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 a cordless handheld. These are the worker bees that I own, love, and do not 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. Because life is uncertain and things can change with a minute’s notice, today I am updating and republishing this post with new and exciting information.
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.
When you walk into a store like Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond or Costco looking for my specific Shark vacuum, prepare to be confused. There are so many models—and some that are unique to that particular retailer.
Each Shark model has its own small differences—it could be the color, filter style, cord length, weight, etc. However, I can help you cut through all that noise: as long as it includes the words Shark, Navigator, and Liftaway you can be super confident you’re getting my favorite. Other descriptive words like Professional and Deluxe are lovely, but not critical in my opinion. Currently, I own and use three Shark upright vacuums, and each one is slightly different depending on when and where I got it. All three are lift-away models because I have lots of stairs in my home.
NOTE: As I write, Amazon is offering is a fabulous deal on this Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360. As big and deluxe as it looks, it weighs in only 12.5 lbs! The lift-away canister used alone is just 7.5 lbs. Awesome. This Shark model comes with onboard upholstery and crevice tools. And it’s blue. I’m having a little talk with myself right now and dealing with that voice in my head that insists I really do need another Shark—that’s how amazing this deal is.
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.
I’ve been using Linx every day for months now—and yes, I purchased it myself as I have all of the vacuums I test. I did not receive review models from manufacturers. While we may receiving a small commission when you purchase these vacuums, you can be assured that 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. Linx stands alone, has an On/Off switch; it is lightweight, quiet, easily emptied and washed. This stick vac comes with a powerful Li-ion removable and rechargeable battery, has a “fuel” gauge, long runtime and swivel head. And if that’s not enough, it has two added features I could have only dreamed of:
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 like Eufy and Deik also die. You have no choice but to dispose of it as hazardous household waste, as the entire stick vac becomes completely useless. The batteries are not replaceable in those 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.
NOTE: For my readers who own Eufy or Deik, let me assure you that both are still great stick vacs! Use it, love it, and keep it clean! Do not toss and replace with a Linx until the day comes that your stick vac has a total fail (the first sign is that the battery will no longer hold a charge). When you replace it, I suggest you run to a Hoover Linx.
Rarely do I gush. But gush I do over my stick vac. Can’t help it. Hoover Linx 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
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!
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