This is where I want to help. I have created a comparison chart with the top 10 buys in the US, an easy and no-nonsense guide to find the perfect cleaner for your needs, and short reviews with videos and comparisons of the 5 best carpet cleaning machines below the chart.
You can also go straight to our full reviews in the menu, where you will find helpful detailed comparisons of the different cleaners as well.
Top Carpet Cleaners 2018– To check price click the product name or the picture (amazon).
|BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine Professional Grade, 86T3|| (4.9 / 5)|| Large areas of carpet|
Stains from pets and kids
|BISSELL DeepClean Deluxe Pet, 36Z9|| (4.6 / 5)||Stains from kids and pets|
|Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer, FH50150|| (4.3 / 5)|| Lightweight|
|Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet Cleaner, FH50251||(4.3 / 5)|| Lightweight|
|BISSELL SpotClean Professional Portable, 3624|| (4.4 / 5)|| Portable|
Easy to store
Hard to reach areas
|Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Full-Size Carpet Cleaner, 1986||(4.4 / 5)|| Lightweight|
Stains from pets
|BISSELL DeepClean Premier Pet Full Size, 17N4|| (4.2 / 5)|| Stains from pets and kids|
Large areas of carpet
Model: Clicking on the model name will take you to amazon.com, where you can see the latest pictures and get the latest price of the product.
Est. Price: Prices always vary, depending on promotions, special deals etc, and that is why we have used this representation as a rough estimation of the price:
$ = 80 – 200 $
$$ = 100 – 350 $
$$$ = 350+ $
To find the current price on amazon.com click on the model name under the product image.
What to look for in a carpet cleaner?
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.
BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine. Rug Doctor X3, BISSELL DeepClean Essential 8852 and BISSELL DeepClean Premier Pet 17N4 all have large tanks.
You have pets
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.
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.
A slightly cheaper, but also very effective model is BISSELL DeepClean Deluxe Pet, 36Z9.
You are on a tight budget
You can find good budget alternatives in our chart that still cleans efficiently. A great example of this is the Hoover SteamVac with Clean Surge, F5914900.
You need to clean you stair carpet
Look for a cleaner in our comparison chart that is specialized on cleaning stairs and terrain. They have a special design that will help you clean tough corners and angles.
You want a professionally clean carpet
Then you need one of the most efficient cleaners on the market, the good news is that there are extremely efficient carpet cleaners to buy nowadays that will make your carpet look great. If this is a one time thing, obviously renting would be better, but by buying you will save a lot of money in the long run if you will use the machine more than once or twice.
Two top cleaners on the market today is: BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine and Rug Doctor Mighty Pro. Both brands are long time established and have a very good and solid reputation.
They are both pretty big machines, they may not be the best option if you have a lot of fixed furniture or uneven terrain.
You have very limited space
Look in the comparison chart for cleaners that are extra small and easy to store. We can recommend BISSELL SpotClean Anywhere, it is portable and small, which makes it easy to store and handle, but still cleans efficiently and it has received good ratings by customers on the net. It is not a good choice for big areas of carpet though, because of its small tank. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe, FH50150 is also a lightweight cleaner and a great option for limited space.
You don’t have much strength
Then you have some lightweight options to choose from. The portable units like BISSELL SpotClean Anywhere Portable, 97491 and BISSELL SpotClean Professional Portable, 3624 are good options if you don’t have to clean large areas. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer, FH50150 on the other hand is also lightweight but fit to clean larger areas.
Review of the five Best Carpet Cleaners in the US
These units have been praised by customers, and performs very well in our tests. This is some of the best buys the market has to offer 2018.
The BISSELL #86T3 is ideal for those with large houses, kids, or pets. The reason for this is because of its large-capacity clean-water and dirty-water tanks, and because of its extremely efficient deep cleaning, that cleans both going forwards and backwards. This is one of the things that separates it from the Rug Doctor, Rug Doctor only cleans in one direction, so you need more passes to clean.
To get this kind of cleaning power in a carpet cleaner you need to make it quite large, this model is therefore heavier than the normal models.
It cleans in both the forward and backward direction to cut down on cleaning time and its 25-foot cord provides easy movement throughout a room.
There is also a stair tool for those tricky areas to reach and a tool to clean upholstery.
Our Overall Rating: (4.9 / 5)
The Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack is made by Rug Doctor and includes a Mighty Pro X3 machine, a combination stair/upholstery tool, a spray container of urine eliminator, and a 40-ounce container of BISSELL’s Pet Formula Carpet Cleaner.
Like the Bissells Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine, this is a very powerful deep cleaner. The downside to this kind of powerful cleaning is that the machine is larger and heavier than normal carpet cleaners. An advantage with the Rug Doctor over Bissells Big Green is its longer power cord (28 ft vs 25 ft) and better tank capacity (3 gallons vs 1.75 gallons).
The Rug Doctor is especially designed for the tough stains that pets and kids make in the house. Included is a urine eliminator, to clean and remove stains, smells and pet urine.
It is ideal for a large house because of large-capacity separate tanks for the clean and dirty water. Can also clean car upholstery and car carpet.
Our Overall Rating: (4.7 / 5)
This model from BISSELL contains twelve rows of PowerBrushes that rotate to scrub the carpet clean. It also comes with a Stain Trapper tool to get the job finished right.
There is a collection basket to catch pet hair. This along with the odor control cleansing formula will help you eliminate pet stains and pet urine, and get rid of the smell.
That makes this unit ideal for pet owners that need a very efficient cleaner that also removes bad smell.
It is quite similar to the cheaper version, BISSELL DeepClean Premier Pet , 17N4, but it comes with more features to be able to handle tougher stains from pets, such as Cleanshot Trigger technology that adds extra cleaning solution on tough stains.
Our Overall Rating: (4.6 / 5)
The SpotClean Anywhere is perfect for home and office settings to remove stains and spills on carpets wherever they occur.
Its small size makes it very easy to handle for everybody. It is easy to move this machine from room to room with the soft-grip handle on top.
The downside to all portable carpet cleaners is reduced cleaning power and smaller tanks. This means you have to refill more often and it takes more work to clean bigger areas of carpet. Spot cleaning is the goal with this machine, and it is not good for working larger areas.
It is lightweight, even lighter than the portable carpet cleaner BISSELL SpotClean Pro 3624.
The Stain Trapper Tool sprays the cleaning solution on the stain and then scrubs and suctions the dirty liquid into a removable container so it does not mix with the cleaning solution.
This carpet shampooer is great for apartment owners as it is slim and small, and hides away in a closet easily.
Our Overall Rating: (4.3 / 5)
Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe is no exception to Hoover’s long history of providing quality products. This is a lightweight cleaner at only 19 pounds, but it cleans as well as some heavier models with its SpinScrub® Technology.
This model is ideal for people who do not have a need for, or the strength to handle, the heavier carpet shampooers, but need more power than what the portables have to offer. It is one of the best carpet cleaners on the market and an excellent budget choice.
There is an upholstery tool with an eight-inch hose attachment for cleaning difficult areas such as the stairs and couches. This carpet cleaning machine was a best seller in 2017, and it seems to do very well in 2018 too.
Our Overall Rating: (4.3 / 5)
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.
- 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.