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The Best Carpet Cleaner Reviews Of 2022

Updated on January 3, 2022 by Joseph D. Nielson

Table of Contents

Person cleaning a dirty spot on the carpet with a carpet cleaner

It might surprise you to find out that your carpets are dirty. Yep, even if they look clean right now, there’s a good chance more than 200,000 bacteria are living in every square inch of your carpet [1]. That makes your carpets 4,000 times dirtier than the average toilet seat [2].

The thing is, carpets are high-traffic areas for your family. It’s where your pets sleep, your kids play, and where you accidentally trample in with your outdoor boots.

Then there are all those mishaps that leave stains on your carpet. You knock over a glass of red wine, or Fido gets a little too excited to see you and pees on the carpet.

All in all, you’ll want to give your carpets a deep clean with a specialty carpet cleaner. These appliances make short work of concentrated stains and widespread grime. They easily refresh your floors, so you can feel good about your home again. And you don’t have to worry about dirty rentals.

But there are a lot of cleaners on the market. With such a huge selection before you, it’s not always easy knowing which one is the best carpet cleaner for your needs.

Do you need a powerful machine that can revitalize a whole room? Or do you want something portable to use on upholstery, in and outside the home? Are you looking for something that can do both?

There’s a machine for every preference, and you can find them here today. We’ve gone through thousands of carpet cleaner reviews to arrive at a list of the top six appliances. Find out why they made the cut below.

The Top 6 Best Carpet Cleaners

Product Image Name Tank Size Weight (pounds) Cord Length (feet) Dimensions (Inches) 5-Star Rating Latest Price
Product image of Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine
Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine 1 gal 18.1 15 21.9 x 14.6 x 23 4.5 View Price
Product image of BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner 48 oz 9.6 15 8.25 x 17.25 x 12.5 4.5 View Price
Product image of Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner
Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner 51 oz 9 5 9.72 x 13.94 x 15.04 4.5 View Price
Product image of BISSELL Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner
BISSELL Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner 1.75 gal 41 25 20.5 x 11 x 42.25 5 View Price
Product image of Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner Machine
Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner Machine 1 gal 18.9 22 18.9 x 13 x 43.5 4.5 View Price
Product image of Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Commercial Carpet Cleaner
Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Commercial Carpet Cleaner 3.9 gal 39.5 22 21 x 12.5 x 27.5 4.5

View Price

6 Best Carpet Cleaner Reviews Of 2022

Key Features:

  • Large Tank Size
  • Cleans Carpet, Upholstery & Area Rugs
  • SpinScrub Brushes Rotate 360° for Deep, Even Cleaning
  • HeatForce Drying Technology Reduces Drying Times
  • Includes 3 Attachments to Deep Clean Hard-to-Reach Areas

Review: The Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe makes it to the top of the best carpet cleaner reviews. It’s a powerful appliance that uses a clever placement of the dirty water tank over the suction heads. As you clean, you’ll collect more dirty water and exert more pressure on the head, which helps recover the water you’ve sprayed onto the floor. Meanwhile, five robust brushes rotate 360° to deliver a powerful clean that’s gentle on carpets.

Ease of Use: The Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe is the lightest upright appliance in our guide, weighing under 19 pounds. That’s pretty portable for a full-sized cleaner, so you won’t have any trouble carting this around your home.

Standout Feature: If we could only talk about one feature when comparing the best home carpet cleaner reviews, it would have to be the Power Scrub Deluxe’s fast drying time.

Its HeatForce Drying Tech forces hot air down into the wet carpet, which evaporates any remaining water the machine doesn’t extract. This means you won’t have to plan your day around damp carpets — you can get back to normal in no time. 

