This Vacuum Sucks, Part Two (The Full Sized Vacuum We Bought)

We already talked about how much we love the Kurv (we’re not paid by them or otherwise perk’d in any way, we just truly love it) and now we’re even more excited because the day has finally come that we’ve discovered a full sized vacuum cleaner that we love just as much! Really, it sucks like a champ. And when we pair the carpet-friendly nature and the sheer power of our new addition with the super portable and wood-floor-friendly Kurv, the dust bunnies and tiny puppy hairs on our floors don’t stand a chance. Seriously, our house has never looked (or felt, because that’s important too) so clean.

We realized we needed to replace our sad excuse for a full sized vacuum known as the Dirt Devil Vibe Quick Vac (more like a leaf-blower as it actually blew out more dust than it sucked in) before the baby came, especially because it tried to kill me whenever I cleaned up during allergy season (seriously, I’m not kidding when I say that it blew things up and out into the air). It was really our fault when we decided it was a good idea to invest all of forty dollars on a vacuum cleaner. I mean what did we expect? So this time around we did some research and actually went into vacuuming shopping with a list of things we wanted:

  1. A HEPA filter (which helps keep allergies and other airborne pollutants at bay)
  2. A bagless variety (also great for allergies and simpler to operate for un-bag-coordinated people like me)
  3. A reasonably light-weight model (anything over 20 lbs, no matter how much power it has, is a bit much for a 5’2″ gal)
  4. Significantly more power than our previous model (which only boasted 8 amps)
  5. More settings for different jobs so it can effectively clean multiple surfaces (some area rugs in the house need extra suction while the hardwood floors need something geared for that purpose).

Your list might not be the same as ours at all (different strokes for different folks) but we highly recommend the idea of walking into any big household purchased like this with an idea of what you want from the get-go. It really helps to keep things from getting overwhelming since you can immediately whittle down all the options since they can’t all possibly meet your previously established criteria. It’s a nice little filtering method that allows you to hone in on a few models that seem to fit the bill and then you can do additional research or ask any questions about those few contenders to make the final decision.

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s what we ended up whittling down as our winner, the Bissell 82H1 Cleanview Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner:

And since that name is such a mouthful, let’s just call him the newest member of our family. This guy has 12 amps of power and multiple settings (five to be exact, so you can add extra carpet suction or turn it to a more hardwood floor friendly setting). He also comes equipped with something called a Helix Dirt Separation System for deeper and more powerful cleaning. Of course he’s bagless (and has an easy-empty dirt cup) and has a HEPA filter as well. Plus he even has extra perks (like adjustable height settings and also comes with a slew of extra fittings like a TurboBrush, crevice tool, extension wand, and upholstery/dusting brush). Plus he’s just 15 lbs so he falls under my 20-or-less rule. And after reading many many customer reviews on a number of sites (thanks to our iPhone we could do that right in the store on the spot) we were confident that it was a great choice (it had over 40 five-star ratings on Amazon).

Perhaps the best news of all was the price. Our new friend happened to be on sale at Target (down from $80 to $69 just for the weekend) so although we walked into the store intending to spend around $200 for something that would last, all the high-ratings and the fact that it met and exceeded all of our previously set requirements had us feeling like we’d struck gold.

But back to my story. When I got home I broke it out on our grubbiest carpet (the yellow one in the living room was full of grime from lots of indoor-outdoor snowy-and leafy-foot traffic traffic as of late) and it seriously lifted every last bit of dust and dirt (John watched as the carpet literally got yellower and less brown before our very eyes). It looked brandy new again. Oh happy day. And it worked just as well on the hardwood floors (I got giddy when I got to change the setting from carpeting to hardwood- it felt so custom and fancy). I even took the upholstery brush for a spin on our sofa (it picked up every last hair, fleck of dust, etc).

Who knew cleaning could be fun? I was perma-smiling like a stepford wife with my new vacuum cleaner by my side. So that’s the story of our latest housecleaning weapon that I’m relieved downright psyched to have on hand before the bean arrives in May. After all, one of my resolutions this year is to simplify things and keep our house running more efficiently and easily. And this guy will definitely make cleaning stuff up much simpler than our former leaf-blower ever did. And I bet I won’t go to sleep with a runny nose every time I vacuum during allergy season anymore. Somebody stop me before I lift this machine up in the air and start singing “for he’s a jolly good fellow.”

Oh and just to be totally clear, Bissell didn’t pay us or otherwise perk us (nor did Target, Amazon or anyone else) to mention this vacuum. It’s actually the one that we researched and paid for ourselves because we thought it was the best thing since sliced bread and we wanted to share our find. So this post isn’t one big ad as much as one big weird love-fest for a new vacuum from an extremely appreciative homeowner. But let’s talk about your lean mean cleaning machines. Any other Bissell lovers out there? Any fancy Dyson peeps (I ogled the white pet-hair model for what felt like hours)? Anyone who doesn’t believe in vacuum cleaners and peacefully coexists with dustbunnies? Let’s talk about what sucks at your house.

