December 27, 2020

Best Vacuum for Carpet: Review & Ultimate Buyer’s Guide for 2021

Vacuuming is probably the fastest and easiest way to make a home look and smell fresh. It’s also one of the most the most commonly used appliances in your home, especially if you have pets and children. A vacuum is an appliance that you’ll use regularly, to keep your home looking great by removing dirt, debris, and more. But finding the best vacuum cleaner for carpet isn’t as easy as running to your local home appliance store and purchasing the first model you find on sale. Since you’ll use the vacuum several times a week you need one that’s tough enough to withstand heavy-duty use and one that won’t stop working in a matter of weeks. Buying a vacuum should be considered an investment, since these appliances will be invaluable in homes with pets, kids, and a lot of traffic in general. Since there are so many models to choose from, researching the best-selling models can help you narrow down your choices and find a vacuum that will work for your budget, carpet type, and room size.

I’ve created a buyer’s guide that includes all of the features you need to look for, the benefits of using one of these appliances, and how you can determine if a particular model will be a good fit for your home. Below, I’ve created a comparison chart that includes the six best-selling models on the market, in addition to information concerning their best features and how they rated.

Best Vacuum for Carpets – Comparison Chart

Top Pick

Shark Navigator Vacuum
• No Attachments Included
• Best For Allergens
• 30 ft. Cord Length
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Hoover Vacuum Cleaner• Attachments Included
• Best For Pet Hair
• 27 ft. Cord Length
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Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner• No Attachments Included
• Best For Allergens
• 35 ft. Cord Length
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BISSELL Vacuum Cleaner• Attachments Included
• Best For General Cleaning
• 25 ft. Cord Length
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Eureka Vacuum Cleaner• Attachments Included
• Best For General Cleaning
• 18 ft. Cord Length
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Dirt Devil Vacuum Cleaner• Attachments Included
• Best For General Cleaning
• 18 ft. Cord Length
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Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Cleaner

Top Pick

Our Rating: (5/5)

Shark is one of the biggest names in the industry, and its latest model, the Navigator, has a reputation as one of the most efficient models on the market. This vacuum can trap up to 99.9% of allergens and dust thanks to its powerful HEPA filter, and it features a lightweight design at just thirteen pounds. It’s perfect for low pile and thick carpet and can also provide a gentle bare floor cleaning. The canister features a two-quart capacity and is easy to remove and empty. In the upright mode, the vacuum does an excellent job of handling shag and plush carpet. If you have stairs in the home, then you’ll appreciate the lift-away design that allows you to detach the pod and bring the only the pod up the stairs, instead of having to lug the entire vacuum, stair by stair. The powerful suction can remove deep-down dirt, allergens trapped in carpet fibers, and embedded pet hair. The dust cup features an extra-large capacity, so you can vacuum the whole house without stopping to empty the canister. As I mentioned earlier, this model comes equipped with a built-in HEPA filter, making it perfect for allergy sufferers. Additionally, the filter design is completely sealed, which will prevent allergens from escaping the canister during use.


  • Built-in HEPA filter
  • Powerful suction
  • Removable pod
  • Lightweight design


  • Price


This vacuum is lightweight, easy to maneuver, and is perfect for carpets of all types. If you have pets, then you’ll appreciate the powerful suction that works to remove pet hair that’s trapped in the carpet. The detachable pod will be a huge plus in homes with stairs since users will no longer have to struggle to bring their vacuum up a flight of stairs, one stair at a time. Lightweight, easy to maneuver, and built tough, this is one vacuum that you can rely on daily to handle textured carpets, low pile, and shag, effortlessly.

Hoover Pet Max Complete Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The Hoover Pet Max specializes in removing embedded pet hair and can easily help you manage your pet hair and pet dander problem. It also offers an excellent multi-floor performance. Equipped with a quick wand, the detachable wand is able to reach up to twelve feet overhead, so it’s perfect for stairs, drapes, the ceiling, and more. This model comes with the patented Pet Tool Kit, which features attachments that are specifically designed to remove pet hair from furniture and carpet. The built-in filter is reusable and able to capture up to ninety-seven percent of allergens including dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. This package includes a crevice tool, a flexible dusting brush, and the pet turbo tool.


  • Includes attachments designed to get rid of pet hair
  • Captures up to ninety-seven percent of allergens
  • Rinseable and reusable filter
  • Detachable wand


  • Heavy


This model weighs in at seventeen pounds, which can make it difficult for some people to use, especially if there are stairs involved. However, the detachable wand and the many attachments that are specifically designed to handle pet hair and allergens is definitely a fair tradeoff for most buyers. This model is loaded with some great attachments that can remove dust, pet hair, dirt, and debris, from carpet, upholstery, curtains, and more.

Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The manufacturer claims that this model features the strongest suction out of any vacuum currently on the market, which makes it a perfect choice for thicker carpets. This model can also handle, tile, hardwood floors, and vinyl flooring. The built-in HEPA filter will capture harmful allergens, including dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. The self-adjusting cleaner heads are designed to seal in the suction across hard floors and carpets, automatically, so you won’t have to stop and adjust the vacuum when you go from one type of surface to another. The included turbine tool is designed for stair use and features a tangle-free design, for easier use. For low pile and thicker carpets, the cleaner head drives deep down into the carpet fibers in order to capture ground-in dirt, animal hair, and dust. The vacuum’s radial formation will channel airflow via the center of the vacuum in order to maximize suction and capture microscopic allergens. The innovative ball design allows you to effortlessly maneuver this model all over the home, with a simple turn of the wrist. The vacuum’s low center of gravity and compressed airways also help to improve maneuverability, while increasing stability. The counter-rotating brush heads will remove pet hair from upholstery and carpets. This model comes with attachments including a reach tool and a stair tool. The reach tool is very flexible and will allow you to clean those hard to reach places, while the stair tool is specifically designed to clean off each stair with one pass.


  • Reach wand
  • Highly maneuverable
  • Built-in HEPA filter
  • Tangle-free turbine tool


  • Price


You really can’t beat a Dyson when it comes to cleaning power and efficiency. This model earned top marks in a number of areas, for its powerful suction, unique ball design, and the included attachments that allow you to easily clean your home from top to bottom. For some, the price may seem a little steep, however, considering these Dyson vacuums are designed to last a lifetime, it’s definitely worth the high initial cost.

BISSELL Clean View Best Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Bissell is a company that’s known for producing low-cost, powerful vacuums that are built tough and designed to last. Their latest model, the Clean View, features an innovative brush design that uses one pass technology to remove deep-down dirt and embedded pet hair, in a single pass. The vacuum’s scatter-free technology is designed to minimize scatter on hard floors. If you’re looking for a model that comes loaded with a variety of attachments, then you’ll love this vacuum’s set of powerful crevice tools, dusting brushes, and the specialized Turbo Brush tool. Also included is an extension wand, which will allow you to clean the ceiling, stairs, and other hard to reach places, easily. This model’s multi-cyclonic system is powerful and designed to capture dirt in the canister and prevent it from escaping. Unfortunately, the appliance’s canister is pretty small at just one liter, which can require you to empty it more often during use.


  • One pass technology
  • Powerful suction
  • Includes several attachments
  • Low price


  • Small canister
  • Does not come with a built-in filter


Offered at a low-price and equipped with a variety of attachments that are designed to make your job easier, this is a feature-heavy vacuum by Bissell that’s powerful, lightweight and user-friendly. The long detachable wand, allows you to easily vacuum stairs, drapes, the ceiling, and other hard to reach places, quickly and efficiently. Overall, this model is a great buy if you’re on a tight budget and searching for a reliable vacuum that’s easy to use and loaded with some nice extras.

Eureka NEU100 Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The biggest selling point for this latest model by Eureka is the lightweight design that allows you to effortlessly carry this vacuum up a flight of stairs. This model weighs in at just a little over seven and a half pounds. You can also use the cleaning attachments, including the dusting brush with the telescoping handle, to clean the ceiling, the drapes and other hard to reach places. In terms of power, this vacuum can handle extracting deep down dander, hair, and dirt. It also features an extra-wide cleaning path that allows you to clean more floor space, with fewer passes. The included filter is washable and reusable.


