Best handheld vacuum cleaners 2017 - Group Test

Tired of dragging your bulky household vacuum cleaner around your car's interior? Find out what the best handheld vacuum cleaners are in our product test

Words By Doug Revolta

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We all know it doesn’t take long to turn a pristine, showroom-fresh car interior into something that looks more like a zoo.

Regular use, especially with a young family, leaves all manner of everyday debris in hard-to-reach areas in a car.

Getting your household vacuum cleaner out to tidy the car can be a major hassle. There is, however, a simple solution. Handheld vacuum cleaners can be just as effective as a bigger vacuumer cleaner and they’re much smaller and often easier to use. Plus, many of the best ones are cordless, so you aren’t tied to a three-point socket in your house.

We’ve tested a selection of models to tell you what the best ones on sale are.

What makes a good handheld vacuum cleaner?

It’s important that they are light and easy to hold, with useful attachments to get to all crevices in the car. For cordless vacuums, it’s helpful to have a short charging time but a decent amount of running time. And they must have a good capacity and be easy to empty as well.

The voltage determines how powerful it is. The smaller ones in our test typically have a 7V battery, while the strongest ones have 22V. Prices in our test range from Β£60 all the way up to Β£400.

Name Halfords rechargable vacuum cleaner

Price Β£59

What Car? says...

Rated 2 out of 5

This no-frills cordless vacuum can run for 16 minutes from a six-hour charge, which isn’t great if you’ve got a particularly dirty car to work on. Being an 11V unit, it doesn’t offer the power of some of the others in the list, but it copes well enough with removing most everyday grit. It comes with three fixtures for the end and, without being excellent, they all offer reasonable flexibility. Emptying it is easy; all it takes is a click of a button to release the head.

Name Dyson V8 Absolute

Price Β£429

What Car? says...

Rated 4 out of 5

This is the most expensive product in our list by some way. So what do you get for your extra money? Well, it’s the best-quality unit, has the longest claimed running time and delivers the best results. A full five-hour charge should deliver 40 minutes of use from the 22V battery (reduced to seven minutes on continuous use of maximum mode) and the results are, predictably, excellent. The array of nozzles offer great flexibility in the car and around the house, and it will deliver the best results of anything in our test. Plus, it only weighs 2.6kg, so it’s still very light and not tiresome to use. The biggest drawback is the price. If you want the best of the best and money is no object, then look no further; those after value for money will find a better deal elsewhere. It comes with a two-year warranty.

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Name Sealey CPV72

Price Β£51.32

What Car? says...

Rated 2 out of 5

Weighing in at 0.8kg, this is the lightest product in our test, but with a 7.2V battery it’s also one of the least powerful. Although light and easy to use, it struggles to get to those especially hard-to-reach places in a car because the attachments aren’t particularly useful. It’s for wet and dry use, although the ability for sucking up spillages is only modest. It also needs five hours for a full charge from empty.

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Read on to find out what the best handheld vacuum cleaners are

More reviews and verdict >

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