Bissell Big Green vs Rug Doctor: Deep Cleaning Machine Showdown

In the world of home carpet cleaning, the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor are two names that stand out. My experience with both models demonstrates how they cater to different cleaning needs with distinct features and performance capabilities. Testing these devices, it becomes clear that selecting the right carpet cleaner is not just about the brand; it’s about understanding the specifics of what each model can do.

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The Bissell Big Green is designed for heavy-duty use, offering powerful deep cleaning and a large tank capacity for fewer refills during a cleaning session. On the other hand, the Rug Doctor boasts professional-grade technology that’s effective on tough stains and suitable for varied cleaning tasks. Both models are competitive in cleaning performance, yet they differ significantly in their design, ergonomics, and ease of maintenance.

Key Takeaways

  • The Bissell Big Green excels in deep cleaning and is built for extensive use.
  • Rug Doctor is effective against tough stains and is versatile for various cleaning tasks.
  • Both have distinct maintenance needs and offer a range of cleaning solutions.

Comparison Overview

In my extensive testing of carpet cleaners, both the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor have distinct features worth highlighting. One of the most notable differences is their tank capacities; the Rug Doctor leads with a 3.9-gallon capacity, surpassing the Bissell Big Green’s 1.75 gallons. This larger capacity can translate to less frequent refills during cleaning sessions.

FeatureBissell Big GreenRug Doctor
Tank Capacity1.75 gallons3.9 gallons
AccessoriesStair tool, crevice tool, dusting brushStair tool, upholstery tool
Cleaning FormulaTrial-sized includedSpot cleaning solution included
Weight42 lbs (empty tank)36 lbs (empty tank)
Power Cord Length25 ft28 ft

In terms of accessories, I found that the Bissell Big Green typically includes a 6-inch stair tool, a dusting brush, and a crevice tool, which are handy for tackling different parts of the home. The Rug Doctor, notably the Mighty Pro X3 model, comes with a stair tool, an upholstery tool, and a spot cleaning solution, which are complementary for upholstery and spot cleaning.

During my review, I also took note of power cord length, which can be pivotal when moving from room to room. The Rug Doctor offers a slightly longer power cord at 28 feet, compared to Bissell’s 25 feet, providing that extra reach that might be needed in larger spaces.

Weight is another factor that affects maneuverability. With an empty tank, the Rug Doctor is lighter, weighing in at 36 pounds versus the 42 pounds of the Bissell Big Green. However, when the tanks are full, the weight of the Rug Doctor will increase more significantly due to its larger capacity.

Design and Ergonomics

In my experience, the physical design of a carpet cleaner significantly impacts its ease of use, especially when tackling large spaces. The Bissell Big Green and Rug Doctor both offer distinct ergonomic features that cater to different cleaning needs.

Bissell Big Green:

  • Weight: It is relatively heavy, which can be felt when moving from room to room. However, this weight contributes to a sense of sturdiness.
  • Handle: The handle is adjustable, which is a welcome feature for users of varying heights. This helps reduce strain during prolonged cleaning sessions.

Rug Doctor:

  • Weight: While comparable in heft to the Bissell, the Rug Doctor’s design is bulkier, which might affect maneuverability in tight spaces.
  • Handle: For taller individuals, the Rug Doctor’s ergonomics are favorable with a design that prevents over-stretching, thereby minimizing the risk of back pain.

Both machines require a push-pull cleaning motion but the Rug Doctor generally feels easier to maneuver despite its weight due to its unique handle design and well-balanced machine layout.

From an operational standpoint, I found the controls on both models to be straightforward and accessible. The Big Green’s tanks are easy to refill and empty, and while the Rug Doctor has a larger tank capacity, it can be more cumbersome to handle when full.

In conclusion, the ergonomics and design of each model have their merits: the Bissell Big Green for its sturdy feel and adaptable handle, and the Rug Doctor for its ergonomic structure suited for taller individuals and larger clean-up capacities.

Water Tank Features

In my experience with both the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor, I’ve noticed that the water tank features play a crucial role in overall performance and usability.

Tank Capacity

  • Bissell Big Green:
    • Capacity: 1.75 gallons
  • Rug Doctor Models:
    • Rug Doctor Pro Deep: 3.9 gallons
    • Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3: Not specified in the provided data

The Bissell Big Green’s water tank holds a considerable 1.75 gallons, but it’s clear that with a 3.9-gallon capacity, the Rug Doctor Pro Deep exceeds this, allowing for less frequent refills during extensive cleaning sessions.

Ease of Filling and Emptying

Through hands-on use, I find that both brands have designed their water tanks with the user’s convenience in mind.

  • Filling:
    • Bissell Big Green: Filling is straightforward, with clear markings and easy access to the tank.
    • Rug Doctor: Similar ease of filling is present with ample tank openings.
  • Emptying:
    • Bissell Big Green: The tank is easily removable, which simplifies the emptying process.
    • Rug Doctor: Empties efficiently, though the larger tank of the Pro Deep means it can be heavier when full.

Both brands show commendable ease of use in filling and emptying their tanks, a testament to user-friendly design.

Cleaning Performance

When evaluating the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor, I focused on several key aspects that define their cleaning performance. These factors are crucial in determining their effectiveness on various carpet challenges.

Suction Power

From my testing, suction power is a significant element in a carpet cleaner’s ability to remove dirt. The Bissell Big Green comes equipped with a robust 12 amp motor, providing substantial suction to lift away deeply embedded debris. The Rug Doctor also showcases strong suction capabilities, particularly in its Pro models, which contributes to its effective cleaning power.

Deep Cleaning Capabilities

The ability to perform deep cleaning is vital, especially for households with high foot traffic or pets. In my experience, the Bissell Big Green excels here with its dual cross action brushes, working effectively to dislodge dirt from deep within the carpet fibers. Similarly, the Rug Doctor employs effective rotating brushes, which in concert with its high suction, results in commendable deep cleaning performance.

Stain Removal

Addressing pet stains and other difficult spots, I’ve found both the Bissell and Rug Doctor to be capable. The Bissell’s additional attachments and Rug Doctor’s concentrated solutions both play a role in their stain removal efficacy. However, it’s the consistent suction and brush action that ultimately facilitates the removal of stubborn stains.

Cleaning Path Width

The cleaning path width is directly related to cleaning efficiency; a broader path means fewer passes are needed to clean a room. The Bissell Big Green provides a substantial path width that speeds up the cleaning process without compromising thoroughness. Rug Doctor models often have comparable paths, which is beneficial for quickly covering large areas.

Rotating Brushes Performance

A standout feature in these machines is the rotating brushes. The Bissell Big Green features an 8-row XL DirtLifter PowerBrush that I’ve noticed does an impressive job of agitating carpet fibers to release trapped dirt. Rug Doctor’s brushes are also efficient, making multiple passes over the carpet, which helps in ensuring a deep and thorough clean.

As I conducted my tests, these elements were consistently at the forefront of gauging the cleaning performance between the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor. Both showed strengths in various areas, making them suitable for different cleaning needs.

Suitability for Cleaning Tasks

In my extensive testing of both carpet cleaners, I’ve found that they each have their strengths when it comes to specific cleaning tasks.

Carpet Cleaning

My experience with the Bissell Big Green showed that its 1.75-gallon tank is quite efficient for cleaning moderate to large areas of carpeting without frequent refills. However, the Rug Doctor, with its larger 3.9-gallon tank, allows for longer cleaning sessions, which is particularly advantageous when tackling larger homes or commercial spaces. Both machines possess powerful brushes that effectively reach deep into carpet fibers to remove dirt and debris.

Upholstery and Stairs

For cleaning upholstery and stairs, I found the Bissell Big Green’s 9-foot hose and 6-inch tough stain tool quite adept at reaching tight and hard-to-reach areas. Its accessories are designed to handle the contours of furniture and the vertical aspect of stairs effectively. Although the Rug Doctor models typically include attachment hoses and tools for these tasks, I noticed that the Bissell’s attachments were particularly user-friendly.

Spot Treatment and Small Areas

In terms of spot treatment and managing small areas, both the Bissell Big Green and Rug Doctor machines offer targeted solutions. The Bissell’s tough stain tool is indispensable for quickly addressing spills and localized stains. The Rug Doctor’s machines similarly come equipped with tools that excel in spot treatment, proving themselves capable of extracting set-in stains through concentrated efforts.

