10 Best Vacuums for Shag Rug & High Pile Carpets

LAST UPDATED: 18 Nov 2020

10 Best Vacuums for Shag Rugs & High Pile Carpets – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Top Choice

vacuum for high pile carpets

Soniclean Soft Carpet


Top Value

Top of Line

vac for high pile

Dyson Ball Upright


paul hardwick

This product guide is written by Paul Hardwick

Modern home use different types of rugs and carpets to spruce up the living spaces in their homes. The carpets are a nice touch and improve the coziness of a room by giving you a warm place to step on. Home owners who are no limited by imagination go for high end Shag rugs and High pile carpets. According to carpet court, these carpets ooze some aura of elegance and improve the aesthetics of a room. However, taking proper care of the shag rugs and high pile carpets can be hectic. The design of the material on the surface on a high pile carpet allows dirt and small particles to be trapped. The only way to get the dirt out is using a vacuum cleaner that can traverse through the carpet surface with ease. This article reviews some of the 10 best Vacuums for shag rugs and high pile carpets.

How can I know if my Carpet is a high pile carpet?

According to the hunker, carpets are categorized in three different classes with the only difference being the length of the fibers on the carpet surface. The three types of carpets you can buy are:

Low pile carpets – have short fibers on the surface, which don't usually exceed ¼ inches. Low pile carpets are usually placed on areas that witness heavy and frequent leg traffic. The entrance point of your home for instance is a perfect point where you can place a low pile carpet.

Medium pile Carpet – Medium pile carpets have surfaces with slightly longer fibers than low pile carpets. The fibers measure between ¼ inches and ½ inches in length. The longer fibers trap in more dirt and hinder seamless movement of vacuum cleaners across the surface. This means owners have a harder time cleaning medium pile carpets than they do when cleaning low pile carpets.

High pile carpets – high pile carpets are the most difficult to clean due to the long fibers extending to over ½ an inch. The fibers are also fluffy and soft, which causes vacuum cleaners to get stuck when moving through the surface. If you ow one of this, you need to clean it more frequently as guided by shark Clean, to prevent dust and small particles from accumulating in between the fibers. Not every ordinary vacuum cleaner has the capacity to rid the high pile carpet of dirt. We went ahead and tested some vacuums and some did well while other were just a great disappointment. The top 10 vacuums that impressed us are featured in the review section below.

Why Shags rugs and high pile carpets should be cleaned with special vacuum cleaners?

You should observe care when cleaning your high pile carpet and only use a vacuum for shag rugs that can move through the surface without getting caught up in the fibers. According to deluxe dry carpets, ordinary cleaners are not suited to vacuum on thick carpet. The long fibers can easily get entangled and then result in destroying both the carpet and the machine.

For tips about buying the best vacuum for high pile carpets check out the buyer's guide section in this article. You can find most of these on amazon.

About The Author

paul hardwick

Welcome to Vacuum Picker!

My name is Paul Hardwick. I am passionate about all things vacuum. From very early on I was fascinated with them and after earning an engineering degree in electro-mechanical systems, I have been able to appreciate them even more. Here I will share with you my insights on the options available in the market & help you pick the best for all your vacuum needs! Read more.

10 Best Vacuums for Shag Rugs & High Pile Carpets


Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Top Choice


This Vacuum cleaner features exceptional Sonic cleaning technology that vibrates at a high frequency of 200 vibrations per second. With this technology, the cleaner operates quietly and dislodges small sized dirt particles from soft carpets with up to 1 inch high fibers. 

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You can push this lightweight vacuum on any carpet without worrying about abrasion on the carpet surface due to the soft brush bristles designed to be kind to soft carpet fibers. The filtration system on this cleaner is the high-grade H-13 HEPA filtration system that meets hospital standards and captures up to 0.3 microns sized particles.

Enjoy an allergen free living environment when you clean your carpet using this amazing vacuum cleaner. It plugs into the standard ac 120 volt outlet found in most American homes.


