Copper sulfide nanoparticles (CuS) hold tremendous potential for applications in photothermal therapy (PTT) and photoacoustic imaging (PAI). However, the conventional chemical coprecipitation method often leads to particle agglomeration issues. To overcome this challenge, we utilized polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as a stabilizing agent, resulting in the synthesis of small PVP-CuS nanoparticles named PC10, PCK30, and PC40. Our study aimed to investigate how different molecular weights of PVP influence the nanoparticles’ crystalline characteristics and essential properties, especially their photoacoustic and photothermal responses. While prior research on PVP-assisted CuS nanoparticles has been conducted, our study delves deeper into this area, providing insights into optical properties. Remarkably, all synthesized nanoparticles exhibited a crystalline structure, were smaller than 10 nm, and featured an absorbance peak at 1020 nm, indicating their robust photoacoustic and photothermal capabilities. Among these nanoparticles, PC10 emerged as the standout performer, displaying superior photoacoustic properties. Our photothermal experiments demonstrated significant temperature increases in all cases, with PC10 achieving an impressive efficiency of 51%. Moreover, cytotoxicity assays revealed the nanoparticles’ compatibility with cells, coupled with an enhanced incidence of apoptosis compared to necrosis. These findings underscore the promising potential of PVP-stabilized CuS nanoparticles for advanced cancer theranostics.