The Best Portable Carpet Cleaner Options for Spot Cleaning


Vacuum cleaners are good at removing dust and grime from carpets and carpets, but they don’t help with spills or stains. Carpet cleaners, on the other hand, are designed to remove stains using hot water, cleaning solution, and suction. While upright carpet cleaners are best for deep cleaning an entire carpet or rug, smaller, portable carpet cleaners are excellent solutions for stain cleaning and stain removal.

Using a portable carpet cleaner is simple: first fill the tank with hot tap water and cleaning solution. Then spray the mixture on the affected area and scrub to remove the stain. The suction vacuum is then used to suck in the dirt and liquid to be deposited in a separate “dirty” tank. Most models are suitable for both carpets and upholstered furniture.

Read on to learn more about how to choose the best portable carpet cleaner for your home.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Bissell portable carpet and upholstery cleaner
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hoover Spotless portable carpet and upholstery cleaner
  3. BEST PROFESSIONAL: Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional portable cleaner
  4. BEST FOR SPOTS: Bissell SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and stain cleaner
  5. BEST STEAM: COSTWAY multi-purpose steam cleaner
  6. BEST HANDHELD: BISSELL 20037 eraser

Best portable carpet cleaning options


What to Consider When Buying the Best Portable Carpet Cleaner?

Before choosing the best portable carpet cleaner for your needs, there are a few factors to consider. While you can assume that all carpet cleaners work the same way, various properties can affect their functionality. Here are some of the key design features to consider when buying the best portable carpet cleaner.

Tank capacity

Portable carpet cleaners typically have a tank capacity of between 3/4 gallons and 1 gallon, or 96 to 128 ounces. Some models have only one tank, while others have two tanks: one for water and one for a cleaning solution. With a higher capacity tank, you can clean more before you stop to refill. The water reservoir capacity of portable carpet cleaners is designed to detect clean small areas. It’s likely not a trademark as you are unlikely to walk through a full tank of water in one cleaning session.


A portable carpet cleaner should be easy to move around your home. So it is important to buy a lightweight model. The more powerful a portable carpet cleaner, the heavier it is. Most of the models on the market weigh less than 14 pounds. This is the weight of the machine itself and does not include the additional weight of a full tank of water and cleaning solution.

They are not an everyday device, so portable carpet cleaners should also be compact enough to be easily stowed in a closet.

Cable length

Cord lengths for portable carpet cleaners are typically between 14 and 20 feet. In general, the longer the cord, the better, as a longer cord will allow you to easily maneuver the cleaner without having to look for a new outlet. A cable length of 15 feet or longer is ideal. A cordless handheld model is the most convenient option for cleaning hard-to-reach areas and the interior of cars.

Power and suction

The rating of a portable carpet cleaner is usually measured in amps. Because these devices are light and easy to use, their motors are small, typically between 3 and 10 amps. While it might be thought that a higher rating means superior performance, some of the top models on the market only run on 4 or 5 amps.

Suction is an important consideration as you want your portable carpet cleaner to leave as little water on your carpet as possible. Not only is it inconvenient for your rug or rug to dry long, but it can also lead to powdery mildew developing.


Portable carpet cleaners are designed to last and, as they are used relatively rarely, should be able to last for several years without any problems. One element that tends to need replacing is the hose. Portable carpet cleaner hoses occasionally break and leak. So, you may want to research which carpet cleaner manufacturers sell hoses as replacement parts so that you can easily swap out your hoses in the event of a failure.

Our top picks

Now that you know more about portable carpet cleaners, it’s time to start shopping. These recommendations are based on factors such as durability, tank capacity, weight, cable length and suction power.

Best Portable Carpet Cleaning Options: Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet


The Bissell portable carpet and upholstery cleaner is a versatile machine. It can be used to clean carpets, upholstery, stairs, carpets and car interiors. It has powerful suction functions that can easily remove stains from the soft surfaces of your home.

The Bissel Portable Carpet Cleaner has a lot to offer: It has removable water tanks that are easy to fill and clean, and each have a capacity of 48 ounces. It comes with a hydro flush tool that you can use to clean the hose after use. It includes a 3 inch stain tool as well as a sample bottle of the brand’s cleaning solution. It has 15 foot cord and is also pretty light, weighing only 9.6 pounds.

Best portable carpet cleaning options: Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet


Most of the portable carpet cleaners on the market are similarly priced, but this model from Hoover offers great performance at a slightly lower cost. It has two separate tanks: one for fresh water and cleaning solution and a “recovery tank” for dirty water.

The hose is self-cleaning and prevents the accumulation of dirt and bacteria. On the other hand, this portable carpet cleaner is super light – it weighs only 9 pounds – and comes with sample bottles of Hoover’s cleaning solution and pre-treatment gel. At 14 feet, the hose is slightly shorter than other carpet cleaners.

Best Portable Carpet Cleaning Options: Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner


Bissel is the top name in carpet cleaners, and this is the most powerful of their portable models for home use. It was developed for carpets, stairs, upholstery and car interiors.

The Spot Clean Pro comes with two handy tools, a 6-inch stair tool and a 3-inch stain tool, plus a sample bottle of the brand’s Pro Max Clean + Protect formula. It has a tank capacity of 96 ounces and a handy 20 foot cable. It weighs 13 pounds.

Best options for portable carpet cleaners: SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner


This Bissell carpet cleaner is designed to remove stubborn pet stains. It uses DeepReach technology that penetrates deep pile carpets.

What’s special about this device is that it offers automatic scrubbing so you don’t have to pour in the same amount of elbow grease that you would use a standard carpet cleaner. It has pre-set cleaning cycles that spray, scrub, and vacuum automatically for a completely hands-free experience. It also has a 15 foot hose and cleaning tool attachment so you can manually clean a stain if you want.

SpotBot Pet comes with a test size Pet Stain & Odor and Pet Oxy Boost formula and weighs 14 pounds.

Best options for portable carpet cleaners: COSTWAY multi-purpose steam cleaners


While most of the carpet cleaners on the market are extraction cleaners that use hot tap water, some people prefer the performance of a steam cleaner. While standard carpet cleaners are great at removing stains, they cannot be disinfected. However, steam cleaners eliminate most bacteria, viruses, and pathogens, as well as bed bugs and mold. Another major advantage of a steam cleaner is that it can be used on both hard and soft surfaces.

The multi-purpose steam cleaner COSTWAY can clean tiles, glass and metal surfaces as well as carpets. It takes between 8 and 9 minutes for the water to heat up to the maximum temperature of 226 degrees. As soon as the water is hot, the machine works for up to 45 minutes.

This portable carpet cleaner features a 16-foot power cord, 51-ounce tank, and 19 handy accessories for cleaning various types of surfaces. The total weight of the steam cleaner is 16.42 pounds.

Best portable carpet cleaning options: BISSELL, 20037 Pet Stain Eraser


Bissell’s lithium-powered cordless carpet cleaner is lightweight and practical for areas that don’t have access to an electrical outlet. It weighs just 4.6 pounds and uses a built-in brush and suction tool to remove stains.

This portable carpet cleaner has a pure water tank with the cleaning formula that does not need to be mixed with water and a dirty water tank. This device can remove red wine, coffee, food grease, motor oil and more from carpets, upholstery and car interiors. The suction nozzle can be removed for easy cleaning. The Pet Stain Eraser comes with a bottle of the brand’s professional cleaning formula, Professional Spot & Stain + Oxy.

Portable Carpet Cleaner FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about portable carpet cleaners.

Question: Is an upright model better than a portable carpet cleaner?

Upright carpet cleaners and portable carpet cleaners serve different purposes. Upright models are used to clean entire carpets, while portable models are used to clean stains.

Q. Should I use a portable carpet cleaner to clean the tank?

Ideally, the tanks of a portable carpet cleaner should be emptied and cleaned after each use.

Q. Do professional cleaning companies use portable carpet cleaners?

Some cleaning companies use more powerful steam cleaners to remove carpet stains, while others use portable carpet cleaners.

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