Which high-end portable vacuums are best?
Whether it’s pet fur or food crumbs, messes happen. That’s when it’s helpful to have a high-quality vacuum nearby, but some devices are too heavy to haul around and too bulky to clean hard-to-reach places.
Portable vacuums are handheld, battery-powered devices that are small enough for your car or office but powerful enough to tackle nearly any mess with ease. The Shark WV201 Wandvac is the top pick because it’s extremely lightweight and features a ton of suction power.
What to know before you buy a high-end portable vacuum
The first thing to consider when shopping for a cordless vacuum is how you plan to use it. While most high-end portable devices will get the job done one way or another, you can find some models that are specially designed for certain situations. A mini portable vacuum cleaner designed for cleaning up pet fur might come with an extra-large dust container and a specialized filter for dander. A vacuum for use in the car may be extra compact and boast a particularly long hose or crevice attachment for fitting into tight spots. If you want the best portable vacuum cleaner for general use, opt for a device that comes with a variety of interchangeable attachments.
Most high-end portable vacuums use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries because they are lightweight, charge fast, and hold an impressively long battery life. You might also come across handheld vacuums that use nickel-metal hydride batteries. These are a bit cheaper and more environmentally friendly than other battery types, but they lack the power of lithium ion.
Although they’re somewhat uncommon, avoid devices that use traditional single-cell batteries, as these need to be replaced more often and are prone to issues like leakage that could damage your vacuum.
What to look for in a quality high-end portable vacuum
Suction power and modes
The suction power of a vacuum is typically measured in volts, with most small portable vacuum cleaners boasting around 15-25V of power. You can also find devices with a variety of power modes that you can change at the press of a button.
Look for a portable vacuum that balances a lightweight design with power and sufficient waste storage for your needs. An extremely compact and lightweight device may be appealing, but keep in mind that you’ll need to empty it more frequently.
If you have dust allergies or pets, look for a vacuum with an advanced filtration system. These filters trap dust, pollen and pet dander and prevent the particles from returning to the air during cleaning. High-Efficiency Particulate Air, or HEPA filters, are commonly used in high-end portable vacuums.
Many portable vacuums come with extra attachment heads so your device can handle a variety of messes. These might be long extensions that allow you to convert your handheld vacuum into a traditional push model, or swivel nozzles that let you vacuum at any angle. Brush attachments are highly recommended for people that own pets, while a narrow crevice cleaner might be useful for cleaning in between couch cushions or car seats.
Certain high-end portable vacuums have additional features like a low-battery notification light or an auto-shutoff feature that conserves battery. Lithium ion batteries are also prone to overcharging, so consider investing in a vacuum charger that stops once the device is completely charged.
How much you can expect to spend on a high-end portable vacuum
The cost of a high-end portable vacuum can vary slightly depending on features and any included attachments. Most consumers can expect to spend around $50-$115 for a high-end device that’s sure to last.
High-end portable vacuum FAQ
Should I get a bagged or bagless portable vacuum?
A. Although it’s usually a matter of personal preference, bagged vacuums are sometimes preferred because they cleanly collect all of the waste in a sealed container. That being said, bagless devices are much more environmentally friendly and it’s easier to tell when it’s time to empty the bin.
How often should I replace my vacuum’s filter?
A. Most vacuum manufacturers will suggest replacing your filter every 3-6 months, but it can vary depending on your needs and how frequently you use it.
What are the best high-end portable vacuums to buy?
Top high-end portable vacuum
What you need to know: This small, portable vacuum cleaner has a sleek design and a powerful motor.
What you’ll love: The ergonomic design is stylish and comfortable for any user. There is a power light that alerts you when the battery is low, and the charging dock is small enough to keep on a countertop.
What you should consider: A few users reported an extremely loud device, while others were unimpressed by the battery life.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top high-end portable vacuum for the money
What you need to know: This compact device is reasonably-priced and ideal for small clean-ups on the go.
What you’ll love: Perfect for traveling, this cordless device comes with a USB charger and two attachment tools. The reusable filter is easy to remove and wash, and there’s a storage stand so the vacuum is always out of the way.
What you should consider: The small design means it’s only suitable for small messes. Anything larger will require frequent emptying.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This popular device is specially designed for pet hair and carpets.
What you’ll love: This powerful little vacuum has three suction modes including “Powerboost” which provides a quick burst of increased power. There is also an extra-long crevice tool for tight spaces and a motorized pet brush.
What you should consider: The dual filter design can make the dust container difficult to empty without making a mess.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.