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Cleaning carpets can be tricky, but steam cleaners are the best way of eliminating the toughest of stains and even bacteria and germs without being aggressive on your carpets. According to WHO heat treatment can also kill off most viruses.
A good steam cleaner can clean various surfaces with minimal hassle, and you don't even have to invest in detergents and chemical cleaning products.
However, trying to find the best carpet steam cleaner can be an excruciating task as they come with various features.
Here is our list of the best steam cleaner for carpet, and we've also included a buying guide so that you'll know what features to look out for when you shop for your unit.
Top 10 Best Carpet Steam Cleaners For Your Home
1. Best Overall Carpet Steamer: BISSELLProHeat 2X Revolution Max
If you’re searching for the best handheld carpet steam cleaner, the BISSELLProHeat 2X Revolution Max will be a top contender. It’s a versatile and easy to use unit primarily targeted towards pet owners.
For your cleaning sessions, you can choose between the express and deep clean modes. The former mode uses less solution, and, in our testing, the carpets dried up really quickly in about 40 minutes. The unit is easy to maneuver and weighing just 18 pounds; you'll have no issues moving it from one room to another.
As advertised, this unit is truly remarkable in removing pet hair. It comes with a 2 in 1 pet upholstery tool featuring both wet and dry modes and rubber bristles to collect even the tiniest of pet hair and dander. The addition of the Dual Dirt Lifter brushes and Heatwave Technology make this unit a true powerhouse. This helped to remove embedded dirt and stains from your carpet and area rugs.
Additionally, it comes with a small dustbin to collect pet hair and dirt for easy disposal. In our testing, we had no complaints about its performance as it quickly and efficiently removes stains and dirt.
Thanks to its 1-gallon water tank, you don't have to worry about continuously refilling the tank. On top of that, it's incredibly easy to remove and clean the dirty water tank. Its also very well built and sturdy, we’re sure you’ll be using it for many years to come. However, keep in mind that you cannot use this steam cleaner on hard floor.
2. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe FH50150
The Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe offers the right mix of capabilities and features at a compelling price. This unit isn't ready to use out of the box, but it is straightforward to assemble. The design also incorporates some unique features which make it stand out from the rest.
To begin with, it has separate tank for the cleaning solution and clean water, ensuring that you're getting the optimal ratio. It's also a very versatile unit as it comes with a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and a stair tool. We found the crevice tool particularly useful for maneuvering through tight corners.
This steam cleaner also features 360-degrees brushes for efficiently scrubbing carpets from every angle and a DualV Nozzle to quickly and evenly suction off the most stubborn stains from your carpets. This unit was very efficient in removing dirt from our test's carpet.
Its stain removal capabilities are also quite impressive, especially at removing pet stains. The machine is well built but is on the heavier side, so you’ll require a decent amount of space to store this unit. Overall, it’s the best carpet steam cleaner for pet stain in our review, and the price tag sweetens the deal even more.
3. Best carpet Cleaner For Large Homes And Office: Bissell Big Green Professional 86T3
If you want a high-end model for pro-level cleaning, the Bissell Big Green Professional 86T3 is one of the best commercial carpet steam cleaner money can buy. Whether you're a beginner or professional, this unit will certainly not disappoint you.
It comes pre-assembled, and all you have to do is fill it up with solution and water, and you're ready for some steaming. Unlike most units, this steam cleaner features two large capacity water tanks-one for dirty water and another for freshwater, so you don't have to visit the sink every now and then.
What makes this professional carpet steam cleaner stand out is its sheer cleaning prowess. Thanks to its broad "PowerBrushes," it can get deep into your carpets fabric and remove the most stubborn dirt and stains. In our testing, this unit had no problem removing whatever we threw at it, whether it was mustard, chocolate, or even permanent marker stains. It even eliminates pet odor effortlessly.
The Bissell Big Green Professional 86T3 also comes with powerful suction allowing your carpets to dry faster. However, it's quite a heavy machine, so if you miss a spot, you’ll have to flex your muscles a bit.
4. Best For Small Spaces And Light Cleanup: Hoover PowerDash FH50700
The Hoover Power Dash FH50700 is an excellent choice for those looking for a lightweight yet powerful steam cleaner. The first thing you'll notice about this unit is its slim and compact profile, and at just 12.5 pounds, you'll have no problems carrying it upstairs or from one room to another.
Thanks to its low profile, you can clean underneath your bed and couches easily. It also features two removable water tanks, one for clean and another for dirty water, and can hold up to 0.625 gallons of water, providing you with quicker and more efficient cleaning sessions.
What makes this unit stand out is its brush-roll feature, which not only picks up pesky pet hair easily, but the microbial design keeps allergens at bay and prevents bacteria build-up. The germ resistance feature will surely attract parents.
Since this unit features heated cleaning, it was excellent at removing stains and dirt in our testing. Additionally, this unit also uses hot air to dry out your carpets, which we were very impressed with. In our review, our testing carpet took a little over an hour to dry out after it was cleaned. However, due to the short power cord, this unit won’t be ideal if you own a large home.
5. Hoover Power Scrub Elite FH50251PC
For a versatile and heavy-duty carpet steam cleaner, the Hoover Power Scrub Elite FH50251PC is a must-buy. We love how easy it is to set this unit up-just affix the handle to the unit's body, and you're ready to go.
To make your cleaning sessions efficient and easier, this steam cleaner supports two modes: quick clean and deep clean. We particularly love the quick clean mode; in our testing, carpets dried up in less than 40 minutes, which is certainly way ahead of other competitors. The 2-in-1 antimicrobial tool is perfect for cleaning pet messes and is one of its stand out features.
One of the best features of this unit is the dual water tanks: one for clean and another for dirty water, which can hold up to 1.25 gallons of water, reducing the number of times you'll have to refill the tank. A single refill should be sufficient for most average-sized homes.
However, we also noticed that this steam cleaner sprayed water unevenly at times, and because of the large brush head profile, you might find it difficult to clean your furniture's bottom.
6. McCulloch MC1275 Steam Cleaner
The McCulloch MC1275 is a multi-purpose steam cleaner that allows you to steam clean your home without using any chemicals. It boasts various accessories, including a powerful jet of steam, and a massive water tank.
What makes this unit stand out from the rest is the number of useful attachments it comes with. We particularly love the scrub pad, which is very effective in cleaning stains and messes from carpets, and the steam jet nozzle is great for spot cleaning.
With a large water tank, you’ll be cleaning for about 30 minutes before you have to refill the water tank. In our testing, it took about 8 minutes for the water to heat up to 200 º F, which is impressive given the huge tank.
The steam is powerful enough to remove any sort of stain and dirt from your carpet. It's also a versatile unit, and you can use it on various surfaces like bare floors, vinyl, upholstery, fabric, and even inside your car.
However, it is quite a bulky unit and might not be suitable if you're looking for a portable steam cleaner. The dynamic wheels might help, but, in most cases, you’ll simply have to pick it up and move from one room to another.
The steam lock switch is also useful if you want the steam to come out non-stop during your cleaning session. Overall, it's a great choice if you're looking for the best carpet and upholstery steam cleaner.
7. Best Portable Carpet Steam Cleaner BISSELL Little Green ProHeat 14259:
Not everyone is fond of large carpet steam cleaners, and if you're one of them, the BISSELL Little Green ProHeat 14259 registers as the best portable carpet steam cleaner in our review.
Weighing just 13 pounds with dimensions of 8.2x17.25x12.5 inches, you’ll have no problems with portability. Despite its compact design, this unit comes with two separate water tanks and can hold up to 48 ounces of water, preventing you from making multiple trips to the sink. In addition, this portable carpet cleaner features a 15-foot power cord, which is a little on the shorter side but should be sufficient for most rooms.
One of the stand out feature of this unit is the built-in hot water heater which can heat up to 25 º F, and it does so in just 30 seconds. A light illuminates to notify you when the correct temperature is obtained.
Thanks to the warm water, it effortlessly removes tough stains from carpets and upholstery in no time. On the downside, this unit doesn't feature wheels, which might not be a huge disadvantage, but it would have been much smoother to maneuver. Additionally, compact steam cleaners like this are most suitable for smaller or medium-sized rooms but might not have enough stamina for larger rooms.
