What are the best carpet shampooers and home carpet cleaners on the market today? Which models tackle the worst biological stains, and which are best for spot cleaning that spilled grape juice? Which commercial machines are cheap enough and otherwise suitable for heavy duty use in the home? Which models let you shampoo thick rugs that take the most abuse, and which can gently but deeply clean your most delicate carpets? Take a look at our 2018 list of the top rated carpet cleaners.
Carpet Cleaners for Your Home or Workplace
1 .Best Home Carpet Cleaners
1. Hoover Carpet Basics Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner, Model FH50150
For a slightly higher price tag, you can buy models with pet stain specific carpet shampoos. This carpet shampooer has individually removable brushes for thorough cleaning when you sic it on a major mush pet mess, making this an ideal choice for pet owners when the critter leaves the major messes you just can’t get up with a standard vacuum cleaner.
This unitr has two separate water tanks so it won’t mix the nasty mess with the water used to clean the rest of the carpet.
This unit is lightweight, around twenty pounds not including water and shampoo. It is easy to use and maneuver. It comes with a powered hand tool that can tackle where the cat peed on the couch or the dog vomited on the stairs, as well as a crevice tool, stair tool and upholstery tool. It doesn’t work as well on upholstery as carpets.
2. Hoover Max Extract 60 Pressure Pro Carpet Deep Cleaner, FH50220
The Hoover Max Extract comes with a basic hand tool. It excels at pulling the water and soap back out of the carpet on a single pass. And its pressurized water blast cleans deep carpet and dried, caked on stains that otherwise take many passes.
The weakness of this unit is its tendency to leak detergent and water and the difficult of getting that problem resolved by customer service if it starts. It has an average sized water tank, smaller than some of the others on this list, so you will need to make more trips to the sink with this model compared to others on this list.
3. Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner
The manufacturer sells separate cleaning detergent suitable for lifting up deep stains and pet messes. Those bottles cost around $15 to $20 per 64 ounces. The per-treatment sprays sold by Rug Doctor are not really necessary if you have this carpet cleaner and make multiple passes over the spot instead.
The main attraction of this machine is the strong suction and deep reaching brushes – it is one of the few home suitable model that can pull up stains from the base of thick carpets.
One of the weaknesses of Rug Doctor models is getting service. If the unit stops working or needs replacement parts, it is difficult to get replacement parts or service short of mailing the device to them for repair. (Yes, that is expensive unless they decide to send you a new, replacement carpet cleaner.) If you send it in for repair under warranty, they may still say the shipping costs are at your expense, and if the unit fails in the first few months of operation, they are as likely to send you a used replacement unit as a new one.
This unit has strong suction, which can make it harder to maneuver. However, this is one of the best choices for deep cleaning deep carpets and not having the floor sopping wet for a day afterward.
4. BISSELL PowerLifter PowerBrush Upright Deep Cleaner, Model 1622
You are more likely to find free shipping with the purchase price than a discount on the purchase price. The purchase price listed above is for the basic cleaner with thorough scrub brushes. Some of the “bundles” that come with the Bissell Power Lifter Power Brush come with various large bottles of carpet shampoo, but you can buy these separately on your own. Whether you buy the standard deep cleaning formula or pet stain specific shampoo, both of them cost around twenty dollars.
However, pet stain shampoo comes in a smaller bottle that costs more per ounce.
Aside from its low price, what are the benefits of this affordable Bissell model? It does a decent job given the low price tag. It is easy to assemble.
It has a limited one year warranty. Customer service under the warranty is a challenge. Replacing the belts when they break is a difficult process. It has weak suction, so the floors will be wet for hours after you use it.
This model from Bissell comes with a sprayer for spot cleaning on upholstery and rugs. It has the heat wave technology to help keep the water warm, though this will not heat up chilled tap water. For best effect, put hot water in it before use.
One of the main attractions of this affordable pet specific unit is the fact that its “stain trapper” prevents pet messes from getting sucked up into the machine, and the pet hair basket similarly prevents pet hair from clogging the system. The Bissell Deep Clean Deluxe is a suitable model for your house, handling coughed up fur balls or places where the cat pooped and the dog rolled around in it, shedding heavy pet fur in addition to the poop ground into the carpet. Most other units can handle pet fur or biological stains but not both at once.
