The Ultimate Portable Vacuum Cleaner Buyers Guide 2024

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Portable vacuum cleaners have become much more popular in recent years and with good reason! They are so handy to have around the home ready for spillages, quick tidy ups, cleaning the stairs and even for use outside the home!

A portable vacuum cleaner is battery powered, meaning that it will be ready for whenever and wherever you need it. It doesn’t matter if you are cleaning out your car or hoovering your sofa – a portable vacuum cleaner is going to be the perfect solution.

However, choosing the right model is essential – as despite the hoover being smaller you still need one that is going to have the power to get the job done and the battery to last for as long as you need to work! That is where we are here to help, with some of the best portable vacuum cleaners that you can choose from.

Best Pick Portable Vacuum Cleaner – Shark WV403BR

Shark WV403BR Cordless Hand Vacuum, WANDVAC PRO, Ultra-Lightweight & Portable with Powerful Suction & Tools for Pets, Made for Car & Home, Dark Chocolate Brown
  • POWERFUL CORDLESS SUCTION: The most suction of any cordless hand vacuum under 1.5 lbs. Based on ASTM F558, tested against stand-alone cordless hand vacs.
  • BOOST MODE FOR TOUGH MESSES: Press the Boost button for extra bursts of strong suction to tackle large particles and heavy debris.
  • DESIGNED FOR HOMES WITH PETS: Clean tough messes with the Pet Tool – The bristle brush removes stubborn pet hair and stuck-on debris from delicate fabrics and furniture.
  • EASY TO MAINTAIN: Hand vacuum maintece is simple with a detachable dust cup and easily removable filter housing.
  • COMPACT AND ERGONOMIC: Designed for versatility & quick-clean convenience to tackle messes anywhere..UP TO 35 MINUTES OF RUNTIME: Tackle even more messes on the go with up to 35 minutes of uninterrupted cleaning in ECO Mode..ALWAYS READY WHEN YOU NEED IT: Sleek charging dock provides ultimate convenience for quick access, fast charging, and on-board accessory storage..PERFECT FOR CARS: Clean tight spaces in cars, corners, and crevices with the Duster Crevice tool..

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In A Hurry?

Sick of the spillages in your kitchen? Fed up of the crumbs that seem to be filling the sides of your sofa? Tired of your car being an embarrassment when anyone else needs a lift? A portable vacuum is going to be there to solve all of these problems and more – so here is all you need to get buying! 

Portable Vacuum Style and Size

Without a doubt the first thing that you need to think about is the size and style of your portable vacuum – as this is going to determine the amount of dirt that it can hold, how portable it is actually going to be and often the amount of power that you are going to have as well! 

Some models are going to be smaller than 20cm in length, which makes them perfect for if you need a really compact model – these will fit in luggage bags or even larger handbags for when you are out and about. They are designed like a small tube – so there won’t be bulky parts to stick out and get in the way too. Just be aware that the really small models like this don’t often come with additional attachments (or if they do then there is nowhere on the vacuum to store them). 

Larger models are going to be around 50cm in length and generally much wider too – although as far as we are concerned this is still more than small enough to be able to work with at ease. These models will usually come with larger storing capacities and space for attachments too. Just bear in mind that the larger they are, the more challenging it is going to be to get them into tighter spaces. 

You also want to think about the weight of your portable vacuum – which again is going to be largely affected by the size. We found the lightest models tend to come in at around 500g – which is half a bag of sugar! Heavier models can go up to around 2kg but even this is still going to be much lighter than your standard vacuum! 

Portable Vacuum Power and Suction! 

You are purchasing your portable vacuum for the power and strength, so this is obviously going to be high up on your list to check for. We would definitely recommend opting for a portable vacuum that is wireless, otherwise you are going to pretty much ruin the “portable” aspect of the vacuum! However, if you know that you are regularly going to need a really strong suction then possibly a plug in model could be the way to go as these do generally have more power than the other styles! 

