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What are the features that make the best vacuum for area rugs? Even the best vacuum cleaner can’t efficiently clean area rugs without the ability to adjust suction power, height, and beater bar functionality. Area rugs come in all shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, meaning you’ll need a vacuum that can easily adjust to the task at hand.
You may also want to consider an option that can clean both dry messes and eliminate stains. Area rugs can get stained very easily and a wet/dry vacuum for area rugs can be an incredibly helpful tool to clean up those same stains. Or, a great shop vac can handle these rugs, too.
Finally, there are a variety of different vacuum cleaners for cleaning area rugs. The type you purchase should fit your needs. If you’re looking for portability, consider a handheld vacuum. If you need more power and functionality, then an upright vacuum cleaner is best.
Keep reading to learn more about the best vacuums for area rugs and how to pick the best one for your needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: It won’t leave unsightly streaks behind after you’re done cleaning. It also uses a two-tank design to keep the freshwater away from the dirty water. There is a wide range of surface compatibility, too.
This is an all-in-one method for cleaning. You’ll be able to complete all steps in your routine at once, from vacuuming to mopping. This vacuum has powerful suction that tackles everything from tough dirt to liquid spills. It also washes the floor as you use it. Unfortunately, some consumers report that the hose attachment the vacuum comes with is a little on the shorter side. This might make tight spaces more difficult to clean.
It will provide the deep cleaning required of a traditional vacuum cleaner. This model doesn’t leave unsightly streaks on your hard flooring and has a two-tank system. This system allows it to keep dirty water separate from clean water, helping you maintain a cleaner environment while getting messes taken care of. It has a lightweight design with swivel steering for easy usage and high maneuverability.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This powerful model makes the most of its 36V lithium-ion battery You’ll get up to 30 minutes of continuous usage so that you can be sure that every cleaning session will be complete. There is also an improved edge-cleaning system.
A multi-surface option with much to offer, this model will both vacuum and wash your floors simultaneously. You can count on it to cover surfaces like rugs, linoleum, upholstery, hardwood, and tile. The self-cleaning system feature frees up a lot of your time since you no longer have to worry about deep cleaning your machine as often. Unfortunately, this self-cleaning system tends to be incredibly loud. It only lasts for around thirty seconds, however.
This cordless model offers around 30 minutes of run-time. This is plenty of time to get an entire room clean with some time to spare due to the high-power suction. It pulls its power from a 36-volt lithium-ion battery, a durable, secure option. Improved edge cleaning capabilities are another reason to love this model. It can easily pick up any pet hair or other debris that has been settling in the cracks or crevices.
Award: BEST FOR STICKY MESSES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This all-in-one model can handle sticky messes and liquids as quickly as it tackles stuck-on grime and dirt. It has a high capacity for power that helps it speed through cleaning with ease. It also has a built-in system to clean itself.
If you need a wet-dry option, this is a fantastic choice due to several features like the dual-tank system it uses. It even has an upgraded chip to stay current on the best practices in vacuum cleaner technology. The 3,000mAh battery powers a capacity to clean an entire room quickly and efficiently. Just be careful when using it for long periods on heavy-duty cleaning jobs. Some consumers report an issue with overheating and shutting down while in use.
The separate water tanks make sure that you aren’t cleaning your floors with dirty water, which makes traditional mopping options unhygienic. It has a self-cleaning mode that helps the vacuum cleaner stay odor-free and clean at all times. This cordless option also offers voice assistance, which lets you know about the status of the vacuum during daily operation. It’ll also let you know when it’s time to shut off the self-cleaning feature.
Award: BEST FOR ALL-IN-ONE CLEANING
WHY WE LIKE IT: With this model, you don’t have to worry about running over or getting tangled up in a long cord because it lacks a power cord. This makes it an extremely portable model with an easily maneuverable design.
This hassle-free design doesn’t rely on a tangled cord for power. It instead works off of 2,600mAh lithium-ion battery to clean entire rooms in less time than many competitors can manage. You can get up to thirty minutes because the suction power is intelligently optimized for using less energy to create more power. Unfortunately, this system is prone to leaking a little bit after prolonged usage. This isn’t a common complaint, but you should keep an eye out for it anyway.
You can even buy an extra battery pack to ensure you have enough time to clean the entire house. This model has a self-cleaning feature, so you don’t have to worry about getting dirty trying to clean your machine. You don’t even have to hand-clean the roller brush. A voice assistant also provides technical support and tells you to add more water, empty the dirty water tank, and more.
Award: BEST FOR ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY
WHY WE LIKE IT: An advanced digital display is provided in this model. This allows you to see the battery, power level, obstructions, and more. It also has a two-tank system that keeps dirty and clean water separate.
You’ll enjoy that this model is powered by a 36-volt lithium-ion battery that packs in a big punch. Because of this, it has powerful suction that can bring embedded dirt and grime up to the surface of your rug, carpet, upholstery, and more. It can take care of messes from pets or children, stains from liquids like red wine, and more. The biggest problem is that the suction leaves something to be desired. If you require something with powerful suction capabilities, this isn’t the model for you.
It has a dual-tank system to keep the clean and dirty water separate. Not only is it a vacuum, but it also works as a mop. Keeping your floor clean and streak-free is the aim of this machine. You’ll save tons of time by being able to vacuum and then spray the cleaning solution to mop right after. There is a one-touch self-cleaning system so you can set it and forget it until the cycle is over. It features an ultra-quiet 256-watt motor.
Award: BEST FOR LIQUIDS AND SOLIDS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model can tackle multiple locations in your home with ease. Almost any floor type is compatible. You’ll also enjoy the ability to use it on liquid spills. This model doesn’t use a cord for power.
There are endless surfaces that this model can handle. It features a handy roller brush that will bust through stuck-on dirt and grime to deliver a better clean every time. You’ll be able to go over tile, hardwood, linoleum, carpet, rugs, and more. Unfortunately, some consumers do report that this model struggles with uneven surfaces. If you have a lot of ridges, dimples, or bumps on your floor, it won’t be a great fit.
It features a cordless design that runs on a lithium-ion battery with seven cells and a 2,600mAh capacity. This makes it a lightweight model that still has much power under the hood. It only weighs 9.48 pounds. You can run it in both a max mode and an eco mode for better control over your cleaning job. It also takes 60 seconds for the built-in self-cleaning system to work, so you can spend less time cleaning and more time on what matters.
Vacuums for area rugs are household cleaning tools used for picking up types of debris like dirt, dust, and pet hair from carpet and rug fibers in your home. These vacuum cleaners also typically feature various modes and settings so you can clean other surfaces like high-pile carpets, low-pile carpets, hardwood floors, tile, and upholstery. However, for the best cleaning job, you’ll want to look into the best steam cleaner for upholstery, which cleans even deeper.
Generally, vacuums for area rugs are essentially the same thing as traditional vacuum cleaners when it comes to base functionality. Both cleaning products use an electric motor to create powerful suction, which pulls in debris.
Where area rug vacuum cleaners differ from traditional household vacuum cleaners lies in the variable suction power, settings, and attachments. The top vacuums in this category offer plenty of customizability in cleaning performance so you can adjust their settings to fit the type of area rug you’re cleaning.
For example, if you have thick area rugs, you’ll need powerful suction to pick up debris like pet hair and crumbs from the heavy fibers. However, you’ll also need to be able to turn off the vacuum’s beater bar to preserve the carpet’s integrity. Then, once you’re done with your area rug and want to move onto bare surfaces, you should be able to adjust these same settings for optimal cleaning performance.
Both standard vacuum cleaners and those meant for cleaning area rugs work in the same essential way. The exact form factor and design depend on the specific type of vacuum you purchase, but most options sport the same core features: an electric motor, a bag or canister for housing debris, and both intake and exhaust ports.
After turning your vacuum’s power on, the electric motor will spin, which in turn spins a fan to push air out of the exhaust port. This movement of air causes the air pressure to drop near the intake port and create a vacuum effect. Once this happens, the vacuum generates powerful suction.
Once your vacuum picks up the mess, the powerful suction force carries it into the vacuum’s canister or bag. If you have a bagged vacuum, it will catch the debris. If you have a bagless vacuum, the debris is kept in the canister using a filter.
The best vacuum for area rugs is an incredibly flexible cleaning tool. While a versatile vacuum cleaner like this is well-suited for cleaning all kinds of area rugs, its variable settings and power modes also allow for cleaning different surfaces throughout your home.
Whether you’re looking to replace an outdated vacuum cleaner or you’ve recently purchased area rugs and need a machine that can handle all kinds of surfaces, then a vacuum for area rugs is an excellent choice.
The vast majority of vacuum cleaners should last around five to seven years, according to professional cleaning companies like Classic Cleaners, who have years of experience. Of course, this eight-year average lifespan only applies when you use the vacuum as the manufacturer intends.
If you don’t perform regular maintenance on your vacuum, like washing or replacing the filter, emptying the canister, and replacing bags, then your vacuum for area rugs won’t last you nearly as long as it should.
In order to get the best vacuum for area rugs, you should first and foremost find an option that can vacuum the types of rugs you have in your home without ruining them. Continue reading below to learn more about the additional features and functionalities you should consider in your new vacuum to ensure you purchase the right option for your area rugs.
Since you can clean an area rug with virtually any type of vacuum, it’s important to know what options are available. Take a look at the different types of vacuums, along with their pros and cons, to determine which works best for your needs:
One of the most important considerations to make when purchasing one of these types of vacuums is the amount of adjustability you get for things like variable suction power, brush height, and beater bar power. We recommend purchasing a vacuum with plenty of adjustable settings so you can adjust appropriately depending on the type of area rug you’re vacuuming.
Models with variable suction control typically feature a twist dial that opens a hole in the intake hose, which lessens the overall suction power. Advanced models feature a button with two or three different suction power settings.
Models with different height settings typically feature a knob or pedal that you need to manually operate. For thicker area rugs, a higher setting is better. The opposite is true for thinner area rugs.
Models with a beater bar typically allow you to turn it on and off as needed. This is important for antique and delicate area rugs. While the beater bar is helpful for vacuuming thick carpet, it may cause damage to your more delicate area rugs, including those with fringe.
If your area rug is stained, either from spills or high traffic, then you may want to consider a vacuum for area rugs that offers wet/dry functionality. With wet/dry vacuums, you get the ability to add soap or carpet shampoo to your vacuum, along with a tank of water, so you can clean stains and liquid spills.
If you’re interested in this dual functionality, make sure you purchase an option specifically called out as a wet/dry vacuum. Many carpet cleaners look just like standard household vacuums, but they clean dry messes.
If you have a lot of rugs spread throughout your home, then you may want to consider a handheld vacuum or a cordless upright vacuum for better portability. These lightweight vacuums will help you more easily move throughout your home without getting worn out.
If you opt for a portable vacuum, make sure you consider battery life and canister capacity, which both affect how long you can use the vacuum before needing to recharge or empty debris.
Most vacuum cleaners include some kind of attachment or accessory like a crevice tool. However, you may wonder if these are useful for cleaning area rugs. While something like a crevice tool may not do much for you, there are fortunately a few accessories that are worth purchasing.
For example, there are shag rug rake attachments, which are incredibly useful for combing out and cleaning shag rugs. You may also want to consider a pet hair vacuum attachment if there are pets in your home that shed a lot. There are also wide vacuum nozzles like an upholstery tool, which can help clean rugs faster.
Consider your home and rug, then look at the accessories available for the vacuum you want to purchase. If you see any that help improve your overall efficiency, then it never hurts to use them.