Moving into a new apartment or studios for school or work? If you’re like most of those people, you’ll need to buy a set of household supplies and electronic appliances to outfit your new home. Whether you have high pile carpeting, vinyl tiles, hardwood floors or have furry friends at home, you’ll save time with a vacuum cleaner that’s right for the size of your small apartment or studio.
In this article, we’ve brought together the 10 best vacuums for cleaning small to medium sized apartments and studios alike. We’ve ranked them according to their cleaning performance, versatility, built-quality, number of attachments and value for money, so you won’t have to go through all the vacuum models available on the market.
Comparing the Top 10 Vacuums for Apartment Living
Below is a comparison chart of 10 best vacuums for apartment living that came out on top after our in-depth testing. We’ve arranged them from top to bottom and listed the key details for each, like key features and cost, to help you find the ideal one that fits your needs.
|Best Apartment Vacuums 2020||Corded/Cordless||Weight||Price|
|Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382||30-feet cord||9.9 pounds||Check Price|
|Bissell 3-in-1 Stick Hand Vacuum||15-foot cord||3.9 pounds||Check Price|
|Dyson Cyclone V10||Cordless||5.88 pounds||Check Price|
|Hoover SH20030 Corded Vacuum||20-foot power cord||8 pounds||Check Price|
|Bissell Bolt 1954 Vacuum||Cordless||6 pounds||Check Price|
|Shark Rocket HV292 Vacuum||15-foot power cord||4 pounds||Check Price|
|Bissell Cleanview 2254||27-foot cord||19.35 pounds||Check Price|
|Black+Decker Lithium BDH2020FLFH||Cordless||6 pounds||Check Price|
|Miele Complete C2 Canister Vacuum||Corded||19.35 pounds||Check Price|
|Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G Vacuum||20-foot power cord||11.9 pounds||Check Price|
Best Vacuum for Apartment 2020 Reviews (Updated Picks)
Welcome to our apartment vacuums review section. Here we’ve ensured to include all compact, medium, and large sized vacuums to suit all floors types and carpeting. These comprise of various types such as handhelds, upright, canister and robot vacuums at multiple price points to offer something to fit everyone’s budget.
This top-rated list is kept fresh with regular updates, so that you are sure that the models shown below are the best the market has to offer. Which model is best for your apartment living depends on your specific needs. In the reviews below, we lay out all quick features, advantages and disadvantages of each vacuum to make your selection hassle-free.
1. Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382 Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vacuum
- Duoclean technology: Dual brushroll system deep cleans carpets and directly engages floors for a polished look.
- Convenient fingertip controls
- Dual brush roller for triple-particle cleaning
- Expanded capacity removable dust cup
- LED lighting to help spot dirt
We absolutely love the Shark Rocket HV382 and it my best rated apartment vacuum for many good reasons. First of all, it is very lightweight at only 10 pounds and coverts into a handheld vacuum cleaner when required. Shark also offers a number of handful attachments such as brush rollers, pet multi-tool and nozzle to make it a robust carpet cleaner. While, the dust cup is large enough for normal vacuuming work in a small living space, it also eliminates the cost of disposable bags. Even better, the brush roller design that Shark developed is capable of picking up large debris as well as fine dust particles.
We liked the overall versatility and convenience of this fantastic vacuum for apartment living. With help of its nice LED lights, you can always vacuum hallways or corners where lighting conditions are poor with great ease. On top of all that, carpet cleaning ability of the head design is highly impressive for a lightweight corded vacuum. Overall, it does a tremendous job across the board and takes up less space than other heavy-duty vacuums designed for larger homes.
- Ultra-lightweight vacuum that weighs only 9.9 pounds
- Convert into handheld vacuum on demand
- Designed to clean hardwood, ceilings and high pile carpeted floors
- The LED lights make dark corners easier to clean
- Deep cleaning action against dirt, debris and pet hair
- Never losing suction and power
- Optimal 30-feet cord length for better portability
- Plenty of accessories for added versatility
- Doesn’t include a filter in the dust cup
- Feels a bit underpowered on large rugs
The original product is out of stock, check out this closest alternative:
- Easy to maneuver: Easy-Glide Wheels and swivel steering ensure smooth movement of all floor types including DEEP carpets
2. Bissell 3-in-1 Lightweight Corded Convertible Stick Hand Vacuum Cleaner
- For use on carpet, bare floors, stairs and upholstery (3 different options of use)
- Vacuums hardwood floors, carpets, and upholstery
- Quick release handheld vacuum
- 15-foot power cord conveniently wraps for storage
- 750ml dust cup with cloth filter
Bissell’s 3-in-1 Convertible Stick Vacuum is the runner-up for small apartment vacuums. It’s a very attractive option for apartment living due to its versatile, compact and lightweight design. Speaking of handling, it weighs a little less than 4 pounds, so it won’t cause much fatigue even when you vacuum several rooms in a row. It’s billed as a 3-in-1 vacuum because it can vacuum hardwood floors, carpets, and includes a detachable hand vacuum for cleaning furniture and stairs. What we truly love is its value for money that makes it a cost-effective way to handle most of your vacuuming needs. Although, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Shark vacuum but it’s still a recommended pick for apartment owners.
On the downside, this Bissell model lacks a brush bar and the suction needed to get ground in dirt out of thick carpeting. It’s marketed as a carpet vacuum, but it’s only capable of picking up loose surface debris. That said, unless you have pets or track mud into your apartment on a regular basis, this Bissell vacuum is a good choice for a small living space.
- Functions as a floor and stairs vacuum
- Lightweight at only 4 pounds
- Excellent vacuum cleaner for seniors
- Detachable hand vacuum cleans upholstery
- Lacks the power of an upright vacuum
- Can only clean surface of carpets
3. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum
- Up to 60 minutes run time when using a non-motorized tool. Cyclone technology: 14 concentric cyclones. Filtration: advanced whole machine filtration. Cleaning path width - 9.84 inches
- Up to 60 minutes of battery life
- Up to 20 minutes running time at maximum power
- Instant off power button
- Motorized brush roller
- Converts to a handheld vacuum
Just like Shark, Dyson is among the most prestigious brands in world of vacuums cleaners. The V10 is a premium cordless convertible stick vacuum that delivers robust cleaning power at the expense of a short battery life. The Dyson’s motorized brush roller design is as good as many upright vacuums, making it capable of cleaning carpets, rugs, hard floors, upholstery, drapes to pick up large debris, dirt, pet fur and long human hair. There isn’t another cordless stick vacuum on the market with the same ability to pick on heavy dirt like cat litter or cereal.
On the downside, we would like to mention a couple drawbacks that caused us to place it third on our list. Although, the motor that Dyson put in this stick vacuum is powerful, but in a small cordless vacuum it drains the battery quickly and makes a high level of noise. While it’s not loud enough to require hearing protection, but it can be uncomfortable for many apartment owners. The battery life is short, too. If you have a big mess that requires the highest power setting, you’ll run out of power in less than 20 minutes. So, once the battery is drained, it’s a 3.5 hour wait to recharge it.
- Elegant design and durable built-quality
- Power brush roller picks up large debris, dust and animal hair
- Capable of cleaning carpets, hardwood floors, and furniture
- Weighs only 5.88 pounds
- Quickly transforms into handheld for quick cleaning jobs
- Fully sealed filtration system traps allergens and microscopic particles
- Superior value for money to end-users
- Convenient storage and portability for small apartments
- Removable batteries for instant swap would’ve been better
- A bit expensive for some consumers
4. Hoover SH20030 Corded Cyclonic Bagless Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner
- CYCLONIC TECHNOLOGY: Ensures a consistent cleaning Experience with no loss of suction
- Powered brush roller designed for bare floors and carpets
- Handle reclines to nearly horizontal angles
- Wheels designed not to leave marks on hardwood floors
- Can clean up to the edge of walls
- 20-foot power cord
Hoover’s SH20030 is a solid entry at number four in our top ten list of small apartment vacuums. If you’re looking for a lighter version of a standard upright vacuum, the Hoover brand surely fits the profile, and you’ll love the wallet-friendly price tag compared to some other premium vacuums on our comparison table. It’s a bagless stick vacuum, so you also save the ongoing cost of buying disposal dirt bags, too. Its high affordability plus the powered brush roller for carpet vacuuming are the main reasons this vacuum is our 4th pick.
Some of the common complaints about this model are the lack of accessories and average suction power. We can expect the power issue for an affordable and lightweight vacuum, but the lack of accessories for vacuuming under furniture and stairs is not. Nevertheless, this is a good floor vacuum if you already have a hand vacuum for cleaning other surfaces in your studio apartment.
- Affordable price
- Functions like a light upright vacuum
- Swiftly cleans low pile carpets, area rugs and hard floors
- Swivel Steering functionality
- Retractable 20-foot power cord
- Weighs only 8 pounds
- Lacks the accessories for off-the-floor vacuuming
- Underpowered compared to Dyson and Shark
The original product is out of stock, check out this closest alternative:
- Lightweight yet Powerful: Lightweight, at only 4.2 pounds. Easily converts to a portable handheld vacuum for convenient above floor cleaning to reach tight spaces, stairs and even car interiors.
5. Bissell Bolt 1954 Lithium Ion Pet Stick Vacuum
- 14. 4V lithium ion battery provides powerful, lasting suction for up to 25 minutes. No Hose
- Battery life up to 25 minutes
- Handle folds for compact storage
- Powered brush bar design cleans along baseboards
- Vacuums bare and hardwood floors
- Detachable hand vacuum
Bissell’s Bolt 1954 is our top budget choice for a cordless vacuum designed to clean up pet hair. If you have indoor cats or dogs, it’s designed for that tough cleaning chore like vacuuming hair from rugs, carpets, stairs and furniture. It’s lightweight and includes a detachable hand vacuum for getting animal hair out of the crevices of your furniture. On top of all that, Bissell also designed the powered brush bars to pick up dirt, dust, debris and long hair on sides of the vacuum head to make it easier to clean along baseboards and walls. We also like the cyclonic cleaning system on Bissell Bolt, however you can’t compare it with the quality of Dyson V10 system due to cost-cutting.
Another selling point for Bissell is that it includes a set of accessories for pet owners. For example, you get a set of picks and brushes designed to remove tangled hair from brush roller. The main flaw of this model is the short run time on a full charge when you’re tackling a difficult vacuuming job. After 25 minutes, it’ll need a battery swap, or you’ll have to wait for a full recharge. So, this isn’t much time when you’re trying to clean dog hair, fur and debris your apartment living space.
- 2-in-1 design handles floors, carpets, upholstery, counters and furniture
- Useful accessories for vacuuming pet hair
- Affordable price for a cordless convertible vacuum
- Optimal 0.6 liter dust cup capacity
- Handle folds form the middle for accessible cleaning
- Weighs only 6 pounds
- Dust cup filter is difficult to clean
- Battery life is short when at full power
6. Shark Rocket HV292 Corded Ultralight Hand Vacuum Cleaner
- Portable and ultra-lightweight. Less than 4 pounds in total
- Portable and lightweight
- Handheld vacuum with motorized brush
- Canister dust cup is easy to empty
- 15-foot power cord
If you are looking for a compact and lightweight yet powerful handheld vacuum, go for Shark rocket HV292. It comes in real handy, if you have furry friends in your apartment and you want to make vacuuming less time-consuming. Not only this but you can also use this vacuum for car detailing. Shark designed this hand vacuum to be corded, which is a lifesaver if cleaning your furniture, floors and stairs requires lengthy vacuuming sessions. The strongest selling point for the HV292 is that it’s equipped with a motorized brush bar to lift and capture cat and dog hair from upholstery, sofas and furniture. The dust cup is easy to empty, and the filter can be washed and reused.
The HV292 has its problems which add up to a downgrade to number six in our top ten lineup. Shark Rocket provides several useful attachments, but they need to be purchased separately, and they aren’t interchangeable with other Shark vacuums you might own. Another issue is that the washable filter wears out after a few uses, so you’ll need to spend money to buy replacements over time. Furthermore, we noticed that long vacuuming sessions can cause more strain on our wrists than we expected, which is caused by angle of the handle. Overall, though, this is a great addition if you need a powerful Hand Vac for cleaning up after Fido.
- Capable handheld vacuum
- Wide brush and crevice tool
- Extended reach stretch hose
- Large dust cup with washable filter
- Weighs only 4 pounds
- 15-foot power cord
- Least maintenance costs
- No suction control
- Some attachments are sold separately
7. Bissell Cleanview 2254 Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
- Buy Bissell, save pets Bissell donates up to 10 dollars to the Bissell pet foundation for every pet product purchase, upon activation
- Triple-action brush roller design eliminates scatter
- Vacuums area rugs, hardwood floors, carpeting, stairs, and upholstery
- 27-foot retractable power cord
- Swivel steering design for cornering
- Designed to clean close to baseboards and wall edges
The Bissell 2254 Cleanview is the first upright to make it onto our top ten list of small apartment vacuums. It beats out most of the other light upright models because of its advanced brush roller and scatter-free vacuum technology. Bissell developed the triple-action brush roller to efficiently pick up pet hair that’s stubbornly embedded deep in carpets and rugs. Using the scatter-free technology, it ensures that very little dust and hair that’s pulled up goes back into the air. Not only does that eliminate the need to vacuum a second time, but it also gets rids of dust mite and allergens that other vacuums fail to grab.
The Cleanview also offers many other innovative features that we liked. For instance, the swivel steering lets you turn the vacuum around corners and furniture, which makes vacuuming in a small apartment less awkward. With the 27-foot power cord, you get enough room to run cord from a single well-placed power outlet, and can be retracted back into the vacuum with touch of a button. On the downside, we felt the hose attachment lacked enough suction power to clean pet hair from surfaces like carpeted staircases.
- Anti-allergen and pet hair vacuum design
- Scatter free technology with tripe action brush roll
- Compatible with floors, carpets, rugs, stairs, upholstery and pet beds
- Long power cord lets you roam freely
- Special pet tools included for best vacuuming
- Includes hose attachment and pet hair cleaning tools
- The hose attachment lacks suction power
8. Black+Decker Lithium Flex BDH2020FLFH Cordless Vacuum
- CORDLESS, PORTABLE, & ULTRA COMPACT - 20V MAX* Lithium Hand Vac with stick vac floor extension and pet brush.
- Portable, cordless handheld vacuum design
- Dust cup holds nearly 19 ounces of dirt
- 4-foot extension hose
- Lithium ion battery provides 90 minutes of cordless operation
Black+Decker is another trusted name when it comes to home electronics. Their BDH2020FLFH lithium model is no different and offers powerful vacuuming suction while being able to convert into a stick vacuum as the same time. It comes with a 4-foot hose that makes vacuuming tight spaces or overhead shelves a breeze. Its battery life is better than other high-power cordless vacuums, lasting as long as 90 minutes. That’s usually enough to finish a day’s vacuuming chores at your studio apartment. Black and Decker addressed one of the main flaws of hand vacuums by offering an extension that converts it into a stick vacuum with better cleaning width. That said, its suction is kind of weak than other stick vacuums, but it helps better when you have a big mess.
Furthermore, a couple of other obstacles held this vacuum back in our rankings. For instance, it doesn’t have a brush roller, which makes it less effective when vacuuming fabrics and carpeting. As a result, the stick vacuum attachment is helpful if you have bare floors but not as much if your floors are carpeted. The motor in this vacuum is also quite loud, so your apartment neighbors will probably notice especially if your walls are thin.
- Ultra-compact, portable and cordless
- Weighs only 6 pounds and fits on a shelf
- Handy set of attachments for reaching hard-to-reach places
- Works well as a stairway and upholstery vacuum
- Converts to a stick vacuum with an extension accessory
- Charging base and washable bowl are amazing
- Lithium ion battery is a powerful advantage in long run
- Doesn’t have a motorized brush roller
- Only useful for spot cleaning floors
9. Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner
- The Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor has a 20-Year Average Life-Span - Extremely Lightweight and Powerful - Uses Miele's Powerful 1200 Watt Motor
- Long-lasting design
- Equipped with a 1,200-watt motor
- Variable speed control offers six speed settings
- Crush-proof hose and telescopic wands
The Complete C2 is a canister vacuum designed for bare floor living spaces like apartments and condominiums. Miele boasts that the average life span of this vacuum is 20 years, which pays for itself at the price they charge. While it’s billed as a hardwood floor vacuum, it can clean low-pile carpeting and stairs in a pinch, and it’s small enough to clean drapes and upholstery.
