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Depending on your commute, there’s a good chance you’re spending a lot of time each day in your car. Much like our living spaces, cars can easily get dirty and messy fast, and it’s not always easy to keep your interior spotless throughout the week. If you don’t have the time to head to a car wash to use the vacuums there, it may be time to invest in a high-quality portable vacuum cleaner for your car. Here’s what you need to know about buying a handheld vac to keep your vehicle looking brand-new, just like the first day you bought it.
Car Vacuum Buying Guide
We looked at the following criteria while assessing the best car vacuums.
Efficiency: The most important thing is that your vacuum has the power to get rid of all the dirt and dust that’s accumulated in your car. The best vacuums have at least 15 air watts, or a battery with 16V or higher.
Cord vs Cordless & Battery Life: Cordless vacs, of course, make it easier to move around your vehicle without needing to be plugged in. While they’re ideal for reaching tough-to-access spots in your car, they may need recharged more frequently to finish the job, though it will depend on how messy your car is. Corded vacs need to be plugged into a power source, so you’ll want to ensure you’re close to an outlet when cleaning. However, you’ll have an endless amount of juice to clean your seats and floors. Plus, you won’t have to worry about charging them after every use. We included both options in this guide.
Design: Vacuuming your car shouldn’t come at the expense of your hands, wrists and arms. There are plenty of lightweight options to choose from that won’t require a bodybuilder’s endurance or strength to hold and operate.
1. THISWORX Car Vacuum Cleaner
One of the top-rated car vacuum cleaners online, the THISWORX portable vacuum has a 4.1-star rating from more than 205,000 reviews online. The vacuum weighs just 2.4 pounds, and its powerful 106-watt motor delivers a ton of suction power that works on everything from crumbs and dirt to stubborn pet hair.
This set includes an AV plug, a 16-foot cord (long enough to reach even the backseat and trunk), three attachments (flathead, extendable and brush nozzle), a storage bag, filter brush, and spare filter.
2. VacLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum
This portable vacuum’s impressive 20-minute battery life makes it stand out from many others on the market. A light will go from green to red when it’s in need of a charge, and vice versa when it’s ready to be used again. Weighing just 2.5 pounds, this vacuum is extremely easy to operate and comes with three attachments, including a brush. With enhanced HEPA filters and powerful suction, your car will not only get clean, but it will also stay that way. It’s also outfitted with an LED light so you can see underneath and between your seats.
3. Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Handheld Vacuum
If you’re looking for a corded option, this vacuum from Bissell is a great choice. Boasting a storage capacity of 0.78 liters, a flexible rubber nozzle and specialty cleaning attachments (a crevice tool, hose and wide mouth tool), this is a powerful and convenient gadget to keep your car clean. The cord reaches 18 feet, so you’ll have no problem reaching every spot in your vehicle.
4. Black + Decker Max Handheld Vacuum
This vacuum from Black + Decker is the most expensive option on our list, but it provides everything you need for easily picking up dirt in your vehicle. Don’t let its portable design fool you, this is an extremely powerful vacuum. With a three-stage filtration and rotating nozzle, there isn’t a job this model can’t handle. It actually manages to spin dirt and debris away from its filter while you’re cleaning, so the performance isn’t affected. The bottom line: It’s one of the best car vacs you can buy.
5. Hotor Portable Car Vacuum
This corded vacuum from Hotor is one of the most affordable car vacs we’ve found that features an impressive amount of power. You can deep clean your car for as long as needed, thanks to the 16.4-foot cord. Plus, its lightweight design makes long cleaning jobs even easier. If that wasn’t enough for you, it comes with an array of attachments, including three different nozzles, along with an LED light to see all of your upholstery.
6. Varsk 4-in-1 Car Vacuum Cleaner
If you’re looking to get a little more bang for your buck, look no further than this vacuum from Varsk, which also functions as a tire inflator, air compressor and tire pressure gauge. The LED display makes everything clear and transparent, while a built-in flashlight keeps floors (or your tires) visible, even in the dark.