Vacuum Cleaner

How to Choose a Budget Vacuum Cleaner

There are hundreds of vacuum cleaners on the market, with new models released almost every week. This can make it difficult to choose the best model for your home – especially if you’re on a tight budget.

Fortunately, there are some excellent budget vacuum cleaners available. Here’s a guide to getting the best cleaning performance for your money.

Budget Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

  1. Choose a Corded Vacuum Cleaner

Compared to cordless vacuums, corded cleaners are much less expensive. They are also more powerful than most cordless models, as they don’t need to balance battery run-time and suction.

Of course, the downside to corded vacuums is that the cord makes them less convenient. Vacuum cleaners like the Gtech AirRam Mk2, for example, can run for nearly 40 minutes without being recharged, making them highly convenient. To counteract this, look for a corded vacuum with a long power cord and extendable hose.

Corded models also tend to be heavier than cordless vacuums, although the upside is that they have a larger dust capacity.

  1. Avoid Cleaners with Advanced Features

High tech features make vacuums expensive. Some of the advanced features you will find inexpensive cleaners include:

  • Adaptive Suction. This feature allows the cleaner to adjust suction strength depending on the floor type, improving cleaning performance. It’s a useful feature, but typically only found on the priciest vacuum cleaners.
  • Floorhead Headlights. LED lights make it easy to spot debris, thus increasing efficiency and effectiveness while vacuuming bare floors and dark corners. You expect this feature on mid-range models, but if it’s found on a budget vac then the manufacturer is likely to have sacrificed quality elsewhere.
  • HEPA Filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter). Vacuums with the HEPA filter are better at catching allergens, as they filter 99.97% of particles 0.3 micrometres in size. As you would expect, this efficiency comes with a higher price tag.

While advanced features can be useful, you should avoid them if you’re looking for a budget vacuum cleaner. For example, if you don’t have allergies, then the HEPA filter is often not necessary.

  1. Choose a Bagless Vacuum

Vacuum cleaner bags are generally quite cheap, but the cost can add up over time. If you’re committed to getting the most for your money, then look for a bagless model without this ongoing cost.

The same is true for filters. Ideally, you should buy a vacuum with a lifetime filter, so you don’t have to purchase replacements in a few months.

  1. Pick Your Brand Wisely

Brands like Dyson and Samsung produce high-tech vacuum cleaners – with a high price tag to match. While these companies make some excellent models, they aren’t the best when it comes to value for money.

Instead, look for less glamorous vacuum brands. Numatic, Miele, Hoover, and even Shark all produce some excellent budget vacuum cleaners.

On the other hand, avoid brands that you’ve never heard of before. Manufacturing a reliable vacuum cleaner isn’t easy, so it’s important to choose a brand that has plenty of experience.

  1. Buy a Vacuum for Specific Jobs

The most expensive vacuums often come with multiple floorheads for different jobs. The Dyson V11 Absolute, for example, has both a motorised brush head and a soft roller for hard floors.

Budget vacuums are usually less versatile. For example, a budget cleaner may not allow you to switch off the brush bar. This may make it great for cleaning a carpet, but less useful for hard floors.

Most budget vacuums also only have a single floorhead that may not be suitable for all floors. The Halo Capsule, for example, only includes a hard floor head.

So, if you want to save money, it’s important to know exactly what you’ll be using the vacuum cleaner for. Narrow down the job and household cleaning needs to get an affordable and practical vacuum cleaner.

6. Other Tips for Choosing a Budget Vacuum Cleaner

  • Avoid the cheapest vacuums. While the cheapest vacuum cleaners might be tempting, avoid model costing less than $50 (unless it’s a handheld or lightweight stick vac.) These vacuums tend to be low-quality and will probably need to be quickly replaced. It’s worth paying a bit more for a vacuum that will last.
  • Don’t forget about tools and accessories. The more tools a vacuum has, the more versatile it is likely to be when cleaning. At the very least, look for a model with a dusting brush and crevice tool.
  • Bin capacity is often overlooked. Vacuum cleaners with small dust capacities need to be emptied regularly. Some of the smallest models can hold as little as 0.3 litres of dust before they are full, meaning that you’ll need to empty the multiple times each cleaning session. If that sounds frustrating, look for large dust capacities of at least 2-3 litres.


It’s possible to find a budget vacuum cleaner that still provides excellent cleaning performance. However, there are always downsides to choosing a cheaper model, including fewer advanced features, less efficient filters, and a lack of versatility.

To get the most for your money, we recommend looking for a corded vacuum cleaner with a bagless design. Avoid models with advanced features, as these often don’t improve cleaning performance, and try to find a model that excels at the type of flooring you have in your home.

About the Author

Sandy Beck

Sandy Beck is CouponAnnie's consumer savings expert. Her work has been featured by Consumer Reports, The New York Times, Savings Hub, and MarketWatch. Sandy enjoys shopping and she is an extreme couponing expert.