Many homes today have mixed flooring and buying the right vacuum to take care of different surfaces can be a real headache.
While many vacuums can deal comfortably with hardwood floors and carpets, when it comes to deep pile or shag carpets, you need something that is expressly designed to cope with carpets with longer pile.
In today’s vacuum for shag carpet reviews, we’ll break down 10 of the very best vacuum cleaners so you can clean in confidence knowing you won’t overwork your vacuum or ruin your carpet.
So what exactly is shag carpet and why do you need a specialized vacuum?
What is Shag Carpet?
A shag can be either a rug or a whole wall-to-wall carpet.
Since shag carpets have very deep pile, it ends up with a shaggy aesthetic which leads to its name. This name is taken from an Old English word sceacga which loosely means “beard.”
Today, you might also see the terms frieze carpet or twist carpet. Both are essentially modern versions of the old shag carpet from the 70s.
The long fibers in this style of carpet can curl back on themselves and present a challenge when it comes to cleaning.
In general, any carpet with fibers more than ½-inch long is labeled shag.
Because of the depth of the pile, everything from pet dander and hair through to dust mites and general household debris tends to get trapped and hidden. This is compounded if you walk on the carpet as the dirt is driven deeper down.
While it might look attractive and feel very plush underfoot, there’s no substitute for a vaccum capable of dealing with the demands of shag carpet.
We’ll take a quick glance now at some of the most important factors to consider when looking for the best vacuum for shag carpet.
The Buying Guide
Not all carpets are created equal and the same is true with vacuum cleaners.
If you have opted for shag carpet at home, take these pointers into account when looking for a vacuum cleaner fit for purpose…
- Suction: Strike a Balance: A common mistake is to assume that you need a vacuum with extremely powerful suction to deal with deep pile or shag carpet. While you obviously need sufficient suction, if you opt for something super-strong, there’s every chance you’ll end up damaging your carpet fibers. Strike a balance and go for something with mid-range suction if at all possible
- Wheels: If your vacuum has tiny wheels, it might get bogged down in the fibers of your shag carpet. Because of this, it’s wise to shoot for a vacuum with slightly smaller wheels so navigation is simplified and you won’t end up getting caught up when you are cleaning
- Think About The Beater Bar: When it comes to cleaning regular carpets, a beater bar is your best friend. Where this can scratch and ruin hardwood flooring, a motorized beater brush gets carpet with low or medium pile spotless. Shag carpet is slightly different. Either opt for a vacuum without this feature or make sure you can flick it on and off if it comes with a beater bar. Ignore this and you risk tangling up and damaging your beloved shag carpet. This could be a very expensive mistake!
- Weight: In general, heavy vacuums serve little purpose. They are a nuisance to move around which is a problem amplified if you have shag pile in the house. Although getting the vacuum stuck is unlikely to spoil the carpet, it will end up causing you to strain yourself. Resultantly, you might put off cleaning as often as you should which only worsens the issue and leads to more dirt getting ingrained. Go for a vacuum which verges on lightweight while still giving enough power for your needs
- Filters: Since thick carpet tends to attract more dirt, dust and debris, a vacuum with a capable filter is key. The last thing you want is for all the mess to be belched back into the atmosphere so focus on vacuums with strong and able air filters for best results and clean air
- Cleaning Mechanism: Think about the proximity of the cleaning mechanism to the carpet. If it rides too high, you won’t end up with a thorough clean. A mechanism that’s too close to the carpet, on the other hand, will end up making your shag carpet fuzzy and bedraggled thus ruining the elegant look you are striving for. Again, go for something in between. Balance is critical with most aspects of the best vacuum for shag carpet.
Best Vacuum For Shag Carpet Reviews
Now you have a decent overview of what to look out for if you have deeper pile carpets or rugs, it’s time for our best vacuum for shag carpet reviews.
Check out these 10 awesome ways to keep your shag looking pristine without causing any expensive damage…
Rather than offering generalized and lengthy reviews, we will ensure that our focus is on the elements that are relevant to cleaning shag carpets.
Read on and make sure you get the right tool for the job!
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E
This versatile 2-in-1 vac from the industry giant Shark makes perfect sense if you want to cosset your shag carpet and keep it showroom fresh.
Shark’s patented Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and HEPA filter means that practically all dirt and debris is kept securely inside. Since shag carpets act as dust traps, this ensures you don’t end up breathing in contaminated air.
The wheels are not too large so you the Navigator won’t get sucked down as you clean.
Extremely lightweight at just under 14 pounds, this is precisely the kind of size that works brilliantly on deeper pile carpets. The Navigator is also highly maneuverable so you can move around with ease even if you normally find vacuuming a strain.
