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The 6 Best Vacuums For Apartments - Spring 2022 Reviews

Best Vacuums For Apartments

If you live in an apartment, you're aware of some of the considerations you need to make when choosing a vacuum. Space is at a premium, so having an appliance that's maneuverable and easy to store is crucial. Cleaning performance is important since you may need to deal with various kinds of messes. Of course, those aren't the only criteria when selecting a vacuum for this environment. Affordability can also be a concern, but today's product landscape offers no shortage of budget-friendly options that sacrifice little in terms of features or capability.

We've tested over 115 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums for apartments. We selected these picks for their performance on different surfaces, their design, and their price. For more options, check out our lists of the best lightweight vacuums, the best handheld vacuums, and the best multi-surface vacuums.

  1. Best Apartment Vacuum For Carpets

    The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is the best vacuum we've tested for apartments with mostly carpeted floors. This corded stick vacuum performs well on low and high-pile carpet, as it easily clears away most pet hair as well as larger debris, though you might need to make an extra pass to fully clear away finer material that's been worked into carpet fibers. There's no significant loss in suction performance as its dustbin fills up, so you shouldn't need to empty it at the end of every single cleaning session.

    This vacuum has a reasonably lightweight plastic construction that makes it easy to maneuver even within cluttered areas like the inside of your apartment. It can also be easily reconfigured as a handheld vacuum to help you spot clean hard-to-reach areas, like on top of shelves or furniture. There are quite a few attachments included with the 'Home & Car Detail' kit, like a series of fine brushes to suck up dust and small debris in tight corners as well as a flexible extension hose.

    Unfortunately, this vacuum's suction force at its floorhead isn't especially strong, and it can struggle with lifting debris wedged in cracks and crevices when used in its stick configuration. It also feels cheaply built and has quite a few parts that need regular cleaning. Since you can't raise its floorhead or stop the rotation of its brushroll, you should also be careful when cleaning around hazards like rug tassels. Otherwise, it's a solid option for cleaning carpeted floors in apartments.

    See our review

  2. Best Apartment Vacuum For Bare Floors

    The best vacuum for small apartments with mostly bare floors that we've tested is the Eureka Mighty Mite. This budget-friendly canister vacuum is small enough to be easily stored in closets and has a lightweight construction that enables you to carry it wherever you might need it. Its simple design also makes it very easy to maintain, and the few parts that need regular cleaning are easy to access.

    This vacuum performs remarkably well on flat, even surfaces like hardwood, linoleum, or tile floors. While it has a rather basic floorhead that lacks an air-driven turbo brush or even a motorized electrobrush, you can extend or retract the floorhead's bristles just in case you want to clean any small rugs or carpets. Suction performance remains consistent as its dustbin fills up, so you shouldn't need to replace it too frequently.

    Unfortunately, there are a few components that feel a little fragile, and the tubes that make up its wand can fall out of place if they aren't connected correctly. Its power cord is short, so you might need to swap outlets when vacuuming larger areas. Otherwise, its affordable price point and compact dimensions make it a great option for apartment dwellers.

    See our review

  3. Bagless Alternative

    If you'd prefer a bagless vacuum, you may want to consider the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. Its lack of dirtbag results in a higher chance of a plume of dust and debris releasing when emptying it and inferior air filtration performance than the Eureka Mighty Mite. However, it incurs virtually no recurring costs as long as you regularly clean its filters of any stuck-on debris. It delivers similarly outstanding performance on bare, even surfaces like linoleum or hardwood, easily cleaning pet hair as well as small and bulky debris. Its lightweight plastic construction also makes it easy to pick up and carry. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a crevice tool to tackle messes in tight corners. Its power cord and hose are also short, so you might need to swap outlets when cleaning a larger apartment.

    Get the Mighty Mite if you prioritize the superior air filtration performance of a bagged vacuum. Consider the Whirlwind if you don't want to worry about recurring costs.

    See our review

  4. Best Handheld Vacuum For Apartments

    The best vacuum for apartments with a handheld design that we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This compact cordless vacuum takes up very little space, allowing you to store it in a cupboard or a closet when not in use. Its lightweight yet sturdy construction means that you shouldn't experience much in the way of fatigue when using it for extended periods.

    This vacuum is remarkably effective when dealing with debris on bare, flat surfaces like countertops or shelves but also does an excellent job of clearing away messes on low and high-pile carpets and rugs. It does a fantastic job of sucking up pet hair on various floor types, though its turbo brush attachment isn't very effective when dealing with hair on upholstered furniture.

    Unfortunately, unlike alternatives like the Shark ION W1 WANDVAC, it doesn't have a HEPA filter to help trap allergens as you clean, and it does a terrible job of sealing in fine particulates, meaning it isn't the best option if you suffer from allergies. Its battery life of a little over 10 minutes also forces you to work fast when dealing with more stubborn messes. Still, if you need a handheld vacuum that can tackle most kinds of messes in your apartment, it's a solid choice.

    See our review

  5. Best Cordless Vacuum For Apartments

    The best vacuum for small apartments with a cordless design that we've tested is the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. This budget-friendly cordless vacuum is lighter than many other cordless stick vacuums like the Dyson V11 Animal, making it easy to maneuver in tight spaces or carry wherever you might need. It also has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, so it's a suitable option if you're worried about fine particulates.

    This vacuum does a fantastic job dealing with pet hair and small debris on bare floors, though especially bulky material can get stuck at the entry to its dustbin. It also performs amazingly well overall on low and high-pile rugs and carpets. It offers up to nearly an hour of runtime on a single charge, though battery life drops dramatically if you run it continuously in its high-power 'TURBO' mode, so you need to work quickly if you have a lot of high-pile rugs in your apartment.

    Unfortunately, you need to clean quite a few parts regularly. Thankfully, the vacuum's bagless design and washable filters keep recurring costs low. Some of its plastic construction feels somewhat fragile, like the easily-scratched dustbin and top floorhead plate. Still, given its relatively affordable price, onboard HEPA filter, and strong performance, it's a great option for apartment owners and one of the best cordless stick vacuums we've tested.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Vacuum For Apartments

    The BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 is the best budget vacuum for apartments that we've tested. This cheap, lightweight vacuum has a simple design that's very easy to maintain. It doesn't use a dirtbag, and it has a washable dust cup filter and pre-motor mesh filter, so recurring costs are practically nonexistent.

    You can reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum to clean areas like shelves and furniture with ease, and it comes with a crevice tool to tackle messes in tight corners. Performance on bare floors is great, as it easily cleans pet hair and small debris. However, while it also has no trouble sucking up bulky material with an empty dirt compartment, it can struggle to clear this kind of debris as it fills up.

    Also, this vacuum has a very short power cord, so you might need to swap outlets when cleaning larger rooms. In addition, parts of its all-plastic construction are somewhat flimsy, especially its wheels, dustbin cover, and main handle, which feels like it could snap if too much pressure is applied. Still, the vacuum's portable design, impressive ease of maintenance, and affordable price help make it one of the best cheap vacuum cleaners we've tested.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Shark ION W1 WANDVAC: The Shark ION W1 WANDVAC is a cordless handheld vacuum that's highly portable, but it struggles far more with bulky material than the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. See our review
  • BISSELL Zing Bagless Canister: The BISSELL Zing Bagless Canister is similar in design to the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister, but it offers inferior performance on all surface types and has higher recurring costs. See our review
  • BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet: The BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet is an unusually designed cordless upright/handheld vacuum that's very portable, but it has a short battery life and a long recharge time. See our review
  • JASHEN V16: The JASHEN V16 is a budget-friendly cordless stick/handheld vacuum. It easily cleans pet hair but struggles a bit with cleaning bulky material. See our review
  • eufy RoboVac 11S: The eufy RoboVac 11S is a budget-level robot vacuum that's outstandingly easy to store. However, it struggles to pick up small and large debris on carpet. See our review
  • Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L: The Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L is a handheld vacuum that's exceptionally easy to store. However, it's not as versatile as the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 29, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best fit for user needs and expectations.

  2. Mar 02, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.

  3. Jan 04, 2022: Re-categorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ from 'Handheld Alternative' pick to new 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Apartments' category pick.

  4. Nov 05, 2021: Added Wyze Cordless Vacuum as new 'Best Cordless Vacuum For Apartments' pick.

  5. Sep 07, 2021: Replaced Simplicity S65S with Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ due to current availability. Replaced HoLife HM036E with Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister due to current availability. Removed Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister and Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ from Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums for apartments. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also factors like availability, price, and reader feedback.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of vacuums at an affordable price, with considerations made for portability and storage capability. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.