Carpet cleaning can be a difficult task. And finding a vacuum cleaner with enough suction power to clean your carpets without damaging them can be a struggle. Trust us, we know!
Having a good vacuum can make all the difference when it comes to cleaning your carpeted areas. You’ll be surprised how much time you can save if you invest in one.
Whether you need an upright vacuum or a cordless model, we know it can be hard to choose the right one. Some vacuum models are more suited for picking up dirt and debris from high pile carpeted floors, hardwood floors, or tiles. So how do you know which is best for you?
Well, we’ve put together a list of the features you should look for to find the best option for your carpeting! Here are the best vacuums for carpets on the market.
Our Top PicksThe HouseWire earns a commission through the following independently chosen links at no additional cost to you.
Do Carpets Need a Special Vacuum?
No, any vacuum can clean carpets. However, some vacuums are more effective.
Carpets can be magnets for trapping dust and dirt which makes them hard to maintain and keep clean. And some standard vacuums can also damage your carpet. Especially if you have thick or shag carpeting.
Thankfully, vacuum cleaners for carpets are designed to efficiently clean all types of carpet from low-pile to high-pile.
- First, a carpet vacuum is certified with the CRI seal of approval. This seal ensures the vacuum has the guaranteed ability to remove soil and dirt (1).
- Then, they have variable suction power. When you’re vacuuming a high-pile carpet, powerful suction can cause the vacuum to get stuck. So having adjustable suction settings is a wise choice for multisurface homes.
- Having an adjustable beater bar is also important. Beater bars have bristles designed to lift and loosen dust and debris embedded in the carpet. These bristles are stiff and can damage high pile carpets like thick or shag carpets. So it’s important to have a cleaner that can adjust this feature when you’re cleaning different types of carpets.
- Also, allergens, dust, and pollen can get trapped in the fibers of your carpet. This can be harmful to asthma sufferers or can cause allergic reactions (2). That’s why it’s important to use a cleaner with a HEPA filter on your carpets.
- Finally, some standard vacuums can be difficult to maneuver or push on high pile carpets. That’s why lightweight vacuums with large wheels as well as adjustable height settings are a great option for carpets.
How To Choose the Best Vacuum for Carpet
There are a lot of options to choose from to find the best vacuum cleaner for your carpets. Here are some details to keep in mind.
Upright Vacuum Cleaner
An upright vacuum cleaner is an all-in-one model that has a vacuum-head, handle, and bag or canister.
The body is attached to the handle and is pushed in front of you when cleaning. This can feel heavier to push than other models. But, the extra weight tends to carry more suction power.
Upright vacuums have a rotating brush-roll or beater bar for powerful suction. The rotating bristles sweep through the carpet to efficiently lift and remove the dirt as you clean. And you can choose from a corded or cordless option, depending on your needs.
For example, see this Shark Navigator Lift Away NV351.
Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Stick vacuums also have a tall body, handle, and powerhead. But they’re more lightweight and convenient for quick clean-ups or small messes.
They also have strong suction to handle allergens and lift dust particles in your carpet fibers. Plus, they come in corded and cordless models.
For example, this MOOSOO cordless vacuum is a stick model.
Canister vacuums have a wheeled body that’s attached to a wand and vacuum-head through a flexible plastic hose.
A canister vacuum is generally lighter to use because you only move the vacuum-head and wand while vacuuming. The motor sits inside the canister body and this is pulled behind you as you go.
Additionally, the wheels on the canister make it easy to drag canister vacuums around a room. But, this can be difficult on high pile carpets as the wheels can get caught.
For example, see this Miele C1 canister vacuum.
Robot vacuum cleaners are high-tech units that can do the work for you.
They save you time and effort and can also reach small places that larger models can’t get to. For example, they can clean under furniture or shelving.
But, robot vacuums can be expensive and offer less powerful suction than larger models. They’re also often designed only for bare floors.
Robot vacuums that are suitable for carpets often will only work on low-pile to medium pile carpets. They have a limited height range like this Eufy model which has a 26mm height max. So they won’t work on high pile carpets like plush, thick, or shag carpeting.
Handheld vacuums are smaller models. They can be comfortably held while cleaning for quick clean-ups or spills.
A handheld vacuum is perfect for hard-to-reach areas but they aren’t suited for general carpet cleaning.
For example, this Black&Decker model is a cordless handheld vacuum.
Brush Type & Attachments
A beater brush has stiff bristles designed to loosen and lift soil or debris embedded deep in carpet fibers. This can be helpful on low-pile and medium-pile carpets. But, it can be too rough to use on high-pile shag carpets and can easily get tangled in the fibers.
