The 10 Best Upright Vacuums of 2023, Tested and Reviewed


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Sep 19, 2023

The 10 Best Upright Vacuums of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe is the winner Jump to a Section We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation.

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe is the winner

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We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

When it comes to keeping your home spick and span, you really can't go wrong with a traditional upright vacuum. This type of vacuum is known for its incredible suction power, large dust bin, and longevity. According to cleaning expert Hailey Becnel, an upright vacuum is generally easy to maneuver, endlessly versatile, and usually cost-effective. Plus, you don't have to worry about the battery dying mid-clean since upright vacuums are usually corded.

To determine which upright vacs live up to their claims, we tested dozens of models firsthand. We made several messes on carpet, tile, and hardwood to see which upright vacuums could clean them up quickly, then we took the vacuums home to test them out in our daily lives. We found the best bagged and bagless upright vacuums, as well as the best models to suck up pet hair and more.

These are the best upright vacuums PEOPLE Tested, including several options under $150.


Effective on carpet, hardwoods, tile, and grout

Built-in HEPA filter removes allergens from air

Large canister; easy, mess-free emptying

Not ideal for stairs

Harder to push on carpet

The Shark Navigator Deluxe was a dream from the moment it came out of the box. This upright vacuum was super easy to assemble — the instructions were straightforward, and there were only three parts to click together. This Shark vacuum performed remarkably well on all flooring surfaces (including hard floors, grouted tile, and carpet), effortlessly sucking up all the debris and hair in one or two passes.

It also transitioned smoothly between surfaces and was easy to maneuver under furniture and around sharp corners. That said, it was slightly harder to push on high-pile carpet and a little cumbersome on stairs, but this is often the case with upright vacuums.

Vacuuming upholstered furniture was a breeze with the pet brush and crevice tool. Thanks to the built-in HEPA filter, the Shark Navigator Deluxe also traps and removes dust, pollen, dander, and other allergens from your indoor hair.

The noise level was about average — not excessively loud, but also not ideal for conversing. We found emptying the dirt canister to be really simple: It detaches without a fuss and empties without making another mess. Considering the powerful suction, user-friendly design, and overall versatility, we think this Shark upright vacuum is fairly priced and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone in the market for an upright model.

How it's held up:

After six months of regular use, the Shark Navigator Deluxe continued to work like a dream. Though it no longer looks new (with a few scuffs and nicks), it still picks up pet hair, dust bunnies, dirt, and crumbs with ease. We love how it gently pulls forward like a self-propelled lawn mower, which makes cleaning feel pretty effortless. The lightweight design and easy-to-empty dirt canister make this vacuum cleaner a reigning champ in the upright category.

Price at time of publish: $149.99 (orig. $219.99)

Dimensions: 45.5 x 15 x 11.5 inches | Dirt Cup Size: 3.4 liters | Cord Length: 25 feet | Attachments: Pet brush, duster, crevice tool, long-reach hose, floor brush nozzle


Great value; affordable and effective

Good suction power on hard floors and high-pile carpet

On-unit attachment storage; easy to change heads

Not ideal for high-pile carpet

Slightly cumbersome

On a budget? The Hart Pro is an excellent choice. Though a couple of parts were wedged tightly into styrofoam, this vacuum was easy enough to assemble and set up. It had good suction power and moved pretty effortlessly on most surfaces. While it took a bit more elbow grease to roll it back and forth over high-pile carpet, it still picked up almost all the debris and hair in just a few passes.

We thought the Hart Pro transitioned well across different surfaces and was generally easy to maneuver. But at over 17 pounds, it's on the heavier side for an upright model. This makes it slightly cumbersome, especially when using it on stairs. Still, the cord length was plenty long, and the on-unit storage was really handy when swapping out the attachments. All in all, this vacuum cleaner is an incredible value. For this much suction power at only $110, we recommend it without hesitation.

