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Best Vacuum For Shag Carpet

High and thick pile carpets, like shag carpets, are a favorite for many homeowners because they are soft and give the house a luxurious look. 

However, they are high maintenance because the deep pile tends to trap anything small, from pet hairs to dust, which can be hard to rid of, especially when you are vacuuming.

Top 5 Vacuums For Shag Carpets (Summary)

Image Product Details
sample-table__image Quickest CleaningEureka
  • Airflow can be controlled with ease
  • Multi-surface function
  • Cyclone filtration system
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sample-table__image Most PowerfulTineco
  • Multiple brushes
  • Powerful filtration system
  • Dual rechargeable batteries
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sample-table__image Lowest Noise LevelsSoniclean
  • Works without causing damage
  • Utilizes unique sonic technology
  • Adjustable vent system and cleaning mode
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sample-table__image Kenmore
  • Power modes can be controlled for carpets and bare floors
  • HEPA filtration system
  • Provides strong suction for cleaning all kinds of dirt
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sample-table__image Oreck
  • HEPA filter bag
  • Suitable for plush carpets and hard floors
  • Made of durable materials
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For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.

Lucky for you, there are vacuum cleaners that are designed to clean shag carpets without ruining them in the process. 

What Is a Specialized Vacuum Cleaner for Shag Carpets

Shag carpets are a great addition to any home. After all, they are soft, warm and comfortable, improve the décor of any room and are some of the best vacuum cleaners for value. However, keeping them clean is a whole other issue. Their deep pile nature makes them dirt magnets which makes vacuuming a challenge. 

Most shark vacuums reviewed and shop vacs in the market are designed to work on low pile carpets and you will have to do your research on the best vacuums for high pile carpets. 

Benefits of Using a Vacuum for Shag Carpets

Here are a few benefits of using a specialized vacuum for your shag carpets and rugs:

Prolongs the Life of Your Carpet

Using the wrong vacuum on your shag carpets and rugs will not only cause damage to the carpet but the vacuum as well. Choosing a good device for your high pile carpet ends up prolonging its life because you will not be pulling at the fabrics.

Gets All the Dirt

Like mentioned, most carpets found in the market are meant for low pile carpets and it will be hard finding one for your shag carpets and rugs.

However, they are there if you know what you are looking for. Since shag carpet tends to trap dirt and hair easily, a regular vacuum cleaner will not work. A specialized cleaner for shag carpets has enough suction to remove anything embedded within the carpet fibers without ruining it in the process. 

How Vacuum for Shag Carpets Works

Vacuum cleaners for shag carpets are designed to get through to the deep pile removing dirt, animal hairs and any other debris that may be trapped in the fibers. 

Vacuum for Shag Carpets vs Pet Hair

If you have pets at home, then you are always in a constant struggle of how to get the hair out of your shag carpets. Regular vacuums are designed to work on low pile carpets and as such will not work on high pile ones.

Devices for shag carpet have just the right suction power to get in between the fabrics and the brush ends up trapping any animal hairs without destroying the carpet fibers. 

Vacuum for Shag Carpets vs Mold and Other Hard Stains

Vacuum for Shag Carpets vs Mold and Other Hard Stains

Carpets including shag ones are susceptible to mold and stain damage, especially if you have small kids and animals at home.  Some models come with a steam cleaner that makes it easy to remove molds and other stains, like urine stains, from the carpet without ruining the quality of the rug. However, this is all dependent on the material of the carpet. 

Types of Vacuum Cleaners for Shag Carpets


Upright vacuums tend to have an upright piece that houses the head, motor as well as the bin. The handle is what connects all the pieces together making cleaning very easy. 

Some models have wheels while others don’t. Most of them are also bagless which means that you have no additional maintenance costs of buying dirtbags every now and then. 


In a canister cleaner, the canister and dustbin are separated from the hose and vacuum head. This means that you don’t have to drag the whole unit with you when you are vacuuming making it easy to clean different rooms and even stairs. 

