When you need to clean up small messes, nothing beats the convenience of a handheld vacuum. The best dustbusters are compact, lightweight, and can be used anywhere — from carpeted stairs to the tight space underneath car seats.
When shopping for a handheld vacuum, consider these questions:
- Do you prefer a corded or cordless option? Cordless dustbusters have the benefit of not needing to be plugged into a nearby electrical outlet, which can them more convenient to use than a corded option. But it also means that they have a limited amount of usable time before their batteries need to be recharged.
- Do you have a specific use case, like removing pet hair or tidying the car? If you're shopping for a handheld vacuum primarily for cleaning up pet hair, you may want to consider a dustbuster with a rubber nozzle that's made specifically for that purpose. Or, if your vehicle is the primary place you're planning to use your dustbuster, a model with a long hose might be the best option.
With that in mind, take a look below at some of the best dustbusters you can buy on Amazon to clean up your home and car.
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1. The Overall Best Handheld Vacuum
With over 11,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and a "very good" rating from Consumer Reports, this cordless BLACK+DECKER cordless dustbuster is a popular handheld option that offers a ton of value for its relatively affordable price. It works on any dry surface and runs on a long-lasting lithium-ion battery. Reviewers report that it lasts up to 20 minutes on one charge. It takes about four hours for the vacuum to fully charge, but once it does, it will remain that way for up to 18 months, making it always ready to go for that next accidental spill.
This dustbuster also boasts a 180-degree rotating nozzle and comes with three accessories, including a flip-up brush for using on upholstery and an extendable nozzle for cleaning hard-to-reach crevices. It's built with a bagless, washable dirt bowl for easy cleaning. Plus, the manufacturer offers a two-year limited warranty.
Helpful review: “This vacuum is EVERYTHING! The suction is incredibly powerful for a little cordless handheld vacuum. For one thing it holds its charge for longer and maintains its suction power until the very end rather than fizzling out after a few minutes like the cheaper ones. It also has a more useful thin extendable nozzle for reaching into small crevices, an ideal feature when you're trying to clean your car interior. I also like that the brush is permanently attached to the nozzle. Apart from that, I found the filter and canister extremely easy to clean. This little vacuum does the job when it comes to cleaning up messes confined to small areas, cleaning under sofa cushions, car seats, per hair, cat litter, and crumbs toddlers are always dropping everywhere.”
2. The Longest-Running Cordless Vacuum
Although it's pricier than the first pick, this lightweight cordless handheld vacuum is made by Dyson, a brand known for its unique reimagining and reengineering of common household products. It works on all kinds of surfaces, including carpets, furniture, and hard floors, and has an impressive run time — it can go for up to 30 minutes on one charge.
In addition, this vacuum comes with three accessories that allow it to be used in a variety of situations. The mini motorized tool is ideal for spot-cleaning dirt and removing pet hair, while the combination tool is designed for more gentle suctioning. There is also a car charger and extension hose to make it easy to use in vehicles. While other bagless vacuums require you to rinse out the dust bowl, this Dyson model has a dirt ejector that, with the push of a button, forcefully pushes the accumulated debris out into your choice of garbage bag. It also comes with a two-year warranty.
Helpful review: "This is seriously the very best of the best in handheld vacuums. I've tried several others from Shark, Bissel, Black & Decker, and Hoover and they all pale in comparison to this vacuum. I eventually switched to using a small shop vac instead of hand vacs for a while after being frustrated with poor performance of other hand vacs. This one has an impressive battery life, it's got powerful suction (enough to handle any job I used to have to use my shop vac for), and it's super light and is perfect for touchup cleanings and regular house cleanings alike."
3. The Best For Pet Hair & Cat Litter
If you have a dog that sheds a lot or a cat that likes to flick litter everywhere, this is the perfect lightweight tool to have on hand. According to Consumer Reports, the suction generated by this Bissell pet hair handheld vacuum was "among the strongest of the hand vacuums" tested, giving it the notable ability to successfully clean carpets without the need for a power brush attachment. It can also be used all over your house — on furniture, upholstery, and hard surfaces.
This vacuum comes with two nozzles, including a rubber one that's designed to attract and pull out pet hair from furniture and flooring. Although this vacuum needs to be plugged into an outlet, it has a long 16-foot cord to help maximize its reach. It is also bagless, has a HEPA filter, and comes with a one-year warranty.
Helpful review: “I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi that leaves absurd amounts of hair on our couches, where he often sleeps. I don't have the heart to keep him off, so I've been searching for a better solution than lint rollers or physically lifting my upright vacuum onto the couch. Enter Bissell's Pet Hair Eraser. I was skeptical that the rubber brush attachment was a good idea; wouldn't it collect hair and resist the suction? Nope. This thing powers through couch hair. Often, only a single swipe is needed, which makes for a quick job. There was hardly any hair stuck to the brush; all of it ended up inside the dust container, which is super easy to detach, empty, and clean.”
4. The Best For The Car
For a handheld vacuum that's ideal for cars and trucks, look no further than this BLACK+DECKER Flex car vacuum. It's a corded, bagless vacuum that plugs right into your car's DC adaptor. In addition to its 16-foot long cord, it also has a 4-foot flexible hose that allows you to reach underneath seats to suck up any crumbs or dirt.
The vacuum works on both leather and fabric upholstery and also boasts other accessories like a flip-up brush and a wide nozzle crevice tool in one. Plus, it's so compact that you could easily store it in your trunk — or garage—without sacrificing much space. It comes with a two-year limited warranty.
Helpful review: “Works great and it picks up small particles in the car. It also saves me money because I do not have to go to a car wash to get it cleaned out on the inside. We keep it in the trunk of the car and do not have to worry about small pieces of rocks, leaves, etc because it gets it all.”