Some call it a blessing, others call it a curse, but I am the type of person who simply cannot relax unless my house is totally spotless.
Finger-smudged glass gives me angst, an unmade bed makes me shudder, and the thought of crumbs (or worse, hair) lodged into the carpet—well, that's just unthinkable.
So, you can imagine the half-life I was living when I owned a dinky $25 stick vacuum that, however affordable, barely had any suction. It broke down within a few months, and in the interim I found myself wiping down my floors by hand (it's a good thing my apartment is Manhattan-size, as in, very small).
I decided then to invest a bit more in my next vacuum purchase. I didn't have the budget to buy a Dyson (maybe one day, when I'm a real adult), but I could stomach something within the $100 to $150-ish range.
She'd been singing its praises for over a year and swore that every employee at the Bed, Bath & Beyond near our house in Florida said it was the best-value vacuum in the store.
Its virtues, she told me, were many: it was cordless, so you could freely move about the house without worrying about an annoying cord trailing your every move; it has an LED light right above the floor nozzle, making it extra-easy (and somewhat distressing) to spot hidden dust balls, hair, and more; it was easy to clean out, thanks to a removable motorized brush and removable dust cups; and it came in a cute purple color (very important). Oh, and it was under $150—$141.99 to be exact.
I fell instantly in love with the thing. (If it's possible to fall in love with a vacuum, that is.) After quickly setting it up and letting it charge, I whizzed around my apartment, gleefully sucking up this pile of crumbs, that pile of hair, and many long-forgotten dust balls hiding in the corners.
This Shark vacuum is lightweight and powerful, and most importantly, it's maintained its suction power over the last eight or so months that I've had it—a first for any vacuum I've ever owned. It gets me excited to clean because it works, which, as a neat freak, is all that I can ask for.
Erin Alexander is the Associate Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.