Best Handheld Carpet Cleaner: Top UK Portable Washers Review

Our carpets are filthy. Sure, they look clean and show home perfectly on the surface, but underneath there are years of dirt building up deep in the fibres.

From muddy shoes and mucky paws, grime settles and vacuuming alone can’t always get it out. 

But don’t panic. There is a cleaning solution for every home cleaning problem, and a handheld carpet cleaner is exactly what you need in this situation.

They are reliable, powerful, and perfectly suited to removing even the worst dirt right from the bed of the carpet. 

This guide is here to show you exactly how a portable carpet cleaner could benefit your home and the fantastic prices that so many of them are available at.

best handheld carpet cleaners

Best Handheld Carpet Cleaners (UK Models)

Bissell spot clean pro

1. BISSELL Spot Clean Pro

Our Pick for Budget Portable Carpet Cleaners

Key Features
  • Power: 260 watts
  • Run Time: N/A
  • Charge Time: N/A
  • Weight: 6kg
  • Water Capacity: 2.8L
  • Battery Voltage: 220v
  • Noise: 72db

BISSELL is a big name that has a lot to offer, and it is one of the best brands for home appliances and cleaning tools, so you know you are in for something good.

Perfect for those who need something portable for cleaning the carpet, take a look below and see if this is going to be the one for you.

The Good
The feature that I enjoyed was the spot cleaning, as it was able to remove even the toughest stains in my carpet with ease and professional results. 

The water tank is large, and removable, which makes it easy to empty and refill, and it comes with two tools so that you can remove stains and clean the upholstery. It will even clean inside your car, so everything you own can remain clean at all times.

The Not So Good
This model is better suited to small areas as opposed to larger ones due to its small and compact size.

Our View
This handheld carpet cleaner from BISSELL comes at a very reasonable price that makes it a great choice for just about anyone who is in need of something to get their carpets looking brand new again.

While it is a smaller model and so better suited to smaller areas, it can be used on large ones if you are willing to put in a little extra time.

Overall, it provides a powerful clean that makes it perfect for homes with pets or kids, and the stain remover does a very professional job.


Q: Can you use any carpet cleaner in a Bissell?

A: Fortunately, you can even use it in a Bissell carpet cleaner.

Q: Can I use bleach in my Bissell handheld carpet cleaner?

A: Yes, but if you do decide to give it a try, first make sure it is safe for your carpet (you can‘t bleach wool). Dilute the bleach with water before adding it to the machine (never use bleach full strength!)

rug doctor portable spot cleaner

2. Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner

Our Pick For Portable Carpet Cleaners For Tough Stains


  • Very effective for removing spots and stains
  • Entirely portable thanks to the wheels
  • Can remove hairs from deep within the carpets
  • Come with 236ml of Rug Doctor Spot Cleaner
  • Improved suction power, when compared to others
  • Much more expensive
  • Heavier and a little more difficult to store

If you’re looking for a spot cleaner, which is equipped with wheels, you’ve found it with the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner!

This little device comes with some added features and a little better performance, which makes it a bit more expensive.

It has improved suctioning power when compared to many other spot cleaners!

For improved mobility, the device is equipped with wheels and even a retractable handle.

The portable spot cleaner is equipped with a motorised vibrating brush, which can help you clean those terribly stubborn stains and can be used on high pile carpets.

 It is heavier at 9 kg, but the wheels help to improve the device’s mobility. It is capable of holding 1.9 litres of water!


The Rug Doctor carpet cleaner is bigger, bolder and a little more expensive. If you’re looking for the most suctioning power possible, this one is definitely worth checking out!

Bissell 3698E emergency spot cleaner

3. Bissell 3698E Emergency Spot Cleaner 

Our Pick for the Best Small and Compact Carpet Cleaners

  • Totally efficient for carpets
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Small and compact, which makes it easy to store
  • Works great for stairs
  • Heatwave Technology is thoroughly impressive and effective
  • The deep reach tool is very handy and can remove stubborn dirt and stains
  • Slightly more expensive
  • No Microban anti-bacterial protection

If you’re looking for a compact, easy to use spot cleaner, you’ll most certainly want to check out the BISSELL 3698E! BISSELL is widely reputable and this is no coincidence.

This washer is capable of removing stains from carpets, rugs, automobile interiors and upholstery!

It is also equipped with a deep reach tool, which is very helpful for removing deep-down dirt!

The item comes with two removable water tanks. Both are easy to remove, fill and empty!

The overall weight of the item is 3.9 kg, which makes it very easy to use and perfect for stairs, I found that because this product is capable of holding 1.1 litres of clean water and with 350 watts of power, this vacuum is very capable of cleaning your carpets and removing stains, without difficulty!


You really cannot go wrong with the BISSELL 3698E! It is durable, easy to use and will fulfil your desires to no end!


Q: Does it hoover as well as clean? 

A: No, not at all. Its just a cleaner. In fact, I would recommend hoovering the area before cleaning it. 

Q: How many cleaning solutions do you use in a Bissell handheld carpet cleaner?

A: Mix 2 1/2 ounces of the Bissell concentrated carpet cleaner for every gallon of hot water your rental machine holds. Pour into the machine’s designated tank.

Bissell little green multi-purpose deep cleaner

4. Bissell Little Green Multi-Purpose Deep Cleaner

Best Handheld Carpet Cleaners for Stairs

  • Very compact and fairly lightweight at 4.4kg
  • 350 Watts of Power
  • Has an operating radius of 4.6 metres
  • Works great on floors, upholstery, stairs and car interiors
  • Tank is extremely easy to remove and fill up
  • A little more expensive
  • Best for small areas only

The BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose carpet cleaners are an excellent choice for many consumers, but it is slightly more expensive.

If you’re willing to shell out the extra money, it is well worth checking out! The washer is capable of fulfilling two purposes, at once.

 It will not only clean your floors, but it’ll dry them, as well. 

As the name suggests, this is a green product and is environmentally friendly! All of the parts are manufactured from recycled plastic.

For removing stubborn stains, this mini product is very effective! The tough stain brush will help you solve the problem, without difficulty! This vacuum is a little bit heavier at 4.4 kg, but it can hold 1.4 litres of water, which is an increase.


If you’re looking for a sufficient handheld carpet cleaner for cleaning small areas, the BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Deep Cleaner is a wonderful option. It is powerful enough to get the job done but compact and small enough to store away easily!

Read More : How to Get Rid of Wet Carpet Odour 

Further Models

Vax VCW-02 portable carpet washer

5. Vax VCW-02 Portable Carpet Washer 

Our Pick For Best carpet cleaner for Spot Cleaning

  • Very versatile and can be used for numerous applications
  • Easy to use and store
  • Compact design
  • Great for spot cleaning
  • Works great for automobile cleaning
  • No carpet cleaning formula included
  • A tad heavier and more expensive

Most individuals have likely never heard of the Vax brand, but this company’s VCW-02 is a great spot carpet cleaner!

Take note that this washer is a little bit more expensive than the rest, but it backs this up with somewhat improved features.

It is also a little bit heavier, at 6 kg. The product offers tons of convenience and is effortless to use and store! 

If you have pets or toddlers, you may very well want to invest in this great washer!

The vacuum is well versatile and can be used to clean up spills and pet accidents perfectly! The cord is extremely long and very flexible!


Overall, the Vax VCW-02 carpet cleaner is a great vacuum cleaner, which will never let you down. It is superbly powerful, light in weight and easy to use. Be sure to check it out today!

JCB 70360 Wet and Dry handheld

6. JCB 70360 Wet And Dry Handheld

Best Battery Operated Wet and Dry Handheld

  • Battery operation is very convenient
  • Includes a washable filter
  • No bag is needed
  • Only weighs 3.1 kg
  • 2 litres of capacity
  • 12 volts of power
  • Entirely affordable
  • Very portableCan be used almost anywhere


  • Battery operation is somewhat limited
  • Less powerful than others
  • Suctioning could be better

If you’re looking for the most affordable handheld vacuum possible, you’ll definitely want to check out the JCB 70360! This is a wet and dry handheld, which is equipped with a 1m hose.

