Steam, sanitize, and save yourself time
Carpets are soft, cozy, and relaxing. But keeping them clean is a nightmare!
They get covered in stains, and nobody likes cleaning carpeted floors. But that’s about to change with the introduction of carpet steam cleaners.
Ideal for area rugs and upholstery too, they’re an essential bit of kit for keeping your home feeling fresh. So let’s look at the best carpet steam cleaners and how to choose the right one for you.
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- It’s simple to assemble this Hoover carpet cleaner
- Users love the fresh scent of the included cleaning solution
- Although it’s not the lightest, the weight is well-balanced and it’s easy to push around
- It’s a pretty basic carpet cleaner without any fancy features
- Some reviewers found this machine was noisier than they expected
A dirty carpet is a sure way to make a room feel worn, and professional cleaning is expensive. Thankfully, the PowerDash Pet delivers a deep clean to leave carpets feeling refreshed.
The bristle brush roll agitates carpet fibers, getting under the surface and removing lingering pet stains. It’s equipped with Hoover’s HeatForce to speed up drying times, making the room usable again in no time.
The tank capacity is genius for both the clean and dirty tank, so you can clean for longer without stopping.
And when you’re done, it’s easy to store this compact upright machine thanks to the slimline design.
2. Best Budget : BISSELL Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner
- This carpet cleaner is lightweight and painless to carry wherever you need it
- The scrubber brush is great to remove dirt and stains
- It removes nasty pet odors
- Some users reported issues with the clean water tank leaking
- You have to press the spray trigger a few times to get enough solution for a spot clean
You can still enjoy clean carpets on a budget with the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser. This nifty little spot cleaner does an amazing job on all kinds of messes without breaking the bank.
Simply spray the water, use the scrubbing brush to lift dirt out, and then zap deep stains away with the powerful suction. It even comes with two small bottles of cleaning solution to get you started.
It’s easy to use this portable carpet cleaner on upholstered furniture, in tight corners, or just about anywhere thanks to the cordless design.
As far as spot cleaners go, this is a great addition to any cleaning arsenal.
Read next: The Best Portable Carpet Cleaners in 2024.
- Users love how effective this carpet cleaner is without leaving too much excess water
- It’s satisfying to see how much muck is in the dirty water tank
- The filling system is straightforward and leak-free
- Keep an eye on the brush belt and floorhead bearings, as they seem a weak point
- You can only use it in automatic mode
An automatic carpet cleaner takes the guesswork out of refreshing your floors. And with thousands of happy customers, the Hoover Smartwash is one of the best.
The bristle brushes tackle high-traffic areas with ease, fluffing the carpet fibers while lifting dirt and stains away. The machine mixes and dispenses the right amount of cleaning solution as it goes, saving you the time and faff of trying to get it right.
Simply push the cleaner forwards for extremely powerful cleaning, and pull back for drying. The HeatForce technology helps to get your carpets dry with one pass.
The bonus tools and long 12-foot hose mean you can enjoy the fresh feeling around your whole home.
- Users love how carpets are left clean and soft
- You don’t have to keep running over the same area for a deep clean
- Maintaining the machine is simple and it’s easy to clean the brush roll
- It’s quite noisy and can upset anxious pets
- The carpet cleaner doesn’t heat water, so you have to add hot water at the start
Having pets is wonderful with all the cuddles and companionship, but the mess is a nightmare! And that’s where the Bissell ProHeat comes in.
The carpet cleaner offers various cleaning modes, from Max power to an express option that dries in as little as 30 minutes. So whether the whole room needs some TLC or just a patch of spot cleaning, it’s got you covered.
For stubborn dirt and stains, use the CleanShot system to shoot a jet of cleaning solution right where you want it.
Finally, it’s packed with extra tools, like the 2-in-1 pet upholstery tool. So you can tidy up wherever your furry friends have left you a surprise.
Read Next: The Best Pet Carpet Cleaners of 2024
5. Best Portable Steam Cleaner for Carpet : BISSELL Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
- It gets stubborn stains out of the carpet without much elbow grease
- It’s not a bulky machine, so it’s easy to store
- Users love how much cleaning they manage thanks to the large tank capacity
- It uses water rather than steam cleaning
Stains appear all over the place, and it’s not always easy for carpet cleaners to reach them. Tackle dirt anywhere with the Bissell portable upholstery and carpet cleaner.
