Dirt is a fact of life. So, it’s no surprise that a vacuum cleaner, no matter how much we may hate it, is a must-have in any home. Not only are these appliances able to suck up dirt and debris in seconds, but some can also even remove pet hair and other allergens from your home. Now, there are many different kinds of vacuum cleaners, the most common of which is the upright vacuum. If you’re in the market for one, we’ve got a list of the best upright vacuums in the market today.
Top 10 Upright Vacuum Cleaners Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Bissell CleanView with OnePass TechnologyBest Upright Vacuum Cleaner for the Money
The Bissell CleanView with OnePass Technology makes everyday cleaning super easy. It is lightweight at only 15 lbs which makes it easy to push around as well as carry up and down the stairs. The Multi-Cyclonic System creates a powerful suction and, combined with its innovative brush design, enables more effective cleaning. Maintenance is easy due to large capacity and easy to empty dirt tank as well as washable foam filter. The vacuum cleaner also comes with a TurboBrush tool that enables you to use the vacuum to clean stairs, furniture, and upholstery. However, you need to be quite careful emptying the dirt tank as it can cause debris to fly up into your face. It isn’t easy ideal for cleaning under couches and beds. Plus, the hose is stiff and short.
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Comes with a TurboBrush tool
- Debris can spill when opening the dirt tank
- Not easy to use for cleaning underneath furniture
- The hose is stiff and short
Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner for Hardwood Floors and Carpet
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is the perfect choice for people who aren’t able to choose between an upright vacuum cleaner and a canister model. You can lift away the canister from the unit to clean hard-to-reach areas just by pressing a button. The unit also has a brush roll shutoff feature which enables you to use the vacuum on deep carpets and bare floors. The pre-motor foam and felt filters are washable. So is the post-motor HEPA filter. The vacuum cleaner also features the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology which prevents dust and allergens from getting out of the vacuum once they are sucked in. Plus, the head swivels for easy maneuvering. However, there is no onboard storage for the attachments. The canister doesn’t seem to have a large capacity. The vacuum cleaner also tips over easily.
- Brush roll shutoff feature
- 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + a HEPA filter
- No on-board storage for attachments
- Small capacity canister
- Tips over easily
3. Oreck XL Commercial Upright VacuumBest Upright Vacuum Cleaner for Elderly
The Oreck XL Commercial Upright Vacuum is a bagged-type vacuum cleaner that is only 8 lbs. As light as it is, this enables you to push and carry the unit around your house. It features a high-speed roller brush, side edge brushes which allows you to clean along baseboards and corners, and a 35-foot cord. It has a disposable top-fill inner bag which makes it easy for anyone to replace the bag once it is filled. The Oreck XL Commercial also features a low profile design that enables you to clean under furniture and other tight spots. And the non-marring bumpers ensure your walls and furniture remain scratch-free no matter how vigorous your vacuuming is. The unit also comes with Oreck’s Helping Hand Handle and a fingertip-controlled on/off switch that makes it easy to use, even for hands with arthritis. Moreover, the Microsweep feature allows you to switch between cleaning bare floors and carpets. However, it is a bit noisier compared to other models. Also, it doesn’t come with a hose or other attachments that allow you to clean stairs and other areas or pieces of furniture.
- Helping Hand Handle
- Microsweep feature
- Low profile design
- No hose or attachments included
4. Hoover T1-WindTunnel Rewind Bagless VacuumBest Upright Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet
The Hoover T1-WindTunnel Rewind Bagless Vacuum is another lightweight option, weighing less than 17 lbs. But that’s not what we love about this vacuum cleaner. Unlike the Bissell model, this one features a 5-position carpet height adjustment. This means that you can customize the height of the cleaning head to clean a variety of surfaces. High for thick carpeting and low for hardwood floors. The WindTunnel technology lifts and removes surface debris as well as deeply embedded dirt. The filtration system features a permanent HEPA filter as well as a rinse-clean filter. Other highlights include a 25-foot retractable power cord, an 8-inch stretch hose, and a No-Scuff bumper to protect your furniture. You also get several accessories such as the extension wand, crevice tool, a powered hand tool, and an upholstery/dusting brush. However, it is easy to accidentally open the lid of the canister which means you can easily spill the dirt. The retractable cord is a bit finicky; at times, winding the cord manually would be faster. And there is no on/off switch for the brush roll.
- 5-position carpet height adjustment
- Lots of accessories; versatile equipment
- HEPA filter
- Easy to spill the contents of the dirt tank
- The retractable cord doesn’t always work properly
- The brush roll does not turn off
5. Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum is much like the Navigator. It also features a washable HEPA filter, high-quality seals to prevent allergens from escaping the canister, and superb suction that can clean both hard floors and carpets. The Rotator also comes with the same basic toolset which includes a dusting brush, crevice tool, etc. It has an 11.5-inch cleaning path, a rolling caddy, and a 30-foot long cord. However, it is heavier. Its canister is smaller – only 1.3 quarts compared to the 2.2 quarts of the Navigator. Other differences include LED headlights and a brush roll indicator light, both of which are present with the Rotator and not the Navigator. One drawback the two units have in common is the fact that they tip over easily.
- LED headlights and Brush Roll indicator light
- Washable HEPA filter
- Powerful suction
- Small capacity canister
- Tips over easily
6. Dyson Ball Animal 2Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner for Thick Carpet
One thing you can say about Dyson vacuum cleaners is that they’re extremely powerful and the Ball Animal 2 is no exception. It features a self-adjusting cleaner head, allowing you to suck dirt and debris off any kind of surface. The whole-machine HEPA filtration system traps 99.99% of all allergens in the vacuum. The Ball Animal 2 also features an instant-release wand so you can easily clean hard-to-reach surfaces. The included tangle-free turbine tool is perfect for removing pet hair from upholstery and carpets. And the bin is easy to empty. Just push the button and a trap door opens at the bottom of the bin which you can place inside a trash can for easy disposal. However, it is very expensive. It is not easy to push around when cleaning a dense carpet. And for the price, it should come with a retractable cord but it doesn’t.
- Self-adjusting cleaner head
- Tangle-free turbine tool
- Whole-machine HEPA filtration system
- Doesn’t roll easily on certain surfaces such as dense carpet
- No retractable cord
7. Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-AwayBest Upright Vacuum Cleaner for Hardwood Floors
The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away NV803 is also quite similar to the Rotator and the Navigator. It has dynamic swivel steering which enables you to maneuver around furniture and tight corners. It features the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology and a HEPA filter which traps 99.99% of dust and allergens from escaping into the air. And like the Rotator, it features LED lights on the nozzle so you can easily spot debris even in dimly lit areas. And like the previous models we’ve reviewed, you can lift away the canister to clean hard-to-reach areas as well as your stairs. Fingertip controls make the unit easy to use. And the variety of accessories included increases its versatility. But what really makes this model stand out is DuoClean Technology. The vacuum cleaner features a bristle brush for deep cleaning carpets and a soft brushroll to suck in large debris as well as stuck-on dust and polishes the floor. However, the canister is quite small at only 0.9 dry quarts. The cleaning head is only 8.5 inches. Also, cleaning the foam roller is a bit difficult.
- DuoClean Technology
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology + a HEPA filter
- LED lights
- Small capacity dust bin
- Small cleaning area – 8.5 inches
- Hard to clean the foam roller
8. Eureka Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight NEU100
The Eureka Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight NEU100 model is the lightest we’ve come across at only 7.7 lbs. It has a powerful suction that removes hair and dirt from carpets and hard floors. The cleaning path is 10.5 inches wide, not as wide as some models we’ve tested but not as small as others. The unit features a quick release handle that enables you to attach the dusting brush or crevice tool for cleaning hard-to-reach areas. The filter is washable which makes maintaining the unit fairly easy. However, the hose is a bit short which causes the vacuum to tip over when you’re using the attachments. The unit is made of plastic (which is why it is light) but it feels fragile. And the cord is not retractable.
- Powerful suction
- Quick release handle
- Washable filter
- Tips over easily
- Plastic housing seems flimsy
- No retractable cord
9. Eureka Airspeed Pet Upright AS3030ABest Upright Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair
Unlike the Eureka Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight model, the Pet Upright Vacuum Cleaner has an automatic cord rewind that retracts the 27-foot cord with just a push of a button. Also unlike the previous model, this unit comes with a 5-setting height adjustment so you can customize its cleaning on a variety of floor types. Plus, this unit comes with an on/off brush roll switch as well as soft rubber wheels for easy cleaning on all floors. There’s even onboard storage for the crevice tool and dusting brush. However, this vacuum also tips over when you’re using the attachments. The plastic case also feels a bit flimsy. And this vacuum cleaner is a bit noisy.
- Retractable Cord
- 5-setting height adjustment
- On/off brush roll switch
- Tips over easily
- Flimsy plastic
10. Kenmore Elite 31150 Pet-Friendly Upright VacuumBest Upright Vacuum Cleaner for Allergies
The Kenmore Elite 31150 Pet-Friendly Upright Vacuum looks sleek and shiny which first attracted our eye. This bagged-typed vacuum cleaner features a 3-motor system that provides you with 20% more air power. It also features triple HEPA filtration. Not only does it have a HEPA filter, but the dust bag is also made of HEPA cloth, effectively trapping any dust and allergens inside. In fact, the vacuum is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The Infrared Dirt Sensor activates when there is dirt nearby so you can clean it up and turns off once the floor is clean. The unit also features 5-height adjustments, a 35-foot cord, and 3 attachments. However, the hose is too stiff and short. It’s not as quiet as other models. And the unit is quite expensive.
- Triple HEPA filtration
- Infrared Dirt Sensor
- 5-height adjustments
- The hose is stiff and short
- A bit noisy
How to Choose the Upright Vacuum Cleaner: The Ultimate Buying Guide
If there’s one thing we all know is true, a vacuum cleaner is essential in keeping a clean home. If you don’t already have one in your home, you’re missing out. It doesn’t matter if you have hardwood floors or plush carpeting, any dirt or debris can be disposed of with little effort on your part. Provided that you have the right vacuum cleaner, of course. The most common one in the market is the upright vacuum cleaner. And to find out which model is right for you, we’ve got just the guide.
