Best Handheld Vacuums Reviewed & Rated for Quality
There are times when your normal sized vacuum just can’t do the trick. Since they are made bulkier often times they will not fit into smaller spaces. A handheld vacuum is a better-suited choice for just those instances. They are essentially built the same as a normal sized version. You can use them to aid in cleaning your car and they are also perfect for keeping in your home for hard to reach messes. Some people prefer to use them for spills or messes of smaller proportions around the house as well. Choosing one can be more difficult than you might assume them to be.
- Pet Care
- Tank Size
- Dirt Devil
You will notice that there are many options to choose from when looking into this type of product. They will vary greatly in size and power options. Some will come with many attachments while others offer very few. The type that you will need will vary by how often you will use it and the types of messes you want to clean with them. For example, some can handle both wet and dry materials while others only handle dry materials. The size of the dirt container will impact the size of the mess you wish to clean as well.
As you can tell, there are plenty of options for you to sift through before making your final decision. This is where we step in to save you both time and stress. Right here in this buying guide, you will find a list of what we consider to be the best selections out there for consumers. Each product will have some of its potential highlighted for you to aid you in making your selection. We have also included some of the good and bad aspects that other users have left in their reviews. We understand that using the opinions of our peers’ experiences can often help us weed out some of the products.
10 Best Handheld Vacuums
Providing you with two different specialty nozzles to help you with the cleanup efforts after your four-legged friends. A nozzle with a contoured design helps gather the hair from the carpet and furniture. While the hard plastic nozzle is great for cleaning up after those messy eaters.
Easy to Use
There are no complications with this easy to use design. The design makes this a compact and lightweight option. This reduces the discomfort that comes with fatigue from a heavy machine. The on and off switch adds to the simplicity of the design.
Cost and Value
An affordable option to allow you to keep up with cleaning after your pets. The specially designed nozzle offer you an easy way to clean hair form not only the carpet but the furniture as well.
This one has a cord for power.
Comes with two different nozzles.
A great option for getting pet hair cleaned up.
Has a good filtration system for reducing allergens.
This model is only good for cleaning up pet hair.
The power cord for this could be longer.
Made to pick up dirt with little to no effort at all. You can remove the filter, allowing you to suck up liquids as well. Since this is a corded option there is no need to worry about the suction loss while you use this one.
One of the deciding factors for many is the capacity for picking up dirt. No one wants to stop what they are doing to empty a full tank. With this by your side, you will no longer have to do that. Here is a tank that offers you 2.5 gallons of dirt storage.
Cost and Value
You can use this one for all your cleaning needs. With the ability to clean up dirt and liquids all spills will be a breeze. One of the many benefits is the size of the tank for holding the dirt. With 2.5 gallons at the ready, this could be one of your more valuable purchases.
This has a large dirt capacity.
Can be used for both dirt and liquids.
Has plenty of accessories that came with it.
Has a cord as the power source.
Some have stated that they have noticed a drop in power after only a few uses.
There are complaints that the attachments tend to fall off.
3. Dirt Devil
This is an all in one solution to your messes. This allows you to clean in those hard to reach spaces. You can find room for this one in just about any room in your house.
A long time struggle people have had is the struggle with changing the vacuum bags. These things can be such a hassle. With this option, there is only a canister that will need to be emptied.
Cost and Value
Here is a relatively affordable option for cleaning those messes in those hard to reach spaces. A one-piece design makes this easy to carry throughout the house or shop. NO bags involved, simply dump the contents of the canister into the trash.
The design is one solid piece.
There is no bag to change.
Has a crevice tool for cleaning tight spaces.
Has a longer cord than most options.
Customers have noticed dust and debris coming from the vents during use.
Some have noticed that the filter tends to clog rather quickly.
4. Black & Decker
Power by one of the longest lasting batteries, this one is said to retain its power level. The lithium battery is known for its ability to charge quickly and last longer than most for runtime. Providing you with suction abilities that will not waver.
You can reach above or below for all your cleaning needs. Easily clean the blades of your ceiling fan as the hose provides you with adequate length. That length also allows you to avoid crouching to reach those areas toward the floor.
Cost and Value
The cost for this will depend on whether you choose to add the accessories with it. Alone this option will cost less than if you choose to have the accessories. You will notice that the cost of this one is higher than the first few on the list. With that higher cost often comes a more reliable product.
The battery is quick to charge.
The lithium battery provides a longer running time.
The hose length allows you to reach higher than normal.
Filter system traps the dust on the inside.
Customers have had issues with the power switch working properly.
Some users have questioned the durability of this product.
The filters for this can be reused time and time again. As once you remove it, you can wash it in the sink to get it clean again. Just be sure you leave time for it to dry completely or the dirt and debris may clog the filter.
Quick to Charge
The type of battery used is one that allows the system to charge quickly. Cutting down the time you have to wait before cleaning up the mess. Along with that, you get 30 minutes of runtime when the battery is at its full potential.
Cost and Value
This model is a compact version that can go anywhere with you. Quick to charge the battery will last for a full 30 minutes at a complete charge. Added accessories make this the perfect selection for cleaning those hard to reach areas.
The battery is quick charging.
Can run for 30 minutes on a full battery.
Comes with nozzles to aid in cleaning.
Has a battery indicator light.
Some have stated that this has poor suction.
There are customers who have noticed that dust comes out of the vents while using this.
Built with a staggering 400 watts of overall power, this selection can easily suck up large piles of dirt, debris, or even hair. The amount of power used leads to maintaining the suction power along the way.
No Cost Care
Other options will have you sinking money into them in order to keep them running properly. This is a corded option so there is no need to purchase a battery down the road. The filters are washable so that you can use them over and over again.
Cost and Value
You will notice that the cost of this one is slightly higher than the previous selections on the list. With this, you get a huge amount of power to assist you with your cleaning needs. Add to that the no out of pocket expenses for upkeep and you have one valuable asset.
The filters are washable and can be reused.
Built with 400 watts of power for great suction.
This comes with a motorized brush for cleaning pet hair.
The cord has plenty of length for a range of motion.
Some have found this to be awkward when emptying the canister.
Some of the attachments offer more suction than others.
Not only does this one have a revolving brush to lift dirt from the carpet, it has two motors getting the job done for you. One motor to power the brush while the second will provide the suction power. Making this one of the more powerful options thus far.
You can use this on all types of surfaces by simply turning off the rotating brush. Once the brush is off it is safe to use this on hard and delicate surfaces without causing damages.
Cost and Value
Multifunctioning is a top quality benefit to offer. That eliminates the amount of equipment one will need to get the job done. Great for both big and small jobs, you can use this one virtually anywhere.
Great for cleaning staircases.
Has one motor to power the brush and another for suction.
This is a lightweight option.
There is a wrap on the machine for the cord.
There are comments that the hose could be of longer length.
Some customers have had issues with the unit overheating and shutting down.
Being a compact and one-piece design this one is easy to use. The only switch to use is the one for power. Simply plug it in and turn the power switch to the on position. You will be cleaning up messes in no time flat.
With this purchase, you do also receive a few perks. The model comes with a hose for extended reach. As well as several different nozzles to help reach areas that seem impossible to get at. Plus there is the easy to open and empty dust canister.
Cost and Value
This is an option that will not break the bank when it comes to cost. Cleaning those hard to reach areas that tend to collect dust bunnies. All the attachments and the hose will aid you in reaching what seems to be out of reach.
This is a one-piece design for easy transport.
The canister is easy to open and empty.
It comes with a hose and attachments for added reach.
Offers a 15-foot cord for power.
Some have had issues with the hose falling off when connected.
There are statements that the suction power could be better.
This is a system upgrade to a previous version. With the upgrade, you get a longer lasting battery. The previous version held up to the task of having twenty minutes of running time. Newly upgraded this one gives you a full ten minutes longer. To add to the upgrading potential, they now offer more than one attachment with the purchase.
This manufacturer stands behind its work. With the purchase, you will receive a free two-year warranty to protect your investment. That means in the event of a malfunction this manufacturer will have your back to ensure you have a working product.
Cost and Value
This by far is the most expensive model we have come to yet. With that higher cost comes the satisfaction that you are getting a quality product that will last for years to come. In the event that there is a problem, you also get a warranty backed by the manufacturer.
The battery now has a longer running time.
This comes with more than one attachment now.
Has a trigger to conserve power.
The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty at no cost.
