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Best carpet cleaners

What are the best carpet cleaners for your home? With so many types of cleaning machines available, it’s not easy to know which one to use.

Consumer Reports is your resource for researching carpet cleaners. We provide unbiased buying advice and independent, expert reviews you can trust. Consumer Reports has lab-tested several different carpet cleaners to determine the highest-performing models overall and in several categories that we determined were important.

So, before you go out to shop, read our reviews to discover the optimal carpet cleaners for your needs.

See more about best carpet cleaners.

Our expert lab technicians evaluated and scored the models on each of the following characteristics to find the top in each category:

  • Ease of use: Weight, cord length, tank access, filling, and emptying.

  • Dryness: How much solution was left behind.

  • Noise: Loudness of each machine during operation.

  • Weight: Measurement of weight when empty. All carpet cleaners will be heavier when cleaning solution is added.

  • Cleaning: How well each machine removed muddy topsoil from carpet.

  • Coverage: How much area a machine can clean before it needs to be either refilled or emptied.

  • Overall score: Out of 100 points, based primarily on performance and convenience.

Below is a list of the best carpet cleaners in each of the tests our experts performed. Take a look at our buying guide as well to discover all you should know before selecting the best carpet cleaning machine for your needs.

Best carpet cleaners

  • Best carpet cleaner for overall score
    Based primarily on performance and convenience. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
    This carpet cleaner which tested best for Overall score has the following features: Attachments, Belt free, Moving brush(es), Large tank, Long hose, Separate soap dispenser, Tank indicator lights and Tank shutoff.
  • Best carpet cleaner for cleaning
    Shows how well each machine removed muddy topsoil from carpet.
    This carpet cleaner which tested best for Cleaning has the following features: Attachments, Belt free, Moving brush(es), Large tank, Long hose, Separate soap dispenser, Tank indicator lights and Tank shutoff.
  • Best carpet cleaner for dryness
    Indicates how much solution was left behind. The best left a few ounces; the worst left over a pint in the area cleaned.
    This carpet cleaner which tested best for Dryness has the following features: Attachments, Belt free, Moving brush(es), Large tank, Long hose, Separate soap dispenser, Tank indicator lights and Tank shutoff.
  • Best carpet cleaner for ease of use
    Includes machine weight, cord length, and tank access, filling, and emptying.
    This carpet cleaner which tested best for Ease of use has the following features: Attachments, Belt free, Moving brush(es), Large tank, Long hose, Separate soap dispenser, Tank indicator lights and Tank shutoff.
  • Best carpet cleaner for coverage
    Indicates how much carpet a machine can clean before it needs to be either refilled or emptied.
    This carpet cleaner which tested best for Coverage has the following features: Attachments, Belt free, Moving brush(es), Large tank, Long hose, Separate soap dispenser, Tank indicator lights and Tank shutoff.

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