Tired of lugging around a heavy upright or canister vacuum every time you need to tackle a small mess? Looking for a lightweight and convenient way to quickly clean up dust, dirt and debris in your home or car? Then it may be time to consider getting yourself a cordless handheld stick vacuum!
These compact vacuums are designed for convenience and portability. Weighing around 3 pounds or less, they are easy to grab off a wall mount or charge station for quick cleanups. No more dragging cords around from room to room or having to stop and find an outlet halfway through your cleaning task. Cordless handhelds give you the freedom to clean wherever and whenever needed.
Unlike bulky uprights, handheld vacuums easily reach nooks, crannies, corners and tight spaces where dust loves to accumulate. Cleaning cramped areas like the car seats, underneath furniture or the top of ceiling fans becomes effortless. Their bagless dirt cups also make waste disposal hygienic and mess-free. No more handling dirty bags or inhaling dust while emptying the vacuum.
While handhelds may not deep clean carpets or tackle large debris, they are perfect for quick cleanups and maintenance between heavier-duty cleaning sessions. Pet hair on the couch, crumbs on the kitchen counter, dried leaves on the patio – a handheld vacuum can suck these up in minutes, keeping your home spick and span. Some models also come with useful attachments like crevice tools, brush nozzles and extendable wands to tackle a variety of messes on different surfaces.
So if you need a secondary vacuum for small tasks or a primary cleaner for limited space, a cordless handheld stick vacuum is a practical option. This blog shares my top recommendations after extensive testing and research on the best handhelds out there. Keep reading to pick the perfect portable vacuum to suit your cleaning needs and budget!
My Top Picks for Cordless Handheld Stick Vacuums
After testing over 15 models from various brands, I narrowed down the options to these 5 top-rated cordless stick vacuums perfect for quick cleanups:
1. Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
With excellent suction power, removable battery and multiple attachments, the Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Handheld ticks all the right boxes. This lightweight 2.5-pound vacuum comes with a removable lithium-ion battery that delivers fade-free power for up to 15 minutes of runtime.
The Evolve Pet features Hoover’s signature WindTunnel technology that creates suction channels to lift and remove embedded dirt and pet hair from carpets and upholstery. For versatility, it includes a crevice tool, upholstery tool, and pet turbo tool with a motorized brush to easily suck up pet hair from furniture and car seats.
- Strong suction and pet hair pickup
- Good-sized 0.5L dirt cup capacity
- 2-in-1 crevice tool for hard-to-reach areas
- Removable, rechargeable battery
- Battery takes 4-5 hours to fully recharge
- Pet turbo tool could be more durable
Best for: Quick pet hair cleanups, small messes in homes and cars
2. BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster AdvancedClean Handheld Vacuum
For a budget-friendly option packed with power, the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster AdvancedClean is your best bet. Despite the low price tag, this hand vac provides strong suction for dry spills and debris.
It has a transparent, bagless dirt bowl that is easy to empty and rinse clean. The ergonomic handle offers a comfortable grip. For added convenience, the Dustbuster includes a charging base that also holds the nozzle and crevice tool attachments.
- Excellent value for money
- Good suction power
- Easy to empty dirt bowl
- Convenient wall-mounted charging base
- Battery life could be longer
- Not specialized for pet hair cleanup
Best for: Dry messes, crumbs, dirt, dust
3. Shark WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum WV201
Known for its powerful upright vacuums, Shark also offers a versatile handheld cleaner perfect for home and car. Weighing just 1.4 lbs, the WANDVAC WV201 is among the lightest handheld vacuums with swappable batteries for extended cleaning.
It includes a crevice tool and multi-surface pet tool to tackle dirt, debris and pet hair on different surfaces. The nozzle and accessories easily bend to a 90-degree angle for cleaning hard-to-reach spots. Emptying the extra-large dust cup is simple and mess-free.
- Extremely lightweight at just 1.4 lbs
- Removable and rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Lockable on/off switch for continuous cleaning
- Washable filter for maintenance
- Extra batteries must be bought separately
- Some accessories could be better quality
Best for: Quick cleanups in homes, cars, RVs
4. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum
The BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser is engineered specifically for homes with pets. This hand vac comes with a motorized brush tool that removes embedded pet hair from upholstery.
It features a high-performance lithium-ion battery that delivers fade-free power for up to 15 minutes. The dirt tank is easy to empty and the filter is washable and reusable. Weighing just under 4 pounds, it is light enough for daily use.
- Specialized pet hair cleaning
- Removable battery for charging convenience
- Washable filter reduces costs
- Easy-empty dirt tank
- Heavier than other cordless handhelds
- Suction power could be better
Best for: Quick pet hair cleanup between deeper cleans
5. Dyson Omni-Glide Cordless Handheld Vacuum
If you’re willing to splurge on a high-end device, the Dyson Omni-Glide is a top contender. Designed for hard floors, this handheld vacuum glides smoothly to collect dust and debris with its motorized fluffy cleaner head.
