A Quick Handheld Vacuum Review Guide

Having a small living area or apartment, doesn’t mean the challenge of keeping your floors clean are less of a challenge. You might not think you need a full sized vacuum and instead opt for a handheld vacuum.

The good news for you is these smaller units are powerful, do a number on pet hair and can make cleaning nooks and crannies a lot easier.

Options to Consider Before Buying:

If you’re a standard sized or larger home owner, you will have quick clean up needs where you won’t want to break out the big machine. Cleaning up the garage, the car interior, or even small areas the bigger vacuum won’t reach, such as under and behind the desk, are perfect jobs for a small handheld vacuum, too.

Before you get started, check out some of these great tips from Vacuum Companion on how to find the best handheld vacuum for your specific cleaning situation:

Corded or Cordless?

Cordless machines are a great addition to the family of handheld vacuum cleaners. Keep in mind, you can’t run these machines all day. If you have a few fast clean ups or small areas you need to attack, such as the car rugs and such, a cordless will work. It’s best to find one that has a battery indicator or you might get stuck with a half cleaned area.

Running Time vs. Charge Time

Do some research to figure out the average run time for the unit you’re considering. Too short of a run time will leave you in the lurch! If you are going to use your handheld vacuum frequently, say a few times a day or every day, consider how long it will take to charge the battery back to full. Some will charge completely in a few hours while others might have to pull a Lionel Richie and be plugged in “all night long.”

Finally, are the batteries replaceable? As batteries age, they start to lose their ability to hold a charge. Being able to swap out the rechargeable battery could save you from buying a brand new machine. Be sure the machine you’re considering doesn’t have charge-holding issues.

Any Specific Cleaning Needs?

What are your unique cleaning needs? Do you have a pet that throws around more hair than a heavy metal band? If so you might need a machine that specializes in pet hair. Think about all of the specifics you will need to tackle when vacuuming. Consider the following:

  • Hardwood Floors: Also tile, linoleum, ceramic flooring.
  • Carpets: Do you have a deep pile rug or standard?
  • Pet Hair: Not only pet hair but women with long hair tend to cause issues for some machines!
  • Upholstery: Are you planning on vacuuming the furniture? Maybe you’ll need some specific attachments for your pieces.
  • Vehicle Cleaning: There are a million nooks and crannies and wonderful little hiding places inside cars. Make sure the handheld vacuum you’re considering can reach them.

How Much Should It Cost?

Ah, the bottom line. Most consumers have the price in the front of their mind. This is a mistake. You want to have a reasonable budget in mind, but consider the machine’s options first. Make sure the unit you buy will do all the things you want it to. Sure, you might save a few bucks on a cheaper machine, but in the long run you’ll be disappointed and you might not even use the vacuum you purchased.

Understand that you’re making an investment in an appliance that should last for many years. Check options first, find the average price range for those vacuums, then determine your budget.

The Filter

If you’re a heavy allergy sufferer like me, you’re going to want a machine with a great filtering system. If it leaks dust and dirt you’re going to be miserable using it and, well, you will end up not using it.

Wet + Dry Capabilities

Some handheld vacuums are able to take care of wet areas. For instance, if you’ve hosed out a space in the garage, you could use a wet/dry vacuum to suck up the excess water. This is a special feature you might not need, but when you’ve spilled a water and soaked your driver’s seat, you’ll be happy when you can get most of the water out with your wet/dry vac!

The Weight

I’m not talking about the 70’s rock band. If you’re able to lift and hold heavy items for longer periods of time, you might not need to consider the weight of the vacuum. Otherwise, you’re looking at some sore limbs. Be sure you can manage using your machine without too much stress and strain.

Dust Bin Capacity

One drawback is the amount of dirt and dust small handhelds can manage to hold before emptying. If you’re cleaning really dirty areas, you might need to use the larger vacuum. If not, and you’re okay with a few extra trips to empty it out, this won’t be too big of a concern.

Is it Strictly Dyson vs. Black & Decker?

In a nutshell, no. There are a multitude of brands and selections to choose from, so don’t feel stuck sticking with a big name brand. It might be tempting, but as you shop around, try out other brands. I have a Rigid vacuum that I use in the garage that I absolutely love. So, don’t be shy about off name brands. One area to determine if these off brands will pass the test is to check out the customer feedback.

Product Reviews vs. Customer Feedback

As you shop, I’m sure you’ll do a lot of online research. This is recommended, but with a caveat. Understand the difference between paid product reviews and actual ones. Paid reviews are written for money. A company will hire people to write up glowing reviews for their products.

You might think a unit is “highly rated” only to end up “highly disappointed” with it. You can usually tell when a review is paid or real. You will find a lot of websites that do real reviews where not every single write up is stellar.

Customer feedback, on the other hand, is a great place to research. Most customers who take the time to leave feedback do so because they were strongly motivated by a positive or negative experience. Either way, this will be valuable information to you!

See what specific problems are mentioned by consumers and take note of what positives are touted, too.

Related Resources:

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Tips to Choosing the Best Portable Vacuum Cleaner

Finding a handheld vacuum that offers the best tools and fits your needs in terms of cleaning is usually a very daunting task for many.

Considering their various designs, sizes and functionality in the market, you may find yourself choosing a cleaner that doesn’t completely satisfy your needs.

1. Weight of the machine

Portable VacuumWhen buying or choosing a vacuum, it is very important to consider its weight. Its weight should be comfortable enough to allow you to easily clean up even the smallest spills and messes. You should also look at how high it can be lifted without causing wrist or arm pains and without using too much energy.

2. Capacity of the dirt cup

The capacity of the dirt cup dictates the amount of dirt and debris that the cleaner can hold. Larger capacity vacuums will save you the hassle of emptying frequently. If you plan on cleaning a larger portion without taking breaks to empty the dirt cup, you should consider choosing larger capacity vacuums.

3. Cordless or corded and power intake

Are you planning on picking one of the BHVGuide recommended cordless vacuums? Cordless vacuums are more easily portable as compared to corded ones. If you need a cordless cleaner, then you should consider its battery capacity. Most cordless vacuums last 5 to 30 minutes before being recharged thus may not be used for so long. Corded vacuums can be used as long as there is electricity running. For corded vacuums, the length of the cord should be at least 20 feet for easy mobility.

4. The price

You should always consider your budget. If you plan to use your vacuum frequently, for example for a cleaning business, more expensive portable vacuums with better functionality should be considered. Buy less functional vacuums for occasional usage as they are less expensive.

5. Suction power

Good vacuums should have optimum suction power to allow cleaning of all surfaces. Some cleaners also have a blowing option that allows the blowing of dirt and debris from hard to reach areas like crevices before being properly picked up. The suction power will also determine its carpet cleaning capability, its ability to clean pet hairs and also its ability to clean electronics like computers, televisions and CD player without altering with their functioning.

6. Attachments

What kind of attachments does your portable vacuum come with? To save on the cost of buying attachments separately, you may consider buying a vacuum that comes with crevice tools, hose attachments, adjustable nozzles or/and brush type attachments depending on your cleaning needs. Some of the best handheld vacuums also come with HEPA filters or micron filters that absorb airborne particles thus preventing sparking off allergies.

7. The ease of use and maintenance

Having a portable vacuum should help make your cleaning easier. It should be easy to handle, operate and empty. Using your vacuum should never feel like a punishment. Its spares should be easily accessible and the service centers should be conveniently located just in case it malfunctions.

8. Warranty

Lastly, make sure the product has an up-to-date warranty. Be sure to know how long the warranty lasts since your vacuum may unexpectedly develop problems.

Final Note

With all that being said, if you are serious about finding the best vacuum cleaner for your home, floor, and unique situation, then you need to look at vacuum cleaner reviews at reputable sites and narrow down what exactly you need. There are many vacuums that vary in quality, price, and function, but none of this alone is enough to determine which one is ideal.

The only way to get the most bang for buck is to first figure out what you are looking for, and then read the reviews to determine which cleaner fits the description best. For a more in depth review on how to find the best portable handheld vacuum, check out this handheld vacuum cleaner buying guide from Floor Executives.

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How to Pick The Best Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner For Hardwood Floors

If you have ever used a heavy vacuum on a hardwood floor, you know how challenging it can be. Carpets are typically straightforward to keep clean, but hardwood is a unique surface that takes a special kind of tool. So, if you want the best vacuum for this type of flooring and avoid feeling like your arm is going to fall off, the following guide should steer you in the right direction.

The Right Tools For The Job

When picking your machine, there are a two features that I consider “must haves.” Since I have a few pets and the dirtiest child in the neighborhood, I’ll go over these necessities and also talk about some optional items to choose from.

Your Roller Brush Needs An Off Option

When vacuuming a hard surface, whether it’s hardwood or even tile, some of the debris might get thrown back instead of sucked up into the dirt bin or bag. This is an issue, especially if you don’t like vacuuming up the same debris over and over. Being able to cut off the roller brush eliminates this issue.

A Good Wand With A Variety Of Attachments

Hardwood floors have sharp corners and edges with the wall. A typical vacuum can’t get to those areas, therefore, having a long enough wand with a wide floor attachment will become your new best friend. This is also great for pet hair since, at times, the exhaust from the unit can blow that hair up, up, and away from you. Not a problem if you’re using a wand.

Personal Preferences:

1. Corded or Cordless

This is a new and wonderful option. Now, technology has advanced enough that battery powered machines have the power and run time to be a viable option. If you’re dealing with a very large floor space, though, you may want to stick with the cordless. With the amount of dirt I need to deal with, corded vacuums are my only option.

2. Wand, Canister, Handheld, or Upright

There is such a variety of body shapes and styles to choose from! Let’s go over them, shall we?

  • Wand Vacuums: These are very lightweight, and work well for smaller hardwood surfaces. They are also called stick vacuums, since they are almost like a wand attachment with a motor. Some are cordless, too.
  • Canister Machines: These are suitcase-style vacuums that can only be used with a hose and attachments. Definitely a personal preference item, but since you’re not actually pushing the full machine around with each stroke, you can consider this a lightweight option.
  • Handheld: Smaller machines that are typically for very small areas, since they only hold a tiny amount of dirt. Mainly, these are used for getting the dog hair off of couches and cleaning stairs a breeze.
  • The Upright: The ol’ stand-by that we all know and love. What’s great is that these machines are getting lighter very year without sacrificing suction power. Detachable hoses with many attachments make the upright a serious lightweight contender and all-around versatile machine.

One last very feasible vacuum to consider is the robot vacuum. These cool automatic units do have small dust compartments, but if you use them more frequently, there’s no reason why you can’t go with one of these. You don’t even have to push these machines around–that’s about as lightweight as you can get!

Wherever your search leads you, be sure it has an on/off switch for the roller, a user-friendly wand with attachments, and is the style and body shape you can live with for years. Finally, the lightweight vacuum you choose needs to perform all the functions necessary to clean your hardwood floors with as little hassle as possible.

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Reasons to Own a Handheld Vacuum Even if You Already Have an Upright

We all have an Upright vacuum cleaner that we always use on weekends when doing our general cleaning. It’s a very powerful and effective dirt remover that helps you to get the work done easily and quickly. However, what happens when the kids spill snacks and food particles on the couch, it would be crazy to start cleaning it with the heavy upright vacuum.

This is one of the biggest reasons why you need a handheld vacuum that has the best portability, and ease of use. It also comes in handy when cleaning those hard to reach places, especially car interiors as well as removing pet hair from seats and clothes. They are small but have very powerful suction power despite their size.

When I first bought my handheld, I just wanted something light and powerful. These two factors were the most important to me but a vacuum with additional features like nozzles for effective suction is also a major factor.


Cost is a universal factor when shopping for any commodity. Cordless vacuums are more expensive than the corded ones although the latter has more suction power. In terms of portability cordless vacuums offers the ultimate touch and they run on rechargeable batteries so you don’t have to worry about the power source.


It’s the second most important factor to consider after cost. The power of the vacuum should be strong enough to pick a wide range of dirt particles and debris from all surfaces. When going through the details of the vacuum go for the one with a high voltage motor because this translates to greater power and better cleaning. Check also for a vacuum with a rotating brush as the brush helps in detaching debris from surfaces and ease the suction process.


Portability is an important factor since the aim of having a portable vacuum is to give you the power to go where upright vacuums cannot go. Cordless vacuums have the ultimate portability as compared to the corded ones because the latter has to be near an electric socket.


Always go for a handheld machine that has additional features like nozzles, extensions and other enhancement tools. This makes it easier for the vacuum cleaner to reach curvy and edgy surfaces like the stairs, car seats and spaces within the couch leading to a more efficient cleaning experience. You should also check for models that can clean both wet and dry surfaces. Some vacuums only clean one type of mess and this limits the ease of dealing with different types of dirt.

Listed above are just general guidelines on the factors to consider before you make a purchase. Keep in mind that a handheld is not an upright vacuum cleaner, but it does serve it’s own unique purpose when it comes to keeping your home clean. The vacuum best for you is totally dependent on your preference. From coffee spills, to snacks on the couch, and pet hair, a handheld vacuum always comes in handy to give you an easy time within the house.

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Reasons to Choose a Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Fun Handheld Vacuum CleanerWith your busy schedule, you’re probably looking for quick solutions for your cleaning problems. Housekeeping can be an absolute chore, with little children and frisky pets creating troublesome messes. They sometimes make the task harder than it needs to be.

Assembling huge vacuum cleaners can be a time consuming hassle. Yet, cleaning needs to be done. This is the time for a powerful handheld vacuum cleaner, or handvac, to make an appearance. Why should we use a handvac? After all, they can’t perform big cleaning tasks.

Here are 10 good reasons to have them around:

1) They are portable

Handvacs, especially the cordless ones, are portable and easily brought to any place that needs cleaning. They rank above traditional vacuum cleaners where mobility is concerned. The usual vacuum cleaners, corded and bulky, can only be used within confined areas.

2) They go where no other vacuum can

To borrow a phrase from Star Trek, small handvacs can go where no other vacuum has gone before. These nifty devices, with the help of wonderful accessories, can clean hard-to-reach corners and crevices. Good ones work on most surfaces. They are able to get to hard to reach areas on your hardwood floors.

3) They can camp with you

Saying that these small cleaners can go anywhere is an understatement. You can bring them camping and caravanning with you. WIth the help of portable adapters and chargers, they are useful additions to your cleaning arsenal. They are stored easily in your car or RV and make great traveling companions.

4) They spruce up your car

Cumbersome as they are, you wouldn’t want to use a traditional vacuum machine to clean your car. Big vacuums are usually corded and can’t be brought to your car anyway. Cars have no sockets to plug their cords into. The handvac, well-charged, solves these problems easily. They can clean out little nooks and crannies in your car with ease.

5) They don’t just clean your floors

Imagine yourself using the traditional vacuum cleaner to pick up dirt on your sofa or desk. With a clank and a clunk, the long suction hoses will surely push you over and wind themselves around you. The handvac can step in to clean surfaces that you can’t use a regular full sized machine on.

Good handvacs can retrieve dust from:

  • Chairs
  • Desk tops
  • Kitchen counter tops
  • Sofas

6) They pick up the little things

Handvacs go after the little spills and messes that are created inadvertently. It may be too much of a hassle to assemble a traditional cleaner just to suck up a small spill or patch of dust on the floor. They come in handy with its ability to clean up small messes quickly and efficiently. These small devices do so quickly, without the need for the tedious process of putting them together.

7) They clean up after your pets

A handvac can be a dream accessory if you have pets at home. Those which shed heavily can cause little headaches. They leave little gifts of hair behind wherever they walk. Good handvacs, like the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser, pick up pet hair in the crevices of sofas and other hard-to-reach corners.

8) They come with cool accessories

Handvacs usually come with motorized accessories and attachments that are great for picking up annoying pet hair and dirt in those nasty grooves.

Their job is made easier with:

  • Motorized, rotating brushes
  • Crevice tools
  • Detachable bins

As an added boon for the forgetful, some come with these accessories already attached. It solves the problem of looking for easily misplaced ones.

9) They jazz up those stairs

  • If you have upholstered stairs, you’ll know that cleaning them can be a chore.
  • They have no space for your vacuum cleaner to rest on or clean them.
  • Handvacs are needed for the seamless cleaning of those upholstered stairs. They access their difficult edges with little trouble.

10) You can give them a home easily

Good handvacs can be stored anywhere, horizontally or even vertically. Some models even come with chargers that can be mounted on walls with ease.

If you think that getting yourself a handvac is an unnecessary waste of time and resources. perhaps it’s time to think again.

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