We updated this article in February 2022 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive testing and categorical expertise by the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab. New models for the best cheap stick vacuum for carpets and handheld vacuum for pet hair have been selected by Carolyn Forte, Executive Director of the Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab.
It is possible to get a good vacuum cleaner at $100 or less. Compared with pricier models, cheaper vacuum cleaners often contain more plastic parts, may lack some of the upscale features (like adjustable suction, cord rewind, telescoping wands or extra attachments) and may not last as long as higher-end models. But, if you don’t need (or want!) your vacuum to last forever, cheaper vacuums can certainly get the job done sans bells and whistles.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab regularly tests all kinds of vacuums — hundreds over the years — including vacuums for pet hair, vacuums for hardwood floors, canister vacuums, stick vacs, handheld vacs, robot vacuums and so many more. For each model, we test to see how well it picks up different types of debris, from sand to pet hair. We also consider the maneuverability across different types of flooring, around common household obstacles and up and down stairs. We look for ease of use in everything from the intuitiveness of the controls to the process for changing bags, emptying dust bins or cleaning filters.
We selected these best inexpensive vacuums based on both in-house testing and categorical expertise. The picks below stood out in our assessment as models offering great value. Here are the best budget vacuum cleaners for under $100 in 2022:
Our top picks
- Best Cheap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner: Bissell Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Cheap Canister Vacuum Cleaner: Eureka Mighty Mite Bagged Canister Vacuum
- Best Cheap Upright Vacuum Cleaner: Bissell CleanView Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Cheap Handheld Vacuum: WORX Power Share Cordless Cube Compact Vacuum
- Best Cheap Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair: Black + Decker AdvancedClean+ Pet Hand Vacuum
- Best Cheap Robot Vacuum: Kyvol Cybovac E20 Robot Vacuum
- Best Cheap Car Vacuum Cleaner: Hotor Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Cheap Stick Vacuum for Small Spaces: Dirt Devil 3-in-1 Stick Vacuum
- Can be a stick vac or a hand vac
- Easy to store
- Powerful nozzle for deep cleaning
With over 69,000 ratings on Amazon, this lightweight powerhouse is doing something right. Use it as a stick vacuum to quickly clean the kitchen floor after dinner, or remove the handle to use it as a hand vacuum — with or without the floor nozzle — for the car, upholstery or stairs. The 15-foot cord means you can cover a good amount of ground without changing outlets, and its compact size makes it easy to store. No fancy features or extra attachments — just a crevice tool — but for this price, it's a reliable pick from a brand with many models backed by our Good Housekeeping Seal.
• Weight: 2.6 lbs.
• Cord Length: 15 ft.
• Attachments: Crevice tool
- Great at cleaning bare floors
- Very lightweight
- Dust bags easy to change
There’s a reason this mini vacuum cleaner has been on the market so long: It works! Lightweight and easy to tote around, the Eureka is a bare floor cleaning champ. It comes with a HEPA filter to trap allergens and a seven-piece attachment set for floor-to-ceiling cleaning. The dust bags are easy to change, and there’s even a blower port for ridding your garage, driveway or deck of debris. Especially nice at this cheap price are fingertip controls and a 20-foot cord.
• Weight: 8.6 lbs.
• Cord Length: 20 ft.
• Attachments: Crevice tool, 2-in-1 upholstery tool/dusting brush
- 5 height settings
- Easy-to-clean dust cup
- Turbo brush attachment for pet hair
This inexpensive Good Housekeeping Seal holder has five height settings to clean deep- and low-pile carpeting and everything in between. The bagless dust cup empties from the bottom for less mess, and the turbo brush attachment works wonders removing pet hair and lint from upholstery and carpeted stairs. It comes with a washable foam filter, a 25-foot cord and a two-year limited warranty from Bissell. And weighing in at only 12.5 pounds, it’s easy to carry up and down stairs. This is our pick for the best cheap vacuum for carpets too!
• Weight: 12.5 lbs.
• Cord Length: 25 ft.
• Attachments: Crevice tool, dusting brush, extension wand, TurboBrush tool
- Includes HEPA filter
This small but mighty machine weighs only 3 pounds and scored best overall for handheld vacuums in our GH Cleaning Lab. What makes it even better is that it's cordless! The rechargeable battery is compatible with any 20v or 40v Worx tools, so there is no need to buy another if you already have one at home. The vacuum also features a HEPA filter which can be cleaned with warm water, and the flexible hose extends up to 4 feet long and comes with a crevice nozzle and brush attachment, making it easy to get into small spaces.
• Weight: 3 lbs.
• Dimensions: Cordless
• Settings: Crevice nozzle, brush attachment
- 1-Touch emptying dust bin
- Powerful suction for pet hair pickup
- Washable filter
This vacuum from Black + Decker gives you more bang for your buck. In Lab tests, we saw powerful suction rivaling some of the high-end models we test — even without using the power boost setting. This pet hair pro ran for 32 minutes on a full charge, perfect to clean your stairs or upholstered furniture in your living room. And keeping track of the battery life is easy with its larger, easy-to-read battery indicator.
• Weight: 4.2 lbs.
• Cord Length: Cordless
• Attachments: Extra-long crevice tool, motorized pet brush
- Auto carpet detection
- Includes HEPA filter
- App controlled
Our pick for the best value robot vacuum, the Cybovac E20 from Kyvol is a great choice for those looking to try a robot vacuum for the first time without breaking the bank. All of the features you get from most robot vacuums on the market like auto-recharge when the battery runs low, three cleaning modes and an app to schedule and control cleaning are featured in this cheap robot vacuum. In lab tests, we were impressed with this model's automatic suction increase when the robot moved from hardwood to carpet. With a runtime of 150 minutes, this cheap pick rivals many of the other high-end robot vacuums we tested.
