Bissell Healthy Home Upright Vacuum 16N5F


Avg. consumer rating = 81/100 

The Bissell Healthy Home (model 16N5F) –gets fairly good reviews from owners.  It is a bagless upright machine and can generally be found online for under $200USD.  It has HEPA filtration, a 30 foot power cord and includes several tools that store on board.  It also has 7 nozzle height settings and carries a lengthy 5-year warranty.  Some owners report, however, that it is a bit heavy and that the turbo brush gets bogged down if pressed too hard into the carpet.

Ratings for this upright are quite good -– see table below. You can compare this unit to other Bissell machines in our list of Bissell Vacuum Ratings.

Ratings Updated March 2016
 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.1 stars out of 5  109
 HSN  4.4 stars out of 5  7
 Walmart  4 stars out of 5  121
 Overstock  4.1 star out of 5  7
 Macy's  4.3 star out of 5  5


A list of common 16N5F likes and dislikes, as described by owners, is provided below:

- Tools store on board
- Long power cord
- Easy assembly (but does require a Philips screwdriver)
- Strong suction
- Dust canister is easy to empty
- Not too loud
- Has manual nozzle height adjustment
- Effective on pet hair

- Heavy
- Attached tools are sometimes too loose and also sometimes hard to remove
- Power cord is not retractable
- Turbo brush stops spinning too easily when friction applied
- At low height settings vacuum can be difficult to push

Like most full size bagless vacuum cleaners, the Bissell Healthy Home 16N5F is powered by a 12 amp motor and it has cyclonic suction.  Cyclonic suction involves spinning air very rapidly (thus the term “cyclone”) throwing the dust and debris out of the airflow.  The refuse is gathered in the dust canister and much of it is kept away from the machine’s filters thereby leaving them cleaner longer.

The vacuum is designed for carpet, bare floors and even upholstery.  It has brushbar on/off controls located conveniently on the handle.  Generally the brushbar is best left OFF when cleaning bare surfaces and best turned ON for deep cleaning of carpet.  The brushbar on this upright will only engage when the control is set to ON and the vacuum is in the reclined position (it is not fully upright) – a foot pedal on the back of the unit allows it to recline.

Turbo Brush
Turbo Brush

The machine also has several tools including a crevice tool, a combination dusting brush and upholstery tool, and also a turbo brush.  The turbo brush is useful for upholstery and stairs and it has an air-driven brushbar (driven by the vacuum’s suction).  Brushbars driven by air are not as powerful as brushbars driven directly by a motor but “turbo tools” are commonly air-driven.  Indeed, there are consumer comments indicating that the brushbar in the 16N5F’s turbo brush stops too easily when pressed against a surface.  The turbo brush stores conveniently on the handle of the vacuum and the other tools also store on-board.

In addition, the Healthy Home comes with a telescopic extension wand and it has a lengthy 14 foot stretch hose.  The tools can attach to the end of the hose and with the unit’s 30 foot power cord the vacuum has exceptional cleaning reach.

16N5F HEPA filter
HEPA Filter

The 16N5F sports HEPA filtration. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and it is capable of removing very, very fine particles, such as pet dander, dust mite feces, pollen, etc, from the air. This is a useful feature for those with family members that suffer from asthma or allergies. The HEPA filter on this vacuum is not washable and if vacuum suction starts to drop it may be time to replace the filter (given that there is no other reason for limited suction, like a clog in the vacuum or a dirty pre-motor filter). There is also a pre-motor filter that sits behind the dust canister. This filter is washable and it should be cleaned about once a month. It can be washed with water and mild soap.

The nozzle height can be adjusted manually with a dial on the nozzle of the vacuum.  There are seven height settings.  This is a useful feature as it is important to be able to create an optimum distance between the brushbar and the floor for the best cleaning.  Also, deeper pile carpet can make a vacuum very hard to push if the nozzle height can’t be adjusted.  Having said that, some owners report that this machine can be a little hard to push on carpet even with its carpet height adjustment feature.   This is perhaps at least partly due to the 16N5F’s weight.  The vacuum is heavier than your average upright at 21.8 lbs and this is the most common complaint amongst consumers. 

Bissell suggest using the lowest height settings for low pile carpet and bare floors, the medium settings for medium pile carpet, and the higher settings for high pile or shag carpet.  Although they do warn that the brushbar may damage some frieze carpet and that one should consider turning it off when cleaning this kind of carpet.

The nozzle has a 15-inch wide cleaning path which, compared to many other vacuums, is rather wide. This allows one to cover a large area with each pass of the vacuum, although as the nozzle head gets larger it is sometimes harder to maneuver and control.  There have been no owner comments to this effect however.

Additional vacuum features include an easy-to-empty dirt canister (with 15 oz capacity), a lifetime belt, a carry handle and a soft bumper.  The 16N5F also sports a headlight.  This is a nice feature when vacuuming in dimly lit areas.  The power on/off controls are just above the brushbar controls on the vacuum handle.   In addition, there is a thermal motor protection device that will shut the motor off should it get too hot (often as the result of a clog or overfull canister or dirty filter).  The thermal protection device resets after about 30 minutes allowing one to turn the motor back on.  Of course, one needs to have fixed the problem or the thermal protection device will activate again.  The Healthy Home 16N5F carries a respectably long 5-year limited warranty.

The vacuum is both ETL and UL listed.  ETL is a group that performs electrical and reliability tests on products to ensure they meet US product safety standards. They also audit the manufacturing site and require that the applicant agrees to future factory inspections to ensure continued adherence to the standards. ETL operates nationally recognized testing laboratories. UL stands for Underwriters' Laboratories who are a non-profit, independent product safety certification organization in the United States.

Vacuum Cleaner Video
The following video is a commercial from HSN but it does provide an overview of the features and it shows the vacuum in action.  As a commercial there is a tendency to overhype things (we notice them talking about the “lightweight” 21 lbs for example) so bear that in mind.



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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer who loves to review vacuums, and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I strive to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide a score for each and every vacuum I investigate.  My goal is to help you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.

Also, watch my video reviews on the Vacuum Cleaner Advisor YouTube Channel.