Dyson: Best Product

Small Ball Multi Floor Upright Vacuum

Bissell: Best Value

CleanView Upright Vacuum with OnePass


WindTunnel T-Series Rewind Plus


Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright


Pet Hair Eraser Lift Off Bagless Upright Vacuum

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Dyson vacuums are known for their durability and powerful suction, and this vacuum is no exception—this is one of the strongest uprights available.

This is an affordable vacuum that’s great for those who just want to do some light cleaning every now and then.

The Hoover WindTunnel does a great job at picking up pet hair on carpets and is the perfect option for those who suffer from allergies.

This budget-friendly choice has strong suction power and a variety of built-in features for cleaning multiple surfaces.

This Bissell is a no-nonsense pet vacuum that effectively cleans all surfaces from pet hair and debris.


This vacuum is compact, allowing for easy storage. It also has unbeatable suction power on multi-surface floors and effectively removes pet hair from carpets and bare floors.

With its Cyclonic System and OnePass Technology, this Bissell upright has long-lasting, powerful suction and cleans more on the initial pass.

HEPA filtration catches the smallest dust mites, allergens, and dirt particles. The Hoover also has built-in storage for all of its accessories and tools.

This upright vacuum has a simple swivel system that makes it versatile and easy to maneuver.

Pet hair removal accessories are included for a more targeted clean. Perhaps its greatest feature is the tangle-free brush roll.


The Dyson Small Ball has a smaller dust canister than other uprights and is difficult to carry around the home.

It has a hard time sucking up pet hair and embedded dirt and debris from carpets.

This upright vacuum can’t be used on hard floors since the brushroll can’t be turned off. It’s also one of the louder vacuums we tested.

With a narrow cleaning path, the vacuum requires more passes to cover large areas.

Weighing in at 18 pounds, this vacuum is one of the heaviest and bulkiest uprights we tested.

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Our Process


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Neatly folding upright vacuum cord

Upright vacuums are the traditional model you think of when you think: vacuum cleaner. Here, at Today’s Homeowner, we’ve learned to appreciate anything classic and many consumers share that sentiment. As the most tried and true version of vacuums, it’s also the most popular and manufactured. There are a lot of upright vacuum cleaners available today, which is why we put them through a strict set of suction, swivel, and surface tests to identify the best of the best.

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    Upright vacuum reviews guide

    Upright vacuums are great for people who want a product that can deliver powerful suction for entire-home cleaning or for those who have pets and need to frequently vacuum up pet hair. A good upright vacuum should have incredible suction power and the ability to clean all types of surfaces—not just carpet. It should also have a big enough dust canister to hold all of the debris collected during a single cleaning job and a good filtration system that prevents dust and other microscopic particles from being flung back into the air.

    With an abundance of upright vacuums to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find one that’s perfect for you and your cleaning needs. Our reviews team at Today’s Homeowner is here to help you make the best choice when it comes to choosing a dependable upright vacuum. We consider price, important features, and upright vacuum reviews by verified customers to present you with the most valuable information when making your decision. After reading our complete guide, we recommend scrolling back up to our upright vacuum comparison to observe which five upright vacuums we absolutely love.

    Why choose an upright vacuum?

    Upright vacuums are designed for entire-home cleaning. Unlike handheld and stick vacuums that have limited battery life and small dust canisters, upright vacuums are built with endurance to allow you to clean several rooms without stopping to recharge batteries or empty out dust containers.

    Why choose an upright vacuum over a canister vacuum?

    Canister vacuums anchor you to their stationed positions, limiting your vacuum reach while cleaning until you drag the canister to a new location. Upright vacuums, on the other hand, typically have long power cords that allow you to freely move about when vacuuming. Canister vacuums also typically require a vacuum head change when switching between surfaces. With upright vacuums, there is one vacuum head for all surfaces. The convenience, durability, and powerful suction of upright vacuums make them a popular choice for household cleaning.

    If you rush through vacuuming, chances are you’ll find yourself pulling out your vacuum more frequently than if you take your time. A slower, more deliberate process ensures that the vacuum efficiently picks up all dust and debris.