By hitting a switch, you can transform the Navigator from an upright to a portable canister so you can clean awkward areas with ease.
The brushroll is effective but can be easily deactivated if you have mixed flooring and want to clean your shag carpet without ragging it to pieces.
For a cost-effective and value-packed vacuum from a brand you can trust, the Shark Navigator is just about perfect for cleaning shag carpets. Pop one on your shortlist today. You will not be disappointed.
No list of the best vacuums would be complete without an entry from the mighty Dyson.
There’s no denying that Dyson products are wildly expensive but in return you enjoy cutting edge technology from a brand you can trust.
The self-adjusting cleaner head means that your Animal will fine-tune itself for best results on whatever surface it encounters. Whether you are cleaning hardwood flooring, regular carpet or shag carpet, sit back secure in the knowledge that the settings will be optimized for highly effective cleaning.
While the brush bar has been tweaked to deliver even more power, you can disengage it so that you won’t run into problems on your shag carpet.
Since the Animal is designed to deal with the mess left behind by pets, it will also cope well with the longer and twisted fibers of shaggy carpets.
You’ll get a wide range of accessories thrown in to take care of all your cleaning needs without using any other equipment.
With a 5-year limited warranty, you can purchase your Dyson Animal with complete peace of mind knowing you’re covered in the event of anything going amiss.
If you want the best vacuum for your shag carpet, the Animal definitely warrants further investigation.
Oreck LW100 Magnesium SP Bagged Upright Vacuum
Oreck offer vacuums that look great and perform just as well. With the LW100, you can buy a cleaner that’s been given the Carpet and Rug Institute’s hallowed Seal of Approval.
There’s a HEPA bag so that the excess of contaminants and allergens you pick up from your shag carpet stay safely locked away.
As the name suggests, this vac is made from magnesium meaning it’s built to last however much punishment you give it.
There’s a Quickswitch that allows you to flit with ease between different surfaces. The manufacturer states that this bagged upright is gentle enough for even oriental or Persian rugs making it ideal for shag carpets.
While airflow in excess of 100mph affords more than ample power, the direct suction is gentle enough not to massacre your deep pile carpet.
Weighing in at less than 12 pounds, you won’t find your Oreck struggling or getting caught up in the longer shag fibers.
The only downside of this vacuum if you are exclusively cleaning shag carpet is that the wheels are rather large. Pay attention to this and maneuver with caution.
With a generous 30-foot cord and a striking design, pick up the Oreck Magnesium today and ensure your shag carpet is well looked after.
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet
Although you get fabulous performance, the Rotator tips the scales at just over 13 pounds meaning it’s not too heavy for your shag.
The swivel steering allows to you to move the Shark around with ease even on thicker pile carpet.
The LED lights are a nice touch when you need to clean under the furniture or in any gloomy areas.
With Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and HEPA filtration, all rogue particles will be stashed securely instead of expelled back into your room and soiling the air you breathe. This is crucial since shag carpet tends to accumulate more dirt than carpet with thinner pile.
Using the nifty fingertip controls, you can switch from bare floors to carpet without breaking your stride. This is particularly useful if you have mixed flooring in your home.
The brushroll can be turned on and off so allows you to safely clean your shag carpet without giving the long fibers any trouble.
For a no-nonsense and affordable way of cleaning shag carpet, the Shark Rotator makes a wise choice.
Panasonic MC-UG471 Bag Upright
While Panasonic might not be the first name you bring to mind when you think of vacuum cleaners, this bagged upright is well worth a mention.
Extremely affordable, you can buy into great brand heritage without spending a fortune.
The HEPA filter is still very much the gold standard when it comes to vacuum filtration. By promoting a cleaner indoor environment, you can enjoy the benefits of a plush, thick carpet without the cleaning giving you a headache.
The Panasonic will automatically detect what type of carpet you are cleaning and it fine-tunes itself accordingly.
Headlights illuminate your cleaning path so you won’t end up missing dirty spots on your carpet even if the room is slightly dim.
Since cleaning shag carpets can be tiring work, the wide 15-inch cleaning path ensures you get more work done in less time without straining yourself.
The agitator will prepare any ingrained dirt so that cleaning becomes much easier.
If you have a moderate budget but you’re not prepared to compromise on quality, road test the Panasonic MC-UG471 bagged upright today. It delivers in fine style with no harshness or excessive suction so it’s tailor-made for shag carpet.
Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Plus
Hoover is legendary in the vacuum industry. Indeed, in many countries, the name Hoover is used interchangeably with vacuum which shows just how far this company has penetrated the market.
This lightweight T-Series is just what the doctor ordered if you want something capable of rendering your shag carpet clean without wrecking it at the same time.
The combination of a rinse-clean filter and HEPA-filtration means all stray particles are safely wicked away rather than spewed back into the atmosphere.
For surface debris or more ingrained dirt, the hard-working Hoover takes everything in its stride.
With a range of 5 settings to choose from, the T-Series can be adjusted for bare flooring or various types of carpet from low-pile right through to deeper shag carpeting.
Hoover’s WindTunnel technology makes light work of all dust and debris without being too hard on your delicate shag.
With a lengthy 25-foot cord for maximum maneuverability and a decent range of accessories, the Hoover T-Series is a smart choice for anyone with shag carpets in the house. Check one out today!
Electrolux EL4335A Corded Ultra Flex Canister Vacuum
Specifically designed to perform on plush, deep carpets, Electrolux’s EL4335A will not let you down if you want to keep your shag pristine.
The only snag is that the wheels are perhaps a little too large for optimum functionality on shag carpets so tread with caution.
You can switch the brush roll on or off with the flick of a switch. This is a crucial feature for best results when cleaning shag carpet.
3 height level adjustments mean that you can tailor your cleaning according to the surface whether that’s bare floors, low-pile carpet or deeper shag.
Too much suction is a bad thing if you have shag carpeting. You can dial back the power so whether you want to clean your precious shag or to dust off your curtains, you can be confident you won’t damage delicate fibers and fabric.
Overall, the Electrolux deserves a place on any list of the best vacuums for shag carpet. Go and check one out and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Miele Classic C1 Olympus Canister
Although upright vacuums generally work best with shag carpet, the Miele Classic C1 is a canister that will do the job admirably without causing any damage at the same time.
You can make a smooth shift from hard floor to low pile and on to deeper pile carpets so whatever the surface you are assured of a first-class clean.
Weighing just under 13 pounds, the Miele is the ideal weight for shag carpet.
Miele’s patented AirClean system is the next best thing to HEPA filtration. Much the same as HEPA filters, this keeps 99.9% of dirt, dust and allergens safely locked away not spat back out into the air.
6 power control settings offer you awesome cleaning flexibility.
The extremely generous cleaning path lets you churn through your duties in no time without going over the top with suction power.
Miele are not especially cheap but then the best things in life rarely are. If you are on the trail of the best vacuum for your shag carpet, the Classic C1 is certainly worthy of a second look.
Bissell PowerForce Helix
As we draw to the end of our vacuum for shag carpet reviews, we’ll take a look at the Bissell PowerForce, a bagless upright which is an uprated version of the previous 1240 model.
A neat separation system means that even the finest dust and particles will be sucked up without needing to rely on over-brisk suction.
While the washable filters might not be HEPA-rated, they are more than fit for purpose. Suck all the ingrained dirt from your shag carpet without finding it expelled back into the air and irritating you.
This Bissell is engineered to work brilliantly on carpet or upholstery so whether you have a lower-pile carpet or something richer and deeper like shag, it gets the job done without relying on excessive force.
5 height adjustments mean the Bissell will glide over any surface optimized for perfect performance.
At just over 12 pounds, the weight is ideally tailored for cleaning your deep pile carpet without overburdening it.
If you’re looking for the best vacuum for shag carpet, investigate the Bissell PowerForce and see if it best suits your particular cleaning needs.
Dirt Devil Vacuum Cleaner Dynamite Plus
Last but not least in our vacuum for shag carpet reviews is the Dynamite Plus from the highly reputable Dirt Devil.
Finished in trademark red, the Dynamite Plus looks as good as it performs.
The other leading attraction of this vacuum is the price. It’s suitable for any budget but with no compromise on quality.
At a super-light 9 pounds, the weight is a great fit for deep pile carpets. You always want to avoid heavy vacs as outlined above.
With an intuitive automatic height adjustment, the Dirt Devil will clean any surface with ease.
Corded vacuums can be somewhat restrictive but the Dirt Devil has a 25-foot cable which should give you adequate room for maneuver even if you’re cleaning larger spaces.
The scaled-down wheels mean that you can safely move around your shag carpet without getting tangled up.
Although it’s not exactly packed with features, you can’t expect the earth at this pricepoint. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a highly effective vacuum for shag carpets, why not test out the Dirt Devil? The Dynamite Plus punches above its weight and will leave your plush, thick carpet looking as good as new.
We very much hope you’ve found these best vacuum for shag carpet reviews useful and informative.
If you have this type of longer pile carpet in your home, it demands special care and you can hopefully now buy a vacuum cleaner with confidence knowing it will perform perfectly on this singular carpet.
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