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The 6 Best Car Vacuums - Summer 2022 Reviews

Best Car Vacuums

No matter how hard you try to avoid or prevent it, it's impossible to keep your car completely clean. Kids accidentally drop snacks on the floor while pets shed or leave mud prints on the upholstery. Luckily, a vacuum designed for cleaning your car's interior can help make your automobile feel like it's dealership-new once again. These vacuums tend to be very portable and lightweight. They also favor better performance on low-pile carpet over other surface types, and they come with several tools to help you reach more difficult areas like crevices.

We've tested over 120 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums to clean the inside of your car to buy. These picks were selected not only based on their performance on different types of surfaces but also on their feature set, battery life, and price. For more recommendations, look at our lists of the best vacuums, the best cordless vacuums, and the best vacuums for pet hair.

  1. Best Car Vacuum

    If you're willing to spend a premium on a versatile cordless model for the inside of your car, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is the best car vacuum we've tested. When configured as a handheld vacuum, it's remarkably lightweight and very compact, allowing you to clean all parts of your car's interior with ease. It has some handy accessories, like a miniature turbo brush for cleaning fabric seats and floormats, a crevice tool for cleaning tight corners, and a combination upholstery tool/soft bristle dusting brush. All these attachments can be mounted to the end of its wand, giving you a bit of added reach when clearing debris from the deepest recesses of your car's trunk.

    Battery performance is pretty strong, as it can run for almost 70 minutes in its most energy-efficient 'Eco' mode, which should give you plenty of time to deal with large amounts of lightweight debris. However, you'll probably need to empty its dustbin before long, as it's pretty small.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Car Vacuum

    If you're looking to spend a little less on a cordless vacuum for cleaning the inside of your car, the Samsung Jet 60 Pet is a good option. This cordless stick vacuum can be easily reconfigured as a handheld vacuum to clean tight spots inside your car's interior, though it still weighs slightly more than the Dyson V12 Detect. While it has a turbo brush to handle debris on upholstered surfaces like car seats, it isn't as effective when clearing debris like pet hair compared to the Dyson vacuum's turbo brush attachment. Its crevice tool can extend to give you a bit of added reach in tight, hard-to-reach corners. It does a decent job of handling debris on hard, flat surfaces and shouldn't have much trouble clearing up messes on low-pile floormats and trunk lining.

    Battery performance is okay, as you can expect a maximum of about 50 minutes of runtime on a single charge. However, upping its power mode to the high-suction 'MAX' mode can drain its battery in a little over five minutes, forcing you to work quickly when cleaning stubborn messes.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Car Vacuum

    The best mid-range vacuum for cars we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. Unlike the Dyson V12 Detect Slim or Samsung Jet 60 Pet, it can only be configured as a handheld vacuum and has a very short battery life of just over 10 minutes, making it substantially less versatile for everyday cleaning tasks outside of your car. Still, its compact size allows you to store it on a garage shelf or even in the trunk of your car. It's also lightweight, letting you carry it around with little effort. Performance on flat, hard surfaces is superb, and the vacuum does an excellent job of clearing away solid debris and pet hair on low-pile carpeted surfaces, like floormats. Its dirt compartment is pretty large for a handheld model, so you shouldn't need to empty it too frequently.

    This vacuum has a crevice tool for dealing with debris in tight corners and a miniature turbo brush. However, the latter attachment isn't very effective for cleaning pet hair on upholstered surfaces like car seats. Its lack of a HEPA filter also contributes to its terrible particle filtration performance, while its short battery life of roughly 10 minutes forces you to work fast when cleaning most surfaces. If you want a similarly designed model with HEPA-level filtration and much longer battery life, the Dyson Humdinger is also a solid option. However, it's also a lot pricier and has a much smaller dirt compartment.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Vacuum For Cars

    The best cordless car vacuum at a budget-friendly price that we've tested is the Wyze Handheld Vacuum. This cordless handheld vacuum is small enough to be maneuvered wherever you may need it within your car. While there's no miniature turbo brush included, it does come with a relatively wide assortment of other attachments, including a dedicated upholstery tool for clearing away messes on seats and floormats and a hose to give you a bit of added reach when vacuuming the deepest of recesses of your car's trunk, but unlike the pricier, bulkier options on this list, there's no miniature turbo brush attachment to facilitate cleaning fabric surfaces. However, it does have an onboard HEPA filter, which is very rare to find on a vacuum at this price point and helps seal any fine particles like pet dander or pollen.

    It's effective in dealing with pet hair and other lightweight material, with a strong enough suction force to draw out most debris in low-pile carpet fibers. However, its narrow suction inlet can get clogged by bulky debris far more easily than larger, pricier handheld vacuums like the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. It can run for about half an hour in its default power mode, which is quite lengthy by the standards of other handheld vacuums and gives you plenty of time to spot-clean messes inside your car.

    See our review

  5. Best Shop Vacuum For Cars

    If you want a shop vacuum that can handle all sorts of debris inside your car, the RYOBI 18V One+ 3 Gal. Project Wet/Dry is among the best cordless car vacuums we've tested. Since this vacuum is cordless, you don't need to worry about parking your car close to an electrical outlet to clean it. It has a powerful suction motor that lets it easily deal with debris on bare surfaces and low-pile carpet. While it's bulkier and heavier than most other than the more conventional handheld and stick vacuums on this list, it can handle liquid spills, but make sure to remove its filter before doing so. While the 4.0 Ah battery that this vacuum is bundled with only supplies roughly 15 minutes of runtime, it's part of RYOBI's One+ lineup of tools and appliances that use compatible battery packs. It allows you to easily swap out the depleted battery for another if you have any other RYOBI One+ products in your home, like a cordless drill or reciprocating saw.

    This vacuum is fairly compact, especially compared to most conventional shop vacuums, so it shouldn't take up too much space if you store it in a garage or workshop. However, it can become somewhat hard to carry around as it fills up with debris. While its hose is short, it does come with a crevice tool to slightly extend your reach and an upholstery tool for taking care of debris on seats and floormats. Build quality is impressively robust and has a very simple design that's remarkably easy to clean and maintain.

    See our review

  6. Best Corded Car Vacuum

    If you don't want to worry about running out of charge part way through cleaning your car, the Eureka Mighty Mite is a very good option. This compact canister vacuum delivers fantastic performance on hard surfaces and is very effective in clearing material on low-pile carpets, including surfaces like floormats. It also does a great job of clearing away pet hair on upholstered surfaces like car seats when used with its mini brush tool. The vacuum's simple design allows you to quickly dispose of its dirtbag once it fills up and swap it for a new one. Since it uses fairly large dirtbags, this shouldn't need to happen too frequently, resulting in low costs of ownership. It has a lightweight body that enables you to carry it out onto the street or on your driveway with minimal effort.

    However, it has a short power cord, so you'll probably need to use an extension cord to fully clean everywhere inside your car. Thankfully, its long wand, made of two hollow plastic tubes, gives you a bit of added reach for cleaning tight spots, though it's worth noting those plastic tubes can fall apart if they aren't put together with sufficient force.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Dyson V8 Animal: The Dyson V8 Animal is a cordless vacuum with excellent cleaning performance and a lightweight design that you can easily reconfigure into a handheld. That said, it takes much longer to recharge than the Dyson V12 Detect Slim and has shorter battery life. See our review
  • Shark ION W1 WANDVAC: The Shark ION W1 WANDVAC is a cordless handheld vacuum with a very good performance on low-pile carpets. However, its battery performance is sub-par compared to similarly-sized alternatives like the Wyze Handheld Vacuum. See our review
  • BISSELL AeroSlim: The BISSELL AeroSlim is a cheap and extremely portable handheld vacuum. It has decent performance on low-pile carpet. However, it has a tiny dirt compartment and fails to suck up bulky debris like cereal since its entry is too small, especially compared to the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. See our review
  • iRobot H1: The iRobot H1 is a cordless handheld vacuum with a larger dirt compartment than the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ and a longer battery life. It doesn't perform as well on any surface type, has higher recurring costs, and is more demanding in maintenance. See our review
  • Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vacuum: The Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vacuum is a solid alternative to the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ and uses a detachable battery pack that offers a longer runtime out-of-the-box. However, it doesn't perform as well on carpeted surfaces and doesn't come with a turbo brush. See our review
  • Samsung Jet 70 Pet: The Samsung Jet 70 Pet is very similarly designed to the Samsung Jet 60 Pet. While it does use a different floorhead design that yields superior performance on most floor types, it should deliver almost identical performance when configured as a handheld. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Aug 02, 2022: Replaced Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ with Dyson V12 Detect Slim as 'Best Car Vacuum' pick. Recategorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as 'Best Mid-Range Car Vacuum' Added Samsung Jet 60 Pet as 'Best Upper Mid-Range Car Vacuum' pick. Added Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vacuum and Samsung Jet 70 Pet to Notable Mentions. Removed some less relevant picks from Notable Mentions.

  2. Jun 15, 2022: Article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Recategorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as 'Best Car Vacuum' pick. Recategorized Eureka Mighty Mite as the new 'Best Corded Vacuum For Cars' category pick. Added Wyze Handheld Vacuum as 'Best Budget Vacuum For Cars' category pick. Replaced Dyson V8 Animal with Samsung Jet 70 Pet as 'Best Stick/Handheld Car Vacuum' category pick. Removed Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet, Dyson Humdinger, and Wyze Cordless Vacuum from main recommendations. Removed Dyson V7 Animal from Notable Mentions and added Dyson V8 Animal to Notable Mentions.

  3. May 13, 2022: Ensured all main picks still represent the best option for user needs and expectations.

  4. Apr 14, 2022: Added RYOBI 18V One+ 3 Gal. Project Wet/Dry as new 'Best Shop Vacuum For Cars' pick.

  5. Mar 18, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums to clean the inside of your car. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also on factors like availability, price, and reader feedback.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our vacuum reviews, ranked by their suitability for car cleaning. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.