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The Best Handheld Vacuums

Den Rozhnovsky/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated February 2023

Lugging out your full-sized vacuum cleaner whenever you need to clean up a small mess can be exhausting, especially for stairs. Choose one of our cordless handheld vacuums that lets you easily bring the cleaning power of a vacuum anywhere.

Scroll Table to Left
  Best Overall Best for Pet Hair Best for Travel Best Corded Option Best for Cars
Dustbuster AdvancedClean Handheld Vacuum
Pet Hair Eraser
HomeVac H11 Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Dirt Devil
Cordless Handheld Car Vacuum
Our SummaryThe well-known and upgraded vacuum delivers the best attachments and effective cyclonic air suction system.This vacuum has three tools designed to help you get pet hair out of every nook and cranny.A 1.5-pound, wine bottle- size cordless handheld vacuum cleaner to toss in a suitcase for the inevitable imperfectly cleaned hotel room.This dirt-sucking devil of a vacuum cleaner comes with a 16-foot-long power cord for unlimited operation.This hard-core suction powered vacuum features LED lights for spotting dirt in the crevices of the car's interior.
Pros✓ Cyclonic air suction
✓ 180-degree rotating nozzle
✓ Pull-out crevices tool
✓ Flip-up brush
✓ Long run time for quick cleanups
✓ Motorized brush
✓ Upholstery tool
✓ Crevice tool
✓ 0.7-liter dust bin
✓ Slim
✓ Lightweight
✓ Easy to store
✓ 2-in-1 crevice tool
✓ Strong motor
✓ Lightweight
✓ 16-foot long power cord
✓ 0.45-liter dirt cup
✓ 2.5-foot detachable hose
✓ Two suction modes
✓ Highest max 9000k Pa
✓ Two LED lights to illuminate dust
✓ 450-milliliter dust bucket
✓ Long-lasting charge
Cons✗ Full charge lasts only 20 to 30 minutes
✗ Requires bending and reaching to use
✗ Battery holds charge only 17 minutes
✗ Not great for reaching tight places
✗ 2.5 to 3.5 hours to charge
✗ Keeps charge for only 13 minutes
✗ Harder to store with cord
✗ Heavier than other products
✗ Poor internal design
✗ Wall between filter and motor too narrow
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How Did We Research?

23 Models Evaluated

9 Hours Researched

53 Reviews Analyzed

The Best Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuum used on a couch.
Den Rozhnovsky/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Handheld Vacuums

Person using handheld vacuum to clean up dirt on floor.
Olya Detry/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a handheld vacuum?

Handheld vacuums are genius gadgets that make cleaning messes when they happen a cinch. They’re lightweight and compact, making them convenient to grab from the closet or under the kitchen sink. Handheld vacuums with attachments transform into wall cleaners, couch crumbs suckers, or broad surface area cleaners, as they often come with various attachments. They’re handy, inexpensive household cleaning tools that simplify spot cleaning.

What should you look for in a handheld vacuum?

  • Design: By nature, handheld vacuums are lightweight, compact, and more portable than upright vacuum cleaners. Still, these features vary depending on the vacuum’s design. Some can have a long, slim build that can be packed in a suitcase or large tote bag for travel. Suction power should be taken into consideration too. Others have relatively low suction power, but a wider suction surface, making them better for sucking up pet hair. Typically, though, the greater the power, the better-performing vacuum.
  • Dust Container: Ideally, a handheld vacuum will have a large capacity, easy-to-empty dust container. The largest ones can hold up to 450 milliliters and empty with the press of a button. And yet, what’s best depends on what features interest you most. The lightest, most compact model has excellent suction power but a small dust container. Its selling point is its powerful ability to spot clean with speed.
  • Attachments: Don’t bother with handheld vacuums with no crevice attachments. One of the reasons to buy a handheld model in the first place is to reach the depths between couch cushions, a dark place most upright vacuums cannot. Also important is a brush attachment for upholstery or carpet surfaces—any soft surface that gathers hair and dust.

What should you know about cordless vs. corded handheld vacuums?

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Any battery-operated device provides greater freedom of transport, weighs less, and uses less energy if it accepts rechargeable batteries. Some handheld vacuum models feature long-run time batteries, and others, less. Even the highest-quality cordless models require two or more hours to recharge, which can be annoying. Corded handheld vacuums run forever as long as your electricity holds out. Their limitations are weight and a bulky cord.

Our Picks for the Best Handheld Vacuums

Best Overall

BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster AdvancedClean Handheld Vacuum

This well-known and upgraded vacuum delivers the best attachments and effective cyclonic air suction system.

