Assume for a moment that you’re looking for an upright vacuum cleaner.
What did you say?
That you don’t need to assume; that you ARE looking to clean the hard surface floors of your home? That you’ve grown fed up of the messes that have sullied your room’s appearance? That you just want a clean floor with no dust spots?
Ok! I believe you.
More importantly, I’m going to help you. Nope, I’m not turning into a house-maid to clean up your entire house. What I’m going to do, instead, is to provide you with an upright vacuum cleaner with tremendous cleaning power and incredible portability.
Whether you want a cleaner for getting rid of allergens and pet hair – or something cordless which you can easily take up and down stairs, these vacuum cleaners will always prove competent.
Have doubts about my claim?
The below mentioned cleaners will suck those doubts up.
Best Upright Vacuum 2020
Most people have a wrong assumption about upright vacuums that they can only be used for hardwood flooring. Since most of them are often lightweight, people preclude the notion that they can use it for carpets as well.
However, go in the market, and you’ll see that the top performing upright vacuums cater both carpets and hardwood flooring. Therefore, in this article, you’ll find vacuums which are equally efficient at cleaning both surfaces.
|Product Name||Weight||Cord Length||Height Adjustment||HEPA Filter||Warranty|
|Dyson Ball Animal 2||17.35 lbs||35ft||Automatic||Yes||5 years|
|Miele Dynamic U1||20 lbs||39ft||Automatic||Yes||1 year|
|Eureka Bagless AS3401A||20.7 lbs||27ft||Manual||N/A||3 years|
|Hoover T-Series UH70120||17 lbs||25ft||Manual||Yes||2 year limited|
|Eureka Airspeed AS3030A||15.5 lbs||27ft||Manual||N/A||3 years|
|BISSELL Power Glide Vacuum||11 lbs||Cordless||Manual||N/A||2 year limited|
|Kenmore 31140||18.96 lbs||30ft||Automatic||Yes||1 year|
|BISSELL 58F83||17.5 lbs||25ft||Manual||N/A||3 year limited|
|Dirt Devil Razor||12.6 lbs||25ft||Automatic||N/A||2 year|
|Shark DuoClean||15 lbs||30ft||Manual Fingertip||Yes||7 year limited|
So what does this table tells us?
First, if you want a vacuum which switches swiftly between carpet and wood flooring, go for those offering automatic height adjustment feature. In this way, you can just glide across your home/house without having to worry about the surface you’re vacuuming.
Second, if you or someone in your house is allergic to dust, go for HEPA filters. They trap maximum dust and dirt, and won’t allow it to get back into the atmosphere.
1. Dyson Ball Animal 2 – Best Suction Power
Are you looking for a cleaner which is as efficient on a hard floor as it is while removing dust off wood, vinyl, carpet and tile floors? If you do, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 deserves your attention. (Check our list of best vacuum for tile floors)
Look closely at the outer surface of Animal 2, and you’d notice a big tag boosting about the suction power of this vacuum being the highest of them all. To verify the truthfulness of this statement, we spilled three different substances on our floor. These substances include floor, kitty litter, and cereal.
Guess what, the Dyson Ball animal 2 made short shift of clearing all those substances. Although it did take it a few passes before clearing off the floor, this cleaner sucked up both the other substances in one go. Also, when it was sucking up flour, the Animal 2 didn’t end up making a huge cloud of dust unlike some of the cheap vacuums out there.
Another feature which we liked about this model was its low profile and the swiveling head. Both of them complemented each other to let this vacuum work seamless under furniture and around the corners. Add both these features to the ease of maneuverability with which we shifted this vacuum from one corner of the room to another, and it didn’t leave much for us to desire.
If you are allergic to dust or someone in your house has the same problem, you’d find it pleasing to know that this model is certified by American Asthma and Allergy Foundation. The reason for this certification is the true HEPA filtration model employed inside the cleaner.
In addition to trapping the dust, dirt, and allergens so that they don’t make a cloud when being trapped, the HEPA filter used in this model makes the bin easy to empty. All you have to do to empty the canister is to disconnect it from the cleaner’s base and press a button while holding it over a trashcan.
