Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: December 29, 2020
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Having a good vacuum around is essential to keeping a clean house, but it can also be daunting to spend a ton of money on an item used solely for cleaning rather than enjoying life. However, buying a vacuum doesn’t have to break the bank – there are plenty of excellent vacuums available for just a fraction of what a top-of-the-line model can cost, yet with much of the same cleaning power and attachment tools to clean your whole house. To make finding a great budget vacuum easy for you, we’ve reviewed 10 of the best vacuums under $100.
To sort out the best budget vacuums from the pack, we looked at the technical specifications for tens of vacuums and read through hundreds of customer reviews. We paid special attention not only to finding the absolute best budget vacuum, but also finding great values and vacuums with special features so that there is a vacuum for every use. Thanks to this research, we are confident our picks represent the best crop of vacuums under $100.
The table below gives a brief overview of our 10 picks, and you can find detailed information including technical specifications, reviews, and pros and cons for each vacuum in the following section. Our buying guide covers everything you need to know about what to look for in a vacuum under $100 and how to choose the right vacuum for your needs. Finally, we review our overall top pick for best vacuum under $100.
For well under $100, this vacuum from Bissell offers excellent cleaning power and a wide array of features. First, the OnePass rotating brush technology in the vacuum does an excellent job of getting down into carpets to pick up crumbs and pet hair on the first pass-through – saving you a ton of time covering the same ground. Users rave about the suction, which is heavy-duty enough to capture even large debris on the first pass. Plus, the wide head means that it will take only a short time to clean an entire room fully.
The vacuum does a relatively good job of bending to get deep underneath furniture, although the dust bin could be lower profile to make it easier to reach further. Additionally, the head does not rotate, so the vacuum can be somewhat difficult to maneuver. However, these issues are somewhat mediated by the flexible hose, which can be used with or without the included attachment tools.
When you’re done vacuuming, this vacuum also makes cleanup easy. The dust bin snaps off and can be easily emptied without creating a mess thanks to the pop-open lid. In addition, the foam filter is hand washable in the sink and lasts for months of use with regular cleaning.
Another feature that makes it clear that Bissell was paying attention to detail is the power cord. At 25’ long, it is easy to clean multiple connected rooms before having to change outlets, which saves you a ton of time over a lifetime of cleaning.
What we liked:
OnePass technology offer superior suction and brush power
Washable foam filter
25’ power cord
What could be better:
Head does not rotate
Vacuum is not particularly low profile for cleaning under furniture
If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner you can always count on, there is no looking past the BLACK+DECKER Flex Handheld Cordless Vacuum. This unit looks like a crazy scientist contracted a full-size vacuum to a hand-held size, primarily because of the hose that easily wraps around it when you don’t require the full length of the unit. To put it simply, you can use this unit with one hand, just like a normal hand-held vacuum.
It’s also worth noting that this unit is cordless, powered by a lithium battery. It lets you handle clean-ups quickly, without needing to lug out your bigger vacuum. It also has a lot of suction, which makes it suitable for carpets and hard floors. Besides, it comes with a high-performance motor, which makes everything easier. And thanks to the four feet flexible hose included, it easily reaches hard-to-reach spots and corners.
It also comes with an oversized dirt bin, which easily empties by unfastening one clip. Not only that, but the unit is also easy to clean, and it’s three-stage filter prevents debris from escaping prior to clean-up. On the drawbacks, it comes with two major ones. Firstly, it quickly runs out of battery. Secondly, the hose pops off a lot of times, which could cause some inconvenience.
Looking for a powerful vacuum cleaner that will never disappoint you? The BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Pet 2252 Vacuum Cleaner might be what you are looking for. Apart from being moderately priced, there are many things to like about this model. Some of its unique features include a scatter-free technology that keeps debris from scattering over your wooden floors and multi-cyclonic pet hair spooling system that helps pull pet hair into the container.
This means you don’t need to touch the mess, which is great. It also comes with brilliant additions like a swivel steering and a triple-action tangle-free brush roll. Another thing we love about this model is its great range of unique pet hair tools, which include a TurboEraser accessory that sucks out hair out of stairs, upholstery, and thick carpet. Unfortunately, one significant thing that is lacking is a HEPA filter, which has been replaced by a patented Bissel allergen filter that we are not sure is as good.
While this filter has its upsides too, we just don’t think it’s anywhere close to HEPA filtration in terms of effectiveness. It’s also important to mention that the unit is easy to assemble, and its edge-to-edge cleaning is incredible.
