Over the past year it seems we’ve used a silly amount of vacuum cleaners. I quickly learned which features were important (long power cord) and which features aren’t so important (on board tools.) I realized how important it is to have a machine that you can rely on and which ones let us down. I learned that it’s very IMPORTANT to read a product review or two before purchasing any vacuum cleaner…did you know you can read and submit product reviews now at LondonDrugs.com ? You can! So if you’ve had an experience that might save someone else some trouble you should share. And now…here’s my sucky story.
Dyson dc21 Stowaway
We’ve owned this Dyson for about 5 years now. I think the warranty has just ended (5 year warranty is great.) Generally I’ve liked this machine. It did a great job of picking up pet hair from our upholstery and carpets. We have had a few issues though, and I thought I’d speak to them now.
In our old home, we had short pile burber carpet. This caused the bristles on the beater bar to break off. The first time we noticed our bar had lost a bunch of bristles we thought maybe the cat had chewed them off. I wouldn’t put it past him. So we called the customer service line to ask if we could buy a new one thinking consumable parts wouldn’t be covered under warranty. They sent us one free of charge and it arrived in the mail in less than a week. Pretty good eh? Yes and no. We’ve been through about 4 beater bars for this machine and we need a new one again. It’s kind of a pain to have to replace them all the time.
Then, back in May when we were selling our house we had an issue. A BIG issue. It was the night before our second open house and I was vacuuming when all of a sudden I lost suction. The motor still turned on and it sucked for a second and then nada. Great. Here we were about to have many potential buyers through the house and I couldn’t suck up any cat hair! I took the thing apart and couldn’t find the blockage. We had 45 minutes to get to Walmart and just buy something so we could clean the house. I set it aside and went shopping. I came home with a Bissell machine. Read about it below.
Since then, my dad freakin reverse engineered the thing and found that there was a dryer sheet stuck way way way inside. He fished it out with a coat hanger and it’s working again. Although, this time, it’s not short carpet that’s the issue…it’s long pile. We’re verging on shag here in the new house and the Dyson sucks SO HARD to the floor that it takes a lot of effort to push that baby around. We aren’t using it much any more. Over all I was happy with it, the customer service was good but I think it’s just not the right model for us any longer. Oh, I almost forgot to mention…the power cord on this unit so stupid short. I have to unplug and plug it in 4 times to do our upper floor.
- Great customer Service
- Great Warranty
- Big Power
- Long Life
- Short Power Cord
- Not so Multi-Surface Friendly
- Expensive (although, the high price clearly pays for stellar customer care)
Of all the vacuum cleaners we’ve owned the Bissell CleanAlong has to be the worst. Admittedly, we bought this having done no research on the product. It was an emergency situation with the open house looming and we just had to have a vacuum cleaner that ‘worked’. I use that term lightly.
The connections on this device are lose and need to be jiggled. The hose is too short so the canister repeatedly hits me in the ankles as I try to pull it behind me. Ouch! There is very little control of movement on the power head and if you’re not right behind it and pushing it squarely forward then you pretty much have to drag it in place. Swiveling is not something this machine will do.
It’s now designated to the garage and when it dies, I won’t mourn the loss of it. Oh and PLUS we paid nearly $200 for this stupid thing which is ridiculous considering you can get a pretty good machine for that kind of cash!
- Adjustable suction
- Everything else
Hoover Windtunnel Air Upright
This Hoover upright vacuum is the one we’re currently using most often. ***UPDATE*** the Hoover died about two months after I wrote this review. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, it just died ** It’s small and easy to maneuver. It’s only 12 pounds so I can haul it up and down the stairs really easily and it tackles going from carpet to tile very well. Our upstairs level is bedrooms, a tv room, laundry room and 2 bathrooms. I can get it all done in 15 min without having to change power heads like I’d have to with the Dyson. While the Dyson did have the ability to turn off the beater bar on the power head, I found it wasn’t close enough to the floor do do a good job without changing to the ‘hard surface floor’ tool. But with the Hoover, I just turn off the beater bar and I’m onto tile floor in a second.
The power cord is pretty long – I only have to replug once in order to cover the upper floor. It’s bagless and easy to empty as long as you don’t let it get too full…if it gets really packed in there it’s kind of a pain to clean it out. It has an adjustable height handle so it’s really comfortable to use for us taller folk and I’m really liking it.
The only thing I’m not loving about this unit is that it doesn’t tackle stairs very well. There’s no power bar hand held attachment and so you kind of have to balance the whole vacuum on the stairs. If you try to hold it lower down with one hand for stability you’ll find the exhaust area gets pretty warm.
- Light Weight
- Multi-Surface Compatible
- Good Price Point
- Finicky to switch to hand held hose mode
- No Auto Cord Wrap
- Not good on stairs
*this machine was given to us by LondonDrugs for the purposes of conducting this review*
Swiffer Sweeper Vac
Ok people, I’m going to gush here. I love love love this little wee vacuum! On our lower floor we have hardwood in our kitchen, dining room, living room (which has an area rug) and tile in the washroom and mudroom. This sweeper is my ultimate fav because it’s so easy to grab and clean up a small mess. I bring it out after the kids have breakfast and suck up their toast crumbs. I use it at the front door where the dog hair collects. I use it in the mudroom where dirt and dust collect. I can do our lower floor three times on one battery charge and it does an amazing job of picking up EVERYTHING. I use this right before I steam mop and the floor ends up spotless. No left over dust lines…you know what I’m talkin about right?
If by some miracle of engineering they could get this thing could do an area rug too I’d have it made.
Never has there been a machine like this that’s made me feel like a kid. We got a Roomba Robot Vacuum as a gift at Christmas. I was so excited. I was giddy. I’d wanted one so so so bad. And for a while it worked and it entertained us. We marveled at how it knew not to fall down the stairs. We laughed as it perplexed the cats. I ran it every day and it did well on the hardwood floor and the area rugs as long as it didn’t come across any string. Or tiny toys. Or anything larger than a crumb. I don’t remember which model it was but it didn’t have any scheduling features or a charging doc. I just plugged it in to charge.
It was annoying after a while to hear it singing it’s ‘problem’ song. The melodic tone would signal me that it had jammed up on this that or the other. Oh and it was LOUD too.
And then it died.
I was sad. Even though it was a pain in the rear, it was still entertaining and it still did clean up a bit. It only lived for 5 or 6 months and then I set it aside to be fixed. I found it when we were packing up to move and decided we didn’t need to haul a dead machine to the new place, nor did we really need it at all. And so it went to the recycle bins at the dump. RIP my robot friend.
- Hands Free
- More of a sweeper than a vacuum
- Lived a short life
NOTE: The picture shown is not of our actual machine. It died and got thrown away so I didn’t have it here to snap a pic of. This was a stock image I bought to use for illustration purposes only.
And there you have it! My sucky story of love, hate and death. I hope I might have saved someone a bit of insanity by sharing all these details. What kind of vacuum cleaner do you have? Do you love it? Or no? Am I missing out on the ultimate vacuum cleaner? Let me know in comments!
** wondering what we’re using now? Have a read: Dyson vs Roomba