BEST HANDHELD VACUUMS | SEPTEMBER 2018

Handheld vacuums make a mandatory household chore as convenient as possible. There are hundreds of different models for you to consider, and each one has unique features. Our ReviewLab research and feedback make it easy for you to pick a handheld vacuum that suits your price range and needs. Our extensive research covers factors like motor power, filtration, design and more. For each handheld vacuum we list, you’ll find details about specific features, pros, cons and best uses. We ensure that you get all of the info you need to know before buying. Read more about our methodology.

Best Overall

99

The BLACK+DECKER CHV140L Hand Vacuum combines portability, power, and versatility. It operates on a long-lasting battery and is backed by a strong, reliable motor. The lightweight design makes it ideal for all handheld vacuuming jobs. With so many quality features at an impressive price, it’s easy to see why this is our best overall pick.

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93
RUNNER-UP

The Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum is a lightweight option with a lengthy power cord. The reusable dust cup makes cleanup a breeze and reduces waste. It comes with several hoses and attachments to cover all of your cleaning needs. This is coupled with an impressive price tag, so it’s a shoe-in for our best overall runner-up handheld vacuum.
 

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Best Value

92

If you want an affordable handheld vacuum that’s basic and effective, you’ll love our best value runner-up pick. The Carpet Pro SCT-1 Teeny Tiny Tank Hand Vacuum is an ultra-portable vacuum with a powerful motor, sleek design and easy-to-use toolset. The corded design is long enough to get basic cleaning tasks done with ease.
 

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90
RUNNER-UP

For homeowners who want a frugal, no-fuss handheld vacuum, our best budget handheld vacuum is an excellent choice. The Fuller Mini Maid Handheld Vacuum is small, light and backed by a quality motor. The filter and dust cup are reusable and eco-friendly. The brushes and hoses accessories it’s equipped with add to the product’s value. 
 

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Best by Category

Best Handheld Vacuum For Cars

92

When it comes to keeping your car interior clean, the Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Handheld Vacuum delivers impressive results. This handheld vacuum is light and features a nozzle that’s ideal for cleaning crevices. The long power cord makes it easy to clean using an outdoor outlet or extension cord. 
 

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Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair

93

Cleaning up pet hair can be difficult, but the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum produces great results. This vacuum features two unique nozzles to get hair from deep down within carpets. Pet owners are sure to enjoy our ReviewLab best handheld vacuum for pet hair pick.
 

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Best Handheld Vacuum For Hard Floors

88

The Dyson V6 Vacuum For Hard Floors stands out with its two-in-one design. This operates as a cordless full-sized vacuum as well as a small handheld vacuum. The head of the unit is soft, so it won't scratch your hard floors.
 

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Handheld Vacuums BUYING GUIDE

  • KEY CONSIDERATIONS

    Cordless or Corded Design

    Handheld vacuums are available in both cordless and corded designs. The cordless models are battery-operated and run for a set amount of time. However, they do offer more flexibility with cleaning hard to reach places. If you want a corded model, look for one with a lengthy cord. You’ll get endless operation without worrying about the battery dying. You’ll just be restricted to areas with power outlets.

    Size and Capacity

    The size of a handheld vacuum is typically a matter of personal preference. For example, you’d likely want a small and portable option for cleaning your car. For cleaning hard floors and larger surfaces, bigger models are your best bet. The vacuum's capacity for holding dirt and debris plays into this. Both bagless and bag models need to be emptied when they reach capacity. The capacity you need will depend on what cleaning tasks you’re using the handheld vacuum for.

    Motor Power

    The motors of handheld vacuums are commonly measured in amps or watts. Larger models may feature V6 motors. For heavy duty cleaning jobs, you’ll need a high power motor to get the best results. For cleaning up occasional crumbs and dust, a standard power motor will do the job just fine. We’ve listed the motor power in the description for each ReviewLab pick to help you make the choice that suits you best.

    Nozzles and Attachments

    The nozzle and attachment designs vary with each handheld vacuum. Every design offers unique features, and you’ll need one that is right for you. For example, handheld vacuums with crevice tools are great for car detailing or cleaning corners of rooms. Rubber nozzles and stiff bristle attachments are ideal for deep cleaning carpets. Many handheld vacuums come with more than one nozzle or attachment for added versatility.
     

     

  • PRICE BREAKDOWN

    A compact and budget-friendly handheld vacuum will cost about $20 to $30. Mid-range models with more features will be closer to $35 or $40, and some options cost up to $100. High-end models with deluxe multipurpose features can cost several hundred dollars.
     

FULL product reviews

We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.

1K products
considered
137K RATINGS
ANALYZED
26 research
hours

Best Overall

TOP PICK

BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L Hand Vacuum

For most buyers, the BLACK+DECKER CHV140L Hand Vacuum is the best high-performance option with a user-friendly design. The 2.6-pound vacuum features an impressive 16-volt motor, so you get great results with each use. The long-lasting lithium-ion battery and reusable filter offer great convenience, too. From carpet to tile, this vacuum’s slim rotating nozzle can clean any household surface. This is an excellent pick that provides every must-have feature for easy cleaning.

  • 99overall
  • 99quality
  • 100value
  • 99brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Lithium-ion battery operated. This handheld vacuum operates on a long-lasting lithium-ion battery. This high-quality battery is reliable, allows for strong suction and the power won’t fade during use. 
  • 16V motor maximum. An ultra-powerful 16-volt motor means that this small vacuum packs a big punch. You can get the results of bigger vacuums without the bulky design. 
  • Rotating slim nozzle. The rotating slim nozzle ensures thorough cleaning and picks up dirt and debris of all sizes. It’s also ideal for areas that are difficult to reach. You can pair it with any of the multi-surface cleaning attachments to meet your specific needs. 
  • Lightweight design. This handheld vacuum weighs only 2.6 pounds despite being powerful. You’ll be able to comfortably transport and operate it.
  • User-friendly filter. The reusable filter is a hot topic among buyers. It can be rinsed off after you use it, and reviews say that it gets thoroughly clean. This makes it both user-friendly and economical.

Other Considerations

  • Charging features are considered average. A handful of buyers say the charging features aren’t noteworthy. The charging stand is a bit light, and some mention that the charge time is longer than they’d prefer. 
RUNNER UP

Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum

With a light and compact design, the Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld vacuum is a reputable pick. It’s equipped with an 18-inch power cord, weighs 4.7 pounds and features a 10 x 5 x 8-inch design. This corded handheld vacuum uses a rubber contour nozzle and multi-level filtration system for deep cleaning. For unique cleaning jobs, you can swap out the rubber nozzle and use one of the many accessories it comes with. Power meets portability with this user-friendly pick.

  • 93overall
  • 94quality
  • 96value
  • 83brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Easy-empty dust cup. The transparent plastic dust cup lets you see when it’s getting full. The cup is easy to detach and empty out. When the cup is removed, you also have easy access to replacing the filter. 
  • Compact and light. This handheld corded vacuum measures 10 x 5 x 8 inches and weighs only 4.7 pounds. Combined with the 18-inch power cord, this ergonomic design makes it very user-friendly. 
  • Multi-level filtration. The vacuum uses a HEPA Media multi-level filtration system. This is ideal for reducing pollen, dander and other allergens. 
  • Many convenient accessories. When you purchase this product, you get a rubber contour nozzle, hose-adapter nozzle, 2-foot hose, crevice tool and a wide-mouth tool. These versatile options make it possible to complete many cleaning tasks.
  • Does the job quickly. Many buyers happily note that this handheld vacuum gets the job done fast. This further adds to the convenience and user-friendliness of the product.

Other Considerations

  • Not ideal for some cloth furniture. A handful of users mention that this vacuum doesn’t work well with long fabric fibers. This is worth noting if you have furniture or carpets with long fibers. 
     

Best Value

TOP PICK

Carpet Pro SCT-1 Teeny Tiny Tank Hand Vacuum

The Carpet Pro SCT-1 Teeny Tiny Tank Hand Vacuum takes the cake for being an incredibly portable and budget-friendly option. Despite weighing just 3.6 pounds, this compact handheld vacuum offers great suction with a 600-watt motor. The 15-foot power cord and multiple attachment tools allow you to complete a variety of routine vacuuming tasks. The washable filter is convenient and eco-friendly, and it makes this pick even more affordable.
 

