Updated November 2019

Best Vacuum for Carpet

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Best Vacuum for Carpet Updated November 2019

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

Shark

Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum
Check Price at: 1 store
With anti-allergen complete seal technology and HEPA filtration, it's especially helpful for those who have pets or suffer from allergies.
Not only is it lightweight and easy to use, it has powerful suction that will leave your carpets and bare floors completely spotless.
The Shark Navigator has a shorter cord than other upright vacuums.

Oreck

Magnesium Bagged Upright Vacuum
Check Price at: 1 store
Good choice vacuum for special surfaces and high pile carpets, two speeds--high and low; strong HEPA filter, and Carpet and Rug Institute seal of approval
Extremely powerful but lightweight at 11.8 pounds and lies flat for vacuuming under furniture; extremely effective on specialty and high pile carpets that other vacuums were not able to clean.
There is no hose attachment so it does not work well on stairs; some consumers complained of being able to locate repair facilities that would honor the warranty and had to send in the vacuum directly to the manufacturer for repair which cost quite a bit more; the LED light on the front was not very helpful for dark corners, the on-off switch was in an awkward location and consumers did not like having to turn the vacuum on and off in order to switch speeds

Bissell

Pet Hair Eraser
Check Price at: 1 store
Mid priced vacuum cleaner designed specifically for pet owners with a “hair-wrap” free brush roller, Febreze pet odor eliminator while you vacuum and a smart seal allergen system
Probably the best mid-priced vacuum cleaner on the market for pet owners, especially dog owners with multiple dogs in the home. The design of the vacuum cleaner is for managing large amounts of pet hair clinging to carpet and consumers agreed that the vacuum cleaner is among the most effective at pulling up pet hair from carpet without having to constantly clean the brush roller and cut the hair off.
Many of the parts on the vacuum cleaner, including internal parts (not just attachments) are not covered by warranty and you will have to pay to have them replaced. Additionally, consumers complained about the level of maneuverability and the fact that it was terrible for hard floors. If you have pets but do not have carpet, this may not be the best vacuum. Some also did not like the smell of the pet odor eliminator.

Dyson

Ball Multi Floor Upright Vacuum
Check Price at: 1 store
Vacuum with famous patented ball shaped head for easy maneuverability, whole machine HEPA filtration, self-adjusting cleaner head, instant release wand and 10 year warranty
Strong suction and maneuverability, easy functionality, lightweight vacuum and easy to empty canister with bagless design
Vacuum lost suction when attaching the wand to the hose and some consumers had better luck with it on carpet than on hard floors; you have to purchase most attachments separately, adding to an already high cost for a vacuum cleaner, not the best vacuum design for cleaning stairs; does not lie perfectly flat for vacuuming under beds and dressers--need to use hose and wand.

Hoover

WindTunnel 3 Bagless Vacuum
Check Price at: 1 store
Another mid priced vacuum designed for pet owners with busy households full of kids and animals; a direct competitor with the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser for a little bit less money
Strong engine and suction that works well for picking up pet hair on most types of carpets and floor surfaces; customers liked the different attachments and thought the attachment designs were effective for the purpose of picking up pet hair on stairs and on couches and chairs. Customers also liked the price and the longer cord--40 feet
This is a very heavy vacuum at 16 pounds and could not be handled by children or perhaps some elderly consumers with health issues and disabilities; Customers stated the vacuum was extremely loud and also that the engine generated quite a bit of heat which was worrisome. Other customers were concerned about the long term durability of some of the plastic parts even though they like their overall design and functionality. Finally, this may not be the best vacuum for high pile carpets.

OUR PROCESS

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Customer Reviews
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Searching for the right vacuum cleaner is time consuming and frustrating.  There are so many options and it is a challenge to find the right vacuum cleaner when every home is so unique.  Homes have carpets, stairs, hardwood floors, tile, allergy sufferers, pets, kids, and any number of other challenges that vacuum cleaners have to be designed to take on.  With all of these issues it seems impossible to find a vacuum cleaner that would meet everyone’s needs. That is why we have done all the test vacuuming for you so that no matter what kind of home or budget you have, there is a vacuum cleaner just right for you.  We have chosen and tested five of the best vacuum cleaners available on the market for you to choose from so that you can be sure that when you plug your vacuum cleaner in and “flip that on switch” you will be confident in your choice.

Best Vacuum for Carpet Reviews Guide

A “Vacuum” in science is defined as “space without matter or air.” Everything on our planet that has any kind of mass and takes up space is considered matter.  It is possible to create a vacuum by designing a pump that sucks up all the matter and air out of a sealed container.  Truthfully, some matter will always remain, but not nearly as much as before. A vacuum cleaner creates a vacuum by using an air pump that sucks matter up into a dust bag or a cyclone designed container that spins the matter up into the container much like how a tornado works.

Despite the popularity of vacuum cleaners as a household product, the basic technology has not changed that much since its early inception in the industrial revolution.  The vacuum cleaner has improved its design in terms of overall effectiveness. They are faster, smaller, and easier to use, but in terms of power and suction, they are about as effective as they were in the 1930s.

