We actually found stronger reviews overall for budget canister vacuums priced at $100 or less. While these models generally cannot handle deep carpet cleaning, they may be adequate if you vacuum infrequently or have light cleaning jobs, particularly if you only need to vacuum hard floors. We saw the most positive comments for the Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum (*Est. $80) , which is why it's our best-reviewed pick for cheap canister vacuum. This incredibly lightweight (less than 9 pounds) bag-equipped vacuum manages to pack a surprising amount of power, according to reviewers.
Although many users wish it were retractable, the 3670G's 25-foot-long cord is also described as a bonus. Most agree that this model performs well on bare floors, but say it's not ideal for carpet or rugs. Nonetheless, it is generally seen as a good value for the money; most owners say that as long as your expectations aren't unrealistic, you'll be satisfied with its performance. The Eureka Mighty Mite has an added feature that makes it useful as a garage or workshop-dedicated cleaner: A blower reverses the airflow and can be used to blow away sawdust, leaves or other messes.
If you don't mind spending a bit more, the Eureka Mighty Mite Pet Lover Canister Vacuum 3684F (*Est. $150) is a step up from the regular Mighty Mite with features that make it better suited for pet-hair pickup as well as a HEPA filter for cleaner air quality. Both the Mighty Mite and the Pet Lover Mighty Mite are noisy, but owners don't seem to mind. In fact, some point out that noise is expected of any vacuum, particularly one that boasts so much power for such a compact unit.
The Mighty Mite uses special Arm & Hammer filter bags designed for odor elimination that cost about $2 each. Both models have 12 amps of power and weigh less than 9 pounds, so the key difference is really filtration. That said, the same filter bags can be used for both models, so you can choose to add a higher-quality bag to the standard Mighty Mite for added filtration.
The Pet Lover does have a wider cleaning path by an inch; it's 11 inches compared to the regular Mighty Mite's 10 inches. Both have blower ports for blowing out sawdust, leaves or other dirt from a garage or workshop. The Pet Lover includes a special attachment for removing pet hair, but owners have mixed opinions on how effective it really is, and some say the vacuum actually works better without it. In that case, the less expensive Mighty Mite is a better buy if you aren't concerned about filtration.