Best Carpet Cleaner For Stairs

Cleaning carpeted stairs can be repetitive and tiresome without the right tools. The best carpet cleaner for stairs should have a lengthy power cable and sufficiently sized hose, and deliver powerful output.  This guide looks into the top picks.

The best carpet cleaner for stairs will be a high value addition to your cleaning arsenal if you have carpeted stairs. This section of carpet will most likely experience the highest rate of foot traffic, often  needing the most work to keep clean.

There are many cleaning options available that are just not compatible with stairs. This buying guide and product review offers a detailed look at some of the best options for stairs to help you find an ideal pick. We also offer handy stair cleaning tips to help improve your efficiency and keep your stairs neat for longer. We hope to help you find a model that suits your exact needs with this carefully curated list.

 Portable Brandcall to action
Bissell 3624 SpotClean Portable vacuum carpet cleanerYesBissellCheck Price
Rug Doctor Upright mobile vacuum carpet cleanerYesRug DoctorCheck Price
Bissell 1400B Multipurpose vacuum carpet cleanerYesBissellCheck Price
Bissell Little Green ProHeat 14259 Carpet cleanerYesBissellCheck Price
Bissell SpotBet 33N8 Mobile vacuum carpet cleanerYesBissellCheck Price
Rug Doctor SpotCleaner Portable vacuum carpet cleanerYesRug DoctorCheck Price
Bissel 5207A vacuum carpet cleanerYesBissellCheck Price
Housmile 12KPA vacuum carpet cleanerYesHousemileCheck Price

A Review Of The Best Carpet Cleaners For Stairs

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Portable Vacuum Carpet Cleaner

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner - Corded

$160.00  in stock
20 new from $160.00
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  • Every Bissell purchase helps save pets. Bissell proudly supports Bissell pet foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets.
  • Our most powerful portable spot and stain cleaner for carpets, stairs, upholstery, auto interiors, and more.
  • Combines superior suction, scrubbing action and professional cleaning solution to remove stubborn pet stains, embedded dirt and more.
  • Provides a deep clean that leaves you with professional-style results.
  • Permanently removes tough messes and protects from future stains with the power of stain protect.

The Bissell 3624 SpotClean Portable Vacuum Carpet Cleaner is a portable and high output option that will help you get your stairs clean with minimal fuss. The lightweight model is very compact, making it ideal to carry up or down your stairs when cleaning.  It removes stains and odors effectively, and works well in tight spaces.

This model is one of the best portable options available, and includes great features such as a large capacity water tank and long power cord. It also offers a variety of brushes and attachments for easier cleaning. With a 5.7 amp output, this cleaner will deliver the powerful suction necessary to clean your carpeted stairs and other thick fabric without increasing the risk of mold.


  • Great suction force
  • Compact size for portability and convenient storage
  • Lengthy power cord cuts down the need to re-plug
  • Effective cleaner with a range of accessories


  • Not the most rigid hose

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Rug Doctor Upright Mobile Vacuum Carpet Cleaner

Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner, Large and Portable, Red

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  • Cleaning tank capacity (gallons) - 1. Dual cross action brushes oscillate and rotate to scrub carpet fibers from every angle powering away dirt and stains to deliver a professional-grade deep clean and soft, plush results
  • 75 percent more suction than comparable carpet cleaning machines slashes drying time; quick dry in four hours or less; simple lift clean and dirty water tanks make refilling and emptying easy
  • Rated Gold for Best in Class Cleaning Performance by CRI (Carpet + Rug Institute); cleans deeper than other comparable machines and will not void carpet’s.Cord Length (ft.):28
  • "Super Boost” gives an extra “boost” to highly trafficked or heavily soiled areas that require extra attention; perfect for old stains, rental houses, apartments, pet stains, coffee, wine, and juice
  • Includes removable tool caddy and upholstery tool for spot treating stains or cleaning tricky spaces like car interiors, area rugs, stairs, pet beds, furniture, or other hard-to-reach areas. Voltage: 120 V

The Rug Doctor Upright Mobile Vacuum Carpet Cleaner will be heavier than some more compact options featured below, but its upright design works to improve its efficiency in tight spaces. It also offers a lengthy hose and cord, as well as a number of attachments which make it ideal for use on your stairs.

The powerful suction force, which is up to 75% more than some of the powerful options available, ensures you can dry your upholstery or carpet without causing any mold or mildew.  It is designed with a dual tank for added convenience when working.

When it comes to storage, the collapsible design should allow you to find a compact, secure storage space for your cleaner. It is a bulkier option than other handheld picks featured, but it should work on your stairs without a problem.


