The 3 Vacuums I Use Every Day and Absolutely Swear By

If you have hard flooring, carpet or flat surfaces in your home, which just about covers every possibility—there are three specific vacuum cleaners that deserve your attention: an upright, a cordless stick vac and cordless handheld. These are the worker bees that I own, love and don’t want to live without.

Once you familiarize yourself with these vacuums and their specific uses, you’ll know why each one gets my designation of for Best Inexpensive™ in its specific category.

1. Shark Professional Navigator Lift-Away


shark navigator pro lift away vacuum

In the decade since I met and fell in love with my first Shark upright vacuum, I’ve purchased, tested, given as gifts, and worked nearly to death (it’s really hard to wear out a Shark) many Shark vacuums because the company comes out with a new model or two about every week, or so it seems. I can say with confidence, there is no better basic corded, upright vacuum cleaner on earth.

Now throw in the lift-away feature on some models (allows user to pop off the lightweight canister to easily carry and vacuum stairs), an extended wand for high reaches, high-capacity dirt cup, anti-allergen HEPA filter and 30-foot electrical cord and you’ve got yourself a Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Vacuum—a fantastic piece of housecleaning equipment.

But here’s the most important feature—the price. Wow! I’d put my Shark up against any brand, anytime, anywhere and I’m talking about even those pricey European brands that come in at $1,500 and more.

 So Disgusting I’m Embarrassed To Tell

…within minutes that canister filled to the top. I was so shocked, disgusted hardly describes the feeling. I took the canister out to the trash to dump it out hoping the neighbors wouldn’t be peering over the fence to see what was coming out of my home… read more

2. Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vac


I’ll be honest. There are times I just don’t want to open the closet, pull out Sharkie, unwind the cord, plug it into an outlet to handle a small yet annoying situation like crumbs on my dark wood floors or dirt tracked in from the garden. I’m pretty sure those minor situations would just sit there until later—until some more convenient time. That’s how things used to be before I met Hoover Linx.


Please meet the newest member of my cordless stick vac family, Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum.


A collage of pictures showing the beauty and ease of Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum


I’ve been using Linx every day for months now—and yes, I purchased it myself. I did not receive review models from manufacturers. My opinions are my own—I cannot be bought.

My new Linx (Amazon and Walmart) is remarkable in that it has every feature I could hope for. It stands alone, has an On/Off switch; it is lightweight, quiet, easily emptied and washed. Comes with a powerful Li-ion battery, has a “fuel” gauge, long runtime, swivel head, and headlights. And if that’s not enough, it has two added features I could have only dreamed of:

Replaceable battery

Once the battery wears out and dies (which hasn’t happened for me but I’m sure one day it will), other competitive stick vacs also die. The batteries are not replaceable in those discontinued stick vacs. But Linx is different.

The Linx battery is replaceable! It is located at the front and pops out easily—no tools required. You can even buy Linx plus an extra battery from the get-go, or purchase a replacement battery later. Isn’t that awesome?

Brush Roll or Hard Floor Settings

This was a big surprise for me and boy, was I excited. Linx has two settings: Suction Only for hard floor surfaces and Suction + Brush Roll for low pile carpet. I love this feature! Switching back and forth is a cinch, too. Just a flick of a button.

Linx weighs in at 7.5 lbs, which is super lightweight as stick vacs go.

Hoover Linx is available both at Amazon and Walmart.


When Your Cordless Stick Vac Needs a Bath—Photo Tutorial

Rarely do I gush. But gush I do over my Deik Cordless Stick Vac. Can’t help it. Deik is so handy, easy to use and serves us so well in our home, office, garage and alas, my husband’s woodworking shop. And it gets dirty. Really dirty … read more


3. Black+Decker Cordless Hand Vac

Black and Decker Dustbuster Cordless Hand Vac

This little sweetheart of a handheld vacuum is the best I have ever owned. That says a lot once you understand that prior to this gem, I had a Dyson handheld, an early Dustbuster, a Bissell model and a couple of other off brand numbers. The problems were many, but the biggest one? Runtime. What’s the point of a cordless hand vac that only “vacs” for a few minutes? So annoying! And that Dyson Root weighed a ton. My arm would give out just about the time it would run out of power. Argh!

But then this Black + Decker Cordless Hand Vac with 16-volt Lithium battery came into my life. It’s the battery! Lithium is just the best thing that ever happened to the world of batteries for so many reasons, but mostly that it holds a charge until used. That gives this cordless vac a fabulously long runtime.

This Black + Decker Cordless Hand Vac is lightweight too, And cleaning? So easy. It comes apart easily, with the filter and dust cup being completely washable! I do it right in my utility sink, allow it to dry for a few hours, and we’re back in business. It helps that I have three of these babies always at the ready in different parts of the house.

Here’s the thing: Housecleaning tools like vacuums need to be handy and ready to go. If I have to go up a flight of stairs to find a vac to clean up that little sprinkling of coffee grounds I just accidentally dumped into a drawer, will I? Or will I just close the drawer and tell myself that I’ll do it later when I’m up there anyway. I think you know the answer to that.

When I’m just feet from a vacuum because it’s in a handy place, all charged up and ready to go—that just makes me happy. It makes my drawers, floors and bare feet happy, too!


How to Use the Right Amount of Laundry Detergent

Most of us use way too much laundry detergent, which can present all kinds of problems like skin irritation, grayish looking whites, and stiff scratchy clothes and linens … read more

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4 replies
  1. Patricia Kensel Madona
    Patricia Kensel Madona says:

    Mary, I would love to see a review on a good inexpensive canister vacuum. (I am mortified at the loss of the Euphy. I have perchased three. One as a much appreciated gift. Why would they cancel such an efficient little machine that has been so heavily promoted? I originally had a Hoover Linux but after the euphy I never looked back). My small Florida home needs a canister. I hoped the Shark pro would work as it converts but has proved too bulky and heavy for the job.

  2. Ellen C
    Ellen C says:

    Completely agree on these choices. You didn’t mention the Eufy robot cleaner that you have written about in the past. I have all of these and love them. So many thanks to you!

  3. Laurie Tralle
    Laurie Tralle says:

    Hey Mary – I have some Eufy/Deik advice to share! My Eufy stopped charging after 3 months (purchased in September 2018). After some troubleshooting suggestions, the company promptly emailed me a shipping label to print. However, I hadn’t kept the box and I didn’t have one on hand that would work. So my advice is to HANG ON TO THE ORIGINAL BOX. I now have my replacement (they didn’t have one to send when I returned mine and I was traveling when they did send the replacement) and I’m hanging on to the box and the inside packaging this time! I really like the vacuum otherwise and my daughter got one for her new home as well. I just hope hers lasts better than mine.

  4. Carol
    Carol says:

    My Eufy just died. I bought it after your suggestion and I was very happy with it. I checked the Deik Cordless Stick Vacuum that you recommended, but it is not available. Do you have any other recommendations?

    Thank you!



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