If you have a lot of carpets to clean or you need to clean your carpet often, then a professional carpet cleaner may be an option worth considering. Professional carpet cleaners are very similar to the ones you can hire and they tend to have larger cleaning tanks, more cleaning heads and the ability to dry your carpet quicker than normal upright carpet cleaners.
There are however, two distinct disadvantages of professional carpet cleaners. First, they’re not cheap! The least expensive one will cost around £450 which is way more than the average upright carpet cleaner. If on the other hand you are regularly paying £30-£50 to rent a similar carpet cleaning machine then it does not take too long for the investment to pay back. The second issue is size. They are big machines and will take up a lot more space than upright carpet washers; definitely one to be stored in the garage or shed rather than the understairs cupboard!
The two best selling professional carpet cleaners are the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor X3. Ready our review below to find the winner.
Bissell are well known for their range of quality and high performing carpet cleaners and the Big Green is Bissell’s professional carpet cleaner model. It’s expensive, usually selling for around £550, and is more expensive than the Rug Doctor X3. So what does it have to offer?
The Big Green is certainly a well-built model and the quality and robustness of materials make it feel like it will last for many years. It has a 1200-1400 watt motor, which is not that powerful compared to other upright carpet cleaners, but the big difference is in the cleaning brushes. The Big Green has a rotating front brush bar with 8 rows of brushes that gets deep into the carpet fibres for a better clean and also helps to improve the appearance of your carpet.
The clean and dirty water on this machine are huge compared to a normal upright carpet cleaner. The clean water tank is 8 litres and the dirty water tank is 9 litres so you’ll be able to cover a large carpet area before needing to fill or empty the tanks. When filled, these tanks add to the already heavy 19kg weight of the Big Green but manoeuvrability, whilst not on a par with smaller upright cleaners, is still easily manageable. The two tanks sit on top of each other and both feature a carrying handle for easier lifting.
The cleaning hose on the Big Green is 2.8 metres long; which is a good job really as, when it comes to cleaning stairs, you’re unlikely to want to carry the Big Green while using the hose tool. The brush tool is very similar to other Bissell models and features three rows of small brushes and the hose screws easily into the cleaning water tank. The power cable is 7.5 metres so you’ll be able to move around with having to change sockets too much.
A neat touch on the Big Green is that the handle can fold making it (slightly) more compact. Surprisingly for such an expensive machine, only a 1 year warranty is offered, although, as expected for Bissell’s top-of-the-range machine, the quality of the Big Green is unquestionable.
So, the Bissell Big Green machine is a very good professional carpet cleaner, but how does it fair versus the well known Rug Doctor?
If you have ever hired a carpet cleaner then you will be familiar with the Rug Doctor X3’s red-coloured cousin. They are a familiar sight in most UK DIY stores and supermarkets and this gives some confidence as to their build quality, cleaning performance and durability.
The X3 is an almost identical to those Rug Doctor rental machines and priced at £450 makes a sensible long-term purchase if you are regularly cleaning carpets. It’s also around £100 cheaper than the Bissell Big Green and for that saving you could buy yourself a handheld carpet cleaner for emergency spot cleaning.
So how does it compare to the Bissell Big Green? The motor is rated at 1400 watts so identical to the Bissell. The tanks however are much larger: the cleaning solution tank is 11.4 litres (versus 8 litres for the Bissell) and the waste water tank is 14 litres (versus 9 litres for the Bissell). With this water tank capacity, you can easily clean large rooms without having to fill or empty the tanks.
The cleaning hose on the X3 is 3.6 metres in length, so again is longer that the Bissell’s 2.6 metres. The brush bar on the Rug Doctor also vibrates while cleaning to really get deep into the carpet fibres.
To provide you with re-assurance about your expensive purchase, the Rug Doctor X3 also comes with a 5 year guarantee, which makes the Bissell’s 1 year warranty look pretty poor.
So when it comes to professional carpet cleaning machines, which model would we recommend? The Bissell tries very hard but at the end of the day the Rug Doctor wins hands down. It cheaper, its better known and it’ll go further on each clean water tank. If you are looking for a professional carpet cleaning machine, then the Rug Doctor gets our vote!