The Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet: Top 5 List

[Updated list as of November 2017] Shag carpets are wonderful in homes, but cleaning them can be a pain sometimes. That’s why we need the best vacuum for shag carpet on our tool list. No one wants to damage that great carpet so it’s important to choose your vacuum carefully. Suction that’s too powerful can yank the pile and wheels that are too small will get stuck.

Check out our researched list of great shag carpet vacuums to find exactly what fits your needs and budget.

The Best Vacuum For Shag Carpet Comparison Chart




Price: $$$$

Weight: 15 lbs

1.3 Qt Dust Cup

30 Foot Cord

8 Foot Hose





Price: $$$$$

Weight: 11 lbs


30 Foot Cord

No Hose



Best Value

Price: $$

Weight: 15 lbs

2.4 Qt Dust Cup

25 Foot Cord

4 Foot Hose




Great Value

Price: $$$

Weight: 15 lbs


30 Foot Cord

12 Foot Hose



Award Winner

Price: $$$$$

Weight: 17 lbs

2.2 Qt Dust Cup

30 Foot Cord

15 Foot Hose


Shag Carpet Vacuum Reviews


1. Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away 3-in-1 Vacuum

best vacuum for shag carpetThe Shark brand is a fairly well-known brand that is definitely on the up-and-up for quality. This Shark Rotator Professional Vacuum is no different.

The Rotator definitely makes our list on the best vacuum for shag carpet.  It comes with an intuitive design, different attachments and a solid construction to completely clean your shag carpet without leaving any dirt, dust or debris behind. It’s not the most “advanced” design in terms of style, but the performance more than makes up for it.

This Navigator style comes with three different operating modes: a portable pod, a convenient rolling canister, and a standard upright vacuum. The three modes will insure that all that high pile in shag carpet are cleaned and vacuumed properly.

It also comes with a number of classic features that makes it one of the best when it comes cleaning your shag carpet. Some of these features include; LED headlights, motorized rotating brush, lift-away/roll over canister, never loses suction technology, pivoting head, and a sealed HEPA filter.

The motorized brush can also be turned off it you really notice the bristles trapping the pile in your carpet. We don’t foresee that happening, but some shag carpets are extremely long and can’t have any motorized brushes on them.

From the features mentioned, you can clearly tell that this is a vacuum that has been fully incorporated with features that will not only capture dust, allergens from your breathing air, but also keep them from getting back in the air.

What Else Is the Shark Good On?

Well glad you asked, because if you’re going to invest in a vacuum, it should be able to handle multiple tasks.

The Navigator Rotator is also fantastic on pet hair. So if you have pets with that shag carpet, this is a great choice for you. It’s also great on hardwood and laminate floors thanks to the motorized brushes having an off switch. You can easily transition this Rotator from hardwood over to shag carpet.

The Rotator is also great on stairs! With the portable pod mode, you can lift the dust cup and suction pole up and easily carry it around those stairs. Another useful feature for carpeted stairs.

You can see pricing and more on the Rotator here on Amazon.


2. Oreck Magnesium LW100 SP

best shag carpet vacuumWe’ve probably all seen those Oreck commercials of those insanely light-weight vacuums promising the world. Well, this Oreck does it’s job extremely well, although it’s not quite as light as the one in the commercials.

The Magnesium LW100 was built to be versatile but effective on thick carpet. With a weight of only 7.7 lbs, this vacuum is definitely easy to carry around. And it also is built with large rubber wheels to power through those thick shag carpets.

The LW100 has two power modes for multi-surface cleaning. The high power mode will be best for those thick shag carpets. And the low power mode is great on hardwood surfaces and even gentle enough for Persian rugs! The Oreck does have a normal beater brush design, but it won’t get trapped or damage your shag rugs.

The LW100 has a long 30-foot cord so you can definitely extend your cleaning session without having to stop for plugging. It also comes with a HEPA filtered bag which claims to capture 99.97% of particles in the air.

That design helped the LW100 win the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval. That is quite an achievement for a vacuum.

The Magnesium even had pretty good reviews on plush carpet through Consumer Reports!

The last two little benefits of this vacuum are the side brushes and lay-flat design. The side brushes help you ride up against walls and cabinets and get all the junk that sits in those cracks. The lay-flat design helps you reach underneath the couch and kitchen table.

