Have you ever tried vacuuming? If you are like me, you quickly gave up on ever living a clean life because the cord is just too much to deal with. Well, I’m here to tell you that we are living in a wondrous age where vacuums fit in your hand, and you don’t need to worry about tripping over a cord and breaking your neck (the leading cause of death in America prior to 9/11). But, you don’t need to take my word for it. Below, I use my words to tell you which cordless handheld vacuums are best for your needs.

But first, let’s explore what you should look for when shopping for the top cordless vacuum cleaner for your needs.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Aside from the obvious questions one should always ask themselves (i.e., “What’s wrong with me?” etc.), you should think about the following before buying a vac:

How often are you going to use the vacuum?

The amount of time needed to charge a car vacuum cleaner varies wildly from model to model. For instance, some can charge in the time it takes to watch Battlefield Earth. Others are closer to Twin Peaks marathons (minus Fire Walk with Me) in recharging length. This may not be an issue if you are like most handheld vac users and only use it for touch-ups and not to clean every square inch of your estate.

How OCD are you?

Most cordless vacuum cleaners do not clean for longer than twenty minutes. So, if you insist on going over your entire car over and over again, you will want to purchase several car vacuum cleaners so you always have one to use while the others are charging.

Are your pets a mess?

Getting pet hair out of carpets and upholstery takes a special touch. The best handheld vacuums are specifically designed for cleaning up after pets or they have attachments that get the job done.

What Features Do the Best Cordless Handheld Vacuums Have?

You can count on all of the best cordless handheld vacuums sucking (I had to go there), but here are some other common features to look for:

  • High Voltage Rating – You can expect more power out of models with higher voltage ratings. For example, you will find ratings of more than 15 volts in the best portable vacuums.
  • Washable Filter – Knife fights, papercuts, and ‘80s sitcoms are all pretty bad, but nothing is worse than having to replace your vacuum’s filter every few months. Instead, choose a vacuum with a washable filter: this will save you money and make Al Gore happy.
  • Strong Filtration – If allergies seem to be your jam, the best handheld vacuum for your needs will prevent all of the dust and debris from reentering the air. Look for HEPA filters or at least three-stage filtration.
  • Lightweight Design – After a few minutes of continuous use, even the best handheld vacuums can start to feel like the rock of Sisyphus if they weigh more than a few pounds. Unless you are into CrossFit (did I tell you that I am?), you will want something weighing four pounds or less.

Would you prefer that I just do the research for you and tell you what to get? Your wish is my command. Here are my picks for the top 10 best cordless handheld vacuums:

1. Black+Decker Platinum BDH2020FLFH



  • Versatile little number that annihilates (cleans up) pet hair
  • Runs for sixteen minutes per charge
  • Has a long 4-foot hose

Ask anyone who is anyone in the car vacuum cleaner industry, and they will tell you that the Black+Decker Platinum BDH2020FLFH is as good as it gets. It comes with a broad range of accessories, such as a two-in-one nozzle/brush, pet hair brush, extended crevice tool (kinky), and stick vac floor head, which is not stored on the unit. The only annoying thing is storing the stick vac attachment. The rest of the unit is small enough to stow away in a cupboard or on a shelf.

Buy the Black+Decker BDH2020FLFH on Amazon

2. Black+Decker CHV1410L



  • Affordable handheld that is ideal for quick cleanups
  • Runs for twelve minutes without fading
  • Is keeping Amazon in business

For quite a while now, the CHV1410L has been the top seller on Amazon and for good reason. For its price and ease of use, it does a great job. The suction is just as powerful as the Platinum BUNCHOFLETTERS above. It loses points because it has trouble cleaning pet hair off of furniture and it doesn’t get into the awkward, hard to reach spots. But, if your kid decides to pile-drive a bag of chips on your carpet, this should take care of the problem (of the mess, not the kid).

Buy the Black+Decker CHV1410L on Amazon

3. Black+Decker Max Lithium Flex Vacuum BDH2020FL



  • Basically, the same as the Platinum BDH2020FALAFEL
  • Can pick up road grit, Cheerios, pet hair, small children, etc.
  • 16-minute, no-fade run time

The major (and as far as I can tell only) difference between this and our #1 choice is that the BDH2020FL does not come with the stick vac floor head. I think the stick vac attachment is helpful, but if you want to save $45, go with this option.

