Hi, this is the 78th update to the guide on best upright cleaners. And one more that we would call “boring”. Boring in terms that we had no major upsets, the one vacuum (we are of course talking about the Shark Navigator) is still by far the dominant in most categories and the rest of them are (most of the time) just trading places.
We do have, however, an interesting new arrival placed at no. 5.

Here’s what you can expect to see:

  • List of the winners in this bi-monthly update and their respective Overall Ratings
  • Results of our in house tests (Hexagonal, ILD, Cornell)
  • Scores and ratings from the user reviews
  • Short review of each of the upright vacuums

Let’s get straight to work. These are the results – the TOP 5 best-rated upright vacuum cleaner and their reviews:

PictureModelQuality
best_upright_shark_navigator_vacuum_reviewNavigator Lift-Away NV356E professional upright by Shark 9.25/10
top_rated_BISSELL_CleanView_reviews_and_ratingCleanVIew 9595A OnePass upright vacuum by Bissel8.75/10
hoover_linx_best_uprihght_vacuum_cleanerLinx cordless vacuum cleaner by Hoover8.75/10
Dirt_Devil_tested_and_reviewed_Simpli_StikSimpli-Stik SD20000RED stick vacuum by Dirt Devil8.25/10
dyson_animal_review_top_5_upright_vacuumsAnimal Complete DC65 upright vacuum cleaner by Dyson8/10

Navigator Lift-Away NV356E professional upright

best_upright_shark_navigator_vacuum_reviewBy Shark

1. Let’s go over the basic set of information about the vacuum:

  • Special technology for loss of suction prevention
  • Lightweight, with portable canister (XL capacity)
  • HEPA filter + Complete Seal anti-allergen technology
  • Dust Away attachment for hard floors featuring microfiber pad
  • Easily maneuverable due to swivel steering

 

2. Here’s what our tests had to say:

Navigator Lift-Away NV356E professional upright_vauum_in_house_testing

3. Moving on to hear what the customers had to say about this vacuum after buying and using it in their homes:

The PROs from user reviews:

  • It’s so easy to set up. I put it together in a couple of minutes, and I’m expecting my first baby… The manual is very comprehensive, which helped a lot too
  • At first I thought the parts were flimsy, or there’s something missing… Turn out, the vacuum is just way lighter than anything I’ve some across
  • It gathers dirt out of my carpet much better than my old upright! I’ve read a painful bunch of upright vacuum cleaner reviews thinking I’ll never get the right one since “they don’t make them as they used to”. Well, you’re wrong mother!
  • The suction is very powerful and remains constant throughout the whole vacuuming session. It does a great job at collecting hairs, whether mine or my pet’s and sucking out a lot of dirt out of my carpets
  • My house got less dusty after I started using this upright! I guess it pulled so much stuff out of my carpets that there’s just less of it now. Best upright vacuum cleaner ever for ridding me of weekly dusting torture!
  • It did a real number on the hard floor, and I hardly had to move it at all thanks to the long cord. Even my mini blinds had an attachment with their name on it
  • Never had such an easy time putting a piece of technology together; snap, click, snap, and done! I have three cats in my apartment, and this is the first time I got all their hairs out of the carpet without any sticky tapes
  • Much quieter than my old vacuum and very easy to navigate and push around
  • No smell of dust was the first thing I’ve noticed! The whole thing is airtight, unlike my previous vacuum that just shot all kinds of stuff into the air
  • I was somewhat concerned about all the plastic bits, but they seem pretty solid and more than able to carry their share of the weight

Let’s hear some of the negative experiences – the CONS:

  • The tube going from the lift-away to the end is somewhat short in my opinion. Longer tube will make this one perfect
  • It definitely took me a bit of practice to learn how to navigate the pet brush around stairs properly in order to clean the areas between them, but it definitely does the job once you know how
  • Check the roller brush for hairs and other stuff that might wrap around it before vacuuming! I failed to do that once and had to remove my dog’s hair with scissors

4. Here are the numbers based on what the users had to share about this vacuum:

Navigator Lift-Away NV356E professional upright_vacuum_user_rating
5. What we concluded based on our testing and user reviews

It’s getting increasingly hard to write anything new about this vacuum and the reasons behind the fact that it’s slowly getting a cult status.

No other vacuum that we know of beats it when it comes down to deep suction for the tiniest of particles. 2Diversified to work on ant floor or carpet type and the steering design (swivel) makes it very easy to use.

And the Anti-Allergen technology that (unlike some other vacuums) really does the job it sets out to do. Great for people with any allergy problems.

