Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners
Do you have one of the best handheld vacuum cleaners?
A vacuum cleaner is usually one of the must-haves for keeping your home clean. Some people prefer traditional vacuum cleaners or robot vacuums, a handheld vacuum provides a world of benefits and perks that other types don’t.
Here are our top 5 choices for handheld vacuum cleaners.
Editors' Choice: Dyson V7
It should be no surprise that a product from Dyson would top our list of premium handheld vacuums. Dyson is one of the top innovators in the home tech industry, and they didn’t disappoint with the V7.
If the price tag scares, other worthwhile options don’t cost nearly as much. But this model is worth the price tag.
The Dyson V7 boasts one of the most powerful motors and suction powers out there. You can tackle the dust in your home without having to deal with an annoying cord. Use it for up to 30 minutes pretty much anywhere in your home and out.
The lightweight build makes it an excellent option for around the house, the car, and other difficult-to-reach parts of your home.
Dyson V7 Pros
- Extra tools: This vacuum comes with a mini motorized tool, combination tool, and crevice tool.
- Long run time: You get up to 30 minutes of use before you have to charge it again.
- No suction loss: The V7 trigger runs up to 100 watts on the highest power and 28 on the standard power.
Dyson V7 Cons
- Premium product: You’ll be shelling over more than $150 with this product.
Best Value: Black + Decker Cordless Dustbuster
Black + Decker is another manufacturer that is no stranger to vacuum cleaner engineering. The cordless dustbuster is no different.
The strong suction will reach the toughest spots, making cleaning simple.
This model does well keeping up the suction by circulating the dirt and dust away from the filter. B+D has coined this vacuum technology as “cyclonic action”.
From the lightweight body and 15-20 minute runtime, the Dustbuster is one of the best value handheld vacuums out there.
Black + Decker Cordless Dustbuster Pros
- Battery life: This vacuum has a lithium-ion battery, which is a long-lasting battery.
- Washable filters: Instead of replacing the filters every so often, simply wash and reuse them for up to nine months.
Black + Decker Cordless Dustbuster Cons
- Charge time: Some users report the battery taking longer than four hours to charge.
Best for Stairs: Eureka EasyClean 71B
Carpeted stairs are some of the hardest parts of the house to clean with a vacuum cleaner, but many handheld models make this a lot easier.
If you want a corded vacuum cleaner, consider the Eureka EasyClean. You can access all the parts of your home without worrying about the battery dying out or the suction power weakening.
The Eureka EasyClean also comes with a Risor Visor system, which is a vertical brush that allows you to access the stairs easily.
Also, you get pretty good distance with this model because of its 20-foot long cord.
Eureka EasyClean Pros
- Corded vacuum: You must plug the vacuum cleaner in to use it, which may be an inconvenience for some users. However, this means continuous use without charging it.
- Strong suction: Don’t worry about losing suction power with this model. The motor is powerful.
- Vertical surfaces tool: The Risor Visor nozzle can flip up to clean vertical spots like stairs.
Eureka EasyClean Cons
- Heavy machine: This model is heavier than other models on this list.
Best for Pet Hair: Bissell Handheld Pet Hair Eraser
A lint roller won’t completely get rid of pet hair, and even some handheld vacuums aren’t powerful enough. The Bissel 33A1 is your best bet if you need a vacuum cleaner to tackle your furry friend’s hair.
The Bissel 33A1 has a raking feature on the nozzle that pulls the hair into the canister. This tool works on multiple surfaces but works best on carpet and furniture.
While we love this for pet hair removal, it may not be the best as a multi-purpose vacuum. You do have to plug it in to use it, and it is a little heavy.
The pluses are that you can keep the pet hair situation under control better.
Bissel Handheld Pet Hair Eraser Pros
- Pet hair specialty: The company designed the nozzle specifically to take care of hair.
- Inexpensive vacuum: You don’t need to break the bank to get this tool.
Bissel Handheld Pet Hair Eraser Cons
- Corded design: The cord is only 16 feet long, which may make it inconvenient to use in some places.
- Heavy vacuum: This vacuum cleaner weighs a little over five pounds, which can be heavy for some people to move around.
Best for Cars: Black + Decker Platinum Handheld Pivot Vacuum
Cars have many grooves and crevices that make them difficult to clean with vacuum cleaners.
This vacuum from Black + Decker has a unique pivot function that makes it the perfect model to tackle the messes in your car and other spots.
No other handheld vacuum on the market has the full range that this model has. You get the powerful B+D motor as well as the cyclonic action.
However, the battery does have a slightly lower run time than the other models, so keep the charger handy.
Black + Decker Platinum Handheld Pivot Vacuum Pros
- Pivot technology: The handle pivots around to almost 180 degrees making it perfect for the car.
- High-power motor: The vacuum cleaner runs on 20V, 35 air watts, which is pretty powerful.
Black + Decker Platinum Handheld Pivot Vacuum Cons
- Small dust capacity: The dust bin can only hold up to 15 ounces of debris, which means you may have to air it out frequently.
- Not the longest battery life: You only get about 10-15 minutes of battery life and about 3-4 hours of recharge time.
Benefits of a Handheld Vacuum
Handheld vacuums have a lot of advantages that make them a top choice for both homeowners and apartment dwellers.
Easy to Maintain
Gone are the days of toying with difficult vacuum cleaner bags and messy filters.
Most handheld vacuums easy to use and maintain. Because of their size, they don’t usually have a vacuum bag.
Cleaning and maintaining are quicker and less of a hassle with these models. Most handheld vacuums have a container that collects all of the dirt. When it’s full, dump it out and keep going.
The filters also tend to last longer because they don’t get as much heavy use. Some models come with washable filters that can last up to a year without needing a replacement.
Perfect for Quick Fixes
Handheld vacuums are helpful for the small-medium sized tasks in your home.
These vacuums especially come in handy when you live with kids or pets. No matter how cute they are, they frequently spill things or knock things over.
In a matter of minutes, you can clean up anything with a handheld vacuum. You will love not having to pull out a huge, heavy machine for simple cleanups around your house, and it’s more effective than sweeping.
Portable and Versatile
Dust and dirt don’t discriminate. It gets everywhere.
That’s why handheld vacuums should be versatile and easy to move around the house. They can get to the areas that we can’t reach with the bigger, upright models.
When it comes to moving around furniture, reaching high levels or cleaning stairs, handheld vacuums exceed.
The lightweight and small size make them easy to pick up and use anywhere around the house. Cordless models are especially portable.
The lightweight vacuums can go almost anywhere with you. Clean out your car, take it with you to the beach to get rid of sand, or reach the dust on the top of the fridge.
Handheld Vacuum Buyer’s Guide
Because handheld vacuums come in all shapes and sizes, we’ve broken down some of the features to be aware of when shopping.
A good handheld vacuum will come with more than one brush or attachment to adjust to the different surfaces in your home.
The more attachments and extensions you have, the more use you’ll get out of it.
Here are some of the types of accessories your vacuum cleaner can come with:
- Attachments: Different machines come with crevice tools and other pet hair attachments that make them more versatile. There are also some attachments that are made to clean wet spots too. If you plan to use your handheld vacuum for tough areas or to pick up pet hair, choose a model with extra attachments.
- Brushes: Brushes are a standard accessory. They help to pull the debris stuck inside of the carpet into the canister. Check the user reviews to make sure that the brushes are easy to clean.
- Extensions: Some handheld models also offer extendable hoses to help reach difficult areas. This could help to reach areas like counters, behind furniture, and even cars.
Battery Charge and Run Time
If you’re choosing a cordless vacuum cleaner, the battery charge and run time are some of the most important factors.
No matter how strong the motor and suction power is, the cordless models can only run for so long. In some models, this may be up to 10 minutes of continuous use. Other models may run up to 30 minutes.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure you’re investing in a cordless handheld vacuum for tackling small to medium sized tasks. If you’re looking to clean the entire house in one sitting, you’ll have to wait for the vacuum to recharge.
Some units take up to six hours to recharge while others recharge is as low as three hours.
Cleaning and Maintenance
If you ever had to replace a vacuum cleaner bag or filter back in the day, you know it was nothing short of a hassle.
Vacuums have come a long way since then, but some models are still more of a hassle than others. Check the product page to see what the maintenance process is like for your handheld vacuum.
Vacuum bags are the holsters for all of the dust and debris. Many handheld vacuums have washable containers that are easy to clean. Remove the container, dump it, and wash it out if necessary.
Some models require filters that you need to replace occasionally. If the filter is expensive, costs can add up for you.
Check with the manufacturer for the type of filter it uses. We recommend a vacuum cleaner with a washable filter so you can save money.
Corded vs. Cordless
Don’t jump to the conclusion that cordless is better. Sometimes it may not be the right option for you.
Get to know the differences between the two:
- Corded: A corded vacuum cleaner provides several benefits, depending on where you’ll be using it. If you use your vacuum cleaner in the home within a confined location, a corded vacuum cleaner may work just fine. You get unlimited use without the need to recharge the battery.
- Cordless: Cordless vacuum cleaners are the most convenient when it comes to mobility. You don’t have to worry about detangling an annoying cord or being tethered to a wall to use it. The downside to these vacuums is the runtime. The usually run around 15 minutes with some only running up to 10 minutes.
Choose which one will be best for your cleaning needs.
Ideally, the best handheld vacuum cleaners will be lightweight and compact but still hold enough dust and debris.
The size of the vacuum cleaner should also be a factor for storage reasons too. A handheld vacuum cleaner should usually be under four or five pounds to make it comfortable for the user.
The size should also not be too bulky so that when you’re charging it, it doesn’t take up too much space.
On the other hand, check the size of the dust bin to make sure it can hold enough debris. If not, you’ll find yourself having to empty the bin too many times.
Vacuum cleaners aren’t known for being the quietest machines, and handheld vacuums aren’t any different.
However, manufacturers have developed technology to minimize the noise vacuums produce. Sound is measured in decibels (dB), and a handheld vacuum can be anywhere from 80 to 90 dBs.
The suction power of a handheld vacuum is measured based on if its a corded vs. cordless vacuum cleaner.
Because manufacturers use different units of measure for suction power, here are the ranges to look for:
- Corded vacuum cleaners are usually measured in amps or watts. The range is usually from 4-10 amps with strong suction power ranging between 6-10 amps.
- Cordless vacuum cleaners measure their suction power in volts instead of amps. Look for a vacuum cleaner with at least 15 volts. Anything under is low, and anything above 18 volts is high.
Most handheld vacuums offer at least one year of warranty. Other models offer 2-4 years of warranty.
Choose a machine with a warranty so that you can get it fixed if anything happens to it.
Handheld vacuum cleaners are affordable, useful, easy to use, and perfect for quick fixes around the house.
If you are in the market for one, use our top picks and buying guide to help you find the right option for you.