Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide 2016

Hard to Reach CornersWho would have guessed that finding the best handheld vacuum for your home could be such a tedious adventure?

My friend asked me to join her on her hunt for one, as she needed a smaller machine for the areas in her home that were too compact for the old upright to reach.

How hard could this be, right?

Finding The Ideal Handheld Machine

The ideal vacuum would be the one with the suction power of a B52 engine, cordless, and easy to handle. I saw this being a short stop at one store, browsing over a couple selections, picking the most appealing one, then off to dinner somewhere to enjoy a glass of wine.

As we stood there staring at the “few” selections, each of them was offering something “special”, unique, and different. There were handheld vacuums with/without bags, Wet/Dry options, corded, cordless, great for car interiors, with/without certain attachments; the possibilities were endless.

What could be so special about all these different models?

After going home and spending hours doing research, we returned to the isle that most women dread, and she finally found her perfect vacuum. Here are the list of important features that helped us to narrow down our choices:

A Quick Overview of Important Features to Consider:


One of the main reasons for purchasing a handheld cleaner is for the convenience. Hard to reach spots, and fast pickups are what has made the handheld cleaner a favorite item among households.

In order to maneuver around hard to reach areas, you will want to look for one that is lightweight and comfortable (Note: Pick them ALL up and practice to see which feel the most comfortable using).

If you’re going to choose a heavy and bulky one, you might as well just consider picking up a canister vacuum instead since it’s going to be a lot more powerful.

Tank Capacity

This is one of the selling points that most companies use since there are many different sizes of holding tanks available from model to model. The range also varies from brand to brand. For example, a Black & Decker is going to be very different from a Dyson, or Dirt Devil hand vac, and the variation between models of the same brand is going to be very different too.

Be sure to buy a machine that has a large capacity dirt cup with easy access emptying. Emptying can be as simple as one touch, or as yucky as having to handle the cup while struggling to empty the trash.

Cordless or Corded

Although this is not the most important factor, it is one to consider. The purpose of buying a handheld is mainly for convenience.

Having a handheld vacuum with a cord that can wrap around your arm, the table, or the chair, is not that convenient. However, keep in mind that corded vacuums do offer other conveniences. For example, you don’t have to recharge it after use, and there’s no time limit for how long you can clean for before it needs to be recharged again.

Again, you need to refer back to what your initial reasons for choosing a handheld were in order to pick out the best type suitable for your needs.

Battery Life

If you choose a cordless vacuum, one of best convenience is that there is no cord to fight.

With that being said, not all batteries are the same. Some run for 30 minutes or longer, while others last no longer than 10.

Wall mounting units are the most convenient to have available when needed. (Note: Who can get anything clean in 10 minutes? Ideally, you want to shop for one that has a long lasting battery life).

Recharge Time

Typically, it takes 24 hours to get a full re-charge, and this is the main reason why you should buy one with the longest run time per charge. If it takes 24 hours to charge entirely, yet you only get ten minutes of use, the quality of time is not that high. Read the charging time as well as the running time for best results.

Read: Do You Really Need a Rechargeable Vacuum Cleaner?

The Extra Stuff

Some units offer additional cleaning tools for upholstery, wet and dry purposes, and even pet hair. If you know you’re looking for a vacuum for pet hair, find one with a HEPA filter and a brush for dealing with the tougher messes.

You might also want to look into getting a ‘quiet’ model if you have small pets that are easily startled by loud noises.

Know what your needs are before you start, so you are not just randomly shopping.

Abusive Lab Test

Know Your Needs

Knowing what features you need, or don’t need, is the best way to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for. You should always be referring back to the initial reasons you had when you decided that you wanted a handheld cleaner.

Were you looking for convenience and mobility? Perhaps you wanted the best vacuum for wood floors, but didn’t want to drag around a heavy canister or upright. Are you looking for a handheld vacuum for cleaning stairs and other uneven surfaces, or maybe you just want the best handheld vacuum overall?

If you lose track of your initial needs, you might just end up buying a machine with “cool features” that you’ll never actually need.

Customer Reviews and Feedback

A good way to find the best handheld vacuum for your needs is to start reading customer reviews and feedback for all of the top rated vacuum models, while keeping in mind the features that you actually need. Handheld vacuum reviews and ratings can also give you a quick overview of just how “good” a particular model is before you invest any more of your time into it.

Here is a comparison chart of the top rated models currently available:

Top 3 Handheld Vacuum (Classic & New) Comparison Chart 2016:

 Top 3 Handheld Vacuums
Overall Rating
(1 - 10)
PricePowerPerformanceWeightFeaturesCustomer Feedback
Black & Decker BDH2000PL Max LithiumBlack & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium 20-volt







Black & Decker CHV1410L 18V Lithium Dust BusterBlack & Decker CHV1410L Lithium 16-volt







Eureka EasyClean 71bEureka EasyClean 71B Corded







*Click on any vacuum cleaner above to see customer feedback reviews and price on

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