  • 92overall
  • 92quality
  • 98value
  • 88brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Washable filter. This handheld vacuum filter is washable for easy reuse. Simply remove the filter, rinse it, let it dry and put it back in place. 
  • 600-watt motor. Despite a very small design, the Carpet Pro SCT-1 Teeny Tiny Tank Hand Vacuum is backed by a powerful 600-watt motor. It’s ideal for most home vacuuming jobs. 
  • Lightweight and petite. The vacuum measures 12.5 x 7.2 x 5.9 inches and weighs only 3.6 pounds. This makes it incredibly portable, but you’ll get similar results to expensive, bulkier models. 
  • Practical tools. The tools that come with this product include an extension hose, dusting brush, mini dusting brush and crevice tool. These versatile attachments add even more value to the vacuum. 
  • Impressive suction/cleaning. Users frequently mention that this tiny model has very impressive suction power. It effectively cleans up stubborn dust, pet hair and so much more. 

Other Considerations

  • Hose requires careful attachment. A few buyers noted that the hose needs to be attached carefully. As long as you double check to make sure it’s secure, this shouldn’t be a problem.
RUNNER UP

Fuller Brush Mini Maid Handheld Vacuum

The Fuller Brush Mini Maid Handheld Vacuum is sleek and easily portable at 3.5 pounds. With a 600-watt motor and 15-foot power cord, you can clean anywhere with plenty of power. Choose from four different brushes and tools tailored to suit a variety of spaces and tasks. The quick-release dust cup makes cleanup as easy as possible. You save extra money with the handy washable filter, too. This impressively priced handheld vacuum is sure to meet all of your simple cleaning needs.
 

  • 90overall
  • 90quality
  • 97value
  • 84brand

Why We Recommend It

  • User-friendly dust cup and filter. The reusable dust cup features a quick release design to make emptying it a breeze. The reusable filter can easily be washed, too. 
  • Four handy brushes and tools. This miniature vacuum comes with an upholstery brush, dusting brush, crevice tool and flexible hose. These add-ons cover your bases for household cleaning.
  • 15-foot power cord. The 15-foot power cord provides you with enough length to clean most rooms or spaces.
  • Less than four pounds. This handheld vacuum weighs only 3.5 pounds, so you don’t have to deal with a bulky or heavy appliance.
  • Attachments great for detailed cleaning. Many buyers specifically note how convenient the attachments are for detailed vacuuming. For example, some users mention that the crevice tool is great for cleaning around baseboards. 

Other Considerations

  • May need to empty dust cup often. Some buyers said they needed to empty the dust cup often due to the vacuum’s sleek design. Overall, this may not be a problem for small to moderate cleaning jobs.

BEST BY CATEGORY

Best Handheld Vacuum For Cars

why buy?

A handheld vacuum for your car should be convenient, lightweight and powerful. The nozzle design is crucial because it needs to fit into small crevices and contoured areas. Car handheld vacuums can be corded or cordless so long as the corded models offer plenty of length. A bagless design is ideal and allows for quick and easy cleanup. Backed by a good motor, you’ll be able to keep your car’s interior spotless with this type of handheld vacuum.

Top Pick

Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Handheld Vacuum

The Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Handheld Vacuum is a great pick if you like to keep your car’s interior free of dirt and debris. This 3.75-pound model stands out with a built-in quick flip crevice tool designed for small spaces. A 16-foot power cord and 7 amp motor ensure great suction for a noticeably cleaner car. With a bagless design, you just have to clean out the dirt cup when it’s full. This petite handheld vacuum is perfect if you want superb results every time.
 

  • 92overall
  • 93quality
  • 96value
  • 78brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Quick flip crevice tool. The built-in quick flip crevice tool is perfect for cleaning tight spaces in your car. You can easily get crumbs, hair, dirt and more without needing an extra attachment. 
  • Bagless design. The bagless design reduces waste and makes detailing your car more convenient. You simply need to empty the chamber when it’s full, and you can continue vacuuming. 
  • 7 amp motor. This small 3.75-pound vacuum runs on a powerful 7 amp motor. Despite the petite size, you’ll get high-quality results using this vacuum. 
  • Corded design improves functions. Several buyers stated that the corded design really improves the overall function of this car vacuum. There’s no need to worry about dead batteries or reduced power. You’ll always get the same consistent clean outcome.
     

Other Considerations

  • May be noisier than other options. Some reviews mentioned that this vacuum is noisier than other handheld models they’ve used. This may be due to the powerful motor.
     

Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair

why buy?

Handheld vacuums for pet hair are designed specifically for cleaning up hair, dirt, and pet dander. This type of vacuum typically comes with a nozzle designed to get deep down into carpet fibers. A quality filtration system is ideal for high-quality cleaning. Multiple filters are common and tend to yield the best results. A lightweight and portable design are also key because it allows you to quickly clean up hair throughout your home.

Top Pick

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum

Weighing only 5 pounds, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum is a convenient yet powerful appliance. The 4 amp motor and cyclonic cleaning system create strong suction for picking up stubborn pet hair. The rubber nozzle and contour nozzle are specifically designed to get hair out of carpets. With a multi-layer filtration system, this vacuum also picks up dirt and allergens. No matter what type of upholstery it's used on, you can feel confident that the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser will produce satisfying results.
 

  • 93overall
  • 94quality
  • 97value
  • 83brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Specially designed nozzles. This handheld vacuum comes with two nozzles designed to pick up pet hair. The firm rubber nozzle features a gripping pattern to help pick up hair. The contour nozzle allows you to vacuum pet hair around baseboards and other hard to reach places.
  • Multi-layer filtration. The multi-layer filtration design traps small particles to ensure thorough cleaning. This type of filter is also known for capturing allergens like pet dander. 
  • Cyclonic cleaning system. The cyclonic cleaning system uses a swirling suction mechanism. This is great for getting pet hair off of all types of surfaces, and it aids in deep cleaning. 
  • Portable and user-friendly. This handheld vacuum only weighs 5 pounds, so it’s not heavy or bulky. The handle features an easy grip design for comfortable use. 
  • Works for much more than pet hair. Many buyers enjoy this vacuum because it picks up much more than pet hair. They noted that it effectively picks up dry pet food, kitty litter and other pet-related messes. 

Other Considerations

  • May need to empty chamber frequently. Some users noted that they needed to empty the dirt chamber frequently. Powerful suction may result in quick hair buildup.

Best Handheld Vacuum For Hard Floors

why buy?

When you vacuum hard floors, you need a handheld vacuum designed specifically for this purpose. The vacuum’s head and nozzle should be gentle enough not to damage flooring material. At the same time, you want a handheld vacuum that thoroughly removes small and large debris and dust. Hard floor handheld vacuums are backed by strong motors to get the job done. Many models also work for cleaning carpets, so look for that feature if you want a two-in-one deal.

Top Pick

Dyson V6 Vacuum Cleaner for Hard Floors

For versatility and superb quality, homeowners are sure to enjoy the Dyson V6 Vacuum For Hard Floors. The vacuum can be used as a standard cordless vacuum as well as a compact handheld unit. The soft roller cleaning head traps dirt and dust while keeping floors in great condition. For tough cleaning jobs, the max power mode feature offers high suction. The strong digital V6 motor ensures that you get excellent results no matter how you use this vacuum.
 

  • 88overall
  • 93quality
  • 50value
  • 83brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Max power mode. This vacuum features a max power mode that provides high suction for tough jobs. You can use this mode for 6 minutes at a time. 
  • Digital V6 motor. A powerful digital V6 motor keeps the vacuum running strong with consistent suction and results.
  • Soft roller cleaning head. The soft roller cleaning head effectively but gently cleans hard floors. The rolling design picks up dirt without causing scratches. 
  • Two-in-one design. In addition to being a handheld vacuum, this unit can also operate as a standard cordless vacuum. You get two beneficial products for the price of one.
  • Good for more than floors. Many buyers note this vacuum works well on numerous hard surfaces. Some use it to clean fans, countertops and more. 

Other Considerations

  • Battery life averages 20 minutes. According to users, the battery lasts for 20 minutes. Some reported that it lasts for 15 minutes. This should provide ample time for basic cleaning jobs, but it’s worth noting for longer tasks.