A perfect choice for vacuuming every room in your house, lightweight vacuums are known for being user-friendly and highly maneuverable. We've purchased and tested more than 50 vacuums at The Lab and at home to determine the effectiveness of each one. During testing, we timed each product's unboxing and setup process, evaluated its cleaning ability on hardwood and carpeted surfaces, and rated how easy it is to steer it under and around objects.
It's key to consider the different types of vacuums and attachments that'll enhance usability when shopping. Dr. Karen Jacobs, an occupational therapist and professor at Boston University, notes how different settings are also important: "Vacuuming carpet takes a lot more force than a tile or wood floor. Setting the height of the floor head of the vacuum can lower the force required when pushing the vacuum." If you have multiple flooring types in your home, you won't want to skip on a vac that's able to be adjusted this way. "Always choose the right height setting for the floor," Dr. Jacobs adds.
The Tineco Pure One S11 Tango outperformed other lightweight vacuums in our testing. This vacuum features outstanding suction, relatively quiet operation, and an easy-to-maneuver design. A wall-mounted dock makes it convenient to store, as well.
Here are the best lightweight vacuums on the market, backed by our thorough testing both in The Lab and at home.
Tineco Pure One S11 Tango Smart Stick Handheld Vacuum
Powerful suction on all surfaces
Lightweight and easy to move
Easy-to-empty dust bin
Roller collected some hair (tool included for removal)
The Tineco Pure One S11 Tango is lightweight but definitely not light-duty. This stick vacuum cleaned up in our testing, literally. We were impressed by its effective suction power, streamlined design, and overall efficiency. Maneuvering this 6-pound vacuum takes hardly any effort, but that’s not because of any lack of suction power. In fact, our lab testing revealed that the suction is powerful enough to capture messes, including cereal, hair, and popcorn kernels in a single pass, saving you the time and effort of repeatedly cleaning the same stretch of flooring.
When you use this vacuum in your home, you can expect it to be nimble when reaching under furniture and switching surfaces. In our tests, it transitioned smoothly from hard flooring to carpet, and we found it easy to switch attachments to tackle tough-to-reach messes when necessary, too. We had no issues with the battery power and were able to complete testing on one charge without any noticeable lags. Speaking of power, this model runs pretty quietly, too—we were even able to have a conversation while it was in use. The process of emptying the dust bin is also a cinch, so you won't dread that task at the end of a cleaning session. Some hair did get caught in the filter, but an included tool makes it simple to remove.
A wall-mounting dock station makes for easy storage and charging, but we do recommend making sure you have a convenient spot in mind for it, since you'll likely only want to install it once. Overall, it’s hard to beat the capable and convenient performance of the Pure One S11 Tango. In fact, one of our testers even noted a willingness to pay more for the machine than its listed price given its overall impressiveness—that's how much of a standout it was in testing.
Price at time of publish: $400
Dimensions: 43.5 x 8.3 x 11.4 inches | Weight: 5.96 pounds | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: 40 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.63 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, hard floors
Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum with EasyReach Wand
Cleans large and small debris
Easy to get under furniture
Not great on upholstery
Assembly help required
Aside from the Kenmore DS4095 Elite's affordable price tag, we were shocked by its quiet operation and easy-to-use design. We could easily have a conversation with other people in The Lab from 10 feet away, without having to raise our voices. Although the vacuum struggled to pick up hair on upholstery, it easily picked up large and small debris from carpet and hard flooring without spitting it everywhere, unlike some of the other models tested. We did notice that this vacuum has a tendency to pull hair and debris behind it and along its sides. However, that shouldn't pose too much of an issue as long as you've centered the vacuum on the mess prior to cleaning it.
In addition to its powerful suction, this vacuum has an EasyReach wand that can bend to clean under furniture, and also a swivel head for navigating turns. While this model has a top-heavy design, the weight distribution still felt lightweight, and we didn't experience any arm fatigue in our testing. We also noted that assembly instructions were thorough, but the process of ensuring all of the parts were in place was challenging because it needed to be upright the entire time. We recommend having another person nearby to help with the assembly process. All in all, we were pleasantly surprised at this vacuum's affordable price tag given its strong performance, and we think it's a fantastic choice if you're on a budget.
