The Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet

A Shark Navigator upright vacuum sits on thick shag carpet

Shag carpets are great additions to a home. Super thick and plush, they add comfort and style to any room. However, their deep ply and thick fibers capture dirt and debris, and are very difficult for the average vacuum cleaner to clean. 

Shag carpets are some of the hardest things to clean in your home, which means that you need the proper vacuum cleaner for the job. We've found the top options for the best vacuum for shag carpets for your home.

​What to Consider

​Shag carpet is beautiful, but lets be honest... it is not easy to clean. The super thick carpet fibers are like a magnet for for dirt and debris. And, once deeply embedded in the carpet, they are very difficult to get out.


The best vacuum for shag carpets starts with having an incredible amount of power and suction. ​This is why you don't see any cordless vacuum cleaners or stick vacuums on our list. While there are a lot of cordless stick vacuums that have decent power, none are strong enough to truly be a best fit for shag carpet.

Note that we're not saying that cordless stick vacuums don't have very much power, because there are a lot of great cordless options. With that being said, we are specifically talking about shag carpet. And, we found better options that had stronger power and were designed for really thick carpet. 

​To that point, corded vacuum cleaners draw maximum power. Certain brands and cleaners have specifically designed technology for increasing the suction power of the vacuum. Dyson and Hoover, for example, do a fantastic job with their cyclonic technology, which maximizes the power with which the vacuum sucks.

Brush Roller

Another important feature is the brush roller. Without a brush roller, a vacuum cleaner can't dislodge dirt and debris from the shag carpet, and would have to rely on suction power alone. Powerful suction combined with a good brush roller are the ingredients to the best vacuum for shag carpet.

​Have you ever been using your vacuum cleaner, and it gets really hard to push when you get on thick carpet? That's because the brush roller isn't powerful enough to easily push through the thick fibers.

Many brush rollers get stuck and don't perform well on shag carpet. The best vacuum for shag carpet is specifically designed with a powerful brush roller.


Lastly, while this doesn't effect performance, keep an eye on how easy the vacuum cleaner is to maneuver. Shag carpet is thick and not easy to continually push a vacuum through. Many brush rolls are designed to subtly "push" the vacuum cleaner through the carpet, which is perfect for vacuuming shag carpet.

In summary, the best vacuum for shag carpet needs to be powerful with strong suction. It should have a high performing brush roll, and you'll benefit from a design that eases its maneuverability. Here are the three vacuums for shag carpet that we recommend.

​Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Vacuum

The ​Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a fantastic entry level vacuum for vacuuming shag carpet. Don't get us wrong - this is not a cheap vacuum by any stretch. The Shark Navigator is one of the most popular and versatile vacuum's on the market, and one of the few that work equally as well on shag carpet.

​This Shark is significantly cheaper than the other options we've reviewed, and puts a strong focus on it's anti-allergen cleaning. And, it is a convenient 2 in 1 vacuum cleaner, which means you'll be able to use it for a variety of circumstances.

As mentioned, one of our favorite parts about this particular vacuum is that it is very clean and effective in terms of removing allergens and dust particles from the air you breathe.

The Shark Navigator features anti-allergen complete seal technology. This means that once dirt and anything else enters this vacuum, it won’t simply come back out.

Moreover, this model also includes a state of the art HEPA filter. It has the ability to remove almost 100% of dust and allergens from the air so you can breathe easy. It’s a great option to go with for anyone who has allergies or breathing issues.


  • ​​Convenient 2-1 cleaner
  • ​10 amp motor
  • ​Anti-Allergen HEPA filter
  • ​Brush roller
  • ​Well designed manueverability
  • ​12.5 lbs / 25 ft cord

Another thing that we really like about this vacuum is that it is a two in one model. In other words, you can use the Shark Navigator Professional for cleaning floors, and at the same time disconnect the hose and canister from the base for versatility. Clean your car, your stairs, your curtains and blinds... there are lots of options.

This Shark Navigator is lightweight compared to the Dyson we review below, weighing in at 12.5 lbs. It is equally as maneuverable, which is essential for pushing it across shag carpets. 

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional comes with several accessories including an extension wand for those hard to reach areas, a small hard bristled motorized tool for carpets, a soft brush hardwood cleaning tool, and microfiber pads.

While you might not need hardwood and laminate floor tools, getting them will make your vacuum more versatile. The Homemakers Journal has a great review on laminate flooring vacuums. 

