Best Vacuum Cleaners for Cars


Why Get a Vacuum Cleaner for Your Car

Aside from the scheduled car wash you do, doing some quick regular interior cleaning of your car is necessary to make your vehicle comfortable and avoid bigger problems like accumulated dirt on your mats and maybe even on the windows. A great way to keep your car clean is by vacuuming regularly. But of course, you cannot just take out your full-sized vacuum cleaner to do that. This guide will help you in choosing the best vacuum cleaner for your car.

Best Vacuum Cleaners for Cars Comparison Table 2017

Black & Decker CHV15104$$Handheld3.2 poundsYeswashable
Eureka 71B4.5$$Handheld4.8 poundsYeswashable
Bissell Auto-Mate4.5$$$Handheld4 poundsYeswashable
Dyson DC344$$$$$Handheld2.9 poundsYeswashable
Hoover Road Rat4$$Handheld2.8 poundsYeswashable

How to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Cars

To get a better idea about vacuum cleaners and what they’re best for, you can read our general guide in choosing a vacuum cleaner, the Best Vacuum Cleaners Buying Guide, before comparing models mentioned here. The same guidelines apply in choosing almost any kind of vacuum cleaner. But if you intend to use it for cleaning your car, here are a few important things to consider.

  • Size

    As mentioned earlier, you cannot expect to clean your car effectively with a full-sized vacuum cleaner, especially if it’s an upright model. Unless maybe, your car is a big van or a roving vehicle where you can stand inside. You need something that is small enough to fit through the chairs and other narrow areas. Portable models, ultra-light, and handheld are typically what fits this category. If you’re going to use a full-sized vacuum cleaner, attachments could make it possible.

  • Corded or Cordless

    Ideally, you should choose a cordless model. But it doesn’t mean that corded ones won’t work. If you can clean your car inside the garage where there is an outlet nearby, as long as the size of the vacuum and the functionalities are right, then it could still be perfect. Make sure that the cord length is enough so think about where you would be doing your cleaning.

  • Runtime

    If you choose a cordless model, check how long the battery life is. Typical runtime of cordless vacuum cleaners is around 15-20 minutes, sometimes less. This could be more than enough if it’s just your regular light cleaning.

  • Batteries

    Most cordless vacuum cleaners today use Lithium ion batteries that are rechargeable and interchangeable for continuous operation. They have longer lifespan so it would be more practical in the long run. Check also the charging time. Normally, it takes about 3 hours to fully charge the battery. More than that is too slow.

  • Weight

    Just as your vacuum cleaner needs to be small enough to fit in your car, it should also be lightweight so you can easily move it through the floor and around and above the seats. Anything exceeding 5 pounds could be problematic.

  • Attachments

    It would be very helpful if your vacuum cleaner comes with attachments that can help you tackle hard to reach areas including under the seats and on the corners. An extension wand would be great for reaching under the car seats. A mini motorized brush roll would work great on the seat covers and for any hair that might be lurking around. You can use a crevice tool for cleaning the windowsills.

  • Suction

    The most important factor to consider in choosing a vacuum cleaner for whatever purpose, is still the suction power. Make sure that the machine can in fact, pick up dirt; both fine and coarse particles.

  • Maintenance

    You also need to check how easy it is to clean the machine or empty the dust. Most handheld and car vacuums use cyclonic system which means they are bagless. Check how much dirt it can hold up before you have to empty the canister and how accessible the canister is. If it’s not detachable, it should have an easy access door so you can empty the contents straight to the trash bin.

  • Filter

    Cleaning your car, requires you to be in close proximity because you have to bend over to reach the areas that you have to clean. This risks you inhaling any dust that comes back out of the machine. A foam filter will help in keeping harmful particles from going back to the air you breathe. A HEPA filter would trap allergens so it would be very useful for those who have allergies or asthma.


There are a variety of vacuum cleaners that are specifically designed for cars. They usually come with different nozzles or attachments. An example of this is the BISSELL Auto-Mate which is a corded handheld car vacuum. Some even have wet and dry functions for a more thorough cleaning. If you can’t find a car vacuum or already have a regular handheld vacuum cleaner, that should work just as well.

Further Reader on Best Vacuum Cleaners