  • Has two cleaning modes
  • Easy to push design
  • Long power cord


  • Sold at a high price
  • Emptying the dirt canister takes long


Dirt Devil Endura Max Upright Bagless Vacuum 


This Amazing cleaner enables you to take the dirt out of your carpet using minimal effort and in an upright posture throughout. It comes with a rinseable filter, which allows you to maintain maximum filtering capability. 

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The filtration system is divided into three stages, which allows this vacuum cleaner to rid carpets and surfaces of both small and large particles. Once dirt has been collected, the easy to empty cup detaches from the cleaner at the simple press of a pop out button allowing you to easily dump away the dirt.

You can easily clean hard to reach spaces around corners and behind furniture with the easy release wand extension that provides you with up to 10 feet extra reach.


  • Provides you with extra reach up to 10 feet
  • Easy to empty dirt cup
  • Comes with a rinsible filter


  • The dirt cup fills up quickly
  • Heavy to push around


Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean Cordless Ultra-Light Stick Vacuum


The Shark ION Ultra allows you to vacuum with no boundaries, as it does not need plugging in to a power outlet. It comes with two battery packs that hold enough charge to power it for up to 80 minutes of uninterrupted cleaning. 

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The stem features a flexible mode that allows you to reach under furniture while still maintaining an upright posture. This vacuum also works on dirt that sticks to walls by transforming into a hand held vacuum cleaner. The cleaning mechanism combines a bristle brush and roller that work together to rid carpets and floors of small sized and large dirt particles.

The compact design of this cleaner occupies just a small space on your floor and parking the vacuum for storage guarantees that you have less clutter around your home.


  • Very portable
  • Easily reaches into hard to reach areas such as under furniture
  • Cordless operation allows you to clean anywhere
  • Can transform into a hand held vacuum cleaner


  • You cannot use the cleaner once both batteries run out of juice
  • The dust cup is small


Kenmore Elite 81714 Pet Friendly Ultra Plush Lightweight Bagged Canister Vacuum


The KenMore Elite is ideal for pet owners who have to deal with stubborn hairs from their little furry friends. It come with a separate attachment that snaps up lightweight hairs and dander from pets that other vacuums cannot pick up. The attachment is design to prevent entanglement of the hairs. 

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When cleaning using the KenMore elite, you can manually adjust cleaning height to suit the pile of your carpet and select between two modes of the motor system. The main cleaner also features a light weight aluminum adjustable wand that gives you up to 10 feet extra reach so you can clean around corners, car interiors and other spaces that are hard to reach. 

The pet fur cleaner attachment fits into place right above the base of the main cleaner for easy compacted storage.


  • Cleans up small particles and pet fur
  • Pieces fit together for easy storage
  • Has a very efficient filtration system


  • Requires assembly before it can be used
  • Can be difficult to steer around a small room


Hoover Quiet Performance Bagged Canister Vacuum SH30050


Cleaning with the Hoover brings a new experience for users who are used to noisy vacuums around the home. The forward slanting design allows easy steering and reaching into corners where dirt mainly collects. Turing is as easy as a simple flick of the wrist and pushing the light weight cleaner on a fluffy carpet can be done with minimal effort. 

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The triple wind tunnel technology used on the suction mechanism creates 3 channels for knocking of dirt and debris, then lifting them off even if they are embedded deep within the fibers on your carpet. You can further adjust the suction speed with the 5 speed motor suction control to switch from mild carpet cleaning to more intense cleaning. 

You can also use it on upholstery - which includes fabric, padding & webbing—that make up the coverings of sofas, chairs & other types of furniture.


  • Allows 5 speed suction motor control
  • Easy to steer
  • Made of Light weight materials
  • Operates very quietly


  • Attachment tools easily fall off when in use
  • Power buttons are located on the body instead of the handle


Miele Complete C3 Marin Canister HEPA Canister Vacuum Cleaner


The Miele C3 is the ultimate cleaning tool for home owners who share their living spaces with allergic persons or pets. The suction mechanism is powered by the Miele SEB-236 Powerhead that has amazing cleaning and carpet restoration capabilities.

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 Moreover, the power head can suck light hairs deposited on the carpet fibers by pets around the home. When you purchase this cleaner, you get additional equipment to help you breeze through cleaning your carpet or floor. 

Included in packaging are 16 different air clean filter bags, 1 HEPA air filter, and 4 pre-motor protection filters. This vacuum cleaner has super quiet operation and is made with sturdy materials that guarantee its long life.


  • Easy to maneuver
  • Cleans in hard to reach spaces
  • Runs very quietly


  • Sold at a high price
  • Using the cleaner at a 90 degree angle clogs the suction tube


EUREKA NEU182A PowerSpeed Lightweight Bagless Upright Vacuum

Top value


The Eureka Power speed Vacumm cleaner is designed for the entire household cleaning. The bottom has a unique cleaning design that combines a powerful motor and brush roll. The suction mechanism can suck up debris and the 12 inch wide nozzle allows you to clean with less passes. 

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The whole system weighs a total of 10 pounds and the smooth rotating wheels makes it easy to maneuver. You can adjust cleaning height to 5 different heights, which makes this cleaner effective for cleaning small, medium, and high pile carpets. 

The vacuum cleaner comes with a detachable 4.1 liter dirt cup that holds lots of dirt allowing you to clean for longer hours with few trips to the trash bin to empty the dirt cup.


  • Easy to move maneuver when cleaning
  • Has a great suction capability
  • Comes with many attachment accessories


  • Sold at a high price
  • Makes a considerable level of noise


Ultra Light Weight Black & Decker BDASP103 Lightweight Upright Cleaner, Vacuum


The Black and Decker Ultra lightweight vacuum cleaner is one of the most portable and easy to maneuver cleaners you can buy. Weighing only 8.8 pounds, you can enjoy pushing it or lifting the cleaner when you want to get dirt particles out of hard to reach corners. 

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The swivel steering enhances maneuverability and allows you to make up to 360 degree turns with ease. Maintenance of the parts that make up this vacuum cleaner is little with the only procedures you need being regular emptying of the 2.1 liter dirt cup and rinsing the filters. 

The vacuum receives power from an ordinary AC outlet and comes with a small cleaning brush, a pet hair removal tool, and a pet hair brush attachment.


  • Lightweight and easy to move around
  • Easy steering
  • Compact design enhances storage


  • The cord restricts the space where you can use the vacuum cleaner
  • Dirt cup fills up quickly


Dyson Ball Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Top of Line


This vacuum cleaner is designed for thorough cleaning, which is enabled by the extra powerful suction mechanism powered by Radial Root Cyclone Technology. The vacuum sucks up more than just dust and dirt particles. It gets rid of microscopic elements etched deep within the fibers in a Shag rug. 

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The wide base has a self adjusting cleaning head, which adapts to the carpet pile making a seal for comprehensive cleaning. It also comes with an instant release wand, which works well to support under furniture cleaning as well as cleaning around tight corners. 

This vacuum allows you to enjoy hygienic waste disposal with a hands free ejection mechanism that uses a button to pop out the dirt right into the bin. All these features combined make this the best vacuum for thick carpet and pet hair in a modern home.


  • Enables hands free dirt disposal
  • Packs lots of power
  • Safe for use around allergic and asthmatic persons


  • Highly priced
  • Learning how to operate the cleaner takes long time


Hoover UH70120 T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Plus Upright Vacuum Cleaner


Cleaning with the Hoover Vacuum cleaner brings a new experience to how you get rid of dirt around your home. The suction mechanism is powered by innovative WindTunnel technology, which shakes the dirt particles to remove them from deep within the carpet fibers. Weighing only 17 pounds, you can easily move this cleaner anywhere you want to clean. 

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The tip comes in three variations to help you clean more efficiently. The air powered turbo tip is ideal for debris suction on furniture while the dusting brush takes care of dirt on walls and curtains.

The crevice tool tip helps you get into deep cracks and tight corners to pry out stuck dirt before sucking it with the vacuum cleaner.


