3 vacuums we use every day

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 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.

1. Shark Professional Navigator Lift-Away


Shark and Upright

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.

Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites.

Car and Vacuum cleaner 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 person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera, with Hoover LiNX


I’ve been using my 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:

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 like Eufy and Deik also die. You have no choice but to dispose of Eufy and Deik as hazardous household waste, as the entire stick vac becomes completely useless. The Eufy and Deik batteries are not replaceable. 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.

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. 


Vacuum and Cordless

When Your Cordless Stick Vac Needs a Bath—Photo Tutorial

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

3. Black+Decker Cordless Hand Vac

Cordless and Hand

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 Root 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.

Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites.

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!

Revised & Updated 4-17-20

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  1. Pat S in Texas says:

    I’ve enjoyed these three vacs purchased on your recommendation (and links) for several years—rather the versions available at the time of purchase. My Eufy stick is actually my favorite and I’m a little bummed to hear that it’s future is not so bright. I do appreciate Connie’s tip on chargers and happy to know with what to replace when necessary. Thanks for your innumerable tips through the decades, Mary.

  2. Barbara Ryan says:

    I got this same shark navigator a couple years ago. I found it too hard to push. So did my daughter. I resold it. I need a new vacuum right now. The $80 one I bought from Walmart last year just broke. I can’t spend $200 on a new one right now, but I don’t want to waste my money on one that won’t clean my carpets well enough.

  3. Annie says:

    I just bought the Hoover hardwood, tile, and etc. cleaner. If it is worth the money will let you know.
    I have three Sharks, two plugins and one portable I love them. I also took your advice and bought the Hoover carpet cleaner and it does better than a professional service. Love your column and advice especially the recipes.. I have used them also. 🙂

  4. Connie says:

    I have two of the Eufy vacuums and I thought the battery was dead too, however after plugging in the new charger I was able to charge both of my Eufy’s and they are holding a charge and working great, I had put the new charger aside and decided to try it, hope this might work for someone else if you have not pitched them out.

  5. Kay Jones says:

    I have a Shark I love, but recent health issues has had me make some adjustments. I found pushing and pulling the vacuum with upper arm strength wasn’t possible so I now have a Bissell Hard Floor canister vacuum. I have tile floors with area rugs so this works well. I can pull the canister quite easily and the attachments are lightweight. I also have a Bissell Sweep up like they use in restaurants. It’s great for quick pick ups. My favorite is a long handled broom and dustpan by Quickie. It’s lightweight, fits into small spaces and is perfect for tracked in dirt and kitty litter. I still use the Shark for the area rugs, but now have an option for everyday cleaning.

  6. Jeannie says:

    Bought the Shark Navigator on Mary’s recommendation about 5 years ago. Absolutely love it! I have 2 dogs so there is LOTS to vacuum up all the time. I also bought one for my cabin.

  7. Kim Marcy says:

    I have two of the three vacuums you have listed. I’m still using my cordless Eufy stick vac and love it. I’ll plan to get the Linx when needed.
    I have a robo Eufy vacuum and honestly cannot imagine being without it. I use it daily due to having a dog in the house. I would love to see a review on robo vacuums in the future!
    Thank you!
    Kim Marcy

  8. Joan McDonagh says:

    I did purchase the handheld vac due to your recommendation and loved it but now the battery won’t hold a charge and I can’t find a replacement battery. Help!

    • Joan McDonagh says:

      I just read someone plugged head held black and decker into new charger. And it started charging again. I didn’t know you could do that. Mary Hunt any advice?

  9. Ann says:

    I have a 30 year old pull along Hoover spirit 900 vacuum and still can get the bags, it still works fine, can be repaired if needed.

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