Best Handheld Vacuums of 2020

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Categories Vacuuming
Find the perfect handheld vacuum for effective cleaning with minimal effort.

Handheld vacuums are made for versatility, but are they worth investing in? Not everyone needs a massive, super-powerful cleaning machine. On the other hand, if you already have a traditional vacuum, is a handheld really necessary?

We think that these little machines can be heaven-sent if you understand what they’re for. They give you effective cleaning with minimal effort and are designed for usability.

We’ve scoured the market to find the best handheld vacuums currently available, as well as things you should consider when buying.


Why Should You Buy a Handheld Vacuum?

Traditional vacuums are a staple because they’re best for deep cleaning floors, but they still have some drawbacks. They can be heavy, storage is often difficult, and they use more electricity.

Handhelds are compact, lighter, and offer you quick and easy tidying. Sure, they’re not made for heavy-duty cleaning, but they’re nifty. This makes them perfect for the jobs traditional machines are too big for.

Handhelds make an excellent case. There are many advantages to having one, so if you’re on the fence about getting one, consider the following.

1. They’re Easy to Use

Handheld vacuums take almost no skill to operate, and they typically don’t require immediate assembly. You don’t have to position them or pull them along with you.

If they’re cordless (and they probably will be), you can use them with even greater ease. You’ll be able to move them wherever, and however, you need to. Chances are, they won’t have confusing buttons or settings — they’re wielded with a flick of a switch.

Their usability is a bonus for families with children. They’re so simple to use, your kids won’t have any trouble with them.

2. They’re Lightweight

Lightweight is a buzzword that’s thrown around carelessly, but handhelds stay true to its meaning. The entire premise of a handheld is that it’s light enough to lift, usually with one hand. This, in and of itself, has benefits.

For one, they’re better for your back, shoulders, and muscles. Traditional vacuums can cause strain or injury if you hold them incorrectly, or attempt to carry them. Handhelds, however, won’t put pressure on your back, and they won’t wreck your posture either.

3. Storage Is Simple

Since handhelds are so small, they don’t take up much room. This is helpful in smaller homes or if you just don’t have a lot of storage space.

Handheld vacuums also often come with mountable docking stations. This helps because you can stow them out of the way. Plus, it makes them more accessible as they’re within reach.

Quick Tip

Handheld vacuums are so easy to store that some people do so carelessly. But to preserve your machine’s lifespan, take care when packing it away. Keep it in its station if it has one. Otherwise, keep it dry, cool, and steady in storage.

4. They Save Electricity

Cordless handheld vacuums run on batteries. They’re generally better for the environment and will reduce your electricity bill. You can also use them if you’re experiencing a power cut, or don’t have a convenient spot to plug your vacuum in to.

You won’t have to bother with fussy cables either. We don’t know about you, but vacuum cables tend to get in our way, so we’re happy that they aren’t a factor here.

Even if your handheld is corded, it still won’t use as much electricity as a traditional machine (1).

5. They’re Portable

We mentioned that these vacuums are made to be carried. Their portability makes them easier to use compared to a bulky traditional vacuum cleaner.

For instance, handheld vacuums are perfect for cleaning your car’s interior. If you live in a multi-story home, you can carry them up and down your stairs with ease. Switching rooms also isn’t a problem at all, and neither is cleaning high or out of reach places.

6. Maintenance Is Easy

With traditional vacuums, emptying the dust bins can be troublesome. You often have to dismantle the vacuum to get it out. The size of the bins or bags can also be a problem when you try to deposit the dirt.

On the other hand, cleaning and maintaining handheld vacuums requires little to no effort. Their dust cups can be removed and emptied easily. Plus, cleaning out filters or tidying up the vacuum itself is also a simple task.

Their size matters too. Since they’re so compact, you have less to deal with when you maintain it.

7. Affordability Is Better

This isn’t always the case, but handheld vacuums tend to cost less than traditional vacuums do. Certain factors influence this (stick vacuums, for example). But generally speaking, they’re a more affordable option than their bigger counterparts.

We’re not just talking about the products themselves. Handheld vacuums also save you money on spare or replacement parts and attachments. Plus, as we said, they save power too.

8. They’re Quieter

Handheld vacuums have smaller motors, so they’ll make less noise than traditional machines. Again, stick vacuums may be an exception to this, but for the most part, these machines are easier on your ears.

This means a lot if you have small children or pets who might be frightened by the usual loud drone of traditional vacuums.

9. You Can Use Them Almost Anywhere

Handheld vacuums can clean almost anything, anywhere, and are some of the most versatile vacuums you can find. Think about it — you wouldn’t use a floor vacuum on your kitchen counters, but a handheld will do just fine there. Just keep them clean, of course.

Handhelds can also reach tricky corners and interiors. You can use them on hard surfaces and fabrics. If they have enough reach, you could use them to clean your curtains or even ceiling fans.

The possibilities are near limitless when it comes to handheld vacuums, and that’s perhaps their greatest benefit of all.

Types of Handheld Vacuums

There are three types of handheld vacuums for you to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Here’s what we think of them.

Corded Handheld Vacuums

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light with TruePet Mini Motorized Brush and 15-foot Power Cord Hand Vacuum (HV292), Maroon
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Corded handhelds aren’t the popular choice among handheld vacuums. Still, they clean just as well as cordless ones. They’re slightly less convenient than cordless handhelds but often cost less money.

These vacuums tend to have more suction power too. So, regardless of their drawbacks, they still have benefits and are superior to cordless machines in a few ways. What they lack in versatility, they make up for in effect.

PROS:
  • They don’t require charging.
  • Typically more affordable.
  • They last longer.
  • Suction is usually stronger.
CONS:
  • Not as portable.
  • More difficult to find.
  • Use more electricity.

Cordless Handheld Vacuums

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum, Purple
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Cordless handheld vacuums are our favorite, as they’re the smallest and most convenient. They’re the staple in handheld vacuums and are a popular choice among customers.

They require no assembly and are moved easily from room to room. Plus, since they don’t need a power source, you can clean all sorts of spots with them, like your car, shed, or pet kennel. You won’t have to fuss about with cables, and they’re easier to store too.

PROS:
  • The most portable.
  • Run on batteries.
  • Lightweight.
CONS:
  • Must be charged often.
  • Not the best for floors.

Stick Vacuums

MOOSOO M Cordless Cleaner 17Kpa Strong Suction 2 in 1 Handheld Stick Ultra-Quiet Vacuum Brush, Adult, Red
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You may think stick vacuums aren’t handhelds — but they can be. Though stick vacuums were built to resemble traditional vacuums, many of them convert into handhelds.

They’re the most versatile of handheld machines. They have the power, range, and reach of a traditional machine, with all the portability of a handheld.

PROS:
  • The most versatile.
  • Have the most features.
  • They’re cordless.
CONS:
  • Take up more room.
  • They tend to cost more.

How to Choose the Best Handheld Vacuum

You don’t want to settle for any old handheld vacuum. There are a few things you should keep in mind before you choose one. The following factors could make or break a model and will determine if the handheld you want is right for you.

1. Capacity

Your preferred capacity will depend much on what you will use your vacuum for. How much dirt do you think your handheld should be able to hold? There is a chance that the higher the dust capacity, the bigger the vacuum will be.

On the other hand, if you’re going to use it often — for example, to clean up pet hair every day — a small bin means more maintenance. Maintenance may be easy, but if you’re not feeling up to emptying the dust cup frequently, you should go for a larger-capacity machine.

2. Suction Power

Likewise, if you only need a handheld for light, infrequent cleaning, you won’t need one with super-suction. High suction power is preferred regardless, but if you’re willing to settle for less you could save yourself some money.

A weak machine won’t do if you’re battling stubborn dirt, though. For instance, higher suction will make it easier to remove pet hair from your furniture.

3. Accessories

Do you need specific tools to help you clean? It helps to know which materials your handheld vacuum will be cleaning.

For example, upholstery and tiles need different modes of cleaning. So, if you use your vacuum on hard surfaces, you’ll want to make sure that its attachments won’t damage or scratch them.

Not all handhelds will come with accessories, but if they do, think about which ones you want. Otherwise, you might end up paying unnecessarily for add-ons that are no use to you.

4. Usage

Some handheld vacuums have wet and dry capabilities, which is great for cleaning up spills or damp surfaces. However, it’s important to make sure that your handheld is suitable for use on liquids. Or else, you might ruin its mechanics and cause it to stop working.

Likewise, some handhelds come with extension wands, wall mounts, special filters, or other extras you may find useful. A good example is allergies. Not all filters remove allergens from the air, so make sure your filter is approved for this if need be (2).

5. Warranty

One problem with handheld vacuums is that they don’t last as long as traditional ones do. So, make sure you get a good warranty out of the product that you choose. It could spare you a lot of disappointment (and money) in the future.

Also, think about how easy it will be to replace your vacuum’s parts if you ever need to. It might be particularly challenging with older models and corded handhelds.

6. Battery Life

If you’re interested in a cordless machine, you must consider how long it will last. Handheld vacuums typically don’t need to run for hours, because you likely won’t use them that often.

Still, you don’t want one that will die after five minutes, so check the battery power of your machine.

Also, consider how you will charge it. In most cases, the docking station serves as a charger too. So think about placement and where you can plug the charger in.

Quick Tip

Keep your handheld vacuum charging when you’re not using it. Leaving it uncharged for extended periods could weaken the batteries (3).

Is a Handheld Vacuum Right for You?

Handheld vacuums are great and we’re sure that everyone can find a use for them. Before you run out to buy one, though, consider a few drawbacks of these machines:

  • They’re not meant for floors: With the exception of stick vacuums, handheld vacuums are not sufficient for cleaning entire floors. If deep cleaning is what you want, opt for a traditional or robotic machine.
  • They’re fragile: Handheld vacuums aren’t built to last as long as traditional machines. While they are great for small jobs, overusing them could cause them to burn out and break.
  • Less suction: Handhelds (once more with the exception of sticks) aren’t as powerful as traditional machines. So, if you’re looking at handhelds, be sure you don’t need a heavy-duty machine.
  • More maintenance: Maintenance is easier in handheld machines, but it’s necessary more often. If you’re looking to clean daily with a handheld, be prepared to empty it out a lot. You can prolong maintenance with less frequent use.

Eat Your Cake and Have It

You don’t have to choose between a handheld and a traditional machine. If you can afford it, have both. Handhelds are excellent supplements for bigger vacuums.

The Best Handheld Vacuums of 2020

Are you ready to go shopping? We’ve chosen 10 of the best handheld vacuums on the market. We explored dozens of handhelds, read reviews, and considered manufacturers’ specs. Our picks are based on price, features, and most importantly, usability.

1. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

Best Cordless Handheld

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum, Purple
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Our top spot goes to Bissell. Don’t be misled by its name. While it’s an excellent solution to pet hair around your home, it works well for all cleaning.

It’s a customer favorite, and we must say that this vacuum is incredibly easy to operate. The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is the complete package for quick but thorough cleaning. Yet, it’s a simple machine — perfect for tidying rather than deep cleaning.

It’s a powerful machine with a battery capacity of 14 volts. The dust cup can hold 0.7 liters of dirt and it uses a triple filtration system for extra effect in cleaning. Each of the components of this vacuum is easy to dismantle and access, so maintenance is a breeze.

Included with it are a motorized brush tool, an upholstery tool, and a crevice tool. This machine is designed to combat pet hair, and it does well in this regard. But, it’s excellent on hard surfaces and carpets too.

One interesting feature is its charging port. The adapter is made for tabletops and will take up little space. It also has a battery level indicator as well, saving you some guesswork.

Love to give back? A bonus to this machine is that Bissel donates five dollars to animals in need with every purchase.

Why We Love It

Easy to Handle

Everything about this machine, from its design and maintenance to its operation, is simple. You won’t have to scour the manual to make sense of it. It’s also somewhat ergonomic so you’ll use it comfortably.

Multi-Purpose

This vacuum may be designed for pet hair but it combats other dirt and debris just as easily. It’s effective on hard floors and both low and high pile carpets. It also comes with handy attachments for fabrics, corners, and stubborn dirt.

We think it’s safe to say that this handheld vacuum has got you covered, no matter what you need it for.

Easy Storage

Many handheld vacuums are wall-mounted. But while this is convenient, it involves installation and makes it not so easy to change your vacuum’s spot.

In comparison, this model is made more versatile by its convenient adapter. Its surface charging port means that you can store it and leave it to charge wherever you like.

Keep In Mind

It Has Battery Issues

Customers note that this machine doesn’t hold power for as long as they had hoped. What’s more frustrating is that it takes around eight hours to recharge fully. We also noticed complaints that its battery deteriorates over time, and the suction could go with it.

Additional Specs

Power14 volts Lithium-Ion battery
Dimensions4.5 inches by 16 inches by 5 inches
Weight4.25 pounds
Special featuresTriple level filtration, battery indicator
AccessoriesMotorized brush, crevice tool, upholstery tool, charging port

2. Shark Rocket

Best Corded Handheld

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light with TruePet Mini Motorized Brush and 15-foot Power Cord Hand Vacuum (HV292), Maroon
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If you’re willing to try a corded handheld, we recommend this one from the revered Shark. Though you have to plug it in, it retains its portability, mostly because of the 15-foot long cable.