  • Easy to transport
  • Allows height adjustment to suit the type of carpet
  • Automatically alerts when the HEPA filter needs replacement


  • Requires frequent emptying
  • Wheels can be tough to move when not properly lubricated

Vacuums for High Pile Carpets & Shag Rugs -  Buying Guide

Buying Guide to follow when shopping for a Vacuum cleaner for Shag rugs and high pile Carpets 

high pile carpets

Each home is different and that is why you need tips to help you select the best vacuum for cleaning thick carpets. The floor types  like hardwood floors don't matter as the carpet will be covering it. However, for smooth operation and run time, the floor needs to be flat.

There are some brands like bissell, oreck & dyson which have decent products but they did not make it to our top 10 list of recommended products.

We have listed some of the things you should consider when buying a plush carpet vacuum. The tips also work when you are buying a vacuum for frieze carpets or a vacuum for shag rugs.

The Type of Filters the Vacuum Uses 

Check the type of filters supported by the vacuum since that is what determines the size of particles the vacuum can get rid of. Always look for cleaners that come with HEPA filters. According to science direct, HEPA filters tend to have higher filtration rate than the typical filters. One thing you must know upfront is that the vacuums that support HEPA filters don't come cheap. The filters themselves are also quite expensive and cannot be cleaned. They, however, will leave your high pile carpet looking spick and span.

Dirt collection and disposal

How the vacuum collects and manages the dirt sucked from your carpet is another important thing you must consider before selecting a good vacuum for thick carpets. Some come with bag attachments while other hold the dirt inside a dirt cup. A vacuum cleaner that supports collection bag attachments can hold more dirt and requires emptying less frequently. The bag can however cause you inconveniences when moving around the room you are cleaning. Vacuum that have dirt cups hold less dirt which means you have to empty them more frequently.

Some modern vacuums are designed with a hands free dirt disposal mechanism. This is where you press a button to eject the collected dirt. If you are sensitive to dust, you may consider such vacuums for cleaning your carpet as guided by very well health.

Suction Power

Strong suction of the vacuum is critical for high pile carpet cleaning. If the suction is weak, then dirt and smaller particles which are stuck inside the carpet cannot be removed effectively. Easy settings for airflow  is key for a smooth vacuuming operation.


Compare the warranties offered by the manufacturer of the vacuum. There are some brands which offer no warranty and some which offer very good deals.

Which type of Vacuum cleaner is good for you?

If you own a high pile carpet, you need to spend a lot of time cleaning it to prevent accumulation of dirt inside the fibers. Purchasing a vacuum cleaner you can easily use allows you to clean when keeping a comfortable body posture. The different types of vacs are listed below:

Cordless Vacuums

Cordless vacuums get power from rechargeable batteries and allow you to move around the room you are cleaning with no restrictions. You can only use the cordless vacuum when the battery has enough charge. A good tip if you decide to buy a cordless vacuum is to buy an extra battery so that you can swap the dead battery for a charged one without interfering with your carpet cleaning.

Corded Vacuums

These are vacuum machines that must be plugged in to a power source for them to work. According to the medium, the length of the power cord limits the area you can cover when using the corded vacuum. Choose a vacuum with a long cable to reduce the number of times you move the vacuum machine in one cleaning cycle.

Check out this video that shows the cordless vacuum in use around a home to know why many people prefer cordless vacuums over corded vacuum cleaners. 

Extra things to look for when picking a Vacuum cleaner 

Look out for Cleaners that come with attachments and extra accessories to help you achieve better cleaning on specific situations. For instance, a pet owner can benefit a lot from accessories that help to remove pet hairs from the carpet. Also, look out for accessories that help you reach into tight corners or high walls.

Also a note about robot vacuums. Even though they are very useful in vacuuming low and medium pile carpets but when it comes to high pile carpeting maintenance they fall short. They tend to get stuck and are unable to do a thorough cleanup.


Maintaining high pile carpets doesn't have to be a hustle. With the right tools, you can get the carpet cleaning job done right with minimal effort and spend less time. All the vacuums featured in the above section are good for your high pile carpet. However, your preferences may make you choose one over the other. In our opinion, the Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner is your best bet when cleaning and caring for your high pile carpet.

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