6 Best Lightweight Vacuums – 2022 Buying Guide

By Maria Hernandez / February 14, 2022 / 0 Comments

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Like a floating feather in the wind, we’re about to waft our way through the rankings of the six best lightweight vacuums.

While there’s not much that can be changed about the actual process of dirt and debris removal, one of the variables that we can control is ease of use. There have been many improvements made to suction devices over the decades. One of main variables of which is vacuum weight.

Pet hair, kitchen crumbles, and even the unknown debris that hides in the crevices behind the couch can be swiftly and effectively eliminated with a few swipes of a lightweight, super-mobile vacuum designed to extract particles of all (tiny) shapes and sizes.

Whether flitting around the front room with a featherlight cordless vac is your forte, or breaking it down with a handheld crevice tool is what your dreams are made of, these lightweight vacs have got you covered when it comes to quick and easy dirt and dust disposal.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
  2. Best Commercial: Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS
  3. Best Canister: Bissell Zing Canister 2156A Bagless Vacuum
  4. Best Bagless: Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vacuum
  5. Best High-End: Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
  6. Best 2-in-1: Electrolux Ergorapido Stick Cleaner

Lightweight Vacuum Buying Advice

Best Overall: Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Floor Critics Rating (4.8):

  • Weight: 5.03 lbs.
  • Best for (Floor Surface Type): All surfaces

The Good:

  • Price
  • Power Lock Switch
  • Very, very light
  • Adjustable suction
  • HEPA filtration

The Bad:

  • Battery life/run time
  • Loud
  • Batteries can require replacement, become defective
Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Tineco A10 Hero Cordless

This super lightweight skinny cordless vacuum cleaner weighs in at a smidge over five pounds. When operating the tineco A10 Hero Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, you might just feel like your sweeping air.

The vac’s docking station conveniently holds the accessory tools that the vac includes. It holsters the vac itself, for compact, upright storing.

A button release system allows users to dump the dirt collection bin without the need to get too up close and personal with the dirt that the vacuum extracted. There are no guarantees that you won’t have to make contact occasionally. However, the design is decent and should ensure pretty seamless dumping sessions.

The floor head and vacuum handle swivel. The A10 Hero Cordless Vac can delve deep down into the undersides of furniture. It can even reach under low-profile cabinets.

There are LED headlights on the front of the vac. They expose even the most elusive dust and debris attempting to blend right in.

You can convert the A10 Hero into a compact handheld vacuum that weighs about 3 pounds. When you combine it with one of the accessory/attachments, this little hand vac can combat just about any corner, crevice, or curtain with just a swipe or two.

What Reviewers Say

More than one consumer has reported vacuuming in darkness to maximize the function of the LED lights on the vac’s floor head. These adventurous and dedicated “suctioneers” are paving the way to the vac-light only revolution, and cleaning it in the process.

A couple users are very happy with the versatility of the vac. Its compact size and swivel motion can get under low dressers, mattresses, and base cabinets.

The vacuum can struggle with plush carpet, especially when there is pet hair. Some extra swipes over each spot may help the issue. A couple users have reported low pile carpet and area rugs are no problem. They just use a different vacuum for their plush carpet cleaning needs.

Features & Considerations

The A10 Hero Cordless Vacuum Cleaner has a turbo MAX setting for deep cleaning sessions where you need heavy extraction. The good news is that this seems to be an effective function. The bad news is that a fully charged battery will provide about seven minutes of cleaning time before requiring a recharge.

The power lock switch is a big deal. This allows users to lock the power switch to allow for continuous operation without the operator needing to hold the switch the entire time.

Surprisingly, this key feature is not available in similar vacs that are twice the price. People definitely appreciate the fact that tineco made an effort to incorporate this convenient setting.

The battery is removable. You can charge it away from the vacuum. This means A10 Hero owners can acquire additional batteries for the vac.

