The 7 Best Vacuums Under $200, Tested and Reviewed
Dotdash Meredith and Yahoo Inc. may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.
These affordable vacuum cleaners went head-to-head with Dyson
Editor's note: An earlier edition of this article recommended the Hoover MAXLife Elite Upright Vacuum, but after long-term testing this model, we have removed it from our list and added two additional affordable vacuums in its place.
You can spend a lot on a quality vacuum, but at the end of the day, it’s just a dirt-sucking machine. We tested over 100 vacuums this past year and were pleasantly surprised at some of the top performers. We put all the vacuums through the wringer — whether it was a $700 Dyson or a $100 Amazon brand. After watching them suck up everything from pet hair to cereal, we graded each model on effectiveness, ease of use, maneuverability, noise level, and value.
Read on for the best vacuums under $200 that received our PEOPLE Tested seal of approval, so you can have a clean home and still buy that Kate Middleton sneaker dupe you've had your eye on.
Best Upright: Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Upright Vacuum
Swivel design makes for easy maneuvering under furniture and around corners
Excellent at sucking up hair and pet hair
Lightweight for an upright vacuum
No HEPA filter
This Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Vacuum gives the ease and power of a traditional corded vacuum, but it's cordless, which is very rare for an upright vacuum. This makes it an excellent pick for those with larger spaces who have to navigate around furniture or corners. The upright design is especially convenient for any surprise interruptions when cleaning: You can step away, and it stands on its own. In testing, we found the swivel steering on this Shark vacuum easy to use; at under 8 pounds, it’s reasonably light for this type of larger, upright style.
When testing the vacuum’s suction power, we noticed it did a particularly good job cleaning up hair on carpeted and hard surfaces, making it a great choice for pet owners constantly dealing with shedding pets. However, those with allergies should note it uses a foam filter rather than a HEPA filter.
We like the large dust bin that allows for uninterrupted cleaning without emptying, and when it is time to empty this vacuum, it’s easy and straightforward. The battery lasted through our entire testing process (about 15 minutes) without losing any power. It's worth noting that Shark offers a complimentary one-year limited warranty, so you can save money without worrying if your affordable vacuum will break in a few weeks.
Price at time of publish: $130.80 (orig. $159.99)
Type: Cordless upright | Filter Type: Foam | Wattage: 125W | Weight: 7.5 lbs. | Capacity: 16 gal | Included accessories: Charging dock
Related:The 8 Best Shark Vacuums of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Best Cordless Stick: eufy by Anker HomeVac H30 Infinity Cordless Vacuum
Less than 2 pounds, so it's easy to tote from room to room
Great for cleaning high, hard-to-reach places
Doubles as a mop
No HEPA filter
Dust bin is on the smaller side
Good things do come in small packages. The Eufy by Anker HomeVac H30 is a small but mighty vacuum and our top cordless stick vacuum pick. Squeezing in at just under $200 ($199.99 to be exact), this is an incredible deal considering its power and easy maneuverability.
This affordable vacuum is under two pounds, and the even weight distribution on this vacuum made it easy to hold during testing. Since there's not too much weight at the front or back end of the vacuum, it's very easy to maneuver. Even as our lightest vacuum, we found it super effective and efficient in cleaning up debris on both hard and carpeted surfaces. We like the convertible design and its ability to transform into a handheld vacuum quickly.
This affordable vacuum cleaner also comes with a crevice tool and a motorized brush attachment, making it that much more of a deal. We did note that we had to empty the dust bin during our tests because it’s on the smaller side, but, on the brighter side, the battery ran for 20 minutes during our testing process without any change in suction or power.
Price at time of publish: $199.99
Type: Cordless stick | Filter Type: Cloth | Wattage: 200W | Dimensions: 16.73 x 3.54 x 2.87 inches | Weight: 1.79 lbs | Capacity: 0.06 gal | Included Accessories: Mini-motorized pet brush, 2-in-1 crevice tool, pipe tools, mopping module, disposable mopping cloths
Best Canister: Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Ergonomic design makes vacuuming sessions less painful
Automatic cord rewind is a handy feature for such an affordable vacuum
No HEPA filter
For those who prefer a canister vacuum, our top pick is this Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister Vacuum. Canister vacuums are a great ergonomic choice, and we found that this Eureka canister's floor nozzle pivoted well across different surfaces and maneuvered easily around furniture. This type of vacuum usually tends to be pricey, but at under $100, this one is a great deal.
The 16-foot cord was long enough to clean an entire large bedroom, though we imagine you’d have to move and replug this vacuum to cover a much larger space. However, the canister is so lightweight that moving around with this vacuum wasn't an issue during testing. This Eureka model was especially effective at cleaning debris off upholstery, and we appreciate that the crevice tool is built in to the handle, so you don't even have to switch out the attachment. Eureka offers a one-year limited warranty on this model.
