Cleaning long pile shag carpets can be challenging for the average homeowners. Vacuums with powerful suction can get stuck into the carpet and become inefficient. Vacuums with small wheels are no match for the thick tangle of long pile shag carpet and you will have great difficulty to maneuver it around on the carpet. Selecting a vacuum cleaner with larger wheels is important as it enables you to move over the thick carpet more easily.

The high pile shag carpets can make it hard for you to move a vacuum cleaner along the surface. Using lightweight vacuums will make the job of cleaning a lot easier for you. Many people are convinced that the more expensive the vacuums are the better, but some top models have proven to be unfit for long pile carpets. Vacuums with super suction get stuck into the long pile carpet fibers and make the cleaning difficult for you. After trying many vacuums we have finally selected 5 of the best performing vacuums that will effectively take care of your Frieze, Berber, and other shag carpets.

Shag carpets are smooth and nice, but you have to maintain it properly to ensure that the appearance and texture last for a long time.  For that, you will need to find the best vacuum for shag carpet to keep them beautiful because not every vacuum is designed to handle these kinds of carpets.

5 Best Vacuums for Shag Carpet

Miele Complete C3 for Soft Carpet 

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Shark Rotator TruePet Vacuum with Anti-Allergy Seal (NV752)

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Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner

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Shark Navigator Deluxe (NV42)

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Shark Navigator Professional Lift-Away Hand Vacuum (NV360)

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Miele Complete C3 for Soft Carpet comes with an adjustable suction control. It has a 5-stage height adjustable full-size electric power brush, parquet twister floor brush, a high suction power of 1,200 W, a HEPA air clean filter, and a 12.5-inch revolving brush with two rows of stiff bristles. You will get a built-in tool storage and three 360-degree Swivel Wheels.

The model C3 vacuum has been designed precisely for soft carpets. As the extremely high suction can rip up some delicate soft carpets, this vacuum does the job well with its five different head levels. You can set it to the right level for the surface you are cleaning. That means its motorized head cleans carpets deeply without relying on the high suction much.

This canister vacuum has an easy to carry handle, and long hoses and telescoping wand. So it is a good choice for those who find it uncomfortable to push a heavy upright vacuum that is similar to the C3 Miele vacuum. The best part is you will get a basic toolset, a crevice nozzle, upholstery tool and dusting brush with this vacuum. It comes with a strength that is the convenient onboard tool storage.

Replacement bags and filters of the Miele C3vacuum are reasonably priced. It is the best vacuum for soft carpets and shag rugs you can buy if you don’t want to have more than one vacuum for the household; it is safe for shag carpets but does a good job on hard floors too.

Key Features

  • Adjustable suction control
  • Parquet twister floor brush
  • 5-stage height adjustable electric power brush
  • HEPA air clean filter
  • 12.5-inch revolving brush
  • Built-in tool storage
  • Three 360-degree Swivel Wheels
  • Basic toolset,
  • Crevice nozzle
  • Upholstery tool

Things we like

  • Five different head levels for different surface
  • long hoses and telescoping wand
  • high suction power of 1,200 W
  • Its motorized head cleans deeply

Things we don’t like

  • It’s an expensive vacuum

This canister vacuum is Shark’s original, full-sized Powered Lift-Away one. It ensures deep clean of hard-to-reach areas while still delivering power to keep the brush roll. In addition, the TruePet motorized brush and Pet-Multi Tool is your solution to ultimate pet hair cleaning for all surfaces. In fact, you can easily switch it from Hard Floor to Carpet Mode. Moreover, it has an anti-allergen complete seal technology and a HEPA filter which traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum.

Shark Rotator vacuum comes with lift-away capability. In fact, you can isolate its motor and the reservoir. With this vacuum, you can clean various tough-to-reach areas easily, such as the corners and stairs.Moreover,  it can clean dust, debris and more from the ceiling, floor or shag carpet with its 270AW suction power. In addition, it cleans bare floors effectively with its washable microfiber pad and hard floor genie.

Its vibrant LED lights help to track dust and pet hair on shag carpets. In addition, it comes with a large dirt collection capacity too. Its power cord is 30-foot long, which allows greater reach during vacuuming. Vacuuming gets easy for you with its ergonomic handle. Moreover, it comes with a 7-year warranty which shows the confidence of the manufacturer about its durability. Finally, Shark Rotator powered Lift-Away vacuum cleaner comes at an affordable cost, which is excellent for people looking for a budget offering.

Key Features

  • TruePet motorized brush
  • Pet-Multi Tool
  • Anti-allergen complete seal technology
  • HEPA filter
  • 270AW suction power
  • Washable microfiber pad
  • 30-foot long power cord

Things we like

  • Ensures deep clean of hard-to-reach areas
  • Easy switching between hard floor and carpet mode
  • HEPA filter traps 99.9% of dust and allergens
  • LED lights help to track dust and pet hair
  • Large dirt collection capacity

Things we don’t like

  • It is heavy and cumbersome to maneuver

The Soniclean Soft Carpet vacuum cleaner looks pretty different than usual, but this specialist model is designed particularly for softer carpets, and you should keep it on the list if you have a shag pile carpet and you don’t mind a mid to the high-end price tag.

It comes with normal adjustable vacuum heads, but its roller brush retracts to deal with deep pile. Its large wheels allow the head to pass over the carpet, while a flexible vent lets you tailor for the pile depth. So, this is a very effective system for a shag.

