In the last year alone, over a hundred new high-pile vacuums were introduced in the market. So how do you know which is the great vacuum cleaner for thick carpets?

Well, my team and I got together and tested all the most popular brands to bring you this roundup. And we've included a buying guide at the end for your convenience.

Top 10 Vacuums for High Pile and Thick Carpet

1

Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright

This Soniclean Upright model is ideal for cleaning carpets that are one inch thick. It glides over long fibers easily due to its wheel size.

It comes with a sonic cleaning bar features that vibrate at 200 pulses per second, which has been shown to clean pet hair and grime.

After countless positive reviews, we could also see that this product is one of the top upright vacuums.

This is a bagged model, so you won’t have to worry about any allergens when throwing out the bag.

Based on our testing, the motor of this upright vacuum cleaner had powerful suction. It will get the cleaning job done much better as compared to its competitors. We weren’t a big fan of having to get the bags separately, but overall this model was also effective in cleaning small dirt particles on wood flooring types.

PROS

  • Ideal to eliminate pet hair and fine particles
  • Motor with vibrating sonic bar
  • Hospital-grade HEPA filtration system
  • Ventilation system
  • Weight: 10.5 pounds

CONS

  • Needs extension cord for large staircases
2

Dyson Ball

The Dyson Ball Animal is one of the best vacuum cleaners for getting those hard to reach places (like under the furniture) due to its pivoting ball.

This one-click canister vacuum features a self-adjusting cleaner head that should make it adaptable for cleaning multiple carpet lengths and bare floors without the risk of damage.

Many users also reported enjoying the quick-release receptacle features of this unit. The retractable cord length is 31 feet long, so you clean without getting stuck in a limited space even with a lot of furniture.

This also gave us a good amount of reach when cleaning the whole house without getting tangled up. Our team didn’t care much for the hose attachment features. It tends to want to spring back into its shortened length, so it can also be tiring.

PROS

  • Pivoting ball and innovative vacuum head
  • 31-foot long power cord
  • Self-adjusting deep cleaning bristles
  • One-click canister emptying

CONS

  • Difficult to use the hose attachment
3

Hoover WindTunnel

This Hoover WindTunnel vacuum comes with a ton of useful accessories and tools for cleaning. These were helpful features for all floor surfaces and can make cleaning easier without damaging carpets.

The included pet hair tool works well on couches and troublesome spots. It comes with a multi-floor brush roll that can be turned on and off.

It should be turned on for thick carpets and rugs to loosen up the dirt. We liked that you can get this model with a quick rewind power cord. This unit lets you store the cord with one-touch.

Although, you should make sure that the power cord isn’t tangled when you try to push the rewind button. If it is, it can end up knocking you in the shins as it makes its way back to the vacuum.

PROS

  • Quick rewind power cord lets you store it with one-touch
  • Ease of use and lightweight
  • Odor-absorbing carbon assistance
  • 2 wind tunnels
  • Weight: 16 pounds

CONS

  • Weak power belt
4

Shark Navigator Professional

If you’re looking for a slightly less expensive vacuum cleaner for the carpet of your home, then this might work for you.

Many users report the Shark Navigator as the best 2-in-1 model because you can get it as an upright or a canister vacuum cleaner.

By removing the canister, we could utilize this vacuum cleaner for carpets that were normally hard to reach surface areas (like under the furniture). It comes with attachments like a crevice tool for corner areas.

Our team likes that the Shark Navigator has dual system machine features. You get the best of both worlds. You can also use it on plush carpet or bare floors without much effort.

The steering system with swivel head features makes the Shark Navigator a top-notch though it is quite a heavy vacuum cleaner than other models.

PROS

  • Easy to use 2-in-1 system and lightweight
  • 8-inch crevice tool
  • Anti-Allergy Seal with HEPA filtration system
  • Swivel head steering system
  • 5-year warranty

CONS

  • Heavier than other vacuum models because of the many accessories
5

Oreck Magnesium

We were impressed with this model’s adjustable suction power. It’s easy to maneuver in cleaning tight places of a home with its swivel steering design.

