Best Carpet Sweepers

Best Carpet Sweepers

From their introduction as manual conveniences in 1883 to the robotic machines of today, carpet sweepers established themselves as a mainstay in the pick-up-quick cleaning brigade. We’ve all seen them, sweeping up the results of a trim from the bare floor of a hair salon or removing the fries discarded by a toddler on a diner’s carpet.

For many, though, the questions of how you’ll choose the best carpet sweeper and why you’d select it over a carpet vacuum remain.

Generally, carpet sweepers are inexpensive, lightweight and safe, even for children to use. Addressing little messes quickly is easy because they’re designed to be effective for those kinds of issues. Better than a broom and easier on the budget than a full vacuum, they lift away the fine particles as well as larger crumbs with minimal effort.

That versatility is also their weakest characteristic. Because carpet sweepers are so good at so many kinds of cleanups, it’s easy to forget they aren’t good for high volumes or all spills. Read on to learn about the best carpet sweepers depending on your uses and factors that should play into your decision about which to buy.

7 Best Carpet Sweepers

Best Overall: Bissell Natural Sweep Carpet and Floor Sweeper, 92N0A

bissell natural sweep carpet and floor sweeper 92n0a
  • Manual or Powered: Manual
  • Dirt Canister: Dual above rollers
  • Sweeper Width: 9.5 in.
  • Wand Length: 44.5 in.
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs.

Melvin R. Bissell patented the first carpet sweeper design in 1876, and the company has dominated the market ever since. FloorCritics’ best overall unit continues in that tradition, with dual cleaning brushes and four corner brushes feeding your dust and debris into two collection canisters. It is effective on cat litter and food crumbs as well as pet hair that is not ground-in.

If saving the environment is on your to-do list, you’ll like the 100% recycled plastic used for this model. The rollers are effective on solid and carpeted surfaces, even those with deeper crackers, crevices or textured pile. It folds up and stores in minimal space.

Users note that sometimes the manufacturing isn’t of as high of a quality as they’d prefer, resulting in parts breaking after what they deem light use. Other consumers say they’ve needed theirs daily for years and it’s still effective. It shines when sweeping area rugs and on quick pick-ups around the house, store or office.

Best for Pet Hair: Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo Cordless Rechargeable Sweeper, 28806

bissell perfect sweep turbo cordless rechargeable sweeper 28806
  • Manual or Powered: Rechargeable
  • Dirt Canister: Above rollers
  • Sweeper Width: 9.5 in.
  • Wand Length: 42 in.
  • Weight: 4.0 lbs.

To pick up pet hair, you often need more power than a push and pull motion will generate. For these kinds of cleanups, you want motorized rollers sweeping the area, which is what this Bissell provides. It runs for about an hour before needing a recharge.

Despite the battery, it is remarkably lightweight and easy to maneuver under furniture and into corners (great for cleaning stairs), and it folds for minimized storage. The dirt container opens with a finger touch. It moves between surface types without difficult transitions.

Consumers say this unit is not intended to be a vacuum, but often works as well as some. The weakness is corners and edges of baseboards, where small pieces of debris can still linger. If pets are part of your household and you’re looking for a quick way to clean up dog food crumbs, cat litter and the associated hairy fuzz they generate, this latest incarnation of a classic will do the job.

Best for Carpets: Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet and Floor Sweeper, 17042

fuller brush electrostatic carpet and floor sweeper 17042
  • Manual or Powered: Manual
  • Dirt Canister: Above rollers
  • Sweeper Width: 9 in.
  • Wand Length: 44 in.
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs.

While it will pick up crumbs on hard floor surfaces, this Fuller Brush model excels on carpets. On short pile, it is easy to move and roll up the dust, and it even works on taller shag or deeper textured rugs. A soft bumper keeps it from scratching furniture you run into it too.

The secret to its effectiveness is in its creation of an electrostatic charge that clings to dust, hair and debris, sweeping it into the collection canister. This charge action continues with each forward and backward motion. It works equally well in both directions.

Users like the sturdy metal construction of this model. Some note that they feel it doesn’t pick up longer pet (or human) hair as effectively. If your kids want to help around the house, this could be the unit to give them as it does the job while being just about unbreakable.

Best for Solid Floors: Rubbermaid Commercial Executive Series Brushless Mechanical Carpet Sweeper, FG421588BLA

rubbermaid commercial executive series brushless mechanical carpet sweeper fg421588bla
  • Manual or Powered: Rechargeable
  • Dirt Canister: Above rollers
  • Sweeper Width: 6.5 in.
  • Wand Length: 44 in.
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs.

