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The Best Upright Vacuum

Last updated on August 21, 2019

We looked at the top 12 Upright Vacuums and dug through the reviews from 80 of the most popular review sites including Consumer Reports, PC Magazine, Top Ten Reviews, CNET, The Spruce, New York Times Wirecutter and more. The result is a ranking of the best Upright Vacuums.

Best Upright Vacuum

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Our Picks For The Top Upright Vacuums

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Lift-Away

Overall Take

Lots of ToolsWith tons of tools and an extension wand, the Shark can get dirt in all those tiny crevices and corners.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus Consumer Reports, Top Ten Reviews, New York Times Wirecutter, The Spruce, CNET, Business Insider and 5 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Pros
" Highs: Excelled at removing embedded dirt from carpets - Performed well when cleaning bare floors, ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and hardwood floors. - Excelled at capturing all the dust it picks up, important if you have allergies or other..."
Cons
"This vacuum is more expensive than most budget options, at over $100."

Hoover

WindTunnel T Series

Overall Take

Suction PowerFor top-notch suction power and a vacuum that can pick up everyday dirt and pet hair, this model can't be beat.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus The Spruce, Business Insider, BestReviews, Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping, Modern Castle and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart.
Pros
" Hoover's WindTunnel 3 tech creates 3 suction channels to lift and remove pet hair and dirt. The bagless model and washable filter mean you won’t have to purchase replacements or find yourself without a bag and unable to vacuum before..."
Cons
"Noisy, no brush attachment, not self-propelled."

Oreck

XL Commercial Upright

Overall Take

Heavy-Duty CleaningA heavy-duty vacuum perfect for lots of carpeting.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus The Spruce, Tech Gear Lab, Reviews.com and 7 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" The 12-inch wide cleaning brush means dirt doesn’t stand a chance in its path. And the vacuum itself only weighs eight pounds, making it easy to maneuver for everyone."
Cons
"The Oreck did a terrible job at collecting rice on the shallow carpet, taking over six passes and still leaving a ton of residual debris behind. This model tended to suck in the rice, crush it up, then leave it..."
  The Best Value

Bissell

Cleanview

Overall Take

Great DealAn affordable vacuum with a large canister that's easy to empty.

Experts Included
DWYM Home Experts plus Reviews.com, Consumer Reports, BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews, Good Housekeeping and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy.
Pros
" On the forward pass, it suctions about half of all debris we strewed before it while throwing the rest out behind it. On the backward pass, it picks up everything it tossed, and your floor is 100 percent clean. Is..."
Cons
"Lows: You must bend to adjust the pile height. - The on/off switch is inconveniently placed. - Requires manually emptying the bin, which is messier and sometimes presents problems for those with allergies or other respiratory issues. - Lacks suction..."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the upright vacuums available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

80

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Consumer Reports, PC Magazine, Top Ten Reviews, CNET, The Spruce.

119,417

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Target.

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Upright Vacuums and also dug through the reviews from 80 of the most popular review sites including Consumer Reports, PC Magazine, Top Ten Reviews, CNET, The Spruce, New York Times Wirecutter and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Upright Vacuums.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Shark Navigator Lift-Away

Our Expert Score
8.2
11 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
3,542 user reviews
The Most Helpful Videos
Our Take

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is the top overall recommended pick because of its reasonable price point and multiple tools, including two sizes of crevice tools. The removable handle doubles as an extension wand. It's also extremely efficient at removing any embedded dirt and dust from the floor.

What other experts liked
Highs: Excelled at removing embedded dirt from carpets - Performed well when cleaning bare floors, ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and hardwood floors. - Excelled at capturing all the dust it picks up, important if you have allergies or other...
- Consumer Reports
The Shark Navigator has more tools than most of the comparable vacuum cleaners, including two different crevice tools.
- Top Ten Reviews
After our look at more than 525 vacuums over hundreds of hours, our favorite vacuum for most people is still the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352.
- New York Times Wirecutter
The Shark NV352 Navigator Lift-Away is a compact upright vacuum with a removable handle that doubles as an extension wand. It's especially unique in that the top half of the vacuum can detach from the floor brush for portable cleaning....
- Reviewed
Powerful, lightweight, and an overall value, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional claims the top spot for vacuum cleaners and is ideal for most families. What’s great about this model is that it’s easy to assemble and use, plus it maintains...
- The Spruce
The Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away is a veritable master of versatility. It comes with so many attachments and accessories that you are pretty much guaranteed to have the right brush for the job at hand.
- CNET
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 is a strong all-around vacuum, but the reliability and durability are what put this model above its competitors (and some pricier options). It needs less maintenance than other vacuums at this price, and it has...
- Forbes
Quite a few Navigator reviewers came back years after their first review to update potential buyers about their experiences with the brand. From what we can tell, the Navigator is like a fine wine. It ages well over time...
- Floor Critics
The "Lift-Away" portion of the name refers to the option of lifting the canister and hose right off the base for easy vacuuming of stairs, underneath furniture, tight corners, and those pesky cobwebs dangling from the high reaches of your...
- Business Insider
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum (NV352) was a solid purchase due to its lightweight design, swiveling head, and impressive suction power. The ‘never loses suction’ technology is extremely powerful, allowing you to easily transition from bare hardwood floors to area...
- Home Floor Experts
Great suction power, easily absorbing both debris or dust particles, and pet hair. Surprisingly, the vacuum cleaner has a quiet working mechanism. The on-off brush power is very good when you are handling hardwood or tile floor surfaces.
- Vaccumpal
What other experts didn't like
Lows: The on/off switch is inconveniently placed. Requires manually emptying the bin, which is messier and sometimes presents problems for those with allergies or other respiratory issues. Lacks a manual carpet-height adjustment, which is better than automatic systems...
- Consumer Reports
This vacuum is more expensive than most budget options, at over $100.
- Top Ten Reviews
Though the Shark NV352 Navigator Lift-Away makes a lot of promises, many of them on late-night television, it largely fails to deliver. The lightweight and maneuverable vacuum has a very ergonomically-friendly extension wand, but the whole setup gave the impression...
- Reviewed
It didn't lead during performance testing. Then again, it costs $450 less than some of its competition -- and in many cases the results were only marginally worse.
- CNET
On the downside, owners wish the electrical cord was longer, and some said the vacuum cleaner was a bit top-heavy. Hose is a bit short at 5 feet; electric cord is short at only 25 feet.
- Business Insider
There are a few aspects I should probably insist on. First of all, there is a good chance that your vacuum will fall down and spill the contents of the dust can over since the support is not the best....
- Home Floor Experts
It happens to be too top-heavy and can easily tip over as a result. The cord and hose are both short so it can be challenging to reach certain surfaces in the house.
- Vaccumpal

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Bissell Cleanview

Expert Summarized Score
6.9
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.1
14,387 user reviews
Our Take

If you're looking for a great deal on a top-notch vacuum, look no further than the Bissell Cleanview. The large capacity canister of the Bissell Cleanview holds a great deal of dirt. However, it is still easy to empty. The washable features also keep your home cleaner without any added expense.

