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 2021 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.
Take Me to COMPARISON TABLE
For those of us who have lived into middle age or older, the name Hoover is traditionally associated with powerful American made vacuum cleaners that are sensibly priced. The Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel, UH74220PC moves that tradition forward offering excellent multi-floor cleaning performance with a new powerful motor designed to last 3X longer than previous models.
Having owned several Hoover vacuums in my lifetime I can attest to their longevity. My current Hoover WindTunnel Upright is 13 years old now and it cleans just as well as when it was new. The only parts I have had to replace are 2 drive belts and the stretch hose thanks to my destructive pets.
And speaking of pets the Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel, UH74220PC is designed for households that have one or more fur-shedding pets and multiple flooring surfaces.
One of the complaints I often hear from pet owners is their vacuum cleaner requires too many passes to pick up all the pet hair and the dirt cup requires emptying too frequently.
The Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel, UH74220PC obliterates that problem with it’s whopping 12.5 inches cleaning path so you can clean more floor with less passes. The Easy-Empty Dirt Cup holds a sizable 1.5 Liters of pet hair, dirt, dust and debris.
A 30 foot long power cord enables you to clean longer without having to stop to change receptacles. Additionally, a 9 foot long stretch hose and the Quick Release Wand make it possible to reach up to 13 feet overhead. That’s long enough to easily clean most ceiling fan blades, air vents, window treatments, and those bothersome cobwebs along the ceiling.
The Hoover MAXLife Pro UH74220PC comes with an array of specialized cleaning tools that include a well-designed Pet Upholstery Tool, an efficient Dusting Brush, plus a Crevice Tool.
No More Large Debris Scattering!
When your new Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel, UH74220PC arrives you will be amazed at its ability to pick up dirt, dust, hair, and large debris from carpet and hardwood floors.
Remarkably, side-by-side testing has revealed the suction is even more effective than the Dyson Ball Animal Upright which costs more than twice as much.
Check Out this In-Home Customer Review VIDEO!
- SWIVEL STEERING: A slight turn of the wrist enables you to navigate around obstacles effortlessly
- 3X LONGER Motor Life: New motor technology stretches the powerful no-loss-of-suction to even greater life expectancy
- ON/OFF Brush Roll: Easily transition from cleaning carpet to hard floors with the toe-operated Brush Roll ON/OFF Pedal
- HEPA FILTRATION SYSTEM: HEPA Media traps 99% of dangerous allergens so they don’t get blown back into the air you breathe.
- EXTRA LARGE 1.5 Liter DIRT CUP CAPACITY: Spend more time vacuuming and less time emptying
- EFFECTIVE CLEANING TOOLS: Wage war on dirt, dust, and pet hair on every surface in your home
- HIGH INTENSITY LED HEADLAMPS: Vacuum in dimly lit rooms and see where the dirt is hiding.
- 13 FT. ABOVE-FLOOR REACH: High up dust and dirt can’t escape when you use the detachable Handle/Wand and the 13 foot stretch hose
- ADVANCED ACTION™ BRUSH ROLL: Deep clean carpet or safely clean hardwood floors with Hoover’s Advanced design Brush Roll
- 5 Year Hoover Warranty:
If you are in the hunt for a practical, well-designed full-size upright vacuum that won’t drain your bank account the Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel, UH74220PC may be the right vacuum for you. Powerful suction, excellent cleaning performance, long life, at a price that makes sense make this vacuum an excellent value.
The Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel, UH74220PC really delivers when it comes to cleaning both carpet and hardwood floors. And, if you share your home with a furry pet this vacuum will make your life easier. The Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet UH74220PH is one of the best full-sized upright vacuums for cleaning carpet and hardwood floors.
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!
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!
Take Me to COMPARISON TABLE
The Dyson Ball Multi-Floor Upright 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 Ball Multi-Floor Upright 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 Upright 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!
Return to RECOMMENDATIONS
The recent global pandemic has forced us to become more acutely aware of our environment. With so many unknowns, its only wise to minimize contact with those unseen particles that lurk in carpet pile and hard floor cracks. Particles such as Dust Mites, Dust Mite Feces, Pet Dander, and Mold Spores are known allergens that can cause serious respiratory illness if inhaled.
Bagged upright vacuum cleaner sales are trending because they are significantly more hygienic than bagless vacuums. Bagless vacuums unleash an unavoidable dust cloud when emptied whereas a bagged vacuum enables you to virtually avoid the dust all together.
Orek’s patented SANISEAL SYSTEM bag closure system keeps the potentially dangerous contents fully contained during bag change and disposal process.
Bagged Uprights like the Orek Elate Command incorporate their main filtration system into the disposable bag. So, each time you replace the bag you are in effect also replacing the filter. This, of course, brings up the topic of COST!
How Much Do the Bags Cost?
The Oreck® Elevate COMMAND, UK30200 uses proprietary bags that hold up to 4X the dirt of the average Bagless vacuum. One bag will last approximately 2 months for the average home which means you would be required to purchase (6) bags per year.
If you select the Type CC HEPA Bag AK1CC6H, 6 Pack you would be spending approximately $25 PER YEAR for bags. This bag has 5 Media Layers that trap 99.97% of dirt, dust, and debris as tiny as 0.3 microns.
Or, you have the option of using the less expensive Oreck Type CC Anti-Allergen Bag AK1CC6A, 6-Pack which would run you approximately $17 bucks PER YEAR. These bags trap 99% of fine dust particulates as small as 5 microns.
Oreck has designed the COMMAND, UK30200 with a 13 inch wide vacuum nozzle that balances the air flow for even suction across the entire width. A high quality Brush Roll made from genuine Oak wood with synthetic bristles that provide maximum dirt agitation.
With the Suction Speed Control set on HIGH you can expect even heavy dirt such as sand to be extracted from low to medium pile carpet. If you happen to have long plush Soft carpet pile you may need to toggle the fingertip Suction Speed Control to LOW to prevent Suction Lock and still have enough power for deep down dirt.
For Area Rugs the LOW Suction setting will usually work but may be too much for light weight area rugs.
The Oreck UK3200 features dual Side Edge Brushes that agitate dirt and debris close up to baseboards and furniture. Once set in motion, the suction is powerful enough to draw the dirt into the vacuum nozzle.
Because of the way the vacuum nozzle is designed, it will enable you to clean up close to walls or baseboards from the front.
This elegant looking upright vacuum boasts all the attributes a really good multi-floor vacuum cleaner should have:
- 2 SPEED Suction Control: Equipped with a powerful 2 Speed motor deep down embedded dirt doesn’t stand a chance on HIGH Speed. Toggle the fingertip Speed Selector Switch to LOW for cleaning plush soft or long-pile carpet and light weight area rugs. For hard floors the Low setting is more than sufficient to eliminate dust, dirt, and large debris.
- Rugged Dual-Floor Brush Roll: Made from premium grad real wood, the brush roll is designed to provide maximum agitation to carpet and yet provide the gentle whisking action for hardwood floors.
- Close Edge Cleaning: The vacuum nozzle is designed to apply powerful suction to the front and 2 Edge Brushes loosen debris right up close to baseboards to be lifted into the suction zone.
- Real HEPA FILTRATION: 99.97% of disease-carrying particulates are trapped in the Extra Large SaniSeal HEPA Media Bag #AK1CC6H.
- 4X CAPACITY: The Oreck UK30205PC holds approximately Four Times MORE dirt than most bagless upright vacs.
- SUPER LIGHT WEIGHT: Weighing in at only 10 Pounds, the Oreck® ELEVATE™ UK30205PC is almost Half the weight of similar bagless uprights.
- LOW PROFILE: Slim design enables you to easily clean hard-to-reach places.
- 5 LED HEADLAMPS: Dirt can’t hide, even in dimly lit rooms.
- 30 Foot POWER CORD: Spend more time vacuuming and less time switching power receptacles.
- MADE in the USA: All Oreck HEPA vacuums are Made in America with domestic and internationally sourced materials.
Take a Few Minutes to View this Informative OREK Demo VIDEO!
For Above-Floor Cleaning you may want to complement your Oreck Upright with the powerful Oreck Ultimate Hand-Held Canister Vac CC1600. This would provide you with an unbeatable house cleaning arsenal. It’s very lightweight at approx. 5 pounds and has the tools and stretch hose to clean stairs, furniture, and upholstery. With optional Extension Wands you can easily clean ceiling fan blades, vents, book shelves, and window treatments.
If you want excellent cleaning performance on your carpet and hardwood floors, the Oreck® Elevate™ COMMAND UK30200 is one of the best Bagged Uprights currently available.
OVERVIEW & Side-by-Side Comparison
Compare Carpet and Hardwood Floor Upright Vacuums
Didn’t find what your looking for here??
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