If your clean-up covers bare floors or outdoor rated carpeting, this Rubbermaid can get your work done. It comes in three styles – for hard surfaces, for dual action, and this Commercial Executive unit. The model features a low, narrow profile to get under furniture easily.

This unit is brushless. It relies on dual rubber blades to sweep and lift whatever is on the floor. This makes it the best for hard surfaces because of that lift, made more powerful by the ability to move faster courtesy of its power charge. The blades should not scratch delicate flooring or rugs.

Reviewers say this sweeper can pick up small liquid spills as well as solid debris. It works best when the blades are spinning directly over the mess. Made of galvanized steel, this unit seems to live up to its reputation of being a sweeper you can rely upon for many years.

Best Heavy Duty Commercial: Bissell Commercial Push Power Sweeper, BG477

bissell commercial push power sweeper bg477
  • Manual or Powered: Manual
  • Dirt Canister: 13.2 gal. behind rollers
  • Sweeper Width: 31 in.
  • Wand Length: Handle
  • Weight: 17.1 lbs.

If large stores or warehouses are your carpet cleaning venue, you need a heavy-duty commercial sweeper to keep up. This Bissell is designed to cut wide swaths through the mess on your solid surfaces with minimum dust and debris misses. Note that it is not designed for use on carpets; solid floors only.

The ergonomic design makes this large unit remarkably easy to push. It relies on human power alone to get the job done. Having a handle instead of a wand is one feature that sets it apart from other machines on our list, helping both in comfort and maneuverability.

Reviewers say this Bissell even picks up glass pieces well. The large debris tank lets you clean longer between emptying. For large scale, hard surface jobs, this sweeper offers effective cleaning capability without a big price tag.

Best Rechargeable: Shark Cordless Rechargeable Floor and Carpet Sweeper, V2950

shark cordless rechargeable floor and carpet sweeper v2950
  • Manual or Powered: Rechargeable
  • Dirt Canister: 1.8 qt.
  • Sweeper Width: 13 in.
  • Wand Length: 54 in.
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.

For uses like loads of fine dust or stubborn pet hair, we need something with a little more power assistance to clean up debris. This Shark has motorized brush rollers to keep things moving at a clip fast enough to spin larger pieces into the collection tank. It also offers basic suction to help the cleaning happen faster.

A full charge will last close to an hour with normal use. Plug it into the transformer when storing to keep it at full charge. The edge blades are designed to help with areas next to counters and walls.

Users like the easy-open collection tank area with push button emptying capability. Two speed settings allow you to match the cleaning need with the pick-up capability. As a bonus, this system is compact to store and hides away until you need it for those sweeping chores.

Best Budget: Bissell Easy Sweep Compact Carpet and Floor Sweeper, 2484A

bissell easy sweep compact carpet and floor sweeper 2484a
  • Manual or Powered: Manual
  • Dirt Canister: Dual above rollers
  • Sweeper Width: 7.5 in.
  • Wand Length: 42 in.
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs.

While none of the basic sweepers on our list are particularly expensive, this final Bissell has them all beat. It is a multi-surface cleaner and will even pick up sand from hard floors. Emptying the collection tanks over a trash can is easy since they are bottom-opening.

Since it’s so lightweight, you won’t fatigue using it. It also folds flat to take up minimal space in closet storage. You won’t mind carrying it to different floors in your house for quick cleaning.

Reviewers say the brush roller can become tangled with longer pet or human hair debris. Larger messes may require multiple passes to pick up everything. For the price point, it becomes easy to have one handy in many spots in your house or commercial property for fast clean-up.

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The Complete Carpet Sweepers Buyer’s Guide

Why Use a Carpet Sweeper and Not a Vacuum

It’s best to begin with how a carpet sweeper works. The bottom of the sweeper contains a set of brushes and blades. The blades are for coralling larger debris toward the brushes and brushes to collect dust and dirt. Often, you can adjust the height of the brushes, and as you roll the sweeper, the brushes spin in synchronization courtesy of a belt or interlocking gears.

The debris is swept into a debris canister within the body of the unit. You guide a carpet sweeper with the wand handle attached at the top of the case. For manual models, the faster you move the sweeper back and forth, the quicker the brushes roll and pick up the debris; rechargeable models feature power-assisted brush rolling.

Here are other factors to consider about why carpet sweepers are the best choice in certain cleaning situations.

Quiet

Perhaps the number one reason why people like carpet sweepers is that they’re quiet. The patrons of your restaurant won’t be distracted by someone vacuuming up food fight remains, and the blast of noise won’t interfere with the drill at the dentist’s office. (Okay, maybe something distracting would be a good thing then.)

