Best Upright Vacuums

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 26, 2019
If you’ve got bare floors and carpets, removing grit and dust can turn into a daily routine. And if that’s the case, more likely than not, you need a good upright vacuum cleaner. Our review will help you choose the best model for your needs! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
MOTOR POWER
BRUSH SYSTEM CONTROL
FILTRATION
CONTROLS
USABILITY
DIMENSIONS
ATTACHMENTS
WARRANTY
 
PROS

The vac uses the innovative DuoClean technology with two brushrolls that work in unison to pull in even the largest debris and stuck-on dust. Plus, they are supposed to "self-clean".

CONS

The head is rather thick, so it might not get under low-profile furniture.

OUR VERDICT

The Shark APEX is one of the best models for homes with pets. It handles the pet fur with no issues and picks up sand-size particles from any surfaces consistently and quickly.

detailed parameters
MOTOR POWER

11.3 Amps

BRUSH SYSTEM CONTROL

Dual brushroll system,

1 brush head position

FILTRATION

Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology + HEPA filter

CONTROLS

On/Off handle button, 3 settings: thick carpet, thin, & hardwood floor

LED lights on/off on the handle

USABILITY

DuoClean® technology, Powered-Lift Away® Technology, Noise reduction technology, Active-Glide™ technology, Above-floor mode, The Zero-M self-cleaning brushroll

DIMENSIONS

Weight: 16 lbs, Power cord: 30 feet, Bagless

ATTACHMENTS

Pet multi-tool, Duster crevice, Accessory bag

WARRANTY

7 years limited 

PROS

Fitted with the exclusive Dyson Ball technology, the vac is easy to twist and turn around furniture and other obstacles. The ball mechanism works very smoothly. 

CONS

The vac struggles on high-pile and plush carpets.

OUR VERDICT

The Ball Multi Floor 2 is an above-average performer with strong suction power. It's a good fit for most cleaning jobs and surfaces. The brushroll self-adjusts to various floor types without loss in suction.

detailed parameters
MOTOR POWER

11.7 Amps 

BRUSH SYSTEM CONTROL

Motorized brush bar, 

1 brush head position

FILTRATION

Washable lifetime filter, Whole-machine HEPA filtration, Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ 

CONTROLS

On/Off handle button

USABILITY

Radial Root Cyclone™ technology, Self-adjusting cleaner head, Instant-release high-reach wand, One-click dirt emptying, Ball technology

DIMENSIONS

Weight: 15.6 lbs, Cord length: 31 feet, Bagless

ATTACHMENTS

Stair tool, Combination tool

WARRANTY

5 years limited 

PROS

The vacuum boasts an automatic cord rewind feature, which is rarely found on similar cleaners. The retractable cord easily wraps itself up at a push of the button.

CONS

The suction power isn't very strong.

OUR VERDICT

The BISSELL Cleanview stand-up vac is one of the best models from the low-end segment. It's very simple to use, affordable, and versatile. A good entry-level upright for basic cleaning jobs.

detailed parameters
MOTOR POWER

8 Amps

BRUSH SYSTEM CONTROL

Triple action brush roll,

1 brush head position

FILTRATION

Washable filter

CONTROLS

On/Off handle button, Cord rewind button

USABILITY

Automatic cord rewind, Scatter-free technology, Multi-cyclonic suction system 

DIMENSIONS

Weight 19.45 lbs, Cord length: 27 feet, Bagless

ATTACHMENTS

Pet hair corner tool, Pet turboeraser tool, Crevice tool, Dusting brush, Extension wand

WARRANTY

4 years limited 

PROS

The combo of HEPA filter and Complete seal technology guarantees the most hygienic way of cleaning possible. The unit traps 99.9% allergens and other tiny pollutants.

CONS

The beater bar cannot be turned off or raised when cleaning hard floors.

OUR VERDICT

Equipped with Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology and HEPA filter, the Shark Navigator is certainly one of the best upright vacuums for homes with allergy or asthma sufferers.

detailed parameters
MOTOR POWER

6.7 Amps

BRUSH SYSTEM CONTROL

Motorized brush bar,

1 brush head position

FILTRATION

Advanced anti-allergen complete seal technology + HEPA filter

CONTROLS

On/Off button on a device

USABILITY

Lift-Away® mode, The Zero-M self-cleaning brushroll, Integrated extendable hose

DIMENSIONS

Weight: 13.4 lbs, Cord length: 25 feet, Bagless

ATTACHMENTS

2 brushes and a crevice tool

WARRANTY

5 years limited 

PROS
Whereas the filter is removable, it's easy to retrieve it from the construction and wash in the running water. Besides, the device won't scratch your furniture during a cleanup.
CONS
The tube of the vacuum may get soiled with dirt and lint during a cleanup.
OUR VERDICT

This vacuum cleaner was designed for performing thorough cleanups in small dwellings. It's a frills-free model with all the functions you'd expect from a basic cleaner. 

detailed parameters
MOTOR POWER
12 Amps
BRUSH SYSTEM CONTROL
5 position height adjustment for various surfaces
FILTRATION
Washable foam filter, Non-washable dust filter
CONTROLS
On/Off body button, Brush mode button
USABILITY
6-foot cleaning hose, Nozzles and hose are convenient to store, Adjustable recline angle
DIMENSIONS

Weight: 15.1 lbs, Power cord: 25 feet, Bagless

ATTACHMENTS

Telescopic tube, Crevice tool, Upholstery tool, Turbo brush

WARRANTY
2 years

Shark Apex AZ1002

The Power of Two

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is currently one of the strongest performers on the market, since it deftly combines all of the company's best ideas and newest technologies. Backed with the latest features including DuoClean, Zero-M, Lift-Away, Active Glide, Noise Reduction and powered by a 1350-watt motor, it really delivers when it comes to suction power.

Passing it once over your carpet can give it a show-room ready look. This is achieved thanks to the dual brush roll system consisting of a soft brush that picks up dirt and buffs hardwood floors and a stiff-bristle brush designed to remove stubborn dust from carpets and floors. These two brushrolls work in unison to pull in even the largest debris and stuck-on dust. However, the biggest perk is that they are equipped with the Zero-M technology and are able to "self-clean", ridding you of the need to hack that gob of stuck hair out with a knife or scissors. And we would say that the hair indeed does slough off the rollers.

The only negative here is that due to the double roller the vac has a bigger footprint too, which means it will take up a chunk more space in your closet and might fail getting into the smaller spots in your house. That being said, most customers who've tried it say that they had no problems with the vac at all: it gets in all spaces they need, cleans them well, and moves around obstacles easily.

Review of Shark Apex AZ1002 Upright Vacuum

Great for Pet Owners

If you have a pet and its life mission is to shed as much hair as possible, you'll definitely benefit from using the Shark APEX. It comes with the Deep-Cleaning Motorized Pet Tool that is powered by a motor and is able to "inhale" every last strand of pet hair and other embedded dirt from upholstery, tabletops, bookshelves, car interiors, and stairs. By the way, you can remove the Lift-Away canister and extend your reach to clean stairs or above-floor.

Another thing in favor of this vac is an anti-allergen seal to keep all the gunk from getting back into the air. It's equipped with a HEPA filter and won't belch clouds of dust and allergens back at your feet.

All this makes the Shark APEX one of the best models for homes with pets. It handles the fur with no issues and picks up sand-size particles from surfaces consistently and quickly.

Shark Apex AZ1002 Upright Vacuum in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2

One of the Lightest

The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum is one of the smallest, lightest, and most affordable models in Dyson's Ball lineup. Still, it packs a punch and is a good fit for most cleaning jobs. As the name suggests, it's fitted with the exclusive Dyson Ball technology - the vacuum sits on a ball to be as maneuverable as possible. And that technology paired with the reduced weight makes it effortless to twist and turn around furniture and other obstacles. The ball mechanism does work very smoothly, and it's really easy to maneuver the vacuum.

Besides greater mobility and lighter weight, the vac boasts the latest Radial Root Cyclone™ technology. Owing to said technology, the upright traps more microscopic dust than other's cyclone cleaners. The vac uses dual-layer cyclones to capture dirt in a faster and more hygienic way.

Yet, the major selling point of the unit is its Self-adjusting head. The Dyson is featured with a spiral bristle brushroll that self-adjusts to various floor types and carpets. An active base plate raises and lowers automatically to seal in suction across all floors. This is particularly great if you often move from carpets to bare floors or vice versa. By the way, the brushroll is motorized and can be easily turned on/off with a handy button just below the handle. The only complaint with the brush is that it struggles on high-pile or plush carpets. That happens because it focuses strong suction on the area beneath the head (so as not to lose suction around the perimeter) and pulls itself down a bit. However, the vac fails only on deep-pile carpets. People with low-pile carpet won’t face mobility issues.

Review of Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum

Ergonomics

The Multi-Floor 2 upright has an ergonomic handle that is non-adjustable yet well-positioned for comfortable vacuuming. Plus, it has a quick-draw telescopic wand that expands to reach stairs, walls, drapes, upholstery, and more. For multisurface cleaning, the vacuum comes with a standard combo of extra attachments (a crevice/brush tool and a stair tool). The tools “click fit” onto the end of the hose and offer a nice secure fit. And they can be quickly detached with the press of a button.

The 0.55-gallon dust bin is also fairly quick to empty with a one-touch release system. At a simple press of the button, the dirt will come off the bottom with no hand contact, while the HEPA filtration will prevent the dust from escaping while you are vacuuming.

To wrap it all up, the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 is an above-average performer offered at a reasonable price. It's highly maneuverable and adaptable for different floor types. You can be sure you’re buying a high-quality product with a strong performance.

Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

Incredible suction power. Works well on both hard wood and carpet

Features

The head of the vacuum has a soft cushion which protects my baseboards and furniture.

Size & Weight

The lightweight model is excellent. I recently had issues with my back and have to be careful how I use the muscles. This is easy to maneuver and lift.

Power

Powerful, powerful, powerful… It provides as much bang for your buck as you are going to get. It sucks, but in a great way!
 

Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet (22543)

Entry-level Upright

If you’re in the market for your first upright and want something simple and affordable, the BISSELL Cleanview stand-up vac is a good option to start with. The main reason this vacuum is incredibly cheap compared to other reviewed models is because it’s not very powerful. Engineered with 8-Amps motor power, it probably won't be able to suck the most stubborn dirt but for removing basic debris, it will be more than up to the task. This machine is excellent for vacuuming rugs and hard floors, ceiling dusting, wall dusting, removing pet fir, cleaning messes left by kids, curtain rod dusting, window sill dusting, and cleaning under the furniture.

The vacuum generates suction via multi-cyclonic technology and has a nice cleaning path of 12 inches. So, it covers large surface in a relatively short time. But what we like the most is that the brush boasts “edge-to-edge cleaning capability” and maintains a strong cleaning suction all over the surface, up to the edge. Hence, it's adept at cleaning along baseboards. And although the rotating brush cannot be shut off, the unit doesn't cause scattering on bare surfaces like many other machines with continuously-spinning brushrolls do.

Review of Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet (22543) Upright Vacuum

Ease of Use

The vac offers the thing that all users will definitely appreciate - ease of use. To begin with, the pre-motor and post-motor filters this vac is furnished with are washable and easy to remove/replace. However, take note that none of them is HEPA grade and is unable to remove tobacco smoke, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and the likes. But if you have no allergies, this shouldn't be a dealbreaker. By the way, the package includes a specialized pet tool for pet owners. The suction-powered pet hair attachment works extremely well, removing dirt and hair from furniture and tricky spots like stairs or corners.

Speaking about dust collection tank, it's fairly easy to empty and pop back in. Another thing that makes the unit more usable is the long power cord, meaning you won't have to stop and swap electrical outlets. But probably the most-liked aspect of the cord is its automatic retractable feature. The retractable cord quickly wraps itself up with the push of a button, which we consider a very important feature, especially for short cleaning sessions. Not only does it save you time on unwinding and winding the power cord back, but also allows for storing the upright in a neat manner.

All this makes the BISSELL Cleanview vac one of the best models from the low-end segment. It's very simple to use, affordable, and versatile.

Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet (22543) Upright Vacuum in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Shark Navigator ZU561

Powerful!

The Shark Navigator is another cleaner which falls into the "budget-friendly" category yet is very competitive in terms of functionality. It seems that its relatively modest price had very little impact on its performance as the vacuum can clean messes as quickly as many top-rated models. With 12 Amps of power under its hood, the Shark Navigator ZU561 can be a decent alternative to big brands for those who do not want to spend a lot on a vacuum cleaner.

The Shark Navigator ZU561 is quite a versatile option with multiple tools for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, drapes, and other above-ground surfaces. As a nice touch, it has an on-board storage for two most-used attachments.

This Shark gets all the dirt up off the surfaces with ease. Plus, the small size, low weight, and Lift-Away mode make this a super-comfortable vacuum to use.

Another thing that contributes to usability is the Zero-M self-cleaning brushroll, the type usually found on premium Shark vacs. The beauty of this brushroll is that it doesn't need cleaning: due to its self-cleaning capability it removes hair wraps on its own, making the maintenance of the cleaner easy and prolonging its service life.

This vacuum cleaner is also pretty quiet, which is surprising considering its suction power. This makes it a perfect option for people who live in apartment buildings and those who often end up cleaning during late hours.

With regards to its performance, the unit's featured with two cleaning settings, making it suitable for hardwoods and carpets. No matter which setting you choose, the vac will get the job perfectly. The only difference between these two settings is in the speed at which the beater bar spins.

Review of Shark Navigator ZU561 Upright Vacuum

Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology

As you know, vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters are highly recommended for allergy or asthma sufferers, since they are capable of removing even the tiniest dust particles from the air. However, filters alone sometimes are just not enough. Unfortunately, some vacuums with HEPA filters don’t reliably seal them in, thus, allergens can bypass those filters and escape into the air in your home. Understanding this, Shark folks have developed the innovative Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology. Now, the Shark's high-efficiency HEPA filter, in combination with the completely-sealed vacuum unit, captures 99.9% of dust and allergens. And none of them will escape back into the air your family breathes. So, if you're looking for the most allergen-free way of cleaning, the Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum will cater to your needs. It's certainly one of the best models for homes with allergy or asthma sufferers.

Shark Navigator ZU561 Upright Vacuum in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Bissell 9595A

From the Word Go

It’s no secret that a decent vacuum cleaner should be able to clean floors thoroughly and do it quickly, not taking up your whole day. With this in mind, the Bissel company has introduced its new product - the 9595A vacuum which while being small in size boasts a powerful enough 12-A motor. It also has a wide innovative cleaning brush that grasps more dust and debris in one pass, making cleanups a hassle-free job. The Bissel 9595A vacuum is not only small but also very light in weight meaning you can carry it in hands without any fatigue in wrists or arms. However, the discomfort isn't going to be an issue. Along with the vac, the package contains a whole bunch of accessories and cleaning brushes to simplify your household chores. If compared to competitors that have the same price tag, the BISSELL 9595A outstands most of them by its powerful cleaning characteristics and usability features. We're more than sure that once you try cleaning with it, you will not want to switch to any other appliance. The vac works at the word go and does the cleaning in the twinkling of an eye.

Review of Bissell 9595A Vacuum with OnePass

Did You Know?

The history of Bissel company struck its roots deep back in a small family business of the Bissells. Melville and Anna Bissell owned a private crockery shop. To keep it clean, Melville had designed a special brush which became popular some time later. As soon as the Bissells understood that the new tool was in great demand among people, they started a new business. After Melville’s death, Anna became a CEO of the company (by the way, she was the first woman in the USA to hold such position). In the 1890s, the company’s products became so popular that even Queen Victoria purchased several vacuum cleaners from them to keep her mansion in order. A new milestone in the company’s development was influenced by the necessity to clean pets’ hair. Such demand forced Bissell company to produce SpotBot vacuum for these very needs. In 2011, the corporation founded BISSELL® Pet Foundation to support abandoned animals. Since that time, the foundation has significantly developed – and nowadays, there are approximately 2000 animal shelters in 50 states of America.

Bissell 9595A Vacuum with OnePass in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Bissell 9595A CleanView Upright Vacuum with OnePass Technology Full Review

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

The filters are easy to clean and change, but don't need it often - though probably more often than I get around to doing so.

Features

The small brush attachment does a good job on upholstered furniture. It doesn't quite get all of the hair off of a cheap black office chair, but it gets really close.

Size & Weight

Lightweight and not difficult to maneuver.

Power

The machine is reasonable light for a full upright.
 

What Is an Upright Vacuum?

We all face the need to clean up the house and for this purpose, most of us use conventional vacuum cleaners. However, their bulky size often makes it a chore to pull the appliance out of a drawer to pick some small debris. To solve this issue, now we’ve got a different type of vac which is smaller in size, lighter in weight and more compact in storage - an upright vacuum. You can drag it around the room, reach confined spaces and corners and collect dust and pet hair with ease. The variety of nozzles and brushes ensure enhanced efficiency, gathering all those tiny bits one can’t spot by eye. For this review, we have selected the top upright vacuum cleaners to make your choice less tricky.

For smaller jobs, when you only need to gather some fine particles from carpets and woollen mats, we'd suggest you look in the direction of handheld vacuums or electric brooms.

What Features to Compare

Effectiveness

The first thing to consider when choosing an upright vacuum is its effectiveness. Note that the suction power of the appliance depends on its motor performance. As to the tools, a turbo brush nozzle is appropriate for removing stubborn pet dander and small particles of dust from the floor in your apartment. Having adjusted a brush roll, you will be able to perform a thorough cleanup of various surfaces. Consideration of vacuum's effectiveness would not be full without paying attention to its filtration system. Although vacuums can be equipped with various filters, removable units stand out from their counterparts. Since they can be washed in the running water, they are much more hygienic in use.

Conveniences

The next aspect you should take into consideration is the convenience of use. Aside from stylish appearance, an upright vacuum delivers a perfect performance and keeps dust at bay. Since the device is pretty lightweight, you can operate it easily and move around with no physical effort. You should also pay attention to the controls. Some models can be controlled with a pedal switch so as to save users from bending over all the time when they need to change the mode. Others may have buttons right on a handle. Consider what type of dust cup has been used. Basically, there are only two types on the market - bagless and bagged. Bagged upright vacuum cleaners trap bacteria and dust pretty well, but you would need to regularly buy new bags. In this sense, bagless vacs may seem a more beneficial option, yet, their suction power, as a rule, isn’t as strong. With that said, it’s worth making a point that both types of vacs tend to lose suction power when they get filled and need emptying.

Extras

Another aspect that is definitely worth paying attention to is how many extras come along with the vac you choose. Keep note that many vacuum cleaners that are produced today often include an addition hose allowing you to clean hard-to-reach areas as well as along the walls and corners. With the help of this hose, you will be able to thoroughly clean stairs and all gaps between furniture. A number of additional nozzles (attachments) usually varies so you should decide in advance what attachments you'll need. Also, it won't hurt to check if the vac you choose has an automatic cord rewinding feature. This feature will save you time and rid you of the need to wind the cable manually.

How to:

Sources:

1. Matthew Knight Choosing the Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Which?

2. Kris Jensen-Van Heste The Better Vacuum: Upright or Canister? About.

3. Megan Wollerton Vacuum Buying Guide, CNET. October 22, 2013.

4. Vacuum Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. September 2016.

5. Amy Roberts Shop Smart: The Best Vacuum Cleaner for Your Home, Good Housekeeping. June 13, 2014.

6. Vacuum Cleaners Buying Guide, John Lewis.

7. Chris Barnes Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide, choice. July 26, 2016.

8. Shana Ecker Buying Guide: The Best Vacuum Cleaner For Your Home, The Huffington Post. October 20, 2012.

9. Vacuum Cleaner Buyers Guide, Allergy Buyers Club.

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