Using a vacuum cleaner without disturbing your working-from-home partner or your baby next door can seem impossible.
The rah-rah performance from upright models can often be off-putting, despite their ability to get the job done better than other types available.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be caught up in this choice quagmire – peace and quiet or efficient cleaning. Some newer models have knocked down their gory noise level below 80 dB without neglecting performance.
So, I decided to compare more than 50 supposedly quiet vacs and sift through thousands of customer reviews to expertly handpick the top 4 quietest upright vacuum cleaners for you.
But before I divulge these remarkable products, check out the essential information below to ensure this is a “buy once, keep forever” purchase.
Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away – this is the best noiseless upright vacuum cleaner with the most CONSISTENT suction power to allow you clean from carpets to the bare floor without any hassle. Equipped with Lift-away functionality, you can easily convert this upright model into a semi-handheld vac for cleaning nooks and crannies of your home.
Tineco Floor ONE S3 – Featuring a hugely helpful 2-IN-1 design, this model mop, and vacuum to SAVE TIME. It’s the best upright vacuum cleaner easy to push, thanks to its BRILLIANT self-propelling system. The unit delivers a silent cleaning performance with its low-noise, brushless digital motor.
Shark NV501 Rotator Professional Lift-Away – is another MULTIPURPOSE upright vac with an easily detachable pod and nozzle to clean stairs, above the floor, under the furniture, on upholstery, and much more. It’s the most reliable upright vacuum to keep allergic reactions and respiratory problems at bay, thanks to its HIGHLY-EFFICIENT Complete Seal technology and HEPA filter.
Sanitaire SC889B – is one of the most DURABLE vacs on this list, with its metal hood construction ensuring it stands up to harsher environments. It has the LONGEST motor life offering TWO-SPEED modes- Normal & Quiet – for a noise-free and efficient cleaning. Plus, it comes with a commercial-grade detachable power cord to increase your reach by 50 feet.
Choosing between an upright and canister vacuum cleaner depends on your budget, personal preference, and usage.
The latter are known for their low noise level, incredible suction for cleaning bare floors, and salty price tags.
Conversely, upright vacs are excellent carpet cleaners, relatively more affordable, and easier to maneuver.
Suppose you are stuck between an upright type and a canister vacuum cleaner. In that case, go for an upright vac, as it doesn’t require bending to clean your carpet efficiently. Also, it won’t hurt your ears or frazzle you even after an extended cleaning session.
To put things more bluntly, vacuum cleaners are generally loud. The canister vacs make less than 70 dB of noise, which is quieter than flushing a toilet. However, upright types are a bit far behind as they generate around 70 -75 dB.
Understanding the decibels of noise can be tricky, and for reference, 73 dB is nearly twice as noisy as 70 dB. If nobody in your household is dealing with extreme noise sensitivity, then purchasing a silent upright vacuum cleaner won’t be a regrettable choice.
The working principle of an upright vacuum cleaner is quite simple and exciting for a heaven-sent machine.
There are three major parts of a quietest upright vacuum that sums it up – the electric motor, filter, and attachments.
The vac’s electric motor features a shaft to drive the fan, consequently sucking in air to draw in any grime or dust in its wake. Afterward, they are deposited on the other side, which is a bag or canister.
But after a couple of minutes, the vacuum cleaner should be unable to suck in any more air since it’s a confined space. Hence, a built-in exhaust port is needed to expel some air for a continuous vacuum cleaning session.
Expelling the air directly into the room can be unsafe for humans and pets – why?
The air is likely contaminated with dirt, dust, debris, and fine particles, which might not notice because they are not easily seen. To solve this issue, the vac’s exhaust part comes with safety gadgets to filter out the contaminants and ensure safe air is expelled.
Even the cheap upright vacuum cleaners should come with an advanced filter form called High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting, HEPA, to filter out the fine particles and dust before expelling fresh, clean air into the environment.
In most cases, upright vacuum cleaners with more attachments and room for essential accessories tend to deliver unparalleled performance.
