Thanks to innovations in design and build materials, vacuum cleaners have become lighter over time. A lightweight machine can help reduce the strain on your body as you clean, and it can be easier to take with you up and down a flight of stairs. It should have both a low total weight as well as a manageable weight in your hand. However, to improve their portability while lowering their weight, many of these vacuums tend to be very plasticky, and their build quality can suffer as a result.
We've tested over 120 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best lightweight vacuum cleaners to buy. These picks were selected not only based on their weight but also their performance on different types of surfaces, feature set, battery life, and price. If you're looking for more vacuums, check out our recommendations for the best cordless vacuums, the best cordless stick vacuums, and the best cordless vacuums for pet hair.
The Samsung Jet 70 Pet is the best lightweight vacuum we've tested. This cordless stick vacuum doesn't weigh very much compared to many other alternatives and is impressively easy to carry from room to room or maneuver in tight, cluttered areas. It also features a five-stage filtration system and is very effective at capturing fine particles. While this vacuum feels reasonably well-built overall, it does have a few weak points, like the clear plastic dustbin and the top cover of its floorhead. You can expect upwards of 50 minutes of runtime in its most energy-efficient configuration. However, you'll have to work fast when vacuuming stubborn debris in its high-power 'MAX' mode, which can drain its battery in a little over five minutes. Consider the Wyze Cordless Vacuum if you're looking for a cheaper alternative that can run for longer periods on a single charge, though it has a harder time dealing with bulkier debris.
The Samsung performs superbly on bare floors and is also remarkably effective when dealing with messes on low and high-pile carpets. However, there's also no way of adjusting its brushroll height or stopping its rotation, so you should be careful when cleaning around loose obstructions like rug tassels.
If you're on a budget, the BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 is worth a look and also happens to be the best lightweight vacuum cleaner for elderly users that we've tested since it places such little weight in the hand while in use. While its plastic construction feels flimsy in places, it's really easy to maneuver even in tight, cluttered spaces. It has a simple bagless design that's very easy to maintain and incurs virtually no recurring costs. You can reconfigure it into a handheld for cleaning on top of counters and furniture, and it also comes with a crevice tool to help you clean tight spots.
It does a fantastic job of sucking up pet hair on a wide variety of surface types. It also easily sucks up small debris like rice on bare floors and is effective in dealing with bulky material like cereal when its dustbin is empty. However, suction performance drops drastically as its tiny dustbin fills up, to the point where it's incapable of picking up bulky debris like cereal once it reaches more than half capacity. It does a mediocre job of clearing debris from high-pile carpet and feels quite flimsy in places.
The Eureka Mighty Mite is a good choice if you're looking for a lightweight canister vacuum. It has a simple bagged design with a plastic canister body, making it easy to lift and carry from room to room. It's also small enough to be easily stored in a closet, though you'll have to manually wind back its power cord. Its overall design isn't too complicated either, so you can swap out its filters or put in a new dirtbag once it's been filled up. If you want to clean on top of furniture or shelves, you can remove the floorhead and two plastic tubes that make up its wand. It comes with a hard-bristle brush for dealing with stuck-on dirt and debris and a combination upholstery/crevice tool for cleaning furniture or clearing debris in tight corners.
This vacuum does a fantastic job of cleaning even surfaces and is pretty effective on low and high-pile carpet. While its floorhead doesn't have a motorized or air-driven brushroll for improved surface agitation, it does have bristles that you can retract to help generate a tighter seal on rugs and carpets.
If you prefer the all-in-one design of an upright vacuum but want something lightweight and easy to maneuver, the Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet is a good option. It weighs much less than most other conventionally-designed corded uprights, so you can easily pick it up and carry it wherever you may need it. Its cordless design also ensures you don't have to stay close to an electrical outlet while vacuuming far-away areas. It runs off a 4.0 Ah battery pack that yields up to 40 minutes of runtime on a single charge. While its battery life does drop to a little over 20 minutes in its most powerful mode, that's still longer than most cordless stick vacuums.
This vacuum performs impressively well on bare floors, though you'll need to turn off its brushroll to prevent it from sending debris scattering around. While you might need to make an extra go-around to clear away fine material, it also does a good job dealing with debris on low and high-pile carpet. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a HEPA filter or an allergen-sealed body, resulting in terrible air filtration performance.
If you want a very portable handheld option, check out the Wyze Handheld Vacuum. This compact vacuum is small and light, even by the standards of other handheld models, so you can easily carry it wherever you need or store it in a drawer or cupboard when not in use. Unusually for a vacuum of this size and price point, it has an onboard HEPA filter, which is pretty effective in trapping most fine allergens. It also has a relatively wide assortment of tools, including an extension hose to help clean hard-to-reach areas and a crevice tool. That said, there's no miniature turbo brush, which would make it easier to clean upholstered surfaces. If that's a concern, the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ is worth a look. However, it has a bulkier design, and its lack of a HEPA filter contributes to its terrible air filtration performance.
You can expect half an hour of runtime when using the Wyze in its default suction power mode, which should give you more than enough time to spot-clean most messes. It's remarkably effective in dealing with pet hair and can easily suck up small debris, though bulky material can clog the suction inlet.
Jul 04, 2022: Substantial article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Recategorized Samsung Jet 70 Pet as 'Best Lightweight Vacuum'. Recategorized BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 as the 'Best Budget Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner' pick. Replaced Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ with Wyze Handheld Vacuum as 'Best Lightweight Handheld Vacuum' pick. Added Eureka Mighty Mite as the new 'Best Lightweight Canister Vacuum' pick. Added Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet as the new 'Best Lightweight Upright Vacuum' pick. Removed Dyson V7 Animal, eufy HomeVac H11, BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet, Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L, iRobot H1, and Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet from Notable Mentions.
May 03, 2022: Replaced Dyson V8 Animal with Samsung Jet 70 Pet as 'Best Lightweight Stick Vacuum' pick. Removed Dyson Micro 1.5 kg due to current availability. Added Dyson V8 Animal to Notable Mentions.
Mar 07, 2022: Ensured all main picks are available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.
Feb 02, 2022: Verified that all main picks are still available and are aligned with user needs and expectations.
Jan 07, 2022: Ensured that all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for their given category.
Our recommendations above are based on what we think are currently the best lightweight vacuum cleaners. 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 lightweight vacuum reviews. 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.