6. Bissell Proheat 2x Premier Full-Size Carpet Cleaner, Model 47A23
The model includes the “preheat” function, but this only keeps the water you put in the carpet cleaner warm; it doesn’t heat up the water to the high temperatures necessary to sterilize an area. While you can use pet specific Bissell shampoos with this unit, it doesn’t have the right design to prevent poop and vomit from getting spread all over the inside of the machine. If you are expecting to use the carpet shampooer on pet poop and vomit, buy the Bissell model 36Z9 instead.
It has thorough scrub brushes and a large 1.25 gallon tank. It doesn’t have a rinse cycle to let you remove traces of shampoo from the carpet, but you can empty the “combo” shampoo/water tank and put in only water to get the same effect.
This unit has problems with the hand tool clogging, and sometimes the solution dispenser stops working. Make sure you use the right brand of carpet shampoo and don’t use too much with this machine to minimize this problem. Getting service under the warranty is a problem with the manufacturer.
7. Bissell DeepClean Professional Pet Carpet Cleaner, Model 17N4P
It does a decent job of picking up pet stains along with food stains. It does not do a good job sucking up pet hair. So use this pet model for pee stains but don’t buy this model if you’re taking on carpets loaded with pet hair or coughed up hair balls.
It has average suction, so the carpets are left damp after use. You can reduce this by going very slow as you clean the carpets. It lacks a rinse function, but you can compensate by dumping the soapy water and running it with only water in the tank. The heat wave technology keeps the water warm, but it doesn’t impact the performance compared to putting hot water into the clean water tank at the start.
Note that the cleaner handle must be in a reclined position or else the brushes won’t spin.
Getting service for this model under the warranty is a hassle, and if you buy it online, you may not get the one to two year warranty recognized by Bissell.
8. BISSELL DeepClean Lift-Off Deluxe Pet Carpet Cleaner, Model 24A4
It comes with a large capacity water tank. You get a decent handheld portable spot remover for cleaning your upholstery or stairs. Use the right type of carpet shampoo at the proper level to prevent the sprayers from getting clogged. You can reduce that issue even more by spraying it with only water in the tank to help clear the sprayer.
Its greatest weakness is poor suction picking up the water it sprayed onto the carpet. The spot cleaner has better suction than the main carpet cleaner.
Getting service for all Bissell carpet cleaners is a challenge if you don’t live near a service center.
The unit is advertised as a pet specific cleaner, but it only handles pee stains well. If you use it on poop or vomit stains, it will need to be cleaned and it is difficult to take apart and sterilize properly.
9. Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift Off Pet Carpet Cleaner, Model 15651
This model has high power (pressurized) jets and heavy duty scrubbers. It thoroughly cleans caked in and deep stains whether on the stairs, upholstery or ground floor carpets.
Using this scrubber on semi-solid pet stains risks having to partially disassemble the unit to clean the insides. This isn’t necessary if lifting up stains like pet pee or fruit juice.
The plastic handle doesn’t always stay in place, but this is a minor annoyance. The unit sometimes leaks, and getting service when that problem occurs is a challenge.
This Bissell unit doesn’t come with instructions, though you can find the instructions online.
10. Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack Carpet Cleaner
It comes in with an upholstery cleaning tool. Why would you want to consider this commercial model for home use or business use? First and foremost are the large clean water and dirty water tanks – you can deep clean a house with three thousand square feet of carpets with a minimum of trips to the sink to refill the clean water and empty the dirty water tanks.
This commercial unit uses the same Rug Doctor brand shampoos for pet stains and deep cleaning food stains.
The biggest reason not to buy it for home use is size and weight. It weighs around fifty pounds empty. However, you get a thorough cleaning job and wide cleaning area. And this model is versatile – it has tools to let you clean your car seats with the upholstery cleaning tool.
It has a five year commercial warranty. One of the weaknesses of this model aside from price and size is that it doesn’t pull all the water out of the carpet after it lifts up the stains. Your carpets will need hours to dry out after you use this machine.
11. Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Carpet Cleaner Machine, Model 86T3/86T3Q
It has a strong set of brushes. Yet they are gentle enough not to rip up most sensitive carpets.
It has large capacity dirty and clean water tanks. The water tanks sometimes leak.
You get a stain tool suitable for cleaning upholstery. It uses standard Bissell shampoos, though its larger capacity tank could cause you to add too much soap and clog up the system.
One of the weaknesses of this unit is that with heavy handling or impacts, it is prone to breaking. And getting service for it can be a challenge.