A handheld vacuum has a lot of benefits to offer homeowners. It is easy to carry from room to room, you can store it in your closet when not in use and plug it in where needed for the desired cleaning tasks. Consumers want their cordless vacuums with enough power to do the job right without having to struggle over a long hose or too much weight on one hand. Handheld vacuums are also great because they’re more versatile than upright ones which might be better suited for larger spaces that need deeper cleanings but have trouble reaching spots under furniture such as couches and beds
The “best handheld vacuum 2021” is a type of vacuum that can be used with one hand. A handheld vacuum will allow you to clean up messes and dirt from hard-to-reach places.
For daily little messes, pulling out a large, full-size vacuum isn’t feasible. Handheld vacuum cleaners that are cordless are ideal for light cleaning activities. Although their tiny capacity and short runtimes prevent them from serving as your main vacuum, they are highly useful for cleaning anything from kitchen spills to vehicle clutter to pet hair and dander.
We put 16 of the best solutions through our rigorous testing method, assessing their capacity to handle a variety of waste sizes and kinds, ranging from tiny spills to automobile floor mats and upholstery to pet hair. Finally, we discovered three excellent models that can assist you in keeping your home and garage neat.
Overall, the best cordless handheld vacuum
With a big capacity canister and easy built-in attachments, the Black + Decker Dustbuster is the simplest to operate, charge, and empty of all the handheld vacuums we tested, making it practical and flexible enough for any minor cleaning.
The best portable vacuum for pet hair is the Dyson V8 Animal.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser comes with a motorized brush that takes up more pet hair than any other choice we tested, as well as an upholstery brush and a lengthy crevice tool, so you can clean up pet messes almost everywhere.
The best vehicle vacuum is a portable vacuum cleaner.
The Black + Decker Max Flex is ideal for cleaning your vehicle or truck since it comes with a 4-foot hose and a variety of attachments, including a gentle brush for sensitive surfaces like your radio.
Unsurprisingly, because many consumers associate “Dustbuster” with “handheld vacuum,” this handy gadget outperformed the competition with a well-balanced mix of size, function, and convenience. Of all the devices we tried, it was the simplest to use, charge, and empty. It had a nice, well-balanced feel right out of the box, making it simple to position it in whatever direction we needed. The controls are straightforward—just a slider to turn it on and a single button to release the canister when it’s time to empty it.
The fact that the Black + Decker Dustbuster comes with all of its attachments and equipment is one of our favorite features. When you’re ready to use it, the long crevice tool is built into the main nozzle and simply stretches out. When you need to brush over cushions or get into those tight corners and stairwells, the brush portion folds up to hide the nozzle. You’ll never have to look for the tool you need since there are no stray bits to keep care of. The one flaw with the Dustbuster was that it didn’t have a flat upholstery attachment, but it wasn’t a deal breaker.
The Dustbuster may also utilize a very compact charging station since it doesn’t have any loose tools to manage. This charging base, which measures just over 5 inches in diameter, takes up very little space, and because the corresponding connector on the unit is a ring, it can be placed on the base in any orientation—other vacuums we tested were a lot more fiddly, and it took some time to line up their connections just right.
The Dustbuster’s engine had enough of power to get rid of all of our test detritus, and it had no problem sucking up all of the cheerios without clogging. The dust canister was the simplest to remove and empty out of all the vacuums tested, and the filter was also easy to remove and clean.
Its bulbous body is big enough to hold a 20.6-ounce dust canister (just one other vacuum we tested had a larger one), and the air vent is on the back of the machine, so it never blows air into our work area by accident. (We discovered that the position of the air vent was a typical problem with several of the vacuums we tested, with some units pushing air directly into the region we were attempting to clean, adding time to our procedure.) When you consider the Dustbuster’s reasonable pricing, it’s a no-brainer.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is the finest choice we tested for pulling pet hair from a range of fabrics, thanks to a motorized brush head and extra-large canister. It’s a big machine, weighing 3 pounds and measuring 17 inches long, yet it feels balanced in your hands and isn’t bulky or difficult to operate.
The machine as a whole seemed solid, and neither the canister nor the filter felt weak or unstable in any way. The motorized pet hair brush fits snugly into the nozzle and performed well in our pet hair test, particularly when it came to removing dog hair stuck deep in the carpeting of our test Jeep Wrangler. It quickly removed dog hair from carpets, rugs, and sofas, and the extra large 23.6 ounce canister—the biggest of all the alternatives we tested—could contain a significant quantity of hair before having to be emptied. When it comes to pet hair cleansing, the long crevice tool and flat upholstery brush make it even more flexible.
