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Bissell Cleanview Bagless Vacuum Review - Model 21K3

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Avg. consumer rating = 77/100 

A quick look at a reasonably new vacuum that appears to be increasing in popularity, the Bissell 21K3 Cleanview Helix Deluxe Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner.  This unit has slowly been climbing the best-seller vacuum list on Amazon, although at this time there are still limited reviews or ratings.  In this review we provide a quick vacuum cleaner overview.

The Bissell Cleanview Baggless (21K3) is powered by a 12 amp motor that uses Bissell’s patented Helix dirt separation system that – according to Bissell – ensures effective separation of dirt and debris thus protecting the motor and fan.  

The 21K3  is also a bagless vacuum cleaner.  Bagless vacuum cleaners use a "dirt container" that is filled, emptied and re-used, as opposed to a disposable bag.  It is usually easier to dispose of collected dust and debris with a bagged vacuum, however these require the purchasing and  “throwing away" of bags – and, in some cases, suction can be diminished if the bag gets too full and it isn’t replaced.  With a bagless vacuum cleaner it can be more of a chore to empty the dirt container (while keeping yourself and surroundings clean – often a major problem), however you do not have to purchase or toss away bags.  Bagless vacuums also often have filters that need to be maintained or replaced and they rely on seals to prevent the dirt-container from leaking.  There are no consumer comments to date regarding the ease with which the dirt container on the 21K3 is removed, emptied and re-installed.  This is sometimes an area of contention with vacuum owners.

Vacuum Features
It has a wire-reinforced stretch hose (which is clear and, Bissell claims, helps in the detection of possible clogs) and several onboard attachments:

- Extension wand (11 inches)
- Turbo hand tool
- Combination upholstery tool/dusting brush
- Crevice tool

The Bissell 21K3 also has a fairly wide cleaning path – a full 15 inches, and five adjustable height options, making transition from hard surfaces to carpet easier.  It also comes with HEPA filtration.  One minor consumer complaint is that HEPA filters for this vacuum are not inexpensive (but they don’t seem to be too bad at about 8USD on Amazon – see image on right for the Bissell 32076 HEPA Media Filter).  HEPA filtration, for those who do not know, is filtration that removes 99.97% of all airborne particulates of 0.3 microns or larger that pass through it.  The key here is that the filters are only able to filter the air that passes through them and many vacuums leak air but still tout the value of their HEPA filtration.  HEPA filters work most effectively within a sealed system (which some vacuums have, and others do not – we have not read that the 21K3 has a sealed system).   If one has asthma or allergies getting a quality vacuum with HEPA filtration may be a good idea.

The 21K3 has dual edge cleaning and an indicator to tell you when to clean your filters.  Another great feature is the headlight.  Many consumers indicate that once they use a vacuum with a headlight they are reluctant to going back to one without.  This Bissell Cleanview also has a 35 foot power cord – this is a good length.  Many vacuums have power cords less than 30 feet and this is, in our opinion, too short.  The 21K3 uses a 2-row rotating brushbar and Bissell claim that it is effective on the following surface types: Carpet, Upholstery, Bare Floors, Auto, Stairs, Low Pile Carpet.

The Bissell Cleanview Deluxe weighs 16 lbs and has dimensions 12.5” x 15” x 44”.  It also comes with a three-year limited warranty.  In many ways The Bissell 21K3 Cleanview Helix Deluxe Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner is very similar to the Bissell Cleanview Helix 82H1.

From our "first-look" at this vacuum cleaner it would appear that the main differences between the 21K3 and 82H1 are as follows:

 Feature  Bissell 82H1  Bissell 21K3
 Cleaning path  13.5 inches  15 inches
 Weight  15.5 lbs  16 lbs
 Power cord length  27 feet  35 feet
 Warranty  1-year  3-year
 Price at time of writing (Amazon)  72.24USD  94.99USD

NOTE: We would like to point out that the Bissell site indicates that the 21K3 has a 27 foot power cord and weighs 21 lbs while most other sources indicate that the 21K3 has a 35 foot power cord and weighs 16 lbs.  The weight difference may be due to one measurement including attachments and the other excluding attachments.
 
Consumer Input
Although there is limited consumer input on the vacuum at this time it is worth highlighting a few things.  In terms of ratings customers have given this 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.  But there are presently only 6 ratings.  A scan of reviews indicates the following vacuum likes and dislikes:

Pros
- Very good at picking up animal hair
- Tools work well

Cons
- Expensive HEPA filter

 

March 2016 Update

This unit is getting hard to find.  It is still available at some outlets however.  We have taken another look at consumer ratings and they have dropped over the years (typical of almost all vacuum cleaners).  In 2010 this vacuum rated 88/100 however today it rates 77/100.  This is generally due to the number of units that are out there getting older.  As time passes these machines develop problems and owners report them and often provide a low rating.  We've also updated general pros and cons:

Pros
- Very good on pet hair
- Light weight
- Washable filters
- Strong suction
- Easy to empty dirt canister
- Assembly easy

Cons
- Filters must be cleaned frequently
- Short power cord
- Short hose
- Some folks find it difficult to push

Ratings Updated March 2016
 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  3.8 stars out of 5  258
 Walmart  4 stars out of 5  71
 Viewpoints  3.9 stars out of 5  33
 Air&Water  4.8 stars out of 5  4

 

 

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Comments  

0 # Ken 2010-05-27 13:00
I love this vacuum. I spent last night going over and over my carpets with a Hoover upright and the cat hair just wouldn\'t come off the carpet but the Bissel Model 21K3 lives up to its reputation as it made quick work of the cat hair and cleaned the carpet beautifully. It has great suction and is relatively quite compared to other models I\'ve owned. It was very easy to assemble and I had it ready to clean in about 5 minutes. The cord is actually 27 feet as advertised on the Bissel web sight. It\'s a great vacuum for the price.
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0 # Dee Cole 2011-11-16 07:14
I keep a clean house and vac all the time. The 1st time I ran this, I thought my carpet was clean. I have two dogs. I think I could have made a 3rd with all the hair this got out of my carpets. It is easy to use and clean. It is heavy to drag up steps, but I\'ll do it since it does a great job and that effort is well worth the end result, pet hair free carpet. I use nearly daily!
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0 # Arthur 2012-03-29 12:27
We have used this vacuum for almost 2 years and it works very well on carpet and our tiled floors.It is extremely easy to empty the dust bin.(Certainly cleaner than taking a bag out of our old vacuum) Power is great and when you adjust the height,it practically moves itself on the tile floor. the only problem we\'ve had is a bearing went on the brush($27 to replace the brush)
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About Me

Hello!

I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.  

I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.


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