Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet

Updated: Jan 26, 2024 11:49 AM
best vacuum for shag carpet guide that shows the top best vacuum cleaner model

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What are the features that make for the best vacuum for shag carpet? While the overall best vacuum cleaner is well-suited for a wide variety of cleaning tasks, shag carpet vacuums provide functionalities specifically for cleaning thick, high-pile rugs and carpets. These vacuums offer adjustable settings for vacuum height, suction power, and brush roll functionality.

The best vacuums for cleaning shag rugs and carpets also offer plenty of dust bin capacity, so you don’t have to empty the vacuum in the middle of cleaning. The most premium vacuums in this category also feature HEPA filters to keep allergens and dust out of the air.

Keep reading to learn more about the best vacuums for shag carpet and how you can find the right one for your household cleaning needs.

Top Vacuums for Shag Carpets

 #1   Hoover UH74110 MAXLife Pet Max Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: It is perfect for owners with pets since it does a great job cleaning off pet hair from any surface. It has four levels of height adjustment and a large dirt cup.

  • Large capacity dirt cup
  • Cleans 97% of pet hair
  • Four level height adjustment
  • Brush roll cannot be turned off for suction only action

The Hoover MAXLife vacuum cleaner is a multipurpose pet cleaner that is perfect for users who want to quickly get rid of pet hair and dirt from their homes. It relies on Allergen Block technology to trap close to 97% of dander, pet hair, and pollen particles when vacuuming. With an extra-large size dirt cup, the vacuum cleaner can easily collect a large amount of dirt and therefore guarantees a shorter amount of trips to the trash can. Unfortunately, users will not be able to turn off its brush roll and switch to suction-only action. If your shag carpet is near a fireplace with ash, check out the best ash vacuum to keep all surfaces clean and tidy.

The vacuum cleaner has a relatively large cleaning path of up to 13.75 inches and weighs a total of 17.1 pounds. Its dirt cup has a 2.5-liter capacity, and its cord is 27 feet long. Users will be able to switch through four different levels of floor height, and since it comes with a quick-release wand, hose, and pet pool as added accessories, users will have a very easy time cleaning off pet hair from different surfaces. To make cleaning pet hair even easier, you can also opt for the best cordless vacuum for pet hair so you can have free reign while vacuuming.

 #2  Bissel 2252 CleanView Swivel Carpet Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: It is small compared to others and has five different height options depending on the type of floor being cleaned.

  • Five height adjustment settings
  • Scatter free brush roll for more effective cleaning
  • Long cord
  • Brush roll cannot be turned off for suction only action

The Bissel 2252 Vacuum cleaner features a triple action brush roll, making it a lot more efficient at cleaning off pet hair than other alternatives. Its brush roll is also scatter-free for more effective vacuuming, and its swivel steering makes moving it around a lot less challenging to do. The vacuum cleaner can be used to clean across both carpets and hardwood floors, and through the use of its Multi-Cyclonic Suction System, dirt is kept well away from its motor and filter. Unfortunately, users will not be able to turn off the brush roll for suction-only action. If you’re in need of an appliance that can suck up bigger, tougher debris, a top shop vac can get the job done.

The vacuum cleaner’s 27-inch long cord offers excellent convenience when going through multiple rooms, and its multi-level filtration system is great at trapping both dirt and debris. The vacuum cleaner also has a suction indicator that lights up in case of any issues and offers up to five height settings that owners can choose from depending on the type of floor being cleaned. The vacuum cleaner has a cleaning path of 13.5 inches and an easy empty dirt tank that doesn’t let users touch the collected dirt.

 #3   Dirt Devil Endura UD20124 Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: It is a lightweight alternative that is easy to handle. It weighs only 9 pounds and comes with the appropriate tools for cleaning corners.

  • Very light weight
  • Convenient for cleaning corners
  • Easy dirt handling
  • Not ideal for cleaning pet hair

Manufactured by Dirt Devil, the Endura Reach upright vacuum cleaner is a lightweight alternative that is sure to have your room cleaned out efficiently. Weighing only 9 pounds, it is very easy to carry, and with a multi-floor brush roll, owners will be able to clean off dirt anywhere within their home. The vacuum cleaner’s quick-release wand allows for an additional 10ft of cleaning reach, and since it also comes with a 2-in-1 crevice tool, corners will also be very easy to clean. Pet owners are, however, advised to look into other options. Pair this vacuum with the best handheld steamer for cleaning upholstery and carpets to get a spotless home.

