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Best Carpet Cleaners UK

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dog and baby on carpet

One thing that gets forgotten about in the home is our carpet – but it is something that probably stores the most dust and debris.

Now that doesn’t mean you have an untidy or unclean home. The fact that you are here today reading this article would suggest that you take pride in the maintenance of your household. While we may hoover our carpet daily, do we really know what is lurking deep down, underneath the pile?

When we have a new carpet, we all say that we won’t walk on it with our shoes on, or the dog has to have his paws wiped before he can run through the house, but over time these rules start to dwindle. I’ve been known to bring the dog in from our daily walk and come straight through the lounge and into the kitchen, shoes on, dirty paws…and anything else I’ve traipsed through!

So, let’s set the scene – you’ve taken everything off the shelves, dusted, and placed everything back in its place. You’ve cleaned the windows and made sure they are streak free, as well as wiping over the chairs, plumping the cushions, and hoovering the floor.

That’s it! Surely there can’t be anything else. But you should know by now that housework is never ending, and love it or hate it, it still has to be done. There are always those extra chores that need to be done every now and again, the big ones that you keep putting off.

Within one of those extra chores is the carpet – have you ever sat there and just thought how dull your carpet looks? That there seems to be a couple of stains that you thought you had cleaned up quick enough before they stuck, but then in certain lights it is there, taunting you!

So, what can we do about it? Gone on are the days where you need to get on your hands and knees and scrub the whole floor, instead you can invest in a carpet cleaner.

What is a carpet cleaner?

Looks wise, a carpet cleaner is very similar to a vacuum cleaner with most of them being an upright design.

The biggest difference between a vacuum cleaner and carpet cleaner is the tank. A carpet cleaner needs water to be able to deep clean your carpets and therefore will most likely have a tank on the front. You would have to fill your tank with water and your preferred cleaning solution for it to work its magic.

Most cleaners will have a trigger that when pressed will spray the solution onto your carpet, before sucking it back into the dirty water tank. This process works deep into the pile (something that a regular vacuum cleaner simply cannot do), lifting ground-in dirt, stubborn stains, and odours from any unwanted build up.

How often should a carpet cleaner be used?

This all really depends on a few things. You don’t really want to be making extra work for yourself, so we’d recommend once per year, although more frequently if:

  • You have a lot of traffic passing through your rooms – the carpet may look worn and dull and in need of a freshen up
  • There are a lot of stains – we know what it can be like trying to keep the house in order when you have toddlers or clumsy teenagers around. Only the other day, my teenage daughter had her phone in one hand, drink in the other, not watching where she was going and spilt her drink!
  • You have pets – muddy paws from the garden can be a nightmare and the shedding of fur that will inevitably become embedded within the carpet. Pet odours can also linger on a carpet too

With so many people having pets, children, dinner parties, and other factors that can have a big impact on their carpets over time, it is worth investing in a good carpet cleaner. So let’s take a look at some of the best ones on the market today.

Vax Rapid Power Revive Carpet Cleaner

images showing different uses of vax rapid power


Brand: Vax

Colour: Graphite and orange

Item weight: 8.4kg

Clean tank capacity: 4.7l

Dirty water capacity: 4.7l

First on our list of the best carpet cleaners UK comes from well known brand Vax. Vax was first founded in 1977 and started producing carpet cleaners in 2008. They are a big household name, and their products only reflect their knowledge and confidence in what they make.

Being one of the more expensive on our list, let’s see if it lives up to the price tag. We’ll start with what you get for your money – the rapid power revive appliance, a 2.5m hose, wash tool, crevice tool, storage bag, and 250ml platinum solution.

With its upright position you can clean your carpets with ease, the large tank allows you to cover more area without having to stop between cleaning. It can be difficult to keep motivated when things need emptying, refilling and so forth.

The detachable tank (at the top of the Vax carpet cleaner) makes it easy to fill with water and solution – simply pull it out using the handle, fill, and click it back into place.

On the front of the Vax machine you will find a knob which lets you select which cleaning mode you want – either quick clean or deep clean. In the middle you will be able to see where the water pumps out from to release the cleaning solution. Underneath, the brushes are working away to scrub and lift any dirt and debris stuck in the pile. You will be surprised at just how much the water will change colour in the tank as it lifts the dirt.

The quick clean claims it can have your carpets clean and dry in just one hour, which is great if you really don’t have time to sit around while it dries.

Both tanks have a handle, making them easy to carry when they are full and enabling you to grip more easily when it is time to empty. The tank release button sits just underneath.

You also get some tools with the carpet cleaner which is perfect for smaller areas. Heaven forbid you spill your red wine on the cream carpet! Thankfully Vax has you covered – attach your tool to the hose and you will get the same professional clean exactly where you need it. You can also clean your stairs and get into all those corners for a complete clean of your home.

