Modern vacuums are smaller and lighter than their vintage counterparts, which is great news for seniors with mobility issues. Shark, one of the top vacuum brands on the market, offers many models that are lightweight, easy to use and powerful by nature.
But which model is the best for elderly users?
ReviewsShark Rocket Ultra-Light Bagless Vacuum - The Shark Rocket ultra-light bagless vacuum is designed for both carpet and hard flooring. Like other Shark vacuums, this one won’t lose its suction. Weighing just 7 pounds, this vacuum is easy to maneuver – even when using it on stairs.
For added versatility, this model can convert to a handheld vacuum to clean above floors and stairs.
The light weight and swivel steering make this vacuum ideal for seniors, particularly those with mobility and/or dexterity issues. The swiveling design makes it easy to maneuver around and underneath furniture. The handheld conversion also makes it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas with ease and without strain.
Shark includes a pet hair tool, crevice tool and extension wand for your convenience. Plus, there’s an anti-allergen seal to keep dander, dust, dirt and other allergens out of the air.
The only issue with this vacuum is that it doesn’t have a flexible hose, which can make it difficult and awkward for seniors to use the crevice tool in low or high places.
Aside from this minor issue, this ultra-light vacuum is ideal for elderly users who have mobility and dexterity issues.
ProsLightweight (less than 8 pounds)
Swivel function to maneuver around and under furniture
Converts to a handheld vacuum
Includes tools and anti-allergen seal
Like other Rocket models, this one cleans both hard flooring and carpeting without having to switch modes. The advanced swivel steering allows for easy maneuvering around and under furniture.
The ZS351 has an extra-large dust cup, which allows you to take on extended cleaning jobs with ease. With the touch of a button, you can convert this model into a handheld, portable vacuum that’s great for cleaning furniture, stairs, curtains and more.
With a light weight (around 9 pounds), extra-large dust cup and swivel design, the ZS351 is great for elderly users. The seamless transition from hard flooring to carpeting is another convenient feature for seniors, and eliminates the need to bend over to push buttons and change modes.
The only real complaint with this vacuum is that it’s a little heavier than you might want. This model weighs around 9 pounds, which may be a little heavy for some seniors.
ProsSelf-cleaning brushroll eliminates the need to remove hair manually
Swivel design for easy cleaning around and under furniture
Seamless carpet to hard flooring transition
Converts to a handheld vacuum
ConsA little heavier than desired
The cordless design means that you have freedom to clean the entire home without having to worry about unplugging or tripping over cords. A single charge gives you 80 minutes of runtime with two batteries.
Shark includes two rechargeable batteries as well as a charging dock.
The ION F80 allows you to adjust the suction, turn the brushroll on or off, and even control the carpet height adjustment. The Multiflex technology allows you to bend the stick to reach underneath furniture.
This vacuum offers compact, freestanding storage, and it features two brushrolls for deep cleaning with each use.
The ION F80’s light weight, cordless design and Multiflex technology make it a great option for elderly users, particularly those who have difficulty bending over.
The only real complaint with this vacuum is that it’s top-heavy, which makes it difficult to stand upright without falling over. You’ll need to fold up the vacuum when storing to ensure it stays upright.
MultiFlex technology makes it easy to clean under furniture
Two brushrolls for deep cleaning
The easy-empty dust cup eliminates bags, and the 15-foot power cord gives you plenty of freedom to clean without having to unplug and re-plug.
It’s important to note that this is a handheld vacuum, so you can’t use it to clean floors. But it’s a great option for seniors who have difficulty cleaning their furniture, curtains, tables and other surfaces with their regular vacuum’s accessory tools.
Shark includes several accessories with this model, including a dusting brush, crevice tool, stretch hose and TruePet motorized brush.
As mentioned previously, you cannot use this vacuum to clean floors. However, it’s a great model for seniors who want an easier way to clean their furnishings, curtains and other surfaces.
ProsTruePet motorized brush removes pet hair with ease
Includes several accessories
ConsCannot be used to clean floors
The attachments make it easy to clean virtually every inch of your home. Shark includes a motorized floor nozzle, handheld vacuum, pet multi-tool, wand and duster crevice tool.
The DeluxePro has an extra-large dust cup that’s twice the size of the original Rocket. It also has swivel steering for easy cleaning around and underneath furniture.
Seniors with pets will appreciate the pet multi-tool, which picks up embedded pet hair on all surfaces. The light weight and swivel steering design makes it easy for elderly users to clean their homes without strain or pain.
The DeluxePro weighs 9.1 pounds, so it’s one of the heavier vacuums on our list. But the ability to convert this model into a handheld vacuum offsets this issue. The handheld vacuum can be used to clean stairs, furniture and more.
Otherwise, the DeluxePro has all of the features an elderly user could want: extra-large dust cup, lots of accessories and swivel steering.
ProsWorks as a floor and handheld vacuum
Extra-large dust cup
Picks up embedded pet hair with ease
Swivel steering for easy cleaning around and under furniture
ConsA little heavy
What should elderly users look for when buying a vacuum?
As we age, we lose muscle mass, and our balance may be affected by medical conditions. Seniors who have mobility and/or dexterity issues can benefit from a lightweight vacuum. Stick vacuums are usually your best bet because they tend to be the most compact and lightest in weight.
The lighter the weight, the easier it is for elderly users to push and maneuver the vacuum. Heavier vacuums may be impossible, painful or dangerous for seniors to use. The weight is especially important when cleaning stairs.
One of the vacuums on our list weighs just four pounds. That’s light enough for just about any senior to use without issue.
Ideally, you want to avoid vacuums that weigh 10 pounds or more.
Vacuum bags are now a thing of the past. Most modern vacuums are now bagless and equipped with filters that can simply be rinsed clean.
For seniors, this means fewer trips to the store or vacuum repair shop to buy more bags.
Swivel steering is still a relatively new feature to vacuums, and it’s one that elderly users really need to look for. Old vacuums were stiff and difficult to maneuver. Getting around or under furniture was difficult because the brush head was locked in its position. To get around a corner, you had to – sometimes – physically lift and turn the vacuum.
For seniors, this kind of rigid movement makes it really difficult to clean the home without strain or pain.
Swivel steering solves this problem by allowing the brush head to twist and turn with ease. The swivel motion allows you to clean around and under furniture with ease, and it’s much easier to clean around corners.
Large Dust Cup Size
Some stick vacuums, even in the Shark lineup, have small dust cups. This is fine if your home is small, or you make it a point to vacuum several times a week. But for most people, the small dust cup means having to make several trips to the trash can to empty it.
A larger dust cup size will allow you to clean a larger area without having to continuously empty the cup.
Most modern vacuums now come equipped with HEPA filters that trap and remove allergens. If you have pets, allergies or respiratory issues, a HEPA filter is important.
Look for filters that can be rinsed clean for easy care and maintenance.