Looking for the best vacuum for apartment living? When I was looking for my first apartment, I remember being shocked at how many apartments had carpet. Having suffered from allergies for my entire life, I wanted an apartment I could easily clean.
I knew from experience that carpeted floors are often allergy traps. Dust and pollen get buried in the carpet, and pet fur just adds to the mess.
I ended up settling for an apartment with carpet anyway (the apartment had a loft and a spiral staircase; I couldn’t say no). But my first purchase for the new place was a reliable and effective vacuum cleaner.
The more carpet there is in your apartment, the harder it’ll be to clean. Especially if you have a pet.
The next step to my moving experience was to find a vacuum cleaner I could count on to actually pull the dust, pollen, and animal fur up from the carpet so the air could remain as clean as possible.
Whether you suffer from allergies or not, a good vacuum is essential for apartments and houses. Because finding a vacuum can be difficult (there are a lot of options!), I’ve done some of the research for you.
There’s a lot that goes into making a vacuum great. In this post, I’ve focused on vacuum cleaners that work well even in small spaces, with a limited budget and limited storage. Here are some of the things I took into account while creating this list:
Whether you’re a party animal or a generally neat and tidy kind of person, one of these vacuums is sure to meet your needs.
Features to Look For
So what makes a great vacuum? Honestly, that depends a lot on what you need and want. Bagless vacuums are often a top choice because they are easy to clean, smaller, and much more lightweight. Some vacuums are better for pets, some are built specifically to take up as little space as possible, and some are designed around their unique features.
Here are some of the top categories I found for differentiating between vacuums, especially if you live in a small space. Start here and decide what kind of vacuum you want before you look at the list below of my top choices. Ready? Let’s get into it.
I didn’t include a robo-vacuum in this list, but these little guys really are an easy way to clean!
If you live in an apartment, you may want to focus on finding a vacuum that is portable enough to be carried through each room of the apartment without hassle. If you plan on moving frequently, the portability of your vacuum becomes even more important. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself:
- How much does this vacuum cleaner weigh?
- Does it have a handle?
- Is it bagless?
- Is it big/clunky/weirdly shaped?
The vacuums in this list were chosen partly because they are more portable and lightweight. You can clean the apartment without feeling like you are also getting in a full workout. Plus, if you need to move apartments, these vacuums will be easier to take with you.
Size is part of being portable, but it’s also especially important for apartment-living. Chances are, your apartment doesn’t have a ton of space. You’ll need to store your vacuum in a closet, so you need a vacuum that will fit in the space you have.
Some of these vacuums are incredibly small. A few of them can also be taken apart to use as a hand-held cleaner if you just need a quick clean and don’t want to fuss with taking things out of storage.
Before purchasing any vacuum, make sure that it fits in the space you have available to you in your apartment.
Your apartment is unique. What kind of flooring do you have? What features do you need?
Type of Flooring
Another aspect to consider is your flooring. Vacuums can actually work great on hardwood floors, as long as you get the right kind.
If your apartment has different kinds of flooring in different rooms, you’ll probably want a machine that has various suction settings. With this type of vacuum, you can switch back and forth depending on which room you need to clean.
You’ll need a different vacuum if instead of a low pile carpet, you have especially thick carpet or shag carpet, which will require a machine with a little more power for deep cleaning in order to really clean deep within the carpet.
The vacuums in my list are effective for most carpets and hardwood or vinyl floors. If you have special flooring, you may need to do a bit more research to find out which machine will properly clean them.
Finally, when choosing a vacuum, you need to decide what features are important to you. If you have pets, you want to consider one of the vacuums that has special attachments for pet hair or is rated to pick up pet hair well.
If you have allergies, it’s important to get a vacuum with a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. HEPA filters remove 99.95% of particles in the air that filters through it. These filters trap more allergens than normal vacuums, so your air and floors will be cleaner.
If you have weird angles that need cleaned, you’ll want to consider arm attachments that can reach difficult areas. These attachments can also be effective for removing bugs and spider webs from your apartment if you live somewhere where that’s a problem.
If you have special drapes or curtains, there are some vacuums with attachments specifically designed for these. By that same token, some vacuums are better at cleaning the nooks and crannies of furniture like couches, chairs, and mattresses.
In order to keep your apartment looking nice, you need to keep the carpet looking nice. Do that with a good vacuum–here are some of my favorites!
6 Best Vacuums for an Apartment
Shark Navigator NV352
This bagless upright stick vacuum is one of the best overall vacuums for apartment life. The Shark Navigator has it all–it works on most floor types, including bare floors and hard floors, both carpet and hardwood. At 12.5 pounds, it’s durable and powerful while still being easy to use while you move through your apartment space.
