The 9 Best Dustbusters of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

After testing dozens of models, these are our winners

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A group of dustbusters tested by The Spruce sit on a floor decorated with a high-pile carpet.

The Spruce / Tamara Staples

If you need a quick way to clean up small messes around your home, keeping a dustbuster on hand is a smart move. These compact, handheld vacuums can be a game-changer for busy households, allowing you to quickly tackle dust and debris without hauling out a full-sized vacuum or broom and dustpan. Not any dustbuster will do the trick, though. With that in mind, we've tested over 30 dustbusters and handheld vacuums to find the best options for different kinds of everyday messes.

We've put dozens of handheld vacuums to the test in The Lab by using them to suction up cereal, crumbs, raisins, and hair on carpeted surfaces and hard floors. In our tests, we maneuvered them around high chair covers, couch cushions, and car seat cupholders to see how they handled hard-to-reach areas. We paid particular attention to their battery life and how well they picked up different debris. We also noted how easy they were to operate, hold, and store.

The end of our efforts is the thoroughly vetted list of tried-and-true recommendations you'll find below. While the best model for you will depend on factors such as your cleaning needs and preferred vacuum features, you can choose confidently knowing that all of these dustbusters impressed us in one (or more!) ways.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Shark UltraCyclone Pro Cordless Handheld Vacuum

4.9
Shark CH901 UltraCyclone Pro Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    4.8/5
  • Noise Level
    3/5
  • Setup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Impressive suction power

  • Generously sized dust bin

  • Effective tool attachments

  • Battery remained stable for testing

What We Don't Like
  • Some debris spilled when vacuum was inverted

  • High suction too strong for some soft surfaces

This handheld Shark vacuum will take a bite of any messes in its path. It performed well across all of our key testing categories—including maneuverability, portability, and effectiveness—and it wowed us with its strong suction and effective attachments. (It comes with a crevice tool and scrubbing brush.) We were pleased to see that we could complete all of the testing with one battery charge. Plus, the dust bin was more than suitable for the amount of debris we cleaned up. We only emptied it three times when completing our testing, which was on the lower side of all the vacuums we tested, and even then, the dust bin wasn't always full. Other small details proved to be convenient, too, such as the comfort of the handle. At just over 2 pounds, the vacuum feels lightweight and compact in size. It was a bit larger than some other models we tested, which we attributed to the larger dust bin, but we didn't see this as any kind of deal-breaker.

This handheld vacuum did well with cleaning all the surfaces we tasked it with (rug, high chair, car seat, and upholstered chair). It proved almost too strong for parts of the high chair in our lab testing, since it got stuck on the fabric. However, we didn't encounter any issues with suction on an upholstered chair. We also appreciated how helpful the attachments are, and the crevice tool in particular conveniently reached into the nooks and crannies to clean a car seat in our testing. Another minor quirk of this machine is that it might spit out some debris if you shake it or turn it upside down, so watch its positioning when you're using it. But for a reliable, efficient, and powerful handheld vacuum, we think it's a great all-around choice.

Price at time of publish: $80

Weight: 2.06 pounds | Battery Life: 12 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.45 quarts/14.4 ounces | Included Accessories: Crevice tool, scrubbing brush

Best Overall, Runner-Up

Iris USA Cordless Handheld Vacuum

4.9
Iris USA Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    4/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4.8/5
  • Setup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Excelled at cleaning car seat surfaces and crevices

  • Handled all debris, including raisins, with ease

  • Performed efficiently and quickly

  • Compact size

What We Don't Like
  • Needed to empty dust bin twice to avoid "spitting" of debris

  • "High" setting too strong for high chair fabric

Another versatile dustbuster that you'll be able to use throughout your home is the IRIS handheld vacuum. It's an excellent choice, and it rivaled our top pick in its effectiveness, portability, and maneuverability—only with a more compact design, smaller dust bin volume, and slightly higher price point. It sailed through our cleaning tests, proving especially efficient with the car seat's nooks, and crannies. However, it showed so much power on the "high" setting that it tugged at the car seat fabric (the lower setting worked great, though). It also proved efficient with the sticky raisins, which could not be said for all the models we tested.

We appreciated the thoughtful design that allows for storage of the attachments right on the charging station, so you won't have to make space for them elsewhere. The 1.1-pound weight of this machine was also lighter than the average of our tested vacuums (which came in at 1.7 pounds for our most recent round of testing). Due to the tiny dust bin size, we had to empty it ten times in our testing, which was more than the average. So we wouldn't recommend this model for extensive cleaning. But if you value portability and strong suction, we think this model is another great choice.

Price at time of publish: $90

Weight: 1.1 pounds | Battery Life: 13 minutes | Bin Volume: 3.4 ounces | Included Accessories: Brush and crevice tool, multi-surface head

Best Budget

BLACK+DECKER Dusbuster Handheld Vacuum

4.7
black-and-decker-cordless-lithium-handheld-vacuum

Walmart

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
What We Like
  • Great performance at half the price of other models

  • Lightweight design

  • Comes with a wall mount

What We Don't Like
  • Crevice tool could be longer

  • Design not as intuitive as others

Though it's no longer our top choice, our previous "best overall" pick, the BLACK+DECKER Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum, is still a reliable, handheld vacuum that comes at a fair price point. When we tested this vacuum in a home environment, we used it to suck up household debris such as cereal, pet food, and dirt. We found it to be particularly effective on hard surfaces, such as under kitchen cabinets and on hardwood stairs. We also tested out this vacuum in a car after a beach trip—while its performance wasn't perfect, it did clean up a lot of the sand and did a better job than other handheld vacuums in similar testing situations. Plus, when you're not bringing it in the car, we love that the included wall mount makes it easy to store between uses.

However, it's not the most intuitive machine, and it takes significant effort to maneuver the crevice tool between cushions and around table legs. It's also quite noisy. Of course, no handheld vacuum is perfect, and we can accept these small flaws alongside its proven cleaning abilities. Overall, it's an affordable option that gets the job done.

Price at time of publish: $50

Weight: 2.11 pounds | Battery Life: 12 to 15 minutes | Bin Volume: 31.8 ounces | Included Accessories: Brush tool, crevice tool

Best Splurge

Black+Decker 20V Max* Dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Cordless Hand Vacuum

4.8
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum AdvancedClean+ HHVK515J00FF

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    4.8/5
  • Noise Level
    2/5
  • Setup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Pleasantly quiet on low setting

  • Easy-to-empty dust bin

  • Wand extension is part of design

  • Vacuum head fits into cupholders

What We Don't Like
  • Certain angles may blow hair and debris

There's lots to like about the BLACK+DECKER dustbuster, which we quickly discovered during testing. For starters, the extension nozzle was especially convenient, and we love how it gives you the ability to get into small corners and crevices like cupholders, all without the extra hassle of separate attachments. This model also handled other surfaces too, and it made easy work of messes on carpet, a high chair, a carseat, and an upholstered chair. We did notice that some hair blew around a bit during one of our tests, but we could work to correct that with how we positioned the vacuum between passes. It wasn't a big deal, but it did require some adjusting on our part.

Another perk is that the dust bin is super easy to open; there's just one button. We only had to empty it twice during the test, and most of the dirt and debris fell right out when we did, with the exception of a small bit of hair that we could remove with our fingers. The filter is also easy to remove and clean, too. Overall, we had no major issues with this model, and if you have the budget, it's an especially good choice for a household that doesn't want to fuss with or store extra attachments.

Price at time of publish: $108

Weight: 2.5 pounds | Battery Life: 15 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Included Accessories: None (crevice tool is built-in)

Best for Pet Hair

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Handheld Vacuum

4.7
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4.5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    4.5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    1/5
What We Like
  • Quiet operation

  • Effective on hardwood flooring and carpet

  • Large dust bin

What We Don't Like
  • Must regularly clean hair from brush head

We loved using the BLACK+DECKER Furbuster AdvancedClean+ Handheld Vacuum to suck up pet hair from hardwood flooring, carpet, and upholstery in our tests. This vacuum weighs under 2 pounds, so even older kids could use it to pick up messes and help with a cleaning routine. Despite its lightweight design, this vac has a large-capacity dust bin, which means fewer trips to the trash can while cleaning. Although this vacuum tackled pet hair without issues, we found that the motorized brush head isn't great for picking up kibble and larger material. We recommend extending the crevice tool (pre-attached to the vacuum) to pick up any heftier debris.

We also noted that hair tangled on the brush head as we used it, but it was easy to remove. We recommend regularly checking the brush head and cleaning it after each use so the vacuum performs at its best and lasts longer. Unlike other handheld vacuums, this pick also features a power boost mode, which increases suction. A battery indicator on the handle lets you know how much power is left before the vacuum needs to be recharged. It also has an impressive battery life of up to 17 minutes. All in all, we consider this model to be an excellent vacuum for pet hair, especially because of its effectiveness and easy-to-use features.