This vacuum from Eureka offers the cleaning power you need no matter what floor surface you’re working on. It excels at carpet thanks to the 5-level height adjustment on the brush head. This allows the head to get deep into plush carpets or stay shallow to pick up larger debris on thin carpet and hardwood flooring. The vacuum offers plenty of suction for whatever you’re working on and can be set to tool mode to channel that power to the 8-foot hose to provide the same performance when working with the included attachment tools.
With a 27-foot power cord – the longest among our picks – this vacuum will travel through multiple rooms before you need to move the plug. The only downside to the vacuum’s performance in this respect is that the large profile of the suction unit makes it difficult to reach under low-clearance furniture.
The vacuum keeps dust at bay using a washable foam filter and a canister that is easy to dump without making a mess.
A number of users found that the belt on this vacuum wears out and breaks within six months of use. However, the vacuum comes with a 3-year limited warranty, so in the event that you receive a poor-quality vacuum Eureka will replace the broken parts.
What we liked:
5-level height adjustment for carpet and hardwood
Excellent suction across floor types
Washable foam filter
27-foot power cord
What could be better:
High-profile suction unit makes it difficult to reach under furniture
Manufacturing issues with belt, although covered by warranty
This vacuum from Bissell packs a ton of cleaning power at a cost that even the most budget-conscious buyers can’t argue with. For starters, this vacuum offers a ton of suction power – so much that users are careful to avoid curtains and anything else they don’t want to be sucked in to the wand. Plus, the vacuum is optimized for both carpets and hardwood floors and can switch between the two easily by pressing a switch on the canister.
The vacuum head has small wheels built in, which makes it easy to maneuver and are a big help when trying to reach under furniture. Users noted that the wand itself felt somewhat flimsy, although none reported issues with the wand breaking after multiple uses.
The 15-foot power cord is somewhat short, especially given that the canister vacuum design requires you to move it around the house with you as you go. However, the cord is retractable, which is great for cleaning up from your cleaning. At only 7.5 pounds, you also won’t feel any arm strain from moving this vacuum throughout the house.
The vacuum comes with multiple filters, which do an excellent job of capturing dirt and dust. The filters are washable in the sink, and the pop-open canister is easy to empty into the trash without making a mess.
If you’re looking for a vacuum designed for cleaning up surfaces and furniture rather than entire rooms, the Dust Buster from Welikera is a great budget choice. This dustbuster is lightweight and cordless, yet it doesn’t lack power – users found that the vacuum had enough suction to pick up hair and large crumbs on the first pass.
The battery-powered motor means you can take this vacuum anywhere in your house without worrying about a cord, including outside to use for cleaning your car. Although it takes 3 hours to fully charge between uses, the 25-minute battery life is plenty to last for a thorough cleaning session.
The Dust Buster comes with built-in LED lights on the nose of the vacuum in order to help you better see what areas need cleaning, especially in the dark areas under furniture. Plus, the stainless steel filter is washable and far more durable than a standard HEPA filter. In addition to a set of accessory attachments, the vacuum comes with a carrying case for easy storage.
The downside to the Dust Buster is of course that it is not very helpful when you need to clean large areas of floors, which means that you may need to also purchase a second vacuum to supplement this one.
What we liked:
Lightweight and cordless to clean anywhere
Washable stainless steel filter
25-minute battery life
Built-in LED lights
What could be better:
Needs to be supplemented with another vacuum for cleaning floors
If you can’t decide between a handheld and upright vacuum and don’t have the budget to spring for both, this 2-in-1 unit from Dibea is an excellent compromise. The entire vacuum is battery-powered and has a plentiful runtime of 30-40 minutes depending on use. This allows you to go anywhere in the house, or even out to your car, without switching between outlets as for a corded vacuum. However, note that you’ll need to wait four hours or more to fully recharge the battery once it is depleted.
At only 6.5 pounds, this is one of the lightest upright vacuums in our roundup. The vacuum features a swivel head for maneuverability, although it does struggle with collecting dust from edges unless you resort to detailed cleaning with the handheld unit. The suction is good for hardwood and thin carpet floors and can be switched easily between two power modes to optimize suction and battery life. However, users found that the vacuum struggled to pick up debris from deep carpets.
The dirt collection cup on this vacuum is rather small at only 0.5L, which means you may be making frequent trips to empty it into the garbage. But, the cup is washable for cleanliness, as is the included HEPA filter.
This stick vacuum from Hoover is lightweight and nimble. The canister is extremely low-profile and combined with the extreme recline handle it is easy to reach all the way to the back of the area under your beds and couches. At only 9.5 pounds, this is also a great choice if your house has many flights of stairs that you’ll need to carry the vacuum up and down every time you clean.
The suction on this vacuum is good enough for pet hair and small crumbs, but don’t expect it to pick up larger objects like dog food – stick vacuums typically do not have the suction of larger vacuums, and this model is no exception. However, the vacuum head is intelligently designed and is able to transition from hardwood floors to carpets with ease. In addition, the edges of the vacuum head have a motorized brushroll for cleaning the edges against walls. This brushroll can be shut off to avoid scratching hardwood floors, although you’ll need to remember to do this when you switch surfaces.
The 20-foot power cord could be longer, but thankfully it is not among the shortest cords in our roundup. The vacuum is also designed with washable filters to seal in dust particles and with an easy-to-use pop-open canister to throw out the dust you have collected. All these features make the Hoover the best corded stick vacuum we could find for under $100.
What we liked:
Low profile canister and extreme recline handle
Motorized edge-cleaning brushroll
What could be better:
Moderate suction – cannot pick up large debris
Can scratch hardwood floors if brushroll not turned off
The Tattoo Vacuum from Dirt Devil is a miniaturized take on the canister vacuum. Users found that the light 9.2-pound weight makes it easy to carry this vacuum up and down stairs, while the canister itself is easy to roll along as you pull on the wand. It is also easy to store, and the power cord is retractable. One downside to the miniaturized design is that the wand is somewhat short for anyone over about 5’8” tall and requires stooping over to reach the floor.
Unlike many of the other vacuums in our roundup uses a bag rather than a bagless design. The bag is simple to replace, although it does require that you keep a steady supply of vacuum bags on hand around the house. The included HEPA filter is not washable either, so plan to replace this every few months.
Another unique feature of this vacuum is that it allows you to customize the suction as you go using a lever built into the canister. This can be useful if you are working on area rugs, which have a tendency to bunch up under high suction, or if you know you want to suck up large pieces of debris in a certain area. The vacuum head itself is suitable for both carpet and hardwood flooring and won’t leave behind scratches.
This canister vacuum from Ovente comes with all the attachments you could possibly ask for to make even the most specialized cleaning tasks possible. The various attachments are optimized for everything from carpets to curtains to pet hair, and it is simple and fast to pull one off and another on as you clean throughout the house. The only issue with the attachments is that they don’t click into place, which can make it difficult to tell when they’re fully on if you’re not used to using this particular vacuum.
The main downside to this vacuum is the canister design, which requires you to pull the vacuum along with you as you move. At the same time, you are somewhat limited by the short 16.5-foot power cord. Users also found that the wheels did not turn well, especially on carpet, and that the vacuum felt particularly heavy when cleaning for extended periods.
For those with a lot of dirt, though, this vacuum does offer some additional features that can come in handy. The 3L canister is larger than on most upright vacuums and can save you trips to the garbage. Plus, the foam filters are washable and durable so you don’t need to worry about releasing dust into the air.
What we liked:
Huge array of attachments
Washable foam filters
What could be better:
Short 16.5-foot power cord
Heavy and wheels do not turn easily on carpet
Things to Сonsider
Not all vacuums are created equally – there are a huge variety of features and designs that affect how a vacuum functions and how easy it is to use. Here, we’ll cover some of the main features you need to know about in order to find the right vacuum under $100 for you.
What to look for in a vacuum under $100?
But first, what sets expensive vacuums apart from their budget competitors that sell for less than $100? The main difference is technology and quality – newer vacuums have typically had more research and development poured into creating patented technology, while budget vacuums are taking advantage of that same technology years later. As a result, budget vacuums typically fall short of expensive models in recent areas of development, for example in high-powered cordless vacuum designs. Budget vacuums also tend to be made with less durable components than more expensive models – the wand and vacuum body may be made with flimsier plastic materials, or the wheels may not glide as smoothly over carpet. While performance ranges between all vacuum models, it’s also doubly important to be sure that a budget vacuum will have the suction you need since these are often less powerful than top-of-the-line vacuum models.
Given these limitations, it is typically best to stick with tried-and-true vacuum designs when opting for a vacuum under $100 or a slightly more expensive vacuum under $200. Corded vacuums are more likely to provide adequate suction than budget cordless models, and a less-is-more approach typically results in a vacuum that is better at its primary function than poor at a range of auxiliary functions.
Most of all, be sure to purchase a budget vacuum that is well-designed and provides adequate cleaning power for the situation you are most likely to use it in, whether that is cleaning floors, edge cleaning, or cleaning furniture.