Overall Quality Rating is 9.25 / 10 for one of the coolest vacuums ever made.

CleanVIew 9595A OnePass upright vacuum

top_rated_BISSELL_CleanView_reviews_and_ratingBy Bissel

1. Here’s a basic info sheet directly from the company:

  • Lightweight vacuum featuring powerful suction and innovative design of the brush will clean easier, faster, and better
  • Innovative design of the brush enables rotating into the carpet in order to better clean on the first pass
  • Long-lasting ensured by a cyclonic system
  • TurboBrush, specially designed tool for upholstery, furniture, stairs, and more
  • Dirt tank is easy to empty, multi-leveled filtration, and tank filter made of washable foam

2. Here are the results of our in-house tests:

CleanVIew 9595A OnePass upright_vauum_in_house_testing

The overall grades of our own tests were not all that impressive, but the secret of every product’s success lies in what the customers have to say about it. Let’s see if there’ more to this vacuum than meets the eye.

3. Here’s what the real-life users felt the need to share with us:

Let’s begin with some positive experiences:

  • No husband was ever required during the assembly of this vacuum! I was done in less than 15 minutes feeling pretty proud of myself, I might add
  • I love the fact that I’ll never have to change another bag ever! This bad boy is bagless, and I know this might come off as a bit shallow, but at this moment it makes it the best upright vacuum cleaner I’ve ever had!
  • The filters are washable, so there will be no need for replacing a bunch of parts every week/month…
  • I always liked when I can store all of the different attachments on the body of the vacuum. Keeping them in drawers all around the house was just a pain, and this one requires no additional storage whatsoever
  • When I knew my old vacuum was done for, I did what any other reasonable shopper would, went through a lot of upright vacuum cleaner reviews online. I was about to call it quits when a friend of mine (well, actually his wife) recommended this one. I’m so thankful to them for sparing me further misery, and I’m writing this review to spread the recommendation
  • It’s pretty quiet. I’m not saying whisper quiet or anything, but much more than my older vacs
  • Very lightweight, so I can carry it up and down the stairs like it was nothing
  • The height level is very easy to adjust, and the brush can be set differently to treat thinner or thicker carpets
  • Decent power and performance for the money invested

Here are some features the users didn’t like:

  • I really wish the system for winding the cord was better thought through. I miss the auto-winding mode
  • The hose is pretty long, actually as it can reach 6ft. The problem is the whole vacuum goes towards it when I start pulling. If I want to keep it in place, I have to have somebody else holding it while I’m pulling
  • The unit of the vacuum is far too easy to tip over
  • The on/off switch is in a pretty poor location for me
  • I wish the power cord were at least a little longer

4. Here’s what the users said, translated into numbers:

CleanVIew 9595A OnePass upright vacuum_user_rating
5. Summing up the Bissell Upright review

This little guy is what you call a true bargain.

To see a warranty that covers the things Bissell promises with this one, you’d have to dig two or three times as much into your pockets.

It tested very well in our suction test, it’s power is just right for an average American home, the filter is washable, weighs less than most upright vacuums, a lot of handy accessories.

No significant noise and a decent length of the cord (25”).

Again, a nice bargain, one of the best value for money deals not only in uprights but in all vacuums and a great final Overall Rating of 8.75 for the Bissell CleanView.

Linx cordless vacuum cleaner

hoover_linx_best_uprihght_vacuum_cleanerBy Hoover

1. Let’s start with the basic manufacturer’s fact sheet:

  • Bagless and cordless stick vacuum cleaner featuring technology of WindTunnel
  • 18V battery (Lithium Ion) that’s interchangeable and provides a steady supply of power without the fading effect. Auto-adjustment of height
  • Power brush is motorized and will turn to face hardwood floors with a flip of a switch. 11”-wode nozzle
  • Bristles for edge-cleaning, the base is low-profile, the gauge indicates battery power, Energy Star charger for the battery
  • 11” x 8” x 42”
  • 2-year warranty; 2-year charger/battery warranty

2. These are the results of our in-house series of tests:

Linx cordless vacuum cleaner_in_house_testing
3. Let’s see what users said in their reviews about the Hoover Linx:

PROs:

