A Vacuum for Small Spaces & Budgets: Electrolux Unirapido

A Vacuum for Small Spaces & Budgets: Electrolux Unirapido

Mike Tyson
Sep 3, 2010

Product: Electrolux Unirapido
Price: $99.99
Rating: Strong Recommend
Do you live in a small/cramped apartment? Are you moving away to college? Do you hate spending money on cleaning products, especially after Apple just released a new line of goodies? Electrolux's new Unirapido vacuum cleaner is the perfect combination of size, performance, and price. We put it to a rigorous test in our small, cat-occupied studio and we're here to share our results.

Design:
Despite the Unirapido's compact and lightweight design (weighing in at only 4.5lbs), it remains robust and powerful. Aesthetically, you probably don't want to prop this up on a pedestal in your home but it certainly isn't ugly. A lime green color accents an otherwise cool grey, plastic body. We were a bit confused about the color choice and how it was used. The seemingly arbitrary placement of color contrasts with more advanced vacuums such as Dyson where color is used as a signifier for different features, rather than simply decorative additions. These are very minor concerns however it would be nice to have a choice for a more muted color scheme. The cordless vacuum is powered by a 12-volt motor with 2 power settings (medium and high) and lasts an approximate 20 minutes of constant use. This is an excellent feature for any small-space dweller. 20 minutes was ample time for us to deep clean the entire apartment and the benefit of not having to navigate around cords and plugs was much appreciated. The bag-less filtration system is stored in the front of the vacuum in a translucent plastic so you're able to easily see when it is time to empty the container. Not having to buy bags is also a feature we very much appreciate both for our budget as well as the environment.

The head of the vacuum features a 180 degree swivel which was perfect for navigating furniture and walls. Lastly, the vacuum is unable to stand on its own. It comes with a base that simultaneously acts as a stand as well as a charging station. We're not too keen on the additional piece of plastic that we now have to keep around to hold the vacuum up as well as charge it. We would prefer if the vacuum was able to stand and charge on its own in order to eliminate additional materials (and cost). One nice addition, however, is a small protrusion on the back of the body that allows you to rest the vacuum at an angle against a surface while you're cleaning.

Usage:
We put the vacuum right to work after giving it the recommended 24-hour charge before initial use. In addition to your typical dusty floors that needed cleaning, ours contained cat hair, cat food, and litter, all courtesy of our fine feline friend. The vacuum performed surprisingly well for its size and price. Everything in its path was sucked up with little effort, requiring only two passes at the most. Larger bits like the cat food needed some slight coaxing which included lifting the vacuum up ever so slightly in order for it to fit under the head. Cleaning underneath the couch was near effortless as the vacuum flexed in all of the right ways in order to get the job done efficiently. We alternated between the medium and high power setting finding that both did the job equally well. The only thing we encountered that we weren't able to suck up was a coin. The vacuum also operates very quietly (comparatively). We bypassed the cat on numerous occasions who didn't seem phased by the noise. Emptying the vacuum was a bit of a hassle. Although the system is touted as being "hands-free", we discovered that we needed to use our hands in order to dislodge some of the more clumpy bits of cat hair that were stuck in the container. A good amount of hair was also tangled up in the bristles which we easily removed thanks to the quick release button.

Pros:
- cheap
- small, lightweight design
- powerful/efficient, despite its size
- wireless
- bagless
- easily navigable due to its flexible body
- fairly quiet

Cons:
- questionable color choice/application
- unnecessary base/charging station
- "hands-free" emptying isn't entirely true
- minor coaxing required to suck up larger objects


Testing the Unirapido with cereal, cat hair, litter, and food (kinda gross!) *Note the video distorts the sound of the vacuum. It is not this loud nor annoying.

The Bottom Line (& Who Should Buy):
The price, size, and power makes this an excellent entry-level vacuum. We believe the best market for it are the young adults who are moving away to college, renting their first place, or people with very small apartments in general. This is an excellent vacuum to purchase and use for a few years while you save up for a higher quality machine later down the line. The negatives are very minor and quite frankly understandable for a vacuum coming in at such a low price. We can't recommend this for a family or large household — the vacuum simply isn't built strong enough to handle that much usage (or mess). This is one of the best vacuums we know in this price range. Buying it, with reasonable expectations, will not leave you disappointed while you save your pennies and simultaneously keep your pad clean.

Our Ratings:
Strong Recommend*
Recommend
Weak Recommend
Don't Recommend

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.

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