Most people remember to clean the outside of their car rather frequently. After all, it isn’t a great sign if your car is hidden under a layer of dust and dirt.
What most individuals neglect to do, however, is to pay as much attention to the interior of their car.
This is something that you should definitely start doing more often, though. See, researchers have managed to prove that there are lots of different mites and bacteria in your car that could be making you sick.
To make sure that the inside of your car is spotless and sanitary you are going to need the best car vacuums that you can find.
Now, you will find that there are actually quite a number of automotive vacuum cleaners out there but not all of them are up to the task of keeping your car clean.
In this guide, we have compiled a list of all of the best options for you and have even offered up some handy tips to follow.
- Important Features of a Good Car Vacuum
- Top 10 Best Car Vacuum Cleaners 2023
- 1. Best Overall Car Vacuum: BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum
- 2. Best Budget Car Vacuum: ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
- 3. BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum
- 4. HOTOR Corded Car Vacuum
- 5. Best Car Vacuum for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum
- 6. Best Premium Car Vacuum: Shark WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum
- 7. Best Wet/Dry Car Vacuum: Armor All Car Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
- 8. VacLife Handheld Vacuum
- 9. Banaton Car Vacuum Cleaner
- 10. Zesgood 7000PA Rechargeable Hand Vacuum
- How to Choose the Right Car Vacuum Cleaners for You
Important Features of a Good Car Vacuum
When shopping for a car vacuum, it’s important to know the most important features to look for:
- Power: we looked at just how much suction power each vacuum afforded us. This revealed whether the vacuum could be used to deep clean the car and get rid of all of the dust, dirt, and germs that were inside.
- Versatility: we also took into consideration just how many different roles one vacuum cleaner could perform. For instance, does the vacuum have a variety of attachments that allow it to clean the interior of the car in various ways?
- Maintenance requirements: we then examined how easy it was to clean and maintain the vacuum cleaner once it had collected dust and dirt.
Top 10 Best Car Vacuum Cleaners 2023
1. Best Overall Car Vacuum: BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum
With a powerful 20 volt motor, this handheld vacuum has one of the most powerful motors of any handheld vacuum. This massive suction power is aided by BLACK+DECKER’s Dust Bowl Technology, with an enormous 15-ounce capacity that won’t fade even when almost full. A three-stage filtration system keeps dust from entering back into the air, and the motor spins a fan that pulls dirt and dust into an innovative cyclone chamber.
With a narrow nozzle designed to spin around 180 degrees for ease of use, the 20V Max is packed with convenient features. An extendable crevice tool extends the suction tube to fit deeply into cracks and crevices while a wide mouth design makes tackling spills and messes quick. A flip-up brush is optional to use and perfect for soft surfaces like car seats, carpets, and floor mats, although there aren’t any additional attachments that come with the vacuum.
Ease of Operation
With a weight of only around three pounds, this is one of the lightest vacuums on our list. It’s easy to maneuver, and a narrow nozzle helps the vacuum fit into tight spaces. A bagless, easy-to-clean design makes emptying the vacuum simple. Finally, a lithium-ion battery keeps the vacuum working fade-free for over 30 minutes of operation.
- 20-volt motor provides powerful suction
- 15-ounce capacity with Dust Bowl Technology doesn’t lose suction
- Optional flip-up brush and extendable crevice tool
- Fade free operation for over 30 minutes
- No additional attachments
2. Best Budget Car Vacuum: ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner
Powered by your car’s auxiliary outlet (sometimes known as a cigarette lighter), the ThisWorx vacuum is unique in that it doesn’t rely on battery power. Cars produce about 180 watts of power through a 12-volt outlet, perfect for providing fade-free operation to small vacuum cleaners. A smart flat bottom body aids in the task, allowing the vacuum to slide across the irregular surfaces like car floors and seats.
A cord-based operation might not seem ideal alongside the newest generation of lithium-ion powered vacuums, but 16 feet of cable ensures you’ll be able to reach every last square inch of the car. A built-in LED light can help to make sure you can see under car seats, while a travel case helps keep things organized and fits in neatly in your trunk alongside your spare tire or first aid kit.
Ease of Operation
Making this model easy to use are the three included attachments that can help customize this model to specific cleaning situations. First included is a brush, which helps remove stuck-in gunk and dirt. A slim extender helps get extra reach in tight spaces, and a long hose nozzle can snake around tight spots.
- Three attachments, including a brush and an extender
- By plugging into auxiliary power, you don’t rely on a rechargeable battery
- Built-in LED light
- Carrying case helps keep things organized
- Some users prefer wireless over cord-based operation
For a handheld vacuum, the BLACK+DECKER is relatively large compared to compact vacuums like the sentence. When buying a larger format handheld vacuum, the first thing gained is heavy suction power. Although BLACK+DECKER’s Smart Charge technology saves up to 50% in energy costs, the vacuum is still super powerful producing 15.2 watts of power from a 16-volt electric motor. The 20-plus ounce capacity means that only periodic emptying out is needed to prevent motor fade.
