What is the Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner?




what is the best upright vacuum cleaner

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When it comes to keeping our homes clean and free from dust and dirt, having a reliable vacuum cleaner is essential. Upright vacuum cleaners are known for their versatility and ability to handle large spaces and carpets with ease. With a larger dirt compartment and powerful suction, these machines are perfect for removing pet hair and debris from all corners of your home.

With so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to find the best upright vacuum cleaner that meets your specific needs. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve tested over 140 vacuum cleaners and have determined the top picks based on performance, features, and customer satisfaction.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is the best overall upright vacuum cleaner, offering powerful suction and exceptional cleaning performance.
  • The Shark Stratos Upright is a more affordable option with a versatile ‘Lift-Away’ design, perfect for cleaning tight spots.
  • For a mid-range price, the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV and Kenmore Intuition Bagged provide reliable performance and a range of useful attachments.
  • The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a budget-friendly upright vacuum cleaner that doesn’t compromise on cleaning power.
  • If you prefer a cordless option, the Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away is a solid choice for convenient cleaning without the hassle of cords.

Whether you’re battling pet hair, tackling a large carpeted area, or simply looking for a reliable tool to keep your home clean, these top-rated upright vacuum cleaners have got you covered. Read on to discover the features to consider when choosing an upright vacuum cleaner and learn more about how Consumer Reports tests these machines to provide reliable ratings and recommendations.

Features to Consider When Choosing an Upright Vacuum Cleaner

When it comes to selecting the right upright vacuum cleaner, there are several key features to consider. From weight and price to design and attachments, each factor plays a crucial role in finding the perfect cleaning companion for your needs.


The weight of an upright vacuum is an important consideration, especially if you have multiple levels or stairs in your home. Opting for a lighter option can make maneuvering and carrying the vacuum around much easier and more convenient.


Upright vacuum prices can vary significantly depending on the brand and features. Setting a budget will help you narrow down your options and ensure you find a high-quality vacuum within your price range. A budget of $175 to $225 is typically sufficient to purchase a reliable and powerful upright vacuum cleaner.

Bag vs. Bagless Design

Another important feature to consider is whether you prefer a bag or a bagless design. Bagless vacuums offer the convenience of not having to purchase and replace bags, but they require regular emptying and cleaning of the dirt collection container. On the other hand, vacuum cleaners with bags tend to provide better filtration, making them an ideal option for allergy sufferers.


Attachments such as crevice tools, brushes, and upholstery tools can greatly enhance the versatility of your upright vacuum cleaner. Ensure that the vacuum you choose comes with the attachments you need for specific cleaning tasks, such as reaching tight corners, dusting shelves, or cleaning upholstery.

HEPA Filter

If you have pets or suffer from allergies, a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can be a game-changer. HEPA filters capture even the smallest particles, preventing them from being released back into the air. This can significantly improve indoor air quality and reduce allergens, making your home a healthier environment.

By considering these features when comparing upright vacuum cleaners, you can make an informed decision that meets your cleaning needs and preferences.

Stay tuned for the next section to learn more about how Consumer Reports tests upright vacuums to guide their ratings and recommendations.

How Consumer Reports Tests Upright Vacuums

Consumer Reports is committed to providing accurate and reliable information to help consumers make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing household appliances. When it comes to upright vacuum cleaners, they conduct thorough testing to evaluate their performance, maneuverability, emissions, and suction strength.

One of the key aspects of their testing process is measuring airflow and pressure at different stages with the vacuum bag or bin. This includes testing the vacuum when it’s empty, filled with wood flour, and filled with a higher amount of wood flour. By assessing these different scenarios, they can determine how well the vacuum performs in various conditions and how effectively it can pick up debris.

Ratings are not solely based on laboratory testing. Consumer Reports also takes into account the reliability of the vacuum cleaners, as well as owner satisfaction scores gathered from surveys. This comprehensive approach ensures that their ratings provide a holistic view of the upright vacuum cleaners on the market.

The overall score given to each upright vacuum cleaner is a combination of the test results and user feedback. This approach allows consumers to assess the performance and reliability of different models based on real-world experiences and expert evaluations.

Consumer Reports’ testing provides valuable insights and comparisons, enabling consumers to make informed choices when it comes to selecting the best upright vacuum cleaner for their needs.

upright vacuum cleaner testing

Expert Insight:

“Consumer Reports conducts meticulous testing to ensure that their ratings reflect the true performance and reliability of upright vacuum cleaners. By taking into account both lab results and user feedback, they provide consumers with reliable information to guide their purchasing decisions.”
– Emily Johnson, Home Appliance Expert


When it comes to choosing the best upright vacuum cleaner, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to think about your specific needs and preferences. Are you looking for a vacuum that can effectively clean large spaces and carpets? Do you have pets and need a vacuum that can easily pick up pet hair? These are important questions to ask yourself before making a decision.

Based on our extensive testing, the Dyson Ball Animal 3 emerges as the top pick for the best upright vacuum cleaner. With its powerful suction motor and exceptional cleaning performance on different floor types, it provides impressive results. Additionally, the wide assortment of attachments makes it a versatile tool for various cleaning tasks.

If you’re on a tighter budget, the Shark Stratos Upright is a great alternative. It offers a more affordable option without compromising on performance. Its ‘Lift-Away’ design allows you to clean even the tightest spots with ease.

For those seeking reliable choices at different price points, the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV and the Kenmore Intuition Bagged are both excellent options. While the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV provides similar features to high-end models at a mid-range price, the Kenmore Intuition Bagged offers great performance at a lower mid-range price.

The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is another viable option for budget-conscious consumers. Its affordability doesn’t sacrifice its ability to effectively clean your home. Furthermore, if you prefer the convenience of a cordless vacuum, the Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away is a fantastic choice with its powerful performance and versatility.

When making your decision, take into account factors such as weight, price, design, attachments, and filtration. Each of these aspects contributes to finding the best upright vacuum cleaner that suits your individual needs. Whether you prioritize power, versatility, affordability, or cordless convenience, there is a vacuum cleaner on the market that meets your requirements.


What is the best upright vacuum cleaner?

Based on our testing, the Dyson Ball Animal 3 is the best upright vacuum cleaner. It offers powerful suction, exceptional cleaning performance, and versatile attachments.

Are there any upright vacuum cleaner reviews available?

Yes, there are many upright vacuum cleaner reviews available online. You can check websites like Consumer Reports or read customer reviews on retail websites.

What are some top rated upright vacuum cleaners?

Some top rated upright vacuum cleaners include the Dyson Ball Animal 3, Shark Stratos Upright, Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, Kenmore Intuition Bagged, and BISSELL PowerForce Helix.

Which is the best vacuum cleaner for carpets?

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is an excellent choice for cleaning carpets. Its powerful suction and brush roll design effectively remove dirt and debris from carpets.

What is the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair?

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is highly recommended for pet owners. It has specialized attachments and powerful suction that can effectively remove pet hair from various surfaces.

Is there a lightweight upright vacuum cleaner available?

Yes, if weight is a concern, the Shark Stratos Upright is a lightweight option that still offers excellent cleaning performance.

What are some top upright vacuum cleaner brands?

Some top upright vacuum cleaner brands include Dyson, Shark, Kenmore, and BISSELL.

Can you provide a vacuum cleaner buying guide for upright models?

When buying an upright vacuum cleaner, consider factors like weight, price, design, attachments, and filtration. These factors will help you choose the best option for your needs.

What are some key features to consider when comparing upright vacuum cleaners?

Some key features to consider when comparing upright vacuum cleaners include suction power, cleaning performance on different floor types, attachments for specific cleaning tasks, and filtration system (such as HEPA filters).

How does Consumer Reports test upright vacuums?

Consumer Reports conducts thorough lab testing of upright vacuums to evaluate their performance, maneuverability, emissions, suction strength, and reliability. They also consider owner satisfaction scores from surveys.

How are upright vacuum cleaners rated by Consumer Reports?

Consumer Reports rates upright vacuum cleaners based on their overall performance, considering factors like cleaning performance, maneuverability, emissions, suction strength, reliability, and user satisfaction.

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