Carpet cleaners are appliances that soak the carpet down to the root, ensuring that everything is completely covered in detergent with no place left for dirt to hide. The best carpet cleaners can make your carpets look like you just bought them yesterday, so we've gathered a few great options to consider.
Best Overall Carpet Cleaners
Hoover SMARTWASH+ Automatic Carpet Washer
- Automatically combines the water and the cleaning solution in the container
- A very large 4 L water capacity
- Brushes are easy to remove and clean
- Pretty heavy and difficult to get up the stairs
- The dry-only function doesn’t always work
The Hoover Smartwash is one of the most convenient and user-friendly carpet cleaners that you can find on the market. This cleaner has a large number of features that make things easy for beginners, key among which is the automatic mixing feature that combines the water and cleaning formula in just the right measure inside of the container.
It’s also very easy to use, thanks to the push-pull system. To put it simply, you push the appliance to infuse the cleaning formula inside the carpet, and then you pull it in the other direction to clean the carpet using the bristles. Moreover, the SMARTWASH+ has built-in jets that dry the carpet during the cleaning motion.
There are also many useful options like the dry-only option that only uses a cleaning formula without any water on the carpet, a pet and a stair tool, and an almost 7 m long cord that gives you a lot of space to operate in. All of these features on top of the incredibly reasonable price tag make this one of the most well-rounded and overall best carpet cleaners that money can buy.
Bissell CleanView PowerBrush Carpet Shampooer
- Very affordable for the number of features that it comes with
- The trigger system allows for easy cleaning solution dispersal
- Has a lot of useful attachments
- It’s quite heavy and unwieldy
- The wheels are a bit too narrow for the large frame, which can make it more difficult to move
Just like the first carpet cleaner on our list, this appliance doesn’t have one single feature that’s specifically notable or an area that it excels in. However, we consider it one of the best because it’s incredibly easy to operate and has several useful brushes and cleaning attachments. All of this comes in a cleaner that’s priced incredibly cheaply for the quality of service that it can provide.
The cleaner also has a split water container that collects both the clean and the dirty water in two separate chambers. Moreover, the five-row brush at the bottom can almost effortlessly work out all the dirt in your carpet after adding the cleaning solution.
The shampooer has a pretty wide spray range as well, which essentially means that it can cover a wider area in one pass-through, allowing you to get through each room in record time.
Best Budget Carpet Cleaner
Optim Carpet Shampooer
- Incredibly light and simple to control
- It’s very compact and easy to store when you’re not using it
- Comes with a dual water tank system
- The cleaning mixture will need to be combined by hand before you put it into the carpet cleaner
- Doesn’t really have any notable features
Optim have made a pretty simple but still incredibly useful carpet cleaner that just about anyone can use. It comes with five cleaning rows on the bottom that ensure all of the dirt gets extracted as well as a split tank with a section for clean water and a cleaning solution. The second section is for the dirty water that gets extracted from the carpet once the process is finished.
This appliance is incredibly easy to use and operates via a simple press-to-spray button at the top of the handle that allows you to control when to release the cleaning mixture and how much of it to use on any area.
The downside of this simplicity is that beginners won’t really know how much of the mixture to use. This means you’ll either end up with a wet carpet, or you simply won’t use enough cleaning solution and won’t be able to effectively clean your carpet.
Best Carpet Cleaner for Pets
Bissell Pro Heat 2X Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner
- The double brush system works out tough stains from the carpet
- Comes with an attachment for furniture and pet hair
- Comes with a stair cleaning tool, a tough stain tool, and a pet hair tool
- It’s very bulky, which makes it difficult to stare
- The price makes it one of the most expensive carpet cleaners that you’ll run into
The Pro Heat is very mobile for a carpet cleaner, and the front has quite a bit of flexibility that allows it to even fit under couches if need be. You also have an express clean mode, which is a great feature that gets rid of those deeply ingrained stains while also ensuring that the heat allows your carpet to become fully dry in just around an hour after washing.
The best part of this carpet cleaner is the 2-in-2 pet hair removal attachment that goes on the bottom of the appliance. This gives you a small brush with a water container on the bottom that you can use to collect the hair from your furniture and then clean any persistent stains from the cushions as well.
Aside from the pet attachment, the vacuum also comes with two brush rollers on the bottom that can get the dirt out of any carpet, as well as a separate container for both the clean and the dirty water, which can allow you to cover more space before you need to empty them out again.
Best Heavy-Duty Carpet Cleaner
Bissell CleanView ProHeat 2X Carpet Shampooer
- Comes with a lot of useful attachments
- Has an internal system than maintains a steady water temperature
- Uses a very efficient solution dispenser system
- It’s the most expensive cleaner on our list
- The powerful vacuum system makes this a pretty noisy model
The title of “the best heavy-duty” carpet cleaner wasn’t given lightly to this particular carpet cleaner, and it more than earns it thanks to the wide assortment of useful cleaning brushes and attachments that it comes with.
The standard roller on the bottom comes with twelve rows of dual rotating bristles. This is more than enough brush power for the cleaner to be able to shake loose and collect any and all stains that might be hiding even in the deepest confines of your carpets and rugs. The water is also kept at a constant warm temperature so that you can break down the stains a lot more easily.
You also get five different cleaning attachments. These attachments include a furniture brush that collects hair and soaps cushions, a stair attachment that uses its narrow nozzle to perfectly cover the rug on the steps, and three other brushes that are great at getting to those hard-to-reach places.
Best Carpet Cleaner Brands
Both Bissell and Hoover have some of the best carpet cleaners that you can find on the market. You won’t go wrong if you buy from either brand, but there are a few slight differences.
Hoover is a well-known name in the vacuum business, and they have a reputation for producing a wide array of different products with a lot of features and a reputation for being high-quality.
Bissell is a bit more obscure for vacuum cleaners, but it’s a very big name in the carpet cleaning market. While they might not have the assortment you can find with Hoover, they have quite a large selection of dedicated carpet cleaners with great attachments.
How To Choose The Right Carpet Cleaner
What Does A Carpet Cleaner Do?
Carpet cleaners use a special detergent that needs to be mixed with water to create a soapy substance, which is then spread out through the carpet to dislodge most of the dirt and stains accumulated over the years. Some cleaners automatically mix the detergent with the water inside the container for you. In contrast, others require mixing it by hand before adding it to the carpet cleaner container.
You either get an automatic detergent dispenser that works by simply pushing the cleaner forward, or you’ll be given a button or switch that you’ll need to press to manually release the detergent from the bottom of the cleaner onto the carpet.
After the detergent has been released, the roller on the bottom of the cleaner will rub it into every inch of the carpet that you go over. The vacuum will then go into reverse and suck up the dislodged dirt and collect all of it in a separate container from the clean water.
A lot of cleaners also come with a drying feature that comes in the form of a heated panel just in front of the rollers, which will dry the water-infused detergent spread over the carpet.
Which Features Should You Consider for a Carpet Cleaner?
The most important feature that you need to consider when buying a carpet cleaner is the attachments that it comes with. These large devices are great for cleaning anything that’s on the floor, but they’re not so good at anything else. This is where the hair collectors and different brushes come in.
The brush attachments that allow you to soap and vacuum rugs and narrower parts of the room are essential since you won’t be able to fit your large carpet cleaner anywhere but very open spaces in the room.
You also want a device with a long power cord that can allow you to cover the entire room without constantly switching sockets or using an extension cord. Additionally, if you can, get a cleaner with separate clean water and dirty water containers because that will make cleanup just slightly more convenient.
How Often Should You Clean Your Carpets?
Washing your carpets and rugs once a year is usually more than enough to keep them looking brand new and properly maintained. On the other hand, if you have pets, if your carpets are white or a lighter colour, or if someone in the house is a heavy smoker, then you might want to bring out the cleaner a few extra times per year, e.g. quarterly.
Is It Better to Shampoo or Steam Clean Carpets?
Any cleaner that uses detergent is considered a shampooing carpet cleaner, which distinguishes them from carpet cleaner models that use steam.
As the name might suggest, steam cleaners have a water tank that they superheat with an internal motor in order to turn it into steam. This steam is later expelled through the bottom of the cleaner, and the high temperature and gust of air effectively remove most of the built-up dirt and grime inside of the carpet.
In terms of effectiveness, the steam cleaners are better at removing any stains from your carpet, and they also dry the carpet a lot more rapidly than the regular shampooers as well. The downside to these machines is that they’re usually twice the price of a standard carpet cleaner or more.
It also doesn’t help that the motor and container make the steam cleaners absolutely massive and downright impossible to store them in a standard-sized closet when you’re not using them.
Steam cleaners are usually reserved for commercial work because only businesses really have the resources and the space required to maintain and store these devices properly.
If you’re interested in having your carpets steam-cleaned to see if the process is more effective than the standard shampooing method, then we’d recommend hiring a service to do the job for you.