How to Choose the Best Carpet Cleaner

Vacuuming your carpet is not enough to remove all the deeply embedded damaging dirt. Moreover, wet carpets can affect your health by growing into a breeding site for allergy-triggering mold. This is why you need a carpet cleaner to deep and dry clean your carpet.

The problem is that there are so many models and brands in the market, it can get difficult choosing the right one for yourself. So here are some tips for choosing a carpet cleaner, and some information about the best carpet shampooers in the market today.

Types of carpet cleaners

Though you can hire professional cleaners to do the job, if you have lots of carpeting to do or a house with kids and pets, its more economical and feasible to buy the best carpet cleaner and do your cleaning yourself. These are the types of carpet cleaners you should consider.

  1. Rental deep cleaners are available for $20-$30 a day at supermarkets, home centers or hardware stores. They are upright machines with one tank carrying your cleaning solution and another which carries the dirty solution.

They also have a vacuum and fixed or moving brush all combined into a single unit. They are thus difficult to use and as it’s performance and convenience varies between machines, it’s better to rent the cleanest machine with least-worn brushes.

  1. Full sized cleaners are lighter and less bulky than rental machines. They work by scrubbing in a solution of water and detergent and later vacuuming the dirt and water. They are however rather expensive and take up your closet space.
  1. Compact cleaners are perfect for small jobs as they are easiest to maneuver around and take up less closet space. They can in fact be stored on a shelf and all you need to do is push a button and you can walk away while it works on all the stains.

Tips to consider

With so many compact carpet cleaners to choose from, it’s worth knowing which features to look out for to buy one for yourself.

  • Belt-free carpet cleaners are a better buy as the ones with belts have to be replaced over time.
  • Machines with moving brushes are better than machines with fixed or no brushes as they give a rather aggressive scrub.
  • Choose machines with larger tanks so that you need to refill them fewer times while cleaning your carpet. However as this also increases the machine’s weight, it can get rather difficult to maneuver around.
  • Machines with longer vacuum hoses provide a farther reach while cleaning like vacuuming under furniture and vacuuming flights of stairs.
  • It’s better to choose a carpet cleaner with a separate soap dispenser which automatically dispenses the required detergent with water and shuts off while rinsing with fresh water.
  • Some cleaners have a sensor indicating when the dirty water tank is full and when it has to be emptied. Similarly some have tank indicator lights indicating when the tank needs refilling.
  • Of course, cost is important as the best carpet cleaner’s rate should be within your budget. Don’t consider just the carpet cleaner’s cost, but also the cost of replacing belts, bags, beater bags and replacement filters when required.
  • Check the carpet cleaner’s durability after prolonged use and if any special features do not function or weaken with time.
  • Check the carpet cleaner’s efficiency at collecting debris after a full cleaning of the area. The more efficient it is, the better the machine.
  • Of course, the carpet cleaner should be easy enough for anyone to use and maneuver across surfaces.

Comparing top home carpet cleaners

As mentioned earlier, there are various brands and models of the best carpet cleaners in the market, making it difficult to make your choice. You have to remember that all brands and models are not the same quality as some are more reliable while others may have better features and functionality. So here are the features, pros and cons of the top rated carpet cleaners available in the market.

1. Review of Hoover FH50150 Carpet Basics Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner

Hoover FH50150 Carpet Basics Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet CleanerThe Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner is every house maker’s companion. It effectively cleans all your upholstery and carpet using its Power Scrub Deluxe features. The forced heated air it emits shortens the carpet drying time while its spill free water tanks easily accessible to fill, empty and clean without using any tools.


  • The shampooer is small and lightweight, making it easy to maneuver where required.
  • It has Hoover’s Counter rotating brushes which don’t roll but spin while cleaning carpets, and are easily removed for cleaning.
  • Stairs and hard-to-reach areas are easily cleaned with its hose and upholstery tool while its DualV nozzle sucks and cleans surfaces evenly and quickly.
  • Its wash/rinse option lets you wash carpets using water and cleaning solution and then rinse and remove soap remnants using only water.


  • As the cleaner is small, it takes longer to clean rooms as its smaller size covers less space.
  • Its smaller sized tanks require frequent filling and emptying.
  • The hose constantly falls off the base, making upholstery cleaning difficult.


2. Review of Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Professional Grade Carpet Cleaner Machine

Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Professional Grade Carpet Cleaner MachineIf you have pets making mistakes on your carpets, you need to have the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine at home. This is a powerful cleaner with an extra-large brush which really deep cleans to remove even stubborn stains. This is a machine which out cleans rental carpet cleaners any day. The machine comes with a Bissell 2x Professional deep cleaning Formula.


  • Cleaning time is short as it cleans on forward and backward pass and dries rather quickly
  • Large capacity water tanks mean fewer trips to the sink
  • Stain tool helps reach hard-to-reach areas while rotating dirt lifter brushes remove deep-down dirt
  • Flow indicator keeps a check on water and solution levels so that you know when to check tanks
  • Attachments help clean hard-to-reach areas and upholstery


  • Some customers complain of water leakage over the place
  • Some complaints of flimsy hand wands and white pins


4. Review of Bissell SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner, 3624

Bissell spot cleanThe Bissell SpotClean 3624 is one of the best carpet cleaning machines for most households as it cleans efficiently, is easy so use and has a long life span. It has a good suction to collect lots of dust and hair strands. However as its washable foam filter is flimsy and tends to clog easily with dirt, it can lose its suction.

As its lightweight at 15.1 pounds, it’s easy to maneuver while its 22ft cord provides a long reach. The SpotClean’s stiff bristles scrubs and lifts dirt and stains regular vacuums won’t reach. All these features and its 2 year warranty makes it rate look rather reasonable.


♦ Effective at removing hard stains

♦ Its 6 inch tool helps clean difficult to reach places

♦ 2 year warranty


♦ While there are not many cons with the Bissell SpotClean, few users complain that its hose is not durable and easily splits up.


5. Review of Hoover Max Extract 60 Pressure Pro Carpet Deep Cleaner, FH50220

Hoover-max-extract-60-pressure-pro-carpet-deep-cleanerThe Hoover Max Extract deep cleaner is designed to clean various surfaces from carpets and couches to wood and tiled floors.  Water, dirt and grime is easily removed with the help of it’s easy-to-use pressurized cleaning. Its double chamber nozzle power washes surfaces using even suction across a wide path while its automatic detergent system dispels the right water and detergent ratio for a perfect clean.




6. Review of Bissell Spotbot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology, 33N8A

Bissell-Spotbot-33N8Too busy for vacuuming and removing stubborn pet stains and spots? Then Bissell’s Spotbot Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner is just what you need. All you need to do is place the machine on the stain,  set the desired automatic cleaning cycles, and you can walk away while the machine does all your work for you!

Its unique deep reach technology and spiral brushing action gives you a fresh and clean carpet while it’s pet and stain odor formula removes 98% of odor causing bacteria.




7. Review of Bissell PowerLifter PowerBrush Upright Deep Cleaner, 1622

BISSELL PowerLifter PowerBrush Upright Deep CleanerThe Bissell PowerLifter PowerBrush Upright Deep Cleaner helps protect and extend your carpet’s life by deep cleaning it using just water, deep-cleaning detergent and its four-row rotating PowerBrush.

You are left with an odor and stain-free clean carpet using a portable, lightweight and easy-to-use cleaner. The cleaner is user-friendly with its comfortable handle, lint screen, quick-release cord hooks, measuring cup, removable nozzle for quick cleaning and easily maneuvered wheels.




8. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright NV356E

indexThe Shark Navigator is a relatively new entrant to the American market which has proved its mark as a reliable carpet cleaner. Its suction is remarkably strong and can easily pick up dust, pet hair and even deeply embedded dirt.

It’s 30ft power cord and Swivel Steering action makes cruising around obstacles so easy. It’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology with HEPA filtration ensures all collected dust and allergens remain in the vacuum and do not get released back into the air.


♦ A lightweight carpet cleaner, it facilitates its easy use while climbing ladders to easily reach and clean ceiling fans and tops of shelving units.

♦ It quietly works both on carpets and hard surfaces.

♦ Its detachable Lift-Away canister provides for easy, portable cleaning.

♦ For so many features, and a 5-year warranty, the product is definitely sold at a great price.

♦ Its powerful suction and swivel head ensures a thorough clean of all hard-to-reach spots and types of dirt.


♦ Some find the cord to be shorter when compared to other vacuum cleaners.

♦ Too narrow nozzle

♦ Too much of plastic used in its construction.


9. Review of Hoover SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge, F5914900

This impressive best steam carpet cleaner cleans effectively both through its accessory hose and in the upright position. In fact, it suctions carpets more effectively than its other counterparts like Bissell and Dyson.

The Hoover SteamVac carpet cleaner comes with a powerful hand tool, HEPA and washable primary filters, an upholstery tool, hose extension and crevice tool. It also applies heat to the floor for quick drying which is why it’s best used to clean carpets you need to dry quickly.

Its Spin Scrub rotating brushes takes care of stubborn stains to easily clean carpets and upholstery. Considering its limited one-year warranty, the carpet cleaner is reasonably priced than most carpet cleaners.


♦ Its spinning brushes and fast drying blower quickens carpet drying time.

♦ The brushes squirt cleaning solution to the carpet surface and with the rotating brushes, effectively remove stubborn and ingrained stains.

♦ Meeting North American Electrical Standards, this carpet cleaner is both reliable and durable in function.

♦ Not only does the carpet cleaner remove dirt stuck on carpets, but also beeps when it reaches its maximum level so that the dirt tank can be replaced.


♦ Its small tanks necessitate constant refilling which is can get irritating

♦ Its wrong assembly may lead to its not working well and consequent problems.

♦ Its cord can interfere with your cleaning, and restricts your reach within its length.


10. Review of Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Cleaner

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3The Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 is a sturdy and durable hand-held carpet cleaner which works both on carpets and solid flooring. It has a large dual tank separating clean water from dirty water and is perfect to use to clean small spaces, upholstery and even your car seats and carpets.

It works well with most quality detergents and its efficient and durable emulator trigger spray requires low maintenance.


♦ It can be used to clean both soft surfaces like carpets and hard, solid flooring.

♦ Can be used to clean even your car seats and carpets

♦ Works well with most quality detergent.

♦ Comes with a bottle of Pet Formula Carpet Cleaner, Eliminator Trigger spray and tool to use on upholstery and stairs.


♦ It is rather heavy and thus difficult to push around. Moreover, as the recovery tank holding dirty water is rather heavy when full, it adds to the weight of the cleaner.

♦ Emptying the tank is a messy procedure as the water may get to your hands while draining.

♦ The handle is rather wobbly and looks flimsy. As the machine is only under 37 inches when upright, it can lead to back pain in tall people while cleaning.

♦ It wets any spot on the carpet with just one or two passes.

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