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If your budget, life situation, or cleaning routine doesn’t warrant spending hundreds of dollars on a vacuum cleaner, don’t worry, you can still find a model (be it a stick, canister, upright, or even robotic vacuum) that will keep your space clean and tidy without destroying your budget. The vacuums below might have a few limitations compared to our overall best vacuum picks, but they will still get the job done and capture pet hair, dust, and debris, but at a fraction of the cost.
While they won’t last forever, these vacuums will do their jobs for a few years, until you’re in a position to upgrade your machine.
Here, the best budget vacuums on the market right now.
Best Overall: EUREKA NES210 Blaze 3-in-1 Swivel Lightweight Stick Vacuum
Weight: 3.97 pounds | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cord Length: 18 feet | Included Accessories: Crevice tool
With the Eureka Blaze, you're essentially paying for three cleaning tools in one—at a price that can't be beat. This top-rated budget pick weighs less than 4 pounds and functions as an upright stick vacuum with an 18-foot cord, a handheld vacuum, and a stair vacuum. Wherever you take it around the house, it handily picks up pet hair, dust, and small debris. Our reviewer noted that it may struggle to suck up larger debris without clogging while in the upright mode, but the wider mouth on the dust buster insert should solve that issue.
This model comes with a crevice tool and steers on a swivel, allowing it to access nooks and crannies high and low. It works exceedingly well on hardwood, tile, linoleum, and low-pile rugs, but may need multiple passes to remove dirt from fluffy, high-pile carpeting. Whether you're tidying up the staircase or clearing crumbs out of the furniture, this versatile vacuum will get the job done, without leaving a dent in your wallet.
"The vacuum is a three-in-one model, so you can detach the vacuum head and it becomes a dustbuster with a much wider mouth. For this reason, we found that the Eureka Blaze was perfect for pet owners as well as families with kids. The gadget is easy to maneuver and the head attachment expertly swivels to fit in hard-to-reach places, including under coffee tables and couches that are just a few inches off the ground."— Karen Tietjen, Product Tester
Best Cordless: Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Stick Cordless Bagless Vacuum
Weight: 7.5 pounds | Battery Life: Not listed | Bin Volume: 20.48 ounces | Included Accessories: None
Effective at removing pet hair
Steeper price point
Don’t want to be limited by a power cord as you clean? Then you need a cordless vacuum like the powerful Shark Navigator Freestyle Stick Vacuum. This lightweight design is great for quick cleanup jobs on all types of surfaces, and it has a runtime of around 24 minutes on bare floors and 17 minutes on carpets.
The Shark Navigator needs four hours to charge up the battery, and at 7.5 pounds, it’s light enough to carry all around your home. It offers a two-speed brushroll for carpets and bare floors, and the extra-large dust cup is easy to empty. With its 20-ounce dust bin, this stick vacuum excels at picking up pet hair, making it a great investment for pet owners.
Best Handheld: BLACK+DECKER Dusbuster Handheld Vacuum
Weight: 2.6 pounds | Battery Life: 10 minutes | Bin Volume: 20.6 ounces | Included Accessories: Flip-up brush tool, crevice tool
Powerful for a handheld vacuum
Louder than expected
No indicator light when charging
Handheld vacuums are ideal for picking up small messes around the house, and one of the top-rated affordable products in this category is the Black+Decker Dustbuster. This compact vacuum weighs about 2 pounds, and its lithium battery provides strong suction and a runtime of 10 minutes.
This handheld vacuum has a larger dust cup, allowing you to collect 50 percent more dirt before you need to empty it, and the washable bowl and filter let you keep the transparent vacuum looking pristine. Its wide mouth is great for picking up large debris—like spilled ingredients in the kitchen—and the vacuum comes with a wall mount so it’s always within reach.
This inexpensive vacuum comes with a crevice tool and brush tool, plus it delivers impressive suction and is easy to clean.
"This handy tool is undoubtedly powerful. In our experience, it effortlessly sucked up particles of all sizes, including dirt, pet hair, cereal, stray kibble, and kicked-out kitty litter. With its angled nozzle, it easily fits in and under small places, plus two additional attachments—a crevice tool and a brush tool—make it even more versatile."—Karen Tietjen, Product Tester
Best Robot: Pure Clean Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Battery Life: 90 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Mapping: No | Filter Type: Replaceable | Brush Type: Side brushes | Smart Capabilities: No
Spinning side brushes
Limited dust bin capacity
Random cleaning path
Robotic vacuums can be really expensive—new models often cost close to $1,000! However, you can get the hands-off cleaning abilities of a robot vacuum at an affordable price with the Pure Clean Automatic Robot Vacuum. This affordable model costs is a fraction of the price, and it has all the features you’d expect—and then some.
The Pure Clean Robot Vacuum has a 90-minute run time, and all you have to do to start it is press a button! It works well on tile, hard floors, and short carpets, and it has a built-in cliff sensor that will stop it from falling down stairs. This robot vacuum has a thin 3-inch profile that lets it fit under furniture, and it picks up dirt and dust with its dual rotating brushes. The Pure Clean Robot Vacuum does a great job capturing pet hair and dirt, making it a wonderful option for daily tidying.
Best Canister: Bissell Zing Bagless Canister Vacuum
Weight: 7.5 pounds | Bin Volume: 33.28 ounces | Cord Length: 15 feet | Included Accessories: Brush tool, crevice tool
Large dirt cup
Somewhat flimsy design
No built-in storage for attachments
If you’re partial to canister vacuums, the Bissell Zing is a budget-friendly option that doesn't skimp on performance. This bagless model uses cyclonic technology to create powerful suction that captures dirt on both carpets and hard floors.
The Bissell Zing weighs less than 8 pounds, making it easy to move around your home. It has a 15-foot retractable power cord, and the large cup holds over 30 ounces of dirt (plus, it's easy to empty with the push of a button). You can alternate between cleaning carpets (even thick, high-pile rugs) and hard floors with the flip of a switch, and the vacuum comes with a crevice tool and dusting brush, as well.
Best for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum
Weight: 5 pounds | Bin Volume: 16.9 ounces | Cord Length: 16 feet | Included Accessories: None
Extremely effective at removing pet hair
Relatively large dust cup
Not designed for big cleanups
If you have one or more pets, you know how quickly pet hair can take over your home. Regular vacuuming and dusting is a must in pet households, and the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser will be a welcome addition to your cleaning arsenal.
This compact corded hand vacuum is specially designed to tackle pet hair. The rubber nozzle lets you remove more hair from furniture and stairs, and the suction nozzle works wonders on dry messes around the house. Plus, this handheld vacuum holds almost 17 ounces of dirt, has a multi-level filtration system to trap household allergens, and its lightweight design is perfect for cleaning the stairs or even the inside of your car! The rubber nozzle for this vacuum is a particularly useful feature, as it scrapes the hair off carpets and furniture with ease.
"One of our favorite design features is the vacuum’s roomy, bagless dust cup. The 0.78-liter cup was large enough to suck up loads of long blonde fur from our Shar-Pei/Golden Retriever mix. Unless you have a couple of Saint Bernards or a whole litter of Maine Coon kittens, you probably won’t need to empty the vacuum between every use."—Karen Tietjen, Product Tester
Best Bagged: Eureka Lightweight Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum
Weight: 8.5 pounds | Bin Volume: 81.6 ounces | Cord Length: 20 feet | Included Accessories: Dusting and upholstery combination tool, crevice tool
Easy to empty
Allergy sufferers often benefit from using a bagged vacuum, rather than a bagless model, because it ensures that any allergens it sucks up stay sealed away until its bag is safely tossed in the trash. This bagged option from Eureka provides that same sense of security, as it's capable of containing a formidable amount of dirt, but at an approachable price.
In addition to its triple filtration bag system, this corded model features a highly portable and lightweight design, a deluxe floor brush, a bare floor nozzle, and a blower port that should come in handy when vacuuming the garage or porch. Meanwhile, the included crevice tool and upholstery brush make messes in corners and on furniture easy to access. Irritating dust, dander, and debris won't stand a chance against this mighty little machine.
