At Home Flooring Pros, we want to help you find the budget (under $100) cleaning machine that works best for your individual needs. Some cheap vacuums are better for carpet, others for hard floors; some work well on stairs, others are great for cleaning out your car.
Rather than suggest one low-cost vacuum as the absolute best, we’ve come up with a list of cheap but good vacuums in several categories, helping you to shop according to your priorities. In this review you’ll find budget friendly vacuum recommendations for:
- Top vacuum for carpet
- Top vacuum for hard floors
- Top handheld vacuum
- Top canister vacuum
- Top lightweight (stick) vacuum
- Top robot vacuum
- Best vacuum for cleaning a car
- Best vacuum for allergies
How did we choose the best vacuums under $100?
To us, “Best” means a balance of price and performance. We considered suction power, warranties, durability, tools and accessories, versatility, weight and ease of use, features, and battery life.
But the driving factor in our rankings is user reviews. We want you to have 5-star love for your machine. Manufacturers make many claims about their products, but unless they were backed up by genuine reviews from homeowners like you, the vacuum didn’t make our list.
Here’s a quick list of our top inexpensive vacuums for reference, with links to Amazon if you want to check prices. You’ll find in-depth details on each model later in this post. We included a buyer’s guide at the end to help you choose which style of vacuum fits your needs.
User-Reviewed List of Top 8 Vacuum Cleaners for less than $100
Our Pick for Carpet – Eureka PowerSpeed Lightweight Upright Vacuum
● Five Carpet Height Adjustments
● 12.6” cleaning path
● 4.1 liter dust cup
“Vacuum is so lightweight that it tips over when using the extension hose, but it manicures our carpet beautifully!”
Our Pick for Hard Floors – Bissell Hard Floor Expert Stick Vacuum
● Unique V-shaped foot
● Swivel steering
● Brushless and safe for hard floor finish
“The cyclonic technology picks up everything my pets and kids leave behind!”
Our Pick for Carpeted Stairs and Upholstery (Best Handheld Vacuum) –
Shark Rocket Hand Vacuum with TruePet Mini Motorized Brush
● Powerful suction and quality construction
● Brush attachment with its own motor
● Five-year Shark Ninja Warranty
“This vac turned cleaning my stairs from a chore into a very satisfying experience! So easy to use and my stairs are truly clean at last.”
Our Pick for Whole Home Versatility – Bissell Zing Canister Vacuum
● Available in both bagged and bagless options
● Pre- and post-motor filters
● 10” cleaning path and 6’ extension hose
“The Zing has the power to clean my floors and the reach/flexibility to clean my window treatments. Great for the entire house.”
Our Pick for Lightweight Stick Vacuum (Best cordless vacuum) – MOOSOO Cordless 4-in-1 Stick Vacuum
● Use as a handheld or a stick vacuum
● 10” swivel head attachment with motorized roller and LED headlamps
● 40 minute battery life on one charge
“Pleasantly surprised by this capable picker-upper!”
Our Pick for Robot Vacuum – Pure Clean Robot Vacuum Cleaner
● 90 minute runtime
● Less than 3” in height to fit under beds and sofas
● Effective on tile, hardwood, vinyl, and low pile carpet
“There aren’t many low-cost robots worth the purchase, but this one has definitely reduced the dust load in my home.”
Best Vacuum for Carpet Under $100:
Cleaning carpet is the toughest job we ask of a vacuum cleaner, so there aren’t many under $100 that are equipped with the tools and durability to perform well. The Eureka PowerSpeed is an exception. It has settings to handle anything from low pile carpet to plush and shag rugs.
The power is superior to cordless models and the brush is designed to remove pet hair from your floor fibers. If you have several rooms with carpet in your home, the Eureka PowerSpeed is a great choice.
Highlights: We chose the Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed for its excellent suction, five carpet height adjustments, and wide 12.6” cleaning path.
It features a large dust cup – 4.1 liters vs. 2.7 liters on other models.
Light for an upright vacuum, this model weighs only 10 pounds, so it’s easy to carry up and down stairs.
The cord reaches 25 feet – the longest on our list.
Drawbacks: If carpet isn’t your main concern, you may want to keep looking. The beater brush on this model remains spinning even on the hard floor setting, which can damage laminate or vinyl.
Although it comes with several accessories, reviewers comment that the extension hose is shorter than they’d like, causing the lightweight vacuum to tip over when using the tools.
Accessories included: 7” crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool, quick release hose
Bag or Bagless: Bagless with 4.1 liter dust cup
Filter type: Washable foam
Cord Length: 25 feet
Extension Hose Length: 7 feet
Weight: 10 pounds
Power specs: 120 volt, 60 watt, 8 amp
Warranty: Three year limited — longer warranty than many vacuums in its class.
User Review: “Excellent suction for a vacuum at this price. I was amazed at how much dust it pulled out of my carpet on the lower level, even after going over it first with my old cleaner. I guess Eureka chose to put money into the motor instead of into the body. The plastic casing feels cheap, but it does the job right!”
If you’re specifically looking for a carpet cleaner that washes as well as vacuuming then read our 2020 reviews here.
Best Vacuum for Hard Floors Under $100:
Bissell got creative with their Hard Floor Expert vacuum, but the unique design lives up to its name. Developed for use on vinyl, tile, laminate, or hardwood floors, this machine has swivel steering and soft wheels to cruise around your bare floors without causing damage.
The unique V-shaped foot is surprisingly effective at trapping dust and hair– even along baseboard– then whisking it out of sight.
Highlights: This vacuum’s brushless design protects the finish on hard floors. Although it does have a cord, it’s very lightweight and easy to pull out for daily use. The price makes it one of the most affordable vacuums on our list.
Drawbacks: The Bissell Hard Floor Expert Stick Vacuum does its job very well, but only does one job. It does not come with hoses or attachments to clean carpet, stairs, upholstery or anything besides bare floors.
Accessories Included: None
Bag or Bagless: Bagless
Filter type: Cyclonic technology
Cord length: 20 feet
Weight: 7 pounds
Power specs: 120 volt. 60 Hz. 1000 watt.
Warranty: One year limited
User Review: “So glad we gambled on this instead of a pricier model. I wasn’t sure the V-shape would be able to clean corners, but this guy does the job. It’s a small vacuum, but so easy to maneuver that I can get my laminate kitchen floor cleaned in short order.
Even when I pull it along quickly the suction keeps up. We have a black lab and the colossal amount of hair she leaves in her wake would tangle and burn in my last vac’s roller brush; this one has no brush, so no problem!
Pro tip: if ever it feels like the suction is decreasing, unplug it, pull off the head, and check the tube inside for blockage.”
Best Handheld Vacuum (Best for stairs, best for upholstery) Under $100:
Although higher priced than some handheld vacuums, we believe the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is worth the investment. Power and durability characterize this well-built machine. Users report a night and day difference in the suction strength this machine has over cordless alternatives.
It stays under $100, even with luxury attachments such as the motorized carpet brush. This model was released in 2015 and continues to be an “Amazon’s Choice” top seller, with thousands of satisfied users and 90% positive reviews.
Highlights: Users love how effective the Shark Rocket is at cleaning carpeted stairs. The TruePet motorized brush attachment doesn’t just rely on friction to roll but has its own mini motor to dig pet hair and dust out of carpet and upholstery.
The filter is easy to remove and wash, so this vacuum can hold up to heavy use without needing replacement parts.
Drawbacks: We love the power that plug-in vacuums have above cordless models – but we don’t love dealing with the cord. This handheld vacuum has a 15-foot cord that doesn’t retract and is a little tricky to store.
At 3.7 pounds, the Shark Rocket is also heavier than other handheld vacs, but when you consider that weight reflects quality materials, that may not be a bad thing.
Accessories included: 12” crevice tool, dusting brush, TruePet Mini Motorized brush, 2-foot flex hose.
Bag or Bagless: Bagless with 0.42 quart easy-empty dust cup
Filter type: Washable reusable filter
Cord length: 15 feet
Weight: 3.7 pounds
Power specs: 120 volt, 60 Hz, 400 watt
Warranty: 5-year Shark Ninja warranty – the best warranty on our list!
User Review: “Highly recommend this purchase. I have two flights of carpeted stairs in my home and, being such high traffic areas, I felt defeated trying to keep them clean– until I brought this vacuum home. GAME CHANGER.
This thing feels super well-built and is so easy to move up and down steps. The cord is clunky, but the tradeoff is I don’t worry about battery life. My one wish is for an adapter so I can connect the 1 3/8” hose on the Shark Rocket to 1¼” vacuum attachments from other brands.”
Best Canister Vacuum Under $100:
When it comes to budget vacuums, Bissell brand models consistently perform well. Their entry-level cannister vacuum, the Zing, especially stands out from the pack. Though the Zing comes in both bagged and bagless options, we recommend the bagged model, especially for those with allergies that could be irritated by emptying a dust cup.
Even if its price places it in the entry-level category, the Zing’s performance is on par with pricier models. It can clean stairs, upholstery, under furniture – anything you expect a cannister vacuum to do. In fact, in this video you can watch a Bissell Zing clean a sofa better than an $800 Miele cannister vacuum!
Highlights: The Zing has a powerful 10amp motor that keeps the suction strong through its 6-foot extension hose. It comes with an assortment of accessories and is compatible with your favorite attachments from other machines, either with or without an adapter.
This means it can easily reach up into window treatments or down under furniture, places that would be hard to get with other vacuum styles. The Zing has both pre-motor and post-motor filters, making it our top pick for those sensitive to dust.
Drawbacks: This cannister vacuum is corded, which makes it less convenient than cordless models. However, the cord is long enough to reach across most rooms and it retracts into the machine for storage.
The Bissell Zing has plenty of power to clean floors. It has both a bare floor and a carpet setting but doesn’t come with a spinning brush for cleaning carpets.
Accessories included: 10” cleaning path attachment, combination crevice tool/dusting brush, upholstery tool.
Bag or Bagless: Both bagged and bagless options available. Bagged model comes with three extra bags plus one installed.
Filter type: Both bagged and bagless models have washable pre- and post-engine filters.
Cord Length: 15 feet
Weight: 12.5 pound
Warranty: One-year limited warranty
User Review: “My professional housecleaner loves my budget vacuum purchase! When she comes to my home she asks to use my Bissell Zing instead of her high end vacuum.
This vacuum has wheels, but it’s so light that I end up carrying it in one hand while suctioning with the other.
Make sure you are reading reviews for the right model! Amazon sells both the bagged and the bagless from the same page and the reviews get mixed.”
Best Cordless Lightweight Stick Vacuum Under $100:
What looks like a Dyson V7 but costs much less? The MOOSOO 4-in-1 stick vacuum. This vac’s ultra-lightweight body can be used as a hand vacuum or connected to a 24” aluminum alloy extension pole for use on your floor, drapes, or even ceiling.
It has two power speed options, comes with a host of attachments, and has both cyclonic and HEPA filters. The lithium ion battery boasts of 40 minutes runtime and only takes 5 hours to fully charge.
Highlights: The MOOSOO stick vacuum has a 10” wide swivel head with a motorized roller brush and LED headlamps. The vacuum itself weighs only 3.3 pounds, making it a great choice for seniors or those who need a lightweight machine.
Drawbacks: Many shoppers feel more comfortable sticking to brands like Eureka and Bissell that are household names in the vacuum industry. But MOOSOO is creating a track record of quality performance from their affordably priced machines.
That said, company claims their “removes up to 99.7% of microscopic dust particles as small as 0.3 microns.” However, they don’t use the phrase “true HEPA,” so their filters are probably not CADR certified.
Accessories included: Swivel head with motorized floor brush, 2-in1 dusting brush, mini cleaning brush, extension tube, power adapter, wall bracket.
Bag or Bagless: Bagless
Filter type: Cyclonic + replaceable HEPA-style
Cord Length: 15 feet
Weight: 3.3 pounds plus attachments
Warranty: 45-day money back guarantee and 24-month warranty
User Review: “Pros: Ultra-light, ultra-convenient. The swivel head zips around my furniture and the roller brush will stop and alert you if it gets tangled in hair instead of spinning and burning. The battery runtime is a good 30-45 minutes depending on which suction setting you use.
Cons? Length might be a bit short for a tall person to use comfortably, but I don’t have a problem.”
Note: Our review is for the cordless model which runs around $100. There is also a corded model, available for a lower price that packs on many of the same features.
Best Robot Vacuum Under $100:
You might be surprised to learn that you can get a decent robot vacuum without breaking the bank. The PUCRC25 PureClean doesn’t have the fancy features you’ll find on pricier models, but it does zoom around your floors sweeping up dust, debris and pet hair all by itself.
It has a battery life of 90 minutes after four hours of charging. Users are pleasantly surprised at this little machine’s performance and thankful for the time it saves.
Highlights: This robot vacuum is designed for hard floors and low pile carpet. It’s 11 inches wide and has sweeper brushes on either side that extend further and reach into corners.
It runs on three cleaning patterns — spiral, perimeter and random — to make sure it covers every inch of the room. Once finished with one room it will move on to the next; it also has anti-fall “cliff sensors” to make sure it doesn’t go careening down the basement stairs.
