College rooms, just like any other living places, need to be kept clean. A good vacuum can help to ensure that. But then, how do you find the best vacuum for dorm rooms? Vacuums don’t come marked as dorm cleaners, which can make choosing the right one difficult. Not to worry anymore, though. This guide is meant to help you select a cleaning device for small spaces.
Dorm vacuums should be cheap, small, bagless, with good filtration, low noise, and great suction power.
If you’re a parent, student, or someone who’s about to join college and who is looking for a dorm vacuum, read to the end to see which are the key considerations, the main guidelines that you should follow when choosing your cleaning pal for the most restless period of your life.
|Looks||Product||Type||Suction power||Filtration||Weight||Noise levels||Price|
|Bissell Zing||Canister||9 amps||3 stage (replaceable)||10 lbs||60 dB||$59.00|
|VonHaus 2-in-1 600W||Upright||130 AW||HEPA||5.5 lbs||66 dB||$32.99|
|Bissell Featherweight||Stick||2 amps||Standard (foam)||3 lbs||62 dB||$29.99|
|Eureka NES210 Blaze 3-in-1||Stick||2 amps||Cloth (washable)||3.2 lbs||67 dB||$30.00|
|Dirt Devil Razor Vac||Upright||12 amps||3 stage (replaceable)||12 lbs||67 dB||$149.99|
|Shark Navigator Zero-M||Upright||9.5 amps||HEPA||16 lbs||62 dB||$244.99|
|Aitsite Cordless||Cordless||4000 Pa||–||1.9 lbs||75 dB||$26.99|
This little canister is a real bargain. For $50 or so, you get a bagless unit with a lot of power and excellent maneuverability. Being so small, you can store it without any problem, as it will not take much of the room’s space.
VonHaus 2-in-1 600W
This is a powerful upright that can be transformed into a handheld in a matter of seconds. That is a great feature to have, perfect for college needs. It’s lightweight, it has HEPA filtration, and can be lifted with just one hand.
Here’s another Bissell, and this time, a corded stick. Its strong assets are the lightweight (as mentioned subtly by its name) and the low operating sound. But perhaps the best attribute is its price. At $30 or so, this vacuum cleaner is a steal.
Eureka NES210 Blaze 3-in-1
The Blaze 3-in-1 from Eureka is a success. It has been sold in tens of thousands of units since its release. The main attraction points are its versatility, its incredibly small weight, and of course, its affordable price.
Dirt Devil Razor Vac
Dirt Devil is a vacuum cleaner producer who has some great experience in making affordable cleaning units. The Razor Vac is actually at the top of their line – a fully equipped upright, powerful, and ready to work since day 1.
Shark’s latest vacuum technology is state-of-the-art. The updated Navigator Zero-M has no problem with hair tangles. It has no problem with a lot of things, including a strong suction, a quality filtration system (HEPA sealed), and a lengthy warranty.
As a dorm dweller, you’re probably looking to save every centimeter of space you can. This handheld vacuum lets you pick up whatever dirt or debris is on your floor in a flash and needs minimal storage space, making it the perfect companion to the college student.
How to Buy a Vacuum for a Dorm
The cleaning requirements of dorm rooms are, in many ways, different from that of homes. These rooms have smaller areas to clean, which means they do not need large vacuums. Cleaning tasks are also lighter, and the required suction often moderate. When it comes to storage, a giant vacuum may not find space in a dorm room. To help you narrow down the choices when shopping for a device to clean college rooms, here are the features to consider.
Students usually tend to spend everything on entertainment and clothes, so there’s not much money left for “unimportant” stuff such as vacuum cleaners. I get it, most of the money is going to some other places. That is why most of the vacuum cleaners from my list are priced under $100. You can go ahead and check out my list of the best yet cheapest vacuum cleaners out there; there might be one that suits your style. However, since you’re young and joyful, I doubt you’ll like all of these. Hence this article, and a different top.
Most dorm rooms do not have much free space to store things. If you want a vacuum that can sit in a corner, look for a compact one. Choose a device that can be tucked away easily, in a shelf or bag. The smaller it gets, the better. You will be saving on storage space, while also taking advantage of the benefits that come with small-sized cleaning devices. Besides, the cleaning tasks of dorms are not too tough to require a large vacuum.