At just under 4 pounds, this is one of the lighter handheld vacuums. Regardless, it’s a powerful machine. Plus, Shark boasts that it never loses suction power — a flaw of some cordless machines.

It is suitable for pet-friendly homes, thanks to its handy TruePet motorized brush tool. You will also get a crevice tool, dusting brush, and a flexible and extendable hose. It comes with washable and reusable filters too, which is bound to save you some money.

This machine is suitable for all surfaces, including stairs and car interiors. It hasn’t lost any versatility compared to cordless models and is ready to go when you need it.

Why We Love It

15-Foot Cable

The length of this machine’s cable makes it just as maneuverable as any cordless model. It’s helpful when you need to clean stairs or other tricky places like car interiors or curtains.

Hose Included

Mimicking a traditional vacuum, we like that this handheld includes a flexible and extendable hose. It lessens the burden of cleaning concentrated or out of reach spots. The vacuum itself is more versatile because of this.

Made for Pets

This is a great choice if you need to clean up after your pets. The TruePet motorized brush tool makes removing stubborn hairs from carpets, stairs, and upholstery effortless.

Keep In Mind

Not Durable

A complaint with this machine is that it doesn’t last as long as customers expect. This could be controlled with regular maintenance, though, and these complaints are few and far between.

You Need a Power Source

Since it’s corded, for all its reach, it won’t work if you can’t plug it in. So, this option won’t do you any good if you don’t have a suitable layout to accommodate it.

Additional Specs

Power400 watts
Dimensions9.7 inches by 4.9 inches by 13.6 inches
Weight3.7 pounds
Special featuresWashable filters, flexible hose
AccessoriesCrevice tool, dusting brush, TruePet motorized brush, extendable hose

3. Moosoo Cordless Vacuum

Best Stick Handheld

Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Strong 15Kpa 30mins with Advanced Brushless Motor LED 2500mAh 8-Cell Battery 2-in-1 Handheld Stick Vacuum
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If you want to go all out on a handheld vacuum, focus your attention on this one. Because it’s a stick vacuum, it has more capabilities, versatility, and features than conventional handhelds.

This Moosoo vacuum is fully convertible into a handheld and has three other modes of cleaning. You can use this machine to deep clean your home just as easily as you can clean your car with it.

For one, you’ll get up to 45 minutes of run time, with only five hours of charging. It has suction that can’t be matched by true handhelds, and you can use it on floors or for deep cleaning.

It’s also suitable for use on both hard floors and carpets. We love that it can be used for cleaning anything from food crumbs to pet hair.

Like with traditional vacuums, it uses cyclone technology and a HEPA filtration system. So, we recommend it to those with allergies or sensitivities. Its filters are washable and reusable too, so you can save money and the environment.

It’s lightweight, weighing just over 3 pounds, and has an ergonomic design that’s better for your posture and back, preventing fatigue. It also has an LED light for easier cleaning.

Accessories include a motorized floor brush, 2-in-1 dusting brush, mini cleaning brush, wall mount, and charger.

Why We Love It

Shut Down Safety

This machine has an automatic shutdown feature if your brush gets caught or if clogs occur. It preserves the life of the vacuum’s components — a welcome feature for a fragile stick.

Powerful Suction

Since this is a stick vacuum, you get significantly more suction out of it. You can use it to deep clean carpets, pick up pet hairs, or remove stubborn dirt and debris. It’s great for larger homes too.

Allergy Approved

Since it has washable HEPA filters, it’s a perfect choice for those with allergies. It won’t only clean your surfaces, but the air around you too.

Keep In Mind

Small Capacity

The dust cup on this machine is quite small, so it will demand a little extra maintenance. Not any more than a conventional handheld, though.

Not As Durable

It has the same fatal flaw as all stick vacuums — it’s not built to last. So long as you take proper care of it, though, it will give you a good run, but be as careful as you can in maintaining it.

Additional Specs

Power120 watts / 10000 Pa
Dimensions28 inches by 14 inches by 6.5 inches
Weight3.3 pounds
Special featuresLED searchlight, washable HEPA filtration
Accessoriesmotorized brush, 2-in-1 dusting brush, mini cleaning brush, wall mount, adapter

4. Novete Handheld

Rising Star

NOVETE Handheld Vacuum Cordless with Replaceable Battery, High Power Suction Lightweight Rechargeable Hand Vac Up to 30 Mins of Wet Dry Use, for Home Car Cleaning with 2 Washable HEPA Filters
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This model is growing in popularity and customers adore it. It gives you a powerful suction of 7500 Pa and half an hour of run time. Speaking of the battery, one feature that is uncommon in other handhelds is that its battery is easily detachable.

