If your budget, life situation, or cleaning routine doesn’t warrant spending hundreds of dollars on the best vacuum cleaners models, don’t worry, you can still find a model that will keep your space clean and tidy without destroying your budget. The vacuums below might have a few limitations compared to our overall best vacuum picks, but they will still get the job done and tackle pet hair, dust, and debris, but at a fraction of the cost. While they won’t last forever, these vacuums will do their jobs for a few years, until you’re in a position to upgrade your machine. Below, see some of our picks for the best reasonably priced vacuum cleaners.
best reasonably priced vacuum cleaners
Best Overall: Bissell CleanView Bagless Vacuum
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You can get all the performance of a high-end vacuum with the Bissell CleanView Bagless Vacuum. This top-rated budget pick has a lightweight, powerful design that will help clean every area of your home, including hard floors, carpets, upholstery and more.
This bagless vacuum cleaner weighs just 15 pounds, and it features OnePass technology that gets your floors clean faster, picking up more dirt on each pass. It delivers strong, long-lasting suction, and the vacuum comes with a TurboBrush tool for upholstery, as well as a dusting brush, extension wand, and crevice tool. The large capacity dirt tank empties with the touch of a button, and the washable filter is easy to clean.
Reviewers say the Bissell CleanView is every bit as powerful as high-end vacuum cleaners, delivering strong suction and easily picking up dirt off a variety of surfaces. Several customers mentioned that it works well on pet hair, but the one downside is there’s a fair bit of assembly required.
Best Cordless: Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Stick Vacuum
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Don’t want to be limited by a power cord as you clean? Then you need a cordless vacuum like the powerful Shark Navigator Freestyle Stick Vacuum. This lightweight design is great for quick cleanup jobs on all types of surfaces, and it has a runtime of around 24 minutes on bare floors and 17 minutes on carpets.
The Shark Navigator needs four hours to charge up the battery, and at 7.5 pounds, it’s light enough to carry all around your home. It offers a two-speed brushroll for carpets and bare floors, and the extra-large dust cup is easy to empty. This stick vacuum excels at picking up pet hair, making it a great investment for pet owners.
Best Handheld: BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Hand Vacuum
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Handheld vacuums are ideal for picking up small messes around the house, and one of the top-rated affordable products in this category is the Black+Decker Dustbuster. This compact vacuum weighs just 2 pounds, and its lithium battery provides strong suction and extended runtime.
This handheld vacuum has a larger dust cup, allowing you to collect 50 percent more dirt before you need to empty it, and the washable bowl and filter let you keep the transparent vacuum looking pristine. Its wide mouth is great for picking up large debris—like spilled ingredients in the kitchen—and the vacuum comes with a wall mount so it’s always within reach.
This inexpensive vacuum comes with a crevice tool and brush tool, and reviewers say it delivers impressive suction and is easy to clean.
Best Robot: Pure Clean Automatic Robot Vacuum
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Robotic vacuums can be really expensive—new models often cost close to $1,000! However, you can get the hands-off cleaning abilities of a robot vacuum at an affordable price with the Pure Clean Automatic Robot Vacuum. This affordable model costs is a fraction of the price, and it has all the features you’d expect—and then some.
The Pure Clean Robot Vacuum has a 90-minute run time, and all you have to do to start it is press a button! It works well on tile, hard floors, and short carpets, and it has a built-in cliff sensor that will stop it from falling down stairs. This robot vacuum has a thin 3-inch profile that lets it fit under furniture, and it picks up dirt and dust with its dual rotating brushes. Reviewers say the Pure Clean Robot Vacuum does a great job capturing pet hair and dirt, making it a wonderful option for daily tidying.
Best Canister: Bissell Zing Canister Bagless Vacuum
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If you’re partial to canister vacuums, the Bissell Zing is a budget-friendly option that gets top marks from reviewers. This bagless model uses cyclonic technology to create powerful suction that captures dirt on both carpets and hard floors.
The Bissell Zing weighs less than 8 pounds, making it easy to move around your home. It has a 15-foot retractable power cord, and the large dirt cup is easy to empty with the push of a button. You can alternate between cleaning carpets and hard floors with the flip of a switch, and the vacuum comes with a crevice tool and dusting brush, as well.
Reviewers love that the Bissell Zing is so lightweight, making it easy to pull along behind you. Many customers were impressed with the powerful suction, and several said that it does a decent job on thick carpets, too.
best vacuum cleaners
Best for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum
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If you have one or more pets, you know how quickly pet hair can take over your home. Regular vacuuming and dusting is a must in pet households, and the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser will be a welcome addition to your cleaning arsenal.
This compact corded hand vacuum is specially designed to tackle pet hair. The rubber nozzle lets you remove more hair from furniture and stairs, and the suction nozzle works wonders on dry messes around the house. Plus, this handheld vacuum has a multi-level filtration system to trap household allergens, and its lightweight design is perfect for cleaning the stairs or even the inside of your car! Reviewers say the rubber nozzle for this vacuum is amazing, as it scrapes the hair off carpets and furniture with ease, and many of the happy pet parents highly recommend this product.
Best for Hard Floors: Bissell Hard Floor Expert Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner
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Certain vacuums fall flat when it comes to cleaning hard floors, but not this inexpensive model! The Bissell Hard Floor Expert Corded Stick Vacuum may look unconventional, but it does an unbeatable job on hardwood, tile, linoleum, and more.
This vacuum’s V-shaped foot helps to capture large particles more efficiently and lets you get around corners and furniture with ease. It’s easy to maneuver around your home, and the bagless cyclonic technology delivers powerful suction. Plus, this vacuum has bumpers and soft roller wheels to ensure you don’t dent or scratch your floors or furniture. Reviewers say it’s ideal for picking up animal hair, and you can’t beat the low price.
What to Look for in a reasonably priced vacuum cleaners
StyleIf you want robust cleaning power with a wider floorhead and larger dust bin, an inexpensive upright vacuum might be your best bet—however, it’s likely to weigh more than other options. There are also more compact canister vacuums, which are great for stairs, and stick vacuums that are lightweight and easily maneuvered. Even robotic vacuums can be found on a budget, so really, no style of vacuum is off the table.
Dust bin and filtersKeep recurring costs low by looking for a budget vacuum with a dust bin instead of bags that need to be replaced. Just make sure that you keep the dust bin clean to prevent a loss of suction power and performance from your vacuum. Washable filters will also reduce ongoing costs since they can be rinsed clean.
CordlessAre you looking to cut the cord but keep the price tag in check with your next vacuum cleaner? While many budget-friendly vacuums are still corded models, there are some great stick vacuums available that cost less than $100. Just be sure to check the battery life and make sure that it’s adequate for your cleaning needs.
Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner
The old vacuum cleaner has “bitten the dust” and you need a replacement. One quick look online is all it takes to realize that choosing a new machine might be more challenging than you thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the “latest and greatest” when perusing vacuums online or in magazines and end up with a machine that is either too much or not enough, or just doesn’t fit your needs.
We’ve put together a few questions for consideration to help focus your search efforts before purchasing that new vacuum cleaner. Maybe you’ve already thought about some of these, so please use the following list to quickly navigate to the concerns most important to you.
What Flooring Types Do I Have?
Probably the most obvious consideration is whether you have mainly carpeting, hard floors, or a fairly even combination of both. Generally speaking, for homes with a lot of carpeting, especially in large areas, an upright vacuum cleaner is a good choice. However, if your personal preference tends toward canister style vacuums, there are quite a few excellent choices available. You will want to be sure that it has a floor nozzle with a motorized brushroll and height adjustment options for various pile carpets.
If you love hardwood or tile flooring with a few rugs here and there, or enjoy low-pile carpeting, a canister style vacuum is a great option. Using a specialized floor brush, these are usually very maneuverable for working quickly around and underneath furniture. Some are equipped with combination floor tools that easily switch to effectively clean scatter rugs. For true canister vacuum lovers, there are machines that feature high quality motorized floor nozzles that can effectively handle deep-pile carpets.
Most people have a combination of both carpeting and hard floors. At this point, style preference will be your guide. However, be sure to check for convenience features such as on/off brushroll control, height adjustment, and suction control. Be sure to note whether the brushroll is air-powered or electrically powered as this affects the effectiveness of deep-pile carpet cleaning.
Do I Need to Control Allergens?
