Cats and dogs can be a lovely addition to any home, but their messes can be a pain. Pets may stain carpets, shed hair and dander, and leave behind unpleasant odors. In addition to having a pet stain remover, a quality carpet cleaner that’s made for pets is a helpful tool for maintaining a happy home free of pet stains and odors.
When shopping for the best carpet cleaner for pets, it’s important to consider the type, size, power, and suction capability. Once you’ve made your choice, less time may be spent on cleaning up their messes and more time is free to focus on the fun of enjoying your furry friends.
Keep reading to learn about important factors to consider when searching for the right carpet cleaner, and check out some of the best options on the market just ahead.
- BEST OVERALL: Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner
- BEST MIDRANGE: Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: BISSELL Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner
- BEST HANDHELD: Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush, 2837
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Carpet Cleaner for Pets
Before selecting a carpet cleaner for dogs and cats, there are many features to consider, such as the type, corded versus cordless, power and suction, tank capacity, portability, and more. These details can help narrow the options to find the best carpet cleaner for pets.
There are different types of carpet cleaners for pets, including upright, handheld, and portable carpet cleaning machines. An upright carpet cleaner typically is a larger machine that stands vertically and has a push handle and base wheels for maneuvering over carpet.
Handheld carpet cleaners are much smaller than upright carpet cleaners and have a lighter weight. They are often cordless and have a rechargeable battery. Handheld cleaners typically weigh less than 5 pounds and are much easier to carry than upright machines, which can weigh 20 pounds or more.
Portable carpet cleaners are not always handheld or cordless, but they are more compact and suitable for tackling small messes or stains. Portable machines often weigh less than 15 pounds and do not exceed 2 feet tall.
Corded vs. Cordless
Another important shopping consideration is whether a corded or cordless carpet cleaner is best for a household. A cordless machine can usually better reach difficult places that are far from electrical outlets. However, a cordless carpet cleaner must be charged before each use and has a limited runtime that typically lasts about 30 minutes between charges.
A corded carpet cleaner usually is a more powerful machine with sustained power and charge. When considering a corded carpet cleaner, the cord length is important. A cord that’s at least 15 feet long is usually ideal to conveniently reach every corner of an average-size room.
Power and Suction
The air watts rating of a machine represents the suction power of carpet cleaners. The higher the rating, the stronger the suction. A standard upright carpet cleaner may have 100 air watts of suction, whereas a more professional machine may have as much as 220 air watts. The cleaners with the highest suction tend to be corded machines that receive power directly from an electrical outlet. A stronger suction means a deeper clean and more water suctioned away for a quicker-drying surface.
Handheld and cordless carpet cleaners for pets that are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are a little less powerful, but are still well suited for spot treating stains. Handheld carpet cleaners have a limited supply source with a runtime that often does not exceed 30 minutes between charges. Lithium-ion batteries are powerful, but they cannot rival the strength of suction provided by corded machines with a more substantial power source.
Carpet cleaners for pets also may feature different cleaning settings to fulfill different tasks. For example, a carpet cleaning machine may have a deep clean or a heavy-duty setting that employs a more rigorous scrub, or a quick-clean setting that uses less water for an efficient clean that conveniently dries quickly.
Tank capacity varies in size depending on whether or not it’s an upright, a portable, or a handheld carpet cleaner. The average upright carpet cleaner has a water tank that can hold about 1 gallon or more of water, whereas a portable carpet cleaner may hold a half gallon, and a handheld carpet cleaner may hold about a quarter gallon.
All carpet cleaners for pets usually have two different tanks to hold clean and dirty water. However, some machines feature a solution tank where carpet cleaner can be stored separately and then automatically dispensed into the clean water tank when in use. However, not every machine has a separate solution tank and may instead instruct users to mix the solution in the clean water tank when preparing it to clean.
High portability is a valuable feature for a carpet cleaner that can make the cleaning process easier and more convenient. The various components that contribute to the portability of a quality carpet cleaner for pets are the size, handle, hose length, wheels, and weight.
The size and weight of a carpet cleaner affect its portability. A handheld machine typically weighs about 5 pounds and is not usually longer than 24 inches. A lightweight upright machine typically weighs less than 20 pounds and can be as tall as 45 inches. A heavy-duty upright carpet cleaner can weigh as much as 40 pounds or even more.
Upright carpet cleaners with wheels and a long handle are easier to move around and store when not in use. If a carpet cleaner has a hose, the extra length from the hose can help clean hard-to-reach places.
Accessories may be included with the purchase of a new carpet cleaner for pets. Many pet carpet cleaners include a specialized pet cleaning brush tool that can be used to spot treat carpet or upholstery for a targeted clean.
Another attachment tool that may be included is designed to pick up hair or remove stains, and some cleaners may come with an attachment hose for greater reach where a bulky machine may not fit. Bonus carpet cleaner accessories may include trial-size cleaning solutions.
Our Top Picks
There are many different situations and reasons to use a carpet cleaner for pets, so this list includes options for a wide variety of needs and uses. Read on to learn more about some of the best carpet cleaners for pets that effectively deodorize carpets and wash away dirt.
The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Carpet Cleaner is engineered to target pet stains and odors deep in carpet fibers. This upright carpet cleaner has 12 rows of rotating PowerBrushes that remove dirt. There are a few different cleaning settings, including the MAX Clean Mode for the deepest clean, an Express Clean Mode that cleans and leaves carpets dry in 30 minutes, and a CleanShot stain pretreater.
This cleaner is 15 inches by 12.5 inches by 43.5 inches and weighs about 18 pounds. The ProHeat also has a low-profile foot for maneuvering around furniture and increased portability. A bonus 3-inch stain tool and pet upholstery brush tool are included. There is no separate solution tank, so carpet cleaner should be added to the clean water tank.
The PowerDash by Hoover is a lightweight and compact pet carpet cleaner that is 15.2 inches by 10.13 inches by 43.5 inches and weighs 12.5 pounds. It has a 20-foot power cord and a half-gallon water tank. This upright machine may be small, but its size makes it easier to deliver a powerful clean in tight spaces.
The carpet cleaner base utilizes Hoover’s Powerspin Pet Brush Roll that lifts and suctions pet messes easily, while the built-in HeatForce Power speeds up the drying process. A trial size of Hoover carpet cleaner is included and can be mixed directly into the clean water tank before use.
Constructed with automatic cleaning technology, the Hoover Smartwash is a quality midrange pick with convenient features, such as its ability to switch between wash and dry with a simple change in direction, and a removable pretreat wand. This upright carpet cleaner has a sturdy frame that is 18.9 inches by 13 inches by 43.5 inches, and it weighs 20.5 pounds. The machine’s base has FlexForce PowerBrushes that are gentle on carpet fibers but work hard to remove pet dander, dirt, and messes.
The built-in Auto-Mix function takes the guesswork out of mixing cleaning solution with water by doing it automatically. This carpet cleaner for pets has a handheld pet brush attachment for upholstery and stairs, and a triggerless handle. It also comes with a 1-gallon water tank, a cleaning solution sample, and an 8-foot hose.
Bissell’s Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner is a heavy-duty machine that is 20.5 inches by 11 inches by 42.25 inches and weighs 41 pounds. The water tanks can hold up to 1.75 gallons. While its size and weight do not make it ideal for portability, it can provide a powerful cleaning punch that rivals professional machines.
Key features include an XL DirtLifter PowerBrush lined with eight rows of bristles that penetrate dirt embedded into carpet fibers. The cord is 25 feet long, and the cleaning hose is 9 feet long for increased reach. This cleaner comes with 8 ounces of carpet cleaning solution and a 6-inch- wide stain tool that roots out pet messes.
For an effective clean against pet stains and odors, the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser is a handheld device that spot cleans stains well. It uses rotating DirtLifter PowerBrushes to loosen dirt and pet dander along with strong suction to remove it from the carpet. This cordless carpet cleaner is powered by a 7.2-volt lithium-ion battery with an extended runtime of approximately 20 minutes between charges.
This carpet cleaning device weighs less than 4.5 pounds and is 18.25 inches by 10 inches by 7 inches. This carpet cleaner comes with a stationary pet tool and PRO OXY Spot and Stain cleaning solution that scrubs away tough pet messes.
FAQs About Carpet Cleaners for Pets
Now that you know more about pet carpet cleaners, there may be new or lingering questions. Here are some of the most common questions and answers about shopping for the best carpet cleaner for pets.
Q. Is an upright model better than a portable carpet cleaner?
Upright carpet cleaners are ideal for cleaning large carpet surfaces, whereas portable carpet cleaners are best for spot cleaning or removing pet stains from smaller carpet surfaces.
Q. How often should carpet be cleaned?
Carpets in homes with pets benefit from a carpet cleaner washing approximately three to four times a year. Vacuuming at least twice a week will help pick up loose pet hair and dander between cleanings.
Q. How should a carpet cleaner be stored to prevent it from growing mold or bacteria?
To prevent mold and bacteria growth, make sure the carpet cleaner is fully dry before storing it away. Carpet cleaners can be air-dried or wiped clean.