Car ownership is both necessity and luxury by itself. Car owners know how important it is for their daily lives. Equally important is maintaining their vehicles in tip-top shape.
Car vacuums were created for that reason. They are the most adaptable vacuum types in the current market, allowing us to clean narrow spaces where ordinary vacuums cannot reach.
There are so many available car vacuums around that it’s hard to choose what’s right for you. There are different-sized car vacuum products, each with its own designs, characteristics, abilities, and features. Plus, people have their own reasons to buy a car vacuum.
Worry not, as we will guide you to buying the best car vacuum for your specific needs. Here’s a comprehensive buying guide for purchasing your own car vacuum.
A compact, powerful vacuum and high-performance motor for superior suction that can effectively clean hard to reach areas.
If you’re in search of a compact and powerful vacuum, then the Black&Decker 20-volt hand vac might be exactly what you need. This conveniently shaped battery-powered machine works with a high-performance motor for superior suction that can effectively clean hard-to-reach areas. Vacuuming the top of shelves and other high places, or hidden nooks such as in-between couch cushions, won’t be troublesome with a lightweight tool on hand.
The 5 Top-Rated Car Vacuum Cleaner
Black & Decker 20V Pivot Vacuum
Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional
Best Highly Portable
Dyson DC34 Handheld
Best Versatile Vacuum
Shark Rotator Professional NV501 Lift-Away
Best Cordless Vacuum
Dyson V6 Trigger
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum, Cordless (BDH2000PL)
The 20V Max Lithium coupled with an exclusive pivoting nozzle ensures fade-free suctioning during use for optimal efficiency in both time and energy. However, it may not suffice for cleaning large surfaces. Black&Decker’s pivot vac is built with a pleated filter design with unique 3-stage functionality for clean air exhaust.
This is why this car vacuum is best for those who are allergic to dust or have asthma. Emptying is less frequent with a dust cup that holds generally 42% more volume than ordinary types. The vacuum’s overall design allows for easy storage and quick retrieval when needed.
- Easy to empty, clean, and maintain
- Lightweight and compact design
- 3-stage filtration system
- Powerful lithium-ion battery
- No pet hair tool
- Noisy operation
When it comes to suction power and brand, Black&Decker doesn’t disappoint. Almost all the B&D brands I have used to perform exceptionally well and are built to last. The 20V Pivot Vacuum is a good alternative for when you need to clean out your car without lugging a heavy vacuum cleaner.
One thing to keep in mind is the clean-out access door hinge in the “Bowl and Nozzle” connection. The connection points may wear out over time. That and the flap in the vacuum chamber entrance may occasionally be lodged with lint and bigger stuff, which could lessen suction power. Otherwise, a worthwhile purchase.
Runner-Up: BISSELL SpotClean Professional
Got a pet who loves to play outdoors and often brings in blotches of soil or muddy pawprints in your car? Are those seats prone to spills, whether from milk or juice? The BISSELL SpotClean could be what you need.
This powerful and portable spot cleaner can deep clean tough stains and spills from upholstery. It’s a multi-purpose cleaning equipment that not only functions as a car vacuum but can give your home professional cleaning too. The long cord and large tanks offer expansive and less hectic cleaning, with fewer trips to and from the sink.
The SpotClean ranks among the most powerful spot cleaners today with its superior suction which can lift deep-down dirt and spots, and remove all sorts of stubborn stains. You can achieve professional-style results without having to hire a cleaning crew. Use it on your auto interior, stairs, carpet, and other areas that you find hard to reach.
- Portability makes your cleaning quick and easy.
- Huge dirt water and particles tanks provide more efficiency
- The powerful suction can eliminate stubborn spots and stains-Includes 6-star tools and 3 tough stain tools
- Gives both house and car some professional cleaning
- 2-year manufacturer warranty
- Can be heavy to carry around
- Noisy operation
Trying to remove time-old, stubborn spots and stains on car seats can be really frustrating. BISSELL SpotClean has saved me from trouble. It conveniently came with a deep clean solution so I was quick to get down to business.
Though the brush does not rotate and you’ve got to move it back and forth, the suction power and scrubbing action is enough to deal with tough jobs. Most of the stains get sucked out and everything dries out fast too!
SpotClean may be heavy and noisy, but beyond that is a workhorse of a performance that really gets your car interiors and carpet clean.
Best Highly Portable: Dyson DC34 Handheld
Sleek and lightweight, the Dyson DC34 is highly portable and less heavy than most models. To no exaggeration, the DC34’s suction is far more powerful and three times much faster, since it’s particularly powered by an intelligent Dyson digital motor. On full mode, it typically runs for about 6 minutes. Though when set to normal mode, vacuuming is prolonged to a maximum of 15 minutes.
