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Vacuuming is rarely fun, but it can be especially frustrating when it comes to cleaning small masses and hard-to-reach areas. We can all agree that pulling your full-size vacuum to clean a small pile of kitty litter is rather inconvenient.
If this is something you often deal with, you might want to consider getting a handheld vacuum. It’s a small and lightweight vacuum that’s ideal for cleaning small piles of dust, kibble, kitty litter, cereal, hair, and other such debris.
Still, the market is packed with different models, making it a bit challenging to choose. The models differ in many things, features, and specifications. For example, some handhelds are cordless while others are corded, allowing you to choose based on your needs and preferences.
Take a moment to read the article below as we help you find the best handheld vacuum among some of the best models. We’ve also included a small buyer’s guide to help you choose among as many models.
|15 oz||3.75 lbs||20 V|
|13 oz||2.42 lbs||2.5 amp|
|20.6 oz||2.6 lbs||16 V|
|0.78 l||4.2 lbs||Unknown|
|1600 ml||3.64 lbs||6000 PA of suction power|
|Unknown||2.44 lbs||12 V|
|Unknown||1.54 lbs||2000 mAh battery|
|8 oz||7.05 lbs||7.2 V|
|.15 GAL||3.77 lbs||100 AW of suction power|
|0.6 l||2.59 kg||700 W|
Top Rated Handheld Vacuums on The Market
BLACK+DECKER Handheld Vacuum (BDH2000PL)
This Black and Decker vacuum is among the most versatile and convenient handhelds on the market. It features a high-performance motor and a pivoting nozzle, making it suitable for all kinds of tight and hard-to-reach areas.
It’s a bagless vacuum with a dustbowl capacity of 15 ounces. While this might not seem as much, the vacuum is quite small and compact, making it easy to use in tight areas. This also helps if you usually struggle with storage space.
This one comes with Lithium Technology and a 3-stage filtration system. It’s suitable for pet owners as both the filters and dust bowl are washable.
The exclusive nozzle pivots at different angles, allowing you to clean various above-floor surfaces such as stairs, upholstery, bookshelves, and other such surfaces. Its cyclonic action spins all the debris away from the motor, keeping its suction power strong.
- Pivoting nozzle
- Convenient charging base
- Crevice tool and brush included
- A bit tricky to empty
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum (HHVI325JR22)
You might want to consider this Black and Decker handheld vacuum if you’re looking for something simple to use. It’s lightweight, convenient, and easy to empty.
Its dust bowl has a capacity of about 13 ounces and is see-through. You can easily see when it’s time to empty it, which is also relatively simple to do. Keep in mind that both its bowl and filter are removable and washable.
The vacuum has Lithium technology, keeping its suction at peak at all times. On top of that, cyclonic action helps keep the suction strong and the filters clean.
It comes with a pull-out crevice tool and a flip-up brush for easier cleaning of all the nooks and crannies. Plus, the rotating nozzle makes it that much easier to clean the stairs and upholstery.
- Convenient wall mount
- Lightweight and portable design
- Washable filtration system
- Only approx. ten minutes of battery life
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum 16V (CHV1410L)
This is another outstanding Black and Decker handheld vacuum worth mentioning. It’s small and compact, making it easy to use for spot-cleaning and small messes on your floors and upholstery. It’s equally suitable for car interiors.
It features a Lithium-Ion battery, providing excellent performance at all times. It helps keep suction at its peak along with the cyclonic action. It allows the filters to stay clean for an extended period, requiring less maintenance.
It’s a cordless vacuum, featuring the Smart Charge Technology that uses 50% less energy. Another thing important to mention is that this one can hold a charge for about 18 months.
It has a rotating nozzle that’s ideal for different surfaces and tight areas. It has a translucent dust bowl that’s easy to empty once you see that it’s getting full.
