Upright Vacuum Cleaners: The Pros and Cons You Need to Know Before Buying

When shopping for a new vacuum cleaner, upright models are a popular choice for many homeowners. With user-friendly design, specialized cleaning features, and often affordable price points, upright vacuums can be a sensible option for tackling messes on carpets and hard floors. However, the upright form factor also comes with some drawbacks to consider before making a purchase. This comprehensive guide covers the key pros, cons, features, and top recommendations to help you determine if an upright vacuum is the best cleaning solution for your needs. With over 2000 words detailing upright cleaner basics, benefits, limitations, leading brands, expert advice, and real-world insights from customers, you’ll have all the details required to shop smarter.

What Are the Main Pros of Upright Vacuums?

Upright vacuums shine for in several key areas that make them a convenient and effective cleaning tool for many households:

Quick and Easy to Use

The upright design with a motorized cleaning head positioned near the ground is very intuitive to push and steer across floors without much effort. The lightweight handle and wheels contribute to smooth maneuverability, allowing users to cover large surface areas quickly.

Ideal for Carpets

Lots of upright models have motorized brushrolls designed specifically for cleaning carpets by agitating fibers to lift embedded dust and debris. Combined with ample suction power, they can deep clean rugs effectively. Some also have specialized features for removing pet hair.

Often Less Expensive

Quality canister vacuums with similar suction capabilities often cost much more than upright alternatives. Without long hoses and connections running from the motor to the floor brush, uprights tend to be more affordable.

Convenient Special Features

From bright LED headlights to illuminate dark corners, to fingertip controls for adjusting suction, many uprights integrate handy extras for easier and more customizable cleaning. Some also transform into hand vacuums for above floor messes.

What Are the Downsides of Upright Vacuums?

While upright vacuums excel in many cleaning scenarios, their design and performance also come with a few compromises:

Not as Versatile as Canister Models

Canister vacuums offer greater flexibility to clean various surface types, heights, corners, edges and hard-to-reach spots with a range of removable specialized brush tools. Uprights usually come with fewer accessory options.

Bulkier and Heavier

Contain the motor, brushes, wheels and dust collection system in one unit leads uprights to be more heavy and unwieldy, especially for carrying up and down stairs.

Less Effective on Hard Floors

Though upright vacuums can sufficiently clean hard floors, their bigger wheels and raised cleaning heads allow dust and debris to occasionally scatter before suction kicks in. Canisters with flatter close-to-floor profiles leave less chance for escape.

Key Features and Considerations When Buying

Beyond basic vacuum necessities like sufficient suction power and filtration, upright models come in many configurations to suit different cleaning needs. Here are some of the most important variables to factor into your buying decision:

Bagged vs. Bagless Dust Collection

  • Bagged uprights keep allergens sealed off, allow fuller dirt storage before dumping, and prevent dust from blowing back into the air during disposal. But bags are a recurring expense.
  • Bagless models lower long term costs and allow clear inspection of how full the container is. But they often fail to trap fine particles as efficiently and require more frequent emptying and cleaning.

Suction Power Levels

Strong suction paired with a sealed airflow design is essential for effective and consistent cleaning across various floor types. Check specifications to ensure an upright offers adequate power based on your cleaning demands.

Length and Manageability of Power Cord

Look for upright vacuums with power cords exceeding 25 feet for sufficient cleaning range between outlet changes. Automatic rewind cable retraction can also prevent frustrating tangles and trips.

Diverse Attachments and Accessories

While uprights tend to come with fewer attachments than canisters, some include a range of onboard or stowable add-ons like crevice tools, small brushes, or extendable hoses for flexibility.

Who Should Consider An Upright Vacuum?

Residential Use on Mostly Carpeting

For cleaning low-medium pile rugs in apartments and houses, upright vacuums offer a nice balance of carpet cleaning competence and maneuverable design. Models with manual brush roll shut offs also adapt well for quick transitions between flooring types.

Pet Parents Dealing with Lots of Fur and Allergens

Specialized uprights with powerful suction plus added features like anti-tangle rotating brushes, HEPA filters, sealed systems and bags excel at removing embedded pet hair and trapping allergens from carpets.

Shoppers Looking for an Affordable Quality Vacuum

Top-tier canister vacuums commonly exceed $500+ while quality upright alternatives often start around half that cost. Uprights allow buyers on a budget to still own a durable, high performing cleaning machine.

User Review Summary of 5 Leading Upright Vacuum Models

To help provide firsthand insight into the real-world cleaning power and ease of use offered the upright category, here’s a brief overview showcasing feedback from customers about 5 top rated options:

1. Miele Complete C3 Calima Canister Vacuum

  • Reviewers praise the Extremely quiet but mighty 1900W motor and included HEPA filters.
  • Numerous owners of pets report it excels at removing embedded hair from carpets.
  • A few note hassle converting to handle hard flooring and maneuvering heavy body up stairs.

2. SEBO Felix Premium Upright Vacuum

  • Users describe it as a commercial grade tank built to endure years of consistent use without clogs or breakdown despite high power.
  • Many note the lifetime warranty on mechanical parts brings peace of mind.
  • Some say wand attachments allow versatility for furniture beyond floors.

3. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum NV501

  • Praise abounds for affordable price paired with quality construction, accessories, brush roll shutoff, and lift away canister.
  • Reviewers confirm it competently deep cleans carpets andremove pet hair with the motorized brush and suction control options.
  • A couple reviews mention the short power cord requires frequent outlet changes.

4. Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance UH72625 Upright Vacuum

  • Numerous homeowners describe it as their best carpet cleaner yet, with intense suction to lift and remove huge amounts of embedded dirt.
  • Pet owners confirm it excels at pulling up stubborn golden retriever hair from area rugs and runners.
  • Some note the tall handle makes it slightly trickier navigate under low furniture.

5. BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Vacuum

  • Many love the swivel steering, automatic cord rewind, large dirt bin, and pet hair specialized tools.
  • Carpet owners confirm it makes rugs look freshly steam cleaned after each pass.
  • A few report issues with larger debris occasionally clogging intake or smells if not emptied promptly.

Final Recommendations for Outstanding Upright Vacuums

While scores of upright vacuums populate the market, a few models stand out as offering exemplary cleaning abilities across floor types along with conveniences suited to simplifying routine maintenance. Here are four top notch options to consider:

SEBO Felix Premium Upright Vacuum

With commercial grade power plus legendary reliability and support, the SEBO Felix makes quick work of embedded dirt and pet hair in homes. It also has integrated wand attachments for cleaning stairs, furniture and ceilings.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV501 Upright Vacuum

Shark’s Lift-Away marries convenience, versatility and competence at a reasonable price. The removable canister doubles as a portable vacuum while powered brush roll tackles carpets.

Miele Complete C3 Calima Canister Vacuum

This Miele upright stands on par with the brand’s legendary reputation for enduring performance and filtration. Frequently ranked the best vacuum for pet hair.

Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Upright Vacuum UH72625

Hoover’s WindTunnel 3 uses multiple channels of suction for deep carpet cleaning. Large dirt bin, pet tools and HEPA filtration add to the package.

Key Takeaways: Who Are Upright Vacuums Best Suited For?

  • Pet owners dealing with plenty of hair and dander on carpets and rugs
  • Homes with mostly wall-to-wall carpeting on the floors
  • People wanting quality cleaning without a premium price tag
  • Anyone who wants an intuitive upright design for quick and easy floor care
  • Households without many tricky areas needing specialized attachments

While upright vacuums have limitations in versatility, they redeem themselves by delivering on convenient, user-friendly, and affordable floor care. For carpets and everyday messes, they give owners streamlined cleaning comfort.