Our Editors independently research, test, and rate what we feel are the best products. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
If you have pets or kids you know how fast your car will get dirty! While you could take your car to get detailed, that costs money, especially when done regularly.
The simple solution is to get yourself one of the best car vacuums! You can clean your car whenever it is convenient for you while saving money. Let’s get started!
Best Car Vacuum Cleaners
|BISSELL Cordless Hand Vacuum||Dyson V7 Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum||BLACK+DECKER Flex Car Vacuum|
|Power:||14V Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||12V Corded|
|Dirt Bin:||0.7 Litre||1.5 Litres||1.2 Litres|
|Runtime:||17 Minutes||30 Minutes||N/A|
|Weight:||4.3 Pounds||3.7 Pounds||3.3 Pounds|
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Car Vacuum Cleaners – 2021
- BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum
- Dyson V7 Car+Boat Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
- BLACK+DECKER Flex Car Vacuum
- BISSELL Car Cleaning Vacuum Bundle
- HoLife Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Vacuum
- VacLife Hand Rechargeable Cordless Car Vacuum
Car Vacuum Cleaner Reviews
- Power: 14V Lithium Ion Battery
- Dirt Cup Capacity: 0.7 Litre
- Runtime: 17 Mins
- Weight: 4.3 Pounds
If you’re looking to combat cat litter, hair, dirt, and dust bunnies in your home aside from keeping your car looking spotless, check out the BISSELL Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum.
As the car vacuum market is oversaturated, it can be hard for a product to differentiate themselves out there. This one did so with their supreme triple-level filtration which helps suck up stubborn dirt particles and pet hair.
The 14V lithium ion battery goes for a pretty solid amount of time, with a 17-minute runtime making it the best cordless car vacuum on our list. The 4.2-pound weight is just slightly heavier than most on our guide, but it’s not bad at all.
The included motorized brush tool, upholstery tool, and crevice tool. These make getting into those tiny corners a breeze, while the motorized brush tool loosens up layers of dirt and dust that’s been compacted.
The dust bin is quite large, at 0.7 liters, meaning you don’t have to keep running to the garbage can to empty it.
We did have one complaint, which was that the filter doesn’t just consist of a separate paper one.
Rather, the entire plastic assembly has the filter inside of it, so you must continue purchasing more of the entire unit when needed.
- Power: Lithium Ion
- Dirt Cup Capacity: 1.5 Litre
- Runtime: 30 Minutes
- Weight: 3.7 Pounds
Dyson is one of the most respected names in the vacuum world, and their V7 Car Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum is a perfect example of why.
The rechargeable car vacuum is incredibly lightweight and easy to maneuver, even up to the 30-minute runtime its lithium ion batteries allow for. The battery only takes 3.5 hours for a full charge, where competitor options took up to 8!
The minor downside here, was that the batteries were toted as “fade-free”, which wasn’t completely true as we noticed a minor power drop around the 90% “dead” point.
Let’s get back to the maneuverability for a second. The V7 was one of the most pleasant to use, due to how the ergonomic design.
Rather than having all the weight on your wrist and fingers, your entire hand takes the weight of the load evenly. Emptying out the dustbin was quite a simple task, with hygienic one-touch dirt ejector. No more having to get dust and grime all over your hands anymore!
Due to the powerful Dyson V7 motor, it’s surprisingly powerful for a car vacuum, capable of picking up your kids’ spilled snack from inches away.
Operation was nice and quiet, and with the inclusion of a car charger, mini motorized tool, extension hose, and combination tool, you’re getting the best car vacuum cleaner!
- Power: 12V Corded DC
- Dirt Cup Capacity: 1.2 Litre
- Runtime: N/A
- Weight: 3.3 Pounds
Black & Decker’s dedicated car vacuum, Flex, was another high-performer, which is incredibly affordable. If you’re searching for a nice budget product, we can’t recommend this model enough.
Keep in mind that as the power comes by means of a corded V DC, fitting into a cigarette lighter socket, you’ll only be able to use it in a car. The 16-foot cord makes it easy to take it around the entirety of your vehicle, so that won’t be a worry at all.
It was one of the easier-to-maneuver models we’d tried, due to its compact design and light weight. They’ve put the “motor in the filter” which gives it an overall smaller size.
The cyclone-like action works to spin dust away from the filter, which means it will have a more powerful suction without impurities getting in the way.
The 4-foot-long flexible hose is wonderful to use in tight spaces under car seats, and the long crevice makes it even more efficient.
The 2-in-1 flip-up brush/wide nozzle tool is great for covering large areas at once, and working dirt loose in the carpets/seats.
You can use it as you would your regular hand vacuum, or remove the nozzle to get into tight spaces making it the best vacuum for car detailing.
- Power: 14V Lithium Ion Battery
- Dirt Cup Capacity: 0.7 Liter
- Runtime: Varies
- Weight: 5 Pounds
If you are looking for the best handheld vacuum for car cleaning, workshops, garages, etc. so if you spend a lot of time cleaning up messes in those places, you might want to consider the Automate.
The Multi-Cordless is compact and convenient, with a high-powered motorized brush roll perfect for disappearing pet hair or extracting deep-down dirt.
This one is ideal for getting in those tight corners and under the seats. Dual LED lights allow you to easily see and clean up dirt, while the flexible crevice tool lets you access anywhere!
- Power: 14.8V Lithium Ion Battery
- Dirt Cup Capacity: 0.6 Litre
- Runtime: 30 Minutes
- Weight: 3.3 Pounds
HoLife isn’t exactly a name that most of us are familiar with, but after using their Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, it might just be the best portable car vacuum on our list!
This little wet/dry cleaner works well to clean up both liquid and solid messes, which means that you can take on pretty much anything dirtying up your vehicle’s interior!
Featuring a solid amount of power, your car will be left spotless in just a few minutes, although with one charge, it can go up to 30. Keep in mind that the liquid capacity isn’t that great, so don’t be sucking up entire liters of Sprite.
The compact/sleek design looks futuristic, but more importantly gets in tight spaces and stows away easily when not in use.
It also comes with a couple different nozzles, so you can choose to cover wider areas for quick cleaning or smaller attachments for more precise spots. We also enjoyed this model due to how quiet it was.
It was undoubtedly one of the top 5 quietest handheld vacuums we came across, which is great for the ears.
Should you need to clean up a situation indoors, it works great on carpet, just as well as on hardwood, so your cleaning capabilities are endless!
- Power: 16V Lithium Ion Battery
- Dirt Cup Capacity: 20.6 Ounces
- Runtime: 30 Minutes
- Weight: 2.6 Pounds
We really don’t have anything but good things to say about the Black & Decker Dustbuster Cordless Car Vacuum. It’s consistently one of the top-rated by consumers around the globe, and it’s easy to see why.
Right away, you can see that it’s very compact and pleasantly lightweight, at under 3 pounds. The ergonomic handle makes it easy to use for longer periods of time, and the 16V lithium ion battery makes that a real possibility.
With the cool and convenient charging base, you can have a full charge in just 4 hours. It’s also capable of holding that charge for up to 18 months, if you’ve charged it and don’t use it right away.
The slim nozzle is wonderful for getting under the seats and reaching other difficult corners, but is also removable for more applications.
Cyclonic action makes sure the filter stays clean, despite repeated use, and the translucent, bagless dirt bowl (with a capacity of over 20 ounces) makes it easy to see when it’s time to empty it out.
As the dirt bowl is washable, it’s one of the easier vacuums to maintain, in our experience.
- Power: 16V Lithium Ion Battery
- Dirt Cup Capacity: 0.4 Litre
- Runtime: 30 Minutes
- Weight: 1.9 Pounds
The VacLife rechargeable car vacuum is on our list because it was hands-down the easiest one to maneuver. We’re not going to sit here and tell you that it was the most powerful, or even the most efficient in general.
Because it’s not. However, it is great for those who don’t have a lot of strength, as well as for getting hard-to-reach areas. Equipped with three different nozzles, you can cover the upholstery, carpet, dashboard, and all places in-between with ease.
The ultra-bright LED lights will guide your way through the depths of whatever your children and their soccer team spilled last weekend, while the brush extension will scrub it loose.
The solid amount of suction can pick up tiny particles like pet hair, or larger ones, like cheerios. It’s also a wet/dry model, so feel free to get rid of unwanted liquids, too.
The stainless steel HEPA filter is not only washable and sturdy, but is great for those with allergies or sensitivities. The detachable dust cup, however, isn’t the most convenient around and still causes some dust clouds when emptied.