That enables to be capable of world domination, or longer cleaning times. Either way, users can have power at their fingertips at all times with this option.

Best Commercial: Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

  • Weight: 9 lbs.
  • Best for (Floor Surface Type): All surfaces, though best on carpet

The Good:

  • Lightweight
  • 12” wide cleaning path
  • Easy-to-switch bags
  • Long power cord
  • User-friendly handle

The Bad:

  • No attachments
  • Need to purchase replacement bags
  • Minimal adjustability
  • Loud
Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS

The Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS Upright Vacuum has made it to our ranking list yet again. This vac is just a darn good vacuum. It does what it needs to do, and is extremely lightweight, especially in the bagged vacuum realm.

Operation is simple, there aren’t any fancy features or attachments, but there is a long, 35’ power cord. This super sucker gets the job done though, when it comes to effectively eliminating deep down dirt and dust.

You can easily remove and replace the bag. It keeps all the particles you collected intact during disposal. Vacuum suction doesn’t decrease as the bag fills up.

The XL2100RHS is reasonably low profile and capable of sliding under most furniture and cabinets to nab hidden hoards of dirt. The vac is also capable of cleaning hard floors, although carpet is its specialty.

The cleaning path of the motor head spans about 12” wide, which is a pretty sizeable amount of coverage compared to most other lightweight vacs. While cleaning path capabilities aren’t going to make a dramatic difference during operation, it can help to speed the vacuuming process just a little bit.

What Reviewers Say

Oreck vacuums have multiple number-one fans out there, and many claim to have gone to the “dark side” of bagless or other bagged vacs and have returned the friendly, functional features of the lightweight Oreck.

Some users report that the vacuum’s suction is so powerful on carpeted surfaces that the vac almost seems to propel itself.

The Oreck is good on the open road, but it can struggle to get into tight corners and up against baseboards. Some owners have a small, secondary vac around to hit these tough spots.

Features & Considerations

The Oreck XL2100RHS has a “Microsweep Switch” that allows users to make an easy suction and function switch when moving from carpet to hard floor surfaces.

You can easily acquire bags from multiple sources. There are various bag types available. They include HEPA and other specific-use bag styles. The prices are pretty reasonable. You can purchase some bags in bulk.

Maintenance is minimal with the Oreck XL2100RHS. You may need to pay some minor attention to the vac on rare occasions. However, this vac is probably the best one for owners who are not big fans of keeping up with filter cleanings.

Best Canister: Bissell Zing Canister 2156A Bagless Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

  • Weight: 9.3 lbs.
  • Best for (Floor Surface Type): Hard floors, low pile carpet

The Good:

  • Swivel head
  • Automatic cord retraction
  • Price
  • Three-stage filtration
  • 10” wide cleaning path

The Bad:

  • Limited carpet cleaning capabilities
  • Attachments could be better
  • Weight
Bissell Zing Canister 2156A Bagless Vacuum
Bissell Zing Canister 2156A

The Bissell Zing Canister Bagless Vacuum is a modern day, affordable rendition of the canister vacs of those suction purveyors who came before us.

This zippy, portable vacuum is convenient and easy to use, with an automatic cord rewind function, and a handle on the canister. The handle is telescopic and allows the vac to reach heights that other vacs can only dream about.

The bagless design utilizes a three-stage filtration system, including a post-motor filter that captures some of the smallest of particles. The filters are washable and reusable.

The smart, compact design of the vac makes it easy to use and even easier to store. The dirt container quickly detaches from the canister for efficient dumping.

The Bissell Zing Canister Bagless Vacuum has clean lines, no bells and whistles, and is a functional, lightweight, and affordable suction solution.

What Reviewers Say

Users report that assembly is easy and takes just a few minutes to set up. The attachments don’t have great reviews. Some owners have sought out other options to fulfill their specialty accessory needs.

The on/off switch and the cord rewind button are the same color and style, and one user reported using a piece of tape to help differentiate between the two.

