Best Upright Vacuums in 2021


Best Upright Vacuums In 2021 

Let's be frank: we're cleaning wizards. But our specific school of sorcery isn't beyond the average muggle. In fact, if you want a sparkling home this year, put away the wand and get your hands on an upright vacuum. 


These agile machines are perfect for tackling small and large cleaning tasks on a wide range of floors and carpets. But like most things, not all upright vacuums are created equal. Read on for an in-depth analysis of these machines as well as the best upright vacuums in 2021... at least in our humble opinion.

What to look for in an upright vacuum


A long cord or long battery life

All upright vacuums are either powered by an electrical cord or a rechargeable battery. Depending on the size of your home, you'll want to keep this top-of-mind. For example, if you reside in a 600 sq ft condo you don't want to be tripping over 39ft of excess cord. In contrast, if you live in a 2400 sq ft home, complete with multiple staircases and football field hallways, you'll rue the day you settled on just 20 feet.


If you prefer battery power, make sure the machine can seamlessly run for a minimum of two hours. Any shorter and you risk running out of juice before you've finished cleaning'a classic Code Red if company is arriving in T-minus 20-minutes.


Height adjustment

Essentially, height adjustment is how close to the ground the mouth of the vacuum sits. This feature dictates the amount of air flowing into the machine and by extension, the quality of the suction. Hardwood and uncovered floors require a low height. Meanwhile, low-pile carpets are better serviced with more height.


Upright vacuums generally have between three and seven height options controlled by a foot pedal. However, top-tier models actually have floor sensors that automatically tell the vacuum what surface it is servicing. The machine will then automatically adjust its height for best results. 


Suction power

While suction power may seem simple enough, it's actually the result of a wide collection of variables including the engine, type of vacuum, type of filter, and assembly. But for all extensive purposes, pay attention to the machine's wattage. 


In general, upright vacuums run between 375'525 watts. While 375 watts is totally acceptable for a hard or tiled apartment, you may want to consider a machine with 475+ watts for larger homes.


Telescopic Wand

A nice-to-have with upright vacuums is a retractable telescopic wand. This important attachment allows you to efficiently vacuum furniture and higher locations. When looking at upright vacuum models, we suggested purchasing one with aluminum vs plastic. Aluminum telescopic wands are far less likely to break and have longer lifespans.


Dirt Storage Capacity

When considering any vacuum (upright or otherwise), dirt storage should always be considered. 


First, you'll need to decide between a bagged or bagless vacuum. As we discuss in our recent blog post Bagged VS Bagless Vacuums: What's Right For You?, neither style is necessarily better. Rather, both types of vacuums have pros and cons.


Second, you should consider how large the canister is. A larger canister means you won't have to empty it as often. However, it also means you'll be investing in a larger, heavier machine which can be a pain on staircases.


Finally, some machines such as Dyson's Ball Multifloor II (more on this machine later) have special features such as Dirt Ejection. 



Building off of the last point, another important aspect of the canister and bags is filtration. And when it comes to filtration, we highly recommend HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air). While most vacuum bags use HEPA, only a small selection of bagless machines do. This durable filtration is the best on the market and will guarantee dust and debris don't escape back into your home. This is especially important for individuals who suffer from allergies.


Accessories & Tool Storage

When purchasing an upright vacuum, you'll want to pay attention to what accessories and attachments come with your machine. For example, you'll want to ensure your upright vacuum has a tube attachment to handle furniture, shelves and other off-the-floor places. Also, depending on your home's flooring, you may want to consider a Parquet floor accessory, a compact head, or even an edge/corner head. 


If your vacuum comes with all of the attachments you require, the body of the vacuum will likely be capable of storing the accessories inside itself. However, if you decide on a vacuum that doesn't have an accessory you want/need, you'll likely have to store the extra accessory in a closet.


The Best Upright Vacuums in 2021

Dyson Ball Multifloor ll Upright Bagless Vacuum UP19

Bagless fans will love this new multi-purpose, upright vacuum by Dyson. Thanks to its self-adjusting cleaner head, you can seamlessly vacuum over carpet, wood, vinyl etc without stopping to adjust the height. Allergy-sensitive users will especially love the hygienic dirt ejector.


Miele Cat and Dog Dynamic U1 Upright Vacuum

This upright vacuum by Miele is purrrfect for pet owners. A powerful suction captures 99.9% of hair at the same time an aggressive brushroll and charcoal filter absorb pet odors. It also comes with the STB 101 mini turbo head attachment, specifically for vacuuming fur off of upholstery. Meeeow!


Riccar Deluxe Clean Air Upright Vacuum (R25D)

Upright vacuums have few drawbacks. However, one common issue is their inability to reach tight or difficult places. The Riccar Deluxe was specifically designed to lay down completely flat, making it significantly easier to get under coaches, tables, beds and more. With an impressive selection of modes, accessories and tools, this is the most versatile vacuum on our list.


And last, but far from least, our pick for the best upright vacuum of 2021 is...


SEBO X7, X8, X9

Great suction, quick draw wand, auto-height adjustment, auto-clog protection, simplified assembly and a unique squeegee underside that prevents the spread of debris. The only thing the SEBO X series can't do is draw you a warm bath and light your eucalyptus incense. Perhaps best of all, this German-born machine averages 20'30. Easily our favourite upright vacuum this year!