Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.

The 6 Best Vacuums For Carpets - Spring 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. Even when used 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. However, if you need to clean thicker carpets, the ET-1 powerhead that's bundled with the top-range D4 Premium model is one of the most effective attachments on the market for this kind of usage. It features four levels of height adjustment, an automatic brushroll cutoff switch, and an indicator light to let you know if the brushroll is set too high to touch the ground or if its bristles are worn down.

    You can precisely control the vacuum's suction power using the rocker switch on its handle, letting you 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 high-capacity dirtbags and very long-lasting filters.

    Looking for something more maneuverable? You might want to consider the Miele Complete C3, which is a little smaller and lighter. It uses smaller dirtbags and less durable filters, causing 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, C3 Kona, or C3 Brilliant, if you plan on cleaning a lot of very dense carpeting.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets

    Check out the Miele Classic C1 Cat & Dog PowerLine PowerLine if you're shopping at a slightly lower price point. This canister vacuum is less sturdily built than the SEBO Airbelt D4, has a shorter power cord, and lacks an on-board tool storage compartment. All of that said, it's got its own fair share of advantages. Its 1200W motor yields similar overall suction power to the pricier SEBO. This variant of the C1 comes bundled with Miele's SEB 228 powerhead, which features five levels of height adjustment, allowing you to quickly adapt to a multitude of carpet types. You can also tweak the vacuums suction power using the six-level rotary dial at the back of its body. 

    This vacuum is also smaller and lighter than the SEBO, making it easier to maneuver in cluttered areas. It's pretty easy to maintain as well, with an easily-accessible dirtbag and filters. On the downside, it incurs higher costs of ownership; it uses 2.5L dirtbags as opposed to the SEBO's high-capacity 4.5L bags and uses filters with a much shorter lifespan. 

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets

    The best mid-range vacuum for carpets is the Dyson Ball Animal 3. This bagless upright isn't as sturdily-built as the Miele Classic C1 or as easy to maintain, but it's still very good when dealing with debris on carpets. Compared to its predecessor, the Dyson Ball Animal 2, it has a redesigned floorhead with built-in plastic combs to trap hair and prevent it from getting tangled around the brushroll. There are also three surface settings to adapt to different floor types, making it easier to maneuver on carpets than the older model, which formed too tight a seal with the ground and could even tear up carpet fibers. Its onboard HEPA filter and allergen-sealed body trap most fine particles as you clean. That said, shaking out its dustbin can release a cloud of dust, making for a less hygienic means of debris disposal than throwing out the Miele's sealed dirtbags.

    This vacuum's ball-shaped-wheel mechanism yields improved maneuverability compared to a traditional upright, but it's still a bulky, heavy appliance. Its mainly plastic construction also creaks and flexes while in use, which is disappointing for a vacuum at this price point.

    See our review

  4. Best Lower Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets

    If you want to spend less on an upright vacuum for cleaning carpet, the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Rewind is a solid option. It has a significantly less powerful suction motor than the pricier Dyson Ball Animal 3, so you'll probably have to make a few extra passes to clear away the same amount of debris on high-pile carpets and rugs. However, it's cheaper and 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.

    Unfortunately, build quality is on the flimsier side. It has some 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 10 Philips-head screws to access. If you prioritize ease of maintenance and the cleaner means of debris disposal that comes with a bagged vacuum, the Kenmore Intuition Bagged is a suitable alternative. Its semi-handheld alternate configuration also makes it easier to clean tight spots than the BISSELL. However, the Kenmore is harder to push around on carpeted floors.

    See our review

  5. 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 you can't adjust the brushroll's height for improved maneuverability on thick carpets, you can turn the brushroll off to keep it from getting tangled. 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 in particular also being a bit of a nuisance to access. If you're looking for something a little lighter that still does well on carpets, the BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a good option, though it feels even flimsier and does an awful job of sealing in allergens.

    See our review

  6. 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 and no brushroll cut-off, making it more likely to get bogged down in really thick carpeting. Still, this Dyson's 230AW suction motor is remarkably potent for a cordless model and allows it to suck up debris embedded in low and medium-pile carpeting without too much effort, 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 cordless machine that's easier to maneuver on thicker carpets, the Miele Triflex HX1 is a solid alternative. It doesn't have the same level of suction power as the Dyson, but that makes it considerably easier to maneuver on plush carpeting. 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

Notable Mentions

  • 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
  • Shark Stratos Upright [AZ3000, AZ3002]: The Shark Stratos Upright is Shark's flagship corded upright vacuum and does a great job of cleaning low and high-pile carpets. That said, its floorhead is a little more rudimentary than that of the Dyson Ball Animal 3, with no height adjustment and no brushroll off switch. See our review
  • Shark Stratos Cordless: The Shark Stratos Cordless is an upper mid-range cordless stick vacuum that performs well on low and medium-pile carpet, but it tends to get seriously bogged down on plusher carpeting. It's also heavier than the Dyson V15 Detect and has fewer attachments. See our review
  • Samsung Jet 90 Complete: The Samsung Jet 90 Complete is a cordless stick vacuum that performs pretty well on carpets and is available with a unique mopping floorhead to deal with stains on hard floors. However, it lacks the Dyson V15 Detect's automatic power adjustment feature. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 08, 2023: Added Miele Classic C1 Cat & Dog PowerLine as 'Best Upper Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets' pick. Recategorized Dyson Ball Animal 3 Complete as 'Best Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets' pick. Recategorized BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Rewind as 'Best Lower Mid-Range Vacuum For Carpets' pick. Removed 'Best Vacuum For Mixed Surfaces' category. Added Samsung Jet 90 Complete to Notable Mentions, and removed less relevant Notable Mentions.

  2. Apr 14, 2023: Added Shark Stratos Upright to Notable Mentions. Verified that all main picks remain available and are still the best fit for user needs.

  3. Mar 15, 2023: Verified that all main picks still represent the best choice for user needs. Added Shark Stratos Cordless to Notable Mentions.

  4. Feb 13, 2023: Ensured all main picks still represent the best option for user needs. Removed less relevant Notable Mentions picks.

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

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.