I know my mother in law bought one of the $99 bissells and it works ok, but it is smaller which means more trips to fill it up, more trips to empty, and more going over the carpet as it cleans a smaller area at a time. I have the bissell pro heat and it did run me almost $300 but my other large bissell that I had, lasted me 5 years so it breaks down to about $60/yr which is less than having your carpets cleaned once a year. I have huge dogs too and kids so my carpets get cleaned about once a month it's definately worth paying the extra in my opinion.
I have a Hoover that I paid about $300 for several years ago. We went with a wide path for more cleaning area. It has worked great. I think this is one of the best investments we have ever made as far as household applicances go. I'll definitely buy another one when I need to. You carpets will last so much longer.
Hoover Steamvac Silver from Walmart ($146.94)...as you see 222 ratings and MOST were 5 stars (out of 5 stars). I got it for my breezeway and family room as the rest of my house is tile or wood, BUT I have a 7 month old mini daschaund who is litter trained, but sometimes his "aim" is off, BUT he is getting better. In order to get the water VERY hot, I run a tea kettle of boiling water in it first and add hot tap water...the hotter the water, the cleaner it gets and BOY it does a great job. I also add the cap full of carpet cleaner AND a cap full of pet deodorizer...works great. Good luck.
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