  • It does a pretty good job at cleaning bare floors, has a bit of trouble with carpets and rugs, but manages to handle them eventually
  • It’s surprisingly good at collecting pet hairs
  • I like the on/off tool in the form of a brush; I can put it to good use when my floors really need a proper makeover. Overall, it’s not the best upright vacuum cleaner out there but definitely worth the price
  • The controls are pretty well positioned and easy to use. I like when everything’s on the handle, and I don’t have to reach for the unit every time I want to do something
  • The battery charge indicator is very useful and pretty accurate
  • The cup for dust collecting is very easy to clean when it gets dirty and even easier to empty
  • I’ve been over countless upright vacuum cleaner reviews looking for a decent, bagless vacuum, with a filter that’s easy to clean. This one really fits the bill, and the price is more than affordable

Here are some of the CONs from user reviews:

  • It gets a bit awkward when I try to vacuum the stairs. There’s no stair-handle, and I have to support it from bellow. It’s definitely not something I’m used to
  • I really wish the battery had a bit more of juice than 10 minutes. This way I have to make every minute count
  • It would be perfect if I got two batteries with this vacuum. One is just awkward since I always have to recharge it in order to get things done, and the additional one costs around 70 bucks

4. Here are the grades based on reviews of real-life users:

Linx cordless vacuum cleaner_user_rating
5. Conclusions of the Hoover Linx review

I have no doubt that this is the best selling Hoover ever made and company hit a bull’s-eye with this eye candy, which is no small thing for a company like Hoover. I’ve seen very few vacuums with more reviews and even fever with so many 5-star reviews online.

So, what’s so good about the LINX?

Unlike the vast majority of cordless vacuum cleaners, you can’t really tell the difference in suction as you are working with it. This, we think, is a much better battery power design (Lithium Ion 18 Volts) than feeling the suction power of your vacuum slowly fading away within the first few minutes of work.

Within that 20 minute window of full-blown battery power most American housewives (of husbands) will be able to comfortably do the job. When you’re done, it’s gonna take about 3 hours for the batteries to re-charge.

Decent container capacity of 0.225 gallons (which is what we measured) allows for a few sessions without emptying the container, although the company recommends to leave no debris in and to empty it after each use.

The filters are washable. A small tip here (that we’ve seen people complaining about) is nit to forget the small filter inside the cup. This small thing needs special care – you’d need to wash it and leave it out to dry for a day.

Cordless, very light and consequently, easy to use it’s obvious how the Hoover Linx founds it’s place into the top 5 in this cut-throath category.

Simpli-Stik SD20000RED stick vacuum

Dirt_Devil_tested_and_reviewed_Simpli_StikBy Dirt Devil

1. An Amazon best-seller, here are the basic specs:

  • 3-in-1 appliance. Functions as handheld vac, stick vac, and also utility vac
  • Handheld unit is very easy to detach from the main unit; crevice tool is onboard
  • On/off switch is very simple; wheels are smooth-rolling; convenient wrap for the cord
  • Construction is very lightweight and comfortable to carry; dust cup is removable
  • 7” x 11” x 45”
  • F25 Filter – 2SV1102000 will fit this unit perfectly

2. How we rated it based on our in-house tests:

Simpli-Stik SD20000RED stick vacuum_in_house_testing
3. Let’s start digging deeper into the customer reviews of this Dirt Devil:

Some of the more relevant PROs:

  • This is the best upright vacuum cleaner for small spaces. It performs really well considering how much I’ve paid for it. You won’t be too thrilled with it if you put a larger vacuuming space in front of it, though
  • It does a very good job picking up dust bunnies and crumbs from my bare floors. I don’t know if it behaves this well on carpets since I don’t have them anywhere
  • I had a battery operated upright before buying this one, and having a cord really feels like such a refreshment. The previous one required constant recharging, and I could never vacuum the entire apartment with just one fill
  • I’m pretty happy with this little vacuum. I have a very long hair, and nothing ever gets tangled anywhere when I’m vacuuming
  • It’s so lightweight and easy to carry and maneuver. It’s definitely not made for major vacuuming tasks, but it’s perfect for what it is
  • Suction power is pretty good, and I have to say I definitely expected less for that price. It’s very easy to clean also since instead bags you have this little cup that you just spill into the garbage
  • Really handy and can be used for A LOT of things. I especially like how I can just detach the handheld part from the base and vacuum even the hardest to reach places

The CONs as the users shared them:

  • Cord is somewhere between 6-8ft, which is somewhat short in my opinion
  • The number of amps is pretty low if you expect it to do some serious vacuuming stuff. It’s pretty ok for what it is, but you don’t want this as your main vac
  • It does a decent work, but I really don’t like the overall look and design
  • It has the ability to stand on its own, but tips over way to easily

4. Let’s see the numbers corresponding to user reviews:

Simpli-Stik SD20000RED stick vacuum_user_rating
5. Resume of the review of this Dirt Devil

The fact that this upright vacuum has been an Amazon best-seller for 80% of the last year tells a lot.

