The best Bissell carpet cleaners

Go deep to remove dirt, but not always to empty your wallet, with the best carpet cleaners for every budget.

Best overall

BISSELL 2-in-1 ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet

Bissell 2-in-1 Proheat 2X Lift-Off Pet

Best for pets

Bissell Big Green Pet Pro

Bissell Big Green Pet Pro

Best budget

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Plus 

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Plus 

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While now almost synonymous with carpet cleaners, Bissell has been making floor cleaners for 147 years, starting with a floor sweeper. In 1957, the company introduced its first (manual) carpet shampooer, and in 1979, the first Bissell carpet deep cleaning machine was introduced to the public. Bissell is now known as one of the best carpet cleaner manufacturers. If you need to quickly remove pet accidents, food, mud, or other spills, stains, and debris from your carpet, Bissel makes a variety of high-quality, easy-to-use carpet cleaners. But, with so many models, it can be difficult for consumers to choose the Bissell carpet cleaner for their homes. So, we researched dozens of models—and also tested some—to pick the best Bissell carpet cleaners in a range of categories so that you can find the right one for your needs.

How we chose the best Bissell carpet cleaners  

While vacuuming your carpet can remove a certain amount of dirt, a carpet cleaner can provide deep cleaning (with water) and also remove stains and messes. We looked at both upright and portable carpet cleaners designed to tackle a variety of scenarios. We also took use (and ease-of-use) into consideration and also looked at the quality of build, performance, and attachments. Price is another factor that we considered, and we provided carpet cleaners at various price points to accommodate every budget. Finally, we viewed customer ratings and reviews to see how the carpet cleaners fared with other consumers.

The best Bissell carpet cleaners: Reviews & Recommendations

When it comes to Bissell carpet cleaners, one consumer may prefer a lightweight option that’s easy to transport from one space to the next and versatile enough also to be used to clean the carpet and upholstery in vehicles. On the other hand, another person may need a carpet cleaner with a large water tank to clean larger areas without needing to stop and refill/empty the water. Both will find a perfect model from among our picks, alongside many other options.

Best overall: Bissell 2-in-1 Proheat 2X Lift-Off Pet

Best overall

Bissell 2-in-1 Proheat 2X Lift Off Pet

Specs

  • Type: Upright and portable
  • Weight: 24.25 pounds
  • Attachments:2
  • Cord Length: 22 inches

Pros

  • 2 carpet cleaners in one
  • Heatwave technology maintains water temperature
  • PowerBrush has 10 rows of bristles
  • Specialized tools
  • EdgeSweep brushes clean against baseboards

Cons

  • Heavy

We chose the Bissell 2-in-1 ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Carpet Cleaner as our top choice because it’s two carpet cleaners in one. It’s a full-size carpet cleaner, but also has a portable pod. When using it as an upright for cleaning entire rooms, the brush system consists of a PowerBrush with 10 rows of bristles. The brush also has a 12-inch cleaning path width, which can cover a lot of area, reducing the time it takes to clean rooms. The EdgeSweep brushes also fit right up against the edge, making it easy to clean even the edges of the carpets that but up against the baseboards and edges of the wall. 

The tank has a ¾ gallon water capacity, and the carpet cleaner uses heatwave technology, which heats the water and maintains the temperature—and this makes it easier to remove dirt and stains from the carpet. In addition, the power cord is 22 feet long, which allows the carpet cleaner to reach a considerable distance.

Since the Lift-Off portable pod is detachable, it can be removed from the full-sizer cleaner to create a lightweight cleaning option, and it has a carrying handle as well. With the pod, you can use one of two specialized tools. The 3-inch tough stain tool makes it easy to clean pet messes and other stains and spills on stairs and upholstery in your home and vehicle, and also do spot cleaning instead of cleaning the entire carpet. There’s also a spraying crevice tool, which helps to clean corners and crevices. Plus, the hose adds an additional 4 feet for reaching into tight spaces.  

Best upright: Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Plus

Best upright

Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Plus

Specs

  • Type: Upright
  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Attachments: 2
  • Cord Length: 35 feet

Pros

  • 1 gallon cleaning tank capacity
  • TurboStrength motor deliver stronger suction
  • Heatwave maintains water temperature
  • Express Clean Mode
  • Specialized tools

Cons

  • No place to store accessories

Our choice for the best upright carpet cleaner is the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Plus Carpet Cleaner for several reasons. The TurboStrength motor has one of the strongest suctions, and is also quiet. The carpet cleaner removes all types of stains and odors—even skunk smells. The vacuum cleaner also has a CleanShot pretreater for dispensing concentrated amounts of cleaning solution. In addition, the Heatwave Technology warms the water and keeps it at that same temperature during cleaning. There are three cleaning modes: Max, Deep, or Express Clean, so you can pick the right mode for various cleaning scenarios. And the dual DirtLifter power brushes dig deep into carpets and rugs to lift and remove debris—and also clean up against the edges of walls.

For an upright, the 18-pound carpet cleaner is lightweight, and it’s also highly maneuverable to clean around furniture legs. In addition, the extra-long cord—35 feet—provides more freedom when cleaning large areas. Attachments include the 2-in-1 pet upholstery tool, which can be used for pet beds, upholstery, and fabric furniture, and also the 3-inch tough stain tool for particularly hard-to-remove stains.   

Best for pets: Bissell Big Green Pet Pro

Best for pets

Bissell Big Green Pet Pro

Specs

  • Type:  Upright
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Attachments: 2
  • Cord Length: 25 feet

Pros

  • Large clean water tank
  • 2 attachments to remove stains
  • 9-foot hose

Cons

  • One of the most expensive models
  • Heavy

Most—if not all—Bissell carpet cleaners are designed for pets. However, we chose the Bissell Big Green Pet Pro as the best option for pets because it has several features that make it easier to clean more thoroughly. Admittedly, the machine is heavy, weighing 44 pounds, so the large carpet cleaner is not designed to be transported like a portable model. Think of it as more like a commercial machine. The XL DirtLifter PowerBrush makes it easy to loosen and remove even embedded dirt, as well as stains. Also, the carpet cleaner has a flow indicator on top to help you monitor how much water and solution are in the machine so you’ll know when it’s time to empty and refill.

Although the machine is heavy, the ergonomic handle makes it easy to use it, and the 25-foot power cord provides plenty of freedom. Plus, the clean water tank can hold up to 1.75 gallons of water. The Bissell Big Green Pet Pro also includes two stain removal tools. The 6-inch tough stain tool, and 2-in-1 pet upholstery tool can be used to remove stains on carpet and also on stairs and upholstery. With a 9-foot hose, it’s easy to clean stairs, while leaving the machine at the top or bottom of the staircase.

Best portable: Bissell Little Green Pro Portable

Best portable

Bissell Little Green Pro Portable

Specs

  • Type: Portable
  • Weight: 13.25 pounds
  • Attachments: 3
  • Cord Length: 20 feet

Pros

  • 3 specialty tools
  • Large water tank for a portable cleaner
  • Long power cord

Cons

  • Hose could be longer

The Bissell Little Green Pro Portable only weighs 13.25 pounds, and has a convenient carrying handle, which makes it easy to transport to various areas in your home. The water tank can hold ¾ of a gallon, so you won’t have to refill it as often. The carpet cleaner has strong suction, and also includes three tools for various cleaning scenarios. The pet stain tool can be used to clean carpet and upholstery, while the 3-inch tough stain tool uses both scrubbing action and suction to remove stains from carpet and upholstery. The third attachment is the spraying crevice tool, which cleans in-between tight and hard to reach areas.

The 20-foot card provides a lot of length for a portable carpet cleaner, so there’s plenty of freedom to move around when cleaning not only carpets, but area rugs, pet beds, stairs, furniture, and vehicles. However, the 5-foot hose could be longer.

