Upright vacuum cleaners are the best things since, well, vacuum cleaners. Ask anyone you know, and they’ll tell you how great it is to have a machine that makes cleaning up less of a dreary chore.
With vacuum cleaners, a significant snag was the inability to get into some tricky corners of your home. For some people, the solution to this was to have multiple vacuums for different situations. However, thanks to the efforts of certain innovators, we have devices that provide excellent multitasking properties.
However, it’s been a while since the first vacuum cleaners were manufactured, and now the market is swarming with many upright vacuums and a couple of wannabes. So, deciding which one is best to spend your money on may be a bit of a chore, and that’s taking you right back where you started. However, here’s a list of the best upright vacuums on the market right now.
The Best Upright Vacuum
Not to sound like we’re moving with the crowd or anything, but if this vacuum is the top pick for both professional cleaners and homeowners, it’s more than capable of being your go-to choice for cleaning up dirt every day. A lot of product review sites have this model as their top choice, and while we’re not the type to follow the bandwagon, there is no denying the superiority of the Shark Rotator NV501.
The most impressive feature of the best Shark vacuum has to be the lift-away technology. With this, you can raise the canister away and use the separate extension to get into those tricky areas just at the push of a button. The Shark Rotator might be corded, but with a 30-foot wire, you have enough room to move around without worrying about getting stuck. However, if you’re not working with so much space, the vacuum comes with a cord hook that can be used to reel in excess cords for a more comfortable cleaning experience.
Lift-away technology and detachable canister for easy cleaning of difficult areas
Premium Pet Power Brush for deep cleaning
Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology plus HEPA filtration
Advanced swivel steering and LED headlights
Large dust cup for uninterrupted extended cleaning
- Weight15.5 pounds
Versatile and easy to use
Family-friendly and allergen-proof
Shark customer support not great
Hard to find single replacement parts
If you’re on a tight budget, but you don’t want to compromise on quality, then Eureka! This is totally for you. For a cheap upright vacuum cleaner, it packs some outstanding features. Weighing a mere 10kg, the Eureka Powerspeed packs a lot of heavy-duty cleaning power in such a light body. To get a proper clean, the machine comes with an array of accessories that can get in areas like sofa cushions, stairs, and window blinds.
A 7-inch long crevice tool also improves your ability to get into tricky corners like sofa cushions, and you can use the dusting brush to freshen up your shelves, counters, and door frames. If you have a pet, just like we do, there’s a brush roll for plucking out unwanted hair and for a vacuum upholstery tool for those delicate surfaces that require extra attention.
Five adjustable height settings
Translucent XL Dust Cup that empties from the bottom to reduce dust spread
Reusable, washable filter
Variety of cleaning attachments for cleaning mire surfaces
- Weight10 pounds
Generally one of the best lightweight upright vacuum cleaners
Bagless container easy to empty
Attachments are easy to set up and use
The motor is noisy
Extension hose is too short; challenging to clean high places
The Bissell Cleanview sucks, and it does it well. The most notable feature is the one-pass technology suction, so you don’t have to whizz through the same area twice to get a good clean. Just do it once, and you’ll be fine. The One-Pass will let you choose how much suction you use over different surfaces, allowing you to increase pressure over tough areas. The machine comes with a cyclonic system for suction, empowered to prevent dirt particles from going back into the air from your vacuum motor. As functional as this baby is, it only features e 2-liter canister provided by this vacuum cleaner—which is small compared to the options in this review might be less than a lot of other options.
The Bissell Upright Vacuum comes in a lightweight, bagless design that is equipped with five height adjustment settings and up to 32ft. of above-floor cleaning. This, with up to 12 inches of cleaning path, will boost cleaning efficiency. In terms of maintenance, you shouldn’t have issues. This upright vacuum is reasonably easy to maintain, and a neat indicator is also included to let you know if the filter is clean enough. There’s no allowance for sloppy cleaning with this lovely vacuum.
One-pass technology with suction control
Innovative brush design
Extended Cleaning Reach; 25-Foot Power Cord, 6-Foot Hose, And 12-inch Cleaning Path
- Weight15.4 pounds
One-Pass lives up to its name- great suction, plus suction control
Lightweight and easy to maneuver
Bagless canister means no fuss with vacuum bags
Hose attachment does not stretch very far- can be bulky and awkward around corners
It’s quite noisy
If you have spindly arms and would rather your vacuuming stay as a chore and not a workout routine, the Oreck Commercial XL Upright Vacuum Cleaner is a lifesaver. This vacuum cleaner is the lightest product on our list, coming in at an incredible 8 pounds. It features a low profile design that allows it to lay virtually flat and clean under the couch without hurting your knees. Depending on how big your apartment is, you might have to deal with an extra-long 35-foot power cord, a blessing for people who have large rooms or spaces to clean.
