7 of the Best Car Vacuums for Sucking Up Dirt (and Wayward French Fries)

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Be honest: When's the last time you took a good look under the seats of your car? Before you start cringing in horror at the thought all those clumps of hair and random crumbs you're sure to come across when you do inevitably do the deed (where did it all even come from?), take a deep breath: There is an easy cleaning solution out there. A car vacuum makes for a simple way of keeping your luxury vehicle or grocery-getter spotless without having to drag your household machine outside or break the bank with detailing.

These mini machines are not only compact enough to be stored in your vehicle, many come with handy attachments that will allow you to get at those hard-to-reach places (yes, we are talking about that impossible gap between your seat and the center console—you know the one). They also offer enough power to suck up wayward fast food remnants, pet hair, scraps of paper or other debris that might be causing unnecessary chaos in your car—not to mention an unpleasant smell.

What to Look for in a Car Vacuum

There are a few things to consider before choosing your new car vacuum.

  • Do you have any pets? If your answer is "yes," you'll want one that has a good carpet attachment in order to get all those pesky hairs out of the upholstery.
  • Is it portable and lightweight? You don't want your new machine to take up too much room in your already crowded vehicle. What's more, any extra bulk will just prove to be inconvenient when you're trying to get at all of those black holes of space in the backseat.
  • Does it have a reliable filter? Every car vacuum should have a good filter (preferably, a high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA filter) in order to get rid of any impurities that may be released into the air as you clean and lessen irritation.
  • Is it battery powered or does it have a long cord? Having a cordless car vacuum can be very beneficial, as it will free you up to move about as you please. That being said, you'll have to make sure it's running on a full battery in order to get the most out of your device. A car vacuum that uses a long cord, on the other hand, will be better for bigger jobs that may take awhile, but may limit your parking and outlet options.

Now that you're ready to attack, check out our list of the best car vacuums to make the inside of your vehicle extra spiffy.

The Best Car Vacuums at a Glance

11 Best Vacuum Cleaners That Will Leave Your Home Spotless

Most Compact Car Vacuum

1. Thisworx Car Vacuum


This pint-sized pick seemingly has it all. Ultra-compact at less than 2.5 pounds, it still offers a sizable enough bin to hold any nastiness that it retrieves. You won't be spewing dirty air about, either, since there's a HEPA filter that can be washed and reused. The extra-long cord stretches 16 feet, so you can reach your vehicle with ease, and you'll get three different attachments—one with a flat head to get into narrow spots, an extendable attachment to tackle hard-to-reach spaces and a brush nozzle to help you pick up hair from fabric—so that you can leave your car looking like it's been professionally cleaned. There's even a filter brush and a storage bag to keep everything in its place when it's not in use.

Best Cordless Car Vacuum

2. Black + Decker AdvancedClean Vacuum

Black + Decker

Sure, this cleaner may get bonus points for its streamlined appearance, but it's the suction power that has won over Amazon customers to the point of becoming a No. 1 best seller with more than 81,000 reviews. The secret lies in its cyclonic action and rotating nozzle, with which you’ll be able to thoroughly clean even hard-to-reach spots in your car. Beyond that, the large, bagless dust bowl will be a breeze to wash.

Best Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner

3. Hotor Car Vacuum


This car vacuum will last for as long as you need it to, since it's corded. Sure, it may be less portable than some other options on the list, but it will also get the job done—this according to the copious Amazon shoppers who love it. And who could blame them? Between its double filtration system, detachable dust cup and trio of nozzle attachments, it's got just about every other bell or whistle you could possibly want. There are even LED lights to make nighttime cleaning easy peasy.

Lightest Car Vacuum

4. The Ayla Vacuum


This super-sleek option from the brains behind Ayla & Co.'s genius diaper bag system only weighs a single pound, making it convenient enough to toss in your large tote bag for quick cleanups on-the-go. Better yet, it's chic enough not to look amiss. As for its operation, its different speeds and ergonomic handle will allow you to suck up everything from glitter to Cocoa Puffs (don't ask), all without breaking a sweat. And considering that the brand was literally founded with an aim to suit the lifestyles of real moms everywhere without sacrificing aesthetics, it comes as no surprise.

Best Car Vacuum for Pet Hair

5. Shark UltraCyclone Pro Vacuum


If Fido goes with you wherever you go (including the car), this vacuum might be the perfect choice for you. With two powerful cyclonic air streams, it's recommended for fur in particular—this in part because of the dirt ejector that can be easily emptied right into the dumpster with no digging hair out of filters required. Weighing in at just over 2 pounds, it's lightweight for easy carrying and it has a crevice tool to help you get into tighter spots. The lithium-ion battery, meanwhile, will keep it running until you're satisfied that you've sucked up every last bit of dust around.

Best Battery-Powered Car Vacuum

6. Bissell Auto-Mate Car Vacuum


Not only is this baby powered by a lithium ion battery with a long run-time (nearly 20 minutes, according to Bissell), it has a motorized brush tool that will give you a little extra cleaning action to really get into that seat fabric and carpet. The included flexible crevice tool is sure to come in handy for crumbs that've fallen outside your grasp, and the LED light will illuminate dark areas for a super thorough clean.

Best Car Vacuum Filter

7. Cheryloncar Car Vacuum


There are plenty of cool things to be said about this gadget—for starters, there's the power cord that's almost 16.5-feet long and can be plugged into your vehicle's lighter port for easy access. You'll have plenty of attachments to play with, including a hose and a brush nozzle, and the 150-watt power should give it some real grit. The real star of the show here, however, is the stainless-steel filter. According to the manufacturer, it can be washed more than 500 times, yet will still be as effective as the equivalent of 20 HEPA filters.

This Heavy-Duty Mattress Vacuum Will Make You Question Just How Clean You Really Are

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Desirée O is a freelance writer who loves to track down the best products and share the hottest deals. She's written for Adweek, Best Life, Brit+Co and more. When she's not doing a little (or a lot!) of online shopping, she's scanning social media for exciting new trends and releases.

purewow author

Freelance PureWow Editor

Desirée O is a freelance writer who loves to track down the best products and share the hottest deals. She's written for Adweek, Best Life, Brit+Co and more. When she's not doing...