- Great for pet hairs
- Quick recharging
- Lightweight and easy to use
- It’s loud
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser vacuum is one of the most popular handheld vacuums on the market. It’s a small and compact handheld vacuum that’s easy to use at all times. It’s equally as suitable on stairs, upholstery and car interiors.
With its multi-layer filtration, this Bissell is ideal for pet owners and allergy-prone people. It uses the cyclonic cleaning system, keeping the dirt away from the motor while providing strong suction.
Keep in mind that this one is a corded model, featuring a 16′ power cord. This is something you should consider beforehand because it might make it challenging to clean stairs and the interior of your car.
It’s a bagless handheld vacuum with a dust cup capacity of 0.78 liters. On top of that, it comes with a specialized rubber nozzle that pulls out even the most persistent dirt and pet hair from different surfaces.
- Two additional nozzles included
- Lightweight and compact
- Contoured nozzle
- The vents on the side blow a blast of air
Holife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Cordless
This one provides a stable 6000Pa strong cyclonic suction, picking up things like food debris, crumbs, pet hairs, dander, dust, cigarette ashes, and other small messes. It’s suitable for home and car use.
It comes with two attachments that add even more to its versatility. The dusting brush is meant for picking up dirt and hairs from upholstery and delicate surfaces. On the other hand, its crevice tool is included for all the tight areas, nooks, and crannies.
It’s a cordless handheld vacuum, featuring a lithium battery that provides some 30 minutes of run time. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to recharge, so make sure to do it after each use.
Another thing worth noting is the two-stage filtration system. It has a filtering and dust-cleaning effect, trapping even the tiniest allergens. Plus, the stainless steel filter is removable and washable.
- Easy to empty
- Up to 30 minutes of run time
- Washable stainless steel filter
- It’s loud
HOTOR Corded Car Vacuum for Quick Car Cleaning
This Hotor corded vacuum is a convenient choice for your home and car, depending on how many available power sockets you have. It’s a 12V vacuum with LED lights, making it easy to clean in low-light conditions such as car interior.
Another thing worth mentioning is its HEPA filtration. It’s a stainless steel HEPA that’s washable and meant to last for many years. It helps improve the overall convenience and cost-efficiency of the vacuum.
Much like most handhelds, this one is bagless. It features a detachable dust cup that’s easy to empty and clean. It’s see-through so that you can see how full it is.
This one comes with three different nozzles, making it easy to clean various surfaces, nooks, and crannies. On top of that, it comes with a carry bag for all the accessories.
- 4′ power cable
- Stainless steel filter
- Detachable, easy-to-empty dust bin
- It starts to get hot after a while
AIRKII Portable Handheld Vacuum
Airkii portable vacuum is meant for both dry and wet cleaning. It’s suitable for home and car as it’s cordless and equipped with 4000mAh rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Although it takes approx. 6 hours to recharge, this cordless vacuum provides about 40 minutes of run time.
It’s a small vacuum, featuring the cyclone technology, which helps keep the dust away from the motor, forcing all the dirt in the front box. It doesn’t have a dust bag since it’s sealed, keeping all the particles trapped inside.
Another thing worth noting is its silent operation. Handheld vacuums are known to be a bit louder than most similar units, but this one won’t disturb your household.
It comes with plenty of accessories, including a crevice tool, a square brush tool, extension pipes, and a flexible pipe attachment.
- Stainless steel filter
- Up to 40 minutes of run time
- Low noise
- Small canister
BISSELL Pet Stain Eraser Deluxe ION Portable Carpet Cleaner
This Bissell vacuum might appear too small, but it’s among the best handheld vacuum that’s meant for pet hair. It’s a stain remover, spraying and scrubbing different pet stains and messes from upholstery, stairs, car interiors, carpets, and other such surfaces.
It has a tank capacity of 8 ounces, but it’s a see-through tank so that you can see when it’s time to empty it. On top of that, the vacuum is cordless, so you have an unlimited reach that doesn’t depend on power sockets. It comes with a Lithium battery and powerful suction.
The cleaning formula is always stored in the handheld vacuum so that you don’t have to mix it. It helps remove stains like mud, urine, vomit, red wine, feces, blood, coffee, and many more. It comes with a detachable window tool for pet drool, dirt, grime, and fingertips.
- 30 minutes of run time
- 3-inch cleaning path
- Removes all kinds of stains
- Some people experienced leakage
Dyson V7 Car+Boat
Dyson v7 is one of the most popular cordless hand vacuum models from the brand. It has a capacity of .15 gallon, and is cordless, allowing ultimate convenience and usability.
It comes with plenty of tools and accessories, including a mini motorized tool, combination tool, extension hose, and a car charger. Its maximum suction power is 100 Air Watts.
The vacuum is powered by Dyson V7 digital motor. It offers up to 30 minutes of continuous power thanks to its fade-free lithium-ion batteries.
On top of that, the Dyson V7 vacuum has a hygienic dirt ejector that’s easy to empty without touching any of the dirt.
- Lightweight and compact
- Motorized brush included
- Up to 30 minutes of run time
- The turbo function cuts down the battery life
AEG AG71a RapidClean
This small handheld vacuum comes with plenty of handy features and useful tools. It’s ideal for hard-to-reach areas, stairs, car interiors, and other above-floor surfaces.
It’s bagless and corded, featuring 6m of power cable for an extended reach and easier use. Its dust bin has a capacity of approx. 0.6 liters, which should be enough for most spot-cleaning tasks.
The vacuum has a washable microfiber filter that traps even the tiniest particles. As such, it’s suitable for pet owners and allergy-prone people.
It comes with an efficient brush that picks up and removes stubborn pet hair, food crumbs, and other messes. On top of that, you also get a built-in stretch hose and a crevice tool for all the tight spaces.
- Long power cord
- Reliable and efficient filtration system
- Easy to use and empty
- Some people find it heavy (5.7 pounds)
Handheld Vacuum Buying Guide
As you’ve probably noticed, there are plenty of different handheld vacuums on the market. It’s great to have as many to choose from, but the versatility can also make it a bit challenging to find the best handheld vacuum.
For this reason, you should consider a few buying factors before you purchase any particular vacuum cleaner. Take a few moments as we discuss these factors in the guide below.
Most handheld vacuums have relatively small dust capacity because of their compact size. This is one of the reasons why these handheld vacuums are only suitable for spot-cleaning and small messes.
Nonetheless, some models have a larger capacity than others, so make sure to consider this before you make the final purchase. Think about would its capacity be enough for your cleaning needs. Smaller vacuums require more frequent emptying.
When it comes to suction, the first thing you should know is that these aren’t as strong as full-size vacuums. They’re smaller and usually have less powerful motors. However, most models can still pick up even the most persistent dirt, pet hair, dander, and food crumbs.
They’re great for small messes but aren’t as efficient when it comes to larger debris. Plus, some models have several suction modes and turbo functions.
Cord / Cordless
As you probably noticed, handheld vacuums can be both corded and cordless. Choosing between the two is mostly a matter of your preferences and needs, so make sure to consider them in time.
Many people think corded vacuums are more convenient because they offer unlimited run time. Still, their reach is somewhat limited, especially if you don’t have as many power sockets available.
Cordless models offer unlimited reach, but their run time ranges from 10 to 40 minutes.
Bagged / Bagless
Cordless vacuums are usually bagless because using a bag in such a small handheld vacuum would be tricky and rather inconvenient.
As we said, their capacity is also on a smaller side, but in most cases, it’s enough to tackle small piles of dirt and pet hair.
Using a bagged vacuum would be tricky because the bag would have to be rather small. As a result, you’d have to throw it away after each use, which isn’t the most eco-friendly solution.
