Since you can’t mop the house daily because it is tiring and may end up wearing your floors, it is recommended that you vacuum at least once every week to prevent excessive buildup of dirt and debris that may leave your floors looking dingy.
Over the years, highly efficient shop vacs have continued to improve to make vacuuming as easy as possible and that led to the rise of lightweight vacuum cleaners that you don’t always have to drag around when cleaning.
What Is a Lightweight Vacuum
Lightweight vacuum cleaners exist in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs but the overriding factor is that they are light in weight.
The most common are cordless handheld units which are the lightest weighing about five pounds. This gives them amazing portability and makes them easy to handle.
They are small in size and as such, you never have to worry about storage space as they can fit just about anywhere.
Due to their portability, these cleaners can be used anywhere outdoors or indoors. They are, however, designed for light cleaning and don’t pack a lot of suction power. Most of the time they are used to supplement larger devices that are used for heavy-duty cleaning.
Stick vacuums also fall in the same category as lightweight ones. Weighing about 10 pounds, they are easy to use and have excellent maneuverability. They are also battery powered and as portable as handheld ones.
While a majority of stick vacuums are versatile, they pack the same power as the heavier upright vacuum cleaners.
In the same category are a few canister options that are considered lightweight. Such vacuums have the same power and versatility as stick vacuums and feature an extended hose that allows you to clean those hard to reach spots easily like when you want to remove pet hairs by vacuuming under furniture.
Due to the hose, they are ideal for cleaning stairs but can also be used to clean upholstery and other surfaces. While the canister vacuum may look bulky due to the canister that you have to drag around, in reality, they are lightweight and very easy to use.
Benefits of Lightweight Vacuums
Gone are the days when you would have to drag a heavy vacuum with you every time you have to clean the house. Heavy units just like a powerful steam cleaner remove all dust and debris the same way a vacuum for laminate floors removes allergens. While they may pack more suction power, they make it hard to clean areas like the stairs or upholstery.
Thanks to technology, however, lightweight vacuums are now made with the same suction power as the heavier versions allowing you to do your cleaning with ease.
Easy to Use
One of the advantages of lightweight cleaners and probably one of the major reasons why most people go for them is that they are very easy to use. Heavy vacuum cleaners normally require you to push around a heavy canister or hose and pulling and pushing especially on carpet floors.
Again, lifting them over stairs is tiring and may leave you drained and hating vacuuming and not to mention that such vacuum cleaners require a lot of storage space that you may not even have.
It is also difficult for older people and those with back problems to use such a machine, making it less effective which is where lightweight units come in.
They are easy to maneuver and the weight makes them possible to clean areas like the stairs, under furniture and upholstery.
Excellent for Quick Cleaning
When it comes to vacuuming, chances are that you will not be doing deep cleaning every day. Sometimes you just need to remove surface dust and debris quickly which is nearly impossible with a heavy vacuum.
Since lightweight vacuum cleaners are easy to maneuver, they make quick cleaning possible and not to mention that they are more easy to take out of storage than heavy ones.
Easy to Store
Since heavy vacuums are usually large, storage becomes a problem especially when you have limited space.
Lightweight options are designed to be small but still pack the same suction power and due to that, storage is easy since they can fit anywhere. Some of them even come with wall mounts for ease of storage, especially if you live in a small apartment or studio.
Types of Lightweight Vacuums
As mentioned earlier, some of the regular vacuums that we use daily fall under the category of lightweight devices.
The world’s best upright vacuum is designed in such a way that it has an upright unit that houses the motor, the head as well as the dustbin with a handle that connects all the pieces.
A majority of upright vacuums are bagless which means that you don’t have a dustbin to empty. They are also designed to be light in weight such that they can be used for quick cleaning of floors, stairs and upholstery.
Stick vacuum falls under the category of lightweight units due to its design. Commonly referred to as pole vacuums, they are ideal for cleaning carpet floors as well as bare floors when you can’t steam mop all your hardwood floors or engage in the mopping of tiles.
A majority of them are cordless and as such can be easily converted to handheld vacuums. They are small in size and hence don’t require a lot of storage space.
