What’s the Best Vacuum for Carpets?

Vacuums particularly designed to work on carpeting present deeper cleansing. But they’re additionally typically dearer vacuums. Illustration: Dana Davis

Staff author Sabine Heinlein has been a journalist for greater than 20 years. She shares her dwelling with a number of pets, and he or she obsesses over maintaining her heirloom rugs recent and (nearly) fur-free. She has written guides to upright and canister, handheld, and cordless stick vacuums, amongst others.

If your own home is roofed in wall-to-wall carpeting and rugs, you need a vacuum with suction and airflow that’s first rate sufficient to take away particles hiding deep in your carpets’ fibers. (Pretty a lot any vacuum cleaner can decide up mud from hardwood flooring.)

But suction alone isn’t an efficient cleansing function. Your vacuum also needs to have a brush roll that agitates carpet fibers whereas being mild sufficient to not injury them. You ought to have the ability to flip off the comb roll manually. And the comb roll ought to shut off routinely when the vacuum chokes on a carpet’s excessive pile or fringes—this prevents injury to each the machine and your carpet.

High-pile carpets (like shag, frieze, Saxony, cable, or lengthy plush) pose an issue for many vacuums. The lengthy fibers can tangle across the brush curler and/or block the consumption, primarily choking the vacuum. A cleaner head with handbook top and/or suction adjustment will present clearance for higher-pile carpets or totally different ranges of suction to stop the pile from being sucked into the hose. Generally, the upper the pile, the tougher it’s to maintain the carpet clear. (Debris tends to burrow its technique to the underside of the carpet’s pile.) Most cheap vacuums are good at maintaining flat-weave and low- to medium-pile carpets clear; thicker shags require specifically designed (and usually dearer) machines.

Read extra about what makes a robust, versatile vacuum in our information to upright and canister vacuums.

Photo: Marki Williams

Our decide

SEBO Felix Premium

The finest upright vacuum for carpets

This fashionable, bagged upright vacuum provides formidable cleansing energy, and it’s adjustable to go well with totally different carpet varieties.

Buying Options

The SEBO Felix Premium provides glorious cleansing energy and filtration, handles comfortably, and has an extra-long guarantee. It will be adjusted to go well with all kinds of carpets and rugs.

It’s an distinctive cleaner. Whether introduced with glitter, superb mud, fur, or cereal, this mannequin hungrily scarfed up extra particles on our take a look at carpet than nearly some other vacuum we examined. In each the upright and canister classes, it was the highest performer in selecting up sand from our take a look at carpet. It additionally picked up brushed-in cat and rabbit hair from medium-pile rugs in a single cross.

Its electrical cleaner head excels on all kinds of carpets. The Felix Premium vacuum comes with a motorized, self-propelling cleaner head that helps dig up and agitate filth from carpets and ferret it up into the vacuum. You can modify the cleaner head to 4 heights, and that contributes to its effectiveness on low-pile, medium-pile, and thicker carpets. A handy warning gentle flashes if the cleaner head’s top wants adjusting or the cleaner head turns into clogged.

Unlike different machines we examined, the Felix Premium didn’t create wheel tracks or streaks and as an alternative left the carpet in pristine situation.

The SEBO Felix Premium’s electrical cleaner head adapts to all flooring varieties, together with low-pile, medium-pile, and thicker carpets. Photo: Marki Williams

It’s acquired glorious filtration. Carpets have a tendency to cover extra-small particles, like mud, pollen, and dander, and for those who undergo from allergic reactions, good filtration is a crucial issue to contemplate in a vacuum. The Felix Premium’s bag, S-class motor, and exhaust filters seize nearly all the particles and dirt sucked up by the vacuum, so this one is a superb alternative for allergy victims.

It’s comfy, quiet, and classy. The SEBO Felix Premium feels gentle and comfy to maneuver, and, in contrast with different upright machines, it’s comparatively quiet. The Felix Premium is available in three colours (crimson, blue, and white), every with a coordinating patterned “skirt” that’s really an exhaust microfilter. You can swap the skirt to match your type.

