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When it comes to cleaning the carpets in your home, it’s likely you have a vacuum cleaner as your regular, go-to device. This is the most common and convenient answer to cleaning carpets on a regular basis. Vacuum cleaners are great for removing surface dirt, hair, dust and other debris which builds up over time. However, if you’re more serious about cleaning your carpets, which you should be at least twice a year, then you’ll need to turn to a device built for deep cleaning carpets. We’re talking about one of the best carpet steam cleaners.
What is a Carpet Cleaner?
Unlike your average vacuum cleaner, which works on sucking loose dirt from the surface of your carpets with minimal surface disturbance, a carpet cleaner dives deep into the carpet to loosen stubborn dirt using an additional factor in the form of either chemicals or steam. This makes these devices far more effective at cleaning every part of the carpet, from top to bottom. This deep clean doesn’t just clean better than your average vacuum either, it restores its appearance, often achieving a like-new look.
The number of times you should deep clean your carpet per year starts at one and increases significantly if you have pets, children or large amounts of regular foot traffic passing over your carpeted areas.
Carpet Steam Cleaner vs. Carpet Cleaner
One of the more confusing parts of the world of carpet cleaning is understanding the difference between a carpet cleaner and a steam carpet cleaner. At a simple level, one device uses steam and the other does not. But which is more effective? And why would you choose one over the other?
The best carpet steam cleaners use high-temperature steam to deep clean into your carpets. This offers a number of benefits over their chemical-dependent counterparts. These benefits include:
- No Harsh Chemicals – By only using hot water in the cleaning process, these cleaners are more environmentally friendly, less prone to stimulating allergies and save you the costs of having to regularly buy cleaning products. The lack of chemicals lessens the risk of damaging surfaces or being left with unpleasant streaks or stains after cleaning.
- Versatility – Steam cleaning devices are surprisingly versatile. In addition to carpets, they can usually be used on multiple other surfaces including glass, tile, metal and mirrors. A lot of this versatility is because they don’t require potentially surface damaging chemicals in the process.
- Effectiveness – The steaming process is an effective way to clean and sanitize your carpets and remove the dirt, bacteria, mold, mites and all the other nasties hiding inside.
It’s worth noting that the best carpet cleaners also use water in the cleaning process, but not in the form of steam. Instead, they use specially formulated chemical cleaning formulas combined with advanced technology to deep clean your carpets through mechanical disturbance and chemical reactions. The process is then completed using water-assisted cleaning to remove the dirt from your carpet.
We’ve included a range of the best carpet steam cleaners along with a number of non-steam effective carpet cleaners for you to choose from. The right option for you will depend on the level and type of cleaning you’re searching for.
The Best Carpet Steam Cleaners
These devices use high-temperature steam to clean carpets and remove up to 99.99% of bacteria, dust mites and mold growth. This process can be done without the need for harsh chemicals, which makes the process more environmentally friendly and less likely to leave streaks. Additionally, as long as you have a supply of water, you can keep cleaning for as long as you need to.
1. COSTWAY Multipurpose Steam Cleaner
With its 19 accessories, large 52-ounce water tank and easy-roll wheels, the COSTWAY Multipurpose Steam Cleaner is an effective answer to cleaning multiple surfaces around your home, including carpets. In addition to a made-for-purpose carpet glider, you’ll find plenty of other tools, such as extension wands, a scrub pad, a set of nylon brushes and a mop head. Each complete fill of the water tank offers up to 45 minutes of chemical-free cleaning. Furthermore, this multi-purpose cleaning device works on a number of other surfaces including tile, mirrors, glass and metal.
2. PurSteam Steam Mop 10-in-1 Cleaner
While it might not offer the same level of deep cleaning as some of the other devices on this list, the PurSteam Steam Mop 10-in-1 Cleaner still provides effective steam-based cleaning for a range of surfaces around your home. In addition to your carpets, this upright device can be used on hardwood floors and sealed stone and tiles. You’ll also find a built-in handheld device that lets you clean more remote surfaces, such as mirrors, furniture pieces and clothing garments. It’s also child and pet safe and comes backed by an impressive 26,000+ five-star ratings from Amazon users.
3. Wagner Spraytech On-Demand Steam Cleaner
From a large cleaning brush and a microfiber mop pad to a wallpaper steam plate and a jet nozzle, this Wagner Spraytech On-Demand Steam Cleaner is supplied with everything you need to clean your carpets and several other around-the-house surfaces. The device sports a simple, user-friendly design that includes a 40-ounce water tank which is capable of delivering up to 40 minutes of use per complete fill. Furthermore, the attached eight-foot hose provides plenty of flexibility and reach when it comes to higher or harder-to-reach spots in need of cleaning.
