Yes, they’re called car vacuum cleaners, but they can be used for so much more. Don’t let their relatively small size put you off – these handheld vacuum cleaners are powerful and more than capable of doing any job. So, what should you look out for to find the best car vacuum? First and foremost, decide whether you prefer a battery-powered or plugged-in car vacuum. Check out the following specs to make sure you’re getting a high-quality product.
Battery or Plug-In – The difference between these two types is pretty straightforward – the former work on batteries, the latter on wall outlets, or your car’s cigarette lighter. Which one is better? Honestly, it all depends on your preference. If it’s solely for your car, the battery-type should do it. However, if you also want to vacuum your stairs, bed, couch, and everything in between you might want to go for a corded vacuum. Similarly, if it’s a big car, or you reckon you’ll need more than 20 minutes to make it sparkle, a corded vacuum is the way to go.
Battery Life – There are several different types of batteries used in vacuum cleaners. The best ones feature a modern, Lithium-Ion battery. They are an ideal choice because they hold charges much longer, are quicker to recharge, and have a very long life expectancy. To make this easy for you, we’ve only included car vacuums that offer a high-quality battery with good battery life and solid performance. Nothing is worth than an underpowered battery that drops out right in the middle of a cleaning job. No worries there, we’ve got you covered.
Watt – Wattage tells us how strong the vacuum motor is and in turn how effective it is at picking up dust and dirt in your car. Picture it as being similar to horsepower in a car. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll speak of the important stuff, and limit ourselves to output power. It’s important to note that when we speak of vacuums, we may see Air Watts here and there. Don’t let this confuse you – some manufacturers choose to use this unit instead of the usual Watt to stress the suction power of their vacuums. If you want to compare, anything over 15 Air Watts is more than acceptable.
Bagless Design – When it comes to the convenience factor, bag-less vacuums definitely take the cake over their bagged counterparts. Not having to buy bags is more budget friendly and green. Additionally, bag-less vacuums are easier to empty. We definitely recommend a bag-less design, since it’s better and more modern. Some people prefer the opposite, and the choice comes down to personal preference. If you want to save money, we highly suggest going bag-less.
Dimensions – Unless you plan to take the vacuum with you or store it in a small space, the dimensions are not that important. However, many people might prefer a small model, so we included them for each product. Generally, you can apply the following method: If it’s small and cheap, it ain’t powerful; if it’s small and powerful, it ain’t cheap; if it’s cheap and powerful, it ain’t small. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but it’s a decent rule of thumb. What’s the right choice? Buy a car vacuum that’s powerful first and foremost. It will save you time and will be much more convenient to use.
Weight – Car vacuums are handheld devices, so weight is a big deal. While it’s true that heavier vacuum cleaners tend to be more powerful, there are many exceptions. This is the result of more light-weight, modern materials used in their design. Anything under five pounds is light enough to hold comfortably, even during longer cleaning sessions. We have included only lightweight vacuum models, since your goal is probably to quickly clean your car and not get a full arm workout, right? Below you will find the weight for each reviewed vacuum so that you can compare for yourself.
Without blowing any more hot air, let’s get right down to the best car vacuum cleaner and the best cheap car vacuum. After researching 30 new and bestselling products, we’ve picked 10 excellent products that offer a smart balance of features and value. There are two top choices and eight great alternatives, so you’ll be sure to find the vacuum that fits your needs and budget.
Expert Researcher and Writer
Jennifer Trimbee, a lead researcher and writer at GeekWrapped, is an expert writer with many years of experience. Jennifer writes about technology, sports, outdoor, and gear products.
Article last updated on:
September 30, 2019