by Garrick Dee
Updated February 8th, 2019
Did you know that the carpet is the biggest filter inside your home?
A clean carpet translates to a comfortable, clean and fuzzy place that you can snuggle up.
Having a dirty carpet can mean bad things to your family’s health.
I say this to amplify the importance of keeping your carpets clean.
And carpet is one of the tougher things to clean inside your home.
It’s something you cannot procrastinate because it can leave you with a messy and expensive repair job.
The good news is you can easily maintain carpet with a good vacuum cleaner.
And that’s what I’m focusing on today. Not only will I recommend you what to buy I’ll also give you tips on how to choose one.
Our Pick: Shark APEX AZ1002
This variant may not have the most suction and deep cleaning performance. But it makes up for it in terms of versatility and reach. Try as you may to look for an upright that can match this in terms of power and versatility, you will be hard pressed to do so.
- One of the most versatile upright vacuums available right now
- Lift away feature allows this to clean deep under furniture
- Allergen seal + HEPA filters make this a good option for allergy sufferers
- Zero-M feature helps removed tangled hair and is one less maintenance step you have to worry about
- This option isn’t cheap
- Dirt capacity not as big as true full sized uprights
- No bag so there is still allergen exposure when you empty it
- Some complaints about the hose being too short
What makes this a great option in my book would be its ability to do different tasks.
Shark has revolutionized the upright vacuum industry with its versatile products that can do the job of a canister vacuum
This means that you’re not limited to just cleaning floors. The APEX AZ1002 can also clean upholstery and other parts of your home with ease thanks to the Lift Away feature.
Lift away gives this vacuum the ability to clean like a canister vacuum which means literally anywhere inside your home where there’s a plug.
Need to deep clean your vehicle, this variant is capable of doing that.
This variant is a big upgrade over the NV752 which itself is a very good product.
What this product has over the older variant is the DuoClean technology and Zero-M feature. The DuoClean technology is a combination of the traditional bristle brush and soft roller head first seen in a Dyson cordless.
Zero-M is the brand new feature in Shark that prevents hair from wrapping around the brush roll. If you’ve live with a pet or someone with long hair, it can be a pain constantly having to untangle this mess. This feature minimizes that need to do so.
Not only will the Duo Clean pick up dirt on carpet but it works great on bare floor.
Suction is another strong point. Consumers mention that this vacuum self-propels forward which makes it a little hard to pull back.
There are also 3 settings for low pile carpet, thick carpet and hardwood. Use the right setting accordingly.
If you’re looking for something more than a floor cleaner and don’t mind spending more than $300 for it then this is a great option. This newer variant has more power plus the Zero-M feature that helps untangle hair for you so you don’t have to manually do it. Suction is a strong point so it wouldn’t have a difficult time deep cleaning carpet and will work well on bare floor surfaces and not just carpet.
Upgrade Option: Miele C2 Electro+
When it comes to performance and durability, the Miele has been known to possess those qualities. The C2 Electro + is one of their more versatile, deep cleaning options that won’t break the bank. Make no mistake, the $600 price tag isn’t cheap but it’s much cheaper than the newer Miele C3 variants that cost as much as $1,000.
- Fully capable of deep cleaning carpet
- Powerful 1,200 watt motor
- Great quality that can last for decades
- Fully bagged system so there isn’t any allergen exposure even during emptying
- Versatile – capable of cleaning not just floors but also upholstery and much more
- Will work on any type of floor thanks to the adjustable height feature
- Very expensive
- Doesn’t have a mini-turbo brush which would work wonders on fabric upholstery
- You have to constantly replace bags – this is a bagged vacuum
Folks who own homes that have thick pile carpet will benefit the most from the Miele C2 Electro+.
It has up to 6 suction settings that will work on different pile carpets and even bare floor.
However, you don’t buy this vacuum for cleaning bare floor. It was created to clean carpet and lots of it.
All the features you’ll find in the C2 Electro revolve around cleaning medium to large homes with wall to wall carpet.
From the bagged vacuum system, 35 foot power cord to the retractable cord, this machine will help keep your home’s carpets clean.
This isn’t Miele’s latest but it is one of their best-value-for-money options available that comes with the Electro Plus cleaning head that works wonders on carpet.
Another important feature that this vacuum has is the adjustable height settings in the main cleaning head.
This helps match the clearance of the cleaning head to the thickness of carpet. It helps not just to apply the proper agitation but also maintain airflow making it easier to move the tool back and forth.
The adjustable setting also helps keep proper distance between the motorized brush and carpet fibers preventing it from wrapping around the brush.
Miele backs the C2 up with a comprehensive 5 year warranty on the whole vacuum and a 7 year warranty on the motor and casing. You can extend this warranty buy up to 3 years if you purchase the extended warranty option in Amazon.
The Miele C2 Electro+ is a great option if you are looking for a versatile vacuum that not only deep cleans carpet but also can clean other areas in your home. It has a bagged system that’s sealed so allergens stay inside. This will work great even in large homes with lots of carpet thanks to the 35 foot power cord with cord rewind.
Great for Pets: Dyson Ball Animal 2
If you have pets at home and need something not just for cleaning pet hair off carpet but also on upholstery then have a look at the Dyson Ball Animal 2. This variant not only will rid carpet of pet hair but also on upholstery thanks to the tangle-free turbine tool. It also has the new bin that’s easier and less messy to empty.
- Works great at cleaning pet hair on carpet and upholstery
- Great suction and agitation which makes it a good deep cleaning option
- Tangle-free turbine tool very efficient at cleaning pet hair on fabric upholstery
- Decent size bin that will work great even in large homes
- Self-adjustable cleaning head does the work for you
- Long 5 year warranty
- Very expensive at close to $500
- Not as versatile as the Shark APEX or Miele C2
- Short hose limits reach
When it comes to suction performance and agitation, Dyson is one of the best options out there. And their Ball Animal 2 upright has lots of both.
With over 300 air watts of power, this upright packs a punch and will easy pick up different types of dirt on carpet.
However it won’t be good on bare floor as the Shark APEX. It also does not have the same versatility as the two other products on top of it.
But that isn’t really a bad thing because is built for cleaning carpet.
Pet owners should strongly consider this because of the tangle-free turbine tool that will literally inhale pet hair off upholstery and stairs without hair wrapping around the brush.
Dyson backs this product up with a generous 5 year warranty and if you purchase it from Amazon, there’s an optional extended warranty of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.
What consumers like most about this product is the sheer power it brings to the table.
One customer bought this and the Shark Rotator NV752 and was blown away by Dyson’s performance saying it still picked up dirt after the area was cleaned by the Shark.
If you’re looking for an upright that deep cleans carpet inside large homes then the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a great option. It comes with the tangle-free turbine tool which makes this a no-brainer option for pet owners.
One big downside would be the price but this is a little bit cheaper than the Miele C2.
For Plush Carpet or Rugs: Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright
The Soniclean upright was specifically built to clean soft, plush carpets and rugs. This vacuum is suitable for this type of surface thanks to the adjustable vent system that makes it easier to push this on soft carpets. It doesn’t have much in terms of versatility as this is strictly a floor cleaner.
- It has a bagged system so you will not be exposed to allergens
- Hospital grade HEPA filters will keep allergens inside the bag
- CRI certified gold
- Great for soft and plush carpet or rugs
- Large front wheels help it “float” on soft style carpet
- Sonic vibrations help loosen dirt to help thoroughly clean carpets
- Only cleans floors – you’ll need a separate vacuum to clean other parts of your home
Not all homes have the same carpet. Some have low pile carpet that’s relatively easy to clean. But some homes have thick, plush and soft carpets than can be a challenge for some vacuums to deep clean.
And that’s where the Soniclean upright vacuum comes in.
This upright vacuum has several features that allow it to clean plush carpet with easy.
One of these features is the sonic cleaning technology behind the brush roll that vibrates 200 times per second. This will help in dislodging dirt deep under carpet strands and help this machine deep clean.
Another feature worth mentioning is the soft bristles that will not damage plush carpet fibers. It has enough stiffness to agitate but not too much that carpet fibers will wrap around it.
Last is the adjustable vent system that regulates airflow. This is an important feature because the lack of such can make it hard for users to push on thicker pile carpet. You can use this to clean carpet that has pile length of up to an inch.
Consumers really like this saying that it works as advertised. This vacuum is also lightweight at just around 10 pounds so it is a good option to older folks who will have trouble carrying something heavier.
It’s also got a bagged system that keeps allergens up to 0.3 micros inside the bag.
If your home has plush rug or carpet then give the Soniclean soft carpet upright a long look. Based on reviews it works as advertised and will clean soft carpet with ease. It is expensive at close to $350 but this vacuum does perform. Just remember that this vacuum will only clean floors and nothing else. You’ll need a handheld vacuum to pair this with to clean other parts of your home.
Budget Option: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 1650A
If you don’t want to spend more than $250 for an upright vacuum capable of cleaning carpets, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 1650A is a great budget option. It does not have the fancy features that the Shark APEX, build quality of the Miele C2 or the pure suction of the Dyson Ball Animal 2 but it will be more than $100 cheaper. The tangle-free brush roll helps keep pet hair from wrapping around the brush which makes it less tedious to clean.
