Generally, handheld vacuum cleaers make vacuuming a little easier and more convenient. You probably remember your mother or grandmother grabbing her trusty Dustbuster to clean up kitchen spills and after-dinner messes. Vacuum technology has come a long way from where it was 30-plus years ago. Modern handheld vacuums are lightweight and have a slimmer nozzle, and they are designed with aesthetics in mind. Their batteries are also stronger, safer and more efficient, and the suction noise is much quieter.

Even if you’ve used the same handheld vac for 5 years or have a bare-bones model, you may be surprised to learn about the variety of features and the high performance you can get at from a hand vac within an affordable price range.

Our Recommended Handheld Vacuums

VacLife Handheld Vacuum

The VacLife Handheld Vacuum weighs under two-pounds and offers a variety of different vacuuming tools. By using this handheld vacuum, you can not only vacuum with incredible ease, but you can vacuum surfaces and spaces you wouldn’t normally be able to.

In the box, you will find a dust brush tool, crevice tool, rubber jar tool, and an extension hose. By using these tools, you can easily vacuum their respective surfaces and in spaces that are more difficult to access.

On a single charge, this handheld vacuum gives you thirty-minutes of battery-life. More often than not, this is enough for a thorough vacuuming.

VacLife Handheld Vacuum

VacLife Handheld Vacuum Price


From BLACK+DECKER, we have the BDH2000PL Model Handheld Vacuum. What sets this handheld vacuum apart from many others is the unique pivoting nozzle that it uses and its excellent motor.

On the front of this handheld vacuum, there is a pivoting nozzle. By using this pivoting nozzle, you can pivot the nozzle into small and tight spaces that other nozzles can’t reach. Vacuuming in very small spaces is much easier.

Within this handheld vacuum, there is a very powerful motor. Because of this motor, the entire vacuuming process is much easier, since you have all of the suction power that you need. Removing dirt, dust, and small pieces of debris is effortless.




Black & Decker’s Dustbuster Hand Vacuum is designed with convenience in mind. It features a curved closed-loop handle that offers a comfortable grip, and it only weighs 2.6 pounds for effortless lifting.

You won’t need to fumble with attaching and detaching the cleaning tools because they are integrated into the extremely slim and long nozzle. Use the hinged brush for fine-dust pick-up or flip it back to reveal the extending crevice tool.

To get most from each battery cycle, the hand vac is equipped with Black & Decker’s Smart Charge technology. With a 16-volt lithium-ion battery operating this handheld vacuum, even large, heavy debris won’t stand a chance.

It only takes 4 hours to charge the vacuum, and the circular charging base gives you a place to neatly store the hand vac when not in use. If you leave the vacuum off the charger for extended periods of time, the Dustbuster will still be ready to use because it can hold its charge for as long as 18 months.

With 15.2 air watts of cyclonic suction, motor-damaging dust is efficiently separated from larger particles, which are dropped into the 20.6-ounce see-through collection cup. To prevent the release of fine particles into the air, the hand vac contains two reusable filters. For cup maintenance, you can twist off the nozzle to dump debris or remove the entire cup to rinse the interior.




The BLACK+DECKER HHVI315JO42 is an excellent handheld vacuum. It’s very affordable, yet it offers plenty of vacuuming power.

To use this handheld vacuum, all you need to do is charge it, turn it on, and move it across any surface that needs cleaning. It is extremely easy and simple to use this vacuum, yet the suction power it contains is excellent.

As a result of the suction power that this handheld vacuum offers, you can easily vacuum on soft and hard surfaces. If you need to clean your couch or a table – to name a soft and hard surface – then you won’t have any problems using this handheld vacuum to do so.



Why Buy a Handheld Vacuum?

Handheld vacuums are portable and convenient, giving you a way to quickly remove small amounts of dust and debris without having to drag out your heavy, bulky upright vacuum. There are some jobs that hand vacs are well-adept at handling. From piles of hair to a flight of stairs, there are a few ways that handheld vacuums can simplify your life.

Animal Fur
Pets love to find comfortable, cushy places to take a nap. Unfortunately, this leaves your beds and sofas covered in clingy fur. It’s simply not time effective to use an upright for daily upholstery cleaning regardless of how many attachments it has.

Some handheld vacuum models are geared toward pet owners, coming with motorized brushes and other tools that simplify the arduous task of pet-hair pickup.

Save a trip to the coin-operated air and vacuum machines at your local self-serve car wash or gas station. A handheld vacuum lets you keep those quarters in your pocket. If you like the idea of not leaving home to make your car’s interior spotless, you’ll need a hand vac with attachments that can dust and get into tight, awkward spaces.

Small Messes
Whether your children just tracked dirt on your spotless floor or you spilled some coffee grounds, a handheld vacuum is extremely useful. Within moments, the dirt disappears. To make it as easy as possible to clean small messes, look for an ultra-lightweight model. One with a charger you can attach to the wall will keep the vacuum within arm’s reach.

If your house has a staircase, you and your family probably spend a lot of time trekking up and down it all day. This means dirt and other particles accumulate in a short amount of time. Uprights are too heavy for staircase cleaning, and stick vacs are much larger than handhelds. With a handheld vacuum, you can knock out messes on your staircase in a matter of minutes.

best handheld vacuum

What About Whole-House Cleaning?

Their size and weight make handheld vacuums easy to carry and maneuver. However, uprights are better suited for large messes and total-floor vacuuming. Even the most powerful handheld vacs do not have the dirt-collection capacity of a stick and the suctioning force of an upright.

When it comes to thorough floor vacuuming and mid-week floor touch-ups, leave these tasks to a full-size vacuum cleaner.

How Do Corded and Cordless Hand Vacs Compare?

Corded and cordless – They both have their benefits. Handheld vacuum cleaners with a cord must be plugged into an electrical outlet or a DC outlet in your car, according to what model you buy. In terms of working time, corded handheld vacs win. You don’t have to worry about run time because the vacuum will work continuously as long as it’s plugged into an outlet.

On the other hand, cordless hand vacs have a limited working time that depends on the strength of the battery. However, this type of vacuum is the clear victor when it comes to portability because it’s not limited by the length of the power cord, and you don’t have to worry about the cord getting tangled while the vacuum is in use or in storage.

How Do Cordless Hand Vacuums Recharge?

Since you’ll be recharging your handheld vac on a regular basis, you want one with a charging system that is the most convenient for you to use. There are two charging choices – an adapter and a dock. With an adapter, all you have to do is plug the cord into an electrical outlet – it’s a straightforward process.

With a dock, you’ll either put the entire vacuum on it or just the battery, which you’ll remove by pressing a release button of some sort. If the dock is for a battery only, this means you can purchase an additional battery to double the run time. However, if the dock is designed for cradling the entire vacuum unit, the dock acts as a storage spot for your hand vac.

What Are Other Ways to Store a Hand Vac?

Handheld vacuums are all about convenience, and you want that convenience to last from start to finish. Some cordless vacuums that come with a charging dock also have wall-mounting hardware that allows you to secure the charger to the wall. You can even find hand vacs with docks that have storage space for accessories, which is helpful for keeping up with all your vacuuming tools.

Cordless vacs that recharge via an adapter may be extremely simple to plug and unplug, but they don’t offer an exclusive storage spot for your vacuum.

Best Handheld Vacuums

Do These Vacuums Come With a Lot of Attachments?

With uprights, consumers want a full suite of attachments, and manufacturers tend to oblige to stay competitive. However, it’s not uncommon for handheld vacuums to be accessory-free. For those that do come with attachments, you can expect it to at least have a narrow crevice tool for getting into gaps between couch cushions or floorboards.

Hand vacs may also have a brush for removing dust from decorative objects, window sills and random hard surfaces. Some of these vacuums may even have an extension wand for cleaning staircases and high areas.

Can Hand Vacs Clean up Wet Messes?

Some handheld vacuums are specifically designed to suction dry and wet messes. The versatility of wet-dry hand vacs can’t be beat. Many are even strong enough to remove moisture from carpeted surfaces, which comes in handy when you accidentally spill your drink. Depending on the model, you may or may not have to toggle a switch or change the collection cup to use it in wet vac mode.

Keep in mind that handheld vacuums are small, so those that can suction liquid won’t be able to lift it by the bucket full. On average, wet-dry vacs have a fluid capacity that ranges from 150 to 300 milliliters.

How Easy Is It to Clean a Handheld Vacuum?

Usually, hand vac maintenance is limited to emptying the dust bin. Most bins are transparent, so you can see how full they are, and a lot of them only require one button touch to open. On occasions, you may need to deep clean dirt buildup from the dust bin. To perform this maintenance task, you may be able to completely remove the bin, allowing you to rinse it with plain water.

When it’s completely dry, simply reattach the bin to the vacuum. If it’s not removable, you’ll have to wipe the inside with a damp cloth.

Best Handheld Vacuum Options

Do They Come With a Filter?

Almost every handheld vacuum on the market has at least one filter inside of it. The filter’s job is to keep dust away from the motor and out of the surrounding air. However, not all filters are made equal. The most desirable type of vacuum cleaner filter is a high efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filter due to its ability to capture minute particles that trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.

