Jeff Flowers on September 30, 2015 6 Comments A vacuum cleaner is ideal for cleaning a large area rug or a room with wall-to-wall carpet, but they tend to be bulky and heavy and aren’t ideal for many spaces and many kind of messes. A handheld vacuum is easy to use and can clean up places that a normal vacuum can’t reach. Read on to discover why every household should have a handheld vacuum cleaner in their housekeeping arsenal. Before we start discussing the benefits of handheld vacuums, let’s first go over what these devices are and how they differ from the many other types of vacuum cleaners available to consumers. What Are Handheld Vacuum Cleaners? As the name suggests, a handheld vacuum is typically a smaller, portable version of the traditional vacuum cleaner. Because of its compact size, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. The most obvious con being that it is not a good solution for vacuuming large areas of your home. Shop for a Handheld Vacuum Cleaner As a glass-half-full kind of guy, I’d like to focus on the benefits of owning a handheld vacuum. I personally have one and I use it more often than I had ever anticipated I would when I first bought it. Frankly, it’s probably one of the most used appliances in the house. So, below I have listed out twelve benefits that I have found from my frequent use. 1. They Are Small Most handheld vacuums are less than half the size of their larger counterparts, with some models being so small they could almost fit in your pocket. Their compact size not only makes them easy to carry around, but also easy to store on a shelf or corner of a closet, pantry, laundry room, garage or inside a kitchen cabinet, where I happen to keep mine. The smaller size makes them a great option for smaller living spaces, such as apartments, dorm rooms and RV’s, where storage space is at a premium but you still want to be keep things clean. The main benefit of its smaller size, in my opinion, is that it makes cleaning difficult-to-reach places a snap. With kids, I find myself cleaning the most random spots with my handheld vacuum. 2. They Are Lightweight Many handheld vacuum cleaner models weigh less than five pounds. While this will obviously vary from model to model, they will all be reasonably lightweight. This makes it easy to carry the unit around the house for some quick on-the-spot vacuuming, as well as carrying them up the stairs with less risk of a fall than lugging a giant vacuum cleaner. This is particularly advantageous for elderly users, who may struggle with bulky, heavy equipment. And on the flip side of this same coin, you could even put your toddlers to work with one of these. My daughter loves to use the handheld vacuum to clean up the mess she makes. Just make sure you sift through the debris before blindly tossing it in the garbage. 3. They Are Easy to Use The perfect segue from one benefit to another, a handheld vacuum is a great way to get your kids to pitch in around the house. Not only are they small and lightweight, but they are incredibly easy to use. Kids and adults alike can use them with little complications. In fact, many kids nowadays know how to work tablets and gaming devices better than most adults, a handheld vacuum cleaner is going to be a cinch for them to operate. Handheld vacuums aren’t heavy enough to cause (much) damage if dropped, and kids can clean up their own spills and help take off some of the chores from your to-do list. It’s a win-win for everyone. 4. They Are Easy to Carry In addition to their compact size and lightweight shell, they all have a handle of some kind that is easy to hold your grip on while cleaning up a mess. The type of handle and quality of the grip will vary from model to model, but they are all easy to hold and carry around your home. Additionally, many handheld vacuums are cordless, making them even easier for you to carry around. Because you don’t have to worry about a cord getting tangled or caught up on something while carrying your vacuum, we’d highly recommend a cordless vacuum cleaner when it comes to the handheld variety. If you do choose a model with a cord, be sure it is quite long so you aren’t limited by your outlets. Of course, a cordless handheld vacuum does come with its own set of pros and cons. Yes, they are easy to use and carry around, but if you forgot to charge the battery then you may not get the cleaning job completed without having to recharge it. 5. Great for Quick Cleanups When it comes to handheld vacuums, this is the main benefit that I personally get out of it. Sometimes you just need to spot-clean or take care of a single mess in a small area. Instead of lugging out my canister vacuum, I let the little guy do the job for me. Whether you have a bunch of pet hair on the couch you need up before guests come over or if your child just made (another) mess while eating, a handheld vacuum does a fantastic job at cleaning quickly and efficiently. Depending on the types of “quick messes” you’ll need cleaned up, look around at different models and brands. Some handheld vacuums are designed specifically for pet hair, while others are designed to handle both wet and dry messes. 6. Can Go Anywhere Piggybacking on a previous benefit, handheld vacuums can pretty much go anywhere you need it to and still work as you intend for it to. This goes for both models with and without a cord. Although, it is fair to note that a cordless vacuum does open more opportunities for you, which is why we would recommend you going with that type. For example, a cordless model is great for outdoor use, such as cleaning your car or vacuuming dirt off of anything about to enter your home. We’ve also seen people use cordless units in their shed, attic or crawlspace. You can also bring it along with you to the beach, so you can quickly clean off the sand from your gear, as well as the sand that makes it inside of your car. Many people use them while camping for a wide variety of uses. The uses of handheld vacuums are virtually endless, especially if you buy a cordless version. 7. Can Clean Many Things A Larger Vacuum Shouldn’t While we’ve gone over many benefits of handheld vacuums, this one here is, admittedly, a bit ambiguous and dependent on what type of larger vacuum you concurrently own. We’ve already discussed how a handheld vacuum works great for quick cleanups, but this is especially true on surfaces that may be damaged by heavy vacuum cleaners, such as wooden floors. Again, if you have a steam vacuum or a vacuum cleaner designed for wooden floors, then this benefit is likely a moot point. But if you have an old, heavy vacuum cleaner that may scratch or dent your wooden floors, than perhaps a handheld device would be a better tool to use. Also, a handheld vacuum cleaner works better at cleaning around baseboards, corners, underneath furniture and on stairs. Again, to be fair, other types of vacuum cleaners can clean these same areas, but not nearly as easily as a handheld device can. You’d need to buy additional attachments, figure out how they work, clean them, etc… All the while, the handheld vac can do the exact same job with no extra work. 8. They Are Powerful It would be natural to think that due to their small size and light-weight nature, that handheld vacuums aren’t very powerful. But, really this couldn’t be less true. The overall power will vary from unit to unit and brand to brand, but there are a wide variety of handheld vacuums available that pack a powerful punch. As long as you do your homework when buying a vacuum, you shouldn’t be disappointed with the amount of power that comes along with your purchase. At a very minimum, make sure your vacuum runs on at least 4 amps so it can pick up pet hair, spills and dust bunnies without needing to make multiple passes over the area. 9. They Are Versatile This is where it starts to get fun. Your average handheld vacuum cleaner can get the job done, but there are so many more benefits associated with the units that come with plenty of attachments and accessories. If you buy a handheld vacuum cleaner with plenty of attachments and you’ll be able to clean virtually every space in your house. A narrow-ended crevice tool can go between couch cushions, blinds and the seats of your car. It can also fit in small spaces between walls and furniture and quickly suck up unseen dust and pet hair from corners and under cabinets. A soft-tip brush tool with an extension tube or telescoping handle can dust baseboards, blinds and those pesky cobwebs in the ceiling corners. Use it to clean ceiling and floor vents, hardwood floors and knickknacks on shelves. Other attachments can clean couches, stairs and ceiling fans. Again, the possibilities are endless. 10. Can Rescue Lost Items Many people don’t know this little life hack, but a handheld vacuum and a pair of pantyhose can be used to rescue tiny items from unreachable places. From treasured earrings or that must-have Lego piece that fell into the abyss of couch cushion crevasses, simply stretch the pantyhose over the nozzle and run it over the area where the object was lost. The vacuum will suck it out of oblivion while the pantyhose prevents it from actually being sucked into the appliance. To be fair, this trick will work with regular vacuum cleaners as well, but only if you have the right attachment. But my handheld vacuum has made me a hero in my kids eyes many times with this trick, as well as saved my ears from the dreaded “lost toy” tantrum. Because of this, perhaps I should declare this the number one benefit of handheld vacuums. 11. Easy to Maintain Another important consideration to take into account, handheld vacuums are very easy to maintain. Many models are bagless, so you don’t have to buy extra equipment or stockpile bags. Simply dump the contents in the trash and you’re ready to clean the next mess. Most filters can be changed easily, and the parts seldom need cleaning or repair. One thing to note: If you or anyone in your house suffers from allergies, we would recommend dumping the collected debris into a trash can or bag outside of your home. Otherwise, some of it will undoubtedly make its way back into your home and possibly contaminate your indoor air quality. A vacuum can help with allergies, but only when used in the correct manner. 12. Many Affordable Options Last, but probably the most important benefit to many, the overall price of a high-quality handheld vacuum cleaner is surprisingly affordable. Of course, the price will vary based on brand, features and overall quality. But on average, a good quality hand vacuum will cost about $50-75. If it comes with a bunch of attachments or accessories, that price may rise slightly. But either way, this is significantly less than upright vacuums, and given all the benefits listed above, it’s kind of a steal. I’ve had mine for about a year now, and it instantly made my life easier. It was well worth the $60 or so that I spent on it. Takeaways on Handheld Vacuums A handheld vacuum is kind of like a Swiss army knife. It may be small, but it can go anywhere you need it and is full of useful features that simplify all kinds of daily situations. From detailing your car to cleaning up small messes in your home, there are many benefits to owning one. I don’t know how I got by without one for so long. I would even go as far to say that a handheld vacuum should be an essential appliance in every home.