It’s lightweight enough to carry around wherever you need it. The compact design means you can even pop it in the car for doing the interior.
Although it’s small, there’s still one tank for clean water and a separate dirty water tank. With such a generous tank capacity, you can handle more carpet cleaning without needing to stop and refill it.
Let the strong suction and cleaning tools take the hard work out of keeping your upholstery and carpets clean.
6. Best Lightweight : Bissell TurboClean Carpet Steam Cleaner Power Brush Pet
- It pulls a lot of water out of the carpet after cleaning, so they dry quickly
- Pet owners love how much pet hair it picks up
- It’s a smaller machine than other uprights, making it easy to use and store
- The tank capacity isn’t that large, so you have to refill for bigger jobs
- The dirty tank is awkward to empty and you have to keep tilting it at different angles
Upright carpet cleaners deliver amazing results, but they’re often heavy-duty and hard to maneuver. But with this Bissell, you get all of the benefits with just a fraction of the weight.
At 12 pounds, it’s one of the lightest upright carpet cleaning models on the market. But it still packs a punch to get rid of stains from your carpets.
The four-row power brush lifts dirt in just a few sweeps, getting rid of marks and odors at the same time. And the bristles extend all the way to the edge, helping you to get right against the baseboards.
Your muscles will thank you as much as your carpet!
7. Best for Spot Cleaning : BISSELL SpotClean Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner
- You can use it for the car, upholstery, and anywhere else that needs a clean
- It’s effective at removing all kinds of stains
- It’s quick and simple to set up and use
- It seems there’s a weak patch in the hose that can split
- Liquid leaks from the edges of the deep scrubbing tool
Not everyone needs a super-duper massive carpet cleaning machine. If you’re in the market for a small yet mighty machine, the Bissell SpotClean Pro delivers impressive spot cleaning.
Muddy paw prints on the stairs? No problem. The compact design of this spot cleaner gives you enough room to take it anywhere.
And the professional cleaning formula tackles embedded dirt that nothing else can get rid of. For an even better job, use the deep stain tool for a burst of extra cleaning power.
Save yourself the storage space and opt for this compact carpet cleaner.
8. Best Professional : Bissell SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain Carpet Cleaner
- The cleaning formula smells light and fresh
- It tackles pet hair, urine, and messes with ease
- Users love how much time the self-cleaning feature saves
- The hose is on the short side and limits your reach
- If you use the Bissell ProHeat for a while, the hot water loses temperature
There’s no better feeling than fresh fluffy carpets under your feet. And now you can have it all the time with your very own Bissell SpotClean ProHeat carpet cleaner.
The Heatwave technology keeps your water hot while you clean for optimum results. The heat helps to break down stains, so you can just vacuum them out.
The sleek design with removable water tanks means it’s easy to maneuver your cleaner for refilling and emptying.
And when you’re done, use the self-cleaning tool to clear out any clogs of pet hair or nasty odors without getting your hands dirty. Say goodbye to elbow grease!
- Users love how versatile it is. It even works as a wallpaper steamer
- It leaves tiled floors sanitized and shiny
- The temperature is high enough to kill bed bugs and other nasties
- The wheel covers come off if you pull it around too fast
- Some users were disappointed with the quality of the attachments
Looking for that one magical appliance that does just about everything? Then look no further. The McCulloch uses hot, pressured steam to get rid of grease and grime on any surface.
And we mean any surface! Aided by a 9-foot steam hose, it gets even the trickiest corners.
You can use it on carpets, hard floors, and even your grill after a day of BBQ-ing. There’s something for every task with 18 different accessories to choose from.
And the whopping 48-ounce tank capacity provides you with plenty of steam. So you can clean until your heart’s content and your home is fresh.
What to Look for in a Carpet Steam Cleaner
Handheld types are small and portable, making them ideal for quick spot cleaning jobs. And you can carry them around your home with ease.
