Top 8 Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner Reviews in 2021

With microscopic and non-microscopic particles frequently settling in on our surfaces, the removal of dirt and debris remains an ongoing chore in our spaces. Your clean house will feel cleaner with visible vac lines. Imagine having this feeling all the time, along with glossy, dust-free floors. When shopping for a vacuum cleaner, two essentials to ask are: Is the electric broom easy to handle and maneuver, and can it eliminate dust and debris from all surfaces in the home? Nearly all full-size models are great vacuums for hardwood floors. But carpets pose the toughest challenge for most uprights. It’s the reason you should invest in the best upright vacuum cleaner.

Plenty of grisly jobs will call for the functions and features only available in a heavy-duty vacuum. But a compact and convenient suction system is adequate to handle most domestic extractions. These can range from kitchen crumbles to pet hair vacuuming, and eliminating the mysterious debris hiding in your couch’s crevices. A few sweeps with a lightweight, super-mobile dustbuster is enough to clean all the particles in different shapes and sizes.

However, all the top-scoring suction devices that you can purchase today don’t work or even look the same. You can choose from several different types, including corded, robot, cordless, stick, and handheld vacuums. The broad category of choices can make it hard to keep up the search for a useful crevice tool. Our team has been busy testing out some of the best upright vacuum cleaner options from top-tier brands to help you make an informed decision. We’re going to show you the best models that combine reliability, value, and performance into one equipment.

The Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner: Everything You Should Know

The efforts we make to effectively eliminate these unwanted collections of sand, crumbs, and hair date centuries back. But today, we are looking at highly automated and user-friendly devices than at any time in history. Although most features like actual debris and dirt removal remain constant, ease of use is an element we can control. It explains the transformations in vacuum models over the years. Currently, nothing gives the greatest control over dust, dirt, and allergens than the best upright vacuum cleaner model.

Upright vacuums are an upgrade to the more traditional canister versions. And with so many varieties in the market, let’s first help you understand the meaning of an upright vacuum.

What Is An Upright Vacuum Cleaner?

An upright vacuum design fits all its mechanics in a single unit by attaching the suction head and handle to each end. Unlike canisters, uprights stay in front of the user as it moves across surfaces during cleaning. Most of them come with high maneuverability, allowing you to vacuum small spaces.

Another difference between uprights and canisters is that the latter has two components. It packs a primary suction motor separate from the brush-head-fitted handled wand. The name canister comes from a cylinder-shaped housing unit that stores the motor. This cylinder has convenient built-in wheels, making it easy to move from one room to the next as you clean.

Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Upright electric brooms are excellent for large spaces. They come in wide-body construction that helps you cover more area in less time. Beater bars are particularly useful on carpets for a spotless dust and dirt extraction. One last thing is that most upright vacuums are bagless, which makes cleaning up a breeze.

What are the benefits of an upright vacuum cleaner?

Uprights have always been popular with domestic chores, and there isn’t a sign that this will change soon. People love these suction devices for different reasons, including their reputation for being durable and reliable. Upright carpet sweepers provide tons of benefits that we’ll go through here. Regardless, an upright may not be effective in a couple of situations. Thankfully, this review will give you the knowledge to determine if it is the right equipment for your needs.

1. Cost-Effectiveness

The best upright vacuum cleaner models cost less on average compared to cordless stick vacuums. In addition, you can expect the machine to last longer, making them a cost-effective cleaning alternative.

2. Versatility

Initially, consumers would overlook upright vacuums because they could only clean your floors. Nevertheless, technology has made this device more versatile with the ability to clean the whole home. The Shark brand pioneered this trend with its lift-away technology, which has seen many other manufacturers creating their own variations.

This lift-away function allows you to detach your vacuum’s canister from the main body, transforming it into portable hoover. Now you can swipe your stairs clean without the awkwardness of balancing heavy equipment on narrow steps. Thanks to this technology, you can also clean out-of-bound areas previously for the upright. The combination of attachments and lift-away feature lets you clean curtains, upholstery, ceilings, and furniture tops.

3. Reliability

We touched on this point further above, although it is worth a second mention. Uprights have come out as the most reliable design of vacuum cleaners, with some makes lasting up to twenty years. These machines are simple to take apart, making cleaning and maintenance much easier than with other vacuum types.

4. Great For Allergy Patients

Most upright vacuums have a unique bag that captures dirt, preventing it from scattering all over the house. It is the smartest way to deal with allergens.  The kits often come with a self-sealing tab to ensure a hygienic emptying process.