Top Overall Pick

images showing different uses of vax rapid power

If you’re looking for a trusted brand that can offer you the ability to clean your carpets, stairs, unwanted stains, marks on your upholstery while being gentle on your fabric, the  Vax Rapid Power Revive carpet cleaner should be high on your list.

Giving you a variety of cleaning solutions for your home, whether that be 3 carpeted rooms or an isolated stain on your sofa – Vax deserve their spot here today.

Russell Hobbs Carpet Washer and Cleaner

russell hobbs carpet cleaner in lounge


Brand: Russell Hobbs

Colour: White and aqua

Item weight: 4.1kg

Clean tank capacity: 1.8l

Dirty tank capacity: 1.75l

Next up we have another well-known household brand – Russell Hobbs. Formed in Britain in 1952 and a name that I’m sure you will have come across at some point in your life.

Their carpet cleaner is the cheapest one on our list today, but we’re sure that doesn’t mean the quality is any less than those more expensive models, let’s take a closer look.

This is another upright cleaner that works in the same way as an upright hoover. It puts no strain on your back and with an 8 metre long power cord you don’t have to worry about having to stop to change the plug socket from room to room.

Weighing just 6kg and with a handle on the front, you will be able to carry it upstairs with ease, so your whole house can be cleaned.

The Russell Hobbs cleaner comes with cleaning solution which can be added to the top tank along with your water. On the handle you will find a button – this gives the machine the power to release the solution that freshens and cleans your carpet. The dirt and debris will collect in the dirty water tank, and holding up to 1.75l it is more than enough to keep you going when you’re on a cleaning spree!

When full the dirty water tank is easily removed to pour the liquid away. We’d recommend rinsing the tank with clean water and allowing it to dry between uses to avoid any bacteria gathering or unwanted foul smells developing.

Best Budget Buy

russell hobbs carpet cleaner in lounge

For such a low price the Russell Hobbs Carpet Washer and Cleaner is excellent. With its handles and lightweight frame, as well as the ease in which it will glide over your carpets thanks to the smooth motion of the wheels, it may suit a three-storey household – you wouldn’t have the energy for cleaning after lugging a big appliance up all those stairs!

You also get a free 2 year guarantee for peace of mind.

Bissell Spot Clean

bissell cleaner with pipe and accessories


Brand: Bissell

Colour: Titanium and red

Item weight: 4kg

Clean tank capacity: 1.1l

Dirty tank capacity: 1.4l

Something a little bit different now – the Bissell Spot Clean. You will see that this appliance looks completely different, and that’s because it is a portable carpet cleaner which is used for spillages and stain spots around the home.

This would be ideal for someone who does not have a whole house covered with carpet, maybe you don’t have the room to store an upright full-size cleaner, or you may already have one but you’d like one that is quick and easy to set up and use – this is where the Bissell Spot Clean comes into its own – let’s find out why.

Firstly, you get two sample bottles of carpet shampoo which is great to get you started. It boasts about its Heatwave Technology – maintaining the water temperature to help lift those stains and dirt from your carpet throughout the cleaning process.

You still get the clean and dirty water tank, filling them in the same way, but they are obviously smaller than the regular sized carpet cleaner tanks. You pour your water and solution into the clean tank and when you have finished the cleaning process simply dispose of the dirty water before clipping the tank back onto the machine.

The suction tool works well to get stubborn stains from your carpet and you can use it on your upholstery too.

When not in use, the cord will wrap around the back of the machine and it is small enough to store in a cupboard until it is next needed. Because it is so lightweight and portable, you can even take it away with you and we’re sure your family will be happy you invested in one when it’s their turn to host the next get together!

Ideal For Smaller Homes

bissell cleaner with pipe and accessories

If you need a carpet cleaner for a little area of carpet or want the luxury of taking it away to your caravan, the Bissell Spot Clean is an ideal option. You can easily clean your stairs, sofas and car seats with this machine too.

From a brand that has been around for over 140 years, Bissell are well worth their money. We’d recommend you put this on your shortlist.

Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaner

person using rug doctor showing dirty water in tank


Brand: Rug Doctor

Colour: Red

Item weight: 17kg

Clean tank capacity: 3.8l

Dirty tank capacity: 4.2l

You have no doubt seen Rug Doctor advertised on the TV or even to hire in your local supermarket and if you have ever used one you will know how good they are. So, for the chance to buy one all of your own is brilliant.

At the most expensive on our list of the best carpet cleaners, let’s delve into what gives it the price tag and if it is worth it.

The Rug Doctor company was founded in 1978 and since then they have been hiring out their machines and producing them all over the world for commercial use and households to purchase. They have their trademark red colour and weighing 17kg they are robust and built to last, yet still being gentle enough to care for your carpet during a deep clean.

The tanks are a good size and detachable for easy filling and emptying. The clean water tank has a measuring cup built into the screw on lid, so you know just how much solution to put in for an effective clean.

Everything on the Rug Doctor is labelled, from the water tank, to the carry handle, to the full level marking. When you are ready to use it, the power switch lets you select either tool or rug. Holding the handle, you then press the lever, which again is clearly marked up with soap and scrub, and away you go. The dual cross action brushes do all the hard work for you as the cleaning solution is released and the powerful suction gets rid of the moisture in the carpet, meaning there is less drying time.

An added feature is the super boost spray which gives you the ability to lift off those really stubborn stains from your carpet. No more scrubbing on your hands and knees – let the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner do it all for you, while you just enjoy the end results – having fresh and clean looking carpets, free from stains and odours.

You also get a detachable hand held tool which is ideal for spillages – a busy household, kids, dogs – if it hasn’t happened yet, we’re pretty sure it will! Like others on this list, it can be used for upholstery and car seats too.

When not in use the carpet cleaner has a collapsible handle, making it easier to store away. The cord is held in place to keep it neat and tidy and avoiding anyone tripping over. This is also ideal when the Rug Doctor is in use, keeping the cord out of the way until you need to extend it.

Great Choice For Large Traffic Areas

person using rug doctor showing dirty water in tank

The carpet cleaner by Rug Doctor is a great investment for your home. If you want a trusted brand but still unsure if this is the one for you, then you have the option to hire one from your local supermarket or hardware store.

We’re sure though, that you will not be disappointed.

Bissell ProHeat Carpet Cleaner

bissell upright cleaner front and side view


Brand: Bissell

Colour: Titanium and red

Item weight: 8kg

Clean tank capacity: 3.7l

Dirty tank capacity: 3.7l

The last one to make the cut of the best carpet cleaners is the Bissell ProHeat. We gave you the Bissell Spot Clean earlier, but we couldn’t leave out this cleaning gem. Bissell have made a few different kinds of carpet cleaner to a high standard so this had to make our list. Let’s find out why.

Sitting in the middle of our price range, this carpet cleaner (with the exception of the Spot Clean) has the same elements as the others.

It is an upright cleaner with an easy grip handle that has a button which releases the solution as you go. You can easily get under the tightest of spaces because the brushes are low enough to the floor and you are able to tilt the handle in order to reach underneath coffee tables and sofas.

You will find the clean water tank at the top of the machine and the dirty water tank sits at the bottom, allowing the suction of all the dirt from your floor to be collected efficiently. This is further enabled by the Heatwave technology that keeps the water at a constant temperature – thus being able to loosen and lift the most stubborn of stains and bacteria from your carpet.

The brushes make this an easy task thanks to their Dual DirtLifter and power brush components. The solution reacts with the bristles, working its way into the carpet to leave it looking fresh and free from stains.

You get some free sample bottles which is great to get you started. This is added to the clean water tank, you then decide between two modes – deep clean and express clean, hold the trigger and away you go.

The 7 metre cord will be enough to let you get on with cleaning your rooms and the attachments included are perfect for stairs and smaller areas, as well as cushions, sofas, and pillows.

Perfect For Hard To Reach Places

bissell upright cleaner front and side view

Another carpet cleaner here that will do a fantastic job on your carpets. Whether you need to clean the whole house quickly or do a deep clean, the Bissell ProHeat will be an ideal choice for any busy household.

For a great price, with a few extras included, this is a definite contender.


Gone are the days when endless scrubbing is required, no more aching knees from where you’ve put too much pressure on them trying to clean those tough stains. Carpet cleaners are a wonderful invention and something that can be used over and over again.

When your carpet is not quite old enough to buy a new one, but you know it needs sprucing up a little or you are just doing your annual spring clean, it really has never been easier to give you carpets a new lease of life.

We have provided you with some brilliant machines here today and with a variety of price ranges we are confident that you will find the best one for your home. They are easy to use, versatile with their added accessories, and just a great appliance to have in your cleaning cupboard.

We think you’ll agree that when you find the right one and you use it on your carpets for the first time, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one and why you didn’t buy such a sound investment sooner.

michelle author bio pic

Meet our reviewer – Michelle Vernon

Michelle is one of the lead writers at Washing Check and also holds an editor role. She is a busy parent who understands the needs of daily domestic life and the challenges it can bring.

She genuinely loves cleaning products and equipment, which although is quite strange to many, is a blessing to us here at Washing Check.