Price at time of publish: $110.31 (orig. $129)

Dimensions: Not listed | Dirt Cup Size: Not listed | Cord Length: Not listed | Attachments: Crevice tool, pet upholstery tool

People / Henry Wortock

People / Henry Wortock

People / Henry Wortock


Great value; reasonably priced with reliable quality

Easy, nearly instant setup

Simple, mess-free emptying

Easily sucks up pet hair on all surfaces

No HEPA filter

Not ideal for stairs

If you're looking for an upright vacuum for pet hair, we recommend the Bissell CleanView Swivel Rewind. This vacuum took almost no time to set up — all you have to do is pop on the handle. It performed really well on hard floors, particularly grouted tile, removing all the debris and hair during our tests. It also did an excellent job cleaning medium-pile rugs and carpets. While it's easy to maneuver on flat surfaces, it's somewhat heavy compared to a stick vac, which makes it a little harder to move up and down stairs. We tested a large group of vacuums for pet hair, but this Bissell model proved to be exceptional at picking up pet hair during our real-world tests.

The CleanView Swivel is about average in terms of noise level, and emptying the dirt canister is an easy, mess-free process. Bear in mind this vacuum cleaner doesn't have a HEPA filter. But considering the simple setup process and all-around effective design, we think the lower-than-average price tag makes it worth buying.

How it's held up:

After six months of use, the CleanView Swivel Rewind looks and works just like new. It sucks up pet hair like it's nothing, even on carpeted floors, steps, and other high-traffic areas. The suction is so strong, it can even vacuum up small Legos and loose change. Not only that, but the swivel head makes it easy to move around. The only thing to note is that emptying the dirt canister can sometimes be messy if you're not careful.

Price at time of publish: $175.09

Dimensions: 46 x 14 x 13 inches | Dirt Cup Size: 1 liter | Cord Length: 27 feet | Attachments: Dusting brush, crevice tool, motorized brush

People / Rachel Marek


Several useful tools for furniture, counters, and tight corners

Convenient handheld attachment for stairs, shelves, and curtains

Removes dust, pollen, and other airborne allergens

Not ideal for stairs

Hair gets stuck in filter

We also liked the Kenmore AllergenSeal Vacuum. As the name suggests, it leans on a HEPA filter to remove dust, dander, pollen, and other allergens from the air you breathe. This upright vacuum did an excellent job cleaning hard floors, grouted tile, and carpet. Though the main brush roll was hard to maneuver on stairs, the "Lift-Up" handheld attachment makes it more doable.

It comes with several other useful attachments, too. We loved how well the upholstery and crevice tools worked for cleaning furniture, and the pet tool is perfect for picking up hair. There's also a dusting brush and a combination tool that removes dust, hair, and other debris from hard-to-reach places. This vacuum has a long 30-foot power cord and a decent-sized dirt cup. Emptying the canister is pretty easy, but hair can get caught in the filter, and you may have to get your hands dirty to dislodge it. All things considered, this is an effective mid-range vacuum cleaner that gets the job done.

Price at time of publish: $139.99

Dimensions: 45.5 x 11 x 10.5 inches | Dirt Cup Size: 2 liters | Cord Length: 30 feet | Attachments: Combination tool, upholstery tool, crevice tool, pet tool, dusting brush


Impressive suction power on all surfaces

Picks up dry and soggy debris with ease

Can be used for vacuuming and mopping

Makes high-pitched whirring noise

Some dripping from canister-release button

The Ecowell Lulu is the best wet/dry upright vacuum we tested. It has impressive suction power and clears up heavy dry and soggy debris in no time, leaving behind no visible smears. It took a few passes to suck up eggshells but successfully vacuumed all substances we tested it on. The noise level isn't terribly loud, though it makes a high-pitched whirring sound that's not very pleasant.

This vacuum is a little harder to push across carpets than hard floors, but it cleans both equally well. Your carpets will be left slightly moist after running it across the surface, similar to a carpet-shampooing device. You can also fill it with water and use it as a mop. The Lulu's cordless design is super convenient, allowing you to clean the floors in every last corner of your home. We appreciate the self-cleaning feature, too, though there was some minor drippage when we pressed the release button to empty the canister. In the end, we definitely think this two-in-one cleaning device is worth the price.

Price at time of publish: $269 (orig. $299)

Dimensions: 43 x 9 x 9 inches | Dirt Cup Size: 2 liters | Attachments: None


Easy-to-change disposable bags

HEPA filter helps eliminate allergens from air

Easy to maneuver with extra-long power cord

Screwdriver required for setup

Heavier than average

For those who prefer traditional bagged over bagless designs, we recommend the Kenmore Floor Care Elite. This vacuum took about 10 minutes to set up because it calls for a Phillips screwdriver to attach the parts. But once we had it assembled, we were impressed with the overall design. It has two modes (floor and carpet) and did a good job of picking up virtually all the debris during our tests, including dried rice grains and hair. (The hair got caught in the rotator brush, but it was easy enough to remove with scissors.) It also has a HEPA filter that helps eliminate allergens from your air.

The Kenmore Floor Care Elite moves around with ease and has an extra-long 35-foot power cord. Instead of a reusable canister, this upright vacuum uses disposable bags. While changing them out is a simple process, we should note it's an added expense, as you have to keep more on hand. Weighing over 21 pounds, this is one of the heavier vacuums we tested, so it's not the best for cleaning stairs. But in the end, we were satisfied with its performance and think it's reasonably priced.

Price at time of publish: $287.99 (orig. $319.99)

Dimensions: 46 x 14 x 14 inches | Dirt Cup Size: N/A | Cord Length: 35 feet | Attachments: Dust brush, crevice tool, bare floor tool, extension wand

People / Rachel Marek


Powerful suction picks up all types of debris

Easy to maneuver with smooth surface transitions

Switches to handheld for shelves, counters, and furniture


Somewhat loud

This upright Shark vacuum is extremely powerful and easy to use. With just four pieces to connect and straightforward instructions, the Shark Vertex took under five minutes to set up. It was exceptionally good at picking up all types of debris, though larger pieces like dried rice required a second pass. It worked well on multiple types of flooring (though it struggled a bit on grouted tile) and transitioned smoothly between surfaces.

The pet and crevice tools came in handy when picking up hair and vacuuming upholstery. You can also detach the base and use it as a handheld vacuum to clean shelves, countertops, curtains, or furniture. This vacuum is pretty loud, which isn't really surprising, considering the powerful motor. We found it easy to maneuver, thanks to the long power cord, pivoting head, and smooth, self-propelled roller. It also has a large dirt canister and a built-in HEPA filter for removing dust and dander from your indoor air.

Price at time of publish: $299.99 (orig. $344.95)

Dimensions: 46.5 x 15 x 12 inches | Dirt Cup Size: 3.8 liters | Cord Length: 30 feet | Attachments: Pet tool, dust brush, pet power brush


Easy to set up without instructions

Works well on all flooring surfaces and stairs

Useful attachments for hard-to-reach areas

Very loud

Somewhat bulky

Becnel says lightweight models are ideal, like the Shark Rotator, which weighs just over 14 pounds. This upright vacuum was incredibly simple to set up — we didn't even need to look at the instructions to figure out how the parts snapped together. Though it's not as compact as others we tried, which makes it harder to reach under furniture, we found it generally easy to maneuver. And the attachments worked well for cleaning hard-to-reach areas.

The Shark Rotator sucked up everything in its path on all flooring surfaces and even stairs. It's very loud, though, so don't expect to be able to hold conversations while it's running. The dirt cup is larger than most (nearly 4 liters) and a piece of cake to empty. This vacuum also has a HEPA filter to help clean your indoor air. While we wouldn't call it budget-friendly, we think the price tag is reasonable, considering the high-quality, efficient design.

Price at time of publish: $236.94 (orig. $299.99)

Dimensions: 46 x 12 x 12 inches | Dirt Cup Size: 3.8 liters | Cord Length: 30 feet | Attachments: Dusting brush, pet brush, wide pet tool, straight suction nozzle

People / Henry Wortock

People / Henry Wortock

PEOPLE / Dera Burreson

People / Henry Wortock


Works well on medium- and high-pile carpets

Easy to push back and forth

Convenient handheld attachment for stairs and upholstery

Small dirt cup


If you have wall-to-wall carpeting at home, go with the Shark Apex. This vacuum was easy to assemble, though unboxing and removing the plastic from the individually wrapped parts took some time. There are three settings for different flooring types, which you'll have to change before moving it onto a new surface. It worked well enough on hard floors but performed best on carpet, especially medium- and high-pile.

Not only that, but the Apex was easy to maneuver, pushing back and forth with minimal effort. The handheld "Lift-Away" attachment was useful for cleaning stairs, and the crevice tool helped us remove debris from furniture upholstery. One thing to note is that the dirt canister is on the smaller side for an upright model, but it's still big enough to get you through a single vacuuming session. Other than that, the price is a bit steep, but it might be worth the investment if you're looking for an effective solution for cleaning a high-pile carpet or rug.

Price at time of publish: $449.99

Dimensions: 46 x 12 x 11 inches | Dirt Cup Size: 0.8 liters | Cord Length: 30 feet | Attachments: Crevice tool, upholstery tool

People / Henry Wortock

People / Henry Wortock

People / Henry Wortock


Powerful suction on hard floors and carpet

Extra-long power cord; good for large spaces

Reliable quality backed by five-year warranty

Confusing setup

Somewhat heavy

If you're open to investing in a higher-end model, a Dyson vacuum is a solid choice. We loved everything about this vacuum except for the initial setup: The directions have pictures showing how everything connects, but without written instructions, it just wasn't intuitive. However, once you get this upright vacuum assembled, you'll be impressed. This powerhouse appliance does excellent work on both hard floors and carpets — effortlessly picking up dirt, coffee grounds, dry cereal, and hair — and transitioning smoothly between surfaces.

This vacuum has an extra-long 35-foot power cord. It maneuvers well into corners and around furniture, and the attachments help you get into small nooks and crannies. That said, it's pretty heavy, which makes it hard to move up and down stairs. The noise level is about average — not quiet but also not deafeningly loud. Though the price is undoubtedly steep, you can count on Dyson for reliable quality, plus it's backed by a five-year warranty.

How it's held up:

Six months later, we're still loving the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra. It's super easy to maintain, continues to run remarkably well, and looks as good as it did the day we pulled it out of the packaging. This vacuum is a workhorse in high-traffic areas, including carpeted floors, area rugs, and stairs, picking up all visible (and invisible) debris in its path. It's proven to be an outstanding choice for households with shedding animals. We stand by our claim that it's well worth the investment.

Price at time of publish: $484.99

Dimensions: 42 x 15.5 x 11 inches | Dirt Cup Size: 2.1 liters | Cord Length: 35 feet | Attachments: Combination tool, stair tool, turbine tool, grooming tool

People / Rachel Marek

Dirt Devil Endura Upright Vacuum: We didn't test the Dirt Devil Endura firsthand, but the tens of thousands of five-star Amazon ratings speak for themselves. This incredibly affordable vacuum (it's only $54) boasts powerful suction on both carpets and hard floors. Weighing less than 9 pounds, it's also lightweight and compact. We also appreciate that the dirt cup is easy to empty with the press of a button, and the filter is conveniently rinsable.

Upright vacuums are the most common type of vacuum cleaner due to their versatility and reliable suction power. As the name suggests, they stand upright and are operated from a handle on the top.

Cordless stick vacuums (which we also tested) stand upright, but they're usually much slimmer and lighter than traditional upright vacuums. This makes stick vacuums easy to maneuver and handy for accessing hard-to-reach areas. The main downside to cordless stick vacuums is that they run on batteries, so you have to recharge them after about 20 minutes of use.

Most of today's upright vacuums are bagless, meaning they have a removable canister you empty each time it fills up with dirt. With a bagged model, you can easily replace the dust bags when they fill up. But since you have to keep extras on hand, it's an added expense and somewhat wasteful because you throw out the used bags.