What Else Is The Oreck LW100 Good On?

The Oreck is also very effective on hardwood floors. The low power mode makes it ideal for picking up particles like food and dirt. It can also be used on low pile carpet if you happen to have that also.

Lastly, there were several reviews on Amazon specifically talking about thick high pile carpet and how effective this Oreck vacuum was. The reviewers talked specifically about how they’ve tried several other vacuums and absolutely love the Oreck for their shag carpets.

Here’s the challenge some people would have… It is a bag vacuum. So you will have to order replacement bags when the 8-quart bags fill up. Depending on what you need, this could be considered a negative. But remember, it’s the bag component that gives that 99.97% seal and removal of dirt. It’s really a personal preference on this.

Another downfall is the lack of a hose attachment system. That can really limit some people and you should know before you buy that this doesn’t have a hose.

The other big challenge is the price. Oreck vacuums are not cheap. They are quality vacuums, but not cheap. You do get a 7-year warranty if the seller is Oreck so that is helpful.

You can see pricing and more on the Oreck here on Amazon.


3. Bissel 9595A Vacuum – The Best Shag Carpet Vacuum On A Budget

best vacuum for shag rugBissell is a brand that is well known for its great products and with this vacuum, they did not disappoint. The 9595A is a good option for thick carpets, but it is slightly limited since it’s more budget conscious. I

Bissell vacuums are well designed and built and the 9595A is no different. It comes with Cyclonic System motor for strong and long lasting suction. It has a standard extendable toolbrush for cleaning stairs, furniture and tight spaces. And it’s bagless which makes emptying the dirt cup nice and simple.

The Bissell has a beater brush that you can turn off with a switch. Depending on how thick your carpet is, this will definitely be useful. It also has 5 adjustable heights levels for you to decide where to clean. That makes the Bissell one of the most versatile vacuums for thick carpet since you can choose the suction height.

If you need a basic and affordable vacuum for thick shag carpets, the Bissell 9595A is a great choice.

Just remember, there are some drawbacks since this is a value choice. The 9595A doesn’t come with any other attachments for different needs. It also weighs about 15 lbs which is noticeably more than some of the other vacuums. So it won’t be as portable.

The Bissell has a slightly shorter cord (25 feet) so it will have a little more cleaning time to change plugs. Lastly, it comes with a decent 2-year warranty. That’s not bad, but we’ve seen a few other companies offer better.

If you’re looking for a budget option, the Bissell can really be a great option if you can accept some of the shortcomings.

You can see pricing and more on the Bissell here on Amazon.


4. Hoover T-Series Windtunnel Pet Bagged UH30310

best vacuum for shag carpetHoover is a great brand that many people know and trust. So naturally they would have at least one vacuum on our list of great shag carpet vacuums.

This T-Series Windtunnel has the main features you need to perform not only on shag carpet, but also on other carpet and hardwood in the house.

The two main features that make it great for shag, are the adjustable height (5 positions) and on/off switch for the beater brush. Since everyone has slightly different shag carpets, these are fantastic features. For those who have insanely long pile, turning off the beater brush will be the most effective. And yet other people will need to adjust the height up so fit on their carpet.

The T-Series also comes in at 15 lbs which is light enough to be mobile around the home. Combine that with a full 30-foot cord and LED headlights and you can clean large areas in a breeze.

With Hoover’s patented WindTunnel technology, they claim the suction power is perfect for picking up the stubborn dirt trapped in carpets, but gentle enough not to blow debris all over the house.

This is a bagged vacuum so you will need to order bag replacements now and again, but since the bags are HEPA sealed it might be worth it for some people.

The last nice little features on the T-Series are the Bag Check indicator light which tells you when the bag is full. The bag comes in an easy to detach compartment that automatically seals the bag when opened. It has no-scuff wheels and side bars to prevent any damage to walls, hardwood floors and furniture.

It comes with a full 2-year warranty which is fairly standard in the industry.

The biggest downside is maneuverability. The T-Series does not have swivel technology like we’re seeing in many other high-end brands. And at 15 lbs, it’s not the best to use on stairs. The Hoover does come with a 12-foot wand, but that may or may not be enough for everyone.

