We’ve all been there. It’s minutes before company comes over and the cats knock over a plant, spilling dirt. Or the kids spill a box of cheerios on the ground, sending them scattering everywhere. Or maybe you glance at the couch just before your guests arrive and see it covered with a layer of pet fur. Thankfully, handheld vacuum cleaners are perfect for quick clean jobs and save you from the hassle of dragging out your full-size vacuum cleaner and dragging it throughout the house. We all need one, but the question is, what is the best handheld vacuum 2017 to meet your needs?
To help you decide which handheld vacuum cleaner to add to your home, we have compiled a list of the 10 best handheld vacuum cleaners.
Best Handheld Vacuums 2017
|Handheld Vacuum Cleaners||Weight (lbs)||Battery type||Voltage (V)||Average Runtime (min)|
|Shark Pet Perfect II SV780||4.2||Ni-Mh||18||15|
|Black & Decker Dustbuster CHV1410L||3.4||Lithium||14.4|
|Black & Decker BDH2000PL Pivot Vac 20V MAX||3.8||Lithium||20||15-20|
|Black & Decker PHV1810 Pivot Vac 18V||4.7||Ni-Cd||18||15-20|
|Black & Decker Dustbuster HHVI315JO42||2.1||Lithium||15||15|
|Dirt Devil SD20005RED Scorpion Quick Flip||3.8||-||-||-|
|Eureka Easy Clean 71B||6.8||-||-||-|
|Dyson V6 Mattress||3.5||Lithium||21.6||20|
|Bissell Pet Hair Eraser||3||Ni-Mh||14.4||10-15|
Hoover Air 20V – The Lightest Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
At 2.1 pounds, you might think that this little handheld vacuum cleaner doesn’t pack much of a punch, but you’d be wrong.
The Hoover Air 20V Lithium Handheld Vacuum is quite powerful, with users raving about its ability to pull pet hairs from carpets and couches, and dirt from car boot mats.
Design with a rotating brush to lift deeper messes, this vacuum cleaner has enough suction to get the job done, and then some.
Design & Performance
Although appearance is not what usually comes to mind with a vacuum, this Hoover has a sleek silver and blue design, with a curved handle that fits nicely in your palm. Alternatively, there have been some complaints with the engineering of the vacuum cleaner because fine dust particles often blow out of the air vent, which suggests the filter isn’t catching the smaller particles. The filter is also smaller, and needs be washed every 4 to 6 uses, and you must let it air dry which can take a few hours. The product is also quiet, with consumers reporting that it is only slightly louder than a hairdryer, and much quieter than the average full-size vacuum.
The Lithium battery takes 9 to 12 hours to fully charge, which means if you leave it off the charger and need it in a pinch, it likely won’t charge quick enough. Thankfully, the charge lasts a very long time and users have reported that they’ve never run out of a charge (when fully charged at the start) while they are vacuuming with this Hoover.
This product comes with a Powered Turbo tool to give you a suction boost, as well as a Crevice tool to help you clean tight spots, like stairs and car interiors. It also fits into the Hoover Cordless 2 in 1 Stick Vacuum, which gives you more options.
| Great battery life|
Good suction quality
Not excessively loud
Comes with 2 attachments, Turbo Tool and Crevice Tool
| Have to clean the filter every 4-6 uses
Long battery-charging time
Fine dust particles come out through air vent
If you can handle a moderate price for quality suction performance, and are okay with a longer battery charge time, and cleaning the filter often, then this is the best handheld vacuum 2017 for you! For a middle-of-the-road price, this handheld Hoover packs a punch and can get the job done in tight spaces.
Shark Pet Perfect II 18V is the best handheld vacuum 2017 for pet hair removal. With several attachments, the Shark Pet Perfect II Hand Vac can adapt to the type of cleaning job that you’re faced with.
Design & Performance
At 4.2 pounds, this handheld vacuum cleaner is on the heavier side of our top ten list, but it is still light enough for easy maneuverability.
Without a lot of complicated parts, or clips, this handheld vacuum cleaner is easy-to-use and operate. Taking it apart to empty the bagless dust cup or change the filter every 3 to 4 months is simple and will not leave you feel frustrated.
In terms of power, the Shark Pet Perfect II 18V has good suction while the battery lasts. It easily pulls pet hair from carpets and couches and is good for ground in dirt in cars as well.
Some users report that the vacuum can be a bit loud, with a shrill noise when operating, but it will still get the job done.
The rechargeable 18v Lithium Ion battery has an LED-charging indicator and the charging stand is wall mountable. However, it takes between 8 to 24 hours for an initial charge and doesn’t hold a charge for more than 15 to 20 minutes. There is also a long list of “Do’s and Don’ts” for the battery in terms of charging and discharging it. You must fully charge and discharge the battery upon first use, and then always remove the unit from the charger after it is fully charged after that. This can be a bit complicated and failing to follow the instructions can lead to drastically reduced battery life.
Perhaps the best thing about the Shark Pet Perfect II 18V, is the plethora of attachments that it comes with. Included in the original package are a Crevice tool, motorized brush, and dusting brush. The motorized brush is great for getting pet hair and ground in dirt 4 off carpets and upholstery. The crevice tool is also great for cars. With all three attachments, the vacuum has four cleaning options, crevice tool, motorized brush, dusting brush and direct suction, which make it a good option for an easy clean on any surface.
| Easy to take apart and put together, no complicated parts|
Mounting unit is compact and easy to mount/unmount
Comes with many different attachments
| Emits a shrill when vacuum is in use
Complicated directions for maintaining battery life
For the price, you can likely find a more powerful, longer lasting battery powered handheld vacuum cleaner out on the market. However, if you don’t anticipate needing a vacuum for longer than 15 minutes and the idea of several included attachments excites you, then this could be the best handheld vacuum cleaner for you.
Black & Decker Dust Buster 16V is a great vacuum cleaner if you are looking for long lasting battery power. This one is priced moderately and is ideal for a quick pick up.
Design & Performance
At 3.4 pounds, this handheld vacuum cleaner is very light and compact, which makes it easy to use. The dirt cup is translucent so you won’t have any difficulty telling when it is time to empty.
And when it comes to power, this Black & Decker has some cyclonic action that keeps strong suction. Although that strong suction does not come without issues, as the vacuum has been reported to be on the louder side.
Another great feature that users have reported is that the dust bowl and filter are both easy to remove and clean. The filter needs to be cleaned every couple of months, so this is a great feature.
The best feature of the Black & Decker 16V Handheld Vacuum is that battery charger and life. The Lithium ion battery can hold a charge for 18 months! That’s right – 18 months without being charged. The only drawback here is that the battery cannot be mounted on the wall, but you can leave the battery on the charger and the smart charge technology uses 50% less energy than before.
This is one of the best hand held vacuum with crevice tool. It comes with a built in crevice feature that is perfect for getting those hard to reach places. Although the nozzle isn’t the longest of the bunch, it is slimmer and provides for 50% more reach. This vacuum doesn’t have several attachments, so if you are looking for many different attachments and settings, then this is not the vacuum for you.
| Battery Life, Battery Life, Battery Life|
Great for quick clean jobs
Smart Charge Technology is more energy efficient
| Loud when in use
Brush tip attachment is useless
If you are looking for long lasting battery life and a small, compact handheld vacuum cleaner to get quick cleaning jobs done, then this is the perfect vacuum for you. With the Smart Charge technology, it is also a more energy efficient model.
This Blacks & Decker handheld vacuum cleaner is priced slightly higher than the previous one, but with this model you are provided with the patented pivoting nozzle technology. This little guy runs longer and with much more power, while being lighter and smaller than previous Black & Decker models.
Design & Performance
The most noticeable feature here is the pivoting nozzle, which gets you more power in compact size and can help you hard to reach places like under cupboards and on top of fan blades.
The high performance motor with cyclonic spic action and 3-stage filtrations system also make this one of the best handheld vacuums 2017.
Users have reported that the filter flicker, designed to loosen embedded debris from the filter to improve suction, really does work and they see a more constant suction strength throughout their cleaning jobs.
One of the best features of this handheld vac, is the ease with which you can clean it. Users have reported that popping the filter and dust bowl out and cleaning them is very simple and won’t leave you feeling frustrated.
The lithium technology battery, that this model has, provides for fade free power. There is a standing charging base, which is nice, but users have reported that this handheld vacuum cleaner can only run for about 15 minutes on a full charge. This is great for little cleanups, but might not get you through an entire car cleaning in once charge.
