Powerlifter Pet Vacuum

Last updated date: January 17, 2019

DWYM Score

6.9

Powerlifter Pet Vacuum

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We looked at the top Pet Vacuums and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Pet Vacuum you should buy.

Update as July 19, 2021:
Checkout The Best Pet Vacuum for a detailed review of all the top pet vacuums.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 65 expert reviews, the Bissell Powerlifter Pet Vacuum placed 16th when we looked at the top 16 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Cleaning up a home with pets requires some specialized help. Embedded pet hair and fine debris can be tough to remove from carpets and upholstery. With the Bissell Powerlifter pet hair vacuum 1309, you get a lightweight machine with exclusive pet features. A perfect combination of powerful suction and a Triple Action Brush Roll maximizes pet-hair cleanup across multiple surfaces. On carpet, the different bristle lengths work together to go deeper into carpet fibers, lifting and removing embedded dirt and pet hair. The long, silk-like bristles gently remove fine debris on hard flooring. Clean more pet hair with the Flexible Pet Crevice Tool and the Pet Hair Eraser Tool. So whatever your furry little friend throws your way, you have the vacuum that tackles it with ease.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

6.4
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

7.9
372 user reviews

What experts liked

This vacuum is cheaper than most carpet cleaners available right now.
- Best Cordless Vacuum Guide
November 5, 2018 | Full review
The Bissell PowerLifter PowerBrush 1622 worked a bit better. It’s also much cheaper (typically about $90), and it weighs only 16 pounds. It has a few of the useful features we like, such as a cord clip, a built-in measuring cup, and a two-in-one tank design that makes cleaning easy. It’s also particularly simple to assemble.
- New York Times Wirecutter
I really liked the idea of a self rewinding cord, and the power vs size of the 10 amp motor is what made me buy it. Hardwood floors and carpet performance have both been great, and I’m especially happy with how much it cleans the carpet with every pass
- Clever Leverage
April 16, 2018 | Full review

What experts didn't like

Small water tank means you’ll have to empty it often when cleaning a large room.
- Best Cordless Vacuum Guide
November 5, 2018 | Full review
It doesn’t have a hose tool, so you can use it only on carpet.
- New York Times Wirecutter

Our Expert Consultant

Stephanie Mantilla 
Animal trainer

Stephanie Mantilla is a positive reinforcement-based animal trainer who has worked with a variety of animals, from lizards all the way up to cheetahs and lions.  She now runs the pet blog Curiosity Trained, writing about training and enrichment for your dog and cat.  She holds a behavioral husbandry professional development certificate from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and has a bachelor of science in biology and environmental science.

After spending 12 years training exotic animals as a zookeeper, she now helps pet owners create fulfilling lives for their pets. No matter the animal, they all require similar things to make their lives enriched and prevent behavioral issues.  Stephanie’s mission is to help pet owners make the lives of their pets the best that they can be.

 

 

An Overview On Pet Vacuums

Traditional vacuum cleaners have always been called into service to remove pet hair, flea dust and dander, but the results haven’t always been pretty. Pet hair can quickly become tangled in the vacuum’s beater brush, and the collection bag cannot always contain all of the pet hair the vacuum cleaner picks up.

This is why several vacuum cleaner manufacturers developed models that address the specific needs of pet owners. A pet or animal vacuum cleaner looks and acts like a standard vacuum, but also includes specialized accessories, such as a turbo brush or grooming tool. A pet vacuum also has a more powerful motor to generate stronger suction. Pet hair is notoriously difficult to extract from carpeting, so most pet vacuums use more intense “wind tunnel” or cyclonic technology.

If you’ve got a pet, especially one that sheds a lot, a pet vacuum should be on your wish list, says our resident pet expert Stephanie Mantilla, a positive reinforcement animal trainer who runs the blog Curiosity Trained.