We feel like the crucial part of this is that it does exactly what the initial idea behind an upright vacuum was – it doesn’t set out to do all of the jobs, it sets out to do some of them but with an unparalleled ease.

Extremely light (under 4 pounds), slick and stylish, it’s a no brainer one of the few best vacuum cleaners (overall) to hit the market in the last decade. We feel that it’s ratings here don’t do it justice because of our strict testing ranges and because of what people expect from a vacuum (the stick vacuum was not initially envisioned to be a primary vacuum.

To be honest, this is the vacuum that “made” us adjust some of the testing ranges for this category and that process of adjustment is still happening. At some point we realized that having universal test ranges and values simply doesn’t work.

So, this vacuum alone has a lot to do with the landscape of the LQ website as you see it today. It allowed us to perfect the testing process.

Anyway, back to the actual product – here are a few more of its main fortes:

  • Very, very low cost
  • Can be easily disassembled into an utility vacuum cleaner
  • It’s bagless and very low on power consumption
  • A decent 1-year limited warranty and easy to use washable filters

Bottom line – Overall Rating of an 8.25 / 10 for this Dirt devil and one “how-in-the-world-did-you-do-it-at-that-price?” for the company

Animal Complete DC65 upright vacuum cleaner

dyson_animal_review_top_5_upright_vacuumsBy Dyson

1. Here’s what the manufacturer offered as the introductory info:

  • 5-year labor and part warranty when bought from an authorized reseller
  • Technology of Radial Rot Cyclone
  • Brush bar is reconfigured: 25 percent more power will drive bristles deeper into your carpets, thus removing larger quantities of dirt
  • Turbine tool is tangle-free: the only such tool on the market. Brushed heads with counter-rotation will remove dirt and hair from upholstery
  • Extra tool bag and tools included; dusting soft brush, multi-angled brush, stiff and Zorb bristle

2. Our testes had the following results to show:

Animal Complete DC65 upright vacuum cleaner_in_house_testing

3. Let’s use some user reviews for real-life feedback:

What people liked:

  • Shipping was extremely fast, and the packaging was more than enough to protect the vacuum itself from any potential damage during shipping
  • I never read the instructions, and even in spite of that fact the assembly process was a breeze
  • I’m really impressed with the power brush. It spins at a much faster pace than my old vacuum could even dream of
  • The sheer power of this thing is pretty good. I’ve noticed a great deal more of fine particles inside the canister than with my older Bissel
  • The length of the cord is something else. I can vacuum pretty much my entire house if I choose the outlet that’s centrally located
  • The suction is pretty consistent, even when I’ve almost filled the entire canister
  • The extension hose really adds to the overall reach, so I can vacuum my entire flight of stairs without breaking a sweat. I especially like how the hose comes from the bottom, so there’s no possibility of the vacuum tipping over
  • This is the best upright vacuum cleaner out of all I’ve owned so far! Besides vacuuming like a pro, it seems to be kicking off a lot less dust in the air while I’m vacuuming as well

Let’s go over some unpleasant experiences:

  • The price was a real jaw dropper! I never thought I’ll dare to spend over $500 bucks on a vacuum cleaner
  • It’s actually quite heavier than my previous vacuum, which makes it more difficult to navigate around the house
  • Only 2 of the attachments can be placed on the main unit, so I have to keep all the others in a separate bag
  • It’s noisier than I initially expected

4. Numbers never lie and here’s what they have to say:

Animal Complete DC65 upright vacuum cleaner_user_rating
5. Review resume

At this price point, a stick vacuum cleaner should be able to recite poems in 5 different languages including Korean.

As far as we know it doesn’t and yet, here it is in the Top 5.

But that’s how our ratings model work, even if we personally feel something is not worth the money, the actual tests and especially the user reviews have spoken and who are we to argue.

People did actually spend money on this machine and they liked it.

To wrap it up – an Overall LQ Rating of 8 / 10 with a frown face next to it in our heads.

Objectively – it’s a great vacuum, subjectively – it should cost half the price.

Buyers beware.

Summing up the guide

As I said, not much has changed in the guide since the last updates and even in the last few updates if you will.

The Navigator is still here and it looks like it’s not going anywhere, the next 3 vacuums are trading places on update to update basis and now and then, we have a new arrival (like the Animal was this time around).

The important thing is that we like the landscape of this list because it has a little something for most people, from the bare-essentials in the Simply-Stick to the high-end quality of the Navigator.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences,

LQ team