Take Proper Care of Your Floors With These Upright Vacuums
Let’s face it. Cleaning is a taxing and intense task if you don’t have the right tools.
Luckily, in this day and age, cleaning is much easier than it was 50 years ago. No longer do you have to use 50-pound vacuums with ten attachments and complicated assembly.
These days, household cleaning tools are simple and lightweight.
So, if you’re looking for simplicity rather than fancy features and attachments, upright vacuums are the right choice. They’re some of the most user-friendly and lightweight vacuums in the market.
Most upright design vacuums are perfect for quick plug-and-play cleaning sessions. They’re also more efficient and compact than canister vacuums.
Moreover, upright vacuums are better suited for large homes. Therefore, if you’ve got a house bigger than 2000 square feet, upright vacuums may be the right fit.
In this guide, you’ll find my detailed reviews of the best new upright vacuums in 2021.
Moreover, you’ll also find a useful info section where I’ll go over everything you should know about upright vacuums. With both these things, you’ll undoubtedly make a well-informed purchase.
Which upright vac wins first place in my review? Thanks to its radial root cyclone technology, multi-floor ball, and self-adjusting cleaner, the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 is the best overall upright vacuum.
Through all these features, you can maximize suction strength and clean even the most stubborn dirt off your floors. Using the top-rated Ball Multi Floor 2, you can easily maneuver the vacuum around furniture and narrow crevices.
With the self-adjusting cleaner and cyclone technology, you can capture more allergens and microscopic dust than canister vacs. The self-adjusting cleaner detects allergens, automatically increasing and decreasing suction accordingly.
The suction quality is also pretty impressive. Especially on carpeted flooring, the Dyson Ball is highly effective in getting out stains and trapped dirt.
Moreover, the cyclone technology ensures all microscopic dust and allergens are sucked into the tube. In this way, this vacuum is ideal for allergy sufferers and asthma patients.
Another safety feature for asthma patients is the hygienic cleanup. While this is a bagless vacuum, you aren’t exposed to the allergens or dirt in the chamber. You just have to push the side trigger, and the dirt is released into the bin.
The transition between different types of floors is pretty smooth. This high performing vacuum is perfect for homes with hardwood, tile, and carpets. You just have to turn the brush on and off when moving from one-floor type to another. This task is easily doable with the trigger on the handle.
However, be mindful; this Dyson upright vacuum doesn’t work as well on high-pile carpets. The pile tends to get stuck on the cleaning head. It’s better suited for low to medium-pile carpets.
I highly recommend the Dyson Ball Multi Floor for those looking for a well-rounded vacuum with strong suction and user-friendly features.
Looking for something with an affordable price tag? The Dirt Devil UD70174B Endura Max Upright Vacuum is an excellent low price model, thanks to its Spin4Pro multi-floor brush roll, three-floor height adjustments, 2-in-1 crevice tool.
It’s an 11-pound upright vacuum, making it incredibly lightweight. With the Spin4Pro multi-floor brush roll, you can tackle all sorts of surfaces, including carpets, bathroom rugs, stones, tiles, and hardwood.
Using the brush, you can comfortably pick up things like dog fur, microscopic dust particles, pollen, and other allergens.
However, while the inexpensive Dirt Devil’s cleaning capabilities are undoubtedly excellent, what stands out is vac versatility and ease-of-use. As mentioned, the vac has three height adjustments for cleaning the floor, ceiling, and stairs.
The ceiling adjustment is particularly useful because it lets you tackle hard-to-reach spots, including behind fans, blinds, and curtains.
Also, the 2-in-1 crevice tool with the bonus turbo tool enhances the vac’s versatility. Both tools allow you to clean stubborn dirt and stains off stairs and upholstery. You don’t even have to bend down or reach up.
But—there’s one annoying bit. This wallet-friendly vacuum has a hard time staying upright. If you’re not supporting it or leaning it against a wall, it’ll fall over. Therefore, you should keep an eye on it, or else you risk breaking something.
