Last Updated on September 11 - As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through & make a purchase. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Not a big fan of long reviews? Here’s the bottom line: The best Vacuum for Shag Carpet in the market today is the Electrolux EL4335A Corded Ultra Flex Canister Vacuum. Its 3-level height adjustment brush and self-cleaning technology raise it high above the competition, while the large wheels that swivel makes it an excellent option for Shag Carpeting!
Shag Carpeting is Popular Even Today!
- Shag Carpeting is Popular Even Today!
- Shag Carpeting Has a Place in History!
- What Are Shag Carpets Made From?
- Characteristics of Vacuums Made for Shag Rugs
- Be Assured Shag Rugs Can Be Glorious and Easy to Keep Clean
- Top 10 Shag Carpet Vacuum Comparison and Reviews
- 1. Electrolux EL4335A Corded Ultra Flex Canister Vacuum
- 2. Soniclean Soft Carpet Vacuum Cleaner
- 3. ProTeam ProForce 1500XP Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner
- 4. GV 10 Quart Commercial BackPack Vacuum
- 5. Eureka FloorRover Versatile Bagless Upright Vacuum
- 6. Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet
- 7. Soniclean Soft Carpet Vacuum Cleaner/Handheld Combo
- 8. Prolux TerraVac Deluxe Series Vacuum Cleaner
- 9. Kenmore Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
- 10. PUPPYOO Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Although known in America as the iconic floor covering of the 1960s and 1970s, shag carpeting is once again leading in popularity over other types of carpeting. Today, it even represents the finest of taste and social standing.
Shag is taking on a new persona as it rises in popularity with newer materials and production techniques to make it even more fluffy and soft. If you have shag carpeting in part of your home or have wall-to-wall shag carpeting, you need to purchase the best vacuum for shag carpeting to keep your carpet clean and damage free.
I’ve done the research for you and found the top 10 vacuums for shag carpeting, so you can choose the one that fits your specific home cleaning needs! Read on, so you can make a smart purchase!
Shag Carpeting Has a Place in History!
The iconic tufted, high pile carpeting got its name shag from the term ‘shaggy dog’ or in relation to the long hair styles of the time; “Your head is shaggy. Get a haircut!”
From the 1950s on into the 60s and 70s, it was an American dream to own shag carpeting; a luxury out of the reach of their budget. Shag carpeting was as much a purchase as an electric stove; and feeding your family was more important many years ago. But families who could afford wall-to-wall shag carpeting were looked at as prestigious and wealthy. They represented the American dream and staking a claim to their prosperity.
Floors Weren’t the Only Place Shag Rugs Were Used
It may be hard to remember for the younger people of today, but shag carpeting made its way into the heart of people who embraced its rich look and feel. It was not only a luxurious option for your home; it could be seen inside hippy-type vans, on walls, chairs, benches, telephones, and yes … even on the cover of books like one about the all-American family show, The Brady Bunch!
Shag became the most prevalent picture when people thought of the 60s and hippy culture. The generation after WWII was itching to burst free from all the obligations of government and organized society. Along with the shag carpeting came a host of bold, defiant colors; burnt orange, fire engine red, olive green, mustard yellow, and a list of other noticeable colors.
The Boom in Shag Carpeting
Home carpeting installation didn’t become popular until after WWII. History records carpeting rising in popularity starting in 1946. The war had ended and homemakers turned to taking interest in their home décor. Stay-at-home moms wanted to decorate their homes with carpeting not available before the war. Advances in manufacturing allowed companies to create ‘tufted nylon carpet’ that became our modern day shag carpeting.
Today, shag carpeting is made from softer, durable materials. There are people who choose shag for the nostalgia or retro look and there are home owners who love the soft carpet on their feet. Either way, shag carpeting is here to stay!
What Are Shag Carpets Made From?
Shag is recognized for its deep, thick, pile, which gives it that shaggy appearance. The pile for shag carpeting is made from strands of yarn or other material manufactured as loops. These loops create the raised surface and give the carpeting a true shaggy look. Most shag rugs are made from a solid color, but often you can find a mixture of colors, shape patterns, and mixed colors.
A shag rug made out of real wool has a ‘noodle’ kind of loop with heavy twists of wool fiber. These shag carpets are woven with loose strands and have thick, cotton backing underneath. Today’s wool rugs are can be chemically processed which will cause a weaker hair fiber. This produces a felted type of wool that attracts dirt, sand, dust, pet hair, and most everything gets caught in its clutches.
