The Best Portable Carpet Cleaner (2020) Comparison Reviews

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Vacuum cleaners are great, but they can’t meet all your carpet cleaning needs, so a carpet cleaner is a must. They go beyond what ordinary vacuums can do, removing deep-seated dirt that is hiding in your carpets and upholstery. They have a distinctive design that can tackle this arduous task and make cleaning quicker and easier, which is why we want to help you find the best portable carpet cleaner.

Best Portable Carpet Cleaner

Choosing the right carpet cleaner can be confusing, as there are a lot of choices in today’s market. So, to help you figure it all out, we highly recommend Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner after hours of intense research.a

We took the honor of listing the best compact carpet cleaners here. We tested these products to ensure their quality and performance!

Our Recommendation


We highly recommend Bissell 3624 SpotClean as it’s affordable with 1000+ happy customer reviews. It’s light and handy to get your jobs done effective and quick.

It’s all about saving time, cleaning fast, and enjoying your home, isn’t it?

5 Top-Rated Handheld Carpet Cleaner – Which One is the Best?

 Weight Price
Bissell 3624 SpotClean
(Highly Recommend)
16.6 pounds Check Price$$$
BISSELL SpotClean ProHeat8.5 pounds Check Price$$
BISSELL Spotbot Pet Handsfree12.5 pounds Check Price$$$$
Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner20.2 pounds Check Price$$$
HOOVER FH11300PC Spotless9 pounds Check Price$$

Portable Carpet Cleaner Comparison Table

1. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner (Our Best Seller 2020)

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One of the best options you have for a handheld carpet cleaner is the Bissell 3624, especially if you want power and portability at the same time. With this appliance you get a lot of features, one of the best being the ability to easily clean spots and stains, even the tightest areas of your home.

Powerful Carpet Cleaner

The SpotClean Pro 3624 is one of the prized opuses of the Bissell line because it can clean rugs, upholstery, and home furnishings due to its powerful suction. Specifically, this appliance uses a combination of vacuum suction and brushing action to take out and remove all the dust, dirt and grime in your floors. Its motor rating is 5.7 amps, which is very powerful for a carpet cleaner, and in addition to carpets, you can also use this to clean your car!

Efficient Cleaning Solution

The SpotClean Pro 3624 – one of the Best Portable Carpet Cleaner is quite efficient thanks to its portable design and versatile compartments. Because of its portability, you can clean hard to reach areas. For instance, if you are dealing with your stairs, just connect the 6-inch stair tool to the hose of the cleaner to reach any spot. Another great feature is the tank, where you can fill a cleaning formula to spot clean your carpet quickly! Moreover, it also comes with a 6-inch brush tool so that you can dust off your carpet or area rugs. For more persistent surfaces, just use its 3-inch brush tool!

Large Capacity

The SpotClean Pro 3624 has a large storage capacity. This feature lets you clean your house in one go! Specifically, its tank capacity is 3/4 gallon, which is very impressive and means you have to empty your bin less frequently than conventional carpet cleaners. Despite this, this tool is still very lightweight and easy to carry!

What Users Think About It?

Many online retailers are proud to feature SpotClean Pro 3624 as their best carpet cleaner. For its users, the sentiment has been echoed. One owner said that this tool lets him clean his sticky carpet quickly and easily. Another user testified that suction mechanism of the SpotClean is better than most carpet cleaners they tried.

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Effectively removes embedded dirt and debris
  • Have different cleaning accessories (5-foot hose, 6-inch stair tool, 3-inch stain tool)
  • Superb power rating (5.7 amps)
  • Largest tank capacity
  • The construction of the hose is not that rigid

2. Bissell SpotBot Pet handsfree Spot and Stain Portable Deep Cleaner (Best Handheld Carpet Cleaner for Pet Stains)

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There is a tough competition between SpotClean and SpotBot carpet cleaners of Bissell, and after testing them both, we can see why. The SpotBot has all the features needed to make it a powerful vacuum cleaner, and when you throw in the pet cleaning feature, it’s hard to find a better appliance.

If you have pets in your home, this cleaner is essential. It can help you permanently remove pet-stains without making have to work too hard. More importantly, its preset cleaning action lets you brush and spray automatically. Oh, and it can remove odors too.

User-Friendly Ergonomic Design

The SpotBot is a cleaning system that won’t wear you out or expend a lot of energy, as it is one of the few models that can effectively do the work for you.

There is a Walk-Away feature that enables a hands-free mechanism for this tool and the cleaning settings are controlled by a button. Just select the cleaning cycle that you want, and this machine can do it for you.

Deep Reach Technology

This innovative feature of the SpotBot allows you to remove the stains in your carpets and area rugs thoroughly. It uses a powerful cleaning mechanism that sucks up the stains from deep down for a guaranteed clean.

Plus, it uses a sophisticated spiral brushing action that can do 400 revolutions within a minute, making tough stains no match for this machine!

Anti-Microbial Properties

One of the hazards of having stains is that they may contain microbes which are the haven of disease-causing bacteria. But this won’t be a problem as long as you have the SpotBot. Each of its components has anti-microbial properties, ensuring that these elements won’t grow in your house!

Moreover, the SpotBot also includes an odor formula, which effectively removes deep-seated odor-causing bacteria!

What Users Think About It?

With all of these features, we were not surprised to see that the SpotBot has a high ranking in the market. Specifically, many users appreciate the quickness and power that this machine has. Many parents love the semi-automatic cleaning cycle, which can clean the vomit and mess of their babies!

Aside from that, people like the anti-odor mechanism of this tool, which is not present on other brands of vacuum cleaners.

  • Powerful suction powe
  • User-friendly ergonomics (hands-free mechanism)
  • Deep Reach technology effectively cleans carpets and upholstery
  • Lightweight and Compact construction
  • Can do permanent stain removal
  • The construction of this tool may not endure daily usage.
  • Cleaning solution occasionally leaks out for the unit

3. BISSELL SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot Cleaner (Best Handheld Cleaner for Cars)

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Consider your job done with the Bissell SpotClean Proheat 5207F, as even the toughest stains can’t stand up to the cleaning power that this tool has. What makes this model so great is that it combines water and the Bissell formula to eradicate the presence of spots and stains in your house. You can use this tool on different parts of your home with no fuss and it has a variety of applications, too! It can clean up your interiors and cars with ease, as well as some furniture!

Heatwave Technology

The SpotClean Proheat 5207F possesses a heat wave technology that maintains the water temperature throughout the entire cleaning process. Warm water is effective in spot cleaning and can help eradicate deep-seated dirt in your carpet and upholstery. So with this technology, the cleaning efficiency of the water will not waiver, making the first spot just as clean as the last.

Cleaning Efficiency

There are areas in your home that are hard to reach; using an ordinary vacuum cleaner makes the job impossible. You need a tool specifically designed to maximize the versatility of your job, which is what you get with the SpotClean Proheat 5207F. One of its main features is the 3-inch tough stain tool. With it, you can efficiently clean nooks and awkward spots in your home. After all, a carpet cleaner should be flexible, too!

Effective Cleaning Formula

Bissell SpotClean Proheat 5207F comes with a Spot and Stain Formula and an Oxygen Boost to ensure that your cleaning will be thorough, reaching the furthest, microscopic levels. These cleaning agents are effective in cleansing even the most embedded stains in your carpet. Moreover, this carpet cleaner has uses a set of removable tanks so that refilling your cleaning agents is easy.

What Users Think About It?

On different online retailers, this product enjoys an excellent customer feedback. Many users say that it can clean efficiently and quickly. They even rate this vacuum cleaner as a better version than SpotBot. One user guarantees that this cleaner can clean carpets and rugs without consuming too much of your time. Another person told that the cleaner produces a fresh scent, which is rare for carpet cleaners.

  • Slim and lightweight technology
  • Have accessories that can clean deep stains
  • Heatwave technology preserves the standard water temperature
  • Include two cleaning agents
  • Water tanks are removable
  • Occasional leaking of water from the tanks

4. HOOVER FH11300PC Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner

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The only model on our list with a self-cleaning hose the Hoover FH 11300 is the epitome of efficiency thanks to a lightweight design and easy maneuverability. What works best here is that it is low maintenance and the self-cleaning technology keeps the unit clean, which in turn keeps your upholstery and flooring clean and allergen free. This Hoover has dual tanks for dirty and clean water separation, so you can clean and rinse without needing to stop.

