7 Best Carpet Cleaners – Updated for 2020

Last Updated on September 28, 2020

BGSR's roundup of the best carpet cleaners that you can buy on the market today. Get the perfect one for you today. 


by Janet Martinelli

There are plenty of good reasons to own a carpet cleaner. For some, it’s just a matter of being able to keep their homes looking and smelling fresh after months of wear and tear. For others, though, owning one of these units is a key part of ensuring that they get their deposits back when they move out of a rental unit.

You can use these machines to clean carpets, upholstery, and even area rugs. They’re fantastic alternatives to renting shampooing machines for deep cleaning your carpet, or even hiring a professional cleaner – at least if you get the right model. Fortunately, this buying guide will help you to find the features you need in order to choose from among the best models on the market.


BEST CARPET CLEANER OVERALL


BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Max

Reasons to buy:

  • Incredibly strong cleaner that’s able to pick up the biggest messes.
  • Very easy to use, with a surprising level of adaptability.
  • Dries carpets faster than almost any other model on the market.
  • Comes with an excellent upholstery cleaner tool.
  • Design makes it easier to clean than most, which makes it easier to keep the machine running in top shape.

Reasons to avoid:

  • A little on the bulky side, which makes it tougher for cleaning small spaces.
  • Roller brush keeps spinning when using the hand tools.

Our picks for carpet cleaners in 2020: 

Here's How We Did the Test:

Making this evaluation possible would require us a team of people who will check the pros and cons of each product, a wide variety of models to test, and a specific number of hours to be utilized to assess all the units. 

8 USERS

15 MODELS

22  HOURS


Best Carpet Cleaners on the Market

Image

Product

TOP OVERALL CHOICE

BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution

BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution

TOP OVERALL CHOICE

Benefits

  • Small size is great for storage
  • Very easy to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Remarkable power for small size
  • Powerspin Pet Brush Roll helps to deal with dog hair without damaging the machine
  • Heatforce Power for fast drying

Specs

  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Tank Capacity: 0.5 gallons
  • Included Tools: N/A
  • Formula Sample Included: Yes
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Budget PICK

Hoover Power Scrub Elite

Hoover Power Scrub Elite

BUDGET PICK

Benefits

  • Removes tough stains while being gentle on carpet
  • Enlarged tank capacity
  • Automatically mixes detergent
  • Includes a great pet tool

Specs

  • Weight: 18.5lbs
  • Tank Capacity: 1.25 gallons
  • Included Tools: Hose and Pet Tool
  • Formula Sample Included: Yes
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COMPACT CARPET CLEANER

Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner

Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner

COMPACT CARPET CLEANER

Benefits

  • Small size is great for storage
  • Very easy to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Remarkable power for small size
  • Powerspin Pet Brush Roll helps to deal with dog hair without damaging the machine
  • Heatforce Power for fast drying

Specs

  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Tank Capacity: 0.5 gallons
  • Included Tools: N/A
  • Formula Sample Included: Yes

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SIMPLE TO USE

BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush

BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush

SIMPLE TO USE

Benefits

  • Very lightweight machine
  • Designed for easy storage
  • Powerful suction for a machine this size
  • Great at cleaning up pet stains
  • Excellent for smaller jobs

Specs

  • Weight: 12 lbs
  • Tank Capacity: 0.5 gallons
  • Included Tools: n/a
  • Formula Sample Included: Yes
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DEEP CLEANING

Bissell Big Green Carpet Cleaner

Bissell Big Green Carpet Cleaner

DEEP CLEANING

Benefits

  • Built like a professional carpet cleaner
  • Two tanks for easier cleaning
  • Removes all of the toughest stains
  • Tough stain tool is fantastic
  • Great at removing ground-in stains

Specs

  • Weight: 48 lbs
  • Tank Capacity: 1.75 gallons
  • Included Tools: Tough stain tool
  • Formula Sample Included: Yes
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PROFESSIONAL

Rug Doctor Might Pro X3

Rug Doctor Might Pro X3

PROFESSIONAL

Benefits

  • one-pass cleaning system sprays, scrubs, and extracts
  • Great at cleaning up big messes
  • Remarkably easy to manuever
  • Huge tank means less refills
  • Some of the most cost-effective cleaning on the market

Specs

  • Weight: 39.5 lbs
  • Tank Capacity: 3.9 gallons
  • Included Tools: Handheld stain tool
  • Formula Sample Included: Yes
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ALL PURPOSE

Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner

Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner

ALL PURPOSE

Benefits

  • Automix ensures perfect detergent levels
  • Very easy to use
  • Great at picking up dirt and debris
  • Dries carpets fairly quickly
  • 2-in-1 pet tool works very well

Specs

  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Tank Capacity: 1 gallon
  • Included Tools: 2-in-1 Pet Stain Tool
  • Sample Cleaning solution Included: Yes
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Top 7 carpet cleaners for you:

1. BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Full-Size Carpet Cleaner

Our Top Overall Pick

USER RATING:

95%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • One of Bissell’s dedicated pet carpet cleaners.
  • Designed like a vacuum.
  • Boasts a quick drying time.
  • Quick-clean design.

PROS

  • Very quick drying time.
  • Includes great cleaning tools.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Incredibly easy to clean.
  • Solid build and durability.

CONS

  • Tank capacity could be larger.

The best overall carpet cleaner out there, this unit from Bissell is a good example of what you should realistically expect from a great cleaner on the consumer market.

This Bissell carpet cleaner does a great job with pet hair and stains as well as everyday cleaning of dirt and grime, making it a good choice for virtually any consumer.

Definitely consider this one if you’re interested in something that will help you with stain removal.


2. Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet Cleaner

Budget Pick

USER RATING: 

93%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Removes deeply embedded dirt.
  • 45 minute dry time.
  • High capacity tank.
  • Mixes detergent automatically.
  • Includes 2-in-1 pet tool.

PROS

  • Great budget buy.
  • Surprisingly deep clean.
  • Solid pet cleaning tool.
  • Dries fairly quickly.
  • Great detergent mixer.

CONS

  • Tank capacity could be better.
  • Takes a bit longer to do the cleaning.

If you’re on a limited budget, this is probably the best carpet cleaner for you.

While most budget models don’t come with much more than the power cord in the box, this is an excellent little machine that’s going to help you clean the carpet in your home.

While a little on the small side, this is exactly the kind of machine you want if you’re only looking to clean up messes from time to time but you don’t want to go out and rent one of the carpet cleaning machines from a local hardware store.


3. Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner

Small Cleaner for Carpet

USER RATING:

91%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Meant for high-traffic areas.
  • Designed for easy storage.
  • Includes quick-dry technology.
  • Capable of handling big stains.

PROS

  • High-powered for a small cleaner.
  • Incredibly light and easy to move.
  • Very easy to store.
  • Dries carpet quickly.
  •  Very attractive design.

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with any hand tools.
  •  Small sizes means longer cleaning sessions.

This is our best small carpet cleaner, and it packs a ton of punch in a smaller size.

 While it might not be the cheapest little cleaner out there, it does do a fantastic job of picking up embedded dirt and ensuring that your carpets are going to stay clean no matter what gets spilled.

A bigger unit is going to help you if you have to clean a larger house or you have to deal with larger stains, but this is ultimately the best cleaning solution for anyone who does not have much space in his or her home.


4. BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Upright Carpet Cleaner Machine

All Purpose

USER RATING:

93%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Designed for tough stains.
  • Four-row dirt remover brush.
  • Powerful suction system.
  •  Lightweight design.

PROS

  • Very easy to use.
  • Clean and Dirty water tanks make cleaning easier.
  • Great at spot cleaning.
  • Easy to store.
  •  Fairly lightweight.

CONS

  • Not the strongest cleaner out there.
  • Simplicity means that some features are left out.

The Powerbrush is a real winner when it comes to sheer simplicity.

With separate tanks for clean and dirty water as well as some incredible spot cleaning power, it’s got a number of features that make daily usage much easier for consumers.

This carpet cleaner vacuum is about as easy to use as your vacuum cleaner, but it can do a lot of work to ensure that your carpets stay looking and smelling fresh. 

This is simply an example of the kind of cleaner that comes from a trusted brand and that’s actually engineered for use around the house.


5.  Bissell big green professional grade carpet cleaner

Deep Cleaning

USER RATING:

91%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Heavy-duty suction for toughs stains.
  • Dual tank design with plenty of capacity.
  • Designed for deep cleaning.
  • 5-year limited warranty.

PROS

  • Big tank capacity.
  • Great at deep cleans.
  • Feels like a professional model.
  • Very durable.
  • Great for big jobs.

CONS

  • Hard to use in smaller spaces.
  • Hard to move around on your own.

Sometimes you just need a carpet cleaner that’s going to deal with the big stuff.

Though this Bissell model is certainly a little unwieldy compared to its smaller cousins, it has the kind of deep cleaning power that you need if you’re dealing with a major project – in fact, we’ve chosen it as the best machine for deep cleaning.

This isn’t something that you’re going to use for a new pet stain or a spilled cup of juice – this is the kind of cleaner that you take out when you’re looking to deal with the sort of carpet stain that just doesn’t go away no matter how many times you have tried with other carpet cleaners.


6.  Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Commercial

Professional Grade Cleaner

USER RATING: 

89%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Professional-style cleaner.
  • High square footage coverage.
  • Refreshes and revitalizes carpets.
  • Includes upholstery tool.

