Is Your Carpet or Rug Considered High Pile?
Most vacuums are designed for low-pile and medium-pile carpeting—fibers that are shorter than half an inch. Should you choose to use these vacuums on your high-pile carpeting, you can expect inefficient cleaning in the best-case scenario. However, you are risking damage to your rug. Some of the reasons you need a vacuum designed for this type of carpeting include:
- The longer the fiber, the harder it is to reach the base of the carpeting. While strong suction can potentially pull this out, that suction can cause another issue.
- Powerful suction offered by most vacuums can damage high-pile fibers. The longer the fiber, the weaker it is, and strong suction will cause the fibers to pull apart, frizz, and can even end up pulling them out of the carpet backing.
- Most vacuums use beater bars and brushes to clean. When these are used on high-pile carpeting, the fibers are frizzed by the brush and become caught in the beater car, hurting the carpet and the machine.
- And the final big consideration with plush carpeting is that the pile makes it more difficult to wheel vacuums through it. For example, while it is a great brand, Dyson is hard to push on thick carpeting.
All of these issues with high pile carpeting may make you feel like your best bet is to replace it, but we promise that it is a much better deal to simply purchase a vacuum designed to handle it. This way you will spend less money and still get to enjoy the look and comfort your high-pile carpeting offers. To help you make your purchase, let’s take a look at the features a quality vacuum for plush carpet should offer.
- Features to Look for in a Vacuum for High-Pile Carpeting
- Best Vacuums for High-Pile Carpeting 2017 - Comparison table
- Final Words
Features to Look for in a Vacuum for High-Pile Carpeting
- Larger Wheels: Because of the thickness of high-pile carpeting, small wheels tend to become stuck. This then causes strain on you as you fight with the machine or even carry it around rather than wheeling it. To combat this, purchase a vacuum with larger wheels.
- Gentle Suction: While you might think that powerful suction is needed to get the job done, gentle suction can clean just as well and will do so without harming the fibers of your carpeting. This will extend the life of your carpet.
- No or Controlled Beater Bar or Brush: Beater bars and brushes are ideal for low-pile and medium-pile carpeting, but not a good choice for high-pile carpeting. To care for your plush carpet, opt for models without beater bars and brushes or that allow you to clean without using them.
- Air Filter: The thicker the carpet and the longer the fiber, the easier it is for dirt and debris to get stuck in the carpet. You will want a vacuum with an air filter to ensure that as this dirt and debris is pulled out, it is not just sent right back out into the air.
- Lightweight Frame: Heavy vacuums can prove problematic with any style of carpeting, but if your carpets are high pile, heavier vacuums will sink into the fibers and make it much easier for it to become stuck. It might not damage the vacuum or the carpet, but it does put undue strain on your body.
Are there other features to look for? That will depend on your needs and the needs of your home. Perhaps you need an adjustable vacuum designed to work on many types of flooring, or one with a long cord if you have few outlets. However, the features above are what you need in any vacuum for high-pile carpeting.
Best Vacuums for High-Pile Carpeting 2017 - Comparison table
There are thousands of vacuums on the market that can handle high-pile carpeting. Because of this, searching for the right one for you can feel overwhelming. To help, we have compared the best models designed for high-pile carpeting and narrowed them down to the top five choices based on the criteria above. Let’s take a look.
Beater Bar or Brush?
|Kenmore Elite 10335 CrossoverUltra Upright Vacuum|| |
No, but the canister detatches for plush carpeting
|Yes, but designed not to cause damage|
|Oreck LW100 Magnesium SP Bagged Upright Vacuum|| |
|Yes, but it is designed to work with high-pile carpeting|
|Dyson 206900-01 Ball Multi Floor Upright Corded Vacuum|| |
|Yes, but it self-adjusts depending on the surface|
Somewhat, 17.3 pounds
|Hoover Vacuum Cleaner T-Series WindTunnel Pet Rewind Bagless Corded Upright Vacuum|| |
|Yes, but it features five levels of adjustment|
Somewhat, 17.8 pounds
|Panasonic MC-CG901 Canister Vacuum Cleaner|| |
|Yes, but can be adjusted|
1 KENMORE ELITE 10335 CROSSOVERULTRA UPRIGHT VACUUM
If you have multiple types of flooring in your home, including plush carpeting, this vacuum is the ideal choice for you. Designed to transition between ultra-plush carpeting and tile floors with small adjustments, this is one vacuum that claims it can handle all types of flooring and the claim is accurate. It offers an Ultra Plush System that uses special vents to create suction that is both powerful enough to pull out all dirt in plush carpets but gentle enough not to cause damage.
