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Best Vacuum for Carpet

Derek HalesBy Derek Hales
Updated March 1, 2018

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If you’re in the market for the best vacuum for carpet floors, chances are you may feel overwhelmed or not know where to start. Most all vacuums claim to clean carpet messes, but how can you know for sure without testing, cleaning, and running these products yourself?

Today, we’re putting vacuums to the test to see which models are truly best for carpet. Below, you’ll find a table that outlines four of our top picks for cleaning carpet floors or click here to jump down to the full list.

Roomba 690

Roomba 690 robot vacuum review

Pros
Has excellent cleaning performance, can be controlled via smartphone, and is an incredible value.

Cons
1,800 mAh battery gives it a run time of only around 60 minutes, but you can upgrade the battery.

Bottom Line
Arguably the best robot vacuum value, period. If budget is a factor this is the robot vacuum to buy.

Hoover Windtunnel

Hoover Windtunnel T-Series vacuum review

Pros
Nearly flawless cleaning performance on carpets, 25′ retractable cord stores inside unit.

Cons
Heavy at 16.5 pounds, more difficult to maneuver, and not great on hardwood floors.

Bottom Line
For the price this is one of the best upright vacuums we’ve tested for carpets.

Miele Compact C1

Pros
Multiple cleaning modes and flawless performance on our carpet cleaning tests.

Cons
Uses a bagged system instead of a dustbin and is on the heavy side at 16.1 pounds.

Bottom Line
Exceptional cleaning performance across the board. This is the best canister we’ve tested and arguably the best vacuum cleaner overall.

Ergorapido

Electrolux Ergorapido Review

Pros
Lithium ion battery cordless cleaning, great value, and super light (5.5 pounds).

Cons
Not great at cleaning larger debris (e.g. cereal) and run-time of 20 minutes.

Bottom Line
Incredible value for a stick vacuum. It’s light, highly mobile, cordless, and great for quick and easy cleaning sessions.

For many people, cleaning carpet messes is one of the most important jobs of a vacuum. Carpet floors, whether they are high pile carpet or low pile carpet, can allow dirt and debris to settle deeply into the fibers. In order to successfully clean carpet, a vacuum must be able to do two things: agitate and suck.

  • Agitation of the carpet fibers helps to keep debris from getting stuck in the carpet and cleans all areas of the fibers.
  • Suction is exactly what it sounds like; strong suction allows the debris to travel from within the carpet fibers all the way into the dust canister.

WANT A VACUUM THAT SUCKS? Click here to check out our complete list of vacuum cleaner reviews or see our best of the best vacuums guide for more. 

In order to fairly score, we put all of the vacuum cleaners through a series of tests and analysis. We looked at design, how it cleans, size, accessories, usability, maneuverability, maintenance, noise, battery, value, and overall cleaning performance.

For cleaning performance, we tested each vacuum on three different flooring types and against four different media. We tested on hardwoods, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet.

On each floor type, we tested the vacuum’s ability to pick up rice, kitty litter, cereal, and sugar. We believe that this selection of debris types provides a nice range of particle size and weight.

Cleaning test debris types

Testing Debris – From left to right: Rice (3 oz.), Kitty Litter (3 oz), Cereal (1 oz), Sugar (3 oz)

To find the best vacuums for cleaning carpet, we looked at cleaning performance for both high and low pile carpet. Unlike vacuums for hardwood floors, it was very difficult for vacuums on carpeted floors to achieve a 100% performance score. That being said, results may vary on the exact pile height and thickness of the carpet you are cleaning.

All of the vacuums below performed quite well on carpet, even if the score was not 100%. In many cases, the biggest struggle for vacuums on carpet is the cereal test. But keep in mind that many upright and handheld vacuums come with a hose attachment that is designed to capture large debris. This type of attachment would likely yield better results than the floor brushroll.

There are many models that we’re going to highlight here, so let’s go ahead and get started.

Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum

The Roomba 690 robot vacuum is a great option for people who want a Roomba robot vacuum, but don’t want to spend as much money as some newer models, like the Roomba 980.

This particular model hits that sweet spot between performance and value. The 690 offers wifi, smartphone or app connection, and the convenience of scheduled cleanings. 

