Car owners can testify the ease with which our four-wheeler gets dirty. Apart from the usual suspects like plastic wrappers, empty soft drink cans and dog hair, the presence of general road trip rubbish also has the capability to turn the inside of our vehicles into an epitome of dirtiness.
Hence the reason why we need the best car vacuums.
Regardless of whether they choose to plug in your vehicle’s 12V socket or rely on their built-in battery to go cordless, these car vacuums have the suction power and all the necessary attachments to return the interior of your car into (almost) the same condition as when it first arrived at your doorstep.
Best Car Vacuum Comparison Chart 2019
Our Top Recommended
- Cord: Corded
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Body Style: Canister
- Features: Works dry and wet
Dyson V6 Car+Boat
- Cord: Cordless
- Weight: 3.4 pounds
- Body Style: Handheld
- Features: Offers 6 attachments
- Cord: Corded
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Body Style: Handheld
- Features: Heap Filter,Cheap
- Cord: Cordless
- Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Body Style: Handheld
- Features: Lightweight
- Cord: Corded&Cordless
- Weight: 9.5 pounds
- Body Style: Canister
- Features: Power source options
- Cord: Cordless
- Weight: 3.3 pounds
- Body Style: Handheld
- Features: Huge suction power
Dirt Devil SD20005RED
- Cord: Corded
- Weight: 3.75 pounds
- Body Style: Handheld
- Features: Best Value
Best Car Vacuum Reviews of 2019
1. Armor AA255 – Our Top Recommendation
The Armor AA255 handheld vacuum features a car-friendly design, operates quietly without waking up the whole neighborhood and comes with a list of accessories which empower it to clean every inch of the interior of your car.
In contrast to most car vacuums on the market, the Armor AA255 offers both dry as well as a wet pickup to handle all types of debris. Also, while it comes as a vacuum, the accessories in its package let you easily convert this unit into a blower, allowing you to dry car grills, wheels and bonnet.
Similar ease is on offer as far as the design of this unit is concerned. You won’t feel the need for the absent wheels as its 10-foot power cord and 6-foot hose let you clean the entire car while the vacuum rests at once place. Still, if you have no choice but to carry it around, this unit’s handle will help you out.
That said, some users would still love this unit to have wheels. With its weight touching 7 pounds, it might be difficult for the elderly to carry this unit even with the user-friendly handle, a problem which could have been avoided had Armor provided this machine with wheels.
You also get a 2.5-gallon dirt tank whose capacity enables it to see through several cleaning sessions. Also provided is an auto shut-off function which detects the fill limit of the dirt tank and shuts off the unit to prevent overflow.
Moreover, while its floor nozzle helps you in cleaning car mats, the crevice tool which comes with this model helps in cleaning drink holders and the contours in the armrests. Its concentration nozzle, meanwhile, lets you pick up pet hair and similar smaller messes from the car seats.
On top of these attachments, you get a nice nozzle which acts as a blower to let you blow leaves from your garden once you’re done vacuuming your car. Oh, and there’s also the onboard storage for all the attachments as well as the hose.
- Auto-shutoff function
- 2.5-gallon dirt tank
- Converts to a blower
- Dry and wet pickup
- Has no wheels
2. Bissell 47R51 – Budget Pick
While its low asking price would undoubtedly attract more users towards this vacuum, it will be the high-end feature set of the Bissell CleanView Deluxe that would make sure that they stay there.
First things first, the fact that the Bissell 47R51 is a corded vacuum comes across as a double-edged sword. On one end, it means that you cannot use it on the go. On the other, it has allowed this model to use a powerful 4Amp motor which, in turn, relies on cyclonic suction to generate consistent airflow.
Yet another benefit which having a cord has afforded this model comes in the shape of its extended reach. Provided you decide to attach the 2-foot hose to this vacuum’s mouth, it would combine with its 18-foot power cord to give you a 20-foot reach, which is quite large for a car vacuum.
Its bagless design allows this vacuum to provide two specific benefits to its users. First, with the dirt cup transparent, you can see whether or not it has filled from outside. Second, with only a button letting you detach the dirtbag from the vacuum, you won’t have to touch the debris to empty it.
