Best Portable Carpet Cleaner 2020: Reviews and Buying Guide


compact carpet cleaner

Having kids and pets can create a lot of mess in your home. They can leave hairs and dirt and spill liquid on the carpeted floors that are hard to clean. Even a simple sweeping will not do. And the thought of hauling a heavy carpet just for a small cleaning task is daunting. That is why you need a reliable and portable carpet cleaner for quick cleanups.

Finding the best portable carpet cleaner is particularly useful in cleaning dirt, debris, and crumbs stuck on the carpet in one easy sweep. Since this device is portable it is easy to use around your home.

With many models of portable carpets available in the market today, finding the model that suits the needs of your household can be hard.

But what makes a great portable carpet cleaner? The answer lies in this portable carpet cleaner review. This article will look into the features, design, usability, and the pros and cons of each device rounded up on this list. No matter what your budget is, it will help you find the right one for you.

A Closer Look at Portable Carpet Cleaner

With its name, you already have an idea of what a portable carpet cleaner is. It is a device that you can easily use around your home to clean the spills, dirt, stains, and pet dander, keeping your floors clean. There are a lot of models for carpet cleaners around. Most of them are equipped with scrubbing technologies and the versatility to clean hard surfaces and upholstery.

Aside from these features, the best model should have an incorporated suction. It allows the user to target the stains without much effort. Scrubbing and blotting can be backbreaking. You also need the powerful suction mechanism feature that is more favorable because it can help target the stains.

Types of Portable Carpet Cleaner

There are two types of portable carpet cleaners available and it includes:

  • Carpet Steamer – This device is used for professional cleaning and uses hot water to clean the stains and spots on the carpet. It needs a cleaning solution to spray over the stain while the brushes scrub the dirt out. With powerful suction, it pulls the dirt and the solution and thoroughly cleans the carpet.
  • Spot cleaners – This device is almost the same as carpet steamer on smaller surfaces. The size, however, is particularly useful for hard-to-reach areas. The device may use foam or solvents to dry clean the rug.

Benefits of Portable Carpet Cleaner

Compared to your conventional vacuum cleaner, the portable carpet cleaner is a compact and lighter version. It is not made for heavy-duty cleaning or cleaning large areas. Instead, it should be used to do spot cleaning on carpets, rugs, and upholstery. Let’s take a look at some of its few benefits.

Easy to Use – Using this device is easy and does not require assistance. Even kids and the elderly can operate it without fuss.

Portable – These units are made with a lightweight design which equates to portability. It should come as a handheld carpet scrubber with or without a cord that’s easy to bring anywhere in the house. Since it’s portable, you can use it to clean indoors and outdoors. You can also use it to clean your car and your bedroom.

Facilitate Quick Cleanups – You are buying this machine for one purpose: for easy cleanups. Having kids and pets can be messy and needs cleaning more than once a day. Having a portable carpet cleaner will alleviate the hard work with a few strokes of the carpet cleaner.

Lightweight – Most of the devices listed here are lighter than your conventional carpet cleaners. It’s because these units should be easy to carry anywhere in the house for quick cleaning. It will be hard to carry along a heavy carpet cleaner when going up and down the stairs.

Compact – Most spot carpet cleaners are half the size of normal carpet cleaners. This size is their advantage because it can be easy to store. It’s perfect for those living in a limited space.

Top 15 Best Portable Carpet Cleaners Review

Here are the Top 15 best compact vacuum cleaners that are compact, budget-friendly, and easy to maneuver.

#1 Bissell 3624 Spotclean Carpet Cleaner

best compact carpet cleaner

Topping our list of the best portable carpet cleaners is this compact spot cleaner that can get rid of tough stains and dirt from carpets, stairs, upholstery, and other surfaces in the house. It’s a compact unit that has a five-foot flex hose that can easily tight corners, crevices, and other areas without compromising the suction power. This beast of a machine comes with a deep-cleaning formula to help remove tough stains without scrubbing. It can help remove pet urine, spills, and other stubborn dirt in carpets and rugs.

Cleaning carpeted stairs will not be hard when you have the Bissell 3624 because it is a 6-inches stair tool. It’s a tool that is not too large to fit your stairs or too small that you need to make more than passes to cover the surface.

This machine has a 27-foot reach which makes it easier to move around while spot cleaning. Since it is compact and lightweight, you don’t have to worry about carrying it around the house.

The only drawback with this unit is it only has a 5.7 amp rating and has a substantial water tank capacity in ¾ gallons. Its cleaning temperature has no control and limited, so be careful as you might burn yourself or ruin the fabric.

What We Liked

  • With different cleaning accessories included like stair tools, tough stains tools, and deep cleaning agent
  • It is compact and lightweight
  • Longer reach to move around while cleaning
  • Powerful suction power

What We Don’t Like

  • The hose can break easily
  • The water tank capacity is only .75 gallon

#2 Hoover FH50251PC Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet Cleaner

easy to use carpet cleaner

This Hoover model carries the signature upright design of the brand. It functions as a shampooer and features the hand-holder to easily maneuver the unit while cleaning. The device has separate attachments to help in spot cleaning. It has a dual V nozzle to evenly clean surfaces with equal suction and pressure levels in every use.

The Hoover Power Scrub is equipped with a Spinscrub brush system. It penetrated the flooring and carpet to remove the deep stains and tough dirt without damaging the material. Another great feature is the 360-degree scrubbing action which penetrates the fabric and surfaces while ensuring that it gives equal pressure and suction while in action.

It is also equipped with a heat force system. This hastens the drying time on the surface while removing the stubborn stain from the rug. This model is incredibly light at only 20 pounds and you can easily move it around the house with the handle. The water tank capacity is slightly bigger at one-gallon capacity, however, for an upright model, this is small.

For an upright carpet cleaner, this device is affordable and perfect for budget shoppers.

What We Liked

  • Powerful 360-degree scrubbing action to penetrate the surfaces
  • It is lightweight and has a carrying handle for improved mobility
  • Separate cleaning tools to make cleaning easy
  • Quickly dries up while cleaning

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited water tank capacity for an upright model
  • No auto-clean features
  • Hard to move around

#3 Bissell Spotbot 2117A

carpet cleaning robot

Well, if you are too lazy to move around then you need this Bissell Spotbot because it is a hands free unit. All you need is to turn on the device and it will deep clean whatever stain and dirt are on your carpet or floor without even touching it. The unit has a powerful system that can reach the roots to remove the carpet stains and leave it spotless.

Another great feature is its spiral brushing action. The brushes move in 360-degrees to remove the deep-seated dirt and stains. It also has an anti-microbial action to remove pet stains and odor without getting your hands dirty. You can leave all the heavy lifting to this Bissell Spotbot.

It has pre programmed cleaning cycles including brush, spray, and suction to conveniently remove pet stains. There are two hands-free cleaning modes to choose from: the quick clean and fresh stains. Each can target different types of stains you have. The 3-inch crevice tool helps in cleaning hard to reach areas.  

The only downside of this unit is the small water tank capacity, only 32-ounces and the smaller hose for the crevice tool which limits its mobility. The cord length is also short, you have to work near the wall outlets. However, with the Bot technology, it is an affordable option for a professional cleaner with automatic cleaning options.

What We Liked

  • Can work hands-free to the stains
  • A preset cycle of spraying, brushing, and suction to effectively remove stains
  • Two hands-free cleaning modes to choose from
  • With crevice tool to clean tight corners and spaces

What we Didn’t Like

  • Small water tank capacity
  • Short cord length
  • Smaller hose diameter for the crevice tool that limits mobility for cleaning

#4 Hoover FH50700 Powerdash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner  

portable carpet cleaner

It is another upright carpet cleaner from Hoover. This unit is lightweight, compact, and very easy to move around in your home. What’s good about this device is it has twice the suction and cleaning power of the conventional vacuum cleaners. It targets the dirt and stains around the house with better efficiency.

The Hoover Powerdash has a heat force power that can reduce the drying times when using the cleaner with a water-based cleaning solution. It also has a power spin pet brush roller that delivers a powerful carpet cleaning action that can effectively remove stains, fur and eliminates pet odor too. Cleaning high traffic areas is not a problem with this unit because it’s easy to maneuver.

