How To Find The Best Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner 2016

June 7, 2016

Many people are looking for something extremely portable to clean their house and want to know how to find the best lightweight vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum cleaners have been a staple of our cleaning supplies for well over a century now. Advances in technology mean that the machines we use today have changed a great deal.

We will look here today at some of the points you need to consider to find not just the best lightweight vacuum for your budget but also for your specific needs.

In general, anything under 5kg is labeled lightweight. Some of the slenderer versions can come in at less than 2kg but 5kg is pretty much the standard for a lightweight cleaner. Compare this to 8kg and upwards for most uprights and that’s quite a difference, especially for the elderly or infirm.

The choice of different models on the market can often be negative as well as positive. With so many options to choose from, things can become confusing and overwhelming. Take the time to read through this guide and you will be better placed to make the right decision.

the best leightweight vacuum cleaner

What types of lightweight vacuum cleaners are available?

There are three main varieties of cleaner in the lightweight sector.

  • Handheld
  • Stick/broom
  • Lightweight canister

Note: there are a few upright vacuums that could be termed lightweight but they are principally more heavy duty. For the sake of simplicity we will focus here on the three types above.

Your personal requirements will dictate which option is the most suitable for you.

The handheld is great for those with limited storage for bulkier items. If you have children who tend to frequently make small spillages then, again, the handheld will come into its own. For those who have homes with lots of awkward spaces and also want to clean more than just the floor – think furniture and vehicles – the handheld could be the key. Bear in mind, too, that you will need a certain level of fitness and strength to clean while holding the vacuum.

If the above statements do not apply to you then focus instead on either a stick vacuum or lightweight canister instead.

Practically all canisters cope admirably with stairs and bare floors but they may struggle with carpets. Sticks tend to fall somewhere in between and can acquit themselves on most surfaces (although not with the same deep-cleaning ability as uprights).

OK, having determined which particular kind of lightweight vacuum would be best for your requirements, think now about some more general questions…

What are you cleaning?

One of the main considerations you should bear in mind is precisely what type of floor you will be cleaning.

Different types of vacuum cleaners have certain things at which they excel and also a number of weak points. Homes today come with various floor surfaces. Think about whether your house is tiled, carpeted or covered with hardwood and buy the appropriate cleaner for this need.

If you have hardwood floors then any of the lightweight choices above will be adequate for your needs. If thick carpet covers most of the surface area you might want to rethink and start researching some of the more portable upright vacuums.


In general, size leads to more power but not in every case so study the specifications carefully in order to make an informed decision.

Many people assume that the more powerful the motor the better suction will be delivered. Again, although this can be true it is certainly not always an accurate benchmark.

A surplus of power can actually be a bad thing. Think about it: how much suction do you really need? If more power than necessary is kicked out then the subsequent heat will add to your electricity bill. It will also decrease the lifespan of your vacuum.

Much more important than becoming obsessed with raw power is to take steps to learn how to effectively and efficiently use your cleaning device. Make sure you use the correct brush or extension.

The benefits of handheld and cordless cleaners

One word could best summarize this concept: versatility.

If you have pets and need to clean up lots of hair or the occasional spillage of pet litter then a handheld is ideal for this purpose. Equally, if you find yourself cleaning stairs or thinner carpet then a handheld is tailor-made.

How about cordless vacuums? First and foremost, cordless cleaners tend to be much lighter than their corded counterparts. They are great for dealing with spacious areas where you would otherwise need to keep unplugging your machine and finding another socket. Cordless models are also well-suited to uneven surfaces.

Note: Pretty much all cordless cleaners are bagless. If you suffer from allergies then this might not be for the best. Also, they are generally not as powerful as those with a cord so determine how crucial it is to have something with killer suction.

Storage space

When you are mulling over the alternatives of handheld, stick or canister variants, storage space should be uppermost in your mind.

Where will you keep the vacuum?

Think about the shape (and also the size) of the cupboard or area where you will stash the cleaning equipment. If you find yourself overloaded with products or space is really at a premium then this could be one driving force behind opting for the handheld variety.

Here are some more pointers to take into account when thinking of purchasing a new vacuum for your home:


Think about how much of an issue this is for you and pay close attention to the reviews on this site and Amazon. If a product is noisy then consumers will be to sure to comment. Pets could be startled by an extra-noisy appliance.


Bagless options can be more convenient in some ways. Bear in mind, though, that disposing of dirt and dust is somewhat easier and cleaner with some bags. Think about how important price of replacement bags is to you when offset against this factor.


Look out for the benchmark High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filters. These are fantastic for getting rid of allergens.


Rather than being dictated to purely by the bottom line, consider value for money too. As the saying goes, “Buy cheap, buy twice.” This can prove to be very true with sub-par vacuum cleaners. Stick to known brands for more assurance of quality. Even the major players have some very cost-effective models if money is a concern.


The most crucial part of this is the weight. Even among lightweight cleaners there is quite a range of sizes so ask yourself if you can comfortably handle the cleaner you are looking at. You need to be sure that the vacuum is not just light but that it is light for you.

Corded or cordless?

Linked to how easy your vacuum is to maneuver is whether or not it needs a cord. Think about the pros and cons listed above and decide which best fits your cleaning regime. If you do go with the cordless than it’s paramount to study the battery life. In the worst scenario you could be out of juice within ten minutes while the stronger offering can yield thirty minutes or more of power. Look carefully, too, at the charging time needed. If you can only operate for ten minutes and needs 10 hours to boost the power then it’s probably not much good for anyone.

Tank capacity

With handheld vacuums, the size of the holding tank varies quite considerably from brand to brand and model to model. A large dirt cup which is easy to empty out is clearly what you should look for. Pay close attention to the system as some of them demand that you physically handle the dirt cup which can be a mucky and unpleasant task.

Customer Reviews

Last but by no means least, spend the time and effort to look at a good selection of impartial reviews from consumers. Most people are fairly honest when reviewing products. Often, they have experienced a problem and would like to warn others. As a rule, if the same point is made repeatedly, whether positive or negative, then it is likely to have at least some grounding in truth. Look at comparison charts and star ratings as well as written reviews. Accumulate as much information as you can. Forewarned is forearmed.


There are many different factors to think about before investing in a new cleaner. 

Take all of the above points into account. Do not overlook what, precisely, you need from a lightweight vacuum cleaner. We all have slightly different demands and we all have different styles of home.

If you are thinking of buying a new lightweight vacuum cleaner then use the time before purchasing to really establish the pros and cons of the model you have in mind. Look at a good number of models and then decide…

Is this the best lightweight vacuum for me?

Best Lightweight Vacuums Comparison Chart 2016

ImageCorded or CordlessBag or BaglessWeight (empty)Beater BrushRating

Bissell 81L2A
20’ power cordBagless7.1 lbs.No#1

Dirt Devil SD20000RED
16 ft. cordUses bag; one provided with purchase1.9 lbs.No#2

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