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Best Carpet Cleaner

We hate to break it to you, but if you don’t already use a carpet cleaner, chances are, your carpet is pretty dirty. Even if you do already use a carpet cleaner, there’s a huge chance that it’s not doing everything it’s supposed to. Don’t worry, though, because we have all the solutions for you!

Sure, you could hire a professional, but those can quickly get expensive. We may have “accidentally” spilled some wine to test out these home carpet cleaners, and we have the best of the best for you right here. We’ll guide you from the first step to the last to find the perfect one to fit your budget, preferences, and needs. All you have to do is buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Without further ado, we present to you, the best carpet cleaners.

Best Carpet Cleaner 2018 – Comparison Table

To start off, we’ve created a table to allow you to easily compare and contrast each product against the others, to more quickly weed out which ones will work best for you. Take a look!

Carpet CleanerWeightFeatures
Hoover FH50150Less than 19 lbs.360-degree cleaning, dual tank system, automatic detergent mixing system, lightweight, comes with variety of tools
Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning51.1 lbs.Reduces cleaning time and dries faster, rotating dirt lifter, large capacity water tanks, comes with deep-cleaning formula, flow indicator
Bissell PowerLifter22.4 lbs.Full-size, 4-row dual rotating power brushes, easy filling and emptying, includes variety of tools
Bissell SpotClean Professional13 lbs.Portable, cleans hard-to-reach areas, long reach 22 power cord, large capacity tank, includes variety of tools
Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner24 lbs.75% more suction, dual cross-action brushes, Super Boost spray function, easy open tank cap, collapsible handle for easy storage
Hoover SteamVac w/ Clean Surge20 lbs.Clean surge control, 360 degree cleaning, 3-speed brushroll control, SmartTanks system, 12-amp motor
Bissell w/ OnePass15 lbs.Lightweight, fast and easy cleaning, innovative brush designs, cyclonic system, multi-level filtration, easy-to-empty dirt tank

Now that you’ve taken a look at the best carpet cleaning machines, let’s take a further look into each product, so that the descriptions can answer any questions you may have and assist you in finding the right product for you!

1

Hoover FH50150 - Best Product for Stair Cleaning

If we were to ask you which brand first comes to mind when you think of the words “carpet cleaning”, “Hoover” would probably be the first to come out of your mouth. Hoover has a long history of providing high-quality products, and the Power Scrub Deluxe is no exception to that. Weighing in at an impressive 19 pounds, it’s definitely one of the lightest professional carpet cleaners, but cleans like some of the heavier models, due to its SpinScrub technology. The 360-degree brush system attacks dirt within the carpet fibers, deep cleaning while keeping the carpet safe. Hoover has thoughtfully included a powered hand tool that also uses SpinScrub technology, but now you can use it on stairs, upholstery, or any kind of spot cleaning you’d like!

If you’re someone who can’t quite handle or doesn’t require the heavier carpet shampooers, but need more power than what portables provide, then the Power Scrub Deluxe is your perfect match. Now you can clean your stairs easily and effectively, without dreading lugging something the weight of a small child up and down different floors. The included upholstery tool makes stair-cleaning even more simple, with an 8-inch hose attachment.

If you’re new to deep cleaner vacuums, the automatic detergent mixing feature is great, as it provides the perfect ratio of water and detergent for the ideal cleaning environment. For those areas that need a little extra something, use the heated cleaning function, which applies forced heated air that not only helps lift those tough stains from the carpet, but also decreases drying time.

Dual tank technology for the clean and dirty water allows you to fill, empty, and rinse each tank easily. When you’re all finished, you’ll be grateful for the easy fill, empty, and clean feature. This makes things more simple, quicker, and less messy. The recovery tank even comes with a quick pour spout! The entire package includes the upholstery tool, a crevice tool, stair tool, powered hand tool, and a sample bottle of solution. The one downside, is that it is not the best performing carpet cleaner, in terms of deep cleaning power. It definitely provides a great, deep cleaning, but there are some competitors on this list that can dig deeper.

PROS
  • Comes with a variety of useful tools to get into tough areas
  • Great for use on stairs
  • Easy fill, empty, and cleaning
  • Very lightweight
CONS
  • Isn't the deepest "deep cleaner" on our list
2

Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning - Deepest Cleaning Product

Bissell is another power name in the carpet-cleaning industry, providing impressive products time after time, and the Big Green Deep Cleaning Professional Grade Carpet Cleaner is quite possibly their best. If you’re someone with a big house, children, pets, or all of the above, do yourself a favor and check this green machine out. Why? Well, there are quite a list of reasons, but the main reason is due to its large-capacity clean and dirty water tanks, and because of its efficient cleaning technology.

You may notice that this upright carpet cleaning machine is the heaviest on our list, by over twice the weight of the others. Don’t let that turn you off from this incredible product, though. To get this kind of cleaning power in a carpet cleaner, it has to be big, which is the reason this one is such a monster. So, if you’re looking for professional-grade carpet cleaning at your convenience, with a durable, easy-to-use product, then keep reading.

One feature that really makes the Big Green stand out, is its ability to clean on the forward and backward pass, which not only reduces the time it takes to clean your house, but also dries faster than competitive rental cleaners. While it passes across your carpet, rotating dirtlifter power brushes are working to remove that super deep dirt. Large capacity clean/dirty water tanks also help with deep-cleaning, and require less trips to the sink, further reducing your cleaning time! Add in the included Bissell 2X professional deep cleaning formula to help melt dirt and grime away. For those hard-to-reach areas that we all dread attempting to clean, use the included stain tool. The long reach hose and tough stain tool used together make cleaning a cinch.

Just in case those big water tanks do get low, the flow indicator will let you know, as well as the solution levels. When you’re all done, the tanks are removable which makes emptying easy. As stated earlier, the only real downside to this one is its weight.

PROS
  • Better at deep-cleaning carpet than the leading rental cleaners
  • Included tools make cleaning hard-to-reach places easy
  • Cleans on the backward and forward pass, making cleaning and drying faster and easier
  • Power brushes lift dirt deep within carpet
CONS
  • Very heavy
3

Bissell PowerLifter - Best for Large Homes

The Bissell PowerLifter is third on our list, and we should probably warn you now, that you may get sick of the name “Bissell” by the time we’re done here today. We had to put this one on our list, because it’s easily one of the best upright carpet shampooers on the market.

This deep cleaning machine forces a heated cleaning mixture into your carpet or rug to blast the dirt away, while the dirtlifter power brushes help to sweep away dirt that’s been deeply embedded in the bottom of the carpet. While all of that is going on, bring in the powerful suction to pull out the dirt and liquid from the carpet! The power brushes are amazing, and the PowerLifter has four cleaning rows of them. The stiff bristles operate in a wave-like pattern, meanwhile constantly rotating. The wide-cleaning path makes it so you spend less time vacuuming and cleaning the carpets, and a 20-foot power cord makes things easier by eliminating the need to unplug and re-plug in bigger areas. A 2-in-1 water tank makes for easy refilling and emptying, which is nice, because we all know how tiring carpet cleaning can be sometimes! The clean water bladder is inside the bigger tank area, and the dirty water gets sucked up into that outside tank section, so the two never touch.

While this carpet cleaner is definitely effective at removing deep dirt and grime, make sure to remember that while it does use heated cleaning solutions, it will not have the same effect as the steam-cleaning carpet cleaners.

PROS
  • 2-in-1 water tank is easy to refill and empty
  • Forced heated cleaning mixture blasts dirt
  • Suction and power brushes remove deep-down dirt
CONS
  • Not as effective as steam-cleaning
4

Bissell SpotClean Professional - Best Portable Product

If you’re looking for a powerful spot cleaner that’s also extremely lightweight and portable, then check out Bissell’s SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner. If you’re a pet owner and constantly find yourself trying to get rid of stains, or experience a lot of foot traffic at your home, then this is a great product for you. It’s also designed to clean hard-to-reach areas, like stairs, upholstery, and much more. A 5 flex hose helps accomplish this, along with a long reach 22-foot power cord.

