Despite the multitude of canister, stick, handheld and robotic vacuums, the trusty upright vacuum is still a firm favorite… and that’s why you’re here. You’re ready to purchase a new upright vacuum as soon as you decide on the right model.
Well, you’re in luck!
Here are the top upright vacuums in 5 categories to ensure you find the right vacuum for your home. We’re going to show you the best upright overall, the best high end model, the best mid-priced vacuum, the best lightweight upright and the best budget upright vacuum cleaner. Each upright vacuum has been fully reviewed and tested by Home Flooring Pros. Read on for all our upright vacuum reviews or use the quick links to jump to the vacuum that suits you best.
Before we get started with our upright vacuum reviews let’s just quickly cover the basics – an upright vacuum cleaner is a good choice for you if you:
- Have carpeted floors, as upright vacuums have superior suction levels that are best suited to removing dirt from carpets. If you have a mix of carpet and hardwood flooring, then be sure to opt for an upright vacuum that has an adaptable head to go from one surface to another (these days most of them do).
- Don’t mind handling the weight; upright vacuum cleaners are usually heavier than canister vacuums.
- Don’t have to deal with too many stairs or tricky spaces; upright vacuums are not as easy to maneuver as canister vacuums, though many upright vacuum cleaners today have wand and hose attachments that allow you to get into those hard-to-reach areas and vacuum stairs more easily.
So, let’s now look at the best selection of upright vacuum cleaners currently on the market.
Best Upright Vacuum: Our Number #1 Pick Overall
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
Established in 1995, and thus a relative new comer in the vacuum cleaning market, the Shark brand of vacuum cleaners and other household appliances have risen to become one of the best selling brands in the USA and beyond. The company prides itself on bringing cutting edge technology to the market and these are in abundance in their Rotator series of upright vacuum cleaners. Our pick of the series is the bagless Rotator Professional which usually retails at $300, but can be found for $200 on promotion. This is an excellent mid-range price for a top-range vacuum. We also like the Rotator Professional for the following reasons:
- Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology plus HEPA filter traps 99% of dust and allergens inside the machine, making it a clear winner for allergy sufferers.
- The Lift-Away mechanism allows you to effectively convert the upright into a hand-held canister vacuum cleaner, to make it super easy to clean stairs, upholstery or tricky spaces.
- The swivel steering actually works really well, allowing you to effortlessly maneuver the upright around furniture.
- The dust cup capacity of 1.3 quarts/ 1.4 liters is pretty good going for a quality upright; and there is a more than decent 30 feet of power cord plus the extendable hose that reaches to 8.4 feet.
- Included in the box are a dusting brush, crevice tool and power brush attachment for pet hair.
- Users also like that there were handy integrated hooks to wind the power cord on; some user also loved the headlights though we don’t really think they are that important!
- The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away comes with a 5 year limited warranty.
- One word of caution, at 15.5 pounds the Shark Rotator Professional is not really that lightweight, even though the brand keep saying it is!
Best Top of the Range/High End Upright Vacuum:
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum
If you’re looking for the best of the high end upright vacuum cleaners, then look no further than the second generation Dyson Ball Animal. At a hefty list price of just under $500, this is not the most budget-friendly option – however, during sale seasons and holiday promos we have seen it being offered for around $300 which is still quite high, but a great deal for this iconic British brand. Most Dyson lovers love them as much for their contemporary industrial aesthetic as for their great quality; I personally am not such a great fan of the design aesthetic, but cannot deny their overall good performance record. Here are other reasons for choosing the Dyson Ball Animal 2:
- The self-adjusting cleaner head is a great efficiency asset – simply glide from carpet, to hardwood, to vinyl, to tile without any effort on your part whatsoever.
- The Dyson branded Ball technology gives exceptional maneuvering and a stable center of gravity.
- The Animal 2 has an impressive dust cup capacity of 1.8 quarts/ 2 liters; and an extra long 35-foot power cord.
- Similar to the Shark, the sealed whole-machine HEPA filtration system ensures that dust and allergens don’t escape out after being vacuumed in!
- The vacuum cleaner comes with an instant-release wand and hose to reach high up, under furniture and to tackle the stairs.
- Included in the box is a specially designed turbine tool to help remove pet hair from carpets and upholstery, a combination brush tool, and an extra stair tool.
- A word of caution, Dyson claim that their vacuum’s have the strongest suction on the market. Whilst it’s true that their vacuum suction has been independently tested and verified to be very strong, and we can also attest to it being vey strong, without comparative data it’s impossible to confirm that it’s the strongest out there!
- Finally, apart from the price, another disadvantage to consider is that the Dyson Animal Ball 2 is a rather heavy machine, coming in at 17.35 pounds.
- The Dyson Ball Animal 2 comes with a 5-year warranty for parts and labor.
Best Mid-Range/Mid-Priced Upright Vacuum:
Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Rewind
At a fairly affordable $130 list price, the bagless Hoover T-Series WindTunnel is our choice for the best mid-range upright vacuum cleaner. It has sleek looks and comes in three color options – cobalt blue and dark gray, red and gray/ brown, and green and light gray – which is quite a lot of variety for a vacuum! With a strong reputation for good quality products, the Hoover brand is oven synonymous with vacuum cleaners, and so long as you are looking to only use this vacuum cleaner for normal residential use, you’ll be pleased with its overall performance. Other advantages with the T-Series WindTunnel are:
- There is a height adjustment option where you can manually change the setting of the cleaner brush to 5 different positions; lowest positions are for most carpets and bare floors whilst higher positions are for deep pile carpet. This is a useful feature, provided that you don’t have lots of different types of flooring in your home which would mean continually changing the positions!
- The no-scuff bumper is a helpful feature for protecting your furniture – especially if you often vacuum in a hurry like me!
- Like most vacuum cleaners on the market these days, there is an integrated HEPA filter to deal with dust and allergens.
- As well as having the full use of upright settings, there is an extension wand and hose to reach under furniture and do the stairs. The hose extends 8 feet.
- Included in the box are also a crevice tool, upholstery/dusting brush, and powered hand tool.
- The disadvantage of the T-series WindTunnel is that it is quite heavy at 16.5 pounds, and it has a shorter power cord than other vacuum cleaners at just 25 feet.
- Having said that, the best feature of all is that the cord has an automatic rewind – making it the neatest upright vacuum cleaner on our list to store.
- Also to bear in mind, unlike some of the other vacuum cleaners here, you only get a 2-year limited warranty with the Hoover T-Series WindTunnel.
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Best light weight upright vacuum:
Shark Navigator Light Upright Vacuum
If heavy lifting is tricky for you then, at just 10.6 pounds, the Navigator Light from Shark is a great choice! Along with the lighter weight, you get the attractive, streamlined design of this popular brand. Normally listed at $140, at the time of writing the Navigator Light was available on sale at just under $100 – a great, affordable option. The other points to consider with this vacuum cleaner are:
- The Shark Navigator Light is not only the best lightweight upright vacuum cleaner, but also the smallest and most compact one on our list – perfect if you have an apartment or limited storage space.
- The Navigator Light has different settings depending on where you are using it, there is one for bare floors and a brush roll setting for carpets.
- There is also an attached wand and hose to get to hard to reach places, and included in the box are a combination crevice tool/dusting brush and a pet hair/upholstery brush.
- Because of its compact size, this vacuum cleaner does not have the biggest dust cup – but it’s pretty decent holding a maximum of 0.9 quarts/ 1 liter.
- As with most Shark vacuum cleaners, the Navigator Light has a 5 year limited warranty.
- The main negative for the Navigator Light is that it does not have in-built HEPA filtration, so not ideal if you have allergies.
Best Budget/Cheap Upright Vacuum:
Bissell Aeroswift Compact Bagless Upright Vacuum, 1009 – Corded
Last, but by no means least, is our pick of the best value upright vacuum cleaner. The Bissell Aeroswift Compact has a list price of just $70, but can be found on sale for a little under $60! That’s a bargain for a trusted brand vacuum cleaner with all the attachments you’d expect from a quality product. My only concern would be to say that this vacuum cleaner is really mostly intended for light residential use – if you need to vacuum your home daily or have lots of pets that shed their hair, then this vacuum is not going to be strong enough for you. However, for many households, the Bissell Aeroswift is a great choice:
- The overall weight of this vacuum is not too heavy – 12 pounds – and there is a 30-foot power cord and a hose and wand attachment that stretches an impressive 10 feet!
- Included in the box, along with the hose and wand, are the dusting brush, upholstery tool, crevice tool and the Bissell TurboBrush for pet hair.
- Like the lightweight Shark, the dust cup isn’t one of the biggest, but with 1-liter capacity it is generally sufficient.
- As with most bagless vacuum cleaners, Bissell have designed an easy release system into the dust cup to make it fairly effortless to empty.
- For a value vacuum cleaner, what you’re missing most is the more streamlined steering that you get with brands like Shark and Dyson, but at the same time this vacuum cleaner is lighter than those bigger ones and not too clunky to handle, so not a major drawback for most users.