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Best Value Vacuums

Value might mean different things to different people when we think about products we’re looking to buy.


For a vacuum, I think a good value is about getting good cleaning performance for as long as possible before you have to buy a new vacuum. Not necessarily the cheapest or newest, but a vacuum with the right features at the right price.

So let me lay out some metrics for what makes a good value vacuum:

  • At least a 2 year warranty.
  • Capable of cleaning my flooring (carpet, tile, hardwood).
  • Easily replaceable parts.
  • No glaring defects (This is a hard one!)

These can be tough targets to hit, especially if you’re looking for a budget option. With that in mind, I didn’t exclude some options just because they didn’t meet one of these criteria.

Worrying about defects reported by users is important, because if a common issue comes up repeatedly you want to know that the manufacturer is honoring their warranty. If a manufacturer tries to weasel there way around common issues that crop up then that’s not a good value.

Being able to replace parts easily is important for any consumer electronic device. When you’re warranty passes and the battery fails, the brushroll breaks, or the filter falls apart, you don’t want to have to buy a new vacuum for what should be a simple replacement part. You shouldn’t have trouble finding parts for any of the vacuums here.

Not trying to sling mud here, but there are some products out there that should have never made it to the market, or were marketed with features they don’t really have. None of the vacuums here should have any huge problems that can’t be handled through the warranty, but make sure you do your research.

Best Value Cordless Stick Vacuums

You’re wanting a vacuum you can pull right out of the closet and quickly tidy up a room or pick up a small mess. That’s what a stick vacuum is for and it just wouldn’t be convenient if you had to deal with a cord.

First, lets look at two vacuums that are $120 or less. Right off the bat I should say I prefer the Hoover Linx, but in all fairness the Shark Navigator Freestyle is nearly half the price. These are a good budget choice if you’re looking for a cordless stick.

Both of these vacuums have been around a few years, so you can get a good idea of how well they’ve performed over time. The key thing to remember with cordless stick vacuums is that they aren’t meant to clean an entire home, or be used as your only vacuum. They just don’t provide deep cleaning for carpet. They will do a lot more for you if you have mostly bare flooring.

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 Shark Navigator FreestyleHoover Linx
Cleaner Head2-Speed Brushroll. Optimized for carpet and bare floors.Multi-Floor on/off Brushroll instantly switches from carpet to hard floor cleaning with the touch of a button.
Brushroll Control2 Speeds, but you can't turn it completely offOn/Off Switch
Battery Runtime12 minutes on carpet / 17 minutes on bare floors17 minutes on carpet / about 25 minutes on bare floors
Charge TimeAbout 4 HoursAbout 4 Hours
FiltrationWashable FilterWashable Filter
Form FactorStickStick
Weight7.5 lbs10 lbs
ExtrasNo additional attachmentsNo additional attachments
Warranty1 Year2 year
View at AmazonView at Amazon

Now, what about some more feature-packed options?

There are quite a few lookalikes since Dyson released its cordless vacuum series. The Cruise is Hoover’s response to the Dyson cordless 2-in-1. Hoover also has the Air Cordless 2-in-1, but it is more like a traditional upright vacuum.

So is it worth paying twice as much for the Dyson?

There are a few details about the Hoover Cruise where they got a little sloppy. However, the Cruise meets or exceeds a lot of features of the Dyson.

What the rub with the Hoover Cruise? Well it rubs…the floor. Check out the image below. The Dyson has 4 wheels and a felt pad to help prevent scratching of bare floors. Hoover only put a pair of wheels and no padding for when the cleaner head pivots on the wheels. This is bad if you have wood or tile flooring.

That’s really the biggest gripe with the Hoover Cruise, which isn’t a problem if you’re vacuuming carpet. Despite that setback, the Cruise has some great features like the extra battery life, trigger lock(no need to hold the trigger to vacuum), and comparable cleaning performance.

The good news is that it doesn’t get worse than the cleaner head wheels. Everything else is pretty much comparable, and for about half the price of the Dyson you can have a very versatile cordless 2-in-1. Not bad at all. Using the Cruise on hardwood flooring is not recommended, since you will inevitably scratch it.

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 Hoover CruiseDyson V6 Animal
Cleaner HeadMulti floor capabilities - transition from hard flooring to area rugs and low pile carpeting with just the push of a buttonDirect-drive cleaner head with 75% more brush bar power than the Dyson V6 Cord-free vacuum
Battery Runtime30 minutes20 minutes
Charge Time5 Hours4 Hours
FiltrationWashable FilterWashable Filter
Form FactorStick / HandheldStick / Handheld
Weight4.7 lbs5 lbs
ExtrasCrevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool and a wall mount

Upholstery Tool (not motorized)
Combination crevice/brush tool, crevice tool, mini motorized brush, soft dusting brush, and wall mount

Warranty2 Years5 Years
View at AmazonView at Best Buy

The V6 Animal does have the Cruise beat on attachments. The mini motorized brush is extremely helpful when cleaning vehicles, stairs, or furniture. However, the standard cleaner head can be attached directly to the handheld on both the Cruise and the Animal, which just means the motorized brush isn’t “mini.”

Best Value Cordless Upright Vacuums

In this line-up, I prefer the Hoover Air Cordless Lift. You get the same power as the Air Cordless 3.0, but more versatility with the lift-off feature.

A full-size cordless upright is an ambitious pursuit. There actually aren’t that many of them on the market either. Majority of cordless vacuums are sticks or 2-in-1’s. The full-size cordless upright is an attempt to completely replace corded vacuums.

So do they meet expectations?

Hoover, most notably, made an attempt at the full-size cordless upright with their Air Cordless Series. They got a lot of things right, but many users still complain about the suction.

The thing about trying to build a full-size cordless upright is you get more space for a larger dustbin, larger battery, and larger suction system (less clogs). You would think, at least. The problem here is there isn’t a noticeable difference between the Hoover Air Cordless performance and the Dyson V6 series. In fact, the Dyson V8 Absolute has better cleaning performance.

But you have to put this into perspective: you’re getting 50 minutes of runtime as opposed to 15-20 with a Dyson 2-in-1. You’re also getting a larger dustbin that won’t have to be emptied as often.

Overall, I don’t think a cordless vacuum can 100% replace a corded vacuum in all instances. But the Hoover Air Cordless Lift gets close, and if you’re in the market for a convenient vacuum to clean up between deep cleaning with your corded vacuum then this is where I would start.

 Hoover Air Cordless 3.0Hoover Air Cordless Lift
Cleaner HeadMulti-Floor Electronic Brushroll- instantly switches from carpet to hard floors with the touch of a buttonMulti-Floor Electronic Brushroll- instantly switches from carpet to hard floors with the touch of a button
FiltrationReusable Easy Rinse FilterReusable Easy Rinse Filter
Runtime25 minutes per battery25 minutes per battery
Batteries Included22
Charge Time3 Hours3 Hours
Estimated Area Coverage2500 Square Feet2500 Square Feet
ExtrasDusting and Crevice Tool, Pivoting Dusting Tool, Hard Floor Brushroll

Extra Filter
Dusting Brush, Crevice Tool, Hard Floor Brushroll, Pivoting Dusting Tool

Extra Filter
Warranty5 Years; battery and vacuum5 Years; battery and vacuum
View at AmazonView at Amazon

Best Value Bagless Upright Vacuums (with cord)

For the budget option, Shark’s Rocket TruePet is often confused with the Dyson cordless 2-in-1. It’s very unique for a 2-in-1 in that it has a cord. That means you get the same small form factor of the Dyson V6/V8 but with no limit on battery life. You also get many great accessories like the mini motorized brush for cleaning stairs, vehicles, and furniture.

I put the TruePet in this category since it has a larger dustbin than most 2-in-1’s and has a cord. There just aren’t many corded stick vacuums to compare it to.

The Bissell 9595A OnePass is like a traditional upright and comes with all the accessories that you expect. It has excellent performance on carpet, but is not the best for bare flooring. It has a height adjustable brushroll (not automatic) for switching between carpet and bare flooring. The brushroll does not turn off when you switch to the bare floor setting, meaning some dirt may get kicked around.

If you have a lot of bare flooring, the Shark Rocket will perform better, but for carpet the price of the Bissell OnePass is excellent.

 Bissell 9595A with OnePassShark Rocket TruePet
Cleaner HeadInnovative brush design rotates down into carpet to clean more on the initial pass.Variable power brushroll is capable of cleaning any flooring type
Multi Floor OptionYes, but brushroll doesn't turn off or slow down.Yes
FiltrationWashable FoamWashable Foam
Cord Length25 Feet30 Feet
Cord RewindNoNo
Dustbin Capacity2.27 L1 L
ExtrasTurboBrush Tool, Dusting Brush, Crevice Tool, Extension WandAccessory Bag, Wall Mount Storage Hook, Dust-Away Hard Floor Attachment with 1 Microfiber Pad, Flexible Hose, TruePet Mini Motorized Brush , On-Board Accessory Storage Clip, Duster Crevice, Wide Upholstery Tool

Quick release cleaner head with foot.

LED Headlight
Warranty2 Years5 Years
Price at AmazonCheck Recent Price

Now, if you’re looking for a more versatile upright that can self-adjust for any floor type then the Dyson Multi Floor 2 should be on your list. It’s an excellent value buy with a 5 year warranty.

As far as bagless vacuums go, the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 is one of the better designs, and with the easy access wand/hose you can get under any furniture with no problem. It also has HEPA filtration. The dustbin capacity is not quite as much as the Bissell OnePass, but still plenty.

 Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2
Cleaner HeadSelf-adjusting cleaner head that automatically adjusts between all floor types - sealing in suction for a powerful clean across your entire home.
Multi Floor OptionYes
FiltrationHEPA Washable
Cord Length31 Feet
Dustbin Capacity
1.6 Liters
Weight15.6 lbs
ExtrasStair tool, combination crevice/brush tool
Warranty5 Years
Price at Best Buy

Best Value Bagless Canister Vacuums (with cord)

Perhaps the most well-known bagless canister is the Dyson Big Ball.

But what else is out there?

Well, quite a bit but canisters are a different breed than uprights. Many of the cheaper canister vacuums don’t come with motorized cleaner heads, so that means no agitation for your carpet. These for fine for bare flooring and even low-pile carpet (think doctor’s office carpet). You can get lured in by the low price of the Bissell Zing Rewind, but you might be surprised to find out it doesn’t have motorized brush when you go to clean your carpet.

This really isn’t surprising since canisters are generally built with bare flooring in mind, so their default features tend to favor bare flooring.

I like to have a budget minded option and a more feature-packed option. The Dyson Big Ball (not the Cinetic) is definitely on the list for great features at a good value.

Honestly, there just isn’t much out there in this category that can handle both carpet and bare flooring. If you’re willing to give up the bagless feature, then you open up the possibilities to some of the best vacuums available.

So, what about the Dyson Big Ball?

There are a few reasons why you should buy this canister vacuum if you are settled on getting a bagless vacuum.

Manufacturers always claim that their dustbins empty “hygienically,” but it’s seldom the case. Dyson really got it right with it’s new emptying mechanism. The filter system pulls away from the dustbin and forces tangled up debris out. You will at least find yourself digging out tangled up debris much less than any other bagless vacuum. What good is HEPA filtration if you’re stirring up dirt and dust when you empty the dustbin?

Along with the washable filter and self-righting design you will find the Dyson Big Ball is feature-packed and a good value buy.

 Bissell Zing RewindDyson Big Ball Canister
Cleaner HeadFloor brush without a motorized brushrollMulti-Floor Carbon Fiber brushroll and anti-static brushes
Multi Floor OptionOnly recommended for bare flooring, but can clean low-pile carpetYes
Dustbin capacityExact size unknown, but it's pretty small1.6 Liters
Cord Length13 Feet21 Feet
ExtrasCombination Crevice Tool/Dusting BrushHygienic Dirt Ejector

Self-Righting; picks itself up if it topples over
Model #6489Big Ball
Warranty1 Year5 Years
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