The Best Car Vacuum Cleaners – Keep Your Car Clean in 2017

In a hurry? Best Budget Choice: Black&Decker CHV1410LBest Overall Choice:  Dyson V6 Car and Boat

Cleaning a car is sometimes more of a hassle if you do not have the right tools for the job. For me, my car has a few nooks and areas that are not exactly easy to reach, but I would rather do the job myself than pay for a car wash to clean the interior.

While I cannot speak for every reader out there, I am guessing a majority would rather save money in the long run by buying their own vacuum rather than pay someone else to clean their car. Plus it is nice to able to clean on a whim if necessary by having your own car vacuum and speaking from experience, I can fully attest to how well these vacuums work overall.

car vacuum top picks

Today, I will be looking at a few of the different best car vacuums on the market. Each one of these vacuums is powerful in their own right and I will say before I begin the review, that I can seriously recommend all of these vacuums.

There are many brand names on this list that may not come as a surprise, but they definitely earned their spots here. However, in terms of my own personal preference, I have ranked these vacuums in an order that I felt appropriate based on my own usage and needs. I hope that you are able to take away something from this list and maybe it will even give you an idea of what to look for in a car vacuum.

Best Car Vacuum Cleaners of 2017

Name/ImageLearn MoreBrandRatingWeight (lbs)Features
Dyson V6 Car + Boat

Dyson V6 Car + Boat

view pricesfull reviewsDyson5 Star Average Rating 3.4Digital V6 motor, 20 minutes of powerful fade-free suction, cord free and ergonomically designed
Bissell 1985 Multi Cordless

Bissell 1985 Multi Cordless

view pricesfull reviewsBissell5 Star Average Rating 3.9Extension hose and wand for extended reach, easy charging and storage, powerful, cordless suction
Black+Decker BDH2020FL

Black+Decker BDH2020FL

view pricesfull reviewsBlack+Decker5 Star Average Rating 6.4High performance motor and fade free battery, extension wand and pet brush, quick charging base
Dyson V6 Trigger

Dyson V6 Trigger

view pricesfull reviewsDyson5 Star Average Rating 3.4Powerful fade free suction, light and ergonomically designed, max power mode
Black + Decker CHV1410L

Black + Decker CHV1410L

view pricesfull reviewsBlack + Decker4.5 Star Average Rating 3.8Lithium battery for fade free suction, multi-surface cleaning attachments, easy to clean dirt bowl

Dyson V6 Car + Boat

dyson v6 car and boatDyson’s vacuums have never really let me down around the house in the past, so testing out something new for my car proved to be rather interesting. Dyson’s V6, which is ideal for cars and boats, is a powerful and cordless handheld vacuum that is great for smaller places such as the seats of a car, or even the trunk.

The V6 for its price is actually a really well put together vacuum and it has a ton of features that make extremely flexible for the kind of cleaning it can perform.

Powerful Digital Motor

One feature that stands out about the V6 is its motor. The motor that the V6 has is actually a digital motor, and alongside it, there is even a boost mode for the motor which makes the suction even more powerful. In addition, there are 15 2-tier radial cyclones. What these cyclones provide is a powerful suction force that easily sweeps up dust and allergens by providing an increased airflow.

Handy Accessories

dyson v6 car and boat handheldWhen you are done vacuuming with the V6, it has a hygienic bin for emptying the dirt and grime. There are also combinations of nifty accessories that the V6 has to offer. There are several tools such as the crevice tool and the mini motorized tool that allow for easy clean-ups.

The mini soft dusting brush provides a great way to get the dustier areas like the dashboard and even the stereo area. What is also impressive is the extension hose that allows the user to easily vacuum underneath the seats without having to move them.

User Issues

The V6 may have some polarizing reviews, but I would not let that slow you down. Some users said that it had a ‘short life’ which is somewhat to be expected when working with a cordless vacuum. If this were a higher price model, I would expect the battery to last a bit longer. Currently, it lasts up to 20 minutes which is not necessarily terrible.

Most cars are not that big to where they would require a long time that would need to be spent cleaning, so I would take some of these criticisms with a grain of salt. If anything, the cordless feature is a good idea so that you can easily navigate between the front and back seats.

Conclusion

All in all, the V6 easily sits at the top of my list for many reasons. The first being how cost efficient it truly is when compared to other types of car vacuums out there. Despite it being a handheld vacuum, the Dyson V6 actually has a pretty good kick to it and its suction force pretty much matches no other.  Some users felt that the cordless featured limited the V6’s time, but I do not generally think that is the case. The V6 still runs extremely well and as a result, my car has never looked cleaner and I have been able to save a lot of money in the long run by cleaning it myself.

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Bissell 1985 Multi Cordless

bissell 1985 multi cordlessBissell typically ranks near the top for many users and it never really comes as a surprise. Their 1985 multi cordless hand vacuum is one that seemingly flies under the radar for most people and that is somewhat of a mystery to me.