The weight of the vacuum is only 8 pounds, and it features a 5-layer HEPA filter bag, which will also need replacement.

This is an upright vacuum that makes it perfect for high pile carpets and other hard floor types.

One unique feature is the auto shut off function. It will immediately turn off the belt if something gets jammed.

This feature can save your vacuum cleaner from overheating problems, so it works great if you need it for prolonged cleaning. It’s also one of the recommended options and best upright vacuums that require minimal effort to push on plush carpets.

PROS

  • Weight: Less than 8 lbs
  • 5-layer HEPA filtration system
  • Easy to maneuver and lightweight
  • 7-year warranty with five free tune-ups

CONS

  • Lower suction power vacuum
6

Miele Compact C1

This may be one of the best vacuums with canister for hard to reach places in your home like under the furniture.

It should get the job done on different floor types and surfaces. It comes with a 3.5-liter dust bin capacity with an air clean seal technology.

The Miele complete technology also offers a 6-stage variable speed system.

It comes with an easy click Miele complete locking system, so you can quickly unlock the canister.

The stainless steel telescopic wand handle and nozzle are also designed to be impressive. It provides a swivel steering and deep cleaning system.

The suction features weren't as good as other models you can find, that's why I wouldn't recommend this canister vacuum on the thickest plush carpet. If you have a half-inch thick shag carpet, then you need this to do the trick.

PROS

  • Large canister vacuum for pile carpeting
  • Best for getting around furniture
  • Great on bare flooring types
  • Sturdy and easy brush rolling tube features

CONS

  • Not ideal for really plush carpets
7

Bissell Rewind

This model has a similar feature to the T-series vacuum that I reviewed above. It comes with the power cord rewind button.

This feature might be novel, but we don’t know if it is always necessary on an upright vacuum cleaner.

This new Bissell model has an edge to edge bristle bar, which also makes it useful on a high pile vacuum.

It helps you accomplish more in less time without putting too much effort since its entire weight is not that heavy. We like the bagless design on this vacuum cleaner for a high pile carpet.

It is designed with a multi-cyclonic suction system and an easy lift and move canister. You will find this helpful for lifting a lot of dirt on a plush carpet. It has a washable multi-level filter that traps debris well.

PROS

  • Edge to edge cleaning bristle bar
  • Bagless, multi-level filter
  • Adjustable multi-cyclonic suction system
  • Easy lift away dirt canister and lightweight

CONS

  • Hose doesn’t attach well to base
8

Oreck Commercial

If you’re looking for high-speed commercial cleaning, this upright vacuum cleaner would probably be an option for you.

One nice feature is that it comes with six extra bags, which is good because you can get the job done started right away.

The roller brush also spins at 5000-6000 RPMs, which should even work well on cleaning around soft nylon, tile, high pile carpets, and hardwood floors. We thought the inclusion of a nonmarring bumper bar was a complete bonus.

Some of the users reported that you don’t have to worry about scuffing up your furniture. It is designed to be lightweight at only 9 lbs, which also makes it easy to move for an upright vacuum cleaner. It has many uses and will still be able to help save in the cleaning time across your flooring.

PROS

  • Non-marring bumper bar features
  • Best for getting around furniture
  • High-speed roller brush features
  • Commercial carpet cleaning vacuum

CONS

  • No groove to wrap power cord
9

Hoover T-Series Rewind Plus

Here is another great vacuum from Hoover, which we know makes impressive thick carpet vacuum cleaners.

This model comes with WindTunnel technology, which, according to the manufacturer, is supposed to trap 99.7% of dust particles.

In combination with the HEPA filtration system, this vacuum cleaner can even remove dirt down to 0.3 microns.

We thought that all of the attachments and tools with this vacuum cleaner which makes it useful. It works for different kinds of bare floors.

It comes with a crevice tool, a great dusting brush, and a powered hand tool. A good quality vacuum uses the most efficient tools and features to keep your shag carpet clean and is able to make cleaning an easy task every time.

PROS

  • WindTunnel technology
  • Lots of extra accessories with an easy setup
  • Five height adjustment levels
  • Two filter units

CONS

  • Not best for high pile carpet
10

Eureka NEN110A

This is another canister style vacuum cleaner made by Eureka. It comes with large wheels that are going to do a great job and make it easy to push around the high pile carpet.

Eureka even included a complete airflow control that can be switched on the fly. The settings are suited for upholstery, tile, hard floors, and shag carpet.

The large telescopic wand handle and nozzle would be useful every time you need to clean a high area.

Our team thought the bagless design seemed pretty easy to empty and clean. You can rinse them out when you need to. The multi-level suction system is a great bonus because you can be able to change it for high pile or soft floor nylon fabrics.

PROS

  • Complete dusting brush for baseboards
  • Can rinse all filters
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Wide cleaning path

CONS

  • Not great for pets

Buyer’s Guide for High Pile Carpet Vacuums

high pile carpet

Suction Power

Medium to high pile carpets requires delicate or low suction because the carpet fibers are going to come loose. If you want your shag carpet to last longer, then you should check out the adjustable suction models. They are often the best and easiest way to ensure that you get the best airflow at all times.

Dirt, especially sandy dirt, is incredibly abrasive to carpet fibers like wool [1]. It is imperative to utilize a good vacuum made for medium to hile pile rugs to lift dirt but avoid damage.

Wheel Size

Nothing is more annoying than trying to push your vacuum cleaner carpet around the floor, and it doesn’t budge. The reason this happens is that the wheels are not large enough to move over the high pile of flooring. If the wheels are too small, they often get buried in the long fibers. Avoid vacuums with smaller than 3-inch wheels.

Sometimes the fibers can even get wrapped around the wheelbase and rip them out if you keep pushing. A larger wheelbase will give your vacuum a low center of gravity so that it won’t tip over as easily. An upright vacuum cleaner needs a large wheel of at least more than 4.5 inches in diameter.

Type of Filter

There are different types of filters to consider, but why are they important? A good vacuum filter will protect your family from exposure to hazardous materials. Most of the best vacuums that we have reviewed come with paper, HEPA filter, foam, or microfilters. They also come with different filtration systems, such as cyclonic or mechanical.

A HEPA filter designed trap almost all contaminants from your high pile carpets or for any type of flooring.

“What many people don’t realize is that a HEPA filter isn’t just a label that vacuum manufacturers can apply to their products. It’s a designation that requires filters to be individually tested and verified that they are 99.97% efficient.”

- Nilfisk, Industrial Vacuum Industry Experts

 

Another type of filter that is often used in vacuums is a paper filter. It is found in most types of bagged vacuums. Air can pass out of it, though not dirt, so it effectively acts as a filter; the air is sucked into the bag and then escapes through it, leaving the dirt behind inside it [2].

Foam filters are found in most of the top high pile vacuums. It is suggested to remove and rinse it from time to time. These are nice since they don’t require replacements often. Microfilters are usually placed over the motor of vacuums. The felt type eliminates even bacteria-sized particles from escaping.

vacuum on a carpet area

Attachments and Brushes

The types of attachments and brushes that we will cover in this section include a crevice tool and a brush roller.

The crevice tool is ideal for reaching those difficult surface areas. It can help access baseboard areas. The deep cleaning head of these attachments is typically shaped like small triangles with bristles.

A roller brush is one of the most important attachments for your vacuum for thick carpets. It is a long horizontal brush that extends from the vacuum and spins to dislodge dirt and pet hair. The best vacuums will include one of these functions for pile carpets.

Keep in mind that sometimes a roller brush can be too intense for some high pile carpets, such as shag rugs, which tend to be the thickest.

You should not use your vacuum’s power brush head on a shag rug.”

- Anne Reagan, Furniture and Interior Design Expert

Bags vs Bagless

The two main types of vacuum cleaners are bagged and bagless. This factor will determine how you dispose of the dirt once you are done cleaning. A bagged upright vacuum for thick carpets can suction the dirt and pet hair on the surface, and it will then trap it inside a paper filter. These are a good thing since they trap in the dust, and you toss the whole bag into the trash. They benefit the most allergy sufferers.

Bagless vacuums do not contain a paper filter, but instead, they have a container that is good enough to hold the carpet grime. It can be emptied by pulling the container out and pushing a button to expel every dirt. These are ideal for people that don’t want to purchase bags but would rather quickly empty the canister.

Both bagged, and bagless vacuums work efficiently, but you should choose one based on what you need and a perfect fit for you. If you suffer from dust allergies, then we recommend a bagged model. On the other hand, if you don’t want to buy bags, then pick a different bagless model.

Precautions for High Pile Carpets

While high pile carpets are luxurious, they can be difficult to clean and maintain. One consideration is that high pile carpeting can be a pain to clean. Some machine allows strong suction and may cause damage. Another concern is that thick carpets may not be ideal if you have a family member with dust allergies in your home.

Thick Carpet Vacuum FAQs

How Often Should I Replace the Filter on My High Pile Vacuums?

Depending on the type of filter that you have, you should replace it either once it’s full or it might need cleaning. This will usually be every 3 to 6 months. With a bagged lightweight vacuum for high pile, it simply allows you to replace the bag once it’s full. For a bagless model, you should clean the filter as needed and replace them once they show signs of wear and tear.

How Do I Clean a High Pile Carpet?

Vacuuming high pile carpet is different than vacuuming low pile carpet. It requires that you take extra precautions when you clean, such as spot treatments in the area. You should probably avoid using a powerful suction vacuum when cleaning your house. Follow the tips below to ensure that you clean your thick carpet correctly.

Don’t use a powerful brush roller on the thickest carpet styles. Instead, opt for a model that allows a high pile setting.

Remember to spot-treat stains on your floor with the proper cleaner. You don’t want to run the power brush roll over a heavy stain and damage the fibers. This is the same when it comes to robot vacuums.

Is a HEPA Filter a Necessity for High Pile Carpet?

While HEPA filtration devices are not mandatory, all of the best vacuums include them. It can reduce the number of allergens and allows them to clean the dust in the air significantly. If your house has a lot of pet dander or dust scattered on the floor, you should consider the HEPA filtration system. This blocks the dander from entering the atmosphere. It is not completely necessary, but I highly recommend it for clean air.

What Is the Best Vacuum for High Pile Carpet?

In this buyer’s guide, we have reviewed the best models on the market, including a high carpet upright vacuum, a soft carpet upright vacuum, handheld, and the best cleaners you can find. A great vacuum cleaner for high carpets includes T-series, Bissell, and Oreck brands. The best vacuums for you will depend on your floor type and what you will need at home.

What Is Considered High Pile Carpet?

A high pile carpet needs to be between ½  and 1 inch thick. Some shag style rugs may be up to 1 ½ inches thick

Can I Vacuum a High Pile Rug?

Yes, you can vacuum a high pile rug with the models that we have reviewed above. These vacuums are designed to have a powerful suction. A powerful vacuum for high rugs allows you to glide easily over the fibers.

Can I Use a Standard Vacuum on High Pile Carpets?

We do not recommend using a regular vacuum to clean a high pile carpet. It can rip the fibers out and cause more damage than it’s worth. Powerful vacuum cleaners are made to handle long woven fabric with specially designed bristles and attachments.

And I Recommend...

We have spent hours testing over 25 vacuums to bring you the best. While all of these models are impressive to clean in certain ways, there’s one that our team thinks stands out. The best high pile carpet vacuum cleaner based on our research is the Soniclean Upright vacuum for a plush carpet because of its delicate suction and many positive customer reviews.

It comes with a hospital-grade HEPA filtration system and vibrating sonic that customers claim loosens up dirt and pet hair on the floors. The large wheels were preferred with many consumers as well.

Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Ideal to eliminate pet hair and fine particles
  • Motor with vibrating sonic bar
  • Hospital-grade HEPA filtration system
  • Ventilation system
  • Weight: 10.5 pounds
Avatar for Gregory Covington

Gregory Covington

Gregory has been working in the industry for over ten years. Now a full-time editor with Trusty Joe, he loves to break down technical jargon and to make highly informative but easy to understand content for our readers.