For this reason, consider a cleaner that has a height-adjustable vacuum head. This feature allows you to raise the beater brush when you’re vacuuming high-pile carpets to stop it from getting tangled. Some models also allow you to switch this feature off.
Lastly, consider attachments that are designed specifically to clean carpeted areas.
Carpets need stronger suction that can get deep into the carpet fibers to lift dirt. For example, motorized carpet brushes are great for deep cleaning your carpeting. Plus, an upholstery tool can be used to clean furniture as well as carpet without damaging soft surfaces.
HEPA filters are proven to trap a lot more dirt and dust particles than other types of filters. These filters remove 99.97% of airborne particulates larger than 0.3 microns (4).
They are usually foam filters that are easy to access and clean. But, they need to be cleaned out often to prevent the unit from expelling the dust back into the air.
According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, carpets need regular cleaning to remove soil and dirt. Otherwise, it can become embedded and damage the carpet.
CRI certifies vacuums through the Seal of Approval program. This process is based on the vacuum’s performance capabilities for removing soil as well as containing dust. It’s also based on the appearance of the surface after vacuuming.
For example, this Hoover vacuum is approved by the CRI.
If you have allergy sufferers in your household, a bagged vacuum is the best option.
Bagged vacuums collect dust and dirt in a bag that you can dispose of and replace when full. This reduces the risk of dust expulsion in the air during disposal compared to a bagless dust canister. Plus, these bags are guaranteed to seal 99.97% of all dust and allergens from your carpet.
However, you’ll have to replace these bags often but they’re easy to find at most stores.
A bagged vacuum also tends to be more effective for deep cleaning. This is perfect if you have a lot of carpet or area rugs to clean.
With bagless vacuums, you don’t have to buy and replace bags. So it’s a more environmentally friendly option.
Most bagless vacuums have a transparent bagless canister so you can see how full it is while you’re vacuuming. This makes it easy to know when you need to empty the dirt and dust.
But, this can damage high-pile carpets and won’t clean the fibers as effectively if it’s too powerful. It can also cause damage by pulling too strongly on the long fibers.
However, a vacuum that has weak suction won’t effectively clean the base of your carpet. And this is where a lot of allergens and tiny particles can get trapped.
So, if you have different types of carpeting throughout your home, you should consider a vacuum with variable suction. This will allow the cleaner to adjust to the height of your carpet without damaging the fibers.
For example, this Kenmore Elite has a 2-speed motor system that can adjust to high and low-pile carpets.
Plus, heavier vacuums tend to have heads that are harder to steer. This can make it hard to control your vacuum in a certain direction while you’re cleaning.
We recommend considering a lightweight model. This will make it a lot easier to move your vacuum around your carpet as you clean. This is especially helpful if you have different carpet types to clean.
If you have different carpet types, you’ll need different height settings to maintain proper suction across your surfaces. This is important for airflow underneath the powerhead while you’re vacuuming.
Some standard vacuums can be hard to push on high pile carpets if the height is too low. This reduces airflow and causes your vacuum to stick to your carpet fibers as you clean.
For example, this Bissell CleanView has 3 different carpet height adjustments. This is perfect for vacuuming different floor types.
Also, look for a cleaner with large wheels. This makes it easy to maneuver, especially on high pile carpets. Smaller wheels can be difficult to roll across long carpet fibers.
The Best Vacuums for Carpets of 2023
We’ve spent hours researching technical specs, honest reviews, and expert advice to find the 7 best vacuums for carpets.
1. BISSELL Crosswave All in One Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner
It has dual-action brushes that vacuum and mops your floor at the same time. The microfiber and nylon brush mops and lifts dirt simultaneously. So you can save time and energy while you deep clean your carpeted floors.
Plus, it has a swivel head for complete control as you clean. This makes it easy to maneuver this cleaner around any obstacles on your floor.
What We Like
Smart Touch ControlsThe smart touch controls on the handle make it easy to control the settings on this cleaner. You can effortlessly switch cleaning modes with the touch of a button. The controls also allow you to dispense cleaning liquid as you clean!
Multi-SurfaceThis unit can be used on multiple floor surfaces. The dual-action brush roll is designed to effectively pick up debris from your carpet and hard floors. So you can easily switch between cleaning carpet, delicate rugs, and hard floor!
2 TanksWith two built-in tanks, you can trust that your floors are always being cleaned with fresh water and solution. The separate tank for dirty water keeps the dust and debris away from your cleaning solution for a hygienic cleaning process.
