The Best Carpet Cleaners You Can Buy - How To Choose The Best Carpet Cleaner For Your Needs

Find the Best Carpet Cleaners based on price/value, performance, features, and consumer reviews.

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Carpet Cleaners often go by many different names, carpet cleaner, deep cleaner, carpet extractor, carpet shampooer, steam carpet cleaner, carpet steam cleaner, steam vacuum, carpet steam cleaning machine, etc. But no matter what you call them, the Best Carpet Cleaners clean by injecting a hot cleaning solution into the carpet, agitating it, then extracting the fluid along with the dirt, grease, grime, and stains.

Basic, inexpensive carpet cleaners can start under $100, but quality carpet cleaners are expensive, sometimes costing several thousand dollars. So choosing the Best Carpet Cleaner requires plenty of thought into your specific needs and cleaning conditions. See our complete list of things to consider when choosing a carpet cleaner and what features to look for.

A Note of Caution: When choosing a carpet cleaner ALWAYS read the manufacturer’s warranty on your carpeting to see what they recommend AND what methods will void that warranty.


Best Carpet Cleaners Based on Price / Value

Hoover SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge (F5914900)

The Hoover SteamVac F5914-900 features Hoover’s patented SpinScrub Multiple Rotating Brush System that is easily removed for quick cleaning and Clean Surge technology with fingertip controls for spot removal and heavy traffic areas. It comes with a SpinScrub powered hand tool for cleaning stairs & upholstery, two separate one gallon translucent tanks to keep clean solution and dirty water separate, and a full one year warranty.

The SteamVac F5914-900 is an excellent value. It performs very well and, at less than $200.00, you can’t beat the price. Consumer reviews of this carpet cleaner are overwhelmingly positive. Most users would wholeheartedly recommend this machine to others and would happily purchase it again.

Hoover SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge (F5914900)

Bissell QuickSteamer PowerBrush 2080

The QuickSteamer PowerBrush is a basic, upright deep cleaner with a dual tank system. The two quart cleaning solution tank and two quart waste water tank are easy to empty and refill and at 18 lbs., it is a relatively lightweight carpet cleaner. It does not come with a heater or brush on/off switch, but few basic carpet cleaners do.

For only $100, this entry level carpet cleaner does a good job on small jobs. Consumers consistently rate it a good value.

Bissell QuickSteamer PowerBrush 2080 Deep Cleaner


Best Carpet Cleaners Based on Consumer Reviews

Hoover Platinum Collection Carpet Cleaner (F8100900)

The Platinum Collection F8100-900 is the latest carpet cleaner from Hoover. It utilizes MaxExtract Technology™ which features a combination of multi-action agitation, carpet washing, dirt removal, and direct heat drying. Its dual scrubbing, multi-directional brushes scrub carpet fibers, removing dirt from every angle, while high velocity suction removes the dirty water from the carpet while applying forced heat to speed up drying time.

The Platinum Collection also comes with Hoover’s patented AutoRinse technology that automatically rinses your carpet with fresh water, leaving less soap residue behind, as well as a host of accessories to clean upholstery, stairs, and other hard to reach areas, including a SpinScrub powered hand tool, upholstery tool, and crevice tool.

The Hoover Platinum Collection Carpet Cleaner with MaxExtract Technology is easy to use and cleans very well and it receives some of the highest consumer ratings for home carpet cleaners.

Ladybug 2200S Vapor Steam Cleaner

The 2200S is Ladybug’s standard residential vapor steam cleaner. It is a true steam cleaner and not a carpet cleaner per se, but with the right attachments it freshens and deodorizes carpets, rugs, and mats, leaving no chemical residue behind.

Ladybug Steam Cleaners are expensive, but well worth the price when you compare quality craftsmanship, features, versatility, and customer satisfaction. The Ladybug 2200S is lightweight and has a very small footprint. It is easy to carry up and down stairs and convenient to store. It comes with a stainless steel boiler, self-monitoring “dry” steam generator, continuous-fill, non-pressurized water reservoir, fingertip controls, 13 standard accessories, a three year boiler warranty, and Ladybug’s exclusive TANCS® system as an option.

Ladybug XL Steam Cleaners rank highly with consumers. They are consistently rated among the highest in quality and overall customer satisfaction.


Best Carpet Cleaners Based on Performance

Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaners

Rug Doctor has been a leader in the carpet cleaning industry for years. They make the only hot water extraction machine for the consumer market (MightyPro) with a Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Platinum Level Seal of Approval. The CRI Seal of Approval program identifies effective carpet cleaning solutions and equipment that cleans carpet right the first time!

Rug Doctors are easy to use and built to last a lifetime. They are made with heavy-gauge, impact-resistant materials and have large capacity solution and recovery tanks, more than twice the capacity of most consumer-grade machines, allowing you to spend more time cleaning carpet and less time emptying and refilling the tanks.

They also come with an upholstery kit consisting of a 12 foot hose and Universal Hand Tool that allows you to easily clean stairs, tight spaces, furniture, cars, boats, and RVs.

Of all the carpet cleaning machines we’ve tested so far, the Rug Doctor performed the best and impressed us the most. It did an excellent job in all areas and deserves its Best Carpet Cleaner rating.

Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaners

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  1. I remember having one back in the day and the products out now are much better. If used correctly they can be just as effective as a professional machine. Make sure you use a pump sprayer though to apply your pre-spray. This will allow you to remove the dirt and chemical out of the carpet and not leave residue.

  2. Good day I enjoyed your informative blog post on The Best Carpet Cleaners You Can Buy. This is really helpful. Thanks for sharing this information.

  3. Hi,
    I’ve cleaned carpet for more than 20 years. I don’t do anymore physical carpet cleaning. But I always encourage people to invest in DIY carpet cleaning.
    Pre-spray and brush agitation will loosen soils for extracting out easier. If you DIY properly, you can always get a really worthwhile carpet cleaning result. But if you struggle with DIY, then change your cleaning method to an easier one.
    Always take your time and stay relaxed. Just do a bit of carpet cleaning at a time. You’ll enjoy doing your carpets if you slow down and stop racing.

  4. Good article. After the cleaning the rug with the machine, always use a stain guard to protect the carpet to last longer.

  5. I’ve have been cleaning carpets professionally since 1996,and I always recommend to all my clients to get a Dyson vacuum cleaner.It’s the best non-commercial vacuum out there!

  6. Great post! I’d like to add that it is so important to ensure that you are using high quality cleaning agents (not those found at your local department store) and that you are applying them properly. Carpet pre-treatment should always be sprayed on first and never to be included in the rinse water within the carpet cleaning unit. I know that many portable carpet cleaning machines include cleaning agent within their rinse water as part of their instructions but I assure you that will lead to serious cleaning agent residues in your carpet that will cause rapid re-soiling.

    These small machines can be absolutely awesome to have around for spot treatment and small scale cleaning, but nothing can compare to truck mounted carpet cleaning with an IICRC Certified Technician (preferably an IICRC Certified Master Cleaning Tech)

    Kindest Regards
    Brent Ambrose – IICRC Certified Master Cleaning and Restoration Technician (23 years)
    Owner/Operator of Masters Touch Carpet Cleaning and Duct Cleaning in Lethbridge, Alberta

  7. I am in this profession and I always recommend to all my clients to get a Dyson vacuum cleaner. There are the best you can get now a days.

  8. Great article!

    We agree with James that Dyson’s are the best home vacuum cleaners and recommend them to our clients too.

  9. I use a dyson in fact we are on our second one, they are a awesome piece of kit

  10. I work withing the domestic and commercial cleaning industry and some of the best commercial cleaning machines include Prochem, Nilfisk & Craftex machines. Of course these are designed more for commercial work but there are machines available for the home and the best part is value for money for what you get.

  11. Along with running a floor care company ( I have lead the housekeeping department for some time. We always use SEBO vacuums and have had a lot of luck with them. They are pretty reliable and are easy to work on.

  12. In all my years of owning a carpet cleaning business, I’ve yet to see a better consumer vacuum than Dyson’s. We have one in our home – I can’t see that we’d used anything else. Great blog by the way – keep up the great work!

  13. Rug Doctor X3 says

    Just got delivery of my Rug Doctor X3 today after taking several peoples advice and seeing good reviews. Intially I purchased it as I have pets and 3 children who trash everything and my standard carpet cleaner could not cope. The Rug Doctor is great! I have used it at all all carpets over weekend and they came up really, really clean! I then thought lets try on the car upholstery as sticky sweets were everywhere in the back seats (thanks kids) and again the Rug Doctor nailed it! I got my Rug Doctor from Amazon as I am weary ordering online and wanted the protection large retailers provided. I highly rate the Rug Doctor From Amazon, who also offer the best price too.

  14. Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaner says

    Rug Doctors are the best carpet cleaner around. I highly recommend them!

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