Choosing the right carpet cleaner doesn’t have to be a difficult task, but it’s easy to get lost in the technical details.
This is where I want to help. I’ve created a comparison chart of the 10 best purchases in the US, an easy, no-nonsense guide to finding the perfect cleaner for your needs, and short reviews with videos and comparisons of the 5 best under-table carpet cleaning machines.
You can also go straight to our full reviews in the menu, where you will also find helpful detailed comparisons of different cleaners.
Top Carpet Cleaners list
What to Look for in a Carpet Cleaner 2021?
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.
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.
Here is a list of the best carpet cleaners for pets 2021. You can also find helpful tips there on dealing with tough pet stains.
- Smart Robot: Runs naturally around home to adsorb the dust and soil with the microfiber tissue, marble floors and nylon flooring.
- Small Slim Design: The cleaner robot can clean underneath furniture, sofas and other areas that are hard to reach, creating a clean and comfortable home.
- Flexible & Free: Magic wheel and microcomputer control, it automatically changes directions when encountering obstacles, smart to use.
- Low Noise & Purified Air: Advanced motor significantly reduces vacuuming noise, the rate of clearing away the dust is high.
- USB Charging & Energy Saving: Advanced Li-ion battery keep maximum using time and charging performance for years, can be used repeatedly, long service life.
- ❀[Perfect for different floor: The robot vacuum cleaner can be used on the floor tiles, hardwood floor or carpet. No matter what kind of floor your home has, our cleaner will get the job done.
- ❀[Hassle-free cleaning: 6cm height sweeper allows it easily enter the bottom of bed, sofa or wardrobe.
- ❀[Strong suction: It can suck in particles and easily remove common trashes such as dander, melon seeds, dust, ash, food residues, soot, pet hair in your home, freeing your worry of potential danger to your health.
- ❀[A smart sweeping machine offers 360°seamless cleaning. Automatically change direction when meet walls and obstacles.
- ❀[Two types are available: charging model and battery model. The charging sweeper can be charged for 150 minutes each time and the working time can be up to 90 minutes.The battery powered sweeper is powered by 3 AA batteries(not including). Any problem, please contact our store without hesitation. Honor to serve you!
- Perfect for different floor: The robot vacuum cleaner can be used on the floor tiles, hardwood floor or carpet. No matter what kind of floor your home has, our cleaner will get the job done.
- Hassle-free cleaning: 6cm height sweeper allows it easily enter the bottom of bed, sofa or wardrobe.
- Strong suction: It can suck in particles and easily remove common trashes such as dander, melon seeds, dust, ash, food residues, soot, pet hair in your home, freeing your worry of potential danger to your health.
- A smart sweeping machine offers 360°seamless cleaning. Automatically change direction when meet walls and obstacles.
- Two types are available: charging model and battery model. The charging sweeper can be charged for 150 minutes each time and the working time can be up to 90 minutes.The battery powered sweeper is powered by 3 AA batteries(not including). Any problem, please contact our store without hesitation. Honor to serve you!
- ❤[Perfect for different floor: The robot vacuum cleaner can be used on the floor tiles, hardwood floor or carpet. No matter what kind of floor your home has, our cleaner will get the job done.
- ❤[Hassle-free cleaning: 6cm height sweeper allows it easily enter the bottom of bed, sofa or wardrobe.
- ❤[Strong suction: It can suck in particles and easily remove common trashes such as dander, melon seeds, dust, ash, food residues, soot, pet hair in your home, freeing your worry of potential danger to your health.
- ❤[A smart sweeping machine offers 360°seamless cleaning. Automatically change direction when meet walls and obstacles.
- ❤[Two types are available: charging model and battery model. The charging sweeper can be charged for 150 minutes each time and the working time can be up to 90 minutes.The battery powered sweeper is powered by 3 AA batteries(not including). Any problem, please contact our store without hesitation. Honor to serve you!
- ♛ The length can be adjusted, do not bend over, save time, effort.
- ♛ No electricity vacuum cleaner 360° sweep the floor machine
- ♛ This product uses three roller brush, high-quality bristles, high quality nylon and other materials, remove the dead ends do not hurt the ground, any hard flat floor (except wood, plastic, marble, marble, tiles, cement floor ) Can be used, except carpets
- ♛ Ensures home cleaning and family health.
- ♛ Brand Name : Belong Enterprise.
- 700 watt cylinder vacuum cleaner with bag; AAA performance in terms of energy efficiency and cleaning performance; 25 kWh consumption per year
- Suction Power of upto 203 Watts. Triple action nozzle for thorough absorption of coarse and fine dirt; (easy-to-use sliding button to regulate the suction power)
- The washable HEPA-12 filter captures more than 99.5 percent of all particles for a cleaner air release
- 1.5 l capacity, small, compact and lightweight, easy to carry thanks to integrated handle, 5 m cable length, 1.5 m adjustable hose
- Exceptionally quiet (78 decibels), Display for full bag, cord storage, practical accessories and pouch (1 fabric and 2 paper) included
- 2 Years Limited Warranty in case of manufacturing defects, Actual product may differ slightly in appearance to illustrations/picture provided
- Dust bag full indicator; Always turn off and unplug the vacuum cleaner before performing maintenance or cleaning
- Automatic Cord Winder: Easy to use and store
- Suction control on handle to control the airflow. Suction of Motor-1700 mm of water column
- Comfortable Operation: Easy to use foot operated power on-off and chord winder switch
- Warranty: 1 year on product
- Power: 1200 watts; Operating voltage: 230 volts
- Wet or dry, bagged or bagless - No matter it is dust, hair, daily waste, the device can clean the dirt perfectly. You don't need to change filter during operation. Please take out the cloth dust filter and use sponge filter when sucking liquid
- Blower function- The blower function is suitable for drying and cleaning of narrow and hard- to-reach indoor or outdoor areas. For effective blowing results, do not use any filter in vacuum cleaner. To hold a large amount of waste, this vacuum cleaner boasts a container capacity of 10 litres
- Powerful and durable – Equipped with powerful motor delivers 14KPA strong suction power and ensures long time operation. The vacuum cleaner has an impact resistant polymer tank for longer usage life
- Safe buoy technology – Safe Buoy technology immediately stops sucking water when the liquid capacity reaches the critical point. This protects the machine from being damaged and guarantees superior lifetime. This device ensures low-noise operation
- Flexible and convenient - With ergonomically carry handle, along with four 360° rotating wheels enable it to move flexibly to anywhere you need. Its compact and lightweight is easy to store without occupying much space
- 4 Different cleaning tools - The Dry/Wet Brush is for smooth surfaces. The Floor Cum Carpet Brush is for carpet and floor cleaning. The round nozzle is for small spaces and soft surfaces. The 2-1 crevice nozzle cleans hard-to reach corners
- Powerful 800 watt motor helps in thorough cleaning.Transparent bowl with 0.9 liter capacity for longer use
- Turbo brush for carpet cleaning ; Filter: Turbo brush for carpet cleaning, Blower function with special attachments to blow out dirt and dust
- Blower function with special attachments to blow out dirt and dust
- Soft extension hose to clean difficult to reach areas
- 2 additional attachments for crevice and sofa cleaning
- Includes: Vacuum cleaner unit, Turbo brush, Multipurpose brush, Crevice plus upholstery brush, 2 Extension tubes, Flexible hose and Shoulder strap.
Please read the User manual provided before using the product
Hand vacuum for the vacuuming of:Furniture upholstery frames, car, computer, books, curtains,plenty more
Power: 1000 W, Operating Voltage: 220 - 240 Volts
Lightweight, Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Which Is for Daily Cleaning. Blower Accessory for Multipurpose Use, Power: 1000 Watts; Operating Voltage: 220 - 240 Volts
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.
How we Review the Carpet Cleaning Machines
Most of the machines I have personally tried, and some I own (Bissell Big Green and Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe) but for some machines we drew knowledge from industry contacts and user reviews online.
We judge on:
- Design – Is the design smart and user friendly? Weight of the machine, location of tanks, cord length and good handles are some of the things we look at.
- Ease of use -Is the carpet cleaning machine easy to operate and learn?
- Efficiency – How well does it remove stains and clean the carpet? There is a big difference between the different price classes in this factor. So for tougher stains, old stains, and smelly pet stains you will not want the budget carpet cleaners. Other factors are suction, drying time, cleaning path and maneuverability.
- Accessories – Here we grade the amount of tools the cleaner comes with. Does it have stain removal tools, stair tools, tools for upholstery, tools for car upholstery, pet hair collector etc.
- Help & Support – How long is the warranty? How responsive and helpful is the company?
As I review the top carpet shampooers for home use I have found that going for quality is always best.
The big brands like Bissell and Hoover not only provide the best bang for your buck (with some machines even below the 100 dollar mark), they also have the expertise to provide you with quality cleaners especially when it comes to using carpet cleaners for pets and pet stains.
Best Carpet Cleaner Brands and Why?
