best portable carpet cleaner

In this article, we review the best portable carpet cleaner, best portable carpet cleaner for cars and best spot carpet cleaner for pet stains models. They are compact, lightweight, straightforward to use, and easy to store. These devices will differ in terms of features and benefits. We have reviewed and highlighted the pros and cons of 10 of them from leading brands to help you find the one that will best suit your needs.

Carpet cleaning is a necessary practice that cleanses the air you breathe in your home while at the same time making your carpets look great. It is important to clean your carpets regularly because as it is vital for a healthy indoors environment. When the time to clean up your carpets comes, having the right tools for the job can be the key to success.

The best portable carpet cleaner is ideal for sport cleaning areas of carpet and getting tough stains off of them, off of furniture, or off of a vehicle’s upholstery. It will provide a fast, effective approach for cleaning stains and spills on various surfaces.

best portable carpet cleaner

1. Bissel SpotBot Pet 2117A Small Carpet Cleaner

Bissell SpotBot Pet handsfree Spot and Stain Portable Deep Cleaner, Blue, 2117A

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The Bissell SpotBot Pet 2117A is geared toward stains left by your beloved pets. There isn’t a lot of maintenance for this model as the brushes can dig deep for stains left from dog waste or vomit. Animal lovers will be happy to learn that for each purchase of the SpotBot, the company invests 10 dollars in their pet foundation.

This is great news if you care deeply about animals you’ve had for years. The 2117A is hands-free. You get to take advantage of the auto cleaning cycle allowing you to pick your own settings. Once the machine is up and running, there’s no need to hang around. You can leave the room and go focus on other tasks that need to be done.

The machine takes over and begins the cleaning process. The SpotBot also has advance technology giving you the opportunity to Deep Reach. The devices inside start at the bottom then move up for those hard deep stains.

It can handle surfaces such as the stairs, upholstery and low Pile carpets to name a few. The SpotBot impresses with nearly 400 movements through it’s spiral turn brush ending with a thorough removal of any stain. The hose attachment can reach to 5 inches.


  • Comes with cleaning solution
  • Great for wine spills, couch stains and mud
  • Approximately six sessions of cleaning before tank refill


  • There is no on-board water heater

2. Bissell 3624 SpotClean

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner - Corded

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The Bissell 3624 SpotClean is a consumer favorite and the best spot carpet cleaner we’ve ever tested. Its performance is solid considering it’s a mid-ranged priced model. The weight is approximately 13.2 pounds allowing users to easily move it around the office or at home.

Its motor kicks out 5.7 amps and maintains a powerful rhythm. You can take advantage of the tank that holds an impressive 96 ounces (around 3/4 of a gallon).

The SpotClean comes with a small 8 oz bottle of cleaning fluid. You won’t have to struggle with the assembly as it is easy to handle. It takes nothing to fill the tank with water and add the attachments. The package comes with 6 stair tools to scrub on your steps. Every home experiences tough stains that seem to have been with your carpet for years. You’ll appreciate the Tough Stain Tool tucked away in the box.

This model is best with attacking reluctant stains found on white shaggy carpet. Most of these are either dried or pushed down into the carpet further. Upholstery is more tricky for the machine to have a good performance. You can also enjoy a long cord that reaches up to 22 . The large hose is light and help with those hard to reach areas you’ve been dying to clean for months.


  • Easy to move around and light to carry
  • Powerful motor and cleaning
  • The Tough Stain Tool is a lifesaver on old stains and removing hard pet waste
  • The handheld attachment is simple and doesn’t scratch upholstery


  • Cleaning and maintenance takes a bit longer than we’d like.

3. Rug Doctor Carpet Spot Cleaner

Carpet Cleaning Machine | Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner 5.5 Hose

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The Rug Doctor gets you close to using a commercial carpet cleaner machine for your stains. The machine is inexpensive even with it’s robust powerful it shows when getting stains that seem impossible to clean. Tough areas are no challenge for the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner. It seems built to handle those tough areas. You will notice it’s a lot heavier at 20 pounds compared to the other machines mentioned.

The handlebar is flexible and folds. When cleaning on carpet, you find there are support wheels to avoid a rough pull. With its big size, you get wider containers and a machine packed full of power. It can hold 64 ounces of dirty water and simple to empty. There’s a motor on the handled brush along with a 5.5- hose to use. The brush’s motorized movements help push in fluids for cleaning any stain and getting rid of it for good.

