Vacuums

Best Cordless Handheld Vacuums in 2020: Buying Guide & Reviews

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Best Cordless Handheld Vacuums 2020

If portability, light weight, and compactness are what you seek in a vacuum cleaner, consider these best cordless handheld vacuums. Though they are small, these vacuums have grown to become veritably capable cleaning machines and can decently fulfill all your light cleaning needs.

This guide will show you how you can identify a nice cordless handheld vacuum. In addition, you will also find reviews for several highly-rated handheld models that you should take into consideration.

What to Look for in the Best Cordless Handheld Vacuums

1. Design

Weight

Because handhelds are designed to be as light as possible, they typically weigh from 1.54 pounds (0.7 kilograms) to 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) at the heaviest.

However, while you’re considering the weight of your new vacuum-to-be, also take into account the fact that lighter weight also means compromises. You may have a smaller motor, and thus less cleaning power. Or it’s a smaller battery pack you have to deal with, which ultimately results in lower run-time than heavier handhelds.

Comfort

All handhelds have one or another style of ergonomic handle to improve comfort on the user’s part. They’re usually sculpted to the shape of the hand and would snugly fit into the palm of most people. A comfortable grip will be a lifesaver for when you have to reach into awkward spaces like under furniture.

Additionally, the handle of your vacuum should be able to optimally offset the weight of the vacuum. The ideal handle design should divert the vacuum’s weight away from your wrist to keep it from straining.

2. Battery

Battery Type

The batteries of most modern cordless handhelds are Lithium-ion (Li-ion)

Li-ion batteries are lightweight despite being able to hold much more energy than any other battery types. They are also resistant to “memory effect” (a common problem that negatively affects performance in old batteries) and are less susceptible to deterioration over long periods of use.

Other than Li-ion, some handhelds use NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) batteries, instead. Though they’re less energy-dense and won’t give you as much run time as Li-ion, they’re affordable and are equally reliable. 

If the cordless handheld you’re eyeing uses any other battery type than Li-ion or NiMH, treat it with caution. Older battery types like Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) cannot compare with either of these newer batteries in terms of performance, reliability, or eco-friendliness.

Battery Life

Most cordless handhelds will offer you between 15 to 30 minutes of cleaning time depending on the size of their battery. More expensive vacuums will naturally offer longer cleaning time due to their larger, more complicated battery design.

As a result, consider your use and needs carefully before making a purchase decision. If you need a vacuum to clean out tough gunk or to clean after heavily-shedding pets, invest in a cordless with a larger battery. On the other hand, a small handheld with a modestly-sized battery will do the trick if you don’t have a high cleaning demand. 

3. Filtration

Handheld vacuums are not known for their robust filtration systems. They typically only contain foam, felt, or fabric filters that do a passable job at filtering. Fortunately, some premium cordless handhelds do carry with them High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. 

HEPA filters are able to eliminate 99.97% of microscopic particles down to 0.3 microns. Besides dust and dirt, they will also be able to sort out airborne viruses and bacteria.

4. Accessories

Most vacuums are shipped with a range of tools and attachments in the box. Depending on the model, you can find just about anything inside from a crevice tool to a dusting brush. Having the right tool for the right job will enormously enhance your cleaning efficiency.

Many cordless handhelds these days have tools integrated directly into their bodies. The BLACK+DECKER HHVI315JO42, for example, has an extendable crevice tool in the nozzle and a flip-up brush to the side.

Check the description of the cordless handheld you’re considering to see what kind of accessories it comes with, or whether the tools come separated or integrated.

The Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum Reviews

Here you will find a list of our picks for the best cordless handheld vacuums.