Types of vacuums

Upright vacuums

These vacuum cleaners are the easiest to use and the most popular of vacuum cleaners on the market.  Additionally, they are extremely effective on carpet and are the most efficient for vacuuming large areas.  They store easily and because of their popularity, there are so many models available, providing consumers with a variety of options and styles and meeting a wide range of budget requirements.  Additionally, more recent models make cleaning them and maintaining them a breeze. The downside is that they can be heavy, difficult to maneuver, particularly on stairs, and do not always work for tight small areas or certain kinds of furniture.

Handheld vacuums

Handheld vacuum cleaners tend to be smaller and are effective for small spaces that regular sized vacuum cleaners cannot reach as well as for furniture.

Canister vacuums

These vacuum cleaners tend to be a cross between a “stick” model and an “upright” model. They have a usually round or cylindrical container, which is usually only one to two feet high with wheels and an attached hose with a stick.  The canister vacuum is especially effective on hardwood floors and lower pile carpets as well as more easily maneuverable on stairs usually.  Additionally, they tend to produce less noise than their upright counterparts, have a little more power, produce less cord tripping, and have retractable cords.

Stick vacuums

Stick vacuums are a cross between a handheld vacuum and an upright.  They have a long extension cylinder, not a flexible hose with a floor attachment on one end and a container on the other.  They are extremely lightweight and are excellent for reaching ceilings and corners and for vacuuming small rugs, runners, or certain kinds of furniture.  They are often convertible and come with attachments, are easy to store and are excellent for apartments and small homes.

Robot/Autonomous vacuums

The latest addition to the consumer market, these vacuums are beloved by their owners for their “labor-free” qualities.  They tend to be small flat discs that roam the house freely sucking up dirt and requiring little attention from the consumer for the most part.  They can reach into small places and roam underneath furniture gathering difficult to reach dust bunnies. However, they come at a steep price. They often get stuck and cannot find their way back to their charging station.  They are small and have to be emptied frequently and a homeowner has to clean the floor and sometimes even do some “pre-vacuuming” or “post-vacuuming” to maximize the effectiveness of the robot vacuum, adding to the housecleaning workload sometimes rather than making it more efficient.  Finally, they can often take much longer, up to 90 minutes, to vacuum a whole floor. If one is in a hurry, it might pay to pull out the upright, which can do the job much quicker if you have unexpected guests arriving.

3 Factors to Consider

Warranties

As with many consumer products, the higher the investment, the better the warranty usually.  Some warranties might need to be purchased separately and you will need to read your purchasing materials carefully to determine what is covered under the warranty or if additional warranties will need to be purchased.  Some parts may not be covered under the original product warranty as some purchasers who reviewed products unfortunately discovered. Do your research and call the manufacturer’s provided customer service numbers to get information on warranty coverage before purchasing your vacuum cleaner to find out whether the warranty investment is worth the price you are paying for the vacuum cleaner.  

Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums

Uprights (which we have reviewed here) and canisters have both bag and bagless options. Basically if you live in a home with serious allergy sufferers, then a bagged vacuum cleaner is your best option. Dust exposure is minimized when disposing of vacuum bags and dust and pollen pickup is more effective. If you are environmentally sensitive or just hate the idea of having to purchase replacement bags on a regular basis, then you will probably want a bagless option.  Bagless options are also nice because it is easier to tell how full the vacuum cleaner is and when it should be emptied.

Attachments

Be sure to research your vacuum cleaner carefully before purchasing to determine how much assembly is required and which attachments come automatically with the vacuum cleaner.  Some attachments may have to be purchased separately. Dyson is particularly known for this. They have separate attachment packages purchased separately for many of their models.  If you are not comfortable with assembling or disassembling your vacuum, be sure that you will not need to do that the vacuum comes assembled and ready to use.

Frequently asked questions

Does vacuum noise level matter?

Yes. Many reviewers were concerned about the noise level associated with their purchase.  If you live in a condominium or apartment complex or with household members with sensitive ears (like an infant, toddler or elderly adult), you may want to consider the noise level of your vacuum cleaner.

Does vacuum weight matter?

Yes. this is an important consideration when purchasing a vacuum.  If you have smaller children or elderly adults who will be doing some of the vacuuming in your household, it is important to consider whether they can lift, maneuver and push the vacuum safely around the household.  This is particularly important when considering whether your home has stairs that need vacuuming. 

Are there vacuums especially for allergy sufferers?

Yes. Many vacuum cleaners across all budget ranges on the market today have HEPA filters and other features designed for allergy sufferers but it is important for all vacuum cleaner owners to clean and maintain and sometimes replace the parts of their vacuum cleaners to get the most out of the allergy-related features in their vacuum cleaners.  Some filters will need to be cleaned or even replaced regularly and you will need to read your vacuum cleaner manual and check with the manufacturer to be sure you are properly maintaining your vacuum cleaner to protect the allergy sufferers in your household.

The team that worked on this review

Kealia Reynolds
Photo Editor
Rebekah Sedaca
Writer
Kelsey Roadruck
Sr. Editor
John Morgan
Producer

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