The 10 Best Handheld Portable Carpet Cleaners: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

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Updated on January 3, 2022

If you have been on the hunt for the best handheld portable carpet cleaner but aren’t sure which one is right for you, take a look at our list of 10 of the best on the market! Whether you want something that is great for carpet, furniture upholstery, stairs, or car upholstery, we have a little bit of everything. Before you know it, you will be on your way to a clean home or car!

In a Hurry? Here Are Our Top 3 Picks

Best Overall
Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner - Corded , Black
Runner Up
BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 1400B
Best Value
Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner, FH11300PC, Red
Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner - Corded , Black
BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 1400B
Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner, FH11300PC, Red
Best Overall
Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner - Corded , Black
Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner - Corded , Black
Runner Up
BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 1400B
BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 1400B
Best Value
Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner, FH11300PC, Red
Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner, FH11300PC, Red

Reviews of The 10 Best Handheld Portable Carpet Cleaners

1. Bissell SpotClean Professional

Sale
Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner - Corded , Black
  • Every Bissell purchase helps save pets. Bissell proudly supports Bissell pet...
  • Our most powerful portable spot and stain cleaner for carpets, stairs,...
  • Combines superior suction, scrubbing action and professional cleaning solution...

This professional, compact carpet cleaner is sure to please! It combines powerful vacuum suction, scrubbing action, and a specially formulated cleaning solution for professional cleaning results. Your carpet will receive a deep-clean, and all stubborn dirt and tough stains will no longer exist.

As our top pick, the Bissell SpotClean Professional is a fantastic choice for all of your cleaning needs. Whether you have kids that spill often or pets that have frequent accidents, being able to spot clean will keep your carpets and upholstery looking like new.

This product is very user-friendly and was designed to easily clean upholstery, stairs, rugs, auto interiors and much more. We love that Bissell includes a few accessories with this product, making it possible to get any and every mess out of things.

Not only does it have an extra-long hose, but the power cord is also long-reaching, making it possible to get anywhere. With the purchase of this product, Bissell sends along with a trial size bottle of their Professional Deep Cleaning Formula. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with this spot carpet cleaner since it tackles a wide variety of stains and messes! And how much does a Bissell carpet cleaner cost? The answer is not as much as you think!

Read the full review: Bissell SpotClean Professional

Pros

  • Professional Deep Cleaning
  • Large-Capacity Tank
  • Includes Tough Stain Tool + Stair Tool

Cons

  • Doesn’t Have a Built-in Water Heater

2. Bissell SpotBot Pet

SpotBot Pet handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology 33N8A
  • Every BISSELL purchase helps save pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet...
  • Get rid of messes without getting your hands dirty. This hands free portable...
  • Preset cleaning cycles that automatically spray, brush, and suction to...

If you have a pet and have no time to clean up a mess then you will love that this is a hands-free cleaner meaning all you have to do is push a button and walk away. This hands-free carpet cleaner for pet stains sprays, scrubs and suctions away any mess in just minutes, requiring little to no effort from you. All you have to do is fill up the tank with some cleaning solution and warm water, push a button, and walk away.

Our runner up pick is a fantastic choice! If you want something hands-free, this is the tool for you. With tons of great features, you are sure to have clean carpet and upholstery in no time. It’s super easy to use!

You are able to choose from two preset cleaning cycles, and the DeepReach Technology will deliver water and cleaning formula deep into the carpet fibers to gently scrub away pet stains and odors. With this product, you easily learn how to clean dog poop from the carpet. Seriously, there’s really no stain this cleaner can’t take care of.

We also think it’s great that Bissell includes an attached hose and Tough Stain Tool to allow you to clean a variety of surfaces like upholstery, auto interiors or stairs. Weighing just 14 lb, this carpet cleaner made for pet stains is lightweight and compact enough to easily store away. This will easily become any pet owner’s favorite thing to have on hand for when unexpected messes happen.

Read the full review: Bissell SpotBot Pet

Pros

  • Hands-Free & Automatic
  • DeepReach Technology
  • Large-Capacity Tank

Cons

  • Doesn’t Have a Built-in Water Heater
  • No Extra-Long Hose

3. Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

Sale
Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner, FH11300PC, Red
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Achieve ultimate portability with this lightweight design to reach...
  • CONVENIENT DEEP CLEAN: Spray, scrub, and remove anything from pet messes to...
  • LONGER REACH: Easily reach spots and stains on carpet, upholstery, stairs and...