Price at time of publish: $80

Weight: 2.6 pounds | Battery Life: 17 minutes | Bin Volume: 23.67 ounces | Included Accessories: Motorized brush head, crevice tool

Best With Hose

Black+Decker BDH2020FL Cordless Gen 2 Flex Vac

4.9
BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Flex Handheld Vacuum

Walmart

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Pet hair attachment

  • Easy to store

  • Flexible, 4-foot hose

What We Don't Like
  • Requires two hands to operate

  • Noise compares to full-size vacuum

While you might not think of a hose when you first imagine a dustbuster, we think the BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Flex Handheld Vacuum is worth considering. We confirmed in our testing that unlike other options on this list, you'll need to use two hands to operate it (one to hold the motor and one to vacuum with the hose). Still, we rated it highly as a compact, multi-surface handheld vacuum with a lightweight and flexible design. We were impressed by its power, too—it even earned the top spot in our guide to the best car vacuums. The 4-foot hose can get into all of those hard-to-reach spots in your car and in your home, like behind your couch or in between cushions. With such intense suction, you don't have to worry about it missing any crumbs.

We appreciated how well this dustbuster sucked up all of the debris without losing any power in our tests, and that we didn't have to empty the large dust bin. In short, it performs similarly to a standard-sized vacuum but with greater portability and efficiency. One potential drawback is that the battery only lasted eight minutes

The intuitive pet hair attachment tool is a game-changer. It sucked up hair from all four surfaces we tested it on, and the hair didn't get tangled in its hose or dust bin. When you're done using it, the hose wraps around the machine for easy, compact storage, which is a clever feature that any household can benefit from.

Since it's on the pricey side and it requires the use of two hands, it won't be an ideal fit for everyone—but if you have the budget for it and think you could benefit from a handheld vacuum with a hose, it's an excellent choice.

Price at time of publish: $119

Weight: 3.2 pounds | Battery Life: Not listed | Bin Volume: 17 ounces | Included Accessories: 2-in-1 nozzle brush, pet hair attachment

Best for Home Office

Tzumi 7.4-Volt Ion Vac Wireless Handheld Rechargeable Vacuum Cleaner

4.7
IonVac handheld vacuum with attachments

Best Buy

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    3.6/5
  • Effectiveness
    4.5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Comfortable handle

  • Included brush attachment

  • Quiet operation

What We Don't Like
  • No wall charger included

  • Not very powerful for large messes

This tiny, lightweight vacuum checked almost all of the boxes for an ideal handheld unit, and its small size and clever attachments make it an excellent choice for cleaning home office surfaces. It weighs only 1 pound, and the handle is easy to grip when zapping up multiple messes. Even though it's small, the dust bin is surprisingly large in proportion. It completed all of our tests before needing to be emptied. When it came time to empty the dust bin, the process was incredibly simple and mess-free. The filter came out with no issues, which is a big perk when it comes to frequent use. Upon additional testing, we noted that this vacuum wouldn't be good for sucking up larger debris like Cheerios.

This dustbuster comes with a long crevice tool that makes it easy to get into tight spaces, like behind computer cords or between sofa cushions. It also comes with a brush attachment that's great for suctioning dust from computer keyboards. It's also very quiet, so you can squeeze in a quick clean without disrupting your partner or sleeping children. While it's great that it comes with a USB charging cord, there is no wall plug-in, so you'll have to use one that you already own or charge it from your computer or car USB port. Overall, we can't guarantee this vacuum will overwhelm you with its performance, but if you're looking for a vacuum for small messes around your desk space, it can get the job done.

Price at time of publish: $24

Weight: 1 pound | Battery Life: 15 minutes | Bin Volume: 3.38 ounces | Included Accessories: Brush tool, crevice tool

Best Features

Nicebay Handheld Cordless Vacuum

4.8
Nicebay Handheld Cordless Vacuum

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4.8/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    3.8/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4.5/5
  • Setup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Detailed display

  • Accessories storage on charging dock

  • Sleek design and color choices

  • Strong suction and angled opening

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Didn't perform as well with raisins

  • Small dust bin must be disassembled to empty

This Nicebay dustbuster was a worthy competitor in The Lab, scoring high marks on most of our tests and showing strong, effective suction power. What makes it unique in our eyes is the detailed display, which gives you a read of its battery status, power level, dust bin capacity, and more. If you want to take the guesswork out of your vacuum's performance, the display is a huge asset. Other features we appreciate in this model's design include an angled opening, which we found useful for crevices, and the included attachments. This dustbuster struggled to suck up sticky raisins in our testing—but it wasn't the only model we experienced this with, so we're taking the issue with a grain of salt. The manufacturer also touts a HEPA filter, too, which may come in handy for removing allergens from the air.

