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Best budget vacuum cleaners: our favourite products under £200

Want spotlessly clean, crumb-free floors but don’t want to fork out £500+ on a vacuum cleaner? We dish the dirt on the best budget vacuum cleaners to add to your home, from £35.

By Rachel Erdos | Last updated Sep 20, 2023


We all want (need) to rid our homes of dust, mud, crumbs and hair on a regular basis but we don’t all have the budget to splurge on a top-of-the-range vacuum cleaner to get the job done. Luckily, there are plenty of products that are designed to blitz dirt and grime effectively without leaving you out of pocket. 

Dysons, Samsungs and Mieles aside, there’s a whole world of vacuum cleaners that are powerful, practical and genuinely affordable. And there’s a whole community of Mumsnetters and MNHQ editors that know exactly which products are worth investing in (as well as the ones that aren’t). Where better to put a vacuum cleaner to the test than in a busy family home, where toddler crumb trails, muddy footprints, snack debris and pet hair need daily attention. 

We’ve taken to the forums to collate a list of the best affordable vacuum cleaners that are reliable, robust, easy to use, and above all else will leave your carpets, wood floors and tiles sparkling clean. And we’ve tested many of these products ourselves - you can find links to full reviews below. 

Best budget vacuum cleaners at a glance


Overall best budget vacuum cleaner

Tower VL100 Optimum Cordless 3-in-1 Pole Vacuum, £130

What we like
  • Great price 

  • Very lightweight

  • Anti-tangle brush bar works a treat

What we don't like
  • Lengthy charge time 

  • Struggles with embedded fluff and hair

Key specs

Type of vacuum cleaner: Cordless | Weight: 2.5kg | Capacity: 1 litre | Runtime: 30-60 minutes | Charge time: 4-5 hours | Suction: 11KPA | Dimensions: H120 x W23.5 x D24cm | Warranty: One year

Our verdict

Tested by Mumsnet Editor, Laura Cooke: The Tower VL100 Optimum Cordless 3-in-1 Pole Vacuum is a reliable, lightweight, affordable vacuum. During testing, it picked up an impressive amount of dust, hair, sprinkles and glitter (hey, it was the summer holidays). It sucked up long hair without it getting tangled around the roller, however it struggled with embedded threads, fluff and pet hair, even on the highest of its four power modes. I liked the LED screen which was able to tell me exactly how much battery was remaining. For keeping on top of everyday muck and mess, it’s a smart choice for the price.

Read next: Our full review of the Tower VL100 Optimum Cordless 3-in-1 Pole Vacuum Cleaner


Best budget vacuum cleaner under £100

Amazon Basics Cylinder Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, £50

What we like
  • Effective at shifting dust on carpets and hard floors

  • Washable HEPA filter

  • Low energy consumption

What we don't like
  • Small capacity for a cylinder vacuum

Key specs

Bagged/bagless: Bagless | Capacity: 1.5 litres | Weight: 5.3 kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Floor brush, upholstery head, dusting brush, crevice tool

What Mumsnet users say
LesOliviers · Tried & Tested
"Money was very tight when my old cordless Dyson died, so I bought an Amazon Basics cylinder vac to tide me over. 3 years later it's still going strong!"
See Post
GiantKitten · Tried & Tested
"This one was recommended by Which a bit ago. It is incredibly cheap - under £60! Also bagless so no extra costs"
See Post

Our verdict

An no-nonsense vacuum cleaner that’s easy to use, powerful on pet hair, compact to store and less than 50 quid? Step forward the Amazon Basics Cylinder Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, a product that gets the Mumsnetter seal of approval and is highly rated by 12,000+ Amazon users. The dust container is on the small side so you’ll need to empty it frequently, and you might need to put a bit of elbow grease into shifting particularly dusty or hairy spots, but this budget buy does the job well (and quietly) AND it’s fitted with a washable HEPA filter - a boon for allergy sufferers.

Read next: The best cylinder vacuum cleaners to buy, as rated by Mumsnetters


Best budget robot vacuum cleaner

What we like
  • Simple set up

  • Long runtime

  • Two filters!

  • Great on carpets, hard floors and pet hair

What we don't like
  • Would be useful to see the battery indicator on the main app screen

  • Not as quiet as some robot vacs

Key specs

Type: Robot | Weight: 2.6kg | Capacity: 0.6l | Charge time: Five to six hours | Runtime: 100 minutes | Dimensions: 32.5 × 32.5 × 7.2cm | Warranty: 12 months

What Mumsnet users say
Taslah · Tried & Tested
"I have the 15C Max and I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. Everyone who comes round and sees it in action ends getting one!"
See Post

Our verdict

Effective edge cleaning and brilliant at picking up pet hair, the eufy RoboVac 15C is our favourite budget robot vacuum cleaner. It can clean hard floors, carpets, door mats and rugs thoroughly and because of its slim size, it can get right under furniture like coffee tables and beds. And it won’t fall down stairs - always a bonus. You can set it up to run to a schedule a to re-vacuum the edges of a room once finished. It doesn’t always find its own way back to the charger but it’s an easy-to-use, effective robot vacuum with an affordable price tag.

Read next: The best robot vacuum cleaners to buy, as tried and tested by Mumsnet users


Best bagless budget vacuum cleaner

Vax Mach Air Revive Corded Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

What we like
  • Fantastic price

  • Powerful suction 

  • Easy to empty and replace the dust canister

What we don't like
  • Suction hose is shorter than similar models

Key specs

Dimensions: 74 x 34 x 33cm | Weight: 5kg | Bin capacity: 1.5 litres | Vacuum type: Upright | Bagless? Yes | Cordless? No | Suction power: Unspecified | Noise: 80dB | Battery life: N/A | Warranty: 1 year

What Mumsnet users say
LindaLa · Tried & Tested
“I have four constantly shedding animals and my long hair is moulting. The Vax Mach Upright Vacuum Cleaner is the only vacuum that works!”
See Post

Our verdict

It’s hard to find a powerful bagless vacuum cleaner for less than £100 but Vax has come up trumps with this nifty upright model. Despite weighing 5kg, it’s easy to move around thanks to a well thought out design, and you don’t have to fiddle around with dust bags - the in-built dust canister is easy to empty and replace. The HEPA filter is a welcome addition and a feature you’d expect to see in more expensive models. And Mumsnetters report that it’s really effective when it comes to picking up pet hair, particularly when cleaning up after long-haired dogs. The seven-metre-long power cord should allow you to tackle a couple of small rooms from one plug socket, but it could be longer according to a number of reviewers. Though it’s a small price to pay for a brilliant budget vac.

Read next: The best upright vacuum cleaners according to Mumsnetters


Best corded budget vacuum cleaner

Henry Bagged Corded Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner, £129

What we like
  • Large capacity

  • Comes with lots of tools that are easy to attach and detach

  • Works well on carpets and hard floors

What we don't like
  • Quite bulky - may be difficult to store if you’re short on space

Key specs

Bagged/bagless: Bagged | Capacity: 6 litres | Weight: 7.5 kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Mattress nozzle, crevice nozzle, upholstery nozzle, dusting brush, combination floor nozzle.

What Mumsnet users say
SandandFog · Tried & Tested
“I had a Henry years ago then went through a few cordless ones that were rubbish, went back to a Henry”
See Post
Rubytinsleslippers · Tried & Tested
"Absolutely fabulous on hair, and very robust."
See Post

Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Hurray for Henry! This iconic appliance is our favourite cordless cleaner and looking at the appreciation on the forums, Mumsnet users wholeheartedly agree. It’s a hefty unit but its six-litre capacity means that you don’t have to empty it often, and when you do, it’s a mess-free experience thanks to the dust bag’s self-seal tabs. It’s weight and size can make it tricky to lug around but it’s super sturdy, dependable and highly effective on both carpets and hard floors, particularly when it comes to pet hair. And it’s built to last so it’s an affordable long-term investment.

Read next: Our full review of the Henry Bagged Corded Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner


Best budget vacuum cleaner for pet hair

Vax Air Stretch Max Pet Corded Upright Vacuum Cleaner, £120

What we like
  • Ultra-long cable length

  • Lightweight

What we don't like
  • Some reviewers felt that the tools/attachments could be more accessible

Key specs

Dimensions: 74 x 34 x 33cm | Weight: 5kg | Bin capacity: 1.5 litres | Vacuum type: Upright | Bagless? Yes | Cordless?: No | Suction power: Unspecified | Noise: 80dB | Battery life: N/A | Warranty: 1 year

What Mumsnet users say
OddSocksSparklyDocsandDungaree · Tried & Tested
“We have a Vax pet hair one that was under £100 in Argos. It's really good!”
See Post

Our verdict

This Vax Air Stretch Pet Max is a high-performance cylinder vacuum with a budget-friendly price tag. 

