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The 5 Best Vacuums For Carpets - Summer 2022 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 125 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. Even with only a basic straight-suction floorhead, this high-end canister vacuum does a very good job dealing with pet hair and fine and large debris on low and high-pile carpets. That said, if you live in a home with shag-pile carpeting, you should buy a SEBO ET-1 or wider ET-2 floorhead, either of which is highly effective on carpets. The rocker switch on the handle of this vacuum gives you a precise level of control over its suction power, allowing you to 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 fine 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.

    Still, this is a somewhat bulky, heavy canister vacuum; you might want to consider an alternative like the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine if you're looking for something easier to maneuver. The Miele 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 an electrobrush floorhead, like the C3 Cat & Dog or C3 Kona, if you plan on cleaning a lot of very dense carpeting. On the other hand, if you prefer cordless vacuums but still require good carpet-cleaning capability, the Dyson V15 Detect is a great choice. Its cord-free design enables you to use it wherever you need, though its battery life is limited in its most powerful suction setting, and it can easily get stuck on dense carpets.

    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 Extra. This bagless upright isn't nearly as sturdily-built as the SEBO Airbelt D4 or as easy to maintain, but it has a strong suction motor that enables it to easily draw away debris embedded deeply within carpet fibers. Compared to its immediate predecessor, the Dyson Ball Animal 2, it uses a new floorhead design with pronounced vanes to prevent pet hair from getting tangled around the brushroll, along with three different surface settings to accommodate for a variety of different floor types. The latter feature makes it notably 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 a closed dirtbag, its onboard HEPA filter and sealed construction still manage to trap the majority of fine particles, like pet dander.

    This vacuum's pivoting design and ball-shaped-wheel mechanism make it relatively easy to maneuver in cramped environments compared to a traditional upright, though it's still a somewhat bulky, heavy vacuum overall. And yet, its mainly plastic construction can creak and flex 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 PowerLine Pure Suction is a far more durable option that's easier to maneuver. However, you'll have to pay a fair 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're looking for a more affordable vacuum to clean carpeting, the Samsung Jet 60 Pet is a solid option. It's the entry-level model in Samsung's lineup of cordless stick vacuums, with a simplified floorhead compared to the slightly pricier Samsung Jet 70 Pet and a less powerful motor and lower capacity battery than the much more expensive Samsung Jet 90 Complete, though this doesn't mean that it's a poor performer. While its basic floorhead lacks any height adjustment for cleaning denser carpeting or a brushroll off switch, it still manages to do a great job of dealing with a variety of debris on low and high-pile carpet. It's also exceedingly effective when it comes to clearing away pet hair on a wide variety of surface types, and since the floorhead's brushroll is removable, you can cut away any tangled hair with ease.

    The vacuum's lightweight construction makes it easy to maneuver even in cluttered areas. However, battery performance is a weak point, as this vacuum can only run for a little over five minutes when used in its most powerful suction mode, forcing you to work very quickly to clear stubborn debris on carpeting. Its maximum battery life of 40 minutes isn't very long for a modern cordless stick vacuum. If you prefer using a corded model to clean for longer periods, the Kenmore Intuition Bagged is an upright vacuum that delivers good overall performance on carpets. Its bagged design makes it easier and cleaner to dispose of debris, though its bulky design makes it far more of a hassle to deploy and maneuver than the Samsung.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Vacuum For Carpets

    The best budget carpet vacuum we've tested is the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. This budget-friendly cordless stick vacuum delivers superb cleaning performance on high-pile carpet and clears an impressive amount of debris on low-pile carpet. You can also adjust its suction power by tapping on the touchscreen at the back of its body, which is helpful if you're having trouble pushing it around on some surfaces. This vacuum's very lightweight construction makes it easy to maneuver around furniture or lift over obstructions like electrical cords. While it can run for almost an hour in its most energy-efficient mode, that drops to roughly 10 minutes when used in its high-power 'TURBO' mode, so you need to work fast when cleaning stubborn debris on dense carpeting.

    If you don't want to worry about running out of charge and prefer to use a corded vacuum to clean carpeted floors, the BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a suitable option. While it feels flimsier and has a substantially bulkier upright design that makes it much harder to maneuver, it's even cheaper and still delivers strong performance on carpet. It offers five levels of head height adjustment for cleaning different carpet lengths, so you shouldn't have too much trouble climbing over obstructions like rug tassels.

    See our review

  5. 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. This cordless stick vacuum comes with two different floorheads, one with a soft brushroll for better debris pickup on bare floors and the other with a bristled brushroll for improved surface agitation on carpeting and rugs. All of that said, in terms of raw performance on carpets, it falls slightly short of the Dyson V15 Detect. It has a less powerful suction motor and consequently struggles more with some types of solid debris. It also has the same issue of lacking a brushroll off switch or any sort of height adjustment to prevent it from getting tangled in thick carpeting. However, it pulls slightly ahead of the Dyson for use on bare surfaces, as it's fully compatible 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.

    Like the closely-related Samsung Jet 60 Pet, 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 to the floor. One major advantage it has over the Jet 60 is its improved battery life, as 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.

    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 very difficult to maneuver on low and high-pile carpet compared to the newer Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra. See our review
  • Miele Triflex HX1: The Miele Triflex HX1 is a high-end cordless vacuum with a unique three-in-one design. It's well-built and great on carpets, but the Dyson V15 Detect has a better performance on low-pile and high-pile carpets, a longer battery life, and an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. See our review
  • Samsung Jet 70 Pet: The Samsung Jet 70 Pet is a great alternative to the Samsung Jet 60 Pet if you're looking for a similar vacuum with a better-performing floorhead, though it's substantially pricier for what is mechanically the same vacuum with an upgraded floorhead. 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 Extra. Still, it's worth a look if you're looking for something more compact. See our review
  • Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away: The Shark Cordless 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. 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.

  2. Jul 04, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still in stock and represent the best fit for user needs and expectations. Removed Dyson V7 Animal, Shark APEX UpLight, Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H, Shark Vertex Pro, Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine, Neato D8, Eureka FloorRover Elite NEU630, Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister, Simplicity S65S, BISSELL PowerForce Helix, Kenmore Intuition Bagged, and Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away from Notable Mentions.

  3. May 25, 2022: Article rewrite to better align with user expectations. Recategorized SEBO Airbelt D4 as 'Best Vacuum For Carpets' pick. Recategorized Dyson V15 Detect as 'Best Cordless Vacuum For Carpets' pick. Recategorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as 'Best Vacuum For Spot-Cleaning Carpets' pick. Moved Kenmore Intuition Bagged, Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away, and Samsung Jet 70 Pet to Notable Mentions.

  4. Apr 25, 2022: Substantial article restructuring to align with test bench update. Replaced Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright with Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away as 'Best Upright Vacuum For Carpets'. Recategorized Kenmore Intuition Bagged as 'Corded Alternative' pick. Added Samsung Jet 70 Pet as new 'Cheaper Alternative' pick. Replaced Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine with SEBO Airbelt D4 as 'Best Canister Vacuum For Carpets' pick. Added Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine and Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV to Notable Mentions.

  5. Mar 23, 2022: Verified that all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums for 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.