Best upright vacuum cleaners

  • Weight, lbsWeight, lbs
  • Dust bin capacity, mlDust bin capacity, ml
  • FiltrationFiltration
  • Motorized brushrollMotorized brushroll
  • FeaturesFeatures
  • WarrantyWarranty
  • Shark APEX AZ1002

  • Shark APEX DuoClean AZ1002
  • Weight, lbs23.3
  • Dust bin capacity, ml1652
  • FiltrationHEPA, Pre-and-post motor filter
  • Motorized brushrollYes
  • FeaturesDuoClean, Zero-M, LED lights
  • Warranty7 years
  • Bissell CleanView Rewind Pet

  • Bissell CleanView Rewind Pet
  • Weight, lbs16
  • Dust bin capacity, ml1000
  • FiltrationFoam and pre-motor filters
  • Motorized brushrollNo
  • FeaturesMulti-cyclonic suction
  • Warranty1 year
  • Hoover Whole House Rewind

  • Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind
  • Weight, lbs16.1
  • Dust bin capacity, ml1290
  • FiltrationHEPA
  • Motorized brushrollYes
  • FeaturesMulti-cyclonic suction, Advanced allergen block
  • Warranty3 years
  • Dyson Ball Animal 2

  • Dyson Ball Animal 2
  • Weight, lbs17.3
  • Dust bin capacity, ml2000
  • FiltrationHEPA
  • Motorized brushrollYes
  • Features"Ball" design
  • Warranty5 years
  • Oreck Commercial XL

  • Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS
  • Weight, lbs9
  • Dust bin capacity, ml10300
  • FiltrationBag filter
  • Motorized brushrollNo
  • FeaturesBagged
  • Warranty1 year

Upright vacuum reviews

1. Shark APEX DuoClean (AZ1002)

  • Dual motorized brush rolls
  • Self-cleaning brushes
  • Effective HEPA filtration
  • Powerful suction ability
  • Numerous additional attachments

If you’re looking for that fine mix of quality and affordability, you can’t go wrong with the Shark APEX. This upright vacuum utilizes two motorized, called DuoClean, brush rolls to pick up anything in its path and lift it into the vacuum. For the pet lovers out there, the Shark APEX also uses Zero-M tech which is self-cleaning on the brush rolls—perfect for finer particles like pet hair. All these—including being the best upright bagless vacuum—combine to make the APEX the best out on the market at the moment. Here are all the other things to love about the APEX.

Suction ability

The Shark APEX boasts of a higher than average suction power at 1350 watts. This is far more potent and powerful than other options that are out on the market and allows it to be effective across a wider variety of surfaces — it’s the best upright vacuum for hardwood floors — including those with rough and rugged sections like low-pile carpeting. As might be expected, this vacuum does struggle somewhat when it comes to high-pile carpeting where several passes are required for deeply set dirt and grime. It’s superior to most others on the market, however.

DuoClean

As is standard on the Shark brand of vacuums, the system in place utilizes two motorized brushes. The first of them is a smooth roll that has bristles specifically designed for grinding dirt down. It’s ideal for hardwood floors and tiling as it gives a polished look when finished. The second is bristles which are sharper and ideal for embedded dirt in carpets. Again, this makes them the best upright vacuum for carpet—for high-pile carpets, though, some extra pressing and swipes are needed to get the job done.

Zero-M power

What sets the Shark APEX apart is a technology designed to take away tangled hair and fur that could potentially get stuck in the brush rolls. Called Zero-M technology, it features toughened spikes on an independently motorized roll that cleans up the other brush rolls effectively. This bit of self-cleaning tech makes this a standout product among its competition. While it’s a subtle bit of tech, it is invaluable in saving time as it does the hassled step of cleaning up the vacuum after it does its thing.

HEPA filtration

The standard for all air filters that are designed to capture a majority of particulates as small 0.3 microns, HEPA filters are pretty much standard on all the best vacuums in the market today. The Shark APEX stands out by being even more efficient and potent when it comes to allergen filtration. On top of this, it utilizes pre- and post-motor filters that combine to protect you from anything that can cause the sniffles. The iteration of this technology found here is certainly market-leading because of these.

Read also: 5 Best Shark vacuum cleaners for pet hair

The beauty of owning the Shark APEX is that it’s a modest package that is packed with powerful and potent features. It’s everything you need plus a few things that you didn’t realize were great extras altogether. If there’s one vacuum to get, this is it.

The Good
  • Suction is ideal even for heavy carpeting
  • HEPA filtration ensures effective allergen removal
  • Zero-M technology deals well with pet hair
  • Dual brush tech ensures breakdown of heavy dirt
  • Self-cleaning
The Bad
  • A bit on the pricey side

2. BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet

  • Rotating brush roll
  • Cyclonic suction
  • TurboBrush handheld tool
  • ClearView foam filters

Right off the bat, the Bissell CleanView Swivel Pet is a premium household appliance. It distinguishes itself from the competition with its ability to deal with dirt from even high-pile carpets. That’s something that a lot of other top-rated upright vacuums out there in the market. That’s impressive considering it uses a single hard bristled brush to get the job done. There’s more on offer here too that make taking a closer look at the Bissell CleanView Swivel Pet a very smart move indeed.

Rotating brush roll

One of the first things that stands out about this upright vacuum is that it features a brush set that rotates constantly. That, paired with the strength of the bristles makes it able to deep clean the dirtiest rugs and carpets. Its OnePass technology says it all: you only need one effective pass to clean just about anything. The secret is really those bristled brushes because the suction power of the vacuum itself is decidedly middle of the road in terms of performance.

Cyclonic system

A relatively new piece of technology in the field, cyclonic suction is useful for larger debris and thicker tufts of hair. The CleanView uses iterations that have up to eight cyclones for maximum efficiency and sustainability. Of course, the downside here is that filtration systems on the Bissell tend to get pretty dirty pretty quick with clogs being a far more common experience than one would like. This results in the need for very frequent maintenance to ensure that the system keeps going smoothly.

TurboBrush

One other unique function that actually makes this close to being the best upright vacuum for pet hair is its TurboBrush tool. This is handheld so it lets you easily catch pet hair — and pieces of dirt — even at odd locations and angles. The tool functions exactly as the main vacuum does with all the attendant advantages and disadvantages already mentioned. When you pair is with the 6-foot long hose, it gains even more utility, especially when you have to reach behind items and furniture.

Foam filters

The foam filters sported by the ClearView does the job, but it isn’t the most efficient out there. Unlike newer HEPA filter found when you explore the question “what is the best upright vacuum”, you can’t expect the ClearView to filter out bacteria and viruses. Still, the system that Bissell uses can capture over 80% of dust and dirt which is a respectable number all told. Additionally, the foam filter on this particular unit is washable and reusable which makes it cost-efficient at the very least.

Large capacity

One area where the Bissell shines is in its bag capacity. Where most vacuums top out at around 1,500 ml, the Bissell features 2,000 ml. That’s impressive considering its performance capabilities and strength. What this means is lesser trips to the garbage cans to clear them out before you proceed with your whole house cleaning duties. Best of all, the system in place makes it easy to empty out everything even when you reach full bag capacity. This is a convenience that rounds out this particular advantage.

While the Bissell CleanView might not be the most potent nor the most efficient vacuum out there, you would be wrong to dismiss it outright. It has so much that it can offer for its package especially when you go for its specific pet hair cleaning abilities.

The Good
  • Significantly large capacity
  • Effective for larger pieces of dirt and tufts of hair
  • Washable filters
  • Effective for tight corners
The Bad
  • Non-motorized brush roll

3. Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind

  • Retractable power cord
  • Adaptive brush roll
  • AllergenBlock filtration technology
  • Variable suction power settings

Touted as being perfect for whole-house cleaning from floor to ceiling, it’s not hard to see why the Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind is one of the best upright Hoovers you can get. In reality, however, while the WindTunnel 2 is great for hard floors, there’s some struggle when it comes to carpeting. Does that mean that it isn’t worth your consideration? Certainly not. It does have a lot to offer, especially if you’re a pet owner, that makes it worthwhile exploring and considering for your next purchase.

Design delight

If there’s one thing that you will love this Hoover swivel vacuum for is that it’s packed with a lot of intelligent design features out of the box. One of the best among these features is its retractable cord. Not only does this make it convenient to use, but it is also efficient in what it does. It also comes with a performance check indicator up top that indicates its bin is full. What’s odd though is that to get at these design features can be challenging because it is a very difficult vacuum to assemble out of the box.

Multi-floor brush roll

Another thing that stands out for WindTunnel 2 is its ability to adapt its brush roll for a number of different types of flooring. On hard floors, this Hoover shines through. It is the best Hoover WindTunnel vacuum of its type in ensuring that debris and dirt are efficiently sucked up without any scattering happening. As mentioned before, it can struggle quite a great deal when carpeting is involved. You’ll have to go through several passes to ensure that your carpets are completely clean.

AllergenBlock

That being said, many a Hoover upright vacuum review will tell you that this model is perfect for pet owners. For one thing, it utilizes the modern HEPA filter that is capable of filtering even the tiniest of pet hairs. For another thing, it incorporates odor-absorbing elements to ensure that the problem of pet smell is taken care of. Finally, it focuses on helping deal with allergens that can cause sufferers to experience uncomfortable noses or—worse–nasty sneezing fits. This makes it great for those with health considerations as well.

Multiple cyclones

An emerging trend with a vacuum cleaner is the utilization of Multi-Cyclonic Technology. This Hoover uses that to the best advantage with two channels of suction available to choose from depending on your particular need—from light cleaning to heavy-duty dirt removal. You can further complement this power with a multi-floor brush roll with five manual settings that fit a particular type of floor or need. The ease by which you can switch among these makes it perfect if you have many different floor types throughout the home.

Tools galore

What the main unit might not be able to handle by itself can be dealt with using potent tools that come with the unit itself. The turbo tool can be used to clean your furniture and your stairs specifically. If you have a high-pile carpet, however, you should note that there is a tendency for this tool to get stuck. As the name suggests, the crevice tool handles harder to reach areas and place. Finally, the dusting brush is a nice touch that can be used for delicate curtains and even computer keyboards.

The difficulty when it comes to recommending the Hoover WindTunnel 2 is that its suction power — while versatile — is weaker compared to other options out there. There were struggles, particularly with finer matter. Still, one can’t deny the versatility that comes with the many tools and accessories. And, of course, it’s actually really great if you have pets or particularly nasty allergies due to its powerful filtration system.

The Good
  • Potent and powerful filtration system
  • Comes with multiple tools for a variety of situations
  • Multiple settings to customize output
The Bad
  • Difficult to assemble out of the box

4. Dyson Ball Animal 2

  • Smart, automatic suction
  • Multiple attachments
  • Swiveling head
  • Certified allergen blocker

With one of the highest price tags out there, the Dyson Animal 2 just begs a deeper look. After all, if you’re paying as much, you want to make sure that you’re getting a more than good upright vacuum cleaner for your money. Fortunately, like the brand itself, Animal 2 does feature enough innovations that make it somewhat worth the price of admission. We take a look at the very best of these features to help you decide whether it’s a worthwhile purchase or not.

Smart suction

One thing you notice when you start to compare upright vacuum cleaners is that they’re relatively similar when it comes to controlling suction power. Whether its buttons, knobs, or switches, there’s some way to control exactly how much suction will take place. With the exception of turning on the rolling brush, the Dyson automatically adjusts its power output to whatever surface you’re vacuuming. Paired with a tight seal between cleaning head and floor, you get superior action.

Versatility and power

If there’s one thing people look for in upright vacuums with attachments, it’s the ability to be versatile in what it can clean up. With the Dyson, you’re able to clean crushed food particles and coarse particles with ease. This includes spilled kitty litter if you’re curious. The best part is that the design of the Dyson means that nothing gets spread around as you work. It’s even capable of taking in the finest of particles, though several passes were needed as is standard with most vacuum cleaners anyway.

Swiveling head

Apart from being the most powerful upright vacuum in the market, the Dyson is also functionally dependable. It features a unique swiveling head that helps you better work around corners and furniture that gets in the way. It also has a very low profile that lets you get deep under many different furniture as well. It’s fairly maneuverable, this Dyson, and while it struggled sometimes with the transition from one floor type to another, this was negligible and not a hassle at all.

Allergy-friendly

It might not seem like the most affordable and best upright vacuum for the money, but the Dyson gives a lot back. One of the best things is that this Dyson has actually earned certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for its sealed system. The odd thing about that, however, is that it actually doesn’t use a true HEPA filtration system. So when you do have to empty the bin, you expose yourself to dirt, dust, and other allergens anyway — though it isn’t as bad as most systems.

Comfort and convenience

The Dyson Animal 2 earns a place among the top 5 upright vacuum cleaners for the comfort and ease of use it offers. It might not be light but two strategically placed holders make it easy to actually move around. This makes it perfect for work that is constantly on the go and has to cover a much larger area. It’s also a surprisingly quieter unit than one would expect. This is partly down to Dyson’s relative mastery over technology such as this which has featured on the equally quiet desk and stand fans.

Apart from all this, the Dyson Animal 2 does come with the spate of attachments and accouterments that one would expect from a modern vacuum. All in all, it’s a reliable vacuum and its suction technology is pretty up there among the best. It’s really held back by its price tag, however, which is pretty high. One wouldn’t be blamed for looking at other vacuum cleaners that might provide relatively the same feature set for a much lower price.

The Good
  • Smart suction power selection
  • Sealed suction ensures lack of spread of dirt
  • Relatively quiet performance
  • Extremely comfortable to use and move around
The Bad
  • Steep price tag

5. Oreck Commercial XL

  • Simple, light design
  • Large bag capacity
  • Commercial power

The Oreck Commercial XL is unique for many reasons among the current spate of options available when it comes to upright vacuums.

  • First is that it was heavily advertised in TV stores.
  • Second is that it sports a “classic”, compact vacuum look.
  • The third is that it actually has the classic bag setup of vacuums of yesteryears.

It seems hyped up to be a big thing. But is it really?

Does it have enough chops to stand up to and against the competition? Take a look here.