Buy the Black+Decker BDH2020FL on Amazon

4. Black+Decker HHVI320JR02 Dustbuster



  • The most affordable car vacuum cleaner on my list
  • Runs quieter than your spouse after you insult them
  • Runs for 15 minutes on an eight-hour charge

You may be thinking: “Oh look, another Black+Decker vacuum. How creative.” Black+Decker is the top name in the cordless handheld vacuum industry. It’s just a basic fact of science.

Buy the Black+Decker HHVI320JR02 on Amazon

5. Black+Decker BDH2000PL Lithium Pivot Vacuum



  • 20-volt lithium ion battery that charges in two hours and lasts for up to twenty minutes
  • Only weighs three pounds
  • Only suitable for small jobs since it fills up quickly

This is an updated version of the original Pivot, which had a terrible battery that would basically just let you pick up a piece of confetti off the floor before you had to charge it again. The BDH2000PL lasts much longer and can clean up after a ticker tape parade.

Buy the Black+Decker BDH2000PL on Amazon

6. Bissell 1985 Multi Cordless Handheld Vacuum



  • Weighs a smidge under four pounds
  • Runs for fifteen minutes on a single charge (takes an hour to charge)
  • 22-volt power

Sure, this is one of the best handheld vacuums, but the price is a bit steep. The Bissell 1985 runs on a 22-volt lithium-ion battery that provides great suction and doesn’t fade as it gets to the end of its charge. You can clean just about anywhere with the dusting brush, powered brush roller, and crevice tool. This will clean up pet hair, though I do not recommend using it to remove hair that is still attached to the pet. I may or may not have personal experience to back this up.

Buy the Bissell 1985 on Amazon

7. Shark Cordless Pet Perfect SV780



  • Only runs for ten minutes and has a sixteen-hour refractory period (will still cuddle with you)
  • Does a great job on pet hair for its price
  • Excellent attachments

If you found these cordless handheld vacuum reviews because you were searching for a cordless shark that you could keep as a pet, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Also, maybe you’re not the best candidate for owning a shark. Jes sayin’. Anyway, the Shark Cordless Pet Perfect SV780 is ideal for edges and bare floors. It does well with pet hair and carpeting, and it isn’t too noisy. It loses points because the battery is pretty weak.

Buy the Shark SV780 on Amazon

8. Black+Decker Pivot Vac 18V Cordless Pivoting Hand Vac, PHV1810



  • 18 volts of power packed into a higher performance cyclonic motor
  • Extendable crevice tool that goes so deep
  • Easy to wash

Yet another excellent cordless vacuum cleaner from Black+Decker. The PHV1810 is celebrated in cordless handheld vacuum reviews for its sucking power and its lightweight design. Some users report that after the first year, it may start to fall apart and emit a burning plastic smell. The battery also starts to wear down after a year or two of daily use. However, for its price, it beats a lot of the hoity-toity rich guy options you might see at Costco.

Buy the Black+Decker PHV1810 on Amazon

9. Black+Decker CHV1510 Dustbuster Cordless Cyclonic Hand Vacuum



  • Able to sneak into tight spaces and suck
  • Three-stage filter for cleaner air exhaust and less clogging
  • Portable and lightweight for high-speed cleaning

For its price, the CHV1510 has amazing suction power. Again, it uses the cyclonic motor, and I’m guessing Black+Decker has never seen a real cyclone: they tend to leave a mess in their wake. Anyway, there are reports that the battery doesn’t charge well. You can fix this a couple ways: you can contact Black+Decker and complain until they give you a new one, or users say that if you run the battery out and then charge it, the charge lasts longer.

Buy the Black+Decker CHV1510 on Amazon




  • Runs for 15 minutes
  • Has a fancy brush that gets stuff double clean
  • Ideal for stains, dirt, and spots

The 1719T is a cute little number. Pet owners report that this works great for cleaning up vomit, poopy, and piss. The biggest negative is the batteries on these are hit or miss. Many users report that it doesn’t hold a charge for long.

Buy the Bissell 1719T on Amazon

If you liked my best cordless handheld vacuums reviews or if you’d like to send a subtle hint to a sloppy person in your life, please share this guide near and far.