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Which? tests reveal the best handheld vacuums

Best Buy handheld vacuums from as little as £60

Handheld vacuum cleaner in car

We’ve tested handheld vacuums to find out which are the best for cleaning you car

We’ve just tested 16 of the latest handheld vacuum cleaners from well-known brands and found a sub-£60 Best Buy that costs a less than a third of the price of rivals.

Handheld cordless vacuums from Black & Decker, Gtech, Dyson, Vax, Bush, AEG, Hoover and Morphy Richards were put through a series of Which? cleaning and usability tests in our quest to find the best and worst models.

The handheld vacuum cleaners ranged in price from £25 all the way up to an eye-watering £239. Our tests prove that you don’t always get what you pay for, as some of the distinctly average models were those that cost more than £150. 

The budget-friendly Best Buy priced less than £60 was one of five vacuums to ace our cleaning tests and earn our Best Buy recommendation.

For the full list of top-rated models, go straight to our Best Buy handheld vacuums page.

Best handheld vacuums

Though five handheld vacuums hit our Best Buy benchmark, two widely available models proved so bad that we’ve highlighted them as Don’t Buys. 

The best handheld vacuums can be relied upon to quickly suck up most types of daily spills, dust and pet hair – and they’ll keep cleaning powerfully even as the battery begins to run down and the dust container fills up. The worst models leave plenty of grime and hair behind, won’t be suitable for allergy sufferers and their suction may drop off considerably when the battery is less than 100% and the dust container begins to fill.

Our cornflakes test proved particularly tricky for many of the vacuums we tested, as even some of the Best Buys failed completely when we tried to suck up a 35g spill of dry cornflakes, with flakes becoming jammed in the nozzle and blocking airflow. 

Car vacuum cleaners

We test each handheld vacuum cleaner in the nooks and crannies of a real car so that we can tell you how suitable each model is for car cleaning. 

Some handheld vacuums are too bulky and can’t get right under or in between the seats of a car and others don’t have crevice tools that are long enough to get deep into car door pockets. The best are a breeze to use in a car and will enable you to give it a thorough clean with ease. 

To find out how each model did in all of our different lab tests and which are the best and worst, take a look at our handheld vacuum cleaner reviews.

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