"Most upright vacuums come with an assortment of attachments for upholstery and small crevices," says Becnel. For instance, the Kenmore AllergenSeal Lift-Up Upright Vacuum includes a combination tool, upholstery tool, crevice tool, pet tool, and dusting brush. These interchangeable pieces make it easy to access hard-to-reach areas and clean surfaces other than floors, like furniture upholstery, curtains, or car interiors.

Many upright vacuums have built-in HEPA filters, like the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum. "These are so important because they capture such a large amount of allergens in your home," says Becnel.

HEPA stands for "high-efficiency particulate air." As the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) explains, these filters trap over 99.9% of dust, dander, pollen, mold, bacteria, and other microscopic particles floating around your indoor air.

The best time to buy an upright vacuum is in the spring. Manufacturers run sales in line with consumers' "spring cleaning" spirit, and they often need to get rid of their current inventory to make room for new releases, which usually come out in June.

You'll often see discounts during the holidays (spanning from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day), particularly on or around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Additionally, many vacuum brands have sales on other bank holidays, including Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

People/Henry Wortock

After researching today's best upright vacuums, we selected dozens of the highest-rated models to try firsthand. We performed four rounds of tests on general vacuums, upright vacuums, pet hair vacuums, and wet/dry vacuums. Upon unboxing them, we timed how long it took to assemble each vacuum. After weighing them, we switched them on and used a decibel reader to measure the noise output.

Next, we ran the vacuums on various flooring surfaces (including grouted tile, hard floors, and carpet with different pile heights), as well as on furniture and stairs. They were evaluated for how quickly and effectively they picked up various debris, such as hair, dirt, coffee grounds, and rice. We noted how easy they were to push, lift, and move around tight corners. Finally, we tried out all the attachments and emptied the dirt cups or changed the bags.

The upright vacuums were tested in long-term at-home settings for up to six months. We awarded each a score for ease of setup, noise level, effectiveness, maneuverability, portability, ease of emptying, and value. With effectiveness accounting for roughly half the total score, those with the highest ratings were selected for this roundup.

People / Dera Burreson

According to our tests, the Shark Vertex Powered Lift-Away Vacuum is the easiest upright model to push, even on medium- and high-pile carpet. We also found the Bissell CleanView Swivel Rewind Pet Reach Vacuum Cleaner easy to maneuver on flat surfaces, though it was a little cumbersome when cleaning stairs.

In our tests, we found the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum to have the most powerful suction. It quickly and effortlessly sucks up all types of debris in one or two passes. The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra also has impressive suction power, though it's a more expensive option.

This is ultimately a matter of preference. Upright vacuums are generally more powerful, and since they usually plug into a wall, you can use them as long as you need to without worrying about the battery dying. Stick vacuums, on the other hand, are slimmer and lighter-weight, making them more portable and a little easier to maneuver. But most only run for about 20 minutes before needing to be recharged.

In compiling this list of best upright vacuum cleaners, freelance writer and editor Theresa Holland drew on the experiences of our team of product testers, countless online user reviews, and an interview with cleaning expert Hailey Becnel. As stated above, we put these vacuums through multiple rounds of lab testing, including testing them at home for six months.

People / Dera Burreson

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

How it's held up:Price at time of publish: $149.99 (orig. $219.99)Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Cord Length:Attachments:Price at time of publish: $110.31 (orig. $129)Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Cord Length:Attachments:How it's held up:Price at time of publish: $175.09Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Cord Length:Attachments:Price at time of publish: $139.99Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Cord Length:Attachments:Price at time of publish: $269 (orig. $299)Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Attachments:Price at time of publish:$287.99 (orig. $319.99)Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Cord Length:Attachments:Price at time of publish:$299.99 (orig. $344.95)Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Cord Length:Attachments:Price at time of publish: $236.94 (orig. $299.99)Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Cord Length:Attachments:Price at time of publish: $449.99Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Cord Length:Attachments:How it's held up:Price at time of publish: $484.99Dimensions:Dirt Cup Size:Cord Length:Attachments:Dirt Devil Endura Upright Vacuum: