Best Vacuums for Carpets, Rugs and Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors increase home value besides adding warmth and beauty to a living space.

Carpets can further improve the look of your rooms. To take care of both of them, you should invest in the best vacuum.

A bad vacuum cleaner can not only leave rugs and carpets dirty, but it can also cause damages to your floor.

You want a vacuum that is powerful yet gentle to avoid any damages and scratches. It should be capable of cleaning deep into fibers without spoiling the carpets and scratching the wood floor.

In this article, you will learn what to look for in vacuums for carpets and learn which features to consider to make a wise purchase. I will also provide reviews of the best vacuum cleaners on the market.

Without further ado, let’s dig into it.

Short on time? Here is a quick overview of the best vacuums:

Vacuum Cleaner Rug Critic Badge Price
Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Best Choice Check Price
Miele Compact C1 Best Canister Check Price
Hoover PowerDash FH50700 Best Stick Check Price
Rug Doctor Pet Best for Pet Hair Check Price
Max Suction Robotic Vacuum Best Robotic Check Price

Types of Vacuums

Different vacuum types
Different vacuum types

Upright Vacuums

Upright vacuum cleaners are perfect for carpets. They can clean deep into fibers thanks to a powerful engine and vigorous beater brush.

Most upright vacuums are designed specifically for carpeted areas. However, you can also find models with adjustable heights that can be adapted to almost every surface.

Canister Vacuums

Canisters are more gentle on hardwood floors than upright vacuums.

Besides, canister vacuums are less likely to raise dust while you’re cleaning the floor, since there are no aggressive brushes. They come with attachments for hardwoods instead.

In my opinion, these versatile vacuums are the best choice for area rugs and hardwood floors alike. While sitting on the floor, the canister hoovers dirt and debris into a compartment or bag.

It is connected to the head and suction hose through the wand. The hose can be detached from the wand when vacuuming hard-to-reach spots such as bookshelves and window sills.

Stick Vacuums

These vacuum cleaners are most suitable for smaller areas such as a bathroom and kitchen. With the stick vacuum you will be able to give your room a quick clean up.

While stick vacuums are not as powerful as their upright counterparts, they are lightweight and easy to maneuver.

9 Best Vacuums for Area Rugs by Rugcritic

Best Overall Vacuum

Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel HEPA Media Vacuum Cleaner

Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel HEPA Media Vacuum Cleaner


  • Type: Upright
  • Power input: 1320 Watts / 11 amps
  • Cord length: 30 feet
  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions: 11.5 (L) x 12.5 (W) x 45 (H) inches
  • Weight: 17 Pounds

If you are looking for an upright vacuum that can go wherever your pets go, I recommend choosing this product.

It can reach all the places the dirt and pet hairs might hide. Check out our post about the best rugs for pets.

While it’s a bit hard to handle because the swivel takes some time to get used to, you will be amazed by how strong the suction is.

With this powerful machine, you can steer into tight spaces and around furniture without effort.

Key Features:

  • The enhanced MAXLife System
  • Quick-release wand
  • High Intensity LED Headlights
  • Swivel steering
  • Bagless design
  • Dual Action
  • Incredible suction power
  • Perfect for pet hair
  • Attachment tools work great
  • The cord is fairly long
  • Can access hard-to-reach spaces with the crevice tool
  • A little difficult to maneuver
  • On the heavy side

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Best Canister

Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Powerline Canister Vacuum

Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Powerline Canister Vacuum


  • Type of vacuum: Canister
  • Power: 1200 Watts
  • Cord length: 18 feet
  • Operating radius: 29 feet
  • Filter Bag Volume: 3.5 liters
  • The diameter of the Air clean filter: 17 inches
  • Dimensions: 16.9 (L) x 9.8 (W) x 9.1(H) inches
  • Weight: 14.8 pounds

What you will appreciate about this canister vacuum cleaner is its compact design. You’ll also like the suction power. You can use it on hard floors and low pile carpets as well.

Adjust the suction power to the surface you want to clean and attach any of the 3 additional accessories when vacuuming tight places like shelves and blinds.

Key Features

  • Miele-Made Vortex Motor
  • 6-setting Rotary Dial for improved suction control
  • AirClean Sealed System
  • Accessories on VarioClip
  • Suitable for low-pile carpets and hardwood floors
  • Lightweight
  • Connections are super easy
  • Rolls smoothly and nicely
  • Quiet operation
  • Doesn’t work well on thick carpets
  • Fittings feel cheap

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Best Stick Vacuum

Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner, Lightweight, FH50700

Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner is the Best Stick vacuum cleaner in my opinion.