4. Shark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System
BEST FOR HARD FLOORS
If you’re looking for a steam cleaning device to clean hard floors rather than carpet, it’s hard to beat this impressively reviewed Shark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System. While comparatively simple, the design still features a large, 220-milliliter water tank and offers three different steam settings to choose from when cleaning floors. You’ll also find touch-free technology which lets you control the removal and attachment of the cloth heads from the handle, meaning you don’t ever have to touch them yourself.
5. Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
With over 9,000 five-star ratings, the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is one of the most popular steam cleaners on the list. And at around 10 by 10 inches, it’s also one of the most compact and highly portable, too. Functionally, this versatile tool is great for cleaning, detailing and sanitizing almost any surface in your home and sports a 54-ounce water tank to give users up to 50 minutes of cleaning time. The cleaner is also compatible with both microfiber pads and any regular towel or cloth, saving the need to buy expensive, made-for-purpose ones.
6. McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner
If you’re serious about steam cleaning and want a device capable of taking on even the toughest jobs, the McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner could be the right choice for you. The compact, portable device sports a 48-ounce water tank for 45 minutes of cleaning and includes a nine-foot steam hose and 15.7-foot power cord for plenty of freedom during use. It also comes supplied with 18 accessories that allow you to clean almost any surface, such as ceramic tile, grout, granite, sealed wood flooring, laminate and even home appliances.
The Best Carpet Cleaners (Non-Steam)
These devices use chemicals in the cleaning process to deliver impressive cleaning results. Certain chemicals are better suited to different situations, such as homes with pets or regularly trafficked areas. These devices also include advanced technology to disturb even the deepest sitting dirt and remove it. If you don’t need a steam-only device and the use of chemicals isn’t a problem, these cleaners are a popular and effective answer to cleaning your carpets.
1. Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Carpet Cleaner
The fact that this Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner is accompanied by over 15,000 five-star ratings from Amazon users suggests it can definitely clean your carpets well. This upright device includes a Max Clean mode for taking on more stubborn dirt and stains. You can also use the CleanShot Pretreater function to target particularly noticeable spots or stains. It also comes with a two-in-one upholstery tool, a three-inch tough stain tool and a Pet Stain & Odor + Antibacterial Carpet Formula which is especially handy if you live in a household with pets.
2. Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner
With a sub-$100 price tag and 38,000+ five-star ratings, the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner was definitely vying for the top spot on this list. If you’re on a tighter budget, there’s no need to continue your search. The upright device is surprisingly lightweight and compact, making it easily moved and stored around your home. The HeatForce technology helps to dry your floors faster than they would otherwise, while the 0.5-gallon water tank gives you plenty of time to get your floors clean. Additionally, the cleaner comes with a Hoover Nozzle Cleanout Tool for greater precision and a Hoover Trial Size Solution to get you started right away.
3. Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush Pet Carpet Cleaner
The Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush Pet Carpet Cleaner is another impressively reviewed, upright cleaning device that is sure to go down well. The cleaner incorporates a powerful, four-row DeepReach PowerBrush which is capable of removing stubborn dirt from deep within your carpets. The 2.4-liter water tank delivers plenty of cleaning time and filters into a second tank to ensure you only clean your floors with clean water. And, even though it boasts an impressive amount of cleaning power, the device still features a lightweight and portable design, making it easy to clean multiple rooms in a short space of time.
4. BISSELL SpotClean Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner
For cleaning spots, stains and hard-to-reach areas on your carpets, we’re confident there’s no better device than the BISSELL SpotClean Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner. It comes backed by over 20,000 five-star ratings from Amazon users and offers superior scrubbing and suction, especially for such a compact device. In addition to carpet, the cleaner is ideal for stairs, upholstery and auto interiors. In addition, you can choose from a number of cleaning chemical add-ons to tailor your cleaning and further raise its effectiveness.
5. Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner
It’s only the Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner’s rather large price tag that keeps it from taking the top spot. Otherwise, this comprehensive cleaning system delivers professional-grade results when it comes to cleaning your carpets. The head’s XL DirtLifter PowerBrush sports eight rows of bristles which are capable of penetrating deep into the carpet to loosen and remove stubborn dirt. For added versatility, the device includes a handy six-inch touch stain tool that can be used to tackle remote stains on stairs and other upholstery. In addition, you’ll receive three PRO MAX CLEAN + Protect trial-size bottles to further boost cleaning results.
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