• Weight: 10.5 lbs.
• Cord Length: Cordless
• Attachments: N/A
- Headlight helps clean crevices
- Great value for money
- 15-foot cord plugs into a 12-volt car outlet
A cheap Amazon favorite with over 18,300 ratings, this vacuum is a bargain, to say the least. It plugs into your car’s 12-volt outlet with a 16-foot cord and features a headlight to nab every last speck under and between the seats. There’s also a washable stainless steel filter, a hose, brush, crevice tool and even a storage bag to pack it up neatly into the trunk so it’s handy at home or on the road.
• Weight: 2.4 lbs.
• Cord Length: 16.4 ft.
• Attachments: Brush nozzle, crevice nozzle, extension hose nozzle
- Can be used as a stick or handheld vacuum
- Rotating brush perfect for lifting dirt out of carpets
This lightweight vacuum from Dirt Devil lets you turn on the rotating brush only when you need it, a unique feature we didn’t see in any of the other cheap vacuums we tested. If you need to get into tight spaces or clean upholstery, you can detach the handle and use it as a handheld vacuum. Our pros were impressed with this Dirt Devil’s performance, especially when removing pet hair from carpet. And because it’s so versatile and easy to store, it’s perfect for those in dorm rooms, apartments or homes with limited storage.
In the Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab, all vacuums are tested exactly the same way for more accurate performance comparisons, and our tests are based on the ASTM International industry standard test methods. While we haven’t tested all of the vacuums on this list, we have tested similar models from virtually every brand. For each model we have tested, we evaluate dirt removal from plush carpeting and bare floors, pet hair removal from carpeting, suction at the hose, ease of use, loudness and extra features. Every model goes through each test three times before we average the results to give them an overall score across all categories.
Our carpet dirt removal test is done on a custom-built, automated machine that passes the vacuum cleaners the same number of passes over the same test carpeting in exactly the same pattern each time. We weigh the dust bin of each vacuum before and after cleaning to see how much of the sand and talc mix we deeply embed into plush carpeting the vacuum has removed. To test dirt removal on bare flooring, we calculate and weigh a mix of gritty sand and dry orzo pasta and spread it out on a floor. After a specified number of passes, the dust bin is weighed to objectively measure how well each vacuum picked up the debris.
To test for pet hair removal, we use industry-standard rayon fibers to simulate pet hair that we evenly spread on a carpet’s surface. We pass each vacuum the same number of passes over the carpet and take the weight of the dust bin to measure how much the vacuum cleaner was able to pick up. In total, each vacuum goes through a minimum of nine separate tests just to assess floor cleaning performance.
Testing for ease of use includes evaluating maneuverability (weight is a factor here too), battery run-time for cordless vacuum cleaners, the ease of the controls and how simple it is to empty and clean the vacuum cleaner after each use. Additionally, we evaluate the owner’s manual for each vacuum cleaner and assign it a grade for robustness and ease of following instructions for use. For sound measurements, we work with Quiet Mark, an independent global sound certification program, to objectively determine the loudness of each model.
While you’ll want to take your budget into consideration a bit more, shopping for a cheap vacuum cleaner is no different than shopping for a higher-end model. Find a model with the features that work best for you and the space you plan to clean. Because cheaper vacuum cleaners have more plastic parts and are more easily prone to breakage, take an extra moment, if possible, to inspect each part of the display vacuum to make sure you are comfortable with its sturdiness. Here’s what to keep in mind:
✔️Space: What are you planning to use your vacuum cleaner for? You want to let the space you’re cleaning guide you. If you want a cheap vacuum cleaner to keep in your garage for your car, a lightweight handheld vacuum will be best suited for the task. For homes with lots of carpet, choose an upright vacuum with a rotating brush. For hardwood floors, a vacuum with soft bristles that easily maneuvers around furniture will be your best option. If you're cleaning multiple levels of your home, consider lightweight models or a canister vacuum with an extra-long hose that you can easily carry up and down the stairs.
✔️Power source: Decide whether you want a vacuum with a cord, which can limit how far you can vacuum until you need to find another outlet, or whether you prefer cordless, which has a battery life you'll need to monitor between charges.
✔️Attachments: A motorized power nozzle can help you clean carpets and rugs more efficiently, while a crevice tool can help you reach tough spots that tend to collect dust, such as behind a couch or dresser. There are also tools such as a mini-turbobrush that work wonders when it comes to getting your pet’s hair off furniture.
✔️Warranty: Most should come with at least a one-year limited warranty. Don’t settle for anything less. Products carrying our Good Housekeeping Seal are protected for two years.
Carolyn Forte brings 40+ years experience as a consumer products expert to her role as Executive Director of Good Housekeeping's Home Care and Cleaning Lab. After earning a B.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences from Queens College, City University of New York and a brief stint as a Textile Analyst in the retail sector, she joined the Good Housekeeping Institute. Carolyn has deep analytical testing and editorial writing expertise in categories like appliances, cleaning, textiles, and home and organizational products. She oversees the work of the Home Care and Cleaning Lab, produces all the cleaning and home care advice for Good Housekeeping in print and digitally and has authored numerous special Good Housekeeping publications like books and bookazines. Carolyn often speaks as a consumer expert to industry and is regularly interviewed as a leading industry expert on national and local television programs and in print and digital news articles. For the past three years, Carolyn has been partnering with the American Cleaning Institute to co-produce the Discover Cleaning Summits.