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Best Budget Vacuums of 2024

At Vacuum Wars, we’ve tested and reviewed a plethora of vacuum cleaners, and while many top performers tend to be on the pricier side, today we’re focusing on those that deliver solid performance without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll highlight our top budget-friendly vacuums across various categories, explaining why they stand out and represent great value.

Best Budget Upright Vacuum

Starting with our budget upright vacuum choices, the Shark NV352 Navigator Lift-Away and the Kenmore DU4080 FeatherLite Lift-Up are closely matched in performance, price, and features. Both models have won our best budget category at various times due to their lightweight design and easy maneuverability.

The Shark Navigator NV352 is a perennial bestseller, noted for its powerful suction in our head-to-head tests.

Shark Navigator Lift Away
$199.99 $179.99

We think that the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 is a triumph in budget vacuum design, demonstrating robust suction and versatile cleaning capabilities. Its well-designed swivel steering and light weight make it incredibly user-friendly, while the HEPA filtration and seal technology ensure that it effectively keeps dust and allergens contained. The Lift-Away feature adds significant versatility, allowing easy transition to cleaning stairs, upholstery, or other challenging areas. With its commendable performance on both carpet and hard floors, combined with a thoughtful attachment set, the NV352 offers exceptional value and functionality, standing the test of time as a beloved model in the vacuum cleaner market.

Pros:
  • Strong suction across the vacuum
  • Effective on carpet and hard floors
  • Lift-Away feature enhances versatility
  • Excellent HEPA filtration system
  • Lightweight, only 13 pounds
  • Superb handling with advanced swivel
  • Includes useful attachment set
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Impressive deep cleaning performance
Cons:
  • Lift-away is not powered
  • No active hair removal
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07/18/2024 04:50 pm GMT
Shark Navigator NV352 upright vacuum  in the Vacuum Wars studio
Testing the Shark Navigator NV352 upright vacuum on a hard floor in the Vacuum Wars studio. © Vacuum Wars

The Kenmore FeatherLite has shown superior performance on hard floors and currently offers a slightly lower price point.

Kenmore FeatherLite Lift-Up
$149.99 $129.99

We are highly impressed with the Kenmore FeatherLite lift-up upright vacuum, finding it to be an exceptional choice, especially considering its budget-friendly price. Its lightweight design, ergonomic handling, and effective cleaning capabilities on both carpets and hard floors make it a standout performer. Additionally, its sealed HEPA filtration system and useful LED lights further enhance its appeal. While there are minor drawbacks like hair tangle and slightly below-average performance on some tests, these do not significantly detract from its overall effectiveness.

Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic and easy to use
  • Effective on various debris
  • Sealed HEPA filtration
  • Useful LED lights
  • Excellent value for price
Cons:
  • Tangles with hair
  • Below-average crevice pickup
  • A bit loud (84 decibels)
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06/24/2024 10:55 pm GMT
Lift-Up Mode - Kenmore FeatherLite
Kenmore FeatherLite upright vacuum in its versatile Lift-Up Mode. © Vacuum Wars

Best Budget Car Vacuum

For car cleaning on a budget, the ArmorAll AA255W stood out in our car vacuum competition with its impressive suction and thoughtfully designed attachment set, proving that budget-friendly can also be top-tier.

Armor All 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum AA255
$71.99 $61.11

In our comprehensive evaluation for the best car vacuum of 2023, the Armor All 2.5 horsepower vacuum emerged as a top contender, especially noted for its exceptional power among smaller models and a well-thought-out attachment set optimized for auto detailing. This model excels with its mini brush attachment, ideal for cleaning tough-to-reach areas in vehicles. Despite its smaller size and lower capacity, it competes impressively with larger models, offering robust suction and effective debris pickup. Its versatility is further highlighted by its functionality as a wet vacuum, although it lacks an upgradeable high-efficiency filter option. 