Best for Hard Floors: Bissell FeatherWeight Lightweight Stick Vacuum
Weight: 2.6 pounds | Bin Volume: 22.6 ounces | Cord Length: 15 feet | Included Accessories: Crevice tool
Weak suction on carpet
Not only does the Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum come in several stylish colors, it makes cleaning up hard surfaces a snap. It can even clean up minor messes on countertops, thanks to its dust buster attachment.
This vacuum’s dirt tank empties easily and holds up to .6 liters of debris. Its 15-foot cord wraps tidily around the length of the stick's handle, allowing you to store it without risk of it getting tangled. For quick cleanups on furniture or in small spaces, switch to the crevice tool. The floor nozzle can handle the rest. Behind its flashy color and simple design, Bissell's Featherweight is a highly effective, ultra lightweight vacuum for hard floors—you may never use your broom again.
Eureka’s Blaze 3-in-1 Swivel Stick Vacuum (view at Amazon) is as versatile as vacuums get, functioning as an upright, handheld, or stair vacuum at an accessible price point. Our reviewer was especially pleased with its swivel steering. For a little more money, the Bissell Zing Canister vacuum (view at Amazon) boasts the kind of powerful suction canister vacuums are known for, plus a large dirt cup and a lightweight, maneuverable design.
What to Look for in a Cheap Vacuum Cleaner
If you want robust cleaning power with a wider floorhead and larger dust bin, an inexpensive upright vacuum might be your best bet—however, it's likely to weigh more than other options. There are also more compact canister vacuums, which are great for stairs, and stick vacuums that are lightweight and easily maneuvered. Even robotic vacuums can be found on a budget, so really, no style of vacuum is off the table.
Dust bin and filters
Keep recurring costs low by looking for a budget vacuum with a dust bin instead of bags that need to be replaced. Just make sure that you keep the dust bin clean to prevent a loss of suction power and performance from your vacuum. Washable filters will also reduce ongoing costs since they can be rinsed clean.
Are you looking to cut the cord but keep the price tag in check with your next vacuum cleaner? While many budget-friendly vacuums are still corded models, there are some great stick vacuums available that cost less than $100. Just be sure to check the battery life and make sure that it's adequate for your cleaning needs.
How often should I replace a vacuum?
Generally, you can expect a vacuum to last for about eight years. Several factors can affect that estimate, including how much you use it, what you do to maintain it, and what style of vacuum it is (for example, a sturdy upright vacuum will likely work for longer than a robotic model). Of course, if your vacuum is on the less expensive side, that may come at the cost of a few additional years of functionality.
How do I clean a vacuum?
Your first step should always be to empty your vacuum, either by throwing away its dust bag or releasing the dust cup into the trash. Next, use a microfiber cloth to wipe any remaining fine debris from the vacuum's interior. Depending on your model, you may be able to wash out the inside with soap and water, and even rinse out the filter. However, some vacuums have replaceable filters or can't get wet at all, so make sure to refer to your vacuum's manual before starting to clean it. Your last step should be checking the wheels and cleaner head for hair wrap. If you do use water to clean your vacuum, let everything air dry before reassembling.
What should I expect from a budget vacuum?
As mentioned earlier, vacuums that are on the more affordable end of the spectrum may lack some of the bells and whistles you'd find on higher-end models, like a wide array of attachments, intensely powerful suction, and a spacious dust cup. There are plenty of vacuums that will cover your essential cleaning needs at an affordable price, but if you're looking for a more specialized machine you may need to look at a higher price point.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Sara Coughlin, a freelance writer and The Spruce’s small appliances expert. From canister models to dustbusters, she’s researched what it takes for a vacuum to stand out in a vast and broad market—and what to look for in up-and-coming models. She personally loves and relies on BLACK+DECKER’s Dusbuster, our pick for best inexpensive handheld, to tackle small messes in her studio apartment.