Psst- Wanna know more about how we clean our entire house? Click here. And for the original suckie vacuum post about our beloved Kurv, click here.


  1. says

    I have a Kurv too! I love it and find myself using it more than our horrible upright vacuum. I’m inclined to check out this one, though… Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. says

    Sounds like a winner, and a great price too! If I hadn’t inherited a Kirby I would probably get one of these. BTW I love the Kirby but no way would I ever spend $1000+ on a vacuum!

  3. says

    I have the Bissell Lift-Off pet vacuum and I LOVE that machine! Nothing better (or grosser) than watching all that hair and dust come out of the rugs!

  4. Amy Jaynes says

    We also found ourselves in desperate need of a Vacuum in the fall after our hand-me-down Dirt Devil went on to Vacuum-Heaven. After shopping around for a while, we ended up with the same Bissell and we love it!

    We have 2 cats and a dog that shed constantly and this thing does an amazing job getting rid of all the fur and keeping our house tidy. And I agree on the weight– we have carpeted stairs and I’m easily able to move this vacuum up and down the stairs with no problems. :)

    Good pick!

  5. says

    I have the Animal by Dyson. I LOVE it. I’ve had it for 6 years now and it still works like it did the day I bought it – which is great with two kids, two very hairy dogs and lots of carpet (soon to be replaced with hardwood floors)

    I have heard great things about the Bissel but since my Dyson works so well, there’s not really a chance that I’ll be getting a new vaccuum soon :) Is it wrong to be bummed about that??

  6. Sarah says

    You have such an adorable way with words! I was SO hoping this was today’s giveaway!! ;o)
    PS: I think you may have meant “Bissel did not pay us” in your last paragraph. Hate to rudely correct but that seems to be what you may have been implying ;)

    Love from Ohio!

  7. amelia says

    congrats on the newest addition to your family ;-)
    my hsuband and I were lucky enough to splurge on a dyson (the canister one, not the ball one). It’s great! very powerful sucking!! only annoying this is that because we live in a new house with new carpet, the dyson sucks up all, and i mean all, the loose fibers from the carpet and it fills up the canister pretty quickly and the fibres get stuck in the brush so i’m cleaning that frequently too!

  8. says

    We just got this one from Traget a few weeks ago:

    It was on sale so we only paid $99 for it. I cannot tell you how much I… no WE, even my fiance… LOVE this thing! We have a Roomba, and while it’s fun to watch zoom around the room and show off when company is over, it doesn’t really do the job. It’s really just a glorified/ridiculously expensive broom. On the other hand, the Hoover can suck a golf ball through a drinking straw. My fiance was vacuuming our area rug yesterday and even said “This thing makes it fun to clean”!!! I was stunned. If that vacuum can mamke my fiance want to clean then in my book, that is a miracle!

  9. Rosanne says

    We just got a new vacumn last week to replace a Hoover Wind Tunnel (bagless), I swore I would never buy a Hoover again… I hated that thing. Guess what I got. Another Hoover Wind Tunnel! Shock! After much research it was the one for me. Got good reviews on Consumer Reports. This one has the Hepa filter and is a bagged model. I hated the bagless, it’s really gross. I’d rather not see how much dirt is in my house. And really… how can one 35 pound dog shed so much hair!

  10. Leigh says

    I had a Bissel and sadly it decided it was time to go to vacuum heaven. Thankfully we have a backup Hoover vacuum (that’s what happens when two people who each lived alone get married – double the stuff). We’re so glad we held on to the extra vacuum. Our original intent was to keep one upstairs and one downstairs. That way there’s no hauling of the vacuum up 15 stairs, but it didn’t work out that way. The day we moved into our house, the one we were keeping upstairs – my beloved Bissel – died. Now it seems as if our Hoover is about to die as well so this post couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks for the recommendation and the test drive on pet hair!!!

  11. Christin says

    My hubby and I currently on the hunt for a vacuum. We currently exist with a broom and a shop vac. They work great, but kind of tired of busting out the whole shop vac everytime we want to vacuum. We also need one that transitions well between hardwood floors and rugs/carpet. Thanks for the tips! Happy cleaning! :)

  12. says

    I really understand the over-excitement that comes from this post! You see, for years I used to vacuum our (under construction) house with a 18 yr old Hoover- that both sucked and did not suck at the same time. But since it was a free hand me down- who is going to complain about that price? The happiest day ever was when we got a new Bissel vac courtesy of our wedding registry. What a huge difference!

  13. says

    I understand your excitement. I am a single 27 year old who was THRILLED to get the Dyson DC25 Animal (which I TOTALLY RECOMMEND) as a Christmas gift from her parents. Some would think getting a vaccum for Christmas is depressing. Not this girl. I felt like I hit the jackpot. Just beware…you will find yourself vaccuming for fun.

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