You don’t need to dig deep into your wallet to afford a good hardwood floor vacuum. Some of the most popular models come with double-digit price tags.
If you’re shopping on a budget, however, it’s important to distinguish “cheap” from “inexpensive.” There are many that are sold with cheaper price tags, but only a few of them are capable of delivering consistent, long-term performance on wood floors.
Buying a “cheap model” is a guaranteed headache for you—probably sometime within the next few months. Even the least expensive model isn’t worth the money if it only leaves you frustrated and your floor dirty.
Among hardwood models, there are a few standout models that deliver solid cleaning power but are more affordable. When picking our favorites, we looked for performance and quality, taking special note of how well each one is able to maintain cleaning power over time.
We also looked for qualities that are important for any good hardwood vacuum purchase. A high-quality model should produce strong suction to remove fine particles from the nooks and crannies in the floor.
However, the head and body of it should not have any components that can scratch the soft surface of wood. (Learn more on buying the right vacuum)
Like any vacuum, a good hardwood model should also be easy to use, reliable, and easy to maneuver. It should maintain suction power well over time, and feature qualities components for longevity.
After combing through user reviews, expert reports, and other independent sources, we found a few great hardwood models that score high in the areas that count!
Check out the winners!
Top Upright Pick
Best on a Budget
Top Canister Pick
Dirt Devil SD20000RED Simpli-Stik
Eureka Mighty Mite
Best Budget Vacuum Cleaners
Top Canister Pick: `Eureka Mighty Mite DELUXE 3671A
Quick take: A small but mighty canister model well-loved for its strong suction and low price.
The Eureka Mighty Mite line has long been a favorite of homeowners on a budget.
This inexpensive, lightweight bagged canister model lives up to its name, producing an impressively mighty amount of suction and cleaning power from its tiny build.
The Mighty Mite Deluxe 3671A weighs roughly 8 pounds and has a body about the size of a small dog.
It features a telescopic wand that reaches about 5 feet for cleaning, allowing access to higher-up spots and other difficult-to-reach areas. The power cord is 20 feet long.
Under the hood, the 3671A features a powerful 12 amp motor. One interesting feature of the Mighty Mite is that the body has two ports, one for suction and the other for blowing.
To transform it into a blower tool, simply switch the hose from the suction port to the blower port. The blower tool can be used to clear out larger debris from outdoor areas like a garage or workshop.
Though not exclusively marketed as a hard floor model, reviewers say hard surfaces are where the Mighty Mite delivers the most effective performance.
It includes an attachment that’s suited for both hard floors and carpeting, as well as a crevice tool and brush tool for upholstery.
As mentioned above, owners of the Mighty Mite say it truly shines on hard surfaces (including hardwood floors). The 12 amp motor in the 3671A generates powerful suction, and it has little trouble removing dust and other fine particles from the small crevices in hardwood floors.
The lightweight and compact design was also a major bonus for homeowners. The portable Mighty Mite can be easily lifted, carried, and maneuvered, allowing homeowners to access areas that traditional machines struggle to reach, like the ceiling, the stairs, and the floor underneath furniture.
This model also performs well on upholstery, particularly when it comes to taking on pet hair—a notorious challenge even for many top-shelf models. Though it’s not billed as a pet hair cleaner, a significant portion of the 3671A’s fans are pet owners, who love the Mighty Mite for its superb performance on pet hair.
While the 3671A exceeds expectations on hard surfaces and upholstery, it delivers lackluster results on carpeting. The Mighty Mite can handle rugs and low-pile carpeting, but homeowners with high-pile will have to look elsewhere for deep cleaning power.
Perhaps it’s to be expected in the low-end price range, but a number of reviewers complained about the cheap, plastic construction of 3671A. There were also complaints that the hard floor attachment scratched the floors of some reviews, but others disputed this claim.
Finally, though the 12 amp motor is quite powerful, it can also be loud. It can also become hot after extended use, and some users found the heat emitted by the machine uncomfortable.
Though it’s by no means a high-end hardwood model, the Mighty Mite 3671A may just be the best option that the under $100 bracket has to offer.
With its compact size and lightweight build, this canister model is portable and versatile, allowing users to effectively tackle both hardwood floors and hard-to-reach areas like the ceiling, garage, and stairs.
The small size belies the Mighty Mite’s powerful suction—the secret behind its strong cleaning power on hardwood floors. It also delivers great results on upholstery and pet hair, making this an all-around top pick for homeowners on a budget.
Top Upright Pick: BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum, 81L2A
Quick take: A lightweight hardwood stick model with a unique design.
The BISSELL PowerEdge 81L2A is a bagless, corded stick vacuum that’s designed for optimal performance on hardwood floors.
The fact that the 81L2A is marketed as a “pet vacuum” shouldn’t dissuade homeowners without pets from buying this one. Though it is particularly good at sucking up pet hair, the BISSELL PowerEdge performs well at picking up large and small debris of all types.
The hallmark of this BISSELL is the unique V-shape of the base. The shape is designed to push larger particles to the center of the head, while the outer edges suck up the small particles.
The BISSELL 81L2A stands to make life a bit easier for homeowners. By design, this can pick up large debris that normally just gets pushed around by standard vacuum heads.
The V-shape head eliminates the extra step of sweeping, allowing owners to jump right into the task of vacuuming when cleaning.
The 81L2A’s unique base shape pushes large debris to the center of the head, where it’s easily sucked up through the large intake hole in the middle. Smaller particles are sucked up along the arm of the V-shape, which also eliminates the need for floor-scratching brush rolls.
Owners report that this produces surprisingly powerful suction for such an inexpensive and lightweight model. Though suction power is an important quality in most machines, it’s particularly useful in hardwood models. Without the brush head to dislodge dirt and dust particles, hardwood vacuums must rely on suction alone to remove debris from small cracks and other tricky areas.
The lightweight, slim body of this model makes it both easy to store and portable around the home.
It’s able to comfortably maneuver around stairs, into tight corners, and into other difficult spaces. The V-shaped head is also great for navigating around furniture, the edges of cupboards, and other corners.
One of the more notable drawbacks of the 81L2A is that it’s primarily a hard surface vacuum. It does what it’s supposed to do quite well, but becomes almost useless on carpeting.
Another drawback is par for the course for stick models: The small size and limited dust capacity mean the 81L2A is much more efficient as a spot-cleaning tool—appropriate for small spaces and quick clean-ups, but a chore to use for deep cleaning your entire home.
There were a few notable design flaws that owners found with the BISSELL PowerEdge specifically. Many found the 20-foot power cord was shorter than they liked, requiring some users to switch outlets multiple times while cleaning.
Another drawback: the 81L2A doesn’t come with attachments like a crevice tool, upholstery brush, or dusting tool. Furthermore, the hose is not compatible with any attachments, even if you did manage to find one that fit. This means that this vacuum is more or less limited to vacuuming the floor.
The BISSELL PowerEdge 81L2A is great at what it was built for—tackling dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris on hardwood floors. The V-shaped head of this vacuum makes it better at handling larger debris than most upright vacuums.
There are a few design shortcomings. A short cord and no attachments limit the versatility of this vacuum, and the small size and limited dust capacity keep it from being a true replacement for a full size vacuum. For its price, however, the 81L2A is a great hardwood vacuum with a lot to offer.
Best on a Budget: Dirt Devil SD20000RED Simpli-Stik
All the vacuums mentioned here are inexpensive, but the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is truly “dirt cheap.”
Despite its low price (or perhaps because of it), the Simpli-Stik is one of the most popular stick vacuums on Amazon, and reviewers say that it performs best on hardwood floors, tile, and other hard surfaces.
The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is billed as a “3-in-1 stick vacuum,” meaning it can be disassembled from a stick vacuum to a handheld or utility vacuum. The handheld unit detaches from the main body of the vacuum, and includes an onboard foot-long crevice tool for reaching into tight spaces.
The Simpli-Stik is a bagless vacuum, instead featuring an easy-to-empty dust cup and a washable filter. The body of the vacuum is a featherweight 4.2 pounds, and the height of the vacuum is a little under 4 feet. The power cord is 12 feet long.
The primary draw of the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik for most shoppers will be the price, but many users may be worried that the low cost means a low-quality vacuum.
We think that the skeptics will be pleasantly surprised with the Simpli-Stik’s performance. This handy little stick vac delivers results comparable to many other models sold at multiple times its price.
The Simpli-Stik performs best on hard surfaces including hardwood and tile. Unlike many inexpensive vacuums, this Dirt Devil doesn’t scatter around dust and other debris on hard surfaces.
It also performs well on low-pile area rugs without lifting up the rug with its suction
The ultra-lightweight body of the vacuum is another big plus for the Simpli-Stik. It’s portable enough to carry easily from room to room and up and down stairs while in upright mode, and the body is small and thin enough to reach areas that would give full-sized vacuums trouble.
For even more portability, users can switch to handheld mode. The crevice wand is long enough to reach higher-up places, effectively removing dust, cobwebs, and dirt from the entire room.
You can safely bet that any vacuum that’s cheaper than many others in the market will have some shortcomings, and that’s certainly true for the Simpli-Stik.
First and foremost, this vacuum has substantially less power than the other models we’ve listed here. The 1.5 amp motor isn’t suited for deep cleaning, and thus functions better as a supplementary vacuum to a full-sized model.
The short electrical cord was also a source of frustration for some owners. Twelve feet isn’t enough to cover the breadth of a large room without switching outlets, which may annoy some customers over time.
Finally, the small size of the vacuum means that the dust cup will have to be emptied often. The filter also requires regular cleaning, as it can become loaded with dirt and dust fairly quickly.
The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is a solid, inexpensive vacuum that delivers better performance and quality than you would expect at the price. Though it’s not without its downsides, most owners were quite fond of this handy little tool and happy with their purchase.
Unless you have live in a small apartment, dorm or condo, we would recommend against using the Simpli-Stik as a your primary vacuum. Instead, it functions better as a secondary vacuum, used for spot cleaning or tackling individual rooms with hard floors.
Which Cheap Vacuum Should You Buy?
Our top choice for an all-around, high-quality canister vacuum under $100 is the Eureka Mighty Mite DELUXE 3671A. It’s a lightweight, compact model that dominates its price bracket with its powerful suction and cleaning power.
If you’re more partial to upright vacuums, however, we recommend the BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum, 81L2A. The odd but effective design of this vacuum’s makes it a champ at tackling both large and small debris on hardwood floors.
For those on a shoestring budget, the Dirt Devil SD20000RED Simpli-Stik is also worth a look. It’s one of the most popular vacuums on Amazon for a reason—the combination of its low price, featherweight design, and solid performance gives much more expensive vacuums a run for their money.
Check out the best selling hardwood vacuums on Amazon for more ratings, reviews, and other great low-cost models or simply visit besthardwoodvacuum.com!