There is a lot of love for the Bissell Zing out there, spread out over various review platforms. Users reference the affordable price for a vacuum often. Many users rave about the vac’s versatility.

Features & Considerations

The canister is lightweight, and the handle is even lighter. So when the canister is in place, operation is nearly weightless. There are adjustable suction settings that are good for adapting to different floor surfaces and types of debris.

The vacuum hose and canister stand alone easily, which allows for easy moving and storing. You can stow the compact dimensions in tight quarters.

The power cord is not the longest, measuring in at around 15’ long, but combined with the vac’s 56” handle, the reach of the vac stretches to nearly 20’. You could incorporate a simple extension cord into the equation for added range.

Best for Bagless: Shark HV382 Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.5):

  • Weight: 9.9 lbs.
  • Best for (Floor Surface Type): All

The Good:

  • Super low profile
  • LED headlights
  • Two brush rolls
  • Price
  • Long power cord
  • Lift-away hand vac

The Bad:

  • Smaller dirt cup
  • Can tip
  • Some malfunction issues
Shark HV382 Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vacuum
Shark HV382 Rocket DuoClean

The Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vac is all sharky about debris extraction, chomping and inhaling everything in its path (reportedly including small area rugs).

This sleek vac is aggressive in the pursuit of various types of particles. You can use it in a ton of applications.

The compact vacuum also offers a lift-away hand vac that weighs in at a slim 4.6 lbs. You can extend this handheld vac’s hose to reach upper walls and the corners of ceilings.

The motorhead has bright LED lights. They illuminate the vacuum’s path. They also help expose dirt and debris in even their best hiding spots.

Heavy duty bristle brush rolls work in tandem to dig in deep to carpet fibers and grab stubborn pet hair and other ground in debris.

The long power cord measures in at 30 feet, a substantial length allowing for extended cleaning ranges. Combined with the lightweight and portable nature of the vac, this lengthy lifeline of power creates a convenient and super mobile suction system.

What Reviewers Say

Owners of the Shark Rocket DuoClean report serious suction power, claiming that it seems almost self-propelled at times. Users meet some serious resistance when operating the vac on carpet.

The Rocket DuoClean can conquer pet hair with ease, dragging it out of carpet fibers and pulling it from all directions on hard surfaces. Some users report needing to do some coaxing when emptying pet hair from the dirt collection bin. However, due to the effectiveness of the cleaning session, owners don’t seem to mind.

A common complaint that pops up in multiple reviews is the vac’s top-heavy design. This means the vac can’t stand alone, and tends to tip at any chance it gets. This is not only annoying, but these crashes can result in serious damage to the poor Shark vacuum.

Features & Considerations

The Shark Rocket DuoClean vacuum has washable foam filters that you can reuse many times before needing to replace them. The vac also comes with a handy wall mount hook, which is almost necessary considering the vacuum’s inability to stand on its own.

The Shark Rocket DuoClean includes plenty of functional attachments. They include a pet multi-tool, an under appliance dusting wand, a dusting brush and a good old crevice tool. When combined with the portable lift-away hand vac, this suction device can eliminate debris from just about any application.

You can remove the brush rolls for cleaning. They even come with a little cleaning tool to expedite the process.

Best High-End: Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Floor Critics Rating (4.5):

  • Weight: 5.75 lbs.
  • Best for (Floor Surface Type): All

The Good:

  • Compact
  • Nylon power brush
  • HEPA filtration
  • Lithium battery
  • Converts to handheld

The Bad:

  • Price
  • Have to hold power button during operation
  • Difficult to repair
  • Battery life can go down over time
Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless

The Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner is a versatile and ultra-lightweight suction device that ups its game with a powerful direct drive motorhead for deep cleaning carpets and a soft roller head designed specifically for hard surface extraction applications.

The convenient docking station charges the vac’s battery, and also offers a compact storage location for the V8 Absolute.

To further the V8 Absolute’s cleaning capabilities, the vac transforms into a slim and portable handheld vac that can attack debris along baseboards, on staircases, and other hard-to-reach areas.

Dyson has done a lot to improve the dirt container-emptying process with the V8 Absolute. The design seems to be extremely effective at minimizing the amount of dust and debris that users have to handle during the dumping process.

Attachments include a crevice tool and a combination tool. You can use both of those with the upright vacuum and the lift-away handheld variation.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers rave about the Dyson V8 Absolute Vacuum Cleaner’s ability to consistently produce superior suction. Many users have set up tests and experiments to see how the Dyson vacuum performs against other vacs and have found, through semi-scientific research, that the V8 Animal picks up excessive amounts of debris that other vacs failed to extract.

The power trigger control is a major complaint among V8 Absolute owners. The handle itself seems to be ergonomically friendly.

However, the power button within it requires you to manually place pressure on it during the entire vacuuming process. That creates some big problems for a lot of users.

There have been reports of less than desirable product durability. That is especially as it relates to battery life and general vacuum serviceability. The Dyson is an intricate system that is effective when it’s working, but, according to some owners, can be difficult to repair when something goes wrong.

Features & Considerations

The V8 Absolute has a powerful direct drive motorhead. You can operate it in MAX mode to crank up its suction power on carpeted surfaces.

This motorhead can do some serious damage to dug-in debris. However, it also takes a big bite out of battery life.

On a full charge, the battery can typically power the vac for about 30-40 minutes, and then needs about 2-4 hours to recharge. These timelines are pretty reasonable, even reaching toward the lengthiest run times, within the cordless vac industry.

The side suction of the vacuum head may not reach tight to all baseboard and corner applications, so the lift-away handheld vac with crevice tool attachment may need to brought in to complete the job.

Best 2-in-1: Electrolux Ergorapido Stick Cleaner EL3230A

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

  • Weight: 7.5 lbs.
  • Best for (Floor Surface Type): Areas with pets

The Good:

  • Has a removable handheld vac
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to maintain
  • 10” wide cleaning path

The Bad:

  • Price
  • Doesn’t work with carpet
  • Hair gets stuck in beater brush
  • Battery lifespan
Electrolux Ergorapido Stick Cleaner EL3230A
Electrolux Ergorapido Stick EL3230A

The Electrolux Ergorapido Stick Vacuum is a compact and versatile vac that also converts to a super mobile handheld format.

This crafty cordless vac can motor all over, to the farthest reaches and deepest crevices, for up to 20 minutes on a full battery charge. When the power runs dry and fun has to stop, you can return this vac to its charging station. It doubles as a storage dock for the vac and its accessory tools.

This little lightweight debris extracting device is so compact and mobile that kids easily can operate it, even down to the quick and convenient pop-out release for the handheld vac.

The filters are washable and reusable, and the vac comes with multiple attachments, including a motorized power brush, a crevice tool, and a dusting brush.

There are similar variations of the Electrolux Ergorapido on the market, some with headlights, and others not allowing for replacement batteries. The Ergorapido EL3230A model does have shiny headlights.

What Reviewers Say

The Electrolux Ergorapido can’t stand alone. Reviewers report having top-heavy tip overs with the vac. They also report that the vac does stand in its charging station.

Some users acknowledge that while the Ergorapido is a quick and convenient tool for day-to-day pick ups, it may not be the ideal vacuum for all cleanup applications. You may need an additional vac to handle heavier duty carpet cleaning jobs.

Multiple owners love the handheld vac’s portability and ease of integration into the upright vacuum body.

Pet hair seems to be no match for the Ergorapido Stick Vacuum. Users claim it’s capable of picking up tons of various types of debris. Those include kitty litter and bird seed. They also include fine dust particles and sand.

Features & Considerations

You can operate the Electrolux Ergorapido Stick Vacuum for up to 20 minutes. You will need a full battery charge.

That is on the low side of operation times within the market. The battery seems to be a major weak point of the product, though replacement batteries are available if the original battery ceases to charge properly.

You can pop the hand vac out with the touch of a button, and is one of the easiest “transformer” vacs to convert from upright to handheld vac and back.

There is a general consensus from a variety of reviews. That is that when the vac is good, it is very, very good. However, when it’s bad, there’s no turning back (unless it’s a matter of battery replacement).

Side by Side Comparison

ProductOur RatingWeightBest For
Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Tineco A10 Hero
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Overall

Overall: 4.8
5.03 lbs.All surfaces
Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Commercial

Overall: 4.6
9 lbs.All surfaces, though best on carpet
Bissell Zing Canister 2156A Bagless Vacuum
Bissell Zing Canister 2156A
View on Bissell –>
View on Amazon –>
Best Canister

Overall: 4.6
9.3 lbs.Hard floors, low pile carpet
Shark HV382 Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vacuum
Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382
View on Shark –>
View on Amazon –>
Best Bagless

Overall: 4.5
9.9 lbs.All surfaces
Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson V8 Absolute
View on Amazon –>
View on Dyson –>
Best High-End

Overall: 4.5
5.75 lbs.All surfaces
Electrolux Ergorapido Stick Cleaner EL3230A
Electrolux Ergorapido Stick
View on Amazon –>
View on BrandsMart USA –>
Best 2-in-1

Overall: 4.6
7.5 lbs.Areas with pet traffic

The Complete Lightweight Vacuum Buyer’s Guide

What to Know Before Buying a Lightweight Vacuum

Weight is a somewhat relative variable, but in the vacuum realm, any vac less than 15 pounds is considered lightweight. Within the lightweight ranges, some vac weights plummet far below the classifying weight, with some weighing in at closer to five pounds.

Within the spectrum, there are some other key features and functions in the mix, such as dirt collection methods, power sources, and varied suction control. Accessories tend to sweeten the deal, too, and most lightweight vacs offer specific tools designed to diversify the vac’s dirt-sucking capabilities.

There are some considerations to make when sorting through the vast array of little debris eliminating systems out there, as every application and vacuum owner has a unique set of needs.

What types of floor surface types will you be cleaning?

Different floor coverings tend to require different suction pressure, methods, and tools. Due to the fibrous nature of carpet, rotating brush rolls and bristles, combined with high-powered suction, tend to provide the best dirt extraction results.

A hard floor surface, on the contrary, doesn’t typically benefit from the brush rolls used on its cushiony counterpart. In some instances, these brushes can scratch a hard surface in the suction process. Less is more when it comes to sucking debris from a hard floor, in both equipment and vacuum power.

In applications where both floor types will need to be cleaned, it’s best to zone in a vac that offers varied suction settings and the ability to switch from the heavy-duty carpet brush roll to a soft, debris-attracting roll, or no roll at all.

Without the option to move between these methods of extraction, typically users will find that the vac excels on one flooring type and is subpar on the other.

How much mobility is needed?

The world of feather-light vacuums introduces some extremely convenient and mobile features that allow owners the ability to really break out of the standard vacuum scenario and conquer zones previously unknown by a vacuum.

Cordless functionality unlocks access to outdoor applications like vehicle vacuuming and front porch polishing. Once cordfree, users can float wherever the vac winds take them, to the inner corners of stairs, behind nether regions like behind the toilet, or along baseboard edges.

To further this exciting access to regions rarely visited by a suction device, some vacs can be converted to even more portable hand-vac systems. These 2-in-1 vacs can handle almost any typical household debris and dust removal situation that pops up, both inside and out.

Couple this with some functional attachments included with the vacs, and you’ve got a full arsenal of dirt and dust combating tools to bring your home zones back to pristine.

How do you prefer to dispose of collected dirt and debris?

