Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Shark Navigator Lift-Away at Amazon
"Not only is this vacuum one of the top sellers on Amazon, but it’s also beloved by many of its customers."
Best Cordless: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum at Amazon
"This one features an 18-volt, lithium-ion battery which runs on average around 20 minutes after a full charge."
Runner Up, Best Overall: Eureka Airspeed Upright Vacuum at Amazon
"This 16-pound Eureka can tackle both carpet and hard floors, and its dust cup is washable."
Best Budget: Bissell 9595A Vacuum at Amazon
"The 15-pound upright has a powerful suction and innovative brush design that helps it pick up more debris."
Best for Pet Hair: Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Pet at Amazon
"Features an air-powered pet hand tool to easily remove pet hair from floors as well as a pet upholstery tool."
Best High-End: Oreck Magnesium RS at Amazon
"Because it’s so powerful, it moves easily, feeling more like it’s self-propelled."
Best Bagged: Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS8 at Amazon
"Automatic floor adjustment enables it to move between carpet and bare surfaces without you having to change any settings."
01 of 07
Best Overall: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E)
This vacuum from Shark wins the top spot for upright vacuums thanks to its reasonable price, quality performance, and smart design. Not only is it an upright vacuum, but you can also detach the canister to clean hard-to-reach areas. The appliance also comes with Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and a HEPA filter, which means it traps 99.9 percent of dust and allergens inside the vacuum—great for people who suffer from allergies. It features a Dust-Away hard floor attachment as well as two washable microfiber pads. Not only does it pick up large debris from the floors, but also small particles of dust. And finally, it’s a lightweight machine, weighing in at 13.7 pounds, making it easy to tote around the house and up the stairs during your cleaning sprees.
Not only is this vacuum one of the top sellers on Amazon, but it’s also beloved by many of its customers. Many have praised its excellent suction and large dust cup that’s easy to empty. Some have also noted that they appreciate the long 30-foot power cord. While most people had generally positive things to note about the vacuum, some have said that there are a few cons such as how easily it tips over, poor edge cleaning, and the fact that there is no light which makes it hard to vacuum in dark spaces. But overall, it’s a quality machine for the price.
02 of 07
Best Cordless: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner, BH50010
If you don’t want to be tied down to a cord, consider a strong cordless stick vacuum like this one from Hoover. One of the worries of cordless vacuums is the battery life, but this one features an 18-volt, lithium-ion battery which runs on average around 20 minutes after a full charge, according to one customer. It’s great to have on hand for quick pickups, especially if you live in a small apartment. It’s not as bulky as others, so that’s a plus when it comes to storage as well.
Customers who have purchased this vacuum have been mostly happy with its performance. Many said it cleans well and is easy to use—two very important things in a vacuum. Some have had issues with it breaking over time, but the majority of those who bought it gave it five stars.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best cordless stick vacuums.
03 of 07
Runner Up, Best Overall: Eureka Airspeed Unlimited Rewind Bagless Upright Vacuum
If you hate winding up the cord when you’re done vacuuming, this Eureka might be for you: It features automatic cord rewind with just the push of a button. And if you hate stretching to reach certain spots, it also might fit the bill: There’s a 27-foot cord and a 12-foot deluxe stretch hose. But most importantly, it’s also a solid performer at a great price, owners say.
With its on/off brush roll, this 16-pound Eureka can tackle both carpet and hard floors, and its dust cup is washable – there are no annoying bags to buy and install. An allergen filter helps cut the amount of dust swirling around your house, and the included stair and upholstery nozzle, crevice tool, and dusting brush make quick work of most jobs. Picky about color? It comes in blue, green and copper. Experts give it very good marks for suction on all kinds of floors and say it’s especially good at grabbing pet hair. But noise gets more ho-hum ratings, and allergy sufferers should note that they warn about dust emissions while vacuuming.
04 of 07
Best Budget: Bissell 9595A Vacuum with One-Pass - Corded
Not willing to spend a lot of money on a vacuum right now? No problem. You can still find a good one for a low price. This corded one from Bissell is a great option. A number one seller in its category, the 15-pound upright has a powerful suction and innovative brush design that helps it pick up more debris on the first pass. It also comes with a TurboBrush tool that works well for stairs, furniture, and upholstered items. The dirt tank is easy to empty and the foam tank filter is washable.
Customers who have purchased this vacuum were mostly satisfied with its performance. Many have said it’s easy to use and gets the job done well, especially for the price. One reviewer said that while it’s a great machine, it’s probably best for a home that would only require light cleaning (in other words, not a heavy-trafficked office.) They added that it’s kind of a hassle and mess to empty the bin and clean the filter, but it is great otherwise.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best budget vacuums.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best for Pet Hair: Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Pet Rewind Bagless UH70210
Have a little furry monster in your home wreaking havoc on your floors and furniture with its hair? No problem, especially when you have a quality vacuum like this one from Hoover. Made specifically for pet hair, it features an air-powered pet hand tool to easily remove pet hair from floors as well as a pet upholstery tool to get those little strands and fur balls off your furniture. It also comes with a 12-inch extension wand and a crevice tool for hard-to-reach-to spots. The vacuum weighs less than 18 pounds and has a folding handle which makes it great for small storage spaces. A 25-foot cord can be retracted neatly inside thanks to the Cord Rewind feature. And there’s a five-position carpet height adjustment for all your flooring needs.
