Best Vacuum For High-Pile Carpet

Updated: Jan 26, 2024 11:36 AM
best vacuum for high pile carpet guide that shows the top best vacuum cleaner model

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What are the features that make for the best vacuum cleaner for high piles or thick carpets? It starts with a purpose-built design that effectively removes dirt and grime without damaging the delicate high pile carpet fibers. You are going to want to look for a vacuum with powerful suction that can be adjusted with ease, so as not to damage any finicky carpet fabrics. You should also look for a durably-made exterior that allows for supreme maneuverability, with canister vacuums and upright vacuums being the best bet in this regard.

The best plush pile vacuums feature a height-adjustable suction head, so it can properly deep-clean a wide variety of carpet thickness floor types. Carpet owners should look for a traditional vacuum with an upright design, for easy movement, and should opt for the best cordless vacuum cleaner, since a cordless vac can access parts where other vacs can’t. Keep reading our vacuums for a high pile carpet buying guide to learn more.

Top Vacuums For High-Pile Carpet

 #1  Hoover WindTunnel 3 Vacuum Cleaner

Award:- TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Even though this vacuum is mostly rated to be used on hard floors, its high suction power (thanks to its powerful 1440 watts AC brushed motor) makes it a top option for buyers with high-pile carpets as well. And its reusable filter massively cuts down its maintenance cost over time. Plus, using the right carpet cleaner solution will last longer.

  • Highly flexible and adjustable
  • Extremely powerful 1440 watts motor
  • The filter can be rinsed and reused easily
  • The pivoting dust tool doesn’t function well enough
  • Extremely heavy
  • The headlight might not be bright enough for some

The Hoover WindTunnel 3 Vacuum offers excellent suction power with its strong 1440 watts motor while being exceptionally flexible. It is easily adjustable and has multiple pivoting heads for capturing dust in hard-to-reach areas. On top of that, this WindTunnel vacuum cleaner features scatter-free technology that helps collect spilled liquid without damaging any component. But its sheer size restricts it from fully accessing the narrow parts of a large house as its extension tool is not very powerful. The suction can be useful for multiple types of debris, like large particles or pet hair on high pile carpet, similar to what the best cordless stick vacuum for pet hair excels at.

While it comes with multiple vacuum heads, most don’t function very well due to their shoddy build quality. But, its multi-cyclonic suction system mostly compensates for that. And its dirt tank is extremely large, which is very useful for thoroughly cleaning up a large house or detailing a car in one go. Besides that, it also sports a headlight to help the user clean up dark crevasses. But it might not be bright enough for some users.

 #2  Kenmore DU2012 Upright Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum delivers excellent performance on all surfaces due to its flexible nature and high level of adjustability. It has a sleek-looking outer shell, and it is light enough to be physically carried to every corner of a house. On top of that, it features a comprehensive air filtration system in order to trap dust.

  • The exceptionally effective air filtration system
  • The extremely low noise level
  • The included accessories work extremely well
  • Many components require frequent replacements
  • Its motor is not as powerful as competing models
  • The dust collection bucket might be too small for some

Even though the Kenmore DU2012 Upright Vacuum cleaner comes with a smaller body compared to its competitors, it is no slouch in terms of its suction performance. Its LED headlights are searingly bright to help users clean a dark areas in their homes. In addition, its wand extends up to ten feet for above-floor and floor-to-ceiling cleaning, and it maintains its strong suction power through the hose, which is very impressive. Despite not featuring a powerful motor, its swivel steering system helps it glide around corners. If your high pile carpet surrounds a fireplace, be sure to check out the top ash vacuum as well.

While its 1.9-liter dust collection bucket might be too small for some, its sleek, lightweight body allows users to empty the dust bucket multiple times while cleaning a whole house. It weighs only 14 lbs, which is superb for carrying it around a large house and rare for an all-surface vacuum cleaner. Moreover, it features the brand’s Smart Suction Control system that automatically adjusts the power levels according to the surface. It also has an extensive cupping area for whole-home cleaning and features a comprehensive air filtration system. This vacuum with a smaller body would be great for smaller homes, like the top vacuum for apartment units.

 #3  Eureka NEU182A Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum is highly adjustable for cleaning a small cramped area and is also exceptionally powerful. It features a large dust tank that requires less emptying while cleaning a large house, and it is very lightweight for easy carrying. On top of that, its wide nozzle helps provide more cupping areas for effective cleaning.

  • Exceptionally wide nozzle
  • Extra-large dust tank
  • The superb scratch-free matte design
  • It doesn’t have scatter-free technology
  • The overall build quality isn’t great
  • It doesn’t automatically change the suction power on different surfaces

Weighing at only around 10 pounds, the Eureka NEU182A Vacuum Cleaner is exceptionally lightweight and portable for an all-surface vacuum cleaner. On top of that, it has a comprehensive five levels height adjustment system and multiple extensions that play an essential role in cleaning high areas like an attic. And its tank doesn’t require frequent emptying, which can be a hassle. However, the tools it comes included with aren’t built well, and you may need to replace them at least once every year for effective cleaning. It’s great for navigating multi-level houses, like the top vacuums for stairs.

It has multiple accessories that help remove stubborn debris, and its 7 inches long crevice tool is very helpful for sucking out the dust from hard-to-reach areas. And we especially love its matte design that prevents scuff marks and scratches during regular use. In addition, it flaunts a sleek metallic handle with different levels of adjustments. Its motor delivers max suction with the lowest amount of sustained power draw. And it comes with a 4.1-liter cup that effortlessly holds the entire dirt of a large villa. The lack of automatic switching settings for different surfaces isn’t the most convenient, though, unlike the best multi surface vacuum.

 #4  Shark NV752 Upright Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: It features a completely sealed air suction system that prevents microscopic dust from flying back up in the air, and it has a 360-degree swivel for reaching every corner. It also sports a large dust caddy that does not require frequent emptying, and the attached lights are a wonderful addition to clean dark areas.

  • Excellent allergen filtration
  • Exceptionally large dust cup
  • Completely sealed air exhaust
  • The included nozzles aren’t built well
  • Components need frequent replacements
  • Lackluster suction on some surfaces

The Shark NV752 Upright Vacuum cleaner comes with a comprehensive air purification system that stops dust and other microscopic debris from floating back up to the environment. This vacuum cleaner comes with a canister mode as well. But, its sealed cleaning system is somewhat of a double-edged sword, as its filter will need to be replaced frequently. And this can become a massive maintenance burden on the end-user irrespective of the filter’s cost. However, it mostly makes up for that with its powerful brushed motor that provides effective cleaning.

Like most of its competitors, it comes with a slew of accessories and included tools that are effective for dislodging stubborn particles, and its swivel function significantly increases its flexibility and coverage. The swivel function also mostly makes up for the lack of an included long hose. Its suction mode is tuned from the factory to suck out debris smoothly. But, it is also capable of deep cleaning, which you can access by attaching the included sled module to its body.

 #5  Dyson Ball Upright Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum cleaner sports a sleek, modern-looking design out of the box, and it achieves its looks without sacrificing anything in terms of its build quality or performance. We also highly appreciate its automated modes for different floor surfaces, and its 360-degree ball technology helps deliver some much-needed flexibility to its large body.

  • Superb design and build quality
  • Modern 360-degree swivel steering with ball technology
  • Extremely effective anti-allergen seal
  • Lower performance than expected even at the max setting
  • 17.4 pounds weight
  • It gets pretty hot during operation

The Dyson Ball Upright Vacuum cleaner features a modern, flexible design that can effectively clean dust from all surfaces. It’s a fantastic vacuum cleaner to have if you’ve got different kinds of flooring in separate rooms, as it automatically adjusts its power levels after detecting the surface. Its ball steering system is also incredibly effective for cleaning under different types of furniture without repositioning its body. However, its suction strength might not be enough for users with hard floors, and it gets very hot during continuous usage.

Despite it being very heavy, it can be quickly taken apart even by new users to carry around different rooms. In addition, the heft adds to the overall build quality. It also has an allergy and asthma prevention certificate, but that comes at the cost of frequent filter replacements. On top of that, it comes with a stair tool that you can use for deep cleaning your stairwell without much hassle, and all accessories feature similarly superb build quality, which is rare to see in a vacuum like this. To get the most out of your vacuum, keep up with its maintenance, like vacuum motor repair.

 #6  Bissell Cleanview Bagless Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: It comes with a transparent dust tank that lets you see exactly how much of it has been filled up without opening it and spilling dust everywhere, and it can be emptied with just the press of a button. In addition, it has superb build quality for its range and is durable enough to withstand rough usage.

  • Excellent build quality
  • Large capacity transparent dust tank
  • Comes with a six-foot-long hose
  • Noisy operation
  • No air filtration system
  • The lack of an auto mode

The Bissell Cleanview Bagless Vacuum is equipped with the brand’s patented OnePass technology that helps provide strong suction on almost all surfaces, and its brush design cleans the floor in one pass, as the name suggests. It may just be the best canister vacuum for pet hair. On top of that, it has a one-button ejection feature that is helpful for getting rid of the dust inside without spillage. It is well-tuned for deep cleaning of every surface with adequate suction without damaging the flooring material. However, its lack of an auto mode might be a dealbreaker for a few users.

Despite this vacuum cleaner featuring a powerful motor, it weighs considerably less than it looks. And that makes it easier to carry it around the different rooms of a house without compromising the suction by using the long hose attachment. It even has onboard storage for its specialized tools for easy access. This vacuum cleaner also has a large 1-liter transparent dust can that clearly shows how much of it has been filled up. Moreover, its washable filter can be reused for multiple years without needing to be replaced.

Beginner’s Guide to Vacuums for High Pile Carpets

What are Vacuums for High Pile Carpets?

When you’re shopping for the best vacuum cleaner, you can’t simply pick whichever model looks good. And, you can’t just buy whatever’s cheap. You need to buy a vacuum that fits your needs and is easy for you to use.

Generally speaking, cordless or strong upright vacuums intended for high pile carpets, otherwise known as plush pile carpets, are made to effectively clean carpeting without causing any unnecessary damage. This also includes the best vacuum for pet hair models, which can easily scrub out pet hairs woven into high-pile carpeting.

This is done via a variety of methods but typically includes a height-adjustable suction head and a variety of power settings. When cleaning a high-pile carpet, you want to walk a fine line when it comes to powerful suction.

While you’re comparing the greatest vacuums, keep in mind that if it has too little power, the carpet won’t be clean. But, if you use too much power, the carpet could be damaged. In short, be sure to carefully read vacuum cleaner reviews, before you make a purchase.

There are many great vacuums for carpet cleaning. And then, there are only certain types of vacuums that work best on high-pile carpets, such as canister vacuums and upright vacuums. These top rated vacuums typically come with a brush roll and related accessories for the purposes of fine-tuning the carpet cleaning process.

Vacuums for High Pile Carpets VS Traditional Vacuums

Vacuums intended to clean high-pile carpets offer a number of key distinctions from vacuums intended to clean hard flooring surfaces and short-pile carpets.

Many of the top vacuum cleaners intended to clean hardwood floors, for instance, do not generally need as much suction power as what is required to clean a high-pile carpet. General-use vacuums are good vacuums that typically lack the adjustments necessary to suit consumers with high pile carpeting. Vacuums for high-pile carpets have been purpose-built with height-adjusting heads and brush heads that will more effectively clean thick carpeting without causing damage.

So, what is the best vacuum cleaner for shag carpet? Well, concerning power, canister vacuums and upright vacuums tend to be the best choice when it comes to vacuums for high-pile carpets. These vacuums generally include extremely powerful suction motors and adjustability settings to reduce the chances of accidental damage and a vacuum becoming stuck in place while cleaning. The Power adjustability settings allow consumers to lower the suction strength while moving, so as not to damage carpet fibers, while the suction height adjustability settings allow for maximum power while keeping the suction head away from the actual carpet fibers.

Though makes and models may vary, stick vacuums, handheld vacuums, and robot vacuums tend to be poor choices for cleaning high pile vacuums. Even the best corded stick vacuums are lightweight and easy to maneuver but may lack the power needed to effectively clean high-pile carpets. Handheld vacuums may be good for a small mess on a high pile carpet but are not useful for cleaning a carpeted room. Robot vacuums may simply get stuck on high-pile carpets, due to their small wheels, rendering them effectively useless.

How Vacuums for High Pile Carpets Work

Vacuums intended to clean high pile carpets are designed to remove debris and dirt while not damaging the carpet. Moreover, they also tend to have brush rolls and turbo brushes for agitating carpet fiber which is great at removing caked-in debris.

Beyond that, they also include powerful and well-built motors, typically featuring an iron laminate core, that can easily operate on thicker-than-average carpeting. These vacuum cleaners also typically include a number of adjustability settings so users can easily change up the suction power on the fly. These adjustability settings can help users find the perfect individualized suction power for their unique high pile carpet.

The best cleaners can be adjusted to offer enough power to effectively clean a high pile carpet while allowing users to lower the power when movement is necessary, as the suction power can cause a seal on the carpeting, which can make it difficult to maneuver. The best vacuums for cleaning high-pile carpets also tend to have brush rolls and turbo brushes for agitating carpet fiber and removing caked-in debris.

Do You Really Need a Vacuum for High Pile Carpet?

The best wet and dry vacuum cleaners tend to be extremely powerful and durable, making them a wise investment for traditional home cleaning tasks in addition to excelling with thick carpeting. These vacs are good for consumers who prioritize suction strength, durable build quality, thorough cleaning ability, and overall reliability. Many vacuums for high pile carpets come with lengthy suction hoses for cleaning hard-to-reach areas and sturdy wheels for easy movement. Considering how high pile carpet attracts dirt and dust particles, these vacuum cleaners typically include genuine HEPA filtration systems. If you’re deciding against getting a vacuum or are waiting for your model to be shipped to you, you can still clean around your house by learning how to clean carpet without a vacuum.

Is a Vacuum for High Pile Carpet Worth Buying?

  • Can Handle Numerous Cleaning Tasks: Vacuums intended for cleaning high pile carpets tend to feature powerful suction motors that can excel across a wide variety of house cleaning tasks. In addition to plush carpeting, these vacs can usually handle hardwood floors, bathroom tiles, and just about any other flooring type.
  • Will Not Damage Thick Carpet Types: Vacuums intended for use with high pile carpets are extremely powerful but generally feature several adjustability settings when it comes to suction. This means that you can adjust these settings on the fly so as to minimize the chances of damaging an expensive high pile carpet.
  • Great for Household Cleaning Tasks: These vacuum cleaners are not just for high pile carpets, however, as their powerful motors and adjustability options make them equally suited for other household cleaning tasks. These vacuum cleaners tend to feature sturdy wheels, for movement about the home, lengthy suction hoses, and durable components that should last for years. After you suck up the debris, and if you’ve got carpet on different floors of your home, the best portable carpet cleaner can easily move around your home and thoroughly sanitize your carpets. If you like the portability function, you might also want to consider a more portable vacuum to help you get around the house more easily. If you don’t want to sacrifice dust container capacity (like with a handheld vacuum), get yourself something like the best commercial backpack vacuum you can wear.
  • Can Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms: Allergens, such as dust particles and pet dander, can easily become stuck inside thick carpet fibers. The powerful suction motors available with these cleaners can help suck up these allergens, which could alleviate allergy symptoms. Additionally, many units include genuine HEPA filters, for even more protection from allergens.

Why a Vacuum for High Pile Carpet May Not Be For You

  • Larger, Bulky, and Heavier: The most unique aspect of a vacuum for a high pile carpet is its motor. These ultra-powerful motors, however, tend to make for heavy and large end vacuums compared to their counterparts. In other words, a stick vacuum or a handheld vacuum with a lightweight design will not be a good choice for high pile carpets, so you have to have a storage space set aside to house a canister or upright vacuum.
  • Noisy and Loud: Again, one of the downsides to choosing a vacuum with an extremely powerful motor is the overall noise output. These vacuums are built for raw suction power, and not for subtlety. Be prepared to wake up the whole house when you start cleaning one of your thickly carpeted rooms. If these factors will lead to issues, you may need to reconsider how you’ll clean your deep carpets.
  • Cordless Models May Lack Power: Due to the power requirements needed with a vacuum for high pile carpet, cordless models may not have enough suction to properly clean the fibers deeply. Some cordless vacs are appropriate for use on a high pile carpet but tend to be expensive in their class. Nevertheless, if you choose a corded vacuum, you must be near an outlet and prepared for any other annoyance that comes from being tethered to a power cord. Keep in mind with cordless stick vacuums, though one is a convenient and lightweight vacuum, the model tends to be an expensive type of vacuum.
Optimal vacuum for deep-pile carpet surfaces

How Long Will a Vacuum for High Pile Carpet Last?

According to a study conducted by Consumer Reports, vacuum cleaners last a median of 8 years. This metric can and will fluctuate according to the make and model of your vacuum and the level of care that goes into maintaining and cleaning said vacuum.

The overall lifespan of a vacuum for high pile carpeting can also be impacted by how often you use it and what types of cleaning projects you are using it for. In other words, a vacuum used in a relatively organized home should last longer than a model used to clean a highly trafficked office space.

The good news here is that vacuums for high pile carpets tend to feature tried and true technologies and components, including universal DC motors, rubberized wheels, and traditional circuit boards.

If you are looking to maximize the lifespan of your vacuum cleaner for high pile carpet, we recommend cleaning the filter regularly, emptying the debris bin regularly, removing any hair and fibers from the motorized brush every couple of weeks, and taking some time out to check the hose for clogs once in a while.

How to Choose the Best Vacuum for High Pile Carpet

We strongly recommend choosing a purpose-built upright vacuum or a canister vacuum for cleaning a high pile carpet. These vacuum cleaners feature powerful motors and plenty of suction power, both of which are necessary to successfully clean shag carpeting and other types of thick carpets.

You will also need a vacuum with a number of adjustability settings, to prevent accidental damage. Keep reading to learn more about these factors and how to decide on your next high pile carpet vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum for High Pile Carpet Key Factors to Consider

You should ask yourself several questions before shopping for and ultimately buying a vacuum for high pile carpeting.

1. How large is your cleaning area?

The overall size of your home and the areas that need to be cleaned should be a determining factor when deciding which vacuum to purchase. A canister or upright vacuum are two designs that can excel in large living areas. Stick vacuums, due to their battery life restraints, would be a good choice for medium-sized homes while handheld vacuums should be reserved for smaller areas and occasional cleanup jobs.

2. What type of floors do you have in your home, besides high pile carpet?

If the types of floor of your home are primarily carpeted, then you may want to choose an upright vacuum, which is a design that shines best on carpeting types of flooring. If your home is an even mix of hard surface types and carpeted floors, a canister vacuum could be your go-to, as that design is something of a jack-of-all-trades. A stick vacuum and a mop should be considered if you have mostly hard flooring types, such as hardwood. Another example is vinyl floors, where the best vacuum for LVP floors is a stick vacuum. Robot vacuums, while fun, may not shine with high pile carpets. There are models that do well with picking up certain debris aside from vacuuming on thick carpets, like the best robot vacuum for pet hair.

3. Do you plan on cleaning many out-of-the-way areas?

If you will be cleaning nooks, crannies, ceilings, and other out-of-the-way areas of your home, in addition to high pile carpets, you should look into a vacuum that ships with multiple tools and accessories. Check out vacuums that ship with crevice cleaning tools, lengthy hoses, different-sized suction heads, upholstery cleaning tools, extension wands, dusting brushes, and other attachments. There are also plenty of universally designed third-party attachment kits available for purchase.

4. Do you have moderate to severe allergies?

Dust, dander, pet hair, and debris can activate allergic symptoms in many consumers. These particles can become lodged in a high pile of carpet and are difficult to remove. Using a vacuum purpose-built for thick carpeting can help remove potential allergens, including pet hair, from the home and bring you much-needed relief from symptoms. That said, you could also use a top bagless vacuum cleaner designed to handle thick carpets, and easy to clean after you’ve finished. It’s much more ideal than using bags.

If you live with some animals, choose a vacuum with a genuine HEPA filter or a model that has been purpose-built to handle pet dander. It’d be ideal if your model came with an upholstery tool that can effectively remove allergen debris from your furniture to help out allergy sufferers who have dander allergies. So, if you’re a pet owner with a plush carpet and you plan to have guests over frequently, make sure you get a great vacuum cleaner for the carpet that’ll remove all the pet fur.

5. Is the vacuum intended for personal or commercial use?

Vacuum types vary significantly when it comes to whether they are to be used in the home or in a commercial setting. Not only do commercial vacuums tend to feature more powerful motors, as they are built to service large office spaces, they generally have longer cords, larger debris canisters, and more durable form factors. Commercial vacuums tend to have slightly longer warranties, due to the presence of sturdy components. Residential vacuums, however, are cheaper, lighter, and much easier to use.

Best Vacuum For High-Pile Carpet Questions (FAQ)

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