Updated May 31, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

The 10 Best Upright Vacuums

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in March of 2015. 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 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 help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best upright vacuum on Amazon.

10. Eufy HomeVac Duo

9. Miele Dynamic

8. VonHaus 2 in 1

7. Hoover Air Bagless

6. Black + Decker Airswivel

5. Prolux LED

4. Oreck Bagged

3. Bissell Cleanview

2. SharkNinja Rotator

1. Dyson Multi Floor 2

Who Invented the Vacuum Cleaner?

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.

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.

Airflow and suctionare two distinct concepts when it comes to vacuum cleaner operation.

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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Gabrielle Taylor
Last updated on May 31, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

Originally from a tiny town in Virginia, Gabrielle moved to Los Angeles for a marketing internship at a well-known Hollywood public relations firm and was shocked to find that she loves the West Coast. She spent two years as a writer and editor for a large DIY/tutorial startup, where she wrote extensively about technology, security, lifestyle, and home improvement. A self-professed skincare nerd, she’s well-versed in numerous ingredients and methods, including both Western and Asian products. She is an avid home cook who has whiled away thousands of hours cooking and obsessively researching all things related to food and food science. Her time in the kitchen has also had the curious side effect of making her an expert at fending off attempted food thievery by her lazy boxer dog.

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