Now, while the full price of this vacuum is higher than the others on this list (including our recommendation for best splurge), we frequently see it discounted in the $60 to $80 range, so keep an eye out for a good deal. The other potential downside we encountered in testing was the small dustbin, which we had to empty seven times in our testing. Overall though, there are more pros than cons to this machine, and if you fancy the extra information in the display, we think you'll enjoy using it.

Price at time of publish: $200

Weight: 1.24 pounds | Battery Life: 13 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Included Accessories: Brush tool, crevice tool

We Still Recommend

Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

4.8
Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    4.5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
What We Like
  • Powerful suction

  • Large dust bin is easy to empty

  • Tapered nozzle fits into most spaces

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Battery pack adds weight

At one time, the Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner held the top spot of best overall vacuum on this list. While that's no longer the case, we still recommend it because it proved powerful, easy to use, and reliable in our testing. Setup took us less than two minutes, and the detachable battery pack is super-convenient if you're short on space. When it was time to run this dustbuster through the mess test, its powerful suction surprised us, and it seemed to inhale everything in its path. Thanks to the large dust bin, we didn't have to run to the trash can mid-test—it sucked up all the debris from every surface and still had room for more. This dustbuster also excelled in the maneuverability test, and we were able to run it along baseboards, over and around a coffee table, and in between couch cushions with ease. On top of its reliable performance, the extra-large dust bin is easy to empty and mess-free.

While we were blown away by its performance, we also recognize that this dustbuster is one of the more expensive options out there. However, we think it's worth the investment. The detachable battery pack adds convenience but also a little bit of weight, so this is not the most lightweight dustbuster on our list. However, its performance was so top-notch that we even used it to vacuum up the debris that other vacuums left behind during testing.

Price at time of publish: $100

Weight: 3 pounds | Battery Life: 15 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Included Accessories: Battery pack, crevice tool

Compare

Overall Rating Effectiveness Ease of Emptying Portability Noise Level Setup
Shark CH901 UltraCyclone Pro Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Best Overall:
Shark UltraCyclone Pro Handheld Vacuum
4.9
5 5 4.8 3 5
Iris USA Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Best Overall, Runner-Up:
Iris USA Handheld Vacuum
4.9
5 4 5 4.8 5
black-and-decker-cordless-lithium-handheld-vacuum
Best Budget:
BLACK+DECKER Dusbuster Handheld Vacuum
4.7
4 5 5 4 5
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum AdvancedClean+ HHVK515J00FF
Best Splurge:
Black+Decker AdvancedClean+ Cordless Hand Vacuum
4.8
5 5 4.8 2 5
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum
Best for Pet Hair:
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Handheld Vacuum
4.7
4.5 4.5 5 1 5
BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Flex Handheld Vacuum
Best With Hose:
Black+Decker Cordless Gen 2 Flex Vac
4.9
5 5 5 4 5
IonVac handheld vacuum with attachments
Best for Home Office:
Tzumi Wireless Handheld Rechargeable Vacuum Cleaner
4.7
4.5 5 5 5
Nicebay Handheld Cordless Vacuum
Best Features:
Nicebay Handheld Vacuum
4.8
4.8 3.8 5 4.5 5
Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
We Still Recommend:
Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
4.8
5 5 4.5 4 5
Final Verdict

For power, performance, and reliability, the Shark UltraCyclone Pro Cordless Handheld Vacuum is an excellent choice. Its powerful suction and large dust bin are hard to find in other handheld models, and when testing, we enjoyed that the tapered nozzle allows for efficient cleaning. If you're looking to spend a little less on a dustbuster, consider the BLACK+DECKER Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum. In our experience, this vac is extremely lightweight, easy to use, and a great value.