The vacuum cleaner has a cord that is about 20 feet long and a dirt cup that has a 1.5-liter capacity. Its brush roll cannot be turned off for suction-only action, but its dirt cup easily gets rid of dirt with the simple press of a button. Inside the cleaner is an easily accessible filter that can be rinsed for more effective performance, and with a cleaning path of 11-inches, it is ideal for swiftly cleaning large spaces.

 #4   Eureka Airspeed NEU10AE5 Ultra Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: Aside from being easy to carry, it comes with a sizable 2.7-liter dust cup that makes vacuuming a lot more convenient.

  • Large capacity dust cup
  • Very light weight
  • Comes with an extra replacement filter
  • Not ideal for cleaning pet hair

The Eureka Airspeed Vacuum Cleaner is a compact alternative guaranteed to clean hardwood floors effectively. The cleaner has a quick-release handle that allows for convenient above-floor cleaning, as well as a powerful suction force to efficiently extract dirt from shag rags, high-pile carpet, and hard floors. Weighing only 7 pounds, the vacuum cleaner is very easy to move around, and with its large dirt cup, owners won’t have to make that many trips to the trash can to empty dirt. However, it is not recommended for cleaning out pet hair.

The vacuum cleaner has a large 2.7-liter dust cup and includes a crevice tool and a dusting brush for cleaning out corners. Its filter can be easily washed and dried, and on top of that, owners will get an extra replacement filter to help save on costs. Its cord is 18 feet long, and its cleaning path is about 10.5 inches.

 #5   INSE 12KPa Powerful 160W Vacuum Cleaner

We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock


WHY WE LIKE IT: It is cordless and very easy to maneuver around the house. It also has a strong suction force and an elaborate filtration system that releases clean air back into the room.

  • Strong suction force
  • Lightweight and cordless
  • Elaborate filtration system
  • Battery does not last long on maximum suction power
  • Small capacity dust cup

The Inse vacuum cleaner is powered by a 160-Watt motor, which creates a powerful suction force that is enough to pick up pet hair, dirt, and debris from a wide range of surfaces. The vacuum cleaner also employs an intricate four-stage filtration system, which is ideal for removing up to 99.99% of microscopic dust particles. Unfortunately, its battery taps out after about 10-15 minutes on maximum suction power, and its dust cup capacity is pretty small at 0.5 liters.

Weighing only 3.3 pounds, the cleaner is very easy to maneuver, and since it does not come with a cord, owners can roam with it as far as they need to. It’s also ultra quiet when in use, and its floor brush has LED lighting for added convenience when cleaning. Its motorized floor brush can also swivel up to 150° for accessing hard-to-reach areas.

 #6   Nequare S180 600W Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock


WHY WE LIKE IT: It has strong sucking power for picking up hair and debris. It also has an elaborate filtration system and an adjustable brush for hard-to-reach areas of the home.

  • Elaborate four-stage filtration system
  • Strong suction force
  • Rotatable head brush for convenient cleaning
  • Not ideal for cleaning high pile carpet

The Nequare S180 vacuum cleaner boasts a 600-Watt powerful motor that generates very high suction power. It is perfect for users that need to clean out pet hair or dirt from a wide range of surfaces and has a rotatable brush head for easier cleaning when reaching under tables or corners. Its high suction power makes it powerful enough to get rid of cat litter and debris, and its HEPA filtration system emits clean air back into the room after cleaning. However, the cleaner has one major drawback – it is not ideal for cleaning high pile carpet.

The vacuum cleaner is also self-standing, so users will not need to lean it against a wall, and since it comes with LED lights on its floor head, cleaning dark corners and under beds will be very easy to do. The vacuum cleaner also comes with a crevice nozzle for cleaning confined places and a dusting brush to eliminate dust on multiple surfaces. It also comes with an extra HEPA filter and has a removable roller brush for easy maintenance and fixing.

Beginner’s Guide to Vacuums for Shag Carpet

What Are Vacuums for Shag Carpet?

A vacuum for shag carpet is a household cleaning tool that can tackle the tough job of cleaning dust, dander, pet hair, and other debris from the thick fibers in dense carpets like shag. This type of vacuum is also capable of adjusting settings to clean different floor types around the house. In short, this means that they can be used as great vacuums for shag rug cleaning. Additionally, vacuums for shag carpets are generally more versatile and flexible than other options.

Vacuums for Shag Carpet vs. Traditional Vacuums

Both shag carpet vacuums and traditional vacuums offer the same form and function. However, when you start to compare the specific features and adjustable settings of the two, you’ll notice the differences.

To efficiently clean high-pile shag carpets and rugs, these vacuums need to create a delicate balance between suction power and light cleaning. Dust and dander may be buried deep in the plush carpet fibers, but you don’t want to snag and tangle those same fibers with too much power. As such, shag carpet vacuums offer more adjustable settings than traditional models, specifically when it comes to suction strength and vacuum head height.

How Vacuums for Shag Carpet Work

Vacuums for shag carpet use the same basic mechanical principles as any other kind of vacuum cleaner. The core internal components in these vacuums include an electrical motor, fan, intake port, exhaust port, and a dust container.

Once the vacuum is powered on, the electrical motor spins the fan to blow air out of the exhaust port. This creates a drop in pressure near the intake port, which creates a vacuum effect to suck in debris. The air passes by the dust container on its way to the exhaust port, and the debris remains there.

Do You Really Need a Vacuum for Shag Carpet?

Shag carpets and rugs are soft, plush, and incredibly comfortable. But on the other hand, their long thick fibers are like magnets for trapping dust, debris, and pet hair. You can always shake it out if you have a shag rug, but you won’t get the same opportunity with a shag carpet attached permanently to the floor.

If your current vacuum can’t handle cleaning shag carpets appropriately, or if you’ve just installed new shag carpets in your home, then you need to consider the best vacuum for shag carpets. These powerful and versatile vacuums also do well on any type of surface, including low-pile carpets and hardwood floors.

Is a Vacuum for Shag Carpet Worth Buying?

  • You Need to Clean Shag Carpet: If you have any kind of shag carpet or rug in your home, then you can’t afford to use anything other than the best vacuum for shag carpet. If you use a standard household vacuum, you risk snagging the shag carpet fibers or not having enough suction strength to free debris from the thick material.
  • You Need an Adjustable Cleaning Experience: The best shag carpet vacuums feature a lot of adjustable settings, like adjustable suction power or vacuum height adjustments. These features can increase your vacuum’s overall flexibility. If you find yourself needing this adjustable cleaning experience, then you can’t go wrong with a vacuum for shag carpets.
  • You Need Comprehensive Air Filtering: Many vacuums for shag carpet offer comprehensive air filtering in the form of HEPA filters. If you or someone in your home has allergies, then a better filter on your vacuum can be incredibly helpful for keeping your air clean.

Why a Vacuum for Shag Carpet May Not Be For You

  • You Don’t Need to Clean Shag Carpet: If you don’t have any shag carpet in your home, then you probably don’t want to go out of your way to purchase a vacuum built to clean them. In this case, a standard household vacuum that matches the surfaces in your home will work perfectly well, like the best vacuum for vinyl plank floors, for example.
  • You Want a Handheld Vacuum or Robot Vacuum: Neither handheld vacuums nor robot vacuums work well with shag carpet. They typically don’t offer powerful suction capable of pulling up debris from the plush carpet fibers. They also feature smaller dust containers, which results in you needing to empty them more frequently. These things make handheld and robot vacuums poor matches for shag carpets.
Optimal vacuum cleaner for shaggy carpets


Vacuums for shag carpets are tailored to handle the unique challenges of cleaning dense fibers safely and effectively, featuring adjustable settings and specialized attachments. Traditional vacuums, while versatile, lack the specific adjustments and tools needed for optimal shag carpet care, potentially leading to less effective cleaning or damage to delicate fibers.

How Long Will a Vacuum for Shag Carpet Last?

According to the cleaning industry professionals at Classic Cleaners, most vacuums should last an average of five to seven years. This range includes specialized vacuums like those used to clean shag carpets.

Of course, the way you treat your vacuum for shag carpets can either increase or decrease its overall lifespan. If you clean your vacuum’s internal components and empty its dust container regularly, you’ll keep everything running smoothly. We also suggest changing or washing your filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

How to Choose the Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet

To find and purchase the best vacuum for shag carpet, we recommend first identifying the key features you should consider and then finding the vacuum that fits those considerations. Keep reading to learn more about the key features you can’t overlook.

