Hoover Impulse Cordless Vacuum Review


Avg. consumer rating = 79/100 

This is another in a long line of vacuums capitalizing on the Dyson stick vacuum design.  That’s not a bad thing.  The design is popular for many good reasons.  These kinds of vacuums are typically light, easy to use, and very versatile.  The Hoover Impulse BH53020 is no exception and it is lightweight, has plenty of suction, and can be used as a stick vac as well as a handheld vacuum.  It also has two power modes, three tools, and easily accessible controls.  However, it is a little on the loud side and some owners report that it feels a bit top heavy.  In addition, it is best for light cleaning and is not really designed for heavy duty work.

Quick Specs
Type Stick Vac
Bagged/Bagless Bagless
Best for... Bare Floors & Carpet
Pet Hair Features No
Approx. Weight 5.6 lbs
HEPA Filter No
Power Cord Length Cordless
Motor Driven Brushbar Yes
Warranty 2 Years


Consumer Ratings
We have scoured the Internet for consumer ratings of the Impulse and we have found 28 ratings from two sources.  We have removed ratings that are the result of receiving a free product.  While these may or may not influence a rating, by removing them we have optimized our confidence in the score.  To calculate the score we perform a weighted average which, in this case, works out to 79.4 out of 100 (or about 4 stars out of 5).  This is a fairly average score. You can compare it to our other stick vacuum ratings.  You can also see all the ratings on our site in our Vacuum Cleaner Finder application. 

Source Consumer Rating # Ratings
Amazon 3.9 stars out of 5 8
Target 4.0 stars out of 5 20
Hoover Impulse
What Are Owners Saying?
A thorough review of owner’s comments has provided the following pros and cons as well as some insights into other vacuum characteristics and features.
- Strong suction
- Both a stick vac and a handheld vacuum
- Good for quick pickups
- Not too expensive
- Fairly good on smooth surfaces & pet hair
- Lightweight
- Easy access controls
- Lockable trigger
- Have to clean filter frequently
- A bit on the loud side
- Feels top heavy
- Smallish dust canister
- Average on carpet
- No HEPA filter
- Fixed battery (not swappable)
Probably the most common comment about the Impulse is that it has great suction.  Folks seem surprised at the amount of suction that this smallish machine generates.  There are also very few complaints about the run time – which is a little anomalous for a cordless unit.  The Impulse run time is actually only average but it seems that, for the most part, it meets expectations.
People also really like the versatility of the Impulse.  It can be used as a stick vacuum and as a handheld.  In handheld mode the wand can be added to extend cleaning reach well overhead.  The light weight and cordless design make it a favorite for doing stairs and quick pickups.
Hoover Impulse Overhead Cleaning
A few folks have highlighted that the vacuum is loud.  This is a little surprising as this configuration usually doesn’t result in a particularly loud vacuum cleaner (compared to a full size upright or canister vacuum for example).  But it would appear that the Impulse is indeed on the loud side.
Owners agree that the vacuum is best used for quick pick-ups and lighter cleaning jobs.  It is not designed for deep cleaning and large area vacuuming.  This should be somewhat apparent given the size of the vacuum (and the small dust canister).  If you intend to do deep cleaning (especially if you have medium to deep pile carpet) or if you have a large area to clean you may want to consider a full size, corded upright or canister.
Several people have highlighted that the vacuum feels especially top-heavy.  It’s not surprising given the design, however we’ve seen this complaint much more frequently with the Impulse when compared to other similar stick vacs.  Folks also report that this top heavy characteristic makes it a little trickier to handle, and maneuvering the machine apparently takes some getting used to – but when you do get it sorted it is generally fine.
Hoover Impulse Handheld
Some owners have stated that the filter needs frequent cleaning.  Infrequent cleaning will impact the machine’s suction and therefore cleaning ability.  Cleaning the filter is easy (it is rinsable in water) but it takes 24 hours or so to dry and you cannot use the vacuum without the filter inserted.  Perhaps Hoover recognized this issue as they were good enough to add a second filter to the package.
Cleaning performance is something of a mixed bag – it reportedly does a respectable job on hard surfaces and pet hair but is only average on carpet. There is agreement however, that it is not the right vacuum for cleaning deep pile carpet.
You can read more Impulse owner comments on Amazon. 

What’s in The Box?
- Hoover Impulse Vacuum
- Crevice Tool
- Upholstery Tool
- Dusting Brush
- Wall Mount
- Charger
- Tool Storage Bag
- Extra Filter
This cordless stick vacuum is similar to many others presently on the market in that it is a lightweight 2-in-1 machine.  With the cleaner head and wand it is a stick vacuum.  With the cleaner head removed it is a handheld with a long wand (great for overhead cleaning and getting into cramped quarters). And with the cleaner head and wand removed it is a typical handheld vacuum.
The Impulse comes with three tools:
- Crevice tool
- Dusting brush
- Upholstery tool
Hoover Impulse Tools
The tools can be attached to the end of the handheld unit or the end of the wand.
Battery & Recharging
The Impulse is a cord free vacuum that uses a 28 Volt Lithium Ion battery.  This kind of battery provides what is sometimes called “Fade-Free Power”.  What this means is that it will generate the same power output until it stops.  It does not slowly fade over time.  So when you vacuum you will not notice fading power as you are vacuuming.  You will get the same power until – bang – the machine just turns off.  The vacuum should run for approximately 18 minutes on a full charge.
Hoover states that a depleted battery can be fully charged in 3-4 hours.  You can plug the charger directly into the battery on the vacuum or you charge the vacuum while it is in the wall mount (so when the vacuum is hanging in the wall mount it is being charged).
Hoover Impulse Charging
Also, note that the battery is not designed to be easily removed.  People with cordless machines who find the run time insufficient often buy a second battery which effectively doubles their vacuum’s run time.  But you have to have a battery that can easily be swapped out.  You can’t swap the battery with the Impulse which is a little disappointing.
Dust Canister
The dust canister is easy to empty.  Pressing a button/latch on the bottom releases the door and the dust and debris simply fall out.  The canister is a little on the small side however and it has a capacity of 0.4 liters.  For comparison purposes see the dust canister capacities of some popular stick vacs below:
Dyson V8 = 0.54 liters
Dyson V10 Absolute = 0.76 liters
Shark IONFlex = 0.33 liters
Cleaner Head
The cleaner head on the Impulse has a motor driven brushroll.  Sometimes these get hair wrapped around them and require cleaning.  Fortunately the Impulse brushroll can be easily removed (by pushing a button) for cleaning.   This is a bristled brushroll and Hoover calls it a “multi-floor brushroll”.  The vacuum only comes with the one cleaner head so it is used for all surfaces.  You can see the cleaner head in the image below:
Hoover Impulse Cleaner Head
Weight & Maneuverability
The vacuum weighs 5.6 lbs which is similar in weight to most of the Dyson stick vacuums.  This is indeed lightweight when compared to many other stick vacuums.  Swivel steering helps with maneuvering and steering the vacuum.
Also, note that the Impulse is not free standing.  So when you are not using it you will have to place it in the wall mount or lean it against something.
The filter is easy to access and to remove.  It can be rinsed in warm water so there is no need to replace it when it gets dirty.  When the filter is completely dry (typically after 24 hrs or so) it can be placed back in the vacuum.  Hoover has provided a second filter which is helpful as you can use it while the other one is drying.  Note that the filter is not HEPA grade.  This is not a vacuum that is going to do a good job filtering allergens out of the air in your home.
Hoover Impulse Filter Cleaning
Vacuum Cleaner Controls
The vacuum controls are on the handheld unit and consist of two buttons that are accessible with your thumb.  One button relates to power and the other relates to floor mode.  Hoover calls this control interface the dashboard.
Boost mode light off = Standard power mode
Boost mode light on = Boost power mode
Hard floor light on = Hard floor mode. Brushroll spins more slowly to reduce scatter.
Hard floor light off = Carpet mode. Brushroll spins more rapidly for deeper cleaning.
There are also 3 lights on the dashboard that indicate battery power.  These are helpful as you can tell if the battery power is getting low when you are vacuuming.  You can also tell how far along the charging is when you are charging the battery.
The vacuum also has a power trigger (depressed with the index finger).  You simply depress the trigger to turn the vacuum on.  If you double click the trigger it will lock in place and the vacuum power will engage without you having to continually hold the trigger down.  Another click disengages the trigger.  This is perhaps a lesson learned from the grumblings of Dyson stick vacuum owners who do not like having to keep the trigger depressed to get power.
The Hoover Impulse BH53020 carries a two-year warranty.  This is the same length of warranty you get with a Dyson stick vacuum, however many of the Shark stick vacs carry a 5-year warranty.
Vacuum Cleaner Manual
The manual for the impulse is rather short but the vacuum is not particularly complicated.  The manual covers such things as: What’s In the Box, Assembly, Mounting the Wall Bracket, Charging, Controls, Using the Vacuum, Emptying the Dust Canister, Removing the Brushroll, Maintaining the Filters/Dust-Canister/Separator, and Warranty Information.  You can view a copy of the manual here: Hoover Impulse Cordless Vacuum Manual


Highest Scoring Vacuums
#1 CORDLESS VACUUM:   Dyson V8 Absolute (94/100)
Top Cordless Vacuum
#1 UPRIGHT VACUUM:      Shark NV752 TruePet (94/100)
Top Upright Vacuum
  Also see Shark NV801 (94/100) 
#1 CANISTER VACUUM:    Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor (93/100)
Top Canister Vacuum


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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.

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