  1. Hoover ONEPWR BH57005 – Best to Buy Cordless Handheld Vacuum
  2. BLACK+DECKER HHVI315JO42 – Best Value Cordless Handheld Vacuum
  3. Hoover DustChaser BH57010 – Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum for Stairs
  4. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390A – Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair
  5. Shark WANDVAC WV201 – Best Lightweight Cordless Handheld Vacuum
  6. Bissell AutoMate 2284W – Best Cordless Car Vacuum Cleaner
NameBattery Type – LifeFiltration SystemDust Cup CapacityWarranty
Hoover ONEPWR BH57005Li-ion – 30 minsWashable foam filter0.4L (0.37 dry oz)3 years
BLACK+DECKER HHVI315JO42Li-ion – 15 to 20 minsPleated filter0.36L (0.327 dry oz)2 years
Hoover DustChaser BH57010Li-ion – 20 to 30 minsHEPA0.05 – 0.08L (0.05 – 0.08 dry oz)3 years
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390ALi-ion – 20 mins3-stage filtration0.7L (0.64 dry oz)1 year
Shark WANDVAC WV201Li-ion – 10 mins2-stage filtration0.08L (0.08 dry oz)2 years
Bissell AutoMate 2284WLi-ion – 20 mins3-stage filtration0.7L (0.64 dry oz)1 year

1. Hoover ONEPWR BH57005 – Best to Buy Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Hoover ONEPWR BH57005

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Great performance on hard floors
  • Comfortable hand grip
  • Long battery life
  • Supports battery hot-swapping
  • Long warranty period

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Subpar carpeting and upholstery performance
  • Lacks a brush tool
  • Difficult to find replacement filter

When it comes to the ONEPWR BH57005, Hoover has focused specifically on making it as enduring as possible. This handheld features a sizable battery pack that provides about 30 minutes of battery life per charge. In addition, the vacuum allows the user to quickly swap out the battery for extra run-time.

All the while, the vacuum maintains a lightweight and compact profile befitting a handheld vacuum. The suction power of the BH57005 is also great, making it an all-around attractive purchase.

Hoover ONEPWR BH57005 Performance

Performance

The ONEPWR BH57005 performs best on bare floors like hardwood, vinyl, and tiling. The suction power of Hoover’s digital motor is more than enough for light dusting jobs and small debris pick-up. It can also sort out light messes like spilled cereal and bread crumbs well, making it a fine addition to your kitchen or dining room.

Because the vacuum doesn’t come with a brush, its carpeting performance isn’t stellar. The vacuum’s suction could possibly clean out some low-pile carpets and rugs. On thicker carpeting, it might be able to eliminate dirt and debris stuck at the top of the piling but not down at the base.

Its performance on upholstery may leave a lot to be desired due to the lack of a dedicated brush. 

Overall, this vacuum will fit well for those with houses and apartments with primarily bare floors and little to no carpeting.

Design

The ONEPWR BH57005 is 3 pounds (1.3 kilograms) heavy, which isn’t bad for a handheld vacuum. The body size of the handheld is relatively bulky due to the larger battery pack, but it’s by no means an unwieldy vacuum.

The vacuum’s handle provides a solid and comfortable grip, ideal for long cleaning sessions. Control buttons are positioned right at the user’s fingertips. You can reach the sole power button without having to strain your wrist. 

Located further down the vacuum’s body is the dust cup release switch, which will require you to intentionally reach down for it. This way, you won’t accidentally hit the release and spill the dust cup while cleaning.

Battery Life

Like previously mentioned, the “ONEPWR” battery of the BH57005 can provide about 30 minutes of run-time per charge. When the majority of handhelds only provide between 15 to 20 minutes of battery life, 30 minutes is quite impressive.

The BH57005 is also one of the rarer handhelds that support battery hot-swapping. If you need to extend your cleaning time beyond the allotted 30 minutes of a single cell, you can buy extra batteries. When one cell depletes, just switch another in and you’re ready to go for another 30 minutes.

Hoover ONEPWR BH57005 Battery

Dust Cup & Filtration

The dust cup can hold about 0.4 liters (0.37 dry quarts) worth of dust, dirt, and debris. When it’s filled up, just hit the dust cup release switch and tip the detached cup into the trash.

The vacuum is equipped with a washable filter. Since it’s not HEPA-rated, filtration efficiency is only acceptable. It will be able to retain most dust, dirt, large debris and pollen, but won’t be able to capture smaller particles like airborne viruses and bacteria.

The filter is also one of the primary concerns for owners. It’s difficult to find a replacement filter and even once you’ve tracked down one, the replacement process itself is still unnecessarily complicated.

Accessories

The ONEPWR BH57005 has an extendable crevice tool integrated into the nozzle of the vacuum. Other than that, Hoover doesn’t offer any other kind of tool inside the box.

Puzzlingly, the company doesn’t have a carpet brush tool for the BH57005 even as a purchasable add-on. There’s literally no brush tool on the market for this handheld. It is a shame considering how this omission costs the vacuum dearly when it comes to its carpet and upholstery performance rating.

Warranty

Hoover offers a 3-year warranty for the ONEPWR BH57005 from the date of purchase.

2. BLACK+DECKER HHVI315JO42 – Best Value Cordless Handheld Vacuum

BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster HHVI315JO42

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Capable of handling light cleaning tasks
  • Built-in tools

Cons

  • Bad placement of control buttons
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Long charging time

Lightweight, compact, and reasonable cleaning performance aside, the BLACK+DECKER HHVI315JO42 is also one of the most affordable handhelds on the market. For those seeking a handheld that can do the job without breaking the bank, this basketball-sized handheld is the one for you.

Performance

Suction power is generated by a cyclonic motor, which is powerful enough to scoop up dust and dirt as well as smatterings of small debris on hard floors. The vacuum’s suction also handles pet hair well, making it an ideal model to consider for pet owners.

Unlike the ONEPWR BH57005, the HHVI315JO42 has a flip-up brush built to the side of the suction nozzle. The brush will help you clean out low-pile carpeting and comb the top surface of your thicker carpeting and rugs. It helps make vacuuming on upholstery easier and more efficient, as well.

The HHVI315JO42 is well-rounded performance-wise. It can tackle small and light messes on hard floors, upholstery, and carpeting. As long as you keep in mind that it’s not meant for heavy-duty cleaning tasks, you will be satisfied with this one.

Design

The vacuum is feather-light at 2.11 pounds (0.95 kilograms.) Since you won’t find it at all difficult to wield and can use it with only one hand, the vacuum is excellently versatile and flexible. You can reach deep into nooks and crannies or underneath furniture without struggling. The ease of maneuvering is further helped by its compact body profile.

BLACK+DECKER HHVI315JO42 Design

The HHVI315JO42’s curved handle is considered by most customers to be comfortable. However, the arrangement of the control buttons on the handle has been the subject of some criticism. 

Particularly, the dust cup release button is positioned way too close to the user’s fingertip and near the power button. While working, instead of hitting the power button, the user could inadvertently hit the dust cup release. So do exercise caution while you work to avoid unfortunate incidents.

Battery Life

The BLACK+DECKER HHVI315JO42 doesn’t do so well when it comes to battery life. It is equipped with a small Li-ion battery pack that can supply around 15 to 20 minutes of run-time per charge. But unlike the ONEPWR BH57005, which allows you to hot-swap the battery, you will have to wait for the battery to recharge in this model.

Charging time is long, taking almost 16 hours for the vacuum to return to 100% from 0%.

BLACK+DECKER didn’t design the vacuum’s battery to be replaceable. When it fails down the line, the whole vacuum has to be replaced.

Dust Cup & Filtration

The dust cup can hold 0.36 liters (0.33 dry quarts) and can be quickly emptied with the dust cup release switch on the hand grip.

For filtration, the vacuum uses a pleated filter. Once every 3 months, you must replace the filter to avoid clogging and to keep your indoor air quality as good as possible. You can search for replacement filters via the serial number: 90558113-01.