Pros

  • Scrub Brushes Spin 360° for Even Cleaning
  • 8-Foot Hose Increases Your Cleaning Radius from Outlet
  • Fast Drying Times

Cons

  • Heavy-Duty Stains May Require Pre-Treatments

Key Features:

  • Our Top Choice for Portable Cleaners
  • Tough on Stains Despite Compact Size
  • Deep Cleans Carpets, Rugs, Upholstery, and Vehicles
  • Comes with 3 Handy Attachments to Tackle Different Areas of the Home

Review: What is the best carpet cleaner? Well, when it comes to spot treatments, the answer is the Little Green. That’s why BISSELL’s famous Little Green machine is the runner-up on our list of the best carpet cleaner reviews.

This small, crescent-shaped appliance has become a symbol for fresh, clean carpets, and it earns its place at the top because it easily removes dirt and refreshes flooring. It’s perfect for small jobs and spot treatments.

Ease of Use: At just 9 pounds, the Little Green machine is ultra-lightweight, so you can take it wherever the mess is without breaking a sweat. And after cleaning hard-to-reach areas of the home, you’ll appreciate how the hose tool comes with a HydroRinse self-cleaning mechanism.

Standout Feature: Its standout feature has to be its compact design. Its size means you can bring it nearly anywhere. And with the right attachment, you can direct its powerful suction on upholstery, stairs, vehicle interiors, or spot treatments on your carpet.

Pros

  • Lightweight Water Tanks for Easy Filling and Emptying
  • Comes with Rinsing Tool to Clean out the Hose After Each Use
  • Small Size Makes it Easy to Store

Cons

  • Suction Head May Require Regular Cleaning if it Collects Carpet Fuzz
  • Tanks are on Smaller Side

Key Features:

  • The Lightest Portable Carpet Cleaner on Our List
  • Dual Tank System Keeps Clean and Dirty Water Separate
  • Antimicrobial Properties Stops Bacteria, Mould, and Mildew from Growing Inside the Tool

Review: Hoover is back. And this time, it arrives on the best carpet cleaner on the market reviews list with a portable appliance similar in weight to BISSELL’s Little Green. However, the deep clean it delivers is all Hoover. Despite its size, the Hoover Spotless is a dependable machine you can trust to tackle stains, spills, and spots, even in hard-to-reach areas.

Ease of Use: Portability translates to convenient cleaning. It’s easy to fill, carry, use, and store. It also has a five-foot hose that extends your reach, so you’ll be able to deliver a professional-grade clean to your dirtiest corners.

Standout Feature: Keeping your appliances clean between uses can be challenging with some cleaners — but not the Hoover Spotless. It comes with an antimicrobial rubber nub accessory and a self-cleaning hose that prevents bacteria growth.

Pros

  • 5-Foot Hose Helps You Reach Nooks & Crannies
  • Self-Cleaning Tech Flushes Hose, Saving You Time When it Comes to Storing Your Machine

Cons

  • Having the Shortest Electrical Cord on Our List Means You’re Tethered to an Outlet
  • Small Tanks Mean This Tool is Best for Spot Treatments

Key Features:

  • Best Used for Cleaning Carpets and Upholstery, Not Area Rugs
  • 6-Inch Tool Equipped with Rotating Brushes Matches Suction Powers of Commercial Machine
  • Extra-Large DirtLifter® PowerBrushes with 10.5-Inch Cleaning Path
  • Comes with 5-Year Limited Warranty

Review: Back for a second time, the BISSELL Green machine returns, but this time with an upgrade. The Big Green is the bigger, brawnier version of the Little Green.

With a 30-pound difference, Big Green is built to handle your home’s biggest messes. It comes with a sizeable 1.75-gallon tank and a 25-foot cord, so it’s up to cleaning entire carpets. You can also switch seamlessly to spot treatments with its 9-inch hose and 6-inch Tough Stain Tool.

Ease of Use: We like the adjustable handle on such a big appliance. But at 41 pounds without water, you might find it heavy when using it as a spot treatment for stairs.

Standout Feature: Besides being tough on your home’s biggest, smelliest stains? At Fresh Home Guide, we’re fans of this carpet cleaner for BISSELL’s anti-tip design.