  • Cleaning attachments
  • Telescoping cleaning brush
  • Reusable filter
  • Lightweight design


  • Clogs easily


This lightweight, user-friendly model comes loaded with some great features, including a wide range of cleaning attachments that are designed to make your life a lot easier and your home much cleaner. The powerful suction and wider cleaning path will help you get the job done faster, while the innovative brush head system can take on any type of carpet or hard floor surface.

Dirt Devil Endura Reach Upright Best Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Our Rating: (4/5)

Dirt Devil is one of those manufacturers with a reputation for producing low-cost vacuums that offer a powerful performance. Their newest model is the Endura Reach, which comes with a two-in-one dusting brush and crevice tool, for a more efficient cleaning experience. The extension wand offers a ten-foot reach, allowing you to clean those tough to reach places, such as the ceiling. Additionally, the lightweight design will also make it easier to haul this vacuum up and down the stairs or transport it. The included three-stage filter is reusable and consists of a foam sleeve and pleated filter design that captures pet hair, dander, debris, dust, and dirt.


  • Lightweight
  • Reusable filter
  • Ten-foot wand
  • Affordable


  • Short cord length of eighteen feet


This is a multi-floor model, which means it can handle any type of carpet, including shag, low pile, and textured carpet, in addition to hardwood floors, tile, and vinyl. This model is a great buy for the family on a tight budget, and anyone in need of a powerful, lightweight vacuum that can easily handle a variety of floor types.

Best Vacuums for Carpet Buyer’s Guide

There are many features that you’ll need to consider before you hit that buy now button, including power, cord length, canister or bag style design, and what type of carpet you have in the home. I’ll also go over the many benefits that come with vacuuming your carpet daily, how it can cut down on allergens, and how regular use can prolong the life of your carpet.

“If you really want to take out dust mites, it’s a good idea to get a vacuum with a high efficiency particulate air filter, since it can do an excellent job of capturing tiny particles, including dust mites.” -American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Benefits of using The Top Rated Vacuums for Carpet

deep cleaning

  • While tile seems to have quickly become a more popular flooring option, most homes have at least one room in the home that’s carpeted. Carpet needs to be cleaned regularly, just like any type of flooring. A regular cleaning will help to maintain the look and texture of the carpet.
  • Unfortunately, carpet tends to become dirty pretty quickly. It can gather soil, pollen, dirt, dust, pet dander, and microscopic organisms. Over time, as these substances accumulate, they can become hazardous to your health and can also reduce the lifespan of your carpet. Vacuuming on a regular basis is the most effective way to keep a carpet looking and smelling good.
  • Carpet can be pretty expensive, which is why you should take extra steps to ensure it lasts longer.
  • When particles accumulate within the fibers of your carpet it will begin to decay at a surprisingly fast rate. Keep in mind that dirt, dust, and other particles are constantly coming into contact with your carpet every day, which is why vacuuming regularly is so important.
  • Did you know that there are dozens of tiny microbes that are constantly floating around in the air? These microbes can be a huge problem for people with asthma. Mold, dust mites, and bacteria can have an effect on the asthma sufferer’s respiratory system, which can make it difficult for them to breathe, can cause wheezing, and can lead to a chronic cough. When people who have hay fever come into contact with dust mites, they may begin to experience cold-like symptoms such as chest congestion, coughing, watery eyes, itchy eyes, and a runny nose.
  • Vacuuming regularly can also save you money since this type of regular maintenance will prevent the carpet fibers from deteriorating over time.

Other Must-Have Features in a Vacuum for Cleaning Carpet

Below, I’ll go over the other important features to look for that can have an impact on your decision concerning whether or not a particular model is right for you and if it can work for the different types of flooring in your home, including carpet, tile, and hardwood.

Weight of a Vacuum cleaner

While the weight of the vacuum may not seem like an important factor to consider, if you have stairs in the home, then a heavier vacuum can be difficult to use and haul up the stairs. If you have a staircase in the home, then pay attention to a model’s weight and look for an appliance that’s lightweight and highly portable.

