While you may only mop your floors and steam your carpets every so often, there's no escaping the need for regular vacuuming. A quality upright vacuum will tackle dust, dirt, and debris that collects in all the areas of your home. The best upright vacuums are compatible with multiple flooring types, are relatively lightweight, and come with a variety of attachments, including the beloved crevice tool for cleaning up the edges of rooms and reaching into tight corners.
Throughout our multiple vacuum tests, we've purchased over 50 vacuums and tested them in The Lab and at home. We've sprinkled hair, popcorn kernels, and cereal on hard floors and carpeting to evaluate effectiveness. We've rated each vacuum's maneuverability, ease of emptying, noise level, and overall value. While we're continuously testing new models, the Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum is our top pick for an upright vacuum. Its strong suction power, overall functionality, and helpful attachments make it a standout for routine vacuuming. Plus, it has a budget-friendly price tag, so your floors and your wallet catch a break.
Ahead, the best upright vacuums for cleaning your whole home, backed by our hands-on testing.
Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum
Strong suction is effective across surfaces
Easy to set up, maneuver, and empty
Budget-friendly price tag
In our testing, the consistent theme with the Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum was "easy." We found that this model is easy to put together, easy to maneuver, and effortlessly picks up dirt and debris. Even the roller was simple to clear of hair after our debris tests. We were impressed by its overall power and performance, along with its smooth and sturdy design.
The Shark NV360 flew through our debris tests with flying colors, and we were impressed with the suction across flooring types and upholstery. While this vacuum is louder than many upright vacuums we've tested, we think that's a fair trade-off for the amount of cleaning power it offers. The heft of this machine can feel cumbersome on stairs, but that's true for many upright vacuums. Plus, the included attachments and swivel steering mechanism are a good counterbalance to the weight. In our testing, we had no issues maneuvering the vacuum from carpet to hard flooring and back, as well as around and under furniture. We like that it has an 11-inch cleaning path, an extendable hose that can reach up to 8 feet, plus handy attachments, including a crevice tool and an upholstery tool. The pod can also be lifted away for an extended reach (though we didn't record this in our testing).
We also appreciate the included HEPA system, which traps dust, small particles, and potential allergens. The dust bin is generously sized at 0.9 quarts, which means fewer rounds of emptying for you. And, speaking of emptying the dust bin, that is easy, too—just position it over your waste bin, release the latch, and your mess falls away. Ultimately, this upright vacuum is easy to use, effective, and efficient, especially given its fair price tag, and we think it's a fantastic fit for a wide range of households.
Price at time of publish: $220
Dimensions: 14.37 x 11.61 x 26.77 inches | Weight: 15.96 pounds | Cord Length: Not listed | Bin Volume: 0.9 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hard flooring
Hart Pro Bagless Upright Vacuum with HEPA Media Filter
Strong suction across flooring types
Effective attachments with smart storage
Relatively quiet operation
Not as easy to maneuver as our "best overall" pick
Hair on brush roll must be removed manually
For households sticking to a budget, we recommend the Hart Pro Bagless Upright Vacuum HZUV01 with HEPA Media Filter. While we gave it slightly lower maneuverability and portability scores than the Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe (our overall top pick), we were impressed with this model's impressive suction and ability to handle all kinds of debris. Plus, it's relatively quiet for an upright model.
In our testing, the Hart Pro Bagless Upright Vacuum was especially effective on high-pile carpet, though it also performs well on tile, medium-pile carpet, and hardwood. The swivel head is easy to maneuver around a room, and it transitions nicely between carpet and hard flooring. For any bits of debris that the vacuum head left behind in our tests, we were able to double back using the detachable handle—and we found that process to be smooth and efficient. The vacuum's performance on upholstery was also strong; for that, we used the crevice tool, which was a cinch to attach and use. We also love that the attachments store right on the machine. Hart isn’t the only brand to design its accessories this way, but nonetheless, we always appreciate that thoughtful feature when we see it.
Once you’re done, it’s easy to clear the vacuum dustbin. Similar to our best overall pick, you simply release the lower lid of the container, and gravity takes care of the rest. Clearing out the brush roll was a bit more complicated, and we opted to use a seam ripper to loosen the wrapped hair. (Alternatively, you can remove the entire brush roll with a screwdriver to clean it.) One last curiosity we encountered is that the manual says there are High and Low speeds, however, as far as we could tell, we had one working. Still, no machine is perfect, and at such a great price, we think this one is well worth it.
Price at time of publish: $129
Dimensions: Not listed | Weight: 16 pounds | Cord Length: Not listed | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hard flooring
Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra
Powerful model from a popular brand
Incredible suction power
Sucks up hair without tangling
Unique, effective attachments
Some large debris was "spit" from machine
Dyson vacuums are typically on the expensive side, and the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is no exception. However, it is a solid investment, as this vacuum proved itself efficient on both hard and carpeted floors and on the various levels of carpet, too, from no-pile to high-pile. It has incredible suction power, and it's easy to maneuver around furniture. While it didn’t reach all the way into corners when it was in upright mode, a quick pass with the attachments was all it took to clear debris. The vacuum comes with four unique attachments: a tangle-free turbine tool (which is great for collecting hair), a combination brush tool, a stair tool, and a pet grooming tool. Using the attachments, we found that the vacuum was great for cleaning upholstery.
One extra impressive feature is that the machine is designed so that that hair is trapped all the way in the dust cup and not wrapped around the brush roll like many other machines—a big plus for pet owners (and humans with long hair, too). The vacuum offers HEPA filtration, another added perk for pet owners and anyone looking to reduce allergens.
Like many other upright vacuums, this machine is a bit heavy and not ideal for stairs (which, again, is where those attachments will come in handy). We also found that the machine occasionally “spit” some of the larger debris back out, requiring us to follow back with additional passes. Still, despite these issues, we found it to be an impressive vacuum, especially given its efficiency on multiple floor types and its smooth handling of hair.
Price at time of publish: $500
Dimensions: 15.5 x 11 x 42.2 inches | Weight: 17.3 pounds | Cord Length: 35 feet | Bin Volume: 1.7 liters | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hard flooring
Best for Carpet
Shark AZ2002 Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Upright Vacuum
Strong, efficient suction on carpet
Pod doubles as a handheld vacuum
Self-cleaning brush roll
Great at tackling hair and fur
Scatters debris on tile floor
Dust bin requires two hands for emptying
Looking for something designed specifically for carpeting and rugs that doubles as a handheld vacuum? Your best bet is the Shark AZ2002 Vertex DuoClean Upright Vacuum. This model is as sleek and smooth as you'd hope from a Shark vacuum. Its strong suction was a great fit for the medium- and high-pile carpet in our testing, even grabbing hair before we’d fully rolled over it. In our testing, this model sent debris flying on tile flooring. Scattered debris isn't atypical of a vacuum on hard flooring, but some are better suited to it than others. And while the Shark AZ2002 didn't scatter as much debris on the hardwood as it did tile, we still think this vacuum is best suited to carpeted flooring.
Using the pod and hose together worked great, and we also appreciated the pod on its own, which is comparable to a handheld vacuum. Though, a warning that this is a hefty machine—it is heavy and could be potentially tiring whether you’re using it as an upright or only as a pod. The powerful roller is self-cleaning, which is especially helpful when vacuuming up hair or fur.
We described this vacuum as “semi-loud” in our testing notes, so if you’re looking for something you can use without disturbing anyone else in the room (or on the same floor), you may take issue with it. Another item of note is that you do need to use two hands to empty the dustbin. Larger debris comes out the bottom in a similar fashion to other models, but there’s also a second lid to access smaller dust and particles that separated at the top. We think these are fairly small inconveniences compared to the overall effectiveness though. If you’re in the market for a heavy-duty carpet cleaning machine for your home, this one is well worth a (close!) look.
Price at time of publish: $354
Dimensions: 12 x 15.09 x 46.25 inches | Weight: 16.38 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Bin Volume: 1 quart | Cleaning Path Width: 12 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood
Best for Pet Hair
Innova NEU700 Upright Vacuum
Has held up well during long-term at-home testing in a home with pets
Efficient cleaning path reaches baseboards
Had to reach into canister for cleaning pet hair
Limited retailer options
The Innova Upright Vacuum impressed us with its effectiveness and smooth handling on all flooring types, and it's a fantastic option for households with pets. It rolls nicely and makes spaces look visibly cleaner wherever it goes. In at-home testing, we've observed how easily it pulls dog hair from both hard floors and carpet. We’re also impressed with how well it’s held up during our long-term testing processes. In other words, we haven’t noticed any decline in performance or strength, even after months of regular use in a real-life home setting.
