The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a bagless upright vacuum, only available from Walmart stores. It sits near the bottom of BISSELL's extensive product lineup, below pricier, better-equipped models like the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo and BISSELL CleanView Swivel. While it's somewhat sparse in terms of convenience features, it has a floorhead with five levels of height adjustment, rare for a model in this price range, enabling it to adapt to a multitude of surface types on the fly.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix 2191 is an okay option for bare floors. While it can pick up pet hair without a problem, it tends to push around small and bulky debris rather than suck them up. Since it doesn't have a rotating floorhead, it can also be hard to maneuver in tight spaces. Since there's no dedicated brushroll off switch, you also need to ensure that its brushroll is set to a sufficient height when cleaning bare floors if you want to avoid scratching delicate surfaces. It also feels fragile in places and has several parts that need regular cleaning. On the upside, its bagless design incurs minimal recurring costs.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix 2191 is good for low-pile carpet. It has little trouble picking up pet hair and most fine and large debris. However, it has disappointing maneuverability, and despite its five-level brushroll height adjustment, it can still drag around some lighter rugs. It also feels cheaply built and has many parts that need regular cleaning.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is decent for high-pile carpet. It can easily deal with pet hair and clears a relatively impressive amount of large and fine debris, thanks in part to its five-level brushroll height adjustment function. However, build quality is mediocre, and several parts need periodic cleaning. Since its floorhead doesn't pivot, it can also be hard to maneuver in tight areas.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is an okay option for picking up pet hair. It can easily deal with this kind of debris on everything from bare floors to low and high-pile carpet. However, it lacks an upholstery tool or turbo brush to easily clean pet hair on furniture. There's also no onboard HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean, and as a result, it does a terrible job of sealing in fine allergens like pet dander. It has a plasticky build quality, and accessing its brushroll to clear out any tangled hair requires that you remove a couple of screws. It isn't very maneuverable, making it hard to clear pet hair under tables or chairs. It isn't the quietest vacuum on the market either, which isn't ideal if your pet is sensitive to loud noises.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is sub-par for vacuuming stairs. While it's lightweight for an upright vacuum, it has a very short vacuum hose, making it hard to clean stairs when using it in its semi-handheld configuration. The vacuum can also easily tip over if you aren't holding it upright, and it feels very cheaply built. That said, it still performs very well on carpets and does a decent job of dealing with debris on bare floors.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is an upright vacuum without a dedicated handheld configuration and therefore isn't designed for cleaning cramped environments like the inside of your car.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a poor fit for workshop cleaning. It tends to push around household debris on hard floors and isn't meant for tackling heavier-duty debris like wood or metal shavings. You also can't use it to deal with liquid spills.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is currently available in two color variants: 'Blue' and 'Purple'. We tested the 'Blue' variant, and you can see its label here.
If you come across another variant of this vacuum, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a corded upright vacuum that you can use in a half-handheld configuration. While it doesn't perform as well overall compared to more expensive bagless uprights like the Dyson Ball Animal 3, doesn't come with as many tools or brushes, and feels very cheaply built, it still delivers strong debris-pickup performance for a vacuum in this price bracket.