However, the downside with these kinds of vacuums is that they are noisy and only work when you are cleaning one room, otherwise you still have to drag the whole unit with you when moving to another room. 

They are either bagged or bagless and most models come with additional attachments that make it easy to clean other surfaces like sofas and curtains and are some of the best laminate floor vacuums.


Bagged vacuum cleaners have been there for years and have a dirtbag that you have to replace when it gets full. With such devices, you incur additional costs of buying dirtbags although you will find them at an affordable price.

Bagged vacuum cleaners are clean as you don’t have to empty the bag which can trigger allergic reactions in some people. All you need is to remove the bag, throw it away and replace it with another one. 


Bagless vacuums make use of a plastic dustbins located within the machine. The bin collects dust, animal hair and any other debris on your floor. Most vacuum cleaner manufacturers today are making bagless devices and as such they dominate the market.

The only downside is that you will always come into contact with the dust when you are emptying the bin and as such they’re not the best option for someone with allergy issues. 

What Makes a Good Vacuum for Shag Carpets

What Makes a Good Vacuum for Shag Carpets


The height of the vacuum cleaner matters in terms of efficiency in cleaning. The last thing you want is a device that causes back problems because the height can’t be adjusted. As such, buy a vacuum cleaner whose height you can adjust easily depending on what you are vacuuming. 


The suction power will determine just how effective cleaning will be. For shag rugs and plush carpets, you want to get a cleaner that has enough suction to reach deep within the fibers to remove dust and pet hairs without ruining the carpet. 


When it comes to shag carpets, the size of the wheels matter. For one, if you get a tool that has small wheels, you may have a hard time moving the vacuum along the carpet.

What you want are large wheels that will not be caught up in the carpet fibers. 


Shag carpets, while they may look good, are dirt magnets and tend to trap animal hairs easier than regular carpet. As such, the padding and brush in the vacuum cleaner you get should be able to remove the hairs without damaging the carpet in the process. 


Most vacuums in the market are designed for low pile carpets and they have high suction that removes dirt and debris from the carpet easily. 

However, this suction power on shag carpets ends up damaging your investment in the process. You want a vacuum that has the right power to clean your carpet without causing damage. 


With a vacuum cleaner, even those made for shag carpets, you want additional attachments that make it easy to clean other surfaces like sofas. 


Vacuum for Shag Carpets Exhaust

The exhaust determines the quality of air in the house. It is the last filter that air goes through before leaving the vacuum. You want a device that has a good exhaust that doesn’t release dust and air back into the house after vacuuming. 


This is in terms of the bin capacity. The last thing you want is to keep emptying the bin after cleaning a few rooms because it gets filled quickly. 


There is nothing annoying like the noise of a vacuum cleaner when you are trying to concentrate on other things. As such, when looking for a device consider the noise levels and get one that is quiet. 


With vacuum cleaners, the kind of filters will determine just how effective it is. Vacuums with HEPA filters are way better as they are efficient in filtering air. 

Wire vs Wireless

A vacuum cleaner can either be corded or cordless. Corded options require to be plugged to power outlets and as such, the length of the cord matters.

Cordless ones run on battery and what you need to consider when buying them is the battery run time and how long it takes to reach full charge. 


Vacuum cleaners have so many systems running together and chances of one failing are high. As such, get an option that has a warranty, whether a five-year warranty or lifetime one. 


Unless money isn’t an issue for you, your budget will determine the kind of vacuum cleaner you will get. If you have a small house, there is no need breaking the bank for the more expensive models. 

Wet vs Dry Vacuuming

This is just a matter of personal preferences. If you will be doing wet cleaning, then you need a vacuum cleaner that has a steamer. For dry cleaning, a regular vacuum cleaner for shag carpets and rugs will work just fine. 