Many vacuums come equipped with a dust brush attachment. This attachment alone can remove trapped dust on light fixtures, furniture, blinds, books, and even your plants. This can significantly reduce the number of allergens in the home.

Carpet and Flooring Type

If you have several different types of carpeting and flooring in your home, then you need a model that’s versatile and comes with several setting options that will allow you to adjust the suction and brushes in order to accommodate thicker carpets and even hardwood floors. You may have wall to wall carpet, low pile, area rugs, or shag carpet in the home. Each type of carpet will have its own specific needs. Deeper suction is needed for wall to wall carpet since a deeper suction can help to pull up dirt, dust, and debris that’s trapped deep down in the carpet fibers. If you use a deep suction for a low pile carpet, then you will end up sucking debris directly into the brush head, which can do some serious damage to the vacuum. Shag carpet can also cause issues with the brush heads. Carpets that have a unique texture will need the brush heads adjusted to allow the brushes to easily move over the surface. Because of this, a versatile model that comes equipped with setting options that you can choose based on the thickness or texture of the carpet is a must.

Room Size

The size of a room will come into play since a larger room will require a more powerful motor. If you have a vacuum that can handle heavy-duty use, that means it can take on larger spaces without overheating.

Corded or Cordless

Corded models offer more power compared to the cordless variety, but because they have a cord, you’ll find that they can be a hassle to use at times, especially if there aren’t many free outlets available, you need to vacuum the stairs, or the cord length itself isn’t very long.

A cordless model offers the convenience of use, but these models aren’t as powerful as their corded counterparts, so you won’t get the same type of suction power. Additionally, if you forget to put the vacuum on a charger then the vacuum may run out of juice when you’re in the middle of vacuuming.

Whether you go with a cordless or corded model is entirely up to you. Both options have their pros and cons, but if you’re looking for the more powerful option, then a corded model is the way to go. Just make sure you take a look at the cord length to ensure the model you choose comes with a cord that’s long enough that it will prevent you from having to constantly change outlets.


If you have pets in the home or small children, then a model that comes loaded with a variety of attachments will be a must. These attachments are designed to help you access hard to reach spaces and can also be used to clean upholstery, curtains, and more. If you’re battling a pet hair problem, then look for a model that comes with attachments that are specifically designed to capture pet hair.


Some vacuums will come equipped with HEPA-rated filters. These are the vacuums that are packing some serious power and can remove allergens from the carpet such as pollen and pet dander.

If you have a HEPA vacuum, you’ll find that your home not only looks better, but it will smell better as well as the filter works to remove odor-causing bacteria and other types of microorganisms. If you have a vacuum with this type of filter, you can quickly freshen up a room by leaving the vacuum running for a few extra minutes. To do, simply remove the hose and set a timer. Once the time is up, you’ll realize the room smells much fresher. Vacuums with this type of filter system will be invaluable for allergy sufferers, especially during the allergy season, or for those with pets in the home who suffer from an allergy to pet dander.


Canister vacuums are often more convenient to use compared to models that use bags. Once you notice the canister is over the halfway point, simply remove it and empty it out in the garbage. With a bagged model, you won’t be able to keep a close eye on how full or empty the bag is, changing the bag is often a messy process, and you’ll have to take into consideration the ongoing costs of purchasing special bags for your vacuum. Additionally, you may find that you’ve run out of bags, so you won’t be able to vacuum that day until you find the time to run out and buy more. We’ve all dealt with removing a vacuuming bag, only to have the bag rip and spread dirt, dust, and worse, all over our carpet. The canister design makes the entire process much easier.

If you have someone in the home with allergies, you’re dealing with a flea problem, or another type of pest problem, then using a model that has a canister is also a better option since you won’t leave these allergens or pests sitting in a vacuum bag, allowing them to eventually escape.

But are there any benefits to owning a model that uses a bag over the more popular canister models?

Bag Models

Most bagged models will require you to change the bag once it’s three-quarters of the way full. If you wait too long to change the bag, you can risk clogging the hose, which will prevent the vacuum from working efficiently. When this occurs, the vacuum will not operate using the same type of suction that it would normally, if the bag was empty. Because of this, it’s always important to keep an eye on how full the bag is. If the bag becomes too full, then you’ll be unable to clean the carpet efficiently. In most cases, you’ll find that bagged models tend to be cheaper than modern canister models, so you may want to take this into consideration when you’re shopping around. However, with a canister model, you won’t have to deal with the ongoing cost of ordering new bags.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the right vacuum can be a total game changer

Vacuuming Tips

Female janitor

  • When you vacuum, you need to run the vacuum over the same spot several times in order to suction out all of the dirt and debris. This will be especially important if you’re dealing with a pet hair problem, or someone in the home has a pollen or pet dander allergy.
  • If you’re busy and don’t always have time to vacuum, create a schedule and stick to it. You can pick a certain day every week, every other day, or if you have pets, small children, or someone in the home who suffers from allergies, then choose a specific time each day. Creating and sticking to a vacuuming schedule can ensure you stay on top of carpet maintenance for a cleaner looking carpet.
  • In most homes, vacuuming two to three times a week will be sufficient. However, you may need to pay a little more attention to high traffic areas. If you have pets in the home, then you may need to vacuum more than two times a week.
  • If you have small children in the home, then a vacuum with attachments will come in handy, since these models will allow you to access hard to reach areas, easily and quickly.
  • Make sure you empty the canister or change the bag often, on a regular basis. When the canister or bag is full, it takes away from the vacuum’s suction power and efficiency. An empty canister or bag equals are more powerful vacuum.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Vacuuming Too Much Ruin Carpet?

Yes, vacuuming too much can potentially ruin carpet because the vacuum’s beater bar can rub against the carpet fibers. However, the grime and dirt that’s left sitting in the carpet fibers can cause deterioration over time, grinding the fibers down in a similar manner to how sandpaper grinds down wood. Because of this, you’ll have to find that delicate balance between vacuuming enough to keep your carpet clean, but not so much that it damages the carpet fibers.

Can You Vacuum New Carpet?

Vacuuming new carpet right after it has been laid down will not harm it. It should also be vacuumed at regular intervals to remove built-up dirt and grime. New carpet may contain stray fibers that will be removed when you vacuum, which can prevent them from being tracked throughout the house.

Should You Dust Before or After Vacuuming?

You should always dust before you vacuum. Why? Because as you dust shelves, furniture, and appliances, the dust, dirt, and debris will float in the air, before it floats to the floor. Obviously, by vacuuming after dusting you can remove more dust as it settles on the floor. Vacuuming should always be the last step.

How Can I Make My Carpet Soft and Fluffy Again?

You can breathe new life into your old matted carpet by mixing a gallon of warm water with half a cup of fabric softener. Spray the carpet liberally with this mixture as you scrub. Allow the solution to sit in the carpet for five minutes before you scrub it out with a carpet brush or abrasive sponge. Doing this once a month can give your carpet back the same type of texture and softness as when it was new.

How Do I Keep My Carpet Looking New?

There are many simple tips and tricks you can try to keep your carpet looking new and smelling fresh. For starters, vacuum your carpet regularly. This will prevent food, debris, dirt, and dust from deteriorating the carpet fibers over time. You can also sprinkle the carpet before you vacuum to help get rid of odors. Carpets should be deep cleaned twice a year, in order to reach the particles that have made their way deep down into the carpet fibers. Additionally, when there’s a spill or accident, it’s very important to deal with it immediately, before the stain has time to set into the carpet fibers.

Final Thoughts Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet

The best vacuum will offer a strong suction power, will come equipped with several attachments to choose from, and is designed to handle heavy-duty use, and a variety of different carpet types and textures, easily and efficiently, and without overheating. The models that I’ve included here are designed to get the job done and offer the type of suction power you’re looking for, whether you have textured carpet, shag, or low pile. This buyer’s guide and the product recommendations that I’ve included here are designed to guide you on the path to finding a vacuum that will meet your needs based on the size of the carpeted rooms in your home, how often you plan on vacuuming, the carpet type, and your budget.

About the author 

Candance E. Reid