
Last, but not least, we recommend this robot vacuum to any looking for effortless cleaning. This product takes care of floor cleaning for you, so you don’t have to lift a finger.
You get 1300 pascals of suction for up to 100 minutes run time. It’s small enough to fit under your furniture and has advanced features for even easier cleaning. Protective sensors prevent falls and bumps. It also has an anti-scratch cover and is a self-charging machine.
Accessories include extra filters, a remote control with batteries, a cleaning tool, cable ties and four side brushes.
Why We Love It
Would you believe that this vacuum operates at only 55 decibels? It’s effective cleaning that makes the same noise as a standard microwave. This is a peaceful option for your small home.
You can adjust what you need this robot vacuum to do. Choose between auto, spot, edge or single room mode for precise, concentrated cleaning.
No effort is required on your part, but if you’d like to adjust your robot vacuum, you can do so from a distance. It comes with a handy and easy to use remote.
Keep In Mind
Struggles With Dark Floors
This vacuum’s sensors don’t work well on dark floors. If you have black carpets or tiles in your home, you may find that this model isn’t as effective as it should be. It will still work, but it won’t be as accurate.
It Might Get Stuck
No robot vacuum is perfect, so every once in a while you might have to help this one find its way. Users say it sometimes gets confused and needs a nudge in the right direction.
|Dimensions||12.8 inches by 12.8 inches by 2.85 inches|
|Power||15 watts / Battery: 2600mAh Li-ion, DC14.4V|
|Features||Remote control, anti-drop technology, anti-bump technology, four modes, 55 decibels|
|Accessories||Cable ties, four side brushes, extra filters, remote control with batteries, cleaning tool|
|Eureka HyperClean||Customer Favourite||11″ x 11″ x 44.3″||6.5 lbs||220 W||Handheld convertible, MAX mode, 30-min run time, LED headlight, rubber wheel, detachable battery||Crevice tool, 2-in-1 upholstery tool, washable anti-allergen filter|
|Dyson Cyclone V10||Easiest Storage||9.5″ x 10.1″ x 49.2″||5.9 lbs||525 W||Handheld convertible, three suction modes, 60 -mins run time, Torque Drive cleaner head, soft roller brush||Crevice tool, combination tool, mini soft dusting brush, mini motorized tool, wall-mountable charging dock|
|Audew Cordless||Most Affordable||13.58″ x 4.13″||1.43 lbs||120 W||Washable HEPA filter, a battery indicator light||Brush suction nozzle, crevice attachment, extension hose, adapter, carry bag|
|Shark Rocket||Best For Pets||10.25″ x 13″ x 47.5″||9.1 lbs||500 W||Handheld convertible, Advanced Swivel Steering, LED headlights, extra-large dust cup||Pet multi-tool, duster crevice tool, Hard Floor Hero attachment, wall mount|
|Atrix Turbo||Best Compact Canister||18″ x 8.5″ x 12″||10.9 lbs||1400 W||HEPA filtration, variable speed motor, dust bag indicator light, telescopic wand||Floor tool, turbo brush, round dust brush, upholstery nozzle, crevice nozzle, 2 HEPA bags, accessory holder, HEPA exhaust motor filter and cover, internal pre-motor filter and cover|
|Shark IonFlex||Most Convenient||13.4″ x 10.2″ x 45.9″||8.7 lbs||300 W / 115 air W||Handheld convertible, MultiFlex technology, DuoClean technology, Smart Response System, Ion Power Pack||Duster crevice tool, upholstery tool|
|Eufy Boost IQ||Time Saver||12.8″ x 12.8″ x 2.85″||5.85 lbs||15 W||Remote control, anti-drop technology, anti-bump technology, four modes, 55 decibels||Cable ties, four side brushes, extra filters, remote control with batteries, cleaning tool|
Less Is More
You don’t have to live in a mansion to reap the benefits of sophisticated vacuum technology. There are vacuum cleaners that suit your space, no matter its size, flooring or storage. So long as you purchase a model that’s compact and easy to store, it won’t be a burden in your home.
Which one of our top picks do you think is the best? How small is your home and what do you need from a vacuum cleaner? Your comments and questions are welcome, so leave them for us below.