The Shark Navigator has an anti-allergy seal and a HEPA filter, so it’s great for pet owners and people with allergies. It also has a washable filter and the canister is easy to empty. With plenty of great reviews on Amazon, this vacuum is a good choice if you’re looking for a solid vacuum cleaner that can do it all.
Dyson V7 Motorhead
The Dyson V7 Motorhead is incredibly portable and lightweight. At just over five pounds, it’s a great choice if you have a loft, staircase, or several rooms. Plus, the Dyson V7 Motorhead is cordless. The battery lasts approximately half an hour, which should be plenty of time to clean a small apartment.
It works on hardwood floors and carpet. The machine is also multi-use. It comes apart to work as an upright stick vacuum or a hand-held vacuum which you can use to clean furniture, stairs, rugs, and other difficult to clean areas. If you need something especially small and lightweight, or if your apartment has difficult to clean spaces, the Dyson V7 Motorhead might be perfect for you.
The Bissell Featherweight is one of the most affordable cleaners on this list. It comes apart to work as an upright or a hand vacuum, and it has accessories for cleaning staircases and furniture. The Bissell Featherweight is bagless, and it’s easy to empty out the collected dust.
This vacuum cleaner is the most portable on the list. It weighs less than three pounds and comes apart for multiple uses or easier storage. If you have multiple rooms, difficult to reach spaces, a tight budget, or limited storage space, the Bissell Featherweight might be a great choice for your apartment cleaning.
The Eureka NEU202 is a little more heavy duty than the Bissell Featherweight or the Dyson Motorhead. It weighs just over twelve pounds, making it less portable than some of the options on this list. However, it has a 25-foot cord and automatic cord rewind. This means you can vacuum entire rooms without needing to unplug and replug, and you don’t need to waste time winding the cord when you’re done.
The Eureka NEU202 also has some unique features such as the pet brush attachment. It has five different adjustments for suction height so you can use it on almost any flooring. It also comes with LED lights which help you vacuum difficult to reach places like under furniture. Though a little bigger and less portable, this is definitely a top option for pet owners.
Hoover Windtunnel 2
Hoover has been a big-name in vacuums for years, and it’s with good reason. The Hoover Windtunnel 2 has several extra features which make it a great choice for anyone who needs options or special accessories.
The cord is 25 feet long and has an automatic winder. Some of the features include a HEPA filter, a brush roll that works on many different kinds of flooring, and a pet turbo tool designed specifically to pick up pet fur. It weighs 16.1 pounds and is a bit larger than other vacuums on this list, but it’s great for people with allergies, pets, or thick carpets.
Miele Classic C1
I wanted to include a canister vacuum on the list as well. The Miele Classic C1 is one of the top canister vacuums. The canister vacuum easier to store, smaller, and more portable than a stick vacuum. The Miele Classic C1 weighs just over eleven pounds. The cord is almost thirty feet long so you don’t need to worry about whether you can clean an entire room at once.
The Miele Classic C1 also comes with several accessories. It has six settings for suction height. Plus, it has an AirClean Exhaust Filter which helps keep the air clean while you work. In addition, the Miele Classic C1 has a seven year warranty. There’s a good chance this vacuum will outlive your apartment. Luckily, it’s easy to take with you.
I hope this list can help you think through your important vacuum choices. Just remember, think through the features that are important to you. Once you know what you really want to find in a vacuum, you’ll be able to more easily find a machine that meets those needs.
There are a lot of options out there. Be it a stick vacuum, canister vacuum or other models of vacuum cleaners, don’t get overwhelmed, but instead take your time and compare this list of information to your own personal needs. Finding a vacuum for apartment living takes time, but in the end it’ll be more than worth it. Trust me, a clean floor does make a difference in the overall cleanliness of your apartment.
So, a quick recap of my vacuum cleaner choices for the best vacuum for apartments. The Shark Navigator is an effective upright that covers all your basic needs. The Dyson Motorhead is the most portable since it’s lightweight and cordless. The Bissell Featherweight is also incredibly lightweight, small, and multi-use. The Eureka is less portable but great for pets owners. The Hoover Windtunnel is a top choice for anyone suffering with allergies. And the Miele Classic is great for apartments with various types of flooring.
These are all great vacuum cleaner options. Which vacuum cleaners are right for your apartment? I hope this has helped you decide.
Cailey Johanna Thiessen lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Though born in Colorado, she spent most of her formative years in Morelos and Oaxaca, Mexico. She attended college in Vermont, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing and a minor in Foreign Languages from Champlain College. She writes about pest control, travel, gardening, and more. Though currently living in an apartment, she loves caring for her large selection of houseplants and is looking forward to owning her own garden. She’s an avid cook and interested in finding easy and enjoyable ways to be healthier and happier. She’s passionate about writing and creating and seeing finished projects come to life.