The 7 Best Vacuums for Small Apartments or Spaces

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best vacuum for small apartments

Living in smaller spaces is growing more and more popular. Some by choice and others by design, but apartments, condos and minimalist spaces are cropping up everywhere. They even market and sell tiny homes, now. Regardless of the size of your place, you need to keep it clean.

This article will examine the best vacuums for small apartments and help you get the most value for your money when it comes to doing your routine chores.

The Best Vacuums for Small Spaces

Want to keep your apartment clean? These are the best vacuums to get the job done.

Buyers Guide: What to Look for in a Small Spaces Vacuum

What to Look for in a Small Spaces Vacuum

When you plan to pull out your credit card and buy your next vacuum, make sure you have thought of these essential factors before you make a final decision. These factors can make or break your choices.

Floor Types

There are many different floor types and some or all of them can be in your home. From carpeting to hardwood or even tile, laminate or vinyl, your vacuum should be able to clean them all. Spinning brushes will help agitate carpet fibers and loses tough or stubborn dirt sources.

Pure suction is good for hard surfaces to act as a broom lifting dust and debris without scrubbing or worry of scratching the wear layer of the hard flooring. Depending on what type of flooring you have, and how much, choose the vacuum that will do best on the bulk floor type you have.


Most small spaces vacuums have multiple functions. This can include an extended handle to make them more like an upright vacuum, or the ability to remove the motor and nozzle to use as a hand held unit.

Some models even offer extension hoses to work over head or in tight spaces. Knowing your apartment layout and finding a  versatile vacuum will save you money and prevent you buying more tools than you need .

Battery Vs. Corded

For the most part you will have two options when it comes to the power supply. A corded model needs to be plugged in to an outlet and, depending on cord length, may have to get moved for every room.

A battery powered vacuum is more versatile and you don’t have to stop to change outlets. However, you do have to worry about battery life and make sure you have enough charge to complete the cleaning in one go.

Collection Bin and Filtration

The dirt and dust collected end up in a collection bin, a canister or a bag. Disposal or emptying will come in various methods as well. Knowing how to empty the bin is crucial.

Some models require you to open and tilt the entire unit. Some have removable canisters that can dump their contents from the top or the bottom. This does spread some of the lighter debris around when you are emptying. However a bag needs to be replaced and costs more money later on.

Filtration is going to be important to some. Assuming this vacuum is your primary cleaning solution,  you should opt for a model that offers HEPA filtration. HEPA filters will reduce the in-home allergens found in our carpets and flooring such as mildew, dust mites, pet dander, etc. 

You will also need to pay attention to the filters, know how long each one should last and when to replace them.

Overhead Cleaning

If over head cleaning is required, you should find a vacuum that has an extension hose, or is light enough to lift overhead.

Many have tools and attachments that can help you clean the tops of your window dressings, get in tall corners or even dust off a ceiling fan.

Additional Features

Manufacturers will offer you bonus items, add-ons or other features on their vacuums to entice you to buy,

Look over the options and decide if they are worth the cost or if they will actually come in handy and get used. If not, you may be able to save a bit of money by choosing the model without the added features.

Price and Warranty

Obviously, the price is going to be a factor. There is a vacuum for every budget (and some out of budget). However, in the general sense of “you get what you pay for” and should find the best value for the money on a model that gets the job done.

Most vacuums will also come with a warranty. It is important to know what the warranty covers, the period it is active and if you need to do anything specific to make a claim. This can be things like retaining proof of purchase, registering the item in a certain amount of time, or things like that.

7 Best Vacuums for Apartments, Condos and Other Small Spaces

In this section we will show you the 7 best vacuums for small spaces, including apartments. Each model listed below is ideal for specific situations (or overall cleaning). Find your next small-spaces vacuum right here.

1. Black and Decker Dustbuster Handheld

The Black and Decker Dustbuster is a handheld unit that comes with a lot of power and some unique features. There is one major drawback that many may wonder how it makes the top spot in our list. Let’s take a closer look.

First, the drawback; there isn’t a viable way to make it clean your floors. It doesn’t have an extension handle and I’m quite sure you don’t want to clean your entire apartment on your hands and knees.

