If you’re looking to suck dirt and pet hair in small or tight spaces, it’s hard to match the versatility of a handheld vacuum. While they’re not a replacement for a full-sized vacuum, their compact size and portability make them ideal additions to your appliance collection. They’re also great as part of your car cleaning toolkit.
Over the years, the number of handheld vacuum models has grown exponentially. In a crowded market, which unit should you buy? We took tips from customer reviews to find the best handheld vacuums. Below, we narrow them down to the top five.
Best Handheld Vacuums Comparison Chart
|Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
|Bissell Cleanview Deluxe
Best overall handheld vacuum
Hoover shares that 91% of respondents would recommend the Hoover ONEPWR to a friend. Such is the popularity of this handheld vacuum that it’s also Amazon’s choice. But online ratings aren’t everything. The ONEPWR’s biggest draw is expertly balancing design, performance, and value in a unit that weighs only three pounds.
Despite being lightweight, it comes with powerhouse features. Chief among them is its extra-large dustbin. One customer shares that the bin is large enough that she’s “never had to empty in the middle of cleaning.” Emptying dirt couldn’t be any easier, too, thanks to a one-button release. Moreover, clean-up is a breeze thanks to the included washable filter.
For a handheld vacuum, the ONEPWR also brings in a lot of power. What else can you expect from a product with such a name? Plus, it uses the same battery as those found on Hoover’s full-sized appliances, including leaf blowers and stick vacuums. The only downside to having such power is that the vacuum can be loud.
Dimensions: 16.5 x 6. 5 x 5 in. | Weight: 3 lbs | Type: | Cordless
Battery Life: Up to 14 minutes | Bin Capacity: 0.4 L
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
Best handheld vacuum for pets
Going by its name, it’s hard to argue against the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser being the best handheld vacuum for pet hair. The cordless vacuum tackles anything — from hair on the couch to pet food spilled over bowls. Operating the unit is also simple. You get an on-off switch to start or stop the vacuum and a push-button for opening the 0.7-liter dust bin. Bissell also includes several tools.
As one reviewer writes, the vacuum comes with “nice attachments useful for reaching every corner of the bathroom, including nooks and crannies.” Its motorized brush, for instance, picks up embedded pet hair on carpets. Meanwhile, the upholstery attachment is designed to clean soft surfaces and furniture. Lastly, a crevice tool makes pulling pet hair from tight spaces effortless.
Bissel shares that the vacuum comes with a three-stage filter. While it’s a welcome addition, you’ll have to remove it before emptying the bin. Otherwise, the Pet Hair Eraser is a reliable tool to keep your home clean for people and pets alike.
Dimensions: 16 x 4.5 x 5 in. | Weight: 3 lbs | Type: | Cordless
Battery Life: Up to 17 minutes | Bin Capacity: 0.7 L
Bissell Cleanview Deluxe
Best handheld vacuum for stairs
Stairs are high-traffic areas at home. This makes them notorious for collecting dirt, especially if the steps are carpeted. Bissell’s Cleanview Deluxe is our choice for tackling this part of the house. While its wired, the Cleanview Deluxe’s power cord extends an impressive 18 feet. It also comes with a flexible rubber nozzle that lifts dirt from any flooring surface.
Like Bissell’s Pet Hair Eraser, this handheld vacuum comes with specialized tools. You get a hose attachment for sucking dirt and debris along the steps. There’s also a crevice tool for vacuuming treads, nosings, and risers. With the wide-mouth attachment, the Cleanview Deluxe can clean up other areas of your home, including tops of furniture, sofas, and kitchen countertops.
One customer shares, “This little gem has tons of suction and the attachments allow me to get hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.” It’s an understatement considering the four-amp power rating and 0.78-liter dust bin. If there’s any con, it’s that the vacuum has trouble sucking pet hair.
Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 8 in. | Weight: 4 lbs | Type: | Corded
Battery Life: — | Bin Capacity: 0.78 L
Best handheld vacuum for cars
Like the stairs, cars accumulate shoe crumbs, dirt, dust, and even mud. However, it can be challenging to maneuver inside the tight compartments of a vehicle. In this case, a compact vacuum like the Black+Decker Dustbuster might be right for you. “This thing is the best handheld vacuum I’ve ever had,” wrote one shopper.
The QuickClean variant boasts twice the suction power of its predecessor. At the same time, it’s equipped with a rotating brush head specifically designed with rubber tines to lift off dirt and debris inside your car. This is especially useful for loosening embedded dirt in floor mats, car trunks, and even baby seats.
Black+Decker’s Dustbuster also features a clear dust bowl, making it easy to see exactly when to empty it. And while the 0.44-liter bin is not the largest on this list, it’s washable along with its filter. Plus, you get up to 15 minutes of runtime from the unit.
Dimensions: 6.5 x 16 x 4.5 in. | Weight: 3 lbs | Type: | Cordless
Battery Life: Up to 15 minutes | Bin Capacity: 0.44 L
Best handheld vacuum for upholstery
Upholstered furniture looks great until its fabric traps pet hair, dirt, and allergens. And while carpet cleaners can take care of spills and stains, a handheld vacuum like the Dyson Humdinger can be the first step to a deep clean. The vacuum’s ergonomic handle makes this possible, allowing you to move the unit freely along sofas, ottomans, and mattresses.
Like its full-sized Dyson counterparts, the Humdinger is equipped with a Hyperdymium motor. It also uses the same cyclonic technology the brand is known for. This generates up to 96,000g of force that captures dust into the bin instead of a filter. “It is as powerful as the cordless vacuum but a whole lot easier to handle for those small spaces,” one customer writes.
The Humdinger also comes with three attachments. This includes a combination crevice tool with two tools — a nozzle and a brush – for more precise cleaning. Cleaning the vacuum is also a breeze. The Humdinger features an ejection mechanism for emptying its bin and driving dirt and debris straight into your trash can without touching a button.
Dimensions: 15.35 x 5.71 x 8.66 in. | Weight: 2.1 lbs | Type: | Cordless
Battery Life: Up to 20 minutes | Bin Capacity: —
In our list, the Hoover ONEPWR and Black+Decker Dustbuster are the standout handheld vacuums.
Our list of the best handheld vacuums covers spaces and places where a full-sized vacuum may be too cumbersome to use. From your car’s interior to your home’s upholstered furniture, these compact appliances make targeted cleaning a breeze.
Although all five are vouched for by their users, two are clear standouts. The Hoover ONEPWR is our choice for the best overall. It’s compact, powerful, and best of all, easy to use. And while it doesn’t come with attachments, you won’t need one given its excellent performance.
The Black+Decker Dustbuster comes in a close second. Although designed for cars, this handheld vacuum has plenty of shoppers raving about its versatility. Its motorized brush tool, in particular, works well inside the home, tackling dirt and debris across various surfaces.
Because of their compact size, handheld vacuums are easier to store and are more portable than their full-sized counterparts. It also makes them suitable for cleaning tight or cramped spaces, whether at home or in your car.
Hoover shares it takes less than 3.5 hours to charge the Hoover ONEPWR vacuum.
Yes. Dyson includes a docking station for the Dyson Humdinger.
Yes. Bissell shares that the Pet Hair Erase can also vacuum dirt and other debris.