Best Handheld Vacuums for All Kinds of Cleaning Jobs

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 23, 2017
How often did you try to clean in between the sofa and armchair or get into the corners behind the furniture with a traditional vacuum and failed? This is where a smaller handheld vacuum will come in handy. This super-smart and compact little helper will get where a full-size vac cannot reach making cleaning easy and hassle-free. Still, don't have one? Choose one of 5 top-rated models we've selected for you. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Operation
Power
Attachments
Usability
 
PROS

The patented Root Cyclone technology used ensures stunning suction power with the air being spun at very high speeds. The filtering system effectively traps fine dust and pet dander inside the bin.

CONS

This model might seem a bit pricey, but it is surely worth the money. 

OUR VERDICT

Compact, super lightweight yet extremely powerful, this handheld vacuum from Dyson will efficiently tackle all kinds of dirt, be it pet hair, occasional spills, or some dust behind ceiling fans and TVs. It will become your ultimate cleaning helper for years to come.

detailed parameters
Operation
2.9 lbs, cordless
Power
22.2 V
Attachments
Combination brush / debris nozzle tool, Rigid crevice tool
Usability
Washable filter, Charging base
PROS

A 3-step filtration system provides the highest level of air cleaning without dust clogs. A high-capacity battery enables a long-lasting and powerful performance of the cleaner.

CONS

A rubber valve inside the air filter requires regular cleaning from clogs. 

OUR VERDICT

If you've come in the market searching for an effective yet simple-to-use handheld vacuum cleaner, there's hardly a better choice than the BDH2000PL. Cleverly combining high-performance, portability and a well-balanced design, it's one of the best for daily use. 

detailed parameters
Operation
4.4 lbs, cordless
Power
20 V
Attachments
Crevice tool, On-board brush
Usability
Washable filter, Pre-filter, Charging base
PROS

A unique Cyclonic Action technology provides an incredibly powerful suction force no matter how full the dust bowl is. In addition, the Smart Charge technology reduces energy consumption up to 50% and prevents the battery overcharge.

CONS

The unit operation is rather noisy. 

OUR VERDICT

If you need an affordable, easy-to-use yet highly functional little helper for your daily cleaning chores, this handheld vacuum from Black & Decker is the right option to go for. It will be a real find for any pet and car owner.

detailed parameters
Operation
4.8 lbs, cordless
Power
16 V
Attachments
Crevice tool, Flip-up brush
Usability
Removable and washable dust tank, Washable filter, Washable pre-filter
PROS

4 cleaning modes allow for cleaning all surfaces. Twister cyclonic technology ensures stable suction power. Relies on a motorized brush roll and is great for carpets. 

CONS

The charging base is pretty bulky. 

OUR VERDICT

Thanks to a consistent strong power suction and a special pet brush, the Shark cordless mini vac easily sucks both thick dog hair and fine cat lint. This pet hair fighter will be a real find for all pet lovers prone to allergies. 

detailed parameters
Operation

4.2 lbs, cordless

Power
18 V
Attachments
Motorized pet hair brush, Crevice tool, Dusting brush
Usability
Washable filter
PROS

An innovative Riser Visor allows cleaning both horizontal and vertical surfaces without a hassle, be it a tile floor or a carpet on stair risers.

CONS

Since it's a corded model, you should use it within the reach of a power socket.

OUR VERDICT

Due to its specific design, the Eureka 71B will pick even the tiniest particles of dust and dirt and easily reach corners and areas where other models fail. It's a perfect dustbuster for cleaning cars and a decent alternative to a full-size vac.

detailed parameters
Operation
4.8 lbs, corded
Power
605 W
Attachments
Stretch hose / On-board crevice tool / Riser visor
Usability
Bagless filter

What Is a Handheld Vacuum?

Everybody knows what a vacuum cleaner is - this appliance is used in every home and apartment. However, a conventional corded vac is pretty bulky and quite difficult to get into tight spaces and narrow areas and it appears almost useless when you need to cope with rather tricky cleaning tasks such as cleaning sofas, couches, and armchairs, shelves, in between the furniture, etc. Need an alternative? There is one. It’s a handheld vacuum cleaner. Being a smaller, more compact and portable version of a traditional vac, this handy appliance will make troublesome cleaning in hard-to-reach places as easy as never before. Commonly these are lightweight and easy-to-carry devices with ergonomic design and impressive suction power. Since it can go almost anywhere, the handheld vac is suitable for the whole variety of applications, be it removing dust from ceiling fans and behind TVs, cleaning pet rugs, removing spills, crumbs, and food remnants from any surfaces or cleaning car upholstery.

