Bissell Opticlean Canister Vacuum
Avg. consumer rating = 72/100
The Bissell 1535 OptiClean canister vacuum is adored by some owners but disliked by others. Folks who are happy with their machine point to its light weight, ease of use, and compact size, however those less enthusiastic allude to problems with suction, poor performance on carpet, and limited cleaning reach. Overall consumer ratings for the 1535 are a little disappointing but the vacuum is quite affordable.
|Best for...||Hard Floors|
|Pet Hair Features||No|
|Approx. Weight||11.6 lbs|
|HEPA Level Filtration||No|
|Power Cord Length||15 feet|
|Motor Driven Brushbar||No|
197 consumer ratings were found and these are provided in the table below. When averaged these result in a score of 72/100. This may sound reasonably good but it is best to consider this score in the context of all the canister vacuum scores on the site. When compared to other scores you can see that 72 out of 100 is below average. You can also see ALL vacuum scores in our vacuum cleaner finder.
|Amazon||3.6 stars out of 5||106|
|Walmart||3.6 stars out of 5||49|
|Target||3.4 stars out of 5||33|
|Canadian Tire||4.2 stars out of 5||5|
|London Drugs||4.3 stars out of 5||4|
A comprehensive review of consumer comments provided the following 1535 owner likes and dislikes:
- Compact and easy to store
- Not too noisy
- Fairly good on bare floors
- Affordably priced
- Doesn’t tip easily
- Some owners report poor suction
- Wand is short
- Hard to move the cleaning head on carpet
- No brushroll in cleaning head
- Not very effective on carpet
- Short power cord
- Filters need to be cleaned frequently
What are Owners Saying?
Probably the most contentious issue with this canister vacuum is the suction. There are many reports from owners that the suction is fantastic and that it pulls up all manner of dust and debris from carpet and bare floors, however there are just as many reports that the suction is poor resulting in limited pickup on any surface. So why is this happening? Is it because certain machines are built better than others and some people are simply getting lemons? Well, it is hard to say but we have noticed a number of folks reporting that the suction is very good when the vacuum is new and that it slowly diminishes over time. We have also read reports that the filters foul easily and frequently, and also that there can be a buildup of debris inside the hose where it attaches to the canister body. Given this information it is not a stretch to consider that the waning suction may be the result of dirty filters and/or clogging in the hose. Having said that, this may not be the case for everyone experiencing a suction issue – we have also read a few reports of consumers diligently keeping their filters clean and maintaining their vacuum but still having limited suction.
There is some consternation with the need to clean the filters frequently – it takes time and is bothersome. The filters can thankfully be washed but some folks feel that the filters themselves are not particularly durable and they won’t stand up to a lot of repeated cleaning, resulting in them needing to be replaced. Another issue with having to clean the filters often is the lengthy drying time. After a filter is washed it has to be completely dry before it is put back in the machine and this can take 24 hours or so. You cannot use the vacuum during this time.
Another area of distress for some owners is the lack of performance on carpet. The carpet cleaning head (nozzle) can be hard to move on carpet – especially deeper pile carpet. In addition, the cleaning ability of the nozzle on carpet is not good. This nozzle does not have a rotating brushroll which is certainly one of the reasons it does not perform particularly well on carpet.
Aside: One owner has indicated a potential “fix” for this vacuum’s poor performance on carpet. They suggest purchasing the Dust Care Generic Vacuum Cleaner Turbo Attachment. This attachment has 4 small rollers on the bottom which make it more mobile than the 1535 nozzle and it also has a brushroll. This is not a motorized brushroll however and it is driven by the vacuum suction. So if you are having suction problems with your machine this solution may not be a great idea. But if your suction is good this attachment could boost cleaning performance on your carpet. We have not tried this "fix" so we cannot comment with any authority on its accuracy.
Other issues that have been brought up by owners include the following:
- The wand is too short and causes some people to have to slouch when vacuuming
- The power cord is too short
- The cleaning head can stick (via suction) to bare floors and rugs
Having touched on some of the vacuum’s shortcomings it is only fair to discuss some of the unit’s more popular features.
Owners like that it is easy to detach the dust canister from the vacuum, empty it, and then reattach it to the vacuum. The vacuum is also lightweight which makes it easy to carry from room to room or up and down stairs. In addition, the Bissell OptiClean is compact which makes for straightforward storage. It fits well into a closet for example. The compact nature of the vacuum also makes it a reasonably good fit for smaller homes.
There are quite a few people that have highlighted the low noise level of the vacuum. They do not describe it as a “very quiet vacuum” per se but rather one that is not too loud or annoying. The canister portion of the vacuum also moves effectively and does not tip easily, even when going around corners.
When the suction is working well (this is important given the discussion above) owners report that the OptiClean is great at picking up all manner of dust and debris including pet hair on bare floors.
Finally, owners are pleased with the very reasonable price of the vacuum – typically under $100.
You can see more OptiClean owner comments on Amazon.
Details & Specifications
This is a bagless canister vacuum that uses cyclonic technology. Cyclonic technology involves sending the air stream through one or more cyclonic cylinders that spin the air very rapidly. As the air spins the dust and debris are forced out - via centrifugal force - and into the dust canister. Cyclonic technology helps to keep the filters cleaner longer and it provides no loss of suction as the dust canister fills (as opposed to many bagged vacuums where the suction can drop as the bag fills).
The cleaning head on this canister vacuum has no brushroll. But it does have brushes that can be lowered or lifted via a rocker switch (sometimes referred to as the “brush switch”) on top of the cleaning head. For cleaning carpets and rugs the rocker switch is pushed to the “carpet” position which pulls the brushes up into the cleaning head. For cleaning bare surfaces the rocker switch is pushed into the “bare floor” position which extends the brushes. We’ve seen the vacuum advertised for cleaning bare floors, carpet, hard floors, stairs, and upholstery. However, given the limitations of the cleaning head we would expect the machine to struggle on some carpet, especially anything medium to deep pile.
An air flow regulator is located on the handle at the end of the hose. This seems to be a rather technical term (“air flow regulator”) for what is essentially a slider that opens and closes a hole through which suction can escape. The purpose of this is to allow you to reduce suction at the nozzle if, for example, you are vacuuming delicate fabrics or if the nozzle is hard to move across the floor due to high suction. This isn’t fancy (like changing the speed of the motor to increase or decrease suction) but it does what it is supposed to do.
The vacuum power cord is auto-rewind which is a popular feature (retracts at the push of a button which is located on the canister body). However the cord is only 15 feet in length which is rather short. We often see “shortish” power cords on canister vacuums but less than 20 feet frequently evokes complaints from owners –as is the case with the OptiClean.
The vacuum comes with several tools:
- crevice tool
- dusting brush
- upholstery tool
There seems to be some discrepancy with respect to the tools provided with the 1535. Most sources, including the vacuum manual, indicate that the three tools highlighted above come with the vacuum, however the Bissell website states that the unit only includes a crevice tool and a dusting brush.
The tools can be attached to the end of the handle or the metal telescopic wand. A tool holster is also provided and the tools can be stored on the tool holster which is then clipped onto the wand.
The OptiClean has a washable pre motor filter (dust canister filter) and a washable post motor filter. These can both be hand washed in cold water and a mild detergent can also be used. They must be absolutely dry before being placed back in the vacuum. Also, it should be noted that none of these filters is HEPA. HEPA filter help reduce allergens in the air – you can learn much more about these filters in our article “About HEPA Filters”.
At 11.6 lbs this is a lightweight canister vacuum. You can see our list of popular lightweight canister vacuums if you like. Bissell states that the 1535 OptiClean weighs only 8.5 lbs but our guess is that this figure refers to the canister without some combination of hose / wand / nozzle.
Additional vacuum features include a bottom empty dust canister (capacity = 2 liters), a carry handle, and a cleaning path width of about 11 inches. It also carries a 2-year warranty.
Vacuum Cleaner Manual
The manual is in English, French and Spanish but the level of detail isn’t great and it is very short. There are few instructions and it will undoubtedly leave some owner’s questions unanswered. You can check out the manual here: Bissell 1535 OptiClean Manual.