Best Vacuum For Shag Carpet

10 Best Vacuum For Shag Carpet – 2021 (Updated Guide & Reviews)

The luxurious feel of shag carpeting makes coming home and kicking off your shoes a rich experience, especially as you sink your tired feet into the thick pile of your carpet. This luxury does come at a price, however, as deep pile shag carpet tends to collect dust, dirt, debris, and allergens at a much higher rate than area rugs and hardwood floors.

To keep your luxury carpeting clean and allergen free, you need a vacuum with the power and equipment to get right down to the deepest layers of your carpet. Here are some tips on what to look for in a suitable vacuum for shag carpet, as well as some product recommendations that offer the power and capabilities you need even if you have a limited budget.

Price Guide $ = $100, $$ =$101- $250, $$$ = $251 and up

Top 10 Best Vacuum For Shag Carpet Reviews

Soniclean Soft Carpet Vacuum Cleaner

Editor Rating:

The Soniclean soft carpet vacuum is designed and recommended for thicker carpet like shag, and long pile. If you need to care for your luxury premium carpet, then this model is an excellent choice. A switch on the handle digitally controls its motors, which enables you to toggle between modes depending on the floor type.

With a smart, deep clean option, the Soniclean will use its sonic bar which vibrates into the carpet at over 200 times per second, disturbing dirt and grime deep in the carpet fibers. It has a vent system which can be adjusted which help increase suction power when required. So with thicker carpet like shag, wool carpet, the suction power will be improved, while on hard floor surfaces, this can be reduced.

The filter is a sealed hospital grade HEPA which will handle particles and allergen up to 99.98% makes it an excellent choice for suffers from any airborne nasties. Plus you can also add fragrance pods to the filter of the vacuum which will leave a fresh smelling room once you have finished vacuuming. Its weight under 15lbs is easy to maneuver and has a cord length of 35 ft so plenty of areas can be cleaned before having to find another power outlet.


  • Vibration feature works well
  • The HEPA filter works great
  • Tool accessories included
  • Power saving motors


  • Suction power may be too much
  • not the quietest vacuum model
Hoover WindTunnel 2 Corded Upright Vacuum

Editor Rating:

If you are on a budget, then this Hoover WindTunnel 2 could be an option. It is a vacuum that can be used from floor to ceiling in the home with lots of great features. With a multi-floor brush roll, this will work as well on bare floors surface plus a variety of carpet and rug types.

The suction is using WindTunnel 2 technology which gets deep into shag carpets loosening buried down grime and dirt. It has a pet tool accessory and hose which is ideal to use on upholstery and pet areas. Also, an extended wand attachment allows it reach up to clean ceiling fans and drapes, and any other hard to reach areas.

The 25ft cord is auto rewind, so no more having to wind it around the vacuum again. The Hoovers bagless design and HEPA filter make cleaning a lot simpler. Plus the Allergen Block media absorbs smells with its carbon filter which is a bonus with this model.


  • Suction is excellent
  • great Dealing with pet hair
  • lightweight unit to use
  • easy to empty bin and clean


  • the self-winding cord can be random
  • ON/OFF switch location bit tricky 
Shark DuoClean Rocket vacuum

Editor Rating:

This next vacuum is the SharkNinja Rocket DuoClean weighing 4.6lbs which is able to convert to handheld making it a very handy vacuum. Looks like a cordless vacuum but actually is a corded version so no problems with batteries running low on this model. With its bristle roll cleaning head to give a powerful suction on carpets like shag pile.

Plus because there is no front protection wall on the cleaning head, it can handle large piles of debris. Additionally when using the vacuum in the handheld mode with its tool accessories like pet multi-tool can be used for sofas, beds, and stairs. The dust cap holds 0.4 dry quarts of dirt and is simple and easy to empty.

The filter is washable and once dried can be placed back once completed dry. The vacuum has lights on the front of the head to help with navigation when being used. It comes with a hook for mounting on the wall for easy storage.


  • lightweight model
  • converts to handheld vacuum
  • works great as an upright
  • ideal for stair and under furniture
  • easy to dump dirt canister


  • can be top heavy for some users
  • does not stand up on its own
Miele Electro+ Canister Vacuum

Editor Rating:

Miele vacuums are known for their quality which does come at a cost, This next model is med series from Miele and is the C2 Electro+ canister vacuum. With long pile shag carpet types in mind, this powerful suction vacuum has a motor driven floor head which can handle all carpets thick or thin with five adjustable height settings — plus beater bar for deep down dirt in the shag long carpet fibers.

Its suction power can be controlled by dialing up to six power setting depending on floor type being cleaned. The Miele AirClean filter is the perfect fit against any allergens and ideal for sufferers of dust and grime. It catches up to 99.8% of airborne nasties. The tool accessories fit nicely onboard this model and include crevice, upholstery, and brush tools. Overall this Miele C2 is a powerful vacuum for dealing with various carpet types and should work well on shag rugs and carpets.


