Best Upright Vacuums for Carpet and Hardwood Floors!
By William | June 26, 2016
An Easy Guide to Selecting the Best Upright Vacuums for Carpet and Hardwood Floors too!
Check Out my Latest 2020 Recommendations!
For a vacuum cleaner to work best on both Carpet and Hardwood floors presents a bit of an engineering challenge. You might say its kind of like designing a vehicle that moves equally well on both land and on water.
Hardwood flooring with its natural beauty is still the current favorite floor material. Although carpet sales have declined in recent years its still a multi-billion dollar industry.
While one is pleasing to the eyes and the other is pleasing to the feet, more and more home owners are enjoying the benefits of both.
Fortunately, vacuum cleaner manufactures have made significant strides in offering models equipped to operate efficiently on both carpet and hardwood floors.
Why Should You Trust My Advice?
As a pro Floor Care technician (Recently Retired, Yea!), certified by the IICRC, I have spent countless hours pushing around all types of vacuums and floor care equipment. To maintain my certification I attended seminars and classes for both carpet and hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance.
To be successful and to please my customers I had to use the best equipment available to achieve the best and fastest results. It was important to be able to use the same vacuum for both carpet and hardwood flooring to avoid having to switch.
To be able to observe the condition of my customer’s floors and the type of vacuum cleaner they use gave me a unique perspective. I had the opportunity to see which brands, features, and qualities to look for in a vacuum cleaner.
So, let’s jump right in and see if we can connect you with a really great vacuum cleaner!
Top 5 Upright Vacuums for Carpet and Hardwood Floors
(Updated 6/27/2019) The vacuum cleaners I have recommended below (in no particular order) have unique design features and will give excellent cleaning performance on both carpet and hardwood flooring in your home.
Please NOTE: For your convenience, I have provided a detailed description of each vacuum model directly below. If you’r in a hurry, I have also provided an OVERVIEW & Side-by-Side Comparison Table after the last listing so you can compare features, specs, and price.
Of all the vacuum cleaners I have operated and reviewed the Shark APEX DuoClean (AZ1002) is truly amazing! The AZ1002 is SharkNinja’s top-of-the-line Full-Size upright as you might have guessed by the name. I believe it is currently one of the best upright vacuum for cleaning both carpet and hardwood floors.
The APEX AZ1002 has an array of features that make it just as adept at cleaning carpet as it is at cleaning hard smooth floors.
A Whole House Cleaning System!
The APEX AZ1002 is designed to be a whole-house cleaning system. The Powered Lift-Away feature enables you to use it like a handy Stick Vacuum.
This feature makes it easy to clean tight, hard to reach areas and under low-clearance furniture. Above floor areas are no problem with this vacuum.
DuoClean Technology – 2 Rollers in 1 Floor Nozzle!
The feature that makes this vacuum so effective on both hard floors and carpet is called DuoClean. The DuoClean system utilizes 2 motor-powered brushes housed in one floor nozzle.
The front roller is made of soft fibers that enable the APEX AZ1002 to roll over large debris on any floor type so it can be sucked into the machine.
The rear roller has stiff bristles to dig down and lift embedded dirt from carpet pile.
And this vacuum features (3) Suction settings: Hard Floor, Low Pile, and Long Pile. So, if your home has the Soft Plush variety of carpet this vacuum will work.
Upgraded Motor for More Cleaning Power!
SharkNinja has outfitted the AZ1002 with their newest, upgraded motor that is slightly more powerful than the Dyson Ball Animal 2. This means that the APEX (AZ1002) will easily remove the dirt in cracks between floor planks and from along base boards. Of course powerful suction is always a bonus for any type of cleaning.
If that wasn’t enough to shout about, SharkNinja has solved another age old problem.
Zero-M Anti Hair Wrap Technology!
Long hair has always created havoc for vacuum cleaners. It gets wrapped around the spinning brush roll making it necessary to stop and remove it. That always required clipping it with scissors or a sharp knife, then plucking it out with your fingers.
The engineers at SharkNinja have successfully addressed this problem with a new technology called Zero-M. Zero M stands for “Zero Maintenance.” This state-of-the-art feature actively strips long hair and threads from the brush roll as it is spinning. So, if you or someone else in your household has long hair the Zero-M feature will be a godsend.
Watch this Amazing Demonstration VIDEO of the Shark DuoClean APEX (AZ1002)!
- DuoClean Technology for unsurpassed cleaning performance on carpet and hardwood floors
- Upgraded Powerful Suction produces 100+ inches of water lift
- Powered Cleaner Head Lift-Away Mode for easy cleaning under furniture and other hard to reach areas
- Zero-M Hair Wrap Technology eliminates having to cut and dig out entangled long hair and threads
- Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology surpasses HEPA Standards by 10X arrests dust, pollen, dust mites, and all dangerous allergens
- Active Glide Technology for smooth maneuverability on carpet and hard floors while maintaining suction power
- Noise Reduction so you can vacuum without ear plugs or scaring your pets
- LED Headlamps show you where the dirt is hiding
- Includes: Anti-Allergen Dust Brush, Pet Multi-Tool, Duster Crevice, MultiFlex Under Appliance Wand, and Accessory Bag
- Warranty: 5 Year SharkNinja Warranty (when purchased through Amazon)
The Shark DuoClean APEX (AZ1002) meets and exceeds every reasonable expectation of a top-of-the-line vacuum cleaner. It’s equally at home on any floor type, including Soft Plush Carpet. There is not a more versatile, user-friendly vacuum currently available.
And if long human or pet hair has been a problem, no other vacuum is better equipped to make it a Non Issue!
The APEX (AZ1002) is a Full-Size Upright with a 1.5 quart dust cup capacity and weighs 16 lbs. Its best suited for medium to large size homes, especially with pets. I believe the Shark APEX (AZ1002) is currently the best vacuum for carpet and hardwood floors.
NOTE: If your home is medium to small the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed (NV803) might be a better fit. It’s a light-weight vacuum with 0.9 dry quart dust cup capacity and weighs 14.5 lbs. It also has the popular Powered-Lift Away feature but doesn’t have the Zero M Anti-Hair Wrap feature.
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Take Me to COMPARISON TABLE
The name Hoover is one of the most familiar names when it comes to dependable floor care appliances. With over a century of designing and building moderately priced vacuum cleaners, the new Hoover React QuickLift Deluxe UH73340PC is but one of their latest React Series of vacuums.
This machine is loaded with features intended to make cleaning your home something to look forward to. Specially designed features enable this state-of-the-art product to effectively remove dirt, dust, debris, and pet hair from carpet and hardwood floors.
Floor Sense Technology!
The feature that makes this product unique is Hoover’s Floor Sense Technology.
This proprietary technology incorporates a Micro-Sensor that detects differences in floor surfaces and automatically adjusts the brush roll speed for optimum performance on all floor types.
The Benefit of Floor Sense Technology!
What this new technology means to you is no more manually turning the brush roll on or off every time you transition from carpet to your hardwood floors. The Floor Sense feature takes care of all that for you, and then some.
With most upright vacuums you have only two choices: Full speed on, or all the way off. But with the Hoover React QuickLift Deluxe UH73340PC you simply move from one room to another and get the best cleaning results possible.
Download the Hoover App to your Smartphone and use it to pre-set the vacuum’s cleaning parameters. This allows you to customize the UH73340PC to your home’s floors for optimum cleaning performance.
No More Scattering!
A huge benefit of the Floor Sense feature is you can adjust the speed of the brush roll to a slow speed when you are vacuuming hardwood or any hard floor. And instead of suction only, you have the benefit of a spinning brush to whisk the stubborn dust up without scattering the large debris all over the room.
When you’re done with your hardwood floors simply move in to the carpeted areas and reap the benefit of a faster spinning brush to agitate and remove the deep down dirt and pet hair from short to long pile carpet.
The QuickLift is another very useful feature that lets you detach the canister for above-floor cleaning. Coupled with the 25 foot cord and 7 foot flex hose you can easily clean carpeted stairs, book shelves, and upholstery.
Or use the detachable Wand to easily reach those cob webs in the corner of the ceiling or clean ceiling fan blades.
Hoover has a reputation for using strong, long lasting motors in their uprights and the UH73340PC is no exception.
The UH73340PC Produces powerful No-Loss Suction over the full 12” cleaning path that lets you clean faster. Easily clean along the base boards without having to use a crevice tool.
Watch this Cool VIDEO!
- FloorSense Technology detects changing floor types and automatically adjusts brushroll speed for optimum performance on all floor types
- QuickLift Mode allows you to detach the canister for portable cleaning above floors
- WindTunnel Surge balances the powerful suction across the full width of the floor nozzle for complete cleaning
- Multi-Cyclonic Technology delivers No Loss Suction for uninterrupted cleaning
- Hoover App enables you to custom program your UH73340PC for the best performance
- Hoover Tested for Paws & Claws to assure optimum removal of pet hair from floors and above-floor
- Swivel Steering for easy maneuvering
- Includes: XL Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush, Flexible Dusting Brush, Baseboard Duster, Turbo Tool, and Accessory Bag
- Warranty: Limited 5 Year Manufacture Warranty
The Hoover React QuickLift Deluxe Bagless UH73340PC is a Full Size Upright Vacuum at 16.7 pounds and a 12 inch cleaning path. It has the features to clean both carpet and hardwood floors and any other flooring surface. Excellent versatility is provided by an array of good quality accessories and the QuickLift feature.
There is a bit of a learning curve to becoming familiar with all the features in order to realize the full potential of this vacuum. I suggest you spend a few minutes reading the Operator’s Manual to get off to the best start.
If your home has multiple floor surfaces and, if you happen to have a pet in the family, the Hoover React QuickLift Deluxe Bagless UH73340PC is an excellent option for you to consider.
* Click here to see lowest price on Amazon
Take Me to COMPARISON TABLE
For a relatively low price point it has a whole lot of great features to help you manage your home.
Triple Action Brush Roll and Scatter-Free Technology!
Bissell has developed a Triple Action Brush Roll that loosens and removes embedded hair and dirt from both carpet and hardwood floors.
In addition to that, it features Scatter-Free Technology that significantly reduces an age-old problem. Most upright vacuums sling large debris such as dry cereal or pet food across the floor when you try and vacuum them up. With Scatter-Free tech. it’s no longer a problem!
Don’t confuse the low price of this well-designed vacuum with below-par cleaning performance.
It has the powerful suction necessary for deep cleaning all floor types. The Edge-to-Edge design allows you to clean right up to baseboards so you don’t have to go back over it with a crevice tool.
Easy Empty Dirt Bin and Auto Cord Rewind!
The Easy Empty Dirt Bin holds 1.06 dry quarts of dirt and pet hair. When its full just hold over the trash can and press the release. No more reaching in with your fingers or stick to pull out stuck hair and debris.
And when you’re finished cleaning, a tap of a pedal Rewinds the 25 foot long power cord.
Watch this Cool Demo VIDEO!
Triple Action Brush Roll that lifts and removes embedded pet hair and dirt from carpet and hardwood floor surfaces
- Automatic Cord Rewind saves you time and your back
- Easy Empty Dirt Bin holds 1.06 quarts
- Edge-to-Edge Cleaning for a complete clean
- 5 Floor Brush Height Settings for optimum cleaning performance on multiple surfaces
- Scatter-Free Technology reduces scattering large debris
- Washable Filters reduce operating costs
- Includes: Pet TurboEraser Tool, Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush, and Extension Wand (NOTE: The Model 2489 does not come w/ Corner Tool as shown in video)
- Warranty: 3 Year Limited Warranty
The BISSELL Cleanview Rewind Pet Bagless 2489 is a full-size upright vacuum weighing 15.1 lbs. The powerful suction combined with the Triple Action Brush Roll make it ideal for cleaning multiple floor surfaces including low to high pile carpet and hardwood floors.
It does not have Swivel Steering which would be nice, however it’s still quite maneuverable.
This very attractive vacuum is ideal for anyone with carpet and hardwood floors and who share their home with a furry pet. Its rugged and should last for years with proper care. The pet tools make above-floor cleaning easy while using the extension wand and TurboPet Tool or other attachments.