Roomba 690 robot vacuum

Roomba 690 robot vacuum

Design: The Roomba 690 has a similar design to the Roomba 980 in its size and overall dimensions, but its features are a little different.

Unlike the 980, the Roomba 690 does not have an on-board camera and instead relies heavily on its infrared navigator sensors to detect obstacles and navigational highlights.

It has a 13″ diameter and is 3.6″ tall.

On the underside, the Roomba 690 has:

  1. Wheels – To transition between flooring types and navigate the space, the Roomba uses two large wheels on either side.
  2. Spinning side brush – To help clean corners and edges, the Roomba 690 is equipped with one spinning side brush. As it spins, it pushes debris and dirt into the path of the brushroll in the middle of the vacuum.
  3. Charging contact pins – Contact pins are important for the charging process. Once the Roomba has driven up to the charging base, these pins help to make sure that the Roomba gets a solid charge and will be ready for the next cleaning cycle.
  4. Bristle Brushroll – The Roomba 690 uses a simple brush-style brushroll that rotates and transfers debris from the carpet to the enclosed dust bin.
  5. Dust Bin & HEPA filter – This section of the vacuum contains the dust bin and HEPA filter. The Roomba 690 uses the AeroVac filtration system.
  6. Edge sensors – Four edge sensors located at the front of the vacuum help the 690 to better navigate the space, avoiding hazards like stairs, edges, or other dangerous lofted areas.

1) wheels, 2) spinning brush, 3) charging pins, 4) brushroll, 5) dust bin, and 6) sensors

1) wheels, 2) spinning brush, 3) charging pins, 4) brushroll, 5) dust bin, and 6) sensors

Accessories & Parts: The Roomba 690 robot vacuum comes with:

  • Virtual wall barrier (x1)
  • Charging station
  • HEPA filter (x2)
  • Cleaning tool
  • Battery
  • Spinning brush

The Roomba 690 comes with nice accessories that help to keep maintenance costs low, like extra filters and a cleaning tool. The virtual wall barrier is not necessary, but could be nice for larger homes or if you have an area that you’d like to block Roomba from cleaning.

irobot roomba 690 low carpet test

Roomba 690 robot vacuum – low carpet cleaning test

CLEANING: Click here to check out the cleaning performance of the Roomba 690.

irobot roomba 690 high carpet test

Roomba 690 robot vacuum – high carpet cleaning test

Usability: The Roomba 690 is usable and easy to understand. Setting it up is as easy as just unboxing it, installing the spinning side brush, and letting it charge. Once it’s charged, the central “CLEAN” button makes it easy to start, pause, or cancel a cleaning.

If you choose to enable the wifi connectivity, then that just takes a few extra minutes to set up an account and sync to your vacuum.

Roomba 690 - docked at charging station

Roomba 690 – docked at charging station

Value: The value of the Roomba 690 is  one of the things that really separates this vacuum from others in the robot market. Priced around $300-350, it’s certainly not cheap, but based on its performance during all 12 cleaning tests, the Roomba 690 is quick and efficient.

ROOMBA: Interested in the full family of Roomba robot vacuums? Be sure to check out our complete guide on Roombas and find which model is right for you!

I would recommend the Roomba 690 robot vacuum to people who:

  • Want a great value – If you want the best balance features, cleaning performance, and price, the Roomba 690 is a great option. It is priced under $400, and comes complete with wifi, exceptional cleaning performance, and low maintenance cost.
  • Want wifi connectivity – Many low-cost robot vacuums do not offer wifi connectivity so this is a nice add with this model. With wifi, you can control the vacuum using your smartphone, or voice command via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

%

Overall Score

  • Low Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 93%
  • High Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 91%

Dimensions

13″ dia. x 3.6″

Power

Battery, 1,800 mAh

Run Time

~60 minutes

Weight

7.8 pounds

Maintenance

~$32 / year

Dust Bin Capacity

0.3 L

Miele Compact C1 Canister Vacuum

The Miele Compact C1 canister vacuum is another great option for a vacuum for carpets. This canister vacuum has a sleek look and a wide cleaning radius that reaches almost 30′. The canister is on a wheeled base and there is a rigid stick.

The weight in-hand is about the same as what you’d get with a traditional stick vacuum, but the Miele C1 base means a larger dust capacity as well as powerful suction with great all-around cleaning performance.

As potential disadvantages, this canister vacuum is a bagged vacuum which can make emptying the unit difficult at times. Also, there the settings are a little hard to interpret when making adjustments.

Miele C1 Compact canister vacuum

Miele C1 Compact canister vacuum

Design: The design of the Miele canister vacuum consists of a simple gray body with an area for settings and an area for the hose attachment. You can turn the vacuum on and off with foot controls, and there is a cord rewind feature that makes it easier to move the vacuum around the house.

The power cord itself is 18′, but with the hose and extension wand, this model has an overall reach of 29.5′. The Miele Compact C1 canister vacuum is 18.2″ x 8.7″ x 11″ and weighs 16.1 pounds.

Parts and accessories included with the Miele Compact C1

Miele accessories & parts: 1) Miele C1 base, 2) wand, 3) hose, 4) cleaning heads, and 5) extra cleaning tools

Accessories & Parts: The Miele C1 Compact canister vacuum comes with:

  • Vacuum base
  • Wand
  • Hose
  • Cleaning heads
  • Extra cleaning tools

Considering its size and price point, the Miele Compact C1 has a wide selection of accessories and parts. It includes two different cleaning heads—one for cleaning hardwoods and one for cleaning carpeted surfaces.

Miele C1 canister vacuum low carpet cleaning test

Miele C1 canister vacuum – low carpet cleaning test

CLEANING: Click here to check out the cleaning performance of the Miele C1 Compact.

Miele C1 canister vacuum high carpet cleaning test

Miele C1 canister vacuum – high carpet cleaning test

Usability: I would say that the general usability of the Miele C1 is fairly average. Because there are quite a few parts and accessories on this vacuum, you’ll need to select which tools are right for your job prior to starting.

You can make additional selections by picking a cleaning style using the rotating dial on the top of the canister. This area uses specialty icons to note different cleaning modes, but the icons are a little difficult to understand what exactly is going on.

That being said, once you know what each tool and setting means, you can quickly make selections and get to cleaning sooner.

Close up shot of the interior cleaning components of the Miele Compact C1 vacuum

Miele Compact C1 canister vacuum – debris bag

Value: The overall value for the Miele C1 Compact is simply incredible. The cleaning performance of this vacuum is one of the best we’ve seen across the board on all flooring types and against all vacuum types.

While this model is not necessarily inexpensive, the cleaning performance, multiple floor cleaning modes, and easy maneuverability make this model a top contender.

I would recommend the Miele C1 Compact to people who:

  • Want amazing cleaning performance – If you’re looking for the best cleaning performance across the board on all floor types, the Miele C1 compact is your vacuum. It scored 100% on 10 out of our 12 cleaning tests and 99% on the other two tests. Regardless of debris size, weight, or floor type, there was no tested debris that was too much for the Miele.
  • Want a bagged vacuum cleaner – Some users prefer using bagged vacuums and honestly, there are not many great bagged models out there. If you suffer from allergies or just want to contain the mess, a bagged system may be right for you as well.

%

Overall Score

  • Low Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 100%
  • High Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 100%

Dimensions

18.2″ x 8.7″ x 11″

Power

Cord, 18′

Weight

16.1 pounds

Maintenance

~$36 / year

Bag Capacity

3.7 L

Hoover Windtunnel T-Series Upright Vacuum

The Hoover Windtunnel T-Series upright vacuum is a nice option for a powerful upright that tackles carpeted messes. It’s a little bulkier than the other models in this guide, but the cord rewind is a nice feature.

In addition, it had much better cleaning performance on carpeted floors versus hardwood floors. 

It has a bagless design and an XL dust bin capacity. For a large vacuum for whole-home cleaning, the Hoover Windtunnel T-Series is certainly one you may want to consider.

Hoover Windtunnel T-Series Vacuum

Hoover Windtunnel T-Series Vacuum

Design: The design of the Hoover Windtunnel T-Series is larger than most stick vacuums. It has a slightly bulky feel, but the larger size allows for a larger capacity dust bin and wider cleaning path, per pass. Overall, this vacuum is 12 x 16 x 44″ tall and weighs 16.5 pounds.

