The 9 Best Vacuums for Carpets of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The winner is the Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum

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 The 8 Best Vacuums for Carpets, Tested by The Spruce

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Carpets and rugs can do a lovely job at hiding messes, and it's often satisfying (and let's face it, a little gross) to hear the crunchy noise of a quality vacuum suctioning up dirt, dust, and crumbs tucked into a rug's fibers. However, you have to find that vacuum first that'll keep your carpets and rugs clean—that has powerful suction and useful accessories that don't leave any embedded debris behind.

We've purchased over 50 vacuums of all kinds to find the best options for you. We've tested them in The Lab for effectiveness on three types of carpet and hard floors, features, maneuverability, value, and noise level, and at home in real-world situations. Our best overall pick, the Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Stick Vacuum, is lightweight and cordless, and it has a self-cleaning brush roll to prevent tangling.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

4.8
The Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum features a gray and blue exterior and flexible design

Amazon

What We Like
  • Long battery life

  • Folds in half for easy storage

  • Vacuum basically moves itself

  • Powerful suction on all types of flooring

What We Don't Like
  • Top-heavy design

  • No provided attachment storage

  • Dust bin could be larger

Confidently clean carpeting of all sorts in your home with our top pick, the Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum. In our search for the best vacuum for carpet, this lightweight yet capable model wins points for its effective cleaning, maneuverability, and easy emptying. As part of the Shark Vertex series, this is a cordless vac with enough battery juice to vacuum even high-pile carpet, without experiencing annoying battery fade. In fact, you can use it for up to an hour before it has to be charged, all while enjoying powerful suction and unhindered cleaning.

Speaking of effectiveness, this vacuum cleaned up materials during testing with no problems. We tasked the Shark vacuum with particles large and small, and it grabbed everything in just a single pass, earning it a perfect 5-star rating for effectiveness. The dual PowerFins design ensures that the brush rolls have constant contact with your carpets for the ultimate clean, and says goodbye to any hair wrap. This vacuum will ultimately save you time and energy making repeated passes across the floor, trying to capture that one last bit of debris. In our opinion, the dust bin could be a bit larger, but it was still easy to empty so our tester gave the emptying process a 5-star rating as well.

Some vacuum cleaners have plenty of suction power for carpet fibers but become difficult to maneuver on high-pile carpeting or rugs. In The Lab, we didn’t experience any of these issues with the Shark IZ462H Vertex Stick Vacuum—in fact, “flawless” is how our product tester described this vacuum’s maneuverability. It glides across all surfaces, and the body of the vacuum features a hinge point that allows it to flex and reach underneath furniture like sofas and coffee tables. This folding feature also saves space when stowing the vacuum in a closet or corner.

This vacuum also filters 99.99 percent of particulates like dust, allergens, dander, and more, so you can breathe comfortably in your home. All in all, we wish that there was onboard storage for the included attachments, and it would be more convenient if the handheld portion of the vacuum wasn’t so heavy. However, these minor complaints have no effect on the value of this Shark vacuum. It is compact and powerful, and it makes an ideal choice as a vacuum for carpet. 

Price at time of publish: $430

Dimensions: 46.46 x 9.65 x 10.24 inches | Weight: 9.04 pounds | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Bin Volume: 1.4 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10.63 inches | Bag Type: Bagless

Best Overall, Runner-Up

Dyson V7 Motorhead Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

4.6
dyson-v7-motorhead-cordless-stick-vacuum-cleaner

Walmart

What We Like
  • Effective on the lowest setting

  • Lightweight design

  • Three pieces easily click together

What We Don't Like
  • Emptying vacuum is a hassle

  • Lacks HEPA filtration

If your priorities for a vacuum include being exceptionally lightweight and cordless, and you don’t mind a smaller dust bin or shorter battery life, then the Dyson v7 Motorhead is another top choice to consider. It really impressed us with its light-as-a-feather, 5.3-pound build, and it requires minimal assembly. Three pieces click together, and the vacuum is ready for use. For that reason, our product tester gave it a perfect score for its ease of assembly.

Sure to stand out, this fuchsia-and-gray vacuum includes a wall-mounted charging station. Reach for it when you need to clean your carpets in a hurry, like when guests arrive or messes occur. The Dyson pick proved to be phenomenal on all surfaces in our testing. It cleaned up cereal, popcorn kernels, and hair in just one or two passes without hesitating, even on medium or high-pile carpet. While hair did get caught in the vacuum before reaching the suction cup, this vacuum still earned a solid 4.5 stars for its cleaning effectiveness. Plus, of all the vacuums our testing team touched, the vacuum stood out for being “super smooth” and was described as “moving with you.” It felt effortless to use this cordless pick on rugs and it earned a 5-star rating for maneuverability. You can also convert it into a handheld mode, which we found comfortable, even when reaching overhead.

Its biggest downfall is a somewhat clumsy emptying process. Our tester felt the instruction manual was not very clear and emptying the dust cup required two hands. This is a shortcoming compared to some of the one-touch dust bins we’ve seen on cordless vacuums and resulted in a 3.5-star rating for ease of emptying. The Motorhead designation of this v7 model means it comes with fewer attachments and also lacks HEPA filtration, which may be an issue for some. The battery life is limited to about 30 minutes—so it's not designed for major cleaning marathons either. Overall, though, we’d reach for this vac to clean up carpeted floors in any small home or apartment.

Price at time of publish: $349

Dimensions: 49 x 8.2 x 9.8 inches | Weight: 5.3 pounds | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: 30 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.67 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9.8 inches | Bag Type: Bagless

Best Budget

Moosoo K23 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum

4.9
Moosoo K23 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum

Walmart

What We Like
  • Effective on high- and low-pile carpet

  • No hair wrap on floor head

  • Cleans corners, carpet edges, and stairs

What We Don't like
  • Doesn't lock in an upright position

If you're looking for a vacuum that easily tackles carpet and is also a breeze to assemble, operate, and charge, the Moosoo Stick Vacuum Cordless Vacuum K23 Pro is a worthwhile and budget-friendly investment. Our tester said this vacuum's assembly instructions included images of exactly how each part connects, which made its initial assembly a snap. You can switch between three power modes to adjust this vacuum's suction when cleaning up different debris and on various types of flooring. Our tester said this vacuum's suction was consistent throughout the duration of the 16-minute test, and they appreciated that the fluffy carpet floor head could also be used to clean hard floors.

This vacuum's suction was impressive across all types of carpet—even debris on stairs was no match for its power. It also easily cleaned the carpet edges of our testing area, without the tester changing out the floor brush for any other attachments. When it comes time to empty the dust cup, our tester recommends removing the filter first to avoid it falling into the trash can with the debris. This vacuum also has a charging stand that can be installed onto a wall, which also makes it easy to store when not in use.

Keep in mind that this model does not lock into an upright position. That means you will have to lay it down or prop it against a sturdy surface if you need to step away from your cleaning task. But overall, our tester said this vacuum offered hassle-free vacuuming with its overall performance and the number of attachments provided.

Price at time of publish: $129

Dimensions: 42.50 x 10.60 x 8.70 inches | Weight: 5.28 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: up to 35 minutes | Bin Volume: 1.06 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Bag Type: Bagless

Best Lightweight

Samsung VS15T7032R4 Jet 70 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum

4.2
samsung-jet-pet-70-cordless-stick-vacuum

Lowe's

What We Like
  • Has multiple power settings

  • Can transfer surfaces easily

  • Very quiet operation

What We Don't Like
  • Hair gets caught in the filter

  • Not very effective on hardwood

If you want the convenience of a cordless stick vacuum, but you don’t want to sacrifice suction power and cleaning ability on carpets and rugs, the Samsung Jet 70 is an ideal option. It's incredibly lightweight, weighing just under 6 pounds. In our testing, this vacuum had the most trouble chasing down large debris on hardwood floors, but it cruised across carpets, leaving no hair, cereal, or popcorn kernels behind and giving this vac a solid rating for overall cleaning effectiveness. We did have to increase power on high-pile carpet, but this is easy to do with the touch controls built into the vacuum’s handle.

Our tester noted that the power settings are very easy to use, making it simple to increase and decrease suction power as needed. Plus, unlike some other cordless stick vacuums that require you to hold down a trigger during your entire cleaning session, this Samsung vacuum has a power button that gives your finger a break and keeps the vacuum running until you turn it off—or until it runs out of power, after around 40 minutes of use. While we like the streamlined controls, the dust bin could use some refinement. It lacks an easy-release button and the canister has a lid you must unscrew. Hair also got stuck in the filters and it required hands-on help to clear it from the dust bin.

Our product tester noted the lack of swivel steering as a bit of a letdown, too. All in all, the tester described the Samsung Jet 70's maneuverability as “solid” but not stellar. Notably, it converts into a handheld vac, which is nice for giving your sofa a clean sweep. It’s not impossible to use, but might not be the most ergonomic way to reach cobweb-filled corners.

Price at time of publish: $398

Dimensions: 44.2 x 9.8 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 5.8 pounds | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: 40 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.84 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9.87 inches | Bag Type: Bagless

The Samsung Jet 70 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best for Pet Hair

Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra

4.8
Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra

 Amazon

What We Like
  • Tangle-free turbine tool and pet grooming tool included

  • Roller brush height adjusts to floor type

  • Vacuum automatically detangles hair from floor roll

What We Don't Like
  • Tricky to assemble

  • Difficult to use while cleaning stairs

While there are many reasons to appreciate the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra, its thoughtful design—which keeps pet parents in mind—sets it apart from other models. Our tester found its adjustable suction and roller brush height settings convenient, especially when moving from carpet to hard flooring. Our tester also found these height settings essential for sucking up various debris sizes. "The high-pile setting worked better on the flat floor surface to remove larger debris such as cereals, as well as hair," she said. It easily sucked up hair from both high- and low-pile carpet, and our tester didn't find any hair wrapped around the floor head, thanks to detangling technology on the roller brush.

The vacuum comes with four unique attachments, but the two that will really excite pet owners are the tangle-free turbine tool and the pet grooming tool. You can vacuum stubborn pet hair from your upholstery and pet beds with the turbine tool, and you can try grooming your pet during their shedding season with the grooming tool (that is, if your pet tolerates the noise of a vacuum).

While this vacuum is well-designed and overall impressed our tester, it did have a few quirks. To start, it's heavier than average upright models because of the central ball joint, which creates the vacuum swivel. Our tester said vacuuming with this unit on stairs would be quite tiring because of its weight, and the long extension hose and tool only aided so much. The assembly process is also quite tricky. Our tester was frustrated by the lack of written directions in the manual, and she had a hard time deciphering how the vacuum's pieces clicked in place. She also found this to be the case when using the attachments. "While their use is intuitive, it would be helpful for Dyson to explain the intended purpose and ideal use of each attachment," our tester said.

With its weight in mind, we don't recommend this model for users with limited mobility. However, its multi-surface cleaning power, unique attachments, and overall performance make it a great option for a busy household with kids and pets that may produce a variety of messes.

Price at time of publish: $350

Dimensions: 42.2 x 11.02 x 15.5 inches | Weight: 17.3 pounds | Cord Length: 35 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 1.8 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Bag Type: Bagless

Best Canister

Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum

4.2
miele-compact-c1-turbo-team-canister-vacuum

Amazon

What We Like
  • Extremely quiet

  • Easy to get into tight spaces

  • Plenty of capacity in vacuum bag

  • Great suction power

What We Don't Like
  • Requires replacement bags

  • Instructions were a little unclear

  • Not a good fit for home with pets

This Miele canister vacuum was heavier than we expected out of the box. Plus, there could be better instructions for the attachments, as well as the buttons that control the vacuum’s operation. For the guess-and-check, we gave this model 3.5 stars for ease of assembly. Once it was set up and ready to go, however, we were impressed with most aspects of this canister vacuum’s cleaning capabilities. It was described as “so impressive” by our tester for capturing debris in just one or two passes in most instances.

The vac struggled with hair on medium-pile carpet but revved up its performance on the thicker, high-pile carpeting. Due to its tendency to clog with hair, we wouldn’t recommend it for homes with pets. We docked it a point for this shortcoming, but it still earned 4 stars for effectiveness. In addition, the noise level was noticeable but not harsh, giving this vacuum another 4-star rating. In our Lab living room, we were pleased with how easy it was to reach under the furniture, and we gave this vacuum 4.5 stars for maneuverability. It’s an especially good option if you don’t want to push around a full-size vacuum and aren’t interested in cordless stick vacuums that have a limited battery life and small dust bin capacities.

Keep in mind that this is a bagged vacuum cleaner, which keeps dust and allergens sealed inside until the bag reaches capacity. You’ll have to buy replacement bags, but the design allows for a hassle-free emptying of the vacuum cleaner. Like most canister vacuums, this model is corded, so you’ll likely need to switch outlets when moving from room to room. However, our product tester found the auto-rewind cord to be a handy feature that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Price at time of publish: $549

Dimensions: 16.9 x 9.1 x 9.8 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Cord Length: 21 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 3.75 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Bag Type: Bagged

The Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Corded Stick

Eureka NES510 Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner

4.2
eureka-flash-lightweight-stick-vacuum

Amazon

What We Like
  • Quick and easy assembly

  • Floor head features a light

  • Easily swivels around obstacles

What We Don't Like
  • Cord is heavy and bulky

  • Emptying is a multi-step process

In our testing experience, we were pleased with how easily the Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner moved across all types of flooring. It earned a perfect rating for its performance on the samples of hardwood, low-pile, and medium-pile carpet. It grabbed large and small debris in one to two passes, and it was only docked for its performance on high-pile carpet. Our tester noted that this vacuum works harder on high-pile carpeting, and the motor can become warm. After kicking up the power, we were able to clear large debris from the plush fibers.

Now, if you need a vacuum that can stand up to marathon cleaning sessions, the fact that this option is corded will be a plus, since you'll never have to take a break to recharge. This stick vacuum managed our obstacle course well too, and reached way under the low sofa. It hesitated when transitioning from solid surface flooring to carpeting—requiring the user to pick it up—which may prove awkward or difficult for some users. We found the cord to be bulky and a nuisance at times, as well, especially given the ease of our high-performing cordless options. Even still, we give this pick 4 stars for maneuverability. The dust bin is maybe the most challenging part of the product, as it takes multiple steps to detach and empty the canister. We only gave it 3 stars for ease of emptying but were impressed otherwise.

Price at time of publish: $145

Dimensions: 45 x 11.1 x 7.9 inches | Weight: 7.4 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 1.05 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Bag Type: Bagless

Best Upright

Shark NV151 Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum

4.4
shark-navigator-swivel-pro-complete-upright-vacuum

Lowe's

What We Like
  • Adjustable suction

  • Has an 11-foot hose

  • Relatively quiet operation

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to reach under furniture

  • Lacks a self-cleaning brush roll

The Shark Navigator Swivel Pro includes settings for both carpeted surfaces and bare floors, making it an ideal choice for homes with a mix of surfaces. Some picks push around debris or leak large particles, but this model impressed us with its cleaning ability on low, medium, and high-pile carpets. On medium and high-pile carpets, it required an extra pass or two to completely clear the debris, but this "problem" wasn’t significant enough to disqualify this vac from a perfect rating for overall cleaning effectiveness. 

By design, upright vacuums usually weigh more than stick vacuum cleaners. This is true of this vacuum, which weighs 15 pounds. We noticed the extra heft when assembling the vacuum (assembly took a total of three minutes), but it moved surprisingly well on a range of surfaces as well as in our Lab’s living room-inspired obstacle course. Part of the brand's Navigator series, it features swivel steering that improves maneuverability. Our tester even noted that it was possible to use just one hand to push the vacuum across low-pile carpet and hardwood floors. Now, the bulky design did make it more difficult to reach under furniture and it required some help to transition from hard surface floors to carpeting. We docked the vacuum for these inconveniences, giving it a middle-of-the-road rating for maneuverability. 

Another thing you should know is that this vacuum has a large dust bin, at 0.87 quarts, that empties so quickly and easily. We give the dirt disposal process five stars. In addition, the vacuum itself is sealed to trap allergens and it also is equipped with a HEPA filter. Given the power it poses, we were satisfied with its noise level, too.

Price at time of publish: $120

Dimensions: 45.66 x 12 x 9.64 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 0.4 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 12 inches | Bag Type: Bagless

 The Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Robot

iRobot Roomba s9+ 9550 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum

4.2
iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550) Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum

Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

What We Like
  • Expertly handles pet hair

  • Does a great job on corners

  • Empties debris into base

What We Don't Like
  • Can have trouble docking itself

  • Expensive

  • Noisy operation

Put your cleaning routine on autopilot with the help of the Roomba s9+. We recommend this robot vac for carpets because of its enhanced suction and added sensors that help it to navigate over even dark-colored rugs (a problem for some previous generations of iRobot Roombas). Our at-home product tester gave this model free rein across nearly 900 square feet of carpeted living space, and rated it 4 stars for its superior cleaning ability. While the noise level was louder than expected, they just chalked it up to the top-notch suction power that this vacuum poses. In fact, iRobot has equipped this model with 40 times the suction power of the Roomba 600 series, which notoriously struggled on anything but low-pile rugs and carpet. 

