Efficient at removing hair
Three included tools
A little heavy
Short battery life
Awkward head angle
Not good for carpets
Pet messes can quickly take over your home if you don’t stay on top of them, which is why so many pet parents turn to products like the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum to help keep their homes clean. This handheld vacuum is designed to “clean wherever your pet goes,” whether it’s on the sofa, in the bathroom, or even in the car.
However, can the popular pet hair remover really handle the tough task of removing embedded pet hair from upholstery? Is it up to the challenge of picking up strewn litter—without making even more of a mess? We wanted to see if it was as good as it claims, so we put it to the test over the course of a few weeks in a multi-pet home, where there were no shortage of messes. Here’s what we—plus our cat and puppy sidekicks—thought of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum.
Design: Your average hand vacuum
We’ve used a lot of hand vacuums in the past, and there’s nothing special that stands out about the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. It’s pretty standard as handheld vacuums go, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
This vacuum is bagless, so all the dirt and hair gets sucked into the main compartment, which is see-through so you can tell when it needs to be emptied. There’s a filter inside, and clumps of hair tend to get wrapped around it—fairly common with handheld vacuums and even standard vacuums. The power button is on the main handle, making it easy to push during use, and the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser has a fairly large opening, making it easy to suck up all sorts of debris. When the dust bin is full, you simply press the release button and dump it out.
It’s compact enough to store under your kitchen sink or on the top shelf of a closet, but we were surprised to find that it's a bit heavier than many other hand vacuums.
The handheld vacuum comes with three attachments: A mini motorized tool, upholstery tool, and crevice tool. Upon first seeing them, we were a little confused, because the motorized tool and upholstery tools seemed to serve essentially the same function. However, as we used the vacuum to clean furniture, pet beds, and car seats, we found different uses for the two attachments (more on that in a minute).
There are a couple of noteworthy features of these attachments. For one, the head of the upholstery tool can be pivoted into a T formation, but we had to manhandle it a little—it’s not an easy transition, so don’t be afraid to put some muscle into it. Second, you can actually use the upholstery tool in tandem with the crevice tool if you need to get into a tight space. We didn’t find an application for this feature, but it’s there should you need it.
Check out our other reviews of the best hand vacuums available on the market today.
Cleaning Performance: Handles hair well
To see if the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum is really the pet mess cleanup machine, we tested it out in a variety of ways. First, we used it to remove hair from a blanket that the cat loves to sleep on—he actually sheds more than the dog! It took just a few quick passes with the motorized tool to remove all traces of hair from the fabric. We were definitely impressed, and the vacuum was off to a good start.
Next, we moved on to cleaning the sofa. The furniture wasn’t all that dirty to begin with, but the dog does sleep on it daily, so we were curious to see how much dirt and hair it would pull up. After vacuuming one seat cushion with the motorized tool and a back cushion with the upholstery tool, we weren’t all that impressed with how much hair was in the dirt cup. But, then again, the couch gets cleaned fairly regularly, so there may not have been much on it to begin with.
Need a deeper clean? Check out our guide to the best upholstery cleaners you can buy today.
Next up was the cat’s bedding, which was definitely dirty and hair-covered. He sleeps in the bed every day, and the Sherpa-like fabric was absolutely covered in his hair. After experimenting a little, we found that the motorized tool did the best job pulling the embedded hairs out of the fabric, but the upholstery tool was a good shape for getting into the cracks. It did take several passes to leave the bed looking clean, but it was quite hair-covered, so we weren’t that surprised.
It took just a few quick passes with the motorized tool to remove all traces of hair from the fabric.
We also tested the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum on a small area rug, and we found the vacuum’s angle to be too awkward for this application. To use the mini motorized tool, you have to hold the hand vacuum nearly horizontally, and this was really awkward to do on the floor—we basically had to sit down to make it work. Plus, the tool is just 4.5 inches across, so it would take forever to clean a whole rug. (Don’t get rid of your full-size vacuum just yet.)
The Bissell did an okay job picking up cat litter that got kicked out of the litter box. We found that you had to hold it at just the right angle to get optimal suction, and even then, it still sent the occasional rock flying across the room. We did like that the silicone flap inside the nozzle kept the litter from falling back out!
Finally, we used the vacuum to clean the seats in the car. The puppy is a frequent passenger, so there was plenty of dirt and hair to go around. We were impressed at how well the motorized tool was able to pull out hairs that had worked their way into the upholstery. It also did a good job sucking up dirt from the cracks, and we used the upholstery tool to get into the really tight crevices. When we were done, the seats were looking as good as new, which is a really big accomplishment for a puppy-transportation vehicle.
Size: Small but hefty
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is compact enough to store under your kitchen sink or on the top shelf of a closet, but we were surprised to find that it's a bit heavier than many other hand vacuums. It weighs in at around 4 pounds, so we think it’s the back-heavy design that makes it seem harder to wield.
Noise Level: Quieter than most
As vacuums go, the Bissell is pretty quiet. Its 14.4-volt battery makes a low humming noise, as opposed to the roar of many full-size vacuums. We think it’s safe to say you could use it a few rooms away without waking up your family members—however, the puppy, who’s afraid of vacuums, could hear it start up and was instantly on alert.
Battery Life: Not great
One of the major appeals of cordless vacuums is that you can take them anywhere and don’t have to worry about finding an electrical outlet. This worked well when we needed to vacuum the car seat, but we were underwhelmed at how long the Bissell’s battery lasted per charge.
It takes about five hours to fully juice up the cordless vacuum, and the battery was drained again in just 15 minutes of use. Most cordless vacuums don’t last very long, but other models we’ve tried have lasted at least get 20 to 25 minutes per charge; 15 minutes is definitely on the low side.
It takes about five hours to fully juice up the cordless vacuum, and the battery was drained again in just 15 minutes of use.
Price: Reasonable for its performance
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum retails for around $50, which is average for a mid-range hand vacuum. Given its good performance, especially when removing pet hair, we’d be willing to spend that on this supplementary cleaning tool.
Competition: You’ve got options
ChomChom Roller: If you’re solely looking for a pet hair removal tool, you may want to consider the ChomChom Roller, which does just as good a job as the Bissell at pulling pet hair off furniture. It’s half the price and completely manual, so you don’t have to worry about the battery dying. However, the ChomChom won’t work on other debris, as it’s more of a lint roller than a vacuum.
Dyson V8: Even though the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is specifically designed to tackle pet messes, it still can’t match the performance of the Dyson V8, another cordless vacuum with a much higher price tag. The Dyson boasts a 40-minute run time and packs a bigger punch in terms of suction, allowing it to pull up just as much pet hair from furniture, carpets, and upholstery in fewer passes. Plus, it comes with accessories that allow you to use it in more ways than the Bissell—it could actually replace your full-size vacuum if you have a smaller home.
Check out our other reviews of the best pet hair removers available on the market today.
It’s useful for small jobs in pet households.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum is definitely efficient at removing pet hair from various furniture and other fabric surfaces, and it’s useful at cleaning up other pet messes, too. However, it’s meant to be a supplemental cleaning tool, so you’re still going to need a full-size vacuum for larger jobs, such as vacuuming rugs and hard floors.
- Product Name Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum
- Product Brand Bissell
- MPN 1782
- Price $59.50
- Weight 3.75 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 19 x 5 x 7 in.
- Battery Life 15 minutes
- Warranty 1 year, limited