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The 4 Best Handheld Vacuums of 2022

We tested handheld vacuums from BLACK+DECKER, Bissell, Shark, and others to determine the best
Best Handheld Vacuums of 2022
Credit: Abriah Wofford
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We evaluated over 100 handheld vacuums before purchasing the top 10 contenders for extensive hands-on testing. A high-performing and versatile handheld vacuum that can conquer big or small messes can be a game-changing addition to your cleaning product arsenal. So, in our quest to determine the best, we rigorously tested and scored each model on their performance attributes, such as how well they clean light dust, caked-on mud, and how effectively they cleaned tight cracks and crevices. We also timed battery life, tested airflow with an anemometer, and took a noise level reading on a decibel meter. Read on to find out which handheld vacuum will last the longest after a full charge, which one is wallet-friendly, and which contenders earned an award.

With multiple vacuum types on the market, each performing a slightly different function, there is likely a product that can assist your cleaning needs. We suggest checking out those options, such as a best robot vacuum, effective cordless wet dry vacuums, or top stick vacuums. We've also tested a selection of top-ranked vacuum cleaners to up your floor cleaning game. We are confident there's a product with the pick-up and cleaning power to meet your needs.

Editor's Note: This handheld vacuum review was updated on September 21st, 2022, to add two of the latest handheld vacuums.

Top 10 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 10
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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award    
Price $73 List
$79.39 at Amazon
$125 List$90 List
$79.95 at Amazon
$100 List$60 List
$43.98 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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59
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Pros Fantastic at picking up pet hair, great valueGreat for getting those hard-to-clean areas, good valueArticulating nozzle, great with dust, powerful suctionGood with tough messes, great with pet hairUseful attachments, USB-C charging port, compact size
Cons Not the best for tight spaces, can't clean small gaps or cornersLackluster battery life, takes two hands to operate, loudPoor in tight areas, so-so battery life, few accessoriesSo-so battery lifeLimited power, short battery life, small dust bin
Bottom Line This vac excels at picking up pet dander and is a great choice for those that don't want to spend a tonA great all-around vacuum that excels at cleaning hard-to-reach areas and pet hairPowerful suction and an adjustable nozzle angle make this vacuum great for tough messes though it doesn't do well in narrow spacesThis product is great with difficult messes but doesn't have the longest battery life or make it all that easy to clean in tight crevicesLow power, a small dust bin, and limited convenience features reduce the appeal of this inexpensive, compact device
Rating Categories Bissell Pet Hair Er... Black+Decker Flex V... BLACK+DECKER 20V Ma... Shark UltraCyclone... Wyze Handheld
Dust & Dirt (20%)
6.5
7.4
7.7
6.6
4.4
Tough Messes (20%)
7.8
5.9
7.9
7.3
5.5
Hard-to-Reach Areas (20%)
5.4
9.5
3.9
4.5
8.5
Battery Life (15%)
8.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
5.0
Convenience (15%)
6.4
5.0
5.6
5.4
4.9
Pet Hair (10%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.4
7.4
Specs Bissell Pet Hair Er... Black+Decker Flex V... BLACK+DECKER 20V Ma... Shark UltraCyclone... Wyze Handheld
Model Tested 2390A BDH2020FL BDH2000PL CH951 WYZEHHV
Measured Weight (no tool) 2.6 lbs 3 lbs 2.9 lbs 2.3 lbs 1.2 lbs
Measured Weight (with heaviest tool) 3 lbs 3.1 lbs N/A 2.7 lbs 1.3 lbs
Usage Type Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Dust Capacity 0.73 L 0.5 L 0.44 L 0.43 L 0.2 L
Wet Capacity N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Measured Runtime Without motorized brush: 20 min 42 sec
With motorized brush: 17 min
15 min 12 min 12 sec Without motorized brush: 13 min 39 sec
With motorized brush: 14 min 49 sec
11 min 49 sec
Charge Time 8 hours 4 hours 2-4 hours 2.75 hours 3 hours
Charging Indicator? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Washable Filter? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measured Noise (at arm's length) 71.4 dBa 82.5 dBa 83 dBa 77.4 dBa 73.3 dBa


Best Overall Handheld Vacuum


Black+Decker Flex Vac BDH2020FL


70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Dust & Dirt 7.4
  • Tough Messes 5.9
  • Hard-to-Reach Areas 9.5
  • Battery Life 6.0
  • Convenience 5.0
  • Pet Hair 8.0
Weight (with heaviest tool): 3.1 lbs | Runtime: 15 min
REASONS TO BUY
Easily reaches hard-to-access areas
Surprisingly good at picking up pet hair
Solid value
REASONS TO AVOID
Mediocre battery life
Not as convenient to use

If you long for versatile performance at a reasonable price, our top recommendation is the Black+Decker Flex Vac BDH2020FL. This vacuum handles everyday dirt and dust with ease while adeptly tackling bigger messes. Unlike some other models we tested, this vacuum has all of its attachments mounted onto an integrated hose. This design makes it much easier to reach small areas, but it sometimes requires two hands to operate, which is slightly less convenient.

We found the Flex Vac noisier and heavier than some competitors, and its battery life was shorter than some. Still, this is a good choice if you're looking for a high-performing handheld vacuum with more versatility.

Read more: Black+Decker Flex Vac BDH2020FL review

best overall handheld vacuum
The Black+Decker Flex Vac BDH2020FL is a well-rounded machine, and we appreciate that it manages harder-to-reach areas, thanks to its attached hose that makes it easier to reach places.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Great Value for Spot Cleans


Black+Decker HHVI320JR02


58
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Dust & Dirt 4.8
  • Tough Messes 7.5
  • Hard-to-Reach Areas 6.2
  • Battery Life 6.0
  • Convenience 5.9
  • Pet Hair 3.4
Weight: 2.4 lbs | Runtime: 15:24 min
REASONS TO BUY
Good with tougher messes
Affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn't do well with pet hair
Not the best with small corners and edges

If you're on a tight budget, consider the Black+Decker HHVI320JR02. This handheld vacuum cleaned up large messes and surpassed expectations regarding battery life, considering the lower price. It's easy to use and features a decent capacity dust bin that is lightweight and straightforward to empty. We like that all the tools are integrated into the unit, so the weight never changes, and you'll always know where everything is located.

This vacuum showed a lackluster performance at picking up pet hair, and its shorter battery life means it is best suited for smaller messes. It can also be quite noisy and struggles to get dirt out of smaller cracks and crevices. However, it still performs adequately for the price, making it a great budget buy.

Read more: Black+Decker HHVI320JR02 review

handheld vacuum - great value for spot cleans
The HHVI320JR02 has small bristles in an arc that don't all touch the surface at the same time.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Best for Pet Hair


Bissell Pet Hair Eraser


70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Dust & Dirt 6.5
  • Tough Messes 7.8
  • Hard-to-Reach Areas 5.4
  • Battery Life 8.0
  • Convenience 6.4
  • Pet Hair 9.0
Weight (with heaviest tool): 3 lbs | Runtime: 20:42 min
REASONS TO BUY
Amazing with pet hair
Great at tougher messes
REASONS TO AVOID
Not the best for cleaning confined areas
Gaps and corners are also not its forte

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is the solution if you are searching for an easy way to pick up pet hair without emptying your wallet. While it does a good job at cleaning up your average household messes, too, it's at the top of the pack when cleaning up after furry friends.

On the downside, it sometimes falls short when trying to reach under appliances and furniture and other typical nooks and crannies to get a space sparkling clean. We also noticed that it is loud and on the heavier side for these vacuums. Ultimately, it still does a good job, and we would highly recommend it to anyone shopping for a handheld vacuum to clean up after their fur babies.

Read more: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser review

handheld vacuum - best for pet hair
The Pet Hair Eraser has an upholstery brush if you prefer not to use the motorized brush on leather.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Best for On-the-Go


Bissell AeroSlim


55
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Dust & Dirt 6.8
  • Tough Messes 3.8
  • Hard-to-Reach Areas 7.0
  • Battery Life 6.0
  • Convenience 5.1
  • Pet Hair 3.0
Weight (with heaviest tool): 1.3 lbs | Runtime: 15:23 min
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight and compact
Great for tight areas
REASONS TO AVOID
Struggles with pet hair
Can't handle large, tough messes

If you are searching for a tiny handheld vacuum to leave in your car, then we think the Bissell AeroSlim is a fantastic option. This vacuum does a decent job of cleaning up light dust and dirt and can reach deep into all sorts of cracks and crevices. We love how it has an integrated USB cable for recharging, making it the perfect companion to leave in your car or other vehicles to deal with periodic light messes and prolong the time between more intense cleaning with a bigger vacuum.

However, this petite device slightly struggled with some of the tougher cleaning challenges. It had a poor performance with pet hair, as it lacks a motorized brush head. The AeroSlim is a great supplemental cleaning option, retailing at a great price as well, and we highly recommend it for those in-between cleanings. If you routinely have to tackle larger or heavy-duty cleaning tasks, we recommend checking out other options in our lineup.

Read more: Bissell AeroSlim review

handheld vacuum - the crevice attachment has a decent amount of reach for its small...
The crevice attachment has a decent amount of reach for its small size.
Credit: Laura Casner

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
70
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
bissell pet hair eraser handheld vacuum review
$73
Top Pick Award
70
Black+Decker Flex Vac BDH2020FL
black+decker flex vac bdh2020fl handheld vacuum review
$125
Editors' Choice Award
63
BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Pivot BDH2000PL
black+decker 20v max pivot bdh2000pl handheld vacuum review
$90
62
Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus
shark ultracyclone pet pro plus handheld vacuum review
$100
59
Wyze Handheld
wyze handheld handheld vacuum review
$60
58
Black+Decker HHVI320JR02
black+decker hhvi320jr02 handheld vacuum review
$50
Best Buy Award
56
Black+Decker HHVI315JO42
black+decker hhvi315jo42 handheld vacuum review
$60
55
Bissell AeroSlim
bissell aeroslim handheld vacuum review
$42
Top Pick Award
51
Shark Wandvac
shark wandvac handheld vacuum review
$140
46
Black+Decker CHV1410L
black+decker chv1410l handheld vacuum review
$60

handheld vacuum - the chv1410 does an okay job at cleaning up small messes.
The CHV1410 does an okay job at cleaning up small messes.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Why You Should Trust Us


Our handheld vacuum team os lead by Austin Palmer and David Wise. They are both veteran tech reviewers, having tested over 400 different products over the past few years. Austin has spent more than 500 hours evaluating vacuums of all types, from upright, top-ranked stick vacuums, and robot models to the handhelds in this review. In addition to professionally reviewing tech products, David lives in a house with three long-hair cats, two long-hair dogs, and shag carpet straight from the '60s, making it the perfect place to torture test these vacuums.

In the most recent update of this review, Nick Miley and Jessica Riconscente joined the team. Jessica has cleaned her way around the world, scrubbing hostels and polishing millionaires' homes. She is the undisputed expert on vacuums, having tested every category of thebest vacuum cleaners on the market. She also has a degree in manufacturing that sharpened her keen sense of design and production quality. Nick has been writing consumer reviews for over a decade and has a background in experimental research.

Our team searches the market for top options before selecting and purchasing products for head-to-head testing. We take on the entire process from unboxing to in-house and real-world testing. We design tests to push product boundaries and see where they falter. Using side-by-side comparisons, we examine how well each vacuum cleans up pet hair, dust, dirt, and caked-on mud and how effectively each handheld vacuum can reach into cracks and crevices. We also took measurements of each product's weight, battery life, and noise levels and considered their ergonomics and ease of use.

Our testing of handheld vacuums is divided across six rating metrics:
  • Dust and Dirt (20% of overall score weighting)
  • Tough Messes (20% weighting)
  • Hard-to-Reach Areas (20% weighting)
  • Battery Life (15% weighting)
  • Convenience (15% weighting)
  • Pet Hair (10% weighting)

Over the years, we've purchased and tested more than 13 handheld vacuums. Our extensive testing protocol for handheld vacuums involves conducting over 20 different assessments with each product to rate their performance. Each rating metric involves further tests. For instance, dust and dirt hold 20% of a product's overall weighted total and is comprised of four sub-tests: surface dusting, brush head fit, stubborn debris, and corners. Along with our extensive background and experience with various vacuum types, we consulted professional house cleaners, solicited feedback from friends and family about our test plans and selections, and loaned out the products to confirm our results. At GearLab, we never accept free samples from manufacturers; we purchase all products we test.

Testing the maximum reach of each product.
Testing the maximum reach of each product.
Unfortunately, the Pet Hair Eraser doesn&#039;t come with a brush...
Unfortunately, the Pet Hair Eraser doesn't come with a brush attachment.

Analysis and Test Results


After extensive market research and consideration of the multiple factors that determine a handheld vacuum, we selected our competition. To cover all angles of a vacuum's performance, we tested six metrics, including Dust and Dirt, Tough Messes, Hard-to-Reach Areas, Battery Life, Convenience, and Pet Hair. While testing, we score the competition; these ratings make up a product's overall score.


Value


If you want a handheld vacuum but have limited funds, the Black+Decker HHVI320JR022 is a decent option. However, if you can afford to upgrade, the Black+Decker Flex Vac is quite a bit better as it couples an overall well-rounded performance with a reasonable price tag. It is pricier than many other options in our lineup, so if the flexibility of a long hose doesn't appeal to you, you can certainly pay less for a design more to your liking. If you seek a supplemental cleaning tool to augment your upright vacuum, then the Bissell AeroSlim is another good option. This lightweight device is much lower than the average price tag, and it's ideal for those on the move or who need in-between cleaning of your vehicle or boat.

handheld vacuum - the crevice tool on the pet hair eraser is thin making it easier to...
The crevice tool on the Pet Hair Eraser is thin making it easier to get into tight spaces.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Dust and Dirt


Our initial round of assessments focused on how adept each handheld vacuum is at dusting and cleaning up grime and caked-on dirt. We also compared how effectively each product cleaned a narrow ledge — like a baseboard — and inside a tight corner. To compare dusting performance, we used a nylon light-diffusing screen, charged it up with some static, and then spread flour on it, aiming for the point where the flour stuck to the surface when the screen was tilted. To score the vacuum's performance with stuck-on messes, we let some mud dry on linoleum, then attempted to scrub it off and clean up the mess.


The Black+Decker Max Pivot, Black+Decker Flex Vac, Black+Decker HHVI315JO42, Bissell AeroSlim, and Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus are our favorites when it comes to dust and dirt. The Max Pivot leads the pack, though it isn't the best in corners. These units quickly and efficiently cleaned up all the flour, though the Pet Pro Plus did leave a few streaks behind that merited a second pass due to its shorter and stiffer bristles.

handheld vacuum - the max pivot excels at cleaning baseboards but struggles a bit...
The Max Pivot excels at cleaning baseboards but struggles a bit around corners.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

The HHVI315JO42 and Pet Pro Plus have a slight edge over the Flex Vac and the AeroSlim at the caked-on dirt. However, the AeroSlim and Flex Vac did better cleaning in tight corners. Surprisingly, the Max Pivot struggled in this portion of the assessment.

handheld vacuum - this black+decker vac did a great job at removing crusted on mud...
This Black+Decker vac did a great job at removing crusted on mud from linoleum floor.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Next, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser had a respectable showing for its dust and dirt-sucking abilities. It doesn't have a great brush for dusting, but it includes an upholstery attachment without bristles and a motorized bristle brush that's overkill for dust.

handheld vacuum - the pet hair eraser doesn&#039;t have a great attachment for cleaning the...
The Pet Hair Eraser doesn't have a great attachment for cleaning the tops of baseboards.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Shark Wandvac delivered poor results. This tiny handheld vacuum needed more time to complete our cleaning tasks, though it slightly redeemed itself for its adeptness at cleaning corners and small spaces.

handheld vacuum - the crevice attachment on the pet pro plus works well for dust and...
The crevice attachment on the Pet Pro Plus works well for dust and dirt.
Credit: Laura Casner

Tough Messes


Next, we assessed how well each handheld vacuum manages tougher messes. We also measured and compared each vacuum's effective airflow using an anemometer in a sealed chamber. To replicate tough messes, we spread flour and oats, plus larger particles, like Mini-Wheats cereal, on a section of car carpet and couch cushions and sent the vacuums in one at a time to see how effectively they cleaned.


