Lightweight upright vacuum cleaners are great if you don’t want to struggle with a bulky, heavy appliance just to clean your floors. In this article, we’ve listed our favourite lightweight uprights to help you make an informed decision.
Contents of This Page
- What Makes a Vacuum Lightweight?
- Which are the Best Lightweight Upright Vacuums?
- Which are the Best Lightweight Vacuum Cleaners for the Elderly?
Unfortunately, finding a high-quality upright that’s also not heavy is more difficult than you might imagine. Many vacs are lightweight as a consequence of having poor quality components, 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 down your search to the best lightweight uprights without wasting hours scouring product specifications.
What Makes a Vacuum Lightweight?
Before we get started, we need to answer how heavy an upright cleaner can be and still be considered lightweight. This is a subjective question, but we think any model that’s below 5kg can be considered lightweight. There are lighter vacuums than this – some weigh as little as 2kg – but 5kg is light enough to carry (for most people) yet doesn’t narrow the available options too dramatically.
If you think 5kg sounds quite heavy, consider the fact that there are vacuum cleaners on the market weighing up to 10kg. This is far too heavy to be comfortable, and 5kg is certainly lightweight in comparison!
We should also give you a word of warning. While getting a lightweight vacuum cleaner may be a priority for you, it 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.
Additionally, the lightest upright vacuum cleaners tend to be cordless. There are a number of advantages to cordless, including extra mobility, but there are drawbacks too. Cordless models have a finite battery life, are usually less powerful and are nearly always bagless, which makes them unsuitable for people with allergies.
So, make sure you think carefully about whether a cordless or corded upright vacuum is the right choice for your home.
We’ve researched the top lightweight upright vacuum cleaners and listed them below. Each weighs less than 5kg, provides strong performance and excellent value for money. Like all our vacuum reviews, we try to consider all features when looking at a model – but we’ve specifically focused on lighter machines for this page. Where possible, we’ve also linked to our lightweight upright vacuum reviews for more information.
Which are the Best Lightweight Upright Vacuums?
|Gtech AirRam Mk2||Cordless||0.8 litres||3.3kg||Gtech|
|Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach||Corded||1.5 litres||4.9kg||Vax|
|Dyson V7 Motorhead||Cordless||0.54 litres||2.3kg||Dyson|
|Karcher VC5 Premium||Corded||Not listed||3.5kg||Karcher|
|Morphy Richards 732000||Cordless||0.3 litres||4kg||Morphy Richards|
|Shark HV390UK DuoClean||Corded||0.99 litres||4.8kg||Shark|
Gtech AirRam Mk2 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
The original Gtech AirRam, which we reviewed in detail, was an astonishingly popular upright cordless. Weighing only 3.3kg, the AirRam provided excellent cleaning power on both hard floors and carpets. The Mk2 aims to take a successful formula and improve it – and it largely succeeds.
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. 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.
There are some drawbacks though. This isn’t the best cordless for pet hair, as it struggles to pick it up on carpets. The lack of tools also means it’s only suitable for floor cleaning.
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 long battery life make it an excellent choice if you need a powerful yet lightweight cordless vacuum.
- Price Range: £££
- Weight: 3.3kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.8 litres
- Filter Type: Washable
- Innovative cordless vacuum cleaner
- Strong suction power
- Lightweight design weighing just 3.5kg
Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach Upright Vacuum Cleaner
The Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach is a low-budget vacuum with a long hose, energy efficient motor and attractive design. Not only that, but it weighs just 4.9kg, which is relatively lightweight for a corded upright vacuum.
Like most Vax models, it’s built with multi-cyclonic technology to maintain suction power and minimise escaped particles. There are also several tools, including an upholstery tool and dusting brush.
As the name suggests, the Air Reach series has an extra-long cord and hose. This makes the vacuum convenient to use around the home – especially as it’s reasonably lightweight.
A bonus is that Vax offers a six year guarantee with this model (check the details of this before you buy though).
How does it perform though? Don’t expect it to rival the best uprights in terms of suction, but it provides decent power considering the low price and lightweight design. 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 U90-MA-Re Air Reach 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 U90-Ma-Re Air Reach review.
- Price Range: ££
- Weight: 4.9kg
- Dust Capacity: 1.5 litres
- Filter Type: Washable
- Lightweight corded vacuum that’s easy to carry between rooms
- Multi-cyclonic system for consistent suction power
- Long cord and hose for increased cleaning radius
Dyson V7 Motorhead
One of our favourite cordless vacuums is the Dyson V7 Motorhead (which replaces the V6 series including the Dyson V6 Fluffy). Despite being a powerful cordless vac, the V7 Motorhead is one of the lightest on the market with a weight of just 2.3kg. It also has a trigger system so it’s only “on” when you’re actually cleaning, which significantly extends its actual run-time.
Aside from its lightweight design, the biggest draw of the Motorhead is the direct-drive cleaner head. This is designed to pickup both small particles and larger debris while digging deep into carpet fibres. The Motorhead also comes with a combination tool, crevice tool and docking station.
Like all Dyson cordless vacs, the V7 Motorhead is highly mobile and easy to use around the home. The combination of lightweight design and detachable handheld makes it perfect for stairs, car interiors and above floor cleaning.
There are two main drawbacks to the Motorhead though. The first is that it doesn’t come with a pet turbo tool (like the newer Dyson V8), so if you have a dog or cat we recommend one of the other V7 models. It’s also an expensive vacuum, but we think it has the features and performance to justify the price.
