Our Verdict: The Hoover H-Handy Express 700 is a stylish handheld that’s fine for simple cleaning jobs, such as spilt cereal or crumbs. We didn’t feel it could match the best handhelds for suction power though – particularly on carpets or when cleaning pet hair. We also think Hoover needs to rethink the emptying system on this vacuum, as it’s one of the worst we’ve tested (hence the low “Ease of Use” rating).
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express
- Decent performance on hard floors and kitchen worktops during our testing, including larger debris
- Always ready to use due to the docking station with tool storage
- LED light helps illuminate dirt
- Great price compared with similar vacuums
- 3-in-1 tool is convenient compared with having to store multiple accessories
- Tiny dust capacity means you need to empty it regularly
- Messy and inconvenient emptying system that requires you to remove the filter
- No motorised tool for pet hair
- Lacks the suction for tough tasks and the main nozzle often gets stuck against flat surfaces
- Exhaust air comes out almost horizontally, which can blow away debris you haven’t cleaned yet
Thinking of buying the Hoover H-Handy 700 Express? Read our in-depth review to find out whether this handheld vacuum is worth buying.
The Hoover H-Handy 700 Express is a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner weighing less than 1kg. Designed for quick clean-ups, it has a compact design and an attractive appearance.
During our testing, we found that the 700 Express provides decent performance for quick cleaning tasks, such as spilt crumbs, cat litter, or cereal. We also liked the docking station, which ensures the vacuum is always charged and ready to use.
However, it lacks the suction power of higher quality handheld vacuums and doesn’t have a motorised brush bar. The result is that it’s less effective at spot cleaning rugs, pet hair, and carpets than more powerful models (like the Dyson V7 Trigger). We were also surprised at the messy emptying system, as it requires you to remove the filter just to empty the cup.
Is this vacuum cleaner worth buying for quick cleaning jobs though? And how does it compare to other handheld vacuums? Read our Hoover H-Handy 700 Express review to find out.
Overview of the Hoover H-Handy 700 Express’ Features
- Cordless handheld vacuum
- Lightweight at 0.66kg
- 0.15 litre dust capacity
- Compact and sleek design
- Includes a charging dock and 3-in-1 tool attachment
- 12 minutes battery run time
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express Appearance, Features and Design
We thought the Hoover H-Handy 700 Express looks and feels like a premium vacuum from the moment you unbox it. It has a streamlined design, similar to the Shark WV200UK, and feels solid. Plus it has a stylish metallic front panel for added chic.
Weighing just 0.66kg, but with a tiny 0.15 litre capacity to match, everything about the Hoover is small and nimble.
We found it to be far more agile than the Dyson V7 Trigger, for example, which is bulkier and struggles in tight spots. But the trade-off is that the Hoover holds around 75% less dirt than the Dyson, so you need to empty it much more frequently. Unfortunately, this is an unnecessarily messy task (more on that later).
The compact design continues to the charging dock, which can store both the vacuum and 3-in-1 multi-tool attachment. It also has a small footprint, so it’s easy to keep on the kitchen countertop without causing unsightly clutter. We did find that the vacuum is longer than it looks in the promotional photos though, which is something to keep in mind if there isn’t much clearance between your kitchen cabinets and worktops.
The Hoover is stored with the handle facing up, so it’s easy to grab in a cleaning emergency, and turning it on also activates the LED headlight. It doesn’t use a trigger switch like Dyson cordless vacuums, so you don’t need to hold it down to maintain power.
Manoeuvrability and Ease of Use
We found the Hoover H-Handy to be straightforward and comfortable to use. This is essential for a vacuum this size, as it’s designed for those quick clean-ups when getting your regular vacuum is too much hassle.
It’s easy to grab from the cradle, due to the grip-friendly rubber handle. The wand shape of the vac is intuitive and simple to move around thanks to its minimal weight. Hoover has also incorporated magnets into the motor design to reduce vibrations, although we found it hard to say how much difference this really makes.
At just under 42cm, the H-Handy is a good length for reaching both floors and higher areas. You can access tight spots, like under the sofa and baby car seats, with ease. We also thought the LED light was a nice tough for illuminating dark corners.
A downside to the Hoover’s design is the fiddly 3-in-1 attachment. You have to adapt the setup each time to change to the accessory you want, which is less convenient than having separate tools. This is a small issue though – and makes storing the attachment easier.
Another issue is that we found the vacuum expels its exhaust air out of the sides of the main body. Several times we were trying to clean a patch of floor, only for debris we hadn’t cleaned yet to be blown away by the vacuum.
The Hoover H-Handy has an EPA washable filter with an extra metal mesh for air filtration.
For most people, this is sufficient for trapping dirt particles – particularly during small cleaning jobs. But if you have severe dust allergies, a HEPA filter is more effective than an EPA filter. For example, the Shark WV200UK uses a HEPA filter and has a similar design to the H-Handy.
One thing we noticed was that the flap that was meant to prevent dust from escaping back out of the cup didn’t fully shut on our test vacuum, even when it was switched off. This isn’t a major issue for such a small vacuum, but is something to keep in mind if you have allergies.
Accessing the Hoover’s filter is straightforward, as you just need to press a button on the top of the vacuum. The filters are washable and should be cleaned on a monthly basis. Hoover also provides a brush for getting rid of dirt on the filters, which is a useful extra.
Emptying and Cleaning
Considering the tiny 0.15 litre capacity, we expected the Hoover’s bin emptying system to be quick and intuitive. It’s something you’re going to be doing a lot, after all!
Unfortunately, the emptying system is one of our biggest complaints about this vacuum. It’s messy and unnecessarily frustrating, which is surprising when the rest of the vacuum is well-designed.
To empty the Hoover H-Handy 700 Express, you need to separate the two sections of the vacuum, pull out the filter, and then tip the dust cup into a bin. This is much less convenient than models like the Shark WV200UK, which has a quick-release button and a swing door for the bin.
Our main issue with the Hoover’s system is that it’s unhygienic. As dirt and hair are often caught around the filter, emptying the Hoover nearly always ends with some of the debris being tipped onto your hand or the floor. Clumps also get stuck in the dust cup and need to be pulled out by hand.
It’s also a slow and clunky system compared to most of the handheld vacuums we’ve reviewed. The tiny capacity means you need to empty this vacuum frequently, so the inconvenient system quickly becomes annoying.
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express Battery Life
The Hoover H-Handy 700 Express has a maximum run-time of 12-minutes. While this isn’t much time, it’s plenty for the spot cleaning that the vacuum is designed to tackle. For comparison, the similar WV200UK has a 10-minute maximum run-time.
There also aren’t multiple power settings. A lower suction option would have been useful for extending battery life, but this isn’t an option.
The charging dock is one of our favourite features of this vacuum. It takes around 3 hours to charge the Hoover from empty, but it’s easy to keep the level topped up by storing it in the charging dock. You can also buy extra batteries if you want to keep a spare one, although we think this is probably unnecessary for a vacuum that’s really only suitable for spot cleaning.
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express Tools and Accessories
Primary Cleaning Tool
The nozzle is the main cleaning head on the Hoover H-Handy. Without any motorised brushes or attachments, it relies on suction power rather than any form of agitation.
During our testing, we found that the nozzle was OK for larger debris, but tended to get suctioned against surfaces (including hard floors) if you use it at slightly the wrong angle. The lack of agitation also made it less effective on rugs, mats, and carpets.
The compact nature of this vacuum also means the nozzle is quite small. While it’s great for tight spaces, it can be time-consuming to clean larger spills.
Other Tools and Accessories (Including 3in1 Tool)
There’s a 3-in-1 tool attachment included with the H-Handy 700 Express. You can use it as a crevice tool, which has a sliding collar to convert into a dusting brush. Or, you can turn it around for an upholstery tool with a felt-like micro brush.
As this vacuum cleaner is all about convenience, we like the versatility this tool brings. It also clips onto the docking station, keeping everything neat and tidy. It’s just a shame the charging dock can’t be wall-mounted to save more space.
We found that the design of the 3-in-1 tool was less convenient than the Shark WV200UK though. Instead of a flip-down brush, you need to push the brush along the crevice tool to use it. Whenever we tried to do this with the tool attached, we also pulled off the entire tool, as there was nothing clipping it into place.
We should also point out there isn’t a mini motorised tool included with this model. You’ll need to pay more for the Hoover H-Handy 700 Pets, if this is something you’re looking for.
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express Suction Power and Cleaning Performance
The Hoover H-Handy 700 Express generates decent suction power, but during our testing it couldn’t match the best handheld vacuums (such as the pricier Dyson V7 Trigger). The H-Handy 700 Express can also be a little noisy, but as it’s only used in short bursts this is bearable.
We found it useful for picking up larger debris, as it works best when the nozzle doesn’t have direct contact with the surface. For example, if you have kids who often spill crumbs or cereal in the kitchen, then it could be a handy addition to your cleaning toolkit.
It’s less effective for smaller particles though. The lack of an agitating brush bar also meant it provided poor performance when cleaning pet hair, so we don’t recommend it for people with dogs or cats.
Keep in mind that the small dust canister fills up very quickly, especially when sucking up larger debris such as cereal. So, even though it’s powerful enough to clear up your Cheerios, you’ll need to empty it a few times to pick up a whole bowl.
Around the Home
If you need a vacuum that functions similarly to an electric dustpan and brush, then we think the Hoover H-Handy 700 Express can be a useful tool. During our tests, it didn’t provide enough suction or cleaning power for tough jobs, but was useful for quick spot cleans.
We also found that the combi-tool accessory makes the Hoover H-Handy 700 Express versatile enough to tackle a range of surfaces around the home. Whether you want to clean sofas, textiles, or hard surfaces, the Hoover can be a decent choice.
The dusting brush is a good size for cleaning blinds, for example, while being gentle enough for a computer keyboard. The crevice tool is also useful for cleaning under furniture or in tight locations, while the regular nozzle is fine for floors.
It’s a good size and weight for higher areas, although we found that it struggled to clean away sticky spider webs. It did manage bigger debris without dropping any bits back out, however, which is quite a feat for a compact cleaner. Of course, the small nozzle does limit how large a job it can handle, so don’t expect to clean a whole floor with it.
A downside is that we found that it struggled to clean carpets. It was ineffective at picking up dust and other debris when using the main nozzle, but immediately stuck to the carpet fibres when using the crevice tool. You’ll need to use the softer brush for carpets – and even then the performance was poor. The good news is that it performed much better on hard floors and other hard surfaces.
Car interiors are often the reason people buy a handheld vacuum cleaner. Sadly, we don’t recommend the Hoover H-Handy 700 Express for car cleaning.
During our tests, we found that it doesn’t have the suction power to remove anything but the loosest dirt and hair from your car interior. The lack of a pet tool is a real drawback with this type of cleaning, as without agitation it’s hard for the vacuum to remove most debris from car seats.
We also found that the rigid design is a problem inside a car. Unlike a vacuum with a flexible hose, the Hoover can’t bend to get into awkward tight spots. At around 42cm in length, it’s harder to manipulate in small spaces.
The short run time is also apparent when cleaning a car interior. You’ll need to act fast to get a whole car cleaned before the battery runs out. And, unless your car is already very clean, it will involve several empties of the dust canister.
With that said, the H-Handy can still be useful for small dry spills inside your car. It’s certainly more convenient than a regular vacuum cleaner – just don’t expect to deep clean your car with it. For car cleaning, take a look at our guide to the best car vacuums instead.
The ultra lightweight nature of the H-Handy makes it a good option for cleaning stairs. However, the small nozzle is time-consuming, so we’d suggest using the dusting brush attachment. It would have been nice to see a motorised attachment included, particularly for carpeted stairs.
Even so, the attachments available can reach right into the many corners and edges on a staircase. And the battery should give enough run time to manage a whole flight, depending on how thorough you are.
There isn’t a dedicated pet tool included with this model, but you can get it with the H-Handy 700 Pets. If you have animals, we suggest you opt for the pet version instead, as we found the basic version of the 700 provides poor pet hair performance.
