10 Best Hand Vacuums | May 2017

10 Best Hand Vacuums
Best Mid-Range
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Best High-End
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Best Inexpensive
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We spent 34 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. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hand vacuum on Amazon.
10
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.
  • bagless dirt cup
  • 5-piece tool set included
  • relies on power cord
Brand Dirt Devil
Model M0100
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
9
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.
  • crevice tool included
  • utilizes twister cyclonic technology
  • battery life is only 10 minutes
Brand SharkNinja
Model SV780
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
8
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.
  • easy-to-empty dirt bin
  • pet hair nozzle
  • 8-hour charge time is too long
Brand Bissell
Model 1316
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
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
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
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
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
5
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
Brand BLACK+DECKER
Model BDH2000L
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
4
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
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
3
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
Brand BLACK+DECKER
Model BDH1620FLFH
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
2
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
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
1
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
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Who You Calling Buster?

A vacuum works much in the same way as the action of drinking a beverage through a straw. An internal fan sucks in air, which reduces the internal air and atmospheric pressure, resulting in air being pushed up into the cavity. The dirt and dust travels with the air to become tossed around and trapped within the bag, or receptacle. The keyword here being "trapped". Even after you've emptied the debris into the garbage, you may notice the film of dust remaining within canister. So, what happens afterwards? This is where the vacuum filter comes it.

Imagine your new vacuum and how pristine its filter is. After one use, you may notice that filter has quickly become brown, and if there's a rotary brush on the base, there may be hair wrapped around the bristles. This is a good thing, and also a bad thing. The good is that the vacuum is doing its job, but, much how driving a brand new car hot off the lot suddenly depreciates its value, so too does this happen with your vacuum's ability to suck.

The more dirty the vacuum becomes, and the more dust the filter traps, the less it is likely to properly regulate air flow. In turn, this weakens the suction power, which is plague number one most vacuums face. The easiest way to maintain the filter is by cleaning it regularly, though not all hand held vacs have cleanable filters, let alone removable ones. Think of it this way: you change your car's oil regularly, to ensure the engine is working optimally. So too should the same concept be applied to vacuums, hand held or otherwise. Manufacturer defects aside, these devices should last you for years down the road, and will, if properly maintained.

Can't You Just Tell Me What To Buy?

The evolution of vacuums has not gone unnoticed. Year after year, it seems, they become smaller, more powerful, and more simple to use. And year after year, new versions and models are being added to the consumer's options, almost making it too difficult to pinpoint the perfect vac. Finding that suitable match boils down to the vacuum's components, and personal preference.

The first obvious consideration to take into account, is the size of the chore at hand. If living in a small apartment with no pets, and no carpet, you probably won't need a model that offers endless attachments, gadgets, and fancy marketing. On the other end of the spectrum, a family living in a two story house would be wise to invest in a high end model, that can tackle a variety of tasks, such as attachments to scope into hard to reach areas, or ones specifically made for cleaning stairs, etc.

Ultimately, 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.

As you probably have noticed, vacuums in general are offered bagless, or with a bag. 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.

How Allergies Paved The Way For Innovation

Believe it or not, the first idea for the vacuum cleaner arose from an allergy problem. James Murray Spangler, allergen suffer, in 1906, created an electric vacuum using an electric fan motor, a soap box, a broom handle, and a pillowcase. Two years following, he patented his rotary-brush design, and sold it to a now recognizable name, W.H. Hoover.

The hand held variety wouldn't debut until more than seventy years later, after Carroll Gantz designed a prototype for Black and Decker in 1979. To call it a revolution would be an understatement; 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 since that time, hand held vacs have come a long way. Though initially they were well received, in actuality, their suction was poor, and their running time was limited.

Today, suction power is main selling point and feature, as less time spent doing chores is always the main desire, and that technology is better than it ever has been. Even better, consumers have viable options between corded models, and cordless varieties, which gives all of us a better chance at finding the one that works best with our home environment.



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Last updated on May 18, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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