Price at time of publish: $89.99
Type: Corded canister | Filter Type: Washable foam | Wattage: 960W | Weight: 8.2 lbs. | Capacity: 0.66 gal | Included Accessories: Additional filter
Best Value: Dirt Devil Versa 3-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Converts to a handheld vacuum in seconds
Under $100; the most affordable vacuum we tested
Great starter vacuum
No HEPA filter
12-minute battery life, so you may need to charge it mid-clean if you're vacuuming a large area
We love how simple and easy to use this Dirt Devil Versa 3-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum proved during testing. At less than five pounds, moving around with this vacuum was a breeze. The smaller brush head was easy to maneuver around furniture, and the rollers glided effortlessly along all testing surfaces. For a small vacuum, we were impressed with the suction power and could complete our debris tests in less than three passes. The convertible design is excellent for off-the-floor cleaning, like furniture or countertops. We also love how easily this Dirt Devil vacuum changes into a handheld vacuum.
The battery life lasted throughout our entire testing process without losing power. (According to Dirt Devil, the battery life on this vacuum is 12 minutes.) Is this the best vacuum ever? No, but for under $100, it will get the job done. This would be a great secondary vacuum for a storage space, workshop, or dorm. There's no warranty on this one, but it’s our lowest-priced vacuum on the list.
Price at time of publish: $89.99
Type: Cordless stick | Filter Type: F117 | Wattage: 80W | Weight: Under 5 lbs. | Capacity: 0.11 gal | Included accessories: None
Best for Pet Owners: Moosoo K23 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum
Lightweight and compact for maximum maneuverability
Powerful, efficient suction picks up pet hair and crumbs with ease
Quieter than other models we tested
Has a HEPA filter
Can’t stand upright on its own
Stay tidy on a budget without compromising quality. The MOOSOO Stick Vacuum K23 Pro stands out and gives the coveted Dyson vacuums a run for their money at a fraction of the price. This cordless stick vacuum has a HEPA filter, which will trap harmful particles when cleaning. We found this cordless vacuum easy to maneuver, and it transitioned from carpeted to hard surfaces with ease. At under 6 pounds, this compact vacuum is very portable and will make cleaning multiple areas more manageable. In our tests this vacuum demonstrated strong and effective 23KPa suction, cleaning up a variety of debris, including pet hair, quickly.
The 4-in-1 design comes with several attachments for cleaning different surfaces and hard-to-reach areas. The wall-mount makes for convenient storage and access. The LED light feature helps when cleaning dark corners or crevices, and the vacuum’s light weight made emptying this bagless vacuum easy, but be sure to take out the filter beforehand or else it’ll fall into the garbage. (The last thing you want is to find yourself elbow-deep in the trash sifting for a lost filter.)
There are three adjustable power settings, and we appreciated that this vacuum’s noise was more on par with a hair dryer and quieter than typical vacuums, so it likely won't scare your furry friends. This is a great affordable alternative to a fancier brand (ahem, Dyson) for quick, efficient cleaning. MOOSOO offers a 12-month warranty, which is only sweetens the deal.
Price at time of publish: $125.99 (orig. $169.99)
Type: Cordless Stick | Filter Type: HEPA | Wattage: 300W | Weight: 5.28 lbs | Capacity: 0.26 gal | Included accessories: Wall mount, hose, smaller upholstery, and crevice attachments
Best Handheld: Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Portable, so you can use it in your car or anywhere around your home
Pet power brush keeps hair from tangling
No HEPA filter
Need to vacuum on the go? The Shark UltraCyclone proved to be our best handheld vacuum. This is a great vacuum to keep in your car and one of our editors swears by it. Its compact and super lightweight design (less than 3 pounds) made it easy to use and maneuver throughout our testing process.
The included crevice tool allows you to achieve an even deeper clean, perfect for those hard-to-reach areas in the car or between the seats. This vacuum performed exceptionally well on hard surfaces, too, and it’s great at cleaning up hair because hair doesn’t tangle or wrap around the brushes — a pet owner’s dream. In addition to the crevice tool, it comes with two brush attachments to really get at the fur. This vacuum’s battery lasted throughout our 25-minute testing process. Shark offers an impressive two-year limited warranty on this model, too.
Price at time of publish: $79.99 (orig. $98.99)
Type: Cordless handheld | Filter Type: Fabric | Wattage: 80W | Weight: 2.8 lbs. | Capacity: 0.11 gal | Included Accessories: Self-cleaning pet power brush, crevice tool, scrubbing brush
Related:The 6 Best Dustbusters of 2023
Best for Hardwood Floors: Bissell 1132A Symphony All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop
Easy to maneuver under furniture and around corners
Doubles as a steam mop, so it's an incredible value
No HEPA filter
No swivel head on this vacuum
We love this two-for-one vacuum that gives the beloved Dyson Omni-Glide a run for its money. Vacuum meets steam mop in the Bissell Symphony 1132A. Three settings allow you to vacuum, vacuum and steam, or just steam. The steam feature is designed to sanitize your floors and kill bacteria. It’s like mopping and vacuuming all in one step and can cut down your cleaning time.
It's important to note that you should only use steam on sealed hardwood floors to avoid warping. In testing, we found it vacuumed up debris on hard surfaces like a dream — especially hair. We noted the low profile on this vacuum would make it easy to fit underneath furniture, like a sofa. Plus, it comes with different soft and scrub pad attachments for a deeper clean. The 25-foot cord feels long enough to clean a standard-size bedroom with ease. Bissell also offers a two-year limited warranty in case you run into any issues. Usually, the retail price hovers around $225, but right now, it's under $200 at Walmart.
Price at time of publish: $189.89 (orig. $226.99)
Type: Corded upright | Filter Type: Not listed | Wattage: Not listed | Weight: 10.1 lbs | Capacity: 0.1 gal | Included Accessories: 2 pads, measuring cup
Related:The Best Steam Mops for Sparkly Floors, No Harsh Cleaning Chemicals Required
Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacuum
There are various types of vacuums: upright, corded, cordless, handheld, stick, and canister. While they all do the same job, choosing the right one for you and your space will make vacuuming a more pleasant experience (we promise). Generally, upright and canister vacuums have more power, but they are bulkier cleaning machines and usually need to be plugged in. So, evaluate how much suction power you really need for your household's everyday messes. If convenience is your top priority, a cordless stick vacuum, like the Eufy by Anker HomeVac H30, gets the job done, is easy to maneuver, and small enough to store almost anywhere in your home.
Ideally, you want a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter that can trap allergens and dirt particles. If your vacuum doesn’t have a HEPA filter, look for one with a filter that's easy to wash or replace. Some of the vacuums on this list don't have a HEPA filter, and that's part of what you sacrifice when opting for a cheaper vacuum, so consider that when making your choice. Our pick for pet owners, the Moosoo K23 Cordless Stick Vacuum, has a HEPA filter.
Purvi Parikh, MD, allergist and immunologist at NYU Langone Health, says a HEPA filter cleans your carpet and the air in your home. "It will trap particles and molecules, so they do not go back into the air," she says. "This helps with virus particles, which is big in a pandemic, and because viruses tend to be worse in allergy and asthma sufferers."
If your vacuum is cumbersome or hard to maneuver in your space, you’ll avoid using it. Consider what works best for your home and layout. If you have mobility issues or struggle with pushing a vacuum around, consider a canister vacuum like the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner. Typically, upright vacuums are a little more difficult to maneuver, while cordless stick vacuums are easier to use. All of the vacuums on our list were easy to push around and navigate through our living room obstacle course.
Even at an under-$200 price point, vacuums are an investment. Look for warranties from vacuum companies to ensure you can get support if needed. Parikh says not to hesitate to replace your vacuum when necessary: "Most should be replaced every 5-7 years, depending on the model.” Even more reason to choose a budget-friendly option.
How We Tested
We conducted multiple in-depth vacuum tests over the course of a year, with each focusing on a different type of vacuum (upright, cordless stick, handheld, and general vacuums). For each test, we timed how long it took to put the vacuum together and then noted the ease of assembly. We tested the noise level with a decibel reader, and we set up an obstacle course of a coffee table, sofa, and armchair to test maneuverability.
Then, we tested each vacuum's effectiveness on both hard and carpeted surfaces. We poured coffee grounds, food, hair, popcorn kernels, and more on both surfaces to see how quickly the vacuum could suck up each mess. We also tried the various attachments, and, at the end of the test, we looked at the price and graded the vacuum's performance against its price tag to determine whether or not it was a good value. Every vacuum on this list is an incredible value.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I spend on a good vacuum?
You should spend as much as your budget allows. Our top picks for affordable vacuums range from $88 to $199. Our tests show you can get a great, quality vacuum for less than $200, so invest in the vacuum that suits your needs best.
Is Shark cheaper than Dyson?
Shark vacuums are cheaper than Dyson by a notable amount, but they are still fantastic, powerful vacuums — our top picks from Shark range from $99-$129. For reference, the cheapest Dyson vacuum is $399.
Is a HEPA filter important in a vacuum?
A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter helps trap tiny dust and allergens instead of releasing them back into the air. Parikh says finding a vacuum with a HEPA filter is very important to ensure your home and the air inside of it are clean.
Why Trust PEOPLE?
L.A. Hubilla is a freelance commerce writer for PEOPLE who covers all topics, from beauty and fashion to the best home goods you can buy. For this article, she consulted multiple vacuum tests, compared quality across the board, and used our tested insights to determine which affordable vacuums made this list. She also interviewed Purvi Parikh, MD, allergist and immunologist at NYU Langone Health, about the importance of HEPA filters. Additional picks were added by Erin Johnson, senior commerce editor at PEOPLE, who has personally tested a multitude of vacuums over the years. She's written reviews about the best upright, cordless stick, robot, and handheld vacuums on Real Simple, The Spruce, PEOPLE, and more.
What Is PEOPLE Tested?
We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.
But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.
In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.
Up Next:The 13 Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.