Handhelds are small battery-powered vacuum cleaners designed as a quick and easy option for tidying up messes. They aren’t suitable for a big clean or getting ingrained dirt out of carpet, but they’re very good at tackling small patches of dirt and grime on hard floors or the surface of carpets.
Here's some advice if you're thinking of buying one plus test results for 3 models.
Join more than 100,000 members today and you’ll get:
The best cordless stick vacs have a detachable power unit, which makes stand-alone handhelds redundant. Our latest appliance reliability survey found the market is dominated by canisters or sticks. Fewer than 1 in 10 vacuums purchased in the past year by our members was a handheld.
That said, handhelds can have a place in your cleaning arsenal to avoid hauling out your canister vacs for small jobs. Handhelds are also much cheaper than stick vacs: you need to spend more than $400 to get a good stick, while our top-scoring handhelds are less than half that.
|Model||Avg price ($)||Overall score (%)||Carpet cleaning (/10)||Pet-hair removal (/10)||Ease of use (/10)||Hard floor (/10)||Car cleaning (/10)||Noise (dBA)|
|Black and Decker Dustbuster Pivot PV1810-XE||209||94||10.0||9.0||9.3||9.0||9.0||81|
|Hoover HandiVac Wet & Dry 14.4V||150||87||10.0||8.0||8.3||8.0||9.0||78|
|Black and Decker Dustbuster DV9610-XE||120||81||9.0||8.0||8.3||7.0||8.0||80|
This hand-held vacuum is an excellent overall performer and extremely easy to use. But it’s noisy, heavy and has a short running time.
This hand-held vacuum is a very good overall performer and very easy to use. It’s excellent for cleaning carpet spills and car boots.
No obvious bad points.
This hand-held vacuum is a very good overall performer and is excellent on carpet spills. It’s very easy to use … but is noisy.
Compare vacuum cleaner test results and reviews, check our recommendations and find out more about choosing the best vacuum cleaner for your needs.
This information is available to Consumer members only.