Vacuums are made with a couple different foundational designs. The first major distinction is between upright and canister vacuums. Most people are used to using upright vacuums, which have the wand and suction unit integrated into a single standing tool. Canister vacuums, on the other hand, separate the suction unit from the vacuum wand. Canister vacuums are typically smaller than upright vacuums, which makes for easy storage, and the wand is more versatile for reaching under furniture since it is not connected to the vacuum itself. However, canister vacuums also require you to frequently bend down and pull the canister along with you as you vacuum, which can make vacuuming a large house tedious.
Another design split is between bagged and bagless vacuums. All but one of our top 10 budget vacuums are bagless because of the convenience and ease of use. Bagless vacuums simply pull the debris into a canister, which can then be cleaned by simply ejecting the canister off the vacuum body and shaking it out into the trash. Bag vacuums, on the other hand, use a liner bag inside the debris collection area of the vacuum. Although this offers convenience in that it is easy to throw out and replace the dirty bag, it does require you to have a ready supply of spare bags around the house in order to use the vacuum.
The brush that is built into a vacuum head can make a significant difference in its cleaning power on different surfaces. Many brushes are designed to be constantly on and offer a compromise of specificity for hardwood and carpet flooring, although these often perform poorly on deep carpet or leave scratches on hardwood flooring. Other brushes are height adjustable, allowing you to optimize for different carpet thicknesses, or allow you to turn the brush motor on or off depending on whether you are cleaning on hardwood or plush carpet. Consider what floor types you will be cleaning with your vacuum when deciding what type of brush flexibility you will need.
Suction power is critical to a vacuum’s usefulness, but it can be tricky to measure since more wattage does not necessarily mean more suction. Information about a vacuum’s water lift and air flow capacities describe how powerfully and quickly air moves through the vacuum, but these can be difficult to compare between vacuums. Suction power also depends in part on the ability of the brush head to loosen debris, particularly on rug floors, and on the size of the head opening. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to increase the suction power of a new vacuum. However, you can maintain the maximum suction power over time by cleaning out the canister, filters, and brush heads on occasion.
Different vacuums come with different capacities, ranging anywhere from 0.5L to 3L or more. The capacity will determine how frequently you will need to stop cleaning and empty out the canister into the trash, or in the case of a bag vacuum to replace the bag. Most upright vacuums offer a 2L capacity, which is plenty for cleaning an entire house without emptying the canister.
The filtration system built into a vacuum is extremely important since it prevents the dust that is sucked into the canister from being re-released into the air. Many high-end and some budget vacuums use replaceable HEPA filters, which do an excellent job of collecting dust particles. More common on budget vacuums are foam filters, which are not as effective as HEPA filters but have the added ability to be washed in the sink, which means you can go months to years without having to replace the filter.
If you are particularly sensitive to airborne dust, look for budget vacuums designed with multiple filters to more effectively prevent dust from escaping from the vacuum.
If you have to go up and down the stairs when cleaning, you’ll quickly notice whether your vacuum is light or heavy. If weight is a concern, look for upright stick vacuums that offer a minimal and lightweight design. On the other hand, if you will not be carrying the vacuum, a heavy-duty canister vacuum may serve your needs just fine.
The number one thing that will force you to repeatedly pause and restart your vacuuming is changing the power cord from outlet to outlet as you move through the house. Although cordless vacuums solve this problem, they are uncommon at a price under $100 and typically lack the suction power of their corded competitors. Cord lengths of 25 feet or more are excellent for moving through multiple rooms without stopping, although shorter cords can be okay for smaller houses. In addition, look for retractable cords to make putting the vacuum away easy and fast.
Vacuums are universally loud, but some produce enough noise to alarm the neighbors. If you live in an apartment with thin walls or frequently vacuum early in the morning or at night, look for a vacuum that is somewhat on the quieter side. Unfortunately, budget vacuums typically do not have the noise reduction features found in more expensive vacuums, and noise tends to scale with suction power.
While you don’t want to plan on something going wrong with your new vacuum, having protection from a warranty if there is a mechanical issue can provide peace of mind when you make the purchase. Look for vacuums with at least a one-year warranty, since most common manufacturing issues will become evident soon after the vacuum is broken in.
Having a vacuum around can go a long way towards keeping your house clean, and buying a new vacuum doesn’t have to break the bank thanks to a variety of excellent budget vacuums under $100. Our roundup covers 10 of our favorite budget vacuums for a wide range of uses, from cleaning carpets to tackling pet hair to sucking up messes in hard-to-reach places. Plus, our Buyer’s Guide reviews all of the information you need to know in order to choose the best vacuum under $100 for you.