The Best Carpet Cleaning Machines for Your Home
For dirt, stains and everyday messes, what's the best carpet steam cleaner? Here are our picks for best carpet cleaners, including those with steam.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Buying a Carpet Cleaning Machine
We’ve never spent more time at home than during the last couple of years, so it’s hardly surprising our carpets are showing signs of use and abuse. That’s where carpet cleaners come in.
Considerations when buying a carpet cleaner
Besides removing soil and gunk, carpet cleaners can help keep your carpet last longer, especially if you frequently deal with tracked-in dirt or spills.
Michael Clarke, founder of Pulled.com, recommends home carpet cleaners combining cleaning solution with powerful brush heads that work deeply into the fibers, extracting grime and ground-in dirt. “In many cases, the machines help to restore carpet’s appearance, leaving it looking refreshed and almost new,” he says.
Before purchasing one, here are some things to consider:
- Style (upright, canister or portable): “Upright cleaners are best if you plan to use a carpet cleaner regularly and most of your home is carpeted,” says Clarke. Larger sizes offer more power, but that also makes them noisier and clumsier to move than a small canister or portable machine.
- Cleaning system: Carpet cleaners rely on a cleaning solution and brushes, or steam. Carpet cleaners with specially formulated solutions mixed with water are good for spot cleaning. Machines that rely on hot water/steam are chemical-free and tend to be better at removing deep-down dirt. One downside to steam: It can take longer for the carpets to dry.
- Tank capacity: Full-size uprights tend to have larger tanks so they’ll cover more area with a single refill.
- Power source: Most are corded. Cordless (battery-operated) models are great for cleaning cars.
- Weight: A home carpet cleaner filled with water and cleaning solution can be a load. “Carrying around a full, dirty water tank can be especially problematic when lugging it up and down the stairs,” Clarke says.
- Attachments: Extra tools, such as spot-cleaning and crevice attachments, are especially helpful for stains and deep cleaning in corners.
Best All-Around Carpet Cleaner
The Bissel Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner is worth the investment. The Big Green features a brush with eight rows of bristles for deep cleaning. It comes with a tough-stain tool and a long-reach hose with an adjustable handle to clean comfortably. It’s backed by a five-year warranty.
Amazon customers gave it a 4.8 rating rating with more than 13,000 reviews. Verified purchaser Allison writes: “We had our carpets professionally cleaned the day we moved into our new house and they couldn’t get out the years-old stains. The Big Green did it in ONE PASS.”
Best Cordless Carpet Cleaner
The Hoover OnePwr Spotless Go is for people on the move. Untethered to an electrical plug, super lightweight and easy to store, you can use the OnePwr at home, in the car, on your boat or in the RV — anywhere you have dirty carpet.
Clean up spills, dog messes, food and unidentified muck on carpets and upholstery. The kit includes a 2.0 Ah battery and charger that works with other products in the OnePwr line.
Best Steam Carpet Cleaner
For the environmentally conscious looking for a green machine, consider the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner. It effectively and safely lifts grime, grease and odor from carpets and nearly every surface around your home without chemicals. Instead, it uses tap water, heated to 275 F to create steam that does the cleaning.
Writes Amazon reviewer Sterling: “Way more environmentally friendly. No residues. No worry about allergic reactions. No worry about trying to store chemicals where my kids won’t get into them. And the steam sterilizes everything I use it on. It kills viruses, saves money and the environment.”
Best Carpet Cleaner for Homes With Pets
For pet owners, the struggle is real. You have animal messes, smells and fur to deal with. But you’ll be happy to know the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner can handle it. An Amazon’s Choice, it rates 4.6 stars with more than 22,000 reviews.
This full-size yet lightweight machine features 12 rows of brushes that get down into the carpet pile where odors linger. Snap on the two-in-one Pet Upholstery Tool to suck up pet hair. Other perks include an express clean mode that dries carpets in 30 minutes. The manufacturer claims it even removes skunk odors!
Best Hands-Free Carpet Cleaner
Because you’ve got other things to do, place the SpotBot Pet Hands-Free Spot and Stain Cleaner over a stain, push a button and walk away. This carpet cleaner does its job so you don’t have to. With two preset cleaning cycles, the SpotBot employs deep-clean technology to spray, scrub and draw up stubborn, smelly dirt . It can also be used on stairs, the sofa and car seats.
Best Compact Carpet Cleaner
Don’t let the small size of the Bissell Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner fool you. Of all the compact models on the market, this one earned a place on our list for its superior brushing action combined with strong suction power and professional cleaning solution.
It cleans away dirty areas and protects the carpet from future stains. The Spot Clean comes with a tough-stain tool that promises to take care of stubborn stains.
Best Easy-to-Use Carpet Cleaner
All you need to do is turn it on and go — the Smartwash deposits the correct amount of water-to-cleaning solution and scrubs and the carpet as you push the machine forward. When you pull it back, it sucks up the dirt and, assisted by heat, dries the carpet!. Plus, it even has a helpful attachment for spot cleaning.