First off, for those looking for a handheld vacuum to remove pet hair specifically, this isn’t the vacuum for you. There is no pet hairbrush, though you will find an onboard crevice tool, which extends the nozzle several inches. There is a brush, but it won’t do you any good for removing pet hair from furniture, car seats or carpet.
| Easy to clean|
Pivoting nozzle is great for hard to reach spaces
Sleek, compact design
| Very loud to operate
Not good for removing pet hair
Most handheld vacuum cleaners will need to have the filter and dust bowl cleaned regularly. If you are looking for a well-powered vacuum cleaner that isn’t a hassle to clean or empty, then this is the one for you. The dust bowl and filter pop right out and make cleaning a breeze. This is great for those looking to clean quick messes, without all the hassle.
There’s always places in your house that are hard to reach, and the Black & Decker Pivot Vac 18V is the perfect vacuum to help you reach them. Weighing in at 4.7 pounds, this vacuum cleaner has a pivoting nozzle that is perfect for high, low and tight spaces that are often hard to reach.
Design & Performance
Perhaps the best design feature for this Black & Decker is that the vacuum folds in half to decrease its storage space. This vacuum was also designed with a larger dust container that won’t need to be emptied as often.
The dust bowl is removable, washable and translucent, which makes it easy to clean. The larger bowl also holds 40% more dirt & debris than the original Pivot Vac™. It seems that Black & Decker got the memo that consumers were looking for a bigger bowl.
This vacuum is well powered, running on full power for 15 minutes before switching to reduced power where it can run for another 10. It’s also quieter than most other handheld vacuums, which is a huge bonus.
A few things to note is that some consumers have reported that debris and dust can fall out of the nozzle when the vacuum is turned off, and durability has come into question as well. It’s not make or break, but something to keep in mind when buying a $50 vacuum.
Black & Decker forwent the lithium battery here for a Ni-Cad battery, which isn’t quite as efficient and long lasting. It holds a battery charge well in the beginning, but can quickly drop off. One good this is that there is an LED charging light indicator to tell you when the battery has reached full charge.
Again, there is no pet hair roller brush, but there is an onboard brush and extendable crevice tool, which make it impossible to lose.
| Very easy to empty dust bowl and clean|
Large dust container
Quiet when running
| No Lithium ion batteries
Not good for pet hair removal
The pivoting nozzle and lightweight design really make this one hard to beat in smaller, tight and hard to reach places. If you are looking for a compact handheld vacuum cleaner to get into tight spaces, then this is the one for you!
Black & Decker Dust Buster 15V is the cheapest cordless vacuum cleaner on our list. It is light weight and compact, but holds a long charge and is powerful for it’s size.
Design & Performance
The difference here is that this Black & Decker model has the largest dirt bowl at 31.8 ounces. The bowl and filter are also washable and easy to remove.
This cordless handheld vacuum cleaner comes in at 2.1 pounds, making it one of the lightest on our list. This is great for older consumers who might not have the arm strength to lift a heavier vacuum cleaner.
Also, just because it’s light, doesn’t mean that it isn’t efficient. Though not a good wet vac, this one is excellent for hard surfaces and dry particulate.
We got back to a Lithium battery here, which holds a long charge. That’s good for anyone who is concerned about battery life. The unit can also be mounted on the wall and even though there isn’t a charger indicator light, you can always leave it clicked into the charger due to the overcharge protection.
While there is a push in Crevice tool and brush, there is no dedicated storage on the device or hanging accessory. That makes it difficult to keep track of and if you’re like most consumers, simply putting them in a drawer or the back of a closet is a perfect way to lose them.
| Extremely lightweight at 2.1 pounds|
The cheapest cordless handheld vacuum cleaner on our list
You can leave it in the charger, which can be mounted on the wall
Large dustbowl (31.8 ounces)
| No onboard attachments or storage for the attachments
Not good for wet particulate
No battery charge indicator light
Budget is a big thing to consider when purchasing a handheld vacuum cleaner. Chances are that you already have a full-size vacuum cleaner and this is just adding efficiency and ease of cleaning to your collection. That being said, if cost is a big player, then this is a quality handheld vacuum cleaner for the cheapest price.
We all know that cordless makes a vacuum cleaner easier to maneuver, but this corded handheld vacuum cleaner packs a suction filled punch! It’s lightweight, but still able to suck up pebbles.
Design & Performance
For those looking for a vacuum cleaner that doesn’t stand out, then this bright red handheld vacuum cleaner from Dirt Devil probably doesn’t fit the bill. However, with its bagless, lightweight design and 7A motor, this bad boy has some strong suction.
The best thing about corded vacuums?
The power supply is continuous so there is no drop off in suction power.
