Imitating household tasks is one important developmental step in pretend play that facilitates a feeling of learning and belonging. Toy vacuums are a popular pick for giving kids a realistic way to pretend that’s size-appropriate, but some have a lot of features while others are pretty one-note. We took a look at 9 great toy vacuum picks to show you what they offer and help you make a choice your child will love.

Our Top Picks

Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum

Best Overall

Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum

Casdon Little Helper Cord Free Cleaner

Upgrade Choice

Casdon Little Helper Cord Free Cleaner

Melissa&Doug Lets House Sweep

Best Budget Buy

Melissa&Doug Lets House Sweep

How to Pick the Best Toy Vacuums

1. Recommended Age

It’s never a bad idea to look at age recommendations for products – in fact, when it comes to kids items, it often means you’re making sure their toy will be safe and simple for them to use. You wouldn’t want to bore an older child with an overly simplistic toy nor confuse a younger child with one that’s complex, so take a peek at the recommended age range before you choose a toy vacuum.

2. batteries Needed

Any time a toy needs batteries, knowing about it ahead of time ensures a frustration free unboxing – kids want their toys to be ready to go, and when they’re not, it can lead to avoidable disappointment. For toy vacuums, batteries are generally the source of any lights, sounds or real suction action, so be aware of the potential need for them.

3. Colors

Favorite colors are a major part of identity establishment in children. While the color of the toy might not matter to some kids, others may have very strong feelings or request a specific shade. If color is a feature you’re keeping your eye out for, be aware that some toys do come with color variations of a single model – this might give you extra options on a model with other great features.

4. Real Vacuum Action

It’s not available on all or even most models, but when it is, it’s a very cool feature that really makes their imitative task feel realistic. The suction isn’t enough to harm a child or perform real heavy duty vacuuming, but it’s immersive, teaches cause and effect and lets them see how real vacuums work, making toys with real vacuum action slightly more teachable than the alternative.

5. Lights and Sounds

Real vacuum cleaners have lights and sounds, and without them, a toy vacuum wouldn’t be as immersive. Most models have light and sound features, but the degree of interactivity and presence of both features varies from model to model. If your kids go wild for light and sound features, make sure to check out what a toy can do before you purchase.

6. Includes

Some toy vacuums are standalone toys, while others are part of a set or come with additional accessories to facilitate imaginative play with their toy. If your child already has a lot of other cleaning toys, you might consider sticking with the standalone, but if this is their first set, accessories can help to encourage them to play with a new toy.

The Winners

#1

Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum

Best Overall / Best Toy Vacuum That Really Works

This ultra realistic Dyson model actually picks up small debris, so the immersive play experience can’t be topped. It’s easy to clean out the trap, which can empty into a garbage can quickly and be reattached for continued use. The Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum features real vacuuming sounds and looks just like the latest model – colorful beads inside give an even more active appearance when vacuuming. It’s a great way to encourage kids to independently clean up appropriate messes.

Recommended Age: 3 – 9 years
Batteries Needed: 4 C batteries not included
Colors: Grey, yellow, red
Real Vacuum Action: Yes
Lights and Sounds: Sounds
Includes: Vacuum

#2

Casdon Little Helper Cord Free Cleaner

Upgrade Choice

It’s uncanny how much this model looks like a real Dyson, so if you haven’t sprung for the adult sized version of the pricey powerhouse yet, you might be a little jealous – you could always borrow this toy, though, which features real suction action that helps kids learn cause and effect and engage in an important life skill. Just like a real vacuum, the Casdon Little Helper Cord Free Cleaner features attachments, and kids must use critical thinking and spatial reasoning to figure out which would be best to clean certain areas (corners, windowsills, stairways, etc).

Recommended Age: 3 – 8 years
Batteries Needed: 3 AA batteries not included
Colors: Orange, grey, blue
Real Vacuum Action: Yes
Lights and Sounds: Sounds
Includes: Vacuum

#3

Melissa&Doug Lets House Sweep

Best Budget Buy

Melissa and Doug products are known for driving kids to use their imagination in creative play by eschewing the use of batteries, lights and sounds to encourage them to pretend in their own way. This set, Melissa&Doug Lets House Sweep isn’t a vacuum, but it’s a great pretend cleaning set that really works, featuring child sized versions of a mop, broom, dustpan, duster and brush as well as a convenient storage rack. It’s a cute and sturdy set that looks great in play kitchens and is perfect for teaching basic life skills.