If your pets are particularly sensitive to noise, you'll appreciate the vacuum's quiet mode, which we found still performed well (although not quite as well as the max setting). Of course, it’s efficient beyond just pet-related pick-ups, and it's reliable with regular household cleaning, too—it even reaches baseboards. The attachments have proven handy in long-term testing, too. It includes a motorized pet tool roll, dusting brush, and classic crevice tool.
The canister wasn’t quite as easy to empty as some of the others we've tested. We had to reach into the dust bin to clear out the pet hair during lab testing, which is one of the few things we’d change about this machine. Also worth noting, Innova is a Eureka line only available at Walmart—so don't expect to compare prices across retailers. But if you do decide to snag the Innova Upright Vacuum, we think you’ll likely be very pleased with its performance in homes with pet hair.
Price at time of publish: $259
Dimensions: 14.84 x 12.13 x 45.59 inches | Weight: 16.5 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Bin Volume: 2.3 liters | Cleaning Path Width: 12.2 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hard flooring
Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Bags allow for contact-free disposal
HEPA filtration system
On the heavy side
Replacement bags sold separately
Before the Shark NV360 Vacuum took the top spot on this list, this Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum held the title of our best overall upright vacuum. That's because this model boasts powerful suction with a smooth and sturdy design. In our tests, it picked up floor debris in just two passes and removed hair from our upholstered chair in two swipes. While it's slightly bulky and takes a little elbow grease to manage on stairs, this upright vacuum cleans well on carpet, hard floors, and upholstered furniture.
Ultimately, not everyone gravitates toward a bagged vacuum. But even if you’re used to the (now more common) dust bin, you’ll likely have no trouble emptying this vacuum's bags since you can drop them straight into your trash can without any contact with the debris you’ve suctioned up—a perk for anyone, but especially those with allergies or sensitivities. And speaking of allergens, we also appreciated the HEPA system, which traps dust, small particles, and potential allergens.
The vacuum comes with a 25-foot power cord, so you shouldn't have to use multiple outlets to clean a single room, either. We also like that it has a 15-inch cleaning path, an extendable hose that can reach up to 8 feet, and handy attachments, including a crevice tool and pet brush. Ultimately, this bagged upright vacuum is easy to use, effective, and efficient, especially given its lower price tag.
Price at time of publish: $155
Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 47 inches | Weight: 22.4 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Bin Volume: Not applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 15 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hard flooring
Shark NV501 Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
Pivoting head handles turns and curves well
Roller brush has separate on/off mechanism
Easy dust cup emptying
Some debris kickback when in use
“Maneuverability” and "handling" are relative terms when it comes to upright vacuums (especially if you’re used to handhelds or stick models). But in the case of this Shark model, we’re calling them out to highlight how smooth it feels to manage this machine. While it’s bulky in the way that most upright vacuums are, you only really notice its heft when going around furniture or corners. The pivoting head also comes in handy for making turns and curves and even reaching around chair legs. And at 15.5 pounds, it's lighter than every other vacuum on this list.
As for effectiveness, it performs well on all floor types. We enjoyed experimenting with different suction levels and attachments, as well as when and how to use the brush roller, which has a separate on/off mechanism. We also appreciated the lift-away feature for stairs, and we think the detachable pod and extra reach will come in handy for sucking up cobwebs or cleaning dusty ceilings.
Notably, the dust bin is also easy to remove and empty. The dust bin still had plenty of room in it after our testing, which is a good sign that it’ll be able to last through regular household cleaning, too (depending on your vacuum habits, of course). If there was anything to change about this machine, we’d revisit the slight kickback of debris we saw while hard surface cleaning. However, if you're in need of a vacuum that's closer to 15 pounds than 20 and has nice in-operation handling, this one's a great choice—especially if you can find it on sale and save a few bucks.
Price at time of publish: $300
Dimensions: 45.71 x 12.21 x 12.21 inches | Weight: 15.5 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Bin Volume: 0.88 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 11.5 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hard flooring
|Overall Rating||Effectiveness||Maneuverability||Ease of Emptying||Portability||Noise Level|
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Vacuum
Hart Pro Bagless Upright Vacuum
Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra
Best for Carpet:
Shark Vertex DuoClean Vacuum
Best for Pet Hair:
Innova Upright Vacuum
Hoover Complete Performance Vacuum
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Vacuum
Our top pick for an upright vacuum is the Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum, an impressive machine that was easy to use from start to finish and had smooth swivel steering. However, the powerful and versatile Hart Pro Bagless Upright Vacuum with HEPA Media Filter is an excellent option for folks on a budget.
Other Options We Tested
BISSELL CleanView Compact Upright Vacuum: As lightweight and compact as this vacuum is, it’s unfortunately not as efficient as other upright options. It took our tester roughly 50 passes to pick up the cereal and popcorn kernels used for testing. The hose attachment (which was short for our tester’s preference) also didn’t do a good job lifting hair from the upholstered chair, and a lint roller had to be used to finish the task. Though the budget-friendly price for this Bissell vacuum is appealing, and it does offer an easy-to-empty canister and simple setup, we think there are better alternatives.
Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum Cleaner: Our tester found that this vacuum took care of the hair on the floor “like an absolute dream,” and noted it would be a great choice for anyone looking for a vacuum solely for their floors. The noise it produced wasn’t so jarring that they couldn’t hold a conversation with others in The Lab, and they pointed out: "This is not your parents' vacuum that would wake you up on Saturday mornings as a teenager.” The downside to this option, however, was that there were no additional attachments, so you’re left without the proper tools to clean upholstery or other nooks and crannies in your home.
BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Upright, Stick, and Handheld Vacuum Cleaner: While this vacuum was one of the most lightweight options we tested, its 3-in-1 design did not impress us. Our tester said it cleaned well on hard flooring if there was hair or smaller debris. However, it did not suck up larger debris and instead flung it across the floor, making a larger mess. It also was not effective at all on carpet—in any of its forms—which our tester found frustrating. She said this vacuum may be a good option if you're looking for a handheld vacuum or stick vacuum that exclusively cleans hard flooring, but otherwise thought it would be better suited as a child's toy.
How We Tested the Upright Vacuums
We've purchased and tested over 50 vacuums in The Lab during our multiple vacuum tests—many of which are upright vacuums. To start each test, we unbox the product and take notes on its setup process, as well as the clarity of the instruction manual. Next, we evaluate effectiveness by testing the picks on hardwood and three types of carpeted surfaces. We spill measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and Cheerios on the surfaces and note how many passes are needed to clean them up. In addition, we note during this test how well each vacuum moves.
After, we challenge the vacuums' maneuverability by running them through a living room–inspired obstacle course, noting how well they navigate tight areas and transition from smooth floors to carpeting. To wrap up the test, we note the ease of emptying the bag or bin and the noise level of each pick, as well as the overall value based on our entire experience with the product. At-home product testers rate other upright models on the same attributes after using them in their living spaces. Our editors take all of this consistently applied testing data from at-home testing and lab testing and boil it down to the upright vacuums we believe are the best.
What to Look for in an Upright Vacuum
While most vacuums will work on all surfaces, some vacs are more suitable for certain materials. In particular, there are vacuums that struggle on carpets and area rugs or are only designed for hardwood. Others, like the Shark AZ2002 Vertex DuoClean Upright Vacuum, scatter debris on hard flooring and are a better match for carpeted homes. You'll want to carefully read the product description and specifications for your pick and reference the hands-on testing we've done in The Lab. While a product may be advertised as suitable for both hardwood and high-pile carpet, testing will show you where the vacuum really shines.
Ease of Use
Maneuverability is an important factor when selecting your vacuum model, especially due to upright vacuums' middle-heavy designs. Many of the vacuums in this roundup are equipped with the latest swivel head technology, which allows them to easily move around tight corners and under pieces of furniture. However, the handle design and size of the dust bin can also impact a vac's ease of use if it's too top-heavy or clunky to move around large pieces of furniture in a tight space.
Notably, two of our picks earned perfect scores for maneuverability—our "best overall" pick, the Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum, and our "best for pet hair" pick, the Innova Upright Vacuum.
When browsing options, also pay attention to the weight of a vacuum. Upright models are typically between 13 and 18 pounds—though lighter or heavier can be found. Heavier vacuums are often more powerful, but they can be cumbersome. You may have trouble carrying them up the stairs or from room to room. Lighter models are easy to maneuver and are useful for cleaning stairs, shelves, curtains, and other hard-to-reach surfaces, in comparison, but may have smaller dust bins or weaker suction.
