best vertical vacuum cleaner

In the market for a new vertical vacuum? It’s hard to find the perfect one when there are so many options available. But the trick is to first identify the features you need (and the ones you want) from a vacuum, which will help you narrow down your choices. Perhaps you’re looking for the best quality vertical vacuum at the most affordable price. Or maybe you’re willing to spend a little extra for some additional bells and whistles. There are great options for both. And whether you’re in need of something that will help you in your fight to banish allergens and get rid of pet hair, or you’re looking for something lightweight and cordless that will be easy to take up and down stairs, plenty of great vacuums are available that will cover your specific needs. Below, see our picks for some of the best vertical vacuums on the market today.

Best Vertical Vacuum Cleaner

Best Overall: Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum Cleaner

best overall dyson ball multi floor 2 upright vacuum
  • Weight: 15.6 lbs.
  • Dirt Containment: Bagless
  • The High Points: Easy to maneuver, handles various floor applications, long power cord
  • The Low Points: Attachments and hose can be awkward, durability issues, bulky

The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright vacuum is a suction powerhouse designed to handle a variety of floor terrains. It doesn’t have a lot of extra features and functions. However, it can serve as a heavy-duty, whole-house vacuum capable of deep cleaning nearly any surface it meets.

The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 weighs in at just over 15 pounds. Most of that weight is carried low on the vac, making it relatively easy to operate.

HEPA filtration captures microscopic particles, sending dust and debris through a multi-stage system. This fine-filtering functionality keeps the tiniest tidbits of dirt, dander, and other allergens locked down in the easy-dump dirt bin.

lever-action release aids in minimizing a user’s contact with debris. The bin clicks back into its position on the vac with ease.

The Ball Multi Floor 2 features a self-adjusting floor head. It is designed to adapt to changes in floor fibers and material. That allows for optimal airflow. A motorized brush bar has sturdy bristles that dig deep into carpet fibers to stir up buried debris.

What Reviewers Say

Lots of Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 vacuum owners report suction to be superior compared to similar bagless systems. Debris that hasn’t seen the light of day for quite some time finds its way to the dirt bin when the Ball Multi Floor 2 is introduced.

High pile, plush carpet can present quite a challenge for the Ball Multi Floor 2. A few reviewers describe their vacs essentially gluing themselves to the floor, which presents the opportunity for a fantastic upper body workout, though it doesn’t achieve much on the carpet cleaning front.

Numerous owners report ongoing issues when deploying the onboard extension hose. They note it to be difficult to maneuver, and many users report that in almost every hose operating instance, the vac ends up tipping over.

Owners report smooth transitions when switching from carpets to hard surfaces (like vacuuming laminate floors). No manual adjustments need to be made, and the motorized brush roll can be turned on and off during operation.

Features & Considerations

The ball design of the Multi Floor 2 vac allows for easy, swivel action during particle-extraction parties; however, this bulky ball can get in the way on stairs and in tight corners. Cleaning under low-profile furniture is a major obstacle and will probably require the use of the extension hose or another suction device.

The vac’s floor head covers a 13.4”-wide cleaning path, which leans on the larger side of upright vac capabilities. This broad floor head is convenient in spacious areas but like the ball, can present a problem in applications requiring a more compact extraction tool.

This Dyson vacuum doesn’t have a lot of suction adjustment options and relies primarily on the self-adjusting floor head to regulate proper air flow. The ability to deactivate the roller brush adds a little bit of added control when moving from carpeted surfaces to hard floors.

Best Mid-Range Option: Hoover Air Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

best midrange hoover air cordless upright vaccum
  • Weight: 9.9 lbs.
  • Dirt Containment: Bagless
  • The High Points: Lightweight, price, can clean multiple floor surfaces, washable filters
  • The Low Points: Durability issues, attachments can be difficult to use

The Hoover Air vac is a super portable, lightweight upright vacuum that’s ideal for day-to-day jobs. This hybrid Hoover merges the benefits of a traditional upright with some of the sleek, cord-free features of a stick vac. Within the cordless vac market, the Hoover Air is exceptionally value-priced, especially when factoring in its carpet-cleaning capabilities.

Adjustable suction settings allow users to customize their cleaning experience, making it simple to transition from hard floors in your kitchen to carpets and area rugs. The Hoover Air operates at full power suction at all times, so it’s always in “deep clean” mode. This can take a bite out of battery life, which typically lasts about 20-25 minutes on a full charge.

The Hoover Air can capture debris of all shapes and sizes, and once the particles have been wrangled and contained to the dirt bin, the dumping process is clean and easy. The “no-touch” bin has a button release mechanism that minimizes contact with debris.

What Reviewers Say

According to a few Hoover Air Cordless owners, the vac does well on both carpeted and hard floors and can extract debris ranging from fine dust to tufts of pet hair. Many users also rave about the lightweight, easy-to-use design, making it effortless to transport from room to room and attack tough applications like vacuuming stairs.

Some gripes about the Hoover Air include references to its sometimes less than durable construction. Reports of broken plastic pieces and wonky wheels are peppered in with awkward wand-wielding and tipping issues. Loud operation, especially when cleaning carpets, is also noted a couple of times.

Reports also note the importance of a clean filtration system. The Hoover Air seems to have excellent suction as long as air can move freely through the filters and dirt bin; when the vac needs some maintenance, a few users mention noticing a dramatic reduction in suction.

Features & Considerations

Some flashy features come along with the Hoover Air Cordless Upright, including LED headlights, a 2-in-1 dusting and crevice tool, and three suction channels that assist in extracting varying sizes of debris from different floor surfaces. Additional accessories are also available as add-ons to really enhance the Air experience.

A removable battery comes with the Hoover Air, in addition to an external battery charging dock. A fully charged battery will power the vac for 20-25 minutes and takes about three hours to recharge. Extra batteries can be purchased and introduced into the rotation to extend cleaning times.

The filter should be removed, rinsed, and air dried every couple of months. This could also be a good time to brush down the dirt bin and examine for any restrictions or clogs.

Best Budget-Friendly Pick: Bissell CleanView 1831 Upright Vacuum Cleaner

best budget pick bissell cleanview upright vacuum
  • Weight: 15.4 lbs.
  • Dirt Containment: Bagless
  • The High Points: Price, washable filter, can handle most floor surfaces
  • The Low Points: May struggle with plush carpet

Next up in our FloorCritics guide: The Bissell CleanView Upright has a pretty standard, traditional aesthetic; while not as streamlined and sleek as some vacs, it’s a value-priced system that packs a lot of cleaning power. The vac features five suction settings and Bissell’s “One-Pass” design, grabbing debris of all sizes during the push-pull process.

A see-through dirt bin shows the suction in action, providing whirling proof of the dirt being removed. A multi-stage filtration system captures minuscule particles, and the washable filter can be used again and again prior to needing to be replaced. When it’s time for a dirt dump, the Bissell CleanView’s sizable bin is easy to empty with the push of a button.

The CleanView is of average weight and bulk within the spectrum of upright vacs and has a 25-foot power cord, providing users with an extensive cleaning range. It may be a bit challenging to haul the vac up and down stairs, though it comes with a handle to ease the trip.

What Reviewers Say

Bissell CleanView owners mention the vac’s ability to pick up all types of pet and human hair and a few users note that the brush roll bristle design seems to prevent tangles.

Dust can get hung up in the dirt bin, according to a couple of reviews. There may be some added effort required to completely evacuate evidence of microscopic debris, depending on the type of particles being picked up. A slightly damp towel can do the trick, though it’s important to let everything fully dry prior to use.

Most of the Bissell CleanView’s critical reviews center around the vac’s seemingly tedious hose extension. Quite a few users mention having difficulty removing, using, and reattaching the flexible hose, and there are also reports of vacuums tipping during hose operation. There are also reports of motors overheating and overall durability/longevity issues.

Features & Considerations

The Bissell CleanView Upright Vacuum has a 13.5”-wide floor head and can cover a lot of ground as it forges its path to particle-free floors. The floor head is also pretty low-profile, though the rest of the vac is quite beefy and may be difficult to sneak into tight areas.

The vacuum’s performance is directly related to the filter’s ability to breathe, so for efficient function and peak suction, users may want to pay some extra attention to maintaining the filters. Various replacement filters are available for the Bissell CleanView; some are even scented to add a little extra freshness to the cleaning session. Most filter packs are affordable and can be purchased in bulk.

In addition to the flexible, six-foot extension hose, accessories include a dusting brush, a turbo brush, and a crevice tool.

Most Versatile: Shark ION P50 Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

most versatile shark ion p50 cordless upright vacuum
  • Weight: 12 lbs.
  • Dirt Containment: Bagless
  • The High Points: HEPA filtration, converts to handheld and stick vac variations
  • The Low Points: Battery issues, durability

The shape-shifting Shark ION P50 wraps the benefits of an upright, a stick, and a handheld vac into one extra functional floor (and more) cleaning package. The vac is easily stored and is lightweight in all versions of itself.

The ION P50’s upright structure allows for a larger bin capacity than a standard stick vac and smartly uses the same housing to enable for lift-away functionality, so suction can go mobile as a hand vac. This multi-purpose design gives users the option to split the weight of the vac for nearly weightless, stick-vac type operation.

Shark’s DuoClean brush rolls chomp through dust and debris of all sizes and are designed to effectively clean various floor types. Users can select between a hard or carpeted surface setting to determine the speed in which the rollers rotate.

What Reviewers Say

Shark ION P50 owners report it to be easy to switch from upright to stick and handheld vac positions. Many users mention using the ION P50 in all three variations during a cleaning session. Mechanisms seem to move smoothly and securely, with audible locking sounds signifying things are in place.

While the manufacturer advertises that the ION P50’s battery life maxes out at around 50 minutes on a full charge, most owners report getting about 30 minutes of use out of a full battery charge.

A couple of reviewers note that the 50-minute figure may be accurate when dabbling in non-brush roll related functions. Adding extra batteries is an option, and quite a few owners recommend it.

The slim floor head dives into tight spaces, stairs, and under furniture, though it does sometimes struggle to grab debris along baseboards.

Features & Considerations

This Shark vacuum has a 10”-wide cleaning path and features LED headlights on the floor head and handle. A 2-in-1 duster/crevice tool, upholstery tool, and dusting brush come with the vac, though due to the slim nature of the ION P50, they can’t be stored onboard. A variety of add-on accessories are available, including a motorized roller and an upright charging dock.

During use and for storage, this Dyson-alternative Shark vac can stand on its own. The vac’s boost mode requires users to hold the button during floor cleaning operation; however, when the floor nozzle isn’t attached, boost mode can be set to continuous (during hand vac use).

The Shark ION P50 has a HEPA-style filtration system and keeps tiny particles under wraps. Filters are washable, and replacements are also available.

Best For Pet Owners: Shark DuoClean NV771 Upright Vacuum Cleaner

best vac for pet owners shark duoclean nv771 upright vacuum
  • Weight: 13 lbs.
  • Dirt Containment: Bagless
  • The High Points: Large dust bin, lightweight, converts to hand vacuum
  • The Low Points: Some quality/longevity issues, tip during hose usage

The handy, heavy-duty Shark DuoClean NV771 Upright Vacuum combines super suction power with HEPA filtration and Shark’s DuoClean roller system to create an aggressive adversary vac for pet hair. An anti-allergen seal traps the tiniest of particles, perfect for containing dander, pollen, and even some bacteria.

The DuoClean NV771 system incorporates two operating modes; one is more for brush roll-based carpet vacuuming, and the other is for hard floor surfaces.

The floor head incorporates two rollers, a soft one for hard floors and a bristle-y brush for digging debris from the depths of carpet fibers. Both rollers function together, merging their unique characteristics to capture particles of all shapes and sizes.

This pet mess cleaning machine can convert to a lightweight handheld vacuum, enabling users to eradicate hair and other dirt from furniture, stairs, upholstery, and even vehicles.

What Reviewers Say

DuoClean owners report having a lot of success when removing pet-related gunk. Kitty litter, puppy kibble, and all kinds of hair, including human, seem to be no match for the vac. Users like the large dirt bin and note that it’s easy to empty and keep clean.

