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We know how frustrating it is when you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner that won’t cost you an arm and a leg but will clean your carpets well. More often you’ll face the dilemma of either spending a lot of money for a high-end model or opting for the cheaper ones and dealing with its inefficiencies. This is why we’ve decided to put together a list of affordable but effective vacuum cleaners that will make your life much easier.
We’ve reviewed 17 models and selected out the 6 best vacuums under $300 with the Shark Navigator NV356E being our favorite. You’ll find upright models for easy floor cleaning, handheld -ones for quickly cleaning your furniture, and even a few canister models that offer great mobility. There is also a robot vacuum on our list that will do all the cleaning for you while you’re away. Even though the cost is low, all of the vacuums on our list have powerful motors, great suction, and many useful accessories.
More features: Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology; HEPA filter
The Shark NV356E is our Editor’s Choice specifically because it is a lightweight vacuum that has a detachable canister which converts the upright vacuum into a portable handheld vacuum for easy cleaning of hard-to-reach areas.
It’s equipped with a sealed system and a HEPA filter in order to trap dust and allergens like pet dander and pollen. The pre-motor foam and felt filters are washable, and the user should wash them every three months to keep the machine performing optimally. The HEPA filter only needs to be washed and cleaned every two years, or as needed if you’re someone who vacuums more than the average person.
The vacuum is powerful with 1200W, but it only weighs 13.7 pounds, which leaves it lightweight enough for those who may have mobility or strength issues. However, some users had issues with the vacuum toppling over too easily as well. A generous cord length of 30 feet means that you won’t have to worry about finding outlets every time you vacuum a new room, and the carpet or bare floor settings turns on and off the brush roll and makes it so you can vacuum pretty much any flooring surface of your home.
Finally, the vacuum comes with a five-year warranty so if anything were to break you could have it repaired or replaced, which is helpful because some users had issues with the roller brush breaking before the warranty was up.
More features: rinse-free filter cleaning tool; 4-stage filtration system
The Tineco A11 is our choice for Best Stick Vacuum for under 300 Dollars because of its ease of function, and the fact that it’s cordless and yet still has a long runtime. Specifically, the Tineco A11 has a one-hour runtime because it comes with two detachable batteries, making it much easier to clean your entire home with a single charge, and the charging station can recharge both batteries at once. Even on the MAX mode for the heaviest of cleaning duties the batteries will last for 24 minutes, though some users stated that the batteries stopped holding a decent charge after a few months
The motor is brushless, which makes this vacuum extra quiet, so great for cleaning during naptimes. And on top of that, the Tineco A11 has a rinse-free filter technology, which is a tool that cleans the vacuum’s filters for you, making this the perfect vacuum for those people who are tired of rinsing and cleaning vacuum filters all the time. The four-stage filter system does a great job of locking in even the smallest particles of debris, keeping your home free from allergens and dust. The dustbin holds 0.6 liters and has a single button to empty it. It’s also detachable for easy cleaning when needed. The vacuum comes with a light which is great for darker rooms to help you see the dirt and debris you’re trying to clean.
On top of all of this, the stick can be disconnected from the vacuum, turning this into a smaller handheld unit for ease of cleaning in hard-to-reach places or in your car or boat or wherever and because it’s only 5.5 pounds it’s easy to use with a single hand. And when the stick is attached, it allows you to leave the vacuum standing upright, if needed, so you don’t have to carry it constantly.
What stands out?
Upright and handheld in one
What cons did we manage to find?
Batteries may hold the charge for shorter after a few months
More features: includes a mini motorized tool, a combination tool, and a crevice tool
The Dyson V7 is a handheld, cordless vacuum perfect for easy cleaning of hard-to-reach places or for those who have difficulties using upright or canister vacuums.
Because it’s cordless you don’t have to worry about searching for outlets between rooms, just carry it with you as you go. It has a runtime of up to 30 minutes of vacuuming, and after that you just recharge the battery for further cleaning, though some users stated that it can take a long time to recharge and the 30 minutes may only work for low-powered cleaning.
The model boasts of a V7 Dyson motor which has powerful suction, making it great for cleaning areas like cars and boats that are typically harder to clean. Its hygienic dirt ejector means that you can just press a button to empty the dust bin, keeping your hands dirt and dust free.
To make it even more useable, it comes with a variety of tools to help you tackle more difficult jobs. The mini motorized tool helps you remove ground-in dirt and pet hair, the crevice tool makes it so you can clean corners, awkward gaps and crevices, and the combination tool lets you use the Dyson V7 for more gently cleaning and dusting.
More features: 2L dust box; 11-inch cleaning path width
The Bissel 1547 is listed as being a hard floor expert. Because it has a specialized hard floor turbine foot it provides great suction and powerful pick up of debris like dirt and pet hair while also protecting your hard floors. It has a metal telescoping wand that not only lets you maneuver around furniture but also makes it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas that are up high, like ceilings and drapes. The additional cleaning tools are stored on the vacuum itself which is extremely convenient when you’re looking for an added tool for a cleaning assist.
And though it’s touted as being a hard floor expert it still works great on carpets and rugs, though only if they have a low pile.
The vacuum only weighs an incredible 9.3 pounds, which makes it super lightweight and a great choice for those who may be elderly or have strength issues.
It only has an 18-foot power cord, though, so you may have to switch outlets when vacuuming your whole house, though the power cord has an automatic rewind button, so you don’t have to wind the cord yourself, making storage even easier.
The dust bin holds a whopping two liters, and the cleaning head spans 11 inches for a wide swath of cleaning, though some users expressed that it can get clogged easily. The two-year limited warranty will help you keep your vacuum up and running if something were to break on it.
More features: works with Alexa and Google Assistant
Robot vacuums help eliminate vacuuming as a chore since they automatically vacuum your spaces on a set timer, no supervision needed. The iRobot Roomba 675 is designed to have up to 90 minutes of runtime and its three-stage cleaning system loosens, lifts, and then suctions dirt and debris in your home. It has an Auto Adjust cleaning head which means the vacuum will automatically adjust to both carpets and hard flooring as it’s cleaning and its Edge Sweeping Brush is angled to better sweep and clean corners and edges. It also has a Dirt Detect sensor which allows it to target and focus on areas that are particularly dirty, like high traffic areas on your carpets or rugs, though if you have a pet who has accidents on your floor, robot vacuums may make the mess worse. And as all robot vacuums, they may have difficulty on dark colored flooring and cannot go up or down stairs.
The iRobot Roomba 675 connects and works with both Alexa and Google Assistant which means you can connect and schedule your cleaning from pretty much anywhere and use voice commands to control the cleaning as well. It also comes with an iRobot HOME App for easy scheduling and monitoring of cleaning sessions, though you will need Wi-Fi in your home to take advantage of these options. Once it’s done cleaning it automatically docks and recharges itself so it’s always ready to clean, though some users describe this vacuum as having difficulty docking.
Why is it special?
Wi-Fi connected for easy control and scheduling
Great for corners
Automatic vacuuming and docking
Practically no monitoring needed
What are the flaws?
Wi-Fi required for many perks
Not for people with pets who have accidents in the home
More features: triple-filter system; 0.6L dust box
Robot vacuums help eliminate vacuuming as a chore since they automatically vacuum your spaces on a set timer, no supervision needed.
The eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S was named the best robot vacuum of 2018 by Digital Trends and is also our pick for the Best Robot Vacuum under 300 Dollars for many of the same reasons. This robot vacuum was designed to be quiet and to provide for up to 100 minutes of hardwood floor cleaning and constant, powerful suction, and when it’s done cleaning it automatically recharges itself so it’s always ready for the next cleaning cycle.
This vacuum ships with everything you need to start using it, including a remote, charging station, AC power adapter, an extra set of filters, and a welcome guide.
Its slim profile and anti-scratch tempered glass-top keeps the vacuum looking stylish in your home, and its infrared sensors and drop-sensing technology help navigate it around objects and items as well as avoid falls, though some users said that it would get stuck on certain furniture items.
The vacuum comes with a 0.6-liter dustbin to limit the amount of emptying that needs to be done in between cleaning cycles, and it can be used to clean almost any floor type, though it should be avoided if you have high pile carpets, or dark flooring, and cords should be moved out of the way so it doesn’t get entangled when cleaning. It’s less than three inches tall which means that it can easily clean under low surfaces, like tables, couches, and beds and its triple filter technology system helps keep your house clean and free from allergens.
The eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S comes with a one-year warranty, and while some users had issues with their vacuums breaking relatively quickly, many of them said eufy had fantastic customer service and helped them with their issues quickly.
If you live in a home, chances are you’ll need to clean the floor at some point or another. Nowadays vacuums are not just for carpet, so whether you have hardwood, tile, or a thick pile rug, knowing which vacuum will work best in your home is really important. If you’re considering the best vacuum under 300 dollars, the following guides can help you in your decisions.
Features to consider while choosing a vacuum cleaner
The best vacuum under 300 dollars is one that meets all your needs, including type, power level, capacity, runtime or cord length, noise level, dimensions and weight, and any extra features. The below qualities will help you choose the best vacuum cleaner under $300.
The type of vacuum can make a world of difference in what you select, whether upright, cordless hand-held or robotic. Upright will work in most homes, though they require the most manual work, whereas robotic has a set-it-and-leave-it mentality that’s great for those who don’t want to be responsible for the chore, though they aren’t compatible with all homes. For a great upright vacuum try our Editor’s Choice, the Shark NV356E and for a great robotic vacuum check out the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S.
The power level can vary drastically between different types of vacuums. And since power correlates with suction, it’s important to pick a vacuum that can meet your needs. If you live in a household with a lot of pets, you may want to look for a vacuum with a strong power level, such as the Shark NV356E which has a power level of 1200W. Or if your house doesn’t require as much heavy cleaning then check out the Tineco A11 with a power level of 450W.
All vacuums, regardless of type, have a capacity. Whether they use bags or canisters at some point the vacuum will be full of dirt and debris and need to be emptied. All the vacuums on our list are bagless, meaning they use easy to empty and clean canisters to collect the dust and debris from your home.
The larger the cannister, the more the vacuum can hold before being emptied, though sometimes larger canisters on some vacuums, like handheld models, can make the unit heavier, which is an important aspect to consider when making a purchase.
For a vacuum with great storage capacity, check out the two-liter capacity of the Bissell 1547.
Runtime (for cordless models)
If you’re interested in a cordless vacuum, or a robotic vacuum, these vacuums typically work on a rechargeable battery system. Which means the runtime is an important consideration to keep in mind when purchasing a vacuum.
If your house typically takes over an hour to vacuum and has a lot of dirt to pick up, you’ll need a vacuum that has a runtime that can assist you in your cleaning needs, or at the very least a fast recharge on the batteries. Check out the Tineco A11, which is the only vacuum that comes with two rechargeable batteries to help with your cleaning needs.
Cord length (for corded ones)
For those vacuums that are not battery powered, they run off the tried and true method of plugging a cord into a wall outlet to provide unlimited runtime and power for heavy-duty cleaning. Cord length, though, is important to consider.
If you have a large house and a vacuum with a short cord, you’ll have to unplug the vacuum and find a new outlet every time you want to clean a new room. Whereas if your vacuum has a lengthy cord, you can clean uninterrupted. The Shark NV356E has an amazing 30-foot cord length for extended cleaning and reach.
Vacuuming is often a loud chore. The suction creates noise that usually can’t be avoided. But if the noise level is an important consideration for you, it may be a good idea to check out robotic models. Because they’re made to vacuum on their own, they’re also designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, which means a level of quiet so they won’t disturb you while you’re working or wake a napping baby. Check out the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S if you’re looking for a quiet robotic vacuum.
Dimensions and weight
The size of the vacuum is one of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing it, regardless of type. If a robotic vacuum is too large, it won’t be able to fit under furniture to clean. If a handheld cordless vacuum is too heavy, it won’t matter how long the battery runtime is if you can’t hold it for that long due to weight. And if your upright vacuum is too heavy, it may make it difficult to use in your rooms, and if it’s too large, storage becomes an issue.
An all-around good bet is the Tineco A11 which can convert between an upright, stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum. And because it’s a stick vacuum, it’s very small, making storage easier than a larger upright vacuum.
It’s always important to check the warranty of any vacuum you purchase. A well-made and designed vacuum should last for years, but sometimes accidents happen and you need to rely on a warranty for repairs or replacements. If you’re looking for a vacuum with a robust warranty, check out the Shark NV356E which has an amazing five-year limited warranty.
Some vacuums come with extra features, which is a bonus when considering which vacuum to purchase. For a vacuum with a lot of optional cleaning tools, check out our Budget Pick, the Dyson V7 which comes with three detachable cleaning nozzles and heads for a variety of different cleaning methods. Or if technology is important to you, look at our pick for best Wi-Fi vacuum for under 300 dollars, the iRobot Roomba 675 which is compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant for the most hands-off cleaning capabilities of all.
How to maintain a vacuum cleaner
Cleaning and maintaining your vacuum is an important part of owning a vacuum and can add years to the life of your machine. Different types of vacuums have different methods of maintenance, so it’s important to read your user manual and follow the specific instructions of your individual machine, but all vacuums generally have steps you can follow to keep your machine in top performance:
Canister vacuums should be emptied after every use, or if full
Canisters should be cleaned and washed regularly to prevent the buildup of dust and allergens
Filters should be removed and cleaned regularly, per the instructions of your specific machine
Some vacuums have disposable filters, so in that case, replace as needed
Vacuums with rollers should be checked for string or hair wrapped around the brush
Vacuums with batteries should be recharged regularly, so they’re always available for cleaning
Some rechargeable batteries work best when drained fully before recharging so check your guide on your machine
Robotic vacuums should have easy access to their docking stations
A vacuum with rechargeable batteries is more energy-efficient than corded models. If you have a house that doesn’t require a lot of regular or heavy cleaning, a handheld model will be the most energy-efficient.
If you have carpets, especially thick ones, your best bet would be an upright model. Mostly because these ones are corded and because carpets can hold a lot of dirt, you typically need longer, and more powerful suctioning time to clean them, something most battery or robotic vacuums can’t compete with.
Sometimes! Wattage measures the input power of the vacuum motor. The more powerful the motor, generally the more powerful the suction. But some vacuums eschew wattage rating for the amps of the entire vacuum. This doesn’t mean, however, that that vacuum is weaker, just that they’re using a different measurement for motor and vacuum power.
Vacuum cleaners can help make your house or home even more enjoyable to live in. Whether you want to clean yourself or trust a robot to take over the chore for you, there’s a vacuum cleaner out there that will fit your needs.
Our best vacuum cleaner under $300 is our Editor’s Choice, the Shark NV356E. This upright vacuum has fantastic power for excellent cleaning capabilities and the 30-foot cord means you can clean your whole house easier, and faster.
If you’re looking for a budget pick, then look no further than the handheld Dyson V7. This powerful, cord-free vacuum comes with a variety of cleaning tools and options, letting you choose whether you want a heavy-duty suction or more light dusting capabilities. With up to 30 minutes of runtime, this vacuum is not just great for home cleaning, but also excellent for cleaning your car, boat, or other places outside your home.
Finally, for those looking for a combination of handheld and upright, your best bet is the Tineco A11. This stick vacuum works great for all around home cleaning, but it also converts into a smaller handheld model, making it capable of full house cleaning as well as more portable cleaning needs. And because it comes with two rechargeable batteries, its power level and runtime can’t really be beaten.