While the wheels are not very large, the canister is lightweight and can be detached and carried as you clean plush carpeting. The machine comes with a powerful HEPA filtration system that ensures your carpets and air are cleaner after use. In addition to its features that are designed to work specifically with high-pile carpeting, it offers a unique LED dirt sensor that will tell you how clean your carpet really is.
- Gentle suction
- Powerful filtration
- Easy to move
- Cord does not retract
- Some assembly required
2 ORECK LW100 MAGNESIUM SP BAGGED UPRIGHT VACUUM
The Oreck is designed to work with all types of flooring, but tends to function best on carpeting. It is designed to be both effective and convenient for the user. The 30-foot cord means you need to unplug and replug the machine less often, making it ideal for larger spaces. The magnesium construction means that it is incredibly lightweight, and is the lightest Oreck ever made.
There are two speeds you can choose from while operating the vacuum: a high speed for short-pile carpets, hardwood, and tile, and a lower speed designed for high-pile and artisan carpets. The HEPA filter is powerful and helps to keep the air clean. And it is designed to recline to a nearly flat position to get under furniture.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Offers high-pile settings
- Can get under furniture
- Does not come with any attachments
- The brush roller does need frequent cleaning
3 DYSON 206900-01 BALL MULTI FLOOR UPRIGHT CORDED VACUUM
We noted above that Dyson vacuums can be hard to push across long-pile carpeting, and while this is true, this model is better at handling long-pile carpeting than other Dyson models. The cleaner head is self-adjusting, allowing it to handle all types of surfaces, from tile to high-pile carpeting. It comes with a HEPA filter designed to trap allergens and bacteria inside the machine.
However, the machine does fall victim to the same problems as other Dyson machines when it comes to maneuverability. The famed ball design is great on low-pile carpeting and hard surfaces, but it just doesn’t move that well on plush carpeting. Be prepared to work to move it.
- Self-adjusts setting so you don’t have to
- Filter is very powerful
- Features a hygienic system for emptying the canister.
- Hard to move on high-pile carpeting
- Suction may be too powerful for some types of high-pile carpetin
4 HOOVER VACUUM CLEANER T-SERIES WINDTUNNEL PET REWIND BAGLESS CORDED UPRIGHT VACUUM
If you are looking for a balance between price and features, this machine is a good option. Hoover is known for its economy models, but lower cost does not translate into fewer features. In fact, this model offers 5 carpet height adjustments, more than any of the luxury models on the list. The cord offers a 25-foot operating radius and features a foot-activated cord rewind. The vacuum comes with various attachments, including a pet upholstery tool and a 12-inch extension wand.
Users report that the machines runs quietly and does not scare children and pets. The vacuum offers quality suction that is not too much for high-pile carpeting. The bagless design is easy to empty and the filters can be rinsed clean.
- Lots of adjustments and tools
- Easy to maneuver on high-pile carpeting
- Primarily plastic, which isn’t very durable
- Even with extension tools, the hose does not have a lot of reach
5 PANASONIC MC-CG901 CANISTER VACUUM CLEANER
This Panasonic model has been a favorite for owners of high-pile carpeting for many years. It is a budget vacuum that offers all the features you need to clean plush carpeting. It features three positions for cleaning, making it easy to adjust for height and has many tools and extensions included. It does have a powerful HEPA filter.
However, it does not have a great reach. The power cord is short at just 20 feet. It is best for smaller spaces, such as apartments and small homes.
- Very lightweight
- Easy to maneuver
- Small and easy to store
- Adjustments are manual
- Short cord
You want your high-pile carpeting to remain beautiful and comfortable for as long as possible. To protect your investment, it is vital that you purchase a best vacuum designed for high-pile carpeting.
Which is best for you will vary based on your needs, but we are confident you will be happy with one of the five options above.