If you have a lovely hand woven rug you should know how to keep it as beautiful as it was when you got it. You may have already found out that vacuuming it is not the same as vacuuming a wall to wall carpet.
So, you’re looking for a vacuum that works for it, and you’re not sure just what that is.
Believe it or not the fanciest and priciest vacuums may not be right, because delicate rugs need special treatment to maintain its pristine condition.
Read on for a look at what’s the best vacuum for delicate rugs and sensitive carpet.
How We Selected the Best Vacuum for Delicate Rugs?
To get the top 7 vacuum cleaners for cleaning soft and sensitive carpet, we had to consider few factors. Firstly, we consider brand reputation for quality and service first. Then check ratings, including expert sites we trust.
We have experience using and repairing these appliances, so know what to check. We read manufacturers sites and manuals. Then we check Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau in several USA, Canada and the UK: totally objective sources.
We cut the bad ones then check consumer social media, like Reddit and related businesses: rug manufacturers or hospitality sites. Last, we read verified customer ratings; of models that made the cut so far. Finally, we check with people we know who have used the final picks.
Reviews Of Our Top 7 Vacuums for Delicate Rugs And sensitive plush Carpet:
1. Best Pick: Kenmore Elite 21814 Bagged Vacuum
The Crossover two motor system lets you change from hardwood to carpeting fast and the hardwood setting is what you want for your delicate rugs and other hand knotted rugs.
You can even change the strength of the suction. It’s easy to tote around and easy to change the sealed filtered bag. The nifty dusting brush actually cleans in corners really well and it is gentle enough to clean rug fringe too.
The different tools can telescope so even a shorty can reach the ceiling or use the fan sweeper on the ceiling fan/light or your window blinds. I used to have to climb up on a chair to do these.
The bags are not cheap, but they do work well. The included Hepa filter is also very efficient at capturing almost 99% of allergens and debris. The brush roll can be turned off making it perfect for bare floor cleaning. This also eliminates the risk of damaging the carpet fiber.
However, some people don’t like the hose connection being on top and plastic. Consumer Reports rates this one perfect for medium pile carpet and the all-important factor for delicate rugs, suction.
2. Runner Up: Soniclean Soft Carpet Vacuum Cleaner
This one is the runner up, because it is the new kid on the block. It is an upright, and not as easy to carry around, but I would put it top for delicate rugs, and thick pile carpet.
It is lighter than most upright units and has a lovely soft brush that works on really short pile and won’t damage your rugs. It also does a neat trick with sound that you can test out with a paper and some sand, that vibrates the dirt loose from fibers, and they actually start to wiggle up to the vacuum.
By controlling the vents, you can change the suction to match your needs completely. However, cleaning bare floor is a little bit challenging for this unit as there’s no setting for height adjustment.
The HEPA filter virtually eliminates all kinds of allergens. Although, it lacks of any sort of seal. Big rubber wheels roll easily on softer and thicker carpets and damage nothing. This vacuum also clean your favorite oriental rugs without any issue.
This new offering was designed and manufactured by a family with 50 years of experience making bags and filters, and their experience shows. Their support is great, according to buyers. It’s also recommended by many carpet store.
3. Best Canister: Miele Complete C2 Electro+
I wondered how this could be worth the price until saw what it can do, which is everything. This machine has more tricks up its hose than a magician, and using it is magic.
It cleans any carpet or rug, from deep (lovely to walk on barefoot) high-low shag to the finest hand woven rugs. You change the suction level to six different settings with your toe.
Cleaning your delicate rugs is easy, and the floor brush is so soft it won’t damage hand woven silk rugs or use the brushless head. The sealed off HEPA system does not suck trash through your motor either, hence the three year warranty.
This soft carpet vacuum cleaner comes with enough bags to last more than a year. If your house has different kinds of floors, carpets and rugs, stairs, textured walls, or nice window coverings you only need this to clean it.
4. best Upright: Shark NV752 Rotator Powered Lift-Away
This relatively small upright does more than you might think. It’s cordless with a swivel top and only 15 pounds total. You can take the top half off and carry it to where you need to clean, even up and down the stairs.
The suction on this model is excellent, but the longevity may not be. There have been complaints that not all the tools pictured actually come with this vacuum, so make sure you find out exactly what you are buying.
The company offers service, but tries to charge for it even under warranty, so if any parts stop working you need to be firm or get help from your retailer.
This is a very good upright with strong suction, but there is no lift adjustment to control it. So, for smaller area rugs you should use the floor attachment. The self-cleaning pet tool is very efficient at capturing pet hair from delicate rugs and carpet. The large canister holds a lot of dust which is also easy to empty.
The LED light in front of the cleaner head lets you vacuum less visible spot of your home. The light also protects the machine by reflecting objects that you don’t want to pick up. For ex: dime or diamond earring.
It was interesting to discover that there were some good reviewers that posted lower ratings, Seems like we all have different ideas about awarding stars.
5. Best Cordless Stick: Eureka RapidClean Pro
This is top among its competitors, but for larger homes it might not be enough. However, the price is low enough for this to be a convenient second vacuum. I drop stuff often in the kitchen, so I like to keep a quick picker-upper handy.
Keep it charged as the battery is internal. Anything bigger than Cheerios needs the tube removed from the head to pick up (easy to do).
Suction power is average, but that is good for delicate rugs. Just use more often or go over twice, once in each direction, warp and weft, to get most of the dirt out.
It won’t stand by itself, and a few people had trouble with the little tank. Maybe they’re not using it right. A little tape inside could fix any looseness. The 40 minutes power time is using low setting, as is usual.
6. Best Bagged Option: Hoover WindTunnel Max UH30600
This is a good budget model, but you should make sure what tools come with it as there is some confusion. The powered stair cleaner is kept on the handle within easy reach. It’s a little noisy and the light is more decoration than useful tool.
The telescoping wand slides past where you might want it and the hose does not extend as far as advertised, because part of the length goes around the bottom. This vacuum also includes a 12 inch crevice tools to clean corners and crevices, an upholstery tool, and a hand tool for easy pet hair removal from surfaces.
The attachments work well, which was found to be a problem in other budget models. Maybe Hoover pays more attention to tools on its budget models to keep people happy.
The price makes this an excellent choice for your delicate rugs and as a quick cleanup tool. The suction is excellent, which is what you need for your nice rugs. It is good for a small place but should not be your only vacuum in a large house.
7. Best For Pet Hair: BISSELL ICON pet 22889 Stick Vacuum
This is good for a small to medium place, or as a second tool, and is gentle enough for delicate rugs. Use the angled brush head for most rugs. The addition of motorized pet brush also makes it a perfect choice for homeowners with pets and delicate surfaces like-shag carpet.
Test it on an old sweater first, by securing it to the rug or floor with pins or double sided tape. Then if the sweater pills the brush may be too rough for the finest rugs.
It’s very light and hangs handily from a mount charger. The dust cannister is delicate, so handle carefully. The lithium-ion battery needs priming as usual. Run it down and charge it fully three times at the beginning to get the optimum charge.
Sadly, this battery is not considered user replaceable, though I might argue with tech support on that. Considering this maybe you should use it as your daily cleanup tool, and delicate rug vacuum, but not the main cleaner.
8. Best Robot: Eufy by Anker RoboVac 30C
This robot is the perfect second vacuum for mix floors. It has horizontal brushes to clean nice floors and delicate rugs. The dust bin holds a lot, and one of the six different models even mops the floor.
It is Wi-Fi or remote controllable and quiet, so you can use it while you sleep or when you are not home using Alexa or Google Home. Great suction picks up plenty from already cleaned floors, and it can climb over doorways on large wheels.
Boundary tape will keep it away from places you do not want it, like down the stairs. For places with only floors and rugs this may be all you need, or use it as an everyday cleanup tool.
It docks itself to charge, so you can run it as you leave the house for work and again at lunch time if it is a big area. I might get one for each floor, the best for the main floor and cheaper models for bedrooms and basement.
Best Vacuum for Area Rugs– A Buyer’s Guide
1. Lightweight Design
The heavier the vacuum the harder it is to use, except on deep pile rugs, so look for light weight or the ability to use part of the machine separately on a hose or by hand.
2. Adjustable Suction
Powerful suction cleans, especially with delicate rugs you do not want to brush or beat. It should be adjustable to prevent the vacuum and rug sticking together.
3. Adjustable Height Control
Adjustable height allows you to lift the carpet brush away from your delicate rugs and also to adjust the suction strength.
4. Wheel Composition and Size of the Machine
Larger wheels will move more easily over surfaces and plastic or rubber are less damaging to beautiful floors and rugs.
5. Brush Roll Design
There are designs that are much less damaging than others. The soft, angled and horizontal brushes can be used on delicate rugs. Otherwise you need a switch to turn the brush off.
6. Corded or Cordless
Corded is fine on uprights and tank vacuums, as the cords trail behind or can stay high up. However, they can get in the way of smaller stick vacuums and can tangle. The down side of cordless is that there is battery power to consider, The cost of batteries, use time between charges and charging time are all important and some batteries are not user replaceable.
How do you vacuum a delicate Wool rug safely?
- You need a vacuum that can suck the dirt out without destroying the fibers, so variable suction is important to adjust to different sizes and densities.
- A beater or rolling brush is great for a pile carpet, but not for a delicate rug. Horizontal and soft brushes are ok for most. On larger vacuums you need to turn off the damaging brushes and raise them out of the way.
- Using only suction you might want to vacuum in each direction or warp and weft, and then vacuum from the center out and from the edge cack in to gently smooth your carpet without stretching it.
- If you have edging or fringe you need to protect that by using baggies and rubber bands to group them or fold under and tape down the edge of your rug while cleaning. You can clean the fringe separately with a damp cloth.
Pro tips for keeping delicate Carpet in good condition:
- Make sure your carpet edges are not in heavy traffic lanes.
- Shampoo rugs every 90 days or more often.
- .Shampoo by dipping in a tub with gentle cleaner, such as Woo lite or hair shampoo for tinted hair to protect the colors. Never use a carpet shampooer on a rug.
- Do not scrub or wring delicate rugs.
- Shampoo small rug monthly. Never vacuum a wet rug.
Watch the following video if you’re facing any issues when vacuuming delicate or soft rugs:
All of these vacuums are great for cleaning delicate rugs and carpet. Some of these best vacuum for delicate rugs have brushes that can work well without doing damage and that may be good if you have larger rugs.
The stick vacuums seem really good as a second vacuum for handy pickup and cleaning your delicate rugs. The Robot vacuum may be all you need for a small place with floors and rugs, or as a secondary picker-upper and rug vacuum.
FAQ’s Of Best Vacuum for Area Rugs
Q1: How often should I clean my delicate rugs And Carpet?
You should vacuum weekly and shampoo every 90 days to a year. Small rugs can be shampooed monthly easily. Do not dry them in a machine, which means your floor may be bare while they air dry away from the sun, which can fade them.