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A group of handheld vacuums on a blue background Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

The Best Handheld Vacuums of 2022

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A group of handheld vacuums on a blue background Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

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Reviewed's mission is to help you buy the best stuff and get the most out of what you already own. Our team of product experts thoroughly vet every product we recommend to help you cut through the clutter and find what you need.

Learn more about our product testing
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Editor's Choice Product image of Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390
Best Overall

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390 dominates when it comes to cleaning pet hair off of upholstery. Read More

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Useful attachments

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Upholstery brush tough to clean
2
Editor's Choice Product image of Black & Decker CHV1410L
Best Value

Black & Decker CHV1410L

We'd say this model is good for light dusting and crumb cleanup, but it can't handle any heavy-duty work. Read More

Pros

  • Weighs less than three pounds
  • Can charge and fit on countertop

Cons

  • Only average suction
  • Outdone by other Black+Decker vacuums
3
Product image of Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ CH951

Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ CH951

The Shark UltraCylone is powerful, easy to empty, and comes packed with attachments. Read More

Pros

  • Easy to empty
  • Robust attachments

Cons

  • Struggled with short pet hair
4
Product image of Black & Decker Dustbuster HHVI315JO42

Black & Decker Dustbuster HHVI315JO42

The Black & Decker Dustbuster is compact and can stand upright on any counter. Read More

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good tool selection

Cons

  • Limited battery life
5
Product image of Black & Decker HNV215BW52

Black & Decker HNV215BW52

The performance was good, but the battery life was weak. It only ran for 10 minutes, with a decline in suction at around 8 minutes, not long enough to clean a car or other more involved uses. Read More

Pros

  • Can clean up spills
  • Very light and easy to handle

Cons

  • Only 10 minutes of battery life

“The right tool for the right job” is an adage that's especially applicable when cleaning your house. For example, if you're trying to use a full-sized vacuum in a small space, it can feel like you're reenacting the clumsy before scene in a commercial that promises there's gotta be a better way. In this case, that better way is a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner.

Battery-powered, lightweight, and maneuverable, the best handheld vacuums blast hard-to-reach dirt with extraordinary suction power.

To find the best, we rounded up the top-selling handheld vacs and portable car vacuums and tested them in our labs. We paid close attention to how well they sucked up dirt without a power cord, measured the battery life, and evaluated if they were easy to use.

Our extensive testing has found that the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390 (available at Amazon for $79.39) is the best handheld vacuum for most families. It has a high dirt capacity, long battery life, good suction, and even lives up to its name as a pet hair eraser. However, if you're looking for a portable vacuum to just help you clean up small messes in the kitchen, check out the Black & Decker CHV1410L, our best value pick.

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390 cleaning a pillow
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser provides plenty of power and versatility

Best Overall
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390
  • Dirt capacity: 24 ounces
  • Battery life: Up to 19 minutes
  • Weight: 3 pounds

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390 has a lot of things going for it. First and foremost, it’s a great vacuum cleaner. It removed a whopping 94% of the testing dirt we laid out for it.

The lab test results were so good that we decided to give the 2390 a real-world challenge—cat hair stuck to a couch cushion. The Pet Hair Eraser lived up to its name, picking up the cat hair from upholstery in a single pass and cementing a place as one of the best vacuums for pet hair.

When you combine great cleaning performance with a battery that lasts between 14 and 19 minutes, you get a hand vacuum that gets the job done.

Pros

  • Large capacity

  • Useful attachments

Cons

  • Heavy

  • Upholstery brush tough to clean

The Black & Decker CHV1410L vacuuming popcorn
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

The Black & Decker CHV1410L is a great kitchen hand vacuum

Best Value
Black & Decker CHV1410L
  • Dirt capacity: 20 ounces
  • Battery life: Up to 10 minutes
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

The Black & Decker CHV1410L is designed to deal with kitchen messes. It stands upright on its charging base so it's always at the ready. Its crevice and dusting brush is attached, which minimizes the CHV1410L’s already-small footprint. The fact that this hand vacuum can sit on the counter 24/7 makes up for the short 10-minute battery life.

During our cleaning tests, we found that the CHV1410L picked up 80% of the dirt we laid out for it.

Overall, we gave the CHV1410L our best value award because of how easy it was to store and use. In our experience, a hand vacuum that provides moderate power but incredible convenience leads to a cleaner kitchen.

