Best Carpet Cleaners to Buy in 2018

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The use behind the steam cleaner is to do short work to clean floors and surfaces that are difficult to clean. Its mechanism of action is to heat water to produce steam at high pressure, thus removing germs, dirt and grease in record time. But in fact, many steam cleaners do not deliver what they promise, meaning you really need to do your homework before you buy.

First of all, find the type you need – steam cleaner or hand held portable steamer, a combination of both, or a cleaner. A steam boiler is a vertical machine with a water tank attached to the handle and is designed to clean the hard floor, while the handset is more compact and is intended to be kept from the oven to a clean shower. Sparkling (usually with attachments for different surfaces). More machines do both – acting as a vertical model with a removable handheld unit, usually attached to the handle. Steam cleaners are also designed to handle all mops and combined handwashing work – and thanks to the barrel body, they provide long boiling times, although they tend to be steaming. Longer to get ready for use and heavier.

Check your machine has all the attachments you need – a dust brush to clean the glass, for example, or a rubbing brush to the mortar. How long to heat and even more importantly, how long the barrel last (because this can last from eight minutes to continuous)? Also study what machines you want to buy excelling – rarely do they shine at everything they say they do.

You can also go straight to our full reviews in the menu, where you will find helpful detailed comparisons of the different cleaners as well.

Top Carpet Cleaners 2018

  • Best Overall: Hoover FH50150 Carpet Basics Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner

    A number one best seller in its category, this carpet cleaner from Hoover wins the top award for its performance. Featuring a SpinScrub Brush System, it can clean the fibers of the carpet from all angles to get the most thorough wash. Using water and detergent first, the device then rinses the fibers with just water to remove any residue. Heated air is also released to help lift stains and dry the area quicker. And if you’re working with stairs or hard-to-reach places, there’s an eight foot hose and upholstery tool that can assist. Weighing in about 18 pounds, it’s one of the lightest uprights available.

    Customers who have purchased this carpet cleaner have been mostly satisfied with it. One said they used it on carpet that hadn’t been washed since it was installed almost 10 years ago, and it came out looking as though it had just been installed. Another said it removed almost all the pet urine on the floor from a dog who was not yet house-trained with just a couple of cycles. In terms of critical reviews, some have reported water leaking from the bottom or parts breaking over time. But the majority of customers were satisfied with the product and would recommend it to others.

  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: Bissell 3624 SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner

    For those who are looking for a more portable option, this compact spot cleaner from Bissell is a great choice. Weighing in at 17 pounds, it’s light enough to carry around the house and also includes a long, 22-foot power cord to move around easily. There’s no assembly required for your first use, and it’s foolproof to operate. Just fill the tank with cleaning formula, plug it in, turn it on, and clean away. It has powerful suction that helps lift stains, and a 3-inch tough stain tool for those spots that are really set in.

    Customers who have used this have been mostly satisfied with the product. Many praised how easy it is to use and how well it gets the job done. One said even though it’s compact, it works just as well as the industrial ones you can rent. Those with pets said it’s great for dealing with animal mishaps, with one adding it does a much better job than just a regular carpet spray. Some have reported issues with the hose splitting after some use, but the majority of customers have said they’re happy with the product.

  • Best Professional Grade: Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner

    If you’re looking for a professional quality clean the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner is a smart option for those who need to deep clean often. Similar, if not the same to many versions you can rent, this machine has 75% more suction than similar brands, which equals more lifting of deep stains.

    At 37.4 pounds it is the heaviest of our picks but it packs a big punch with dual brushes that get in deep. The quick dry feature leaves your carpets dry in four hours so you don’t need to worry about mold or mildew setting in. Plus, the included upholstery tool lets you tackle stains on couches rugs and more making it a smart choice for busy households or those with pets. 

  • Best High End: Bissell 86T3/86T3Q Big Green Deep Cleaning Carpet Cleaner

    Looking to invest in a high quality carpet cleaner? This one from Bissell carries a five-star rating from customers for its performance. It has large capacity tanks, which is a time-saver since that means fewer trips back and forth to the sink, if you have a larger home. It cleans on both the forward and backward passes and has rotating DirtLifter power brushes that give the carpet a deeper clean. Weighing 51 pounds, it’s not a lightweight appliance, but you can be assured that it’s sturdy and durable.

    Customers who have purchased this machine have been extremely satisfied with it. Many have uploaded pictures to show the effects of the carpet cleaner, and you can definitely tell the difference between the clean and dirty areas. Many have praised it also for the fact that the carpet dries quickly after use since the machine sucks up the water as it’s working. Some have called it the best carpet cleaner they ever used. Some of the critical reviews deal with issues of it needing repairs or issues with it leaking dirty water. However, the majority of those who bought it would recommend it.

  • Best Compact: BISSELL Little Green ProHeat Compact Carpet Cleaner, 14259

    Looking for a little machine that still gets the job done? This 13-pound one is easily portable and does a great job of deep cleaning floors. Featuring a built-in water heater and separate clean and dirty water tanks, it also comes with a flexible hose, a special brush for tough stains, and a spraying crevice tool. It’s also one of the more eco-friendly models since it’s made of 50 percent recycled plastic.

    Most customers who have reviewed the Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner were satisfied with its performance. While it’s not a steam cleaner, it does have good suction to clean the floors, said one reviewer. Customers have also praised its attachments and the built-in heater. Those who weren’t happy with it reported leaking and poor suction. But most who rated it said they were pleased with the machine and its performance.

  • Best for Pets: BISSELL DeepClean Premier Pet Carpet Cleaner, 17N4

    If you have pets, you know the struggle is real when it comes to messes on the floor. Having a carpet cleaner on hand is important for any kind of accident which may arise. While any carpet cleaner should be helpful for stains from pets, there are some that specialize in cleaning homes with animals in them. This one features exceptional pet-stain and odor-removal technology as well as a pet hair collection basket. It also has 12 rows of dual rotating Powerbrushes, a three-inch tough stain brush, and deep reach tool. 

    Those who have purchased this machine have been mostly satisfied with its performance. Some have said it’s even better than professional cleaners they’ve used in the past, as it removes pet stains well and makes carpet look brand new again. Many have also been happy with how much hair it removes. Critical reviews have reported issues with the machine breaking or not having enough suction. However, the majority of people who’ve purchased it would recommend it.

    Best Multitasker :BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine #86T3

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    The BISSELL #86T3 is ideal for those with large houseskidsor pets. The reason for this is because of its large-capacity clean-water and dirty-water tanks, and because of its extremely efficient deep cleaning, that cleans both going forwards and backwards. This is one of the things that separates it from the Rug Doctor, Rug Doctor only cleans in one direction, so you need more passes to clean.

    To get this kind of cleaning power in a carpet cleaner you need to make it quite large, this model is therefore heavier than the normal models.

    It cleans in both the forward and backward direction to cut down on cleaning time and its 25-foot cord provides easy movement throughout a room.

    There is also a stair tool for those tricky areas to reach and a tool to clean upholstery.

  • Best Multitasker: Hoover F7452900PC Carpet & Hardwood Floor Cleaner

    For those homes that contain a mix of carpet and hardwood floors, this is the carpet cleaner to consider. Not only will it shampoo that shag rug, but it’s also safe enough to use on your wood flooring in place of mopping.

    The dual tank enables you to wash with detergent and water and follow that with a clean water rinse to make sure your floors are completely spotless. And the included attachments mean you can clean your upholstered furniture and even parts of your bathroom, like your shower doors, with the same appliance. We’d call this a master multitasker.

  • Best Budget: BISSELL Proheat Advanced Full-Size Carpet Cleaner

    For a full-sized carpet cleaner, this one by Bissell is a bargain. Customers rave about it and are amazed by its ability to get out tough stains like mud, food and spilled drinks.

    It uses Bissell Heatwave Technology to get to dirt that’s deep down in the carpet fibers,  and it maintains the water temperature while you do it. A hose and stain tool with a 3″ brush are included for getting at those hard-to-reach spots like stairs and furniture. EdgeSweep brushes give baseboards and furniture a dusting while you’re at it.

    It weighs just 18.5 pounds, so it’s also a lot lighter and easier to maneuver than other full-size carpet cleaners. The hose is 7′, the cord reaches 22 feet. While most reviewers would recommend it, one drawback some found, however, is that the water tank is small and requires frequent filling and emptying.

  • Best Cordless: Bissell® Pet Stain Eraser™ Cordless Upholstery & Carpet Cleaner

    Cords can be cumbersome when trying to clean carpets, but they’re not a worry with this cordless carpet cleaner from Bissell. It’s also equipped with a place to hold a bottle of cleaning solution, so can take everything you need straight to the carpet that needs cleaning. It’s not the machine you’re going to want to use to clean your entire carpet, but for getting out spots, this one is spot on.

    It’s perfect for pet messes as the name (Pet Stain Eraser) implies, but even if you don’t have pets, this cordless carpet cleaner is great to have on hand to get out spots anywhere. It’s lightweight (4.6 pounds), so it’s easy to use on stairs, in your car or wherever else stains may happen. The price isn’t heavy either. Customers give it high markets for design, ease of use, quality and value, though a few have reported problems with leaking.

    What to look for in a carpet cleaner?

    What kind of carpet cleaner (or carpet shampooer as they are also called) you want to buy depends entirely on what you need it for. We have created a guide for you to help you find the best cleaner for you needs.

    You have a large carpet

    If you have a large area to clean it is a good idea to buy a cleaner that has a large tank. That way you will not waste any time going back and forward refilling the tank as you work.

    BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine. Rug Doctor X3BISSELL DeepClean Essential 8852 and BISSELL DeepClean Premier Pet 17N4 all have large tanks.

    You have pets

    For the pet owner look for a cleaner that is designed to handle stains from pets. Some units have baskets to collect pet hair, which can be handy. Recommended is also to purchase a cleaning formula designed for pets and odors.

    Pets leaves stains and pet hair. To effectively get rid of both the hair and the sometimes smelly stains you would either need a cleaner that is designed specifically with pets in mind, or a very efficient professional cleaner. They will get rid of the stains, the hair and the smell, leaving both you and Fido happier.

    Many of the pet cleaners have baskets to collect the hair from the pets. Also make sure to get a cleaning formula that is designed for pet stains and to eliminate odors.

    You have small children

    If you have small children it is a good idea to get an efficient cleaner that you can use often. There will be accidents again and again ;). If you are worried about using chemicals you can just load the cleaner with a 100 % natural cleaning solution or even just use hot water. The hot water used will still get the carpet clean.

    A handy way to clean up the messes as they occur is to use a portable cleaner, that way you can easily bring it out and clean up the mess fast. They are lightweight and store easily. They are not meant for cleaning large carpets though.

    You have to remove tough stains

    You want the most effective cleaners that deep clean getting rid of the grime and dirt embedded in the fibers. They don’t all do that. If  you have the budget for it, we can recommend BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine and Rug Doctor Mighty Pro. They are top of the line, they clean extremely efficient, in my experience better than many rental cleaners,  and they can deodorize the carpets so by buying you will save a lot in the long run.

    A slightly cheaper, but also very effective model is BISSELL DeepClean Deluxe Pet, 36Z9.

    You are on a tight budget

    The portable cleaners use the same cleaning techniques as the upright models, but they often have weaker suction and smaller tanks, which means that you will have to refill them more often. They are perfect for spot cleaning and cleaning smaller areas. They are also easy to handle because of their small size and light weight.

    You can find good budget alternatives in our chart that still cleans efficiently. A great example of this is the Hoover SteamVac with Clean Surge, F5914900.

    You need to clean you stair carpet

    Look for a cleaner in our comparison chart that is specialized on cleaning stairs and terrain. They have a special design that will help you clean tough corners and angles.

    You want a professionally clean carpet

    Then you need one of the most efficient cleaners on the market, the good news is that there are extremely efficient carpet cleaners to buy nowadays that will make your carpet look great. If this is a one time thing, obviously renting would be better, but by buying you will save a lot of money in the long run if you will use the machine more than once or twice.

    Two top cleaners on the market today is: BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine and Rug Doctor Mighty Pro. Both brands are long time established and have a very good and solid reputation.

    They are both pretty big machines, they may not be the best option if you have a lot of fixed furniture or uneven terrain.

    You have very limited space

    If you have a large area to clean, or several rooms, you should look for a cleaner with a large tank. With large tanks you do not need to refill often which saves you a lot of time.

    Look in the comparison chart for cleaners that are extra small and easy to store. We can recommend BISSELL SpotClean Anywhere, it is portable and small, which makes it easy to store and handle,  but still cleans efficiently and it has received good ratings by customers on the net. It is not a good choice for big areas of carpet though, because of its small tank. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe, FH50150 is also a lightweight cleaner and a great option for limited space.

    You don’t have much strength

    Then you have some lightweight options to choose from. The portable units like BISSELL SpotClean Anywhere Portable, 97491 and BISSELL SpotClean Professional Portable, 3624are good options if you don’t have to clean large areas. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer, FH50150  on the other hand is also lightweight but fit to clean  larger areas.

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