If you are looking for an easy solution to cleaning up spills, stains, and even pet accidents, then you need this spot cleaner. It’s also a must-have for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with cleaning out the hose when you’re done using it since it comes with a self-cleaning hose.

This compact cleaner weighs just 9 lbs. and is only 15 in. tall, making it easy for anyone to carry and move. It comes with a 5-foot hose that allows you to reach even farther to spot clean any carpet, rug or upholstery.

Now, perhaps you’re wondering exactly how to spot clean carpet and what it all entails. We’ll just say that it is a lot easier than most people make it out to be, especially when you have a great product like this one!

Now, it’s important to note that the hose on this Hoover cleaner is self-cleaning, making it a breeze to keep the unit clean and free of foul odors. That may just be our favorite special feature about this product! I mean, who wants to get their hands dirty cleaning out a hose full of disgusting stuff.

Another neat thing about this product is that the multipurpose tool included with it is antimicrobial. That means you don’t have to worry about mold, mildew or bacteria forming on your carpet cleaner. Overall, this Hoover Carpet Cleaner is supposed to be very easy to use and it has a lot to offer.

Read the full review: Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

Pros

  • Antimicrobial Multipurpose Tool
  • Compact & Lightweight
  • Self-Cleaning Extra Reach Hose

Cons

  • Doesn’t Have a Built-in Water Heater

4. Bissell Little Green

Sale
BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 1400B
  • Every Purchase Saves Pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and...
  • Removes Spots & Stains. Lift away messes from carpets, upholstery, car interiors...
  • Strong Spray & Suction. Remove tough pet stains with strong spray and suction.

Anyone who is looking to have on hand an easy-to-use and small carpet cleaner that will take care of any mess or carpet emergency. We love this small and lightweight cleaner that is capable of cleaning multiple surfaces like upholstery, stairs, autos, and more. The 3” tough stain tool that comes with it allows you to clean hard-to-reach places and areas.

Remember that coffee spill on the floor of your car? Yes, this carpet cleaner will undoubtedly take care of it for you.

Another great feature of this product are the removable water tanks that make for easy filling and emptying, meaning you don’t have to worry about making a mess. The hose is also removable and so it makes cleaning it up and rinsing it out a breeze. After just one try, you’ll quickly learn how to remove the hose from the Bissell Little Green because like everything else with this product, it’s user-friendly and simple!

Read the full review: Bissell Little Green

Pros

  • Compact & Lightweight
  • Includes Tough Stain Tool
  • Removable Water Tanks

Cons

  • Not Automatic

5. Bissell Little Green ProHeat

BISSELL Little Green ProHeat Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 14259, White
  • Compact multipurpose wet vacuum delivers thorough deep cleaning (Not a steam...
  • Powerful spray and suction clean and help dry in one step; stores ready to use....
  • Built in hot water heater for enhanced results; Separate clean/dirty water tanks...

Anyone who is looking for a convenient way to clean hard-to-reach places around the home and in the car will love this product. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never used a carpet cleaner before since this Little Green ProHeat Cleaner is user-friendly and does the tough work for you. This small and lightweight cleaner has so many of the features of a full-sized one, providing you with the possibility to quickly remove small, deep-down spots and stains.

Perhaps our favorite feature is the built-in water heater! No more having to wait for hot water to come out of your faucet before adding it to the tanks. The ProHeat actually provides enhanced cleaning results since the water can get up to 25 degrees hotter than other carpet cleaners.

Bissell also includes their well-loved Tough Stain Tool to clean hard-to-reach areas and a 2-in-1 Crevice Tool that allows you to clean deep into crevices and corners. Just like the Little Green the removable water tanks make for easy filling and emptying, meaning you don’t have to worry about making a mess!

Now, perhaps you are worried that this carpet cleaner is difficult to put together or take apart. Don’t be! This product is user-friendly and easy to assemble. The truth is that learning how to take apart a Bissell ProHeat Carpet Cleaner is just as easy as setting it up.

Read the full review: Bissell Little Green ProHeat

Pros

  • Built-In Water Heater
  • Includes Tough Stain Tool + 2-in-1 Crevice Tool
  • Removable Water Tanks

Cons

  • Not Automatic

6. Bissell Pet Stain Eraser

BISSELL 2003T Cordless Portable Deep Cleaner, Green
  • Every BISSELL purchase helps save pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet...
  • Spray, Scrub, And Suction To Remove Pet Stains And Messes From Carpet,...
  • Grab-And-Go Cordless Convenience; Enjoy The Freedom Of A Lithium-Powered,...

Anyone who has a furry friend and wants the convenience of cordless cleaning in order to remove pet stains at any time and anywhere will love this portable, cordless carpet cleaner for pet stains. It sprays, scrubs and suctions away any mess in just minutes, requiring little to no effort from you. You will also enjoy the cordless freedom of the lithium-powered machine that allows you to clean absolutely anywhere.

Although this product is made to clean all kinds of stains caused by pets, it is versatile and will clean up any mess made by pet lovers too. Coffee, grape juice, and dirt are no match for this! Using this carpet cleaner is so much easier than learning how to shampoo carpet by hand, because it does all the work for you.

Do you want to clean and refresh your upholstery? No problem! You will be able to easily get any tough stains out of your beloved furniture; little effort required. Long story short, this will easily become any pet owner’s favorite thing to have on hand for when unexpected messes happen.

Read the full review: Bissell Pet Stain Eraser

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Spot & Stain Brush
  • Compact & Lightweight

Cons

  • Small Tank Capacity

7. Bissell SpotClean Pet Pro

BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner, 2458
  • Every Bissell purchase helps save pets. Bissell proudly supports Bissell pet...
  • Our most powerful portable spot and stain cleaner for carpets, stairs,...
  • Combines superior suction, scrubbing action and professional cleaning solution...

If you have a pet and are wanting a small but mighty portable carpet cleaner that will take care of all pet spots, stains, and odors, this convenient and compact carpet cleaner will be your new favorite tool. It uses superior suction, brushing action, and a professional pet cleaning solution that will be sure to remove any and all stains on your carpet.

A great thing about it is that the portable deep cleaning system is designed to fit right on the stairs, making it easy to remove deep-down dirt and stains. The large capacity tank holds ¾ gallons so you don’t have to worry about constantly refilling.

One of the great features that come with this product is the Stain Trapper Tool. The self-contained tool keeps pets and other messes inside the tool and out of your machine. Talk about neat!

Last but not least, we love that the hose included is extra-long, making it possible to get to hard-to-reach areas. Now if you’re wondering how to replace the hose on the Bissell SpotClean Pro, the good news is that it’s easy and simple. No stress involved!

Read the full review: Bissell Spot Clean Pet Pro

Pros

  • Large-Capacity Tank
  • Compact & Lightweight
  • Stain Trapper Tool

Cons

  • Doesn’t Have a Built-in Water Heater
  • Not Automatic

8. Bissel SpotBot Pet 2117A

Bissell SpotBot Pet handsfree Spot and Stain Portable Deep Cleaner, Blue, 2117A
  • Every BISSELL purchase helps save pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet...
  • Clean tank capacity - 30.6 ounces, Dirty tank capacity -29.2 ounces. Buy...
  • Get rid of messes without getting your hands dirty. This hands free portable...

Anyone who is looking to just push a button and end up with clean, refreshed carpet will love this cleaner. With just a push of a button, this carpet cleaner for pet stains delivers hands-free spot and stain removal on carpets and area rugs. Sounds pretty neat, right? All you have to do is fill up the tank with some cleaning solution and warm water, push a button, and walk away.

You are able to choose from two preset cleaning cycles, and Unique Spiral Brushing will deliver water and cleaning formula deep into the carpet fibers to gently scrub away pet stains and odors. We also think it’s great that Bissell includes an attached hose and Tough Stain Tool to allow you to clean a variety of surfaces like upholstery, auto interiors or stairs.

Weighing just 14 lb, this carpet cleaner made for pet stains it lightweight and compact enough to easily store away. This will easily become any pet owners favorite thing to have on hand for when unexpected messes happen. If you’re wondering what the differences are with #2 and this one, the truth is they are quite similar. This model of the SpotBot is a bit pricer than the other one, but they both have the same, great functions.

Read the full review: Bissell Spot Bot Pet 2117A

Pros

  • Hands-Free & Automatic
  • Unique Spiral Brushing
  • Large-Capacity Tank

Cons

  • Doesn’t Have a Built-in Water Heater

9. Bissell SpotLifter PowerBrush

Bissell Spotlifter Powerbrush Handheld Deep Cleaner, 1716B - Corded
  • Spot Lifter, power brush, corded hand held extractor, 18' power cord for...
  • Adds Extra shine to your product
  • Features cleaning width of 3 inches

Anyone who is looking to quickly and easily get fresh, stain-free carpets without going through the hassle of blotting and scrubbing will benefit greatly from this cleaner. This portable, deep cleaner has an 18-foot power cord that allows you to run the machine for as long as you need to get rid of pesky stains.

The good news is that you won’t have to waste time and effort blotting, spraying and scrubbing. You’ll love that the SpotLifter has a powerful rotating brush that will do the scrubbing for you.

One of the best features of this product is that the unique design sprays, suction cleans and dries all in one step, requiring minimum effort from you. Lightweight and compact, you will be able to easily remove any stain from anywhere in your home.

Read the full review: Bissell SpotLifter PowerBrush

Pros

  • 18” Power Cord
  • Rotating Brush
  • Spray, Suction Cleans, & Dries in One Step

Cons

  • Doesn’t Have a Built-in Water Heater

10. Bissell PetStain Eraser Deluxe ION

BISSELL Pet Stain Eraser Deluxe ION Portable Carpet Cleaner with Extended Runtime and Window...
  • Tank capacity - 8 ounces. Buy BISSELL, save pets. BISSELL donates 10 dollars to...
  • Remove pet stains anywhere, anytime
  • Spray, scrub, and suction to remove pet stains and messes from carpet,...

If you have a furry friend and want the convenience of cordless cleaning in order to remove pet stains anytime, anywhere this will be a great tool for you! This portable, cordless carpet cleaner for pet stains sprays, scrubs and suctions away any mess in just minutes, requiring little to no effort from you.

Just like the Bissell PetStain Eraser mentioned previously, this product cleans a variety of stains caused by pets and pet lovers alike. The Stationary Spot and Stain brush allows for a deep clean, anywhere in your home. This Deluxe ION model includes an extended 30 minute run time, meaning that you don’t have to worry about the battery running out before you finish!

One of the best things about this product is that it comes with a cleaning solution that is intended to help clean up after your pets. Removing the stain is only the tip of the iceberg. Dogs have really strong noses, so getting the deep down smells is important. This cleaning solution is great for helping to prevent your pets from marking the carpet in the future.

Read the full review: Bissell PetStain Eraser Deluxe ION

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Spot & Stain Brush
  • Compact & Lightweight

Cons

  • Small Tank Capacity

Buying Guide

Before you jump in and purchase one of the best handheld portable carpet cleaners, take a look at our buying guide.

What You Will Be Cleaning

The first thing you should take into consideration is what you will be using the cleaner for. Technically they are all carpet cleaners but several of the cleaners on our list serve multiple functions. Some are ideal just for carpet, some make cleaning upholstery easier, others are perfect for cleaning the interior of your car. No matter what you are planning on using your cleaner for, there is something on the list that will improve the way you clean.

Do You Have Pets?

One of the perks that you will find in several models of spot cleaners is that they are ideal for cleaning up pet messes. If you have an older dog that is starting to have accidents or you are potty training a new puppy one of the cleaners geared towards homes with pets would be a wise investment.

The pet stain cleaners usually come with cleaning solutions that are made to remove stains and smells that come from animal feces and urine. This is great because your home will remain smelling fresh. These cleaning solutions are typically made to deter your pets from marking the same spot again which is perfect for homes with a territorial dog that likes to claim everything.

Special Features

This is a big one! When shopping for a handheld portable cleaner, there are several features that you will want to think about. There are a ton of great options available for your carpet cleaner. As I mentioned before, some are made for cleaning up after pets, complete with pet stain removing cleaning solution. There are models that are cordless. You can even find portable carpet cleaners that you can set down, press a button, and walk away. Some of the cleaners even have a heating element that heats up the water in the tank.

