Review of My Handheld Vacuum

The Black+Decker is better on bare floors, has a much larger dirt compartment, and a longer continuous runtime. Conversely, the Shark does a better job capturing fine allergens, has virtually no recurring costs, is smaller and lighter, and shark pet hair vacuum performs better on low-pile carpet. This small cordless Shark vacuum comes with two accessories, a long and thin crevice tool for getting deep into small spaces and a multisurface pet tool designed for removing hair from upholstery.

Featuring powerful cyclonic air streams, this device enables incredible suction to handle your various cleaning needs. It also comes with Motorised Pet Power Brush that efficiently tackles pet hair throughout your home. Furthermore, it boasts a lightweight and cordless design so you can take it anywhere.

It’s also easy to carry wherever you need it in your home, thanks to its lightweight design. That said, some debris can get past its pre-filter and stick to the fabric filter, requiring you to clean it after use. It delivers relatively strong debris pickup performance and is somewhat effective in sealing in allergens. However, its tiny dirt compartment, short battery shark canister vacuum life, and small selection of attachments do limit its overall versatility. If you only use a handheld vacuum for short periods to clean up small messes but still want something with powerful suction, the Shark WV201 WANDVAC is an ideal choice. Likewise, if you find most other handheld vacuums to be a bit too bulky or unwieldy, the WANDVAC will be right up your alley.

As is usual for this kind of cleaner, the bin is small at just 0.1 litres. However, since this cleaner is designed for picking up small spills, this size is perfect for the job at hand. Performance is excellent, matching that of a large cleaner, but we’d welcome more storage for accessories. This metric looked at the ease of organizing and storing all the different tools and attachments, each vacuum’s sound and noise level, and the ease of emptying the collection bin.

This vacuum easily collected hair on every surface we tested it on, but we did have to cut it out of the brush roll after each use. We also really enjoyed this vacuum’s brush roll shut-off feature, which made it easier to clean slick surfaces like hardwood and grouted floors. It helped minimize the amount of debris kicked out while suctioning, but you do have to move the vacuum directly over any mess when the brush roll is turned off.

Previously, she was the senior product reviews writer for Dotdash Meredith with published guides on Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Southern Living, Health, and Food and Wine. She has also contributed wellness and lifestyle pieces to USA Today, Make It Grateful, and Greatist. Erin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Middle Tennessee State University.

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a good handheld vacuum, as evidenced by this Black+Decker Dustbuster. That’s not surprising; few companies have more experience making cordless handheld vacuums, since they pioneered the product back in 1979. While not a main selling point, it’s nice to know that Bissell donates $5 from each Pet Hair Eraser to the Bissell Pet Foundation. The company claims it has saved over 180,000 pets, which is right on brand for a handheld vacuum that leans hard into cleaning up after furry creatures. Just like regular-sized machines, today’s handheld versions come in a range of styles and offer a variety of features. And unlike earlier models, these babies pack a serious punch when it comes to sucking up debris—plus they have better battery power than their clunky older cousins.

This model impressed us during testing with how easy it was to push across hardwood floors and carpets of all pile heights. We only docked it for its bulkier design, which made it difficult to reach under lower furniture. In terms of effectiveness, it captured all the hair and debris in our testing area in fewer than five passes.

The nozzle rotates to any angle, making it easier to clean around obstacles and in tight spaces and the dirt receptacle is easy to empty and can be washed out at the sink. Black+Decker claims the vacuum can hold a charge for up to 18 months, so it will always be ready to go, even if you don’t leave it plugged in when it’s not in use. It comes with a charging base so you’ll need to sit it on a shelf or counter to charge and it tops off in under four hours. It easily cleans pet hair and small debris on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet and has a fabric filter that provides a good layer of air filtration for fine particles like pet dander. It’s also solidly built, easy to maintain, and incurs practically no recurring costs, which is great. That said, it doesn’t come with a turbo brush to help clear pet hair on fabric-lined surfaces.

How Consumer Reports Tests Handheld VacuumsTo rate handheld vacuums, we tested models on their ability to clean debris on carpet, bare floors, and edges. We also examined how loud they were, how long they kept running on a single charge, and how well they cleaned up pet hair, among other things. For example, one of our tests for surface cleaning involves dispersing Cheerios and noting how long it takes the vacuum to pick them all up. To learn more about how we rate and test handheld vacuums, check out our vacuum buying guide. In addition to sucking up pet hair quickly, we love this vacuum’s large dust bin because you won’t have to worry about emptying it mid-clean. When it is time to empty the dust bin, keep in mind that it’s a little tricky to pull apart.