Vacuums can be pretty expensive, which is probably because retailers know that everybody wants and needs one. But, you can easily clean your home without spending tons of money.. . you just need to find the right vacuum cleaner.
There are a lot of different situations that don't warrant spending hundreds of dollars on a vacuum cleaner. Top brands have produced fantastic entry level vacuum cleaners, and we've highlighted and reviewed the seven best vacuum cleaners for under $50.
We've spent some time going through the features you need to look for in a cheaper cleaner, so that you know what stands out and is important.
We've also outlined the various situations where a cheaper vac might make a lot of sense, such as for a dorm room or RV. Cost efficient vacuums make great second cleaners for a larger home, to stick in a hall closet or downstairs. And, if you live in an apartment, you might not need anything more.
There are risks that come with purchasing an inexpensive vacuum. Often times, name brands charge a premium, and the risk is that you will be purchasing a cheap vacuum that won't last when you try to save some money.
However, it is very possible to purchase a well-made vacuum that does an adequate job cleaning for under $50. Read below to find our votes for the best vacuum for under $50.
Low Profile Nozzle
This is definitely a very affordable option to go with, but just because it comes in at a cheap cost does not mean that it is not an effective cleaning tool. The Dirt Devil SD20505 Vacuum is great for hardwood floors and other hard surfaces like tile and laminate.
This model features a powerful 10 amp motor which is combined with reliable cyclonic filtration. This means that you get more than enough power and suction to deal with even the heaviest and most stubborn of messes. It can easily pick up virtually anything in its path, making it one of the best cheap powerful vacuums on the market.
You will also like the fact that this model is bagless. It uses a simple canister filter that can be emptied with the touch of a button for your convenience, all without ever getting your hands dirty. Moreover, the Dirt Devil SD20505 Vacuum weighs under seven pounds, making it a very lightweight option. Also, the compact size of this model make storage easy.
Cleaning stairs is never fun, but at least this model does not weigh too much. Furthermore, the low profile nozzle and cleaning head on this vacuum makes it easy to get to hard to reach places, plus getting under tables and sofas is a breeze. The Dirt Devil SD20505 Vacuum may not be the fanciest of all vacuums, but it certainly does the trick for simple hard floor vacuuming jobs.
The most powerful vacuum on the market at this price point
3 in 1
One of the reasons why we really like this particular Bissell vacuum cleaner, besides the fact that it is priced very well, is that it easily converts from an upright stick vacuum to a handheld model.
You can easily detach the majority of this vacuum so that you have a handheld version. The quick release button lets you convert the Bissell from an upright vacuum to a handheld one in a matter of seconds.
This makes the Bissell Stick Vacuum Cleaner great for larger surface cleaning jobs as well as for smaller spot cleaning jobs.
It is just powerful enough to deal with most messes, and is lightweight enough to maneuver up and down stairs with ease. Also, this particular model is small and compact, making storage easy even when you only have a small space to put it in. The fact that this vacuum is convertible and so versatile makes it ideal for hardwood floors, carpets, upholstery, and mostly everything in between.
Once again, this is not a particularly fancy vacuum, nor is it very expensive, but it will certainly do the trick for any small or medium size job. For such a small and inexpensive vacuum, it does actually manage to provide you with a whole lot of suction power in one neat little package.
The fact that the easyazon_link identifier="B01GIJURG8" locale="US" tag="homeviabl-20"]Bissell Stick Vacuum Cleaner[/easyazon_link] features an easy to empty canister also makes it quite convenient as you don’t have to deal with vacuum bags and you don’t need to get your hands dirty either.
Lightweight and highly versatile vacuum that's ideal for all types of surfaces
Removable floor nozzle
This Bissell has been on our list for the best cheap vacuum for several years running now. Probably our favorite part about the Bissell 20336 Featherweight Vacuum is that it is incredibly lightweight, as the name implies.
This particular model actually only weighs 2.5 pounds, making it the best lightweight stick vacuum out there. You will barely be able to feel the weight of it, making vacuuming your stairs easier than ever before. The fact that it is so small and lightweight also makes storing it in a small space very easy.
