Best Small Vacuum Cleaners – Our Top Picks Uprights, Bagless, and Cordless

Best Small Vacuum Cleaner Ideal for Apartments & Studio Flats

Best Small Vacuum Cleaners – Our Top Picks Uprights, Bagless, and Cordless

A small vacuum cleaner doesn’t mean that you are compromising on power or capabilities. In fact, these little powerhouses can be just as effective as larger machines. 

With the biggest bonus of having a small vacuum cleaner is the amount of space it saves in your home, so if you live in an apartment or a house that’s a little too cosy, a small vacuum cleaner is for you. 

We have some of the best small vacuum cleaner models on the market here for you, opening your eyes to a whole new world of home cleaning. 

Are you ready to save space without having to impact the level of cleanliness you want to achieve? Dig into this detailed review guide. 

1. Editors Pick

2. Budget Pick

Shark IZ201 Cordless

1. Shark IZ201 Cordless

Editors Pick

Great for Hard Floor Cleaning

  • Great at cleaning hard floors
  • Superb run time
  • Brilliant at collecting pet hair
  • Uses DuoClean technology
  • HEPA filtration system
  • Small and compact build

We love how small and compact this vacuum cleaner is, providing you with a model that isn’t just powerful but also easy to store away after it has been used. 

It has a HEPA filtration system to make the air more breathable for asthma and allergy sufferers, and is also fantastic with fine dust collection from hard floors thanks to Shark’s innovative DuoClean technology. 

Large debris isn’t an issue for this vacuum cleaner either, although it’s not the best vacuum cleaner for giving carpets a super deep clean. You’ll get a great 40 minutes of run time out of this model, and it takes less than four hours to charge. 

To make cleaning easier, it comes with a flexible wand that allows you to slide under furniture, along with headlights for hidden dirt. It’s certainly one of the best cordless vacuum cleaner models we have come across and offers brilliant suction power for your home.

Tech Specs

  • Type: Stick
  • Weight: 4kg
  • Capacity: 1.1L
  • Cordless: Yes
  • Bagged: No
  • Pet Tool: No

AmazonBasic Bagged Cylinder

2. AmazonBasic Bagged Cylinder

Budget Pick

Perfect for Small Homes on a Budget

  • Great for homes with pets
  • Superb on hard floors and carpets
  • HEPA filtration system (washable)
  • Compact design for easy storage
  • Cyclonic suction

Cylinder vacuum cleaners are often bulky and hard to store away, but the great thing about this model is how light and compact it is. 

The controls are very simple to use, offering you speed control so that you can adjust the suction smoothly. It comes with a range of accessories, and is brilliant at collecting fine dust and large debris on both carpets and hard floors alike. 

The HEPA filtration system ensures comfortable use for those with asthma and allergies, combined with powerful cyclonic suction that’s ideal for homes with pets. 

The bagged system is also much cleaner for disposal, and it’s so easy to change the bag. The best part? 

You don’t have to use Amazon vacuum bags, it’s fully compatible with a whole range of different brands. This makes this basic cylinder vacuum our budget pick of the bunch. This model also topped our list in our best budget vacuum cleaner round-up.

Tech Specs

  • Type: Cylinder
  • Weight: 3.8kg
  • Capacity: 3L
  • Cordless: No
  • Bagged: Yes
  • Pet Tool: No

oneday corded vacuum

3. Oneday Corded Upright vacuum

Best Compact Upright

Perfect for Stairs and Upholstery

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Fantastic on hard floors and carpets
  • Great filtration system
  • Simple to clean
  • Compact storage, perfect for small homes

We love the incredible suction power that this vacuum cleaner provides, offering you the ability to deep clean carpets and hard floors effortlessly. 

It even works brilliantly with fine dust, offering a superb filtration system alongside it that traps allergens efficiently. As a stick vacuum, it also makes above floor cleaning a breeze, offering flexibility and versatility throughout the home. 

Handling is smooth, and it’s easy to manoeuver around furniture and other obstacles. We were also pleased by how easy this small vacuum cleaner was to put away after use. It can be broken down and placed in a compact container out of the way. 

It offers exceptional cleaning power, great suction, and nifty storage to make your life easier, not to mention being the perfect model if you have stairs to tackle.

Tech Specs

  • Type: Stick
  • Weight: 1.5kg
  • Capacity: 1L
  • Cordless: No
  • Bagged: No
  • Pet Tool: No

hoover whirlwind

4. Hoover Whirlwind

Small and Compact Cylinder Vac

A Classic All-Rounder

  • Great on carpets and hard floors
  • Energy-efficient cleaning
  • Good filtration system
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Excellent warranty

Whirlwind is absolutely the right name for this vacuum cleaner, and we found that it was absolutely fantastic at cleaning a range of floor types. 

It collects fine dust and large debris alike with ease, and also provides excellent results when used to clean carpets. Combined with its energy-efficient cleaning, we were really impressed with its overall performance in the home. 

It has a good filtration system, although it’s not quite as effective as using a vacuum that contains a HEPA filter. 

It’s also not the best with pet hair, but there is a dedicated Whirlwind pet model if you want to try that out. Otherwise, it offers exceptional cleaning and comes in a neat little package that’s both lightweight to use and incredibly compact for storing away afterwards. Read our full review of the Hoover Whirlwind.

Tech Specs

  • Type: Cylinder
  • Weight: 4.1kg
  • Capacity: 1.5L
  • Cordless: No
  • Bagged: No
  • Pet Tool: No

Vytronix NIBC22

5. Vytronix NIBC22 3-1

Small Budget 3-1 Cordless

Ideal for Those on a Budget

  • Brilliant on hard floors
  • Excellent running time
  • Flexible settings
  • Compact design with wall mounted storage
  • Good for homes with pets

We were impressed by the suction power of this vacuum cleaner, especially when you look at how low and affordable the price is. It’s fantastic on hard floors, collecting fine dust and pet hair with ease as well as sucking up larger chunks without snow ploughing them. 

The only issue is it doesn’t give carpets a deep clean, only surface, but this is quite a common issue for cordless vacs. It offers a brilliant running time of up to 45 minutes, which is ideal for most homes, and it can be mounted on the wall for charging when it is not in use. 

Additionally, the battery can be removed for charging or even swapped out, which is a nice feature. 

The flexible controls and power settings are easy to use, and above-floor cleaning is made simple by the long want and tools.

Tech Specs

  • Type: Stick
  • Weight: 2.3kg
  • Capacity: 0.5L
  • Cordless: Yes
  • Bagged: No
  • Pet Tool: Yes

Gtech Airram

6. Gtech AirRam Mk2

Small Traditional Upright

An Updated Classic

  • Great at cleaning hard floors
  • Superb run time
  • Excellent filtration system
  • Compact design for easy storage
  • Brilliant edge cleaning

One thing that really stuck out for us is how incredible this model is at edge cleaning. There are few vacuum cleaners that can get as close to the edge of the room as this one can. Combine this with its excellent hard floor cleaning, and you have a winner. 

Fine dust and general debris hard floors are no issue for this model, and it can even reach right into the crevices for immaculate results. Its suction power is impressive, which is part of its charm. 

Its classic compact design baffles the mind as it remains powerful in terms of suction and yet so easy to store away when not in use. The only downside is that it’s not great with pet hair, but it does offer a fantastic run time of over 30 minutes to make up for it. Read or detailed review of the Gtech Air Ram MK2.

Tech Specs

  • Type: Stick
  • Weight: 3.7kg
  • Capacity: 0.5L
  • Cordless: Yes
  • Bagged: No
  • Pet Tool: No

Why Choose a Small Vacuum Cleaner

When you live in an apartment that is less than spacious, or even if you are off on holiday in a camper van, you still need to keep the floor clean. 

A small vacuum cleaner bridges the gap between the quick and easy handheld vacuum and the large, bulky, standard ones. 

Some of the best vacuum cleaners are small, and while it’s something we have reiterated a lot, it should be remembered that these vacuums are just as powerful as their larger counterparts. 

A small vacuum cleaner is one that is compact enough to slide into the cupboards, and they are usually either very slim or very short. 

One of the best choices is a cordless stick vacuum cleaner because they can be transformed into a handheld model whenever you need it. They offer great suction, and they can usually turn into a handheld model for tight spaces.

How to Choose the Best Small Vacuum Cleaner

When you’re choosing the best small vacuum, there isn’t a lot that separates them from the standard one. Most of the time it’s down to size, but we have you covered with a few of the key things we think you should be watching for.

Compact Size. If you’re buying a small vacuum cleaner, you want to know that it’s actually going to be small. The good news is that each of the models we have picked is compact and not going to take up much space. 

Check the measurements out before you buy to make sure you are getting a vacuum cleaner that is the right size for your home. 

Easy Storage. Living in a small space means that storage needs to be smart. A small vacuum cleaner should be able to fit into your designated storage spaces with ease. Vacuum cleaners that can be taken apart are perfect for really tight areas, but most of our models should fit comfortably. 

Lightweight. Part of being small is also being lightweight, making them easier to carry around but also to use on upholstery or even the stairs. 

Generally speaking, you will find that most small vacuum cleaners are wonderfully light, making them smooth to handle. 

Robot Vacuums. Another option is to use a robot vacuum cleaner instead. These handy little devils work when you’re not home, keeping things clean and ensuring you always return to fresh carpets. 

They are a fun alternative, and we have a great guide you can use if you fancy checking them out.

Other Things to Consider in a Small Vacuum Cleaner

It’s not just the key things you need to be on the lookout for, but also the more general ones. Here are some of the features that you might want to keep an eye out for when you buy your small vacuum cleaner. 

Pet Friendly. If you have pets, you need a vacuum cleaner that can cope with them. Many pet models come with dedicated tools, or have been designed in such a way that they are more effective at picking up pet hair and cleaning carpets. 

Bag or No Bag? It’s a hot topic, and both sides have their merits. Bagged versions are often cleaner to empty and better for those with asthma and allergies. A bagless vacuum is cheaper to maintain because you don’t need to buy bags, and you can also see when the canister is full. 

Type. What kind of vacuum cleaner are you going to go for? There are several different types, and they each have their own benefits. They are as follows:

  • Upright. These are best for larger homes, and you won’t find many (if any) upright vacuum cleaner models in this guide. They are easy to push along the floor and don’t require nearly as much bending as a cylinder model.
  • Cylinder. These models tend to be cheaper than uprights, more compact, and easy to pull along behind you. They also have long and flexible hoses to make your cleaning radius much wider and storage easier than an upright.
  • Stick. These are slim and easy to store, with many of them having handheld forms. Usually, they are cordless vacuum cleaners, but there are some corded models. They are generally best on hard floors. 

Filtration. Do you suffer from allergies or asthma? If the answer is yes, you absolutely need a HEPA filter. We have a great guide to the best HEPA vacuum cleaners as well. 

Even if you don’t suffer from these conditions, good filtration means that you benefit from cleaner air in your home. It’s absolutely worth investing in them. 

Power. Your chosen vacuum cleaner might be small, but that doesn’t mean it can’t leave your floors looking incredible. Pick a model that suits your needs. Got carpets? Choose something with the power to deep clean them. Have hard floors? Select a model that can reach the crevices and clear fine dust efficiently. Warranty. This might seem obvious, but it’s amazing how often we forget. Most vacuum cleaners will come with a standard warranty for a year, but many will allow you to extend this to five years when you register online. Don’t forget to do it!

FAQs

Does Vacuum Cleaner Size Matter?


No, vacuum cleaner size doesn’t matter. A smaller vacuum cleaner doesn’t mean that you will end up with less power or flexibility when you clean. 

You might have a slightly smaller dust canister than standard models, but small homes don’t need large canisters.

Is a Handheld Vacuum a Small Vacuum?


Yes, a handheld vacuum is a small vacuum, but it’s not one that’s going to get your home looking pristine.

Instead, you should consider a small standard vacuum cleaner. This will be able to clean your home effectively without taking up too much space in your cupboards.

Should I Dust or Vacuum First?


You should always dust before you vacuum. This is because when you dust, it falls towards the ground, and some of it will float in the air.

Vacuuming after dusting will ensure that you collect as much dust as possible, leaving the air cleaner.

Are Small Vacuums Good for Pets?


Yes, small vacuum cleaners can be some of the best for pet hair. Just make sure that you pick a model that is suited to the task, as not every vacuum cleaner (small or large) is able to cope with the fluff that they leave behind.

Final Thoughts

Small vacuum cleaners aren’t just cute and compact, they are little powerhouses that are ready to leave your home looking immaculate. All you need to do is find the right one for you, and the good news is that we have selected a rather nice range (and at various prices too).

We were really impressed with every model here, naturally, but there are a couple that really stood out for us.

The first of these is the Shark IZ201. It’s perfect for hard floors and fine dust collection, but it also comes loaded with the Shark technology we know and love for a thorough cleaning session.

Similarly, the Amazon Basic cylinder vacuum was a hit for us. This came as a surprise because we weren’t expecting much, but it blew our expectations out of the water.

It has a superb filtration system, great on all floors types, and really made for the ideal all-rounder that everyone can use without taking up much space.

What did you think of our best small vacuum review? Were you able to find the perfect model, or are there others that you would have suggested?

We love hearing from you, so make sure you leave us a message in the comments below.

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