The best Bissell handheld vacuum

Anthony Marcusa

Keep your handheld vacuum in a convenient place so that you can quickly tackle any isolated messes. However, be careful that when stored it doesn't fall over, as its plastic exterior can break fairly easily.

When isolated messes arise in small, awkward areas around the home, a handheld vacuum is the tool of choice. They sacrifice power for portability and increased dexterity to tidy up in a variety of places. 

With a nearly 150-year history of manufacturing cleaning products, Bissell today is still one of the top brands when it comes to vacuums. The Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum offers power and convenience and is one of the many options to consider when seeking out the best Bissell handheld vacuum for your lifestyle.

What to know before you buy a Bissell handheld vacuum

What you’re cleaning

The types of messes you'll need to clean will influence the type of handheld vacuum to invest in. Because of their relatively small size, handheld vacuums are mainly intended for spot cleaning spills and other isolated accidents. They also can help to get in and around some tight spaces; some handheld vacuums are useful for cleaning furniture and drapes as well. 

Keep in mind that handheld vacuums are meant to be used on dry messes and may malfunction if tasked to clean up any wet accidents. Handheld vacuums also generally do not have enough power to clean thick carpets. Most consumers will want to supplement a handheld vacuum with a larger cleaning device, particularly if you have a bigger home.

Corded vs. cordless

Bissell offers handheld vacuums both in the corded and cordless variety. While corded options have a limited range, they cost less and typically last longer than their cordless alternatives. Cords generally only reach 12-18 inches, so coverage can be limited unless you have an extension cord on hand.

Meanwhile, cordless options boast impressive portability but they have a limited runtime, usually between 10-20 minutes. They require a battery to be recharged, which can take a few hours to reach maximum capacity. Batteries have a lifespan of around three years and are expensive to replace. When a battery dies, it needs to be properly disposed of. In most cases, it may be more cost-effective to simply buy a new handheld vacuum.


Battery-powered handheld vacuums measure power in volts, with options ranging from 10-22 volts. Most feature 14 volts, which is adequate for a majority of messes. While all Bissell vacuums are able to clean hardwood floors, more power is required in order to pull up dirt from low pile carpets.

Bissell handheld vacuum features

Specialty tools

Some Bissell handheld vacuums boast increased versatility with the inclusion of various attachments. A crevice tool is one of the most useful attachments as it's able to clean up dirt and dust lodged in corners and along floorboards. A brush roller can increase coverage and disturb stubborn dirt so that it comes up easier. Bissell also offers an extension hose on certain models. Small LEDs are also incorporated on certain products to help light up dirt when cleaning up dimly lit spots.

Pet hair

Bissell offers a range of cleaners that are specialized to tackle pet hair, including a few options of the handheld variety. These will boast more power and a higher price tag than other options but are ideal at pulling up hair, dirt and pet dander. These can also be used in dog crates and on beds.


If you’re in need of a collection of cleaning products, Bissell offers bundles that feature a handheld product along with a few attachments. Bundles are highly cost-effective, offering a lower price to buy the items together than to buy each item separately.

Bissell handheld vacuum cost 

Most Bissell handheld vacuums cost between $40-$70. Cordless vacuums will be more expensive than corded models.

Bissell handheld vacuum FAQ

How do I maintain my Bissell handheld vacuum?

A. Handheld vacuums require frequent emptying since they have relatively few containers. Get into the habit of removing the dirt after use and washing the container with warm water and soap. Let it dry before returning it to the unit. If you have a cordless model, charge the battery after each use and be sure to store it in a cool, dry place away from any moisture or heat.

What do I do if suction is low?

A. If the vacuum isn’t picking up dirt, it's likely a blockage is causing low suction. Unplug or turn off the machine to inspect every part of it, removing any attachments as well as the dirt container to check for a blockage. A small instrument, like a screwdriver or pencil, can help dislodge debris. Cordless models feature a battery indicator to alert to low power, which will result in low suction until fully recharged.

Which Bissell handheld vacuum should I get?

Best of the best Bissell handheld vacuum

Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum: available at Amazon

Our take: Powerful handheld vacuum that offers convenience and versatility in tackling a variety of messes on multiple surfaces.

What we like: Portable, cordless vacuum powered by a 14-volt battery ideal for pet owners. Tackles carpets, floors and upholstery. Includes three attachments, including a crevice tool.

What we dislike: Expensive with a limited runtime of about 15 minutes.

Best bang for your buck Bissell handheld vacuum

Corded Pet Hair Eraser: available at Amazon

Our take: Impressive corded handheld vacuum that can tend to stubborn messes with ease.

What we like: Ideal for multi-surface use including stairs, drapes, furniture and car interiors. Powerful suction picks up pet hair. Good price.

What we dislike: Cord limits convenience. 

Honorable mention Bissell handheld vacuum

AutoMate Lithium-Ion Handheld Vacuum: available at Amazon

Our take: Potent cordless handheld vacuum designed for tackling the toughest jobs in the car and around the home.

What we like: Designed to clean car interiors. Features a convenient flexible crevice tool lighted by LED and decent dirt capacity. Can tackle pet beds and low pile carpet as well.

What we dislike: Pricey and the battery runs for only 20 minutes.

Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.