The 5 Best Vacuums for Carpets to Buy in 2020

Pick up dirt, dust, and grime with these gadgets

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum at Amazon

"A versatile and affordable tool that will serve you for years to come."

Best Budget: Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Lightweight Bagless Vacuum Cleaner at Amazon

"Some of the highlights of this product include its lightweight, low price, and unbeatable suction power."

Best for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Upright Bagless Pet Vacuum Cleaner at Amazon

"Features a cyclonic pet hair spooling system with a hands-free empty."

Best for Shag Rug: Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner at Amazon

"Specially designed to clean soft-style carpets."

Best for Low Pile: Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum at Amazon

"This product is easy to use, compact, powerful, and quiet."

If you have carpeting in your house, you know that not all vacuums are created equal. Some vacuums simply perform best on hardwood or tile floors, but that doesn't help you keep your rugs clean! Whether you're looking for a vacuum to get dirt out of your shag rug or one to help you remove pet hair from a highly trafficked area rug, there's a high-quality product that will check all your “must-have” boxes.

Here, the best vacuums for carpets.

  • 01 of 05

    Best Overall: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum

    Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
    Courtesy of Amazon
    Very Good

    One of the best vacuums for vacuuming carpet available today is the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum. Not only is this canister vacuum incredibly efficient at getting the dirt, dust, and other particles out of your rugs, but it's a versatile and affordable tool that will serve you for years to come.

    This versatile vacuum is lightweight at just over 12 pounds, and one of its unique features is its Lift-Away canister. Simply by pressing a button, you can remove the canister to more easily clean hard-to-reach places. Further, it has a HEPA filter to trap dust and allergens, and a brush roll shut off option for when you're cleaning a deep carpet. The Shark Navigator vacuum has swivel steering so you can easily maneuver around your furniture, and it comes with a pet upholstery tool, as well.

    This small, affordable vacuum delivers big results. Many users note that it cleans as well as—if not better—than some of the top brand vacuums, and it can pull more dirt and hair out of carpets than they ever thought possible. Plus, many love that it has lifetime filters, so you can just wash them instead of buying new ones.

    "The pet upholstery brush worked wonders on our black upholstered kitchen chairs, where lint and pet hair is highly visible. We really appreciated the selection of accessories and were impressed with how well each of them performed."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester

  • 02 of 05

    Best Budget: Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Lightweight Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

    Very Good

    High-end vacuum cleaners can get really expensive, with price tags reaching several thousand dollars. However, you don't need to break the bank to get a quality vacuum cleaner for your carpets. For instance, the Eureka PowerSpeed Lightweight Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner is a popular option at a price that's incredibly reasonable.

    This vacuum is about as light as they come, weighing just over 10 pounds. It's designed to clean multiple surfaces and includes five height-adjustment settings for use on hardwood floors, carpets, area rugs, and more. This Eureka vacuum boasts an extra-large dust cup so you can clean it less frequently, and it uses a washable filter so there's no need to buy new ones.

    Some of the highlights of this product include its lightweight, low price, and unbeatable suction power. It even does an amazing job to get pet hair out of rugs, and it does an amazing job, especially for the price, according to buyers.

    "Although it worked great on our thicker area rugs and carpets, the vacuum was too powerful for our thin, lightweight area rugs. We attempted to use it on a small runner in our guest bathroom, but it sucked the rug right up despite being on the lowest setting."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester

  • 03 of 05

    Best for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Upright Bagless Pet Vacuum Cleaner

    Do you feel like you're fighting an uphill battle against pet hair in your home? If you have one or more pets, it might seem like you have to vacuum constantly to keep the hair under control, and this can often wear down vacuum cleaners, causing them to die early deaths.

    For this reason, many pet owners choose vacuum cleaners specifically designed to pull pet hair out of the carpet, and one great option for this is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Upright Bagless Pet Vacuum Cleaner. One noteworthy feature of this product is its tangle-free ​brush roll, which saves you from having to take scissors to all the wrapped up hair after you vacuum.​​

    The product also features a cyclonic pet hair spooling system with a hands-free empty, so you don't have to stick your hand in all the dirt to get pet hair out of the canister. Not to mention this vacuum comes with specialized pet tools to help you clean a variety of services around your home.

    Pet owners rave that it works wonders, even if you have long-haired pets. If you're tired of picking up after your fur babies, this may very well be the product for you.

  • 04 of 05

    Best for Shag Rug: Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner

    Shag rugs can be challenging to clean because they're deeper than regular carpets and particles can make their way down to where vacuums can't reach. Not to mention that their deep, fluffy surface can often be tough to push a vacuum over.

    If you're tired of struggling to clean your favorite shag rug, you need the Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner, which is specially designed to clean soft-style carpets. It essentially glides over even the deepest shag carpets, leaving them looking as good as new. While this vacuum is on the more expensive end of the spectrum, buyers thought it was worth the money to keep carpets looking immaculate.

    Some of the features of this 10.5-pound vacuum include an adjustable vent system that allows you to more easily maneuver it on soft carpets, as well as large front wheels that make pushing it easier. The Sonicare vacuum uses sonic vibrations to loosen dirt that's been pushed deep into the carpet, and it also features soft nylon bristles that won't tear up your favorite rug.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Best for Low Pile: Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum

    On the other end of the spectrum are low-pile carpets, which don't have the same thick, deep fibers as shag carpets. For this reason, vacuums designed for low-pile carpets are often used on hardwood floors and other non-carpeted surfaces, as well. One of the best vacuums available for low-pile carpeting and smooth flooring is the Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum.

    This vacuum boasts six power settings that you can adjust based on what you’re cleaning, and it has a unique sealed system that retains more dust and dirt particles than other vacuums. The Miele Vacuum includes a telescopic stainless steel wand and 360-degree swivel wheels, and it can easily be switched from smooth floors to carpets with the simple rocker switch.

    Buyers claim it is easy to use, compact, powerful, and quiet. Plus, the compact design makes it a great option for those with smaller living spaces or limited storage space.

What to Look for in a Vacuum for the Carpet

Weight 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.

Versatility 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.

Effectiveness 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.