Car Vacuum Cleaner Comparison Table
|Car Vacuum Cleaner||Power||Bin Capacity||Runtime||Weight||Rating|
|BISSELL Cordless Hand Vacuum||14V Lithium Ion||0.7 Litre||17 Mins||4.3 lbs||4.5 / 5.0|
|Dyson V7 Cord-Free Vacuum||Lithium Ion||1.5 Litre||30 Mins||3.7 lbs||4.0 / 5.0|
|Black & Decker Flex Car Vacuum||12V Corded||1.2 Litre||N/A||3.3 lbs||3.8 / 5.0|
|BISSELL Auto Hand Vac||14V Lithium Ion||0.7 Litre||Varies||5 lbs||4.3 / 5.0|
|HoLife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner||14.8V Lithium Ion||0.6 Litre||30 Mins||3.3 lbs||4.3 / 5.0|
|Black & Decker Dustbuster Vacuum||16V Lithium Ion||20.6 Oz||30 Mins||2.6 lbs||4.1 / 5.0|
|VacLife Mini Vacuum Cleaner||16V Lithium Ion||0.4 Litre||30 Mins||1.9 lbs||4.7 / 5.0|
How to Choose the Best Car Vacuum Cleaner
While searching for the portable car vacuum may not seem like some big adventure, it can start getting more complicated when you see all the great models out there. That’s why we’ve decided to take it upon ourselves to write up this user-friendly buying guide. It will ensure you find the perfect product for you and your beloved vehicle!
Corded vs. Cordless
There are just two options here when it comes to car vacuum cleaners. While there are benefits of each one, it’s ultimately up to you and what you prefer.
Corded vacuums may seem like an unnecessary restriction in our modern-day society, but they have their perks, too. You’ll find that these models have cords which connect to either AC or DC power. Some even let you change up the source if you have the correct AC-DC adapter/converter.
The main advantage, unarguably here, is the consistent and stronger power they provide due to the fact that the unit is directly plugged into an outlet or your vehicle’s 12-volt battery.
They may not be the most convenient, but they will make for the most efficient cleaners. In addition, if you really enjoy taking your time to clean your car then having a cord shouldn’t be an issue.
Cordless, in contrast, is still going to give you a good amount of suction power, but it’s not going to be able to run as long nor as consistently as corded models. That’s generally speaking, of course, because the Dyson V7 for example was wonderfully consistent with a no-fade battery.
The real benefit with cordless car vacuums are that you can move freely. This allows for more coverage, flexibility, and versatility but keep in mind that runtime often doesn’t stretch further than 15 minutes.
Since this is kind of the main function of a cordless car vacuum cleaner, it should be pretty good, right? The problem with the vast majority of car vacuums is that they simply don’t put out enough power. Ironic, isn’t it?
Anyway, because of this, the lower-power models are going to force you to run over the same spot multiple times just to get rid of some crumbs.
You’ll see some machines rated at 15 air watts, which is good for casual cleaning. However, we highly recommend getting one that has 20 if you can financially pull it off.
Battery Runtime/Charge Time
As you can see, handheld vacuums for cars vary widely in terms of battery runtime and charge time. Obviously, if you have a corded model, that’s not going to apply here.
We recommend looking for the model with the longest runtime. In this case, we have the HoLife, Vacife, and Dyson that have 30-minute times which is probably more than you’re going to need.
Also look at the charge time!
While certain models only take around 3.5 hours to charge completely, others take over twice that! That can make it quite the inconvenience if you have a sudden emergency where your car needs cleaned right away, and you have to wait 8 hours to do so!
Size & Design
You’d think that most handheld vacuums would be lightweight and easy to move around, right? While this is often the case, it’s unfortunately not the standard.
The machines we’ve featured on our list are generally quite user-friendly in this regard, but some are more lightweight and compact than others. The Vaclife is the most lightweight model, and can easily be operated by even a child (though we wouldn’t recommend that).
Aside from that, look for a model which is nice on the hands and wrists. A nice, ergonomic handle can make a world of difference when using it for more than a couple of minutes. No one enjoys cramped hands and sore wrists.
In addition, try to find a hose that has a good amount of length to it, along with at least 2 attachments. The longer the hose, the more versatility you have, especially in awkward areas to clean like a car. This, along with attachments, will help you reach high and low-angle spots in your car and home (if compatible with home use).
We kind of touched on them above, but accessories can make a great amount of difference in how well your vacuum sucks up dirt and debris.
A square brush and a crevice tool are probably the most useful, if we had to choose. The brush works to loosen up dirt and grime in upholstery/carpeting, while the crevice tool can get in the abundance of tiny spots that are in vehicles.
Please don’t get a square brush confused with a motorized brush, which isn’t often seen in handheld vacuums, but there are some gems that do include them.
These are wonderful for use on carpets, and are ideal for removing pet hair, fine dust particles, and food crumbs. The reason why, is because these brush rolls are relatively aggressive, and can really dig deep into carpeted surfaces.
Surprisingly most cordless car vacuum cleaners that don’t have a HEPA filter! HEPA filters are idea, as they get rid of 99.99% of allergens and dust, which is just about as high as you can get.
While this is good to have, no matter who you are, if you have a dust allergy, it’s essential. You don’t want to have to deal with the repercussions of any blow-back. Also make sure it’s easy to open and replace.
While it’s incredibly easy to find one of the best car vacuums for less than 100 bucks, know that there is often a notable difference in quality from say, a $30 product and a $60 one.
If you can handle spending a bit more, you’ll see longer runtimes, shorter charging times, as well as a more lightweight, powerful design. We really recommend you to go for the option that’s a bit more expensive if that’s realistic for you; it will pay off.
FAQs About Handheld Car Vacuums
Q: What’s the best way to use a portable car vacuum cleaner?
A: First off, if you have a corded vacuum, make sure to get an extension cord if it’s limiting your cleaning abilities.
Second, open all doors of your car – even the rear hatch. Closed doors will create a dust cloud that will make you regret not listening to this step the first time! In addition, this can get rid of any stale odors that your vehicle was harboring.
Third, pick up by hand, all trash that you don’t need or cannot remove by means of your vacuum cleaner. This means gum wrappers, school papers, coffee cups, etc. Also take out the floor mats in the vehicle and set them outside.
These are understandably going to be quite dirty, so try and shake out as much debris as you can, before taking the vacuum to them.
Start off with the floorboard, then move on to the seat edges, back of passengers’ seats, track rails of seats, and under the seats and pedals. After you’ve done all that, then you can progress to over the seats.
Q: Will 15 minutes be enough for me to clean out my car properly?
A: You’d probably be surprised at how much you can accomplish in just 15 minutes. Of course, this is going to vary, depending on what you’re going to be cleaning, how long it’s been since you’ve last vacuumed it, and how powerful/efficient the model you have is.
Generally speaking though, 15 minutes will cover everything. If you’re doubtful, there are plenty of models on our guide which go up to 30.
Q: How often should I vacuum out my car?
A: Again, this will vary a bit depending on the person. However, if you can manage to do a quick run-through once a week, you’ll be in the clear. Most people accumulate larger pieces of trash, rather than dirt or pet hair in their vehicle, so just manually clean out what you can, and spend at least 10 minutes detailing the rest.
Tips For Using Your Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
#1: Keep your accessories safe by removing them before you start vacuuming.
As we’d mentioned, make sure to take out the car mats. In addition, try to take off the seat covers, dashboard covers, cup holders, car chargers, etc. if you have them. This will not only protect them, but will also make sure you get every spot in your car.
#2: Rather than vacuuming your car’s dashboard, try using a brush instead.
You may start to go crazy with your new vacuum’s powers and want to vacuum every inch in sight! However, we recommend leaving your dashboard alone. The hose can easily scratch your dashboard, which is not a good look. While dashboards are often the most neglected area, they can easily be cleaned up with a brush attachment.
#3: If you have a larger vehicle, consider getting a corded model.
While they may sound a bit inconvenient, if you have a large vehicle and don’t think half an hour is going to cover it, we really recommend one with a cord. This way, you’re not limited in time and you have consistent power. You can also use it for more things, such as the garage, or inside your home.
Now that you’ve read through just about everything you could ever want to know about these vacuums, which one have you decided on? Above anything else, know that the perfect model is the one that’s right for you and your vehicle. We hope that our guide has helped you find the best car vacuum cleaner. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again shortly.
How We Researched
To come up with the top car vacuum cleaners, we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as Camping World, Lazy Days, Real Truck and Walmart along with our own personal experience.
We also consulted online magazines for product research and reviews to get as much unbiased information as we could. To help weed out fake reviews we used Fakespot.com to make sure we only looked at genuine reviews.
With so much quality gear available, we had to narrow it down based on what we felt were the best options for the price. The staff authors have a wide and varied background in RV camping, automotive repairs and backpacking.
The authors have decades of experience and are eager to share their knowledge with readers.
To help narrow down the selection we used personal experiences along with recommendations from mechanics and retailers.
After extensive research, we came up with our list to help you choose the right one for you.