The 5 Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners in 2019
Not sure which handheld vacuum is right for you and your space?
When it comes to things we need for our homes, a vacuum cleaner is usually one of the must-haves. If you’re in the market for the best handheld vacuum cleaner on the market, we’ve done the research to help you find the perfect match.
Here are our top 5 choices for handheld vacuum cleaners.
#1 Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
If you appreciate the premium quality that comes with Dyson technology, then this powerful handheld vacuum won’t disappoint.
- 3 attachments
- 30 minutes of battery life
#2 Black + Decker Platinum BDH2000PL Handheld Pivot Vacuum
Clean even the toughest spots to reach with this unique pivot nozzle by Black + Decker.
- Cyclonic action
- Pivot Technology
- 20V and 35 air watts
#4 Eureka Corded EasyClean Lightweight Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
The Eureka EasyClean makes it easy to clean the stairs and other vertical surfaces in your home.
- Vertical “Risor Visor” nozzle
- 20 ft. cord
- Continuous suction power
#5 Black + Decker Cordless Dustbuster 16V CHV1410L
Our top choice for the best value will clean up your spills quickly, is lightweight and is made with top Black + Decker technology.
- Lithium-ion battery
- Cyclonic action technology
- 2.6 lb.
While we love all of the great things vacuum cleaners and robot vacuums do for us, most people won’t even think twice about getting a handheld one. The thing is, a handheld vacuum provides a world of benefits and perks that their bigger, heavier cousins don’t. Nowadays, they are also advanced and just as powerful.
We broke down the best vacuum cleaners into the different categories based on what you need. If you’re looking for a specific vacuum to get rid of pet hair, to reach difficult parts, we got you. Check out our top choices below.
Editors' Choice: Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
It should be no surprise that a product from Dyson would top our list of premium handheld vacuums. Dyson has been one of the top innovators in the home tech industry, and they definitely didn’t disappoint with the V7 Trigger Handheld. If the price tag scares please know that there are other worthwhile options on our list that don’t cost nearly as much, but this model is certainly worth the price tag.
The Dyson V7 boasts one of the most powerful motors and suction powers out there. 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. Its lightweight build makes it a great option for around the house, the car and other difficult to reach parts of your home.
Dyson V7 Pros
- 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.
- 3 extra tools: Comes with a mini-motorized, combination, and crevice tool.
Dyson V7 Cons
- Premium, pricey product: You’ll be shelling over more than $150 with this product.
Best Value: Black + Decker Cordless Dustbuster 16V CHV1410L
Black + Decker is another manufacturer that is no stranger to vacuum cleaner engineering. Their products have long been a home tech favorite and this cordless dustbuster is no different. The CHV1410L is a great option if you’re looking for a great value vacuum cleaner with great suction that will reach the toughest spots. This cordless handheld is designed to last with its lithium-ion battery.
This model also 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
- Good battery life: Its made with a lithium-ion battery, which is a long-lasting battery.
- Washable filters: Instead of replacing the filters every so often, simply wash them and reuse for up to 9 months.
Black + Decker Cordless Dustbuster Cons
- Lengthy charge time: Some users report the battery taking longer than 4 hours to charge, and lasting even less time.
Best for Stairs: Eureka Corded EasyClean Lightweight Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
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. The Eureka EasyClean is a great option if you prefer a corded vacuum cleaner. You can access all the parts of your home without worrying about the battery dying out or the suction power weakening.
Why is the top choice for your stairs? The Eureka EasyClean 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: 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.
- Can clean vertical surfaces: The Risor Visor nozzle can flip up to clean vertical spots like stairs.
- Continuous strong suction: Don’t worry about losing suction power with this model, the motor is powerful and it doesn’t need a battery to charge it.
Eureka EasyClean Cons
- Heavy: This model is a bit heavier than other models on this list.
Best for Pet Hair: Bissell 33A1 Pet Hair Eraser
A lint roller definitely won’t do the job properly, and even some handheld vacuums aren’t powerful enough to access some pet hair. The Bissel 33A1, however, is your best bet if you need a great vacuum cleaner to tackle your furry friend’s hair. The Bissel 33A1 is designed with a “raking” feature on the nozzle that pulls the hair into the canister. This 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 bet if you want a good multi-purpose vacuum. You do have to plug it in to use it, and it is a bit on the heavy side for a handheld vacuum. The pluses are that you can keep the pet hair situation under control better.
Bissel 33A1 Pet Hair Eraser Pros
- Perfect for pet hair: The nozzle is designed to attract pet hair.
- Inexpensive: You don’t need to break the bank to get this, so it could be purchased in conjunction with another vacuum.
Bissel 33A1 Pet Hair Eraser Cons
- Heavy: This vacuum cleaner weighs a little over 5 lb. which is heavy for a handheld.
- Corded: The cord is only 16 feet long, which may make it inconvenient to use in difficult to reach places.
Best for Cars: Black + Decker Platinum BDH2000PL Handheld Pivot Vacuum
Cars have many grooves and crevices that make them quite difficult to clean with vacuum cleaners. You need a model that has a nozzle or attachment to pivot to different positions. The B+D BDH2000PL has a unique pivot function that makes it the perfect model to tackle the messes in your car and many other spots.