“If you have pets that shed a lot, you’re going to want canister vacuums that are easy to empty,” she says. “Having a large canister allows you to vacuum longer without needing to constantly empty the vacuum. Going bagless saves you from blowing through multiple bags each time you clean. A high shedding dog, such as a Siberian husky, can easily fill up multiple vacuum bags a week.”

Pet vacuums come in a wide variety of designs, although canister and upright styles seem to be the most popular, followed by handheld mini-vacs. A hybrid upright canister vacuum, like the Shark TruePet, provides the additional suction power pet owners need, along with a beater brush with noticeably stiffer bristles. Although the heavier weight of the Shark TruePet may be a factor for some, it performs equally well on all common floor surfaces.

In terms of sheer suction power, a pet vacuum with cyclonic action is hard to beat. They provide the right balance of power and maneuverability that many pet owners seek. One potential drawback with cyclonic pet vacuum cleaners, however, is their bagless design. Pet hair and dander can be blown back into the room once the bagless canister is opened for disposal. Pet owners with allergy issues may want to consider a model that includes a secured bag and a HEPA filter.

“HEPA filters in your vacuum are a must if you have pets,” says Mantilla. “These filters will remove the dander and other allergens your pets track in. Many people who are allergic to pets are actually allergic specifically to their dander. By vacuuming with a model containing a HEPA filter, you’re preventing a buildup of a main allergen in your home.”

Many robotic vacuums can handle a moderate amount of pet hair, flea dust and dander, but they often lack the suction power of canister vacuums. Pet owners with robotic vacuum cleaners should be prepared to clean out the unit’s collection tray more often and spend time removing any hairs that collect on the agitator brushes. Clogs and tangles can lead to poor performance.

One element that separates a pet or animal vacuum from its traditional counterpart is the beater brush. Because pet hair can become hopelessly entangled on a standard beater brush, manufacturers have created special agitators with stiffer and deeper bristles. The surface of a pet vacuum beater brush is also smoother, making it easier to rinse clean between uses.

You’ll also want to consider the vacuum’s accessories before you buy, says Mantilla.

“Many pet upright vacuums have attachments that are especially good for removing pet hair from upholstery,” she says. “They have stronger suction and are designed so that pet hair doesn’t get caught up in the rotating gears as easily.”

If large canister or upright vacuums are too bulky for the job, many pet owners also keep a handheld vacuum on hand for spot cleaning. Miniature models can reach remote areas and crevices that tend to collect pet hair. Unlike a standard handheld vacuum cleaner, a pet mini-vac may also include a powered agitator to remove more hair from carpeting, along with an improved filtration system.

The Pet Vacuum Buying Guide

  • When choosing an ideal indoor pet, one important consideration is the animal’s typical shedding pattern. Owners who bring a high shedding animal into the home should be prepared to vacuum almost daily. Low shedding breeds are best for homes with extensive carpeting.
  • Even if the vacuum cleaner is not designated as a “pet vacuum,” it should have a HEPA filter to trap all of the flea dirt, dander and hairs a pet can generate throughout the day.
  • Most cordless vacuum cleaners lack the suction power to be effective as pet vacuums, but they are suitable for spot cleaning “accidents” and litter spills.
  • Some consumers may want to consider investing in a pet vacuum even if they do not own pets. These models are often more powerful than standard vacuum cleaners and include accessories not often included with traditional models.
  • Bagless pet vacuum cleaners may be easier on the environment, but models with bags do a better job containing pet hair and dander. Most cyclonic vacuums are bagless by design, but many canister and upright vacuums still use disposable bags.
  • Pet owners are not limited to specialized pet vacuum cleaners but should be prepared to spend more time removing hair and other pet-related debris from standard models. Clogs lead to reduced suction power, and beater brushes mired with pet hair can burn out the belts and motor.
  • HEPA filters need to be replaced on a regular schedule in order to retain their efficiency. Pet owners with allergy issues may want to use protective gloves and a dust mask when performing this important task.