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The best handheld vacuums in Canada

This article was created by Sustainable Planet and may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Vacuuming is one of the most hated chores, and our pets would certainly argue that it’s completely unnecessary. Though we don’t have a choice but to disappoint them, a handheld vacuum is a quieter, less frightening alternative to pulling out the bulky upright vacuum for a small mess. We’ve developed a list of the best handheld vacuums in Canada to save you the time and confusion of searching for the right model all by yourself. We’ll even provide all of the information you need to make an informed choice to prevent any buyer’s remorse.

Why trust us?

We dedicated 18 hours to evaluating 21 different options to find the best handheld vacuums in Canada. Our reviews of these vacuums are unbiased and up-to-date to ensure you have a trustworthy source to assist you with your search. We analyzed the performance, quality, noise level, ease of use, and versatility of nearly two dozen handheld vacuums to guarantee we only recommend the best options on the market.

Best handheld vacuums in Canada

Best overall: Black + Decker CHV1410L dust buster

The Black + Decker dust buster handheld vacuum is one of the most effective, user-friendly models on the market. It only weighs 2.6 lbs. and is perfect for getting into awkward places that a normal vacuum just can’t reach, including your vehicle. It is designed with a longer nozzle for better reach than the majority of other handheld vacuums, and the slim rotating nozzle makes quick work of nooks and crannies that usually keep their dust bunnies inaccessible. Cyclonic suction keeps the filter clean and ensures that you’ll never experience a lack of efficiency. The dust bin empties easily and holds more than 2 cups of dirt, dust, and pet hair.

This vacuum is wireless for total freedom in and outside the home, plus has a brush tool and crevice tool onboard the vacuum, so they never get lost and are at your fingertips whenever you need them. Despite running on battery power, the Dust Buster offers 15.2 AW of suction power that can handle most messes aside from pet hair and tougher messes. The suction power will not fade even at lower battery levels, and smart-charge technology ensures the battery lasts longer than your iPhone’s. This hand vac comes with its own charging base and is ready for another round of cleaning after 4 hours. Its extendable crevice tool and flip-up brush attachment make it the right choice for carpet, hard surfaces, upholstery, and more.

What sets the Black + Decker CHV1410L dust buster apart?

With most vacuums, handheld or not, you must switch out the nozzles or attachments for different surfaces. With the Black + Decker dust buster, this is not the case. The attachments are built right into the vacuum with a flip-up bristle attachment and an extendable crevice tool so that they can’t be lost, and they are extremely quick to switch between to save you time and hassle. Its overall ease of use is hard to compete with, even with the high-end vacuums. It is an ideal choice for a variety of high-traffic areas and households with regular spills.

What could be improved on?

The only downside with the Black + Decker Dust Buster is the very quick battery life. Though it takes about 4 hours to charge with the fast-charge base, you can only expect about 15 minutes of power before it needs to be recharged again. This makes it fine for quick pick-ups, but larger or tougher messes may require you to haul out your upright vacuum. Another minor detail that could use a redesign is the crevice tool. Though it is quite slim, it is as wide as the vacuum nozzle and won’t fit into as many tiny spaces and small corners as a smaller crevice tool could.

Performance of the Black + Decker CHV1410L dust buster

Cleaning power

For a battery-operated vacuum, the cleaning power is on the middle section of the spectrum. When compared to corded alternatives, it can’t compete very well, but this is standard between corded and cordless options and is in no way a negative reflection of the Dust Buster – it just won’t handle pet hair very well.

Run time

The run time is quite short at about 15 minutes, but this is fairly average for handheld vacuums and sits comfortably in the middle of the scale since others at the same price point offer only ten minutes while others may offer 30.

Versatility

The versatility is fairly excellent with the Dust Buster by Black + Decker. Though the crevice tool is a bit limited for those smaller nooks, it is slim enough to slide in between car seats and other tough spots, and the inclusion of a bristle brushes up the versatility even more. 

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Best for pets: Black + Decker BDH2000PL max pivot vacuum

The Black + Decker max pivot vacuum is one of the most powerful available, making it the best choice for pet-friendly homes that struggle with hair on every surface of their homes. This handheld vacuum can handle it, whether tackling hard surfaces, carpet and upholstery, or your vehicle. With 35 AW of suction power, there is nothing this vacuum can’t pick up, and it will do so instantly without hesitation or any residue left behind. The pivoting head offers 6 positions for reaching below and above your line of sight, making it so much easier to clean the more awkward areas in your home that usually get ignored since they are a pain to clean with other means.

