It really doesn’t matter how often you vacuum your carpets, you are not getting the best clean.
Fortunately, designated carpet cleaners exist to give you the deep clean that you are looking for. A carpet cleaner uses a combination of warm (or hot water), detergent and spinning brushes to remove old stains, new strain and deeply embedded dirt and grime from your carpets. It’s easy to know that purchasing a carpet cleaner will save you from costly “professional” carpet cleanings.
But what is the best carpet cleaner 2018 for you?
That is an entirely different question and one that needs its due diligence.
Carpet cleaners are not cheap, the better quality ones costly at least $100, with professional grade ones stretching up above $300, so you will want to make sure that you are well informed when it comes to purchasing one.
Best Carpet Cleaner Reviews
When considering what the best carpet cleaner is, there are many different specifications that need to be considered, such as tank capacity, cord length, included attachments, detergent tanks, heated air-drying capabilities and weight. The chart below details how the top 5 carpet cleaners stack up against each other.
|Product Specs||Bissell 86T3/86T3Q Big Green||Hoover FH50150||Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner||Hoover FH50220||Shark Sonic ZZ550|
|Weight||40 lbs||18.1 lbs||25 lbs||21.85 lbs||18 lbs|
|Power Cord Length||25’||20'||28'||20'||22'|
|Cleaning Path Width||10.5”||11.25"||12"||13"||9.4"|
|Tank Capacity||7 quarts||4 quarts||4 quarts||4.6 quarts|
|Tank Indicator Lights||Yes||Yes|
|Heated Air Dryer||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Separate Detergent Tank||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
This gray, black and green Bissell really emanates the name “Big Green.” It is large, weighs in at 40 pounds, and is green! Aside from its less than sleek appearance, the Bissell Big Green is everything you want in a carpet cleaner.
The DirtLifter Powerbrushes that comes on the model is patented technology, which enables the Big Green to loosen and lift any deeply embedded dirt and grime from your carpets.
A newly added feature in this Big Green model and one that sets it above the competition is that this model can work in both forward and backward cleaning passes. This not only reduces your cleaning time, but it saves your arm muscles from double the passes! While some models have continuous flow, this model has a water trigger that needs to be held down to release the water. This gives you more control over the amount of saturation.
If you’re worried about dry time on this model, don’t.
Depending on temperature and humidity, the carpets cleaned by this unit actually take only 3 hours to fully dry, which is quick compared to other models.
The Big Green does this by directing hot air from the motors down the nozzle to heat the carpets. That, combined with superior suction power to suck the water back into the machine, means that you can have your carpets dry in no time.
The Bissell Big Green does lend some of its cleaning power to the use of hot water. But unfortunately, the Big Green doesn’t actually heat the water. You will need to add the hot water manually, but it’s worth the extra step for the clean that this carpet cleaner provides.
There are also some complaints that the unit is large and bulky, making it very difficult to carry up the stairs.
The Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Professional Grade is extremely popular due to its effective cleaning. Adding “Professional Grade” into the name isn’t overstepping because this carpet cleaner really will get your carpets as clean as a professional will. Bissell is so confident in the professional carpet-cleaning machine that they stand behind their product with a 5-year warranty, much longer than the competitors do. One thing to note is that with the “professional grade” tagline comes a professional grade price.
|Has a power brush system that can be used to clean pet hair||The machine is on the heavier side and bulky|
|Can clean in BOTH directions to save time||Does not come with a specific edge cleaning attachment|
|Very large tank compared to competitors||Does not come with a water heater, which isn’t a big issue|
|Has separate tanks for clean and dirty water||This Bissell is the most expensive on the list|
Right out of the box, the Hoover Power Scrub is easy to figure out. Assembly generally takes fewer than 10 minutes (with a Phillips or flathead screwdriver handy) and the box even includes a bag to store the three different attachment tools in.
The one tool that will be the most useful to you, is the turbo brush. This little brush is great for scrubbing stairs or sports cleaning.
The other tools that come are large and medium-sized suction tools that are useful for cleaning up spills.
Also in the box, a crevice tool for getting those baseboards clean, and a bottle of the Hoover All-Purpose Carpet Cleaner.
When we get to the cleaning aspect, this Hoover does a great job. It is lightweight at 18.1 pounds without the water tank full, and more compact than other models, which makes it easy to maneuver.
The SpinScrub technology featured only on Hoovers lives up to the hype and provides 360 degrees cleaning on your carpet.
There is also a Force Heat feature that dries the carpet during the final rinse phase, so your carpets won’t be damp for as long.
Really, the only issues here are that the Hoover Power Scrub has a smaller reservoir tank than other models, so it will need to be cleaned more often. Also, the water can at times spray a bit uneven, so some parts of the carpet are damper than others.
