Best Stick Vacuums for $150 or Less

Consumer Reports' ratings show that you don't have to spend a lot to get a solid appliance

One of the stick vacuums for $150 or less.
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Stick vacuums can’t achieve the deep cleaning of a full-sized upright or canister vacuum, but they're a perfectly good choice for smaller jobs and can help you maintain dirt-free floors between cleanings. Stick vacuums can be pricey, however, and you may not want to pay top dollar for one that serves as your secondary tool.

Consumer Reports paid $750 for the most expensive stick vacuum in our vacuum tests. The LG CordZero A9 A906SM is a good performer and knocks it out of the park on our primary cleaning tasks. But for that amount of money you can buy an impressive stick vacuum for every room of your house. In fact, some high-performing models from our tests cost $150 or less.

“And stick vacuums, corded or cordless, are great for people who don’t have wall-to-wall carpet and just need to clean up simple messes,” says Frank Rizzi, a senior Consumer Reports engineer who tests vacuums.

While they might be better suited for simple messes, we don’t go easy on them in our lab. We evaluate how well stick vacs pick up sand, rice, and cereal from our test carpet.

In our bare-floor cleaning test, we scatter debris on a tiled floor with grout grooves, which increases the difficulty. We also conduct a pet-hair removal test on medium-pile carpet, as well as a clean-emissions test to see whether a vacuum is releasing dust back into the room just cleaned.

CR’s Overall Score for each model incorporates results of each of these performance tests and ratings for brand reliability and owner satisfaction.

Here are six affordable stick vacuums from our tests that cost $150 or less arranged alphabetically, not in order of CR rank. For more on vacuums—including more stick vacuums, as well as canisters, uprights, hand-helds, and robotics—see our vacuum buying guide and complete vacuum ratings.

Go to Consumer Reports’ 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider shopping tips, and much more.

Dirt Devil Accucharge BD20035RED
Dirt Devil Accucharge BD20035RED

    Dirt Devil Accucharge BD20035RED

    CR’s take: At well under $100, the cordless Dirt Devil Accucharge BD20035RED is a good choice for folks with bare floors and tight corners that need a quick cleanup. It’s only so-so at cleaning carpet and not a good choice if you have a pet, because it struggles in our pet-hair test. Where it excels is in its quiet operation, earning a Very Good rating for noise, and in our clean-emissions test. It also has a brush on-off switch, which, at this price, is a nice extra. (Turning the brush off prevents you from scattering debris when vacuuming bare floors.) Based on data from our CR member survey, Dirt Devil earns a Good rating for predicted reliability but poor marks for owner satisfaction.

    Dirt Devil Power Stick SD12530
    Dirt Devil Power Stick SD12530

      Dirt Devil Power Stick SD12530

      CR’s take: The well-priced slim Dirt Devil Power Stick SD12530 is no slouch when it comes to cleaning carpet and bare floors, and picking up pet hair, earning an Excellent rating in all three tasks. The corded model gracefully glides along edges, picking up dust as it goes, and it operates quietly. But its emissions aren’t as clean as some of the other stick vacuums we’ve tested, something to keep in mind if anyone in your household suffers from allergies.

      Dirt Devil Power Swerve BD22050
      Dirt Devil Power Swerve BD22050

        Dirt Devil Power Swerve BD22050

        CR's take: In our tests, the quiet, self-standing Dirt Devil Power Swerve BD22050 picked up pet hair with no problem, earning an Excellent rating on that test. It's lightweight, has a large dirt bin, and a brush on/off switch so the rotating brush can be shut off for use on bare floors to avoid scattering debris. It cleans carpet well but isn't as impressive on bare floors or along edges. And it gets a below-average score for emissions, so this is a model to avoid if anyone in your family has allergies. This basic model doesn’t convert to a hand vac or come with attachments.

        Hoover Platinum LiNX BH50010
        Hoover Platinum LiNX BH50010

          Hoover Platinum LiNX BH50010

          CR’s take: The cordless Hoover Platinum LiNX BH50010 is a wonder at cleaning along edges, earning an Excellent rating for its ability to pick up almost all debris along the walls in our test chamber. So if you need to get into tight spaces or have long corridors that tend to gather dust, this model is worth a look. The Hoover also excels at picking up pet hair, and does a workmanlike job on carpet and bare floors, so you can pull it out to clean all these surfaces. In our reliability survey, Hoover earns an average Good rating for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.

          Dirt Devil Reach Max Plus BD22510PC
          Dirt Devil Reach Max Plus BD22510PC

            Dirt Devil Reach Max Plus BD22510PC

            CR’s take: Though its list price is a bit more than the Dirt Devil Power Stick, the cordless Dirt Devil Reach Max Plus BD22510PC delivers on bare-floor and carpet cleaning. It earns an Excellent rating for its pet-hair pickup, leaving little fur behind on a grooved tile floor in our tests. One major downside: Our technicians say this model struggles with edge cleaning, meaning it leaves more debris along walls than other vacuums on this list. And it scores our lowest rating, a Poor, on our clean-emissions test.

            Shark Navigator Freestyle SV1106
            Shark Navigator Freestyle SV1106

              Shark Navigator Freestyle SV1106

              CR’s take: The cordless Shark Navigator Freestyle SV1106 is a good choice for homes with carpeting and pets; it earns an Excellent rating on both of those tests. It’s not as impressive at cleaning bare floors and getting grit out of the edges, but you’ll appreciate its quiet operation and clean emissions. Shark is one of the standouts in our member survey, earning a Very Good rating for predicted reliability and an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction. This model is the lowest-priced of the 22 Shark models in our stick vacuum ratings.

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              Mary H.J. Farrell

              Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.