Best and Worst Carpet Cleaners From Consumer Reports' Tests
Use our ratings to get the right one for your home without paying extra for features you don't need
As spring gives way to summer, prepare for outdoor parties, soccer matches—and more muddy shoes or paw prints all over your carpets.
If you find yourself needing to deep clean your carpet, you can rent a carpet cleaner at your local home improvement store for around $30 a day, plus whatever cleaning detergent you might need. But if you have a busy household with lots of carpet, you might want to buy one instead.
For a little more than $100 you can get one of the top performers in Consumer Reports’ latest carpet cleaner tests. Take note that these machines are powerful—and heavy. The best easily remove embedded dirt and stains without leaving a trail of water and a soggy stretch of carpet behind.
4 Top Carpet Cleaners
Read on for ratings and reviews of four of the best carpet cleaner models based on CR’s latest tests. And below those you’ll find details on a few worse-than-average performers.
3 Models Not Worth the Storage Space
Although their names might look similar to the models that sit near the top of our ratings chart, these three machines—the bottom three scorers in our ratings—are worse than average at cleaning:
The Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet FH50251 performs at two extremes. It gets the poorest marks for cleaning of all the carpet cleaners in our tests. But it also gets one of the best scores for leaving behind a dry carpet, earning an Excellent rating in that test. It does have some nice convenience features, such as separate tanks for clean and dirty water, a hose that's more than 8 feet, a carrying handle, and brush attachments. But features don’t make up for poor performance in our ratings.
Both of the higher-performing Bissell models on this list have “pet” in their names. So does the Bissell DeepClean Delux Pet 36Z9, but that’s where the similarity ends. Unlike the two Bissells mentioned above, the DeepClean Deluxe Pet is only so-so at cleaning and worse than that at leaving a dry carpet behind, earning a Poor score. But it costs more than our two top Bissell picks, proving that the price-quality relationship doesn’t always bear out.
Another model with "pet" in its name that can't compete with other models by the same brand is the Hoover SmartWash Pet Complete FH53000PC. This model has trouble with both cleaning and drying, and it's extremely loud to boot. The only thing going for it is that it has a carrying handle and a long hose.