The Tineco Pure One Mini S4 Smart Handheld Vacuum is held by a product tester during The Spruce's dustbuster test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Tamara Staples

Other Options We Tested

eufy by Anker HomeVac H30 Mate Cordless Handheld Vacuum: This vacuum has an eye-catching design, and while it started strong in our tests on hardwood and high-pile carpet, by the end, it was struggling to pick up debris, and the nozzle kept getting clogged. It's undoubtedly chic-looking and lightweight, and while we marveled at the design, the high price tag was disappointing. We expected a more consistent, powerful performance for such an expensive vacuum.

Tineco Pure One Mini S4 Smart Handheld Vacuum: This vacuum would look great sitting in your kitchen corner for easy access. However, its low performance might leave you reaching for a different dustbuster. It worked well on hardwood and high-pile carpet but could not successfully pick up the debris from medium or low-pile carpet. Getting the opening at just the right angle for it to work correctly was a challenge.

Dirt Devil Scorpion+ Boost Bundle Corded Handheld Vacuum: There was only one thing that kept this vacuum from making our top picks list. It performed very well on various surfaces during our testing, but the plastic crevice tool broke mid-test, so we couldn't include it in our favorites. Otherwise, this corded vacuum works very well, and the cord is long enough to clean a good-sized room without switching outlets.

Person vacuuming up flour on a hardwood floor with eufy dustbuster

The Spruce / Tamara Staples

How We Tested the Dustbusters

We've tested over 30 dustbusters side-by-side in The Lab and at home. During our Lab tests, we started by evaluating the time it took to unbox, assemble, and charge the vacuums. Dustbusters that were ready to use immediately got extra marks over those that were wrapped in excessive plastic with confusing instructions. After setup, we put the dustbusters through a series of tests on hardwood and carpet. We evaluated how quickly they sucked up various scattered debris, including Cheerios and hair, from the different surfaces. In some cases, we tested their performance on upholstered seating and car seats. Throughout, we noted whether the vacuums' effectiveness changed as the tests went on. We also noted how long it took for the dust bin to fill up during this process and whether any materials got tangled inside or clogged the appliance.

As we put all of the dustbusters through the mess tests, we evaluated their maneuverability—and rated their weight and portability. We also tested their design and attachments to see whether they were helpful in gathering debris. We also evaluated each appliance's noise level to see whether we could comfortably hold a conversation over it, and the ease of emptying the various dust bins and removing the filters. At the end of our testing, we compared each price point to each respective dustbuster's overall performance to rate the overall value of the product and determine whether the price tag was fair.

When all was said and done, our editors boiled down all of our insights from The Lab and additional tests that were conducted at home, where the vacs were tasked with real-world situations, to create this list of dustbusters that we believe are the very best.

What to Look for in a Dustbuster

Weight

Most dustbusters are relatively lightweight (around 1 to 3 pounds), but some may be a little heftier and uncomfortable to hold, so you'll want to consider that when searching for your perfect vacuum. A heavier model will be less maneuverable and difficult to operate for extended periods. It might not be the best option if you're planning to complete a deep clean of your house and suction up messes in overhead areas or often-neglected corners. Attachments and battery packs are often sources of added weight, so keep that in mind if you're interested in a dustbuster with these features. Our picks for "best overall, runner-up" and "best for home offices," the IRIS USA Handheld Vacuum and the Tzumi 7.4-Volt Ion Vac Wireless Handheld Vacuum, both scored highly for their maneuverability and lightweight designs, which allowed our testers to clean between cushions and around tight corners.

Power Source

All of the dustbusters on this list are battery-powered, rechargeable models, but dustbusters can technically be corded or cordless. While portability is one of the most appealing features of batteries, you shouldn't count out corded options just because they have a limited range of mobility, especially if you hope to use your vac very regularly. Consider where and for how long you're planning to use your vac, to find the right power source option for you. Corded models might be slightly less convenient to operate than cordless ones, since you'll need to be close to an outlet, but you won't have to stop and charge it. In contrast, cordless models can clean virtually anywhere but usually need to be recharged after about roughly 15 to 20 minutes of use.

Attachments

If you want a lightweight tool that can clean up sudden, albeit small, messes, you might not be concerned about what else comes with your dustbuster. However, if you're hoping to clean tight crevices, furniture, or overhead areas with your vacuum, make sure you choose one with the proper attachments. Upholstery brushes and crevice tools are common attachments that will make your machine much more versatile. Some of the best handheld vacuums feature hoses for more maneuvrability. We're also fans of extendable nozzles that allow you to get into tight crevices, without the extra effort of using an attachment, like what you'll find on the BLACK+DECKER HHVK515J00FF, our "best splurge" pick.

