Carpet requires a vacuum, you know this. However, if you have the high pile carpet commonly known as “shag,” you also know that not just any vacuum is going to get the job done. Shag requires a vacuum that can reach down to the bottom of the pile to drag up dirt without getting tangled or overloaded by the carpet fibers.
It’s difficult to know what kind of vacuum to get if you don’t have a specialty store near you. Trying out a vacuum in a big box store isn’t going to work because likely there’s tile or short commercial carpet.
Knowing where to start looking can be a little more difficult than typing “shag carpet vacuum” into an internet search bar. You’ll want to know how the vacuum performs with your kind of carpet, and you don’t want to spend months trying to choose.
At this point, you might be regretting your decision to put in shag carpeting, but you don’t have to despair just yet. We’ve heard your cry and have compiled the best vacuums for shag of 2018-2019. Each vacuum is chosen based on performance, suction, and other kinds of features that will make cleaning your house simple. Let’s take a look at which vacuums made the cut.
Best Vacuums for Shag Carpet 2018-2019
|Model||Weight (lbs)||Power Cord Length (feet)||Filtration|
|Maytag M1200||21.6||35||Six-stage advanced-filtration system with charcoal filter to control odors|
|Soniclean Soft Carpet|
|10.5||35||HEPA filtration system|
|Oreck Commercial U2000R-1||9 (without cord)||40||Inner bag with Saniseal® automatic closing seal|
|Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional||13.7||30||HEPA Filter|
|Oreck LW1500RS||8||30||HEPA Inner Bag|
|Panasonic MC-CL945||21.6||24||Washable + HEPA Media|
|Fuller Brush Speedy Maid||8||30||HEPA Media|
1. Maytag M1200 – Two Motors for Efficient Suction
It cleans in a radius of up to 17 feet, plus includes a telescopic wand and a full board of standard attachments. It has a metal brushroll and bottom plate, and the brush strips are replaceable. LED lights and a lifetime belt round out the features. It is assembled in the USA.
Another small drawback is that it’s difficult to maneuver under furniture due to a release lever system. Unless you plan to vacuum under your bed every day, this should only be a small annoyance.
2. Soniclean SFC-7000 Soft Carpet Vacuum Cleaner – Best Vacuum for High Pile Carpet Styles
Soniclean has made a machine especially for soft style carpets. It features large wheels to prevent the machine from getting bogged down in a deep pile carpet, and gentle nylon brush rollers for soft cleaning.
It has an advanced HEPA filtration system designed for soft style carpets, and filters particles up to .3 microns. A sonic bar on the bottom of the vacuum vibrates at 12,000 vibrations per second to stir up dirt and dust so that the vacuum can achieve a deeper clean.
Once you close the vents and turn off the sonic bar, the vacuum is ready to clean tile and hardwood. However, it doesn’t come with any tools, so if you plan to use a vacuum for other types of cleaning jobs, this might be a problem for you.
3. Oreck Commercial U2000R-1 – Simple and Lightweight
The brush roll has double helix brush strips to draw dirt and dust into the suction better than other brush rolls. It has an extra long cord that’s a little on the heavy side. The inner bag is disposable which cuts down on the overall cleaning and maintenance of the internal system.
If disposable bags aren’t your thing, the Shark Navigator is a great choice. It features a large canister style vacuum with a one button lift away system. If you’re having trouble maneuvering the vacuum in your room, you can simply detach the canister and carry it in one hand.
It has a hard floor attachment with two washable microfiber cloths to make dusting easy. The HEPA filtration system traps 97% of dust and allergens. Its swivel steering makes it easy to get behind and around furniture.
Unless you plan to do a lot of vacuuming like this, the other features far outweigh this minor drawback. It has a powerful suction with multiple attachments that make it perfect for households with pets or large amounts of dust.
5. Oreck Magnesium LW1500RS – Best Filtration and Good for Plush Carpet
It has a long lasting life with a 7 year warranty and 5 tune-ups. It weighs only 8 lbs without the cord, making it simple to carry.
Overall, Oreck is a solid commercial vacuum brand. The power cord is weighty, but allows you to clean a larger area without having to unplug and move. Homes with large open spaces will benefit from this type of cord, but in smaller homes it might not be necessary.
