The 4 Best Vacuums For Shag Carpets

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best vacuums for shag carpets
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Shag carpets can be beautiful and soft when you first get them, but after a little time, you may start to notice how much stuff gets trapped in those plush layers. The best vacuums for shag carpets feature adjustable cleaning head heights and/or suction strength settings — that way, you’ll be more likely to find a model that can clean deeply without getting stuck in the carpet’s long fibers. But striking the perfect balance between effective suction and not getting jammed can be tricky.

What To Consider When Buying A Vacuum For Shag Carpet

As you shop for a vacuum, consider the different types of vacuums available. If you’re looking for a powerful suction, a corded vacuum with a separate hose and canister can provide a deep clean for thick carpets like shag, but they can be an investment and less convenient to stow. Upright vacuums with cords can also be powerful and tend to be the better option if you’re on a tight budget, but they can be heavy to push around due to the weight of the attached canister and can also take up a substantial amount of storage space. On the compact and easy to move around side of things, a lightweight cordless vacuum can be a great fit, but they require battery charging and often have smaller, less powerful motors than their corded counterparts for the price.

Another key consideration is whether the vacuum is easy to maintain and clean. Some models have replaceable filters while others include ones you can wash and reuse. If you suffer from allergies, consider a model with a HEPA filtration system, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes can “remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.”

Shop The Best Vacuums For Shag Carpets

In a hurry? Shop our top picks for the best vacuums for shag carpets.

  1. The Best Canister Vacuum: Miele Complete C3 Vacuum
  2. The Best Upright Vacuum: eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Vacuum
  3. The Overall Best Cordless Vacuum: Dyson Cyclone V10 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
  4. The Best Budget-Friendly Cordless Vacuum: Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Stick Vacuum
  • Also consider: A carpet rake to fluff up and loosen debris before vacuuming

1. The Best Canister Vacuum For Shag Carpets

This Miele vacuum bundle pack is the priciest on the list, but it’s well worth the cost when it comes to handling high-pile shag. The canister vacuum is backed by a Good Housekeeping Seal and features a roller brush (Miele refers to it as an “electrobrush”) that’s specially designed to clean soft carpet and restore crushed nap. The cleaning head can be adjusted to five different heights and the vacuum’s six suction settings can handle everything from soft, thick carpet to hardwood floors. Users have also reported that the roller brush can be turned off, a feature that can help prevent debris from scattering when you vacuum on hard surfaces.

One reviewer described this Miele model as the “most powerful, quiet, and versatile vacuum,” adding that “the powerhead is just capable enough for the large shag area rug with the brush roll on and set to the highest setting, and the vacuum on soft carpet speed.” While the vacuum clocks in at over 30 pounds, one shopper wrote that it “rolls around nicely,” even if it’s “a bit heavy to carry.”

One reviewer wrote: “Clean[s] high pile and shag carpet better than any other vacuum I have tried. Terrific machine.”

Height Settings: 5 | Suctions Settings: 6 | Weight: 31.6 pounds | Cord: 36 feet | HEPA filter: Yes

Accessories: A dusting brush, crevice tool, upholstery tool, HEPA filter, four motor protection filters, and 16 dust bags.

2. The Best Upright Vacuum For Shag Carpets

Looking for a powerful suction that doesn’t break the bank? Check out this upright vacuum with five adjustable height settings, which many reviewers have reported can both roll over and clean thick carpet. One reviewer wrote that it “works well on high pile shag carpet, which is what I needed.” Another shopper confirmed: “No fibers caught in the brush roller.” (This option does lack an on/off switch for the brush roller so it might not be ideal for hard surfaces.) The bagless vacuum features a washable, non-HEPA filter, which can be reused.

One reviewer wrote: “This vacuum just took my SHAG carpet from trash to fab in a matter of minutes. My rug hasn't been this fluffy ever. It was matted and dingy and the dinky vacuum I had before did almost nothing. As soon as this vacuum was delivered, I opened it, assembled it, and used it and I don't know why I didn't just get a real vacuum sooner. This vacuum sucked out things I didn't even know were in there. Besides over a year of dust, it also sucked out confetti from my birthday over a year ago that wasn't even visible before. I will say it was quite the workout pushing it back and forth over such a thick carpet, but the payoff is worth it.”

Height Settings: 5 | Suctions Settings: N/A | Weight: 10 pounds | Cord: 25 feet | HEPA filter: No

Accessories: A washable filter, crevice tool, dusting brush, and an upholstery tool.

3. The Overall Best Cordless Vacuum

Clocking in at less than 6 pounds, this Dyson stick vacuum is lightweight and comes with the bells and whistles you might come to expect from the popular brand. The vacuum has a long battery life of up to 60 minutes before needing a recharge (which takes about 3.5 hours), and it can convert to a smaller handheld vacuum for stairs or upholstery. In addition to the charger, it comes with a wall-mounted dock, plus a crevice tool, dusting brush, mini motorized tool, and combination brush for cleaning a variety of hard and soft surfaces. While you can’t adjust the cleaning head height or turn off the roller brush, it offers three suction settings (low, medium, and high). Plus, it has a washable filter, and HEPA filtration comes standard in all Dyson products.

One reviewer wrote: “The v10 works very well on hardwood and carpeted floors. Even shag carpet. The battery life is excellent and has yet to require recharging before finishing 3 rooms and a hallway. Very versatile and quick to change attachments. So far no parts breaking and have had it since Christmas 2018.”

Height Settings: None | Suctions Settings: 3 | Weight: 6 pounds | Cord: None | HEPA filter: Yes

Accessories: A washable filter, wall-mounted dock, plus a crevice tool, dusting brush, mini motorized tool, and combination brush

4. The Best Budget-Friendly Cordless Vacuum

For a rechargeable model under $150 that still has powerful enough suction to handle shag, this Hoover vacuum is well worth considering. It looks like a cross between a stick and upright vacuum, but its relatively lightweight design of approximately 8 pounds means it shouldn’t get too bogged down when you try to push it across carpet — and reviewers have attested that it’s fairly easy to maneuver. To make things simple, the vacuum comes with three settings: a default setting that automatically adjusts the suction across different surfaces, a higher-suction setting for carpet, and a setting that turns the brush roller off.

The vacuum comes with a charger which charges the battery in three hours but the run time will depend on the setting you use. One reviewer noted, “The battery lasts long enough for me,” adding, “It usually takes me 30 minutes or so to vacuum everything and it still has power left.” The filter on this bagless vacuum is reusable and rinsable, but it doesn’t have a HEPA filtration system in place.

One reviewer wrote: “This vacuum is great for multiple surfaces the brush off options allows me to use it on my shag rug without damaging it.”

Height Settings: N/A | Suctions Settings: 3 | Weight: 8 pounds | Cord: None | HEPA filter: No

Accessories: A washable filter and battery charger.