Best handheld vacuum – 2015

handheld vaccumsHandheld vacuums are great for hard to reach places and convenient for use on small messes.  With so many handheld vacuums on the market, how do you choose the one that will be the best handheld vacuum for you?

Buying guide

The primary factor in choosing a handheld vacuum is what you intend to use it for more often.

  • If you want a handheld vacuum for cleaning your vehicle, you should probably look for a cordless model.
  • If you have pets and you want to clean pet hair from furniture, look for a model designed for pet hair.
  • If you have problems with your hands or wrists or you want to be able to use it all over the house, you may want to opt for a compact and lightweight model.

Battery life

Most handheld vacuums have rechargeable batteries that run between 5 and 30 minutes per charge.  This is nice if you plan on using it in your car or other places without easily accessible electrical outlets.  If you plan to use your vacuum primarily in the house where you have plenty of outlets, it might be worth looking for a corded model like the Black and Decker Dustbuster Flexi.

Battery Level Indicator

It can be irritating to have your battery run down right in the middle of cleaning up a mess.  A battery level indicator lets you know when your unit needs to be put back on the charger.  You might also look for a model that stops charging when the battery is full and simply store it on the charger when not in use.


2015-04-16_103331As you might guess, a vacuum with a powerful motor will remove dust and dirt more effectively.  The problem is there are no uniform standards for manufacturers on reporting the power of their vacuums.  Depending on the manufacturer, the strength of a vacuum might be described in watts (how much energy the motor consumes), amps (the electrical current), or air watts (a unit specific to vacuums that attempts to measure the suction of the vacuum by measuring the amount of airflow).

Rather than try to decipher these numbers, a better way to determine whether a vacuum will be powerful enough for you is to read some customer reviews.  Reviews will give you a more real world picture of the cleaning power of a given machine.

Keep in mind that more powerful vacuums will be louder.  Most good vacuums will have an insulated housing to help muffle some of the noise.  However, the insulation will add to the vacuum’s size and weight.

Dust capacity

Unlike traditional vacuums that are designed to clean a whole house, a handheld vacuum has a smaller dust collector than a traditional vacuum.  About half a litre, compared to 2 litres or more.

Ease of Operation and Maintenance

If you buy a vacuum that is hard to use or requires a lot of maintenance, you’re not going to want to use it.  Look for a vacuum that fits comfortably in your hand, has buttons and controls that are easy to use, and is easy to clean.

Be sure to look for a model with an easy to clean dirt cup.  It should be easily removed from the vacuum and replaced.  Look for one that isn’t going to release a cloud of dust when emptied.  You also want one that will release the dirt without having to remove several pieces to fully empty it or have a lot of crevices where dirt can collect, making it difficult to empty completely.

Charging Time

Most cordless vacuums take anywhere from 18 to 24 hours to fully charge.  If you plan to use your vacuum often, you’ll want to look for the model with the longest run time compared to charging time.

You will also want to consider the type of battery in the vacuum and whether it is replaceable.  If not, your vacuum might as well be disposable.  For vacuums with integrated batteries, look for a model with a lithium battery.  Nicad batteries are not recyclable.  They take longer to charge and have shorter run times.  Lithium batteries, on the other hand, are recyclable, they charge faster, and they hold a charge longer.


Handheld vacuum reviews

Best Premium Handheld Vacuums

Hoover Platinum LINX BH50030 Pet Cordless Hand Vacuum

Platinum Collection™ LiNX® Cordless Pet Hand VacuumThe Hoover Linx Pet cordless vacuum has a pet hair and power brush roll attachment to help you remove pet hair all over the house.  This model is especially convenient for use on furniture and stairs because the attachments pivot 25 degrees to maintain full contact with the surface being cleaned, making the model easier to maneuver than some other models on the market.

The Hoover Linx is primarily marketed for removing pet hair on furniture, stairs, and floors, but it is just as efficient at picking up other kinds of dirt as well.  It is especially suitable for pet owners who need an affordable handheld vacuum that can handle pet hair.

