Picking the best vacuum 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