Hoover WindTunnel UH70120: A Solid Upright for Around $100

Product Comparisons, Shopping

It can be tough to find a reliable vacuum cleaner at a reasonable price. But we spotted a Hoover WindTunnel model — the UH70120 — that is a strong performer overall and costs about $100.

Before you jump at the WindTunnel UH70120’s price, there are a few things to consider. If you have pets or carpet, this vacuum is a safe bet. But homes with hardwood floors might want to consider a different model.

We took an in-depth look at the WindTunnel UH70120 to help you decide whether it will get the job done in your home.

The vacuum

The WindTunnel UH70120 is a lightweight, upright vacuum cleaner. It’s a bagless model that includes such convenient features as a pedal-activated cord rewind and rinsable filter.

hoover_windtunnel_UH70120_lowThe 16.5-pound vacuum includes a 27-foot power cord, no-scuff bumper, fingertip controls and a five-position carpet height adjustment. Also included with purchase are several accessories, such as an air-powered hand tool, 12-inch extension wand, crevice tool and upholstery/dusting brush.

The vacuum technically has a retail price of $129.99, but it can often be found for less than $100 on Amazon.

Even though this model is more affordable than some other vacuums, you still want to make sure it will last. Products such as vacuums often offer an extended warranty or protection against loss or damage, but before you pay extra for one of these, check to see whether your credit card offers a similar perk already. Some cards even give you price protection, in case you find the same item for sale at a lower price after you buy.

The reviews

We analyzed reviews of some of the most popular inexpensive vacuums on the market to come up with a definitive buyer’s guide. We looked at expert opinions from review sites such as The Sweethome, CNET and Good Housekeeping. Next, we analyzed user reviews to see what shoppers were saying about the various attributes of each vacuum.

For the vacuum scores, which run from a low of 1 to a high of 10, we considered what users reported about the vacuums’ overall performance and how they performed in a variety of settings, such as on stairs or hardwood floors. We also factored in reviewers’ observations of characteristics such as noise level and durability for a well-rounded look at each model.

This Hoover WindTunnel model earned a spot in our ranking of the best cheap vacuums under $100. It scored a 7.8 overall, and got an 8.5 in how well it cleans and a 7.9 in ease of use. Let’s take a closer look at these scores.

The pros

Although this Hoover proved to be an overall strong performer, it particularly excelled in a few areas. In fact, it scored a 9.6 in the pet hair category, a 9.4 in how well it cleans carpet and a 9.1 for its weight.

Some consumers noted that the vacuum is light and easy to lift and maintains consistent suction while cleaning carpet. Certain reviewers went as far as noting that the vacuum removed dirt from their carpet that they didn’t even know was there.

In addition to dirt and dust, the WindTunnel can also suck up cat and dog hair. Even some owners of long-haired pets were impressed by the machine’s ability to pick up hair.

The cons

But there were some criteria we analyzed in which the vacuum came up short. This Hoover model earned a 7.3 in how well it cleans hard floors and an even less impressive 3.5 in the customer service and repair category.

Certain users said that on hard floors, the vacuum either failed to pick up dirt and dust, or it just pushed it back behind the vacuum.

Some users reported durability concerns, including the belt breaking, the retractable cord getting stuck and a loss of suction power. A handful of those who contacted the Hoover customer service department noted that it was a challenge to get their vacuums fixed.

Is this Hoover for you?

Now that you have a better idea of what to expect with the WindTunnel UH70120, it’s time to decide whether it’s the right vacuum cleaner for your needs.

If you’re a pet owner who has a home that’s primarily filled with carpet, you won’t go wrong with this affordable and reliable vacuum. But if you have a considerable amount of hard floors, check out our review of the Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G, which got high marks for its performance on stairs, tile and hardwood floors. And the Bissell Zing 6489 is excellent on hard flooring and pet hair and costs around half the price of the Hoover WindTunnel.

Also consult our list of the best vacuums for hardwood floors.

More from NerdWallet

Vacuum coupons and deals

Dyson V6 Absolute versus Dyson V6 Motorhead

Shark Navigator versus Dyson DC50

Dyson Ball versus Shark Rotator

5 things you should know before buying a vacuum

The best vacuums for pet owners

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.