Last updated on May 27th, 2021
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Best Carpet Cleaner
After many intensive hours of research, we started with around 25 different carpet cleaners that we thought were worth investigating further and to be honest, we have been amazed by the sheer number of different carpet cleaners available. We eventually narrowed our list of carpet cleaners down to just 4 models we discovered was a cut above the rest.
It’s difficult to come up with the best carpet cleaner for everyone as it depends on lots of variables and everybody’s individual needs in what they need from a carpet cleaner. Do you just want cleaner floor carpets? Or maybe just for cleaning the carpet on the stairs or upholstery. Do you need a lightweight model? the list goes on.
After over 15 hours of research, we have found that the Vax W90-RU-P Rapide Ultra 2 Carpet Cleaner would be the best choice for most homeowners which is why we have chosen it as our ‘Best Pick’. It performs well when cleaning carpets, ingrained stains, spills. It comes with a long hose for tackling stairs carpet as well as other harder to reach areas. Another impressive feature was the unique pre-treatment sprayer, you can use it to treat stains before using the carpet cleaner, it gives you that little extra cleaning power. We feel it offers amazing value for money and comes with a generous 2 year warranty for added peace of mind.
Our Best Pick is also one of the best selling carpet cleaners on Amazon.co.uk with over 1000 reviews.
To see which other models we recommend and why you can read our full review on the best carpet shampooer below. We also have lots of tips and advice on choosing the right model and have reviewed carpet cleaners ranging from £60 for budget models, (ideal for regular use around the home) to more expensive models ranging from £300 to over £400. The main aim of our guide is to help you find the right model for your personal needs.
BEST PREMIUM PICK
BEST HANDHELD PICK
Be sure to read our full guide and reviews to learn more about the features available and how to decide which type of carpet cleaner would be suitable for your needs.
The Carpet Cleaner Buyers Guide
With so many different types of carpet cleaners available in stores and online at significantly different prices, it can be hard to decide which model is right for you. Most carpet cleaners are upright models and these work and look similar to upright vacuum cleaners which means you simply push them forward and backwards.
Most of these models including our ‘Best Pick’ the Vax Rapid Ultra 2, usually have a long hose and comes with a small carpet cleaner attachment which is perfect for cleaning the carpet on the stairs as well as any hard to reach places where a standard carpet cleaner head cannot fit.
Some models, such as the Bissell Clearview Lift-Off Carpet Cleaner have a detachable pod that detaches from the main carpet cleaner unit. This makes it easy to carry up and down the stairs, clean car interiors as well as smaller spills.
Finally, you also have small portable carpet cleaners such as the Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner. These are great for spot cleaning, cleaning up spills, animal messes as well as treaded dirt from smaller areas. Because they are small and compact they are also very easy to store making them perfect for apartments or to use as an emergency cleaner.
Below we go over, some of the different features to look out for when buying a carpet cleaner and what these features are actually for.
- Carpet Cleaner Power (Watts): Power is measured in wattage and in general, the higher the wattage the more powerful the carpet cleaner is and the better suction it usually has. Most models are between 500 watts for smaller models to around 1500 watts for larger models. We found that models that were around 850-1000 watt had good suction. However, some 500-watt models were also very good and perform fairly well on most cleaning tasks. They are usually the lightest models and are better for cleaning carpets regularly rather than doing a deep clean a couple of times a year, however, don’t expect the results of more powerful models. As usually more power will cost more.
- Weight – Carpet cleaners usually weigh between 5kg and 12kg. Smaller models (which are lighter) are easy to carry up and down the stairs and are usually more compact, making them easier to store. However, they usually have fewer features and are less powerful, hence the cheaper price tag. Larger models, as well as being heavy, can be big and bulky, however, there are now some good compact designs that are powerful yet lightweight. Bissell does a model which is part of their ‘Lift-Off Range’ these have a removable pod that drastically reduces the size of the carpet cleaner. We found this to be a fantastic feature as you have a larger powerful carpet cleaner for tackling larger floors but you also have a removable carpet cleaner pod which means is lightweight, compact and easy to move around.
- Hose and accessories– Most models come with a long hose that can either be attached when needed or comes permanently fixed as standard. They usually come with a small carpet cleaner attachment for cleaning stairs and other hard to reach places. This feature is essential if you plan on cleaning stairs etc, some models do not have a hose and so can only be used on floor carpets making them less versatile.
- Cleaning brush types – There are two types of cleaning brushes that carpet cleaners usually use. The first is a large spin roller-type brush. Sometimes they may have two or more rows of brushes along the width of the carpet cleaner. The other type is individual small rotating brushes in a line, these are also effective and really agitates and lifts embedded dirt from the carpet.
- Water tank size – Most models come with two separate water tanks or two tanks combined. The latter makes it slightly easier to empty and fill as you don’t need to remove two tanks. One tank is for clean water and the other is for dirty water that the carpet cleaner sucks up after cleaning. The bigger, the better, however, the larger the tank, the heavier the carpet cleaner is when filled. We found that water tanks between 3 – 4.5 litres were ideal without adding too much weight. Basically the bigger the tank, the longer you can clean for before you have to empty the dirty water and fill the clean water back up again.
- Heating – Not to be confused with heaters that dry the carpets, these are the types that keep the clean water at a constant warm temperature. This makes it easier to break down dirt and grime in your carpets so you usually get better results. Not all models have this feature and it is usually fitted to more expensive models.
- Heated cleaning – This is a feature where hot air is blown onto the carpet assisting in drying in the fastest time possible. Not many models have this feature as most rely on powerful suction to remove water which most models do a fantastic job at. One model that does have heated drying is the Vax V-125A Carpet Cleaner.
- Multi-surface cleaning – Some models can be used on hard floors as well as carpets, this is obviously an advantage for anyone who has both carpets and hard floors to clean in their home. The only carpet cleaner with this feature that made it onto our ‘Top 10’ list was the very impressive Vax All Terrain Carpet Washer which also comes with an amazing 6-year warranty.
- Warranty – Most models come with 2 years warranty as standard, some cheaper models only have a 1-year warranty, while some of the more expensive models come with a very impressive 6 years warranty. Obviously, the longer the warranty, the better. We would not really recommend any carpet cleaner with less than two years warranty. We feel manufacturers who give one year warranty may not feel the carpet cleaner will last more than a couple of years. A good carpet cleaner will last many years if looked after correctly.
This should of give you a good understanding of what features you need to look out for when choosing the best carpet cleaner for your needs, many models have other improved features such as Vax ‘dual V technology’ which powerfully extracts any excess water leaving carpets dry quickly as well as carpet edge sweepers for cleaning right up to the edge of walls and skirting boards. To see what other useful features individual models have, read our full reviews below of each recommended carpet cleaner.
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We have recently reviewed carpet steam cleaners which are more commonly used for steam cleaning hard floors, most of these models also have detachable handheld steam cleaners. Read this review of the best carpet steam cleaners here.
CARPET CLEANER REVIEWS
1. Vax W90-RU-P Rapide Ultra 2 Carpet Shampooer
The Vax W90-RU-P rapide ultra 2 carpet cleaner is an affordable deep cleaning carpet washer that is packed with excellent features and can be used all around the home. Whether you are cleaning large floors, the stairs, upholstery (such as chairs) or even inside the car to clean carpets, mats and your seats, the Vax Rapide carpet washer is a fantastic choice.
The upright design is similar to that of an upright vacuum cleaner, at just over10kg it is very lightweight which means it’s easy to move around the home and you should be able to carry it up and down the stairs without too much trouble.
- Rotating brushbar which agitates and lifts embedded dirt from the carpet leaving it super clean.
- Dual V technology powerfully extracts excess water ensuring carpets dry in the quickest time possible.
- Pre-treatment Sprayer – Simply spray tougher stains and high traffic areas first for an extra deep clean.
- 3 Meter hose with small carpet cleaner attachment for cleaning stairs, hard to reach areas, accidental spills as well as upholstery such as couches.
- Large 4.5-litre clean water tank for longer running times and a 3-litre dirty water capacity.
- Lightweight at only 10.2 kg.
- Power: 1000 watts of power for more superior performance.
- 2-year guarantee for extra peace of mind.
