Handheld Vacuums: Ratings of Sources
ConsumerReports.org editors compare eight hand vacuums in this review. Tests are conducted on both carpet and hard floors. After evaluating ease of use, run time, recharge time, emissions, noise level, and ability to clean along edges and pick up pet hair, editors recommend three models -- one cordless and two corded models.
This detailed review builds on testing that has been done over the years as this particular category has evolved. Early winners were nickel-cadmium battery powered vacuums, they have been supplanted as "best" by lithium-ion models. Currently, the top hand vac is the Black & Decker BDH2020FLFH. It's worth noting that some version of a Black & Decker portable vacuum has always landed in the top spot.
There are several handheld vacuums that have earned hundreds of owner-written reviews at Amazon.com, and even a few with thousands of reviews. Many of these portable vacuums have better than 4-star reviews. Write-ups tend to be detailed and extremely helpful for determining how the vacuum works in real-world use. Many users come back after a year or more to offer updates on battery life, runtime and general durability.
Like Amazon.com, Walmart.com has an extensive selection of handheld vacuum cleaners and may have dozens or hundreds or reviews. Owners can say whether or not they'd recommend the hand vac to a friend. Dirt Devil, Bissell and Eureka are the top-sellers here, but Walmart also carries more expensive brands, like Dyson, as well, and we spotted a few older Dyson models that are no longer manufactured.
BestBuy.com sells fewer handheld vacuums than either Amazon.com or Walmart.com, and they garner fewer reviews. However, there are a good number that get quite a few reviews, in the hundreds. Shark is well-represented here, as is Dyson and Black & Decker. Reviewers can indicate if they would recommend the portable vacuum to a friend.
Many hand vacs sold at HomeDepot.com have just a few owner-written reviews, others have hundreds -- though in some cases that includes reviews written at the manufacturer's web site. Popular brands include Eureka, Black & Decker, Ryobi and Dirt Devil. Owners can assign star ratings in three categories -- quality, value and features -- and can indicate if they would recommend the product to a friend.
Lowes carries just over 30 handheld vacuums, and some get a few dozen reviews, others get just a few or none. Black & Decker is by far the most prominent brand here, and we see several popular Black & Decker models with good, 4+ star ratings. Some reviews are culled from the manufacturer's website, most notably Dyson, which gives that brand many more reviews than some other brands.
Kohls.com carries fewer handheld vacuums than other retail sites, around a dozen, but the ones they have accumulated a good number of owner-written reviews. Reviewers can also indicate if they would recommend the product.