An often overlooked back-to-college necessity (possibly on purpose?) is a handheld vacuum cleaner for your college dorm room to take care of messes that happen from time to time.  They are really indispensable when you think about the crumbs and dirt that can accumulate in a dorm room from eating in the room and dirty shoes.  How do you choose the best back to college vacuum for your student?

While it’s true that many colleges offer dorm room vacuums to students to keep their rooms clean, they aren’t always available and can be a pain to lug back and forth between the dorm and the college supply closet.  It’s even more of a pain if all you really need is some quick vacuuming to pick up some crumbs or other small mess.  Not to mention the added benefit that the mess is much more likely to get cleaned up if your student has a vacuum cleaner handy.

That’s why many back-to-college tips sites recommend that students take a small, handheld or stick vacuum cleaner with them to college.  Check out these dorm cleaning supplies tips from

There are basically two types of vacuums that are a good choice for a best back to college vacuum.  PortableBest Back To College Vacuum Black and Decker CHV14101 Stored View handheld vacuums cleaners and stick vacuums.  You have to keep in mind that dorm rooms are typically small, often shared with a roommate, and don’t have a lot of space to store extra items like vacuum cleaners.  Handheld vacuums are very compact, but they don’t cover much area.

Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums cover a much larger area more easily, but they are larger.  A stick vacuum is fairly compact and thin hand vacuum compared to traditional upright vacuums so it can still be a good choice for dorms.

Handheld Vacuums

Portable handheld vacuums have the added benefit that they can also be used as a car vacuum to clean your student’s vehicle.

Another aspect to consider is whether it should be plug-in or cordless.  The advantages of corded vacuums are that they never need to be recharged, they are typically more powerful, and less expensive.  The downside is that they are heavier, you need to have an outlet to plug into, and you need to find a place to store the cord.

Cordless vacuums are very easy to use, don’t have a cord to worry about, and are lighter than corded vacuums.  On the other hand, your student will need to keep them plugged in and charging, they aren’t as durable as corded models, and they aren’t as powerful.

Best Back To College Vacuum Eureka Quick-Up 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum Handheld ViewYou may not have to make a choice as some manufacturers have started selling 2-in-1 stick vacuums that have a detachable handheld cordless vacuum built-in.

Are bagged or bagless vacuums the best vacuum option?  To some degree it depends on your student, but most would prefer not to have to maintain and replace bags.  The easy way to go is to buy a vacuum with a bagless dust cup that you simply empty when you’re done.

What about cost?  Fortunately, both handheld and stick vacuums are relatively inexpensive as vacuums go.  That’s not to say that they’re cheap.  If you want a good one that’s durable and is going to make it past the first drop, you will probably want to spend around $40-$50.


So this article is about finding either a handheld or stick vacuum for your student’s dorm room.    We’ve done the research and found both a stick vacuum and handheld vacuum that we believe deserve your consideration.  Read on to find if one of these two is best back to college vacuum cleaner for your student.

Best Back to College Vacuum Cleaners for Dorms

There are so many handheld and stick vacuums available, it makes the choice difficult.  What we were looking for were cordless, bagless vacuums that were under $75, compact, lightweight, yet durable.  We think we found two models that stand out as having all the features we were looking for and are a good value.

Eureka Quick-up Cordless 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum, 96H

Best Back To College Vacuum Eureka Quick-Up 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum Full ViewThe Eureka Quick-up Cordless 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum is unique because you don’t have to choose between a stick vacuum and a handheld.  It does both jobs all in one vacuum cleaner.  That gives your student the best flexibility to clean floors, carpets, and upholstery using one machine.  Eureka vacuum cleaners are also known for their durability and dependability.  Here are the main features of this innovative Eureka vacuum.


  • 2-in-1 Quick-up cordless has a removable handle that converts the unit to a handheld vacuum for above-floor cleaning
  • 6-Volt power to pick up even tough messes
  • Wall-mountable charging stand for easy storage
  • Lightweight at only 4 lbs your student won’t mind using this vacuum
  • Designed for multi-surface cleaning, the brushroll can be turned off for easier cleaning of area rugs, low-pile carpets, and hard floors.
  • Wide 10-inch cleaning path makes quick work of any cleaning task
  • No bags to buy and maintain with the Quick-Up.  The built-in dust cup is easy to clean and empty.
  • Washable dust cup filter is reusable
  • Its free-standing design insures the vacuum always stands upright when not in use


  • Lightweight, easy to use and transport
  • Powerful suction
  • Long battery life
  • Great value


  • Small dirt cup size
  • Battery drains quicker on carpets
  • Larger head doesn’t fit into tight areas
  • No charging status indicator

Best Back To College Vacuum Eureka Quick-Up 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum Review

BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac

Best Back To College Vacuum Black and Decker CHV14101 Full ViewBlack & Decker’s Dust Buster is the hallmark brand when it comes to portable, cordless, handheld vacuums.  Their model CHV1410L easily lives up to the name with a lot of power and a host of features.  With tools that store onboard and Black & Decker’s cyclonic action, the CHV1410L is powerful, easy to use, and easy to store out of the way.  Here are its main features.


  • Powerful 16-volt Lithium Ion-powered motor
  • Lithium-ion battery provides outstanding performance, charges much faster than traditional batteries, provides longer fade-free power, and can hold a charge for up to 18 months
  • New design has better reach for less bending
  • Great for quick clean-ups of floors, carpets, and upholstery
  • Get into tighter spaces with the rotating, slim nozzle design
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Brush and crevices tools mount onboard the vacuum so they are right at hand and won’t be misplaced as easily
  • Scoop up large debris easier with the wide-mouth design
  • Dust Buster’s cyclonic action insures suction remains powerful throughout the cleaning task
  • Translucent dirt cup makes it easy to see when emptying is necessary
  • Removable, washable dirt bowl and filters save money and are more hygienic
  • Designed to be stored while charging, this newer, more efficient (using up to 50% less energy) smart battery charging technology won’t damage batteries during storage


  • Holds a charge longer
  • Powerful suction
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Handy accessory tools


  • Large size
  • Nozzle extension difficult to work with
  • Upright storage is inconvenient
  • Some consider it to be noisy

Best Back To College Vacuum Black and Decker CHV14101 Review

Best Back to College Vacuum Comparison Chart

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What do you think of these two dorm vacuums?  Which college dorm room vacuum cleaner are you planning to buy?  Please leave your comment below.

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As always, thanks for reading our vacuum cleaner post!  We sincerely hope that this article has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose the best back to college vacuum for your student!

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