Best Handheld Vacuum – Our Top Picks Updated for 2019
If you’re looking for the best handheld vacuum cleaner, there are several things you may want to consider prior to making a purchase. What will be the vacuum’s primary use? Do you have a concern about pet hair, either on the floor or on your furniture? Will you want to use it while cleaning out your car? Do you have carpeted stairs in your home? Are you looking for just the best handheld vacuum overall? These are just a few of the uses you’ll want to consider, but putting a little thought into how you’ll use your new machine will ensure you find just the right one for you.
5 Best Handheld Vacuum – Comparisons
Top 5 Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaner – Reviews
After a great deal of research including reviewing tons of feedback from current users and combing through model features, these are our picks for the best overall hand held vacuum cleaners:
While the Dyson DC59 comes in two models, the Animal and the Motorhead, the Motorhead has 78% more power, making it the best choice for really sucking up dirt, hair and other debris. With options to use it as either a handheld or an upright vacuum cleaner, it is by far the most versatile best handheld vacuum on the market today. With a self-adjusting cleaner head that keeps close suction to the floor and a light weight of under 5 pounds, this is one of the easiest to use models as well. As far as tools, it comes with a crevice tool and dusting brush as well as a mini motorized tool that’s great for vacuuming stairs or cleaning upholstery. While it’s not marketed as a pet hair vacuum, it does a great job on this as well, so if you need to clean up after a cat or dog, you’re covered.
One thing that really sets this one apart is that you can easily pop out the brush roll if you need to. With most vacuums, you need a screwdriver combined with a lot of patience. However, with this one, if you happen to get long hair tangled around the brush roll, all you need to do is pop it out, slide off whatever is on it and put it right back in.
Of course, it’s also cordless and comes with a docking station that hangs right on the wall and has room to store all the tools, so if you have a storage challenge or live in a small space, you really can’t beat this versatile handheld.
The Black & Decker Flex is a perfect combination of a canister vacuum and handheld, making for a very lightweight and portable machine with enough suction to get the job done. As an added bonus, a handful of useful tools are included that will get you through just about any job you have. This version has a leg up over the first Flex handheld in that the battery lasts twice as long. That one was certainly one of the top handhelds, but this one has it beat for its longer run time and heartier battery. In fact, the lithium ion battery in this model is so strong that it can actually hold a charge for up to 18 months if the vac doesn’t get used.
While not as versatile as the DC59, this Flex still has many merits. It comes with a crevice tool to get into tight spaces, a flat nozzle combined with a dusting brush that works great for things like windowsills and blinds, and as a bonus, it comes with a rubberized pet hair tool that works great for getting even the stickiest dog and cat hair off your furniture. All the tools are stored directly on the base of the vac so they won’t get lost. The base is also the charging station with a blue lit indicator that lets you know when the battery is ready to go.
At under 4 pounds with great tools, you’ll find this powerful little 20v vacuum will do jobs you didn’t even know you had (like getting bugs out of the light fixture which is easy to reach with the long extension hose).
This is another upgrade from a previous model, the PHV1810 18v Pivot Vac. Black and Decker has definitely stepped up their game with this one. This new 20v model packs much more power and runs longer as well. While it doesn’t come with all the tools of the Flex or DC 59 and is not nearly as versatile, it’s not designed to be. It is, however, fantastic for quick pickups of everything from dust balls to breakfast cereal. With a pivoting head, it’s easy to get into tight or awkward spaces as well.
Attached to the head (they slide out) are a crevice tool and dusting brush. This is a nice design since the tools are always with you, and there is no way for them to get lost or not be there when you need them. This new design has another nice feature as well: The dust container is completely removable and washable, so it’s really easy to clean.
Many users compare this latest Shark to the Dyson DC59 models since it is similar in design. While it’s not nearly as powerful (and it does have a cord), it’s also inexpensive in comparison. If you compare the two, you’ll actually find the Rocket has more tools vs the Dyson, and it also works as an upright and a handheld, making it nearly as versatile.
It comes with a crevice too and dusting brush as well as a wide upholstery tools specifically designed for pet hair on furniture. You also get an attachment for getting dust off hardwood floors that comes with two washable microfiber pads, which turns the Ultralight into a dry mop with suction. You can also get a car and home detail kit which is great for getting small items cleaned and into those really hard to reach areas. It also comes with a wall mount so you can keep the Shark out of the way when not in use.
This model replaces the very popular older model 71B, which was also highly rated. The biggest difference is that the 41A has a more powerful motor, a much-appreciated improvement. The Rapidclean does have a cord, which some user reviews prefer over a cordless model because you’ll never have to worry about losing power. This Eurecka comes with a 3′ hose along with a bare floor brush and crevice tool, so while it doesn’t have the reach of the Platinum Flex, you can still get down into corners and clean window sills. One of the things this small model is best at is cleaning carpeted stairs. Since it’s a bit heavier than the others on our ‘best of’ list, at 6 pounds it has the ability to get deeper into carpet than some of its competitors.
Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Hand held vacuums can be a very versatile way to clean up small messes or to do a quick clean up between times where you pull out the “big machine”. However, while we love the idea of a fast, lightweight machine, sometimes the cord just gets in the way. Both corded and cordless vacuums have their advantages and disadvantages, there is one main one that should be considered: A vacuum with a cord will run indefinitely, while some cordless models are lucky to run 5 or 10 minutes. This can be a huge consideration depending on your needs. With all that said, our all star for best cordless handheld vacuum is the Dyson DC59 Motorhead. It’s compact, lightweight, has different tools to get just about everywhere, and most importantly, it sucks stuff up!
If you’re looking for a cordless hand held vac that performs more like an upright and you have the budget, this latest Digital Slim is definitely the way to go.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair & Pet Hair on Furniture
We sure do love our animal friends, but for those of us who are pet lovers know one of the things we “put up with” is an abundance of hair – everywhere. Finding a tool to get it all up can be a challenge. People try everything from rubber gloves to sticky tape to giant vacuums they have to drag around. So, what’s the best rated vacuum for pet hair? The most recommended model remains the DC59, but mostly because of its attachments. While it’s pricey, it sure gets the job done better than other hand helds in its class.
If this one blows your budget, the Platinum Flex (#2 on our list) is also a very good choice. Another one to consider is the Shark Pet Perfect II, which is specifically designed to tackle tough pet hair.
If you have a VERY small budget, take a look at the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. This little vac has been around for some time and remains a top seller. As one user states, “…little sucker could suck a golf ball through a garden hose!” It works great for sucking up pet hair on couches and other furniture. It also does a great job of picking up hair from carpeted stairs. The only slight inconvenience is that it is not cordless, but it’s worth the cord for the great deal of power this little machine puts out.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Car
Vacuuming your car presents a special challenge, as you need to get up, around, beside and between much more often than you would when cleaning up the house. Since you’ll be maneuvering in often tight and hard to get to places, the biggest concern for you is probably weight. The last thing you want is a bulky cumbersome machine when you’re trying to clean inside your vehicle. You’ll also want a vacuum that, at the very least, has a crevice tool to get down between and beside the seat cushions. Cordless is a big plus here as well so you don’t have to fight with a cord in such a small space. For these reasons, the Black & Decker Platinum Flex is top of the list for best handheld vacuums for cars. Its light weight, variety of on-board tools and suction power make it a champ when it comes to cleaning out your automobile.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Stairs & Carpeted Stairs
Stairs present a special concern when it comes to cleaning up, especially if they’re carpeted. Of course you want to get into the corners, but you also want to clean the vertical part of the risers. Manipulating a heavy vacuum in those areas (not to mention lifting it up each stair) is, well, a pain. That’s a great reason to consider a smaller, compact model. We like the Eureka Rapidclean best for this use. It has a wide enough head so you only have to make one or two passes to cover all the area, and it has a nice hose and crevice tool to get in the cracks and corners.