If lugging around a bulky vacuum cleaner that disturbs the peace each time you turn it on isn't your cup of tea, you may be interested in getting a carpet sweeper, instead. Carpet sweepers, also known as floor sweepers, are everything a vacuum cleaner isn't: lightweight, quiet and non-electric (for the most part). Plus, they're generally much more affordable. Need we say more?
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Sure, a carpet sweeper lacks the bells and whistles of a smart robotic vacuum cleaner and doesn't have the same sucking power as your typical upright or canister vacuum. But, carpet sweepers worked just fine for our ancestors in the late 19th century (yes, they've been around that long) when Melvin R. Bissell (the namesake of the well-known vacuum brand) began selling them. So, if your home doesn't tend to get very dirty (no shedding pets, for example), in most cases, a carpet sweeper may be all you need.
Carpet sweepers may have fallen out of fashion with the advent of vacuum cleaners, but they've managed to stick around, and for good reason. We've laid out what to consider when shopping for a carpet sweeper and selected some of the best ones on the market.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Carpet Sweeper
Manual Versus Electric: Earlier, we mentioned that carpet sweepers are mostly non-electric, and that's true. However, there are actually two types of carpet sweepers: completely manual and electric/rechargeable. Manual carpet sweepers don't need to be plugged in and don't run on electricity; instead, they generate static from the motion of rolling over carpet in order to attract dirt and dust. Electric carpet sweepers are more similar to vacuums, in that they either come with a power cord or rechargeable battery. They offer more suction power than a manual sweeper, but if you ask us, a corded carpet sweeper kind of defeats the purpose. However, if you don't mind charging a battery, some electric carpet sweepers allow for cordless operation after a charge. The caveat here is that it usually takes far more time (up to 12 hours) to charge than you get back in battery life (roughly one hour).
Bristles Versus Rubber Brush Rolls: There are also two types of brush-rollers to consider: bristles and rubber. Bristles are a common type of roller brush found in carpet sweepers, as well as in vacuum cleaners. They're good at picking up dirt and dust, but they also tend to get tangled by pet dander or large debris. Rubber brush rolls, on the other hand, handle the same culprits, such as pet hair, dust and large debris just as effectively without getting as tangled. If you have the option of getting rubber brush rolls, they're the easier to maintain of the two.
Dirt Canister Capacity: The amount of dust and dirt your floor sweeper can pick up depends on its canister size. Due to their flat, less bulky design, carpet sweepers can't hold nearly as much dirt and debris as most vacuum cleaners. On average, carpet sweeper dirt canisters have about a half-quart capacity. While you can opt for a carpet sweeper with a larger dust capacity, this will probably make it heavier and bulkier, and since some of the advantages of a carpet sweeper are its light weight and portability, the larger you go, the less convenient it may be to use. However, you won't have to empty the dirt canister as often, which is a plus.
Sweeper Width: The wider the base of your carpet sweeper is, the more dust and dirt you can pick up in one motion, and generally, the bigger the dirt canister will be. However, the wider it is, the less easily it may fit around tight spaces, and the more storage room it will require. The average carpet sweeper width is around 12 to 13 inches.
Handle: Most carpet sweepers have long, slim handles that are similar to that of a broomstick. Well-designed handles will include a rubberized grip to make them comfortable to hold. Some carpet sweepers may have telescoping wands that allow you to adjust the height of the handle. If the members of your household vary significantly in height, a telescoping wand handle may come in handy.
With these considerations in mind, here are the best carpet sweepers in 2022:
The Best Overall Carpet Sweeper
Bissell Natural Sweep Carpet and Floor Sweeper
It may come as no surprise that BISSELL, the company behind the original carpet sweeper that dates back to 1883, lands at the top of the list. While this model may not look like anything fancy, it's all about the inner workings here. This floor sweeper, which is made from sustainable recycled materials, features a dual rotating system that tackles both small and large debris with ease. Plus, its rotating bristles on a wide cleaning head make quick work of lifting up dirt and debris from your carpets, while its two edge sweep brushes catch dirt and dust around corners.
In particular, one unique feature is the sweeper's ability to pick up dirt on both forward and backward passes (unlike many other sweepers), enabling you to cut sweeping time in half. Its twin dirt pans are easy to empty into the trash, so there's virtually no maintenance required and no mess. The only point not in its favor is that it is a little noisier than some other floor sweepers—but still quieter than a vacuum cleaner.
The floor sweeper measures 9 1/2 inches wide, 10 1/2 inches deep and 43 1/4 inches tall when standing upright.
Runner-Up Best Carpet Sweeper
Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet and Floor Sweeper
Though it costs more than our top pick, the Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet and Floor Sweeper cleans beautifully, thanks to its electrostatic design that magnetically attracts dust, dirt and debris as you sweep. It's lightweight, compact, bagless and includes bristle corner brushes for extra detailed sweeping. The sweeper folds easily to fit under furniture, while its adjustable 39-inch handle makes it easy for people of different heights or ages to use it. Emptying the sweeper's contents is a cinch: Just push on the edges of the dual bin and give it a light shake over a trash bin. The sweeper's relatively narrow width of 9 inches (offering a 7-inch cleaning path) makes it easier to navigate tight spaces than other models. Plus, it's whisper-quiet, so you can even use it while someone sleeps nearby. It's available in nine different colors, including standard black and white, as well as some vibrant colors like purple, red and fresh mint.
The Best Budget Carpet Sweeper
Bissell Easy Sweep Compact Carpet and Floor Sweeper
At only 2.85 pounds, the Bissell Easy Sweep Compact Carpet and Floor Sweeper is one of the most lightweight models on our list, making it incredibly easy to use. Its short sweeper head and low profile are especially well-suited for cleaning rooms with lots of furniture. The sweeper's single removable brush roll effectively collects dirt, pet hair and debris. It features a simpler design compared to some models, but it's nevertheless competent, affordable and easy to maintain. The handle includes a loop so you can hang the sweeper up in storage. The sweeper measures 11 inches wide, 7 3/4 inches deep and 42 inches tall when standing upright.
The Best Cordless Electric Carpet Sweeper
Karcher KB5 Cordless Carpet Sweeper
If you prefer your carpet sweeper to be extra powerful, the Karcher KB5 Cordless Carpet Sweeper runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery to provide cordless cleaning freedom and power its 8-inch rotating brush roll, which is particularly adept at sweeping along edges. The swivel-steering handle with a large loop for gripping makes it super easy to maneuver around furniture, while its easy-access debris canister can be emptied without coming into contact with the dust and dirt. The sweeper features an auto-start system that turns on when you pull the handle. On a full charge, the lithium ion battery provides 30 continuous minutes of cleaning. The sweeper measures approximately 9 inches wide, 8 1/2 inches deep and 44 inches tall when standing upright.
The Best Carpet Sweeper for Pet Hair
Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo Carpet Sweeper
BISSELL makes the list again (not much of a surprise, seeing as it invented floor sweepers), and for anyone with pets that shed heavily, the Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo Carpet Sweeper is like a miracle. For one, its quiet operation won't disrupt household members or pets, in spite of its electric motor-powered brushes. For another, it deftly picks up stubborn pet hair on hard floors, carpets and rugs. Its ultra-thin profile and adjustable handle allow it to reach under most types of furniture, while its large, half-quart dustbin is very easy to remove and empty. On a full charge, the battery offers up to 60 minutes of continuous cleaning. However, it can take as many as 12 hours to fully charge, so it's best to plan ahead or let it charge overnight.
Every BISSELL purchase helps support the BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to rescue homeless pets.