It’s worth mentioning that the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser’s large number of attachments might easily enable it to serve as your main handheld vacuum. It was also practical to use in the automobile, however its hefty size made it difficult to move in a smaller vehicle. The one drawback we discovered throughout our testing was that the nozzle was too narrow to suck up Cheerios, making it less adaptable and maybe unsuitable for families with tiny children (or who just tend to get messy themselves). It tackles the other little detritus, such as flour and kitten litter, just well.
The 17-minute battery life was on the upper end of our test group (the longest running alternatives were 20 minutes) and should be enough for most fast jobs. However, it lacks a charging base, which we found inconvenient. When you want to charge it, all you have to do is put in the wall-wart type power adapter, so you’ll have to come up with your own system for keeping accessories organized, as well as set aside some floor or shelf space for the unit itself.
If you want to keep the dust, crumbs, filth, and pet hair out of your car’s seats, dashboard crevices, and floor mats, go no further than the Black + Decker Max Flex. Because of its tiny size and vast choice of attachments and equipment, this compact vacuum was a delight to operate throughout the auto cleaning section of our testing. It was simple to reach wherever in our test cars.
The 4 foot hose set this vacuum apart from the competition, and when paired with the lengthy crevice tool, brush head nozzle, and pet hair attachment, we were able to clean small crevices and upholstery with ease. The pet hair attachment, which uses a round, rubber head to grasp and remove hair even from difficult surfaces like the Jeep Wrangler’s thick, practically velcro-like carpeting, was our favorite. The long brush head was particularly useful for cleaning places that needed a delicate touch, such as the dashboard and radio controls, which would have been damaged if a conventional plastic nozzle had been used. The 17 oz. canister was big enough to catch a lot of trash and hair, and it was easy to empty when it became full.
This vacuum is ideal for use both inside and outside the house. The long hose makes it simple to hold the vacuum and an attachment in one hand, enabling you to reach higher shelves and surfaces, such as kitchen cabinets. It’s almost like a little canister vacuum cleaner.
The Black + Decker Max Flex even comes with the bits needed to make a long-handled stick vacuum, making it the sole choice for a full-length floor vac. This vacuum’s adaptability might make it a main vacuum for a studio apartment or a tiny area. All of these attachments and extras will need some ingenuity in terms of storage and organizing, but if you require them, the work may be worthwhile.
What to Look for When Buying a Handheld Vacuum
Underscored by Alex Rennie/CNN
You’ll definitely benefit from a portable vacuum if you’ve ever allowed dust and grime build up because it was too much of a headache to haul out a bulky vacuum or just find it excessive to use a full-size machine to clean up a relatively tiny spill.
Handheld vacuum cleaners are the smaller, cordless cousins of upright vacuum cleaners and cordless stick vacuum cleaners. Handhelds are more portable and maneuverable than their larger cousins—they can easily fit inside kitchen drawers and cabinets, up on shelves, or behind vehicle seats—and they’re far more handy to use in a rush since they’re compact and cordless.
It’s crucial to remember that a handheld vacuum will be less powerful than a canister or stick vacuum, and their small canisters will need much more frequent emptying. They are unsuitable for use in vast places or extensive cleaning activities due to their short runtimes (typically 10-20 minutes).
A handheld vacuum should be used as part of a larger vacuuming plan, not as a stand-alone solution. Rather, it’s a terrific supplement to a full-size model when it comes to keeping your home clean, just like a toaster oven compliments a full-size convection oven. You’ll have a handheld vacuum for tiny spills, vehicle cleaning, and short upholstery jobs, a robot vacuum or cordless stick vacuum for everyday maintenance, and a full-size upright vacuum or canister vacuum for larger chores and weekly home cleaning this manner.
If you live in a small place and don’t have enough room for several vacuums, a cordless stick vacuum may be a better option than a handheld vacuum. Many versions enable you to remove the stick and operate the vacuum as a handheld vacuum, albeit you lose some of the convenience of not having to keep care of a number of unnecessary pieces.
Underscored by Alex Rennie/CNN
We arrived on a selection of 16 possibilities after studying and sourcing the most popular handheld vacuums on the market—making sure to cover a broad variety of sizes, kinds, and specializations. We next put each model through a battery of tests, assessing its capacity to properly suction and contain various sorts of waste, as well as the overall design and quality of its construction, convenience of use, and cleaning. We compared and contrasted our findings after that, and utilized that knowledge to firmly identify our top three choices.