They are also light in weight which makes maneuverability easy. While they may not be as powerful as canister or upright vacuums, they are very effective in vacuuming loose dirt or when you want to do a quick cleaning.
A canister unit is designed in such a way that it has a canister that is used to house the motor and it comes with extra attachments that will come in handy when you are cleaning floors, upholstery and other surfaces.
Just like upright and stick vacuums, canisters are light in weight although, in reality, they may look heavy due to the canister that you have to drag with you when cleaning.
They pack more power compared to stick vacuums and are therefore ideal for heavy-duty cleaning. The fact that the hose is separate from the canister makes it possible to clean those hard to reach spots like under furniture.
They are, however, bigger and may require more storage space which could be a problem if you have a small apartment.
How to Choose the Best Lightweight Vacuum
Generally, a vacuum cleaner than weighs less than 15 pounds is considered lightweight which is why canister, upright and stick vacuums fall in this category.
However, the values for weight are usually valid and as such, you need to be careful with what you consider to be the ideal weight.
At the end of the day, you want to choose an option that you can use comfortably, that’s easy to maneuver and anybody can use it, but, most importantly, ensure that the vacuum you choose meets all your cleaning needs.
There is no need to settle for an option that you can only use for light cleaning forcing you to go back to the shop for another cleaner.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a lightweight vacuum to ensure that you get one that meets all your needs:
Weight and Size
The main reason why anyone would consider settling for a lightweight vacuum is that they offer a whole other level of mobility. The one you choose, however, will depend on the portability you want.
Cordless units allow you to do your cleaning from the stairs to those hard to reach spots since there is no cord limiting your movement.
The lightest cordless vacuums are handheld ones that offer amazing mobility and can be used to clean on-pot messes quickly. Due to the absence of the cord, they can also be used outdoors.
This makes them the most versatile in the category of lightweight vacuums. At the end of the day, however, they can only be used for light cleaning tasks.
Not every cordless cleaner is handheld though, and thus the existence of canister vacuums that are much bigger but still light in weight and can be used for heavy cleaning tasks.
The vacuums have powerful motors that increase the suction power to handle all manners of cleaning. You might want to consider a 2-in-1 device that can easily be converted into a handheld vacuum to help clean all surfaces.
Since canister and upright vacuums are either corded or cordless, they can handle any cleaning task.
Stand-up cordless cleaners, however, pack more power and tend to be more expensive than the corded ones. Depending on your cleaning needs, the best lightweight vacuums should be small enough to ease storage and at the same time pack enough power to handle light to heavy cleaning tasks.
Cleaning Power and Suction
A vacuum cleaner works by sucking dirt and debris which is why suction is very important. Suction is measured in several ways but what they all come down to is the airflow. The stronger the airflow, the more powerful the device.
When you are buying any lightweight option, besides the weight ensure that the suction power is strong enough to handle all manners of cleaning.
The last thing you want is to buy a vacuum cleaner that forces you to go back to the shop because it is inefficient in cleaning.
At the end of the day, you want value for your money which means getting a cleaner that gives you just that.
There are different lightweight vacuums and the one you choose will depend on your cleaning needs. If you are looking for a unit for light cleanings, then a stick vacuum will do but if you need one for heavy cleaning tasks, then you might want to consider buying a canister.
You want to consider going for an option that has additional attachments that help you clean not only the floors but other surfaces like stairs, upholstery and under furniture as well.
If you are looking for value, consider going for a product that can be converted into a handheld vacuum and one that packs enough power to handle all cleaning.
While lightweight vacuum cleaners improve maneuverability, one other thing you need to consider before you make a purchase is the storage. If you have a small apartment, the last thing you want is to get a device that will be hard to store or occupy a lot of space.
Stick vacuums are ideal if you have limited storage space but their cleaning power is low and hence might not be ideal unless you have another vacuum that can handle heavy cleaning.
Upright vacuums have enough suction and don’t occupy a lot of space as canisters hence they would be ideal in this case. If you don’t have a problem with space, however, there is no reason why you can’t buy a canister.
These include additional attachments that can be used to clean upholstery, stairs and other surfaces besides the floor. Going for a cleaner that has such additional features is the best way to get value for your money at the end of the day.
Power Cord Length
The power cord length determines how far you can clean and the maneuverability. If the cord is too short, it limits the distance you can cover.
A longer cord is ideal and ensures that you don’t have to move with the vacuum a lot especially if you are using a canister.
However, there is a downside to have a very long cord. The cord will always keep getting stuck on furniture and other things on the floors which can be very annoying when you are cleaning and not to mention is an accident waiting to happen.
Cord or Battery Powered
One of the biggest decisions you will have to make when you are buying a lightweight vacuum is whether to go with a corded one or a battery-powered one. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Battery-powered options offer amazing maneuverability since the absence of the cord makes it possible to clean anywhere.
However, with such vacuum cleaners, the battery run time is always a problem with most of them running for about 30 minutes before needing to be recharged which ends up slowing down your cleaning time.
The same cleaners also don’t have as much power and may therefore not be ideal for heavy cleaning tasks.
Cordless units, on the other hand, have more suction power because they work when plugged in. The cord, however, limits your maneuverability and unless you have power outlets in every room, you may be forced to drag an extension cable with you when cleaning.
Unlike the battery-powered vacuums, a corded vacuum never runs out of power ensuring that you continue to work as long as you are within reach of a power outlet. If you decide to go with a corded item, ensure that the cord is long enough to meet all your cleaning needs.
If you go with a battery-powered one, ensure that the battery life is longer such that you won’t be taking a lot of breaks in between cleaning to recharge it.
Type of Floor Surface You’ll Be Cleaning
Different surfaces require different cleaning tools, methods as well as suction power. Carpets are the most challenging to clean because the dense fibers hide dirt and debris which requires the use of a powerful device.
You need to go for a vacuum with great suctioning power to handle carpet cleaning. It also needs to have a beater brush for thorough cleaning.
Also, go for one that can be switched on and off to allow you to work on even the non-carpeted areas.
Hard floors like laminate, tiles or hardwood, on the other hand, don’t need too much suction since the dirt is on the surface. In such a case, you don’t need a vacuum that has a beater brush since the bristles tend to scratch such floors and may damage them in the end.
Power and Mobility
The power source is an important factor to consider because it determines how you use the cleaner.
Cordless vacuums are more convenient and make cleaning easier since you don’t have to drag a long cord with you. However, they have limited suction power due to the battery which is something you need to keep in mind.
A majority of cordless cleaners come with docking stations that are designed to stop and recharge the battery and forgetting to dock it will only delay your cleaning. Generally, the battery run time in cordless vacuums is 30 minutes but this varies from one product to another.
When you are buying a cordless cleaner, go for one that has longer battery run time even if it means paying a little extra because the last thing you want is to delay your cleaning because of the many breaks you will be taking to recharge the battery.
If you don’t want to deal with the waiting time, you can just go for a corded option which is still quite popular despite the rise of cordless vacuum cleaners.
While cordless units are convenient in terms of maneuverability, nothing beats the cleaning capabilities of a vacuum cleaner that is plugged into a constant power supply.
Since mobility is the main issue, manufacturers of corded vacuums have made this possible by designing devices that have long power cords.
Bagged or Bagless
A lightweight cleaner can either be bagged or bagless. Bagged ones have a dirt bag and hold more dirt. They are ideal for high traffic areas or in homes where there are kids or pets.
You can vacuum several times before requiring to change the bag. Such devices also have the best filters and work best if you or someone else suffers from allergies because there is no time you will come into contact with the dust.
They, however, have their drawbacks and the main one is that they can be expensive to maintain in the long run. This is because you are required to change the bags with a clean one hence you will be required to buy dirt bags now and then.
Bagless options, on the other hand, hold less dirt and require to be emptied now and then. Such vacuum cleaners have a dust bin and may not be ideal for a home with people who suffer from allergic reactions.
You might also create a mess when emptying the bin forcing you to vacuum the area again. Maintaining them, however, doesn’t take a lot since all you need is to replace the filters which isn’t even as often as in bagged vacuums.
