If you're a cat or dog owner, and especially if you have multiple pets, you know that the war against pet hair is made up of a never-ending series of battles. In my household, I never quite win. I just manage to keep things at an uneasy truce.
Things are getting better, thanks to the Total Floors Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum by Bissell. This vacuum cleaner is made specifically to tackle pet hair. It even includes two handy tools to clean your furniture and edge your carpet. While it's nearly impossible to live in a fur-free home when you own pets, this vacuum makes things tolerable.
Going For The Brand Name
I'm pretty particular about my favorite vacuum brands. I've had great luck with Shark, so when my latest Shark vacuum finally gave up the ghost while tackling hay and hair in the guinea pig room, I was tempted to get a similar model.
However, this time around I was also swayed by the great performance of my Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum. I was sick of handheld models with little or no power, so I bought the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser at Best Buy after doing a little research and fell in love with it. It's a corded vacuum, which means it has more power than rechargeables, so it became my tool of choice for furniture touch-ups.
I asked the Bissell company for a suggestion on a full-sized vacuum that could tackle the hair from four cats on carpets as effectively as the small unit handled it on the furniture. They allowed me to try the Bissell Total Floors Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum, and the results were more than I'd hoped for.
An Assembly Puzzle
I always draft my husband to assemble products I'm reviewing. He's put together everything from automatic litter boxes like the Litter Spinner, Litter Robot, and SmartScoop to cages for the guinea pigs. When the vacuum arrived, I presented him with the box and put him to work.
If this vacuum has any faults, it's the vague assembly instructions. He managed to put it together pretty quickly, but he said the directions weren't much help.
Hair Doesn't Stand A Chance
My house was looking decidedly hairy, as it hadn't had a thorough cleaning since the Shark's demise. I set to work with the Bissell Total Floors Pet Vacuum and was quickly amazed at the amount of hair it pulled out of the carpet. I managed to fill the container completely with hair in just one room. Thankfully, it's very easy to pop out and empty.
I filled it up again on the stairs, and I loved the way the Turbo Eraser tool allowed me to really get in and around every nook and cranny of the stairwell. It's like using a miniature vacuum cleaner. I felt like the stairs really looked clean and hair-free for the first time in months. The long cord allowed me to do the entire stairway without having to switch electrical outlets.
Next, I tackled my couch and love seat, the worst pieces of furniture in the house. I spend most of my day on the couch, working on my laptop, so it gets hairy from visiting cats and collects a variety of crumbs from my lunch and snacks.
The Bissell Total Floors Pet Vacuum performed just as well on the couch as it had on the stairs. Unbelievably, I'd filled up my third canister of hair.
The Bissell Total Floors Pet Vacuum has two features that I really like. The first is the Febreeze filter, which gives your house a nice, fresh smell as you work. It was a little overwhelming when I first started using the vacuum, but then it settled down, so perhaps that's because it was brand-new. Now it just adds a hint of fragrance to the room.
The second helpful feature is the switch that lets you turn the roller brush on or off with your foot. No more groping for a switch. Just use your toes to change the mode.
I don't use the edge cleaning feature, which lets you mount the edge tool so it cleans as you push the vacuum along. I'm just too used to doing it by hand, and I couldn't force myself to break that habit.
I love the price point of the Bissell Total Floors Pet Vacuum. At $140, it's a bargain compared to many other name brands, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. It's available exclusively at Wal-Mart, either online or in the store.
Obviously, you can reduce a lot of the problem by brushing your pet regularly with a good tool like the Shedmonster or the FURminator, but nothing completely eliminates shedding. You need a good vacuum, and this Bissell model is a worthy adversary to pet hair.