Best Carpet Cleaners of 2018

Angela Parkinson ·
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We spent more than 120 hours researching and testing the most popular carpet cleaners and determined the Hoover Max Extract 60 to be the best for deep cleaning your home. This machine was great at removing stains during our tests, and it leaves your carpets drier than others. The Max Extract also has the widest cleaning path of any we tested, so you can cover a lot of carpeting quickly and with less physical effort than with other machines.     

Best Overall

Hoover Max Extract 60

The Hoover Max Extract 60 was the best at removing stains and cleaning overall. Its wide cleaning path and heated air make the whole process more quick and easy.
View on Amazon
Best for Maneuverability

Bissell DeepClean Premier

Carpet-cleaning machines are heavy enough that they can be hard to maneuver. Happily, the Bissell DeepClean Premier proved easy to negotiate.
View on Amazon
Best Suction

Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner

Having saggy and soggy carpets after cleaning is not only annoying, it can pose a danger for mold. So we admired the strong suction we got from the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner.
View on Amazon

Product
Price
$125.39Amazon
$149.00Amazon
$234.99Amazon
$249.99Amazon
$144.99Amazon
$208.11Amazon
Check Price
$79.20Amazon
Overall Rating
9.8
9.4
9.4
9.2
9.1
8.2
7.7
7.4
Performance
10
9.8
9.5
9
7.5
6.5
8
6.3
Convenience
10
9.3
9.3
8.8
10
9
8.5
9
Accessories
9.5
9.5
9.3
9.5
10
9
6
6.5
Warranty & Support
9.3
8.8
9.3
10
9.3
9.5
8.3
8.8
Rotating Brushes
Motor Power (amps)
10
12
11
6.8
10
6.2
6
6.25
Stain Removal
100%
100%
85%
85%
85%
70%
90%
60%
Water Extraction
100%
88%
100%
100%
33%
25%
50%
33%
Cleaning Path (inches)
13
11.25
12
11
11.25
12
11
11
Weight (pounds)
21.85
20
25
19
18.1
24.4
10.2
16.4
Carry Handle
N/A
Cord Length (feet)
20
20
28
25
20
22
20
20
Heated Air Dryer
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Edge Cleaning
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Maneuverability
90%
80%
80%
80%
90%
100%
70%
80%
Maintenance
95%
90%
85%
65%
90%
65%
70%
90%
Noise (dB)
87.9
88.4
84.5
87.8
86.6
87.8
83.2
86.4
Detergent Tank
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Tank Capacity (quarts)
4.6
4.2
4
4
4
5
3
3
Handle Height (feet)
3.65
3.58
3.6
3.6
3.6
3.7
3.48
3.7
Upholstery Tool
N/A
N/A
N/A
Crevice Tool
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Headlight
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Pet Tool
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Tool Storage
N/A
N/A
N/A
Cleaning Solution Included
Stretch Hose (feet)
9
8
7.7
8
8
9
N/A
N/A
Warranty
2 Years
1 Year
2 Years
5 Years
2 Years
3 Years
1 Year
1 Year
Service Centers
Manufacturer Support
Online Tutorials
N/A
Best Overall
The Hoover Max Extract Pressure Pro 60 was the best carpet cleaner we tested. It managed to remove tough stains on light carpet better than the rest, and it required relatively little effort. With the widest cleaning path of all competitors, fewer passes will get the job done.
There is also an element of user-friendliness with the Max Extract, evidenced in an easy-fill water tank and a separate tank for detergent. That means you can go over the same strip of carpet with water only for a rinse. This one also left our carpets relatively dry, which is not common with this type of machine. The Max Extract uses heated air generated by the motor to help dry carpet, an uncommon feature among the carpet shampooers we tried. There are not a ton of accessories with Max Extract. It has a long hose but not many attachments for specific tasks. For example, there is no crevice tool. But the cleaning capabilities of this machine far outweigh the lack of a few extras.
Pros
  • The separate water tank means you have the option of a rinse after shampooing
  • This one has the widest cleaning path
  • The heated air speeds drying
Cons
  • This one comes with few accessories
  • The lack of a headlight can make it harder to clean dark corners
  • Other units have longer warranties
$172.99Amazon
Read the full review
Best for Maneuverability
While the Bissell DeepClean Premier was not the most stunning in terms of cleaning capability, it did earn the maneuverability vote from our testers. It was the only one to get a perfect score for that. This carpet cleaner was designed with pet owners in mind, and it did a good job of removing pet stains during our testing. It also made a noticeable difference in terms of its overall cleaning performance – our test floors looked much cleaner after using this unit. The DeepClean did tend to leave carpets a little on the soggy side. That can be both annoying and even dangerous if you live in humid areas that are prone to mold. Using a fan can speed the drying process.
This machine has a large water tank so you don't have to stop and refill constantly. The design also places the cleaning solution and dirty water in the same space by having the cleaning solution in a collapsible container. As the cleaning solution is distributed, the dirty water is extracted, filling in the space left behind by the collapsing cleaning solution container. It's an efficient design that cuts down some of the potential bulk of the machine. The DeepClean did tend to leave carpets a little on the soggy side. That can be both annoying and even dangerous if you live in humid areas that are prone to mold. Using a fan can speed the drying process. This could still be a good option for someone with physical limitations and concerns about moving a heavy machine around.
Pros
  • The DeepClean Premier is easier than other machines to maneuver
  • This machine effectively removed pet stains
  • The large tank capacity means fewer stops during the cleaning process
Cons
  • This was one of the heaviest units we tested
  • It left the carpets wetter than many competitors
  • It does not include an upholstery or crevice tool
$179.99Amazon
Read the full review
Best Suction
The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner scored the best for strong suction in our tests. This machine won’t make you wait days after deep cleaning for your carpet to dry.
It also left the floors much cleaner than most. In fact, it cleaned our test floors in as few passes as the best carpet shampooer we tried. It fell a little short in user-friendliness. Testers found the instructions difficult to follow, and it is heavier and harder to move than most of the others we reviewed. The Rug Doctor has a short extension hose, but it has the longest cord among those we tested. It is just OK in terms of accessories. You buy a carpet cleaner for carpets, but it is helpful to have accessories for cleaning furniture and other items.
Pros
  • Strong suction means that carpets dry more quickly
  • This unit includes an upholstery tool
  • Bristles on the side make it easier to clean carpet edges
Cons
  • Other machines were better at removing stains
  • The short hose makes it difficult to clean furniture and other items
  • The warranty is a relatively short two years
$259.00Amazon
Read the full review

Why Trust Us?
We spent hours poring over information online about cleaning carpets and removing stains. We also read existing reviews of popular carpet shampooers and homed in on the products you are likely to come across in your search for the best carpet cleaner. We then narrowed our list to the 10 best and purchased those for hands-on evaluation.

Since your carpet-cleaning funds might also go toward commercial units that you can rent from big-box stores, we tested a few of those, too, including a Rug Doctor and a Bissell Big Green Machine. Their ability to extract water was impressive and better than the household units we reviewed. Still, some left behind stains. Also, the cost of renting mounts up. If you shampoo your carpets regularly, owning a machine might be more cost-effective.

How We Tested
Once we got all 10 machines for our review, we took them to our test home and assembled them. We ground potting soil into light-colored carpet and kept track of how many passes it took each machine to remove the dirt. We used a spectrometer to gauge how clean the floors were after using each machine, making note of the amount of light reflected from the spots that had been cleaned. The ones that cleaned carpets effectively with very few passes scored higher.

To measure suction, we filled each machine to the max and cleaned a section of carpeting of the same size with each one, measuring the dirty water that was extracted. The more water the machines extracted, the better they scored. We scored the machines for maneuverability and maintenance, too. We noted how long it took to do basic maintenance tasks, such as emptying and cleaning them. The ones that made it easier scored better. 

Performance
The best carpet shampooers clean effectively and leave carpets damp but not soggy. The units we tested that had a combination of strong suction and powerful rotating brushes were the most impressive. More motor amps are usually associated with better cleaning capability.

Convenience
Look for lighter machines, especially if you have physical limitations. They are usually easier to maneuver. A wider cleaning path can also be helpful for covering a lot of flooring quickly. Longer cleaning cords are helpful, especially if you have a lot of carpeted territory to cover.

Accessories
A long hose is important if you plan to clean furniture and other non-floor surfaces. A collection of tools that attach to the end of that hose can also make it easier to clean specific areas and items. Some machines have crevice tools or tools for removing pet stains.

Warranty & Support
A carpet cleaner represents a significant investment for most households, so we recommend units that come with a long warranty. Look for companies that make it easy to contact customer service representatives, too. 


More Carpet Cleaning Guides:

id:824