Customers who have one of these in their home are mostly satisfied with it overall. One said it sucks well and is easy to clean. And while it’s not silent, it’s pretty quiet when in use. In terms of negative reviews, some have mentioned that parts such as the brush roll have stopped working over time. But most would recommend this product to a friend.
06 of 07
Best High-End: Oreck Magnesium RS Swivel-Steering Bagged Upright Vacuum
If you’re wanting to invest in a more expensive vacuum, consider this one from Oreck. It’s got some pretty nice features that will make vacuuming seem less like a chore. Because it’s so powerful, it moves easily, feeling more like it’s self-propelled. You can also really get under beds and other furniture since it can lie virtually flat. There’s also a HEPA inner bag that captures at least 99.97 percent of particles in the air. Whether you have long pile carpet or wood floors, this vacuum will do a great job and is worth the extra money.
Customers love the fact that it’s a bagged vacuum, but it’s super easy to change the bag thanks to a feature that prevents dust from being spilled out. Others love that it’s lightweight (a little over seven pounds) and is easy for people to use — even those with arthritis. Those who weren’t satisfied with it reported it breaking sooner than expected, however there is a warranty for defective parts.
07 of 07
Best Bagged: Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS8
A bestseller in its category, this classic bagged Oreck is an all-around good buy thanks to its powerful, high speed performance and cleaning power. It features a 12-inch wide cleaning path, and an automatic floor adjustment enables it to move between carpet and bare surfaces without you having to change any settings as you clean. It also features a handle that has received Ease-of-Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation. The appliance is lightweight at 8.2 pounds.
Those who have reviewed this vacuum have mostly been happy with its performance, citing its good suction power, ease of use and how lightweight it is. Some have warned that it’s loud when in use and is hard to maneuver on turns, but most would recommend to others.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
Our reviewers spent 29 hours testing two of the most popular upright vacuum cleaners on the market. To ensure the most thorough feedback possible, our testers tried them on both wood floors and carpet and cleaned up everything from dirt to pet hair. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these upright vacuums, including their maneuverability and power. We've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in an Upright Vacuum
Bags vs. bagless In recent years, bagless upright vacuum cleaners have become increasingly popular. With these models, you skip the hassle of buying and replacing vacuum bags, but the downside is that some collection bins can be messy to empty and, over time, some fine particles get trapped in the mechanism of the vacuum, impeding performance and suction. A vacuum with a fresh bag will offer excellent suction and cleaning power but will require periodic replacement. If you have a larger home or heavy-duty vacuuming needs, take note of the size of the bag to find a model that won’t need replacement every time you fire it up.
Weight Consider how much weight you’re willing and able to push around when vacuuming. Upright vacuums typically weigh somewhere between 13 and 18 pounds, but there are some lightweight models that weigh as little as 8 pounds. If you have arthritis or will need to carry your vacuum up and down stairs, you may want to go with a vacuum that weighs less.
Accessories The main attraction is a vacuum’s ability to suck up dirt and debris through the floorhead, but handy accessories can target everything from pet hair to couch crumbs. Think about your routine cleaning needs and choose an upright vacuum with accessories to match. Items like an upholstery brush, pet-hair attachment, and crevice tool can make it much easier to clean hard-to-reach places.
Test Results: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E) (Best Overall)
What We Like
What We Don't Like
No retractable cord
This vacuum came very highly rated by our reviewers. One summed it up: “For a relatively small vacuum at under $200, this one is very powerful and has a lot of accessories — I would recommend it to anyone who has a New York City apartment and can't afford to store a larger vacuum.” They also loved that it was effective, lightweight, and came with useful accessories. “The wand and small brush were great for cleaning my curtains,” reported one tester, “and I also used the crevice tool to clean corners really well.” Our reviewers did wish the vacuum came with a retractable cord.
Test Results: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner, BH50010 (Best Cordless)
What We Like
Great for hardwood floors
What We Don't Like
Not as effective on uneven surfaces
Small dirt cup
“I love how light this vacuum is,” raved one of our reviewers, “and that it cleans bare floors!” Our testers also appreciated that it was super easy to carry and store, and one reported it was a great option for pet owners. “It was powerful enough to suck up cat litter on the floor,” she observed, “which is great as it's more effective and less tedious than sweeping.” However, according to our testers, the vacuum wasn’t as successful at cleaning uneven surfaces.