Bissell Big Green vs. Bissell Big Green Pet Pro: The Ultimate Showdown

When it comes to deep cleaning your carpets, the choice often boils down to two heavy hitters in the industry: The Bissell Big Green 86T3 and the Bissell Big Green Pet Pro 3288. Both models pack a punch, but how do they stack up against each other, especially when you’re deciding which one will be your go-to warrior in the battle against dirt, stains, and pet messes?

Power and Performance: A Tie that Binds

Feature Bissell Big Green 86T3 Bissell Big Green Pet Pro 3288
Power Rating 12 amps🔋 12 amps🔋
Power Source Corded🔌 Corded🔌
Brush System Rotating, DirtLifter PowerBrush🌀 8 Row XL DirtLifter PowerBrush🌀
Power Cord Length 25 ft📏 25 ft📏
Cleaning Path Width 10.5″📏 10.5″📏

Both models offer the same power rating, ensuring that you have ample suction and brush action to lift and remove deep-down dirt from your carpets. The inclusion of a corded power source guarantees uninterrupted cleaning power, and the generous power cord length means you can traverse large rooms without constantly searching for a new outlet.

Battle of the Brushes and Formulas

While both machines boast impressive DirtLifter PowerBrushes, the Pet Pro steps up with an 8 Row XL version, suggesting a slight edge in tackling pet hair and messes. This might be a critical factor for pet owners.

The cleaning formulas included also cater to their target audiences. The Big Green 86T3 comes with three 8 oz. trial-size bottles of BISSELL PRO MAX Clean + Protect Formula, perfect for general deep cleaning. On the other hand, the Pet Pro offers a full-size 48 oz. bottle of BISSELL PET PRO OXY Urine Eliminator Formula, a clear nod to pet owners needing to tackle stubborn stains and odors.

Accessories and Ease of Use

Both models are equipped with a 6″ Tough Stain Tool and a 9′ Long Reach Hose, making them equally adept at cleaning stairs, upholstery, and other hard-to-reach areas. The inclusion of two large-capacity tanks in each model ensures that clean and dirty water remains separate, streamlining the cleaning process and reducing downtime.

Key Takeaways

Power and Performance: Both models are equally matched in terms of power, making them suitable for heavy-duty cleaning tasks.

Pet Owners’ Preference: The Bissell Big Green Pet Pro 3288, with its specialized brush and formula, is tailor-made for homes with pets, offering targeted solutions for pet-related stains and odors.

General Deep Cleaning: The Bissell Big Green 86T3 is a versatile powerhouse, suitable for a wide range of cleaning tasks, making it a great option for those without pets.

Accessories and Flexibility: With similar accessories and features like the long reach hose and large-capacity tanks, both models offer convenience and ease of use, regardless of your specific cleaning needs.


Choosing between the Bissell Big Green 86T3 and the Bissell Big Green Pet Pro 3288 boils down to your specific cleaning requirements. Pet owners might lean towards the Pet Pro for its enhanced brush system and pet-focused cleaning formula. However, for those seeking a reliable, all-around carpet cleaner capable of handling a variety of stains and dirt, the Big Green 86T3 stands out as a formidable choice. Both models promise deep cleaning capabilities and ease of use, making them top contenders in the carpet cleaning arena.

Navigating the Comments: Deep Dives into Bissell’s Titans

Comment 1: “How effective are these models on old, set-in stains? Specifically, pet stains that have been a challenge for other cleaners.”

When confronting the stubborn specters of old pet stains, both Bissell models wield impressive might, thanks to their potent combination of powerful suction, robust brush action, and specialized cleaning formulas. The Big Green Pet Pro 3288, in particular, shines in this arena with its 8 Row XL DirtLifter PowerBrush, designed to delve deeper into carpet fibers, agitating and lifting away not just the surface debris but also the haunting remnants of set-in stains. Coupled with the BISSELL PET PRO OXY Urine Eliminator Formula, which harnesses the power of oxygen to break down stains at a molecular level, the Pet Pro offers a formidable solution. It’s not just about physical removal; it’s a chemical breakdown that ensures stains are not just hidden but genuinely eradicated. The Big Green 86T3, while not pet-specific, still offers substantial cleaning prowess with its powerful brush system and BISSELL PRO MAX Clean + Protect Formula, making it a strong contender for general deep cleaning and stain removal.

Comment 2: “Can either of these machines clean hard floors, or are they strictly for carpets?”

The primary battlefield for both the Bissell Big Green 86T3 and the Big Green Pet Pro 3288 is indeed carpeted terrain. Their design, from the ground-up, targets the unique challenges posed by carpets, utilizing high-powered suction and brush systems optimized for deep penetration into fibers. However, their utility on hard floors is limited by this specialization. Without a feature to disable the brush rotation or a dedicated hard floor tool, their effectiveness on surfaces like hardwood or tile diminishes, potentially risking damage to delicate flooring. For homes boasting a variety of floor types, investing in a specialized hard floor cleaner or a versatile vacuum designed for multi-surface cleaning might be the more prudent approach to ensure all your floors receive the care they need without compromise.

Comment 3: “What’s the noise level like on these machines? My current carpet cleaner is incredibly loud.”

When it comes to the auditory footprint of these robust machines, it’s undeniable that their powerful performance comes with a sonic signature to match. The 12-amp motors, while champions in suction and brush power, do not whisper; they roar. Users should anticipate a significant volume of sound during operation, a common trait among heavy-duty carpet cleaners designed for deep cleaning. This noise level, while potentially louder than lighter-duty machines, is a testament to the strength and effectiveness of the Bissell Big Green models. For those sensitive to noise or in households where quiet is paramount, considering the timing of cleaning sessions or utilizing ear protection could mitigate the acoustic impact without sacrificing the deep clean these machines offer.

Comment 4: “Is the size and weight of these models manageable for someone with limited storage space or physical strength?”

The Bissell Big Green 86T3 and the Pet Pro 3288, with their robust build and professional-grade cleaning capabilities, do command a certain presence in terms of size and weight. They are engineered for performance, which necessitates a sturdy framework to house the powerful motor and large-capacity tanks. This design choice, while advantageous for cleaning efficacy, means they are heavier and bulkier compared to lighter-duty models. Individuals with limited storage space might find these machines challenging to accommodate. Similarly, those with physical limitations may find maneuvering and transporting the machines more demanding. It’s a balance between the unparalleled cleaning power they offer and the practical aspects of machine storage and handling. For users concerned about these factors, exploring Bissell’s range for lighter, more compact models could provide an alternative that better aligns with their needs without significantly compromising on cleaning power.

Comment 5: “Do these machines require a lot of maintenance? I’m looking for something low-maintenance.”

The maintenance regime for the Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288 is thoughtfully designed to be as straightforward and minimal as possible, reflecting an understanding of the user’s need for convenience. Regular tasks include emptying and rinsing the tanks after use, cleaning the brushes to remove any entangled hair or debris, and occasionally checking the filters and belts for wear and tear. Both models feature easily removable tanks and brushes, simplifying the cleaning process. The manufacturers have endeavored to make these maintenance tasks as user-friendly as possible, ensuring that upkeep does not become a deterrent to regular use. It’s this ease of maintenance, combined with their cleaning prowess, that positions these models as appealing options for those seeking professional-level results with domestic-level upkeep.

Comment 6: “How does the cleaning performance of these models compare to professional carpet cleaning services?”

The Bissell Big Green 86T3 and the Pet Pro 3288 have been engineered to bridge the gap between home cleaning solutions and the results one might expect from a professional service. These machines embody a synthesis of power and precision, boasting features such as the high-amperage motors and advanced brush systems designed to tackle deep-seated dirt and stains. The efficacy of their cleaning solutions, tailored for tough stains and pet messes, respectively, complements the mechanical action of the machines, ensuring a thorough cleanse that rivals professional outcomes. However, while these units deliver remarkable results, the experience and expertise of a professional service, equipped with industrial-grade machines and a broad arsenal of cleaning agents, might offer an edge in certain challenging scenarios, such as extremely old stains or specialized carpet materials. The distinction lies in the convenience and cost-effectiveness of owning a Bissell Big Green machine, allowing for frequent deep cleans without the recurring expense of professional services.

Comment 7: “What’s the warranty like on these machines, and how does customer service handle issues?”

Both the Bissell Big Green 86T3 and the Pet Pro 3288 come with robust warranties that reflect the manufacturer’s confidence in their products’ durability and performance. Typically, these models are covered by a limited 5-year warranty, which safeguards against defects in materials and workmanship. This extensive warranty period is indicative of the commitment Bissell has to quality and customer satisfaction. In terms of customer service, Bissell is known for its responsive and helpful support team. Should issues arise, customers can expect attentive service, including troubleshooting assistance, parts replacement, and repair services as needed. The company’s proactive approach to customer support aims to ensure that any disruption in the user experience is swiftly and satisfactorily addressed, reinforcing the value of their investment in a Bissell cleaning solution.

Comment 8: “Can I use third-party cleaning solutions with these machines, or must I stick to Bissell formulas?”

While the Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288 are optimized to work with Bissell’s proprietary cleaning formulas, the machines do not mechanically restrict the use of third-party solutions. However, it’s important to consider the formulation and compatibility of alternative cleaning solutions carefully. Bissell’s formulas are specifically designed to work in tandem with their machines’ operational dynamics, ensuring not just efficacy in cleaning but also the longevity of the machine itself. Using non-Bissell solutions can risk suboptimal cleaning performance or, in some cases, damage to the machine if the solution is not suitable for use with deep-cleaning carpet machines. Furthermore, using third-party cleaning solutions may affect the warranty, so it’s advisable to weigh these factors carefully and consult Bissell’s guidelines before deviating from recommended products.

Comment 9: “Are these models environmentally friendly, considering the power they consume?”

The Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288, with their 12-amp power ratings, are certainly built for performance, which does entail a significant energy draw during operation. However, their design incorporates several features aimed at reducing their environmental impact over time. For instance, the efficiency of their cleaning mechanisms—capable of deep cleaning in fewer passes—reduces the overall energy consumption by shortening cleaning sessions. Moreover, Bissell’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in their choice of cleaning formulas and the design of their machines to ensure durability and reduce the need for frequent replacements. While no high-performance carpet cleaner can claim to be entirely eco-friendly, the design and operational efficiencies of these models mitigate their environmental footprint as much as possible within the current technological and practical constraints.

Comment 10: “Do these machines handle high traffic areas well, or do they wear down the carpet over time?”

The Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288 excel in maintaining and revitalizing carpets, even in areas subjected to high foot traffic. Their cleaning action is meticulously calibrated to remove dirt and grime without compromising the integrity of the carpet fibers. The rotating DirtLifter PowerBrushes are designed to lift dirt gently yet effectively, ensuring that while the carpets are thoroughly cleaned, the fibers are not unduly stressed or damaged. Regular use of these machines in high traffic areas can actually extend the life of carpets by removing abrasive dirt particles that contribute to wear and tear over time. Far from wearing down the carpet, proper and consistent use of these Bissell models can help maintain the carpet’s appearance and texture, safeguarding your investment in your home’s comfort and aesthetics.

Comment 11: “How do these machines perform on different types of carpets, like Berber or plush?”

The Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288 are adept at navigating the vast landscape of carpet types, from the tight loops of Berber to the luxurious depth of plush carpets. Their design incorporates adjustable settings and versatile attachments to tailor the cleaning experience to the carpet’s specific needs. The robust brush systems, capable of deep cleaning, gently agitate and lift dirt from the carpet fibers without causing damage, ensuring that both low pile carpets and high pile variants are meticulously cleaned. For delicate Berber carpets, which are prone to snagging, the gentle action of the brushes, combined with the potent suction, ensures effective dirt removal without harming the fibers. Conversely, for plush carpets, where dirt can hide deep within the fibers, the powerful extraction capabilities of these machines ensure that embedded dirt is effectively removed, revitalizing the carpet’s look and feel. This adaptability underscores the machines’ versatility, making them suitable for a wide range of carpet types, each with its unique challenges.

Comment 12: “What about the drying time after cleaning? How long before carpets are fully dry?”

One of the standout features of the Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288 is their efficient water extraction capabilities, which significantly reduce drying times. Post-cleaning, the powerful suction of these machines removes a substantial amount of water, leaving carpets damp rather than soaked. Typically, carpets cleaned with these units are dry within a few hours, though this can vary based on factors such as carpet thickness, air circulation, and humidity levels. To expedite the drying process, it is advisable to increase air circulation in the room with fans or open windows, if weather permits. The effectiveness of these machines in minimizing drying time not only enhances convenience but also mitigates the risk of mold and mildew growth, ensuring that carpets remain clean and fresh after every cleaning session.

Comment 13: “Can the Big Green machines clean area rugs without causing damage or are they too powerful?”

The Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288, despite their powerful performance, are designed with the versatility to clean area rugs without causing damage. The key is in the preparation and the cleaning technique. For most area rugs, especially those that are not deeply anchored or backed with a non-slip surface, it is recommended to secure the rug to prevent shifting during cleaning. Additionally, using a gentler setting, if available, and testing a small, inconspicuous area of the rug for colorfastness and texture change can prevent unwanted damage. The efficacy of these machines in cleaning area rugs lies in their ability to adjust to the task at hand, providing a deep clean that rejuvenates without overpowering the delicate balance of the rug’s construction and aesthetic appeal.

Comment 14: “Is it easy to switch between the different tools and settings on these machines, or is it a cumbersome process?”

Switching between tools and settings on the Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288 is engineered to be as seamless as possible, reflecting a design philosophy that values user convenience. The transition between the standard cleaning mode to using attachments like the 6″ Tough Stain Tool or the 9′ Long Reach Hose is straightforward, typically involving simple connections that are intuitive and well-documented in the user manuals. Adjustments in settings to cater to different carpet types or cleaning intensities are similarly user-friendly, often requiring minimal steps. This ease of transition ensures that users can adapt their cleaning approach on-the-fly, responding to the varied needs of their home’s surfaces without facing a steep learning curve or time-consuming adjustments.

Comment 15: “Regarding long-term reliability, how do these Bissell models hold up over the years with regular use?”

The long-term reliability of the Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288 is a testament to Bissell’s commitment to quality and durability in its product line. With regular use, these machines are designed to maintain their performance levels, thanks in part to their robust construction and the availability of replaceable parts and maintenance support from Bissell. Users who adhere to the recommended maintenance routines—such as cleaning out the tanks after use, rinsing the brushes, and periodically checking for wear on belts and filters—can extend the lifespan of these machines significantly. Feedback from long-term users often highlights the machines’ enduring performance, with many reporting years of reliable service. This durability, coupled with the comprehensive warranty and responsive customer service, positions the Bissell Big Green 86T3 and Pet Pro 3288 as wise investments for those seeking a long-term solution to their carpet cleaning needs.


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