When using this on high power some have found the running time to be less than 30 minutes.
There are some who have stated that this is heavier than expected.
When using any product it is best to follow the instructions for care. Doing so will provide you with a top functioning product. As is the case with this model as well. When emptying the dust container, be sure to clean the reusable filter. Once it is fully dry slip it back into place before using the machine again. Keeping up with this schedule will prevent clogging which can impede suction.
On the unit is a light that can help you tell when the battery is ready. It is best to allow the battery to come to a full charge before using the product. With the indicator light, when it flashes the battery is still charging. A solid light will indicate that the machine is ready for use.
Cost and Value
Here is a relatively inexpensive way to clean those hard to reach areas. With a care plan that is simple to follow you can keep your machine running to its full potential for years to come.
There is a light that shows you when the battery is ready.
Caring for this is simple as the filter is washable.
Can run for 25 minutes on a fully charged battery.
Comes with several attachments to aid in cleaning.
Some have complained that the life of the battery lasted for 6 months before no longer taking a charge.
Other users have stated that they wished there was a wall mount for the unit.
The next section of the buying guide brings you to the information we used to create the list of potentially great options. You will see what all the options have to offer in a better-detailed form. We like to include this information in order to give you the opportunity to make a better-informed product decision. The very last section is reserved for some of the questions we have found to be the most common for the products. This is offered to try and clear any questions from the air before you make your purchase.
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Handheld Vacuums
The first step in choosing this type of product is your reason for needing or wanting to use one. Figuring out the actual purpose can help to eliminate some of the options out there. For instance, when looking for a suitable option for car care, cordless seems to be the more popular selection. Do you have pets that shed? Then narrow the field by choosing one intended to be better suited for pet hair removal. A lightweight and more compact model is best for those who plan to travel. No matter what your personal reason for having one, you need to know what your options are.
These will not require charging but will need an outlet in order to perform. Some like this version as there is no need to worry about the charging time or the runtime length. Some steer clear from these as they are not as portable as the battery powered versions. On contrary, to popular belief, the suction power to both options is the same. You may find these to be the less expensive way to go as well as having more durability to offer.
These are powered by rechargeable batteries, allowing them to be the more portable of the two power options. You will want to pick a battery that will charge quickly and run for longer periods of time. With the battery power comes the loss of suction, due to power loss over time as the battery drains. The cost for these is higher than the corded version. Along with that, you will want to find one that has a replaceable battery as well. Some batteries will only take charges for so long. Once the battery has reached its lifetime if you can’t replace it the entire unit will be of no use.
Weight and Size
You want an option that will not cause you with discomfort while performing your cleaning duties. The size and weight of the machine can vary greatly by several different factors. The amount of dirt it can hold is one of them. Choosing one with a larger capacity will add to the weight of the machine. Extra hoses and nozzles can add to the dimensions of the machine. Making it bulkier than it needs to be. When planning to use this on the go, choose one that has a simple but efficient design.
As we have touched on earlier the canister for holding the dirt can impact a couple of different factors. When seeking a more portable option, choose one that has a smaller canister. When seeking an option for home, especially for pet owners, a larger canister could come in handy. This will hold more dirt, leading to less time spent emptying the canister.
Controls for Using
Most of these will offer a simple on and off switch. One of the downfalls that some models carry is having to hold the switch in the on position. This can become tiresome on your hands depending on the position your hand will be in. You probably want one that has a switch that will not need to be held down in order to use the machine.
Hoses and Accessories
Some of these come as a one-piece option with no attachments or hoses. Depending on your plan for the machine this might work for you. Some will need a selection that will offer them more. There are those that have a hose for extended reaching. You might find a car nozzle handy for cleaning out the crevices of your car. Be sure to choose the accessories according to what you will be doing with the machine.
Other Factors to Consider
This refers to the battery operated models. As we are all aware, the strength and charging abilities will affect the amount of time that the product can run. Most of the models will run for a good fifteen minutes before completely draining the battery. With the correct battery, there are some out there that will run for a full thirty minutes. You will need to consider the longest period of time that you will need to use the machine for. You might need a corded version if the runtime doesn’t seem to be long enough to get the job done.
Charging Time and Replaceability
Some batteries take longer than others to reach its full charge point. The normal range for this point is anywhere from eighteen to twenty-four hours. You will have to consider the amount of time between each use to know if the battery powered option will work for you. Some batteries will only last for a certain number of charges and uses. When choosing the battery power, be sure that the battery is indeed replaceable. Nonreplaceable batteries will render the product as useless once the battery has reached its lifetime.
Indicator for the Battery
One last feature for the cordless version is whether the machine has a light or warning for the battery level. It can be a pain when you pick it up to do a job and the battery has little to no life in it. An indicator can let you know where the battery is at when you turn it on and while you are using it.
Wet or Dry
There are a number of options on the market for picking up dry debris. You will also find those that will pick up liquid. There are even a few that can pick up liquid as well as dirt and dust. When looking for one to pick up liquid, be sure it has power behind it. Some find that the suction is lacking for picking up liquids.
Cleaning and Care
Yes, even your cleaning supplies will need to be cleaned. You will want one that allows you to dump the contents of the canister without hassle. Fumbling with a canister can lead to further disasters. Some models will have a canister and filter that can be fully removed. These models allow you to wash those components completely. Overall reducing the amount of dust that you can spread with a dirty machine.
Filters are meant to catch the dust particles within the machine. Some filters can get pretty pricey depending on how often it is required that you change them. Look for the filters that come in multipacks whenever possible it can reduce costs drastically by doing this. Some prefer to go with a more expensive filter that is said to trap those particles that can affect allergies.
Ease of Use
Go with a machine that matches your personality. If you are one that prefers simplicity, choose the easiest version out there to operate. Some like to have all the bells and whistles involved with products. These models typically harbor more technical ways of using some of the functions. One thing is for sure you never want to struggle with emptying the canister. That can make more of a mess for you to clean.
As with any product on the market, there are several ranges of cost for these as well. Be sure to choose one that will fall within your price range. The more features and attachments that come with one of these the higher the cost will be. In most cases, the corded versions are the more cost-effective way to go. Although there is plenty of affordable battery-powered options on the market as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What type of battery will offer the longest lifespan?
A: Choosing the right type of battery for power can be a confusing process all on its own. The nonrecyclable batteries will take longer to charge and often run for shorter periods of time. The lithium version of a battery is said to be the faster charging with the longest running time. Of course, the amount of time that the battery will allow the product to run will depend on the amount of power that the vacuum will draw.
Q: Are there models that are designed for picking up pet hair?
A: Yes, there are certainly models on the market that are offered specifically for pet hair purposes. These models will vary as far as what they have to offer the user. Some will come with a higher voltage for suction. While others will offer rotating brushes to pick up the hair from carpet fibers. There are even special attachments that can be used on your furniture. You should check the product specifications for its full using potential.
Q: Can these pick up liquids efficiently?
A: There are some that will do better than others when it comes to picking up liquid materials. Many have stated to be sure that you have power when it comes to suction. As the liquids seem to require more suction when trying to clean them up. You will want to be sure that the model you have chosen is intended for use with wet material. Using one that is not, can cause damage to your product. Most of the time damage caused by wet materials are not covered by warranties when the product is not for use with liquids.
Q: How long does it take to charge the battery?
A: That will depend on the type of battery that was used by the manufacturer. Some will charge faster than others. It is best to check with the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper length of time that the battery should be charged. However, as a rule of thumb, it is safe to assume that it will take at least 18 to 24 hours to fully charge the battery.
Q: Which is best a corded or cordless model?
A: The true answer to this can be considered an opinion of the user. There are several factors that you will need to consider before making your selection. When seeking a more portable option, cordless would be the way to go. As with a corded model you are limited in your range of motion as the cord can restrict you. Battery powered options have a limited time frame for use until they need to be placed on the charger again. Once the battery starts to run low, you might notice a loss of power. When longevity is what you seek, the corded model will have more to offer.
Q: Will this come with a warranty?
A: That will depend solely on the manufacturer. Most of the time there is at least a limited one year warranty with the products that will cover the motor at the very least. The best advice that can be given is for you to read over what the manufacturer has to offer for warranties and guarantees alike.
- Good House Keeping, Shop Smart: Choosing a Handheld Vacuum
- Cleaning Genious, How to Choose a Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
- The Good Guys, Corded vs Cordless Vacuums
- Wikipedia, Rechargeable Batteries