The 8 Best Cheap Vacuum Cleaners of 2022, Tested by Us

The BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner is our top pick

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BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

While you want to enjoy a fresh home with fluffed and dust-free rugs and sparkly floors, dipping into your savings account to purchase a quality vacuum might not be feasible, practical, or an "adulting" task you're particularly excited about. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable options out there—plus, they rival the cleaning power of more high-end models from brands like Dyson.

We've tested over 50 vacuums in The Lab and at home, and rated them on effectiveness, portability, maneuverability, and more to find the best inexpensive options for you. Throughout our testing, we have found there are plenty of multi-surface cleaning options with attachment storage, a quiet yet impressive routine, and other features, including upright, stick, handheld, and wet-dry vacuums.

Our favorite is the BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner & Hand Vacuum because it's lightweight, has a light on the floor head, and features a detachable dustbuster when you need to clean tighter areas or spot clean.

Here, the best inexpensive vacuums on the market, backed by our testing.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: BLACK+DECKER HSVB420J POWERSERIES 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum

4.6
black-and-decker-powerseries-cordless-stick-vacuum

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Included attachment storage

  • Floor head light

  • Handheld model clicks in

What We Don't Like
  • Could use more settings

  • Not effective on all surfaces

What do buyers say? 81% of Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

It can be hard to come by a cordless stick vacuum that's both budget-friendly and effective at cleaning, but the BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum has it all. If you're looking for an affordable stick vacuum for weekly cleans and a dustbuster for quick messes, this is the vacuum for you.

The dustbuster acts as the dust bin when connected to the handle and is incredibly easy to empty. When it's removed, the handle reveals a hidden spot for attachments that makes this pick very easy to store and use. You're not only saving money with this 2-in-1 model, but you're also saving space. During our testing, we gave this vacuum a 5-star rating for its setup and emptying processes, and noted that it was most effective on medium and high-pile carpets.

On low-pile carpet and hardwood flooring, it pushed cereal around a bit and didn't effectively pick it up after several passes. However, it did pick up hair and popcorn kernels with ease. Ultimately, the vacuum received a 4-star rating for effectiveness for this reason. In addition, our tester enjoyed that this vacuum stood up on its own and includes a light on the floor head for easy visibility. While its settings are limited, its design is certainly not, making it an excellent pick for a variety of households and our top choice overall.

Dimensions: 22 x 8.3 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 5.84 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 30 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.52 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl

Best Budget: Eureka NES510 Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner

4.2
eureka-flash-lightweight-stick-vacuum

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    4.5/5
  • Effectiveness
    4.5/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    3.5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
What We Like
  • Floor head has a light

  • Easy to navigate in tight areas

  • Quick and easy assembly

What We Don't Like
  • No storage for attachments

  • Struggles on high-pile carpet

Another top-notch, budget-friendly option is the Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner. We put together this vac in just one and a half minutes. It's that easy. Our tester only docked its assembly process because it doesn't include any storage for attachments. Once we moved it onto hard and carpeted surfaces, the 7.4-pound vacuum was able to effectively pick up all materials in just one or two passes. On high-pile carpet, it was difficult to move around and we noticed the product getting a bit warm. For that reason, it earned a (still solid) 4.5 stars for its effectiveness.

Notably, the Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner also features a light on its floor head, so it is easy to spot messes that are hiding under your couch or in shaded corners. It was able to slip under a low-sitting couch and coffee table with total ease, and didn't produce a ton of noise throughout the test. Ultimately, you'll find this vacuum to be a reliable companion throughout your chores. Just be aware: it does have a multi-step emptying process that involves detaching the canister. Otherwise, it's simple to use and understand.

Dimensions: 45 x 11.1 x 7.9 inches | Weight: 7.4 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 1.05 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

Best Handheld: Sun Joe AJV1000 Cordless 8.4-Volt Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

4.7
Sun Joe cordless handheld vacuum with USB charger and attachment

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    4.5/5
  • Maneuverability
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
What We Like
  • Powerful suction

  • Cordless and lightweight design

  • Easy to empty bin and assemble

What We Don't like
  • Fan placement

  • Noisy operation

Handheld vacuums are ideal for picking up small messes around your house, whether they be tucked into your couch cushions or sitting under your kitchen table. The Sun Joe Cordless Handheld Vacuum makes the chore super easy. This handheld vacuum has a cordless design, so it's even easier to pick up messes that are tucked away in your home. It also comes with a 2-in-1 crevice and brush tool that'll help you clean couch cushions, car upholstery, and kitchen floors alike. On top of that, you can charge it in any USB port, making this a great option for your car or home office area.