Wool shag carpeting can turn yellow over time because of exposure to light and chemicals like cleaners. If the wool is woven into a backing made from jute or has latex within it, this can also cause yellowing.
Long, soft carpeting has three distinct methods of creation. Woven carpets show the knot on the backside of the rug, and these knots reflect the actual top of the carpet. Tufted carpets are made with the back covered with material because the loops are held together with latex. And a true shag carpet is tightly gathered, and the bottom of it resembles a Berber carpet.
Other materials used for shag carpeting are leather, synthetic fibers, silk, and fake silk otherwise known as viscose. Along with all these choices is a relatively new type of shag carpet; frieze carpeting. This shag is also called today’s ‘modern shag’ and is not a true shag carpet. The costlier version of frieze carpet is made from nylon or wool fabrics, and the less expensive frieze is made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Whichever material it’s made of, it still needs to be vacuumed with the best vacuum made for shag carpeting.
Regardless of the material your shag rugs are made of, they all have the same requirements for a vacuum cleaner made to keep them clean and damage free.
Characteristics of Vacuums Made for Shag Rugs
Shag carpeting needs a regular cleaning and is the most difficult carpets to vacuum. The thick, dense strings of woven material trap dirt and particles under their top layer. Many homeowners vacuum their shag carpets twice a week to prevent a buildup of dirt and debris and to ensure stains do not affect their coloring.
Any vacuum that’s too strong or has too much suction that can’t be adjusted will cause a suction jam that could rip the fibers from the loops in the shag carpet. Loops of fabric in the shag carpet can also be pulled out of the foundation if they’re not tightly connected. Be sure whichever vacuum you choose, you can turn off the brush such as vacuums made for high-pile carpeting.
A Brush Head Control
A vacuum for use on your shag carpeting needs to have a roller brush that can be turned off and on for when you change from one floor surface to the carpet. If you do want to use the roller brush to refresh the surface of your shag carpet, be sure the bristles are thinner and not tightly compacted. Otherwise, the long strands will accumulate on the brush and jam the nozzle. The Electrolux EL4335A Corded Ultra Flex Canister Vacuum has an automatic brush cleaner to help you keep the fibers from jamming the nozzle.
A way to control the amount of suction is essential, so you can correct the nozzle before it beats up your shag carpet. You want to ‘dust’ the shag carpet, not suck it up into the hose and damage the loops. The shaggy fibers of the carpet can block your hose and also damage your vacuum. You do need enough suction though to pick up the dirt below the blanketed loops.
The thick loops of a shag carpet will make it difficult to push your vacuum. This long-pile carpet can create a suction jam, and your vacuum will ‘stick’ to the carpeting. It will feel like trying to push your vacuum through a pool filled with wet cement. The newest upright vacuum on the market is the PUPPYOO Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner and it comes packed with a combination of all the characteristics of a vacuum for shag carpet. Large wheels,
A vacuum that’s heavy and clumsy will make it impossible to vacuum your shag carpeting. The extra weight lays down the shag loops and crushes them making the surface dense. This makes it difficult for the vacuum to circulate air and fluff up the fibers of the shag to reach the deepest parts of the carpet. Weight and size are factors to consider when looking at a vacuum for shag carpets.
Buying the Vacuum That Works for Shag Rugs
Shag carpets are by far the most difficult carpets to maintain and keep clean. To help keep dirt and debris from sinking deep into the loops, vacuum often to get dirt before it embeds itself deep into the fibers. Grit, sand, pebbles, and other dirt will settle on the carpets fibers and get ground into the loops. This constant rubbing causes worn areas on your carpet. High quality wool shag carpeting has much more density helping create a barrier to the grit and dirt keeping it closer to the top of the rug. This makes it easier to pick up with a low suction nozzle.
A vacuum with suction control is helpful and one with great options for shag is the Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet made to adjust to the specific needs of shag carpets. This vacuum is lightweight and easy to use. The SoftCarpet power setting and Electro Plus Electrobrush provide gentle cleaning to protect lush shag carpeting yet it’s powerful enough to remove deep down dirt and debris.
Pet Hair and Allergies Present a Challenge With Shag Carpets (h2)
Having pets or if you have allergies makes shag carpeting an even bigger challenge to keep clean. Pet hair will intertwine with the fibers in the shag loops and allergen particles get caught up in the material. Shag does not like to let go of these household contaminants. Vacuums that work well to remove pet hair and allergens must either specify they are made for pet hair removal and long-pile or shag carpeting and have top-notch HEPA filtration. The GV 10 Quart Commercial BackPack Vacuum has superior 3 stage HEPA filtration with a sealed HEPA filter to keep allergens from escaping back into the air. I love the backpack style which is great if you have wall-to-wall shag carpeting!
