A Quick Guide to Choosing The Best Handheld Vacuum

» Posted in Cleaning

The vacuum cleaner business is unlikely to face as radical a disruption as that forced upon it by British engineer inventor James Dyson. His ‘dual cyclone’ and ‘bag less’ inventions redefined the industry, eliminating all the needless toil from the average cleaning job. However cleaning needs will always evolve and the handheld vacuum cleaner variety is an innovation that arrived to address pain points the conventional vacuum cleaner could not.

Hand held cleaners are ideal for car dash boards and delicate furniture pieces that would be difficult to clean with standard vacuums. However small a cleaning job is, a handheld vacuum is still required to be the best fit for its purpose. It needs to be maneuverable and convenient enough for small cleaning jobs. This allows them to get into places, crevices that the bigger cleaners, because of their size and weight, just cannot. With prices ranging from as little as $15 to as much as $300 and capabilities equally as varied, special care and effort needs to be invested in choosing the best model.

Suction Power

Suction power, commonly measured in air watts, is central to any vacuum cleaner’s usefulness. The whole technology is based on it. Its ability to pick or suck up enough dirt and dust defines how well it will accomplish a cleaning job. The cleaner’s motor also needs adequate capacity to be able to generate enough airflow needed to force dust and dirt into the collecting canister.


A hand held cleaner needs to be small and light enough to use continually before one has to rest or switch hands. It must not force needless toil by putting unnecessary strain on the hand. A standard hand held cleaner weighs an average of 1.5kg.

Wet and Dry Function

A cleaner that can handle both dry and wet messes is generally more desirable. Dirt comes in various forms thus a more multi-purpose cleaner will ensure a thorough and faster cleaning effort. Always check for this special feature.

Dust Capacity

Canister dust collectors, another Dyson innovation, are more user friendly than bags. Choose clear, easier-to-clean canisters that allow you to see the ‘fruits of your toil’, as the dirt builds up. A bigger canister with adequate capacity for the average cleaning job is desirable. You do not want to be continually stopping to empty the canister.

A vacuum’s capability is also measured by its air filtration qualities. Filters that trap all dust and are not continually clogged will ensure better air quality for an allergy free home. Choose one with reusable filters that can be washed as these will lower the cost of maintaining your vacuum overtime.

Battery Life

For their convenience of use in areas where a power source is not easily accessible, battery powered vacuums are indispensable. To be able to handle longer cleaning jobs, the cleaner’s battery needs to have a longer running time. Choose a vacuum cleaner with batteries that are lighter, can hold a charge when not plugged in and which can maintain full strength until they are flat. NiMH and Li-ion batteries are your best options.

Where an electrical plug-in model is preferred, take care to choose one with a long cable.


  • Extra brush attachments
  • Crevice tools
  • Extension wands
  • Upholstery brushes for delicate furniture pieces

James Dyson and others have augmented the standard vacuum cleaner to the point where further innovations do not look achievable. It’s the added features combined with the convenience afforded by its size and maneuverability that make the handheld vacuum a fit for where a larger, standard vacuum would just seem incapable.

Shopper’s Guide

A handheld vacuum cleaner, being small in size, is perfect for tidying up small spills and tricky corners where the bigger models fail to reach. These gadgets come in a plethora of designs, models, shapes and sizes, including both wired as well as rechargeable cordless versions. If you’re looking forward to purchasing a brand new vacuum cleaner for home, I suggest you to consider a few points before you take a quick trip to the supermarket.


Handheld models were basically used for vacuuming the insides of four-wheelers and cleaning furniture, carpet spills, stairs or other difficult areas that are hard to clean.

Basic Design & Types Of Models Available In The Market

While cordless models are rechargeable but have a restricted battery life, the corded (or wired) models, on the other hand are powerful and last for a longer time. The only downside is that users have to deal with wires running all over their room.

Handheld cleaners comes with accessories like crevice tools (that are used for reaching into tricky corners), water tanks (for storing steam), dirt bags (for holding dust and dirt), accessory hose, wire cables, brush, pipes and mop heads.

Quick Shopping Tips

Before you start looking for a good handheld vacuum cleaner to buy, make sure that you read some guides/reviews first to determine your personal requirements and consider the amount of space available inside your home. Determine how often you’ll use the device and what you’ll be cleaning. Thereafter, compare different models and select a machine that best meets your requirements.

Pay special attention to the following factors:

  • Dirt Tank: Different models have different capacities to hold dust in their dirt tanks. Bigger models are capable of holding more dirt.
  • Water Tank: Steam cleaners consist of a water tank that holds steam. If you’re seeking a vacuum cleaner for bigger projects, I suggest you to opt for those models that include a larger water tank.
  • Accessory Attachments: Opt for devices that have extension attachments and long wires, especially if you’re shopping for a steam cleaner.
  • Weight: It’s important that you consider the portability factor, if you intend to use your vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Buy lighter widgets that are easier to lift. In case you experience any back aches or sprains, immediately replace the machine with a better model.
  • Battery Life: Rechargeable models last for a few minutes only. If you plan to use it for regular cleaning, better buy the corded models.
  • Usability: Even if you’ve selected a handheld vacuum that meets all your requirements, it’s important that you ask for a trial. Use it on a smaller area and get familiar with its features. Check out how to empty the dirt bags and how to use it comfortably. Go for those widgets that are compact, portable and easy to store.
  • Warranty: Check if the manufacturers are offering a decent warranty period for replacement and repairs.
  • Price: Most handheld vacuums cost around $50 to $400. Bigger models are expensive since they have better features.

Shop Around

Research the marketplace thoroughly before buying your desired cleaners. Read reviews on online websites, peep into the local stores and consult your acquaintances for making the right decision.

Top Machines

According to Amazon.com, some of the best handheld vacuum cleaner models of 2013 were Black & Decker 18 Volt Pivot PHV1800, Eureka 71B, Dirt Devil M08220 Scorpion Quick Flip, Hoover Corded and Cordless vacuums and Black & Decker CHV1510 Dustbuster 15.6-Volt. You can consider purchasing them if they suit your tastes.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>