Stains Were No Match for The Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Carpet Cleaner During Our Tests

With multiple functions and the ability to convert from an upright cleaner to a portable one in a matter of seconds, this carpet cleaner might be the only one you’ll need.

By Amber Guetebier | Published Feb 9, 2024 12:53 PM

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Gray and orange ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner on cleaned carpet

Photo: Amber Guetebier for Bob Vila

Pets enhance our lives in many ways—long walks with our dogs, cuddling with our cats—but furry family members can unintentionally make a mess of our carpets. Fortunately, dealing with unsightly shed hair and stubborn, smelly “accident” stains is a lot easier with a quality carpet- cleaning machine. This can be a smart investment for pet parents, as I recently discovered for myself when I got the chance to test a number of these machines.

We recently added a new puppy to our household, which already included an older dog and two cats, so a pet carpet cleaner was definitely an overdue piece of cleaning equipment. That’s why I was eager to spend more than 2 weeks testing 10 different carpet cleaners for pets—and the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner ranked as the best overall pick. As with all of the pet carpet cleaners I tested, I tried it on stains including red wine, chocolate, dirt, oil, and tomato sauce as well as old, stubborn pet stains. I also gave the machines a whirl on some upholstery. Plus, since the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off pet carpet cleaner is convertible from an upright to a portable model, I tested it in both configurations. While it’s not without flaws, it got my vote for the best carpet cleaner for pets overall. Read on to find out why.

Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner: At a Glance

Rating: 9.5/10

Gray and orange Gray and orange ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner in front of piano

Photo: Amber Guetebier for Bob Vila

SPECS

  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Power cord length: 22 feet
  • Hose length: 4 feet
  • Dimensions: 44 inches tall by 13 inches wide by 19 inches deep
  • Attachments: Spraying crevice tool, 3-inch tough stain tool
  • Cleaning path width: 12 inches
  • Clean-water tank capacity: ¾ gallon

PROS

  • Combines the versatility of a portable model with the features of an upright
  • Powerful, effective removal of tough stains left by pets and other common spills
  • Portability makes it a great choice for cleaning carpeted stairs
  • Can be used on upholstery fabrics as well as carpeting; crevice tool particularly helpful with upholstery
  • Carpets are mostly dry to the touch an hour after cleaning

CONS

  • In upright mode, the base feels somewhat less stable than standard upright models
  • Portable section feels heavy with full tanks; may be difficult for some users to carry on stairs
  • Somewhat loud when in operation; may be distressing to some pets
  • Screwdriver required for disassembly after each use so unit can be properly cleaned

Get the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner at:

What is the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner? 

This carpet cleaner functions as both an upright and a portable model. The machine will lock into its base to serve as an upright or “lift off” the base, via a simple unlatching mechanism, converting it to a portable unit. This makes it a highly versatile carpet-cleaning machine for use on both large areas and stairs, as well as for scrubbing at spot stains. It can also be used as an upholstery cleaner.

This Bissell employs hot-water extraction, shampooing, and bonnet cleaning to remove hair, many kinds of stains, and odors. Its key feature is its DirtLifter PowerBrush, which boasts multiple rows of bristles that dig deep into carpet fibers. It comes with an 8-ounce bottle of Bissell Pro Max Clean + Protect cleaning solution, an 8-ounce bottle of Deep Clean + Antibacterial formula cleaner, a crevice tool, and a 3-inch tough stain tool.

In total, this model weighs about 26 pounds, with 24.25 of those pounds being the portable section. As a portable, it is a little heavier than comparable models, but the added convertibility from upright to portable makes it worth the weight.

Person pushing gray and orange carpet cleaner across tan carpet

Photo: Amber Guetebier for Bob Vila

Simple Assemble–Mostly

In testing, I found assembling the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off carpet cleaner to be fairly straightforward, aside from one area of hassle. The Lift-Off portable pod is essentially ready to use, which is great, but then I had to attach the handle to the base. This is done with four included screws, but the necessary Phillips-head screwdriver is not included (fortunately, I had one on hand). The screws go in at an upright angle, which is somewhat counterintuitive. In addition, it was hard to see the screws once they were in their slots, which made tightening them a bit of a challenge, despite the instructions labeled directly on the handle. Tip: Be sure to tighten the screws very well or the handle will feel rickety. Once the handle is on, the remaining assembly includes wrapping the cord and the flexible hose, and then snapping the Lift-Off pod into place. In total, assembly took less than 15 minutes.

Adding water and cleaning solution proved to be quite simple. First, I pulled up the handle of the clean-water tank to remove it from the pod. Next, I unscrewed the cap and filled the tank with warm tap water to the easy-to-see fill line, then added approximately 2 ounces of cleaning solution to bring the liquid level up to the solution line. Conveniently, the machine comes with two 8-ounce bottles of cleaner, which got me through several uses. After filling the clean-water tank, I screwed the lid back on and slid the tank into place, moving the tank’s handle back so it would stay in place while in use.

Side by side before and after photos of stained carpet and cleaned carpet

Photo: Amber Guetebier for Bob Vila

Effective Stain Removal in Minutes

Although the handle felt a little flimsy compared with the handles of standard upright models, the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off carpet cleaner was very easy to use as an upright. The red start button is located on the portable lift-off section (the pod). However, users will want to be aware that after starting the machine, it may appear to be powered “on,” but the light on the handle must also come on for the Bissell ProHeat to function. If the handle light does not come on, make sure the pod section is pushed down into place securely.