If you're looking for an alternative, take a look at our list of recommendations for the best vacuums under $100, the best upright vacuums, and the best bagless vacuums.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix and BISSELL CleanView each have their own strengths. The PowerForce Helix has better performance on low as well as high-pile carpet, it's lighter, and its dirt compartment is bigger. It's also easier to maintain and there are fewer recurring costs. However, the CleanView has significantly better performance on bare floors, and it comes with a couple more tools and brushes than the PowerForce.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a better overall upright vacuum than the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo. The PowerForce has a larger dirt compartment, it's lighter, and it has better overall performance on bare floors as well as low-pile carpet. It's also easier to maintain and there are fewer recurring costs. However, the Pet Hair Eraser is better built, it comes with an upholstery tool as well as a turbo brush, and it's more maneuverable on carpets thanks to its brushroll off switch.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe is better than the BISSELL PowerForce Helix. The Shark feels sturdier, is slightly easier to maintain, has a longer range, and is easier to maneuver thanks to its pivoting head. The Shark's 'Lift-Away' design also makes it easier to maneuver, and the onboard HEPA filter results in significantly better allergen-sealing performance. However, the BISSELL weighs less, has a height-adjustable floorhead, and does a better job of handling pet hair on bare floors.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a better upright vacuum for low and high-pile carpet than the Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind. The BISSELL has significantly better performance on carpet, it's lighter, and it has a slightly bigger dirt compartment. However, the Hoover performs a bit better on bare floors, it's easier to maintain, and it has virtually no recurring costs. The Hoover also has an automatic cord rewind feature.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is better than the Dirt Devil Endura Max for most uses. The BISSELL weighs less, performs better on carpeted floors, and makes slightly less noise. On the other hand, the Dirt Devil has a bigger dustbin that won't need emptying as often, as well as a longer overall range.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix and Hoover WindTunnel Tempo Bagged each have their own strengths. The BISSELL has a lighter bagless design that incurs lower recurring costs and it clears more debris on both low and high-pile carpets. That said, the Hoover is better-built, more maneuverable, and is easier to maintain. It also comes with more tools and does a better job on bare floors.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Speed is better than the BISSELL PowerForce Helix. The Shark feels better built, incurs virtually no recurring costs, has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, and delivers significantly better performance on bare floors. It's also much easier to maneuver, with a 'Lift-Away' design that enables you to pick up and carry its canister body independently of its upright portion to clean countertops and shelves with its wand and selection of attachments. Conversely, the BISSELL has a larger dustbin and weighs less. Its floorhead also offers five levels of height adjustment, unlike the Shark's fixed-height head.
The Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine is a better upright vacuum than the BISSELL PowerForce Helix. The Miele is more effective at clearing all kinds of debris on bare and carpeted floors, much sturdier-feeling, easier to maintain, and offers greater maneuverability in tight spaces. It also comes with more specialized cleaning brushes. That said, the BISSELL is cheaper to maintain and much lighter.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix and Kenmore Intuition Bagged have different advantages, and one may suit you better depending on your needs. The bagless BISSELL has lower recurring costs, a lighter design, and performs better on low and high-pile carpet. Meanwhile, the Kenmore is better-built, easier to maintain, and performs better on bare floors. It's also a little more maneuverable thanks to its 'Lift-Up' design and pivoting floorhead.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a better upright vacuum than the Sanitaire PROFESSIONAL Upright. The BISSELL is better built, incurs lower recurring costs since it doesn't use disposable dirtbags, and is more portable. It also offers significantly better performance on all surface types. However, the Sanitaire has a better range and is easier to maintain thanks to its bagged design.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a better upright vacuum than the BISSELL PowerForce Helix. The Dyson has a better performance on all surface types, it's more maneuverable, it's easier to maintain, and it has virtually no recurring costs. It has a longer range and comes with more tools and brushes. However, the BISSELL is lighter and has a slightly bigger dirt compartment.
Build quality is mediocre. The vacuum's mainly hard plastic construction flexes and creaks while in use and has a couple of obvious weak points, like its floorhead wheels, brushroll cover, and dirt compartment.
Out-of-the-box assembly isn't too difficult, though you do still need to attach the handle to the vacuum's body with a pair of screws.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix can be a bit of a hassle to clean.
You must air-dry any part that's washed with water for 24 hours before putting it back into the vacuum.
Recurring costs are low.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is decently easy to store. While it takes up a bit of space, you can store its tools directly on the vacuum's body. You'll have to wind up its cord manually, which can be a bit of a nuisance considering its length.