It features a 20-minute fade-free runtime, easy-to-empty 0.2L bin, and whole-machine HEPA filtration. The Omni-Glide includes a mini motorized tool and combination tool. At just 1.5kg, it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- Glides easily on hard floors
- Long 20-minute runtime
- Mini motorized tool for upholstery
- Advanced filtration system
- Not optimized for carpets
- Charger not included
Best for: Hard floors, above-floor cleaning
Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Cordless stick vacuums cater to different cleaning needs and preferences. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right handheld vacuum:
Weight and Ergonomics
Since you’ll be holding and maneuvering a handheld vacuum throughout cleaning, an ergonomic design is essential. Look for vacuums with a comfortable rubberized grip that allows you to hold and press triggers without hand strain or fatigue.
Lighter handhelds around 2-3 lbs will be easier to use for longer without tiring your wrists. Those designed with the motor at the base also offer better balance. Choose a handheld vacuum you find effortlessly maneuverable.
Battery Life and Charging Time
Cordless handhelds operate on rechargeable batteries that typically offer 10 to 15 minutes of fade-free runtime on normal mode. This is usually adequate for quick cleanups. Higher suction modes will drain the battery faster.
Look for vacuums that charge fully within 2 to 4 hours so they are ready for cleaning anytime. Models with swappable batteries allow you to clean longer by switching in a backup.
While handhelds can’t match the raw suction of full-size vacuums, they should have enough power to lift dust, dirt, debris and some embedded pet hair for small tasks. Those with a motorized mini brush tool also offer improved cleaning performance.
Check reviews to confirm the vacuum lifts dry debris easily without requiring multiple passes. This ensures quicker and more effective cleaning.
Attachments and Accessories
The right attachments expand what you can clean effectively with a handheld vacuum:
- Crevice tool to reach dust in cracks and crevices
- Soft brush nozzle to clean delicate surfaces
- Motorized mini turbo brush for fabric furniture, carpeted stairs, etc.
- Extendable wand enables accessing cobwebs or high areas
Look for vacuums that include at least 2-3 useful accessories suited for your needs.
HEPA filtration is ideal for trapping fine particles like allergens and preventing them from escaping back into the air. This makes handheld vacuums with HEPA filters perfect for homes with allergies or asthma.
Washable filters are also convenient as they reduce ongoing costs of replacing dirty filters.
Dirt Bin Design and Capacity
Stick vacuums come with either bagless dirt cups or removable bins that collect the debris. Look for an easy-to-empty design that won’t create a mess.
Larger dirt cup capacity around 0.5L or more means fewer trips to empty it when cleaning. Transparent bins also allow seeing when they get full.
Cordless handheld vacuums range widely in price from $50 for budget models to $200+ for high-end brands. Mid-range models around $100-150 offer a balance of quality and affordability. Focus on your needs and choose the best model that fits your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cordless Handheld Stick Vacuums
Q1. Why choose a handheld vacuum over regular full-size vacuums?
Cordless handheld vacuums are much more portable, lightweight and convenient for quick, small cleanups. Their compact size makes storage easier too. Handhelds excel at small tasks like cleaning up crumbs on counters or pet hair on furniture.
Unlike hauling bulky full-size vacuums around, you can grab a handheld off the charging base for a quick 2-minute cleanup anytime.
Q2. How does the suction compare to larger vacuums?
The suction power is less than full-size upright or canister vacuums since handhelds use smaller motors. But it’s adequate for lifting dust, dirt and light debris from hard floors or carpet.
For limited daily cleanup tasks, the suction will sufficiently lift most dry messes with 1-2 passes. It may need a few more passes on highly soiled high-traffic areas. But for maintenance cleaning, it gets the job done.
Q3. How long does the battery last?
Runtime varies across models but averages between 10 to 15 minutes on normal suction mode. Maximum suction will drain the battery the fastest.
Most batteries take around 2 to 4 hours to charge fully. Swappable spares allow you to work longer and charge batteries in rotation.
Q4. What are the best uses for a cordless handheld vacuum?
Their portability and ease make them ideal for:
- Quick cleanups – crumbs, dried spills, tracked-in dirt
- Small messes in cars, RVs, dorms, offices
- Spot cleaning carpets – high traffic areas, pet accidents
- Upholstery, curtains, lamp shades, blinds
- Ceiling fans, baseboards, crown molding, wall corners
- Hard-to-reach nooks and tight spaces
Q5. How effective are they for pet hair removal?
Models with a motorized brush tool work best for pet hair cleanup. The bristles help loosen and lift hair from furniture and car seats. But for heavy pet hair, you may need a few passes to lift it thoroughly, unlike deep cleaning by full-size vacuums.
Handhelds are ideal for quick maintenance cleaning between heavy-duty sessions. They help remove surface pet hair before it gets matted.
Q6. What maintenance is required?
To keep your cordless handheld vacuum working effectively:
- Empty the dirt bin when full
- Clean or replace filters as needed
- Remove accumulated pet hair or fibers around brushrolls
- Wipe down the exterior as needed
- Fully recharge battery before storage
- Replace battery after 2-3 years depending on usage
The Last Word
For quick and convenient cleanups, cordless handheld vacuums are a practical choice. Their lightweight, portable design makes short work of small messes.
The Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet and BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster AdvancedClean provide excellent value without breaking the bank. For more versatility, the Shark WANDVAC and BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser tackle dirt, debris and pet hair. And Dyson offers premium performance for those seeking the best cordless hand vacuum.
Focus on your cleaning needs, surface types and budget to pick the ideal handheld. Keep it charged and handy for a fast cleanup anytime! You’ll appreciate the convenience and portability of a compact stick vacuum for small messes in your home, car and beyond.