During lab testing, we gave this vacuum a 5-star rating for portability, as it's super lightweight. Weighing only approximately 1.5 pounds, this pick is comfortable to carry from one spot to another. While it's a bit louder than expected, it's so easy to use and emptying the dust bin is a total breeze. "This handheld vacuum is easy to carry and intuitive to empty," noted our tester. "The suction is so strong that it even got stuck on the carpet a little bit. This is a solid dustbuster for a low price."

The only thing we'd change is the fan placement. At some angles, the fan blows out air and can scatter the debris. However, the vacuum also quickly sucks it right back up.

Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 1.52 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: Not listed | Bin Volume: 3.5 ounces | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and upholstery

The Sun Joe Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is held by a product tester during The Spruce's dustbuster test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Tamara Staples

Best Compact: NEQUARE S180 Corded Lightweight Vacuum with Self-Standing

4.5
nequare-corded-lightweight-vacuum-with-self-standing

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
  • Setup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Has an adjustable handle

  • Extremely quiet

  • Floor head has a light

What We Don't Like
  • Need to empty dust bin often

  • Struggled on high-pile carpet

Whether you're hoping to tackle smaller cleaning tasks around your home or live in a smaller living space like a condo or apartment, a compact and inexpensive model may be on your mind. Look no further than NEQUARE's S180 Corded Lightweight Vacuum that has impressive suction power and a lightweight build that makes it easy to maneuver on a multitude of surfaces. At 2.42 pounds, this vacuum is just as heavy as some handheld models, which are—of course—much smaller and designed for even tinier tasks.

During our lab test, our testing team was particularly impressed with this model's setup process, as well as its noise level. Our tester gave it 5 stars for both attributes, noting that assembly took just two, short minutes to complete. The vacuum easily slipped under a low-sitting couch and table, and only struggled to navigate thicker, high-pile carpet. It was very easy to control on the hardwood and low and medium-pile carpets, and sucked up all the materials in just a few passes. For that reason, our tester gave it a 4-star rating for effectiveness and maneuverability. You will need to empty the not-so spacious dust bin a little more regularly, but will ultimately be impressed with this compact pick, that also features a handle that can be adjusted to your height and a light.

Dimensions: 17.48 x 13.54 x 7.32 inches | Weight: 2.42 pounds | Cord Length: Not listed | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

The NEQUARE S180 Corded Lightweight Vacuum with Self-Standing sits next to the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Wet-Dry: Shark VM252 VacMop Pro Cordless Wet/Dry Stick Vacuum

4.9
shark-vacmop-wet-dry-stick-vacuum

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
What We Like
  • Easy-release button

  • Cordless design

  • Glides over surfaces

What We Don't Like
  • Not suitable for carpets

  • Need to purchase replacement pads

If your space mainly has hard floors made of hardwood, tile, laminate, or vinyl, you'll want to opt for the Shark VACMOP. This product tackles two cleaning tasks at once, thanks to its disposable cleaning pads and solution tank. Our tester took only two minutes to set up this vacuum, noting that they did not need to refer to the instructions because everything clicked into place. From there, they used it on hardwood flooring, noting that it was very lightweight and easy to use. When you want to release solution onto a floor, you simply have to press the "spray" button. Otherwise, the cordless design of this vacuum allows you to just hold down the power trigger whenever you'd like to clean up a mess.

While it's not ideal that you need to continuously hold down the trigger, our tester noted that the vac is comfortable and easily glides over the surface. They gave it 5 stars for every single attribute, including noise level and ease of emptying. To switch out the pad, you just need to press an easy-release button while holding the product over your trash can. Since the product only weighs 5 pounds, this process is fairly simple.

Dimensions: 47.87 x 9.5 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 5 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 20 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.03 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, tile, laminate, and vinyl

The Shark VACMOP sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Upright: Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner

4.7
Hoover Complete Performance Corded Bagged Upright Vacuum

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    3/5
  • Noise Level
    3/5
What We Like
  • Powerful suction

  • Cleans upholstery

  • Easy to empty

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy design

  • Noisy operation

Cordless stick and handheld vacuums are great, but sometimes you want a traditional, reliable upright vacuum to clean your dirty floors. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it can be especially satisfying to run an upright vacuum back and forth while it sucks up everything in its path, leaving behind clean, freshly-vacuumed lines. If this sounds like your dream cleaning day, then the Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum is for you.

In our tests, this vacuum excelled in picking up debris and hair from carpet. In fact, it only took two passes to completely clean the floor. This stellar performance earned it a 5-star rating for effectiveness. The vac performed just as well on upholstery, too. Our tester was in awe of this vacuum's power, and while she noted that it was a bit noisy and heavy, she said she could look past those flaws due to its powerful suction and affordable price.

Our tester also reported that the vacuum's upholstery and crevice attachments were very helpful, and since this is a bagged vacuum, you don't have to come in contact with any of the debris when you're done vacuuming. Simply dispose of the bag and go about your day.

Dimensions: 47 x 15 x 15 inches | Weight: 9.28 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet  | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: Not applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 15 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, hardwood, and upholstery

Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum

The Spruce / Dera Burreson

Best Lightweight: Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum with EasyReach Wand

4.3
Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum With EasyReach Wand

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    3.5/5
  • Portability
    4.5/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
What We Like
  • Swivel head

  • Quiet operation

  • Clear instructions

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to empty

  • Not great for vacuuming hair

Vacuuming for extended periods of time can result in arm fatigue—especially if the weight of the vacuum isn't distributed evenly. If you're searching for a well-balanced, lightweight vacuum, consider the Kenmore DS4095 Brushless Cordless Stick Vacuum. This easy-to-use vacuum weighs only 3 pounds, and our tester claimed that it "outperformed the more expensive cordless (and some of the corded) vacuums in every category."

The swivel head made it easy to maneuver the vacuum around our testing lab obstacles, and our tester also appreciated the clear instruction manual that was included in the box. Besides being a lightweight powerhouse, this vacuum was also one of the quietest ones we tested. While it sucked up most of the debris in our lab, this vacuum ended up dragging the hair behind it instead of vacuuming it up. It was also a little difficult to empty since our tester had to dig out the hair from the bin.

Dimensions: 21.46 x 5.71 x 15.75 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 40 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

Kenmore DS4095 Elite CSV Max 21.6V Cordless Stick Vacuum With EasyReach™ Wand

The Spruce / Dera Burreson

Best for Pet Hair: Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum

4.5
Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    2.9/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
What We Like
  • Picked up pet hair in one pass

  • Easy to empty

  • Self-standing

What We Don't Like
  • No attachments

  • Noisy operation

We love our pets, but if you have a dog or cat that's prone to shedding, selecting the right vacuum cleaner is key to maintaining a sanitary and sparkling home. So, when our tester used the Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Vacuum to suck up all of the pet hair we laid in its path in one single pass during testing, we knew we had found the perfect affordable vacuum for pet owners.

On top of easily cleaning pet hair from our lab flooring, this vacuum was incredibly easy to use and empty. All parts of the vacuum are clearly labeled, and there is even a button labeled "trash" that you push for simple emptying. When the vacuum is not in use, it stands on its own, so you can walk away and give Fido some love before coming back to your task.

Our tester additionally noted that the vacuum didn't feel that noisy in person, and she was still able to have a conversation while vacuuming. The only true downside to this powerful pet hair cleaner is that it doesn't come with any attachments, so you'll likely need another cleaning device (like a handheld vacuum) to get into the crevices and hard-to-reach places in your home.

Dimensions: 44 x 11 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 8.6 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 35 minutes | Bin Volume: 1.05 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Vacuum vacuuming up pet hair on hard flooring

