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Bissell pride themselves on being a brand that people trust, and it’s not hard to see why so many people do. Their home appliances are packed with power and reliability, lasting for years to come. It makes sense that their carpet cleaners may hold the same values.
I live in the kind of home that doesn’t go easy on the carpets. Muddy boots, paws, and wheels all make their way through my doors on a regular basis. Therefore, my carpets are looking a little worse for wear more often than not.
In short, it is a decent carpet cleaner. There are a few areas that need improvement, and the thing I found most impressive was the drying time.
Wondering if the Bissell StainPro 4 is the right choice for you? This guide will take you through all the details, and some potential alternatives that you might fancy.
Corded upright carpet cleaner
This carpet cleaner is great at removing muddy footprints and general dirt, and the speedy drying time is a step above the rest. For a Bissell machine, it comes at a reasonable price, but there are a few cons that we will discuss in detail below.
Presenting the Bissell StainPro 4
The Bissell StainPro 4 is a mediocre carpet cleaner, and it doesn’t quite live up to what you’d expect from the brand.
It comes with handy accessories to make life easier, and the drying times are impressive. It’s suitable for most homes, but might be one to avoid if you have tough stains.
It does have a really short power cord, and this can be inconvenient for some. After all, not everyone is happy to switch sockets regularly. If this is the kind of thing that would put you off, the Bissell InstaClean at the end of this review has you covered.
It’s a budget model with a longer power cord and decent cleaning capabilities. We are here to find you the perfect model.
Design and Features
It has a really nice design, with a modern look that gives it a pleasing aesthetic. The assembly required is minimal, and it only takes a few minutes to snap everything together ready for use.
The controls can be found on both the handle and the main floorhead. The former of these contains the trigger that releases the detergent, as well as the power button for easier access.
On the floorhead, you can choose between the tools and the carpet cleaner for more versatile cleaning power. This is something I will look at further a little later on.
The floorhead is quite wide, which makes for a larger cleaning path and a more effective result. It has DirtLifter brushes on the underside, and these are an upgrade from other models like the InstaClean.
They were made to be gentle yet thorough as they reach down into carpets, and work alongside the side brushes. However, these are the features that I will talk about more in the cleaning section of this review.
The flexible hose allows for above floor cleaning, and it measures in at 1.8m. It is built into the machine, but can also be removed and attached to the tank directly for better reach.
It’s a great addition that helps the Bissell StainPro 4 stand out a little more from other models they have manufactured.
Instead of having two tanks, this carpet cleaner has a two-in-one system. This means that the main tank is separated into two compartments; one for clean water and one for dirty water.
This does mean you need to measure the detergent yourself, but you shouldn’t go wrong as it comes with handy instructions that give you the measurements. You also get a sample bottle of detergent with the carpet cleaner.
How Noisy is it?
The Bissell StainPro 4 is nice and quiet, which makes a change from the usual carpet cleaners.
It comes in at 70db, which is also lower than the maximum noise levels allowed under EU law. It’s also quieter than most vacuum cleaners, so you don’t have to worry about too much noise.
Cord Length and Storage
It comes with a 5m cord, which isn’t particularly long and means you may need to switch sockets regularly.
However, there are definitely shorter cables out there, and you get used to the shorter length with time. There is a cable tidy to keep things neat, and there is even space for the hose to make things even more compact.
It’s quite a slim machine, despite the wide floorhead, and therefore slots nicely into most spaces. The big bonus with this carpet cleaner, however, is the fact that the handle is retractable, and therefore it becomes even easier to put away in smaller spaces.
Weight and Handling
It’s an exceptionally light carpet cleaner, weighing only 7.8kg. This makes it nice and light to lift, which means taking it upstairs is much easier than with other models on the market.
Plus, you have the wheels on the back that make driving it a lot nicer, and the added bonus is that the wheels won’t leave marks in the carpet.
The only real downside is that the trigger needs to be held down while you clean in order for the detergent to come out and go into the carpet.
This can put a little strain on your wrist, but the plus side is that each room won’t take too long. Overall, the handling is really smooth and the fact that everything is so light really helps this.
The capacity is about average at 2L, which should be enough to clean one, maybe two, rooms. While not the largest tank out there, it’s still a good size.
As it is a two-in-one tank, it saves a lot of space and is simple to fill with water and detergent, and then empty when the dirty water side gets full.
It can be a little fiddly and annoying to get the tank in and out, so if you don’t have nimble fingers and steady hands, this could prove an issue.
How Well Does It Clean and Dry?
As a quick note, the Bissell StainPro 4 is not suitable for use on hard floors. It can only be used on carpets; which it’s actually not great at tackling.
White carpets still look grimy after use, and you’ll find that it tends to leave grey streaks behind. It’s a disappointment considering the brush technology in the floorhead, which you would expect would be able to bring up mud and grime.
The side brushes on the floorhead are supposed to reach the edges of each room, but it falls short and leaves a noticeable border after cleaning.
However, it is a little better than the Bissell InstaClean in this regard, because while it does leave a border it is a smaller and less defining one.
The built in hose is perfect for above floor cleaning, and its position can be moved to the front of the machine to make things even easier.
This is ideal for cleaning the stairs as it offers better reach and flexibility. If you feel like it, you can even use it to wash the upholstery – which is made easier with the accompanying tools.
The front of the machine contains the only cleaning controls you will need; tools and carpet.
This means that there are no variations on how the carpet is washed, but you can at least switch between the two main forms of cleaning. It’s really simple to do as well, involving the turning of a knob and nothing more.
How Well Does It Cope with Stains?
The Bissell StainPro 4 does a great job on fresh stains. Things like muddy prints (boot or paw) are cleaned up quickly and effortlessly. However, it does struggle a little with existing stains – as many carpet cleaners do.
All you need to tackle these is some pretreatment and a little patience, as it will probably take a couple of tries to get rid of them completely. The included wand is perfect for applying this solution to the affected area.
There are a couple of good accessories with this carpet cleaner. The first of these is the flexible hose, which I have already gone over at several different points within this guide.
You also have the pretreatment wand, and this is used to apply pretreatment solution to an existing stain that needs to be removed. In the above section, I touch on this briefly.
The main tool, however, is the tough stain accessory. It specialises in upholstery and soft furnishings, giving you more freedom with your above floor cleaning.
However, its usefulness doesn’t stop there. It can also be used to clean the stairs, as well as really tough areas of carpet that you are struggling to remove marks from.
How Does It Compare?Here are some other, similar, models of carpet cleaner for you to consider, just in case you want to look at other options before you commit to a Bissell StainPro 4.
It’s about £90 more than the StainPro 4, but it also does a much better job. We found it to be more effective on carpets, and it didn’t leave grimy marks or stains after use. Even the stain removal is superior.
While it is not incredible with old stains, it does do a good job of fading them so that they are less noticeable. It’s double the weight of the StainPro 4, but still easy to handle, and certainly the model I would spend my money on given the choice.
Read Here: Bissell Stain Pro 6 Review
It’s around the same price as the Bissell StainPro 4, and yet it also manages to do an exceptional job that the carpet cleaner in this review could not even dream of managing. It’s heavier, but the handling remains smooth.
It’s worth it for clean carpets that leave no streaks behind. Even old stains that have dried in can at least be faded with this model, and fresh stains are just as easy for it to tackle. The Vax carpet cleaner line has remained a solid and affordable one.
Read Here: Vax Rapid Power Plus Review
Should You Buy the Bissell StainPro 4?
So, should you go out and buy the Bissell StainPro 4? It has some great pros, but there are also plenty of cons that might make you think of taking a peek at the alternatives instead.
It’s good with fresh stains and general dirt, but when you are cleaning you are likely to find grimy streaks once the carpet is dry. It’s good for a budget machine, but it’s not great.
The bottom line is that there are better models out there – like the Vax Raid Power Plus for only £20 more. It’s not a carpet cleaner I would necessarily recommend given the alternatives out there, and so it gets a 3/5 rating from me.
What did you think of our Bissell StainPro 4 review? Do you agree with our thoughts on the carpet cleaner, or was our opinion a little harsh? We love hearing from you, so make sure you leave us a message in the comments below.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.