Another thing that you might like about this particular vacuum is that it can easily convert from a stick vacuum to a handheld vacuum. There is a simple one touch lever which allows you to remove the whole top half of the vacuum, thus converting it into an ultra-small and lightweight handheld model that is ideal for cleaning up small messes on the go.
The Bissell 20336 comes with a removable floor nozzle, which means that it is fantastic for both hardwood floors and softer carpeted floors. It even comes with a crevice tool to get to those hard to reach areas, which is pretty good for cleaning upholstery too.
The Bissell 20336 Featherweight Vacuum may be a small and compact vacuum, but it somehow manages to still have lots of suction power. Moreover, featuring a bagless design with a quick release dust bin emptying ability makes this vacuum more convenient than many other models out there right now.
Extremely lightweight and compact vacuum with a decent filtration system
Multi-use 2-in-1 tool
Designed with city dwellers in mind, the Hoover Sprint QuickVac Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner was made to clean floors and all of your surfaces above them. The attached cleaning hose extends to five feet long, with an additional two foot on the attachment end, allows you to clean up to seven feet with ease, whether it be across your floor or reaching up to clean your curtains.
A 23 foot long power cord lets you reach further so that you aren’t stopping to unplug and replug as often. Moreover, you can quickly adjust your vacuum’s height by turning a knob located on the suction head of the vacuum. It offers three positions so that you can switch from cleaning standard size carpet, down to your bare floors and then up high for the shag type and high pile carpeting.
A HEPA filter traps 99.97% of dust, particles and pollen so that you aren’t releasing allergens back into the air while you are cleaning. The vacuum’s filter is rinsable, so you don’t have to purchase a new one every few months, just give it a quick rinse and replace it. There is also no need to constantly purchase and replace a bag thanks to a large bagless canister that you simply twist to empty.
The multi-cyclone technology works to break down and separate particles of dirt and debris before they reach the filter. This helps keep your filter cleaner and requires less filter rinsing and maintenance. A helpful light turns on when your vacuum isn’t running at it’s highest level so that you know when it is time to rinse the filter or empty the bin.
Lightweight yet heavy duty, this vacuum has a high rate of suction and boasts a no loss of suction technology that keeps your vacuum working at it’s peak for many years without dulling it’s suction capabilities over time. Unlike most lightweight vacuums that are only good for small areas or light upkeep work, the Hoover Sprint QuickVac was made for easy tidying and deep cleaning.
Included to make your cleaning a cake walk is a cleaning wand that detaches from the main base and gives you a comfortable yet sturdy handle to hold while you are doing more focused wand cleaning. Also included is a revolutionary 2-in-1 multi tool that is a crevice suction tool with a built in dust brush that slides up for use. This design makes it easier to keep up with your attachments instead of having too many that fall off the vacuum or get lost.
A powerful, quick, and convenient cleaning device.
Flip up brush
Get the powerful and versatile hand-vac that you have always wanted when you try the Black + Decker CHV1410L 16V Cordless Hand Vacuum. This lightweight yet powerful vacuum is strong enough to pick up the tiniest particles or lift large clumps of dirt, debris or spilled cereal with ease. The built in lithium ion battery is fully rechargeable in a speedy four hours and gives you 30 minutes of high suction powered cleaning time.
The smart charge technology base will charge your hand vacuum while using up to 50% less energy than a standard rechargeable hand vacuum. You also don’t have to worry about leaving it on the charger too long, after a full charge the base will turn off so that it’s not overworking and decreasing your batteries output. The long battery life can hold a full charge for over a year, so you don’t have to worry about a drained battery when you aren’t using it.
An easy to twist off a dump canister saves you time and money since you don’t have to remove or replace a bag. Furthermore the canister can be fully detached from the unit which gives you a large opening for rinsing or an easily accessible scrubbing when it is needed. The filter able to be detached and cleaned so that you don’t have to purchase new filters after so many uses.
The cyclonic action suction breaks down the particles as it vacuums them up. This super strong technology works by making much smaller pieces of dirt, dander and debris so that it won’t overwork your filter between rinses. It also spins the largest pieces of dirt away from your filter so that it doesn’t lower the suction while in use.
