The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a budget-friendly upright vacuum with a bagless design. What is unique for a vacuum in this price bracket is its five-level head height adjustment feature. It also delivers excellent performance on both low and high-pile carpet. However, it doesn't have a rotating head, so it can be hard to maneuver around tight spots, and its range is disappointingly short. It also feels cheaply built.
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. You also need to ensure that its brushroll height is set to a sufficient height when cleaning bare floors if you want to avoid scratching delicate surfaces since there's no dedicated brushroll off switch. 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 good 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 excellent 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, there's no onboard HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean. It has a plasticky build quality, and several parts need regular maintenance. It isn't very maneuverable, making it hard to clear pet hair under tables or chairs. You can easily remove its brushroll to clear tangled hair.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is sub-par for vacuuming stairs. While it's lightweight and has a built-in handle to make it easier to carry, 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, and it isn't for cleaning your car.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix has mediocre build quality. Its 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 two screws.
This vacuum is fairly easy to maintain.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix Bagless incurs low recurring costs.
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.
The BISSELL 2191 has a good-sized dirt compartment. It's clear plastic, and there's also a line to indicate when it's full, though it's worth noting that it feels a little flimsy. Although it's advertised as holding up to 1L of debris, its actual measured capacity is closer to 1.5L.
This vacuum has a disappointing range. While the power cord is fairly long, its hose is very short, even when stretched out.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix has great portability. It's lighter than alternatives like the BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet, and it has a built-in carrying handle, which makes transporting from room to room even easier.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix 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 your floors if you don't raise it.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix comes with a couple of extra tools to help you clean more effectively. 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.
You can clean hard-to-reach areas using the vacuum's hose in its semi-handheld configuration.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is decent on bare floors. It can pick up all pet hair and most small debris like rice. However, since the vacuum's brushroll is always spinning, it can send debris scattering everywhere, especially bulkier material like cereal, so it might take you 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.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is excellent on low-pile carpet. It can easily clear all pet hair. It can also suck up fine debris like baking soda and larger material like sand with relative ease. Suction performance remains 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 easily picks up pet hair, and while it struggles a little more with fine and large material compared to how it performs on low-pile carpet, its performance in this regard is still very good.
Note: This vacuum was tested with its floorhead set to the 'III' brushroll height level. You may need to change this setting when cleaning even higher-pile carpet.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix 2191 has sub-par maneuverability. Since it doesn't have a rotating head like the Kenmore Intuition Bagged, you need to make larger motions to navigate 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 the obstruction.
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.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix 2191 is currently available in two color variants: 'Blue' and 'Purple'. We tested the 'Blue' variant, and you can see its label here.
The manufacturer advertises the BISSELL PowerForce Helix 2191 as the updated and improved version of the BISSELL PowerForce Helix 1700. However, since the manufacturer hasn't publicly listed the updates to this version of the PowerForce Helix, it's unclear if the 1700 variant performs differently from our test unit.
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 2 and doesn't come with as many tools or brushes, it still delivers strong performance for a vacuum in this price bracket.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a better upright vacuum for carpets than the BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet. 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 Plus. 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.
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 automatic cord storage.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a better overall 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 it comes with more tools and brushes. However, the BISSELL is lighter and has a slightly bigger dirt compartment.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away 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, compared to the Shark's two.
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 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 in the hand.
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.
The BISSELL PowerForce Helix is a better upright vacuum than the Sanitaire PROFESSIONAL Upright. The BISSELL is better built, has a bagless design, 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.