December 27, 2020

Upholstery Cleaner Machine: Leading Products in 2021 & Complete Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to keeping your furniture looking clean and stain-free, nothing works better than an upholstery cleaner machine. Purchasing one of these machines is a much more affordable option than hiring a professional cleaning service and it allows you to stay on top of messes, before they have a chance to set in and ruin your furniture.

So, if you want to save some serious cash, and you want a way to keep your furniture looking new and spotless, then you’ve come to the right place. My buyer’s guide includes all the information you’ll need to know to make an informed decision when you’re shopping for an upholstery cleaner. I’ve also done all the product research for you, testing out many of the best-selling models on the market. My list of the leading four upholstery cleaners includes models that will work for any budget. But even better, these appliances are built tough, loaded with some great features, and designed to last.

Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists each of the models on my list, including their best features and how they rated.

Upholstery Cleaner Machine Comparison Chart

Top Pick

PurSteam Steam Cleaner
• Corded
• 9 Attachments
• 350 ml. Tank Size
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Bissell Upholstery Cleaner• Corded
• 1 Attachment
• 48 oz. Tank Size
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Hoover Upholstery Cleaner• Corded
• 1 Attachment
• 36 oz. Tank Size
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Hoover Upholstery Cleaner• Cordless
• 1 Attachment
• 9 oz. Tank Size
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PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

Top Pick

Our Rating: (5/5)

This model earned top marks for its stain lifting abilities, making it a great choice for your go-to upholstery cleaning appliance. This model uses hot pressurized steam that works to eliminate stains, mold, and grime. The steam cleaner is also highly portable, thanks to its lightweight design. It also comes with a nine-foot cord and is approved for both indoor and outdoor use. The nine-piece accessory kit is designed to help you clean those hard to reach spaces and tough stains.


  • Nine attachments
  • Long cord
  • Approved for indoor and outdoor use
  • Highly portable


  • Short cord


This powerful upholstery cleaner can eliminate deep down stains, mold, grime, and more. Its lightweight design will allow you to easily carry the appliance up and down the stairs, while the hot pressurized steam works like a charm when it comes to completely dissolving even the toughest stains.

Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This model can be used to clean both upholstery and carpets and includes a powerful suction that’s able to reach those tough deep-down stains. It’s designed for both small and large stains and comes with a removable water tank that has a forty-eight-ounce capacity, which means fewer refills. The Hydro Rinse attachment is versatile and features powerful spraying action that’s designed to break up tough stains.


  • Portable
  • Powerful suction
  • Works on both carpet and upholstery
  • Large water tank


  • Only includes one attachment


This model is very versatile, so you can use it on both your carpet and upholstery for spills, pet accidents, tough stains, and older stains. The big drawback here is that it only comes with a single attachment, which may be a deal-breaker for some potential buyers. In the future, I’d like to see Bissel include a variety of attachments that can be used based on stain type.

Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The Hoover carpet and upholstery cleaner is versatile, easy to use, and is designed to reach deep down into the surface of couches and other types of furniture, to remove old stains, bacteria, and mold. The innovative tank design will separate dirty and clean water, making the reservoir easier to empty, fill, and clean. The machine itself is portable and lightweight, so it’s easy to transport and carry. The self-cleaning hose works by automatically flushing out any debris remaining in the hose, to prevent bacteria growth and unwanted smells.


  • Dual tank design
  • Multipurpose scrubbing tool
  • Lightweight
  • Highly portable


  • Small water tank


This model is able to remove everyday spills and stains in upholstery and carpet, and works to eliminate pet stains, food and beverage stains, and mold. The unique dual tank design promotes ease of use and makes refilling and emptying out the tank a breeze. Overall, this is a great buy for homeowners in need of a powerful, durable, and versatile machine that can keep both their carpet and upholstery looking new and smelling fresh.

Hoover ONEPWR Spotless GO Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

Our Rating: (4/5)

This is a highly portable, cordless upholstery and carpet cleaner that’s designed to tackle pet messes, spills, and accidents, easily and quickly. The cordless design makes using this cleaner convenient and simple, without the hassle of being held back by a short cord. This model is compact, for easier transport and storage. The included multipurpose pet tool is designed to easily scrub and lift tough stains, while the dual water tank will separate the clean water and solution, so emptying out the tank is fast and easy.


  • Dual tank
  • Lightweight
  • Multipurpose
  • Cordless


  • Small tank
  • Long charge time


This lightweight, highly portable upholstery and carpet clean is versatile, easy to use, and allows you to tackle every area in the home, without being tethered to a cord. The included multipurpose pet tool is designed to remove pet hair and old and fresh stains, working to keep your upholstery and carpet looking new. The dual tank design makes it easier to refill and empty the tank, although the smaller tank size means you may need to refill it while you clean, which can be a drawback for some buyers. Overall, the cleaner offers powerful suction, a compact design, and the type of versatility that most buyers are looking for.

Upholstery Cleaner Machine Buyer’s Guide

Owning an upholstery cleaner will come in handy, especially if you live with pets or you have small children. These machines are designed to clean old and new stains, keeping your furniture looking new smelling fresh. A good upholstery cleaning machine can remove oils, proteins, dyes, and tannin. It will also lift stains using a built-in scrubbing tool, can absorb as much cleaning product as possible, leaving the furniture mildly damp, not soaking wet, and will help to remove odors, leaving a fresh scent behind.

According to family medicine doctor Amy Zack “Pillows and upholstery can carry germs of all types, and the biggest risk is actually insects, not bacteria or viruses.”

Now, let’s learn more about the benefits of owning one of these appliances and how you can put them to work in the home.

Benefits of Upholstery Cleaner Machine

cleaning the couch

If you’re looking online for a new upholstery cleaner, then the odds are you’re tired of replacing your stained furniture, shelling out your hard earned money to have professional cleaners come in, or you’ve spent plenty of your own time scrubbing out stains caused by kids, pets, or messy roommates. Owning your own upholstery cleaner will allow you to stay on top of stains, removing them as soon as they occur, so you can keep your furniture looking great and smelling fresh. There are many benefits that come with owning your own machine, such as:

  • You’ll save money that would otherwise be spent on hiring professional cleaners
  • You can remove messes before they have a chance to set in
  • You can lengthen the life of your furniture
  • Using one of these machines will help to cutdown on odors in the home caused by pet accidents

Now, let’s learn about the important features these machines have to offer, what to look for in your new cleaner, and how they can help keep your furniture looking new.

Other Important Features

Below, you’ll find a list of the important features to look for in your next model that will ensure it’s a machine that’s built tough, comes loaded with power, and is designed to last.


An upholstery cleaner should come equipped with a powerful motor, which translates to better suction. Since these machines are often compact and lightweight, they come with small, yet powerful motors that operate at four to eight amps. A low-powered cleaner will not have the necessary suction power needed to remove the stain and the cleaning solution, which will leave your furniture wet. If your furniture is left wet it can lead to mildew growth, leaving behind a strong odor.

Tools and Attachments

All models will come with cleaning attachments that will make it easy to reach every nook and cranny in a sofa, chair, or other type of furniture. The scrubbing brushes will be specifically designed to clean different types of stains, such as old stains, protein-based stains, and food and beverage stains. Most models will come with two to four cleaning attachments for hard to reach corners and for cleaning different types of surfaces.

Cleaning Solution

Usually, an upholstery cleaner will come with a small bottle of cleaning solution. In most cases the appliance will come with a small eight to ten ounce bottle of the cleaning solution, which is concentrated, so a small bottle will go a long way.

Upholstery tends to collect a wide variety of allergens throughout the years, including dust, pollen, and animal dander, all of which can agitate the throat, nose, and eyes, and cause allergies

Corded & Cordless

The length of a cord ranges from six to twenty feet. A longer cord allows you to clean multiple pieces of furniture in the home without switching outlets.

There are also cordless models available. The lack of a cord will give you more freedom to move around a room, without worrying about the cord becoming tangled, and without being tied down to an outlet. However, with a cordless model, there’s a tradeoff involved here. Sure, you won’t have to deal with a cord you can trip over, you won’t have to switch outlets, and you won’t have to wind up the cord when you’re done, but you’ll also notice a dip in power, not to mention you’ll have to keep the appliance charged or risk it dying as you clean. Some models will have longer runtimes than others. You may find that higher priced cordless models offer a longer runtime, whereas as low priced cleaners will have a runtime of just twenty minutes per charge. So, the point here is to take into consideration what’s more important to you; convenience or power?

Heating Element

Some models will have a keep warm feature that will warm up the solution, allowing it to break down tough, deep down, older stains. Basically, a model with this feature will be a more effective cleaning tool. If a cleaner has this feature it will come equipped with a heating element. The heating element may simply heat up the water, or it can work to produce steam. Steam-powered cleaners do an excellent job of cleaning older and tougher stains, which is one of the reasons they’re so popular. Of course, both types work well, but a steam cleaner will not require the use of cleaning solutions, which can make this type of upholstery cleaner a better choice if you have pets and children in the home and you don’t want to use harsh chemicals to treat stains.


If you’re dealing with a heavy-duty model, one that’s commercial quality, then it’s going to be large, bulky, and heavy. If you’re looking for this type of pro-quality cleaning machine, then make sure it comes equipped with wheels, which will make it easier to transport from room to room or from your home to your vehicle.

Water Tank

Cleaning your upholstery often can prevent stains from forming, can remove odors, dust, body oils and dirt, extending the life of your furniture

Every cleaner will come equipped with a water tank. A larger water tank capacity equals a longer cleaning time, so you won’t have to stop in the middle of cleaning to refill the tank. Small models will come with a fifteen to twenty-ounce water tank, while larger models will come with a tank that’s thirty to forty-five ounces.

Frequently Asked Questions

woman cleaning

What is the Best Way to Clean a Fabric Sofa?

An upholstery cleaner that has a heating element can break up a stain, making it easier to remove deep down stains. If you’re having trouble removing the stain, you can add a little vinegar to the water tank and sprinkle the stain with baking soda. Use the machine to lather up the mixture and allow it to set before you rinse and suction up the solution. This may need to be repeated two to three times depending on the type of stain and how old it is.

How Do You Clean a Fabric Couch with a Steam Cleaner?

Steam cleaners are very simple to use and can do a great job of treating older stains. To use, you’ll apply the steam to the stain in short bursts, working over the stain until you notice it beginning to lift. Once you’re finished with cleaning the upholstery, you’ll allow the spot to air dry. With older stains, repeat treatments may be necessary.

How Do You Clean Dirty Upholstery?

Before you clean your couch or other furniture, vacuum it first so you can avoid rubbing the debris and dirt into the upholstery as you clean. Use the cleaner machine and add one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid to the water tank. Use the scrubbing brush attachment to thoroughly and evenly clean the surface of your furniture. Make sure you make several passes over the area to remove the dirt and debris. Next, use a damp microfiber cloth and soak up any remaining wetness.

Final Thoughts

An upholstery cleaner machine will be a total gamechanger when it comes to keeping your furniture looking new and smelling great. The leading models come equipped with a variety of cleaning tools and attachments, large water tanks, and powerful motors that provide excellent suction power, giving them the ability to remove deep down stains. The products in this guide and the guide itself will help you make the right choice, so you can purchase the perfect model for your home, budget, furniture, and drapery.

About the author 

Diana Morgan

Writer for Carpet Obsession.