Before the vacuum cleaner, people often used a carpet sweeper. Though technology has rendered them almost obsolete, their lightweight, compact design, and affordable price tag are helping these cleaning tools make a comeback.
Unlike vacuum cleaners that use mechanical suction, carpet sweepers use a revolving brush to collect hair, dirt, crumbs, and debris from floors. Pushing the sweeper across a surface causes the brush to rotate quickly and create static, attracting dust and hair.
Though carpet sweepers aren’t for deep cleaning, they’re still useful household tools, particularly for quick carpet touch-ups between weekly vacuuming. Read on to learn what to look for when shopping for a carpet sweeper, along with recommendations for some of the best carpet sweepers on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Bissell Natural Sweep Carpet and Floor Sweeper
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bissell Easy Sweep Compact Carpet & Floor Sweeper
- UPGRADE PICK: Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet & Floor Sweeper
- BEST FOR SOLID FLOORS: Rubbermaid Commercial Executive Series Brushless
- BEST FOR PET HAIR: Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo Rechargeable Sweeper
- BEST POWERED: Karcher KB5 Cordless Sweeper, Yellow
- BEST MANUAL: Eyliden Carpet Sweeper, Hand Push Carpet Sweepers
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Carpet Sweeper
A good carpet sweeper is not a large financial investment, but shoppers still must make a few decisions before purchasing one. The size and weight of the sweeper, as well as its intended use, determine how useful it will be to your household. Keep reading to learn additional considerations when choosing a carpet sweeper.
Manual vs. Battery Powered
The two types of carpet sweepers are manual and battery-powered.
- Manual carpet sweepers don’t require electricity; instead, when they’re rolled back and forth across a surface, they create static to attract dirt. They’re good for quieter cleanups or minor messes.
- Battery-powered carpet sweepers require electricity to operate, either via a cord or a rechargeable battery. Homes with pets or those who must clean frequently may prefer a battery-powered sweeper because it turns the brushes faster than a manual model. The greater the static, the better a sweeper can attract pet hair and dust.
Blades vs. Bristles
Carpet sweepers have two types of rolls: rubber or bristles.
At one time, bristles were the most common type of roll in carpet sweepers, and while some sweepers still have them, bristles are more likely to get tangled when picking up hair. When that happens, the user must remove the roll and detangle the hair manually. However, bristles do a good job of grabbing dust and dirt.
Rubber rolls look a bit like blades, and they can pick up hair, dust, and debris just as well as bristles. The advantage of a rubber roll is that hair is less likely to get tangled in it. Both rubber and bristle rolls work well on multiple floor surfaces, such as carpet, wood, and tile floors.
Carpet sweepers have containers, also called a dirt canister, to hold dust and debris that’s picked up by the roller. Look for a canister that’s easy to open so dust doesn’t disperse everywhere when the container is emptied.
The larger the dirt canister, the more area can be cleaned in one sweep. For this reason, those with bigger homes should consider sweepers with larger dirt canisters. The downside to carpet sweepers with roomy canisters is that they can be bulky and are more difficult to pivot around tight corners, in between cabinets, and under furniture. Easy maneuverability is one reason why people buy carpet sweepers in the first place, so look for a model that’s a happy medium between canister capacity and maneuverability.
A few elements factor into a carpet sweeper’s overall size, first of which is the width of the roll, or roller. On average, a carpet sweeper measures about 5.5 x 17.8 x 13 inches. A wider roller covers more floor area in less time. However, a sweeper with a wide roller requires more storage space, so those with a small apartment or home may benefit from a smaller, narrower model.
The length of the wand is another measurement that impacts a sweeper’s overall size. Most sweeper handles are slim, much like a broomstick. Some models are designed with a rubber handhold to make pushing the sweeper more comfortable.
Wand lengths typically range from 42 to 52 inches. If multiple people will use one sweeper, look for a carpet sweeper with a telescoping, adjustable wand.
Unlike bulky, heavy vacuums, carpet sweepers generally weigh less than 5 pounds because they don’t have motors. Some models weigh as little as 2 pounds.
Battery-powered carpet sweepers are slightly heavier than manual carpet sweepers. The size of the sweeper’s dirt canister also affects its overall weight.
Some carpet sweepers come bundled with additional accessories to help clean all kinds of messes. One common accessory, a squeegee attachment, can be affixed to the sweeper and used to clean walls, floors, and even bathtubs. Other models have a handy brush to clean the sweeper’s rotating bristles to maintain the bristles and prevent hair and debris buildup.
Because bristles are susceptible to bending and breaking over time, some sweepers come with a replacement brush. If not, check that replacement brushes are available.
Our Top Picks
The best carpet sweeper cleans multiple types of flooring, holds an entire round of cleaning’s worth of dirt and debris in its canister, and picks up the messes unique to your home. Top-quality sweepers work well and last a long time. The following recommendations are based on a range of categories to help you find the right carpet sweeper for your home.
The Bissell Natural Sweep Carpet and Floor Sweeper is a manual sweeper with dual rotating brush rolls and two corner brushes. One brush gathers larger debris, while the other picks up smaller particles. The brush design is effective in picking up crumbs, hair, dirt, and crumbs on a variety of floor surfaces, including carpets, rugs, and hard floors like wood and tile.
The Bissell Natural Sweep Sweeper is fairly lightweight, and it has a 9.5-inch cleaning pad.
The Bissell Easy Sweep manual sweeper can be used on area rugs, low-pile carpet, and hard floor surfaces. Its short sweeper head and low profile make it a good option for parents, pet owners, and others who frequently need to clean floors under furniture.
This carpet sweeper has a single, removable brush roll that can gather dirt, hair, and other debris. Once cleaning is complete, the Easy Sweep’s dual canisters are easy to empty. At only 2.85 pounds, it’s one of the lightest—and most affordable—sweepers on the market, and its handle loop makes it easy to hang in the storage closet when not in use.
The Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet & Floor Sweeper, a manual sweeper, has two rollers. One is an electrostatic brush that can tackle basic messes like hair, crumbs, dust, and debris. The other roll has a vinyl blade that can pick up larger items, including paper clips, glass, and even wet food spills.
This sweeper weighs less than 4 pounds, folds flat, and is easy to store. The Fuller Sweeper works well on low-pile carpet and hard floors like tile, wood, and laminate. Though this sweeper is more expensive than many carpet sweepers, this product’s quality and thoughtful construction are evident. Its housing and handle are both constructed of durable metal rather than plastic, and it has a vinyl bumper to prevent the sweeper from damaging furniture and walls.
Rubbermaid’s brushless carpet sweeper has a non-marking rubber blade that sweeps up dust as effectively as a brush roller. In fact, it can gather dry debris as well as semi-liquid messes, and it does so virtually noiselessly.
Constructed of galvanized steel and ABS plastic with a soft-grip handle, Rubbermaid’s slim sweeper—its sweep path is just 6.5 inches wide—can maneuver into, and under, tight spaces. The windows on its two debris canisters allow the user to observe fill levels and empty messes promptly. Debris disposal is super easy, too, with its one-touch emptying doors.
Bissell’s Perfect Sweep carpet sweeper can easily pick up pet hair from hard floors, carpets, and area rugs. Its rechargeable battery lasts for up to 60 minutes, and its operation is quiet enough not to disrupt other household members.
The Perfect Sweep’s dirt canister holds up to 480 milliliters of debris, and it lifts out of the sweeper for easy emptying. This sweeper weighs just 4 pounds and lays flat for easy storage, with easy-glide rubber wheels and an adjustable handle.
With a slick yellow design that looks like a remote-controlled race car, the Karcher Cordless Sweeper starts up quickly and easily. Pull back the handle, and the Karcher powers up and will stay powered for about 30 minutes. At only 2.6 pounds, the Karcher KB5 is also one of the lighter sweepers on this list.
The KB5 runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and it picks up dirt and debris from both hard floors and low-pile carpets. Its brush roll is easy to clean, and the dirt cup is a snap to empty. The handle can also be folded flat for easy storage or for better reach when maneuvering under furniture. A charging cord for the battery is included with the sweeper.
Eyliden’s manual hand-push carpet sweeper has dual rotating brushes that pick up everything from hair and nut shells to waste paper. One of its best features is its corner-edge brush, which grabs dirt and debris from tough-to-reach spots.
This sweeper rotates 180 degrees and has four rollers that help it glide over carpet and hard floors alike. Though the Eyliden doesn’t have a telescoping handle, users can add or remove segments from the handle’s assembly to make it longer or shorter. It’s lightweight—only 2.02 pounds—and is small enough to stow under the sofa or bed.
The Eyliden comes in three colors, black, red, and white, and it can be used on most floor surfaces. The manufacturer advises, however, not to use it on high-pile carpets or hard-textured floors.
FAQs About Carpet Sweepers
Now that you’ve learned about some of the best carpet sweepers on the market, it’s time to answer any remaining questions you have. Below are answers to a few common questions about manual and powered sweepers, which may help you choose a suitable cleaning tool for your home.
Q. What’s another name for a carpet sweeper?
Carpet sweepers are also called electric brooms and vacuum sweepers.
Q. What’s the difference between a sweeper and a vacuum?
Sweepers clean surface dirt through rotating rollers that create static. Vacuums use suction to clean carpets more deeply.
Q. Should I sweep or vacuum first?
Sweep a room before you vacuum it to pick up any initial dust.