Lightweight, handheld vacuums are a godsend that make it quick and easy to clean everything from stairs to those nooks and crannies your regular cleaner can’t quite reach.
Finding a good one can be tricky, since the market is currently flooded with small vacuums that suck – and not in the good way. Here to help, we’ve tested all the big-name products on the market to offer you a definitive guide to the best lightweight and handheld vacuums currently available.
How light is ‘lightweight’?
This is an important but tricky question to answer. Everyone’s view will differ slightly, but we’ve defined lightweight to be any vacuum cleaner that tips the scales below or around 5kg. While some weigh closer to 2kg or so, we chose 5kg because it’s half as much as the heaviest we’ve tested.
Many top-end uprights and larger cylinder vacuums weigh in the region of 8kg, while one we tested tipped the scales at a faintly ridiculous 9.7kg. Of course, weight doesn’t always mean a cleaner that’s easy to use or move around, but 5kg or less is light enough for most people to carry.
Corded or cordless?
There’s a mixture of corded and cordless in our lightweight vacuum cleaner list, but which should you choose? The cordless models are by far the lightest, so if being as light as possible is all you really care about then a cordless vac is what you need.
But there are couple of things to consider first. All the cordless models are bagless, which means you might prefer a corded model if you suffer from allergies. Moreover, while the best cordless vacuums clean very well, most aren’t as powerful as a corded model.
All our full reviews feature visual comparisons, though, so you can see the difference and decide for yourself.