Best Bissell Canister Vacuums

Updated October 2021
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

32
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
26
Hours
Researched

Buying guide for Best Bissell canister vacuums

Cleaning floors and keeping your home free of dirt, dust, and other undesirables can be a tedious chore, especially for those with larger spaces. One of the most useful, and certainly most versatile, weapons in the cleanliness battle is the canister vacuum.

These vacuums consist of a hose and stick that you manipulate while a sizable canister is towed behind as you navigate the space. These larger vacuums are more powerful than so-called stick vacuums and comparable to most upright models as well. A widely known name in floor care and cleaning is Bissell, and the company naturally is a key player in the canister vacuum market as well.

Canister vacuums can be pricey and somewhat cumbersome, though some people prefer them as their primary or supplementary vacuum. As such, when shopping for a canister, you’d be well-served to accurately identify your needs and shop accordingly. Our guide can help you make these determinations.

I1
It may take some time for those accustomed to upright models to adjust to the movement and feel of a canister vacuum. Most users find they’re easier to work with since they aren’t as top-heavy.

Key considerations

Who they’re for

Canister vacuums are ideal for people with medium to larger spaces, particularly ones that may be hard to navigate with a simple upright vacuum. The hose-and-stick portion of the canister vacuum allows you to more easily get under and around furniture, along drapes, in high corners, and even on shelves, depending on the length of the cord and hose. Canister vacuums are skilled at picking up dirt from most common surfaces, and thus are quite useful for those who need to clean both carpet and hard floors in their home.

Bagged vs. bagless

Bissell offers canister vacuums in both of these categories, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. While bagless models are generally more convenient to empty, bagged vacuums typically last longer. That’s because without a bag, the vacuum may clog over time in harder-to-reach places while bagged models refresh each time you swap out or empty the bag.

Bagged models are seen as beneficial to those with allergies, as a vacuum bag can be disposed of without allowing particles in the air. Bagless canister vacuums, including Bissell’s, open up to dump out dirt, which could waft into the air and irritate. 

Still, bags may need to be replaced every few months, a small chore in itself. If you have pets that shed quite a bit, that will increase the rate at which the bag fills up.

Surface

It’s important to consider the surfaces you’re going to clean with your canister vacuum. Most Bissell options effectively target hard floors and carpets, including area rugs. Some better serve low-pile carpets than others, though, as well as stairs, upholstery or sealed wood floors. Bissell also sells a canister vacuum that’s designed more for use in the garage, and it also is most equipped at cleaning in and around a car.

Attachments and extensions

Bissell canister vacuums feature a telescopic pole that can extend and retract as needed. What’s more, most models come with two attachment heads that can be easily affixed or removed: a crevice tool and a dusting brush. The crevice tool is ideal for getting into corners where dust accumulates and a brush head cannot reach.

Some models may come with other attachments as well, such as a more powerful brush head or an upholstery tool for tackling chairs, couches, and drapes delicately and efficiently.

Power

Bissell canister vacuums range in power from 7 amp to 12 amps. Look for more power if you have thicker carpets or a more active household. Prices typically increase as power does. 

dyk1
Did You Know?
With proper maintenance, you can expect a quality canister vacuum to last up to 10 years or more. Expect to replace the bag and possibly filters along the way, but the investment will be a lengthy one.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Cordless

Battery-powered vacuums are less common in the canister format than they are as handheld or stick vacuums, but Bissell still has offerings in this category. A cordless vacuum comes with increased convenience since you don’t need to move the plug from outlet to outlet around your house. But battery-powered models have a limited runtime and a long charge time, so one must plan accordingly when readying to clean. What’s more, the battery may wear out after a few years, and replacements can be fairly pricey. Batteries also need to be stored in a cool, dark place and then disposed of safely when they expire.

Wet/dry

Some Bissell canister vacuums are designed to tackle both dry and wet messes, whether on carpet or a hard floor. These options tend to be larger, more expensive, and heavier, but the added utility may be worthwhile particularly for households with children and pets or where spills or accidents occur frequently.

