7 Best Portable Carpet Cleaners for Fast & Powerful Results

Published October 8, 2021
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Woman cleaning carpet with a steam cleaner

Carpet messes come in all shapes and sizes. When you have a little spill on your white carpet, you don't want to have to bust out the big carpet cleaner and load it with fluid. It's just a little mess. So don't! Instead, you can check out some of the best portable carpet cleaners on the market. Not only can they fill all your mess needs, but they are pretty reasonably priced.

Best Small Carpet Cleaner for Messes

Best Overall Handheld Carpet Cleaner: Bissell Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet

This is the best portable cleaner to tackle all your small carpet messes with ease. Read more.

Best Portable Design: Bissell SpotClean Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner

This machine provides a functional design that is easy-to-use and store in your home. Read more.

Top Brand for Pet Messes: Bissell Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner

The hands-free, portable carpet cleaner is perfect for those big and small pet messes. Read more.

Best Cordless: Hoover Onepwr Spotless Go Cordless Carpet and Upholstery Spot Cleaner

This convenient, lightweight machine is designed for stairs, cars, and other hard-to-reach areas. Read more.

Top for Ease of Use: BLACK+DECKER Spillbuster Portable Carpet Cleaner

Designed for convenience, this carpet cleaner offers parts that are dishwasher safe. Read more.

Best Bang for Buck: Hoover PowerDash GO Pet Portable Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

This is a perfectly priced, convenient carpet cleaner with a brush to scrub all those hard-to-clean stains. Read more.

Best for Heavy-Duty Stains: Rug Doctor Pet Portable Spot Cleaner

This is the perfect portable carpet cleaner for tackling tough messes on your furniture, drapes, and carpets. Read more.

Bissell Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

Bissell Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet

When you need a lightweight machine to clean up the small messes in your home, I suggest trying out the Bissell Little Green Spot Cleaner. This lightweight machine packs a punch. Coming in at only 9.6 lbs, Little Green is easy to carry to any messes you need. It also has a built-in heater to help to steam those messes out in no time. And for under 200 bucks, it's an affordable alternative to a larger machine. While this machine is good on small messes, it doesn't perform as well on dried-in messes, given the smaller motor. But it's the perfect machine for all those small kid and pet messes you can't avoid.

What we like
Eco-friendly
Attachments for tough stains
Easy-to-use
Lightweight
What to keep in mind
Only for small areas
Not automatic
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Bissell SpotClean Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner

Bissell SpotClean Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner

Bissell is a leader in carpet cleaners and vacuums on the market. And the Bissell SpotClean Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner doesn't disappoint. Designed for cleaning small spots on your carpet and upholstery, this cleaner has a unique design that makes it convenient to use and store when you need to clean up quick messes.

It's also pretty lightweight at 13 lbs. and can make it most places around your home with a 22-foot cord. It's nice to have the floor and stair attachment too. However, you aren't going to clean a big carpet with this machine. Instead, it's only for small spots and stains.

What we like
Easy to store
No filters
Long cord
What to keep in mind
Noisy
No heater
Hose flimsy

Bissell SpotBot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner

Bissell Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner

Pets accidents on your carpet don't have to ruin your day with the Bissell Spotbot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner. This machine uses hands-free technology, so all you have to do is fill it up, add the cleaner, and hit the surface stain button. Boom! Walk away and let the machine go to work. The deep clean technology and brushes work the stain to suck out and clean up the area. It also has a hose attachment for larger stains.

If you have a large dog or a large pet puddle, you either need to use the machine on multiple areas or use the hose cleaner, which can get tedious. The deep cleaning tech is good at its job - so good, in fact, you might get a circular clean spot on your carpet if other areas are slightly dirty.

What we like
Powerful suction and stain cleaning power
Hands-free smart system
Lightweight
What to keep in mind
Spots must be smaller than the automatic cleaner area

Hoover Onepwr Spotless Go Cordless Carpet and Upholstery Spot Cleaner

Hoover Onepwr Spotless Go Cordless Carpet and Upholstery Spot Cleaner

Take your spot cleaning on the go with the Hoover Onepwr Spotless Go Cordless. This easy-to-use spot cleaner has a brush attachment and sprayer to help to scrub and suck up the stains. A lightweight machine, Hoover uses a 20 V battery that takes about 3.5 hours to charge. Given this is a cordless machine, the suction power is not as good as some corded ones.

What we like
Convenient for all messes
Lightweight
Scrubbing brush
What to keep in mind
Small water tank
Limited suction power
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BLACK+DECKER Spillbuster Portable Carpet Cleaner

BLACK+DECKER Spillbuster Portable Carpet Cleaner

When it comes to an easy-to-use and affordable carpet and couch cleaner, I highly recommend checking out the BLACK+DECKER Spillbuster Portable Carpet Cleaner. This is a cordless model offered at a reasonable price point. It uses a press button activation to spray the cleaner, and the front is the suction part. It does not have a hose to mess with. And for your convenience, the water bowl and front section of the cleaner can be thrown in the dishwasher, which makes everything just that much easier when it comes to cleaning it out. However, due to this being a battery-operated machine, the suction isn't as strong as its corded sisters.

What we like
Compact
Easy to use
Dishwasher safe
What to keep in mind
Less suction power than corded machines
Hard to put together

Hoover PowerDash GO Pet Portable Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

Hoover PowerDash GO Pet Portable Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

When you're looking for a portable that won't break the bank, you can't go wrong with the Hoover PowerDash GO. This bad boy does a great job cleaning up small pet messes and spills for a fraction of the price of some of the others. It uses a scrub head and hose so that you can scrub out those set-in stains. I also liked that this machine isn't going to break your back. It has a lightweight design, making it each to carry around.

However, some consumers did complain about the suction power since it's less than a larger machine. Additionally, some people had problems with the tanks leaking when using the machine.

What we like
Brush to scrub and lift away stains
Lightweight
Easy to store
What to keep in mind
Not for large areas
Leaks
Low suction

Best for Heavy-Duty Stains

Rug Doctor Pet Portable Spot Cleaner

Sometimes when you have a spot cleaner, it doesn't work well with deep or heavy stains. However, Rug Doctor Pet Portable Spot Cleaner pulls out the big guns by offering a portable system with twice the suction power. It also sports an easy-to-use dual-action cleaning head with soft plastic bristles to pull up embedded stains. I liked the fact that this cleaner has wheels to make getting it around easier.

The wheels are a good thing, though, because this machine is heavier than some of the others you might carry around. It's also been noted to leak a few months after purchase, but you can purchase replacement gaskets.

What we like
Twice the suction power
Wheels for moving it around
Special tools for cleaning stains
Dual tanks
What to keep in mind
Heavy
Leaking issues
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Difference Between a Carpet Cleaner and Spot Cleaner

When it comes to portable spot cleaners, they are designed to be small and compact. This makes them easy to use for small pet messes like a minor spill or a pet accident. However, with a smaller design also comes a smaller motor, so they have less suction power than their big carpet cleaner siblings. The portability and function of these cleaners make them great for cleaning couches, chairs, and even rugs. However, they are not designed to clean your entire carpet. If you want to clean a large area, it would be more convenient to use a large carpet cleaner. These machines have a larger capacity and better suction to clean a huge area.

Finding the Best Carpet Cleaner for You

When it comes to getting the perfect spot cleaner, you want to think about what you're going to use it for. While Bissell offers several all-around good spot cleaners for general and pet messes, you might need something a bit different if you want a cordless machine or something a little cheaper. Really think about what you want the device for to find the best machine for your household.

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7 Best Portable Carpet Cleaners for Fast & Powerful Results