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 65 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 for bare floors that we've tested is the Eureka Mighty Mite. This affordable canister model delivers an outstanding performance on bare floors, where it easily clears pet hair and debris like sand and baking soda. It doesn't feel very heavy in your hand, and it's easy to maneuver under low furniture or around obstacles like chair legs.
The main head has bristles that can be extended to better clean bare floors. There's also a slip ring on the hose that you can use to manually adjust the suction level. You can use it in a semi-handheld configuration by detaching part of the wand, which is useful if you're cleaning stairs or shelves. It's also exceptionally easy to maintain since you only need to replace the dirtbag when it's full and clean the filter when needed.
Unfortunately, it has a plasticky build quality that looks a little cheap. It also incurs some recurring costs because it uses a dirtbag, and if you're vacuuming up a lot of fine debris like sawdust or powder, the manufacturer recommends replacing it more often. That said, its exceptional performance makes it a great choice if you want a budget vacuum to keep your laminate or hardwood floors clean.
If you want a vacuum that can tackle messes on your kitchen counters, or if you're just looking for something easier to carry around, try the HoLife HM036E. Since it's a cordless handheld model with a small dirt compartment, it's not as well-suited for cleaning big rooms as the Eureka Mighty Mite, but it's much more portable and has a similarly outstanding performance on bare floors. It comes equipped with a HEPA filter, which is great if you're concerned about allergens. Although we don't test it currently, it also has a liquid nozzle for sucking up spills and other wet messes. However, it only has one power setting, and its battery only provides roughly 20 minutes of continuous runtime, making it less suitable for long cleaning sessions.
Go for the Eureka if you have a lot of bare floors to keep clean or don't want to worry about running out of battery. If you want something more portable and suitable for spot-cleaning, consider the HoLife instead.
The best vacuum cleaner under $100 for low-pile carpet that we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This corded, canister-style model can easily pick up debris like pet hair and sand from low-pile carpet, and while it has a bit more trouble with finer debris like baking soda, its overall performance on this type of surface is amazing.
It has virtually no recurring costs because it doesn't use a dirtbag and has washable, reusable filters. Maintaining it is simple since it's easy to take apart and put back together. It's also not as heavy as many other canister-style models and feels really light in your hand. It has good overall maneuverability, with a rotating head so you can easily steer around furniture. While it doesn't come with many tools or brushes, part of the wand can be detached, so it can be used in a semi-handheld configuration, which could be useful for cleaning stairs or your car.
Unfortunately, it's a bit bulky and doesn't have any onboard storage for its accessories, so it's not the easiest to store. Also, it doesn't have very good range because of its rather short cord, which could be annoying, especially if you're trying to clean a big area. Still, its exceptional performance on bare floors and lightweight design make it a great budget option.
The best vacuum cleaner under $100 for high-pile carpet that we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This handheld model is lightweight and portable, with sturdy build quality. It delivers an amazing performance on high-pile carpets, where it easily picks up most pet hair and debris.
It comes with a few tools and brushes that can help with different cleaning jobs, like a crevice tool for getting into narrow areas and a turbo brush to dislodge dirt from fabric-covered furniture. The only part that needs to be replaced regularly is the dust cup filter, so it doesn't incur many recurring costs, and its design makes it easy to assemble and maintain. This vacuum is also fantastic at cleaning low-pile carpets and bare floors.
Unfortunately, it has a short battery life of roughly 10 minutes, so you need to work quickly if you have a big mess to deal with. It also has a fairly small dirt compartment, which is normal for a handheld model. That said, its versatile performance makes it a great choice for spot-cleaning. It's also one of the best multi-surface vacuums we've tested.
If you have a lot of carpets to keep clean, consider the BISSELL PowerForce Helix instead. While this upright model doesn't clean carpets quite as well as the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+, it's better-suited for big areas, thanks to its corded design and much larger dirt compartment. The vacuum doesn't lose suction as it fills up, and there are five different surface type adjustment settings, so you can move from vacuuming high-pile carpets to hardwood floors. You can also switch it into a semi-handheld configuration if you're cleaning stairs or the interior of your car. Unfortunately, it isn't very maneuverable, in part because it lacks a rotating head, which may make it more difficult to clean tight or cluttered areas.
Go for the Shark if you want the option with the best performance on high-pile carpet and mostly need something for spot-cleaning. Try the BISSELL instead if you're looking for an affordable vacuum that can tackle area rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting.
Jan 14, 2021: Verified that we're still recommending the best products and that they're in stock.
Nov 12, 2020: Replaced the BISSELL PowerForce Helix with the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ in the Best Vacuum Under $100 For High-Pile Carpet category. Replaced the BISSELL Zing Bagless Canister with the BISSELL PowerForce Helix as 'Upright Alternative'.
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.