The Best Upright Vacuum Cleaners of 2021 

Upright vacuums are classic for a reason.

Does your home take too long to clean? Are your floors covered in wall to wall carpeting that seems to trap difficult-to-remove dirt? An upright vacuum cleaner might be for you.

Upright vacuum cleaners are easy to maneuver and hold more dirt than other models. They can be used in a forward or reverse motion with little effort. Most can also be set to a low angle, ideal for reaching under furniture without bending over.

Want to know what you should look out for when buying one? Let’s take a closer look at some of the best products you can select for your home today.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum for Carpet and Hard Floor with Hand Vacuum and Anti-Allergy Seal (NV752), Bordeaux (Renewed)
Best for Allergies
Shark Rotator NV752
  • Anti-allergen technology
  • TruePet motorized brush
  • Powered lift-away technology
Product Image of the Shark ZU561 Navigator Lift-Away Speed Self Cleaning Brushroll Lightweight Upright Vacuum with HEPA Filter, Red
Best for Hard-to-Reach Areas
Shark Navigator Lift-Away
  • Lift-away technology
  • Wide selection of accessories
  • Suction release feature
Product Image of the Shark APEX AZ1002 DuoClean with Self-Cleaning Brushroll Lift-Away Upright Vacuum, Crevice and Upholstery Tools, Pet Power Brush.88 Dry Quarts, Black
Best for Quiet Operation
Shark Apex Duo-Clean
  • Lowest noise output
  • Dual motorized brushes
  • LED lights
Product Image of the Bissell Cleanview Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, Orange, 1831
Best for Fast, Deep Cleaning
Bissell Cleanview
  • One pass technology
  • Two-liter dirt cup capacity
  • Specialty tools included
Product Image of the Eureka NEU180B Lightweight Powerful Upright, Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner for Home, Essential, Old Model
Best Lightweight
Eureka NEU180B
  • Extremely lightweight & portable
  • Extra large dust bin
  • Cyclonic technology
Product Image of the Oreck Magnesium RS Swivel-Steering Upright Vacuum Cleaner, with HEPA Filter Bag, Lightweight, LW1500RS, Blue/Black
Best High-End Vacuum
Oreck Magnesium RS
  • High speed of 7000 RPM
  • Versatile
  • Twin LED lights
Best for Pet Hair Removal
Dyson Ball Animal 2
  • Tangle-free turbine tool
  • Ball technology
  • Whole machine HEPA filtration

Why Buy an Upright Vacuum Cleaner?

Upright vacuums are very popular in the US, UK, and Commonwealth countries. The majority of European countries, though, seem to prefer canister models. Is this only a matter of personal preference?

When it comes to picking dirt off your floors, both types of vacuum will get the job done. Upright vacuum cleaners, however, are better suited for spacious houses as they have a wider brush roll. This results in less time needed to clean large areas.

Upright models also score remarkably high when it comes to raw power. There is no loss of suction through a long wand and hose. The full suction power is right on the floor in front of you at all times.

What’s more, upright vacuums are more effective than canister models on rugs and carpeting, thanks to their rotating brush. They can remove dirt, pet hair, and other debris from deep within the carpeted surface.

Plus, you can select your desired control setting on an upright vacuum cleaner. This allows you to thoroughly clean different carpet pile heights. Upright vacuum cleaners are designed with these differences in mind.

Carpet Pile Height: This refers to the visible fibers on the surface of the carpet. Usually, carpets are low-pile, medium-pile or high-pile. How tall these fibers stand from the carpet surface determines their category.

Types of Upright Vacuum Cleaners

As we’ve seen, upright vacuum cleaners are the most powerful type of machines. They do offer a variety of options to choose from. We’ll go over them to help you select the type of vacuum that is right for your cleaning needs.

Bagged Upright Vacuums

Product Image of the Oreck Magnesium RS Swivel-Steering Upright Vacuum Cleaner, with HEPA Filter Bag, Lightweight, LW1500RS, Blue/Black

Bagged upright vacuums hold more dirt than bagless. Usually, there is an indicator that alerts you when the bag is full. These machines are suited for people with allergies because there is no contact with dust and dirt when replacing the bag.

However, you will need to buy replacement bags, which is an added cost.


  • Hold more dirt.
  • No contact with allergens.
  • Better at in depth-cleaning of rugs and carpets.


  • You need to spend money on replacement bags.

Bagless Upright Vacuums

Product Image of the Bissell Cleanview Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, Orange, 1831

Bagless upright vacuums feature a dust cup that can be emptied and reused countless times. This means some dust and allergens will escape into the air when you empty it. The dust cup is typically not sealed.

You will also need to wash and replace filters more often with a bagless vacuum cleaner.


  • Dust cup is reusable.
  • You can see the dirt accumulating.
  • Saves money because you don’t need to buy replacement bags.


  • Not suitable if you suffer from allergies.
  • Filters need to be cleaned and replaced more often.

Corded Upright Vacuums

Product Image of the Shark ZU561 Navigator Lift-Away Speed Self Cleaning Brushroll Lightweight Upright Vacuum with HEPA Filter, Red

Corded upright vacuums are more powerful and reliable when it comes to cleaning large surfaces. Since they need to be plugged into a socket, they will not run out of power.

They are larger and hold more dirt than cordless models.

Corded vacuums are considered the better option by most expert reviews.


  • More powerful and reliable cleaning.
  • No cleaning time limit.
  • Hold more dirt.


  • They are heavier than cordless options.

Cordless Upright Vacuums

Product Image of the Hoover Linx Signature Stick Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery, Lightweight, BH50020PC, Black

Cordless vacuums are excellent back-up vacuums. They are light and portable — perfect for cleaning up a spill or a car. Yet, they are noisier and do not clean as deeply as corded ones.

Also, you’ll need to empty and clean them after each use. If you suffer from allergies, this type of vacuum may not be the best option. Battery life can also be an issue.

As most cordless uprights are considered inferior to corded models, there are no cordless models on our list today.


  • Lightweight.
  • Extremely portable.
  • Do not need mains electricity to operate.


  • Not as powerful or reliable.
  • Noisier.
  • Need more maintenance.

Finding the Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner

With so many different upright vacuum cleaner models available on the market, how do you know which one to choose?

We’ve outlined some pointers that will help you make an informed decision.


For many of us, one of the most important factors is how much noise the vacuum makes. If you live in an apartment or have a baby at home, you’ll want to keep the noise level as low as possible.

Also, if you’re very busy, you may need to clean your house in the evening. The neighbors won’t want to hear your vacuum when they’re watching their favorite TV show!

A quiet appliance will allow you to vacuum when it best suits you. So when choosing, you will need to ensure the vacuum functions around a 60-65 decibel range. This is equivalent to the level of normal conversation (1).

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More people suffer from allergies nowadays than ever before. This is mostly due to pollution and contaminants present in the air, the water, or even the food we eat. Our bodies are constantly under attack.

Fortunately, some vacuums have a certified HEPA filter that traps 99.7% of dust and allergens. This feature will help protect you and your loved ones from allergic reactions. Especially if you have pets and children, you’ll need all the help you can get to keep your house spotless.

Keep in mind, though, that the filters must be washed thoroughly and replaced every six months to be effective.


Weight is another important factor when selecting the right upright vacuum cleaner. If your house is on different levels and you have stairs to vacuum, you’ll need a lightweight appliance.

The right machine will be easy to use for older adults too. Even after a certain age, it is important to feel independent enough to do our own cleaning.

Many upright models are extremely lightweight, allowing you to move around without straining yourself. Especially if your house is very large, and there are a lot of difficult areas to clean properly, you’ll find this useful.

Modern models allow you to reach under furniture and in corners keeping your back straight at all times. This can be important if you’ve got back problems or flexibility issues. You’ll be able to get all your cleaning done without bending over.


If you have pets, an upright vacuum cleaner designed to remove pet hair can be especially important. Particularly if you have young children prone to allergic reactions from pet hair. While other features like suction power are crucial, the easiest feature to look out for is power.

The appliance should have at least 1000 watts of power to make sure it can remove even the smallest hair. It will also feature special brushes to aid with hair removal from different surfaces comfortably.

We all know that pets will likely end up sleeping on couches or even our beds. So the more tools we have to aid with the cleaning, the better.

Bagged or Bagless

Do you prefer a vacuum with a disposable bag you can replace often? This is a plus because it holds more dirt. Also, when you throw it away, no dust or dirt is released in the air.

Or would you rather choose one with a dustbin that can be cleaned and reused? This means you won’t have to bother with buying and replacing the bag. But you’ll have to empty the dirt bin and wash it, along with the filters of the machine.

Bagless or bagged comes down to a matter of personal preference since this does not affect the overall operation of the machine.

Corded or Cordless

Another feature to consider when buying an upright vacuum is whether to choose a cordless or corded model. Cordless models are much lighter and can be carried easily anywhere. They typically weigh just 3 kilos against the 7 kilos of corded ones.

That said, cordless vacuums are much smaller and cannot hold as much dirt. The average one holds 0.7 liters, compared with 2.3 liters for a corded model. They also need a lot more maintenance or can get clogged and not work optimally.

Cordless vacuums have batteries, and on full power, they only run about 12 minutes. This makes them ideal for cleaning up spills, but not an entire house, since they are not as reliable. They would make an excellent choice for a versatile back-up vacuum.

Cordless models are also not suited for allergy sufferers since there is frequent contact with dust and allergens. This is due to the necessity of emptying the small dirt bin and cleaning the vacuum after each use.


Getting an accurate power rating when buying an upright vacuum cleaner can be a struggle. There are usually two measurements of power related to vacuum cleaners, watts and air watts. Watts is the standard SI unit for power and is the total power used by the machine and its motor.

Air watts are an indicator of the motor efficiency and suction power of the vacuum. This is measured in pascals so you can see the rating written as “Air watts”, “AW” or “Pa”.

Household vacuum cleaners can consume up to 2500 Watts. Air watts will always be a lot lower than watts.

Air watts are normally in the range of 250-480. Two similar machines can have the same wattage but different air wattage. If one vacuum is less efficient than the other and power is wasted on heat or sound, it will have fewer air watts.

Unfortunately, lots of sellers and companies don’t list all the power ratings. Some have watts, and some, air watts or pascals. Others give no power ratings at all or give the motor’s amps, which means you have to work out the wattage yourself using Ohm’s law.

Most cordless vacuums give the size of their battery in volts as an indication of their power.

Last but not least, the more powerful the machine, the more electricity it will consume.

Additionally, consider the following: a more powerful machine will, generally, be heavier and harder to handle, especially if you have to carry it up and down flights of stairs.

It is also likely to be noisier, and more expensive than a less powerful model. However, it will probably collect more dirt, allowing you to clean thoroughly, and for longer, before emptying the dustbin.

The Best Upright Vacuums of 2021

We’ve spent hours researching the best upright vacuum cleaners. This includes our own personal experiences, analyzing previous customer reviews, the official brand websites, and other trustworthy resources. Here are our top seven choices available on the market, and everything you should know about them.

1. Shark Rotator NV752 Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Best for Allergies Upright Vacuum

Do you or your loved ones suffer from allergies?

Then, you’re not alone. Especially if you have pets, it is important to keep your living spaces spotless.

After long consideration, our choice as best for alleviating allergies is the Shark Rotator NV752.

This machine is incredible at capturing dust, dirt, and pet hair from any surface.

Why We Love It

Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology

The Anti-allergen Complete Seal Technology plus HEPA filter system ensures maximum reduction of allergens in your home.

TruePet Motorized Brush Included

This attachment is included with the machine. Pet hair is a leading cause of allergies. Using this attachment will get rid of even the smallest traces left behind by your beloved animals.

Powered Lift-Away Technology

You can easily detach the dirt bin for deep cleaning of hard-to-reach areas. This machine also features LED lights to illuminate hidden dirt and swivel steering for effortless maneuvering.

Keep In Mind

Heavy to Use

The machine weighs 15.5 pounds, but it is not self-propelling. If you’re looking for a very lightweight and portable upright vacuum, this one may not be for you.

Additional Specs

Air Filters Felt, Foam, HEPA
Weight 15.5 pounds
Power Rating 1200 watts
Cleaning Path Width 12 inches
Warranty 90 days limited warranty

2. Shark Navigator Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum

Best for Hard-to-Reach Areas Upright Vacuum

Looking for an ultra-quiet, portable upright bagless vacuum that can reach areas of difficult access?

This model may be for you.

With the Lift-Away technology, the push of a button is enough to detach the dust bin.

It’s ideal for you to clean anywhere, anytime. Moreover, it offers great maneuverability with its swivel steering technology.

It also comes with the following accessories included:

  1. Duster crevice tool.
  2. Hair-removal multi-tool.
  3. Wide upholstery tool.
  4. Anti-allergen complete seal technology.

Why We Love It

Lift-Away Technology

Lift-Away Technology is a great idea when you need to clean small or difficult to access places. You won’t need to move the furniture or overexert yourself, but simply press a button to detach the dust bin. In lift-away mode, the bin becomes a portable, ultra-light vacuum.

It also features swivel steering, for excellent control when moving around furniture or corners. The Brushroll Shutoff button allows you to comfortably switch from carpet to bare floor surfaces. It makes it ideal for different parts of the house.

Wide Selection of Parts and Accessories

This upright vacuum cleaner comes fully equipped with different tools and brushes. But if you’re a fan of extras, it offers a wide selection of additional accessories to purchase for any cleaning need. From the handle with a hose to the motorized floor nozzle, there are thirteen different options to choose from.

Suction Release Feature

Ever vacuumed a lightweight carpet that just sticks to the vacuum cleaner and lifts up off the floor? The suction release feature avoids this from happening. It regulates the suction power so you can clean upholstery or lightweight materials without having them sucked into the vacuum.

It is also safe enough to use on more delicate fabrics such as upholstery or drapes.

Keep In Mind

Inefficient Anti-Hair Wrap Technology

The one aspect of this product that some users were not happy with was the anti-hair wrap technology.

The hair does wrap around the brush, especially fine pet hair. This does not prevent the vacuum from removing it from carpets or surfaces. However, the brush is not completely self-cleaning.

Additional Specs

Dirt Bin Capacity 2.1 liters
Weight 13.4 pounds
Power Rating 1200 watts
Air Filters Felt, Foam, HEPA
Warranty 5-year limited

3. Shark Apex Duo-Clean Upright Vacuum

Best for Quiet Operation Upright Vacuum

This model has been voted one of the top vacuum cleaners for quiet operation in the category of uprights.

If you live in an apartment or have a baby in the house, the noise output may be the deciding factor when you choose your vacuum cleaner.

The noise level of this one is just under 70 dB.

That value is among the lowest found on the market today.

Why We Love It

Lowest Noise Output of Its Category

This appliance is as silent as an upright vacuum can be. Its noise level is slightly higher than that of the voice of a person speaking in a regular tone. You’ll be able to take care of your vacuuming even in the evening, without the risk of annoying your neighbors.

Dual Motorized Brushes

Two brushes work together to clean more efficiently. One is soft and lifts the dust and dirt, while the other is hard and takes care of more stubborn grime. Whether it’s upholstery, carpets, or bare floors, your house will be spotless.

If you have pets, this vacuum cleaner does a great job of removing pet hair as well. It’s a top of the line machine and reviews are impressive.

LED Lights

Shark Apex Duo Clean features two LED lights to pick up even the smallest speck of dust. Plus, there’s an extra LED light near the handle.

It also features fingertip controls so you can change floor modes with a touch.

Keep In Mind

No Suction Control

While a great feature of this vacuum cleaner is that it’s very powerful, some users wished that they could regulate the suction power.

Additional Specs

Power Rating 1350 watts
Weight 16.3 pounds
Cleaning Path Width 11.9 inches
Filters Felt, Foam, HEPA
Warranty 7 years limited

4. Bissell Cleanview Upright Bagless Vacuum

Best for Fast, Deep Cleaning Upright Vacuum

Do you like to see how much dirt can come off your seemingly-clean carpets and floors?

Most users were amazed at how much filth this upright bagless vacuum cleaner sucks up.

Many mentioned that they could finally see the bright colors of their carpets again.

You can also choose a variety of accessories for your cleaning needs. For example, there’s the pet brush, the hand vacuum, and different kinds of filters.

Why We Love It

One Pass Technology

Wouldn’t it be great to get dirt off any surface in one go? This Bissell Cleanview features One Pass Technology to clean on the first attempt. No need to go over the same area again for optimal results.

It is excellent at removing pet hair, allowing you to bring back your carpets and surfaces to their original state.

Easy-Empty Two-Liter Dirt Cup Capacity

Thanks to the transparent cover, you’ll see the dirt piling up in the bin. So, you’ll always know when the dirt cup needs to be emptied. It can hold up to two liters and is very easy to remove and clean, saving you time and energy.

This Bissell is lightweight and easy to push and carry, without sacrificing suction power. It features a special brush that lifts dirt particles and effortlessly captures them inside the dirt cup.

Specialty Tools Included

This vacuum features a turbo brush tool, a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and an extension wand to accommodate any cleaning requirement.

Keep In Mind

No Variable Suction Control

Variable suction control is a useful vacuum function. When cleaning upholstery, for example, you would need to choose a more delicate suction power. While this vacuum cleaner offers different tools, unfortunately, the power is always full on.

Additional Specs

Cleaning System Multi-cyclonic
Weight 15.4 pounds
Power Rating 1200 watts
Cleaning Path Width 13.5”
Warranty 2-year limited

5. Eureka NEU180B Powerful Upright Vacuum

Best Lightweight Upright Vacuum

This upright bagless vacuum has been voted by consumers as one of the best models for seniors.

It is one of the most lightweight uprights available on the market. Obviously, there are many reasons why having an easily portable vacuum can be a priority.

For one, if you live in a house with lots of stairs, you’d appreciate this. Or perhaps, if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength, this machine could be a great choice.

Why We Love It

Extremely Lightweight and Portable

With a weight of just under ten pounds, this upright vacuum is one of the most portable available. You’ll be able to carry it without overexerting yourself. It won’t be difficult for any family member to use this vacuum with ease.

Extra Large Dust Bin

How many of us get annoyed if we have to interrupt our cleaning because the vacuum dust cup needs emptying? This upright vacuum cleaner features an extra-large one that holds up to 2.6 liters. You will get the whole house done before this dust cup needs dumping.

The maintenance of this upright vacuum is minimal. All you need to do is empty the dust cup, wash the filter, and you’re done.

Cyclonic Technology

Besides having a powerful motor, this Eureka upright uses cyclonic technology. This creates a strong air flow that removes even stuck dirt particles and never loses suction power.

It comes equipped with different accessories that are stored on the vacuum. They include a crevice tool, dusting brush, and an upholstery tool. It also has a two-stage filtration system to trap allergens.

Finally, its five-step height adjust system will let you easily select for the type of surface to clean.

Keep In Mind


Unfortunately, some customers reported that the machine was noisy.

Additional Specs

Cleaning System Cyclonic Technology
Weight 10 pounds
Power Rating N/A
Dust Bin Capacity 2.6 liters
Warranty 2 years limited

6. Oreck Magnesium RS Bagged Upright Vacuum

Best High-End Upright Vacuum

Buying a vacuum cleaner is not something we do every day. So some of us may view it as an investment — and are willing to spend on it.

We’ve chosen this Oreck machine as our favorite high-end upright vacuum.

Surprisingly lightweight, this vacuum was designed with an eye for detail. It promises to make your cleaning experience truly effortless.

It features two-speed fingertip controls to adjust brush tool speed to clean carpets and floors, and is safe on delicate surfaces.

Why We Love It

High Speed of 7000 RPM

When you need extra suction power, this machine does not disappoint. You can select the power needed with the wireless QuickSwitch in the handle. The higher setting will spin the roller brush at a powerful 7000 RPM to accommodate extreme cleaning needs.


If you have a fine floor, you don’t want a vacuum cleaner to ruin it. Thankfully, this model is safe to use even on the most delicate surfaces.

