Last Updated on January 10, 2023
In the name of research we’ve swallowed hard, rolled up our sleeves and dug into the subject of home carpet cleaners, researching the hundreds of models currently on the market – all in search of the best carpet cleaner. Of course, determining the top choice isn’t a simple matter, it depends on your particular needs. Some people will use their carpet cleaner regularly. Others believe in annual or semi-annual deep cleanings. And many simply have to deal with continual messes which rambunctious children and uncontrollable pets (or the other way around) make. Depending on the necessity, every household still needs a reliable carpet cleaner. From the model that sports a string of state-of-the-art features to the simple yet robust carpet washer, we will give you a fine selection of top carpet cleaner options available on the market today. As far as we’re concerned, performance and versatility matter. This is the primary focus of our carpet cleaner reviews – to help you find the best carpet cleaners for home use. So, let’s get started. The stains are waiting!
How We Compared Carpet Cleaners
To find the right carpet cleaners we considered multiple factors including:
- Water temperature
- Standard or Multi-purpose
Our team planned comparison points and specifically looked for products that would cater to all kinds of needs. We spent countless hours researching, consulting customer reviews and comparing features to come up with this list.
To find out more about our process please see here.
Top 10 Best Carpet Cleaner Reviews
A lot of carpet cleaners can be on the bigger or bulkier side because they need to pack in a lot of technology. However, that doesn’t have to be the only way, and the Bissell SpotClean PRO Portable is a great example of that.
This lightweight carpet cleaner packs a lot of portable cleaning power, which means you’ll be able to wash your stairs, upholstery and even car interior with relative ease. Furthermore, despite its small size, its tank is large enough for you to wash an average-sized room without needing to be refilled. These tanks have also been designed so you can effortlessly refill and empty them without any spilling, which is another added bonus. Because of its size, you might expect that it would be tough to tackle larger stains, but the large and tough stain attachments negate this. These attachments enable you to get up close and personal with your stain removal but also means there’s some hefty scrubbing on your hands and knees required. While this Bissell carpet washer is certainly compact and convenient, it is also incredibly noisy compared to bigger carpet cleaners. This is probably because it has to put in a lot more effort in, in order to provide similar cleaning quality. Also, the suction isn’t fantastic, so you’ll likely have to tiptoe around damp carpets for a good few hours after cleaning.
- Compact and easy to store
- Includes attachments for larger and tougher stains
- Very lightweight and portable
- The tanks are larger than expected for its size
- Low risk of spillage when emptying or filling the tanks
- Requires quite a lot of physical effort to remove stain
- Very noisy
- Carpets can take some time to dry
This pro-level carpet cleaner from BISSELL features an attractive futuristic design, while also being powerful and lightweight. If you have stubborn stains to attend to, the ProHeat 2X Revolution Carpet Cleaner will help you eliminate them quickly – returning your carpets to their former glory with little fuss.
With built-in separate clean and dirty tanks, its ultra-low profile hugs the carpet, sliding underneath the furniture to reach awkward areas easily. The dual bristle-packed rotating brush bars and ‘HeatWave’ optimally heated warm water reaches deep into the fibres, lifting out embedded dirt for beautiful results. Furthermore, should you wish to clean stairs, upholstery or other furnishings above floor level, simply click the included hose and attachments into place for a fully-flexible cleaning system. It offers multiple cleaning settings to choose from, depending on the severity of the dirt you are facing. Choose ‘Express Clean’ Mode for general maintenance or ‘Deep Clean’ Mode for those heavy-duty jobs. No matter which mode you choose, its suction is powerful and effectively removes all moisture from carpets and furnishings as you go, leaving a completely dry carpet in as little as an hour. This is especially convenient if you have children or pets in the home as you won’t need to avoid the room for hours after cleaning. We’re hard-pressed to find fault with this superior carpet cleaner. However, its size and bulk may make it awkward to store if you have limited space. Some users also commented that the assembly instructions were a little difficult to understand. If you’re new to carpet cleaners, this may take a bit of trial and error to get right the first time you use it. Lastly, cleaning the brush rolls and replacing the belts can be quite fiddly, especially if you have a deep carpet pile which sheds a lot of fluff.