It may be on the smaller side, but there is some powerful suction packed into it to help remove spots, stains, and stubborn dirt that just won’t come out. Instead of going to get your car detailed, try using the SpotClean instead! It can effectively clean multiple surfaces, including car interiors, by combining powerful suction, scrubbing action, and the professional cleaning solution that seals the deal. The included 6-inch stair tool can obviously be used on stairs, but is also perfect for those difficult, tiny areas in the car that need to be cleaned and vacuumed. The large capacity take makes sure you don’t have to keep running back-and-forth from the sink to keep refilling.

When you’re done cleaning the stains away, the SpotClean is easy to store, given its small size and ergonomic design.

PROS
  • Big water tank makes sure you don't keep running to refill
  • Great for cleaning hard-to-reach surfaces
  • Extremely portable, and stores easily
CONS
  • Isn't as effective as an overall deep carpet cleaner
5

Rug Doctor Deep - Most Powerful Suction

You’ve probably seen a commercial for the Rug Doctor a few times in your life. They used to be a rental-only company, but since then, they’ve come out with a lot of high-quality products for personal use. Their products are easy to use with carpet-friendly wheels and the push handle, and always stand out with their signature red color. Their Deep Carpet Cleaner does as the name suggests; in fact, it features 75% more suction compared to comparable leading upright deep carpet cleaners.

The dual cross-action brushes deep clean the carpet fibers from all angles, digging up the dirt and grime that is embedded every time your carpet is stepped on. The brushes deep clean all carpet fibers, then groom and polish the fibers, all in one smooth pass over. Rug Doctor realizes that not every carpet needs the same level of cleaning; some need something extra special. Use the “Super Boost Spray” setting on the machine, for an extra boost in those areas that are walked on most, or have a set-in stain that just won’t seem to come out.

If you need to clean the hard-to-reach areas like upholstery and stairs, use the upholstery tool to give them a good cleaning, as well. There is even a removable tool caddy you can use, or remove if you find you don’t need it. The “Simple Lift” clean and dirty water tanks are easy to refill and empty, which is nice after a long duration of cleaning carpets! When you’re ready to put it away, the collapsible handle makes for compact and simple storage.

There are a couple potential downsides. One, is the cord wrap and tool wrap aren’t the most conveniently-designed, and some consumers did not like this. The second, is that there is no real water heater, which some people expect from the Rug Doctor. While it doesn’t have a water heater, it is still quite effective at removing deep-down dirt.

PROS
  • Collapsible handle makes it easy to store 
  • Upholstery tool cleans hard-to-reach areas
  • Super Boost Spray helps deep clean stubborn spots
CONS
  • Cord and tool wrap aren't well-designed
  • No water heater
6

Hoover SteamVac - Best Budget Friendly Product 

The Hoover SteamVac Carpet Washer with Clean Surge isn’t Hoover’s top steam cleaner, to be honest. However, it is a very budget-friendly carpet cleaner that does an excellent job. If you’re looking for a product that is easy to maneuver that gets those tough-to-remove spots out, take a look.

Weighing in at a mere 20 pounds, we weren’t lying when we said it’s easy to maneuver. This is a good option to keep in mind if you have a large home or will be taking it up or down the stairs. It may be easy on the wallet, but it is pretty powerful when it comes to sucking up dirt that is pushed deep into the carpet. The scrubbing brushes work multi-directionally to hit from every angle and dig up the grime within carpet fibers. A 3-speed brushroll control works for everyone, because not everyone needs a deep-cleaning session when they clean their carpets. There is the “high” setting for normal cleaning, “low” for gentle cleaning, and “off” for spill pick-up. For particularly dirty carpets that need extra work, simply press the “clean surge” button to release more cleaning solution for an even deeper clean.

For those difficult-to-reach places, there’s the SpinScrub Powered Hand Tool, which is perfect for removing deep dirt from upholstery, stairs, interior of cars, and deeply-set stains. An 8-foot stretch hose helps makes it even easier to reach those difficult crevices. Worried about replacing belts? You won’t have to any longer, because this SteamVac doesn’t have them! Easy-to-fill and empty dual tanks also make the job easier and faster, so you don’t have to constantly go back to the kitchen to refill. The only real “con” to this Hoover carpet cleaner, is that it does not include a steam cleaner, but rather, you’re supposed to add hot or boiling water to it, yourself. This will still give you a deeper clean, but some consumers aren’t in favor of the extra time it takes to do this.

PROS
  • Easy to maneuver, and lightweight
  • Great for small crevices, stairs, car interiors, stains, etc. 
  • Different intensity settings
  • Deep cleans through powerful suction, multi-directional brushes, and more
CONS
  • You must add hot water yourself
7

Bissell w/ OnePass - Best for Cleaning High Places

We’ve made it to the last item on our list, and also the last Bissell product on our list! It’s another lightweight one that also features OnePass Technology, which is their innovative suction and brush design, that cleans more on the first pass than most other competitor products do. Others often require that you pass over the carpet multiple times just to make a dent in the dirtiness. This makes it a lot less tiring and much faster to clean your home!

Their Multi-Cyclonic System creates a powerful suction, but also separates the dirt and debris to ensure your filters stay cleaner for a longer period of time. The lightweight design is wonderful for those with large homes or those who have to use the carpet cleaner on two separate floor levels. It’s just more simple, in general to maneuver over carpet due to its weight, or lack thereof. It also features a large, Easy Empty dirt bin, which makes it so that you can spend less time emptying it out while you’re busy cleaning.

If you’re planning on using the OnePass for crevices and hard-to-reach areas, then you’re in luck. They’ve included a crevice tool, to remove dirt and debris from all the tight areas in your home. It works great along baseboard, in vehicles, couches, and more. Bissell also includes a dusting brush, which is not typically included with carpet cleaners. It is made to brush away hair, lint, and dust, from upholstery, curtains, and more. The TurboBrush tool is a small rotating brush roll which agitates dirt and dust in the carpet or upholstery. It’s just another tool to help you efficiently clean in every nook and cranny, including your car. The included extension wand can be used in combination with any of these tools, or by itself. It’s excellent for cleaning ceiling fans, plant shelves, baseboards, and more, without straining your back.

PROS
  • Cleans ceiling fans, crevices, and upholstery efficiently
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Powerful suction separates dirt and debris to increase the lifespan and cleanliness of filters
CONS
  • Isn't as durable as other products

Best Carpet Cleaners - Consumer Buying Guide

Choosing a professional carpet cleaner isn’t the easiest thing to do; well, at least not choosing one of the best ones. This is due to a variety of reasons, one being personal need and preference, and the other being all of the technical terms that are thrown at you when you start looking into the details. Don’t fret, because we’ve created this guide to lead you to down the road to success and buy the best carpet cleaner for you.

Rental Pros/Cons

Your first instinct, if you have a dirty carpet or some kind of stains you can’t take out, may be to rent a Rug Doctor Mighty Pro. While they’re definitely effective, they also cost $20 to $30, per every 24 hours. That may seem pretty inexpensive, however, the Mighty Pro cleans as well as most of the products on our list. They’re also much more heavy and bulky than the items we have listed here. While they may seem easier, they’re much more expensive. You can have an equally efficient carpet shampooer for a bit more money, and the best part is, is it’s yours! You can use it whenever and wherever you want, and as they’re generally much lighter and easier to maneuver, you can use it all over the house, and finish quicker.

Size

While rentals cleaners typically just come in one size: huge and heavy, the home products come in a variety of sizes, for your convenience. If you’re not quite strong enough to manage a heavier cleaner, make sure to pay special attention to the weight of each one. All, except one, on our list, are very lightweight and easy to maneuver around and carry up the stairs, however, that is still too much for some users. In that case, look into a portable carpet cleaner, where you can easily carry it around without exerting yourself too much. These are also great if you’re looking for a little something to clean up small areas or stains. They’re also more convenient, if you don’t have the storage space for a full-sized cleaner.

If you’re looking for an ultimate deep-clean, you’re probably going to have to select a heavier cleaner. They may be more difficult to maneuver, but they’re still going to be lighter than the rentals you’d find at a store, and they really dig deep in a way that the lighter cleaners cannot.

Features

There are a variety of features that come with each cleaner, and all of them vary. Make sure the one you select has everything you want and/or need.

Attachments

All of the products we have on our guide include attachments, however, they all vary. There are some specifically for reaching tight spots, some that can be used on a variety of surfaces, extensions to reach high places like ceiling fans, dusters to remove hair and dust from surfaces, and more.

Belts

Having to replace a worn-out belt in a vacuum used to be the standard. However, more and more cleaners are being built beltless. That means no more going out in the middle of cleaning your home to buy a new belt and go home to fix it.

Brushes

Most high-quality cleaners use oscillating or rotating brushes, which hit the carpet fibers from every angle, loosening up and removing the dirt, even if it’s packed into the bottom of the carpet or rug. Some cleaners have brushes that do not move, and even if it has more than one brush, it is still not going to clean your carpets like the moving brushes would.

Tank

Larger tanks are ideal, as they hold more water/cleaning solution than other products. This means less trips down the stairs or across the house to refill the tank. It not only saves you time, but is much easier.

Hose

With heavier cleaners, the length of the hose is particularly important. You’re probably not going to be carrying a 50 pound cleaner up the stairs. In this case, a hose would help you out with reaching up a flight of stairs, for example.

Durability

If you’re going to buy a carpet cleaner rather than rent at a lower price, you’re going to want it to last a while, right? Otherwise, it wouldn’t really be worth the whole buying your own product thing. There are definitely a lot of carpet cleaners out there that will maybe last you six months if you’re lucky. However, most that exhibit issues early on are easy to replace, if you’re within the return period.

Most of the products on our list have at least a 1 to 2-year money-back or replaced. For some, they may be asked (if under their warranty) to stop by a local service station and drop off your carpet cleaner. This could be a hassle for people in more remote areas. We also highly recommend reading the user manual to ensure you’re using the device properly, and to minimize accidental harming of the carpet.

Tips

Make sure to vent properly, as some rug shampooers and carpet cleaners use cleaning solutions which emit fumes. Make sure to open windows and run fans, especially if you or someone else in your home has a sensitivity to chemicals or has asthma. Also vacuum before using your upright carpet cleaning machine, and consistently make sure there are no clogs in the cleaner, to eliminate potential to the product, and to more efficiently clean your carpet.

Conclusion


While each of the products are on our list for a reason, there were a couple products that really stood out to us. The first, was the Bissell Big Green Cleaning Professional Grade Carpet Cleaner. We couldn’t ignore the incomparable way it cleaned carpets. It is definitely much heavier than any of our other options, but it is that way because it is so much more powerful than pretty much any other carpet cleaner on the market today. There are tools included to get hard-to-reach areas, nooks and crannies, sofas, and more. It also cleans on the backward and forward pass, making cleaning quicker and easier.

Our other favorite was the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe. It weighs in at a mere 19 pounds, making it easy to maneuver and great for bigger homes or for carrying up stairs. Despite its weight, it cleans like the bigger machines, due to its powerful 360-degree brush system. It’s great for beginners as it’s easy to operate, including an automatic detergent mixing feature, along with easy-to-refill and empty tanks that are large enough, you don’t have to keep going back to refill them.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with any of these products; it really does come down to personal preference and need, and these are definitely the best carpet cleaners out there!