When you are buying any premium vacuum under $100, you need to ensure that the one you get is easy to use and can be used to clean different surfaces with ease. With that in mind, certain features make vacuums more versatile.
They include fewer controls or switches and buttons that are placed strategically to make it easy to use the vacuum. For instance, an ergonomic handle makes it easy to clean for long periods without your hands getting numb.
Other factors include wheels that spin well and make it easy to use the vacuum without requiring too much effort just like a carpet cleaner you can move around when cleaning.
In terms of versatility, the vacuum has to have additional features that make it easy to use it on different surfaces like upholstery, stairs and under furniture.
The ability to convert it into a handheld device also adds to the versatility of the device making it easy to clean even those hard to reach spots. A brush roll that can be switched on and off will make it possible to transition between different floors such as from carpet to bare floors.
Accessories like an extension wand, upholstery and crevice tools also increase the versatility and make it possible to clean areas that you wouldn’t reach with a regular vacuum head.
Customer reviews are a good way to source for information about a vacuum you are about to buy and should never be underestimated.
Through customer reviews, you get to learn about the unit’s cleaning ability, power, durability, ease of use as well as other attributes that may come in handy.
While tests are done to gauge the performance of the vacuum, it is important to check reviews of Dyson vacuums for instance, since they provide a more thorough assessment and come from people who have already used the device you are about to purchase.
Price and Warranty
Last but not least, your budget at the end of the day will determine the device that you get. While you may want to spend as little as possible, sometimes this may work against you.
Avoid cheap brands that will break down after a while but at the same time with expensive models, ensure that you get value for your money by making sure that they can meet all your cleaning needs and are versatile enough.
Also, get a product that has a warranty since these devices are bound to break down at some point. Go through the warranty to see what kind of repairs are covered and under what circumstances you can make a claim.
Consider the warranty period, where the longer the warranty, the more faith the employer has in their device and the longer it will serve you.
How to Use a Lightweight Vacuum
Almost everyone knows how to clean their vacuum brush tools, but do you know how to effectively use your lightweight vacuum cleaner?
Step 1 – Check the vacuum bag area
This is one of the most important parts of the cleaner since its where the dust and debris are deposited when vacuuming. Older models have replaceable dirt bags but newer models now have a dust bin that should be emptied when full.
One thing you will note is that when the bag or dustbin is almost full, the suction power decreases until you empty the dirt. If the bag is full, replace it with a new one and empty the bin for bagless vacuums to ensure it continues performing at peak performance.
Step 2 – Adjust the height
Most vacuums have adjustable height settings for carpet cleaning. Carpets are either low, medium or high pile.
If the setting is not low enough, the suction power reduces and if it’s too low, airflow is affected. Always check this setting especially when you are about to vacuum carpeted floors.
Step 3 – Remove smaller items out of the way
While furniture is not easy to move when vacuuming, small items should be removed to ensure that you do thorough cleaning since clutter can significantly slow down your cleaning process.
Step 4 – Turn the vacuum on
Once everything is clear and there is no clutter on the ground, turn the vacuum on and then using slow, even strokes push it across the floor ensuring that you don’t move it too quickly, otherwise you risk leaving dirt behind.
Step 5 – Use the attachments
Not all lightweight vacuums come with extra attachments but if yours has them, ensure that you put them into good use to clean all surfaces including upholstery and the stairs.
Step 6 – Clean the vacuum brush
Every once in a while, ensure that you clean all brushes and tools using a mild detergent. Ensure that all the attachments are dry before replacing them.
How to Clean and Maintain a Lightweight Vacuum
Here are things that you should do to ensure that your lightweight vacuum cleaner continues functioning well:
Step 1 – Empty the bin
If the bin or dirt bag is almost full, suction power reduces. With a bagged cleaner, the bag takes a while before it gets full hence you don’t have to keep checking.
However, since there is no indicator, you may be caught unaware when finally, the bag gets full and your vacuum’s performance decreases.
Bagless vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, get filled quickly and hence you have to check the bin before you clean. Empty it if it is full.
Step 2 – Monitor the brush roll for clogs and blockages
If you were to remove the cover of the vacuum’s floor head, the cylindrical part that has bristles is the brush roll or beater bar. It is the one that picks up dirt and hairs from the floor and with time it may get clogged.
You need to monitor this once in a while and remove any hairs and dirt that may be stuck on the brush roll. If you have to remove the brush roll, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging your device.
Step 3 – Lubricating the brush roll bearings
As you remove any blockage on the brush roll, one thing you will note is that the brush roll spins as you continue cleaning. Before you replace it, check to see that it’s spinning freely.
If not, use the appropriate lubricators to ensure the vacuum cleaner is more efficient when cleaning.
Step 4 – Check the belt
The belt is usually located a third of the length of the brush roll and you will see it when you are cleaning the brush roll. If the belt is worn out, you need to replace it immediately.
Step 5 – Cleaning the filters
Filters are another important component. As air passes through the filters, particles get stuck on them and with time this build-up affects the vacuum’s performance.
If your vacuum has filters and you notice that suction has reduced, check to see if the filters are dirty and if they are, wash them under running water and allow them to dry for at least a day before using the unit.
If the filters can’t be cleaned, you need to replace them and usually, this is after 3 to 6 months depending on the model.
Step 6 – Check for hose blockage
Just like the brush roll, the hose may get clogged after some time which may reduce the suction. When this happens you need to remove the blockage immediately.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
When it comes to lightweight vacuum cleaners, more sending does mean more quality. While you may be tempted to spend as little as possible, sometimes this may end up costing you.
While cheap brands tend to break down after a short time, with expensive models you should ensure that you get value for your money.
Normally with expensive vacuum cleaners, you will be paying extra for features like an ergonomic handle and additional attachments that make it easier to clean other surfaces like upholstery.
Expensive models also have longer warranties which are a clear indication that the manufacturer has faith in their device.
Do’s and Don’ts to Do with a Lightweight Vacuum
- Do use the vacuum’s attachments for thorough cleaning.
- Do adjust the height of the vacuum when cleaning different surfaces especially carpeted floors.
- Don’t drop the cleaner as this may cause it to malfunction.
- Don’t use dirty filters especially if you or someone else suffers from allergic reactions. Instead, use a vacuum that helps ease the allergy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should choose a lightweight vacuum?
Anyone can use a lightweight vacuum. At the end of the day, maneuverability and ease of use are important.
Difference between bagged and bagless lightweight vacuum?
Bagged vacuums contain a bag where dirt and debris collect. The bag has to be replaced after some time. Such vacuum cleaners also have HEPA filters and are ideal for anyone who suffers from allergies.
Bagless devices, on the other hand, make use of a dustbin that fills up quickly and has to be emptied before you begin cleaning.
Since you have to come into contact with the dust, they are not recommended for those who suffer from allergic reactions and they also happen to not have the best filters.
What are the benefits of HEPA filtration?
HEAP filters are important since they retain at least 99% of tiny particles that may cause allergic reactions in some people. While HEPA filters are expensive, they are important in avoiding serious medical complications.
How can you prolong your lightweight vacuum’s life?
Generally, the battery life of cordless cleaners determines their life. When the unit is new, the battery must be fully charged before using.
You can also improve your vacuum’s life by ensuring that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean various parts and when to replace them.
Does maintenance or lack of it affect a lightweight vacuum’s life?
Yes, just like with everything else, lack of maintenance will ultimately affect the life of your vacuum.
Lightweight vacuum cleaners continue to grow in popularity because they are more portable, versatile and make cleaning easy. When you are buying sucthem, besides the weight, consider other factors like suction power, cord length, storage, size, mobility, versatility and customer reviews to ensure that you get a product that meets all your cleaning needs.
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- What Is a Lightweight Vacuum
- Benefits of Lightweight Vacuums
- Types of Lightweight Vacuums
- How to Choose the Best Lightweight Vacuum
- How to Use a Lightweight Vacuum
- How to Clean and Maintain a Lightweight Vacuum
- Does More Spending Mean More Quality
- Do’s and Don’ts to Do with a Lightweight Vacuum
- Frequently Asked Questions