What We Don’t Like
Requires MaintenanceThis cleaner requires a lot of regular maintenance. You need to manually clean out the dust and debris as well as the dirty water after each clean. And you have to wait up to 24 hours for the tanks to dry before you can use the vacuum again.
|Bin Volume||0.4 L|
2. Dirt Devil Endura Reach Lightweight Vacuum
This upright vacuum is lightweight at only 9 pounds. So it’s easy to handle while you clean. You can easily carry it around without straining your back. And the large handle provides a comfortable grip while you clean!
Plus, the quick-release cleaning wand provides an extra 10 feet of cleaning length. So you can clean hard-to-reach areas or under furniture without a struggle.
What We Like
CleanPath TechnologyThis vacuum is designed with Dirt Devil’s CleanPath technology. This means it can transition efficiently across different surfaces without losing suction.
Washable FilterThe Endura Filtration system is not only equipped for powerful performance, but it’s washable too! You can quickly rinse it between cleans to keep your vacuum running smoothly without having to replace the filter!
Easy To EmptyThe easy-release dirt cup makes it simple to empty your dust and dirt after cleaning. With one push you can release the dust from the dirt canister straight into your trash can without making a mess!
What We Don’t Like
CloggingSome reviewers note that the floorhead and suction hose can get clogged easily. Make sure you regularly check your hose for clogs or large debris to keep your unit cleaning efficiently.
|Bin Volume||1.5 L|
|Accessories Included:||2-in-1 crevice tool|
3. Dyson Ball Animal 2
If you have pets, you’ll love this Dyson Ball Animal 2 carpet vacuum.
With 270 air watts of suction, this powerful vacuum effortlessly lifts embedded debris as well as pet hair from your carpet.
Plus, it has a tangle-free brush roll that ensures that no pet hair or dirt gets tangled in the vacuum brush. So you won’t have to waste time unclogging or de-tangling pet hair from the brush after vacuuming.
Related: The Best Vacuums for Pet Hair
What We Like
HEPA FilterThe whole machine HEPA filtration removes 99.97% of dust and allergens from your carpet fibers. Plus, it’s a lifetime washable filter that doesn’t need replacing!
Ball TechnologyDyson’s ball technology makes it easy to maneuver this vacuum. You can easily steer the unit around obstacles and tight corners.
Self-AdjustingThe self-adjusting cleaner head automatically adjusts to seal in suction when you transition across floors. This is perfect for cleaning on multiple surfaces!
What We Don’t Like
HeavyAt 17.35 pounds this cleaner is heavy to move around. And the powerful suction can add to the difficulty when moving or pulling it on your carpets.
|Bin Volume||0.9 L|
|Accessories Included:||tangle-free turbine, stair, and combination tool|
4. TOPPIN Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
This cordless vacuum provides a powerful cleaning performance. But, it’s also designed for deep cleaning multiple floor types. It has 3 suction modes to suit high, medium, and low-pile carpets.
Plus, it has a 180° rotatable floor brush that helps to clean sharp corners and carpet edges. It’s perfect for cleaning under furniture too.
Related: The 6 Best Cordless Stick Vacuums
What We Like
Brushless Motor & Carpet BrushToppin’s brushless motor and carpet brush offers higher efficiency and less heat and noise than most vacuums!
Long Run-TimeThe detachable battery has up to 34 minutes of running time which is longer than many other models. This means you can get a lot of cleaning done before you need to stop and recharge!
LED HeadlightsThis cleaner has 4 LED headlights on the front of the unit. This makes it easy to see hidden dirt and dust under furniture or in tight spaces.
What We Don’t Like
Small Cup CapacityIt has a small dust cup capacity of 0.5 liters. So you have to empty it often during cleaning which can be a hassle.
|Bin Volume||0.5 L|
|Accessories Included:||2-in-1, crevice tool, extension hose|
5. Eureka Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
This power-speed Eureka upright vacuum cleaner weighs only 10lbs. So it’s lightweight and easy to carry around the house. This also makes it easier to push on your high-pile carpet.
But what really stands out with this cleaner are the 5 height adjustment settings. This makes it perfect for every type of carpet! It has an adjustment knob to change the settings from bare floor to high-pile carpet instantly.
What We Like
Extra-Large Dust-BinThe 2.5-liter capacity dust cup means you can get a lot of cleaning done before you need to stop and empty the tank! This can save you a lot of time cleaning.
Extra-Long Crevice-ToolWith an extra-long crevice tool, you can clean hard-to-reach areas as well as high above your floors.
Wide Cleaning-PathThis upright vacuum cleaner has a wide 12.6-inch cleaning path that cleans more areas of your carpet at once. So you clean faster with less effort!