Pros:
  • Powerful suction
  • Comprehensive attachments
  • Wet vacuum capability
  • Budget-friendly
Cons:
  • Limited filter upgrade
  • Smaller capacity
  • No blower function
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06/24/2024 11:03 pm GMT
Best Car Vacuum - The Armor All AA255 fit comfortably in front of a car seat
Best Car Vacuum – The Armor All AA255 fit comfortably in front of a car seat. © Vacuum Wars

Best Budget Carpet Cleaner

Moving to carpet cleaning, the Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush Pet 2987 was our budget favorite, excelling in stain removal and power tests, thanks to its compact and lightweight design ideal for quick cleanups. However, its smaller water tank limits its use to spot cleaning or smaller areas.

Best Budget
Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush Pet
$113.29

We think that the Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush Pet is a surprisingly capable entry-level carpet cleaner that offers exceptional value for its cost. Despite being one of the lightest and least expensive models in our comparison, it demonstrated remarkable cleaning power, performing exceptionally well in our usability suction tests. This carpet cleaner is straightforward in operation, relying on a simple trigger mechanism for water solution application, and proved effective in handling light to moderate stains efficiently. It’s a solid choice for anyone needing a budget-friendly solution for maintaining their carpets, especially given its lightweight design and surprising effectiveness.

Pros:
  • Lightweight, easy to maneuver
  • Impressive suction for its class
  • Effective on light and moderate stains
  • Simple trigger operation
  • Affordable price point
  • Compact size for easy storage
Cons:
  • Smaller water tank
  • Lacks some premium features
  • No hose attachment for handheld cleaning
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06/22/2024 12:31 am GMT

Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush Pet at the Vacuum Wars Studio.
Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush Pet at the Vacuum Wars studio during our 2023 Best Bissell Carpet Cleaner competition. © Vacuum Wars

Best Budget Cordless Vacuum

In the realm of cordless vacuums, the Levoit cordless vacuum quickly rose to the top of our budget category with its strong suction, lightweight design, and good filtration system—a rarity at this price point.

Budget Top Pick
LEVOIT Cordless Vacuum
$199.99

The Levoit cordless vacuum is our top budget pick due to its impressive combination of price, performance, and features. It offers unique capabilities like active hair removal combs and a highly effective sealed filtration system, standing out in the budget vacuum category. Furthermore, its versatility on different floor types and above-average battery life contribute to its high user satisfaction and our enthusiastic recommendation. See full review

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Pros:
  • Price is competitively low
  • Great floorhead design
  • Excellent on carpets
  • Exceptional on hard floors
  • Active hair removal combs
  • Effective sealed filtration system
  • Light, easy-to-maneuver handle
  • Stands on its own
  • Above-average battery life
  • Removable battery available
  • Decent attachment set
  • LED lights on floorhead
Cons:
  • Mixed raw power
  • Odd handle shape for handheld use
  • Smaller bin size
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06/21/2024 06:14 pm GMT
Levoit Cordless Vacuum Carpet Deep Clean test
We were super impressed with the Levoit’s performance on carpet. © Vacuum Wars

Best Budget Robot Vacuum

For robot vacuums, the Eufy L60 has transformed our expectations for budget models with its efficient lidar navigation, significantly outperforming older budget models that relied on random navigation.

Eufy L60
$399.99

The Eufy L60 Robot Vacuum excels in performance and value, making it a great choice for consumers needing a reliable robot vacuum. In our evaluations, the L60 easily handled debris pickup on hard floors and carpets and scored high in our deep clean assessment. It has top-tier features like LiDAR navigation, an auto-empty bin with a built-in hair detangler, and Boost IQ technology, which automatically increases power on carpets for a more effective clean. Overall, the L60 provides exceptional functionality and affordability, offering value that competes with models double or even triple its price. This has earned our top spot for best budget robot vacuums. See full review

Pros:
  • Efficient debris pickup on both hard floors and carpets.
  • LiDAR navigation technology ensures precise mapping and systematic cleaning.
  • High suction power provides deep and thorough cleaning.
  • Unique auto-empty bin system with a built-in hair-detangling mechanism, ideal for pet owners.
  • Adjusts suction power upon detecting carpets for better debris pick up and efficiency.
  • User-friendly app for easy customization and control.
  • Recharge and resume function allow the vacuum to continue cleaning longer.
Cons:
  • Battery life may seem inadequate.
  • Brush tangles, but base detangles.
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07/12/2024 03:00 pm GMT
Our Debris Pickup Test of the Eufy L60 Robot Vacuum
Our Debris Pickup Test of the Eufy L60 Robot Vacuum © Vacuum Wars

Best Budget Handheld Vacuum

In handheld and dustbuster-type vacuums, the Black & Decker HHV1315J42 emerged as our budget pick. Despite its average performance across most tests, it maintained enough quality to stand out at its price point.

Black+Decker Dustbuster Cordless Handheld Vacuum
$49.99 $44.57

We like the Black & Decker HHVI315JO42 for its excellent value and straightforward design, making it an ideal budget-friendly handheld vacuum. This model excels with its efficient 16V MAX lithium-ion battery, delivering reliable suction power for everyday cleanups. Its lightweight build and portability make it easy to maneuver and store. The HHVI315JO42 also features a wide-mouth design for picking up larger debris and a washable bowl and filter for easy maintenance. Though it lacks some advanced features, its performance and affordability make it a solid choice for quick and convenient cleaning tasks. Despite its average performance in our tests, it maintained enough quality to stand out at its price point.

Pros:
  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight design
  • Reliable suction power
  • Wide-mouth design
  • Easy maintenance
Cons:
  • Limited battery life
  • Basic filtration
  • Fewer attachments
  • Average Performance
More:
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07/22/2024 04:46 pm GMT

Best Budget Spot Cleaner

Our best budget spot cleaner was the Kenmore SpotLite KW2001, which also won our best overall spot cleaner for its superior suction and ease of use, offering exceptional value.

Kenmore SpotLite Carpet Spot Cleaner
$112.99

The Kenmore SpotLite, the top pick in our latest spot cleaners competition, features robust suction capabilities and a versatile design that enhances its performance on carpet stains, particularly those from organic sources like pet urine. It delivers effective cleaning with a user-friendly, ergonomic tank that simplifies maintenance. This cleaner not only provides efficient stain removal but also speeds up drying times due to its powerful suction.

Pros:
  • Powerful suction
  • Ergonomic tank design
  • Effective on stains
Cons:
  • Newer on market
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07/09/2024 07:56 pm GMT
Testing the Kenmore SpotLite spot cleaner at the Vacuum Wars studio.
Testing the Kenmore SpotLite spot cleaner at the Vacuum Wars studio. © Vacuum Wars

Hard Floor Cleaner

Lastly, in the rapidly growing category of hard floor cleaners, we’ve updated our recommendation to the original Bissell CrossWave. This pioneer in wet/dry vacuum technology continues to lead its category in performance while its price becomes increasingly competitive.

Bissell CrossWave
$229.99

We think that the Bissell CrossWave hard floor cleaner has cemented its position as a top choice in the budget category for hard floor cleaners, earning its spot as the best budget hard floor cleaner in our recent roundup. Known for its dual function as a vacuum and mop, the CrossWave efficiently tackles typical floor cleaning tasks, from vacuuming debris to mopping up messes. This device initiated the popular trend of wet-dry vacuum mops, blending functionality with affordability. While other models have advanced in features and price, the CrossWave has remained a strong contender by maintaining high performance at a lower cost, making it an outstanding value for those needing a reliable hard floor cleaning solution.

Pros:
  • Efficient vacuum and mop combo
  • Excellent for hard floor cleaning
  • Maintains high performance over time
  • Affordable compared to newer models
Cons:
  • Outpaced by newer models in features
  • Corded
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07/15/2024 07:02 pm GMT
Testing suction of a Bissell Crosswave hard floor cleaner.
Testing suction of our Bissell Crosswave. © Vacuum Wars

Conclusion

So there you have it folks! In our quest for the best budget vacuum cleaners, we’ve carefully curated a selection of products that deliver exceptional value without compromising on performance. These vacuums represent a perfect balance for budget-conscious consumers, offering solid functionality at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Whether you’re tackling carpets, car interiors, or hardwood floors, our top picks in the budget category ensure you can maintain a clean home without spending a fortune.

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  2. Best Vacuum Cleaners
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  4. Best Upright Vacuums
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  6. Best Budget Vacuums of 2024

Best of the Best

Current Vacuum Wars product rankings:

Best Cordless Vacuums
Best Robot Vacuums
Best Upright Vacuums
Best Carpet Cleaners
Best Air Purifiers