Here’s an example;
The intake port’s size affects the suction performance of a vac, and this attachment is responsible for sucking in the grime and dirt in your room. So, a bigger intake port reduces the machine’s ability to generate powerful suction.
Thus, the most reliable upright vacuum cleaners come with smaller and narrow entry intake ports for better suction power.
Regardless of the type of vacuum cleaner you want to splurge on, the working principle is the same across the board. They require a fan to create a negative pressure to suck in dirt and dust while the exhaust port filters and expels cleaner air into the environment.
Upright vacuums are a common choice for many apartments and homes.
They are ideal for cleaning dirt and dust from large carpet areas in a fraction of the time. Upright vacuums can also be excellent hard floors and area rug cleaners.
They come in different types:
- Single-motor upright vacuums have one motor driving the vacuum and the brush. So, they are generally cheaper with questionable durability. Single-motor units have debris and dust passing through the vacuum fan and belt, making them conk out more quickly. Furthermore, they tend to be lighter than their counterparts, making them indispensable for older or smaller workers.
- Dual-motor Vacuums – unlike the single-motor option, this type comes with two motors to turn the brush and create suction independently. Thus, these machines are heavyweight and can be challenging to haul from one room to another.
Next Read: Quiet Robot Vacuum Cleaner of 2022 ー [Tested by Experts]
On the bright side, it delivers more suction to leave nearly nothing in its wake in a single pass. Also, they are less likely to break down more often compared to their cheaper alternative since the motors are separated and protected from sucked-in debris.
- Bagged Vacuum Cleaners – this type of upright vacuum comes with a bag that holds the debris, fine particles, and dust till it becomes full and is to be replaced. They are the perfect choice if you are dealing with asthma or allergies.
They are effortless to clean up after a long, tiring vacuuming session. However, you’ll have to purchase replacement dustbags which are an extra cost.
- Bagless Vacuum Cleaners – as the name suggests, this other type comes with a container instead to collect the picked-up dirt. The downside to this choice is you are likely to get your hands dirty.
The first step to choosing the right vac is considering the type of flooring you have. There are different types of vacuum cleaners, and they are not created equal.
If you own carpet flooring, an upright type is an EXCELLENT choice for your home.
Also, consider the number of levels in your home. Using an upright model on stairs can be futile, and the canister is a better choice. Or you might SAVE MONEY by purchasing a model that doubles as an upright and canister vac like the Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum.
Another essential factor to consider is the amount of noise the machine generates. Some models are so noisy that it’s nearly impossible to hear your baby crying, your spouse calling you, or the doorbell ringing.
So, it’s vital to check the decibels of the vac before purchasing one. If you want the quietest upright vacuum, you should avoid buying a model operating with a decibel level close to 80 dBA.
This factor never seems to be considered during the decision process, but it has a way of returning to haunt ignorant buyers. Corded models are more likely to fetter your reach.
This isn’t a deal-breaker if you have an extension cord and don’t mind a cluttered space. Some corded vacuum comes with a retractable cord to prevent users from tripping up due to the bulky cord length.
Alternatively, the cordless models eliminate most of these concerns associated with their corded counterparts. Another plus to the cord-free vac is it makes it easier to clean several rooms without dealing with bulky cords. Besides, you won’t be tethering to a spot, which can make vacuum cleaning a heavy chore.
A vac’s airflow provides valuable insights into its cleaning ability and performance.
Sadly, most manufacturers hide the airflow rating to keep buyers in the dark. It’d be much easier and straightforward to find a suitable model if it were provided.
This excellent specification is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), which delineates the airflow power across a surface to suck up grime into the container or dust bag.
So, there’s simple math here: more airflow equals better cleaning performance, and it’s one of my primary focuses when shopping for a vacuum.
The airflow rating is the sum total of the resistance of the filter system and the suction power of the motor. However, the airflow is often measured without attachments, like the hose.
So, there’s no way of knowing how these attachments will affect the overall airflow and its cleaning performance.
Nonetheless, it would be best to stick with a higher CFM above 60, especially for a bypass motor type upright vacuum.
Breathing contaminated air is never healthy for humans and pets. Whether you are struggling with asthma and allergies, I recommend purchasing an upright vac with a HEPA filter.
This way, you can rely on the HEPA filter to remove up to 99.7% of contaminants before expelling the air.
The expelled air, without any filter, contains pet hair, smoke, dust, and mold from your furniture and carpet, which can trigger asthma or allergic reactions. Even worse, constant exposure to contaminated air can have an adverse effect on your health.
The best part;
Models with HEPA filters improve the overall air quality of your space by minimizing allergens and introducing cleaner, fresher air.
How much dirt a vacuum can hold before changing it out depends on the size of the container or dust bag.
There’s an inkling to this. If you plan to clean a large, high-traffic carpet area with your upright vacuum cleaner, it’s best to choose a full-size model with a bigger cup or dust bag.
Else, you might have to keep emptying the container or changing the bag a couple of times in one cleaning session, which can be tiring and exhausting.
A vacuum cleaner can boast many stunning features and sophisticated technologies; if it’s not user-friendly, it might just be a waste of money.
This factor comes down to your personal preference. I prefer cordless upright vacuum cleaners because of the better reach and less clumsiness. However, you should stick with a corded model if you have a large home to clean.
Also, you should consider the weight of the device. Some models can be a pain to lug, especially when carrying these heavy appliances over the stairs.
Most importantly, purchase a model that eliminates the previous problems you experienced with your older vacuum cleaner.
The build quality of a vacuum cleaner determines how long the product will serve its purpose. A durable upright vacuum cleaner can last decades. And you want to ensure the vac is created with sturdy materials instead of brittle and flimsy components.
Generally speaking, cheap models are less likely to serve you for many years, as the manufacturer cuts down on its build quality for lower pricing. As such, you should go to a reputable manufacturer known for creating rugged, long-lasting appliances.
Any good indication of durability and quality?
If you are unsure of the durability and quality of a vacuum cleaner, checking the specifics, especially the length of the warranty, gives you valuable insight into how long the device can last.
Quiet Upright Vacuum Cleaner Reviews
1. Shark NV352 Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
Boasting a 25-foot manual wind cord, a brush on/off switch, micro HEPA filtration, incredible suction control, and a bagless design, this 14-pound upright vac is blended into a champion.
Despite being an entry-level model within the brand’s extensive ‘LiftAway’ bagless upright vacuum lineup, the Shark NV35 is the quietest bagless vacuum cleaner for the money.
This appliance has several stunning features that got my attention when I was looking to replace my weak, old vacuum. I was hunting for a model that won’t ruin my large exotic carpet with extreme suction power and pick up at least 75% of the stuck cat hair in one go.
Not many devices were fit for the task. However, thanks to its improved suction control, I spend less time picking up my pet hair stuck to the carpet. In most cases, I was done with a single pass without leaving anything in my wake.
The Shark NV35 brings outstanding versatility to your cleaning routine with its 2-IN-1 design – a unique characteristic of the LiftAway lineup. This feature is HIGHLY beneficial since you can easily convert from an upright to a canister vacuum to reach tight corners.
The manufacturer touts the NV352 with the Deluxe and Pro as “Never Lose Suction” models. And to my surprise, this entry-level did not disappoint. The consistent suction level is applaudable and makes the transition from floorboards to carpets and rugs natural.
On top of that;
Many users commend its ADVANCED swivel steering in helping to bypass heavy furniture, so you don’t have to do any lifting.
It’s impressive maneuvering ability and semi-handheld option make it easier to waltz cleaning chores without wrists, hands, and back pain.
The Shark NV352 is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a cheap, portable cleaning vacuum. It works BRILLIANTLY on carpets, rugs, and other upholstery.
It’s COMPACT and LIGHTWEIGHT but capable of delivering 270 air watts of power, which is more than twice the industry standard for upright cleaners.
