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The Best Hand Vacuums to Quickly Clean up Small Messes

Hand vacuums are an easy way to clean up a small mess and when you live in a small space, they may be the only realistic option for vacuuming; however, their utility goes far beyond simple vacuuming. A hand vacuum can easily reach into crevices, the inside of furniture, car interiors, and other places where your average vacuum struggles to reach.

We've chosen a selection of the best hand vacuums in 2021 with powerful suction to remove tough dirt and exceptional durability for reliable performance, while being portable enough to reach almost anywhere you need to clean. They also offer features such as extra long power cords and cleaning tools for specific needs like pet hair. We've included a variety of models which will suit any number of tasks from lightweight to heavy-duty.

Best Hand Vacuums of 2021 Reviewed in Detail

Black & Decker CHV1510 Cordless Cyclonic Hand Vacuum - Best Hand Vacuum Overall

The Black & Decker CHV1510 is an extra powerful, 15.6 volt handheld vacuum offering some of the highest rated suction power available from a hand vacuum. The slim rotating nozzle has a long reach, allowing easy access to spots where you'd normally never be able to vacuum. Cyclonic action spins the dirt away from the filtration so it won’t interrupt suction. The bag-less dirt cup is clear so you can see it filling up, and easily removed for emptying and washing.

Vacuum attachments are provided onboard, but this cordless hand vacuum remains very lightweight and portable. This vacuum holds a battery charge well and features a charging indicator light to show when it’s ready to go. While there are cheaper hand vacuums out there, the Black & Decker CHV1510 is nonetheless very affordable and well worth the money for the convenience it brings.

INSE 23Kpa Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner - Most Powerful

Another amazing vacuum cleaner with powerful suction, this handheld vacuum will clean every surface, including carpets. Since it is lightweight, you can easily clean it without dragging it around. The Max power mode has powerful suction and will keep your floors sparkling.

This handheld vacuum has an excellent filtration system that not only sucks up debris but also expels fresh air. Storing this handheld vacuum cleaner is as easy as cleaning with it. It comes with a wall mount, so you can simply hang it up once you’re done cleaning. Not only is this vacuum cleaner super lightweight, but it’s also flexible and can reach corners as well. You can customize using ten different combinations of vacuum heads for different surfaces.

Dirt Devil SD20005 Red Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Hand Vacuum - Runner Up

Dirt Devil products tend to offer lots of features and functionality for reasonable prices and the handheld SD20005RED is no different with a seven amp motor which is powerful enough to suck up even heavy cat litter. This vacuum has a Quick Flip crevice tool which flips down from the front, useful for vacuuming between cushions or car crevices.

The SD20005RED is lightweight, easy to use, has 16 foot power cord and comes with a hose and dusting brush. Although the bag-less dust cup isn't too large, this size limitation is to be expected from any small handheld vacuum. The filter is easy to clean, and replacements are easy to find. Although the SD20005RED is a bit loud, it works very well for quick clean ups.

Eureka 71B Hand Held Vacuum - Honorable Mention

At 5 pounds the Eureka 71B weighs a bit more than other models on this list but conveniently keeps its stretch hose and crevice tool onboard while featuring a carpeted stairs tool called the Riser Visor. This plastic cover can be flipped up or kept down depending on the surface you're trying to clean allowing you to direct the suction to clean both horizontal and vertical surfaces.

5.5 amps of power makes this unit suitable for a variety of uses, whether in the house or car with one motor powering the revolving brush (which can be switched on or off) while a second motor provides suction power. The 20 foot power cord offers a good amount of mobility while the bag-less dust cup and filter are simple to clean.

Shark UltraCyclone Hand Vacuum - Consider

The Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II hand vacuum might cost a little more, but it offers top-notch versatility and performance. This lightweight and easy to use cordless vacuum uses a rechargeable 18 volt battery, contributing to more suction power for longer lengths of time. The vacuum comes with its own wall-mountable charging stand while an LED charging indicator ensures you it’s fully charged before use.

Despite being designated for use in a pet-friendly household, this hand vacuum is popular thanks to its excellent performance in a variety of situations. Attachments include an extra large motorized pet hair rush, a dusting brush, and a crevice tool. The dust cup is easy to empty and the removable filter is washable.

Dyson DC58 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner - Best Hand Vacuum

Dyson is well known for their excellent vacuums and if you're looking for a high performance hand vacuum, the DC58 Handheld is worth a look. This model is powered by Dyson's digital V6 motor with 350 watts and 2 tier radial cyclones delivering three times the suction power of any other handheld vacuum. If more suction is needed for difficult areas, activate the boost mode feature providing up to six minutes of enhanced suctioning power.

Dirt is disposed of with one-touch bin emptying for sanitary disposal of collected grime and filth. The DC58 is lightweight weighing only 3.4 pounds and features a unique, ergonomic design. Although some users have expressed a desire for more accessories given the price, the Dyson DC58 offers the best in high-end vacuum technology.

Buyer's Guide

Handheld vacuum cleaners can reach areas where bigger vacuums can’t. They make it easier to remove pelts from the surface of rugs, ferret out crumbs hidden between couch cushions, or dirt from beneath car seats. These vacs are handy for swift cleaning tasks. In other words, before you are finished with the struggle of digging out your main vacuum cleaner, your Hand Vacuum has cleaned up the spilt coffee beans.