Just because it is a hand vacuum doesn’t mean that it is just for little messes. You can use this versatile vacuum on multiple surfaces, from carpeting to tile and even on your furniture. The 2.6 pound cordless hand vacuum goes where ever the mess is, no limits by a cord. It is perfect to keep around the house, in the car or for use in small homes and RVs.
You don’t have to worry about losing your attachments with this all in one hand vacuum. There is an easy to flip up dust brush that attaches to the end of the suction nozzle to help free stubborn dirt and dust. For hard to reach places, all you need to do is pull the grey tab on your suction nozzle and it extends out 6 inches.
Lighweight, limitless cleaning.
Brush, crevice tool
Ask more from your simple stick vacuum when you chose the VonHaus Corded Lightweight Stick Vacuum. We love this choice because of how easy it is to transform from a simple stick vacuum into a more detailed hand-vac or a long reach crevice cleaner. With it’s user friendly design, you can clean multiple surfaces with quick and easy adjustments that don’t take up to much time to set.
A 19 and a half foot cord gives you plenty of space to clean an entire standard size room without having to tug and pull at your cord or pause to unplug and resume. The cord securely and neatly wraps up on the petite stick vacuum frame for easy storage when you are finished cleaning.
Keep your hands clean from mess with the easy to empty bagless canister. This 1.3 liter sized clear canister lets you see how full it is so that you can empty the dirt and debris as needed. Inside of the canister is a washable HEPA filtration system that locks in the small particles so that you aren’t tossing more allergens back into the air while you are vacuuming.
You can switch from carpet to hardwood floors without having to change or adjust your settings thanks to a versatile design and high powered suction system. One of the things we love most about this vacuum is it’s ability to change it’s size to fit what you need to clean. It offers a simple push button release mechanism that allows you to swap from the standard stick vacuum form to the handheld one.
It can switch from standard stick vacuum to a small hand vacuum by simply removing the extended top arm. This allows you to keep the wide suction mouth bottom, yet have a more up close and personal distance for jobs like vacuuming out your car. There is also an included crevice tool that attaches to the main body of the vacuum for hand-vac smaller space cleaning.
You can also reattach the long arm while you are using the crevice tool to save your back or reach higher areas with ease. Furthermore, a small brush is included for helping agitate dust and dirt off of various surfaces while you are vacuuming. Also included is a hose adaptor to give you a little more length and flexibility to your cleaning demands such as flexing to dust vacuum your ceiling fan.
Easy to use, easy to transform.
In the end, we prefer the Bissell Featherwight 3-in-1. Its the perfect combination of powerful and lightweight, while being incredibly versatile as a 3-in-1.
Best Vacuum Under $50
There are certain things you're going to have to let go of in a cheap vacuum. And, given how much you're paying, that isn't too unexpected. However, even when purchasing a vacuum for cheap, there are still several features you need to pay attention to.
In a perfect world, you'd be able to consider a cordless vacuum for an inexpensive price. However, the fact of the matter is that you will more than likely need to opt for a corded vacuum at this price point.
Do they make cordless options for cheap? Yes, although not many. Are the cordless options that are made powerful enough? No. Not from our testing.
We recommend a corded stick vacuum. You get some of the convenience benefits as a result of opting for a stick vacuum, but you get the maximum power available to you as a result of going with corded.
Cheaper vacuums are trending up with younger generations: 19% of Millennials would prefer to spend $50 or under on their next vacuum, versus only 8% of Baby Boomers. Source: HomeViable.com 2018 Study
Now, it is entirely possible to find a lightweight option for a cheap price point. No longer is it the case where a decent vacuum has to be heavy and bulky. You can find adequate options that don't weigh too much.
Usually there is an inverse relationship between power and weight, at least at this price point. That means that the more power the vacuum has (directly related to how many amps the motor has), the heavier it is.
So, think through what is more important for you. We have selected the top lightweight vacuum under $50 in our reviews for you: Bissell 20336 Featherweight Vacuum. And, we have also selected the most powerful vacuum under $50 from our reviews for you: Dirt Devil SD20505 Vacuum.
A 2-in-1 vacuum is one where you have multiple functions contained in one vacuum, such as a standard upright model that can convert into a handheld vacuum option.
Having a 2-in-1 option makes your cheap vacuum even more versatile and convenient. No matter how you plan to utilize it, being able to convert your vacuum into a handheld option means that you can do that much more with it.
It is virtually impossible to find a vacuum in this price range that comes with a HEPA filter, which is an advanced filter designed to pull pretty much all allergens and toxins out of the air.
Even without HEPA filters, though, some vacuums do a better job on filtration that others.
There are a lot of reasons to purchase a cheaper vacuum for your home, office, apartment, or dorm room. While its great to have the latest and greatest cleaning tool on the market, these vacuums can be expensive and bulky. Not every situation require this.
With the average apartment size being 934 square feet, an apartment is the perfect situation to utilize a cheaper vacuum. Being smaller, there just isn't nearly as much area to clean as larger homes. Cheaper vacuums, with smaller dust bins and shorter battery life, are a great option.
Typically apartments don't come with thick, high pile carpet, such as shag or burber. These thicker carpets are the ones that require a nice, expensive vacuum to clean. Most cheaper vacuums will do an adequate job on low pile carpet.
Cheap vacuums are also great for linoleum flooring, which is commonly found in apartment kitchens and bathrooms.
Another perfect scenario for a cheap stick vacuum is a dormitory. Student's moving out of home and off to college typically move into a dorm room, at least for the first year or two of college.
For starters, there is usually a general cleaning service provided by the university. While it isn't comprehensive, the dorm room usually gets cleaned occasionally by university staff. This cuts down on the the amount of dirt and debris that a personal vacuum would be required to pick up.
Even if the college doesn't provide occasional cleaning, a dorm room doesn't generate much foot traffic, at least not compared to the standard home or apartment. Less traffic equals less dirt, and less work for your vacuum.
Finally, like apartments, dorms typically have rugged, low pile carpet. These carpets are highly durable, and meant to keep the dirt out of their fibers. This makes it easy for a cheaper, lower-suction vacuum to keep the area clean.
While this might sound extraneous, picking up a cheap vacuum as a second cleaner is a fantastic idea. Not only is it ultra-convenient, but it will help you keep your house a lot cleaner.
For starters, picking up a cheap vacuum to keep in a downstairs closet makes cleaning simple and easy. Rather than having to get out your large, bulky vacuum, you can just grab the small, lightweight stick vacuum from the closet. In a few minutes, you'll be able to quickly vacuum up any spills or dirt, and be on your way.
Most homes have higher-traffic areas and lower-traffic areas. Certain rooms in the home get used a lot more than others. You might hardly access that guest room or den, but the kitchen and living room get heavy traffic each and every day.
These higher traffic areas need consistent cleaning, and a vacuum cleaner that is less than $50 is the perfect solution to stay on top of this cleaning. You'll find yourself shirking away from getting out your large vacuum on a consistent basis, but a small cheap vacuum is easy to use for quick, daily clean up.
For many of the same reasons as we mentioned for a dorm room, a cheap vacuum is great for your RV. Typically speaking, your RV has durable, low pile carpet that is resistant to dirt getting into its fibers. Thus, a cheaper vacuum should be able to get the bulk of the dirt that hits your RV's floor.
Granted - when you're using an RV, you might be in nature, dragging dirt and dust in at a higher clip than normal. Use a small, cheap vacuum to cut down on the amount of dirt in the RV, and then do a deep clean with a more thorough vacuum cleaner when you get home.
Today, inexpensive vacuums do not mean that you have to sacrifice on quality. You can find a high quality, name brand vacuum with powerful suction. Where you will sacrifice is in additional features and specialization, such as a focus on pet hair or convenience.
The seven models above are our recommended best vacuum for under $50. It was tough picking the best of the group, but our vote goes to the Bissell Featherweight, because of its lightweight design and 3-in-1 feature. It also does the best job on thicker carpets, and will handle your pet's hair better than any other vacuum in the same price range.
Lauren Moldvay is a freelance writer from Virginia and the mother of one (not always) sweet little girl. She specializes in trying to help others find easier ways to clean, manage the home and save money with DIY projects.