Handheld vacuum cleaners are the perfect cleaning tool for tackling small cleaning jobs around the home. The best handheld vacuums get into small crevices, under furniture, and the hardest-to-reach places.
You can also use portable vacuum cleaners for cleaning cars, difficult pet hair, stairs, and other areas where upright vacuums can’t go.
It would seem that choosing a suitable hand vacuum cleaner should be straightforward. However, there are many types of cordless handheld cleaners on the market. Some come with a variety of attachments for almost any kind of vacuuming task. Others are simple, budget handheld vacuum cleaners for occasional work.
Best Hand Vacuum Cleaners — Overview
Before buying a handheld vacuum, it’s worth considering your needs. For example, a small handheld vacuum with a good filtration system is vital if you’ve got pets at home. But it’s also good to consider size and weight, the dust cup capacity, runtime, and attachments.
This article is a review of the best and affordable handheld vacuum cleaners currently for sale online. This guide will help you make an informed choice on which portable vacuum cleaner to buy.
The 8 Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners
1. BLACK+DECKER Handheld Vacuum Dustbuster
The Black+Decker handheld vacuum cleaner is one of the best models for getting rid of pet dander and cleaning hard-to-reach places. The powerful suction and lightweight, compact design take the hard work out of cleaning. Black+Decker Dustbuster does an excellent job of sucking up debris from hard floors or carpets.
The Black+Decker vacuum comes with a range of tools for all jobs. There is an extra-long crevice attachment, motorized brush cleaning head, and excellent air filters. You can expect the portable vacuum to run between 15 and 30 minutes.
- Powerful suction motor
- Anti-tangle motorized brush attachment
- Washable filter
- Large capacity dust bin
- Excellent for cleaning pet hair
- No HEPA filter—but it’s rare for handheld vacuums to have one
- Not ideal on deep pile carpets
- The attachments have a plasticky feel
2. Shark Handheld Vacuum CH951 UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus
The Shark handheld vacuum cleaner is one of the best choices if you have pets in the home. The UltraCyclone is a bagless model that does a superb job of sucking pet hair, dust, and dirt. With the attachable scrubbing brush, you’ll have no trouble removing ingrained dirt. One of the advantages of the Shark handheld vacuum is its lightweight design and powerful suction.
The Shark UltraCyclone has three essential attachments—a power brush, crevice tool, and an upholstery scrubbing brush. Another helpful feature is the one-touch dust cup emptying to cut down on mess. This model has a runtime of 10 to 15 minutes.
- Excellent for removing fine dust and debris
- Self-cleaning brush roll that doesn’t clog up with pet hair
- Lightweight design—only 2.8 lbs.
- Powerful cyclonic air motor
- Small dust bin
- The battery charge is mediocre
- High price point
3. Dirt Devil Hand Vac Scorpion
The Dirt Devil hand vac is one of the best budget bagless portable vacuums. This best-seller handheld vacuum tackles most small cleaning jobs around the house. The powerful motor provides suction to rival some of the more expensive cleaners. Additionally, the lightweight design and large-capacity dust bin mean that vacuuming won’t break your back.
The corded handheld vacuum comes with a crevice tool and short hose for cleaning dirt, dust, and pet hair. The long 16-foot power cord gives most of the portability you need from a quality handheld vac.
- Low cost
- Only weighs 3 lbs.
- Simple design and easy to use
- No issue with batteries losing power
- The cord length limits its range of use
- No power brush attachment
4. Metro Handheld Vacuum VM6SB500 Professional
The Metro handheld vacuum cleaner is a bagged portable cleaner that effectively traps allergens. Although most handhelds are bagless models, a vacuum with a bag has certain advantages. The powerful suction and steel construction of the Metro vacuum cleaner is ideal for cleaning almost any kind of mess. This vacuum has the most power from any of the handheld vacuums on this review.
The vintage look of the Metro vacuum appeals to many people. This is a corded vacuum, and it comes with various attachments, including a flexible hose, crevice tool, and nozzle brush.
- Sturdy design
- Effectively traps allergens and doesn’t release any dust particles
- Powerful 500-watt motor
- Easily handles carpets, hard floors, and stairs
- Corded vacuum and limited mobility
- High price
5. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum
The Bissell handheld vacuum cleaner is a lightweight model designed to pick up pet hair and fine dust. This portable vacuum is a cordless, bagless model that lifts embedded dust and hair thanks to the motorized brush. The large capacity dirt bin and range of specialized pet tools mean that cleaning has never been easier. The triple-level filtration system helps to improve cleaning performance.
The three attachments with the Bissell handheld vacuum—motorized brush, upholstery tool, and crevice tool—are perfect for removing pet hair and dander. The lightweight design means that cleaning the car, stairs, or soft furnishings is easier.
- A good range of upholstery and pet tools
- Bagless design and easy canister emptying
- Reasonable price
- Ideal if you have pets in the house
- Not designed for heavy-duty cleaning
6. Makita XLC02R1B Cordless Handheld Vacuum Floor Attachment
Makita is a trusted brand, and their handheld vacuum cleaner doesn’t disappoint. This Makita handheld vacuum boasts strong suction, a large capacity dust bin, and an excellent filtration system. The Makita vacuum is one of the few models to include an extended floor nozzle to save you from bending down as much to vacuum floors.