The enhanced suction plus vSLAM technology means that the Roomba s9 gives carpets (or any flooring) a thorough clean, with row-by-row cleaning and map navigation. The battery lasts for 120 minutes, but if the vacuum runs out of power, it will charge up on the dock before resuming cleaning where it left off. At times, this vacuum struggled to dock itself successfully and needed a helping hand. However, our tester doesn't fault it for this struggle. "I think the vacuum needed to spend some more time on the charging station," she said. "The s9+ comes partially-charged, but it’s probably a good idea to get it fully charged before you start using it. You can check the charge level on the iRobot’s app." It's important to note that its price tag is quite steep. However, our tester has two dogs and three cats, and never received an error message due to tangled pet hair. That gives us further reason to recommend this robot vacuum for carpets, which are pros at collecting fur from your four-legged friends. 

If you opt for the Roomba s9+, the charging station includes a dirt disposal bin, which can hold up to 60 days of dirt. Our tester was dubious of this capacity estimate and found it needed to be emptied after a few weeks, but points out that small homes or those without pets may be able to go longer. All in all, it's quite a helpful cleaning tool to have in your home.

Price at time of publish: $1,000

Dimensions: 12.2 x 19 x 15.1 inches | Weight: 8.15 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 120 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: 9.5 inches | Bag Type: Bagless

Cat staring at an iRobot Roomba s9+ that's sitting on a gray carpet.

The Spruce / Lindsay Boyers

Final Verdict

We recommend the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum as the best vacuum for carpets. It impressed us with its ability to clear debris from low, medium, and high-pile carpet in a single pass. Plus, it wowed us with its ability to maneuver our living room-inspired obstacle course. For a more basic cordless stick vacuum, we also think the Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner is a worthwhile pick. This versatile stick vacuum only required a few passes to clear debris from all types of flooring. The dust bin wasn’t as easy to empty, but all in all, this is a handy, affordable vacuum for carpets. 

The Eureka NES510 Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner picks up hair and popcorn kernels on a high-pile carpet during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

How We Tested the Vacuums for Carpet

We've tested over 50 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab during our multiple vacuum tests, and before and after at home. To start, in The Lab, we unboxed and completed the setup for each one, timing how long the process took and how clear the instructions were. We then evaluated each pick's effectiveness by spilling measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and Cheerios on four types of surfaces: hardwood flooring and low, medium, and high-pile carpets. During this part of our test, we rated each model on its portability and how many passes were needed to clean up the spilled materials. We also noted if hair got tangled in the beater bar.

Then, we challenged the vacuums' maneuverability by navigating them through a living room–inspired obstacle course that consisted of a low-sitting coffee table and couch. We evaluated how well each pick transitioned from smooth floors to the carpeting, before noting the ease of emptying each vacuum, whether it had a bin or a bag. Our testers also collected insights on the noise level of each product and how long cordless models stayed charged. At home, additional product testers rated other models on the same attributes while putting vacuums through their paces in real-world settings. To conclude, our editors took all of this consistently applied testing data and boiled it down to determine the overall value of the best vacuums for carpeted surfaces in your home.

What to Look for in a Vacuum for Carpet

Vacuum and Bag Type

While all vacuums for carpet are designed to suck up debris, their operation style can vary. Upright vacuums require push-and-pull operation and often boast more suction and larger dust bins. This style is good for whole-home cleaning, but takes up more storage space in your cleaning closet. An alternative is the stick vacuum, which has a more streamlined design and is usually more nimble to use. However, you’ll have to settle for a smaller dust bin. Somewhere in between these two styles is the canister vacuum. This type of vacuum has a motor and dust collection system housed inside of a canister on wheels. A hose connects the vacuum to a wand and floor head, giving you flexibility to reach under, around, and behind furniture. 

Bagless vacuums have been increasing in popularity since they don’t require you to purchase new bags and you can easily empty the dust bin after each cleaning session. However, not all dust bins are created equal; some require more "hands-on" help to fully empty. A bagged vacuum cleaner for carpets provides a simpler approach to disposing of dust, dirt, and allergens. While bagged vacuums are an easy way to contain small particles, keep in mind that they aren't a fool-proof answer. "Fine dust particles are tough to remove using vacuums without a HEPA filter," Nicholas Burks, CEO of Neet Home, notes. When it's full, remove it from the vacuum and toss it in the trash. However, you’ll have to keep replacement bags on hand and be ready to change it whenever the existing bag becomes full.

Power Source

You'll find that most upright and canister vacuum models come with a power cord, which provides them an unending power supply while you clean your home. A power cord obviously limits the area you can cover from one outlet, but many newer vacuum models are now making cords as long as 35 feet, such as our best for pet hair pick, the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra. While this is a corded upright model, our tester appreciated this vacuum's powerful suction as it easily transitioned from cleaning carpet to hard flooring.

If you'd prefer to not be restrained by a power cord, we recommend choosing a cordless model such as a stick or robot vacuum. These models also have the limitation of a battery life and you may find that some models dull in suction power as the battery drains. However, you should ultimately choose your vacuum's power source based on your personal lifestyle and home size.

Weight and Maneuverability

Just like their power source, vacuums can also be compared by their weight and maneuverability. While upright and canister vacuums are heavier in weight, they are sometimes easier to maneuver on high pile carpet due to their reliable suction power. Canister vacuums are equipped with wheels, which make it easier to drag the canister behind as you clean.

Stick vacuums and robot vacuums may not have as strong of suction power on carpet because of their lighter weights and overall design. However, stick vacuums are much easier to maneuver on stairs, plus tile, vinyl, hardwood, and laminate flooring. Our best lightweight pick, the Samsung Jet 70 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum, weighs just over 5 pounds, making it a great option for users who live in smaller homes or have limited mobility. Many stick vacuum models are also equipped with swivel joints that make them ideal for cleaning in tight corners and under low pieces of furniture.

Attachments

A vacuum for carpet can be versatile enough to reach crevices and corners, or to clean other areas of your home, such as carpeted stairs or upholstery. For example, many of the vacuums we tested converted into a handheld mode that is especially useful for above-floor cleaning. You’ll also find a crevice tool is a standard attachment that can extend the reach of your vacuum. In addition, a vac may come with a dusting brush or upholstery tool that are good for furniture clean-up. Pet owners may also find a motorized brush attachment to be helpful in loosening hair from furniture or a pet's bed.

Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

FAQ
  • How often should carpet be vacuumed?

    As a rule, you should vacuum carpet once per week. Depending on the foot traffic and activity that your carpet sees, you may need to vacuum more frequently. Pet owners in particular may need to clean their carpets more often than others, and as much as three times per week.

  • Can you use any vacuum on carpet?

    Carpets can be magnets for dust and dander, so you might benefit from using a bagged vacuum that more effectively seals off the debris it collects. Burks notes that bagless vacuum cleaners have been known to recirculate allergens in the air, but she is also quick to point out the advantage of a bagless model: "Because bagless vacuum cleaners don't need to be emptied as often, they are convenient." Bagless vacuums can be effective on carpet as well, and do not require replacement bags that must be purchased separately. Many bagless models on the market—such as cordless stick models—are now equipped with HEPA filters to combat their tendency to recirculate allergens and particles.

  • What is the first thing you should do before vacuuming a carpet?

    If you want to clean your carpet thoroughly, take your time. Remove obstacles and even large debris by hand before getting started. You should also check your vacuum's filters and bag or canister to ensure they are not clogged or too full to complete your cleaning job.

    You should also vacuum slowly in neat, slightly overlapping rows. If you rush this process, you're more likely to miss dirt that's deeply embedded into the carpet's fibers. Once you reach the end of the carpet, go over it again in the opposite direction in order to make sure you get every last bit of dust and dirt.

The Spruce's product testers evaluate three Dyson cordless stick vacuums while standing around a high-pile carpet at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Why Trust The Spruce?

Erica Puisis has been a writer for The Spruce since 2017, specializing as a product researcher for both large and small appliances. For this piece, she compared the features, benefits, and uses of some of the most popular vacuums on the market. She also relied on testing reports from The Lab, along with insights from at-home testers and trends among reviews. For additional insight on how to pick out the best vacuum for carpet, she spoke with Nicholas Burks, CEO of Neet Home.

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 they were developed and performed, and 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 considered price, features, and design.

Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, also updated this roundup to include new picks based on our latest round of testing in The Lab. For this roundup, Emma focused on models that not only performed well overall but especially excelled when tackling various types of debris on carpet.

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. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.

Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. What Is A HEPA Filter? US EPA. 2021.

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