best dyson handheld

Look up handheld vacuums online and you’ll see a lot of devices with brand names that you’ve never heard of outside of the Chinese mainland. The one thing they all have in common? They’re all trying to look as close to a Dyson vacuum as they can without getting hit by a patent infringement lawsuit. Today, we review the Best Dyson Handheld for you. There’s a reason for that. Not only does Dyson make some of the most effective vacuums on the planet, they also make some of the best looking. It was the British design company that made “sexy” vacuums a thing in the first place some 20-odd years ago. But there’s a reason that Dyson has stuck around. Because while they are, surprisingly, good-looking machines, they also outperform every single thing on the market. 

Best Dyson Handheld

Here are four best dyson handheld:

Dyson V11

Dyson V11
DYSON

The Dyson V11 is the latest in a long line of cordless vacuums from Dyson that convert from a stick vac to a handheld vac (or to a stick vac with a rotating brushhead, depending on your point of view). As with every new generation of Dyson, it has more suction power than ever before (40% more than the Dyson V8). What makes the V11 upgrade-worthy though is its intelligence. It actually senses whether you’re vacuuming on a hard or soft surface and adjusts the suction accordingly. And you’ll be glad that it does, because turning the vacuum on to full suction and then trying to roll it over a hardwood floor is an instant workout. It also picks up as much dirt as a full-sized Dyson vacuum cleaner. 

As for its brain, the LCD panel on the back of the unit tells you what suction mode you’re in and how much time you have left. When you change from Eco to Boost, the battery image changes, and you’ll see that time drop dramatically. That LCD will also walk you through maintenance tasks when there are airway clogs and remind you when it’s time to clean the permanent filters. 

Depending on what model V11 you buy, there will be a variety of attachments, some of which you can store on the stick extension, others that you can keep in the drop-in base. And switching out the attachments is simple, making converting between stick vac and handheld modes a breeze. 

I know that Dyson gets knocked for its reliability, but honestly, it’s never been an issue I’ve experienced. I owned the old DC16 (Dyson’s first handheld vacuum) and their first Animal vac back in the early 2000s. I only upgraded to newer Dysons in the past couple of years—both older models still worked admirably. 

About the only thing you’ll have to worry about is lusting after the inevitable V12.

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Dyson V11 Animal

Dyson V11 Animal
DYSON

The Dyson V11 Animal is based on the same motor as the V11 Torque model. The difference (besides the snazzy purple exterior) is that it has an LED on the back of the unit instead of an LCD. It still tells you what suction mode you’re in, and lets you know when there are blockages and when to clean the permanent filter. It won’t give you the run time like the display on the V11 Torque model, but you’ll have to decide if that’s worth an extra $100.  

The V11 Animal has the same attachments, including a rotating powerhead that destroys pet hair, leaving behind upholstery that will make people wonder if you have a pet at all. 

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Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

Dyson V10 Cyclone Absolute
DYSON

The Cyclone may be last year’s model, but the V10 Absolute features more attachments than you know what to do with. It’s still an impressive performer (and was the top Dyson vacuum up until the V11 came out), with a 60-minute run time and suction power that’s topped only by its successor. What I love about this package is the soft roller head that’s specially made for hardwood floors. It’s coated with antistatic carbon fiber filaments so that dust doesn’t stick to your vacuum, but gets vacuumed up. To be honest, I wish there was a V11 package that included this.

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Dyson V7

Dyson V7
DYSON

The V7 is the last generation of exclusively handheld vacuums from Dyson (though you can attach a wand to this model to make it a stick vac if you really want to). I owned the first generation of this model for a long time and was always impressed with the amount of suction generated by such a compact machine. Cordless, it runs up to 30 minutes on a single charge. You can also increase the suction, but you’ll sacrifice run time. All that power helps run a power brush attachment that makes short work of pet hair. The attachment system is a simple mechanical one that makes it super simple to switch between the power brush, crevice and combo tools. Emptying the bin is easily done with the press of a trigger, but you may still have to dig around to get clumps of hair or dust bunnies. With the clear canister, it’s easy to see when the unit is full, and it doesn’t lose suction as it fills. All around, it’s a perfect handheld.

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The Main Vacuum Types

There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.

1. Handheld

Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.

2. Canister

Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.

3. Upright

These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.

4. Stick

While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.

5. Autonomous / Robot

Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.


Vacuum Cleaners

Location, Location, Location

Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.

Bare Floors:

If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.

Carpeting:

On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.

Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.

To Bag or Not To Bag

The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.

Bagged:

If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.

Bagless:

If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.

Types Of Vacuum Cleaners Explained

The types of vacuum cleaners to choose from can be overwhelming. Each one comes with its pros and cons.

1. Handheld Vacuum

Cleaning the sofa with a handheld vacuum

The handheld vacuum cleaner is good for cleaning hard-to-reach places. Think of your car, between the couch cushions, and underneath the bed. You can even use this handy machine for cleaning corners in rooms for a thorough clean.PROS:

  • Good for nooks and crannies.
  • You can keep it in your car.
  • Corded or cordless.
  • Good for pet hair.

