Choosing the wrong type of vacuum might leave you wondering how mounds of pet hair and dust particles managed to survive a round of hoovering. An upright vacuum is the best choice for homes with heavy foot traffic, shedding pets, and messy kids. Regardless of floor type, a powerful upright vacuum is capable of gobbling up any dirt, dust, or debris in its path. Performance-wise, uprights can't be beat. Our guide has all you need to know to find the best upright vacuum for your cleaning needs.
Considerations when choosing upright vacuums
If your home is carpeted, make sure the upright vacuum you choose can handle rolling over the thick surface. A roller brush helps gather up all the dirt and debris that gets stuck in carpet fibers. Be careful, though, as brushes with tough bristles can scratch hardwood floors. If you need to vacuum different surfaces, look for a vacuum with a detachable brush or one that features height adjustment so you can roll over wood and carpet with ease.
If your home has multiple levels, make sure that you can comfortably move your vacuum from one floor to another. An upright vacuum with a larger canister is best for vacuuming a spacious home because you'll waste less time heading to the trash can to empty it out.
Have pets in your home? Powerful suction is required to suck up all that fur scattered on your floor. Look for an upright vacuum that specifically advertises that it picks up pet hair and dander. A quality filter is essential, too.
If you have to carry your upright vacuum up a flight of stairs, it should be light enough that you don't struggle to lift it. You shouldn't find yourself straining to push the unit, either.
Many companies advertise decibel levels for the vacuums they sell. All models make noise, but if you're looking for a quiet vacuum, check the specifications for a lower decibel rating.
Corded vs. cordless
Not having to fiddle with a cord makes it easier to roll around from room to room. However, many cordless upright vacuums are less powerful than their corded cousins. Opt for a corded upright for maximum suction, but make sure the cord is long enough to allow you to reach all areas of each room. Look for an upright vacuum with at least 1,000 watts of power for effective suction.
While you can opt for a bagged upright vacuum, canister vacuums are more convenient and easier to empty. Plus, you won't have to spend money on replacement bags.
Allergies? Pets? Asthma? Don't buy an upright vacuum unless it's equipped with a solid filtration system. A HEPA filter is the top of the line. The better the filter, the pricier the vacuum, though.
Unless you also have a handheld vacuum for additional vacuuming tasks, choose an upright model that comes with accessories that will help you get at tight corners and hard-to-reach cobwebs near your ceiling.
The importance of vacuuming
Vacuuming frequently not only keeps your home clean, it also helps clear your space of allergens. Regular vacuuming is essential for maintaining hygienic carpets and sleek hardwood. Using a vacuum on a consistent basis will trap dust and debris, preventing it from escaping back into your space for you to breathe in.
Q. My upright vacuum doesn't seem to be picking anything up. What's going on?
A. It's likely time to clean out or replace your filter. Regular filter maintenance is recommended to keep your upright vacuum working efficiently.
Q. I have carpets and hardwood floors in my home. What should I look for in an upright vacuum?
A. Look for an upright model with an adjustable height function. Avoid hard bristle brushes (or look for a unit with a removable brush) to prevent scratches on your hardwood floors.
Upright vacuums we recommend
Best of the best: Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Ball Animal 2
Our take: This upright vacuum with superior suction is a worthy investment, especially if you live with pets.
What we like: Its impressive warranty, ease of use, and unrivaled performance make it our top pick.
What we dislike: Some owners find this vacuum hard to push and a bit uncomfortable to hold.
Best bang for your buck: Bissell CleanView Bagless Vacuum with OnePass
Our take: Great value for a quality upright vacuum for run-of-the-mill clean-ups.
What we like: The excellent filter does a great job at removing particles from the air that cause allergies. It's easy to see when the canister is full.
What we dislike: This vacuum is not a good choice for tackling pet hair.
Our take: This upright vacuum offers strong suction at a reasonable price.
What we like: It doesn't lose suction over time like other models. It's easy to maneuver and equipped with a HEPA filter.
What we dislike: It's not a good choice for hardwood floors due to the permanent roller brush.
Steph Coelho is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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