Best hands-free: Bissell SpotBot Pet Handsfree

Best hands-free

Bissell SpotBot Pet Handsfree

Specs

  • Type: Portable
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Attachments:  2
  • Cord Length: 15 feet

Pros

  • Hands free-cleaning
  • 2 cleaning modes

Cons

  • Shorter cord than Bissell Little Green Pro

Instead of bending over or kneeling to remove stains from the carpet, you can simply place the Bissell SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner on top of the stained area and press a button. It will automatically release formula and water into the carpet fibers, and then the rotating spiral brushes will scrub the stains gently. There are two preset cleaning modes: quick clean and deep clean, and both of these can also be used with the autoclean function. And in addition to using the SpotBot in autoclean mode, you can use it to clean as well manually.

The 14-pound SpotBot Pet has a 15-foot cord and a 30-ounce water tank capacity. It includes a 3-inch tough stain tool and a hose, which can be used to clean the carpet on stairs, upholstery, and the interior of your vehicle. In addition, the HydroRinse self-cleaning tool makes it easy to rinse the dirt out of the hose.

Best budget: Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Plus 

Best handheld

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Plus 

Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Attachments: 1
  • Battery runtime: 15 minutes

Pros

  • Economically priced
  • Rechargeable battery eliminates cords
  • Stores formula in tank
  • Lightweight design is easy to carry

Cons

  • Battery lasts approximately 15 minutes

A quality Bissell carpet cleaner for around $100 is a great value, and the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Plus is our choice for best budget carpet cleaner, as well as best handheld model. With a carrying handle and a weight of only 3.3 pounds, it’s easy to store, transport, and use. However, it cleans exceptionally well to be so compact. While it would be impractical to clean an entire room with this lightweight carpet cleaner, it’s ideal for spot cleaning. In addition, there’s a removable scrub brush. The carpet cleaner can loosen dirt, spills, and stains and then lift and remove them. It’s versatile enough to be used on carpeted floors, stairs, area rugs, and also upholstery and fabric.

Since the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Plus is cordless and uses a 7.2 V lithium-ion chargeable battery, it’s convenient to use the carpet cleaner anywhere—without looking for a wall outlet. The battery lasts for 15-20 minutes before it needs to be recharged. In addition, the Bissell Pro Oxy Spot & Stain formula (specifically designed for portable carpet cleaners), which does not have to be mixed with water, can be stored in the tank until you’re ready to use it again. 

What to consider when choosing a Bissell carpet cleaner 

From spot cleaners to deep carpet models, Bissell makes a variety of carpet cleaners. With so many options, these are some of the factors to keep in mind:

Use

Determining how you’ll use the Bissell carpet cleaner is the most important factor when choosing which one to purchase. For example, if you have wall-to-wall carpet—especially in several rooms, you’ll want an upright carpet cleaner—and probably one with a large water tank so you won’t have to keep stopping to either empty or refill. Unless you live in a very tiny space, trying to use a portable or handheld carpet cleaner can be pretty tedious, and your back will suffer in the process.

On the other hand, if you want a carpet cleaner for the upholstery and carpet in your vehicle, a portable or handheld model might be a better choice. Keep in mind, you can also get an upright with attachments.

Weight

The carpet cleaner’s weight may also be a factor you should consider. If your home is more than one story, you’ll want something you can easily carry up and down the stairs (unless you plan on purchasing a cleaner for each floor).

Cord length/battery

If you get a handheld model that’s battery-operated, cord length is not a problem. But most carpet cleaners have cords. Longer cords—and hoses—make it a lot easier to use carpet cleaners without having to stop and find a closer outlet when you run out of cord. This is particularly important when you’re cleaning stairs since you don’t want to topple a carpet cleaner that’s perched at the top of the stairs.

Attachments

Handheld and portable carpet cleaners tend to come with attachments. However, some upright models may also include attachments like an upholstery tool or tough stain tool, which can allow you to use it in additional places, like cleaning your upholstered sofa and vehicle interiors.

Formulas

Bissell makes a variety of formulas as well. For example, some are specially formulated for use in portable carpet cleaners, such as Pro Oxy Spot & Stain, which is rated pro strength, Spot & Stain with Febreze, and Pet Spot & Stain, which is formulated for pet messes. Some formulas for upright vacuum cleaners include Deep Clean Pro Max, Clean & Natural, and Pet Urine Eliminator & Oxy. Most of the formulas can be mixed with water.  

FAQs

Q: Does a Bissell carpet cleaner leave carpet wet?

Yes, all Bissell carpet cleaners leave carpet wet. However, some models (like the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution) have an express clean mode, and when using it, the carpet dries in about 30 minutes. However, note that an express clean mode is also lighter than a regular mode. Also, keep in mind that the thickness of your carpet can also determine how long it will take for your carpet to dry, as well as how many passes you make. As a general rule, you should plan to wait a few hours before walking on the carpet.

Q: Do I have to rinse carpet after using Bissell carpet cleaner?

No, you do not have to rinse your carpet after using a Bissell carpet cleaner. However, you can go back over the carpet with hot tap water to remove any formula. Also, you should ensure that you follow the instructions regarding how much Bissell solution to add to the cleaner. If you add more than recommended, you might end up with soapy carpeting, and then rinsing your carpet may be necessary.

Q: How often should I clean my carpets?

A quarterly or even twice-a-year cleaning should be sufficient to remove dirt, bacteria, and other unpleasant items from your carpet. However, if you have a large family, a lot of foot traffic, smokers in your household, or pets, more frequent cleaning may be necessary to keep the carpets clean. Also, use a  vacuum cleaner on the carpet in advance to remove as much debris as possible.

Q: Does Bissell make carpet cleaners that steam clean?

We’ve seen a large search volume for Bissell steam cleaner carpet cleaners. However, at the time of publication, Bissell does not make carpet cleaners that are also steam cleaners. Bissell does make steam cleaners for hard floors, but not for carpet cleaners. Also, some Bissell carpet cleaner models have a ProHeat feature which heats the water, but it’s not a steam feature.

Q:  Is it worth purchasing a carpet cleaner?

If you purchase the right carpet cleaner, it’s definitely worth it. It can be expensive to have your carpets professionally cleaned, and even renting a carpet cleaner on a routine basis can be expensive after the first few times. On the other hand, keep in mind that carpet cleaners are heavy,  so if you struggle to carry or maneuver them, you may want to pay the extra cost to have your carpets cleaned by professionals.

Final thoughts regarding the best Bissell carpet cleaners

Cleaning your carpet used to involve calling in the experts and paying a hefty fee. The alternative was to rent a carpet cleaner, which can also get expensive if you do it on a routine basis—not to mention the hassle of driving to a store and standing in line to rent it.

However, the ability to purchase your own carpet cleaner is not only more economical but also more convenient since it allows you to clean your carpets whenever you desire. I only have carpet in my bedroom and on the stairs, but owning a carpet cleaner allows me to refresh these two areas quarterly at any time of the day or night, and since it’s so convenient, I use my carpet cleaner quarterly.

Bissell makes a variety of carpet cleaners, and we consider the Bissell 2-in-1 Proheat 2X Lift-Off Pet to be the best of the best. However, Bissell also makes carpet cleaners that are less expensive, portable and handheld, and even hands-free options, so we’ve included our choices for best Bissell carpet cleaners in various categories—and we’re ready to see what the company creates next.

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Terri Williams

Contributor, Reviews

As a contributor to Popular Science’s reviews team, Terri Williams covers all things tech, from smart doorbells to webcams. She’s also provided research for Popular Science’s Best of What’s New awards. In addition to working with PopSci, she’s written reviews for Architectural Digest, Popular Mechanics, Tom’s Guide, CNN Underscored, The Daily Beast, and several other sites.