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 115 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best budget vacuum cleaners. These recommendations are based not only on their price but also on 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 cordless vacuum has a remarkably compact body that can be easily stored in most cupboards or cabinets and weighs very little, making it easy to carry from room to room. It also feels well-built, with a fairly dense body made of hard plastic, and is fairly simple to maintain. It offers longer overall battery life for a vacuum of this size, with a runtime of over half an hour when used in its default power setting.
One unique point for a vacuum of this type and in this price range is its onboard HEPA filter that's quite effective when sealing in fine particles. It's also remarkably effective when clearing away small debris and pet hair on bare surfaces, like countertops and shelves or hardwood floors. It also delivers good overall performance on low and high-pile carpets and rugs, though you might need to make an extra pass to clear away fine debris that's been worked into carpet fibers.
Unfortunately, this vacuum's dirt compartment is tiny and consequently needs frequent emptying. It also struggles with sucking up bulky debris, which can get jammed at its suction inlet. Still, its compact size, onboard HEPA filter, and reasonably strong performance make it one of the best lightweight vacuums 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 bulkier than the Wyze Handheld Vacuum and lacks a suction power adjustment feature. Its dirt compartment is significantly bigger, and it has a much easier time clearing bulkier debris 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 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, 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 fast 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 clearing bulky debris.
The best cheap vacuum with a corded design that we've tested is the BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033. This basic vacuum has a remarkably lightweight plastic construction, making it a good option for elderly users. Its simple design also makes it easy to maintain, as the few parts that need regular cleaning are very easy to access. As long as you clean its dust cup filter and pre-motor mesh filter regularly, you shouldn't need to worry about recurring costs.
You can easily reconfigure it into a compact handheld vacuum to clean tight spots by merely removing its handle. The vacuum does a fantastic job of dealing with pet hair on a wide variety of surface types. It performs impressively well on flat, even surfaces like hardwood or linoleum, easily clearing small debris, though it can have quite a bit of trouble dealing with bulkier material as its dustbin fills up.
Unfortunately, this vacuum's floorhead is very basic, with no motorized brushroll or even an air-driven turbo brush, so it isn't the best choice if you have a lot of dense carpeting in your home. Loose obstructions like rug tassels can also get stuck in its floorhead, requiring you to turn off the vacuum and pull them out. It also has a very short power cord, so you might need to swap outlets when vacuuming larger areas. Otherwise, it's a solid option if you're looking for a no-frills, highly-portable vacuum.
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. However, the floorhead does have a brushroll, so it does a better job clearing debris from low and high-pile carpet. Its five-level surface type adjustment feature also allows you to adapt to varying floor types on the fly, which is an unusual feature on a vacuum at this price point. It also has a much bigger dirt compartment that doesn't need emptying as frequently. Its pre-motor filter shouldn't need replacing too often, so recurring costs aren't especially high. Unfortunately, its all-plastic construction doesn't feel 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 we've tested is the yeedi K650. This basic robot vacuum does a superb job clearing debris on bare floors and performs reasonably well on high-pile carpets. It offers four different suction power modes to suit different surface types, and you can set its cleaning pattern to clean the edges of a room or a small area.
Despite its budget-friendly price, it feels well-built, with a matte-finish plastic body and wheels with rubber treads. Its dirt compartment is a little larger than most other robot vacuums. Battery performance is also remarkable, with a battery life of roughly anywhere between 50 minutes to four hours, depending on your suction power mode and usage habits.
Unfortunately, it can struggle with sucking up pet hair on carpeted surfaces, and it doesn't have an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. Due to its lack of an advanced room mapping system, it occasionally bumps into objects, including its charging dock. Also, it has many parts that need regular cleaning or replacing, so recurring costs are high. Still, if you're looking for an affordable robot vacuum that can easily handle messes on bare floors, this is a good option.
The best budget vacuum we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. Despite this vacuum's affordable price point, it does a fantastic job dealing with small and bulky debris on bare floors. While its main floorhead doesn't have a powered brushroll or an air-driven turbo brush, it does have bristles that you can retract for cleaning carpets, and it delivers good overall performance on low and high-pile carpets. It's also impressively effective when sucking up debris in shallow cracks and crevices.
This vacuum's compact size and lightweight construction allow you to maneuver it in tight spaces or pick it up and carry it from room to room without too much effort. While it doesn't have a HEPA filter, it's still somewhat effective in trapping fine particles. It's also easy to maintain, and as long as you clean its filters regularly, recurring costs shouldn't be a worry.
Unfortunately, its selection of attachments is very limited, as this vacuum only comes with a slide-on soft-bristle dusting brush. It also has a very short power cable, so you'll probably need to swap outlets when vacuuming larger rooms. Still, if you want a versatile canister vacuum for a budget-friendly price, this is a great choice.
If you're looking for the best budget vacuum with a cordless design, consider the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. This stick vacuum doesn't offer the virtually indefinite runtime of the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister and has a smaller dustbin that needs more frequent emptying. However, its cordless design allows you to clear with ease. Also, you can easily convert it into a handheld configuration. It delivers superior performance on high-pile carpets and does a similarly fantastic job dealing with pet hair on most floor types, though bulky debris can get stuck at the entry to its dustbin. It has a washable allergen-trapping HEPA filter, resulting in a near-total absence of recurring costs. Depending on your suction power mode and attachments, it supplies roughly 10 minutes to an hour of runtime, which should be sufficient for vacuuming most rooms. Unfortunately, it does have quite a few parts that need regular cleaning, and some of its plastic parts scratch easily.
Get the Eureka if you're looking for a corded vacuum, but consider the Wyze if you value the go-anywhere range of a cordless vacuum.
May 06, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best fit for user needs and expectations. Added Eureka Mighty Mite to Notable Mentions.
Mar 09, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and are in line with user needs and expectations.
Jan 10, 2022: Ensured that all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for their given category.
Nov 11, 2021: Added Wyze Cordless Vacuum as new 'Cordless Alternative' pick.
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.
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.