The Best Carpet Cleaners of 2020

  • Last Update: October 23, 2020
5/5
  • Includes an attachment
  • Express mode
  • Brush roll cover
5/5
  • The results will make it worth it
  • Wide array of attachments
  • Smart choice for multiple rooms
5/5
  • HeatForce hot air technology
  • Large tanks
  • This is an easy carpet shampooer

Carpet cleaners can eliminate stains from high-traffic areas while also restoring fluff to carpet fibers. These machines are an affordable way to combat messes from pets, kids, and more while extending the life of your carpets.

Carpet cleaners come in a range of models and prices, depending on your household needs. Each type has its own pros and cons, so we’ve researched the top options in those categories and more to help you find the perfect fit for your home.

Here, the best carpet cleaners for eliminating all types of stains.

Best Carpet Cleaners

This cleaner is your carpet’s new best friend. This full-size machine deep cleans and works on stairs, upholstery, and can even tackle pet hair. One of this Bissell’s innovative features is a targeted spray nozzle for stains. It works with just the press of a pedal and without having to stop, bend down, and use a separate product. The 2-in-1 Pet Upholstery Tool works dry to pull out stubborn pet hair and wet to zap stains on furniture fabrics and mattresses. Carpet machines of the past have been bulky, but this one is lightweight and gets a high-five from the GH Cleaning Lab for its brush roll cover that removes for cleaning.

PROS:

  • Includes an attachment for tough stains
  • Express mode has carpets dry in about an hour
  • Brush roll cover is removable for easy cleaning

CONS:

  • No on-board tool storage

Key Features:

  • CleanShot Pretreater
  • 2-in-1 Pet Upholstery Tool
  • EZ Clean Brush Roll Cover
  • Scotchgard Carpet Protection
  • Dries in About 30 minutes
  • Dual DirtLifter Power Brushes Combined With Heatwave Technology

Specification:

  • Brand: Bissell
  • Model: 1986
  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
At 40 pounds empty the Big Green lives up to its name. But every ounce of that weight is put to good use. It has heavy duty suction to beat the band, the brushes are large and hungry, the two big tanks will keep you going across the largest space and there are myriad attachments that enable you to clean upholstery, stairs or whatever your heart desires. Take your time with this puppy and watch your carpets come back to life in front of your eyes. Just remember, quality isn’t cheap. Be sure to also check out our list of the best stick vacuums for more great items like this.

PROS:

  • It’s heavier than most other machines but the results will make it worth it
  • Comes with a wide array of attachments including a 9’ cleaning hose
  • A smart choice if you have multiple rooms of wall to wall

CONS:

  • You need to be fairly strong to manipulate it effectively

Key Features:

  • Patented anti-tip design
  • Oversized PowerBrush
  • Ideal for whole room cleaning
  • Bissell rug cleaning formula included
  • 5 year limited warranty
  • No assembly required

Specification:

  • Brand: Bissell
  • Model: 86T3
  • Weight: 40.6 pounds

From the comfortable handle to the large wheels that facilitate easy motion to the low riding front end that slips under the sofa to snag dirt and grime this is an upright that’s built for your success. It sports an antimicrobial pet tool, HeatForce technology that helps speed up drying of the carpet, a dual water tank system and motion detection that switches from clean to dry depending on your direction. If you’re looking for a lightweight, standalone rug cleaning machine that simplifies the process and produces reliably high-quality results, the Hoover Smartwash is near the top of the best carpet cleaners list. Be sure to combine it with some of the best carpet cleaner solutions.

PROS:

  • Unlike some, this is an easy carpet shampooer to move around
  • The HeatForce hot air technology speeds things up, just don’t expect miracles
  • The large tanks allow you to clean a whole room without changing the water
  • Has a nice low profile that allows you to slip under chairs and stools

CONS:

  • If you don’t take your time the HeatForce it won’t do much

Key Features:

  • Antimicrobial pet tool
  • 8-foot cleaning hose
  • HeatForce technology for faster dry
  • Motion sensing design
  • Dual water tank system
  • Removable nozzle
  • Weighs only 18 pounds

Specification:

  • Brand: Hoover
  • Model: FH52000
  • Weight: 18.5 pounds
A great upright carpet and rug cleaner machine should be light, powerful, able to cover a large room and have lots of useful attachments. It also shouldn’t clean out your bank account. It’s light (19 pounds), powerful (6.5 amp motor), able to cover a large room (22-foot power cord and 8-foot cleaning hose) and has lots of useful attachments (chairs, stairs, corners and more). The Cherry on the cake is the price, which is at the low end of the quality upright spectrum. Add it all up and you get our Best Choice. Be sure to combine this with a robotic vacuum cleaner from our list.

