The Best Vacuum Cleaners for Your College Dorm Room

When heading to your new dorm room, buying a vacuum cleaner specifically for it might not seem like the most exciting of purchases to make. It’s a necessary thing to buy though, so we’ve looked at the best vacuum cleaners for your dorm, so you don’t have to put too much thought into your purchase.

We’ve focused on bagless vacuum cleaners because they’re far easier to maintain than vacuum cleaners that need new bags at regular points. We’ve also only looked at relatively inexpensive options because who wants to spend hundreds of dollars on keeping their dorm room clean? Exactly. On top of that, you won’t find any full-size upright vacuums here. With the average dorm room barely over a hundred square feet and typically without an actual closet, there’s not a lot of

Whatever your requirements, here’s the best vacuum cleaner for your dorm room.

Best For Unidentifiable Stains: BLACK+DECKER HNV215BW52 Compact Cordless Lithium Wet/Dry Hand Vacuum ($40)

Black and Decker HNV215BW52 Compact Cordless Lithium Wet/Dry Hand Vacuum
Black + Decker

We’re not going to ask questions about what happened but sometimes you’ve got an unidentifiable stain on your dorm floor or furniture and you know it’s a bit wet, a bit dry, or a lot of both. That’s where you need a vacuum cleaner like the BLACK+DECKER HNV215BW52 Compact Cordless Lithium Wet/Dry Hand Vacuum. It’s a small handheld vacuum cleaner that’s designed for quick cleanups and spills.

It deals with anything you throw its way without too much fuss. A washable bowl and filter mean you can clean up any stinks thoroughly, and it’s always easy to see what the dirt level is like as you go along. Its 12AW suction power isn’t strong enough to do the whole room, but if you just need to clean up some bits and pieces, it’s ideal. The charger is wall mountable too if you happen to have a room where it’s ok to mount stuff.

Best Budget Option: Eureka Blaze 3-in-1 Swivel Lightweight Stick Vacuum Black ($30)

Eureka Blaze Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Eureka

A good stick vacuum cleaner doesn’t have to cost a fortune, as the Eureka Blaze 3-in-1 Swivel Lightweight Stick Vacuum demonstrates. It utilizes a swivel steering action so you can easily move around your dorm room without missing any crevices or awkward corners. That’s made even better by its designated crevice tool.

You can easily transform it to a hand vacuum, stair vacuum or stick vacuum through a few tweaks to the cleaner’s build, with the Eureka Blaze keen to pick up large or small particles just as easily.

The stick only weighs 4lbs so it’s super easy to maneuver, whether you’re using it on hard floors or low pile carpets. Its 18-foot power cord means it covers a wide area in no time too.

Best 2 in 1 Option: Bissell Adapt Ion Pet 2 in 1 Cordless Stick Vacuum ($100)

Bissell Adapt Ion Pet 2 in 1 Cordless Stick Vacuum
Bissell

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What Does “Fulfilled by Amazon” Mean?

When you’re shopping on Amazon, you might have seen the words “Fulfilled by Amazon” next to some of the things you buy. You hopefully won’t notice anything different about the purchase experience, but you could run into problems.

Amazon the Marketplace

Amazon isn’t just an online store—and it hasn’t been for some time. It’s a marketplace, like eBay or Alibaba; it just hides that fact better.

Over 80% of the products sold through Amazon are bought not from Amazon but from an Amazon Marketplace seller who is paying Amazon to list their product. The numbers are even crazier when you look at the products listed on Amazon, not just sold: of the 350 million-plus products available, Amazon only sell 12 million of them directly—not including books, media, and wine—the rest are sold by Marketplace sellers.

Even if you’ve never noticed you were buying from a Marketplace seller before, the odds are you have.

Fulfilled by Amazon

The reason most people don’t realize that Amazon is a marketplace like eBay is it generally smooths over all the roughs and bumps. Sellers have two options:

  • They can list their products on Amazon and, when an order comes through, pack and ship it themselves.
  • They can list their products on Amazon and bulk ship any number of items to an Amazon warehouse. When an order comes through, Amazon workers pack and ship it like it’s an Amazon product. This is Fulfilled by Amazon.

For sellers, the big advantage of Fulfilled by Amazon is Amazon handles everything. They don’t need to run their own store, handle payment processing, deal with a shipper, pack things up, or customer care—for a small fee, Amazon does it. Sellers sometimes refer to Fulfillment by Amazon as “FBA.”

For customers, the advantage is that they get the same, regular Amazon experience, including stuff like Prime, free shipping, and the like, for an extra 338 million products that Amazon doesn’t sell directly. Most people—including me—don’t even notice when they’re not buying directly from Amazon. The packages arrive at your door just the same.

How to Spot an Amazon Marketplace Seller

While Amazon doesn’t trumpet it from the rooftops when you buy from a Marketplace seller, they don’t hide the information either. Here’s an official Amazon listing.

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Internet Streaming: What is it and How Does it Work?

Smart TV displaying streaming service apps
Manuel Esteban/Shutterstock 

We’ve been streaming content from the internet for a long time, and it’s gotten to the point that the internet is synonymous with services like Netflix and Youtube. But what exactly is streaming, and how does it work?

Streaming Happens Bit by Bit

When you want to watch a video or play a song on your computer, you need to download it first. There’s no way around that. Knowing this, you may look at Netflix or Spotify and ask “how did we figure out how to make videos and music download instantaneously?” Well, that’s just the thing. When you stream media, it isn’t downloading to your computer instantaneously; it’s downloading piece by piece in real-time.

The word “streaming” is self-descriptive. Information arrives at your computer in a continuous, steady stream of information. If downloading movies is akin to buying bottled water, streaming movies is like using a faucet to fill an empty bottle.

You could compare streaming a movie to watching a VHS tape. When you play a VHS tape, every second of video and audio is scanned piece by piece. This happens as you’re watching in real-time, which means that any interruptions will suddenly pause or end your movie watching experience.

When you stream a movie or a song, your computer downloads and decodes itty-bitty pieces of a media file in real-time. If you have an unusually fast internet connection, then the file may be fully downloaded before you’re finished watching or listening to it, which is why a stream will sometimes go on for a while even if the internet cuts out. That being said, anything that you stream doesn’t go into your computer’s permanent storage (although some services, like Spotify, will put some small cache files on your device to make future playbacks faster).

Businesses Work Hard to Make Streaming Fast

Streaming video and audio from the internet isn’t new; it just feels new because it’s finally convenient. Watching a video or playing a song from a website happened bit by bit used to be an annoying and time-consuming affair. The stream would constantly stop and start, and you could spend minutes just waiting for media to buffer (and sometimes, it wouldn’t buffer at all).

But the way that streaming works has mostly stayed the same. Files download bit by bit as you’re watching or listening to them. It’s the infrastructure that’s changed, and businesses like Youtube and Netflix have worked hard (and spent a lot of money) building that infrastructure.

abstract filing cabinets bulging with files
Sashkin/Shutterstock

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