For many wheelchair users, maintaining a clean home is a pride and joy. This is why it’s important to have a multi-functional vacuum cleaner that suits their needs. However, most modern vacuum cleaners are heavy or designed for non-wheelchair users.
While a powerful and modern vacuum cleaner can be more effective at keeping a space spotless, heavier models can be difficult to operate or tiring to use for some wheelchair users. This is especially true for those dealing with a health issue like arthritis, using such units could even mean pain and discomfort. Plus, when it comes to corded vacuum cleaners, it could mean risking tripping over the cables, which could result in serious injuries.
However, with so many options in the market today, not to mention the variety of features and unique functionalities, it can be tough to choose the perfect model for your needs. In this post, we will give you an overview of some of the most popular cordless lightweight vacuum cleaners and our reviews on their pros and cons to help make your decision-making process a little easier.
The Best Vacuum for Wheelchair Users
Here are some great vacuums that are much easier for wheelchair users.
Tineco A10 Hero
The Tineco Hero is designed as a stick vacuum but also converts into a handheld vacuum for use in smaller spaces. Moreover, it comes with a few attachments to help make cleaning tight spaces much easier.
The design is low profile and chic in comparison to other models, making it great for pet hair, human hair, and similar dirt. While it’s bagless, you can empty the vacuum’s dustbin using a single button, which is a welcome feature for wheelchair users and seniors.
The battery life on the A10 is above average, as it will last you about 25 minutes between charging. A red light will alert you when you need to recharge it. When it’s not in use, you can simply store it on the docking station where it should charge to full power and then shut off automatically.
- Easy-to-use, lightweight, and cordless
- Able to handle a variety of jobs, from cleaning hardwood floors to removing pet hair on car seats
- Decent pricing
- Convenient storage
- Bagless design, with an easy-to-use emptying mechanism
- The battery life is good for a cordless vacuum, but it might not work for all users. Perhaps a secondary battery might have been ideal
- It’s not the best option for large homes or heavy-duty jobs
If your home has pets, then you might need a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner to pick up the dander and hair they leave behind. The Bissell Cleanview has you covered with this durable, high-performance machine. The manufacturer understands that some people have other floorings in their homes besides carpets, and this vacuum can handle it all.
One of the main benefits of this vacuum is its integrated “scatter-free” technology that helps to reduce the amount of scattering on hardwood, such that the vacuum doesn’t make a mess when your furry friend makes a mess of their food.
- Works on a variety of surfaces
- The long retractable cord rewinds automatically
- Designed for homes with pets (each $10 spent supports Bissell Pet Foundation)
- Bagless design with a clear view of the dustbin to see when it’s full
- Quite heavy, so it won’t be ideal for all users
- The brush roll it comes with can be difficult to clean especially when hair is trapped in
iRobot Roomba E5 Robot Vacuum
What if you could avoid the stresses of vacuuming floors yourself and have a robot do the work for you? Well, you can do just that with the iRobot Roomba. You don’t have to worry about ergonomics or running over cords and hoses. Just tell the Roomba where to clean and it will do the rest.
The vacuum offers a 3-stage cleaning system that works on carpets and hardwood. The series of brushes work together to grab dust, dirt, and debris from your floor while you sit and relax. The iRobot patented Dirt Detector sensors allow the Roomba to navigate your home without running into objects.
You can also have it start cleaning using Google Assistant or Alexa voice commands, and you can even set a regular cleaning schedule to clean while you are out or asleep, so that you don’t need to worry about anyone tripping over it. You also don’t need to worry about recharging it – it runs for about 90 minutes and then docks itself for a recharge.
- It does all the cleaning for you
- Take up very little space
- You can program cleaning times based on your schedule
- No need to worry about batteries or recharging
- Requires Wi-Fi to run correctly
- Could become a tripping hazard if you run it while you’re at home
- Might not be the best choice if your home has lots of pets
What Types of Vacuum Cleaners are Best for People in Wheelchairs?
One of the main reasons why cordless vacuums are ideal for people in wheelchairs is because they don’t feature cords or hoses, both of which are tripping / rolling hazards. In many cases, tripping over or falling is a quick path to the hospital or a nursing home for many elders. That’s why it’s wise to make decisions that help prevent or avoid falls.
If your home has stairs and you need to clean the stairs, carpets or hardwood, using a corded vacuum or one with a long hose can be a trip hazard. It’s easy to forget and leave the vacuum cleaner on the steps to take a break or a phone call and find yourself walking through the floppy hose or the coiled wire to get back to work. These are all tripping hazards that could easily make you fall.
Cordless vacuum cleaners essentially get rid of the cords and hoses, making them more convenient to use for wheelchair users. They are also much safer to use on stairs and throughout the home.
Also, thanks to their in-built lithium batteries, cordless vacuums offer 10+ minutes of operation on a single charge with incredibly good performance. However, as mentioned earlier, the suction of cordless vacuums is not as strong as that of corded vacuums.
While the added batteries tend to increase the weight of the vacuum, the trade-off is justified considering the added ease of use and flexibility.
Bagged or Bagless
Disposable vacuum bags are generally easy to use and in some cases much cleaner than the bagless options. However, dirtbags tend to increase the maintenance costs of these vacuums, albeit not by much. Moreover, the dirt bins of bagless vacuums are designed for quick and easy disposal of vacuumed dirt.
Reusable dirtbags can be particularly messy when emptying. So, if this sounds like an issue to you, go for a bagless unit or a model with cheap, disposable vacuum bags.
Many lightweight vacuums are designed as 2-in-one units. These can be used as lightweight options for cleaning floors and other flat surfaces, as well as handheld units for cleaning stairs, bookshelves, furniture, upholstery, and other similar surfaces. While 2-in-one units are generally slightly heavier than the ordinary upright or stick vacuums, their versatility often justifies the small weight penalty.
Keep in mind that the cleaning attachments you need will depend on the kind of surfaces you need to clean. However, in many cases, a good main cleaning head will be required for cleaning bare floors and carpets, and a crevice tool featuring a dusting brush will be required for cleaning elevated surfaces.
Motorized tools aren’t maintenance-free, but they will be a lot better when it comes to tasks such as picking up pet hair, fibers, human hair, lint, and dirt from carpets.
What Features Make Vacuuming Easier from a Seated Position?
Vacuuming while seated in a wheelchair has some special considerations:
Weight and Size
A lightweight option is generally the best as it’s easier to maneuver around the home for a senior or a person in a wheelchair. It’s quite unrealistic to assume that a person in a wheelchair or an elderly person will be able to maneuver around a heavy, bulky appliance, especially when it comes to cleaning the stairs and different levels of your home.
Lightweight vacuum cleaners generally allow for easy movement, ease of use, and maneuverability. You could use a lightweight vacuum while sitting in a wheelchair and even carry it up and down the stairs without much assistance.
Bulky or heavy vacuums tend to have the best suction power in the market. However, some of the modern models come fitted with great powerheads that can suck up dirt effectively. So, be sure to focus mainly on the lightweight models.
Stick vacuums tend to be the lightest models, followed by the upright options. The canister vacuums tend to be the heaviest. Aside from being heavy, canister vacuums also mainly rely on power cords for power, which also pose a tripping hazard.
Suction power is often a concern, and heavier vacuums are generally more powerful. For this reason, some people might fear that the lightweight vacuums might not be able to match the effectiveness of the heavier units. However, it’s possible to find a balance of suction power and weight.
Vacuum technology has come a long way and many of the lightweight stick vacuums feature lots of suction power, which is suitable for keeping a home tidy. Heavier vacuums are usually useful for cleaning room after room in places such as a hotel or homes with several pets. However, most wheelchair users will be fine with a lightweight stick vacuum.
Robotic, handheld, and cordless upright vacuums are generally easy to move around, are super lightweight, require low maintenance, are fitted with great suction power, and can be used to clean the tightest of corners.
The more advanced vacuum cleaners come with ergonomic attachments that let users clean their homes, cars, and furniture without needing to buy multiple vacuums. Cordless vacuums are also designed for use on multiple surfaces, which means that you can clean your carpets, hardwoods, and rugs all in one routine.
This goes a long way in reducing the amount of workload while improving efficiency. Cordless vacuums also pick up large debris and dirt rather easily, and those with big bags ensure that you won’t have to empty the waste now and then. You also don’t need to worry about tangling cords, which can be a tripping hazard, and only require easy maintenance.
Generally speaking, vacuum cleaners with ergonomic handles are recommended for wheelchair users and seniors as they help eliminate the stress on your elbows and wrists. Consider the following, how do you empty the canister on the model you’re looking at? Can it be emptied through a push of a button, or does it require a complex process to empty?
Is it possible to switch it on by foot? What about the storage requirements? Will you need to have a dedicated space, or can it be stored safely in a small space? Ensure that the unit you’re considering doesn’t require too much storage space. For this reason, we recommend considering compact vacuum cleaners for wheelchair users. Still, it’s wise to request an in-store storage demonstration before you leave with your unit.
You will rarely go wrong with customer reviews. For such a product, you want to look for reviews from disabled customers or elderly people, not necessarily generic customers. Pay attention to the specific level of accessibility, comfortability, cost, and accessibility.
You can read online reviews, and you can contact some users to get more information about their experience with their vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, you can ask for recommendations from elderly people or wheelchair users around you. Nonetheless, we have curated some of the best vacuum cleaners for wheelchair users and seniors below.
Of course, there are a lot more options to choose from besides this, and something to suit almost every taste. Hopefully, our list gave you a good idea of what to look for and some options you can look into.
Summary: What is the Best Vacuum for Wheelchair Users?
Well, this will largely depend on your needs and what you’re accustomed to. Most people in wheelchairs, especially the elderly ones, will prefer a design they are already used to instead of a newer one with lots of add-on features that may confuse them.
Nevertheless, we think the Tineco A10 Hero is a great choice due to its cordless and lightweight design. For those who prefer a stress-free cleaning experience, the iRobot Roomba is a good choice, so long as you won’t be in the house while it’s in use.