The Bissell 1985 is a solidly built vacuum that offers many interesting features such as its performance and suction power, its accessories, and its ability to be used in a handful of places, even including cars. This vacuum while not first on my list, it is certainly one that you should know about if you are looking for a car vacuum.

High-Performance Suction

The suction power behind the 1985 is near the top of the charts compared to its competition. The 1985 features a 22V lithium-ion battery which gives a user at least 15 minutes of suction. While this may not seem like a long time, the 1985 is able to suck up nearly everything in this path and it only has a recharging time of five hours. This honestly makes the 1985 one of the better cordless car vacuums I have seen in regards to time efficiency.

Good Attachments and Range

bissell 1985 multi handheldAttachments are the name of the game with the 1985 as many users have pointed out. While more of the users said that the 1985 was really great for their homes, others said the vacuum was ideal for their car. The 1985 also features a built-in extension house which makes it easy to clean the harder areas like corners or even in between the cushions of a seat in a car.

This vacuum really offers maximum versatility in regards to its range and it seems to be one of the bigger selling points about the vacuum. Many users reported how well the vacuum did in extremely dusty conditions, which is a good sign to me.

User Issues

However, the 1985 is not perfect and some users reported various flaws with the vacuum. One of the bigger issues is that the 1985 seems to clog more often than not and that to me is a bit concerning. Others said that the hose was a bit flimsy despite it being able to be used over and over again. Even though these complaints are valid, the 1985 still holds a very respectable star rating and I think with every vacuum there will be its ups and downs.

Conclusion

The Bissell 1985 is a pretty sturdy handheld vacuum that can be used for most needs. It definitely does well inside of smaller environments like vehicles and its guaranteed 15 minutes of suction should definitely be enough, but I can see how others might have an issue with it.

While there are complaints about the vacuum’s hose and the system itself becoming clogged, it still has many pros that outweigh the cons. Not to mention despite it being a brand name vacuum,  the 1985’s price is surely one of the lowest I have seen in a long time, making it all the more affordable for most users.

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Black+Decker BDH2020FL

black and decker 20v maxBlack and Decker are probably one of the lesser-known vacuum companies out there. I have never had a bad experience with one of their products and the BDH2020FL is just the latest and greatest they have to offer.

This vacuum is cordless and while it may better be known for its capabilities to effectively sweep up pet hair, it definitely works well as a handheld vacuum for a car. The price for the BDH2020FL is actually very affordable and will save you a lot of money in the end if you are constantly cleaning your car or even smaller areas of your home.

Simple to Empty and Clean

The BDH2020FL features a three-stage filtration system which easily contains any dust particles or grime, and makes it harder for them to escape. Not to mention the filter is easy to empty and is washable so you do not have to worry about ruining it. Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this vacuum and honestly, the easier it is to take care of regarding its maintenance, the better.

As someone who cleans often, I would rather avoid the mess of constantly having to worry about taking the vacuum’s filter apart.

Powerful Battery with Short Charge Time

black and decker handheldAt its core sits a 20V lithium-ion battery that provides a strong suction when cleaning and a short charge time when not in use.  There is also the hose that while it may lack some length, makes up for it with its mobility to be carried on the go and can reach into tight spaces. Its ability to work with tighter spaces has been praised as one of the vacuum’s stronger points.

Many users have praised the BDH2020FL’s ability to clean cars without much of a hassle and especially any pet hair that is left behind either in a vehicle or around their home.

User Issues

One complaint that has been raised is that the vacuum does not hold a charge for a long time. Some users said that replacing the battery itself was rather difficult and that they had to end up replacing the entire model. Others have said that despite the suction power working well, that the vacuum could use a bigger motor.

The second complaint here I think is more of a personal preference, but the first complaint that talks about the vacuum not really holding a charge could be concerning. However, I am certain as cordless technology grows, this issue will lessen.

Conclusion

Still, I think the BDH2020FL is a solid model and for its extremely lower price, it is well worth the buy. It is handy to carry around which many users enjoyed even though the charge time and hose length are potential issues.

However, there is a lot to like about this vacuum and I think Black and Decker did a good job in crafting a more portable car vacuum. While it certainly has its areas of concern, I still think the BDH2020FL is worth checking out, especially for those of you on tighter budgets.

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Dyson V6 Trigger

dyson v6 triggerDyson once again makes this list, and for good reason with their V6 Trigger. The Trigger falls into the same family as the prior mentioned V6 for the car and the boat, however, this model is one of the earlier entries into the series.

Unlike the V6 for the car and boat, the Trigger is more of a vacuum that can be used in any capacity and typically on any type of flooring, but it still works well inside of cars. The Trigger is honestly one of the more interesting products in this V6 series.

Ergonomic Design

The build of the Trigger is one of the top features about it given the ergonomic design. This vacuum can easily fit into the shape of your hand, making it simple to grip. When moving around and trying to get into the nooks either underneath the couch or between the seat cushions in a car, the Trigger will not slip out of your hand.

In fact, the Trigger works well beneath car seats and upholstery. Not to mention, the Trigger is lightweight, coming in at only 3.4 pounds so there should not be much of an issue using it.

Max Power Mode

dyson v6 trigger handheldMuch like the others in the series, the V6 has a max power mode built in which allows for more suction for an estimated six minutes. Overall, the Trigger has up to 20 minutes of suction force and the battery only drains when the vacuum is in use, making it a longer lasting option.

Along with some of these features, the Trigger also has a fade-free battery, which means it can offer up to 1.5 times more power than standard batteries. All of these features make the Trigger a pretty solid option and a cost-effective alternative to others in the series.

User Issues

However, not all users were impressed with the battery life, saying they were unable to finish cleaning as the vacuum’s battery kept draining. This is a bit of a concern to me given the fact that the V6 I reviewed prior did not have this issue.

dyson v6 trigger is great for carsThere is also the issue of the suction not being as adequate as some users first imagined, but I can guess this may be due to the battery life trying to save every bit of energy. Whether or not these are correlated I cannot say for certain, but for a vacuum that offers a max power mode, this is a bit of an issue if it cannot sweep up adequately.

Conclusion

The Trigger is a solid product by Dyson, but in the end, I do not know if it compares to the V6 for the car and boat. The Trigger offers a great design and easy grip for many users.

However, the Trigger seems better used for smaller areas like cars for example, but the draining battery life seems to be a bit of a gray area. For the price and the fact that it has an excellent star rating on Amazon, I think that this vacuum is worth the investment.

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Black + Decker CHV1410L

black and decker 16v cordlessBlack and Decker, like Dyson, is a company that ended up making this list twice, and this time it is for their CHV1410L cordless and handheld vacuum. The CHV1410L is by far one of the cheapest, yet highest rated vacuums I have seen in regards to car vacuums.

There are a lot of things to like about this vacuum such as its charge time, suction power, and many more of the other features it displays make it a fierce competitor to many other vacuums that are out on the market.

Good Battery and Suction

The first thing that stands out about the CHV1410L is its ability to hold a charge for up to 18 months. That is absolutely incredible to me for a vacuum to be always ready. The 16V lithium-ion battery that the CHV1410L has contributes to the longer life, which also helps out with its suction power.

Honestly, the suction power behind this vacuum is pretty great, especially when working in dirtier areas like the flooring of a car, or even the trunk. The suction power features a cyclonic action which keeps the suction strong and is able to contain the dirt and grime from escaping.

Multiple Accessories

black and decker 16v handheldThis vacuum also features a ton of accessories such as a washable pre-filter, many brushes and tools, and a charging base. The CHV1410L makes it easy to pop on what you need, such as a certain brush, and continue cleaning the problem areas.

One particular accessory that stands out is the rotating slim nozzle that allows tighter spaces to be cleaned easily. There is also a bagless dirt bowl which makes cleaning the filter and emptying the contents super easy. It honestly does not surprise me to see that this vacuum is one of the better sellers.

User Issues

Some critics of the CHV1410L have said that it is very noisy compared to most other handheld vacuums. While I would not necessarily consider noise to be that much of an immediate issue for a car vacuum, I can certainly see how over time it would get annoying for a user.

black and decker chv1410l cordlessThere are also users claiming that the battery did not last the 18 months, and in some instances, only lasted four. This may or may not be affecting users who said that the actual usage time of the vacuum was short while the charging time took longer than anticipated.

Conclusion

For what it is worth, the CHV1410L is a much better and cheaper alternative to many handheld vacuums out there. The lithium-ion battery is a nice touch and works well in conjunction with the suction power as it does not drain it too much. There are also a nice amount of accessories that come with this vacuum, making cleaning much more efficient.

While Black and Decker do claim that the CHV1401L can hold a charge up to 18 months, many users have said this is not the case as the charge time was significantly shorter than they expected. Still, this vacuum is worth a look for its price.

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Choosing A Vacuum for Your Car

car vacuum cleanerPurchasing a vacuum for the car, or even smaller spaces, in general, is not always easy to do. At this stage, most vacuums that specialize in these areas are handheld vacuums. While they do offer more versatility with where they can go, some do however have their limitations.

There are still many great options to choose from out there and most work seemingly well. With this, there are many considerations that are brought to light, and hopefully, the questions below can help in your search for the car vacuum that is right for you.

How Big is the Area You Are Cleaning?

clean all areas and trunkCars in themselves are not typically that big, but they do vary in overall size. If there is a bigger area you are cleaning, including the dashboard and trunk, then you may want a vacuum that can reach all the areas, and last long enough to where the cleaning is thorough. So when considering a vacuum, take into account the area size that you plan on cleaning.

There are some users who prefer that a handheld vacuum only cleans certain areas, so if you are looking to get underneath the seats or between the cushions, you will probably want to consider one that specializes in a powerful suction force. If a vacuum has a more ergonomic design, then this can allow you to reach areas that a regular vacuum is unable to sweep.

Do You Prefer Cords or Cordless?

This vacuum converts into a handheldThe big debate between corded and cordless vacuums still goes on, even with handheld vacuums. The big difference between these two is the mobility that they allow you. Some people prefer to have a corded vacuum simply for the fact that they do not have to worry about charging their vacuum and having the battery die on them during cleaning.

However, others prefer cordless vacuums due to the fact that they simply allow the user to reach harder areas and places like cars that regular vacuums cannot reach. There are upsides to both types, but corded vacuums are typically a little heavier and may get tangled up, while cordless vacuums have to rely on charging the battery.

Either way, both can get the job done, it may just depend on how close or far away to an outlet you are that can determine which type is more logical to use.

How Much Are You Willing to Spend?

When it comes down to it, handheld vacuums are usually not that expensive, when compared to regular stand up vacuums or even robotic vacuums. These are typically niche type vacuums and meant for particular areas, not the entirety of a room or home.

That said, they do range in price and some can be a bit more expensive. I have however seen many highly rated vacuums that would not break the bank or even come close to it. I think because of the fact that these vacuums are not built for larger areas makes them cheaper in the long run.

Are You Cleaning Constantly?

dyson v6 car and boat handheldThe nice thing about handheld vacuums is that the majority of them are cordless. Not only does this allow for more access cleaning wise, but it means the user does not have to worry about the space they are working with. However, if you are someone that cleans their car often, then you may want to invest in a vacuum that can hold a charge for a longer time.

The average time of most cordless vacuums seems to hover around 20 minutes, so this is an important factor to keep in mind. There are vacuums that allow for a little bit longer of a cleaning time, but these are usually more expensive given the fact that they have a better battery.

How Long Are You Cleaning?

Cleaning a car typically will not take that long, but it depends on the size of the car in question. If it is a larger car, then this can tie into the issue of it relying on the battery life to last long. This may be a reason some users prefer a corded handheld vacuum, or even a vacuum with a decent hose to sweep inside of a car.

If you are in an area where there is an outlet to charge the vacuum, then this may be less of an issue to you. However, it is important to keep in mind that the cordless vacuums do have a limited time they can work before shutting down and interrupting your cleaning time.

What Other Places Are You Cleaning?

black and decker handheldFor some users, cleaning just the small corner in a home may not be enough. Usually, handheld vacuums are used for a variety of reasons, but mainly to get into the harder to reach places in cars, homes, and even sheds. Some users find that these vacuums also work best on furniture and other surfaces like on a carpet or hardwood floor, car seat, and many other areas that regularly stand up vacuums cannot reach.

Given that there are a variety of areas that handheld vacuums can reach, it might be best for you if you can pinpoint at least a few areas where a vacuum like this may be necessary.

I hope that these considerations were able to help you in your search for a vacuum for a car, or other smaller areas. Typically, these vacuums are handheld for the most part, but some do offer hose attachments that can work in their place. While the hose attachments may not be as powerful, they do provide a nice alternative to those users who may be on a budget and cannot afford more equipment.

For me personally, I find the handheld, cordless vacuums to be a convenience more than a hassle, simply because they make cleaning a whole lot easier. In the end though, what type of handheld vacuum you may need will depend on what best fits the qualifications you are looking for.


Final Thoughts

Handheld vacuums are not used as frequently as their stand up counterparts but still offer quite the cleaning job. When I was looking for a handheld vacuum, I had so many questions I was asking and I was not sure of my preferences.

dyson v6 car and boat is my top pickIn the end, I ended up with Dyson’s V6 Car and Boat. While I do not own a boat, the V6 works wonders in my car and it has never looked cleaner. Before I was paying money to have people at a car wash vacuum out my car, but I decided that now I would do it myself.

For your convenience, here’s a link to the top-selling vacuums for cars on Amazon.

The V6 has so much to offer and its motor along with the cyclone technology was a big sell to me. If a vacuum can contain dirt and allergens, it will sit well with me. Not to mention, the V6 has many neat accessories that I still am finding new uses for all the time. I can fully endorse the V6 as it offers so much and is not too terribly expensive.

If the V6 is not what you are looking for, I can say that the other vacuums on this list are definitely worth checking out. There are many solid models and companies on this list, so you know you will be getting a quality product should you choose something from this list. In the end, the type of vacuum you need will depend on various factors that you deem necessary.

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