Have you ever had an upright? The design is only one of the things that set these apart from other popular vacuums on the market.
Still, it’s what plays the most significant role in how it performs and how easy it is to use.
Take a moment to read our reviews on upright vacuums and a buyer’s guide we’ve put together to help you decide.
And if you’re short on time, check out our favorite picks:
- Our #1 Upright Pick: BISSELL Cleanview Upright Vacuum Cleaner (Bagless)
- Best Lightweight Option: Eureka NEU180a Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Choice for Allergy-Prone People: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Anti Allergy Vacuum Cleaner
- Strong Suction Option: Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
- Large Capacity Dirt Bin: Shark Navigator DLX Vacuum Cleaner
Upright vacuums usually have quite wide cleaning paths, which is why customers like buying them. Keep in mind that bigger vacuum cleaners have wider paths.
When the path is wide, the vacuum requires fewer passes when cleaning a particular area. This means you can clean bigger rooms in less time since you don’t have to go back and forth as many times.
Still, wide cleaning paths tend to make units less maneuverable. For this reason, consider swivel steering if you’re looking for a wider cleaning path so that you don’t struggle with mobility as much.
Upright vacuum cleaners are sometimes quite bulky and can be particularly heavy. As such, it tends to be challenging to maneuver with them around obstacles and across different floor surfaces.
For this reason, you should consider the steering design of the vacuum you’re interested in. Swivel steering is the best option among these cleaners since it makes maneuverability much more comfortable.
It helps move the heavy and bulky units across carpets and hardwood floors with equal ease. Also, swivel steering makes it easier to go around furniture and other such obstacles you can’t move away every time.
Keep in mind that lightweight and compact uprights don’t require any special steering design.
An upright vacuum doesn’t usually come with many accessories and attachments. Their design relies on doing most of the work without as many additional tools.
However, most models come with hose attachments that help clean tighter areas where wide cleaner heads cannot fit. These accessories are best for cleaning couches, stairs, drapes, and other above-floor surfaces you probably wouldn’t be able to clean otherwise.
Additional tools help make the vacuum more versatile, so make sure to consider getting some. Even if you don’t have upholstery furniture or stairs, it won’t hurt to keep the attachments stored away just in case.
Some of the best upright vacuum cleaners tend to come with more attachments than affordable ones. However, the number of tools isn’t the most important thing since you also want to pay attention to their overall quality and durability when choosing the best vacuum.
A lightweight cleaner is usually considered the best option, as opposed to a heavy one. Lightweights are easy to maneuver with and carry around from room to room. However, you shouldn’t give up features or built quality for lower weight.
Keep in mind that these vacs tend to be heavier than sticks, robots, and handheld types. These weigh somewhat the same as canister vacuums, though their weight depends on many other factors as well.
If you have lots of hardwood floors, you should consider a more lightweight cleaner since those are less likely to damage the delicate surfaces.
Also, if you’re going for a bagless design, consider the additional weight of its dust cup once it’s full. Upright vacuums that are lightweight but have a massive dust canister can end up being quite heavy overall.
Additional accessories might also add to its overall weight.
If you or someone in your family is prone to allergies, you should carefully consider the type of vacuum you’re getting. The best choice for you is a vacuum that can pick up even the smallest particles and allergens regardless of the floor surface.
However, you should also pay attention to its filtration system. The best filter traps and holds all the dust and allergens inside the vacuum while expelling only clean air back into your space.
Another thing you should consider if you’re allergy-prone is suction power. You want an upright vacuum for powerful cleaning, that’s able to suck in different kinds of dirt, dust, sand, and whatever else that might be on your floors and furniture.
Also, the dust cup should be easy to empty without putting you in touch with its contents. The best vacuum for allergy-prone people should have a sealed design as well.
It’s no secret that vacuum cleaners are noisy machines. However, gone are the days when vacs disturbed all your neighbors and household members.
Today, the technologies have evolved and developed to bring quieter units that are still as effective. You can still hear most vacuums since they have powerful motors that have to make some noise.
However, these noises aren’t nearly as loud as they used to be. Today, uprights differ, so you can find silent vacuums as well as those that are somewhat loud.
In most cases, it depends on the motor itself. Also, tighter attachments tend to make more noise than a wide cleaner head.
Keep in mind that, sometimes, loud sounds are the result of malfunction or clogging, so make sure to check for that now and then.
As we briefly mentioned, filters are critical when it comes to efficiency and safe use. Furthermore, if you or someone in your family is allergy-prone, you might want to invest in a good filtration system.
What is a good filtration system? A vacuum that has several different filters, possibly even HEPA, and a sealed design is considered to have a good filtration system.
This is important if you have pets or are sensitive to different particles, fine dust, and other such allergens.
HEPA is known to be among the best solutions when it comes to filters. It’s especially popular with allergy-prone people.
Filters can be quite different, so you can find replaceable and reusable types. Those that are reusable are also washable and aren’t the best for if you’re sensitive to dust. However, they’re more eco-friendly and are usually quite easy to wash and dry.
As their name implies, these vacuums stand upright. In most cases, they’re tall because you’re supposed to have your back straight as you use them. Still, they range in height so everyone can find the size that works the best for them.
When it comes to height, you want to consider your storage space. These vacuums are sometimes tricky to store away due to their height and overall size.
Also, make sure that your vacuum can fit under furniture. In some cases, upright vacuums cannot lay flat or have large canisters that can’t fit in some tight places.
Cleaning under low-clearance furniture is difficult, so make sure to get a vacuum that has a low-profile beater head.
Cord or Cordless
Cordless vacuum cleaners are more popular nowadays, but it’s still hard to tell which is the more convenient option. Some people like battery-operated vacs, while others prefer power cables. In truth, there are pros and cons to both types.
Cordless upright vacuums run on battery, and though there’s no cable, their runtime is limited. You have to pay attention to the runtime that’s often reduced if you’re using powerful suction modes and motorized tools.
Corded models have unlimited runtime, but there’s the cord you’ll have to watch for. Also, you’ll probably have to change power sockets a few times during the process depending on the cable length.
If you opt for a corded one, make sure to consider it’s the length of the cable. Also, think about cable wraps or other storage solutions.
If you want a battery-operated vacuum, think about whether the batteries are rechargeable and how long do they last.
Uprights don’t usually reach as far, so consider getting a vacuum that comes with an extension hose. A hose is a useful accessory that helps you clean some hard-to-reach areas. It’s an excellent tool for cleaning above-floor surfaces such as curtains, furniture, and even stairs.
Keep in mind that the length of hose varies from cleaner to cleaner. Though longer ones are often more useful, a hose that’s too long can be a bit tricky to work with.
This is an important aspect to consider when buying a new upright vacuum cleaner. A reliable warranty deal is critical, and it tells about how much confidence the brand has in its appliance.
Most brands offer one-year or two-year warranties that are quite limited. Some manufacturers provide five-year, seven-year or even ten-year warranties if it’s a high-end vacuum.
Keep in mind that warranties are often limited, so there are many things they don’t cover. This is something you want to check beforehand.
In most cases, a warranty covers damage due to a manufacturing error or faulty materials. It doesn’t cover damages caused by misuse, neglect, weather, and normal wear and tear. It also doesn’t cover parts like brushes, belts, filters, and bags.
We all know the mess our pets can make. If you’re a pet owner, you probably have to vacuum more often, sometimes at least only a single spot, usually due to their hair.
If that’s the case, the best upright vacuum cleaner for you will be one that’s specialized to tackle this type of tasks. Luckily, plenty of uprights are suitable for pet owners, and some even come with specialized tools for pet hair.
What you need is powerful suction so that the vacuum can pick up your pet’s hair. Also, you’ll want to consider having a reliable filtration
Another few things to consider if you’re a pet owner are canister capacity and motorized tools. Though motorized tools are efficient, they require more maintenance since pet hair tends to tangle around them.
Also, if your pet shreds, you want a vacuum with a larger dust cup.