PROS

  • Professional-level cleaning.
  • Very reliable for the long haul.
  • Won’t break easily.
  • Incredibly powerful cleaner.
  •  Very economical use of detergent.

CONS

  • Too bulky for smaller jobs.
  • Very difficult to move around.

Rug Doctor is a major name in professional cleaners and it’s certainly nice to know that you can get one of their products as a consumer. 

Though this isn’t one of those vacuum models that you can easily move around the stairs, it’s a powerful machine that helps you turn difficult stains into so much residue in the dirty water tank.

This model boasts that it is the kind of professional carpet cleaning solution that any consumer is lucky to get at residential prices, and the truth is that you’re not going to find many models on the market that stand up to this one in terms of sheer cleaning power.

 For these reasons and more, we’ve chosen it as our best professional-grade carpet cleaner.


7.  Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner

All Purpose

USER RATING:

86%

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Equipped with auto-clean technology.
  • Automatically mixes detergent for you.
  • Removes messes quickly and easily.
  • Remarkably intuitive design.

PROS

  • Reliable for around-the-house jobs.
  • Almost totally foolproof design.
  • Takes care of spots easily.
  • Good for quick cleans.
  • Looks great.

CONS

  • Not as strong as some other cleaners.
  • Design gets dirty quickly.

This product from Hoover is simple but effective.

Built like a vacuum cleaner, it’s great for working on cleaning an entire home or even just as a carpet spot cleaner.

Though not as strong as the big cleaners or as maneuverable as the smaller brands, this is a good choice for homeowners who don’t want to be bothered when it’s time to deal with a spill. If you can use your vacuum cleaner, you’ll be able to use this machine to deal with the messes in your home.


Conclusion

BISSELL ProHeat 2X 

Bissell Pro Heat 2x Revolution Pet Pro

If you’re looking for a winner here, it’s still the BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution.


With the quickest dry times and great cleaning capacity, it knocks most other express clean mode models out of the market when it comes to keeping your carpet clean.


This is not, however, to say that the others on this list are not excellent cleaners. Take a look at all seven because they’re all fantastic for specific jobs.


Whether you need a great all-around cleaner, something for the little jobs or even something closer to a professional model, there’s a cleaner out there for you.


Buying Guide: How to choose the right carpet cleaner for the job?

There are a few major things for which you’ll want to look when you’re shopping for a carpet cleaner. Each of these features will help you not only keep your carpets clean, but they’ll help to ensure that you get precisely what you need from your device.

Suction

The biggest feature is always suction. The more suction, the more the cleaner pulls out from your carpet. This is the most important feature to have if you’re looking for deep cleaning, and it’s a must-have for a professional-grade carpet cleaner. Power is always going to play a huge role in how well your cleaner works, so be on the lookout.

Tank Capacity

Next, look for tank capacity. The bigger the tank, the less you’ll have to refill your machine. Smaller tanks, on the other hand, mean less weight and more maneuverability.

Weight

Your next feature should be the weight of the machine itself. If you’re looking to move this machine around quite a bit, you’ll want to keep the overall weight down. It’s important to remember that no matter how heavy the machine is when the tank is empty, it’s going to be much heavier when it is full.

Durability

Durability is another big feature. You want something that’s going to stand up to repeated use, so take a look at whether the engine holds up for regular users. You’ll also want to make sure that your machine can be easily cleaned so it stays in good shape.

Reliability

Hand-in-hand with durability comes reliability. You want a machine that you know is going to start up and work throughout the extent of the job each and every time. This is of particular importance if you’re looking for a model for professional use – you can’t afford any downtime when you’re on the job.

Included Attachments

Finally, look at the attachments. Tools like pet hair cleaners and upholstery tools make your cleaner much more versatile. These tools can also make up for a lack of maneuverability in larger units.

What to Expect When Spending More

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you should also expect a bit more. More expensive machines tend to have more attachments and more features, but they also tend to last longer. In most cases, you’ll get a machine that’s much more reliable and durable if you’re willing to spend a little more money.

Recap of Top Carpet Cleaners For Your Needs

ItemImageProductPurposeCheck Latest Price
1BISSELLProHeat 2X RevolutionOverallBuy on Amazon
2Hoover Power Scrub EliteBudget FreindlyBuy on Amazon
3Hoover PowerDash Pet CompactSmall Cleaner For CarpetBuy on Amazon
4BISSELL Turboclean PowerbrushSimple to UseBuy on Amazon
5Bissell Big Green Carpet CleanerDeep CleaningBuy on Amazon
6Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 CommercialProfessionalBuy on Amazon
7Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet CleanerAll PurposeBuy on Amazon

Other floor care reviews that you should read: 

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020