CONS:

  • Not good for general cleaning, as it would take too long.
  • Less power than a canister or full-sized vacuum.

Additional Specs

TypeHandheld
Cleaning SurfaceAny fabric, hard floor, carpets, cars
Best for CleaningDust, crumbs, hair
Noise LevelQuiet
ManeuverabilityEasy
Storage SizeSmall
Price$

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2. Canister Vacuum

Vacuuming a laminate floor

This powerful vacuum comes with a separate canister attached to the wand of the vacuum. Because of the separate canister, the engines of these vacuums can be bigger. If you’re looking for amazing suction and airflow, consider a canister vacuum.PROS:

  • Powerful vacuum.
  • They can clean floors, stairs, under furniture, upholstery, and curtains.
  • Lightweight.
  • They come with a variety of tools for different surfaces and flooring types.

CONS:

  • They are bulkier, making them harder to store.
  • You need to assemble it before use, so it’s not as quick as other vacuums.
  • You have to take the canister with you as you vacuum.
  • Not good for people prone to back pain, as you’ll have to bend down to lift the canister and switch the vacuum on and off.

Additional Specs

TypeCanister
Cleaning SurfaceCarpets, fabrics, hard floors, stairs
Best for CleaningDirt, pet hair, dust, food
Noise LevelModerate
ManeuverabilityDifficult
Storage SizeLarge
Price$$$

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3. Upright Vacuum

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When you visualize vacuum cleaners, an upright vacuum is probably the image that comes to mind. These vacuums are popular in households because they are effective for cleaning carpets and hard floors. They’re also affordable, powerful, and easy to maneuver.PROS:

  • Easy to store.
  • Stand up on their own.
  • Great for cleaning carpets, but can also be used on hard floors.
  • They come with attachments for different uses.
  • Wide cleaning path which is good for large areas.

CONS:

  • Typically heavier.
  • They can be quite noisy.
  • Difficult to vacuum stairsbecause the cord or the body of the vacuum gets in the way.
  • Not efficient in hard-to-reach places or corners without attachments.

Additional Specs

TypeUpright
Cleaning SurfaceCarpets and hard floors
Best for CleaningDust, allergens, hair
Noise LevelLoud
ManeuverabilityMedium
Storage SizeMedium
Price$$

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4. Stick Vacuum

Woman cleaning hard floor with a cordless stick vacuum

Stick vacuums can be corded or cordless. They are the least powerful of these types of vacuum cleaners but they are good for small, narrow spaces.

Because of their stick-like design, they’re slender and simple to store.PROS:

  • Easy to store.
  • Lightweight.
  • Good for quick, small messes.
  • They work great on hardwood floors.
  • Corded or cordless.

CONS:

  • Not as powerful as other vacuums.
  • Small dirt bin capacity.
  • Noisy.

Additional Specs

TypeStick
Cleaning SurfaceHard floors, light carpet, and rugs
Best for CleaningSurface litter, like crumbs and hair
Noise LevelLoud
ManeuverabilityEasy
Storage SizeSmall
Price$-$$

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5. Robot Vacuum

Robotic vacuum cleaner cleaning the carpet

robot vacuum is like having a well-behaved dog. They clean up your mess, and you don’t even need to train them.

Robot vacuums are becoming more and more popular. That’s because of their wonderful convenience. This vacuum does the work for you while you’re out or while you’re home, cleaning floors and underneath furniture.

PROS:

  • You can relax while the vacuum cleans.
  • The vacuum can find its way around the room and navigate between tight spots.
  • You can control it with your smartphone.
  • Takes only a small storage area.

CONS:

  • They clean small messes, so you might need to vacuum manually every so often.
  • Small dirt bin capacity.
  • Expensive.
  • Not great on shaggy carpets or rugs.

Additional Specs

TypeRobot
Cleaning SurfaceHard floors and carpets
Best for CleaningDirt, dust, hair, crumbs
Noise LevelQuiet
ManeuverabilityEasy
Storage SizeSmall
Price$$-$$$

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6. Backpack Vacuum

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backpack vacuum is a vacuum you can wear like a backpack. This can be a good choice for people who experience back pain.

While these have decent suction, they aren’t as powerful as some of the previously mentioned vacuum cleaners.PROS:

  • Good for people with back pain.
  • They pick up soil and dust.
  • The wand is lightweight.

CONS:

  • Straps can be hard to adjust.
  • The storage bags inside are usually quite small.

Additional Specs

TypeBackpack
Cleaning SurfaceFloors, carpets, furniture
Best for CleaningSoil and dust
Noise LevelMedium
ManeuverabilityEasy
Storage SizeLarge
Price$$-$$$

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7. Wet And Dry Vacuums

Vacuuming tile floor with a shop vacuum

wet and dry vacuum has the ability to vacuum up dry dirt and wet spots, a very useful function. So whether you’ve got spilled milk or sprinkled sawdust, this vacuum can solve your problem.PROS:

  • Vacuums wet and dry debris.
  • Good for inside the home but also on industrial sites.
  • Easy to wash out the separate filters.
  • Nozzle for getting into small spaces.
  • Inflates mattresses and paddling pools.

CONS:

  • Corded, so if using outside, you’ll need to use multiple power supplies.
  • It gets smelly, especially if you’re vacuuming up urine or vomit.

Additional Specs

TypeWet and Dry
Cleaning SurfaceFloors, cars, furniture
Best for CleaningLiquids, solids, foods, glass, dust
Noise LevelMedium
ManeuverabilityDifficult
Storage SizeLarge
Price$-$$

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8. Central Vacuum System

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If you’re tired of plugging and unplugging vacuums, you can get a central vacuum system installed in your home.

You get a tubing system hidden inside the walls of your house. That’s connected to a motorized suction unit usually stored in basements or garages. The tubing system can also connect to wall ports throughout the house.

When you need to vacuum, you connect a long hose to the wall ports and turn it on. Then you vacuum as normal around the house. The debris goes down the hose, through the tubes, and into the debris collection container.PROS:

  • More powerful than normal vacuum cleaners.
  • You don’t need to bring anything around with you.
  • Healthier indoor air quality since the debris container is located outside of living areas in the house.
  • Quiet.
  • The suction isn’t affected as the container fills.
  • You add value to your house.

CONS:

  • These systems are expensive, costing roughly $1,000 to $3,000.
  • You have to carry around a pretty long hose.
  • Less energy efficient.
  • Difficult to vacuum stairs.
  • Not that effective on carpets.

Additional Specs

TypeCentral vacuum system
Cleaning SurfaceCarpets, hard floor, furniture
Best for CleaningDirt, debris, dander
Noise LevelQuiet
ManeuverabilityMedium
Storage SizeSmall
Price$$$

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Is A Vacuum Cleaner Really Necessary?

Maybe you’re quite happy with your broom and dustpan, but here are some reasons that a vacuum cleaner is necessary.

What Are The Advantages Of A Vacuum Cleaner?

  • It’s good if you have allergies: If you don’t vacuum, your allergies could worsen (1). Dust, pollen, and pet dander never go away. Dust mites breed quickly, too (2).
  • Your carpets and rugs will last longer: The more often you vacuum, the cleaner your house will be, therefore, lengthening the lifespan of your carpets, rugs, and other furniture.
  • Vacuuming purifies the air: To an extent, vacuuming can purify the air, especially if you’re a smoker. Smoke gets caught in carpets, curtains, rugs, and couches. Vacuuming is a good way to lessen the amount of old cigarette smoke in your home (3).
  • Vacuuming gets rid of mold: Mold has the creepy ability to move around your home. Vacuuming sucks some of that mold up, cleaning your home (4).
  • Your home looks cleaner: Finally, it’s important to vacuum your home for aesthetics. There’s nothing worse than visiting a friend and being totally uncomfortable in their dusty, dirty home. Vacuum your floors to create a pleasant and clean environment.

Location, Location, Location

Each type of flooring requires a different vacuum cleaner. Consider these tips when choosing the right vacuum cleaner for you.

Hard Floors

If you have hard floors in your house, such as hardwoodtiles, and laminate, your best option is a vacuum cleaner that comes with a number of attachments. You also want to opt for a lightweight vacuum cleaner so you prevent scratches on your floor.

An upright vacuum cleaner can scratch your floors and leave debris on your floors. Some upright vacuums do come with a setting for hard floors, but you’re better choosing something like a canister vacuum.

Canister vacuums usually come with an attachment brush for bare floors, which prevents scratching. Plus, they are good for rugs if you have any on your hard floors.

Carpeting

If you’ve opted for a cozy carpet in your home, it’s important to care for that. For carpet, you need something quite powerful. It needs to be able to pull out dirt and debris from carpet strands.

You don’t need to worry about floor scratching, so an upright vacuum cleaner is a fantastic option. So, when you have wall-to-wall carpet, shaggy or smooth, or even area rugs, an upright vacuum is best for you.

Bagged Vs. Bagless

When it comes to deciding between vacuum cleaners, you might also want to consider if you want a bagged or bagless device. There are pros and cons to both.

Bagged Vacuums

PROS:

  • It’s good if anyone in your family has allergies. Bags trap most of the dirt, dust, and pollen. Exposure is minimal even when you’re emptying them.
  • There is less mess. The dust doesn’t go everywhere when you empty the vacuum, because all the dirt is in a bag.
  • Vacuum bags are available at most supermarkets.

CONS:

  • You have to change the bag regularly.
  • There is more waste and an extra ongoing cost to your vacuum cleaner.

Bagless Vacuums

PROS:

  • Environmentally friendly option.
  • You don’t need to stock spend money on vacuum bags.
  • Usually, you can see how full the dirt container is so you know when to empty the vacuum.

CONS:

  • It’s messier. When you dump the vacuum contents into the trash, dust tends to fly up everywhere. We often find we need to vacuum around our garbage can after emptying our vacuums.

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