vacuum that can handle higher pile carpeting

sdsnyder9February 25, 2009


I have been trying to find a vacuum cleaner that can handle thicker pile carpeting and am not having any luck. I had an Oreck that could barely move over our carpeting. That one broke and we bought the the really good Oreck, which still could barely be pushed over our carpeting. I am currently borrowing yet another Oreck model from my mother which also does not go over our carpeting very well. I really need to find a new vacuum though, because although I can push the borrowed Oreck, I get a blister every time I use it and it really hurts my back a lot.

I brought home a Riccar Simplicity b/c the salesman said it would work on our carpet (I brought in a sample). It didn't work any better than any of the Orecks. At this point I am no longer concerned if it's lightweight, just one that will work on our carpet and not hurt when I use it!

I am really frustrated and always put off vacuuming b/c it is so difficult to push the vacuum. Our carpet isn't really particularly thick or deep, I guess a better term would be plush. It's not a shag (though we have a shag-type area rug).

We also have hardwood floors, tile, orientals, and a more industrial carpet in the basement in addition to the "plush" stuff in all of the bedrooms and the shag-style rug. My biggest concern, though, is just being able to push the vacuum through the carpeting. I have been vacuuming for over 20 years and have never had problems like this.

Anyone who has any suggestions, I would really, really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance for any information you may have!!!

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I would strongly suggest that you look into Miele canister vacuums. Yes they are expensive, but I believe that mine was worth every penny (have owned on for over 3 years). They have great suction, so should be able to handle any carpet. If you have a piece of your carpet left over that you could take in, it might be a good idea to take it to a dealer and try some of the models. Miele has a wide model range, built around 3 sizes of motors, if I recall. Different models are priced according to the attachments included. For your purposes, you would definitely want a powered carpet head. I don't find mine hard to push at all, and since you're only pushing the head, it doesn't have the weight of the whole machine on it. These canisters are very easy to pull around, not like the old heavy canister vacuums. Anyway, I hope you find something that works for you (I don't work for Miele!)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:33AM
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I second the Miele canister vacuum nomination. It sounds like you need something versatile. We did too and are very happy with our Miele. Adjusting the power head makes a big difference when vacuuming our dense orientals. If you can't take a piece of your carpet in, ask the dealer whether you can borrow a demo. Treat it like buying a car and taking a test-drive.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 9:28AM
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Don't want to sound like a broken record here but I third the recommendation for Miele. I own two models and the oldest one is about 10years old. They both work wonderfully and many of my friend borrow them to clean their homes and suddenly they own one too. Get the powerhead brush with the light and you will be okay!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:36PM
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Thank you for your responses, I am going to try them out. I have never used a canister vacuum before, and I am a little concerned about adjusting to one after years and years of upright use. Do they get easier to use as you go upwards in models?
I have just been reading about the new Miele S7 uprights. The only drawback to them seems to be their weight, but I don't know anyone who has one. My local (Miele-selling) store doesn't have them, and the store that does is a bit far, though I may still go to try it out.
Also, I mis-typed in my original post: I didn't bring home a Riccar Simplicity, I brought home a Simplicity Freedom. Sorry for any confusion.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 5:46PM
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When it comes to uprights, the Sebo is considered a bit better than the Miele.

have you looked at any self-propelled vacuums? or don't they exist anymore?

Oh, and I would not bother with the Dyson on thick carpets. I gave mine to a friend after being frustrated with the results on my carpets. I went with the Miele with the 236 power head. Don't worry about the stated weight of the Miele, it is a canister that rolls along the floor.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 7:06PM
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To answer one of your questions, if you mean are the more expensive models easier to pull, then I'd say no. The ones with the top line motor may be a bit heavier (I'm not sure), but they should all pull very easily. The pushing effort on the carpet head would depend on the head; you'd have to try those. Other features that affect use are the type of hose and wand: The more expensive ones have the power cord built into the hose, which makes it easier to change from the carpet head to the floor brush, or other attachments. I have a telescoping wand, which I find to be a very good feature. It's so easy to adjust the length of the tool to make it easier on your back. However, I do not have the built-in cord. I'm not sure if those two features can exist together. Again, ask the dealer to show you all these differences.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 9:20AM
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We have a thick frise on our second floor and the Kenmore canister vacuum for $250-300 works well. It has lots of good attachments, too.

We have a central vac downstairs so I don't use it on the hardwoods, but it works well on the tiles in the upstairs bathrooms.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 4:36PM
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On my Miele, I have the integrated cord and a telescoping wand on both my machines. I think the newer models only have the integrated cords now.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 1:13AM
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Thank you for all of your replies. I wanted to give an update in case anyone is searching the forums with the same problem I had.
I went yesterday and tried out Miele vacuums, both the canisters and the new S7 upright.
The canisters were really great and very lightweight and I came very close to choosing a canister. Ultimately, though, I didn't choose the canister. I am not a very careful vacuumer, and we all pictured me yanking the canister along and banging into everything in sight.
We wound up purchasing the Miele S7 Upright and so far I love it. We picked the fully automatic model. It has everything I wanted in a vacuum (works on our carpet(!), switch to turn off the beater bar on the handle, hepa filter , lay flat vacuuming) and a couple of things I didn't know I wanted but am really glad it has (swivel steering - a huge difference for the better in design, a great onboard tool system with a really long hose and the vacuum doesn't tip over when you use it).
The only negative is that it is heavy. It's definitely not lightweight like the Oreck, but since the Oreck didn't work well and you can't turn off the beater bar or adjust the height, the lightweights just weren't working for me. I am guessing that the heaviness is due to the two motors, and is also one of the things that keeps it from tipping when you use the tools. Regardless, I thought it was a fair trade off the get such good cleaning ability for a few extra pounds. One thing it has to help with the weight issue is a sturdy properly placed carry handle.
My mother (who is in her 70s and has back issues) needs a new vacuum also. This one is definitely too heavy for her. I want her to go try the miele canisters since they are so lightweight. For us, however, it's great.
Thanks again for all of your replies!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 10:43AM
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Congrats on your new purchase and happy vacuuming!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 12:57PM
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Bump! I thought I'd document my experience too. We installed very high pile (absolutely lovely to walk on, you feel like your'e sinking in) carpet in our living room. Our Hoover self propelled wind tunnel did the job but we had to pass it on to our daughter. We then tried the Sears upright, it didn't work at all. The Riccar Brilliance upright handled it fairly easily so we bought it. However the Riccar started having problems going through it too after a while. It was then that it dawned on us that humidity might have something to do with it. On humid days it was a lot harder.

Suction is not the key here but bar height and self propel would help.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 1:52PM
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