4 Best Small Vacuums for Dorms

Best Small Vacuums for Dorms

Freshman year is a defining moment in one’s life. It’s a time when you have to decide how you want to live life in a dorm room. Unlike your home, dorms don’t usually have a lot of space, so you’re limited in the kind of vacuum cleaner you can pick. They’re not even a luxury anymore, so it’s not a question of whether or not you need one, but rather, which vacuum cleaner is suitable for cleaning a dorm room without putting a hole in your super tight budget. 

In this review, we have listed the best Dorm Vacuums by taking into consideration factors such as weight, durability, ease of use, and suction power. Furthermore, every vacuum cleaner on this list is under $100, so you won’t be straining your budget too much to get one of these. If it’s easy to use, has great suction, easy to maintain and store, then you would find it in this review. 

It’s a magical time, I mean, dorm year. So you must be off to a great start. Keep reading to find the perfect vacuum cleaner for a dorm room.

What To Look Out For When Choosing a Vacuum For Dorm

These are features you want to look out for when you need to purchase a vacuum, especially for use in a dorm. For example, you don’t want to disturb your roommates so it’s ideal to go for a vacuum cleaner that operates silently. We have listed the most important factors to look out for when purchasing a new vacuum cleaner for use in a dorm room:

Weight and Size

Dorm rooms are characterized by limited living spaces, so the vacuum cleaner of your choosing must be easy to store away after use. Also, lighter models are more convenient because they’re easy to haul around the cramped space of a dorm room. And stick vacuum cleaners seem to excel in this respect.


You must choose a vacuum that excels at finding its way out of tight corners on the job because, trust me, dorm rooms have a lot of tight corners – and you’d need to clean them. Keep an eye out for vacuums with swivel steering. 

Suction Power

If you have ‘low cost’ and ‘lightweight’ in one sentence, then ‘low suction’ should not be far behind when it comes to vacuum cleaners. Hence, if you’re looking for a low-cost vacuum, check the motor power and reviews to make sure it can also develop the needed suction for cleaning up messes. We’ve saved you the effort, however.

Power Options

Corded or cordless vacuum cleaner options: they both have their pros and cons. While you(or someone else) won’t be at risk of tripping over a cord by using a cordless vacuum cleaner, you’re limited by how you can use them on a single charge; most budget cordless vacuums typically last around 30 minutes. Also, there’s the occurrence of fade in suction power with cordless vacuums. A corded vacuum cleaner, on the other hand, is just the opposite of all these. 


If it comes with a HEPA filter, the better. HEPA filters are great for capturing tiny particles so that the allergens don’t go right back into the air. But they can add to the overall cost and may need to be replaced. There’s another option, however: washable filters. They can be easily washed, dried, and replaced for use, and you don’t need to replace them as often.

Top 4 Best Vacuum Cleaners For Dorm

1.Best Budget Stick: VonHaus 2-in-1 Stick

The VonHaus 2-In-1 stick vacuum cleaner is our best budget stick vacuum pick on the list. It can easily transform into a handheld and is incredibly versatile for above-ground cleaning. For floor vacuum cleaning, it excels at cleaning hardwood floors; for carpets, however, not so much. It can develop reasonable suction which should be sufficient for cleaning a dorm room.

The VonHaus 2-in-1 features fully rotatable wheels so that it’s easy to push. It also comes with a bagless design so you only have to deal with an easy-to-remove-and-empty dust cup. The handheld design is convenient and allows you to tackle dirt on other surfaces like upholsteries. In the box, it includes a crevice tool, hose adapter, shoulder strap, and a brush attachment. 

Special Features

  • Rotatable wheels
  • HEPA filter
  • 19.5 ft quick-release electric cord
  • Extendable handle


  • Reasonable battery life(about 40 minutes)
  • Great for hardwood floors


  • Not very durable
  • May overheat

2.Best Overall Stick: Dirt Devil Lightweight Bagless Corded Teal Stick and Handheld Vacuum

The dirt devil is our best overall stick vacuum because its affordable while packing features and performance unlike vacuum cleaners in its price range. Its 1.25 amps motor is surprisingly powerful enough to develop a powerful suction that’s more than enough for everyday cleaning required in a dorm room. The stick can easily detach from the foot so that you instantly have a handheld vacuum for performing other tasks. It comes with a crevice tool for handheld to reach into tight corners. 

The dirt devil is lightweight, easy to haul around and store. So if you have limited space in your dorm room, this vacuum cleaner stores away nicely, giving you more space to work with. It comes with a washable filter which you can easily take out, rinse and replace – just make sure it’s completely dry before replacing. 

Special Features

  • 16 ft cord
  • Easy-to-clean F113 dust cup


  • Lightweight
  • Great suction power
  • Can clean hard floors


  • Not great for cleaning carpets

3.Best Robot: ILIFE V3

If you fancy hands-free cleaning, then a robotic vacuum cleaner would do just great. Although the most obvious downside here would be if your dorm room has a lot of places where a robot can get stuck. The iLife V3 is a budget robot vacuum cleaner that costs way lesser, unlike most mainstream robotic vacuum cleaners with a price tag of $500 or higher -so your budget is still safe. And if you just keep obstacles and obstructions in your dorm room to a minimum, you would find that the iLife V3 is a very efficient vacuum. 

The iLife V3 comes with Li-ion batteries that can deliver up to 100 minutes of constant operation on a full charge. Its low-profile design allows it to go under furniture, picking up dirt and debris on hard floors. It scores low for cleaning carpets because it won’t deep-clean the carpet, leaving behind embedded dirt. It also features a unique tangle-free hair care tech that allows it to pick up pet and human hair without hassles. 