However, if you need a high-performing vacuum cleaner for cleaning large areas, check our review on canister vacuums that deliver extremely powerful suction and can remove the finest dust.

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What Features to Compare

Design

All handheld vacuums fall into two major categories. There are cordless models powered by rechargeable batteries and corded vacs powered from the mains. No need to say, that when you seek a fully independent operation and want to use your dustbuster literary anywhere, a cordless model will be preferable. Along with portability, another good thing about any cordless handheld vacuum is that it is always ready for use. No need to unwrap a cord and look for a power socket. Simply turn it on and start cleaning. Yet, you should always remember to check the battery charge.The main advantages of corded models are powerful performance and continuous operation. The only con is the working area limited by the length of a power cord. Though these models usually feature pretty long cords and you can also use an extension.

Power

It is always essential to consider the power of electric motor every electric handheld vacuum comes fitted with. The more power the motor generates, the higher suction level it will create and the better overall appliance performance it will deliver at the end. It’s notable that any corded handheld vacuum cleaner will appear more powerful than its cordless rivals.

Attachments

If you are going to clean narrow crevices you must be sure your vac can handle it. To tackle different kinds of surfaces and coatings, mini vacuums usually come packed with a number of handy attachments. Some models feature a special pet hair brush which is a must-have item for any pet owner, especially if you have a long-haired cat or dog or even several pets. Meanwhile, a rubber contour nozzle will help you efficiently clean smooth marble, stone, and glass surfaces and a crevice tool will cope with dirt and dust in places that are too tight for a brush roll.

Usability

For easy and convenient use, almost all models are ergonomically designed and feature comfortable handles ensuring a secure grip for long-term operation without fatigue. On top of that, most modern mini vacs are equipped with efficient filters to capture all the dust and remove it from the airflow to protect you from breathing it in. It’s a highly helpful option, especially for allergy and asthma sufferers.

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Dyson DC34

Design

The Dyson DC34 is a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner which cleverly combines strong suction power and extremely lightweight construction. Unlike many other models presented on the market, the weight of the Dyson DC34 is really small making it perfect for those seeking a portable solution.

The operation of the Dyson DC34 is based on a 22V Li-ion battery that comes with the purchase. You can operate the cleaner switching it either to a dual power mode allowing 15 minutes of high constant suction power or 6 minutes of boost mode for quick clean-ups. A LED indicator on the handle of the cleaner will start to blink red when the battery level starts to drop low so that you'll know when to recharge it. It's best to charge the battery in advance considering that its charging time takes 3.5 hours. When fully recharged, however, the Dyson DC34 stuns with the amount of force it is able to produce making it easy to pick even the finest particles of dust and dander from flooring.

Review of Dyson DC34 Bagless Cordless Hand Vacuum

Power

Thanks to a 22.2V battery and advanced electric motor using Root Cyclone technology, the DC34's performance is on a par with conventional cleaners. Its motor is able to spin at incredible 104,000 RPM speed, which makes it even better than some full-sized cleaners in terms of power and performance.

The Root Cyclone technology produces centrifugal forces to spin the air inside the vac at incredibly high speeds directing all the dust, pet hair, dirt, and debris straight into the bin. It allows using a bagless filter not prone to clogging up with dust particles. With the Dyson, quick and efficient room cleanups will become an easy job!

Dyson DC34 Bagless Cordless Hand Vacuum in the use

Attachments

This Dyson handheld vacuum cleaner comes with a couple of attachments, yet they are very handy for all kinds of pollution. The first one is a combination tool that comes with a wide debris nozzle to pick up crumbs, food remnants, and any large particles and converts to a brush for cleaning and dusting flat and delicate surfaces like keyboards and furniture upholstery. The second one is a crevice tool that is used to remove dust from uneven surfaces, tight areas and car interiors.

Detailed review of Dyson DC34 Bagless Cordless Hand Vacuum

Usability

Normally, any modern handheld vacuum has an effective filtering technology. Most manufacturers rely on disposable filters, but Dyson engineers have made it much simpler - the Root Cyclone technology pushes all the dust and dirt right into the container. Therefore, no disposable filters or bags are required, not only saving you the trouble to replace the filter but also saving your budget on replacement parts. There's a single washable filter inside that requires cleaning from time to time. And you can rest assured about the purity of the exhaust air since with the Dyson, it contains 150 times fewer bacteria and allergens than the air of an average house. Emptying a dustbin is simple and hygienic - just press the button and the bottom hatch will open allowing the litter to down into a trash can. The bin is transparent, so you always know when it's time to empty it.

Dyson DC34 Bagless Cordless Hand Vacuum application

Dyson DC34
Dyson DC34
 

Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum

Design

This portable Black & Decker vacuum cleaner is one of the best-selling mini vacs available on the market today. It boasts compact size and cordless design, so you can easily carry it around your house and take it anywhere you need to perform quick on-the-spot vacuuming. This portable handheld vacuum cleaner is designed to clean even the most hard-to-reach areas of your house such as cupboards, shelves, areas between furniture and walls, etc. Thanks to a pivoting nozzle, the Black & Decker vac will get where other models fail. When the nozzle is folded down, the appliance is pretty compact and does not take much storage space.

One of the better features of this model is a high-capacity Li-ion battery that provides around 17 minutes of continuous operation, which is more than enough to cope with most small messes in your dwelling. Meanwhile, it takes only 6 minutes for a complete recharge.

Review of Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum

Power

Despite its cordless design and pretty small dimensions, the Dyson BDH2000PL features a high-performance motor generating impressively strong suction power that allows you to pick all kinds of dust and debris, be it pet food, popcorn, crumbs or lint or hairs. Just like other cordless Black & Decker models, this mini vacuum boasts the cutting-edge cyclonic action that spins the rubbish away from the filter right into the dust container.

Some cordless handheld vacs suffer from a gradual decrease in power when the battery is running low, but it’s not the case with the BDH2000PL. Powered by a 20V Lithium battery, the unit stands out for its fade-free power and consistent operation. Compact yet powerful, this vacuum cleaner will become your dependable helper.

Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum in the use

Attachments

What really sets this handheld vacuum cleaner apart from other models is an exclusive pivoting nozzle designed to cope with odd jobs most traditional uprights can’t handle. What’s so special about this accessory? Actually, it looks like a common crevice tool. Yet, it pivots up to 200 degrees while maintaining suction to reach those awkward places. Moreover, it’s extendable to get into hard-to-access areas and features a wide mouth to scoop up large debris. Besides, there is a small flip-up brush to clean fine surfaces and upholstery.

With that said, this small cordless handheld vac ensures efficient cleaning of stairs, floors, carpets, shelves, and so on. Though most other dust busters come with more attachments, this model is extremely functional without any add-ons.

Detailed review of Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum

Usability

One of the greater advantages of this handy appliance is that it features a 3-stage filtration system and has a pleated filter that prevents clogs. All this ensures a super-fine exhaust air cleaning quality. The dust container is clear and it's easy to see when it gets full to empty it in time. Besides, you can detach it and rinse under the running water, which is very convenient. 

Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum
Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum
 

Black & Decker CHV1410L

Design

The Black & Decker CHV1410L is a brand-new model which has managed to conquer the market in a record amount of time. Like the rest of the models on this list, the CHV1410L is cordless; what distinguishes it, though, is a long battery life. Dissimilar to most handheld hoovers, the CHV1410L's operation time is 20 minutes, which allows completing quite a number of cleaning tasks. The recharging time isn't long, either, and takes no longer than an hour. We'd also like to mention the Smart Charge technology which is used here to protect the battery from overcharging and reduce the energy consumption by up to 50%.

Review of Black & Decker CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac

Power

The CHV1410L comes fitted with a powerful electric motor that yields a voltage of up to 16 V that is quite a good output for a compact appliance. It maintains a consistent suction power thanks to the Cyclonic Action technology which spins all dust and small debris preventing the dust bowl and filter from clogging and ensuring flawless operation and efficient cleaning. All of this makes this small dust buster powerful enough to handle cat and dog food, pet litter, dust, some ground around flower pots, small wood chips, ash etc., making it a versatile tool to use both inside and outside your house.

Black & Decker CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac in the use

Attachments

This handheld vacuum cleaner has a relatively long narrow nozzle with an extendable crevice tool to pick up dust behind the furniture, in the furniture, on shelves, picture frames, and in other hard-to-reach areas and tight spaces. The nozzle has an attached flip-up brush for cleaning upholstery and delicate surfaces prone to scratches and damages. By attaching this brush, you can use the CHB1410L for cleaning the interior of your car and save money on purchasing a special car vacuum cleaner. Even though there's a whole lot of attachments you could additionally buy for the CHB1410L, a lot of users find the original package more than substantive for cleaning tasks they usually need to perform.

Detailed review of Black & Decker CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac

Usability

The CHV1410L is very easy to assemble/disassemble for cleaning. In spite of its handheld design and overall small dimensions, it has quite a large bagless dirt bowl, which is very easy to remove and wash under water. To ensure superior quality of cleaning, the manufacturer fitted the CHV1410L with a washable filter and pre-filter. By maintaining them clean, you'll ensure a long performance and consistent suction power of your cleaner. 

Black & Decker CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Black & Decker CHV1410L
Black & Decker CHV1410L
 

Shark SV780

Design

The Shark SV780 is a handheld cordless vacuum cleaner that provides incredible portability and mobility required for performing all kinds of cleaning tasks. It features a lightweight construction for hassle-free operation and has an overall compact size for space-wise storage. 

The cleaner is powered by a 18V rechargeable battery that provides impressively long run time. The only drawback to this cleaner is that it takes about 20 hours to fully recharge. Still, we do not regard it as a big mishap, considering that people usually use handheld vacuum cleaners for completing quick clean-ups, and rarely need to operate it longer than 10-15 minutes. So if you do not plan a thorough cleaning in your house, you can charge it for less than 20 hours and count on effective cleaning performance during 10 minutes of time. 

Though the Shark dust buster isn't designed to substitute for a conventional upright vacuum cleaner, it will come in handy for a variety of light-duty cleaning tasks where a full-size vac might turn to be inefficient, and can be used even by kids willing to take on some cleaning duties. 

Review of Shark SV780

Power

This model is driven by a direct current electric motor generating the power of 1500 watts. It might be not the most powerful model on the market, but it certainly does what it is designed for. Paired with the twister cyclonic technology, the motor maintains a really strong suction allowing you to tackle almost all kinds of dirt and debris. It will easily pick up pet hair, sand, mud, grass and even small leaves, which might have stuck to your shoes while you've been out for a stroll, from different types of flooring, and will lend you a helping hand in removing sawdust and wood choppings in your workshop, garage or shed. 

Shark SV780 in the use

Attachments

The advantage of the Shark Pet Perfect II hand vac over other cleaners is that it comes packed with a rich set of attachments that expand its application making it suitable for a vast number of cleaning jobs. The vac has a basic crevice tool for cleaning in narrow spaces like in-between and behind the furniture, a standard dusting brush for dusting carpets, upholstery, and smooth surfaces, and a motorized pet hair brush specifically designed for deep cleaning. This brush is ideal for removing pet hair and ground-in mud. If you're a pet owner and you often find fluffy furballs on your couch, the Shark SV780 will help you tackle this problem.  

Detailed review of Shark SV780

Usability

The Shark mini vac offers some great convenience features. It is fitted with a washable filter and an easy-to-empty bagless dust cup so that you do not need to think about buying replacement bags. Also, it has a handy wall-mountable charging base allowing you to hang it on a wall so that you can save some usable space in the room. All of the attachments are easy to store in the same place, on a special base.

Shark SV780 application

VIDEO
Shark Pet Perfect Portable Vacuum Review
Shark SV780
Shark SV780
 

Eureka 71B Corded

Design

The Eureka 71B EasyClean is a corded handheld vacuum cleaner. Which means those that have been looking for a portable solution might not find it suitable as the Eureka 71B EasyClean requires a power outlet. For all the rest, this vac has a lot of benefits to offer. At a cost of a slightly bigger design, the engineers of the Eureka 71B EasyClean packed in it immense power and performance making it a commendable rival to conventional hoovers. To make up for the lack of mobility, the Eureka 71B was fitted with a long 20-foot power cord ensuring that the user can operate it with convenience, and if this length isn't enough for you, the operating area of the cleaner can be further enlarged with an extension cord. Another obvious advantage of the Eureka 71B EasyClean corded cleaner is that it is able to provide continuous and powerful performance on demand. You won't need to waste any minute waiting for it to recharge like you would've done with any of the cordless models. The Eureka 71B EasyClean is always ready to go.

Review of Eureka 71B Corded

Power

The Eureka 71B Corded EasyClean vacuum cleaner is equipped with a 5.5 Amp electric motor that generates consistent suction power allowing the vac to effectively gather fine hair, dirt particles, and spills. Instead of sweeping a broom picking up fine debris, run the Eureka 71B Corded EasyClean cleaner and let it suck in all rubbish in one quick pass. The Eureka 71B Corded EasyClean cleaner is one of the few vacs out there that can boast of two motors: one generates the suction power and the other one revolves the brush. 

Eureka 71B Corded in the use

Attachments

The Eureka handheld vacuum looks slightly different from other cleaners present on the market, but mostly because of the attachments it comes fitted with. It has an on-board stretch hose with a narrow-ended crevice tool and features a wide mouth with a riser visor, a rotating cover over the brush roll. All of this allows using it in confined spaces - between the furniture, cushions, blinds and seats, along the walls and corners, on carpets, stairs, as well as vertical surfaces like upholstery etc. 

