The 6 Best Dustbusters of 2023

Bissell’s Cleanview Deluxe busts dust (and more!) like no other handheld

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Photo: People/Tara Donne

Who you gonna call for dust bunnies? A dustbuster that can suck, that's who. We hit the floors testing 30 handheld vacuums in an effort to determine the best for vacuuming up dirt, debris, and much more.

In our testing labs, we tossed all-purpose flour, hair, Cheerios, and popcorn kernels on four different flooring surfaces (hardwood and also low-, medium- and high-pile carpeting) and measured for setup, effectiveness, maneuverability, ease of emptying, portability and noise level — all the things you'll need to consider when picking a handheld of your own.

"Choose a quality branded tool that has a variety of attachments to serve all of your cleaning needsa pet hair brush for upholstery, a crevice tool for in-between cushions and corners, and a flathead for baseboards and tight spaces," advises Jessika James-Goern, an IICRC-approved instructor and restoration expert. Knowing the surfaces you'll be needing to treat with a dustbuster — like car seats, cup holders, or furniture with pet hair — makes the search process a little simpler.

Testers erected a faux living room with a couch, coffee table, and shelving unit to see just how these dustbusters did their jobs around objects; They were also tested in a car console. Based on our PEOPLE Testing, Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum was the winner.

Keep reading for the best dustbusters that performed so well they'd even impress Monica Geller.

Best Overall: Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum



  • It's easy to set up
  • Features powerful suction
  • Holds a lot of dirt


  • It's not cordless, which makes it less portable
  • Rather loud due to its power

After 11 hours of hands-on testing, the Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum emerged as the clear winner. This bagless vacuum hit high marks in all the key categories starting with set-up (scoring a 4.5 out of 5). "This bad boy opens up ready to use!" our tester noted, touting its zero-effort assembly.

The lightweight machine received perfect scores for effectiveness on hardwood floors — tackling Cheerios, popcorn, and flour in just one pass. It killed it again on low-pile carpets (5 out of 5), sucking up the same items with ease. On longer carpets it was not perfect (4.5 out of 5), requiring more than one pass to suck up the Cheerios and popcorn on medium-pile, and even more elbow grease to tackle flour and hair on the high-pile carpet. "It's easier to pull than push," noted our tester. Even still, it received the highest marks with tough messes like flour and hair on medium-pile carpet and Cheerios and popcorn on high-pile because of its "super-powerful suction."

While it was easy peasy to use the arm attachment in our faux living room and on a car console, there are a few caveats. Using the hose requires two hands, one to hold the vacuum and one to hold the hose. The handle on top is nice because it distributes weight, but it's not as portable as it should be for such a small machine.

The hose is long enough to reach under a couch, but the vacuum's main handle limits where it can go — specifically tighter spots — due to the machine's overall shape. Adding to its limitations is the cord. "For something that's this small, I would want it to be cordless," our tester noted, adding that they'd shell out even more cash if it were cordless.

Capacity is a strength. The Bissell's dirt receptacle only needed emptying once at the end of all the tests. The bin holds a lot, but it was a tad difficult to remove the filter, and there was a lot of dust left behind in the bin. You'd need to wipe it out to get it really clean.

Despite its compact size, the Bissell has the fierce power of a larger vacuum, which unfortunately means it can be noisy. "You wouldn't want to talk while vacuuming," said our tester.

Price at time of publish: $49.99

Weight: 5 lbs. | Cord length: 18 feet | Bin capacity: 26.4 oz. | Includes: Hose, crevice tool, wide-mouth tool

tester uses bissell cleanview vacuum on carpet

Best Budget: Sun Joe AJV1000 Cordless 8.4-Volt Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

sun joe vacuum


  • Performs well on carpet
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to set up


  • It's pretty loud

Who doesn't love to score a quality cleaning item for a bargain price?

The cordless handheld vacuum from Sun Joe that stole the show is top-notch in performance and price — and our testers can attest to that. "This is a solid dustbuster for a low price," they shared after rigorous testing. "It has really intense suction and it worked on all of the surfaces and with many types of spills." During the various challenges across hardwood, low- and high-pile carpet, and more, the vacuum performed wonderfully in sucking up the miscellaneous spilled messes, but it outdid itself on carpet.

Across tests where popcorn, flour, hair, and cereal were spilled onto different types of carpeting, Sun Joe was able to effectively (and easily) clean every mess. The tester shared that the "suction is so strong that it gets stuck on the carpet a little bit," packing a punch for a dustbuster that's sold at a discount price. They also appreciated its lightweight design, making it easy to carry around if you need to clean your car or get into those various tight spaces in your home.

While there are more perks than not when it comes to this dustbuster, our testers did notice that the machine was quite loud. This may be something to keep in mind if you live with children, a partner, or roommates, but we still think the quality surpasses this vacuum's modest price.

Price at time of publish: $34.99

Battery Life: 15 minutes | Weight: 1.52 lbs. | Bin capacity: 3.4 oz. | Includes: Small brush attachment, vacuum cap, USB charger

tester with sun joe dustbuster and accessories

Best for Pet Hair: Black + Decker 20V Max Cordless Flex Hand Vacuum



  • Small yet powerful
  • Effective on all surfaces
  • Hose for hard-to-reach areas


  • Somewhat loud
  • A bit difficult to tote around

Pet hair doesn't stand a chance against this cordless handheld that comes complete with a charging stand and three attachments — including a cute one emblazoned with a paw print, specifically designed for pet hair.

It scored a whopping 5 out of 5 on all surfaces with all varieties of PEOPLE Tested's manufactured messes. That's a big deal. Our tester was blown away again and again by its capabilities. The long neck makes it super easy to shove underneath couches, and it's small enough to combat any tricky angles you throw its way. It's also incredibly easy to empty dirt using the clip on the side, making it a process that's completely mess-free.

The downsides: The price tag is undeniably steep, and its two distinct parts (hose and base) make it a bit more of a chore to tote around. It also received a 3.5 out of 5 for noise level, too, which is surprising given its small size.

Overall, the Black + Decker is perfect for someone who needs a machine that deep cleans or wants to avoid the burden of a regular full-sized vacuum. "If you want a powerful handheld vacuum this is a great option," said our tester.

Price at time of publish: $124.99

Battery Life: 15 minutes | Weight: 3.2 lbs. | Bin capacity: 17 oz. | Includes: 2-in-1 nozzle brush, pet hair attachment

best dustbusters
People/Tara Donne

Best for Small Spaces: Bissell AeroSlim Hand Vacuum

bissell handheld vacuum


  • Multi-purpose attachment is helpful for nooks and crannies
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Super lightweight


  • Tended to spit out some debris while vacuuming
  • Small bin means more frequent emptying

For those nooks and crannies that your regular vacuum just can't reach, this pick from Bissell is the way to go.

Not only is it sleek in appearance, but has all of the capabilities to effectively clean those hard-to-clean areas of your space that larger models can't quite get to. Due to its slender, cylindrical shape and extra attachments, this lightweight vacuum is able to get into small areas like cup-holder consoles with ease to leave your surfaces sparkling clean.

"This tiny vacuum was surprisingly powerful for a USB-charged device," our tester shares after observing its many features and performance. "It's so small, I could see this working really well in an office space or car, or [for] anyone who doesn't have much storage space." From different spills and messes, like dry cereal and clumps of hair, this small but mighty machine was able to effortlessly suck up the messes made — only struggling a bit with strewn flour, a task that requires a bit more elbow grease than a vacuum, anyways.

While a tiny vacuum is great for small spaces, it also requires a small body, which means that you'll have to take more trips to the trash to empty the svelte dustbin as you clean. However, this is a small price to pay for the major messes that can be cleaned with this model from Bissell.

Price at time of publish: $41.99

Battery Life: 12 minutes | Weight: 1.37 lbs.| Bin capacity: 4 oz. | Includes: 2-in-1 crevice tool and dusting brush, USB charging cable

tester with bissell aeroslim vacuum and attachment

Best for Cars: Beenate Cordless Hand Vacuum Cleaner

beenate cordless vacuum


  • Lots of attachments made specifically for cars
  • Great for fabric on seat cushions
  • Moderate noise level


  • Setup was a bit confusing

Car messes are no more thanks to this powerful machine.

This cordless vacuum from Beenate was specifically designed with car cleaning in mind, offering a wide variety of auto-specific attachments such as a crevice tool, hard and soft pipes for hard-to-reach corners, and dust brush tools, to name a few.

This vacuum performed beautifully on our mess tests, swiftly sucking up Cheerios, hair, popcorn, and flour with little effort. It was also brilliant on high-pile surfaces, which can be tricky for large vacuums, let alone a small dustbuster. Our tester made a comment about how lightweight it was and its easy-to-use design, making this the perfect vacuum to carry in and out of the car to clean those pesky areas under the seats, in the cupholders, and the debris-absorbing fabric that all seat cushions seem to be made from.

Our tester made note of the many pieces this model came boxed with, from extra attachments to filters and chargers, which made it a bit hard to figure out how to put it together. However, assembly only took a little over a minute and a half, and the bulk of the machine came ready to go, with the exception of whatever nozzles or attachments they wanted to try. The tester shared how this vacuum was "very clearly designed for a car," as it came equipped with a cleaning rag and detailed instructions on how to effectively clean your car with the device.

Price at time of publish: $56.99

Battery Life: 30 minutes | Weight: 2.77 lbs. | Bin capacity: 18.6 oz. | Includes: Crevice tool, brush tool, soft hose nozzle, hard hose nozzle, cleaning cloth, storage bag, charging cord

tester uses beenate vacuum on carpet

Best for Carpet: WORX WX030L 20V Power Share Cordless Cube Vac Compact Vacuum


  • Picked up messes with ease without crushing anything on the carpet
  • Compact design
  • Easy to store
  • Button-activated debris disposal makes emptying a simple (and clean) job


  • Short battery life on high setting
  • Slightly on the pricier end
  • Noise is quite loud

Carpet spills are no foe to this cordless vacuum from Worx.

We all know the headache that spills on the carpet can be, but this vacuum is here to take care of the messes created on your high-pile floors. This easy-to-assemble model was powerful enough to suck up all of the messes our testers created thanks to its two-level power modes and two attachments plus a hose for more detailed cleaning.

Our tester admired how easy it was to carry this vacuum around, coming in at only three pounds but having the horsepower of a machine with much more strength. The hose and extra attachments allowed for an added layer of versatility with this vacuum, allowing our tester to get under and around furniture with ease. "I was honestly shocked at how well this tiny, box-shaped vacuum worked and super impressed by the smart all-in-one design and strength," they shared, communicating a level of admiration surrounding its performance.

However, if you plan on cleaning with others in the house or in the early hours of the morning, it would be wise to note that this model is a bit loud. Outside of the noise (and its somewhat higher price tag), our testers labeled this one as a design that's worth the investment due to its strength, versatility, and added features.

Price at time of publish: $99.99

Battery Life: 10-25 minutes, depending on setting | Weight: 3 lbs. | Bin capacity: 7 oz. | Includes: Crevice tool, brush tool, charger

tester puts together worx dustbuster vacuum

Things to Consider Before Buying a Dustbuster

Personal Preferences

The biggest thing you'll need to decide on when choosing a dustbuster is your desired level of extra bells and whistles: cord or cordless, bagless (like the Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum), extra attachments, etc. If you want to be closely connected with your machine, a cord may not bother you, but if you want the ability to get to those hard-to-reach places without having to switch outlets, a cord will definitely slow you down. Attachments may also be something to think about, especially if you lack storage space — our testers loved Beenate's Cordless Hand Vacuum Cleaner for its array of attachments and compact size. Also bear in mind that some machines are only meant to be used on certain surfaces.


A corded machine may be slightly more affordable, though there are exceptions. While convenient, it's important to note that battery-powered machines without cords can be heavier in some cases and also require time to charge. You'll also want to read the fine print regarding warranties.


Let's face it: No one wants to spend a lot of time emptying the inside of a vacuum. Look for a dustbuster with an easy-open dustbin (see: WORX 20V Power Share Cordless Cube Vac Compact Vacuum) or with a filter compartment that's easy to access, remove, and subsequently clean. Note the shape of the machine you're eyeing because a dustbuster with a large bin means you'll be cleaning it less often, but it might not be able to tackle those tiny, awkward spaces.

best dustbusters
People/Tara Donne

How We Tested Dustbusters

We tested 30 dustbusters in our mock living room setting and car console. Here, we tested the dustbuster's ability to clean four different dry substances on four different surfaces. Testers observed how well the vacuum removed popcorn kernels, Cheerios (some a little crushed/dusty), all-purpose flour, and hair, and counted how many passes it took each dustbuster to clean the mess. We rated the models on effectiveness, maneuverability, ease of emptying, and more, zeroing in on the best machines for different households.


How powerful should a handheld vacuum be?

For a handheld vacuum with strong suction power, look for cordless models with a 16-volt (or higher) battery and at least 15 air watts. Corded vacuums are inherently more powerful, just make sure the handheld vacuum you select has at least 4 to 5 amps for adequate suction.

Can you use a handheld vacuum on carpet?

Yes, you can use any handheld vacuum on carpet. If you have particularly deep carpeting, a handheld vacuum with a motorized brush head will be most effective at removing dirt.

How long do cordless handheld vacuums run?

On a full charge, most cordless handheld vacuums can run for an average of 15 to 20 minutes.

Do handheld vacuums pick up dust?

Yes, all handheld vacuums can tackle dust. But if dust is a big issue in your home, the best models for fighting dust are handheld vacuums that contain HEPA filters.

What are the advantages of a cordless handheld vacuum?

The greatest advantage to cordless handheld vacuums is convenience. As long as the vacuum is charged, you can take care of any mess quickly without being concerned about finding a plug or the length of the cord. This makes cordless vacuums easy to use and ideal for cleanups in hard-to-reach areas of your home as well as your vehicle.

What Is People Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

Want more product recommendations? Check out all of our People Tested content.

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