Last updated on December 6th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
love a good deal and in the world of vacuum cleaners, many good deals can be had if you know where to look.
The top brands like Dyson and Shark will cost you well over $200.
But don’t worry there are still good performing vacuums that are below $100 and that’s what we’ll look at in this article.
Remember that these vacuums don’t have high-end finish like a Dyson. But performance won’t be far off which is the most important factor.
Think about it, you’re buying a product that costs around a third of the price of a more popular brand.
But you still get the around 70 to 80% of the performance.
This is great value for money in my opinion.
There will be some quality control issues with these vacuums. But you’ll have to take the good with the bad.
You can’t have it all as they say.
For under $100 these are the best and I’ll show you the reasons why.
The Eureka AS3030A is a full sized upright capable of deep cleaning up to medium pile carpet thanks to its wide motorized brush. If you have pets, this is a great option because it will clean pet hair on floors and upholstery. It’s just a tick over $100 but the power and on board tools is great value for money.
- Great for low to mid pile carpet
- Wide motorized brush means you’ll need less passes
- Good tool to have to clean pet hair
- Comes with a mini turbo brush for cleaning pet hair off upholstery
- Lacks versatility
No this isn’t better than a Dyson but for the $100 or so you’ll be spending you’ll be getting a lot.
First let’s look at the Airspeed technology that Eureka says allows this upright to deep clean carpet.
What is Airspeed technology?
This technology minimizes power loss by reducing the distance between motor and vacuum inlet.
It’ll result in better airflow, less resistance and better cleaning performance.
Combine that with the multi cyclonic technology, you have a potent cleaner on paper.
But some consumers have refuted this claim on paper saying it struggled to pick up dirt on plush carpet.
Fraction of the cost of a Dyson
Okay so this vacuum will not do well on plush carpet but outside that surface it will perform well. Remember that this vacuum will literally a fraction of the cost of a Dyson DC41 that’ll cost over $300 in Amazon.
Performance will be around 70 to 80% but at a 70% discount which in my book is value for money!
Not only will this vacuum clean floors, it can clean upholstery and stairs. It comes with a 12 foot hose, mini turbo brush, crevice tool and brush tool for above the floor cleaning.
This is one of the best uprights under $100 thanks to it’s cleaning performance, versatility and tool set. If you need an upright inside a home with low pile carpet then give the Eureka Airspeed a try.
The Eureka 71B is one of only a few handheld vacuums that comes with a motorized brush. This feature allows it to clean flat surfaces like stairs with efficiency. It is good handheld option for folks who have lots of pets as the brush roll will do well picking up hair and liter on upholstery.
- Great option for cleaning stairs or upholstery
- Lightweight option
- A good handheld option for cleaning pet hair
- Short power cord
- Small dirt bin
Based on my experience owning my own home, one of the most neglected furniture is the chair and sofas.
One of the areas I neglect inside my home is the sofa (and chairs).
Even if we have a vacuum cleaner, it doesn’t have the right tools to clean it efficiently.
Great for upholstery
This handheld is a great option people looking to buy an upholstery vacuum thanks to the design of the nozzle.
If you look closely, it has a motorized brush that has great agitation to loosen dirt and hair.
These can be tough to remove, some people have resorted to lint rollers to remove these.
It also has a featured called the riser visor which basically allows you to use the vacuum this way…
Cool isn’t it?
Great for stairs
This makes it easier to clean carpeted stairs.
Don’t forget that it has a hose that you can use with the crevice to clean loose dirt scattered around the house.
Consumers who bought this were mostly pet owners who gave this a 4 or 5 star rating impressed with the suction power and the ability to clean pet hair.
Great for budget conscious shoppers
Budget conscious shoppers looking for a really cheap handheld that still performs. And would be capable of cleaning upholstery and stairs won’t be disappointed with this.
The Eureka 71B is a great option if you need something to clean fabric upholstery and stairs. It has a cord so run time wouldn’t be an issue. But that’s about the only con I can see for this product. For what it’s designed to do, it will do it well.
Pet owners should have a look at the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1. Yes it has a cord but that means it has more suction – great for cleaning pet hair plus it’s cheap! The ribbed nozzle is unconventional but reviews say that it works. It is one of the more popular options available with over 6,000 reviews!
- Specially designed for cleaning pet hair
- Cheap option
- Smallish bin
- Short power cord
Ask any home owner and they’ll tell you that one of the toughest things to clean is pet hair on fabric upholstery because it will stick on fabric.
And when enough of it is accumulate it becomes a health hazard, especially to those with allergies.
Great option for pet owners
It does this using a ribbed nozzle that will follow every contour on upholstery.
Also great for upholstery
This ribbed nozzle works by agitation to loosen up pet hair off fabric upholstery, stairs and edges of carpets near baseboards where a lot of pet hair accumulates
It’s great if you don’t mind going down on all fours.
Hard floor nozzle
It also comes with another attachment called the hard floor nozzle that will allow you to use this like a regular handheld.
While this is a great for pet hair, outside of that it will be limited despite the hard floor attachment.
Bottom line: Pet owners should seriously look at this odd looking vacuum. The flexible and rubberized attachment up front will agitate and pick up pet hair on any fabric surface. The biggest issue would be the small bin and absence of a HEPA filter.
The Shark Navigator FreeStyle gives you an option for a vacuum with upright size but minus the weight. This cordless stick vacuum weighs just 7.5 pounds. Compare this to the full sized behemoths that weigh over 15 pounds, this won’t put as much strain on your back.
