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The start of spring is traditionally a time to get some cleaning done around the house — this could involve trimming weeds in the backyard, washing rugs that have collected dust or steaming clothes in the back of your closet. And the right vacuum can help sweep what a dust pan or mop might miss. While brands like Dyson and iRobot can be pricier, there are more affordable options that are just as highly rated. If you’re looking for a vacuum to replace your old one, you should consider the type of vacuum that will work with your household needs, according to experts we previously talked to.
- A canister vacuum can clean different surfaces — from hardwood floors to carpet — but might be harder to hide away or empty out.
- An upright vacuum is better for bigger cleaning areas. Still, these types of vacuums may not adjust as easily between floors.
- A stick vacuum will be slimmer for storage and lighter to carry around. One expert noted that they’re designed more for quick clean-ups and plucking away pet hair.
- A cordless (or handheld) vacuum is ideal for spot cleaning (rather than cleaning an entire room).
- A robot vacuum can be programmed to run whether or not you’re at home, reaching those crumbs underneath the couch that one of the aforementioned vacuums can’t. However, one expert recommended tidying up before letting the vacuum run since it can only move around clutter.
Best affordable vacuums of 2021
Best overall: Bissell
This Bissell vacuum features a three-in-one design — it can clean carpets and hard floors, and converts into both a handheld version and a shorter stair vacuum (through a floor nozzle attachment). The bagless vacuum can be emptied directly into your trash can. It does have to be plugged in, but it includes a 15-foot cord. It currently comes in four colors: Black, Blue, Lime and Purple. The bestselling vacuum boasts an average 4.4-star rating over more than 41,000 reviews on Amazon.
Best canister vacuum: Eureka
With swivel steering, this canister vacuum is meant to be easy to move around furniture and up stairs. You can choose between three different suction controls on the handle, depending on the surface: carpet, upholstery or hard floors. The vacuum, which weighs approximately 8 pounds, also features an automatic cord retractor and quick dust release on the side of the canister. While bagless, this vacuum includes a filter that the brand recommends rinsing as needed. This vacuum has earned an average 4.4-star rating over more than 10,000 Amazon reviews.
Best upright vacuum: Hoover
This Hoover vacuum includes a tool kit — which features a crevice tool and dusting brush — for things like pet hair and cobwebs. The bagless vacuum also has settings for different surfaces that you can toggle between. There’s also an extension wand to clean places, like your ceiling, that might be harder to reach. Keep in mind, this vacuum is heavier, weighing about 16 pounds. It’s a popular pick on Amazon, earning an average 4.5-star rating over more than 1,300 reviews.
Best cordless vacuum: Black+Decker
For small dry spills and other little messes, this Black+Decker handheld, cordless vacuum includes a built-in crevice tool (usually these come as an attachment on other vacuums) and brush for upholstered furniture. The 1.4-pound vacuum comes with a wall mount base and charger, which can be useful if you don’t have much space to spare in a closet or kitchen. It has an average 4.5-star rating over more than 1,800 reviews on Amazon.
Best stick vacuum: Dirt Devil
If you’re tight on space, consider this Dirt Devil that converts into a handheld vacuum. Keep in mind that this vacuum, which weighs less than 5 pounds, has a smaller 0.4-liter capacity to collect dirt and dust. It also includes an 18-foot cord and a rinsable filter for the occasional easy clean-up. This vacuum has earned an average 4.3-star rating over more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon.
Best robot vacuum: BowAi
Coming in at 2.7 inches in height, this vacuum is meant to fit underneath beds and couches. The three-in-one design means it can vacuum, sweep and mop. On a full charge, this vacuum claims to run for 100 minutes. You can set up a time when you want this vacuum to clean or operate it with a remote control. The vacuum is meant to be quiet as it cleans, too. It’s popular on Walmart, where it has an average 4.8-star rating over close to 800 reviews.
Best vacuum mop: Shark
Unlike the other aforementioned vacuums, this Shark model can suction and mop to clean up wet messes a regular vacuum couldn’t tackle. But remember: The disposable pads should be refilled — preferably with Shark’s own compatible refills. The battery-operated vacuum, which weighs less than 5 pounds, comes with a magnetic charger and features LED headlights for anything you might miss. The vacuum has an average 4.5-star rating over more than 12,000 reviews on Amazon.