What Else Is The Hoover T-Series Good On?

Obviously since the name says “pet hair” it should be very capable of picking up pet hair. That’s exactly what many of the reviews claim also. Several noted how they bought the vacuum because a friend recommended it based on pet hair and they absolutely were right!

Many people have also found it to work very well on hardwood and medium pile carpets. The beater brush and height adjustments are definitely the biggest components responsible for this. Since you can turn the brush off, it’s great on hardwood floors.

You can see more info and pricing on the Hoover T-Series here on Amazon.


5. Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 206900

best shag carpet vacuum 2017You had to know a Dyson was going to make the list. Dyson’s always make the list at least once (if not more). This is definitely a fantastic vacuum that is modern and very effective when cleaning a shag carpet.

First off, the Dyson family has won the JD Power and Associates Award for Customer Satisfaction on upright vacuums in 2016. If that doesn’t put a good stamp on this vacuum, nothing will.

The Ball has a unique self-adjusting cleaner head that will detect the correct height for your surface to get the maximum cleaning done. Combine that with Dyson’s patented suction design and you’re in good shape. On top of that, you can even turn off the beater brush to insure you won’t harm those shag carpets.

What everyone loves about the Ball vacuums is the easy maneuverability. Obviously the Ball is no different and will be a breeze to push around those thick shag carpets. This Ball also has HEPA filters to give you that fresh clean air feeling.

It’s bagless so no replacements necessary here and it has an easy release system to dump the dirt right in the trash. And with a full 30-foot cord, you’ll be cleaning large areas without having to stop to unplug.

As with all Dyson vacuums, the biggest downside is the price. This one is definitely on the more expensive side of the budget. But just keep in mind that Dyson offers a 2 year warranty even through Amazon. From what we’ve seen on the Amazon reviews, several people have commented on how well this vacuum works on shag carpets even with pet hair.

The other small drawback on this Dyson is the weight. It comes in just over 17lbs which is also on the heavier side of our list. A few extra pounds won’t hurt, but it’s worth noting so you’re fully informed.

What Else Is The Dyson Ball Good On?

Stairs. The Ball comes with an instant extendable wand that’s great on stairs. Combine that with the Dyson’s usual effectiveness on pet hair and you’ve got a solid home vacuum here.

What’s also great is the beater brush being able to turn off. With that, you can even use the Ball on hardwood and laminate floors without worrying about blowing dust everywhere.

You can see more info and pricing about the Dyson Ball here on Amazon.


The Buyers Guide on How To Find Your Best Shag Carpet Vacuum

So what should be the most important features when looking for shag carpet vacuums? Well they’ve all been shown here on this list.

You want to look at your current shag carpet and determine how long you think the pile is. Super long pile means you need a beater brush that can turn off. Beater brushes and super long pile do not mesh well.

If your pile isn’t too crazy long, you can get away with a running beater brush, but then suction power is your next concern. Suction that’s too strong will only destroy the carpet, but too little and you won’t clean anything. Each vacuum on our list was chosen because it has great reviews of people using it on shag carpet. The proof is in the pudding.

Another big factor is wheels. Small wheels will do nothing on shag carpet. You need larger wheels that can navigate through that pile. Rubber wheels (or plastic with rubber coating) is best. It’ll harm the carpet and wood floors least.

Finally, you want to determine which type of dust collection method you prefer. Do you want better air quality with a bag that needs replacing every few weeks? Or do you prefer the convenience of having a canister you can simply dump into the garbage. That’s a personal choice you need to make.


Our Personal Recommendation:

If we had to choose one of these vacuums…. it would honestly be the Shark Rotator. We own shark vacuums in our house and absolutely love them. Our Shark is versatile, strong, has great suction and has lasted us 2 years strong already. We have already made a decision in our home that our next vacuum will be a Shark again.

It’s a little more pricey than some other vacuums on the list, but still not as bad as a Dyson. It does the job better than most and comes with a great warranty.

Also, feel free to check out some other reviews. If you’re interested in newer trends, see our backpack vacuum reviews here. Or give a look to our top vacuums under $200 if you’re on a budget. If you have another one you believe is the best vacuum for shag carpet, let us know in the comments or by contacting us. Good luck and stay strong!

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