No matter how long you spend cleaning your carpets, one way or another, it’ll end up as dirty as it was before. Go the smart route and invest in a handy carpet cleaner instead.
Carpet cleaners come in all shapes and sizes, but if you want to eliminate the most stubbornness stains from your carpet’s fibers without lugging around bulky tools, a portable carpet cleaner is your best bet.
Today, I will present to you my list of the 15 top portable carpet cleaner the market offering. Whether you’re searching for the Rolls Royce of portable carpet cleaners or something easier on the wallet, there’s something here for everybody to enjoy.
What Is a Carpet Cleaner?
A carpet cleaner is exactly what the name suggests: a device made to clean carpets.
The biggest difference between carpet cleaners and traditional vacuum cleaners is the clean and dirty water tanks. These tanks hold onto a mixture of water and any carpet-cleaning solution to deep-clean a carpet and restore it to its former glory.
Can A Portable Carpet Cleaner Produce Professional-Quality Cleaning?
Absolutely! With the right carpet cleaner, portable or otherwise, your carpets will shine as brightly as the day you first brought it home.
Portable carpet cleaners are compact, easy to maintain, and hardly weigh a thing. Some of the best models I’ve tested were able to remove the grossest, most stubbornness pet stains in under 5 minutes.
Remember: these are portable carpet cleaners that work best at spot-cleaning carpets rather than cleaning the carpet’s entire surface. It’s possible to do, but it will take more time.
Portable Carpet Cleaner Comparison Table 2020
Would you like to see the key features of the top 15 portable carpet cleaners in a nutshell? In the table below, you’ll find the entire list with each model’s most distinct features.
|Best Portable Carpet Cleaners||Type||Dry Weight||Size (in.)||Tank (fl. oz.)||Heater|
|Bissell 33N8A SpotBot – Best Overall||Corded Bot||14 lbs.||16.9 x 9.1 x 12.5||32||No|
|Bissell Multi-Purpose 1400B Carpet Cleaner – Best for the Environment||Corded||9.6 lbs.||6.5 x 12 x 15||48||No|
|Hoover FH11300PC Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner||Corded||8 lbs.||10 x 14 x 15||36||No|
|Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaning Machine – Best for Pet Messes||Corded||12 lbs.||16.1 x 11 x 15.7||64||No|
|Bissell SpotClean 5207A||Corded||9 lbs.||9.75 x 16.4 x 14.3||37||Yes|
|Bissell SpotClean 3624||Corded||13 lbs.||14 x 10 x 14||96||No|
|Bissell ProHeat 14259 – Best Maneuverability||Corded||13 lbs.||8 x 17 x 13||48||Yes|
|Bissell Pet Stain Eraser – Best Handheld||Cordless||3.6 lbs.||16.5 x 5.5 x 7||8||No|
|Bissell Spotlifer Powerbrush 1716B – Budget Pick||Corded||4 lbs.||18.5 x 9.8 x 7.4||20||No|
|Hoover Deluxe FH11400PC Carpet Cleaner - Best Spot Cleaner||Corded||8.3 lbs.||10 x 14 x 15||87||No|
|Aqua Pro Vac Carpet Extractor – Best High-End||Corded||25 lbs.||21 x 15 x 17||398||No|
|Bissell SpotClean ProHeat 5207F||Corded||8.5 lbs.||7 x 12 x 14.5||37||Yes|
|Bissell SpotClean 7786A||Corded||13 lbs.||16.4 x 10.9 x 14.4||37||Yes|
|Bissell SpotClean 1570||Cordless||8.5 lbs.||7 x 12 x 15||37||No|
|Hoover BH12001 Carpet Stain Remover – Best Compatability||Cordless||7 lbs.||13 x 15 x 10||32||No|
Best Portable Carpet Cleaner Reviews 2020
Now, you should have a general idea of what you can get out of each portable carpet cleaner, we can move onto the finer details of each model.
1. Bissell SpotBot Pet 33N8A
There are several reasons why the Bissell SpotBot Pet 33N8A is my favorite. For starters, this is a hands free unit that scrubs your carpet for you.
Placing the stain removal brush on the dirty patch of your carpet and pressing a button eliminates the stain fully and truly. The stain removal brush spins in a circular motion, allowing the long bristles to dig deep into carpet fibers and remove buried stains.
The 33N8A is equipped with a smart system that calculates how much solution to dispense, reducing water and solution waste. If the robot cannot sit comfortably on the carpet stain, you can uncoil the suction hose and manually scrub away.
- Does most of the work for you
- Free trial-size bottle carpet cleaning formula
- Small profile
- Hard to access tanks
- Suction hose isn’t flexible
Watch this video to automatic and manual cleaning with the SpotBot.
2. Bissell Multi-Purpose 1400B Carpet Cleaner
(Best for the Environment)
For the environmentalists out there, you might be happy to learn that 50% of the material that goes into the 1400B comes from recycled goods.
Bissell ensures that both the clean and dirty water tanks don’t contain PVC which may release chlorine and other toxic pollutants into your carpet. You won’t need to worry about eliminating one problem while creating an entirely different issue on your home’s floors.
It’s super-easy to fill, empty, and clean out the tanks. This appliance also delivers a heavy-duty suction that can remove some of the toughest carpet stains in just a few simple passes.
- It’s a snap to put together
- Useful for cleaning carpets, upholstery, and auto interiors
- Not very loud
- Might require a bit of manual scrubbing after using the tool
- Must be cleaned out regularly
This video shows the Little Green hard at work.
3. Hoover FH11300PC Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner
The two major features that stand out in the FH11300PC are its self-cleaning technology and solution-dispersion button.
If you’ve ever owned a carpet cleaner, portable or otherwise, then you are most likely aware of just how annoying it can be having to manually clean the suction hose. The FH11300PC eliminates this task by flushing the suction hose free of any residual cleaning agent after a well done job.
The new solution-dispersion button releases a gentle stream of your favorite cleaning solution without pumping. A light press of the button and you’ll have even distribution of carpet detergent across the entire surface of the stain.
- Several cleaning tools for extra versatility
- Powerful suction simplifies cleaning task
- Self-cleaning (Need I go on?)
- The brush’s bristles aren’t the sturdiest and may end up snapping off
- Doesn’t hold a lot of water
Check this video out to see the FH1300PC in action.
4. Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaning Machine
(Best for Pet Messes)
This is something any pet owner would love to have. This fire-engine-red carpet cleaner is a powerful carpet cleaner that, thanks to its large wheels, is easy to move around. In fact, you can tow it around by pulling on the suction hose.
The Doctor’s magnificent cleaning performance comes from its motorized brush. With a spinning cleaning tool, you won’t need to put in nearly as much muscle into removing stubborn stains. Just let the motorized brush do the heavy lifting for you.
I found that it only takes about 15 minutes for my carpets to become dry to the touch after working with the Doctor.
- Powerful suction
- Easy to maneuver thanks to the oversized wheels
- Quick and easy removable tanks
- A bit bulky
- Prone to leaking after a few months of use
This is a demonstration video of the Carpet Cleaning Machine at work.
5. Bissell SpotClean 5207A
This uses Bissell’s Heatwave Technology to keep the tank’s water at a constant temperature. The kicker is that it does not bring cold water to temperature but rather maintains the temperature of the water for longer.
One other great feature of the 5207A is the deep-reach cleaning tool that gives users the ability to scrub their carpet at its roots all the way to the tips. Any hidden debris and embedded stains will be extracted from your carpets, making it as clean as the day you first brought it home. Quick and easy!
- Excellent cleaning performance
- Easy to put together out of the box
- Durable build will last for many years
- Fill lines in the tank are almost invisible
- Easy to spill the tank water
Here’s an awesome unboxing video of the 5207A.
6. Bissell SpotClean 3624
The Bissell SpotClean 3624 is like no other - it cleans low, medium, and high-pile carpeting like nobody’s business.
The inlet’s power suction picks up more water and cleaning solution than most carpet cleaners out there. The stain removing tool scrubs harder with little effort, making the job a lot easier than you could ever imagine.
One thing I love about the 3624 is the 6-inch stair cleaning tool. The tool is small enough to clean the corners, but it’s also wide enough that it only takes just a few swipes to get the job done. The unit’s compact size allows it to sit comfortably on individual steps.
- Handy cleaning attachments
- Powerful suction leaves carpets dry to the touch
- Small footprint means easy staircase cleaning
- Suction hose can crack easily
- A bit on the heavy side
This is a link to a helpful video review.
7. Bissell ProHeat 14259
If you’re looking for a device that’s not only super-easy to maneuver but is also pleasing to the eye, then the 14529 belongs in your home.
The 14529 to fit easily into tight areas is the thin crevice tool. If your child (or yourself) somehow managed to drop a glassful of sticky juice in between upholstery cushions, this is the go-to tool to remove messes.
The 14259 uses ProHeat Technology that heats water 25° warmer than room temperature. It doesn’t boil water, but it’ll provide plenty of heat for removing sticky or crunchy stains from almost any surface.
- Longer cleaning
- Cleaning tools increase maneuverability and versatility
- Tanks don’t take any time to clean
- Suction power isn’t its strongest suit
- Main scrubbing tool doesn’t reach very deep
This video review will show you all you need to know about the Stain Eraser.
8. Bissell Pet Stain Eraser
For those of you in the market for something that won’t tie you down, the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser is most likely going to be your favorite of the bunch.
The Pet Stain Eraser’s battery supplies up to 15 minutes of cleaning. This may not sound like much, especially for those living in spacious homes with wide carpets, but for most tiny stain jobs, the battery is definitely up for the challenge. It takes a full 4 hours for the battery to recharge to max capacity.
After pouring a bit of hot water and your favorite carpet cleaning solution into the miniature tank, all that’s left to do is point the nozzle at the stain and it’ll disappear almost instantly.
- Cordless so you’re never tied down to a wall outlet
- Transparent water tanks
- Leaks frequently
- Not reliable for deep-cleaning high-pile carpets
9. Bissell Spotlifer Powerbrush 1716B
If you aren’t willing to part from an arm and a leg, then the Bissel Spotlifter Powerbrush 1716B is most likely what you’re looking for. The price tag on the 1716B is a tiny fraction of other models on this list, so you won’t need to liquidate your investments to own it.
Surprisingly, a cheap price tag doesn’t necessarily mean cheap quality. The weight of the 1716B is almost at par with the Pet Stain Eraser despite being a corded model with a heavier-duty motor.
Another handy feature of the 1716B is its rotating brush. With a brush that rotates constantly, you won’t need to put in nearly as much manual labor to achieve perfectly clean carpets.
- Lightweight build
- Rotating brush
- Doesn’t suction water that well
- Water tank needs to be refilled often
This is video proof of the 1716B’s durability and performance.
10. Hoover Deluxe FH11400PC Carpet Cleaner
(Best Spot Cleaner)
Inside of the box is a stair tool, a crevice tool, a multipurpose antimicrobial tool, and a bag to hold onto all of the accessories. The storage bag is a much-needed feature that can save you from the heartache of misplacing one or more of its cleaning tools.
The multipurpose antimicrobial tool is an addition that I absolutely adore. With this tool connected to the end of the suction hose, you have a better chance of eliminating mold spores and germs on carpets and upholstery. For those of you with pets, this tool is definitely worth the investment.
- Awesome cleaning tools
- Powerful suction and quicker drying time
- Great for wide surfaces as well as tight, hard-to-reach spaces
- Leaking can occur on the hose connection port which affects suction power
- Tank is filled through the side, not the top
Want to see how this device worked in a stain test?
11. Aqua Pro Vac Carpet Extractor
If you are willing to spend more on a compact carpet cleaner, then you should take a look at the Aqua Pro Vac Carpet Extractor.
This portable unit is compact enough to be taken anywhere and everywhere. Plus, it has 360° front castors and oversized back wheels make it easy to move around, even across shaggy rugs. If your home has wall-to-wall carpeting, this feature alone makes it a worthy investment.
In the box, you’ll find two transparent tools. The narrower of the two is made for spot-cleaning, whereas the other can help clear entire carpets in just a few front-to-back passes.
- Awesome maneuverability
- Super-large tank means longer cleaning session per tankful of water
- Long hose, long cord, and long reach
- One of the bulkiest I’ve seen
- No wheel locks
Check this video out to see how well it does at shampooing.
12. Bissell SpotClean ProHeat 5207F
We talked about the 5207A earlier, so let’s spend a few moments going over its brother model, the 5207F.
The most noticeable improvement in the 5207F compared to the A is Bissel’s swapping out Heatwave technology for Proheat. ProHeat technology heats the tankful of water to 25° above room temperature, giving it just enough dissolving power to eliminate nasty stains without wrinkling the carpet’s fibers.
This tool comes with a narrow tough stain tool for stairs, upholstery, and other hard-to-reach spots around your home. It features a DeepStain tool which dispenses a set amount of formula (two trial-size bottles included).
- Better suction power compared to A model
- Two cleaning tools for extra versatility
- ProHeat technology
- Easy to misposition the tank when setting up
- Dirty water can leak out of the tank and onto your carpet
This is a quick video of the 5207F by Eric DIY.
13. Bissell SpotClean 7786A
Here’s a model that works extremely well on other surfaces, including auto interiors. Even though this device is equipped with the “outdated” Heatwave technology, it remains relevant to this day.
A little extra heat in the tank is better than cold water when working with embedded stains, and the 7786A’s built-in heater ensures that every particle of the crustiest stain is removed permanently.
You have one option that using either the 2-in-1 spraying crevice tool getting in between cushions or a 3-inch brush for spot-cleaning stubborn messes.
In spite of its “massive” build, it’s still easy to use and maneuver from room to room without causing fatigue.
- Great for cleaning all sorts of soft surfaces
- Excellent cleaning tools
- Benefits of Heatwave technology
- Bulkier than most models
- The suction hose could be more durable
Check this video out to see how this device works on auto interiors.
14. Bissell SpotClean 1570
The 1570 works a lot like most of the models on this list in terms of cleaning performance but with the added benefit of being cordless. Take this baby from room to room without being tied down.
The 1570 draws uses a massive 25V rechargeable Li-Ion battery – a battery that’s larger than most stick vacs and circular saws.
It comes with a standard brush tool with suction delivery for removing water and dispensed cleaning solution in a single swipe.
The real power lies in the tri-cleaning tool, the heart and soul of Bissell’s ingenuity. This tool makes cleaning carpeted steps, corners, and edges a lot easier than the traditional 2-in-1-er.
- Versatility guaranteed with its cleaning tools
- Massive battery provides 25 minutes of runtime
- Suction power not so good.
- Takes more than four hours to recharge
Here’s a quick video of all of the SpotClean 1570’s features.
15. Hoover BH12001 Stain Remover
Last but not least, the BH12001 by Hoover. If you have dirty kids, pets, or both, then your carpets are just screaming for a good cleaning.
This, like the previous model and the Pet Stain Eraser, is a cordless carpet cleaner. The rechargeable Li-Ion battery only supplies up to around 10 minutes of cleaning per full battery, but with its superior suction power, you’ll have more leftover battery power than what you used to clean a single splotch on your carpets.
The biggest drawback of any cordless carpet cleaner is its charging time; for every 10 minutes of cleaning, you have to charge the BH12001 for 180 minutes! Crazy!
- Cordless for added maneuverability
- Uses the same battery of all devices in the ONEPWR product line
- Terrible runtime-to-charging-time ratio
- Lack of cleaning accessories
Here’s what the Hoover BH12001 looks like in action.
Portable Carpet Cleaner Buying Guide
Finding the right portable carpet cleaner can be a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. By following this brief guide, the task of finding the right model can be as easy as 1-2-3.
Things to Keep in Mind
How well the unit moves around your floors is one of the most important factors to keep in mind. After all, the last thing you want is to lug around a heavy unit that doesn’t clean carpeted steps, have the reach to clean furniture cushions or auto interiors, or requires two or more people to move around.
The dry weight of the tool determines not only how mobile the device is but also how easy it is to carry.
The size of the clean and dirty water tanks will ultimately determine how long you can work. A larger tank – 32 fl. oz. or more – can provide you with enough time to clean multiple rooms or dozens of square feet of carpeting.
Corded vs. Cordless
Corded models can run indefinitely, provided you have a constant flow of water entering the tank and electricity flowing through a wall outlet. Cordless models are great because you can clean anywhere and everywhere with a stain.
Included Cleaning Attachments
The cleaning attachments/tools/accessories will ultimately determine how versatile the portable carpet cleaner is. If the portable carpet cleaner comes with a motorized brush, you’ll have a lot less manual scrubbing to do.
A heater ensures that the water is above room temperature, thereby giving the tool better dissolving power when tackling old stains.
Do I Need a Portable Carpet Cleaner?
If you’re looking for something that can clean the entire surface of a carpet in just a few passes, then an upright or canister carpet cleaner is what you’re looking for.
If you don’t battle huge stains daily, then a portable carpet cleaner is the better tool to invest in. It all comes down to how much cleaning you actually need to do.
Now, we’d like take a few moments to answer some commonly asked questions.
My Top Pick is the Bissell SpotBot Pet 33N8A – a nifty little robot that does most of the dirty work for you. Its smart sensor also eliminates a lot of the guesswork of how much water and solution to dispense when cleaning a certain stain.
It’s not without its faults, but it will relieve you of the tedious task of getting down on your hands and knees and manually scrubbing the stain away.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the article on the 15 top portable carpet cleaners. Even though Bissell basically dominated the list, there are several non-Bissell products to choose from. I’m quite fond of the Doctor, but you really can’t go wrong with the SpotBot Pet 33N8A.