The Oreck Commercial XL has a fingertip-controlled power switch for added convenience, but that’s not all. You’ll find the powerful, high-speed, double helix brushes beneficial. That’s code for “cleans carpets of pet hair, debris, kitty litter, cereal stains, and every other mess pretty damn well.”
Automatic height adjustment
Self -locking bags
- BrandOreck Commercial
- Weight8.2 pounds
Good at cleaning up pet hair
No filters to clean up
Side brushes improve cleaning
Long power cord
Cannot clean above floors
The cord is not retractable, makes cleaning small spaces awkward
The Dyson Ball Animal is a beast of a machine, with a sleek and modern design that features a rollerball design and purple highlights. Still, that’s just the appetizer. When you unbox this baby, you get a bagless design, powered by a radial root cyclone technology that picks up even the most microscopic dust.
There are not many adjustable features on the Dyson Ball Animal 2. Still, that’s surprisingly not a bad thing. There’s only a button to turn the rolling brush on or off, unlike the Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS. The beauty of the Dyson is that it automatically adjusts to any floor you’re vacuuming, and the swiveling head on this upright cleaner makes it easy to work around furniture and sharp corners. When it picks up dirt, the vacuum cleaner automatically adjusts the filter to seal in suction across all floors. Add that to the list of tasks you won’t need to worry about here.
Radial Root Cyclones
Asthma and Allergy Friendly
One-touch bin emptying
Pet hair pickup system
- ModelUP20 Ball Animal 2
- Weight17.35 pounds
Compact enough to fit anywhere; collapsible handle makes the Ball Animal fit better into storage
Mess-free bin emptying
You don’t have to fuss about bags
It doesn’t come cheap. For a machine with its price tag, the Ball Animal 2 is not exactly better than the cheaper alternatives
The Ball Animal is a steady 17 pounds, so it would be difficult to lug around, especially if you’re cleaning a house with stairs
The Shark Navigator DLX has a lot going for it, but we believe it’s an average option in general. Some of its exciting features include a 12-foot long extension hose, which makes it easy to get into tricky areas. However, you might want to be careful with this hose, as it tends to fall over if you pull too hard.
Fortunately, the Shark DLX doesn’t discriminate on the type of wood you can use it on. It works quite well on carpets as it does on hardwood floors, thanks to a powerful 1,200-Watt motor that produces ten amps of motor power. That, plus a low base, means you probably won’t find it hard cleaning under low furniture.
Equipped with Shark’s Suction Seal Technology
Noise reduction technology
Brushroll shutoff; gentle on bare floors
30-foot power cord
- Weight15.2 pounds
Easy to use
Longer reach with a 12-foot hose
No cord rewind
Two filters require cleaning
No swivel steering
It may be about time to rename products from Sharks to the “Great Sharks,” because their products do such a bang-up job of cleaning up. The Massachusetts-based manufacturer didn’t skimp on the tiniest details for the Navigator. It includes accessories such as an 8-inch crevice tool, dusting brush, pet power brush and dust-away bare floor attachment with two microfiber pads, that makes it useful for cleaning up messes on bare floors. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away won’t lose suction during use, and it is versatile. The Lift-away technology gives you a lot more flexibility, as you can break the canister away from the motor piece.
On the Shark Navigator Lift-away Pro, you can detach the powerhead/brush roll from the canister and re-attach it to the wand for cleaning hard floors and under furniture. This feature sets this model apart from others. However, one major demerit of this vacuum is that the replacement parts are hard to come by. So, if the cord gets damaged for any reason, it might be difficult to get them replaced. Consider how well you handle things before purchasing them.
30-foot non-retractable cord
Brushroll on/off switch
Full bin indicator
- Weight13.7 pounds
Easy to empty
Long power cord
Pet hair pickup system
Awkward design, may seem a little top-heavy
On the heavy side
Makes a bit of noise, especially after a couple of uses
Warranty does not cover all possible faults
Another Dyson, and no, it didn’t make it to the list because it looks like a war weapon out of the Avengers (although we like that fact). The Multi Floor 2 is the lowest priced upright vacuum in the Dyson range, but with an impressive 250 AW of suction and a 1.6L dust bin capacity, it measures up to its more expensive counterparts. On a closer look, it seems this model is Dyson’s makeover vacuum for the expensive Animal 2.
The Multi Floor 2 lives up to its name, versatile enough to clean up messes from hardwood, carpets, rugs, and bare floors as well. At about 15lbs, it’s significantly lighter than the Animal 2, but it uses the same dual layer cyclones as its highly ranked distant cousin. This feature allows it to trap the finest of dirt and dust inside a see-through 5.5-gallon dustbin that is completely sealed and HEPA filtered to keep the dust in.
31-feet cord length; 40-feet max reach
Hygienic button-push bin empty
Self-adjusting spiral bristle style brush roll
12″ wide cleaning path
Washable lifetime filter
British Allergy Foundation Approval
- Weight15.6 pounds
Not as heavy as other Dyson uprights
Plenty of suction
Great for bare floors and low carpets
Ball design makes it hard to get under low-set furniture.
No special tools for cleaning up pet hair or litter
Low head cleaner struggles with large clumps of debris
Weight and width still makes it hard to carry
The Black and Decker AirSwivel is lightweight, but it has a lot going for it than just weight. The fascinating part of this cleaner is the 170° patented swivel, that offers a steering wheel maneuver on your vacuum. You can as well put on some rap music and pretend it’s a vintage Merc.
Thanks to its weight, the vacuum is easy to transport around the home. However, with its power cord that’s 20-feet long, you will need to consider the position of the power outlets as well. Compatibility is another thing that Black And Decker got right. It’s also less noisy than a lot of other vacuums on this list.
170° Swivel Steering for ultra flexibility
12” cleaning path
6.5 feet hose length (rather short)
20 feet cord length (not very long either)
2-in-1 crevice tool and small brush
- BrandBlack & Decker
- Weight9 pounds
Ease of use
Easy to clean
170° swivel offers more maneuverability than other brands
Not enough suction, compared to competitors
Belt breaking is a common problem
No height adjustment
One year limited warranty
Upright Vacuum Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection of The Best Upright Vacuums
The Width of Cleaning Path - An upright vacuum cleaner that comes with a full cleaning path will make it much easier for you to cover an entire floor in fewer passes. However, the problem with this so that it will make it more difficult to maneuver around any piece of furniture or get into tight spaces.
A good upright vacuum cleaner (such as the ones featured here) usually comes with around 15 inches of cleaning paths. Also, good upright vacuum cleaners come with cords and hoses (generally higher than 25 feet), s that you won't have to get it plugged into various outlets as you move to complete the cleaning of an area.
Weight - Weight is another specification that we looked into as we made our choice. We understand that at some point in time, you will need to lift your vacuum cleaner (even if it's only when you want to have the vacuum cleaner put inside a compartment for safekeeping. With a lightweight cleaner, this becomes incredibly easy.
HEPA Filter - The HEPA filter is a high-efficiency particulate air filter that can help with users that have asthma or any other respiratory issue (including allergies). Basically, a HEPA filter takes almost all of the air particles and debris that would have been otherwise expelled from your vacuum cleaner.
Noise Features - One of the most significant cases against vacuum cleaners in general (regardless of what category they are) is the noise they generate during use. However, manufacturers have been able to develop innovative technologies to ensure that they emanate a little less noise. We definitely put that into consideration when choosing our favorite picks as well. So with these, you don't necessarily have to suffer through cleaning your house and having the whole place sound like an industrial oil rig.
Things To Consider Before Buying Upright Vacuums
Cleaning Needs - Cleaning jobs are usually divided between the residential and commercial options, and each has its own needs. The requirements that you have will dictate a lot about the features that you will need to think about in an upright vacuum cleaner.
Features - Every upright vacuum cleaner comes with a specific list of features that will help it to perform its job efficiently. Most of the time, features are what differentiate the products offered by one manufacturer from the products that you get with another maker. Of course, some elements are much more essential than others; some are important, while others tend to be nothing but baggage from manufacturers who try every trick in the book to lure customers into purchasing the products. So, considering all of these, it is vital that you maintain a cursory look at what you're purchasing before you do.
Noise Levels - Noise levels might seem trivial at face value, but they are crucial when it comes to determining whether an appliance will be useful in cleaning. You will need a tool that can operate without giving off too much noise, especially if your cleaning will be taking place in a commercial location with people working around you. With people listening to their favorite songs or watching videos that are important to them, the last thing that you all need is a vacuum cleaner that comes in and shadows all of the sounds with the flick of a switch. So, get an upright vacuum cleaner that produces less noise. It will help save you a great deal of stress.