11 Best Vacuums for Shag Carpets Tested and Evaluated

1. Eureka NEN110A

Eureka NEN110A is a bagless machine that embodies versatility. It is equipped with a number of features that make cleaning effortless and quick. It is a multi-surface vacuum, which means it can be used on different types of flooring.

This machine comes with different accessories, some of which are a 2-in-1 crevice tool and a deep cleaning brush. Each tool attaches to the hose with a lock latch that keeps it in place during use.

There is an airflow control integrated into the handle that makes the multi-surface function possible. This control has three settings, which are carpet, hardwood floors and upholstery.

It is outfitted with a cyclone filtration system that ensures clean air after every cleaning. It has a 3-liter dust cup that can be easily emptied by pressing a button. The filter can be washed and reused, eliminating the need for constant replacement.

Eureka NEN110A


  • Multi-surface function and accessories make it very versatile
  • Airflow can be controlled with ease
  • Cyclone filtration system ensures consistent air filtration

  • Hose is liable to fold up or collapse during use

2. Tineco A11

Tineco A11 Vacuum for Shag Carpets is a cleaning powerhouse that utilizes two Li-ion batteries to provide top-notch cleaning on multiple surfaces. The detachable batteries can be charged at the same time so that you always have full power.

This vacuum has two LED power brushes that work for different floor types. There is a multi-task power brush that loosens embedded dirt from carpets. The second brush is a soft-roller and works best on hardwood floors.

Its 450W motor delivers powerful suction at low noise levels. Its dual batteries provide up to 60 minutes runtime, which is usually enough to do a thorough and deep cleaning of any room. The two power modes, trigger and continuous, make it suitable for both quick and deep cleaning.

This machine uses 4 stages sealed filtration system to filter air and prevent leakage of dust. The 0.6 liters dustbin can be detached, emptied and reattached with ease.



  • Multiple brushes for carpets and hard floors
  • Dual rechargeable batteries provide up to 1-hour runtime
  • Powerful filtration system that prevents dust leakage

  • Battery life might reduce with time

3. Eureka Powerspeed NEU188A

Eureka PowerSpeed NEU188A Shag Carpet Vacuum is a lightweight machine at 10 pounds. It is designed to provide optimal performance on different surfaces and floor types. Its weight, coupled with its various accessories, makes cleaning hard-to-reach places like ceilings and underneath appliances very easy.

It provides powerful suction that has a 5-height adjustment setting, each meant for use on different flooring types. The vacuum head features LED lights, which, along with the transparent brush cover, help you to visualize your cleaning path clearly.

This vacuum has a quick release handle that makes switching cleaning accessories very easy. It comes with a flexible crevice tool, upholstery tool and a pet turbo brush. The pet brush is specially designed to clean pet hair out of any surface.

It has an extra-large dirt cup that holds a significant amount of debris and reduces frequent emptying during use.

eureka Powerspeed


  • Lightweight with powerful suction
  • Special brush for cleaning pet hair
  • Adjustment settings for multiple surfaces

  • Might be hard to use on smaller carpets or rugs

4. Iwoly V600

Iwoly V600 is a bagless stick vacuum that can be easily converted into a handheld cleaner. Its adjustable extension tool and 4.8 pounds weight allows you to reach high and tight spaces with ease.

It has a 16.4 feet long cord, which means you can clean an entire room in one pass. The floor head fixture is designed to be used on both hardwood floors and carpets.

It comes with an advanced cyclone HEPA filtration system that keeps the motor unclogged. This system also rids the air of bacteria and prevents dirt from escaping.

It has a swivel steering for easy cleaning of hard-to-reach spaces. It doesn’t take up much storage space as it can be hung up on its wall-mounted bracket.

iwoly V600


  • Fixtures for multiple cleaning purposes
  • Very lightweight
  • HEPA filtration system

  • Attachments might be hard to detach

5. Soniclean

Soniclean Vacuum for Shag Rugs uses sonic cleaning technology to get the dirt out of all carpets. Its sonic bar produces up to 200 vibrations per second, which proves effective in loosening the embedded dirt.

This vacuum utilizes a special brush roll with bristles that glides across your soft carpets. It provides a gentle cleaning action that doesn’t cause damage to the fibers. It also has a jam protection feature that stops the motor when an item is jammed in the brush roll.

Its unique adjustable vent system makes it easy to use on both dense and low-pile carpets. The vents are kept open for a dense carpet and closed for soft and low-pile ones. The large rubber wheels placed on front help the machine to glide easier, regardless of its thickness.

It has two digitally controlled cleaning modes. The quiet mode is meant for a quick carpet cleaning. The deep cleaning mode, which activates the sonic bar, provides deep cleaning for heavily soiled carpets. Its hospital-grade HEPA filter bags makes dirt disposal easy and hygienic.



  • Utilizes unique sonic technology to clean carpets
  • Works without causing damage
  • Adjustable vent system and cleaning mode for optimal cleaning performance
  • Jam protection feature that prolongs the working life of the motor and belt

  • Doesn’t come with any attachments

6. Miele C3

Miele C3 is a canister cleaner with specially designed features for cleaning soft carpets. Its 1200W motor provides strong suction that can be controlled with the use of footswitch pedals attached to the canister.

This cleaner has two different brush heads for different floor types. The electrobrush glides over soft carpets while reaching into the fibers to extract dirt. The parquet twister brush has soft bristles for gentle but effective cleaning of smooth and sensitive floors.

It has a dusting brush, upholstery tool and crevice tool attachments for cleaning hard-to-reach spaces. It has five level height adjustments that are suitable for high-pile and soft carpets.

The special AirClean filter system consists of a filter bag, motor protection filter and HEPA exhaust filter. This system filters out fine dust and cleans allergens from the air. The filter bags have a self-sealing collar that increases its dust retention capacity.

Miele Complete C3


  • Suction power can be controlled
  • Two brush heads for carpets and floors
  • Unique filter system with high dust retention capacity
  • Comes with attachments for cleaning multiple surfaces

  • Attachments and brush heads might become defective after a while

7. Kenmore Elite 81714

Kenmore Elite 81714 Shag Carpets Cleaner is a multifunctional tool, designed to clean a wide variety of surfaces in your home. It cleans hardwood floors without leaving scratches and also picks up dirt from carpets and upholstery.

Its dual motors combine to produce powerful suction and brush rotation that dig up embedded debris. It comes with four motorized attachments that can effectively clean pet hair, fine dust and large debris from edges and hard-to-reach places.

It has an LED light sensor that helps you see the dirt being picked up and also indicates when the dirt bag has reached full capacity. It has variable power modes that can be controlled as you transition from carpets to hard floors.

Its HEPA filtration system traps dust and prevents the release of allergens into the air, while a unique stair grip feature reduces the risk of the machine falling over, thereby preventing damage.

Kenmore Elite


  • Provides strong suction for cleaning all kinds of dirt
  • Power modes can be controlled for carpets and bare floors
  • HEPA filtration system

  • Might produce a high-pitched noise while working

8. Shark Navigator Deluxe

Shark Navigator is a machine that is both light and powerful. It comes with a lot of different tools like the cleaning wand, pet hair power brush and crevice tools, among others.

Its 25 feet cord length allows you to clean a large area at a stretch. It also has a large capacity dust cup with an anti-allergy seal that allows for extended cleaning without interruption.

It has a brush roll with soft bristles that easily clean up hard and bare floors without leaving smudges or scratches. It can also be used on smaller rugs for a good, deep cleaning.

This machine provides powerful suction throughout its runtime, thereby ensuring that your floors are as clean as can be at all times.

Shark Navigator


  • A lot of attachments for different purposes
  • Extra long cord and large capacity dust cup allow for uninterrupted cleaning
  • Extremely lightweight

  • Brush might stop rotating during use

9. Black+Decker BDASP103

Black+Decker BDASP103 Vacuum is an upright machine that utilizes air swivel technology to suck up dirt. It features a 170° swivel steering that allows for maximum maneuverability.

