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The 5 Best Handheld Vacuums - Summer 2022 Reviews

Best Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums are a great option if you're looking to clean small spills around the home. They're lightweight and portable, and due to their small size, they're handy when tackling more difficult or uneven terrain like inside your car or on your stairs. Some stick or canister vacuums also have a handheld configuration, making them even more versatile if you need to clean larger areas. Unfortunately, handheld vacuums tend to have small dirt compartments. If they're cordless, they may also have a shorter continuous battery life than non-handheld vacuums.

We've tested over 115 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums with a handheld design to buy. These picks are selected based on their performance on different surfaces and their feature set, battery life, and price. For more options, see our lists of the best lightweight vacuums, the best vacuums for stairs, the best car vacuums, the best Dyson vacuums, and the best cordless vacuums.

  1. Best Handheld Vacuum

    The best handheld vacuum we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This compact vacuum does an excellent job dealing with fine and large debris on carpets and rugs and performs very well on bare surfaces. Its lightweight construction and compact design make it easy to pick up and carry wherever you may need or store it in a cupboard or closet. It has a fairly large dirt compartment for a handheld vacuum, so it doesn't need emptying as often as some alternatives. It feels well-built and has an easy-to-maintain design that incurs few recurring costs. In terms of attachments, it comes with a miniature turbo brush, though it isn't very effective in removing pet hair from upholstery.

    Unfortunately, this vacuum has a very short battery life, as you can only expect roughly 10 minutes of runtime on a single charge. There's no way of adjusting its suction power, which would help conserve battery life when sucking up very lightweight debris. It also lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter and does a terrible job of sealing in fine particles, so it isn't the best option if you suffer from allergies.

    See our review

  2. Best Budget Handheld Vacuum

    The best cordless handheld vacuum at a budget-friendly price that we've tested is the Wyze Handheld Vacuum. Despite its highly affordable price point, this vacuum does a fantastic job of cleaning pet hair on flat, even surfaces like shelves or countertops, as well as low and high-pile rugs. It can also deal with most solid debris, though it isn't the best for dealing with bulky material, which can get stuck at the entry to its dustbin. Its allergen-trapping HEPA filter is another rare feature for a vacuum at this price point and is reasonably effective in helping seal in any fine particles like pollen or pet dander. Its compact, lightweight design makes it easy to store in a cupboard or closet and carry to wherever you may need.

    Unlike many other larger handheld vacuums, there's no miniature turbo brush attachment included in the box, which would make it a little easier to spot-clean carpets or rugs. Thankfully, a few other helpful attachments are included, like an extension hose to provide a bit of additional reach. Unsurprisingly given its small size, its dirt compartment is tiny, so you'll need to empty it very frequently.

    See our review

  3. Best HEPA Handheld Vacuum

    If you suffer from allergies and require a handheld model with class-leading filtration, the Dyson Humdinger is a great choice. It's advertised to seal in 99.9% of particles 0.3 microns in size, including common allergens like pollen and dust. You can empty debris in its dustbin with the press of a single switch, though like most bagless vacuums, this can still kick up a plume of fine debris. Performance on flat surfaces is fantastic, and it does a good job overall on low and high-pile carpets and rugs, but you might need to make an extra pass to suck up material deeply embedded in carpet fibers.

    This vacuum comes with a reasonably wide assortment of tools. There's a miniature turbo brush for cleaning upholstered surfaces, a 'Worktop' tool for hard surfaces, and a crevice tool with a slide-on dusting brush. Battery performance is also pretty good for a vacuum of this type, as you can expect almost 30 minutes of runtime when you use it in its 'Eco' mode, but you still need to work fast when cleaning stubborn debris with its 'Boost' mode, which can drain its battery in as little as 10 minutes.

    See our review

  4. Best Handheld Shop Vacuum

    The best cordless handheld vacuum we've tested is the RYOBI 18V One+ 3 Gal. Project Wet/Dry. It's considerably smaller than most full-size shop vacuums, enabling you to store it under a workbench or on a shelf. Its handheld-only form factor can make it a little unwieldy to carry around as its dustbin fills up with debris. Despite its compact size, it offers strong performance, as it easily sucks up debris on concrete floors or lifts away material embedded deeply within rug fibers. It's remarkably effective when dealing with liquid spills, but make sure to remove its filter first. It also has a dedicated blower mode to clear away lightweight material, though its airflow isn't especially strong.

    While the 4.0 Ah battery that you can bundle with the vacuum only provides about 15 minutes of runtime, you can easily swap in a new battery pack from any other RYOBI ONE+ tools or appliances in your home, including cordless drills, work lights, or reciprocating saws.

    See our review

  5. Best Stick/Handheld Vacuum

    If you're looking for a lightweight vacuum that you can use as a stick or handheld appliance, consider the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. This cordless stick vacuum is considerably lighter than most other cordless stick vacuums, making it very easy to pick up and carry. You can also remove its wand and floorhead to clean furniture or hard-to-reach areas. It performs very well on flat, even surfaces, easily clearing away pet hair and small debris, though bulky material can clog the entry to its dirt compartment. It also does a great job dealing with messes on low and high-pile carpet. In its most energy-efficient mode, you can expect just under an hour of runtime on a single charge, though its battery life drops to a little over 10 minutes in its most powerful mode.

    If you don't mind spending more on a stick/handheld vacuum that's more effective in dealing with bulky debris, the Samsung Jet 70 is a great alternative. However, it does weigh more and has a very short battery life when used in its most powerful suction mode.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033: The BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 is a cheap corded upright/handheld vacuum. However, it struggles with clearing large debris. See our review
  • Dyson V11 Animal: The Dyson V11 Animal is a cordless stick/handheld vacuum that performs impressively well on carpeted floors. However, it doesn't clear as much debris as the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ and is much heavier. See our review
  • Shark Wandvac System WS620: The Shark Wandvac System WS620 is an upright/handheld vacuum with an excellent performance on low and high-pile carpets. The Wyze Cordless vacuum has a HEPA filter, a longer battery life, and a larger dustbin that doesn't need emptying as frequently. See our review
  • iRobot H1: The iRobot H1 is a handheld vacuum with longer battery life than the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. It's more demanding in maintenance, has higher recurring costs, and doesn't perform as well on any surface type. See our review
  • Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet: The Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet is a cordless handheld vacuum that offers superior battery performance to the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ and has a larger dirt compartment. It feels more cheaply built and doesn't perform as well on any surface type. See our review
  • Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L: The Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L is a handheld vacuum that performs exceptionally well on bare surfaces but struggles more than the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ on carpets. See our review
  • Shark ION W1 WANDVAC: The Shark ION W1 WANDVAC is a good alternative to the Wyze Handheld Vacuum thanks to its similarly compact size and better fine debris-pickup capability. However, it's also pricier and has a much shorter battery life, not to mention a smaller selection of tools. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jun 15, 2022: Article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Recategorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as 'Best Handheld Vacuum' pick. Recategorized Wyze Handheld Vacuum as 'Best Budget Handheld Vacuum' pick. Moved Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L and Shark ION W1 WANDVAC to Notable Mentions. Removed Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless, Miele Triflex HX1, Dyson V15 Detect, and Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H from Notable Mentions.

  2. May 12, 2022: Replaced Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vacuum with Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L as 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Bare Floors' pick.

  3. Apr 13, 2022: Article restructuring to align with test bench update. Replaced Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ with Shark ION W1 WANDVAC as new 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair' pick. Recategorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as new 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Carpet' pick. Removed BISSELL AeroSlim and Dyson Micro 1.5kg from recommendations.

  4. Mar 11, 2022: Replaced Dyson Micro 1.5kg with Wyze Cordless Vacuum as 'Best Stick/Handheld Vacuum' pick. Recategorized Dyson Micro 1.5kg as 'More Portable Alternative' pick. Moved Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H to Notable Mentions.

  5. Feb 08, 2022: Ensured all main picks are available and still represent the best fit for user needs and expectations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums with a handheld design to buy. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also 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 handheld vacuum reviews. 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.