Silence is also be great around sleeping babies or grandparents, or around you after a hard day at the office and even more challenging time getting a child to eat crackers instead of pulverizing them into dust. Even rechargeable carpet sweepers keep their sound to a low hum.

Manual or Rechargeable

We all have places where we have debris, but a broom isn’t going to cut it for the cleaning requirements and there are no plugs around. Leaves blowing around a pool deck is a perfect example. Some of us also have craft space in a shed or garage without plugs within reach of a standard vacuum cord.

Powered by rechargeable batteries (like cordless vacs), some carpet sweepers have more ability to roll with bigger problems. These units use their juice to turn the brushes, which means you don’t need as much muscle to move them along. A small amount of suction may also be a feature.

Pet hair or excessive debris in deeper slots are two reasons why power assistance would be a good idea on your machine. Rechargeable units have limited running time. Manual models have more flexibility in terms of where they can go but can be difficult to maneuver and less effective for deeper cleaning.

Effective on Large Pieces

Have you ever tried to suck up a leaf or a dried bean with a traditional vacuum, only to have it slingshot across the room? Part of that is due to the fast spin of brush rollers on a vacuum. Because the brushes on a carpet sweeper don’t share this fast speed, the power to shoot out something doesn’t exist.

This gentler pick up can also be an issue, though, if debris is heavy or if there is nothing the bristle can hang on to. A perfect cylinder or round object might just continue to roll as you go over it. In those cases, you need a vacuum with tube attachment to make sure you get the pieces.

Sweeping Swatch

Because they’re lightweight and easy to maneuver, carpet sweepers can be made with wider brushes and edge or corner blades. They can pick up dust from wider spaces, making faster work of your cleaning effort than vacuums often can. They also trump brooms in this department.

Lightweight

Because these machines have little to no power-making mechanical parts, they are lighter in weight than vacuums. This makes them easier to use and often, they can get into places vacuums are too big to tackle, like under furniture. Some are even made with a specific brush designed for tight corners.

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FAQs about Carpet Sweepers

Buyers have many questions about carpet sweepers, perhaps considering them as an alternative to or in addition to a traditional vacuum. Emphasizing their different uses isn’t enough. Here are the FAQs we hear most often about carpet sweepers as people make their buying decision.

Carpet Sweepers Best For Sweeper Width Wand Length Weight
Bissell Natural Sweep Carpet and Floor Sweeper, 92N0A Best Overall 9.5 in. 44.5 in. 4.2 lbs.
Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo Cordless Rechargeable Sweeper, 28806 Best for Pet Hair 9.5 in. 42 in. 4.0 lbs.
Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet and Floor Sweeper, 17042 Best for Carpets 9 in. 44 in. 3.4 lbs.
Rubbermaid Commercial Executive Series Brushless Mechanical Carpet Sweeper, FG421588BLA Best for Solid Floors 6.5 in. 44 in. 3.4 lbs.
Bissell Commercial Push Power Sweeper, BG477 Best Heavy Duty Commercial 31 in. Handle 17.1 lbs.
Shark Cordless Rechargeable Floor and Carpet Sweeper, V2950 Best Rechargeable 13 in. 54 in. 2.2 lbs.
Bissell Easy Sweep Compact Carpet and Floor Sweeper, 2484A Best Budget 7.5 in. 42 in. 2.9 lbs.

Are carpet sweepers good for all kinds of surfaces?

Think of a carpet sweeper as a type of broom, but with more features. For example, a broom can sweep up debris on hard surfaces, though with a broom, you’d then need a dustpan to scoop up the mess. A carpet sweeper puts the debris in an internal container for emptying.

Sweepers can also do what’s in their name, clean debris off carpet. In this role, they’re more efficient than a broom which can’t remove dust or pieces from shallow carpet pile. Plus, they sweep it up, so again, no need for a dustpan.

The surface where carpet sweepers are least effective is deep pile carpet. Think of the depth in heavy shag or textured carpet and you’ll quickly see why the carpet sweeper isn’t designed for them. They don’t have the lifting power to pull things from the cracks and crevices in thick carpet.

Are carpet sweepers effective on all kinds of dust and debris?

Carpet sweepers clean a unique range of materials. Brushes pick up dust from carpets or rough outdoors surfaces, while blades gather larger pieces of debris. A potato chip doesn’t stand a chance against a carpet sweeper.

The exception would again be larger, heavier pieces of debris in thick carpet or surfaces with major unevenness. While most sweepers have a height setting you can change based on hard or soft surfaces, they might not be able to tackle depth. I wouldn’t put them up against a ball bearing, either.

The one surface you want to think twice before using a carpet sweeper is anything that’s delicate. While people might consider these machines safe for a fabric (dog bed, or the sofa a cat likes to use as a bed), they could snag and mar the pile. Ditto for super-soft woods or recently refinished wood floors, where gouging or scouring could occur.