Recommended Age: 3 – 6 years
Batteries Needed: No
Colors: Red, blue, green, orange, wood tone
Real Vacuum Action: No
Lights and Sounds: No
Includes: Rack, duster, mop, broom, dustpan, brush

#4

Fisher Price Laugh Learn Stages Vacuum

Best vacuum toy for toddlers

Fischer-Price makes great developmental toys, and this vacuum, Fisher Price Laugh Learn Stages Vacuum offers kids three stages of language development and musical play. Play stages include 6, 12 and 18 months, and parents can easily manually switch the toy between these stages so it can be shared between siblings if desired. It features 30+ songs, tunes and phrases to encourage kids to use their pretend vacuum and their imagination.

Recommended Age: 6 months to 3 years
Batteries Needed: Included
Colors: White, green, red, yellow, blue, purple
Real Vacuum Action: No
Lights and Sounds: Yes
Includes: Vacuum

#5

Minnie Happy Helpers 2-in-1 Play Vacuum

Featuring an adorable Minnie theme that girls will love, the Minnie Happy Helpers 2-in-1 Play Vacuum toy has real rolling motion with lights and sounds that are just like the real thing. The removable dustbuster in the vacuum’s base pulls out just like typical home models for even more realism. When the vacuum operates, the clear chamber in the device shows swirling bow pieces while also playing lights and sounds – notably, the light and sound features are within the dustbuster, so kids will get the effect when playing with both toys.

Recommended Age: 3+
Batteries Needed: Included
Colors: Pink
Real Vacuum Action: No
Lights and Sounds: Yes
Includes: Vacuum, dustbuster

#6

Casdon Little Henry Vacuum

This chunky model features an adorable red and black design with a cheerful face and friendly eyes that make kids want to play. The Casdon Little Henry Vacuum has real suction action, allowing kids to practice small and gross motor skills by having the real vacuuming experience for extra immersive creative play. The vacuum’s canister empties easily, and the cord and plug are on convenient reels, just as they are on real vacuum cleaners. Henry’s accessories fit neatly inside his body for compact storage when not in use. 

Recommended Age: 3 – 8 years
Batteries Needed: 4 C batteries not included
Colors: Red and black
Real Vacuum Action: Yes
Lights and Sounds: Sounds
Includes: Vacuum with cord, hose

#7

Melissa&Doug Wooden Vacuum Cleaner

As we mentioned previously, Melissa and Doug products are known for encouraging kids to use their own imaginations rather than prompting them through excessive lights, sounds or action features. The Melissa&Doug Wooden Vacuum Cleaner does a surprisingly good job of picking up the 8 included pretend debris pieces for a toy with no motorization, and the checklist helps kids develop matching and identification skills. The pretend debris empties easily from the canister, so kids can vacuum it up again and again.

Recommended Age: 3+
Batteries Needed: No
Colors: Red, blue, yellow, wood tone
Real Vacuum Action: Yes
Lights and Sounds: No
Includes: Vacuum, 8 pieces, checklist

#8

PlayGo 2-in-1 Vacuum Cleaner

Cute and bright, the PlayGo2-in-1 Vacuum Cleaner is a stick vacuum model in neon shades features a removable dustbuster that makes the device look just like the real thing. Vacuum sounds add to the realism as kids push their wheeled toy around, and the sound unit is featured in the dustbuster portion so the realism extends to both toys. It’s a very sturdy build, holding up easily to the inevitable accidental bumps into furniture and walls – but it’s rounded, so those stay safe as well.

Recommended Age: 2 – 10 years
Batteries Needed: Included
Colors: Red, blue, green
Real Vacuum Action: No
Lights and Sounds: Sounds
Includes: Vacuum, dustbuster

#9

Hello Kitty Vacuum Cleaner

Hello Kitty is beloved by girls all around the world, and she shines here in this fun vacuum cleaner toy that’s perfect for younger users. Hello Kitty Vacuum Cleaner is small, safe and durable, and it features a removable dustbuster that makes it look just like a grown up vacuum cleaner. Lights and sounds add more immersive elements to the rolling vacuum, and the cheerful heart shaped button adds the extra touch of cute that Sanrio products are known for.

Recommended Age: 3+
Batteries Needed: Included
Colors: Pink, white, blue
Real Vacuum Action: No
Lights and Sounds: Yes
Includes: Vacuum, dustbuster

Quick Decision

Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum – Best Overall
It features real suction an a lifelike appearance that enhances pretend play

Casdon Little Helper Cord Free Cleaner – Upgrade Choice
Awesome attachments that encourage kids to think critically and use spatial reasoning

Melissa&Doug Lets House Sweep – Best Budget Buy
It’s not a vacuum, but it has child sized working versions of real basic cleaning implements

The best play kitchen for toddler

For your budding chef in the making, you might consider buying a kitchen of their own.! Check out our guide to the best play kitchens for toddlers.

Hannah H.

Hannah H.

Hannah is both a parent and a freelance journalist and author. You go, girl! She is an impeccable wordsmith and her warm and witty outlook on life makes her pieces a joy to read.

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