Accessories

The vacuum uses integrated tools and doesn’t come with any extra accessories in the box. It has an extendable crevice tool built into the nozzle, and a flip-up brush to the side. 

Warranty

Standard warranty for the BLACK+DECKER HHVI315JO42 is 2 years.

3. Hoover DustChaser BH57010 – Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum for Stairs

Hoover DustChaser BH57010

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Unique design provides better reach
  • Comfortable hand grip
  • Long battery life
  • Supports battery hot-swapping
  • HEPA filter
  • Long warranty period

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to find replacement filter
  • Tricky filter replacement process

The Hoover DustChaser BH57010 inherited many of the distinctive technologies from the ONEPWR BH57005 that we mentioned previously. 

Both are part of the same series of cordless products, and as a result you may be able to spot many similarities between them. Most notably, it’s got the capable ONEPWR battery pack and the powerful digital suction motor from the BH57005.

But the thing that separates the DustChaser BH57010 from its sibling is the design. With an elongated body, this vacuum is a model worth considering if you’re seeking a handheld for cleaning stairs.

Hoover DustChaser BH57010 Performance

Performance

Since the DustChaser BH57010 has the same digital motor as the BH57005, their respective performance levels are quite similar to one another.

This vacuum has the suction power to clean up bare floors and surfaces in short order. If you have non-carpeted stairs, the vacuum will perform excellently.

Unlike the BH57005 which doesn’t have a brush, the DustChaser BH57010 has a 2-in-1 tool that’s a combination between a crevice tool and a dusting brush. The dusting brush can double as a low-pile carpet brush. If there’s light dust and dirt stuck on your carpeted stairs, you can use it to sort them out.

The DustChaser BH57010 also comes with an upholstery tool. Aside from cleaning up dirt and pet hair from your upholstery, the tool can help you save your stairs from stray shedding.

Design

The DustChaser BH57010 weighs 4.4 pounds (1.9 kilograms). That’s heavier than most cordless handhelds in our list, but it’s still light enough to be used one-handed by most people without significant issues.

Hoover DustChaser BH57010 Design

The comfortable inclined grip helps a lot with diverting the weight away from the user’s wrist to make for a more comfortable using experience. Control buttons are placed right on the grip for easier and more intuitive access.

The design of this handheld is the most unique in this listing and the reason why it’s so fit for stair-cleaning. It has an elongated shape to provide better reach. When the crevice tool built into the nozzle is fully extended, the vacuum can be used to clean up stair treads without forcing the user to bend down. Those with weak and achy backs in particular will appreciate this design.

Besides stair cleaning, you can take advantage of its maneuverable and slim design to clean in the corners of rooms and other awkward spaces in your home.

Battery Life

The DustChaser BH57010 uses the same battery model as the BH57005. And furthermore, since both of them have the same performance level, battery life between them is equal at roughly 30 minutes per charge.

Just like the BH57005, the DustChaser BH57010 also supports battery hot-swapping. You can buy extra batteries to extend run-time if needed.

Dust Cup & Filtration

Puzzlingly, Hoover doesn’t publish the capacity of the DustChaser BH57010’s dust cup. According to one consumer’s estimate, it is between 0.05 to 0.08 liters (0.05 to 0.08 dry quarts.)

The dust cup release button is smartly positioned at the bottom and near the nozzle of the vacuum to avoid accidental hits. The whole emptying process is simple: hit the release button, dump the cup, and pop the emptied cup back in.

The BH57010 has a HEPA filter, which is an upgrade over the BH57005. But this handheld is still plagued by the problems we already saw in the BH57005. Namely, replacement filters are hard to come by and the actual replacement process is tricky for most people to do.

Accessories

Other than the 2-in-1 dusting and crevice tool that’s integrated directly into the vacuum, the DustChaser BH57010 has a separate upholstery tool in the box.

Warranty

The warranty for the DustChaser BH57010 is 3 years from the date of purchase.

4. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390A – Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser 2390A

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Well-rounded performance
  • Comfortable hand grip
  • Large dust cup

Cons

  • Long charging time
  • Non-HEPA filtration
  • Accident-prone button placement

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390A has a way with pet hair, true to its name. It has the cleaning power necessary to keep your house clean during your pets’ heavy shedding seasons. The lightweight and compact cordless handheld design further bolsters the attractiveness of this vacuum for most pet owners.

Performance

The 2390A’s performance is tailored specifically for handling pet hair. Its suction can scoop up loose strands and hair clumps on all surfaces. 

The suction power alone is enough for the vacuum to work on bare floors. On carpeting, you can latch on the motorized brush tool, which will help the 2389A tackle pet hair on thicker carpets and rugs. Cleaning performance on upholstery is similarly remarkable with the accompanying upholstery tool.

Other than pet hair, the 2390A can effectively clean up other hair-like debris such as lint and human hair well. The high suction power also helps it pick up dust, dirt, and small debris. Don’t expect it to sweep up large debris or handle big messes, however.

Design

The handheld measures 3.1 pounds (1.4 kilograms) heavy, which is lightweight enough for one-handed operation. The ergonomic looped handle offsets the weight away from the user’s wrist, thus making it easier and more comfortable to hold.

Bissell 2390A Design

Similar to other handhelds, the 2390A has only two control buttons on the grip: the power button and the dust cup release. The power is easy to reach and is right at the user’s fingertip. The dust cup release, though placed further down the body, is still a concern. It’s close enough to the user’s finger that there’s a chance it could be pushed accidentally.

The air vents are located at the top and direct the exhaust to the top of the vacuum. The vent placement prevents the vacuum’s exhaust from blowing dust, dirt, and debris sideways as you clean. This was an infamous design flaw in earlier Pet Hair Erasers.

Battery Life

The average battery life of the 2390A is about 20 minutes per full charge. Once depleted, the battery will need to be plugged in for about 8 hours to return to 100%.

There’s a battery indicator on the vacuum’s body to tell you the charge level.

Dust Cup & Filtration

The capacity of the 2390A’s dust cup is roughly 0.7 liters (0.64 dry quarts,) which is already more generous than the average handheld. You can complete a full hair-cleaning session around the house before the cup is filled up. But even if it doesn’t get full, it’s still recommended that you empty the cup after every session to prevent clogging.

Despite not being HEPA-rated, the three-stage filtration of the 2390A is still very robust. The system consists of a mesh filter for large debris, a pleated filter for smaller scraps, and a felt filter to eliminate finer particles.

Accessories

The vacuum comes with three kinds of accessories:

  • Motorized brush tool: for carpet cleaning.
  • Upholstery tool: provides gentler scrubbing and suction action for more delicate materials like upholstery.
  • Crevice nozzle: extends the vacuum reach to make it easier for the user to draw out dust, dirt, and debris from tricky corners in the house.

Warranty

The limited manufacturer warranty period is 1 year from the date of purchase.

5. Shark WANDVAC WV201 – Best Lightweight Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Shark WV201

Pros

  • Visually appealing design
  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Maneuverable
  • Adequate cleaning performance

Cons

  • Costly
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Non-HEPA filtration

The Shark WANDVAC WV201, other than the lightweight body, also scores points among consumers for its attractive modern design. Although performance is admittedly on the lower side, if you’re seeking the most lightweight and compact vacuum out there, the WV201 will satisfy.

Shark WV201 Performance

Performance

The WANDVAC WV201 was made specifically for small, light tasks and it shows. The handheld can handle well bits of dust, dirt, and small messes on bare floors or surfaces. Because the handheld is shipped with a pet hair tool, it can also be counted on as a “pet hair controller” in your home.

But when it comes to sorting out large messes and carpet-cleaning, the WV201 won’t be the best vacuum for the task.

Design

The vacuum weighs 1.4 pounds (0.6 kilograms)— the lightest on this list— and has a special cigarette or rod-shaped body design. The special body design provides the user with the extra reach and maneuverability needed to reach into tight spaces like house corners and behind or beneath furniture.

Shark WV201 Design

The power button is placed near the handgrip at the bottom and is easy to reach. Remarkably, other than switching power on and off, the button also serves as a battery indicator. The button glows solid blue while working, flashing when the battery is low, blinking while charging, and dimmed when fully charged.

Above the power button is the dust cup release slide switch. A sliding switch, rather than a pressing button, is less prone to accidental release.

Battery Life

The WV201 traded battery life to get the desired lightweight feel and compact size. The small Li-ion battery can only provide 10 minutes of run-time and takes about 2.5 hours to recharge once depleted. You may have to ration battery power while using this vacuum.

Dust Cup & Filtration

The dust cup is small, holding about 0.08 liters (0.08 dry quarts.) Because of this, the dust cup will fill very quickly even with light, sparing usage and you will find yourself having to empty it often.

Shark WV201 Dust Cup

A dual-stage filtration system takes up the filtering role. It has a coarse filter in the first stage to pick out larger debris. In the second stage is the fabric filter, which takes up the task of eliminating small particles.

Accessories

The vacuum comes with two tools. It has a multi-surface pet tool for handling pet hair and a duster crevice tool to draw out dust from out of tight, awkward spaces.

The WV201 has on-board accessory storage for you to simply store these tools.

Warranty

The warranty period of the WV201 is 2 years.

6. Bissell AutoMate 2284W – Best Cordless Car Vacuum Cleaner

Bissell AutoMate 2284W

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Well-rounded performance
  • Comfortable hand grip
  • Large dust cup
  • Car detailing accessories

Cons

  • Long charging time
  • Non-HEPA filtration
  • Accident-prone button placement

The Bissell AutoMate 2284W has virtually the same design as the Pet Hair Eraser 2390A. The same suction motor and dust cup capacity. It also has the same kind of battery that provides roughly equal battery life. The difference between them lies in the auto cleaning-centric accessories that the 2284W has. It’s also because of them that the 2284W has grown to become a popular handheld for car cleaning.

Performance

The AutoMate 2284W performs excellently on upholstery against dust, dirt, debris, and pet hair with the included motorized brush tool. The brush is gentle on upholstery, so you can use it to clean up your car seats without fearing that it would damage them.

You can pick out dirt and debris lodged inside of nooks and crannies in your car with the included crevice tools. One crevice tool included has an LED headlight to make it easier for you to clean in the dark.

Design

The vacuum weighs 3.1 pounds (1.4 kilograms) and can be used one-handed. The grip is comfortable, coupled with the fingertip controls, it makes for a pleasant and convenient user experience.

Bissell AutoMate 2284W Design

However, since the AutoMate 2284W is similar in terms of design as the Pet Hair Eraser 2390A, it inherited the same problematic control button placement. The dust cup release is still quite close to the power button and so is prone to accidental release.

Battery Life

Featuring the same battery technology as the 2390A, the 2284W can provide continuous cleaning power for about 20 to 30 minutes. It would also take you about 8 hours to fully recharge the battery once it’s depleted.

A battery indicator is on the handle to provide real-time information of the charge level.

Dust Cup & Filtration

The dust cup holds 0.7 liters (0.64 dry quarts.) The dust cup will last through an entire car cleaning session without needing to be emptied.

The 2284W also takes the three-stage filtration system from the 2390A.

Accessories

The 2284W comes with three accessories. It has an upholstery-compatible motorized brush tool, an LED headlight-equipped crevice tool, and a flexible crevice tool. You can use either of the crevice tools for car detailing purposes.

Warranty

The 2284W has a 1-year warranty, starting from the date of purchase.

Conclusion

With all that said, we hope you have found a nice handheld for your home with this best cordless handheld vacuums buyer’s guide and review. Though they have different prices and capabilities, whichever model you pick should be capable of satisfying your vacuuming needs.

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