Detailed review of Eureka 71B Corded

Usability

Powerful and high-capacity, this dust buster vacuum is very convenient and easy to maintain and use. The controls are located on top of the handle for a user's easy reach. A bagless filter, along with a dust cup, is easy to remove and clean. The cord compactly wraps around the body of the cleaner for its convenient storage. 

If you've been looking for a decent alternative to a full-size vacuum cleaner but of a portable size, look no further than the Eureka 71B EasyClean. Relying on the electric power, this handheld vac produces sufficient amount of suction power to cope with all kinds of dirt and dust and it has the right size to slip and clean in tight spaces where a conventional vac wouldn't get to. A great option for customers living in small apartments, dorm rooms, and RVs. 

Eureka 71B Corded application

Eureka 71B Corded
Eureka 71B Corded
 

FAQ:

Q: Do I really need a handheld vacuum cleaner?
A: No housekeeping arsenal is complete without a vacuum cleaner. No matter whether you live in a large homestead or a city apartment, you're likely to own a full-size vacuum cleaner, be it an upright or canister model. When it comes to handheld models, they aren't designed to replace a tradition vac; the primary purpose of a handheld vacuum is to clean in those spaces and areas where a conventional vacuum cleaner cannot get to. Usually, these are tight spaces between walls, hard-to-reach areas under and in-between the furniture, stairs, corners, picture frames, shelves, air vents, ceiling fans and chandeliers. If you've ever tried to clean in these spaces using a full-sized vac, you know how difficult this may be. That's where having a handheld vac will prove useful. Small and powerful, handheld vacuum cleaners are best suited for performing quick clean-ups around the house and in a car. If you perform clean-ups on a daily basis, and if you do not like an idea of dragging around a bulky vac, purchasing a handheld vacuum cleaner may become a great solution making these chores for you a breeze.

Q: Bagless vs bagged filters
A: Most handheld vacuums apply bagless filtration system. Such systems are easier to clean and maintain and you can easily dispose of the dust and dirt without the need to replace the bags. Eventually, bagless system allows you to save your budget on buying replacement bags. Yet, there is one advantage of bagged models over bagless ones. A bag filter is a more hygienic option securely trapping all debris, dust particles and possibly bacteria and allergens inside. For this reason, bag filters are recommended for allergy sufferers.

Q: How shall I clean the filter unit?
A: Bagless filters require regular cleaning, depending on how often you use the vac and what kinds of debris you use it for. Generally, the filter requires cleaning every 2-4 weeks. As a rule, filters need to be washed manually in cold or lukewarm water and dried well before putting them back into the vac. 

Q: Does a powerful motor mean more suction power?
A: Not necessarily. A final performance and suction power depend not only on the electric motor amperage but also on the overall design, filtration system, and efficient airflow. Thus, to deliver the suction power comparable to that of full-size models, handheld vacuums often use cyclonic technologies to intensify the airflow not only to force the dust into a dust collector but also to increase the suction power.

Q: What shall I do if my vac loses suction power?
A: If you notice that your handheld vac is not that efficient as it used to be, there are several main reasons for that:

  • The dust bin is full and needs emptying. Handheld models are usually equipped with clear dust containers allowing you to see when it’s time to empty it.
  • The filter gets clogged with dust particles or hair and needs thorough cleaning to restore the suction force.
  • The nozzle or other detachable accessories get clogged. Make sure, there are no bit items stuck inside.

Q: Is a handheld vac suitable for sucking up water?
A: Most handheld models are meant for cleaning dry mess. Yet, there are mini vacs designed to tackle both dry and wet messes. Make sure to read the specifications of the vac you've chosen to know for sure whether or not it's suitable for wet cleaning. Picking up water with a dry-only appliance may lead to its breaking. 


Sources:

1. Matthew Knight How to buy the best handheld vacuum cleaner, Which?

2. Chris Barnes Stick and handheld vacuums buying guide, Choice. December 9, 2015.

3. How to Choose Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, wikiHow.

4. Handheld Vacuum Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016.

5. Christina Peterson Shop Smart: Choosing a Handheld Vacuum, Good Housekeeping. June 12, 2014.

6. Handheld Vacuum Buying Guide, ConsumerSearch.

7. Liam McCabe The Best Handheld Vacuum, The Sweethome. December 3, 2015.

8. Kate Halse Top 10 Best Cordless Vacuums, Heavy. May 21, 2015.

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