1) handle, 2) cleaning deck, 3) cord re-wind system, and 4) dust bin

1) handle, 2) cleaning deck, 3) cord re-wind system, and 4) dust bin

Accessories & Parts: The Hoover Windtunnel T-Series upright vacuum comes with:

  • Crevice tool
  • Dusting brush
  • Motorized brushroll
  • Accessories clip

The Hoover Windtunnel T-Series has relatively simple accessories. Based solely on the size, I would have liked to see more customized accessories, for variable cleaning jobs, but the offering is not bad.

Hoover Windtunnel low carpet cleaning test

Hoover Windtunnel upright vacuum – low carpet cleaning test

CLEANING: Click here to check out the cleaning performance of the Miele C1 Compact.

Hoover Windtunnel high carpet cleaning test

Hoover Windtunnel upright vacuum – high carpet cleaning test

Usability: The usability for this upright vacuum is simple, but you will need a screwdriver. Once it’s fully assembled, you can easily adjust settings with the twist of a knob located at the base of the vacuum.

This knob adjusts cleaning height and can be helpful for floors that transition from carpet to hard flooring. The vacuum comes with a 25′ power cord and a hose with an 8′ max length.

Close up shot of the floor head offered by the Windtunnel T-Series vacuum

Close-up shot of the floor head offered by the Windtunnel T-Series vacuum

Value: Concerning value, I would say that the Hoover Windtunnel T-Series is a solid value. The price fluctuates, but generally floats somewhere under $150’ish.

Especially if you’re cleaning carpeted floors, this is an excellent option. For hardwood floors, you may want to select a different option.

GUIDE: Want to learn more about the best vacuums for hardwood floors? Click here to see our complete guide.

I would recommend the Hoover Windtunnel T-Series to people who:

  • Want an upright for carpet – The cleaning performance of the Windtunnel T-Series on hardwood was a bit of a struggle, but on carpet, it really excelled. In addition, the knob on the base of the vacuum makes it easy to adjust between low pile and high pile carpet.
  • Want cord rewind – If you know you want a corded upright vacuum, but also want a little convenience, cord rewind is an excellent feature for this type of vacuum.

%

Overall Score

  • Low Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 100%
  • High Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 97%

Dimensions

16″ x 12″ x 44″

Power

Cord, 25′

Weight

16.5 pounds

Maintenance

~$23 / year

Dust Bin Capacity

3.0 L

Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum

The Roomba 980 robot vacuum is currently the most advanced model that iRobot offers, as of Spring 2018. It comes with all the bells-and-whistles, including an on-board camera, advanced navigation, a more powerful motor (compared to older Roomba models, like the Roomba 890), and two virtual wall barriers.

Of course, with all these features comes a higher price tag, but for the user who is looking for a “set-it-and-forget-it” type of vacuum, this is certainly a robot up to the task.

Roomba 980 robot vacuum

Roomba 980 robot vacuum

Design: The design of the Roomba 980 is extremely sleek and simple. It features the familiar Roomba “CLEAN” button, the on-board camera front and center, and a protective bumper around the front of the unit. At the back, there is a simple latch that releases the dust bin and filter for easy maintenance. The Roomba 980 is 13.9″ in diameter and 3.6″ tall.

On the underside, the Roomba 980 has:

  1. Dual brushrolls – The 980 model uses dual rubberized brushrolls that have ridges to help agitate debris from all surface types. They roll in opposite directions from each other, which limits tangles and added maintenance.
  2. Spinning side brush – This brush spins as the Roomba passes edges and corners. Due to the Roomba’s round shape, it is necessary for this vacuum to clean these hard-to-reach places. As it spins, it pushes dirt and debris in the path of the dual brushrolls.
  3. Charging contact pins – For proper charging, these pins are an important feature on this vacuum. When the Roomba approaches the charging station, these pins provide a connection point and make sure the Roomba is able to get a full charge.
  4. Dust bin and HEPA filter – Using the latch on the top of the vacuum, you can easily remove this lower portion of the Roomba to empty the dust bin and clean or replace the filter.
  5. Edge sensors: Six edge sensors line the perimeter of the Roomba 980 robot vacuum, providing better navigation and drop protection than older models, which only have sensors on the front.

