Best Vacuums Under $200 – 2022 Buying Guide

By Maria Hernandez / February 11, 2022 / 0 Comments

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Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting, solid surfaces like tile and hardwoods, or a combination, you want the right machine to pick up dirt and debris. If it doesn’t blow your budget, it wins extra points. So today we reveal our picks for the best vacuums under $200.

It’s easy to assume that paying for a vacuum in this price range translates into poor power, sucky suction, and dust left behind. With today’s range of manufacturers and features, though, that is no longer the case. You’ll find the one best suited to your cleaning frequency, space and surfaces requirements.

Our list includes something for everyone, even pet owners dealing with shedding and those of us without time to vacuum. Some, like our best overall choice, include lift-off units to get into tight corners or carpeted stairs.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E
  2. Best for Pets: Bissell 22543 Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Vacuum
  3. Best Commercial: Oreck Commercial XL XL2100RHS
  4. Best for Light Messes: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick BH50010
  5. Best for Hard Floors: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302
  6. Best Robot: Bagotte Robot BG600
  7. Best Handheld: Black+Decker Dustbuster 16V CHV1410L
  8. Best Lightweight: Eureka PowerSpeed NEU182A

Best Vacuums Under $200 Buying Advice

Best Overall: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E

Floor Critics Rating (4.8):

  • Style: Upright
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Noise: A-
  • Type of Filter: HEPA, washable
  • Dust Bin: Bagless
  • Power Supply: Cord 30 ft.
  • Weight: 13.7 lbs.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E
Shark Navigator Lift-Away, NV356E

Whether you have pet issues or allergens, need a gentle roller for delicate hardwoods or engineered wood, or a deep cleaning system for textured carpets, this Shark will fulfill your requirements. It picks up fur and feathers and traps allergens in a bagless canister you empty with the touch of a button. Filters are washable for considerable repeats, then replaceable at an economical cost.

The brush roller can be toggled for carpet vacuuming and solid surfaces. An additional gentle brush head tackles soft surfaces. The lift-away canister turns into a handheld unit at half the overall weight.

Users note that pet hair can become wound around the brush head roller. The long power cord must be wrapped by hand. Outweighing all this, reviewers say the maneuverability of the swivel head and the overall ease of use of this versatile accessorized Shark vacuum system make it a sure winner for best overall on our list.

Best for Pets: Bissell 22543 Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Style: Upright
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Noise: B
  • Type of Filter: Multi-level
  • Dust Bin: Bagless
  • Power Supply: Cord 27 ft.
  • Weight: 13.65 lbs.
Bissell 22543 Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Vacuum
Bissell 22543 Cleanview Swivel Pet

If cleaning up after pets is high on your vacuuming list, this Bissell includes features designed to help. The brush roller is tangle-resistant, so you won’t be peeling off fur frequently. One of the filters (optional) is made by Febreze, eliminating lingering pet odors in the exhaust.

This machine comes with a variety of accessories and heads to deal with different pet messes across multiple surfaces. The lift-off canister system fits in tight corners and in your vehicles. Toggle off the brush for sweeping solid surfaces or on for deep cleaning thick pile carpets.

This vacuum is loud compared to others on our list. Wide turns and clumsy maneuverability drop it down in users’ estimation. If you have pets, though, and cleaning up cat litter or dog hair is necessary, it fulfills those needs at a value price.

Best Commercial: Oreck Commercial XL XL2100RHS

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

  • Style: Upright
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Noise: A-
  • Type of Filter: None
  • Dust Bin: Bagged
  • Power Supply: Cord 35 ft.
  • Weight: 8.2 lbs.
Oreck Commercial XL XL2100RHS
Oreck Commercial XL XL2100RHS

Certified by the Arthritis Foundation for ease of use, this Oreck offers limited bells and whistles but is big on cleaning success. With a foot-wide brush head and side bristles for those hard-to-reach spots next to cabinets and furniture, it cleans places other vacuums can’t. The brush head senses the surface and adjusts for carpets or solid floors.

The machine’s on-off switch is in the handle, making it easy to change while cleaning. The body is stiff enough to move the vacuum in the direction you want to go and still be forgivingly easy to maneuver. The dirt bag is top-loading and simple to remove and replace when full.

Users say that while the vacuum is great at picking up human and pet hair, longer strands will need to be cut from the brush roller. There is no air filter, but allergen-capturing bags are available. If your carpets are lower pile but experience a lot of traffic, this will be the vacuum you prefer for easy regular clean up.

Best for Light Messes: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick BH50010

Floor Critics Rating (4.0):

  • Style: Stick
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Noise: B+
  • Type of Filter: Replaceable
  • Dust Bin: Bagless
  • Power Supply: Cordless, interchangeable batteries
  • Weight: 10.0 lbs.
Hoover Linx Cordless Stick BH50010
Hoover Linx Cordless Stick BH50010

Cordless sticks are designed to be an in-between deep cleanings machine, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective for regular use. This Hoover offers an interchangeable battery, so one can be in the charger and one in your vacuum. Keep both charged and you can probably get the whole house done.

All power controls and the battery level gauge are accessible on the handle. The brush head height is adjustable for carpets to solid floors with one of those levers. Suction is strong for a cordless, and the handle reclines almost flat so you can vacuum under furniture.

Note that the batteries are lithium ion, which can stop working if stored in the charger when plugged in. Users complain that Hoover customer service is difficult to deal with if you have an issue. If low pile carpet and solid surfaces are your primary cleaning areas and you want the convenience of cordless, this system could be the machine you need.

Best for Hard Floors: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Style: Stick
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Noise: A-
  • Type of Filter: Washable, replaceable
  • Dust Bin: Bagless
  • Power Supply: Cord 25 ft.
  • Weight: 8.2 lbs.
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302

For unlimited cleaning time with the convenience of a stick and handheld, consider this Shark Rocket. The one-touch dust bin is larger than many other stick vacs. It features swivel steering that’s easy to move and great suction for larger pieces of debris.

Levers in the handle allow you to change the brush head from carpet to solid surface (like vacuuming laminate or ceramic tile) with a fingertip. Users note it is especially effective on solid surfaces. Light in weight, it’s heavy in accessories, making it a good handheld option with easy convertibility.

Reviewers report this machine picks up what other vacs seem to leave behind, though it appears to have a shelf life of about two years with regular medium-duty use. Access under furniture is limited based on size and design. Significantly more affordable than a comparable Dyson vac, there is a newer model with additional features that exceeds our mid-level price range.

Best Robot: Bagotte Robot BG600

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

  • Style: Robotic
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
  • Noise: A
  • Type of Filter: Replaceable
  • Dust Bin: Bagless
  • Power Supply: Cordless with charging station
  • Weight: 9 lbs. with base station

It’s hard to find a robot vacuum at a mid-level price range that’s reliable and suction-worthy but this Bagotte is just a smidgen over our price point with a ton of features. It is programmable with technology that senses stair locations to avoid a fall. Magnet strips laid in the pattern you prefer will outline its room coverage, and infrared sensors in the robot keep it from running into furniture.

Cleaning time is approximately an hour and a half at the lowest suction setting, with recharging at five to six hours. Deeper cleaning will use the battery up faster. Side brushes get in grooves and crevices while the main roller takes care of everything from food debris to pet hair.

While many reviewers say it works well on all flooring surfaces, others have had problems with it as a hardwood vac, or on solid surfaces with larger or heavier pieces of debris. There is no app to run the machine, so programming occurs in the base unit. As robot vacs are usually considerably more expensive, users are willing to overlook the Bagotte’s short list of features to have “set it and forget it” cleaning convenience at a low price point.

Best Handheld: Black+Decker Dustbuster 16V CHV1410L

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

  • Style: Handheld
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
  • Noise: B+
  • Type of Filter: Washable, replaceable
  • Dust Bin: Bagless
  • Power Supply: Cordless
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs.
Black+Decker Dustbuster 16V CHV1410L
Black+Decker Dustbuster 16V CHV1410L

For quick pickups or in those tight places, this Black+Decker proves to be effective, with washable dust bin and filter. That’s great for dog food spills in the kitchen, petrified potato chips in the minivan, and wood shavings in the hobby area.

The length of run time depends on the amount of suction and accessories you add. Charging the lithium ion battery takes about four hours and is said to last for up to 18 months. Suction is strong enough to pick up pet hair on fabric.

One complaint has been the need to charge this unit on a horizontal surface with the vacuum in a vertical stand. The lithium ion battery can be overcharged if left in the charger. For the carpet and solid surface pickups in between deep cleanings, this Black+Decker handheld helps you avoid excuses.

Best Lightweight: Eureka PowerSpeed NEU182A

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Style: Upright
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
  • Noise: B
  • Type of Filter: Washable, replaceable
  • Dust Bin: Bagless
  • Power Supply: Cord 25 ft.
  • Weight: 10.0 lbs.
Eureka PowerSpeed NEU182A
Eureka PowerSpeed NEU182A

If you want ultra-light weight and good cleaning suction for a bargain price, this Eureka may be your vacuum. The brush head comes with five height adjustments to fine tune your cleaning mode to the precise surface you’re on. Its extra-large dust cup exceeds expectations.

This machine works well on sucking up pet hair on a variety of floor surfaces. The short list of accessories appears to be adequate for most general hard floor or carpet cleaning needs. It is a reasonable weight with a good length of power cord.

In some cases, users have been dissatisfied with how this vacuum picks up things like cat litter on solid surfaces. Reach of the hose appears to be inadequate for many. At this price and with the brush head flexibility, though, it is a good machine for general cleaning and allows room in the budget for a special purpose addition too.

Side by Side Comparison

ProductOur RatingStyleWeightCord LengthFilterDustbin
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E
Shark Navigator Lift-Away, NV356E
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart–>
Best Overall

Overall: 4.8
Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
Noise: A-
Upright13.7 lbs.30 ft.HEPA, washableBagless
Bissell 22543 Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Vacuum
Bissell 22543 Cleanview Pet Vacuum
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best for Pets

Overall: 4.7
Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
Noise: B
Upright13.65 lbs.27 ft.Multi-LevelBagless
Oreck Commercial XL XL2100RHS
Oreck Commercial XL XL2100RHS
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Commercial

Overall: 4.6
Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
Noise: A-
Upright8.2 lbs. 35 ft. NoneBagged
Hoover Linx Cordless Stick BH50010
Hoover Linx Cordless Stick BH50010
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best for Light Messes

Overall: 4.0
Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
Noise: B+
Stick10 lbs.CordlessReplaceableBagless
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302
View on Shark –>
View on Amazon –>
Best for Hard Floors

Overall: 4.7
Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
Noise: A-
Stick8.2 lbs.25 ft.Washable, replaceableBagless
Bagotte Robot BG600
Bagotte Robot BG600
View on Bagotte –>
View on Amazon –>
Best Robot

Overall: 4.6
Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
Noise: A
Robot9 lbs.
w/base
CordlessReplaceableBagless
Black+Decker Dustbuster 16V CHV1410L
Black+Decker Dustbuster 16V CHV1410L
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Handheld

Overall: 4.6
Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
Noise: B+
Handheld2.66 lbs. CordlessWashable, replaceableBagless
Eureka PowerSpeed NEU182A
Eureka PowerSpeed NEU182A
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Lightweight

Overall: 4.5
Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
Noise: B
Upright10 lbs. 25 ft. Washable, replaceableBagless

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The Complete Vacuums Buyer’s Guide

Things to Know About Value Vacuums

Vacuums have been around for decades, and over the years, many companies have developed reputations for designing and building good equipment. Some come with many features, and others limit the list but offer a price point to match (see: Dyson vacuums). The best choice for you depends on what you need in a vacuum, and we’ve noted important considerations you should think about as you prepare to buy.

Suction

The core of any good vacuum is its suction power. Industry standards express this as airflow in cubic feet per minute (CFM), how long it would take that volume to move through the machine. But like so many standards, it comes with a long list of ‘it depends’, like the hose length, brush head or accessories you have attached.

That’s why many manufacturers don’t list this in their specifications. While most vacuums range between 50 and 100 CFM, the volume you’ll realize could be lower depending on what’s attached to the machine. Other objective measures have similar variations depending on how you’re using the machine, so they too are not listed.

Surfaces

If your house is primarily solid surfaces and a few throw rugs, your vacuuming needs will be different from someone with thick-piled wall-to-wall carpeting. Add shedding pets or active little kids, dusty outdoor conditions, or high traffic flow, and you will be searching for equipment with the energy to match. Not every vacuum will clean well enough to meet your needs.

That’s why it’s important to take inventory of your household. People with significant allergies will want a HEPA filter to scrub the fine particles and pollen out of the air. Busy folks who without time to clean might prefer a robotic vacuum.

Note the transitions between surfaces in your home. Lightweight throw rugs can suck into strong vacuums if the machine doesn’t have an adjustable brush head. Cordless vacs might be convenient but could lack the battery life to do a big house that’s all carpet.

Style Differences

For whole-house cleaning, you want a vacuum that gets the job done without running out of power or exhausting you in the process. Cordless vacuums, often in a stick style, range from 20 to 60 minutes on regular settings, and a quarter of that if you run them on high speed.

At the opposite end of the scale, canister vacs are known for having more power, but that suction is quickly used up by the longer hose length.

Upright vacs are often thought of as the perfect in-between, with unlimited electrical power but less suction required to do the same cleaning job. They come with a variety of wheels, balls and combinations to propel across the floor. Some have a long list of accessories, and others feature those HEPA filters for allergens.

If you have back or shoulder problems, you might find a canister easier to maneuver, since you’re only pushing and pulling the brush head and wand. Robots give you the flexibility to program vacuuming for times of convenience. Adjustable heads on any machine gives you an option to change settings as you move between deep carpet and solid surfaces, matching the vacuum’s settings to your cleaning surfaces.

Bagless Versus Bagged

This is perhaps the craziest debate in the world of vacuums. Do you buy a machine that needs bags, and never have to touch the debris? Or do you go bagless and clean out the one-touch dust cup?

If allergies are a concern, you will probably elect a bagged model to contain the dust best. You’re more likely to find HEPA filters on bagged units. These machines also often have larger dust bin capacity, meaning you can vacuum for longer periods without needing to empty the debris.

To avoid ongoing expenses, bagless give you reusable convenience without the cost. These manufacturers make it as easy to open the dust cup without touching the debris, disposing of the contents in your trash. While dust cups are often smaller in size, they’re so easy to empty that you’re encouraged to get rid of that yuck in each cleaning session.

Floor Type and Area

If you have deep carpets with heavy texture, you want a brush roller on your vacuum that can loosen the debris, while the suction is adequate to pull in crumbs. For hardwoods, laminates or vinyl, you want a machine with softer bristles and wheels that won’t scuff or scar delicate surfaces. Antique furniture translates into the need for bumpers and edges that won’t scratch those high-end legs.

If your household is a mix of all surfaces, look for a machine rated for multi-surface use. Adjustable brush heads, varying suction speeds and soft wheels and bumpers will all be pluses. Transitioning between surfaces is easier with big wheels and easy handle steering.

Cleaning Frequency

Now be honest – how often do you deep clean your floors? If, like me, you wait until the dust bunnies become obvious, you’ll be vacuuming up more with each pass than someone who has a semi-weekly schedule for cleaning. That means you need a bigger, more powerful machine with a wider brush head to avoid making multiple passes over the same spot.

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How We Ranked The Best Vacuums Under $200

It is difficult to compare vacuums based on style or features because there are so many multi-purpose units on the market. Instead, we list these categories so you can make your own choice based on needs.

Style

Machine style ranges from stick to upright, canister to robotic. There is no one best but rather the best for how you like to clean. At least one of each is in our comparison.

Cleaning Effectiveness

We grade cleaning effectiveness based on comments from user-consumers and professional reviewers. The letter grade is compared to the best of that style of vacuum in any price range. Some perform surprisingly well in the market overall.

Noise

Let’s face it, vacuuming is a noisy process, but some machines have better muffler and motor insulation against the mechanical clatter. If keeping the baby sleeping or the buzzing out of your ears is important, you’ll want to pay attention to our letter grade in this category. This grade is based on feedback from users and reviewers.

Type of Filter

We list HEPA filters if available. Washable or replaceable filters are also noted. Sometimes it’s a combination of both.

Dust Bin

This answers the bagged versus bagless question. Bagless are not necessarily negatives, as one-touch bin opening common today allows you to dump the debris directly into your outside trash.

Power Supply

A battery limits your cleaning time. Cords are unlimited in power but limited in length. We give you the skinny on where the juice is coming from.

Weight

For those longer cleaning sessions, you don’t want the vacuum’s weight to wear you out. Even cordless systems can be heavy to move between levels of your house. The weight is for the complete machine, sometimes including the base unit or recharging station.

FAQs

Vacuums in this price range are considered value buys. You sacrifice a little on features, but you still get a lot in terms of cleaning power for your cost. Here are some of the other things people frequently ask about these value vacuums.

Do you have to spend a lot of money for a good vacuum?

Vacuums all have some range of cleaning power, suction and effectiveness, and paying more usually gets you more features and an easier experience. Manufacturers haven’t survived by making machines that fail or do a less than adequate cleaning job. Some people may see little difference in results between the top of the line megabucks machine and a value model on this list.

Technology moves along, even in this category, and you might be surprised to find that without spending a lot, your house will be cleaner with a new vacuum. Construction and mass production make value machines great at what they do, and a far cry better than vacuums were twenty years ago. Pick the features you need rather than going by the price tag.


Which vacuum is best for people with allergies?

While suction power is important for households fighting allergens, the bigger issues are filtering the air and containing the debris. What goes in must come out, and the air sucked into the vacuum then must exhaust out the machine. If the filtering system doesn’t scrub the air of fine particles, you’re just blowing them around to settle on surfaces again.

That’s why HEPA-rated filters are recommended in machines for allergy households. Some are washable and others need to be replaced. Overall, this will control the dust that could otherwise become part of the exhaust.

Bagged machines are also better, because the debris is collected in one place. Triggering a dust cup to empty over your trash allows fine particles to swirl out and resettle. Disposing of a closed bag is a cleaner and less dirt-laden process.


Why are some vacuums better for households with pets?

Pets produce three things we want our vacuums to clean: dander from their skin, fur they shed, and anything they track around on their paws. Dander is like allergens. We rely on the filtering and dirt bagging systems to help with its removal.

Fur can wind around the roller brush on any machine. Things like leaves or bark from outside can easily be tracked in on pet paws, and coupled with pet hair, are often the most difficult things to suck off the rug or hard floor. Either the machine doesn’t have the power to pull something in of that size, or it gets tangled in the roller or clogged in the hose.


What’s the most versatile vacuum?

The versatile vacuum has as many flexible functions and features as possible. The brush head adjusts in height, and the suction adjusts in power. Wheels are large enough to roll over texture smoothly and soft enough avoid scratching wood.

If limiting ongoing expenses is important to you, having a bagless system with washable filters will be a plus. Bagged systems with bag sizes that are commonly used (not proprietary but standardized generic) can control your expenses. Even replaceable filters vary, with some lasting for long use and others recommended to be changed in a couple of months.

Finally, consider the accessories you need. If you want to vacuum the furniture or need a stair tool, make sure those are available in your kit. Lift off units function like handheld vacuums, great for cleaning the car or SUV or getting in tight corners behind furniture.


What’s not to love about value vacuums?

It comes back to power and suction. Will the vacuum in this price range have enough for your uses? We’ll go out on a limb and say yes, they probably will for normal household use.

The other factor to consider is construction. Don’t be scared away by plastic parts, because these days, they can be designed to be as indestructible as metal. Buy your machine from a reputable seller with both a standard warranty and the right to return a unit that doesn’t work.

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About Maria Hernandez

Senior Floor Critic, 25 years of experience in residential and commercial cleaning

Maria Hernandez has 25 years of experience in residential and commercial janitorial and cleaning services. From hardwood to carpet to marble floors, Maria has developed a deep expertise in cleaning and maintaining many different flooring types. Visit Website.

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