Who doesn’t love a clean home? We sure do. But achieving that clean home requires a handful of quality supplies and appliances, among them a handheld vacuum cleaner. This portable device is key: you can reach every inch of your home and car with it.

There are many different handheld vacuum models that can be found on the market, each offering unique features. We’re sure you’ll find one that’s just right for you: all you need to do is determine what you’re looking for to meet your needs. We’ve made this shopping guide to provide you with all the important information required to make the best decision.

Key Facts

  • Handheld vacuum cleaners, or hand vacuums, are electrical appliances that come with various accessories; the cleaning you’ll be able to do depends on them.
  • The vacuum output is a key factor to consider when making your purchase, since its suction power will depend on it.
  • Be sure you know exactly what you’re looking for in a hand vacuum prior to making your purchase, since this will determine the most suitable model for you.

Ranking: The best handheld vacuum cleaners on the US market

We made this guide to show you the various criteria you should bear in mind when making your final decision. But let’s begin with the top 5 best hand vacuum models available on the US market. Finding out about their impressive features can also be decisive in your purchase.

No. 1: Black+Decker Dustbuster

Black+Decker is an American company known world-wide for its high quality power tools, hardware and home improvement products, so it’s no surprise that their sleek Dustbuster hand vacuum is Amazon’s Choice and a customer favorite. This affordable device features lithium technology for extended run time and strong suction, in addition to a wide-mouth design to do away with large debris. It also has a crevice tool for getting in those hard-to-reach areas.

This vacuum weighs just over two pounds, so it’s easy to take around the house whenever you need it. Easily clean the washable bowl and filter between uses, and then store it away on the included wall mount. And if you’re looking to get into especially narrow spots, check out Black+Decker’s Slim Nozzle model, another fantastic option.

No. 2: BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser

This stylish purple hand vacuum is designed with tough messes made by pets in mind, but it’s a great vacuum for all your cleaning needs. It comes with a motorized brush tool and a 14V lithium ion battery for getting those tough spots with embedded dirt or clumps of unwanted hair, and triple level filtration for improved performance. You’ll also find an upholstery tool for soft surfaces and furniture, as well as a crevice tool for your home’s tightest spots.

The large dirt bin is easy to clean, and your conscious will be similarly clean: BISSELL donates $5 to animal welfare organizations for each Pet Hair Eraser sold. This vacuum is heavier and pricier than the first option on our ranking, but its rugged power makes up for the difference.

No. 3: Shark WANDVAC

This amazing vacuum from Shark offers extraordinary power in an incredibly  lightweight body—just 1.4 pounds. It’s Amazon’s Choice for hand vacuums over $100, and we can see why. Get great suction from the high-speed, brushless motor and maneuver the vacuum into tight spaces with the Duster Crevice tool. Empty debris quickly with the touch of a button, and use the charge dock for fast charging (about 2.5 hours) and easy storage.

Beyond those great features, the WANDVAC’s award-winning design is low-profile, modern and slim. Your guests will be jealous of your beautiful vacuum and, of course, your clean home!

No. 4: Homasy Cyclonic Suction Wet Dry Vac

This stylish and powerful hand vacuum from Homasy is another affordable option to consider. It features an ergonomic 65˚ sloping design to improve ease of use and prevent unwanted pressure on your wrist. It also has a 100W ultra-high power motor with suction up to 6Kpa to grab all that unwanted dirt, pet hair and other debris. Additionally, the adopted 4x2200mah high capacity lithium batteries let you clean for up to 30 minutes on one charge, among the longest times available on the market.

If those features didn’t convince you, then maybe this will: the Homasy vacuum comes with 3-year worry-free after-sale service. If you have any issues, just contact Homasy for the help you need.

No. 5: Hikeren Mini Vacuum

Lastly, take a look at this durable hand vacuum from Hikeren that offers powerful suction, versatility and portability.The high performance 100W motor offers stable 5KPA strong suction, which is good for daily use in the home or car.

This vacuum comes with three serviceable attachments for varied use: the crevice tool for reaching tight spots; the dusting brush for getting hair and dirt from delicate surfaces and the liquid nozzle for those dreaded liquid spills. After charging the vacuum, which takes 3 to 4 hours, you can use it continuously for 30 minutes—enough to get any room clean.

Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about hand vacuums

Many of the hand vacuums available share some essential features, but each brings something unique to the table. As we mentioned earlier, we’ve designed this guide to help you make the best possible purchase. That’s why you’ll learn everything you should know prior to choosing your new vacuum in the following sections.

Hand vacuums offer features that can’t be found in standard vacuums.
(Source: Mironov: 59922831/ 123rf.com)

What exactly are handheld vacuum cleaners?

Unlike traditional vacuum cleaners, handheld vacuums are smaller in size and are mainly intended for use in tighter spaces. So they’re not made to clean your whole floor—instead, they are most useful for places like skirting boards, window rails or reaching behind heavy furniture. Hand vacuums are very easy to handle, lightweight and make limited noise.

Generally, handheld vacuums are designed for use in two primary spaces: your home and your car. The suction power of these devices is strong enough to get to every hidden crumb and speck of dirt. These days, most models are also able to absorb liquids, a feature that is especially handy in some surprise situations.

Make sure the vacuum you pick offers great value for money.
(Source: Khasawong: 16844821/ 123rf.com)

While it does offer unique features, a handheld vacuum cleaner probably can’t replace your traditional vacuum cleaner, so don’t throw away your old vacuum just yet: both appliances have a role of their own in the home since they perform different tasks. Again, your hand vacuum will be most useful when you need to clean tight spaces in your house or your car.

The following table lays out some of the primary hand vac functions:

Function Can it do it?
Floor cleaning No, except for small spots
Hard-to-reach spaces Yes
Car cleaning Yes
Rail cleaning Yes
Pet hair cleaning Yes
Liquid cleaning Some models

How should I use my hand vacuum?

Using your handheld vacuum is a piece of cake. The most critical thing to bear in mind is that you might need to charge your device if it’s a wireless model, which many are. Once charged, put the nozzle of your handheld vacuum cleaner near the spot where you want to clean and vacuum away. It’s that simple.

If you’re using your vacuum for an extended period, we recommend turning it off for a few minutes every once in a while to prevent overheating. The standard nozzle on your vacuum may not reach every single spot you need to clean, which is why some models come with additional parts or accessories. Vacuum brushes are especially useful for cleaning chairs, couches and curtains.

How can I clean my handheld vacuum?

Maintenance is very important if you’d like to keep your hand vacuum functioning properly over time. We suggest that you wash it thoroughly and dry all accessories between uses, and don’t forget to empty the debris tank as necessary. The most practical way to do this is to empty it directly into the garbage, so you can avoid spilling dust all over. The best vacuums will have  easily accessible or removable tanks for smooth maintenance.

While cleaning your vacuum, you should also wipe down the filter. You can do this with water and a bit of soap if necessary. Once everything is dry, put the vacuum cleaner back together, and we advise that you charge it immediately so that it will be ready for your next cleaning task.

Should I buy a wireless handheld vacuum?

As you look for the perfect hand vacuum, you’ll notice that there are two types: cordless and plug-in. The latter option is on the decline, since they’re harder to maneuver around the house. You’ll constantly be searching for an electrical outlet to use, and you might have mobility issues. Still, with these models, you will never face battery-related problems.

Cordless, or wireless, vacuums are considered much more convenient because you can bring them with you anywhere in the house or outside it. You won’t have to think about finding an outlet or needing an extension cord. These days, most vacuums can even be plugged into the cigarette lighter in your car. On the downside, you’ll need to charge your device between uses, which can take a few hours each time.

Here’s a summary of the main differences between the two kinds of hand vac:

Vacuum with cable Cordless vacuum
Autonomy You won’t need to worry about autonomy They offer limited autonomy
Battery They don’t need to be charged You need to wait several hours for a full charge
Mobility You have to find outlets wherever you go You can carry take them anywhere
Suction They have greater suction power They are less powerful

Handheld, upright or robot vacuum cleaners: which is best?

All of these vacuums can be very useful depending on the situation or context. That said, both upright and robot vacuum cleaners are compatible with your handheld vacuum, since they are all made to perform unique tasks. For example, you might find an upright vacuum cleaner especially useful for cleaning dirty floors, but it won’t be much use when you’re looking to clean those hard-to-reach spots.

Similarly, robot vacuum cleaners are very beneficial for cleaning floors and sometimes can reach corners. They’re also incredibly easy to use: all you need to do is turn it on. It’s completely autonomous and you don’t need to worry about it while it does the cleaning. Your floors will be left in great shape and you can even find some models that will scrub the floor!

