In this paper, we study the problem of recommending personalized items to users given their sequential behaviors. Most sequential recommendation models only capture a user’s short-term preference in a short session, and neglect his general (unchanged over time) and long-term preferences. Besides, they are all based on deterministic neural networks, and consider users’ latent preferences as point vectors in a low-dimensional continuous space. However, in real world, the evolutions of users’ preferences are full of uncertainties. We address this problem by proposing a hierarchical neural variational model (HNVM). HNVM models users’ three preferences; general, long-term and short-term preferences through an unified hierarchical deep generative process. HNVM is a hierarchical recurrent neural network that enables it to capture both user’s long-term and short-term preferences. Experiments on two public datasets demonstrate that HNVM outperforms state-of-the-art sequential recommendation methods.