One trick pony

Jan 16, 2011 (Updated Jan 17, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Cheap and can be found in nearly any store (including my local grocery store!)

Cons:Bush never stops spinning.  Too many filters.  Hose too short. 

The Bottom Line:

Better for a small home with simple tasks.  Probably not for home with kids and pets. 

My vacuum broke just a day before out of town guests were scheduled to arrive and I didn’t have time to window shop for the ultimate vacuum.  I picked the Bissell Cleanview Helix Bagless Upright for $75 at the local store.   

I loved my Dyson and used it for the last 5 years until a spool of thread put an end to it.  I spent a lot of time the first few days comparing how poor the new vacuum was in comparison to my old Dyson.  It seems cheesy, but I do spend a lot of time vacuuming so I definitely want one that does the job.  I tried to give the Helix a fighting chance, but it failed miserably.

Hose and Attachments

The Helix is a nightmare on the stairs.  First of all, the brush never stops spinning so I had to be careful I wasn’t pushing on the handle so it didn’t made a whole in the carpet; a lesson I learned the hard way from the last Bissell I had.

There is an attachment called a TurboBrush.  The TurboBrush spins automatically from the suction in the hose.  It seemed like it would be great for the stairs but didn’t end up that way for me.  It is a pretty big attachment so it doesn’t get in the nooks and crannies of each stair.  It also has to be perfectly flat which has me bending over further than with a traditional attachment.  Yea, it picks up stuff alright.  I had to cut the hairs out of the roller that tangled in it. 

The hose is very short so I could only do two stairs before it became a struggle.  The battle continued until the vacuum literally fell down the stairs.  I figured I’d just get a hand vacuum for the stairs; still less than a more expensive vacuum. 

The vacuum also comes with a combination dusting/upholstery brush.  One side has plastic around the triangle; the other side has a brush.  The attachment was okay, but the hose was still too short and made a simple job a big hassle.   


It's very gross to physically clean the filter.  Powdery filaments build up on the foam filter and the dirt has to be rubbed off by hand or rinsed.  Cleaning it dry results in tiny dust particles everywhere.  Cleaning the filter with water requires squeezing the dirty water out endure a delay in service while it dries completely. There is a pleated filter under the foam filter that also has to be cleaned/rinsed out. 

I expected to have to clean the filter once or twice a year, not once a week!  There is no option but to clean the filter because the vacuum will totally lose suction.  There is no way of knowing this other than taking a good long look at the filter or noticing nothing is being picked up.  The filter filled up and needed to be cleaned the very first day but I figured that was just because the last vacuum wasn’t working properly anymore.  Once that was taken care of, it still needed to be cleaned at least once a week. 

Oh but wait!  There’s still more filters to rinse and clean.  In addition to those two filters, there is also the  plastic cup at the top to clean, the pre-motor filter to hand wash, and a post-motor filter that is disposed of and replaced since it’s not washable.  That’s a lot of filters to keep up with.  Why bother with a HEPA filter if I’m going to be playing in the dirt?    

Light bulb

The light bulb is a cool feature but it doesn’t really help me.  


I have not had a pleasant experience with this vacuum.  If I lived in a smaller house without kids or pets this would probably be a nice purchase.  It does pick up a lot of dust on the carpet and is really inexpensive for a vacuum.  I do not think this is practical on stairs and found the short hose cramping my style.  Our house seems to be way too dusty for this type of filter system.  

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