Best Lightweight Vacuum Cleaners for the Elderly

best vacuum for elderly

Keeping a clean home is a source of pride and happiness for many seniors, so having a vacuum that works and fits a senior’s needs is essential.

Finding the perfect vacuum for an elderly individual may seem overwhelming when looking at the vast array of specs and features, but when you know what features matter most to you, it’s not as bad. 

What Features to Consider in Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner for an Elderly Individual 

Vacuum Type

There are three main types of vacuums one can choose from:

  • Stick. Thin, light, and in some cases cordless. High-suction stick vacuums also tend to be higher priced.
  • Canister. Large and bulky, canister vacuums use a cord for power and a handheld hose for sucking. While heavier than other option, they are also the most powerful.
  • Upright. Uprights are generally in-between stick and canister vacuums in terms of both weight and power.

Size and Weight

Choosing a lightweight vacuum cleaner is generally the best bet because it’s easier to maneuver for seniors. It’s unsafe and unrealistic to expect an elderly individual to maneuver a heavy, burdensome appliance.

Stick models tend to be the lightest vacuums, followed by upright cleaners. The heaviest models are canister vacuums. On top of being heavy, canister vacuums also tend to rely on cords for power, which also pose a dangerous tripping hazard. 

vacuums

How Much Power Do You Need?

Suction power may be a concern; it’s true that heavier vacuums tend to be more powerful. Some may fear that a lightweight vacuum cannot do a sufficient job compared with heavier units, but it is possible to find a balance of suction power and weight.

Vacuum technology has come a long way, and many light-weight stick vacuums have plenty of suction power suitable for keeping a home neat and tidy.

Heavier vacuums may be essential for cleaning room after room in a hotel, or for homes with several furry family members, but for most seniors a stick vacuum will pack plenty of power.

Maneuverability Matters

The weight of a vacuum is only part of the issue when considering maneuverability. If it’s difficult to push a vacuum over the carpet or around furniture, it won’t be effective.

Vacuums with swivel heads tend to be good choices because they provide some level of flexibility and can reach more places with less effort. 

Make Sure the Power Button is Easily Accessible

Some vacuum cleaners have power buttons in the strangest places! Ideally, you’ll want to look for a vacuum cleaner that offers a large button that’s easy to access and press.

Buttons tend to be the best option for those with arthritis (especially buttons that don’t require too much pressure to activate). Switches can be problematic for those with limited mobility or arthritis, although some seniors may prefer them – especially if that’s the style they grew up on.

vacuums with easy buttons

Generally, power buttons on the handle or foot pedals are best, but with caveats.

Seniors with arthritis in their hands may have difficulty with button locations on some handles. Likewise, those with balance issues may want to avoid foot pedals to keep both feet firmly on the ground.  

vacuum button

Choose the Right Handle 

Speaking of handles, there’s more to consider than a convenient power button.

How does the grip feel in your hand? Is the handle ergonomic? You don’t want a vacuum cleaner that aggravates conditions like arthritis or carpal tunnel.  

vacuum handles

Corded vs Cordless

Cords are necessary to power some heavy-duty vaccums, but they can also be a tripping hazard.

Generally, we recommend cordless vacuums for seniors.

The major downside is that charging a cordless vacuum may be annoying for some individuals, especially if you have a very large home and find that you can’t finish vacuuming your home in one go. However, for most seniors, the small hassle of charging a vacuum outweighs the fall risk associated with cords.

For those who do opt for a corded design, storage is another consideration. Retractable vacuum cords can be helpful and easier than re-wrapping cords after use. 

The Upside of Self-Propelling Vacuums

Some vacuums have a self-propelling feature that automatically moves them forward or backward. This is especially helpful if pushing the vacuum over the carpet is too difficult or requires too much strength for a senior.

vacuum on carpet

However, self-propelling vacuums can be problematic for seniors with balance issues if they can’t react fast enough. If a senior is using the vacuum handle for stability and the self-propulsion pushes the vacuum away too quickly, a senior could lose their balance and fall.

Front Light Feature

Some vacuums have a front light that illuminates the floor. The light can be beneficial to anyone whose house may be dark and shadowed during certain times of the day, but it is especially for seniors who have poor eyesight. 

Look for a Bag Full Indicator

A “bag full indicator” is a helpful reminder that it’s time to empty out the vacuum bag. You don’t want to let your bag get too full because it can severely reduce suction or even burst!

