The Best Handheld Carpet Cleaner For Your Money

The Best Handheld Carpet Cleaner For Your Money

Cleaning the house can sometimes be a hard task. Depending on how dirty it has become, you may spend hours on end cleaning up, and it helps to have the proper tools for the job.

Cleaning up is enough of a hassle when you are using the right equipment, but when you are using a vacuum cleaner to do the job of a rug cleaner, or vice versa, you will find that you are expending futile effort.

Handheld vacuum used on stairs.

For example, if you are trying to clean up in a confined area where your full-size vacuum cleaner cannot reach, you may have to rearrange furniture or position yourself awkwardly, so you will be able to reach the dirty spot.

In some cases, you will be entirely unable to reach certain spots with a full-size vacuum, and you will have to sweep or clean them up manually, which can further add to your workload.

This is why it helps to have variety regarding your home cleaning appliances. If you care about keeping your home clean and presentable, it is a great idea to invest in a set of reliable floor care appliances.

Arguably the most crucial of these floor care appliances is the full-size vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum cleaners make it far easier to clean a larger area than simple brooms, and while they may have been quite pricey in the past, they have dropped considerably regarding price over the past few decades.

This drop in price is due to a mix of evolving technology making it far easier to manufacture effective vacuum cleaners as well as a growing market with more selections from which you may take your pick.

More competition results in lower prices for the consumer and also generally better quality products. It is tough to compete in the floor care market if you are selling an overpriced and ineffective vacuum cleaner.

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Types Of Vacuum Cleaner

There are two common forms of vacuum cleaners, and they each have their pros and cons. The first type of vacuum cleaner and the typically less expensive variety is the standing vacuum cleaner. They are as the name suggests as they stand up as opposed to being of a two piece construction.

These vacuum cleaners tend to be easier to store, and they usually have a larger suction surface so you may clean up more spots at once.

Standing Vacuum Cleaners

Standing vacuum cleaners have a somewhat modular construction as the bag is usually midway up the vacuum itself. The suction surface is at the bottom with controls being positioned on the handle, allowing for easy access as you clean.

Six vacuum cleaners in a row.

These types of vacuum cleaners are typically ideal if you would like to cover a larger area in one pass. Another aspect where these vacuum cleaners shine is that they tend to have a smaller footprint than two-piece vacuum cleaners.

If you are somewhat pressed for space in your home, but you have enough vertical clearance in your broom closet to fit a standing vacuum, this would be the more proper type of vacuum cleaner to purchase. Unfortunately, standing vacuum cleaners do tend to have a few disadvantages.

The primary disadvantage is regarding versatility as standing vacuum cleaners cannot typically mount the same accessories as two piece hose vacuum cleaners.

Hose Type Vacuum Cleaners

The next type of vacuum cleaner is the hose type, which typically features a main body mounted on wheels, with a hose for suction. The flexible hose does add a certain degree of versatility as you can more easily fit the hose into crevices and hard to reach locations.

This is the main advantage when compared to standing vacuum cleaners as it is somewhat awkward to maneuver a standing vacuum cleaner into a smaller spot.

Hose type vacuum cleaner.

Hose type vacuum cleaners are also capable of mounting different nozzles for different applications, such as sweeper nozzles, stair nozzles and a large variety of other types.

This contributes greatly to making them more versatile than standing vacuum cleaners. Depending on the model, hose type vacuum cleaners may also take up more space.

The more expensive models are similar regarding footprint to standing vacuum cleaners, but the cheaper ones tend to be bulkier.

The most expensive models of vacuum cleaners tend to be of the hose type as it allows manufacturers to simplify the design and position more powerful vacuum mechanisms in the body of the vacuum.

However, high-end manufacturers like Dyson do make some standing vacuum cleaners that are just as effective; they are simply less commonly available than high-end hose type vacuum cleaners.

Handheld Vacuum Cleaners

The next option regarding floor care is a handheld vacuum cleaner. These types of vacuum cleaners are very useful for smaller homes, such as apartments.

If you find that you do not have a large surface area to vacuum, the wise choice would be to purchase a handheld vacuum cleaner as they are less expensive and they are less of a hassle when it comes to storage, as full-size vacuum cleaners can take up a decent amount of space.

Handheld vacuum cleaners are not only convenient when it comes to keeping a smaller area clean, but you will also find that they are quite useful for reaching tough spots.

They are also very helpful as they tend to use batteries instead of power outlets to function so you can easily use them in areas where there are no power outlets nearby, such as on your balcony or any other exterior location you would like to tidy up.

Another very useful application for handheld vacuum cleaners is cleaning automobiles. As they do not require a power outlet and they are very easily maneuverable in confined spaces, you will find that handheld vacuum cleaners are ideal for use in vehicles.

Perhaps you want to clean out the bed of your pickup truck, or maybe you would like to tidy up a bit around your boat, you will find that a handheld vacuum cleaner can be used for a wide variety of tasks.

Handheld vacuum cleaners and full sized vacuum cleaners are by no means mutually exclusive. They can be very efficient at cleaning your home if you use both of them in combination.

Sometimes you will find that you must clean a spot which is rather hard to reach even with a hose vacuum cleaner and the only recourse would be to clean that spot manually or employ a handheld vacuum cleaner to ease the cleaning process.

Handheld vacuum cleaner on white background.

Even if you have a hose vacuum cleaner that can reach every spot in your home in a satisfactory fashion, it is always a good idea to have a portable vacuum cleaner for your vehicles as they can get dirty over time if they are not adequately cleaned.

You can of course always have your car cleaned and detailed at your garage, but you will typically be charged an unreasonable amount of money for work that you could have very likely accomplished in fifteen to thirty minutes.

Carpet Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners are not the only type of floor care appliances that are useful to own. You may also purchase a rug cleaner if your home features carpeted floors or place rugs.

Carpet cleaners are very convenient regardless of whether you are attempting to clean up a mess or you are simply giving your carpet a monthly once-over. As carpets accumulate more and more dirt and grime, you will find that they begin to smell and look dirty.

There are many types of carpet cleaners, but there are two primary operating mechanisms with which they function. The first and less common one is typically reserved for commercial applications, and it is known as a carpet steamer.

Carpet steam cleaners do as the name suggests and use high-temperature water vapor (steam) to clean your carpets. These appliances tend to be bulky and expensive.

It is for these reasons that most consumers choose not to buy carpet steamers but rather rent them out.

While you can certainly clean all of the carpets in your home for the duration of your rental period, you will find that renting a carpet steamer is an imperfect solution as you may end up needing it the next day anyways due to an unfortunate spill or perhaps a pet having an accident on your carpets.

While carpet steamers certainly function more efficiently than alternative methods of cleaning your carpets, the price point simply tends to be prohibitive for those looking for an affordable way to keep their carpets clean.

Wet Vacuum Carpet Cleaners

If you do not wish to invest such a large sum of money in a carpet steam cleaner, you have the second option of a wet vacuum type of carpet cleaner.

Wet vacuum carpet cleaner on white background.

These types of carpet cleaners tend to be similar to vacuum cleaners but they contain typically two reservoirs of water (one clean and one dirty). These carpet cleaners use a mixture of the clean water and detergent to deeply clean your carpets.

Once the clean water has been used to clean the carpet, it is sucked back into the carpet cleaner and is left in the dirty water reservoir, to be dumped once you have depleted the reservoir of clean water.

These types of carpet cleaners typically use special forms of detergent that will not damage your carpet and will do a good job of cleaning out the dirt and grime which has accumulated in your carpets.

These types of carpet cleaners, while they are less powerful than steam cleaners, tend to be more affordable and more easily accessible than carpet steamers. There is a reason for which carpet steam cleaners tend to be used more often in commercial settings.

You will find that carpet steam cleaners tend to be overkill for household tasks, so you are usually better off purchasing a carpet cleaner of the vacuum type.

Another advantage to vacuum type carpet cleaners is that they are very similar to standard vacuum cleaners, so you do not have to spend time learning how to use them.

Depending on the model it may either have automatic detergent dispensation or manual dispensation allowing you to pick and choose where you use detergent to get the most out of your detergent supply.

Carpet Cleaners Compared To Vacuum Cleaners

The similarities to vacuum cleaners are not simply restricted to their method of operation but also the overall design of carpet cleaners. You have the option of the standard sized models coming in either standing or hose varieties, just like vacuum cleaners.

They have the same advantages and disadvantages as standard vacuum cleaners, namely versatility for hose carpet washers and simplicity for standing carpet washers.

Of course, there are also handheld varieties of carpet cleaners, just like vacuums, but they tend to suffer from the disadvantage of a smaller water reservoir than full-size models, meaning you will have to replace the water more often, leading to multiple trips to the faucet and back.

They do have the advantage regarding price and maneuverability, allowing you to clean your carpets in crevices and other places which are hard to reach for a reasonable price.

Portable carpet cleaners can be known by many names including upholstery cleaning machine, handheld carpet washer, and handheld carpet spot cleaner. They are very useful for cleaning out car carpets and carpets in other vehicles such as boats, where you will have to deal with a confined space so you can clean more efficiently.

Cleaning the car with a vacuum.

We will now move onto our reviews of the best handheld carpet cleaners and vacuum cleaners.

Our Top Recommendation For Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners

These are the top five handheld carpet cleaners.

BISSELL SpotLifter Powerbrush Handheld Deep Cleaner

The Bissell SpotLifter Powerbrush is a solid competitor for the title of best handheld carpet cleaner. It is a very versatile machine which can be used on more than just carpets, including automobile upholstery, furniture, and even mattresses.


  • Features an 18-foot power cable
  • Motorized dual brush roll
  • ​Continuous sucking and brushing action removes tough stains
  • ​Trigger allows you to spray cleaning solution manually
  • Removable brush cartridge
Bissell SpotLifter hand-held deep cleaner.

The removable brush cartridge allows you easier access to clean your SpotLifter, and in the case of brush degradation, you always have the option to replace the brush roll to increase the longevity of your SpotLifter.

One of the only real downsides to this model of handheld carpet cleaner is that it will leave your carpet somewhat damp after you have finished cleaning due to the lower suction power than full sized models.

This is to be expected, and as long as you are willing to give your carpet a few moments to dry off, you will find that this carpet cleaner functions exceptionally well for the relatively small price of just under 45 dollars.

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BISSELL SpotLifter 2X Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner, 1719 – Cordless

The Bissell SpotLifter cordless is similar in some ways to the previously reviewed product, but it differs in a few crucial aspects. This is a cordless handheld carpet cleaner which has a battery life of about 15 minutes.

As you can tell by the battery life, this cleaner is not meant to be used for extended periods of time, and it excels at cleaning up smaller stains. If you are planning on using this product to clean your entire carpet, this is very likely not the product for you.


  • Features a stationary cleaner brush
  • Features a seven-inch nozzle
  • ​Runs for 15 minutes on full power
  • ​Requires a 24-hour initial charge
  • ​All subsequent costs are 12 hours
  • ​Dual tank system
  • Cleaner weighs about six pounds
Bissell SpotLifter portable carpet cleaner on white background.

While the charge time may be somewhat lengthy, if you need a convenient and portable machine, you will probably find that this is the best handheld carpet cleaner for your needs.

The seven-inch nozzle ensures that larger bits of dirt and grime will not jam up the feed of this handheld carpet cleaner and it is quite light, weighing around six pounds, like other Bissell SpotLifter models.

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Eureka EasyClean Corded Hand-Held 71B Vacuum Cleaner

The Eureka EasyClean is the first of the vacuum cleaners we will be reviewing, but it is still a valid contender for the title of best handheld carpet cleaner as it functions very efficiently at removing dust and dirt particles from your carpets.

It is a very versatile handheld vacuum cleaner as you can choose whether you would like to use the brush roll in combination with the vacuum suction or the more traditional vacuum hose.


  • Riser Visor makes it easier to clean stairs and furniture
  • 20-foot cable affords you more freedom of movement
  • ​5.5 amp motor
  • ​Moving brush roll
  • Included vacuum hose for hard to reach spaces
Eureka EasyClean hand-held vacuum.

The 20-foot cable is sufficient for your needs if you want to clean a room, but it does not have the extended length of the cables of full-size vacuum cleaners. The cable conveniently wraps around the body of the vacuum cleaner, so it does not get in your way when it is not at full extension.

One thing to remember if you decide to purchase this handheld vacuum is that the dust filter must be cleaned regularly to take advantage of the vacuum's full suction.

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VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Corded Upright Stick & Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

The VonHause 600W 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner is certainly one of the best handheld carpet cleaners you can find, regardless of its lack of a water system. It is an incredibly versatile vacuum cleaner.

You can decide whether you want it to perform as a regular standing vacuum cleaner or you can detach the handle and the nozzle.


  • 2 in 1 design allows you to choose between standing and handheld vacuum cleaner
  • 600 watts of power
  • ​1.2 liters of dust capacity
  • ​Detachable dust container
  • ​HEPA filtration system captures dust and other potentially airborne particles
  • ​19.5-foot long power cable
  • Various accessories such as crevice tool, hose adaptor, and brush attachment
VonHaus 600W Handheld vacuum cleaner.

Thus, you can use it as a small and easily portable handheld vacuum cleaner, which is quite convenient if you do not want to purchase these two separately.

This vacuum cleaner is surprisingly powerful for its size. You would not guess by looking at it, but it is one of the most powerful handheld vacuum cleaners we have seen. This makes sense as it is not purely a handheld vacuum cleaner but a 2-in-1 model.

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Royal Appliance M0105 Dirt Devil Purpose For Pets Hand Vac

The Royal Appliance M0105 Dirt Devil may be specifically geared towards pet owners, but it is still an ideal model if you are searching for a vacuum cleaner which is efficient at cleaning carpets.

The motorized brush helps get the dirt and dust out of your carpets while the powerful vacuum sucks it all up. The wide nozzle allows you to sweep larger swathes of the floor so you can get your cleaning done faster.


  • Designed for use with pet hair but it functions well in any situation
  • ​Features a motorized brush working in conjunction with vacuum
  • ​HEPA type filtration ensures you will not be bothered by allergens
Royal Appliance Dirt Devil carpet cleaner.

This is also a convenient handheld vacuum cleaner as the cord is sufficiently long to allow you to clean up all around a room without having to switch outlets.

The suction is powerful enough for a handheld and the motorized brush functions spectacularly, giving you better results than other models which have stationary brushes or lack a brush altogether.

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We hope that these reviews have helped you find the best handheld carpet cleaner for your needs. While we all have different budgets and requirements of our home cleaning appliances, we have tried to cover a good variety of products which feature the best quality build construction

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