Vacuum Bags - There are different types of vacuum cleaner bags. Some are built to provide adequate protection from dust and other allergens, while others are HEPA vacuum bags. A number of these bags provide effective dust and dirt protection. However, if what you are looking for is optimal performance, then it is recommended that you replace your vacuum cleaner bags bi-monthly. Again, this will depend mainly on how often you use the vacuum cleaner itself.
Efficiency Dust Bags - Efficiency dust bags are little inclusions that help to clean tiny debris particles. They also help to maintain the cleanliness of your vacuum cleaner drum. You can quickly dispose of the dust bags, and they are relatively cheap as well.
Types of Cleaning Solutions - Cleaning solutions are features that are used to help get rid of stubborn stains and dirt from the surface of hard floor and carpets.
Cleaning solutions are primarily used for getting rid of stains and dirt from the surfaces of floors and carpets. Solutions are especially suitable for areas where commuting is high, because they act as essential complements for the cleaning and suction abilities of the vacuum cleaners.
Depending on the surface that you want to clean and what your specific needs are, some solutions can help you in general. Some will quickly get rid of stains, while some are adept at neutralizing the action of allergens and eliminating odors. So, if you are unable to get a multipurpose cleaning solution, then you might end up having to pair cleaning solution to get the job done.
Suction Power Control - The amount of suction power that your upright vacuum cleaner provides will go a long way in determining how effective it will be when it comes to cleaning your home in the long run. However, it is also vital that you consider the ability to control his suction power as well. If you don't have proper control over a vacuum cleaner's suction power, then your ability to clean surfaces like upholstery, carpets, and rugs would be limited a great deal.
Accessories - In today's world, there are quite a lot of accessories on the market made to help vacuum cleaners become much more efficient in operation. The top rated upright vacuum cleaners usually win in ratings because they incorporate these appliances. Again, as stated some of the features as appliances that you get are entirely useless and will do absolutely nothing to improve your user experience. Still, here are some of the tools and appliances that you can keep in mind:
Brush Agitator - Most times, you will find the brush agitator of a vacuum cleaner under the machine. It's used to dislodge dirt, dust, and debris from the ground or the carpet. It also ensures that the airflow can lift the light particles easily. Different cleaners have different brush agitators. Some models of brush agitators come with a switch that turns them on and off so that you can quickly clean the surface of the bare floor. Simply put, the purpose of the agitator is made it more convenient to clean floors.
The Self-propelled Feature - The self-propelled feature is a simple addition that makes use of both transmission and drive systems to aid you as you pull and push the vacuum cleaner about the place. It reduces the amount of effort required when moving the vacuum cleaner around. However, a caveat of this is that it is possible for the feature to add to the weight of the vacuum cleaner as well. This can make the movement more difficult, especially in cases where you will need to do a lot of lifting on the vacuum cleaner. Still, if the area where you will be cleaning is flat and bare- and you won't need to do any lifting- you will get a lot of benefits from this self-propelled feature.
Types Of Upright Vacuums
When it comes to upright vacuum cleaners, the significant difference that you need to consider is whether the filter is bagless or if it uses a dust bag. The choice here will rest entirely on preference, but you'll find yourself better served with a vacuum cleaner that includes a dust bag if you are concerned about the quality of your indoor air or you have family members that have asthma, allergies, or some respiratory issue.
In truth, there is nothing wrong with the bagless vacuum cleaner. The best ones can do a proper job when it comes to cleaning. The only problem with them is that the trouble you have to scale through to maintain them. Maintaining bagless cleaners offer involves a lot of dust which could be a problem for most individuals.
In addition to this, you also have to consider the fact that a lot of bagless upright hoovers use filters that require washing or brushing off to get rid of trapped particles from the system. If not done correctly, you risk releasing all the dust particles back into your home.
Then, you should also consider that the entire vacuum cleaner system plays host to dirt at some point in time. Thanks to the inherent characteristic of the bagless design, it is almost impossible for you to seal off a bagless vacuum to ensure that there is no leakage of any dirty air through the non-filtered openings. Add that to the difficulty encountered in creating an air-tight seal in a dustbin that will make dirt collection easy.
Upright Vacuum FAQ
Q: What is an upright vacuum cleaner?
A: An upright vacuum cleaner is one of the most popular types of vacuum cleaners on the market right now. As opposed to being wide (as it usually the case with a lot of other hoover vacuum cleaners), upright vacuum cleaners favor height instead. A lot of upright vacuum cleaners come with practical features for tackling dirt in some of the dirtiest corners.