Pros: This lightweight and versatile vacuum makes a splash as a competitor for its multiple attachments and cyclonic air suction cleaning system. Its attachments include a 180-degree rotating nozzle for reaching tight spaces at different angles and a pull-out crevices tool for cleaning areas you don’t use weekly, like high shelves and couch crevices. Use the flip-up brush for dusting any surface. The Dustbuster’s cyclonic air suction system spins dust and dirt away from the washable filter. Recharge the 16V max lithium battery by setting it on the included charging base.

Cons: Even when fully charged, the battery doesn’t last very long, maybe 20 to 30 minutes max. Also, it requires more physical effort as you’ll have to bend down to clean the floor, then reach up to dust shelves, for example.

Bottom Line: BLACK+DECKER is a reliable brand, and its famous Dustbuster is a household name. If you haven’t yet experienced the handheld vacuum’s genius, we encourage you to try it.


Best for Pet Hair

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser

This vacuum has three tools designed to help you get pet hair out of every nook and cranny.

Pros: If you have pets, keeping the house and furniture hair-free is a constant struggle, but the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser can help you manage it. The vacuum can run for up to 17 minutes which should be more than enough for small jobs like cleaning furniture or animal beds. The vacuum has a motorized brush, an upholstery, and a crevice tool designed to clean pet hair. The dust bin has a capacity of 0.7 liters and is easy to remove and clean.

Cons: According to some, the battery doesn’t charge for long. Feedback on its efficiency at reaching tight places is mixed; many reports that the size and shape of the attachment as the main obstacles.

Bottom Line: The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser makes easier what is a stressful task—removing pet hair. It’s also an affordable handheld vacuum cleaner, outshining other brands in its price range with its success at removing all tough messes and quiet operation.


Best for Travel

eufy HomeVac H11 Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

A 1.5-pound, wine bottle-size cordless handheld vacuum cleaner to toss in a suitcase for the inevitable imperfectly cleaned hotel room.

Pros: It probably shouldn’t be our first comment about the eufy, but we have to say, it’s kind of cute. Here’s a comparison: It’s like the bullet blender of standard full-size blenders—slim, lightweight, and easy to store. And the eufy performs excellently, too, with 5500Pa of power and a 2-in-1 crevice tool to reach the areas you don’t see, like deep in between sofa chair cushions and those you see every day, like your computer keyboard.

Cons: It takes 2.5 to 3.5 hours to charge for only 13 minutes of operation.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a straightforward, sleek, high-suction powerful handheld vacuum, this is the one. The eufy has a fan base, not just for its performance, but its three color options and USB charging capability.


Best Corded Option

Dirt Devil Scorpion

This dirt-sucking devil of a vacuum cleaner comes with a 16-foot-long power cord for unlimited operation.

Pros: It may not be cordless, but the Dirt Devil Scorpion is still a fantastic handheld vacuum cleaner with a strong motor and lightweight design. The power cord is 16 feet long, so even though you can’t carry it everywhere in the house without stopping to unplug it, it’s plenty long for cleaning a single room. The dirt cup holds 0.45 liters of debris, and the vacuum comes with a 2.5-foot detachable hose, making cleaning easier.

Cons: The cord makes it harder to store and less attractive. The vacuum also weighs more than other handheld options because of its cord.

Bottom Line: The Dirt Devil Scorpion is a fantastic handheld vacuum cleaner. Even though it uses a cord, it doesn’t prevent you from carrying the vacuum around the house to clean tough spots easily.


Best for Cars

IMINSO Cordless Handheld Car Vacuum

This hard-core suction powered vacuum features LED lights for spotting dirt in the crevices of the car's interior.

Pros: The IMINSO is made to tackle the dark, dirty crevices of your car, SUV, or truck—you get the picture. It handles everything. By far the most powerful suction capability of 9000k Pa, the IMINSO may be the most accommodating too. With a button switch, you can change the suction power to 5000k for dusting and pet hair removal. It features two LED lights to reveal those clumps of dust that would otherwise go unnoticed, which prove especially helpful during car cleaning. Need more convincing? Press a button to empty the 450-milliliter dust bucket when you’re done.

Cons: The vacuum’s design has room for improvement. Some report that the wall between the filter and the motor requires greater security to prevent overheating.

Bottom Line: This handheld vacuum also boasts a superior battery that lasts 30 minutes and storage with the included wall mount. Charge and store simultaneously in the garage for convenience. The IMINSO will be ready to tackle the house in only three hours.

Final Thoughts

Add a handheld vacuum to your household to conveniently remove dirt, dust, and hair from corners of the house and car that don’t see the light of day. They’re great for surfaces, too. We hope you consider one of the products we reviewed for quick clean-up before guests arrive or a more ergonomic vacuuming option. 

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »
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