A handheld vacuum isn’t a replacement for a traditional vacuum, but it can be handy to have around the house for quick clean up when you have a small spill or a dusty corner. Handheld vacuums are often lightweight, can be taken anywhere and easily fit into the tightest spots.
However, if you’ve never purchased a handheld vacuum before, you may be wondering what to look for in a handheld vacuum. After all, not all models are the same, and there are plenty to choose from.
What to Look for in a Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Wondering what to look for in a handheld vacuum? When shopping, whether online or at your favorite superstore, there are several features to look for in a handheld vacuum, including:
- Corded or cordless
- Battery power and battery life
- Dirt capacity
- Cleaning power
- Special attachments
- Suitability for pets (if you have one)
Take a look at some of the best handheld vacuums on the market today, below, and consider which might be the best handheld vacuum for you!
Best Handheld Vacuum for Overall Battery Life: Black+Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless
Sure, you’re not going to need to use your handheld vacuum every day, most likely, but when you do need it, whether it’s to suck up some spilled glitter from an impromptu craft project or to remove those pesky corner cobwebs before your mother-in-law’s next visit, you want it to be ready to go.
The Black+Decker CHV1410L Lithium Cordless Vacuum from Amazon is a great option for infrequent users because it holds its lithium-ion battery life for 18 months of non-use. So, you can use it once around Christmastime, throw it in the hall closet, get it out the next holiday season and you’re ready to go, no extra charging required with this hand vacuum.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Owners: Black+Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean
A bit on the larger side, it has a big dirt receptacle for holding all that pet hair you might want to pick up from carpeted crevices, couches, pillows or other fabric surfaces in your home. There are two power levels, but do note that if you push this baby to the max, you’ll run out of battery quick — in less than half an hour.
You’ll pay for the power this handheld vacuum cleaner offers — more than $100 — and that power means the vacuum is loud, but if you need a handheld vacuum that can stand up to even the furriest of pets, this is the way to go.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Tough Messes: Milwaukee 0882-20 M18 Lithium-Ion Cordless Hand Held Vacuum
There’s a reason this Milwaukee 0882-20 Vacuum looks like a power tool — it has the power of one. Yes, it’s not that pretty, but it will handle just about anything that you throw at it. It can suck up both wet and dry messes, compacting them into its large debris receptacle with speed.
The vacuum comes with several different accessories, including extensions, a floor head, an extendable hose and a crevice tool.
Just be warned — this isn’t a handheld vacuum your kid will be able to use. The vacuum’s overall power and size means it’s heavier than most, but it has a super easy to use canister for dumping for a seamless cleanup.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Shoppers on a Budget: Ryobi P7131 One+ Cordless Dry Debris Hand Vacuum
If you want as much power as you can possibly get for your budget, go with the Ryobi P7131 18V Lithium-Ion Battery Powered Cordless Vacuum from Amazon. For just $30, you can have a heavy-duty handheld vac that’s just as versatile as it is inexpensive.
It’s a bit clunkier and a little less aesthetically appealing than some of the other options from Black+Decker and Dirt Devil, but it’s much cheaper. Plus, thanks to its versatility, you can vacuum just about anywhere you need, from the garage to the pantry.
The battery and charger are purchased separately, but if you already own a Ryobi drill or impact wrench, they use the same charger.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Versatility: BISSELL Lightweight Cordless Hand Vacuum and Car Vacuum
If you want a handheld vacuum with a range of accessories that all make various cleaning tasks a little easier, then go with this Bissell lightweight cordless hand and car vacuum.
The light cordless vacuum cleaner is fewer than four pounds and comes with five different accessories. One helps with carpet and upholstery; another with tight, dusty surfaces, like blinds, and another with particularly tight spots.
Two additional accessories extend the vacuum’s reach, so you can clean without too much stretching or bending.
This is a great cordless handheld vacuum for getting into tight spaces with the stick vacuum attachment and cleaning upholstery or other carpets that might need a little extra vacuuming attention.
Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn’t have much to offer in terms of battery power. It takes five hours to reach a full charge and then begins losing suction power in as little as 15 minutes. With a quick run time, this cordless vacuum is best for quick cleanups.
Best Handheld Vacuum to Keep in the Car: Hotor Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner
It’s nice to keep a handheld vacuum in the car for easy cleaning on the go (and this is especially the case if you have a toddler in the family). Clean up crushed graham crackers and other spills with this Hotor Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner from Amazon.
At under $40, the corded vacuum plugs right into your car’s 12-volt outlet. The cord is plenty long, so you can get into all the nooks and crannies of even the biggest SUV car seats.
The vacuum comes with a built-in light, for help cleaning under seats, a washable filter, hose, brush and other accessories, all which pack away into a carrying bag for easy storage in your vehicle’s trunk.
Best Lightweight Handheld Vacuum: Shark Wandvac Handheld Vacuum
What if you want something that’s lightweight, small and easy for anyone to use, whether that’s your toddler or your 80-year-old grandma? You’ll want to go with the Shark Wandvac from Amazon.
For about $100, you can enjoy a stylish, small, wand-like vacuum that can clean up any space, whether it’s your couch cushions or a spill on your desk — and it weighs just over a pound.
The Wandvac even comes with its own home: a charging dock that won’t be an eyesore sitting out in the living room or kitchen countertop.
Finding the Best Handheld Vacuum for You
Finding the best handheld vacuum for you will all come down to what features you’re looking for, your lifestyle, your cleaning needs and your budget.
Are you looking for the best handheld vacuum for your car? Or maybe you need something with super powerful suction to get all of your dog hair cleaned up? Maybe you are looking for a handheld vacuum that is bagless and has a long battery life. From cordless models to corded models handheld vacuums are great to get in all the nooks and crannies!
The good news is, while there are tons of options out there, there’s sure to be one to check all the right boxes for you and your family.
You might also be interested in: The 7 Best Vacuum Cleaners for Apartments
The Best Handheld Vacuums:
- Best Handheld Vacuum for Overall Battery Life: Black+Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless
- Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Owners: Black+Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean
- Best Handheld Vacuum for Tough Messes: Milwaukee 0882-20 M18 Lithium-Ion Cordless Hand Held Vacuum
- Best Handheld Vacuum for Shoppers on a Budget: Ryobi P7131 One+ Cordless Dry Debris Hand Vacuum
- Best Handheld Vacuum for Versatility: BISSELL Lightweight Cordless Hand Vacuum and Car Vacuum
- Best Handheld Vacuum to Keep in the Car: Hotor Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Lightweight Handheld Vacuum: Shark Wandvac Handheld Vacuum