Related Article: Best Vacuum for Pet Hair
Popular Vacuum Brands
- Bissell – the brand has been around since the late 1880s. Today, they are one of the biggest names in the industry, offering everything from uprights, to handheld and sticks.
- Shark – probably the most popular brand when it comes to these vacuums. Its Navigator and Rotator series features some of the best uprights we’ve seen. Still, the brand offers other types of vacs as well.
- Hoover – its story began in 1907, and since then, the brand has come up with some of the best upright vacuums. Its vacuum line is quite versatile and features vacs for both domestic and commercial use.
- Dirt Devil – the company was founded in 1905. It now offers stick vacs as well as some pretty powerful uprights and handheld cleaners.
- Oreck – the brand offers more than just vacuums. Its uprights are simple and easy to work with, which is precisely why they’re as popular.
Bagged or Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Upright vacuums are mostly bagless and feature a dust canister instead of a bag. Canisters range in size and location, so you can easily find what works the best for you.
Bigger vacuums tend to have larger canister vacuums, and that’s excellent for large houses and apartments. It’s also great for people who have pets and must clean more frequently to get rid of pet hair.
A smaller canister vacuum needs more frequent emptying but is more suitable for people who don’t clean such large areas.
If you opt for a bagged unit instead of a bagless vacuum, make sure that the replacement bags are easy to find. Sometimes, replacement parts can be tricky to come across.
|Product Name||Weight||Dimensions||Power Cord Length|
|BISSELL Cleanview Upright Bagless||15.4 lbs||13.2 x 13.5 x 44 in||25 ft|
|Eureka NEU180 A Lightweight||10 lbs||13.4 x 13.8 x 44.5 in||25 ft|
|Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Anti Allergy||15.5 lbs||45.7 x 12.1 x 12.2 in||25 ft|
|Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless||15 lbs||12.5 x 13.5 x 44 in||25 ft|
|Shark Navigator DLX||15.2 lbs||11.4 x 12.2 x 45.5 in||30 ft|
|Hoover WindTunnel Bagless Upright||12 lbs||13.8 x 11.2 x 34.2 in||30 ft|
|Oreck Commercial Professional Upright||8.2 lbs||6 x 13 x 35 in||35 ft|
|Dirt Devil Upright||9 lbs||10 x 11 x 42.5 in||25 ft|
|Black & Decker Ultra Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner||8.8 lbs||12 x 12.5 x 41.9 in||25 ft|
Best Upright Vacuum Reviews
BISSELL Cleanview Upright Vacuum Cleaner (Bagless)
(Our #1 Upright Pick)
This Bissell Cleanview is one of the best upright vacuum cleaners for pet owners who have to deal with all that pet hair. It has a triple-action brush roll along with the scatter-free technology for more efficient performance.
The Bissell Cleanview comes with swivel steering allowing easier maneuverability around furniture and other such obstacles. This is a useful feature since the vacuum weighs almost 18 pounds.
It’s a bagless design with a large dust bin that’s easy to empty. It also comes with a hose length of 6 feet, so you can easily clean hard-to-reach areas.
This one comes with specialized pet tools for tackling persistent pet hair and other such messes. It cleans near the edges and corners thanks to its edge-to-edge cleaning function. Also, Bissell Cleanview is a corded cleaner that comes with a cable that’s 27’ long.
- Easy to push
- Easy-to-empty canister
- Comes with pet tools
- Not the most long-lasting belt
Eureka NEU180 A Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner
(Best Lightweight Option)
This lightweight and portable Eureka weighs only ten pounds. It’s easy to maneuver with and carry around the house even if you have stairs.
It’s a multi-surface vacuum with five height adjustment settings for a versatile performance. It’s among the best options for hardwood, carpets, tile and area rugs.
It has an extra-large dust cup measuring 2.6l, so it doesn’t require such frequent emptying. The emptying process is quite simple, nonetheless.
This vacuum comes with plenty of accessories such as upholstery tool, dusting brush, and extra-long crevice tool. All the tools can be stored onboard, so they’re always within your reach.
