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Bissell AeroSlim Review

We think this is a great choice if you are looking for a highly portable or compact option for cleaning up light messes
Bissell AeroSlim
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $42 List | $41.19 at Amazon
Pros:  Very compact, inexpensive
Cons:  Struggles with tough messes and pet hair
Manufacturer:   Bissell
By Austin Palmer and David Wise  ⋅  Jan 11, 2022
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59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 8
  • Dust & Dirt - 20% 8.0
  • Tough Messes - 20% 4.0
  • Hard-to-Reach Areas - 20% 7.0
  • Battery Life - 15% 6.0
  • Convenience - 15% 6.0
  • Pet Hair - 10% 3.0

Our Verdict

If you are looking for a highly portable handheld vacuum, then we think the Bissell AeroSlim is a fantastic option. This very compact device is quick and convenient to use, handling light messes, like dust and dirt, with ease. It's excellent for cleaning hard-to-reach areas as well. However, it doesn't have the most impressive battery life and bogs down a bit with more challenging cleaning tasks, like pet hair. Although this vacuum doesn't compare to premium vacuums, it has a lower price tag, but for its niche, it's handy.

Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on January 11, 2022, with new sections on what we would buy and if there are any other handheld vacuums we would consider.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Bissell AeroSlim
This Product
Bissell AeroSlim
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $42 List
$41.19 at Amazon
$125 List
$115.65 at Amazon
$73 List
$72.09 at Amazon
$50 List
$44.99 at Amazon
$60 List
$39.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Very compact, inexpensiveGreat for getting those hard-to-clean areas, good valueFantastic at picking up pet hair, great valueGreat for tough messes, inexpensiveCheap, good at dusting
Cons Struggles with tough messes and pet hairLackluster battery life, takes two hands to operate, loudNot the best for tight spaces, can't clean small gaps or cornersNot great with pet hairPoor battery life, difficult to clean pet hair
Bottom Line We think this is a great choice if you are looking for a highly portable or compact option for cleaning up light messesA great all-around vacuum that excels at cleaning hard-to-reach areas and pet hairThis vac excels at picking up pet dander and is a great choice for those that don't want to spend a tonThis vacuum is impressive with tougher messes and won't break the bank, though it has a few shortcomingsUnless you are only planning on dusting, we would recommend an alternative choice
Rating Categories Bissell AeroSlim Black+Decker Flex V... Bissell Pet Hair Er... Black+Decker HHVI32... Black+Decker HHVI31...
Dust & Dirt (20%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Tough Messes (20%)
4.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Hard-to-Reach Areas (20%)
7.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
Battery Life (15%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Convenience (15%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Pet Hair (10%)
3.0
8.0
9.0
3.0
4.0
Specs Bissell AeroSlim Black+Decker Flex V... Bissell Pet Hair Er... Black+Decker HHVI32... Black+Decker HHVI31...
Model Tested 29869 BDH2020FL 2390A HHVI320JR02 HHVI315JO42
Measured Weight (no tool) 1.2 lbs 3 lbs 2.6 lbs 2.4 lbs 2.1 lbs
Measured Weight (with heaviest tool) 1.3 lbs 3.1 lbs 3 lbs N/A 2.1 lbs
Usage Type Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Dust Capacity 0.1 L 0.5 L 0.73 L 0.61 L 0.94 L
Wet Capacity N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Measured Runtime 15 min 23 sec 15 min Without motorized brush: 20 min 42 sec
With motorized brush: 17 min
15 min 24 sec 12 min 20 sec
Charge Time 2.75 hours 4 hours 8 hours 13.5 hours 10 hours
Charging Indicator? Yes Yes Yes No No
Washable Filter? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measured Noise (at arm's length) 74 dBa 82.5 dBa 71.4 dBa 83 dBa 81.5 dBa

Our Analysis and Test Results

We see the AeroSlim as being an ideal handheld vacuum option to leave in something like a car or RV. It recharges via USB and is compact enough for easy storage, allowing you a handy way to take care of light messes in between heavier-duty cleanings.

Performance Comparison


Bissell AeroSlim handheld vacuum - this petite vacuum is a great budget pick if you are looking for...
This petite vacuum is a great budget pick if you are looking for something for light messes or to leave in a car.
Credit: Laura Casner

Dust & Dirt


We began by assessing how well each vacuum in our lineup could tackle typical household messes, specifically dust and dirt. We statically charged a surface, then dusted it with flour for a side-by-side comparison of cleaning performance. We looked at how effectively each vacuum removed stuck-on dirt from a synthetic floor. We also awarded points based on how effective the brush attachment was at cleaning narrow ledges or corners. The Bissell AeroSlim performed admirably in this series of tests, earning an above-average score.


This vacuum has a narrow brush attachment with longer bristles. Although we had to take it slightly slower when dusting, it still effectively removed all of the flour we laid out in a faster than average time. These longer bristles also do a great job cleaning narrow ledges, like baseboards or window sills, and even reach into corners.

The bristles aren't the stiffest, so this vacuum struggled a bit more with caked-on dirt and mud, being a bit less effective when scrubbing. Eventually, it will loosen dirt and get it cleaned up, but you have to be a bit judicious in your motions. Overall though, we still think this vacuum performed above-average in this regard.

Bissell AeroSlim handheld vacuum - the crevice attachment has a decent amount of reach for its small...
The crevice attachment has a decent amount of reach for its small size.
Credit: Laura Casner

Tough Messes


We upped the cleaning ante for our next set of tests, pushing the limits of these handheld vacuums. We spread flour and crushed oats on various carpeted surfaces and attempted to suck up larger objects (like Mini-Wheats cereal) to evaluate product performance. Finally, we also measured the airspeed using an anemometer to get some quantitative data to compare side-by-side. The AeroSlim dropped quite a bit in this metric, as its compact nature couldn't beat out some of the burlier models.


This vacuum doesn't have a motorized attachment, so it started at quite a disadvantage when removing flour from carpeted surfaces. The AeroSlim does have considerable suction power (impressing us quite a bit!). Still, no amount of manual scrubbing came close to matching the performance of the vacuums with a motorized head, such as the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. It took a ton of cleaning passes to get the surfaces even close to clean with this model, and it would take considerable time to clean large areas. Cleaning larger areas, such as an entire couch, would be quite a daunting task with the AeroSlim.

The AeroSlim did a little bit better with crushed oats, though not by much. It cleans the best when using the crevice tool, but this tool only covers a very small area at a time. And without this tool, the vacuum cleans faster but leaves behind small fragments and bits of oat dust. However, we appreciate that it doesn't fling oats around, like some options with motorized heads.

The opening on this vacuum is also very small, much too small for the Mini-Wheats in our tests. Even though it seems to have a decent amount of suction, the anemometer reading we took disagreed with this slightly. We measured a mere 734 feet per minute (fpm) of airflow, with the average reading for these products on our meter being closer to 1300 fpm.

Hard-to-Reach Areas


The performance of the AeroSlim rebounded considerably in our next metric, with this vacuum's compact size making it very easy to clean in confined areas. We based scores on how far each vacuum could clean under home furniture and standard kitchen appliances, plus how effectively each product could clean the track for a sliding window.


The attachment for this vacuum was just a bit wider than our window track, but we found it was easy enough to clean if we just angled it slightly. We also like how much of a reach this vacuum has when cleaning under appliances or furniture. The AeroSlim was effectively able to clean up to 5" under our simulated appliance gap (1.25") and 9.5" under our furniture gap (3").

Bissell AeroSlim handheld vacuum - this small brush attachment is great for getting into hard-to-reach...
This small brush attachment is great for getting into hard-to-reach areas.
Credit: Laura Casner

Battery Life


Next, we rated and ranked the battery life of each handheld vacuum. Scores were based entirely on the runtime for each product on full power for a fully charged battery. Unfortunately, the AeroSlim didn't do the best in this test, earning it a lackluster score.


It lasted for 15 minutes and 23 seconds in our test, with a noticeable slowdown in airflow occurring after 13 minutes or so. In contrast, the average runtime for other products in our review was closer to 17 minutes and 30 seconds, with some products lasting longer than 25 minutes.

Bissell AeroSlim handheld vacuum - the integrated usb cable is very handy for recharging the compact...
The integrated USB cable is very handy for recharging the compact AeroSlim.
Credit: Laura Casner

Convenience


Next, we scored and ranked the competition for various convenience qualities that make them more user-friendly. We looked at the weight and noise of each vacuum, the dust bin emptying mechanism, and if there was an easy way to store and organize the different attachments.


The AeroSlim is easily one of the lightest of our entire group, measuring in at just more than a pound without any attachments. Even with the heaviest tool attachment, the AeroSlim maxes out at around a mere 1.3 pounds.


The vacuum's design doesn't have integrated storage for the two attachments, but we like that the charging cord is built-in. Unfortunately, the AeroSlim has a little collection bin, with a capacity of only 0.1 liters; but, it is pretty easy to empty. Untwist the housing and remove the filter to dump the contents into the trash.

The dust bin and filter simply twist off the main unit.
The dust bin and filter simply twist off the main unit.
You can empty the dust bin once the filter has been removed.
You can empty the dust bin once the filter has been removed.

We were a little surprised by how loud this vacuum is, given its size. According to our SPL meter, it was still quieter than average, but just barely, measuring in at 74 dBa.

Bissell AeroSlim handheld vacuum - this vacuum is highly portable and compact.
This vacuum is highly portable and compact.
Credit: Laura Casner

Pet Hair


Our last metric focused on how efficiently and effectively each vacuum could clean up pet hair, a vital component of a vacuum if you own a pet. We scattered donated pet hair on two different surfaces for this test (couch cushions and car mats). Compared to others, the AeroSlim did very poorly at both.


We found this vacuum is only helpful at collecting hair from the surface and fails to clean anything that has worked into the fibers. Even worse, the vacuum's exhaust can cause the pet hair to blow around, creating a bigger mess than you started with — though this didn't happen every time.

Bissell AeroSlim handheld vacuum - we found this lightweight vacuum to be very convenient.
We found this lightweight vacuum to be very convenient.
Credit: Laura Casner

Should You Buy the Bissell AeroSlim?


The Bissell AeroSlim is far from an all-in-one cleaning solution, but it serves an important niche. It's a great option to leave in a vehicle or if you need a very portable and easy-to-charge product for light-duty dusting or other messes. It's not going to be the tool of choice for significant messes. Still, its convenience and price cause us to highly recommend it to anyone looking for a supplemental cleaning option.

What Other Handheld Vacuums Should You Consider?


If you can spend the extra money, the Black+Decker Flex Vac BDH2020FL offers a more balanced overall performance, allowing it to tackle different messes you might encounter around your home, including pet debris, an area of weakness for the Bissell AeroSlim.

Austin Palmer and David Wise

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