Ease of Maintenance

When it comes to maintaining your deep carpet cleaner, ease of maintenance is a critical factor. I’ll walk through the specifics in cleaning after use and maintaining brushes and nozzles for both Bissell Big Green and Rug Doctor, gleaned from my thorough experience with these machines.

Cleaning after Use

After using the Bissell Big Green, I’ve found that it’s straightforward to disassemble the tank for cleaning. Simply remove the tank, rinse with water, and let it dry. BoldRug Doctor’sBold, on the other hand, requires a bit more diligence due to its larger tank size – a feature that is an advantage during use, but can make post-use cleaning slightly more cumbersome.

  • Bissell Big Green: Easy-to-remove tank; rinse and dry.
  • Rug Doctor: Larger tank requires thorough rinsing and longer drying time.

Maintenance of Brushes and Nozzles

The brushes and nozzles on a carpet cleaner can determine the longevity and effectiveness of the machine. In my experience, Bissell Big Green’s brushes are quite durable and maintain their firmness after multiple uses. Cleaning them is as easy as detaching and rinsing with a cleaning solution.

With Rug Doctor, the brushes also perform well over time. However, the nozzles often need more attention to prevent clogs, especially if you’re dealing with more viscous cleaning solutions.

  • Bissell Big Green Brushes: Easily detachable; simple to clean with water or a mild cleaning solution.
  • Rug Doctor Nozzles: Prone to clogs; may require special cleaning tools to ensure optimal performance.

Cleaning Formulas and Solutions

When it comes to selecting a carpet cleaner, the effectiveness of the cleaning formulas is just as important as the machine’s performance. In my experience with both the Bissell Big Green and Rug Doctor, I’ve noted how their respective cleaning solutions complement their cleaning capabilities.

For the Bissell Big Green, their proprietary formulas, such as the Pro Max Clean + Protect, have demonstrated a reliable cleaning strength. This particular formula not only targets deep stains and odors but also adds a protective layer to the fibers, which helps in maintaining the cleanliness over time. Its formulation is suitable for versatile cleaning tasks, from pet stains to high traffic areas.

Rug Doctor, on the other hand, offers cleaning solutions that promise to deliver similar results. Their formulas are highly concentrated, which, I’ve found, makes them quite effective in removing tough stains. A stand-out feature of Rug Doctor’s offering is their focus on delivering potent solutions while also ensuring the compatibility with their machines for optimal performance.

Here’s a brief comparison of their cleaning solutions:

Bissell Cleaning SolutionsRug Doctor Cleaning Solutions
Pro Max Clean + ProtectConcentrated for powerful stain removal
Designed to protect carpet fibersFormulated for compatibility with machines
Versatile for various stains

My usage confirms that both brands offer high-quality cleaning solutions, but it’s the Bissell’s Pro Max Clean + Protect formula that seems to resonate with my needs for its dual-action capabilities. Whichever brand you lean towards, remember to align the cleaning solution with the specific cleaning task at hand for the best outcome.

Special Features and Accessories

When examining the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet and the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack, I focused on the special features that set them apart.

For the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet:

  • CleanShot Pretreater: I found this to be quite effective at tackling stubborn pet stains before the deep cleaning begins.
  • 2-in-1 Pet Upholstery Tool: This allows for dry and wet cleaning on soft surfaces, proving versatile during my use.
  • Cleaning Path Width: The Bissell boasts a 12 inch cleaning path, which helps cover ground quite efficiently.
  • The Triple Action Vibrating Brush: It goes deep into the carpet, vibrating to dislodge dirt particles, and is particularly helpful in high traffic areas.

As for Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack:

  • Handheld Oscillating Brush: It comes with an attachment for concentrated spot cleaning. Using it, I was able to get to those tough-to-reach spots.
  • Triple Action Vibrating Brush: Similar to Bissell’s, Rug Doctor’s brush pulses to break up dirt and is quite effective on different carpet pile depths.
  • Large Tank Capacity: With a larger tank size compared to the Bissell, I spent less time refilling and more on cleaning, which is a considerable advantage in larger spaces.

Both devices come equipped with their own collection of cleaning tools, which make them adaptable to a variety of situations I encountered. The large tank on the Rug Doctor and the variety in Bissell’s attachments give both brands a unique edge, depending on the cleaning tasks at hand.

User Experience and Reviews

In my experience testing both the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor, user feedback is paramount. Through careful examination of reviews and user discussions, I’ve identified key insights from customers’ experiences.

Bissell Big Green:

  • Ease of Use: Generally, users appreciate the simplicity in operating the Big Green. It’s straightforward to handle, which makes the cleaning process less daunting.
  • Performance: The effectiveness in lifting stains and rejuvenating carpets is often praised. I’ve noted that it cleans thoroughly without multiple passes.
  • Durability: Several reviews mention its robust construction. I concur; my usage confirmed its ability to withstand regular use without issue.
  • Amazon Rating: As of my last update, it boasts high ratings on Amazon, indicating widespread user satisfaction.

Rug Doctor:

  • Tank Capacity: A recurring point in reviews is the larger tank size. I found it allows for less frequent refills, making it suitable for larger areas.
  • Weight: It’s noteworthy that while the Rug Doctor is heavier when loaded, it’s slightly lighter when empty, which might affect maneuverability.
  • Criticisms: Some users have expressed criticisms about its size, making it cumbersome in smaller spaces. My testing aligns with this; it can be bulky to store and transport.
  • Community Chatter: Online forums and comments often debate its value over the Big Green, with many users leaning towards the Rug Doctor for its power.

In reviewing both models, my objective is to present a clear, balanced viewpoint based on extensive personal testing and careful analysis of user testimonials.

Price Considerations

When assessing the Bissell Big Green and Rug Doctor carpet cleaners, I paid close attention to the pricing aspect of each model. From my examination, it is evident that both brands position themselves at different price points which cater to varied consumer budgets.

Bissell Big Green:

  • Generally retails between $400 – $500
  • Offers a balance between features and affordability

Rug Doctor:

  • Models range from about $500 – $600
  • Positioned slightly higher, reflecting its larger tank capacity and brand reputation

For potential buyers, it’s important to note that the initial purchase price is just one part of the overall investment. Both Bissell Big Green and Rug Doctor machines tend to have a longer lifespan and come with warranties that help protect your purchase. However, the difference in cost might influence your decision, especially if on a tight budget.

I found that there are also costs associated with accessories and cleaning solutions, which can add up over time. Bissell’s products are generally competitively priced, with a range of cleaning solutions that don’t break the bank. In contrast, Rug Doctor’s accessories and cleaning solutions can be more costly, which may increase the long-run cost of ownership.

It’s my recommendation to weigh the up-front cost against long-term value. If you have a large space and frequently deep-clean your carpets, the Rug Doctor could justify its higher price with robust performance. For those with less demanding needs or tighter budgets, Bissell’s Big Green provides a cost-effective solution without compromising significantly on performance.

Brand Reputation

When comparing Bissell Big Green and Rug Doctor, it’s important to consider not only their performance but also the reputation they carry in the carpet cleaning market, which is a reflection of their market presence and the customer service experiences.

Market Presence

I’ve found that both Bissell and Rug Doctor have a significant presence in the carpet cleaner market, commonly regarded as two of the more premium brands. Bissell has long established itself with a wide range of cleaning devices suitable for various uses. Rug Doctor, on the other hand, has made its name primarily through its rental services and commercial-grade products.

  • Bissell: Diverse product lineup catering to different market segments.
  • Rug Doctor: Strong rental service reputation and commercial focus.

Customer Service and Warranty

In my experience, customer support is a critical element that can affect brand credibility and customer loyalty. Bissell provides excellent warranties for their products, often extending up to 5 years, which underscores their confidence in product quality and commitment to customer satisfaction.

  • Bissell Warranty: Up to 5 years on certain products.
  • Rug Doctor Warranty: Variable, depending on the product; some commercial models have up to a 5-year warranty.

Both companies seem to have robust customer service channels, from phone support to online resources. However, warranty terms can change, so I advise customers always to check the current policy at the time of purchase.

Final Recommendations

After thoroughly testing both the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor, I’ve gathered key insights to help potential buyers make an informed decision. Here are my recommendations based on my experience with these heavy-duty carpet cleaning machines:

Bissell Big Green

  • Tank Capacity: 1.75 gallons
  • Weight: Over 40 pounds
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

The Bissell Big Green boasts a substantial tank size and an impressive 5-year warranty, offering long-term value. Its performance in lifting deep-seated dirt is commendable, and despite its weight, which is substantial, it provides a satisfying clean.

Rug Doctor

  • Tank Capacity: 3.9 gallons
  • Weight: 56.9 pounds for the Pro model

With nearly double the tank capacity of the Bissell, the Rug Doctor stands out if you are working with larger areas and prefer fewer refills. This might translate to a hefty form factor, but for the added capacity, it’s a trade-off some users will find worthwhile.

For those prioritizing warranty and long-term investment, the Bissell Big Green is a stand-out contender. If you need a machine catered more towards extensive usage and larger capacity, the Rug Doctor may better meet your requirements. Both carpet cleaners are robust and deliver superior cleaning performance, but your choice should align with your priorities—warranty and ease of handling with Bissell, or tank capacity and cleaning swath with Rug Doctor.

Additional Considerations

When comparing the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor X3, it’s important to factor in various aspects beyond basic performance. I’ve taken the time to assess these considerations, which include how each machine handles pet messes, whether they’re kid-friendly, the availability of hot water usage, and the overall design and practicalities of water handling in each machine.

Pet Messes:
I’ve found that the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet is an excellent option for homes with pets. The machine effectively removes pet hair and stains. The Rug Doctor X3, while powerful, lacks the specialized features for pet messes that Bissell provides.

In homes with children, the speed of cleaning and drying is paramount. The Bissell Big Green cleans efficiently, minimizing the time wet carpets are accessible to little ones.

Hot Water Usage:
Both machines allow for the use of hot water which is crucial for effective stain removal. The Rug Doctor X3 has a large tank capacity, which means less frequent filling, but the Bissell also keeps up well, with no loss in heating performance during operation.

Ergonomic Design:
Handling and maneuverability are vital. I’ve noted that the Bissell Big Green’s design is quite user-friendly with an ergonomic handle and easy-to-control motions that reduce physical strain during cleaning sessions.

Water Handling:
The tank capacity is a major factor. The Rug Doctor boasts a 3.9-gallon tank, which is more than double the Bissell’s 1.75 gallons. This means fewer trips to the sink for refills with the Rug Doctor, which could be a time-saver for some.

Overall, when considering additional criteria, think about your specific needs, especially if you have pets or children, and whether hot water functionality or ergonomic design hold more weight for your household’s carpet cleaning needs.


In my extensive testing of both the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor, I’ve carefully considered their features and performance. The Rug Doctor boasts a larger tank capacity at 3.9 gallons, compared to the 1.75 gallons of the Bissell Big Green. This disparity means more cleaning time before refills for the Rug Doctor. On the matter of portability, however, my experience with the Bissell Big Green was slightly more manageable due to its design, notwithstanding that when filled, the Rug Doctor can indeed feel heavier.

The Rug Doctor’s 28 ft power cord is slightly longer than the 25 ft cord of the Bissell, providing a bit more reach across rooms. Furthermore, I noticed the cleaning tools included with the Bissell, like the 9′ Long Reach Hose & 6 inches Tough Stain Tool, facilitated an efficient cleaning process for areas like stairs and upholstery.

When considering the cleaning method, both machines perform well, offering deep cleaning capabilities, which I found to be effective on a variety of carpet types. The choice between the two might ultimately come down to specific features that align with individual cleaning needs, be it tank capacity, weight, maneuverability, or accessory tools.

In summary, here’s a brief comparative overview:

  • Tank Capacity: Rug Doctor offers more which means less frequent refills.
  • Portability: Bissell Big Green is generally easier to handle.
  • Reach: Rug Doctor’s power cord is longer by 3 feet.
  • Cleaning Tools: Bissell includes a versatile set for different cleaning situations.

Picking the right carpet cleaner is dependent on your preferences and requirements. Both the Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor are robust machines capable of delivering professional-level cleaning.

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