HEPA Filter

In our experience, HEPA filters are less common in dustbusters than in the best full-size vacuums, so you may want to consider this as you shop. "It is very important, especially for individuals with environmental allergies, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and conjunctivitis, to choose a vacuum with a HEPA filter," says Dr. Denise Ferastraoaru, M.D. and allergist at Montefiore Health System. HEPA stands for "high-efficiency particulate air," and a HEPA filter can remove over 99 percent of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and other small airborne particles.

Woman vacuuming under a coffee table with a corded Bissell handheld vacuum

The Spruce / Tamara Staples

Standout Features

Pet Hair Attachments

Clever attachments, such as small brush tools for cleaning keyboards, or crevice tools for accessing tight corners, are helpful. However, what really stood out among our tested dustbusters, were the pet hair attachments. These attachments can scrape up pet hair from even high-pile carpet and can often suck up the hair without tangling or knotting it up in the vacuum itself. If your household has one or more furry friends, you'll want to consider a dustbuster with a pet hair attachment, to efficiently and effectively clean surfaces in your home or car, or wherever your pet hangs out.

Attachment Storage

Including attachments is often standard practice, but top-notch (though maybe more expensive) dustbusters also build attachment storage into their designs. The charging base may have a spot for attachments, or the actual dustbuster might house the attachment in the form of a flip-down brush tool or a pull-out crevice tool. If you're limited on storage space or just concerned about potentially losing the attachments that come with your vacuum, consider a pick with this type of storage, like the IRIS USA Handheld Vacuum.

Woman holding up an attachment from the Moosoo handheld vacuum

The Spruce / Tamara Staples

FAQ
  • How do I clean a dustbuster?

    Every vacuum cleaner should be cleaned regularly, and a dustbuster is no exception. To clean your dustbuster, start by emptying the dust bin or throwing away the dust bag. If your model uses a permanent filter, remove it during that step, and plan to clean it on its own. While some filters can be rinsed under water, others should not get wet, so refer to your owner's manual for any specific filter-cleaning instructions. You can wipe out the interior of the vacuum with a dust rag or, if the manufacturer allows, wash it with soap and water. Let all parts dry before reassembling the dustbuster and using it again.

  • How often should I change a dustbuster's filter?

    How often you need to change your dustbuster's filter will depend on how much you use it, but one good rule of thumb is to change it out every six months if you use it often. However, if you notice any loss of suction before then, you might need a new filter. "If there is damage to the filter, a musty smell, or too much dust or hair, then it must be changed immediately to keep it working at maximum capacity," adds Ferastraoaru.

  • How do you replace a dustbuster's battery?

    A loss of suction may also indicate a dying battery that needs replacing. Check your manual to learn what type of battery you should order for replacement. Some models might require professional battery replacement, while others might not offer replacement batteries at all.

    Once you have a new battery ready to install, run your vac until the current battery completely loses its charge. Then, depending on the model, either slide the battery away from the body of the appliance or open the housing area for the battery, and gently pull it loose. Put the new battery in its place, close up the housing area, and recycle the old battery.

  • How do you replace the battery in a BLACK+DECKER dustbuster?

    You will need a screwdriver to take the dustbuster apart and access the battery pack in order to change it. If your BLACK+DECKER dustbuster uses a lithium battery, it may be difficult to replace without the help of a soldering iron, as these battery packs are sometimes fixed in place. Try opening up the machine to assess the situation before ordering a new battery.

Woman setting out testing supplies on carpet

The Spruce / Tamara Staples

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was originally written by Erin Johnson, a commerce editor who previously focused on appliances, organization, and cleaning products at The Spruce. She tested and reviewed multiple vacuums, mops, and other appliances for Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, and Southern Living. For this article, she helped test 30 dustbusters side-by-side in The Lab and then took insights from Lab and at-home testers into account when curating the list of our top picks. She also interviewed Dr. Denise Ferastraoaru, M.D., an allergist at Montefiore Health System, on what to look for in a dustbuster and when to change your filter from a health perspective.

Dena Ogden, commerce writer at The Spruce, updated this piece and contributed additional research. She reviewed new testing insights from The Lab to carefully select products to include on this list. She’s been writing professionally since 2016 and with The Spruce since August 2022. She's yet to give up on the handheld setting of her traditional vacuum, but seeing the results of the dustbuster testing has her rethinking that life choice.

What Is Spruce Approved?

Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. What is a HEPA filter? Environmental Protection Agency.

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