In today’s guide we’re going to be looking at what we think are the 8 best handheld vacuums on the market.
We’ve researched and tested these vacuums and others to help determine the pros, cons, and the best cordless handheld vacuum for you.
So with that said, let’s dive in.
Find the Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum for Your Home
The list below highlights the 8 best handheld vacuums for 2020. These models showcase a range of features, brands, and price points.
|Dyson V7 Trigger||Check Price|
|Shark Pet Perfect 2||Check Price|
|Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless||Check Price|
|Black & Decker 16V||Check Price|
|Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded||Check Price|
|Dirt Devil Scorpion QuickFlip||Check Price|
On top of that, most of these handheld vacuums have been personally tested by myself in our home Modern Castle testing range.
We put these vacuums to the test, analyzing design, cleaning performance, usability, value and a range of other features that help us to generate a performance score for each model.
8 Best Handheld Vacuums (the list)
You can click on the vacuum model name to get more information about each model.
- Dyson V7 Trigger / Dyson V6 Trigger | Dyson V10 2-in-1
- Shark Pet Perfect 2
- Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (cordless)
- Black & Decker 16V
- Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (corded)
- Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip (corded)
Table of Contents
- Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum
- Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair
- 8 Best Handheld Vacuums
- Which Handheld is Right for You?
Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum
The best cordless handheld vacuum is a solid balance of budget, features, and cleaning performance.
It is versatile and can be used in a variety of applications, including upholstery, stairs, car interiors, or random small messes like snack crumbs, dirt, and pet hair.
For the best cordless handheld vacuum, we’ve got to give it to the Dyson V7 Trigger.
This cordless vacuum has a 30-minute run time, incredible suction, and comes with a variety of attachments.
Our Pick for Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum for 2020
Dyson V7 TriggerThe Dyson V7 is a portable cordless handheld that offers strong 110 AW suction power and up to a 30-minute run time, as well as an easy-empty dust cup (improved over the Dyson V6 Trigger). If you want the power and design of a Dyson, but in the body of a handheld, the Dyson V7 Trigger is an excellent option. Check Price
During our cleaning performance test of the Dyson V7, it effectively cleaned up a variety of messes including both large and small debris. Overall cleaning performance was 96%.
NOTE: The scores listed above were for the Dyson V7 Motorhead, not solely the Dyson V7 Trigger. The specs are nearly identical, but the V7 Trigger is ONLY a handheld vacuum and the V7 Absolute is a handheld AND a stick vacuum.
Other Top Handheld Vacuums
Although the Dyson V7 Trigger is our top recommendation for best overall handheld vacuum, there are a few other options that are great runner-ups.
Dyson V6 Trigger
If you like the look and specs of the Dyson V7, but would prefer a slightly less expensive model, you may want to check out the Dyson V6 Trigger. The V6 Trigger was the preceding model to the V7 and is a slightly more basic model, while still offering excellent cleaning performance for small messes.
This handheld has a slightly shorter run time (20 mix max vs. 30 mins max) and a slightly different style dust bin, but still has a ton of suction (100 AW) and similar body style.
If you’re looking for a handheld vacuum that doubles as a full-sized stick vacuum, you may want to consider making the jump to the Dyson V10.
Although this model is much pricier than the V7 Trigger, the V10 easily doubles as a whole-home cleaning machine, as well as a portable handheld.
Best Handheld for Pet Hair
For the best handheld vacuum for pet hair, there are quite a few models that fit the bill. Pet hair can be a big nuisance for vacuums because it frequently tangles in the brushroll or handhelds simply don’t have the suction to capture it.
RELATED – Open to vacuums outside of the handheld market? Check out our guide for the Best Roomba for Pet Hair.
The best handheld for pet hair tackles both of these issues and can effectively clean pet hair from a variety of surfaces without clogging or tangling a brushroll.
For this guide, the winner is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser cordless handheld.
Our Pick for Best Cordless Handheld for Pet Hair
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser CordlessThe Bissell Pet Hair Eraser cordless handheld is a compact vacuum designed for pet owners. It has a 14.4V battery with a 15-minute run time and simple attachments including a crevice tool, upholstery tool, and motorized pet hair tool. Check Price
During cleaning performance tests, this vacuum had excellent marks, rating 96% overall cleaning performance:
- 96% of hardwoods
- 98% for low pile carpet
- 94% for high pile carpet
Other Top Handheld Vacuums
In addition the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser cordless, there are a couple other models that deserve a bit of an honorable mention. These models are still great performers against pet hair.
You can read all of the details below.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (corded)
While some users may shy away from this particular model strictly because it isn’t cordless, let me intervene here with some details.
The corded Pet Hair Eraser allows this model to come in at an exceptionally low price and it has two interchangeable cleaning heads. One is a hard plastic and the other is a rubberized head, which does a superb job of collecting pet hair.
Shark Pet Perfect 2
The Shark Pet Perfect 2 is another solid option for pet-friendly handheld vacuum.
This handheld is a cordless model with a wide cleaning path and it comes with a cleaning head specifically designed to tackle pet hair. It has a run time of up to 30 minutes and a decent dust bin capacity — a solid option for pet hair removal.
Our Picks: The 8 Best Cordless Handheld Vacuums
The list below features the top-performing handheld vacuums.
Which handheld vacuum is right for? Check out the list below and decide for yourself:
1. Dyson V7 Trigger
As mentioned above, the Dyson V7 Trigger is a good-performing handheld vacuum with a classic Dyson design, easy maneuverability, and easy to change up as needed.
It has strong suction (110 AW) and a good sized-dustbin. The V7 Trigger has a 30-minute run time which should be more than efficient for most handheld cleaning jobs.
It also comes with an assortment of tools, including a combination (dusting brush + crevice) tool as well as a longer crevice tool for further reach.
The redesigned dust cup of the Dyson V7 empties out by pulling the components of the filter out the top and forcing debris to drop out below.
This is an improvement over the Dyson V6 which sometimes has debris get caught in the dust bin or can be unhygienic to clean.
RELATED – Looking for a Dyson vacuum that can convert between handheld and cordless stick? Check out the Dyson V11 or Dyson V10 cordless stick vacuums. Both of these models quickly convert from handheld to stick vacuum and offer longer run times compared to the V7 Trigger (up to 60 minutes of run time on both the V10 and V11).
- Excellent cleaning performance
- Comes with powerful cleaning tools
- Long 30-minute run time
- Expensive price point
The AirKii handheld vacuum may be a brand that you’ve never heard of, but name aside, this is one of the best cordless handheld vacuums that we’ve tested to date.
Best Budget Cordless Handheld
AirKii CordlessThe AirKii handheld vacuum is very reasonably priced, well-designed, and literally flawless cleaning performance against dry messes. It has a long 40-minute run time and overall is just an excellent value if you’re looking for a good handheld vacuum without breaking the bank. Check Price
This handheld also has the ability to clean wet messes, although it struggles with this a bit more and tends to fling the water around a bit in the midst of cleaning it.
In addition, the AirKii also includes quite a few tools — crevice tool, brush tool, flexible extension hose, rigid extender, and a black travel bag.
RELATED – For more cleaning on a budget, check out our guide for the Best Cheap Vacuum Cleaner.
If you’re looking for a cordless handheld with long run-time (up to 40-minutes) and great versatility against whatever messes come your way, the AirKii is a fantastic option.
- Excellent cleaning performance
- Can clean wet / dry messes
- Long run time (up to 40 minutes)
- A little awkward to empty the dust bin
- Cleaning wet mess can be a little messy in the process
3. Shark Pet Perfect 2
The Shark Pet Perfect 2 is another simple cordless handheld vacuum. It comes with simple attachments, like a small crevice tool, dusting brush, and wide pet hair tool.
Best Cordless Handheld for Pets
Shark Pet Perfect 2The Shark Pet Perfect 2 cordless handheld is a great vacuum for tackling pet hair. It can run for up to 30 minutes before needing to juice up, so about 10 minutes less than the run time of the AirKii, but that’s still not bad. It also comes with a nice variety of tools. Check Price
The Shark Pet Perfect 2 cordless handheld is a great vacuum for tackling pet hair. It can run for up to 30 minutes before needing to juice up, so about 10 minutes less than the run time of the AirKii, but that’s still not bad. It also comes with a nice variety of tools.
One potential disadvantage to the Shark Perfect 2, and most of the reason why it’s not our top recommendation for best handheld for pet hair is replacement parts.
The cost to replace the battery is as much as buying a completely new Shark Pet Perfect 2.
So although the initial cost for the vacuum is quite low, the high costs of replacement parts definitely hurts the overall value here.
- Good cleaning performance
- Larger dust bin capacity
- Replacement battery is expensive
4. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser cordless handheld is a portable handheld that’s great for cleaning pet hair or other small messes around the house. It comes with a couple different attachments
It has a decent 15-minute run time, which isn’t a huge amount of time, but should be sufficient for most small messes. In addition, its wide cleaning head makes it one of the best cordless handhelds for stairs.
RELATED – Like the looks of the Bissell Pet Hair handheld, but looking for a full size upright? Check out our full review of the Bissell Pet Hair upright vacuum for full-size cleaning.
It has an overall cleaning performance score of 96% which is great considering the lower price tag to this handheld. It is easy to use and has a filter that is easy to maintain.
Attachments on the Pet Hair Eraser include: motorized pet tool, upholstery tool, and crevice tool.
- Excellent cleaning performance and great against pet hair
- Cordless design with decent 15-minute run time
- Suction fades as battery does which limits performance
5. Black & Decker 16V
The Black & Decker 16V handheld vacuum is a low-priced handheld vacuum with a long body and a narrow cleaning path. It doesn’t come with any tools or attachments, but its simple design helps to make the low price possible.
Best Cordless Handheld for Stairs
Black & Decker 16VBlack & Decker’s 16V handheld is a portable cordless vacuum with a 15-minute run time and weighing less than 3 pounds. It has simple controls and a long cleaning nozzle that has an optional small dusting brush clip. Paired with solid cleaning performance, the Black & Decker 16V is a great option to consider if you don’t want to spend much on a cordless handheld vacuum. Check Price
On hardwoods and low pile carpet, this 16V handheld scored 98% and on high pile carpet it maintained a 96% cleaning performance.
This is pretty solid scoring based on this handheld’s small size and relatively short run time. All in all, I was pretty impressed with this handheld, although I would have liked to see a longer run time.
- Good amount of suction for its small size
- Low price for budget-conscious consumers
- Wider nozzle is a little awkward for cleaning crevices
- Charging base is a bit unstable
The Novete cordless handheld is another vacuum that serves as both a wet and dry vac, at a reasonable price. It is compact, has a decent sized dust bin and good cleaning performance.
Best Wet / Dry Cordless Handheld
NoveteThe Novete cordless vacuum can run for up to 30 minutes before needing to charge up again. It comes with basic accessories including a crevice tool, brush tool, rubber nozzle, charging base, and a washable HEPA filter. Check Price
Compared to the AirKii, I was a little more impressed with the cleaning performance of the Novete for wet messes than I was with the AirKii. If you frequently clean wet messes, this may be something to consider about this model.
Despite the fact the Novete name is quite new to the market, its cleaning performance was second to none. It scored 99% overall, scoring 100% on hardwood, 98% on low pile carpet, and 98% on high carpet.
- Good 30-minute run time with short charge time between uses
- The ability to clean both wet and dry messes
- Doesn’t work well without an attachment tool
- Pet tool wasn’t great at removing pet hair
7. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (corded)
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is a corded handheld vacuum, so technically you could argue that it doesn’t belong on the cordless handheld list, but this guide for excellent handheld vacuums just would not be complete without including it.
Best Corded Handheld for Pet Hair
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser CordedThis little Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is a handheld bullet for tackling pet hair. The dual cleaning heads are a nice addition for such a budget-priced handheld and the rubberized design of the primary cleaning head is excellent for pets. If don’t mind the power cord and want an excellent deal, the Pet Hair Eraser could certainly be a solid option. Check Price
In terms of cleaning performance, this compact vacuum works most effectively on low and high pile carpets (97-98% cleaning performance) and is slightly less effective on hardwoods (86% cleaning performance).
RELATED – For a small vacuum that has flawless performance on all floor types, check out the Miele Compact C1 canister vacuum.
Basically, this little vacuum is designed to annihilate pet hair from carpeted or upholstery surfaces… and it does a fantastic job.
The cord to this vacuum is about 16′ long, which is the same length as the cord on the Dirt Devil Scorpion QuickFlip listed below.
- Excellent value considering the low price point
- Rubberized cleaning nozzle is fantastic for cleaning pet hair
- Small dust bin capacity
- Corded power limits potability and reach
8. Dirt Devil Scorpion QuickFlip (corded)
The Dirt Devil Scorpion QuickFlip is the final handheld model we’re going to feature in this guide. It’s down here at the bottom because it’s technically a corded handheld vacuum as well, but if you’re looking for a budget handheld option, the Dirt Devil could be a good choice for you.
Best Budget Corded Handheld
Dirt Devil Scorpion QuickFlipThe Scorpion QuickFlip by Dirt Devil is a corded handheld with a simple design and basic attachments, but honestly, the cleaning performance was really impressive (97% on average across all floor types). It comes with a variety of tools making it very versatile for such a budget vacuum.Check Price
This compact corded vacuum includes a flexible hose, dusting brush, should strap and a small QuickFlip tool that flips out of the front of the vacuum for quick pickups or for getting into crevices.
It performs best on hardwood and low pile carpet, but also is suited for small messes on high pile carpet as well. It did struggle a bit when cleaning fine debris on high pile carpet.
- Excellent suction and cleaning performance
- Budget-priced for a fantastic economical option
- Corded power does limit the reach
- A little louder than most other handheld vacuums when running
Handheld Vacuum Reviews
The following table includes a complete list of all handheld vacuum cleaner reviews on ModernCastle.com.
We personally test each and every model that comes through the doors here at Modern Castle, starting with a pretest of features and specs and ending with a real-life performance cleaning test.
Interested in the details of how we test and score each vacuum cleaner? Click here to see our vacuum review and testing process.
Need More Help?
Related Guides & Reviews
For more information, check out some of our other related vacuum reviews and best of guides.
- Best Vacuum Cleaners
- Dyson V11 Review
- Dyson V10 Review
- Dyson Vacuum Reviews (all models)
- Best Shark Vacuums (all models)
- Best Upright Vacuums
- Best Cordless Stick Vacuums
- Best Canister Vacuum Cleaners
- June 26, 2019 – Initial version of the page published