Pet hair

Bissell makes vacuums of all sizes that tackle pet hair, and this includes the company’s canisters. Pet vacuums are designed to resist tangles of longer fur as well as assist in removing odor from the surface.

Variable speed

Most Bissell canister vacuums allow you to adjust the suction based on the surface. When pulling deeper dust and dirt from carpet, you can opt for more power. Note that with cordless models, adding power will drain the battery faster. 

Dyk2
Did You Know?
Bissell proudly supports pet ownership by donating to and working with a variety of charities and shelters. A portion of the proceeds of the company’s pet-focused canisters go to its Pet Foundation.
Staff
BestReviews

Accessories

Carpet cleaner: Hoover PowerDash Carpet Cleaner
For getting carpet in tip-top shape, a vacuum only goes so far. A quality carpet cleaner like this lightweight, affordable option from Hoover will allow for much deeper cleaning.

Air purifier: Bissell MyAir Air Purifier
Aid the cleaning power of your canister vacuum by refreshing the air as well, ridding it of particles and dust. The MyAir is a budget-friendly option also made by Bissell.

Bissell canister vacuum prices

Inexpensive: For under $100, you’ll find a handful of small Bissell canister vacuums with more maneuverability, albeit with fewer features.

Mid-range: A diverse collection of Bissell canisters cost between $100 and $200, including some that tackle both wet and dry messes.

Expensive: The most powerful and versatile canister vacuums cost over $200, including pet hair-focused models. These will be able to tackle a variety of surfaces and jobs, including hard floors and car detailing.

Dyk3
Did You Know?
Most Bissell products come with a 30-day trial period that allows buyers to test out the purchase. Canister vacuums also come with a limited warranty which may run from two to five years.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Check the cord length. Most Bissell canister vacuums have a cord that is between 15 and 20 feet in length, but one higher-end model offers a 30-foot cord. While they all feature automatic cord rewind, the longer cord may prove useful, depending on your space.
  • Tow carefully. When vacuuming, don’t pull the canister by the hose, as that can cause strain and potentially rips or tears. Also, move the canister gently so that it doesn’t tip over in the process.
  • Supplement cleaning. Canister vacuums cover a lot of space effectively, but some people find that a handheld vacuum is better suited for isolated messes and quick cleanups.
  • Move slowly. Don’t rush vacuuming, however little you enjoy the chore. Be sure to move methodically, covering the same area at least twice to fully disturb and pick up dust.
I2
Canister vacuums can be tricky to store because while the canister sits on the ground, the hose and pole are more awkward. Bissell models offer at least one clip to attach the pole to the canister so it doesn't fall over.

FAQ

Q. How can I best maintain my Bissell canister vacuum?

A. Your Bissell canister vacuum has filters that need regular rinsing. The process will take some learning at first, but once you understand how the machine opens and the pieces work together, the sequence will run smoothly. Filters and other removable components can be gently rinsed and left to air dry completely. Store the vacuum with caution, paying particular attention to the hose. A torn hose requires a new hose to be purchased and installed. While corded models may last a very long time, items like filters generally should be replaced every few years.

Q. What happens if the suction is weak?

A. The most likely culprit is a clog somewhere in the system. Empty out the dirt canister or bag, and navigate from the brush head through the hose to see where the issue is. You may need a small instrument to remove dust balls or other impediments.

Q. How often should I vacuum?

A. Most people tend to vacuum every two to three weeks, though households with kids and pets may find a need to do so more often. Likewise, if people in your house have notable allergies, there may be a benefit to more frequent vacuuming. Upholstery may only need to be cleaned once a month, depending on usage.

Q. Does Bissell offer HEPA filters in their vacuums?

A. High-efficiency particulate air (or HEPA) filters are often favored by those with allergies. Bissell sells upright vacuums with HEPA filters, as well as air purifiers featuring the same technology, but the company currently doesn’t offer canister vacuums with the feature.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks