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Cheap Handheld Vacuums Buying Guide

When shopping for handheld vacuums, keep in mind that they come either with or without a cord. Cordless handheld vacuums are convenient and easy to maneuver but need to be charged.

A corded handheld vacuum cleaner will run as long as you need it to, but you have to move the cord from outlet to outlet. Despite the convenience of cordless vacuums, for the most part, users give higher ratings to models with cords. However, we also found some good cordless handheld vacuums.

Other features that help make a handheld vacuum even more convenient include the weight of the machine and the special features. Handheld vacuums are designed to be used one-handed, so they should be as light as possible. Many pricey models pride themselves on being feather-light, but plenty of options in our price range are also fairly lightweight; none of the cheap handheld vacuums on our list weighs more than five pounds. Special features include attachments such as crevice tools and upholstery brushes. Some handheld vacuums are specifically designed to pick up pet hair or come with special attachments just for that purpose.

Buyers should also consider the filter type and warranty. Most cheap handheld vacuums use standard filters; only a few use high-efficiency particulate air filters, or HEPA filters, which are said to collect even more dust, dirt, and allergens. All the machines we researched have at least a one-year warranty.

Popular brands in this category include Bissell, Dirt Devil, Black and Decker, Eureka, and Dyson. Dysons are out of our price range, but all the other brands offer cheap handheld vacuums. Our favorites are the Eureka Easy Clean Hand Vac 71B (starting at $40) and the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Hand Vacuum (starting at just $29). Both are lightweight, have long cords, and receive near-perfect reviews from users. We also like the Black and Decker 18V Platinum Series Cordless Hand Vacuum (starting at $50) and the FilterStream DirtTamer Ultima V2510 (starting at $79). Both are cordless and receive good user reviews. The FilterStream DirtTamer Ultima V2510 is also the only cheap handheld vacuum we found that cleans both wet and dry messes, while the Black and Decker 18V Platinum Series Cordless Hand Vacuum is the only model with a replaceable battery, so the entire machine isn't rendered useless if the battery stops holding a charge. The battery is our major gripe with the Euro-Pro SV75 Shark Cordless Hand Vac (starting at $40); it seems to have major issues holding a charge.

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