  • 6-speed options
  • Auto cord rewind
  • lightweight to maneuver around
  • fresh smell with HEPA filter
  • compact and quiet sounding 


  • can be top heavy for some users
  • bags are expensive
Miele Electro+ Canister Vacuum

Editor Rating:

This upright bagged vacuum from Kenmore has a triple HEPA filter with the rubber stamp of certification from AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), So for the allergy sufferer, you can breathe easy with this model. It has a twin motor and power flow system that ensures you don't lose suction power.

Classified as a pet and allergy vacuum it will cope with pet hair, dander, dust, and grime up to 99.98% leave the air feeling fresh. It has a wand for extended reach in high up areas in the home like ceilings and curtain tops. This Kenmore Pet Vacuum has four height setting for different floor surfaces, plus with adjustable airflow will perform to its maximum output, either on hardwood, tile or shag carpets.

With a power cord of 30ft and wand tool able to reach up to 10ft, this vacuum can clean your home from top to bottom. The individual pet tool is designed to use on upholstery, sofas, and anywhere you have a build up of pet hair or mess. A handy LED light lets you see exactly where you are cleaning, illuminating the way as you vacuum.


  • quick and easy to Set Up
  • Ultra-modern, silky styling
  • great for allergy sufferers
  • clean smelling with HEPA filter
  • Carpet smells clean after vacuuming


  • the hose is a bit short for some
  • Does NOT come with any extra filters
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional with Dust-Away & 2 Microfiber Pads (NV356E)

Editor Rating:

In terms of power and versatility, it doesn’t get much better than the Shark Lift-Away Professional vacuum. Not only does it have a wide array of convenient and powerful features to make cleaning any flooring surface a breeze, but it also converts to a canister vacuum for easy and lightweight cleaning on the stairs or around your window drapes. The powerful motor and adjustable manually controlled beater brush work together to clean even the toughest, ground in grime and dirt in your carpeting. 

Furthermore, thanks to the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology with HEPA filter, this model also keeps your home free from pet dander and fur that accumulates and gets trapped deep in the carpet. Additionally, all the filters for the Lift-Away are washable, making it convenient and less expensive to own and maintain in optimum working order. It even includes two microfiber pads and a Dust-Away attachment that allows you to dust hard to reach areas on top of furniture and bare floors.

Best of all though, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away weighs only 13.7 pounds, making it easy to transport between rooms and floors,and even easier to handle when vacuuming and cleaning up anywhere in your home. If you are looking for a versatile vacuum for shag carpet that can handle any cleaning job with ease, this one should be the first vacuum you consider.


  • check
    Lift-Away canister feature for cleaning hard to reach​​​​​ areas and stairs
  • Dust-Away wand attachment with microfiber cleaning pads
  • check
    Powerful motor and fully adjustable/manually controlled beater brush


  • Emptying the dust collector is a bit tricky
  • Some users complain the beater brush rides too high off the floor even on the lowest setting
  • Filters need to be cleaned regularly to prevent suction loss.
Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Editor Rating:

There are few names in the vacuum cleaner industry quite so highly regarded as Dyson. With their patented cyclonic bagless design, Dyson vacuum cleaners are among the easiest to own and most powerful consumer vacuum cleaners available today. The Dyson DC65 Animal Upright vacuum was specifically designed for use in homes where pet dander and fur or feathers are a constant issue. In addition to its powerful and versatile design, the DC65 also has a unique ball-and-pivot moving mechanism that makes it easy to maneuver even in tight spaces around, underneath, or behind furniture.

The beater brush bar is also designed to function at peak efficiency regardless of the depth of your carpet or the height at which you set it, giving you the performance and is the best vacuum for shag carpet to consider. 

Furthermore, Dyson includes a wide variety of high quality tools for cleaning drapes, bare floor, furniture, upholstery, and carpeting runners quickly and easily. The Tangle-Free Turbine tool has counter-rotating heads that keep hair and debris from jamming the miniature beater bar on the turbine head, and the soft dusting brush and multi-angle brush make dusting easy on you and your furniture.

Best of all, the Dyson is guaranteed for life never to lose suction, and all the filters for cleaning dirt, debris, and allergens are all washable and reusable to extend the lifetime of your DC65 and reduce your overall cost to own. The Dyson DC65 Animal is a premium product that deserves consideration, especially if you don’t mind spending a little extra to get the very best.