Price at time of publish: $180
Dimensions: 21.46 x 5.71 x 15.75 inches | Weight: Not listed | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: Up to 40 minutes | Bin Volume: 1.06 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, carpet, tile, laminate, vinyl
Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Hefty battery pack
Pricey for its category
If you’re looking to size down your vacuum cleaner when handling small tasks, the Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is our pick. This handheld vacuum weighs just 3 pounds but packs a serious punch. The sizable battery, while bulky, makes for efficient cleaning of stubborn messes. Plus, if you opt to purchase any other machines in the Hoover ONEPWR line, the battery can be used to power them as well.
In our testing, this Dustbuster-style machine made light work of the various messes we made, and it still had room to spare in the spacious 1.27-quart dust bin. When you are finally ready to empty it, the single-button process makes it super simple. We also appreciate that the dust bin is made to be rinsed out, making it easier to keep it clean in the long run. We think this machine's maneuverability is impressive, and the tapered design, along with the crevice tool attachment, add to its overall efficiency.
All in all, this is an impressive machine that can make even the task of cleaning more fun. Now, it's pricier than other handheld-only models, and it doesn't include an extension wand for the option to increase its reach. However, if you're after a handheld machine, we think it's an excellent choice.
Price at time of publish: $89
Dimensions: 16.5 x 5 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 15 minutes | Bin Volume: 1.27 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, multi-surface, hardwood
Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
LED lights on motor head
Easy to assemble
Charging dock provided
Have to manually remove hair from dust bin
The Tineco S15 Pro offers all the bells and whistles of most TINECO models, but it has an additional mini motor brush head, which is especially helpful for upholstery. While it has several suction modes, we particularly enjoyed using it in auto mode, which adjusts the vacuum's suction power based on the amount and size of debris, as well as the surface type. The LED lights on the brush head also allow you to see every last bit of dirt and mess that needs to be cleaned.
The motor head is also designed with TINECO's signature ZeroWrap Technology, which prevents hair from becoming tangled and clogging the brushes. We appreciated the lever on the dust bin, which makes it easy to scrape dirt off the sides of the container, but we still had to reach in to remove some hair during testing. This vacuum also comes with a charging dock that houses all of the attachments, so you don't have to worry about losing pieces or keeping everything organized.
Although this model is certainly more expensive than other options on this list, we found the addition of the mini motor brush head to be a great cleaning tool for upholstery and smaller jobs that are often reserved for a hand vacuum. This vacuum's ability to transition from cleaning carpet to hard flooring, and its quiet operation also set it apart from other stick models.
Price at time of publish: $600
Dimensions: 45 x 11 x 11.14 inches | Weight: 6.8 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: up to 40 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, carpet, tile, laminate, and vinyl
Best for Carpet
Shark HV301 Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Stick Vacuum
Good suction on all surfaces
Converts to a handheld model
Very flexible design
On the noisier side
Doesn't stand up on its own
Even lightweight vacuums can become hard to maneuver when vacuuming carpet, turning your cleaning session into a struggle of push-and-pull against the fibers. So, if you have a lot of carpeting or rugs in your home, choose a vacuum that offers the right suction and settings for effective and easy cleaning. In our testing, the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Stick Vacuum was a top contender, clearing debris from low, medium, and high-pile carpeting in five or fewer passes. We observed that it requires slightly more effort to use on plush carpeting, but the wheels generally allow the vacuum to glide nicely on different surfaces.
This corded stick vacuum weighs about 8 pounds. The handle height is taller than expected, which was the biggest surprise when we assembled the vacuum. However, the long handle didn’t hold us back from being able to easily navigate the vacuum under and around furniture. Surprisingly, this vacuum was harder to use effectively on hardwood surfaces, despite the fingertip controls that allow you to toggle between floor settings. Even still, it was able to pick up all debris once we kicked into a higher suction setting. With no battery life to worry about, you can use increased suction power as needed—without worrying about it draining your power supply. For above-floor cleaning tasks, you can use the handheld portion of the vacuum, but you’ll still have to keep within 25 feet of an outlet based on the vacuum’s cord length.
Price at time of publish: $250
Dimensions: 46 x 9.8 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 8.2 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 0.31 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 8.5 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, carpet, laminate, and tile
Best for Hardwood
Eureka NEC480 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Easy to empty
Easy to assemble
Not great at cleaning hair
Suction is lacking on some surfaces
If you live in a home that has hard flooring, finding a vacuum with the right amount of suction can sometimes feel like a challenge. The Eureka Lightweight Cordless Vacuum clocks in at just over 7 pounds and is not only easy to maneuver but also efficiently picks up all kinds of messes off hard flooring. Although we found its lackluster performance on carpet rather disappointing, it had no trouble picking up large and small debris during our hard flooring test. It did take several passes to pick up all the hair on the hard flooring, but the head didn't struggle nearly as much as it did on the carpet. The brush and angled nozzle attachments were also very effective at cleaning hair from upholstery.
