Oct 05, 2023
Best Upright Vacuums 2023
Upright vacuums are the workhorses of floor cleaners—they’re designed to tackle a lot of flooring in one run. But the best upright vacuums excel at that important combination of having a large dust
Upright vacuums are the workhorses of floor cleaners—they’re designed to tackle a lot of flooring in one run. But the best upright vacuums excel at that important combination of having a large dust bin and impressive suction power to get your floors cleaned quickly. Our top choice is the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum for its 2-in-1 pod design and useful array of accessories.
The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum features a 2-in-1 design with a pod that lifts ... [+] away to help you clean stairs, upholstery and spots that are out of reach.
“Upright vacuums are great because they often have stronger suction options,” says Katie Dills, senior vice president of The Cleaning Authority. While anyone can benefit from using an upright vacuum, Dills says they’re especially helpful for people who want a deeper clean or have a lot of carpeting. An upright vacuum also lets you cover a lot of ground at once. “It's especially useful for those with large areas to clean because of its wide cleaning path and ease of maneuverability,” says Donna Dougherty, founder and CEO of Go Green Cleaning Experts.
When shopping for the best upright vacuum for your home, it’s important to consider elements like bin volume, suction power, weight and what type of flooring you plan to use your vacuum on. While these machines tend to be less expensive than other vacuums, there is a range—and you should be able to find one that fits within your budget.
Below, we rounded up the best upright vacuums on the market right now to leave you with spotless floors. (While you’re at it, check out our lists of the best vacuum cleaners, best cordless stick vacuums and best robot vacuums.)
Dimensions: 13.2 x 11.9 x 45 inches | Weight: 15.4 pounds | Cord length: 30 feet | Battery power: N/A | Bin volume: 0.88 quart | Ideal for: Carpet, hard floors
This vacuum has a surprising amount of perks hidden inside. It features a 2-in-1 design with a pod that lifts away to help you clean stairs, upholstery and spots that are out of reach. The vacuum boasts swivel steering to allow you to cruise around furniture, while LED headlights showcase what’s in your path. The vacuum has a built-in HEPA filter and anti-allergen seal to trap dust, dirt and other allergens. Enjoy accessories like a Pet Power Brush, upholstery tool and crevice tool for more specific cleaning. The Shark Rotator makes it easy to transition from hard floors to carpet with the flip of a switch.
Dimensions: 11.42 x 11.93 x 41.34 inches | Weight: 7.7 pounds | Cord length: 18 feet | Battery power: N/A | Bin volume: 1.7 liters | Ideal for: Carpet, hard floors
Upright vacuums typically have a little heft to them, but the Eureka Airspeed clocks in at just under 8 pounds—a weight that’s more comparable to a stick vacuum. The cleaner easily navigates hard floors and carpets, and has a filter that can be washed and reused. This vacuum is relatively compact, allowing you to carry it up stairs more easily than many other devices in this category. It also comes with a crevice tool and dusting brush that are stored directly on the vacuum, making it easy to quickly switch gears.
Dimensions: 15.7 x 12.5 x 31.8 inches | Weight: 14.9 pounds | Cord length: 30 feet | Battery power: N/A | Bin volume: 2.9 liters | Ideal for: Carpet, hard floors
Bagged vacuums aren’t for everyone—they require regular refills, for starters. But some people appreciate the ease of being able to remove a bag and toss it in the trash. The Hoover WindTunnel Max offers bagged technology, along with a HEPA filter that traps up to 99.7% of dirt, dust, pollen and other allergens. The bag itself is simple to remove: Just push a button and it dumps directly in the trash. The WindTunnel Max features special technology that creates channels of suction to remove dirt and dust from your floors. Flip between seven floor height adjustment settings and enjoy above-ground cleaning with the help of a 17-foot hose and telescoping wand. A crevice tool and upholstery brush allow for targeted cleanings.
Dimensions: 11.02 x 12.2 x 46.46 inches | Weight: 16.7 pounds | Cord length: 30 feet | Battery power: N/A | Bin volume: 1.48 quarts | Ideal for: Carpet, hard floors
The Shark AZ3002 Stratos offers seriously strong suction, with 1,416 watts of power to lift up pet hair, dirt, dust and whatever else is stuck on your floors. The vacuum features a dual brush roll system that grips flooring as it cleans, while a self-cleaning brush roll prevents hair wrap. Odor neutralizing technology helps keep your vacuum from becoming smelly over time (and delivering that scent back to your floors). The vacuum’s pod lifts away for spot cleaning above the ground. There’s also an anti-allergen seal, anti-wrap dust cup and a slew of attachments, including a Pet Power Brush, crevice tool and upholstery tool.
Dimensions: 10 x 10.25 x 45.5 inches | Weight: 11.5 pounds | Cord length: NA | Battery power: 36 volts | Bin volume: 18.6 ounces | Ideal for: Carpet, hard floors
Vacuuming hard floors only does so much to get them clean. To make them spotless, it’s important to mop them, too. The Bissell 2554A CrossWave features both functions in one device. The appliance’s 36-volt lithium ion battery offers up to 30 minutes of cordless cleaning, whether you’re working over carpets or hard floors. The 2554A CrossWave has dual tank technology to keep clean and dirty water separate, along with a self-cleaning cycle to maintain your machine after the work is done. At under 12 pounds, this vacuuming mop is lighter in weight than many other uprights.
Dimensions: 13.2 x 11.9 x 45 inches | Weight: 17.3 pounds | Cord length: 35 feet | Battery power: N/A | Bin volume: 0.5 gallons | Ideal for: Carpet, hard floors
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is a game changer for uprights. It rides on a ball for smooth steering that allows you to seamlessly work around your floors with minimal effort on your end. Dyson technology gives this vacuum serious suction power. That, along with stiff nylon bristles, help remove even stubborn items like caked-on dirt and embedded pet hair from your carpets. Three cleaning modes allow for customized cleaning, while an extra-long cord gives you plenty of coverage before you need to move to a different outlet. The vacuum’s roomy dustbin offers hands-free removal—just push a button and it empties into the trash.
Dimensions: 12 x 13 x 44 inches | Weight: 17.7 pounds | Cord length: 30 feet | Battery power: N/A | Bin volume: 1 liter | Ideal for: Carpet, hard floors
Pet hair can be a tricky foe. It scatters across hard floors, gets embedded into carpet and threads itself into upholstery, making it tough to clean. The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off is up for the challenge. This vacuum has a tangle-free brush roll that helps suck up pet hair without hair wrap. A Smartseal allergen system traps dust, dirt and dander inside where they won’t irritate you and others, while hands-free emptying allows you to clean out your vacuum with the touch of a button. The vacuum also transitions from an upright to a portable vacuum thanks to lift-off technology, helping you to target upholstery and stairs with the same device. A nice perk: The vacuum’s crevice tool features LED headlights to help you see even tiny hairs.
Dimensions: 4.3 x 3.7 x 17.3 inches | Weight: 7.2 pounds | Cord length: NA | Battery power: 18 volts | Bin volume: 1.2 liters | Ideal for: Carpet, hard floors
The cordless upright market is small, but Hoover delivers with this powerful machine that’s slightly larger than a stick vacuum. The ONEPWR Evolve delivers 35 minutes of run time—enough to power around most floors—and is lighter in weight than many uprights. A generous 1.2 liter dust cup allows you to keep cleaning until the job is done. Flip between hard floors and carpet with the flick of a switch. A nice feature to consider, particularly if you have pets: The brush roll can be removed without tools, just in case you need to clean it. An anti-microbial brush roll and pet filter helps prevent bacteria from building up and causing odor that transfers to your floors.
Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.4 x 43.3 inches | Weight: 15.9 pounds | Cord length: 30 feet | Battery power: N/A | Bin volume: 1.6 liters | Ideal for: Carpet, hard floors
It can be tricky to find an inexpensive vacuum that still delivers, but the Eureka DashSprint manages to do just that. While this $105 device isn’t the strongest vacuum on the market, it can still handle most carpets and hardwoods with ease. The vacuum features headlights to help you clearly see what’s in your path, along with swivel steering for working around furniture legs and other objects. The brand’s dual cyclone filtration system is also specially designed to keep the same level of suction power, no matter how full the dust cup gets. The handle detaches for above-ground cleaning, and there’s even a Turbo Pet Tool to clean your upholstery.
To choose the best upright vacuums, we consulted with two cleaning experts for their input on what to look for in these important devices. From there, we scoured the market to analyze the most popular options out there for a range of factors, including power, cord length, attachments and value. Reviews from real owners were considered as well to ensure we had the best view on how these vacuums perform across a range of homes and flooring over time.
There are a few different elements to keep in mind as you shop for an upright vacuum. Consider these as you shop.
As a whole, upright vacuums have a basic structure: They feature a large dust bin and intact body that you push around. From there, you’ll see a little variety. Some vacuums, including our top choice, the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum, have lift-away pods that allow for seamless above-floor cleaning with won’t weigh you down. Others offer different attachments to help you get a more targeted clean—between couch cushions, over upholstery, on stairs and more. The Bissell 2554A CrossWave Cordless Max even has a built-in mop to help you tackle all your cleaning needs at once.
Like many other forms of vacuums, there is the option of choosing a cordless upright. However, these are not common. Only two options that made our list—the Bissell 2554A CrossWave Cordless Max and Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Cordless Upright Vacuum—are cordless. Both offer about 30 minutes of run time. If you have a smaller home or want an upright vacuum to deliver more targeted clean-ups, a cordless model offers convenience. But corded vacuums can offer more consistent power without a time limit, and they often feature a higher level of suction than you’d get with a cordless model.
It’s important to consider the weight of an upright vacuum before you purchase a model. If you have arthritis or dexterity issues, a lighter-weight option is likely a good choice. We like the Eureka Airspeed. With its under-8 pound weight, it’s simple for most people to push around. Consider the weight of your vacuum, too, if you need to carry your machine between floors. You’ll want to be certain that you can easily hoist it up and down stairs as needed.
Vacuums are designed to be simple to use, but some are easier than others. If you want a vacuum you can quickly pull out, use and stow away, consider a cordless model like the Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Cordless Upright Vacuum. However, all of the vacuums that made our list are easy to get up and running quickly. Many also boast features like one-touch dust bin emptying to make clean-up a breeze.
Not everyone needs or wants attachments, but they’re a nice feature to have. A crevice tool can help you get in between couch and seat cushions, and can also help tackle baseboards. Several models that made our list feature some kind of pet power tool that’s designed to suck up hair embedded on upholstery—that’s definitely an element worth considering if you have a fur baby at home. Other attachments like a dust brush and the ability to use your vacuum’s pod for above-floor cleaning can also be helpful.
Suction power is important for a vacuum, but it’s not necessarily everything. If you’ll primarily be using your vacuum on hard floors, you can get away with a lower level of suction power. However, if your home is mostly carpeted, you’ll want a vacuum with strong suction. The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Upright Vacuum Cleaner features powerful suction, along with stiff nylon bristles that dig dirt and dust out of your carpets, for a deep clean.
There are a lot of brands that make great upright vacuums, and there’s not necessarily one that will meet everyone’s needs. If you have a pet, you may want to consider the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off Upright Vacuum, which is specially designed to target pet hair. People who preferred bagged vacuums should consider the Hoover WindTunnel Max—it allows you to empty the bag without ever touching it. But for the vacuum that meets the needs of most, we like the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum. It features powerful suction and swivel steering, along with a lift-away pod to allow for cleaning spots up high.
Experts say that pretty much everyone can benefit from an upright vacuum—but they’re particularly helpful for people with carpets. “An upright vacuum can benefit anyone who has carpeted floors and wants a powerful and efficient way to clean them,” Dougherty says. When you shop, Dills suggests that you consider elements like the design and structure of the vacuum, filtration system and available accessories to see if it will work for you and your lifestyle. “You may also want to look for features such as a bagless design, adjustable height and ease of maintenance,” Dougherty says. If you’re tight on storage space, an upright vacuum can also be a good fit—they typically stash away easily in most closets.
It depends on which upright vacuum you choose. Upright vacuums have a reputation for being the best choice if you have carpets, given their large dust bins and powerful suction. “Upright vacuums are particularly great for cleaning carpets,” Dills says. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use them on hardwood floors. “Upright vacuums can work well on both hardwood floors and carpet, but it's important to choose a model with adjustable height settings and brush roll controls,” Dougherty says. If you plan to use your upright vacuum on both hardwood and carpets, just be mindful of the settings you use. “For hardwood floors, you'll want to turn off the brush roll to avoid scratching the surface, while for carpet, you'll want to keep it on to agitate and lift dirt and debris,” Dougherty says.Best Upright Vacuum OverallBest Lightweight Upright VacuumBest Upright Bagged VacuumBest Upright Corded VacuumBest Upright Vacuum For Hardwood FloorsBest Upright Vacuum For CarpetsBest Upright Vacuum For Pet HairBest Cordless Upright VacuumBest Value Upright VacuumDimensionsWeightCord lengthBattery powerBin volumeIdeal forDimensionsWeightCord lengthBattery powerBin volumeIdeal forDimensionsWeightCord lengthBattery powerBin volumeIdeal forDimensionsWeightCord lengthBattery powerBin volumeIdeal forDimensionsWeightCord lengthBattery powerBin volumeIdeal forDimensionsWeightCord lengthBattery powerBin volumeIdeal forDimensionsWeightCord lengthBattery powerBin volumeIdeal forDimensionsWeightCord lengthBattery powerBin volumeIdeal forDimensionsWeightCord lengthBattery powerBin volumeIdeal for