Top 7 Best Carpet Cleaners for Stairs

Best Carpet Cleaner for Stairs

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Carpets can be really hard to clean, which is why carpet cleaners were invented. However, cleaning carpets on stairs is whole different ball game, because those steps can make it really hard to maneuver with most normal carpet shampooers.

Today we are here to help you find the best carpet cleaner for stairs. We’ve got a great buyer’s guide to help you figure out what the most important features and purchasing factors are, plus we have reviewed some of the best possible stair carpet cleaning units out there too.


Carpet Cleaner for Stairs

[products_table label_1=”Best Overall” label_2=”Best Carpet Spot Cleaner”]

Carpet Cleaner for Stairs – Buying Guide & FAQ

Considerations to Make when Buying a Carpet Cleaner for Stairs

Before you go out and buy any carpet cleaner for stairs, there are some major considerations that you need to keep in mind first.

Weight & Size

Something that you should look out for when purchasing a carpet stain remover for steps is how large and heavy the unit in question is. Simply put, you can’t use a large full size carpet cleaner designed for flat surfaces on stairs. The unit in question needs to be small and lightweight enough to maneuver up and down stairs with relative ease.

Tank Size

Something else to keep an eye on when purchasing a stair cleaning machine is how large the water tank or cleaning solution tank is. Simply put, the larger the water tank is, the more you can clean without having to refill it.
Keep in mind that a good stair cleaner needs a tank for the clean water or cleaning solution, as well as for the dirty water it needs to suck up after the carpet is clean. On a side note, finding a unit that is easy to fill and to empty is a bonus.

Steam and/or Shampoo

Yet another purchasing factor to look out for is how the unit in question actually cleans carpets. Does it use only steam or hot water? Does it allow for some sort of detergent or cleaning solution to be used? Or does it maybe allow for both?
For the toughest and deepest carpets, and for the most serious of stains, finding a unit that can do both is a big deal. Generally speaking, the hotter the water can be heated up to, the more effective it will be at removing tough stains.

The Brush Roll

The next factor to look out for when purchasing a steam and carpet cleaner is what kind of brush roll it features. This is an important component, because the quality of the brush roll will determine how deep of stains the unit in question can remove from carpets, and how well overall it cleans the carpet.
A good brush roll will have plenty of rows of brushes, it will move fast, and be stiff enough to penetrate deep into carpets.

Vacuum Power

Any carpet shampooer and cleaner worth its money should also come with very strong suction power. Once the cleaning solution, hot water, and the brush roll have loosened dirt and removed stains from a carpet, that dirty dark water then needs to be sucked back up.
Therefore, any model you get needs to have suction power strong enough to remove as much water and dirt from any given area as possible.

Carpet Drying

A select few carpet cleaners will also come with a drying function to help dry carpets quickly, so you can get back to walking on them. Some may not come with heated drying, but all models should work to suck away as much water as possible, thus allowing for quick drying.

Full Size vs Handheld

The other thing to consider here is whether you want a handheld or full size unit. Full size units, ones that are not too large, can be used for large areas and stairs alike, although some may be too large for stairs.
On the other hand, handheld units are much smaller and way better for maneuvering stairs, but you won’t be cleaning full size carpets with them, at least not very efficiently.

How long after carpet cleaning can you walk on it?

Most professional services will recommend that you wait at least 6 hours for the carpet to dry before walking on it.

What do carpet shampooers do?

Carpet shampooers or carpet cleaners are designed to spray a hot cleaning solution onto a carpet, loosen stains and dirt with a brush roll, and then suck up the dirty water via vacuum suction.

Will all carpet cleaners work for pet hair?

Generally speaking no, if you want to suck up lots of pet hair, you will need a brush roll specially designed for such. Pet hair will usually cause tangles with normal brush rolls.

Should I vacuum before steam cleaning?

It does help to vacuum carpets first, just to remove as much loose dirt as possible before moving on to using a steam or shampoo cleaner.

The Best Carpet Cleaner for Stairs

Here is a selection of the best steam cleaners for stairs, and yes, they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Upright Carpet Cleaner

BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Upright Carpet CleanerThis particular carpet cleaner is absolutely one of the best ones out there. After all, it is our top pick. One reason why this particular carpet cleaner is our top pick is because it comes with various nifty attachments that are great for stairs, for pet hair, upholstery, and more.

Moreover, here you also get two bottles of carpet cleaning liquid that can be poured right into the canister of this machine. This cleaning liquid has great stain fighting and lifting power, plus it’s tough on grease too. Simply turn the deep clean function on in order to utilize this feature.

The BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Upright Carpet Cleaner comes with 12 rows of bristles in the rotating power brush, and the bristles are large and stiff enough to remove all kinds of dirt and hair from your carpets. Of course, there is also the fact that this thing weighs well under 20 lbs, making it ideal for use on stairs.

Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner

Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet CleanerIf you need a good spot cleaner for your carpet, not a full carpet cleaner, but just for select spots, the Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner is definitely a good option to consider. For one, this thing is very lightweight and compact. It fits neatly into most closets and doesn’t take up much space, plus it should be light enough to hold with a single hand.

Yes, this carpet cleaner does come with a tank so you can insert water and/or carpet cleaning solution, which it then dispenses out of the hose, and then sucks back in using the suction feature. In other words, this is a powerful vacuum that has more than enough suction power to inhale even heavy pieces of debris on your carpets, plus it also cleans stains with liquid cleaner.

The Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner also comes complete with a stair cleaner attachment and a tough stain tool. Moreover, this machine is great for removing pet hair from carpets as well.

BISSELL PowerBrush Full Sized Carpet Steamer

BISSELL PowerBrush Full Sized Carpet SteamerBissel is a highly trusted brand name when it comes to the world of cleaning, and they have seemingly delivered another great produce in the BISSELL PowerBrush Full Sized Carpet Steamer. Now it’s not the smallest or most compact carpet steamer in the world, as it is called a full sized carpet steamer, therefore making it ideal for fairly large areas. However, it does feature a design fairly ideal for steaming and cleaning stairs too. It’s not overly heavy, so most should be able to lift it up and down stairs without issue. The BISSELL PowerBrush Full Sized Carpet Steamer allows you to both steam and shampoo your carpets, and it even has a very large tank capacity too, plus the tank is a 2 in 1 model as well. This particular model comes with a 5 row rotating dirt lifting brush, a 3 inch tough stain tool, a 2 in 1 crevice spraying tool, and a special tool for bare floors as well.

Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner

Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet CleanerThe Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner features and extremely lightweight and compact design. It is ideal for steam cleaning smaller carpets, rugs, and stairs alike, as it’s very light and easy to maneuver. This unit is ideal for high traffic areas, as it comes complete with a high quality and high speed brush roll that can lift grime and grit out of carpets very well. Moreover, as the name of the product implies, it is specially designed to deal with pet hair, something which not many other models can do. It’s got a whole lot of power behind it. Moreover, the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner also comes with so called HeatForce power, or in other words, it dries your carpets as it cleans. Overall it’s quite a high quality unit in every way.

BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner

BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet CleanerWhen it comes to portable carpet shampooers, this might just be one of the best options out there right now. This is nowhere near a full size carpet cleaner, as it comes in a very compact, small, and lightweight design. You could easily carry it with one hand while using the nozzle to clean the carpet with the other. It can easily be maneuvered up and down stairs due to its special design. What does need to be said is that this is a spot cleaner designed for eliminating tough spots, specifically stains from pets and other liquids that create stubborn stains. This unit comes complete with a tough stain tool as well as a pet trapper tool for pet hair. The BISSELL SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner comes with a small brush head, strong suction power, and the ability to shampoo carpets as well. The long hose allows you to get to hard to reach places.

Bissell SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot Cleaner

Bissell SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot CleanerHere we have a great little tool designed for use on stairs, small spots, and other such areas. This is a handheld unit designed to be very lightweight and portable. It’s small enough to fit under the kitchen sink and more than lightweight enough to maneuver up and down stairs with ease. Keep in mind that this unit is made to spot clean small areas and stairs, but not for full size carpets, as it would take too long. The Bissell SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot Cleaner does come with a fairly large water tank considering its small size, and yes, the water gets heated up to a very hot temperature to combat stains, specifically pet stains in this case. This cleaner comes with a 3 inch tough stain tools that sprays the cleaning formula into carpets, scrubs it around, and then lifts the dirt and grime out, and it even works for pet hair too.

Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner

Rug Doctor Deep Carpet CleanerRug Doctor is another highly trusted brand name when it comes to the world of carpet cleaning, and here they have delivered a fairly durable and high quality carpet cleaning unit. This unit is not quite as small or portable as some of the others we have reviewed today. However, it is still compact and light enough to lift up and down stairs, while also being large enough to deal with large carpets and full size cleaning jobs. It comes with high powered suction, a super powered brush roll, and the ability to infuse carpets with a mix of hot water and cleaning solution. It appears to do a tremendous job at lifting heavy stains out of carpets, even deep and thick carpets. The suction here is quite high powered, which also helps to suck the water out of the cleaned carpet, thus allowing it to dry much quicker.


The bottom line is that if you expect to get carpets clean, especially ones on stairs, you need a unit designed specifically for the task at hand. A small and portable unit that can douse the carpet in hot water and cleaning solution, remove stuck on stains and dirt with a high powered brush roll, and then suck up all the dirty water is what you need. We would highly recommend checking out any of the carpet cleaners and shampooers which we have reviewed today.

Susan G Baird

Susan G Baird

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