Tank Capacity

This is another important thing. The capacity of the clean and dirty tanks is important, especially if you will need to clean a large area. If you are using your cleaner for small spaces or touch ups here and there, the tank on all of the products on our list will do just fine. This may not be something you have thought about previously but it is crucial so you do not end up with a product that won’t be able to handle the cleaning jobs it needs to do.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the best handheld portable carpet cleaners.

Do I have to use hot water in my carpet cleaner?
There’s no need to explain that using hot water to get a stain out of the carpet will be a lot easier than using just cold water. Now, there are some great carpet cleaners that actually come with a built-in water heater, making your life easy since you don’t have to guess how hot you need your water.

If you are using a product that doesn’t come with a built-in water heater, then don’t worry. Most carpet cleaners call for using warm to hot water (not boiling), but it’s always good to check the specific product instructions before cleaning for the first time. In the case of most Bissell cleaners, you’re supposed to take nice warm water and mix it with the cleaning solution to get the most effective, deep-clean.

Do I have to use the cleaning solution that is included?

The good thing about most of these products is that you get a trial size bottle of cleaning solution. This gives you the opportunity to try it out without being committed to a full bottle. You do not have to use it if you don’t want to! Whether you want to mix up your own solution or you like a different product, any liquid cleaning solution will work just fine.

Will I ruin my furniture using a handheld cleaner?
If you have the right carpet cleaner and an upholstery attachment, then no! It’s always scary trying to clean furniture because we don’t want to end up with that eye-catching stain. Stains from pets or food are petty easy to remove, but when it comes to a deep-down stain, it might take a bit more work.

The good news is that if you use the correct upholstery cleaning solution and follow the right instructions, you can quickly and easily make your furniture look brand new again. One of the key things in cleaning your upholstery is making sure that everything completely dries.

Most handheld, portable carpet cleaners actually clean and dry all in one, so you don’t have to worry too much about it.

Are full-size, upright or portable carpet cleaners better?
It really depends on what you are needing out of a carpet cleaner. Of course, there’s no doubt that both have their benefits. If you are wanting something to clean smaller spaces or just spot cleaning, then a portable carpet cleaner will do the trick.

A portable carpet cleaner is also excellent for cleaning stairs, area rugs, upholstery, and auto interiors. They are small and compact, making them easy to quickly use and store away. If you want something you can take up and down the stairs, a cordless portable cleaner would be a fantastic choice.

Now, if you’re wanting to deep-clean your whole house or larger areas, then full-size, upright carpet cleaners are better. They will allow you to clean any area in a reasonable amount of time. However, since they are upright and bigger, they take up more storage space and aren’t as convenient to use when you are wanting to clean just a small spot.

Can I use a carpet cleaner on furniture?

Before you use a tool for something other than what it is specifically designed for, it is always best to check the instructions and contact the manufacturer if it is not clear whether or not you can use something in other ways. The good news is, most of the products on this list are marketed for multiple uses.

Not only can they be used for carpet, but many can also be used on upholstered furniture or the interior of your car. Cordless models are even better because they will reach even further than the corded models.

Conclusion

Alright, that’s the list of the 10 best handheld portable carpet cleaners. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed reading through the reviews and have been able to pick out a few that meet your needs. No matter which you choose, your home and car will be so much cleaner than ever before!

Our top pick is the Bissell SpotClean Professional. This cleaner is a fantastic option for all of your cleaning needs. Whether you need to clean your carpets, upholstery, or the interior of your car, you can take comfort in knowing that you will be able to remove all types of stains with ease. This cleaner is even great for use on the stairs.

The runner up is the Bissell SpotBot Pet. If you have a new puppy that is being potty trained or an older pet that has been having accidents this would be a great choice for your home. Not only is the machine powerful, but it also comes with a cleaning solution that is made to remove pet stains and odors as well as help deter your pets from marking the same spot again in the future.

If you are looking for a budget option, the Bissell SpotLifter PowerBrush is a great choice as well. This affordable tool will help you get your carpet, upholstery, or car interior nice and clean. It even fits easily into tight spaces, getting everything nice and clean.

Regardless of which one you choose, you can be confident that your carpet, car interior, or upholstery will be a lot cleaner than it was before!