To bag, or not to bag, is a common question within the vacuum market. The time-tested bag collection systems are pretty simple. The vacuum picks up as much dirt as it can and sends it to a (usually) sizeable bag for long-term containment.

When said bag fills, it needs to be tossed and replaced. This method of dust and debris collection tends to keep all particles under wraps, providing almost zero possibility for any tiny invaders to escape.

Bagless vacs capture and collect debris in containers or cups designed to be emptied when full. The process of dirt dumping can get a little dusty at times, but the trade off for this potential inconvenience is that there’s no need to purchase and stock bags.

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How We Ranked the Best Lightweight Vacuums

When zoning in on the six best lightweight vacuums, multiple variables were factored into the process. Consumers are usually looking for some key features when seeking a lightweight vacuum, and some vacs have done an impressive job of covering most, or all, of these user-friendly options.

As always, price is a huge factor when ranking these sleek suction systems, as are consumer reviews. These reviews provide great insight into both the strengths and weaknesses of each product.

Other functions weighed out in this density-driven sub market of the vac industry include filtration methods, stowability, and access to accessories, replacement filters, and replacement vacuum bags.

Power and Mobility

The vac’s power source is an important factor that will probably be a primary determinant in how an owner can utilize it.

When operating, cordless vacs are, no doubt, more convenient and make it easier to efficiently clean an area. But, to get a cordless vac to the point of powerful suction, some attention must be paid to its power source.

Most of these super mobile vacs come with docking stations designed to stow and charge the battery. Forgetting to properly dock the vac can lead to some long-term delays in debris extraction while waiting for the battery to recharge.

A full battery charge will generally power a handy cordless vac for about 30 minutes, though this range can vary quite a bit from product to product. When ranking these vacs, operation time was factored into the considerations, as there’s really nothing more maddening than a quickly dying battery when disgusting debris piles await.

Battery struggles can be bypassed with a corded vac. Corded vacs still hold a strong position in the market, and for good reason. While cordless vacs can be convenient, there’s nothing like being plugged into a constant supply of power, providing unlimited cleaning capabilities.

Most corded vac manufacturers recognize that mobility is still one of the primary goals when it comes to efficient dirt and dust extraction, and cord lengths tend to reach up to 30 feet in length. When fully unraveled, the lack of cord on the vac furthers its lightweight nature, for an added perk. Longer cords generally equal higher ranks on the list.


Most vac users aren’t looking to have a stockpile of different vacuums and floor cleaners on hand for each cleaning application. A vac’s ability to be utilized in a variety of scenarios really bumps it up on the list.

Accessory tools like extension wands, powered motorheads, dust and crevice cleaning tools, and the ability to convert to a handheld suction system can be found with some of these lightweight, dirt-eliminating machines.

These targeted tools can deliver quick and effective cleaning results in a variety of situations, and when it’s time to pack it all up, stowability and compact size are key requirements in a quality slim-lined vac.

Consumer Reviews

Reports and reviews made by users who’ve taken the dive with these tough but tiny vacs can provide some of the best insight into what to expect from a product. Information on longevity, quality, functionality and little tips and tricks can be acquired from these reports.

While all products typically have both good and bad reviews, patterns and repeat references are zoned in on when factoring both sides of the claims into a product’s ranking.


Price is always the most important variable when carefully selecting a product’s place on a ranked list. In the lightweight vac spectrum, there is a vast range of price tags and it can be quite the feat to wade through the ocean of features, benefits, warranties, and accessories included with the product.

Another factor brought into the mix is cost of ownership. Most vacs will require some additional purchases to be made throughout the vac’s lifespan (we can only hope it’s a long, happy one, filled with satisfying suction and regularly cleaned filters). Bag vacs will consistently need a stock of bags on hand, and bagless vacs tend to require filter maintenance and replacement from time to time.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s the difference between bagged and bagless?

The names kind of say it all.