Shark Navigator (Lift Away) Bagless Vacuum and Review By BethE Home And Garden
Above all, if you have someone in your household with allergies, then you’ll find its advanced HEPA filter effective for removing up to 99.7% of allergens to keep respiratory problems at bay.
This model has some flaws, like its ‘Zero-M’ brush roll, which tends to tangle more often. Also, the Shark NV35 can get really hot after about 20 minutes of vacuuming.
2. Tineco Floor ONE S3 Cordless Hardwood Floors Cleaner
The Tineco Floor ONE S3 is a 2-IN-1, time-saving vacuum and mop. It’s excellent at titivating your floors without requiring you to clean them afterward.
But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of this device, it’s essential to understand what this machine is and isn’t. The Tineco Floor ONE S3 is not a carpet vacuum cleaner; on the contrary, it’s a vacuum and mop for hard floors, which SAVES TIME since you don’t even need to go over your floor twice.
Now, let’s get started;
The Tineco Floor ONE S3 is one of the LIGHTEST models on this list, weighing about 9.9 pounds, which makes it hassle-free to carry up the stairs to clean other rooms and bathroom floors.
In addition, this aesthetically-appealing device has a sleek, modern design with a slim frame crammed with several valuable features to promulgate its top position in the cleaning industry.
One of many features is its LED display which makes it easier to keep track of everything from Wi-Fi connection to water tank levels. This cordless model has a MASSIVE 35 mins maximum runtime, which should be enough time to efficiently clean a large house before recharging for 4 hours.
This model is equipped with two easy-to-pop-out water tanks, a 0.6L tank for clean water and the other a 0.5L for dirty water. These tanks are transparent, easy to wash, and suitable for cleaning small rooms and kitchens.
Straight out of the box, this model is impressive and surprising. On a serious note, I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you. The Tineco Floor ONE S3 propels itself, and its five different self-cleaning functions offer a HANDS-FREE vacuuming experience.
You don’t have to do anything but watch this device do your work efficiently. This SMART device automatically controls the suction power based on how dirty the floors are and ensures no crumbs or dirt is left in their wake.
Like Shark NV352, it comes with a genuine HEPA filter to ensure only cleaner and allergen-free air is expelled by removing up to 99.97% of the contaminants, including dust, smoke, pet hair, etc.
This model does not come cheap, and you should not expect it to be, considering its 5-in-1 Self-Cleaning System, Wi-Fi Connectivity, 35 Mins Runtime, Consistent Suction Power, and Low 78 dB Noise Level.
The Tineco Floor ONE S3 is an excellent buy for anyone looking for an appliance they can rely on to clean their hard floors with nearly ZERO effort required.
It’s not suitable for cleaning carpet floors, so you might have to purchase a different device if you have some carpet flooring.
Also, its ADVANCED cordless design makes it a go-to for only medium or small homes. Otherwise, you would have to wait four hours every 35 minutes of vacuum cleaning.
3. Shark NV501 Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum with HEPA Filter
Another spot, another VERSATILE upright vacuum from Shark, making it to the list. There isn’t much difference between the Shark NV501 Rotator and Shark NV35 Navigator.
They both feature a 2-IN-1 design, which means you can use this device as a handheld for better cleaning reach or an upright vacuum for deep cleaning.
The Shark Rotator is about 2 pounds heavier than its counterpart, but I didn’t notice the weight differentials between these two best small upright vacuum cleaners.
But here’s where the Shark Rotator stands out:
Out of the box, I noticed the Rotator has more ADVANCED accessories, like the upholstery brush for cleaning fabric surfaces, instead of the few basic ones packed with the Navigator.
This appliance rocks an ULTRA-MODERN swivel steering that made it easier for me to maneuver, especially around heavy furniture, instead of sweating to lift them.
Also, this quietest bagless vacuum cleaner is equipped with LED lights (not for ostentatious reasons alone) to allow you to see grime, crumbs, and fine particles on your path to avoid missing them.
The Shark NV501 Rotator is designed for quick, whole-house cleaning with a 9.5-inch wide cleaning path and a decent-size 1.3 quarts container to hold plenty of debris and dust for a long session.
