Does it take forever to clean your home? Are your floors covered in wall-to-wall carpeting that seems to trap stubborn dirt? An upright vacuum cleaner might be for you.
Upright vacuum cleaners are easy to maneuver, and they hold more dirt than other models. You can use them 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 upright vacuum cleaners you can select for your home today.
- Anti-allergen technology
- TruePet motorized brush
- Powered lift-away technology
- Lift-away technology
- Wide selection of accessories
- Suction release feature
- Lowest noise output
- Dual motorized brushes
- LED lights
- One pass technology
- One-liter dirt cup capacity
- Specialty tools included
- Extremely lightweight & portable
- Extra large dust bin
- Cyclonic technology
- High speed of 7000 RPM
- Twin LED lights
- 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 clean different carpet pile heights thoroughly.
Carpet Pile Height: This refers to the visible fibers on the carpet’s surface. 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 machine. 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
Bagged upright vacuums hold more dirt than bagless. Usually, an indicator 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 which means less emptying.
- No contact with allergens which is great for your lungs.
- Better at in-depth cleaning of rugs and carpets.
- You need to spend money on replacement bags.
Bagless Upright Vacuums
Bagless upright vacuums feature a dust cup that you can empty and reuse 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, which saves you money in the long run.
- You can see the dirt accumulating, so you know when to empty the tank.
- Saves money because you don’t need to buy replacement bags.
- Not suitable if you suffer from allergies since you have to contact the dust when emptying the vacuum.
- You need to clean the filters monthly and replace them more often than bagged vacuums.
Corded Upright Vacuums
Corded upright vacuums are more powerful and reliable when 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 since they’re plugged into power.
- Hold more dirt which means less emptying for you.
- They are heavier than cordless options, sometimes spanning up to 15 pounds.
Cordless Upright Vacuums
Cordless vacuums are excellent backup 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 option often weighing as little as five pounds.
- Extremely portable and easy to transport around your entire home.
- Do not need mains electricity to operate; they run on a rechargeable battery.
- Not as powerful or reliable over the long term.
- Noisier than other options, which is frightening for pets and kids.
- Need more maintenance which is inconvenient for you.
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 low.
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 while 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 70-75 decibel range. This is equivalent to the level of normal conversation (1).
More people suffer from allergies nowadays than ever before.
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 every month, and replaced every six months to be effective.
The right machine will be easy to use for older adults too.
Many upright models are extremely lightweight, allowing you to move around without straining yourself. Especially if your house is huge, and there are a lot of tricky 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 essential, particularly if you have young children prone to allergic reactions from pet hair. While other features, like suction power, are crucial, power is the easiest feature to look out for.
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 hair removal from different surfaces comfortably.
We all know that pets will likely sleep 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 into the air.
Or would you rather choose one with a dustbin that can be cleaned and reused? This means you won’t have to buy and replace the bag. But you’ll have to empty the dirt bin and wash it, along with the machine’s filters.
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 choosing a cordless or corded model. Cordless models are much lighter and can be carried easily anywhere. They typically weigh just seven pounds against the 15 pounds 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 more maintenance or can get clogged and not work optimally.
Cordless vacuums have batteries, and they only run about 12 minutes on full power. 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 backup 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 vacuum’s motor efficiency and suction power. This is measured in pascals so that 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 usually are 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, many 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 to indicate 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 2022
Here are seven useful upright vacuums for deep cleaning your home.
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, keeping your living space spotless is important.
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.
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. This attachment will eliminate 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.
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.
|Air Filters||Felt, Foam, HEPA|
|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 excellent maneuverability with its swivel steering technology.
It also comes with the following accessories included:
- Duster crevice tool.
- Hair-removal multi-tool.
- Wide upholstery tool.
- Anti-allergen complete seal 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. The Brushroll Shutoff button switches from carpet to bare floor surfaces. It makes it ideal for different parts of the house.
Wide Selection of 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. There are thirteen options to choose from, from the handle with a hose to the motorized floor nozzle.
Suction Release Feature
Have you ever vacuumed a lightweight carpet that sticks to the vacuum cleaner and lifts 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 to use on more delicate fabrics such as upholstery or drapes.
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.
|Dirt Bin Capacity||2.1 liters|
|Power Rating||1200 watts|
|Air Filters||Felt, Foam, HEPA|
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.
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 general office noises. 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. It’s a top-of-the-line machine, and reviews are impressive.
LED Lights for Illuminating Dust
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.
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.
|Power Rating||1350 watts|
|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 handheld vacuum, and different kinds of filters.
One Pass Technology
Wouldn’t it be great to get the 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 One-Liter Dirt Cup
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 one liter 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. These extra tools give you more versatility when cleaning to spruce up every inch of the home.
Not for Long Hair
If you are someone who has long hair or your pet has, we must warn you that there might be a need for you to disassemble the bottom brush to remove these long hairs once it gets stuck for it may cause hazards as it easily dangles up in the belts if left unchecked.
|Power Rating||Not specified|
|Cleaning Path Width||13.5”|
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, weighing 10 pounds. Obviously, there are many reasons why having an easily portable vacuum can be a priority.
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.
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 easily.
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.
Strong Cyclonic Technology
Besides having a powerful motor, this Eureka upright uses cyclonic technology. This creates a strong airflow 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, a 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 the type of surface to clean.
Noisy for Some Customers
Unfortunately, some customers reported that the machine was noisy. If you’re sensitive to sounds or have young kids or pets, this may be one to remove from your list.
|Cleaning System||Cyclonic Technology|
|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.
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.
Versatile for Various Surface Types
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 Filtration Layers and SaniSeal System
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.
Not as Sturdy as Older Models
Some customers complained that older models were made with sturdier materials that would last longer. While it’s a high-end model, some parts feel quite cheap.
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 to remove pet hair.
This upright vacuum cleaner also features a combination tool and a stair tool. Get rid of pet fluff in every nook and cranny of your home.
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.
Versatile Ball Technology
It is a mighty machine, and its Ball Technology makes it highly 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.
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.
|Cleaning System||Radial Root Cyclone|
|Power Rating||1200 watts|
|Filter||Washable lifetime filter|
|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||HEPA filter||Multi-cyclonic||12.5 lbs||N/A||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||5 years|
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.
Whether you want something for removing pet hair or getting into tight corners, we’ve covered all bases.