Vacuum for Shag Carpet Key Factors to Consider

1. What type of vacuum is best for cleaning shag carpets?

With a variety of different vacuum types from which to choose, you might be a little overwhelmed knowing exactly which one is best for cleaning shag carpets. Read through this list of vacuum types to learn more about each one and its pros and cons:

  • Upright Vacuum: This option is what most people consider to be a traditional vacuum cleaner. An upright vacuum stands upright on the vacuum head, balancing on the brush roll and intake port. While these vacuums are heavier and larger than other types, they offer powerful suction and plenty of versatility. Upright vacuum cleaners are an excellent choice for cleaning shag carpet.
  • Stick Vacuum: This option is a lightweight vacuum that features a slimmer design than upright models. Even despite this slim design, stick vacuums still offer powerful suction. They are typically bagless vacuums, opting instead for a canister that you empty. The most popular options in this category are strong cordless vacuums for shag carpet, which give you more range and versatility. This portability makes it a perfect vacuum for cleaning shag carpets, especially if you have the carpet all over your home.
  • Canister Vacuum: This option features a fundamentally different design than the traditional upright model. Canister vacuums consist of a large canister body on wheels that sits close to the floor and a long hose that houses the intake port. Canister vacuums can provide a longer reach for cleaning tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas. In general, a canister vacuum isn’t as good as an upright or stick vacuum for cleaning plush carpets.
  • Robot Vacuum: This option is the newest type of vacuum to hit the industry, and it uses the most advanced technology to operate. Robotic vacuum cleaners are virtually 100% autonomous, meaning they will function on their own after the initial setup. While robot vacuums are getting better, most models still don’t offer enough suction power or height to properly clean shag carpets. While a good robot vacuum can handle most low-pile carpet and high-pile carpet, they sometimes struggle with the thick carpet fibers on shag options. These types of vacuums are also limited to their battery life versus a corded vacuum.
  • Handheld Vacuum: This type is the best for anyone looking to take their cleaning on the go. The best handheld vacuum typically features a rechargeable battery and compact design, both of which allow you to take the vacuum anywhere with you. While handheld vacuums are incredibly flexible, they still aren’t the best for cleaning shag carpets because of their lower suction power and smaller dust canisters.

2. Should you consider an option with adjustable suction power?

One of the most important features you should consider when purchasing a new vacuum for shag carpet is adjustable suction power. This feature allows you to change the amount of suction power your vacuum provides at any given moment. This allows you to get enough power to clean the dust out of the thick shag carpet fibers without snaring and tangling them.

The best vacuums for shag carpet feature some kind of slider or adjustable vent that allows you to increase or decrease overall suction power. This configuration allows you to precisely control the airflow to achieve the perfect balance between power and gentle cleaning.

Other vacuums offer two or three different power settings that you adjust with the press of a button. These are still more helpful than vacuums that don’t provide any kind of adjustable suction power, but you won’t get as much precision as you would with a slider or twist dial option. Although these are usually great vacuums for thick carpet.

3. What vacuum head adjustable settings do you need?

Upright and stick vacuums typically offer additional adjustable settings to consider on the vacuum head, including:

  • Vacuum head height: Vacuums with an adjustable height are necessary for cleaning shag carpet. This setting allows you to lift the actual intake nozzle, preventing carpet fibers from getting tangled in the intake port, similar to how the best vacuum for long hair prevents tangled hair.
  • Beater bar on/off: A vacuum with a beater bar or brush roller is incredibly handy in cleaning carpets that aren’t shag. However, when you’re cleaning shag carpet, the fibers can easily be caught in the roller brush. Therefore, we recommend purchasing a vacuum that allows you to turn the beater bar on and off as necessary.
  • Swivel steering: A vacuum with swivel steering is easier to use on thick, soft carpets like shag options. With swivel steering, you’ll be able to control your vacuum better, which in turn helps you clean more comprehensively.

4. Do you need a vacuum with a better filter?

Shag carpets are more likely than other carpets to hold onto higher quantities of dust, dander, pet hair, human hair, and other messes. Once you start vacuuming your shag carpet, you run the risk of dislodging this debris and releasing it into the air of your home. As such, you might want to consider a vacuum with a more powerful filter.

All vacuums feature a filter of some kind, but if you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies, a vacuum with a HEPA filter is necessary, especially when cleaning shag carpeting. These filters can eliminate 99.97% of all particulates from the air, leading to cleaner and healthier air in your home.

5. What vacuum attachments and accessories do you need?

Nearly every vacuum has the ability to work with additional attachments and accessories. Some models include a few of these tools in your purchase, but you can always purchase third-party options after the fact.

The most common tools and attachments you should consider to increase your shag carpet vacuum’s usability include:

  • Crevice tool for reaching tight spaces
  • Upholstery tool for cleaning upholstered furniture
  • Floor brush for vacuuming hardwood floors
  • Dusting brush for cleaning delicate items
  • Telescoping wand for greater reach

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