Like the Navigator, the Rotator model cleans using brush rolls and suction with a UNIQUE head for cleaning hard floors. The brush roll perturbs the long piled debris, dirt, and pet hair on your carpet for the POWERFUL suction to force them into the dust container – No EXTRA effort needed!
The Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro is slightly costlier than the Navigator model. But this model could be your best bet if you prefer better usability, aesthetics, and sleeker design. Plus, it has accessories like the upholstery brush to coax dust from cushions, mattresses, sofas, and chairs.
So obviously, the Shark NV501 Rotator is a perfect choice for homeowners looking to purchase a vacuum perfect for whole house cleaning, from carpet to hard floor and upholstery.
Considering its price point, the cords should be retractable for a clutter-free experience like its competitors. Although the model’s awkward shape makes it visually appealing and easy to maneuver, some customers have claimed it’s challenging to store.
4. Sanitaire Tradition Commercial Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Bagged vacuums are great, but the Sanitaire Tradition Commercial Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner is PHENOMENAL. This unit gives a number of reasons to ignore its salty price tag.
Sanitaire SC889B Commercial Vacuum is equipped with a 2-speed motor which the manufacturer boasts has a 5X longer motor life than your typical household vacuum.
Sadly, there’s no way to test and prove this claim. Nonetheless, its two-speed settings, Quiet and Normal Clean Modes, are impressive for cleaning more delicate, industrial-sized carpets and rugs without damaging them.
This old-school-looking machine comes with a commercial-grade detachable power cord that offers a whooping 50-foot cleaning reach, which means NO plug switching to clean an entire room.
This silent upright vacuum cleaner featured a Quick-Change System that made taking out and replacing the disposable bag for me a breeze. Talking about the disposable bag, it offers a HUGE 6-quart dust capacity to ensure you don’t have to stop in between cleaning to dispose of the grime.
Sanitaire Upright Bagged Commercial Vacuum REVIEW By Vacuum Wars
Furthermore, the Sanitaire SC889B Commercial Vacuum weighs about 17 pounds with the rugged cord detached, making it easy to maneuver and carry up the stairs.
But that’s not the best part;
This device features adjustable height settings that yank all the grime from rugs and carpets rather than from the surface alone. Also, this adjustable feature really comes in handy to clean a wide range of carpet thicknesses.
Another important thing;
This is one of the few models with a Silver Certification from the Carpet and Rug Institute, which boosts my confidence in its durability and cleaning performance.
However, I cannot say the same for its noise level. This beast is said to have a low noise level of 69 dB, but at Quiet Mode, this unit seems slightly louder than the advertised decibel. Nonetheless, it’s not too noisy to cause a headache or impossible to converse with a partner.
The Sanitaire SC889B Commercial Vacuum is best used for heavy cleaning chores. This is the right model for you if you want to vacuum large carpets or rooms – it’s designed with a commercial purpose in mind.
There’s no point in owning this heavy-duty device if you intend only to clean your small apartment. I recommend purchasing Shark NV352 Navigator for carpet cleaning or Tineco Floor ONE S3 for hard floors.
First, this product comes with misleading information regarding its noise level. Even while running in its Quiet Mode, it’s noisier than the stated 69 dB.
Also, there’s no way to know when the dust compartment is full, so all you have is your instinct, or do it the old fashion way by checking before or after each session.
Quiet Upright Vacuum Cleaner – Comparisons
|Shark NV352 Navigator||Tineco Floor ONE S3||Shark NV501 Rotator||Sanitaire SC889B|
|Best For||Overall||Ease of Use||Value for Money||Commercial Cleaning|
|Surface Recommendation||Carpet, Hard Floors, Upholstery||Hard Floor||Hard Floor, Upholstery||Carpet|
|Noise Level (dBA)||75.3||78||79||69|
|Controller Type||Hand Control||App Control||Hand Control||Push Button|
|Dust Bin Capacity (L)||1.3||0.5||1.23||5.8|
Vacuum cleaners are noisy appliances. However, the belt might be at fault when they make an unusual, squealing noise or leave too much dirt behind even after replacing the dirt bin.
In some cases, the belt is stretched and worn out. Or even worse, it’s entirely broken. Replacing the belt should solve the problem regardless of the belt’s state.
Hoover Upright Vacuum Belt Replacement By redonKiLaus
Thus, here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to change the belt on a Hoover upright vacuum cleaner:
Step 1 – unplug the appliance and turn it upside-down on your countertop for easy access to the vacuum portion and motor.
Step 2 – release the vac’s bottom panel by using your thumb to push the two plastic levers close to the front wheels outwardly. For older models, you might have to grab a screwdriver to unscrew the bottom panel.
Step 3 – locate the belt, which should be easy to spot immediately after you remove the bottom plate. If you can’t see it, the belt is likely broken. Remove the belt from the motor’s shaft, usually at the dead center of the device, by slightly stretching it with your fingers or any comfortable means.
Step 4 – remove the beater bar or roller, usually placed across the vac’s front edge. In most models, the roller should come out quickly by pushing this component slightly forward before lifting it from its snugly-secured U-groove. In some units, a screwdriver is necessary to push the two clips securing the roller aside.
Step 5 – get rid of pet hair, grime, fine particles, etc., wrapped in this device. This grime accumulates and hinders the free spinning of the roller. You should remove the belt and use a utility knife or scissors to carefully clean off the debris around the beater bar for smooth operation.
Step 6 – Place the replacement belt around the newly-cleaned beater bar before fitting into the U-groove or between the two clips. This should be easy as the bar drops gracefully and securely into its position (if done right). Before looping the other free end to the small shaft of the vac’s motor, twist the belt halfway to modify it into a figure 8′.
Step 7 – replace the bottom plate, push back the two plastic release levers or screw if you own an older model. Get the vac into its normal position, plug it in and enjoy.
More often than not, consumers focus on purchasing cheap upright vacuum cleaners or getting swayed by the style, suction, or brand of the vacuum while ignoring one important specification – LONGEVITY.
Whether you are purchasing a cheap model or a high-end one with rah-rah suction power, it’s crucial that the device can serve your purpose for many years.
Typically, an upright vacuum is expected to last at least 7 years, considering they are sturdier with more suction power than other types of vac available.
However, three factors significantly affect the lifespan of this appliance:
If you notice your vacuum has lost its suction, there’s a high chance the culprit is a clog in either the main or lower hose. Check the main hose for the clog; if you can’t find it there, it’s likely in the lower hose.
And here’s an easy-to-follow guide on how to clean out the lower hose to help your vac regain its full power.
Step 1: Pull off the hose of the unplugged vacuum. The hose extends from the bottom beater bar to the dust bin or tank. Pull out both ends of the hose from the base and main body of the vacuum. But before you do that, ensure the vacuum hose is not screwed on the machine.
Step 2 – feed a broomstick through the hose slowly. Avoid doing this forcefully to prevent puncturing or breaking the hose accidentally. If there’s a clog, the broomstick will push it out from the other end. Also, you don’t want to push sharp objects like a coat hanger through the hose.
Step 3 – clean out the hose by pouring vinegar and baking soda to break apart the buildup inside (if any). Alternatively, hot water with laundry detergent should do the trick.
Step 4 – rinse or soak the hose in hot water to ensure no vinegar and baking soda are left inside the attachment before replacing it.
Quietest Upright Vacuum Cleaner Related FAQ
In this comparison, upright vs. cylinder vacuum cleaners usually depends on your preference. Upright models are perfect for deep cleaning carpets, while the counterpart does not come with a rotating brush but a multipurpose head to clean a wide range of floor types.
However, upright vacs offer the most MODERN solutions for whole-house cleaning without the hassle and costs of replacing bags.
If you want to hang your upright vac, it’s better to create wall hangers to hold your cleaning equipment and supplies.
The Shark NV352 Navigator offers the best suction without losing its power, even when you move from cleaning embedded dirt and debris on carpets to hard floors.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.