The cleaning head features a rotating brush bar that really agitates and lifts embedded dirt from the carpet leaving it clean and fresh. This model also features ‘Vax Dual V technology’ and this feature means it has very impressive suction for removing excess water, which in turn, leaves your carpets dry in the shortest time possible which is ideal for busy homes with children and pets.
Another unique feature the Vax Rapide Ultra 2 has (that is not seen on most other models) is what Vax call a ‘pre-treatment wand’. This is a smaller sprayer on a narrow hose that you attach to the cleaning tank. You can treat those high traffic areas or stains first before using the carpet cleaner over the area. The treatment wand plus the rotating brush bar ensure that even the most stained and dirty carpets come up like new.
Finally, it also comes with a 3-meter long hose with a small carpet cleaner attachment and this is perfect for cleaning and refreshing carpet on the stairs, upholstery as well as any carpet areas the large carpet cleaner simply cannot reach.
To ensure you spend more time cleaning and less time refilling it has a generous 4.5-litre clean water tank as well as a long 8-meter power cord which is a perfect combination for larger homes.
Negative points – Usually I would have at least a few negative comments to report on, but to be honest, I could not find anything I could really complain about. Even when researching other buyer reviews online it is one of the ‘Best Rated Models’ on Amazon.co.uk. The only real point to take into consideration is maybe the weight, at just over 10 kg it’s not the lightest carpet cleaner on the market, however, you won’t find many lighter models that have the same cleaning performance, most similar models are actually heavier at around 12kg.
The Vax W90-RU-P Rapide Ultra 2 Carpet Cleaner is probably one of the best carpet cleaning machines currently available. If you are after an affordable carpet cleaner that gives professional results, then this model is worth careful consideration.
One feature that does make it stand out from most other models was the pre-treatment wand. If you have any stains or areas which a particularly dirty, you can first fill the tank with a pre-treatment solution that comes included and spray the areas, once treated, simply leave for 10-15 minutes and then clean as normal with cleaning the rest of the carpet. This does remove those hard to remove stains and if you have children and pets, this is a feature worth having. It is worth noting that you do not need to use the pre-treatment wand if you don’t need to, for example, if you clean your carpet regularly to keep on top of them before they get too dirty.
Overall it does an excellent job at cleaning carpets and removing stains. The carpet cleaner itself is well balanced and is surprisingly easy to push backwards and forwards and unlike some models. It will clean right up to the edge of the wall fairly well. After you have finished cleaning the carpet, it does not feel too wet and after about 30-40 minutes, your carpet will be dry to touch. This is obviously a great advantage as you do not need to exclude children or pets for too long.
If this model is within your budget, then it is really hard to recommend any other model over the Vax Rapide ultra 2 Carpet Cleaner.
One last note, it was also awarded the Which? ‘Best Buy’ award.
2. Vax V-125A All Terrain Carpet Washer
The Vax V-125A All Terrain Carpet Cleaner is a more advanced carpet cleaner that is packed with great features to ensure a deeper clean on carpets, as well as hard floors and this, means it can now be used all around the home.
- Cleans both carpets and hard floors with ease.
- The auto mix system ensures that the correct amount of solution and water is mixed for optimum cleaning results.
- SpinScrub brushes rotate alongside each other which agitates and lifts embedded dirt from the carpet giving it a deeper clean.
- Dual V technology powerfully extracts any excess water drying carpets and floors and in the quickest time possible.
- An auto-rinse feature means it washes in the forward push and rinses on the backwards pull, this ensures minimal shampoo residue is left on carpets and hard floors.
- Heated Cleaning – Blows hot air onto the carpet, assisting the drying of carpets quickly.
- 2.4-meter hose with cleaner attachment for cleaning stairs, hard to reach areas, accidental spills and upholstery.
- Large 3.7-litre clear water tank for longer cleaning times and a 3-litre dirty water capacity.
- Power – 1350 watts for a high performance clean.
- Weighs only 12kg making it easy to carry and move around the home.
- An amazing 6 years guarantee for full peace of mind.
The wide cleaning head features the Vax ‘SpinScrub Brush Technology’. This consist of 6 rotating brushes which gently and effectively loosen dirt from the carpet pile to help lift embedded dirt and stains from the carpet, giving it the best deep clean possible.
Whilst cleaning, to ensure minimal shampoo residue is left on carpets and hard floors, the Vax All Terrain cleaner incorporates an auto-rinse function which washes on the forward push and the rinses on the backwards pull.
Another great additional feature is the ‘Vax Dual V Technology’ and ‘Heated Cleaning System’. This feature means it has great suction for removing excess water as well as blowing warm air onto the carpet. These two features are not seen on all models and they help to leave carpets dry in the least amount of time possible.
Finally, it also comes with a 2.4-meter long hose with a carpet cleaner attachment and this is great for cleaning the carpet on the stairs, any awkward and hard to reach areas, as well as upholstery such as cushions, sofas and car seats.
To ensure you spend more time cleaning and less time refilling it has a large 3.7-litre water tank as well as a long 9-meter power cord which is perfect for larger homes. To ensure the correct amount of cleaner and water is mixed, it also features an auto mix system which ensures the correct ratio of solution and water is mixed for optimum cleaning results.
Negative points – No deal breakers currently noted, an overall excellent cleaning machine with nothing but positive comments to note. It is worth noting though that it’s a little noisy and fairly heavy at around 12kg compared to some models. However, this is probably not going to be a problem as most models are noisy and heavy by their nature. With good suction comes loud noise.
The Vax V-125A All Terrain Carpet Cleaner is a mid-range model and really is an impressive piece of kit.
What makes this model stand out when it is compared to other carpet cleaners is it has the ability to clean both carpets and hard floors. This means that most homeowners could get more use out of it if they also have a combination of carpeted and wooden floors. This is also the only model we would recommend for cleaning carpets and hard floors.
Regarding ease of use, it’s easy to push and pull over both carpets and hard floors and seems to glide along the floor nicely.
One feature which we really like is the heater blower, basically, it leaves your carpets dry to touch. This is obviously an advantage as you can walk on the floor straight away as with most models you need to wait at least 30-40 minutes. Mixing is also easy and straightforward thanks to the auto-mix feature.
Overall this carpet cleaner is hard to beat and perfect for all around the home. If you have a budget of around £180 to £200, this model is probably your best choice.
It’s also worth taking into account that this model comes with an incredible 6-year warranty, which’s four years more than most other models. To me, this just further confirms that this model is made to last and that Vax as a company are confident in the build quality and cleaning reliability.
3. Bissell Clearview Lift-Off Carpet Cleaner
BEST PREMIUM PICK
This Bissell Clearview Lift-Off Carpet Cleaner is an advanced carpet cleaner with a unique two in one design. It is both a portable compact carpet cleaner for spot cleaning as well as an upright carpet cleaner for larger carpets.
- 10 rows of dual rotating dirt lifter power brushes with surround suction for deep cleaning and lifting embedded dirt and stains from the carpet.
- Full-width suction for leaving carpets dry to touch.
- Innovative detachable pod cleaner with a 1.5-meter hose for cleaning upholstery as well as hard to reach areas, stairs and car interiors. Also includes a tough stain tool and crevice tool for the hose.
- The onboard heater continuously heats tap water up to 14 degree Celsius for maximum cleaning performance.
- Full-size cleaning width and edge sweeping brushes for cleaning right to the edge of the carpet and against skirting boards.
- Removable nozzle for easy cleaning and maintenance.
- Two separate tanks each with a 2.5-litre capacity, one for clean water and one for collecting dirty water.
- Lightweight at only 12kg and less when used as just the pod making it easy to carry up and down the stairs.
- Powerful 1500 watt motor for extra cleaning power.
- 5 years guarantee for extra peace of mind.
You can simply use it as an upright carpet cleaner for cleaning carpets around the house. The removable pod is perfect for cleaning all those hard to reach places such as under furniture, stairs, upholstery. It is also perfect for cleaning the interior of cars and includes a tough stain tool as well as a crevice tool that attaches to the long 1.5-meter hose.
It has a powerful 1500 watt motor and an integrated heater system which continuously heats tap water up to 14 degree Celsius. This gives an optimum cleaning performance by always using warm water to break down dirt and stains.
