Conventional vacuum cleaners are great for cleaning carpets. They are powerful enough to pick up dust, pet hair and even small toys if you are not careful.
But they are heavy and tedious to handle. If you have kids or pets (or both), vacuuming the carpet several times a day is a way of life, and it can be a tiring one if you are using a traditional vacuum.
A carpet sweeper makes keeping your carpet clean so much easier. It is lighter than a vacuum cleaner and more flexible. You can easily clean under chairs and even take it upstairs.
Most carpet sweepers are manual, so you don’t need to worry about plugging it in, giving you the freedom to use it anywhere.
Manual carpet sweepers combine rotating brushes and bristles to sweep and pick up dirt, pet hair and particles off the floor.
For a bit more money, you can get an electric sweeper. Electric sweepers use powered rotating brushes to agitate and pick up dirt on the carpet.
A carpet sweeper doesn’t sweep the carpet as deeply as a vacuum cleaner – so you’ll still need your old vacuum. But it’s perfect for in-between cleanings to get rid of food crumbs, dust and pet hair.
In this buying guide, we recommend the best carpet sweepers. We considered weight, versatility, runtime and ease of use when picking the best carpet sweepers.
Here are our top 5 picks if you don’t want to long any longer (reviews are further below):
|Best for pet owners||Best budget||Best manual||
Best for large homes
|1 hour||1 hour||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Notable feature||Convertible to a handheld cleaner||Hair-picking brush roll||Corner brushes for edge cleaning||Adjustable height||Extra-wide cleaning width|
|2 years||1 year||1 year||1 year||
What to Consider When Choosing a Carpet Sweeper in the UK
a. Electric vs. Manual
A manual sweeper uses brushes and bristles to pick up pet hair and dirt. They are easy to use, don’t need to be plugged in and you can clean for as long as you want without worrying about the battery dying.
Manual carpet sweepers also tend to be lighter since they have no motor and battery.
On the downside, manual sweepers struggle to pick fine dust and particles. They may also not clean a fluffy or thick carpet very well.
Electric carpet sweepers use a motor to drive rotating brushes. The powered brushes pick up more debris and can reach dirt deep down in the carpet. Electric sweepers generally clean carpets more effectively especially if you have a thick carpet.
But electric sweepers have their disadvantages too: they are more expensive, they need to be plugged in, you are limited by battery life and they are relatively loud compared to the virtually silent manual sweepers.
A lightweight carpet sweeper will be easier to push around on the carpet. It’ll be especially useful if you have a thick and fluffy carpet.
A lighter carpet sweeper is also easier to carry up the stairs.
A good carpet sweeper should weight under 2kg. If you are buying the sweeper for a senior, look for one that weighs close to 1kg.
Keep in mind that an electric carpet sweeper is going to be heavier because of the motor and battery. If you want a sweeper that is as light as possible, a manual one is the best.
If you plan to get an electric sweeper, check the battery life. How long the battery lasts determines how much time you have to finish sweeping the carpet and floor.
Most electric carpet sweepers last one hour before you need to recharge. This is plenty of time to sweep even a large carpet, or carpets in multiple rooms.
d. Low Profile
Most of the dirt on your carpet is the one hiding under the sofa and furniture. It is essential to sweep these places to avoid allergens and dust from getting back into the air.
A good carpet sweeper should not have a problem getting under these tight spaces.
Look for a sweeper with a low profile that easily fits under furniture. The handle should also lay almost flat for easy cleaning.
e. Debris Bin
Make sure you pick a carpet sweeper with a bin, not a bag. Bags are tedious to empty and clean. They also need frequent replacement.
A good quality bin will last the life of the carpet sweeper.
Bin size is also important. If you have pets and kids, your carpet likely fills up with lots of dirt. A sweeper with a large debris bin will easily hold all the debris, so you don’t need to empty it midway through the cleaning.
A smaller bin is okay if your carpet doesn’t get very dirty.
Another thing to check is how easy it is to remove the bin and empty it. You should be able to do it with one hand.
The features are not essential but they can improve ease of use and cleaning performance.
- Corner brushes – these are handy for sweeping along edges and in corners.
- Convertible – some carpet sweepers can be converted into handheld sweepers or vacuums for stairs or upholstery cleaning.
- Soft bumper – a soft bumper on a carpet sweep prevents scratches and scuff marks on your furniture.
Best Carpet Sweepers: Reviews
Note: While this buying guide is for carpet sweepers, all the models we review below are also ideal for sweeping hard flooring including wood and tiles. They’ll sweep both carpeted and uncarpeted areas.
1. Gtech SW02 Power Sweeper Review
Though a bit pricey compared to other carpet sweepers, the Gtech SW02 is our top pick for most homes.
It is electric, which makes it easy to use even for a senior. It also cleans much better than manual sweepers. It picks up more debris and reaches deeper into the carpet (you’ll still need your main vacuum cleaner for the occasional deep cleaning).
The Gtech SW02 is perfect for all kinds of carpets as well as hard floors. A nylon brush bar works with an edge brush to sweep and pick pet hair, dust, food crumbs and dirt.
The dirt is held in a large bin that’s easy to remove and empty.
The telescopic handle makes it easy to adjust the sweeper to your height. You can also lengthen or shorten the handle to adjust your reach.
You can completely remove the handle to convert the Gtech SW02 into a handheld sweeper that’s perfect for cleaning upholstery, the stairs or the car.
Being an electric sweeper, the Gtech SW02 has a limited run time. Fully charged, the battery lasts through one hour of cleaning – plenty of time to sweep the entire house.
After you finish cleaning, plug it in and let it charge overnight. It takes about 16 hour to recharge.
The Gtech SW02 is noisier than a manual sweeper but nowhere near as noisy as a vacuum cleaner. Don’t worry; you won’t wake your neighbours with your late night or early morning cleaning.
What we like about it:
- Cleans well.
- Convertible to a handheld sweeper.
- Easy to use and maintain.
- Large and easy to remove dust bin.
2. Shark Cordless Rechargeable Sweeper Review
If you are looking for an affordable electric carpet sweeper, we recommend the Shark V3700UK cordless sweeper.
It’s only a little more expensive than a manual sweeper and provides a much better cleaning performance. It’s perfect if you have pets or kids and need an easy way to keep the carpet and floor clean.
Like the Gtech SW02, the Shark sweeper has a 1-hour run time with the battery fully charged.
One reason to pick the Shark sweeper over the Gtech SW02 is the fast recharge time. It recharges in just 5 hours, compared to 16 hours of the Gtech SW02, yet they both have a similar run time.
If you often find that you have to sweep the carpet 2-3 times a day, the Shark sweeper is a better choice. You can sweep and recharge it two or three times in a day.
The difference in recharge time is because Shark uses a lithium-ion battery while the Gtech SW02 uses a NiMH battery.
The Shark sweeper uses a rotating brush roll to sweep and pick up debris. The brush is especially good at picking up pet hair.
If you have a dog or cat that leaves hair everywhere, the Shark cordless sweeper is a great choice.
The low profile design and long 1m handle make it easy to sweep under furniture and other hard to reach areas.
The slide-out bin tray is large – it easily holds all the pet hair and dirt from a single cleaning. A push of a button is all you need to remove the tray and empty it.
What we like about it:
- An affordable electric carpet sweeper.
- Great at picking up pet hair.
- Large and easy to remove dirt tray.
- Easily cleans under furniture.
3. BISSELL Sturdy Sweep Review
On a budget? Get the Bissell Sturdy Sweep. It’s the cheapest of our picks but cleans better than expected.
The Sturdy Sweep is a manual carpet sweeper. It uses a central rotating brush to pick up pet hair and dirt. It also has four corner brushes to sweep in dirt from the sides. The corner brushes are handy when you are sweeping along the wall or in corners.
The sweeper is low so it can easily fit under most furniture. The handle can also lay flat against the floor when you need to sweep under the chair.
All the dirt is held in two large bins that are easy to empty.
What we like about it:
- Low price.
- Easily picks up pet hair, food crumbs and other kinds of dirt.
- Corner brushes pick up dirt along the edges and in corners.
4. Ewbank Evo3 Review
If you want a more capable manual carpet sweeper, we recommend the Ewbank Evo3. It costs more than the Bissell Sturdy Sweep but it picks up more dirt and a better build quality.
The Ewbank Evo3 picks dirt on both forward and reverse motions. This, combined with the 24cm cleaning width, allows you to sweep a large area in less time.
The Evo3’s most unique feature is the adjustable height. The normal height is low enough to sweep under most furniture. But if you have an extra-low sofa or table, you can lower the sweeper’s height further.
The nylon brushes have no trouble picking up pet hair and dirt. We also love the large topside bins that use an effortless spring-loaded mechanism to open.
Another feature we love is the soft bumper that protects your furniture from damage. In case you hit a table or chair when sweeping, the sweeper will not leave scratches.
What we like about it:
- Good build quality, including steel handle and nylon brushes.
- Adjustable height for easy access under furniture.
- Wide cleaning path.
- Large bins that are easy to empty.
5. BISSELL Natural Sweep Review
Because of its extra-wide cleaning path (24.5cm), Bissell Natural Sweep is our top recommendation for large homes.
The wide brush allows you to sweep a large carpet quickly and efficiently.
The Natural Sweep has dual rotating brushes that sweep and agitate debris then pick it up and push it inside the dirt pans. One brush roll picks up large debris like bits of cereal whole the other focuses on fine debris like dust.
Four corner brushes help sweep in dirt and pet hair from along the edge of the wall and in corners.
The Bissell natural sweep easily reached dirt and pet hair hiding under furniture. The base is low enough to go under the couch and the handle can lay flat.
What we like about it:
- Quickly cleans a large carpet or floor.
- Made with recyclable materials.
- Dual brush rollers improve cleaning performance on the carpet.
- Corner brushes pick up dirt along wall edges and in corners.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a carpet sweeper work?
Unlike a conventional or handheld vacuum cleaner, a carpet sweeper doesn’t use suction to pick up dirt and debris. It features revolving brushes that are forced to turn when the sweeper is pushed over a carpet. They pick up bits from your carpet, and push them into a dirt container box on the bottom of the machine, where they stay until the sweeper is emptied.
How to empty a carpet sweeper?
This is a very simple procedure. All carpet sweepers come with an easy mechanism to empty them – just make sure you do it over a bin! There will be “push” arrows at the bottom of your sweeper; simply press them both together at the same time and watch the dirt and dust fall out.
You may wish to give the sweeper a gentle tap to dislodge anything that might be stuck. And that’s it! Most sweepers fill up quite quickly, so you may find yourself emptying it more than once during a cleaning session.
Who invented a carpet sweeper?
Carpet sweepers have been around for literally centuries! Melville R Bissell, from Michigan in the US, first patented the carpet sweeper in 1876. He didn’t manage to start making them and selling them until 1883 however, but they have been flying off the shelves ever since!
These days they have mostly been replaced by the ease and simplicity of the vacuum cleaner, but they are still a very useful item to have around the home. Imagine if the entire power grid went down and you couldn’t clean your house! Having a carpet sweeper, which doesn’t use electricity, is perfect for such apocalyptic scenarios. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that!