Reviews

LAST UPDATED: November 2, 2020

The Best Small Vacuum Cleaners (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020

Consider these small vacuum cleaners to help keep your car, truck, SUV, RV, and other vehicles clean and smelling fresh

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PUBLISHED ON November 2, 2020

For many motorists, sustaining vehicle cleanliness is a matter of pride. However, this task means so much more to ride share drivers. Their vehicle is their instrument of income, and their first impression to clients paying them for a service. Maintaining a vehicle free from dirt, hair, and other debris can make the difference between the passenger having a pleasant or unpleasant experience. 

 

Simply put, many motorists keep their vehicles as clean as they keep their houses. This cleanliness maintains a sense of pride while practicing efficient sanitation. Small vacuum cleaners can help maintain vehicle cleanliness. They provide a viable option to using a gas station or car wash vacuum cleaner. Car wash and gas station vacuum cleaners can be inconveniently located and expensive over time. With that in mind, here are some recommended small vacuum cleaner options.

  • Best Overall
    CHERYLON Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
    CHERYLON Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
    Summary
    Summary

    Contains a powerful 150-watt motor, strong enough to eliminate dust, hair, or other debris from your vehicle. Features a variety of extension pipes to reach every spot of your car.

    Pros
    Pros
    • Can be used to clean wet surfaces 
    • Compact structure and sealing 
    Cons
    Cons
    • Not ideal for removing pet hair or fur 
    • Not enough suction power for tiny particles and debris
  • Best Overall
    CHERYLON Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
    CHERYLON Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
  • Best Value
    MEG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Cordless
    MEG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Cordless
    Summary
    Summary

    At 1.7 pounds, provides a lightweight and easily storable small car vacuum option. Its 4200 to 5800pa aluminum fan provides you the strong suction you expect from any small car vacuum.

    Pros
    Pros
    • Contains a cigarette lighter port 
    • Adapter charging cable allows for a 20- to 24-minute use after a 2.5-hour charge
    Cons
    Cons
    • Carry bag has been known to get stuck at times and be difficult to open
    • Small waste bag needs to be emptied often
  • Best Value
    MEG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Cordless
    MEG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Cordless
  • Honorable Mention
    THISWORX Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
    THISWORX Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
    Summary
    Summary

    While it weighs only 2.4 pounds, it has a 106-watt motor, a vacuum hose, and brush that allows you to reach every nook and cranny of your vehicle.

    Pros
    Pros
    • Features a 16-foot power cord that connects to the car’s 12V lighter port 
    • Eliminates wet or dry messes
    • Contains a carrying bag for convenient storage
    Cons
    Cons
    • Difficult to pick up hair particles such as dog or cat hair 
    • Debris bag is relatively small 
  • Honorable Mention
    THISWORX Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
    THISWORX Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
    The Best Small Vacuum Cleaners
    Amazon

    For many motorists, sustaining vehicle cleanliness is a matter of pride. However, this task means so much more to ride share drivers. Their vehicle is their instrument of income, and their first impression to clients paying them for a service. Maintaining a vehicle free from dirt, hair, and other debris can make the difference between the passenger having a pleasant or unpleasant experience. 

     

    Simply put, many motorists keep their vehicles as clean as they keep their houses. This cleanliness maintains a sense of pride while practicing efficient sanitation. Small vacuum cleaners can help maintain vehicle cleanliness. They provide a viable option to using a gas station or car wash vacuum cleaner. Car wash and gas station vacuum cleaners can be inconveniently located and expensive over time. With that in mind, here are some recommended small vacuum cleaner options.

    Best Small Vacuum Cleaners Review & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    The Cherylon Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner is tops on this list because of the overall convenience it offers satisfied users. It contains a powerful 150-watt motor, producing strong enough suction to eliminate dust, hair, or other debris from your vehicle. We’ve all inadvertently dropped small pieces of debris in those hard to reach areas of our vehicles. This vacuum contains a variety of extension pipes to reach every spot of your car. Don’t worry if you spill hot or cold liquid in your car. The Cherylon can be used to clean wet surfaces, maintaining the cleanliness you demand for your vehicle. 


    The Cherylon’s compact structure and sealing prevent vacuumed debris from leaking into your vehicle. It’s easy to see why the Cherylon is the best of the best in small car vacuums.

    Most Reliable

    Not to be outdone, ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner has the credentials to maintain your vehicle’s interior cleanliness. While it weighs only 2.4 pounds, its 106-watt motor provides suction power comparable with other vacuums. It contains a vacuum hose and brush that allows you to reach every nook and cranny of your vehicle. ThisWorx has a 16ft power cord that connects to the car’s 12V lighter port. This provides the convenience of access to all areas of your vehicle while maintaining the vacuum’s electric charge while in use. 


    ThisWorx eliminates wet or dry messes, even nuisance particles like cigarette ashes or pet hair. This vacuum makes a perfect companion for rideshare drivers. It contains a carrying bag for convenient storage, as well as a special filter cleaning brush to maintain its efficiency between uses.

    Most Valuable

    The MEG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Cordless is more than up to the task of maintaining your vehicle’s cleanliness. At 1.7 pounds, the MEG provides a lightweight and easily storable small car vacuum option. Its 4200 to 5800pa aluminum fan provides you the strong suction you expect from any small car vacuum. It contains a cigarette lighter port and an adapter charging cable for convenient charging either in your vehicle or at home. The cigarette lighter port’s length is comparable with other vacuums. Its adapter charging cable allows for a 20- to 24-minute use after a two-and-a-half-hour charge. 


    The MEG’S transparent dust compartment allows you to gauge the vacuum’s debris holding capacity to prevent overloading the vacuum. If it’s value and convenience you want, the small but powerful MEG is your best option.

    Most Stylish

    The GNG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is another viable option for a variety of reasons. It handles dry and wet messes. It handles hot and cold substances. The GNG contains a 4800-pa vacuum cleaner with a high-power 106 W lithium-ion battery. It contains both a cigarette charger cord and an adapter charger cord for convenient home and vehicle charging. It contains washable filters for repeated use. The GNG also contains a transparent dust compartment. However, the GNG’s entry onto this list comes down to one cosmetic factor: the vacuum’s design. 


    This vacuum is black with light blue swirling circles that simulate the vacuum sucking up debris. To many users, a catchy visual is all that’s needed to purchase a product. It also doesn’t hurt that the GNG can actually serve its purpose as well.

    Most Versatile

    The VacLife Handheld Vacuum can become an asset to on the go motorists everywhere. It contains a stainless steel HEPA filter that can be washed up to 500 times to sustain durability. The VacLife is a cordless design that provides mobile use of the vacuum within your vehicle. It contains an adapter charger for home charging use while maintaining mobility and eliminating the possibility of tripping over or entangling the vacuum’s power cord. The VacLife contains three separate attachments to clean hard to reach areas. It also contains a carrying case for convenient storage and transport. 


    In addition, the VacLife contains an LED light to see dark areas. This feature allows for nighttime cleaning for users looking for 24-hour cleanliness, regardless of the time of day. Maintaining cleanliness under light or darkness solidifies VacLife’s versatility.

    Honorable Mention

    The Black+Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum is extremely lightweight and has excellent suction power. It has a thin nozzle, which is ideal for cleaning tight spaces, crevices, and certain areas of your vehicle or RV. The lithium battery is fully rechargeable and has a very long lifespan. The tank size of the Black+Decker handheld vacuum holds up to 20.6 ounces of dust, dirt, and debris. A two-year limited warranty is included with the purchase of this vacuum from a trusted brand. 


    This model features cyclonic action sucking power, which extends the life of the filter and keeps it clean. The charging base is able to charge the battery from empty to full power within four hours. It is very easy to clean: the slim nozzle can be removed from the rest of the vacuum in order to empty the tank.

    Honorable Mention

    The Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is another quality handheld vacuum available at a great price. This small vacuum cleaner includes a 16-foot cord that can be plugged into any outlet. It is an extremely lightweight, compact product that is easy to travel with and pack away in a closet or under a bed when not in use. The Dirt Devil handheld vacuum has a bagless design for easy cleaning. Despite its compact size, this vacuum has powerful suction to clean up dirt, debris, dust, hair, pollen, and more from any surface. It is an ideal product for cleaning crevices, tight spaces, furniture, vehicles, RVs, and more. 


    The QuickFlip Crevice Tool easily flips down to clean hard-to-reach areas in a flash. Additional accessories like upholstery tools and brushes are available for this handheld vacuum cleaner.

    Honorable Mention

    If you are specifically looking to get rid of pet hair, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Hand Vacuum is the ideal product for you. This small vacuum cleaner is designed to remove pet hair, dirt, dust, debris, and more. It includes a motorized brush tool that can pick up the smallest items with ease. The Bissell small vacuum cleaner features a strong motor with excellent suction power. A 14-volt lithium battery is completely rechargeable and provides long-lasting power. It also comes with an upholstery crevice tool for cleaning hard-to-reach areas of your home, vehicle, or RV. If you are an owner of a dog or cat that sheds, this is the vacuum for you. 


    As an added bonus, a 22-ounce spray bottle of Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover is included with each Bissell vacuum purchase.

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    Benefits of Small Vacuum Cleaner

    • Lightweight, small size: Small vacuum cleaners are lightweight and more flexible than regular vacuums. They are easy to carry on long on trips and your vehicle, and can be conveniently stored away in closets, under beds, or in tight spaces when not in use.
    • Quieter while in use: The motors of most small vacuums are smaller, therefore they create far less noise than regular vacuums. You can usually still hear the radio or people talking while small vacuum cleaners are in use.
    • Available for cheaper price: In terms of price, smaller vacuum cleaners are significantly more affordable than regular vacuums. This is what makes them ideal options for smaller homes, vehicles, and RVs.

    Types of Small Vacuum Cleaners

    Handheld

    This is the most common type of small vacuum cleaner. Handheld vacuums can be held in one hand and are ideal for cleaning tight spaces as well as vehicles and RVs. They are often cordless and can be recharged via a battery charger. Some models come with a cord that can be plugged into your vehicle's cigarette lighter socket.

    Bagged

    Small vacuum cleaners with a bag option are best for people that are sensitive to allergens or have asthma. Most bags can easily be detached and emptied, but they will collect most dirt, debris, pollen, and other small particles. It should be noted that you will have to replace your bags quite often, so make sure you have a large supply of replacements on hand.

    Bagless

    Bagless vacuum cleaners are for those people that are environmentally conscious or do not want to have to deal with bag replacements. This type of small vacuum cleaner typically comes with a see-through canister that allows you to see when it needs to be emptied. Even though you do not have to replace the bag, bagless vacuums sometimes come with a filter that needs to be cleaned or replaced every so often.

    Top Brands

    Thisworx

    Thisworx is a company that was created with the specific intention of creating high-quality portable vacuum cleaners for cars. This company sells small vacuum cleaners and all the accessories to make your vehicle spotless.

    MEG

    Founded in 1989, MEG has become a proven leader of green innovation in the industrial washing sector. This company has been maintaining and delivering high-quality customer service for years. It specializes in vacuum cleaners, both industrial and for the home or vehicle.

    VacLife

    VacLife is a proven company, focused on the research and development of small household appliances. The company pays great attention to details and user experience, with a goal of improving a customer's life. In addition to vacuums and handheld vacuums, VacLife also produces tire inflators and other car accessories.

    Small Vacuum Cleaner Pricing

    • Under $30: Small vacuum cleaners in this price range are an excellent value purchase.  These vacuum cleaners are great from cleaning dirt and debris from inside your vehicle.
    • $30 to $40: The majority of small vacuum cleaners fall into this price range. Products in this range are very efficient and come with a variety of extension pipes and brushes.
    • Over $40: Small vacuum cleaners in this price range are typically the best quality. Vacuum cleaners in this price range are handheld and feature long battery life.

    Key Features

    Power

    While it is important to consider the amperage and wattage of your vacuum cleaner, the suction strength of your vacuum may be the key factor. Finding an efficient small vacuum cleaner with exceptional suction power allows you to pick up dirt and dust from hard floors, carpets, and more with ease.

    Filter

    The filtration system of your vacuum is an important factor to consider. Small vacuum cleaners with the best filters trap all microscopic particles, dust particles, and allergens. True HEPA filters can trap 99.97 percent of all airborne particles measuring 0.3 microns or more. Don't be fooled when shopping by manufacturers promoting HEPA-Like and HEPA-Type filters.

    Weight

    Weight is an important feature to consider, particularly when shopping for a portable vacuum cleaner. If you are looking to travel with your vacuum, owning a lightweight, compact model can be extremely important. If you are looking to purchase a handheld vacuum cleaner, then owning a lightweight model that is comfortable and easy to use should be a top priority.

    Other Considerations

    • Accessories: Accessories like extension hoses, brushes, and crevice tools should be considered, especially if you are using your small vacuum cleaner in tight spaces like a vehicle or RV. There are also attachments, like pet hair tools, cleaning tools, filters, and more, that can be purchased separately from your vacuum for added convenience.
    • Tank Size: If you are going to be using your vacuum cleaner often, then tank size is an important feature to consider. Some of the best small vacuum cleaners come with detachable bins with a capacity as high as 20 ounces. Another main reason to consider tank size is if you own pets, like cats or dogs. Larger tanks are ideal for picking up all of the pet hair.
    • Warranty: The type of warranty is an important consideration when purchasing a small vacuum cleaner. A longer warranty shows that the manufacturer has faith in its product and stands behind their services. Most vacuums come with a minimum of a limited one-year warranty, but make sure to double-check the warranty information before making your purchase.

    Best Small Vacuum Cleaners Review & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall
    Cherylon Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner

    The Cherylon Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner is tops on this list because of the overall convenience it offers satisfied users. It contains a powerful 150-watt motor, producing strong enough suction to eliminate dust, hair, or other debris from your vehicle. We’ve all inadvertently dropped small pieces of debris in those hard to reach areas of our vehicles. This vacuum contains a variety of extension pipes to reach every spot of your car. Don’t worry if you spill hot or cold liquid in your car. The Cherylon can be used to clean wet surfaces, maintaining the cleanliness you demand for your vehicle. 


    The Cherylon’s compact structure and sealing prevent vacuumed debris from leaking into your vehicle. It’s easy to see why the Cherylon is the best of the best in small car vacuums.

    Most Reliable
    ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner

    Not to be outdone, ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner has the credentials to maintain your vehicle’s interior cleanliness. While it weighs only 2.4 pounds, its 106-watt motor provides suction power comparable with other vacuums. It contains a vacuum hose and brush that allows you to reach every nook and cranny of your vehicle. ThisWorx has a 16ft power cord that connects to the car’s 12V lighter port. This provides the convenience of access to all areas of your vehicle while maintaining the vacuum’s electric charge while in use. 


    ThisWorx eliminates wet or dry messes, even nuisance particles like cigarette ashes or pet hair. This vacuum makes a perfect companion for rideshare drivers. It contains a carrying bag for convenient storage, as well as a special filter cleaning brush to maintain its efficiency between uses.

    Most Valuable
    MEG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Cordless

    The MEG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Cordless is more than up to the task of maintaining your vehicle’s cleanliness. At 1.7 pounds, the MEG provides a lightweight and easily storable small car vacuum option. Its 4200 to 5800pa aluminum fan provides you the strong suction you expect from any small car vacuum. It contains a cigarette lighter port and an adapter charging cable for convenient charging either in your vehicle or at home. The cigarette lighter port’s length is comparable with other vacuums. Its adapter charging cable allows for a 20- to 24-minute use after a two-and-a-half-hour charge. 


    The MEG’S transparent dust compartment allows you to gauge the vacuum’s debris holding capacity to prevent overloading the vacuum. If it’s value and convenience you want, the small but powerful MEG is your best option.

    Most Stylish
    GNG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

    The GNG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is another viable option for a variety of reasons. It handles dry and wet messes. It handles hot and cold substances. The GNG contains a 4800-pa vacuum cleaner with a high-power 106 W lithium-ion battery. It contains both a cigarette charger cord and an adapter charger cord for convenient home and vehicle charging. It contains washable filters for repeated use. The GNG also contains a transparent dust compartment. However, the GNG’s entry onto this list comes down to one cosmetic factor: the vacuum’s design. 


    This vacuum is black with light blue swirling circles that simulate the vacuum sucking up debris. To many users, a catchy visual is all that’s needed to purchase a product. It also doesn’t hurt that the GNG can actually serve its purpose as well.

    Most Versatile
    VacLife Handheld Vacuum

    The VacLife Handheld Vacuum can become an asset to on the go motorists everywhere. It contains a stainless steel HEPA filter that can be washed up to 500 times to sustain durability. The VacLife is a cordless design that provides mobile use of the vacuum within your vehicle. It contains an adapter charger for home charging use while maintaining mobility and eliminating the possibility of tripping over or entangling the vacuum’s power cord. The VacLife contains three separate attachments to clean hard to reach areas. It also contains a carrying case for convenient storage and transport. 


    In addition, the VacLife contains an LED light to see dark areas. This feature allows for nighttime cleaning for users looking for 24-hour cleanliness, regardless of the time of day. Maintaining cleanliness under light or darkness solidifies VacLife’s versatility.

    Honorable Mention
    Black+Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum

    The Black+Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum is extremely lightweight and has excellent suction power. It has a thin nozzle, which is ideal for cleaning tight spaces, crevices, and certain areas of your vehicle or RV. The lithium battery is fully rechargeable and has a very long lifespan. The tank size of the Black+Decker handheld vacuum holds up to 20.6 ounces of dust, dirt, and debris. A two-year limited warranty is included with the purchase of this vacuum from a trusted brand. 


    This model features cyclonic action sucking power, which extends the life of the filter and keeps it clean. The charging base is able to charge the battery from empty to full power within four hours. It is very easy to clean: the slim nozzle can be removed from the rest of the vacuum in order to empty the tank.

    Honorable Mention
    Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

    The Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is another quality handheld vacuum available at a great price. This small vacuum cleaner includes a 16-foot cord that can be plugged into any outlet. It is an extremely lightweight, compact product that is easy to travel with and pack away in a closet or under a bed when not in use. The Dirt Devil handheld vacuum has a bagless design for easy cleaning. Despite its compact size, this vacuum has powerful suction to clean up dirt, debris, dust, hair, pollen, and more from any surface. It is an ideal product for cleaning crevices, tight spaces, furniture, vehicles, RVs, and more. 


    The QuickFlip Crevice Tool easily flips down to clean hard-to-reach areas in a flash. Additional accessories like upholstery tools and brushes are available for this handheld vacuum cleaner.

    Honorable Mention
    Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Hand Vacuum

    If you are specifically looking to get rid of pet hair, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Hand Vacuum is the ideal product for you. This small vacuum cleaner is designed to remove pet hair, dirt, dust, debris, and more. It includes a motorized brush tool that can pick up the smallest items with ease. The Bissell small vacuum cleaner features a strong motor with excellent suction power. A 14-volt lithium battery is completely rechargeable and provides long-lasting power. It also comes with an upholstery crevice tool for cleaning hard-to-reach areas of your home, vehicle, or RV. If you are an owner of a dog or cat that sheds, this is the vacuum for you. 


    As an added bonus, a 22-ounce spray bottle of Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover is included with each Bissell vacuum purchase.

    Tips

    • If you are considering a bagged vacuum option, make sure that the product either comes with replacement bags or that you purchase them separately.
    • Many online products are available to try out in stores. If that's not an option, make sure that your purchase comes with a warranty that covers a refund or exchange if you are not satisfied.
    • If you are going to be using your small vacuum cleaner primarily for travel purposes, consider a handheld option or one with a vehicle charging option.
    • Make sure to double-check the accessories/attachments that are included with your purchase. If you are looking to clean up pet hair or small particles, you may need to purchase them separately.
    • It is important that your vacuum comes with a "true" or "real" HEPA filter in order to trap airborne particles. Don't be fooled by purchasing a model that features HEPA-Like and HEPA-Type filters.

    FAQs

    What is the best lightweight vacuum cleaner to buy?

    A: The best lightweight vacuum cleaner to buy depends on your needs. The most compact, lightweight models are often of the handheld variety. Just make sure to confirm the weight of the product while shopping before making your purchase.

    What is the best cheap vacuum cleaner?

    A: There are a number of small vacuum cleaners available to purchase for under $30. These models offer great value for their price and are often very efficient products. If you are looking to clean tight spaces or upholstery, you may need to purchase accessories like tools or brushes with these cleaners.

    Which is the best vacuum cleaner for home use?

    A: A wide variety of vacuum cleaners are excellent for home use. If you are looking to clean upholstery or furniture, consider a handheld option or a vacuum with attachments like crevice tools and brushes.

    Which vacuum has the strongest suction? 

    A: Several vacuum cleaners have strong suction power. While amperage and wattage are important considerations, read the reviews online regarding suction power and features before making your purchase. Vacuums with excellent suction strength can clean up hair, dirt, debris, and more with ease.

    Final Thoughts

    For a high-quality small vacuum cleaner, consider the CHERYLON Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner to clean both wet and dry surfaces, or the MEG Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, an excellent handheld option.