Best Stick Vacuums for $150 or Less

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

One of the stick vacuums for $150 or less.
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We paid $750 for the most expensive stick vacuum in Consumer Reports’ vacuum tests. Admittedly, the LG CordZero A9 A906SM is a good performer and knocks it out of the park on our tough vacuum tests. 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 cost $150 or less.

While stick vacuums can’t achieve the deep cleaning of a full-sized upright or canister vacuum, they can help you maintain dirt-free floors between more rigorous cleaning sessions.

“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 test-lab engineer who tests vacuums.

But even though they’re better suited for simple messes, we don’t go easy on them in our lab. We evaluate how well the 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 that you just cleaned.

CR’s Overall Score for each model incorporates results of each of these performance tests, as well as 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, handhelds, and robotics—see our vacuum buying guide and complete vacuum ratings.

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 Very 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 Reach Max Plus BD22510PC
      Dirt Devil Reach Max Plus BD22510PC

        Dirt Devil Reach Max Plus BD22510PC

        CR’s take: Though it costs 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.

        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.

          Kenmore 10341
          Kenmore 10341

            Kenmore 10341

            CR’s take: This cordless Kenmore 10341 does an impressive job cleaning up pet hair, earning an Excellent rating on that test. It’s almost as good at cleaning bare floors and edges but only so-so on carpet. It’s super-quiet, and emissions are clean as a whistle. One thing our testers noted is that this model has touch-sensitive controls that take some getting used to when you switch from one mode to another. In our reliability survey, we did not have enough data on Kenmore stick vacuums to rate the brand.

            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 stands out as the most reliable stick vacuum brand in our member survey, earning an Excellent rating, and also gets the top mark for owner satisfaction. It’s the only brand of stick vacuums to get top marks on both attributes. This model is the lowest priced of the 21 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.