If you're looking for a cheap vacuum, you may be surprised by how good of a performance you can get from budget-friendly options. The current product landscape has yielded many choices that should have little trouble cleaning different kinds of debris, though you might have to make sacrifices in terms of premium features or build quality.
We've tested over 95 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best value vacuums. These recommendations are based not only on their price but also their design and performance. For more buying recommendations, take a look at our list of the best vacuums under $100, the best handheld vacuums, and the best lightweight vacuums.
The Wyze Handheld Vacuum is the best cheap vacuum with a cordless design that we've tested. This compact cordless vacuum delivers good performance on bare floors, where it easily sucks up pet hair as well as small debris like rice, though it struggles somewhat with clearing bulkier material like cereal. It also performs very well on low and high-pile carpets. If you have a particularly stubborn mess to deal with, you can increase its suction power by quickly tapping its main power button.
Depending on your choice of suction power mode, this vacuum supplies roughly anywhere between 10 minutes to half an hour of runtime, which is fairly lengthy by the standards of a handheld vacuum. It comes with a relatively broad selection of tools and accessories, including a dedicated upholstery tool and an extension hose for reaching hard-to-reach spots. It feels well-built, is decently easy to maintain, and incurs low recurring costs, with the only part requiring regular replacement being its allergen-trapping HEPA filter assembly.
Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly for a vacuum of this size, its dirt compartment is very small, so you need to empty it very often. It's also worth noting that you can't use most of its accessories if you lose the included attachment adapter, and it doesn't come with a motorized turbo brush. Still, it's one of the best cheap vacuum cleaners we've tested, and its portable design and versatile overall performance also make it one of the best handheld vacuums that we've tested.
If you're looking for a cheap handheld vacuum but don't want to empty a dustbin quite as often, consider the Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L. This cordless model is notably bulkier than the Wyze Handheld Vacuum and lacks a suction power adjustment feature, but its dirt compartment is significantly bigger, and it has a much easier time clearing bulkier debris like cereal from bare floors. It also feels well-built, has few parts that need regular cleaning and incurs low recurring costs. However, it struggles somewhat with clearing fine debris, like baking soda, from low and high-pile carpets. It also doesn't come with a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean. Its selection of tools and accessories is somewhat smaller than the Wyze, as it includes only a combination crevice tool/extension wand/hard bristle brush. It only supplies roughly 10 minutes of runtime on a single charge, so you need to work quickly when dealing with bigger messes, though it's worth noting that battery life can vary in the real world.
Get the Wyze if you're looking for a smaller vacuum with a broader feature set, but consider the Black+Decker if you want a larger dustbin and better performance in regards to clearing bulky debris.
The best cheap vacuum with a corded design that we've tested is the BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033. This unusual upright model has relatively few parts, making it easy to disassemble for maintenance or reconfigure into a handheld to access tight spots. Its bagless design and use of washable, reusable filters result in virtually no recurring costs to worry about, either.
It offers great performance on bare floors, where it easily clears pet hair as well as debris like rice or cereal, as long as its dirt compartment remains mostly empty. It does a decent job on low-pile carpet, where it clears most pet hair and coarse material, like sand. Thanks to its lightweight design, it can be maneuvered even in tight or closed-off spaces.
Unfortunately, its suction performance drops significantly as its dirt compartment fills up, especially when trying to suck up bulky debris. It also struggles quite a bit with clearing fine debris like baking soda from low and high-pile carpet. Still, if you prefer the indefinite runtime of a corded connection to clean larger spaces, this is a good choice.
If you're looking for a corded vacuum that delivers better performance on carpeted floors, consider the BISSELL PowerForce Helix. This corded upright isn't as easy to carry around or store compared to the BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 and delivers inferior performance on bare floors, but it does a better job of clearing debris from both low and high-pile carpet and has a five-level surface type adjustment feature. It also has a much bigger dirt compartment that doesn't need emptying as often. Its pre-motor filter shouldn't need replacing too often, so recurring costs aren't especially high either. Unfortunately, like the Featherweight, its all-plastic construction doesn't feel especially sturdy, and many parts require regular cleaning. Its bulky design and lack of a rotating vacuum head make it difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
Get the Featherweight if maneuverability and portability are bigger concerns, but take a look at the PowerForce if you prioritize cleaning performance on carpeted surfaces.
The best cheap robot vacuum that we've tested is the yeedi K650. This budget-friendly robot vacuum feels quite well-built, with a matte-finish hard plastic body and rubber-treaded wheels. It's also lightweight, making it easy to pick up and carry to another floor, and is small enough to clean under couches and tables without getting stuck.
The vacuum has four different suction power modes that you can choose from via its companion app. Battery performance is also fantastic, as you can expect roughly anywhere between 50 to over 230 minutes of runtime on a single charge depending on your choice of settings and usage habits. It delivers superb cleaning performance on bare floors, where it easily clears pet hair, bulky debris like cereal, and small debris like rice. It does an okay job of clearing debris like sand or baking soda from high-pile carpet, though it might take an extra pass to clear all of it.
Unfortunately, this vacuum's performance on low-pile carpets is middling, as it really struggles to clear pet hair as well as fine debris like baking soda from this surface type. It can also get stuck on rug tassels, and its simple navigation system means that it occasionally bumps into obstacles. Also, like many robot vacuums, many parts need regular cleaning or replacing. Still, if you're looking for an affordable robot vacuum that performs very well on bare floors, this is a good choice.
The best budget vacuum that we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This corded canister model is a bit pricier than most other options on this list, but it also delivers more versatile performance. It's fantastic at cleaning pet hair and debris from bare floors and also does a good job on low and high-pile carpets.
It feels light in your hand, and it has a handle so you can easily carry it between rooms. You can use it in a semi-handheld configuration by detaching the wand from the head, which is useful when you're cleaning shelves or stairs. The wand can also extend to help you reach high-up spots or behind furniture, and it comes with a soft bristle brush for cleaning delicate objects like lampshades or curtains. It's easy to maintain and incurs virtually no recurring costs, thanks to its bagless design and washable filters.
Unfortunately, its power cord is on the short side, so if you're cleaning a big room or staircase, you may need to swap outlets once or twice. It also lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. That said, if you're looking for an affordable vacuum that can help with a variety of cleaning jobs, this one's a great option.
Sep 14, 2021: Replaced HoLife HM036E with Wyze Handheld Vacuum as 'Best Cheap Cordless Vacuum' due to current availability. Replaced 'Smaller Alternative' category pick with 'Alternative With A Larger Dustbin' category. Removed Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L from Notable Mentions.
Jul 29, 2021: Replaced BISSELL AeroSlim with Wyze Handheld Vacuum as 'Smaller Alternative' pick. Added BISSELL AeroSlim to Notable Mentions.
Jun 01, 2021: Removed eufy RoboVac 11S from recommendations due to current pricing. Added BISSELL PowerForce Helix 'Alternative With Better Performance On Carpets' pick. Removed iRobot Roomba 692 and bObsweep Bob Pro from Notable Mentions due to current pricing.
Apr 02, 2021: Replaced the iRobot Roomba E5 with the eufy Robovac 11S as the 'Low-Pile Carpet Alternative' to the 'Best Cheap Robot Vacuum', because of its lower price point. Verified the other picks to make sure the best products are still recommended and that they're available.
Feb 01, 2021: Replaced the iRobot Roomba E5 with the Yeedi K650 as 'Best Cheap Robot Vacuum'. Made the iRobot the 'More Maneuverable Alternative' and moved the eufy RoboVac 11S to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best value vacuums to buy. We factor in a fairly wide range of other factors, including availability, performance, and reader feedback.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for vacuums priced under $100. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While there is no single best vacuum for cheap that's perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.