I don’t have an issue with the cumbersome, full-size vacuum cleaners. Except, they are not ideal for quickly cleaning up spills and are flexible enough to get around tight corners without heavy lifting (so tiring!).
Not to mention, they tend to make a deafening noise, which rankles everyone, including your nosy neighbors.
Apart from that, these loud models just put your family and pet’s hearing health at risk.
Did you know that?
According to scientific studies, constant exposure to high noise levels is one of the major underlying causes of hearing impairment and other health problems.
Now, you understand why everyone grouses when you turn your vacuum cleaner on.
Let’s save your skin! Here is an unbiased review of the top 5 quietest handheld vacuum cleaners and critical factors to consider to ensure you make a smart decision.
In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary of the Best Quiet Handheld Vacuum
Shark CH951 Cordless Handheld Vacuum – is a small POWERFUL vac offering outstanding performance on a wide range of surfaces. It comes with a self-cleaning turbo brush to eliminate hair wraps quickly. Its two ultra-powerful cyclonic air streams and LIGHTWEIGHT make it the perfect choice for spot cleaning.
VacLife Handheld Vacuum – is the CHEAPEST handheld vacuum cleaner capable of all-around cleaning with no EXTRA effort. This affordable device features HEPA Filtration to remove pet dander, pollen, and dust mites for cleaner air. Plus, it includes LED lights to allow you to clean in low light without straining your eyes.
BLACK+DECKER dustbuster (CHV1410L) – is a premium model with CONSISTENT suction power to clean almost everything on bare floors and other surfaces. And it comes with a LARGE 0.79 QT dust cup capacity featuring a UNIQUE design to allow you empty without touching the dirt. This Made-in-USA model has a longer runtime for an extended vacuuming session.
INSE Cordless Vacuum – is the most VERSATILE handheld vacuum. This quiet machine can be used either as a stick or a handheld vac. It comes with the HIGHEST number of filtration stages and high-density HEPA to remove 99.99% of microscopic dust particles for fresher air. While it’s slightly heavier than others due to its 2-IN-1 design, it offers the best value for money.
BLACK+DECKER BDH2000PL – despite its COMPACT size, this model comes with an exclusive pivoting nozzle to deliver HUGE vacuuming power for the quickest spill cleanup. Also, it’s equipped with Lithium technology that guarantees its strong 35 AW suction power never fades. It comes with a quick charging base to keep it charged, organized, and easily out of sight.
What Makes A Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Quiet?
Handheld vacuum cleaners, unlike their counterparts, come in relatively small sizes – and for good reasons.
Their overall portable structure means smaller motors and lower suction power.
Without the whooping suction power to cause air to move at incredibly high speeds, these small-sized devices create less noise for a genuine, STRESS-FREE vacuuming experience.
Worth mentioning . . .
Handheld vacuums are equipped with modern motors, which are more efficient without generating loud noises.
What Are The Features That Make The Silent Handheld Vacuum?
Handheld vacuum cleaners use one or more of these technologies to reduce the noise level:
Sound insulation: this is the oldest noise-reduction method. It involves covering the vacuum’s motor with a sound-absorbing material. Only a handful of handheld models use this option because it takes up a lot of space, causing the device to be large and heavy.
Suspended motors: the motor is suspended to reduce contact with the vacuum’s body. Hence, fewer sound waves travel through by conduction, significantly muffling the noise.
Streamlined air channel: Manufacturers streamlined the suction channels to ensure moving air does not contribute considerably to the annoying noise level.
Efficient fans and motors: digital motors spin quietly, even at incredibly high speed, without trading off suction power.
Why Would You Need A Quiet Handheld Vacuum Cleaner?
The vac’s noise output is often the most ignored feature since most buyers focus on getting the most insane suction power, filtration option, runtime, etc.
Is this a costly mistake?
Not only is cleaning with a noisy device frightening to your pets and kids, but prolonged exposure to loud noise also has significant adverse effects on their overall health.
👉🏼 Next Read: Best Quiet Robot Vacuum Cleaner of 2023 ー [Tested by Experts]
In addition, you won’t be able to clean for an extended period and at your convenient time. This means you will have to keep disrupting your cleaning routine because the baby is sleeping or your nagging neighbor is around.
So, if you want to clean your home at your convenient time and not to the detriment of others, you need the best quiet cordless vacuum cleaner.
So What Makes a Quiet handheld Vacuum Cleaner a Good Choice to Consider?
Most people focus on suction power when it comes to vacs. However, other important factors, such as type, power source, weight and size, design, etc., influence your cleaning experience.