Use the cleaning solution to pay extra attention to odors, drink stains, dirt or pet waste. The Rug Doctor uses its powerful suction to beat old stains like coffee or oil found on carpets or couches. The embedded technology is pristine as it scrubs with a steam or heat which doesn’t cause damage to furniture or your precious items.


  • The price is affordable up against the strength of power
  • Tackles hard stains with forceful suction
  • Easy to store with a fordable model design


  • A bit heavy to carry around with a full tank of water

4. Bissell Multi-Purpose 1400B Portable Shampooer

Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 1400B

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The Bissell 1400B is successful when tackling stains and tough areas. It has a spray function and strong suction capabilities. This machine handles well whether you’re facing a large spill or a small one. There is no hassle when removing the water tank for emptying and refilling needs.

The machine offers an additional device known as the HydroRinse tool. This attachment is effective in targeting specific stains or spots that never vanish. Cleaning the hose is easy to do after each usage. Inside the box is the small bottle of Spot & Clean formula for use on stubborn stains.

It’s full weight is 9.6 pounds and makes transporting much easier. There’s a long power chord reaching up to at least 15 . The attachment hose can reach out to good 4 . The machine’s nickname is “little green” and known as the more compact device of its models. Users learn the machine is not only recyclable, its made of nearly 50 percent reused recycled materials. The 1400B stands out due to its “green” awareness campaign. Homeowners who are concerned about the environment can appreciate the goal of this portable carpet cleaning model. Both the tank and the hose are free of PVC.


  • A recyclable machine and Eco-friendly
  • The Tough Stain Tool is effective on tough stains
  • Great machine for pet owners


  • Not the best for long cleaning sessions over two hours

5. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe FH50150

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine, Upright Shampooer, FH50150, Red

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The Hoover FH50150 has 360-degree powerful brushes to deep clean tough dirt. The devices spin scrub brush system is designed for some of the hardest stains you’ll experience. All surfaces are cleaned equally by the suction from the dual v nozzle.

The machine allow for increase the dry time by using the machines heat force. It works great for mobile carrying as it weighs under 19 pounds. This makes it easy to use the device in various locations. It comes with an 8 inch attachment hose for hard to reach places. You get an upholstery, stair and crevice tool in the box. Users will also find cleaning solution as a sample bottle for areas needing more attention.


  • Comes packaged very well
  • Strong scrubber on tough stains


  • Some parts can rust over time when in contact with water

6. Hoover FH11300PC Spotless Mini Carpet Cleaner

Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner, FH11300PC

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The Hoover FH11300PC Spotless is lightweight compared to its size. Its appearance is misleading in that consumers might think it’s heavy to haul around. The light weight helps you move with ease to various jobs. It’s great for cleaning all over your house and having to go up and down stairs. The company mentions that the FH11300PC is known as one of the lightest cleaning devices on the market.

Users get to experience the effects of deep cleaning where the Hoover scrubs and sprays at the same time. The device is excellent for daily messes from animals or normal stains. Once unpacking the box, you’ll discover a self-cleaning hose that extends to an impressive 5 . This helps when you are trying to reach and remove difficult stains for upholstery or your carpet.

Old stains don’t have a chance with the FH11300PC . They get rid of these permanently so don’t have to worry anymore how they hurt your home’s decor. Take advantage of using the dual tank technology. The Hoover is clever in it’s design as users can separation the clean and dirty water. The box also holds a multipurpose tool, pre-treat gel and cleaning solution.


  • Safe to use on hardwood floors
  • Easy to assemble and clean


  • Cord isn’t as long as we’d like

Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new vacuum.

Getting Started

Deciding on the perfect vacuum for your home can be tricky. There are a lot of styles, functions and high-tech features to choose from. So which one is right for you? This guide has been created to make your vacuum shopping experience as easy as possible. So let’s dive in!.Shop Vacuums


There are a few different types and styles of vacuums that we are going to address in this buying guide. We are sure you will find just the one to fit all of your cleaning needs.

Upright Vacuums


This style of vacuum is going to be the most popular type of vacuum that can be found in many households today. It’s the best go-to vacuum for removing dust and dirt from carpeting, and is able to clean large areas of carpet quickly. They also work well on area rugs and hard floors.However, it is good to note that not all upright vacuums can be used on hard floor surfaces, since doing so might cause damage to some floors and vacuums. If this is an important factor it’s smart to do research on the brand of vacuum you are looking into, to make sure it works well on hard floors too. A brush on/off switch is recommended, as it will help protect the finish on bare floors.Some other things to look for when deciding on your upright vacuum are onboard attachment, bag-less or not, and the weight of the unit. Upright cleaners come in a variety of styles and sizes, each varying in weight. Some uprights include edge cleaning, which picks up dirt under the entire area of the head. This is a helpful feature especially when cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting. Suction control is another useful feature to look at when cleaning draperies and upholstery.Shop Upright Vacuums

Canister Vacuums


Canister Vacuums are portable and easy to use. They are well suited for people who clean a variety of surfaces but are most popular for those who have little carpeting and like to vacuum their hard surfaced floors. They tend to be lighter than other vacuum designs, plus they have a highly maneuverable power head that can reach tight spots with ease.Canister vacuums have the motor and bag in a separate unit, which is usually mounted on wheels to help with maneuvering. The canister itself is connected to the vacuum head by a flexible hose. By using a revolving brush system or brush agitator, it can dislodge dirt particles from the carpet so they can be picked up easily; this comes in handy when picking up things like pet hair. Without a built-in revolving brush, canister vacuums use straight suction to clean. Most canister vacuums have a bag that needs to be replaced, however there are bag-less models available, which eliminates the additional cost of buying dust bags.Bottom line, this style is perfect for vacuuming hard-to-reach spots and furniture; it’s also great for cleaning cars and drapes as well.Shop Canister Vacuums

Handheld & Stick Vacuums


These types of vacuums are the smallest and lightest options available, they are often cordless and operate on batteries. They also offer lots of convenience when it comes to a variety of cleaning tasks around the house.Handheld vacuums are perfect for cleaning closets, vents, blinds, upholstery or car interiors, and made mostly for above-the-floor cleaning. They’re best used for tasks such as cleaning up small spills, getting cobwebs out of corners or vacuuming dirt out of windowsills.Stick vacuums are very similar to upright vacuums. The design is the same, but stick vacuums tend to be a lot lighter in weight and usually do not come with any attachments. If you have a multilevel home, a stick model vacuum is great to keep on the second floor and eliminate the need to carry your main one up and down the stairs. Not to mention, there are certain models out now which have been designed with handheld features, making it easy to clean stairs, ceiling fans and more.Shop Handheld & Stick Vacuums

Robot Vacuums


Robot cleaners are completely hands-free, battery-operated vacuums. They seek out and suck up dirt, debris and dust from carpets and hard surface floors. They are a great choice for light, daily cleanings and extremely popular with pet owners, allergy sufferers, busy households, or just anyone who wants their floors to stay constantly clean.A robot vacuum is self-propelled and programmable, so you don’t have to do any extra work when it comes to vacuuming. These nifty gadgets use sensors to avoid obstacles and stairs, while smart enough to still easily clean underneath furniture. If you’re someone who simply does not have enough time to vacuum regularly, a robot vacuum can help you solve this problem.Shop Robot Vacuums

Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums

Wet & Dry

Commercial and garage vacuums are often referred to as shop vacs. They offer extra power when it comes to professional-sized messes. These vacuums are the perfect type when it comes to cleaning up things such as sawdust in basements, dirt and water in garages, or any other mess, wet or dry. Many labor workers use them on job sites as they can handle that kind of debris. To choose the right commercial or garage vacuum, one must think about how they will use it and where it will be stored.Smaller models will be easier to move around, but they will not be able to handle larger messes.Shop Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums

Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Carpet cleaners come in a variety of different styles ranging from uprights to portable spot cleaners, even smaller handheld carpet cleaners, all of which are capable of cleaning and disinfecting furniture, drapes or rugs.Even if you vacuum your carpets pretty regularly things such as dirt, pet dander, bacteria and dust mites remain deep in your carpet’s fibers. To fix this issue, carpet cleaners use moisture and heat to loosen the dirt and stains that a regular vacuum can’t suction. Not to mention, they can also disinfect carpets by killing unwanted germs. If you’re looking for a deep clean, a carpet cleaner is your best bet.Steam cleaners have become very popular in recent years because they are considered the healthy and “green” alternative to cleaning. Many steam cleaners look like upright vacuums, they have a large tank that dispenses hot water with a cleaning solution, while another tank holds the dirty water. If you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies and chemical sensitivities, a steam cleaner is a healthy way to deep clean a variety of surfaces without aggravating allergy symptoms. You and your family can live healthier and breath better by using a steam cleaner on a regular basis.Shop Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Central Vacuum Systems

Central Vacuum Systems

Central vacuum systems are the most durable options available. Although they may be a bit more expensive up front, the lack of maintenance and longer lifespan often make up for the cost and then some. Unlike traditional vacuums, the motor and collector of a central vacuum system is installed into the home, typically in the basement or garage. From there, vacuum piping runs through walls, crawlspaces, or other out of the way areas of the home to floor or wall-mounted inlet valves in a handful of locations around the house. By attaching a hose to these inlets, like those used by canister vacuums, you’re able to vacuum all of the areas of your home without lugging around a heavy canister or upright vac. The hoses are typically 30 feet long, allowing you to vacuum multiple rooms from a single inlet. These systems also offer all the same kinds of attachments you’d find on traditional types of vacuum cleaners, from wands to crevice tools to pet brushes.Installing a central vacuum system offers a number of benefits over traditional models. In addition to their longer lifespan, central vacuum systems also provide far greater suction capabilities when compared to other types of vacuum cleaners. More powerful motors translate to greater cleaning potential, allowing you to pull more particles out of thick carpets or upholstery. Central vacuum systems are also significantly quieter than their portable counterparts. Without the motor roaring next to you as you clean, the only sound is that of fast-moving air. Additionally, central vacs promote cleaner air quality by extracting and containing dust particles, allergens, and other contaminants, whereas other types of vacuum cleaners can end up releasing their smaller particles back into the air, often when being emptied.There are a handful of qualities to look for when deciding between central vacuum systems. First and foremost, you want to be sure to use a trusted brand. While you may save a few dollars opting for a cheap system, you’ll likely end up paying more in the long run with service calls and/or a shorter lifespan. For the best indicator of suction strength look at the Air Watts specification, with higher numbers signifying stronger suction. You also need to make sure the system offers enough suction to cover every corner of your home. Choosing a model that boasts a coverage area greater than the square footage of your home is a good idea as these numbers are calculated with perfect conditions in mind.Lastly, you’ll need to decide between bag systems, those that use filters, a hybrid of the two, or a cyclonic system. Bagged systems use a bag inside their collector canister to contain debris. Although they don’t require outside venting, using a vent will reduce noise and odor. Filter systems similarly don’t require venting but benefit from it. These systems use one of a handful of filter types to protect dirt from contaminating clogging the motor, filing a canister or bag that needs to be emptied every three to six months. Cyclonic systems are the only ones that require outside venting. Most of the dirt is captured with the canister with a small percentage of tiny particles venting outdoors. Hybrid systems, those that use filters and bags are a great choice. They help keep the motor running clean and offer an easy to dispose of container for debris.Shop Central Vacuum Systems

Useful Features to Consider

Before settling down and picking a vacuum that will work best for you, take a look as some additional features that may be important or become important long-term:


Bag-less designs probably offer the utmost convenience by allowing you to simply detach the container unit from the vacuum. You can then quickly dispose of any dirt inside, without having to pull out and replace a bag. However, bag designs are still nice because they can usually keep dust contained a lot better, since the bag itself seals the dust away. This prevents any further messes from occurring when cleaning out your vacuum. Not to mention, if allergies are a concern the bag is definitely a smarter choice.

Multi-Surface Flooring

If you have a combination of hard surfaced floors and carpets, or lots of hard floors, a multi-surface vacuum is the best way to go. Multi-surface vacuums allow you to turn the brush roll on and off, so you can avoid scratching your hard floors when transitioning from carpets.


Filters are a must-have for anyone who is sensitive to dust or pet hair, as well as allergic to pollen. HEPA filters are considered to be the best because they remove particles such as dust, dander and allergens from the air. Some vacuum models feature a filter that needs to be replaced regularly, while some have started to include reusable filters that allow you to remove, clean and replace the same filter as necessary. Reusable filters would be the ideal kind to use, as they are a great money-saving option.Shop Vacuums

Vacuum Accessories & Attachments

If you’re looking to do more than just vacuum the floors around your home, you may need to consider certain vacuum accessories and attachments. In order to properly clean drapes, sofas and chairs, dust shelves, and get to all the nooks and cracks in your home, you’ll need the right attachments.A crevice tool is great for cleaning corners and tight spaces. A dusting brush can be used to gently dust shelves and tables, as not to scratch them. An upholstery tool is perfect for vacuuming your furniture without causing any damage. Turbo brushes can offer a deeper clean for longer carpets.

The Main Vacuum Types

There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.

1. Handheld

Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.

2. Canister

Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.

3. Upright

These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.

4. Stick

While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.

5. Autonomous / Robot

Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.

Vacuum Cleaners

Location, Location, Location

Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.

Bare Floors:

If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.


On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.

Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.

To Bag or Not To Bag

The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.


If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.


If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.

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