BISSELL is an American manufacturer of vacuum cleaners and floor care appliances. They offer a diverse selection of vacuum cleaners, ranging from compact handheld cordless vacuums to bulky corded uprights and everything in between. Most of their offerings are somewhat budget-friendly and use bagless designs, meaning that recurring costs tend to be pretty low. That said, quite a few of their more compact offerings struggle with clearing bulky debris, while their bigger corded uprights generally feel somewhat cheap.
Bissell has been a reputed brand the world over for more than 140 years, even claimed to have supplied sweepers to Queen Victoria of England in the 1890s. Today, Bissell is still a sweeping force (get it?) in the market of home cleaning appliances, thanks to an innovative range of floor care products spanning across carpet sweepers and washers, vacuum cleaners, and bare floor vacuums.
However, if there’s one single model the brand is best known for today, it’s the all-in-one multi-surface vacuum cleaner – the Bissell Crosswave. But how does it compare to other vacuums and is it worth the money? Here’s our expert review.
CORDLESS BISSELL VACUUM
The BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet is the best BISSELL cordless vacuum we’ve tested. This cordless upright vacuum can easily handle pet hair on everything from flat, even surfaces like hardwood or linoleum to high-pile carpet. Its lightweight plastic construction makes it amazingly easy to maneuver, even in cluttered areas. You can easily reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum to help clear debris in hard-to-reach areas, and it comes with dedicated upholstery and crevice tools. However, there’s no pet grooming tool or turbo brush. Thanks to its bagless design and washable filters, you shouldn’t need to worry about recurring costs adding up over time.
Unfortunately, this vacuum’s overall battery performance is poor, as you can only expect a maximum of roughly 20 minutes of runtime, so you need to work fast when cleaning bigger areas. It also takes nearly five hours to recharge, leading to extended interruptions between cleaning sessions. It also struggles with sucking up bulky debris, which tends to get stuck at the entry to its dustbin, and has a hard time dealing with fine debris on carpets. If you only need a cordless vacuum for spot-cleaning, the BISSELL AeroSlim is a solid option, though its dustbin is tiny even by the standards of other handheld vacuums.
The best BISSELL vacuum cleaner for bare floors that we’ve tested is the BISSELL CrossWave Pet Pro. This corded hybrid vacuum mop does a great job of dealing with pet hair as well as small and bulky debris on bare, even surfaces like hardwood or tile, with no significant loss in suction performance as its relatively spacious dustbin fills up. Its detergent-dispersal function makes it a good fit for clearing away stains, though it still can’t provide the same level of surface agitation as a dedicated hand mop. It’s also impressively effective when it comes to sucking up liquid spills. It also has a reasonably long power cord, allowing you to clean larger rooms without swapping outlets, and is lighter than most traditional uprights. Build quality is also superior compared to many other BISSELL vacuums like the BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet.
Unfortunately, this vacuum does have more parts that need regular cleaning compared to alternatives like the BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033, though it’s worth noting that the Featherweight offers inferior overall performance on most surface types. There’s also no way of adjusting the speed of the brushroll or stopping its rotation, so you need to be careful when cleaning around loose obstructions like rug tassels, which can get stuck in its floorhead.
If you have a lot of carpeting to clean in your home, the BISSELL PowerForce Helix is among the best BISSELL vacuums we’ve tested. This budget-friendly upright vacuum has a five-level surface adjustment feature that enables you to change its brushroll height on the fly, which is helpful if you have a wide mix of floor types in your home. It delivers excellent overall performance on low-pile carpet and does a great job of sucking up debris like pet hair, sand, and baking soda on high-pile carpet. Its bagless design and washable pre-motor filter keep recurring costs low, while its spacious dirt compartment shouldn’t need emptying very often. It’s also lightweight, allowing you to carry it up and down stairs without too much of a problem. You can also spot-clean small areas by using its wand and attaching either its soft-bristle dusting brush or its crevice tool.
However, this vacuum isn’t very maneuverable as a result of its bulky design and lack of a rotating head, which forces you to take wide turns to maneuver it. Build quality is mediocre, with its floorhead wheels, brushroll plate, and dustbin feeling especially fragile. Unlike the notably pricier BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus, there’s also no brushroll on/off switch, so it can get stuck on obstructions like rug tassels if the head height isn’t set high enough.
BISSELL vacuums usually fall into a budget-friendly price range, though you may be sacrificing some measure of cleaning performance, build quality, or quality of life features in exchange for that affordability. They tend to perform worse on all surface types than Shark vacuums and struggle more with clearing large debris than most Eureka vacuums, though they tend to be similarly affordable.