Unique design

Unlike other upright vacuums that seem to strive to become endlessly futuristic, the Oreck Commercial XL goes the opposite direction. Beyond its long shaft, large bag, and functional head, and cord, there’s little in the way of overbearing design. This makes the whole affair look decidedly commercial. The looks have a functional aspect to them too, making it easy to pull the Commercial XL around a room. It can also very easily bend and roll under furniture and tables.

Cleaning power

One of the stand out things about the Oreck Commercial XL is that its arrangement, appearance, and sucking power are perfect for sucking up pet hair. This can also accomplish in tighter spots that your beloved pet can get into by virtue of its compact design. Unfortunately, it seems to struggle visibly and badly when put up to tougher dust, dirt, and materials as well as anything but a completely flat surface. Here’s a relative comparison of materials that the Oreck was tested on.

  • Rice

On a pretty light carpet, the Oreck struggled already to do the task of picking up rice that was scattered about — needing an average of six passes just to get anything done completely. Much of the reason behind that is it would crush what it sucked in and redeposit the debris right back onto the carpet. This poor performance took an even bigger turn for the worse when the carpet was heavier.

  • Flour

Being arguably finer than rice, one would imagine that dust analog flour would be easier to pick up and suck in. Sadly, that’s not the case. It’s strange but the Oreck Commercial XL did an even worse job when faced with floor—and that’s even on a flat, non-bulky carpet. That certainly does not bode well for you if you want to rely on it to clean up heavily dusted floors.

Usability

One thing that the Oreck Commercial XL does have going for it is that it’s extremely lightweight. This means that anyone — even older folk — can wield the Oreck with relative ease. This makes it a joy to use when you have many rooms to clean and need to move around a lot. You can even lift it to get to harder to reach areas if you absolutely wanted to. Of course, an interesting counterpoint here is that, given the effort to actually do cleaning, is it completely worthwhile in the end?

Ultimately, the problem with the Oreck Commercial XL is that it doesn’t altogether provide great value. It fills in small, specialized niche perfectly, yes: that of light vacuuming of light messes. As a dedicated pet vacuum, it actually does stand out. But if you’re looking for overall versatility, then it becomes harder to overall recommend the Oreck.

The Good
  • One of the lightest vacuums out there
  • Slim design makes it easy to reach tough places
The Bad
  • Zero extras

Things to consider when buying an upright vacuum cleaner

Vacuum cleaners are an invaluable part of keeping the modern home clean and dirt-free. The modern iteration of these appliances is the relatively lightweight upright vac. They’re so-named because they incorporate the vast bulk of their machinery into the standing apparatus itself—allowing for an unprecedented level of usability and functionality. Now, with many out there, one wonders how to choose the best lightweight upright vacuum cleaner. We break down the top things you need to consider.

Suction power

The main point of a vacuum cleaner is to be able to suck in the dirt, dust, and other particles that keep a home dirty. The effectiveness of upright vacuum cleaners can thus be said to depend on its suction power. Now there are varying degrees of suction power among competing products and are usually a function of both price and utility. When shopping around for upright swivel vacuum cleaners, you should ask yourself what kind of workload you’ll be most likely facing. That, and your budget, will ultimately determine what you get.

Filtration

With all the dust and dirt that gets kicked up, you expose yourself to much dust and many allergens. If you’re allergic or have asthma, this can mean tough going. That’s where the filtration system comes in the best budget upright vacuum will likely feature older foam models. While these are effective in themselves, they pale when it comes to newer HEPA variants that can pick out even the most minute and tiniest of particles to prevent them from reaching your nose.

Utility

The next thing you need to consider is just how easy an upright vacuum you’re looking at is to use. Don’t be bowled over by sales talk or appearances, the best way to determine if a prospective unit matches your levels of comforts is to try it out yourself. Does the head swivel at wide enough angles? Are there enough attachments for every need? Can the vacuum contort to reach deep underneath tables and furniture? Is it easy enough to carry around should you need to? These are the questions you need to ask.

Functionality

Some of the best vacuum cleaners are those that incorporate a vast range of features and functions into their sets. For example, there are available models out there that can self-clean which makes them invaluable to those after convenience. Others feature large capacity bags that let you suck in far more before going through the tedium of emptying things. Which features and functions are the “best” depends entirely on what you consider essential to your own needs.

Price

Finally, you should also take into consideration what you can afford to budget for a great upright vacuum cleaner. Some are out there when it comes to pricing, while others might seem like way too cheap. A middle ground is the best thing to look for when it comes to these things to ensure that you get your money’s worth and not break the bank at all. Price should never be the sole consideration, however, and it’s best to take it relative to the other items listed here.

There are many great vacuum cleaners out there. Each one has its own pros and cons. Considering how useful it is and essential to a clean home, it’s worth taking the time out to choose one over the other. Make sure you check out these things to ensure that you take home the very best.

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