- Separate clean and dirty water
- ‘HeatWave technology’ maintains consistent hot water temperature
- Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre
- Dual brushes and two cleaning settings
- Extra attachments for above-floor cleaning
- Powerful carpet suction means carpets dry fast
- Bulky design
- Assembly can be difficult
- Awkward to clean
Whether you are looking to revive old, tired carpets and for a fresher smelling home or trying to restore lighter colours to their former glory, this budget-priced carpet cleaner from Vax makes a great choice.
Its dual rotating brushbars and 800 watts of power provide deep cleaning leaving your carpet both looking and smelling better. Hidden dust and debris are also removed, making your home more hygienically clean which is a must for homes with allergy or asthma sufferers. The twin-tank system ensures that your carpets are only washed with clean water and that dirty water is kept separate for disposal. It is lightweight compared to most carpet cleaners so it is easy to move around as well as bring up and downstairs. Moreover, its narrow floorhead makes it easy to get around and under furniture. However, it does not come with any cleaning accessories for stairs or soft furnishings. So if you are after a carpet cleaner for upholstery cleaning too, then you would be better considering another carpet washer. As this carpet cleaner is lightweight, the 2.7-litre clean water tank is a little on the small side for large rooms and you may need to stop to refill several times. The main issue with the Vax is how difficult it is to remove fluff from the brushes after cleaning. As the brush bars and fittings cannot easily be removed, this process can be rather frustrating.
- 800-watt power with a 2.7-litre clean tank capacity
- Dual rotating brush bars for deep cleaning
- Lightweight at only 5.8kg
- Twin-tanks keep dirty water separate
- Narrow floorhead for getting around furniture
- No accessories or tools included
- Tricky to remove accumulated carpet fluff
- Need to frequently change clean water
Are you tired of hauling heavy appliances around your home? Then the Vax Compact Power carpet washer is the model for you.
Weighing just 5.7kg, the Vax Compact is the lightest carpet cleaner in the Vax range. Its streamlined design and the narrow head is effortless to manoeuvre. Thus, you can wash large and small spaces without breaking a sweat. Due to its compact shape and low weight, it’s easy to carry up and down staircases without struggling or risking injury, although the length of the head makes it a little difficult to use on stair carpets. In terms of cleaning power, this model may be small but it still packs a punch. Boasting a reach of 6.7m and a 1.8L capacity, its specialised antimicrobial ‘Aquaspin’ brush bar beats deep into carpet fibres. The brush effectively removes stubborn stains, spills, or pet-related accidents in minutes. Thanks to its ‘Heat Blast’ technology, you won’t have to wait around too long for your carpets to dry afterwards. Lightweight, effective, and easy to store – there’s plenty of reasons to choose the Vax Compact Power carpet washer. However, like any product, it does have a couple of downsides. The plastic brush cover is prone to coming loose if caught and it’s a little awkward to take apart for cleaning.
- Quite lightweight at 5.7kg
- Streamlined design is easy to manoeuvre and store
- Great for both large carpets and narrow spaces
- Aquaspin brushes effectively remove stains
- Heat blast technology reduces drying times
- Plastic brush cover comes loose easily if caught
- Difficult to use on stairs
- Awkward to unscrew for cleaning
For spot cleaning stains on your carpets, stairs, and upholstery, the Bissell SpotClean is a really useful portable carpet cleaner.
