Finding the Best Carpet Cleaner 2016

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HiSelecting the right carpet cleaner does not have to be a difficult task, but it is easy to get lost in the technical details.

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 2016

– To check price click under the picture (amazon)

ModelSpecialtyEditor RatingPriceReview

BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine Professional Grade, 86T3
Large areas of carpet

Stains from kids and pets

Tough stains

Stair tool

Cleans upholstery

Car carpets, car upholstery

Powerful engine
4.9 Stars (4.9 / 5)


$$$-Review-

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack
Large areas of carpet

Stains from kids and pets

Tough stains

Stair/upholstery tool

Car carpets, car upholstery
4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)$$$-Review-

BISSELL DeepClean Deluxe Pet, 36Z9
Stains from kids and pets

Tough stains

Cleans upholstery
4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)


$$-Review-

BISSELL SpotClean Professional Portable, 3624
Portable

Easy to store

Lightweight

Cleans upholstery

Cleans stairs

Hard to reach areas

4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)


$-Review-

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer, FH50150
Lightweight

Upholstery tool

Stairs

Couches

4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)


$$-Review-

BISSELL SpotClean Anywhere Portable, 97491
Portable

Easy to store

Lightweight



4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)$-Review-

Hoover SteamVac with Clean Surge, F5914900
Upholstery

Cleans floors

8 ft. Stretch Hose

4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)$-Review-

BISSELL DeepClean Premier Pet Full Size, 17N4
Stains from kids and pets

Odors

Large areas of carpet

4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)


$$-Review-

BISSELL DeepClean Essential Full Size, 8852
Large areas of carpet

Cleaning around furniture

Stair tool

4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)$-Review-

BISSELL Spotbot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology, 33N8A
Cleaning robot

Hands-free

Portable

Easy to store

Lightweight

Stains from pets

4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
$-Review-

— Go back to the top of the chart —

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

A cat and a dog

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.

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

Cleaning Apparel

The portable cleaners use the same cleaning techniques as the upright models, but they often have weaker suction and smaller tanks, which means that you will have to refill them more often. They are perfect for spot cleaning and cleaning smaller areas. They are also easy to handle because of their small size and light weight.

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

Cleaning Machine Carpet

If you have a large area to clean, or several rooms, you should look for a cleaner with a large tank. With large tanks you do not need to refill often which saves you a lot of time.

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.

— Go to the top 10 chart —

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 2016.

#1 BISSELL Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine #86T3

Carpet ShampooerThe BISSELL #86T3 is ideal for those with large houseskidsor 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 Stars (4.9 / 5)

This is a powerful, versatile and very efficient machine. A great choice for those who want effective cleaning of larger areas and for pet owners. 

See Price and Reviews of BISSELL Big Green on Amazon!

#2 Review of Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack

Rug DoctorThe 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 Stars (4.7 / 5)

The Rug Doctor is a very powerful cleaner with a pet focus. Great for cleaning larger areas and dealing with tough stains and smells. 

See Price and Reviews of Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 on Amazon!

#3 BISSELL DeepClean Deluxe Pet #36Z9

Carpet CleanersThis 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 Stars (4.6 / 5)

I really like this pet carpet cleaner. Lots of great features, such as a pet hair basket and special functions to remove tough stains, plus the price is affordable.

See Price and Reviews of BISSELL DeepClean Deluxe Pet on Amazon!

— Go to the top 10 chart —

#4 BISSELL SpotClean Anywhere Portable #97491

BISSELL PortableThe 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 Stars (4.3 / 5)

A great option for those with limited space that want a portable carpet cleaner that is easy to store. Use in your home, in your office or in your car. Easy to use and lightweight.

See Price and Reviews of BISSELL SpotClean Anywhere on Amazon!

#5 Review of Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe #FH50150

Hoover carpet cleanerHoover 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 2015, and it seems to do very well in 2016 too.

Our Overall Rating: 4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)

A great option for those who want an efficient and lightweight carpet cleaner at a good price.

See Price and Reviews of Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe on Amazon!

— Go to the top 10 chart —