- Upright dirt bin size in a stick package
- Great lightweight option if you don’t want to deal with an upright that weighs 15 pounds or more
- Cordless feature means no more unplugging or unplugging
- Lacks versatility that the other options have in this list
- Does not have as much power as a traditional upright
One great thing about a cordless vacuum is you’re not constrained to the length of the cord. This is a great option if you’re looking for something to clean high traffic areas without having to plug and unplug it.
Good cleaning performance
This will perform well on hard floors and low pile carpet.
Not so great on high pile carpet
But on medium to high pile carpet, it will struggle to deep clean so you’ll have to tag team this with a strong upright cleaner.
Remember that the purpose of this cleaner is for quick clean ups in between deep cleaning sessions.
This will work well on high traffic areas where a lot of dirt tends to accumulate on and will give you a lightweight option for maintenance clean ups.
Bottom line: The Shark Navigator Freestyle will work great for people looking for an affordable cordless option that will work well in smaller homes with minimal carpeting. Just remember it will take between 3 to 7 hours to recharge and it will only run for about 12 to 17 minutes.
The Black & Decker BDH2000FL is one of the most versatile options of the 5 in this list thanks to the 4 foot hose. This feature easily extends the reach of this vacuum and makes a great option if you want to clean your vehicle. Don’t let the small size fool you because this cordless has some punch.
- Lightweight option that’s versatile
- Flexible hose gives this handheld access to really tight areas
- Decent run time
- Pretty good power for a handheld
- Dirt bin is quite small
It is this hose why I picked this as the best cordless handheld vacuum. One downside though for such a compact vacuum is bin size but you have to take the good with the bad.
However it’s hard to beat this in terms of portability. It weighs less than 5 pounds.
This versatile cordless handheld actually has a 4 foot hose and attachments that allow it to clean different types of debris in different situations.
It comes with a combination brush tool that’s great for picking up surface dirt and dust.
Second is the crevice tool that will help you reach hard to clean areas such as areas in between the cushions of sofas or crevices inside the car.
Last tool is the round shape pet hair tool for cleaning pet hair.
Powering this is a 20-volt Li-Ion battery that’ll run for 15 to 20 minutes. This is more than enough time for most spot cleaning tasks. But it’ll take around 5 hours to recharge.
Hose adds to versatility
The addition of a hose is great because it extends reach. And it allows you to put the vacuum down and apply more pressure. Being able to apply more pressure improves agitation and will help clean fabric upholstery better.
It also helps clean areas like vents and Venetian blinds faster.
Biggest downside would be the run time but remember that this is only for spot cleaning. So it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Bottom line: If a cord is something that you don’t wand then look no further than the Black & Decker BDH2000FL. It is one of the most versatile handhelds I’ve seen thanks to the flexible hose and interchangeable tools. It isn’t as cheap as the other options here. But hey that’s the price you pay for technology.
How to choose one?
Once you’ve set your mind on buying cleaners at this price range, selecting one all boils down to the need you have. You’ll have to answer these questions.
1. How big is your home?
For big homes, you’ll need something with a wide cleaning path so that you’ll be able to cover more with less time. Also consider how big the dirt cup capacity is, for large homes you almost certainly need a big upright vacuum with a long power cord that is retractable.
2. Do you need something to clean floors with
If you’re looking strictly at cleaning the floors go for an upright or a stick vacuum. The former covers a larger area better but these are bulky heavy while the latter works great for smaller homes as the primary cleaner and in larger homes that can quickly clean high traffic areas.
3. Does your home have wall to wall carpeting?
For homes with a lot of carpet space look for something with a motorized brush, this will help it pick up dirt not just on the surface but underneath the strands as well.
The larger the brush the better, this might be a weak point for vacuums at this price range but if your home doesn’t have really thick carpet, their performance should be enough.
4. How much storage space do you have?
Small homes with limited storage space are better multipurpose that can clean more than just one area.
Canister and 2-in-1 vacuums come to mind here, you can configure these machines in different settings so that they’ll be able to clean floors, upholstery, windows all the way up to the ceiling.
Remember that suction isn’t their strength but versatility but cleaning performance is decent.
5. Do you have pets?
For pet owners, look for something with a motorized brush and/or a pet hair tool. These tools will allow it to pick up pet hair more efficiently on carpet and fabric upholstery rather than just relying on suction alone.
6. Does your home have expensive hardwood flooring?
If your home has expensive hardwood like Hickory that scratches easily, avoid vacuums with a beater bar. It increases risk of scratching the surface.
Or you can buy something with a brush roll on/off feature that gives you the option to turn it on or off.
To wrap up
There you go, these are the five of the best vacuum cleaners below $100.
Remember that you shouldn’t settle for anything sub-standard. These vacuums will provide years of reliable service. And clean your homes with great results without burning a hole in your checkbook.
Why Eureka Airspeed?
The Eureka Airspeed AS3030A is number one because it has power and a little bit of versatility. Pair this up with any handheld in this list and you’ll don’t have to spend more than $250 for the combo.
The only thing it will not do is deep clean shaggy, thick pile carpet.
For pet owners
If you own pets then go with either the Eureka EasyClean 71B or the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. Both these vacuums will do a very decent job cleaning fabric upholstery and stairs. Take note that both have cords so you’ll have to constantly plug and unplug.
For folks looking for purely a floor cleaner and already have a handheld then then can have a look at the Shark Navigator Freestyle. This no-nonsense stick vacuum from Shark will do a great job cleaning surface dirt from high traffic areas.
If it’s a cordless handheld that you need then look no further than the versatile Black & Decker BDH2000FL. It’s got a flexible hose and a bevy of interchangeable tools that’ll clean most areas in your home. This would be a great tag team partner to a stick or upright.