Wondering if you can find a good vacuum for under $100? The answer is yes, but only if you understand your cleaning needs. Identifying your requirements helps you to avoid costly models with unnecessary features. I compiled a list of 10 best cheap vacuum cleaners from which you can take your pick. But first, how do you determine the kind of vacuum to purchase? Let’s see.
- 1 The Pros and Cons of buying a cheap vacuum cleaner
- 2 How to find a great cheap vacuum under $100
- 3 Types of vacuums and their suitability
- 4 Final words
When shopping for a vacuum, you will bump into many different types. It can overwhelm you, considering that each model comes with own set of features. My advice? Let your budget and cleaning needs determine the model you go for. Some vacuum cleaners will come with features you won’t need, while others are unnecessarily pricey. Avoid vacuum cleaners that are overly complicated; you may not find all those features of use for your situation. I always advise anyone looking for a vacuum to determine their cleaning requirements first. That way, identifying unnecessary vacuuming capabilities or attachments becomes easier. I also advise that you shop within your budget. A high price tag doesn’t necessarily mean better quality. You will eventually come across a vacuum under $100 that will still meet your cleaning requirements.
While still on the issue of budget, some people have the opinion that buying a used vacuum should save them money. If you’re one of them, think about the uncertainty such items come with. You’re buying a gadget whose maintenance history is unknown to you, and there’s a high possibility of the used vacuum breaking down after a few days of use. It’s advisable that you stick to new vacuum cleaners by finding a model that fits your budget. You may also have the view that an inexpensive vacuum is likely to cost you more in the long run. That you’re likely to replace its parts more often. On the contrary, mid-priced vacuum cleaners are known to be adequately durable. Cared for properly, they can serve you for years. Besides, replacing the parts of a pricey vacuum when it finally breaks down can be costly. I’ve seen a while ago a post talking about the real cost of using a Swiffer. As they were putting the problem, over long periods of time it would be cheaper to buy a $600 Dyson V10 than to use a $20 Swiffer Sweeper. Why is that? Because the mop needs a $10 set of new clothes every few weeks which adds up in time, while the Dyson doesn’t really need anything else.
You do need to spend more than a hundred bucks to acquire a durable vacuum. Why? All that hype about pricey models being of the highest quality is most of the time just that; a hype. In any case, some of the extra features such models come equipped with may not turn out to be really useful. However, there are situations which would require you to spend more than $100 on a vacuum. If you or one of your family members is susceptible to seasonal allergies, you would need a vacuum with a HEPA filter. HEPA vacuums are more expensive, but for a reason. These filters are capable of filtering out allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and more. It makes the air coming out of the vacuum safe for breathing. Your health comes first, and paying for the extra filtration level is necessary.
The Pros and Cons of buying a cheap vacuum cleaner
Let’s look into detail about the benefits of buying a cheap vacuum, and the misconceptions many buyers have about expensive models.
The illusion of quality
Many buyers usually fall for the idea that a high price for a vacuum always translates to a higher quality. Granted, highly priced models can have parts that are made from better materials or a more powerful motor. This can mean a longer life for the whole gadget as well as better performance. However, this is not always the case. There have been cases where a costly vacuum ended up performing dismally or broke down soon after purchase. The assumption that price is a measure of quality can, therefore, be misleading. The best approach is to go for mid prices, which is around or under $100. Vacuum cleaners within this price range work well, sometimes even better than their more expensive counterparts. I would advise that you focus more on the basic functionalities
The Notion of advanced features
Expensive vacuums are often advertised as being equipped with advanced features. These features are supposed to make them stylish as well as help to make your cleaning easier. They include digital displays, dirt sensors, auto height adjustments and more. While some of these features are useful, others are almost unnecessary. You may need a height adjustment functionality, but do you require a digital display? Some features will only cost you money, but in reality, they won’t serve any useful purpose. A vacuum without such advanced features will clean just as well. The best cheap vacuum will not have those extra capabilities, but you will not find any difference in its cleaning efficiency compared to that of an expensive model.