Like other stick vacuums, this vacuum's dust bin is relatively easy to empty, and we only had to manually remove some hair caught at the top of the bin. Other intuitive features include: LED headlights that illuminate messes on the floor and show your cleaning path, and separate floor cleaning modes that can be adjusted via the control panel, which also displays the battery level. We ran this vacuum for over 17 minutes and noticed no change in suction, which makes us confident that it could easily clean an average-sized apartment effectively during its 30-minute run time. Overall, this vacuum may not have all the bells and whistles of other higher-end models, but we appreciate its straightforward design and convenient assembly process.
Price at time of publish: $216
Dimensions: 45.7 x 9.1 x 10.9 inches | Weight: 7.15 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 30 minutes | Bin Volume: 1.05 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, carpet, tile, upholstery
Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop
Easy to store
Need to purchase replacement pads
Designed for only hard floors
If you're looking for a thorough vac-mop option for hard floors, we loved the performance and versatility of the Shark VACMOP. This wet-dry cleaning machine is designed to be used on solid flooring, such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, or tile surfaces. It combines suction power with disposable mop pads to capture debris and leave floors gleaming. For the best results, vacuum your surface first to pick up any crumbs or dirt. Then, click the "spray" button that's conveniently located on the handle to spray cleaning solution on the sealed surface before mopping it clean.
In our tests, we appreciated this Shark VACMOP's slim, cordless design and easy gliding motion. Even among a field of lightweight vac-mops, this one stood out to us as being noticeably light and easy to maneuver, making it a good choice if you have restricted mobility or need an ultra-light vacuum for quick cleaning sessions. The tank with cleaning solution is integrated into the body of the vacuum and the cleaning pad has a chamber for dirt collection, while a light on the floor head illuminates areas in need of attention. Our one primary point of criticism for the usability of the Shark VACMOP is that you have to continuously hold the power button during operation. However, it has exceptionally quiet noise levels that increase user comfort while the vacuum is on.
Price at time of publish: $99
Dimensions: 47.87 x 9.5 x 5.37 inches | Weight: 3.34 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 20 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: 9.81 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, tile, laminate, and vinyl
Best for Pet Hair
Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Stick Cordless Bagless Vacuum
No hair wrap
Quick charge time
Easy to navigate
Not best for high-pile carpet
Difficult to empty
A lightweight vacuum should still be able to handle heavyweight jobs like pet hair. From pet hair to kibble, the Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Bagless Cordless Stick Vacuum handled it all, while also being comfortable to maneuver and empty. This vacuum has two customized suction settings—one for carpet and the other for hard flooring—that ensure you're getting an efficient and reliable clean no matter the surface. This vacuum performed very well on hard flooring and had no problem sucking up hair on carpet in our testing, but it did struggle to pick up pet kibble on carpet. When using the vacuum, we appreciated the swivel head and low-profile nozzle, which made it easy to clean around and under furniture and tight corners.
While we thought the dust canister was easy to remove from this vacuum, we struggled to dump all of the hair that had been collected while cleaning. We had to pull out some hair manually, which is neither a pleasant nor efficient experience. Despite the amount of hair caught at the top of the canister, we found that no hair wrapped around the motorized brush head in our tests, which is a huge plus for homes with long-haired pets.
This vacuum clips into its charging station, which doubles as a storage dock and only requires four hours to charge. It also has an average run time of about 20 minutes when used on the lowest setting and a 10-minute run time on the highest setting. While we wish the canister was slightly easier to empty—plus, this vacuum could better handle large debris on carpet—we were still very impressed by its performance and ease of use overall.
Price at time of publish: $250
Dimensions: 46 x 10.5 x 9.6 inches | Weight: 7.5 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 10 minutes on highest setting, 20 minutes on lowest setting | Bin Volume: 0.64 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10.5 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, carpet, tile, laminate, vinyl
Best for Small Spaces
eufy by Anker HomeVac H30 Infinity Cordless Vacuum
Performed well on hard and soft surfaces
Effective, efficient suction
Enjoyable unboxing experience
Lightweight construction could feel "cheap"
Weighing less than 2 pounds, the HomeVac H30 Infinity takes the cake (and cleans it up) as one of the lightest vacuums we've had in The Lab recently. Don't let the numbers fool you, though—it brings impressive suction power and smooth functionality, too. We think it's a perfect solution for small spaces for several reasons. Not only does it perform well on hard and soft flooring, but its multiple attachments make it useful for other surfaces and it can function as a lightweight mopping attachment, too. While we don't think it's a replacement for heavy-duty mopping tools, the included mopping cloths make it possible to wipe your floors clean as you vacuum. Other accessories, like a crevice tool, pet brush, and pipe tools make it easy to tackle tough spots like in between couch cushions and tight corners that collect cobwebs and dust. We were also pleased to see that the battery stayed consistent throughout our testing, and we never noticed a lag in power. And, it's worth noting that the unboxing experience was a joy, too—it's a beautifully packaged vacuum.
For all the above reasons, we think it's a smart choice if you're working with limited storage space or just prefer to be efficient with your cleaning supplies. Alas, no vacuum is perfect, and there were a couple of hiccups with the HomeVac H30 Infinity. The dust bin wasn't as spacious as we would have liked, giving even more reason to consider this for smaller spaces (or smaller messes). It struggled with hair wrapping a bit, too, so consider yourself warned if you or your loved ones are prone to shedding. This machine is also pretty loud, even by vacuum standards, so you wouldn't want to use it when others in your household need to focus. Finally, on the flip side of its lightweight design is the feeling that it could be of lower quality. To be clear, this wasn't evident in its performance in our testing, but rather in how robust and durable the machine itself felt as we handled it. Still, when it comes down to it, the impressive performance and maneuverability make this model a versatile solution for smaller cleanups.
Price at time of publish: $200
Dimensions: 16.73 x 3.5 x 2.87 inches | Weight: 1.78 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 20 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.26 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, hard flooring
Our top pick for a lightweight vacuum is the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum. In our testing, it did an outstanding job on both hard surface floors and carpets. This vacuum takes hardly any effort to move, and features a flexible design that makes it simple to store and maneuver. We also recommend the Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum. It operates quietly and distributes weight effectively, though you may need a second set of hands to assemble it.
How We Tested the Lightweight Vacuums
We've tested over 50 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab and at home. During lab testing, we unbox each model first, timing how long the setup process takes to complete and how thorough the instructions are. Next, they evaluate each vacuum's effectiveness on hardwood and three types of carpet. The vacuums are tasked with measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and Cheerios. We note how many passes were needed to clean up the materials, if any hair was tangled in the brush roll, and the vacuums' weight and portability. We also make notes on whether the vacuum seems to pull itself or if a lot of effort is required to maneuver it through our tests. We also check the model's noise level when in operation.
From there, we gather insights on how well each pick transitions from smooth floors to a carpet and navigates our living room-inspired obstacle course, complete with a low-sitting couch and a coffee table. This makes up our maneuverability test. We note how long cordless models stay charged or how heavy cords are to carry around. Then we test the ease of emptying the dust bins and note if it was a messy, as expected, or thrillingly simple process. They use their entire experience to judge the overall value of the product and decide if it's worth the money you'd spend on it.
Additional vacuums are rated on the same attributes in at-home testing. We bring the models through real-world environments and situations and note whether they would continuously reach for the vacuum or another cleaning tool in their closet. Our editors take all of the consistently applied testing data and boil it down to the lightweight vacuums we believe are the very best.
What to Look for in a Lightweight Vacuum
There are several "types" to choose from when picking out a lightweight vacuum. Stick vacuums are perhaps the most common and popular type, since they have a slim and trim profile. Many of these are also multi-purpose models that can convert into handheld ones for above-floor cleaning tasks, though their dust bin capacity may be small. For example, Our "best overall" pick, the Tineco Pure One S11 Tango, is a stick model.
Another option to consider is canister vacuums. Instead of supporting the vacuum's weight as you clean, you'll only need to hold onto the wand while the vacuum itself follows behind you on wheels. Upright vacuums are usually heavier by design, but some more slimmed-down versions exist, such as the Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Bagless Cordless Stick Vacuum. If you are shopping for this type of lightweight vacuum for whole-house cleaning, you should look for an ergonomic design to offset the increased weight that comes with this design.
Among the lightest of all types, handheld vacuums like the Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum and the eufy by Anker HomeVac H30 Infinity are designed for smaller messes or light cleaning tasks, but the right one can still feature serious suction power. Handheld vacuums are particularly handy for cleaning your car, as well. Lastly, there are also wet-dry vacuums on the market that are capable of vacuuming and mopping your floors, like the Shark VACMOP. This is particularly handy if you want to condense your tasks, but these models can often only be used on hard surfaces.
Corded vs. Cordless Design
Another factor to consider is a vacuum's corded versus cordless design. Corded vacs offer unfading suction power, but they also have limitations on reach based on cord length. You'll need to manage the cord while maneuvering the vacuum around the room. A cordless vacuum, on the contrary, gives you ultimate flexibility, but only for as long as the battery lasts. You can expect anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes of runtime with a cordless vacuum before needing to pause your cleaning session for a recharge—which can take multiple hours.
Choosing the right lightweight vacuum also means considering its maneuverability. You want to find a vacuum that gives you plenty of reach for accessing space-restricted areas, like under furniture or in corners. Lightweight stick vacuums are known for being nimble and flexible enough to clean tight spots. Features that can improve maneuverability on any lightweight vacuum include a flexible hose, a wand that reaches nearly to the floor, or a lift-away handheld vacuum for above-floor cleaning. In addition, some models glide across the floor since they're self-propelled. This can help reduce strain from pushing and pulling a vacuum.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, occupational therapist and professor at Boston University, additionally suggests alternating hands to avoid muscle strain. “Vacuuming is usually one-handed," she says. "One thing you can do is use your dominant hand for a while and then switch. The hand you are not using put it on your thigh, and it will sometimes take some pressure off your back.” If the body of the vacuum can adjust to accommodate user height, that's even better and a feature to look out for, according to Dr. Jacobs. "Everyone's arm length or height is different, so if there are multiple people in a home using a vacuum, make sure that it will fit them all," says Dr. Jacobs. "A multiple height adjustment feature may be important. The lightest vacuum may not be not the right one for them."
Underscoring why maneuverability is so important, Dr. Jacobs points out that forceful exertion while using a vacuum cleaner can cause you to over-extend the body, too, particularly the spine. Swivel steering is another great attribute, but make sure you're rotating the vacuum and not your body to avoid injury, she says.
Attachments add versatility to your lightweight vacuum without drastically increasing the weight. Some of the most common (and helpful) attachments include upholstery brushes, crevice tools, extension wands, and motorized pet brushes. These tools can make your vacuum more effective at specific cleaning tasks. Keep in mind that some vacuums offer onboard attachment storage while others don't.
What’s considered a lightweight vacuum?
The weight range of a lightweight vacuum varies by type and model, but vacuums that fall into this category usually weigh between 5 and 10 pounds. A few, like an upright vacuum, may weigh slightly more but might offset the extra weight with additional features to enhance effectiveness and maneuverability. On this list, we've compiled choices that range between 1.78 pounds (the eufy by Anker HomeVac H30 Infinity Cordless Vacuum) and 8.2 pounds (the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Stick Vacuum).
Do lightweight vacuums work on carpet?
While lightweight vacuums often take the form of stick vacuums, which are usually known for their cleaning performance on bare floors, many models can effectively clean carpeted surfaces as well. No matter which type of lightweight vacuum you choose, look for a model with an adjustable floor head to ensure that it will have the right suction power for more plush carpeting or rugs, and so that you're not overworking yourself, as noted by Dr. Jacobs.
Why might a lightweight vacuum lose suction power?
A full dust bin, clogged filter, or obstructed floor head might impair the suction ability of any vacuum, including a lightweight model. Or, if the vacuum's hose has any blockages or leaks, suction power can be reduced or even lost completely. It's key to properly maintain your vacuum to prevent any lessened performance by regularly cleaning the dust bin, washing or swapping out the filter, and detangling the beater bar.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Erica Puisis is a product tester and research writer specializing in home and lifestyle topics. She has extensive experience with small appliances, including vacuum cleaners. For this roundup, she utilized extensive testing data from The Lab and our home testers. By comparing the cleaning effectiveness, maneuverability, portability, ease of emptying, and noise levels of each model, she narrowed down more than 50 models to find the best options. For advice on selecting a vacuum with ergonomics and mobility adaptations in mind, she spoke with Dr. Karen Jacobs, an occupational therapist and professor at Boston University.
What Is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.