The Dyson DC34 may not be the kind of vacuum that can tackle the whole house, but it might just be your ideal car vacuum. Not only does this battery-powered handheld vacuum eliminate the need to connect to an electric outlet during use, but it makes cleaning a lot easier without the hassle of wires.
Built with cyclonic technology, any buildup of dirt or debris inside the vacuum is less likely to occur, thus maintaining suction power until the unit has to be emptied to your convenience.
- Bagless and cordless car vacuum
- Removable and washable filter
- Self-emptying function
- No loss of suction
- No carbon dust emissions
- 2 years exclusive manufacturer’s warranty
- Short battery life which only works for 6 minutes on full mode
- Ideal for small areas only
- Comes at a high price
The first thing that came into mind when I turned the Dyson D34 on was, “This car vacuum has great suction power!” It was able to lift up minute objects that are commonly found inside cars- food bits, dust, pebbles, and even some bugs without much trouble.
Check around the settings and you’ll see there’s a max button for increasing suction when you need it most. There’s a drawback to constantly using this button though; your battery will drain faster. But on a full charge, the Dyson 34 gets right back to the work at hand. Needless to say, the premium price tag is worth it in the end.
Best Versatile Vacuum: Shark Rotator Professional NV501 Lift-Away
Looking for an all-around vacuum cleaner? The Shark Rotator Professional could be your kind of vac. This versatile machine is built to handle a myriad of cleaning jobs given its 3-in-1 feature, functioning as a convenient canister, a powerful upright, or lift-away pod.
The NV501’s swiveling steering feature empowers its user with control and grants excellent maneuverability. You can use the onboard headlights to illuminate dark areas. Its powerful motorized brush roll can be turned on and off for exceptional performance on bare floors and carpets alike.
You can almost effortlessly clear away pet hair and dander from any surface with the premium pet power brush, while the large dust cup can trap 99.99% of allergens and dust.
A bevy of accessories will satiate the thorough cleaner, where you’re bound to find the right brush for the job beyond cleaning your car.
- Precision cleaning with 3 vacuums in one
- Lift-away pod for portable cleaning
- Arrives with anti-allergen technology
- Includes a multitude of attachments
- Never loses suction
- 5 years exclusive manufacturer’s warranty
- Value for the price
- Tends to produce noise
- Slightly dated appearance
- The vacuum may feel very heavy
I liked how the Shark Rotator allowed me to have a conversation as I worked on the car. It’s versatile and the suction power is nothing to complain about. If you want a car vacuum that can be used right after it is delivered, then the Shark Lift-Away is a great option.
The operation is also a simple affair. Just push, and direct to where the dirt is. It also has enough suction power to lift almost all pet hair at one go. Pet lovers will appreciate how there’s less fur flying about with just one full charge. It’s a bagless vacuum, so I had to carefully dispose of the dust after one vacuuming session.
Best Cordless Vacuum: Dyson V6 Trigger
For precise and detailed cleaning, the Dyson V6 Trigger proves to be the right car vacuum for the task. Powered by a 350W motor, it spins 3x faster than common types and produces up to a hundred air watts.
In turn, you can confidently clean with its continuous, strong suction that lasts up to 20 minutes in normal mode. The re-engineered fade-free battery delivers 1.5x more power than the DC34.
The vacuum is built with 2 tier radial cyclones constantly powered by batteries, whereby 15 parallel cyclones yield a centrifugal force. It can tackle food debris, dirt, pet hair, and more with added accessories to suit your purpose well.
The V6 will help you get around your car upholstery, beneath car seats and footwells with ease. It can be your handy vac at home too for cleaning all those hard-to-reach areas where a canister won’t possibly fit.
- Cord-free, bagless vacuum
- Ideal for spot clean up and cleaning several surfaces
- Ergonomic handle that’s light to hold
- Fade-free strong suction and longer operation
- Hygienic bin emptying and easy to clean filter
Doesn’t come with a flexible hose attachment
- Has to be charged prior to use
As the owner of the earlier model, DC34 was excellent in itself, though short battery life made me consider getting this newer model. I’m very happy I did and have never run out during cleaning since day one with the V6.
I was able to comfortably clean my entire car interior in 17 minutes! Recharging is quick as well. Suction power is really good for dealing with anything from small messes to troublesome areas using boost mode.
The only downside for me is emptying the bin which is tightly closed and the door tends to unexpectedly prop open upon trying to get it out. It would be a great idea to suspend it over a wastebasket to keep dirt from spreading. There’s also no battery indicator, but soon you’ll realize you don’t really need it anyway.
Why You Should Own A Car Vacuum?
Don’t have a car vacuum yet? You’re missing out on a lot of things, especially benefits when it comes to your vehicle. Here’s why you should have a car vacuum:
It Keeps Your Car Clean
Cleaning the car doesn’t have to mean taking it to the car wash. With a car vacuum, you can spend a few minutes on any day you prefer with minimal effort in cleaning your car. Your interiors will be free of specks and dust in about 10 to 15 minutes.
It Keeps Mess To A Minimum
If you love to go on joyrides and car trips, then a car vacuum will be an indispensable part of your journey. Though road trips can create a lot of memories, it can bring in a lot of waste as well.
Dust, leaves, dirt, and grime can stick to your clothes and shoes and get trapped in the upholstery or in the flooring.
It Gets Rid Of Allergens
Having a car vacuum may help if you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens. It can suck up the offending dust and pollen, facilitating clean air for you and your loved ones.
It Keeps Your Car Looking New
Cars age and they can become obsolete-looking over time, and more so if you don’t take the steps to take care of it. Dirt can accumulate and lead to stain and visible spots, affecting how your car’s interior will look. A car vacuum can preserve that new look even after the years have passed.
Features A Good Car Vacuum Should Have
What are the most important factors to consider when buying a car vacuum? Check out some of the essentials when springing for one:
At the heart of every good car, the vacuum should be a potent suction power. Choose the right type depending on which dirt you wish to remove.
Remember that having a little bit more power is better than not having enough. The vacuum should suck stubborn stains, dust, and dirt right off the seats and flooring.
Check the car vacuum product for the telltale Energy Star qualification. When you see the logo/sticker on it, then that means the car vacuum is efficient at utilizing the fewest amount of electricity needed during operation.
It also means the car vacuum was made with the user’s comfort and the efficiency of cleaning a car in mind.
A cordless car vacuum has an internal battery that powers the equipment. There are car vacuums that offer different battery capabilities. The main thing to remember about the battery is the approximate car size – you’d definitely want to finish up vacuuming before the batteries need recharging, right?
Car owners who need to clean out an SUV will need a high-powered battery. If you can, pick out Lithium-Ion batteries, as they have a long life and they provide great suction power. Car owners won’t have to worry about running out of juice as they clean.
Noise becomes quite a significant factor if you live in a crowded area.
If you don’t want to disturb your sleeping family members or neighbors, then choose a car vacuum that has a high suction power with a low noise feature.
A good, reasonable noise range should be somewhere between 60 to 65 decibels. A 70 dB noise is akin to the operation of a sink garbage disposal.
A heavy car vacuum will be difficult to maneuver around with, so the weight will be an essential factor. Upright models are often in the 20 lbs. range, while the lightest products are around 10 lbs or less.
A larger capacity tank means you will have to expend more effort in moving it, but it also means less emptying when the bag is full.
Do You Have Pets?
There are some car vacuums that cater to pet owners’ needs to remove fur, hair, and waste from their automobiles. These are excellent choices if you have a pet you always bring with you on the road.
Check and see if the suction power is at least 12 amps, as anything less won’t help with your pet’s dander and fur. Some of the products come with pet hair attachments or features such as a wider opening or special brushes to minimize hair clogging issues.
How Much Are You Willing To Pay?
Think of a suitable range that you can allot for when buying a car vacuum. How much are you willing to spend?
The good thing is that there’s almost always a car vacuum that will fit both your needs and your budget.
The most expensive car vacuums aren’t necessarily the best – there are cheaper alternatives that offer excellent suction power at a fraction of the cost.
What Accessories Will You Need?
Car vacuum attachments make it easier for you to clean out your car. The right accessories can mean the difference between sucking out the dirt and dust from the last crevice and not being able to reach it.
Accessories can make cleaning a fun and relaxing experience.
Here’s a list of some accessories that are always good to have along with the car vacuum:
- Crevice Tools
- Upholstery Tools
- Surface Nozzles
- Power Buttons
Car Vacuum Warranties
Most car vacuum products come with a one year warranty. You may find that some of the other car vacuum manufacturers offer two or more years on warranty, which could potentially save you troublesome maintenance costs.
Other types of warranty include replacement if the car vacuum is completely broken. At the backbone of each company is its customer support.
You will want to find one that provides customer-centric services so you will have a relatively good experience with that company.
Finding the Right Vacuum that’s Best For You
You may be tempted to buy the cheapest or the first car vacuum product you see on the market. Be forewarned though, that this isn’t the best choice.
You may find the car vacuum to be serviceable at a time, but it may give up on you too soon or provide insufficient suction power for you to completely clean out your car. In the end, you’ll spend more money buying a replacement product.
People will have different specific needs when shopping around for a good car vacuum, but the ones we have above are a pretty good litmus test to what constitutes an excellent car vacuum that’s worth your money.
Taking the time to check all the features listed above will be worth it in the end. The best car vacuum products listed above are recommended by many happy customers, so we hope that it will serve the same purpose as you and your vehicle.