Sonic technology helps to remove dirt and particles that resides deep into the pile and bring them up to the surface. So if you own many soft carpets and have a hard time cleaning them with normal vacuum cleaners, this might be the right one for you. It’s not the cheapest option, nor the most versatile, but it does perfectly what you need.

Key Features

  • Upright bagged vacuum
  • Adjustable front vent
  • Oversized wheels
  • HEPA filtration system
  • Sonic vibration technology
  • Powerful suction
  • Soft nylon roll brushes
  • Jam protection technology 35-ft power cord

Things we like

  • Good at cleaning shag carpets
  • Sonic technology
  • Very light
  • Looks great

Things we don’t like

  • More expensive than some options
  • Limited functionality

Shark Navigator Deluxe NV42 is Powerful, lightweight, portable and versatile. In fact, it weighs only 15 pounds. With its 25-foot power cord, it runs smoothly without losing suction. In addition, it comes with a large capacity and an easy-to-empty dust cup ensuring extended cleaning without interruption. Moreover, it can clean shag carpets and as well as gentle bare floor. However, if you buy this vacuum, you will receive a dusting brush and a crevice tool and and necessary accessories for versatile cleaning.

This upright vacuum cleaner at a very competitive price will do just about everything you need pretty well, including the cleaning of shag carpet. Despite being a full-sized vacuum with a fairly large dust capacity, it weighs 15 lb only. In fact, it can easily be lifted with one hand. So cleaning becomes less tiresome for you. With a long cord, it has been designed for people who want to clean the whole house in one go. In addition, you can easily vacuum shag carpets without worrying about the roller getting caught.

Ultimately, this particular Shark product is best suited to those who are looking for a good budget option and shag carpet which is also known as high pile carpet or thick pile carpet. It weighs 15.1 pounds and can be used without much pressure on the hands or shoulder due to its convenient design. Moreover, it has washable filters and on/off brush roll control. With a 25-foot power cord, you are able to clean up a wider area at one go. In fact, its powerful pet hair brush allows cleaning of pet hair from stairs, carpet, and upholstery. It is not too loud, and so, comfortable for the user as well as others. Finally, it is priced reasonably and is worth picking up.

Key Features

  • Bagless upright  vacuum
  • Brushroll shutoff for deep pile
  • Lightweight construction
  • Powerful cleaning ability
  • Large capacity
  • Accessories for versatile cleaning

Things we like

  • Great budget option
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Powerful 1,200-watt motor

Things we don’t like

Less efficient on shag than some other vacuums

Shark Navigator Professional comes with a lift-away function. So you can lift off the entire cleaning nozzle and canister from the back of the upright and clean hard-to-reach areas. Moreover, it comes with the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and a HEPA filter which traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum. In fact, its swivel steering is excellent for maneuvering around furniture. The easy-to-empty dust cup can hold 1.2 dry quarts. Finally, this vacuum comes with a pet power brush, dusting brush, and a 5.5-inch crevice tool.

It’s just 13 lb which is very light. You can use the vacuum with the motorized brush on or off. So you can clean deeper pile carpets. There are a few attachments come with the vacuum cleaner, and the pet power brush, in particular. So it could be your best choice if you are trying to get pet hair out of shag carpet. Moreover, this versatile vacuum cleaner comes with a good range of functions and useful accessories. However, it is priced very attractively and would be a great choice for anyone who wants a single vacuum to handle lots of their cleaning needs, including shag carpets.

Key Features

  • Bagless upright vacuum
  • On/off motorized brush
  • Sealed system to trap dust
  • Comes with essential accessories
  • Lift-Away function for versatility
  • HEPA filter
  • Large capacity
  • Powerful suction

Things we like

  • Bagless vacuum
  • Versatile Lift-Away function
  • Lightweight design

Things we don’t like

No height adjustment on the brush

Buying Guide for Best Shag Carpet Vacuum

If you have a shag carpet in the home and planning to buy an appropriate vacuum to keep it clean, consider the following factors before you choose one.


Make sure that you buy a lightweight vacuum, which you can easily maneuver and use more conveniently. In fact, a vacuum that weighs around 12 pounds can be a good buy.

Suction power

Vacuums with strong suction are ineffective for long carpets or pile rugs. So look for one with adjustable suction power. However, a vacuum with a concentrated sealed suction is not very powerful which is better for shag carpet.

Cleaning mechanism

You need to consider how far the cleaning mechanism is from your rug surface. If it is too high above the surface, it will be unable to remove any embedded dirt or debris. On the contrary, if it is too low it will damage your carpet in a few areas, and make them look frayed in appearance.

Adjustable height

If your vacuum does not fit your height, it can put excessive pressure on your body, especially if you use it for a long time. So a vacuum with adjustable height is suggested so that you can clean up more smoothly when you set the equipment to your physical height.


Look for a vacuum that comes with a detachable power head that can be removed while using on carpets, because snagging can cause tangling of fibers around themselves which will make them useless. Finally, this can lead to overheating of the rubber bands of the bar and make them snap ultimately.

Carpet Rake

A long pile carpet rake will clean your carpets more effectively when you use them gently in a back and forth motion. The action is time-consuming but will let you go around the fibers of the carpet without damaging them.


While buying a vacuum for shag carpet, look for the one that fits your budget and purpose as well. In fact, top brands like Bissell, Panasonic, Dyson, and Electrolux have some fantastic equipment to offer. However, you should choose one that has all the features that you need, and that matches the cleaning requirements of the type of home you have and meets your budget.