No other handheld vacuum on the market has the full range that this model has, and this is why it is one of our top choices. 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 be sure to keep the charger handy.
Black + Decker BDH2000PL 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 BDH2000PL 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.
Handheld Vacuum Buyer’s Guide
Since the handheld vacuum comes in all shapes and sizes, we’ve broken down some of the features to be aware of when shopping. Before you buy, we recommend thinking about where and how often you plan to use the vacuum cleaner. This will determine several of the features you choose in your handheld vacuum cleaner.
Corded vs Cordless
Don’t jump to the conclusion that cordless is better, because sometimes it may not be the right option for you. As we mentioned, the first step is assessing where you plan on using your vacuum cleaner primarily.
- Corded- Surprisingly, a corded vacuum cleaner provides several benefits, depending on where you’ll be using it. If you plan on primarily using your vacuum cleaner in the home and within a confined location, then a corded vacuum cleaner may work just fine. You get unlimited use without the need to recharge the battery also, which could take up to 5-6 hours. These types of vacuum cleaners would be best for anyone who plans to use a handheld to replace their vacuum cleaner around the house.
- Cordless- Cordless vacuum cleaners are the most convenient when it comes to mobility. Need to use it outside in your car, garage or in hard to reach crevices? 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 continuously with some only running up to 10 minutes. If you plan to use it constantly, this will be an issue, because you’ll need a couple of hours in between each use.
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 4-5 lb. 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 out too many times.
The suction power of a handheld vacuum is measured differently depending on if its a corded vs cordless vacuum cleaner. Since manufacturers throw around a bunch of different units of measure when it comes to suction power, we’ve listed 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 with anything under considered low and anything above 18 volts considered high.
Battery Charge and Run Time
If you’re choosing a cordless vacuum cleaner, the battery charge and run time are one 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, which is considered long.
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 6 hours to recharge while others recharge is as low as 3 hours.
Vacuum cleaners aren’t known for being the quietest machines, and handheld vacuums aren’t any different. On the other hand, many manufacturers have developed technology to minimize the amount of noise these produce. Sound is measured in decibels (dB) and a handheld vacuum can be anywhere from 80 to 9 dBs.
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.
- Brushes- Brushes are a standard accessory. They help to pull the debris stuck inside of the carpet into the canister. Double check the user reviews to make sure that the brushes are easy to clean.
- Attachments- Different machines come with crevice tools and other pet hair attachments that make them much more versatile. There are also some attachments that are made to clean wet to dry spots too. If you plan on using your handheld vacuum for tough areas or to pick up pet hair, make sure you choose a model with extra attachments.
- Extensions- Some handheld models also offer extendable hoses to help reach to hard to reach areas. This could help to reach areas like counters, behind furniture and even cars.
Cleaning and Maintenance
If you ever had to replace a vacuum cleaner bag or filter back in the day then 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. Always 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. A lot of handheld vacuums have washable containers now that are easily cleaned. Simply remove the container, dump it and wash it out if you need to.
Filter Replacement- Some models require filters that have to be replaced every so often. If the filter is expensive, this could quickly add up for you. Check with the manufacturer for the type of filter it uses. We recommend choosing a vacuum cleaner with a washable filter so you can save money.
Most handheld vacuums offer at least 1 year of warranty. You should expect to at least one year of coverage on the machine as a hold. Other models offer 2-4 years of warranty. It is always best to choose one with a reliable, full warranty.
Benefits of a Handheld Vacuum
Portable & Versatile
Dust and dirt don’t discriminate, it will get everywhere. This is why the best handheld vacuums should be extremely versatile and easy to move around the house. Handheld vacuum cleaners are great for getting 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. This is multiplied if you have a good cordless model. They are also great options for quickly vacuuming up your car. The lightweight, less than 5 lb. weight will make them easy to use for as long as you need to. Take it along with you to the beach to quickly get rid of the sand or use it to reach the dust around the top of the fridge in your kitchen.
Great for Quick Fixes
Handheld vacuums are great for the small-medium sized tasks in your home. We’ve all had little quick spills around the house. This especially comes in handy when you live with kids or pets. No matter how cute they are, they are always spilling and knocking something over.
Handheld vacuums are so simple and easy to use. In a matter of minutes, you can clean up anything. You will love not having to pull out a huge, heavy machine for simple cleanups around your house. Believe us, it’s way more effective than sweeping up a mess all the time.
Easy to Maintain
Gone are the days of toying with difficult vacuum cleaner bags and messy filters. Most handheld vacuums are not only easy to use but also easy to maintain. Because of their size, they are usually not made with a vacuum bag. Cleaning and maintaining are quicker and less of a hassle with these models.
Most of the handheld vacuums out now have a container that collects all of the dirt and can easily be dumped. Simply dump it out and keep going. The filters also tend to last longer since they aren’t typically used heavily. Other models come with washable filters that can last up to a year without needing to be replaced.
As you can see, handheld vacuum cleaners are pretty affordable, extremely useful, easy to use and maintain for quick fixes around the house. If you are in the market for one, make sure you know what you’ll need it for. Do you need it to clean your car or will you use it to get to the pet hair around your house? Regardless of which one you choose, we hope you find the best handheld vacuum cleaner for your home.Read More