A handheld vacuum can’t replace a full-sized vacuum, but it is a great tool to add to your cleaning arsenal. They are ideal for hard to reach spots. Their size and convenience enables a quick response time to spills. They are portable enough to take anywhere. Usually they are lightweight enough to carry and operate using only one hand. Cordless vacuums are an awesome time-saver as you don’t have to stop to unwind and untangle cords, or consider how far you are from the nearest outlet.
Know what your needs are before you start. Don’t just buy the first one you see. When shopping for a vacuum cleaner, consider how you plan to use it. Handheld vacs are great for upholstery, drapes, stairs, cars, or spot cleaning. Cordless vacuums allow for a greater freedom of movement, which is one of the main reasons for going handheld. But since they are battery powered you might find that they are a bit weaker and less reliable. Some batteries last only a few minutes. A corded vacuum will clean for as long as you want without the bother and hassle of recharging.
If you opt for a cordless model, you will want to look at battery life. How long does it take to recharge, and how much cleaning time can you get with a single charge? You don’t want to have a handheld vacuum that you can barely use because it’s spending all its time on the recharging station. Some models might require 24 hours to charge entirely, yet you only get ten minutes of use – not a very good value in our book.
There are many other features to consider. Capacity of the bag or canister is important, so you can clean for longer periods without having to stop and empty it out. You will not believe how wide the range can be, even among different models of the same brand. You will want a canister that is easy to remove and clean with minimal mess. But remember that more capacity means more weight. Weight can be an important factor, as it determines how much energy it takes to move the vacuum cleaner around, and whether you can work easily and quickly. Many people prefer lightweight vacuums for the ease of use without straining or injury. A home with pets is more susceptible to airborne allergens caused by the pet dander. If you have pets, you should get a vacuum with a pet brush and HEPA filter. Some models advertise that they have a quiet motor, which is a more pet-friendly option.
Get more bang for your buck by being on the lookout for versatile attachments. Most handheld vacuums come with additional tools, brushes, and extensions, which provide flexibility in cleaning various kinds of surfaces and removing stubborn messes. Brushes help loosen stubborn dirt and debris from your couch. Long hoses and wands are useful for reaching out-of-the-way places.
Now you are ready to shop for your new handheld vacuum cleaner. We’ve scoured handheld vacuum reviews to find the best. Below we’ve listed our top 10 picks.
BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FLFH MAX Lithium Flex Vacuum
The BLACK+DECKER Lithium Flex Vacuum is a premium, high-performance product in the world of handheld vacuums. It’s cordless, of course, for maximum maneuverability and portability.
The BLACK+DECKER Lithium Flex Vacuum is designed with proprietary Lithium technology for strong suction and fade free power. The vacuum runs on a 20V lithium-ion battery. This battery gives above average performance, emitting a decent amount of power while using up to 25% less energy than previous models.
The battery can last up to 30 minutes on a full charge. Full recharge time is 5 hours, so if needed you can do two cleanings in one day. A quick charging base keeps the unit charged and organizes the accessories.
It comes equipped with a four foot hose to assist in removing embedded dirt and material. At only 3.8 pounds empty, this handheld vacuum is easy to tote around without strain or effort. Dirt is collected in a bagless canister that holds up to 17 ounces. It’s transparent so you can see when it’s time to empty it, and it detaches easily for cleaning. Air quality is guarded by a 3-stage filtration system and a washable cone-type filter.
The Black + Decker Lithium Flex Vacuum has a stick-vac floor extension, plus it comes with terrific accessories to increase its versatility and effectiveness, including pet hair removal tool, a crevice tool, and a 2-in-1 brush. The crevice and pet hair tools work together to get at hair embedded in hard-to-reach spaces.
Overall you will find that the Black + Decker Lithium Flex Vacuum offers real versatility and reliability. You will be impressed with the high-end performance.
Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II (Model SV780)
The Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II is a dependable handheld cordless vacuum at an excellent low price. This is a convenient and effective tool to have at your disposal.
The Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II incorporates twister cyclonic technology to obtain a strong suction. Hair, debris, and dust are collected in a bagless canister. The vacuum includes a washable filter. It runs on a rechargeable 18V battery, which is not as good as some of the other cordless vacs on this list.
You can operate the vacuum for 15 minutes on a full charge, and recharge time is 16 hours. However one plus is that the Shark Perfect II comes with a deluxe charging stand that can be wall-mounted or sit on a flat surface.
Included accessories are a crevice and brush tool, and a motorized brush that will easily conquer your messiest pet hair problems. Remove pet hair from just about any imaginable surface.
The Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II is an economical product that is durable enough for everyday use. Use it on upholstery, to spot clean carpet, or even in your car – this versatile and portable vacuum can go with you anywhere.
Hoover Air Cordless Handheld Vacuum – BH52160
The Hoover Air Cordless Handheld Vacuum is a compact, lightweight, hand vacuum that excels at any cleaning job around all areas of the home.