The Spruce / Meredith Campbell

Compare

Overall Rating Ease of Setup Effectiveness Maneuverability Ease of Emptying Noise Level
black-and-decker-powerseries-cordless-stick-vacuum
Best Overall:
BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum
4.6
5 4 4.5 5 4.5
eureka-flash-lightweight-stick-vacuum
Best Budget:
Eureka Flash Stick Vacuum Cleaner
4.2
4.5 4.5 4 3.5 4
Sun Joe cordless handheld vacuum with USB charger and attachment
Best Handheld:
Sun Joe Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
4.7
5 4.5 4.5 5 3.5
nequare-corded-lightweight-vacuum-with-self-standing
Best Compact:
NEQUARE Corded Lightweight Vacuum
4.5
4 4 5 5
shark-vacmop-wet-dry-stick-vacuum
Best Wet-Dry:
Shark VacMop Pro Wet/Dry Vacuum
4.9
5 5 5 5 5
Hoover Complete Performance Corded Bagged Upright Vacuum
Best Upright:
Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum
4.7
5 4 5 3
Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum With EasyReach Wand
Best Lightweight:
Kenmore Stick Vacuum with EasyReach Wand
4.3
4 5 3.5 5
Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum
Best for Pet Hair:
Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Cordless Upright Vacuum
4.5
4 2.9 5 4
Final Verdict

Our top pick for a cheap vacuum cleaner is the BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum that has a built-in dustbuster, attachment storage, and a light on the floor head. Another great option is the Eureka Flash Stick Vacuum Cleaner that's not as effective on high-pile carpet, but is easy to assemble and swivel around any obstacle in your home. It also features a light on its floor head.

The Dirt Devil Endura Reach Upright Vacuum sucks up hair, popcorn kernels, and cereal during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Other Options We Tested

TINECO PWRHERO11 Snap Cordless Lightweight Stick Vacuum: Although our tester said she would consider buying this vacuum, she wasn't as impressed by it as other models she tested. Its suction power was average at best and it struggled to pick up debris, if it was not centered in front of the head. The dust bin also felt clumsy to empty because the release button and empty button are located in two different places. Although it's certainly more affordable than other vacuums out there, we think you could find a higher performing model at just as reasonable of a price.

BISSELL CleanView Compact Upright Vacuum: This vacuum may be one of the least expensive upright vacuums on the market, but that price also reflects its overall poor suction power, especially with larger debris on carpet. Our tester noted that it took about 50 passes to pick up the Cheerios and popcorn kernels we laid in its path on carpet, and this vacuum also had a tendency to spit out the debris. While it performed fairly well at picking up debris off of upholstery, the attachment hose is pretty short, so it's difficult to work the body of the vacuum around large pieces of furniture. Overall, our tester said she'd maybe recommend this vacuum to a college student, who wasn't looking for a heavy-duty product.

Dirt Devil Vibe 3-in-1 Corded Stick Vacuum with Removable Hand Held Vacuum: While we had no issue setting up this vacuum, it otherwise did not perform well during testing. Our tester said it best: "The vacuum head would be easy to use on stairs and under furniture, if only it picked anything up." It did not function well on carpet and struggled to suck up hair, which eventually became so tangled on the brush bar that it stopped rotating. Larger debris also fell out of the nozzle after being sucked up. We were excited by this vacuum's lightweight and convertible design, but overall were very disappointed in its suction power.

BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Upright, Stick & Handheld Vacuum: This vacuum performed much better than the Dirt Devil 3-in-1 option, but it still was not truly impressive as a 3-in-1 option. Our tester found the roller head had a low profile that did not allow any traction over larger debris. Once debris was picked up, it did stay in the dust bin, which is a much-appreciated improvement to the other 3-in-1 option. Although this model is similar to the BLACK+DECKER model that's our best overall pick, its handheld vacuum is not as well incorporated into the overall design.

How We Tested the Cheap Vacuum Cleaners

We've tested over 50 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab and at home during our multiple vacuum tests. During lab testing, we start with the unboxing and setup of each pick, noting how clear the instructions are. Next, we evaluate each vacuum's effectiveness on hardwood and three types of carpeted surfaces. To do so, we spill measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and Cheerios. We note how well each vacuum moves, how many passes are needed to clean up the materials, and if hair is tangled in the beater bar. We then challenge the vacuums’ maneuverability by running them through a living room-inspired obstacle course to see how they perform in tight areas and around corners. Additionally, we evaluate how well each pick transitions from smooth floors to carpeting.

Our testers change the bags and empty the bins, noting the ease of emptying, and take note of how long cordless models stay charged. Throughout all of the tests, we rate the noise level of each product. Aside from this test, product testers rate other models on the same attributes while testing them at home. To wrap up, we consider our entire experience with the product to rate the overall value of it. Our editors take all of this consistently applied testing data and boil it down to the inexpensive vacuums we believe are the very best.