The run time is about average for cordless handhelds, but you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, thanks to the onboarding of your essential vacuum accessories. A crevice tool will slide out to be used, and a brush tool can be flipped up to loosen dirt and dust in carpets and on stairs. Those who struggle with air quality issues while vacuuming will also appreciate the 3-stage filtration system that includes a prefilter and a washable filter for your lung health. Plus, the removable 1.8-cup dust bowl can be washed as often as you want to keep things spick and span at all times. The vacuum takes 4 hours to reach a full charge, and its charging base doubles as a storage docking station for out-of-the-way storage anywhere in your home.

What sets the Black + Decker BDH2000PL max pivot vacuum apart?

There are a few main defining features that set this Black + Decker handheld vacuum apart from the competition. The first of these is the pivoting capabilities of the vacuum’s nozzle. It can be set to 6 different angles so you can reach every surface without contorting your body or creating a safety hazard for yourself. The second notable feature is the powerful 35 AW suction power. This is on par with many corded vacuums, which is quite impressive for a battery-operated vacuum. Finally, the filter is quite unique in that it is designed with a filter flicker feature which loosens any debris that may potentially block the filter, ensuring zero loss of power or efficiency even as the dust bin becomes fuller.

What could be improved on?

As with most cordless handheld vacuums, the run time may be a concern for many users who want to deep clean their vehicles with the convenience of a cordless hand vacuum. Though the run time on this Black + Decker pivot vacuum is average, it could be improved by making the battery interchangeable so that users can choose to have multiple batteries charged and ready to go for those larger cleaning tasks. In terms of performance and usability, there are no issues to report.

Performance of the Black + Decker BDH2000PL max pivot vacuum

Cleaning power 

At 35 AW of suction power, the Black + Decker pivot vacuum is one of the strongest cordless handheld vacuums on the market. Though still outmatched compared to corded options that can pull more power, you won’t find better cleaning power on any other cordless hand vacuum.

Run time

The run time offered by the 20V Max ion battery is fairly average for the industry. For the suction power, you do sacrifice a bit of operation time since the suction drains the battery faster, but you should still rely on roughly 15-20 minutes of power before it needs to be recharged.

Versatility

This is one of the best handheld vacuums in terms of versatility. It has both a crevice tool and a brush tool for tackling hard-to-reach spots and carpeted surfaces, but the pivoting feature means you can reach the top of cabinets, inside light fixtures, and so much more with endless angles to choose from.

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Best value: Black + Decker HNVC215B10 hand vacuum

The Black + Decker hand vacuum is a budget-friendly but reliable vacuum ideal for quick pick-ups and smaller jobs. It has 15 AW of suction power, so it is on par with more expensive, though not high-end, handheld vacuums. It is incredibly lightweight at only 1.4 lbs., making it a great first chore for teaching kids how to clean up after themselves from a younger age. The vacuum runs on battery power and only offers about 10 minutes of operating power before needing a recharge, so it would be great for quick pickups in the kitchen at mealtime or after your dog tracks in grass or dirt from outside. It won’t last long enough for stairs, but the suction isn’t ideal for carpeted surfaces anyway.

The entire body of the vacuum is quite slim, so it can reach into smaller areas easily without too much hassle of moving your belongings around for a thorough clean. It comes with a built-in crevice tool for extra tight spaces as well as a bagless dirt collection system to keep things cleaner, easier, and better for the environment. The dust bin can be emptied with a touch of a button as well for mess-free maintenance. The vacuum charges on its wall mounting station, doubling its convenience and providing a built-in storage space that’s both out-of-the-way and easily accessible. Though we don’t recommend this vacuum for household-wide cleaning, it is a wonderfully affordable pick for quick messes.

What sets the Black + Decker HNVC215B10 hand vacuum apart?

The Black + Decker hand vacuum has a very slim design that makes it incredibly easy to wield by anyone. It is also one of the most lightweight handheld vacuums out there, ensuring you can reach tall spaces and around obstacles without feeling any strain. We’re also impressed by its included wall mount since it is rare to find convenient features like this on a vacuum at this price point. Although many people enjoy fancier features, many users will appreciate the sheer simplicity of this Black + Decker handheld vacuum since it is so easy to figure out.

What could be improved on?

The suction strength isn’t what it could be, and the battery time is pretty disappointing, so improvements in these areas would drastically improve the vacuum’s usability score. We don’t have any complaints regarding ease of use or quality, even with the affordability, so these drawbacks most likely won’t be a deal-breaker for most users shopping for value over high performance.

Performance of the Black + Decker HNVC215B10 hand vacuum

Cleaning power

The cleaning power of the Black + Decker hand vacuum is fairly average for battery-operated models, but it will be a disappointment to those seeking a hand vac for pet hair or other more stubborn messes since this vacuum won’t be able to perform effectively. 

Run time

The run time of the Black + Decker hand vacuum is quite short, with an average of 8-10 minutes before the battery runs out. However, when you compare it to mid-level and higher-end vacuums that offer 15-20 minutes on average, this doesn’t seem quite as troublesome given the price.

Versatility

The versatility of the Black + Decker hand vacuum is difficult to pinpoint. Though it lacks certain additional attachments that other hand vacs offer, it does have a crevice tool and is slimmer than average to fit into small spaces that other handheld vacuums can’t. Overall, it is about average and balanced for its category.

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How to choose a handheld vacuum in Canada

Budget

Even though hand vacuums are sometimes chosen specifically for their affordability over upright and stick models, there are still fluctuations in price that make some models expensive and others affordable. Every handheld vacuum brand available in Canada is different, and the price will reflect the cleaning power, ease of use, and any special features that are included in the vacuum. To set your budget accurately, determine what kind of use the vacuum will be purchased for; if it’s for cleaning quick spills when your toddler dumps their cereal bowl for the 182nd time, a budget-friendly handheld picker-upper will probably do it; if you want to clean things like carpeted stairs or your vehicle, you will want a larger budget for the extra power and performance your surfaces require.

Cleaning power

Since the entire point of a vacuum is to suck up your messes and make your life easier, its cleaning power is a top priority. With battery-operated handheld vacuums, 15 AW of suction power is about average on low-mid level vacuum cleaners. With a higher budget, you should expect 30-35 AW on the top performance options since they are designed for things like carpet and pet hair. Some handheld vacuums are recommended for hard surfaces like bare floors or tiles only, even if they have a brush attachment that we usually associate with carpet, so make sure to double-check that the vacuum you’re considering can perform up to your expectations and surface requirements – 30+ AW should be strong enough for most any pickups.

Run time

The run time offered by your handheld vacuum depends greatly on whether it is corded or cordless. Corded options are less popular but offer unlimited runtime, so they’re the better option if you want to clean your entire apartment with a handheld (minus floors, of course). If you intend to use your handheld vacuum for small jobs and quick messes, a battery-operated vacuum is right up your alley. The more affordable models typically don’t offer more than 10-15 minutes of battery power before needing a recharge (which generally takes 4+ hours), but others can stretch it to 20-30 minutes on a good day. A few handheld vacuums also offer different power modes depending on what it’s being used for (carpet vs. hard surfaces), and these various power levels may also affect the run time of the battery.

Versatility

When determining the versatility of a handheld vacuum, there are a couple of things to consider. The first and most obvious of these is its shape. The nozzle size and tank shape can affect how maneuverable it is in smaller spaces. Some handhelds are slimmer than others and are better suited to small spaces like in your car since they are less unwieldy. Of course, a major part of versatility is also the included attachments. The majority of handheld vacuums include a crevice tool and a brush tool, which are commonly onboarded to the vacuum itself rather than loose like with upright, stick, and canister vacuums. Though the brush tool often doesn’t change from vacuum to vacuum, the crevice tool shape is important to look at closely. If it is as wide as the nozzle itself, you’ll struggle to fit into small spaces since it is designed to be slim rather than small. If you want a vacuum for car cleaning, in particular, that can fit into the grooves, cupholders, and other small areas, make sure the crevice tool is thin and slim for best results.

Waste container

There are two features to consider when considering the waste container of a handheld vacuum: capacity and colour. A transparent dust bin is the most popular choice since you can easily see how full the canister is and when it’s time to empty it. Running a vacuum with a full bin drastically reduces its efficiency and can even be damaging to the interior components, so knowing when to empty it before it reaches its full capacity is a very useful feature for the performance and longevity of your vacuum. The capacity is sometimes less of a concern for people who intend to use it for quick pickups, which they empty after every use, but for more basic dust-and-dirt cleaning of your home’s surfaces, the capacity can mean the difference between cleaning your whole home in one session vs. needing to stop what you’re doing to empty the canister – an annoying necessity even if it only takes a few seconds.

Control trigger type

Handheld vacuums are known for being easy to use, but the control trigger type can have a lot to do with usability. There are two options for a control trigger: continuous and locked. A continuous trigger means you’ll have to hold it down the entire time you’re vacuuming, which can be painful on longer jobs and cause finger cramps, or be entirely unusable for people who struggle with conditions like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. A locked trigger, on the other hand, is often easier for people of all ages since they can hit a button, and the vacuum runs on its own. Though you’ll have a slower response time if something gets sucked up by the vacuum unintentionally, it is much easier on the hands.

Filter 

Filters are often overlooked on handheld vacuums, but they are important since you’ll be stirring up a lot of dust and other airborne particles when you vacuum. Most handheld vacuums use reusable and washable filters nowadays, but there are still some models that have disposable filters. Either way, the efficiency and suction power of your vacuum is largely determined by a clean filter, so make sure you know the type and frequency of cleaning necessary on the handheld vacuum you choose.