Self-Cleaning Technology

The ability of this unit to clean the hose after every use is nothing short of remarkable and a big plus for users. Dirt, allergens, dust, and other irritants often get stuck in the tubing, which can cause you to transfer dirt and dust mites back and forth no matter how careful you are. This model eliminates that issue and ensures you and your loved ones have clean, hypoallergenic surfaces.

Multi-Purpose & Antibacterial Tool

The front piece is engineered from antibacterial rubber, allowing for a thorough cleaning that kills germs and allergens on contact. This piece ensures that when you clean no mold, mildew, or bacteria builds up on any porous surfaces, from counters to rugs.

Deep Cleaning Unit

Lightweight but powerful, the motor propels the unit, giving it a strong and powerful suctioning power. This is what it allows it to go below the surface of rugs and upholstery, pulling up dirt and germs for flooring and furniture that is deep-down clean.

What Users Think About It

Users had overwhelmingly positive reviews for this unit, noting its strong suction power and raving over its self-cleaning technology. It is consistently rated in the top three among portable cleaners and its anti-bacterial properties give it high marks with parents.

  • Lightweight and easy to move around
  • Self-cleaning technology to keep the unit clean
  • Dual tanks for efficient and quick cleaning
  • Antibacterial tool to remove harmful bacteria
  • No attachments to use in different areas of the home

5. Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner – Removes Stains and Neutralizes Odors

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One of the most recognized names in portable vacuums thanks to it’s cleaning formula and patented oscillating brush. Since the system relies on suction rather than extreme heat, your carpets, furniture, and flooring won’t look worn after repeated uses- even if you clean the same spot over and over.

Motorized Brush

One of this model’s best selling points is the oscillating brush, which gets deep down between fibers to loosen and suck up dirt. The brush is strong, yet won’t wear and tear on fabrics no matter how often you use it. And since there is no hot water, fabrics won’t fade or dull either.

Extreme Portability

This unit is compact and light, so it can go from the house to the car and back again. This makes it the ultimate in convenience, as you can quickly treat and clean any spill. If you have kids, pets, or are just a bit messy, this makes a huge difference, as stains can set quickly.

Reaches With Ease

Built to work on upholstery, cars, mattresses, carpets,  and more, the handle can retract and extend, so you can reach every nook and cranny. Which means a stain in the corner of the top step is just as easy to clean as one in the middle of the room.

What Users Say About It

Reading the online reviews, users love that this unit doesn’t use heat and hot water. Many praised its ability to clean deep down using just suction and found that fabrics stayed cleaner and looking fresher for longer. They also gave it high marks for being easy to carry around and use at any given moment.

  • Uses an oscillating brush to get between fibers and bring up dirt’
  • Easy to move from place to place
  • Cleans without damaging materials
  • Can reach difficult areas
  • Isn’t ideal for larger areas, which can be a bit of a hassle

Different Methods of Carpet Cleaning

While steam cleaning is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your carpet clean, there are other methods you can use, either in combination with steam cleaning or in place of it. Here is a look at them and when or how to use them:


Not as popular as it used to be, shampooing is still a viable method when you want to deep clean your carpets without using heavy chemicals. You can use basic soap and water to thoroughly wash your carpets. Beware though; it can take a while for rugs to dry when shampooing as the water penetrates deep and you may have to rent a machine if you don’t plan to do it regularly, which can become costly.

While shampooing does lift a majority of dirt, there is a tendency for a slight film to remain from the soap no matter how often you rinse.


This is seen as the modern-day version of shampooing; you use a machine to apply a layer of chemical foam, which then hardens around dirt and can be vacuumed up using a standard vacuum machine. This method uses a trace amount of water, so there is less drying time, is fairly quick, has fewer chemicals, and there is hardly any residue.

However, it is not effective when dealing with ground-in dirt or dirt that has been embedded for a while and you do need a separate machine, making steam the better choice.

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning has been around for years and involves a machine that uses cleaning compounds, or powder, and rotating brushes to remove dirt from thick or thin carpeted areas. The brushes part the carpet hairs, or fibers, allowing the powder to penetrate, and then they remove the powder and dirt. There is no water so you can immediately walk on it, but unless you are using this for an office or store this is something you only need to do every other month for a really deep clean.


Benefits Of A Handheld Carpet Cleaner

Makes Clean Up a Snap

The beauty of a portable carpet cleaner is its compact design, which makes it easy to spot clean any space in your house. With a mobile you can walk around, sucking up dust, germs, and allergens as you go. It makes the whole process quicker and much more efficient. No more lugging a heavy vacuum from room to room or waiting to clean; now, the instant someone spills a drink or tracks in dirt you can get rid of it, keeping your home tidy and fresh at all times.

Eliminates Home Pollutants

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency stated that dirty carpets are the leading cause of indoor airborne pollutants. Among these are allergens from cockroaches and daily dust and dirt. When toxic gasses mixed up with these agents, a more potent pollutant is formed.

To prevent this from happening, you need to clean your carpets constantly with this top rated Portable Carpet Cleaner. Of course, nothing that can do it better than a compact carpet cleaner.

Expels The Infestation Of Dust Mites

Homes that have a carpet cleaner are susceptible to dust mites’ infestation. Unfortunately, it is hard to detect them because they are microscopic. However, they are one of the top causes of home allergies. Therefore, a carpet cleaner is needed to eradicate their presence in your home! If you notice that the infestation is still there, you might need the help of professional cleaning services.

Prevents The Growth Of Mold

Dirty carpets are prone to mold growth. If you are living in an area where there is a high level of precipitation and moisture, this is likely to happen. The moisture can penetrate deep within the fabrics of your carpets if you don’t dry and vacuum them. The best carpet cleaner can do this job effectively. Some cleaners even use a quick-drying formula to ensure that your carpet is always parched!

Portable Carpet Cleaners Versus Uprights: Know the Difference

You may think you don’t need a mobile one if you already have an upright, or vice versa, but you would be wrong. Fact is while both of these devices clean up dirt, they function differently; which one you choose will depend largely on your needs.

An upright is designed to clean large areas and many are equipped to provide deep cleanings, keeping carpets, hardwoods, and other floorings spotless. They can cover a big area in a short amount of time and are best for big homes; the can be a bit cumbersome and are commonly used for weekly or bi-weekly cleanings.

A handy, on the other hand, are best used for quick cleanings or spot cleanings. They are ideal for cleaning up spills or messes that require instant attention. Light and easy to carry, they are great for tidying up before company comes, going over the furniture or even giving a quick clean to your car. They work best for smaller homes and apartments or for those who entertain a lot.

So which one is for you? That depends on the size of your home, family, and messes. If you have a lot of kids (who are prone to accidents) it pays to have a compact on hand. It’s also great if you have pets and need to pick up stray hairs. If you live alone or have no kids, you might be able to get away with just an upright. Ideally, if you can afford both, that would be your best option.

How To Choose a Carpet Cleaner?

Best Portable Carpet Cleaner

Steam Power

Nothing is more important in a carpet cleaner than its steam power. Aside from the suction power, the steam power is important because a carpet cleaner that can maintain a hot steam is an effective cleaning tool. Specifically, it can kill the bacteria and microbes that are hiding in the fabrics of your carpet. Most of the house bugs and allergy-causing elements are residing in your carpet, so efficient cleaning is essential for you and your family’s health. That’s why a steam that can eradicate these harmful agents is a must.

Another reason why you need a powerful steam is that it hastens the drying time of the carpet, preventing the formation of mold and mildew. These two can cause respiratory diseases and allergies as well.

Chemicals Of The Carpet Cleaner

All of the carpet cleaners we mentioned include a variety of cleaning agents, which are necessary to effectively wash your carpet or rugs. You need to select a carpet cleaner that has a potent cleaning chemical, but not cause harm whenever someone comes in contact with it.

Your best bet is to choose a carpet cleaner that can quickly rinse the cleaning formula to prevent residues and irritation.

User-Friendly Ergonomics

There are several things that you should consider for a carpet cleaner.

  • Weight – First, you should feel its weight. Not all of us have the muscles to carry portable carpet cleaners all day. Its weight should be moderate enough for it to be handheld. This feature is important especially if you are cleaning a large carpet or a hard-to-reach area in your home
  • Size of the Water Tank – The water tanks of a carpet cleaner are necessary as well. If you have a small area to clean, a small reservoir will be fine. However, if you have a pretty large property, you need a tank with a larger capacity. You don’t want to keep coming back to the sink, right?
  • Accessories – The extension tools are crucial for this device. If you have a lot of cleaning to do, you need to be as versatile as possible.Aside from the cordless design, you need a carpet cleaner that has hose attachments so that you can clean stairs and home furnishings effectively.

Caring For Your Carpet Cleaner

To keep your carpets clean you need to keep your best handheld carpet cleaner clean! And while that seems logical, knowing how to do it may not be. Here are some great tips to keep your machine working at its best:

  • Keep the Nozzle Clean: If the nozzle detaches take it off and clean it with soap and water to remove any dirt and grime that may have built up. If it doesn’t detach you can wipe down the inside with a wet cloth and then dry thoroughly.
  • Clean all Attachments: Make sure to wash and dry any brushes that you use. These are the tolls that dislodge dirt build-up, so you need to keep them clean; otherwise, you’ll be spreading more dirt. You can dust them and also use soap and water.
  • Remove Lint: If your machine has a lint section be sure to open it and remove any lint so you don’t clog the motor.
  • Clean the Tank: Be sure to clean the tank after every use or chemical and dirt build-up will occur. Rinse it out and allow it to dry before putting it away.


Common Questions for the Best Portable Carpet Cleaner

Is a portable carpet cleaner better than a corded upright one?

A: This question is quite subjective. Some people want a handheld carpet cleaner because they can carry it around. On the other hand, a corded cleaner, while more stationary, has an unlimited power source. It really is a matter of preference, and the size of your home.

Should I choose a carpet cleaner that uses a chemical?

A: Yes, Chemicals are more potent in cleaning compared to water and are safe when used properly. Luckily, some carpet cleaners let you use these two solvents at the same time! Also, always remember to keep the mixture hot so that it can expel stains efficiently.

How good is a carpet cleaner when dealing with cars?

Most of the carpet cleaners today are versatile. It means that their application can range from cleaning upholstery to car interiors.

How to clean a Bissel portable carpet cleaner?

In addition to making quick work of your carpeted floors, the Bissel portable carpet cleaner is also itself easy to clean.

Some diss-assembly is required to do a full clean on the Bissel. The good news is that it’s really just as simple as removing the water reservoir from the cleaning unit. The idea is to fill it with a cleaning solution so that it can flush itself out, but to this end you do have some options. Some people like to use vinegar and water to clean their Bissel out the old fashioned way.

Other people prefer to use the Bissel brand cleaning solution. In either case, once the solution is loaded into the reservoir, your job is pretty simple.

To clean the hose, suck up clean water, or the solution to flush it out. Be sure to give all components ample opportunity to dry before storing it away.

How do you use a handheld carpet cleaner?

Every unit will vary somewhat, but for the most part, the modern carpet cleaner is very easy to use. It begins with filling the water reservoir. Warm water is generally recommended for best results. You will also need to load the cleaner up with the detergent of your choice.

Once the machine is ready, it works much the same way as your standard vacuum cleaner. Address the targeted area with steady strokes going backward and forward until the area is clean.

After each session, you can use the tips illustrated in our last heading to keep the cleaner in tip top shape.

How is a portable carpet cleaner different than an upright?

The main differences are size and scope. The upright carpet cleaner is sizable, able to address the needs of an entire room.

The portable cleaner is good for smaller jobs, or for gaining access to smaller spaces such as corners, or stairs. For the sake of convenience, many homeowners will keep both on hand. However, if the choice is between one or the other, you will be better served by an upright vacuum, as it is capable of performing a wider range of tasks.

Which shampoo should I use with a new carpet cleaner?

There are a variety of different options out there when it comes to selecting the right shampoo for your carpet cleaning jobs. Most major carpet cleaning companies also have their own brands of detergents.

When possible, it’s not a bad idea to use a product made by the same company that makes your cleaner so as to guarantee that the two are compatible.

How is a carpet cleaner different than a steam cleaner?

Steam cleaners use extremely hot water to lift dirt and kill bacteria. Often, additional vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, etc. is needed with the steam cleaner to pick up the dirt and grime that has been loosened.

Carpet cleaners, on the other hand, rely on detergents to reach a similar objective. Because carpet cleaners use detergents, they are also better suited for mitigating odor.



The best carpet cleaner is an essential cleaning tool. If your home has carpets and rugs, this machine should be in your home. After all, there is no way you can prevent your carpets from being dirty, but you can prevent that dirt from building up cleaning it regularly with a carpet cleaner.

Plus, it can prevent potential sickness that can harm your family, and there is nothing better than that.

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