When it comes to cleaning area rugs, having the right vacuum can make all the difference.
I’m moving into a bigger space soon and am shopping for a versatile vacuum cleaner that can adjust according to what I need at the moment.
Pet hair? Done. Grubby little area rug? Consider it cleaned. Wine stain on the low pile carpet? We can do that too. Got hardwood floors? Fear not.
The best vacuums for area rugs are those that can adjust their height according to the rug pile, and that are versatile enough to clean other floor types too.
So far, these are the best vacuum cleaners that I’ve come across. I’ll settle on one of these soon and write up a complete review of which vacuum cleaner I go with.
In the meantime, here are the best vacuum cleaners for area rugs that I’ve found.
Best for low pile/high traffic area rugs: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
This cordless upright vacuum cleaner is known for its strong suction and versatility. It comes with a variety of attachments for cleaning carpets, hard floors, and upholstery, and can be easily converted from a stick vacuum to a handheld vacuum for quick cleanups.
Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is a top-of-the-line cordless stick vacuum cleaner that is lightweight, easy to maneuver, and powerful enough to tackle even the toughest messes. With its innovative design and multiple attachments, the V10 Absolute is a versatile cleaning tool that can handle everything from area rugs to hard floors to tight corners and crevices.
- Powerful suction: The V10 Absolute is known for its powerful suction that can easily pick up dirt and debris from both carpets and hard floors.
- Versatile: This stick vacuum cleaner comes with a variety of attachments and tools that can be used to clean a range of surfaces, including area rugs, carpets, hard floors, and upholstery.
- Lightweight and easy to use: The V10 Absolute stick vacuum cleaner is cordless and weighs only 5.9 pounds, making it easy to maneuver and use for extended periods of time.
- Long battery life: The battery on the V10 Absolute can last up to 60 minutes, depending on the power mode used, allowing for extended cleaning sessions.
- Hygienic: The bagless vacuum cleaner uses a fully sealed filtration system that captures allergens and expels cleaner air.
- Price: The V10 Absolute is on the higher end of the price range for cordless vacuums.
- Small dustbin: The dustbin on the V10 Absolute is relatively small and may need to be emptied frequently during cleaning sessions.
- May not be ideal for larger homes: While the battery life is impressive, it may not be sufficient for larger homes or cleaning multiple floors.
- Can be noisy: Some users have noted that the V10 Absolute can be loud, especially on the highest power setting.
- Requires regular maintenance: The vacuum’s filter and brush head need to be cleaned and replaced periodically, which may be inconvenient for some users.
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is a powerful and versatile cordless stick vacuum cleaner that is well-suited for cleaning area rugs and other surfaces. Its cordless design allows for easy maneuverability, and its lightweight build makes it easy to carry from room to room. Additionally, the V10 Absolute includes multiple attachments and features, such as a high torque cleaner head and a washable filter, that help to make cleaning more efficient and effective.
Best for allergies: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional
This vacuum cleaner is a popular choice for its ability to clean both carpets and hard floors, and its lift-away feature makes it easy to clean stairs and other hard-to-reach areas. It also includes a variety of attachments for upholstery and crevices.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a high-performance vacuum cleaner that can easily transition from cleaning carpets and area rugs to hard floors. With a detachable canister and advanced swivel steering, this versatile and powerful vacuum cleaner is ideal for tackling tough cleaning challenges.
This is definitely something on my mind because unfortunately I’m very allergic to pet hair. That’s why I don’t have pets. That and the fact that they cost a lot and are high maintenance.
Even so, pet hair somehow always finds its way to me and I want to suction that up and away from my face.
- Versatile Cleaning: The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is designed to clean carpets, hard floors, and upholstery, and its lift-away feature makes it easy to clean stairs and other hard-to-reach areas.
- Powerful Suction: The vacuum’s strong suction can remove dirt and dust from carpets and hard floors effectively.
- Swivel Steering: The vacuum’s swivel steering makes it easy to maneuver around furniture and other obstacles.
- Large Dustbin: The bagless vacuum cleaner’s dustbin is larger than some other models, which means you won’t have to empty it as often.
- HEPA Filter: The bagless vacuum cleaner comes with a HEPA filter that can capture allergens, making it a good option for people with allergies.
- Heavy: The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is heavier than some other models, which can make it tiring to use for extended periods of time.
- Noisy: Some users have reported that the vacuum cleaner is quite loud, which could be a drawback if you’re sensitive to noise.
- Short Hose: The vacuum’s hose is relatively short, which can make it difficult to reach high or hard-to-reach areas.
- Some Parts May Wear Out Quickly: Some users have reported that certain parts, such as the brush roll, may wear out more quickly than expected.
- Difficult to Store: The vacuum’s large size can make it difficult to store in small closets or other tight spaces.
Overall, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a versatile vacuum cleaner that can handle a variety of cleaning tasks, but it may not be the best option for everyone, especially if you have limited storage space or if you’re sensitive to noise.
Best all-in-one: Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro
This extremely versatile vacuum cleaner is designed to clean both carpets and hard floors, and is specifically designed for homes with pets. It includes a multi-surface brush roll that can handle both high pile and low pile rugs and carpets, and a wet-dry tank that can tackle spills and pet messes.
Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro
The Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro is a versatile and efficient all-in-one cleaning solution that is specially designed for pet owners. It features a multi-surface brush roll that can easily switch between cleaning area rugs and hard floors, and its powerful suction and specialized cleaning solution can effectively remove pet hair, stains, and odors.
- Versatile cleaning: The Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro is a versatile cleaner that can vacuum and wash floors at the same time, making it a great choice for pet owners who need to clean up pet messes.
- Multi-surface cleaning: It can clean a variety of surfaces, including area rugs, carpets, and hard floors.
- Pet-specific features: The vacuum cleaner includes specialized pet tools such as a tangle-free brush roll and a multi-surface pet brush roll that is effective at removing pet hair and debris.
- Large water tank: The water tank is large, which means you can clean larger areas without having to refill the tank frequently.
- Good suction power: The vacuum cleaner has good suction power, which helps to pick up dirt and debris effectively.
- Heavy: The Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro is a relatively heavy vacuum cleaner, which can make it difficult to move around and use for extended periods of time.
- Loud: The vacuum cleaner can be quite loud, which may be an issue for some users who are sensitive to noise.
- Small dustbin: The dustbin is relatively small, so you may need to empty it frequently during use.
- Short power cord: The power cord is shorter than some other models, which can be inconvenient if you have a large area to clean.
- Maintenance: The vacuum cleaner requires regular maintenance, including cleaning the brush roll and filter, to keep it functioning effectively.
It’s important to consider these pros and cons in the context of your specific needs and preferences when choosing a vacuum cleaner.
Best high end: Miele Complete C3 Alize
This canister vacuum cleaner is a popular choice for its powerful suction and ability to clean a variety of surfaces. It comes with multiple attachments for cleaning carpets, hard floors, and upholstery, and includes a HEPA filter for trapping allergens.
Miele Complete C3 Alize
The Miele Complete C3 Alize is a high-quality canister vacuum that offers powerful suction and exceptional performance on both hard floors and carpets. Its lightweight design, quiet operation, and range of features, including a HEPA AirClean filter and adjustable suction control, make it a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and effective cleaning solution.
- Strong suction power: The Miele Complete C3 Alize is known for its powerful suction, which can effectively pick up dirt and debris from a variety of surfaces, including area rugs.
- Adjustable height settings: The canister vacuum cleaner comes with six adjustable height settings, allowing you to easily switch between cleaning high pile and low pile area rugs, as well as other flooring types.
- High-quality filtration: The vacuum cleaner includes a HEPA filter, which can trap allergens and pollutants, making it a great choice for those with allergies or asthma.
- Quiet operation: The Miele Complete C3 Alize is designed to operate quietly, making it a great option for households with sleeping children or sensitive pets.
- Durable and reliable: Miele is known for producing high-quality and durable appliances, and the Complete C3 Alize is no exception. It’s built to last and is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty.
- Can be annoying: Let’s be honest, canister vacuum cleaners just get annoying after awhile. As good as everything else may be, I kinda hate dragging the canister vacuum behind me from room to room.
- Expensive: The Miele Complete C3 Alize is a high-end vacuum cleaner and comes with a premium price tag, which may be a downside for budget-conscious consumers.
- Heavy: The vacuum cleaner is relatively heavy, which can make it difficult to carry up and down stairs or maneuver around tight spaces.
- Limited accessories: The vacuum cleaner doesn’t come with as many accessories as some other models, which may be a downside for those who want more versatility in their cleaning.
- Small dustbin: The dustbin on the Miele Complete C3 Alize is relatively small, which means it needs to be emptied frequently during use.
- No automatic cord rewind: Unlike some other vacuums, the Miele Complete C3 Alize doesn’t come with an automatic cord rewind feature, which means you’ll need to manually wind up the cord after use.
