Best Carpet Cleaner Machine Buying Guide 2017

You’ve landed on the only carpet cleaner buying guide you’ll need to make the right choice on the perfect machine for your home or business. This does not have to be a tedious or difficult task, which is why we break everything down for you in easy to understand charts and descriptions.

carpet cleaner comparison chart

Our carpet cleaner comparison chart is, hands down, the most efficient tool to help you make this all important buying decision. As you’ll see in the chart, you can find just about any carpet cleaning machine based on price, brand, tools, portability and much more. Just sort the chart to quickly find the right machine.

Model BrandWeightTypePrice RangeRating
Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet CleanerHoover18.5 lbs.Pet - Upright$1704.6
Spotless Portable Carpet & UpholsteryHoover9.0 lbs.Portable$704.2
Max Extract 77 Multi-SurfaceHoover22.5 lbs.Multi-surface$2073.5
Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet WasherHoover25.8 lbs.Upright$1354.3
Bissell 3624 SpotCleanBissell17.2 lbs.Portable$1304.4
PowerLifter PowerBrush UprightBissell21.2 lbs.Upright$804.3
Rug Doctor Deep Carpet CleanerRug Doctor37.0 lbs.Deep Clean$2604.3
Big Green Deep Cleaning ProfessionalBissell52.5 lbs.Deep Clean$4004.7
1400B Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet CleanerBissell12.4 lbs.Portable$1004.4
ProHeat 2X Revolution PetBissell17.5 lbs.Pet - Upright$1903.9
Spotbot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain CleanerBissell17.8 lbs.Pet - Portable$1204.2
Max Extract 60 Pressure ProHoover23.0 lbs.Upright$1703.9
SteamVac with Clean Surge F5914900Hoover29.1 lbs.Upright$1504.2
Little Green ProHeat Compact Multi-PurposeBissell14.0 lbs.Portable$904.1
Rug Doctor Portable Spot CleanerRug Doctor20.2 lbs.Portable$1303.9
Dirt Devil FD50105 Quick and LightDirt Devil10.2 lbs.Upright$753.3
Hoover FH11300PC Spotless PortableHoover9.0 lbs.Portable$704.2
SpotClean ProHeat PortableBissell8.5 lbs.Portable$853.6
BigGreen Commercial BG10Bissell42.0 lbs.Commercial$4504.7
ReadyClean Full Sized Carpet Cleaner, 40N7Bissell15.0 lbs.Upright$903.8
DeepClean Premier Pet Carpet CleanerBissell32.0 lbs.Pet - upright$1804.2
PowerSteamer PowerBrush Full Sized CleanerBissell17.5 lbs.Upright$1004.0
DeepClean Lift-Off Deluxe Pet Full SizedBissell15.6 lbs.Pet - upright$2804.4
47A23 Proheat 2x Premier Full-Size Carpet CleanerBissell30.1 lbs.Upright$2004.3

Here’s some valuable insight on what you should be looking for in a carpet cleaner.

Everyone has different needs when it comes to a carpet cleaner unit. For example, let’s say you just have a really large home with lot’s of carpet that you want to routinely clean. In that case, a carpet machine with a large capacity tank would probably make a lot of sense. This will save you time from having to refill the tank often. When you know what you’re going to be cleaning, choosing a carpet machine becomes a whole lot easier.

What about pets?

Manufacturers make carpet cleaning machines specifically for pet hair and pet stains. As a pet owner, you know how much hair and dander can be left behind, along with the occasional urine stain and odor. You need a machine that can effectively tackle the job. Using a general cleaning machine on pet hair will not yeild desirable results.

Deep cleaning machines

Maybe you’ve got some really tough stains to tackle. You would need to look at a deep cleaning machine to reach deep down in the carpet fibers. Not every mahcine is equipped for a deep cleaning capacity. Deep cleaning carpet machines are a bit more expensive than your all purpose machines. If you’ve ever rented one of those rug doctors from the super market, you know what a deep cleaning machine is and how it can perform. Our buying guide offers some deep clean units that perform just as well, if not better, than the high capcity rental machines.

Budget friendly?

Yep, we’ve got a whole selection of budget friendly carpet cleaners that will get you in the game without breaking your bank. Some of these budget cleaners actually do a pretty good job for the money. If you’re like most home owners, you want value – best carpet cleaner for the money. We agree, which is why we’ve included them in our buying guide.

Have furniture to clean?

Be sure to look for units that come equipped with the right tools for cleaning furniture. Some units come with basic ability to clean furniture while others are bolstered with an array of attachments for any cleaning application. So, if you have pets and need to keep your couch clean from dander and hair, you’re probably going to want a dedicated cleaner rather than an all purpose.

Big budget and big cleaning?

If you’re looking for a more professional clean, you can buy a powerful carpet machine to have on hand when you need it most. Sure, you can rent, but it’s a hassle to do so every time you need to clean up a spill etc. The Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine is a fully capable unit that won’t let you down.

Apartment dwellers or small homes?

If you lack storage space and have a small area of carpet to keep clean, consider looking at cleaners that are smaller and easy to stow away. The Bissell SpotClean is the perfect cleaner because it’s easy to store, easy to maneuver, light weight, and cleans very well. This machine and other comparable models are also great for anyone that can’t lift a lot of weight. Many of the cleaners offered in our buying guide can be a bit on the heavier side to pick up. Don’t worry, you can sort the chart by weight to see which are the heaviest and which are the lightest.

While those are some general considerations to keep in mind when researching your next purchase, let’s really focus in on the specifics that differentiate the machines to help you make the right choice. Based on our experience and research, we encourage you to take a close look at these features when making your decision.

Rinse Only Mode

After you’ve cleaned your furniture or carpet, you’ll probably want to make sure any excess cleaning solution is completely removed. It’s a known fact that leaving cleaning residue on your carpet or furniture becomes a strong magnet for more dirt. So, you need to ensure that all of the cleaning solution is thoroughly removed. This will require a “rinse only” mode. Many of the newer machines are equipped with the ability to run clean water through the machine without having to empty the tanks.

Width – Cleaning Path

Common sense tell us that a wider cleaning path will clean more surface area in less time. This increases your overall cleaning efficiency, saving you time and using up less energy. So, if you have a large area to clean, consider the cleaning path width.

Water heater

A built in water heater boosts cleaning power. Sure, you can just add hot water to the tank, but that water will cool off while you’re cleaning. Having a built in heater ensures that the water is at optimal cleanig temperature to loosen and remove the maximum amount of dirt.

Heated drying

Generally, it will take up to 8 hours for your carpet or furniture to dry out after you’ve cleaned it. You can speed up the dry time with a heated dryer mode.

Number of water tanks

Carpet machines come equipped with 1 or 2 tanks 99% of the time. The dual tank systems are meant to hold the clean water and the dirty water in separate tanks. The single tank systems contain a bladder that serves the same purpose as the dual tank setup. These 2 options serve the same purpose leaving this option entirely up to user preference.

Water tank size

A larger tank means less emptying and refilling, saving you time. Typically, you’ll see 1 gallon capacity tanks on most machines. The deep cleaning machines such as the rug doctor or Bissell are, however equipped with slightly larger tanks between 1.7 and 2.5 gallon capacity.

Carpet Machine Weight

Keep in mind the weight of the machine because a heavier unit will require more physical strength to move around and operate. Obviously the lighter the machine, the easier it is to move around and clean. The average range of weight for the most common carpet cleaners for home use are aroundd 14 lbs.

Cord and Hose length

If you’re going to be using attachments you’ll need to consider how long of a hose you’ll need. If you happen to be cleaning furniture or steps, the longer the hose the better. Figure about 8.5 feet is the average size of most hoses. As far as the power cord length, figure somewhere between 10 and 30 feet depending. The longer the cord, the more reach you have making it easier to get around your home while cleaning.

Tool attachments

These days, on board tools are more advanced then ever offering specialized cleaning and maximum power. Most attachments are available for cleaning steps, upholstery, and even hard floors.


Warranties can be tricky in general. It’s the same thing when it comes to carpet cleaning machines. Be careful that you don’t violate terms of the warranty. For example, some brands only allow their own brand of carpet cleaning solution to be used in their machines. If you use an off brand or your own home made solution, you could be voiding the warranty. In general though, most warranties will cover labor and parts for a duration of 1 year. Depending on where you get your machine, you may be able to purchase extra product care that go above and beyond what the warranty offers.

Consumer Reviews

Reviews from actual customers tell you the real story about how good the carpet cleaning machine is. Reviews will reveal all of the good and bad aspects of the machine, providing you essential information needed to make an informed buying decision.

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