Best Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet

best hoover for carpet

The best vacuum cleaners for carpets have powerful suction and a motorised brush that rotates through your carpet fibres to dig out all of the dust and debris effortlessly. The best ones ensure you get a deep clean and don’t just skim the surface.

Although real wood flooring and laminate have become a lot more popular in recent years, most people still have a lot of carpet in their homes so finding the best vacuum cleaner for carpet makes the difference between a clean floor or one that keeps all the dust and debris hidden below the surface.

Low-cost cordless hoovers don’t have the muscle or suction power to clean your carpets properly and are best for very short pile carpets or hard floor surfaces.

You need to invest a bit to get a vacuum that does a thorough job on your carpets but you if you spend wisely there are some great value for money vacuums out there without you having to part with a fortune on a top of the range Dyson that will do the job just as well.

These are the best vacuum cleaners for carpets in the UK:

Shark IZ300 & IZ320 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Not only does this model have Sharks best ever suction power but it also comes with a new feature from Shark that makes it stand out when it comes to exceptional cleaning performance on carpets and that is “powerfins”.

Strong plastic “fins” have been fitted to the roller and they dig right down into the bottom of the carpet to make sure that all of the dirt no matter how embedded or deep down in the carpet fibre is scooped up and into the waste bin. This is another example of Shark getting better and better each year with every release of a new Hoover doing a better job than the last one and this is definitely their best ever.

You can see the fins in action in this short video:

It also comes with all of the best features across other Shark hoovers including anti-hair wrap, duo clean and flexology. Click the button below for a more detailed explanation in the full review of the IZ300 & IZ320



See full review of the Shark IZ300 & IZ320 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner


Shark NZ801 / NZ850 / PZ1000 Corded Upright Vacuum Cleaner

When you choose a corded vacuum cleaner like this one the inconvenience of the cord and having to plug it in are more than offset by the benefits you get.

Cordless vacuum cleaners with strong suction are really expensive compared to corded vacuum cleaners with strong suction. This Shark hoover has really strong suction but it is cheaper than an equivalent hoover with the same suction because batteries cost a lot of money and this doesn’t need one.

There is no charging requirement and no concern over whether the battery will last and no switching between power levels to preserve battery life.

There is the NZ801 / NZ850 and the PZ1000. The only difference between the 3 of them is the size of the waste container so if you have a large home and you want to empty the waste container as little as possible then the PZ1000 has a huge 1.6 litre capacity. Most homes will be fine with either the NZ801 with 0.83 litres and the NZ850 1.3 litres

This cleaner has everything you need to deep clean your carpets easily and it won’t cost the earth. Here are some of the things it can do:

Duo Clean. It comes with an excellent motorised brush that spins through your carpet fibres and into the very strong suction port ensuring nothing gets left behind.

Pet power brush. A great attachment if you have pets or people in your home with long hair. It’s brilliant on above-floor surfaces like carpeted stairs, cars and sofas and has a motorised brush so it works just like the floorhead brush. The NZ801UK comes without the pet tool but the NZ801UKT is well worth it if you want to control all of the hair all over your home.

Powered lift away. The central section of this hoover literally lifts away making it super easy to go up and down stairs and manoeuvre into places quickly and easily that would be much tougher or not possible without this feature.

Anti-hair wrap. It can be really annoying when the suction power is reduced because hair gets wrapped around the roller and then you have to spend ages cutting it out with a pair of scissors. Sharks anti-hair wrap technology ensures you never need to worry about that again. Hair will never stick to the roller with this vacuum.

This video shows powered lift away in action:

See full review of the Shark NZ801 / NZ850 / PZ1000 Corded Upright Vacuum Cleaner






Vax Air Lift Steerable Corded Upright Vacuum Cleaner

If you are on a budget then this is probably the best low-cost vacuum out there for carpets. It’s not the cheapest you can buy but its the cheapest that does a good job. Vax have sold several million of these so it’s liked by a lot of people.

You get very good suction and a motorised brush roller that is perfect for carpets and not something that is standard on hoovers at this price level.

It also has a lift-away option similar to Shark vacuums that allows you to detach the central section of the hoover for easy cleaning on stairs and tight spots.

There is a three in one accessory tool that clips onto the side of the cleaner so its always in reach and you’ll never lose it. The waste container is a very large 1.5 litres ensuring you won’t have to empty it after every clean.

There are a lot of very mediocre vacuums out there at this kind of price but this really does represent excellent value for money.



See the full review of the Vax Airlift Steerable vacuum cleaner


Shark ICZ160 & ICZ300 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

If you want the convenience of no cables or plugs then this is Sharks best cordless vacuum cleaner and in our opinion the best cordless vacuum out there bar none. It’s not cheap but its got the lot.

You’ll get 50 minutes of battery life with the ICZ160 and 60 minutes with the ICZ300 on the standard power setting and 20 minutes if you keep them on full power the whole time. If that’s not enough then you can buy an extra battery that you can just switch in easily and then you’ll never run out of battery.

It comes with powered lift away so you can remove the central unit for easy cleaning everywhere and the suction power is excellent and combined with the motorised brush head nothing will be left behind.

With the ICZ300 it comes with “powerfins” which is another innovation from Shark that produces their best ever cleaning performance on carpet due to the plastic fins fitted to the roller that help get right into every carpet fibre. This is how it works:

If you are prepared to spend the money then you’ll get superior cleaning performance.





See full review of the Shark ICZ160 & ICZ300 Cordless Vacuum Clean


Shark IZ201 & IZ251 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

This is an excellent option for small to medium sized homes as it provides the same level of cleaning performance as some of the more expensive Shark vacuums but it just doesn’t have a very large waste container or lift away capability.

It does come with flexology which is basically a bendy central wand that allows you to get underneath furniture and sofas without bending down and it also makes it easy to store.

The brush roller is excellent as is the suction and it can easily convert into a handheld to do the stairs so this is a perfect vacuum for carpets.

It also comes with Sharks anti-hair wrap technology that ensures no hair will be caught up in the roller ever again.

You can choose from a single battery (20mins on full power / 40 mins standard power) with or without the pet power tool or a twin battery with or without pet power tool making this an extremely flexible hoover that accomodates every different household whether you have pets or not and whether you need extra battery power.

Here is a short video that explains anti hair wrap technology: 



See the full review of the Shark IZ201 & IZ251 cordless vacuum cleaner


Henry The Hoover

This one of the all-time classics. Its been around for over 30 years and sold over 10 million units. Any vacuum cleaner that stands the test of time for that long with so many happy customers says everything about it.

The main reason that this hoover is so popular is that it has the best suction power for the price that money can buy. It has mega suction and it’s cheap making it a good buy for carpets.

You get a 10-metre cable and a massive 6-litre waste bin meaning you won’t have to change the socket or the waste bag very often.

It also comes with a long stretchy hose so you can clean all your stairs without lifting the main unit off the floor.

You can easily spend twice as much on a vacuum cleaner and get worse performance and that’s why this has been a best seller for decades.



See the full review of Henry the Hoover


Miele C3 Powerline Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner

If you feel safer with a premium brand then you won’t be disappointed with the Miele C3. Miele normally operates at the top end of the market with their washing machines and dishwashers but this is a premium product without the premium price and that makes it really attractive.  

This is a brand you know you can trust and they build their appliances to last with high-quality component parts. The suction power is so powerful that most of the time you will never use it on maximum which is ideal for carpets.

A long 8.5 metre cable ensures less changing of plug sockets and it comes with a large 4.5 litre waste container so you can go many cleans without changing the bag.

The long hose makes it easy to clean the stairs and there is a pedal for automatic rewind of the cable.

All of the accessories are stored onboard making them easy to access when need.

A top brand at a budget price for what you get.



See the full review of the Miele C3 Cylinder vacuum cleaner


Shark HZ400UKT Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Amazing suction power at a great price this Shark corded vacuum may need to be plugged in but it is going to give you all the suction power you ever need to get deep down into every fibre of your carpet.

You can also remove the central wand and clip the main floorhead into the top part turning it quickly into a large handheld cleaner perfect for stairs and sofas and it comes with or without a motorised pet tool depending on your needs.

This is a really effective hoover for carpets at a very reasonable price for the performance it delivers.



See the full review of the Shark HZ400UKT corded vacuum cleaner

How to Choose A Vacuum Cleaner for Carpets

There are a number of things to look out for when it comes to hoovering your carpet that will make the difference between a proper deep clean and a carpet that looks like it’s clean but all of the dust and dirt is still lurking just beneath the surface.

These are the most important things to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner that is best for carpets:


At the end of the day, you need good suction power so if you have a thick carpet its best to avoid the very low-cost budget hoovers because the suction power just won’t be good enough.

For carpets you should especially avoid low-cost cordless hoovers because they rely on battery power and the only way to keep the price really low is to have a battery that doesn’t produce very high levels of suction and won’t last as long.

Cheap vacuum cleaners with low to medium suction power are best for smaller homes with short pile carpets or homes with hard flooring such as laminate or wood.

Corded or Cordless for Carpets?

If money is no object then a Dyson cordless will do an excellent job of cleaning carpets with its excellent suction power and motorised brush roller in the floor head but not everyone wants to or can afford to spend a small fortune on a hoover.

If you are set on a cordless vacuum because you find it very convenient and you don’t want a cable following you around the house and you don’t want to change plug sockets then Shark has an excellent range of cordless hoovers that represent better value for money than Dyson.

They have a much larger range of cordless vacuums to choose from that are tailored to specific needs and they perform in a very similar way to Dyson but can work out a lot cheaper.

The best value for money vacuums that work best on carpet are corded hoovers from premium Brands like Shark and Miele.

With cordless cleaners you are always having to make sure the battery is fully charged otherwise you might run out of charge mid clean and even if the battery is full when you start its often advisable to switch between low, medium and high power because if you keep it on high the whole time you could run out before you are finished.

Good cordless hoovers work out a lot more expensive than good corded hoovers but don’t generate enough additional suction power to justify the extra price.

With a corded vacuum cleaner you get the benefit of continuous full power and you never have to worry about the battery running out because its plugged into the wall.

In recent years the length of the cord has been increased in size as manufacturers recognise that you don’t want to be changing the plug socket every room you go into.

A lot of good corded cleaners will have an 8 or 10-metre cable so you’ll only find yourself having to change the socket once or twice for each floor of the house you are cleaning.

If you are willing to make that small sacrifice then you’ll get much better value for money if you choose a corded hoover over a cordless.

Floor Heads for cleaning carpets

To ensure your carpets get a deep clean every time you hoover your home choosing a floor head that has a motorised brush will make a big difference.

A motorised brush head is where a brush spins around at high speed and scoops up the dirt into the suction port of the hoover.

Cylinder vacuum cleaners tend to have a large open port without a brush head so may not be the best choice if you have thick carpet and a lot of the cheaper cordless vacuum cleaners also don’t have a brush head.

If you want all of the dust and debris to be removed from your carpet with every clean then you should look to a premium brand with a powered brush head.

It’s very common to think that you have been cleaning your carpets well and then when the old hoover dies and you upgrade to a powerful vacuum with a powered brush head you won’t believe how much extra dirt it picks up compared to the old one.

Also, the larger the floor head the easier it’s going to be to cover the area you are cleaning as quickly as possible so that’s well worth keeping an eye out for.

How easy is it to use?

If you have some tight areas that you need to get into to clean then you need a hoover that has a floorhead that will rotate at 90 degree angles so that its easy to get into corners.

Not all hoovers have that capability so it’s well worth checking out before you buy.

A lot of vacuum cleaners are pretty light these days but some can still weigh up to 8kg or more.

If you are going to be dragging the hoover up and down the stairs or if you are just not able to lift anything heavy then a lightweight vacuum cleaner is considered to be 5kg or less.

You can find out more about lightweight hoovers in this article:

Best lightweight vacuum cleaner


If you are going to be digging deep into your carpet fibres to suck all the dirt with a vacuum cleaner that has great suction and a motorised floor head the last thing you want to do is release some of the dust back into the air.

You’d be surprised at how many cheap hoovers don’t retain all of the dust that gets picked up because they don’t have very good filters.

Look for a HEPA filter as they guarantee to keep 99.9% of all the dust inside the hoover where it belongs.

Robot Vacuums

Robot hoovers are certainly a lot better and more popular than they have ever been but unless you are willing to spend an arm and a leg on one they will not really be able to deliver the performance you need to deep clean your carpet.

Robots are more suited to hard floor surfaces because the suction power for the vast majority of them isn’t good enough for carpet and for the price of a cheap robot vacuum you can buy a really good corded regular vacuum that is far superior.

This article explains more:

Best robot vacuum in the UK

Upright or Cylinder vacuum for carpets?

The best cylinder vacuum cleaners will work well on carpets and there are a few really good value for money ones on our list above but overall upright hoovers win on carpets.

You won’t find any cylinder vacuums with a motorised brush head and these can come in really useful to dig through the carpet and get up all the dirt that may get left behind with a cylinder hoover.

Accessories & attachments

The right suite of accessories is important for hoovering carpets. Some come with a pet tool which is really handy at collecting hair from our four-legged friends that other cleaners with such an attachment will leave behind.

But it’s about striking the right balance as well. Some of the most expensive Dyson hoovers come with up to nine attachments and you’ll never use half of them so it ends up being a waste of money.

Check the attachments that the hoover comes with and make sure you need them to ensure you are getting the best value for money and not buying something that will just sit in the cupboard unused.

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