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The 5 Best Handheld Vacuums (2021 Review)

Handheld vacuums can be useful for a variety of tasks, including cleaning under the sofa or in the crevices of your car. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best handheld vacuums on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Handheld Vacuum Courtesy Amazon

Handheld vacuums are designed to pick up small messes around your home. Instead of pulling out your full-sized vacuum cleaner to remove a few crumbs, you can use a handheld vacuum to clean the mess within seconds. Keep reading to learn about our recommendations for the best handheld vacuums on Amazon.

Best Filtration: BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum

This handheld vacuum from BISSELL features a triple-level filtration system as opposed to the single- or double-layer filtration systems found in other handheld vacuums on the market. This ensures that all of the debris from your home is collected to keep your air clean. It also has a large dustbin of 0.7 liters, allowing you to pick up several messes before it needs to be emptied.

Key Features

  • Uses a 14-volt battery for power
  • Runs for up to 17 minutes
  • Weighs 4.4 pounds
  • Has a 0.7-liter dustbin
  • Comes with three nozzles
  • Comes with a one-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon from over 18,000 global reviews. Ninety-percent of reviewers gave this cordless handheld vacuum 4 stars or more, while 3% gave this model 2 stars or less.

Many customers praised this handheld vacuum cleaner for being easy to clean and use. Many reviewers noted that it had a sufficient runtime. However, negative reviews criticized this model for not having enough suction to pick up large clumps of pet hair.

Best Battery Life: BLACK+DECKER DustBuster Handheld Vacuum

While other handheld vacuums drain their battery when they’re not in use or not plugged into their charger, this model can hold a charge for up to 18 months. This handheld vacuum cleaner also comes with a dock that can be used for storage and charging.

Key Features

  • Uses a 16-volt battery for power
  • Charges in four hours
  • Weighs 2.6 pounds
  • Has a 20.6-ounce dustbin
  • Comes with two nozzles and one filter
  • Comes with a two-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

This BLACK+DECKER handheld vacuum cleaner has over 53,000 Amazon customer reviews and a 4.5-star average rating. Eighty-nine percent of customers gave it 4 stars or more, while 6% of customers gave it 2 stars or less.

Positive reviews praised this product for its excellent design, especially its rotating nozzle and strong suction. Other reviews noted that it had a long battery life. Dissatisfied customers criticized this handheld vacuum cleaner for not giving them the option to replace its battery after it stopped working.

Most Powerful: BLACK+DECKER DustBuster Handheld Vacuum

This handheld vacuum from BLACK+DECKER includes a 20-volt battery that has enough power to suction large pieces of debris, such as chips. Additionally, its long crevice tool makes cleaning around corners and reaching other tight spaces easier.

Key Features

  • Uses a 20-volt battery for power
  • Weighs 2.6 pounds
  • Has a 750-milliliter dustbin
  • Comes with two nozzles, one prefilter, and one filter
  • Comes with a two-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

This vacuum has a 4.5-star average rating on Amazon from over 9,800 customer reviews. Out of these reviews, 87% gave this model 4 stars or more. In contrast, 6% of them gave it 2 stars or less.

Satisfied customers praised this handheld vacuum cleaner for picking up pet hair, being easy to clean, and being maneuverable. Other reviews noted that the attachments were easy to click into place. Unsatisfied customers said that there wasn’t an easy way to cycle through its modes.

Most Lightweight: VacLife Handheld Vacuum

This handheld vacuum weighs 1.9 pounds and has a compact size, making it easy to carry around your home while you’re cleaning and to store once you’re done. Its LED light also improves your visibility when you’re vacuuming dark corners and crevices.

Key Features

  • Uses a battery for power
  • Runs for up to 30 minutes
  • Charges in three or four hours
  • Weighs 1.9 pounds
  • Comes with three nozzles, one filter brush, and one filter

What Customers Are Saying

This handheld vacuum cleaner has over 16,000 global reviews on Amazon with a 4.3-star average rating. Eighty-one percent of reviews have 4 stars or more, and 11% have 2 stars or less.

Happy customers said that this handheld vacuum cleaner had a solid battery life for long cleaning sessions and a compact size for reaching tight spaces. They also liked the many attachments that came with the vacuum cleaner. Negative reviews pointed out that it doesn’t come with a storage container or bag for the accessories.

Best Car Vacuum: ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner

The cord for this ergonomic handheld vacuum plugs into a cigarette lighter, allowing you to keep your car clean. This cord is 16 feet long, giving you plenty of slack for vacuuming the backseat of your car.

Key Features

  • Uses a 16-foot 12-volt cord for power
  • Weighs 2.4 pounds
  • Comes with three nozzles, one carrying bag, one filter brush, and one filter

What Customers Are Saying

This corded handheld vacuum cleaner has an average rating of 4.1 stars out of 5 stars from over 168,000 global Amazon reviews. Seventy-four percent of customers gave this a 4- or 5-star rating, and 14% of customers gave it 2 stars or less.

Satisfied customers said that this car vacuum was small but mighty. Many also said that it was worth the price, especially considering how many attachments it came with. Negative reviews primarily criticized this car vacuum cleaner for having weak suction.

Buyer’s Guide

Read our guide below to learn how to choose a handheld vacuum that is comfortable to use and can pick up a variety of messes.

Power Source

All handheld vacuums are powered by electricity, but some use a cord, while others use a battery.

  • Corded: Corded models are usually more powerful than their cordless counterparts, having more suction to pick up debris. The one downside to a corded handheld vacuum is that it can only be used near a wall outlet.
  • Cordless: Because cordless vacuums have a battery instead of a cord, you can use them wherever. This makes them especially useful for cleaning vehicles and hard-to-reach spaces in your home. In general, one charge on a cordless vacuum lasts for up to 45 minutes, so you may not be able to get all of your vacuuming done before needing to stop for a recharge.

Cleaning Ability

Cordless vacuums can pick up dry particles or dry particles and liquids.

  • Dry: This type of vacuum picks up dry messes, such as chip crumbs and dirt. Dry vacuums are quieter and more affordable than wet/dry vacuums.
  • Wet/dry: These vacuums are more versatile because they can pick up both wet and dry messes. However, they are more expensive and have less suction than their dry counterparts. You also have to empty the dustbin between every use so that the liquids don’t seep into the rest of the vacuum and cause electrical issues.

Comfort

Comfort refers to both the weight of the vacuum and how that weight is dispersed. You’ll want a vacuum that’s as lightweight as possible, with the weight being evenly distributed from the handle to the nozzle. This will keep your arms and hands from getting tired during use.

Dust Collection

A vacuum with a large dustbin doesn’t have to be emptied as frequently. However, it will be larger and heavier.

Attachments

Most handheld vacuums come with different nozzles for picking up a variety of messes. Some common nozzles include an extension wand that increases how far the vacuum can reach and a brush head that removes hair or embedded dirt from carpets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I store my handheld vacuum?

This depends on whether you have a corded or cordless model. Since cordless models have to be plugged into a charger to recharge in between uses, consider storing yours next to an outlet. If you have a corded model, the best place for it is out of the way in a closet or cabinet.

What types of floors will my handheld vacuum work on?

Handheld vacuums don’t have as much power and suction as standard vacuums, so stick to using them on non-plush carpeting, hardwood, or tile.

How loud are handheld vacuums?

Handheld vacuums are quieter than standard vacuum cleaners, with wet/dry models being slightly louder than dry models.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.