  • check
    Washable filters
  • check
    Multiple cleaning tools included
  • check
    Unique ball-and-pivot rolling mechanism
  • Tangle-Free roll brush 
  • does not lose suction power


  • Additional accessories and tools beyond what is included can be quite costly
  • Replacement parts and filters are expensive
Oreck LW100 Magnesium SP Bagged Upright Vacuum

Editor Rating:

Oreck has made a name for themselves as the premier American made vacuum cleaner company that builds powerful vacuum cleaners that are built to work hard and last a long time. Their LW100 Magnesium SP is Oreck’s top recommended model for deep cleaning shag carpet and other difficult to clean flooring. With a host of useful and convenient features, this is definitely one of the most versatile consumer grade vacuum cleaners currently available.

Thanks to a 30-foot cord and lightweight design, the LW100 makes your vacuuming chores fast and easy without having to drag a bulky, heavy vacuum up and down stairs or between rooms. Additionally, the LW100 is built of extremely durable magnesium alloy, ensuring that your Oreck vacuum cleaner gives you a long lifetime of dependable service. Furthermore, the beater brush features adjustable speeds to allow gentle cleaning of delicate floor coverings, and more aggressive cleaning on durable flooring products.

Best of all though, the LW100 Magnesium SP features a HEPA filter bag that traps 99.97% of all allergens, particles, and dust as air passes through, improving the air quality in your home and helping maintain a low-allergen count in the air you breathe every day. If you want a best vacuum for shag carpet that will stand the test of time, definitely consider an Oreck LW-100 Magnesium SP


  • Lightweight to use 
  • check
    Adjustable speed beater bar
  • check
    30-foot cord
  • check
    HEPA filter collection bag
  • great on delicate carpets


  • Cost of dust collection bags adds to your overall cost to own
  • Does not support hose attachments
  • Less versatile than other models
Kenmore Elite Canister Vacuum Cleaner with Ultra Plush™ nozzle - ChampagneGray

Editor Rating:

Not too many consumers consider canister vacuums when shopping for a vacuum to clean their shag carpeting, but Kenmore’s Elite Canister Vacuum can hold its own with even the best vacuums for shag carpet on the market. 

This superb canister vacuum has been specially designed from the ground up to effectively and safely clean shag carpeting without damaging fibers or leaving dirt behind. Not only is the Elite easy to move around the home and convenient to use thanks to its self-retracting power cord, but it is also powerful enough to clean up messes on thick carpeting that other vacuums simply can’t.

The secret behind its powerful cleaning versatility lies in the patented Ultra Plush nozzle design the provides up to 32% more suction power than comparable models.


  • check
    Powerful and portable
  • check
    Multiple useful cleaning attachments
  • check
    Designed specifically for plush and shag carpeting
  • auto rewind power cord


  • Beater bar is less powerful than upright vacuum
  • Few included attachments
  • Dust collection bags are not reusable
Electrolux EL4335A Corded Ultra Flex Canister Vacuum

Editor Rating:

As one of the oldest and best established manufacturers of vacuums in the industry, Electrolux has established themselves as the company to beat when it comes to power, durability, and innovative design. Their EL4335A model is no exception to their outstanding reputation, and is specifically designed and built for use on plush and shag carpeting that requires deep-yet-gentle cleaning.

While many canister vacuums are designed for multi-role use, the EL4335A is specifically intended for use with extra plush and shag carpeting to get those deeper piles of fibers clean without damaging them. The beater brush bar has manual on/off control that has three different height settings to make cleaning any flooring material or surface safe and effective.

In addition to its role specific design, this vacuum also has large wheels that swivel and pivot for easy maneuvering, and the vacuum wand and beater brush head itself also swivels and rolls smoothly for fast and easy cleaning under and around furniture and other household fixtures.

The suction power is also adjustable, so you can control how much power to use when cleaning more vacuuming more delicate surfaces like drapes or fabric. All in all, the Electrolux EL4335A is a fantastic canister vacuum that will make keeping your shag carpeting clean a breeze.


  • check
    Variable power lets you control suction for more delicate tasks
  • check
    Adjustable brush roll with manual control
  • check
    Large rear wheels and swivel neck make vacuuming in tight spaces fast and convenient


  • its heavier than many  canister models
  • cord is 20’ instead of 30’ like others 
  • Dirt canister can be difficult to empty

Our thoughts

Of the 10 vacuums reviewed, the hands-down best value is definitely the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional model. It offers the most versatility, features, and convenience of any of the models reviewed, and it definitely has one of the lowest cost-to-own ratings of any consumer vacuum cleaner on the market today. If you are in need of a the best vacuum for shag carpet, definitely check out the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional before making a buying decision. If budget is not a concern then the Soniclean Soft Carpet Vacuum Cleaner would be the top pick. 

How to Choose the Best Vacuum For Shag Carpet

When it comes to a vacuum for shag carpet, not just any vacuum can do the job. There are several key features that your vacuum needs in order to ensure that you get your carpet completely clean every time you vacuum. Here are some of the most important features and capabilities you want to have in the vacuum you chose.

