No matter the age of your car, nothing freshens up a vehicle interior like clean upholstery and a dirt-free floor. But lugging the household vacuum to the garage isn’t worth the hassle. Investing in a vacuum more suited to tight spaces and small jobs can make cleaning your car easy and satisfying. Whether you’re looking to rid the family ride of crackers or your work truck of metal filings, the best handheld vacuums deliver maximum power while taking up minimal space.

In this article: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum, Shark Cordless Hand-Held UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus and Shop-Vac 5-Gallon Stainless Steel Wet-Dry Vacuum.

What kind of handheld vacuum should you get for your car?

Compact vehicles have tight spaces that make it frustrating to move a large appliance around in, increasing the risk of accidentally scratching leather interiors or damaging dashboard components. To avoid this, your best option is a vacuum that’s light and easy to maneuver.

Most drivers will be satisfied with small handheld vacuums that can quickly suck up dust and debris. However, owners of vans and SUVs will find that a vacuum with a flexible hose gives them the freedom they need to clean behind seats and remove dirt from areas a handheld vacuum can’t reach.

What kind of handheld vacuum should you get for your work vehicle?

Whether you haul lumber, install drywall or simply use your vehicle to move people where they need to go, you’ll find that most handheld vacuums aren’t built for commercial messes. For cleaning a work vehicle, you need a powerful appliance designed to handle heavy debris. Look for one with both wet and dry capabilities for cleaning up spilled liquids or mud.

Cordless vs. corded

Whether to buy a corded or cordless vacuum depends entirely on where you intend to do most of your cleaning. Advances in battery technology have allowed cordless vacuums to achieve suction previously only possible in corded ones. However, their use is limited by the battery’s life, while a corded vac can be used indefinitely.

If you don’t foresee having to tidy up on on the go, a corded vacuum stored in the garage will suit most drivers. If you want to keep your car clean between rides or at the job site, you need a battery-powered vacuum that can be used anywhere.

Best cordless handheld vacuums for cleaning your car

home-vacuum-10-best-hand-held-vacuums-make-cleaning-car-easier-Best Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum

If your pets, or just their hair, join you on the road, this cordless vacuum is what you need to keep your auto interior looking spotless. With three attachments that let you reach between seats and an easily emptied dirt container, this vacuum keeps pet owners’ cars looking their best.

Sold by Amazon

Best Bissell AeroSlim Lithium Ion Cordless Hand-Held Vacuum

Bissell AeroSlim Lithium Ion Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Slim, light and easy to store, this cordless vacuum is great for light cleaning and detail work. You can remove dust from your car’s vents with its brush attachment and clean deep into cup holders and compartments with its crevice tool.

Sold by Amazon 

Best Shark Wandvac Hand-Held Vacuum

Shark Wandvac Handheld Vacuum

Despite its small size, this handheld vac features Shark’s HyperVelocity suction technology for surprising power. It comes with a convenient charging dock, has a brushless motor and includes attachments perfect for cleaning up spills or built-up dust.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Best Shark Cordless Hand-Held UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus

Shark Cordless Handheld UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus

From pet hair to crumbs, this handheld vacuum can handle messes large and small, thanks to strong suction and a self-cleaning brush that resists pet hair accumulation. You can eject dirt and dust with the press of a button, making emptying a breeze.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Best Black and Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Vacuum

Black and Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Vacuum

This lightweight vacuum has an extendable nozzle for reaching into cup holders, glove boxes, between seats and into your dashboard. A flip-up brush keeps you from losing the attachment and cyclonic suction gives this appliance the power you need to keep your automobile looking its best.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

home-vacuum-10-best-hand-held-vacuums-make-cleaning-car-easier-Best Black and Decker Flex Cordless Stick Vacuum with Floor Head and Pet Hair Brush

Black and Decker Flex Cordless Stick Vacuum with Floor Head and Pet Hair Brush

With its 4-foot flexible hose, pet hair brush and nozzle, this vacuum is great for getting into hard to reach areas of your vehicle. Three stages of filtration keep dust, dirt and pet dander from escaping back into the air.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Best corded handheld vacuums for cleaning your car

Best Oreck Super Deluxe Compact Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Oreck Super Deluxe Compact Canister Vacuum Cleaner

With its complete set of attachments, this portable vacuum has all the tools you need to keep the mess to a minimum. Its flexible hose makes it great for cleaning out big family vehicles, and it can be carried with its handle or worn over your shoulder.

Sold by Amazon

Best Girnoor Lightweight Hand-Held Vacuum

Girnoor Lightweight Handheld Vacuum

While designed primarily for household use, this vacuum can transform into a powerful handheld appliance that’s great for vehicle interiors and trunks. It has a HEPA filter that removes allergens such as pet dander and pollen from your car, and its brush and crevice attachments work great on upholstered seats.

Sold by Amazon

Best handheld vacuums for your work vehicle

Best DeWalt Portable Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum

DeWalt Portable Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum

DeWalt’s characteristic focus on power and ease of use is on full display in this compact wet/dry vacuum that can be used to clean up sawdust, spilled liquids and even nails and screws. Ideal for work vehicles, it is powered by the same 20-volt battery packs other DeWalt tools use.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Best Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Vacuum Kit

Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Vacuum Kit

This rugged vacuum can run for up to 30 minutes on a charge and its suction can be reversed to blow dirt and debris out of tight spaces. The kit includes a durable carrying bag, a battery and charger, a shoulder strap and multiple hose attachments. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

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