If you're looking for a vacuum under $100, it may seem like you need to make a lot of sacrifices regarding performance. However, vacuums have become more affordable over time and can offer versatility that comes close to their higher-priced counterparts. While you still may have to make some choices between extra tools or better build quality, it's possible to find a vacuum for under $100 that suits your needs.
We've tested over 130 vacuums, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums for under $100 that you can buy. If you're looking for more, check out our recommendations for the best handheld vacuums, the best upright vacuums, and the best lightweight vacuums.
The best vacuum priced under $100 that we've tested is the Eureka Mighty Mite. This bagged canister vacuum is lightweight and compact, so it's easy to maneuver in cluttered areas or stow away when not in use. It also has a remarkably easy-to-maintain design, so you can quickly access its filter and dirtbag. It delivers fantastic performance on bare and does a good job cleaning material on low-pile carpet if you retract the bristles on its floorhead. However, it isn't the best option for cleaning thicker carpet since it doesn't come with a motorized or turbobrush floorhead for improved surface agitation. You can also remove its extension wand and clean it with either its hard-bristle brush or its combination upholstery/crevice tool.
If you don't want to deal with the hassle of replacing a dirtbag periodically, the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister is a great alternative, though shaking out a dustbin isn't as effortless a process as tossing out a filled dustbag. It also has a shorter range than the Mighty Mite.
If you're looking for an upright model, the BISSELL PowerForce Helix is among the best vacuum cleaners under $100 we've tested. If you're willing to sacrifice the Eureka Mighty Mite's maneuverability in exchange for improved debris pickup performance on carpets, it's worth a look. Its powered floorhead has five levels of height adjustment, which is rare for a vacuum at this price point, and allows it to clear away debris on carpets with minimal fuss. If you need to clear debris from hard-to-reach areas, you can clean them with the vacuum's hose and soft-bristle dusting brush or crevice tool.
Unfortunately, its bulky design and fixed-angle floorhead make it a little tricky to maneuver in tight spaces, especially when trying to clean under tables and chairs. There's no off switch for its brushroll, so be careful when cleaning around loose obstructions like rug tassels since they can get tangled in the floorhead. Want a vacuum with a larger dustbin? Check out the Dirt Devil Endura Max, but note that it doesn't do as well on carpeted floors.
If you're looking for a lightweight, all-purpose vacuum that won't break the bank, the BISSELL Featherweight Stick is worth a look. It falls short of the Eureka Mighty Mite and BISSELL PowerForce Helix with debris pickup performance, especially in dealing with messes on carpeted floors. However, at about three pounds, it's remarkably lightweight, making it a good option for elderly users who don't want something too heavy to carry around. Its simple design also makes it easy to maintain, as the few parts that need regular cleaning are easy to access. You can easily reconfigure it into a compact handheld vacuum to clean tight spots by merely removing its handle.
It does a fantastic job dealing with pet hair on different surface types. It's also impressively effective in dealing with small debris, though it can have quite a bit of trouble dealing with bulkier material, especially as its dustbin fills up. Hazards like rug tassels can also get stuck in its floorhead, requiring you to turn off the vacuum and pull them out. It has a very short power cord, so you might need to swap outlets when vacuuming far-away areas.
If you're shopping for a budget-friendly handheld, the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ is a great choice and is the best cordless vacuum under $100 that we've tested. Given its handheld design, it isn't as well-suited to cleaning large areas as the Eureka Mighty Mite or even the BISSELL Featherweight Stick, but it's still a great choice if you only need a vacuum for spot-cleaning small areas. It delivers superb debris pickup on bare surfaces like countertops and does an excellent job clearing away messes on carpets. It's decently effective when dealing with debris wedged in cracks and crevices too. It comes with a miniature turbo brush with a self-cleaning brushroll for dealing with debris on upholstered surfaces, not to mention a crevice tool and a hard-bristle brush for dislodging stuck-on dirt and debris.
However, it does a terrible job of sealing in fine particles, in part due to its lack of a HEPA filter. Its short battery life of just over 10 minutes also forces you to work fast when dealing with bigger messes. If those are serious issues, you could consider the Wyze Handheld Vacuum, which does a much better job trapping allergens and can run for up to half an hour on a charge. However, its dustbin is much smaller than the Shark's and will need frequent emptying. It's also quite hard to find in some markets.
Feb 14, 2023: Verified that all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs.
Dec 16, 2022: Ensured all main picks still represent the best option for user needs and preferences.
Oct 19, 2022: Recategorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as 'Best Handheld Vacuum Under $100'. Removed 'Best Vacuum Under $50' category. Ensured all other picks are still available and are in line with user needs and expectations.
Jun 30, 2022: Article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Recategorized Eureka Mighty Mite as 'Best Vacuum Under $100'. Added Wyze Handheld Vacuum as 'Best Vacuum Under $50'. Added BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 as new 'Best Lightweight Vacuum Under $100' pick. Removed Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister and Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vacuum from main recommendations. Removed BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet from Notable Mentions due to current availability.
Apr 20, 2022: Recategorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as 'Best Cordless Vacuum Under $100' pick. Ensured all main picks are still available and in line with user needs and expectations.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuum cleaners for under $100 to buy. We factor in a fairly wide range of factors, including availability, price, and reader feedback.
If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our vacuum reviews under $100. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is 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.