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The 5 Best Handheld Vacuums For Cleaning Up Quick Spills

Vacuum cleaner options are vast and wonderful. You can buy a heavy bag on wheels, a stick vacuum cleaner, or something even smaller than that. If you’re after a handheld cleaner, we’ve checked out the best.

If you’re in the market for something lightweight that’ll reach all the way to the floor, we’ve already looked at stick vacuums. They’re fantastic for smaller homes and areas thanks to their narrower frames and the sheer convenience that comes from no cables and a lighter design than the traditional vacuum, but how about if you want something even smaller?

That’s where handheld vacuum cleaners come into their own. They’re perfect for when you’ve spilled something small but messy like cereal or when you want to suck up some big dust bunnies courtesy of your beloved pet. They’re particularly beneficial if you have any mobility or physical impairments too, as they’re generally easier to carry around than a bigger unit. Bear in mind, they won’t have the power of a conventional vacuum cleaner or—in some cases—even the stick based vacuum. But, if you want something super portable for those tiny but pesky spills, they’re ideal for this. We’ve picked out some great all-rounders that should be able to tackle your daily basic needs.

Black + Decker Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum ($56)

Black + Decker retains its reputation for reliability with its Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum. The hand vacuum is a good size while still being lightweight enough for most quick uses. It offers cyclonic action that helps keep the filter clean, while still sucking up everything from pet hair to cereal.

It has a rotating slim nozzle so it can get into any nook or cranny, with a removable and washable bowl ensuring you can keep your cleaner looking reasonably pristine even after multiple uses. A lithium ion battery offers decent battery life surpassing the average 20 minutes or so that many handheld cleaners offer, and it also holds a charge for up to 18 months.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand and Car Vacuum ($47)

Erasing pet hair is a lofty dream but the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand and Car Vacuum does a good job of making it feel that way. Its motorized foot and brush component work together to pull up pet hair from tricky surfaces, as well as sucking up anything else that you don’t want hanging around on your floor.

A separate crevice tool is included for those hard-to-reach areas, along with tight spots or gaps on the surface. An additional upholstery tool cleans soft surfaces and furniture to further help there too. It’s quite the powerful package, backed up by a two-stage filtration system, with even long pet hair no great struggle for the vacuum.


HoLife Handheld Vacuum ($60)

Promising a longer battery life than most other handheld vacuums, the HoLife Handheld Vacuum should last for up to 30 minutes between charges. In those 30 minutes, it’s lightweight yet powerful enough to suck up what you need it to suck up. That means pet hair, cereal, sand, dust bunnies, and pretty much everything else that’s bugging you.

It’s reasonably quiet for a handheld vacuum so you won’t have to worry about disturbing anyone while you clean up. It’s also fine for liquids so if you spill the milk as well as the cereal, it’ll suck that up safely too. Just make sure you clean the vacuum afterwards.

Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II Hand Vacuum ($48)

Stylish yet effective, the Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II Hand Vacuum is good for those that want aesthetically pleasing vacuum cleaners. The cordless hand vacuum uses cyclonic technology to be consistently strong at sucking while cleaning.  An 18v battery means it won’t run out of juice too soon either.

It comes with a motorized pet brush designed for picking up pet hair from all surfaces. Alongside that is a dusting brush for those more delicate cleaning moments, as well as a crevice tool for the trickier parts of your rooms and surfaces. It’s a little loud but that makes sense given its powerful suction.

Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum ($172)

We’ve already determined that Dyson does the best stick vacuum. Guess what? It also does a great handheld vacuum. The Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum looks some kind of ray gun from a 1950s Sci-Fi movie, and it’s super effective.

It comes with a mini motorized tool, a combination tool, and crevice tool, to cover pretty much everything you could want to suck up. The battery lasts about 30 minutes and, if you’re familiar with the kind of intense suction Dysons provide that’s, if nothing else, a testament to the battery design. The container part of the vacuum has a strong dirt ejector so, in theory, you’ll never need to get too close to the dirt and dust inside, even when ejecting it. Expect to pay for the privilege though. It costs over 3 times as much as others featured here.


Jennifer Allen Jennifer Allen
Jennifer is a freelance writer for ReviewGeek. In the past decade, she's also written for Wareable, TechRadar, Mashable, Eurogamer, Gamasutra, Playboy, and PCWorld. Read Full Bio »