Whether you’re a student, parent, or someone with a perpetually messy car, you've likely reached for a handheld vacuum. While traditional upright vacuums might be great for floors, handheld vacuums are lighter, portable, and ideal for hard-to-reach areas.
Shopping for cleaning supplies can be tricky, so we crafted a list of the top ten best handheld vacuums to buy online to make your decision easier! BLACK+DECKER's Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum was our favorite, as it offers great suction power to help you clean dry messes with ease. Keep reading our list of favorites for more options. There's also a buying guide at the end to help you find your perfect handheld vacuum.
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In this buying guide, we will discuss all the important factors, including the useful features of a handheld vacuum to help you pick out the best product for yourself!
You have the option of choosing between a cordless or corded vacuum. Each type comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider them before making a purchase!
As they aren't hampered by the need for a cord or plug, cordless handheld vacuums can be used on the go. This makes them ideal for cleaning out your car or for tidying a mess when you're out on a trip. The downside is that they need to be charged, and due to their power consumption only have a maximum battery life of around 30 minutes.
To keep track of how much juice you've got left, we recommend going for a cordless vacuum cleaner that has a battery life gauge or power level indicator. This will help you recognize when your handheld vacuum needs to be recharged so you won't have to worry about it stopping mid-cleaning session.
While their need for a wall socket makes corded handheld vacuums less portable, they have limitless run time as they have no need for charging. Their suction power will be more consistent, and the added reliability of their run-time can make them an excellent choice when you need to vacuum larger areas like your entire house.
One thing to be aware of when purchasing a corded handheld vacuum is how long its cord is. We recommend going for a cord length of at least 30 feet for full mobility as you vacuum and clean your home.
There are certain features that make or break a handheld vacuum cleaner. We've listed some of the more helpful functions below.
If you have pets that tend to shed, you know the struggle of getting their hair off your furniture, clothes, or carpet. It’s best to invest in a vacuum that specializes in pet hair with special brushes and nozzles included for sucking up fur from multiple surface types.
Be on the lookout for a multi-layer filtration system on your vacuum as well! It will help prevent any fine hair from escaping.
Most handheld vacuum cleaners weigh in at around three to four pounds. This can quickly become tiresome for your wrists, especially if the make of your vacuum cleaner is bulky. We recommend going for as lightweight a handheld vacuum as possible. Some models have been designed with ease of use in mind, weighing as little as two pounds.
It may also help to choose a more streamlined and compact vacuum. Not only will this be easier on your wrists, but it will also enable you to reach all the nooks and crannies of your home and furniture as you clean.
When it comes to spills, cleaning with a cloth can be messy. Although many handheld vacuums can only clean dry messes, there are models that can work on wet surfaces. So, if you want to be able to clean wet or dry messes easily, consider a wet and dry vacuum.
To maximize the ease of use in your handheld vacuum cleaner, you should aim for a model that has a generous dust bin. Most commercial handheld vacuums can hold up to 0.5 liters of debris and dust in their bins. This is usually enough for a couple of rooms. A few brands offer large dust bins of 0.7 liters or more, so if you need to clean large areas that may be a good option.
It's also a good idea to buy a vacuum that has a transparent dust bin. This helps you keep track of when your vacuum needs to be emptied. If you accidentally suck up a piece of jewelry or something else you don't want to lose, you may even be able to spot it early if your dust bin is made of a clear material.
You'll obviously want enough suction power in your handheld vacuum to clean dust, hair, and debris from any type of surface. Wirecutter's hands-on research shows that your vacuum should have at least 16 air watts of suction to be considered powerful.
It's good to bear in mind, however, that in the case of a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner, more suction power generally means a shorter battery life. A good cordless handheld vacuum cleaner will offer two or more power modes to counter this issue. You can use the normal power mode for moderate suction and a high power mode for more stubborn messes.
Most vacuums come with their own set of tools and accessories. Common nozzle attachments are crevice tools, brush tools, and motorized pet brushes.
Crevice tools are ideal for cleaning small spaces, like under furniture or the small corners behind your fridge. Brush tools are better for textured, bigger areas like couches and carpets. Motorized pet brushes pick up all the fine hair left behind by your furry friends.
Vacuums that can clean wet messes will likely come with an attachment to be used specifically for liquids. These shallow, flat tools are sometimes called "rubber jar" nozzles.
Whatever your preference, make sure you know what tools you would like to be included with your vacuum. Keep in mind that while having many attachments gives you more cleaning options, you will also have to find a space to store them.
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Triple-Layer Filtration to Filter Out Dirt Effectively
WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum｜WV201
A Stylish and Functional Handheld Vacuum
Tidy Wet or Dry Messes Quickly
Scorpion Handheld Vacuum｜SD20005RED
A Long Cord Allows for Easy Cleaning
Rocket Ultra-Light Hand Vacuum｜HV292
Great Alternative to a Traditional Upright Vacuum
Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum｜HHVI315JO42
Declutter Your Home With This Lightweight Vacuum
Built-in LED Light For Vacuuming in Dark Areas
Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Ideal for People Who Dislike Loud Noises
Ultra Cyclone Pet Pro Plus ｜CH951
A Vacuum Ideal for Pet Owners
Lightweight Mini Hand Vacuum
Lightweight and Ideal for Small Spaces
This dustbuster is great for those that struggle with dust in their homes. The triple-layer filtration helps filter out dust or pet hair to keep the suction power at the optimal level. The washable bowl and filter make cleaning in between uses easy and reduces waste too.
Some reviewers have concerns with the durability of the product and the stability of the charging station. Some also warn not to put too much pressure on the nozzle or tools, as they might pop off.
However, most reviewers like that the crevice and brush tools are stored on the vacuum, giving them less to keep track of or store. Plus, they find the suction power adequate for most messes and find the tools convenient to use.
This sleek ultra-lightweight vacuum brings function and style to any home. Designed with a charging dock makes storage and charging in between uses easy. It also comes with tools ideal to keep your house clean from cleaning up pet fur to reaching small spaces.
The one-touch debris emptying button allows you to easily clean out your vacuum without ever getting your hands dirty. It also has a LED light indicator, which allows you to check the state of the battery. A couple of users have complaints about the battery life and running time of the vacuum.
While the majority are impressed with this vacuum's suction power, some note that the fuller the debris bin gets, the suction power gets weaker. Still, according to most comments, this vacuum is ideal for small tasks like cleaning up breadcrumbs on kitchen counters, spills, pet fur, or dust.
This wet and dry vacuum is ideal to use in and outside your house. The nozzle not only cleans debris and dust but also has the capacity to clean spills in an instant. The included extension hose and extension crevice tool make cleaning rough areas or small spaces easier than ever before, too!
This handheld vacuum is fully charged within two to three hours, unlike other models that require overnight charging. This makes it easy to use your vacuum more than once a day since the charging period is so short!
Some buyers are disappointed that the suction power is quite weak, but most say it's still strong enough to remove dirt or pet hair. Moreover, many reviewers love that it can easily reach small areas and charges quickly.
This corded handheld vacuum is designed with an extra-long power cord. This gives you some of the freedom to clean large rooms without having to find a new outlet. Plus, the dirt cup is completely removable and can be rinsed without any issues.
Switch from large areas to small corners in an instant by flipping the built-in crevice tool outwards. Gone are the days where you lose your tools or have to stop to switch nozzles before you can continue!
A few buyers note that the vacuum is very loud and can be heard from far away. On the bright side, most buyers say the impressive suction power never fades and can tackle any mess. They also appreciate the long cord that allows for maximum usability and reach.
This powerful handheld vacuum is lightweight with a long power cord, so you can clean big areas without worrying about changing plugs. Moreover, the washable filtration makes for easy clean after use.
This vacuum also comes with every tool you could ever need to clean your home, from large areas covered with pet hair to dust bunnies in small spaces. Many reviewers like the long cord, but some do wish that the vacuum had a designated spot to wind it up for easier storage.
On the other hand, the majority feel that this handheld vacuum has the suction of a bigger vacuum while being easier on your back. They further note that it's easy to use and to clean out.
This lightweight dustbuster comes with a wall mount, making it ideal for those with limited storage space. The product also comes with tool attachments to help you clean large, rough areas and small nooks. All in all, this tool has all the features you'll need for everyday cleaning around your home.
However, some reviewers aren't happy with the battery life, and they wish that the vacuum had an indicator light for when the bowl is full. Reviewers note that you will need a drill to install it, so keep that in mind.
On another note, the majority of reviewers find this handheld vacuum convenient to use and easy to clean. Many report that they have success using it for sucking up pet hair or kitty litter, too. They also like the clear bowl that makes it easy to know when you should clean it.
This handheld vacuum has a LED light which is perfect for cleaning up messes in dark corners where it's hard to see. The strong suction power and included tools pick up hair, dust, spills, or crumbs with ease.
The high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is less clogged. It's also washable for multiple uses. However, some reviewers find that putting back the pieces after cleaning the vacuum is a bit hard.
On the other hand, others felt that the light weight makes it easy to carry around the house without straining your wrists or back. Plus, they like that there is an indicator for the battery life. Many say that the run time is longer than 30 minutes as well!
This handheld vacuum's low operating noise is ideal for households with pets or children who dislike loud sounds. The HEPA filtration tackles dust and reduces the risk of allergies as well. It comes with three attachments to help you clean everything from cars, walls, sofas, or stairs.
Particularly, the rubber jar tool is not only used for spills, but it also protects your glass tables or leather couches from being damaged by hard vacuum tools. One of the issues mentioned in the comments is that the battery only lasts for a couple of months.
Other than that, the majority feel that the vacuum provides great suction power and is ideal for deep cleaning. Many say that the charging base makes for easy storage and charging in between uses too. They also like the led indicator light that shows you level of charge.
If you struggle with pet hair in your house this product is for you! Featuring two cyclonic air streams, this handheld vacuum provides great suction power. It also comes with a motorized pet brush to help you remove pet hair from your home instantly.
One of the issues reviewers note is the short battery life. They say that the vacuum works for only 10 to 15 minutes although it takes hours to charge.
On the other hand, many others comment that this handheld vacuum is lightweight, quiet, has great suction power, and cleans pet hair well. Reviewers found that the washable and removable filter makes it easy to clean between uses.
This wet and dry vacuum is multi-functional and great for any occasion. Lightweight and cordless, you can clean anywhere without the hassle of carrying a heavy vacuum around. Plus, the small size means it can get into tight spaces, like bathrooms or cars, without a problem.
Some reviewers are disappointed with the short battery life and say the suction power is not that powerful. However, most buyers find the suction power reasonable for such a small vacuum. They further add that it works well for small tasks such as small spills, seeds, and crumbs.
Others like that this versatile vacuum is very small and lightweight, so it's easy to carry around without getting tired. They comment that it's easy to clean, too!
Cleaning isn't everyone's favorite chore, so why not make it a little easier? Check out these highly-rated products that will help you tackle dirt and grime with minimal elbow grease!
No. 1: BLACK+DECKER｜Cordless Dustbuster｜BDH2000L
No. 2: SharkNinja Operating｜WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum｜WV201
No. 3: Bluegala｜Handheld Vacuum
No. 4: Dirt Devil｜Scorpion Handheld Vacuum｜SD20005RED
No. 5: Shark｜Rocket Ultra-Light Hand Vacuum｜HV292
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