You’ll recognize most of our top brands – two of them are household words, and offer dozens of carpet and floor cleaning choices. Check out our top five carpet cleaner brands .
Bissell rules the carpet cleaning and vacuum cleaner industries, along with Hoover. According to the Bissell website, the company sells upright, portable, and canister carpet cleaners. Bissell also sells replacement parts, attachments for all their current machines, and even some older models. You’ll find anything for your carpet cleaning needs from Bissell.
Bissell has over 140 years of innovation in carpet cleaning, vacuums, sweepers, and steam and hard floor cleaners. The company’s products are available just about anywhere you shop, from appliance stores to Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers as well as Amazon.com
The Hoover name is even more iconic than Bissell when it comes to carpet and floor care. Hoover offers portable, upright, and deluxe home carpet shampooers, as well as models made to tackle tough pet stains. Like Bissell, Hoover provides its own line of cleaning solutions, from Paws and Claws to get rid of pet messes, and tough Oxy stain remover for red wine or coffee stains.
The company was founded in 1908, and its legendary products include WindTunnel vacuum cleaners and the ONEPWR line of cordless battery-powered carpet cleaners, hard floor washers, and vacuums.
Hoover products are available at most large retail stores and online at their website, Amazon, and other appliance sites.
You may have seen Rug Doctor carpet cleaner machines for rent at your local supermarket, but the company also sells home carpet cleaners. Although they only have a few home models, the special features are in the same league as Bissell and Hoover cleaners.
The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner, with its dual cross-action brushes and easy to use lift tank, received a Gold Certification from the Carpet and Rug Institute. Rug Doctor carpet cleaners tend to be a bit more expensive than Bissell or Hoover cleaners, since they’re made by a manufacturer best known for professional and rental products.
If you do a lot of heavy cleaning on your carpets, a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner may work for you. The company was founded in Texas in 1972. They offer a wide selection of cleaning products, attachments, and replacement parts in addition to their rental and home carpet cleaners.
McCulloh offers compact home carpet steamers with a distinctive yellow and black design. These steamers clean carpets, most types of flooring, furniture, upholstery, even windows, and barbeque grills.
This company’s products are best if you have a small amount of carpet to deep clean, and prefer the steam method. McCulloch steam cleaners are a good choice if your home is mostly tile or hard flooring, with some carpeting.
McCulloch offers regular-sized, portable, and handheld steam cleaners. McCulloch was founded in 1943, and originally produced chainsaws and other power tools for home use. The heavy-duty series of PowerSteamers are their only floor/carpet cleaning products.
Shark is best known for its lightweight stick vacuum cleaners, but it also offers carpet cleaner machines and hard floor cleaning systems with the same compact design. The Sonic Power scrubbing action offers over 1000 scrubs per minute. Shark sells no-rinse carpet cleaning solutions and other cleaning products for carpets and hard floors.
Shark has a limited number of carpet shampooers/cleaners, and the ones it makes are made to clean both hard floors and carpets. If you like to use a lightweight cleaning mop, and have more hard flooring in your home than carpet, Shark is another brand to consider along with McCulloch.
Home Carpet Cleaner FAQ
If you’ve never used a home carpet cleaner before, you may wonder about what you can and can’t do, and if the machine can damage certain materials. Here’s a rundown on the basics of using a carpet cleaner (sometimes called a carpet shampooer).
Can I Clean Upholstery with My Carpet Cleaner?
Some people use their carpet cleaners on mattresses, curtains, upholstery, and car seats. If you want to use your carpet cleaner on these items, make sure it comes with attachments to clean furniture and draperies. Even if a cleaner has attachments to clean curtains, don’t use it on silk or velvet items.
For cleaning floors, choose a steam cleaner or steam mop. Some carpet cleaners come with tools so you can use them on plain floors as well as carpets. Read the manufacturer’s directions to find out if you can use a carpet cleaner on a particular item.
What Sort of Cleaning Solution Should I Use with my Carpet Cleaner?
Your carpet cleaner manufacturer will recommend a particular product, and you should use that if possible. If you don’t like the way that solution works, you may substitute another cleaning product unless the manufacturer directions indicate that it would damage the machine.
How Long Will It Take Before My Carpet Dries?
The drying time varies, depending on the type of carpet you have and its thickness. Some carpet cleaners aid with the drying process, while others soak up dirt. Strategically place box fans in the room after you’ve cleaned the carpet to help the carpet dry faster. Most carpets will dry completely after a few hours after you’ve cleaned them.
Can I Clean Carpet on my Stairs with a Home Carpet Cleaner?
Clean carpeted stairs by using the nozzle accessories that come with your carpet cleaner. An upholstery nozzle will clean rugs and carpets on stairs, as well as upholstery. Always check your user manual for details.
Can I Use a Carpet Cleaner on All Types of Rugs and Carpets?
Carpet cleaners are safe to use on most carpets. Some cleaners can’t be used on Berber carpeting or wool carpeting unless you use cool water and refrain from getting the material too wet. You can use carpet cleaners on most area rugs and wall-to-wall shag carpeting.
Don’t use carpet cleaning machines on the following materials:
- Cashmere rugs
- Sisal carpets
- Hand-loomed wool rugs
- Braided rugs
- Jute carpets
If a rug manufacturer recommends dry cleaning, don’t use a carpet cleaner on it, even to remove spot stains.
Can I Clean my Carpet with Just Water?
The cleaning solution that comes with your carpet cleaner is made to mix with water and clean your carpet thoroughly without damaging it. Most carpets are pre-treated, but you still need to clean them regularly with water and cleaning products to banish dirt and dust.
Using only water won’t remove dirt and stains from your carpet.
Is it Cost-Efficient to Own a Carpet Cleaner?
A carpet shampooer machine is relatively inexpensive, with most brands offering models for between $75-$200. Some models are a bit more or a bit less. Renting professional equipment or hiring a carpet cleaning service costs much more, and you won’t have the convenience of doing quick touch-ups on your own.
Professional service might be a good idea if the cleaning is a one time thing, if your carpet is very damaged by dirt, or if you are not very mobile.
Should I Vacuum before Cleaning my Carpet?
Vacuum once or twice before using your carpet cleaner. The cleaner your carpet is before you shampoo it, the more dirt it will remove.
How Often Should I Clean My Carpet?
How often you clean your carpet depends on the traffic in your house. If you have pets, young children, or throw a lot of parties, you’ll need to clean your carpets every two or six months.
If you don’t have children or pets and don’t have a lot of visitors, a once-a-year cleaning might be enough.
Clean your carpet every six months if you or anyone in your household smokes.
What is the Best Way to Use a Carpet Cleaner?
Read the directions for your carpet cleaner and follow the directions carefully for best results. Use the appropriate cleaning solution for your shampooer.
After you’ve removed furniture, thoroughly vacuum the area to be cleaned with a powerhead vacuum cleaner. Make sure you pick up paper clips, coins, small toys, and other objects that could jam the vacuum cleaner or carpet cleaner before you start the cleaning process.
Vacuuming and picking up stray objects will expose carpet stains.
Prepare the carpet cleaner by filling the water tank and adding a cleaning solution per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Never use more shampoo than recommended, as this will leave more residue on the carpet and cling to dirt.
Remember to use attachments to clean tight areas and corners.
What Should I Know About Cleaning Solution?
It’s important to remove all soap from the carpet, and also extract the water to prevent a soggy or mildewed carpet. Leaving the detergent on the carpet will make it look dirtier, and it will be harder to clean the next time you use the shampooer.
There are several types of carpet cleaning solutions you can use with your machine. Most companies (Hoover, Bissell, etc.) offer a standard solution, a scent, and allergen-free one, a solution specifically for households with pets, or a general extra-strength solution.
If you have pets, you may have to use other methods in addition to a carpet cleaner to keep your rugs and carpets clean.
How Can I Keep My Carpet Looking Great?
Vacuum your carpet once or twice a week, depending on how much traffic it receives. Remove stains quickly using spot stain remover or a carpet cleaner attachment. Avoid leaving stains to settle in the carpet because you think you can remove them later when you do your scheduled carpet cleaning. The stains will be harder to remove and may remain in the carpet.
Finding the Best Carpet Shampooer: Final Words
If you have never used a carpet cleaning machine before and will not be cleaning too large areas of carpet, I would recommend the Hoover Smartwash. It is a machine that is very easy to use, and it works very well.
For tougher carpet stains I always recommend the BISSELL Big Green. It is a high quality machine, and one of the most successful carpet cleaning machines in recent years.
If you are on a budget you will not go wrong with Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe. It has been around for a while, but it is lightweight, cheap, easy to use and effective. It is in my opinion the best budget carpet cleaner right now.
When dealing with pets I can highly recommend the BISSELL ProHeat 2X if you deal with tough pet stains. With many pet attachments and features this cleaner qualifies for the best pet carpet cleaner right now. The Hoover Powerdash Pet is a great option if you want a cheap but good carpet cleaning machine.
We hope this article has been of use for you and we will keep updating it as new models come out on the market.