A noisy vacuum is a nuisance in dorm rooms. Ensure the model you buy won’t bring the dorm down with its roar. Often, this will mean choosing a small-sized device with average suction power. Some vacuums muffle the sound of their motors better than others. Apart from selecting a vacuum whose engine isn’t too overpowering, go for a model whose sound insulation is more effective. A noise level of 65 dB and lower should be fine.
Regardless of whether you’re allergic or not, choose a vacuum that offers a high level of filtration. HEPA filters retain 99.9% of the particles in the air, which include allergens such as dust, mold spores, and dust mites. With this level of filtration, the person using the vacuum, as well as other dorm occupants, won’t inhale allergens. Vacuums with HEPA filtration typically cost more than those that don’t. However, health is a priority, and cost shouldn’t deter you from buying a safe vacuum.
With only a small area to clean, you don’t want to haul a ton of weight. Pick a lightweight model that will not tire you out to use. A load of ten pounds or less would be excellent. If you choose a handheld, its weight is likely to be within that range. For a stick vacuum, you may want to check the specs, so you don’t end up buying a bulky device. Uprights weigh a lot mostly. Canister vacs, too, besides being bulky.
A dorm room doesn’t need a vacuum that’s too powerful. Not unless it’s carpeted and the carpet medium or deep pile. Aim for between 1200 and 1500-watt suction. Lower than that, and the vacuum may struggle to pick up dirt. Suction power that exceeds 1500 may not be necessary for a dorm as most dirt will be on the surface and loose. In most cases, the vacuum will be cleaning crumbs, the mud left by shoes, and similar debris. Such tasks do not need an airflow that’s too strong.
When it comes to vacuum types, the options are many. You have canisters, uprights, sticks, and handheld vacuums. There are also robot vacuums that clean autonomously. The question is, which type best suits a dorm room? And the answer is, it depends. That’s because dorm spaces vary, and preferences are different. Some vacuums suit dorm rooms better than others. However, the type you choose will depend on many factors. To help you choose from an informed point of view, let’s look at the different types of vacuums.
Starting with canisters, I should say these vacuums are meant for large spaces. They come with long wands and can extend to offer an impressive cleaning radius. But canister vacuums are bulky and a challenge to store. Unless you have a large dorm room, a canister vacuum may not make a good choice. However, they have strong suction which would suit a carpeted floor. Should you choose a canister, ensure that you pick a small-sized model.
Upright vacuums are quite powerful. If you have carpeted floors in your room, their suction strength is often adequate to ensure thorough removal of dirt. However, just like the canisters, uprights are a big size. They are also heavy and not easy to clean with. If space is limited, you may find them difficult to store. Their upright nature means you can store them in a corner, though, which would be convenient when space is an issue. Choose a compact upright if you want to use it in a dorm room
Robot vacuums can clean a dorm. However, one problem would arise. Given the space restriction and obstacles in these rooms, such a robot would need to have exceptional navigation. A robot with those abilities would cost several hundred dollars or even a thousand. Not many people would be willing to spend such amounts on a dorm vacuum. However, some robots cost less than that. Depending on your budget, you could choose those, or go for the pricey models.
Stick vacuums suit the cleaning requirements of a dorm room in many ways. They are compact, which makes them easy to store. They are also lightweight and highly usable. When cleaning small spaces such as dorm rooms, you want a device that you can steer with ease. Other than weight and dimensions, stick vacuums come in different versions. They can be corded and cordless, and one-piece or 2-in-1 design. For a vacuum to clean a dorm, I would recommend the cordless, 2-in-1 version. You will have a stick vac to use for the floor and a handheld for other surfaces or spills.
Overall, the type of vacuum that you choose depends on your preferences. For most situations, a cordless stick would be an ideal choice. However, these vacuums are usually more expensive than corded types. That means your budget would also determine the type of vacuum to go for.
Corded vs. Cordless
For a dorm room, you can use any of the two. You will not be cleaning far from the outlet, and a cord won’t restrict your coverage. However, I would advise you to choose a cordless vacuum. With the small area of dorm rooms, you don’t want to keep tripping on the cord. Another reason would be cord storage. A corded vacuum will need more space for the cable, and which may not be available.
A cordless vacuum is more portable, convenient, and presentable. Despite the runtime of some being short, these vacuums still suit a dorm’s cleaning requirements. Vacuuming sessions are unlikely to take more than ten minutes, which is within the battery capacities of most cordless vacs. When selecting a cordless vacuum, choose one that offers a decent runtime. However, avoid those that run for too long. They will cost you more for the cleaning time, but which you may not need to clean a dorm room.
A cordless vacuum can be a stick or handheld. A stick vacuum is usually bigger than a handheld and more powerful. If there’s an area rug in the dorm, a better choice would be a stick vac. Handhelds are suitable for light cleaning tasks, such as cleaning spills, the surfaces of couches, linen, and other places that do not have much dirt to pick. Some stick vacuums can covert from stick and handheld. If your cleaning tasks will vary from tough to light, go for a 2-in-1 cordless vacuum.
Bag vs. Bagless
Bagged vacuums are hygienic when it comes to emptying cleaned dirt. Bags also have larger capacities than the dust cups. But bags cost money to replace while dust cups only need to be washed in water. You also do not need the large volume of bagged vacuums when cleaning a dorm. You only have a small area to clean, and little dirt to pick up. That’s why I think bagless vacuums are most suited for dorm rooms. When choosing a bagless vacuum for college, check its specs. Select a model whole bin empties hygienically. Most feature a bottom lid and a push-button to open it.
Other Factors to Consider
A swiveling head is one of the most useful features. It allows you to steer the device effortlessly, which is necessary when there are several items to avoid. The larger the degree of swivel, the higher the level of maneuverability. Check to see that the vacuum’s handle bends to let you guide the cleaning head under furniture. This feature is only useful if you’ve chosen a stick or upright vacuum.
You don’t need complicated controls for a dorm vacuum, only simple ones that make operating the device easy. Unless you prefer to have a higher level of control, choose a vacuum that only features a “low” and “high” motor speed. Such a device will cost you less but still clean impressively. What matters most is the location of the control buttons. If they are within easy reach, the vacuum is worth considering.
A vacuum to clean a dorm room need not come with many attachments or tools. There’s no need for separate brush rolls, different dusting brushes, or pet hair tools. Normal accessories are enough. These include an upholstery nozzle, a dusting brush, and crevice tool. You would also need a long tube or wand so you can reach high spots.
Other Elements to Take Into Account
Apart from the features, several other considerations can help you find the best vacuum for dorm rooms. One of them is the brand. Some manufacturers have a good reputation for producing premium vacuums. You may want to choose those for a quality device. However, consider your budget while at it, and avoid brands whose prices do not match the amount you’re willing to spend. Just because a particular brand is famous doesn’t mean it’s the only company offering quality vacuums (make sure you read my warranty and customer service brand assessment). Emerging manufacturers may not be widely known, but their products could be cheaper and equality high-quality. Which brings us to the next factor – ratings.
A vacuum’s ratings can be an excellent way to gauge its quality. Although that’s not proof enough, it can steer you towards a good vacuum. Consider the ratings on big retail sites such as Amazon. Alternatively, you can get the opinion of reviewers based on the features that a particular vacuum comes with. There are plenty of these reviews and guides online. And if you know of a friend or relative who has used the vacuum, consider asking them about its performance.
Another factor to consider when buying a vacuum for a dorm room is its price. Avoid expensive models that are meant to clean a whole home. Or, those that come with many features. The ideal dorm vacuum is a simple cleaning device, most probably a stick or handheld version.
While still on the issue of price, some brands are more expensive than others. Your budget will dictate the amount you spend on the device. A pricey brand or model is likely to be more stylish and presentable. If your budget allows, that would be the right choice. If it doesn’t, don’t feel compelled to purchase a costly vacuum. Instead, go for the reasonably priced model.
When buying a vacuum for dorm rooms, consider the requirements for a device to clean small spaces. If you don’t, you may end up with a vacuum that’s bulky, heavy, noisy, and unnecessarily powerful. You could also end up spending more money than you anticipated. The best dorm vacuum need not cost a fortune. My advice is to look for a simple device that’s compact and lightweight. If still unsure of what vacuum type, brand, or mode to buy, you may use the ones I have provided here. They come with features to make them suitable for dorm room cleaning.
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I’m Jason Moe Roberts, an appliances expert and blogger. I’ve worked at Walmart for more than 15 years, in the house appliance department. I love to use home equipment and I spend a lot of time testing the best products and reviewing them. My family and friends also recommend me as a caring person, a great dad and a loving husband.