Bag vacuums are designed to extract dirt and debris and send it to a collection bag, which also has some type of filtration system within it. This bag is usually reasonably large, capable of holding quite a few vac sessions’ worth of captured floor particulates.

Bagged containment is a pretty solid system, as most vacs utilize HEPA-style filters built into the bags. The bags are typically the most hygienic way to dispose of the dust and debris.

The bags are almost completely sealed. When it comes time to replace them, it’s a simple tossing process. It does not involve any contact with the little bits of dander, dust, and pollen.

This convenient and clean emptying process comes at a cost. You will need to replace the bags, adding to the cost of ownership and operation.
Most debris containment bags aren’t wildly expensive. In fact, most are very affordable.

But in order to use the vac at your every vacuuming whim, you should have a decent inventory of bags on hand. Otherwise, that suction session will be stifled.

Bagless vacs capture and transport all particulate invaders to a dirt container or collection bin. That is housed within the vac.
With almost all bagless vacuum designs, the user can see into the bin and clearly reference when it’s time to dump the container. It’s also extremely rewarding to see all the disgusting dust and grimy, gritty dirt and pet hair that’s been effectively eliminated from the room.

The bad news is that during the dirt dumping process, a user may have to revisit the puny particles that were just removed. While most vac dirt bins are designed to allow for “no-touch” dumping, some grime grabbing is usually required.

Pet hair and dust especially like to cling to the inner plastic lining of the container, so the risk of re-introduction to these unwelcome house guests is a real possibility.

Since there’s no need to purchase bags for bagless vacuums, a user can gain a little bit of ground on operation costs. However, the filtration systems in these vacs tend to need some extra maintenance, like filter cleaning. The filters will also eventually need to be replaced to maintain optimal functionality, and these can come in close to the cost of a package of vacuum bags.

What is the benefit of HEPA filtration?

HEPA filters capture and retain at least 99.97% of tiny debris that is 0.3 microns or larger. What is a micron? It’s the size of a virus, tobacco smoke particles, and 2,000 times smaller than the period at the end of this sentence.

When a filter can capture microscopic particles of this teeny, tiny size, just about everything that can cause allergy flare ups, odors, and breathing problems is taken out of the mix.

HEPA filters can be a bit more expensive than standard filters, so it doesn’t hurt to keep a couple of each on hand so HEPA can be reserved for specific cleaning scenarios.

How can I prolong battery life?

The battery life of a cordless vacuum will determine the amount of powered clean time that a user can expect to have. New, out-of-the-box batteries (assuming they aren’t defective) can be seriously altered if not charged and drained properly for the first few uses.

Most manufacturers will touch on this important detail of conditioning the battery, but some vacuum operators are too excited to set out for their first cordless adventure and might not read the directions. This can lead to shorter battery life, and less efficient charges.

So, as a standard rule with electronics batteries, let the battery fully charge before the first use, and then let it completely drain before placing it back on the charging station. Repeat this for the first three or four full battery charges, and you’ve done the best you can to promote healthy battery life.

Does maintenance (or lack there of) effect performance?

Yes. As with anything, maintenance, or none, can make or break a product’s effectiveness. Bagged vacs tend to be a bit more forgiving on the maintenance front, but you cannot ignore bagless vacs.

All of the filters and hoses work together to create powerful suction, and if one of the filters is dirty or in need of replacement, the whole system will become far less effective.

Most filters are washable. You should clean them after roughly a dozen uses (this varies by manufacturer). It can be helpful to have a couple extra filters on hand, so one can be used while you are cleaning and air-drying another one.

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About Maria Hernandez

Senior Floor Critic, 25 years of experience in residential and commercial cleaning

Maria Hernandez has 25 years of experience in residential and commercial janitorial and cleaning services. From hardwood to carpet to marble floors, Maria has developed a deep expertise in cleaning and maintaining many different flooring types. Visit Website.

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