Lightweight upright vacuum cleaners are great if you don’t want to struggle with a bulky, heavy appliance to clean your floors. In this article, we’ve listed our favourite lightweight uprights.
Top Pick: Vax Air Stretch Pet Max U85-AS-Pme
Our top pick for a lightweight upright is the Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch Max Pet. It’s an affordable vacuum that provides decent suction power and carpet cleaning performance, all in a design that weighs just 4.9kg.
This makes the Vax one of the lightest “true” uprights on the market. The long power cord and stretch hose also means it has a huge 17 metre cleaning radius, which is one of the largest we’ve seen.
Lightweight upright vacuum cleaners can make cleaning more enjoyable and less tiring – so it’s no surprise they are always in demand.
Unfortunately, finding a high-quality upright that’s lightweight is more difficult than you might imagine. The truth is that many upright vacs are only lightweight due to weak motors or other drawbacks – not because the manufacturers have designed them to minimise weight.
That’s why we’ve created this page: to help you narrow your search to the best lightweight uprights without wasting hours scouring product specifications.
- What Makes a Vacuum Lightweight?
- Which are the Best Lightweight Upright Vacuums?
- Which are the Best Lightweight Vacuum Cleaners for the Elderly?
- Page Update History
What Makes a Vacuum Lightweight?
We consider any upright vacuum cleaner that’s below 5kg to be lightweight. There are lighter vacuums available – some weigh as little as 2kg – but 5kg is light enough to carry (for most people,) yet is much more lightweight than the heaviest vacuums.
It’s worth noting that most of the lightest vacuums on this list are cordless or stick models. The reality is that most full-size uprights are relatively heavy, whereas stick models are naturally lighter. There are a few notable exceptions which we’ve included though.
Additionally, keep in mind that a vacuum’s weight shouldn’t be the only consideration. Suction power, dust capacity, included tools, and price are all factors that shouldn’t be ignored. The lightest vacuum cleaner isn’t always the best option!
Which are the Best Lightweight Upright Vacuums?
We’ve reviewed the top lightweight upright vacuum cleaners and listed them below. Each weighs less than 5kg, provides strong performance, and excellent value for money.
Vax Air Stretch Pet Max U85-AS-Pme
Gtech AirRam Mk2
Dyson V11 Absolute
Dyson V10 Absolute
|Dust Capacity (L)||1.5||0.8||0.76||0.77||0.5||0.3|
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1. Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch Max Pet Upright
Type: Upright | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: ££ | Dust Capacity: 1.5 litres | Weight: 4.9kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: Yes
- Lightweight corded vacuum that’s easy to carry between rooms
- Decent suction power for the price
- Long cord and hose for a huge 17 metre cleaning radius
- Not the easiest to steer
- Carpet performance is only average
The Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch is a low-budget vacuum with an ultra-long hose, pet turbo tool and an attractive design. We found it generates decent suction power and cleaning performance for the price. It also weighs just 4.9kg, which is lightweight for a corded upright vacuum.
Like most Vax models, it’s built with multi-cyclonic technology to maintain suction power. There are also several tools, including a 3-in-1 tool and a pet turbo tool, and a HEPA filter to minimise escaped particles.
As the name suggests, the Air Stretch series has an extra-long cord and hose, allowing for an impressive 17 metre cleaning radius. This makes the vacuum convenient to use around the home – especially as it’s reasonably lightweight. However, a downside is that we found the Air Stretch to be more cumbersome so steer than some of the other uprights we’ve reviewed.
How does it perform though? Don’t expect it to rival the best uprights in terms of performance, but it provides decent power considering the low price and lightweight design. We think it performs well on hard floors especially as you can turn off the brush bar – although it’s only average on carpets. It also provides great value for money while being mobile and easy to use.
If you’re looking for a simple, no-nonsense upright vacuum that’s relatively light to carry, then the Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch could be an option to consider. While it can’t match models costing hundreds of pounds in terms of features, it has decent suction power for the price. For more information, read our Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch review.
2. Gtech AirRam Mk2
Type: Cordless | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: ££ | Dust Capacity: 0.8 litres | Weight: 3.3kg | Pet Tool: No | HEPA Filter: No
- Decent performance on floors
- Only weighs 3.3kg
- Cheaper than many other cordless vacuums
- No tools or hose meaning it's only suitable for floor cleaning
- Can't match the top cordless vacuums for cleaning performance
If you’re looking for a lightweight cordless with a similar design to upright vacuums, then the Gtech AirRam Mk2 is an option to consider. Like the original Gtech AirRam, the Mk2 is relatively lightweight at 3.3kg and is designed specifically for cleaning floors (rather than above-floor cleaning). We also found that it’s excellent at cleaning hard floors and works well on low-pile carpet.