The brush head has a 12-inch cleaning path that makes cleaning large areas easy and quick. Its 25 feet cord length also allows for deep cleaning of large areas.

It comes with a 2-in-1 crevice tool and a small brush that are ideal for cleaning tight areas and underneath furniture. The pet tool also gets pet hair out of chairs and rugs.

The 2-liter capacity dirt cup can be easily detached and emptied without fuss. The filters can be washed and reused.



  • Utilizes unique air swivel technology
  • 12-inch cleaning path
  • Ideal for cleaning large areas at a stretch

  • Motor is liable to overheat during use, thereby causing it to power off

10. iRobot Roomba 890

iRobot Roomba 890 delivers a powerful suction that cleans up dirt easily. It features a unique cliff detect sensor that prevents it from tumbling downstairs or falling off pavements.

This product is compatible with AI programs like Alexa and Google’s assistant, which allows you to control its cleaning path through voice command. With the iRobot home app, you can schedule cleanings without having to be near the device.

It has a 3 stage cleaning system which loosens, lifts and suctions dirt. The cleaning head adjusts its height automatically to keep the multi-surface brushes in direct contact with different floor types. The edge-sweeping brush, which is placed at a 27° angle, ensures that dirt is swept from edges and corners into the path of the cleaning brushes.

Its game-changing dirt sensors alert the device about concentrated areas of dirt and perform a deep and thorough cleaning in those areas. It has a runtime of 90 minutes, after which it automatically docks itself and starts recharging, thereby ensuring that your device is ready to go at all times.

iRobot Roomba


  • Cliff detect sensor that prevents falls and damage
  • Can be controlled through voice commands
  • Utilizes a 3 stage cleaning system, dirt sensors and edge-sweeping brushes to provide thorough cleaning
  • Can work for up to 90 minutes cordless

  • Might not pick up pet hair easily
  • Produces a loud noise while working

11. Oreck LW100

Oreck LW100 is made from durable magnesium. It provides all qualities of a powerful vacuum and can withstand a great deal of wear and tear.

It has a 30 feet long cord that allows for fewer stoppages between cleaning. It is ideal for low to medium-pile carpets, tiles, hardwood and bare floors.

It has two cleaning speeds. The high speed is better suited for plush carpets while the low speed is better for delicate rugs and hard floors.

It has a HEPA filter dust bag that captures the finest dust particle and traps them, leaving the air clean and fresh. Its power switch is located beneath the handle for easy reach.

Oreck LW100Oreck LW100


  • Made of durable materials
  • Suitable for plush carpets and hard floors
  • HEPA filter bag

  • Doesn’t come with extra cleaning accessories

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

With a vacuum cleaner, even those for shag carpets, more spending does mean more quality. If you have a shag carpet, the last thing you want is to compromise on quality and end up ruining your carpet in the process. With expensive models, you will be paying for such things as additional attachments, more battery run time and a better brush. 

Shag Carpet Vacuum Cleaner vs Other Shag Carpet Cleaning Tools

Shag Carpet Vacuum Cleaner vs Other Shag Carpet Cleaning Tools

Shag Carpet Vacuum Cleaner vs Steam Mop

A shag carpet cleaner is very effective in getting through the fibers and removing anything embedded within them from dust to pet hairs. However, not all models have additional attachments like a steamer to remove mold and stains which is where the perfect steam mop comes in. 

Shag Carpet Vacuum Cleaner vs Sweeper

A floor sweeper, while it can work on regular carpet, may end up ruining carpets with long fibers or high pile carpets when you are cleaning. In such a case, you should rather just stick to your shag carpet cleaner. 

Shag Carpet Vacuum Cleaner vs Regular Vacuum

With the best carpet vacuum, you can only use them on low pile rugs and carpets because they have powerful suction. A mini car vacuum or hardwood vacuums have so much suction that will end up ruining your shag carpets. 

Quick Tips for Maintaining Rugs and Carpets

Step 1 – Vacuuming regularly

Regular vacuuming will ensure that dust and pet hair don’t build up over time.

Step 2 – Regular cleaning

Once a year ensure that you deep clean your rugs and carpets to get rid of any dirt that the vacuum cleaner may not remove. 

Step 3 – Clean spills immediately

With carpets and rugs, the longer a spill stays without being cleaned, the higher the chances of it leaving a stain. 

Step 4 – Protect from direct sunlight

Long term exposure to direct sunlight may leave your carpets looking faded so make sure to close the blinds when it’s sunny. 

How to Clean Shag Carpets and Rugs

How to Clean Shag Carpets and Rugs


Synthetic shags are not the best of shag mats but cleaning them is much easier than wool shags. To remove stains and mold, you can use a steam cleaner once in a while. They can also withstand a gentle and cold cycle. After cleaning, air dry your carpet or rug. 


Wool shags come in two types. The noodle rug that has thick fibers and the shaggy wool whose fibers are much thinner and spaced. 

Because of the construction of wool shags, using a regular vacuum will only ruin the carpet. What you need is a canister vacuum, an upholstery attachment or a durable spin mop so that you can vacuum the fiber sides. 


Silk shags tend to have a smooth and natural shimmer and are very soft. While silk fibers are strong, it is very important to know how to clean them. 

When silk is exposed to water, it loses its strength. As such, if you have a silk carpet, it is important that you get a professional cleaner for serious stain. For less serious stains, follow the manufacturer’s instruction on how to deal with them.  

When spills occur, use an absorbent pad or a paper towel to remove and ensure that you don’t rub the spill. 

How to Clean and Maintain a Shag Carpet Vacuum Cleaner

Step 1 – Empty the bin

Just like with a regular vacuum cleaner, ensure that you check the bin before cleaning and empty it if it is nearly full. 

Step 2 – Clean the brush roll

The brush roll will pick up all manner of debris and hair. Remove the brush roll and using scissors or your fingers, remove anything that may be stuck within the bristles. 

How to Use a Shag Carpet Vacuum Cleaner

Step 1 – Check the bin

Before you begin cleaning, check to see that the bin if not full. If it is full, remove it and empty it. 

Step 2 – Adjust the height

The height of the vacuum determines the airflow and suction. If it’s too low, you won’t have enough air flow and suction will be affected if it’s set too high. 

Step 3 – Remove any obstacles

Remove small items that may get in the way when you are vacuuming so that you can do a thorough job. 

Step 4 – Switch on the vacuum

Switch on the vacuum and begin vacuuming with small gentle strokes pushing the device back and forth. Ensure that the suction power is enough such that the carpet fibers don’t get sucked into the vacuum. 

Do’s and Don’ts of a Shag Carpets Vacuum Cleaner

  • Do empty the bin or replace the bag when they are full for maximum performance.
  • Do clean the brush roll as too much debris and hair may affect the functioning of your vacuum cleaner.
  • Don’t drop the vacuum as this may affect its functionality in the long run.
  • Don’t use dirty filters as this will affect the quality of air in the house.

Frequently Asked Questions

Best filter for allergies?

The best filters for those who suffer from allergies are HEPA filters. 

How often should you clean rugs and carpets?

How often you clean your rugs and carpet will depend on the traffic. However, weekly vacuuming and once a year cleaning is important. 


While shag carpets are soft and improve the décor of any room, they are hard to care for unless you know how. A regular vacuum will not work on shag carpets but will end up damaging it in the process. What you need are specific vacuum cleaners designed for shag carpets and rags and the know-how of using them on your carpet.

Photos from: AlexShadyuk /, ambrozinio /, leungchopan /, Wavebreakmedia / and didesign /