Picking the best vacuum cleaners isn’t just about what has the most bells and whistles. A good vacuum has to do its job well (of course), be easy to maintain, be versatile enough to take on both carpets and hardwood floors, and be a good value for the money. We researched—and in some cases tested—the best vacuum cleaners on the market to find the ones that will make cleaning your home a faster and easier chore to handle. Here, the best moderately priced vacuum cleaners for your home.
best moderately priced vacuum cleaneracuums We Tested
Hoover WindTunnel UH70120
If the thought of wrapping up a cord when you’re done cleaning fills you with dread, you may want to check out the Hoover WindTunnel Rewind Plus, which comes with a retractable cord.
In our carpet tests, the WindTunnel picked up almost the exact same amount of dirt as the CleanView. While it costs a little more, that higher price tag gets you a cord that winds up automatically with the touch of a lever.
There’s also onboard storage for all the Hoover’s attachments, so they’ll always be at hand when you need them—instead of lost in the back of a closet.
The downside? All these features keep the WindTunnel from breezing through rooms. With everything onboard, this Hoover tips the scales at 17.3 pounds. That’s a full two pounds heavier than the Bissell. Even worse, there’s no carrying handle on the back, which means it’s a huge pain to lug up and down stairs. It also struggled with pet hair.
- Powerful suction
- Retractable cord
- Heavy—17.3 pounds
$211.00 from Amazon$226.64 from Walmart$114.71 from Home DepotADVERTISEMENT
Shark NV352 Navigator Lift-Away
The popular Shark Navigator Lift-Away was the most unusual vacuum we tested. Its Lift-Away feature means that users can detach the motor from the handle, which turns the unit into a pseudo-canister. Unfortunately, you cannot use attachments unless the motor is detached, and you have to lug the “canister” around because it doesn’t have wheels.
Other features don’t come with as many tradeoffs. For instance, automatic height adjustment means you can go from cleaning a thick area rug to short-pile carpet without skipping a beat. This Shark is also the only vacuum in the running that has a swivel joint in the brush head, which allows the Shark to pivot around furniture and other obstacles. The Shark’s small brush head also helps you reach tight spaces.
However, we feel that the Shark isn’t as good a value as other vacuums on the list. Even though it’s the most expensive cleaner we included, it only picked up 38 percent of testing dirt we put down on a normal carpet. Other vacuums cleaned better and cost less.
Given all the trade-offs, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a fine choice for small apartments that feature a variety of floor types. But given its quirks and high price, it falls into fourth place in our tests.
- Can transform into a pseudo canister
- Poor dirt pickup
- Difficult to use
$97.87 from Amazon$214.99 from Walmart$169.99 from Abt$149.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond
The Eureka PowerSpeed has the unique distinction of being one of the lightest uprights in this roundup. It tips the scales around 10 pounds and doesn’t really punch above its weight limit. In our testing, it picked up only around 18% of the available dirt. Aside from having weak suction, it is very loud, producing over 80dBA.
We did find a silver lining. Its lightweight body means that it can easily be carried upstairs and it’s easy to push around.
- Lightweight body
- Weak suction
$75.84 from Amazon
In many parts of the world, Hoover is synonymous with vacuuming. The Hoover WindTunnel Pet Rewind UH70210 scored in the middle of the pack. We found it to be average in almost every regard. It has an average pickup performance, unremarkable attachments, and OK maneuverability. It does have a foldable handle so it’s easy to store. However, it’s about 18 pounds, which is a bit on the heavy side.
- OK maneuverability
- Average pickup performance
$129.99 from Walmart$151.49 from Overstock
Bissell 22543 Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet
Bissell is not only a company well known for making vacuums, but also for advocacy on behalf of animal welfare. So it’s no surprise that the company makes a wide variety of products catering to pet owners. We have plenty of experience testing Bissell products. The CleanView is our favorite affordable upright, and we loved Bissell’s dog-washing vacuum.
The Bissell Swivel Rewind Pet was more of a miss than a hit. We liked the automatically retracting cord, and the titular swivel joint made it easy to maneuver this vacuum around furniture. However, we found that this vacuum lacked powerful dirt pickup relative to its price. During testing it picked up around 41% of dirt per run. That’s not a terrible score, but it’s not enough to justify a top spot.
- Automatically retracting cord
- Easy to maneuver around furniture
- Lacks powerful suction
$280.99 from Amazon
Cost Of Roomba Vacuum
A good Roomba can cost up to $900, but this top-rated robot vacuum is just $90
Roomba is clearly the most recognizable name in the robot vacuum cleaner market, and it also makes some of the best products out there. They’re also extremely expensive, however. Just look at the Roomba 980, which costs an eye-popping $900. It’s a great product, but spending that much money isn’t an option for most people. If you’re looking for a good alternative that costs less — 10 times less, to be exact — check out the EVERTOP Robotic Vacuum Sweeper. Currently on sale for just $89.99, this robot vacuum is perfect for regular light duty cleaning on hardwood floors, tile, and even low pile rugs.
Top Robot Vacuum Deals
iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) Robot Vacuum
$380Expires soonThe iRobot Roomba e5 robot vacuum is powerful enough to get rid of dirt and dust across all floor types and is especially useful in homes with pets. Control it with Alexa, Google Assistant or the app.BUY AT AMAZON
iRobot Roomba 675 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum
Pyle Pure Clean Robot Vacuum
$86Expires soonThis Pyle Pure Clean robovac may not replace larger uprights for deep-cleaning jobs, but this little smart vacuum is a great way to keep your floor tidy without having to lift a finger.BUY AT AMAZON
Roomba 614 — $200
Engineered for performance, the Roomba 614 has a patented three-stage cleaning system that uses dual multi-surface brushes, a specially designed edge-sweeping brush, and vacuum suction to attack everything, from small particles to large debris on your floors. Clean dirt even where you don’t see it with an edge-sweeping brush that is mounted at a 27-degree angle to sweep debris away from tough-to-reach spots.
Like many of the best robot vacuums, this Roomba vacuum automatically returns to its home base to recharge itself after it has finished cleaning.
Roomba 960 — $399
Like all of the most recent iRobot models, the Roomba 960 has an extra-high-efficiency filter that captures 99% of all allergens, pollen, and particles as small as 10 microns, as well as an extra side brush to properly clean all of those hard-to-reach crevices.
The Roomba 960 model provides five times the cleaning power of previous models (whereas the Roomba 980 provides ten times the power), and you can control it using the iRobot Home App. The Roomba 960 model runs continuously for up to 75 minutes, and then automatically recharges and resumes cleaning to complete the entire job.
$550 FROM BEST BUY
Roomba: A cost-analysis
A robotic vacuum cleaner like the Roomba may save you time, but it’s probably not worth the expense
PRNewsFoto/Neato Robotics/FileRobotic vacuum cleaners, like the Neato XV-11 All-Floor Robotic Vacuum System shown in this file photo, are convenient, but probably not worth the exorbitant price tag.
Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers to see if the savings is really worth the time invested.
Larry writes in: What so you think the value is in the saved time of a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner?
The difficulty in evaluating a device like the Roomba is in the sheer number of factors to consider…
How often do you actually need to vacuum? A single person who isn’t at home very much doesn’t need to vacuum nearly as often as a family of five with three children under the age of six.
What is your standard of home neatness? Some people feel the need to vacuum on a very regular basis. Others vacuum on occasion. Some rarely vacuum at all.Fewer jobs at City Hall – one way Flynn can begin to arrest the deficit
How big are your rooms? Roombas work much better in areas with significant open floorspace. They tend to work in a redundant fashion (meaning that they don’t clean as much floor space per charge) in smaller rooms, particularly with crowded floorspace.
How empty is the floorspace in your rooms? If you’re looking at rooms with just a couple of chairs and perhaps one table, a Roomba will do a very good job. If you’re looking at rooms with tons of obstacles (like a child’s play area), a Roomba won’t do as good of a job.
It was these factors in combination that caused us to not use the Roomba we were gifted very much. It worked really well in two rooms in our house. It was useless (or nearly so) on the stairs, in many of the bedrooms, and in the room where most of our children’s toys were.
In other words, unless you live in a residence with a single floor and a very open floor plan, a Roomba is only going to supplement a normal vacuum cleaner. This, of course, means that the reason you would buy a Roomba would be solely as a time saver, not as a money saver.
So, is it a time saver? As I mentioned above, it was very useful in specific rooms. We could set it to run in our living room and in our carpeted hallways and it did a great job. It would also do a “good enough” job in my office and in most of the family room.
The real advantage is that one person could multi-task with the vacuuming. I could set up the Roomba in the living room, then vacuum the stairs. This would directly reduce my vacuuming time to some extent. My estimate is that the entire house could be vacuumed in about 25% less time, saving about 30 minutes per vacuuming.About these ads
For me, that means a savings of about 12 hours per year, all told. Is that worth the $300 I’d have to invest in a Roomba, plus the energy cost of charging it (a few dollars a year)? This, of course, assumes that the Roomba works flawlessly and never has a problem, because any problems cut directly into that time saved.
I was glad to have it as a gift, but I would not spend the money on one as a time saver. It does save a little time, but not $300 worth of time.