This Hoover also only has a 2-year warranty, which is above average, but still less than the 5-year warranty that Bissell provides on the Big Green.
This lightweight, low-priced carpet cleaner is quite popular and is simply one of the best carpet cleaners 2018 on the market today. This carpet cleaner is great for someone who doesn’t need the most powerful carpet cleaner but is still looking for something that does a deep clean for an affordable price. It is easily maneuverable and comes with all the tools you will need to get into those hard-to-reach places.
|There is a tank for clean and dirty water||Has a smaller tank so you will need to refill it often to clean a full house|
|The tank indicator lights will let you know when it needs a refill||Can sometimes spray water unevenly so some sections are damper than others|
|Has a quick dryer that will reduce the drying time|
|Comes with an automatic detergent mixing feature so that you always have the correct balance of water to detergent|
|Has a separate rinse option to get rid of residual soap residue|
|Comes with both a crevice and upholstery tool|
This model, the red and gray Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner, though, can be purchased and become a permanent addition to your home cleaning collection.
This Rug Doctor boasts 75% more suction than other leading upright carpet cleaners. With its Dual Cross Action Brushes, every side of the carpet fibers gets clean, lending even more cleaning power to this 25-pound unit.
If you’re looking to clean very dirty spots of a carpet, perhaps a more heavy-traffic area, there is a new feature on this Rug Doctor, the Super Boost Spray. This feature allows you to increase the water and solution going to a particular area, which can help break up deeply ingrained dirt and mud.
If you have a particularly dirty spot, Rug Doctor also offers some of the best carpet cleaner solutions on the market for spot treating.
Some drawbacks are that the hose is the shortest of the list, listed at 7.7 feet, but with a 28-foot power cord, you can still reach far with this unit.
There is also no heated air dry, but with the superior suction power, the Rug Doctor does suck up most of the residual moisture. So, you won’t experience extended drying time.
The tank is also on the smaller end at 4 quarts, but you will be able to refill them very easy.
Like the previous models, there is also no water heater. So, if you want the extra cleaning power of hot water, you will need to physically add hot water instead of room temperature tap water.
This Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner lives up to the solid and trusted Rug Doctor name. Priced in the middle range, it does a great job on mud, stains and overall dirty carpets. The suction power really is superior to other brands, but there are some drawbacks that keep this Rug Doctor in the middle of the pack in terms of overall quality.
|Longest cord at 28 feet||There is no separate tank for water and detergent|
|Fantastic cleaning and suction capability||This machine does not have heated air-dry capability|
|Great upholstery attachment||Smaller reservoir tank that will need to be changed/refilled more often|
|Easy-to-use reservoir tanks||Shortest hose in the Top Five list|
Hoover is well-known and trusted brand name in vacuums and cleaning machines, and it delivers this blue and black carpet cleaner that is great for cleaning stairs.
Stairs and generally the most neglected carpet area in regards to cleaning, because let’s face it, no one wants to deal with the hassle.
This Hoover SteamVac Max Extract Pressure Pro does a great job with them!
At 22 pounds, it is lightweight compared to other carpet cleaner models and has a fairly long cord that will likely reach up to an entire flight of stairs. Combine the long cord with a 9-foot long hose, and you can get the entire flight of stairs done without having to unplug and lug the cleaner to the top of the stairs.
The Hoover SteamVac Max Extract Pressure Pro 60 will give you a great, deep clean. It has patented SpinScrub Technology that has 60 counter-rotating brushes to clean carpet fibers from every angle.
The strong suction and forced heated air features also allow for very fast drying carpets. While they will not be bone dry right away, you really can tell the difference in dry time compared to carpet cleaners that do not. The main reason for this is the Max Extraction part of the name. This carpet cleaner is fantastic for removing the majority of residual water in your carpets. If you have a company that drops by on short notice, this is the carpet cleaner for you!
This carpet cleaner also comes with the Smart Tanks System. This system has separate tanks for dirty and clean water, so you can clean, empty and fill them individually. They are also extremely easy to use and consumers have raved about the ease-of-use that this model boasts.
As great as this model is, there is a few drawbacks. There is only one attachment, which makes the Hoover a bit less adaptable than other models. The reservoir tank is also on the smaller end, so you will have to refill it often.
If you want a budget-friendly carpet cleaner that has much more upside than down, the Hoover SteamVac Max Extract Pressure Pro 60 is a great option. It is lightweight and maneuverable enough for stairs, but sturdy enough to tackle a large carpet cleaning job, while leaving your carpets fairly dry.
|The best carpet cleaner on the list at extracting water from carpets||There is only one attachment included for the extended hose|
|Forced heated air feature to decrease drying time||You will need to fill the reservoir tank often as the tank is small and the machine is very “thirsty”|
|SmartTanks System has separate tanks for clean and dirty water so that you are never cleaning with dirty water|
|Counter-rotating brushes to clean dirt around carpet fibers from every angle|
|Pressurized water spray gets that water and solution deep down into the carpets|
It has 2 scrub modes, one for carpet and one for hard floors and measures out at 1,000 scrubs per minute. To match the different scrub modes, there are also different cleaning solutions for hard floor, carpet, spot removal and polishing.
The swivel head, Airglide Maneuverability feature, and light weight also make this carpet cleaner very easy to use.
This unit actually comes with the most “accessories’ in the box. You will receive 1 carpet/rug cleaning pad, 2 hard floor cleaning pads, 1 carpet scrub n’ stain pad, 1 polishing pad, 12 ounces of carpet cleaner, 12 ounces of wood and hard floor cleaner, 16 ounces of wood and hard floor polish and 10 ounces of activating pretreater for spot cleaning. This Shark Sonic unit really does prepare you with everything you will need for thorough carpet and hard floor cleaning.
The drawbacks here are that you lose carpet-cleaning power as you gain versatility with a 2-in-1 cleaner. This is true with any type of 2-in-1 cleaning model though, so the Shark Sonic Duo Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaner is really no different in that regard.
However, if you are looking for a top-notch, heavy duty carpet cleaner, then this is not the carpet cleaner for you.
The Shark Sonic Duo Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaner is definitely not the best on the market, but it is still a good carpet cleaner. What you lose in carpet cleaning power, you gain in versatility. You can pick up a carpet cleaner AND a hard floor cleaner. For those that only have a little carpet and a lot of hard floors, this is a great option.
|This unit can clean both carpets and hard floors||You have to use the cleaning solution provided by the manufacturer|
|It has headlights||Not as good of cleaning power as standard carpet cleaners|
|A swivel head for the best maneuverable|
|Comes with various cleaning solutions and cleaning pads|
The Result: Editor’s Choice
After pouring through user reviews, analyzing specs and assessing prices, we have declared a winner. And the winner for best carpet cleaner 2018 is the Hoover SteamVac Max Extract Pressure Pro 60 FH50220. For a very affordable price, this unit has a great cleaning power, along with a variety of great features. The Hoover boasts a long hose, separate detergent tanks to switch easily between cleaning and rinse mode, and a medium-sized tank that will not need to be refilled as often. It also has a decent length cord and a heated dry system that drastically reduces the drying time of your carpets when compared to other models. While other models have similar cleaning capabilities, the overall success and plethora of features that the Hoover SteamVac Max Extract Pressure has, put it above the pack, making it the best carpet cleaner 2018.
Carpet Cleaner Buyer’s Guide
There are several features and factors to understand and consider when selecting the best carpet cleaner. This Buyer’s Guide aims to break down features, such as tank capacity, cord length, included attachments, weight, and heated air-drying, which are crucial when it comes to a carpet cleaner.
1. Type of Cleaning Job
It is also important to determine what you need the carpet cleaner for. Are you going to be doing light cleaning jobs, or do you have three kids, two dogs, and a cat, which will require more cleaning power? Knowing the job that you are expecting the carpet cleaner to do, will help you select the best one for your household.
2. Tank Capacity
This is important when considering how long you want to clean for before refilling the cleaner solution tank. The larger the tank, the less often you will have to refill it.
3. Heated Air Dryer
Carpet cleaners that use hot air and force it through the nozzle can help dry the carpets faster. This means that you can walk on the clean carpets much sooner than if you used a carpet cleaner without heated air-drying.
When you are using a carpet cleaner, you will be dragging (or rolling) them around the room and they will be full of water and solution. It is important to consider how much the carpet cleaner weighs before its filled. Heavier units will slow down the cleaning process, and can easily exhaust you.
5. Hose Length
With the weight of carpet cleaners, it is good to have a longer hose. This will make cleaning stairs and maneuvering much easier.
6. Power Cord
Most carpet cleaners are corded, so you will want to consider how long the power cord is. A short cord keeps you tethered to a small area, which makes cleaning a large carpet much harder and more time-consuming.
7. Detergent Tank
Some carpet cleaners have a separate tank that houses the cleaning solution, which allows you to switch from shampoo to rinse quite easily. This can make the job of cleaning the carpets much faster since you won’t have to empty and refill tanks.
8. Tank Indicator Lights
A carpet cleaner has two tanks, one for the cleaning solution, and the other for the dirty water that accumulates throughout the cleaning process. Having indicator lights that let you know when either needs to be emptied or refilled can save you from using dirty water to clean your carpets.
9. Powered Brushes
Having brushes that are powered can give you a much deeper and better clean, though they can also be just another part to malfunction.
The more attachments a carpet cleaner has, the more versatile it can become. Attachments are great when it comes to cleaning stairs or small crevices.