10 Best Hand Vacuums | March 2017

We spent 28 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. When a full-size vacuum is more tool than you need for those smaller messes around the house, you'll want something light and handy from our list of the best hand vacuums. They will save you getting on your hands and knees with a dustpan and brush, and they have the power to take care of most spills, pet hair, and other debris on furniture, carpet, and hard floors. Skip to the best hand vacuum on Amazon.
10 Best Hand Vacuums | March 2017

Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 4
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
The Dirt Devil Classic has a motorized brush that digs deep into carpeting in order to remove debris and pet hair better than suction alone. Its HEPA filter traps nearly 100% of common allergens and dust, making it a great choice for any home with animals.
The Shark Pet Perfect II can be used like a traditional suction-based dustbuster or, with its detachable motorized brush, for cleaning pet hair and ground-in dirt. Its wall-mountable charging stand means convenient out-of-the-way storage and power when not in use.
The Bissell 1316 Bolt Reach is powered by a potent 14.4-volt rechargeable battery. It features a crevice tool with a dusting brush, meaning it is versatile and will work for multiple types of messes in different locations around the home.
This Eureka EasyClean Deluxe Corded may rely on a power cord, but at least the one that's included is a generous 20 feet in length. It features dual motors, one that powers the brush and one that provides suction, so you won't experience power reduction as it fills up.
  • riser visor for carpeted stairs
  • deluxe stretch hose
  • misses the deepest dirt and hair
Brand Eureka
Model 72A
Weight 6.8 pounds
The Metro Vacuum VM6BS500 Professional features an all steel construction, yet it weighs less than 3 lbs. It includes an upholstery tool, a crevice tool, and a dust brush, and can adequately serve as the only vacuum needed in smaller homes or apartments.
  • stylish chrome finish
  • 500 watts of power
  • bulkier than many handhelds
Brand Metro Vacuum
Model VM6BS500
Weight 4.4 pounds
The Black and Decker BDH2000L Platinum uses cyclonic action to keep the filter clean, and that helps to maintain strong suction power, too. Its flip-up brush is always handy and the long nozzle means easy access to almost any area of your home, even under furniture.
  • washable components
  • battery offers constant voltage
  • awkward vertical charge orientation
Model BDH2000L
Weight 4 pounds
The Dyson V6 Trigger is one of the most energy-efficient handheld vacuums on the market today. Its digital motor is three times faster than similar brands and experiences no loss of suction even as its storage area fills up. It offers 20 minutes of continuous use.
  • operates in dual power modes
  • ergonomic pistol grip design
  • no battery indicator
Brand Dyson
Model V6 (same as DC58)
Weight 4.7 pounds
The Black and Decker Flex has a high performance motor and enough suction power to replace some upright vacuums. Its three-stage filtration system prevents dust and debris from escaping, so it's a good option for people with sensitive respiratory systems.
  • quick charging base
  • stick vac extension for larger jobs
  • pivoting head gets under furniture
Model BDH1620FLFH
Weight 6.4 pounds
The Oreck Ultimate Handheld Bagged Canister comes with a 60-inch "Slinky" hose and a myriad of accessories that will help you clean floors, furniture, shelves, and light fixtures. HEPA filtration and disposable vacuum bags keep dust and dirt sealed in.
  • telescoping extension wand included
  • two length carrying strap
  • easy access bin door
Brand Oreck
Model CC1600
Weight 9.1 pounds
The Hoover Air 20-Volt Lithium is a cordless handheld vacuum with a 20-volt lithium-ion battery. It comes with powerful attachments, including a crevice tool that makes short work of any mess, anywhere. Use it in your car, on a hardwood floor, or on the carpets.
  • brushroll ejects for easy cleaning
  • powered turbo device
  • fade-free technology
Brand Hoover
Model BH52160PC
Weight 5.9 pounds

Who You Calling Buster?

Growing up, your mom may have referred to your "DustBuster" - meaning, your rechargeable handheld vacuum. However, that's actually a brand name, like Kleenex or Q-Tips. Black + Decker released the original DustBuster in 1979, and to call it a revolution would be an understatement (or maybe you're just referring to its motor's rotation? I digress).

Its rechargeable battery and included wall mount was EPIC for the average American family, and it quickly became ubiquitous. In the first year of production, one million DustBusters were sold - four times that of any upright vacuum on the market that year. It was such a big deal that the Smithsonian Institution added one to their collection in 1995. And you thought your hand vacuum was just good for scaring your cats.

Can't You Just Tell Me What To Buy?

If you're like most people, you probably haven't thought too hard about the features on your hand vacuum recently, probably because you could think about almost anything else in the world. But when the hand vacuum your parents bought you for your college dorm room dies (you know, the one so neglected it didn't destroy dust bunnies so much as it seemed to create them out of thin air), you may find yourself inundated with options at your local vacuum dealer or friendly Internet super-warehouse.

Don't start looking at the vacuums before you figure out what you need! If you have the smallest apartment on the planet (or an averaged-sized apartment in NYC or SF), with no pets and no carpet, you won't need all the endless attachments and gadgets and fancy marketing. Some things to consider:

Wet/dry vac: If you have a small child around, you may want to consider a handheld vacuum that can pick up both wet and dry messes.

Cord vs. cordless: While cordless provides a truly portable experience, they don't provide as much suction as their tethered counterparts.

Attachments: What sort of spaces do you plan to clean? Even a wide open floor plan comes with a certain number of nooks and crannies. Consider what material you'll be cleaning as you weigh the use of each attachment. On the other hand, if you have a specific use for your hand vacuum, you might not need all the endless attachments taking up space in your closets.

Bag vs. bagless: While bagged vacuums have lagged behind bagless vacuums in sales, they have great uses. For asthma or allergy sufferers, there's no better option. Most bags are made with HEPA material so very few particles leave the vacuum once filtered. Disposing of the bag, however, can be a real chore - though most companies have worked to improve the process. Bagless vacuums create less waste, as there's no bag to dispose of; you also never have to remember to pick up bags before you can clean. However, the filters get dirty more quickly, and the fuller the dirt cup, the less effective your handheld vacuum will be.

So no, we can't tell you the very best vacuum to buy, because you haven't invited us over to your home (yet). We'll try to take the hint, but it means you'll have to weigh these options for yourself. As Tolstoy maybe said, all clean homes are alike; each dirty home is dirty in its own way.

The Right Tool For Every Job

Citizens of the Internet,

We need to have a conversation. We all know you love to gripe and roar and rage comic your way through life's indecencies, and hand vacuums are not immune to your outbursts. But let's consider this important caveat: a hand vacuum is not meant to replace your upright vacuum. If you have a two-story house and a cat that loves to push plants off the windowsill while shedding its entire coat, don't get upset that your hand vacuum isn't up to the task each and every time.

For most households, your portable vacuum will complement your existing upright vacuum, helping you with small messes while sparing you the labor of hauling out your 16 gallon wet/dry vacuum. If your expectations are in line with the intended use of the product, you'll set yourself up for less rage in the future.

Love, Inspect-it

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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information