This is a key question to consider since we spend, on average, about 90% of our time indoors where pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. This is especially important to ponder if you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies. A vacuum cleaner that provides HEPA filtration can be an important contributor to improving your indoor air quality. HEPA filters capture particulate matter down to 0.3 microns so that the exhausted air is actually cleaner than what was sucked into the vacuum. There are also machines that include some level of charcoal filtration to help control odors—great for pet owners.
An additional consideration is a vacuum that not only uses HEPA filters but does so in a completely sealed system. This means that there is virtually no leakage of air through the housing or fittings of the machine and all air (along with pollutants) is forced through the filtration system, leaving your indoor air allergen free. See this article for more information about allergies and vacuums.
How Often Do I Vacuum?
Something you may not have thought about, the frequency of your cleaning schedule can be impacted by the ease or difficulty of storing and accessing your vacuum. For those folks who shed their shoes the minute they hit the door, walking on floors that quickly accumulate pet fur, crumbs, and tracked-in dirt or sand, daily vacuuming is standard operating procedure. In that case, a vacuum that is difficult to access and use quickly can make this routine a real chore. Consider a robotic vacuum that can be scheduled to clean while you’re at work or running errands so you return to grit-free floors, really nice if you frequently bring home company.
If your debris tends to concentrate in specific areas, a stick vacuum is a champ at quickly taking care of daily messes whether on hard floors or carpets, as well as effectively handling more extensive weekly cleaning. There are also light-weight uprights and compact canisters with parking features that make them easy to store and use at a moment’s notice.
How Many Levels are in My Home?
In other words, how many stairs do you have to carry your vacuum up and down? There are many maneuverable, light-weight cordless vacuums that have great suction power and long run times that can handle multiple floor types. There are also lightweight vacuums in both upright and canister styles that make transporting them between floors easy.
An additional thought is the type of flooring on each level. While it sounds crazy, sometimes more than one vacuum is a very good idea. If you have a main floor that really benefits from a machine that can handle a variety of floor types, your upper floor may only require a vacuum best for carpets or hard floors. Or, the reverse may be true. In either case, consider purchasing a smaller stick vacuum for the space best suited for it, and save yourself grueling trips up and down stairs with your larger machine.
What Additional Surfaces will I be Cleaning?
If you like vacuuming away all the accumulated dust from furniture, curtains, moldings, and baseboards instead of dusting, you’ll want a vacuum that includes a variety of accessory tools. Most include at least a combination brush and crevice tool, while others have additional floor nozzles, an upholstery tool, and specialized accessories for specific types of cleaning. If you own pets, or have a lot of stairs, consider a vacuum that includes a mini-motorized tool for easy cleaning. Some offer an even wider variety of specialized tools and extension wands which you can purchase separately as you need them.
How Much Noise Can I Stand?
Given the technology, if you will, of vacuums, there is a certain amount of expected sound generated during use. Typically, the larger and more heavy-duty the machine for the job, the louder it is. For homes, and for office spaces where a quieter sound level is desired, there are vacuums that have been designed with insulated motor housings as well as newer low-noise motors for quieter operation. Some can run as lows as 47 dB at maximum power while still delivering 120 CFM. Vacuum manufacturers such as NaceCare, Miele, and Sebo have recently redesigned some of their machines for quieter operation. Check specifications for your selection before buying.
How Much Maintenance is Required?
This is a question that really depends on your definition of “a lot” and how tedious different kinds of maintenance are for you. Bagless vacuums don’t have bags that need to be changed, but dust bins still need to be emptied and washed periodically, especially if your home includes allergy-sufferers. Any vacuum with a HEPA filter will need that filter to be replaced when necessary, depending on individual home environments. The same is true for any other type of filter unless it is specified as a washable filter.
Brushrolls will collect pet fur, hair, threads and other debris and will need to be cleaned to maintain top operating capabilities. Ease of access to it should be a consideration. For quality vacuums that last for years, sometimes accessory tools like dusting brushes may need to be replaced. Check to see if these are available for purchase either at retail or from the manufacturer.
The Main Vacuum Types
There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.
Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.
Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.
These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.
While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.
5. Autonomous / Robot
Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.
Location, Location, Location
Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.
If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.
On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.
Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.
To Bag or Not To Bag
The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.
If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.
If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.