One of the advantages of the Makita handheld vacuum is that it uses standard replaceable Makita rechargeable batteries. If you have other Makita power tools, you can interchange the batteries. With the floor nozzle, the handheld doubles up as a stick vacuum cleaner.
- High-capacity rechargeable batteries with a fast charge time
- Replaceable batteries
- Lightweight and comfortable ergonomic design
- Floor nozzle and crevice tool
- Highly efficient cloth vacuum filter
- Three-year warranty
- High price
- No motorized brush attachment
7. BLACK+DECKER Flex Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
The Black+Decker is one of the most versatile handheld vacuum cleaners currently on sale. This powerful vacuum unit has a long 4-foot extendable hose and long stick attachment. Also, the range of attachments helps to tackle any vacuuming job. There is a pivoting brush head, crevice tool, pet hair brush, and floor tool. The Black+Decker flexible is a multi-functional vacuum for all types of surfaces.
Many people rate the Black+Decker handheld flex vacuum as one of the best on the market. Some people find that this vacuum tackles most of the cleaning jobs in the house.
- Flexible 4-foot hose
- Convenient charging station
- Tool and attachments to reach from floor to ceiling
- Combination nozzle and brush saves space
- Excellent pet hair tool with rubber bristles
- High cost
8. Shark WV201 WANDVAC Lightweight Handheld Vacuum
The Shark handheld vacuum WANDVAC is one of the lightest vacuum cleaners for sale. The sleek unit only weighs 1.4 lbs. but has powerful suction rivaling heavier, larger models. This shark handheld cleaner is perfect for small, everyday cleanups. With a one-touch release dust cup, you don’t need to get any dirt on your hands.
The Shark WANDVAC is ideal for cleaning the car or addressing small jobs around the house. The lightweight, efficient handheld vacuum comes with a crevice tool. The multi-surface pet tool tackles most vacuuming jobs around the house.
- Compact, lightweight design suitable for quick cleaning jobs
- High-efficiency brushless motor for powerful suction
- Sleek charging station
- Fast charging time
- Single touch empty dust cup
- Short battery life
- Not ideal for heavy-duty jobs
- High price tag
The Best Features of a Portable Vacuum
The best thing about handheld vacuum cleaners is that they’re perfect for quick cleaning jobs. It can be a hassle setting up a canister vacuum or getting a large upright out if you’ve only got a small area to clean. Also, nothing can beat handheld vacuums for portability, ease of use, and cleaning in tight spaces.
Here are the three best features to look out for before buying a portable vacuum:
- Turbo brush attachment tool—Ideal for cleaning stairs and upholstery, as well as getting rid of pet hairs and dander.
- Crevice tool—This feature helps to clean between upholstered seats and along edges.
- Attachments—A range of attachments can make it easier to clean under furniture, car seats, or high hard-to-reach places.
What to Consider Before Buying a Hand Vacuum Cleaner
Before buying a handheld vacuum cleaner, it’s worth considering several factors. Your choice of portable vacuum depends on your cleaning needs and how often you plan to use the vacuum. Here are some considerations when choosing a vacuum cleaner:
- Battery life and charge time—Most handheld vacuums are rechargeable, making them very versatile. If you plan to use the vacuum extensively, make sure the battery will last long enough. Fifteen to 30 minutes is standard on the best handheld vacuums. Also, consider charge time if you use the vacuum frequently.
- Size and weight—Because you carry the vacuum, weight and size are vital considerations. The average weight of handheld models is around 3 lbs. (1.5 kg). However, they can weigh up to 5 lbs. (2.3 kg)
- Dust cup capacity—The capacity of the dust canister isn’t always an issue because handheld vacuums are only for small jobs. But if you plan to use it for larger jobs, it’s worth getting one with a large dust cup capacity.
- Attachments—Basic handheld vacuums only have a nozzle. Some of the best portable vacuum cleaners have rotating brushes, hoses, nozzle attachments, and carpet tools.
- Suction power—The more powerful the motor, the faster and easier cleaning jobs become. Make sure the motor is powerful enough to lift pet hair and larger pieces of debris.
FAQs about Handheld vacuum cleaners
Do I need a HEPA filter in a hand vacuum?
Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters prevent microscopic dust particles and allergens from getting into the air. If you have pets or allergies, then a handheld vacuum cleaner with a HEPA is an excellent tool to keep surfaces and household air clean. However, most handheld vacuum cleaners don’t have a HEPA filter, so choose one with the best filtration system.
What are portable vacuum cleaners best for?
Handheld vacuum cleaners are best for small cleaning tasks. Most people use portable vacuums to clean stairs, upholstery, under furniture, and cars. Cordless handheld vacuums give you the best versatility as there is no power cord to limit its range.
How can I optimize battery life on a hand vacuum?
The best way to ensure that a hand vacuum is always ready for use is to keep it on its charger. This way, the cells are always fully charged whenever you need to do some quick, light vacuuming.
Is a bagged or bagless handheld vacuum cleaner best?
For ease of use, bagless handheld vacuums are generally best. However, if you or someone in the house has allergies, bagged portable vacuums tend to emit fewer allergens and dust particles.
Buying a Handheld Vacuum Cleaner — In Conclusion
Handheld vacuum cleaners are ideal for quick cleaning jobs around the home or keeping cars clean. The best handheld vacuums are portable ones that come with a range of attachments. Before buying one, it’s vital to consider battery life, dust bin capacity, and suction power. This ensures that you pick a handheld vacuum cleaner that suits your cleaning needs.