best lightweight vacuums elderly arthritis

Best Lightweight Vacuums

Want a lightweight vacuum?

There are many reasons you may not want to lug around a heavy vacuum. Maybe you have to frequently pull the vacuum upstairs. Maybe arthritis makes any added pounds a literal pain, or maybe the vacuum is for an elderly family member.

It’s not difficult to find vacuums under 10lbs. The challenge is most light vacuums don’t compare nearly as well as even average uprights. Some do, some don’t. The good news is I was able to find a few lightweight vacuums that stand out.

My goal in researching this article was:

  1. Filter out all vacuums over 10lbs.
  2. Compare at how easy to maneuver the remaining vacuums were
  3. Compare how well each of these vacuums perform

I think point “2” is worth discussing a little more. I could have done just steps “1” and “3,” but what I’ve found is many vacuums are much easier to maneuver than they’re weight. In other words, there might be a 10lb vacuum that is easier on your wrists than a 5lbs vacuum. With that said, weight still matters, particularly if you ever have to physically lift the vacuum up–say, you have to take it upstairs.

Here are my results:

Top 3 lightweight vacuums

I’ll cover a vacuum for 3 different price categories: best overall, best splurge, and best budget. In each review, you’ll see what stands out about the vacuum, how light it is, and what I think it could improve upon. At the end, I’ll cover one heavier vacuum that is more powerful than the rest of this list and also still easy to maneuver. These are my top 3:


Captain’s notice! When I recommend a vacuum, there is a link to a product page (usually on Amazon). I may receive a small commission if you purchase after clicking it. I receive the same small flat percentage with any vacuum, so it does not change what I recommend or what you pay. All reviews are 100% unbiased.

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light (best overall): Weighing in at under 8lbs, this vacuum is 50% lighter than many uprights. And despite its light weight, its can compete with many high-performing vacuums. This isn’t to say it will get your carpets as clean as high-end heavier models, but it’s one of the best we’ve found that’s under 15lbs. Here are some other pros and cons:

  • great for cleaning pet hair
  • multiple available attachments to better clean wood floors
  • converts to a handheld for an even lighter vacuum for spot cleaning
  • has an on-off button that is clicked once (you don’t have to hold a trigger)
  • con: doesn’t get carpet as clean as high-end vacuums
  • value is excellent—sometimes you can find it under 150
  • Check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here

Dyson V7 Cordless Stick (best splurge): Stick vacuums used to be sort of pointless; they were basically expensive brooms that could only be used on hardwood. That was before the Dyson V-series. These stick vacuums have the suction of average uprights but still weight sub-6lbs! That’s about the weight of a sack of potatoes. This won’t deep clean as well as the upright Dyson vacuums, but still does a pretty good job on carpet and is simple to use. Great for anyone with arthritis who has a small house to clean. Here are the pros and cons:

  • cordless, stick vacuum with easy hang and removal from the wall
  • easy push button emptying
  • over 100 air watts of power combined with tech that makes it comparable to average uprights
  • con: will not get carpet as clean as many higher end uprights
  • con: have to hold the trigger button while vacuuming (it an easy to hold trigger but still may be a problem for some with severe arthritis in the hands)
  • easily transfers to a handheld vacuum
  • can clean about anything with its attachments
  • Check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.

Captain’s side note!There are 4 versions of the Dyson V series. I chose the V7 here because it’s my “winner” of the bunch, but it’s somewhere in the middle of performance and price. If you want the complete breakdown of the Dyson cordless V-series vacuums click here.

VonHaus 2-in-1 Corded (best budget): This VonHaus will set you back about the cost of a dinner, and it actually does a decent job cleaning. I couldn’t find the exact weight, but it’s light and packaging is about 5.5lbs, so it like comes in under 5lbs. One important caveat is it doesn’t have a beater bar to deep clean carpet. Here are some pros and cons:

  • works as an upright/stick or as a handheld vacuum
  • suctions works pretty well on hard floors
  • has an on-off button that is clicked once (you don’t have to hold a trigger)
  • con: will not deep clean carpet
  • con: made of inexpensive materials so likely not as durable as some vacuums
  • Check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.

Dyson DC50 Animal Compact (slightly heavier but best clean): You probably noticed that this list doesn’t have any “excellent” carpet cleaners. The Shark Rocket and Dyson V7 are good but not great. To be excellent, I had to look over 10lbs to find the Dyson DC50, but this is actually a pretty good vacuum for anyone who needs a light vacuum. It’s 30% lighter than most uprights and the “ball” technology isn’t just a sales gimmick; these vacuums are simple to turn and easy on the wrist. If you plan on lifting your vacuum a lot (say, upstairs), this may be a little heavier than you want, but otherwise here are some highlights on a very powerful vacuum in a small package:

  • about 30% lighter than many uprights at 12lbs
  • easy movement makes it feel like a 7lbs vacuum
  • excellent cleaning of all surfaces
  • has an on-off button that is clicked once (you don’t have to hold a trigger)
  • con: may be too heavy if you have arthritis or are elderly and need to lift the vacuum upstairs
  • good assortment of attachments to clean any surface
  • Check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.

Things to consider when buying a lightweight vacuum

If none of the vacuums above work for you, here are some things you should consider if you go out and buy a lightweight vacuum on your own:

Maneuverability and weight

Why you want a lightweight vacuum matters. There are many reasons you might want a lightweight vacuum. Maybe you have arthritis, or maybe you have an elderly parent who will be using it. Or maybe you just get sick of lugging a heavy vacuum up the stairs.

The reason it matters is that it may make the difference in whether you need a truly lightweight vacuum or just an easy to maneuver vacuum. If you’re going upstairs and that’s the problem (particularly with an elderly person), you need to look strictly at the poundage of the vacuum.

If your wrists hurt from arthritis and pushing and pulling the vacuum, you don’t necessarily need something light. Some vacuums can be heavier (eg Dyson small ball above) but move around like there one of the lightest vacuums you felt. These can work great in homes with no stairs.

Do you have to hold down the power button and other hand position details

Most big vacuums have an on-off switch to control the power, but this isn’t always the case for more portable vacuums. Some vacuums like the Dyson V-series you have to hold down the trigger. In this case, it’s a very easy to hold trigger (not much different than just gripping the vacuum), but it could be a problem with hand arthritis if you can’t keep your hand in a gripped position.

You also may want to pay attention to other ergonomic issues like wrist hangle (and flexibility of the head of the vacuum versus you have to use your wrist to move the whole machine) depending on the joints that bother you most.

Cleaning power

One trade-off that sometimes occurs with lightweight vacuums is a loss of suction power. The Dyson V8 is remarkable for its ability to outperform heavier or corded vacuums, but often that is not the case.

When you are choosing a lightweight vacuum you should always pay close attention to its suction power. Homes with pets, kids, and busy adults are always seeing dirt and hair tracking in and out, and so any vacuum you buy should be able to keep up with the demands you place for it.

Best surfaces

Lightweight vacuums are often excellent for hard floors. Since those floors require less suction power to keep clean, you may not notice any issues with the lightweight vacuums at all.

Some hard floors, such as select hardwoods, do not take a beating from heavy objects without risking damage. A lightweight vacuum will be easier and a little safer to use than a heavier one, although you should be aware of your vacuum’s settings and your floor’s recommended care before vacuuming it.

Captain’s parting words!

Most powerful vacuums weigh 16lbs+, but there are some vacuums that stand out as far as being lightweight and easy to maneuver yet still able to pack cleaning power.

Hopefully, with this list of vacuums I researched to be the best in class, you can find something that meets your needs.

Any questions on lightweight vacuums? Let me know in the comments below.