For small messes that require a quick clean-up or places that your regular vacuum can’t reach, a handheld vacuum is just the thing. A robotic vacuum cleaner might seem like a good choice, but it will not reach those tight spaces. A cordless handheld vacuum, on the other hand, is a great solution for spot and fast cleaning. You can get your mess all cleaned up much faster than you can get your full-size vacuum out of the closet, uncoil the hose, and plug the cord.
Of course, not all handheld vacuums are made the same. Some come with a variety of attachments while some are specifically designed to clean particular dirt like pet hair. To help you find the best hand vac that suits your needs, we’ve come up with a list of best ones in the market. Check out the best handheld vacuum cleaners below.
Top 9 Handheld Vacuum Cleaners Of 2020 Reviewed
1. BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand VacuumBest Handheld Vacuum For Cars
The Black + Decker CHV1410L is on top of our list because it’s compact, light, easy to use, and incredibly convenient. This handheld vacuum uses a Lithium Ion battery that will hold its charge for up to 18 months. Charge time is 4-6 hours using its charging base and the runtime is, on average, 15-20 minutes. We love the fact that the waste container/dirt bowl is clear, easy to empty, and washable.
The highlight for us though is the fact that the nozzle, which already rotates 180 degrees, comes with a flip-up brush for pet hair and an extendable crevice tool. No need to find those attachments when you need them because they’re already built into the nozzle! What we don’t like is how the vacuum charges – it sits on a charging base and there is no “lock” to ensure it stays attached if you accidentally knock it over. Also, if you want to mount it on a wall, you’ll have to DIY it. You might also want to take note that this is a noisy little thing; loud enough to wake up your kids should you decide to do some spot cleaning in the middle of the night.
- Easy to use and clean
- Good suction power
- Built-in crevice tool and brush
- Doesn’t lock into the charger; easy to tip over
- Doesn’t come with a wall mount
- Very loud
2. Eureka EasyClean Handheld Vacuum CleanerBest Handheld Vacuum For Stairs
The Eureka EasyClean Deluxe Handheld Vacuum is a corded vacuum that has enough suction power to effectively clean a variety of spots inside your home. One of the best features of this vacuum is the very long cord – 20 feet – to allow you to easily reach various points of your home and your vehicle. Because it gets power directly from the wall outlet, it has a much more powerful suction than corded models.
And it features different technologies that you can use for your home. For example, it uses a Riser Visor system that makes vacuuming vertical upholstery and carpeted stairs easy. The roller picks up a lot of hair that some vacuums don’t seem to be able to. You can use this vacuum to clean countertops, various floor types, and parts of your car. For those hard-to-reach places, this vacuum also comes with a crevice tool and a stretch hose. And you also get an additional dusting brush attachment.
However, it weighs over 5 pounds so it will feel heavy after a while, especially if you’re doing stairs. Also, it doesn’t have washable filters which means you’ll need to replace it over time. That or buy a washable filter that is available for $20 (4 pieces in a set). Either way, you’ll need to spend more money. The hose is also a bit on the short side, especially if you want to reach high places.
- Extra long cord
- The unique Riser Visor system
- Strong suction
- Heavy (more than 5 pounds)
- The filter isn’t washable
- Short Hose
3. BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FLFH MAX Lithium Flex VacuumBest Handheld Vacuum With Brush
If you check any vacuum reviews, you’ll notice that the Black + Decker BDH2020FLFH is often the top favorite of may experts. And they’ve got a good reason. This is a cordless, ultra-compact handheld vacuum that features a 4-foot flexible extension hose and a pet brush to help you get all that hair out of your upholstery and carpets. The dirt bowl has a 17 oz. capacity and is easy to clean. The vacuum is powered by a 20-volt Lithium Ion battery that has a charging time of 4 hours and the runtime is a full 20 minutes without the suction power tapering off.
Aside from the extendable hose and the pet brush attachment, you also get the new stick vac attachment with pivoting floor head which allows you to clean high and low. And you needn’t worry about any dust escaping from the exhaust back into your home because this vacuum uses the 3-Stage filtration system. However, this vacuum tends to be on the very expensive side, especially if you get all the attachments. It’s twice the value of our number one pick and not everyone has the budget for it. Also, it can be very loud. And when using the stick vac attachment, we’ve noticed that the suction power seems to become weaker.
- Very compact and light
- Long runtime
- Powerful suction
- Very expensive
- Very loud
- Weaker suction when using the stick vac attachment
4. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld VacuumBest Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair
Pet lovers could definitely need help with cleaning up the messes made by their babies. Whether it’s pet hair, kitty litter, or pet food, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Hand Vac can eliminate your pet’s messes quickly and easily. It features an easy-to-hold handle with an on/off switch at the end which you can easily reach with your fingertip. The cord-wrap system makes storage a breeze. It uses a multi-layer filtration system to ensure that no dirt escapes back out and keeps your air clear of allergens.
And the 16-foot power cord gives you a lot of maneuverability. What else is there to love? Well, the 0.78 L clear dirt cup means you can easily see when it’s time to empty it out. Then there are the two different nozzles – the Flexible Contour Nozzle & Hard Nozzle – which allow you to clean various types of surfaces. One major drawback to using this vacuum is the location of the exhaust vent which is facing the side. So, while you’re cleaning stuff up on the floor such as dirt, some of the dirt is getting blown sideways before you can pick it up which can be a pain.
You can easily divert the vent by using a paper bag or some other material but it’s still a minus for us. Basically, this is specifically designed to remove pet hair from upholstery and similar surfaces. Not for dust bunnies and the like. Also, aside from the two nozzles, there are no attachments such as an extended handle or a wall mount. But for the price, it definitely works wonders in a house full of pet hair.
- Excellent at cleaning hair off upholstery and carpets
- Long power cord
- Multi-layer filtration system
- Exhaust vents facing sideways
- Hard to use when cleaning dust bunnies and the like
- No other attachments like a wall mount or extended handle/hose
5. Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Handheld VacuumBest Inexpensive Handheld Vacuum
The Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum is a lightweight, compact tool that’s perfect for quickie cleanups in your workshop, car, or home. It features a 7-amp motor that provides it with enough suction power to pick up sand, pebbles and other tough messes.
The Dirt Devil Scorpion also comes with several accessories such as the Quick Flip crevice tool, dusting brush, sliding brush, and upholstery tool. The 16-foot power cord gives you a lot of maneuverability without unplugging. And the 4-pound weight means you won’t be feeling fatigue after a bout of cleaning. With this Dirt Devil model, you definitely get a lot of bang with your buck. However, it is very loud and you can’t see the waste container so you won’t know when to empty it out. Also, the filters aren’t washable and will cost you a little under $10 for 2 pieces.
- Powerful motor
- Comes with various accessories
- Low price
- Very loud
- Can’t see the dustbin to know if it’s full
- Filters aren’t washable
6. Dyson V6 TriggerBest Handheld Vacuum For Carpet
The Dyson V6 Trigger is definitely on the high-end side of cordless handheld vacuums. The price alone guarantees that. But there’s a lot more to it than just that. This handheld vacuum has 3x the power of any other handheld because it is powered by the Dyson digital motor V6 and features 2 tier radial cyclones. What this means is that there are 15 cyclones, arranged in two tiers, that will work parallel to each other to increase the amount of airflow and suck more dust into the vacuum. Another thing that makes this hand vac stand out is its ergonomic design.
It features a handheld trigger which, when pressed, provides you up to 20 minutes of powerful suction. If released, the vacuum shuts down instantly, conserving battery for use only when you need it. And if you need it to provide even more power, just push the Max Power Mode button to get 6 minutes of higher suction for that stubborn pet hair that just won’t let go. The Dyson V6 also comes with a crevice tool for in between gaps cleaning. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, there are drawbacks. First is the price since it does cost quite a lot – 3x what you would pay for our top pick, actually. Second, emptying out in the canister isn’t as easy as they promised.
Pressing the release button isn’t easy because the button is a bit stiff. And sometimes, pet hair or a build-up of debris gets stuck inside so you’ll either need to scrape it off using a pen or screwdriver or take off the entire canister which can cause a mess. Third, this model does not come with accessories. If you want a stiff-bristle brush, a soft dusting brush, and a mini motorized brush roll included in your purchase, you can get the upgraded model, the V6 Car + Boat.
- Vrful suction
- Long runtime
- Ergonomic design
- Very expensive
- Emptying the canister is not always easy and can get messy
- No accessories included
7. Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld VacuumBest Handheld Vacuum Hepa Filter
The Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Hand Vac is similar in design to the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. It also has a curved carrying handle with the power switch located at the end, easily turned on and off with just your fingertips. The dust cup is clear, easy to empty and features a multi-level filtration system with a HEPA Media filter. Unlike the Pet Hair Eraser, this comes with several accessories – the rubber contour nozzle, hose-adapter nozzle, a 2-foot hose, a wide mouth tool, and a crevice tool.
It also has an 18-foot power cord which has a cord wrap system so storing this vacuum away is even easier. The cleaning power of the Cleanview Deluxe is powerful enough to deal with your everyday messes and the price is reasonable to boot. However, we do wish that the attachments came with its own storage so you can keep them all in one container. Also, like the Pet Hair Eraser, the exhaust vents are angled at the sides which can blow away the dust and dirt you’re trying to pick up. Another thing we noted was the difficulty of putting back the filter after you empty the dust bin and clean the filter. It isn’t as intuitive as it looks.
- Lots of attachments
- HEPA Media filter
- Good suction power
- Exhaust vents are angled at the sides
- No storage bag for the attachments
- Difficult to put back the filter after cleaning
8. Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac
The Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac is a portable, lightweight hand vac that brings a lot to the table. It weighs less than 4 pounds which means you’re never going to feel tired hauling it around. It has a similar handle design which we loved with the Design V6 (without the trigger though) which makes it easy to hold in your hand; much like a point-and-suck tool.
This vacuum comes with several accessories such as a crevice tool, dusting brush, TruePet Motorized Brush and a stretch hose. It also features the same design for emptying the dustbin as the Dyson V6 which is to press a button to release the bottom door. However, we find the cord to be on the short side – only 15 feet long. And there’s no storage options for the attachments as well as the cord. Plus, the extension hose is also too short so cleaning cobwebs from the ceiling will require you to stand on a ladder.
- Lots of attachments included
- Good suction power
- Nice handle design
- Short cord
- Short extension hose
- No storage options for the attachments and cord
9.Handheld Vacuum, Hikeren Cordless Vacuum CleanerBest Portable Handheld Vacuum
Are you looking for a handheld vacuum cleaner with a battery that lasts long enough for you to finish the work at hand? The Handheld Vacuum, Hikeren Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is designed to provide up to 30 minutes of continuous performance on a full battery. Besides, the 12V lithium battery is able to recharge quickly so that you can keep working. It comes with a 100-watt motor, which is capable of providing cyclonic suction of up to 5000PA. This is strong enough to pick up dust as well as larger particles from your home.
This is the best portable handheld vacuum, given how lightweight it is. You can use it in any part of your home without having to worry about it getting tangled in lengthy cords. It comes with a stainless steel filter, which you can remove when it gets clogged with dirt. Thus, the vacuum cleaner is easy to clean and maintain. It will serve you for a long time without breaking down.
- Performs for 30 minutes on a full charge
- Cordless and portable
- Comes with a durable stainless steel filter
- Doesn’t have a warranty
- Lacks a battery life indicator
- May be unsuitable for big houses
The Choose the Best Handheld Vacuum: the Ultimate Buying Guide
Cleaning is a chore. Just ask anyone. And having to vacuum? One of the worst of all chores. Just dragging out the vacuum and setting it up to clean up your house already takes a lot of effort. So, it’s no wonder that sometimes it’s the little messes that get to us – the Cheerios or chips that somehow made its way to the carpet while you were binging on Netflix, the suddenly inordinate amount of pet hair on your pillow just before you’re going to bed, the glitter that your toddler loved playing with during her impromptu art project.
The whole production of getting that full-size vacuum out and running for such a mess can be such a pita. So why not find a solution that can make that mess disappear in a matter of seconds? With a handheld vacuum, you’d have whipped that mess to shape within the blink of an eye!
Well, that’s an exaggeration but you know what we mean. But since not all handheld vacuums are made equal, you’ll need to take the time to shop around. To help you delve into the world of handheld vacuums, we’ve constructed a guide detailing the must-have features you need to be on the lookout for.
Do I Need a Handheld Vacuum?
Handheld vacuums will not replace your full-size vacuum unless you live in a small apartment or condo. Your full-size vacuum will be able to do a deep cleaning of your house; your handheld will be more for touch-up cleaning (like spot cleaning) that doesn’t require you to whip out the big guns. These babies are also perfect for cleaning tight spaces that your bigger vacuum can’t reach.
Handheld vacuums are also suitable for on-the-go cleanings such as your car or RV. These vacuums are typically lightweight, portable, and easy to store. They can be used to clean dry spills, dusty blinds, pet hair, etc.
Do I go Corded or Cordless?
Handheld vacuums can be corded or cordless and the choice of which to use is entirely up to you. Both offer distinct advantages as well as disadvantages that you’ll have to consider based on your needs, storage, and cleaning preferences.