Pros

  • Weighs less than three pounds

  • Can charge and fit on countertop

Cons

  • Only average suction

  • Outdone by other Black+Decker vacuums

Other Handheld Vacuums We Tested

Product image of Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ CH951
Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ CH951
  • Dirt capacity: 14 ounces
  • Battery life: Up to 15 minutes
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds

Shark’s Ultracyclone CH951 is really on brand. Shark loves packing its products with tons of extra goodies and the CH951 is no exception. It comes with a powered brush head, a dusting tool, and a crevice tool that all feel very sturdy. However, the crevice tool is a bit on the short side.

During the performance testing, this Shark vacuum picked up 87% of the testing dirt. That was high enough to warrant an attempt at cleaning a couch cushion covered in cat hair. It did pretty well against animal hair, but not as well as the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. Overall, this handheld vacuum cleaner is a good buy if it’s on sale.

Pros

  • Easy to empty

  • Robust attachments

Cons

  • Struggled with short pet hair

Product image of Black & Decker Dustbuster HHVI315JO42
Black & Decker Dustbuster HHVI315JO42
  • Dirt capacity: 20 ounces
  • Battery life: 10 minutes
  • Weight: 2 pounds

Tipping the scales at only 2 pounds, the Black & Decker HHVI315JO was one of the lightest vacuums we tested. Unfortunately, it also proved to be a lightweight in the cleaning department. It picked up 79% of the testing dirt, making it one of the weaker models we put through its paces.

On the bright side, this Black & Decker does have a relatively small footprint and it's able to sit upright on a kitchen counter. We’d recommend this model for anyone who’s constantly dealing with small crumbs but doesn’t need it to do any heavy cleaning.

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Good tool selection

Cons

  • Limited battery life

Product image of Black & Decker HNV215BW52
Black & Decker HNV215BW52
  • Dirt capacity: 10 ounces
  • Battery life: 10 minutes
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

Do you ever have spills at your home that are too small for a mop but too big for a paper towel? Well, that's where the Black+Decker HNV215BW52 comes in.

This mini wet/dry vac mastered both. During our dirt pickup test, it captured 60% of the dirt. And it picked up water, too, so you won't have to go through a roll of paper towels. This was one of the lightest handhelds we tested, tipping the scales at only 1.5 pounds.

So why didn't it win? Well, its battery life was weak. It only had a run time of 10 minutes, and we noticed a decline in suction at around the 8-minute mark. That might be fine for a small spill, but that's not nearly long enough for cleaning a car or any of the other more involved uses for a compact vacuum.

Pros

  • Can clean up spills

  • Very light and easy to handle

Cons

  • Only 10 minutes of battery life

Product image of Hoover OnePWR BH57005
Hoover OnePWR BH57005
  • Dirt capacity: 14 ounces
  • Battery life: 15 minutes
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds

The Hoover Onepwr BH57005 is unique among hand vacuums. It’s part of a whole eco-system of products, including everything from cordless vacuums to leaf blowers, that all run on the same removable battery.

The fact that the BH57005 hand vacuum’s battery needs to be able to power a variety of other devices means it needs to be more robust. That’s likely why this handheld vacuum aced our battery tests, running for 15 minutes continuously before giving up the ghost.

All that battery life did translate well to cleaning prowess. The BH57005 picked up, on average, 88% of the testing dirt.

The reason it didn’t rank higher on our list is that this model felt heavy in the hand and is pretty pricey.

Pros

  • Good battery life

  • Separate battery

Cons

  • Heavy

  • No brush tool

Product image of  Shark Wandvac WV201
Shark Wandvac WV201
  • Dirt capacity: 2.5 ounces
  • Battery life: 9 minutes
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds

If you’re looking for a hand vacuum that sits on your desk, the Shark Wandvac WV201 is worth checking out. It’s the lightest vacuum we tested. It suctioned up 87% of the testing dirt so it has a very good power-to-weight ratio. However, its lack of dirt capacity and relatively low battery life place it at the back of the pack. With its tiny dirt cup, the WV201 is really for occasional spot cleaning in tight spaces.

Pros

  • Easy to empty

  • Maneuverable

Cons

  • Short battery life

  • Small dirt capacity

Product image of Black & Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean+ HHVK515J00
Black & Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean+ HHVK515J00
  • Dirt capacity: 25 ounces
  • Battery life: 15 minutes
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds

We liked the large dirt capacity and easy emptying mechanisms of the Dustbuster HHVK515J. It was also the second best in our dirt pickup testing. The Dustbuster would be a great choice for small cleanups in a workshop.