8. Hoover Smartwash FH52000
The Hoover Smartwash FH52000 comes with various useful and unique features. It comes with an auto mix feature that evenly mixes your solution and provides an optimal ratio every time. We were very impressed with its auto dry feature, which provides a powerful extraction to dry out your carpets quickly.
In our testing, carpets dried out in about 35 minutes, which is truly impressive. With the auto-clean feature, this steam cleaner alternates between drying and washing your carpet. If you move it forward, the cleaning solution is sprayed, and the brush rotates to pick up all the dirt. If you move it backward, the unit extracts water and dries out your carpet. This certainly removes all the guesswork.
At nearly 19 pounds, it's not the most lightweight steam cleaner, but the addition of rubberized wheels and a carry handle on the back certainly enhances the portability. Featuring a low profile, you'll have no problem cleaning your carpet underneath your furniture.
It also comes with separate tanks for clean water, dirty water, and cleaning solution for more efficiency during your steaming sessions. However, the water tanks are quite small, and you might have to refill if you’re steaming large areas.
9. BISSELL Turboclean 2085 Upright Carpet Cleaner
BISSELL is a reputed brand in the world of steam cleaner, and the BISSELL Turboclean 2085 is another impressive offering. Weighing just 12 pounds with a sleek and compact design, this steam cleaner is a great option if you want a portable unit.
Thanks to the collapsible handle, it's easy to store, and it can easily fit into small spaces. Despite its compact frame, this unit features two tank system, which is a must for efficient cleaning, and it can hold up to ½ gallons of water, so you don't have to bother refilling it again and again.
Featuring 4-row rotating DirtLifter PowerBrush, this steam cleaner offers a powerful carpet cleaning session. Its very effective in removing dirt that's been set-in deep into your carpet fibers. The bristles from the brush can clean up even the sides of your furniture.
BISSELL pushes this unit for pet owners, and with the included BISSELL Oxy formula, this unit effortlessly removes pet stains, vomit and even urine odor. The suction is also powerful for pulling pet hair from your carpets. We also found the removable nozzle very useful; it significantly reduces your cleaning duration. On the downside, the cleaning path is narrower in comparison to similar models.
10. Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3
If you want a professional grade steam cleaner for your carpets, the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 is a must-have. It doesn’t have the most impressive or compact design but comes with lots of useful features.
This unit features two massive water tanks, a 3.9-gallon tank for dirty water, and a 3-gallon tank for clean water; you'll be able to clean much more on a single fill. However, at 39 pounds, it's not a lightweight unit, and in our testing, we had trouble carrying it up and down the staircase.
This unit sprays the solution and lets it penetrate deep inside your carpet to reach dust mites, germs, and bacteria. Afterward, the steam cleaner uses its agitator brushes to thoroughly scrub and eliminate stubborn stains simultaneously. In our testing, this unit had no problems removing every sort of stain.
However, a drawback is its suction power. The company claims that this unit can eliminate 89% of dirt and debris, but in our review, we had to do multiple passes to complete the job. Overall, it's a great choice if you want to invest in the best carpet steam cleaner rental.
Best Steam Cleaner For Carpet : Buying Guide
Now that we're done with the reviews, there are some key features you must know about carpet steam cleaner. It'll help you find the most suitable steam cleaner for your needs, and we emphasized on them during our review as well.
Variable Steam Control:
It's always wise to go for a unit that supports variable steam settings, whether they come in buttons for various settings or in an adjustable control dial. They give you the flexibility of adjusting the steam according to your cleaning requirements. However, if you're going to use your unit for quick and simple chores, one setting should be fine.
It's also important that your unit produces heat strong enough to melt away the stains. Also, make sure that the steam can reach deep into your carpet’s fabric.
This is another important consideration. Buy a steam cleaner with high suction power. Remember the higher the wattage the higher the pressure for better cleaning performance. Look for a steam cleaner with at least 1200 watts of power for the best result on carpets and area rugs.
Heat Up Time:
How long a steam cleaner takes to heat up is largely determined by its tank size. Upright steam cleaners generally heat up in under 30 seconds, handheld steam cleaners is in under a minutes. On the other hand, a cylinder steam cleaner takes longer time (couple of minutes) to heat up fully.
These days, machines don't just spray your carpet fibers with vaporized water, but they also have a way of shaking the dirt free. Brushes are available in various forms, such as interlocking spinners, circular heads, and rotating cylinder bars. These brushes effectively release the dirt so that your machine can steam and suck it away. For a deep cleaning session, make sure your unit has high-quality brushes.
Water Tanks Capacity:
Another essential characteristic is the water tank. Steam cleaners come with two water tanks, one for the clean and another for the dirty water, and some even feature a separate tank for the cleaning solution. The larger the water tank, the longer you'll be able to steam without having to refill. However, units with smaller tanks are more portable. It all comes down to your preference.
If you have a big apartment or house, you should invest in a unit that's lightweight and portable. Compact design with low weight will do fine, but some units even come with wheels and a handle making it effortless for you to store it away and move it from one area to another when you clean. However, portable units generally don't steam for long periods of time, so make sure your portable unit still packs a punch.
In the end, your budget might be the most important factor. It's not always the most expensive product that performs the best. Make sure that you're getting value for your money. Like the ones mentioned in our list, there are many units that perform much better than units that are way more expensive. If you want a professional unit, you'll have to stretch your budget. However, if you need a unit just for small tasks, a simple and inexpensive unit will do just fine.
How To Deep Clean Your Carpet (Video)
FAQ's About Carpet Steam Cleaner
Q1: How Often Should Carpets Be Cleaned?
Ans: It depends on your lifestyle and climate. If your carpet gets dirty quickly, even 3-6 times a month might be inadequate. The number of times you have to clean your carpet depends on various factors such as the number of people in your home, the climate you live in, if there are smokers in your home and whether you have pets and children. As a rule of thumb, you should vacuum regularly and get it professionally steamed at least once a year.
Q2: Can A Carpet Steam Cleaner Remove All Sorts Of Stains?
Ans: A carpet steam cleaner can remove various forms of stains such as poop, pee, dirt, food, and the steam is powerful enough to remove even deep set-in stains. However, for oil-based stains, you might require a commercial cleaner. If your carpet is very old or thinning, your steam cleaner might find it challenging to remove stains as well.
Q3: Is It Necessary To Use A Cleaning Solution With A Carpet Cleaner?
Ans: One of the most significant advantages of steam cleaners is that you don't have to invest in harsh chemical cleaners or detergents as the dry steam they produce is powerful enough to lift grease and dirt without any chemicals. This also makes them environmentally-friendly.
Q4: Is It Better To Shampoo Or Steam Clean Carpets?
Ans: It's always best to steam clean your carpets as they will not just remove dirt and grime from your carpets but will also sanitize it as well. For steam cleaning a carpet, all you'll need is your steam cleaner and hot water to vaporize the dirt and break it down, but shampooing will require detergent.
Additionally, with steam cleaning, your carpet will dry out much quicker while shampooing will make the carpet take longer to dry out. Another disadvantage of shampooing is that it doesn't kill bedbugs and fleas as efficiently as steaming.
Q5: Can Steam Cleaners Be Used On Carpets?
Ans: Yes, steam cleaners are a fantastic way of cleaning your carpets. They can disinfect and eliminate stains simultaneously. At 212 °F, the steam can even kill germs, mild spores, bedbugs, and fleas. After steaming, your carpets will be clean, refreshed, and safe for your kids and pets. However, keep in mind that not all steam cleaners are the same, and some models might be too harsh on your carpets. The units mentioned in our list are all tried and tested on carpets and area rugs.
Best Overall Carpet Cleaner: Final Verdict
That wraps up our list of the best steam cleaners for your carpets and buying guide. Investing in a powerful steam cleaner will provide you with a clean and hygienic environment, cut the duration of your cleaning sessions in half, and save you money in the long run. We have full confidence in all the units mentioned in our list, and they'll certainly not let you down.
However, the BISSELLProHeat 2X Revolution Max thanks to its sturdy design, large water tanks, and excellent performance, edge out its competitors and take the top spot on our list of best carpet steam cleaners. If you want a powerful steam cleaner without having to break the bank, the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe is an easy to use, efficient and an affordable steam cleaner for your carpets.