Such indicators are especially beneficial for elderly individuals who can be a bit forgetful and may forget to empty the bag without prompting.

Dustbins: Bagless vs. Bags 

Speaking of bags, this may be one of the great debates when shopping for a vacuum cleaner – should you go with a bagless or bagged dustbin? There are plenty of arguments for both sides, so there’s not a fast and clear answer.

vacuum dustbin

Bagless vacuums cost less because you don’t have to purchase replacement dustbin bags, but they aren’t as clean. They can be messy to empty out in the trash, with dust particles often dodging the garbage, especially if a senior’s aim above the trash isn’t too targeted.

Plus, the removal and insertion of the dustbin may be a struggle for those with arthritis (although even bagged models will require some fiddling to remove and re-insert a dustbin bag).

Many bagless vacuums also require HEPA filters that need to be cleaned when you dump the contents of the canister.

vacuum filters

Vacuums with bags may be simpler to clean because most of the dirt stays in the bag, resulting in easy removal and disposal. However, you need to keep a stock of replacement bags on hand and make sure you can reattach the new bag easily. 

Other Considerations 

  • HEPA Filters can be helpful if you or an elderly loved one has allergies or respiratory problems because they minimize dust, dander, and other irritants. 
  • Handheld options make vacuums more versatile 
  • Does it come with attachments? While most seniors probably won’t use them due to the additional hassle, vacuum attachments may be beneficial for some, especially if a caregiver or more mobile friend will be doing some of the cleaning. 
  • If you have a pet, special features to accommodate pet hair could be helpful. You may need more power or a larger capacity dust bin to hold all that animal hair!
  • When it comes to pricing, is a top-of-the-line product worth the high price tag, or is a middle-of-the-road vacuum sufficient?

Best Vacuum Cleaners for the Elderly & Seniors

Some seniors need to pay extra care to dust and allergens for their health. Others may be concerned about a vacuum aggravating their arthritis.

We considered a lot of these common concerns and researched the market to arrive at this list on our quest to find the best vacuum cleaners for elderly individuals. Here are our top picks!

1. Best Stick Vacuum – Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

This surprisingly compact vacuum is capable of cleaning more than just carpet. Even though it’s cordless and lightweight, it packs a lot of power.

Best Stick Vacuum for Seniors
Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Stick/Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Super Lightweight with Powerful Suction for Carpet, Hard Floor & Pet - Space Blue

Tineco Hero Cordless Stick Vacuum

A versatile stick vacuum that converts to handheld too!

This cordless stick vacuum features a one-touch button for emptying the dustbin and 25 minutes of power.

The Hero works as a versatile stick vacuum but also converts to a handheld vacuum for managing smaller spaces. Plus, it comes with a few attachments to make cleaning up tight spaces a whole lot easier. 

The design is chic and low-profile compared to a lot of other models. It’s great for pet hair and does a nice job on hardwood floors too. Even though it’s bagless, you can empty this vacuum’s dustbin with a single button – a nice, easy solution for seniors.

As far as cordless vacuums go, the battery life is above average since it lasts for approximately 25 minutes. A red light alerts you when the vacuum needs to charge. When it’s not in use, simply store the vacuum on the docking station where it will charge to full power then shut off. 

Key Features

  • Lightweight, convertible vacuum with additional cleaning modes, including dusting option
  • Cordless for convenience and safety
  • Runs on a detachable battery that lasts up to 25 minutes on regular mode and up to 10 minutes on “Max” mode
  • Bagless, one-touch emptying dustbin for easy clean-up
  • Includes several useful attachments including a multi-purpose power brush, crevice tool, mini power brush, 2-in-1 dusting brush, hair cleaning tool

Product Specifications

  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5” x 8.3” x 43.3”
  • Color: Space Blue (white and blue)
  • Power: Battery powered with rechargeable docking station
  • Suction Power: 110W 

Things We Love

  • Lightweight and easy to use, even with the attachments and alternate cleaning options
  • Cordless
  • Capable of handling a lot of different jobs, including hardwood floors and cleaning up pet hair
  • Convenient storage and charging station in one
  • Decent price point compared to others with similar features
  • Super easy to dump the dust and debris without a mess 

Things That Could Be Better

  • The battery life is suitable for a cordless vacuum, but it could be better or come with a second battery
  • Probably not the best option for heavy-duty jobs or large homes

2. Best Budget Option – Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum

This light, budget-friendly, and fairly basic vacuum cleaner is an affordable alternative to higher-end models. It’s rather handy, working well on carpet as well as hardwood floors, and it can even convert to a handheld device for smaller jobs.   

Best Budget Vacuum for Seniors
Bissell Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum, 2033, One Size Fits All, Blue

Bissell Featherweight Stick Bagless Vacuum

Ultra-lightweight & affordable

Simple budget-friendly, bagless stick vacuum weighing just 3 lbs

If you like your vacuum to show a little personality, this one comes in a variety of fun, bright colors including black, lime green, blue, and purple.

It’s also a sleek design that takes up little room when not in use, requiring just a smidge of closet space. You also don’t have to worry about battery life since it has a cord (although it’s non-retractable). 

This vacuum is bagless, but it’s easy to empty for a mess-free clean-up. It’s an excellent option for seniors with tight budgets or limited storage.  

Key Features

  • Comes in four different colors
  • Lightweight design for easy maneuvering, even in tight spaces
  • Works on carpet and hardwood
  • Converts to a handheld vacuum for stairs and tighter spaces
  • Includes a crevice tool to reach tighter spaces, like furniture cushions 
  • Washable filter is reusable and doesn’t require ongoing replacements

Product Specifications

  • Weight:  3 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3” x 9.5” x 44.25”
  • Color: Available in blue, black, lime green, or purple
  • Power: Corded unit with 15 ft cord length

What We Love

  • Fun, bright color selections
  • Super lightweight compared to other models
  • Excellent price point that’s budget-friendly
  • Handles pet fur well
  • Fairly quiet motor 

What Could Be Better

  • The cord could be a little longer to allow more access
  • There’s no way to hang or clip the vacuum for storage
  • May not handle big jobs, better for smaller spaces

3. Best Canister Option – Bissell Zing Lightweight Bagged Canister Vacuum

Canister vacuums aren’t ideal for seniors due to their heavier weight, but some are fairly lightweight – like this one by Bissell, weighing in at just over 7 lbs.

Since they embrace the more traditional style of vacuum, some seniors may feel more comfortable with the familiar design, especially if this is the design they’ve grown up with.

Best Canister Vacuum for Seniors
BISSELL Zing Lightweight, Bagged Canister Vacuum, Purple, 2154A

Bissell Zing Lightweight Bagged Canister Vacuum

Large-capacity dustbin & traditional design

This canister vacuum offers a pack of power, with easy-to-remove bags and reusable filters to capture more debris.

Like other canister vacuums, this one provides a lot of power and dustbin capacity. It is capable of cleaning carpet or hardwood floors with the flip of a switch. Plus, this vacuum comes with a crevice tool, dusting brush, and multi-surface floor tool so that you can reach tight spots and clean between sofa cushions.

The Zing uses a bag, but it’s easy to remove and replace. Additionally, it has two washable, reusable filters to catch more dust and debris. 

Key Features

  • Convenient, classic design with helpful attachments
  • Easy to use on multiple surfaces
  • Bags make for easy clean-up
  • Washable, reusable filters capture extra debris
  • Automatic cord rewind feature 

Product Specifications

  • Weight:  7.5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6” x 11” x 9”
  • Color: Available in purple or maroon
  • Hose length: 8 feet
  • Power: Corded unit with 15 ft cord length
  • Warranty: One year, limited 

What We Love

  • Lightweight (for a canister vacuum) and powerful
  • Though it has a cord, it has an automatic cord rewind
  • Bags are easy to change 
  • Especially good for comfortably cleaning baseboards, windows, and fans

What Could Be Better

  • Attachments don’t click into the telescopic wand, so they may slip out during use
  • Doesn’t work well on ultra-thick carpets
  • Not as ergonomic as other products
  • Cord poses a tripping hazard 

4. Another Solid Option – Eureka Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight Vacuum

The Eureka Airspeed is another lightweight vacuum that packs a lot of power into a sleek design. Clean carpet and hardwood floors without difficulty, then pop on one of the attachments to suck up dust on the furniture and windows.

Another Solid Option
Eureka NEU100 Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight Compact Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Lime Green

Eureka Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight Vacuum

Upright, bagless vacuum with all the essential features

Sleek upright vacuum with considerable suction power and a one-touch bagless dustbin

The Eureka Airspeed is a bagless vacuum that’s easy to clean. It comes with a filter that’s washable and reusable too, to help contain more particles. With this vacuum, you have no added costs for filters or bags. Plus, the attachments snap into the vacuum easily and won’t slip out while you’re cleaning.

Key Features

  • Sleek design with convenient storage of attachments
  • Powerful suction and wider cleaning path (10.5”) 
  • One-touch dustbin emptying feature, just push a button and the debris dumps out
  • Filter is washable and reusable 

Product Specifications

  • Weight:  7.7 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 11.42” x 11.93” x 41.34”
  • Color: Black and lime green
  • Power: Corded design with 18 foot long cord
  • Warranty: One year, limited 

What We Love

  • Plenty of power to manage pet hair
  • Made explicitly to navigate smaller spaces
  • Versatile across multiple surfaces
  • No bags or filters to replace

What Could Be Better

  • The cord is not retractable and needs to be wrapped after use
  • No lights of any kind to help you see what you’re picking up 

5. Best for Seniors with Pets – Bissell Cleanview Vacuum Cleaner

If you or an older loved one has pets, you’ll need a heavy-duty vacuum to pick up the hair and dander they leave behind. The Bissell Cleanview has pet parents covered with this durable, high-power device, starting with the triple-action brush. 

Best Vacuum for Seniors With Pets
BISSELL Cleanview Rewind Pet Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, 2489, Blue

Bissell Cleanview Vacuum

Heavy duty vacuum designed for pet hair

This powerful, large-capacity vacuum is especially well-suited for sucking up pet hair and dander

Bissell understands that people have other floorings in their house besides carpet, and this vacuum handles it all. From hardwood to carpet and everything in between, this vacuum can clean it all. 

One of the most significant benefits for pet parents is the “scatter-free technology” that reduces the amount of scattering on the hardwood so that when your furry friend makes a mess of their food, this vacuum doesn’t make it worse! 

Key Features

  • Multi-cyclonic suction and triple action brush sucks up almost anything 
  • Automatic cord rewind
  • Bagless with washable, reusable filters
  • Includes a small attachment for tight spaces plus extension wand, pet turbo eraser tool, and dusting brush 
  • Ultra-long cord at 25 ft

Product Specifications

  • Weight:  18 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 13” x 14” x 46”
  • Color: Black, blue, yellow
  • Power: Corded unit with 25 feet cord length

What We Love

  • Works on many surfaces
  • Bagless with a clear view of the dustbin so you can see when it’s full
  • Retractable cord automatically rewinds by pushing a button
  • Made with pet parents in mind and $10 of every purchase supports the Bissell Pet Foundation

What Could Be Better

  • One of the heavier options on this list
  • The brush roll can be tough to clean when hair gets stuck in it

6. A Simple Option – Oreck Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Sometimes you just need a sturdy, reliable, simple vacuum to do the job. If that sounds good to you, then the Oreck Upright may be the vacuum you or your beloved elder needs. The Oreck is about as basic as they come, but it’s powerful and easy to use.

Simplest Vacuum for Seniors
Oreck Commercial, Professional Upright Vacuum Cleaner, U2000RB1

Oreck Upright Vacuum

Simple, no-nonsense vacuum

Ergonomic-friendly vacuum that packs power and auto-adjusts to surfaces

One of the best parts about this machine, aside from its simple design, is the automatic floor adjustment. You don’t have to worry about flipping a switch when you move from carpet to hardwood – the machine adjusts for you!

This vacuum also has an easy power switch located on the handle and is approved by the Arthritis Foundation, so you know it won’t irritate arthritis pain. It also has a wider cleaning path than other vacuums (12”).  

Key Features

  • Handle is ergonomic and works well for people with arthritis
  • Simple, high-power design 
  • Uses a bag that’s easy to remove and replace
  • Exceptional sucking power 

Product Specifications

  • Weight:  9 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5” x 13” x 35”
  • Color: Gray and red
  • Power: Corded unit with 40 feet cord length

What We Love

  • The power switch on the handle is easy to use, even if you have arthritis
  • Covers a lot of ground in a shorter time
  • Small brushes on the side prevent rubbing against surfaces and cleans as you go
  • Motor automatically shuts down if the rollers slow too much due to debris
  • Flattens to reach under furniture
  • Extra-long power cord 

What Could Be Better

  • A little difficult to push over extremely dense or thick carpet
  • Louder than a lot of other models
  • The long cord has to be rewound by hand and could be a trip hazard since it’s so long 

7. Another Great Pick – Hoover Linx Signature Stick Vacuum Cleaner

The Hoover Linx is a sleek and low-profile stick vacuum ideal for those who need to reach tight spaces but have limited storage space. This vacuum is a stick design, but still packs plenty of power thanks to its unique WindTunnel technology. 