However, as that is the only drawback, it retains the top spot for every other reason. The main thing here is that the battery operated hand unit has a lot of power.  It can suction up almost anything that it comes across.  It will even pick up that sock that fell between your washer and dryer.

The battery doesn’t have to be removed to charge, either. When you are done using the vacuum, you just place it on the charging dock. It is important to note that  this is also a quick-charge and can refill the entire battery in just a couple of hours .

When it comes to dusting, furniture or even cleaning overhead, the Dustbuster truly stands out. It comes with two tools, a crevice tool for getting down into your couch or tight spots. It also has an upholstery brush. The best part here, is that both are permanently attached to the unit, so they won’t get lost.

If you need to use the tools, you just pull them into position and clean. When you don’t need them, push them out of the way. The Black and Decker Dustbuster makes short work of furniture, table tops, dusting, window sills, and getting into corners below or above your head.

If you want a quick clean that will surprise you every time, this is the model for you.

LightweightDoesn’t convert to a floor cleaner
Tools built-in to vacuum
Powerful suction for deep cleaning
Budget-friendly and versatile

2. Shark Rotator Pro

Shark is a brand most people are aware of, and for good reason.  The high quality machines they produce stand the test of time and clean like a dream.  No matter what Shark product you purchase, there is little chance of disappointment. The Rotator Pro is no different.

The upright model uses a canister to collect your dust and debris and you can empty it with relative ease, and without making a mess. The onboard attachments also stay securely in place until you need them, unlike other brands that have loose fitting tool holders.

You can remove the canister portion off of the upright and take it with you. This allows you to easily clean higher areas, furniture and even above head. The wand extension and flexible hose makes getting on top of your ceiling fan blades quick and easy.

If you do decide to clean the stairs, the suction power will make short work of them, however, the unit does weigh about 15 pounds, making it a little awkward and tiring to carry around. When you set the large base on stairs, it can become a little wobbly, forcing you to fight it some to stay in place.

The  powered brush roller is ideal for both carpet and hard flooring and the HEPA filter is perfect . If you have allergies, or want to reduce things like pollen, mold spores and dust mites, then HEPA is the way to go.

The Rotator Pro is also perfect for pet hair, both in your carpet and on your furniture. The tools work well and aside from the weight, there really isn’t anything negative to say here. Another great product from Shark.

HEPA filtrationA little heavy for handheld mode
Powerful suctionCan be clumsy on stairs
Easily reaches overhead
Large 5-year warranty

3. VonHaus 2 in 1

Unlike Shark, VonHaus may not be a household name, yet. The 2-in-1 stick vac might just change that, though. The model doesn’t have quite everything you may need, but for small apartments, this vacuum has enough.

The stick handle that transforms it into an upright is multi-positional, meaning you can have it at any length to better suit your needs. It also comes out completely, to use in hand-held mode.

There is a small possibility that the handle will become loose over time. This is mainly due to overuse or trying to vacuum thicker carpet with the handle fully extended, putting more pressure on the knuckle that holds it in place.

One unique feature, though, that makes this affordable unit stand out is found in the included tools . Along with the hose extender, crevice tool and brush, you also get a shoulder strap. This helps tremendously when you are looking to clean over head or use the vacuum in the car, or on stairs.

While the warranty is only valid in the US and parts of the UK, it is such a low cost that if something does happen after the first year, it is viable enough to purchase a new one.

It may not have the best suction power for deep carpeting, but every day spills and messes will disappear as fast as you can turn it on.

Highly affordable optionHandle may become loose
Changes cleaning modes quicklyWarranty only valid in US and UK
Comes with a shoulder strap

4. Bissell Featherweight

Bissell is another name that has been around a while, earning your trust and money with reliable vacuums for years.  The Featherweight bagless stick vacuum is just another in a long line of durable, effective vacuums from the company. 

The first thing to note is that this model has a few color options, so you can pick your favorite. Between the modern black to the new age lime green, there is a color to match your mood or décor.

