Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet

Vacuum cleaner cleans dirty white shaggy carpet - Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet

Plush, cozy, high pile carpet like shag has a lot of benefits. It makes a room feel instantly more relaxed, it feels nice on your feet, and design-wise, it’s no longer limited to that strange orangey-brown shag of the 70s.

For all the added benefits to your home, shag carpeting can be hard to keep clean. Dirt, debris, and especially pet hair get trapped in those long fibers and can be hard to get out without the right vacuum. Here are the best vacuums for shag carpets: 

Vacuums for Shag Carpet vs. Traditional Vacuums

When looking for a vacuum for shag carpeting, it’s important to look for a lightweight vacuum. Heavy vacuums like garage vacuums or even heavier models of traditional vacuums are hard to maneuver over shag. 

Shag carpet requires suction that is not too strong (it could potentially tear, tangle, or damage the long fibers) or too weak (it won’t get enough of the dirt out of the rug). It’s important to find a vacuum with adjustable power and height settings to be used on shag carpet. 

Large vacuum canisters are also a bonus when looking for a vacuum specifically for shag carpeting. You want to be able to vacuum the entire carpet or rug before emptying the bin, and a lot of dust can hide in the deep layers of a shag carpet. 

Robot vacuums, for all their incredible benefits, generally won’t work well on shag carpeting. They don’t have the cleaning power necessary to suck debris from the depths of a shag carpet, and their small dust bins generally can’t handle an entire shag carpet before needing to be emptied. 

Best Vacuums for Shag Carpet

Best Upright: Sebo Automatic X4 

This upright Sebo Automatic vacuum is a serious investment that reviewers almost unanimously agree paid off. This model is easy to assemble and built to last. One reviewer has had theirs since 1999, and several others claimed their units were still going strong after 15 or more years.

The strong suction will get any debris out of high pile carpeting like shag, and this model is especially effective against pet hair which can be a nightmare to get out of shag carpeting. It lays completely flat to get under the furniture, so your carpeting is clean from corner to corner. 

The only downside to this model is its high price and the cord, which many customers noted was easily tangled. 

Pros:

  • Built to last 
  • Easy to assemble
  • Strong suction 
  • Lays completely flat 

Cons:

  • High price point
  • Cord prone to tangling 

Specs: 

  • Price (at time of publishing): $849.00
  • Adjustable Height: Automatic
  • Weight: 22.4lbs
  • Capacity: 0.4L 
  • Cord Length: 40ft
  • Filter: Disk  
  • Accessories: Brush, crevice tool, and nozzle. 

Best Upright Bagless: Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe 

Sale
Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum with Large Dust Cup Capacity, HEPA Filter,…
  • POWERFUL SUCTION: Deep-clean carpets and tackle bare floors with multi-surface powerful suction.
  • LIFT-AWAY FUNCTIONALITY: Detachable pod for cleaning under furniture or detach the nozzle to clean above the floor, on upholstery, furniture, stairs, and more.
  • ANTI-ALLERGEN COMPLETE SEAL TECHNOLOGY: Works with a HEPA filter to trap dust and allergens inside the vacuum cleaner.

This model is great at getting debris out from the depths of high pile carpeting like shag with its powerful suction. The Lift-Away feature means you can use this model upright or detach the tank for more mobile cleaning. 

The detachable, easy-to-empty tank also has an anti-allergen seal to keep all the dust you’ve sucked out of your carpet inside the tank. This is a fantastic option if you have shag carpeting that you want to get fully clean without spending a ton of money.

With the low price on this vacuum also comes lower quality attachments. This model only comes with two, and some reviewers said they are not up to the usual quality of attachments you expect with a new vacuum. 

The vacuum head is also relatively small at only 11 inches, so you may have to use more passes to cover your carpet or rug fully. According to reviewers, even though the head is smaller, it can also be difficult to maneuver. 

Pros:

  • Detachable tank
  • Anti-allergen seal 
  • Easy to empty 
  • Strong, adjustable suction settings

Cons:

  • The vacuum head is only 11 inches wide 
  • Not height adjustable
  • Lower quality attachments

Specs: 

  • Price (at time of publishing): $179.99
  • Adjustable Height: No 
  • Weight: 15.96lbs
  • Capacity: 0.9 qt 
  • Cord Length: 15ft
  • Filter: HEPA
  • Accessories: Upholstery and crevice tool 

Best Canister: Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum

Sale
Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum, Marine Blue
  • FilterBag volume – 4.5 litres
  • Power source type: Corded Electric, Maximum air hygiene with HEPA AirClean filter
  • Wattage: 1200 watts

The Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum is an exceptional vacuum cleaner that excels at cleaning shag and high-pile carpeting. Customers who have used this vacuum on high-pile or shag carpets have praised its superior suction power and ability to pick up even the smallest debris from deep within the carpet fibers. Its adjustable height settings make it easy to switch between cleaning different types of carpets and surfaces.

In addition to its powerful suction, customers have raved about the Miele Complete C3’s quiet operation and ease of use. Its lightweight design and swivel neck make maneuvering around furniture and tight spaces easy. The vacuum’s HEPA filter system captures even the smallest particles and allergens, making it an ideal choice for allergy sufferers.

While the Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum comes with a high price point, many customers have noted that its exceptional performance, durability, and ease of use more than justify the cost. Overall, if you are in the market for a top-of-the-line vacuum cleaner that can easily tackle shag and high-pile carpets, the Miele Complete C3 is worth considering.

Pros:

  • Excellent suction power, especially on shag and high-pile carpets
  • Adjustable height settings for versatile cleaning
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Quiet operation
  • HEPA filter system captures even the tiniest particles and allergens
  • Durable construction and long-lasting performance
  • It comes with a variety of useful attachments and tools

Cons:

  • High price point compared to other vacuum cleaners
  • Some customers have reported difficulty with the hose coming loose during use
  • Bags and filters can be expensive to replace over time

Specs: 

  • Price (at time of publishing): $1,178.87
  • Adjustable Height: Yes
  • Weight: 19.4 pounds
  • Capacity: 4.5 liters
  • Cord Length: 24 feet
  • Filter: HEPA filter
  • Accessories: ​​Upholstery tool, Crevice tool, Dusting brush, Electrobrush with five height adjustments, Parquet twister for smooth floors, Integrated dusting brush, Telescopic wand

Best Cordless: Dyson Cyclone V10

Sale
Dyson V10 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: 14 Cyclones, Fade-Free Power, Whole Machine Filtration,…
  • Powerful suction to deep clean everywhere. 55% more suction than the Dyson V7.
  • Dyson technology helps create a cleaner, healthier home – Our vacuums and purifiers are scientifically proven to capture particles as small as and .
  • Engineered for whole-home, deep cleaning. Suction power, run time and tools designed to deep clean your whole home.

This is the vacuum I use in my home, including on my high-pile rugs because I hate dealing with cords. I can vacuum my whole (admittedly small) house without moving any plugs around, and the battery power lasts through one full clean. This Dyson model has three cleaning modes, including a “boost” mode option, that works great on shag carpets to dig out any deep-set dirt and debris. 

The Dyson Cyclone is also super lightweight, so it’s very easy to do all your vacuuming without tiring out your arms or hurting your back, and the tank is easy to empty. The whole Dyson unit is also easy to clean. When it comes to ease of use and accessibility, this model can’t be beaten. 

If you regularly have larger debris in your shag carpeting, this vacuum might struggle a little to get it all up. For example, this vacuum will happily suck up Goldfish crumbs but won’t always be able to suck up an entire Goldfish. 

Pros:

  • Three cleaning modes
  • Lightweight
  • Tank is easy to empty 

Cons:

  • Not great for larger debris 

Specs: 

  • Price (at time of publishing): $493.00
  • Adjustable Height: N/A
  • Weight: 5.86 lbs
  • Capacity: 0.76L
  • Cord Length: N/A
  • Filter: Disk
  • Accessories: 4

Best Budget: Eureka NEU182A Powerspeed Upright Vacuum 

Sale
eureka NEU182B PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Lite, Purple
  • Powerful vacuum cleaner The dynamic motor and brush roll can lift stubborn and heavy debris Plus the 12 6” wide nozzle cleans more with a quickness
  • 10 lbs light weight upright vacuum The Eureka Power Speed is pretty lightweight and easy to maneuvre Designed for whole home clean
  • 5 height adjustments It works well on carpet shag rug hard floors, etc. Smooth wheels ensure hardwood floors won’t sustain scratches or gouges

This super budget-friendly Eureka vacuum has five different height settings for different floors, including shag carpeting. You can adjust it as necessary and use the powerful suction to remove all the debris from your shag carpet and any surrounding hard floors.  

All the accessories can be attached to the vacuum for storage, so there is no more scrambling to find the upholstery brush in the back of the closet. The extra large capacity tank means you can clean the whole house without stopping to empty the tank while you work. 

There’s a quick-release handle that you can use to get in furniture crevices or high areas, although reviewers do note that the connecting hose is a little shorter than they would like. It’s also a little louder than comparable models, so if you live with roommates or pets scared of loud noises, that’s something to consider. 

The reviewers also noted that the design of this vacuum means it blows air frontwards, sometimes spreading the debris you’re trying to vacuum. This is an amazing option for value if you’re looking for a vacuum on a budget. 

Pros:

  • Five height settings 
  • Quick release handle
  • Extra large capacity tank
  • All tools stored on board
  • Powerful suction

Cons:

  • Louder than more expensive models
  • Blows air frontwards 
  • Shorter hose for the quick-release handle

Specs: 

  • Price (at time of publishing): $79.19
  • Adjustable Height: 5 settings
  • Weight: 10lbs
  • Capacity: 2.6L
  • Cord Length: 25ft
  • Filter: Foam
  • Accessories: Crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery tool 

What to Look for in a Vacuum for Shag Carpet

Suction Settings

Different suction settings are a huge bonus in a vacuum for shag carpet. If the vacuum is not getting everything out of the carpet, you can turn up the power, and if it’s trapping the high pile fibers in the vacuum you can turn the power down. 

Adjustable Head Height

When dealing with high-pile carpets and rugs like shag, adjustable head height will make accommodating different lengths of fibers easier. Not all vacuums come with these adjustable settings, and you can vacuum a shag carpet without it, but it’s beneficial. 

Weight

A heavy vacuum can be tough to maneuver over a shag carpet. Heavy models can get stuck, and dragging them over the shag carpet requires extra effort. Looking for a lightweight model will save you from killing your back trying to clean your carpet and will move more easily over the carpet itself. 

Cord Length

Like any vacuuming project, a longer cord will allow more maneuverability. The less you have to move the plug to a different outlet to continue your cleaning, the better. Longer cords do tend to tangle, but if that bothers you, a cordless vacuum will eliminate that problem. 

HEPA Filter

HEPA filters trap small particles like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites that can make their home in your shag carpet and ultimately prove harmful. A vacuum model with a HEPA filter will trap all these pollutants and is a great benefit if you want to rid your home of these particles. 

Accessories

Different vacuums come with different accessories, but for shag carpets, look for a model with a soft brush head or attachment. Suppose you plan to use your vacuum on multiple surfaces, as most of us do. In that case, it’s important to consider what other attachments you need, like upholstery brushes or crevice tools. 

Vacuum Comparison Chart

Product Name
Sebo Automatic X4 Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum with Large Dust Cup Capacity, HEPA Filter,…
Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum, Marine Blue
Dyson V10 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: 14 Cyclones, Fade-Free Power, Whole Machine Filtration,…
eureka NEU182B PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Lite, Purple
Product Image
Sebo Automatic X4 Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum with Large Dust Cup Capacity, HEPA Filter,...
Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum, Marine Blue
Dyson V10 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: 14 Cyclones, Fade-Free Power, Whole Machine Filtration,...
eureka NEU182B PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Lite, Purple
Adjustable Height
Automatic
No
Yes
N/A
5 settings
Weight
22.4lbs
15.96lbs
19.4 pounds
5.86 lbs
10lbs
Capacity
0.4L
0.9 qt
4.5 liters
0.76L
2.6L
Cord Length
40ft
15ft
24 feet
N/A
25ft
Filter
Disk
HEPA
HEPA
Disk
Foam
Amazon Price
$849.00
$159.99
$1,089.99
$411.89
$79.19
Product Name
Sebo Automatic X4 Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Product Image
Sebo Automatic X4 Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Adjustable Height
Automatic
Weight
22.4lbs
Capacity
0.4L
Cord Length
40ft
Filter
Disk
Amazon Price
$849.00
Buy Now
Product Name
Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum with Large Dust Cup Capacity, HEPA Filter,…
Product Image
Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum with Large Dust Cup Capacity, HEPA Filter,...
Adjustable Height
No
Weight
15.96lbs
Capacity
0.9 qt
Cord Length
15ft
Filter
HEPA
Amazon Price
$159.99
Buy Now
Product Name
Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum, Marine Blue
Product Image
Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum, Marine Blue
Adjustable Height
Yes
Weight
19.4 pounds
Capacity
4.5 liters
Cord Length
24 feet
Filter
HEPA
Amazon Price
$1,089.99
Buy Now
Product Name
Dyson V10 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: 14 Cyclones, Fade-Free Power, Whole Machine Filtration,…
Product Image
Dyson V10 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: 14 Cyclones, Fade-Free Power, Whole Machine Filtration,...
Adjustable Height
N/A
Weight
5.86 lbs
Capacity
0.76L
Cord Length
N/A
Filter
Disk
Amazon Price
$411.89
Buy Now
Product Name
eureka NEU182B PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Lite, Purple
Product Image
eureka NEU182B PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Lite, Purple
Adjustable Height
5 settings
Weight
10lbs
Capacity
2.6L
Cord Length
25ft
Filter
Foam
Amazon Price
$79.19
Buy Now

FAQs

How often should you vacuum a high-pile carpet?

You should vacuum a high pile carpet at least twice a week, even if it doesn’t look dirty. The long fibers can easily trap debris, and regular vacuuming will prevent those particles from settling.

Can you brush a shaggy carpet?

Yes. Brushing a shaggy carpet with a furniture brush can help remove dust and restore your carpet’s fluffiness. 

Can a cordless vacuum clean shag carpets?

Yes. A cordless vacuum’s lightweight nature and large dust tanks make them ideal options for cleaning shag carpets. 

Will cleaning the carpet make it fluffy again?

Yes. Cleaning a shag carpet separates the fibers and removes grime and will bring your shag carpet back to its original brightness and fluffiness. 

Vacuum cleaner cleans a dirty white shaggy carpet - Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet

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