Another Great Pick
Hoover Linx Signature Stick Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, Rechargable Lithium Ion Battery, Lightweight, Black, BH50020

Hoover Linx Stick Vacuum

Stylish vacuum that’s battery-powered and cord-free

Powerful, low-profile cordless vacuum that packs tons of power despite it’s small size

Hoover does cordless vacuums a bit different with this Linx Signature vacuum. It comes with a rechargeable battery and has a battery gauge on the front, so you always know where your power stands. When the power is low, just remove the battery from the vacuum to charge it on the included docking station.

The vacuum is bagless, and has a clear plastic dustbin so you can see when it’s full. The dustbin is also easy to dump debris with the push of a button. There is an additional filter too for removing fine particles, but it doesn’t need to be replaced since it’s washable. 

Key Features

  • Interchangeable batteries with included docking station
  • Impressively powerful suction for a smaller vacuum
  • Comes with a two-year warranty 
  • Bagless style with see-through dustbin
  • Can lie flat to easily reach under couches and furniture

Product Specifications

  • Weight:  7.3 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 9” x 11” x 43.5”
  • Color: Black
  • Power: Cordless with battery power
  • Warranty: Two years 

What We Love

  • Sleek and attractive with an easy-to-use design
  • Battery life sensor on the front is easy to see for monitoring power
  • Seamless transition from carpet to hardwood and back 
  • Battery is interchangeable, so you can buy a backup battery to use while the other is charging

What Could Be Better

  • No headlight included
  • Fingertip controls on the handle may be difficult to manage with arthritis

8. Best Robotic Vacuum – iRobot Roomba Vacuum

Why not skip the headache of vacuuming altogether and let the Roomba do it for you? You don’t have to worry about the comfort of a handle or tripping over a cord. Just tell the Roomba to clean, and it does the rest!

Best Robotic Vacuum for Seniors

How does it work? The iRobot offers a three-stage cleaning system that covers hardwood and carpet. The series of brushes work together to grab dirt, dust, and debris from your floors while you sit and relax.

Roomba also has patented Dirt Detect sensors, so it navigates your home without bumping into objects. 

You can command Roomba to start cleaning using Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands, and then just watch it work! It’s even possible to set up a regular cleaning schedule for Roomba to clean while you’re out or asleep, so you don’t have to worry about tripping over it. 

Even charging is a snap with Roomba. You don’t have to worry about plugging it in or hooking it up, Roomba runs for up to 90 minutes then automatically docks itself to recharge. 

Key Features

  • Roomba does all the cleaning for you – and does a great job at that!
  • You can pre-program vacuuming times around your schedule or activate it remotely through your phone or with a smart voice-activated device (like Alexa).
  • No cords or batteries to worry about, Roomba docks and charges automatically
  • Connect your Roomba to your smartphone and the app to monitor progress and functioning, including when to empty the dustbin
  • Easily fits under furniture since it’s so low-profile 

Product Specifications

  • Weight:  6.77 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4” x 13.4” x 3.54”
  • Color: Black
  • Power: Charges on a docking station
  • Warranty: One year 

What We Love

  • Roomba does all the cleaning for you
  • Program cleaning sessions around your schedule – have it clean when you’re asleep and bypass any fall risks
  • Takes up very little space

What Could Be Better

  • Requires Wi-Fi, so if by chance you don’t have it, Roomba won’t work for you
  • May not be the best choices for houses with a lot of pets or pets who shed a lot
  • Could be a tripping hazard for people who run it while they are home   

There are plenty of options to choose from and something for every taste when it comes to vacuums for seniors and elderly individuals. Hopefully, we gave you a good idea of what to look for and answered some questions!

We would love for you to share your thoughts and experiences with us – what features do you look for in a vacuum for elderly individuals? Which units have worked best for you? Share your experience in the comments!

Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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