What to Look for in a Cheap Vacuum Cleaner

Type

What type of vacuum you buy depends on what type of cleaning you're trying to complete, and where. Upright vacuums are most suitable for whole-home cleaning, and typically offer a lot of suction power for picking up larger items, as well as dust. Stick vacuums are typically made for lighter cleans or smaller living spaces, since they often run on battery power or aren't quite as compatible with a range of surfaces. Handheld models help you get into the tight areas of your home, garage, or car, and pick up tiny spills, while wet-dry picks are only for hard floors but will complete two jobs at one time. (This makes them a particularly great option for someone with a smaller living space, who doesn't want to store multiple cleaning tools.)

Before buying a vacuum, consider your living space, the types of surfaces you have, and all the types of messes you'd be cleaning up with your purchase. This will help you decide what type of vacuum is best for you.

Bagged vs. Bagless Design

You can keep recurring costs low by looking for a vacuum with a dust bin instead of bags, which will need to be replaced over time. While a majority of models are bagless, opting for a bin will also make the process of emptying your vacuum in between cleans a lot easier. If you do opt for a dust bin, be sure to clean and maintain it well so you can also help extend your vacuum's lifespan. Dump all the debris before the cup reaches maximum capacity to prevent a loss of power and performance. If you do opt for a bagged model, like the Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner—our best upright pick—know that the major perk is that debris is trapped away after it's captured. You don't have to see or handle what you picked up, which can be a perk for those with allergies.

Along the same lines, look for a model with washable filters. This will not only reduce ongoing costs, since they can be rinsed clean and used over and over again, but could be considered a more eco-friendly approach to your cleaning routine, too.

Corded vs. Cordless Design

There are benefits of both a corded and cordless model. A corded vacuum, for example, allows you to clean non-stop, without any fear that you'll run out of power halfway through your task. However, you're more limited in terms of maneuverability and where you can use your vacuum. Cordless vacs are more expensive than corded ones, and limit how much you can clean at once, but typically offer better maneuverability. If you're looking to cut the cord, but also keep the price tag of your purchase in check, check the battery life of the vacuum and make sure it's adequate for your cleaning needs, or find one with interchangeable batteries.

A product tester slides the NEQUARE Corded Stick Vacuum under a couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

FAQ
  • How often should I replace a vacuum?

    Generally, you can expect a vacuum to last for about eight years. Several factors can affect its lifespan, including how much you use it, what you do to maintain it, and what style of vacuum it is. (A sturdy upright vacuum may last longer than a robotic model.) If your vacuum is on the less expensive side, that may also come at the cost of a few additional years of functionality.

    Katie Berry, The Spruce's Cleaning Review Board member, also notes that your vacuum's lifespan can be affected by the battery, if you opt for a cordless pick. "With cordless vacuums, batteries often give out long before the vacuum does," she notes. "To get the longest life out of a cordless vacuum, look for models with replaceable batteries."

  • 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 bin contents 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 tangled hair. If you do use water to clean your vacuum, be sure to let everything air dry before reassembling.

  • What should I expect from a budget vacuum?

    Vacuums that have a lower price tag may lack some of the bells and whistles you'd find on high-end models, like a wide array of attachments, powerful suction, and a spacious dust bin. There are plenty of vacuums that'll cover your cleaning needs at an affordable price, but if you're looking for a more specialized machine that'll recognize the layout of your home or do deeper cleaning, you may need to adjust your desired price point.

The Spruce's group of vacuum testers unbox and assemble several Shark vacuums while in The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Why Trust The Spruce?

Marisa Casciano is the senior commerce editor for appliances, cleaning, and organization for The Spruce, and has been in The Lab for our vacuum test. She has firsthand knowledge of how tests were developed and performed, and personally loves her Shark VACMOP that's lightweight and a breeze to store and use. Before conducting testing, she scoured brand and retailer websites, and considered price, verified customer reviews, features, practicality, and design.

Erin Johnson, the commerce editor for appliances, cleaning, and organization for The Spruce, also contributed to this roundup, covering some of the latest models we've tested and where they both fell short and exceeded expectations. Emma Phelps, updates writer for The Spruce, also assisted in updating this roundup to note the latest inexpensive vacuums we tested that didn't quite make our final list.

What Is Spruce Approved?

Here at The Spruce we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. How Long Do Vacuum Cleaners Last? Consumerreports.org.