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Best Handheld Vacuums of 2022

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 necessary?

We think 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.

Keep reading to check out our top 10 recommendations.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum, Purple
Best Cordless Handheld
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
  • Easy to handle
  • Multi-purpose design
  • Easy storage possibilities
Product Image of the Shark Rocket Corded Ultra-Light Hand Vacuum with TruePet Mini Motorized Brush and, 15-Foot Power, Maroon
Best Corded Handheld
Shark Rocket
  • 15-foot cable for good range
  • Hose included
  • Made for pet-friendly homes
Product Image of the Tineco A11 Hero EX Cordless Stick Vacuum, Powerful Suction Handheld Vac Lightweight for Carpet Hard Floor
Best Stick Handheld
Tineco A11
  • LED headlights illuminate dirt
  • Powerful suction for deep cleaning
  • 40 minutes runtime
Product Image of the VacLife Handheld Vacuum, Car Vacuum Cleaner Cordless, Orange (VL189)
Rising Star
VacLife Handheld Vacuum
  • 20 minutes runtime
  • Strong suction power
  • Quiet cleaning
Product Image of the Shark WV201 WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum, Lightweight at 1.4 Pounds with Powerful Suction, Charging Dock, Single Touch Empty and Detachable Dust Cup
Most Portable
Shark Wandvac
  • Small size
  • Fast charging for convenience
  • Tabletop storage
Product Image of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1
Best for Pets
Bissell Corded Pet Hair Eraser
  • Two nozzles for specific cleaning
  • Allergy-friendly
  • Comfortable to use
Product Image of the VacLife Handheld Vacuum, Cordless Hand Vacuum, Model: H-106, Silver (VL106)
VacLife Handheld
  • Versatile and multi-surface
  • Affordable price point
  • Washable filters
Product Image of the BLACK+DECKER 20V Lithium Hand VAC, BDH2000L
Most Powerful
Black+Decker BDH2000L
  • Powerful suction
  • Smart batteries
  • Cyclone filtration
Product Image of the Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Corded, Small, Dry Hand Held Vac With Cord, SD20005RED, Red
Most Affordable
Dirt Devil Scorpion
  • Affordable price point
  • Rinseable filters
  • Handy accessories for deep cleaning
Product Image of the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, Ink Blue (HHVI325JR22)
Best for Touch-Ups
Black+Decker Dustbuster
  • Dustbuster
  • Rotating nozzle
  • Weighs 2.4 lbs

Product Reviews

These are the best handheld vacuums rated by suction, dust bin capacity, battery life, and value for money.

1. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum

Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Our top spot goes to Bissell. 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. Just note that this is for lighter 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 the vacuum 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 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.

What We Like

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 Functionality

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 challenging 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, such as on top of a table.

What We Don't Like

It Has Battery Issues

Customers note that this machine doesn’t hold power for as long as they had hoped. It’s advertised as 17 minutes, but it often dies before that.

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.

Product Specs

Power 14 volts Lithium-Ion battery
Dimensions 4.5 inches by 16 inches by 5 inches
Weight 4.25 pounds
Special features Triple level filtration, battery indicator
Accessories Motorized brush, crevice tool, upholstery tool, charging port

2. Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Handheld Vacuum

Best Corded Handheld Vacuum

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

Thanks to its handy TruePet motorized brush tool, it is suitable for pet-friendly homes. 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.

What We Like

15-Foot Cable for Flexible Cleaning

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.

Extendable Hose Included

Mimicking a traditional vacuum, we like that this handheld includes a flexible and extendable hose. It lessens the burden of cleaning corners or out-of-reach spots.

Made for Pet-Friendly Homes

This is an excellent 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.

What We Don't Like

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.

Product Specs

Power 400 watts
Dimensions 9.7 inches by 4.9 inches by 13.6 inches
Weight 3.7 pounds
Special features Washable filters, flexible hose
Accessories Crevice tool, dusting brush, TruePet motorized brush, extendable hose

3. Tineco A11 Hero EX Vacuum

Best Handheld Stick Vacuum

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 Tineco vacuum is fully convertible into a handheld and has three other cleaning modes. 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 80 minutes of run time with only four hours of charging. The suction is more powerful than singular handhelds.

Plus, you can use this machine on floors (including hard floors and carpets) or for deep cleaning. This includes anything from food crumbs to dust.

What We Like

LED Searchlight

This machine has a dust searchlight feature if you want to clean hard-to-reach areas in your home. The lights let you spot dust you may have missed.

Powerful Suction

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

Longer 80-minute Runtime

This is a mighty vacuum that can facilitate eighty-minute runtime. This is very generous and will be enough to clean entire homes, even large ones.

What We Don't Like

Not for Pet Hairs

Customers were hoping this would be the answer to their pet-hair problems. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t have quite enough suction power for that.

Product Specs

Power 120 watts
Dimensions 29.6 inches by 10.9 inches by 6.5 inches
Weight 5.51 pounds
Special features LED searchlight
Accessories Crevice tool, 2-in-1 dusting brush

4. VacLife VL189 Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Rising Star

This model is growing in popularity, and customers adore it. It gives you a powerful suction from its motor and 20 minutes run time, and it only takes between 2.5 up to 3 hours to charge.

It’s suitable for most dry surfaces, including hard surfaces, upholstery, stairs, and cars. The cordless and portable design gives you more flexibility over where and what you clean. Plus, the 2.2 weight makes it a breeze to maneuver.

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 dust brush, crevice tool, cleaning brush, and charger.

We also love the LED lights, which illuminate hidden dust so you can achieve a super deep clean.

What We Like

20 Minutes Runtime

It can be tricky to find handheld vacuums whose batteries last longer than 15 minutes. Luckily, this vacuum tackles cleaning for up to 20 minutes despite its light weight.

Strong Suction for Stubborn Dirt

Although VacLife did not explicitly mention the exact motor capacity of this vacuum, several users have commended how this could be one of the most powerful handhelds you can find in stores. You can use it on stubborn dirt, debris, and pet hair. The suction is spectacular.

Quiet Cleaning Under 70 Decibels

Despite having a powerful suction, we like that it doesn’t irritate your ears that much with less than 70 decibels. Overall, this is an affordable machine that doesn’t lack in quality.

What We Don't Like

No Storage for Attachments

Both of the accessories included work ideally to aid in the cleaning process; however, it does lack a storage compartment.

Debris Disposal

It is worth noting that removing the dust particles accumulated during the cleaning process is complicated, requiring filter removal first before the dust bin.

Product Specs

Power 12 volts
Dimensions 14.17 inches by 5.51 inches by 4.17 inches
Weight 2.2 pounds
Special features Washable filtration
Accessories Dust brush tool, charger, crevice tool, cleaning brush

5. Shark WV201 Wandvac Handheld Vacuum

Most Portable Handheld Vacuum

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 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.

What We Like

Tapered Nozzle and Crevice Tool

The tapered nozzle and crevice tool let you tackle both fine dirt and stubborn debris. The narrow design means you can get into tight corners, between couch cushions, and along windowsills.

Minimal Charging Base

Not only is the device compact, but so is the charging base. You can set the base on your countertop and leave the vacuum to recharge discreetly. It looks cool, too, so it won’t be an issue to have it on display.

Powerful Enough for Pet Hair

This comes with a Multi-Surface Pet Tool so you can get rid of fur on your couch, armchairs, and floors.

What We Don't Like

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.

Just note that it takes a couple of hours to recharge fully.

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.

Product Specs

Power 115 watts
Dimensions 16.5 inches by 2.5 inches by 2.4 inches
Weight 1.4 pounds
Special features Tapered nozzle, high-efficiency brushless motor
Accessories Crevice tool, multi-surface tool, upright charging dock

6. Bissell Corded Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum

Best Handheld Vacuum for Pets

Pet owners flock to this vacuum. With a flexible rubber contour nozzle designed to remove pet hairs from stairs and upholstery, you can finally achieve a spotless home. The dust cup holds 0.78 liters of dirt, too, so fewer trips to the trash can are in order.

You’ll also appreciate the hard nozzle, which cleans up dry messes on hard surfaces and car interiors. You can switch the nozzles easily with the release button. Snap the new attachment quickly into place without any hassle.

This machine isn’t cordless, but the 16-foot cable helps retain its portability.

The Bissell vacuum comes with an easy-grip handle for your comfort, as well as an accessible fingertip power switch.

What We Like

Two Nozzles for Various Surfaces

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 Filters

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.

What We Don't Like

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 Has Finicky Features

Bissel did a great job designing the nozzles release, but the dust cup is not so cooperative. 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.

Product Specs

Power 4 amps / 440 watts
Dimensions 10 inches by 5 inches by 8 inches
Weight 4.2 pounds
Special features Multi-level filtration, Cyclonic Cleaning System
Accessories Flexible nozzle, hard nozzle, contour nozzle

7. VacLife VL106 Silver Handheld Vacuum

Best All-Round Handheld Vacuum

Here’s an affordable handheld vacuum that’s good for both hard floors and carpets, as well as liquids. This makes it a fantastic all-rounder option for all sorts of messes.

It provides powerful suction, with a run time of 20 minutes and a maximum charging time of four hours.

Furthermore, equipped with a HEPA filter, it will get rid of allergen-causing molecules. Its washable filters save you money in the long run.

We also love the built-in LED lights for illuminating dust ahead of you. You also get a dust brush and crevice tool with your order.

What We Like

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.

Washable HEPA Filters

With a washable filter, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to replace this vacuum’s components. This saves you money in the long run.

Plus, the HEPA filters keep your air cleaner which is excellent for people with allergies.

Affordable Price Point

We cannot believe our eyes the first time when it comes to the price. The super affordable price is fantastic, considering the vacuum’s features. This is indeed a good steal!

What We Don't Like

Maintenance Is Tricky

Cleaning the filter in this machine is a bit of a hassle. You have to dismantle more components than in other vacuums. You might even struggle to put them back together. Moreover, since the filter is washable, you can expect to do this often.

Product Specs

Power 75 watts
Dimensions 17.24 inches by 5.39 inches by 5.2 inches
Weight 1.94 pounds
Special features Wet/dry capabilities
Accessories Crevice tool, dust brush, washable filters

8. Black+Decker BDH2000L Handheld Vacuum

Most Powerful Handheld Vacuum

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 its lifetime is unaffected by incomplete or disrupted charges. There’s an indicator for the battery, too, so you know when it’s fully charged.

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 you can empty its dust cup with a handy switch.

This is a suitable vacuum for pet hair and dirt and is best used daily for small tasks.

What We Like

Powerful Suction at 20 Volts

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 With Long Lifespan

Combating the fragility of other handhelds, this machine’s battery will last longer. It only uses energy when necessary, and short charges do not affect its durability. You’ll save money and frustration with fewer replacements.

Cyclone Filtration Technology

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

What We Don't Like

It’s Noisy and Distracting

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

Plus, if your kids are napping, this may be just the monster that wakes them.

Lower Quality Design

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

Product Specs

Power 20 volts Lithium-Ion battery
Dimensions 14.5 inches by 5.6 inches by 8.1 inches
Weight 5 pounds
Special features Smart charging, battery indicator, cyclone technology
Accessories Built-in crevice tool, built-in dust brush, washable filter

9. Dirt Devil SD20005RED Scorpion Handheld Vacuum

Most Affordable Handheld Vacuum

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 valuable 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 four pounds.

The vacuum is best used for upholstery, car interiors, and removing pet hair, though it can also tackle light dirt. The built-in crevice tool lets you get into tough spots. It’s super accessible with a quick flip.

What We Like

Affordable Quality

Consider this one if you want a handheld to supplement your traditional machine. 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 cleaning their machines.

Handy Accessories for Deep Cleaning

The onboard crevice tool also saves time because you don’t have to bother attaching it before you can use it. We also appreciate the compact hose attachment for the extra reach it gives. With 2.5 feet of added reach, you can easily clean hard-to-reach spots.

What We Don't Like

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.

Product Specs

Power 7 amps / 770 watts
Dimensions 12 inches by 5 inches by 7 inches
Weight 3.75 pounds
Special features Rinseable filters
Accessories Built-in crevice tool, dust brush, attachable hose

10. Black+Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum

Best Handheld Vacuum for Touch-Ups

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 only, 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.

What We Like

Small and Portable

This lightweight vacuum comes in at only 2.42 pounds. The portable design makes it great for quick bouts of cleaning. You’ll love it for upholstery, stairs, and cleaning the car.

It’s a Dustbuster

With handhelds especially, not everyone is looking for a mean machine to 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, making this model all the more maneuverable. Why exert yourself by twisting into all sorts of positions when you can adjust the nozzle instead?

What We Don't Like

Weak Suction Power

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 masses of dirt, pet hair, or debris. So, keep a realistic expectation of it, and you won’t be disappointed.

Product Specs

Power 16 volts Lithium battery / 15.2 air watts
Dimensions 12.5 inches by 7.9 inches by 5.3 inches
Weight 2.42 pounds
Special features Cyclone technology, rotating nozzle
Accessories Built-in crevice tool, wall mount

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Power Dimensions Weight
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless 14 V 4.5″ x 16″ x 5″ 4.25 lbs
Shark Rocket Corded 400 W 9.7″ x 4.9″ x 13.6″ 3.7 lbs
Tineco A11 Hero Stick 120 W 29.6″ x 10.9″ x 6.5″ 5.51 lbs
VacLife Handheld Rising Star N/A 14.17″ x 5.51″ x 4.17″ N/A
Shark Wandvac Most Portable 115 W 16.5″ x 2.5″ x 2.4″ 1.4 lbs
Bissell Corded Pet Hair For Pets 440 W 10″ x 5″ x 8″ 4.2 lbs
VacLife Handheld Vacuum All-Rounder 75 W 17.24″ x 5.39″ x 5.2″ 1.94 lbs
Black+Decker BDH2000L Most Powerful 20 V 14.5″ x 5.6″ x 8.1″ 5 lbs
Dirt Devil Scorpion Most Affordable 770 W 12″ x 5″ x 7″ 3.75 lbs
Black+Decker Dustbuster For Touch-Ups 16 V 12.5″ x 7.9″ x 5.3″ 2.42 lbs

Benefits of Handheld Vacuums

Traditional vacuums are a staple because they’re best for deep cleaning floors, but they still have 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.

For instance, these are great for cleaning furniture, stairs, and vehicles.

If you’re on the fence about getting one, consider the following.

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’ll be able to move them wherever and however you need to. Chances are, they won’t have confusing buttons or settings. Usually, you just need to flick 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.

They’re Lightweight

Lightweight is a buzzword that’s thrown around carelessly, but handhelds stay true to their meaning. The entire premise of a handheld is that it’s light enough to lift, usually with one hand.

This is 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 or wreck your posture.

Storage Is Simple

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

Handheld vacuums often come with mountable docking stations so you can stow them out the way or keep them within reach. Whatever suits your home set-up!

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.

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 in your vacuum.

You won’t have to bother with fussy cables that can get in your way.

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

They’re Portable

You can easily carry these vacuums, making them more practical than 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.

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 require little to no effort. Their dust cups can be removed and emptied quickly. Plus, cleaning out filters or tidying up the vacuum itself is also a simple task.

More Affordable

Generally speaking, handheld vacuums are a more affordable option than their bigger counterparts.

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

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 these machines are easier on your ears for the most part.

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

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.

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.

Things to Consider (Buying Guide)

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 for you.

Dust Bin Capacity

The smaller the dust bin, the more often you’ll need to empty it. The bigger it is, the more often you can enjoy uninterrupted cleaning.

We recommend a size of at least 0.5 liters for average-sized homes. Any less, and you might find you’re emptying it very often.

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 removing pet hair from your furniture easier.\

Suction is measured in volts and watts. Around 500 watts or 15 volts will be powerful for a handheld vacuum.


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.


Some handheld vacuums have wet and dry capabilities, which is great for cleaning up spills or damp surfaces. However, it’s essential 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 valuable extras. For instance, if your home has folk with allergies, you will need a special filter to remove allergens (2).


One problem with handheld vacuums is that they don’t last as long as traditional ones. 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.

Battery Life

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

Anything over 20 minutes is recommended, but some options run for longer.

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).


Are Handheld Vacuums Worth It?

Handheld vacuums are worth it because they clean small spills and enable you to go anywhere. If you are cleaning the car, a handheld vacuum is an ideal tool.

How Long Do Handheld Vacuums Last?

Handheld vacuums last, on average, two to five years, although you may get longer on some of the premium models. It also depends on how frequently you use the vacuum and how well you maintain it.

Which Handheld Hoover Has the Best Suction?

The handheld with the best suction is the Black and decker BDH200L. It has a 20V lithium-ion battery that gives it superior suction and runtime, making it ideal for pet hair.

Which Handheld Vacuum Has the Best Battery Life?

The handheld vacuum with the best battery life is the Tineco A11. It has a 40-minute continuous runtime on the lowest setting and converts from a stick vacuum to a handheld for convenience.

Does Dyson Still Make a Handheld Vacuum?

Dyson does make a handheld vacuum cleaner. The Dyson V7 has a motorized attachment, a crevice tool, and a 30-minute runtime. It also comes with a two-year warranty for peace of mind.

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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!