There are several differences between the original and new Gtech AirRam Mk2 (although the basic design is the same). The new model has a better AirLOC system which allows it to pickup larger debris more easily. We found that it’s also more effective at compressing dust and dirt – plus it has a stylish green and grey design.
Other features include a 40 minute run time, thanks to the Lithium-ion battery, and a low profile to easily clean under furniture. We also like how easy it is to manoeuvre around the home.
There are some drawbacks though. This isn’t the best cordless for pet hair, as it struggles to pick it up on carpets. We found it struggles most on thick carpets, which is something to keep in mind if you have lots of plush carpets or rugs. The lack of tools also means it’s only suitable for floor cleaning, which is a major drawback compared with the best cordless vacuums.
Even so, the Gtech AirRam Mk2 is one of the best cordless vacuums we’ve reviewed so far – at least for floor cleaning. While it doesn’t come with any tools or accessories, its strong suction power and manoeuvrable design make it a solid choice if you need a powerful yet lightweight cordless vacuum.
3. Dyson V11 Absolute
Type: Cordless | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: £££££ | Dust Capacity: 0.76 litres | Weight: 3.1kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: Yes
- Brilliant cleaning performance for a cordless vacuum
- Lightweight and easy to use around the home
- Comes with a selection of useful tools
- Very expensive
- Trigger system when cleaning
One of our favourite cordless vacuums is the Dyson V11 Absolute. Despite being a powerful cordless vac that can rival most corded models when cleaning, the V11 Absolute weighs just 3.1kg. It’s also brilliant for cleaning carpets, hard floors and even pet hair.
During our review, we found that the V11 Absolute is one of the most advanced vacuums on the market. For example, we love the adaptive suction technology, which adjusts the vacuum’s power depending on the type of floor. Having an LCD screen showing the estimated run-time is also handy during a longer cleaning session.
Like all Dyson cordless vacs, the V11 Absolute is highly mobile and easy to use around the home. The combination of lightweight design and detachable handheld vacuum mode makes it perfect for stairs, car interiors, and above floor cleaning.
We also found that the Dyson V11 Absolute provides strong cleaning performance across nearly all types of flooring and cleaning tasks. The Torque floorhead is great for removing pet hair, while the soft roller floorhead makes cleaning hard floors much easier.
There are two main drawbacks to the V11 Absolute though. The first is the price; this is a very expensive vacuum cleaner! The second is the trigger system, meaning you need to hold down the button whenever you’re cleaning. While this extends battery life, some people find it difficult to hold down the trigger for long periods.
Even so, the Dyson V11 Absolute is an outstanding vacuum cleaner that’s lightweight and convenient. If you have the budget for it, then the Dyson V11 Absolute is one of the best vacuums on the market.
4. Dyson V10 Cyclone Absolute
Type: Cordless | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: ££££ | Dust Capacity: 0.77 litres | Weight: 2.6kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: No
- Strong suction power for a cordless
- Slightly lighter than the Dyson V11 Absolute (and also cheaper)
- Up to 60-minutes run-time
- Still an expensive vacuum cleaner
- Uses Dyson's trigger system which some people don't enjoy
As we mentioned in our in-depth review, we think the Dyson V10 Cyclone is one of the best cordless vacuums on the market. It’s also lightweight, weighing just 2.6kg, so it’s great if you need a powerful vacuum that’s easy to move around the house.
Unlike the previous V6, V7 and V8 series, which had similar designs, the V10 Cyclone Absolute has been completely redesigned. The bin is now aligned with the stick, to increase airflow and maintain suction. We found this new dust bin design made it easier to empty, too. The V10 also has a larger capacity than previous Dyson cordless vacs and three power modes.
Another improvement is the 60-minute battery life. This is considerably longer than many cordless vacs, so you shouldn’t need to recharge during a cleaning session.
Be aware that this run-time is in “Low” power mode and without a powered tool though. If you switch to “Max” power using a motorised floor head, the run-time drops to less than eight minutes. The good news is that we found “Medium” power provides ample suction for most jobs during our testing.
Other features of the V10 Absolute include a high-quality post-motor filter to prevent allergens from escaping, Motorbar head with detangling technology, and a motorised pet tool. It’s also slightly lighter than the V11 series, although the downside is that you don’t get the LCD screen.
Most importantly, the V10 did a brilliant job of cleaning almost every floor during our testing, including laminate, carpets and tiles. The handheld mode is also great for stairs and cars, especially when combined with the motorised turbo tool.
In fact, the only real downside to the V10 is the price! If your budget can stretch to it, you won’t be disappointed.
Notes: There are several versions of the V10, with the Animal and Absolute being the most popular. Both come with a pet turbo tool, but the more expensive V10 Absolute also includes Dyson’s Soft Roller tool for hard floors.