The Hoover Air incorporates the 20V LithiumLife Li-ion battery for superior suction and pick-up power, and a long-lasting charge. The airflow strength is exceptionally robust for a handheld vac. The battery is removable and recharge time is 12 hours. One advantage of the LithiumLife system is that the battery also works in other Hoover products utilizing LithiumLife.
The Hoover Air Cordless Handheld Vacuum is packed with accessories, including a Power Turbo tool and a Crevice tool. Powerfully pick up hair from furniture and stairs. Clean crevices and cracks with precision.
Consumers praise the convenience and portability of this vacuum. They find it very easy to operate, as well as empty and clean. Just remove the filter and rinse it under running water to clean it. One other neat feature is that it is compatible with the Hoover Air Cordless 2-in-1 to transform into a stick vac.
The Hoover Air Cordless Handheld Vacuum is an exceptional hand vac from Hoover engineered with excellent construction and quality. You will love its versatility and its robust performance.
Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Vacuum SD20005
The Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip is one of the most economical models on this list. But it is proof that you don’t have to sacrifice quality for price.
The Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip is a corded model, powered by a 7 amp motor strong enough to suck up even large debris like pebbles or sand. Because it has a cord, you don’t have to bother with low batteries and long recharging times. The Dirt Devil Scorpion will clean for as long as it takes to get the job done.
It weighs only 3 pounds to make any cleaning job easy. The on-board crevice tool flips down quickly and easily, to get into tight and narrow spaces. No more hunting for the accessory bag and fumbling with extra attachments, because the crevice tool is conveniently located right on the vacuum. The dirt canister is quite simple to remove and empty. The included F5 filter is washable either in the sink or your clothes washer. The Dirt Devil Scorpion’s accessories include a 2.5 foot hose to extend your reach up or down, for those hard to reach areas. The Dirt Devil also comes with a dusting brush and shoulder strap.
At such a bargain price, the Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip will amaze you with its functionality and durability. We guarantee you will use this vacuum every day.
Eureka Mighty Mite 3684F
The Eureka Mighty Mite 3684F is a versatile handheld vacuum that transforms to a stick vac in a breeze. It is quite powerful and effective for a small vacuum cleaner.
The Eureka Mighty Mite 3684F is a bagged canister vacuum with 12 amps of suction power. The vacuum weighs only 9 pounds, lightweight enough go anywhere with you. But if you have any problems at all, it is also wheeled to travel with you easily. The Eureka Mighty Mite is equipped with a HEPA filter to capture dander and dust. The refuse bags hold 2.6 quarts and have Arm & Hammer odor absorption properties.
The Eureka Mighty Mite comes packed with accessories, giving you the flexibility to clean just about anywhere – high, low, stairs, corners, you name it. A 20-foot power cord gives you a wide range of movement. It also includes a 6 foot hose and extendable wand to improve your reach. Your purchase will also include a crevice tool and the Power Paw Attachment. With the Pet Power Paw Attachment, you can clean your upholstery, carpeted stairs and other hard to reach areas without any problem.
The plastic teeth on the attachment loosen pet hair from upholstery while the rubber strips pull the hair safely from these and the bristles help to suck them up. Some consumers do caution that storage of all the attachments can be an issue, and that you need to make sure the attachments are secured fully on the canister for best suction and operation.
The Eureka Mighty Mite 3684F may not be a high end model, but customers are quite satisfied with this lightweight and compact canister vacuum. You will not find a better vacuum for the price. A non-pet version is also available at a lower cost.
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster CHV1410 Cordless Cyclonic Hand Vac
The BLACK & DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Cyclonic Hand Vac is a very affordable product with the strength of the BLACK&DECKER brand behind it. You will find this to be a reliable and high-performance vacuum.
With its long, skinny head and comfortable handle, this vacuum can travel with you into the tightest spots for deep down cleaning. It is very lightweight and easy to maneuver. The 14.4V battery delivers a surprising amount of power and suction. The slim rotating nozzle helps loosen stubborn dirt in narrow places.
The proprietary Cyclonic action spins dust and debris so as to prevent it from clogging the filter. Therefore suction power stays strong. The wide mouthed design means that the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster can pick up larger debris. The dirt-collection canister is see-through so it is very easy to tell when it’s time to empty.
Consumers report being quite satisfied with the amount of time you can operate the vacuum on a single battery charge. The recharging station can be mounted just about anywhere, and includes an indicator light so you can see that the vacuum has a good connection in the charger. This model uses a NiCad battery, and consumers caution it is best to let it drain completely before recharging it, in order to extend the battery life.
As for accessories, this BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster model includes an on-board crevice tool and combo brush. Slide them out easily on the fly – no trying to locate the tool and fumbling with attachments.
Overall you will find the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster CHV1410 to be the best Dustbuster BLACK+DECKER has produced. It may be inexpensive but can stand up in head-to-head tests against more pricey handhelds.
Dirt Devil Gator BD10165 Cordless Bagless Handheld Vacuum
The Dirt Devil Gator Cordless Bagless Handheld Vacuum is unparalleled for convenience and performance, all at a reasonable price.