It has powerful suction, good battery life, and a long reach with its extendable nozzle. It’s also simple to store, as it sits on the flat surface at the back of the vacuum, saving on bench space.

The main limitation is that the relatively wide nozzle and the lack of a brush attachment make it less versatile than some. With the weight being more toward the back than in some models, the balance also felt a little awkward when in use.

Pros

  • Strong suction

  • Easy to empty

  • Rugged

Cons

  • Limited attachments

Product image of Bissell Aeroslim 29869
Bissell Aeroslim 29869
  • Dirt capacity: 3.5 ounces
  • Battery life: 14 minutes
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds

The Bissell Aeroslim 2986 is a lightweight, affordable desk vacuum with a small footprint. While it has a fairly long battery life relative to its small size, the Aeroslim isn’t very powerful. It picked up 83% of the testing dirt, less than the similarly designed Shark WandVac.

However, the one redeeming feature is the USB charging port. Being able to charge the lithium-ion battery via USB means it can top up in most modern cars and next to a computer. So if you’re looking for something to spot clean car seats or keyboards, this hand vacuum is worth a second look.

Pros

  • Good for small spaces

  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Small dirt capacity

  • Low suction

How We Tested Handheld Vacuums And Why You Should Trust Us

The Testers

Reviewed's chief scientist David Ellerby has designed experiments to test everything from air purifiers to running socks. He performed the cleaning and usability tests.

Reviewed's lab manager Jonathan Chan also did some testing on these handheld vacuums. As the resident vacuum expert, he can answer questions like: “Are cordless vacuums as good as corded?” and [“What is the best vacuum cleaner?”]](https://www.reviewed.com/vacuums/best-right-now/the-best-vacuums-of-every-type)

The Tests

Nine different handheld vacuums all sit on a table
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

We tested nine of the top-selling handheld vacuums.

Testing these handheld vacuums and picking a winner was a three-step process. The first step consisted of weights and measurements. Out of the box, we put on the heaviest attachment and placed the vacuum on a scale. We then measured the "reach" of each vacuum: how far it extends from your hand for cleaning.

Next came the performance tests. We measured battery life and pickup of dirt, crumbs, and pet hair. To make everything fair, every vacuum was allowed to charge for 24 hours before and after the battery test. If a powered brush head was available, it was attached.

Finally, we took our top picks and brought them out of the lab to tackle cleaning a dirty couch covered in pet hair. All tests were performed on the highest power settings.

We also judged our top picks based on how easy it was to change attachments, and how balanced each vacuum felt in hand during cleaning.

The brush heads of the Shark Ultracyclone CH951 and the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

Part of our testing included comparing attachments

What You Should Know About Buying Handheld Vacuums

A handheld vacuum requires trade-offs between battery life, size, and power. So when it comes to picking the right handheld unit, you need to decide what you're looking for.

Size and Weight

A handheld vacuum should feel comfortable when you hold it. It shouldn’t be so big or heavy that it becomes difficult to use. The hand vacuums we tested ranged in weight from 1.3 pounds to 3.3 pounds. While there’s not a lot of difference between weights, the vacuum could feel awkward in your hand if the balance is off.

Battery Life

The last thing you want is your cordless handheld vacuum dying on you while you’re cleaning up a mess. Almost as bad is a vacuum that starts to lose suctioning power as its battery gets low. That’s why battery life is so important.

Our top pick, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390 (available at Amazon for $79.39) , ran for nearly 20 minutes during testing. The others ranged from nine minutes up to 15. How much battery life you need really depends on how you’re going to use the vacuum cleaner.

If you want a compact vacuum that will sit on the countertop to help deal with crumbs, you're better off with a vacuum that's compact and powerful—there's no need for longer battery life if it's always on the counter charging.

Dustbin Capacity

People who need a handheld vacuum to detail their car monthly might want a unit that has a large dirt capacity and a long battery life to see the job through. However, people who plan to use a hand vacuum to clean up their workspace shouldn’t need a large dirt capacity, and they might want to consider a model that has a smaller footprint. Having the right tool for the job will allow you to get the most out of it.

Meet the tester

Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Senior Manager of Lab Operations

@Jonfromthelab1

Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.

See all of Jonathan Chan's reviews

Checking our work.

Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.

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