First of all, bear in mind that due to its size, it is not made for cleaning large areas such as carpets or large rugs in their entirety. However, if you have isolated stains to remove then it makes an excellent choice. Thanks to its three-inch tough stain tool, it gets to work removing deep-down stains. It’s a great size for stairs, sofas, and other upholstered items, as well as spot treating your carpets and rugs. The water tanks are removable, making filling and emptying nice and easy, while its compact design means you can easily store it away in a cupboard until it’s next needed. The cable and hose store neatly around the main body keeping the entire unit tidy and tangle-free. All in all, if you need to spot clean your carpet or any upholstered surface in your home, the Bissell SpotClean makes a great compact choice. While the Heatwave technology keeps your cleaning water at a constant temperature for better cleaning power, unfortunately, the suction is fairly weak, so drying times can be a little extended. Also, the hose is fairly short and stiff which can be a challenge if you are using it for long periods.
- Three-inch tough stain tool
- Removable water tanks
- Compact design
- Ideal for upholstery and carpeted stairs
- Heatwave technology for constant temperature
- Not suitable for whole floors
- Short and stiff hose
- Suction is fairly weak
Think you need to spend big bucks to get great results? Think again. The budget-friendly Vax Rapid Power Plus Carpet Washer delivers beautifully fresh and bright carpets without breaking the bank.
Offering an Auto-Mix solution system and two huge 4.7L capacity water tanks for both clean and dirty water, this budget carpet cleaner is capable of covering quite large areas in one fill. The generous reach length of 10.5m allows you to get the job done in one session, without having to stop to switch power outlets part-way through. Tough stains stand no chance against the Vax Rapid Power Plus. Edge to edge ‘Spinscrub’ brushes and spins in alternate directions, working deep into your carpet to effortlessly dislodge embedded dirt and debris. Moreover, the choice of attachments enables you to clean stairs and the tightest of spots with ease. In a hurry? The ‘Quick Clean’ mode cleans and dries carpets in less than an hour, so you can get onto more enjoyable tasks in no time. If you’re short of cash and looking for an affordable carpet cleaner, this model is clearly an excellent choice. It does have a few drawbacks though. Two large tanks mean it’s pretty heavy to move around and the suction can be somewhat temperamental at times. Lastly, when you need to remove the brushes for cleaning, be prepared to spend some time unscrewing the head to get them out.
- Great power at an affordable price
- Twin 4.7L capacity clean and dirty water tanks
- Generous range of attachments
- Edge to edge Spinscrub brushes effectively remove dirt and debris
- Quick Clean mode cleans and dries carpets in under an hour
- Suction can be temperamental
- Brushes are time-consuming to remove and clean>
If you’re looking for deep cleaning power and convenience, the Vax Rapid Power Revive carpet washer is a great choice.
This carpet cleaner combines twin 4.7L water tanks and five of Vax’s specialised ‘SpinScrub’ brushes for fast and effective results over large areas. Whether you’re battling trodden-in mud, food stains, or pet messes, this heavy-duty model can help. The edge-to-edge brushrolls spin in opposing directions, penetrating deep into the pile to easily lift dirt out of the fibres. Thanks to their clever design, the brushrolls are able to clean right up to your skirting boards. However, you could always use the crevice tool for this purpose, if you prefer. Above floor cleaning is simple, too. Just attach the wash tool to tackle dirty sofas, car seats, and staircases. With a choice of two cleaning modes, this carpet washer has something for everyone. Choose ‘deep clean’ mode to thoroughly clean thick, mucky carpets, or ‘quick clean’ mode to freshen up and dry floors in under an hour. Not sure how much solution to use? The Vax Rapid Power Revive offers an Auto-Mix function, so you can just fill up, switch on, and go. Due to its size and power, bear in mind that this model is rather bulky to store and quite heavy to carry. It can be a little noisy, too, but we think this is a small price to pay for a fantastic clean.
- Twin 4.7L water tanks for a long runtime
- Five edge-to-edge SpinScrub brushes for effective dirt removal
- Includes crevice and above floor wash tools
- Choice of ‘Deep Clean’ or “Quick Clean’ modes
- Auto-Mix function eliminates guesswork
- Quite heavy
- Bulk makes it awkward to store
- A little noisy
The Vax Dual Power Pet Advance Carpet Cleaner is excellent for removing stains, as well as refreshing your carpets and soft furnishings.
