The best carpet sweeper
Partway between a vacuum and a broom, a carpet sweeper uses brushrolls to lift dirt from floors without any suction power. They're great for spot cleaning or for times when a noisy vacuum would be a disturbance.
Read this guide to learn more about carpet sweepers and the features to look out for. Our number one carpet sweeper is the Rubbermaid Commercial Dual-Action Mechanical Sweeper. With two types of brushes, it's extremely effective at picking up dirt particles large and small.
Considerations when choosing carpet sweepers
Manual vs. electric
The majority of carpet sweepers are entirely manual, using forward momentum to turn the brushroll. These are highly convenient as they don't need to be charged or plugged into a power outlet. However, you can also find a handful of electric carpet sweepers, though they're falling out of favor. These models use electricity to power the brushroll, which may give them slightly more cleaning power, but the tradeoff is that they either run off a rechargeable battery or need to be plugged into an outlet, which somewhat defeats the object of a carpet sweeper.
Find out the width of the brush/cleaning head. This is sometimes referred to as the "cleaning path." The wider this is, the more of your floor it cleans with each sweep and the faster you'll get through your task. A wide cleaning path is essential if you plan to sweep whole large rooms, but less important in compact homes or for spot cleaning.
What's great about carpet sweepers is that they tend to be light. This makes them suitable for use by seniors or people with disabilities who may find it difficult to manage the weight of a vacuum cleaner. That said, there are some fairly heavy or bulky carpet sweepers out there, but these are best avoided.
Brushroll: The brushroll is generally made of bristles, like you'd find on a broom, but occasionally you'll find models with rubber brushrolls. These are generally best suited to hard floors, rather than carpets.
Angled cleaning head: Some carpet sweepers have angled cleaning heads, which make it easier to get into tight corners.
Collection chamber: The collection chamber or dustpan is the part the carpet sweeper sweeps the dirt into. When you're done, you can simply empty the pan into the bin.
Carpet sweeper prices
Carpet sweepers are cheaper than quality vacuum cleaners but pricier than brooms. Basic models can cost under $20, but you'll generally need to pay between $50 and $100 for a model that's worth its salt.
Q. What are the benefits of carpet sweepers?
A. You might wonder why you shouldn't just use a broom or a vacuum, rather than a carpet sweeper. Carpet sweepers are more convenient than brooms, because they collect dirt in a container, plus they cleaner deeper and more effectively in carpet pile. Carpet sweepers might not be able to completely replace vacuum cleaners, but they're great for giving your floors a quick pass between vacuuming sessions or for spot-cleaning messes, without the hassle involved with getting out and plugging in your vacuum. They're also useful for spaces without access to a power outlet, such as sheds or summer houses, or for use by people who struggle with the weight of a vacuum.
Q. Are carpet sweepers suited to use in homes where cats and dogs live?
A. Some carpet sweepers are better at tackling pet hair than others -- electrostatic models are especially effective, particularly on hard floors.
Carpet sweepers we recommend
Best of the best: Rubbermaid Commercial Dual-Action Mechanical Sweeper
Our take: This sturdy and reliable sweeper is suited to both home and commercial use on bar floors or low-pile carpet.
What we like: Compact and lightweight enough for people who struggle to handle vacuums. Effective cleaning action can even pick up pet hair. Features a low profile for use under furniture.
What we dislike: Not suited to use on deep-pile carpets.
Best bang for your buck: Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet & Floor Sweeper
Our take: An effective manual sweeper that works on carpets and hard floors with no power cord holding you back.
What we like: Offers exceptional value for money. Uses electrostatic charge to attract and collect debris. Small, lightweight design is easy to maneuver.
What we dislike: Would prefer a wider cleaning path.
Our take: With adjustable bristles, this sweeper is suited to use on all carpet heights, though results can vary.
What we like: Gears power rotating bristles that differ from the blades/brushrolls other models use. Includes comb to remove hair and dirt trapped in bristles. Low-profile design.
What we dislike: Not great for pet hair.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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