Consumer Reports: Vacuums for plush carpets

Posted at 4:37 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 17:17:55-05

New carpeting marketed as ultraplush or ultrasoft is posing an ultra problem for many vacuums. Consumer Reports experts give tips on what you can do to fix it.

Consumer Reports says carpets like Caress from Shaw and Karastan from Mohawk are so thick that some vacuums can’t move freely back and forth. The vacuum creates such a tight seal that it sucks in the carpet and you’re unable to push the vacuum.

Carpet manufacturers actually recommend specific vacuums they say will work on plush carpets. Consumer Reports tried some and found a few that are easier to move on these types of carpets. But you also want a vacuum that performed well in regular cleaning tests.

For plush carpets, Consumer Reports recommends the $400 Kenmore Elite 700 Series 81714. It’s a canister with what it calls an “ultraplush” system. It also cleans regular carpets and bare floors very well.

If an upright is more your speed, the Hoover WindTunnel Max UH30600 handles carpets just fine, and at $180, it’s a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

Another very good upright option is the Miele Dynamic U-1 Twist for $450. It costs more than the Hoover, but it’s quieter and even better than the Hoover on carpets.

But before you buy a new vacuum, Consumer Reports says to try raising the powerhead of your current vacuum to a higher setting. If that’s not an option, try adjusting the airflow on the suction-control dial. That might be enough to get your vacuum moving. But raising the powerhead and reducing the airflow might reduce cleaning power, so you may need to go over the same spot to thoroughly remove dirt.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars, trucks and electronic gear are available on Consumer Reports’ website.