March 5, 2014 at 12:47 PM ET
Does a task as prosaic as picking up dirt truly call for a machine with a $1,500 price tag? Although some consumers swear by high-end vacuum cleaners, others see overkill in materials derived from riot shields and design inspired by German luxury cars, especially given that a vacuum spends most of its time parked in a hall closet. Here are four top picks from Cheapism.com that will do the job for less than $150.
The Bissell CleanView 9595 (starting at $69) proudly displays the brand’s OnePass Technology, claiming to suck up more debris in a single pass than competing models. Online reviews confirm this as more than just bluster. Consumers express amazement at the vacuum’s cleaning power and conclude it surpasses pricier options. (Where to buy)
The Eureka Boss SmartVac 4870MZ (starting at $140) weighs a bulky 21.5 pounds, but users say it moves along easily. The wide 15-inch cleaning path and 30-foot cord help cover a lot of ground quickly. Reviewers commend this model’s performance on pet hair and cite the motorized brush roll with “bare floor” setting as a compelling feature. (Where to buy)
The Hoover Tempo WidePath Bagged Upright U5140900 (starting at $80) touts its 15-inch cleaning path as a defining and timesaving feature. This is a basic vacuum that simply works, users say, sprucing up all manner of surfaces and outperforming fancier models. It still offers features such as height adjustment for different types of carpet. (Where to buy)
The Dirt Devil Dynamite Plus Bagless Upright (starting at $59) weighs only 10.75 pounds and proves easy to maneuver — a svelte alternative to the typical hulking upright vacuum. An 11-inch cleaning path helps the vacuum fit into tight spots. Although this model suits small spaces best, don’t mistake its diminutive size and low price for lackluster cleaning ability. Users report it holds its own, even against pet hair. (Where to buy)
These vacuums all have hoses and come with extension wands and a few attachments, such as dusting brushes and crevice tools. The Bissell and Dirt Devil are bagless, a popular design these days, in part because it requires no replacement bags. However, many consumers prefer models that confine the dirt to a bag. Emptying the bin on a bagless vacuum can be a dusty business.
Most of the models featured here employ HEPA filters to prevent debris from escaping when air is expelled from the vacuum. The exception is the Hoover Tempo WidePath Bagged Upright U5140900, which uses a washable allergen filtration system, as well as bags that purport to contain 99 percent of dust and pollen as tiny as 5 microns. HEPA filters claim the distinction of snaring 99.97 percent of particles larger than 0.3 microns. This makes them a wise choice for consumers with allergies or asthma, although HEPA models can cost more than vacuums with equally effective filtration.
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