People without pets also like this model because of the pivoting motorized brush roll which makes it efficient at cleaning carpet and upholstery.

The main drawback of this model is the crevice tool.  It doesn’t quite lock firmly into place and can break off easily.

Another problem with this model is that it will not hold a lot of dirt, so expect to empty it every time you use it, multiple times if you are cleaning a large area.  You might want to invest in a second filter as a backup when one needs to be washed.

The Hoover Linx is not a great choice for use in vehicles that have contoured floors or tight areas, as the crevice tool is a bit short.  For larger vehicles with more even floors, it’s great.  Avoid using this vacuum on leather seats as it could scratch them.

Black & Decker Platinum BDH2000FL 20-Volt Cordless Vacuum Review

Black & Decker Platinum BDH2000FL 20 Volt Max Lithium Ion Flex VacuumThis vacuum is especially good for spot cleaning around the house and in your vehicle.  Its attachments make it easy to use for cleaning hard to reach areas and it efficiently picks up pet hair.

The B&D BDH2000FL is newer than the FHV1200, but the only real differences are in the motor and the battery.  They have the same 4 foot hose, crevice tool, and pet hair tool.  The attachments are designed to make it easy to clean hard to reach areas, especially those overhead that are virtually impossible to reach with traditional vacuums.

This model runs on a 20-volt lithium battery that charges in only five hours and lasts at least 15 minutes.  Be aware that 20 volts is the maximum, the running voltage is closer to 18.

Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum

Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum Black & Decker made a huge improvement with this model over previous models by using a lithium battery instead of nickel cadmium.  Nicad batteries aren’t great at holding their charge and if you don’t use it for a few days it will need to be recharged, a process that takes a full day.  If you don’t drain the battery fully between charges, they can begin to accumulate cadmium crystals which cause what is known as a “memory effect”.  Over time, this causes them to hold less charge

The lithium ion battery takes care of this problem.  It charges in a matter of just a few hours and it does not have to be drained completely between charges.  It can be used for spot cleaning and return it to the charging base without concern for battery degradation.  Also, the battery offers consistent power throughout run, unlike NiCad batteries that don’t offer more power right off the charger than they do after a few minutes of use.

This model is a good one for apartment dwellers or people living in townhouses.  This model is great for hard to reach areas like ceiling fans, air vents, and closets.

The lithium battery gives this vacuum powerful suction from the time you take it off the charger fully charged until drained.  This is a great model for spot cleaning messes in medium sized homes.

This model lacks a pet hair attachments, so it’s not a great choice for people with lots of pets.  While it will pick up pet hair, the dust collector will fill up quickly.  It also doesn’t work all that well for removing pet hair from shaggy carpet.


Best budget handheld vacuum

Eureka Easy Clean

Eureka Easy CleanThe Eureka Easy Clean is a great vacuum that picks up dirt efficiently on a variety of surfaces.  This model offers great performance and is easily portable, making it a great option for use both around the house and in the car.

This vacuum has a 5.5 amp motor that offers superior cleaning.  Many customer reviews attest to the model’s powerful suction that picks up dirt and dust efficiently and can even handle larger pieces of debris.

This model is an especially good option for pet owners, and many pet owners say it has no problem picking up pet hair even from coarse upholstery and thick carpet.  It also works well in cars and is well-suited to use in campers, RVs, and boats.

The Eureka Easy Clean has superior cleaning power thanks in part to the six inch brush roll.  The brush easily penetrates thick carpet fibers to pick up dust and dirt from deep in the carpet.  It is lightweight enough for use on stairs and furniture, and also works well on hardwood floors.  The vacuum has a crevice tool that easily reaches corners and other tight spaces.

The Eureka Easy Clean may well be the best handheld vacuum for many cleaning tasks.  It has lots of power and is easy to use.  With a long cord and plenty of attachments, the Easy Clean is easily portable and gets into crannies that many other models can’t reach.

Black & Decker CHV1410L Cordless Handheld Vacuum

The Black & Decker CHV1410L uses 25 air watts for super powerful suction.  It also has Cyclonic Action Technology to keep debris away from the filter so the suction stays consistently powerful.

The CHV1410L has a narrow rotating nozzle and integrated crevice to clean tight areas, corners, and hard to reach places with ease, and the wide mouth makes it easy to pick up large debris.

On board attachments mean you will never lose them.  The crevice tool is built into the vacuum, while the brush is situated under the head.

The wall mountable docking station allows the vacuum to be stored anywhere that is most convenient, whether horizontal, vertical, or on the wall.

The battery takes a full 24 hours to charge completely, but once fully charged, you can use the device for thirty minutes before it needs to be charged again.

It’s not really a surprise that Amazon lists the Black & Decker CHV1410 as one of the best selling handheld vacuums.  The biggest reason is that most users consider it to be one of the best handheld vacuums available.

It has superior suction, among the most powerful of all cordless handheld vacuums and is great for spot cleaning around the house or the car.

The biggest drawback is the long charging time, but it’s a small price to pay for powerful suction, long run time, and great design.  It would be difficult to find another handheld vacuum that offers so much for the price.

Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum, SD20005RED

The Dirt Devil Scorpion has a powerful 7 amp motor, a quick flip crevice for picking up dirt in difficult areas, plenty of useful attachments, a 16 foot cord, and easy to empty dust collector.  At 4.7 pounds, the vacuum is lightweight and is slim and stylish.Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum

This model has great features and is incredibly convenient.  It’s so lightweight, and has a handle situated right on top of the handle, so you can carry it all over the house without getting tired, no matter how long you need to use it.  Because it has a cord, it will last as long as you need it to.

The dust collector is easy to empty and replace without a bunch of complicated steps and pieces to remove.

There are a number of great advantages to this particular model.  It has a three year limited warranty on both parts and service.  It is designed for comfort, so most people find it easy to use, even on larger jobs.  The quick flip crevice tool makes it easy to reach corners and tight spaces.  Finally, the cord ensures that you will never run out of power or have to wait for it to charge before you can use it.

For all the advantages of this model, it does have its drawbacks.  It uses quite a bit of electricity, so it may be a bit expensive to run.  It’s also quite noisy, so it’s best not to try to use it when anyone is trying to sleep or concentrate.  Finally, you can only find it in certain parts of the world, so you may not even be able to buy it where you are.



Ashburn Vacuum, in Ashburn Virginia, is now under new ownership and management.  John Kerr has been providing quality vacuum service, repair, and sales in the Northern Virginia area for over 10 years.  Some of the local areas he services are:  Loudoun County, Ashburn, Leesburg, Sterling, Reston, Harpers Ferry, Dulles, Herndon, Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Great Falls, Oakton, Vienna, Purcellville, Woodburn, Brambleton, Broadlands, Lansdowne, Paeonian Springs, Hamilton, Round Hill, Wheatland, Mechanicsville, Brunswick, Middleburg, Bluemont, Lucketts, Waxpool, Lovettsville, Chantilly, Hillsboro, Oatlands, The Plains, Arcola, Watson, Belmont, Countryside, Potomac Falls, and the rest of Northern Virginia and the Northwestern Maryland panhandle.

At Ashburn Vacuum we take very special care to repair and sell quality vacuums with the utmost integrity.  Bring your vacuum cleaner to a trusted name in vacuum repair in Northern Virginia for more than 10 years.  Why take a gamble with another unknown vacuum store and risk not getting the repair done right the first time?  At Ashburn Vacuum, we stand by our work.

Need a new vacuum cleaner for your home or business?

We carry high quality vacuum cleaners including the following brands and more!

  • Miele
  • Filter Queen
  • Hoover
  • Avanti
  • Eureka
  • Bissell
  • Dirt Devil
  • Black-N-Decker
  • Kirby
  • Bosch
  • Sebo
  • DeLonghi
  • Electrolux
  • Oreck
  • Riccar
  • Mastercraft
  • Simplicity
  • Sharp


  • Kenmore
  • Sanyo
  • Panasonic
  • Singer
  • Dyson
  • Nutone