One of the best aspects associated with this vacuum is the fact that it is cordless!

The battery is capable of running the cleaner for 15 minutes before a battery change or recharge will be needed.

 When used as a wet vacuum, this device can hold 1.5 litres. When used as a dry vacuum, it can hold 2 litres

This is one of the lightest vacuums on the market, at 3.1 kg. It operates on 12 volts of power and is completely bagless! It also utilizes a washable filter, which will save you time and money!


Overall, the JCB 70360 is a great vacuum, which is extremely portable and convenient. If you want a vacuum for small tasks, this one is your best bet and will give you total freedom!

Key Things to Consider

It’s not the simplest task, picking up a new carpet cleaner. This is especially true if you are new to the appliance and aren’t quite sure what you’re supposed to be looking for. Enter our buyer’s guide, providing you with the knowledge and expertise you need in no time at all. 

Weight – This is quite important, especially as you will need to use your upper body to operate a handheld carpet cleaner. Some models can be really easy to handle and practically glide over the carpets because they are lightweight. 

Other models can feel like pushing a lead weight up a flight of stairs. You need to consider both the weight of the machine and your own strength. 

Carpet Type – The frequency of carpet cleaning does depend on the type that you have, and it can also impact the attachments you use. For example, you cannot mix a shag carpet and a rotating brush – it only results in tragedy. Always read the manufacturer’s label first. 

Traffic – How much traffic goes through your home every day? Does everyone take their shoes off, or do they run riot while you quietly wish they would listen? 

The volume of traffic that goes across your carpets every day (and what’s on their feet at the time) will have an impact on the carpet cleaner you need, as well as whether you should buy or hire one. 

Additional Features – There are some fantastic additional features that need to be considered when you are looking at your new handheld carpet cleaner. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Quick-dry mode: this user less water for speedy cleans and fast drying times. 
  • Auto-mix: this mixes the detergent and water for you, saving you time.
  • Crevice tool: this is used for reaching those tight nooks and crannies. 
  • Detergent spray: this is used to pre-treat tough stains before washing. 
  • Handheld scrub brush: this makes cleaning stairs and upholstery a whole lot easier. 
  • Water tank heater: this keeps the water warm to ensure cleaning remains effective.
Handheld or Full? – While this guide focuses on the handheld models, you do have to ask yourself which one you need for your household. 

The handheld carpet cleaners are light, compact, and easy to store after use. However, they do require you to be on your hands and knees pushing them across the floor.

The full models are steered like a standard vacuum cleaner and often come with more features and a larger capacity. But, they are also harder to store away and tend to be heavy, as well as difficult to use on stairs and other tight areas. 

Purchase or Hire? – Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you really need one in the home. Consider your traffic levels, the dirt, and how often you will realistically use it. 

Owning your own is fantastic, but if you are only going to use it a couple of times a year it makes more sense to pick up a hired model – cheaper and it can be returned once you’re done. 

Warranty – Your warranty should be at least one year in duration, and it should cover both parts and labour in the case it breaks down. 

Many companies will also offer an extended warranty, and this often reaches around five years in length. It’s always worth checking out the warranty and the options that it provides before you buy. 

Final Thoughts

The carpet cleaner is a prized possession for those who have carpets in their home, and without it, your floor will never be truly clean. Go try it out, you’ll see that the water comes back murky and brown even if you vacuum every day. 

Each of the carpet cleaners we have chosen to showcase here is top of the range, providing you with flexibility and excellent cleaning power – not to mention some great accessories. 

Of course, we also know that everyone has a different budget, and so we have ensured that a brilliant selection of prices is available so that you can find a model that blends with your life. 

What did you think of our handheld carpet cleaner guide? Did you find the cleaning solution for old grime and dirt, or do you remain unconvinced that you need one? 

No matter your feedback, we love hearing from you so make sure you leave us a message in the comment section below.

Last Updated on February 3, 2022 by Gemma Tyler Protection Status