A pedal release in the back of the handle offers control when pushing the machine. To use, simply squeeze the trigger on the top of the handle to release the solution while moving forward over a section of carpet, then pull backward across the same section to absorb the dirty water. The majority of my medium-shag carpets got fairly clean without any additional scrubbing and were dry to the touch within an hour after cleaning.

On the carpet test square, I found that the Bissell removed the dirt, coffee, tomato sauce, and oil stains in less than 5 minutes. The red wine stain lightened but remained mostly there after four passes. I also ran the Bissell on some stubborn pet urine stains on my carpet, and it lifted about 50 percent of the stains in 5 minutes. For both of these more stubborn stains, I switched to the portable mode and used the tough stain tool attachment to finish the job.

Person cleaning tan carpet with Bissell carpet cleaner

Photo: Amber Guetebier for Bob Vila

Convenient Portable Cleaning Option

For tougher stains that failed to come out with a pass or two of the upright, I decided to apply some elbow grease and start scrubbing, using the machine in portable mode. To access portable mode, I simply pressed the release trigger on the base and pulled up on the handle—the pod came right off. In less than 2 seconds, I had a portable machine in my hands. What’s more, the 3-inch tough stain tool is already on the end of the hose, so I was ready to go to work. (If users want to use the crevice tool instead, swapping out the two tools ought to be a breeze.)

There is a solution-release trigger on the handle of the hose, so I used the pod just as I did the upright, employing the same principle of release, scrub, and suction. The suction power of the hose in portable mode was quite impressive.

I used the portable machine to clean several steps, and I found it compact enough to sit on the step above or below while I was scrubbing. It is a little on the heavy side for such a small machine, especially with the added water weight, but it gets the job done. I also tested in this mode on an individually stained carpet square. I found it removed everything beautifully, though it took close to 20 minutes to banish all the stains while I was using the tough stain tool. Even that stubborn red wine stain that didn’t lift in upright mode was gone in 5 minutes.

It might even be fair to say that this Bissell cleans better as a portable than as an upright, but I love that the machine is so adaptable. It would take a long time and be pretty uncomfortable to clean an entire room of carpet with a portable, so this machine solves that by offering a quick switch between the two with its hybrid design.

Side by side before and after of dirty navy chair and cleaned navy chair

Photo: Amber Guetebier for Bob Vila

Versatile Enough for Upholstery

Although the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off carpet cleaner is designed to clean larger carpets and carpeted stairs, it can also be used on upholstery. I disconnected the portable pod from the base and used it on a chair that was covered in pet hair and had a few mysterious surface stains. In less than 5 minutes—including the time it took to switch to the crevice tool—the chair looked brand new. I really liked the way the crevice tool got into deep folds of the fabric.

Cleaning and Maintenance

This Bissell cleans pet hair and messes very well—and because of that, the machine itself should be cleaned thoroughly after each use. Failure to clean after use could result in clogs to the brushes and nozzle. The only issue I had with this was taking apart the nozzle assembly (the part that sits over the rotating brush heads at the bottom of the machine). I had to grab that Phillips-head screwdriver again and remove three screws to do so. Once I had this part of the machine taken apart, I rinsed the nozzle assembly thoroughly in the sink and removed hair from the brushes.

Cleaning the dirty-water tank was more straightforward. I removed it easily from the base and then pushed the handle back to take off the lid. Then it was a snap to simply rinse out the dirty- water tank.

Is the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner worth the money? 

Overall, this pet carpet cleaner proved to be a very high-quality machine, earning a 9.5 out of 10 on my testing scale. I’ve used it four times now and found it to be consistent each time in its performance. It also feels well built, too, and that it should last a long time. While I found it most effective as a spot cleaner, it’s easy to use in both modes, and I like the idea of one machine to handle both types of tasks.

But with this machine’s price tag of just over $300, shoppers must decide for themselves whether this Bissell is worth the money—it’s a subjective decision, based on how much carpet is in the home, how many pets are in the family, and how messy everyone (not just dogs and cats!) really is. The machine certainly qualifies as an investment, but then again, so are carpets.

Those looking for a machine that’s versatile and easy to use may well find the Bissell ProHeat 2X a worthy piece of cleaning equipment. I do—I’m the sort of person who is likely to do routine maintenance on my carpets, especially with two dogs and two cats (not to mention my young son). I also think the fact that treated carpets are mostly dry to the touch in about an hour is a huge convenience and a time-saving plus.

Tan carpet that has just been cleaned with Bissell carpet cleaner

Photo: Amber Guetebier for Bob Vila

Should you buy the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner? 

For those who have a large area to cover, such as an entire house with wall-to-wall carpets, there are more powerful options, such as the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro, which is nearly the same price.

However, for those looking for a portable machine mainly to spot-clean messes and area rugs (but may have larger areas to clean on occasion), the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off is ideal. The biggest selling point is its duality. It’s a hybrid machine that can function as an upright and simply convert to a portable. While you do sacrifice a bit of power with the two-in-one compared with the previously mentioned upright (the Revolution Pet Pro), for the majority of those living with pets, the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off is a great solution.

Where to Buy the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner

Get the Bissell ProHeat 2X Lift-Off Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner at:

Meet the Tester

Amber Guetebier is a writer, editor, and creative writing instructor who began writing for Bob Vila in 2021. Before becoming a freelance writer, she was a landscape designer and nursery professional. She is also a mother of one active son and four pets, all of whom track in dirt, make messes, spill things, and generally wreak havoc on her carpets. She writes about home and garden, parenting, travel, and more for various outlets, including CNET, Angi, ParentMap, and Scary Mommy. Her forthcoming book about plants will be out in 2025.