Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet: Choose the Right Cleaner

Shag carpets are great to look at because they have a lot of character. However, like other premium carpets they need proper caring so they don’t get damaged or morph into looking like a rug.

The best vacuum for shag carpet owners aren’t those that come with the motorized rolling brushes. While this sounds counter intuitive, it isn’t. Unlike regular carpets that require a brush roll to help agitate the dirt to make them easier to lift, long fibered carpets like shag, that aren’t dense can be damaged by those harsh high speed brushes.

The bristles can get tangled or pull out the threads, leaving you will some ‘bald’ spots in your carpeting.

Our picks and reviews below, list the top products to use. They all offer high performance suction power. Plus, they also let you turn off the rolling brush’s bristles. This gives you a high powered suction only feature that cleans and keeps your shag carpets safe.


Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright (NV356E)

Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet: This is our top pick because it gives you the flexibility of adjusting to the carpeting you have. While it does have the powered roller brush that helps agitate the threads and fibers, you’ll probably need to turn that off to keep your shag carpet safe.

To explain, if your shag carpet is about an inch high or so, which very few are, you can try and use the brush roller to help pull out more dirt from the carpeting. However, if it is any longer than that, which shag carpets often are, you’ll want to use the hard floor setting or hose suction instead.

This sounds contradictory but it works better.

The reason is shag carpets are long pile but not thick or dense. This makes them more sensitive and delicate. The harsh rolling brush can get tangles or pull out those fibers, leaving you with a not so good looking expensive carpet.

To keep safe, you do sacrifice not using the rolling brush and instead go with suction power. This is why we chose this machine. It is very powerful and offers high performance, no loss suction. Plus you can use it in upright mode or the canister with just the hose.

This gives you clean shag carpets that last for a very long time.

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Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Pet Rewind Bagless Upright Vaccum, UH70210

This is another solid machine that offers excellent suction and the ability to turn off the brush roller. To add to that, it has a height adjustment feature that lets you raise the cleaning head so it and the brush don’t come in contact with your precious carpeting.

This keeps you investment safe at the same time clean. This Hoover upright vacuum also comes with headlights that help you see the surfaces better as you clean.

We also like that it comes with a hose attachment. You can choose to use the hose for certain areas of your carpeting. This lets you apply suction only without possibly harming the threads.

For the rest of your home, you can use this device for hardwood as well as bare floors. It is designed to pick up pet hair as well. The power supplied by the 12 amp motor is one of the reasons we chose this as it has enough suction to pick up pet hair as well as dirt that’s embedded into rugs and carpeting.

With a folding handle and a bagless design, this is an easy to maintain machine that does not require a lot of replacing.

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Dyson V6 Cordless Vacuum

As with the other picks in our best vacuum for shag carpet reviews, we are going with products that offer good suction power. Those who prefer a lightweight cleaner that can be used all throughout the home, can go with this machine.

This is another multi-floor device that lets you clean bare floors, standard carpets and rugs as well as shag carpets. As with the others, we recommend turning the motorized rolling brush off when vacuuming your shag carpeting.

You can use this feature when going through rugs and other carpeted surfaces like stairs where the fabrics aren’t as delicate. With shag, do use the suction only setting which is the same as the hard floor setting.

This way you rely only on the motor’s suction ability and there’s nothing that can get tangled or pull out any of your carpet’s threads.

This is a great 2-in-1 device where you can remove the extension pole and floor tool. Without them, you get a more compact handheld vacuum that’s very powerful. Plus the cordless design lets you go anywhere with it.

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Dyson Ball Multi Floor Upright Vacuum

For more power, we rely on Dyson’s upright machine. Compared to its canister and stick models, this offers more suction power at it runs on a higher performance motor. With a total suction ability of 245 air watts, it offers a hard to match vacuuming power.

The suction power comes in handy with shag and other premium carpeting. The reason being that we aren’t using any rolling brush to agitate the surface to assist the motor. This means that it has to perform well on its own.

What makes the machine very efficient is also its root cyclone design. This allows optimal air flow through the passages in the machine, separating any dust or dirt particles so they don’t get in the way.

This is a great all around home cleaning device as it works on rugs, carpets, and flat surfaces like tiles and wood. The addition of a stretch hose, extension wand and hose attachments also allow it to clean walls and areas above the ground.

While it is a bigger investment than other brands, we like the power and quality of the machine specially if you want to protect your other home investments like your shag.

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Choose Right and Enjoy Your Beautiful Carpet

Select from those we listed above and you’ll be able to know that you not only clean your shag carpeting but also keep them safe from any possible damage.