Are vacuums safe for Persian and Oriental Rugs?

Persian and Oriental Rugs are an investment.  When properly cared for they become special family heirlooms that last for decades–even centuries.


Regular maintenance is an integral part in helping these rugs last for a long time.  In previous posts we discussed general care guidelines.  The big questions our customers ask us: “Are vacuums safe on my Persian or Oriental Rug”, and “How should i vacuum my Persian or Oriental rug?”

Wool is one of nature’s most resilient and strong fibers.  It has been chosen for centuries to weave rugs because of this property.  The most general answer to whether vacuums are safe or not is, “Yes they are safe to use and should be used regularly.”

With that being said there are some guidelines to follow when vacuuming to ensure the longevity of your rug.   Vacuuming should be done frequently yet gently. This is especially true when it comes to antique or semi-antique oriental rugs.

So how does one vacuum frequently yet gently?  Well its all in the vacuum that you choose to use on your fine rug.  There are a few features that should be considered when choosing a vacuum.

  1. The vacuum should have adjustable pile height.  Different styles of rugs from around the world are woven in different ways.  This also results in different pile height for each of these types of rugs.  Having a vacuum with an adjustable pile height ensures that the vacuum doesn’t rub into the pile too much causing damage.
  2. The vacuum should have the ability to turn off the carpet beater brush.  The mechanical carpet brush on most vacuums spins at a very high speed and does an excellent job at bringing up dirt out of thick carpeting.  This agitation is too rough for hand knotted Persian and Oriental rugs.  We recommend vacuuming the rug without the mechanical carpet brush on to make sure that the individual knots are not damaged.
  3. The vacuum should have adjustable suction.  As we just mentioned Persian and Oriental rugs should be vacuumed without the mechanical carpet brush on.  To compensate for this, you need to turn up the suction on the vacuum to ensure that the dirt is being lifted out of the carpet.


There are a lot of great vacuums that can be used effectively and safely on your Persian and Oriental rugs.  Some brands that we recommend are:
  • Shark – A budget friendly option that comes with many attachments for versatility.  Many models have full features such as adjustable suction and pile height.
  • Miele – High quality German brand that is considered to be the gold standard in fine rug cleaning.  Almost all models have the full range of recommended features.  Slightly pricey, which may turn off some customers ($400-$500).
  • Sebo – Another very high end German brand that is just now coming to the US.  Very expensive ($600+), but has received rave reviews from Amazon and Google.  Loaded with features and adjustments.  This vacuum will be able to handle any rug you may have.

Of course if you have any further questions feel free to contact the Artisan Rug Care team at (469) 387-6777 .  We would be happy to make a personalized recommendation for you.

Are vacuums safe for Persian and Oriental Rugs?