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."
"A top-rated option among reviewers at a price that's incredibly reasonable."
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."
"This vacuum has several unique features that make it a great option for cleaning both carpets and smooth flooring."
Best Robotic: iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum at Home Depot
"A robotic vacuum that works on all surfaces."
01 of 07
Best Overall: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
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.
Reviewers say this small, affordable vacuum delivers big results. Many note that it cleans as well—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.
02 of 07
Best Budget: Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Lightweight Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
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 top-rated option among reviewers 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, according to reviewers, are its light weight, low price, and unbeatable suction power. Several say they use this vacuum to get pet hair out of their rugs, and it does an amazing job, especially for the price.
03 of 07
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.
Reviewers rave about the suction on this vacuum, writing that it works wonders, even if you have long-haired pets. Several say it does great on carpets, “picking up hair like a dream.” If you're tired of picking up after your fur babies, this may very well be the product for you.
04 of 07
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. While this vacuum is on the more expensive end of the spectrum, reviewers say it is worth the money to keep your carpets 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.
According to reviewers, this vacuum glides over even the deepest shag carpets, leaving them looking as good as new. Several say it is easy to use and, overall, a high-quality product that’s worth the investment.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
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.
Reviewers say this product 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.
06 of 07
Best Combo: Dyson Slim Ball Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Want to be able to do it all with your vacuum? Then you need a product like the Dyson Slim Ball Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum Cleaner, which is safe for use on bare floors, carpets, tile, upholstery, car interiors, and even concrete!
This vacuum has several unique features that make it a great option for cleaning both carpets and smooth flooring. First, it has an advanced self-adjusting cleaner head that automatically adapts to different floor types, providing powerful, efficient suction on multiple surfaces. Further, it includes HEPA filtration, and the ball design makes it easy to steer around furniture and other obstacles.
Reviewers rave about this product from Dyson, saying it's extremely powerful and incredibly effective on carpet, pulling up dirt and fur that you didn't even know was there. Other noteworthy comments about the Dyson Slim Ball Vacuum Cleaner include that it's easy to assemble, a breeze to maneuver, and quite sturdy. Overall, this product is definitely worth the investment if you want to have just one vacuum to clean every surface in your home.
07 of 07
Best Robotic: iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum
Robot vacuums are incredibly convenient because they clean your home without you having to lift a finger. However, some robotic vacuums don't perform well on carpet, making them a somewhat useless investment if you have rugs in your home.
If you're looking for a robotic vacuum that works on all surfaces, your best bet is the iRobot Roomba 980, a Wi-Fi connected vacuum that's specially-designed to perform just as well on carpet as it does on smooth floors. This high-end product from iRobot uses an AeroForce cleaning system to loosen and lift dirt from your floors, and it automatically increases its power when it detects a carpet. The Roomba 980 includes a tangle-free, multi-surface brush and can run for up to two hours. What's really cool is that if it runs out of battery power before completing its job, it will automatically recharge itself then resume cleaning.
Because this vacuum is Wi-Fi enabled, you can create a schedule for it on your smartphone and track its progress route your home. Reviewers write that it cleans impressively well, even if you have pets. Most agree that it’s a worthwhile investment and several note that they would buy this product again “in a heartbeat.”
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought a top-rated vacuum and our reviewers tested it for 10 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this vacuum, from its size and weight to its effectiveness. We’ve outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
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.
Test Results: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum (Best Overall)
Easy to assemble
Array of quality accessories
Has a shorter cord than most vacuums
Can't go under low furniture
Prone to tipping over
“The Shark Navigator NV352 is a powerful vacuum and it's affordably priced," our tester reported. Other pluses, according to our reviewer, include the selection of accessories and modes, "allowing you to clean various surfaces and hard-to-reach areas throughout your home," and the fact that it's lightweight (12.5 pounds). The negatives? "The cord is shorter than most vacuums (25 feet instead of the standard 30 feet)," our tester explained. She added, "It's not able to go under low furniture, and users say it's prone to tipping over." However, our reviewer recommended this vacuum for its overall value, saying it "should satisfy your basic cleaning needs."