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After a good coffee machine and shower shoes, the best dorm purchase you’re going to make is a vacuum. If you don’t already have one, now is the time to seriously research and pick the best vacuum for your college dorm room — it’ll be doing more work than you could ever imagine.
Not only are your living conditions going to be generally meh, but there are so many more little things that contribute to a messy and dusty room. Most importantly, your roommate. You truly can never know what their cleanliness threshold is and if they’re OK with sleeping in bed with their pile of dirty dishes. Ew.
Whether you’re looking to splurge on a high-tech cordless stick vacuum or just want a budget pick that can get the job done (without catching on fire, setting off the smoke alarm and making your entire dorm building evacuate), there are so many good options for every student.
Our favorite vacuums for college dorms
- Best Overall Pick: Shark® Navigator® Lift-Away® Upright Vacuum in Blue, $199.99
- Best Affordable: BISSELL Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum With Crevice Tool, $33.98
- Best Splurge: Dyson V15 Detect, $749.99
- Best Handheld: eufy® HomeVac H11 Pure Cordless Handheld Vacuum, $54.99
- Best Cordless Stick: Tineco A11 Hero Cordless Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner, $219.99 (Orig. $259.99)
- Best 2-in-1 Vaccum and Mop: Shark VACMOP™ Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop, $99.99
- Best for Pet Hair: BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, $30.99 (Orig. $38.10)
- Best Bang for Your Buck: PRETTYCARE Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, $109.97 (Orig $199.99)
- Best Mini: World’s Smallest Vacuum, $14.99
To make shopping for a vacuum a quick low-stakes breeze, we’ve outlined the best dorm vacuums that can fit in every small space and suck up every mess. Scroll below to find out why we’re obsessed with these nine vacuum cleaners.
Best Overall Pick: Shark® Navigator® Lift-Away® Upright Vacuum in Blue, $199.99
If you’re looking for quality on a budget, this reliable, effective and super easy-to-use bagless upright vacuum cleaner is our top pick. The Shark Navigator works well on just about every floor type, whether you’re stuck in a dorm with classic linoleum tile or somehow scored pre-war hardwood. With zero bags to swap out and a washable filter, it’s super easy to maintain and will last way past graduation.
Most importantly, it can also pick up every type of mysterious debris. Don’t worry, we’ve been there and we’re not judging — it’s college.
Best Affordable: BISSELL Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum With Crevice Tool, $33.98
The BISSELL Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum is truly a three-way cleaning powerhouse that costs less than two Chipotle bowls. It’s also Amazon’s No. 1 selling stick vacuum, beating out all of the big guys, making it a no-brainer purchase.
While this vacuum isn’t cordless, its powerful suction makes up for it. Plus, it only weighs 3 lb total, so it’s easy to carry room to room. And cleanup is super easy since the Featherweight vacuum is bagless. All you have to do is empty the dirt cup to toss out debris.
Best Splurge: Dyson V15 Detect, $749.99
Even though the hype is real, it’s no secret that Dyson vacuums cost a pretty penny. But, if you’re down to splurge for that signature Dyson spice, then this Dyson model might be your move. What makes the Dyson V15 Detect more worthy than other Dyson vacuums is that it has wildly clever features to make your busy college life so much easier.
There’s a sensor that continuously sizes and counts dust particles so as to automatically increase suction power when needed. Also, the LCD screen reports what it sucks up in real-time. However, the coolest part of the Dyson V15 Detect has to be the actual laser. Basically, the precisely angled laser makes invisible dust visible on hard floors, so you won’t miss a thing. And yet we still don’t have flying cars.
Best Handheld: eufy HomeVac H11 Pure Cordless Handheld Vacuum, $54.99
Not only is the eufy HomeVac H11 Pure Cordless Handheld Vacuum most likely the chicest handheld vacuum to ever grace a dorm room, but it also takes up minimal space without sacrificing any suction power.
If you’re looking for even more convenience, this handheld vacuum only needs a USB charger. Theoretically, you can charge it in your car, attached to your laptop while in the library or at any squished dorm party just for funsies.
Best Cordless Stick: Tineco A11 Hero Cordless Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner, $219.99 (Orig. $259.99)
With over 14,000 Amazon reviews, the Tineco A11 Hero Cordless Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner is an excellent choice when it comes to sleek cordless stick vacuums. It’s also, like, really pretty.
From light dust to stubborn messes cleaning, the A11 Hero tackles them easily with three power modes. Suction Modes I and II are great for daily cleaning tasks, while Max Mode is for those less-than-thrilling messes. Meanwhile, LED headlights can illuminate scary dark corners (ahem, under your roommate’s bed), and four different attachments offer a versatile vacuuming experience.
Best 2-in-1 Vaccum and Mop: Shark VACMOP™ Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop, $99.99
First, how obsessed are you with the word “VACMOP”? More importantly, the lightweight and easy-to-store Shark VACMOP™ Pro combines powerful suction with spray mopping in one machine to keep your floors shiny for when parents’ weekend rolls around.
The LED headlights can help illuminate any hidden debris, and the magnetic battery charger makes the entire cleaning process a low-lift effort. You can vacuum up any dry dust and debris while absorbing any wet messes with the pad. Then, just toss the pad — there’s zero filters or maintenance necessary to keep this guy working properly.
Best for Pet Owners: BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, $30.99 (Orig. $38.10)
A fan-favorite with Amazon shoppers and In The Know readers, this little handheld vacuum actually does “erase” any pet hair — whether or not you’re allowed to have pets in your dorm, or you’re hiding your fur baby from your RA.
Best Bang for Your Buck: PRETTYCARE Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, $109.97 (Orig $199.99)
Not only is this model one of Amazon’s top-selling stick vacuums, but it’s also the best affordable alternative to higher-end models from brands like Dyson. With HEPA filtration and a flexible head for tight turns and corners, it’s easy to see why Amazon shoppers keep buying this model over and over.
Best Mini: World’s Smallest Vacuum, $14.99
OK, this is here mostly as a joke. But, also, why not? We’re sure you’ll find a use for it eventually.
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