Best Carpet Cleaners in 2021: Buying Guide

Most people don’t think about how high-maintenance a carpet truly is. Sure, they look neat and all, but debris that gets trapped in the fibers is more than a pain in the neck to remove.

Instead of hiring an expensive cleaning service, with the right carpet cleaner, you can do it on your own any day of the week. Below, you’ll find our top picks of the best carpet cleaner made specifically to remove wine stains, old food debris, and pet leavings from carpets and rugs.

Best Carpet Cleaning Machines

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Carpet Cleaner | Bestsellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner...
Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner...
2X MORE CLEANING POWER than the competitive lightweight carpet cleaner; POWERSPIN PET BRUSH ROLL: Delivers powerful carpet cleaning with protection
Bestseller No. 2
Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and...
Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and...
Tackles tough spots and stains with strong spray and powerful suction; Take on small and large cleanups with this compact carpet cleaner

Our Recommended Carpet Cleaners in 2021

6) Portable Option: Bissell 3624

The Bissell 3624 is one of the most notable portable carpet cleaners on the market. It’s a lightweight, ultra-compact device that delivers an astounding amount of suction power for its size. It features two cleaning tools—a 3-inch tough stain tool and a 6-inch stair tool that also works incredibly well on upholstery and auto interior.

Bissell 3624
Bissell 3624

The 96-oz, two-tank system ensures that the 3624 never dispenses dirty water through the spray nozzle. At just 13 pounds, lifting and transporting this unit up and down stairs and into cars shouldn’t be a problem. Even though the hose kinks at times, it’s durable enough to not tear when wrapped around the built-in hook.

Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable...
  • Every Bissell purchase helps save pets. Bissell proudly supports Bissell pet foundation and its mission to...
  • Our most powerful portable spot and stain cleaner for carpets, stairs, upholstery, auto interiors, and more.
  • Combines superior suction, scrubbing action and professional cleaning solution to remove stubborn pet stains,...

5) Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact FH50700

If you’re looking for a more robust carpet cleaner for removing pet hair from area rugs, the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact FH50700 is one of the best options. It features a PowerSpin brush roll that actively loosens and lifts debris from carpets, leaving a clean streak in its wake. Plus, you can’t sleep on the HeatForce Power, which dries carpets twice as quickly as carpet cleaners without built-in heaters.

Hoover FH50700
Hoover FH50700

What makes the FH50700 an optimal carpet cleaner for pet parents is its antimicrobial brush. Instead of moving bacteria from one place to another, this upright carpet cleaner kills them on contact. It’s also incredibly lightweight (under 13 pounds) for its size.

Sale
Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner...
  • 2X MORE CLEANING POWER than the competitive lightweight carpet cleaner
  • POWERSPIN PET BRUSH ROLL: Delivers powerful carpet cleaning with protection
  • HEATFORCE POWER: Delivering an even faster drying for any space

4) Bissell Turboclean Powerbrush Pet 2085

The Bissell Turboclean Powerbrush Pet 2085 is another pet-friendly carpet cleaner that comes with an astounding number of features. First, the DirtLifter PowerBrush has four rows of stiff bristles to remove more than just carpet surface stains. The entire device weighs a mere 12 pounds, making it not just easy to maneuver but incredibly portable.

Bissell 2085
Bissell 2085

A dual-tank system keeps the clean water solution away from dirty water. With the ½-gallon tank, you can expect to clean entire rooms on just a single tank of water. A collapsible handle makes the 2085 easy to stow away when not in use. Customers have also complimented the EdgeSweep side bristles, which help loosen debris from furniture legs and wall edges.

BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Upright Carpet...
  • Every Bissell purchase helps save pets. Bissell proudly supports Bissell pet foundation and its mission to...
  • Clean powerfully. Remove tough stains and pet messes.
  • Remove embedded dirt. Four-row dirt lifter power brush and powerful suction.

3) Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe FH50150

Although the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe FH50150 is a massive carpet cleaner, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate how much power this beast packs. First, apart from its incredible suction power, it features a dual-inlet nozzle that provides even pressure on both sides for maximum cleaning performance. Combined with the SpinScrub Brush System, there’s no mud track or wine stain too stubborn for this upright carpet cleaner.

Hoover FH50150
Hoover FH50150

The FH50150 also has an 8-foot suction hose that makes spot-cleaning above-ground surfaces a breeze. In terms of portability, its sheer size makes auto-interior cleaning a bit cumbersome, but it can certainly do the trick. It also features HeatForce Technology to dry carpets more quickly.

Sale
Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine,...
  • SPINSCRUB BRUSH SYSTEM: Safely deep clean carpets of the toughest dirt with powerful 360 degree brushes
  • DUAL V NOZZLE: Evenly cleans surfaces with equal suction
  • HEAT FORCE: For faster drying

2) Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet 1548F

Pet owners and those with unruly children, we have the perfect carpet cleaner for you: The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet 1548F. This incredible upright carpet cleaner delivers maximum suction power on the new and improved Max Cleaning Mode to remove even the toughest stains from shaggy area rugs.

Bissell 1548F
Bissell 1548F

Apart from unparalleled suction power, the 1548F also has a 12-row Dual Dirt Lifter Brush Roll that attacks dirty surfaces with repeated swipes to loosen set-in stains. With two pet brushes of different sizes that connect to a 7-foot suction hose, cleaning upholstery, auto interior, and other fibrous surfaces is a cinch.

BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Full Size...
  • Buy BISSELL, save pets; BISSELL will donate up to 10 dollars to BISSELL pet foundation for each purchase of...
  • Out cleans the leading rental and half the weight, making it easy to use and maneuver
  • New Max Clean mode, combined with 12 rows of rotating Dual Dirt Lifter Power Brushes, delivers professional...

1) Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean 1986

The ProHeat 2X Revolution 1986 by Bissell is another upright carpet cleaner that pet parents would appreciate. With a dozen rows of stiff bristles, there’s no stain that this carpet cleaner can’t loosen, lift, and remove with just a bit of cleaning solution. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that you can remove the nozzle to clean the 12-row brush roll.

Bissell 1986
Bissell 1986

While it’s larger than most uprights, it also features a larger tank (1 gallon) to clean entire floors on just a single tank. Thanks to HeatWave Technology, the 1986 cleans and dries carpets in half as much time as traditional, not-heated uprights. There’s also a carpet pre-treater dispenser next to the nozzle to deliver a bit more oomph on tougher stains.

BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Full Size...
  • Buy BISSELL, save pets; BISSELL will donate up to 10 dollars to BISSELL pet foundation for each purchase of...
  • Out cleans the leading rental and half the weight, making it easy to use and maneuver
  • New Max Clean mode, combined with 12 rows of rotating Dual Dirt Lifter Power Brushes, delivers professional...

Carpet Cleaners Buying Guide

In this brief guide, we’ll show you how to find the best carpet cleaner for your home. But first, let’s go over the basics.

What is a Carpet Cleaner?

Many people might think of a carpet cleaner as a vacuum cleaner, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Carpet cleaners use the power of heated water and shampoo to wash, scrub, dissolve stains, and rinse carpets, leaving not just their surfaces sparkly clean but also the roots of the carpet fibers.

Pro Tip. After using a carpet cleaner, you’ll want to go over the area with the vacuum feature to suction out as much moisture as possible. You can also sun-dry your carpets and rugs outside to eliminate moist spots and prevent mold growth.

Why Should I Get a Carpet Cleaner?

If you live in a spacious home with lots of carpets, you already know the challenges of maintaining clean carpets. A carpet cleaner is a home appliance that simplifies the task of cleaning, scrubbing, shampooing, and rinsing, without needing to hire costly professional carpet cleaning services.

Carpet Cleaners

Did You Know. The longer you let a particularly dirty stain to stay in your carpets, the harder it will be to remove later on? Ideally, you’ll want to address the problem as soon as it arises. Also, the sooner you use a carpet cleaner on a dirty spot, the less shampoo you’ll need to remove it completely.

Carpet Cleaner vs. Steam Cleaner

So, if you’re wondering whether the chemical-free sanitizing power of steam is ideal for removing debris from your carpets, they can be. However, steam-cleaning your carpets should not be a part of your regular carpet maintenance routine.

Steam is great for sanitizing and removing sticky objects from carpet fibers, such as dried gum and old pet food. However, the high temperature of steam can cause synthetic carpet fibers to wrinkle and become hardened after they’ve dried. You run the risk of this happening while using a steam-only solution since it can take time for the steam to reach the roots.

Pro Tip. Feel free to give your carpets a final blast of steam after using a carpet cleaner. Steam will help in killing surface bacteria that survived the initial deep clean.

Important Carpet Cleaner Features

Carpet cleaners come with a wide range of features. The following will describe what the most crucial features are in carpet cleaners and how they will affect the tool’s performance.

