Carpet Cleaner Rating Sources
Ten carpet cleaners are tested and rated; all are given numerical scores with 10 the highest rating, one earns a Gold Award. Testing criteria includes performance, convenience, accessories and warranty and support.
This is the best source we found for user feedback on carpet cleaners, and some models attract hundreds or thousands of reviews. Reviews also tend to be very detailed and thorough, examining performance from set up to storage. A few carpet cleaners stand out for their high ratings. Many users come back after a year or more to offer updates on durability.
Walmart.com has more reviews for carpet cleaners than any other source except Amazon.com. Standout models are rated 4.5 stars out of 5 or better after at least 50 user reviews, and quite a few attract comments from several hundred owners, others have more than a thousand. Reviews tend to be mostly thorough, and reviewers can say if they'd recommend the carpet cleaner to a friend. We noticed some reviews that were imported from the manufacturer's website for Bissell and Hoover models.
BestBuy.com doesn't sell as many different carpet cleaners as some other online retailers, but several of the models they do offer get plenty of reviews. The top cleaners receive an ratings of 4.4 stars out of 5 or better, and a few get hundreds of reviews. BestBuy.com includes reviews from other websites, but keeps those separate from reviews posted by its own customers.
Target.com sells a wide variety of carpet cleaners, but the Bissell machines are far and away the most popular, a few even attract hundreds of comments and get close to perfect ratings. Each review is divided into categories that include value, quality and effectiveness.
The editors of ConsumerReports.org review a handful of full-sized, upright carpet cleaners for performance on ground-in dirt on white carpet panels. Each machine is rated on how well it removes the dirt, how dry it leaves the carpet afterward, ease of use based on factors such as weight and cord length, coverage (how much carpet the machine can clean on a single tank) and noise level. This review is less useful than most we see from this source because several of these carpet cleaners have been discontinued, and a couple of top-rated models here get very poor user reviews.
HSN.com sells several Hoover and Bissell carpet cleaners, but has a much more limited selection than other online retailers. Still, most get a good number of reviews, with some garnering hundreds of comments.
Rug Doctor and Hoover are the top-rated carpet cleaners at HomeDepot.com, but they have quite a few less reviews than at other sites. We also noticed that the reviews for highly-rated cleaners elsewhere get lower reviews here. Home Depot brick and mortar stores also rent Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaners for about $30 per day. This is another site that includes reviews from manufacturer sites alongside those of its customers.
Like HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com sells several brands of carpet cleaners, but it once again imports many of its reviews from the manufacturer's website. Lowes locations rent both Bissell and Rug Doctor commercial grade carpet cleaners for about $25 to $30 per day, depending upon the model.
BedBathandBeyond.com carries about as many carpet cleaners as Lowes.com and HomeDepot.com, and just like those sites, includes reviews originally posted elsewhere. Still, there are enough unique reviews to make the site worth a visit, and reviewers can say if they would recommend the carpet cleaner to a friend.
There are fewer carpet cleaners available at Overstock.com and they get fewer reviews -- and less positive reviews overall -- than at other sites. Still, this is a helpful resource if they carry a cleaner that gets few reviews elsewhere.
Wayfair.com carries a few carpet cleaners, including some very high-end professional models, but most get only a handful of reviews. Still, like with Overstock.com, this site is helpful for carpet cleaners that may not get many reviews overall.
Editors of Coit.com, the website of a professional cleaning service, recommend five home carpet cleaners based upon side-by-side comparisons and their evaluation of features, however, it's not clear if they tested any of these models and at least one has been discontinued and gets extremely poor user reviews.