Handheld vacuums are of various types, with some models designed for confronting the awkward angles of a car interior, others designed for pulling pet hair off carpeted floors or upholstery, and many purpose-built for simply cleaning marble floors. With prices ranging from as little as $25 to as much as £300, knowing what features to look out for and how much to blow out on a good handheld vacuum isn't easy. In this guide, we explain how to pick the best Hand Vacuum, and what features are worth spending more on.

What to consider when buying a hand vacuum

Modern Hand Vacuums come in a range of cool designs, nice shapes, and beautiful colours but what matters most is how well they clean. A type of Hand Vacuum might appeal to you aesthetically but if its functions do not meet your cleaning needs, it will not get the job done. So what is right for you solely depends on what you want to clean and how.

What features do I need?

Hand vacs powered only by suction do not clean carpets as well as Hand vacs with a motorized brush. It is crucial to understand the features of a Hand vac before removing one from the supermarket shelf. Depending on where you intend on using it, you should get a vac that has features that fit the purpose. Models with a manual carpet pile-height adjustment control combined with suction control are ideal for cleaning draperies and fabrics. If you intend on cleaning bare floors, consider models that have a switch that can deactivate the brush. This will help protect the finish of bare floors and avoid creating more of a mess by scattering debris.

How much dirt am I cleaning?

The amount of dirt a Hand vac can hold is called its dust capacity. The dust capacity of vacuums vary, but most can hold around 0.5 litres. This is pretty small compared to the 2.5 litres you get on average or full-sized corded vacuum cleaners, but it should do for small jobs such as cleaning the car. However, it's worth looking out for a higher dust capacity when buying a Hand Vacuum.

Do I need a bagged or bagless vacuum?

Bagless vacuum cleaners save you the cost of purchasing trash bags, but they also require filters that need to be cleaned periodically, and in some cases completely replaced. Also, even though handheld vacs are a safer option for people who have asthma or allergies, emptying the bin of a bagless model can be problematic for them.

What about battery life and charge time?

Battery life is a crucial spec to look out for when buying hand vacuums. It determines how much uninterrupted cleaning time you will get, especially when cleaning your car, or items that are outside your home. Some can give you as high as 33 minutes, while some can give you as low as 5 minutes. You should also consider how long a vacuum cleaner takes to recharge, as some may take only 30 mins and others a whole day or more. So you can know when you’re running short on cleaning time, look out for hand vacs that have an indicator that lets you know when the battery is running low. Some handheld vacuums come with a charging docking station (which can be fixed to the wall for easy storage), while more basic versions simply charge through a plug-in cord.

What accessories are important?

Hand vac accessories make cleaning simpler and tackling tricky corners easier. For example, a crevice tool is good for getting between upholstered seats and edges, a turbo pet tool is handy for cleaning dust and fluff off stairs and upholstery and an extended flexi hose is just right for getting into tricky spaces like beneath car seats.

Is weight important when choosing a hand vac?

The major selling point of a hand vacuum cleaner is convenience, so weight and size are of paramount importance. Hand vacuum cleaners usually vary in weight, from about 0.7kg up to 2.3kg. Although most are around 1.5kg, it's worth holding and lifting the handheld vacuum at the store before buying to get a feel for whether it's comfortable to hold and use.

Where to buy a handheld vacuum cleaner?

When buying a handheld vacuum cleaner, make sure you're giving your money over to a reputable seller. Check the seller's returns policy and pay attention to their customer reviews. Also, do well to watch for sales. You can get discounts of up to 30 percent, especially during the holiday season. You don't have to wait for Black Friday when considering mass-market brands. Check store circulars or sign up on manufacturer or retailer email lists to receive coupons and relevant news updates on upcoming promotions.

Try it out

Before ordering online, consider going to a store first. Push, pull, lift and turn the hand vacuum cleaners you’re considering. Test out the controls and features.

Why should I get a handheld vacuum?

The prime reason to purchase a hand vacuum is the ability for hand vacuums to reach places that bigger vacuums can't or may not conveniently reach. The most common examples are the interior of a car and surfaces around your house that aren't on the floor, such as curtains, shelves, countertops, and windowsills.

FAQ's

Q: What kind of Hand Vacuum is good for Pet owners?
A: As a pet owner, the turbo pet tool accessory is a great option for you as they typically work best for picking up pet hair. Turbo pet tool is handy for pulling stubborn pet hair away from upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, carpeted stairs, and automobile interiors. Make sure to unplug the vacuum before connecting the turbo pet tool.

Q: Are hand vacuums bad for asthma and allergies?
A: If you have asthma, a cordless hand vacuum with HEPA air filtration is a great house cleaning solution for you, but it is important to note that the dust and mess from emptying the bin of a bagless vacuum model can be problematic for people who have asthma or allergies.

Q: Are hand vacuums noisy?
A: Hand vacuums are not so loud that you will need hearing protection, but a vacuum may seem louder in a small enclosure or a room with a lot of echoes. Canister vacuums tend to be quieter than other handheld vacuums.

Q: Are mini hand vacuums better?
A: A new category of hand vacuums that recently emerged as a new category is the Mini handheld vacuums. They're smaller than the regular hand vacuums, but not nearly as powerful - most are about the size of a wine bottle. They're good for midsized debris such as coffee grounds or crumbs, but they can't easily pick up finer particles like flour or dust, and bigger debris like Apple Jacks fills up the small bin too quickly. They're effective only on hard surfaces. The major benefit of these machines is that they're easy to store, especially in places with limited space.

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