  • Powerful suction for quicker drying
  • Mobile design and compact build
  • Versatile cleaner works well on different surfaces and fabrics
  • Very easy to maintain


  • Limited portability when compared to other models featured

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Bissell 1400B Multipurpose Vacuum Carpet Cleaner

Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 1400B

$123.59  in stock
2 new from $123.59
16 used from $76.25
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  • Every Purchase Saves Pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets..Hose Length 4'
  • Removes Spots & Stains. Lift away messes from carpets, upholstery, car interiors and more. Power Rating: 3 Amps, Power Source: Corded, Power Cord Length - 15'
  • Strong Spray & Suction. Remove tough pet stains with strong spray and suction.
  • Large Tank Capacity. 48 oz. tank means you can clean more between refills.
  • Tools & Formula Included. Comes with 3" Tough Stain Tool, HydroRinse Self-Cleaning Hose Tool and an 8 oz. trial-size Spot & Stain with Febreze Freshness formula.

The 1-year warranty offered on the Bissell 1400B Multipurpose Vacuum Carpet Cleaner should go some way to guaranteeing the quality and output of a great product. This carpet cleaner is made from recycled plastic, and features an otherwise sturdy and reliable build. It is very compact and lightweight, which makes it ideal for use on your stairs.

It is a very effective option which features strong suction force that allows for quicker drying. This vacuum cleaner offers an extendable hose as well, which increases the reach over tough spots.  The large capacity tank will reduce the need for refills when cleaning. For proper use, you should not overfill the water tank as this may cause leakage which could interfere with the operation and longevity of your cleaner.


  • Slim and compact design for added portability
  • Large cleaning width and lengthy cord
  • Environmentally friendly recycled build
  • Large tank capacity


  • Water tank may leak if overfilled

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Bissell Little Green ProHeat 14259 Carpet Cleaner

BISSELL Little Green ProHeat Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 14259

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  • Compact multipurpose wet vacuum delivers thorough deep cleaning (Not a steam cleaner)
  • Powerful spray and suction clean and help dry in one step; stores ready to use. Power rating: 9 Amps
  • Built in hot water heater for enhanced results; Separate clean/dirty water tanks and dirt collection tank capacity 48 ounces
  • Flexible hose, tough stain brush, and spraying crevice tool included. 48 ounces dirty tank capacity
  • Ships with certified frustration free packaging. Weight: 13 pounds, hose length is 4 feet. Do not carry the appliance while in use

Bissell continues its great tradition of quality and convenience with the Bissell Little Green ProHeat 14259 Carpet Cleaner. This option is very portable and effective, which makes it a great pick for stairs. It will comfortably handle the increased risk of dirt arising from a higher foot traffic. The model is compact and lightweight, adding to its great design for convenient mobility.

It also offers a built-in water heater for steaming, which ensures stains are removed faster from your carpet. The 9 amp output delivers enough power for quick heating, allowing you to get started within minutes. It does have a limited suction force, but can offer desirable drying with a few more passes over your clean and wet surface.


  • Large water tank capacity
  • Built-in water heater for steaming
  • Very effective vacuum steam cleaner


  • Not the strongest suction force

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Bissell SpotBet 33N8 Mobile Vacuum Carpet Cleaner

SpotBot Pet handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology 33N8

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  • Every BISSELL purchase helps save pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets.
  • Get rid of messes without getting your hands dirty. This hands free portable carpet cleaner does all the scrubbing for you
  • Preset cleaning cycles that automatically spray, brush, and suction to permanently remove both surface and tough set-in pet stains. Just push the button to clean.
  • Equipped with two hands-free cleaning modes, quick clean for fresh stains and deep clean for set in stains, so you can get the right level of cleaning
  • Includes trial-size Pet Stain and Odor, Pet Oxy Boost Formula and a 3" tough stain tool. Hose length - 5 feet

With a built-in Microban Antimicrobial protection component, the Bissell SpotBet 33N8 Mobile Vacuum Carpet Cleaner will be as great a tool for disinfecting and pest control as it is for cleaning. This portable vacuum cleaner is lightweight and compact. It is designed for pet accidents, but will comfortably handle other stains and odors on your stairs carpeting.

It automatically manages the delivery of cleaning agents and water over surfaces, ensuring effective use every time, an  also features a large number of attachments, which makes it ideal for use on your upholstery and other fabrics. This cleaner features Spiral Brushing Action, which provides a thorough scrub to ensure fewer passes over every surface. It does offer limited suction, which means that you will need to dry your carpet or upholstery a bit more after cleaning.


