Bissell Big Green vs Rug Doctor: Which is the best?

Bissell Big Green vs Rug Doctor: Which is the best? 1024 683 Jennifer Dean

Bissell Big Green V.S Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3

Bissell Big Green and Rug Doctor Carpet Extractors Comparison


The Bissell Big Green and the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 carpet cleaners are heavyweights in their own right. Either of them is a terrific device that is worth every penny they are sold for.

However, if you are not looking to make a random pick between both high-performance models, then you have come to the right place. I have reviewed both carpet extractors and I unequivocally can say that they are in the same league.

The $64,000 question though is which between both models is better, even if they are in the same league? On what count(s) do(es) either of them outshine the other? And more importantly, is the quality gap between both models huge?


Bissell Big Green Comparison

Before I dive into the main course of this article, let’s take a moment to highlight the similarities between both models and paint a picture of why they are both fantastic carpet cleaning machines.

A.    Chatter: I have had great experiences with both models, and those who have used either product have plenty of nice words to say about them as well.

B.    Premium Brands: Bissell and Rug Doctor are among the best carpet cleaner brands in the industry.

C.    Performance and Efficiency: If you are looking out for the best-performing carpet cleaners that allow you to clean efficiently, then either model will do.

D.    Pricing: You might call it a conspiracy, but it’s really just intense competition as both models virtually always occupy the same price point, except say on auspicious occasions like Black Friday when limited time offers may make the prices uneven.

E.    Warranty: Both models carry a five-year warranty.

F.    Cleaning tools and solutions: No doubt, their cleaning solutions and tools may be proprietary. However, they are similar and function excellently too.

G.    Pet stains: Both models are ideal for cleaning tough pet stains.


Rug Doctor X3 Comparison

With the overview of the similarities out of the way, stay with me as I unveil the top 5 notable instances where both models contrast. The idea is to use these cases as a scorecard to tell which is better.

1. Tank Capacity (Higher is Better)

Bissell Big Green: 1.75 gallons
Rug Doctor: 3.9 gallons


Winner: Rug Doctor

Additional Information

The tank capacity refers to the maximum volume of liquid that a tank can retain at any point in time. Ideally, the higher the tank capacity, the better, as you would be able to do more cleaning before having to refill.

However, there is a trade-off; a high tank capacity leads to increased weight, which negatively influences maneuverability during cleaning.

Certainly, a sweet spot tank capacity does make sense, but the large tank size of the Rug Doctor does not impinge on its performance. Coupled with 200+% (precisely 223%) higher capacity than the Bissell Big Green, it’s a clear win for the Rug Doctor.

2. Weight (Lower is Better)

Bissell Big Green: 42 pounds
Rug Doctor: 36 pounds


Winner: Tie

Additional Information

So, you’re probably wondering why the verdict is a tie. It is clear that the Rug Doctor sure has less weight than the Big Green. However, you should note that this is the base weight, which you only get to notice during the start and end of cleaning activity.

The real deal is the weight after the tank is filled. It is this weight that matters most as it is the weight you get to notice when you are cleaning. And on this count, the Bissell Big Green takes the point. Remember when I told you that a high tank capacity inevitably leads to increased weight when the tank is filled in the last entry? Well, that’s exactly what happens as the Rug Doctor will actually be heavier when the tank is filled.

Do note that both carpet extractors are fitted with large wheels so as heavy as they sound, they are still relatively easy to move around smoothly.

3. Length of Power Cord

Bissell Big Green: 25 feet
Rug Doctor: 28 feet


Winner: Rug Doctor

Additional Information

It may not appear to be much, but 3 feet is considerable and will be slightly handier when cleaning large spaces, tight corners, or several rooms.

4. Cleaning Performance

Bissell Big Green

The Bissell Big Green uses an effective double-stroke forward and backward passes as its proprietary cleaning method. To put it simply, the device cleans a spot twice (in both directions) in one pass.

This is an efficient cleaning method because even if clearing a stubborn stain might require multiple passes, the double-stroke pass reduces the amount of time you would have spent if the cleaning process were a single-direction pass.

Rug Doctor

The Rug Doctor, on the other hand, uses a single-direction pass cleaning method. In fact, the manufacturer recommends against making multiple passes to clean tough stains.

The manufacturer does have a point though as multiple passes require more water and solution, whose cost adds up over time. The recommendation is that for a tough stain that remains after one pass, you have to let the carpet dry completely before you carry out another pass on the stained portion.

However, I cannot overstate how time-consuming that would be. Not to mention that the extra cost factor still exists.


Winner: Bissell Big Green

Additional Information

Also, the Rug Doctor claims to be more efficient as its cleaning system uses only pass to take out stains that other cleaners need multiple passes for. This is not entirely accurate, although as emphasized earlier on in this article, Rug Doctor has a high-end performance.

Some stains do require more than one pass even with the highly-efficient one-direction pass of Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3. And in such cases, the Bissell Big Green totally trounce its competitor as you neither need to wait for the carpet to dry nor do you have to make as many subsequent passes as you would with the Rug Doctor. In my test, the Bissell’s product has faster drying times than the Rug Doctor’s.

5. Criticism

Bissell Big Green: Release a lot of heat out so may cause sweating. Recommended to turn on air-conditioner when doing carpet cleaning to avoid uncomfortable skin stickiness.

Rug Doctor: Does not suck up as much water as it should. Thus, carpets and rugs take longer to dry when compared with Bissell Big Green.


Winner: Bissell

Additional Information

When looking for a new carpet cleaner, our top priority should be focusing on the cleaning performance. In this particular comparison, The hot air is tolerable for most people, but the lack of suction power for the Rug Doctor is disappointing.

Should You Buy Bissell Big Green or Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3?

If you are looking for the stronger carpet cleaning performance of the two models, it is a clear win for the Big Green. However, as you would notice, it is not a total domination, and you would notice that in some categories, the Rug Doctor is superior (Power Cord length, Water Tank Capacity).

Making Your Choice!

Knowing this does not make your choice as easy as pie. Nevertheless, it does serve as an eye-opener to ascertain what it is you really need in a professional home carpet cleaner. The plus points for the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 are that it cleans a larger area, sports a longer power cord, and does not require you having to refill the tank ever so often. However, you would have to put up with the increased weight when the tank is filled up, and your carpet will take longer to dry.

On the flip side, the Bissell Big Green is easier to maneuver since it is lighter, saves you time thanks to its Deep Cleaning proprietary feature that cleans in both directions. Its suction power and the ability to remove stubborn stains are also the best in this price range. However, you would have to refill it more often than you would the Rug Doctor, especially for a larger house.

So, which would you get—the Bissell Big Green Cleaning Machine or the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack?

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    Jennifer Dean

    Jennifer Dean is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, author and mother of two beautiful kids. You can visit her at

    All stories by: Jennifer Dean
    • Chris Hornback

      wow this review was by far the greatest review in history for the debate between the two carpet cleaners. I love the battle you have shown the fight was legendary but you said it, the double-stroke forward and backward passes makes the big green win, even if the tank is 1.75 instead of the 3.9. Id rather have the extra cleaning performance vs changing the water, and 1.75 gallons is still alot anyways and you would want to change it sooner to make sure the water is luke warm still. Thank you so much for this review

    • Kim S

      I have had the big green machine for over a year and am so very happy with it. I do cut corners and make my own cleaning solution with white vinegar, dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. I have had excellent results.

    • Richard Long

      Which one is more reliable, has the best part support, is easier to clean (unit, not carpet), maintain and service? What are their most common points of mechanical failure and life? These are huge factors to consider at this price point.

    • Roman N.

      I rented a Rug Doctor and found it to be much more efficient compared to an old Hoover consumer grade carpet cleaner. The only thing I did not like was this model had a single button that activates both the water spray and the agitator brush. Videos I watched for other Rug Doctor models showed separate switches for spray and agitator brush. Another issue is the cleaning dead zone on the front of the Rug Doctor. The very front of the Rug Doctor and most other cleaners has the suction head, then there is a small gap 2-4 inches, that provides clearance for the agitator brush to sweep forward and backward, then the water sprayer jets. Therefore when you put the very front of the Rug Doctor against the wall, activate the sprayer/brush and pull back from the wall, there is a dead zone of about 4 inches that does not get sprayed & brushed (aka cleaned). You will have to do the edges of a room from two different directions to clean to the edges. I do like the huge water and waste tanks. The Rug Doctor does put a lot of water on the floor and removes it all. The fresh water tank can take over three gallons of water & solution. I bought a gallon of non-Rug Doctor carpet cleaning solution and use every bit of it in about 4 hours. I scoured the house for any and all other carpet cleaning sprayers or liquids and use them up too.

      • Roman

        I rented a Bissell Big Green carpet machine in July. Compared to the Rug Doctor I liked how the Big Green’s spinning brush operates independently of the water spay. The spinning brush activates whenever the handle is unlocked and lowered. I was also able to obtain the optional brush attachment which has great suction and does not leak water like others do. The attachment is useful for stairs, upholstery, and tight spaces next to walls that the machine itself cannot reach. I think the Rug Doctor does have slightly larger tanks to provide for a longer run time between water changes, but overall I think the Big Green is better at cleaning with its spinning brush compared to the Rug Doctors reciprocating brush, has a slightly longer power cord, and feels a few pounds lighter when lifting.

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