All in all, the Dirt Devil UD70174B is an excellent budget option. It gets the job done but at a lower price tag.
In some ways, hardwood floors are more delicate than carpets. They’re easy to scratch, which is why hard floor vacuums must be gentle.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV356E is a prime example of hard floor vacuums. At 2.2 quarts, it has an XL dust cup capacity, so you can easily clean for long periods without needing to empty the cup.
Also, the vacuum comes with Shark’s patented Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology. With the washable microfiber pads, this Seal technology ensures the airflow remains smooth while all allergens are transferred into the dust cup.
Through this, you get excellent suction power on hardwood floors, and you manage to remove all dust particles and debris from your hardwood or tile floors.
Moreover, the Shark Navigator has seamless floor transitions. It has an automatic brush roll shutoff so that it won’t scratch or damage your hard floors even accidentally.
Lastly, the Shark Navigator has another patented Shark feature: the famous Lift-Away for stairs and upholstery. Cleaning ceilings can be dangerous, especially if you don’t have proper footing.
Using the Lift-Away overhead, you can avoid risking injury to deep clean your fans and upholstery.
But—keep this in mind: the suction is excellent, but the pick-up isn’t as impressive. Since it’s meant for hard floors, the brush rolls aren’t as optimized as similar vacs. Consequently, if dirt is stuck, you’ll have to loosen it manually before vacuuming over it.
Unlike hard floors, carpets need something with speed and rigor. Rugs are tough to clean because they trap dirt. Even if you regularly vacuum your carpets, you won’t get everything out.
Therefore, you need a vacuum like the Eureka PowerSpeed Upright. Due to its dynamic motor, PowerSpeed brush roll, and multipurpose accessories, the Eureka NEU182A is perfect for cleaning all piles’ carpets.
Through the dynamic motor and PowerSpeed brush roll, you can loosen and lift stubborn pieces of dirt and debris. It has a telescopic nozzle to maximize airspeed.
The motor and nozzle create ultra-powerful suction, making this ideal for both high and low-pile carpets. However, you don’t have to worry about back pain. At 13 pounds, this Eureka model is very lightweight and easy-to-maneuver through thicker area rugs.
Moreover, the vacuum comes with multiple accessories, including a dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool. All these make cleaning carpeted surfaces, be it on stairs, furniture, or flooring, more comfortable.
Also, if you want to clean hard floors, you can simply turn the brush-roll off. You don’t even have to worry about scratches. The wheels are rubber to ensure smooth movement, without damaging delicate surfaces.
However, the Eureka vacuum has some design flaws. Firstly, it’s practically deafening. It releases a high-pitched whistling sound. Secondly, the vacuum is not pet-friendly. Pet hair gets stuck pretty frequently in the hose, affecting suction.
Another excellent Shark vacuum, the Shark DuoClean NV771, is ideal for all pet owners. Thanks to its DuoClean technology, reliable HEPA filtration, and anti-allergen seal, this vacuum eliminates all animal hair and dander.
Firstly, DuoClean technology consists of a bristle brush and a soft brush roll. The bristle brush is for deep cleaning carpets and breaking down long pet hair for easier suction. The soft brush roll pulls in larger debris and gives the floor a more polished look.
As pet owners, you must know that animal hair is very light. This makes it very difficult to trap and seal. However, the Shark DuoClean Upright has an impressive HEPA filter, which works with the anti-allergen seal to prevent pet hair from getting away.
If you’ve got someone with allergies in the house, using this vacuum will make life far easier for them. Apart from pet hair, the Shark DuoClean also picks up most pollen, bacteria, dust, and dander.
As for the vac’s ease-of-use, it’s got a similar structure to the Shark Navigator. It has the same Lift-Away technology, meaning it’s suited for stairs and ceilings.