    So, what are your options?

    When it comes to choosing an upright vacuum, there are dozens of brands to choose from. To help narrow down your decision, we’ve compared what we consider to be the best upright vacuums produced by the best vacuum brands. Our top five upright vacuums are

    • Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor
    • Bissell CleanView Upright Vacuum with OnePass
    • Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind Plus
    • Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright
    • Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

    In addition to finding a trusted brand to invest in, there are a few factors and features you’ll want to keep in mind.

    6 Major factors to consider

    Look and feel

    The Dyson Small Ball has a modern look, mostly dark gray with a clear dust canister and striking matte features. The Dyson upright vacuums are also built with proprietary Dyson Ball Technology, giving them a cool curvy look that not many vacuums have. The Dyson Small Ball’s compact design scored high marks among our testers.

    The Bissell CleanView and Shark Navigator don’t have the high-end look that Dyson models have, but we’re okay with an average design since the vacuums perform exceedingly well on suction and surface tests.

    The Hoover WindTunnel and Bissell Pet Hair Eraser both have green accents if you’re a fan of color.

    Size and weight

    Upright vacuums are generally a lot heavier and bulkier than other types of vacuums. Most uprights weigh between 12 and 15 pounds, but some can be as heavy as 18 pounds. If you have a multi-level home, look for a vacuum that’s easy to carry up and down stairs. If you have arthritis, look for an upright with ergonomic handles that are comfortable for gripping. You’re going to want a vacuum that you feel comfortable pushing around the whole house.

    Size is also important when thinking about where you want to store the vacuum. If you have a small utility closet, you don’t want a large, bulky vacuum cleaner. Instead, you may want to opt for an upright with a space-saving design.

    Bag vs. bagless

    Vacuum bags store all of the dirt and debris picked up by the vacuum and prevent the contents from circulating back into your air. With a bagged vacuum, you’ll have to buy new bags and replace them after every clean. The cost of vacuum bags will add up over time.

    With a bagless vacuum, you get to enjoy the convenience of simply dumping the contents of the dust cup into the trash can. The one downside to having a bagless vacuum is that when you empty the dust cup, some of the collected debris particles can escape into the air, making it a less viable option for those who suffer from allergies.

    Filter and maintenance

    For households with pets or allergy sufferers, upright vacuums with a HEPA filter are preferred. These filters can trap almost 100% of airborne particles. Before purchasing a vacuum cleaner, you’ll also want to consider how much maintenance is necessary to keep the filter in top shape. Does the filter have to be washed every month? Do you have to replace the filter frequently? Make sure you understand the filter maintenance before buying your upright vacuum.

    With the exception of cleaning the filters and ensuring the dust canisters are emptied before they reach their max fill line, these upright vacuums don’t require much upkeep. The Dyson Small Ball and Bissell Pet Hair Eraser all come with washable filters that should be washed monthly.

    Requiring a bit more maintenance (but at less frequent intervals) are the Sharks. It’s recommended that you clean the Shark Navigator’s pre-motor filter kit every three months, but the post-motor HEPA filter can wait a year to be cleaned.


    Most upright vacuums will be noisy, but some are quieter than others. Check the decibel level of your upright vacuum in the product specifications to determine which one falls in your desired noise range. Note: The average noise level of an upright vacuum is between 78 and 80 decibels.


    When choosing the best upright vacuum, consider what accessories you’ll need to clean different areas around the house that a regular vacuum head can’t get to. If you want a more targeted and comprehensive clean, look for an upright vacuum that comes with an assortment of cleaning accessories and tools. Most uprights will come with a crevice tool, a pet or upholstery tool, a dusting brush, and an extension wand.

    If you love the Bissell tangle-free turbine head, but are looking for a smaller option, the Dyson Small Ball is your best bet. The Small Ball includes a tangle-free turbine tool and a stair tool that are ideal for cleaning carpeted stairs, which usually collect loads of pet and human hair.

