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 under $100 that suits your needs.
We've tested over 105 vacuums, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums 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 cleaner under $100 with a canister design that we've tested is the Eureka Mighty Mite. This bagged vacuum is lightweight and compact, making it easy to maneuver in cluttered areas or pick up and carry. It's also remarkably easy to maintain, with the few parts that require regular cleaning being simple to access.
This vacuum delivers fantastic performance on bare, even surfaces like hardwood or tile, easily sucking up pet hair as well as debris like rice or cereal. It does a good job cleaning material on low and high-pile carpet, but you may need to make another pass to fully clean very fine debris. Its primary floorhead has bristles that can be extended or retracted depending on the floor type that you're currently on. You can also remove its extension wand and clean with either its hard-bristle brush or its combination upholstery/crevice tool.
Unfortunately, it does incur some recurring costs in the form of its dirtbag, which needs replacing once it gets full, though it does have an impressively large capacity. The vacuum itself doesn't feel particularly premium either, and its wand can easily fall apart if it isn't put together correctly. However, its affordable price, compact design, and versatile overall cleaning performance make it one of the best vacuums for apartments we've tested.
If you're looking for a canister vacuum that incurs minimal recurring costs, consider the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This bagless canister vacuum has more parts requiring regular cleaning than the Eureka Mighty Mite. That said, it does incur minimal recurring costs since there's no need to replace a dirtbag or its filter periodically. It does a superb job of sucking up debris on bare floors, and it performs slightly better on low and high-pile carpet. Its floorhead bristles can also be retracted or extended depending on the surface you're cleaning. Unfortunately, its selection of tools is very limited, as it only comes with a slide-on soft-bristle brush. It doesn't come with a crevice tool or a hard-bristle brush. It has an even shorter power cord and hose, making it hard to clean hard-to-reach areas and may require you to swap outlets when vacuuming bigger spaces.
Get the Mighty Mite if you want a vacuum that's easier to maintain, should offer superior air filtration performance and has a longer range, but consider the Whirlwind if you don't want to worry about recurring costs.
The best upright vacuum under $100 that we've tested is the BISSELL PowerForce Helix. This budget-friendly upright vacuum delivers excellent overall performance on low and high-pile carpet, easily cleaning pet hair and the majority of fine and large debris. It has a five-level surface-type adjustment feature that enables you to adjust its floorhead height with the twist of a dial.
The only component in this vacuum that needs periodic replacing is its pre-motor filter, so recurring costs are low. Its dirt compartment is also quite large and consequently shouldn't need emptying very often. You can clean hard-to-reach by decoupling its hose from its main body, and it comes with an extension tool, a soft-bristle brush, and a crevice tool.
Unfortunately, this vacuum feels quite flimsy in construction, especially its floorhead wheels and clear plastic dirt compartment. There are quite a few parts that need regular cleaning, and its bulky design and lack of a rotating floorhead can make it tricky to maneuver in tight spaces. Otherwise, if you're looking for an affordable vacuum that can handle messes on carpets, this is a good option.
The best cordless vacuum under $100 with a handheld design we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. It's a compact vacuum with a lightweight, portable design and good build quality. It's easy to maintain, with only a couple of parts that need regular cleaning, and recurring costs are minimal aside from its dust cup filter, which you need to replace periodically.
It performs amazingly well on high-pile carpets, effectively cleaning pet hair and debris like sand and baking soda. It's also versatile and performs remarkably well on low-pile carpets and bare floors. It lacks any suction power adjustments, but it comes with a few extra brushes and tools, including a turbo brush for fabrics and furniture and a crevice tool for tight spots.
Unfortunately, it has a disappointing battery life, lasting roughly over 10 minutes on a full charge. Its dirt compartment is relatively spacious for a handheld model, but it still may need emptying somewhat frequently. For these reasons, it's less suited to cleaning larger areas that require more in-depth cleaning. Still, it's a great, affordable option for spot cleaning, and its versatile performance makes it one of the best multi-surface vacuums we've tested.
If you're looking for a handheld vacuum with a larger dustbin, consider the Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vacuum. This cordless vacuum is slightly heavier than the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ and doesn't come with a turbo brush, but it does have a bigger dirt compartment that shouldn't need emptying quite as often. Its battery life of approximately 15 minutes is slightly longer, and it charges much faster. It delivers exceptional performance on bare floors, though it struggles more with fine debris on carpeted surfaces. Unfortunately, this vacuum also lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. Since it also lacks a soft-bristle brush, you have to be careful not to scratch any delicate surfaces.
Get the Shark if you want a handheld vacuum that performs better on carpeted floors, but consider the Hoover if you want a vacuum with a larger dustbin and better battery performance.
Dec 20, 2021: Substantial article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Recategorized Eureka Mighty Mite from 'Best Vacuum Under $100 For Bare Floors' pick to 'Best Canister Vacuum Under $100' pick. Recategorized Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister from 'Best Vacuum Under $100 For Low-Pile Carpet' pick to 'Bagless Alternative' pick. Re-categorized BISSELL PowerForce Helix from 'Upright Alternative' pick to 'Best Upright Vacuum Under $100' pick. Re-categorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ from 'Best Vacuum Under $100 For High-Pile Carpet' pick to 'Best Handheld Vacuum Under $100' pick. Recategorized Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vacuum from 'Handheld Alternative' pick to 'Alternative With A Larger Dirt Compartment' pick.
Oct 29, 2021: Replaced HoLife HM036E with Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vacuum as 'Handheld Alternative' pick due to current availability. Added Wyze Handheld Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
Sep 01, 2021: Reviewed picks for accuracy and clarity; no change in recommendations.
Jul 05, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
May 06, 2021: Verified that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums 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.