But they’re not the most practical when you need to cover large areas of carpet. If this is what you need your steam cleaner for, a larger type is a better idea.
Canister types are generally compact wheeled tanks with a hose, so you pull it around with you. They’re capable of cleaning larger areas than a handheld version, as well as tackling upholstery and spot cleaning.
These are most often used for cleaning tiles, but you can still use them on carpets. They tend to need a special attachment for this, though.
The main benefit of steam mops is how light they are. And you can usually turn them into a handheld machine for more versatility.
Vacuum Steam Cleaners
Vacuum steam cleaners do just what they say. They work like a vacuum and also produce steam!
If you want to clean carpets in large rooms, this is a great time-saving option. You can also find some models that have a detachable handheld section, which is ideal if you want to clean furniture or stairs.
These are more like carpet cleaning machines than traditional steam cleaners, but they’re super versatile. Most models have a scrubbing brush to tackle tough stains and pet messes embedded deep in the carpet.
You can even find some that dry your carpet as they go!
Uprights are a heavier option, but they’re sturdy and deliver a deep clean on par with professional results.
Corded or Cordless
A corded machine needs a power outlet the whole time you’re cleaning your carpets, but it won’t run out of charge. Whereas corded models give you more freedom in terms of space, you need to factor in the run time.
The average battery life is around 30 minutes to 2 hours, so pay attention to this when you’re shopping. Also look at the charge time, as it’s sometimes worth buying an extra battery if the steam cleaner takes a while to recharge.
As for the average cable length for a corded steam machine, it’s around 15 to 30 feet. The shorter it is, the more often you have to stop and swap power outlets.
A smaller clean water tank weighs less, but you do spend more time going to the sink to refill it. And each time you fill it, you have to wait for the cleaner to reheat again before you carry on cleaning.
You want to look for a cleaner with water temperature in this range, as cooler steam won’t kill bed bugs and mold spores. It also won’t sanitize your carpets after any little pet accidents.
Cooler steam also leaves behind more moisture, which is bad for your carpets and area rugs. So it’s important to check the temperature range.
It’s also worth looking at how long it takes the steam cleaner to heat up. You want one that does it in around a minute, but less than this is even better.
The quicker the machine gets to a hotter temperature, the more powerful it is. And seeing as most models don’t give a power rating, this is the best way to roughly work it out.
Steam cleaners are not designed to sit in the same place for long, so you need to keep yours in constant motion. It’s harder to do this with heavier models, so this is an important criterion to consider.
For more versatility, also look out for tools that mean you can clean other areas around your home. You can find:
- Scrub pads for stubborn stains
- Jet nozzles to increase the pressure
- Extension hoses for hard-to-reach areas
- Brushes for cleaning upholstery
The Bissell Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner comes with tools to tackle carpets, upholstery, and car interiors.
An adjustable steam output setting is another handy extra, as you can control how much steam the machine generates. It’s ideal if you’ve got a mixture of different surfaces, like carpets and hard floors, that need steam cleaning.
In terms of maneuverability, look out for pivoting heads, ergonomic handles, and different floor nozzles. These make navigating small spaces with lots of furniture much easier.
Tips for Using Carpet Steam Cleaners
- Hot steam is a great natural way to sanitize, but heat isn’t always helpful. Protein-based stains, like egg and blood, are best removed with cold water before you steam clean. Otherwise, the protein gets sticky from the heat and is harder to remove. So get rid of the stain before steam cleaning the area.
- Another top tip is to check the attachment on your carpet cleaner or steam mop. The best ones glide over the surface, allowing you to steam clean without damaging the fibers.
- Speed is of the essence, too. Steam-cleaned areas work best when exposed to steam for no longer than 20 seconds to avoid any damage.
- Finally, stick to water or products recommended by the manufacturer of your steam machine. Don’t try and sneak white vinegar or homemade solutions in there, as it could also lead to damage.
Carpet Steam Cleaner Comparison Chart
|Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner
|BISSELL Pet Stain Eraser
|Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner
|BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro
|BISSELL Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner
|Bissell TurboClean Power Brush
|BISSELL SpotClean Pro
|Bissell SpotClean ProHeat
|McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty