Fifteen years ago, buying a vacuum was simple. They all worked about the same way and used one of a few standard sizes of vacuum bags. Today that is not the case. Whether you prefer to shop in big box stores or online, you can find everything from a basic upright vacuum to a massive bagless machined powered by cyclone technology and steam with a single search.
The right vacuum for you will depend on how much you want to spend and what you want to do with it. If you have thick carpet or pets, you may want something with a robust spin brush. If you primarily vacuum hard floors, perhaps a model with integrated steam cleaning is for you. Regardless of your needs, you can start with any of these choices for about $100 or less.
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#1.BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac
This hand-held vacuum is evidence that Dust Busters have come along way. Gone are the days of constantly dead batteries and poor suction power. This vacuum boasts a lithium-ion battery that resists memory effect. That means that you don’t have to fully discharge the battery every time you use the vacuum.
Another important feature on this vacuum is its on-board extension. If you’re using it to reach under or behind things, or perhaps to get those cobwebs off the ceiling, you’ll be able to do it with bending, crawling, or having to stand in a chair.
#2.BISSELL 9595A Vacuum with OnePass
This Bissell upright is lightweight and powered by cyclone technology for long-lasting, powerful suction. It has a redesigned brush that spins down into the carpet for deeper cleaning on the first pass, and it works great on pet hair. It also comes with tools for stairs and upholstery.
If you’re concerned about spending money on consumables, don’t be. This unit is bagless and has a clear tank that is easy to empty. It also features a washable filter.
#3.Dirt Devil SD20000RED Simpli-Stik Lightweight Bagless Stick Vacuum
This stick vacuum is among the most inexpensive upright models you will find. It is basically an elongated hand vac, so it is extremely lightweight and very easy to maneuver in and out of rooms or up and down stairs. It is bagless, so it’s easy to empty, but being so small you’ll need to empty it every time you use it. If you have a large home, you might need to empty it after every couple of rooms.
This unit has an on-board crevice tool as well as a washable filter, and if you’re a mom, you’ll be glad to know that it’s light enough for a child to use. Cheers to Junior cleaning up his own messes from now on.
#4.Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum
This little Black+Decker 20-volt hand vac packs some serious suction. It features a lithium battery for consistent, strong suction that doesn’t fade, and is powered by cyclone technology. It is bagless, and easy to empty.
This unit has several thoughtful features, such as a pivoting nose that makes it easier to reach almost anything. It can also be wall-mounted to give you more storage options. If you are a true clean freak, you’ll be glad to know that the entire thing can be disassembled and cleaned. The only negative about this unit is that it doesn’t have a washable filter. Once your filter is dirty, you’ll have to buy a replacement.
#5.Dirt Devil SD20005 RED Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld
The corded Dirt Devil is the only corded hand vac on the list. The best thing about it is undoubtedly its continuous suction, thanks to its lack of a battery. It also features a crevice tool and comes with a shoulder strap, which is a thoughtful touch.
This unit is perfect for small to medium jobs. Its 7-amp motor could be a little more powerful, and managing the cord is a tad inconvenient, but on the whole it’s a solid little vacuum with a lot of potential. If you invest in a power converter for the 12V outlet in your car, this unit is an excellent choice for keeping your floorboards clean.
The days of the 30-second battery charge and slowly fading suction are over, as are the days of replacing messy vacuum bags that could make a mess bigger than the one you started with. Whether you need a small, lightweight upright for a dorm room or an apartment, a deep cleaning brush vacuum for pet hair, or a handy hand vac to use just anywhere, start with this list of the top 5 vacuums under $100 in 2016 and you can’t go wrong.