For context, the lightest vacuum on our list is 15.5 pounds (our "best handling" pick, the Shark Rotator Professional Vacuum), while the heaviest turned out to be 22.4 pounds (our "best bagged" pick, the Hoover Complete Performance Corded Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner).
Hose and Attachments
According to Robyn Pook, co-founder of Mint Cleaning, making sure you have the proper attachments when buying a vacuum is essential. The most common attachments include upholstery brushes, pet hair tools, crevice tools, stair tools, and extension wands. They help your product to be more effective at cleaning the hard-to-reach areas of your home or the places where fur and dust collect. Pook says you can use these gadgets to clean everything from baseboards and toilets to bed frames and windowsills: "We love a vacuum with smaller attachments for these areas."
In addition, Pook explains that you should always suck up dirt and debris before a deep clean: "For example, before cleaning the fridge, we always vacuum first to rid it of debris. This makes it way easier to actually clean!" You can pick up this debris efficiently if you have a variety of attachments on hand.
Your vacuum should not only offer immediate, impressive suction power, but it also should have lasting suction power as you clean your whole home and continue to use it for years from your initial purchase date. While all of the vacuums in this roundup had an effectiveness score of at least 4 out of 5 stars, our "best overall" upright vacuum, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum, had enough suction power to clean seamlessly on all surface types, earning it a perfect effectiveness score.
No matter the upright vacuum you choose, you should ensure your model has the right suction power, airflow, and agitation system to properly clean the specific types of flooring in your home so that it'll meet your cleaning needs.
How long do upright vacuums last?
Upright vacuums last for about eight years. Heavy or improper use, or a lack of maintenance, will most likely shorten a model's lifespan. Be sure to maintain regular care and upkeep of your vacuum to potentially extend its lifetime. Your model of choice also may come with a warranty that covers repairs. Take advantage of any coverage to ensure your machine runs for a long time.
Are upright vacuums good for bare floors?
While upright vacuums are generally known to not have the power or delicate nature to effectively clean all bare floors, many brands have come a long way to ensure suction brush rolls are compatible with multiple surfaces. You should check the type of brush roll a vacuum has as a first step in determining its effectiveness on hard flooring. Some upright vacuums will be equipped with a brush roll that has bristles, which agitate dirt and debris to assist the suction power, while others will be designed with microfiber rolls that prevent hair wrap.
However, if you're particularly worried about picking up debris on hard floors or your hard floors getting scratched in the pursuit of a clean home, look for a pick with an adjustable brush roll and multiple settings for different flooring types.
What is the difference between an upright vacuum and a stick vacuum?
Upright vacuums are a very traditional style of vacuum. They often have a dust bin or bag located near their floor head and a bulkier design that matches their increased level of suction power. Stick vacuums, on the contrary, often feature a dust bin near the top of their handle. They feature a much slimmer profile that makes them lighter, easier to maneuver, and perfect for reaching tight spots in your home.
While both are effective at cleaning multiple surfaces—carpet, hardwood, vinyl, and laminate—upright vacuums aren't as versatile. They can only clean through brush heads and hoses and can't often reach under furniture well. In addition, stick vacuums can be more gentle in their approach. However, if you're looking to clean your entire home, larger messes, or carpet that needs more agitation, an upright vacuum is a tried and true choice.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement and lifestyle topics. She's written for The Spruce since 2019, where she covers cleaning products, appliances, furniture, and textiles. For this roundup, she referenced testing data from The Lab and our at-home testers. She scoured the product specifications, researched flooring compatibility, and considered dozens of upright vacuums, ultimately choosing models that stood out in terms of maneuverability, ease of use, filtration, and effectiveness. For more insight, she spoke with Robyn Pook, co-founder of Mint Cleaning.
Marisa Casciano is the senior commerce editor for appliances, cleaning, and organization for The Spruce and has been in The Lab for our vacuum tests. She has firsthand knowledge of how our vacuum tests were both developed and performed, as well as where each product excelled or fell short. She considered new and improved technology, practicality, and real-life cleaning situations when selecting the vacuums to test. She also scoured brand and retailer websites and considered price, and verified customer reviews, features, and design.
Dena Ogden and Emma Phelps, writers for The Spruce, also updated this piece to reflect our latest testing and the most recent picks we loved—or were disappointed by.
What Is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.