There would be no smoke of dust coming out of it. Finally, while it gives the four attachments which you normally expect of vacuum cleaners: dusting brush, extension wand, crevice tool, and upholstery tool, the Dyson Animal 2 offers some more attachments.
For instance, you get several brushes of varying bristle softness to clean off delicate materials. Then here are firm bristles which let the cleaner suck up hair and fur.
Thus, be it the attachments, the suction power or the ease of maneuverability, the Animal 2 ticked all the right boxes as far as we were concerned.
Though it is expensive than most other cleaners, the Dyson Animal 2 has done enough to justify its price tag. Regardless of the floor type you have – or the messes you want to clean – this cleaner would always work brilliantly.
2. Miele Dynamic U1 – Best For Carpets
For a vacuum which doesn’t have as famous a brand name as Dyson on its backing, the expensive price of Dynamic U1 was a shock to us. Did it justify its price tag in our review? Let’s find out.
Vacuum manufacturers might not like it but not many of their products are able to completely clean carpets. Thanks to their thick fibers, carpets trap dust, hence making it difficult for the vacuum to get it out. Luckily, then, the Dynamic U1 makes the difficult job look easy.
Instead of relying on its suction power, the Dynamic U1 uses a rotating brush to ensure deep-cleaning of rugged carpets. With the brush agitating on the carpet floor, the fibers have no choice but to leave the dust which they trapped, allowing this cleaner to justify its price tag with aplomb.
And to make sure that the dust it has trapped remains inside its filter – and doesn’t leave to form a smoke of cloud on the outside, the Dynamic U1 used an Air Clean Sealed System. A substitute of HEPA filters, this system makes sure that even the finest dirt particles do not escape.
Unlike other cleaners out there, the Dynamic U1 retains its brilliant performance over a large number of surfaces thanks to its variable suction control. It has four dial settings mounted on a rotary dial to allow you to adjust the cleaner to the surface which you want to clean.
Therefore, while its specialty lies in cleaning carpets, the Dynamic U1 is equally efficient over other surfaces as well. Finally, to make sure no suction power is lost, Miele provided this cleaner with an automatic height adjusting brush roller.
This feature enables the vacuum head to adjust its height based on the surface being cleaned. As a result, you won’t have to press the vacuum hard on the surface to ensure deep cleaning.
3. Eureka Bagless Vacuum AS3401A – Best for Small Apartments
Although it is relatively new in the market, early signs have been encouraging from the Eureka Bagless Vacuum. Would it be able to find a place in your home? Let’s find out.
All of us have the same voice when it comes to cord length: the more, the merrier. That said, with an increased cord length, comes the problem of wire tangling, making maneuverability of the machine a whole lot difficult.
Feeling confused now? You don’t need to, as the Eureka Bagless Vacuum comes with a no-tangle brushroll. Yes, as soon as you see that the wires have become tangled, a single press of a button will set them straight once again.
If you have children at home who likes spreading food crumbs on the floor, this cleaner will help you in cleaning those crumbs with its scatter proof technology. As the name suggests, this technology enables the cleaner to sweep up the crumbs without scattering any of them around.
Moving on, if you have carpets in one room and nothing but the bare floor in the other – or both in the same room, you might find the on/off brushroll of this cleaner helpful. On cleaning carpets, you can turn the brushroll on for better, deep-cleaning. And once you turn it back to bare floors, just turn it off to safely clean them either.
Some cleaners malfunction in the sense that they combine dust particles with air flow. The result, as you might guess, is a cloud of smoke emanating from the filter.
Thankfully, since it uses an Air Speed and Cyclonic Action, the Eureka Bagless Vacuum would keep dust and air separate, hence allowing the filter to remain clean.
Finally, to let you know that you can create multiple surfaces with this cleaner, it comes with a five height adjustment settings. Hence, be it bare floor or rugged carpet, all you need is to adjust the brushroll’s height and it will start rolling.
For a cleaner which self-cleans the brushroll, has a generous suction power and won’t leave a dust of smoke behind – while also taking care of crumbs, the Eureka Brushroll is anything but costly. So while it has a few shortcomings, this cleaner has got what it takes to earn a place in most homes.
4. Hoover T-Series Upright Cleaner UH70120 – Best For Furniture
Dyson and Hoover, these are the two brands which are the shining stars of the vacuum cleaning industry. Any product that comes out of either of these is bound to attract attention. However, as you might guess, it was the features and not its brand name which forced us to include UH70120 in our review.
First thing first, the main reason why we decided to include this cleaner in our review was its Wind Tunnel Technology. Unlike its cheap counterparts, the Hoover Upright Cleaner doesn’t have a single channel of suction.
Rather, it has multiple-channels, all of which end up in its bagless filter. Think of the Wind Tunnel Technology as the one which has multiple inlets, all of whom lead to the common filter. Thanks to these multiple outlets, this cleaner makes better use of its suction power, leaving little behind.
Once the debris reaches inside the filter, the HEPA Filter embeds the dirt and dander deep down, whereas surface debris rises to the top. In this way, not only there is no chance of dust getting mixed with air, but you’d also encounter less dirt even when cleaning the dirt canister.
Another feature which Hoover has provided this cleaner with is a system check indicator. No longer will you know – midway through the cleaning process – that the filter needs to be cleaned. Rather, every time you turn the cleaner on, a system indicator light will turn on, telling you the status of the filter. Hence, even when the filter needs cleaning, you’ll know it beforehand.
For those of you who were thinking that it was only in the innovation department where this cleaner leads the race, you need to check out its attachment section.
For example, to let you clean stairs, it comes with a turbo tool which is air powered. If you want to reach air vents and ceilings, there is a dusting brush there too. Finally, if you don’t like seeing dust in cracks and crevices, you can take advantage of the crevice tool.
Finally, while the 25foot cord provided by this cleaner was enough on its own, Hoover included an 8foot stretch hose in the package. It means that you can clean a large area without shifting the plugs.
If your house consists of either carpets or bare floors – and you want a cleaner that can clean both without breaking a sweat, you might like the Hoover T-Series Upright Cleaner UH70120.
5. Eureka Airspeed AS3030A – Best Budget
Being the next generation of Eureka cleaners, the Eureka Airspeed Vacuums provide better cleaning and more suction power than their predecessors.
To guarantee the AS3030A with powerful suction, Eureka made minor tweaks in its design. Instead of providing many turns along the path of the air, Eureka managed to keep it relatively straight. The result is the reduced distance which the air has to cover to suck the dust off your floor.
Consequently, with air having to cover less distance, it can transfer more suction power. This, in turn, has made this cleaner more efficient and better at cleaning than equal-powered models from other brands.
In case you were thinking, giving more suction power at first doesn’t mean that this cleaner won’t be able to retain it in the long term. Rather, in contrast with other, high-powered cleaners, the AS3030A has the ability to retain its suction power for longer periods, hence allowing you to continue unabated with your cleaning work.
To save you money in the long run, the Eureka Airspeed cleaner comes with a reusable and washable dust cap. Yes, you don’t have to remove the dust cap every time it gets extremely dirty. Rather, by just washing and re-installing it, you can use the same dirt cap for longer periods.
Apart from providing a deep-cleaning action on carpeted surfaces, the Eureka cleaner safely cleans all hard floors as well thanks to its adjustable brush roll.
While switching from carpet to hard floor, all you need to do is to turn off the brushroll. What’s more, you don’t have to bend over and locate where the button is mounted. It is mounted right there, just beside the bagless canister, hence allowing you to turn it on/off with the tip of your toe.
If you cannot afford the Dyson or Hoover cleaners mentioned in this review, the Eureka Airspeed AS3030A might prove to be a good budgeted option.
6. BISSELL Power Glide Vacuum 1534 – Best Cordless Vacuum
So far in this review, every upright vacuum which we dealt with had a cord in tow. This one, however, is different. It frees you of the nuisance which cord might cause, thereby taking its maneuverability to a whole new level.
In contrast to what most people believe, cordless vacuums aren’t foolproof. Since they run on a battery, you’d have to be doubly careful when buying one. Otherwise, if the battery timing turns out to be short, you’d have no choice but to charge your cleaner incessantly.
Therefore, when reviewing this vacuum, the first thing we checked was its battery timing. Luckily, than to its Li-ion battery, this vacuum provided an enviable run time of 45minutes on full suction power. Such timing means you can easily clean a full home with this vacuum in a single charge.
Being cordless means, however, that the biggest advantage of this vacuum doesn’t lie in its considerable run time. Rather, it is the ease with which it lets you clean your stairs – it weighs just 11lbs – which is the main selling point of this vacuum.
What’s more, this vacuum also allows you to lift off the canister to clean anything you like. And once you detach the canister from the motor, the abovementioned weight of 11lbs would further decrease. It means you can carry it anywhere with its lightweight making the task easy.
If you have furniture cluttered in your home – one which doesn’t allow the normal cleaner to get into – this cleaner comes with a swivel steering. Just a minor push and you can easily slalom the cleaner around/under your furniture with ease.
For those of you who were looking for a lightweight vacuum cleaner – one which is as efficient on cleaning stairs as it is on hard floors, your search should end with the Bissell Power Glide.
7. Kenmore 31140 – Best For Pet Hair
Who says you have to spend a bucket load of money to get a decent product? In the 31140, Kenmore has shown that the some of the best products out there DO NOT require a top dollar for their services.
Have you ever come across a situation when you felt that your cleaner’s suction power was decreasing? Felt helpless as you didn’t know how to troubleshoot it? Fear not, as the Kenmore 31140 won't give you any such nightmares.
Rather, thanks to its electronic performance indicator, it will let you know in advance when a choked dirt bag is affecting your vacuum’s suction and that you replace it.
On to the reason as to why this vacuum is the best for pet hair, its Pet Handi-Mate attachment comes into play. After combining with the telescoping wand, the Pet attachment sucks up things as large as high cobwebs to as small as dander, thereby leaving nothing behind.
Once the dirt trapped by the vacuum does into its filter, its 2motor system makes an entry. Taking help from the Power Flow technology, the 2motor system makes sure that the vacuum’s suction power remains same regardless of dirt and dander it has entrapped.
And finally, if you have got an allergy or asthma sufferers in your house, this vacuum offers you an extra incentive with its HEPA filtration system. Made up of mesh sized fiberglass, the filtration system won’t allow any cloud of smoke or dirt to emanate from the cleaner.
As the detailed review of Kenmore 31140 has shown, its only vice lies in its weight. Therefore, as long as you need a carpet for simple, floor cleaning, buying this cleaner should be a no-brainer.
8. BISSELL 58F83 – Best Features
Boosting the widest of cleaning paths of any machine in this review, the Bissell Rewind Smart Clean was bound to be on our list. That said, it is not without its shortcomings, one of which lies in its heavy weight and the fact that it is not that easy to maneuver.
It doesn’t matter how good a product is; you cannot use it until you have assembled it. Thankfully, though it is a little bulky, the Bissell 54F83 is a cinch to assemble. During our testing process, it took less than ten minutes to get this machine up and running.
There were some screws involved, for sure, but the entire process was a breeze. After assembling it, you’ll notice the attachments coming in the package, and one item may surprise you: dual-sided dusting brush.
Yes, instead of taking in only those dirt particles lying in front of it, the dual side dusting brush will act as a surround-cleaner. That feature of dual-edge cleaning is not limited to the attachments as the original brushroll also boosts this capability.
Two sensors are at play in this machine: the carpet sensor and the filter indicator. The former seemed useless to me – as it tells you when the carpet is dirt free (we can see, don’t we?). However, the latter is as useful as they come as it will tell you beforehand when your filter needs cleaning.
On towards its cleaning performance and this cleaner has five height adjusting levels. Much to my dismay, none of them were automatic and I had to bend over to adjust them.
Then there are the two filters inside the machine only one of which – the non-HEPA filter – you can wash. The other, HEPA filter, would only allow you to shake it after removal to remove dust.
As stated above, this machine is a bit hard to maneuver. However, when compared with the attachments it offers, the sensor lights that it boasts and the low price in which it is available, the Bissell Rewind Smart Clean is a decent option to have.
9. Dirt Devil Razor Bagless Upright Vacuum – Best Vacuum Under $100
For those of you who don’t want to spend extra on a cleaner – and are willing to sacrifice some of the attachments which the high-end models provide, the Dirt Devil Bagless Upright Vacuum might be worth a shot.
Paying no regards to its dirt cheap price tag, Dirt Devil has provided this machine with a swivel head. As veteran vacuum users might testify, this is the feature only high-end models have.
For, in addition to moving around furniture and obstacles, the swivel head has a generous cleaning path as well. It means that while the vacuum is narrow enough to get around obstacles, it is wide enough to pick all the dirt along its way.
The suction power of this unit is brilliant and if anything can match it, it’s its noise level. Yes, the machine produces as much noise as the dust it sucks up, making it one of the noisiest machines you’ll ever have. Still, since it would pick up everything from cereal to flour to pet hair, you’d have to live up with that noise to take advantage of the humongous suction power.
Post vacuuming, you’d know that cleaning this machine and changing its bag is a cinch. With both the filters and the buttons in the right places, the dust cloud will be minimal when emptying it. And that too despite the fact that you don’t get an HEPA filtration system alongside it.
Despite its inexpensive price tag and a pared-down accessory set, the Dirt Devil Razor rivals the performance of the best upright vacuums. Not only it has the tools to clean small spaces, but it is also easy to maneuver.
10. Shark DuoClean Powered Lift Away – Best Overall
Being the first vacuum manufacturer that used the “Lift” system – one in which you can separate the frame and bin to extend the vacuum’s range, Shark has polished the same concept in this model.
To make sure that you can use it both as an upright and canister vacuum, Shark has provided this model with a “Lift away” feature. Although the hose will remain attached to the floor tool, a single push of a button will see the bin, floor tool, and frame separate, after which you can easily clean your stairs or ceilings with this unit.
Next innovation with which Shark provided this model is the “DuoClean” feature. Just as in the Dyson V6, a bristled brush has been combined with a soft roller head in this unit’s brushroll. As a result, while the bristle brush will go deep into the carpets to ensure deep-cleaning, the soft brushroll will suck up larger particles.
Hence, not much will be left behind on the floor once this cleaner has vacuumed it. To make sure the switch from carpet mode to the hard floor is easy, this model has fingertip height adjustment controls. In this way, you won’t have to bend over to adjust the height when switching between one floor to the other.
While all the abovementioned features are mighty useful, they would be of no use had this machine was difficult to maneuver. Thankfully, Shark also realized the importance of maneuverability, a fact evident by the swivel steering of this unit.
Finally, to make sure dust is minimal once this machine gets on with its work, it has an anti-allergen seal and HEPA filtration system. Both of them combine to entrap 99% of all dust particles and allergens and wouldn’t let them go back.
If you can afford to pay hugely over the odds for a good machine – and want a good warranty, a brilliant feature-set and some nice attachments in return, get the Shark DuoClean.
Upright Vacuum Buyer Guide
As you have already seen in the abovementioned products, features are unlimited when it comes to upright vacuums. To let you know which of these features might prove to be useful in your home, this buyer guide comes into play.
Though the cleaning power of a vacuum is important, it shouldn’t be the only factor you may consider while buying an upright vacuum. These are other factors which have an equal bearing on the performance of your cleaner as its cleaning power. Let’s take a look at some of those.
As the name suggests, cleaning path is the area which the mouth of your cleaner will clean in one go. If your vacuum has a bigger cleaning path, it would take one or two swipes to cover a fairly large area. Conversely, if its cleaning path is small, you’d have to make multiple swipes to cover the same area.
Here are some of the questions you may ask while choosing your vacuum’s cleaning path:
- How big is the area you want to clean?
- Are the floors excessively or mildly dusty all the time?
- Can you afford to spend a considerable time in cleaning?
Only after answering these questions should you choose the cleaning path of your vacuum.
Upright vacuums provide a great option to homes where people are allergic to dust since they remove allergens and dust particles from the flooring. If you want to get the best results – meaning the removal of most detergents, make sure your vacuum has an HEPA filter.
The main function of such filters is to trap both large as well as microscopic pollutants like dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander. HEPA filter does it by passing the air around it through very find a sized mesh of fiberglass fibers. As a result, the particles trapped inside such fibers won’t go out.
Due to this complex operation, HEPA filters not only improve your indoor air quality but also prevent the flare ups of asthma and allergies. Therefore, you can walk around your home with no breathing problems.
Revolving Brush Roll
Despite the fact that their softness, warmth, and beauty has made carpets attractive to most people, they still have the shortcoming of not being easy to clean. They trap dust between their fiber particles, making it next to impossible for a normal vacuum to clean them.
Therefore, if you have carpets in your home, invest in a vacuum cleaner with a revolving brush roll. A revolving brush roll, before cleaning the carpet, agitates the area coming in its path via their beater bars. This agitation forces the carpet fibers to let go of any dust or dander it may have trapped, after which the vacuum cleaner would remove those allergens.
Thing you should look in Selecting an Upright Vacuum
After the performance, it is its features which may tell you whether you are buying the right vacuum or not. Below mentioned are some of the features which you may want to consider.
Ease of Use
In selecting the abovementioned cleaners, we made sure that they were easy to move around. Not only that but we checked how easy it was for us to clean stairs, cobwebs, and ceilings with them. It was there that we found out that for better and easy cleaning, a low profile vacuum with a swiveling head (brushroll) is ideal.
Second, once you have done the cleaning, you’ve to make sure the vacuum is easy to empty. For this purpose, many manufacturers have vacuums which detach their cleaner bags with one click, hence making it easy for you to clean and re-install them.
Third, no matter how good a vacuum is, it would be useless if it produces excessive vibration or noise. That doesn’t mean that the best cleaners operate in pin-drop silence, far from it. Still, they don’t produce noise which forces your neighbors to take notice, either.
And finally, of all the features that make vacuuming frustration-free, adequate cord length is the most important. The longer the cord length, the more area you can vacuum without switching outlets.
Cleaning the filter
Greater the area of the filter media, better will be the ability of the vacuum to move air through it. And more importantly, the easier it will be for you to detach the filter and clean it for re-use. To explain with an example, let us consider two famous types of upright vacuum filters: bagless and disposal.
In case of the former, the size of the filter is so small that even after cleaning, it gets clogged pretty quickly. It happens because the area of the filter media in such vacuums is pretty small – usually 5’’ in diameter.
Conversely, cleaners containing a disposable bag provide a relatively large area to its filter media. As a result, such filters provide greater space to the air to pass through it, which, in turn, prevents the filter from getting clogged.
Accessories and Attachments
In contrast to what most people believe, upright cleaners aren’t only good for vacuuming large flooring areas. Rather, provided they have the right attachments and accessories, you can clean furniture, upholstery and even stairs with them.
Here are some of the accessories and attachments that most vacuums provide in the package:
It is a wide attachment which mostly consists of a fabric strip efficient in removing dust off chairs, sofas, and cushions.
Do you want clean hard-to-reach areas with your previous vacuum? In case you do, you need wands which add extra length at the tip of the hose, thereby allowing it to reach those areas.
Bare Floor Brush
Want your cleaner to vacuum bare floors, in addition to hard floors and carpets? A floor brush might come handy. It has narrow, soft bristles which help in removing fine grit and dirt from tile and hardwoods.
Have dust shining on tabletops, fans, and other surfaces? You can dust it off using dusting brush. It has long, soft bristles which help it in whisking bookcases, lampshades, and windowsills.
As suggested by their name, crevice tools are designed to rub off dirt from fissures and cracks. They have a narrow intake of air which allows them to reach narrow areas for better cleaning.
Support and Warranty
Most upright vacuums which come from reputable brands have at-least a one-year warranty that covers the motor or any other defective parts. However, the warranty would be of no use without adequate customer service from the vacuum’s brand.
Some of the best brands have dedicated service centers just to solve warranty related problems. Make sure to buy vacuums from them to save yourself from frustration if/when a problem arises with your vacuum.
As a mere glance at their reviews might tell you, there is no thing as the perfect upright vacuum cleaner. While some of us like our homes to have bare floors, others prefer them to be carpeted.
However, there is one thing that unites us all: we want our homes to be clean. And this is where the abovementioned products will help.