College dorm gifts are tough to buy because most of the dorm room essentials are usually taken care of and buying dorm room furniture or college dorm décor like pictures or dorm room bedding depends heavily on each student’s tastes.  The best college dorm gifts are items that are really useful, often overlooked by gift givers, and will be used throughout college and beyond.

College Dorm Gifts Shark Navigator Lift Away Pro Vacuu Multi-Floor View

We think one of the best college dorm gifts and one of those dorm essentials is a high-quality vacuum cleaner.  A vacuum cleaner will help your college student keep their room or apartment clean, and if you buy the right model, it will still be useful to them as they get started on their life after college.

A vacuum makes a great gift, but there are some things to consider when trying to choose the right one.

Detachable or Lift-Away Vacuum

A simple upright or canister vacuum may be fine if all they’re cleaning is carpet.  Unfortunately, most dorm rooms and apartments have hard floor surfaces, carpets, rugs, upholstery, curtains, shelves, and other areas to clean.

To reach into hard-to-reach corners, clean upholstery, and reach above floor surfaces, you need a portable vacuum that’s lightweight and powerful.  Instead of buying two vacuums, some models come with a detachable or lift-away vacuum designed specifically to clean all those surfaces a simple floor vacuum cannot.

Multi-Surface Cleaning

We’ve already established that dorm and apartment floors feature a variety of surfaces including hard floor, tile, linoleum, carpets, and rugs which means the right vacuum can handle all of them.  Your dorm-dweller needs a multi-floor vacuum that can handle all of the floor surfaces in their dorm room or apartment.


Looking for other upright vacuum cleaner choices?  Be sure and see our other articles about some of the best!



One thing your college student doesn’t have is a lot of space.  The last thing they need is a canister vacuum or upright that doesn’t store well.  They need an upright that takes up little floor space, stores easily in out of the way, and has tools, cords, and hoses that store neatly with the vacuum cleaner.

College Dorm Gifts Shark Navigator Lift Away Pro Vacuum Hard Surface ViewCorded vs. Cordless

Your first thought might be to get a cordless vacuum.  They are all the rage and are more powerful than ever.  One problem is that they are very expensive for what you get.  Another is that they don’t clean for as long without charging and even with newer battery technologies, they don’t clean as well as a corded model.

Because cordless vacuums need charging, your college student will have to remember to charge it.  I’ll say that again.  Your college student will have to take the time to plug the vacuum in each time it needs charging.  My prediction is the first time they forget, the cleaning just won’t happen and over time the vacuum might become too much of a pain to bother with.

Having to plug in a charger can negatively affect storage plans if the battery charger cable is short and there isn’t an outlet near where you want to store the vacuum.  Although an extension cord can help with the problem, power cords running all over the room or apartment is a safety hazard and an eyesore.


If your college student has allergy problems you should get a vacuum that has a fully sealed air path in addition to a HEPA filter to prevent dirty, allergen-filled air from being released back into the dorm room or apartment.  The right HEPA vacuum can make a huge difference in air quality.




Bagged or Bagless

If you’ve read any of our other articles we have said often that some of the best vacuums in the world use bags.  That said, a vacuum for a college student needs to be low-maintenance.  That means an easy-to-empty dust cup, no bags, washable and replaceable filters, and a durable construction and design that won’t require frequent service.

College Dorm Gifts Shark Navigator Lift Away Pro Vacuum Stairs ViewPerformance

Dorms and college apartments can be some of the messiest places on earth.  A vacuum for your college student needs to be able to handle a variety of cleaning tasks.  A college vacuum needs powerful suction that lasts throughout the cleaning process and a brush roll to get the most dirt and dust from carpets.


College dorm rooms and apartment have the same nooks and crannies and tough-to-clean areas as your home.  That requires a good set of tools that can tackle all of their cleaning tasks. You should expect any vacuum you choose to have a dusting brush and a crevice tool if not a power brush for upholstery.


We searched forums, retail sites, consumer sites, customer review sites, and manufacturer sites to find a great vacuum for college students.


Take a look at this popular Shark Navigator model and see if it’s the best vacuum cleaner for your college student!


Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E)

SharkCollege Dorm Gifts Shark Navigator Lift Away Pro Vacuum Cleaner Full View is known for its great Never Loses Suction vacuum cleaners and the very popular and highly-rated Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a perfect example.  It features a unique detachable and portable canister that lifts away from the main upright so that your college student can clean above-floor surfaces and clean hard-to-reach areas of the dorm easily.  It’s very lightweight at only 14 lbs. but has an extra-large dust cup to capture more dirt without the need for vacuum bags.  Shark’s Never Loses Suction Technology means they will get the same vacuum performance when the dust cup is full as when it was empty.  This HEPA vacuum also has Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology that traps over 99.99% of dust and allergens possibly making the room’s air cleaner than before vacuuming.  Here’s what you need to know.

College Dorm Gifts Features

  • Built-in detachable and portable canister lifts away from the main upright to help clean above-floor surfaces and hard-to-reach areas
  • Never Loses Suction Technology means they will get the same vacuum performance with a full dust cup as they did when it was empty
  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology in conjunction with a washable and reusable lifetime HEPA filter trap over 99.995 of dust and allergens inside the vacuum
  • Innovative Dust-Away bare floor attachment uses a microfiber pad along with powerful vacuum action to make bare floor cleaning quicker and easier






  • Swivel steering helps vacuum around dorm room obstacles
  • Switchable motorized brush roll can be turned on or off to accommodate hard floor surfaces and carpets alike
  • Extra-large 2.2 dry quart dust cup keeps them cleaning longer between emptying and means no bags to replace
  • Long 30-foot power cord may allow your student to clean their entire dorm room from one outlet
  • Dimensions are 45.2H x 14.9W x 11.4D inches and it weighs in at 14 lbs.

Included Accessories

  • 1 – Dust-Away bare floor attachment with 2 microfiber pads
  • 1 – Premium pet power brush
  • 1 – Dusting brush
  • 1 – Extra-long crevice tool
  • 1 – Lifetime HEPA filter








Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E) User Manual >>>






College Dorm Gifts



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As always, thanks for reading our article!  We sincerely hope that it has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose one of the best college dorm gifts for your college student!

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