bissell handheld shampooer

Today, we review the Bissell Handheld Shampooer, bissell handheld pet shampooer and the bissell handheld rug shampooer. The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum cleaner is a tiny-but-mighty, powerful handheld vacuum. While it lacks some bells and whistles of higher end vacuum cleaners, it is hard to beat the value of having one of these handy, especially priced so low. But will the big messes prove to be too much for this tiny vacuum?

bissell handheld rug shampooer

SMALL, YET POWERFUL HANDHELD

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Bissell Pet Hair Eraser HandheldThis vacuum does a really great job of removing pet hair from softer surfaces, such as carpets and upholstery. It is certainly on the smaller side when it comes to overall coverage, but for quick messes, it’s hard to beat the compact size (and great price point) of this handheld vacuum.CHECK PRICE

Pros

  • Great for pet hair
  • Lightweight and easy to store

Cons

  • Cord is not very long
  • Fans blow debris around

Design

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum offers a lightweight and compact build. Designed with both a hard and soft nozzle, the vacuum is able to clean on both hard and soft surfaces.

The vacuum’s cord wrap system and 5 pound weight allows for easier storage in addition to maneuverability.

The following parts make up the overall design of this handheld vacuum.

  1. Duct cup release
  2. Power switch
  3. HEPA filter
  4. Dust cup
  5. Rubber brush
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum features

How it Cleans

Powered by a 4 amp motor, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser utilizes a cyclonic cleaning system and multi-layer filtration.

This vacuum comes equipped with both a soft and hard nozzle, allowing users to clean multiple surface types.

The soft, flexible rubber nozzle works to lift dirt and pet hair from carpets and upholstery before sucking it up.

On the other hand, the hard, plastic nozzle is designed to clean up dry messes on tile, hardwoods, or the inside of a car.

By using the cyclonic system, this handheld vacuum is able to spin dust, dirt, and debris into the head of the vacuum and through the multi-layer filtration system.

This process helps reduce allergens from being exerted back into your air after vacuuming. Additionally, this allows Bissell to use a smaller filter within the vacuum.

This handheld vacuum uses traditional cylindrical suction power to pick up debris, take it through the filter, into the dust cup and recycle the air back through the vent in the rear.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum separated

Size & Dimensions

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum comes in as a lighter unit, weighing only 5 pounds. This seems to be about average for most handheld vacuums.

This vacuum also contains a slender build, measuring 10″ long by 8″ tall by 5″ wide.

The width of the suction system is closer to 3″ wide, so it is a bit smaller than some of the other handhelds we have tested thus far; most notably the Eureka Easy Clean handheld vacuum, which has a width of 7.5″.

bissell pet hair eraser handheld size and dimensions

Compared to most handheld units, this vacuum’s handle is an open-ended arc, making it very easy to pick up this vacuum from any angle.

It is lightweight body adds to it’s convenience and makes this a nice handheld vacuum to travel with or use for small tests.

Accessories & Parts

The Bissell pet hair eraser handheld vacuum includes the following accessories and parts:

  • Rubber contour nozzle
  • Plastic nozzle

Variable Nozzles

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser comes with two nozzles which allows you to clean more types of surfaces.

The soft nozzle worked well for upholstery, fabrics and bedding.

The hard nozzle worked better for solid surfaces and flooring.

Bissell Pet hair Eraser vacuum cleaner accessories

While there are two nozzles included with this handheld vacuum, only one of them is able to be on the unit at a time.

The filter used in this vacuum can be washed, but should be replaced every 12 months to be sure the multi-level filtration system is working to its full potential.

Cleaning Tests

Overall

93%

Hardwood

86%

Low Carpet

98%

High Carpet

97%

The following vacuum cleaning tests are designed to show how the Bissel Pet Hair Eraser vacuum performs on a variety of surfaces picking up a variety of debris. For these tests we look at hard floors, low pile carpets, and high pile carpets.

For each floor surface type we test the vacuum cleaner against rice (3 oz), dry cereal (1 oz, as it is larger), kitty litter (3 oz), and sugar (3 oz).

debris media
Testing Debris – From left to right: Rice (3 oz.), Kitty Litter (3 oz), Cereal (1 oz), Sugar (3 oz)

Hardwood Floor

On the hardwood test, although this handheld vacuum cleaner performed very well, one small issue came from the vents.

Located on the side of the unit, the vents on this Bissell vacuum had a tendency to blow debris away from the path of cleaning.

That being said, the debris that stayed within our testing field was quickly and easily sucked up by this tiny-but-mighty vacuum.

Cereal

86%

Kitty Litter

98%

Rice

93%

Sugar

97%

Bissell Pet hair Eraser vacuum hardwood floor cleaning tests

Low Carpet

During the low pile carpet test, this Bissell handheld did very well also. Contrary to the hardwoods, the vent on this vacuum was less of a problem on the carpeted floors. More friction between the carpet fibers helped hold the debris in its place until the vacuum was able to suck it up, which it did easily with just one pass.

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

97%

Rice

99%

Sugar

91%

Bissell Pet hair Eraser vacuum low pile carpet cleaning tests

High Carpet

Similar to the low pile carpet test, the Bissell did a nice job of cleaning up debris throughout the high pile carpet tests. The powerful suction offered by this handheld vacuum allowed it to reach a majority of debris that sank into the carpeting. Sugar was the only media that seemed to give the vacuum any trouble, on high pile carpet, but it was still able to suck up 86% (1.72 oz out of 2.01 oz) in total.

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

91%

Rice

91%

Sugar

86%

Bissell Pet hair Eraser vacuum high pile carpet cleaning tests

Pet Hair

As a handheld vacuum designed to tackle pet hair, we wanted to challenge the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. My cousin, Chris, has a black lab, Stella,  who is known for her shedding. After a week of letting her loose hair build up on her dog bed, we decided to put the Pet Hair Eraser vacuum to the test.

Initially, Stella’s hair wanted to stick to her dog bed. As we continued to pass through the hair with this Bissell handheld vacuum, the hair started to thin out.

The rubber nozzle was able to lift the hair, allowing the vacuum to then suck it up into the dust bin. Although not all of the dog hair was removed from Stella’s bed, it certainly could have been with a few more passes.

Overall, I was impressed with the ability of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum to lift and remove the pet hair. Chris made the following statement about the vacuum:

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum has allowed me to eliminate dog hair with ease. My couches and car have always been problem areas when it comes to removing Stella’s hair, but that is no longer the case because of the Pet Hair Eraser.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser power button close up

Usability

When considering the usability of handheld vacuums, it doesn’t get much easier than the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. There are only 3 small buttons and all are readily accessible on the face of the unit.

  1. The red button at the tip of the handle is the power button and turns the vacuum on or off.
  2. The gray elongated button in the middle of the vacuum releases the dust cup to empty it out or change the filter.
  3. The smaller gray button by the vacuum head is used to swap out nozzles, between soft and hard. These two accessories make it easier to use this vacuum in more places and on multiple surface types.

Simple Button Configurations

The power button is conveniently located at the tip of the handle, making it easier to turn on and off while in use.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser power button close up

Maneuverability

As a lightweight handheld, the maneuverability of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld is very high. It’s narrow body makes it easy to get into tight spaces and the accessible handle makes even awkward angles feel more manageable.

  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Power: 16′ long cord
  • Height: 0.75″ cleaning nozzle
  • Width: 2.5″ cleaning nozzle

One slight disadvantage to consider when looking at maneuverability is the cord length.

At only 16′, this cord is about half as long of a cord as what you will find on a typical upright or other larger vacuum, like the Shark Rocket vacuum or Roomba 650 robot vacuum.

Maintenance

The maintenance of this small handheld vacuum is reasonable and easy to do. The two most important items to remember are to:

  1. Empty the dust bin after every 1-3 uses, depending on the size of the mess.
  2. Check and replace the filter as often as necessary.

The table below shows the recommended maintenance for the parts and accessories of this handheld vacuum cleaner.

Accessory / PartReplacement FrequencyReplacement Cost
HEPA filterAs needed, but no longer than 12 monthsCheck Price

Depending on how much you use this handheld vacuum will really be the deciding factor as to whether or not you need to replace parts sooner or later.

If you suffer from allergens or pet dander, it is very important that empty the dust cup regularly and replace the HEPA filter on time.

Multi-Level Filtration

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser integrates a multi-level filtration system which helps to capture even the smallest of dust, dirt or dander particles.

Bissell pet hair eraser vacuum filter

Noise

All vacuum cleaner reviews on Modern Castle are put through our standard noise test. For this test, we use a sound meter to measure noise in terms of decibel level 3 feet away from the vacuum.

bissell pet hair eraser handheld decibel test

At 3 feet away, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (handheld) emits 77 dB of sound.

Value

For pet owners or users with small messes that need frequent attention, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is a great value. The maintenance elements of this vacuum are inexpensive and infrequent.

The Pet Hair Eraser does come with a 1 year warranty, which is a surprising and nice addition for such an inexpensive vacuum.

The sales receipt is the proof of purchase for warranty coverage. Without the dated sales receipt, the Service Center will determine warranty repair once the machine has been inspected.

Bissell offers a 30 day return policy window if you find that the Pet Hair Eraser handheld is just not right for you.

In the instance of a return, Bissell will actually mail you a box and shipping label to use and in exchange $4.95 is deducted from your return.

Specifications

Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Bissell pet hair eraser handheld vacuum:

Specifications 
TypeHandheld vacuum
ManufacturerBissell
ModelPet Hair Eraser 33A1B
Length (inches)10
Width (inches)5
Weight (pounds)5
Floor TypeAll
CordlessNo – 16 foot cord
BaglessYes
Bin / Bag Size0.78 liters
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
PriceCheck Price

Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

The old vacuum cleaner has “bitten the dust” and you need a replacement.  One quick look online is all it takes to realize that choosing a new machine might be more challenging than you thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the “latest and greatest” when perusing vacuums online or in magazines and end up with a machine that is either too much or not enough, or just doesn’t fit your needs.

We’ve put together a few questions for consideration to help focus your search efforts before purchasing that new vacuum cleaner. Maybe you’ve already thought about some of these, so please use the following list to quickly navigate to the concerns most important to you.

What Flooring Types Do I Have?

Upright and Canister Vacuums on Multi-floorsProbably the most obvious consideration is whether you have mainly carpeting, hard floors, or a fairly even combination of both. Generally speaking, for homes with a lot of carpeting, especially in large areas, an upright vacuum cleaner is a good choice. However, if your personal preference tends toward canister style vacuums, there are quite a few excellent choices available. You will want to be sure that it has a floor nozzle with a motorized brushroll and height adjustment options for various pile carpets.

If you love hardwood or tile flooring with a few rugs here and there, or enjoy low-pile carpeting, a canister style vacuum is a great option. Using a specialized floor brush, these are usually very maneuverable for working quickly around and underneath furniture. Some are equipped with combination floor tools that easily switch to effectively clean scatter rugs. For true canister vacuum lovers, there are machines that feature high quality motorized floor nozzles that can effectively handle deep-pile carpets.

Most people have a combination of both carpeting and hard floors. At this point, style preference will be your guide. However, be sure to check for convenience features such as on/off brushroll control, height adjustment, and suction control. Be sure to note whether the brushroll is air-powered or electrically powered as this affects the effectiveness of deep-pile carpet cleaning.

Do I Need to Control Allergens?

This is a key question to consider since we spend, on average, about 90% of our time indoors where pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. This is especially important to ponder if you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies. A vacuum cleaner that provides HEPA filtration can be an important contributor to improving your indoor air quality. HEPA filters capture particulate matter down to 0.3 microns so that the exhausted air is actually cleaner than what was sucked into the vacuum. There are also machines that include some level of charcoal filtration to help control odors—great for pet owners.

An additional consideration is a vacuum that not only uses HEPA filters but does so in a completely sealed system. This means that there is virtually no leakage of air through the housing or fittings of the machine and all air (along with pollutants) is forced through the filtration system, leaving your indoor air allergen free. See this article for more information about allergies and vacuums.

How Often Do I Vacuum?

Robotic Vacuum Being ProgrammedSomething you may not have thought about, the frequency of your cleaning schedule can be impacted by the ease or difficulty of storing and accessing your vacuum. For those folks who shed their shoes the minute they hit the door, walking on floors that quickly accumulate pet fur, crumbs, and tracked-in dirt or sand, daily vacuuming is standard operating procedure. In that case, a vacuum that is difficult to access and use quickly can make this routine a real chore. Consider a robotic vacuum that can be scheduled to clean while you’re at work or running errands so you return to grit-free floors, really nice if you frequently bring home company.

If your debris tends to concentrate in specific areas, a stick vacuum is a champ at quickly taking care of daily messes whether on hard floors or carpets, as well as effectively handling more extensive weekly cleaning. There are also light-weight uprights and compact canisters with parking features that make them easy to store and use at a moment’s notice.

How Many Levels are in My Home?

Stick Vacuum Being Carried UpstairsIn other words, how many stairs do you have to carry your vacuum up and down? There are many maneuverable, light-weight cordless vacuums that have great suction power and long run times that can handle multiple floor types. There are also lightweight vacuums in both upright and canister styles that make transporting them between floors easy.

An additional thought is the type of flooring on each level. While it sounds crazy, sometimes more than one vacuum is a very good idea. If you have a main floor that really benefits from a machine that can handle a variety of floor types, your upper floor may only require a vacuum best for carpets or hard floors. Or, the reverse may be true. In either case, consider purchasing a smaller stick vacuum for the space best suited for it, and save yourself grueling trips up and down stairs with your larger machine.

What Additional Surfaces will I be Cleaning?

Vacuum Cleaner Tool AssortmentIf you like vacuuming away all the accumulated dust from furniture, curtains, moldings, and baseboards instead of dusting, you’ll want a vacuum that includes a variety of accessory tools. Most include at least a combination brush and crevice tool, while others have additional floor nozzles, an upholstery tool, and specialized accessories for specific types of cleaning. If you own pets, or have a lot of stairs, consider a vacuum that includes a mini-motorized tool for easy cleaning. Some offer an even wider variety of specialized tools and extension wands which you can purchase separately as you need them.

How Much Noise Can I Stand?

Given the technology, if you will, of vacuums, there is a certain amount of expected sound generated during use. Typically, the larger and more heavy-duty the machine for the job, the louder it is. For homes, and for office spaces where a quieter sound level is desired, there are vacuums that have been designed with insulated motor housings as well as newer low-noise motors for quieter operation. Some can run as lows as 47 dB at maximum power while still delivering 120 CFM. Vacuum manufacturers such as NaceCareMiele, and Sebo have recently redesigned some of their machines for quieter operation. Check specifications for your selection before buying.

How Much Maintenance is Required?

This is a question that really depends on your definition of “a lot” and how tedious different kinds of maintenance are for you. Bagless vacuums don’t have bags that need to be changed, but dust bins still need to be emptied and washed periodically, especially if your home includes allergy-sufferers. Any vacuum with a HEPA filter will need that filter to be replaced when necessary, depending on individual home environments. The same is true for any other type of filter unless it is specified as a washable filter.

Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance

Brushrolls will collect pet fur, hair, threads and other debris and will need to be cleaned to maintain top operating capabilities. Ease of access to it should be a consideration. For quality vacuums that last for years, sometimes accessory tools like dusting brushes may need to be replaced. Check to see if these are available for purchase either at retail or from the manufacturer.

The Main Vacuum Types

There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.

1. Handheld

Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.

2. Canister

Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.

3. Upright

These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.

4. Stick

While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.

5. Autonomous / Robot

Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.


Vacuum Cleaners

Location, Location, Location

Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.

Bare Floors:

If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.

Carpeting:

On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.

Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.

To Bag or Not To Bag

The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.

Bagged:

If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.

Bagless:

If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.

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