The key to the Dustbuster’s operation is in its cyclonic action, pulling the largest and heaviest particles to the bottom of the chamber. This way, suction is only lost when the vacuum is completely full. Operation is powered by a long-life lithium-ion battery that can last for over 30 minutes.
Ease of Operation
While this vacuum is a bit larger than other handheld vacuums, BLACK+DECKER clearly put in some time and effort when designing this vacuum to help balance out its large size. A rotating nozzle can help maneuver the vacuum in and out of tight spots. A flip-up brush and crevice tool both help modify use, customizing the vacuum without any cumbersome attachments. Lastly, a durable construction alongside BLACK+DECKER’s full two-year warranty provides peace of mind.
- Powerful engine saves 50% in energy costs
- Doesn’t lose suction until the dirt chamber is completely full
- Long-lasting lithium-ion battery
- Full two-year warranty
- Flip-up brush and crevice tool are built into the vacuum
- Larger size vacuum
This vacuum cleaner works off a 106-watt motor. This means that at any given time you can expect the machine to produce between 3.2 and 4.5kPa of suction power. Now, this is more than enough to get rid of most of the dirt and dust lingering in your car. However, it may not have enough power to lift up lots of hair or pet fur. So, if you have pets, you may find that this vacuum isn’t sufficient.
One of the great things about this vacuum is that it contains a stainless steel HEPA filter. As a result, you can be certain that a great deal more particles and debris will be picked up and stored in the vacuum. So, this is a good machine to have around for anyone with breathing issues or allergies. You should also be able to clean up damp areas in the car as well.
The brush attachment is great for cleaning out the seats and working to dislodge any debris that may be hidden in the fabric. The crevice attachment, on the other hand, is ideal for getting into those hard to reach corners of your car. Both of these attachments can be fitted onto the extension tool individually and together so that you can have access to even more of your car. These really are versatile attachments.
The power cord on this vacuum is incredibly long, so you don’t have to worry about tugging on the plug while you are cleaning the car. You can easily get to all of the areas of the car without having to switch the vacuum cleaner on and off as you do so.
Ease of Operation
Weighing in at just 23 ounces, you can be quite certain that this is one of the lightest vacuums that you will have to handle. So, you won’t get tired out from vacuuming the entire car. The controls are also well placed so that you have no trouble working the cleaner.
- Decent amount of power
- HEPA filter
- Useful attachments
- Long power cord
- Not enough power for fur and hair
5. Best Car Vacuum for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum
While the 14-volt Bissell Pet Hair Eraser isn’t the most powerful car vacuum in our lineup, it’s one of the most precise, with attachments specifically designed for hard-to-reach spaces and hard-to-clean car seats. A 23-ounce vacuum chamber will hold a couple of rounds of dirt without any sacrifice in suction. While pet-focused details make this vacuum great for cleaning up after Fido, the vacuum is also equally functional at car cleaning for the no-pet crowd.
The features that really help this car vacuum stand out are its specialized attachments and tools. A motorized brush tool actually spins while vacuuming, extremely helpful in sucking out ground-in dirt and stains. The model’s attachable crevice tool is one of the thinnest on the market, making it perfect for hard-to-reach spots, although it comes with the sacrifice of only being able to suck up smaller objects. The included upholstery tool is revolutionary for cleaning seats.
Ease of Operation
While this vacuum is one of the best for detailed cleaning work, it’s a bit bulky in terms of its design. The handle is a bit tricky to use, and just 17 minutes of operation time means a full charge is barely enough to clean a whole car. Other than that, the specific included attachments, especially the motorized brush tool, make cleaning car surfaces a breeze.
- Specific cleaning attachments that include a motorized brush
- Large 23-ounce dirt chamber helps the vacuum not lose suction
- 14-volt motor doesn’t lose suction over time
- Perfect for detailed cleaning work
- 17 minute operation time is only sufficient for one car
- Handle is tricky to use
Using an innovative brushless motor, the Shark WANDVAC is efficient, quiet, and powerful. It has a much slimmer profile than vacuums from other manufacturers with a weight of only 1.4 pounds, and a 2.5 by 2.5-inch footprint. Use is intuitive, and the vacuum ends up feeling like an extension of the arm, effortlessly sucking up dirt in hard-to-reach spaces as well as efficiently cleaning larger surfaces.
The most convenient cleaning feature on this vacuum is its ultra-powerful 115-watt motor that makes sucking up dirt effortless. The vacuum also includes separate and attachable accessories that are perfect for cleaning pet hair and upholstery. A tapered nozzle can handle large swathes of fabric and upholstery but is simultaneously ideal for small cracks and crevices common in cars.
Ease of Operation
One of our favorite features in this vacuum is Shark’s proprietary Ion Charging dock which allows simple charging by clicking the handheld vacuum into the dock. Charging isn’t only convenient, it’s quick as well, only requiring about two hours for a full charge. At an ultra-light 1.4 pounds and an ultra-slim form factor, a high price is the only thing holding this back from being higher up on our list.
- Powerful 115-watt motor
- Slim and lightweight design and profile
- Two attachments for pet hair and upholstery
- Tapered nozzle for fitting in tight spots
- Expensive price
7. Best Wet/Dry Car Vacuum: Armor All Car Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
Similar to the ThisWorx Car Vacuum, the ArmorAll Wet/Dry vacuum uses a 12-volt plug which connects directly to your car’s auxiliary port. This design provides powerful and, most importantly. unlimited power, as other vacuums rely on rechargeable batteries and need a rest period before a recharge. This design avoids that problem entirely.
Without a doubt, the most convenient cleaning feature on this vacuum is its wet/dry operation. When you vacuum anything damp with other vacuums, you run the risk of shorting out the vacuum, or worse, a nasty shock. With this vacuum, you’re fine to vacuum up even water without any risk of breakage. An LED and a retractable crevice tool only add to the ease of cleaning. Unfortunately, no additional attachments are included.
Ease of Operation
A 15-foot cord ensures that you’ll never run out of range when cleaning up your vehicle, and a simple-to-use hinged chamber has a secure lock that pops open only when you want it, making sure that you’ll never accidentally dump out the contents of your chamber on the ground. A built-in LED light helps you see under car seats and floor mats and suck up any offending dirt, crumbs, or dust.
- Powerful vacuum runs off of 12-volt auxiliary power
- Wet/dry suction can vacuum even water without danger of breakage
- LED light and retractable crevice tool
- Hinged chamber is easy to use and difficult to spill
- Need to be connected to a running vehicle
- No additional included attachments
The VacLife vacuum has about 120 watts at its disposal and is able to produce a full half-pound per square inch of suction power. This is more than enough for most of the dust and dirt that collects in your car. However, if you are trying to pick up pet hair or similarly heavy fibers, you will find that this vacuum just doesn’t have that kind of power to offer.
This model includes three separate nozzle attachments. If you are trying to thoroughly clean out your seats, the brush attachment is immensely helpful. It helps agitate all of the dust and crumbs that may be hiding in the fabric and suck them up. There is also a slanted nozzle that allows you to get into the tiniest of cracks so that you can clean even the deepest corner of your car.
The VacLife vacuum does come with its own HEPA filter. So, you will have no issues suctioning up and trapping even the tiniest particles in the vacuum. This will end up making the air in the car quite a bit cleaner. The filter is removable and can be cleaned quite easily as well. All in all, for an average price, you get average performance.
Ease of Operation
This model has done away with the handle and instead has a sleek body that is easy for you to hold on to. The controls are also well placed and are easily accessible.
- Decent suction power
- Adequate attachments
- HEPA filter
- Long power cord
- Not quite strong enough suction for pet hair
- Mid-range price, mid-range performance
The motor on this vacuum cleaner is able to produce around 100 watts of power which powers a motor that delivers high construction. Now, this is quite considerable, which means that this is a cleaner that is able to deal with bigger and heavier chunks of dirt or debris lying around your car. For a budget price, it produces exceptional power, although it sometimes has trouble with pet fur.
This vacuum cleaner comes with three different vacuum attachments which give you more choice when cleaning your car. There is a slim nozzle that is just thin enough to fit into various crevices around your car, particularly in between the seats. This way, you can make sure that no crumb or grain of dirt is left behind.
The brush attachment works to dislodge various particles from the fabric in the seat and carpet. This makes it easier for it to be cleaned up. There is also a flexible hose which allows you to wiggle the attachment into those hard-to-reach areas. Clearly, with these attachments in hand, you really will be able to give your vehicle a thorough cleaning. This is especially true since there is a long power cord that allows you to navigate the vacuum around the vehicle better.
The vacuum cleaner also comes with a HEPA filter that you can continue to reuse. So, this vacuum cleaner is a great option if you want to make sure that even the tiniest particles in your car are removed so you can breathe much better.
Ease of Operation
While the power button is placed in a spot that is easily accessible, this isn’t the most comfortable device to grip. So, it can be difficult to use for long periods of time. Otherwise, controls are relatively simple and intuitive.
- Adequate amount of suction power
- Good attachment pieces
- HEPA filter
- Long cord
- Not powerful enough for fur
- Grip isn’t very comfortable
The RYTEK vacuum is powered by a 120-watt motor that is able to produce up to 7kPa of suction power. You will find that this product is quite adept at dealing with most of the dirt and grime that you are sure to find in your car. However, a small vacuum nozzle makes it difficult to vacuum bigger particles. This vacuum will still work perfectly well for most daily cleanups.
This vacuum cleaner is equipped with attachments to ensure that you can clean practically every inch of your car. Whether you are trying to get to hard to reach places or want to vacuum in between the gaps in the seat, the long narrow tube attachment will make this a lot easier to do. An included brush allows you to thoroughly clean the fabric portion of the car by displacing any dust or crumbs hidden there.
With a unique and modern-looking round form factor on this vacuum, its both good looking and comfortable to use. Zesgood did a great job designing the vacuum and it’s attractive enough to leave out in the open while charging.
Ease of Operation
This car vacuum is lightweight and sleek, which makes it an absolute breeze to use. The controls are very intuitive and are placed in a way that makes them easy to reach.
- Good cleaning function
- Attachments work well
- Attractive and modern design
- Long power cord
- Narrow nozzle is too small for big particles
How to Choose the Right Car Vacuum Cleaners for You
Here we will go through all the things you need to know about choosing the best automotive vacuum cleaner for yourself:
Should You Choose a Corded or Cordless Vacuum Cleaner?
Now, one of the first things you will consider is whether to get yourself a corded or cordless vacuum cleaner.
A corded vacuum cleaner has to be plugged into the cigarette lighter console in your car. Now, some can find this a bit restrictive, especially if you have to clean a larger car.
You may also find it a bit difficult to really get into those nooks and crannies as the vacuum may not reach that far.
Cordless vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, work off a rechargeable battery. This means that you don’t have to keep tugging on a wire.
Of course, the downside of a cordless option is that it doesn’t last too long, often just an hour or so. Then, you have to wait until it recharges which could take several hours.
There is also the issue that many cordless models aren’t quite as powerful as far as suction power is concerned.
In the end, though, it depends on your requirements and which device serves them best.
When you consider the power of a car vacuum, you have to look at two things – the motor power and the suction power.
The motor power will be displayed in watts while the suction force will be provided to you as kPa.
Now, it is important to keep in mind that, by themselves, these numbers don’t need much. In most instances, you will have to try out the vacuum to determine if it is strong enough for you.
Typically, though, car vacuums are limited when it comes to power so, at the most, you will only be able to get rid of sand, dust, and small particles of dirt.
If you want something that can suck up pet fur as well, then you are going to need something with a more serious force.
Dry or Wet/Dry Cleaning Feature
Most vacuum cleaners will easily clean up dried dirt and similar particles. However, when it comes to small puddles and moisture, they don’t function as well.
If you want a vacuum cleaner that will be able to handle virtually anything, you should look one that is able to wet clean as well.
If you are looking for a machine just to do some light cleaning, though, a dry vacuum will work just fine.
As you have probably noticed, car vacuums tend to be a great deal smaller than what you use in your homes.
This means that the canister which stores all the dust, dirt, and maybe even water, is smaller as well. In most cases, you will find that the canisters can hold between 350 and 600ml.
This is important because this will determine just how long you can vacuum before it needs to be emptied.
So, if you have a big car, or if it tends to get quite dirty, you are going to require a vacuum that is able to store more debris in it.
If you are looking to only give your car a basic cleanup, then most filters will work fine for this.
However, if you want to make sure that even the smallest particles are picked up, then you are going to need a HEPA filter.
This is a vacuum that ensures all the particles are not only picked up but that they are also kept inside the vacuum, rather than being released into the air again.
HEPA filters tend to be quite popular in areas with a lot of dust. So, if a lot of dust gets collected in your car or if you suffer from allergies or asthma, then this is the filter for you.
If you want to clean out your entire car thoroughly, then you are going to need a variety of attachments. Usually, the more attachments, the better.
You should definitely look for extension tools as these make it easier for you to get the suction power into those hard-to-reach places.
Aside from this, it really is up to you which attachments are really necessary.
You should always make certain that the attachments can be tightly fixed onto the vacuum nozzle so that there is no loss of suction force.
You are going to have to clean out the storage canister and the filters every now and then. This is why you should ensure that it is an easy process.
You should look for models with canisters that can be quickly unhooked and emptied into a trashcan.
With filters, you will need one that can be washed with water and that has very little hassle involved.
Size and Weight
Most people don’t really think about the size and weight of the vacuum that they buy, but this is important too.
See, you are going to have to carry the entire weight of the vacuum in your hand while you are cleaning the car. Due to this, you will often be more comfortable with a lighter option.
On a similar note, a sleeker vacuum cleaner is also best as you will find it easier to work under seats and in places that are hard to get to.
These are all the things you should know when it comes to car vacuums. With all the information here, you should be able to pick the model that will work best for you and your vehicle.