The dirt compartment is great. It's made of clear plastic, and there's also a clearly visible max fill line, so you can easily tell how full it is at a glance. Although it's advertised as holding up to 1L of debris, its actual measured capacity is closer to 1.5L. If you want a budget-friendly bagless vacuum with an even larger dustbin, you could consider the Dirt Devil Endura Max.
This vacuum has a mediocre range. While the power cord is fairly long, its hose is very short, even when stretched out, which makes it difficult to clean hard-to-reach spots like shelves.
This vacuum is pretty portable. Despite its somewhat bulky size, much lighter than other full-size bagless uprights like the BISSELL CleanView Swivel. It also has a built-in carrying handle, which makes transporting from room to room even easier.
This vacuum has a few quality-of-life features. There's an on/off switch at the bottom of the vacuum as well as a body/head release latch so you can place the head in a more convenient position. There's also a five-level surface-type adjustment dial on the floorhead. These surface settings range from 'I', best suited for bare floors and low pile carpet, to 'IIIII', intended for very dense high-pile carpet. You can easily adjust the dial if you're having a hard time pushing the vacuum.
Note: The brushroll keeps spinning, even when the vacuum is upright, and it can damage delicate, easily scratched surfaces if you don't raise it.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix comes with a couple of extra tools. You can store the crevice tool inside the extension wand, and there's also a soft-bristle brush for cleaning more delicate objects like lampshades.
Performance on bare floors is okay. The vacuum clears away the majority of bulky debris like whole pieces of cereal and smaller material like rice. However, since the vacuum's brushroll is always spinning, it can send debris scattering everywhere, so it might take a couple of extra passes to fully clean a mess. If you want an upright vacuum that performs better on this surface type, consider the Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind.
Debris pickup on low-pile carpet is excellent. It won't take more than two or three passes to clear away fine material like baking soda or larger debris like sand. Suction performance remains fairly consistent as its dustbin fills up, which is good if you have several large messes to deal with and don't feel like emptying the dustbin frequently.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is great on high-pile carpet. It can clear away fine debris like baking soda and larger debris like sand on high-pile carpeting within two or three passes.
This vacuum exerts little in the way of suction force at its floorhead, which is too high above the ground to generate a tight seal. Thankfully, its height-adjustable brushroll helps provide a good amount of surface agitation to most surfaces, so its lack of suction output isn't too noticeable when deep-cleaning surfaces like high-pile carpeting.
This is a pretty noisy vacuum, as it can easily mask nearby conversation if it's running within the same room. The bulk of the noise comes from the vacuum's brushroll, which is always spinning.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix has sub-par maneuverability. Since it doesn't have a rotating head like the Kenmore Intuition Bagged, you need to make larger-radius turns to navigate around obstacles. It can be difficult to get underneath tables or chairs due to its bulky dirt compartment. While it's easier to clean furniture if you're cleaning with the hose, the vacuum can still tip over or have its brushroll catch on carpets and rugs. Unlike the Hoover WindTunnel Tempo Bagged, which has a brushroll you can turn on and off, rug tassels can get stuck in BISSELL's brushroll, forcing you to turn the vacuum off to clear any obstructions.
The vacuum's brushroll continuously spins when upright. The head has to be placed in a higher setting to avoid damaging bare floors like hardwood or vinyl. Changing the head levels can be a little inconvenient as you need to crouch to reach the dial.
This vacuum is decently effective when clearing pet hair on furniture. Its soft-bristle brush is somewhat effective when collecting pet hair on fabric, though hair does tend to collect in its bristles very easily, forcing you to clean it periodically. A turbo brush or a straight-suction upholstery tool would be more efficient for this kind of task.
This vacuum does a terrible job of sealing in allergens. It lacks a HEPA filter and doesn't have a sealed construction, so fine particles can escape from its exhaust and gaps in its body.
This vacuum does a poor job of cleaning cracks. It doesn't generate enough suction power to draw out debris from crevices, and its brushroll is a little too high to scrape out material in deeper cracks. Use the vacuum in its semi-handheld configuration with its crevice tool for this kind of task.