Not every attachment or accessory is worth the extra cost
Attachments that costly models may come with include dusting brushes, unique, cleaning heads, crevice cleaning tools or even pet hair removing tools. These extras come at a price, and you will often have to pay for them dearly. Some of the tools or attachments may prove useful. However, the funny thing is that many homeowners end up not using them at all. They may even misplace them, having found no situation requiring their use. A pet hair remover is only useful if you have a pet. If you don’t, it could mean lost money for the vacuum’s extras. It’s the reason why I advise that you determine your cleaning needs before embarking on a search for a vacuum cleaner. It can save you from wasting money on models that claim to include tools and extras that you won’t ever use. Don’t waste your money when you can get a good vacuum for under $100.
Expensive vacuums come with equally costly parts. It may take time before your pricey model breaks down, and it may also have come with a lengthy warranty. However, the problem comes when one of its parts finally requires replacing and when its warranty has expired. It can cost you a lot, plus the particular spare part may prove hard to find. A cheap vacuum, on the other hand, will have all the parts readily available. It also wouldn’t cost you a lot to purchase them.
Some manufacturers keep pushing prices higher
Some makers of vacuum cleaners know that most buyers are attracted to fancy designs and features. So they keep adding them every year, regardless of whether the functionalities are useful or not. With each new feature comes a price increase. What these manufacturers won’t tell you is that what matters most is whether a vacuum cleans efficiently. Or if it’s made to be durable.
How to find a great cheap vacuum under $100
Finding a quality but inexpensive vacuum cleaner requires due diligence on your part. You don’t want to go too low as to buy a model that won’t suit your needs or one that will not serve you for long enough. You also don’t want to purchase a vacuum that costs you extra money for the design or features that are beyond your cleaning requirements. So, how do you go about selecting the best cheap vacuum? Read on as we go through the process together.
Choosing the right model
There are several types of vacuum cleaners on the market, different in terms of design and functionalities. There are the upright, stick, canister, and the handheld vacuums. Some models will feature disposable bags while others will have a reusable bin. The type of vacuum you settle for depends on your cleaning needs as well as your preference. Start by identifying your needs. What kind of surfaces will you be using it on? Are there challenging areas such as high places or sharp corners? What type of floor do you have? Are there pets in your house? How dusty does your home usually get? All these questions will help you determine the type of vacuum you need in terms of design, suction power, and filtration level. Challenging places will require specific features, while dirty places or carpeted floors will need higher suction power.
Second, look out for brands that are quality but not too expensive. Reputable companies assure you of quality products at prices under $100. Buying from companies whose products are known to be high performing and durable saves you money while offering you a vacuum cleaner that won’t disappoint you.
Third, choose a vacuum that can convert, such as a two-in-one model. These vacuums offer various functionalities without requiring you to have a separate model. It allows you to perform a couple of cleaning activities to cater for different situations. Some models can both steam and vacuum. Others can convert from stick to handheld, or from upright to the canister type.
Types of vacuums and their suitability
Cheap upright vacuums
These vacuums feature a cleaning head and the motor in one unit. You push them ahead of you when using them for cleaning tasks. They’re a tall length, and you do not need to bend when working with them. Upright vacuums are also easy to maneuver and have wide mouths. If you have a large space to be cleaned, they’re suitable for the job. They come equipped with a revolving brush that acts to dislodge stuck dirt, making them ideal for carpeted floors.
The model you choose will depend on your needs or preferences. You can choose between a bagged or bagless model. Your choice will also depend on whether you will be using the vacuum on bare or carpeted floors, whether you need a wand for corners and stairs, and so on. Overall, they’re the best type if you want a vacuum that will not leave your back aching. Features will vary with the model you go for. However, many models are either bagged or bagless and your decision may boil down to whether you want a model that collects dust in a bag or in a bin.
Other features to consider may include:
- Whether you need extra accessories like a wand for cleaning stairs and corners.
- Whether weight is a factor to consider.
- Whether you need to vacuum bare floors, carpets or both.
Here’s my favorite:
1. Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind Bagless Corded Upright Vacuum UH71250
I reviewed the previous version of this vacuum cleaner a while ago and I definitely stand behind my thoughts back then. This is a decent vacuum cleaner, well worth its money. Here are some key features:
- has a good motor (12 amps), with satisfying suction power (2 channels)
- it doesn’t lose suction -thanks to the multi-cyclonic technology
- it’s bagless, with a dust capacity of 0.65 gallons
- its height is adjustable over 5 predefined values, so you can tackle most types of carpets. The bristles are soft enough to make the unit usable on bare floors, after being set on “HARD floors” height position.
- comes with HEPA filtration
- weights 16 lbs
- comes with a 25 ft. retractable cord, which is a nice feature
- another specialty is the view window located on top of the brushroll. This helps you to easily spot any clogs that form during vacuuming.
- 2 years of warranty
- at the moment, on sale
Other options in the same category are as follows:
2. Bissell 1825 Cleanview Plus Rewind Upright Bagless Vacuum
The latest CleanView model improves well over its predecessor. The design surprises with the use of an intense red color. Among the key features, one can relate to:
- the 8 amp motor, powerful enough to provide a decent suction.
- the Triple Action brushroll system – borrowing from Dyson’s brushroll builds, Bissell employs two types of bristles which in return increase the cleaning efficiency on carpets and rugs. However, as in the case of the previous unit from Hoover, you can’t power off the brushroll.
- the good filtration system, called multi-level filtration, especially designed to capture allergens. I would compare this with a standard HEPA.
- the great weight of 15.4 lbs.
- the 25 ft. of rewindable power cord (just like in the case of the UH71250)
- the bin accommodates 0.26 gallons
- the 3 years of warranty
- the bargain price
This vacuum improves over the specs of the other models from the CleanView family.
3. Hoover WindTunnel 2 High Capacity UH70801PC
Hoover knows to do one thing to do best: to build cheap yet reliable vacuum cleaners. You could quantify this model as an improved version of the T-Series Rewind, since it is far newer and since it uses 2 suctions channels instead of one. But let’s take a closer look:
- The Dual-Cyclone system filters air over 2 levels of cyclones.
- You can adjust nozzle’s height after 5 preset positions. As in the case of T-Series, you can’t turn off the brushroll (this feature is available with Windtunnel 3), but you can still vacuum hard floors by using the appropriate height setting.
- Weights 16.2 lbs.
- Has a large and easy to empty dust bin.
- Comes with HEPA Media filtration, better than ordinary HEPA. Also comes with a reusable washable filter.
- Has a good set of accessories which includes the extension wand, the crevice and the turbo tool, and last but not least, the dusting brush.
- Has a 2-year warranty.
- Currently on sale.
Cheap canister vacuums
Canister vacuums are lightweight and more compact. It means enhanced portability. Their long hoses and wands also make them pretty versatile. They can reach under the furniture in your room or far rooms without you having to lift them. However, the long hose and the extended wand can be a disadvantage during storage. They take up a lot of space.
In the case you need to move a canister vacuum, it’s no hard work since they’re lightweight enough. This can come in useful when vacuuming stairs and you have to keep moving the gadget. Due to their narrow cleaning head, canister vacuums clean squeezed spaces better. They also have stronger suction powder, which makes them suitable for carpeted floors. My favorite cheap canister:
4. Bissell Zing canister 2156A
This canister radiates a strong personality, thanks to its green color. What I love about it: you no longer have to pay for replacing the small bags, and it comes with a lot of power. Here are some of its other perks:
- can clean bare floors, low pile and deep pile carpets without any problems, thanks to its multi-surface floor nozzle.
- you can see when the bag is full, thanks to the transparent bin.
- the power cord is a bit short (15 ft.), but on the good side, it automatically rewinds.
- the telescopic wand is long enough to allow you to reach ceilings and fans.
- comes with a 1-year limited warranty
- Here’s a cheap price.
Cheap cordless vacuums
It’s hard to find a good cordless vacuum under $100. Fortunately, I here to help you out. Here’s my favorite:
5. Shark Navigator Freestyle Premium SV1106
The market for cordless cleaning systems is definitely growing, as more and more consumers are learning about the advantages brought by these units. The Freestyle Navigator from Shark may be a bit outdated, but its price/quality ratio is still undefeated when it comes to cordless vacuum cleaners. With just a bit over $100 you can get the 14.4V model, the SV1106. The SV1106N is a bit cheaper, but it comes with 10.8V batteries which don’t last that long. Let’s see what else is to be said about the Freestyle:
- has high degree of usability, thanks to its swivel steering and its low profile base.
- comes with 2 cleaning mode presets, one for bare floors and one for carpets.
- the batteries last 20-25 minutes, and charge in 3-4h. Of course, when new, you can probably vacuum continuously around 40 minutes and get the batteries full in less than 3h.
- the 0.29 gallons dirt cup is easy to remove and empty.
- weights 7.5 lbs.
- a nice feature is the charging base which you can use when storing the appliance.
- comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Be sure to take a look a this offer before buying from anywhere else.
Cheap stick vacuums
These vacuum types are similar to the upright vacuum but without the attachments. They are relatively less bulky and easy to store. They are also lightweight, and moving them around is pretty easy, almost effortless. You can use stick vacuums for minor tasks such as cleaning up a spot mess or minor debris due to their lightweight nature.
Regarding noise, expect them to produce less sound than the upright vacuums. However, that means they’re less powerful and won’t suck up dirt as efficiently as the uprights. If you have a carpeted floor, these types may not be the best choice. Consider them only if you’re not looking for anything powerful. With a smaller cleaning head and a lower suction power, they’re only suitable for light cleaning tasks. Bare floors would suit them well, or light jobs such as cleaning a mess. Their main advantage lies in portability and easy storage.
My favorite sticks:
6. Hoover Corded Cyclonic SH20030
- The motor works on 2 amps, one of the lowest power consumption I’ve seen in corded stick models. Yet, the delivered suction is great, thanks to the proprietary WindTunnel Technology.
- Works well on all surfaces, thanks to the powered brushroll which can be turned off if needed.
- It’s easy to use. The wheels are designed to slide easily over floors, without leaving any marks. The head swivels just enough to make the experience pleasant. And thanks to the low profile, you can reach under any piece of furniture. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about the edges, as the lateral bristles will do the work for you.
- It weights only 8 lbs.
- 20 ft. of power cord ensure you won’t have to unplug and re-plug often.
- Has a 2-year warranty.
Here are 3 other models I really like:
7. Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor 81L2A
Bissell has a wide range of cheap vacuum cleaners, and some of them are really good. That’s the reason we’re now talking about this PowerEdge. Although it’s light enough to be included in the stick vacuum section (weights only 7.1 lbs), this unit is a good cleaner. For starters, I don’t think there are any other units with a “V” shaped nozzle such as this one. The result: you can use it in tight places with more ease. The nozzle swivels intuitively, as soon as you interact with the handle.
One of the most important things to keep in mind if you’re planning to get one of these: it’s meant for hard floors only. That means is works best on tiles, marble, hardwood floors, and so on. In fact, I’ve even included it in my top 5 vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors. On carpets it has little efficiency, as it doesn’t even have a brushroll.
Its name isn’t for nothing – it works very well with pet hair, or any kind of hair for that matter, including long human hair. It’s a bagless with an easy empty dirt cup. Comes with a 1-year warranty, but costs less than 2 days of parking in Down Town LA.
8. VonHaus 2-in-1 Corded 600W
Although I don’t think many of you have heard about VonHaus, I’d like to assure you that this product is one of the cheapest sticks that may worth your money. These guys produce much more than cleaning tools: they also make power tools, outdoor equipment, storage shelves and so on. If the orange color hasn’t convinced you yet, maybe the following specs will:
- 130 Air Watts of suction – more than Dyson V6 which costs 10 times that much.
- bagless with 0.317 gallons dust capacity, more than enough for a stick.
- 2-in-1 means it can be used as a handheld.
- 2 layers of filtration (HEPA+sponge).
- works great for both carpets and hardwood floors. Given its size, you can easily use it for stairs or tighter places.
- has 18 ft. of power cord.
- comes with additional accessories, such as the crevice tool, the small brush attachment for handheld, the hose adapter and the shoulder strap. For $10 more, you can also purchase separately the Turbo Cleaning Brush.
- a bit loud.
- cheaper than a meal at Benihana.
9. Devil Simplistik Plus 3-in-1 SD22010
Dirt Devil has been producing low cost vacuum cleaner for decades. One of their absolute wins is the Simply-Stik SD22010. For just about $19.50, you’ll get a complete stick vacuum, and as crazy as it sounds, I don’t think you can buy anything else more useful than this Dirt Devil for this kind of money. I seriously think that if they would freely let the buyers decide how much money to give for an appliance such as this, they would probably make more.
Anyways, the unit is actually pretty good; you can use it as a stick or you can convert it into a handheld. Surprisingly, the producer even found space to place a crevice tool on board.
Another key feature is its light weight, of only 3.6 lbs. The 2 amp motor delivers a decent constant suction (compared with the previous version which had only 1.25 amps). It won’t compare to that of a standard upright, but who needs that? The filters are washable and the producer offers 1 year of warranty (for $5, you can get a 3-year warranty). Although the head doesn’t swivel, the 2 base wheels make navigation a breeze. The construction feels sturdy and the 18 ft. of power cord can be safely stored using the cord warp clips located behind the unit. Oh, and did I mention it’s a 3-in-1? You can detach the base and use it as a handheld.
Cheap handheld vacuums
Speaking of handhelds, these are small, lightweight vacuums that are pretty much like mini-vacuums. They come as either corded or cordless and are quite versatile. With the cordless types, you can carry them anywhere with you; they’re highly portable and can be used when on the go. Being small-sized and less powerful, handheld vacuums are only suitable for light cleaning jobs such as cleaning a mess or a spill. The vacuums are useful for outdoor cleaning needs such as vacuuming your car or garage.
Handheld vacuums are also an excellent supplement to your main vacuum, especially when cleaning a small mess and you don’t want to pull the bigger vacuum along. Choose a model that’s powered by rechargeable batteries. My favorite handheld under $100 is:
10. Eureka EasyClean 71B
Eureka reputed a great success with the EasyClean 71B. This model has great design lines. You can use this little baby to vacuum stairs, cheerios, dog hair, upholstery and so on. I’ve seen waiters using this to clean the tables. Here are its specs:
- comes with 2 motors, one for activating the brushroll and one for the suction.
- it’s a bagless and the filters are washable, so you’ll get 0 maintenance costs.
- works great on bare floors, thanks to its special brush. You can turn the brushroll on or off as you please.
- reaches a cleaning radius of 20 ft. (where the power cord measures 25 ft. and the hose measures 3 ft.).
- perfect for cleaning carpeted stairs
- wonderful for car detailing
- the riser visor allow you to see when the bin is full
- includes a crevice tool which can be used with the hose
- filters are washable
- weights 5 lbs. and comes with a 1 year warranty.
- Get a very good deal here.
The vacuum you buy doesn’t need to cost you a fortune, especially if your cleaning needs are not many or demanding. The best cheap vacuum should cost you not more than a hundred bucks. Choose a model with basic features and functionalities. Your main aim is to ensure a clean home, and some fancy features on some pricey vacuums don’t contribute to the cleaning. That being said, I would love your feedback on this list. Do you have another favorite model? Have you used or are you using a vacuum from this list and have something to say? Need additional advice or just can’t decide which model is good for you? Don’t be afraid to comment bellow.
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