Best Carpet Cleaners
There are few cleaning tools that save as much time, money, and aggravation as a carpet cleaner. While you can hire a pro or rent a machine, most carpet cleaners cost less than one visit by a professional, and every carpet cleaner in this report gets very positive reviews from both experts and consumers. We've also identified some other top steam-cleaning appliances — steam mops for floors and steam cleaners for grout and tile — so you can deep-clean the rest of your home, as well.
Our Top Pick
Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe FH50150 Review
- A top carpet cleaner in testing by Reviews.com and Top Ten Reviews.
- Leaves carpets dryer than competing models.
- Separate container for detergent and a rinse setting to release clean water only (recommended for removing residual cleaning solution from carpets), a terrific bonus at this price.
- Relatively long 8-foot hose.
- Water reservoir holds 1 gallon, requiring frequent refills, some owners complain, but models with bigger tanks often cost more.
- Scattered reports of leakage or other durability issues in the first year.
Takeaway: Consumer product experts are near-unanimous in their praise of this Hoover carpet cleaner. In testing, the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe FH50150 performed very well on even the toughest food stains, including grape juice, marinara sauce, and red wine. Testers also found that carpet dries more quickly with its powerful water extraction. Not only does this Hoover model clean carpets well, it also includes accessories to clean upholstery, stairs, crevices, and more. Ease of use is superior, right down to taking apart and cleaning the carpet cleaner itself (an often-yucky necessity).
Bissell SpotClean Pro 3624 Review
- Top performer in testing by Wirecutter.
- 96-ounce water tank is large for a portable model and requires fewer refills.
- 5-foot hose and 22-foot cord give it a generous reach.
- Some users complain about the hose splitting or breaking.
- A bit bulky to store, some reviewers note.
Takeaway: Earning kudos for its performance in professional testing and "real world" use, the Bissell SpotClean Pro portable carpet cleaner is described by some as a "lifesaver" when it comes to cleaning up pet messes from carpet, refreshing upholstery, and even cleaning cloth car seats. Simple as it is — just a basic, hot-water extraction machine — this Bissell carpet cleaner makes short work of even the toughest stains, like chocolate, red wine, and coffee, reviewers say. We didn't spot a lot of complaints, although some say it's larger than they thought it would be. A few disappointed reviewers say the hose split just after the warranty expired.
Bissell SpotBot Pet 33N8A Review
- Versatile; cleans hands-free or with a hose.
- 2 cleaning cycles: express and deep.
- Water tank is easy to fill, users say.
- Some owners consider the hose and nozzle hard to clean.
- Heavy-duty cycle leaves the floor wet, according to some reviews.
- Rather large footprint for a portable model.
Takeaway: Pet owners are enamored of the Bissell SpotBot Pet portable carpet cleaner. It features two cleaning modes: a hands-free option, which sprays, scrubs, and suctions stains of up to 7 inches, and a hose with a brush attachment, like a traditional portable carpet cleaner. The hands-free mode has two cleaning cycles, deep and express, although users say the deep-clean cycle leaves the carpet wet. Some solve the problem by either blotting the spot with a towel or using the hose/nozzle mode to soak up more water.
Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940 Review
- Variable steam control with 3 settings.
- Lightweight, at 6 pounds; highly maneuverable.
- Removable water tank is easy to fill, reviewers say.
- Continuous steam; no need to hold down a trigger.
- 15-ounce tank is relatively small.
- Carpet glider does not actually clean carpets, just "refreshes" them.
Takeaway: If you like to keep your bathroom floors squeaky clean, the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940 makes that a breeze. It heats quickly, in about 30 seconds in testing, and then supplies about 20 minutes of continuous steam. Given the size of the water tank, it's not suited to larger areas. But it's very easy to use, reviewers say, and does a good job getting into smaller nooks and crannies. Experts praise its performance, as do users, saying it really loosens up grime and leaves the floor sparkling. Just don't expect it to clean carpets; testing suggests that's not gonna happen. Check out one of our recommended carpet cleaners instead.
McCulloch MC1275 Steam Cleaner Review
- 15 cleaning tools and attachments.
- Can tackle even heavy jobs, like car engines and grills.
- Provides 45 minutes of continuous steam, users say.
- Water heats to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit to sanitize and clean.
- Some owners say it takes up a lot of storage space.
- Users say some of the accessories are flimsy.
Takeaway: Think of the McCulloch MC1275 as a canister vacuum for the rest of your house. It comes with every accessory you need to tackle grout, tile, grills, car engines, floors, upholstery, and more. Users say it works better on some things than others, of course, but there doesn't seem to be any consensus on that; for every user who says it worked great on floors but not grout, there is another who states the opposite. One thing most do agree on: Some of the smaller accessories don't hold up well for heavier cleaning jobs.
Bissell PowerLifter 1622 Review
- Cleaned a variety of stains well in testing by Reviews.com.
- Weighs 16.4 pounds, less than most carpet cleaners.
- Water tank is easy to fill and empty, users say.
- Nozzle can be removed for cleaning.
- No accessories for upholstery or spot cleaning.
- 96-ounce water tank needs frequent emptying and refilling.
Takeaway: The Bissell PowerLifter PowerBrush upright carpet cleaner is a reliable choice for basic carpet cleaning, refreshing high-traffic areas, and giving carpeted rooms regular touch-ups. Many owners rave about how well the four rows of scrubber brushes remove dirt and pet stains, making carpets look almost brand new. Unlike some upright carpet cleaners, the Bissell PowerLifter is very easy to maneuver around furniture, reviewers say. With a water tank that holds less than a gallon, this model cycles through water too quickly for some consumers. We also read a handful of user complaints about cleaners that broke soon after purchase.
Bissell Little Green 1400B Review
- Lightweight and portable, at 12 pounds.
- Relatively large 48-ounce reservoirs for clean and dirty water.
- Tanks are easy to fill, empty, and clean, owners say.
- 3-inch brush is a bit small, some users say.
- Dirt accumulates in the nozzle, and it doesn't come apart for cleaning.
- Some reviewers report leakage from the nozzle after a few uses.
Takeaway: A portable carpet cleaner comes to the rescue after those inevitable spills and spots, and reviewers say the Bissell Little Green is up to the task. This small, lightweight spot carpet cleaner is the tiniest in the well-respected Bissell Green line of carpet cleaners. It comes with a handheld scrub brush for tough stains but no other tools (some are available for an added cost). Owners seem unabashedly in love with it, giving it very high ratings for how effectively it handles spills and stains on carpet and upholstery.
PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner Review
- 9 accessories for a variety of cleaning tasks.
- Owners say it does a good job steam cleaning grout and tile.
- Good reviews for responsive customer service.
- Doesn't clean heavy stains well, reviewers say.
- Need to wait for the cap to cool before refilling.
Takeaway: If you're tired of the amount of elbow grease you have to expend to clean grout or tile, the PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner makes a handy addition to your cleaning arsenal. It heats quickly and, according to users, produces about 10 minutes of steam, although some report shorter or longer run times. While it's not meant for heavy-duty jobs, like cleaning grills or baked-on grime, it does loosen tough-to-scrub soap scum so you can just wipe it down. The happiest owners are those who understand this handheld steamer's limitations.
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