- Cheapest option in this list
- Great option if you want to clean pet hair on your carpet or upholstery
- Also comes with a mini-turbo brush which makes it easier to clean pet hair on upholstery
- Strong 8.5 amp motor
- Easy to empty dirt bin thanks to the cyclonic spooling system
- Won’t clean as well as a Miele or Dyson
- Short hose so reach will be limited
Bissell has been busy in terms of product development and the Pet Hair Eraser 1650A upright is one of their best products to come out so far.
This upright is a good alternative if you don’t want to spend $400 on a Dyson Ball Animal 2. In terms of performance this machine isn’t too far off.
In terms of maneuverability this vacuum isn’t as good as the Ball system found in Dyson uprights but it’s decent around furniture.
Suction is great even on plush carpet but you’ll have to manually adjust the height of the cleaning head to match the thickness of carpet whereas a Dyson will adjust automatically.
This is the big advantage the Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright has. If this is a big deal for you then go with the Dyson otherwise you can save $100++ on this.
The hose is another weak point of the Bissell. One review said that Bissell uses a non-rigid hose which means if you stretch it beyond four feet, it starts to lose suction.
You won’t be able to use it on really tight spots.
The tangle-free brush roll isn’t as tangle-free as advertised. If you’re cleaning long hair, it will still wrap around the brush but it is easy to cut off using a scissor.
The Bissel Pet Hair Eraser 1650A is a great option for folks looking for a sub $250 upright capable of cleaning carpet. Pet owners may also want to consider this because it also comes with a mini-turbo brush. However the hose isn’t very rigid so it won’t stretch as far out as a Dyson. Reach will be limited.
How to choose a vacuum for cleaning carpet?
Before anything else let’s look at the features to look at when shopping for an effective carpet cleaner.
1. Brush roll with its own motor
This is perhaps the most important feature that a vacuum should have in order to deep clean carpet. Take note that dirt on carpet does not only stay on the surface.
Over time a lot of the dirt will stay hidden under strands of carpet fibers. Finer dirt like dust, power or sand can go all the way down to the backing plate of carpet. And if you don’t clean this part regularly, friction from all the debris down there can rip it open resulting in a very expensive repair.
A motorized brush or brush roll will agitate carpet and force debris upward in order for the vacuum to pull them in the suction chamber. Think of this part as a broom that you rub on the carpet to pick up dirt trapped underneath carpet fiber.
Also make sure that that brush has its own motor. This feature ensures maximum agitation and deep cleaning. That’s why you don’t see any Dyson canister vacuums here because these vacuums only have air powered brushes.
2. Height and/or suction adjustment
Airflow is another important element to cleaning carpet. The less airflow, the hard it is to push the vacuum forward and backward hence the importance of these features.
Get a vacuum that has both if possible. The height adjustment allows proper distance between the brush and carpet. Having it too close will pose a risk of the carpet fibers getting sucked in and clogging the system. If there isn’t enough space, you’ll have trouble moving the vacuum around making the process more difficult.
3. Bin size
This is a feature that a lot of people overlook is the size of the bin. Not really a big issue if you live in a small home but it should for those who own larger homes.
Having a large bin means fewer trips to the garbage bin to empty. Also look into the bin design – how easy or hard it is to empty.
4. Do you have allergies?
Answering this question will determine if you should get a bagged or bagless vacuum cleaner.
One of the biggest issues with bagless vacuums like the Dyson Ball Animal 2 would be exposure to dirt when you empty it. Even with the upgraded system that pushes dirt down for you, there is still exposure to the cloud of dust that forms when you empty it.
This could trigger nasty allergic reactions if you have a condition like rhinitis. If you belong to this group then you should strongly consider buying a bagged vacuum.
Folks who don’t have allergic conditions can stick with a bagless vacuum and save on the cost of bags that will add up over time.
5. How much are you willing to spend?
Don’t forget to set a figure on how much you are willing to spend for a vacuum. Always remember that cheaper isn’t better and a good quality vacuum will pay for what you spend for it by keeping your carpet clean year after year.
Would you rather spend $500 on a good quality vacuum or a few thousand dollars for a carpet repair because you didn’t deep clean it regularly? If you’d ask me I’d go with the former. I don’t mind spending a little bit more for quality and brands like Miele and Dyson will last for years with the proper maintenance.
With that being said, there are also good quality vacuums under $250. But expecting it to perform like a $500 would be unfair to the manufacturer. So set expectations accordingly.
To wrap up
There you go 5 vacuum cleaners best for cleaning carpet. Remember that vacuuming is the first step in keeping your carpet clean.
Don’t forget to thoroughly clean it once every 12 to 18 months with a good carpet cleaner.
This will keep your carpets looking new for years to come. If this guide has helped you please spread the word and share it with your friends.
Comment below if you think I missed a brand that you think should be here. Also share your experiences if you’ve used any of the vacuums above.