What other experts liked
This model features a large-capacity dirt container that’s easy to empty. The washable filter helps keep your house fresh and clean while sparing you the expense of purchasing new filters. It comes equipped with multiple attachments for cleaning and dusting your floors, furniture, and more. It’s lightweight enough to move...
- Floor Critics
Very easy to remove the dirt from the dustbin. It cleans up most of your dirt upon initial contact with the surface. Very easy to set up and maintain.
- Vaccumpal
On the forward pass, it suctions about half of all debris we strewed before it while throwing the rest out behind it. On the backward pass, it picks up everything it tossed, and your floor is 100 percent clean. Is that “One & A Half Pass Technology”? We’re not sure,...
- Reviews.com
Highs: Performed well when cleaning bare floors, ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and hardwood floors. - Did well at picking up pet hair, useful if you have a cat or dog. - Excelled at capturing all the dust it picks up, important if you have allergies or other respiratory issues. -...
- Consumer Reports
Its filtration system removes most indoor allergens known to trigger perennial allergies.
- BestReviews
This vacuum has suction control so it can adjust for different surfaces.
- Top Ten Reviews
It is affordable – To start, this cleaner is highly affordable. Vacuum users will empathize with the difficulty of finding an effective vacuum at a good price point. The BISSELL Cleanview 9595 is a complete steal and definite value for the cost.
- Home Floor Experts
Good air performance at the end of the hose. Good at removing embedded dirt and pet hair from carpet. Quiet while vacuuming. Easy to empty dust cup without making a mess. Helpful customer service line. Inexpensive.
- Good Housekeeping
What other experts didn't like
Filter must be cleaned after every few uses (and in some cases, after every use.) Failure to keep the filter clean or properly in place will result in damage to the motor. While the dust canister is easy to empty, doing so can be messy.
- Floor Critics
The hose is shorter than other cleaners, while the wand does not get very far. It can be noisy and irritating, though this is not a major issue. The buttons are in awkward places and you cannot turn off the brushes from the power switch.
- Vaccumpal
The Bissell won’t win any awards in the design department — it’s a basic and bulky 15 pounds of purple and black plastic. It lacks a molded handle with a grippy texture, so it’s not particularly ergonomic or comfortable; if you get distracted, the handle could slip right out of...
- Reviews.com
Lows: You must bend to adjust the pile height. - The on/off switch is inconveniently placed. - Requires manually emptying the bin, which is messier and sometimes presents problems for those with allergies or other respiratory issues. - Lacks suction control, which helps protect drapes when using tools. - ...
- Consumer Reports
Suction power isn't as high as some of the more expensive models.
- BestReviews
It is bulky and awkward around corners.
- Top Ten Reviews
The switch is at the bottom – First on the list of drawbacks is the switch. Located at the bottom of the vacuum, it can be a bit difficult to reach. One customer stated that turning the cleaner on and off was a hassle.
- Home Floor Experts
Scattered some of the dirt when cleaning bare floors. Tipped over when the hose was extended too far from the vacuum.
- Good Housekeeping

Overall Product Rankings

1. Shark Navigator Lift-Away

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 14

2. Hoover WindTunnel T Series

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 12

3. Oreck XL Commercial Upright

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 12

4. Bissell Cleanview

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 12

5. Sebo Felix

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 6

6. Dirt Devil Razor

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 8

7. Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 11

8. Dyson Ball Animal 2

Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 12

9. Hoover React

Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 6

10. Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal

Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 10

11. Oreck Magnesium RS

Overall Score: 6.5
Reviews Included: 8

Our Findings

Shark Navigator Lift-Away

What We Liked: The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is the top overall recommended pick because of its reasonable price point and multiple tools, including two sizes of crevice tools. The removable handle doubles as an extension wand. It’s also extremely efficient at removing any embedded dirt and dust from the floor.

Bissell Cleanview

Best Value

Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum with OnePass (Misc.)


List Price: $99.99 USD
New From: $99.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $99.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: If you’re looking for a great deal on a top-notch vacuum, look no further than the Bissell Cleanview. The large capacity canister of the Bissell Cleanview holds a great deal of dirt. However, it is still easy to empty. The washable features also keep your home cleaner without any added expense.

Hoover WindTunnel T Series

What We Liked: The Hoover WindTunnel T Series is great at picking up everyday dust and dirt. It also vacuums pet hair that other cleaners leave behind, making it a good choice for those with four-legged friends at home. This model also offers great suction power and a washable filter.

Our Upright Vacuum Buying Guide

Whether you have wall-to-wall carpet, original hardwood or a combination of flooring throughout your home, having a vacuum cleaner is a necessity. Upright vacuum cleaners have become much more commonplace than canister vacs in American homes, and with good reason.

Unlike canister vacuums, uprights have the motor and the suction head on the same unit. You push the vacuum in front of you rather than dragging a canister behind while maneuvering a long hose.

While the basic look of upright vacuums hasn’t changed much over time, today’s vacuum cleaners are sleek, modern and come in an array of designs and colors.

Upright vacuums are typically more affordable than canister vacs. They clean thick rugs and carpets efficiently, thanks to their motorized brushes. They also transition between different types of flooring easily; you can usually control the movements from room to room with your foot on the pedal.

You can avoid a backache that sometimes occurs when using a canister vacuum or a broom and dustpan, as an upright vacuum does not require much bending or stooping. The wide cleaning brushes of upright vacuums typically clean floors faster than canister vacuum as well.

In addition, many upright vacuums are lightweight, especially when compared to canister vacuums. If you plan to use a single vacuum throughout your home, an upright cleaner can save time and strain. This is especially true if you have multiple levels in your home.

Most upright vacuums include attachments. These additional tools connect easily to the vacuum hose, which pops on and off of the unit. The attachments provide many of the benefits of a canister vacuum, such as the ability to clean high or hard to reach places. You can use attachments to clean ceiling fans, walls, blinds, upholstery and baseboards.  You can also obtain special attachments that allow you to clean behind or beneath appliances, such as refrigerators or dryers.

Upright vacuums can be easy to clean and maintain. Rinsing filters and emptying canisters or bags takes minimal time and effort. Although it might be tedious at times, removing hair or other obstructions from the roller brush is not terribly difficult.

Storage is simple. You can tuck an upright vacuum cleaner into a closet or corner in virtually any room in your home.

DWYM Fun Fact

The first mechanical carpet sweeper was invented by Daniel Hess in 1860. The innovation had rotating brushes, not unlike those in today’s upright vacuum cleaners. Prior to this invention, housewives, servants and even children had to hang rugs outside and beat the dust and dirt out of them. This was typically a weekly chore. By the turn of the 20th century, an English engineer named H. Cecil Booth created an engine-driven carpet cleaner. The machine was pulled on a cart throughout the streets of London, and the operator would drag a 100-foot hose into buildings to vacuum the floors. In 1907, an Ohio janitor named Murray Spangler made his own, smaller version of Booth’s machine. William H. Hoover purchased the rights to Spangler’s vacuum and the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company was born. Hoover vacuum cleaners have been sold around the world ever since. In fact, many people in England refer to vacuuming as “hoovering.”

The Upright Vacuum Tips and Advice

  • A primary factor to consider when shopping for an upright vacuum cleaner is the type of flooring on which you intend to use it. Some vacuums work best on deep carpet; others are designed for thin rugs and bare flooring. Several models are made to clean an array of floor types. In addition, if you cannot turn off the roller brush of a vacuum cleaner, it might not be suitable for hardwood flooring.
  • If you opt for a vacuum cleaner that is capable of cleaning multiple types of flooring, look into what you must do to adjust the pile type or floor setting. For some upright vacuums, you must bend down to use an inconvenient or hard-to-reach dial make these adjustments. For others, the switch is on the handle or even automatic.
  • Considering the overall ease of use of a vacuum is also important. Is the vacuum corded or cordless? Where is the on and off switch? How much does the vacuum cleaner weigh? How wide is the brush? How easy is the vacuum to maneuver around or under furnishings?
  • Some brands and models of upright vacuums have features that help to remove allergens from the home, such as multiple filters and airtight canisters. If you or a loved one suffer from asthma, severe allergies or other respiratory issues, this type of vacuum might be the best choice.
  • Think about what you might want to clean with the vacuum aside from floors. Look for a vacuum cleaner that includes or has the option to add attachments for the areas that you require most.
  • Pet hair can be problematic for some upright vacuums. Other models, like the Hoover WindTunnel T Series, are designed to clean up fur, fuzz and other animal-related messes with ease. If you have a cat, dog or another four-footed family member, a vacuum cleaner designed for pet owners could save you time and money in the long run.
  • Upright vacuums can be difficult to maneuver around severe corners or winding flights of stairs. Considering the weight and maneuverability of a vacuum cleaner as well as your home’s design can be helpful when determining which vac is best for you.
  • Consider whether you want to replace bags and/or filters regularly. A bagged vacuum might contain more dust and allergens but will also require more attention and additional costs. Bagless vacuums with washable filters tend to be more convenient and lower maintenance.
  • Of course, your budget is a primary deciding factor as well. Purchasing the best vacuum you can while staying within your means is a good rule of thumb.

About The Author

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Tricia Goss 

Tricia Goss is a professional writer, editor and social media manager who lives in North Texas with her family and her dog. Tricia is a mom and grandma living in North Texas who strives to create a safe, organized and inviting environment for family and friends. She is obsessed with helping others organize their homes (and their lives), save money without sacrificing quality of life, and find peace amidst the chaos of life. She has been writing professionally for nearly two decades