11 Best Small Vacuum Cleaner Options for 2018

Check out our 11 best vacuum cleaner picks - list includes handheld, canister, upright and robotic vacuums. We explain pros and cons. Great list.
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Small handheld vacuum cleaner

The most important vacuum cleaner feature for me, other than that it cleans (I assume all the best vacuums do that) is that it’s not so noisy.  I despise noisy vacuums; it’s terrible noise pollution as far as I’m concerned.  I’ve owned some noisy ones in my day.

The next most important feature is that it’s compact and light.  It’s so much easier vacuuming a home and navigating furniture with a small vacuum cleaner than a large one.

That said, when it comes to vacuums, there are several types, each quite different and each offer compact models within the product line.

Our list of the best compact vacuum cleaners for 2018 includes selections for all types including handheld (most of which are small), canister, upright, stick upright and robotic vacuums.

Here’s our list.

A. Small Handheld Vacuum Cleaners

1. Eureka EasyClean

Small, handheld, yellow vacuum cleaner with a strong suction power.

If you’re looking for small vacuum cleaners that will make you say “Eureka, the house is clean!” then this little device will surely come to an aid. In a time where every household appliance is getting bigger and bigger, it feels better to handle something small for a change.

Two passes – that’s how long you will need to clean an area packed with sawdust. Plus, it’s also a very convenient tool to pick up cat hair from the furniture. Rather than lifting a full-sized vacuum cleaner to clean the spot where your cat decided to go crazy, all you’ll have to do is take this handheld unit. The job will be done nice and quick.

Having a 20-foot long cord, this model of small vacuum cleaners allows you plenty of moving space. With its 5.5 amps of power, you can use it for a long time – and it will still vacuum everything properly. Plus, weighing only 6 pounds and measuring only 15×4 inches, it’s very easy to carry around.

Pros

  • Powerful vacuuming performance
  • Small design
  • Lengthy cord

Cons

  • The motor is very loud
  • You can’t use it in areas that don’t have a power socket

Buy at Amazon

2. Black + Decker HHVI315Jo42 Dustbuster

Lightweight and portable hand vacuum.

If you really dislike carrying things around, then this 2-pound machine is the father – no, actually, the baby of all small vacuum cleaners. Measuring only 14 inches in length and having an 8-inch width, vacuuming with this is like carrying a purse with you over the furniture – only that purses are generally heavier than these small vacuum cleaners.

The advantage of this handheld vacuum cleaner is that it’s cordless – which means that you are not restricted by any cables. It’s a good option if you want to vacuum an area that has no power socket – such as the inside of your car in the driveway.

With its large mouth, this unit is perfect for carrying both small and large debris. Its cyclonic action will also keep the suction strong and the filter clean for a much longer time.

For such a small vacuum cleaner, this model has a fairly spacious debris bowl. Plus, it’s detachable, so you can also empty and wash it every time you need to do so.

Pros

  • Very compact in size
  • Spacious debris ball
  • Cordless, not limiting you to a certain area

Cons

  • It can discharge fairly quick
  • Vacuuming power is not that strong for fine debris

Buy at Amazon

3. Dirt Devil M08230RED

Convenient and powerful, handheld vaccuum ideal for floors and furniture.


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We are all afraid of the Devil – which is why this Dirt Devil unit should be feared by every speck of dust in your house. Plus, with its red color, it reminds you of something both elegant and powerful – something to be greatly respected, considering these small vacuum cleaners are so small.

Weighing only 4.45 pounds, you could say that this unit is “feather light.” Plus, it’s very compact in size, measuring less than 9 inches in length – which is even smaller than most small vacuum cleaners. It should be just enough to give your furniture a thorough clean at a time. Moreover, with its 4-amp motor power, no speck of dust will be left behind with this small vacuum cleaner.

This unit comes equipped with a crevice tool and a stretch hose – also in very compact sizes. It’s a great addition if you have places that are hard to reach with a regular-sized vacuum cleaner.

Pros

  • Compact in size and easy to carry
  • Motor is powerful enough to pick fine dirt
  • Filter absorbs every smell

Cons

  • Can get clogged at times
  • The strap holding the cord can be difficult to secure

Buy at Wayfair

B. Small Canister Vacuum Cleaners

1. ArmorAll AA255

Small vacuum that can pick up either wet or dry debris.

Unlike most small vacuum cleaners that can only go through dry dirt and the sorts, this one can also pick up liquids. Therefore, if anything gets spilled on your floor, you don’t have to pull up the entire mopping artillery; just pull out the vacuum cleaner and get it done in a jiffy.

When it comes to small vacuum cleaners, it’s usually very difficult to find a canister type that won’t be difficult to drag along. However, weighing only 7 pounds and measuring 14 inches, it’s just a bit bigger than your average handheld vacuum cleaner.

Granted, considering it’s so small, it doesn’t have such a big dirt recipient. However, you’ll be able to pass through at least two or three rooms before having to empty it – provided you don’t live in a dirt-packed sty. Plus, the unit has an auto shut-off button that turns it off if the dirt container is full – a feature that not all small vacuum cleaners have.

Pros

  • Auto shut-off button that prevents overflowing
  • Compact in size and easily carried around
  • Picks up dry and wet debris alike

Cons

  • Doesn’t have wheels for you to pull it along with you
  • The top is prone to popping off
  • Comes with a very small range of attachments

Buy at Amazon

2. Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum

Bagged canister vacuum with a portable design.

Even though this unit is part of the small vacuum cleaner category, it’s very powerful. It can easily handle pet hair and other debris you may have on the floor or on the furniture, without you having to overexert yourself.

Since this is a bagged vacuum cleaner, you can go around it two ways: you can either use a reusable bag or a disposable one. The advantage of disposable bags is that you won’t have to clean and deal with the dust every time you vacuum. All you have to do is throw the bag away and replace it with an empty one.

The cord is fairly long, and you can easily clean a large room without having to change the power socket. Plus, considering that the cord is retractable, it’s very easy to store it in a non-messy way.

Weighing around 8 pounds, this unit is smaller than your average canister vacuum cleaner. Plus, measuring around 16 x 10 (with a 177-inch hose), it doesn’t take much space. These small vacuum cleaners are the perfect thing to have around if you live in a small apartment or even a trailer.

Pros

  • Strong suction power
  • Light and very easy to carry
  • Compact in size, making it perfect for small rooms and RVs

Cons

  • The cord can be small for some people
  • Since it has a strong motor, it’s also very loud

Buy at Wayfair

3. Boulder 1.5L Cyclone

Bagless vacuum cleaner with telescoping metal chromed tubes.

This vacuum cleaner is small – but it can definitely go the extra mile. The Boulder has a special feature that you don’t find in most vacuum cleaners: a mite brush. That’s right; you can vacuum mites from your furniture with this unit.

These features on small vacuum cleaners are very useful if you are prone to allergies or asthma attacks. Plus, the HEPA filters leave the air clear after every vacuuming session. The dust will remain trapped in the 1.5-gallon debris container, which should be filled with water before every vacuuming session.

This vacuum is very small – like a little ball that you pull around with you. It weighs around 12 pounds and measures an average of 14 inches, so you’ll barely know this baby is following you around. The cord is retractable, which also makes it very easy to store.

Pros

  • Small and cute design
  • HEPA filters that keep the air clean of allergens
  • Comes with a variety of accessories

Cons

  • It gets significantly heavier once it’s filled with water

Buy at Wayfair

C. Small Upright Vacuum Cleaners

1. Shark Navigator

A lightweight but powerful upright vacuum.

If you’ve ever watched any series on National Geographic, you know how swiftly sharks can swim through the waters, going for their prey. Well, this is exactly how Shark small vacuum cleaners work; only instead of swimming through waters, they’re going over rugs. And instead of attacking fish, they’re attacking the dirt on the floor.

Compared to most upright vacuum cleaners that weigh well over 25 pounds, this one only has a mere 15 pounds – which means you won’t have to turn every vacuuming day into an arms workout session.

This vacuum cleaner is 24 inches tall and has a width of 11 inches – making it easily storable even if you live in a small flat. Plus, since the unit is bag-less, you won’t have much trouble with its maintenance: you just empty it and wipe it with a mildly wet cloth.

This small device also has a HEPA filter – which means that it’s the perfect tool for you if you have any allergies. The spacious 3.5-gallon water compartment will make sure that no speck of dust will escape.

Pros

  • The HEPA filter makes it perfect for people suffering from allergies
  • It offers a thorough cleaning of the carpet
  • Compact yet with a spacious dirt compartment

Cons

  • It requires cleaning solution
  • Since it uses water, it can get heavy

Buy at Wayfair

2. Shark NV752 TruePet

A combination of three vacuums in one.

Pets are cute, and it’s always lovely to see them playing around. It’s not so lovely, however, when they leave fur on your furniture all the time. This can happen so often that it’s troublesome to pull out the vacuum every time.

This is exactly why a small vacuum cleaner can be a lifesaver. A handheld one won’t be enough to clean the rug – but a lightweight upright one will definitely be able to. And this is why the Shark TruePet is such a good investment.

Weighing only 20 pounds, this unit is easier than your average upright vacuum cleaner – which means it won’t be such a pain to pull out every time your dog trashes the rug. It’s also just 37 inches high and 12 inches wide, making it easy to store in a compact closet.

This vacuum cleaner is perfect for all kinds of floors. The standard is the carpet, but if you change to the microfiber pad, you can “squeaky-clean” the bare floors. Overall, out of most small vacuum cleaner, this upright model is definitely a favorite.

Pros

  • Pretty, colorful design
  • Microfiber pad allows you to change from rug to hardwood
  • Easy to maintain thanks to the bag-less dirt container
  • The HEPA filter keeps the allergens out

Cons

  • It’s heavier than it looks

Buy at Amazon

D. Compact Stick Vacuum Cleaners

1. Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum

Freestyle, cordless stick vacuum in Silver.

If you are tired of continuously tripping over the vacuum cord, then the Freestyle vacuum cleaner is a perfect choice for you. Slim and fit, these types of small vacuum cleaners work on batteries that you charge beforehand.

Weighing only 7.5 pounds, this stick vacuum is extra slim. Plus, since it’s only 46 inches tall and 10 inches wide, you can easily store it in a small closet.

The battery is fairly good, and it lets you vacuum at least three times a day. While you may have to charge it more often if you have a big house, it’s one of the best small vacuum cleaners if you have a medium to a small house.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • It can pick up large pieces and small ones alike

Cons

  • Does not have an extending hose

Buy at Wayfair

2. Bissel 3106L

Featherweight stick vacuum for effortless cleaning.

If you are looking for small vacuum cleaners, then this one is probably the slimmest you will ever find. Being only five inches wide and weighing only 9 pounds, it will turn vacuuming in less of a chore and more of a walk in the park.

The clearing path is almost 10 inches wide, which means you can get the job done fairly quickly. It does have a cord, but since it measures a total of 192 inches, you have plenty of moving space.

Once you remove this stick, the unit becomes a handheld vacuum. It’s perfect if you have small areas to clean and don’t want to pull out the full-sized vacuum cleaner.

Pros

  • It converts into a handheld vacuum cleaner
  • Wide clearing path yet compact and lightweight
  • Not as loud compared to traditional vacuum cleaners

Cons

  • It has no attachments for hardwood floors

Buy at Wayfair

E. Small Robot Vacuum

iRobot Roomba

irobot Roomba vacuum cleanerWe bought a Roomba for my in-laws this Christmas.  I was dying to see how well it performed.  I must say overall, I’m very, very impressed.  It navigates wood and carpet perfectly well.

The sensors are amazing as it gently slows as it approaches a wall or obstacle, even narrow obstacles like a chair leg.

What’s also super cool is that it senses drop-offs like stairs and won’t tumble down.  Instead, it stops as if it’s met a wall and changes course.

Within a day or two, despite my in-laws being very tidy folks, there was a good amount of dust and debris collected in the vacuum.

The best part is it’s so quiet.  It’s not annoying to have it running while you’re in the house.  I wish all vacuums were so quiet.

Con:  There’s one downside to it and that is it sometimes gets stuck, especially in cramped areas.  For example, if you have all the chairs of a dining table tucked under the table, it can’t navigate that space well (which is an area you’d want it to clean regularly).  The solution is if you want certain areas clean, ensure it has space to navigate.

Will the iRobot replace regular vacuuming?

For the most part, yes it will if you let it run a daily schedule it will hit pretty much every square inch of your home.  However, it if you have a serious mess, you may still need to roll up your sleeves to deal with it.

Overall, it’s a very cool vacuum.  It’s a very small vacuum cleaner (hence it makes our best small vacuum picks).  While expensive, Roomba is a great robotic vacuum.

Buy at iRobot and Amazon

F. Conclusion

It can be fairly difficult to shop for small vacuum cleaners – especially if you are not entirely certain what would work best for you. There are just so many options: upright, sticks, canisters, handheld – so which one should you go for?

If you tend to have a lot of random mess in small areas (e.g. the kids spilled the cereal, or the cat kicked litter all over the place), you might want to go for a handheld vacuum.

On the other hand, if you need something to clean an entire room, you might want to go for a canister or an upright type. So, the choice you make in small vacuum cleaners will depend on the size of your home.

 





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