It is equipped with a 20-foot hose so you can freely move around the house while cleaning and not having to worry about the location of the nearest outlet. The removable nozzle can let you easily target the areas you want to clean.

The water tank capacity for this Hoover model is meager, with only half gallons. It means you have to refill it frequently. Another drawback is the small 10-inch cleaning path. You need to go over the surface with more than one passing.

What We Liked

  • The heat force power quickly dries the surface
  • The spin brush roller delivers powerful cleaning action
  • Offers greater maneuverability especially in high traffic areas
  • Removable Nozzle helps target areas for cleaning

What We Didn’t Like

  • Small water tank capacity
  • Limited cleaning path lets you go over the areas more than once

#5 Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner

The fifth on our list for the best easy to use carpet cleaner is from the Rug Doctor. This model is the most affordable yet reliable spot carpet cleaner from the brand. While most of these devices are bulky and hard to maneuver, this model offers retractable handles and wheels which makes it easy to transport and move around the house.

It has a lightweight design that adds to the maneuverability as the machine only weighs 20 pounds. The best feature of this device is its powerful rotary scrubber. This is unique as the brush works two times more powerful than ordinary scrubbers found in other machines. That means it can clean almost any deep-down debris and stubborn dirt and leaves the carpet dry.

The water tank in this device is removable so it’s easy to refill. This spot cleaner has a significantly longer cord, you can clean the area without having to plug and unplug the machine close to the outlet. Its cleaning brush can cover a larger area and the cleaner’s reach can be extended further to clean as much area as possible.

 What We Liked

  • Strong suction and scrubbing action eliminate the stubborn dirt
  • It has a removable tank to easily refill with water
  • Convenient to move around with the retractable cord and wheels
  • Injects solution deep into the carpets to eliminate water

What We Didn’t Like

  • It is bulky and needs space to store
  • It drips under the machine when in use

#6 Bissell Little Green 1400B

This Bissell Little Green 1400B is a multi-purpose compact and carpet deep cleaner that’s perfect for cleaning big and small messes. It has a 4-foot hose, a 48-ounce tank capacity, and a durable brush attachment to remove tough stains.

It is part of the green line from Bissell where the parts are made from 50% recycled plastic. The tanks and hoses in this unit are also PVC free. When it comes to cleaning, this device can tackle stubborn dirt and even permanent stains from upholstery and carpet. This is made possible by the right combination of formula, water, and suction.

The Bissell Little Green will instantly perform its spraying and suctioning action on the target area with just a click of a button. No matter how big or small the cleanup task you need, this device will handle them with the included Spot & Stain formula and the 3-inch tough stain tool. Refiling the tank is also easy because it is easily removable.

Once you are done with the machine, you can use the Hydro Rinse tool attachment included with the device to clean the hose. You can store it easily inside the cupboard because this unit is compact and small.

What We Liked

  • It’s a little machine with a great suction power
  • Can remove tough dirt and stains in one pass
  • Easy to fill in water tank
  • Lightweight and compact, it stores easily

What We Didn’t Like

  • The plastic cap cannot be removed
  • The unit makes loud noises

#7 Hoover FH11300 Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

Another product from Hoover in our list is the Spotless Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner. This machine is lightweight and compact, easy to maneuver to remove stains from the upholstery, carpet, rugs, and more. Compared with other devices we have reviewed so far, it has a hygienic cleaning attachment that has a powerful suction that can lift and eliminate stubborn stains.

Another feature unique to Hoover is the patent-pending self-cleaning technology that automatically flashes the dirt out of the hose after using it. With this technology, it protects the device from bacterial growth and unpleasant odors, thus ensuring spotless cleaning on your next use.

It also has the Dual Tank Technology made to have separate dirty and clean water containers. It is more convenient to refill and empty both tanks. You can use the Bonus Expert Clean Gel to pretreat the stubborn stains and give it a pass with the machine for a spotless clean.

On top of that, the machine has an antimicrobial protection that protects it from the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew.

What We Liked

  • Self-cleaning function protect the unit from bacterial growth
  • Dual tank for clean and wastewater for easy cleaning and refilling
  • Detachable head to conveniently clean
  • Durable yet lightweight

What We Didn’t Like

  • The rubber brush is not durable
  • The hose can be longer for more convenience

#8 Bissell SpotBot Pet 33N8A

This Bissell SpotBot Pet is another model that offers a hands-free approach to cleaning stubborn dirt from your carpets and upholstery. Just turn the machine on and it will automatically deep clean the stain without backbreaking work. It is equipped with a deep reach system that suctions and removes the stain deep into the roots. It leaves the rugs sparklingly clean.

Another good feature is the spiral brushing action that helps in removing the deep-seated stains fast. The deep clean technology works with the use of cleaning brush, water and the right amount of cleaning solution to achieve the result using the two different cycles programmed in the machine.

This machine is also equipped with antimicrobial protection. It prevents the growth and spread of bacteria and removes the odor. It also has an automatic smart system that estimates the right amount of solution to prevent any wastage. This is not a hands free unit though, you can use the handheld cleaning brush if you cannot use the handsfree function.

What We Liked

  • It requires little input to operate
  • Saves on cleaning agent with the smart system
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Cleanses the carpet fibers from the bottom down

What We Don’t Like

  • The tank has a small opening and hard to clean
  • The brush head can be difficult to remove

#9 Rug Doctor Spot Cleaner Pet

Dubbed as the man’s best friend’s best friend, this Rug Doctor Spot Cleaner Pet is designed for pet parents. It works perfectly with the Pet Portable Spot Cleaner to easily clean up the mess made by fur babies. What it does is tackle the loose pet hairs, stains, and odors with its customized pet tool. It has rubberized tool bristles to pull out the hairs from carpets and upholstery.

The power patented TWICE suction power can extract messes even from soft surfaces. This suction is professional-grade and can eliminate even odors and stains right from the source. It is easy to maneuver and mover around the house with the retractable cords and easy to roll wheels. It also has a small size, so it fits comfortably inside the cupboard.

This portable carpet cleaner has a dual tank system that keeps the clean water and the dirty water separated for better cleaning results. When in use the suction power of the device is powerful enough to dry it quickly.

What We Liked

  • The powerful scrubbing action of the head removes dirt
  • Versatile in cleaning pet messes in carpets and upholstery
  • Neutralizes odors leaving it smelling clean
  • Retractable cord and easy to roll wheels

What We Didn’t Like

  • Stiff bristles make it difficult to use without pushing the head
  • The triangular-shaped water tank is difficult to fill

#10 Bissell Spot Clean Pro Pet 2458

This Bissell Spot Clean Pro Pet is another carpet cleaner for the pet parents with pets doing their business inside the house. It is one of the most powerful portable stain and spot cleaners for carpets and upholstery from the brand. A combination of the device’s powerful suction and scrubbing action with a professional cleaning solution can remove stain and odor.

The stain trapper tool catches the nastiest pet messes while the tough stain removal tool helps remove the tough stains in the carpet or upholstery without much effort. It leaves your carpet clean as if you hired a professional cleaner to do the job. It cleans the embedded dirt and removes the odor.

This Spot Clean Pro Pet has a long 22-feet power cord and the 5-feet cleaning which makes it convenient to clean the hard to reach areas of the rug. It is also very easy to clean after use and store. The plastic parts are sturdy enough for its use. You will not worry about frequently refilling the tanks as the water container is large enough to hold water for longer use.

What We Liked

  • Powerful suction and scrubbing power
  • Deep cleans carpet with professional results
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Large water tank capacity

What We Didn’t Like

  • It gets bulky and heavier when filled with water
  • Water leaks may ensue if the dirty water compartment is less tight

#11 Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner

This upright portable carpet cleaner has the best technology that makes spot cleaning a breeze. All it needs is a little nudge. When it is pushed forward, it will automatically start cleaning the targeted surface. Pulling it back, towards you, will signal the cleaner to dry the area. Meaning it does not leave the carpet dredge in water and cleaning solution for a long time.

Aside from the awesome auto-clean action that eliminates the guesswork in cleaning your soiled carpets and rugs, the Hoover Smartwash Carpet Cleaner is filled with other features. It has an automatic mix technology that dispenses just the right amount of cleaning solution on the spot.

