The 8 Best Small Vacuum Cleaners For Tiny Apartments For 2021


Small spaces get dusty just as easily as big spaces do. But, unfortunately, tiny apartments can’t always house a 40-pound vortex-sucking vacuum that you practically need a commercial vehicles license to operate. That’s where the best small vacuums for apartments come in.

For the most part, all apartments and small houses have one thing in common: limited storage. If you’re going to invest in a vacuum, you want to make sure it gets the job done, but you also want to make sure your closet door closes when you go to put it away.

The first course of action is to determine exactly what you need, so you don’t end up with excess parts and features that just take up space. Do you have hardwood floors or carpets? Do you have pets that shed all over everything? Do you need something that stands upright in a pantry, or do you have an entire square foot of closet room for a small canister vacuum? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before you purchase a vacuum for a small apartment.

Thankfully, though, there are powerful yet compact vacuums for all of the above scenarios. These eight are some of the best small vacuums, according to Consumer Reports and real Amazon reviewers.

1. A Canister Vacuum That’s Actually Easy To Carry Around: The Bissell Zing

This small, lightweight canister vacuum cleaner weighs just 7.5 pounds and features powerful cyclonic suction that cleans both hard floors and carpets in one pass. It has a washable filter and no bags to change, ever, and a 15-foot cord that makes it a snap to carry from room to room. Thanks to its handle and compact design, it’s even light enough to use on stairways.

According to a reviewer: “This is my third one and NOT because the other two broke. I move a lot for work and sometimes I have to leave this little power house behind. But it is amazing. I did tons of research before I bought my first one in 2015. I lived in a small city apartment with no storage space and all types of flooring: hardwood, tile, laminate and carpet. This little guy tackled them all. And he tucks away anywhere, especially if you disassemble the hose pieces. And the retractable cord is a life saver plus it has a really long reach. The SUCTION is amazing, it picks up everything!”

2. The Best For Hard Floors: The Bissell Hard Floor Expert

The Bissell Hard Floor Expert has a lightweight, convenient design that makes it easy to move from room to room. The cyclonic filtration is great for tiles, hardwood, and linoleum, and the V-shaped vacuuming head ensures all dust and debris is effortlessly suctioned up. Plus, you can just press a button to dump all the collected dirt and debris directly into the trash.

According to a reviewer: “What a little powerhouse of a vacuum! I bought this based on an enthusiastic mothers review and I happy to say, it lives up to the hype. As a mom of 4, one of which, being toddler and a lot of snacks, trash, ect ends up on the floor. We have hardwoods throughout and brooms were NOT cutting it. It picks up EVERYTHING in one pass, small debris and items as large as bite size pretzels. Easily travels from room to room with a really long cord, so you do not have to switch outlets much during use. The design offers optimum maneuverability in those hard to reach places.”

3. A Handheld That’s Great For Pets: The Shark Pet Perfect Hand Vac

This Shark cordless hand vac is ideal for pet owners because of its self-cleaning brush roll and powerful cyclonic technology to catch all that fur and hair. With a crevice tool and a scraping tool, it also works well on dirt and crumbs. This compact unit is less than 3 pounds and has a lithium-ion battery which makes it easy to transport and use all around your space.

According to a reviewer: “I am a bit of a Dyson fanboy, but my mother’s vacuum broke recently so I bought her a Shark upright. It was about 1/4 the price of my Dyson and cleaned just as well. When I saw this advertised thought I would give it a shot. I have the Dyson cordless but it just does not cut it for pet hair on my couches. I have two cats, so either I get it all up or I wear it after sitting down for a while. The Shark got it all on the first pass. Great suction, the beater brush is the perfect size for cars and furniture, and the battery held up for both couches and all the pillows with zero loss of power.”

4. The Best Refurbished Vacuum That’s A Steal: The Shark NV351

Although it’s a bit bulkier than some of the other options, reviewers rave about amazingness of the Shark Navigator upright vacuum that expertly cleans carpets, bare floors, and — thanks to the removable canister — under furniture. The certified refurbished vacuum comes with various attachments for cleaning hard-to-reach spots, and the foam and HEPA filters trap 99% of allergens.

According to a reviewer: “Beautiful vacuum. I have cheap, dense carpet in my apartment and I vacuumed with my Dirt Devil the day before using this Shark for the first time. It picked up an email entire canister of grime! Definitely read the instructions because I acccidentally vacuumed my carpet on the bare floor setting, and was wondering what happened. The canister detaches and dumps out easily. I wish the attachments had a place on the actual vacuum body but oh well. It maneuvers around corners fine. It’s lightweight and just about full after vacuuming a (dirty) large bedroom and smallish living room.”

5. The Best Convertible Vacuum For Multiple Surfaces: The Shark Rocket

If you’ve got a little bit of everything in your home, this one’s for you. Weighing in at under 8 pounds, the Shark Rocket ultra-light upright picks up everything from large debris to fine dust, and it’s got fingertip controls to easily switch from hard floor to carpet. It also converts into a hand vac for quick clean-up jobs and offers dual storage options for tight spaces. It even comes in your choice of four sleek colors.

According to a reviewer: “It really picks up everything and is light to handle and fits under most furniture so I feel I am getting a better clean. […] It comes with a hook to hang it on a wall but I just attach the hand vac to the bottom of the vacuum where there is a place for it and it is perfect. It is small and fits nicely in to my closet. I absolutely love this purchase!”

6. The Best Budget Hand Vacuum: The BLACK + DECKER Lithium Ion

A definite Amazon favorite, the BLACK + DECKER hand vac has more than 50,000 reviews and a 4.5-star overall rating. In addition to being cordless, rechargeable, and long-lasting, it also has a rotating slim nozzle to get into hard-to-reach places. It’s also got a translucent bagless dirt bowl that’s easy to empty out and wash. It weighs less than 3 pounds so it’s easy to tote around, and it’s even backed by a 2-year warranty.

According to a reviewer: “We had a cheap hand held but it was not good. The B&D dustbuster is a champ. The filter lasts about 6 months and the suction is great for getting dust, cat hair, litter. The dirt is collected in an easy to change and empty bin.”

7. A 2-In-1 Vac Under $35: VonHaus Upright

The VonHaus 2-in-1 upright vacuum is an affordable and extremely convenient option for an apartment or small space. That’s because it’s lightweight, stores easily, and has a stick vacuum cleaner and hand vac in one. It also comes with crevice tools, a mini brush, and an extension tube, making it great for any job, whether it’s carpet, wood, or furniture.

According to a reviewer: “Have been using for about 6 weeks, it’s perfect for my small studio apartment, mostly hardwood floors (seems to pick up well, not scratch) and a small short pile carpet (seems to do well). Easy to assemble, good assortment of tools, love the long cord- van do whole apartment without moving cord.”

8. The Most Powerful Compact Unit: The Miele Pure Suction

If you’re tackling thick carpet, pet hair, or just want extra power in a compact unit, this Miele canister vacuum is a bit more of an investment, but it’ll last for years. It uses a vortex motor and has six settings to choose from so you can clean just about any type of floor, especially hard surfaces and low-pile carpets. Plus, with a collection of accessories — like a dusting brush and upholstery tool — you can get into the nitty gritty of deep cleaning your space.

According to a reviewer: “The suction coming out of the vacuum was significantly more than I had ever experienced with an upright, and the bag can hold quite a lot of dust and debris without any adverse effect on the suction. I was planning on just using it for the floors, but I found that the bristle dusting attachment is actually more effective at dusting my place than a handheld duster (and it keeps the dust in the bag, which is a plus). Thus, I have found myself turning to this vacuum much more often for cleaning.”



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