The Black+Decker Max Pivot leads the class in this metric, but the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is close second when it comes to cleaning tough messes. Both models smoothly handled the flour and oats on both surfaces, quickly and efficiently cleaning up everything. However, the Bissell has a smaller door to the collection bin, so larger objects, like Mini-Wheats, can jam. The Max pivot did not have this problem though it did struggle a bit with cleaning oatmeal off couch cushions.

handheld vacuum - cleaning oatmeal is a challenging task for a handheld vacuum, the...
Cleaning oatmeal is a challenging task for a handheld vacuum, the Max Pivot did a pretty good job in the allotted 20 seconds but left some residue behind.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

The Black+Decker HHVI320JR02, Black+Decker CHV1410L, and Shark Pet Pro Plus also delivered notable performances. After multiple cleaning passes, these three left a bit more of the flour behind, but they showed excellent results with the larger oat fragments. They also have a much larger opening to the dust bin, preventing things from getting clogged as easily.

handheld vacuum - the pet pro plus is great for tough messes.
The Pet Pro Plus is great for tough messes.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Flex Vac and Black+Decker HHVI315JO42 deliver slightly above-average performances. The Flex sucked up the Mini-Wheats without any issue, but it did a lackluster job collecting oats and flour. The HHVI315JO42 showed a poor performance in the flour test, but it was a little better than the Flex Vac at cleaning up crushed oats. It also did a great job with the Mini-Wheats and surprisingly achieved one of the highest wind speeds in our anemometer test.

handheld vacuum - the &#039;jo42 handled the oats with ease.
The 'JO42 handled the oats with ease.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Hard-to-Reach Areas


We followed up our cleaning tests by evaluating how effectively each vacuum could manage tight spaces. To do this, we used each cordless vacuum to clean out a sliding window track and measured how far they could reach into narrow gaps, such as underneath an appliance, furniture, or in between the center console and the seat of a car.


To see how well the vacuums clean under furniture, we used a shelving unit with a three-inch gap between the base shelf and the floor, then measured how far each one could effectively clean underneath. The Flex Vac vacuums as far as you can reach when using the crevice tool and hose attachment — almost three feet in our tests! Thanks to a skinny crevice attachment, it also excelled at cleaning debris out of a window track.

handheld vacuum - the design of the flex vac requires an extra hand to use, but the...
The design of the Flex Vac requires an extra hand to use, but the flexible hose means you can more easily access tricky locations when cleaning.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Next, we made the test even harder by adding a piece of cardboard that narrowed the size of the gap down to 1.25" — a gap that you might find under a kitchen appliance or between a car seat and the center console. We then repeated the test. The Flex Vac outperformed the rest again, cleaning up to 8 inches from the opening.

handheld vacuum - the integrated hose on the flex vac requires two-handed operation...
The integrated hose on the Flex Vac requires two-handed operation, but you can reach almost anywhere in your home with it.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Shark Wandvac, Bissell AeroSlim, and Wyze Handheld are also quite good at cleaning confined areas. The Wandvac could effectively clean up to 13 inches in the larger opening. However, it only made it 4 inches when we halved the size of the gap. The AeroSlim reached 9.5 inches into larger slots and 5 inches into smaller spaces. The Wyze cleaned up with a hose extension that exceeds our testing rig's depth by almost double at more than 28 inches of reach. However, the Wyze struggles with the window slide, bringing it down some in the rankings.

handheld vacuum - the shark has a surprisingly long reach in larger gaps, but fares...
The Shark has a surprisingly long reach in larger gaps, but fares poorly in smaller ones.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Black+Decker HHVI320JR02 and CHV1410L also performed above average in this test. Both contenders skillfully cleaned a window track and nearly matched the Wandvac and the AeroSlim performance for cleaning in tight crevices.

handheld vacuum - the integrated usb cable is very handy for recharging the compact...
The integrated USB cable is very handy for recharging the compact AeroSlim.
Credit: Laura Casner

Battery Life


Since these products are cordless, battery life is an important consideration. We started each vacuum with a full battery, then ran them until they died. Most tested models only have a single cleaning mode, but a few have high and low power modes. We based our score on a 70/30 split between low and high power modes for these products.