PROS:

  • Goes together remarkably easy
  • Comes apart for cleaning just as easy
  • The 20-foot cord is long enough to satisfy most every need
  • The forced heat system speeds up drying

CONS:

  • Like all rug cleaners it takes on weight when you fill the tank

Key Features:

  • Forced heat drying
  • Rinse option for a more thorough clean
  • Includes stair, upholstery and crevice tools
  • Weighs less than 19 pounds empty
  • High-quality cleaning of all surfaces

Specification:

  • Brand: Hoover
  • Model: FH50150
  • Weight: 18.1 pounds

The PowerDash from Hoover is a pet-oriented upright that’s light, reasonably powerful and features the company’s HeatForce technology to facilitate shorter drying times. It’s highly maneuverable, great for area rugs and small to mid-sized rooms and it takes care of urine stains, pet vomit and more with relative ease (though you might have to clean twice to remove all the odor). While the marketing says you can clean high traffic areas with it we’d say that for really dirty, high traffic areas you’ll likely need something just a bit more robust.

PROS:

  • One of the lightest carpet cleaners on the market at just 12.5 pounds
  • Does a good to an excellent job handling pet stains and odors
  • The 7 amp motor is decent enough for a small to mid-sized room
  • It will clean stubborn stains though you might have to go over it twice

CONS:

  • Not ideal for larger rooms or more than one room at a time

Key Features:

  • PowerSpin Pet Brush
  • Accelerated drying with HeatForce
  • Compact design
  • 7 amp electric motor
  • Antimicrobial brushes
  • Ultra-light 12.5 pounds

Specification:

  • Brand: Hoover
  • Model: FH50700
  • Weight: 12.5 pounds

The Bissell Turboclean Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner is ideal for small rooms and area rugs. Even better for homes with small rooms, area rugs and pets. That’s because it’s designed specifically to address pet hair along with dirt and grime your pet tracks in from the yard or street. It features 4 rows of rotating brushes that scour the carpet to dig out troublesome materials, a durable 3.4 amp motor to power those brushes and a half gallon tank that’s just right for those area rugs and small rooms we mentioned. At a svelte 12 pounds it’s light enough for anyone. For more useful products for your home, be sure to check out our selection of the best vacuum cleaners.

PROS:

  • The aggressive brush configuration makes it highly effective on stains
  • It collapses down to almost nothing for easy storage in any closet
  • Ideal for area rugs and small rooms. Not so for large rooms

CONS:

  • Although it’s light carrying it around is a bit clumsy

Key Features:

  • Weighs only 12 pounds
  • Operates on a 2 step system
  • Fitted with a collapsible handle
  • Combination of a power brush and a suction tool

Specification:

  • Brand: Bissell
  • Model: 2085
  • Weight: 12 pounds

If you have pets you know that accidents happen. Urine, feces, hairballs and more can all appear in the blink of an eye and leave unsightly stains on the carpet or chairs. In such cases you almost never need a full sized carpet cleaner. What you need is something that will let you attack the problem and resolve it quickly. That would be the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser. It’s powerful, lightweight and the easy to remove nozzle makes cleanup a breeze. If there’s a downside it’s that the lithium-ion battery provides a fairly pedestrian 15 minutes run time. You may also be interested in some of the best robot vacuums from our list, so check them out.

PROS:

  • A small carpet cleaner designed for pet stains that can be used for just about any stain.
  • It’s ready to go whenever you need it as long as you keep it charged.
  • Stores away easily under the sink or on the shelf in the hall closet.
  • Not just for pet owners.

CONS:

  • Been known to leak if you move it about aggressively.

Key Features:

  • Ultra-small carpet cleaner for maximum convenience.
  • Designed to handle the worst pet stains.
  • 15 minutes run time from a lithium-ion battery.
  • Weighs less than 5 pounds.
  • Completely removes odors.
  • Includes 2 Hoover rug cleaning samples.

Specification:

  • Brand: Bissell
  • Model: 2003T
  • Weight: 6.4 pounds

A lot of carpet cleaners claim to be able to handle multiple surfaces but you can count the number that actually do it well on one hand. One of the ones that does is the Max Extract 77 from Hoover. It will tackle the toughest stains on your wall to wall today and your hardwood floor tomorrow. With a robust 10 amp motor it digs right down to the root of the pile to remove stubborn dirt and grime while the heated cleaning system helps to remove nasty food spills and grease that have accumulated on the hardwood or linoleum.

PROS:

  • When you don’t need to clean you can use it to vacuum.
  • The hardwood floor cleaner works better than we expected.
  • The 1-gallon tank is usually enough to do an entire room.

CONS:

  • Whether it works on tile depends on the type of tile.

Key Features:

  • Multisurface cleaning capability.
  • Doubles as an upright vacuum.
  • Lightweight and affordable.
  • Tank capacity 1 gallon.
  • AutoRinse saves time and hassle.
  • Powerful 10 amp motor.

Specification:

  • Brand: Hoover
  • Model: FH50240
  • Weight: 22.5 pounds

While the HeatForce system that Hoover makes so much of isn’t all it’s cracked up to be that doesn’t mean you should take a pass on the Power Scrub Elite. Instead, you should pay attention to the Quick Clean and Deep Clean modes which together are worth the price of admission. With Deep Clean the Power Scrub really reaches down into the carpet to pry loose dirt and debris and with Quick Clean you’ll make short work of less serious dirt and have your carpet back in action in no time.

PROS:

  • The relatively light weight means most any adult can handle it.
  • The edge cleaning brushes do a good to excellent job.
  • The brushes scour microbes from the fibers.

CONS:

  • Take the Quick Clean super-fast drying claim with a grain of salt.

Key Features:

  • Deep cleans to remove odors.
  • Dual tank system.
  • Ideal for homes with pets.
  • Antimicrobial brushes.
  • Extra-large tank capacity.
  • Lightweight at just 18 pounds.

Specification:

  • Brand: Hoover
  • Model: FH50251PC
  • Weight: 18.5 pounds

The Bissell SpotClean small carpet cleaner looks like something from the future but it’s no gimmick. It provides robust spot cleaning capabilities with plenty of suction power (via the 5.7 amp motor), multiple attachments and an extra-long power cord so you can take it up onto the stairway landing or out to the car if need be. It’s not light but the large ergonomic handles make toting it around a relative breeze. And once you’re done you can tuck it away under the kitchen counter.

PROS:

  • Ultra-compact design stores away easy.
  • Has a nice long 22 foot power cord that will reach into all corners.
  • It has a fairy robust motor for such a compact machine.

CONS:

  • Best for cars or small rooms.

Key Features:

  • Multiple attachments.
  • Extra-long 22 foot power cord.
  • Tank capacity 3 quarts.
  • Lightweight 13.2 pounds.
  • Great for house or car.
  • Tough on spots.

Specification:

  • Brand: Bissell
  • Model: 3624
  • Weight: 16.75 pounds

Carpet Cleaner Buying Guide & FAQ

Weight – The weight of a carpet cleaner should interest you greatly if you are looking to buy one, as it determines how fast and convenient you can get the cleaning done. Buying a relatively heavy carpet cleaner would mean you are likely to get the cleaning done painstakingly, as the weight would make it difficult to be moved around easily, especially for large homes. Getting a smaller, medium and lightweight cleaner means you can work faster and conveniently.

Noise – This is a no brainer. Cleaning machines generally are not the quietest, and thankfully not the noisiest. However, it would be worth your while if you select a carpet cleaner that produced less noise when in use, as a noisy one would not only be a nuisance to neighbors but the environment as well. An ideal carpet cleaner should have noise levels up to 65 decibels.

Storage – One key factor to consider when looking to get a carpet cleaner is storage. Given the different kinds of carpet cleaners and the storage spaces they typically occupy, it would be ideal to get one that is compact and easy for storage. Because carpet cleaners are not used every day, it is important to get one that has ergonomically foldable parts so as to make storage easier. Having a bulky machine that has to be dragged out every now and then, especially when you may not have enough space to boast of, is not so cool is it!

Power – The power of a carpet cleaner is perhaps the most important feature to look out for when getting a carpet cleaner, as it determines how fast the job gets done. Ideally, the suction power of a good carpet cleaner should be strong, so as to perform a thorough cleaning job when called upon. The stronger and more powerful the machine is, the faster its ability to deliver desired results. It is important to note, however, that the carpet cleaner should also have a good heat control system so as to guard against overheating, as that can not only damage the machine but also leave the work unfinished.

Ease of Use – A carpet cleaner that is difficult to maneuver with ease can be frustrating. An ideal choice is one whose use is not so complicated and needs little or no instructions on using it, particularly for cleaning corners and hard-to-reach areas. Make sure your choice of carper cleaner is not difficult to maneuver.

Speed – Whether it’s cleaning or drying, the faster your carpet cleaner can get those tasks completed, the better. This is another key feature to look out for when getting a good carpet cleaner. Getting one that gets the job done within a relatively shorter time means you get to save time and energy.

Maintenance – When it comes to machines in general, maintenance is like oxygen for the effective running of the machine. If you are looking to buy a carpet cleaner, it is key to buy one whose maintenance you can easily handle. Because machines cannot always be reliable, getting one with a DYI maintenance process is important.

Carpet Cleaner

Types Of Carpet Cleaners

Commercial – Commercial Carpet Cleaners are usually ideal for public spaces with more traffic, like schools, conference centers, hospitals, hotels, restaurants and more. Due to the regular footfall in these places, the likelihood for dirt to settle in the carpets are high, hence the need for a more rigorous carpet cleaner to guarantee quality and crisp cleaning. Commercial carpet cleaners are mostly more expensive than the domestic ones and have features unique to it, and come in bigger sizes.

Domestic – These are usually for minor cleaning jobs, ideal for homes and smaller establishments. Domestic carpet cleaners relatively smaller and can be moved with ease, compared to the commercial ones. They are also not that heavy and do not take much storage space.

Spot Cleaner – Spot cleaners work by focusing on stains that are persistent on particular spots of the carpet. To achieve this, most spot cleaners come with SpinScrub tools to make getting rid of spot stains much easier.

Shampoo – Carpet Shampooing involves deeper cleaning, with such machines performing much detailed and deeper cleaning on your carpet.

Carpet Cleaner FAQ

Q: How often should carpets be cleaned?

A: Ideally, cleaning your carpet should be done based on a number of factors. For instance, if your home has lots of traffic, say with pets and more kids, you will probably need to clean your carpet more than twice a week, as more traffic means more dirt and fur on your precious carpet! You can then have the carpet professionally cleaned about twice in a year.

If yours is an average home with relatively less traffic, you may want to consider vacuum cleaning your carpet say twice every week, and then have it professionally cleaned once a year.

Q: Which carpet cleaning method is best?

A: There are several carpet cleaning methods, with new innovations springing up every now and then. As to which of these cleaning methods is best for you, that depends on the type of carpet and your preference. All the methods are aimed at cleaning your carpet, and almost all the cleaning methods achieve great results. The most popular and common carpet cleaning methods include; The Traditional Method, Carpet Shampooing method, Hot Water Extraction, and Dry Carpet Cleaning. Whilst all these methods deliver great results, you may want to consider factors such as room size, thickness, and material when looking to choose a carpet cleaner that is just right for you.

Q: Does cleaning carpet ruin it?

A: Cleaning a carpet regularly does not necessarily ruin it as not cleaning regularly does. It is recommended that carpets are vacuumed at least twice in a week, as it will keep dirt and its attendant health risks far from you and your family. A carpet can, however, be ruined if you clean it with untested or just any detergent/shampoo. From colorization to stickiness which inevitably attracts more dirt, using a wrong detergent/shampoo for your carpet can ruin it.

Q: Can you shampoo a carpet?

A: Absolutely. Shampooing is one of the popular and most common methods of carpet cleaning and is also effective in getting rid of stubborn dirt on your carpet.

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