Best Carpet Cleaners

Suction

The air-watt rating of a carpet cleaner denotes how well it sucks up water and debris. The higher the air watt rating, the more efficient the appliance is. Even so, the suction power is not the only key factor in a carpet cleaner’s cleaning capacity.

Cleaning Direction(s)

Some carpet cleaner models can only move in one direction while cleaning while others work similarly to a vacuum cleaner (push and pull). Single-direction carpet cleaners tend to be bulkier and deliver a much higher air watt rating, but it can be inconvenient to relocate furniture in order to make way for the tool. We recommend sticking to a push-and-pull carpet cleaner for the convenience.

Brushes

The stiffer and quicker the brushes spin, the cleaner the end result. Some models come with single-active brushes while other can dual-active brushes that spin in opposite directions. The latter is ideal for extremely dirty carpets that need the extra aggressiveness of bi-directional scrubbing to get the job done thoroughly. You can also find carpet cleaners with side brushes to ease the arduous task of cleaning edges.

Caution. Just because a carpet cleaner delivers a mega-powerful suction and comes with all sorts of brushes with stiff bristles doesn’t make it the ideal option for your particular carpet. For instance, wool carpets or decorative carpets require a more delicate touch to remove debris without pulling out the fibers.

Attachments

Tools simplify the work of washing and also allow you to clean your furniture and stairs. The most popular kits in some of the best carpet cleaners are specifically made for cleaning the tapestry and stairs. All of these tools are generally three-sided and broad; some come with a button that shoots out a wide fan of cleaning solution to loosen more debris before introducing high-pressure suction.

Bissell 1548F
Bissell 1548F

FYI. Pet hair can be a pain to remove, even with a high-pressure carpet cleaner. If you have pets who shed like crazy, try and find a pet-friendly carpet cleaner with a powered brush attachment to remove pet fur from carpet fibers.

Cleaning Width

The width of the carpet cleaner’s floor head must also be taken into account. A carpet cleaner with a 12-inch nozzle lip or wider will help clean more debris with every pass, thereby reducing the number of passes needed to clean extra-wide carpets. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, try and find the widest nozzle possible.

Heated Drying

Some carpet cleaner models come with a built-in dryer that delivers heated air over a newly washed carpet. The heated air assists in quickening drying times, which is a must-have feature for those with wall-to-wall carpets.

Carpet Cleaning

For Your Carpet’s Safety. Just make sure you keep the tool moving continuously, otherwise the heated air may actually end up causing irreparable/costly damage to your delicate carpets. Even though the risk of such an occurrence is incredibly low, you heat-dry a single spot on your carpet for more than 10 to 20 seconds at a time.

Water Tank

Many manufacturers are now equipping their carpet cleaners with user-friendly water tanks. Most are transparent, so the remaining water and suds level is easy to see. Some tanks can hold larger quantities of water and shampoo to reduce the frequency of refilling and mixing the cleaning solution. If you need to clean wide surface areas, a larger water tank—more than one gallon—would be ideal.

Upright vs. Spot Cleaning

Carpet cleaners can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The common of which are upright models that come with full-sized motors, deliver high-pressure suction, and wider nozzles to get the job done effectively in fewer passes.

However, it would be impractical to whip out an upright every time your pet leaves a tiny surprise on your carpeting. Instead, for localized dirty spots on your carpets, consider using a spot cleaner. These compact devices remove tiny stains much more quickly while using less energy, water, and elbow grease.

Best Carpet Cleaner

Weight

This has more to do with the overall convenience of using a carpet cleaner that it does with the appliance’s performance. A lighter tool is generally easier to lift and move up and down different floors. Plus, they’re a lot easier to push and pull, meaning that you can complete your carpet-cleaning duties in less time.

FYI. The size of the tank can affect the carpet cleaner’s weight. When transporting the tool up and down stairs, make sure you empty out the tanks to make it easier to carry. When cleaning stairs, make use of the cleaning attachments and suction hose, or you can consider using a compact, well-balanced spot cleaner.

FAQs

What Exactly Is A Carpet Cleaner?


A carpet cleaner is a machine that uses a combination of brushes and cleaning liquid to clean the piles of carpets, penetrating deep and then lifting the dirt and stains from it. Mostly you would find that these cleaners also revitalize the carpets and makes them look practically new.

They normally would have two tanks – one for clean water and the other for the dirty water sucked from the carpet. Water and cleaning solution is placed in the clean water tank and when the trigger is activated, will moisten the carpet and the dirty water is then sucked into the dirty water tank.

These machines are quite versatile as they can work on stairs, hard floor surfaces as well as upholstery if needed.

Is buying a carpet cleaner cheaper than hiring a professional service?

Yes, it is. Even though shampooing carpets isn’t a part of regular carpet maintenance, the cost of hiring professional services can add up to more than the cost of a carpet cleaner, shampoo, and water and energy bills. Simply put, the upfront cost of a carpet cleaner and the operation costs of supplies is much less than that of a professional carpet cleaner (on average).

How often do I need to shampoo my carpets?

It depends on how often you drop food and how often your pets leave happy little surprises. Cleaning your carpets thoroughly will ensure that the color doesn’t fade over time, and that mold and bacteria doesn’t grow in moist spots hidden just below the surface. In general, professional carpet cleaners recommend shampooing carpets every 6 or 12 months, but you should deep-clean them every time there’s a stinky mess.

How do I clean urine?

First and foremost, you should NOT use warm water, steam, or heated air to remove urine stains. You should first go over the area with cold water and a urine-removing shampoo. This will completely eradicate any residual urine crystals that may have dried up and become embedded in your carpet’s fibers. We recommend going over the area twice or three times with cold water and shampoo before introducing steam and blasting it dry with heated air.

Can I use vinegar in a carpet cleaner?

It’s possible, but we wouldn’t recommend it. There’s no telling how the vinegar will react to the plastic tank or delicate system of pipes and hoses that spray the cleaning solution on carpets. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid voiding the warranty.

Carpet Cleaners

How Frequently Should Carpets Be Washed?


At the Good Housekeeping Institute there are specialists that recommend that carpets should have a good clean at least annually. Yet, in the event that you have hypersensitivities or pets of some sort, a good clean twice a year would be a good interval.

In the event that a stain unfortunately shows up on your carpet – particularly a famously hard to remove one like curry, mustard or wine, be sure to clean it ASAP.

Is Shampoo- Or Steam Cleaning Carpets Better?


Although steam cleaning will generally take less time to dry, steam cleaners are cumbersome and normally costs more than machines that shampoo. A lot of Companies are leaning more towards cleaners that use some sort of shampoo and/or other cleaning liquids.

On What Type Of Stains Are Carpet Cleaners Effective?


Normally stains consisting of body fluids, oil, food and other consumables, mud, dirt and grease can to a large extent be cleaned successfully. A few stains might be cleaned easily as with only one attempt, while others may be a bit stubborn and require more than one cleaning process. To really address serious stains you could also try out other solutions that are specialized, like one that has been designed for pets specifically.

Could Carpet Cleaners Eliminate Pet Scents?


It is quite possible. Regardless of whether the machine will eliminate stains that pets create, generally depends on whether the stain is quite deep and perhaps into the padding under the carpet. If the pee has penetrated the padding, cleaning the carpet will probably not eliminate the scent. Notwithstanding, in the event that you utilize a decent carpet cleaner and use a synthetic cleaning solution, you could probably have success.

If you do have a carpet with a pet stain on it, it is significant to note is that you must not utilize hot or boiling water to clean the carpet. The warm liquid will bond to the proteins in the pee, making the stain and odor extremely hard to remove.

What Might Be Said About Leasing A Carpet Cleaner?


If you are not going to use a carpet cleaner regularly, it might be a good idea to lease one from a nearby store. These cleaners may be cumbersome, but they would be able to give your carpet a good clean. Normal rates that are charged would be in the region of about $30 per day, so if you are going to clean your carpets more than a few times annually, it might be a better option to consider one of the carpet cleaners above.

Before Purchasing a Carpet Cleaner

It might be a bit of a hassle, but consider leasing one of these machines for cleaning your carpets. It would take quite a bit of coordination to collect and return it and cost a bit extra for carpet shampoo. Also keep in mind that it might not be so effective as a new one, but doing the cleaning yourself will give your carpets a new lease on life and will also give you the peace of mind that you have a spotless home.

Despite the suggestion above, you will need to have your carpets cleaned by professionals at least every 12 to 18 months. This is a recommendation from the manufacturers and might even be a prerequisite to ensure that the guarantee does not lapse!

Think about the machine’s weight as carpet cleaners are a lot heavier to push and less manageable than normal vacuum cleaners. What’s more, when you add the water to it, they weigh significantly more.

Keep a look out for nice features it might have, like the provided attachments, brushes that turn, a facility to heat the water and edge cleaning. Most of these machines have quite handy attachments that enables you to clean small spaces, and sometimes a little sample of cleaning solution to get you on your way. It all depends on what your needs are but might well be worth the investment.

Have a good look at the machine’s guarantee, either provided to you or available on the website. Also check the guarantee of your carpet to ensure you’re not doing or using something that will void it.

What Else Should I Consider?

When searching for a carpet cleaner to buy, it would be very enticing to read reviews and pick the one with the best rating. This might be a decent start but it would more essential to determine what your personal requirements are, and what item would work best for you.

Who is making the Mess in your Home?

You might have a big dog, even some other pets or quite a few children that move around outside your home and unintentionally cart dirt into the house – or even have an accident that would leave some stains. If this happens regularly, you would need a cleaner that can be used every day and is easy to use.

Do you have lots of Carpets?

If this is the case you would need to consider buying a really good industrial-type carpet cleaner that can withstand the continued use.

How regularly would you Utilize your Cleaner?

In case your requirements are that you would really use it every day or week, it’s very important that you invest in a good quality floor cleaner that is light and easy to maneuver.

How much Space do I need for Storage?

Some of the homes would not have sufficient storage space for keeping all these cleaning appliances. Limit the number of appliances you purchase and consider investing in appliances that can handle a wide range of applications.

The Most Effective Way to utilize a Carpet Cleaner

It would be a good idea to vacuum the area before getting to the process of giving your carpets a good clean. Move everything out of the way and make sure you don’t miss a spot. You could use some material that would assist you if you are not able to move heavy furniture. Consider using things like aluminum foil/wax paper under the legs to prevent stains developing on the carpet while drying – especially wooden furniture.

Start the cleaning process at the back of the room and work toward the door so that you can be out of the room when you’re done.

Once the room has been cleaned, avoid closing it as it would take much longer to dry and you might create other problems by getting the moisture to develop into mold. Try getting air into the room by way of opening windows and doors. When the carpet has completely dried out, just vacuum it again to make sure all the dirt is gone.

Our Recommended Carpet Cleaners

Best of the Best!
Carpet Cleaner for Pets
Budget Option
BISSELL Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner
BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Full Size...
BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Upright Carpet...
Bissell 86T3
Bissell 15489
Bissell 2085
1.75 gal. Capacity
10.5" Cleaning Path Width
25 ft. Cord
25 lbs
1 gal. Capacity
10.5" Cleaning Path
22 ft. Cord
18 lbs
0.50 gal. Capacity
9.5" Cleaning Path Width
20 ft. Cord
11 lbs
The Bissell Big Green Professional-Grade Carpet Cleaner achieves a whole new level of clean by out-cleaning the leading rental carpet cleaner.
Get your carpets clean with the ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet. This carpet cleaner outcleans the leading rental machine and is half the weight, giving you the convenience to clean your carpets whenever you want!
The Bissell TurboClean Power Brush is the convenient upright carpet cleaner for pet owners with small spaces to help bring area rugs and carpets back to life.
Best of the Best!
BISSELL Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner
Bissell 86T3
1.75 gal. Capacity
10.5" Cleaning Path Width
25 ft. Cord
25 lbs
The Bissell Big Green Professional-Grade Carpet Cleaner achieves a whole new level of clean by out-cleaning the leading rental carpet cleaner.
Carpet Cleaner for Pets
BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Full Size...
Bissell 15489
1 gal. Capacity
10.5" Cleaning Path
22 ft. Cord
18 lbs
Get your carpets clean with the ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet. This carpet cleaner outcleans the leading rental machine and is half the weight, giving you the convenience to clean your carpets whenever you want!
Budget Option
BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Upright Carpet...
Bissell 2085
0.50 gal. Capacity
9.5" Cleaning Path Width
20 ft. Cord
11 lbs
The Bissell TurboClean Power Brush is the convenient upright carpet cleaner for pet owners with small spaces to help bring area rugs and carpets back to life.

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Sources
HouseholdMe: Best Affordable Carpet Cleaners in 2021
RealSimple: Best Home Carpet Cleaners
PocketLint: Best Carpet Steam Cleaners
Which: Best Carpet Cleaner for Pet Stains
MyMove: Best Carpet Cleaners for Old Pet Urine Stains

Last update on 2021-05-08 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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