Hoover Platinum Stays fully powered for 15 minutes—twice as long as most—which accounts for its price. A dust brush and a crevice tool are attached, so they can’t be misplaced. To buy: $160, homedepot.com.
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Black & Decker Flex A two-handed operation (hold the handle; clean with the hose), but worth it. Stellar on tight spots, and comes with an incredibly effective brushless pet-hair attachment—no bristles to clean later. To buy: $80, bdonlinestore.com.
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Best for Carpets
Shark 15.6V Cordless by Euro Pro A spinning brush (sort of a mini version of the one on your big vacuum) makes it exceptional on rugs. It eliminated ground-in glitter in an instant. To buy: $40, amazon.com.
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For the Car
Black & Decker 12V Automotive Pivoting Plugs in to your car’s power outlet with a 16-foot cord that helps you reach every corner. The nozzle folds for easy stashing. To buy: $40, amazon.com.
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Best for Wet Messes
Hoover Wet/Dry In addition to dirt, it can take in eight ounces of liquid (in other words, a whole cup of spilled juice). Also great for extracting suds and water from a sofa or a mattress after you’re done scrubbing. To buy: $30, amazon.com.
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For the Charging-Averse
Eureka Easy Clean This model can run—and reach— forever. (The cord is 20 feet long.) Sucking up a spill might inspire you to do the whole room. To buy: $50, eureka.com.
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For Computers and Collectibles
Dirt Devil Cordless Detailer A mini that decrumbs keyboards and gets dust off tchotchkes. Also makes it possible to clean the medicine cabinet without taking everything out. To buy: $20, dirtdevil.com.
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Dirt Devil Gator 15.6V Cordless For its combination of price, suction, and personality (a hit of color in a white or stainless kitchen), this classic makes the cut. To buy: $42, dirtdevil.com.