Type: Stick | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: £ | Dust Capacity: 0.5 litres | Weight: 1.6kg | Pet Tool: No | HEPA Filter: No
- One of the lightest vacuums on the market
- Easy to use
- Surprisingly effective on hard floors
- Poor carpet cleaning performance
- Weak suction compared with bigger vacuums
- Struggles with pet hair
The Bissell is the lightest non-handheld vacuum we’ve reviewed, weighing just 1.6kg. This makes it lighter than most cordless vacuums, despite having a power cord to ensure you never run out of battery.
It’s nowhere near the most powerful vacuum on the market, and we found it struggles to clean carpets effectively. However, it’s an affordable model that’s a decent choice for quick cleaning jobs – particularly on hard floors. We also love that it converts into a handheld vacuum when needed, making it a convenient tool for spot cleaning around the home.
Keep in mind that this is a low-budget vacuum with a very lightweight design. It doesn’t generate the suction power to rival more expensive models, so we don’t think it’s a reasonable choice as a main vacuum cleaner. The Bissell also isn’t a great option for pet hair, as it struggles to remove it from carpets.
However, if you need a very lightweight vacuum for small cleaning jobs (particularly if you have lots of hard floors), then the Bissell V2 Featherweight is a model to consider.
Type: Stick | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: £££ | Dust Capacity: 0.3 litres | Weight: 4.4kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: No
- Strong performance on all surfaces
- Lightweight and convenient to use
- Comes with the excellent DuoClean floorhead
- Tiny dust capacity
- Not great for above floor cleaning
The Shark HZ3000UKT is a stick vacuum cleaner that generates strong suction and has a lightweight 4.4kg design. It’s one of the best corded stick vacuums we’ve reviewed, providing excellent performance on hard floors, carpets, and pet hair.
It’s important to point out that the Shark is not a cordless vacuum. It might have a similar design to many cordless vacs – especially as it can convert to a handheld mode – but it’s powered by a 10-metre cable for unlimited cleaning time.
The HZ3000UKT’s design makes it a versatile vacuum cleaner. The lightweight construction and stick design are great for cleaning almost any surface, while the handheld mode is particularly useful for stairs. Shark has also included their “Flexology” technology with the HZ3000UKT, which allows you to bend the main tube for cleaning under furniture.
One of the most interesting features of the HZ3000UKT is the DuoClean technology. This is effectively two brushrolls in the floorhead, which combine to remove large debris and smaller particles. We’re big fans of this floorhead at Spotless Vacuum – especially as it prevents snow ploughing. The HZ3000UKT is also the True Pet version, so it includes a pet turbo tool.
In fact, we found that the combination of strong suction, pet tool, and DuoClean floor head means the Shark provides all-round cleaning performance that rivals more expensive uprights. It also has Shark’s new anti-hair-wrap technology, which can prevent hair from becoming wound around the brush bars (although it’s not always 100% effective.)
There are a few drawbacks though. The HZ3000UKT has a 0.3 litre dust capacity, which is tiny compared with full-size uprights. Stick vacuums can also be inconvenient when cleaning above floors, as the lack of a hose means you need to lift the whole vacuum.
Despite these issues, the Shark HZ3000UKT is an excellent vacuum for small homes. If you want a versatile model that’s effective on almost any type of floor, it’s a great alternative to a full upright.
Which are the Best Lightweight Vacuum Cleaners for the Elderly?
There are several considerations when choosing a vacuum for an elderly person. Aside from weight, it’s also important to buy a model that’s easy to empty and compact in size. Stiff tool attachments can also cause problems. With that in mind, our top picks are:
- Gtech AirRam Mk2 – this cordless model is very straightforward to use and doesn’t have any extra tools or attachments.
- Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch – this is our top pick for a corded vacuum for an elderly person. It’s lightweight and provides great performance, while also being simple to use.
- Dyson V10 Absolute– this is an expensive option, but it’s very lightweight and convenient to use around the home.
Finding the best lightweight upright vacuum cleaner isn’t always easy. Many vacs are only lightweight because of their poor-quality design, cheap components, and weak motors. Fortunately, there are still some excellent models available – such as those listed on this page.
If you’re looking for a cordless lightweight upright vacuum, the Dyson V11 Absolute is an excellent choice. It’s a powerful vacuum cleaner that rivals many corded vacuums, although it also has a hefty price tag.
For a lightweight corded upright vacuum, the Vax Air Stretch Pet Max is an option to consider. It’s powerful and relatively inexpensive, yet weighs less than 5kg and has a huge cleaning radius.
Has this article helped you choose a lightweight upright vacuum? Is there a model you think we should include in this list? Or do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments section!
Page Update History
11th September 2023
Updated to new Spotless Vacuum design. Added multiple new vacuum cleaners.
- Dyson V11 Absolute (replacing the Dyson V7 Motorhead)
- Bissell V2 Featherweight (replacing the Vax Blade 4 Pet)
- Shark HZ3000UKT (replacing the Shark HZ500UK)