You can easily blitz the whole house (including stairs) from one plug socket thanks to its impressive 17-metre cable. It’s pretty lightweight for an upright cleaner and it’s portable enough to lift up and down stairs. The built-in turbo tool is great at removing stubborn pet hair from hard floors, carpets and upholstery, and the HEPA filter traps small particles and pet dander that could otherwise leave unwelcome allergens behind. And thanks to the sizeable bin capacity you won’t need to empty it often.

Read next: The best vacuum cleaners for pet hair, as recommended by pet owners


Best budget handheld vacuum cleaner

Bush Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, £35

What we like
  • Great value

  • Comes with a crevice tool

What we don't like
  • Suction not as powerful as some handheld vacuum cleaners

Key specs

Weight: 1.4kg | Run time: 15 minutes | Capacity: 0.5l

What Mumsnet users say
Rainbowhoney · Tried & Tested
“We have the Bush cordless from Sainsburys/Argos and honestly it’s one of the best hoovers I've had!”
See Post

Our verdict

This Bush Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is an absolute bargain for on-the-spot tasks. It even comes with a handy crevice tool to tackle nooks and crannies. Once it’s full you just remove and empty the washable dust cup and the single cyclone filtration technology stops debris from clogging the filter (so you don’t need to change it as often). The runtime is just 15 minutes but for a handheld unit, that’s fairly standard. Note that the battery can’t be replaced though so if there’s an issue you’ll need to replace the whole product. 

Read next: The best handheld vacuum cleaners to buy, as reviewed by Mumsnetters

What to look for when buying a budget vacuum cleaner

As with any floor care purchase, there are a few things to take into consideration when choosing the best budget vacuum cleaner for your home. 

Power: Vacuum cleaner suction is measured in air watts and the figure relates to the airflow found at the end of the cleaning hose. There are four units of measurement that vacuum cleaner brands use when talking about suction: Pa, kPa, W and AW. Most vacuum cleaners have suction capabilities between 1500 and 2000 Pa as a guide. 

Bin capacity: A large bin capacity will mean you can clean for longer without frequent emptying. However it’ll be heavier than a vacuum cleaner with a dinky dust canister. Consider what’s most important to you and go for the least annoying scenario. Bagged vacuum cleaners tend to have a larger capacity than bagless models but you’ll have to deal with the faff and extra expense of buying replacement bags. 

Weight: The vacuum cleaners on our list vary quite considerably when it comes to weight. A lightweight vac is easier on the back and arms and is better for people with mobility issues or arthritis. But don’t be put off by a heavier model, particularly in relation to upright vacuum cleaners as most of the weight sits at the bottom of the unit rather than at the top of the handle. 

Tools and accessories: Check which tools come with your budget vacuum cleaner - crevice nozzles and small brushes are useful for stairs and upholstery cleaning. If you’re dealing with pet hair on a regular basis it may be worth looking out for tools that are specifically designed to tackle stray hair. 

How much do you need to spend on a good vacuum cleaner?

Many a Mumsnetter can attest to the fact that you don’t need to spend a small fortune on a good vacuum cleaner and our roundup features a range of powerful machines that can be picked up for less than £200. Personal preference will dictate whether you go for a cordless vacuum cleaner, a hands-free robot vacuum cleaner or a traditional upright vacuum cleaner and we’ve spent hours putting together a selection of affordable products within each category to prove that you can nab a brilliant budget vacuum cleaner for between £35 and £199. 

What’s the best budget vacuum cleaner to buy?

We rate the Tower VL100 Optimum Cordless 3-in-1 Pole Vacuum as our overall best buy thanks to its powerful suction and lightweight design. It performed well when dealing with family vacuuming tasks like picking up glitter, sprinkles, dust and hair. We also love the Vax Mach Air Revive Corded Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, a more traditional upright vac that’s easy to handle and deals well with blitzing dirt and grime from family floors. 

About the author 

Rachel Erdos is an Editor at Mumsnet where she commissions, edits and writes content with a focus on product reviews, homeware roundups and family travel.

She’s written buyer’s guides for publications including Expert Reviews, Coach and Den of Geek as well as reviews and features for the Guardian, TripSavvy and Visit London.

As a mum of two, she’s always on the lookout for products that make life easier at home and loves putting gadgets and appliances to the test to highlight best buys for families.

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.