1) rolling rushes, 2) spinning brush, 3) front wheel, 4) dust bin, and 5) sensors

1) rolling rushes, 2) spinning brush, 3) front wheel, 4) dust bin, and 5) sensors

Accessories & Parts: The Roomba 980 robot vacuum comes with:

  • Filter
  • Two virtual walls
  • Charging station

The Roomba 980 comes with simple accessories, but with the advanced technology integrated into the vacuum itself, you don’t need many accessories to clean different environments.

Roomba 980 low carpet cleaning tests

Roomba 980 robot vacuum – low carpet cleaning test

CLEANING: Click here to check out the cleaning performance of the Roomba 980.

Roomba 980 robot vacuum high carpet tests

Roomba 980 robot vacuum – high carpet cleaning test

Usability: Setting up the Roomba 980 is extremely easy, as it comes mostly assembled. Simply install the side spinning brush, charge it up, and let it clean. If you want to set up wifi connectivity, you can do that as well using the iRobot Home app.

Pairing the vacuum to the app takes just a couple minutes and, once paired, you can control the vacuum with your smartphone or voice control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

COMPARISON: Want to know how the Roomba 980 compares to the Roomba 960 model? Click here to see the full breakdown of Roomba 980 vs. 960!

Value: Depending on your exact needs, the value of the Roomba 980 could be good or a little pricey for your needs.

If you have a smaller space with limited obstacles, the Roomba 690 would likely be a better value. But for larger homes with complicated floor plans, higher traffic volumes, pet hair, or more obstacles, the Roomba 980 really shines.

I would recommend the Roomba 980 robot vacuum to people who:

  • Want minimal maintenance – If you’re looking for a vacuum that you don’t need to babysit, the Roomba 980 is great option. Advanced navigation, an on-board camera, and stronger suction power helps to ensure that you’ll get a quality clean and it is less likely to get stuck along the way. Using digital map reports, you can use the app to see if it missed any spots or had trouble areas.
  • Want a stronger motor – The Roomba 980 is currently the only Roomba robot vacuum that comes with the Gen 3 motor, an advancement over the Gen 2 motor that’s included with the Roomba 960.

%

Overall Score

  • Low Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 97%
  • High Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 87%

Dimensions

13.9″ dia. x 3.6″

Power

Battery, 3,300 mAh

Run Time

~120 minutes

Weight

8.7 pounds

Maintenance

~$37 / year

Dust Bin Capacity

0.3 L

Electrolux Ergorapido Stick Vacuum

For vacuuming carpet, the Electrolux Ergorapido Lithium Ion Plus is another strong contender. This stick vacuum is a 2-in-1 model that runs as an upright stick vacuum or has a removable handheld vacuum.

Both options run off of lithium-ion battery and are cordless. As a cordless handheld vacuum, that does mean there is a limited run time of approximately 20 minutes.

electrolux ergorapido ion 2-in-1

The Electrolux ErgoRapido Ion is a 2-in-1 and operates as an upright vacuum or handheld vacuum.

Design: The Electrolux Ergorapido stick vacuum has a pretty simple 2-in-1 design. The top of the vacuum has a power and settings button. About halfway down the vacuum, there is a release for the handheld vacuum, and a floor brushroll at the base.

The floor head is designed with a bristle-style brushroll for agitating and collecting dirt, dust, and debris. This vacuum is 5 x 10.8 x 42.5 inches tall and weighs 5.5 pounds.

Electrolux Ergorapido lithium ion battery charging

Electrolux Ergorapido lithium ion battery charging

Accessories & Parts: The Electrolux Ergorapido comes with:

  • HEPA Filter
  • Charging cable
  • Crevice tool
  • Dusting brush

The accessory package is pretty simple with this stick vacuum, but the crevice tool and dusting brush are nice additions when using the ErgoRapido as a handheld.

Electrolux Ergorapido Ion low pile carpet cleaning tests

Electrolux ErgoRapido stick vacuum – low carpet cleaning test

CLEANING: Click here to check out the cleaning performance of the Electrolux Ergorapido.

Electrolux Ergorapido Ion high pile carpet cleaning tests

Electrolux ErgoRapido stick vacuum – high carpet cleaning test

Usability: The Electrolux ErgoRapdio is easy to set up and easy to use. Simply remove the vacuum from its original packaging, plug it in to charge for at least 4 hours, and then you’re ready to clean.

It is extremely easy to switch back and forth from upright stick mode to handheld mode with this vacuum, with just the push of a button. And since both vacuums are battery powered, you don’t have to worry about any bulky cords.

Electrolux ErgoRapido Ion uses a roller brush head to help capture dirt, hair and other debris.

Electrolux ErgoRapido Ion uses a roller brush head to help capture dirt, hair and other debris.

Value: Overall, I would say that the Electrolux ErgoRapido is a great value. Priced well under $200, this stick vacuum offers great maneuverability, excellent cleaning performance, low annual maintenance costs, and a fantastic 5-year warranty.

I would recommend the Electrolux Ergorapido stick vacuum to people who:

  • Want a cordless lightweight vacuum – The Ergorapido is cordless, lightweight, and easy to maneuver. It’s a great option if you just want something you can grab off the wall for quick and easy cleanings.
  • Want a 2-in-1 – Having a handheld vacuum built right into the stick vacuum design is a great extra, especially because it has all the same suction power and battery life, and doesn’t take up any extra storage room.

%

Overall Score

  • Low Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 93%
  • High Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 93%

Dimensions

5″ x 10.8″ x 42.5″

Power

Battery, 10.8V

Run Time

~21 minutes

Weight

5.5 pounds

Maintenance

~$20-40 / year

Dust Bin Capacity

0.4 L

Shark Rotator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away upright vacuum is another great option for a powerful vacuum for carpet. The Rotator Lift-Away is an upright vacuum that also has a detachable canister that can run independently from the upright brushroll base.

This 2-in-1 model is great for people who want the large capacity of an upright, but also the portability of a handheld vacuum. 

There are some extra filters with this model which means more maintenance, but overall, if you’re looking for an upright vacuum with bells and whistles, this is a strong contender.

Shark Rotator Lift-Away upright vacuum

Shark Rotator Lift-Away upright vacuum

Design: The design of the Shark Rotator Lift-Away is sleeker than the Hoover Windtunnel T-Series, in my opinion, and has a white aesthetic with pops of bright red. It comes with nice bonuses like LED headlights and advanced swivel steering.

There is an XL dust canister that can hold up to 1.3 dry quarts of debris with a clean exterior so you can easily see when it is full. Overall, this vacuum is 12 x 12 x 45.7″ tall.

Accessories & Parts: The Shark Rotator Lift-Away upright vacuum comes with:

  • Dust-Away hardwood floor tool
  • Dusting brush
  • Crevice tool
  • Upholstery tool
  • Pet power brush
  • HEPA Filter Set (3 count – foam and felt)

“Accessories” is one area where the Shark Rotator Lift-Away really excels. It comes with a wide range of products and accessories that can suit a variety of cleaning jobs.

shark rotator upright low carpet test

Shark Rotator Lift-Away upright vacuum – low carpet cleaning test

CLEANING: Click here to check out the cleaning performance of the Shark Rotator Lift-Away.

shark rotator upright high carpet test

Shark Rotator Lift-Away upright vacuum – high carpet cleaning test

Usability: The usability of the Shark Rotator is pretty easy to understand; the aesthetic design of the vacuum highlights special features with pops of red. There are also text labels and directions on many parts as well.

Converting from an upright to a handheld is a little more complicated, but just takes a few minutes to learn the first time. Once you know where the critical connections are, it is an easy conversion.

NOTE: We just have one note for when cleaning large debris from carpet. As you can see in our cleaning performance tests, the Shark Rotator left quite a bit of cereal on the high pile carpet. While this is a disadvantage from a brushroll perspective, the Shark Rotator comes with many different on-board tools and accessories that could easily capture this debris.

If you excluded the cereal test from the high pile carpet tests, the Shark’s score jumps to a 90%.

Close up shot of the Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away vacuum brush

Close-up shot of the Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away vacuum brush

Value: The value of the Shark Rotator upright vacuum is pretty good, in my opinion, especially if you want the added bells-and-whistles that come standard with this model.

It includes a wide selection of add-ons and accessories, relatively low maintenance costs, LED headlights, and a 2-in-1 body style. Generally, this vacuum floats right below $200, although exact costs may vary.

I would recommend the Shark Rotator Lift-Away to people who:

  • Want additional accessories – If you want an upright with some additional accessories and bells and whistles, this is certainly a Cadillac of upright vacuums.
  • Want a 2-in-1 upright – The Shark Rotator Lift-Away is a rare find in that it functions as a full-size upright as well as a portable handheld / canister.

%

Overall Score

  • Low Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 95%
  • High Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 73%

Dimensions

12″ x 12″ x 45.7″

Power

Cord, 30′

Weight

15.5 pounds

Maintenance

~$30 / year

Dust Bin Capacity

3.4 L

Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum

The Bissell Hard Floor Expert canister vacuum is an excellent option for vacuuming carpeted floors. Ironically (given its name), this canister vacuum struggled a bit during our hardwood cleaning test, but the high pile and low pile carpet tests were nearly flawless in cleaning performance. 

This canister vacuum is lightweight and  easy to maneuver and it includes a wide range of accessories for cleaning variable floor types.

As a potential downside, maintenance costs are a little high for the Bissell Hard Floor ExpertAnnual maintenance costs range from $64 on the low end, up to $128 on the high end.

Bissell Hard Floor Expert canister vacuum body

Bissell Hard Floor Expert canister vacuum body

Design: The Bissell Hard Floor Expert design is relatively sleek for a canister vacuum. It has a bronze body with bright orange accents on the suction cyclones and handle. There are two large wheels on each side of the base that allow you to roll the Bissell canister around your space.

The opening at the front of the vacuum is where the hose and cleaning wand attach into. There is a also a large capacity dust bin with a clear exterior that allows you to see inside the bin while you clean, so you know exactly when it’s time to empty the bin.

Overall, this canister is 19.2 x 15 x 12.9″ and weighs approximately 9.3 pounds.

1) house / wand, 2) floor heads, 3) cleaning tools, and 4) handle

1) house / wand, 2) floor heads, 3) cleaning tools, and 4) handle

Accessories & Parts: The Bissell Hard Floor Expert comes with:

  • Hose / Wand
  • Hard floor cleaning head & multi-purpose cleaning head
  • Dusting brush and crevice tool
  • Handle

This canister vacuum comes with a nice selection of accessories for cleaning different floor types. The hard floor cleaning head works best to polish hardwood floors, but for removing more substantial debris, you’ll want to use the multi-purpose cleaning head for both hardwood and carpet floors.

The small handheld accessories (dusting brush and crevice tool) are nice additions, but I will add that they’re quite small and have a simple design.

Low pile carpet cleaning tests - Bissell hard floor expert

Bissell Hard Floor Expert canister vacuum – low carpet cleaning test

CLEANING: Click here to check out the cleaning performance of the Bissell Hard Floor Expert.

High pile carpet cleaning tests - Bissell hard floor expert

Bissell Hard Floor Expert canister vacuum – high carpet cleaning test

Usability: The initial setup of the Bissell Hard Floor Expert is pretty average. The directions are a little unclear right out of the gate, which did make it a little more difficult to get the right parts plugged into the right areas. After a few minutes, I did get there, but a more intuitive design would have likely saved me some setup time.

Once you know how the vacuum assembles, everyday use is a breeze. Just select the right cleaning tool for the job, plug it in, and you’re ready to go.

Close up shot of the hard floor rolling brush head on the Bissell hard floor expert vacuum

Bissell Hard Floor Expert vacuum head

Value: The Bissell Hard Floor Expert is a good overall value, considering price against quality, cleaning performance, and features.

Although exact price varies, this canister vacuum generally runs for under $200 and comes with a number of accessories, multiple cleaning heads, and overall great cleaning performance.

Maintenance costs can be a bit high, but this vacuum also comes with a 2-year warranty which helps to increase the overall value.

I would recommend the Bissell Hard Floor Expert canister vacuum to people who:

  • Want a lightweight canister – If you’re looking for a canister, but don’t want to have to drag around a heavy unit, the Bissell is a great option. Weighing in under 10 pounds, this model was easy to maneuver and roll around during our cleaning tests.
  • Want cleaning heads for different floor types – If your home has both hard floors and carpet or another floor type, you may like the multiple cleaning head tools. During our cleaning tests we found the multi-surface cleaning head tool to be a real asset and did a great job of cleaning carpet, as well as large debris from hardwood floors. The hard floor head tool was best used for polishing hardwoods for that final shine.

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Overall Score

  • Low Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 99%
  • High Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 100%

Dimensions

19.2″ x 15″ x 12.9″

Power

Cord, 18′ long

Weight

9.3 pounds

Maintenance

~$34 / year

Dust Bin Capacity

2.0 L

Shark Pet Perfect 2 Handheld Vacuum

The Shark Pet Perfect 2 is a nice option for a handheld vacuum that is strong enough to tackle carpeted floors, both low and high pile. It is small, portable, battery powered, and has extra accessories for different cleaning styles. 

On the downside, it does have fairly high replacement costs and the size of the vacuum can be a little awkward for hard-to-reach places.

Shark Pet Perfect 2 cordless handheld vacuum

Shark Pet Perfect 2 cordless handheld vacuum

Design: The design of the Shark Pet Perfect 2 is pretty streamlined. It has a comfort grip handle with a light purple aesthetic and black accents. You can also easily see into the dust bin of this vacuum so you’ll know when it’s time to change the filter or empty the dust bin.

The body of this handheld vacuum is 15.7″ x 6.1″ x 10″ and weighs 4.2 pounds.

Accessories & Parts: The Shark Pet Perfect 2 comes with:

  • Pet tool
  • Dusting tool
  • Crevice tool
  • Charging station

For a small handheld, I was pretty surprised by the nice selection of accessories that came standard with this vacuum. The three different head tools increase the number of ways you can use this vacuum for cleaning.

Shark Pet Perfect II handheld vacuum low carpet cleaning test

Shark Pet Perfect 2 handheld vacuum – low carpet cleaning test

CLEANING: Click here to check out the cleaning performance of the Shark Pet Perfect 2.

Shark Pet Perfect II handheld vacuum high carpet cleaning test

Shark Pet Perfect 2 handheld vacuum – high carpet cleaning test

Usability: Regarding usability, the Shark Pet Perfect 2 is extremely easy to use. For initial setup, all you have to do is unbox the vacuum and plug it into the charging station.

There are only two small buttons on this vacuum: one turns on the vacuum and the other releases the dust bin canister. To replace or exchange accessories, simply pull or push into the open nozzle at the end.

SHARK: Interested in other Shark vacuum models? See the full Shark vacuums guide here! 

Value: Considering price versus features and cleaning quality, I would say that the Shark Pet Perfect 2 handheld vacuum is a decent value. Priced around $50 (give or take a bit), this vacuum has excellent cleaning performance (especially for pet hair) and a relatively long run time, and is easy to use.

That being said, when it comes time to replace the battery, you might as well replace the whole unit since the battery replacement costs just as much as a brand new vacuum. High maintenance costs are the biggest disadvantage for this handheld vacuum.

I would recommend the Shark Pet Perfect 2 cordless handheld to people who:

  • Want a secondary vacuum – If you’re looking for a handheld vacuum that is cordless and yet has strong enough suction to clean deep into high pile carpet fibers, the Shark Pet Perfect 2 is an excellent option.
  • Want included attachments – The Pet Perfect 2 comes with a great selection of accessories, something that not all models include. Especially for a handheld which may need to wear many “hats,” the versatility of this vacuum is par none.

%

Overall Score

  • Low Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 97%
  • High Pile Carpet Cleaning Score 98%

Dimensions

16″ x 6.8″ x 4.5″

Power

Battery, 18 V

Run Time

~30 minutes

Weight

4.2 pounds

Maintenance

~$48 / year

Dust Bin Capacity

0.3 L

Best Vacuum for Carpet Floors

Regardless of which vacuum type you’re looking for, there is a best vacuum for carpet in each category. “Set it and forget it” with a modern robot vacuum, like the Roomba 980,  or get the ultimate package deal with a 2-in-1 stick or upright, like the Electrolux ErgoRapido stick or the Shark Rotator Lift-Away upright.

Are none of these vacuums the perfect option for you? Check out our all-inclusive vacuum reviews guide to learn more about other options.

Do you have a favorite vacuum for cleaning carpets or know of one that we should add to this list? Drop us an email and let us know.

Or if you need help selecting your next vacuum cleaner, please send us an email. We’d be happy to assist!

Derek Hales

Derek Hales

Editor-in-Chief

Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, and poodle, Tibbers.

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