Rug Doctor Vs. Bissell Steam Cleaner

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Both carpet-cleaning units use water extraction for deep-steam cleaning.
Both carpet-cleaning units use water extraction for deep-steam cleaning. (Image: carpet texture image by Gudellaphoto from Fotolia.com)

Carpet cleaning makes a home smell better and look cleaner. People with pets or allergies clean carpets more frequently to control odors and dust. Many people are finding it beneficial and cost effective to purchase their own steam cleaner so they can clean whenever they want, instead of renting or hiring professional carpet cleaners. Rug Doctor and Bissell models are among the most popular choices in carpet-cleaning machines.

Rug Doctor

Rug Doctor is a highly popular rental brand for do-it-yourself (DYI) steam cleaning that has been around for over 30 years. Rental machines are commonly found in grocery stores, and machines for purchase are available at home improvement stores nationwide. The company now offers two models for purchase; the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro Plus and the Rug Doctor Wide Track. All Rug Doctor models use water extraction to suction dirt from carpets. They have 1.9 HP (horsepower) motors and brushes that vibrate back and forth to lift dirt and fluff carpet to restore resiliency and life. Rug Doctor machines also have separate tanks for cleaning solutions and large water tanks to reduce the number of trips to the sink to refill.

Bissell

The Bissell 9400 ProHeat 2X is an upright model that offers powerful steam cleaning and suction. It has a 1.0 HP motor, a 12-amp vacuum, a 12-inch cleaning path and 10 rows of brushes. The Bissell is a good choice if you’re looking to purchase a machine, as it is not available to rent. Bissell machines have built-in heaters to increase the temperature of added hot tap water by up to 25 degrees. The ProHeat model can be used to clean carpets in rooms of every size. Apartment dwellers without a lot of carpeting might prefer the smaller models like the QuickSteamer or SpotBot for rugs, small rooms, everyday messes, spots and stains.

Similarities

Both the Rug Doctor and the Bissell use water extraction for deep-steam cleaning. Both machines use common tap water, along with recommended cleaning solution concentrates. Each company makes machines for ownership and purchase. Machines from both companies can accommodate homes with large carpeted areas.

Differences

Bissell machines cannot be rented. Rug Doctor offers machines for rent and purchase. Bissell machines include a heating element to increase the water temperature; Rug Doctor machines do not. The water temperature is based on the heat of the tap water added. Bissell offers machines specially made for smaller spaces and common cleaning. Rug Doctor machines are designed for more infrequent cleaning and as a lower-cost alternative to hiring a professional carpet cleaning company. The Bissell weighs around 24 pounds, while the Rug Doctor Might Pro Plus weighs in at 36 pounds, and the Wide Track weighs 44 pounds.

Pricing

As of July 2010, the Bissell 9400 ProHeat 2X can be purchased for around $200, making it an affordable choice for those who are budget-conscious. The Rug Doctor Mighty Pro costs around $650 while the Wide Track costs over $700. Renting a Rug Doctor costs about $25.00 per day.

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