BISSELL is an American manufacturer of vacuum cleaners and floor care appliances. They offer a diverse selection of vacuum cleaners, ranging from compact handheld cordless vacuums to bulky corded uprights and everything in between. Most of their offerings are somewhat budget-friendly and use bagless designs, meaning that recurring costs tend to be pretty low. That said, quite a few of their more compact offerings struggle with clearing bulky debris, while their bigger corded uprights generally feel somewhat cheap.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is the best vacuum from BISSELL that we've tested. Its floorhead has five levels of height adjustment, so you can adjust the brushroll quickly and easily, which is helpful if you have a wide mix of floor types in your home. It offers excellent solid debris pickup on carpet and performs impressively well on bare floors. It can easily handle hair on various surfaces, ranging from bare floors to carpets, making it the best BISSELL vacuum for pet hair we've tested. Its bagless design and washable pre-motor filter keep recurring costs low, while its spacious dirt compartment won't need emptying very often. It's fairly lightweight for an upright vacuum, allowing you to carry it up and down stairs without too much of a problem. You can also spot-clean small areas by using its wand and attaching either its soft-bristle dusting brush or its crevice tool.
However, this vacuum isn't very maneuverable because of its bulky design and fixed-angle head. Build quality is mediocre, with its floorhead wheels, brushroll plate, and dustbin feeling fragile. It also lacks a brushroll on/off switch, so it can get stuck on obstructions like rug tassels if the head height isn't set high enough and force you to turn the vacuum off to free. If that's a feature you want, consider the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo, which is much easier to maneuver on thick carpeting and feels better built. However, it's a lot more expensive and has quite a few maintenance requirements.
If you're on a tighter budget, check out the BISSELL Featherweight Stick. This corded upright doesn't offer anywhere near the deep-cleaning performance of the larger, heavier BISSELL PowerForce Helix. However, not only is it cheaper than either, its extremely compact, lightweight design makes it a lot easier to grab and use for short clean-ups. It's also remarkably easy to maintain, with the few parts requiring regular maintenance being easy to access. While it struggles with clearing away heavy or bulky debris, like whole chunks of cereal or other debris within that realm, it has no trouble dealing with pet hair and lighter household debris.
Unfortunately, like many other corded BISSELL vacuums, it has a very short power cord, so you'll have to swap outlets when cleaning larger rooms. Its range of attachments is very limited, as it only comes with a crevice tool that can be attached to the end of its canister body. Unsurprisingly given its very low purchase price, it also feels cheaply built, with a body made mainly from hollow-feeling plastic. If you're looking for a cheap handheld BISSELL vacuum intended only for spot cleaning, the BISSELL AeroSlim is a highly compact option that will fit almost anywhere.
If you prefer using a canister vacuum instead of an upright model to clean your home, check out the BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister. Its straight-suction floorhead doesn't offer the same level of surface agitation as the BISSELL PowerForce Helix, so it isn't a great fit for cleaning thick carpeting. It's also smaller and far more maneuverable in cluttered environments. Its lightweight wand and body and easy-to-use design make it a great fit for elderly users. Since its filter and dirtbag are easy to access and replace, user maintenance is also simple. It does struggle somewhat when clearing away heavy debris, but it doesn't have too much trouble with pet hair or lighter material.
Unfortunately, its power cord is very short. As a result, you'll probably have to swap outlets when cleaning larger rooms. On the upside, the cord rewinds with the press of a button, a convenience feature that's rare but very welcome for an entry-level vacuum. If you don't want to buy new dirtbags periodically, the BISSELL Zing Bagless Canister is a bagless equivalent that delivers similar overall performance and incurs minimal recurring costs. However, the lack of dirtbags results in inferior air filtration performance and a less hygienic means of debris disposal since emptying its dustbin can release a cloud of dust and debris.
If you want to go cordless, the BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max is among the best BISSELL vacuum cleaners we've tested. This hybrid vacuum/mop isn't nearly as maneuverable or portable as a canister model like the BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister and doesn't deliver the deep-cleaning performance of an upright like the BISSELL PowerForce Helix, especially on carpets, since the CrossWave's fluffy brushroll provides minimal surface agitation on carpets. However, it's a fantastic option if you want something that can tackle dry and wet messes as well as dried-on stains on bare floors, thanks to its detergent-dispersal function. Its cordless design allows you to clean areas far from any power outlets, and its battery life of about 40 minutes will be sufficient for cleaning a fair amount of space.
Unfortunately, this vacuum does have more parts that need regular cleaning. There's also no way of adjusting the speed of the brushroll or stopping its rotation, so you need to be careful when cleaning around loose obstructions like rug tassels, which can get stuck in its floorhead, jamming its floorhead.
Dyson vacuums tend to occupy a much higher price point than BISSELL's offerings, which is reflected in generally superior performance and better build quality. That said, BISSELL's selection of corded models is far more extensive than what Dyson offers. You can see our recommendations for the best Dyson vacuums here.
Shark vacuums are generally better built than BISSELL's comparable offerings and deliver better overall performance. However, some BISSELL models are a little easier to maintain—many new Shark models use non-removable brushrolls that can be a hassle to clean properly. If you'd like our recommendations for the best Shark vacuums, click here.
Eureka and BISSELL vacuums occupy a similar budget-friendly niche, and offerings from each brand tend to have strengths. BISSELLs usually have a wider array of convenience features when comparing like-for-like models, while Eurekas offer superior debris pickup performance.
BISSELL vacuums usually fall into a budget-friendly price range. However, you may be sacrificing some measure of cleaning performance, build quality, or quality-of-life features in exchange for that affordability. Though they're similarly affordable, they tend to perform worse on all surface types than Shark vacuums and struggle more with clearing large debris than most Eureka vacuums.
BISSELL has a diverse lineup of vacuums, and their naming convention can sometimes be confusing. In broad strokes, you can outline their model lineup as follows.
Cordless/Corded Stick Models
Apr 21, 2023: Recategorized BISSELL Featherweight Stick as the 'Best Cheap BISSELL Vacuum' pick to maintain consistency with other recommendation articles. Verified that all picks still remain the best choice for user needs.
Oct 25, 2022: Recategorized BISSELL PowerForce Helix as Best BISSELL Vacuum. Added BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister as 'Best BISSELL Canister Vacuum'. Added BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max 2554 as 'Best Cordless BISSELL Vacuum'. Added BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 as the 'Best Budget BISSELL Vacuum' pick.
BISSELL builds a wide variety of vacuums to suit different needs, ranging from cordless handheld vacuums for spot-cleaning countertops and furniture to bulky corded upright vacuums that you can use to clean large carpeted areas. BISSELL vacuums tend to be affordable and use bagless designs that keep recurring costs down. Unfortunately, they aren't usually the best choice for all-out cleaning performance and can feel cheaply made.