The Best Budget Vacuum Cleaners

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DIRT, BE GONE!

There's no escaping the need to vacuum a home, from bare floors to carpets to baseboards, cushions, and blinds. For quick cleanups and small spaces, a good handheld vacuum or stick vacuum will do. Otherwise an upright or canister vacuum is a mandatory household appliance. Cheapism.com combed through specifications and scores of online reviews to find the best vacuum cleaners under $150.

Prices and availability may vary.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

DIRT DEVIL FEATHERLITE CYCLONIC SD40120

Good Cheap Bagless Canister Vacuum
Est. Price: $61 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Compact but does the job adequately, many reviewers say, especially on bare floors, small area rugs, and car interiors.
- Variable suction control.
- Swivel steering.
- Crevice/brush tool and telescoping wand.
- Automatic cord rewind.
- Lightweight, at 10.2 pounds.
- Rinsable HEPA filter.

Cons:
- No rotating brush roll for carpet cleaning.
- Some grousing in reviews about insufficient suction from the 8-amp motor.
- Some complaints about the vacuum tipping over when pulled.
- Tiny 0.6-liter dirt cup.
- Relatively short 16-foot cord.

Takeaway: For the most part, users like the inexpensive Dirt Devil Featherlite Cyclonic. It's easy to maneuver and carry around, and a 5-foot hose, telescopic wand, and dusting/crevice tool extend its reach into high and tight spaces. Seniors and users with small homes are well pleased with this model, noting user-friendly qualities such as the compact size, bagless design, rinsable filter, and good pickup.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

EUREKA MIGHTY MITE 3670G

Good Cheap Bagged Canister Vacuum
Est. Price: $61 | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:
- Easily cleans bare floors and outdoor spaces, according to most user reviews.
- Blower port makes it ideal for decks, patios, and garages.
- Crevice tool and dusting brush; onboard tool storage.
- Lightweight, at less than 9 pounds.

Cons:
- Some complaints about poor build quality and crimping in the hose.
- Scattered gripes about loud noise.
- Disappointing power from the 12-amp motor, some users say.

Takeaway: Marketed as the canister vac for bare floors, whether indoors or out, this model might be of limited use to people with lots of carpeting in their homes. Some reviewers caution that the floor nozzle just can't handle the pile on a rug, but most users are quite pleased with the oomph of the Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite canister vacuum. They say it's user-friendly and more than adequate for many cleaning tasks. Many also appreciate that it uses bags to keep dirt contained and avoids the potentially messy task of emptying a dust cup.

Photo credit: Courtesy of bestbuy.com

HOOVER WINDTUNNEL 2 WHOLE HOUSE REWIND UH71250

Good Cheap Upright Vacuum
Est. Price: $100 | Buy it from Best Buy

Pros:
- Pulls up pet hair, light debris, and hidden dirt from carpets with ease, according to reviews.
- 12 amps and 2 channels of suction.
- Allergen-blocking technology with a rinsable HEPA filter and odor-absorbing carbon filter.
- Multi-floor brush roll with an on/off pedal.
- 5-setting height adjustment.
- Stretch hose, pet turbo tool, pivoting dusting brush, and crevice tool; onboard tool storage.
- 25-foot cord with auto rewind.
- 3-year warranty.

Cons:
- Disappointment with the upholstery tool among some reviewers.
- Some complaints about overheating.
- Some desire for a longer cord or a larger dirt cup (1.29-liter capacity).
- Heavier than other top picks, at 16.1 pounds.

Takeaway: Users laud the features on this Hoover WindTunnel vacuum, particularly the retractable cord, height adjustment, easy-to-change attachments, and easy-to-empty canister. They likewise commend the results, with several noting that carpets look much cleaner -- new, even -- after a once-over. This versatile vacuum provides a good balance between performance and price.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

BISSELL ZING 2156A

Best Canister Vacuum Under $100
Est. Price: $50 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Very strong suction works equally well on bare floors, rugs, and upholstery, according to reviews.
- Variable suction control; bare floor and carpet settings; automatic height adjustment.
- Combination crevice tool/dusting brush and extension wand.
- 2-liter dirt cup.
- 3-stage filtration.
- Automatic cord rewind.
- Lightweight, at 10.23 pounds.
- "Best Bang for the Buck" among canister vacuums in BestReviews' comparison.

Cons:
- Accessories don't always stay attached, users report, and there's no onboard storage.
- Debris may collect near the top of the dust cup, requiring frequent dumping.
- Scattered griping about weak suction from the 9-amp motor.
- 16-foot cord and 4-foot-8-inch hose are relatively short.

Takeaway: The full-featured Bissell Zing bagless canister vacuum surprises many reviewers with its all-around usefulness. Many report having bought this lightweight model for light duty in the car and quick touch-ups on floors but set it to work on more challenging tasks, with good results. At a little over 10 pounds and fitted with a carrying handle, the vacuum is easy to cart around.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

BISSELL CLEANVIEW WITH ONEPASS 9595A

Best Upright Vacuum Under $100
Est. Price: $80 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- 12-amp motor delivers strong suction that conquers pet hair, experts and users say, with particularly impressive performance on bare floors.
- 5 height settings; brushes and suction on the sides for cleaning along baseboards.
- 6-foot hose, TurboBrush, crevice tool, dusting brush, and extension wand.
- HEPA and washable foam filters.
- 25-foot cord.
- 2.2-liter dust cup.

Cons:
- Less effective at pulling up embedded dirt from carpets in expert testing.
- No suction control.
- Scattered complaints about excessive noise, dust leaking out of the exhaust, or a chintzy build.

Takeaway: Tried and true, this Bissell CleanView upright vacuum exceeds thousands of users' expectations, according to reviews. It deftly handles jobs often left for heavier-duty machines, like picking up pet hair. Its strong suit seems to be hardwood and other bare surfaces, but this vacuum acquits itself nicely on carpets and rugs, as well. Users appreciate the five height settings, long 25-foot cord, large dirt cup, accessories, and value price.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

SHARK NAVIGATOR LIFT-AWAY NV352

Best Combination Upright/Canister Vacuum Under $150
Est. Price: $142 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- "Lift-Away" design turns the vacuum from an upright into a canister.
- Strong suction picks up pet hair and penetrates carpet, users report; some say it outperforms high-end models.
- Wide pet upholstery tool, dusting brush, and 24- and 5.5-inch crevice tools; on-board tool holder; accessory bag.
- Swivel steering.
- On/off switch for the brush roll.
- Sealed anti-allergen system with a HEPA filter.
- 2.84-liter, bottom-empty dust cup.
- 12.5 pounds; the canister alone weighs 7.5 pounds.
- 5-year warranty.
- Wirecutter's pick.

Cons:
- Some complaints about the unit tipping over.
- Scattered reports of small plastic pieces breaking.

Takeaway: The Shark Navigator Lift-Away earns extra points for versatility, with its removable canister. Many users say the swivel steering helps it maneuver well around furniture and into corners while the canister is handy for spot cleanups and stairs. Only a bit of grumbling about a narrow cleaning path and an awkward, top-heavy design dampen otherwise laudatory reviews, which also highlight the array of practical accessories and fair price.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

DIRT DEVIL QUICK FLIP PLUS BD30025B

Good Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Est. Price: $39 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Effective for small jobs in the home, including pet hair and carpeted stairs, reviewers say.
- Built-in Quick Flip crevice tool for hard-to-reach spaces.
- 16-volt lithium ion battery; quick 4-hour charge time; status indicator light.
- Very light, at 2.2 pounds.
- Comparatively quiet, according to reviews.
- Rinseable filter designed to last 6 months before replacement.
- Powered tool for stairs and upholstery.
- 2-year warranty.

Cons:
- Scattered grousing in reviews about insufficient power and limited durability (failure to recharge or hold a charge after a while).
- Relatively short 13-minute run time.
- Charging may take longer than the 4 hours promised in the specs, reviews suggest.
- No charging base.
- Relatively small 0.5-liter (16.9-ounce) dirt cup.

Takeaway: The cordless Dirt Devil Quick Flip Plus BD30025B stands out for its compact size and light weight, as well as the integrated crevice tool that flips open to reach tight spaces (no worries about the tool getting lost, several users note). Many reviewers say the 16 volts of power produce enough suction to clean little messes, area rugs, carpeted stairs, and upholstery, although some say it's less effective than expected.

Photo credit: Courtesy of homedepot.com

SHARK PET PERFECT II SV780

Good Cordless Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair
Est. Price: $56 | Buy it from Walmart

Pros:
- With 18 volts of power, it quickly sucks up pet hair (and other detritus) from all surfaces, including car interiors, users say in reviews.
- Large, motorized pet brush; crevice tool; dusting brush.
- Charging/storage base can be wall-mounted; charging status indicator light.
- Washable filter.
- 2-year warranty.

Cons:
- NiMH battery, an older technology that is preferable to NiCd but needs 16 hours to recharge and periodic replacement.
- Some reports of limited durability and weak suction.

Takeaway: Designed for pet-related messes, the Shark Pet Perfect II SV780 also proves its worth when confronted with human-made messes, users report. The array of included accessories, in particular the motorized brush, is rare at this price point and much appreciated by pet owners. The biggest knock against this Shark cordless handheld vacuum is the absence of a lithium ion battery, which would be lighter and last much longer than the NiMH battery.

Photo credit: Courtesy of bissell.com

BISSELL CLEANVIEW DELUXE 47R51

Good Corded Handheld Vacuum With Hose
Est. Price: $42 | Buy it from Walmart

Pros:
- Reliable and effective, reviewers say, especially on upholstery, corners, and stairs.
- Large 26.4-ounce, translucent dust cup.
- 2-foot hose and adapter nozzle; crevice tool; wide-mouth tool.
- 18-foot power cord.
- Multi-level filtration.

Cons:
- Relatively heavy, at 5 pounds.
- Filter assembly is not washable.
- Comparatively short 1-year warranty.

Takeaway: The compact Bissell CleanView Deluxe 47R51 meets most users' expectations for small vacuuming tasks. The 18-foot cord makes for easy maneuverability and continuously supplies 4 amps of power. Some users with pets say the flexible, contoured rubber nozzle does a fine job sucking up pet hair from the furniture, but a few caution that the filter clogs quickly. The included attachments are a welcome bonus.

Photo credit: Courtesy of walmart.com

DIRT DEVIL ULTRA M08230RED

Good Handheld Vacuum With Bag
Est. Price: $33 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Easy to handle on stairs, upholstery, and floorboards, according to users.
- Built-in, 2-foot stretch hose and crevice tool.
- Onboard storage for the 16-foot cord.
- Wide 6-inch cleaning path.
- Dust bag with proprietary filtration for trapping allergens.
- 3-year warranty.

Cons:
- Weak suction, some users say.
- Relatively heavy, at 4.45 pounds.

Takeaway: The Dirt Devil Ultra M08230RED claims some diehard fans, many of whom would rather use paper bags to contain debris than empty a dust cup (although others say the dust bag is a hassle to change). This Dirt Devil handheld vacuum earns its share of plaudits for cleaning up after pets and small areas inaccessible to full-size vacuum cleaners. Others, however, consider the hose too short and the 4-amp suction inadequate for even minor jobs, let alone pet hair.

Photo credit: Courtesy of homedepot.com

BLACK & DECKER CHV1410L

Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum Under $50
Est. Price: $49 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Wirecutter's budget pick for quick cleanups.
- Excellent performance on bare floors in testing, and okay on other surfaces.
- Users enthuse about the vacuum's overall performance in thousands of 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon.
- Built-in flip-up brush and pull-out crevice tool; rotating nozzle.
- Washable, translucent, 20.6-ounce dust cup.
- Rinsable filter.
- Lightweight, at 2.6 pounds.
- 16-volt lithium-ion battery; quick 4-hour charge time; indicator light.
- 2-year warranty.

Cons:
- Expert testers found the suction insufficient for debris stuck on fabric and carpet.
- Some gripes about short run time.
- No wall mount.

Takeaway: A consumer favorite, this Black & Decker handheld vacuum scores for ease of use and effectiveness on small jobs. Users appreciate the weight, integrated tools, power, and quick recharging. They say emptying and cleaning the dust bowl is a snap, and the price-to-quality ratio is high. The run time is long enough for some but frustratingly short for others (the manufacturer doesn't specify). The unit holds a charge for quite a while when off the base.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

DIRT DEVIL SCORPION QUICK FLIP SD20005RED

Best Corded Handheld Vacuum Under $50
Est. Price: $27 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Powerful 7-amp motor provides enough suction to rival full-size vacuums, according to users.
- Integrated flip-out crevice tool.
- 2.5-foot hose; dusting brush; shoulder strap.
- 3-year warranty.