If you’re looking for a light vacuum and don’t mind a 30-minute run-time, the Dyson V7 Fluffy Motorhead is a great choice. It’s not cheap, but is one of the best all-round options for cordless home cleaning.
- Price Range: £££
- Weight: 2.3kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.54 litres
- Filter Type: Cyclonic + washable
- Excellent direct-drive floor head
- Very lightweight
- Powerful for a cordless
Karcher VC5 Premium
One of the most unique models on this list is the Karcher VC5 Premium stick vacuum. Unlike standard uprights, which usually have a fixed body, the VC5 has a telescopic tube that can be extended to adjust the height of the vacuum. This means you can use it as either a handheld or upright depending on the job. It’s also one of the one of the most lightweight upright bagless vacuum cleaners we’ve reviewed, with a weight of just 3.5kg.
It would be easy to assume the small and lightweight nature of the VC5 means it’s not powerful. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. While it’s not got the strongest suction, it’s still great for cleaning most surfaces. The weight and adjustable height also make it a versatile model.
There are a few drawbacks though. It’s not as good on hard floor as carpets, so if your home has mainly wood or laminate flooring this is something to keep in mind. We’ve also read reports that the filter needs cleaning more often than other models.
Even so, considering the versatility and price, the Karcher VC5 Premium is one of the best lightweight vacuum cleaners if you don’t want to go for a cordless.
- Price Range: ££
- Weight: 3.5kg
- Dust Capacity:
- Filter Type: Standard
- Extendable suction tube so it can be used at various heights
- Strong suction and great for carpets
- One of the lightest corded upright vacuums
Morphy Richards 732000 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
As the name suggests, the Morphy Richards 732000 provides two functions – handheld and upright modes – in a single compact package. Weighing just 4kg, it’s light enough to be comfortable to use around the home, and it provides more versatility than the Gtech AirRam Mk2 (although without the same suction power, battery life and manoeuvrability).
Aside from the 2-in-1 feature, the vacuum also has a 20 minute run time, swivel head for easier cleaning and a relatively low price tag.
Considering the low price, the 732000 provides decent suction power and cleaning performance. It can’t beat more expensive cordless vacs such as the Dyson V7, but you wouldn’t expect it to at this price. It does have a small capacity though, so make sure you’re prepared to empty it regularly.
If you’re looking for a versatile cordless vacuum cleaner that’s also lightweight, the Morphy Richards 732000 could be the perfect option. The handheld mode is great for accessing those tricky areas, while the upright mode handles larges areas of floor. The 0.3 litre capacity is one of the smallest on this list, but this is common for cordless models.
Make sure you have realistic expectations though. This isn’t a corded vacuum replacement, but is a useful tool for quick clean-ups.
- Price Range: £
- Weight: 4kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.3 litres
- Filter Type: Washable
- 2-in-1 vacuum with both upright and handheld modes
- Strong suction and a 20 minute run-time
- Manoeuvrable design for easy cleaning
Shark HV390UK DuoClean
While the Shark HV390UK is technically a stick vacuum rather than a true upright, we think it deserves a place on this list due to its excellent performance and versatile cleaning.
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 and 450W motor.
That doesn’t mean it’s not a versatile vac tough. The lightweight construction and stick design make it great for cleaning almost any surface, while the handheld mode is particularly useful for stairs. Shark has also included their “Flexology” technology with the HV390UK, which allows you to bend the main tube for cleaning under furniture.
One of the most interesting features of the HV390UK is the DuoClean technology. This is effectively two brushrolls in the floorhead, which combine to remove both large debris and smaller particles. We’re big fans of this floorhead at Spotless Vacuum – especially as it prevents snow ploughing.
In fact, the combination of decent suction and DuoClean floor head mean the Shark provides all-round cleaning performance that rivals more expensive uprights.
There are a few drawbacks though. If you want a pet turbo tool, you’ll need to pay extra for the HV390UKT model as the basic version doesn’t include it. 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 HV390UK is an excellent vacuum that just about sneaks into our lightweight upright category. If you want a versatile model that’s effective on almost any type of floor, it’s a great alternative to a full upright.
- Price Range: £££
- Weight: 4.8kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.99 litres
- Filter Type: Washable
- Versatile vacuum with “Flexology” design
- Great for cleaning carpets
- DuoClean floor head reduces snow plouging
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 U90-MA-Re Air Reach – 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 V7 Motorhead – this is the most expensive option, but is also the lightest and most convenient.
Finding the best lightweight upright vacuum cleaner isn’t always easy. Many vacs are lightweight because of their poor quality design, cheap components and weak motors. Fortunately, amongst the rubbish there are some excellent models available – such as those listed on this page.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, it’s important to look at all features rather than just its weight. While a lightweight design might be important to you, the suction power, manoeuvrability and included tools also have a major effect on how enjoyable and comfortable a vacuum is to use.
It’s also important to think carefully about whether you want a corded or cordless lightweight upright vacuum. There are probably more cordless models that are also lightweight, as a heavy cordless defeats the purpose of the easy to use design, but cordless models tend to be less powerful.
If you’re looking for a cordless lightweight upright vacuum, the Dyson V7 Motorhead is an excellent choice. It’s the lightest model on this list, yet packs serious power and a long battery life.
For a lightweight corded upright vacuum, the Vax U90-MA-Re is an option to consider. It’s powerful and relatively inexpensive, yet weighs less than 5kg.
Has this article helped you choose a lightweight 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!