If you have decided to choose a battery powered portable vacuum then make sure to think about the strength of the battery and the battery life that it is going to be able to give you. Some will only last for around 10 minutes whereas others will last up to 30 minutes. Although this doesn’t sound like a particularly long time, if you think about the types of jobs that you are going to be using it for, it should be more than enough for you! You also want to think about how long it is going to take to recharge the battery – some are going to take over 4 hours to recharge – which is a really long time for only 10 minutes of power. Others can be reused after around 30 minutes, but will need around an hour for a full charge! 

If this doesn’t sound like quite enough battery life for you, then there are manufacturers that will offer twin batteries, which is going to give you double the charge because you can just swap the batteries over when one runs out. There are also models that can be charged using a USB connection which is perfect for if you are wanting to use the vacuum in your car, or you are hoping to take it on holiday with you! 

You will also find that the battery quality is going to affect the power of the overall machine. Higher wattage, more powerful models will be able to pick up larger pieces of debris such as rice, dirt and crumbs. However, lower wattage models are going to struggle with anything too large and be better suited for things like pet hair and dust. Portable vacuums that come with multiple cyclones will usually have more suction but they are also going to use more battery! Make sure to check whether the portable vacuum is going to maintain suction even as the battery is running out. Some will start to lose suction but this is going to make it even harder for you to get the job done! 

TOP TIP: Some of the best portable vacuums come with a boost setting. This is designed to allow you to opt for extra suction if you are dealing with a major mess – just bear in mind that this is going to drain your battery life even more quickly! 

Best Budget Portable Vacuum Cleaner – OZOY Cordless Handheld Vacuum

OZOY Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, 8000PA Strong Suction,120W Powerful, Rechargeable Lightweight Wet Dry Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner for Home and Car Cleaning (Black)
  • 【8000PA Strong Suction & 120W Power】 OZOY handheld vacuum adopts 120W ultra-high power motor, with suction up to 8000PA, which can easily for use and make a clean environment.
  • 【2 Detachable and Washable filter】 the hand-held vacuum cleaner is equipped with detachable, washable and reusable HEPA filter. It is more durable than the traditional filter. In addition, we also provide a small brush for easier cleaning,2 filters Replaceable make your life more convenient.
  • 【Cordless Design & Wet Dry 】Cordless vacuum is lightweight and portable to help you clean everywhere easily.
  • 【Quick Charge & Safety】3000mah large capacity lithium battery, it can work continuously for about 30 minutes after fully charging for 3 hours. With USB charging cable, you can charge anytime anywhere.Our charging system also offers 3 layers of protections, including over-voltage protection, over-current protection and over-temperature protection to ensure safety. (Note: please turn off when charging)
  • 【Multifunction & All-round Cleaning】Different nozzles to handle different parts. The rubber nozzle is used for narrow gaps, corners; the brush tool is used for cleaning carpets, keyboards, sofas, car seats, etc.; the gap nozzle is used for cleaning gaps and air conditioning outlets; the extension hose can clean hard to reach areas in the home or in the car, such as under the table, under the bed, car trunk.

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Waste Capacity

Make sure to check the size of the waste store that comes with your portable vacuum. Obviously, the larger the portable vacuum usually means the more debris that you are going to be able to hold but this isn’t always the case! You also need to think about the types of debris you are often picking up and how much space they are going to need. Some only have a 0.1L capacity, which is really quite small and will need emptying regularly. Others can hold up to around 1L, so you will be able to get to the end of your battery time without having to empty the waste – for most jobs. 

It is always worth checking how easy it is going to be to actually empty the waste container too. Some can be removed completely which makes them really easy to tip and empty. Others are going to stay clipped onto the main machine which makes them harder to empty but also much easier to clip back into place! Make sure that the waste container clips securely into place as well – some models are a simple push button which isn’t always ideal if you are planning on taking your portable vacuum to different places with you as it could end up opening in your bag!!

Do You Want The Best Portable Vacuum?

If you have a lot of mess to clean up and know that you need a portable vacuum that is up to the task then look out for these features…

Added Extras! 

Always make sure to check what added extras come with your portable vacuum – this is going to determine the value for money that you are getting but also the places that you are going to be able to clean and the quality of clean that you are going to be able to achieve. 

