I was officially bored with Bissell’s Bolt line of cordless vacuum cleaners. Same designs, same average performance. We needed a change, and Bissell delivered. Although it’s merely a copy of the Gtech AirRam I was talking about a few years ago, the Bissell AirRam 1984 is a new compact cordless vacuum on the US market which is (obviously) fully wire-free. The unit is free-standing, comes with built-in headlights (which enable you to spot dirt quickly) and many other great features that I’ll cover in detail in this article. This is what you’ll learn from me today:
- what are the real features of this Bissell
- what are its best and worst instances
- how it compares with its direct contenders, Gtech Air Ram and Dyson V8
- where you can find it on sale
For a stick vacuum, it looks good. The nozzle reminded me of the Rocket Powerhead from Shark. They have the same working principle. Everything is stored in a bin that is incorporated in the nozzle. The Shark, however, is a corded unit, so we’re talking about 2 very different products. Here are some pics with this Bissell:
And here’s my video review:
1. Suction power
AirRam comes with a suction seal that makes the vacuum perfect for hardwood floors. It also features a suction squeeze design completed by a rubberized sweeper that alters direction, thereby opening and closing as you clean large debris of your floor. This feature allows you to vacuum every spot of your floor including hard-to-reach sections, and thanks to the large brushroll, it delivers superior edge cleaning.
2. Input power (battery performance)
The unit runs on 2000 mAh (22 V) Lithium-Ion Battery, which is one the best battery types for cordless vacuums, since it outputs steady power throughout the cleaning exercise, effectively providing fade-free power till it’s finally drained. Although it takes about four hours to charge the unit, it runs for a commendable 30 minutes; a longer lifespan compared to other wire-free vacuum cleaners in the same price range. The battery is removable and as such allows flexible charging and storage. You can buy 2 batteries and alternate them, raising the autonomy to 1h. AirRam comes with a handy indicator that informs you when the charge is running out. Attaching the battery to the unit is very simple; after slotting the handle, it quietly clicks into the lower handle’s rear. Additionally, the unit comes with the charger necessary to recharge it in addition to a handy operating manual.
3. Bin capacity
The dust bin holds approximately 20 oz. of dirt. Since the dust bin is beautifully attached to the cleaner head, dirt effortlessly collects right inside the tray. The bin then dexterously compresses dirt, pet hair and dust to occupy the least space possible, thus helping you realize longer cleaning sessions. Another brilliant innovation of this unit is the ease of emptying; you simply push down a lever, which in turn drives dust out of the dust bin. The bid also perfectly lives up to its “no dust cloud” promise because when you are emptying the bin, dirt clump together, as opposed to clicking to the walls of the tray.
4. Filtration system efficiency
The filter is located right in the middle of the dirt tray. This vacuum doesn’t utilize the latest filtration technology. Thus this filter is not HEPA; users will have to rely on a foam filter. This needs to be washed every once in a while and let to dry 24-48h. The motor and dirt collector are very close to the filter, implying that air does not flow through a cyclone or even a long pipe (as is the case with other vacuum cleaners). This makes the AirRam significantly efficient overall, yet the filter needs to be cleaned frequently.
5. Weight and Dimensions
This cordless is extensively made from plastic and weighs 7.8 pounds. It’s also pretty compact, measuring 20 x 13 x 11.5 inches (with its handle in place). Its main base has an incredibly low profile of a mere 4″. The entire dust collection and cleaning mechanism is thus attractively minuscule, allowing you to reach under many things. Other details include;
Bissell backs it with a 2-Year warranty.
There aren’t any accessories. If you choose to by the bundle with the hand-vac, you will also get the multi-cordless 1985 (which is pretty cool, by the way).
8. Special features
Maneuverability: The unit is highly maneuverable thanks to its swivel steering capabilities. The model is, therefore, ideal for persons of all ages since maneuvering it around furniture is very easy.
Fold-flat feature: In its fold-flat feature, the vacuum lays completely horizontal, enabling you to reach deep under the bed.
Compactness: The handle conveniently collapses, allowing you to store the unit in tiny spaces.
The USB functionality is not working, unfortunately. With Gtech, you could calculate the amount of electricity you save by using the unit, assess the conditions of its battery, and even monitor the number of calories you burn while using the vacuum. With this Bissell, this is not possible at the moment (although the port exists).
Bissell AirRam’s revolution design, coupled with its ultra-lightweight profile and powerful cleaning capabilities makes the unit nicely functional. Its long-lasting removable battery not only saves electric power, it also saves you time. One can vacuum a typical medium-sized home on its single 30 minutes charge. And the fact all filters are washable means lower maintenance costs. Unfortunately, the brushroll can not be turned off, which makes the unit useful only in some of the circumstances. The unit is a bit noisy at 77 dB.
Bissell sells this beauty for $200, but occasionally you can find better deals.
Bissell AirRam vs Gtech AirRam vs Dyson V8
Let me break it to you: the Bissell AirRam and the Gtech AirRam are one and the same. In some older Gtech models, the USB port used to work. Nowadays, both products don’t make use of this functionality anymore. Here’s a comparison table with the best cordless on the market at the moment, the Dyson V8:
|Battery recharge time|
|Works above the floor|
Most of my clients are completely satisfied with its functionality, power, and ease of maintenance. That the unit can vacuum both hard floors and carpets appealed to most consumers who needed an all-in-one cleaner. Pet hair is easily picked up. The battery lasts more than enough IMO. There’s a problem with spare parts (e.g. additional filters) but hopefully, Bissell will fix this soon. Overall, Bissell AirRam Vacuum bridges the gap between fully-fledged utility power-driven models and the short runtime handheld models, making it an excellent choice. It is powerful enough to clean a broad range of dirt, it is easy to use and it provides a decent battery life despite its short recharge time. With the AirRam you can clean both soft and hard floors. It is easy to maintain and affordable. If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner that can aptly clean your medium-sized home, AirRam may be your match. Here’s my VGM:
VGM table for Bissell AirRam
|Weight and Dimensions||10|
What do you think about this cordless vacuum? Has Bissell done the right move?