However, the vacuum doesn’t clean underneath and around furniture. While the vacuum does have swivel steering, the handle doesn’t extend very far. Therefore, it’s not a smart choice for those with high-traffic homes.
But—it’s still an excellent upright vac for removing pet hair.
Again, upright vacuums are some of the most lightweight vacs in the market. However, some are lighter than others.
At 12 pounds, the Shark ION P50 Cordless Vacuum is lighter than most models. At the same time, it doesn’t compromise on cleaning performance.
You can use the Shark ION in three versatile modes of cleaning: upright, stick, and handheld. The upright mode is for deep carpet cleaning while the stick mode is for lighter cleaning. The stick mode is also extendable, so you can go under furniture and between crevices.
Overall, the mobility is fantastic. Moving from hard floors to carpets to stairs is pretty seamless. All you have to do is switch the button, and you can change the vac mode from single rollers (for hard floors and tiles) to double rollers (for carpets).
This vacuum has an Anti-Allergen Seal, too, as well as the Lift-Away. However, what makes it unique is the battery life. You get up to six hours of cleaning in a single charge. Also, the vacuum has a battery-life indicator light, so you know when it’s running low.
Therefore, this vacuum is perfect for large homes. You can efficiently complete around two-three floors using the Shark ION.
What’s the catch, though?
The rollers are always on, which is terrible for hardwood floors. It works perfectly on carpets but leaves hairline scratches on wood floors.
Lastly, I have the Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum. Why is it the best cordless upright vacuum?
Due to its smooth recline, WindTunnel technology, and edge-cleaning bristles, the Hoover Linx BH50010 has a simple and user-friendly design. It’s ideal for those interested in quick and effortless cleaning.
Overall, the Hoover Linx is low-profile with a smooth recline. Therefore, you can easily vacuum around furniture and other obstacles in a small apartment. However, because this vacuum is cordless, it’s more convenient for multi-story cleaning.
You don’t have to lug around a giant vac to clean upstairs. Also, converting the vac into its handheld mode takes only a few seconds. This, along with the super-fast suction speed, reduces cleaning time drastically.
Another convenient feature is the intuitive power controls. The buttons are placed right next to your fingertips, so you can intuitively change modes without pausing.
As for the vacuum’s cleaning prowess, the WindTunnel technology, and edge-cleaning bristles ensure smooth and polished floors. The vacuum can readily handle harsh substances like pet hair, wrappers, and lumps of dust.
But—beware; the battery charger, not the battery life, gets faulty. It has a limited lifespan and needs replacement every few months.
Despite this, the Hoover Linx is a very powerful cordless stick vacuum. I urge you to try it out.
Now, if you’ve gone through my reviews, you may be wondering: what features to look for in an upright vacuum.
When you buy anything that costs over $100, doing your research is essential. Making a list of the crucial features is step one in this process.
However, sometimes it’s not that simple. Determining which features to prioritize depends on what your requirements are.
Do you want something lightweight and easy-to-maneuver? If yes, you should look at the vacuum’s weight and steering.
Alternatively, do you want something with strong suction and cleaning power? Well, not all upright vacuums fulfill this requirement, especially if you’ve also prioritized weight.
For more potent suction, the upright vac requires a larger motor, which can be cumbersome. Lightweight vacuums have smaller motors, so while the suction is still excellent, it won’t last long in a lengthy cleaning session.
In any case, you should think about your priorities because you might have to compromise one feature for another.
The basic features of an upright vacuum are as follows. To help you prioritize, I’ve discussed how each essential feature differs from the other, listing the pros and cons.
Let’s dive right in.
Firstly, like every other type of vacuums, upright vacuums can be bagged or bagless. There are pros and cons to both.
Bagged vacuums are usually more expensive in the long-term. You have to replace the bags every few weeks or so. Even if you find cheaper options, the maintenance and replacement costs are still higher than those of bagless vacuums.
Also, bagged vacuums can only be disposed of when they’re full. Unless the model has an indicator light, you have to check the bag to see if it’s full continually.
