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The 6 Best Vacuums For Carpets - Winter 2023 Reviews

Best Vacuums For Carpets

Cleaning carpeted floors can be a difficult task for many vacuums. Carpeted floors tend to hold on to various types of foreign material, so it's crucial to have a vacuum with plenty of suction power and a brushroll that can dig its way into this type of surface and lift away debris. The best vacuum to clean carpet should also be maneuverable enough to navigate its way around furniture and shelves without getting stuck on shaggy surfaces.

We've tested over 130 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuum cleaners for carpets. We selected these picks based on their performance on low and high-pile carpet and their design, feature set, and price. For more recommendations, look at our list of the best vacuums, the best vacuums for high-pile carpet, and the best cordless vacuums.

  1. Best Vacuum For Carpets

    The SEBO Airbelt D4 is the best vacuum for carpets we've tested. The ET-1 powerhead, which is bundled with the top-range D4 Premium model but can also be purchased separately, is remarkably effective at clearing away debris on a variety of carpet types thanks to its four-level height adjustment feature. Still, even when paired with a basic straight-suction floorhead, this high-end canister vacuum does a very good job dealing with pet hair and solid debris on low-pile carpets. The rocker switch on the handle allows for precise suction power adjustment, so you can quickly adapt to different types and lengths of carpeting. Build quality is excellent, and the vacuum's three-stage filtration system is remarkably effective in trapping allergens. It's also incredibly easy to maintain and incurs low recurring costs for a bagged vacuum, thanks to its large-capacity dirtbags and long-lasting filters.

    Looking for something more maneuverable? You might want to consider the Miele Complete C3, though it uses smaller dirtbags and less durable filters, leading to higher ownership costs. Like the SEBO, it'd also be a good idea to purchase a C3 model with a powerhead, like the C3 Cat & Dog or C3 Kona, if you plan on cleaning a lot of very dense carpeting.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets

    The best upper mid-range vacuum for carpets is the Dyson Ball Animal 3. This bagless upright isn't nearly as sturdily-built as the SEBO Airbelt D4 or as easy to maintain, but it's extremely effective on carpet. Compared to its predecessor, the Dyson Ball Animal 2, it has a redesigned floorhead with pronounced vanes to prevent pet hair from getting tangled around the brushroll, along with three surface settings to adapt to different floor types. It makes it easier to maneuver on carpets than the older model, which formed too tight a seal with carpeted floors and could even tear up carpet fibers. While emptying its dirt compartment isn't as hygienic a process as disposing of the SEBO's self-sealing dirtbag, its onboard HEPA filter and sealed construction still trap the majority of fine allergens as you clean.

    This vacuum's ball-shaped-wheel mechanism results in good maneuverability compared to a traditional upright, though it's still a somewhat bulky, heavy vacuum overall. Its mainly plastic construction also creaks and flexes while in use, which is a disappointment for a vacuum at this price point. If you prefer using a canister vacuum, the Miele Classic C1 is a far more durable option that's easier to maneuver. However, you'll have to pay a little bit more than the Dyson if you want a C1 variant with an air-driven turbo brush or a powered electrobrush for cleaning dense carpeting.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets

    If you want to spend less on an upright vacuum for cleaning carpet, the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo is a solid option. It doesn't offer the same level of deep-cleaning performance as the Dyson Ball Animal 3. However, not only is it cheaper, but it's considerably easier to maneuver on plush carpeting, as its floorhead doesn't generate quite as tight a seal with the ground. It offers three levels of surface adjustment and has a brushroll off switch, so you can turn it off if something gets tangled on something. The range of included attachments for the 'Plus' variant is pretty comprehensive, with an extension wand, a crevice tool with an integrated LED light, a soft-bristle brush, and a miniature turbo brush for cleaning upholstered surfaces.

    Unfortunately, build quality is on the flimsier side. It has quite a few components that need periodic cleaning, some of which are a bit of a hassle to get to. This includes its brushroll, which requires you to remove ten Philips-head screws to access. If you prioritize the ease of maintenance and cleaner means of debris disposal that come with a bagged vacuum, the Kenmore Intuition Bagged is a suitable alternative; however, it's a little harder to maneuver on carpeted floors.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Vacuum For Carpets

    The best budget carpet vacuum we've tested is the Eureka FloorRover. This bagless upright isn't as maneuverable as the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo and falls slightly behind in debris pickup on low-pile carpet. However, it has its fair share of advantages aside from its cheaper price tag. While there's no brushroll height adjustment feature, you can turn its brushroll off to keep it from getting tangled in thicker carpeting. It also comes with a pretty wide assortment of attachments, especially for a vacuum at this price point, including a miniature turbo brush for cleaning fabric surfaces.

    Unfortunately, this vacuum's build quality is mediocre, with its mainly plastic body feeling quite fragile. It isn't that much easier to maintain than the BISSELL, with its brushroll being a bit of a nuisance to access. While this vacuum's power cord is pretty long, you could still consider the Wyze Cordless Vacuum if you value go-anywhere range above anything else. However, the Wyze has a much more rudimentary floorhead, with no brushroll off switch and a smaller dustbin.

    See our review

  5. Best Cordless Vacuum For Carpets

    If you'd rather not deal with a power cord when vacuuming carpets, the Dyson V15 Detect is a solid option. Compared to a high-end canister vacuum with a powerhead like the SEBO AIRBELT D4, this flagship stick vacuum has a less potent suction motor and a more rudimentary floorhead, with no height adjustment, so it's liable to get bogged down in really thick carpeting. This Dyson is remarkably potent for a cordless model and is highly effective on low and medium-pile carpeting, with the added benefit of grab-and-go convenience compared to a bulkier corded machine. Its surface sensor enables it to raise its suction power automatically when passing over carpeted floors.

    If you want a corded machine that's easier to maneuver on thicker carpets, the Miele Triflex HX1 is a solid alternative. Like the Dyson, it has a surface detection system that changes the speed of the brushroll depending on the surface you're cleaning, but it can also stop it if something gets tangled within the mechanism. However, its max battery life of a little over 30 minutes falls short of the Dyson vacuum's roughly 60-minute runtime, and it has a much smaller dustbin.

    See our review

  6. Best Vacuum For Mixed Surfaces

    If you have a wide mix of surface types in your home, the Samsung Jet 90 Complete is worth a look. It falls a little short of the slightly more powerful Dyson V15 Detect in raw debris pickup performance and lacks the latter's automatic power adjustment feature and particle sensor. It still does very well on carpeted surfaces, easily clearing both pet hair and solid debris. It holds a slight advantage over the Dyson on bare floors thanks to its compatibility with Samsung's Spinning Sweeper floorhead, which has a set of rotating mop pads that you can use to scrub away dried-on stains on hard surfaces. Unfortunately, like the Dyson, it also has the same issue of lacking a brushroll off switch or any floorhead height adjustment to prevent it from getting tangled in thick carpeting.

    This vacuum is very lightweight and maneuverable, even by the standards of other cordless stick vacuums. Its top-mounted dustbin can be an impediment when cleaning under some lower tables and chairs, but it also allows you to crouch deeper into the floor. It can run for up to an hour on a single charge, though its runtime still drops dramatically when used in its high-power 'MAX' mode, so you need to be efficient when dealing with stubborn messes on carpets. Check out the Samsung Jet 75 if you're looking for something more affordable that delivers similar overall performance, though it comes with fewer attachments and has a fixed-length wand as opposed to the Jet 90's telescopic component.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Dyson Ball Animal 2: The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a bagless upright vacuum that delivers superb performance on low and high-pile carpet and comes with a wide selection of tools and accessories. Its strong suction force makes it hard to maneuver on low and high-pile carpet compared to the newer Dyson Ball Animal 3. See our review
  • Samsung Jet 70: The Samsung Jet 70 is a great alternative to the Samsung Jet 90 Complete if you want something cheaper, though it has a less potent suction motor and a shorter battery life. See our review
  • Shark APEX UpLight: The Shark APEX UpLight is a corded stick vacuum that delivers good overall performance on carpeted floors, though not quite to the same extent as the Dyson Ball Animal 3. Still, it's worth a look if you're looking for something more compact. See our review
  • Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away: The Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away is a cordless upright vacuum that's lighter and slightly more portable than the Dyson Ball Animal 3, but it has a harder time dealing with debris on shag-pile carpet. See our review
  • Samsung Bespoke Jet: The Samsung Bespoke Jet is the flagship model of Samsung's lineup of cordless stick vacuums. It comes bundled with a uniquely-designed docking station that allows for quick and hygienic emptying of its dustbin, but it's much pricier than the Samsung Jet 90 Complete and doesn't offer a significant jump in performance. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 19, 2023: Added Dyson V15 Detect as 'Best Cordless Vacuum For Carpets' pick.

  2. Dec 21, 2022: Replaced Wyze Cordless Vacuum with Eureka FloorRover as 'Best Budget Vacuum For Carpets' due to current pricing.

  3. Nov 28, 2022: Replaced Samsung Jet 60 with BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo as 'Best Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets' pick.

  4. Nov 04, 2022: Verified that all main picks are still the best fit for user needs.

  5. Sep 14, 2022: Substantial article restructuring to better align with user needs. Removed 'Best Cordless Vacuum For Carpets', 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Carpets', and 'Best Robot Vacuum For Carpets' categories. Added Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra as new 'Best Upper Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets' category pick and added Samsung Jet 60 Pet as new 'Best Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets' category pick. Added Samsung Jet 90 Complete as new 'Best Vacuum For Mixed Surfaces' category pick. Removed some nonessential product picks from Notable Mentions, added Shark APEX UpLight, Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away, and Samsung Bespoke Jet to Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums for cleaning carpet. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also factors like availability, price, and reader feedback, so it isn't as though there's a single best vacuum cleaner for carpets to suit all needs.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our vacuum reviews, ranked by their performance on carpet. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.