Skip to main content

The best car vacuums for 2021

A good car vacuum is an essential tool for making sure the inside of your car stays free of crumbs, stray french fries, Cheerios, and muck. Fortunately, it’s no longer necessary to haul out your upright or find a place to plug in. Smaller vacuums are made to be portable, cordless, and powerful, and there are so many great options on the market. Before making your purchase, it’s a good idea to understand what you’re looking for in a car vacuum cleaner so you can get the best model for your needs and budget.

See more

First, let’s take a look at what kind of features you should look for in a car vacuum. There’s a host of sophisticated models out there, each one with specific capacities for different vehicles and situations.

Features and considerations to look for in a car vacuum

Corded or cordless

The obvious advantage of a cordless vacuum cleaner is better mobility. You don’t have to worry about being near a wall outlet and can even clean on the go. However, corded vacuum cleaners tend to be more powerful than their cordless counterparts, and, naturally, cordless vacuum cleaners still need to be charged regularly via a wall outlet.

Dustbin capacity

Being smaller than traditional domestic vacuum cleaners, car vacuums also have smaller dustbin capacities. Of course, car vacuums won’t need to suck up half as much dirt as a home vacuum cleaner (unless your car is really dirty), and so they don’t normally have to be emptied very often. Some car vacuums, however, have a higher capacity than others, so bear in mind when choosing your car vacuum how often you think you’ll be using it. If you have more than one car, for example, or really messy kids or pets, you might want to consider a larger model.

best car vacuum, dyson

Accessories and attachments

Cleaning your car can be tricky as there are lots of hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, especially in, around, and under the seats. A good car vacuum will come with accessories that make the job much easier, such as an extension wand, crevice tool, or small motorized upholstery head.

Dry or wet/dry

All car vacuums can suck up dry dirt, but some of them can pick up wet messes too, and this is particularly useful for families with small children who may suffer from motion sickness — enough said!

Suction power

Suction power is measured differently in cordless and corded vacuums. The former is measured in volts and the latter in amps. With a cordless vacuum, the ideal suction power is between 15 and 20 volts, while, with a corded model, you’re looking for between 5 and 7 amps.

Weight and size

Make sure to check the weight of the model. The standard weight is around 5lbs, and you don’t really want it to be much heavier than that since you’ll have to maneuver it around a fair amount.

Car or RV use

Another aspect to consider when choosing your car vacuum is what kind of vehicle you have. Obviously, a bigger vehicle would benefit from a vacuum cleaner with a larger capacity. Although most car vacuums are only adapted for cars and not for the home, models such as the Dyson V11 Absolute can be used in both.

Now that you have an idea of what to look for in your car vacuum, let’s move on to our choice of the top vacuums for the car.

Which are the best car vacuums?

The best for pet hair: Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum (47R51)

Image used with permission by copyright holder

This affordable handheld vacuum has an impressive 18-foot cord, meaning you get the power of a corded model with the reach of a cordless vacuum. Its clear container lets you see exactly when to empty the bin, and this lightweight model has a range of accessories, including one specifically for pet hair.

The best for battery life: Holife HM036B vacuum cleaner

A great cordless wet/dry option, this model also has a lithium-ion battery, giving it a longer running time than many of its competitors.

The best home and car hybrid: Dyson V11 Absolute cordless

Image used with permission by copyright holder

When it comes to cordless vacuum cleaners, you can’t beat the Dyson V11. Although pricey, this powerful model is a great investment if you want a vacuum cleaner that can be adapted to both your car and your home. It is super lightweight, at just 3.2 pounds, and has an LED screen that lets you know exactly how much battery life is left.

The best for versatility: Black & Decker CHV1410L Dustbuster

Another vacuum with a lithium battery, this model holds its charge for a long time, and its slim, lightweight design makes cleaning every corner of the car simple and easy. It also has a transparent container, meaning you always know when to empty it.

The best for wet cleanups: Armor All AA255 Wet/Dry vacuum cleaner

Image used with permission by copyright holder

One of the cheapest and most powerful handheld vacuum cleaners, this model has a 16-foot cleaning reach and a 2.5-gallon capacity. Being a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, it is perfect for families with kids as it can tackle any mess quickly and easily.

The best for power: Black and Decker Max Lithium Pivot BDH2000PL Vacuum Cleaner

With its foldable head allowing you to reach into even the narrowest spots, this is an extremely powerful handheld vacuum cleaner. Its lithium battery means you can clean your car several times in one charging cycle, and its small size makes storing it a dream.

There’s a great range of car vacuums on the market, each with its own pros and cons. We hope our guide to the top vacuums for the car has helped you to understand which model is best for your vehicle.

The best for reaching into small spaces: Shark Ninja Rocket

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Another versatile option for your home and your vehicle, the Ninja Rocket is lightweight and has fantastic suction power. It’s also a flexible machine and is able to reach difficult spots, making it perfect for the car.

Editors' Recommendations

Erin Lawrence
Erin has over 20 years of experience as a journalist in the media and news industries, with time both on camera and behind…
The 5 best car subscription services in 2024
A Porsche driving down the road.

Owning and leasing a vehicle used to be the two primary ways to get behind the wheel. However, that's starting to change with the advent of car subscription services. These plans essentially take leasing to the extreme, covering every aspect of car ownership aside from the cost of fuel. That means you won't have to worry about unexpected expenses related to insurance or maintenance, as your single monthly payment takes care of all those headaches.

If you plan on driving a single vehicle for a long time, owning a car is undoubtedly a more frugal option. After all, there's nothing better for your wallet than having a paid off car. But if you can't be bothered to worry about the stresses of modern car ownership -- or you love checking out a new vehicle every few months -- car subscription plans are a nice alternative.

Read more
The 4 best pressure washers for cars in 2024
A man washes his truck with the Westinghouse ePX3100v Electric Pressure Washer.

Whether you do your driving with an off-road vehicle, one of the most impressive EVs on the road, or anything in between, the driving experience can be made all the better by knowing you look good doing so. Keeping your vehicle clean isn’t always the easiest chore, nor is it something everyone likes to do. You can make shorter work of it with a pressure washer, and with warmer weather around the corner we decided to round up the best pressure washers for cars in 2024.
The best pressure washers for cars in 2024

Buy the if you want the best pressure washer for cars overall.
Buy the if you want the best gas-powered pressure washer for cars.
Buy the if you want the best handheld pressure washer for cars.
But the if you want the best budget pressure washer for cars.

Read more
The 5 best smart motorcycle helmets in 2024
Quin McQ open face smart motorcycle helmet on road

Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is dangerous. But sometimes they just seem inconvenient, for lack of a better term. That might put you off wearing one, which is unfortunate. You need a helmet, and you need to protect your head. What if we told you there was such a thing as a smart motorcycle helmet that included innovative tech to make the helmet much more useful? They're already practical, yes, but smart helmets are also incredibly powerful. With things like built-in cameras, like a dashcam in a car, intelligent noise suppression, Bluetooth wireless, and a bevy of other tech, they can make every ride so much more enjoyable. In the spirit of free riding, let's examine some of the best smart motorcycle helmets and what they have to offer.
The best smart motorcycle helmets in 2024

Buy the Forcite MK1S if you want a well-rounded and intelligent option.
Buy the Sena Stryker if you want excellent audio quality.
Buy the Quin McQ if you want an open-face helmet design.
Buy the CrossHelmet X1 if you want visibility enhancements.
Buy the Torc T15B if you only care about Bluetooth connectivity.

Read more