A couple of reviewers mention that you may need to rinse the HEPA filter often in applications with a lot of dander and fine animal hair.

Some scientifically savvy owners have tested the vacs in action, measuring suction power in a typical daily-use application and reported that the DuoClean Upright had performed better in this category than vacs two to three times its price.

The DuoClean NV771 does well on most floor surfaces, according to the majority of users; however, the vac may struggle with shag carpets. Tipping is a commonly-reported occurrence, especially when transporting and transitioning to different areas and uses.

Features & Considerations

Maintenance is pretty simple with the DuoClean NV771; the rollers, on the fur-fetching front lines, are easy to remove and clean. Thanks to a handy roller “garage,” these dirt-capturing components can be slid out, freed of debris, and returned to the floor head without needing to flip the vacuum upside down in the process.

The DuoClean Upright comes with a couple of helpful accessories, including a dual purpose duster and crevice tool and a pet multi-tool, both of which can be stored onboard. An extension hose is also attached to the vac, though to limit tipping episodes, it’s probably best to use the handheld vac function to reach outlying applications.

With a narrow, 8.5”-wide cleaning path, the DuoClean NV771 can fit into tight spaces like stairs and even behind appliances. This compact size can be convenient in a lot of applications but will require the user to make a few extra swipes when suctioning the floor.

Best For Carpet: Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner

best for carpet soniclean soft carpet upright vacuum cleaner
  • Weight: 10.5 lbs.
  • Dirt Containment: Bagged
  • The High Points: Lightweight, HEPA filtration, can clean super plush carpet
  • The Low Points: Price, replacement bags are a little pricey

Technology and tradition combine to create a powerful, low-profile, lightweight suction system designed to carefully and thoroughly clean even the most fragile carpet fibers, and hard floors too. On the underside of the Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright, a bar vibrates 200 times per second to gently yet firmly coax debris lodged in the cozy carpet to evacuate and take up residence in the vac’s bag instead.

The Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright vac’s hospital-grade HEPA filtration is ideal for pet owners and allergy sufferers, and the easy-empty bag design keeps dust particles contained, so users don’t need to come in contact with the dirt that’s being disposed of.

Though the Soft Carpet Upright is specifically for the purpose of carefully cleaning carpets of all piles, it can also handle tile, vacuum hardwood, and clean other less than cushy surfaces. The quiet and deep clean settings allow vac users to determine the suction setting that best fits the application at hand. Roller brush bristles are soft, protecting all floor coverings during the extraction process.

What Reviewers Say

Most Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright owners rave about the vac’s ability to glide over nearly all kinds of plush carpet (even the shaggiest of shag) with minimal resistance. Users also report that the vac handles hard floor pickups equally as well, allowing them to use one suction system to clean all of their floor surfaces.

The lengthy power cord is a favorite feature; due to the lightweight nature of the vac, owners don’t mind the added bulk of it and appreciate the extra cleaning range it provides.

Reviewers report vacuum bag replacement to be simple and seamless, rarely encountering even a speck of dust in the process. A couple of owners report being satisfied with the bag housing and zipper construction, both of which appear to be high-quality and durable.

With digital technology comes occasional glitches, and a few Soniclean owners report having issues with the vac’s electrical control board shorting out or malfunctioning. And the jury’s still out on the vac’s visual appeal. Some proud sonic carpet suckers call the Soft Carpet Upright sleek and stylish while others find it reminiscent of the vacs that their grandparents used.

Features & Considerations

The Soniclean Soft Carpet vacuum comes with some flashy functions, including an indicator light that signals a full bag and an auto-shutoff feature that powers down the roller brush if it senses a jam. You can add fragrance pods to the vac to further freshen things up, though you don’t have to.

An adjustable vent on the front of the vacuum floor head allows users to adjust airflow to adapt to different flooring types. The Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright can successfully extract debris from plush carpets up to 1” thick…it digs deep.

There aren’t any additional attachments or tools that come with the vac; it’s a solid, sonic suction system that focuses its efforts on particularly fluffy floor applications, HEPA air filtration, and really, nothing else.

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