To get your carpets as clean as can be, you can get them professionally cleaned or even rent a carpet cleaner. However, these aren’t the most cost-effective ways of doing so, especially if your home’s floors are covered in wall-to-wall carpeting. To get the job done with as much control as possible, consider investing in a carpet cleaner.

Bissell vs Rug Doctor

There aren’t a ton of different carpet cleaners to choose from, but the companies that specialize in creating these tools offer plenty. In this article, we’re going to look at the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 and how to compares against the Big Green by Bissell. These aren’t the sleekest, sexiest carpet cleaners out there, but aesthetics doesn’t prove a thing. To determine which of these bad boys is the better carpet cleaner, we’re going to take a look at their key differences and how they’ve performed over time.


Tank Size

Rug Doctor
One of the most important features when shopping for a carpet cleaner is how much water the tank can hold. A larger tank offers more convenience since it requires less frequent refills. The Rug Doctor comes with two humungous tanks – a 3-gallon clean water tank and a 3.9-gallon dirty water tank. With larger-than-life tanks, you’ll be able to clean more on a single tankful of water, reducing the amount of time spent lugging the huge carpet cleaner around.

Rug Doctor vs Bissell

Bissell
The Bissell comes a 1.75-gallon clean water tank and a 2-gallon dirty water tank. Although this is a lot smaller than what the Rug Doctor has in store, this is nothing to fret about. Taking a look at other models on the market, the Big Green’s tanks can hold more than twice as much water as the average carpet cleaner.

Conclusion: If our math is correct, 3 gallons is larger than 1.75 gallons, making the Rug Doctor the preferable choice in terms of tank capacity and less frequent refills. However, if you plan on using your carpet cleaner infrequently, or your carpets are smaller in size and have shorter fibers, then you probably won’t need a tremendous amount of water to get the job done.

Weight

Rug Doctor
With an empty tank, the Rug Doctor weighs in at 36 pounds. For a carpet cleaner of this size, this is actually quite lightweight, but it also adds enough downward pressure to push the brushes deep between carpet fibers for better cleaning. However, this isn’t the easiest thing to carry up and down staircases, and you should exercise caution as to not topple over while doing so.

Bissell
The Bissell’s dry weight is roughly 42 pounds – a full 6 pounds heavier than the Rug Doctor. The added weight does seem to harm its overall maneuverability, especially when navigating the wide cleaning head between furniture. Like the Rug Doctor, lifting the Bissell between floors may pose a problem to those with very little upper body strength – i.e. people like us.

Conclusion: Even though carpet cleaners are made to be in constant contact with the floor, the weight of the tool does play a role in how easy it is the maneuver and use. Luckily, both carpet cleaners come with heavy-duty rear casters that make moving it back and forth a breeze. Switching between floors is another story, and neither of these tools is going to make the task easy.

Cleaning Direction

Rug Doctor
Many carpet cleaners come with two-direction spinning brushes that allow for forward and backward cleaning. The Rug Doctor is not like that; instead, the brushes spin in one direction, limiting cleaning to forward motions only. Rug Doctor boasts that this tool does not need to make multiple passes over the same spot since, in one sweep, it can suction up to 89% of whatever embedded debris is hiding in your carpet fibers. However, this isn’t always reliable, and in the end, you may end up spending more time turning a full 180° and passing over the same area than you would with a two-direction carpet cleaner.

Bissell Big Green

Bissell
The Bissell’s brushes can spin either forward or backward, depending on where you need to clean. Like the Rug Doctor, the Bissell can suction almost 90% of debris in a single pass, but the backward-spinning brushes serve as a form of insurance that guarantees perfect cleaning with as little movement as possible.

Conclusion: The Bissell wins this round. The convenience of not needing to make a full U-turn to go over the same patch of carpet is immeasurable. Even though repeated passes use up more water, the Rug Doctor’s larger tank is justified due to its inability to get the same area twice without spending water on other parts of the carpet while turning around.

Cleaning Width

Rug Doctor and Bissell
The width of the cleaning head is of extreme importance. A wider head will reduce the amount of time needed to clean your carpets, whereas a narrower head provides better maneuverability around and in-between furniture. Both of these carpet cleaners have a cleaning width of 10-1/2 inches. That’s a lot narrower than what you may find in other models, but it’s still wide enough to clean wide carpets in just a few passes.

Suction Power

Rug Doctor
One major complaint that customers have about the Rug Doctor is its somewhat lackluster suction performance. The company claims it can eradicate 89% of debris, but it takes multiple passes to get the job done.

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3

Bissell
The Bissell’s suction performance is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Instead of being too weak, some customers noted that the Big Green’s suction is much too powerful for their liking. In the end, this carpet cleaner ended up removing fibers from their carpeting, leaving unsightly bald patches in its wake. Now, this isn’t always the case, and leaving any carpet cleaner on one spot for too long may lead to identical results.

Conclusion: So which is the lesser of two evils? Alas, only you can determine whether to go with a tool that needs to make numerous passes over the same spot to pick up every speck of debris, or to go with a tool that poses a risk of creating bald patches on your beautiful carpeting. We will say this: fixing or replacing a rug can be quite costly.

Power Cord

Rug Doctor
Like any corded-electric tool, your range of movement is limited to the length of the power cord. The Rug Doctor comes with a super-long 28-foot power cord, giving you a wide area to move around without needing to unplug and re-plug the cord. Of course, you could always use an extension cord to increase mobility.

Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner Machine, 86T3

Bissell
The Bissell’s power cord isn’t much shorter than that of the Rug Doctor. Measuring in at 25 feet long, you can still move around easily, completing multiple rooms without needing to unplug the cord even once. To make the cord work for you and not the other way around, consider purchasing a long power cord.

Conclusion: A 3-foot difference in power cord length doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Just know that the more obstacles there are (walls, partitions, furniture, etc.) the less room you’ll have to move and the greater the chance you’ll need to find a new wall outlet to draw power from.

Hose Length

Rug Doctor
Carpet cleaners don’t just rely on their cleaning heads; you can use a wide assortment of attachments on their suction hoses for various jobs. The versatility of the suction hose depends not only on the available cleaning tools but also the hose’s length. The Rug Doctor’s suction hose measures in at 12 feet, making overhead cleaning and spot cleaning easier than you could ever imagine.

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack Carpet Cleaner, Large, Blue

Bissell
The Bissell’s hose is a “short” 9 feet long. However, despite being a full 3 feet shorter than the Rug Doctor’s we found that it was able to reach all sorts of places, and it weighs a lot less, so you don’t need to worry about fatigue when cleaning overhead.

Conclusion: A longer hose helps reach all sorts of places that the main cleaning body can’t. The 9-footer on the Bissell is nice, but the extra 3 feet of reach with the Rug Doctor is worth the added weight. Both of these units come with a tough stain tool for enhanced spot cleaning when your pet leaves a nasty surprise.

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack Carpet Cleaner, Large, Blue

Verdict

After giving both of these carpet cleaners a try, we have concluded that the Bissell Big Green is arguably one of the handiest home-use carpet cleaners out there. Sure, there’s the risk of pulling out carpet fibers, but as long as you work quickly (which is possible due to its superior suction) and refrain from staying in one place for too long, it won’t be difficult to prevent the tool from causing costly damage.

The one thing that truly captivated us about the Rug Doctor was its tremendous tank size. Both dirty and clean water tanks can hold up to almost double the amount of water than the Bissell, making refilling the tank an infrequent chore – something you will learn to resent when getting into the groove of cleaning your carpets.

Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner Machine, 86T3