One feature of this model where it punches above its asking price is its multi-level filtration system. After passing the captured allergens through multiple layers, it separates them from the captured dirt. That means that you can be sure that this unit would be making your car’s indoors safe to breathe.
As for its attachments, you get all sorts of tools to clean the interiors of your car. A flexible rubber nozzle lets you clean tight spaces and rids your car’s carpet off pet hair. Its wide-mouth tool, meanwhile, lets you vacuum more area in less time, with the crevice tool letting you vacuum the AC vents.
Finally, no matter how you slice it, the dependence of this model on a cord limits its utility. In case there is a power outage or when you’re traveling on the road, you won’t be able to use it as long as you have an alternate power source.
- HEPA filter
- Considerable reach
- Easy-to-use controls
- Has a cord
3. DEWALT DCV581H – Upgrade Pick
The DeWalt Wet/Dry vacuum is for those users who want to have all the bells-and-whistles in their car cleaner and aren’t afraid to pay the big bucks for the same.
In an effort to justify its price tag, the DeWalt DCV581H offers support for both corded and cordless operations. It provides a detachable cord in its package to let you power this unit from an AC outlet. Or if you want to get rid of the cord, all you have to do is to put in 18v or 20v batteries.
The impressive features of this model only start from there. It comes with a HEPA rated filter which traps up to 99.9% of allergens to prevent the flare-ups of dust-related allergies. And the fact that it is washable means that with little maintenance, you can keep on using the supplied filter for years.
Furthermore, apart from offering dry and wet capability, this model comes with a 2-gallon tank which holds enough dirt to withstand several cleaning sessions. Equally impressive is its crush-resistant hose which lets you clean both high and low-lying areas with ease.
You also have the option to convert this handheld vacuum into a blower, meaning that when the need arises you can use it to blow leaves in the yard. Then comes its crevice tool which lets you clean every nook and cranny of your home, and it also has a car tool for surface cleaning.
Unfortunately, that’s all as far as the attachments of this model are concerned. While other car vacuums in this review provide at least four attachments, the DeWalt DCV281H offers only two in its package, which means it lacks the attachments of the other best car vacuums.
Despite doing so much, the DeWalt DCV581H was one of the quieter vacuums during our review phase. Our tests revealed that even when handling the most demanding of tasks, its noise rarely exceeded 81dB, a level which is quite impressive (and low) for a car vacuum.
- Has a rechargeable battery
- Offers both dry and wet pick up
- Comes with a crush-resistant hose
- Fewer attachments
4. Dyson V6 Car + Boat Handheld – Best Dyson Car Vacuum
With the arrival of its successor in the last few years, some people thought that it would be the end of the Dyson V6 Car + Boat Handheld vacuum. However, as its inclusion in this review shows, this model is still going strong to prove that all the rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated.
One of the reasons why you can count on this model to clean your car’s interiors is its 2-tier radial cyclone technology. It makes the centrifugal forces – those which separate dust from airstream – extremely powerful. That, in turn, allows the air to travel faster and provide better suction.
The Dyson V6 Car + Boat runs on the same motor as the V6 Absolute and produces 28 AW of suction power in its Standard cleaning mode. However, if it is a highly dirty area that you intend to clean, you can turn the knob to activate the MAX mode and increase the suction power to a whopping 100AW.
Doing that will force the battery timing of this cordless vacuum to nosedive, however. While it provides a decent runtime of 20 minutes in Standard mode, activating the MAX mode will allow you to use this vacuum for a mere 6 minutes before it would need recharging.
Still, while it would last less long in the MAX mode, this model won’t suffer from any power fade. That’s because it comes with Li-ion batteries that ensure consistent suction throughout the runtime. You also get a trigger grip which ensures that the battery is only consumed when you’re using the unit.
To further sweeten the deal, Dyson ships six attachments alongside this model. The most important among them are the three tools (crevice, combination and mini-motorized). Though you cannot disregard the importance of the two brushes (mini-soft and stubborn dirt) and a flexible hose, either.
On top of everything else, you won’t have to spend much to keep this model running. Both the filters – pre- and post-motor – that lie inside this model are fully washable. Provided you can spare some time every now-and-then to maintain them, these filters won’t be needing replacement anytime soon.
- Offers 6 attachments
- Has fully washable filters
- Doesn’t suffer from power fade
- Provides two cleaning modes
- Runtime nosedives in the MAX mode
5. Black + Decker Dustbuster CHV1410L
Sometimes all we need is a product which doesn’t provide any bells-and-whistles but still gets the job done with its bare essentials. That is exactly what the Black + Decker CHV1410L provides to ensure that it doesn’t weigh heavy on your pocket.
First things first, there are two models of the CHV1410L that are available on the market. The one which we’re reviewing here comes with a 16V Li-ion battery, whereas the other provides a slightly smaller runtime with its 14.4V Li-ion battery.
In addition to its large battery timing – since this car vacuum runs on smart charge technology which provides a runtime of up to 30 minutes after 4 hours of charging – this model also impresses with its performance.
You get a two-stage filtration system in this model – an internal cloth filter the traps finer particles and an external plastic mesh filter which captures large bits of dirt. With both of them being washable, you can keep on using them for years with proper maintenance.
An LED battery indicator warns you in advance when to plug-in the unit and its dirt cup can hold up to 20.6 oz of debris. Once it is full to capacity, all you have to do is to press the two levers – one on each side – and then empty the dirt into the bin.
As for the accessories that accompany this model, you get a pull-out crevice tool and a foldable brush tool. While the former lets you clean every nook and cranny, the latter’s compact design allows you to clean under-seat areas with it.
One important shortcoming of this model which you must know before making your decision is that its battery isn’t removable. That means that once it has failed, you can’t buy a replacement from anywhere. Instead, you’d have to send it back to the manufacturer for them to fix it.
- Decent running time
- LED battery indicator
- Easy-to-empty bin
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Li-ion battery isn’t replaceable
6. Holife Handheld HM036 Vacuum
Unlike most other car vacuums in this review, the Holife HM036 isn’t a household name, yet. Depending on how you look at it, that’s a good thing as far as we’re concerned. For, with its brand name not able to convince people to consider this vacuum, it is its features which have taken the initiative.
The Holife HM036 is one of those rare handheld models whose suction power doesn’t make you yearn for an upright. Its cyclonic suction technology is powered by 4KPa of suction which is enough to vacuum everything from large bread crumbs to fine pet hair.
Helping this model take full advantage of its huge suction power are the 3 nozzles that accompany it to your doorstep. For instance, if you want to clean narrow gaps and corners, this unit’s crevice tool will come handy. Its brush tool, meanwhile, cleans carpets, sofas, and car seats.
Then comes its flexible pipe using which you can extend the length of this model’s built-in nozzle to clean hard-to-reach areas. You can use the pipe to suck in liquid substances as well as this model offers both dry as well as wet compatibility.
Furthermore, with its battery providing a runtime of up to 30 minutes, you can clean 1,615 sq. feet on a single charge. A charging stand is also included in this model’s package, and plugging this vacuum in would get it up and running in less than 4 hours.
Apart from that, this unit’s HEPA filtration system enables it to capture allergens and pollutants from the indoors of your car. It offers triple-stage filtration and is a cinch to detach – with a mere push of a button enough to disconnect it from the unit.
That said, while the filter is easy to detach, the reverse is true as far as its cleaning is concerned. You have no choice but to manually remove hair stranded between the filter’s fibers to fully clean it. Or else, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, the filter’s performance might suffer.
- Huge suction power
- User-intuitive attachments
- HEPA filtration system
- Comes with a 3-year guarantee
- Filters aren’t easy to clean
7. Dirt Devil Scorpion SD20005RED
The Dirt Devil Scorpion SD2005 vacuum is powered by a long length cord, comes with a variety of tools and offers considerable suction power. Despite providing all that, the price tag of this model is competitive enough to attract users.
Provided you can afford to sacrifice the freedom which cordless models provide, the 16-foot cord of the Dirt Devil won’t let you doubt your choice in future. Since this model draws its power from the grid, it comes with a powerful 7amp motor which can clean the finest of messes with ease.
To further sweeten the deal, this car vacuum provides a Quick Flip crevice tool in its attachments. Once you attach it to the tip of this vacuum, the tool flips down to minimize the already low-profile of this unit – thereby letting you clean edges, corners, and hard-to-reach areas.
Apart from that, you get a 2.5ft. the hose which not only increases this model’s reach to up to 18 feet from an electrical outlet but also empowers it to clean narrow spaces. Then comes its wide-head tool which can capture pet hair without letting its head get blocked.
Maintenance-wise, both the dirt cup as well as the filters of this model are a cinch to keep up and running. To empty the cup, twist the center of the vac will unlock it in half, laying bare the dirt cup for you to pick it up and empty its contents into the can.
Similar ease will be on your way when you decide to clean the filter. The same compartment which houses the dirt cup contains the filter as well – which means that you can empty the bin and clean the filter in one instance, with the latter’s washability making it a cinch to clean.
Lastly, one area where this model might have done a bit better is its noise. No matter how you slice it, its operating noise won’t let anyone close to this vacuum a moment’s respite, with calm only returning once you’re done using this model.
- Competitively priced
- Extremely powerful for a handheld
- Attachments make it versatile
- Remarkably easy to maintain
- Fairly loud
How to Choose a Car Vacuum – Buying Guide
In case you were wondering, it is the following criteria which we used to select the best car vacuums out of the multitudes we reviewed in our testing phase.
Following are the features which differentiate the best car cleaners from the riffraff:
As the name implies, such vacuums plug into the 12V outlet of your vehicle, also known as a cigarette lighter. That feature makes these cleaners extremely versatile as its presence means that you can use your model on the go.
Provided you have kids traveling with you, you’d know that they spill everything whether from crunchy chips to a bottle of water. What you need in your ideal car cleaner, therefore, is the capability to handle both the dry as well as the wet messes.
Considerable bin capacity
One of the reasons why the Armor AA255 is our top pick has to do with the capacity of its bin. Able to hold up to 2.5 gallons of both dry and wet dirt, this model lets you clean for longer periods without having to worry about emptying its dirt cup.
Washable filters and dirt cups
Provided you can get a model which not only cleans easily but is itself easy to clean, you’ve already won half the battle. Which is why we recommend that regardless of which car cleaner you choose, its filters and dirt cups must be washable.
Remember this rule of thumb when looking at the attachments list of any vacuum cleaner: the more, the merrier. Vacuums which offer more attachments in their package let you use them for all of your cleaning tasks without breaking a sweat.
Decisions to make
Not everything is black and white when it comes to choosing car cleaners. Some features – like the ones you’re going to see in this section – are also gray and force you to take sides.
Corded Vs Cordless Car Vacuums
As far as corded car vacuums are concerned, they offer the obvious advantage of supplying more power for an indefinite period. With no battery to dry out, you can clean for longer periods and also get more suction power than what is afforded by their cordless counterparts.
Choose Corded Car Vacuum: If you want more suction power, have to clean for longer periods and don’t mind dealing with a cord.
Cordless vacuums, on the contrary, might not provide as much suction power but they do excel in maneuverability. Granted, they require you to keep an eye on their remaining battery time, but you do that knowing that there’s no cord for you to worry about.
Choose Cordless Car Vacuum: If you want more maneuverability and can do your cleaning work with less suction power.
HEPA Vs Carbon filter
Starting with HEPA filters, they perform better when it comes to removing bigger allergens from the incoming dirt. As a result, experts recommend that if you or anyone in your household is allergic to dirt, the HEPA filters are your best bet.
Choose HEPA filter: If you or anyone in your home is prone to suffering from dirt allergies or asthma attacks due to dirt particles.
Carbon filters come handy if you want to vacuum smelly substances. That’s because they have activated carbon which chemically reacts with odors to dissipate their smell. Hence the reason why some air purifiers also use carbon filters.
Choose Carbon filter: If you have to deal with dirt particles which are smelly and you want to get back the original interior smell of your car.
While most car owners don’t realize it, the long-term presence of dirt, debris, and other pollutants in your car might end up damaging your vehicle’s components. Also, if you have pets traveling with you, their hair, if not properly vacuumed and sealed-off, can become a source of those finicky allergies which are extremely hard to get rid of. Therefore, whether or not you travel frequently, having the best car vacuum will make sure that your car’s indoors are safe for everyone.
Hello, I’m Rita! Editor of Home/Made. We began this blog as a passion project geared toward sharing our love of all things home related. From DIY to cleaning tips, homemade wares to home living guides, We have truly found our proverbial muse in everything that goes into making a living space into a home.