The Best Handheld Vacuums

The Best Handheld Vacuums

Nicole Lund
Nov 22, 2018
(Image credit: Amazon)

Vacuum cleaners are a staple in any home, but have you ever considered handheld vacuums? These mini vacuums are perfect for smaller messes, or just more precise, deeper cleaning. If you have a pet, handheld vacuums are great for picking up hair and dander, but even if you don't there are many benefits to adding a handheld vacuum to your cleaning arsenal. They're more portable and easy to reach when you have a smaller cleaning task at hand, and can get into those hard-to-reach places that larger vacuums can't. We've rounded up our favorites here at all price points, so you can up your cleaning game—just in time for the holidays.

Maxwell's Favorite:

I don't usually go for the budget choice, but in this category, and thinking about my experience and after listening to other people's experiences, I chose this great little Black & Decker because it's a good, solid, simple solution. Additionally, I went this way because I figure that this purchase is in addition to having a larger household vacuum.

In testing, the Dustbuster powered right up and cleaned up the mess beautifully. It was easy to empty and clean, and it didn't have a lot of attachments (which I consider a plus. Reserve those for your big vacuum). Dustbusters and their like have come along way from the weak, short life battery objects of the early days, which is another reason I believe you can trust the low end. That said, if long battery life is your goal, don't start here. Reports are in that you will have to charge this little baby more often.


This little vacuum is small but mighty, with a seven-amp motor and crevice tool that reaches the tightest spaces. It's corded, but with a 16-foot power cord so you aren't constricted. There are other handheld Dirt Devil vacuums on the market that are a bit flashier and more expensive, but we love this particular one for its reliability and low price.

A budget pick with high end features, this vacuum found on Amazon comes with three attachments for serious versatility: Crevice Nozzle, Brush Nozzle, and Soft Hose. These features make it great for home and car usage, and the cordless design means you can take it anywhere. Plus, it comes with a HEPA filter for extra effective cleaning.

Another great option from Black + Decker, the Dustbuster lasts for up to four hours on a full charge and utilizes Smart Charge Technology to save on energy. The rotating nozzle is slim and long for those hard to reach places, and cyclonic action helps to keep the filter clean and power strong.


Featured in our list of the best vacuums for pet hair, this cordless pick from Shark is powerful and can be used on any surface. Even if you don't have a pet, any vacuum designed with pets in mind is a worth looking into—they're typically built with strong suction and made for big messes, and this Shark vacuum is no exception. Plus, this is the vacuum we use in our office kitchen—we're big fans!

Another pet hair vacuum pick, this Bissell has triple-level filtration and a slew of specialized tools for deep cleaning. The motorized brush tool is designed for pet hair but is great for all messes, and the crevice and upholstery tools will ensure that your whole space gets cleaned.

Another pick from Shark, this vacuum is nothing if not heavy duty. It's not cordless, but it's essentially just a more portable regular vacuum that is ideal for deep cleaning. You can choose to use just the vacuum with no accessories, or you can build onto it with a crevice tool, dusting brush, motorized brush, and an extended reach stretch hose.


The high-end handheld Shark, this vacuum is ultra sleek and powerful—it weighs just 1.4 pounds and is much more compact than most handheld vacuums. With high suction power, quick charging, and accessories for easy cleaning, this vacuum has it all. Although the price is higher than others on this list, it's well worth the investment.

From the experts at Dyson comes the V7 Trigger, which utilizes 2-Tier Radial cyclones to capture truly all of the dirt and debris. It comes with a combination tool, crevice tool, and motorized brush tool, plus has a MAX power mode that will provide up to six minutes of extra powerful cleaning.

A true style pick, this luxury handheld vacuum cleaner from Alessi is expensive but actually beautiful—a descriptor not often used for vacuums. Designed by Italian designer Stefano Giovannoni, it's made of polished stainless steel and comes with an integrated crevice tool and wet nozzle.

Inside Resources

  1. How a Handheld Vacuum Changed the Way I Think About Cleaning
  2. The Best Vacuums for Pet Hair
  3. 5 Handheld Vacuums for Mini Messes

Outside Resources

  1. The Best Handheld Vacuum — Wirecutter
  2. The Best Handheld Vacuums on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers — The Strategist
  3. The 8 Best Handheld Vacuums to Buy in 2018 — The Spruce

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
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