Unless you’re one of those rare people that love to vacuum, you’re probably going to feel keeping the floors clean is such a chore. It is for sure something that can feel ordinary and monotonous.
But with the right vacuum, it can be at least a little easier.
Finding the best cheap vacuum makes it even better because you’re not spending a ton of money on an activity you don’t actually enjoy.
Of course, at the same time, you don’t want to pick something up just because it’s cheap. You also want it to do the job well.
How Do You Know What to Choose?
First, you’ll have to get to know the different kinds of vacuums that are out there on the market. There are bagged, bagless, corded, cordless, upright, canister, pet-friendly, and more.
are the ones that have a bag inside the vacuum that collects the dust and debris as you pick it up. Some bags have a seal that keeps the contents from spilling out, and others don’t – so that’s something you may want to know.
don’t have a bag to collect debris, but instead, have canisters that need to be emptied on a regular basis. These don’t require any replacement parts like a bagged vacuum would, but they do need to be cleaned out more often.
are usually more powerful than cordless vacuums, but the cord can sometimes be limiting in the space they allow.
tend to be easier to handle in a room because there is no limit to the distance you can go with it. But they also only run for a certain amount of time before needing to be recharged.
have a floor unit that rolls around on caster wheels and connects to a wand via a hose. Imagine a wet/dry vac, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what it looks like. You can find them in both bagless and bagged designs.
An upright vacuum
is your traditional vacuum. It is probably the one your mom or grandma used to clean when they vacuumed, too. They come in both bagged and bagless varieties.
There are also specialized vacuums that work a little harder than others for different tasks like cleaning up pet hair. These tend to have a stronger suction or special attachments that make cleaning up pet hair much easier for you. Specialized vacuums also tend to be a little more expensive than your everyday Hoover.
Another option to consider would be handheld vacuums. A handheld vacuum isn’t a small unit that you use just for your car, but it can be a powerful vacuum in its own right. Some come with a variety of attachments to help you do the job while others are better suited to spot cleaning.
What About the Filters Inside?
Inside many vacuums, you’ll also find a variety of filters. Some have true HEPA filters while others have HEPA-like filters, and yet another group has more generic filters. True HEPA filters capture allergens and other particles that are as small as 0.3 microns, which means even most of the smallest ones will not be re-released as air passes through.
image source: holmesproducts.com
A HEPA-type filter only captures allergens as small as 0.5 microns, which is a world of difference when you’re comparing allergens. If you don’t have severe allergies, then this is fine and will do an adequate job for what you need.
Alternatively, more generic filters tend to just capture the larger particles while the smaller allergens go right through without stopping. If you suffer from allergies at all, this would not be a good bet. If you’re one of the lucky few that can stop and smell the flowers without ending up with watery eyes and sneezing, then you’re good to go.
What About Extra Expenses?
Certain vacuums are just going to cost a little more over time, so you’ll need to be aware of extra costs, too. Just like any piece of machinery, things break and need replacement from time to time.
As an example, if you chose a bagged vacuum, you’ll need to have replacement bags ready to replace the current one when it fills up. Canister vacuums don’t have this problem, but if the canister were to break, you might need to replace the entire vacuum as opposed to just the canister depending on the model.
Other costs that may add up include replacing belts when needed, or even the roller brush if it were to break. When that happens, you’ll need to decide if it’s worth it to replace the parts or the entire vacuum depending on the cost difference or simply how well the vacuum works.
The same can be said for filters. Some filters are washable and therefore reusable while others need replacing at regular intervals. Different types of filters will have different costs. As an example, a true HEPA filter will be more expensive than a HEPA-like filter.
What Should You Look for in the Best Cheap Vacuums?
So, you know you don’t want to spend a ton of money, but you want a good vacuum. How do you know what to look for though?
One of the things you’ll need to remember is to pay attention to the overall performance of the vacuum. Does it have good suction? What do other people say? Read reviews on the vacuums you’re interested in to get firsthand accounts.
You’ll also want to consider the design and convenience of the vacuum you’re looking at. If it’s too heavy for you to use, then you won’t be as likely to use it. Similarly, if the design makes it difficult to use, then you’re probably not going to want to use it either.
Think about the floors you’re going to be vacuuming, too. Are they hard floors like tile or laminate? If you’ve got carpeting, is it low-pile, mid-pile, or high-pile? If you were to purchase a vacuum that was designed for low-pile carpeting but you’ve got high-pile carpeting, it is not going to perform the way you want.
Alternatively, if you have hardwood floors, you don’t want to get a vacuum that has stiff brush bristles because it will scratch the finish.
If you also want to get the most for your money, you’re going to want to take into account the different attachments that may or may not be available. Do you want to be able to vacuum your drapes or clean your blinds? If you do, you’ll want to make sure that other tools are included so you can use your vacuum in more places than just your floor.
Are Good Vacuums Available for $100 or Less?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes!
There are plenty of good vacuums that are under $100 that will also do the job you need them to do.
Before you pick one, you’ll need to think about its primary use. Do you want it to pick up minor messes or do you want something for whole house cleaning?
Another question you’ll have to ask yourself is do you want something that is easy to move around without the hindrance of a cord or do you not want to have to recharge it between uses?
Finally, you’ll have to question whether or not you prefer a particular design to another. If you would rather have an upright, then go with an upright regardless of the style of vacuum. If you think a canister vac is the bee's knees, then you should purchase one of those.
Without further ado, here is a list of some of the best cheap vacuums available on the market to help you make your choice on where to spend your hard-earned money.
The Best Cheap Vacuums Under $100
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality of performance for a lower price point. That’s why this list is here to get you started.
- Widepath Cleaning - 15" cleaner width gets the job done quickly
- Fabulous Filtration - air passes through rinsable filters after leaving the bag and before it leaves the vacuum, so you...
- Bag made with Allergen Media - Media filters and traps 99% of dust and pollens down to 5 microns
Naturally, having good suction is an important feature of any vacuum cleaner, and the Hoover Tempo has plenty of it. With the 15-inch head, it covers a wide area at every pass.
It is a bit heavier than others, but it does cover ground quickly to get the job done. You can also adjust the height of the head for various flooring types to include hard floors and carpeting.
Sound may or may not be the end-all-be-all for you, though, because this is a very loud vacuum compared to many of its counterparts.
It is also a bagged vacuum, which means you will need to replace bags every so often when they fill up. Keep in mind that you can buy other bags that have HEPA filtration built into them, so that can actually improve the air quality coming out of the vacuum as you use it.
There are also several attachments available on this model which make it reasonably versatile to cover different areas as needed. The cord on the unit, though, may mean you’re moving from outlet to outlet to keep going.
- Lightweight - weighs less than 10 lbs
- Click-lock handle lowers to 31 inches for easy storage
- Automatic Height Adjustment- adjusts to any type of carpet – plus hard floors
If you’re in need of a good vacuum that is easy to store, then the Dirt Devil Dynamite may be the best option for you. The retractable handle makes it much easier to store than others.
It also picks up pet hair reasonably well and has a longer cord. The longer cord makes it so that you don’t need to switch outlets nearly as often.
This vacuum is also a bagless model, which means you will need to empty it on a more regular basis. You also run the risk of re-exposing allergens to the air when you go to empty the contents, so you’ll need to be mindful of when and how you do so.
It is a fairly loud vacuum, too, but if that doesn’t bother you, then the Dirt Devil Dynamite is an excellent choice in overall capability.
- Fast and easy cleaning in a lightweight vacuum with powerful suction and innovative brush design that cleans more on the...
- Innovative brush design rotates down into the carpet to clean more on the initial pass
- Cyclonic System for long lasting, powerful suction. Bag Type : Bagless
The Bissell 9595A is a bagless upright vacuum that has a reusable filter. Right off the bat, this vacuum has some good things going for it.
For one, you won’t have to spend more money replacing bags since you’ll have a canister that fills instead. You’ll also only have to clean the filter occasionally instead of having to replace it entirely. Both will save you money in the long run.
The design for this one has a roller brush that encourages picking up debris on the first pass. It also comes with a TurboBrush attachment that allows you to clean in other places like your furniture or on the stairs.
It weighs 15 lbs. fully assembled, which may or may not be too heavy for you to maneuver easily around your house.
For the average person, the weight probably wouldn’t be too bad, but older individuals may not be able to move it as easily.
- Every BISSELL purchase helps save pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save...
- Dirt cup capacity - 2 liters bag capacity. Portable, Multi-Surface Cleaning
- Powerful suction gets the dirt high and low--great for bare floors, rugs and above-floor cleaning
Canister vacuums can be great if you don’t mind the design. They are usually relatively easy to move around because you’re mainly moving the hose and attachment as opposed to the entire unit that merely follows you wherever you go.
Vacuums like the Bissell Zing also don’t generally take much room to store. It’s also only 11 lbs. which makes it easier to take up and down the stairs as well as move around between rooms.
The filter on this model is also washable which means you don’t have to replace it. Additionally, it is also bagless, so all you’ll have to do is empty the dirt compartment as needed.
Keep in mind, though, that this particular vacuum is on the louder side, so if you want something quieter, you may want to steer clear and look for something else. If you’re looking for good performance and the sound doesn’t bother you, then this canister vacuum is an excellent choice for your cleaning needs.
- Dust cup capacity - 0.56 quarts. The most powerful 18 volt cordless hand vacuum available
- Deep cleaning thanks to an extra-large detachable motorized brush for quick and easy cleanups of pet hair and ground-in...
- Light weight - making it perfect for your home, car, boat, or RV
Shark is a name that has built its reputation on quality products, so it’s no surprise that one of their models made it on this list.
The Pet Perfect II is a handheld vacuum designed to pick up the pet hair that is the bane of pet owners everywhere. The bottom line is that if you have pets, most of them shed at some point, and it is a huge pain to get the hair up off the furniture, the floor, and pretty much everything else.
Shark’s Pet Perfect II uses their patented technology to suck all that hair right up without any problems. Because it’s a handheld vacuum, it is incredibly easy to store. You could even stick it under your bathroom sink if you wanted to.
As a bonus, you’ll be happy to hear that it collects dirt and debris in a cup that is easy to empty and reuse. The filter inside is also washable, so altogether, you won’t have any extra spending to keep it up after purchase.
- 16V Lithium Battery for longer runtime, faster charging and fade-free power
- Spin3Pro Premium Brushroll for powerful carpet & hard floor cleaning
- Odor Trapping Filter to reduce and minimize pet odors
If you’ve decided you want nothing to do with a corded vacuum, then the Dirt Devil Power Swerve is the perfect choice. This cordless vacuum makes it easy for you to go from room to room without worrying about moving to different outlets.
Smaller spaces do well with this vacuum regarding both storage space and cleaning area. The vacuum is slim and stores in the smallest corner of your closet.
This particular vacuum is also a bagless option, so you don’t need to worry about emptying bags. You may need to replace the filter occasionally, but the convenience and space-saving quality of this model may outweigh the cost for that.
Picking the Best Cheap Vacuum for Your Needs
Remember, there are things you need to ask yourself before making a final decision on whether or not to purchase a new vacuum.
Cost, of course, is always a major factor, but you need to ask yourself if the vacuum you’re picking out is going to meet your needs.
As always, read reviews, too, for the models you’re considering purchasing so you can make an informed decision and not be disappointed later on.