Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Here at Sweetest Home, we know you love to have a clean house, and you need a thorough cleaning routine for that. You probably use a bunch of different appliance for this, including a handheld vacuum cleaner. The great thing about this device is that you can clean every inch of your home and your car with it.

There are many different models of hand vacuums available on the market, each offering different features. That means there will always be one that’s just right for you: all you need is to know exactly what you’re looking for in this product. We’ve designed this shopping guide to give you all the info you need to make the best decision.

Key Facts

  • Handheld vacuum cleaners are electrical appliances that come with different accessories; the work you can do greatly depends on them.
  • The output of this device is a key element to consider upon making your purchase, as its suction power depends on it.
  • Make sure you know exactly what you want your hand vac for before making the purchase, as this will in part define the most suitable model for you.

The best handheld vacuum cleaners in the market

We created this guide to show you all the factors you should keep in mind before making your final decision. But let’s start off with our top models available on the market. Finding out more about their different features can also be decisive in your purchase. Ready? Let’s go!

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about handheld vacuum cleaners

You now know that hand vacs share many features, while others make them unique. As we said earlier, we designed this guide to help you make the right purchase. This is why you’ll learn everything you need to know before choosing your model in the following sections.

Woman cleaning of carpet in house portable rechargeable vacuum cleaner

Hand vacuums offer different features from vacuum cleaners. (Source: Mironov: 59922831/

What are handheld vacuum cleaners exactly, and how do they work?

Unlike traditional vacuum cleaners, these appliances are small in size and mainly used in tighter spaces. In other words, they are not tailored to clean your floor; they will be most useful for skirting boards, window rails or reaching behind furniture. Hand vacs are easy to handle and make little noise.

As you now know, they are designed to clean two different kinds of spaces: your home and your car. The suction power of these appliances is strong enough to clean every little hidden crumb and dirt. Nowadays, most models are also capable of vacuuming liquids, a feature that can come in very handy in certain situations.

small vacuum cleaner can help you clean a small place like a car

Make sure the product you want to buy offer great value for money. (Source: Khasawong: 16844821/

While it does provide additional features, a handheld vacuum cleaner won’t replace your traditional vacuum cleaner, so don’t go throwing away your vacuum cleaner just yet: both have a place of their own in a home as they perform different tasks. Again, you’ll make the most of your hand vac when cleaning tight spaces in your house or your vehicle.

The following table introduces you some of its main functions:

Function Can it do it?
Floor cleaning No, except for specific 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 handheld vacuum cleaner?

Using your hand vac is easy as can be. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you may need to have your device fully charged to to clean if you decide to opt for a wireless model. Set the nozzle of your handheld vacuum cleaner close to the spot where the dirt is located and hoover away.

If you use your appliance for a long time, we suggest you turn it off for a couple of minutes from time to time so as to avoid overheating. The standard nozzle may not necessarily reach all spots you want to clean, and this is why some models come with additional accessories. Vacuum brushes are particularly useful to clean chairs, sofas and curtains.

How do I clean my handheld vacuum cleaner?

Maintenance is key if you want to keep your hand vac working perfectly. We recommend thoroughly washing and drying all accessories after every use, and don’t forget to empty the tank when necessary. The most practical solution for you is to do this directly in the garbage so as to avoid spilling dust everywhere. Note that the tank should be easily accessible and removable for easy maintenance.

You should also make the most of cleaning your tank by giving a wipe to your filter as well. You can do this with water and a little bit of soap if you prefer. Put the vacuum cleaner back together when it is clean and dry, and we suggest that you charge it immediately so that it is ready for its next use.

Should I buy a handheld vacuum cleaner with or without cable?

There are two different types of vacuum cleaners you can choose from: models with cable or without cable. The former are on the decline as they offer less comfort of use. You’ll always be looking for an electrical outlet and you could have mobility problems; on the other hand, you will never have battery-related problems with these models.

Cordless vacuum cleaners are deemed more convenient because you can take them anywhere with you. You won’t have to worry about hunting for a plug or needing a cable extension. Nowadays, most models can be plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter. On the downside, don’t forget that you’ll have to wait several hours to charge your device if the battery runs out.

Have a look at the differences between the two in the table below:

Vacuum with cable Cordless vacuum
Autonomy You won’t have to worry about their autonomy They offer limited autonomy
Battery They don’t need charging  You will need to charge them for hours
Mobility You have to change plugs You can carry take them everywhere
Suction They have more suction power They are less powerful

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

All of these devices are actually very useful appliances depending on the context. However, both upright and robot vacuum cleaners are compatible with a handheld vac, as they are all designed to perform different tasks. As an example, you may find an upright vacuum cleaner particularly useful to clean floors, but it won’t have access to hard-to-reach spots.