What We Don’t Like
NoisySome reviewers noted that this vacuum emits a noisy high-pitch sound when cleaning. This can be a nuisance, especially if you have neighbors!
|Bin Volume||2.5 L|
|Accessories Included:||wand, upholstery tool, and crevice tool|
6. Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Mop Pro
This high-tech robot can take all the hassles out of cleaning. With its powerful suction, you can set this robot to clean while you get back to your other tasks.
It comes with smart assistant voice control, so you can easily schedule your clean. Plus, it comes with a smart app so you can schedule on the go.
With adjustable height settings, you can rest knowing this robot vacuum can efficiently move across your floors. And it will seal in suction as it goes.
It also has edge-sweeping brushes that clean along the walls and carpet corners as it travels. This smart cleaner won’t miss any spots on your carpets.
What We Like
Battery LifeWith 2.5 hours of run-time, you can trust that your whole floor can be cleaned at once. This long-lasting battery life means you won’t have to worry about recharging it mid-clean!
QuietIt has an ultra-quiet airflow design that keeps the noise level low. So you can leave it cleaning in the background without any noise disturbance.
WiFi ConnectionIt connects with your WiFi so you can control it remotely if you leave the house. This makes it easy to start a cleaning session when you’re busy or on the go!
What We Don’t Like
TanglingMany pet owners note that pet hair easily gets tangled in the rubber bristles. This can diminish the suction of your robot as it cleans.
|Bin Volume||0.42 L|
7. Hoover Windtunnel Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Coming with a variety of attachments to tackle stairs, you’ll enjoy cleaning carpeted stairs with this Hoover vacuum.
It has a crevice tool, dusting brush, and multi-purpose tool. It also comes with a 12 feet telescoping wand. So you’ll have no hassle cleaning even embedded dust, dirt, and pet hair from your stairs as well as furniture or upholstery.
Plus, it has a pet hair turbo tool with rotating brushes that provide extra cleaning power for fine pet hair or small debris.
Related: The Best Vacuums For Stairs in 2023
What We Like
WindTunnel TechnologyThis vacuum features WindTunnel technology. This creates a strong and concentrated suction as you clean. It’s perfect for lifting stubborn or embedded dirt in your carpet.
5-Level Height AdjustWith 5 height adjustments, this vacuum is optimized for any floor. You can easily adjust this vacuum to the perfect height for your carpet.
Multi-Cyclonic FiltrationThe multi-cyclonic filtration system maintains peak performance and requires less maintenance. So you won’t lose any suction even as the vacuum gets full!
What We Don’t Like
Non-Retractable CordA lot of reviewers noted that the non-retractable cord can be a pain. You have to manually wind the cord around the handle when you’re not using it.
|Accessories Included:||crevice tool, dusting brush|
Carpet Vacuum Comparison Chart
|Product||Type||Weight||Bin Volume||Accessories Included||Warranty|
|BISSELL Crosswave||Wet/dry vacuum||11 lbs||0.4 L||None||2-years|
|Dirt Devil Endura Reach||Upright vacuum||9 lbs||1.5 L||2-in-1 crevice tool||2-years|
|Dyson Ball Animal 2||Upright vacuum||17.35 lbs||0.9 L||tangle-free turbine, stair, and combination tool||5-years|
|TOPPIN Cordless Stick Vacuum||Stick vacuum||5 lbs||0.5 L||2-in-1, crevice tool, extension hose||1-year|
|Eureka Bagless Upright Vacuum||Upright vacuum||10 lbs||2.5 L||wand, upholstery tool, and crevice tool||3-years|
|Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Mop Pro||Robot||8.37 lbs||0.42 L||None||1-year|
|Hoover Windtunnel vacuum||Upright vacuum||16.1lbs||N/A||crevice tool, dusting brush||2-years|
FAQs about Carpet Vacuum
Here are some commonly asked questions about vacuums for carpets.
How Often Should You Vacuum Your Carpet?
How Do I Use a Vacuum Cleaner on Carpet?
Vacuum your carpet in tight rows, starting slowly. Make sure you go over each row carefully to avoid missing any dirt or debris.
Repeat the process in an opposite direction to tackle any stubborn or embedded dirt in the carpet fibers.
Enjoy Dust-Free Carpets
Carpet cleaning doesn’t have to be a difficult task with an efficient carpet vacuum! Vacuums that are designed to get deep into your carpet fibers can save you all the hassle.
Whether you have low-pile carpet, area rugs, or high pile carpet, cleaning can be a breeze with these top vacuums for carpet.
Keep in mind our key details before you buy. Consider the type, HEPA filter, and suction of your vacuum to find the best fit for your needs.
If you enjoyed this article, share it with a friend. Or, leave a comment down below!