Smart sensors allow the iLife V3 to recognize cliffs or obstacles and avoid them. You can choose to control the unit by using a remote or let it do what it does best – unsupervised – by tapping the auto clean button. After each cleaning cycle, the dustbin is easy to take out for emptying.

Special Features

  • Low Profile design for under-furniture cleaning
  • Hair tangle-free technology
  • Self-charging 
  • Programmable schedule 
  • Anti-bump and anti-fall smart sensing
  • HEPA filter
  • 2,600 mah Li-ion battery
  • Remote Control capability
  • LCD display 


  • Up to 100 minutes runtime on a full charge
  • Avoids bumping and falling
  • Self-charges after each cleaning cycle
  • Comes with HEPA
  • Easy to clean and maintain


  • Cannot deep-clean carpet
  • Gets stuck on cables

4.Best Handheld: black+decker DustBuster

If you need a vacuum to clean up occasional spills or to clean tabletops, then the Black+decker DustBuster handheld vacuum cleaner is a great choice. It’s an affordable vacuum for people who don’t need to vacuum regularly. Therefore, if your dorm space is so packed that using a stick vacuum seems impractical, then you’d find Black+decker to be pretty useful. 

You cannot vacuum the floor with this unit, but it’s great for above-ground cleaning: furniture, upholstery, and even car interior. For more precise cleaning, the Black+decker DustBuster can rotate 180° to clean tight spaces at various angles. If you need to reach deeper, it also comes with a crevice tool to help you reach tight spaces. It also incorporates cyclonic cleaning technology to spin debris and dust away from the filter to maintain constant suction. 

The transparent dust bowl makes it easy to see how much dirt is already inside. That way, you know when it’s time to empty the dirt canister. 

Special Features

  • 180° rotating nozzle
  • Flip-up brush 
  • Easy to clean translucent dirt canister
  • Washable filter
  • Cyclonic spin


  • Easy to store away
  • Lightweight
  • Great for cleaning tight spaces of couches
  • Washable filter
  • Long-lasting battery


  • Can only be used for light-duty cleaning. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What is the Most Affordable Vacuum Cleaner For Dorm Room? 

Yes, we understand that there’s a lot to spend on, so you want to be conservative(that’s why we made this review). The most affordable vacuum cleaner in this review is the Dirt Devil Lightweight Bagless Corded Teal stick and handheld vacuum which is very affordable. But don’t be fooled, it is quite efficient for its price range. With its 1.25 amps motor, it can develop a reasonable amount of suction that’s more than enough for everyday cleaning required in a dorm room.

How Often Should I Vacuum the dorm room? 

It depends. The more people sharing the dorm room, the more frequently you will have to vacuum per week. To be more precise, vacuum as many times per week as the number of people sharing the room. So, for instance, a dorm room with seven roommates should be vacuumed seven times a week. Hence, creating a cleaning schedule for vacuuming the dorm room would be a good idea. 

What Is a Good Suction Power for a Vacuum Cleaner? 

To measure the suction power of a vacuum cleaner, most manufacturers make use of the air watts unit to quantify it. 1 air watt = 0.9983 watts and this should not be confused with airflow, another important specification for measuring suction power. Airflow is a measure of the vacuum cleaner’s cleaning capability because it takes into consideration how much force the airflow can create to suck in the dirt – the stronger the airflow, the stronger the suction, the intake, and the filtration system which the air intake must pass through. 

To give exact numbers, anything between 180-200 air watts(AW) is great upright vacuum. Cordless vacuums are less powerful but a reasonable suction power would be between 80-100AW.

How Can I Make My Vacuum Last Longer?

Admittedly, low-cost vacuums may be as durable as their higher-end counterparts, but by maintaining them, you can get the maximum life span out of them before you need to buy a more durable replacement. We have outlined tips on how to take care of your vacuum cleaner. Take a look: 

Dispose of Off Dirt Before Bag/Dust Cup Fills Completely 

It’s good practice to empty the vacuum cleaner’s dirt container before it gets filled up. This will prevent dirt from clogging the vacuum’s motor. Asides from that, it prevents the captured dust from getting back into the air. 

Most bagless vacuum cleaners now come with an LED indicator to let you know when the dust cup is full. For older models that don’t have this feature, using the squeeze test might help. Also, if you notice that your vacuum’s suction has reduced while cleaning, then it’s time to empty the dirt container. 

Clean The Filter

Vacuum filters are precautions put in place to prevent captured dust particles from going airborne after vacuuming. Most vacuums come with 2 or 3 filters for this purpose. Depending on whether your model uses a regular filter or HEPA filter, you should consult your owner’s manual for cleaning instructions and schedule. 

Clean the Brush

The roller brush may get tangled with strings, hairs, fibers, etc. When they become a sizable mass on the brushroll, these may prevent the vacuum from working properly. Occasionally, flip the vacuum head over and examine it for tangles. If you see some hair or other persistent particles, you may use scissors to cut them free. 

Why Is My Vacuum Cleaner Blowing Out Dirt? 

Is your vacuum cleaner blowing out air from the back? Try checking if the dirt container is full. Most times, it happens when the dust cup(or bag) fills up completely and there’s no more space left. So the excess dirt blows out from the back. Make sure to empty the dust cup, then clean the filters afterward.

Note: Make sure the vacuum filter is completely dry before replacing it. 

Final Thoughts On the Best Small Vacuums for Dorms

On a tight budget and considering the limited space in a dorm room, the right vacuum cleaner must be light, easy to use, operate quietly, and be reasonably powerful. Given the following qualities, choosing a vacuum fit for dorm use is no mean feat. That’s why we came up with this review: to point you in the direction of the right vacuum cleaner. You’ve got a whole lot to plan for as you go to college; we don’t want the task of choosing a vacuum to be a burden. 

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