So, before you make a regrettable decision, you might want to know these factors and help achieve a genuine vacuum experience:
Handheld vacuums are available in a few types – standard and commercial-size models. The formal comes in a small size that’s comfortable to handle with one hand. So, if you have weak hands or are struggling with arthritis, this type of handheld model is a perfect fit.
Also, these easy-to-grab handheld devices are suitable for tidying up small spaces or snappy cleanup, and they do well in tight spaces like your car’s interior.
Conversely, commercial-size alternatives are more powerful and extensive than the standard models. Hence, you should expect them to be significantly heavier, larger, and noisier than the traditional models.
This bulkier handheld type has a 5-foot hose and a powerful motor. Also, shoulder straps are usually included to carry these heavier models over your shoulder and operate with one hand.
Most people don’t look for handheld models for cleaning up liquid messes. However, I’ve come across and tested several models that sucked up solids and liquids just fine. Thus, handheld models remain my go-to when I need to clean up spills snappy.
While handheld models are relatively quiet compared to the upright and canister models, the commercial-size handheld model can be a bit noisier than the standard versions.
Commercial handheld devices can be a bit noisy, featuring higher suction power to leave no crumbs or dust behind. However, it’s nothing compared to the loud noise level generated by full-sized cumbersome vacuums, which is usually more than 72 dB.
But if you hate the noise, the standard models are supremely quiet and pack a decent suction power to remove allergens and dust.
Corded vs. Cordless
I find the corded model vacuuming performance more consistent. But since it has to stay plugged into the power outlet to function, it restricts mobility. Hence, there will be areas you just won’t be able to reach.
You have to put on your thinking cap and figure something out – probably use an extension cord for better reach. Also, corded models are more affordable than their counterparts, except for professional units.
Moving on, cordless devices are equipped with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and they are more portable than restrictive, wired vacs.
However, the cord-free units have their poison. They need to be charged, and the runtime might not be enough to clean your entire space in one go.
While you might have to recharge during a long cleaning session, they are the most convenient. You can easily grab this cordless device and start vacuuming from your house to the patio. No need for electrical outlets.
Size and Weight
Since you will be operating this device with one hand for at least 20 minutes, it is essential that the handheld vacuum cleaner is lightweight. Most quiet handheld cordless vacuums weigh less than 4 lb.
However, commercial-style corded models are usually larger and heavier, up to 5 lbs, which is why they come with shoulder straps for easy carrying and operating experience.
Small-sized handheld vacuum cleaner about 15 to 20 inches long ensures easy maneuvering with one hand. But you need to use shoulder straps for the larger, more powerful, and held devices.
All in all, standard handheld models are easier to store, thanks to their compact designs. This does not hold for their commercial counterparts. Thus, if you are limited in space, you might struggle to store the commercial-sized handheld vacuum cleaner.
The amount of power a cordless or corded handheld vacuum cleaner has determined its suction performance.
Cordless units rely on 18-volt to 40-volt batteries to create the much-needed suction power lower than the corded option.
Generally, handheld types have a low suction power of about 15 AW, while other types have a high suction power of up to 100 AW. Considering the air watts (AW), you can have an idea of how effective a vacuum cleaner will be.
However, in some cases, manufacturers omit the AW rating but will include amps for corded units and battery output for cordless counterparts.
To ensure you choose the best handheld vacuum with the strongest suction, consider cordless devices with more than a 15-volt battery and five amps for the corded alternatives.
Charging and Runtime
As mentioned earlier, cordless handheld vacuums rely on batteries. While it vacuums your entire house more conveniently, It takes a while to charge, and I have a limited run time.
This is not so bad.
A cordless vac can be a great idea if you live in a small apartment that can be cleaned up in less than 20 minutes. How long this device lasts depends on the battery size and model of the product.
Some models feature the latest technologies that support fast charging, which would take less than an hour to charge your cordless vac fully.
On the flip side, you won’t have to worry about the charging and runtime of a vacuum cleaner if you are going with a corded handheld model.
Like the full-size models, handheld vacuum cleaners come with a filter to preclude sucked dust from becoming airborne. Even better, Some models come with scented filters to infuse your upholstery and carpet with a lovely and refreshing smell.
While removing the filter from any handheld unit is easy, some are printable, and others must be changed regularly. Hence, it’s essential to factor in the cost of purchasing replacement components when deciding.
Since these devices are designed to be operated using one hand, most handheld units feature ergonomic designs to make them easier and firmer to grip.
As with the case of commercial style handheld vac, there is a shoulder strap to ensure it’s comfortable to hold and use for an extended period of time.
