The Best Small Vacuums Prove That Big Isn’t Always Better

People who live in confined spaces and small apartments will wish they had a small vacuum cleaner.

A heavy vacuum that weighs over 6-7 kilograms is not an option for tiny homes.

Easy storage is a key consideration, while strong suction is also an important facet.

If you live in a dorm room, caravan or tiny apartment, you will find VacuumShop’s best small vacuum cleaner reviews to be extremely helpful.

We also discuss some key factors when making a decision and also answer some common queries.

Best Small Vacuum Cleaner Australia

Through thousands of hours of testing, we’ve finally compiled a list of the best compact vacuums that are powerful enough to get the job done.

We’ve obviously looked out for lightweight machines that prioritise on compact storage.

We’ve divided our best picks based on best cordless and corded options, as well as the top performer on hardwood floors!

Black+Decker PD1820L-XE Flexi Vacuum

Best Cheap Small Vacuum Cleaner


BLACK+DECKER PD1820L-XE

Black+Decker PD1820L-XE 


The presence of a hose attachment, combined with supremely powerful suction makes this Black+Decker handheld vacuum to be a great fit for any car.

While this vacuum isn’t really the smallest handheld you could find, the presence of a hose attachment and powerful suction will make this cleaner a versatile pick for your home.

The hose is 1.4 metres long, helping you to get some above-floor cleaning done easily.

With the hose, you will find it simple to clean underneath furniture and behind radiators.

Staircases and tight spaces will be no match for the crevice tool that comes with the vacuum!

While a battery that lasts for 10 minutes isn’t much, the powerful suction means you rarely have to go over the same space twice.

The 18-volt battery took less than four hours to recharge once drained completely.

There is a pet fur attachment included, making this a good small vacuum cleaner for pet owners.

With a weight of just under 1.4 kilograms, this vacuum is super-lightweight although it is really powerful.

A decibel rating of 85, however, left us wishing it could have been slightly less noisy.

While a 0.44-litre dust canister isn’t especially great, it is pretty decent for a handheld vacuum.

We believe this lightweight Black+Decker vacuum is a compact and versatile cleaner that a lot of Australian homes will admire.

  • Excellent suction
  • The 1.4-metre long hose is helpful in cleaning
  • The pet fur tool is great for picking up delicate pet hair
  • Lightweight at only 1.42 kilos
  • Large dust canister for a handheld vacuum
  • Slightly noisy
  • The battery life of 12.5 minutes is a little frustrating
  • The battery will take up to four hours to recharge completely

VonHaus 2-in-1 Stick & Handheld Vacuum

Best Small Vacuum Cleaner For Hardwood


VonHaus 2-in-1 Stick & Handheld Vacuum

VonHaus 2-in-1 Stick & Handheld Vacuum


If you have hardwood floors, the VonHaus 2-in-1 is an excellent choice that is also super-easy to store and operate. HEPA filtration and the ability to convert to a handheld are massive positives.

The best feature of this vacuum from U.K.-based VonHaus is the ability to detach easily for lightweight and portable cleaning.

One issue we have with the detached mode is that the motorised brush bar option does not exist when converted to handheld.

With a 600-watt motor, this is an energy-efficient device, which we love given the high electricity prices in Australia.

The low levels of power means this vacuum struggles against pet hair.

On hard surfaces, the dust pick-up was excellent due to the motorised brush bar.

That doesn’t mean that it struggles on carpets because it absolutely does not!

This bagless vacuum has a 1.3-litre dust canister capacity which will get the job done for confined spaces without having to dump too often.

We also liked that the dust canister is super easy to empty, with a push of a button.

Filtration is comprehensive as there is a combination of sponge and HEPA filtration in-built in this device.

HEPA filtration will suck up over 99.5% of all allergens captured.

A power cord of six metres, however, is a little restricting.

Standing at under a meter tall, this upright vacuum is easy to store in even the most congested dorm rooms!

At just under 3 kilos, it is light enough without even detaching!

Given the range of cleaning options and the excellent filtration system, we believe this device is a truly underrated masterpiece.

  • The detachable mode makes cleaning portable
  • Energy-efficient
  • Lightweight at 2.9 kilos
  • Storage is easy as the vacuum is less than a meter tall
  • Excellent performance on hard surfaces, especially hardwood floors
  • The dust canister is large enough for a few rounds of cleaning
  • Struggles to pick up pet hair
  • The power cord could have been longer than 6 meters

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light

Best Corded Small Vacuum Cleaner


Best Shark Corded Stick Vacuum Shark Rocket Complete DuoClean

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light


A corded stick vacuum that is a dream to swivel around and also converts to handheld mode for nimble cleaning.

A well-balanced corded stick vac that’s super-agile and easily converts to a handheld device.

The Rocket Ultra-Light is the perfect stick vacuum for homes that are tired of depending on the frustrating batteries of cordless vacuums.

We can imagine how annoying it must be to recharge your cordless vacuum for hours on end, only to end up with 15-20 minutes of cleaning.

A power cord that is 7.6 metres long will conveniently get all your cleaning done without forcing you to change power outlets too often.

At under 6.5 kilograms, this is well-balanced cleaner, which can also convert to a handheld! Swivel steering just adds to the easy mobility of this device.

With the slim build of this vacuum, storage is easy.

The floor brush accessory makes this device a good option for homes with multiple floor types.

The lack of a pet tool attachment, however, does not make this a good option for pets.

Maintenance is super-simple, as Shark has made the brushroll easily accessible.

By making use of only 500 watts of power, this device is excellent for low energy bills.

While a 0.4-litre dust canister isn't much, this machine will easily get through a few rounds of cleaning.

A narrow cleaning head is also a bit of a drawback, but corded operation means it's not too much of an issue.

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light seems to be doing more than a few things right!

  • Corded operation is highly convenient

  • Converts to a handheld device
  • Excellent on hard floors
  • Well-balanced design 
  • Lengthy power cord
  • Narrow cleaner head

  • Limited dust canister capacity
  • A bit pricey

What Do I Consider Before Purchasing A Small Vacuum Cleaner?

When dealing with a small vacuum cleaner, keep in mind that the cleaning performance will not necessarily match those found in a larger upright or cylinder vacuum.

Even if you have a large home, the presence of a compact vacuum can be beneficial.

You can get some quick spot cleaning done without having to bring out the big boys from storage!

We discuss some of the key factors to keep an eye out for before purchasing.

Special Requirements

There are a few things that can completely change the requirement of the small vacuum cleaner you need for your home.

If your home is on a budget, there are a variety of options available.

For pet owners, it is necessary to look out for a compact vacuum with a pet hair tool attachment.

Even the kind of flooring employed has a say on the small vacuum cleaner type to purchase.

A lot of small vacuums are also good fits for car cleaning because they can often convert to handheld mode.

Battery Life

Mostly, tiny vacuums are cordless vacuums.

For this reason, keep a close eye on the battery running time of the small vacuum cleaner you choose.

Typically, small vacuums have batteries that last for between 10-20 minutes.

Since compact vacuums are mostly meant for confined spaces, even a short-life battery can be alright.

The limited battery life is one of the most significant drawbacks that most small vacuums have over large vacuums.

Also, watch out for how long it will take for the battery to completely recharge.

Dust Capacity

The limited dust canister capacity can be a stumbling block.

VacuumShop believes that the limited dust canister capacity should not be a big issue for people that live in cramped spaces.

For people that live in larger homes, a compact vacuum becomes an inconvenient device because of all the canister dumping.

Suction Power

While it is common to think that tiny vacuums cannot come close to the high standards set by larger vacuums in suction power, that image is changing over the past decade.

The best small vacuums have showcased powerful, yet tiny motors that can pack quite the punch.

Most tiny vacuums, however, have not yet reached the airflow design and motor power to match the awesome suction seen in large vacuums.

Accessories

We recommend to watch out for the tools and attachments you will receive in your tiny vacuum.

For versatile cleaning, look out for a pet fur attachment, a crevice tool or upholstery nozzle.

We consistently have seen that most budget compact vacuums have fewer tools included than a premium device.

Weight

Most people prefer a compact vacuum because they are tired of lugging around their massive upright or cylinder vacuums.

The lightweight aspect is a key consideration that can make your compact vacuum much easier to use.

VacuumShop recommends that you stay away from compact vacuums that are over 3.5 kilos in weight.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Is A Small Vacuum Cleaner A Good Fit For A Large Home?

Which Is The Best Type Of Small Vacuum?

Final Verdict

For people without storage space, a compact vacuum is a go-to choice.

While the suction power may be more toned down, there is a lot of potential in the best small vacuum cleaners.

Powerful vacuums seem to be coming in small packages as well!

As a perfect illustration of this fact, the Black+Decker PD1820L-XE Flexi Vacuum has excellent suction and a large dust canister for a handheld vacuum.

If you had hardwood floors predominantly at home, then the VonHaus 2-in-1 stick vacuum is a great choice.

For a corded option, then the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is a quiet operator which can also convert to a handheld.

If you are currently contending with a bulky vacuum, then consider a compact vacuum!

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