Carpets allow our houses to be more comfortable and can add a lot to a room in terms of decor, but they're also minefields for trapping dirt, dust and bacteria - especially if you have a pet.
Cleaning your carpets feels like a big job, but with your own carpet cleaner, you've already got a head start. To help you find your perfect carpet cleaning companion for a pet-friendly house, we've researched the very best available for all budgets.
You might have the best vacuum cleaner in the world, but wait until you see the difference a carpet cleaner makes.
Best carpet cleaner for pets UK:
Editor's Pick: BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro
Most lightweight: VAX Compact Power CWCPV011 Upright Carpet Cleaner
Best for stain removal: BISSELL HydroWave
Most powerful: Vax ECB1SPV1 Platinum Power Max Carpet Cleaner
Best value: Rug Doctor Spot Portable Cylinder Carpet Cleaner
Best for car cleaning: Henry Wash HVW 370-2 Cylinder Carpet Cleaner
Features to look out for when buying a carpet cleaner
We know how overwhelming shopping for appliances can be, so we've put together a little guide on all the useful features any great carpet cleaner would have.
Lightweight: We cannot stress the importance of having a lightweight carpet cleaner. This will get the job done quicker, make cleaning stairs a breeze without doing a number on your back. Extremely lightweight cleaners are around 5kg, with heavy models exceeding the 10kg mark.
Tank capacity: Constantly changing the dirty water from your carpet cleaner is a hassle, especially if you're dealing with a large space. However, a larger tank will also mean more weight, so be sure to consider this when making your choice.
Hose: A hose will allow you to get to stairs and other narrow areas much easier.
Quick Dry Mode: Also called 'Express Mode' this feature will help quicken the cleaning and drying process.
Multi-surface: Kill two birds with one stone with dual a carpet and hard floor cleaner.
Extra tools: Additional tools such as an upholstery tool will allow you to clean your furniture easier. Some models will also include stair tools or hard surface tools.
How often should you clean your carpets?
Generally speaking, you should deep clean your carpets at least once a year. If, however, you have a large family, multiple pets, are smokers, or generally have high traffic coming through, every three to six months would be more suitable.
Cleaning your carpets regularly ensures any allergens, dust, bacteria and pet hair are removed, making it more habitable for those with allergies and asthma.
It also helps to keep foul smells at bay, extend the life of your carpets and generally keep them in tip-top condition.
Ready to get to work? Here are the best carpet cleaners for homes with pets:
Keep reading for our full reviews.
Best carpet cleaner for pets
1. BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro
Details: The BISSELL Pro Heat Revolution Pet Pro is one of the top-rated carpet cleaners out there, specifically designed for homes with pets. An update to the Pro Heat 2X revolution carpet cleaner comes with two rotating brush rolls with 12 rows of dirt lifting power brushes which confidently lift away dirt and grime. The CleanShot Pre-treater lets you tackle tough spots as you go and the three-metre cleaning hose gives you plenty of freedom and flexibility. In Express Clean Mode, the machine dispenses just the right amount of solution so you can have dry carpets in as little as half an hour - perfect if you're expecting a last-minute visit from guests.
Weight: 8.62 Kg
Clean tank capacity: 3.7L
Dimensions: 38 x 32 x 110 cm
Power: 800 watts
Tools included: Tough Stain Tool, 2-in-1 Pet Upholstery Tool, 3-in-1 Stair Tool, Upholstery hose nozzle cleaning tool
Review: "Used numerous times now and absolutely love it! I even go over my cream carpets in rooms that hardly get used and absolutely amazed at how much dirt comes out of them."
2. Vax ECR2V1P Dual Power Pet Advance Carpet Cleaner
Details: The Vax Dual Power has dual rotating brush bars to lift tough, deep down dirt from your carpets and the Twin Tank technology separates clean water from dirty water to make emptying it a breeze. The pre-treatment wand and solution help to tackle stubborn stains in high traffic areas.
Dimensions: 48.9 x 40.4 x 38 cm
Clean tank capacity: 2.7L
Dirty tank capacity: 1.5L
Power: 800 watts
Tools included:1 x Vax Dual Power Pet AdvanceWash Tool, Pre-treatment wand, Accessory Bag, 1 x 250ml Ultra+ Pet solution, 1 x 250ml Pre-treatment solution
Review: "I don't often leave reviews. But I felt this needed a 5* review. Really simple to put together. Really simple to work. Pulls out so much dirt. I knew our carpet needed a clean due to our puppy having a couple of accidents. I was shocked how much dirt it actually got out!"
3. VAX Compact Power CWCPV011 Upright Carpet Cleaner
Details: The super-light Compact Power Carpet Cleaner from Vax weighs just 5.7kg, so it's ideal for those who don't want to lug a heavy machine up and down the stairs. The Aquaspin brush bar tackles everyday mess and grime and the narrow head helps you get into every nook and cranny. Twin Tank technology makes it easy to empty and due to its compact size, it's ideal for smaller homes. It's a basic carpet cleaner - it doesn't come with any attachments - but it gets the job done and comes with a carpet cleaning solution.