Moreover, while it’s not always the case, bagged vacuums lose suction quality as the bag is filled. Dirt and debris get stuck in the tube, limiting performance.
Despite this, here are the pros of having a bagged vacuum cleaner:
Now, here’s how bagless vacuums are better than bagged vacuums:
Most upright vacuums are cordless, and weight is an essential factor in cordless vacuums.
Well, cordless vacuums are for one-hand use, so if they’re on the heavier side, you can strain your shoulder severely. Since most people use their dominant side to vacuum, this would mean damaging your dominant arm.
Moreover, if you belong to any of these groups, weight is definitely something you should prioritize:
However, even if you’re not part of these groups, you should still look at how much a model weighs as the weight indicates other things as well.
Generally, upright vacs weigh somewhere between 13 and 18 pounds. If you’re looking at ultra-lightweight models, you can even find upright vacuums under 10 pounds.
This is relatively lightweight when compared with canister vacuums, which typically weigh 20 pounds at a minimum.
However, does weight affect performance?
As mentioned, the answer is yes. Usually, weight and suction have an inverse relationship. Scientists and engineers have tried to fix this issue for years. However, if you want powerful suction, the chances are that you’re going to have to compromise on weight.
This doesn’t mean lightweight models, like those I have reviewed, have horrible suction. On the contrary, suction quality and performance, as you’ll learn in the following section, depends on many things, not just the motor size.
But—if intense suction is all that you’re looking for, you’ll find that more massive models with larger motors are better options. These models deliver suction at increased wattage and amps, making them more powerful.
Now, for the accessories. What attachments should your upright vacuum have? Also, what are their functions?
Let’s find out.
Throughout my reviews, I’ve mentioned brush rolls. However, what do brush rolls do? Why are they important?
In essence, brush rolls loosen dirt, dust, and hair from the floor so that the suction tube can take it away more quickly.
Brush rolls are particularly important when you’re vacuuming carpets as carpet fibers trap dirt and debris.
When you’re looking for a vac, prioritize brush rolls with different modes. For example, swiveling brush rolls are perfect for tough carpet stains.
Secondly, look at the vacuum’s geared belt. Geared belts connect the brush rolls to the motor. You want these belts to be as tight as possible, or else the brush rolls don’t work as well.
Geared belts wear out after years of use; however if they wear out before they’re supposed to, complain to the manufacturer.
The Swiveling Joint at the Cleaning Head
Through this joint, you get two significant advantages. Firstly, the joint makes the vacuum easier to maneuver, so it’s easier for you to clean between furniture and high-traffic areas.
Secondly, since the feature makes steering more comfortable, there is noticeably less strain on your wrists and shoulders.
The Hose Attachments
Lastly, the hose and its attachments are the fundamental parts of a vacuum. Look for a multi-attachment hose because those are more versatile.
You can choose multiple attachments to clean different surfaces, not just floors. These include furniture, upholstery, ceilings, stairs, window sills, and hard-to-reach places between furniture and shelves.
Here are the most common hose attachments:
In the previous section, I described all the basic features of an upright vacuum. Now, I will talk about all the important features an upright vac should have.
These features aren’t necessarily essential. However, they are important in determining the usefulness of the vacuum.
So, what are these features? Let’s find out.
Now, as mentioned, many factors determine cleaning performance. Just because an upright vacuum has a small motor, doesn’t mean it has inadequate cleaning performance.
Firstly, you should look at:
As you can probably tell, smooth airflow (as opposed to suction strength) plays an essential role in determining a vacuum’s cleaning performance. This is because airflow affects efficiency.
Here are other factors that affect airflow and consequently, can affect cleaning performance:
Consequently, while the suction motor is essential, it’s not the only factor that affects airflow and cleaning performance.
To optimize airflow, you should regularly clean and maintain your upright vac (to prevent clogging and dirt build-up). Also, periodically check whether there are any breaks in the vacuum hose, where air might be escaping from.
After cleaning performance, ease-of-use is the most decisive feature of a vacuum cleaner. Today, technology is meant to make our lives more organized and efficient. Vacuum cleaners are no different, so if they’re too troublesome to use, they serve no purpose.
However, how do you assess the user-friendliness of an upright vac?
Well, in essence, when you’re looking at user-friendliness, see how it works at the three main stages:
Can you understand the instruction manual? Is the setup process straightforward? Unless you count the hose attachments, most upright vacuums don’t have more than four separate parts.
Therefore, the assembly process is typically straightforward. You just have to plug in each part until you hear a click. Make sure each component is securely attached before trying to use the vac.
Similarly, disassembly should be just as simple. If you’re moving or traveling someplace else, you want something easily portable.
You can judge the assembly process of an upright vac by looking at the user manual. Most Amazon listings provide a free pdf copy of the manual.
Alternatively, you can also look at the manufacturer’s websites. Some upright vac brands like Hoover have video tutorials on how to set up their products.
Now, what makes a vacuum easy-to-use during the cleaning process? Think about it.
When you’re vacuuming, what features are necessary so you don’t overexert yourself but still manage your cleaning?
If your first thought was flexibility, you’re right. Some upright vacuums can be unbendable, so you can’t clean high-traffic areas and narrow crevices without exerting yourself.
Therefore, you should look for something with maneuverable features such as:
Secondly, you want something that requires minimal effort. Mainly, you want to clean up stains and dirt with as little push-and-pull force as possible.
With heavier vacuums, cleaning can take up to 85 Newtons of work, which is equal to lifting an Olympic men’s shot put.
Lightweight vacuums require less work, especially if there are no stubborn stains and nasty messes. In this way, your cleaning time is also cut short.
Consequently, a user-friendly vacuum is that which takes less effort and time to clean a mess.
Lastly, as I’ve said before, maintenance is highly crucial in upholding a vacuum’s quality. If you don’t maintain your vac regularly, the vac will clog, and its suction quality will diminish.
However, is the vacuum easy to maintain? It doesn’t matter how efficient the vacuum is. There will come a time when it will need cleaning.
Mostly, it’s pretty easy to determine when the vacuum needs cleaning:
When this happens, you need to disassemble the vacuum. If the assembly process was simple, this shouldn’t be difficult.
However, here’s what you don’t want:
In any case, you should always follow instructions correctly. For example, never vacuum spilled powder. When the time comes for maintenance, the filters will be tough to clean. Always pick up as much as you can manually before vacuuming.
If the instructions and design of the vacuum don’t allow efficient maintenance, you’ve got a problem.
Therefore, you should always check the vacuum’s maintenance process before purchasing it.
The noise level is difficult to assess in most vacuum cleaners. Unless the manufacturer specifies the noise level, you’ll have to look at reviews and testimonials.
Usually, the noise level on vacuums ranges from 65 to 90 decibels. For some context, 65 decibels is the sound level of a soft to normal conversation, while 90 decibels sound like a shouting match.
Upright vacuums usually fall between 70 and 80 decibels. Again, use testimonials to determine how loud the motor works.
How can you check whether an upright vac is reliable or not? Firstly, you can check surveys and consumer research studies to assess which brands are the most reliable.
Consumer Reports state that Shark and Dyson have excellent reliability ratings in the categories of both corded and cordless stick vacuums. However, brands like Black & Decker got a poor rating.
Moreover, reliability is determined by things like battery life, construction, and geared belt-quality. For example, high-quality geared-belts can last up to ten years, while low-quality belts last two to three years.
According to Consumer Reports, Hoover and Eureka belts are less reliable than Dyson and Shark belts. Similarly, Dyson has more battery issues than Shark and Tineco.
I hope you found my reviews and guide on the best upright vacuums of 2021 helpful.
Now, I’d like to hear from you:
Either way, let me know in the comments below.