The 4 Best Handheld Vacuums For Cars


No matter how clean you try to keep your car, it's only a matter of time before dirt, crumbs, and pet hair make their way into the crevices. If you're like me, you may have tried everything from lint rollers to your household vacuum to clean up, but honestly, only the best handheld vacuums for cars can do the trick.

Since there are a lot of small, oddly shaped spaces in your car, which a lot of cleaning tools don't have the reach for, you'll want an automotive handheld vacuums with a variety of attachments. When you're searching for a vacuum, be on the lookout for options that come with attachments of different sizes and shapes so you can tackle dirt from all angles.

It's also important to look for vacuums with lots of room to move. The last thing you want to do is keep unplugging while you move around your car. A cordless handheld vacuum is a good choice as long as it can hold a charge long enough to take care of your entire interior. Other great options are vacuums with extra-long cords, or even one that plugs into your car.

Not sure where to start? Here's a roundup of some great handheld vacuums for your car to help you narrow down your options.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

1. The Overall Best, All Things Considered: HOTOR Car Vacuum

Not only is this handheld car vacuum super effective, but it's a great middle-of-the-road price point, too. This vacuum comes with a cord you can plug into your car's lighter, and at over 16 feet long, you can reach every inch of your car, from front to back, without issue. It also features a HEPA filtration system, and it comes with three detachable heads. Use the long hose to get beneath the seats, the brush for stuck-on pet hair, and the tube for sucking up crumbs in tight spots. It weighs 2.44 pounds, making it pretty squarely in the middle when you compare the weights of all the vacuums on this list. And while the 106-watt motor is not the most powerful you'll find in this roundup, the whole system comes with its own carrying bag and costs less than $40, making it a steal.

According to one reviewer: "I bought this and it was exactly what I was looking for! Long cable and varying apparatuses enables reaching hardest areas to reach. For a 12V vacuum, it is really powerful and enough to keep your car clean. Because it is powered by the car (via cigarette light socket), you don't have to worry about the battery, as long as your car's engine works. It also comes with a nice bag to keep it together with its apparatus in your trunk. Extremely satisfied!"

2. The Most Powerful: Shark Rocket Vacuum

If you're ready to splurge, this handheld vacuum system has all the bells and whistles you need to leave your car spotless. Not only does it have extremely powerful suction from a 400-watt motor, but it also has a 15-foot cord, which is just about the same length as most cars from front to back. This unit also features a motorized, rotating brush head to really scrub deep into carpet, and it comes with a stretch hose to reach into every crevice. This vacuum also has three attachments to clean everything from your seats to your dashboard in a snap. Amazon reviewers mention that even the toughest debris doesn't hold up to this powerful vacuum. One thing to keep in mind: This unit is a bit heavier than others on this list and weighs 3.7 pounds.

According to one reviewer: "Amazing product. Far exceeded my expectations. Great price for a powerful vacuum. Cleaned all dog hair easily from my car with motorized attachment, crevice, and brush. Really nice to have a clean car!"

3. The Most Affordable: BLACK+DECKER Handheld Vacuum

This lightweight handheld vacuum gets the job done without breaking the bank. It clocks in at 2.3 pounds (the lightest on this list) and comes with two separate attachments, including a crevice tool to get into tight spots and an upholstery brush. This battery-operated vacuum packs just 16 air watts of suction, far and away lower than others on this list. But, for a cordless device under $30, this vacuum is still a great buy. Just be sure to keep your vacuum charging when not in use, as this portable handheld vacuum has one of the shorter battery lives of any on this list (Amazon reviewers say less than 30 minutes).

According to one reviewer: "Bought this to specifically leave in our camper since I’m an organized clean freak that can’t stand sand, dust, and dirt. Was nervous about the suction power of this but was surprised at how well it vacuumed everything! I plugged it in for a couple hours and it was charged enough (no indicator to tell me it was done charging) to vacuum everything. Like the fact that the ‘on’ button isn’t something that’s constantly on, but something that you press to vacuum; like our Dyson handheld vacuum."

4. The Best For Stubborn Pet Hair: Shark Cordless Pet Perfect Handheld Vacuum

Even the most stubborn hair can't withstand this cordless pet vacuum. It features "twister suction technology," which is basically what it sounds like: rotating suction power that's effective at pulling up tufts of pet hair. It also comes with a detachable, motorized brush specially designed to grab onto every last strand of pet hair in your upholstery, and its cordless design makes it easy to reach your pet's favorite spot to ride in the car. While the specific power isn't listed, this operates with a 10.8-volt battery that Amazon reviewers report gets the job done. It weighs 2.48 pounds, making it squarely in the middle in terms of size when compared to the other vacs here.

According to one reviewer: "I have two dogs and a cat and foster dogs so dog hair is something I have no shortage of. This gets all the hard to reach places that aren't cleaned. I have tried the vacuum attachments, the roll over things, this was easier and worked far better. I am in love!!"