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Bissell carpet cleaner vs. Hoover carpet cleaner: Which is better?

To ensure the best results when using a carpet cleaner, use an appropriate detergent and setting.
To ensure the best results when using a carpet cleaner, use an appropriate detergent and setting. (BestReviews)

Does Hoover or Bissell give your carpet the best deep clean?

Carpets and area rugs, particularly in high-traffic areas of your home, can become grimy over time and require deep cleaning. Carpet cleaners are vacuum-like devices that use a combination of hot water and detergent to deep-clean the fibers of rugs and carpets. You can have your carpets professionally cleaned or rent a carpet cleaner, but if you have a busy household with children or pets, buying a carpet cleaner is a sound investment in the long run.

Both Bissell and Hoover are established, reliable brands that offer carpet cleaning devices for a range of needs, from industrial-strength upright models to lightweight portable models. Bissell has more of a focus on helping pet owners keep their homes clean and a wider range of products generally.

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Bissell carpet cleaner 

A carpet cleaner manufacturer since 1979, in the 2000s, Bissell began a concerted effort to focus on pet owners. Realizing that pets make specific kinds of messes around your home, they began developing several carpet cleaning devices designed specifically to tackle pet messes.

Today Bissell offers several different models of upright and handheld carpet cleaners. Their full-sized upright carpet cleaners and shampooers are ideal for cleaning wall-to-wall carpets and large area rugs. These range in price from $113-$500 and in intensity from lightweight to professional grade.

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Bissell’s portable carpet and rug cleaners are great for small areas and spot cleaning carpets or upholstery. The portable models are smaller and lighter and range in price from $85-$99, with the more expensive models doubling as a pet bath.

Bissell carpet cleaner pros

Water heating technology

Some Bissell cleaners feature a heating function. Being able to clean with hot water is a big help when it comes to lifting stubborn stains and sanitizing textiles. This technology maintains the hot water temperature at a constant level for the duration of the cleaning process.

Dual tanks

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Many Bissell cleaners come equipped with two water tanks to separate clean water from dirty water. This not only ensures you are always using clean water, it also means you don’t have to empty the tanks as often.

Flexible cleaning modes

You can choose between express modes (where your carpet is dry in an hour) or deep-cleaning modes on some models. There is also a Max Clean mode for pet-specific cleaners.

Product bundles

Bissell offers a variety of carpet-cleaner bundles that include everything you need to start cleaning.

Bissell carpet cleaner cons

Bulky and heavy

Bissell's upright cleaners can be quite cumbersome, ranging in weight from 12 pounds to more than 25 pounds. Portable models are more maneuverable but often weigh just as much as their upright counterparts.

Faulty hoses

Several users complained that the hoses are not durable and tend to crack easily.

Best Bissell carpet cleaner

Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner: available at Amazon and Kohl's

This model is the best of the best for achieving professional results. It works on all types of carpet and includes a 6-inch spot-cleaning tool, an extra-large dirt-lifting power brush and a 9-foot hose for hard-to-reach areas. Two large water tanks and a 25-foot power cord enable you to clean a large area in one go.

Bissell SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain Carpet Cleaner: available at Amazon

Perfect for pet and car owners and reasonably priced, this model also has a dual tank design and features water heating technology. It includes several stain-busting tools, including a deep reach tool and a self-cleaning tool.

Bissell SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner: available at Amazon and Kohl's

Bissell’s most powerful portable spot cleaner for carpets, rugs, upholstery and car interiors offers superior suction and scrubbing capability for removing stubborn stains. It comes with a 6-inch stair tool, a 3-inch tough stain tool and a trial-size bottle of formula.

Hoover carpet cleaner

Hoover also enjoys a top-tier brand reputation. The company has been making floor cleaning devices since 1908, and Hoover now offers an array of carpet cleaners in both full-size upright models and smaller portable models designed for spot cleaning, ranging in price from $90-$428.

Hoover's portable spot cleaners are the most affordable, and compact, designed to address small stains. Their tanks hold less than half a gallon of water. In the mid-range are models with larger tank capacities (around 1 gallon) that can handle a larger surface area. The most expensive Hoover cleaners feature automatic operation and wind tunnel technology to make cleaning your carpet easier.

Hoover carpet cleaner pros

Powered brushes

Most of Hoover’s upright models come with powered rolling brushes that are really effective at removing embedded dirt from carpet fibers. Spot-cleaning models also have a built-in brush, but it is not powered, so you have to scrub manually.

Trigger and automatic models

Hoover offers two types of mechanisms for applying the cleaning formula. Models with a trigger, which are less expensive, require you to squeeze a lever as you clean to spray detergent into the carpet fibers. Automatic models release the solution for you as you push the cleaner forwards, then you pull backwards to suction and dry the carpet; this is an ideal option if you have problems with your grip.

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Separate solution dispenser

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Many Hoover carpet cleaners have a separate dispenser for cleaning solution so that the correct amount of detergent is automatically mixed in with the water, taking the guesswork out of the process. The dispenser shuts off for the rinse cycle.

Steam mode

Adding steam to the carpet cleaning process can really help loosen dirt and stubborn stains. This may not be required for regular cleaning, but for a really dirty carpet and deep-down stains, steam mode can take cleaning to another level.

Quick dry

Like Bissell, some Hoover carpet cleaners feature a convenient quick-dry function, which lets the machine extract more water from the carpet after rinsing. This enables a quicker drying time; sometimes as little as 45 minutes.

Hoover carpet cleaner cons

Weight

Like Bissell cleaners, Hoover models are similarly weighted across the board, which can be difficult if you're cleaning large surfaces or tricky areas like staircases.

Quality

A few users have reported machines breaking down or leaking after only a few uses

Best Hoover carpet cleaner

Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner and Shampooer, Lightweight Machine: available at Amazon and Home Depot

Reasonably priced, this Hoover best-seller features a quick clean mode that cleans and dries your carpet in less than an hour. It also comes with 360-degree scrubbing brushes for a gentle but thorough clean. An eight-foot hose helps you access hard-to-reach areas and a two-in-one tool attachment makes removing pet hair and stains simple. Two large tanks keep clean and dirty water separate and detergent is mixed automatically. This model weighs 19 pounds.

Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner: available at Amazon and Home Depot

At a mere nine pounds, this lightweight machine is ideal for spot cleaning anywhere. The 5-foot hose gives you access to tricky areas and is self-cleaning, a feature users love. Dual tank technology separates the dirty water from the clean.

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine, Upright Shampooer: available at Amazon and Kohl's

Like the Power Scrub Elite, the rotating scrub brushes on this model are effective at deep cleaning ground-in dirt and stains. HeatForce technology minimizes drying time. As well as an 8-foot hose, this cleaner comes with several helpful attachments, including a stair tool, an upholstery tool and a crevice tool.

Should you get a Bissell or Hoover carpet cleaner?

In general, when buying a carpet cleaner, look for a model with a long power cord (at least 15 feet), a long hose (at least 5 feet) and a weight that you can manage. For most carpet cleaning jobs, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the two brands, but Bissell has really cornered the market on cleaners that address pet messes. At the high-end price range, you can’t beat Bissell’s Big Green Professional cleaner for professional results, a perennial customer favorite.

Bryony Gilbey is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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