Anyone who’s knocked over a vacuum can tell you how annoying that is — add water, and this little mistake can be a nightmare to clean up. This anti-tip feature will save you a huge headache, which is one of the many reasons why we included the Big Green on our best carpet cleaner on the market reviews list.

Pros

  • Big Machine for Even Bigger Messes
  • 9-Foot Hose + 25-Foot Cable Cleaners Larger Areas without Unplugging

Cons

  • Heaviest Carpet Cleaner on Our List Can Make it Hard to Operate

Key Features:

  • Flexforce Powerbrushes
  • HeatForce Drying Technology Reduces Drying Times
  • Accessories Include a Stair Tool and 2-in-1 Pet Tool
  • Attach Accessories to 12-Foot Hose

Review: Hoover makes another appearance on our guide with the Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner. It earns the name for the motion-sensing technology embedded in the cleaning head.

With a push, the Smartwash suds up the solution to wash your carpet with its spiralled FlexForce Powerbrushes. Pull it back, and it extracts the liquid using super-strong suction. It’s just that easy.

Ease of Use: Using the Hoover Smartwash is about as easy as any standard vacuum. Plus, the dry-only setting comes in handy when you need your carpets to dry fast — like when your in-laws call to say they’re headed over for a surprise visit.

Standout Feature: We’re here to answer this question: what is the best carpet cleaner to buy? And if you like innovative products, you should seriously consider the Smartwash as your answer.

We love how it knows when to switch from washing to drying, so you can move from one to the other simply by going from pushing to pulling the appliance.

Pros

  • Automatically Go from Washing to Drying Settings by Pushing vs Pulling
  • Faster drying times

Cons

  • Can’t Override Automatic Cleaning if You Want to Focus on Washing Only

Key Features:

  • 2 Large-Capacity Tanks to Keep Clean and Dirty Water Separate
  • Triple-Action Vibrating Brushes Get at Every Angle of Your Carpet
  • Powerful Motor for More Suction Oomph
  • Faster Drying Times as a Result
  • Universal Hand Tool Sold Separately

Review: The Might Pro X3 is a heavy-duty appliance that leaves your carpets looking like you had them professionally cleaned — but for a fraction of the price. Its triple-action vibrating brushes not only buff out surface stains, but they also agitate the carpet fibres to penetrate your deepest messes for a thorough clean.

Ease of Use: As one of the largest and heaviest appliances on our best carpet cleaner on the market reviews list, the Rug Doctor appliance takes a little more muscle to use. It’s ideal for large, flat spaces, and you’ll have to buy an accessory for upholstery in a separate purchase.

Standout Feature: We’re impressed by how gentle the Rug Doctor is on carpets. It’s a gentle giant that won’t overwork the delicate fibres of your carpet despite its considerable size and power. Its gentleness is one of the reasons why The Rug Doctor earned a gold rating by the Carpet & Rug Institute [3].

Pros

  • Pro-Grade Suction Power
  • Massive Tank is Perfect for Big Jobs
  • Long Cord

Cons

  • Large Machine Requires Storage Space
  • Heavy Appliance May Be Challenging to Move

Carpet Cleaner Buying Guide

Woman vacuuming

Facts to Consider When Buying a Carpet Cleaner

Versatility: Do you want an appliance that can tackle large rooms? Or do you need something that can follow you into nooks and crannies? Keep an eye on the accessories to make your decision.

Weight: Don’t overlook how heavy a cleaner is before you buy it. And remember, you’ll be adding water to the tanks, making it even heavier while in use.

Sound: Every appliance emits some noise, but some are noisier than others.

Time: Drying times vary from machine to machine. Some take several hours to dry, which means you’ll have to keep off your floors for longer.

Cord Length: How long your cord is dictates how easily you can clean hard-to-reach areas and larger spaces. Look for longer cords if you don’t want to worry about extension cords.

Cleaning Solution: Do you need to buy special detergents to run through your machine? If so, how much are they, and how often do you need to replace a bottle? Compare the best carpet cleaner solution reviews to make your decision.

The Different Kinds of Carpet Cleaners

Upright: Upright cleaners are ideal for your home’s biggest jobs. They stand vertically around hip level, so they might be your best option if you can’t bend over well.

Handheld: Small and portable, handheld cleaners are perfect for small or odd jobs. You can easily use them on the stairs or take them out to detail your vehicle.

Wet: Wet carpet cleaners apply hot water to your carpet to loosen dirt before the vacuum part of it sucks up any excess grime and water. This hot water extraction method provides a deep clean from the bottom up.

Shampooing: Shampoo cleaners use a large rotary brush to scrub water and soap into the dirty fibres of your carpet. Once it’s dry, you’ll have to go over the carpet again to remove the dirt. These appliances tend to use a lot of water and make a lot of mess, so they’re usually used by professionals who pick up your rug and clean them off-site.

Dry: Despite their name, dry carpet cleaners still use water to remove dirt and stains. They just use significantly less water than those machines using hot water extraction methods. Instead, they rely on special detergents that require practically zero water, and brushes that agitate deeply embedded dirt and dust out of your carpet. The result is a faster drying carpet.

Man cleaning carpet in the living room using vacuum cleaner at home

The only thing worse than cleaning up a big mess is having to then wash the appliance you used to clean in the first place.

Luckily, you won’t have to spend too much time maintaining your cleaner.

After every use, fill your tank with regular tap water and run the machine to flush the lines. This prevents detergent residue from hardening and clogging the appliance. Emptying your tank in between uses is also a good idea.

For more detailed instructions on cleaning and storage, refer to the brochure that comes with your cleaner.

Frequently Asked Questions About Carpet Cleaners

What is the best carpet cleaner on the market? The answer is the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine.

It earns the top spot of our buying guide because it’s the total package.

From small messes to big cleaning projects, the Power Scrub Deluxe provides a deep clean every time. Best of all, you don’t have to wait around all day waiting for your carpets to dry. Between the SpinScrub brushes and the HeatForce Drying Tech, you can fit in this chore even on busy days.

Want to see what else Hoover can do? We took a deep dive into the brand to find the best Hoover vacuum for deep carpet cleaning.

Not a fan of Hoover products? Don’t worry if you prefer BISSELL over any other brand. The BISSELL name comes with 146-odd years of cleaning experience, and they continue to create innovative solutions to life’s dirtiest problems.

For BISSELL die-hards, your best option is the tried-and-tested Little Green machine. It’s affordable, compact, and tough on stains. But, you have the option to upgrade to the Big Green for larger messes.

That said, it’s worth noting half of the cleaners mentioned today are BISSELL products. You can’t go wrong with a BISSELL cleaner, whichever one you choose.

Stairs are some of the trickiest areas of your home when it comes to cleaning. They have plenty of nooks and crannies where dirt and grime love to collect. These tight spaces are challenging for an upright machine to reach.

That’s why Fresh Home Guide recommends the BISSELL green machine for these areas of your home. It comes with convenient hose attachments that can get into hard-to-reach corners. The fact it’s only 9 pounds makes it easy to maneuver upstairs.

Most of these appliances come with trial-sized bottles of the manufacturer’s preferred detergent, but don’t be afraid to compare the best carpet cleaner solution reviews to find a replacement. You should be safe to use another brand, as long as it’s designed to go in a hot-water extraction method cleaner.

Different solutions boast different perks — you can find eco-friendly cleaners, detergents designed for pets, or cleaners that target old, deep-set stains. Keep this in mind before you compare your options.

Yes! Carpet steam cleaning is a great idea for anyone who wants to keep their house fresh and clean.

Steam cleaning should join your regular cleaning routine because dry vacuuming and scrubbing won’t always cut it. You’ll need to bring out the big guns for caked-on dirt or oil-based stains. You can even use it to freshen up your floor after you remove chewing gum from a carpet.

Hot water extraction targets these stubborn stains more effectively than other cleaning methods. It loosens caked-on dirt and other particles your vacuum can’t catch, all while sanitizing your carpet.

You won’t have to rinse your carpet after dealing with small, isolated stains. However, rinsing may be a good idea after you’ve cleaned larger or heavily trafficked areas in your home.

A rinse will remove any excess detergent left in the fibres, which you’ll want to do to keep your carpets looking cleaner for longer. Residual detergent acts like a magnet for dirt and oils. Leaving it to linger will put your hard work to waste by making your carpet look dirtier, faster.

To keep your carpets looking as good as possible, run your cleaner over these areas using just water in the tank.

Did you use too much detergent? Add a little vinegar to the tank to neutralize leftover soap [4]. Vinegar also acts as a natural antibacterial that prevents mould [5].

The best carpet cleaner for pets is the BISSELL Big Green. It’s large enough to refresh entire carpets destroyed by Fido’s funk, and you can switch to a handy attachment to target concentrated messes.

Best of all, part of the proceeds of every purchase goes towards the BISSELL Pet Foundation, which helps save homeless pets. These funds go towards BISSELL’s quarterly “Empty the Shelters” events that find pets their forever homes, as well as financing country-wide spay/neuter procedures through animal welfare organizations [6].

Generally speaking, you’ll want to aim for once every three months or as needed to treat accidents.

This helps you catch any seasonal messes before they sink in and ruin your carpets. But you may have to up your cleaning schedule if your pets are messier than others. In between these deeper cleans, try to vacuum every day [7].

Why do pet owners need to clean so often? Pets can track bacteria from their litter boxes or the great outdoors, including salmonella, MRSA, and streptococcus [8].

Regular vacuuming and steam cleaning will protect you from these pet-born allergens. It will also help you stay on top of the usual dirt and grime that comes with pet ownership, cutting down on how much pet dander and fur is in your home.

The average cleaner lasts about a decade, much like the typical vacuum [9]. But the lifespan of either appliance depends on the brand and how often you use it.

There are plenty of signs your vacuum is on its last legs, although failing to suck up fur like it used to is usually the biggest red flag [10].

If you have to replace a vacuum that’s not working well, check out this guide on purchasing a vacuum cleaner. Keep in mind how well a vacuum handles pet hair when making your decision.

What is the best carpet cleaner to buy for commercial purposes? The answer has to be Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3.

As the only commercial carpet cleaner in our buying guide, the Might Pro X3 was a shoo-in for the category, but it has the stats to back it up. Its nearly 4-gallon tank can clean for longer with less emptying, so it’s designed to handle larger spaces and tougher stains typical of the average office or shop.

Yellow modern vacuum cleaner in living room

Final Thoughts…

What is this list of the best home carpet cleaner reviews telling us? With Hoover and BISSELL dominating the guide, cleaners from either of these brands would make an excellent addition to your cleaning on top of your usual vacuuming.

Want a machine that does both? Then take a look at The Best Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaner Review, as this guide might be more up your alley.

In either case, the right appliance can help you keep on top of one of the dirtiest places in your home — whether you struggle with obvious stains or not.

References:

[1] Eliminate Germs in Your House Men’s Health

[2] 16 Everyday Items Dirtier Than a Toilet Seat The Healthy

[3] Carpet & Rug Institute Facebook

[4] How to Get Soapy Water out of Carpeting SF Gate

[5] Can You Get Rid of Mold Using Vinegar? Healthline

[6] Help Animals in Need Detroit Free Press

[7] Solved! How Often You Should Actually Be Vacuuming Bob Vila

[8] 7 Types of Bacteria Pets Can Track into the House Be Chewy

[9] How Long Do Vacuum Cleaners Last? Consumer Reports

[10] Signs You Need a New Vacuum Medium

Joseph and Family
About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!