It converts to a handheld vacuum, with helpful attachments. By eradicating the hose and attaching one in all its two instruments, the Felix Premium vacuum immediately transforms into a transportable handheld, with a crevice device and a swiveling triangular mud brush (which additionally works properly for eradicating fur from surfaces and tight corners). You can buy a turbo brush device that’s useful for cleansing carpeted stairs.

It’s sturdy, with nice customer support and a very good guarantee. We have proof that SEBO fashions can final for many years, and SEBO’s customer support is great. The firm provides probably the most beneficiant and complete warranties of our picks—as much as seven years on elements and labor and 10 years for the motor, for those who purchase from a certified supplier and register your vacuum with SEBO.

Flaws however not dealbreakers

It’s an upright. The Felix Premium vacuum shares its greatest flaws with most different upright machines. Compared with its canister cousin, this vacuum is noisy, can really feel heavy in your palms and wrists, and lacks an automated twine rewind.

It’s dear. Currently costing $750, the Felix is dearer than many of the vacuums we tried, however it carried out higher and will final for much longer.

It’s much less broadly accessible than different upright vacuums. You must order SEBO vacuums from SEBO’s web site or purchase them on-line from a certified supplier. SEBO-authorized dealerships and restore companies are sparse within the US.

Read extra in regards to the Sebo Felix Premium in our information to one of the best upright and canister vacuums.

Photo: Marki Williams

Our decide

SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium

The finest canister vacuum for carpets

This bagged canister vacuum excels on carpets, and it has many adjustment choices to go well with differing kinds. It ought to final for the lengthy haul.

Buying Options

View at Amazon

7-Year Standard Warranty

10-Year Extended Warranty

If you will have plenty of carpeted area, and also you need a vacuum that feels lighter to steer and is less complicated to maneuver up and down stairs than an upright mannequin, the highly effective, versatile, and whisper-quiet SEBO Airbelt K3 could flip you right into a canister convert.

It’s acquired glorious cleansing energy. The Sebo Airbelt K3 was a prime performer in our cleansing exams, lifting up glitter, birdseed, fur, and Cheerios from our take a look at carpets and rugs in fewer passes than it took nearly all of its opponents. In our sand-on-carpet take a look at, it outperformed most of its opponents, working solely (negligibly) behind its upright cousin, the SEBO Felix Premium. Like the Felix, the Airbelt K3 simply picked up brushed-in cat and rabbit hair from a medium-pile rug.

The SEBO Airbelt K3’s highly effective electrical cleaner head is height-adjustable for various piles of carpet, and accessing clogs is straightforward. Photo: Marki Williams

Its electrical cleaner head is one of the best we’ve examined. Like the upright SEBO Felix Premium, the Airbelt K3 options an electrical cleaner head with a motorized brush roll that digs out even deep-sitting particles, which have a tendency to cover in rugs and carpets. Because this vacuum is self-propelled, it glides simply on all kinds of carpeting, and it requires much less effort to push than the opposite canister vacuums we examined (in reality, typically it’s so speedy you’ll must play catch-up).

The Airbelt K3’s suction will be tailored by sliding a swap on the deal with, and the cleaner head will be adjusted to 4 heights, serving to it run easily on low-, medium-, and high-pile carpets. And in contrast to different vacuums, the Airbelt K3 doesn’t go away streaks on carpets and rugs.

A video of someone vacuuming a carpet with a SEBO Airbelt K3 vacuum.
The SEBO Airbelt K3 doesn’t go away streaks on carpeting. Video: Marki Williams

It’s comfy and versatile. At 21 kilos, the SEBO Airbelt K3 is heavier than our upright picks. But as a result of its weight distribution—cut up between its compact wheeled canister, wand, and cleaner head—it’s extra comfy to hold and maneuver. The Airbelt K3 encompasses a dusting brush, a crevice device, and an upholstery device.

It’s acquired glorious filtration. Like the SEBO Felix Premium, the Airbelt K3 has three filters: a bag with filtration, an S-class pre-motor filter, and an exhaust filter.

