Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Whether it's food crumbs on the floor, pet hair, dirt brought in or cleaning the stairs: A hand-held hoover is a useful helper in everyday life. It is often used when it is not worth taking the classic house hoover out of the cupboard.

Our hand-held hoover test 2021 should help you find the perfect hand-held hoover for you. There are mini handheld hoovers, handheld hoovers with handles and 2in1 handheld hoovers. We have compared these for you and listed their advantages and disadvantages. In addition, we have compiled criteria for you to look out for when buying. With this information, we want to make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • Hand-held hoovers are not only suitable for short-term use in between, but also for longer vacuuming jobs. The duration of use depends on the power supply.
  • Basically, handheld hoovers can be distinguished by their size. There are mini handheld hoovers, handheld hoovers with handles and 2in1 handheld hoovers.
  • Small handheld hoovers are suitable for vacuuming small areas. If you want to vacuum larger areas, such as several rooms or smaller flats, handheld hoovers with handles are the better choice. 2in1 handheld hoovers have both functions and are therefore even more versatile.

The Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaner: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for handheld vacuum cleaners

Below we present some aspects that will help you choose your handheld hoover.

The criteria that help you compare handheld hoovers include:

In the following sections we will explain these criteria in more detail.

Weight

Weight is an important criterion when choosing a handheld hoover. Since you hold the whole device in your hand, the weight should be as low as possible. If a hand-held hoover is relatively heavy, it should score points for this with other functions.

Since the weight of the hand hoover is in one hand, it should be as low as possible.

In terms of size, there is a wide range of models and thus a correspondingly wide range of weights. The lightest models start at less than one kilogram, while others can weigh more than 4 kilograms.

Not only the size, but also the corresponding equipment has an impact on the weight. The size of the battery in particular plays a major role here.

Power

The suction power is also an important criterion. The wattage is often used as a guide. This describes the power of the motor and the energy consumption.

The wattage alone is not decisive for the suction power. The length of the suction path also plays a major role.

However, you should not only use the wattage as a criterion when buying a vacuum cleaner. The length of the suction path also plays a major role. A hand-held hoover with 150 watts may be just as good as one with 200 watts, if the suction path is shorter.

Dust collection capacity

The capacity describes the dust collection volume of the upright hoover. A distinction is made between devices with a bag and devices with a container. The average size is between 0.5 and 1 litre, although some appliances can hold much more or less.

If you have a hand-held hoover with a bag, it must be replaced regularly. This will also incur regular costs. If you have a handheld hoover with a container, you only have to empty it regularly. This saves you running costs.

You should also note that some handheld hoovers are equipped with a wet vacuum function in addition to a dry function, for which there is a separate container or bag. The capacity for liquids is usually lower than for dry residues, but this also depends on the size of the appliance.

Power supply

When choosing your hand hoover, you should pay attention to the source from which it draws its power. Basically, there are devices with a rechargeable battery and those with a cord.

Hoovers with a rechargeable battery are generally more suitable for occasional use. Corded models, on the other hand, can be used for an unlimited period of time.

Hand-held hoovers with rechargeable batteries are more suitable for short-term use due to their limited runtime. With regard to the lifetime of a rechargeable battery, you should bear in mind that the power decreases with increasing age. You may have to replace the battery after a certain period of time, which is associated with additional costs.

Corded handheld hoovers are generally more suitable for longer cleaning jobs. So if you want to buy a handheld hoover to vacuum a lot of rooms on a regular basis, you should go for a corded model.

Running time

The runtime depends on the power supply, which, as already mentioned, is either battery or corded.

If it is a corded model, the runtime during use is basically unlimited.

Devices with a built-in battery, on the other hand, have a limited runtime. This can range from less than five minutes to more than an hour. As a rule, however, it is 10 - 25 minutes. It depends on the size of the battery and the suction level set.

Charging time

The charging time only applies to hand-held hoovers with rechargeable batteries. The charging time depends on the size and type of the battery and covers a very wide range. Basically, a full charge of a completely empty battery takes between 3 and 8 hours. However, shorter or longer charging times are also possible.

The size of the battery depends on the size of the hoover. Small hand-held hoovers are usually recharged faster than hand-held hoovers with a handle or 2in1 devices.

A distinction is made between NiMh batteries and lithium-ion batteries. With Ni-Mh batteries, you should note that they usually take longer to charge than lithium-ion batteries.

Volume

The volume of hand-held hoovers must not exceed a maximum of 85 decibels. The TÜV recommends a volume of between 70 and 75 decibels.

However, there are now also some devices that are particularly quiet but still have sufficient suction power. These are in a lower range, between 40 and 65 decibels.

So, for example, if you want to be considerate of other residents in an apartment building or in your own household, such as children or pets, or if you yourself are sensitive to loud noises, you should consider buying a device with a low decibel level.

Decision: What types of handheld hoovers are there and which is the right one for me?

If you want to buy a handheld hoover, you basically have the choice between the following three alternatives, which differ in size:

Mini handheld vacuum cleaner

Mini handheld vacuum cleaner

Mini handheld hoovers are often also called tabletop handheld vacuum cleaners. They are characterised by the fact that they are small and therefore do not weigh a lot.

Advantages
  • very light weight
  • quickly ready for use
Disadvantages
  • not suitable for larger areas

The disadvantage is that due to its small size it is only suitable for small areas or short jobs. It cannot be used to vacuum an entire floor.

Handle vacuum cleaner

Handle vacuum cleaner

A hand-held vacuum cleaner with a handle is often referred to as a stick hoover. Compared to conventional floor hoovers, it is characterised by an upright operation and a more compact design.

Advantages
  • Suitable for larger areas
  • very manoeuvrable
Disadvantages
  • not suitable under furniture

Advantages are that it is suitable for larger areas due to a larger attachment compared to mini handheld hoovers. It is also very manoeuvrable, which makes it easier to use. However, a disadvantage is that the motor is often installed in the middle of the handle, making it difficult or impossible for the device to vacuum under furniture such as a couch or bed.

2in1 vacuum cleaner

2in1 vacuum cleaner

This is a combination device in which a small hand hoover is located between the nozzle and the handle, which can be removed with a few simple movements. You thus have a stick hoover and mini hand hoover in one.

Advantages
  • versatile range of applications
  • light weight
Disadvantages
  • higher purchase costs

Despite its wide range of applications, the 2in1 device is very light in weight and handy.

The advantage here is clearly flexibility, as it combines the advantages of the mini hand hoover and the hand hoover with handle. The disadvantage, however, is that you usually have to pay more for this flexibility.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about hand-held vacuum cleaners answered in detail

Before you buy a hand-held hoover, you should ask yourself a few questions in advance. In our guide, we have summarised and answered the most common and important questions for you. The answers should help you make the best possible purchase decision.

What is a hand-held vacuum cleaner?

The description of a hand-held vacuum cleaner is already in the term. A handheld hoover represents a hoover that can be easily operated with one hand. They are more compact in handling and usually quicker to hand than conventional floor hoovers.

Hand-held hoovers can be used either as a second device or as an alternative. However, this often depends on the construction and the purpose of use.

For which areas is a hand-held vacuum cleaner suitable?

The areas of application for a hand-held vacuum cleaner are very diverse.

Household

If you have pets such as a dog or a cat that run around the house a lot, you will probably know the problem: lots of pet hair everywhere all the time. A hand-held vacuum cleaner can help here, so that you can remove these pet hairs spontaneously at any time. This is possible on upholstered furniture such as a couch as well as on hard or carpeted floors.

Handstaubsauger-1

Even stubborn dog hair can be removed from a carpet with a hand-held hoover.
(Image source: Fran_Mother_Of_Dogs / Pixabay)

The hand hoover is also wonderfully suitable for other occasional use in between. Annoying crumbs on the sideboard or floor or liquids such as those from a fallen vase can be easily removed.

A hand-held vacuum cleaner is also ideal for cleaning stairs. By using it, you save yourself the hassle of lugging a clunky floor hoover up the stairs.

Vehicles

There are also hand-held vacuum cleaner that are especially suitable for vehicles such as cars or motorhomes, and therefore also for camping. These are often offered by the manufacturer as handheld car hoovers. Sometimes it is possible that the power is supplied via a cigarette lighter and thus longer vacuuming is possible than with a battery-operated hand hoover.

What should allergy sufferers be aware of?

A small amount of the dirty air that is sucked in by a hand-held hoover must also be returned to the outside. Although conventional filters of a house hoover filter the coarse dirt, so that the amount of dirt particles exiting is limited, this is often not sufficient, especially for allergy sufferers.

If you suffer from allergies, you should make sure that your hoover is equipped with a HEPA filter. This is a special filter against fine dust that ensures that dust-free air comes out of the ventilation of the hand hoover. This almost completely prevents mite eggs, aersols, smoke particles, bacteria, pollen and other dust from escaping.

The use of a HEPA filter is basically suitable for devices with a container as well as those with a bag, so you are not limited in your choice.

HEPA filters are either replaceable or reusable filters. You should either replace or clean them at regular intervals. Please follow the manufacturer's instructions.

What attachments are available for a handheld vacuum cleaner?

There are different attachments for handheld hoovers. Not all of them are absolutely necessary, as their use depends on the purpose. When buying a handheld vacuum cleaner, you should therefore check whether they are already included in the accessories or whether they have to be purchased separately. You can choose from the following attachments:

Attachment Description
crevice nozzle It has an elongated, narrow edge and is therefore ideal for angled areas such as corners, edges and joints.
Upholstery nozzle It is equipped with short, soft bristles and is suitable for textile surfaces such as mattresses, armchairs or car seats.
Suction brush A suction brush makes it easy to clean delicate surfaces such as lampshades, glass tables or keyboards.
Hard floor nozzle The hard floor nozzle is suitable for cleaning parquet floors or tiles in the living area. It removes stuck dirt between the grooves and joints without scratching the floor.
Special brush for pet hair Pet hair in particular is often stubborn to remove from upholstery or carpet. A special brush set in electric or rotating form is the right choice here.
Flexible hose With the help of a hose, hard-to-reach places can be cleaned perfectly. For this purpose, it is combined with other attachments such as a crevice nozzle or brush nozzle.

What additional equipment is possible with a hand-held vacuum cleaner?

  • Wall mount: Some handheld hoovers come with a wall mount that you can attach to a place of your choice. In the case of handheld hoovers with a rechargeable battery, this wall mount usually also includes the charging station, so you should mount it near a power socket. Such wall mounts are especially practical if you have no more space in your cupboards for storage.
  • Charge indicator: A charge indicator shows you when the battery of your cordless hand hoover is empty or recharged. This function makes it easier for you to estimate when and how long you can use your hoover.
  • Charge stop: This function also applies to the cordless hand hoover. Some models are equipped with a charge stop so that the power supply stops as soon as the battery is full again. This serves to preserve the battery and increase its lifetime.

How much does a hand-held vacuum cleaner cost?

The price range of different handheld hoovers is very wide and depends on many different factors. Simple hand-held hoovers are available for just under 25 euros. Other models can cost more than 700 euros.

Type Price range
Mini handheld vacuum cleaner approx. €25 - 115
Handheld stick vacuum cleaner approx. 30 - 430 €
2in1 hand-held vacuum cleaner approx. 45 - 700 €

What are the alternatives to a hand-held vacuum cleaner?

In addition to handheld hoovers, there are also other types of handheld hoovers. The following alternatives are available:

  • Robot hoover: For people who travel a lot and for long periods of time, a robot hoover can be a good alternative. It can be conveniently controlled on the go via smartphone. However, it is no substitute for a complete cleaning, as it is difficult to get into the most awkward places.
  • Floor hoover: Even though hand-held hoovers are becoming more and more popular, the floor hoover is still a classic among hoovers. With its housing on wheels and the hose connected to it, you can easily pull it behind you. It is usually corded and thus suitable for longer vacuuming. However, problems arise because the cord often gets in the way and you bump into furniture.

Handstaubsauger-3

Floor hoovers are still a classic among hoovers. However, they are often in the way because of the connected housing.
(Image source: 22594 / Pixabay)

How do I care for a hand-held vacuum cleaner?

Occasionally, you should give your hand-held hoover a little care. This is not time-consuming and, in the best case scenario, will prolong the life of your device.

  • Filter: Depending on the model, you should replace or wash the filter of your hoover regularly. To do this, you should wash it with water and a little washing-up liquid and then let it dry thoroughly. Some filters are even suitable for the dishwasher.
  • Container: Especially for containers without a bag, you should clean them after emptying to remove any remaining dirt. You can also simply wipe it with a damp cloth and let it dry.

For a more detailed procedure, you should always read the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

Image source: brizmaker/ 123rf.com

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