Drawbacks: Unlike some models, the PURCRC25 won’t return itself to the charger dock when it’s getting low on battery. It doesn’t have a timer, so needs to be manually charged and then powered on when you’re ready for it to run.
Accessories included: AC adapter, extra filter, extra side sweepers
Bag or Bagless: Bagless. 0.2 liter dust cup
Filter type: replaceable
Battery Life: 90 minutes
Weight: 4.25 pounds
Warranty: Not listed
User Review: “I fancy myself a neat-freak and this robot is seriously enabling that tendency. I set it to run when I leave for work and come home to the dust and cat hair swept off my kitchen tile.
The design is minimalist enough that I really don’t mind it sitting visible on my floor, The dust bin is really small; I need to empty it every day. But since this vacuum can’t be programmed and you need to press the power button every time it runs, emptying the dust bin is just a quick extra step.”
Budget Vacuum Buying Guide
As you can see, the top vacuums have a wide range of options and features. Aren’t sure which features you need? If you can’t decide whether you want bagged or bagless, corded or cordless, with or without a roller brush, our buying guide is here to help you make those decisions.
What to Expect from a Vacuum Under $100
Top of the line vacuums that are built to last for decades usually run $250-300 and up, so sacrifices must be made to bring the price under $100. Sometimes this means plastic parts – internal or external – instead of metal. Sometimes this means fewer bells and whistles (like headlamps) or fewer settings, adjustments, or attachments.
Most budget vacuums have cords and are bagless, and few have True HEPA filters. It’s important to keep your expectations realistic and prioritize the features most important to you.
What is the Best Brand of Affordable Residential Vacuum Cleaner?
While there’s no one brand that’s always better than others, Bissell models consistently garner 4.5- to 5-star reviews. We could have easily added their Cleanview Rewind Upright and their Pet Hair Eraser Handheld to our list of favorites. When you see a brand whose every model ranks at or near the top, you can expect consistency and quality from their products.
What to look for in a Vacuum for Carpet
A good vacuum for carpet should have a beater bar – that is, a rolling brush with one-to-three rows of rotating bristles – to groom the dust out of the flooring fibers. You should be able to adjust the height of the brush to accommodate low pile carpet, high pile carpet, and plush or shag rugs.
If you have pets (or humans with long hair :-)) in your home, it’s vital to check the beater bar after each use and clean off any hair that’s wound around the brush.
Hair left on the brush can burn and cause damage to your carpet or your machine, and it certainly interferes with cleaning. Purchase a vacuum with a beater bar that’s easy to access and clean.
We recommend the Eureka NEU182A for carpet because of its superior suction power, multiple settings, and very few reports of smoking or burning during carpet use compared to other machines.
What to look for in a Vacuum for Hard Floors
A vacuum for hard floors should be lightweight and maneuverable. Luxury vinyl plank, laminate, and hardwood floors all have a glossy finish that can be easily damaged by heavy equipment.
Bare floor vacuums should have rubberized or soft wheels and the option to raise or remove the beater bar. In fact, it’s best if it doesn’t even have a brush or beater bar!
We prefer stick vacuums for bare floors because they weigh under 10 pounds. They have slim profiles that can reach under kitchen tables and chairs and work into corners. The Bissell Hard Floor Expert Stick Vacuum also has swivel steering for ultimate manoeuvrability.
What to look for in a Vacuum for Upholstery
There’s nothing more frustrating than running a handheld vacuum over your couch and watching it leave a trail of crumbs behind. To ensure this won’t happen, prioritize suction power and attachments when considering a vacuum for upholstery.
A cordless vacuum may be powerful enough to clean your upholstery if you don’t have pets that shed or kids that snack on the sofa. However, if you need maximum power at an affordable price, you’ll find the best value in a corded machine.
Though some upright vacuums have hoses and attachments that can clean upholstery, they are usually heavy and awkward to use. A handheld vacuum or a cannister vac are your best choices for upholstery.
Choose a cannister or handheld vacuum with an extension hose, a crevice tool, and an upholstery brush. An upholstery brush has stiffer bristles than the dusting brush that comes standard with most models.
The good news is that if your machine doesn’t come with a brush, you can purchase one from a generic vacuum parts supplier.
Vacuum hoses are usually either 1 3/8” or 1 1/4” in diameter, so find an attachment that matches the width of your hose and you’re good to go.
What to look for in a Vacuum for Carpeted Stairs
Have you tried to vacuum stairs with a heavy upright vacuum? No fun, right? Thankfully there’s a range of lightweight options available now that make this task so much easier.
Our go-to vacuum for stairs is a corded handheld. This machine will have the power to dislodge dirt and hair from heavy-use carpet while still being lightweight and portable.
If you need to clean the stairs without bending over, great options are small cannister vacuums and cordless stick vacuums. These are lightweight and have extension poles or hoses that can reach into nooks and crannies without straining your back.
What to look for in a Vacuum for your Car
The car is a place where you can really take advantage of a sleek cordless machine. Look for a vacuum with a compact design, upholstery bristles, and a battery life of at least 12-15 minutes. We like the MOOSOO Mini Cordless because it not only checks these boxes but comes with a car charger, so you never have to remove it from your vehicle.
What to look for in a Vacuum for Everyday Dusting
Your vacuum for daily dust control should be lightweight, versatile, and portable. That makes a cordless stick vacuum a great choice. Look for a 2-in-1 model that has a detachable extension wand, so it can convert to a handheld vacuum.
Your “musts” should include a soft bristle attachment and a high-quality filter. An LED headlamp is helpful for making sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned hard-to-reach areas.
Although every good vacuum must suck, the engine power probably won’t be your first consideration for a dusting vacuum. Look for a vacuum with two suction speeds, one for general use and a lighter mode that you can use on keyboards or sensitive electronics.
What to look for in a Vacuum for Dog or Cat Owners
A good vacuum can become a survival tool if a furry friend is a member of your family. Thankfully there are many models designed just for you. Your top priorities as a pet-friendly homeowner should be suction, dust bin capacity and multi-level filtration.
If you’re cleaning upholstery and carpet, you’ll want a machine with a deep cleaning roller brush. But if you have a no-dogs-on-the-couch rule, you might do better with a brushless model that won’t get tangled in the hair.
Pet owners usually prefer bagless vacuum cleaners with easy-clean dust cups. Bagged vacuum cleaners perform best when the bag is below 2/3 full, so that means frequent bag changes if you’re sucking up lots of pet fur or kitty litter.
What to look for in a Vacuum for Allergies
Are bagged or bagless vacuum cleaners better for allergies or asthma? Shoppers sensitive to dust often ask this question first when looking for a vacuum. However, this may not be the most important point to consider.
The top feature to look for in a vacuum for allergies is a sealed internal vacuuming system. Rubber-coated internal parts mean that dust and allergens can’t escape the connections and chambers once inside the vacuum, before hitting the filtration chamber and collection bin.
The filtration system is also important. Vacuums with HEPA filters are more expensive to maintain than those with washable filters, but a true HEPA filter is the gold standard for improving air quality.
It’s difficult, or even impossible, to find a vacuum cleaner with a true HEPA filter for less than several hundred dollars. So if you have a tight budget, you may opt for a vacuum with a bag instead. Your exposure to dust will be minimal as you empty a bagged vacuum, especially compared to those with open, unsealed dust bins and washable filters.
Another great option for those with dust or dust mite sensitivities: a robot vacuum. This little helper can sweep while you sleep and reduce the overall dust in your home.
How long does the battery last on a cordless vacuum cleaner?
You should expect at least 30 minutes runtime from a good quality lithium ion battery. Many cordless machines offer two power settings, so you can extend the life of the battery when you don’t need maximum suction.
How durable are vacuum cleaners under $100?
How long can you expect your low-cost vacuum to last? This depends greatly on the model and how often you use it, as well as how you maintain your machine. Here are some tips to help you extend the life of your purchase:
- Do not keep cordless models on the charger for longer than the recommended charge time. Though most batteries are designed with overcharge protection, leaving a cordless vac connected to power for too long can shorten the battery life.
- Clean your vacuum after each use. Check the brush and clip and remove any tangled hair. Look inside the suction tube for clogs. Running clean will reduce overall stress on your machine.
- Replace or wash the filters regularly according to the user manual’s recommendations.
How long is the warranty on vacuum cleaners under $100?
Bissell, Hoover, MOOSOO and comparable manufacturers offer 1-2 year limited warranties on their entry level products. This makes the 5-year SharkNinja warranty stand out from the pack.
What does a vacuum warranty cover? Warranties on vacuum cleaners are pretty general, usually stating simply that the manufacturer will repair or replace, free of charge, a machine that proves defective within the specified time period after purchase.
Warranties do not cover bags, filters, belts, brushes or other parts that are expected to need replacement as part of routine maintenance. Many warranties do not cover a machine used outdoors or in a commercial setting.
Exact specifications vary depending on the manufacturer. Always take the time to read your warranty booklet before operating your new machine.