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9 Best Handheld Vacuums You Will Want to Take Everywhere

We found the best handheld vacuum picks for every household and budget. They'll even clean pet messes!

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

10 Best Handheld, via merchant (3)

Hard-to-reach spaces and smaller messes are reason enough to invest in a high-quality handheld vacuum. They’re ideal for places you’re not vacuuming but should, like baseboards and blinds, and they’re also compact enough to be stored in a closet or corner. They rival some of the best vacuums in terms of power and versatility. The best handheld vacuum models offer the strong suction of their larger counterparts, with some even joining the ranks of the best vacuums for pet hair thanks to special attachments.

What to look for in a handheld vacuum

Picking the best handheld vacuum comes down to identifying your needs. Households that usually reach for their best vacuum-mop combos may benefit from wet/dry handheld vacuum models, whereas drivers with messy cars may prefer options designed to suck up dirt, leaves and sand.

One of the most important features to look for are ergonomic handles that make cleaning up feel like less of a chore. Choosing a model with at least 16 volts of power is also a surefire way to make sure you have enough suction capability to get messes cleaned up quickly—and without debris spitbacks.

How we chose the best handheld vacuums

Much like the best robot vacuums, we chose the best handheld vacuums based on their overall value and design. We also looked closely at technical elements like voltage, suction force and special add-ons and attachments. Models that offered appealing design and power at budget-friendly prices impressed us the most. We also weighed real shopper reviews, specific use cases (like stain removal) and ease of use.

After looking through this list, make sure to read up on the best car vacuums, unexpected vacuum cleaner uses and things you shouldn’t vacuum.

1 / 9

Black+decker 20v Max Handheld Vacuumvia merchant

Best overall handheld vacuum

Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld Vacuum

Our top pick for the overall best handheld vacuum is the efficient, moderately-priced Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld Vacuum. It features a genius pivoting nozzle that makes reaching difficult corners and crevices a breeze in a compact size. The dustbowl boasts a 15-ounce capacity for impressive pick-up powered by its high-performance motor. Cyclonic suction spins dust and debris away from the three-stage filter keeping suction power strong.

“I’ve now had this vacuum for five years,” writes Melissa, a verified Amazon purchaser. “The longevity alone should earn it five stars, but here’s what I truly love about it. The charging stand is life-changing and not something I’ve seen on other cordless vacs. The flip-up brush is genius. I can go from vacuuming up the dirt from sweeping to getting the fur out of the corners of our couch or a weird corner of tile which somehow gathers fur from our two dogs.”


  • Versatility; works on everything from dust to dog hair
  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Excellent user reviews over 21,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.5-star average
  • Easy wall mounting
  • 15-ounce dustbowl capacity


  • Frequent filter cleanings are necessary and take two to three minutes each

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2 / 9

Bissell Pet Stain Eraservia merchant

Best handheld vacuum for pet stains

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser

Messy pet stains are no match for the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser, a powerful wet/dry option that’s made for a variety of surfaces. It works on most flooring types, upholstery and carpet and is even a brilliant way to clean a mattress riddled with stains. It offers a large tank capacity that’s easy to fill and empty and can be used with plain tap water or diluted cleaning fluids. Spray, scrub and suction to quickly remove icky pet urine, vomit, wine, sauce, ketchup and all sorts of other stains.


  • Quickly and easily removes pet urine, vomit and other hard-to-remove stains
  • Simple to set up and use in less than two minutes
  • Moderate price point
  • Powerful suction
  • Built-in scrubber
  • Simple tank refilling and emptying


  • The built-in scrubber can be a bit intense on gentler materials and woven upholstery but works nicely on microfiber and carpet

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3 / 9

Bissel Pet Hair Eraservia merchant

Best handheld vacuum for pet hair

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum

Bissell does it again with the brand’s bestselling Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum, and reviewers can’t stop raving about how clean it leaves couches, carpets and upholstery. It has over 26,000 Amazon ratings and a nearly-perfect 4.7-star average rating. This sleek model is easily the best handheld vacuum for pet hair removal thanks to its clever motorized brush design. Our Deputy Shopping Editor reviewed the Pet Hair Eraser and was wowed by the suction power of the little vacuum, especially when using the motorized brush attachment. But she’s not the only one who’s impressed.

“Holy crap, this thing is amazing. Well worth the money,” raves verified purchaser Kenzie. “I have 3 cats and a dog, all of whom shed something fierce. I didn’t have high hopes for this since pet hair is so hard to suck up. This little baby blew me out of the water! It takes like 10 minutes to vacuum my whole sectional, throw pillows, and chair. I love it so much I’ll be purchasing a second one so I have one on each floor of my house. Don’t hesitate, just buy it!”


  • Motorized brush attachment sucks up all sorts of pet hair without bunching or tangling
  • Easy to handle
  • Powerful lithium ion battery
  • Over 26,000 Amazon ratings with a 4.7-star average
  • Moderate price point
  • Also cleans messes like cat litter and dust


  • Not designed to manage or treat wet pet stains, so you’ll need a separate tool for that

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4 / 9

Black+decker dustbuster Advancedclean Cordless Vacuumvia merchant

Best budget handheld vacuum

Black+Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Vacuum

Another ergonomic Black+Decker model made our list of the best handheld vacuum models; this time the budget-friendly Dustbuster Advanced Clean Cordless Vacuum. It removes hair, dirt and debris from carpets with ease thanks to a narrow nozzle. The powerful suction and ability to get into tight spaces also make it an ideal choice for car interiors and furniture. Best of all, it’s an exceptionally affordable option that has garnered over 77,000 Amazon ratings and an impressive 4.5-star average.

“We’ve had various hand vacs over the years, most with pretty mediocre battery and sucking power,” writes verified purchaser Bruce. “But finally, found this Black+Decker hand vac, and it is truly great. The suction is really strong, and the battery lasts for at least 10 or 15 minutes at full suction. Easy to clean, easy to recharge on the nice stand. This is a great hand vac.”


  • Budget-friendly model doesn’t skimp on power or design
  • Suitable for several types of surfaces and dirt
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Over 77,000 Amazon ratings with a 4.5-star average
  • Long-lasting battery


  • Slim nozzle makes it a bit cumbersome for larger spills and piles of dirt, but it’s excellent for corners and the small line of dirt dustpans leave behind

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5 / 9

Hoover® Onepwr™ Dust Chaser Cordless Handheld Vacuumvia merchant

Best luxury handheld vacuum

Hoover ONEPWR Dust Chaser Hand Vacuum

Slim design and on-trend colors are part of the luxury packaging you get with this handsome Hoover ONEPWR Dust Chaser Hand Vacuum. The all-white encasement and lightweight, sleek design earn it high marks with customers. It features a high-performance digital motor, intense suction for chunkier debris and a full 15-minute run time.

It also boasts a dual filtration system with HEPA technology that captures over 99% of dust, pet dander and allergens. The best part? It’s powered by the removable and rechargeable ONEPWR 2.0 battery that works with other pieces in the Hoover lineup.


  • Luxurious design and high-end features like a removable, rechargeable battery pack
  • The ONEPWR battery can be used with other Hoover devices as well for seamless integration
  • Lightweight
  • Sleek shape and ergonomic design
  • Digital motor with powerful suction
  • HEPA filtration


  • Significantly more expensive than other models on the market
  • Reviewers note cleaning the filter can be a little tricky at first

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6 / 9

 Thisworx Handheld Car Vacuumvia merchant

Best handheld car vacuum

ThisWorx Handheld Car Vacuum

Cars and trucks of all types should definitely keep a ThisWorx Handheld Car Vacuum stashed in their trunk for impromptu cleanups. This compact wonder certainly lives up to its name. It “works” on dust, sand, crunched-up leaves and even dried-up bits of snacks kids may leave behind in the car seats. Plus, it features a clever corded system that works with 12-volt aux outlets so you never run out of power. The 16-foot cord gives plenty of room to reach the corners of even the longest trucks and SUVs.

“This thing is awesome,” says Sally, a verified Amazon reviewer. “I own three dogs and it is just a nightmare pulling out my extension cord to vacuum my truck. I can now just plug this little guy into my car outlet and I’m good to go! The power in this vacuum is as good as it’s going to get for a car vacuum, so if you want extreme suction—buy a shop vac.”


  • Brilliant tiny design that’s easy to stash in cars
  • 16-foot cord plugs into 12-volt aux outlets (or cigarette lighters in older cars)
  • Offers plenty of power
  • Easy-to-hold package that’s ideal for hands of all sizes
  • Over 227,000 Amazon reviews and a 4-star rating make it the best handheld vacuum for cars according to Amazon shoppers


  • The motor mostly puts out medium suction force and is best suited for smaller messes and dry debris

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7 / 9

Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuumvia merchant

Best corded handheld vacuum

Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum

The Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum tops our list of handheld vacuums with cords thanks to its strong motor, continuous power and extremely affordable price point. Never worry about charging a battery again thanks to the corded design with 120 volts of power. It’s a tinier-than-average model with a simple dustbin emptying mechanism that reviewers say is never finicky. Forgetting to charge handheld models is one of the easiest vacuuming mistakes to make, which is exactly why a corded model is so useful.

“Holy smokes, do yourself a favor and get this,” shares Keeks, a verified Amazon purchaser who awarded this model a full five stars. “This little guy gets the job done. I used it to clean out my car that transports two active, filthy children who apparently cannot manage to get french fries in their mouths, and one long-haired Nordic dog whose only response to anything is ‘shed immediately.’ It did better than any vac at a car wash. The crevice tool even got all the crumbs out of the gear shift spot.”


  • Continuous power thanks to the corded design
  • 120 volts of powerful suction
  • Easy-to-empty dustbin
  • Affordable price point
  • Over 11,000 Amazon ratings with a 4.4-star average


  • There is no option to plug into a vehicle’s aux outlet
  • The cord is not retractable

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8 / 9

Shark Wandvac Handheld Vacuumvia merchant

Best lightweight handheld vacuum

Shark Wandvac Handheld Vacuum

You don’t need to have superhero strength to use the Shark Wandvac Handheld Vacuum. It’s one of the best hand vacuum options for those with weak grip strength thanks to its nimble 1.4-pound weight and narrow structure. Cyclonic high-performance suction leads debris to a dustbowl with a massive 15-ounce capacity. Considering how narrow and lightweight this model is, that’s one of the best dust capacity options we’ve seen yet. It also fits neatly into compact corners, shelves and spaces without much room at all.


  • Weighs only 1.4 pounds
  • Ideal for most grip strengths
  • Narrow footprint works best in small spaces
  • Large-capacity dustbowl
  • Versatile, nimble handling that is ideal for couch cushions and tight corners
  • Available in several colors


  • Somewhat pricier than other models on the market
  • No HEPA filter, so it’s better for larger particles

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9 / 9

IonVac Cordless USB Vacuumvia merchant

Best handheld vacuum for travel

IonVac Cordless USB Vacuum

Power up and clean just about anything from anywhere with this cute IonVac Cordless USB Vacuum that’s a cinch to use anywhere you go. Never worry about whether or not you have the right outlet again—just charge it from any USB-friendly outlet. Even your computer can juice this affordable hand vacuum up. It comes in four smile-worthy colors and offers a crevice nozzle that allows you to clean hard-to-reach places. This model is perfect for the base of walls and in corners, gaps in car seats and sandy vacation luggage.


  • Clever USB charging means you can travel just about anywhere with it
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Available in four fun colors
  • Two attachments make this an excellent choice for several types of debris ranging from dust to sand and dirt to dried leaves
  • Very affordable


  • No HEPA filter
  • Powerful, but not as strong as other models on our list so this one is best reserved for on-the-go types

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Bryce Gruber
As Home Editor, Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at Reader's Digest. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.