​While this Shark does not have as many accessories as the Dyson, ​there are plenty of features to get the job done.

​Why Buy?

​The most affordable, versatile vacuum for shag carpet on the market.

shark navigator thick shag carpet

Dyson Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner

​The very best vacuum for shag carpet available right now, the Dyson DC65 Animal comes with absolutely everything you need to clean your home from top to bottom, and that includes shag carpets too. The sheer amount of tools that the Dyson DC65 Animal includes is extremely impressive.

First off, lets talk about the suction power of this Dyson. Using its signature Ball technology and 11.7 amps of power, this vacuum cleaner is perfect for shag carpet because it powerful. VERY powerful. ​

Next, lets focus on the brush roller. It's Better Brush Bar comes with 2 rear wheels and short, stiff bristles, making it ideal for shag carpet. This model also comes with a tangle-free turbine tool.


  • ​Radial Root Cyclone technology
  • ​Powerful suction at 1200 watts
  • ​Washable HEPA filter
  • ​Upgraded Better brush bar
  • ​Manuevers with one hand
  • ​17 lbs / 35 ft cord

This tool features opposite moving stiff bristles with an articulating base plate. In other words, it can easily remove pet hair from carpets and upholstery without getting tangled or clogged.

​Now lets talk about all of the accessories that this vacuum comes with. The Dyson DC65 Animal comes with an up top tool, which features a bent hose with a brush. This tool is ideal for getting on top of cabinets and high up window sills.

You also get a soft dusting brush. It has soft bristles with good suction power, making it ideal for things like tables, windows, and blinds.

You also get a reach under tool that is specifically designed to get under hard to reach areas like under your sofa. The stiff bristle tool is great for getting stiff and stuck on dirt out of carpets and off of hard surfaces. You even get a combination stair cleaning tool as well as a mattress cleaning tool.

The ​Dyson DC65 Animal ​comes with a large dust canister that is easily emptied for your convenience. The vacuum itself also has a reclining design, making it easy to get to hard to reach areas.

In regards to maneuverability, this vacuum doesn't have any special self-propel features. But, it is surprisingly easy to move around, and does really well on shag carpet. Don't be too alarmed by it's weight, as it is not hard to move along your carpet.

​Why Buy?

​​Incredibly powerful, with all the bells & whistles, this is the best vacuum for shag carpet on the market.

Hoover Carpet Basics Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner

This Hoover is a little different than the other two models we've reviewed so far. But, if you really need a great tool designed specifically for cleaning shag carpet​, then this really might be the way to go. Unlike other vacuums we have looked at, this is a wet model, which means that it can use soap and water to clean your carpets.

This Hoover will work as a normal "dry" vacuum for carpets as well, but it won't work for hardwood floors. It features hard bristles which work wonders for cleaning carpets, but they may damage hardwood floors, so keep this machine away from your wood floors.

You can use this model with soap and water for big cleaning jobs, or just use it with water. The nozzle allows for big suction power while the bristles pull all kinds of dirt and grime out of your carpets. The counter rotating brushes are fantastic for getting all kinds of grit out of carpets, plus they won’t get tangled with hair.

Why Wet?

A wet vac will do a much deeper clean, as it uses detergent and soap. The vac isn't very versatile, though.

​The Hoover FH50150 does come with a special extension hose and upholstery cleaning accessory. This model features an easy to fill and maintain tank that can hold plenty of water. It also has a separate detergent canister with an automatic detergent injection feature.

To finish things off, this Hoover FH50150 has a heated blow dry feature to quickly dry your carpets.

If you're focusing on the very best vacuum to get your shag carpets deeply cleaned, we highly recommend this Hoover. Not only will it use its suction power to pull the dirt and debris out, but it will also deep clean the carpet using detergent and water.

If, instead, you're looking for a versatile vacuum that can handle your shag carpets along with the rest of the surfaces in your home, then you should look at the ​Shark Navigator Lift-Away or the Dyson DC65 Animal.

​Why Buy?

​​A strong wet/dry vacuum that deeply cleans your shag carpets. 


At the end of the day, remember that the right tool will make your carpet cleaning job quick and simple. For those lighter jobs, a simple vacuum might do, but for the deep shag carpets, you will need something bigger and more powerful.

When it comes to the best vacuum for shag carpet, here are our final verdicts:​

Best Affordable Vacuum for Shag Carpet:

Best Overall Vacuum for Shag Carpet:

Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet ONLY:

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