When it comes to carpet cleaners it is hard to look past Bissell and Vax. They are the market leaders by some distance and have been in the carpet cleaning business for decades.
The Bissell Stain Pro range of carpet cleaners are the result of decades of learning how to clean carpets properly.
There are 3 models in the stain pro range, the stain pro 4, stain pro 6 and stain pro 10.
The 3 fundamental differences between them are the number of brushes used in the cleaning process, the weight of each cleaner and whether or not they have heatwave technology (explained later).
Weight. The stainpro 4 is the lightest of the 3 at 8kg, the stainpro 6 comes in at 9kg and the stain pro 10 is 11kg.
There is not much between the 4 and the 6 but the jump to 11kg for the 10 does make it quite heavy and you should only really consider this one for large homes or semi-commercial use because it doesn’t really deliver much more cleaning performance than the 6.
Number of brushes. The secret is in the name, with the stain pro 4 coming with 4 brushes, the 6 has 6 brushes and the 10 has 10 brushes. We got amazing cleaning results from the stain pro 6 and can’t see how there would be much to gain from paying more for the 10.
Heatwave technology. The stain pro 4 does not come with Bissell’s heatwave technology but the 6 and 10 do.
Your carpets will clean better if you use hot water rather than cold so you should always fill up the water tank with hot water before you start cleaning.
However, the water will cool quite quickly and the cooler it gets the less you will get maximum cleaning performance.
This is where the “heatwave technology” feature on the stain pro 6 and stain pro 10 comes into play.
Bissell has a heating element that keeps the water in the cleaning tank hot all the time ensuring it never cools down and never reduces the cleaning performance because of cold water.
Just this feature alone is worth the small upgrade to the stain pro 6 compared to the stain pro 4 never mind the 6 brushes compared to 4 brushes.
Single Water tank. Most carpet cleaners come with 2 water tanks with one delivering water and cleaning solution onto the carpet and the other one collecting the dirty water as it is sucked up from the carpet.
All 3 models in the stain pro range come with just one water tank making them more convenient to use than 2 tank machines.
The way it works is pretty simple as well with a membrane divider that keeps the clean and dirty water separate from each other without reducing the overall capacity of the water tank.
The whole tank can be filled with clean water and cleaning solution to start with and as it is dispensed onto the carpet the level goes down and makes way for the dirty water to be collected but without mixing with the clean water. Very simple but clever.
The capacity is different on all three models. 2.8 litres on the 4, 3.7 litres on the 6 and 5.6 litres on the 10.
The sweet spot is the 3.7 litres capacity on the stain pro 6 which will allow you to clean a big chunk of carpet without having to empty it too often.
Cleaning performance. On the stainpro 6 the cleaning performance was absolutely superb on dirty carpet that had been ingrained over years.
The 6 hard-bristled brushes dig right down to the bottom of the carpet fibres and really do pull out all of the dirt bringing your carpets back to new.
The way to get the best result is to do two passes for each strip of carpet you are cleaning.
Press the trigger on the handle down to release the water and cleaning solution onto the carpet and then once you have covered one section in a straight line cover the same section again but WITHOUT pressing the trigger down.
What this does is allow any excess dirty water to be picked up and it runs the brushes through the carpet fibre again.
If you pre-treat the carpet first and do one pass with water and another without you will get superior results.
One key tip when it comes to cleaning carpets that makes a HUGE difference is to pre-treat them.
Something like a Vanish carpet cleaner spray or any one of a bunch of carpet cleaning sprays that you can pick up at Amazon or the supermarket.
They work ok on their own and do a reasonable job in helping to freshen up a carpet and make it look better than it did before but when you combine them with the power of a Bissell Stain Pro carpet cleaner it really does make a big difference and will see your carpet coming up like new.
Accessories. Cleaning stairs is a breeze with the hose attached to the main body of the cleaner.
One button switches operation to the hose and with the 2.1 length you should be able to reach 7 stairs from the bottom and then just place the cleaner at the top of the stairs to clean the rest.
You also get a separate upholstery attachment for sofa’s, mattresses and more.
When it comes to cleaning performance combined with value for money Bissell hit the sweet spot perfectly with their stain pro range of carpet cleaners.
The stain pro 6 with 6 rows of bristled brushes provides excellent value for money and excellent cleaning performance and would be our pick of the “stain pro” range.
You can pay less for the stain pro 4 or more for the stain pro 10 with 4 and 10 brushes respectively but we think the 6 will do the job on the vast majority of carpets no matter how dirty they are.
An all-round excellent carpet cleaner that will provide many years of trusted service to the carpets that take a beating in your home.
Here is a short video with some tips for getting the best clean from of a Bissell carpet cleaner: