Consumer Reports Best Rug Shampooer in 2023: Editor’s Choice

If carpets and area rugs make up a considerable chunk of your home’s surfaces, you probably already know that after a certain point – you can’t clean them as efficiently with just a vacuum cleaner and especially not with just a broom and a dustpan.

So, if you need to give your carpet or a rug a thorough cleaning but aren’t sure how to pull it off, you have to options: 1) roll up the entire thing and send it off to be cleaned by carpet-cleaning professionals, or 2) get yourself a rug shampooer and do it yourself whenever you want.

The thing is, solution number two may be a pricier one in the beginning, but as time passes, you will realize that having such a contraption can be a major asset in your pursuit for home cleanliness, as taking your carpets to be cleaned a couple of times a year will easily overshoot the amount of money you’d pay for a regular rug shampooer.

Consumer Reports Best Rug Shampooer: Editor’s Recommended 

In this article, we’re going to talk about why owning a rug shampooer may be a good way to go when it comes to taking care of your floor hygiene. We’ve prepared a list of the 5 best products in this particular category, as well as a brief buyer’s guide, so you can have a clearer idea of what to concentrate on in case you’ve never owned a rug shampooer before.

Right then folks, without further ado, here’s the deal.

Consumer Reports Best Rug Shampooer – A Top 5 List of Products

1. Hoover – Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine, Upright Shampooer, FH50150, Red

Sporting an appearance of a bulky vacuum cleaner with a large tank, this Hoover Deluxe carpet cleaner machine represents a powerful upright shampooer that can help you get rid of even the toughest stains on your rugs and carpets.

The most important element on this Hoover contraption would certainly be its mighty brushes, which spin both clockwise and anticlockwise to ensure a thorough and strong penetration into the fibers of the rug or carpet in question. There are five of them, so the brush area that comes into contact with the surface is large enough to help you tackle some of the most stubborn and the biggest stains.

Another interesting feature of this Deluxe carpet cleaner would certainly be the heater, which helps dry off the surface you just covered with the shampoo and the brush. This way, you can considerably reduce the amount of time you spend waiting around for this carpet to dry off.


  • Comes with a powerful heater onboard for a quicker drying time
  • Features an automatic detergent mixer
  • Lightweight design
  • Comes with a stair tool, a crevice tool, an upholstery tool
  • A bottle of the cleaning solution comes as a part of this offer
  • Dual tank technology
  • DualV Nozzle
  • Powerful brush


  • Some users reported rusty parts ‘beneath the hood’
  • Some users experienced leakage problems

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2. Bissell – PowerLifter Power Brush Upright Carpet Cleaner and Shampooer

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer with Renewal Carpet Cleaning Solution (64 oz), FH50150, AH30924

If you’re looking for a powerful shampooer model for your carpet at an agreeable price, this model from Bissell can be just what you’ve been looking for. Thanks to its strong brush with durable bristles, you can rest assured that this thing will help you clean your carpet and area rugs and keep them smelling fresh as the first flowers in the spring.

As far as the aforementioned brushes are concerned, the folks at Bissell built-in 4 rows of powerful brushes on the rollers of this model, so these will be able to penetrate even the toughest of carpet fibers and clean them thoroughly.

The chemical solution in question when this model is concerned is a special Bissell formula. All you need to do is to pour some of this solution into the tanks designated for this, add warm water, and you’re good to go.


  • Rotating power brush penetrates deep into the fibers of the carpet
  • Comes with a removable nozzle
  • Built-in measuring cup
  • Comes with a trial-size formula
  • Easy maintenance


  • Some users complained about the customer service
  • Some users experienced problems with the belt of the motor

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3. McCulloch – Canister Steam System

McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner with 23 Accessories, Chemical-Free Pressurized Cleaning for Most Floors, Counters, Appliances, Windows, Autos, and More, 1-(Pack), Black

In case you need a powerful canister steam cleaner that both looks good and has the capacity to help you clean a variety of carpeted surfaces, this model from McCulloch can be just what you’ve been looking for. What’s more, the appearance of this contraption is a plus if you care about how it will fit in the general décor of your home.

What’s great about this product is that it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals or special formulas. All it needs is some clean water so that it can produce fine steam, which can then penetrate the fibers of the carpet and give it a thorough cleaning.

The water tank can house up to 48 ounces of water and once you’ve filled it up completely, you can expect to get some 90 minutes of continuous steaming action. As far as the heat-up time is concerned, this model won’t take more than 12 minutes to fully prepare the steam for use.


  • Variable steam control
  • Does not require or use any harsh chemicals for cleaning
  • Comes with 20 different accessories
  • 18-foot long power cord
  • A full tank of water fully heats up in 12 minutes
  • 10-foot insulated hose


  • Quite expensive
  • Some users were dissatisfied with the quality of the accessories

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4. Rug Doctor – Deep Carpet Cleaner

Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner, Large and Portable, Red

Sporting a build that looks as if this contraption can transform into a robot any moment, this rug-shampooer and cleaner from the cheekily-called Rug Doctor can help you take good care of your carpets whenever you feel like it.

As is the case with many other rug-cleaning machines, the main weapon of this here model would be the powerful cross-oscillating brushes. When these are powered up by the motor onboard this contraption, they can penetrate deep into the fibers of the carpet or rug you’re cleaning, thus getting it rid of any foul-smelling and potentially health-hazardous particles that may be lurking in its fibers.

In addition to the powerful brushes that this model comes with, the folks at Rug Doctor have also ensured that this rug cleaner also has powerful suction, which cuts the drying time of the carpet considerably. The idea here is that a big chunk of the moisture left behind the brushes are sucked in by this contraption immediately after the carpet’s been moisturized. As far as the drying time is concerned, it stands at about 4 hours, where it would otherwise take perhaps double the time.


  • Features dual cross-oscillating brushes
  • Gives you 75% more suction than other models in its price category
  • 28-foot power cord
  • Comes with a special upholstery tool, as well as a spot-cleaning tool
  • Removable tool caddy for keeping track of your accessories
  • Easy to steer and maneuver
  • Collapsible handle


  • Maintenance can be messy with this machine
  • Some users reported problems with the water tank leaks

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5. Rug Doctor – Portable Spot Cleaner Vacuum

Rug Doctor Pet Portable Spot Cleaner; Powerful, Versatile, and Lightweight with Dual Action Pet Tool; Neutralizes Odors and Powerfully Cleans Everyday Mess and Stains on Rugs, Carpets and Upholstery

If you don’t mind having a bulky vacuum cleaner and shampooer in return for a wide variety of cleaning functionality and some pretty useful accessories, this contraption from Rug Doctor can be just the thing you’ve been looking for.

Much of the quite bulky body of this model was used by the folks at Rug Doctor to install two different water tanks. One is used for clean water + the shampooing solution you’re using, while the other one is used for collecting the dust water so you can dump it later on. Both have a capacity of 0.5 gallons. These two are easy to remove and pop back up, so you cleaning them up after use won’t present that much of a difficulty.

As far as the handling of this model is concerned, since this rug shampooer is so large, the manufacturers built in a special retractable handle, so you can drag this thing along just like you would your wheeled suitcase at the airport, for example. This, of course, means you won’t need to lift this thing all the time, which is certainly a plus considering its massive size.


  • Features two tanks – one for clean water, the other for wastewater
  • Comes with a 5.5-foot hose
  • Motorized scrubbing brush
  • Powerful, odor-removing suction (excellent against pet smells)
  • Retractable handle and wheels for easy maneuvering


  • Fairly chunky
  • The suction head at the end of the hose is a bit large

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A Brief Buyer’s Guide of Rug Shampooer

Type of Brush

As we’ve already mentioned while describing the entries above, one of the most important parts of a rug shampooer machine would be its brush.

The thing is, no matter how much suction the thing has, if the brush is weak and its bristles are falling off, it’s all pretty much useless.

So, to get the most out of your cleaner’s engine, make sure that the brush that your model comes with is of decent quality and that it is able to not only survive coming in contact with your rug or carpet but also to clean them thoroughly, too. To wrap it up – look for models with multiple brushes, cross-oscillating brushes, and ensure the brushes have strong bristles.

Type of Nozzle

A large number of different rug shampooers come with a special hose together with a nozzle you can attach to get to some of the tough-to-reach areas in your house. Now, this doesn’t mean that models that don’t have an additional hose aren’t as good as the models that do, but if you want to use your future rug shampooer not only for your carpets, but for your car, and upholstery, too, you should only look at the models that feature a hose.

Now, as far as the type of nozzle is concerned, it is usual for manufacturers of these rug shampooers to make different types of nozzles for the hose – so, you can use each of them for a different purpose. These are usually of different shapes, too.

For example, upholstery nozzles are usually smaller and more narrow, while the ones for carpets and stairs tend to be wider. Also, some nozzles have bristles on them, as well, which is certainly a plus, so if you want an even more thorough cleaning, try getting a rug shampooer that has a hose attachment nozzle with a brush on it, for good measure.


Speaking of the devil, accessories represent a big part of every cleaning machine.

Whether it’s just an ordinary vacuum cleaner or a more advanced cleaning contraption such as a rug shampooer, having a set of accessories you can use in cleaning different parts of the house and car is of great importance. (Unless you want to buy separate cleaning machines for your stairs, your car, and other surfaces you want to clean in this way.)

The goal would be to find a rug shampooer with as many different accessories as possible because these will give you more options to work with when it comes to cleaning different surfaces.

Water Tank

Since rug shampooers use water mixed with the cleaning solution to deep-clean the carpets and rugs by penetrating their fibers thoroughly, the size of their water tank is an important factor to take into consideration when buying one of them.

Rug shampooers are typically equipped with two water tanks instead of one. The reason for this is that one water tank houses clean water + the cleaning solution, while the other one is used for dumping the dirty water that gets sucked back into it.

When buying one of these cleaning apparatuses, try to find a model with as large tanks as possible, because this means you won’t have to change the water inside as often. (Especially handy if you have a large house and you need to clean it often. Or, perhaps if you plan to use your new rug shampooer as a professional carpet cleaner.)

Suction Power

Cleaning your rugs and carpets (and upholstery if you so desire) with a rug shampooer is very much a two-part process compressed into one. (So, when cleaning, you don’t have to go over the same area twice. In some cases, the manufacturers may advise you to move the cleaner back and forth over one single area to enhance the drying process, but that’s about it.)

Anyway, if the first part of this process is to make the carpet wet and to penetrate its fibers to clean it, the second part consists of sucking the dirty water together with the pollutants back into the wastewater tank.

So, one of the parameters you should look out for would certainly be the suction power of your rug shampooer. The stronger the suction, the quicker will you carpet dry after cleaning. (Bonus points if you find a model with a heater onboard, as well.)

Final Verdict

All things considered, using a rug shampooer certainly represents one of the best ways to clean your rugs, carpets, and upholstery in a thorough way without having to pay for a professional to do it. We hope this article helped you find your favorite rug shampooer and we wish you a hassle-free purchase and speedy shipping.



Related Post:


Q: What is the best carpet shampooer for home use?

A: The best carpet shampooer on the market is the Bissell ProHeat 2X Healthy Home Deep Cleaner, according to the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. This carpet cleaner has a built-in heater that warms the cleaning solution to boost its performance. In 2010, the Bissell ProHeat 2X Healthy Home Deep Cleaner…

Q: Can I shampoo an area rug?

A: For synthetic rugs that cannot be machine washed, washing by hand with a liquid carpet shampoo is a good alternative. Unlike oriental rugs, most synthetic rugs can be washed with warm water. A sponge or laundry brush may be used to gently scrub during washing. Lay your rug flat in a clean area to dry.

Q: What to use in a carpet shampooer?

A: Carpet shampooers, also called steam vacuums, use detergent or shampoo specially formulated for upholstery used on sofas and chairs to clean them. You can use a shampooer with an upholstery attachment and clean your sofa.

Q: Can I use carpet shampooer on mattress?

A: If you opt to use a carpet shampooer to clean your mattress, use only the upholstery cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer. Laundry soaps or dish soaps may produce too much foam and leave a filmy residue on the mattress cover that will encourage re-soiling.