As dirty as your carpets get, sometimes your furniture can be nearly as bad. Cleaning upholstery thoroughly, safely, and efficiently can be a challenge. The best vacuum for couches has to be one that both has the suction power to remove tough stains and is maneuverable enough to reach all of the couch’s surfaces. Specialized attachments designed specifically for upholstery can also be a great help in cleaning up stains and messes.
Cleaning your couches doesn’t have to be a major chore—if you have the right equipment. The four vacuums we’ve rounded up here are some of our top choices when it comes to cleaning sofas and other furniture. Check out the full reviews below to help you figure out which is the right one for you.
OUR TOP PICK
Sometimes a vacuum alone just isn’t going to cut it, especially for couches in heavily-used areas of your home like the TV room. A wet vacuum like the Little Green ProHeat from Bissell can be a great tool since it’ll work equally well on wet spills as it does on dirt and other dry messes. It’s a great choice if you have some set-in stains you need to work out, too, since it can work better down deep between fibers than most vacuums.
First of all, this isn’t a steam cleaner. It doesn’t have to use water to clean, and when it does that water doesn’t have to be hot. This makes it more versatile for use with couches of different materials. You can think of it more like a vacuum that also gives you the option of spraying cleaner or hot water to make your job easier. The suction power is high whether you’re using it wet or dry, though like any wet cleaning method you will need to give the couch a little time to dry afterwards.
This is also a really easy vacuum to use. It only weighs 13 pounds, and there are spots for all the accessories built into the housing, so it’s easy to grab it for a quick clean-up. The 15-foot power cord and flexible four-foot hose gives you a wide cleaning reach. Of course, the compact build does mean the tank is relatively small—this isn’t the kind of vacuum you can use just as well for larger jobs. As a spot cleaner for carpets, couches, or anywhere else in your home, though, it’s a fantastic option.
- Lightweight and portable design
- Useful tools that can be stored right on the vacuum
- Can clean both wet and dry messes
- Removes odors as well as messes
- Great if you have set-in stains
- Equally useful for any couch material
Dyson is always coming up with innovative new ways to clean your home. The Dyson V7 just might be the most powerful hand-held vacuum ever designed. On top of that, it’s remarkably tiny, making it a great choice for couches, car interiors, or anywhere else you need to take it.
It’s truly impressive the kind of power you get from this vacuum considering its small size. It weighs less than four pounds, light enough you can use it with a single hand, yet it still has the suction to pick up any dry mess. It’s especially good at capturing small particles, down to .5 microns, but can handle bigger dirt, too. The slim design already makes it great for the contours of a couch but it also comes with an array of useful tools. The motorized tool is especially useful if you have kids or pets, trapping messes like ground-in dirt or shed hair.
Another reason the Dyson V7 is so portable, aside from its size, is that it’s totally cordless. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery that gives you up to 30 minutes of cleaning time on each charge. You don’t have to worry about the suction dying halfway through, either. It will be just as powerful at minute 25 as it was at the start of your cleaning session.
Dyson really thought of everything when they designed this vacuum. They’ve even improved the way you empty the canister, making it more hygienic with a single-button ejection that keeps you from having to touch the dirt. It’s easy to use, powerful, and versatile, and while it costs a bit more than most hand-held vacuums, in our eyes it’s worth the money.
- Light enough you can use it with one hand
- The motorized tool is ideal for pet messes
- Cordless and portable
- Highest suction power you’ll find in a hand-held vacuum
- Consistently powerful throughout the 30-minute run time
- A bit pricey for a hand-held vacuum
If you’re hoping to find something closer to the $50 range, you’ll want to take a gander at this 20-volt cordless vacuum from Black+Decker. It’s certainly a streamlined design, and the suction power isn’t as high as you’ll find elsewhere, but as a cheap way to clean up small messes it gets the job done.
Like the Dyson above, this vacuum uses a lithium-ion battery for totally cordless operation. It will give you about 15 minutes of consistent suction power on each charge—not especially impressive, but enough for most small cleaning tasks. The same could be said of the suction power itself. It’s not powerful enough for ground-in messes and struggles with pet hair, but it’s fine for basic spills or routine cleaning.
When it comes to the design, we found the cleaning nozzle a bit tight for our tastes. The narrow aperture does let it fit into a wider array of spaces, and it was helpful when we were cleaning under and around the cushions, but it makes cleaning a space even the size of a couch a much longer process than it has to be. Otherwise, though, we had no complaints about the design. It’s intuitively designed and doesn’t feel cheap despite its lightweight.
If all you need to clean are simple messes, there’s no reason to spend more for power and features you won’t need. This Black+Decker vacuum is a great choice if value and convenience are your top concerns.
- Incredibly low price
- Cordless and portable
- Simple, straightforward design
- Sufficient suction power for most household messes
Most carpet cleaners are bulky and somewhat clunky—not designed for the smaller surfaces of a couch. The Hoover Spotless is designed to give you a portable alternative, bringing you the power of a steam clean in a package that weighs less than ten pounds, and costs less than a hundred bucks.
This steam cleaner uses a traditional two-tank design. The simplicity makes it easy to fill and empty the cleaner. The design is really smart overall. There’s a convenient carrying handle built right into the top and it has a wide base, so you won’t accidentally pull it over while you’re cleaning. The controls are clear and easy to access. It only comes with one tool, which made us dubious at first, but it seems to be versatile enough to handle all kinds of messes and surfaces.
One problem with most steam cleaners is that they’re tricky to clean out thoroughly, which can lead to a buildup of mold, mildew, and bacteria. Hoover’s new hose technology solves this problem. The hose is flushed clean automatically after every use and preventing bad odors and microbial growth.
Our only big complaint about the Hoover Spotless is that the hose is on the short side. It has a length of just under four feet—long enough to reach the top of most couches, though you may need to stretch and shift more to finish your whole job than with other options. This small gripe aside, the Hoover Spotless is a powerful little cleaner that will leave your couch both looking and smelling like new.
- Easy to fill, use, and empty
- Weighs less than 10 pounds with an empty tank
- self-cleaning hose prevents build-up of bacteria or dirt inside
- Removes and prevents odors
- High suction power
Choosing a Vacuum
There are two main things you need to consider when you’re trying to find the best vacuum for couches in your home. The first is how much use the couch gets. The more the use, the more power you’ll need to clean it. The second is what material the couch is made out of. A wet vacuum is a great option for upholstered couches but not as good a choice for vinyl or leather.
If you have a variety of different couch materials in your home, something like the Bissell Little Green ProHeat might be especially useful, letting you tailor your clean to the situation. Since none of these vacuums cost more than $200, you’ll get a great clean at a great price, whichever way you go.