This $130 handheld car vacuum makes cleaning up messes in hard-to-reach places a snap
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- There's no beating your standard upright vacuum cleaner when it comes to suction power and dirt-holding capacity.
- However, cordless handheld vacuums are indispensable when you want to get where upright units have trouble, such as stairs and cars.
- The Bissell Cordless Hand and Car Vacuum excels because it can run for about 20 minutes on a single charge, has powerful suction, and is light enough that you can use it without tiring out your arm.
- Though it's expensive (currently $127.49 on Amazon), it comes with several attachments and is backed by a limited two-year warranty.
Bissell recently sent me its Lightweight Cordless Hand Vacuum and Car Vacuum (model 1985) for free to test. Here are my experiences with it.
My first experiences with the Bissell Cordless Hand VacuumThe Bissell Cordless Hand Vacuum comes with four cleaning attachments:
- Motorized brush roll - Within this attachment is a rotating brush that lifts and removes debris, such as pet hair, from a variety of surfaces, including carpets and upholstery.
- Dusting brush - The soft bristles sweep up dust to be sucked up.
- Extended dusting tool - This has the same soft bristles as the dusting brush but is extended for reaching cobwebs or other hard-to-reach places.
- Crevice tool - Stored inside the handle, the crevice tool really gets into corners and between cushions.
Additionally, there is an extendable hose built into the vacuum.The Bissell vacuum runs on a strong 22V lithium-ion battery that is designed to maintain a steady suction as long as it's running. Lithium-ion batteries can also sit for long periods of time without losing their charge. To charge the vac, you simply plug one end of the adapter into your wall and the other into the unit. Though I recommend reading the safety precautions in the manual, the vacuum is intuitive enough that I was able to start using it immediately after a short initial charge without any instruction.
How the Bissell Cordless Hand Vacuum performed
What I like most about the Bissell Cordless Hand Vacuum is that my 5-year-old, Bucky, can use it. The vacuum only weighs about 3.25 pounds so it's easy for him to hold. One time, Bucky spilled a bunch of dry Cheerios all over the floor. I got him to clean it up on his own by letting him use the vacuum. And his favorite chore now is vacuuming the stairs. He isn't able to empty the dust bin on his own, but that's the easy part.
To empty the dustbin, you simply remove the dustbin from the unit, open the latch on the bottom over your trash can, and let everything drop out. To clean the filter, you gently wash it under warm water and let it dry out completely before replacing it.The motorized brush roll is another useful feature. I found it worked a lot better than the other attachments when it came to cleaning up just about anything. A couple of messes it handled particularly well were pet hair - we have two cats and a dog - and glitter, which is always a challenge. The two bright LEDs directed ahead of the suction head are also helpful for getting into dark corners and spots where other lighting doesn't reach.
When you're cleaning your car, you don't want the vacuum to die on you. So, to test out the battery life of the Bissell 1985 Vacuum, I cleaned my Prius and a friend's minivan. I was able to complete the task on a single charge. The battery lasted over 20 minutes. You can then charge the battery for an hour for a short cleaning session or four hours to get it back to full juice.
Some concerns about the vacuumAfter using the vacuum for about two months, it made a bad sound while I was emptying it and simply stopped working. It wouldn't charge. I emailed Bissell about it, and they got back to me within 24 hours. They sent me a replacement for free and a return label to send back the dud. I didn't even have to flash my media credentials. That's excellent customer service.
The Bissell Handheld Vacuum is loud. I placed my sound meter approximately 12 inches away from the unit while it was running, and it registered 95 decibels. So, you may not want to do any cleaning when people are sleeping in the next room.
The bottom lineOverall, the Bissell Cordless Hand Vacuum is an excellent cleaning tool to have at your disposal, especially if you have pets and accident-prone kids.
The attachment selection makes it easy to reach a variety of areas, the battery life is long enough for most tasks, and the machine is light enough for people of all abilities to use for a prolonged period of time. The price is a bit much, but the vacuum is backed by a two-year limited warranty and exceptional customer service.Subscribe to our newsletter.
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