Bissell Symphony Pet Vacuum and Steam Mop


Avg. consumer rating = 81/100 

The Bissell Symphony Pet Vacuum and Steam Mop (model 1543A) is popular and getting great ratings from owners. You can actually vacuum and mop at the same time with this machine.  It has 3 cleaning modes: Steam, Vacuum, Steam & Vacuum.  It is a good choice for households with pets and excels at picking up pet hair and removing paw prints. It doesn’t require any chemicals or detergent and cleanup is fairly easy.  Vacuum suction is not spectacular however and it doesn’t mop tight into corners.


Quick Specs
Type Upright & Steam Cleaner
Bagged/Bagless Bagless
Best for... Hard Floors
Pet Hair Features No
Approx. Weight 9.7 lbs
HEPA Level Filtration No
Power Cord Length 25 ft
Motor Driven Brushbar No
Warranty 2 Years


Consumer Ratings & Insights
As can be seen in the table below the Symphony Pet is widely available and it is reasonable consumer ratings to date.  When averaged these ratings produce a score of 81.3 out of 100 (or about 4.1 stars out of 5).  You may want to compare this to all other Bissell Vacuums we've investigated.

Ratings Updated October 2017
Source Consumer Ratings #Ratings
Amazon 3.9 stars out of 5 682
Best Buy 4.4 stars out of 5 414
Bed Bath & Beyond 4.1 stars out of 5 615
Walmart 4 stars out of 5 531
Canadian Tire 4 stars out of 5 537
HSN 4.5 stars out of 5 55


It’s worth watching the short video below to get an idea how this machine operates.  The video is a commercial but it is short and sweet.

A thorough review of owner’s comments has provided the following common 1543A likes and dislikes.  

Bissell Symphony PetPROS
- Works well in households with pets
- Easy cleanup and maintenance
- Lightweight
- Compact and easy to store
- Glides on bare floors and turns easily
- Vacuuming and mopping simultaneously saves time
- Quick and easy to assemble

- Vacuum suction is not as strong as some owners would like
- Not good at getting into corners or tight up against baseboards
- Some streaking after mopping
- Doesn’t work well on large stuck on messes
- Vacuum feature is a bit loud

We’ve also gathered together some of the more popular owner insights.  Following are the items frequently highlighted or discussed.

One of the most common comments from owners is that they were rather skeptical of the product but decided to give it a try based on all the good feedback and the high star ratings.  After trying the unit most of these people were very pleasantly surprised and ended up praising the Symphony Pet.

However, it should be pointed out that not everyone is “taken” with the unit.  While the Symphony has received mostly 4 and 5 star ratings, it also gets the odd 1 star review.  There is little in the way of “average” ratings, so folks appear to either love the steam mop or hate it.  Some of the complaints seen in 1 star ratings include poor suction, limited vacuum pick up, leaving streaks on the floor, water leaks, inability to produce steam, etc.  Having said this, with a score of 89/100 it is apparent than most of the ratings fall into the 4-5 stars category and few fall into the 1 star category.

A few consumers report being disappointed with the Symphony’s ability on carpet.  This Bissell product is not intended for carpet use.  This machine is designed solely for hard floors.  It works best on ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate, marble, stone, and hardwood floors.

There are many comments from homeowners with pets.  These owners overwhelmingly report that the Symphony Pet is very effective at dealing with pet hair and that it is also quite good at removing paw prints.  Although, it does seem to struggle on larger items like cat litter.

This is a fairly lightweight machine and when dealing with heavy debris it may not pick it up particularly well and has a tendency to pushing it around.  Owners indicate that it is probably best for smaller, lighter cleanups - crumbs, dust, pet paw prints, pet hair, etc.

Symphony dust canister

One small issue that owners repeatedly highlight is the inability of the Symphony to mop tight into corners or edges.  The vacuum channel sits in front of the mop pad.  As such, the mop pad does not extend all the way to the front of the floor piece, so corners and some edges have to be done by hand or with another tool (or left unmopped).

While most owners are thrilled with the performance of the Symphony, there are some who feel that it only does an average job and that one would be better off with two tools: a vacuum and a mop.  And while most people are happy with the vacuum suction, several report that it is too weak.

You can see more Symphony owner comments on Amazon if you wish.

Details & Specifications
The Symphony Pet has 3 cleaning modes.  
1) Vacuum
2) Steam
3) Vacuum & Steam

Bissell Steam MopThe unit can also be set to low steam or high steam.  Fingertip controls on the handle include Low Steam, High Steam, Vacuum ON/OFF.  High Steam is best for sticky messes and low steam is best for delicate floors or light cleaning.  When steam is ON, a trigger on the underside of the handle releases the steam when depressed.  Please bear in mind that the Symphony Pet is designed to clean sealed hard flooring such as ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate, marble, stone, and hardwood floors.  It is best not to use this machine on unsealed wood floors.

Vacuum mode can be kept ON at the same time as Steam mode or each mode can be run separately.  If you only use vacuum mode the unit can essentially be operated as a stick vacuum.

The Symphony Pet comes with both disposable mop pads and washable mop pads.  You should receive 1 washable soft pad, 1 washable scrubbing pad, and 4 disposable SwifferBISSELL SteamBOOST pads (the SteamBOOST pads are designed to leave a fresh scent).  Attaching pads to the pad tray is straightforward and they are also easily swapped out.  Washable pads, depending on the state of the floor, are generally good for cleaning several rooms before they need to be washed.  Disposable pads are for issues like pet messes where you want to toss the pad out after using it.  

Bissell also makes odor eliminating scent discs which leave behind a fresh, clean smell as you mop.  These fit into the mop pad.  The scent discs do not come with the machine and must be ordered separately.   

Bissell (as well as a number of other websites) report that using the steam sanitizes and eliminates 99.9% of germs and bacteria.  However it is important to know that this is only the case if you make contact with the same surface area for 15-20 seconds.  If you pass over an area too quickly you will not sanitize it properly.

The water tank holds 12.8 ounces which is 380 ml.  A water cup is provided with the Symphony and it will take two of these cups to fill the water tank.  Water heating time is about 30 seconds and there is a steam-ready indicator light.  The tank allows for about 15 minutes of continuous steam time.  No chemicals need to be added to the tank and you can just use fresh water – although distilled water is best.  There is no water filter on this unit.

Bissell reports that the vacuum feature on the Symphony has stronger suction than previous models.  There is no indication how much more suction or which models so it is rather vague.  The vacuum portion of the machine is bagless and it uses cyclonic technology.  There is no brushroll in this vacuum either so it relies solely on suction.  The cleaning path width of the vacuum is 11 inches and it also has no nozzle height adjustment.

The unit weighs under 10 lbs (9.74 lbs to be exact) – without a full water tank.  The lightweight design and the swivel mop head make for easy lifting and good maneuverability.  Cleaning reach is average as the Symphony only has a 25 foot power cord (longer would have been better).  It is also UL listed and carries a 2-year limited warranty.

Vacuum Cleaner Manual
The manual for this machine is rather short but it does have some good information on assembly, operations, maintenance, repair and troubleshooting.  You can view the manual here: Bissell Symphony Pet Vacuum and Steam Mop Manual



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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.