Is there a difference between bristles and blades in the sweeper?

Bristles are for finer particles and blades scoop in larger pieces, but both work together to clean the floor. The materials they’re made of differ, machine to machine. Blades are usually made of rubber or another soft but strong material that won’t scratch hardwood or carpet.

Man-made and natural materials are both used to make bristles. Man-made might last longer, but some buyers would prefer to use less plastic and worry these bristles will be too coarse for their sensitive floor surfaces. Natural materials might raise issues about animal testing.

Are carpet sweepers hard to move?

Some carpet sweepers are more ergonomic than others and generally, most are easy to move back and forth. However, the head of the unit may shift without much effort but twisting motions could be difficult. That means you can’t direct the cleaning as easily as you like. (Of course, these same issues exist with vacuums.)

How do you keep a carpet sweeper from smelling?

You can imagine how stinky a combo of dog dander, cat fur and spilled cereal can become, even within a day. The best defense to keep a carpet sweeper from smelling is to empty it each time you use it. Don’t let anything sit in it, even overnight.

The second line of defense is to clean the debris canister with an all-purpose spray as often as you consider necessary. Many of these canisters are made of plastic, and unfortunately, they are prone to picking up odors if debris is left inside for a length of time. A double bonus comes from knowing your sweeper is always ready to help you tackle that little mess because the dirt canister can take a full load.

What’s not to love about carpet sweepers?

You’ll see a couple of these weaknesses in the answers above – not good for deep piled carpets, delicate surfaces or wet messes. For the first, buy a regular vacuum. You’ll find lists elsewhere on our site with comparisons of vacuums for just about every kind of use.

For delicate surfaces, you’re probably best off using something you wield by hand. Consider a wet-dry vac for wet messes (lists available on our site). Smaller models are available for reasonable prices and can also tackle multiple kinds of surfaces.

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Criteria for Selection of Carpet Sweepers

Once you know you want a carpet sweeper because of what it can do, you face the challenge of deciding which of the many on the market best fit your needs. We’ve broken the machines down by what use they’re best for, based on the following criteria.

Carpet Sweepers Best For Manual or Powered Dirt Canister Sweeper Width Wand Length Weight
Bissell Natural Sweep Carpet and Floor Sweeper, 92N0A Best Overall Manual Dual above rollers 9.5 in. 44.5 in. 4.2 lbs.
Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo Cordless Rechargeable Sweeper, 28806 Best for Pet Hair Rechargeable Above rollers 9.5 in. 42 in. 4.0 lbs.
Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet and Floor Sweeper, 17042 Best for Carpets Manual Above rollers 9 in. 44 in. 3.4 lbs.
Rubbermaid Commercial Executive Series Brushless Mechanical Carpet Sweeper, FG421588BLA Rechargeable Above rollers 6.5 in. 44 in. 3.4 lbs.
Bissell Commercial Push Power Sweeper, BG477 Best Heavy Duty Commercial Manual 13.2 gal. behind rollers 31 in. Handle 17.1 lbs.
Shark Cordless Rechargeable Floor and Carpet Sweeper, V2950 Best Rechargeable Rechargeable 1.8 qt. 13 in. 54 in. 2.2 lbs.
Bissell Easy Sweep Compact Carpet and Floor Sweeper, 2484A Best Budget Manual Dual above rollers 7.5 in. 42 in. 2.9 lbs.

Manual or Powered

Manual units never run out of gas unless you do. Motorized sweepers need to be charged. The first is good for light cleaning in between your full-on vacuuming and the second style is better if you have long hair or deeper carpet to conquer.

Dirt Canister

While you want to clean the dirt canister with each use, you also don’t want to be interrupted by needing to empty it while you’re still cleaning. Not all manufacturers make this statistic readily available, so we mention the location and ease of emptying it instead.

Sweeper Width

Wide is great for rapid cleaning, but not good if you have tight corners or narrow chair legs to clean through. We list the width to help you find the size that’s just right for your needs.

Wand Length

You don’t want to be bending at an uncomfortable angle to sweep up your messes. If you’re tall, find a tool around the house that’s easy for you in terms of length and measure it. Compare it to what we list here.

Weight

Since none of us loves a workout when we’re cleaning up a mess, weight matters. We list what you can expect from an empty machine.

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Yvonne Kohano

About Yvonne Kohano

Yvonne Kohano never met a remodeling project she didn’t like – almost. Ditto on tools to keep things looking great. She is a fiction author of romantic suspense and psychological thrillers, book/business coach for creatives, and nerdy student of human behavior and the natural world.

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