However, after 15 minutes of straight use, this Dirt Devil can get pretty hot so many people reported having to turn it off for a minute to let it cool. That probably won’t be too much of an issue though, because there is a small dust bowl that will likely need to be emptied before you hit 15 minutes of use regardless.
no Battery Performance
This is a corded handheld vacuum cleaner with a 16-foot cord. However, with the decreased mobility, comes increased suction power.
The Quick flip crevice tool allows you to clean in tight spaces very quickly, without hassle of attaching a different tool. It also keeps you from losing any parts. This Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Handheld Vacuum also comes with a dusting brush, sliding brush and upholstery tool.
| Continuous power|
Very cheap price
| The cord makes it slightly less efficient
No way to wrap cord
Smaller dust bowl
If you are looking for a cheap, corded vacuum cleaner that is affordable and lightweight, then you might want to consider this one – if you are okay with the small dust bowl, decreased maneuverability and heating up issues that is.
There’s always that one chore that we put off, often going for months and months without completing – vacuuming the stairs. It’s generally such a hassle, but the Eureka Easy Clean Handheld Vacuum is here to change that. This powerful and easy to use hand vac is designed perfectly to do just that.
Design & Performance
However, if you can get past the vibrant colors, the dual motors – one to power the revolving brush and the other for suction – will really amaze you.
The motorized brush roll also makes this the best corded handheld vacuum cleaner for carpet, as well as stairs.
Now onto the stairs cleaning portion. This model has a Riser Visor, which is a clear plastic cover that covers the brush roller. When in the normal position, the brush roll will clean flat areas. But when it is twisted down to expose the front, it is great to clean vertical surfaces, such as the carpet on stairs. For pet owners, we have to point out, that Eureka Easy Clean removes pet hair very effectively, according to Engadget test.
There is also no bag to change, and this vacuum has been reported as being quieter than a blender.
One thing to note is that at 6.8 pounds, it is a heavier unit.
Also, you cannot wash the filter with water while cleaning, which has some people irritated.
no Battery Performance
This is a corded handheld vacuum cleaner with a 20-foot cord. You will note though, that with decreased mobility, comes increased suction power. This handheld vacuum cleaner has 5.5 amps of power, and the cord can easily wrap around for storage purposes.
This vacuum has an onboard crevice tool and Riser Visor for carpeted stairs.
| Fantastic for cleaning stairs|
Cord is easily wrapped around to be put away
| You are constrained by the cord, which can be more of a hassle
Heavier unit at 6.8 pounds
Cannot wash the filter with water
If you are like most people who hate the idea of cleaning your stairs, and put it off, this vacuum cleaner might be the answer to your prayers!
If you are in the market for a mattress cleaning vacuum cleaner, than the Dyson V6 Mattress Handheld Vacuum is one to consider. Although listed at the highest price on our list, this vacuum brings some unique aspects to the table.
Design & Performance
One thing to note though is that some users reported that the vacuum is harder to hold due to its design, so that’s something to keep in mind.
When it comes to power, Dyson is up to its usual quality. The digital motor v6 generates powerful suction to get deep into mattress, and the two tier radial cyclones help grab the microscopic dust and allergens.
This advanced vacuum cleaner has HEPA filtration, which captures 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, and the motorized mattress tool is designed to agitate the mattress to release dust and allergens. Thankfully, this unit doesn’t just have to stay on the mattress, you can use it in other areas as well.
The suction on this unit cannot be beat! But at a high price point, you are certainly paying for that.
You will definitely want to take note that you should never suck up any liquids or wet particles with this unit, or you won’t like the outcome.
This battery-operated unit only takes 3.5 hours to charge and can get up to 20 minutes of powerful suction, with the option of Max Power Mode to produce 6 minutes of higher suction.
| Quieter than most vacuums|
|The cost may be a hindrance to some|
For handheld mattress vacuums, this one simply cannot be beat in terms of suction quality and HEPA filtration. However, there are endless benefits to this little vacuum that you can make use of if you are willing to pay a high price.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum is developed specifically for pet owners to help make cleaning up after their pets much easier and less hassle filled. The lightweight and cordless handheld design will allow you to clean up pet hair and dirt that collects on your carpet, furniture, in your car, or wherever your furry pets play or lay.
Design & Performance
The dust bowl is easy to empty and clean, while the dual action filtration system and motorized foot provide powerful suction and a deep clean for your carpet or upholstered surfaces.