Weight: 5.7 kg
Dimensions: 106 x 25 x 33 cm
Clean tank capacity: 1.8L
Dirty tank capacity: 1.5L
Review: "I've bought a few carpet cleaners in the past and found them very heavy. As I now suffer from arthritis heavy equipment is a no-go. I'm so pleased with the lightness and performance of this little machine. Some might find it a nuisance that the tank needs replenishing quite quickly but I find that is a very small price to pay. I'm over the moon!!!!"
4. BISSELL HydroWave
Best for stain removal
Details: Another lightweight offering, the BISSELL HydroWave cleans deep into carpet fibres, removing what vacuums leave behind. It has a motorised XL brush roll with 10 rows of DirtLifter power brushes and Clean Shot technology to tackle stubborn stains. Using Express Mode, your carpets will be clean and dry in one hour. The dirty tank will need emptying more often due to its small size, so it would be better suited to smaller houses or just a couple of carpeted rooms.
Weight: 6 kg
Dimensions: 38 x 25 x 112 cm
Clean tank capacity: 1.7L
Dirty tank capacity: 0.6L
Tools included: Hard Surface Tools
Review: "I've mostly used the HydroWave on the express clean setting for my kitchen and lounge rugs. I used the deep clean setting on the landing once and thought the carpet would come up to suffice to say it's quite powerful! The HydroWave does exactly as described. It's surprisingly lightweight when I compare it to other carpet cleaners I've used in the past. The "CleanShot" which effectively shoots bursts of cleaner into the carpet fibre like some sort of cleaner's water pistol is a decent touch and adds to the range of use for this. It's great in the kitchen as mentioned for targeting problematic areas. It's not too bulky to store away and is surprisingly efficient with power."
5. Vax ECB1SPV1 Platinum Power Max Carpet Cleaner
Details: The Platinum Power Max Carpet Cleaner from Vax claims to be able to remove up to 93% of bacteria, fungi and allergens, leaving your carpets fresh and dry within an hour. The hand wash tool and stretch hose let you easily clean any stubborn spots in your home, including stairs and upholstery. It has a large tank so there's no need to constantly stop and empty it out, and it has seven SpinScrub and rotating brush bars to rid your carpets of embedded dirt.
Dimensions: 110 x 34 x 41 cm
Clean tank capacity: 3.5L
Dirty tank capacity: 2.9LPower: 1200W
Dimensions: 110 x 34 x 41 cm
Tools included: 2 x 250ml Platinum solution, 1 x 250ml Pre-treatment solution, Pre-treatment hose, Upholstery tool, Spin scrub brush, Hard floor tool
Review: "I bought this around 1 month ago to see if could restore the house carpets. Amazing results... stains, grim etc all came out. Equally as effective on the stairs with the wash tool and the hose is more than long enough. Also used it on fabric car seats to remove old coffee and liquid stains... seats are not like new. Also brilliant results on car mats. The platinum cleaning solution works wonders. Quality and versatile. With a 6 year guarantee, will be a household staple now. A great thing to have. Great job Vax."
6. Rug Doctor Spot Portable Cylinder Carpet Cleaner
Details: The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Carpet Cleaner is ideal for cleaning accidental spills and stains that happen at home, although it isn't designed to clean your whole house unless you're VERY patient. If you have a rug, carpeted stairs or small sections of carpet to clean, it would work well. It can also be used on mattresses, sofas, car seats and in caravans.
Dimensions: 40 x W 41 x 28 cm
Clean tank capacity: 1.9L
Dirty tank capacity: 1.12L
Power: 1100 air watts
Review: "Really impressed with the cleaning power on this machine. Easy to use, brilliant suction, carpets dried really quickly and you can visibly see the difference. Great for spot cleaning carpets, sofa etc and will easily clean a whole carpet with a bit of patience too."
7. Henry Wash HVW 370-2 Cylinder Carpet Cleaner
Best for car cleaning
Details: Henry is a brand that's trusted in the cleaning world, and this carpet cleaner doesn't disappoint, tackling small and big jobs well. It quickly cleans carpets and hard-floors, freshens up furniture and the car. It can also handle emergency spillages, and can even help you with unblocking the sink. It has a huge clean tank and an even larger dirty tank, so it's ideal for big jobs, although it is heavy to transport.
Dimensions: 37 x 36 x 51 cm
Clean tank capacity: 5L
Dirty tank capacity: 9L
Tools included: Dual Scrub Floor Tool, Fishtail Tool, Upholstery Tool, NuChem 4 Carpet Washing Solution
Review: "Very happy!! Dry the carpets in no time I am very happy indeed!! I thought Henry would let me down but nope he didn't so happy with the results. I did my carpet twice due to young baby crawling and I'm amazed brilliant product and easy to put together very pleased!!"
Is a carpet cleaner safe for pets?
In short, yes, using a carpet cleaner is completely safe as long as the cleaning products you use with it are confirmed as safe for pets. Always check the packaging to make sure or double-check with your vet,
What are the best carpet cleaning products to use that are safe for pets?
Check with your vet so you know what specific allergies your pet may have that could contribute to your product choice. Natural cleaners are often the safer choice compared to more commercial options.
Does carpet cleaner remove pet odour?
You can use a pet odour neutralizer for stubborn or lingering smells but in most cases just using your carpet cleaner will be enough.
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