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Best Carpet Cleaner For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Carpet Cleaner at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
Rank12345
Product
Hoover SteamVac with Clean Surge, F5914900Bissell PowerLifter PowerBrush UprightHoover SteamVac Pet Complete F5918900Bissell ReadyClean PowerBrush UprightHoover MaxExtract Dual V F7412900
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Product Rating
 
 
 
 
 
Great
 
 
 
 
 
Great
 
 
 
 
 
Great
 
 
 
 
 
Good
 
 
 
 
 
Great
Average Price
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($135)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($100)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($160)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($100)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($165)
Frugal5 Score
Details
8.9
8.9
8.8
8.8
8.7
Additional Info
Power cord length
20 Feet
20 Feet
20 Feet
20 Feet
20 Feet
Warranty
Limited 1 Year
Limited 1 Year
Limited 1 Year
Limited 1 Year
Limited 1 Year
Features Needed
Lightweight and maneuverable
- 20 lbs
- 17 Lbs
- 22.2 Lbs
- 13 Lbs
- 27 Lbs
Powerful motor and suction
- 12 Amp
- 12 Amp
- 12 Amp
- 3 Amp
- 12 Amp
Separate tanks for clean and dirty water
- 1 Gallon Capacity
- 3/4 Gallon Capacity
- 1 Gallon Capacity
- 1/2 Gallon Capacity
- 1 Gallon Capacity
Features Not Needed
Antimicrobial protection
Built-in water heater
Detergent burst
Floor heat
Hand tools
- Carpet & Upholstery Tool, SpinScrub Hand Tool
- Carpet & Upholstery Tool, SpinScrub Hand Tool
Hard floor cleaning
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

When you have pets or kids keeping your carpet clean can be a real challenge.  Most carpet manufacturers recommend that you clean your carpet every 12 to 18 months.  While nothing does a better job then hiring a professional carpet cleaner, hiring one can be expensive.  Renting carpet cleaners can be cumbersome and runs about $20-$30/hr.  Purchasing your own carpet cleaner can save you the expense and hassle of having to rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional carpet cleaner. 

When you start to do some research online you’ll soon find the number of carpet cleaning machines on the market is overwhelming.  You want to be sure to get the right machine to meet your needs.  Do you have high traffic heavily soiled areas on your carpet? Do you want a big machine or something small and inexpensive that stores easily?  While consumers don’t mind investing in a quality product, more expensive is not always better.  What should you look for in a carpet cleaner? How should you choose a carpet cleaner?  Here's what to look for in a carpet cleaner.

Built in Water Heater

Hot water is better at pulling out dirt then cold water.  So look for machines that feature a built in hot water heater on the unit.  Another tip is to turn your home's hot water heater temperature to the highest temp while you are running water to clean the carpet with.  Just remember to turn your home's water heater back down when you are done.   

Motor

The more power you have, the better.  Plus the motor is less likely to burn out from use.  Most of today's more popular brands feature a 12 amp motor.

Hand Tools

In addition to cleaning your carpet, you'll want to be able to clean furniture and stairs too.  Hand tool attachments make it quick and easy to clean anything in the house.  Plus, it makes it simple to clean the interior of your car as well.  

Suction

If the carpet cleaner doesn't have powerful suction, not only is it leaving dirty soapy water in your carpet, but the carpet stays wet longer.  Find a carpet cleaner with powerful suction.  Some models even come with an air dry feature that helps your carpet to dry super fast. 

Light Weight

Cleaning your carpet can be back breaking work.  When purchasing a carpet cleaner look at the weight of the unit.  Most units range from 20-35 lbs.  If possible give the unit a push in the store to see if it's easy to maneuver.  

Performance

Reading reviews online will give you insight from real consumers who have tried the various brands of carpet cleaners and can attest to their cleaning performance and durability.  Do they really get out tough stains like pet urine or high traffic areas? Does it have any features to for spot removal in trouble areas? Are they easy to use? Do the models break down easily?  Are they simple to fix and maintain? Is it flexible and does it work on both carpet and hardwood floors? Does the machine leak dirty water on your carpet? Does it have separate tanks for clean and dirty water? What kind of brushes does the cleaner have? Are the water tanks big enough to clean your carpet without changing the water a million times? Is the chord long enough to allow you to clean the house without running around to plug it in to various electrical outlets? 

Size

Getting the right size cleaner for the job.  If you live in a small apartment, you probably don’t need a large sized expensive carpet cleaner.  However, if you own a larger home with multiple floors and lots of carpet, you may wish to consider a commercial level carpet cleaner with a wider head that allows you to make fewer passes.

Other Features

Some carpet cleaners come with extra features like a floor heater and detergent burst.  Floor heat is nice in order to dry the floor faster however it's not a big deal to wait a little while for it to dry.  Detergent burst can come in handy if you have stained spots on the carpet.  You can just press a button that will release more detergent in order to clean the spots faster.  It's also another nice feature but not really needed because you can just slowly go over the stain without it until it's gone.

Features You Need
Lightweight and maneuverable, Powerful motor and suction, Separate tanks for clean and dirty water
Features You Don't Need
Antimicrobial protection, Built-in water heater, Detergent burst, Floor heat, Hand tools, Hard floor cleaning
What You Should Pay
Between $100.00 - $165.00
Top Of The Line Price
Over $1,000.00