Pros: BEST VALUE VAPOR STEAMER!
Cons: No onboard storage, no iron accessory
Are you like me, and sometimes experience a consumer personality disorder? From time to time I find myself conflicted; I want the BEST VALUE, but sometimes long for the BEST regardless of, or perhaps in spite of the cost. Just such a conflict emerged as I narrowed my choices for a vapor steam cleaner.
I must admit that in this instance, indulgence won out and I went with the "BEST" even though it was a bit pricey. (See my review LadyBug XL2300) Having said that, there are two reasons I am writing this review: first, after obsessing over every technical aspect of every vapor steam cleaner I could find, I narrowed my choice to just these two. And second, I used this model (as a loaner) in my home for a week while my beloved LadyBug XL was being serviced.
So why was I so conflicted? Well, the Tidy Vap 2100 is a terrific little machine. Like the more expensive models it has continuous refill, which means once you get started there is no down time. It is durable yet lightweight and rolls along with ease on its very maneuverable wheels. Its small size will fit under a sink or in most any cabinet. And I have found that having the unit close at hand means I will use it more often. In the past an argument could be made for by passing this "no-frills" model, but recent upgrades by the manufacturer have changed all that. The main one being the boiler. It is now stainless steel just like the big boys! This increases both the durability and value of this machine.
So, why would anyone choose the higher priced models? Another review site has touted the midrange model (the LadyBug 2200) as the Best Value but with the recent upgrades this just doesn't make sense anymore.
Purchasing the Tidy Vap will save you $400 dollars over the midrange model and a whopping $600 dollars off the top of the line XL. The wattage on the Tidy Vap and its midrange counterpart are exactly the same at 1350. Some literature and a lot of web sites incorrectly state wattages at 1500.
There are really only three differences between the Tidy Vap and the midrange model. They are color (blue vs. red), two attachments (sold at an additional cost on the Tidy Vap model), and a pressure guage (the Tidy Vap uses an indicator light).
If you don't mind blue, and assuming that you purchase the additional attachments (the cost is less than $100) is the pressure guage really worth $300? It sure wouldn't be for me.
While I indulged and bought the LadyBug XL model (For about $600 more!!!) the Tidy Vap compared quite favorably. I did notice that the steam was a little more wet and it took my floors a little longer to dry than with the XL. But I still got the sparkling results in a lot less time than using a mop and a bucket. The grime in my window tracks and on my blinds didn't stand a chance. The Tidy Vap was pretty much able to accomplish the same tasks (about anything imaginable) that the high end machine did, it just seemed to take a little longer and a little more patience. I'm convinced that most who try steaming will never go back to their old cleaning methods.
There were times that week when my conflicted state returned. I had the distinct impression that if I had purchased this machine first I would have been totally satisfied. (Sometimes ignorance is bliss.) I wouldn't have realized how much I missed the onboard storage of the XL or the steam-you-across-the-room iron accessory that can't be used on the Tidy Vap. Most importantly, I would have had a few hundred dollars to spend elsewhere.
But sometimes when you indulge there is no going back. I LOVE my LadyBug XL, but I have to admit that for those Value Seeking consumers, this just might be the better VALUE!
One more thing, dont forget to buy from a service oriented, authorized dealer. I had this loaner because of a warranty covered defect on my XL. Dan at Vapor Technologies (www.vaportechnologies) actually came to my city to pick up my machine. He dropped off the Tidy Vap as a loaner then came back a week later to make the switch. I just think if you are going to invest this kind money in a cleaning machine it is nice to have a dealer invested in treating you right.