  • Type: Upright
  • Power: 7 amps
  • Cord length: 15 feet
  • Head width: 10 inches
  • Dimensions: 15.25 x 10.13 x 43.5 inches
  • Weight: 12.5 pounds
  • Made in: China

Designed to be lightweight and compact, the Hoover PowerDash vacuum allows for efficient storage and cleaning. It leverages the power of the HeatForce system to deliver fast drying.

This carpet cleaner can be used for any space and is geared toward pet owners looking to clean up pesky stains and pet messes.

Key Features

  • Powerspin Brush Roll
  • Heatforce technology
  • Compact design
  • Comes with a cleaning solution
  • Perfect for pets
  • Perfect for small spaces and high traffic areas
  • Easy to fill, empty, and assemble
  • LightweightCheap
  • Parts are hard to get
  • Not powerful enough

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Best for Pet Hair

Rug Doctor Pet Portable Spot Cleaner

Rug Doctor Pet Portable Spot Cleaner is the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair.
  • Type: Canister
  • Power: 1200 Watts / 10 Amps
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Volume: 7239.29 in3
  • Cord length: 15 feet
  • Dimensions: 16.02 x 10.94 x 15.63 inches
  • Weight: 18.76 pounds

Are you a pet owner? Do you struggle with tough stains, pet hair, and odors? If so, I suggest that you choose this portable vacuum cleaner.

It can tackle pet hair and messes like vomit and urine. With this amazing cleaner, you will also remove embedded dirt and stains from your rugs.

It is equipped with a dual tank system that separates dirty water from clean water.

Key Features

  • Dual tank system
  • Rubber bristles
  • Carpet friendly wheels
  • Retractable handle
  • Specialized cleaning formulas
  • Quick and easy cleanup
  • Twice as much power
  • Large water tank
  • Extensive reach
  • Affordable
  • Head is cumbersome
  • Awkward wash and rinse containers

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Best Robotic

Max Suction Robotic Vacuum for Rugs and All Floor Types

Max Suction Robotic Vacuum for Rugs and All Floor Types is the best choice from robotic vacuums.
  • Type: Robotic
  • Color: Black
  • Controller Type: Remote Control
  • Power Source: 2600mAh li-ion batteries
  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 12.8 x 2.7 inches
  • Weight: 9.11 pounds

Robot vacuum cleaners have exploded in popularity. If you need such a vacuum, this is an excellent option.

With strong suction power and 3 brushes, this machine gives a superior clean by loosening, extracting, and vacuuming dust.

It can hold up pet hair and debris simultaneously, thereby reducing the emptying frequency. There are various cleaning modes for different types of flooring.

Key Features

  • Multiple Cleaning Modes
  • 3-Point Cleaning System
  • Advanced Climbing Ability
  • Ultra-Thin Design
  • IR Technology
  • Battery life is good
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably priced
  • Slightly difficult to empty
  • It is a little noisy

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Best Upright

Kenmore Intuition BU4022 Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Kenmore Intuition BU4022 is the best Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner.


  • Type: Upright
  • Suction Power: ≥200 Watts
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Sealed Pressure: ≥19.5 kPa
  • Cord length: 30 feet
  • Dust Bag Capacity: ≥3.1 liters
  • Air Flow: ≥27.5 L/s
  • Weight: 21.4 pounds

To make it easy to clean stairs, furniture, and other items above the floor, this bagged upright cleaner lifts away as needed. Cleaning tight spaces, car interiors, and furniture is super easy thanks to a detachable handle.

It also comes with a detachable wand for extended reach. Additionally, there are a few functional attachments and Pet HandiMate that’s specially designed for stairs and pet hair cleaning.

Key Features

  • Power Flow Technology
  • Lift-Away System
  • Pet-Friendly Design
  • Swivel Steering
  • Bag Fill Indicator
  • Outstanding cleaning performance
  • Great suction
  • Easy to maintain and maneuver
  • Quiet
  • Replacement bags are difficult to find
  • Bulky and heavy

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Best Cordless

Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson V11 Animal – Your best Cordless Vacuum Cleaner choice.


  • Type: Stick, Cordless
  • Power Source: Battery Powered
  • Max Suction: 185 AW
  • Volume: 3.15 Ounces
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.76 L
  • Dimensions: 49.65 x 9.84 x 10.28 inches
  • Weight: 6.68 pounds

Cyclonic vacuum cleaners have eliminated the need for a bag. If you prefer those vacuums to bagged cleaners, check out this powerful cordless vacuum by Dyson.

It can capture tiny particles like bacteria and allergens besides dust and dirt by driving deep into the rugs.

There are 3 cleaning modes to choose from: Boost, Eco, and Auto. You can view or set modes, filter maintenance reminders, and blockages on the LED screen.

Key Features

  • Dyson DLS system
  • LED screen
  • Drop-in docking
  • 7-cell lithium-ion battery power system
  • Intelligent cleaning modes
  • Good run time
  • Decent suction power
  • Easy to clean and use
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Lightweight and versatile
  • Small dust bin capacity
  • Expensive

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Best Bagless

Bissell Powergroom Multicyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum

Bissell Powergroom Multicyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum is our choice for bagless vacuum.


  • Type: Canister, Bagless
  • Power Source Type: Corded
  • Dirt cup capacity: 2 L
  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 15.1 x 13.5 inches
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year

With this powerful bagless vacuum, your cleaning will be a simple task. It uses a motorized brush roll to lift pet hair and dirt from rugs and hardwood floors.

Once lifted away, the dust and dirt get sucked up in the canister. The vacuum comes with a wand that has brush and suction controls. That allows you to change the way you vacuum based on the surface you’re cleaning.

Key Features

  • 15x Multi-cyclonic technology
  • Motorized Brush Roll
  • Fingertip controls
  • Multi-Level Filtration
  • Powerful suction
  • Easy to clean
  • Extra-long hose
  • Lightweight
  • No bags
  • Short power cord
  • The hose kinks

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Best For Low Budget

beyond by BLACK+DECKER Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

beyond by BLACK+DECKER is the most affordable Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner.


  • Type: Handheld Cordless Vacuum
  • Power Source: 1 Lithium-ion battery required
  • Color: Blue
  • Voltage: 8 Volts
  • Capacity: 0.325 liters
  • Dimensions: 17.24 x 5.67 x 4.65 inches
  • Weight: 2.25 pounds

If you need a cordless hand vacuum for small cleaning jobs, then I recommend buying this dustbuster. Keeping the space potless is quite easy with this small yet powerful device.

In addition to wood floors and rugs, it can be used on curtains, furniture, and shelves. It can also do a great job of cleaning your car.

Key Features

  • 2x More Suction
  • Cordless Portable Cleaning
  • The washable clear dirt bowl
  • Wall mountable charger
  • One speed only
  • Great suction for a little dustbuster
  • Recharges fast and works great
  • Easy to clean and empty
  • Lightweight and convenient
  • The power button should be held down all the time to keep it running
  • Only for quick light-duty clean-ups

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Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Vacuum for Rugs and Hard Floors

From vacuum type and power to attachments, capacity, versatility, ease of use, and price, there are quite a few things to consider when choosing the ideal vacuum for your area rugs. Let’s take a look at the most important features to take into consideration.

Size & Type

As mentioned above, the most common types of vacuum cleaners on the market are canister, upright, and stick. There are also robotic vacuum cleaners and dust-busters.

Which type of vacuum is the best?

Well, they all have a special purpose and advantages you need to take into account to figure out which one is right for you.

When it comes to size, the smaller vacuums are easier to maneuver, store, and move around. However, the larger models are usually more powerful and better for heavy-duty jobs.

So you should have a good idea of what you need a vacuum for when choosing the size.


If you need to clean different types of rugs and floorings, then you should look for vacuums that offer more versatility.

Choose one that is created to easily adjust to a wide variety of floors and carpets rather than buying a vacuum that is designed specifically for a certain type of flooring or surface.

In any case, make sure it thoroughly cleans the area rugs as well as floors without damaging or scratching them.

How to recognize a versatile vacuum? Highly versatile vacuum cleaners offer multiple power options as well as several brush roll adjustments and suction settings.

They also come with numerous cleaning modes and attachments to be suitable for different types of cleaning tasks.

Ease of Use

Just as with other cleaners and devices, you want a vacuum that is easy to use. It’s supposed to be easy to clean, empty, maintain and maneuver.

Aside from this, your cleaner should allow you to carry it up and down the stairs effortlessly when you are vacuuming upstairs. If it comes with a dirt can, make sure it can be emptied with ease.


The reach of the vacuum cleaner depends largely on the length of the power cord, hose, and wand. There are different design options with regard to the reach.

Some vacuums come with a telescoping wand and/or flexible attachments, while others have adjustable heights and components to adapt to various surfaces.

You are advised to buy one that comes with attachments that will let you vacuum hard-to-reach spots like ceilings, window sills, and drapes. These are the favorite places of dust and pet hair where they hide and go unnoticed for quite a while.

It should also enable you to easily maneuver under or around furniture.

Flexible Attachments

Vacuum cleaners come with a whole spectrum of attachments. They are intended to make vacuums useful for different kinds of cleaning purposes and add flexibility. These additional attachments include:

  • Dusting brush
  • Utility nozzle
  • Extended or telescoping wands
  • Crevice kit
  • Upholstery tools
  • Pet Handi-Mate

While some of the above-listed attachments help in cleaning stairs, corners, and other hard-to-reach areas, others are designed with a specific type of flooring in mind.

The dusting brush is the most important and helpful attachment. I recommend choosing a flat or beater brush with soft bristles for hardwood floors.

There are special head attachments. The extended wand is extremely helpful for curtains and walls.


There’s a broad range of metrics associated with suction power. The most essential ones include Voltage, Watts, and Amps. Take the time to compare these metrics before making up your mind.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers don’t give all of these specs, so you may need to do a little research to reveal them.

It’s best to pick a vacuum that provides adjustable settings in terms of suction power. That will let you switch between power settings and select the suction power based on the surface that needs clean-up.

Flatter area rugs require less power than thick rugs. Typically, area rugs need more power than hardwoods.


Nobody likes heavy vacuums because they make vacuuming a tiresome job. That would make it difficult for you to carry your cleaner upstairs and move it from one place to another.

That’s why you need to choose a lightweight unit that allows for effortless portability and cleaning as well.

Stick vacuums are usually lighter than upright and canister ones. However, they have less suction power. Besides, they offer fewer options in most cases.

My advice is to never purchase something lightweight at the cost of power and functionality.


How can you make carpets last longer?

Move your carpets away from direct sunlight and rotate it occasionally. Rotation will prevent one part of the carpet from fading or losing color more than another. This is also good due to the traffic pattern.

How often should you vacuum the area rugs?

A good rule of thumb is to vacuum the area rugs twice a week. Regular vacuuming and cleaning can make the rugs look good and last longer.

Can you clean area rugs on hardwood floors?

Yes, you can. You may steam clean on area rugs or use either sodium bicarbonate or shampoo. It is imperative to keep the hardwood floor protected from water while removing the stains to avoid any damages.

Do the vacuums for area rugs also clean the stains?

Vacuuming alone isn’t enough to get rid of stubborn stains and ground-in dirt that hold tightly on carpet fibers. This is especially true for vacuums without a water container. Choose one that allows you to use the stains cleaner or rug stain removers.

Can I use a regular vacuum on a carpet?

Yes, but it may not be as effective as a vacuum specifically designed for use on carpets. These vacuums often have specialized brush heads and suction settings that are optimized for use on carpets.

Should I vacuum my area rug before or after I clean it?

It’s best to vacuum your area rug before cleaning it to remove any loose dirt and debris. This will make it easier to clean the rug and prevent the dirt from spreading during the cleaning process.

Can I use a steam cleaner on my carpet?

It depends on the type of carpet and the material it is made of. Some carpets, such as wool, should not be steam cleaned as the heat can damage the fibers. Synthetic carpets may be steam cleaned, but it’s important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before doing so.

Key Takeaways

While all vacuums for area rugs work in a similar way, they are not created equal. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, types, and with all the different features.

The best ones set themselves apart from the rest with advanced cleaning systems and additional features like fingertip controls, bag fill indicator, and heatforce technology.

You want to buy a vacuum cleaner that has strong suction, multiple attachments, carpet friendly wheels, powerful brush rollers, various cleaning modes, and so on.

Whatever your needs, make sure it works perfectly for both your area rugs and hardwood floors so that they get the best cleaning.

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