Reader Question: Best Prices for Vacuums

Reader Melissa has a question about the best prices for vacuums


I just recently moved again and I lost my vacuum somewhere in the process. Go figure. So I’m looking into getting a new one ASAP. The problem is I have no idea what ones are good that aren’t going to cost me a lot. I need something that does both hardwood and rugs as well as being portable enough that I can take it into the driveway and use it to clean out my car.  Do you or your readers have any suggestions??

Help Melissa out.  Any suggestions on the best vacuum for Melissa to buy for a limited budget?

Personally, about 5 years ago, I saved up and bought an Oreck.  Best thing I ever did.  Even though I had to pay a lot for it initially, it has paid for itself over the 5 years I have had it.

Previously, I was buying inexpensive vacuum cleaners, paying around $75 – $99 for them.  It turns out, they were only lasting me 1 year.  So, each year I had to lay out around $100 for a new vacuum.  After doing that for years and years, I decided that I was going to save up for an Oreck.  Paid $500 for it.  Yikes, I know, but, now 5 years later, it still as good as new.  And, I’m certain I can easily get another 5 years out of it.

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  • jessica

    The dyson vacum is amazing there is a 20% off on target mobil :):):):)

  • su

    I bought an Oreck too. Big expense, yes. However, they are great vacs and used by lots of industrial/cleaning companies. We took ours in for a repair recently(too clogged w/hair I think), anyway it only cost about $19 for the repair(total) and the portavac(the one that you carry) had its’ free yearly cleaning/maintenance.

    I am NOT one to spend lots on stuff like that. But I do recommend the Oreck.
    Hope this helps.

  • Jennifer C.

    About 3 years ago I purchase a Miele canister (I have a lot of hardwood floors) and it’s great. I got it at Bed Bath and Beyond, and I think it was around $300, and I used a 20% off coupon.

  • jessica

    Last year we got a dyson animal (2 danes) on black fri online home depot. 20 or 30% off plus free shipping. We wound up saving about 200 bucks on a 5-600$ vacuum. Also try thru ebates or shop @ home for cash back too!

  • D

    My wife and I bought a Dyson Ball vacuum a couple of years ago. It’s definitely paid itself off already, and then-some. We have a dog that’s sheds a lot all year round and our Dyson really helps clean all of our floors without a problem.

  • Nikki

    I bought a Dyson about 2 years ago and it still works great, I think I paid about 300 for it at Best Buy. If you are a reward zone member you can look through the coupons they send out and get additional savings plus points towards your next reward. I just moved recently so I’m not sure what the current RZ coupons are for though.

    Either way, I’ve been in the same boat as others, buying a cheap vacuum every year or so. Not anymore…I love my Dyson!

  • Anne

    I spent $300+ on my Dyson 6+ years ago at Target and have never once regretted it. It works on hardwood and carpets and handles our 2 cats. A vacuum is definitely an item where you get what you do or don’t pay for. Every cheap vacuum we bought previously died within a year.

  • April S

    I bought the Dyson Animal on Amazon refurbished, saved $150 and it worked great. I recently replaced it not because it stopped working, but because I sucked up too much cat litter with it and it smelled… that and and I was pregnant at the time and the hormones insisted I needed a new vacuum. 🙂 I bought the Dyson Ball which I also LOVE. My neighbors cleaned out the old Animal, replaced a part or two, and its still working wonderfully for them. You can get Dyson refurbs on the Dyson site, Amazon and

  • Alex

    I have always liked Hoover. I got two of the same ones for my wedding and used them for 15 years. On Black Friday I decided to buy a new one and paid $90, and got free bags for life. It is perfect and in a lovely shade of blue. I believe it is this one:

  • Paige

    We had a vacuum that only lasted 2 1/2 years, and I researched for a long time before deciding what to buy. I knew I couldn’t afford an Oreck (and actually my mother has one and I don’t even like it) or a Dyson, but I wanted something that would do what I wanted and last longer than what we were replacing. I know most people want bagless, but I wanted a bag because at the time we had a pet parrot and the dander is a fine chalk-like dust that covers everything. I didn’t want it getting back into the air when I emptied it. If you don’t mind the bags, I highly recommend Eureka The Boss. I don’t remember exactly what I paid for it….it’s $179.99 on Eureka’s website. I remember comparing prices & while it was slightly cheaper somewhere else I bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond so I could use a 20% off coupon making it less than anywhere else. I’ve had it just over 2 1/2 years so it has lasted longer than our first vacuum and hopefully will keep running a lot longer. It is rated #1 by Consumer Reports magazine for 3 years running

    • Paige

      oops, end of that should say for performance and value!

  • Adina

    When I did my research a while ago I found out that the bagless vacuums have a much shorter life than the bagged. People are very quick to go bagless because it is one less thing to buy and a lot of them tend to be less expensive, but eventually too much dust lands up in the motor and it dies. I have found that once I purchased a bagged vacuum, it lasts longer (and its a lot more pleasant to clean out!).

    • Jen From Philly

      Same here! We have 3 dogs and a cat so our vacuums get a work out. I would find myself embarrassed before company came over because i just couldn’t get my bag-less to pick up all the hair, after about 8 months of use. Then my husband bought be the best cheap vacuum i could have ever asked for, Hoover Tempo Widepath Upright Vacuum, Bagged. From the start it was better then the 3 vacuums i’ve had over the last 2 1/2 years. Today, almost a year later, it still runs like new. Bagged is so much better then bag-less!

  • Susann

    My Dyson is running great and after about 3 years of normal usage. It wasn’t cheap, but it’s proving to be worth the extra money.

  • Dana

    I had a Dyson for years, but when it (and I) took a fall down the stairs, I had to replace it. Whoops! Anyway, we have a Hoover windtunnel. I love that there is a sensor that tells you when the floor is actually clean!

  • Jenny

    I have had my Dyson animal for 5 years!! I have never had a problem with it and I have 3 small kids, a cat and a dog. I vacuum almost every day. I have vacuumed my basement, the garage and even the car with it and it is still going strong. I love seeing all the dirt it collects. I would highy recommend this investment.

  • Jamie Shirley

    Consumer Reports consistently gives great ratings to Sears Kenmore vacuums. They come in a range of prices and features. I have a mid-range one and love it. I highly recommend a canister vacuum with a carpet attachment if you have both hardwoods and carpet. I don’t think uprights really ever do a great job on hardwoods and they don’t follow you about obediently when using the hose like a canister will!

  • Kim

    We bought a Dyson animal over 6 years ago. We have 3 kids, a dog and moved twice. I use it daily on carpet and hardwood. Its the best thing I ever bought. We do maintain it by cleaning out the brushes often. I have lost one of the brushes that goes on the wand, but its still one of most powerful vaccums ever. Bought at Kohl’s with a 30% off, got cash back and an added discount for opening an account in my husband’s name. Well worth the expense.

  • Malia

    We had a Kirby salesman come to our house and were super impressed with the performance of the vacuum. However, we couldn’t justify spending so much on it, so we passed on the new one and looked for one on craigslist. We ended up buying an older model that has most of the same features as the new ones for $150. We then sold our Dyson (we weren’t huge fans) for $50, so ended up with a Kirby vacuum for $100. They hold up so well that buying them used is not a bad option (IMO). I LOVE it! It works great on my hardwoods and cleans the carpets thoroughly. I will say, though, that it is heavy! It has an automatic transmission in it, so it drives itself and is easy to push. However, if you have to haul it up and down steps (we live in a one-story) it may not be the wisest choice.

    • Julie

      I second the craigslist option. If you already have a favorite brand and are ok getting a used item, that is a great idea! Then you have time to budget for that bigger purchase!