This means that should the battery deteriorate over time, you can effortlessly replace it without discarding or servicing the entire machine. Not to mention that it only takes between four and five hours to charge.

Unlike others we’ve mentioned so far, this model has wet and dry capabilities. It can clean up to 100 milliliters of liquids at a time. It’s suitable for most dry surfaces too, including hard surfaces, upholstery, stairs, and even walls.

This machine is handy and goes that extra mile in convenience. It’s ergonomic and lightweight and comes with useful accessories, like a washable HEPA filter. Also included are a rubber nozzle, main brush, crevice tool, cleaning brush, charger, and dock.

Why We Love It

Wet and Dry Capabilities

It can be tricky to find handheld vacuums that are suitable for both wet and dry substances. So, this feature makes this model all the more versatile as spills and leaks can be cleaned with ease.

Strong Suction

At 7500 Pa, this could be the most powerful handheld you can find. You can use it on stubborn dirt, debris, and pet hair. The suction is spectacular. It’s worth noting that this prolongs the life of the machine as a whole by preventing deterioration in its suction.

Detachable Battery

We like that you can remove the battery and replace it if necessary. It will save you time in maintenance while lowering the cost of repairs. Overall, this is an affordable machine that doesn’t lack in quality.

Keep In Mind

Not As Popular As Others

The current reception for this product is excellent, but its consumer base is quite small. It lacks the brand power of other makes. Still, for now, customers are impressed, but more time is needed to see if it holds up.

Additional Specs

Power14.8 volts Lithium battery / 7500 Pa
Dimensions16.1 inches by 6.7 inches by 8.3 inches
Weight4.75 pounds
Special featuresWet and dry capabilities, washable HEPA filtration
AccessoriesMain brush, cleaning brush, crevice tool, rubber nozzle, charger, docking station

5. Shark Wandvac

Most Portable

Shark WV201 WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum, Lightweight at 1.4 Pounds with Powerful Suction, Charging Dock, Single Touch Empty and Detachable Dust Cup
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This is one of the lightest handheld vacuums we have ever come across. Can you believe that it weighs just a little over a pound and a half? It may be a featherweight when it comes to vacuuming, but its power hasn’t been compromised.

Though it’s compact, it boasts a high efficiency, brushless motor. It uses 115 watts of energy and has a quick charging time of an hour and a half. It’s suitable for use on various surfaces and is perhaps the most portable of all handhelds due to its tiny frame.

We love how versatile this machine is. It’s not as chunky as others, so it fits into spaces others struggle with. It also includes a crevice tool and a multi-surface tool that’s great for pet hair and upholstery.

Its tapered nozzle adds to its capacity to tackle both fine dirt and stubborn debris. The dust cup can be emptied almost hands-free with the convenient push of a button.

The cordless vacuum comes with a tabletop docking station that takes up little room. And, it’s a purely superficial pro, but we love the way this vacuum looks, too.

Why We Love It

Small Size

This vacuum is so compact it’s like it’s not even there when it’s in storage. It’s ergonomic and so lightweight that you will barely feel it when its in use. We have to praise it here because it’s the true definition of a handheld.

Fast Charging

Compared to others which take a few hours to charge fully, this machine takes little time to give you a full charge. It’s pretty much always ready to go, so you don’t have to worry about running out of power, or postponing your cleaning.

Tabletop Storage

We realize this has nothing to do with the vacuum’s power, but just look at it. It looks cool, so displaying it won’t be a problem at all. Its flat docking station also means that you can move it easily, and won’t have to commit to one permanent spot to mount it.

Keep In Mind

Short Run Time

You’ll only be able to use this machine for 10 minutes at a time. We don’t think this is a drawback. It’s intended for quick uses only, so 10 minutes should be more than sufficient.

It’s Pricey

Sure, this machine isn’t the most expensive one out there, but is it worth it? Consider for one how tiny it is, and its short run time. You may find you’re better off with a standard handheld for more or less the same price.

