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While you want to enjoy a fresh home with fluffed and dust-free rugs, dipping into your savings account to purchase a quality vacuum might not be feasible, practical, or ideal. We tested 28 vacuums in The Lab and rated them on ease of use, effectiveness, portability, and features such as multi-surface cleaning options and attachment storage. We found that there are upright, cordless stick, handheld, and wet-dry vacuums on the market that come at a low, budget-friendly price tag.
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 quickly snaps into a powerful dustbuster when needed.
Here, the best inexpensive vacuums on the market, according to our testing.
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.
We tested 28 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab in Industry City, Brooklyn during our 16-hour vacuum test. We started with the unboxing and setup of each pick, noting how clear the instructions were. Next, we evaluated each vacuum’s effectiveness on hardwood and three types of carpeted surfaces. To do so, we spilled measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and Cheerios. We noted how well each vacuum moved, how many passes were needed to clean up the materials, and if hair was tangled in the beater bar. We then challenged the vacuums’ maneuverability by running them through a living room-inspired obstacle course to see how they performed in tight areas and around corners. Additionally, we evaluated how well each pick transitioned from smooth floors to carpeting.
Our testers changed the bags and emptied the bins, noting the ease of emptying, and took note of how long cordless models stayed charged. Throughout all of the tests, we rated the noise level of each product. Aside from this test, product testers rated other models on the same attributes while testing them at home. Our editors took all of this consistently applied testing data and boiled it down to the inexpensive vacuums we believe are the very best.
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.
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
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 that 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.
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
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.
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.”
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 tangled hair. If you do use water to clean your vacuum, be sure to let everything air dry before reassembling.
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 cup. 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.
Marisa Casciano is a senior commerce editor for The Spruce, and was in The Lab for the entirety of our vacuum test. She has researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, wine fridges, and more in the home space. She has first-hand knowledge of how our vacuum tests were developed and performed.
Before conducting testing, she scoured brand and retailer websites, and considered price, verified customer reviews, features, and design when selecting the vacuums to test. She also did thorough research on the latest technology, considering practicality and real-life cleaning situations such as picking up dog hair and collecting the dust under a bed during a deep spring clean. At the moment, she loves her upright-style Shark vacuum that’s both cost effective and reliable at cleaning all the surfaces in her home. She also loves her inexpensive wet-dry vacuum for easy, in-between cleans.
Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.