It made it onto our top ten list mainly because of the speed control that it offers. Miele gives you six different vacuum speeds suited to surfaces ranging from hanging drapes to carpeting. You also get a full set of accessories and attachments for vacuuming crevices, baseboard edges, and off-the-floor places. Another advantage of this vacuum is that its motor is quiet.
Our main concern with the Complete C2 was its lack of a brush bar. This limits its ability to pick up dirt in high-pile carpets and shag rugs. It can handle surface messes, but it won’t help much with pet hair and dust if you have carpets to clean. Despite this, it’s a good model for most other vacuuming chores in your studio apartment.
- Low speed settings for cleaning drapes or rugs
- Each unit lasts an average of 20 years
- Solid built-quality and durability
- Six power settings with robust motor
- Quiet operation
- Accessories for vacuuming rugs and floors
- A bit heavy at 19.35 pounds
The original product is out of stock, check out this closest alternative:
- Bundles Includes - Miele's AH50 GN Performance Pack - Comes With 16 Genuine Miele GN Airclean FilterBags, 1 Genuine Miele HEPA Air Clean Filter AH-50 and 4 Pre-Motor Protection Filters
10. Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G Corded Canister Vacuum
- Dust cup capacity - 2.5 liters. Ideal for quick and efficient cleaning
- Designed for both home and vehicle cleaning
- Auto shut-off prevents overheating
- Blower port for blowing debris from workshop floors
- Deluxe floor brush and bare-floor nozzle included
The Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G is the last model to make it into our top 10 list of vacuums for apartment living. This affordable vacuum is small, compact, and versatile. We included it because of its range of uses. It’s designed to clean cars and can double as a small apartment vacuum. It even comes with a blower port to give you the option of blowing debris out of your garage. These features will come in handy for renters who have a garage port and want to handle their own car cleaning. It comes with accessories and nozzles suited to vacuuming rugs and bare floors.
The main drawback of the Mighty Mite, however, is that this vacuum sounds like shop vacuum, so it’s loud when you bring it indoors. If you need a quiet vacuum, the Mighty Mite probably isn’t the right choice. The other problem is that like other vacuums without a brush bar or motorized roller, it doesn’t clean high-pile carpets thoroughly. It’s compact and lightweight design makes it great for other vacuuming chores, just not carpeting.
- Light and compact design for cleaning in cramped spaces
- 20-feet long extension wand for higher reach
- Designed for indoor and outdoor cleaning chores
- Very lightweight and portable
- Affordable price
- Loud motor makes it sound like a shop-vac
- Not efficient for vacuuming thick carpeting and rugs
Buying Guide for Small yet Powerful Vacuum Cleaners for Apartments
Nowadays, vacuum cleaners come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are designed as convenient hand vacuums for quickly cleaning stairs, shelves, cars and furniture. Others are upright bagless vacuums that are specifically designed to pick up heavy dirt and soil from carpets. On top of all these, canister vacuums bring more power to the task and make drapes, ceilings, high pile carpets, rugs and other surfaces easier to clean and reach. In this buying guide, we’ll explain the basic features and other considerations that go into choosing the best vacuum for a small apartment or studio.
What Makes a Good Small Vacuum for Apartments and Studios?
When buying a vacuum for a small apartment, you can safely avoid the largest and most powerful models on the market. They’re designed to vacuum several rooms of a house or commercial building and handle the toughest mud and dirt that you might encounter. More features equate to a higher price. So for apartments, you can focus on finding a vacuum that’s compact, portable, and cleans efficiently.
Small apartments and studios don’t have as much closet space as houses do, so you’ll want to choose a vacuum that won’t be a space hog. You’ll need the space you’ll save for other cleaning and household supplies. A compact vacuum will also help you maneuver around tight corners in the apartment while you’re cleaning.
Exactly what constitutes compact depends on the living space you have. Upright vacuums tend to take up the most space in the closet and while you are vacuuming. They work best if there’s plenty of wide-open floor space in each room. If not, you may want to consider a sleeker hand vacuum or a compact canister vacuum for regular cleaning.
Portability is also important in small-scale apartments for the same reason. The lack of walking space means you may need to lift the vacuum to move from room to room or between furniture. With vacuums, portability can mean a couple things. First is the overall weight and bulkiness of the appliance. An upright vacuum will score the worst in terms of bulkiness. A canister vacuum will be heavier than a hand vacuum, but it’ll fit into smaller spaces than an upright vacuum.