When Shouldn’t I Use The Upright?

The latest upright vacuums can be too versatile than they should be, which gives you one reason not to get one. But this only applies in situations where you don’t need the extra functions. Versatility notwithstanding, there a few cases where the best upright vacuum cleaner isn’t an ultimate solution.

Uprights are the best for cleaning carpets, even though some models are effective with other surfaces as well. You’ll want to reconsider this type of cleaner if your spaces have mostly tiled or wooden floors. Also, it may not be the smartest choice if you have mobility problems.

How We Test Our Top Best Vacuums

We do different tests on each make, according to its cleaning design. You wouldn’t categorize robots, sticks, and handhelds, for example, together with full-sized uprights or canisters, although they all have their pros and cons. To establish how well a vacuum cleans, how much dirt it leaves behind, how maneuverable it is, and how much noise it makes, we put them through a series of tests.

We insert pet hair, sand, and talc into carpets before vacuum cleaning. The same litter collection goes on bare floors to see if the vacuum will scatter it about or extract it. Moreover, we don’t forget to maneuver the cleaner around like you’d do to ensure it is easy to handle.

High-performance dust busters that don’t hold up to the test of time aren’t winners in our categories. We use select member surveys to establish consistent owner satisfaction and predicted reliability scores, while our lab tests provide performance results. We put in a significant amount of dust-busting time to pick, rate and review the eight vacuums in our list to help you know the best model to get in 2021. So, without a speck of dust left in our testing lab, here are the best upright vacuum cleaner models.

Top 8 Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner Models in 2021

1. 9595A Bissell CleanView Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

The bagless 9595A upright vacuum from Bissell is a compact and versatile equipment with great suction power. The sleek electric broom packs a portable design that is easy to use with a telescopic handle for convenient multi-surface cleaning.

9595A Bissell CleanView Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
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Key Features

  • Bagless model
  • 2-liter dust cup
  • TurboBrush tool
  • Six-inch hose
  • Washable filter
  • Twenty-five-foot power cable
  • Weighs 15.1 pounds
  • Extension wand
  • Multi-level filtration system
  • Durable, powerful suction thanks to a cyclonic system
  • Easy to empty dirt collector
  • Effective filtration technology
  • Simple maintenance with washable filter
  • Multiple attachments for quick, effective cleaning
  • Includes a two-year warranty
  • The non-existent On/Off switch for brush roll can damage hardwood floors
  • It’s prone to tipping over when extending the hose

2. NV356E Shark Navigator Upright Lift-Away Vacuum Cleaner

Enhance your dust-busting experience with this compact vacuum’s lift-away hand to reach all the high areas of the house. You’ll find it convenient for use in plenty of applications.

NV356E Shark Navigator Upright Lift-Away Vacuum Cleaner
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Key Features

  • Bagless design
  • 2 quarts dust cup
  • Removable Lift-Away pod
  • Anti-allergen seal
  • Weighs 13.7 pounds
  • HEPA filters
  • Brush rolls
  • Dynamic swivel steering
  • Comes with a five-year warranty
  • Shutoff brush roll for gentle hardwood floor cleaning
  • Convenient lift-away button for ease of use
  • It can reach hard to clean areas with lift away canister
  • Includes HEPA filters for complete dust and allergen trapping
  • Multi-functional for carpets and hard floors
  • Uninterrupted cleaning with an extra-large dust cup
  • Excellent maneuverability with dynamic navigator
  • The heavy top makes it easy to tip over
  • It doesn’t have headlights

3. Shark APEX AZ1002 DuoClean Upright Zero-M Vacuum Cleaner

The DuoClean Zero-M technology by Shark converts this AZ1002 into is an all sharky crevice tool for active debris and dirt extraction. Its unique illumination technology will particles in their best hiding places.

Shark APEX AZ1002 DuoClean Upright Zero-M Vacuum Cleaner
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Key Features

  • Anti-hair seal
  • Power-assisted Lift-Away canister
  • Bagless design
  • 5 quarts dust cup
  • DuoClean function
  • Eleven-inch-wide cleaning path
  • HEPA filter
  • Zero-M self-cleaning technology
  • Shark signature five-year warranty
  • Weighs 17.1 pounds
  • The double brush roll technology for effective carpet and hard floor cleaning
  • Detachable canister for extended reach
  • Uninterrupted cleaning with a self-cleaning brush roll
  • Motorized brushes for powerful cleaning
  • Cleans dark areas with LED lights for enhanced surface visibility
  • It’s excellent for persons with allergies thanks to the anti-allergen seal
  • Includes lifetime filters and belts
  • Bulky design for persons with mobility issues
  • On the pricey side

4. NV352 Shark Navigator Upright Lift-Away Vacuum Cleaner

The NV352 is one of Shark most lightweight models that will motor all over your spaces, leaving polished surfaces. The detachable canister will let you reach all the heights that other vacuums only dream about.

 NV352 Shark Navigator Upright Lift-Away Vacuum Cleaner
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Key Features

  • Anti-allergen seal
  • Dual-surface function
  • Lift-Away canister
  • On/Off brush roll switch
  • Pet tool
  • Adjustable suction function
  • Built-in switch for detaching the canister
  • Suction regulator
  • Bagless design
  • 1 quarts dust cup
  • HEPA filter
  • Swivel steering
  • Shark signature five-year warranty
  • Weighs 12.5 pounds
  • Light-weight compared to other Shark models
  • Powerful suction
  • Allows you to regulate suction to match the cleaning surface
  • Easy to use design
  • It can tackle multiple surfaces
  • Provides excellent air purification
  • Poor finishing with no LED headlights
  • Fragile plastic construction

5. XL2100RHS Oreck Upright Commercial Vacuum Cleaner

The XL2100RHS, Oreck’s commercial series, is one of the best upright vacuum cleaner options in the market. Its wide cleaning path delivers a versatile dust and dirt extraction experience in an ultra-lightweight design.

XL2100RHS Oreck Upright Commercial Vacuum Cleaner
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Key Features

  • Bagged model
  • Dual-helix brushes
  • Weighs 9 pounds
  • Twelve-inch-wide cleaning path
  • Low-profile construction
  • Microsweep auto-adjusting function
  • Ergonomic maneuvering handle
  • Disposable built-in bag
  • Thirty-five-foot power cable
  • Clear, non-abrasive bumpers
  • 630-cubic-inch bag
  • Cord guard
  • Comes with an on/off device switch
  • One-year commercial warranty + one-year belt warranty
  • Light-weight model
  • Compact design for easy storage
  • Effective cleaning with edge brushes plus a motorized brush
  • Comfortable helping hand handle
  • Automatically adjusts the height between carpets and hard floors
  • Convenient fingertip switch
  • User-friendly fill bags
  • Extra-long power cord
  • It doesn’t have attachments
  • Costly to buy replacement bags
  • It runs with a loud noise.

6. 31150 Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner

The 31150 is a suitable suction device for anyone in need of a crafty upright vacuum to reach the farthest and deepest crevices in the home. It is a piece of aggressive suction equipment in the pursuit of various debris around your spaces.

31150 Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner
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Key Features

  • Bagged upright model
  • Weighs 20 pounds
  • AAFA certified
  • Comes with three cleaning tools
  • 3-in-1 motor technology
  • Five level height adjustments
  • Telescopic wand
  • Pet handi-mate function
  • Triple HEPA filtration
  • Thirty-five-inch power cord
  • 75-inch cleaning width
  • Infrared dirt sensor
  • Beltless design
  • One-year warranty
  • Pet-friendly features
  • Convenient surface transitions with multi-cleaning tools
  • Extra powerful three-in-one motor suction
  • Up to ten-inch extended reach
  • It delivers more air power by up to 20%
  • Easy to use with multiple height adjustments
  • Wide cleaning path to save time
  • Auto-focus cleaning with dirt sensor to save power
  • It’s great for asthma and allergy patients
  • It is a bulky model
  • Manual cord storage
  • Lacks elbow support to clean above-the-floor surfaces
  • Short warranty cover for a device in its class

7. Dyson Ball Upright Multi Floor Vacuum Cleaner

This Ball upright vacuum delivers the best of Dyson cleaning technology for chomping and inhaling all the unnecessary particles, including allergens and bacteria in its path. It is one of the best affordable suction solutions with cleans and without the bells and whistles.

Dyson Ball Upright Multi Floor Vacuum Cleaner
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Key Features

  • Auto-adjusting base plate
  • Radial-root cyclone function
  • Instant release wand
  • Thirty-one-foot power cord
  • HEPA filters
  • Weighs 15.6 pounds
  • Up to forty-feet reach
  • Button-released dust bin
  • Ball steering technology
  • Five-year product warranty
  • AAFA certified
  • Washable filter
  • Cyclone technology effective on microscopic dust
  • Extra-long power cable
  • Multi-surface cleaning
  • Extended reach for hard-to-clean areas
  • Hygienic dust cup emptying
  • Great maneuverability
  • Uninterrupted cleaning with the auto-regulated cleaner head
  • Allergy and asthma friendly design
  • Sturdy, durable construction with ABS and polycarbonate
  • Easy to maintain with lifetime washable filter
  • It is a bulky model
  • It doesn’t include a lift-away canister for portability.

8. LW1500RS Oreck Magnesium Upright Vacuum Cleaner

The LW1500RS is among the best upright vacuum cleaner models with a sleek and zippy design. It embodies Oreck’s superior technology for crafting super-lightweight debris extractors, mobile enough for kids to use.

LW1500RS Oreck Magnesium Upright Vacuum Cleaner
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Key Features

  • 8 quarts filter bag
  • Swivel-steered design
  • HEPA seals
  • Weighs 7.7 pounds
  • Thirty-foot power cable
  • Five-level HEPA filtration
  • Auto shutoff belt
  • Auto-surface adjustment
  • Low profile construction
  • Adjustable speed switch
  • Pull along wheels
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Multi-surface cleaner
  • An effective HEPA filter system
  • Maneuverable slim swivel
  • Lightweight model
  • Allows you to choose different power levels
  • Excellent warranty coverage
  • On the pricey side
  • It is expensive to replace HEPA filter bags
  • Doesn’t include upholstery cleaning attachments

Now that we’ve shared our top picks for the best upright vacuum cleaner models let’s see what you should consider when shopping for a suction device.

Shopping Guide: Tips To Look For When Buying A Vacuum Cleaner

Currently, there’s an extensive selection of vacuums to choose from in the models. So, you’ll want to begin by deciding the most suitable suction equipment for your cleaning job.

Category Based Shopping

  1. Uprights: Consider getting the best upright vacuum cleaner, for example, if you have plenty of rugs or all-carpet flooring.
  2. Canisters: The models are more comfortable to maneuver on stairs, and they often do a great job on hard surfaces.
  3. Handhelds: This crevice tool is useful for lighter chores that require quick attention like spilled cereal.
  4. Stick Vacs: Similar to handheld dust busters, stick vacuums are suitable for rapid, light-duty cleaning.
  5. Robotics: Robotic vacuums are appealing if you want a model you can set and forget. But you’ll still have to empty it periodically.
  6. Central Vacuums: You’ll go for this design if you need an easier alternative to canisters because they don’t come with a bulky vacuum body.

The following table shows how the six vacuum cleaner categories stack up.

 The ProsThe Cons
Upright Vacuums✔ More affordable than canisters   ✔ Wider cleaning path ✔ Effective for deep-cleaning carpets ✔ Easy to store🗷  Cumbersome to pull and push bulky models   🗷  Noisier models than canisters
Canister Vacuums✔  Better than uprights for under furniture, hard floors, and stairs   ✔ Multiple attachments for curtains and upholstery ✔ Quieter than uprights🗷  Bulkier than upright vacuums   🗷  Difficult to store due to separate components
Stick Vacuums✔ Compact and lightweight   ✔ Excellent portability ✔ Handy for clearing up messes quickly ✔ Tall bodies with great usability🗷  Poor performance on carpets   🗷  They can’t replace conventional vacuums 🗷  Small dirt capacity 🗷  Can be noisy
Handheld Vacuums✔ Can be corded or cordless   ✔ Great for light, fast cleaning jobs ✔ Can remove pet hair on upholstery ✔ Convenient for cleaning car interiors🗷  They don’t have the power of full-sized vacuums.
Robotic Vacuums✔ It completes the work as you watch   ✔ Some models can evade obstacles ✔ Some designs are smartphone compatible🗷  Poor cleaning power compared to full-sized models   🗷  Problematic with shag carpeting
Central Vacuums✔ Easier to use compared to canisters   ✔ Only move with the powerhead and hose ✔ Large-capacity dirt chambers ✔ Quieter than most vacuum types🗷  They are costly   🗷  They need professional installation 🗷  Long, cumbersome hoses 🗷  They need plenty of storage space.

Feature Based Shopping

Once you determine the best vacuum category for your cleaning, it would be best that you also consider its features. Vacuum cleaner features often help to improve a unit’s performance and usability. Here are some of the essential elements to look for in a vacuum.

  1. Add-On Suction Tools

Most vacuum cleaners have standard tools that are enough for most cleaning tasks, including;

  • A narrow tool for handling crevices
  • A small brush for upholstery cleaning
  • A round dusting brush

The powered-intake in canisters gives a thorough cleaning of carpets than the simple suction-intake. An edge cleaner is an optional tool to consider in a vacuum. It can extract all the debris under a cleaning head. It’s particularly useful for wall-to-wall carpets as it can pick up dirt to the joint between the wall and carpet.

  1. Bagless vs. Bagged

Some machines use bags while others have a bin for collecting trash. A bagged vacuum sweeper offers more dirt holding capacity and will release less dust into the air when emptying. The best upright vacuum cleaner with a bag should have a full-bin indicator.

On the other hand, you can save more with a bagless device because you won’t have to purchase replacement bags. But you must trade with caution since this type of vacuum uses more filters such as HEPA filters that need periodic replacements. And these filters are often costlier than bags. Besides, emptying the dust cup and cleaning the filter can be challenging, and even expose you to dust or allergens.

  1. Hard Floor Options

Most uprights and canisters come with features and tools for cleaning bare floors like vinyl, hardwood, or other uncarpeted surfaces of your floor. The On/Off switch for the electric broom’s brush is the most common feature. Some models pack a separate bare-flow setting.

  1. Brush Agitator

Other manufacturers call it a roller brush. It comes on your machine’s underside. The brush agitator has bristles of similar width to the vacuum’s base. The roller brush will dislodge grit, dust, and dirt from carpets, making it easy for the hoover’s intake to pick it up.

It’s advisable to get a device with a turn the brush agitator off when working hard floors. The rotating brush can move around particles on the bare floor, making it hard for the intake to suck it up. Also, the switch ensures that rugged mats or bedspreads don’t tangle in the roller.

  1. Auto-Height Adjustment

It’s vital to buy a vacuum with a carpet pile level regulator. The feature regulates the height of a cleaner’s brush roll to match the pile-height of a carpet. This helps to improve movement and maneuverability while ensuring a thorough cleaning.

  1. Suction Control

The latest version of vacuum cleaners come with a switch for suction control. It allows you to regulate airflow through the hose for more effective draping and upholstery cleaning.

  1. Filtration System

More vacuum brands claim to have filters that prevent microscopic particles from passing through your machine and into the air via the exhaust. Depending on your choice of equipment, these could be HEPA or micron filters. The later offers high filtration levels compared to standard models. However, HEPA filtration is the best anti-emission system you can get even for someone with asthma.

  1. Cord Control

The cord control feature is more common in canister vacuums. It allows the user to rewind the power cable by the push of a button or a slim tug. The element is especially vital for machines with cords measuring between 20 feet and 30 feet or longer. With the help of a cord-release pin, you can free the whole cable at once, and save from doing one wrap at a time.

  1. Self-Propelled

It’s not uncommon to find modern vacuums with a self-propelled function. It works through a drive-transmission system to help with the pulling and pushing of your machine, making it almost effortless to operate. The caveat is that it adds to the vacuum’s weight, which can cause some models to be bulky to carry.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best upright vacuum cleaner on the market?

The best upright vacuum cleaner will depend on your cleaning requirements and budget. Regardless, it’s vital to get a machine that includes extra cleaning tools. A versatile suction device will deep clean carpets, polish bare floors, pick up pet hair, and work on upholstery without re-circulating the dirt back into the air.

2. Is Dyson better than a shark?

The choice between a Dyson and Shark is too close to determine. Both models come with multi-cleaning tools, HEPA filtration, and excellent factory warranties. However, the Shark is a winner for its lift-away canister technology, which gives its models a 3-in-1 function.

3. Is a Dyson vacuum worth the money?

Whether or not a Dyson vacuum gives you value for your money will depend on your preferred model. Most Dysons, nonetheless, are worth the investment if you match it to the cleaning job that you do.

4. How long do Dyson stick vacuums last?

A Dyson stick vacuum should outlive its five-year warranty on a good day. Although a lot will depend on how you use it plus care and maintenance.

5. Is the Rainbow vacuum better than Dyson?

Generally, Dyson is one of the best vacuum brands in the market. But you’ll have to compare similar models in the same category to see which machine is better than the other.

The Bottom Line

Vacuums have evolved to provide extra functions in a compact design. The majority of these devices carry highly efficient motors and technologies that improve airflow. It’s the reason modern vacuums are sturdy and lightweight. In that regard, upright dust busters are an excellent choice for home cleaning jobs. The best upright vacuum cleaner models have great suction power, are reliable, and cost-effective. Unless you are looking for super-lightweight models, an upright vac that features a lift-away canister like Shark’s will clean every part of your house with no fuss.