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 85 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 canister model does a fantastic job of cleaning bare surfaces like linoleum and hardwood flooring, where it easily clears pet hair as well as debris like sand and cereal. It uses a spacious dirtbag, and its performance stays consistent as it fills up.
It feels light in your hand and is easy to maneuver around furniture and other obstacles. The main head has bristles that can be extended to help clean bare floors. You can also detach part of the wand to use the vacuum in a semi-handheld configuration, which is great if you want to clean awkward areas like stairs or your car. Aside from the dirtbag, which needs to be replaced when it's full, there should be virtually no recurring costs, and it's also an incredibly easy vacuum to maintain.
Unfortunately, it's entirely made of plastic, which makes it look a bit cheap. Also, while it's fairly easy to assemble, and you need to be careful to clip the wand together properly, or it could come apart. Otherwise, it's a great option if you're looking for an affordable way to clean the floors in your home or garage. It's even one of the best canister vacuums we've tested.
If you're looking for something more portable, you may prefer the HoLife HM036E. This cordless handheld model isn't as well-suited for long cleaning sessions as the Eureka Mighty Mite, but it's a lot easier to carry around and has a similarly superb performance on bare floors. It easily clears pet hair and debris from surfaces like tile and linoleum. It even comes with a liquid nozzle that you can use to suck up spills, although we don't test it currently. It's equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter and comes with a few tools and brushes, including a crevice tool for getting into tight corners. However, like most handheld vacuums, it has a small dirt compartment that needs to be emptied often. Also, its battery only provides roughly 20 minutes of continuous use, so you need to work quickly if you have a big mess to clean up.
If you have a big area to keep clean and don't want to worry about battery life, go for the Eureka. On the other hand, if you need a vacuum mostly for spot-cleaning small messes, the HoLife is a great alternative.
The best vacuum cleaner under $100 for low-pile carpet that we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This corded canister vacuum delivers excellent performance on this surface type, where it easily clears pet hair as well as larger debris like sand, though it struggles a little more with finer material like baking soda. In any case, suction performance remains consistent as its dirt compartment fills up, so you shouldn't need to empty it too often.
It's also impressively lightweight, which makes it easy to pick and carry, and is also quite maneuverable, which is good for cleaning tighter, more cluttered areas. Its main vacuum head features retractable bristles, which help clean carpeted surfaces. Few parts need to be periodically cleaned, so it isn't too demanding in terms of maintenance either. Recurring costs are also virtually absent thanks to the vacuum's bagless design and washable, reusable filter.
Unfortunately, its power cord is very short, so you may need to swap electrical outlets when cleaning larger rooms. Its lack of a storage rack for its wand or bristle brush also makes it a bit of a hassle to store. Otherwise, its versatile overall performance and lightweight bagless design help make it one of the best vacuum cleaners with good suction that we've tested.
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. This upright vacuum isn't nearly as maneuverable or portable as the cordless handheld Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+, but its corded design makes it much better suited for cleaning large spaces. It has a five-level surface adjustment feature that should help you maneuver the vacuum more easily on high-pile carpet. It does a great job of clearing debris from high-pile carpet, as it clears pet hair without issue and sucks up a relatively good amount of fine and large debris, like baking soda or sand, but it may take an extra pass to clear everything. It doesn't incur too many recurring costs and has a spacious dirt compartment that doesn't need to be emptied too often. Unfortunately, it feels rather cheaply made, and its lack of a rotating head can make it hard to navigate cluttered spaces.
Get the Shark if you're looking for a cordless vacuum better-suited to spot cleaning, but take a look at the BISSELL if you frequently find yourself needing to clean larger areas.
May 06, 2021: Verified that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
Mar 15, 2021: Verified picks to ensure that the best products are being recommended and that they're in stock.
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.