When it comes to cleaning your floors, you should be pleasantly surprised. For such a lightweight vacuum, there is a lot of suction power here. It doesn’t have a brush roller for agitating and getting deep into carpets, but this shouldn’t be much of an issue for most apartments who stick to low-pile carpeting.

You can easily transform this into a handheld unit for cleaning furniture, counters, vehicles and even overhead. There isn’t an extension handle, but the crevice tool and ultra light weight make working overhead for cobwebs and curtain tops simple.

The 1-year warranty isn’t the best in the business, of course, but the cost to value ratio is quite high. Especially if you have shedding pets and need to get those tufts of hair from along your baseboards and corners. You won’t find an easier vacuum to use.

Perfect for hard flooringCollection bin is a bit small
Moves from upright to handheld quickly.Not ideal for thick carpets
Long cord for less outlet moving

5 Dyson Cyclone V10

It is hard to explain every possible feature and option for the Dyson V10 stick vacuum without an entire article of its own. Here is what you absolutely have to know.

First, this is arguably the  best of the best when it comes to small apartment cleaning . There isn’t anything this vacuum can’t do (except your laundry, but it will try). You also need to know that there are three separate models to choose from.

Between the Animal, Motorhead and Absolute, the difference is in what is included with your purchase. The Motorhead comes with, you guessed it, a motorized power brush roller head. The Animal uses the Torque Drive power cleaning head and the Absolute comes with all of them.

You will also notice the hefty price tag. That is because these vacuums are built to last and to clean better than you can imagine. On both accounts they live up to that standard. If this is within your budget, it may be the last vacuum you ever buy.

You also get a lot of tools, and depending on where and when you buy, there are bonus items including a charging cradle, tool caddy or other cleaning heads.

Of course you get the Dyson cyclone cleaning system for high suction and a clog-free design, a large capacity dust bin and an entire apartment clean that will leave you wanting to find other things to clean.

Extreme cleaning abilityMost expensive in our list
Long battery life
Highest suction power
Cleans the entire home

6. Hoover Sprint QuickVac

The last model on our list is not the worst, not by far. The Hoover Sprint QuickVac is easily a contender for top spot, we just had to list it somewhere. Maybe we saved the best for last.

This upright vacuum doesn’t convert to a handheld unit, but that is because it doesn’t have to. Like the Dyson,  Hoover uses cyclonic cleaning suction for a clog-free design and superior suction power .

Instead of converting to a handheld unit, the handle is removed to expose a flex hose and cleaning head. You can reach up to 7-feet above the unit to clean fans, window sills, curtains and even in your ceiling corners.

Some do find that the hose is a bit short for some ceilings, and there isn’t an option to extend it any further. The vacuum is also billed as lightweight, but at 13 pounds, it isn’t something you want to tote around for hours.

It cleans fast, though, and with the powerful suction, crevice and brush tools and triple-height adjustable power head, there isn’t anything in your apartment you cannot clean.

Carpet is deep cleaned, hard flooring is swept sparkling clean and above head cleaning is quick and efficient.

If you want a mid-range vacuum for entire home cleaning, check out this Hoover. You will love it.

Powerful suctionExtension hose may be too short
HEPA filtrationWeighs in on the heavy side
Great warranty

7. Eureka Blaze 3-in-1

Eureka has one of the best 3-in-1 vacuums you can find.  It is a mid-range model so the cost stays lower, but it cleans and acts like a higher-tiered model, making the cost to value ratio pretty high. 

First, it has a long handle so you can use it like an upright vacuum. This means all floor types can get the clean they deserve. However, it should be noted that there isn’t a brush roll in the suction head, so deep cleaning carpet isn’t possible. For those with low-pile, tight-woven carpet, though, it will work fine.

You can remove the handle and use it as a handheld model. This makes it ideal for cleaning out your car, the furniture and for getting into hard to reach areas.

The third mode is handheld with the cleaning head attached. Like a mini vacuum, you can get into spots that you can’t access in regular upright mode.

There are plenty of attachments, too, including an extension tool and crevice tool. This makes it easy to clean overhead, get along baseboards or in corners.

The filter isn’t HEPA rated, but it is washable and captures larger particles, helping to maintain your air quality.

Overall, the cost-effective Eureka will maintain your apartment cleanliness. As long as you have little or moderate carpet coverage and don’t mind a shorter cord, you will enjoy cleaning up with this vacuum.

Cleans all spaces and floor typesNo brush roll
LightweightCord may be too short for some rooms
Easy conversion to various cleaning modes

How to Clean Your Apartment with a Vacuum

clean your apartment with a vacuum

Cleaning usually entails a lot of different tools, cleaners and time. However, there is a way to clean most of your apartment surfaces with just your vacuum, as long as you have the attachments and tools to do so.

The following steps are just one way to keep your apartment or condo looking presentable.

This will also assume you have a vacuum that will do the entire process. If you do not, you can substitute some of the steps with other items for that particular purpose.

  • Always start at the top and clean from the top down, doing your floors last.
  • Use the extender hose and crevice tool to go around the ceiling, cleaning out any cobwebs or dust accumulation, especially in the corners.
  • With the extension hose and brush tool you can clean off ceiling fan blades next.
  • Follow that up with the same tools and clean off the tops of your curtains, curtain rods and window frames.
  • Using the crevice tool again, you can clean off the window sills. If you want to keep using the brush tool you can also vacuum your mini-blinds.
  • Next, a general dusting of table tops, counters, around cabinet doors and handles should complete most of the above ground cleaning.
  • Furniture should be next, cleaning off couches and chairs using the various tools to get in between cushions or in the odd places.
  • Finally you will want to vacuum the hard flooring surfaces and carpeting.
  • Unfortunately, a vacuum can’t clean dishes, mop your floors or do the laundry. Otherwise, you are done.

Care and Maintenance

Caring for your vacuum isn’t a tough process, but it needs to be a regular routine. The better care you have for your vacuum, the longer it will last and the better it performs.

Every vacuum on our list above comes with an owner’s manual that outlines the maintenance process. Below are some general guidelines so you know what you are getting into when caring for your new vacuum.

  • Empty the dust bin, collection canister or bags regularly.
  • Wipe down the machine to keep dust and debris from collecting.
  • Keep the batteries charged and ready to go.
  • Inspect the power cord for nicks, cuts or other issues.
  • Replace the filter every few months. You can also clean the filter.
  • Inspect the brush roller and clean out any tangles of hair, string or carpet fibers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now we will answer some commonly asked questions about vacuums for small apartments. If you have any other questions please use the comment section below the article.

Q. Are cordless vacuums better than corded?

  1. This answer will depend on what you are cleaning and how much space you have. Corded vacuums tend to be more powerful than their battery operated counterparts.

This makes corded vacuums ideal for carpeted floors in large spaces. However, battery powered vacuums are better for small spaces with a mixture of carpet and hard flooring.

Q. Are Shark vacuums better than Dyson?

  1. This also depends on what you are comparing. For overall performance and value, Dyson is hard to beat. That being said, there are certain aspects where Shark vacuums are better.

Shark makes lighter vacuums, though they have shorter cords. They also have better versatility when cleaning different areas and places (such as a car). Shark also usually has a much lower price tag, but that may or may not make it better.

Q. What is the average life of a vacuum cleaner?

  1. Most people tend to follow the lifespan of 8 years for a vacuum. Canister vacuums tend to last slightly longer, but the average is between 6 and 9 years before repairs aren’t cost effective anymore.

Q. Is it better to repair a vacuum or replace it?

  1. The major deciding factor is to determine how much the repairs will cost you. If the vacuum is still under warranty, then obviously, repairs are going to be better.

That being said, if the vacuum is older than five years, parts may be harder to find, making the overall repair costs higher. In this instance, the cost of a new vacuum may be cheaper, or similar in price making it a better deal.

In Conclusion

Choosing the right vacuum for your small apartment, condo or room can be a daunting decision. This article was aimed at helping you decide which features you required to keep your space clean, as well as showing you several options.

The best overall vacuum may not be the ideal one for your specific needs, but when it comes to versatility, the Black and Decker Dustbuster Handheld is a great option with a high cost to value ratio.

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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