This vacuum also has an auto-dry feature that extracts the dampness with its powerful HeatForce technology. Another smart feature is the Flexforce brushes that can penetrate to the roots of the carpet, removing dirt and debris as well as the dreaded pet stains.

The only drawback is this carpet cleaner is bulkier than the rest of the models from Hoover. And because it is an upright cleaner, it can be difficult to use on stairs. It is also on the higher end but with the larger cleaning area and powerful suction, it is worth the investment.

What We Like

  • Powerful suction and cleaning power
  • With calibrated dispensing of cleaning solution
  • Large water tank capacity
  • With auto-dry feature to extract wetness on the carpet right away

What We Didn’t Like

  • Heavier than other carpet cleaners
  • There is no quick cleaning feature

#12 Bissell Little Green ProHeat 14259

This model from Bissell is another version of the Little Green Portable cleaner with a built-in hot water heater to deliver an even better result. It is considered as a multipurpose wet vacuum that can target the toughest embedded stains on carpets and upholstery in your homes.

 Although it delivers a thorough and deep cleaning action it does not work like a steam cleaner. Instead, it has a strong spray and suction mechanism that targets the stained area and dry the carpet in one easy step. By drying the carpet right away, it will not have a musty smell after a while.

Like the other Little Green Carpet Cleaner, it also has a different clean and dirty water tank, each with 48 ounces capacity. This model also has a flexible hose, a spraying crevice tool, and a tough stain removal attachment to clean the tough stains and dirt.

It has shorter hose length at only four feet which may hamper its capacity to reach wider areas. The warranty is also shorter in one year. As to its price, it is a little pricey but since it delivers more power and wider coverage area, it is worth the price.

What We Like

  • Powerful 9 amp suction power
  • Dries the floor quickly to prevent the musky smell
  • The integrated water heater helps deliver results
  • The flexible hose and cleaning attachment makes the cleaning job easy

What We Didn’t Like

  • Shorter hose length
  • Limited warranty for one year

#13 Hoover FH11400PC Deluxe Spotless Carpet Cleaner

The next one on our list of carpet spot cleaner machines is the Hoover FH11400PC. This is an upgraded version of the FH11300 from the same brand with more tools for customization at an additional price. These additional tools include the stair tool, the crevice tool, a 2-in-1 anti-microbial tool, and an accessory bag to contain all these. It will prevent these additional tools from getting lost.

These special tools are all made to serve a purpose, which is to reach the tight spaces for the crevice tools. The antimicrobial tool’s role is to prevent the growth of molds and bacteria. This Spotless Carpet Cleaner can easily lift and remove the dirt and stains with powerful suction and the hygienic deep-cleaning tools combined with the cleaning detergents.

It is also the only carpet cleaner that has a self-cleaning technology that automatically flushes out the dirt from the hose after every use. This prevents the growth of bacteria and molds for thorough cleaning inside and out. It also has a dual tank system.

What We Liked

  • Easy to use with powerful suction to grab dirt and hairs
  • Wets the carpet and upholstery to clean but does not leave a soggy mess
  • No harsh chemical smells after cleaning
  • Customizable from cleaning light spots to stairs

What We Didn’t Like

  • A leak can happen between the handle and the hose
  • Water leaks may affect the suction power

#14 Bissell 5207A SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner

When you have an unexpected mess in your house then you should buy this Bissell 5207A SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner. While most portable carpet cleaners are not heating cold water and do not keep it warm, this model has a heatwave technology that keeps the water hot. It is an advantage because it allows you to clean bigger areas.

Another feature that makes this device on this list as part of the best carpet cleaners is because it can clean thoroughly using the deep reach tool that lets the scrubbers reach the stubborn stains and dirt. Thus, it removes the stains from the roots of the fibers, leaving the carpet sparklingly clean.

For the water tank, there are separate tanks for dirty and clean water. Cleaning the dirty water container is easy as well as the cleaning brush as these parts disassemble without much fuss. The main cleaning tool is wider at 3 inches, you may not need more than two passes to clean an area. And lastly, this carpet cleaner is compact and slim, it can clean tight spaces. Storing the device is also convenient.

What We Liked

  • Very easy to assembles
  • Cleans thoroughly using different attachments
  • Longer plastic cord
  • Durable and stores easily

What We Didn’t Like

  • Hard to empty the dirty water container
  • Difficult to see the water line in the tank while filling the container

#15 Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner

The Rug Doctor carpet spot cleaner machine is an upright model. Its notable feature is the large and carpet friendly wheels which make it easy to move around in areas to clean. The handle can help control the unit. It is also collapsible and therefore easy to store when not in use.

When it comes to cleaning, it has dual, cross-section brushes. It has two rapid actions: oscillation and rotation that drives out the stains and dirt very easily. On top of that, it has 75% more suction power which is more than other carpet cleaners out there. What it does is suck all the dirt on its 12-inches suction head. Suffice it to say, this Rug Doctor is the ultimate carpet cleaning machine.

Mobility is not a problem with this unit, it has 7.7 inches hose and a power cord of approximately 30 feet. This makes it convenient for the user to use it around even if the outlet is not near. Other features to enjoy are the one-gallon dual water tank capacity, the caddy to contain the cleaning attachments, and the super boost power setting.

What We Liked

  • The unit is collapsible and easy to store
  • Large dual tank capacity
  • Offers greater mobility with a long power cord and cleaning hose
  • Ready to use right out of the box

What We Didn’t Like

  • It is quite heavy compared with other carpet cleaners
  • Even if the unit can collapse on itself, it is still bulky

What to Look for in a Portable Carpet Cleaner

Portable Carpet Cleaner is the best thing that happens to homeowners when it comes to cleaning their carpets, rugs, upholstery, and more. It offers greater mobility and powerful cleaning action for tough dirt, hairs, and stains. If you are looking to buy one or replace your old vacuum cleaner that has seen better days, here are the points that you should consider when selecting a good portable carpet cleaner.

Compact and Lightweight Design

You need your carpet cleaner not only in the living room but in most areas of the house that need spot cleaning. It would be difficult if what you have is heavy and cumbersome.

Weight is an important factor when choosing a portable carpet cleaner. It should be at a comfortable weight to move from one place to another. You will find it easy if you have a lightweight unit that you can easily carry to different places around the house.

Actions of the Cleaning Brush

You are buying a carpet cleaner to free your hand from scrubbing the carpet. This is why you need to look for a device that has a fully equipped cleaning brush. It should have an oscillating action to remove the debris from the carpet fibers.

Another feature of the cleaning brush that is essential is a back and forth motion. Having this will make cleaning more manageable.

Suction Power

The best portable carpet cleaner should have a powerful suction. It should be able to draw out as many debris as possible to leave your carpet clean and fresh. It is also needed to dry the excess water that you used during the cleanup process.

Tank Capacity

Another factor to consider when choosing a carpet cleaning device is its tank capacity. It can directly affect the efficiency of the device and the cleaning task. When you have smaller tanks, you need frequent refills which could inhibit its efficiency. Look for models with a capacity of at least 30 ounces.

Types and Numbers of Attachments

Carpet cleaners should have extra tools and attachments for greater versatility. The best handheld carpet scrubber will let you clean a lot of surfaces like upholstery and stairs with ease. Choose a device with many different attachments to make the cleaning task a lot easier.

Durability

Choose a durable device. When we talk about durability it refers to the materials it’s made from. A carpet cleaner should be made from high-quality materials so that it could last longer and runs quietly and efficiently. Your carpet cleaner is an investment, make sure that it can serve you longer.

Ease of Use

A portable carpet cleaner is easy to use when you don’t need an instruction manual to assemble it. Cleaning the device should not be too complicated and messy. It should also have separate water tanks for clean and dirty water.

Final Thoughts

A portable carpet cleaner is useful when you have kids and pets in your house. It is useful for quick cleanups in your rugs, upholstery, or any surface with just a few passes. The models on our spot carpet cleaner reviews are all vetted based on their features and usefulness.

If you want to purchase a new carpet cleaner or want to replace your cumbersome vacuum cleaner with one, you should use the buying guide we have discussed here so get the best unit. In buying one, make sure that it passed the parameters you have set and fits your budget.

Happy portable carpet cleaner hunting!

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