Best upholstery cleaner 2023: 6 buys to rejuvenate that couch pronto

Red wine will not defeat you

Best upholstery cleaner: bottles of cleaning sprays with brushes on pink and yellow background
(Image credit: Future)

If you're here, I am going to take a wild guess that you've accidentally spilled something you really shouldn't have in a place that you always try to keep clean. Perhaps it's the couch and a glass of your favorite vino, or even worse: your mattress and your morning latte. Whatever it is, as the queen klutz of dropping and spilling things, I can totally relate. There's nothing like that moment, which for some reason is always in slow motion, and the feeling of your heart dropping. The thought that immediately enters your head every time: "will this come out, without costing me a fortune?" The answer is almost always yes, so long as you are armed with a decent upholstery cleaner that is.

Luckily enough for you (and conveniently enough for me) I've tested a bunch of upholstery cleaners everywhere from my couch to my rugs and my mattress. And only the ones that truly made a difference have made it onto this list. Even if you're not in a panic to wipe away a stain, these solutions are super handy to keep underneath your kitchen sink, with the rest of your cleaning supplies.

  • Note that some of these clever products might need to be vacuumed up afterward. 

The best upholstery cleaners — as tried and tested by our experts

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Real Homes review process — How we tested these cleaners 

Image of Upholstery cleaer Bissell SpotClean being tested at home

Bissell SpotClean in testing

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

We strive to test everything we recommend at Real Homes, so with the help of our team members we've managed to test a few of the upholstery cleaners featured in this guide. Yes, we test these solutions and machines in our own homes, to clean real-life day-to-day messes that we're faced with.

For the products we haven't (yet) tested, we've featured them because of their stellar reviews by people who really love using them. 

Meet our testers below:

Jaclyn Turner illustration
Jaclyn Turner

Jaclyn was preciously ecommerce editor at Real Homes, as well as our sister brands Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. Jaclyn tested the Revolve upholstery cleaner and her pet Reese gave it a run for its money. She also tested the outdoor cleaner from Carbona in her yard on some very tired looking cushions.

Jennifer Oksien illustration
Jennifer Oksien

Jen was previously our appliances editor, so she tested the Bissell SpotClean Pro Upholstery Cleaner and gave it 4.5 stars out of five. She reckons it's the most satisfying appliance you'll ever use. Using fresh water, you can use it on your upholstery and carpets to dredge up new and historic dirt and dust, and then feel the satisfaction of emptying the sludgy brown water into the sink afterward.

3 things to consider when buying an upholstery cleaner

1. Find the right solution for your material
Whether your upholstery is a natural fiber or synthetic a good upholstery cleaner will work its way deep into the fabric to give it a complete refresh. But, before you buy a product, check that it will suit the material that you are cleaning. Leather upholstery, for example, can be easily cleaned of discoloration or marks but, you must use a leather cleaner rather than an all-purpose upholstery cleaner to bring it back to its former glory. 

2. Be sure to read the directions carefully
Before you use any upholstery cleaner, you’ll need to make sure you read the label that came with your furniture so you can ensure that you’re not going to damage the material. In some cases, furniture will require a water-based cleaner, while others require water-free products, and some may advise against using an upholstery cleaner altogether. 

3. Double-check the application
In our list of the best upholstery cleaners, we’ve provided you with a combination of shampoos, sprays, and aerosols so you can choose the best cleaning method for you. Lastly, double-check the ingredients and do a patch test out on a hidden part of your furniture first. This way you are confident that it will have no adverse effects. 

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. Along with my team, I'm here to review all of the products you might be considering buying for your home. As someone who lives in a flat with a small amount of storage space to work with, and with two indoor pets to clean up after, I am forever searching for stylish yet functional appliances that won't blemish my decor if I can't fit them in a cupboard. I love decorating my living room for each season, while my other hobbies include drinking a decent cup of coffee, going on park walks with my dog and enjoying an Instagrammable brunch with my husband.

With contributions from