Best portable vacuum


It is important to regularly clean the filter of your portable vacuum if you want it to maintain its suction power and continue to operate efficiently.

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Which portable vacuum is best?

Large upright and stick vacuums are great for cleaning your floors and big messes, but there are some occasions and settings when using one is unfeasible or inconvenient. That’s where portable vacuums can help. Even smaller than traditional handheld vacuums, these compact portable vacuums give you the ability to quickly clean up small messes, without having to go through the hassle of maneuvering a large machine.

When it comes to compact and convenient designs, few models can compare with the Bissell AeroSlim. It stores upright on an included charging base, which also holds its included dust and crevice tool. Plus, the dust bin is easy to empty, and the filter is washable and reusable.

What to know before you buy a portable vacuum


Portable vacuums should be compact and lightweight for easy storage and transport. Their extremely small size is one of the features that set them apart from regular handheld vacuums. In fact, some are as narrow as a soda can and only twice as tall, which means they can be stored almost anywhere. This makes them ideal for use in vehicles, on trips and at your desk. 

Suction power

One of the most important qualities of any vacuum, regardless of size, is its suction power. However, it would be unrealistic to expect a small, portable vacuum to offer the same amount of suction power as a full-sized model or even a plug-in handheld model. This means you should understand what a portable model is suitable for, and what it isn’t. Portable vacuums are intended to pick up small and lightweight debris, such as dust, sand, dirt and hair. For larger debris, you’ll need to use a more heavy-duty vacuum model. 


All portable vacuums require frequent charging, and the type of port or outlet it connects to should play a role in your purchase decision. If you plan on storing and/or regularly using your portable vacuum somewhere that doesn’t have an AC wall outlet, you may want to opt for a model that connects to a USB port for charging. You can also find models that connect to a 12-volt outlet, which are a good choice if you plan on using them in an older vehicle that doesn’t have a USB port.

What to look for in a quality portable vacuum

Power boost

Portable vacuums need to run a fine line of balancing suction power and runtime. However, there are always going to be those times when you need powerful suction more than a few extra minutes of battery life. Choosing a model with a power boost function enables you to get that extra bit of power when needed.


Just like full-size models, some portable vacuums include attachment tools like crevice tools and dust brushes that make them more effective when performing certain tasks. On some models, these tools may be combined into a single adjustable attachment.

Run time

The run time of portable vacuums varies from model to model, with some offering as little as 10 minutes and others up to 20 minutes. The longer the run time, the more cleaning you can do before needing to recharge the unit. 


Depending on the model, a portable vacuum may be equipped with one or two filters. Two-stage models have filters of different sizes, one of which is designed to catch small particles and the other to catch larger debris. This not only makes them efficient at catching everything but also less prone to clogging. If you are particularly sensitive to dust, you’ll want to opt for a portable vacuum with a HEPA filter. 

How much you can expect to spend on a portable vacuum

Most portable vacuums cost $25-$100.

Portable vacuum FAQ

Are portable vacuums the same as handheld vacuums?

A. Portable vacuums and handheld vacuums are not exactly the same. Rather, portable vacuums are a type of handheld vacuum that run on battery power and have an even more compact design than the average handheld model.

Can you use a portable vacuum in your home?

A. There is no rule that says you can’t use a portable vacuum in your home and, in fact, you’ll likely find many tasks for one where it is more convenient to use than a full-sized model or traditional handheld vacuum. For example, they are great at cleaning dust off of window sills and out of drawers or for sucking up some crumbs on your kitchen counter.

What’s the best portable vacuum to buy?

Top portable vacuum

Bissell AeroSlim

Bissell AeroSlim

What you need to know: This small but capable portable vacuum has a sleek, modern design and impressive suction power for its size.

What you’ll love: It comes with an equally small storage base that also holds its attachment. Plus, it boasts dual-level filtration to catch small and large debris alike.

What you should consider: Its runtime is only 12 minutes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top portable vacuum for the money

UGREEN Portable Car Vacuum

UGREEN Portable Car Vacuum

What you need to know: This portable vacuum is small enough to pack in your luggage and includes both a crevice tool and a dusting brush.

What you’ll love: It plugs into a USB port for easy on-the-go charging and comes with a washable HEPA filter.

What you should consider: It takes more than two hours to fully charge.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Starument Portable Hand Vacuum

Starument Portable Hand Vacuum

What you need to know: This slim and stylish vacuum can run for up to 20 minutes per charge and has two suction settings to get the job done.

What you’ll love: It comes in three colors and has a lightweight construction and well-designed handle for comfortable operation.

What you should consider: Its suction power falls short of some other models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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