It’s safe to say you probably have a vacuum cleaner, but what about a carpet steam cleaner? This cleaning appliance is designed for those heavy-duty messes and carpet stains, whether from muddy dog paws, dirt from your shoes, or a spilled glass of wine. Even without a specific stain to tackle, carpet steam cleaners are great for those high foot traffic areas where dust and dirt get pushed deep into the carpet with daily use.
The process of shopping for a carpet steam cleaner can be daunting, with options ranging from industrial-grade cleaners to vacuum-like picks that fit in your closet. There are options ranging from lightweight portable steam cleaners to multipurpose steam cleaners that work for a variety of surfaces around your home, including upholstery. We’ve rounded up the best options and all the most important considerations so you can be sure before you buy.
The Best Carpet Steam Cleaners
What to Consider
Steam carpet cleaners all operate in a different capacities, and the price point generally rises as you search for deeper cleans and more features. Here are the important things to keep in mind.
Tank capacity refers to the tank where the steam cleaner collects the dirty water it extracts from your carpets. Most carpet steam cleaners have two separate tanks—one for clean water and one for dirty water. As for the size, this depends on how large the area is that you’re cleaning. If your entire house is carpet from top to bottom, splurge for a tank with at least a gallon of tank capacity. For those smaller spaces or spot cleaning, you can likely get away with a tank less than one gallon.
Carpet steam cleaners vary in price depending on the size, what’s included, how powerful it is, the brand, and more. Some steam cleaners for carpets include attachments for specific uses like cleaning grout, removing pet hair, and steaming curtains, which generally add to the price.
Most of the cleaners we recommend vary between $100 and $250, with a few budget and splurge options outside of this range. If you are looking to invest in a more professional carpet steam cleaner, prepare to spend a few hundred dollars.
How We Selected
To find the best carpet steam cleaner for every home, we looked at the best-selling options on the market. We reviewed recommendations from our colleagues at Good Housekeeping, as well as customer reviews. We prioritized price point, tank capacity, in-home use, and special features, making sure to only recommend high-value steam cleaners that leave your carpets fresh and feeling new. (Popular Mechanics; Bissell)