Buying a vacuum is a bit like buying a car. There’s a wide array of makes and styles on the market. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and as a result, some are better for different home conditions. Do you need a sports car or a pickup truck? Let’s take a look at what we consider the best upright vacuum in each category available now.
Upright vacuums have the motor and dust collector on a stick frame, and a nozzle or carpet roller brush on the bottom. Beyond the basics, we have a choice of:
- Bagged or Bagless
- Plug-in or battery
- Noise level
- Suitability for pets
- Brushroll style
Most of these features were discussed in our previous post here. Let’s go on to look at our choices for best upright vacuums.
Best All-Around Low Price:
Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Plus Bagless Upright
- Includes extension wand, crevice tool, upholstery/dusting brush, and powered hand tool
- Bagless with washable filter
- HEPA filter
- Long cord with automatic rewind
The Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Plus Bagless Upright isn’t fancy, it’s just a good utility vacuum at a very attractive price. It has all of the features needed to be your main vacuum. And it comes from Hoover, the company that invented the modern vacuum.
My first criteria when shopping for a vacuum is whether it traps all of the dust and dirt that it picks up. As an asthmatic, I choke on leaky vacuums. And I hate having to dust after I vacuum because fine dust got blown through the vac and back into the room. So I insist on a HEPA filter. This Hoover has it.
The upright and roller brush will do most floors. This vac also has a full set of tools, including an 8-foot hose and extension wands that let you reach out of the way areas or where cobwebs collect near the ceiling, a crevice tool, and a small size powered hand tool that’s great for the stairs and pulling pet hair off my furniture.
As the name says, the Hoover T-Series Rewind has a cord rewinder. With a 25 foot cord, long enough to do a lot of vacuuming without moving plugs, the rewind feature is a great convenience.
Best Budget Upright
Bissell 9595A Vacuum with One-Pass – Corded
- TurboBrush tool for stairs and furniture
- Easy Empty dirt tank
- Washable foam filter
- Extension wand, crevice tool, and dusting brush
- Long cord
Bissell 9595A Vacuum with One-Pass – Corded is a basic vacuum that works at a very good price. Bissell brags about their One Pass technology, a combination of roller brush and suction, that cleans most dirt in one pass. This Bissell is also reported to be very good with pet hair on carpets.
Amazon readers give it a strong rating, 4.2 out of 5 stars. The principal complaint seems to be the need to replace the belt, a common problem with uprights. It’s a good idea to have a spare on hand.
What’s missing: At this low price point, it is missing an automatic cord rewinder, and some convenience. You need to bend over to set the carpet height and its a bit noisier than average. In exchange, you get a good vacuum at a bargain price.
Best Commercial Vacuum
Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS 8 Pound Vacuum
- Lightweight, only 8 pounds
- Automatic height adjustment
- Extra long 35-foot cord
- Side Edge Brushes
Why include a commercial vacuum in a home vacuum review? Because it does, it’s job so well. The Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS is designed for easy use on large spaces. Its extra lightweight for easy handling, and has a specially easy-on-the-hands handle that has won an Ease-of-Use Commendation from Arthritis Foundation.
Despite its lightweight, it’s built like a tank. Oreck designs them to be used all day long and dragged from room to room. On the downside, as a commercial vacuum, it doesn’t have many accessories and is a bit loud. And its made for commercial low or medium pile carpets, nothing deep pile.
Best Upright for Pet Hair
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional
- Canister lifts away for easy reach
- HEPA filter
- Powerful and lightweight
- Wide Pet Upholstery Tool
- Very quiet
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a well built versatile unit. The canister detaches, making it easy to clean stairs, furniture, car floors, even those high-up cobwebs. Add in the dusting brush and crevice tool and it’s a complete package.
Even with all of these features, the Shark is light and vacuuming is easy.