Also, the controls are usually built into the economic grip to allow users to operate the device, from adjusting speed to turning it on and off, using that same hand.
Best Quiet Handheld Vacuum
1. Shark CH951 Cordless Handheld Vacuum UltraCyclone
The Shark Cordless Handheld Vacuum is not only our top choice but also the UK’s BEST-SELLING HANDHELD VAC in 2021.
This beast offers a lightweight, compact form factor to allow you to grab with one hand for a quick cleanup of bread crumbs, broken glass, and spills on your worktop, car, soft furnishings, patios, and more.
While this product has a slightly larger body than its competitors, it offers more room to hold a larger 0.45qts dust cup. So you don’t have to keep emptying the bin in the middle of a vacuuming session.
That’s not all . . .
This best quiet cordless vacuum cleaner rocks an ergonomic design that feels incredible to hold with ZERO hand fatigue, even after a long period of use.
Even better, the power button is strategically placed at your thumb area on the vac’s top for a convenient ONE-HAND operation.
Also, this machine has only one suction level. Seems like a bad idea, right?
Video: Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus Review by VacuumWars
No, it really prevents you from wasting time trying to figure out the correct settings and getting you started with cleaning right away.
And according to more than 5000+ users, this beast’s two ultra-powerful cyclonic air streams deliver incredible suction power to suck up anything, from pet hair to broken glasses.
Considering its low price point, Shark CH951 Cordless Handheld Vacuum offers the MOST VALUE for money. It comes with three different attachments for versatility and remarkable control over cleaning.
- The Crevice Tool is not the longest I’ve come across, but it’s long enough to reach those tight spots without heavy lifting or sweating.
- The scrubbing brush helps pick up stuck-on dirt and hair on objects with the LEAST EFFORT.
- The Detachable self-cleaning Pet Power Brush comes in the ideal size for a quick, widespread hair warp elimination on your carpet, brush roll, and upholstery.
Who is this for?
If you need a powerful handheld vac without a salty price tag, I recommend Shark CH951 Cordless Handheld Vacuum UltraCyclone. However, this model has a short runtime of 15 minutes, perfect for handling smaller jobs and quick clear-ups around your home.
Image: Carpet and Pet Hair Cleaning Performance of Shark CH951
It’s a perfect model for people on a budget with everything you need and nothing to buy. Thanks to its washable filter – NO EXTRA COST!
What could be better?
For people with weak hands, this best quiet handheld vacuum might feel heavier after 3 – 5 minutes of use. There are lighter options like ——— to consider.
Also, it won’t give you more than 15 minutes of runtime, which is too short to clean up your truck or larger van. You definitely will have to wait for another three hours before you get back at it.
2. VacLife VL189 Handheld Vacuum, Cordless with High Power
Are you out here looking for the cheapest handheld vacuum cleaner on the market? I found one for you – VacLife VL189 Handheld Vacuum.
This product, with its massive 13,000+ users, proves that cheap does not equal mediocrity. This cord-free and lightweight hand vac are suitable for cleaning your kitchen, stairs, cars, and those tight corners.
Let’s get to the specs . . .
The VacLife VL189 Handheld Vacuum, despite its cheap price tag, is equipped with a highly efficient motor offering the best of both worlds – high suction power and a low 70dB noise level.
With a long-lasting suction power of 28,000 R/Min, this best handheld vacuum for allergies and dust offers an OUTSTANDING deep cleaning experience that rivals some high-end portable models.
For a fraction of the cost, this unit still includes two different attachments to ensure a genuine vacuuming session in one go. It has a brush tool to easily loosen pet hairs stuck to your car’s chair or carpet to SAVE time.
Furthermore, it comes with a crevice nozzle tool, which is not as long as one included in the Shark CH951 Cordless Handheld Vacuum, to ensure NO SWEATING when cleaning hard-to-reach corners, cervices, and sofas.
The manufacturer thoughtfully included a bright LED light, which is not something you come by easily, even with high-end handheld vacs. Holding a touch with one hand and the vac on the other for dark and corner cleaning can be stressful and ineffective.
Video: VacLife Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Review ByShark Dad Reviews
Also, hundreds of users, including me, find the separate dust box idea impressive. It allows you to empty the bin without staining your hands. Plus, the Bionic nozzle is inclined inwardly at 60 degrees to ensure you don’t miss crumbs, dirt, and hairs.
Image: Carpet and Pet Hair Cleaning Performance
Worth mentioning that this cheap model rocks a dual-filtration system for cleaner air. That means sucked-up air in the vacuum does not escape into the atmosphere. You don’t want to be breathing in dust.