On the other hand, robot vacuum cleaners are very practical for cleaning floors and can also reach smaller corners. All you need to do is turn your robot cleaner on: it is completely autonomous and you won’t need to worry about it while it hoovers. It will leave your floors perfect and you can even find models that scrub the floor.

Grey handheld vacuum

You will find hand vacuums at all kinds of prices on the market.(Source: Imagemax: 82161599/

A handheld vacuum cleaner is perfect for reaching places that the other two devices simply cannot get to. Another advantage is that it is great for cleaning vehicles, something that is much harder to do with the other two types. This is why it won’t be a problem having a handheld vacuum cleaner with an upright or robot vacuum cleaner. We really want to emphasise on the fact that they all perform different tasks and are complementary.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of handheld vacuum cleaners?

Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of hand vacuums. We hope the points below will help you in to make your final decision.

  • Reaches every corner
  • Can be used to clean vehicles
  • Many models vacuum liquids
  • Not suitable for cleaning the whole house
  • Little suction power

Naturally, the biggest advantage of all is that they help have a cleaner home. As Japanese writer and organisation consultant Marie Kondo said:

Tidying is the act of confronting yourself.

Shopping Guide

There are a number of criteria to take into consideration when buying your very own hand vac. We recommend you not to overlook any so that you can make the best choice for yourself. Once you’ve examined the aspects discussed in the following section, we’re confident you will be ready to make the perfect decision.

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


The power is an aspect that you must absolutely take into account, since its suction power depends on it. Don’t forget that handheld vacuum cleaners with cable will always be more powerful than cordless models. Will you use it sporadically or more frequently? In the case of the latter, you’ll be much better off with a model offering greater power.


This point only really matters if you opt for a wireless hand vac. We recommend you to choose a model offering at least 20 minutes of autonomy. Anything less might be insufficient to clean your car, and stopping with the cleaning half done to charge your device will be a waste of time.

Noise levels

This isn’t necessarily an aspect you pay much attention to, but a device that makes a lot of noise can become very annoying to use. You may even limit its use if you have a baby. If this matters to you, try not to go for a model with producing over 80 decibels: that level of noise is quite tolerable.


Make sure the hand vac you choose is easy to clean. HEPA stainless steel filters are all the rage and easy to remove; you’ll be able to use it over and over again as long as you clean it thoroughly. If your dirt tank is also easy to clean, you won’t have any extra work to do and you can save both time and effort.

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


As we mentioned before, the accessories that come with your hand vac will determine what use you can make of it. You need to think carefully about how you want to use your device to know which accessories will be essential. This is a very important aspect that will in part define how good your investment is. You certainly don’t want to regret it.


Ergonomic designs are more comfortable and make your vacuum cleaner easier to use. This is important point to consider as we all know that unpractical appliances can quickly end up in the back of a closet. We don’t want you to feel like you’ve thrown money away, so be careful to pick the right model to make the most out of your purchase.

The weight is the first thing to look at. This type of vacuum cleaner is carried with a single arm, and you won’t be happy if the weight is excessive. Another key point is making sure the ON/OFF button is located on the handle, so you can easily access this button with the same hand you’re holding the device. Other options are much less comfortable.

The handle, you ask? You’ll also need comfort there, and we think the best models come with a rounded shape. Your end foal is to have your hand adopt a natural posture when vacuuming.

Remember that the handle shouldn’t lead to any discomfort neither during nor after cleaning.


Try to buy a quality product that offers you interesting features. Prestigious brands almost always guarantee top quality, although some products from lesser-known manufacturers can also offer great features. Make sure that each part of the model you’re looking at live up to your standards.


Handheld vacuum cleaners are becoming increasingly important in our homes. As you know, they are compatible with other types of vacuum cleaners, as they perform distinct tasks. A hand vac will help you keep your house clean, even in the darkest of places. The great thing is that this product is also useful to clean your car.

There are many different models available on the market. You’ll need to decide which features are essential to you, then check what each handheld vacuum cleaner has to offer. This article provided you with all the info you need to know to make the best possible purchase, so don’t forget them when the time comes!

We hope you found this shopping guide interesting and useful. If so, feel free to share it in your social media so that more people can make the right decision!

(Source of featured image: Budabar: 68731803/