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If you have carpeting in your home, you probably know that not all vacuums are created equal. While some vacuums are designed for hardwood or tile, if you're looking to clean carpeted areas, you're going to need something that has enough suctioning power to pull dirt and debris from even high pile carpets. Luckily, there are plenty of options available online.
Here, the best vacuums for carpets.
Best Overall: BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet Rewind Upright Vacuum
Automatic height adjustment
Can't reach under low furniture
For a do-it-all vacuum cleaner that's easy to use and doesn't cost a fortune, check out the BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet Rewind Upright Vacuum. With swivel steering, a lightweight design, and automatic height adjustment, it's super easy to maneuver. In other words, picking up dirt, hair, and dust from your carpets won't feel like a strenuous chore.
This bagless vacuum cleaner comes with special attachments, including the Pet Hair Eraser and the Pet TurboEraser. The hose extends eight feet, and the cord is 27 feet long. It has multi-cyclonic suction to quickly remove dirt and keep it in the tank. You can switch from floor mode to carpet to upholstery with the click of a switch. When you're done, turn it off and press a button to activate the automatic cord rewind feature.
Best Budget: Bissell FeatherWeight Lightweight Stick Vacuum
Limited dust cup capacity
For a budget-friendly option that really packs a punch, consider the Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum from BISSELL. This stick vacuum cleaner weighs only 2.6 pounds when the dirt canister is empty, making it easy to use and store. The canister can hold up to 0.67 liters of dirt, dust, hair, and crumbs. And despite its slim design, the Featherweight is surprisingly powerful.
This convenient, three-in-one product can be configured into an upright vacuum, a handheld vacuum, or a stair vacuum. It can be used to clean floors, countertops, upholstery, stairs, low-pile carpets, or area rugs. The Featherweight also comes with a nozzle attachment for getting into small crevices, and its 15-foot power cord allows you to reach all across most rooms with only one outlet. This stick vacuum comes in four colors: black, blue, lime green, and purple.
Best Splurge: Dyson Slim Ball Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Low profile cleaning head
Steeper price point
If you're willing to spend a little extra, we recommend the Dyson Slim Ball Animal. This upright vacuum cleaner is engineered to get rid of dirt, hair, and even microscopic dust particles on floors, upholstery, curtains, stairs, and carpets. Its self-adjusting design automatically adapts to different flooring types, so you can run it from your kitchen floors to your living room carpet, to your bathroom tile, and up onto your area rug.
Super-powerful suction removes particles from virtually any surface of your home, and advanced HEPA filtration keeps allergens sealed tightly inside the .42-gallon canister. It's even certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The wand and vacuum hose release effortlessly, allowing you to reach high up or underneath furniture. With a 24.5-foot cord, the Slim Ball Animal vacuum cleaner won't need to be plugged into different outlets to reach across most rooms. And the 5-year manufacturer warranty gives you peace of mind about your investment.
Best Robot Vacuum: eufy by Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 30C
Effective at removing pet hair
App freezes occasionally
Difficulty connecting to Wi-Fi
Robot vacuums have come a long way since their first iterations, and the eufy by Anker Boost IQ RoboVac is the best one currently on the market. At 12.8 inches in diameter and just 2.85 inches in height, it's slimmer than early models. And unlike some other robot vacuum cleaners, it cleans both hard floors and carpets, including loop-pile, low-pile, and medium-pile materials. The eufy's large wheels can climb over carpeting, up onto area rugs, and over door ledges to reach messes in your home.
This RoboVac can clean for about 60 minutes on carpets and around 100 minutes on hard floors. It provides continuous, powerful suction and operates quietly—at about the sound level of a microwave. With BoostIQ technology, it automatically increases its power upon sensing that more is needed. It comes with a charging base, remote control with two AAA batteries, an AC power adapter, an extra set of filters, four side brushes, five cable ties, and a cleaning tool.
"The vacuum ran three times a day, filling the good-sized dustbin each time. It handled pet hair beautifully and even better on the MAX rather than the BOOST IQ setting. Fluffy even pulled pet hair away from the baseboards and out of the carpet. The RoboVac made a significant difference in the amount of vacuuming and sweeping needed to remove daily pet hair."—Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester
Best for High-Pile: EUREKA NEU182A PowerSpeed Lightweight Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
Multiple carpet settings
Extra-large dust cup
Too powerful for some area rugs
If you have high-pile carpets, we can't blame you—the soft, plush feel can offer warmth, comfort, and insulation. Though high-pile carpets can be difficult to clean, the Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner is up for the task. Turn the dial to use its multiple carpet settings—including plush, medium-pile, high-pile, and shag—or set it to hard floors. The powerful motor and dynamic brush-roll are designed to pick up stubborn debris from all types of surfaces.
This vacuum weighs just 10 pounds, making it easy to maneuver for anyone in your household. Its smooth wheels prevent scratches and streaks on your floors and carpets. The extra-large dust bin has a 4.1-liter capacity, so you don't have to empty it as often as other vacuums. You can easily access the stretch hose with its quick-release handle and use the 7-inch crevice tool to clean upholstery, curtains, countertops, and underneath furniture.
"The Eureka Powerspeed Base is equipped with a washable filter, so you don’t have to worry about buying replacements. It’s also outfitted with an extra-large, 2.6-liter dust cup, which means you won’t have to empty it as frequently. We really appreciated the dust cup’s convenient design; it dislodges from the vacuum with the push of a button and snaps right back into place."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best for Pet Hair: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Extremely effective at removing pet hair
Converts to a handheld vacuum
Tendency to clog
Top heavy design
Removing pet hair from carpets can be immensely challenging, but with the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright Vacuum Cleaner, it's easy. This vacuum weighs less than 8 pounds and has swivel steering for easy maneuverability. You can switch between the hard floor and carpet settings to remove pet hair, strings, dirt, dust, crumbs, and even stuck-on debris.
This extra-light product converts from an upright vacuum to a handheld vac for easy cleaning of all surfaces in your home. If your pets like to climb, cuddle, and snooze on your furniture, stairs, or rugs, the Shark Rocket can clean hair from those too. It picks up pet hair instantly and easily from floors, carpets, and other surfaces throughout the home.
Best Cordless: Hoover Commercial TaskVac Lightweight Bagless Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Battery fuel gauge
Short battery life
Cordless vacuums can make cleaning your floors so much easier. For handly carpet cleaning without the fuss of a cord, we suggest the Hoover Commercial TaskVac Lightweight Bagless Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner. It runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and operates for up to 20 minutes on a full charge. The fade-free battery won't peter off for the last few minutes, either. You can count on powerful suction, and a fuel gauge will tell you how much longer you have.
Don't let the word "Commercial" deter you. This powerful vacuum is suitable for at-home use on both floors and carpets. With Hoover's Windtunnel Technology, it uses three air channels to remove debris from multiple surfaces. The brush-roll function picks up dirt, dust, hair, and crumbs from carpeting, and it can be switched off to clean hard flooring. When you're finished, just release the dirt cup and empty it out.
Best for Stairs: MOOSOO Cordless Vacuum
Lightweight and portable
Converts to a handheld vacuum
Somewhat difficult assembly
Limited battery life
If you've got carpeted stairs in your home, we recommend the MOOSOO Cordless Vacuum. Instead of trying to reach a cord from the nearest outlet, this battery-powered vacuum cleaner can be effortlessly carried up and down your stairs. Weighing only 3.3 pounds, it's notably lightweight and easy to maneuver.
This vacuum works very well on a variety of surfaces, including carpets, floors, upholstery, countertops, and windowsills. You can count on it to remove dust, dirt, pet hair, crumbs, and other types of debris without putting in a lot of elbow grease. The MOOSOO Cordless Vacuum also has an efficient cyclone and HEPA filtration system, which helps remove dust particles from the air. Plus, it runs for 20 to 35 minutes on a full charge, which might be long enough to clean your entire home.
"Thanks to a swiveling floorhead, I easily accessed tight corners and got under low furniture. The MOOSOO Cordless Vacuum has a generously sized dustbin. I was able to vacuum several rooms before it needed to be emptied. Emptying the dustbin is a breeze—it swings open with the push of a lever. This model also has a HEPA filter that traps dust and other allergens, making it a good choice for allergy sufferers."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Our top pick is the Bissell CleanView Pet Rewind Upright Vacuum (available at Amazon) because it can clean entirely carpeted rooms without requiring you to break a sweat. It is lightweight, steers smoothly, and automatically adjusts to your floor surface’s height. If you’re willing to spend a little more money, the Dyson Slim Ball Animal (available at Walmart) is worth the splurge due to its finely tuned cleaning technology, which removes large, small, and even microscopic debris. Plus, its HEPA filtration system is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
What to Look for in a Vacuum for the Carpet
Consider the size of your home as well as if you’ll need to carry your vacuum up a set (or two) of stairs. Some of the models on our list are ultra light, allowing for easier portability and use, while others may be heftier but offer more options and power.
If the floors of your house are covered with just one type of carpet, that’s one thing, but if you have a mix of different floorings and carpets, you may want to consider a vacuum that offers more versatility. Some are built to adjust to various floor types, while others are geared toward certain styles of carpet or flooring. Also think about what type of filters you prefer — there are both disposable and washable options.
Most vacuums will tackle basic dirt and dust, but if you have pets or if people in your home are allergic to dust, you might want to choose a more powerful vacuum. You may also want to consider those with variable power settings if you have different types of carpets.
How do I use a vacuum cleaner on carpet?
If you want to clean your carpet thoroughly, take your time. Remove obstacles, objects, and even large debris by hand before getting started. Then start vacuuming slowly in neat, slightly overlapping rows. If you rush this process, you're more likely to miss dirt that's especially tracked 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.
How often should I vacuum carpet?
As a rule, you should vacuum carpet once a week. But, depending on the foot traffic and activity that your carpet sees, you may need to vacuum more frequently. Pet owners and allergy sufferers in particular may need to clean their carpets more often than others, as much as three times a week.
Is a bagged or bagless vacuum better for cleaning carpet?
Carpets can be magnets for dust, dander, and other household allergens, so allergy sufferers may benefit from using a bagged vacuum, which more effectively seals off the debris it accumulates than bagless vacuums, on their carpets. If allergens aren't a concern of yours, you can leave this choice up to personal preference.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was edited and updated by Sara Coughlin, a freelance writer and The Spruce’s small appliances expert. From canister models to dustbusters, she’s researched what it takes for a vacuum to stand out in a vast and broad market—and what to look for in up-and-coming models.