If you live in an apartment, you're aware of some of the considerations you have 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 130 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.
The best vacuum for apartments we've tested is the Samsung Jet 75. This cordless stick vacuum delivers strong performance at a relatively affordable price point, with a potent 200AW motor borrowed from the pricier Samsung Jet 90 Complete. This results in exceptional debris pickup on bare floors and great performance on low and high-pile rugs. It comes with a wall-mount rack station that holds the vacuum upright when not in use and features mounting slots for its included attachments, freeing up a bit of extra space in your closet. It's also very lightweight, making it a cinch to maneuver in cluttered environments. The Complete variant comes with two batteries, each of which can supply up to an hour of runtime, so you won't have to rush too much when cleaning up bigger messes in your apartment.
The Complete variant also comes with Samsung's Clean Station accessory, which transfers debris from the vacuum's dustbin into an internally mounted dirtbag when it's docked on the rack, lowering overall maintenance requirements. Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn't have automatic power adjustment, so you'll need to adjust its suction power setting manually depending on the floor type you're cleaning. If that's a must-have, the Tineco PURE ONE S11 is a worthy substitute, even if it has a less potent suction motor, a shorter battery life, and flimsier build quality.
If you're shopping at a mid-range price point, the Samsung Jet 60 is among the best vacuums for small apartments. Compared to the similarly-designed Samsung Jet 75, it has a less powerful 150AW suction motor and comes bundled with a less effective Jet Fit floorhead, resulting in inferior debris pickup performance, though not by a huge degree. Still, it's a great option for apartments for many of the same reasons. It's remarkably lightweight and maneuverable, and it uses the same five-stage filtration system that's highly effective in sealing in any fine allergens like pet dander. The Pet variant of this vacuum comes with a wide range of handy accessories, including a turbo brush for cleaning debris on furniture, though it's worth noting that this attachment is a little bulky, making the vacuum a little unwieldy to use on fabric surfaces.
That said, battery performance isn't a strong point. It uses a lower-capacity battery than the Jet 75, and its 40-minute max runtime might not be enough for longer cleaning sessions. If that's a problem, the Wyze Cordless Vacuum is a solid alternative. However, it doesn't feel as robustly built as the Samsung vacuum and comes with fewer attachments.
The best vacuum for small apartments at a budget-friendly price that we've tested is the Eureka Mighty Mite. It doesn't have the go-anywhere operating range of a cordless model like the Samsung Jet 60, but it's also much cheaper, and its corded design makes it a better option for longer cleaning sessions. It's very compact, especially for a canister vacuum, so it isn't especially hard to fit in a closet. Its lightweight construction enables you to carry it wherever you may need it within your apartment. While its simple design feels somewhat cheap in places, it's very easy to maintain, with the few parts that need regular cleaning being easy to access. Performance is also very strong across a wide range of surface types.
Looking for something even more inexpensive? Check out the BISSELL Featherweight Stick. This bagless upright has a remarkably simple design that doesn't use disposable dirtbags, resulting in lower operating costs. It's also even more compact, making it a cinch to store upright in most apartments. However, its overall performance lags behind the Eureka, especially when trying to clear away heavy, bulky debris.
If you only need something for quick clean-ups, the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ is among the best vacuum for apartments we've tested. While it isn't nearly as well-suited to cleaning large areas compared to similarly-priced full-size models like the Eureka Mighty Mite, it's still remarkably effective when dealing with small amounts of debris on flat surfaces like countertops or shelves as well as bare and carpeted floors. Unfortunately, while the CH951 variant comes with a turbo brush attachment, it isn't very effective when dealing with hair on upholstered furniture, and you're better off using its hard-bristle brush or crevice tool for this kind of usage. Its battery life of a little over 10 minutes also forces you to work fast when dealing with more stubborn messes. Unfortunately, its battery isn't removable, so you can't swap in a new pack if the current unit's performance degrades over time.
While it's on the larger side for a handheld vacuum, it's still very lightweight and takes up very little space, allowing you to store it in a cupboard or a closet when not in use. However, it does a terrible job of sealing in allergens due to its lack of adequate filtration. If that's an issue, the Shark WANDVAC is a good substitute, albeit with a much smaller dustbin and worse performance when cleaning up bulky debris.
If you aren't overly concerned about deep-cleaning performance and want a hands-off way to keep your apartment's floors clean, look at the Wyze Robot Vacuum. It doesn't do as well on rugs or carpets as a manually-operated vacuum like the Samsung Jet 60. However, since you can schedule it to clean every day, there'll be fewer large messes to worry about. It features a LIDAR mapping system, which is rare for a model at this price point, and it allows it to navigate around obstacles even within a cluttered environment like a small apartment. Better still, it can do so without a strong source of ambient light, so you can let it run while you're out and about. Performance on bare floors is fantastic, though the vacuum does have a harder time dealing with debris on carpeted surfaces.
Its companion app is pretty easy to use and lets you set up virtual boundary markers, schedule cleaning sessions in advance, or change its suction power level. It has an onboard HEPA filter, which is somewhat helpful in sealing in fine particles, making it a solid option if you have a heavily-shedding pet.
Apr 12, 2023: Removed less relevant Notable Mentions picks. Ensured all main picks still represent the best option for user needs.
Feb 06, 2023: Replaced Tineco PURE ONE S11 with Samsung Jet 75 as 'Best Apartment Vacuum' pick. Added Dyson V8 to Notable Mentions.
Dec 19, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for user needs and preferences.
Oct 20, 2022: Major article restructuring to better align with user needs and preferences. Added Shark APEX UpLight and BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister to the Notable Mentions section.
Jul 04, 2022: Article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Added Airsign HEPA Vacuum as the new 'Best Apartment Vacuum' pick. Recategorized Eureka Mighty Mite as 'Best Apartment Vacuum Under $100'. Recategorized BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 as 'Best Apartment Vacuum Under $50'. Added Wyze Robot Vacuum to recommendations as the new 'Best Robot Vacuum For Apartments' pick. Removed BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet and eufy RoboVac 11S from Notable Mentions.
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.