There are certain areas of my house that rarely get vacuumed because, despite swapping sockets several times, there are a few places - under the settee, in the far corner of the dining room and along the French doors, in particular - that the vacuum cleaner cable just won't reach, however hard I try. The stairs are another huge problem area because I always have to stop to change sockets half way up, which is quite difficult with a heavy vacuum cleaner in hand and cables trying to trip me up ! We have three flights of stairs, including those up to the loft conversion, so this is a source of great frustration for me. I was therefore really pleased when Bissell sent us their new PowerGlide Cordless vacuum cleaner to put through its paces.
It's a 2 (or even 3)-in-1 machine because, as well as being used as a floor sweeper/vacuum cleaner, you can remove the canister for portable cleaning.
Bissell promise "a deeper clean" and I was keen to see if it would live up to its claims. Only one way to find out !
The first job was unpacking everything and assembling it all. Inside the box, you get the main body of the vacuum cleaner, the floor sweeper, the hose and wand, a combination dust brush accessory, the battery and the charger. I did need to have a quick look at the user guide to make sure I was putting it together properly but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it's only a few pages long - phew ! That's a change from many user manuals that are hundreds of pages long because they are translated into a dozen different languages - a waste of paper that always annoys me. The whole assembly process took all of five minutes - everything just clicks into place - and we were good to go.
One of my bugbears when it comes to vacuum cleaners with various attachments is that it's so easy to put them away in a "safe place" and then never manage to find them when needed. The PowerGlide has a space on the back designed for you to clip on the dusting brush accessory so it's always at hand and won't get separated from the machine, even when you're not using it.
I was surprised at how big and chunky the battery is, but I suppose this is necessary for it to achieve its impressive 45 minute battery runtime - much longer than most other cordless vacuum cleaners. It's simple to slot in and out of its housing and the mains battery charger, which has a long cable (extra handy), seems to charge the battery incredibly quickly. I was expecting it to need to charge overnight but within two hours, my totally flat battery was winking its green light at me ! I was also very impressed to see that the battery has enough charge in it for you to have a good go when it arrives in the box - I was expecting to have to wait for it to charge before getting to play so this was a bonus.
The main vacuum attachment has a swivel head so it is easy to manoeuver and get into all the awkward places. I did find it much heavier than I expected (that's the downsize of the whopping great battery) so it was a bit awkward at times, but you can always switch over to the Lift-Off canister if you find it too heavy going.
There are buttons on the main unit (at about waist height, making them more accessible than some) allowing you to turn the brushes and also a power boost on or off. For hard floors, you don't need the brushes but you can switch them on if you move over to carpets. Whichever combination you go for, it's a fairly quiet machine.
Its dual cyclone system offers an impressive amount of suction. I had to go back over big lumps of grit or paper that the kids had dropped on the floor after an over-enthusiastic crafting session but it picked up most things first time. I was particularly impressed with how well it dealt with rugs and carpets, using the brushes and the extra power to give them a new lease of life.
You just need to turn a dial to divert the suction from the floor sweeper to the smaller tool, which Sophie used for cleaning the table and sucking up the cobwebs that were lurking in the corners that I can't usually reach. She loved the fact that the hose is transparent so you can see things going down the tube as they get sucked up !
She left it on the main body but it's also dead easy to lift off and use as a handheld unit for places like the stairs, down inside the settee cushions or in the car - anywhere that you don't want to lumber about a bulky machine or where there isn't a socket to hand.
After just one battery's worth of use, we'd managed to suck all this up out of our floors and rugs, behind the big furniture and in the dogs' bed. As you can see, it can deal with dust bunnies and pet fur with no problem at all. With Christmas on the way, I'm also delighted to say that it sucked up spilt glitter easily too - I can hear the collective sigh of relief from parents across the country ! Another thing that got a huge sigh of relief from me was the ease with which I could remove and empty the bagless dust container - something which is often a source of great frustration with my usual vacuum cleaner.
To summarise, it's a sleek, funky-looking machine that offers a great balance of powerful suction and long battery life but it does end up relatively heavy because of the large battery needed to achieve this. It works really well as a stand-up vacuum cleaner/floor sweeper but also as a handheld unit. It's pricey but you do get a 2-in-1 machine that can be used around the house but also in the car or high-up (sucking up cobwebs or dusting the curtains, for example). We're really impressed with its versatility, performance and battery life - all things that often let down cordless vacuum cleaners when compared to mains-connected ones.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £249.99
for more information : see the Bissell PowerGlide product page
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.