Things to consider about a corded vacuum:
- Has strong suction because they get power directly from the wall outlet
- Typically more powerful than cordless models
- Has an endless runtime
- limited portability (you’ll need enough outlets around your home to support it or look for a longer power cord)
One of our top picks, the Eureka EasyClean Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, has the longest cord we’ve found at 20 feet which increases the portability of the vacuum.
Things to consider about a cordless vacuum:
- battery-powered; limited run time (5-30 minutes only)
- very portable and maneuverable
- great for vehicles and vessels (i.e. boats)
- some high-end models have higher volt specs which mean better cleaning power and longer run time.
- some models like the Dyson V6 Trigger may have a fast-charging feature (2-4 hours) while some require charging for a full 24 hours.
Do I go Bagged or Bagless?
Most handheld vacuums like the BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum are bagless; they typically feature a waste container that you empty out once full. Bagless vacuums are more convenient and eco-friendly. The containers or dirt cups are reusable and use a filter to clean the dust from the vacuum. You will need to replace the filters every few months unless your model uses washable filters.
Bagged vacuums can typically hold more dirt/dust and lessen your contact with allergens. However, you will need to frequently replace the bag once filled which adds to the cost of ownership.
Do I go for a Dry or Wet/dry Vacuum?
A dry vacuum is great for cleaning up dry messes such as cookie crumbs, chips, pet hair, and dust bunnies. They tend to have more suction power than wet/dry vacuums, cost less, and are less noisy in comparison.
A wet/dry vacuum, on the other hand, is more versatile since it can clean up dry and wet messes (think spilled Cheerios and milk on the kitchen floor). However, these can be pricey and not have as much cleaning power as a dry vacuum. Also, you may be required to empty out the waste container right away after each clean to prevent maintenance issues.
What are the Other Factors That I Need to Consider?
You may not think that 5 pounds is heavy but continuously carrying it around to clean different spots around your home can make it seem so. Generally, you’ll want a handheld vacuum that is only 3-4 pounds like the Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac to prevent fatigue. However, some cordless vacuums will feature a heavy battery pack to ensure maximum power and performance which translates to extra weight, leading to hand and arm fatigue. The key is to find a model that you feel is light enough to prevent fatigue but not too light that it isn’t able to provide you the performance and power that you need.
You’ll want your hand vacuum to have filtration because this is what prevents all the dirt and dust it sucked in to go back into the air once you’re done. Portable vacuums may feature three-stage filtration. Some like the Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum may even have HEPA filters (able to remove 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns in size).
Another part of filtration that you need to look at is the type of filter used. Reusable filters like what you find in the Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Handheld Vacuum will need replacement every few months as these get filled with dirt, hair, and dust over time. This can cost as much as $10 each which adds up. Washable filters will last much longer and won’t cost you more money than you intended to part with.
Your basic vacuum will have a one-directional nozzle which is fine for spot cleaning. However, you may want to consider attachments that will help you clean specific types of dirt such as a motorized brush for digging up pet hair from upholstery and carpets.
Other accessories you might also be interested in include dusting brushes, extendable hose, and crevice tools for those hard-to-reach places. Obviously, the more accessories included, the higher the price tag with the exception of the Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Handheld Vacuum. But for ease of cleaning, it just might be worth it for you.
You’ll want a storage tank or waste container that has enough capacity that you won’t need to empty it constantly. The bigger the container, the less time spent throwing that dust away. However, you’ll also need to consider ease of use – how easy is it to take out that tank and put it back in? Some vacuums are designed for small apartments, while others will have a large capacity container but emptying it out requires an Act of Congress.
An exaggeration again, yes. But you get our point. You’ll need to make sure that you get enough capacity without sacrificing the simplicity of use. We recommend a clear waste container so you’ll know at a glance if you need to empty it out or not.
How Much Should I Spend?
Your budget depends on you. A basic, corded handheld vacuum can cost around $25 to $35. It may not include a lot of accessories (if at all) but it will have enough power to clean up the occasional dry messes. If you want a wet/dry handheld vacuum, be prepared to pay around $50 or more.
Well-established brands like Black & Decker and Dyson will cost you even more – at least $60 – but they often have the technology, power, and accessories to make cleaning a breeze. Some like the Dyson V6 Trigger will cost you at least $150 and that’s with no accessories included. While all the bling of the high-end models can be fascinating, don’t forget the most important lesson of purchasing an appliance – buy only what you actually need and can afford.