The best thing is that the machine requires almost no maintenance. All it has are washable filters you should rinse now and then and a dust cup you should empty when needed.
- Packed with accessories
- Large dust cup
- Five height adjustment settings
- The hose is somewhat short
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Anti Allergy Vacuum Cleaner
(Best Choice for Allergy-Prone People)
This Shark vacuum is a part of the brand’s well-known Rotator series. It’s a Lift-Away vacuum that’s easy to use on a wide range of surfaces.
All it takes is a press of a button to lift the canister, allowing you to clean hard-to-reach areas. This makes the vacuum one of the best options for stairs and other above-floor surfaces as well.
This one comes with Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and HEPA filter. The combination of the two traps 99.99% of dust and allergens inside the appliance. It’s excellent for allergy-prone people as it only expels clean air back into your breathing space.
Another thing worth mentioning is swivel steering that’s always useful. It makes it easier for you to maneuver the vacuum given that it weighs some 15.5 pounds. On top of that, it has LED headlights, making cleaning in low-light conditions easier.
- 8.4ft hose length
- XL-capacity dust cup
- Great filtration
- Loose cord release
Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
(Strong Suction Option)
The CleanView series has some of the best upright vacuums. The 9595A is a versatile and easy-to-use vacuum with powerful suction and useful features.
Its innovative brush design is quite efficient as it cleans more on the initial pass. This is great for large areas and people who have to vacuum frequently.
The 9595A CleanView features Cyclonic System for enhanced suction that’s long-lasting. It also comes with a TurboBrush tool for upholstery, furniture, stairs, and more.
It’s a bagless design with an easy-to-empty dirt tank and multi-level filtration. Its foam tank filter is washable and reusable, which might not be as safe for allergy-prone people. The tank is see-through, so you can easily see when it’s time to empty it.
This one weighs 15 pounds, and it requires no assembly once it’s delivered to you.
- Multi-level filtration
- No-Loss Suction
- Wide cleaning path
- Not the safest for allergies
Shark Navigator DLX Vacuum Cleaner
(Large Capacity Dirt Bin)
If you’re looking for a powerful and efficient upright vacuum cleaner, you might want to consider this Shark Navigator DLX. It’s a part of the Navigator series that’s among the most popular lines from the brand.
This Shark Navigator model features the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and a HEPA filter. This traps up to 99.99% dust and allergens inside the machine, so only clean air is expelled back into your home.
Its large-capacity dust cup is easy to empty, but it doesn’t require such frequent maintenance. This allows extended cleaning without any interruption.
This one weighs some 15 pounds which can be tricky for some people to push. However, swivel steering helps with mobility, especially when it comes to working around furniture and different obstacles.
Its brush roll is efficient on both bare floors and carpets. However, it’s a motorized tool, so make sure to shut it off when needed.
- 30ft cord
- XL-capacity dust cup
- HEPA filtration
- No automatic cord rewind
Hoover WindTunnel Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Hoover is among the most popular brands with some quite impressive upright vacuums. One of its best models is this WindTunnel Bagless vacuum.
WindTunnel Technology provides consistent suction power on all types of floors. It lifts and removes all surface debris as well as embedded dirt.
This vacuum comes with a retractable power cord measuring 25 feet. Also, it features a permanent HEPA filter as well as one that’s reusable and easy to wash. Such filtration system traps up to 99.97% of dust, dirt, pollen and other allergens.
The package includes one extension wand, upholstery/dusting brush, and a powered hand tool. It also has an 8-inch stretch hose for above-floor cleaning and a No Scuff Bumper that protects the edges and corners of your walls.
- HEPA filter
- Great suction power
- For all floor types
- The hose could be more flexible
Oreck Commercial Professional Upright Vacuum Cleaner
This commercial upright vacuum cleaner is one of the most powerful units from Oreck. Though it requires some assembly, it’s easy to use and maneuver with regardless of the floor surface.
It comes with automatic floor adjustment, so it adapts and moves between hard floors and carpets with ease. Also, its powerful and fast brush roll has double-helix brushes that push the debris toward the vacuum inlet, allowing higher efficiency.
The vacuum features a Helping Hand handle which had received Ease-of-Use Commendation from Arthritis Foundation. The on/off switch is located there for more convenience as well.
Its cleaning path measures 12’’ in total which allows you to cover larger areas in less time. The cleaner weighs approximately 8 pounds and has a large dust bag.
- For all floors
- Automatic floor adjustment
- Wide path
- It’s very loud
Dirt Devil Upright Vacuum Cleaner
This Dirt Devil looks sleek and modern while it performs equally as impressively. It comes equipped with several useful features and a reliable filtration system.
Its Endura filter is easily accessible and washable for quick maintenance. You should rinse it with water now and then, but make sure to let it dry for at least 24h before the next use.
The upright vacuum has a 1.5l dust cup that’s easy to empty. It’s enough to tackle most cleaning tasks without having to make frequent trips to the trash.
It comes with an extension wand measuring 10 feet and allowing some extra reach. It stores on the vacuum cleaner itself, which is great if you usually struggle with storage space.
It’s a multi-floor vacuum that comes with a 2-in-1 dusting brush and a crevice tool stored onboard and within reach.
- Weight: 9 lbs
- Cleaning Path: 11 in
- Cleaning Reach: 10 ft
- Easy to maneuver with
- Washable filters
- Sleek design
- It feels a bit flimsy
Black & Decker Ultra Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner
This vacuum is easy to carry around and store away even though it looks quite bulky. It weighs approximately 9 pounds, so it shouldn’t be difficult to maneuver across different surfaces.
It features swivel steering which helps maneuverability, especially when it comes to moving the vacuum around furniture and other such obstacles.
Its dust cup has the capacity of 2l, which is enough for most medium-sized houses/apartments. It doesn’t require such frequent emptying, and it’s see-through so you can always see its contents.
On top of that, its filters are washable and easy to maintain as well. Give them a rinse now and then and let them dry thoroughly before you use them again. The vacuum is corded and comes with a 2-in-1 crevice tool and a small brush.
- Weight: 8.8 Ibs
- Dust Cup Capacity: 2 l
- Hose Length: 6.5 ft
- Ergonomic handle
- 12-inch path
- 20ft power cable
- Difficult to push on thick carpets
Difference Between Canister and Upright Vacuums
The most significant difference is the design since canister vacs look entirely different compared to uprights. The way you use them is also not the same.
An upright vacuum has a motor attached to the suction head. So, you push the entire vacuum cleaner in front of you as you clean.
Canister vacuums have their motors in the canister, while the cleaner head is attached to it by a hose. The canister contains all the main components, such as the collection bag, filter, motor, and other such parts.
The hose that’s attached to it differs in length and is where you attach the accessories. These products have wheels and are dragged by the user. They’re always behind you as you pull them by the hose.
However, these are only some design and specification differences. It’s hard to tell which of the two is better since that largely depends on your needs and preferences. Both types can be efficient if you opt for a quality vacuum and a reliable brand.
Some differences are more obvious than others. You should note that canister vacs almost always come with bags while uprights usually have dirt cups. Also, uprights often have better filtration systems, but make sure to always check this before making the final decision.
At this point, you probably understand why uprights are as popular. The best upright vacuums are usually quite powerful and able to tackle almost any kind of a mess. They’re great for pet hair, dust, dirt, sand, allergens and other such particles embedded in different floors.
Uprights appear large and heavy, and some definitely are. However, modern technologies allowed these vacs to be more convenient now, and as a result, we have cleaners that are easy to maneuver with and store away.
Keep in mind that the market is packed with these since nearly every brand came out with at least one model. For example, the best vacuum brands like Bissell and Shark have a few collections with several upright models, so it tends to be a bit tricky to choose only one vacuum.
Use the information from our buyer’s guide and make sure to consider your needs and preferences when searching for the best upright vacuum.
Sources and Resources
- Life cycle environmental impacts of vacuum cleaners and the effects of European
- Assessment of vacuum cleaners and vacuum cleaner bags recommended for allergic subjects