Design, quality of construction, and characteristics
Handheld vacuums should be basic and easy to operate, therefore we looked at how simple the controls were, as well as if they used any complex or annoying components. We took sure to thoroughly assess and evaluate how simple or difficult it was to detach and empty the dust canister and filter on virtually all of the vacuums, and if doing so was likely to cause a mess or not. A bigger canister will cut down on the number of times you have to empty it. We took note of each vacuum’s canister capacity and compared them to comparable models, which helped with tie-breakers.
We tested and assessed all attachments, tools, and accessories that came with each machine, grading them not just on number but also on functionality. We also considered whether the vacuum’s size and form had an impact on its capacity to tackle a variety of jobs, as well as the use of any specialty attachments such as pet hair brushes and wet/dry tools.
Noise, power, and suction, as well as the position of the air exhaust outlet, were all considered. The placement and angle of this vent may have a huge impact on how well a handheld vacuum works, and when it blows downwards to the floor, it can sweep dust and debris about while you work.
Underscored by Alex Rennie/CNN
We sprinkled a spoonful of three different kinds of debris (flour, cat litter, and Cheerios) on the kitchen floor and set a 10-second timer while attempting to clean up as much as we could to test each vacuum’s capacity to take up little material. After each debris type, we weighed each vacuum’s canister to check how much it truly took up. Using this method, we were able to assess power, suction, and storage capacity across the board.
After that, we used each vacuum to clean two vehicles (a compact Jeep Wrangler and a larger Subaru Forester) with all of their tools and attachments. We looked at charging capabilities (a USB charger, for example, would let you to keep the vacuum in your vehicle at all times), canister size, and each vacuum’s general ability to move into tight spots such behind seats and crevices.
We also used each vacuum to clean up dog hair on a sofa and indoor rugs, as well as the carpeting inside the two cars, to make sure they could manage pet messes. We observed how much hair the canister could hold without having to be emptied, in addition to its capacity to pull up and remove hair. Although we focused on the models that are expressly developed and sold for pet hair removal, we also put all of the other alternatives through the same testing.
Finally, we took note of the duration and details of each vacuum’s guarantee, as well as the types of coverage it provides.
Other Vacuum Cleaners We Tried
Wyze Vacuum Handheld
This vacuum’s small size makes it excellent for light-duty cleaning, and since it charges through USB, it’s ideal for storing in your vehicle or virtually anyplace else you may need it. The vacuum is strong for its size, and it effortlessly sucked up Cheerios (a chore that several of the bigger machines struggled with) and held them in the canister without spilling any. The amount of attachments that included with the Wyze Handheld pleased us, albeit the extension hose felt a little cheap, and the convenient storage bag in which they could be stored. The Wyze’s primary flaw is that you had to hold down the power button for a few seconds to turn it on—and the same for powering it off—which was annoying.
Wandvac is a shark.
The Wandvac is a shark. has a modern, sleek look, and enough attachments to be useful for a range of jobs.The 16.5-inch inch length also allows you to reach the ground without bending over too much, although the Wandvac is large enough that it does make it difficult to reach into tight or awkward areas. The nozzle head was able to form a nice tight seal on the floor, making it really useful for sucking up flour and other soft debris from between tile cracks. The main drawback to this vacuum was its relatively small 2.56 oz canister, which filled up quickly, and was a bit inconvenient to dump out cleanly.
This sleek, elegant vacuum features a sturdy structure and well-made accessories, and it’s easy to use straight out of the box. It had a strong charging base, and the attachments—a long crevice tool with brush and a flat upholstery tool—performed well and made this vacuum quite flexible. The unit’s side vents blasted air out and up, reducing the likelihood of our debris heaps flying about. You may select between “Eco” and “Max” power settings to save battery life by sacrificing a little power. Except for the Cheerios section, this vacuum performed well in the most of our testing. Unfortunately, the flap that prevents trash from falling back out of the canister was too strong to suck the Cheerios in, and it was unable to do so. Removing the canister and filter was a pain, and the large number of plastic and rubber components made us nervous that one may shatter or wear out with repeated usage.
Black & Decker Advanced Clean
This vacuum’s simple controls and storage base make it simple to operate and practical for light-duty cleaning. The retractable extra-wide nozzle was intriguing, but the machine didn’t appear to have enough power to be very effective, and it struggled to take up cat litter throughout our tests. However, the crevice tool and brush attachment were effective, and the detachable canister was one of the simplest versions to clean. The 11-minute duration is short in comparison to our other alternatives, but it’s enough for occasional cleaning.
Although the Dirt Devil vacuum’s powerful 20V battery and heavy weight gave it a nice, sturdy feel, and its motorized pet hair brush made it nearly as good as our top pet hair pick, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser, the vacuum’s lack of additional attachments—particularly a soft brush tool—made it noticeably less versatile for other cleaning tasks. However, we liked how the long crevice tool was permanently linked to the canister, reducing the possibilities of it being misplaced, which is always a win in our eyes. We did have some issues with soft particles like flour, which was constantly blown about owing to the air vent’s downward position. Keep in mind that the nozzle was too narrow for Cheerios, so keep that in mind if you want to use it for bigger garbage. The absence of a separate charging base was also a disadvantage, however depending on your storage needs, this may not be an issue.
The Hoover ONEPWR’s long length made it ideal for reaching cobwebs and dust in ceiling corners, but it made storing and fitting into confined spaces difficult. Unfortunately, the dust container was curiously tiny, and it quickly filled up throughout our tests. The Hoover’s power-tool-style battery pack requires an external charger, which was bothersome, and there were a lot of bits to arrange and keep track of since the charger lacked storage for both the vacuum and the attachments. If you already possess other Hoover ONEPWR products, though, this vacuum—and its battery pack—could be a valuable addition (which includes carpet cleaners, upright vacuums, leaf blowers and sprayers).
If you’re looking for a compact footprint, the BISSELL Aeroslim might be the answer. It was one of the best ultra-compact devices we examined, and surprisingly powerful when compared to larger ones. We liked how the crevice tool included an incorporated brush attachment, which made it adaptable enough for a variety of chores without requiring you to keep track of unnecessary accessories. The Aeroslim was really handy for cleaning out the vehicle because of this one attachment, as well as its tiny size and USB charging capacity. Its brush allowed us to rapidly run it over the dashboard and instrument panel without fear of scratching them, and the main nozzle was large enough to pick up sand, grit, and other detritus from our flooring. With an easily removable canister and a filter cover that was simple to wash under the faucet, this vacuum was also very straightforward to clean. The biggest disadvantage was that Cheerios couldn’t fit through the primary nozzle, and the 3.3-ounce canister size was just a little too tiny.
This alternative is well-suited for anybody who wants to clean up wet spills fast thanks to the inclusion of a unique squeegee attachment. Unfortunately, the air vent’s position was incredibly inconvenient, and turning the vacuum even a few degrees can blow your dust and debris about, making an even greater mess. This vacuum had a wonderful, strong build to it, and we never felt like it was weak or in risk of being broken if we dropped or accidently bumped it against anything. It also came with a 2-year limited guarantee (most others only offered a 1-year warranty), and a huge 17-ounce canister that was easy to unscrew and clean out after we were done. In addition to the squeegee, it has an inbuilt long crevice tool that you won’t lose.
Overall, this Hoover vacuum was simple to operate and one of the most powerful alternatives we tested, due to a 20V battery. This type, like the Hoover ONEPWR Dust Chaser, needs an additional battery pack—similar to a power drill—which makes it less practical than vacs with an internal battery, while the extra battery might be beneficial if used as part of a broader Hoover ONEPWR tool set. The Hoover ONEPWR’s strong battery easily powered through all of our debris tests, and the crevice tool, which is housed on the machine itself, was always simple to locate and install when we needed it. This might be a terrific pick if you have the space to readily store it and the battery charger, as well as a requirement for the sheer power it delivers.
We had great expectations for this unit’s unusual pet brush attachment, but were disappointed by its limited output. The rubber flaps, rather than the brush head utilized by other pet hair attachments, couldn’t pick up as much hair as any other pet-focused alternative we examined. The unit’s big size made it difficult to use inside the vehicle and took up a lot of storage space, particularly because it didn’t have a charging station. We liked how solid and well-built the device was overall, and the canister and filter were simple to remove and clean when we were done.
Black & Decker Pivot
We liked how convenient this machine was, especially since all of the accessories were incorporated into the unit itself. This was a snap to use and store, with no additional components to arrange or keep track of, and the minimum charging base made it simple to keep out of the way. During flour and cat litter tests, it performed well, albeit the Cheerios clogged the nozzle and the canister finally failed to retain them. Aside from that, the vacuum’s power and broad nozzle made it a lot of fun to use, particularly in the vehicle. The tilting nozzle is especially handy for reaching overhanging cabinets, while its long-term reliability is unknown.
The “dyson handheld vacuum” is a handheld vacuum that has been around for a while. It’s one of the best handheld vacuums on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best rated hand held vacuum?
A: The best rated hand held vacuum is the Miele Olympus S2.
Which handheld vacuum has the most power?
A: The Dyson V6 is the most powerful handheld vacuum cleaner, with a high-performance motor and suction power of 7.2 watts per kilogram.
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