How to Choose the Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet

 Have a Shag Rug? Let Us Help You Choose the Best Vacuum for Your Carpet

Shag carpets and rugs can give any interior or room a unique appeal as an accent, a luxury accessory or as a trendy décor. Shag rug cleaning, however, is extremely  challenging. They are typically vacuumed but only with a model  that has been designed specifically to do so. Models that are used on shag will generally have features that clean the carpets and protect them against damage as well.

Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet Vacuum

Our favorite for 2017

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional with Dust-Away & 2 Microfiber Pads (NV356E)

A great value option

Panasonic MC-CL945 Plush Pro Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner

A brilliant cannister vacuum

Small wheeled units and models with very powerful suction will be ineffective for long pile rugs or carpets. The former will have difficulty in pushing through the thickness of these carpets and the latter can get bogged down and add significantly to your cleaning time. Vacuums with beater bars in their power heads are likely to catch a your carpet’s long pile and wrap around them.

Shag carpets are not cheap and damaging them unintentionally while cleaning them can be avoided. Choosing a model designed for use on rugs is the best way to prevent this. A vacuum with a concentrated sealed suction that is not too powerful is recommended.

You should also pay attention to how close the vacuum’s cleaning mechanism comes to your carpets surface.  Too high above the carpet’s surface and it will be unable to eliminate any dirt embedded in it. Too low a setting, meanwhile, will cause your carpet to become fuzzy, resulting in a frayed look in areas damaged by your vacuum.

Vacuuming shag carpets regularly extends their lifespan but there are some precautions you should take. Disengage the beater bar in your cleaner before using it to clean your carpets to prevent snags in the strands which could tear them and, in some cases, pull them out.

Snagging causes fibers to tangle around themselves, become useless, and this, in turn, causes the bar’s rubber bands to overheat and eventually snap. Choose a model with a detachable power head that you can remove when in use on your carpets. Moreover, a lightweight or self-propelled unit with over-sized or larger wheels glides easily over carpets without necessarily sinking into them.

A long pile carpet rake can clean your carpets effectively when used slowly in a motion that goes back and forth; this action enables you to get around all of the rug’s fibers without damaging any of them. While this has proven to be more effective and less damaging than using a vacuum’s power head, this method, obviously, will consume a lot of time and effort on your part.


A vacuum should be able to handle rugs and carpets of the  long pile variety. These have more fibers that require cleaning by a model which has settings for adjustable heights. Look at your vacuum’s beater brush or bar and if it touches the carpet or rug only slightly, you have the correct setting. Take a look at five of the best vacuum brands that are available on the market today.

Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Cleaner - The Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Cleaner can be likened to the Mercedes Benz of the cleaning industry. That says a lot about the DC65’s quality, doesn’t it? The DC65 Multi-Floor and DC65 Animal are the lowest- and middle-priced versions of the DC65 Animal Complete and only their respective accessories and color are the differences you will observe between them.

It has a V4 engine equipped with one of their innovations, the Radial Root Cyclone Technology which supplements its existing filtration system which traps the smallest dirt particles that may reduce the excellent suction performance it has. According to Dyson, this model outperforms competitors by as much as 200% when it comes to suction power. Additionally, this model’s turbine tool is tangle free.

Its brush bar has cord wrap hooks and two rear wheels and stiffer and shorter bristles to penetrate carpet fibers better and remove much more dirt even from hardwood floors. It has unique fingertip controls if the user wishes to change the unit’s rotation. This brush has Dyson’s newest Ball™ technology, meaning you can operate it using only one of your hands.

This model’s cleaner head self-adjusts its height automatically when it seals in air flow when cleaning different floor types, a detachable canister to make waste disposal simpler, and a combined wand-and-hose release action to clean difficult-to-reach places like furniture edges. Its washable HEPA filter traps pollutants such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander, tobacco smoke and other allergens that trigger allergies or asthma.

Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Pet Rewind Bagless Upright Vaccum, UH70210 – If you have household pets and long fibre carpets, you know how difficult it is to clean the latter because of the amount of hair from the former. This T-Series WindTunnel model makes the task easier with the set of tools designed to deal with pet hair including the pet hair turbo-powered brush, furniture nozzle equipped with rubber blades, an extension wand, and a crevice tool for hard-to-reach spaces.

Its 27-foot power cord rewinds automatically back into the unit  and its fold down handle make storage of this model a snap. It has a check indicator that alerts you when the filters – rinsable, carbon, and HEPA — need to be checked or cleaned. Moreover, this Hoover model’s WindTunnel Technology ensures that dirt and debris are trapped and channeled into its dirt cup ASAP.

The HEPA filter’s inclusion for this model keeps allergens from recirculation into a room’s environment to maintain an allergy-free home and the carbon filter does a terrific job of absorbing musty odors from pet waste. Transition conveniently from cleaning hard surfaces to carpets or vice versa with any damage to either  the brushroll shutoff pedal feature.

The stretch hose provides eight inches of extended reach with its special attachment to help dislodge pet hair from delicately-woven fabric. The stretch hose also saves time from having to change outlets while cleaning more than one room. This upright model is ideal not only for pet owners but for those whose homes have multiple floor types.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright (NV356E) – The Navigator Lift-Away Pro’s cyclonic technology can separate the finest dirt from air to prevent it from clogging the machine’s filters and keep suction power consistently strong during use. This model’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology combines with superior quality filtration using HEPA filters to trap and hold more than 99.9% of all dust, dirt, and allergens inside the unit to prevent recirculating them into air.

The Lift-Away Canister is equipped with a Dust-Away Attachment, the patented attachment that utilizes remarkable suction power, and a microfiber pad that can wipe away the most miniscule of particles, including those your eyes are unable to see. With easy-to-use pet attachments, this model easily and quickly lifts pet dander as well as other ground-in debris from upholstery, carpeted stairs, and hard surfaces.

This Shark model’s swivel steering feature and lightweight construction make cleaning crevices, tight spaces, and the like easy as pie. Moreover, this one has the best value for money of all models because of its wide array of accessories that will be much appreciated by users who want their cleaning efforts to be thorough and complete.

Whether your carpets are thicker mid-pile or the low-pile types, this model does a good job in collecting human and pet hairs, sawdust, scattered bobby pins, nuts, and even Cheerios. You may think of getting another model other than the Navigator Lift-Away Pro but other similarly-purposed brands in its class just can’t hold up a candle to this Shark model when it comes to features.

Miele S2121 Olympus Canister Cleaner – This lightweight model incorporates performance and quality as it delivers exceptional suction power. With versatile canisters that care gently for all floor types – hardwood, plush rugs, and long pile carpets — in the home and six distinctive power settings displayed clearly on a rotary front dial, the S2121 Olympus ensures that the correct cleaning level is achieved with each cleaning session.

Three On-board Accessories are included in this model’s VarioClip that gives optimal cleaning results in every nook and cranny or corner including a stainless steel, telescopic wand and a retractable power cord with a 29.5-foot cleaning radius total. The other accessories – an upholstery tool, crevice nozzle, and dusting brush – make getting rid of pet hair and deeply-embedded debris less difficult to do.

It has an automatic seal closing filter bag to lock in dust, dirt, and other allergens instantly as soon as you remove it. Its extra-large handle has been ergonomically designed to give you convenient cleaning experience without extending too much effort. This high-end, entry-level model is worth every penny because you can transition cleaning one floor type to another with ease and convenience.

Other bagless or bagged cleaners are not as quiet as this model while you use it. Its motor ramps up as soon as the unit is turned on to give ears the chance to make an adjustment to the “quiet” noise. Additionally, this remarkable S2121 Olympus model is the easiest to get debris and dust out of than other similarly-purposed brands in its class.

Shark Navigator Professional 3-in-1 Lift-Away Rotator (With Additional Accessories Included) – Model NV500/NV501 – The Navigator will dispel your notion about noisy carpet cleaners because it performs quietly yet never lose suction power. This upright model actually functions as a three-in-one cleaning appliance with its portable Lift-Away® pod, convenient canister for cleaning larger spaces, and powerful suction. This model has a dust cup with extra capacity to hold more dust and dirt and other particles.

Households with pets will surely appreciate the set of tools which come with the purchase of this bagless unit. Clean corners with the crevice tool, pick up small particles from long haired rugs and bare floors, take on scattered pet hair from carpeted stairs with the power brush, and eliminate dust from any kind of fabric with the dusting brush. Enjoy the Navigator’s versatility as well.

Switch from an upright vacuum to the canister mode which you can easily carry around when you use the wand or set this atop the canister’s caddy which can roll around when you clean on wand mode. This model is ultra-quiet when its swivel steers around and in furniture while its rotating power-enhanced nozzle with headlights and shutoff brush roll cleans bare floors and carpets.

This excellent model has been intuitively designed and constructed solidly to keep noise levels down, a true master of unbelievable versatility with its plethora of accessories and attachments. Other Shark models perform better, no doubt, but not one of them will match this one’s chameleon ability to clean hardwood floors, carpets, and upholstery for its competitive price.

Buyers Guide – How to Choose the Best Carpet Vacuum for Shag

Carpets have the ability to store volumes of dust, dirt, small particles, and allergens like pet dander but, as mentioned earlier, not all cleaners will be ideal for cleaning them. The foremost reason is that most models have the tendency to pull out those delicate fibers any which way.

cleaning long pile carpetIt should have some salient features like powerful filters that removes allergens from rugs and ensures that the air carrying them does not recirculate for the user to inhale. Another important factor for consideration is the unit’s weight; you don’t want one that’s too difficult to push over your carpets.

Reaching areas under furniture or other tight spaces will be impossible if your cleaning machine weighs a ton. A model’s motor determines its suction power. Shag rugs or carpets need a motor with consistent suction power to lift away dust, debris, and dirt and learning how to vacuum a delicate rug really translates to having a model that has large wheels.

Because shag carpets have long piles with thick tangles that can restrict cleaning movement, your new unit needs to have solid, sturdy construction and this extends to its wheels. Some models have small wheels that are really no match for the thickness inherent in rugs or carpets and can only yield disastrous results.

Remember: the best vacuum for shag rugs would have to be the upright model equipped with beater bars that won’t leave marks on them which means there is pile distortion. Rotating brushes on a unit may be perfect for hard surfaces but they can be the death of delicate, long pile surfaces.