Bissell InstaClean Review – Budget Carpet Cleaner

Bissell InstaClean Review

Bissell is a trustworthy brand, and a name with a lot of history behind it. When you see their appliances, you know that they have been made to last and are ready to leap into action.

The best part about them? Their products often come at an affordable price. Their carpet cleaners are no different, and that’s where the Bissell InstaClean slides in.

I have a home that has a lot of traffic, and I mean a lot. Stains and mud are no strangers to me, but hiring a carpet cleaner isn’t always the convenient choice. Therefore, I decided to give this budget model from Bissell a try.

Designed to clean carpets and deal with things like pet hair, I figured I was onto something good when I picked it up. Plus, I was able to choose pet detergent over the regular stuff which was a fantastic added bonus.

I am sure you can already tell that I was a fan of the Bissell, and you would be right, but what did we think of this cheaper priced carpet cleaner…..lets take a read through my detailed Bissell Instaclean review to find out more

Review Summary


Product Name:

Bissel InstaClean 48X4E

Product Type:

Upright carpet cleaner




It’s a great carpet cleaner if you’re on a budget, and despite the lower price it remains a reasonable machine.

Cleaning will leave your carpets feeling and looking new again. If you have stubborn stains and need a really deep clean, there are better models out there, but for a reasonable allrounder its a consideration.

Presenting the Bissell InstaClean

The Bissell InstaClean is ideal if you are on a budget. The price is friendly, and it won;t break the bank compared to hiring a carpet cleaner on a regular basis. The cleaning power is impressive for the price, and you can really feel the amount of dirt it pulls up, as well as see it. The piece de resistance for this model, however, is the exceptionally short drying time.

Of course, it may not be the most suitable carpet cleaner for every household. This particular model can take a while to get used to in terms of handling, and it doesn’t always manage to reach the very edges of the room while cleaning. 

However it does have plenty of positives so read on to find out more about this reasonably priced carpet cleaner.


  • Relatively light
  • Brilliant at drying carpets
  • Good cleaning power
  • Affordable price
  • Quiet running


  • Not great at deep cleaning
  • Not good with stubborn stains

Key Features

Design and Features

It has a very simple design, and that’s what I like about the Bissell InstaClean. It takes you back to the core of what a carpet cleaner is, and it does so successfully. You will need to clip each section together when you unbox it, but the assembly is minimal and only takes a few minutes. Once that’s done, it’s smooth sailing.

The handle is also easy to attach, and it has a handy hidden feature that I will talk more about in one of the below sections. It’s a slim machine in all the best ways. The controls are basic as well, with a simple power button and a trigger for the detergent.

They are quite close together though, which is something that should be noted when you are using it.

The floorhead is clear and chunky, but what I like about this is that you can see all of the dirty water being sucked up when you are cleaning. It’s incredibly satisfying, and part of what makes this carpet cleaner so good.

Bissell InstaClean for a larger cleaning path

On the base of the floorhead there is a brush bar that will agitate the carpet as you pass over it, and there are also side brushes included.

However, I will look into their cleaning potential in more detail later on. The foot pedal on the back of the floorhead is also easy to access, ensuring that you can tilt the handle back and get the handheld carpet cleaner running.

At first, it looks like this model only has one tank, but it is actually a twin design. The clean water and detergent tank can be found on the back of the machine, which is a neat little hiding place. 

The dirty water tank is attached to the floorhead. You do have to measure the detergent yourself with this model, but there are instructions to help you. It also comes with a bottle of Bissell detergent, and you can choose between regular and pet.

How Noisy is it?

Compared to some of the other carpet cleaners we have reviewed, the Bissell InstaClean is lovely and quiet at 70dB. This makes the volume tolerable, and it shouldn’t give the whole house a headache. It is also 10dB lower than the EU maximum

Cord Length and Storage

It has an 8m cord, which isn’t bad at all. I was pleased to see that the Bissell InstaClean offers such a generous length, and you should be able to clean a couple of rooms without needing to switch sockets. 

It also comes with a cable tidy to keep things neat, and a quick-release system that will drop the entire cord ready for use.

I’ve mentioned that it is a slender machine before, but this is really good for storage. What’s more is the fact that the handle is fully retractable. This means it can completely vanish from view and make the machine shorter; ideal for small homes or those who have tiny storage spaces. 

Weight and Handling

lighteright and compact

It’s relatively lightweight at 6kg, and it glides seamlessly across carpets without you needing to put much effort into pushing it. The wheels behind the dirty water tank also make life easier, and they assist the handling without leaving a mark on the carpet. The lighter weight also means that turning and such is a lot easier than expected.

The controls can take getting used to because of how close together they are, but the trigger also needs to be held down for the duration of the cleaning session. This can be a bit tedious, but you get used to it quite quickly. Overall, the handling is sound, and once you get the hang of the controls it stops being so clunky.

Tank Capacity

At 2.2L, it is not the largest tank capacity, but it certainly isn’t the smallest either. It’s a good size to get a room done, and you might be able to squeeze another one in if they are on the smaller side. The twin tanks also mean the separation of clean and dirty water so that you can enjoy better and cleaner results.

The dirty water tank is very easy to remove as it just clips out and then snaps back in again once you have emptied it. The detergent tank is much the same, but when you first use it there is a good deal of stiffness. This can make it quite fiddly, but it isn’t much different to any other new appliance; a lot of them are a bit tight straight out of the box.

How Well Does It Clean and Dry?

wash away old spots and stains on carpets

Always vacuum first. I will say it every time I review a carpet cleaner because it’s so important. It removes bulky debris that could damage your carpet cleaner, and it also helps to get the existing dirt in your carpet nice and loose before it is washed. That said, we can now look at how well the Bissell InstaClean washes and dries carpets.

This carpet cleaner doesn’t work with hard floors, and there is no above floor cleaning. So, if either of these things were on your list it might not be the right model for you. However, it is excellent with the basics; washing carpets.

The brush bar on the bottom of the floorhead massage the carpets and lift up excess dirt, one of the best features it has. As a result, it is good at general cleaning of carpets and removing grime, though there are of course better models out there for deeper washing, but these will come with a higher price tag.

There are side brushes as well, and these act as a way to reach the edges of the room in order to clean as much as possible. While they aren’t the worst at what they do, there is still a bit of a border left behind once you have finished. Therefore, it might mean you need to be a little bit creative with regards to reaching all the edges.

The drying time really is impressive, and it is the defining feature of this carpet cleaner. It stands out from the crowd because of this. It only takes 90 minutes to dry, and this is half the time of most carpet cleaners that are using a deep clean setting. Top marks on this from me.

How Well Does It Cope with Stains?

Bissell InstaClean Coping with Stains

It does better than others have claimed with stains, and I was reasonably pleased with the results. Of course, a good pretreatment is always needed to ensure the best results with removing old stains. 

Even fresh ones are tackled well by the Bissell InstaClean, and considering how affordable it is the results are very impressive. Just remember the pretreatment, or you won’t get the fading and removal that you were hoping for.


What you see is what you get with the Bissell InstaClean, and that means no tools. The lack of accessories may seem disappointing at first, but if you just want to clean your carpets and aren’t too concerned about things like the upholstery, this is a good choice. Not every carpet cleaner needs a host of fancy accessories to be good – this model stick with the basics.

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 InstaClean.

BISSELL Stain Pro 4

For around an extra £20-£30 you will get your hands on this model, pretty much the same performance, though we did find overall it removed general grime a little better than the Instaclean.

It’s a little heavier in weight (2KG Heavier) and has an extra two rows of bristles, which explains the improved clean.

For that little extra of my money I would probably choose this model of the Bissell Instaclean, but perhaps read our full review of the Bissell Stain Pro 4 first. 

Vax Platinum Power Max

This model has a fantastic range of accessories to help make life easier, as well as the option to perform above floor cleaning. 

It’s does jump up on the price side (Circa £250), but it offers you so much in terms of versatility. In addition to this, it is a powerful carpet cleaner that is able to reach right to the edge of the room, deep clean and remove more stubborn stains that the Instaclean would leave behind. 

You can read our detailed review of the Vax Platinum Power Max here.

To Conclude

I hope that this guide has contained all the information you need in order to understand what the Bissell InstaClean is capable of. Whether or not it’s right for your home? That’s for you to decide. Despite its low price, it remains a good machine for the money

I like to think of this model as a general maintenance carpet cleaner that you can use on a regular basis to keep your carpets germ free and smelling fresh, and the fact it has super fast drying time, you can use this often without too much worry.

What did you think of our Bissell InstaClean review? Do you agree with our thoughts on the carpet cleaner, or are there others that you think are better suited to the task? We love hearing from you, so make sure you leave us a message in the comments below.

Last Updated on February 24, 2021 by Gemma Tyler Protection Status