  • Anonymous

    I really recommend the Dyson! It is bagless and as long as you clean the filters as indicated every few months it will last you years!! The best place to buy it would be Bed, Bath and Beyond where you can use your 20% coupons and you have years to exchange it should you be unhappy with it ( and I do mean years!!) (I used to work there so I saw them exchanching items purchased 5 years ago!). I have had mine for about 3 years now and I am still completly inlove with it!!

  • DanaF

    I was saving for a Dyson when out of frustration with my old vac I picked up a refurbished Hoover Deluxe Elite from Ocean State Job Lot for $39.99. I love this vacuum. It is bagless, has a hepa filter and it’s really light so it is very easy to move up and down the stairs. I have had it over a year now and it is still going strong.

  • chris

    I love the new hepa bags, ifyou decide to go with a bag vacuum. They don’t let that fine dust escape into the air. Why vacuum it up if it’s just going to come out the other end. They cost a little more, but I use them until my vacuum says change it. I have a sears canister vac. Great on rugs, ok on hardwood(I lost the hardwood attachment)

  • Alicia

    I’d go with the Dyson. I’ve sucked up all sorts of things that I shouldn’t and it is easy to take it apart and remove whatever. We have the animal and it is going on it’s 7th year and is amazing still. Just take care of the filters and you are good to go. I was embarrassed the first time I used it to clean what I thought was a clean carpet and it sucked up a ton of nasty stuff!

  • annie

    i work in a store that sells many brands….i can tell you that Dyson gets returned all the time. ALL the time. i have hard wood thru out house…so i have a very inexpensive small canister. I have a BIG dog. I prefer the bags…throw it out and there’s no more smell!!

  • Amy W.

    So I don’t know if this will help, but a few years ago my father in law picked up a used Oreck off the side of the road for us… ewww. I am weirded out by used vacuums and did not want his roadside pickup. When he brought it we took it to the Oreck store and they cleaned and disinfected it, replaced the bag and brushes, and made repairs. It has been almost four years now and that vacuum still works like new at a fraction of the cost. I don’t know where your nearest Oreck store is but we had to drive 75mi to ours and it was totally worth it. Maybe you could find a used one on Craigslist or locally.

  • DianeG

    We got a Dyson “animal” when they first came out. I willing to pay that much to help my allergies to dust. It was worth every penny and is still going strong. It does do hardwood and carpet without an issue. I wish that they had had the “ball” then or would give you a great trade in to buy a “ball’.
    Like any other vacuum or sweeper with a rotating brush, I have to get in there and clip the hair that gets tangled around the brush once a month or so. The one thing that I don’t like about is that it has a hose stored in the body to do stairs, drapes or upholstery. Well, since the hose is so compressed in storage, it never really relaxes when you pull it out. That is the only aspect that is annoying or does not meet my expectations.
    Actually the BEST vacuum cleaner I’ve ever used was a whole house built in vacuum. You get a 30 ft hose that plugs into wall outlets. The ease of having only a hose to move around was great and the power was incredible.

  • Stefanie

    Got my Oreck almost 12 years ago as a shower gift- it’s the only vacuum I’ve used up until recently- it’s so lightweight and does an awesome job! Recently, my mom gave me her Extra Hoover Tempo ( it’s the yellow one) and it’s actually not bad- it’s way heavier than the Oreck but does seem to do a good job picking up and from what I understand it costs about 10% of what the Oreck does. So for now I use both, one upstairs and one downstairs!

  • Maggie

    I bought an Oreck about 5 years ago. I have an artificial hip so climbing stairs can be challenging. The Oreck is so lightweight that I have no problem going up and down stairs with it. Plus, I got 7 years of free annual maintenance on it. It was expensive but well worth it.

  • Jenine

    ORECK! ORECK! ORECK! Worth every penny!!!

  • Julie

    Check out today. Its the same Dyson that I own. We got it as a wedding present last year and its been absolutely wonderful!