A second type of portability is the ability of the vacuum to reach surfaces other than floors. Upright vacuums are designed for floors, but some have a hose than can be attached. Canister vacuums usually provide you with a larger reach, allowing you to vacuum cobwebs on ceilings or pick up dust from shelving without any trouble. Last but not least, hand vacuums are the most portable because they’re small enough to handle with one hand.
Efficient cleaning is important for any vacuum purchase. For a small apartment, though, you can buy little vacuum with smaller dirt collecting capacity since you’ll be vacuuming less living space. If you expect to mainly vacuum dust and the occasional spill, a high suction vacuum without a rotating brush bar will do the job fine. If you have thick carpets with embedded pet hair and dirt, then a vacuum with a motorized brush bar will make better sense.
Corded vs. Cordless
When shopping for the best vacuum for apartment living, another major thing to decide is if you prefer a corded or a cordless model. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. First, cordless vacuums are more convenient to handle as you move from room to room and between furniture. You won’t have to manage a cord that runs out of length or gets in the way of the vacuum. A corded vacuum, on the other hand, doesn’t run out of battery power, nor does its battery needs to be replaced. In the long run, a corded vacuum is cheaper to own but more awkward to use in a cluttered living space.
What Features are Important to Consider When Buying a Good Small Vacuum for Apartment
Now that you’ve made up your mind to buy a small vacuum for your apartment, let’s look at the key features that define how a vacuum works and how these can benefit you.
The size of a vacuum impacts your ability to store it and its ability to clean more space. A small vacuum will be convenient for cramped apartments and spot cleaning but not if you have large open rooms to cover. Check the cleaning width of a vacuum if you need to floors quickly. The wider it is, the more floor it can vacuum as it moves. Small apartments and studios won’t require large upright vacuum cleaners, but smaller uprights are something to consider if you’ve got open spaces to vacuum regularly.
You’ll want more suction power if you have carpeting to clean. It’ll pull the deep dirt, debris and hair out of the carpet with the help of a brush bar. For hardwood floors, suction is helpful to vacuum them quickly, but it’s not as essential to the job unless you have heavy debris on the floors that’s harder to pick up.
Vacuums can affect the severity of dust allergies indoors because they kick up and expel fine dust into the air as you clean. If you suffer from these allergies, then a vacuum designed to minimize airborne dust is a good idea. Look for a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter, for example. Some vacuums are designed to capture as much dust as possible, too. Vacuums that store dirt in disposable bags reduce the amount of fine dust that they expel while they run, too.
When you aren’t vacuuming your apartment, you’ll need to stow your vacuum in a closet or other out of way place. Canister and hand vacuums have the advantage that they can be disassembled or folded and stowed on a shelf. On the other hand, a bulkier upright vacuum will need to sit in a closet.
Dirt Holding Capacity
The amount of dirt the vacuum can hold before it needs to be emptied is a convenience factor. A smaller holding bag or tank means you’ll need to stop and empty it more often if you vacuum frequently. And, it’ll be less of a chore to clean up. Bagless vacuums are cheaper to maintain because you won’t need to purchase bags, but it does take more time to empty them and clean their filters.
The floors you have will be a major factor in the type of vacuum that will be best for your apartment. If you don’t have much carpeting to clean, you can get by with stick vacuums that make quick work of linoleum, vinyl, laminate and hardwood floors. Upright vacuums have carpeting in mind with rotating brush bars to help pull dirt out of the fabric. Larger canister vacuums can handle most floor types, but they usually lack moving brush bars needed for high-pile carpets.
Vacuums often come with a set of attachments to give them more versatility. A canister vacuum with a hose can swap out different vacuum heads and nozzles to help you clean ceilings, corners, and the edges of walls quickly. Upright vacuums usually come with a hose attachment for these tasks, too. Some vacuum models are better equipped than other, however. For example, vacuums designed for pet owners often come with cleaning tools for removing hair tangles from dust cups and brush rollers.
Indoor pets will mean more frequent vacuuming, and long dog hair are more difficult to vacuum than dust and loose debris. You’ll need to choose a larger vacuum with more suction, and a brush bar that will help to pull pet and human hair out of carpeting and furniture. A powerful canister vacuum can be a good solution because they have better suction and give you the flexibility of vacuuming furniture and crevices.
A vacuum’s weight will add to the fatigue of using it for long periods of time. If you have restricted spaces in your apartment, you may need to lift a vacuum to move it from one area to another. A lightweight little vacuum is a better choice as long as it has the power to handle the vacuuming work you’ll need to do.
Questions you need to ask yourself before buying an apartment vacuum
1. How frequently will I clean?
How often you’ll vacuum will be a factor in the dirt capacity. If you need to clean more often, then you’ll need to empty the dirt from a vacuum more often, too. A larger vacuum will go longer before it needs to be emptied and cleaned. You might also want to buy a vacuum with more suction power if you want to clean less frequently, especially if you have carpets.
2. What if I have allergies?
If you or someone else living in the apartment suffers from dust or pet allergies, it’ll make sense to buy a vacuum equipped with HEPA filters and anti-scatter technology. They will keep the allergen-causing dust under control better than a standard vacuum will.
3. How much space do I have?
When you consider the amount of space you have, look at both storage space and the amount of open space in each room. Large open spaces make uprights easier to maneuver, and they’ll clean large spaces more efficiently. Check the size of your apartment’s closets, too. It will determine if you have space to store larger vacuums out of sight.
4. What kind of surfaces do I want to use the vacuum cleaner on?
The surfaces you need to vacuum make a difference in a couple ways. Carpets are more difficult to clean because dirt becomes embedded in them. Shaggy carpets and rugs are the most difficult to clean. You’ll need a vacuum with a rotating brush bar that beats the dust out of the carpet as you move the vacuum over it. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, can be cleaned with just vacuum suction.
Other surfaces that collect dust like drapes, shelves, and stair steps require smaller vacuums. Long hose attachments come in handy for these cleaning tasks, as do handheld vacuums designed for small cleaning jobs.
5. What is the noise level of the vacuum?
Apartments often have thin walls, so a quieter vacuum will be appreciated by your neighbors. Pay attention to decibel levels indicated in the features list on a vacuum’s description. A lower number means a quieter vacuum. None of the vacuums in our lineup are loud enough to require hearing protection, but a couple can be uncomfortable for sensitive ears. We made note of it when noise was an issue.
6. Are there any specific maintenance requirements?
Vacuums don’t need much maintenance, but you will need to clean them periodically. Bagless vacuums are dumped out and the filters typically need to be washed, while you’ll need to buy dirt bags for vacuums that aren’t bagless. We love how the bagged vacuums take the hassle out of emptying them, but you pay for that convenience. Brush bars can become clogged with hair and debris that wraps around them, too. Plan to turn an upright over and clean its roller periodically when snarls develop.
7. What is the warranty on the vacuum?
Warranties can be important because they make the difference between buying a new vacuum that’s broken down and having it replaced for free. Manufacturer warranties cover a certain length of time after a purchase, so it pay attention while comparing warranties for vacuums that are otherwise equal. A longer warranty period is brings in buyer’s trust and it is always better. It also means that it’s more likely to be covered for a repair or replacement.
8. Are there any favorite types of apartment vacuums?
The three main types of vacuums are canisters, uprights, and hand vacuums, and they each have their strengths. Canister vacuums are the most versatile if you need to vacuum hard-to-reach surfaces, and hand vacuums are the most portable and lightweight. Upright vacuums are best for vacuuming open floors and carpets. If you want a vacuum that doubles as a car or RV vacuum, the smaller canister and hand vacuums are the best choice.
That brings us to the end of this review for top-rated small apartment vacuums. We’ve pulled together the most affordable and powerful vacuums that are well suited to small apartments and studios.
Shark Rocket’s HV382 DuoClean won the prize as the best small vacuum because of its combination of power and versatility. If you have an apartment, chances are the HV382 and the runner-up Bissell 3-in-1 are both good choices. And, if you have pets or dust allergies that make vacuuming your least favorite chore, we found fantastic models like Bissell’s Cleanview or Shark Rocket’s HV292 that can tackle those problems. If you want a vacuum that can clean your car as well as your floors, Eureka’s Mighty Mite is the best vacuum we found for doing both.
We’ll update our reviews periodically when new and improved vacuums become available on the market. So be sure to check back with us if you find yourself shopping for the best vacuum to match a small apartment again in the future.