The 10 Best Upright Vacuums

Updated May 20, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

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While cleaning your home can definitely be a pain, one of these handy upright vacuum cleaners can help to make that process a little bit easier and go a lot faster. Many are equipped with additional attachments for deep cleaning thick rugs or lifting unsightly pet hair from your floors, and they're also designed with unique airflow and suction systems for trapping both contaminants and allergens. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best upright vacuum on Amazon.

10. Eufy HomeVac Duo

The Eufy HomeVac Duo leverages its cyclonic suction system for separating small and large dust particles and forcing them away from its motor, while preventing unnecessary clogging. Its handy dust collector and filter can also be quickly disassembled for easy washing.
  • cordless operation
  • eco mode for up to 60 minutes of use
  • doesn't pick up pet hair very well
Brand Anker
Model AK-T24001L1
Weight 9.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. VonHaus EPT2

At under $50, the VonHaus EPT2 is an excellent value, particularly since it can be used at either its full length for upright use or without its extension tube for precise, handheld cleaning. Its HEPA filtration system is also adept at locking in unhealthy contaminants.
  • crevice tool and shoulder strap
  • quick-release power cable
  • it's rather small
Brand VonHaus
Model EPT2
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Panasonic MC-UG223

The Panasonic MC-UG223 is capable of cleaning various types of flooring, thanks to its conveniently-designed automatic height adjustment system. Its ergonomic, soft-grip handle also helps to reduce arm and hand fatigue when vacuuming for extended periods of time.
  • has a 12-amp motor
  • 14-inch wide nozzle for large areas
  • vacuum is a bit noisy
Brand Panasonic
Model MC-UG223
Weight 18.4 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Hoover Air BH50140

Powered by 2 LithiumLife batteries, the Hoover Air BH50140 provides nearly 50 minutes of cordless, fade-free power and uninterrupted use, allowing you to clean up to 2,500 square feet of flooring on a single charge. Its dirt cup also holds up to 1.05 liters of debris.
  • 3-channel suction for deep cleaning
  • built-in led headlights
  • plastic wheels are rather flimsy
Brand Hoover
Model BH50140
Weight 18.4 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Bissell 1646 PowerGlide

Unlike some of its competition, the Bissell 1646 PowerGlide is built with an innovative SuctionChannel system that delivers direct, edge-to-edge suction power across its entire base, regardless of the type of dirt, debris, or hair it picks up in the process.
  • extension hose is included
  • nimble and easy to maneuver
  • canister requires emptying often
Brand Bissell
Model 1646
Weight 21.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. SharkNinja NV752

Built for multifunctional use, the versatile SharkNinja NV752 operates as a 3-in-1 solution, which includes use as an upright for large rooms, a lift-away pod with companion brush roll for nimbly vacuuming stairs, and a canister with a caddy for portable suction cleaning.
  • includes mini motorized pet brush
  • advanced swivel steering technology
  • it's a bit on the heavy side
Brand SharkNinja
Model NV752
Weight 30 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Prolux 9000

At its core, the Prolux 9000 is driven by a sealed, 12-amp motor with a floating head and steel brush roll, making it a reliable choice for deep cleaning both hardwood floors and thick carpets. Its 2 sets of LED bulbs also improve visibility when vacuuming in dark places.
  • washable hepa filter
  • ergonomically-designed handle
  • thermal reset switch
Brand Prolux
Model prolux_9000
Weight 24.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Oreck LW100

The Oreck LW100 is constructed from extremely durable magnesium, yet it's still lightweight enough to carry around the house with minimal effort. Adding to its ease of use is its two-speed quick switch and extra-long, 30-foot cord for superior maneuverability on carpeting.
  • 102 miles per hour of airflow
  • long-lasting endurolife belt
  • lies flat for under-furniture use
Brand Oreck
Model LW100LR
Weight 12.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Dyson 206900-01

With its patented ball technology and self-adjusting cleaner head, the Dyson 206900-01 is poised to do nearly all the dirty work for you. With a simple turn of your wrist, this device can be steered in almost any direction for cleaning in those hard-to-reach corners.
  • radial root cyclone technology
  • comes with an instant release wand
  • rigorously tested for suction power
Brand Dyson
Model 206900-01
Weight 22.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Miele Dynamic U1

Ideal for pet owners, the Miele Dynamic U1 has a unique electro brush that carefully adjusts to the contours and depths of your floors and carpets, delivering the most consistent suction power possible. Its sealed AirClean system also removes up to 99% of pesky allergens.
  • charcoal filter neutralizes odors
  • rotary dial control
  • four power settings
Brand Miele
Model 41HAE030USA
Weight 26.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Who Invented the Vacuum Cleaner?

The earliest incarnation of the vacuum cleaner took the form of manual brooms and carpet beaters. It wasn't until 1876 that Melville R. Bissell invented a carpet sweeper, after he grew tired of constantly cleaning sawdust off the carpet in his crockery shop. Soon enough, his friends started asking where they could get their hands on such a device, and a new business was created. Bissell died several years later, and the business was taken over by the first female CEO in America, his wife.

In 1901, Hubert Cecil Booth invented a gasoline-powered vacuum system that pulled dirt out of carpets (there was one that blew dirt off of them and he improved it). His vacuum system was so big that it was paraded around town by horses.

The modern, electric, portable vacuum was invented in 1907 by an asthmatic janitor from Ohio named James Murray Spanger. Tired of coughing and wheezing at work, he came up with a system that ran on electricity, but he didn't have the capital to market or produce such an idea. His cousin, William Hoover, looking to divest from the saddle industry, invested in (and eventually became president of) Spanger's Electric Suction Sweeper Company, now popularly known as the Hoover Company.

Very little has changed in the principle of the vacuum cleaner since then. The biggest difference is in the amount of suction, airflow, and filtration the devices now offer and the methods by which they incorporate such features.

So How Does an Upright Vacuum Work, Anyways?

Vacuums work by lowering the air pressure around the fan so that the air outside of the machine rushes in to fill the space. The friction caused by moving air pulls all the dirt and debris into the machine, while the device's rotary brush moves it into the intake of the vacuum itself.

According to Bernoulli's principle, the narrower a space is, the faster the air has to move through it and the lower the pressure will be.

Airflow and suctionare two distinct concepts when it comes to vacuum cleaner operation. Suction is defined as the flow of a gas or liquid into an area of low pressure, whereas airflow is the amount of movement of air around the vacuum's intake into the machine, both of which are needed for a cleaner to run.

Although some may argue that HEPA filters are overkill, the National Library of Medicine recommends them for people with asthma. The Nemours Foundation recommends them for families of children with allergies.

Does a Fancy Cyclonic Vacuum Work Differently?

The first bagless vacuum was invented by James Dyson in the 1980s. Dyson vacuums make use of cyclonic centrifuge chambers that work by pushing the air around the chambers through many different cones, leveraging Bernoulli's principle to increase air velocity until the dust is thrown against the sides of the chamber where it falls away and is finally collected. The clean air then comes out of the top of the cone.

This method has been applied to industrial dust separation efforts before, which you've probably seen if you've done any country driving. Dyson isn't even the first to create a cyclone vacuum cleaner. He is, however, the first to create a small, bagless vacuum.

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Last updated on May 20, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

Gabrielle is a writer and hopeful entrepreneur who hails from a tiny town in Virginia. Earlier in her career, she spent a few years in Southern California before moving back to the east coast (but she misses LA every day). An avid and enthusiastic home cook, she is somewhat of an expert at fending off attempted food thievery by her lazy boxer.

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