The Dirt Devil Gator BD10165 is cordless mini vacuum, so you can take it anywhere – upstairs, downstairs, in your car, on road trips – all without needing an outlet handy. The model uses a 15.6V battery which does take up to 24 hours to fully charge – that’s the downside. But on a full charge consumers report it running up to 30 minutes. You won’t find a longer-lasting battery in the hand held vacuum market. Also the battery charger is ENERGY STAR rated.
The Dirt Devil Gator BD10165 offers exceptional suction power, but it is extremely lightweight at around 3 pounds. You’ll barely notice you’re lifting it. Its unique dirt cup mechanism is engineered in a single piece, rather than two pieces like in most handheld vacuums. Just flip open the cup and empty it in one smooth motion. Then latch it closed and keep on cleaning without breaking stride.
The Dirt Devil Gator BD10165 offers all sorts of attachments for improved flexibility and ease of operation. You’ll be ready to tackle most mess with the power brush roll attachment and a clever telescoping crevice tool. The crevice tool by the way is on-board – you don’t have to worry about storing or losing it. It’s always at your fingertips.
The Dirt Devil Gator BD10165 doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it will deliver precisely the functionality and power that you look for in a handheld vacuum. It’s a quality vacuum that won’t bust your budget.
Eureka Easy Clean 71B Corded Handheld Vacuum
The Eureka Easy Clean 71B Corded Handheld Vacuum is a well-engineered vacuum with a lot of flexible and convenient features. You’ll love the price on this versatile and practical machine.
The Eureka EasyClean 71B Corded Handheld vacuum is powered by 5.5 amps and has two motors, one controlling the suction and one powering the revolving brush. The airflow suction is strong enough to remove even stubborn and deep-seated dirt. Consumers report this vacuum can clean any kind of surface, carpet or hardwood or anything in between.
A hose stretches to extend your reach whether you’re cleaning your upholstery, your stairs, or even your car. A plastic canister and washable filter make cleanup of the vacuum super easy. One thing to note is that fine particles can clog the filter before the dirt canister looks full. You will need to empty the dirt canister and rinse the filter frequently if you are vacuuming plaster dust, powder, or carpet fresheners or cleaners, or similar fine particles.
A 20-foot cord allows ample slack to clean for quite a long distance from an outlet. The Eureka Easy Clean 71B includes an onboard crevice tool for reaching tight and narrow spots that aren’t accessible to the roller brush. But the most ingenious feature is the Riser Visor nozzle cover.
When the cover is in the default position, the brush is pointed down to clean horizontal surfaces normally. But if you want to clean your stairs, flip the nozzle cover up and the brush will be able to access the horizontal riser on your stairs.
The Eureka Easy Clean 71B Corded Handheld Vacuum is not the lightest vacuum on this list. But you’ll find that it offers plenty of advantages to make up for any minor flaws.
Dyson DC34 Handheld Vacuum
The Dyson DC34 Handheld is one of the most premium and high-performing vacuums on this we looked at, and it has a price to match. With the Dyson brand behind it, you can trust you are buying a truly exceptional and powerful handheld vacuum.
The Dyson DC34 Handheld is engineered with the Dyson digital motor, which spins three times faster than conventional motors. It eliminates carbon dust emissions because it doesn’t rely on carbon brushes. The 22.2V lithium ion battery is praised for its long-lasting charge and its relatively short recharge time.
The Dyson DC34 Handheld has a dual power mode so that you can choose between a lower or higher suction, depending on the nature of what you are cleaning.
Dyson’s best-in-class Root Cyclone technology spins the air at very high speed, generating centrifugal force to spin dust, dirt, and pet hair out of the air and straight into the dirt collecting cup. The collection cup is easily emptied with the push of a button. The Dyson DC34 Handheld includes a crevice tool to easily clean out-of-the-way areas. It also comes with a combination brush/wide debris nozzle.
The Dyson DC34 Handheld is a premium vacuum suitable for even professional cleaning. It comes with a 2-year warranty and you know you can trust in the Dyson brand.
Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum, 47R51
The Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum is an economical, lightweight canister vacuum. This is the best choice for someone not looking for a lot of bells and whistles.
The Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum is very lightweight and maneuverable. Carry it wherever you need to clean, whether it’s upstairs, downstairs, upholstery, drapes, or spot cleaning. What sets Bissell apart is their attention to details. Bissell knows that a superior performing vacuum has both airflow/suction and brush action. Where some manufacturers only focus on one or the other, Bissell provides both to deliver an exceptional clean. The vacuum is engineered with a powerful 4 amp motor, and an 18 foot power cord provides a wide range of motion. Like all of Bissell’s CleanView products, you can see how much dirt is collecting in the dirt cup so you know when it is time to empty it. Emptying the cup and washing the filter are both easy and intuitive cleanup tasks.
The Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum comes with a wide mouth tool for picking up larger debris; a crevice tool to get into hard-to-reach areas; and a hose to extend your cleaning reach.
Overall the Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum is reliable and effective enough to use every day. Consumers love its affordability and excellent operation.