The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser clocked out after 20 minutes and 42 seconds of runtime without using the motorized brush. However, we noticed that the runtime dropped by about three minutes when using a motorized tool. Still, this is an impressive time, and other vacuums with a motorized brush accessory typically also suffer similar drops in runtime when using their tools.

handheld vacuum - the motorized brush head on the pet hair eraser is great for...
The motorized brush head on the Pet Hair Eraser is great for cleaning, but it can drain your battery faster than stationary attachments.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Black+Decker Flex Vac and HHVI320JR02 had shorter than average battery life, with the Flex Vac lasting for 15 minutes on the dot and the HHVI320JR02 making it an additional 24 seconds before calling it quits. The AeroSlim topped out at 15 minutes and 23 seconds, while the Pet Pro Plus lasted just over 13.5 minutes. Oddly enough, the Pet Pro actually lasted 1:10 minutes longer when using its motorized brush tool. We ran this test twice with the same result and found this to be quite odd. But we'll take it!

handheld vacuum - you can rotate the integrated tool 90 degrees on the &#039;jr02.
You can rotate the integrated tool 90 degrees on the 'JR02.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Convenience


We compared each model's ergonomics and weight, noise level, the size of the collection bin, and the ease of emptying it. We also evaluated whether or not a product conveniently stores its tool attachments.


The Pet Hair Eraser and Black+Decker's Flex Vac, HHVI320JR02, HHVI315JO42, and CHV1410L all featured above-average convenience. These vacuums are fairly typical when it comes to weight, tipping the scales between two and three pounds without any tools attached.


The Pet Hair Eraser is also very quiet. On the other end of the spectrum, the Black+Decker HHVI315JO42 and the CHV1410L are some of the loudest products we've tested in this category, reaching sound levels of 83 decibels on our sound meter at a distance of roughly three feet.


Only the HHVI320JR02 and the CHV1410L have integrated tools of this group, both with a flip-out brush and telescoping crevice attachment. We found this design to be highly convenient, as you'll always have the tools on hand and won't misplace them.

These models all have comparably sized collection bins, with the bin on the HHVI320JR02 being the easiest to empty, followed by the HHVI315JO42 and the Pet Hair Eraser.

handheld vacuum - emptying the bin of the pet hair eraser. it has a good size capacity...
Emptying the bin of the Pet Hair Eraser. It has a good size capacity and the filter can be cleaned for longevity.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Pet Hair


This test metric will likely influence your decision-making if you're looking for the best pet vacuum. We scored each product's mastery at picking up pet hair for our final metric. With donated pet hair from a local groomer, we scattered the hair on a couch cushion and a low-pile automotive carpet, then awarded points on how much was successfully picked up, again utilizing the most effective attachment for each vacuum.


The Pet Hair Eraser, as the name suggests, had an almost perfect performance, making it clear that a motorized brush attachment is the best solution if you want to pick up pet hair. It cleaned at least 99% of the hair from both surfaces in less than a minute.

handheld vacuum - the pet hair eraser is great at erasing - you guessed it - pet hair.
The Pet Hair Eraser is great at erasing - you guessed it - pet hair.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Following close behind the Pet Hair Eraser's top-notch performance is the Black+Decker Flex Vac and Black+Decker Max Pivot. While neither of these models has a motorized brush, the prior has a special pet hair attachment, and the latter a stiff-bristled brush. Both tools work quite effectively, though not as proficiently as motorized attachments.

handheld vacuum - the pet pro plus, following suit with its namesake, is great at...
The Pet Pro Plus, following suit with its namesake, is great at removing pet hair.
Credit: Laura Casner

None of the remaining vacuums did very well in this testing metric, except for the Wandvac, so they're not good choices if you hope to use your new handheld vac to clean up after your furry friends. We found the Wandvac most effective for this task by using its upholstery brush instead of its standard brush head.

handheld vacuum - the pet hair tool on the flex vac was surprisingly effective at...
The pet hair tool on the Flex Vac was surprisingly effective at cleaning up pet hair, even though it isn't motorized.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


Our detailed and intensive testing provides the information you need for a clear idea of which handheld vacuums are the best fit for your needs and budget. No matter what your small job might entail, we believe there is a handheld option in our review for you. Remember, these small vacuums are designed for cleaning small messes in between deeper cleans and should be viewed as a supplement, rather than a replacement, for your existing vacuum.

Austin Palmer, David Wise, Jessica Riconscente, and Nick Miley


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