Yesterday’s flash cordless vacuum cleaner sale at Sainsbury’s saw machines from Dyson and G-tech being sold for as little as £50, but many shoppers were left disappointed when it was revealed hat the offers applied to very limited stock and weren’t available nationwide.
Sainsbury’s employees reported shoppers queuing to snap up the bargains from as early as 4am. Deals included the Dyson V6 Animal, down to just £50 – the cheapest we’ve ever seen a Dyson cordless vacuum.
When it was revealed that these were only available in certain parts of the country, customers didn’t hesitate to voice their discontent, leading the supermarket chain to issue a public apology, blaming it on a leaked internal message.
It’s notoriously hard to find a Dyson vacuum on the cheap but, if your budget won’t stretch to Dyson prices, there are other options out there. We reveal our top tips for getting the best cheap vacuum below, based on our experience testing hundreds of vacs across the full range of prices.
Buying the best cheap vacuum cleaner
1. Beware: hardly any cheap vacuum cleaners are actually any good
We’ve found many more Don’t Buys than good models in the lower price ranges, so you have to work harder to find a cheap vacuum that will do the job well.
- Cheaper models tend to fall down on cleaning performance, particularly when it comes to sucking dust out of carpets.
- They’re also often noisier and tend to leak allergens back into your home.
This is a trend across both traditional plug-in vacuums and cordless models, but it’s a more significant problem with cordless cleaners. We’ve found more than 40 cordless vacuums that are so poor at cleaning we’ve named them Don’t Buy cordless vacuums to avoid.
If you’re prepared to spend a little more money – around £150-200 – there are a handful of cheaper cordless models that do a good job, including a couple of brilliant Best Buys.
Don’t assume that spending more always means you’ll get better results, though, as we’ve also found some really expensive cordless vacuums that aren’t up to scratch.
See our cordless vacuum cleaner reviews for the best cheaper options available.
2. You’ll get a better deal if you opt for a plug-in vacuum
It’s easier to find a bargain vacuum if you’re willing to keep the cord. We’ve found some excellent budget options for less than £100, including one great basic model that costs less than £50 and only just misses out on our Best Buy badge – awarded to the very best vacuums you can buy.
Corded vacuums are also likely to last longer, according to our research into the most reliable vacuum cleaner brands, and have a larger dust capacity too, so they may be a better bet if you have a large or heavily carpeted home.
With the very cheapest options, you may have to compromise on a few features that make life easier. For example, you’re more likely to get a shorter power cord, meaning you’ll need to switch power sockets a little more often to get around the house.
Head to our vacuum cleaner reviews for the inside track on the best cheap models.
Corded vs cordless vacuums buying guide – how to choose the right vacuum for you
3. Keep an eye on older models from big brands
As with this Dyson V6 deal from Sainsbury’s, stores may occasionally discount older stock to clear shelves before newer models come in, so if you’re happy to hang on for a bit and keep an eye on the shops, you might get lucky.
If a brand such as Dyson or Shark has released a load of new models, you may be able to find the older ones at a better price, so don’t write off the older options. We keep our reviews of older models on Which.co.uk for as long as each product is still available to buy.
Take a look at our Dyson deals page for advice on typical prices for the various models, and what they offer, too – so you are armed with the knowledge you need to pounce on a deal if you spot one.
Consider refurbished models
Another option is buying a refurbished model. The official Dyson eBay outlet has some of the cheapest online prices for popular models such as the V6 Animal (£150) and V7 Animal (£225).
These models tend to have a shorter guarantee, usually around one year, but could be worth considering if you’ve got your heart set on a Dyson.
Choosing the best vacuum for you
The right vacuum cleaner for you depends on what kind of home you live in. If you live in a small flat with mainly hard floors, you won’t have the same needs as someone living in a large, heavily carpeted house.
While upright vacuum cleaners are better for bigger homes, a cylinder vacuum could be a good choice if you want to stick to a tighter budget. If you’re keen to go cordless, be aware that you’ll have to pay handsomely for longer battery life, so it’s not the most frugal option for larger households, although many are swayed by the convenience.
Take a look at our vacuum cleaner buying guide for advice on choosing the best option for you, including a quick quiz that helps you to narrow down your choices.