6. Panasonic MC-CL945 – Best for Thick Carpet and Easiest to Push
The Panasonic MC-CL945 is a lightweight vacuum with a bagless canister that’s easy to maneuver around furniture and into tight spaces. It has a quiet operation, but an incredible suction.
It has a zero turning radius to make vacuuming into tight spaces simple. It also includes a wide array of tools, including a pet brush that removes hair from many different surface types without clogging.
The HEPA filter helps reduce allergens while the selectable nozzle height allows you to adjust to clean a variety of floor types. This kind of vacuum is great for houses with different carpet depths and hardwood or tile. There’s also a telescoping wand and a narrow nozzle for a full cleaning in any room.
7. Fuller Brush Speedy Maid – Best Vacuum for Frieze Carpet
It’s a lightweight vacuum at just over 8 lbs and is easy to maneuver around furniture and into tight spaces. There’s an automatic height adjuster for other types of flooring.
One downside is that the bags can be hard to readjust when replacing. The hooks are difficult to secure, but if you have a strong grip, this may not be a problem for you.
Vacuum for Shag Carpet Buyer’s Guide
When you have a high pile carpet, it can be difficult to find vacuums that are equipped to handle cleaning these kinds of carpets. There are a few things you need to look for when shopping.
First, a vacuum needs to have extra venting somewhere on the machine so that the vacuum head doesn’t get sucked down into the carpet. Vacuums rely on venting to create an air flow that preserves suction without sticking the vacuum to the floor.
Improper venting is fine when you are vacuuming hard floors or short commercial pile carpeting. The head is able to stay away from the floor, gliding over and suctioning dirt. Deep pile rug pulls the machine down into the fibers and it can be very difficult to push the vacuum over the carpet. Extra venting ensures that suction is unaffected while allowing you to maneuver the vacuum over the surface of the frieze carpet.
Another thing to look for is HEPA filtration. High pile carpets will store dirt and dust within the fibers. As you vacuum, these particles will be released into the air without proper filtration. Vacuums with HEPA systems will filter out much smaller particles than a simple vacuum filter and won’t release those particles back into the surrounding air.
Another consideration is if you would like a detached canister. With upright vacuums, you have the ease of an all in one machine that stands on its own and has a smaller storage footprint. The downside to these is less maneuverability. It can be difficult to push these around or under furniture.
If you opt for the detached canister, the head of the vacuum is small and easy to maneuver around and under furniture. It is able to get into tight spaces and eliminates the need for a few different types of vacuum attachments. The downside is that the storage footprint is larger and more cumbersome. The nozzle doesn’t always fit into the canister for storage, and this can be annoying to try to store neatly.
Speaking of attachments, an important feature is deciding if attachments are necessary for the type of cleaning you plan to do. If you are merely vacuuming the floor, then no attachments are necessary. However, if you also need to be able to clean pet hair from couches, or reach into very tight or very high spaces, then attachments are going to be an essential part of your decision.
Roller brush types are a different kind of consideration. For very soft carpet styles, brush rollers will need to be gentle so that they do not damage your thick carpet while trying to clean. The bristles need to be effective however, and so you’ll want to look at the different kinds of roller brushes, and ways that they capture dirt.
Other kinds of technologies may also be important to you. For example, some vacuums feature sonic vibrations that help to lift dirt and dust from the inner pockets of deep pile carpeting. Other features are lights on the end of the nozzle so that you can see under furniture or in tight corners.
- Bagless. Vacuum bags can be disposable or reusable. If you don’t like the idea of replacing bags then buying a canister that empties will be at the top of the list. It’s simple, environmentally friendly, and doesn’t require spending extra money on bags.
- Bagged. On the other hand, disposable bags are simple to clean and require no extra disinfection. When they are full, simple replace the bag. There’s no chance of releasing materials into the air while emptying. It’s convenient and easy, and you won’t spend a ton of time trying to clean out a dirty canister.
Having shag rug and other kinds of soft or high pile carpet doesn’t mean settling for dirt. Vacuums have come a long way and there are machines out there able to handle cleaning shag. Finding one doesn’t have to be difficult, nor does it require testing out a hundred different machines at a big box store.
Have you made your final decision yet? Know someone who could benefit from our research?
Let us know in the comments which vacuum you chose and how it works with your shag carpet, and be sure to share this article with those overwhelmed by finding the right vacuum!