Overall, the Miele Complete C3 Alize is a high-quality vacuum cleaner with strong suction power and adjustable height settings, making it a great choice for cleaning area rugs. However, it comes with a premium price tag and may be heavier and less versatile than some other models.
Best shampooer: Hoover Power Scrub Elite
This upright vacuum cleaner is designed to clean carpets and rugs, and includes a variety of features to tackle tough stains and dirt. It comes with a SpinScrub brush roll that can handle both high pile and low pile carpets, and a large water tank for cleaning larger areas.
Hoover Power Scrub Elite
The Hoover Power Scrub Elite is a versatile and powerful carpet cleaner designed to deep clean carpets and area rugs. With multiple cleaning modes, a large capacity water tank, and heated drying capabilities, this vacuum is a great option for homeowners looking to keep their carpets and rugs clean and well-maintained.
- Effective cleaning: The Hoover Power Scrub Elite has powerful suction and a SpinScrub brush roll that can effectively clean carpets, rugs, and upholstery.
- Large water tank: The water tank on this vacuum cleaner is larger than many other models, which means you can clean larger areas without having to refill the tank as frequently.
- Multiple brush roll settings: The vacuum cleaner has multiple brush roll settings, so you can adjust the cleaning power according to the type of surface you’re cleaning.
- Lightweight design: Weighing in at just over 18 pounds, the Hoover Power Scrub Elite is relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- Affordable price: Compared to other models with similar features, the Hoover Power Scrub Elite is relatively affordable.
- Loud operation: Some users find that the vacuum cleaner is quite loud, which can be a nuisance if you’re using it for extended periods of time.
- Large size: The vacuum cleaner is relatively bulky and may be difficult to store in smaller homes or apartments.
- Noisy brush roll: The SpinScrub brush roll can make a lot of noise, which may be bothersome to some users.
- Mediocre performance on hard floors: While the vacuum cleaner is great at cleaning carpets and rugs, its performance on hard floors is not as impressive.
- Limited hose length: The hose on the vacuum cleaner is relatively short, which may make it difficult to clean hard-to-reach areas or stairs.
Overall, the Hoover Power Scrub Elite is a powerful and affordable vacuum cleaner that is well-suited for cleaning carpets, rugs, and upholstery. However, its performance on hard floors may leave something to be desired, and its loud operation and bulky size may not be ideal for all users.
Common pain points when vacuuming rugs
Some of the most common pain points when vacuuming an area rug include:
- Tangling and Fraying: Some vacuums with brush rolls can cause tangling and fraying of the rug fibers. This can make the rug look worn and cause damage to the fibers.
- Weak Suction: A vacuum cleaner with weak suction may not be able to effectively remove dirt and debris from the rug. This can result in a rug that is not fully cleaned and can lead to a buildup of dirt and allergens.
- Difficulty Maneuvering: Area rugs are often placed in high-traffic areas, making them difficult to move around and vacuum. A vacuum cleaner that is difficult to maneuver can make the process of cleaning the rug frustrating and time-consuming.
- Size and Weight: Large and heavy vacuums can be difficult to move around and carry, especially if you need to move the vacuum up and down stairs or between different floors of your home.
- Noise: Some vacuums can be loud and disruptive, which can be a problem if you are trying to clean your rug during a time when others in your home are working or sleeping.
- Lack of Versatility: A vacuum cleaner that is not versatile enough to handle different types of rugs and floors can be frustrating to use. For example, a vacuum that is only effective on hard floors may not be able to clean a plush or shag rug effectively.
By identifying these common pain points, you can choose a vacuum cleaner that is designed to address these issues and make the process of cleaning your area rugs easier and more effective.
Key considerations for the best vacuum for area rugs
When choosing the best vacuum for area rugs, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. These include:
- Suction Power: A vacuum cleaner with strong suction power is essential for effectively cleaning area rugs. Look for a vacuum with adjustable suction power so you can customize it to the needs of your rug.
- Brush Roll: A brush roll or beater bar can help dislodge dirt and debris from the fibers of the rug, making it easier to clean. However, be sure to choose a vacuum with a brush roll that can be turned off or adjusted so that it doesn’t damage the rug.
- Height Adjustment: A vacuum cleaner with adjustable height settings is important for cleaning area rugs of different thicknesses. The ability to adjust the height of the vacuum ensures that the brush roll or suction is not too powerful for the rug, which can cause damage.
- Filtration: If you or anyone in your household has allergies or asthma, you may want to consider a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filtration to help capture allergens and other particles from the air.
- Maneuverability: Area rugs are often placed in high-traffic areas, so you want a vacuum that is easy to move around and can easily reach under furniture and other hard-to-reach areas.
- Weight: A lightweight vacuum is easier to carry and move around. This is especially important if you need to clean multiple rugs or move the vacuum up and down stairs.
- Durability: Choose a vacuum that is built to last, with a strong motor and quality construction. A vacuum that requires frequent repairs or replacements will end up costing you more in the long run.
By keeping these key considerations in mind, you’ll be able to choose the best vacuum for your area rugs.
Types of vacuum cleaners
Before you commit to something, it’s helpful to know what kind of vacuum cleaner you’re signing up for. Believe me, it matters.
Here’s a brief overview of the key differences between canister vacuums, stick vacuums, cordless vacuums, and bagged/bagless vacuums:
- Canister vacuums: Canister vacuums have a separate canister and cleaning head, connected by a flexible hose. The canister is usually mounted on wheels, and can be easily moved around the house. Canister vacuums are generally more powerful than stick vacuums, and are well-suited for cleaning large areas or multiple surfaces. They can also come with a range of attachments and accessories for specialized cleaning.
- Stick vacuums: Stick vacuums are lightweight and slim, making them easy to maneuver and store. They are typically battery-powered or corded, and are great for quick cleanups or cleaning small spaces. However, they usually have less suction power and fewer features than canister vacuums.
- Cordless vacuums: Cordless vacuums are similar to stick vacuums, but they are not tethered to an electrical outlet. They are usually battery-powered, and are great for cleaning up small messes or for quick, everyday cleaning. Cordless vacuums are generally less powerful than their corded counterparts, and may need to be recharged frequently.
- Bagged/bagless vacuums: Bagged vacuums use disposable bags to trap dust and debris, while bagless vacuum cleaners use a removable container that can be emptied into the trash. Bagged vacuums are often more hygienic, as the bags can be disposed of without releasing any of the collected dirt and dust. Bagless vacuums, on the other hand, are more environmentally friendly, as they don’t require disposable bags. However, they can be messier to empty and may release dust and allergens into the air.
Each type of vacuum has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best type for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Tips for vacuuming area rugs
How do you vacuum an area rug without the rug getting caught in the vacuum?
To vacuum an area rug without it getting caught in the vacuum, follow these steps:
- Turn off the brush roll or adjust the height setting: If your vacuum has a brush roll, turn it off or adjust the height setting so that it doesn’t make contact with the rug fibers. This will help prevent the rug from getting caught in the vacuum.
- Use the right attachments: Many vacuums come with attachments that are specifically designed for cleaning area rugs. Use these attachments to clean your rug instead of the main vacuum head.
- Start at the edges: Begin by vacuuming around the edges of the rug first. This will help prevent the rug from getting caught in the vacuum as you move towards the center.
- Vacuum in the direction of the rug fibers: Always vacuum in the direction of the rug fibers, not against them. This will help prevent the fibers from getting caught in the vacuum and causing damage to the rug.
- Use a light touch: Use a light touch when vacuuming your area rug. Too much pressure can cause the rug to bunch up and get caught in the vacuum.
- Lift the rug: For larger area rugs, you may want to lift the rug off the floor and vacuum the underside to remove any dirt and debris that has collected there. Be sure to vacuum the floor underneath the rug as well.
Use a rug pad to make vacuuming easier
A rug pad can prevent your area rug from slipping or shifting when you vacuum it. This makes it easier to move the vacuum over the rug without having to constantly readjust the rug’s position.
It can also help reduce wear and tear on your area rug by providing a cushioned layer between the rug and the floor. This can help prolong the life of the rug and prevent damage to the fibers.
Using a rug pad can improve airflow under the rug, which can help prevent dirt and debris from getting trapped in the fibers. This makes it easier to vacuum the rug effectively and removes more dirt and dust from the rug.
Lastly, a rug pad can provide a smooth surface for your vacuum to glide over, making it easier to move the vacuum across the rug. This can help prevent the rug from getting caught in the vacuum and make the process of vacuuming your area rug more efficient.
Which of these recommended vacuum cleaners include variable suction control?
Some of the recommended vacuum cleaners do include variable suction control. For example, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute, Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional, and Miele Complete C3 Marin all have variable suction controls that allow you to adjust the suction power according to the type of surface you’re cleaning.
This is a helpful feature that can help prevent damage to delicate rugs and other surfaces while also allowing you to get the most out of the vacuum’s cleaning power. Other vacuums on the list, such as the Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro and the Hoover Power Scrub Elite, may not have variable suction control, but they do have other features that make them well-suited for cleaning area rugs and other surfaces.