Be Assured Shag Rugs Can Be Glorious and Easy to Keep Clean
Don’t shy away from shag carpeting; it can be easy to keep clean! Frequent vacuuming is the key to deep buildup of dirt and keeps pet hair and allergens in check. A good vacuuming also helps your shag carpeting last longer and keep its fluffy look and soft feel.
There are vacuums like the ones I’ve reviewed here that are designed to do the impossible and work well on your shag carpeting. The best vacuum for shag carpet will have all the benefits I’ve outlined and will clean your shag without damage.
Now that you’ve learned about your iconic and in-style shag carpeting, purchase one of these excellent vacuums to keep your shag ‘shaggy’ and beautiful!
Top 10 Shag Carpet Vacuum Comparison and Reviews
Soniclean Soft Carpet
ProTeam ProForce 1500XP
GV 10 Quart Commercial
Eureka FloorRover Versatile
Miele Complete C3
Soniclean Soft Carpet
Upright & Handheld
Prolux TerraVac Deluxe
Canister & Handheld
Upright & Handheld
Upright & Handheld
1. Electrolux EL4335A Corded Ultra Flex Canister Vacuum
The Electrolux Ultra Flex Canister Vacuum is a charm when it comes to vacuuming your shag carpets. It’s designed for the best performance on thick, deep shag carpet. The brush has a 3-level height adjustment that will accommodate hardwood floors all the way to high pile carpeting such as lush, shag carpets. A valuable plus to this vacuum is the brush roll technology that includes a self-cleaning brush to removed tangled hair and debris by simply pressing a button. The large wheels are not only high enough for high pile carpeting, but they swivel, so you can get around furniture and corners. The adjustable suction prevents a suction lock on shag carpets and allows you to safely clean curtains and fabrics.
2. Soniclean Soft Carpet Vacuum Cleaner
Shag carpeting needs proper cleaning and maintenance and most traditional vacuum cleaners have stiff, powerful brushes that could damage or wear out your carpeting.
The Soniclean Soft Carpet Vacuum Cleaner has patented technology that works together with its soft bristle brush roll to clean all kinds of thick rugs like shag without any suction problems. But the design makes sure the carpets are left clean. It’s a great combination for plush carpeting. You can insert Sonicfresh fragrance pods to freshen your home.
- Vents system adjusts for use on soft, thick carpeting
- Soft nylon brush roll bristles is gentle on soft rugs
- Large wheels allows the vacuum to almost ‘float’ on thick carpeting like shag
- Patented sonic cleaning technology
- Can be difficult to push because of suction
3. ProTeam ProForce 1500XP Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner
The ProTeam Proforce Vacuum Cleaner is a compact and lightweight vacuum cleaner and made with precise technology to be long lasting. It’s great for private homes and commercial use offering long lasting suction and adjustable heights for flat flooring up to high pile and shag rugs. It has a superior HEPA filtration system and has a super stretch hose to reach high shelves or furniture tops. Always know how the vacuum is performing with its indicator lights to monitor the vacuum’s maintenance needs.
- Four Level Advanced Filtration with HEPA filters
- Never worry about losing suction with the dual motor system
- On board tools
- Large, rubberized wheels for high carpets
- 15-inch wide L-shaped cleaning head
- Customers complained the reset button went off frequently
4. GV 10 Quart Commercial BackPack Vacuum
This GV backpack vacuum is a lightweight backpack vacuumwith an easy to carry handle. It has durable metal latches, and a crushproof hose. When you need proper suction for shag carpeting, throw rugs, or even for drapes and curtains, you can use the suction relief to adjust to your needs. The floor tool is wide and removable hoses make it perfect for any surface.
The adjustable straps will fit most people, and it comes with a tool belt for the array of tools included with this versatile vacuum. If you have bad allergies and shag rugs in your home, the super HEPA filter system will eliminate most of the fine particulate allergens in your home.
- Incredible 3 stage filtration from a sealed HEPA filter
- 10 Quart SMS washable cloth bag and 6 HEPA filtration bags
- Premium tools: Crevice tool, duster brush, upholstery, deluxe floor tool, Air driven power mini head.
- Aluminum construction makes this vacuum lightweight
- Power cord is only 24 inches, so you have to use an extension cord
5. Eureka FloorRover Versatile Bagless Upright Vacuum
The Eureka FloorRover Bagless Upright Vacuum is a premier cleaning machine that can tackle hard to vacuum carpeting like deep-pile and shag and also works great on delicate fabric curtains.
Its swivel steering allows you to go around corners and furniture with ease, and the large wheels make it easy to go from hard floors to high-pile carpeting. This upright vacuum by Eureka has a multi-stage system that separates dust and small debris to prevent loss of suction. The super HEPA system gets rid of 99.97% of dust and allergens.
- Ergonomic handle
- Easy-glide large wheels
- Advanced Swivel steering
- HEPA filter
- Pet Turbo Brush
- Large Easy-to-Empty Dust Cup
- Easy Clean Washable Filters
- On board Accessories
- Multi-stage cycle system never loses suction
- Customers complained it needed a longer hose.
6. Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet
The Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet canister vacuum is great for the challenges shag carpeting presents.
This vacuum is lightweight and easy to use. The SoftCarpet power setting and Electro Plus Electrobrush provide gentle cleaning to protect lush shag carpeting yet it’s powerful enough to remove deep down dirt and debris. The HEPA AirClean filtration removes 99.9% of allergen particles from the air in your home.
The motor has 7 settings for any application whether you’re cleaning soft shag carpeting or delicate fabric curtains or drapes.
- 5 stage height adjustable full size electric power brush
- Parquet twister floor brush
- Wheels: Three 360 degree Swivel Wheels
- Built in tool storage
- Revolving Brush: 12.5 Inch Wide with Two Rows of Stiff Bristles
- HEPA air clean filter
- Silence motor with 7 speed settings
- Customers complained the handle was too small
7. Soniclean Soft Carpet Vacuum Cleaner/Handheld Combo
This is the Soniclean I reviewed above, but it comes with an additional handheld vacuum cleaner. The handheld has a powerful 800 watt motor, a 4 in 1 stretch hose, a comfortable shoulder strap, and an accessory tote bag for the included tools; the Turbo tool, Floor tool, Upholstery tool, Dusting tool, Crevice tool, and the Two piece wand. The handheld has a 15 ft. power cord and shoulder strap.
- Vent system adjusts for use on soft, thick carpeting
- Soft nylon brush roll bristles is gentle on soft rugs
- Patented sonic cleaning technology
- The upright does not have any onboard tools like the handhled.
8. Prolux TerraVac Deluxe Series Vacuum Cleaner
Prolux makes this TerraVac canister vacuum with smart details to create a multi-use vacuum that also works great on shag carpeting! This vacuum has a comfortable hose handle with a power head switch on it to easily turn the roller brush off and on. It has a lot of great accessories with onboard tool storage, and a sturdy crush-proof hose. This vacuum has the power you need but is easily adjusted for those long, plush shag rugs and switches efficiently between flooring types. The nozzle head comes complete with a geared belt, height adjustment, rubber bumper, a locking pivot, and bright LED lights.
- Powerful but quiet!
- Anti-slip belt
- Nozzle height adjustment
- 5 cleaning powers
- LED display
- Dual HEPA filtration
- Bright LED lights
- Check your box when it arrives! Several customers compained of missing parts.
9. Kenmore Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
This powerful Kenmore Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner offers 150 air watts of superior suction. Making dirt, dust, and crumbs vanish from your home is as easy as gliding its smooth, resistance-free wheels across the surface. Five different height positions allow enough versatility to tackle any hard to reach area. Attachment tools such as a brush, wand, and crevice tool let you clean with precision and accuracy around delicate furniture, and the dust cup collects dirt without the hassle of a bag. This Kenmore bagless vacuum cleaner provides all the cleaning power you need.
- Powerful suction
- Filterless dust cup
- Bright LED headlight
- 5-position height adjustment
- Attachments: extension wand, crevice tool, and dusting brush
- Washable foam filters – 2
- The attacments tend to fall off when using the vacuum
10. PUPPYOO Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
The PUPPYOO Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner is a fairly new product but already holds up to its promises! The connections between the ground brush, hose, and dust container close firmly to assure no loss of suction. Its compact design and powerful motor provides less strain when vacuuming and the 16 cup sized dust cup is transparent so you can see when it’s full. Large wheels and 5 adjustable heights allow you to go from flat floor surfaces to shag carpeting with no interruptions!
- Large ground brush
- 5 height adjustment
- Cyclone Filtration System
- Washable dust cup and filtering sponge
- Lightweight and compact
- Detachable handle to use as a stick vacuum
- Pet hair brush
- Customers felt the vacuum had a strong plastic smell.