Many portable vacuums are going to come with different attachments to allow you to access different places such as thin, long hoses, brush ends and circular ends. These are all designed differently with specific ones for different jobs. Some will even come with furniture attachments that will allow you to get the perfect suction on your sofa and curtains to remove pet hair and crumbs! 

It is also worth looking to see if the portable vacuum is going to come with an extendable hose or not. An extendable hose is going to make it even easier to get into those hard to reach places – they will normally fold back into themselves to reduce the space that they take up on the device. 

Another added extra that is well worth looking out for is a charging base unit! These are fantastic as they make the perfect spot for you to store and charge your portable vacuum! They avoid your vacuum from becoming damaged by being stored in an unsuitable cupboard too! 

TOP TIP: Look to see whether the portable vacuum comes with space to attach the attachments or not. Some people may quite like these as it means that you don’t need to worry about the attachments going missing and they are going to be on hand and ready to use BUT it is going to make the main machine more bulky! 

Final Suggestions…

  • Low Power and Waste Capacity Warnings – We really like models that come with LED lights so that you know when you are going to run out of power or when you are reaching capacity with the debris that you have collected. It gives you a much better idea of whether you are going to be able to get the job done or not! 
  • Transparent capacity storage – If your model doesn’t come with a waste light then at least make sure the container is going to be transparent. This will allow you to easily see what you have collected and when you need to empty the container. 
  • Noise levels – Some portable vacuums are really quite loud considering their size! Look out for quieter models, especially if you are going to be using your vacuum outside or around sleeping young children. 
  • Filters – Look at the quality of the filters that come with your portable vacuum. Some are going to come with HEPA filters which will help to remove harmful particles and dust from your environment whilst they are working. Some models even come with spare filters so you don’t need to worry about replacing them. 
  • Lighting – Some models come with really handy lights on the front near the suction. Chances are at least some of the time that you are going to be using your portable vacuum it will be when it is dark down a corner of a sofa or the side of your car – this lighting makes it so much easier for you to see what you are actually working with! 

Best of the Rest

No products found.

Gtech Multi MK2 K9 | Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner | Reinforced with Aluminium | 22V Li-ion Battery | Powered Brush Bar
  • Versatile Attachments - The Multi K9 comes with a range of attachments. The power head makes short work of stairs, and the dusting brush is perfect for upholstery and your car interior. Plus, with a handy crevice tool stored inside the body of the Multi K9, you can reach difficult spots as you go.
  • Lithium-ion Battery - The Multi K9 features a 22V lithium-ion battery and delivers up to 20 minutes of runtime with each 4-hour charge. The LED display shows how much charge you have left whilst in use.
  • Reinforced with Aluminium - We've strengthened our cordless Multi K9 handheld vacuum with aluminium to enhance its performance, so you can deal with the added mess and stubborn pet hair.
  • Car and Home - The Multi K9 makes light work of cleaning tight spaces like cars and caravans. The LED headlight leaves nowhere for crumbs to hide, while the on-board crevice tool reaches into awkward gaps and between cushions.
  • Scented - Replaceable, lightly scented cartridges will keep your home smelling fresh and remove any pet odours. A spare filter is also included so you’re ready to go at all times.

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

No products found.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can you use portable vacuums to clear up water spillages?

Yes! There are lots of portable vacuums that will allow you to remove wet as well as dry spillages. These make them even more useful in your home as they will be able to tackle everything you throw at them. One thing to mention is that these models are usually going to be quite a bit more expensive due to the technology involved with dealing with liquids as well as solids!

Do portable vacuums come with a guarantee? 

Definitely! All portable vacuums should come with a warranty but only the best portable vacuums are going to come with longer guarantees that offer you a more reasonable protection. Guarantees tend to start at around 1 year but we found some models that offer up to a 10 year warranty – however this length of warranty does only cover certain parts not the whole machine. 

What is the runtime on a portable vacuum cleaner?

The batteries on portable vacuum cleaners will last anything from 15 minutes up to around an hour, depending on the model. This does also depend on the setting that you are using – many models come with a “max” setting for heavily soiled areas, but this will drain the battery more quickly.

About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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