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Best Carpet Cleaner Reviews UK 2020 – Top 9 Choices

Last Updated On June 10th, 2020

In the name of research we’ve swallowed hard, rolled up our sleeves and dug into the subject of home carpet cleaners, researching the hundreds of models currently on the market – all in search of the best carpet cleaner.

Of course, determining the top choice isn’t a simple matter, it depends on your particular needs. Some people will use their carpet cleaner regularly. Others believe in annual or semi-annual deep cleanings. And many simply have to deal with continual messes which rambunctious children and uncontrollable pets (or the other way around) make.

Depending on the necessity, every household still needs a reliable carpet cleaner. From the model that sports a string of state-of-the-art features to the simple yet robust carpet washer, we will give you a fine selection of top carpet cleaner options available on the market today.

As far as we’re concerned, performance and versatility matter. This is the primary focus of our carpet cleaner reviews – to help you find the best carpet cleaners for home use.

So, let’s get started. The stains are waiting!

Our Favourite Carpet Cleaners Compared

Editor's Choice
Vax Dual Power Carpet Cleaner, 2.7 Litre, 800 W, Grey
Best Heavy Duty
BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution | Upright Cleaner | Carpets Dry in About 30 Minutes | Powerful Suction for Professional Results | 18583, Plastic, 800 W, 4.5 liters, Titanium/Red Berends
Best Luxury
BISSELL Stain Pro 6 | Carpet Cleaner With HeatWave Technology and 6 Rows Of Rotating Brushes | 20096
Best Lightweight
Vax Compact Power Carpet Cleaner
Vax W86-DP-B Dual Power
2X Revolution with HeatWave
BISSELL StainPro 6
Vax Compact Power
Power
800 W
800 W
800 W
800 W
Water Capacity
Clean - 2.7 L / Dirty - 1.5 L
Clean - 3.7 L / Dirty - 4.5 L
2 in 1 Tank-in-Tank 3.7 L
Clean - 1.8 L / Dirty - 1.5 L
Weight
5.8 kg
8 kg
9 kg
5.7 kg
Editor's Choice
Vax Dual Power Carpet Cleaner, 2.7 Litre, 800 W, Grey
Vax W86-DP-B Dual Power
Power
800 W
Water Capacity
Clean - 2.7 L / Dirty - 1.5 L
Weight
5.8 kg
Best Heavy Duty
BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution | Upright Cleaner | Carpets Dry in About 30 Minutes | Powerful Suction for Professional Results | 18583, Plastic, 800 W, 4.5 liters, Titanium/Red Berends
2X Revolution with HeatWave
Power
800 W
Water Capacity
Clean - 3.7 L / Dirty - 4.5 L
Weight
8 kg
Best Luxury
BISSELL Stain Pro 6 | Carpet Cleaner With HeatWave Technology and 6 Rows Of Rotating Brushes | 20096
BISSELL StainPro 6
Power
800 W
Water Capacity
2 in 1 Tank-in-Tank 3.7 L
Weight
9 kg
Best Lightweight
Vax Compact Power Carpet Cleaner
Vax Compact Power
Power
800 W
Water Capacity
Clean - 1.8 L / Dirty - 1.5 L
Weight
5.7 kg

Top 10 Best Carpet Cleaner Reviews

1. Vax W86-DP-B (Editor’s Choice)

Vax W86-DP-BWhether you are looking to revive old, tired carpets and for a fresher smelling home or trying to restore lighter colours to their former glory, this budget-priced carpet cleaner from Vax makes a great choice.

Features

Its dual rotating brushbars and 800 watts of power provide deep cleaning leaving your carpet both looking and smelling better. Hidden dust and debris are also removed, making your home more hygienically clean which is a must for homes with allergy or asthma sufferers. The twin-tank system ensures that your carpets are only washed with clean water and that dirty water is kept separate for disposal.

It is lightweight compared to most carpet cleaners so it is easy to move around as well as bring up and downstairs. Moreover, its narrow floorhead makes it easy to get around and under furniture. However, it does not come with any cleaning accessories for stairs or soft furnishings. So if you are after a carpet cleaner for upholstery cleaning too, then you would be better considering another carpet washer.

As this carpet cleaner is lightweight, the 2.7-litre clean water tank is a little on the small side for large rooms and you may need to stop to refill several times. The main issue with the Vax is how difficult it is to remove fluff from the brushes after cleaning. As the brush bars and fittings cannot easily be removed, this process can be rather frustrating.

Pros:
  • 800-watt power with a 2.7-litre clean tank capacity
  • Dual rotating brush bars for deep cleaning
  • Lightweight at only 5.8kg
  • Twin-tanks keep dirty water separate
  • Narrow floorhead for getting around furniture
Cons:
  • No accessories or tools included
  • Tricky to remove accumulated carpet fluff
  • Need to frequently change clean water

2. 2X Revolution with HeatWave (Best Heavy-duty)

2X Revolution with HeatWaveThis pro-level carpet cleaner from BISSELL features an attractive futuristic design, while also being powerful and lightweight. If you have stubborn stains to attend to, the ProHeat 2X Revolution Carpet Cleaner will help you eliminate them quickly – returning your carpets to their former glory with little fuss.

Features

With built-in separate clean and dirty tanks, its ultra-low profile hugs the carpet, sliding underneath the furniture to reach awkward areas easily. The dual bristle-packed rotating brush bars and ‘HeatWave’ optimally heated warm water reaches deep into the fibres, lifting out embedded dirt for beautiful results. Furthermore, should you wish to clean stairs, upholstery or other furnishings above floor level, simply click the included hose and attachments into place for a fully-flexible cleaning system.

It offers multiple cleaning settings to choose from, depending on the severity of the dirt you are facing. Choose ‘Express Clean’ Mode for general maintenance or ‘Deep Clean’ Mode for those heavy-duty jobs. No matter which mode you choose, its suction is powerful and effectively removes all moisture from carpets and furnishings as you go, leaving a completely dry carpet in as little as an hour. This is especially convenient if you have children or pets in the home as you won’t need to avoid the room for hours after cleaning.

We’re hard-pressed to find fault with this superior carpet cleaner. However, its size and bulk may make it awkward to store if you have limited space. Some users also commented that the assembly instructions were a little difficult to understand. If you’re new to carpet cleaners, this may take a bit of trial and error to get right the first time you use it. Lastly, cleaning the brush rolls and replacing the belts can be quite fiddly, especially if you have a deep carpet pile which sheds a lot of fluff.

Pros:
  • Separate clean and dirty water
  • ‘HeatWave technology’ maintains consistent hot water temperature
  • Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre
  • Dual brushes and two cleaning settings
  • Extra attachments for above-floor cleaning
  • Powerful carpet suction means carpets dry fast
Cons:
  • Bulky design
  • Assembly can be difficult
  • Awkward to clean

3. BISSELL StainPro 6 (Best Luxury)

Not many carpet cleaners offer the technology BISSELL StainPro 6to keep water temperature high while cleaning, which is why this BISSELL StainPro 6 stands out from the crowd. Thanks to its Heatwave Technology, you’ll be able to achieve a deeper and more even wash from start to finish.

Features

Showcasing the Edge Sweep Brushes and a stair attachment, it can more easily get close into corners and up against walls, so you won’t need to struggle with hard to reach areas. Dirt, stains and debris are quickly dealt with by six rows of rotating DirtLifter brushes – enabling the StainPro 6 to get deep to the heart of your carpets and rugs.

Furthermore, it is much easier for you to save water with this carpet cleaner, as the dirty and clean water is stored separately. This is particularly useful if you have a small home, as you can save the clean water for next time should you have some left over.

However, there are a few negatives to this product. Most notably, customers experienced issues with the water flow suddenly stopping, causing an unwelcome interruption to their progress. On top of that, the instructions aren’t easy to follow, which may end up leading to further problems and unnecessary delays when they are encountered.

Lastly, the attachment for cleaning stairs and awkward areas, while a great idea, can sometimes spray too much liquid and therefore make them more difficult to wash and dry.

Pros:
  • Six Rows of Rotating DirtLifter Brushes for deep cleaning
  • Heatwave Technology maintains a warm water temperature
  • Edge Sweep Brushes help you wash around edges
  • Hose and tool allow access to hard to reach areas
  • Clean and dirty water are kept separate
Cons:
  • Instructions can be confusing
  • Water flow is prone to stopping
  • Stair attachment can spray too much liquid

4. Vax Compact Power (Best Lightweight)

Vax Compact PowerAre you tired of hauling heavy appliances around your home? Then the Vax Compact Power carpet washer is the model for you.

Features

Weighing just 5.7kg, the Vax Compact is the lightest carpet cleaner in the Vax range. Its streamlined design and the narrow head is effortless to manoeuvre. Thus, you can wash large and small spaces without breaking a sweat. Due to its compact shape and low weight, it’s easy to carry up and down staircases without struggling or risking injury, although the length of the head makes it a little difficult to use on stair carpets.

In terms of cleaning power, this model may be small but it still packs a punch. Boasting a reach of 6.7m and a 1.8L capacity, its specialised antimicrobial ‘Aquaspin’ brush bar beats deep into carpet fibres. The brush effectively removes stubborn stains, spills, or pet-related accidents in minutes. Thanks to its ‘Heat Blast’ technology, you won’t have to wait around too long for your carpets to dry afterwards.

Lightweight, effective, and easy to store – there’s plenty of reasons to choose the Vax Compact Power carpet washer. However, like any product, it does have a couple of downsides. The plastic brush cover is prone to coming loose if caught and it’s a little awkward to take apart for cleaning.

Pros:
  • Quite lightweight at 5.7kg
  • Streamlined design is easy to manoeuvre and store
  • Great for both large carpets and narrow spaces
  • Aquaspin brushes effectively remove stains
  • Heat blast technology reduces drying times
Cons:
  • Plastic brush cover comes loose easily if caught
  • Difficult to use on stairs
  • Awkward to unscrew for cleaning

5. Vax Rapid Power Plus Washer (Budget Choice)

Vax Rapid PowerThink you need to spend big bucks to get great results? Think again. The budget-friendly Vax Rapid Power Plus Carpet Washer delivers beautifully fresh and bright carpets without breaking the bank.

Features

Offering an Auto-Mix solution system and two huge 4.7L capacity water tanks for both clean and dirty water, this budget carpet cleaner is capable of covering quite large areas in one fill. The generous reach length of 10.5m allows you to get the job done in one session, without having to stop to switch power outlets part-way through.

Tough stains stand no chance against the Vax Rapid Power Plus. Edge to edge ‘Spinscrub’ brushes and spins in alternate directions, working deep into your carpet to effortlessly dislodge embedded dirt and debris. Moreover, the choice of attachments enables you to clean stairs and the tightest of spots with ease. In a hurry? The ‘Quick Clean’ mode cleans and dries carpets in less than an hour, so you can get onto more enjoyable tasks in no time.

If you’re short of cash and looking for an affordable carpet cleaner, this model is clearly an excellent choice. It does have a few drawbacks though. Two large tanks mean it’s pretty heavy to move around and the suction can be somewhat temperamental at times. Lastly, when you need to remove the brushes for cleaning, be prepared to spend some time unscrewing the head to get them out.

Pros:
  • Great power at an affordable price
  • Twin 4.7L capacity clean and dirty water tanks
  • Generous range of attachments
  • Edge to edge Spinscrub brushes effectively remove dirt and debris
  • Quick Clean mode cleans and dries carpets in under an hour
Cons:
  • Heavy
  • Suction can be temperamental
  • Brushes are time-consuming to remove and clean>

6. BISSELL SpotClean PRO Portable

A lot of carpet cleaners can be on the BISSELL SpotClean PRO Portablebigger or bulkier side because they need to pack in a lot of technology. However, that doesn’t have to be the only way, and the Bissell SpotClean PRO Portable is a great example of that.

Features

This lightweight carpet cleaner packs a lot of portable cleaning power, which means you’ll be able to wash your stairs, upholstery and even car interior with relative ease. Furthermore, despite its small size, its tank is large enough for you to wash an average sized room without needing to be refilled.

These tanks have also been designed so you can effortlessly refill and empty them without any spilling, which is another added bonus. Because of its size, you might expect that it would be tough to tackle larger stains, but the large and tough stain attachments negate this. These attachments enable you to get up close and personal with your stain removal but also means there’s some hefty scrubbing on your hands and knees required.

While this Bissell carpet washer is certainly compact and convenient, it is also incredibly noisy compared to bigger carpet cleaners. This is probably because it has to put in a lot more effort in, in order to provide similar cleaning quality.

Also, the suction isn’t fantastic, so you’ll likely have to tiptoe around damp carpets for a good few hours after cleaning.

Pros:
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Includes attachments for larger and tougher stains
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • The tanks are larger than expected for its size
  • Low risk of spillage when emptying or filling the tanks
Cons:
  • Requires quite a lot of physical effort to remove stain
  • Very noisy
  • Carpets can take some time to dry

7. Vax Rapid Power Revive

Vax Rapid Power ReviveIf you’re looking for deep cleaning power and convenience, the Vax Rapid Power Revive carpet washer is a great choice.

Features

This carpet cleaner combines twin 4.7L water tanks and five of Vax’s specialised ‘SpinScrub’ brushes for fast and effective results over large areas. Whether you’re battling trodden-in mud, food stains, or pet messes, this heavy-duty model can help.
The edge-to-edge brushrolls spin in opposing directions, penetrating deep into the pile to easily lift dirt out of the fibres. Thanks to their clever design, the brushrolls are able to clean right up to your skirting boards. However, you could always use the crevice tool for this purpose, if you prefer. Above floor cleaning is simple, too. Just attach the wash tool to tackle dirty sofas, car seats, and staircases.
With a choice of two cleaning modes, this carpet washer has something for everyone. Choose “deep clean’ mode to thoroughly clean thick, mucky carpets, or ‘quick clean’ mode to freshen up and dry floors in under an hour. Not sure how much solution to use? The Vax Rapid Power Revive offers an Auto-Mix function, so you can just fill up, switch on, and go.
Due to its size and power, bear in mind that this model is rather bulky to store and quite heavy to carry. It can be a little noisy, too, but we think this is a small price to pay for a fantastic clean.

Pros:
  • Twin 4.7L water tanks for a long runtime
  • Five edge-to-edge SpinScrub brushes for effective dirt removal
  • Includes crevice and above floor wash tools
  • Choice of ‘Deep Clean’ or “Quick Clean’ modes
  • Auto-Mix function eliminates guesswork
Cons:
  • Quite heavy
  • Bulk makes it awkward to store
  • A little noisy

8. BISSEL InstaClean Compact

BISSELL InstaClean CompactIf you’re looking for an effective carpet cleaner to refresh dirty carpets in your home, the BISSELL InstaClean Compact is an excellent choice.

Features

Boasting a special ‘Dirtlifter’ rotating power brush, this compact carpet cleaner tackles embedded dirt and troublesome stains effortlessly. Difficult areas such as alongside skirting boards and stairs are easy to clean. Thanks to the EdgeSweep brushes that reach into those tight spots for beautifully even results.

Complete with separate clean and dirty water tanks for ultimate hygiene, the BISSELL InstaClean Compact ensures water is never recycled. However, the disposal of water is easy, without any wastage. Additionally, the retractable telescopic handle and low 5.5kg weight are great for all users. This is particularly beneficial for those who often suffer discomfort and fatigue with heavier appliances. Perfect if you have limited space, its compact design is also simple to store.

There’s clearly lots to love about the BISSELL InstaClean. However, it does have a few drawbacks. Some users have complained that it is rather noisy during use and that the brush bristles are difficult to clean. Furthermore, we were disappointed that this model didn’t come with any special attachments for upholstery or stairs.

Pros:
  • Highly-effective ‘Dirtlifter’ rotating power brush removes grime from deep within carpet fibres
  • EdgeSweep brushes ensure an even clean
  • Separate clean and dirty water tanks
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Telescopic handle for comfortable use
Cons:
  • Noisy
  • Awkward to clean bristles
  • No extra attachments

9. Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner

When you’ve got ‘portable’ in your name, you Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleanershould be able to live up to it, and this Rug Doctor Portable Spot mini carpet cleaner with hand tool does it spectacularly. Being very lightweight, it’s already easy to manoeuvre; but the inclusion of a retractable handle and carpet-friendly wheels means you’ll find it more effortless to use than many other small models.

Features

Despite its size, it boasts of having suction that is extremely powerful, perhaps enough to rival some of its bigger competitors. Part of this is down to its motorized brush, which loosens up most of the dirt in your carpet before efficiently sucking it up.

Furthermore, if you particularly hate cleaning the stairs, this carpet shampooer could actually make this chore enjoyable. Specifically designed to safely and easily fit on a standard stair, you simply place the unit on the stair below while you wash, without any worry about it toppling off and tumbling down.

However, the compact design has some downsides. Firstly, because of its shape, accurately filling up the area for the cleaning solution is rather awkward, and may lead to spilling until you get the hang of it.

The tanks are also smaller than you’d expect, so you will likely need to empty and refill a lot, leading to the potential for mess. Lastly, when compared to other models we have seen, the Rug Doctor Portable isn’t very long lasting.

Many users found this handheld carpet cleaner started to lose suction after only a few months, which is a disappointment considering given how well the rest of this carpet cleaner works.

Pros:
  • Motorised brush for deep and effortless carpet cleaning
  • Very lightweight and easy to transport
  • Suction is powerful for its size
  • Designed for easy cleaning of stairs and other awkward areas
  • Features retractable handle for more manoeuvrability
  • includes a hand tool
Cons:
  • Can be difficult to accurately fill with cleaning solution
  • Loses suction relatively quickly
  • Requires frequent filling and emptying

Carpet Cleaner Buying Guide

When you buy the wrong carpet cleaner, not only can it be an expensive mistake; it can also lead to hours of discomfort and frustration every time you use it.

Therefore, when choosing the best carpet cleaner, you need to make sure you have taken into consideration the following features before making your final decision:

Weight

If you’re accustomed to using cordless vacuum cleaners or traditional cleaners, you’ll quickly discover a key difference when you shop for your first carpet cleaner. Most vacuum models weigh about the same when you’re wheeling or toting them around, but when it comes to carpet cleaners, the weight varies considerably – for a reason that makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

Those designed to be used in big houses will have big tanks to match, and thus, this naturally adds to the overall weight and bulk. However, that’s not to say you should always opt to buy a smaller model.

Using an undersized carpet cleaner in your home will force you to repeatedly stop to empty the dirty water and refill the clean water tank – taking you much more time than necessary to finish the job.

Water Temperature

Another important consideration when you buy is whether you or not you want a carpet cleaner with a tank heater.

Using heated cleaning greatly increases the ability of the solution to break down dust, grime and stain removal of dirt wedged deep inside your carpet fibres, but unfortunately, the heated cleaning also adds weight and bulk. In fact, units with built-in heaters can often weigh 10kg or more.

The bottom line is that a large carpet cleaner, particularly those with an integral heater, can be extremely difficult to manoeuvre. That might not be a deal-breaker if you’re just going to use it once or twice a year but can quickly become tiresome if you clean on a regular basis.

Therefore, determining how large a machine you need, and whether the heated cleaning is important to you, are some of the first steps you should take before you buy.

Standard or Multi-Purpose

The next decision to make is whether you carpet washer removing dirtprefer a multi-function (sometimes called a two-in-one) model or those that are strictly for washing your carpets. A two-in-one model can also be a vacuum cleaner, so the same unit can clean up the loose dirt sitting on top of the carpet before shampooing.

A multi-function carpet washer can, therefore, save time and effort but can also be an advantage if storage space is at a premium in your flat or small home. However, the vacuum in the two-in-one model is usually simply not as powerful or effective as dedicated vacuum models. If we’re honest, we’re not crazy about them.

That said, several other upper-level carpet washer functions are particularly useful and should at least be considered.

The first is heated carpet cleaning, this type blows hot air onto the carpet during the shampooing process. This speeds up drying time considerably but may cause damage to particularly delicate rugs.

The second convenient feature you can choose when you buy is an automix system that pre-blends water and carpet cleaning detergent in the right proportions. This saves not only time but also the hassle of getting the combination perfectly right whenever you have to fill the cleaner.

Performance

Effectiveness, of course, largely depends on the technology the carpet cleaner uses, and the performance of a carpet cleaner is generally based on its cleaning heads and motor.

New higher-level models typically have separate rotating brushes or brush heads (containing a number of smaller brushes) which dig deeper into the carpet, while lesser models will usually have a single head. If required, you can also find some units with brush rollers which don’t penetrate as deeply but are more gentle and therefore ideal for use on delicate rugs.

Motor size usually ranges from 500-1850 watts and is generally a good measure of carpet cleaning performance and suction, as well as how quickly your carpet will dry on its own once you have finished.

Attachments

The final consideration involves attachments or powered carpet cleaning tools.

Among the most useful are air-powered brushes that provide deeper clean, smaller brushes for spot cleaning, upholstery tool for furnishings, and a hand tool or crevice tool for hard-to-reach areas. Many carpet cleaning machines will now come with attachments which are specifically designed for use on the stairs, which are well-known as one of the most difficult areas to clean.

Conclusion

Of course, we love all of the products featured in these carpet cleaner reviews. However, we would, without doubt, choose the Vax W86-DP-B as our pick for the best carpet cleaner in the UK.

If you’re looking to get sparkling clean carpets without the fuss, this 800-watt model will not let you down. Showcasing dual rotating brush bars, the Vax W86-DP-B reaches the depths of your carpet fibres to extract dust and debris for beautifully fresh and clean results. Twin tanks keep dirty and clean water separated for ultimate hygiene and odour elimination.

As if these features weren’t great enough, the Vax W86-DP-B is fantastically lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. What’s more, the narrow width of the cleaning head is great for getting into hard to reach places. Hence, you can enjoy an even clean across the whole room without having to clear everything out of the way.

Overall, we’re sure you’ll agree that the Vax W86-DP-B is a worthy winner that will make cleaning your carpets an enjoyable experience!

Additional Resources

4 Responses

  1. I do agree that the Vax Rapide is an excellent cleaner. However the dirty water tank is an absolute nightmare to keep clean. I have had mine for 2 years and the tank is to be honest quite disgusting looking. Despite constant efforts to rinse and wash it after every use.The new units are in one open piece but this has many inaccessible to clean areas and the dirt soon builds up..I would personally add this to the bad points on any review.
    The different style tank can clearly be seen in the photo,it is not an open style and has many areas that cannot be reached when cleaning after use.this was a complaint that many users made,including myself and I was pleased to see that the new design is open and easily cleaned.

  2. I agree. I gave up with these uprights and their rotating brushes due to the sheer difficulty in cleaning them, they are not user friendly!! And try putting on a new belt! Forget it! And the rotating bars don’t last long. Much prefer the cylinder types. Though long years of experience have taught me that a commercial cleaner is what I really need – these domestic machines just don’t cut the mustard.

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