We will help you find the best carpet cleaner for your home or office. If you are looking to purchase your first machine or simply upgrade from your previous model, then we hope you find this site useful; we offer information on what to look for when purchasing your new carpet washer plus handy in-depth reviews of the top carpet washer models available in the UK.
First, for those in a hurry we’ll compare the top 5 carpet and rug cleaner models. Or you can jump to one of our other sections:
What’s the Best Carpet Cleaner in the UK for 2018?
Carpet Cleaner Comparison Guide – How to Use
Our comparison guides above features Britain’s top carpet washers (as rated by our researchers). In the UK, the domestic carpet cleaner market has two main manufacturers – Bissell and Vax, so these are the main brands featured. We also love Rug Doctor and its products.
This guide to the UK’s top carpet cleaners includes the following information:
- Image – Picture of the model in question.
- Model – Brand and model name.
- Heated Clean – Whether the model has a heating function (which is good to have; This feature assists with carpet drying. Hot air/heat is applied to the carpet during the cleaning process)
- Motor – The carpet cleaner’s motor rated in watts (w). The higher the more powerful.
- Weight – The weight of the carpet cleaner in kilograms (kg)
- Review/ Shop – Click to read more in our full product reviews or go directly to Amazon.co.uk to buy
The Best Cheap Carpet Cleaner
Brightly coloured, light (just 5.6 kg) and with a long cord (nearly 6 metres), this has found its way into many homes up and down the country. It’s extremely affordable and suitable for homes with pets. It’s from the trusted Vax brand. It cleans pretty well and is easy to use.
Compromises to get the price down include a lack of attachments, making it less flexible than more expensive machines.
- Weighs just 5.6 kg for easy manoeuvrability
- 2.1 L clean water capacity and 1.7 L dirty water capacity
- Wide 24 cm stainless steel cleaning nozzle for fast cleaning
The Best Mid-Price Carpet Cleaner
Bissell InstaClean Wash
A new entry into the UK market from Bissell, one of the leading brands in this sector. Instead of rotating brushes it uses a static brush, probably to keep the price down. It also has a motor on the low-power end of the spectrum at just 450 watts. But it does have separate tanks for the clean and dirty water, weighs just 6 kilos, and is great for spot cleaning after pet accidents and spillages.
It’s as easy to use as a normal vacuum. Don’t expect miracles with the cleaning, but do expect it to lift of more dirt than you ever imagined being stuck in your rug’s fibres!
- Edge Sweep Brushes that clean against skirting boards and around furniture
- Permanent Stain Removal with OXY Formula
- Removable nozzle for easy maintenance and clean-up
The Best All-Round Carpet Cleaner
Vax V124A Dual V
This is probably the best all round value for money product in this business. Vax offer a 6 year guarantee on it, and it’s packed with features and technology that will make your life easier.
Vax’s Dual V technology features double air paths which deliver even, powerful suction power across carpeting. This ensures that the carpet dries quickly and consistently, even with multiple passes.
The Vax V124A model is equipped with five powerful scrubbing brushes. These brushes work to guarantee an incredibly thorough and evenly consistent clean throughout the entire home. Each of the five brushes spins in tandem with one another, allowing deep grab into the pile of your carpeting and removing embedded stains and dirt. The carpet washer’s heated cleaning capabilities ensure that incredibly hot air is blown onto the carpeting, assisting in speedily drying your carpet, even faster than professional cleaning products do.
The Dual V also comes with an array of tools and a hose, perfect for simple stair and upholstery cleaning (two areas often overlooked when working with heavy carpet cleaners). This gives you the freedom to clean above the floor for a total home clean. Spot stains and spills can be easily removed with our easy to use hose and brush in case of any unexpected spillages.
Also, Vax’s Automix cleaning system provides the correct mix of solution and water for optimum cleaning results and pre-mixes this for you, so you don’t use too much or not enough solution.
The Dual V technology, heated cleaning, and all the tools and attachments make it a great buy. The cord is a very generous 9 metres, though the machine is on the heavy side. It’s very easy to recommend!
- Dual V air path technology provides constant suction
- Auto mix cleaning system provides correct mix of solution and water
- Five brushes gently loosen dirt from carpet
Our Overall Top Pick for 2018
Bissell ProHeat Revolution
Weighs 8 kilos and has an 800 watt motor. Like with the Vax 124A it comes with a 6 year guarantee. In our review we praised it for getting carpets dry so quickly, the useful tools, and the fact that you can easily replace the belts (thus expanding the lifespan of the machine). It might be a tad expensive, but will more than pay for itself by saving you money on professional carpet cleaning services.
- Dries in about an hour
- Antibacterial cleaning
- Lightweight and manoeuvrable
The Top Options For Pet People
Winner: Bissell InstaClean Pet
This product is a good buy if you are looking for something to clean up after your pets have done something untoward. It’s great for smaller jobs, though you could use it as a primary carpet cleaner at a push. Check the Bissell page for our full review if you want more detail and full specifications.
- 2 Rows of Rotating Brushes that loosen and remove embedded dirt from deep within your carpets
- Edge Sweep Brushes that clean against skirting and around furniture
- Permanent Stain Removal with OXY formula
Runner-up: Vax Rapide Ultra 2
This is the W90-RU-P model, and it’s been cleaning up pet messes for YEARS. In our full review we praise its 1000 watt motor, powered jets, and brush system, while noting that its drying time is also excellent.
- Washes carpets and upholstery and also sucks up spills
- Pre Treatment kit allows you to treat high traffic areas and stubborn stains before you wash for a deeper clean
- Dual V Technology means your carpets will dry quicker so you can get on with life
Useful: Dr. Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover
If your pet is generally well-behaved and buying a full-blown appliance would be a bit over the top, you could try this handy product. It works wonders on grime and eliminates odours – even blood stains. Obviously, it’s not suitable for cleaning a whole rug or room, but for the odd spill and accident you can’t beat it!
We featured it in our roundup of carpet cleaner shampoos.
- Stain remover for carpet, upholstery and soft furnishings
- Neutralises odours from pets and other spillages
- Removes stains from carpets, soft furnishings in the car and home
How to Find the Right Carpet Cleaner for You – Our Straightforward Guide
Step 1 – Why do you want a carpet cleaner?
Take some time to think about exactly why you want to purchase a carpet cleaner. You probably will have carpets in your home and those carpets get dirty quickly (or show the dirt quickly). Or, you may have a pet and want to keep your carpets, rugs, and home smelling fresh. Would it be easier to rent a washer instead or pay a professional to do all the hard work for you? Even cheap models start at the £100 price so you need to be sure to get a return on your investment! If you are renting carpet cleaners on a regular basis (that is, more than 3 times per year), then we would recommend you purchase your own. Having your own also gives you the freedom to use it whenever you want; this is especially useful in “emergency” spillage situations or for pet owners looking to refresh their carpets.
Ask yourself: Do you really need a carpet cleaner and how often will you use it?
Step 2 – How often will you use your carpet cleaner?
This is another important point to consider. Do you intend to use your cleaner to “deep clean” your carpets in the Spring and Autumn or do you require a unit that you can quickly use to tackle spills, “accidents” or to remove pet odours? The weight of each carpet cleaner model varies considerably (ones with heaters often weigh more than 10kg) so you need to bear this in mind if you will be using your carpet cleaner on a more frequent basis. Some Bissell models weigh under 6kg so these could be a suitable option if your are cleaning your carpets on a very regular basis. Generally, if you plan to use your carpet cleaner on a more regular basis then opting for a lightweight, easy to use and easy to store model is optimal (take a look at the Vax Rapide Deluxe).
Ask yourself: How often will you use your carpet cleaner and is weight important?
Step 3 – What features are worth paying for?
In terms of features, manufacturers will push all types of “gizmos” and benefits but here are the most important ones:
a) Cleaning head – what type of head does the carpet washer have? The most commons ones are brush rollers or individual rotating small brushes. The roller brushes are generally kinder to delicate carpets whereas individual brushes get much deeper into the fibres. Typically the higher priced models have more individual rotating heads (5 or more). Look for machines with more heads or cleaning brushes if deep cleaning is your number one priority.
b) Hot air drying – one of the downsides of cleaning carpets is having wet carpets in your home for several hours. Some models from Vax and Bissell et al have built-in hot air drying systems to speed up the drying process. A word of caution here: if you have a very delicate carpet, check if this feature can be used. Is this useful feature? We would spend more money on cleaning and treat this as a “nice to have” but very handy feature. A carpet cleaner with a high powered motor will do an equally good job – improved suctions means dryer carpets.
c) Powered cleaning tools – most carpet cleaners come with a selection of accessories for cleaning upholstery, stairs and small crevices. These hand tools can also be used to clean car seats. Some models have accessories with air powered brushes to give a deeper and more effective clean. We would consider this a useful feature.
d) Motor – generally, the more powerful the motor the better both cleaning and drying/suction performance will be. Some washers have 500w motors compared to the 1850w motors found in more expensive ones. A 1000w motor generally offers a good combination of price and performance.
Ask yourself: What features do you really need?
Step 4: How much do you want to spend?
By now you are probably thinking that you want the most premium, most fully-featured carpet cleaner! However, they can exceed the £200 mark so just think back through the above questions: importantly, how often will you use it and what type of features do you really need? The right carpet cleaner does not have to be the most expensive.
Ask yourself: what is your budget to spend on your carpet cleaner?
Step 5: Read reviews before purchasing
If you have decided that you really want a carpet cleaner and know what features you need then you need to read our reviews. In the comparison table above we have listed the top carpet cleaners available with details on key features and price. If you would like to read one of our in-depth and 100% independent carpet cleaner reviews for UK models (e.g. Vax or Bissell), then simply select from the menu bar at the top of this page.
Ask yourself: Have you read an unbiased review of the product you are interested in?
Hopefully this information will allow you to make an informed choice – happy shopping!
Last update on 2018-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API