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When it comes to cleaning, we’re all about efficiency. No one wants to lug a big, hulking vacuum cleaner around when you’ve only got a small mess to clean, and and with the best handheld vacuum cleaner, you won’t have to. Convenience is the name of the game when it comes to these handy little appliances, which are compact, portable, and meant to help you clean on-the-go. We’ve rounded up the top models from brands such as Black + Decker, Bissell, Dyson, and Dirt Devil that will suck up crumbs, dust, pet hair, and even kitty litter in a flash.
How to Shop for a Handheld Vacuum
When you’re on the lookout for a handheld vacuum, you’ll want to pay special attention to the following details.
Weight: If you’ll be using your vacuum to clean high-up, hard-to-reach areas, you’ll probably want something relatively lightweight.
Battery life: Most cordless handheld vacuums can run for an average of 20 minutes on a single charge, but if you plan to use yours for some intricate dust-busting, a corded version, or one with longer battery life, would be advisable.
Price: As with many things, you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to vacuums. If you plan to use your mini vacuum for heavier use, it might be worth shelling out a bit more. Otherwise, for daily little messes, a budget pick will suffice.
Bin size: If you don’t mind emptying your handheld vacuum cleaner after every few uses, you won’t need to worry about bin capacity. If you want to avoid regular trips to the trash can, however, it’s a good idea to opt for one with a larger bin size.
Accessories: For basic clean-up, you probably won’t need a ton of accessories, but when getting in between those couch cushions, in corners, and along skirting boards, extras, like nozzles and brushes, can prove invaluable.
The Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners on the Market
From a wet/dry vac that will make it a cinch to vacuum out your car ($49.99, Amazon), to the World’s Smallest handheld vacuum ($15, Urban Outfitters), we’ve done our homework on the best mini cleaners around. We know you’re itching to see which ones made the cut, so we won’t keep you waiting: Keep scrolling for FIRST for Women’s picks for the best handheld vacuums.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
1. Best Corded Handheld Vacuum — Shark Rocket TruePet Handheld Vacuum
Best Corded Handheld Vacuum — Shark Rocket
Where to buy: $96.99 (Originally $149.99), Amazon
You’ll never have to worry about the Shark Rocket handheld vacuum cleaner running out of steam, since it’s equipped with a 15-foot power cord that means no recharging, no loss of suction, and enough leeway to get to every corner of the room. Its motorized brush accessory effortlessly picks up pet hair and other debris, and, since it weighs in at less than 4 pounds, vacuuming won't feel like a rigorous workout. The filters are washable and reusable, so they'll be no maintenance costs, either.
2. Best Multi-Surface Handheld Vacuum — Dyson V7 Trigger Handheld Vacuum
Best Dyson Handheld Vacuum — Dyson V7 Trigger
Where to buy: $199.99, Target
Vacuum powerhouse Dyson has done it again with its V7 Trigger handheld vacuum cleaner. Using the very latest in digital motor technology, this vacuum's motor spins three times faster than conventional models and can pick up everything from fine dust and pet hair to larger bits of trash. Suitable for use on upholstery, hardwood floors, or carpet, this device also comes with a combination tool for dusting high areas, a stair tool, and a crevice tool for getting into tight spots. It's lightweight (under 4 pounds) and has an ergonomic design that fits perfectly into your hand. Did we mention it’s extremely quiet too?
3. Most Lightweight Handheld Vacuum — ZesGood Portable Handheld Vacuum
Best Lightweight Handheld Vacuum — ZesGood
Where to buy: $46.99, Amazon
At just 1.5 pounds, ZesGood's portable machine is one of the lightest handhelds around. There's a few other features that we’re particularly fond of, as well, including a quick-empty dust bin, three helpful attachments, and, our personal favorite, an LCD display which lets you know exactly how much battery life is left.
4. Best Handheld Vacuum for Car — Bissell Multi Cordless Handheld Car Vacuum
Best Handheld Car Vacuum — Bissell Multi Cordless 1985
Where to buy: $179.99, Target
There’s really not much you can’t clean with Bissell's handy handheld vacuum, from carpets and hardwood to pet beds and upholstery, but it's particularly useful for the car. The motorized brush tool is ruthless on dirty carpets, while the extension wand and hose really work to get into all those hard-to-reach areas, like the cracks between your seats and the center console. There's an ergonomic design that will make vacuuming plenty comfortable, and, when you're finished, you can simply remove the dirt bin outside or in the trash for a quick clean-up.
5. Best Extendable Handheld Vacuum — Black+Decker 20V MAX Flex Handheld
Best Handheld Vacuum With Hose — Black+Decker 20V MAX Flex
Where to buy: $87.80 (Originally $109.99), Amazon
The 4-foot extendable hose on Black+Decker's 20V Max Flex makes removing dust and cobwebs from easily neglected areas, such as ceiling corners and lampshades, easy as pie. There's also a special large pet hairbrush, which can get stubborn fur off any surface, and a three-stage filtration system that traps dirt with no means of escape.
6. Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair — Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum
Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair — Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
Where to buy: $62.99 (Originally $72.99), Amazon
Pet hair doesn't always lift off upholstery as easily as we’d like. A specialized vacuum with a motorized brush tool for digging out all that embedded fur from carpets and upholstery, like the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser, is exactly what you'll need to get the job done. Strong enough to suck up even cat litter, this vacuum's triple filtration system keeps hair confined, while an easy-empty system ensures you won't have any accidents while transferring it to the trash.
As one happy reviewer wrote, “This is one fabulous vacuum! I use it daily to combat the cat litter and hair and dirt and dust bunnies and random filth that three cats and four kids bring into my house in unbelievable quantities... And this little vacuum rocks!”
7. Best Wet/Dry or Car Handheld Vacuum — VacLife Handheld Wet/Dry Vacuum
Best Handheld Wet Dry Vacuum — VacLife
Where to buy: $49.99, Amazon
Grabbing the handheld vacuum cleaner might not be the first thing you’d usually do if you happened to spill your beverage on the carpet or sofa, but your inclination to grab a paper towel or a dishcloth just might change once you bring VacLife's handheld wet/dry vacuum — and its five specialized accessories — into your life. You’ll be amazed how much liquid and debris and this little thing can suck up! With an extension hose that makes it perfect for home and car use, this little cordless model is a dream, and it comes with a full refund warranty to back it up.
8. Most Affordable Handheld Vacuum — Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick-Flip Hand Vacuum Cleaner
Best Cheap Handheld Vacuum — Dirt Devil Scorpion
Where to buy: $29.99, Walmart
At less than $30, you might be wondering if the corded Dirt Devil Scorpion is a worthwhile purchase, but based on its reviews, it would seem that it actually has an impressive amount of suction, with a highly-useful built-in crevice tool to boot.
One review reads, “This is so handy for quick clean-ups in our family room, when I don't need to vacuum the whole house but just want to clean the couch or a small area. Great value for the money. Nice power, too.”
9. Best Multifunctional Handheld Vacuum — MOOSOO XL-618A Cordless 4 in 1 Vacuum
Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum — MOOSOO
Where to buy: $109.99, Amazon
It’s totally understandable if you’re not into the idea of having a separate vacuum cleaner to deep clean and a handheld vacuum for topical messes. What if you could get it all in one? MOOSOO's cordless vacuum cleaner might just be exactly what you're looking for. With powerful suction on all floor types, this model can go from a stick vacuum to a handheld in a click of a button, and lasts an impressive 35 minutes on a single charge. It’s so lightweight (3.3 pounds) that even vacuuming the ceiling won't be a problem, and its 1.3-liter large-capacity dust bin means you won’t have to empty it as much, either.
10. Smallest Handheld Vacuum for Keyboard and Desk— World’s Smallest Vacuum
Best Keyboard Vacuum — World’s Smallest Vacuum
Where to buy: $15, Urban Outfitters
While this might not be the most powerful dust-busting machine we’ve ever come across, it made it to our list, because… well, look at it! This could quite possibly be the cutest little appliance we’ve ever seen. More than that, however, the ultra-compact sizing of this aptly-named World's Smallest Vacuum makes it ideal for keeping hard-to-vacuum areas — like your keyboard. Plug it in via a USB cord and watch it pick up crumbs, dust, and debris from your desk, computer, or craft station. You can even keep it in your car for mini cleanups!