That being said, the H-Handy 700 Express can still handle loose pet hair. It’s best with the upholstery tool, but it doesn’t cope well with stubborn fluff and fur.
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express Price and Value for Money
Considering the Hoover H-Handy Express is around half the price of the Shark WV200UK, we think it provides decent value for money. Its appearance is part of the appeal, as you don’t need to hide it away, and it’s lightweight and convenient to use around the home.
Just remember that it’s designed to work alongside a full-size cleaner, rather than replacing it. The Hoover doesn’t have the suction power to handle tough cleaning jobs, so it’s important to have realistic expectations.
Comparison With Other Vacuums
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express vs Shark WV200UK
As you can see from the picture above, the Hoover H-Handy 700 Express and Shark WV200UK have very similar appearances and functions. Both are designed to be kept on display in a docking station, so they are always charged and ready for quick clean-ups. They also both have a rigid design, a simple on/off switch with a single power mode, and a few non-motorised tools.
However, during our testing, we preferred the Shark WV200UK in almost every respect. We think it provides better all-round cleaning performance and suction power. We also preferred its bin emptying mechanism, although it’s not perfect in this regard either.
The comparison isn’t completely fair though, as the Hoover H-Handy 700 Express is around half the price of the Shark (at the time of writing). For this reason, we recommend the Shark if your budget can stretch to it, but we think the Hoover still provides good value – as long as you only plan to use it for easy cleaning jobs.
|Ninja Column 1||Vacuum 1||Vacuum 2|
|Hoover H-Handy 700 Express||Shark WV200UK|
|Around The Home Cleaning Score||3.5/5||4.5/5|
|Car Interiors Cleaning Score||2/5||4/5|
|Pet Hair Cleaning Score||2/5||3/5|
|Stairs Cleaning Score||4/5||4/5|
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express vs Hoover H-Handy 700 Pets
In short, both of these Hoovers are the same cleaner but with different accessories. The Pet model includes an extra motorised nozzle with a velvet-like agitator for pulling up pet hair. This disturbs the fibres of fabrics, cleaning them deeper than a non-motorised nozzle.
Even if you don’t have pets, anything made from fabric will benefit from this deeper clean. So, having this attachment included adds to the overall versatility of a handheld vac.
While it’s undoubtedly more effective at cleaning up pet hair, the 700 Pets nozzle reduces battery life. The motorised element drains the battery quicker, so you could get a little under 10 minutes before you need to recharge. When the battery life is already short, you’ll have to decide if the trade-off is worth it.
Tip: Looking for an upright vacuum from Hoover? You might want to read our Hoover H-Upright 500 Reach review.
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Specification
|Ninja Column 1||Ninja Column 2|
|Charge Time (h)||3|
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Hoover H-Handy 700 Express Good At Cleaning Pet Hair?
The Hoover provides mediocre pet hair cleaning performance. It’s fine for picking up loose hairs but lacks the suction to remove hairs that are stuck in carpet fibres or car seats. There are much better handhelds for pet hair on the market.
Can You Replace The Hoover H-Handy 700 Battery?
Yes, this Hoover has a battery that’s easy to remove from the handle of the vacuum. Replacement batteries are available, which gives peace of mind if the battery fails in the future.
Hoover H-Handy 700 Express Review Verdict
The Hoover H-Handy is more like an electric dustpan and brush than something to replace your main vacuum. It’s convenient and effective for cleaning dry spills on hard surfaces. The charging dock also means it’s always ready to be used.
But it really is only good for small jobs, like toast crumbs on the countertop or dried mud in the hallway. The short battery life, mediocre suction, and tiny dust canister mean it’s not suitable for anything bigger.
We also found that it struggled to clean carpets, pet hair, and other tougher jobs. And we really hope that Hoover re-thinks the messy emptying system for their next handheld vacuum!
Still, if you want an easier way to deal with quick cleaning tasks than dragging your main vac out, this Hoover is a cheaper option than the superior Shark WV200UK. But there are better ways to spend your money if you’re looking for a larger vac to handle most of the household cleaning.