The 7 Best Car Vacuum Cleaners of 2022, Tested & Rated – Good Housekeeping | CarTailz


Cars are chock-full of nooks and crannies that dirt, food and other debris like to collect in, and the compact nature of most cars makes using a large canister vacuum or an upright vacuum almost impossible. To get into tight spaces under seats, between leather seams, and into small compartments, the best car vacuums are handheld cordless vacuums. Trust us: if you choose one, it will become your new best friend. With new innovations constantly coming out, cordless handheld vacuums are quickly rising to rival their larger counterparts in terms of dirt pickup and overall performance, and their compact size makes them a cleaning asset in both your and your car Your House.

The Good Housekeeping Institute’s Home Care & Cleaning Lab has has tested a wide range of vacuum cleaners over the years, from the stick vacuum cleaner to the robot vacuum cleaner. Our Rigorous testing on various surface types, like hardwood floors, and with different types of dirt, like pet hair, has helped us to continue providing the most relevant and up-to-date recommendations in the field. With a particular focus on car cleaning needs, here are our top picks for the best car vacuum cleaners.

Our top picks:

After reading our list, stay here to find out how we test car vacuums, get answers to common car vacuum questions, and why you should trust Good Housekeeping’s tips.

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Best car vacuum cleaner overall


20V MAX cordless portable wet/dry vacuum cleaner

weight 3.2 pounds
Requested Runtime Configurable (depending on battery capacity, sold separately)
Removable battery Yes
HEPA filter Yes
model number DCV517B

Car vacuum cleaner with the best value for money


AeroSlim cordless handheld vacuum cleaner

weight 1.3 pounds
Requested Runtime 12 minutes
Removable battery no
HEPA filter no
model number 29869

Best car vacuum cleaner for detailing


20V Power Share Cordless Cube Vac Compact Vacuum Cleaner

weight 3.8 pounds
Requested Runtime 30 minutes
Removable battery Yes
HEPA filter Yes
model number WX030L

Best car vacuum cleaner for pet hair

Black & Decker

AdvancedClean+ handheld pet vacuum

weight 4.2 pounds
Requested Runtime 20 minutes
Removable battery no
HEPA filter no
model number HHVK515JP07

Best car vacuum cleaner for big trade show


18V Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

weight 3 pounds
Requested Runtime Configurable (depending on battery capacity, sold separately)
Removable battery Yes
HEPA filter no
model number R860902

Best compact car vacuum cleaner


Wandvac cordless handheld vacuum cleaner

weight 1.5 pounds
Requested Runtime 35 minutes
Removable battery no
HEPA filter Yes
model number WV403BR

Best car vacuum cleaner for crevices

vacuum cleaner

ONEPWR cordless handheld vacuum cleaner

weight 3 pounds
Requested Runtime Configurable (depending on battery capacity, sold separately)
Removable battery Yes
HEPA filter Yes
model number BH57005

This car vacuum test involved collecting data on five of the latest models and reviewing our previous handheld vacuum data points taken during years of vacuum testing: In our most recent handheld vacuum test, the Good Housekeeping Institute’s cleaning lab 19 models from 14 different brands tested. We test all handheld vacuums on bare floors and low-pile carpets to see how well they pick up light soiling like sand, baking soda, dry oatmeal, orzo pasta, and pet hair. We also test the suction power with heavy objects such as nuts and bolts.

This round of auto vacuum testing lasted more than 10 hours of dedicated testing where the five different tests performed yielded more than 40 data points. All vacuums have been tested on low-pile carpets to mimic the texture of car carpets and various types of rubble, incl shredded granola, baking soda, and nearly two pounds of oats cleaned using vacuum cleaners. We also weighed the vacuums, evaluated their ergonomics and measured their operating noise to determine how easy and comfortable they were to use.

What to look out for when buying a car vacuum cleaner

As you weigh your options, consider these four key elements to finding the right car vacuum for your needs:

✔️ Runtime: A cleaner that lasts longer means fewer charges between cleanings and you don’t have to worry about charging every time you use the vacuum. For vacuum cleaners with batteries sold separately, choose a larger capacity battery to keep your vacuum cleaner running cleanly.

✔️ HEPA filtration: While not always necessary, a HEPA filter in your vacuum can help prevent small particles like pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and smoke ash from being recirculated into the air as you vacuum. People with allergies or sensitivities to air pollution should look for vacuums with HEPA filters to better capture irritating particles.

✔️ Attachments: If you are cleaning a room that has many narrow crevices and is made of a variety of different materials, such as B. the interior of a car, attachments are your best friends. Look for a vacuum that has a crevice tool to get into those little corners where dirt likes to settle, and consider one with a rotating brush attachment to easily remove hair from fabric materials.

✔️ Charger type: If you plan on keeping your car vacuum in your car, you should find a vacuum that has a USB charger. This allows you to charge it from the auxiliary socket found in most carsso you’re prepared when a mess hits.

How powerful should a car vacuum cleaner be?

If we want to get super technical, according to ASTM F558-13, the standard test for measuring the airflow of vacuum cleaners, a vacuum cleaner’s airflow rate (expressed in watts) is a description of the net working time performed by an airflow while energy is expended to produce a generate airflow under certain drag conditions. In other words, a vacuum with more airflow will have more suction.

When looking for a car vacuum cleaner, the most important thing is not to confuse air power with electrical power (expressed in volts). A vacuum with a higher electrical power will not necessarily produce a stronger suction power. Air performance is often not specified by vacuum manufacturers, while electrical performance is usually.

Due to the complexity of calculating airflow and the fact that not all manufacturers specify airflow wattage, we measure vacuum pickup in a more practical way: The cleaning lab uses pickup tests to estimate suction power as a percentage of the material deposited is caused by the vacuum after a forward and one reverse pass of the vacuum. All The vacuums featured in this article had an average pickup of more than 80% of the dirt deposited after just one full passmeaning they are strong enough to clear most messes with minimal effort.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

Nikolas Greenwald holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and as such has extensive experience working with various vacuum and pumping systems in the laboratory environment of Unit Operations. He helps refine and develop novel test protocols and data systems throughout the Good Housekeeping Institute based on industry standards and his knowledge of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and data science.

As General Manager of the Home Care Lab, Carolyn Forté has tested and reviewed hundreds of vacuums, carpet cleaners, mops and other large (and small) household appliances. She oversees all tests carried out in the cleaning laboratory and has recently tested all handheld, stick, handheld and canister vacuums submitted for the recent Cleaning & Organizing Awards. She is an active member of the ASTM Vacuum Cleaners Committee and Chair of the Consumer Information Subcommittee.

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