Additional Specs

Power115 watts
Dimensions16.5 inches by 2.5 inches by 2.4 inches
Weight1.4 pounds
Special featuresTapered nozzle, high-efficiency brushless motor
AccessoriesCrevice tool, multi-surface tool, upright charging dock

6. Bissell Corded Pet Hair Eraser

Best for Pets

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1 with Mini Tool Box (fs)
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Here’s another corded handheld we like. Though it falls within the same range as our top choice, there are some differences that keep them apart. For starters, this machine comes with a 16-foot cable — retaining its portability.

It has a flexible rubber contour nozzle designed specifically for the removal of pet hair from stairs and upholstery. But, there’s a hard nozzle, too, for cleaning up dry messes on hard surfaces or car interiors. The nozzles are switched by a release button and snap into place quickly, with no hassle at all.

The Bissell vacuum comes with an easy-grip handle that keeps your hand comfortable, as well as an accessible fingertip power switch. It also boasts a post motor filter and a filter screen.

This machine has multi-level filtration that fights allergens in your home. It’s extra helpful for pet parents or those with allergies and sensitivities to fur. The dust cup can hold 0.78 liters of dirt.

Overall, this is a light and compact machine that’s quite maneuverable despite its corded design.

Why We Love It

Two Nozzles

A true multi-floor machine, this model has different nozzles designed for hard surfaces or fabrics. It’s an uncommon feature in handheld machines, and we like that it won’t damage your surfaces or ruin your upholstery or carpets.

Allergy Friendly

Not all pet vacuums fight allergens, but this one does. Its multi-level filtration actively removes allergens from the air around you. You’ll breathe cleaner, fresher air for it, regardless of the pets you have.

Comfortable to Use

We like the easy-grip handle on this vacuum. Your hands won’t hurt from using it, and you’ll be able to maneuver it with even greater ease. It could prevent the vacuum from slipping out of your hands too.

Keep In Mind

Suction Could Be Better

Some customers claim that the suction of this machine is lacking. It also has a design flaw in which it “leaks” air out, and if not handled correctly, you could experience blowback.

It’s Finicky

Bissel did a great job of designing the release of the nozzles, but the dust cup is not so co-operative. While dismantling it is no problem, returning the cup to its place can be frustrating. What’s worse is that Bissell recommends emptying the cup after each use for maximum suction.

Additional Specs

Power4 amps / 440 watts
Dimensions10 inches by 5 inches by 8 inches
Weight4.2 pounds
Special featuresMulti-level filtration, Cyclonic Cleaning System
AccessoriesFlexible nozzle, hard nozzle, contour nozzle

7. Homasy Portable Handheld

All-Rounder

Homasy 8Kpa Portable Handheld Vacuum, Hand Vacuum Cordless with Powerful Cyclonic Suction, Rechargeable 14.8V Li-ion with Quick Charge Tech, Wet Dry Vac Cleaner for Car Pet Hair Dust Gravel Cleaning
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Here’s an affordable handheld vacuum that’s good for both hard floors and carpets, as well as liquids. It provides 6000 Pa of suction, with a run time of half an hour, and maximum charging time of four hours.

There’s extra protection for the batteries as well. This machine is safeguarded from short-circuiting, overheating, and power surges. It’s built to last with lithium batteries that should keep you for at least five years.

The dust cup can hold 600 milliliters, and it can clean up to 100 milliliters of liquid. Its washable filters save you money, and it has a built-in LED light.

Attachments include a dust brush, crevice tool, and rubber jar for holding liquids. You’ll also receive a charging base as well as two washable filters.

Why We Love It

Versatile and Multi-Surface

This vacuum’s attachments mean that you can use it on all surfaces. We like that it has wet and dry capabilities too. It’s effective at cleaning up spills or quick, unexpected messes.

Durable and Long-Lasting

With a battery that’s built to last for five years and washable filters, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to replace this vacuum’s components. This saves you money in the long run.

Safety Features

Automatic processes protect this machine from damage. It’s safe from electrical malfunctions including surges and short-circuiting, and it won’t overheat. This adds to the machine’s durability.

Keep In Mind

Maintenance Is Tricky

Emptying the dust cup in this machine is a bit of a hassle. You have to dismantle more components than in other vacuums, and customers complain that the dust cup faces the wrong way. Unfortunately, since its dust capacity is small, you can expect to do this often.

Additional Specs

Power100 watts / 6000 Pa
Dimensions17.3 inches by 7.7 inches by 6.1 inches
Weight3.26 pounds
Special featuresElectrical and temperature safety, wet/dry capabilities
AccessoriesCrevice tool, dust brush, rubber jar for liquids, washable filters

8. Black+Decker BDH2000L

Most Powerful

BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, Black (BDH2000L)
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What we like most about this vacuum is that it uses cyclone technology, just like traditional vacuums do. The power of this machine ranges from 18 to 20 volts — significantly more than most other handhelds.

The battery has no memory effect, which means that its lifetime is unaffected by incomplete or disrupted charges. There’s an indicator for the battery too, which we like. Even better is that it only charges when it has to, to save power and retain battery strength.

This machine has a built-in crevice tool and a built-in brush tool. It has washable filters preserved by its cyclone technology, and its dust cup can be emptied with a handy switch. This is a suitable vacuum for pet hair and dirt and is best used daily for small tasks.

Why We Love It

Powerful Suction

With the strongest voltage that we’ve come across so far (excluding sticks, of course), this little machine packs quite a punch. The generous 20 volts is more than enough for a handheld, and this vacuum is designed to maintain its high suction power.

Smart Batteries

Combating the fragility of other handhelds, this machine’s battery will last longer. It only uses energy when it has to, and failed charges have no effect on its cycles. You’ll save money and frustration with fewer replacements.

Cyclone Filtration

There aren’t many handhelds that use the same mechanics as traditional vacuums. This model incorporates cyclone technology for more effective filtration and suction.

Keep In Mind

It’s Noisy

Possibly due to the cyclone filtration, this machine makes a lot of noise for a handheld. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s not the best option for pets.

Lower Quality

Though this machine has some cool features and is well-liked by most customers, some complain of poor quality. Keep it maintained as best as you can and you should get some good use out of it.

Additional Specs

Power20 volts Lithium-Ion battery
Dimensions14.5 inches by 5.6 inches by 8.1 inches
Weight5 pounds
Special featuresSmart charging, battery indicator, cyclone technology
AccessoriesBuilt-in crevice tool, built-in dust brush, washable filter

9. Dirt Devil Scorpion

Most Affordable

Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Corded, Small, Dry Hand Held Vac With Cord, Red, SD20005RED (Design Might Vary)
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Here’s one more corded option for those of you who are looking to save some money. Budget-friendly as this may vacuum be, you still get a quality and useful product that hordes of customers are pleased with.

The premise of this machine is convenient on-the-go vacuuming, regardless of its corded build. It’s intended for small tasks and quick tidying rather than deep cleaning. It comes with a 15-foot cord and weighs less than 4 pounds.

The vacuum is best used for upholstery, car interiors, and removing pet hair, though it can tackle light dirt as well. It may be one of the simplest machines on this list, but it still has great features.

We like the rinseable filters — they emphasize that this vacuum saves you time. Removing them is easy, and all they need is a quick rinse. It’s even got a built-in crevice tool that’s accessible with a quick flip.

What we like the most about it, however, is its attachable hose. You get an extra 2.5 feet of reach with it, making hard-to-reach spots easy to clean.

Why We Love It

Affordable Quality

If you want a handheld to supplement your traditional machine, consider this one. It’s a great vacuum at a great price.

Don’t worry about it being too good to be true. The quality of this little machine is fantastic.

Rinseable Filters

Staying true to this vacuum’s time-saving intention, the maintenance is effortless. Dismantling it is easy, and all your filters need is a quick rinse. It’s a great choice for people who don’t have too much time to spend on cleaning their machines.

Handy Accessories

The onboard crevice tool also saves time because you don’t have to bother with attaching it before you can use it. We also appreciate the compact hose attachment for the extra reach it gives.

Keep In Mind

Only for Small Jobs

Don’t have high expectations for this machine’s capabilities. It has strong suction, but it’s meant for quick tidying rather than heavy-duty cleaning.

It’s Fragile

Some customers have mentioned that this vacuum comes apart a little too easily. So, handle it with care to avoid mishaps or malfunction while you’re busy with it.

Additional Specs

Power7 amps / 770 watts
Dimensions12 inches by 5 inches by 7 inches
Weight3.75 pounds
Special featuresRinseable filters
AccessoriesBuilt-in crevice tool, dust brush, attachable hose

10. Black+Decker Dustbuster Lithium Cordless

Best for Touch-Ups

BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, Ink Blue (HHVI325JR22)
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Last, but not least, we’ve chosen this model which is excellent for refreshers and touch-ups. Customers are pleased with how easy it is to use but have noted that it’s ineffective on debris or stubborn dirt. So, if you’re looking for a supplementary machine this is a great choice.

It has everything you need to fight dust and includes a washable filter and dust cup. The filter uses cyclone technology for preservation and effect, while the cup is translucent for easy management.

This machine has a built-in upholstery tool that pulls up with a simple flick, and it has a rotating nozzle for better maneuverability. You also get a wall mount for convenient storage and charging.

This light vacuum is intended for quick bouts of cleaning. It’s small and portable and is best used for upholstery and car interiors.

That said, it works well on tricky spots too. It also has a surprising reach considering its capabilities. Most happy customers describe it as a reliable option that works when it matters most.

Why We Love It

It’s a Dustbuster

With handhelds especially, not everyone is looking for a mean machine that can clean mountains of dirt. This vacuum is best for situations where a quick touch up is needed. It does a great job of clearing the dust away.

Rotating Nozzle

It’s an uncommon feature in other handhelds and it makes this model all the more maneuverable. Why exert yourself by twisting into all sorts of positions when you can adjust the nozzle instead?

Keep In Mind

Weak Suction

This machine doesn’t pack a whole lot of punch. Compared to other machines, customers have noted that its suction is weak. Use it as intended and you won’t have this problem.

Wonderful for light dust and refreshing your upholstery, this handheld won’t pick up messes of dirt, pet hair, or debris. So, keep a realistic expectation of it, and you won’t be disappointed.

Additional Specs

Power16 volts Lithium battery / 15.2 air watts
Dimensions12.5 inches by 7.9 inches by 5.3 inches
Weight2.42 pounds
Special featuresCyclone technology, rotating nozzle
AccessoriesBuilt-in crevice tool, wall mount

Detailed Comparison

ProductAwardPowerDimensionsWeightFeaturesAccessories
Bissell Pet Hair EraserBest Cordless14 V4.5″ x 16″ x 5″4.25 lbsTriple level filtration, battery indicatorMotorized brush, crevice tool, upholstery tool, charging port
Shark RocketBest Corded400 W9.7″ x 4.9″ x 13.6″3.7 lbsWashable filters, flexible hoseCrevice tool, dusting brush, TruePet motorized brush, extendable hose
Moosoo CordlessBest Stick120 W28″ x 14″ x 6.5″3.3 lbsLED searchlight, washable HEPA filtrationmotorized brush, 2-in-1 dusting brush, mini cleaning brush, wall mount, adapter
Novete HandheldRising Star14.8 V16.1″ x 6.7″ x 8.3″4.75 lbsWet and dry capabilities, washable HEPA filtrationMain brush, cleaning brush, crevice tool, rubber nozzle, charger, docking station
Shark WandvacMost Portable115 W16.5″ x 2.5″ x 2.4″1.4 lbsTapered nozzle, high-efficiency brushless motorCrevice tool, multi-surface tool, upright charging dock
Bissell Corded Pet HairBest for Pets440 W10″ x 5″ x 8″4.2 lbsMulti-level filtration, Cyclonic Cleaning SystemFlexible nozzle, hard nozzle, contour nozzle
Homasy PortableAll-Rounder100 W17.3″ x 7.7″ x 6.1″3.26 lbsElectrical and temperature safety, wet/dry capabilitiesCrevice tool, dust brush, rubber jar for liquids, washable filters
Black+Decker BDH2000LMost Powerful20 V14.5″ x 5.6″ x 8.1″5 lbsSmart charging, battery indicator, cyclone technologyBuilt-in crevice tool, built-in dust brush, washable filter
Dirt Devil ScorpionMost Affordable770 W12″ x 5″ x 7″3.75 lbsRinseable filtersBuilt-in crevice tool, dust brush, attachable hose
Black+Decker DustbusterBest for Touch-Ups16 V12.5″ x 7.9″ x 5.3″2.42 lbsCyclone technology, rotating nozzleBuilt-in crevice tool, wall mount
Jump to the Full Handheld Vacuum Reviews

Handy Cleaning

Handheld vacuum cleaners are a worthy investment. They’re built for portability, versatility and fast cleaning, and are meant to be operated with ease. Not every model is meant for deep cleaning, but there’s a world of them to choose from, according to your needs.

We think the best way to maximize the benefits and use of a handheld is to use it alongside a traditional machine. If this isn’t possible for you, no matter, you can still make the most of one.

Also, in handheld vacuums, function trumps form. The most important consideration is what you will use it for. If you have pets, make sure your handheld can pick up hair. But if you need it for your kitchen, check that its got wet and dry capabilities.

We’ve shown you 10 of our favorites so that you can get started choosing one. Which one do you like the most? We enjoy your comments, so let us know your thoughts below.

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!
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