A Passionate Post About a $50 Vacuum

Every time Derek and I have moved in the last 5 years, we've switched church congregations, and each new congregation has had a Facebook group where the women can connect with one another, ask questions about local schools, parks, doctors, ask for help when needed, etc... These groups have always proven to be really awesome at getting information or help when you need it, and have generally proven to be a really valuable resource to me over the years. 

A couple years ago, one of my friends had posted on one of these Facebook groups that her vacuum cleaner had just broken, and that she wanted recommendations on a new one, and then specifically mentioned that she did not want to spend an arm and a leg, and was really trying to stay under $100 or so on this purchase. 

What ensued in the comment thread of that post was about 5-6 women convincing her that she did in fact need to just spend the $300+ on the almighty Dyson vacuum and that it would increase the longevity of the carpets in her home, that it would clean them better than any other machine, and that the vacuum itself would last longer than any of the cheaper alternatives that she would find elsewhere. 

I'm going to probably enrage a few people with my next statement but: I've used several Dyson vacuums from either using one when I go to someone else's house, or when someone has let us use theirs when ours was packed up on a moving truck, and I'm just not impressed. This is also coming from the same person who HATES Costco (post for another time perhaps?), so take all of this for what it's worth. I just personally felt like they were bulky, hard to maneuver, and didn't suck as well as the $50 Bissell that we'd purchased from Walmart. (I'm also willing to admit that maybe we just had two bad experiences with a Dyson, they are obviously very popular and must be for a good reason, purely just my experience from the two I've used.)

When we moved from Utah to North Carolina in 2013, we'd gotten rid of a lot of our possessions, our vacuum cleaner being one of them. When we got to North Carolina though, we were tight on money since Derek was out of work for a month before his new job started, so when we needed to get a vacuum before the first paycheck came, we grabbed this Bissel Powerforce Helix for $50 and called it good. It was our best, viable option for our budget, so we went for it, and it has been a trooper for us for over four years now. 

One thing I've thought a lot about over the last few years when people talk about how much they hate their lower end vacuum cleaners is that  I don't think people really maintain their vacuums as well as they should. All of the pieces in our vacuum come apart really easily, and every six months or so  I take out all the inside parts, wash them in the sink, dry them, and then put it all back together. I also make sure to get the hair out from the track about once a month, and from doing those things on a consistent basis, I really think it's helped to increase the longevity of our machine. 

There was a moment a few months ago where I was vacuuming and then all of a sudden our house started to smell like burning Doritos and I thought that it was the end of my beloved and well defended vacuum cleaner, but it turned out to just be a broken band. So I bought a new one on Amazon for $12, replaced it myself, and have been happily vacuuming again ever since. 

I also firmly believe that that vacuum does an outstanding job at getting our carpets cleaned. Each week Em's OT comes to our house with various sensory bins filled with rice, beans, and all sorts of things that I don't really want in my carpet, and my house is usually always trashed by the time he leaves. I take out my vacuum, and within minutes you cannot find a single bean or grain of rice anywhere in the house. He did get blue silly putty stuck in the carpet which is now there for life... but to no fault of the vacuum of course. 

I will say that my friend's mom used my vacuum once when she was staying with us and complained that it had the shortest cord of any vacuum that she's ever used, but in our current house we can plug it in and vacuum the entire main floor without having to switch the outlet. Our old place in North Carolina where she used it was a 1200 square foot apartment with lots of walls and turns in the floor plan, and you did need to change outlets about three times to get the entire place done. But I personally think a shorter cord is a small price to pay for a vacuum that in my opinion is amazing. 

Obviously since we purchased this vacuum cleaner four years ago, the exact same one is not on the market anymore, but I'm pretty sure this one from Walmart is the current day predecessor to our vacuum cleaner. I cannot say enough good things about the Bissell Powerforce Helix line, and will purchase a new one, should our current vacuum ever die. This post is not sponsored by Walmart, or Bissell, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I just happen to really love vacuuming, and find joy in using the one that we have and thought I would share that with you! Also, if you have a Dyson vacuum, (or love Costco), I promise we can still be friends. I'm sure that there are many valid reasons as to why people love them so much, I'm just sharing my personal experience, and am recognizing that not everyone can spend that kind of money on a vacuum, and am sharing a great alternative.


  1. I am not a fan of Dyson either. We splurged and got the Dyson Animal several years back. We had two dogs and every other day I would have to sweep a thin layer of dog hair up off the carpet, due to shedding. When the vacuum couldn't handle it (made a grinding noise), I called Dyson to find out what was wrong. It should be mentioned that the Dyson animal was advertised specifically for picking up pet hair. I was told that I needed to pick up the pet hair with my hands prior sweeping. If I wanted to get on my hands and knees and pick up the hair I wouldn't buy a $300 sweeper. What a joke! Don't waste your money on their sweeper or any of their products. That's been my experience with them. On a side note, I came to your site for the meal planning and loved your oven fajita recipe. I'm also a survivor of an eating disorder. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. I have yet to receive mine (I just won one). I h ave a "Windtunnel" (might be a hoover, thats the type of belts I'm buying for it lol)..its ok, but I have so few carpets in my house and I really want to get rid of the one in the front room so that its only hard wood flooring (cost though,sigh)
    I have to say I too hate Costco... MEMBERSHIP FEE? if I want bulk buying I can go to RCWC (The real canadian wholesale club) that has DECENT parking, does NOT charge a membership and buy TONS of bulk food (and its not a 45 min drive across the city either, traveling on the highway lol)

  3. I remember when we were registering for our wedding the lady at BBB tried so hard to get us to register for a Dyson, haha. We refused! We got a Dirt Devil (I think?) from my BILs and SILs as a joint gift, and it worked for us for 6.5 years! We just got a new one in November --- a Shark, from Costco, haha --- and it's been great! I think we paid like $100-ish for it. I totally agree that taking care of them is key! Kyle has to cut my hair our of it each time he vacuums hahaha.

    I'm so sad you hate Costco though! We had never had a membership until we moved almost 2 years ago, but I'm obsessed now. I don't buy everything there, but the stuff I buy there I LOVE, plus our cash back on our credit card makes it worth it!

  4. For making the task of extracting pet hair a lot easier, there are numerous pet hair-specific vacuum cleaners available on the market. Being as there are a lot of models covering various price ranges it would be difficult to say for certain what is the best vacuum for pet hair is vacuumonly

  5. You're probably wondering how good a robot vacuum can actually clean. You'd probably be surprised to know that most owners report they clean as good as, or even better than a normal robot vacuum cleaner.

  6. I have to agree with you regarding the Dyson vacuums regarding its weight. In my review, I did find they are heavy but I find they have strong suctions. My favorite is the Bissell ProHeat 2x.

  7. I take out my vacuum, and within minutes you cannot find a single bean or grain of rice anywhere in the house.Cleanthefloor.com

  8. It's the same than autos, as you move from the GL to the LX and on to the SI the value rises thus does your solace and true serenity! robot vacuum cleaner

  9. This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post.
    Best Hospital in Hyderabad

  10. This blog is really very helpful, thanks for sharing this information.
    best hospitals in Hyderabad