This unit has a NiMH 14.4 volt battery and comes with a charging cord as well. Note that is takes a long time to charge, and there is a short battery life. The batteries are not exchangeable and you will likely find yourself charging it every 10-15 minutes.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum comes with a Crevice tool, Upholstery tool and Motorized brush. The Motorized brush is definitely the best out of the three and really gets a deep clean.
| Motorized brush great for pet hair removal from upholstery|
Very lightweight at 3 pounds
Dust bowl is easy to empty and clean
| Only 10-15 minutes usage on full battery
Takes a while to charge the battery
This lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner is great for pulling pet hair. This vac is ideal for short cleaning. Though it has a short battery life, the motorized brush and lightweight design should make the job quick enough to sneak in during that period. Also, if you are looking for best handheld vacuum for car, pay attention to Bissell Pet Hair Eraser.
The Result: Editor’s Choice
The market for handheld vacuum cleaners is extremely saturated, with products ranging in price, battery type, suction strength, cord type and even design and colors. Truthfully, there probably is no “perfect” vacuum cleaner for you, rather several quality options. When looking for a handheld vacuum cleaner from our list, first come up with a price range that you are looking to spend in. Then determine if you want corded or cordless and from there, begin to consider what types of batteries, attachments and suction they possess.
Based on the research done here, we simply cannot recommend just one top rated handheld vacuum cleaner. The Dyson v6 is by far the best handheld vacuum cleaner in terms of technical features and technology like the v6 motor and HEPA filtration, but it is obviously much pricier than all of the rest. If we’re really taking budget into consideration, the Black & Decker Pivot Vac 20V Max looks the best when considering suction power, battery life and weight. The Black & Decker Pivot Vac 20V Max is relatively light compared to the rest on the list, has great battery power and pivoting nozzle allows you to reach places that other vacuums cannot venture.
Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Buyer’s Guide
When you are buying a handheld vacuum cleaner, there are many things to consider, such as battery type and life, suction power, corded vs cordless and attachments. Here is a list of things to consider when selecting the best handheld vacuum cleaner for you.
1) Cleaning Power
When looking for a vacuum cleaner, it is necessary to define what exactly you need to clean, such as a car, pet hair, carpet, stairs, hard to reach places etc.
2) Corded vs Cordless
With a cordless vacuum cleaner, you have much more maneuverability, but you often lose some power and are limited by how long the battery lasts. A corded vacuum cleaner will run indefinitely and with continuous power, but you are limited by how far the cord reaches.
3) Types of batteries
The best choice is lithium ion battery because it holds a charge far longer and charges more quickly than Ni-Cd or Ni-Mh battery. Also, you can leave a vacuum with a lithium battery in the charger without fear that you will damage overall battery life. So, your little friend will always be ready to work. But don’t do it with vacs that have Ni-Cd (Ni-Mh) battery!
4) Running time per charge (for cordless vacuums)
When you have a little, easy to clean mess, you can choose a vacuum with more power and less running time. However, if you are looking to vacuum an entire car or the stairs in one battery charge, you will want to choose a handheld vacuum with less power, but more running time per charge, which will save you time from waiting for it to recharge.
5) Higher Voltage Rating
For those that don’t know about power, this is a biggie. The higher the voltage rating, the more powerful a handheld vacuum cleaner will be. You will want a voltage rating of at least 15.6 volts, while some go all the way up to 20 volts.
6) Strong filtration
You will want strong filtration to keep dust and debris from re-entering the air after you vacuum. If possible in your price range, a HEPA filter is a great feature!
7) Light weight
You might not think 5 pounds is heavy, but when you’re holding it in the air for 15 to 20 minutes, you might think again. The lighter the better!
8) Clear, Large & Bagless dirt bowl
When it comes to your dust canister, bagless is the best way to go. This makes them easy to empty and clean, which makes your cleaning job less of a hassle. Also, by having a clear canister, you will know exactly when it’s time to empty.
9) Washable Filter
This might not seem like an important feature, and to you it might not be, but having a washable filter allows you to avoid purchasing costly replacements every month or so.
10) Included Attachments
Most handheld vacuum cleaners come with an upholstery brush, crevice tool and dust brush. But not all. These included attachments can also affect the price, so you have to decide how important it is to increase the vacuums versatility. Anyway, as a general rule, all manufacturers offer an additional tool kit for your vac.
Another thing to consider is where you will be storing the vacuum. If you are planning to hang it in a closet, be sure that the unit and charging station are wall mountable.
Undoubtedly, with a vacuum in your hands you will want to look stylish even during the home cleaning! 🙂