The SEBO Airbelt K3 has S-class filtration, which is similar to HEPA filtration. Photo: Marki Williams

It’s acquired an impressive guarantee and glorious customer support. Like the SEBO Felix Premium’s guarantee, the Airbelt K3’s guarantee is one of the best of all of the machines we’ve examined.

SEBO provides top-notch customer support.

Flaws however not dealbreakers

It’s costly. The Airbelt K3 prices over 4 instances as a lot as our price range decide, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352. However, the Airbelt K3 has a for much longer life expectancy, it’s extra versatile, its elements are simply replaceable, and it’s a lot nicer to make use of—notably on carpeting.

It’s much less broadly accessible than different canister vacuums. You must order SEBO vacuums from SEBO’s web site or purchase them on-line from a certified supplier. SEBO fashions aren’t accessible at main division or big-box shops.

Read extra in regards to the Sebo Airbelt K3 in our information to one of the best upright and canister vacuums.

Photo: Marki Williams

Budget decide

Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352

An inexpensive, well-rounded upright

Though removed from excellent, this bagless upright is among the finest vacuums you should purchase for beneath $200. It works properly on most kinds of carpets.

Buying Options

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 is the simplest and dependable under-$200 vacuum we’ve tried. But it lacks the cleansing energy and further options of our different picks, and it doesn’t do properly on thicker or higher-pile carpets and rugs. Its guarantee is extraordinarily restricted: If something breaks (aside from the motor), you’re out of luck.

It’s a succesful cleaner, however it struggles with bigger particles. Thanks to its spectacular suction and airflow, the Navigator Lift-Away sucked up greater than two-thirds of the sand we unfold out on our take a look at carpet, whereas its opponents in the identical worth vary acquired solely about half or much less. It additionally did nice on fur and glitter. Because of its low-riding cleaner head—which, in contrast to these on the SEBO Felix Premium and the SEBO Airbelt K3, isn’t height-adjustable—the Navigator Lift-Away snowplowed Cheerios and birdseed.

It chokes on thick carpet and rugs. While the Navigator Lift-Away vac is comfy sufficient to maneuver on dense, low-pile carpet, we struggled to push it on fluffy, low-pile carpet, even after decreasing the suction. Our analysis exhibits this can be a frequent drawback for house owners of this vacuum.

It’s simple to maneuver. The Navigator Lift-Away is simply barely heavier than our prime upright decide. And its swiveling cleaner head, which is narrower than these of our different picks, makes it simple to steer in small corners and round obstacles. But due to its weight distribution, it suggestions simply.

The Shark Navigator’s cleaner head is fundamental, missing a height-adjustment possibility, and its brush roll can’t be eliminated with out utilizing a particular device. Photo: Marki Williams

It has a tiny dustbin and inferior filtration. Since it shops lower than a quart of particles earlier than suction drops off, the Navigator Lift-Away needs to be emptied steadily—notably if in case you have a number of fuzzy carpets and furry pets. And whereas the Shark Navigator’s filtration lags far behind that of our prime picks, it wants little upkeep and has primarily no recurring prices.

It’s extra sturdy than most price range vacuums. Owners report that they’ve had this mannequin for a few years, and a few even replaced their outdated ones with the same machine. Wirecutter staffers who’ve owned the Navigator Lift-Away for seven or eight years advised us that their vacs had been nonetheless performing like they did on day one.

But the guarantee is missing. At first look, Shark’s five-year guarantee on the motor appears reassuring. However, no different elements are coated beneath the guarantee, so if anything breaks, you’re on the hook.

Read extra in regards to the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 in our information to one of the best upright and canister vacuums.

Photo: Marki Williams

Also nice

Ryobi 18V One+ HP Cordless Pet Stick Vac Kit with Dual-Roller Bar

Hefty cordless stick vac, giant dustbin

If you reside in an house with just some rugs or one or two small carpeted rooms, this versatile cordless vacuum is likely to be all you want.

Buying Options

You save $75 (25%)

If you hate cords, and you reside in a small dwelling with just some rugs or a single room with wall-to-wall carpeting, the cordless Ryobi 18V One+ HP Cordless Pet Stick Vac Kit with Dual-Roller Bar could also be your finest guess.

It’s an environment friendly cleaner. Although a cordless stick vacuum by no means reaches the cleansing energy of corded machine, the Ryobi 18V One+ HP stick vac’s motorized all-terrain cleaner head effectively grabbed sand, glitter, and Cheerios on rugs and carpets in our exams.

It has an extra-large dustbin. This mannequin’s dustbin has a capability that’s greater than double the capability of the dustbin on our different favourite cordless stick vacuum. So it may possibly maintain a good quantity of particles—together with unfastened carpet fibers and fur—without having frequent emptying.

Battery-powered and geared up with a good all-terrain brush, the Ryobi 18V One+ HP Cordless Pet Stick Vac works properly on all kinds of surfaces, together with carpets and rugs. Photo: Marki Williams

Its enhance mode works properly on cussed particles on carpets and rugs. The Ryobi 18V One+ HP vac has two cleansing modes: eco (which permits for a 35-minute run time, enough for many cleansing situations) and enhance. We appreciated its enhance mode when confronted with a dry, set-in hairball on a Tibetan rug.

It morphs right into a handheld vacuum and has helpful attachments. The Ryobi 18V One+ HP stick simply transforms right into a handheld vacuum, and it features a crevice device, a pivoting brush (excellent for dusting and fabric), and a particularly environment friendly motorized mini brush.

The Ryobi 18V One+ HP Cordless Pet Stick Vac comes with 4 implausible instruments, together with a motorized mini brush (backside left) that removes fur from even the clingiest delicate surfaces. Photo: Marki Williams

It has a sturdy building—however it’s a bit heavy. Though it doesn’t really feel fairly as cumbersome because it appears, the Ryobi 18V One+ HP’s heavy battery is positioned proper behind its deal with, and its motor is instantly beneath that, which triggered us to change palms steadily whereas vacuuming. The vacuum stands unsupported, so that you don’t must scramble to discover a place to prop it up for those who get pulled away.

It has a stable guarantee, and it’s versatile. Ryobi covers the 18V One+ HP vacuum with a three-year guarantee; this can be a longer interval than the protection on most cordless stick vacuums we examined. Its battery is replaceable (as are lots of its elements), and it suits with quite a lot of Ryobi instruments.

Read extra in regards to the Ryobi 18V One+ HP Cordless Pet Stick Vac Kit with Dual-Roller Bar in our information to cordless stick vacuums.

To assist us choose the fashions that clear rugs and carpets particularly properly, we checked out all the vacuums we advocate and targeted on the next attributes:

Cleaning efficiency: To perceive which vacuums work finest on delicate surfaces, we examined them on rugs of 4 totally different thicknesses: flatweave, low-pile, medium-pile, and high-pile. We measured airflow and suction, in addition to how properly every vac picked up cereal, birdseed, and glitter from our take a look at carpets. We unfold 50 grams of sand on a 2-foot-by-3-foot part of low- to medium-pile carpet and vacuumed it vigorously for 30 seconds. Then we measured how a lot of the sand the vacuum collected. We additionally evenly distributed rabbit and cat fur on the carpet, to evaluate how a lot effort it took for every machine to take away it.

Cleaner head design: We checked out every machine’s cleaner head and brush roll, to make certain it was environment friendly and mild sufficient for carpets and rugs. We checked whether or not its top and suction could possibly be adjusted to go well with various kinds of carpets, whether or not it featured automated shutoff, and whether or not it left streaks on the carpet whereas we had been cleansing.

Comfort, versatility, and ease of use: We thought of how simply and easily every vacuum’s wheels moved throughout totally different carpets and rugs, in addition to whether or not its attachments match their function. We favored vacuums that weren’t too noisy and had been comfy to make use of.

Warranty and repairs: We regarded for vacuums which have a good guarantee and that may be repaired and/or supply substitute elements (akin to batteries, brush rolls, and hoses, if relevant).

Michelle Ma wrote earlier variations of this information, which was first printed in 2018. This article was edited by Ingrid Skjong and Courtney Schley.  

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