The Bissell Lift-Off also has two sets of 10 rows of rotating dirt lifter power brushes, these work together to really agitate deep into the carpet fibres and lifts even the most embedded dirt and stains from within the carpet.
Just like all the other carpet cleaners from the Clearview range, it also has ‘edge sweep brushes’ which means you can clean to the very edge of carpets and against skirting boards (as mentioned previously) so you can be assured you are cleaning the whole carpet right up to the last inch.
Unlike the last two models we have looked at, this model has two separate tanks, each with a 2.5 litre capacity, one for clean water and one for collecting dirty water. They are also microban coated which helps inhibit the build-up of odour-causing bacteria in the water tanks.
At 6.5 meter long, the power cord is long enough to clean room to room easily without the need to keep changing plug sockets as you clean around the home.
Without question, the Bissell Clearview Lift-Off Carpet Cleaner is an expensive carpet cleaner, especially when you take into account that it is designed with home use in mind. However, it is one of the best carpet cleaners we have ever reviewed and the removable pod is very well designed and an excellent feature.
The detachable pod design is what makes this model such an impressive carpet cleaner as it is a versatile carpet cleaner. When used as an upright carpet cleaner it does a brilliant job and really does give a deep clean and is very easy to use.
The detachable pod is lightweight as you have not got the weight of the rest of the carpet cleaner. This means it’s perfect for taking to the car or using around the home and taking up and down the stairs.
If you have a fairly large budget this model is worth taking into consideration and is an excellent carpet cleaner. Probably the best home carpet cleaner we have ever seen.
4. Bissell Little Green Multipurpose Carpet Cleaner
BEST HANDHELD PICK
The Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner is a small compact carpet cleaner that is perfect for cleaning everyday spills and stains from carpets and is virtually safe to use on all carpet types.
It has two tanks that are PVC free. The larger one for clean water holds 1.4 litres of water and a smaller tank which is 1.1 litres to collect the excess dirty water using its powerful suction. Thanks to its small compact design, generous 1.35-meter hose and tough stain brush attachment, it’s perfect for cleaning the stairs carpet, upholstery such as sofas, other hard to reach areas and is also perfect for cleaning the interior of your car.
- Compact small design, easy to use, perfect for small and large cleans ups and everyday spills and safe to use on virtually all carpets and as effective as full-size carpet cleaners.
- Deep cleans and removes stains with exceptional suction for removing excess water.
- Touch stain brush included for removing the toughest stains.
- Amazingly lightweight at only 4.6kg.
- Hose length- 1.35 meters.
- 1.4-litre clean water tank.
- 1.1-litre dirty water tank.
- Wide operating radius of 4.6 meters for maximum reach.
- Powerful 350 watts.
- 1-year warranty.
Designed to be very low maintenance, it can even be stored ready to use so you can quickly get it out to clean any unforeseen spills and stains, especially if you have children and pets.
The Bissell Little Green Carpet Cleaner is a very impressive little carpet cleaner. You wouldn’t want to tackle large carpets with this little gem, however, it’s perfect for all the small jobs and accidental spillages on the carpet.
We really like the compact design. It’s very well made and feels like a solid piece kit and it is small enough to be stored in a cupboard or under the stairs and would be a great addition to any home.
Performance is good and is surprisingly easy to use, fill with water, add cleaning fluid and away you go. Great suction and leaves carpets nearly dry to touch after going over the area a few times.
Overall an excellent portable carpet cleaner for those smaller jobs or for anyone who doesn’t have room for a larger model. Fantastic for cleaning the sofa and stairs.
This model is fairly expensive, especially when our ‘Best Pick’ is a similar price. However, if you are after a quality, smaller carpet cleaner, the little green carpet cleaner is a great choice.
As you may have noticed, it’s difficult to put a finger on which model is truly the Best Carpet Cleaner, with so many features to consider, some of which many are not essential but do certainly improve the cleaning performance or at the very least, make cleaning carpets that much easier. The two main features which we think will make or break a carpet cleaner are, good suction for removing excess dirty water, leaving carpets as dry as possible and good scrubbing brushes which is essential for cleaning deep into the carpet pile.
Last update on 2021-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API