Cons:
- Narrow 1.5-inch cleaning path.
- Filter is not washable.

Takeaway: One sweep is all it takes to pick up debris and pet hair with the Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip SD20005RED, reviewers say. Users happily trade the restriction of the 16-foot cord for the durability and reliability of power that's ever-present and never flags, unlike with cordless models. This is one of the strongest handheld vacs with a budget price tag, although it's not perfect. Some reviewers harrumph about one thing or another (e.g., the filter clogs, air blows out the back, the crevice tool seems loose). Still, most users report that this little Dirt Devil defeats every challenge thrown its way.

Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

BISSELL PET HAIR ERASER 33A1B

Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair Under $50
Est. Price: $30 | Buy it from Lowe's

Pros:
- Neatly accomplishes its mission of cleaning up after pets, users report.
- Comes with 2 nozzles: a flexible and contoured nozzle for pet hair on stairs and upholstery and a hard nozzle for debris.
- Multi-level filtration.
- Large, washable 26.4-ounce dirt cup.

Cons:
- Dry messes may be scattered by exhaust, experts warn, and pet hair on medium-pile carpet proved a challenge in testing.
- Relatively heavy, at 5 pounds.
- Filter assembly is not washable.
- Comparatively short 1-year warranty.

Takeaway: Many users are satisfied with this Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum, citing its ability to denude rugs and even microfiber couches of pet hair. Consumer product experts laud its performance on bare floors and edges. Reviewers say the suction on this little 4-amp corded vacuum is plenty powerful and note how well the rubber nozzle loosens pet hair so the vacuum can suck it up.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

EUREKA EASY CLEAN 71B

Best Handheld Vacuum for Stairs Under $50
Est. Price: $45 | Buy it from Walmart

Pros:
- Forcefully pulls debris (including pet hair) from carpets, smooth surfaces, and car interiors, according to experts and consumers.
- Visor over the nozzle flips up for vertical vacuuming.
- Integrated hose and crevice tool; motorized brush roll.
- Wide 6-inch cleaning path.
- 20-foot cord with cord wrap.
- Translucent dust cup.
- Washable filter.

Cons:
- Short hose is limiting, some reviewers say, and weakens suction.
- Some users complain that the filter is hard to clean, especially if covered with pet hair.
- Scattered reports about overheating and a short lifespan.
- Comparatively short 1-year warranty.

Takeaway: The Eureka Easy Clean 71B hits the mark with consumer product experts for value and effectiveness, and users heap praise on its muscle when tackling stairs and spot cleanups. The long cord ensures easy maneuverability and 5.5 amps of power on demand. Many reviewers say they switched to this corded hand vac after frustrating experiences with cordless models that quickly poop out. Some find the 4-pound weight a bit on the heavy side and the handle a bit awkward, but a vast majority are thrilled with this powerful and budget-friendly Eureka handheld vacuum.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

BLACK & DECKER PIVOT VAC BDH2000PL

Bonus: Handheld Vacuum With Unique Pivoting Nozzle
Est. Price: $65 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Loaded with power, most reviewers say.
- Performed very well on carpet and car interiors in testing by TopTenReviews, although not as well on hardwood floors.
- Nozzle pivots to different angles and folds down for storage.
- Flip-out brush; pull-out crevice tool.
- 20-volt lithium-ion battery; quick 4-hour charge time.
- 3-stage filtration; washable filter.
- Lightweight, at 3 pounds.
- Charging base can be wall-mounted.
- 2-year warranty.

Cons:
- Small 15-ounce dust cup.
- Some reports of very short run times, the battery not charging, or inadequate suction.
- Scattered grousing about debris getting stuck in the brush or nozzle.

Takeaway: The unique pivot design of the lightweight Black & Decker BDH2000PL earns it a reputation for user-friendly versatility. The nozzle and head can tilt at different angles to better access hard-to reach spots. Some reviewers argue that the vacuum is a tad weak and prone to the usual problems afflicting the cordless segment. The consensus, though, is that this Black & Decker handheld vacuum is easy to hold and devours the dirt, dust, and debris in its path.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

RYOBI ONE+ EVERCHARGE P714K

Bonus: Handheld Vacuum With Interchangeable Battery
Est. Price: $69 | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:
- Interchangeable 18-volt lithium-ion battery fits any power tool in the Ryobi One+ line, and the vacuum can use the batteries from other tools as backup.
- Sufficient power for light-duty work, according to many reviewers.
- Wall-mount adapter/charger; charging status indicator light.
- Large 28-ounce dust cup.
- Lightweight, at 2.2 pounds.
- Washable filter (dual-stage filtration available online only for model No. A32VC04).
- 3-year warranty.

Cons:
- No option for consumers who already have Ryobi One+ tools to purchase this one without a battery.
- Some complaints in reviews about weak suction, power switch failure, exhaust blowing debris, and the battery not holding a charge.
- No attachments.

Takeaway: DIY types already invested in the Ryobi One+ family of power tools will get the most out of the 18-volt Evercharge P714K. Unlike other tools in the line, this vacuum doesn't require the battery to be removed and charged on a base separate from the tool; it recharges while still inside the hand vac. Some users are unimpressed with this recent addition to the Ryobi One+ system, but a majority like it well enough.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

BLACK & DECKER BDH2020FL

Bonus: Cordless Handheld Vacuum Worth a Splurge
Est. Price: $109 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Portable, powerful, comfortable in the hand, and user-friendly, according to reviews.
- 20-volt lithium-ion battery; 4-hour charge time; indicator light.
- Flexible 4-foot hose.
- Translucent, washable, 18.9-ounce dust bowl.
- Multi-stage filtration; washable filter.
- Lightweight, at 3.2 pounds.
- Pet hair brush; crevice tool; accessory storage on the charging base.
- Wirecutter's pick for home and car.
- 2-year warranty.

Cons:
- Scattered complaints about poor suction, failure to hold a charge, and limited lifespan in user reviews on retail sites.

Takeaway: Priced well above the budget segment, the Black & Decker BDH2020FL justifies its perch with 20 volts of power and a 4-foot hose for reaching underneath couches and other spots that are hard to access. Reviewers like the ergonomics, quick recharge time, and cleaning ability in the face of dust, paper shreds, spilled sugar, dead bugs, and the like. Some are less impressed with the suction, saying this Black & Decker handheld vacuum reaches its limits with small, quick jobs and is defeated by shedding pets and ground-in dirt.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

DIRT DEVIL SIMPLISTIK PLUS 3-IN-1 SD22010

Bonus: Stick Vacuum With Detachable Handheld
Est. Price: $25 | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:
- Removable hand vacuum.
- Works well on bare floors, low-pile rugs, steps, and car interiors, users report.
- Featherlight, at 3 pounds.
- Rinsable filter.

Cons:
- Weak 2-amp motor.
- No attachments or rotating brush.
- 18-foot cord is on the short side.
- Some complaints about poor build quality.

Takeaway: The Dirt Devil SimpliStik Plus 3-in-1 is acceptably (sometimes surprisingly) effective in small areas, a majority of users say, and so easy to use. Removing the handle and floor nozzle turns it from a stick vacuum into a handheld. A few reviewers balk at the lack of included tools and others at what they consider indifferent suction. That said, this model's multi-function versatility may come in handy.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

SHARK NAVIGATOR FREESTYLE SV1106

Bonus: Cordless Stick Vacuum
Est. Price: $90 | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:
- Good suction and brush action excel on carpets and pet hair, experts report.
- 2-speed brush roll with settings for carpet and hard floors.
- Swivel steering.
- 14.4-volt battery with 4-hour recharge time.
- Average 17-minute run time on carpets and 24 minutes on bare floors, according to the manufacturer.
- Very lightweight, at 7.5 pounds.

Cons:
- Less effective on bare floors, according to reviews.
- No attachments.
- Scattered reports about weak suction and limited durability.

Takeaway: The cordless Shark Navigator Freestyle surprises and pleases users with its power and convenience. It's the right appliance for quick cleanups or even whole-house cleanups when a full-size vac just isn't practical. Older people, in particular, appreciate the light weight and easy maneuverability, and pet owners like seeing fuzzies and hairballs disappear. The relatively long run times and quick recharge time add functionality, while the neutral color adds aesthetic appeal.

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