It is extremely lightweight, and ultra-maneuverable thanks to the SlimSwivel design. This allows the machine to lay flat to reach under furniture. Cleaning under beds without bending over will be as easy as vacuuming anywhere else.

Five layers of filtration ensure your house will be free from allergens, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and dust. Plus, the SaniSeal System traps all particles as small as 0.3 microns. The motor is protected against jamming by the Endurolife belt.

Twin LED Lights

This vacuum features twin LED lights to spot any dirt particles hidden in dark corners or under furniture. The lights will ensure that your cleaning is truly thorough.

Keep In Mind

Not as Sturdy as Older Models

Some customers complained that older models were made with sturdier materials that would last longer.

Additional Specs

Filters HEPA
Weight 7.7 pounds
Power Rating N/A
Lights Twin LED
Warranty 7-year limited

7. Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum

Best for Pet Hair Removal Upright Vacuum

Are you an animal lover whose main concern is how to keep your house free of fur?

Then this may be the right product for you.

This upright vacuum cleaner comes with a tangle-free turbine tool, designed to remove pet hair.

This upright vacuum cleaner also features a combination tool and a stair tool.

Why We Love It

Tangle-free Turbine Tool

This machine was engineered to remove fur balls and pet hair. The tangle-free turbine tool comes without a brush bar where fur can wrap around, making it ideal for hair removal.

Ball Technology

It is a very powerful machine, and its Ball Technology makes it extremely versatile. A turn of the wrist is sufficient to steer the machine in any given direction. Navigating the vacuum around obstacles or furniture is easy.

Its self-adjusting cleaner head allows you to pass from a carpet to the floor without changing the setting. It also features an instant-release high-reach wand to clean difficult to reach areas or ceilings. To empty the dirt bin, all you have to do is click a button.

Whole Machine HEPA Filtration

Having pets sometimes goes hand in hand with allergic reactions. This machine is certified asthma and allergy-friendly. It also features a washable lifetime filter that will not need replacing.

Keep In Mind

Some Customers Complain It Is Too Powerful

We’ve noticed that some customers have been disappointed that the machine is too powerful. Particularly, they report that vacuuming becomes like a gym workout. This is because the suction power is so strong that handling the machine becomes difficult.

Additional Specs

Cleaning System Radial Root Cyclone
Weight 17.5 pounds
Power Rating 1200 watts
Filter Washable lifetime filter
Guarantee 30-day money-back guarantee

Upright Vacuum Comparison Chart

Product Award Filters Cleaning System Weight Power Cleaning Path Warranty
Shark Rotator Best For Allergies Felt, Foam, HEPA N/A 15.5 lbs 1200 W 12″ 90 days limited warranty
Shark Navigator Best For Hard-to-Reach Areas Felt, Foam, HEPA N/A 13.4 lbs 1200 W N/A 5-year limited
Shark Apex Best For Quiet Operation Felt, Foam, HEPA N/A 16.3 lbs 1350 W 11.9″ 7-year limited
Bissell Cleanview Best For Fast, Deep Cleaning N/A Multi-cyclonic 15.4 lbs 1200 W 13.5” 2-year limited
Eureka NEU180B Best For Lightweight N/A Cyclonic Technology 10 lbs N/A N/A 2-year limited
Oreck Magnesium Best High-End Vacuum HEPA N/A 7.7 lbs N/A N/A 7-year limited
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Best For Pet Hair Removal Washable filter Radial Root Cyclone 17.5 lbs 1200 W N/A 30-day money back

Let’s Vacuum It Up

Whether your house is large or you want the most powerful appliance available, upright vacuum cleaners offer superior suction power. No power is lost in the hoses or wands; it is all at your disposal.

We’ve looked at the best upright vacuums on the market for you. Better yet, we’ve given our chosen products awards in seven different categories to help you make the most satisfactory choice.

Do you have a favorite from our list? Let us know if you’ve ever used one of the ones we recommend. Were you satisfied? Tell us your stories by leaving us a comment in the dedicated section below!

Headshot of Amy Anthony

About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!