For a very modest price you get a vacuum cleaner that will get the job done!
* Click here to see free shipping from Amazon
Take Me to COMPARISON TABLE
When it comes to designing a #1 Best Seller vacuum cleaner the collaborated inspirations of experienced engineers is a great place to start. When the engineers at SharkNinja set out to design the Shark Navigator Lift Away Pro Upright (NV356E) they had more than inspiration – they had the help of Lady Luck!
I have recommended this model vacuum to so many of my customers, family, and friends more than any other upright vacuum and have never heard a complaint. Although its not the latest offering from SharkNinja its still one of their all-time best products.
This Amazing Bagless Upright Vacuum has it all!
- Powerful, NO-Loss Suction for unsurpassed deep cleaning
- Lift-Away Technology for excellent versatility
- Large Capacity / Easy-Empty Dirt Cup
- 99.9% Anti-Allergen Total Seal HEPA Technology (recommended by the British Allergy Foundation)
- Swivel Steering that’s easy-on-the-wrist
- Light Weight at only 14 Lb.
- Dust-Away Hero Hardwood Floor Attachment w/ Microfiber Pad (Use in Upright or Lift-Away Mode)
- Pet Hair Turbo Brush for upholstery and pet bedding
- Dusting Brush for furniture and shelves
- Crevice Tool to reach tight narrow places
- Warranty: 5 Year SharkNinja Manufacturer’s Warranty
Allergey-Friendly with Sealed HEPA Filtration System
If you or someone in your household suffers with allergies, Asthma, or other respiratory issues the Shark Navigator NV356E makes a whole lot of sense.
SharkNinja equips their Uprights with Sealed Filtration Systems that eliminate dangerous lung-damaging particles from being blown back into the air. The Lifetime HEPA Filter captures 99.97% of allergy-triggering particles and small as 0.3 microns.
Check Out this Cool Customer Review VIDEO!
Not only will the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro Upright (NV356E) handle every vacuuming job in your home with ease, the price is amazing too!
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro Upright (NV356E) has been and still is one of the very best bagless upright vacuums for hardwood floors and carpet! Its filtration system is as good as Dyson’s and it’s a top Pet Hair Vacuum also.
Shark backs up their products with an industry-leading 5 Year Warranty. You can’t go wrong with this vacuum!
* Click here to see over 10,000 positive reviews at Amazon
Take Me to COMPARISON TABLE
The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 is an excellent choice for hardwood floors and carpet!
Even if you don’t suffer with respiratory issues, this Dyson is certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly™ by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Dyson has a well-established track record for designing quality vacuum cleaners with innovative features.
A Full-Size and Powerful Vacuum!
The Dyson Multi-Floor 2 Upright Vacuum Cleaner is a full-size powerful upright vacuum.
It is equipped with an On/Off switch so you can disengage the brush roll when cleaning hardwood floors for Vacuum-Only cleaning.
Although their pricing is comparatively on the high side many satisfied customers believe they are worth the difference in price.
Dyson backs their Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum with a generous 5 Year Parts and Labor Warranty!
Have you taken a close look at Dyson? Most Dyson customers are very loyal to the brand-and for good reason!
Watch this Cool VIDEO by a Private Dyson Multi Floor Owner
The Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2 has the power and functionality for maintaining your carpeted and wood floors.
Most owners begin to really appreciate the inspired engineering only after operating it over a period of time. And most will agree that you can’t go wrong with a Dyson!
* Click here to see free shipping offer at Amazon
Return to RECOMMENDATIONS
You may not have given any consideration to a battery-powered upright stick vacuum for your home. Until recently they just didn’t have enough suction power or operating time to be a serious option for cleaning both carpet and hardwood floors. Earlier models worked well on wood and hard floor surfaces but were only marginally effective on anything but short pile carpet.
But now, thanks to the latest advancements in battery and digital D/C motor technology, some of the top models can clean both carpet and hardwood floors as well as many traditional upright corded vacuums. And, not only just as well but faster and easier too.
The Dyson V11 Torque Drive is the first cord-free upright stick vacuum that can be used as a serious whole-house vacuum that will clean your thickest pile carpet as well as your hardwood and other floor surfaces
Unrivaled Suction Power
“…currently, the strongest suction of any other battery-powered vacuum.”
The Dyson V11 Torque Drive has plenty of power to clean carpeted floors and wood floors. The new V11 D/C Digital motor develops 185 Air Watts of unrivaled suction power. That’s 23% more suction than the closest competitor.
And 20% more than the highly successful Cyclone V10 Absolute.
Cleaning Ability on Carpet and Hardwood
When it comes to cleaning carpet, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive utilizes the Torque Drive Floor Brush to dig down into the pile and lift out the embedded dirt. Not only will this vacuum handle both low to medium pile carpet easily, the V11 will also clean High Pile Plush Carpet.
When it comes to ridding your hardwood floors of stubborn clingy dust plus dirt and large debris, the V11 Torque Drive excels.
This vacuum doesn’t scatter large debris such as dry cat or dog food and cereal like most vacuums. It gobbles them up as well as the dirt that gets stuck in cracks in the floor or baseboards.
Unlike traditional corded upright vacuums, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive offers the convenience and versatility of 2-in-1 operation without a cord or hose. Simply click off the extension wand (tube) and snap on the Mini-Motorized Tool and you have a cord-free, powerful hand vacuum for cleaning those carpeted stairs.
Or snap on the Crevice Tool, Combo Tool, Stubborn Dirt Brush, or the Soft Dusting Brush and attack those difficult to reach above floor areas.
- Remaining Runtime
- Cleaning Mode: ECO, AUTO, or BOOST
- Maintenance Alerts such as When the Filter Needs Cleaning
This information enables the operator to determine when to recharge the battery and which power setting the machine is in. Instead of guessing, the Maintenance Alerts let you know when the filter needs changing or if there is a clog.
Anyone considering a battery-operated vacuum should consider the amount of “Runtime” a single charge allows. The Dyson V11 utilizes an internal 7 cell Lithium-Ion battery that provides up to up to 60 minutes of run time in ECO Mode and about 25 minutes in AUTO.
That’s plenty of time to clean several rooms depending on size and how often you vacuum.
Take Just a Minute to Watch this Excellent Customer Review VIDEO!
- LED Display Screen: Intelligently reports in real time Current Performance, Power Mode, Remaining Runtime, Filter Clean Indicator and Blockage Reports
- Dynamic Load Sensor (DLS) Technology: Torque Drive Floor Brush Intelligently detects variations between carpet and hard floors and automatically adjusts motor speed for optimum performance
- 185 Air Watts Suction Rating: Enough raw power to eliminate dirt from all carpet and hardwood floors
- Point-&-Shoot Extra Large Dust Cup: .8 dry qts. Capacity and eliminates touching the dirt with fingers
- Up to 60 Minutes of Fade-Free operating time in ECO Mode, 25 in AUTO, and 15 in BOOST
- HEPA-Level Full-Machine Filtration: Removes 99.97% of dangerous particles as tiny as 0.3 microns
- Low Profile: Easily clean under furniture and other low clearance items and tight areas
- Quiet Operation: Acoustically engineered to cloaks any unpleasant tones
- Handheld 2-in-1 Vacuum: Instantly transform the V11 into a powerful handheld vacuum for cleaning stairs, furniture, and cars
- Included: Torque Drive Head, Mini-Motorized Tool, Combo Tool, Soft Dusting Brush, Stubborn Dirt Brush, Crevice Tool, Wand Storage Clip, Docking Station, and Charger
- Warranty: 2 Dyson Year Parts & Labor
A battery-powered stick vacuum isn’t for everyone; at least not yet. We have become so accustomed to the way we think about cleaning our homes. For the last century most people typically put off cleaning until they had enough time to clean the whole house. If you are going to go to the trouble of dragging out the heavy corded upright and unwinding the cord you might as well do the whole job while your at it.
But with a lightweight battery-powered stick vacuum like the Dyson V11 Torque Drive its easy to stay on top of your cleaning. When you find a 10 or 20 minute hole in your schedule you can grab the vacuum and easily clean a room or two. So, instead of waiting until the house is really in need of cleaning it makes a lot of sense to do what I call maintenance cleaning. So, the new thinking is becoming “make it clean and keep it clean!”
A Primary Vacuum?
Of all the vacuums I have reviewed, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is currently one of the very best cord-free stick vacuums for both carpet hardwood floors. And, in many instances it can serve as a primary vacuum depending on the size of your home and activity level.
Homes with large families and pets might not be a good candidate because of the quantity of dirt. But even large homes w/ only 1 or 2 adults and perhaps 1 pet, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive will get the job done.
If your home has a mix of both hardwood and carpet and you want the experience of cord-free convenience the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is a smart way to go!
* Click here to see limited time discount at Amazon
OVERVIEW & Side-by-Side Comparison
Compare Vacuums that Clean both and Carpet and Hardwood Floors
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Different Floors Require Different Applications!
Removing dirt from any type of flooring requires more than just powerful suction. Both carpet and hardwood floors require applied agitation to remove all the fine dust, dirt, and hair. But, you can’t use the same degree of agitation on wood flooring as you use on carpet.
Get Tough with Carpet!
Cleaning carpet requires an aggressive Get Tough approach. A motor-powered brush roll is necessary to agitate and dig out the dirt, debris, and hair that gets embedded in carpet pile. Once the bristles lossen it up the the suction generated by the vacuum cleaner is able to lift it up and into the bag or dirt cup.
Go Gentle with Hardwood Floors!
On the other hand, hardwood flooring requires a Go Gentle approach. Suction alone is sufficient to remove heavier dirt and debris from a hard or wood floor, but the fine dust particles tend to cling to the floor surface. That’s why a broom and an old fashioned dust mop was the go-to tools for cleaning up hardwood floors.
So, a vacuum cleaner equipped with a soft-bristled brush roll that resembles the whisking action of a dust mop is the ideal solution for hardwood floors.
Nozzle Height Adjustment
Also, another important feature to look for is a manual or automatic Vacuum Head or Nozzle Height Adjustment. This feature will enable you to lower it close enough to the bare floor surface to maintain what is called a Venturi Effect. This increases the velocity of the air flow enabling it to suck up dirt and debris.
Although this arrangement works great for removing heavier dirt from hard floors, it doesn’t work so well for removing the fine clingy dust. And it will probably sling any heavy debris out the rear of the floor nozzle.
Detachable Stretch Hoses
Some vacuums designated as multi-floor are equipped with detachable stretch hoses (sometimes called extension hoses or collapsible hoses). Although this arrangement has been around for a while it still works well on an upright vacuum that is primarily designed for carpet. The hose allows you to use a variety of attachments designed to work on surfaces like stairs, upholstery, drapes, blinds, and hard floor surfaces.
Brush Roll Disengage Feature
Many of the Upright Vacuum Cleaner models that are designed to work well on both carpet and hardwood floors utilize an On/Off lever, pedal, or button so you can disengage the spinning brush roll. This feature enables you to easily transition from carpeting to hardwood floors. This prevents it from slinging debris and possibly damaging your hardwood floor with the stiff bristles.
This is a desirable feature on an upright vacuum and will come in handy for many situations. However, it still doesn’t deal with the fine powdery dust that clings to hardwood floor surfaces.
Latest Vacuum Cleaner Technology!
The last couple of years have seen two very important advancements in technology that can enable a vacuum cleaner to perform well on both carpet and hard wood floors.
Multi-Speed Floor Brushes let the operator select the right speed for either type of flooring. By speeding up the spinning brush roll the machine is able to apply the necessary agitation to deep clean carpeting. By slowing it down for hard floors you maintain the advantage of the mechanical agitation to remove fine dust, but without slinging large debris.
Soft Rollers are being incorporated on some models that do a wonderful job of dealing with fine dust on hard floors. And, at the same time it eliminates the problem of plowing large debris.
Need More Help?
I realize that selecting that just right vacuum cleaner can be a daunting task. Although I have tried to cover all the important issues, if you require any additional assistance in selecting a vacuum for cleaning your carpet and hardwood floors just fill out the form at the bottom of the page. Thanks, Will