    The upright vacuum with the most impressive accessories is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. This large upright vacuum is prepared to take on any pet hair—no matter where they might fall. It comes with an LED light, crevice tool, snap-on dusting brush, Pet TurboEraser® tool, and even a Febreze PreMotor Filter to leave behind nothing but a clean scent.

    Cleaning your vacuum is essential to keeping it in good working order and maintaining strong cleaning power. Regular upkeep of your machine will help avoid messy situations later on.

    How to make the most of vacuum attachments

    Though the inclusion of multiple vacuum attachments and cleaning tools may seem like a smart marketing move on the vacuum manufacturer’s part, these tools are actually quite indispensable and can give your home a more thorough clean. The most popular vacuum attachments are the crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery/pet hair removal tool, and extension wand.

    • Crevice tool: Great for cleaning in tight spaces like in between couch cushions or under vehicle seats
    • Dusting brush: Used to clean delicate surfaces like window blinds or ceiling fan blades
    • Upholstery/pet hair removal tool: This can be used to clean furniture and remove pet hair from different surfaces
    • Extension wand: Perfect for vacuuming hard-to-reach areas like your ceiling vent or crown molding

    There are also motorhead attachments that give uprights more suction power. For example, a torque drive motorhead pulls a greater amount of carpet into the head of the vacuum, agitating the carpet fibers so that they release more dust and debris; this attachment is also designed to make the forward and backward strokes of the vacuum equally powerful, which means less work for you.

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    Store your upright vacuum cleaner out of children’s reach, ideally in a locked closet. Even when unplugged, the long power cord can present a strangulation hazard for children and pets.

    FAQs About Upright Vacuums

    Which upright vacuum cleaner is the best?

    The best upright vacuum cleaner is the Dyson Small Ball Multi-Floor upright vacuum. Its powerful suction allows it to effectively remove any mess put in front of it on any type of surface. It also does an incredible job at removing pet hair and has smooth maneuverability, making vacuuming a breeze. For a more affordable option, we recommend going with the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright.

    Which upright vacuum has the best suction?

    The upright vacuum with the best suction is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift Off Bagless Upright Vacuum. When we tested this vacuum in our lab, it passed with flying colors, picking up any substance put before it (Cheerios, kitty litter, coffee grounds, and pet hair). It also had no problem sucking up these substances from low-pile carpet, high-pile carpet, and hard floors. For a serious clean, a vacuum designed specifically for pet hair will give you the results you want.

    Which upright vacuum is the best for carpet?

    The Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind Plus is the best upright vacuum for carpets. With WindTunnel Technology, this vacuum produces consistent suction, lifting and removing surface debris and deeply embedded dirt. It also has HEPA filtration that traps almost 100% of dirt, dust, and pollen.

    What brand of vacuum cleaner is the best?

    There are plenty of high-quality vacuum brands, but we believe that Dysons are unbeatable. With their sleek design, Ball Technology, and strong suction power, they are some of the best vacuums on the market. However, they are one of the most expensive vacuum brands. If you want a more affordable vacuum brand, go with Shark or Hoover—they have vacuums that are just as powerful—if not more powerful—than Dysons.

    Which is the lightest upright vacuum?

    Weighing only 12 pounds, the Dyson Small Ball is the lightest upright vacuum. The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift Off Bagless Upright Vacuum is the heaviest at 18 pounds.

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Elisabeth Beauchamp

    Elisabeth Beauchamp

    Senior Staff Writer

    Elisabeth Beauchamp is a content producer for Today’s Homeowner’s Lawn and Windows categories. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in Journalism and Linguistics. When Elisabeth isn’t writing about flowers, foliage, and fertilizer, she’s researching landscaping trends and current events in the agricultural space. Elisabeth aims to educate and equip readers with the tools they need to create a home they love.

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    Andrew Dunn

    Senior Editor

    Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years of experience reporting and editing for local and national publications, including The Charlotte Observer and Business North Carolina magazine. His work has been recognized numerous times by the N.C. Press Association and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. He is also a former general contractor with experience with cabinetry, finish carpentry and general home improvement and repair. Andrew earned a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a certificate in business journalism. He lives in Charlotte, N.C.

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