Thanks to its dual rotating power brushes, carpets are cleaned deep-down to remove embedded dirt and odours. For your stairs and upholstery, the 2.4-metre stretch hose comes in handy, enabling you to clean stained above-floor areas with ease. It also has an excellent 10.5-metre cleaning reach, so you can manage whole rooms without having to switch plug sockets. The pre-treatment wand is specifically designed to break down and spot-treat stubborn stains for even easier, more effective cleaning, while the Twin Tank technology makes filling and emptying a breeze. Although this model does clean carpets well, the suction could be improved, which would further reduce drying times. There have been some quality control issues with this particular model although Vax generally responds well to any issues. Lastly, for highly regular use, be aware that the water tank sealant on some of these cleaners could be improved to avoid leaking. All in all, a good all-rounder that can tackle deep-down carpet stains, as well as getting your stairs and upholstered items clean and fresh.
- Dual rotating power brushes
- 2.4-metre stretch hose for stairs & upholstery
- 10.5-metre cleaning reach
- Pre-treatment wand
- Twin Tank technology
- Suction could be stronger
- Some quality control issues
- Water tanks sealant needs improving
If your carpets could do with a new lease of life, try out the Russell Hobbs Refresh and Clean Carpet Cleaner.
This lightweight model takes the form of a compact upright that is both easy to store and manoeuvre over your carpets, as well as under furniture. Thanks to its eight-metre power cord, it has a good reach, so you won’t have to frequently stop to swap plug sockets. With its dirt-agitating bristle brush head, it cleans carpets deep down to remove trapped, trodden-in dirt. It is very easy to set up and use, with clear written instructions and minimal assembly required. The only real downside is that the clean water tank does not feature a flat bottom, making it fairly difficult to hold and fill. It is also fairly noisy, and given its wide cleaning head, note that it’s not a great choice for cleaning carpeted stairs. For stubborn stains that are years old, this may not be the best choice. However, if your carpets are in need of a refresh, this handy model makes a great option. It is also useful to have to hand to prevent any fresh spills from staining, ideal for homes with pets and children. With its ease of use, it makes an excellent buy.
- Dirt-agitating bristle brush head
- Easy to set up and use
- Lightweight – under 6 kg
- Eight-metre power cord
- Compact upright design
- Fairly noisy
- Water tank doesn’t have a flat bottom for filling
- Not the best choice for stairs
The Vytronix Multifunction Vacuum and Carpet Cleaner is a highly useful piece of kit to have around, especially if you have little ones or pets.
It is a great all-in-one model. The Vytronix cleans carpets, vacuums and also has a handy blower function. additionally, it is ideal for hard to reach areas and crafting projects. Thanks to its powerful 1600W motor, it has the power you need to get even heavily stained carpets clean. For ease of use, this cleaner features separate clean and dirty water tanks, making it easier to fill and empty. With its large five-litre capacity, you won’t have to stop so often to refill, as with smaller models. Despite its good capacity, this carpet cleaner remains lightweight and easy to move thanks to its 360-degree rotating wheels. The suction power is good, although bear in mind that for vacuuming, this is a bagged model, so you will need to purchase replacements. It is less suitable for upholstery, given its large cleaning head. You may also find switching between the two modes a little fiddly. On the whole, an excellent carpet cleaner, that can also be used as a vacuum or blower. In short, a highly versatile model that is great for use in any home.
- Powerful 1600W motor
- Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre
- Separate clean and dirty water tanks
- Blower function
- Large 5L capacity
- Requires bags
- Less suitable for upholstery
- Fiddly to switch between modes
Carpet Cleaner Buying Guide
When you buy the wrong carpet cleaner, not only can it be an expensive mistake; it can also lead to hours of discomfort and frustration every time you use it. Therefore, when choosing the best carpet cleaner, you need to make sure you have taken into consideration the following features before making your final decision:
If you’re accustomed to using cordless vacuum cleaners or traditional cleaners, you’ll quickly discover a key difference when you shop for your first carpet cleaner. Most vacuum models weigh about the same when you’re wheeling or toting them around, but when it comes to carpet cleaners, the weight varies considerably – for a reason that makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Those designed to be used in big houses will have big tanks to match, and thus, this naturally adds to the overall weight and bulk. However, that’s not to say you should always opt to buy a smaller model. Using an undersized carpet cleaner in your home will force you to repeatedly stop to empty the dirty water and refill the clean water tank – taking you much more time than necessary to finish the job.
Another important consideration when you buy is whether you or not you want a carpet cleaner with a tank heater. Using heated cleaning greatly increases the ability of the solution to break down dust, grime and stain removal of dirt wedged deep inside your carpet fibres, but unfortunately, the heated cleaning also adds weight and bulk. In fact, units with built-in heaters can often weigh 10kg or more. The bottom line is that a large carpet cleaner, particularly those with an integral heater, can be extremely difficult to manoeuvre. That might not be a deal-breaker if you’re just going to use it once or twice a year but can quickly become tiresome if you clean on a regular basis. Therefore, determining how large a machine you need, and whether the heated cleaning is important to you, are some of the first steps you should take before you buy.
Standard or Multi-Purpose
The next decision to make is whether you prefer a multi-function (sometimes called a two-in-one) model or those that are strictly for washing your carpets. A two-in-one model can also be a vacuum cleaner, so the same unit can clean up the loose dirt sitting on top of the carpet before shampooing. A multi-function carpet washer can, therefore, save time and effort but can also be an advantage if storage space is at a premium in your flat or small home. However, the vacuum in the two-in-one model is usually simply not as powerful or effective as dedicated vacuum models. If we’re honest, we’re not crazy about them. That said, several other upper-level carpet washer functions are particularly useful and should at least be considered. The first is heated carpet cleaning, this type blows hot air onto the carpet during the shampooing process. This speeds up drying time considerably but may cause damage to particularly delicate rugs. The second convenient feature you can choose when you buy is an automix system that pre-blends water and carpet cleaning detergent in the right proportions. This saves not only time but also the hassle of getting the combination perfectly right whenever you have to fill the cleaner.
Effectiveness, of course, largely depends on the technology the carpet cleaner uses, and the performance of a carpet cleaner is generally based on its cleaning heads and motor. New higher-level models typically have separate rotating brushes or brush heads (containing a number of smaller brushes) which dig deeper into the carpet, while lesser models will usually have a single head. If required, you can also find some units with brush rollers which don’t penetrate as deeply but are more gentle and therefore ideal for use on delicate rugs. Motor size usually ranges from 500-1850 watts and is generally a good measure of carpet cleaning performance and suction, as well as how quickly your carpet will dry on its own once you have finished.
The final consideration involves attachments or powered carpet cleaning tools. Among the most useful are air-powered brushes that provide deeper clean, smaller brushes for spot cleaning, upholstery tool for furnishings, and a hand tool or crevice tool for hard-to-reach areas. Many carpet cleaning machines will now come with attachments which are specifically designed for use on the stairs, which are well-known as one of the most difficult areas to clean.
Of course, we love all of the products featured in these carpet cleaner reviews. However, we would, without doubt, choose the BISSELL SpotClean PRO Portable as our pick for the best carpet cleaner in the UK. With a small and compact design, our top choice is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre around the home. We especially love that they have additional attachments to be able to tackle a wide range of stains and, despite its size, still has a large tank so you can clean a whole room without refilling! What’s more, it features 2 separate tanks for clean and dirty water, both of which are easy to refill and empty without spillage, and allows better cleaning for longer. Overall, we’re sure you’ll agree that the BISSELL SpotClean PRO Portable is a worthy winner that will make cleaning your carpets an enjoyable experience!
Kelly is an expert in consumer product research, which is very important when it comes to finding the most useful and aesthetically pleasing items for your home. This became her passion after finding it very time-consuming to wade through all the product information online.
She has a keen attention to detail which she brings to her articles, Kelly’s goal is to help you find what you need without spending too much time searching for it.