The Best Carpet Vacuums

Vacuuming carpet comes with special challenges. You have to consider the height of your carpet and whether the vacuum is up for the task of getting ground-in dirt out. Finding the perfect vacuum for your carpet can seem like a big task, but it doesn’t have to be.

Each carpet vacuum comes with unique benefits that will make your life easier. Are you looking for a cheap option for your carpet? Do you need something that can handle a lot of pet hair? Or, would you like an automated carpet vacuum?

We created this guide to help you find out more about each of the best carpet vacuums. Read about each vacuum and its benefits along with its best features.

Our Top Picks:

Best Overall: Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed Upright Vacuum
Best Budget:  Black+Decker BDASL202 AIRSWIVEL Ultra Light Weight Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Best Cordless: Dyson Cyclone v10 Motorhead
Best for High Pile: Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Best for Pet Hair: Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
Best Robotic: Roomba i7

The Best Vacuums for Carpet: Our Top Picks

Best Overall
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Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed Upright Vacuum

Great for carpets with a bristle brush that gets into the carpet for a deep clean.

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$329.99 USD

Why we Picked It

The Shark DuoClean features two separate brushes that are perfect for getting deep into carpets while also being soft enough to not cause damage to other flooring surfaces. The LiftAway technology makes it easy for the vacuum to suction and trap dirt out of even thick carpets.

With a HEPA filter and anti-allergen technology, the Shark is able to trap allergens and keep them sealed inside the vacuum. The vacuum isn’t inhibited by large debris and can handle big messes. It also has an LED light to see under furniture and in tight spaces.

The extendable hose, appliance wand and upholstery brushes are all included with the Shark. These attachments can be stored onboard the vacuum. At just 14.2 pounds and with a cord length of 30 feet, the vacuum can be used all throughout the house.

Keep in Mind

The double rollers work at the same time and can tangle hair, so this might not be an ideal option for pet owners.

In a Nutshell

  • 14.2 pounds
  • Deep clean bristles
  • Anti-allergen seal
Best Budget
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Black+Decker BDASL202 AIRSWIVEL Ultra Light Weight Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Lightweight design and swivel steering for easy carpet maneuvering.

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$69.99 USD

Why we Picked It

At 8.8 pounds, the Black+Decker is a lightweight solution for carpets. Its swivel head makes it easy to maneuver over carpets and slide under hard to reach places. The handle is ergonomic and has controls that are easy to use.

With a large dirt cup size of 2 liters, the vacuum does not have to be emptied as often as other models. It does not use bags, and the dust cup can be emptied and cleaned out for a hygienic vacuuming experience. The foam filters are also budget-friendly since they’re washable and reusable.

A 20-foot cord and 6.5-foot hose means this vacuum can go anywhere. The crevice tool can be used in tight spots and for hard to reach areas. It also has a small brush that’s already attached to the crevice tool for easy cleaning.

Keep in Mind

While the lightweight design is great for maneuvering the vacuum, it could make it more difficult to use it on high pile carpets.

In a Nutshell

  • 170-degree swivel steering
  • 8.8 pounds
  • Easy to clean dirt cup
Best Cordless
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Dyson Cyclone v10 Motorhead

Dyson’s cyclone technology works with a cordless motor to deep clean carpets.

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$499.99 USD

Why we Picked It

The Dyson Cyclone can get all your carpets clean with a run time of up to 60 minutes on a full charge. Its instant release trigger helps avoid unnecessary battery drain and it can charge in just 3.5 hours. The Dyson can dock on a wall, making it easy to store and a great option for tight spaces.

The direct drive cleaner head features up to 20 minutes of high power that won’t fade. It’s powered by a V10 digital motor to pick up even small particles of dust and dirt that are ground into carpet. Combined with nylon bristles, the vacuum can deep clean most carpets.

Included with the Dyson are convenient cleaning tools to get into even the hardest to reach areas. It also transforms into a handheld vacuum to clean upholstery, stairs and curtains. At just over 5 pounds, the vacuum is ideal for anyone who wants to clean without dragging a heavy vacuum around.

Keep in Mind

Dyson’s high price can be cost prohibitive to some buyers, though the V10 is a good option for a whole-house cordless vacuum.

In a Nutshell

  • One click handheld transformation
  • 5.05 pounds
  • 60 minutes of fade-free run time
Best for High Pile
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Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Adjustable vents and expertly designed roll for cleaning soft carpets.

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$349.99 USD

Why we Picked It

An adjustable vent system makes the Soniclean easy to move around soft carpets. Its brush is designed with soft nylon bristles to be gentle on soft carpets while still getting deep into the areas that have a lot of dirt. It is tough on dirt and debris while still remaining gentle for delicate carpeting.

The Soniclean is designed to easily float over soft carpets with front wheels that are larger than the back. It’s easy to push and pull the vacuum without getting caught on the carpeting.

Sonic vibrations help loosen dirt deep down in the carpet while a paramagnetic motor provides excellent suction. The hospital-grade HEPA filter may reduce allergens while also providing a better cleaning experience. As a bonus for pet owners, optional SonicFresh pods release a pleasant smell as the vacuum cleans.

Keep in Mind

The Soniclean works for thick carpeted floors, but it does not have attachments or a hose to use on stairs or other areas.

In a Nutshell

  • 10.5 pounds
  • 35-foot extra long cord
  • Works on soft carpets where other vacuums don’t
Best for Pet Hair
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Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

The triple brush roll reduces scattering and picks up embedded pet hair.

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$159.99 USD

Why we Picked It

The Bissell’s triple action brush roll gets deep into carpets to lift pet hair without scattering messes like pet food all around the floor. It will work on low pile carpets and area rugs to get embedded pet hair out. The Bissell Cleanview also features attachments to clean stairs and upholstery.

With swivel steering, the Bissel Cleanview can easily maneuver around furniture and corners. The 13.5-inch deck can clean from edge to edge, making it possible for you to clean a big path at one time. Its 27-foot power cord comes with an easy to use automatic rewind feature.

The multicyclone suction power is able to reach deep down into the carpets. It’s also engineered to prevent a loss of suction for the life of the vacuum.

While it doesn’t have anything to do with the functionality of the vacuum, it is worth mentioning that Bissell will donate up to $10 to its pet foundation with each activated Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet purchase.

Keep in Mind

The Bissel Cleanview’s strong motor and suction power come at with a heavier-than-average weight of nearly 20 pounds.

In a Nutshell

  • 19.35 pounds
  • Tools targeted for pet hair
  • Triple action brush roll

Best Robotic
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Roomba i7

Hands-free and convenient deep floor cleaning.

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$799.00 USD

Why we Picked It

The Roomba navigates and handily cleans all surfaces in your home. The robotic vacuum can navigate around furniture, obstacles and stop when it gets to stairs. It is designed to provide suction power equivalent to upright and canister vacuums while also operating more conveniently.

Roomba features multi-surface rubber brushes that are flexible and will not tangle as easily as traditional vacuum brushes. They also trap 99% of animal allergens and the high-efficiency filter traps them inside of the vacuum.

This Roomba features automatic recharging and the ability to clean entire rooms and, in some cases, levels, without running out of battery. The Roomba i7 works with an app designed for smartphones. It also works with Google Assistant and Alexa so you can give it commands.

Keep in Mind

The dust bin of the Roomba is smaller than traditional vacuums and requires manual emptying.

In a Nutshell

  • Seamlessly cleans a whole level
  • Charging station included
  • Compatible with smart homes

How We Chose the Best Vacuums for Carpet

Are you curious about how we chose each of these top picks? Here’s what we looked at when it comes to the best vacuums for carpet:

Cleaning Power

The best carpet vacuums have strong enough suction power to pull dirt and debris out of carpet fibers. We looked at how deep they can get into the carpet and whether they’re able to handle long or only short carpet styles. We also analyzed whether a vacuum is able to handle pet hair or other debris that can be difficult to get rid of.

Weight and Ergonomics

The weight of a carpet vacuum is important because heavier vacuums can be difficult to move around on carpeting. They can feel heavy and bogged down when cleaning an entire room. We also considered how long users will be holding onto the vacuum and if the weight is cumbersome after cleaning an entire home.

Another factor we considered was a vacuum’s ergonomic design. It needs to be comfortable to hold for long periods of time, with a handle that fits naturally and comfortably in the hand. We also considered where the buttons and controls were on the vacuum.

Useful Features

A good carpet vacuum should also work well in other areas of the home. In looking at the vacuums on our list, we determined if they could lift away to be used on stairs or window treatments. We also looked for attachments that would make cleaning furniture easier.

A vacuum’s versatility is also an important useful feature. We looked at vacuums that had cordless capabilities as well as ones that could easily switch between different carpet types.

Bin Size

Since vacuuming carpet can pull up a lot of debris, dust and hair, the bin can quickly get full. We looked at whether at the bin size to determine if it would need to be emptied part of the way through vacuuming. Combined with the size of the bin, we also looked at how easy it was to empty and if it was a hygienic process.

Reputation and Customer Satisfaction

Most of the vacuums we look at have been on the market for a long enough period of time to generate buzz about their benefits. We look at how satisfied customers are with their vacuum and the overall reputation of the vacuum. A brand’s reputation for quality vacuums is another important factor we consider when we’re reviewing vacuums.

What to Look for in a Vacuum for Carpet

When you’re looking for a new carpet vacuum for your home, you should consider each of these aspects:

Filtration

Vacuuming carpet can bring up a lot of allergens. This is made even worse for people who have never deep cleaned their carpets and those who have pets. It’s important to look for a vacuum that includes HEPA filtration because they are the best for allergens. A good filter should be able to catch most of the dust and allergen-related particles.

You’ll also want to consider whether the vacuum uses a dust cup or bag system. Bags work great for trapping dust and debris, but the ongoing cost for bags can be difficult for some buyers to maintain. Dust cups do not seal in debris, but they are easy to empty and can usually be washed.

Weight

A vacuum that may seem lightweight can quickly feel heavy when plowing through thick carpet. Make sure you choose a model that is lightweight enough to not get bogged down in thick carpeting. It’s also important to consider how long you’ll be vacuuming for. Even vacuums that seem like they are lightweight might be difficult to maneuver after vacuuming your whole house.

Height Adjustment

If you have multiple types of carpet in your home, make sure the vacuum includes height adjustment. Vacuums with multiple height settings can handle everything from low pile carpets to high pile rugs. Having a vacuum with different settings means you won’t have to switch vacuums when you go from room to room.

Some vacuums also have the ability to work on both carpets and hard surfaces. These typically have a much lower height adjustment option that’s perfect for homes that have multiple flooring surface styles.

Accessories

Some vacuums have additional accessories and tools that can make it easier for you to clean different areas of your home. Vacuums, like our top pick, sometimes have accessories that allow you to do different jobs without having to switch tools. You may also want to consider where the accessories are stored on the vacuum because choosing a model without onboard accessory holders means you’ll have to find a place to store them.

What Makes a Carpet Vacuum Unique?

While most vacuums are able to perform on both hard floors and carpet, some are unique because they are made specifically for carpet. Vacuums that are made for carpet have stronger suction power, the ability to adjust the brush height, specially designed brush heads, and a stronger filtration system.

Since it can be more difficult to vacuum up pieces of debris deep in the carpet, a vacuum designed specifically for carpets needs to have stronger suctioning power. This allows the vacuum to pull dirt and debris that are ground into the carpet and, in some cases, the carpet padding.

Brush height that can change allows the vacuum to be used on a variety of surfaces. This means being able to switch between hard floors and carpet or low pile and high pile carpet. Height adjustment can help the vacuum get deeper into carpet and prevent it from tangling in plush carpeting.

Many vacuums that are designed specifically for carpet also feature attachments that make the vacuum easier to use on stairs or on upholstery.

Related Resources

While these vacuums are great for all carpet types, you may be wanting additional features and benefits from your vacuum. Check out these helpful vacuum buying guides to find the perfect vacuum for your home!

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