What is an Upright Vacuum Cleaner?
As we’ve already mentioned, vacuum cleaners come in various shapes and sizes. There’s the traditional upright vacuum that has been around forever. And then there are the canister vacuums, the handheld models, the stick vacuums, and the robot vacuums.
The upright vacuum is the most popular choice because they are the most powerful, able to easily lift dust and dirt from carpets as well as hard surface floors. These sit in an upright position (hence, the name) and are pretty comfortable to use since you don’t need to bend down. These vacuum cleaners feature a motorized rotating brush. A foot lever lets you change the angle of the handle. And, compared to other vacuums cleaners, these generally have a wide cleaning path which means that it is able to cover more area in one pass. As for storage, these are generally easy to put away since it takes up minimal space in your closet.
There are drawbacks with owning one, however. Upright vacuums are usually heavy (can be as heavy as 20 lbs) and tend to be noisier. In addition, these are hard to maneuver in low, tight spaces like under your couch or bed.
How Easy is it to Use?
Cleaning the house isn’t exactly a fun thing to do. That’s why it’s called a chore. If you have a vacuum cleaner that makes cleaning even more difficult, chances are you’re less likely to make the effort.
In choosing the right upright vacuum cleaner, you need to check how comfortable it is to push around. If it’s too heavy or difficult to move, you might place undue stress on your body. Check the handle if it feels comfortable in your hand and whether the head glides smoothly over a variety of surfaces. Do you have a second floor? Check if the weight of the vacuum will make it harder for you to clean upstairs. You also need to see how well it maneuvers. Can you clean under tables and chairs easily? What about under the bed or the couch? Take the time to push, pull, turn, and lift the vacuum cleaner in a store to see how easy it is to use.
Bagged or Bagless?
Bagged-type vacuum cleaners like the Oreck XL Commercial Upright Vacuum are capable of holding more dirt and dust than bagless models. In addition, the material of the bag usually filters the dust from the vacuum cleaner’s exhaust. And for those with allergies, a bag will reduce your contact with allergens. It is also less likely to release dust in the air because you only need to toss the bag out. However, you will need to keep buying vacuum bags which is an additional cost. And if you’re using an old, discontinued model, doing so might be hard.
Bagless vacuum cleaners like the Bissell CleanView with OnePass Technology don’t require you to replace the bag because they feature a bin or canister that collects the dust and dirt. However, emptying out the canister can cause dust and debris to spill out and escape into the air which is not good for individuals with allergies. In addition, these vacuum cleaners tend to use more filters which require periodic cleaning or replacement. While replacing the filters will not be as frequent as replacing bags, the filters (particularly HEPA filters) are more expensive.
Let’s Talk About Filters
Vacuum cleaners come with a filtration system to trap allergens such as dust and dander, preventing them from being released into the air through the exhaust. The best type of filter is the HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter because it can trap 99.97% of the particles in the air that are as small as 0.3 microns. However, these are more expensive. The second best would be micron filters which tend to cost less. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is one among several of our picks that make use of a HEPA filter. One other important consideration when it comes to filters is if it can be washed. Washable/reusable filters can save you money. While they will eventually need to be replaced, you are able to use them far longer which keeps the cost down. You should also factor in the cost of replacement filters for the model of your choice.
How Noisy is it?
As we’ve mentioned, upright vacuum cleaners tend to be noisier than all other types because of how powerful they are. That being said, there are models that are quieter than others like the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum. Check the listed decibel level of a vacuum cleaner to see if its noise is something that you can live with.
How Long is the Cord?
It can be quite frustrating when you’re not able to reach an area in your home because the cord is not long enough. Most models typically have at a cord length of 20 feet while there are a few that are 30 feet or more. A long cord enables you to continue cleaning without having to unplug. However, you should also consider cord storage. Does the model have a retractable cord like the Hoover T1-WindTunnel Rewind Bagless Vacuum? Or some sort of cord storage solution aside from wrapping it around the vacuum?
Can it Clean Multi-Surface Flooring?
An upright vacuum cleaner features a brush roll which enables it to deeply clean plush carpeting. But if you have bare floors in your home as well, the fibers of the brush roll are stiff enough to scratch the finish of your flooring. Worse, it may just cause the dirt and debris to scatter as well as cause rugs, curtains, and the like to become tangled in the roller.
If you have multiple floor surfaces to contend with, it’s best if you look for a model that features a brush roll that can be turned on or off. Also, if you have carpets that have varying pile heights, you might want to get an adjustable brush roll as this allows for deeper cleaning and easy movement like what you see with the Dyson Ball Animal 2.
What Attachments or Accessories Come with the Vacuum?
Attachments and accessories increase a vacuum cleaner’s versatility and cleaning abilities. Some of these include upholstery brushes, hard floor cleaners, and dusting brushes that allow you to clean hard-to-reach areas. The Eureka Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight NEU100, for example, comes with a crevice tool and dusting brush. Here are also the best vacuum cleaners for small apartments although they are not as powerful as the full-sized ones.