Hand vacuums come at many different prices.
(Source: Imagemax: 82161599/ 123rf.com)

A handheld vacuum cleaner, meanwhile, is ideal for getting to the places that the other devices simply can’t get to. Another benefit is that hand vacs are great for cleaning vehicles, something that is much more difficult to do with a robot or upright vacuum. So that’s why having a handheld vacuum cleaner in addition to an upright or robot vacuum cleaner is not an issue. We really want to emphasize the fact that they all offer different functions and can be used in unison to help you clean your home.

What are the pros and cons of handheld vacuums?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of handheld vacuums. We hope the points below will help you to make a final decision.

Advantages
  • Can reach every corner
  • Can be used to clean cars
  • Many models can absorb liquids
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for cleaning the entire house
  • Limited suction power

Of course, the biggest advantage of all is that handheld vacuums help you to keep a cleaner home. As Japanese writer, TV star and consultant Marie Kondo once said:

Tidying is the act of confronting yourself.

Shopping Guide

There are several important criteria to take into account when purchasing your very own handheld vacuum. We recommend that you don’t overlook any so that you can make the best possible choice. After you’ve reviewed the factors discussed in the following section, we’re sure you’ll be ready to make the perfect purchase.

  • Power
  • Autonomy
  • Noise levels
  • Maintenance
  • Accessories
  • Ergonomics
  • Quality

Power

The power of any handheld vacuum is an essential factor that you need to take into account, since its suction power depends on it. Keep in mind that handheld vacuums with a plug-in cable will usually be more powerful than wireless models. Do you plan to use your vac sporadically or all the time? The answer will help you determine how much power you need.

Autonomy

This point is important only if you plan to get a wireless hand vac. We advise you to pick a model that runs for at least 20 minutes on one charge. Anything less may be insufficient to get your cleaning done, and stopping half-way to charge your vacuum is a drag.

Noise levels

This may not be an aspect that you pay too much attention to, but a vacuum that makes a ton of noise can become very annoying. You might even feel the need to limit its use because of the sound. If noise matters to you, try to find a model that produces no more than 80 decibels: that level of noise is relatively tolerable.

Maintenance

Be sure the handheld vacuum you pick is easy to clean. HEPA stainless steel filters are very popular and easy to remove; you can use them over and over again as long as you clean them well between uses. If your debris tank is also easy to clean, you won’t need to do any extra work and you’ll save time and effort.

Charles DarwinEnglish Naturalist

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

Accessories

As we mentioned earlier, the accessories that come with your handheld vacuum will determine the different functions it offers. You’ll need to think carefully about how you plan to use your vacuum in order to decide which accessories are essential. Getting a vacuum that can achieve a number of tasks will be the best investment.

Ergonomics

Ergonomic designs offer more comfort and make your vacuum easier to use on a day-to-day basis. This is an important point to consider since devices that are hard to use often end up in the back of the closet. We don’t want you to feel like you’ve wasted money, so be sure to select the right model to make the most out of your purchase.

The weight of the vacuum is the first criteria to look at. Handheld vacuums are usually carried with only one arm, and you won’t be pleased if the weight is too excessive. Another important point is making sure the ON/OFF button is found on the vacuum handle, so that you can easily access the button with the same hand you’re using to hold the vacuum.

The handle itself is also something to look at. You’ll need comfort there too, and we’ve found that the best models have a rounded shape. The goal here is to have your hand held in a natural posture while vacuuming.

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Remember that the handle shouldn’t cause you any discomfort during or after cleaning.

Quality

Try to get a quality product that offers you useful and unique features. Well-known manufacturers usually offer top quality, though some products from lesser-known brans can also offer superb features. Be sure that each part of the vacuum you’re considering lives up to your quality standards.

Summary

Handheld vacuums have become a popular item in American homes. As you now know, they are compatible with other kinds of vacuum cleaners, since each type performs different tasks. A hand vacuum will help you keep your house clean, even in the narrowest and darkest of spots. An added bonus is that this product is also perfect for cleaning your car.

There are many different hand vacuum models available on the US market. You’ll need to determine which features are most important to you, and then check what each handheld vacuum cleaner can offer. This article gave you all the information needed to make the best possible purchase.

We hope you’ve found this guide interesting and useful. Please feel free to share it via social media so that your friends and family can make the right decision!

(Source of featured image: Budabar: 68731803/ 123rf.com)

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