Who is this for?
If you want a cheap vac with GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE, then you would love the VacLife VL189 Handheld Vacuum.
Its decent suction power, easy-to-grab design, and low noise level allow users to vacuum litter, pet hairs, crumbs quickly, and dust for a clean home or car. Also, it’s an excellent choice for easily-irritated and allergic people.
What could be better?
This device has a short runtime and takes too long to charge. However, this should not be a deal breaker if you only want a vac for small cleanups.
3. BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Not many products out there can outperform the Black + Decker Dustbuster. It’s powerful, portable, and long-lasting and will bully most high-priced handheld vacs.
If you want to avoid the unjustified, salty price of most high-end cordless vacs, this product won’t let you down. It has almost ALL the bragging rights, from super-efficient vacuuming performance to versatility.
This bully (which comes in two colors: white and black) is powered by a 12-volt lithium-ion battery to deliver stronger suction to clean up more substantial messes without wasting time.
Here’s an impressive feature.
The Smart Charge Technology cuts the charging time to less than four hours and holds the charge for more than 12 months. This means you can always have this machine ready to clean up that unexpected spill and run for 30 minutes with a single charge.
Image: Carpet Cleaning Performance of BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L
In addition, this device comes with a translucent, bagless Dirt Cup that eases disposal of the sucked-up mess.
But what do I find interesting about this easy-empty Dirt Cup?
It features a Max Fill Line that lets you know when to empty it out. So, there’s no need to open it up to check now and again.
This best quiet handheld vacuum features washable filters to ensure clean air and ZERO extra cost. Similarly, this unit has several handy attachments to guarantee a genuine vacuuming experience.
Its Crevice Tool is the LONGEST on this list to ensure it does an excellent job of getting around car seats, window sill, and other confined spaces without any hassle. And the brush tool is designed to pull out stuck items on your carpet, sofa, or car seat – no mess is left behind.
Who is this for?
The BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Handheld Vacuum (CHV1410L) is perfect for people who want to tackle their daily chores without plugging their noisy full-size vacs. It offers the convenience, suction power, and cleanup ability to get the job done.
Also, if you are looking for a good bang for your buck, this model won’t disappoint and will give you a good run for your money.
What could be better?
One of my concerns about the BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Handheld Vacuum (CHV1410L) is its small dirt cup, which forces you to keep emptying at least once during a vacuuming session. Also, it seems to be slightly noisier, but it’s nothing unbearable.
4. INSE Cordless Vacuum, 12KPa Powerful Vacuum Cleaner
For homeowners who don’t already have a full-size vacuum cleaner or are looking to replace their noisy one with the quietest handheld vacuum that can offer similar performance, the INSE Cordless Vacuum is your best bet.
This model is nothing like other models reviewed in this list. This best handheld vacuum with the strongest suction generates up to 12kpa on Max Mode to suck up dust, debris, and pet hair on a wide range of surfaces.
NOTHING gets past this device with its 160W Brush Digital Motor.
Unlike the VacLife Handheld Vacuum, this vac has two EXTRA filtration stages. Its 4-Stage Full Sealed Filtration System Efficiently separates clean air from the dust using a HEPA filter without leakage.
So, here’s the good thing about it.
This means this device is safe to use anywhere, including your baby’s room, since it prevents secondary air pollution from this device’s exhaust.
Another important feature that is hard to ignore is its ultra-quiet vacuuming performance. This quiet handheld cordless vacuum doesn’t generate any annoying noise, which makes it friendly to use around your baby and pets without frightening them. So, You can hold a conversation while using this vac.
That’s not all . . .
This unit sports impressive versatility. You can convert this device from a stick vacuum cleaner to a handheld vac to offer more control over vacuuming.
Thus, it can act as a full-size vacuum cleaner when you need to clean it everywhere or use it as a handheld model for a quick spill clean-up.
Like others, it comes with multiple attachments and an extendable tube that extends your reach by a couple of inches, so you don’t have to lift all the obstacles out of your way.
Furthermore, this product offers two-speed options: the standard and Max Mode. These speed options affect its runtime.
Image: Anti-Static Carbon Fiber Bristles of INSE Cordless Vacuum
Using the standard option, which has a decent suction power, this device will provide up to 45 minutes of vacuuming time with a single charge. This should be enough time and suction power to clean an entire house, from your kitchen to the patio.
Wait, you don’t want to miss this! INSE Cordless Vacuum is equipped with two rotatable motorized brushes featuring LED lights.
These motorized brushes swivel 150 degrees. The stiff one is ideal for cleaning up the mess on carpets, while the other with Anti-Static Carbon Fiber Bristles is more suitable for hard floors such as porcelain tiles.
This feature is what you don’t get on most high-end devices, which more often than not damages your exotic carpet.
Who is this for?
I would recommend the INSE Cordless Vacuum 12KPa Powerful Vacuum Cleaner For people who don’t want to own a handheld vacuum and a full-sized vacuum. This model gives you the high suction power you get with the massive vacuum cleaners and the portability and quietness of handheld models.
What could be better?
While this product has everything to be the best handheld vacuum cleaner in the market today, its lackluster customer service seems to be concerning.
5. BLACK+DECKER BDH2000PL 20V Max Handheld Vacuum
The BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum (BDH2000PL) comes with lots of innovative features, such as its unique nozzle to handle most tasks upright vac struggles to waltz.
This device should top this list, but I dropped it down here because of some drawbacks, especially its tendency to become noisy when used on hardwood flooring.
As mentioned earlier, the nozzle is one of its innovative features that rotates as you vacuum dirt and crumbs. So, you don’t have to LOSE TIME trying to reposition the nozzle now and again.
Also, you don’t have to spend extra time trying to pick up the mess in tight corners or hard-to-reach spots with its high-performance motor powered by a 20V MAX* lithium-ion battery tailored with efficient cyclonic action.
Next, the unit ensures you are not putting your family’s health at risk of air pollution by using a 3-Stage Filtration to keep the dust from contaminating your atmosphere.
Plus, it ensures the suction power is consistent, so you don’t have to go back and forth for any area to be perfectly cleaned.
This handheld vac’s head offers a MASSIVE benefit. It allows you to twist in any direction around the handle. So you don’t have to struggle to reach areas under the tables, cabinets, couches, and tops of shelves.
Another area this quiet handheld cordless vacuum shines bright is its battery and charging system. It has a charging base that is convenient to place just about anywhere, provided there’s an electrical outlet.
This vacuum has an average of 17 minutes of runtime, enough time to clean up the spills and crumbs in the car seat or home without leaving you hanging until the next charge.
So, what if that happens?
And if that’s the case, it takes less than 10 minutes to fully charge and be ready to clear up the rest of the mess.
Who is this for?
The BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum (BDH2000PL) is a high-performing small vac suitable for small cleaning tasks. It’s best for cleaning spills and crumbs in your cars and around the house. It’s not meant for deep cleaning.
What could be better?
This device gets extremely noisy when used on hardwood flooring. You don’t want to use this model when your kids are sleeping or for a long time around them.
Silent Handheld Vacuum – Comparisons
|Shark CH951 Cordless Handheld Vacuum||VacLife Handheld Vacuum||BLACK+DECKER dustbuster (CHV1410L)||INSE Cordless Vacuum||BLACK+DECKER BDH2000PL|
|Surface Recommendation||Upholstery||Carpet||Upholstery, Hard Floor, Car, Carpet||Carpet, Hard Floor||Upholstery|
|Type of Filter||Fabric||Cloth||Cloth||Cartridge||Cloth|
|Noise Level||77dB||70dB||74dB||65 dB||75 dB|
|Weight (lbs)||2.8 lbs||1.46||2.4||3.3||3.0|
|Dust cup capacity (quarts)||0.45||0.79||0.53||0.47|
|Warranty (Years)||2||2||1 – 2||2|
Quietest Handheld Vacuum Cleaners Related FAQs
Do you really need a quiet vacuum?
Using a loud vacuum over a long period can result in hearing loss and other health problems. Besides, you will be disturbing everyone, including your neighbors. So, do you really need the quietest handheld vacuum? YES
What is a good noise level when it comes to a vacuum cleaner?
For vacuum cleaners, you don’t want to purchase one with a noise level higher than 77 dB.
How Long Will a Quiet Handheld Vacuum Last?
It’s hard to say. It depends on several factors, including maintenance and builds quality. However, purchasing a device with a warranty is vital to protect your investment.
So, What’s the Quietest Handheld Vacuum?
There you go – the top 5 Silent handheld vacuum cleaners.
Make no mistake; these recommendations have their strong and weak points, which means you need to find one that caters to your specific needs.
It all depends on where and how you want to use the handheld vac.
If you are in the market for the quietest handheld vacuum, then the super-quiet INSE Cordless Vacuum 12KPa Powerful Vacuum Cleaner is your best bet.
But for a more affordable device, you should stick with VacLife Handheld Vacuum, Cordless with High Power. You won’t be missing out on much anyway.
All in all, you should weigh the pros and cons of each product and let your scale decide which one offers the best.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.