Suction and Cleaning Action

As with most household appliances, many homeowners assume that the more powerful the suction on their vacuum, the more deeply it cleans.While this is true to some extent, you need to find a happy medium between a vacuum that creates sufficient suction to clean deep in the carpeting that also is not so powerful that it damages the fibers of the carpeting pile.

Generally it is best to select a vacuum for shag carpet of moderate suction power, which is typically indicated by the overall amperage draw of the vacuum motor. The higher the amperage, the more powerful the suction will be available. Look at the amp ratings for each vacuum, and pick the one with the middle power rating, as it will be less likely to damage your carpet with too much suction when cleaning.

Check the Wheels

Tiny wheels are a major pain on shag carpet, but wheels that are too big can make your vacuum harder to steer and manage. Try to pick a model with medium size wheels to make it easier to maneuver around the house. With the long fiber strands of of shag carpet the the wheels can leave tramlines which can look unsightly, and larger soft wheel will leave a perfect finish after vacuuming. 

Beater Bar Are Best

Beater bars are what get your deep pile carpet clean, but you need to make sure that you pick a vacuum for shag carpet that has an adjustable or manually activated beater bar brush. Depending on the vacuum and your carpeting, a fixed beater brush that can’t be switched off can cause permanent damage to the carpet and your vacuum.

Check the Weight to Make Sure You Can Handle It

Heavy vacuums for shag carpet are a pain to carry up and down stairs, and they are no fun to maneuver around a room either. Make sure that you “test drive” your vacuum before purchasing to make sure it is a manageable weight for you as an individual, especially if you will need to carry it up and down stairs. If you are looking to purchase online check the weight in the product description, and read reviews to see if other users have had problems with the weight of the vacuum.


If at all possible, always get a model with washable filters. They need to be replaced less often, and they also reduce your overall cost to own regardless of what vacuum for shag carpets you choose. If you have pets at home or suffer for any allergies, then a vacuum with a HEPA filter would be a good option giving you protection up to 99.8% against any airborne pet hair and dust particles that can cause irritation for some sufferers. Some models now offer a fragrance pod, or charcoal media filter which when added to the filter will leave your room smelling fresh as well as clean after vacuuming. 

 History of shag carpet

You would have to go back over 40 years to the late 60s, and early 1970s to when shag pile carpeting first started to be used with its bright colors like avocado and gold were used to add to the decor of the day back then. The carpet primarily used as rugs and originate from Greece, turkey and became popular in some middle eastern countries. They would grace some of the most beautiful homes in the world.

The construction of the pile is woven into long strands giving it a shaggy appearance hence where the name shag first appeared. By the 1980s the shag carpet had lost some of its sparkles after the trendy psychedelic period of colors ended, and a more subtle and contemporary design was being used.

Today's Shag carpets are a lot more toned down than the colorful designs of the early historical shag rugs and carpet. With more modern methods now used to manufacturer the woven fibers, we now have more options and see shag rugs in plain light colors now such a beiges and creams. The branding has changed too with new names like safavieh, plush, frieze which are all types of shag pile carpet.

How to maintain shag carpets

Maintaining your shag rug can be achieved by vacuuming regularly without using the vacuum rotating beater bar, as this can damage and age the carpet fibers. However, the dense pile of your shag carpet can hold ground in dirt deep down in the pile of the rug, and some extra techniques can be used to ensure the shag carpet is kept in peak condition and looking its best.  

If you have tool attachments with your vacuum cleaner, the wand nozzle can be used to pluck any deep debris in the carpet. All though this is a manual job it not necessarily something you have to do every day, but will help clean the carpets cleaner.

How To Clean Shag Rugs

With shag rugs, an excellent method for spring cleaning is to roll up the carpet and turn it upside down. Then roll out again, so it is perfectly flat, and vacuum the back of the rug with beater bar switched on. As this will beater out any stubborn dirt on the carpet. Once completed its a simple task of rolling back up and using the vacuum to clean the floors. This is a process that can be carry out a few times a year.

close up of shag rug on hardwood floor
rolling up the shag rug to clean
the soft feel of shag rug

Here's the step by step
* Roll up the shag rug
* Unroll, so it's upside down
* Switch on beater bar on vacuum
* This method will dislodge deep down dirt
* Vacuum the back side of the rug
* Roll the rug back up
* Vacuum up the dirt from the bare floor
* Repeat this a few time until no dirt is left on the floor
* Leaving it all clean

About the Author David Perez

I have a passion for clean floors and living areas, so it is no surprise that I know a lot about vacuum cleaners and how to clean different surfaces. Sharing this knowledge gives me a lot of pleasure which is why I started this blog and I hope everyone who needs help will find the help they are looking for here.

Leave a Comment: