7 Best Vacuum For Oriental Rugs 2022 (+Experts Cleaning Tips)

Kennith Bogan

Updated on May 10, 2022 by Brett

Looking for the best vacuum for oriental rugs? You’ve landed on the right place.

Oriental Rugs are wonderfully complex works of art, and they enhance your space. However, they are as delicate as they are lovely when it comes to cleaning them.

There is an old saying in the beauty business, ‘If it will not hurt wool or silk, it will not hurt your hair.

The reverse is also true. So, cleaning Oriental carpets is a serious job. Why?

Because their structure causes dirt to filter down into the nap where it can destroy the fibers utterly. 

So, the vacuum you use one a week, as recommended, must be equal to the task, or your lovely work of art can turn into a ball of tangles, faded, lifeless scrap. Help is here.

Our Top Picks:

What is an Oriental Rug?

Oriental rugs are hand woven or made on a simple flat loom, or one of the huge upright looms. They can have pile if the weaver uses a long dowel to collect the loops and lets them stick out from the carpet body or cut them to create a fluffy decorative pile. 

These are secured at the bottom by hand tied, often decorative, knots.

Oriental rugs are a type, not a geographical product, as they are made in places from Morocco in Northern Africa to Northern China and Mongolia. 

Your Oriental Rug is truly a labor of love.

Does vacuuming damage an Oriental rug?

vacuuming oriental rugs

Vacuuming does not damage an Oriental rug. In fact, your rug needs to be vacuumed to save it from dirt damage. 

Dirt filters down through the fibers of the Oriental carpet like water through straw ant is does not come out easily.

The old way is to hang the carpet and beat it. That got it cleaner, but it damaged the carpet fibers over time one tiny thread at a time. 

Dirt is a collection of lots of things broken off other things, including rock. Little sharp bits of anything will cut tiny fibers, and collections of dirt push on the fabric. 

Vacuums eliminate the beating and suck out the dirt.

Types of Vacuums for Delicate Rugs:

1. Upright Vacuum

An upright vacuum has a large collection bag attached to a pole handle that bends to allow you access under tables etc. 

A front section rolls close to the floor to suck up dirt into the storage bag inside the collection bag. This type is heavier and may have a whirling brush or beaters in the front to help sweep up the dirt.

2. Canister Vacuum

A cannister vacuum is a rolling collection tank with long hose to which you can attach different tools. Some tools contain spinning brushes and some fit into different kinds of spaces. The tank may require bags and may also have a cleanable or replaceable filter.

However, one good thing is that most cannister vacuums do not suck the dirt through the motor.

3. Stick Vacuum

A stick vacuum is light and usually not very powerful. It is basically the small table or car vacuum with an extended handle, so you don’t have to crawl on the floor. 

They generally have no bags but may have a filter. More powerful engines have made these more useful, and some do not pass the dirt through the motor.

4. Robot Vacuum

A robot vacuum is a small floor cleaner that works without supervision. Models vary from tine cheap models good for spot cleaning kitchen spills to fairly powerful smart models that can empty their tank and continue their work until the program ends.

Top 7 Best Vacuum for Oriental Rugs And Carpet

1. Best Overall: Kenmore Elite 81714 Ultra Plush Bagged Vacuum

  • Variable power control
  • Manual pile adjustment
  • Large wheel design
  • Retraceable cord for easy storage
  • Longer telescoping wand
  • The vacuum is heavier than average
  • The hard floor attachment is awful

The Kenmore Elite 81714 is the best vacuum for oriental rugs and other delicate rugs. It’s also the most versatile vacuum you can buy. 

The two speed suction cleans both large carpets and throw rugs. Consumer reports rates it the top vacuum of 2021, and they are completely objective.

It has everything you could want for every job you need. It is a bagged canister model with retractable cord, so easy to store and lightweight.

The pile height adjustment is manual, so you can keep it from beating on your lovely Oriental carpet, and other plush carpet. 

On top of that, the variable power protects your delicate carpets and rugs. The dusting brush is also very gentle and small, good for small carpets.

Talking about the convenience, this model features an extendable handle, and retractable cord which give you freedom of movement with no bending or climbing.

Best For: This Floor cleaner is best for your carpets and tiles as it will not scratch. The inclusion of the motorized pet tool also makes it a great choice for removing pet hair and dander so quickly.

  • A pet hair attachment, cleans fur, dander and stairs and even the pet if you like.
  • A crevice tool, fits into tiny spaces, great for blinds and carpet fringe.
  • HEPA filter, removes allergens and it can be washed and dried by hand

2. Best Runners-up: Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum

  • Extra large cleaning head
  • Efficient at cleaning embedded dust
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Great value for money
  • No LED headlight
  • It’s a heavy vacuum

This is a Bagless upright model, so is easy to store in a closet. The detachable top converts it to a canister making it easy to reach everywhere, as you carry the tank with you. That is a great combination.

It works on all surfaces including your delicate Oriental carpets. You can even vacuum your pets with the duster or crevice tool. You can dance all around it as it swivels. Turn off the brush for your floors and Oriental carpets. 

Tools included are crevice, duster and upholstery cleaner. And retractable cord. The large tank allows for longer cleaning sessions and is easy to empty. If you prefer an upright or cannot make up your mind, this one is a very versatile combination.

Shark is lower priced for a reason, so give it a good workout right away to make sure it is solid before the warranty runs out. They sell “renewed” models, so you know there are returns.

3. Best Canister: Miele Compact C2 Canister Vacuum

  • Powerful motor
  • Variable suction control
  • Easy to Maneuver
  • Efficient filtration
  • Durable and long lasting hose
  • Poor tool storage
  • Heavy powerhead

Miele is becoming well-known for innovation in its appliances And this one is no exception. Powered by Vortex Motor this vacuum is extremely powerful, and efficient for most floor cleaning jobs. The sealed system vents only clean air into your house, so you don’t get that warm dust smell. You’ll love the variable suction and surface level.

The main powerhead is great but not for your fancy carpets. The parquet floor brush with two soft horsehair rollers and adjustable height is perfect for your beautiful Oriental rugs. This feature also makes it one of the best vacuum for wool loop carpet and rugs.

We recommend that, whenever you clean your rugs, start with the maximum height setting and then lower it until it starts vibrating the rugs. By doing so, you can minimize the usage of airflow.

This powerful canister vacuum with retractable cord is lightweight and quiet. You can easily move around with the Crush-Proof Ergonomic Hose, and reach anywhere with the Stainless-Steel Telescopic Wands. Quiet innovation is what you get here. Consumer Reports lists this one in the top 5. This is the best Miele vacuum for oriental rugs.

4. Best Upright: Hoover UH70120 T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Plus

  • 5 height adjustment
  • Easy to store
  • Easy to Put Together
  • Washable filter
  • Small dirt cup
  • Sometime get clogged after heavy usage

Hoover lives up to its worldwide reputation. The new WindTunnel technology on the floor cleaner is ideal for cleaning your Oriental carpets. Five height adjustments allow you to change for all levels from deep pile carpet to floor easily.

The best thing about this bagless vacuum is the manual pile adjustment feature which lets you adjusts its height according to the carpets pile height. This is good for easy movement and through cleaning of your area rugs. Apart from that, the manual pile adjustment offers more precise control over the automatic one. 

Indicator light tells you when to clean the HEPA filter. The 8 foot extension hose stretches where you need it so you can leave the vacuum at the top or bottom of stairs and the wand reaches anywhere with the extra tools.

There has been no mention of any sticking in the process of changing the brush height. A light tells you when to clean the HEPA filter. (You can wash it an let it dry naturally before putting it back in.) Hoover is a well-known brand and this vacuum has everything you need, but they are not the crème de la crème and your budget may thank you.

5. Best Cordless Stick: Eureka RapidClean Pro Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

  • Lightweight design
  • Easy to use control
  • The floor head has light
  • Easy mounting system

In our search for the best cordless vacuum for oriental rugs and carpet this low profile yet efficient Eureka RapidClean Pro won the top spot. It features an ergonomic handle design for great comfortability, plus an easy to empty dust canister that comes off separately for easy disposal.

This cordless stick model vacuum is light weight and even has a notch to make it easy to park anywhere on the wall or furniture when you need to set it down. Front lights help you see what you are doing, and the clear tank makes it easy to see how much you pick up. 

The powerful motor will work continuously for 40 mins without a recharging the lithium-ion battery pack. The suction is easily controlled by one finger switch. Reaching under furniture is easy with the dustbin on the top.

The adjustable suction makes it easy for you to clean any sized Oriental carpet. This less expensive model might work well as a quick pick up tool and a dedicated cleaner for drapes or blinds and your delicate Oriental rugs.

The first few times you use any lithium-ion battery pack you should charge it up and use it until it dies about three times to condition it for longer times before charging. If you under use it or charge before it is dead when you first get it, the battery will not last as long. If it still does not last long enough the battery may be old, so call the company or return it to your retailer for a replacement.

6. Best For Pet Hair: BISSELL 22889 ICONpet Cordless Vacuum

  • Highly efficient brush roll
  • Motorized pet tool
  • Mess free empty dustbin
  • Great battery life
  • Washable filter

This is another top rated cordless vacuum from the one of the most respected brand -BISSELL. If you’re looking for an highly efficient vacuum cleaner for pet hair and dander and you don’t mind a shorter battery life, then this one should be your best choice.

We’re really impressed with its ability to resist pet hair tangles on the high speed brush roll. However, this Bissell ICONpet model doesn’t include any bare floor brush. The main cleaner head and the turbo brush tool are belt driven instead of suction driven. Therefore, this machine is more powerful than many cordless vacuum cleaners in its range.

It features 3 power settings for cleaning all types of floor surfaces including area rugs and low pile carpet. However, the low power setting is not that efficient at vacuuming small debris like- sand on hard floors. We recommend using it on highest setting for soft carpets and rugs. You get maximum 20 mins on these settings.

This is not a particularly cheap vacuum, and it is really only appropriate for light to medium use. If you have a larger house maybe you need a better model if it is your only vacuum. If you don’t have pets you are paying for something you will not need and may not be getting what you do need. 

However, for a small job machine to keep in the corner and use for your Oriental carpets, it is not very expensive and does a good job.

7. Best Robot: Eufy by Anker RoboVac Wifi Connected Robot Vacuum

  • Support Amazon Alexa & Google voice control
  • Auto increases suction power where needed
  • It’s really quiet
  • Large wheel for better running
  • Sometime overclean few areas

This handy robot vacuum is perfect for large open flooring and oriental rugs. It can clean without your help and the more expensive model will even mop. It docks to empty its tank or recharge. If you have mostly floors this little guy is perfect, and it is fun to watch. Use the included boundary strips to keep it away from your Oriental rugs when you aren’t home. 

Use double sided tape to stick plastic placemats around your rug, especially if it has fringe, and it will roll right on to clean it. The brushes sweep with a floor parallel motion, so rather like dusting or buffing, and not damaging to fibers.

It is quiet and cleans automatically. It turns the suction up or down as needed for different surfaces. Control it via wifi or with your voice using Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Two AAA batteries make it work, and I suggest using rechargeables. Some fun if you share your home would be to start it up when you are not home but others are.

What To look for in a Vacuum for Oriental rug:

1. Adjustable suction:

This provides deep cleaning using only suction and you need more a brush. Powerful brushes and beaters are great for heavy materials, but not on fine hand woven textiles. A powerful cleaner may be too much.

2. Pile height adjustment:

This keeps rotating brushes away from the fabric even if you cannot turn off the brush. 

3. Ergonomic handle design:

This is nice, but when you are using gentle cleaning, you don’t need it. Adjust your grip to compensate, as you do with a paintbrush.

4.Brush roll on/off system:

You need to turn most brushes off when cleaning your delicate Oriental carpets. Having them too high to touch the carpet may not be safe enough. You don’t use a cleaver to zest a lemon.

5. Lightweight design:

You don’t want heavy weight on your carpets. A heavy vacuum is likely too much for the job.

6. Efficient Filtration system:

This cleans all the dust and allergens too before exhausting into your house. You would be astonished at the bacteria and other bad stuff in that dirt. The filtration system keeps all that out of your vacuum’s motor too.

7. Bagged vs bagless:

Bagged is better for filtration and cleaner to empty. The bags have disposable HEPA filters, while bagless is just a container. Bagless costs less, but can be messy. If you use a trash bag in your office bin want bags in your vacuum.

Professional tips for Cleaning And Maintaining oriental rugs:

oriental rugs in bed room
  • Never use a beater or rotating brush. Suction only best cleans delicate items. You don’t use a sander to clean your face.
  • Wash your Oriental carpet annually or semiannually to get out moisture held dust. Do not use harsh chemicals or heat. Hair shampoo for colored or damaged hair is great and Woo lite works well. Wash gently in warm water, rinse and hang to dry inside away from sun to protect the color.
  • Cover any outside fringe when vacuuming. You can do this with wide masking tape or bundle it in flimsy plastic produce bags with paper tape or small rubber bands. It covers the fringe while you vacuum. Use a low powered robot vacuum several times to clean decorative edges and finish by sponging with a damp cloth or sponge. Small hand vacuums are best for throw rugs, or rinse them in the tub with mild dish soap or shampoo weekly.
  • Direct sunlight can damage your lovely oriental rug. Use sheers, curtains, or UV filtering window to protect your rugs from the heating of sunlight.

Watch the following short video on how to properly vacuum your oriental rugs:

Final Words:

Any of these vacuums will do a good job, but you know which is best for your home and your rugs. You must take care in vacuuming Oriental rugs as they are subject to fiber damage with rough cleaning. However, accumulated dirt also does fiber damage from pressure. With a little care your Oriental carpets will last for many years.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: Can you vacuum an Oriental rug?

Yes, but take care not to use powerful brushes or beaters.

Q2: Can I steam clean my Oriental rugs?

This is not advised as the fibers or often wool which is subject to shrinking. Cotton can stand this, but most Oriental rugs wool or silk and cotton ones often have wool or silk edges.(Silk does not always look like shiny ballet shoes.)

Q3: How often should I vacuum my Oriental rugs?

Once weekly is good for most environments with a gentle wash once or twice a year. However, you should you the best vacuum for oriental rugs for best result.

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