What Features Comprise a Reliable, Efficient Handheld Vacuum?

Great handheld vacuums are not hard to come by. You just have to know what features separate the high-quality hand vacs from the subpar ones. From the core features like weight and suction to the extras such as an LED light and an extendable hose, this guide will tell you all you need to know about the features offered on handheld vacuum cleaners.

The definition of lightweight differs according to the type of vacuum cleaner. For example, 10 or 15-pound upright vacuum is considered lightweight. However, a handheld vacuum over 5 pounds does not equate to a featherlight appliance. To prevent arm fatigue, look for a hand vac in the 2 to 3-pound range.

Hand vac nozzles are slim on their own, and often they are tapered. Still, there are many places that a bare nozzle can’t go. To get into extremely tight spaces, you need a handheld vacuum with a crevice tool. For stair treads, a wide brush makes the job faster. A hand vac with attachments of all sizes will help you vacuum as thoroughly and quickly as possible.

Comfort is important. That’s why you should pay careful attention to how the vacuum’s handle is built. While comfort is subjective, you want one with a textured or soft grip as a slick one will be harder to hold. In terms of the shape, it’s preferable to have a handle that is looped instead of straight. Like a slick plastic handle, a straight handle is also difficult to hold.

Since handheld vacuum cleaners are small, you shouldn’t expect the vacuum’s bin to collect large amounts of liquid or debris. An average bin can hold about 0.5 liters of debris or 100 milliliters of liquid.

Other debris collection features to consider are if the bin is transparent and easy to open. Bins that open from the bottom as opposed to the top make for a mess-free emptying experience.

The ability to start and stop the hand vac’s suction should not add to the effort you must put forth. Trigger and thumb-hold buttons only require you to hold and let go of the button to start and stop vacuuming. Other button styles include a switch or one-touch button, neither of which you have to hold to operate; however, not every model situates the power button within a fingertip’s reach.

Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Air watts and pressure both play big parts in the effectiveness of a vacuum’s suction. For strong suction, you want a handheld that has about 15 watts or more of suction power and at least 4 kilopascals of pressure. For unwavering suction, a hand vac with cyclonic suction can keep the vacuum’s internals running smoothly.

Nothing is more aggravating than a loud vacuum cleaner. Of course, it’s not reasonable to think you can find a fully silent vacuum. However, you don’t have to put up with ear-splitting noise. A vacuum with a decibel output of 80 or lower will be quiet enough to save your ears from sustaining permanent damage.

Filters may not cost much, but the monthly expense does add up over time. Many handheld vacuums have filters that are washable, so you can reuse them. Those that aren’t rinsable can often be shaken out or brushed off regardless of whether they are pleated or cloth.

Stainless steel filters can last through hundreds of washes, making them durable money-savers. There are even some hand vacs that contain a pre-filter, which lengthens the lifespan of the main filter.

It’s impossible to vacuum in areas you can’t see without leaving dirt and debris behind, especially when cleaning cars or couches. Unless you want to hold a flashlight in one hand while you maneuver the vacuum with your other hand, you need a hand vac with an integrated light source. Some models are equipped with an LED light on the nozzle to give you the visibility you need.

Handheld vacuum cleaners may be portable, but they do not always offer enough reach. That’s where hoses and extension wands come into play. Hoses are typically several feet in length, and they all bend for cleaning in awkward places. Unlike the hose, an extension wand is not flexible. However, it comes in handy for reaching ceiling fans, fireplace mantles and tall bookshelves.

Buy a Handheld Vacuum

As far as the vacuum’s power supply goes, what you need to look for depends on whether you want a corded or cordless model. For corded handheld vacs, the longer the power cord, the better off you are. If you’re leaning more toward a cordless handheld vacuum, you want one with a long working time of at least 20 minutes and a short charging time of no more than 6 hours.

Overall Recommended Handheld Vacuums
Best of the Best! Tight Spaces Popular Option
BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, 16V (CHV1410L) BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, Grey (BDH2000PL) BLACK+DECKER dusbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, Flexi Blue (HHVI315JO42)
B+D CHV1410L B+D BDH2000PL B+D HHVI315JO42
 • 2.6 lbs
 • Suction Power 15.2 AW
 • Dustbowl 20oz
 • 17.25 x 5.5 x 7.75 in
 • 3 lbs
 • Suction Power 35 AW
 • Dustbowl 15oz
 • 18 x 6.88 x 6.75 in
 • 2.11 lbs
 • Suction Power 16 AW
 • Dustbowl 13oz
 • 13.9 x 7.9 x 5.3 in

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