best vacuum under 300

Top 2 Vacuums Under $300

Want a great vacuum but still have a budget?

Most of the highest rated vacuums are in the 300 to 500 range but with a budget of $300 you’re really not missing much.

That’s if you find the right vacuum. Most vacuums in this category come with the features you’d expect: pet hair cleaning tools, auto-adjusting heights, air filters. The big differences came in pet hair and cleaning performance. Some of the $200-$300 vacuums don’t deserve to be sold, while others could probably be priced much higher.

How I choose the best vacuums

I touched on this earlier, but I’m a nerd and have a “big list” of almost every vacuum you’ll find in stores. This list has my testing scores of the vacuum in key areas, typical prices, accessories and features, and reviews of what other people say about the vacuum and how it holds up.

The first step was to filter out any vacuums over $300. From here, I narrowed down the top 10 or so vacuums that had the reviews and my initial test ratings to be in consideration. From there, I took an in-depth individual look at each vacuum to “break the ties,” and decided which of these vacuums I would buy if I had $300 to spend.

Here are the 2 vacuums that stood out:

Captain’s notice! When I recommend a vacuum, there is a link to a product page (usually Amazon), and I may receive a small commission if you purchase after clicking it. This does not change what you pay or what I recommend. It does help fund the research I put into the site, and I’m grateful for any support!

Shark Rotator TruePet [1st Place]: This vacuum competes with the higher end Dyson’s at a much lower price point. I think you could add $300 to the price tag and the vacuum would still sell. That said, it’s currently under $300 but isn’t always. It does a great job with pet hair but a few things set this vacuum apart:

  • suction and pet hair cleaning 9 out of 10
  • completely sealed HEPA system (not all HEPA systems are equal… this is a good one
  • slightly above average maneuverability but not the best in class
  • easily detaches to a canister and useful tools to clean cars, upholstery, blinds, and more
  • headlight to see in darker areas (helps prevent sucking up something that can damage your vacuum)
  • few reports of poor durability but reviews are overwhelmingly positive and vacuum comes with a 5-year warranty
  • check out pricing on Amazon by clicking here

Kenmore Pet Friendly Plush Crossover [Runner Up]This is another vacuum with excellent suction and pet hair removal. It actually looks like our top pick Shark vacuum above. Kenmore may not be as recognizable to you as Shark or Dyson, but it’s had a long-standing great reputation in vacuums. This one is no exception:

  • 8.5 out of 10 cleaning and pet hair removal
  • HEPA filter for allergy sufferers
  • pet hair tool and other accessories to clean about anything in your home
  • works well on all types of flooring and designed to work with thicker carpets such as frieze
  • check out pricing on Amazon by clicking here

What to look for in under $300 vacuums

When you start paying close to $300 for a vacuum, you’d think you’d get quality. And most of the time you do. The vacuum in the $200-300 range definitely outperforms cheaper vacuums on average.


However, you do have to watch for lemons. It’s interesting because I’ve tested and reviewed countless vacuum in all price categories, but I’ve found durability doesn’t change much in from $50 to $300. Performance does but not durability.

The best way to predict how durable your vacuum will be is to sort through reviews. With one warning: all vacuums have some reviews that will scare you away. I’ve never tested a vacuum where someone in reviews didn’t say it was a piece of a junk that breaks down.

It just happens. Fortunately, the top vacuums above are above-average on durability, but it’s always worth checking.

Don’t put too much stock in tools

Another benefit of paying up to $300 for a vacuum is they all seem to have adequate tools. It doesn’t cost too much to add a detachable hose and plastic tools that clean different surfaces. Sometimes you’ll notice a difference in pet hair tools cleaning ability.

One of the bigger problems is the hose, and this is actually seen in both of the vacuums reviewed above. Often the hose is stiff and a little difficult to maneuver. I’m not sure if this is just so the hose will be durable. You can still work with it, but it’s a little annoying

Performance is key

These vacuums are similar to the under $200 category in that some will compete with the highest rated vacuums and others you wonder why they cost so much. We review nearly every vacuum you’ll find in stores, so feel free to leave a comment if you have questions on how a specific vacuum performs.

Captain’s parting words!

With $300 to spend, you still have a budget, but you’re not limiting your options much. Vacuums can go over $1,000 but usually in those very high price ranges, you’re paying a lot for small improvements.

Hopefully, this lets you find a vacuum that fits your budget.

Let me know in the comments if you have questions or anything you do or don’t like about your current vacuum.

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Dee Kendall

I’ve had a cleaning service for 27 yrs and have always used an Oreck. The drawback are no accessory tools and no control on height of beater bar. However, I’m getting ready to buy carpet and due to my extreme foot problems I’m looking for softer carpets which are harder to vacuum, With 2 Orecks I hate to buy yet another but do you think that’s a must if I go with softer carpet? Also, you don’t recommend soft carpets for high traffic areas, so what would you recommend for our living room?