Bissell Crosswave review
Imagine if you could vacuum and mop floors at the same time. That’s exactly what the hybrid Bissell Crosswave is designed to do, using a multi-surface cleaning system that both vacuums and mops floors simultaneously. However, it has a major hang-up that could be the deal breaker for many households. It doesn’t work on carpets − only on rugs and most hard floor types including tiles, laminate, and hardwood floors.
For a mid-range upright vacuum, cleaning tests have suggested the Bissell Crosswave has a pretty good cleaning performance and suction power on hard floor surfaces, but not so much on rugs. Other than that, it does fulfill its primary function to clean both wet and dry messes, as well as pet hair. In addition, the range is competitively priced, comprising of several models to suit specific household needs.
Bissell Crosswave models & prices
Here are the main models in the Bissell Crosswave line-up, with prices included:
Bissell Crosswave Pet (2225F) − $529 RRP*
Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro (2223H) − $529 RRP*
Bissell Crosswave Cordless (2588F) − $659 RRP*
Bissell Crosswave Cordless Pro (2582H) − $659 RRP*
Bissell Crosswave Max (2765F) − $699 RRP*
Bissell Crosswave Max Pro (2767H) − $699 RRP*
Bissell Crosswave X7 (2832F) − $799 RRP*
Bissell Crosswave standout features & specs
Dual-action microfibre & nylon brush roll
The Bissell Crosswave’s brush roll works on both hard surfaces and rugs and can additionally remove grease and grime from hard floors, which is a big plus if you’ve got little sticky fingers running around. The addition of the microfibre cloth was designed to leave a scratch-free and streak-free finish with no dulling residue, according to Bissell.
Most steam mops have a single water tank. The Bissell Crosswave has a dual tank which keeps clean water and your cleaning solution separate from the dirty water and dry debris, so that you can clean everyday messes with a fresh solution each time. There’s a trigger-controlled tank which dispenses the water and cleaning product on one side, and on the other, dirty water removed from floors gets stored in a separate tank. The cleaning tank is also marked with measurements to let you know how much cleaning solution you need to clean your floors and avoid wastage.
Smart touch controls
The Bissell Crosswave also comes with smart touch controls on the handle to allow you to easily switch between modes for cleaning hard floors and rugs, as well as control your cleaning solution with an on-demand solution trigger that releases just enough product to do the job.
3-in-1 charging station
The Bissell Crosswave Cordless and Max models feature a 3-in-1 charging station that can clean, store and charge your vacuum at the same time. The dock station is equipped with a clean out tray and rinse funnel which will flush out your machine after a cleaning task, a charging station and a storage tray for the machine and brush roll. This vacuum takes care of itself until you need to use it next.
Dust bin & water tank capacity
Most Bissell Crosswave models have a 0.4L/0.5L dust bin capacity and 0.8L water tank capacity. It’s pretty small in comparison to other vacuums, which means you’ll need to keep an eye on the dirt tank and empty it quite regularly, maybe even after vacuuming each room which is less than ideal. To give you a reference point, the Hoover Zoom Cordless Upright Vacuum ($499 RRP*) has a large 7.5L dust bin.
25-30 minutes runtime
The Bissell Crosswave Cordless and Max have a cordless runtime of 25-35 minutes with a 36V lithium-ion battery. Again, this isn’t great considering most cordless vacuums, like the Miele Triflex HX1 Cordless Vacuum for example, have a cordless runtime of about 60 minutes. The Bissell Crosswave Pet comes with a cord though, so that’s an option to consider if you’ve got large surface areas to cover.
Bissell Crosswave Pet & Pro − $529 RRP*
The Bissell Crosswave Pet is the line’s introductory corded model designed specifically for pet clean ups. Aside from the standard features previously mentioned, it features a multi-surface pet brush roll which rotates at 3,000 RPM to minimise pet hair wrap. It also comes with a pet cleaning solution and pet hair strainer to help make the clean-up, after the cleaning, easy. It comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty, as with other models. The Pet Pro model comes with several more brushes and accessories, and a specialised pet cleaning solution to help remove pet odours.
Bissell Crosswave Cordless & Pro − $659 RRP*
The Bissell Crosswave Cordless is the next model up. As the name suggests, it’s a cordless model that comes with your standard features, including 3-in-1 docking tray, two-tank system and a ‘tangle-free’ multi-surface brush roll for hair up to 20cm long. The Pro model comes with smart-clean fingertip controls to allow you to easily switch cleaning modes when you want.
Bissell Crosswave Max & Pro − $699 RRP*
The Bissell Crosswave Max is the last of the line. It’s boasted for its ability to easily pick up pet hair, dust and dirt along baseboards and in corners for a thorough clean. It comes with a self-cleaning cycle which flushes out dirt, hair and debris after each use. The Max model has a bigger capacity and brush roll than the Pet and Cordless model.
Bissell Crosswave Design
The Bissell Crosswave Multi Surface is designed with somewhat of a stick vacuum styling, with a few extra additions. Crosswave is part vacuum, part wet mop.
As a wet dry vacuum, the cleaning head of this unit contains a multi-surface brushroll that is able to help agitate dirt and debris, in addition to mopping hard floors or wash area rugs.
Several strands of cloth make up the brushroll. By using cloth, the brushroll is able to absorb the cleaning solution and water in order to properly clean the floors. Additionally, the cloth is soft enough to avoid scratching your more delicate floors.
There are two separate tanks on this Bissell. One is used for the clean water and cleaning solution and the other is used to store the dirty water and debris that is sucked up by the unit.
On the clean water tank is two fill lines; one for small area messes and one for large messes. These lines are clearly marked to show how much water should be added, followed by how much cleaning solution should be added to the water.
By following the measurements provided on the tank, users are able to create the right amount of solution to clean the floors with, without wasting any water or cleaner.
The dirty water / debris tank is 0.4 L and can easily be removed from the unit. A small lip on the front of the tank acts as a handle, allowing the user to quickly release the tank from the Crosswave itself.
Along the handle of this Bissell are the cleaning mode knobs. The two buttons indicate the floor type the user is cleaning on; rug and hard floor. Once the Bissell Crosswave vacuum is turned on, the mode can be quickly changed by pressing one of these two buttons.
The trigger that supplies the water and cleaning solution to the brushroll is also located along the handle and can be squeezed once the unit is powered on.
A 25′ cord powers the unit and can be wrapped along the back side of the Crosswave.
The following tests are designed to show how the Bissell Crosswave Multi-Surface floor cleaner performs as both a mop and a vacuum.
We tested the Crosswave as a mop on tile flooring, spreading three different debris types across the floor and attempting to mop them up over the course of three passes.
Next, we tested the Bissell Crosswave as a vacuum on an engineered hardwood floor. For this test, we spread four different debris types across our testing lane and attempt to suck each of them up.
Below are the cleaning scores for each debris / cleaning type.
For starters, the mop test contains three debris types:
- Dirt / mud
Each of these debris types offer a different level of stickiness and consistency, allowing us to test the Bissell Crosswave vacuum against a light, heavy, and liquid substance. All three debris types are spread across our testing lane in three separate sections.
Throughout our mopping tests, we try to give real life examples and be as consistent and fair as possible. The mopping test procedure goes as follows:
- Measure out 3 oz of soda and spread the soda across the back of the testing lane.
- Squirt honey in the middle of the testing lane, covering a majority of the width of the lane.
- Create a muddy substance from dirt and water then spread the mud with a shoe.
- Make a pass across the testing lane and compare the amount of each debris type mopped up on pass one to the untouched debris.
- Complete pass number two across the lane and analyze the amount of each debris type mopped up.
- Make a third pass, if necessary.
The Bissell Crosswave did an excellent job mopping up each of the three debris we spread across our testing lane.
After making one pass across all of the debris, the mud was removed 100% of the way, the honey was removed 90-95% of the way, and the soda was mopped up at a level of at least 95%.
As less of a sticky substance, the dirt posed no issues for the Bissell Crosswave. On the other hand, the honey and soda were not entirely mopped up after one pass.
Bissell Crosswave – is it worth the money?
In terms of price, the Bissell Crosswave (starting from $529 RRP*) is on par with other upright vacuum models of the same calibre, including the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ Vacuum ($599 RRP*) and Shark Navigator Pet Self Cleaning Brush Roll Vacuum ($449 RRP*). We’d argue it’s a pretty fair price to pay for the convenience of a hybrid vacuum steam mop with nifty features. However, the Bissell Crosswave has drawbacks – namely, its smaller dust bin capacity and limited runtime, which can be a deal breaker for some.
BISSELL builds a wide variety of vacuums to suit different needs, ranging from cordless handheld vacuums for spot-cleaning countertops and furniture to bulky corded upright vacuums that you can use to clean large carpeted areas. The best BISSELL vacuums tend to be affordably priced and use bagless designs that keep recurring costs down. Unfortunately, they aren’t usually the best choice for all-out cleaning performance and can feel cheaply made.