I have long neglected an important category of my blog’s readers: those who live in small studios or apartments. If you’re one of them, I bet you want to keep your apartment clean and attractive, just like any other guy living in a full house. A bad vacuum cleaner choice will only give headaches. When it is time to shop for a vacuum cleaner for your cozy living space, don’t just buy the first device you come across simply because it appears aesthetically appealing and cheap. A vacuum cleaner is an investment hence you have to do a deep research. In fact, I bet that is why you reached this page. With so many brands and units on the market, choosing the best one can be daunting as well as frustrating, especially if you are buying a vacuum cleaner for the first time. Fortunately, today I have brought you some simple yet important tips that will help you with your cleaning endeavors.
How often do you clean your apartment?
Take a second and think about your weekly cleaning habits. Do not feel ashamed about the number of times you engage in a cleaning session within a week. It is trivial, many people don’t have time to do cleaning on a daily basis. Many of us live in a hurry. Hasty might be a word for our generation. We are the hasty generation. Now that you thought at a number, take into account this frequency. Logically, a daily cleaner must be much more reliable than a unit that you’ll use once per week. But there are other angles to this situation. Individuals who clean once per week need to buy larger uprights with more powerful motors, which enable them to remove stubborn old stains.
Upright or Canister
When living in an apartment, many find hard to decide between canisters and upright models. Although both of them do the same job, they come with different features. For starters, they have different dimensions. Most of the times, canisters are much easier to store, and thanks to their flexible hoses, are more maneuverable in tight spaces. They can clean drapes and upholstery without any problem. That doesn’t mean some of the uprights don’t perform as well. Many standing models have a lot of accessories, come equipped with swivel heads, which makes them “agile” and thanks to their size, they can store much more dirt. At macro level however, canister vacuum cleaners are more suitable for apartments.
Speaking of sizes, there are 2 categories of vacuum cleaners, not necessarily disjunctive, which seem to be made especially for people living in smaller spaces: sticks and cordless units. In the happiest case, you can get a cordless stick, but I’ll get to these later. The idea of using a unit under 7 lbs. is alluring, yet there are many other things to consider:
Are allergies an issue?
This is an important aspect of your life. I don’t really know if people who live in apartments are much more predisposed to allergies than people living in houses, but I would incline to think so. The dust forms much faster in very tight spaces. Having pets only makes things worse. That means you’ll need a vacuum which has a very good filtration system. HEPA should be a standard. I’ve already made some recommendations here, but things are a little bit different now that we’re talking about flats instead of houses. Few brands (such as Miele) offer a closed bag system as well as superior filtration. These features make them a good choice for anyone with health problems.
Speaking of the bag system, one good idea would be to buy a bagged unit. Why is that? Not only because bags provide and additional filtration layer (even the tiniest particles and debris remain inside), but also because the disposal process is much more convenient. If you’re living inside an apartment, that means you won’t be able (or better said, you won’t be disposed) to go outside to empty a dust bin. Most customers find hard to choose between bagless and bagged vacuums, but luckily I’ve made a good roundup on this matter a while ago.
Highly cluttered spaces
Some apartments become very crowded with books, clothes, pieces of furniture, electronics and so on. Different accessories may prove invaluable for cleaning different parts of your home. Check out my complete guide on vacuum cleaner attachments, and find out which ones may be suited for your home. If you want to vacuum PCs or other electronics, check out some kits made especially for this chore.
Frequent inspection and proper maintenance increases the efficiency and the useful life of your vacuum cleaner. Apartment vacuums don’t necessarily need a special kind of maintenance, but they still need one. A poorly maintained unit is likely to kick out dust and allergens into the air, causing health problems such as asthma. Therefore, you need to make proper plans on how to service your vacuum cleaner before hitting the market to look for another one. First and foremost, read the product manual. 1h of reading could spare you of many, many hours of repairing/servicing/replacing. Wash filters as recommended by the producer. Replace bags and belts as soon as new ones are needed. Use the appliance in the conditions/environment recommended by the manufacturer.
Suction alone will not clean your rugs or carpets
No matter if you live in a full house or a small apartment, if you have carpeted areas, you should pay attention to this point. It does not make sense to buy a vacuum with more power than your car for cleaning carpets. Cleaning takes place when the brushes roll, thus agitating the loose debris. Thereafter, the flow of air will transport the material to the dirt chamber.
In the case of delicate surfaces, things are exactly opposite. Delicate surfaces such as fine handmade pieces, hook rugs, cotton, silk and wool among others require only suction, if you want to avoid damaging them. Check out my list of vacuum cleaners good for different types of carpets.
People who live in flats of apartments need to respect each other’s privacy. It’s a matter of respect. Many want to be able to vacuum any time they want, even during the night. That won’t be possible with a standard vacuum cleaner. You will need a unit which produces less sound, preferable under 70 dbs. If you’re looking for a detailed article about this feature, check out my piece.
Some personal recommendations
Here are some of my favorite models, models which I usually recommend to people who live in smaller homes, under 1000 sq. ft.:
Miele C1 Olympus
- check out my complete guide on Classic C1 models
- it’s a canister, thus it’s easy to maneuver
- it’s bagged, with sealed suction. The bags are large, accommodating 1.2 gallons of debris, and are charged electrostatically, so no dust particles, no matter how small, will escape them.
- it has very good filtration, it’s German product
- it’s designed for bare floors and low pile. Other C1s (Titan, Delphi) may be better suited for medium and high pile carpets
- 6 power settings, including the Silent mode
- it has a good warranty
- it is the cheapest Miele canister unit on the market
Dyson V6 Motorhead
- read my top-rated post on the V6 Absolute
- it’s a stick and a cordless in the same time
- as it’s name suggests, it has a wide nozzle, and the brushroll rotates better than in the case of the standard V6
- works good on both bare floors and carpeted areas
- the batteries last 20 minutes and recharge completely in 3h
- it weights 5 lbs. and may be also used as a handheld
- it’s a bagless, accommodating 0.1 gallons in its dust bin
- it comes with a docking station, and you can leave the unit for charging without worrying about batteries
- a set of 15 cyclones arranged on 2 tiers filter the finest dust particles. The washable foam filters do the rest.
- the Boost mode provides increased suction for 6 minutes
- 2 years of warranty
- with a good discount at the moment
Oreck Magnesium RS
- check out my full review of the Oreck Magnesium RS
- although it’s not a stick, it weights only 8 lbs., thanks to its aluminum frame
- the bags are large, accommodating 2 gallons. They also provide the only filtration layer of the unit, as they are made out of a HEPA grade material. The SaniSeal system completes this feature.
- large rubberized wheels allow vacuuming frieze and shag carpets
- an efficient 3.5 amps motor provides a good suction under a low consumption regime
- furniture-friendly, able to lay completely flat, in order to reach deep under beds
- wireless handle controls
- intuitive swivel steering
- good edge-cleaning thanks to side-brushes
- Twin LED Headlight
- 7 years of warranty, with 5 yearly tune-ups
- although a bit expensive, on sale at the moment
Dyson Small Ball
- Read the full review of this vacuum cleaner
- good built, quality materials
- powerful motor. Good suction at 150 AW
- works great on all kind of floors, including hard floors and low-pile/high-pile carpets, thanks to its auto-adjustable head, which creates a sealed airflow
- 2-tier radial cyclones – for an uniform continuous suction
- Long cleaning radius of 42 ft.
- Good filtration system with rinsable/washable filters. Unfortunately, it is not HEPA certified
- Increased usability thanks to the ball technology
- Hygienic bin emptying
- Comes a crevice attachment and a stair tool
- The handle is ergonomic and can be adjusted in height
- 5 years of warranty
- check out this amazing price for a Dyson
Shark Rocket TruePet
- Read more about the most successful Shark stick
- it’s a 2-in-1 unit which can quickly transform into a handheld
- it’s a bagless with a 0.22 gallons capacity. The bin can be emptied from both sides (top or bottom).
- works on all types of floors. You can change the vacuuming type using a floor switch
- thanks to a special Dust Genie attachment, you can tackle hardwood floors easily
- other accessories include an extension wand and a crevice tool. If you get the Truepet model, you will also get an electric brushroll you can use on your dog or cat
- consumes only 500W, which is amazing, considering it’s suction power
- the rubberized handle feels perfect in your hand
- also comes with a wall mount for facile storage
- 5 years of warranty
- here’s a very good deal on this Shark
I hope this article clears things out. If you live in an apartment and have any questions about choosing your next vacuum cleaner, don’t hesitate to contact me using the comments form bellow.
Latest posts by Jason Roberts (see all)
- Best vacuum under $100 in 2018 – are cheap vacuum cleaners worth it? - September 20, 2018
- XiaoWa E35 robot vacuum – a cheaper alternative to RoboRock - September 18, 2018
- Shark ION P50 Powered Lift-Away – a cordless vacuum cleaner from the DuoClean family - September 15, 2018