  • DeepReach technology offers thorough cleaning
  • Hands free cleaning can be convenient
  • Great brushes and other accessories
  • Offers antimicrobial protection


  • Not the strongest suction force

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Rug Doctor Spot Cleaner Portable Vacuum Carpet Cleaner

Carpet Cleaning Machine | Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner 5.5 Foot Hose

$228.20  in stock
1 new from $228.20
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  • Portable Spot Cleaner only weighs 15 pounds, but can hold 64 ounces of solution; removable water tanks are easy to fill and empty
  • Manages deep down stain removal with a powerful handheld oscillating motorized brush that makes 1200 movements per minute
  • Functions with twice the suction of leading competitors to extract stains faster and shorten dry time
  • With retractable handle, 5.5 foot hose and maneuverable, carpet-friendly wheels, Portable Spot Cleaner easily hits hard to reach places in home, office or auto
  • Designed for everyday cleaning, Portable Spot Cleaner feathers cleaned area so newly cleaned carpet fibers blend well with surrounding ones

The compact Rug Doctor SpotCleaner Portable Vacuum Carpet Cleaner will fit easily on a stair while you work. It is lightweight and well designed for portable use. It also works well in tight spaces, and offers no problems when used up or down a set of stairs.

It’s a great pick thanks to its powerful suction force, which ensures shorter drying times. This can be crucial to minimizing the risk of mold and mildew. The extended handle and wheels contribute to a mobile design that will make it very easy to use on stairs. It also comes with a 2-year warranty, which should offer some guarantee over its longevity.

Remember to close the dirty water tank securely to avoid any leakage that could require more work.


  • Lengthy power cord and hose for added value
  • Powerful suction force powered by 10 amp motor
  • Lightweight design and build
  • Extendable handle and rotating wheels for increased mobility


  • Dirty water tank side opening will leak if not secured properly

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Bissel 5207A Vacuum Carpet Cleaner

BISSELL SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner, 5207A

$358.00  in stock
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  • Heatwave Technology maintains consistent water temperature while cleaning
  • 3" Tough Stain tool for cleaning stairs, upholstery and hard-to-reach places
  • Deep Reach Tool removes embedded dirt and stains from the bottom up
  • Removable water tanks for easy filling and emptying
  • Trial size Oxy Gen2 and 2X Spot & Stain Formula included

The Bissel 5207A Vacuum Carpet Cleaner is a portable option that works well on carpets, upholstery and even vehicles. The versatile cleaner features a powerful suction force which ensures an easier time when cleaning your work surface. It’s also very easy to use, assemble and store.

It also features a sturdy grip handle for added accuracy during use, and will help get the most deeply embedded stains out of your carpet thanks to its penetration power. It also features a large number of attachments and brushes for thorough cleaning across different surfaces.


  • Very compact and lightweight design
  • DeepReach technology removes very deeply embedded dirt and debris
  • Very easy to store


  • Not the most efficient sprayer

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Housmile 12KPA Vacuum Carpet Cleaner

Housmile Upgraded 836 UV Vacuum Cleaner, 12Kpa Powerful Suction with Concealed Telescopic Handle, Effectively Clean up Mattresses, Pillows, Curtains, Sofas and Carpets

$89.99  in stock
1 new from $89.99
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  • [ Newest Version ]: 836 is the newest model of Housmile UV vacuum cleaner, It has more powerful suction (up to 12Kpa) and longer power cord(16.4ft), advanced concealed telescopic handle designed for no-bend over cleaning.
  • [ High Efficiency ]: 253.7nm UV tube and 130℉ high-temperature hot air ensure high efficiency of removing pollution: the rate of removing pollution is almost up to 99.7%. Please NOTE this item is mostly used for Eliminating Mites, instead of absorbing the dust.
  • [ HEPA Filtration ]: The whole machine HEPA filtration captures 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns and releases the fresh air, 3*2.75 inches larger filtra area improve the efficiency of cleaning, and reduce the possibility of blocked by large particles of dust.
  • [ 400ML Capacity Dust Box ]: The structure of this UV vacuum cleaner is of elaborate and compact in design, upgraded 400ml built-in dust chamber capacity meeting all the expectations of quality and performance.
  • [ Safety Design ]: Housmile 836 UV vacuum cleaner features sophisticated security system. To protect you from radiation, the 253.7nm UV tube works only when three wheels landed together.

The Housmile 12KPA Vacuum Carpet Cleaner is our best antimicrobial cleaner for stairs. This option features a HEPA filter and UV tube for efficient antimicrobial action. It will kill up to 99.7% of germs, which is an added perk to getting your stairs clean. While it is not as effective as other options listed, it will deliver a great performance on a large number of fabrics and surfaces.