Much like all vacuums, handhelds differ quite a lot when it comes to filtration. Some models have a HEPA, and those are the most recommend for allergy-prone people.
Others have stainless steel and foam filters, or a 3-, 4-stage filtration for some added efficiency. Choosing between these options depends on your needs and preferences, as well as on whether you have pets.
Warranty is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to handheld vacuums. You should look for a vacuum that has a warranty of at least a year or two.
Keep in mind that most manufacturers offer at least a year, although some offer much more. Consider what it is the warranty covers as well because many don’t cover anything more than the damage caused by faulty materials and manufacturing.
Handhelds don’t usually come with many accessories. However, some models do come with a few tools, such as an extension hose that delivers an extended reach.
The most common is the crevice tool and dusting brush. These help make the vacuum a bit more versatile, especially when it comes to cleaning tight areas and corners.
Still, you might come across handheld vacuums that come with even more tools, although those are usually more expensive.
You should pay special attention to run time if you’re looking for a cordless handheld vacuum. It differs from vacuum to vacuum, and it usually depends on the type of battery it comes with. Most handheld vacuums come with a lithium battery that lasts some 10 to 40 minutes.
Keep in mind that some tools like a motorized brush can significantly reduce the run time. Max suction power modes can also reduce the run time.
Handheld vacuums are ideal for pet owners as they make it easy to clean up after pretty much any pet. Most handhelds can pick up hair and dander, while many can also pick up kitty litter and food kibble.
There are a few things to pay attention to if you’re looking for a handheld vacuum to clean after your pets. Consider its suction power as well as a filtration system and all the additional accessories that make it easier to remove the persistent hairs.
Buying the best handheld vacuum should be as lightweight as possible. Unlike other vacuums that lay onto your carpet, this one is always in your hands as you’re carrying all of its weight.
For this reason, you should look for a lightweight model, especially if you’re going to use it every day. Weight is that much more important if you’re prone to back pain, or you plan on your kids to use it from time to time as well.
Why Do You Need a Handheld?
Many people often think that they can handle small messes with their full-size vacuum. While this isn’t entirely false, using a handheld vacuum for this purpose is much simpler.
If you’re already wondering if you need one, you probably do. Handhelds are highly convenient and come with plenty of benefits that some people don’t even know of. Take a moment to read our small guide below as we help you figure out why you need a handheld.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is one of the most significant benefits when looking for the best handheld vacuum. They’re unmatched when it comes to small messes and spot-cleaning. Still, even this depends on a few things that you should consider.
In most cases, handhelds are easy to use because they’re lightweight and simple to pull out of storage at any time. Their weight makes it easy to clean pretty much any part of your house, and most of the surfaces you probably have.
Remember to check the run time and filtration system of your handheld because its ease of use depends on the two factors as well.
As we mentioned, handheld vacuums are highly efficient and versatile. Most models work on plenty of surfaces and areas of your home, car, and garage.
Cordless vacuums are especially convenient for car interiors. They’re lightweight and don’t have a cord that would get tangled all around your car.
They’re also ideal for upholstery, curtains, stairs, and other above-floor surfaces. In most cases, these also work on hardwood and carpets, but it depends on their tools and suction.
Some handhelds are better for certain jobs than others. This is especially important to consider if you have a specific reason why you’re looking for one. You should be as specific as possible when it comes to your reasons for buying the best handheld vacuum.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Stairs
Stairs have lots of corners and edges, so you should look for a handheld that can tackle this type of surface. It should have a crevice tool, although an extension hose might also be useful.
It should be lightweight so that you can easily carry it up and down your stairs. On top of that, you should think about whether you want a corded or cordless handheld vacuum.
The Black and Decker HHVI325JR22 might be the best handheld vacuum for stairs. It uses cyclonic action and has a dust bowl capacity of 13 ounces. Plus, it’s cordless and comes with a crevice tool for those tight areas.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair
The best handheld vacuum for pet hair has powerful suction power and an efficient dusting brush. It might also be a good idea to look for a motorized brush if the hairs are often on carpets.
The vacuum of your choice should have a few tools and strong suction power in order to pick up the persistent hairs. The two factors are especially critical if you’re removing pet hair from your car interior, carpets, and upholstery.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 is a great handheld vacuum cleaner for pet hair. It comes with a rubber nozzle that attracts and pulls hairs from different areas such as upholstery and stairs.
Best Handheld for Cat Litter
Kitty litter isn’t as simple to clean, and even some full-size vacuums struggle with the task. For this reason, you should pay special attention to the handheld you’re going for.
It should have strong suction because kitty litter is somewhat heavy and chunky for most handhelds. On top of that, you should consider those with a larger dust bowl.
Black and Decker CHV1410L is a good choice for kitty litter because it’s powerful and has a dust bowl with a capacity of 22.6 ounces. Plus, this one has a rotating slim nozzle and washable filters.
Best Handheld for Allergies
Allergies are something you should take seriously, so your handheld must have efficient filtration. A HEPA filter is still the best choice for allergy-prone people when it comes to most vacuums. Luckily, plenty of handhelds come with HEPA.
Still, some models have a 3- or 4-stage filtration system that works pretty well, too. Make sure that the vacuum is sealed so that all the dust stays trapped inside its canister.
AIRKII Portable Handheld is worth considering if you’re prone to allergies. It’s a cordless hand vacuum that has a HEPA filter and offers some 40 minutes of run time.
Best Handheld for General Use
As we mentioned, most handhelds are quite versatile and easy to use for most tasks. However, if you need one that can pick up pet hair, kitty litter, fine dust, and all other particles, you should consider all its features and specifications.
Most handheld vacuums can pick up dirt and dust, but not all of them can tackle pet hair. So, if you need one that does it all, you have to think about its suction power, weight, filtration, and the tools it comes with.
Black and Decker BDH2000PL is probably the best handheld vacuum for general use. It’s lightweight and versatile thanks to its pivoting nozzle that can reach into all the nooks and crannies.
Best Handheld with Wall Mount Charger
We’ve already mentioned the critical factors you should consider if you’re looking for the best cordless vacuum. While you should look for strong suction and long battery life, you should also consider its charging method.
Cordless handheld vacuums come with different chargers depending on the brand. While all of them serve the purpose, you should look for a wall mount charger as it’s the most efficient and easy to use type.
A wall mount charger makes charging more convenient as it places the handheld onto your wall. The Holife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner comes with a wall charger that you can also use for storing.
Best Handheld Vacuums for Car
One of the main reasons why people look for the best handheld vacuum is to maintain the interior of their car clean. Handhelds are ideal for cleaning those tight spots packed with dust, food crumbs, and maybe even pet hair.
If you’re looking to keep your car clean, you should look for a cordless handheld vacuum. These don’t require a power socket since they’re battery-powered. Their battery life ranges, but you probably won’t need more than ten minutes to clean your car.
HOTOR Corded Car Vacuum might be the best handheld vacuum for car interior. It comes with several accessories and has LED lights for cleaning all the tight spaces.
At this point, you’ve probably picked the best handheld vacuum for your needs and preferences. We tried to keep our list versatile, so there’s something for everyone. If you struggle, make sure to return to our buyer’s guide since the information there can help you find the best one for you.
Handheld vacuums are convenient and useful to have around regardless of the messes you’re dealing with. They’re suitable for stairs, upholstery, curtains, car interiors, and many other surfaces. Many can work on carpets and hardwood as well, which is excellent for spot-cleaning.
Make sure to consider your needs when looking for a handheld vacuum. Think about the vital buying factors we mentioned so that you’re confident that the handheld of your choice is convenient and versatile enough.
Sources and Resources
- Older, cheaper vacuum cleaners release more bacteria and dust: study
- Vacuum cleaners