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Should you buy an Anko vacuum cleaner from Kmart or Target?

You may be enticed by the low price, but some of the worst performing vacuums in our tests come from the budget retailers. 

kmart anko bagless canister and three cordless stick vacuum cleaners
Last updated: 21 March 2024

Need to know

  • The cheap Anko-branded vacs we tested rated only poor to OK in our cleaning tests and often ranked among our bottom performers
  • Budget vacuum cleaners may be cheaper to buy, but low-quality parts may mean they have a much shorter lifespan than better quality models
  • To find a vacuum that performs well and suits your budget, become a CHOICE member to gain access to our full reviews and test results

For every person willing to spend whatever it takes for the vacuum cleaner of their dreams, there's another buying one as a total grudge purchase.

If this is you (no clean-freak judgement here), it could be tempting to opt for a vac at the dirt-cheap end of the scale, such as the models from Kmart and Target's house brand, Anko. 

Although we do love it when we find a bargain appliance that really shines, in the case of Target and Kmart Anko vacuum cleaners, the news kind of sucks. Their bagless barrel vacs were among the lowest scorers in our lab tests, and the stick vacuums on offer didn't fare much better.

Still, if you're tempted by the price tag, read on to see our expert analysis of each model's cleaning skills (or lack thereof). 

Target and Kmart Anko stick vacuums

Stick vacs are useful for quick cleaning bursts around the house, or when you're cleaning hard-to-reach spots in the car.

The category is dominated by market leaders such as Dyson, but with pricier models costing well over $1000, you may be tempted to try your luck with a budget stick instead.

At the time of writing, these are the stick vacs on sale at Kmart and Target:

Are Kmart and Target cordless stick vacuums any good?

In the case of the Anko vacuums that have been tested in CHOICE labs, our experts found you get what you pay for. Priced at $79, the Anko 2-in-1 cordless V8260-12A model performed OK overall, earning a CHOICE Expert Rating of 67% in our lab tests.

It rated well for cleaning hard floors and pet hair... but seriously struggled on carpet

It rated well for cleaning hard floors and pet hair, and very good for car cleaning in handheld mode, but seriously struggled on carpet, both for quick cleans and longer runs.

Still, at a tenth of the price of the big guns, it's a cheapie to consider – it just depends on your floor type and how you feel about doing extra laps to get the job done.

kmart anko cordless stick vacuum 42742678

The $149 Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Vacuum: it sucks at sucking.

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Rough end of the stick: Kmart's $129 Cordless Stick Cleaner was the worst performer in our tests.

The other Anko stick vac products we looked at fared no better, taking out some of the bottom spots in our stick vacuum review with scores of 59% and 63%. 

Despite costing almost twice as much as the 2-in-1 V8260-12A model, the Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Cleaner ($129) and the Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Vacuum ($149) performed even worse than their cheaper cousin. 

Both models did well when it came to cleaning cars, and the $129 model was also excellent at removing pet hair – so perhaps they could be useful for cleaning your car after taking Fido to the park. 

But there's little else to commend these vacuums on, and you're likely to be better off paying a little more for a stick vac that'll actually do a good job at cleaning your home, not just your car. 

If you're on a budget, we've rounded up five of the best stick vacuums under $250. They're all far better buys than Kmart's stick vacuums. 

Remember to factor in ongoing costs

Speaking of costs, if you want your vacuum to last the distance, you'll need to buy replacement batteries and spare parts eventually (if they are available) and these can costs can really add up. 

For example, a replacement battery for the $149 Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Vacuum is $68, which is almost half of its total cost. Replacement filter costs are reasonably priced, with a main filter set costing $12 and an exhaust filter just $10. 

However, we couldn't see any spare parts available for any of the ultra-cheap vacuums on sale, suggesting they may be destined for landfill sooner rather than later.

Target and Kmart Anko stick vacuums: Pros and cons

When our experts put Kmart's stick vacuums through their paces, a few key themes emerged  both good and bad. Here's an overview of what they found.


  • Good to excellent at removing pet hair
  • Very good for cleaning car interiors
  • Inexpensive
  • Two models have swappable batteries
  • Controls are rated very good to excellent


  • Poor at cleaning corners and around edges
  • Rated as 'poor' to 'borderline' for cleaning carpet
  • No hard floor heads or upholstery tools
  • Warranty is only one year
  • No telescopic wand

Mixed results from the CHOICE community

Our product tests are conducted in our CHOICE labs to very strict and tightly controlled standards. Often consumers agree with our review conclusions, but people may have different experiences using a product in their own homes.  

'It just didn't suck up anything'

CHOICE community member Karen says of her Kmart stick vacuum: "The Anko stick vacuum was light and relatively easy to use, however, it just didn't suck up anything from our wooden floors or floor rugs. We would run it back and forth and still see the same bits of fluff on the floor. It was not good for sucking dust off hard surfaces, nor was it any good for sucking fluff off rugs." 

'The best $79 I ever spent'

But another stick vacuum model from Kmart, the 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum for $79, impressed CHOICE Community member Helen: "I cannot tell you how much I love it," she says. "It has heaps of power and is two gadgets in one – it's the best $79 I ever spent." 

Matt Tung testing vacuums in the lab

CHOICE expert Matt Tung testing vacuum cleaners in our labs.

Target and Kmart Anko barrel and upright vacuums 

In our review of more than 40 different models, Anko's barrel vacs landed towards the back of the pack.

At the time of writing, these are the barrel vacs on sale at Kmart:


Barrel of fun (not): Kmart's 2400W model was one of the lowest scorers in our test.

Are Target and Kmart barrel vacuums any good?

The 2400W SL163E model fared the least impressively here, scoring a very ordinary 60%, despite being the most powerful and expensive Anko model we tested at $99. 

Ironically, our tests found that the cheapest Anko – the 2000W SL153B model was the best of a mediocre lot. It costs just $49 and got a CHOICE Expert Rating of 67% – not a great score, but a better deal than its crummy cousin.

Anko's barrel vacs landed towards the back of the pack

Of course, Kmart Anko isn't alone in producing average barrel vacs. More expensive models from Airflo, Vax, Electrolux, Bissell and even Dyson also got similarly low scores.

What about the Anko upright vacuum?

If you're after a cheap upright vacuum cleaner, you might be looking at the Anko 1200W Upright Vacuum Cleaner VC-9790 ($89), available from both Kmart and Target. 

Our experts deemed it "good" for carpet cleaning due to the big brush head but it was still underwhelming compared to some of the high scorers in our testing.

It lost of lot of points for its ease of use as the head is very heavy to move on the carpet, it doesn't come with many tools and it's awkward to empty the bin. 

It does come with a HEPA filter, which is a positive, but the manual states that it should be replaced every 3–6 months, which could get pricey (the other models in this test state that HEPA filters should be changed once a year, or every 4–16 bags). 

Kmart barrel and upright vacuums: Pros and cons

Like their stick counterparts, Kmart Anko barrel and upright vacuum cleaners have their good and bad points. Here's what our experts thought overall:


  • Good controls
  • Easy to use
  • No ongoing costs for vacuum bags due to bagless design
  • Inexpensive


  • Only OK at cleaning corners and edges
  • Bin is messy to empty
  • No power head or hard floor tool
  • No (or limited) onboard storage for tools
  • The upright vacuum cleaner is quite heavy so requires strength
We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.