The powerful suction will pick up any pests and debris, as well as dry your surfaces faster to protect them against mold and mildew. If you are worried about getting your stairs clean and protecting your family from germs, this model could be a high value pick.


  • Powerful HEPA filter kills up to 99.7% of germs
  • Very easy to use and store
  • Long handle for increased reach in tight spaces


  • Not ideal for large stains

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Why Is A Portable Vacuum Cleaner Ideal For Stairs?

As you’ve noticed, most of our picks for the best carpet cleaner for stairs are portable options. The compact size and lightweight frame offer  convenience and comfort, allowing you to get your work done with ease.  These are the key benefits of working with a portable carpet cleaner on your stairs.

Compact size

Handheld carpet cleaners will  generally be about half the size of other cleaners at most. This makes them ideal for  very tight spaces, such as a staircase. The size allows you to tackle each stair individually and accurately for a sparkling clean outcome. Despite the size, many models feature a tough build designed to handle some falls.


The compact size allows for a lighter build, with most models weighing less than five pounds. This means that you can put them to use for longer without feeling fatigue, and can use them on your stairs without any risk of falling. It also offers value for parents who are looking to involve their kids in cleaning.

Ease of use

These cleaning machines are very straightforward and will be easy to use. Both corded and cordless models can be easily transported up or down your stairs as you work, which offers full mobility as well. They are an ideal tool for quick cleanups!

How To Clean Your Stairs When You Do Not Have A Carpet Cleaner

Installing a carpet on your stairs will improve the appeal of your home and make them safer for use. But keeping the carpet clean can be tough. The complex shape and high foot traffic on each step, as well as the increased pressure put on dirt or debris combines to make cleaning your stairs challenging work. A carpet cleaner will be a handy tool to have around as it will help cut down the workload. If you do not have one, you can try to replicate the process and clean your stairs.

First, you will need to vacuum over the entire area. Some vacuum cleaners may be too heavy to use down the stairs and may topple you over. If your vacuum cleaner is too bulky, we recommend running a monitored test, with the help of another person. Vacuuming your stairs helps to remove the dirt and loosen  any that is pressed into your carpet. This will make the next steps more effective. In fact, we recommend that you vacuum your stairs very frequently to help keep them cleaner for longer.

You should then brush and sweep your stairs to get to the harder to reach dirt that may have been missed by your vacuum cleaner, such as in the corners where your carpet meets the stairs. Working your way down will help you find all the hidden dirt.

You will then need to shampoo your carpet, which is the same effect as deep cleaning carpet cleaners offer. This will help break down all the dirt that is embedded into your carpet and ensure a thoroughly desirable finish.

Once you are through with shampoo, you should rinse it off and let your carpet dry out. Every carpet will take different amounts of  time to dry.  You should limit all foot traffic until your carpet is clean, which might mean cleaning the carpet at night for a lot of people.

How To Clean Your Carpeted Stairs The Old Fashioned Way

You can also get your carpet clean by hand, but it can be an even more tedious cleaning process than using your traditional vacuum cleaner in the alternative we’ve mentioned.  If you have the time, you could have your carpet looking sparkling clean without the help of a machine.

Remember, some carpets may react badly to cleaning agents, so it is important that you test for colorfastness before cleaning your carpet  every time you try out a new option. These two tips should help you keep your carpeted stairs clean by hand.

  • You can keep your carpet clean by brushing it to remove any debris that may have lodged into your carpet.  Agitate the entire surface thoroughly, and sweep over it with a fine brush to keep your carpet clean. You should do this at least 6 times a month. The method is ineffective for some spills, urine and other odor-causing agents.
  • Cleaning with vinegar can help you address these types of stains on stairs. If you want to wash out a deep set stain, you could consider scrubbing over the area with a mixture of white vinegar and warm water. It will take a lot of elbow grease for brighter carpets, so you should be prepared for some effort. Adding a few drops of essential oil in your water will leave your stairs smelling fresh.

Best Carpet Cleaner For Stairs: Final Word

These models offer great value for stairs because they are designed to fit in compact spaces and offer attachments that facilitate easier cleaning of a generally tougher surface.  Their level of output is also very high, and these picks should help you  solve your cleaning needs.

The Bissell 3624 SpotClean Portable Vacuum Carpet Cleaner is our top pick because it delivers a very effective cleaning experience. The powerful model offers value for money with its rich range of features and convenient additions such as a 22-foot power cord. It will offer mobility as well, which will further reduce your workload for stairs. If you are looking for a great option for your home, the Bissell SpotClean Portable Vacuum Cleaner should be one of your go-to picks.