For many of us, vacuuming is a part of our weekly routine. Even if you vacuum every day, there’s always more dust and debris to tackle, especially if you have kids or pets. Vacuuming is a much less tedious task if you have a vacuum that does the job right the first time, but good machines can be expensive. Fortunately, not every impressive vacuum cleaner has a hefty price tag.
Price is an essential factor to think about when choosing a vacuum, but even cheap vacuums are unique from one another in many ways. There are several styles from which to choose. You’ll benefit from thinking through a few critical considerations before choosing a vacuum.
Some vacuum cleaners offer brush-free modes perfect for hardwood or tile floors; others are designed to reduce scatter on carpetless surfaces. If you have stairs or other crevices in your home, you may want to consider a model with special attachments for hard-to-reach places.
Cat and dog owners may benefit from buying a model made specifically for pet hair. Pet vacuums often have filters that ensure the hair doesn’t make it back into the air. Most pet-focused vacuums also come with attachments that make cleaning up pet hair on couches, car seats and other surfaces a breeze.
Upright vacuums typically consist of a handle on top, a motor in the middle and an intake port on the bottom. Upright models usually don’t fold down and require taller storage space, but they’re perfect for people with large homes.
Stick vacuums are typically less powerful than upright models, but what they lack in power, they make up for in convenience. Stick vacuums are light, skinny and can often fold down. Stick vacuums are among the most affordable vacuums out there, and there are cordless options available.
If you live a busy lifestyle and finding time to vacuum is difficult, a robot vacuum might be what you need. Like stick models, robot vacuums don’t clean quite as well as upright vacuums. They also occasionally get stuck, and they’re more expensive than other vacuums. Still, they take up very little space and efficiently lighten your cleaning load.
Bissell’s exceptionally quiet Cleanview vacuum is 13.5 inches wide and picks up most debris, including pet hair, in the first pass. It has several handy attachments, including a “Turbo Brush” tool that does an excellent job of agitating and removing trapped dirt and debris. Sold by Amazon and Wayfair
This vacuum provides top-notch pet hair pick-up, with Hoover’s “Wind Tunnel” technology and an impressively competent brush. The Hoover Power Drive is on the heavy side, but that extra weight isn’t without purpose — it has an extra-large capacity dirt cup and multi-cyclonic suction at a fair price-point. Sold by Kohl’s and Best Buy
The PowerSpeed is a lightweight option with adjustable height settings for various types of surfaces. It’s noisier than comparable models but makes a great choice if you want something light with a lot of muscle. Sold by Overstock and Kohls
At less than $80, this version of the Cleanview is even cheaper than the Cleanview 1831. It has less suction power than the 1831 but still does an excellent job cleaning most surfaces, including carpet and hardwood. Sold by Wayfair and Amazon
The Shark Navigator weighs less than 11 pounds and can handle challenging cleanups on most surfaces. It offers a brush shutoff mode for hardwood floors and technology that prevents blockages. Sold by Macy’s and Home Depot
This vacuum has a convenient 25-foot power cord that automatically retracts, eliminating the tedious cord wrapping process. The WindTunnel 2 cleans multiple surfaces and has a wide range of helpful attachments. Sold by Best Buy and Amazon
The Adapt Ion does everything you could want a stick vacuum to do; it picks up pet hair, folds down, has a handheld mode and doesn’t require a cord. This vacuum has excellent swivel steering and fits under furniture, although some have complained that it doesn’t pick up deep-set pet hair that well. Sold by Wayfair
The Power Express Lite costs less than $50 and isn’t a pet vacuum, yet many buyers say it does a pretty good job picking up pet hair. Like Bissell’s Adapt Ion, this vacuum has essentially every convenience feature you could want in a vacuum; however, it isn’t nearly as sturdy. Sold by Amazon and Wayfair
This vacuum receives praise online for its superior cleaning ability on any surface; it easily fits under furniture and creates two channels of suction to clean your floor effortlessly. Although these machines are efficient, they don’t always last an incredibly long time, with some people reporting theirs broken in the first year. Sold by Amazon
This little vacuum costs around three times less than comparable models and packs a surprising amount of suction power. You control it with a super-easy smartphone application; it’s also compatible with voice commands. Sold by Amazon
The Roomba 675 costs less than $300, is compatible with Alexa and learns from your cleaning habits. This vacuum is smart enough to adapt to you and offers cleaning schedules built around your routines. Sold by Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond
Cody Stewart is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.