If you are on the hunt for a quick and easy way to clean up small messes without sucking away your savings, then you should consider the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. This vacuum holds its own with the top vacuums while retailing for much less. In particular, this handheld vacuum does exceptionally well with tougher messes and pet hair, though it isn't the best suited for cleaning all the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in your home. However, it is one of the best handheld vacuums you can get in its price range.Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on January 11, 2022, to include additional information and new sections on what we would buy and other contenders to consider.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Review
Pros: Fantastic at picking up pet hair, great value
Cons: Not the best for tight spaces, can’t clean small gaps or corners
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|Pros||Fantastic at picking up pet hair, great value||Great for getting those hard-to-clean areas, good value||Great for tough messes, inexpensive||Very compact, inexpensive||Cheap, good at dusting|
|Cons||Not the best for tight spaces, can't clean small gaps or corners||Lackluster battery life, takes two hands to operate, loud||Not great with pet hair||Struggles with tough messes and pet hair||Poor battery life, difficult to clean pet hair|
|Bottom Line||This vac excels at picking up pet dander and is a great choice for those that don't want to spend a ton||A great all-around vacuum that excels at cleaning hard-to-reach areas and pet hair||This vacuum is impressive with tougher messes and won't break the bank, though it has a few shortcomings||We think this is a great choice if you are looking for a highly portable or compact option for cleaning up light messes||Unless you are only planning on dusting, we would recommend an alternative choice|
|Rating Categories||Bissell Pet Hair Er...||Black+Decker Flex V...||Black+Decker HHVI32...||Bissell AeroSlim||Black+Decker HHVI31...|
|Dust & Dirt (20%)|
|Tough Messes (20%)|
|Hard-to-Reach Areas (20%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Specs||Bissell Pet Hair Er...||Black+Decker Flex V...||Black+Decker HHVI32...||Bissell AeroSlim||Black+Decker HHVI31...|
|Measured Weight (no tool)||2.6 lbs||3 lbs||2.4 lbs||1.2 lbs||2.1 lbs|
|Measured Weight (with heaviest tool)||3 lbs||3.1 lbs||N/A||1.3 lbs||2.1 lbs|
|Dust Capacity||0.73 L||0.5 L||0.61 L||0.1 L||0.94 L|
|Measured Runtime||Without motorized brush: 20 min 42 sec
With motorized brush: 17 min
|15 min||15 min 24 sec||15 min 23 sec||12 min 20 sec|
|Charge Time||8 hours||4 hours||13.5 hours||2.75 hours||10 hours|
|Measured Noise (at arm's length)||71.4 dBa||82.5 dBa||83 dBa||74 dBa||81.5 dBa|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Pet Hair Eraser is an excellent option for tough messes and pet hair, and the battery life is among the best of the models we tested. The icing on the cake? The price is very approachable and more than fair for the level of performance this device offers.
Dust & Dirt
We evaluated and ranked how each vacuum handled light messes that you would typically encounter around your home. We scored each product on how it did at removing statically charged fine particles, caked-on dirt and grime, and how it cleaned dust and dirt from the top of a baseboard and in the corners of a window sill.
This vacuum is at a bit of a disadvantage right from the start in these tests, as it doesn't come with a dusting brush, forcing us to use its upholstery attachment for these assessments. However, we were pleasantly surprised by its performance in our first test, where it only took about 22 seconds to clean all of the statically charged flour off the plastic sheet.
The Pet Hair Eraser also did very well at cleaning off dried-on dirt and mud from a flat surface, matching the speed and efficiency of the top products. We used the upholstery tool for this test, which is somewhat oddly shaped and not ideal for small edges or corners. We found cleaning baseboards, shelves, and window sills to be a bit awkward.
For our next round of tests, we moved on to assessing how the Pet Hair Eraser dealt with messes that are a bit harder to clean up. We scored each vacuum on how well it cleaned up flour, oats, and Mini-Wheats cereal from different fabrics and carpets. We also measured the wind speed and airflow generated by the motor. This vacuum performed very well in this metric.
Initially, we looked at how well the Pet Hair Eraser did at cleaning up flour from a section of automotive-style carpet. We spread out a tablespoon of flour onto the carpet, then attempted to clean it up. This powerful device did a phenomenal job. We used its motorized brush tool, and it easily collected the most flour from the carpet on the first pass and compared to others, it got the carpet the cleanest after multiple passes. It did similarly well at collecting oats, easily getting 99%+ of all the oats we spread out on a couch cushion and a section of carpet, only leaving trace amounts of dust behind. This vacuum also did fine at collecting Mini-Wheats with the motorized attachment, but it became clogged if we used any of the other tools.
Finally, we hooked each vacuum up to a sealed box with an anemometer mounted over the opening to measure the airflow each vacuum generated. Looking at this recorded airspeed, the Pet Hair Eraser got registered speeds of 1210 feet per minute (fpm) of airflow, roughly an average measurement among the group.
Next, we evaluated and compared how easy it is to clean some of the smaller and harder-to-access areas of the home with each vacuum. We specifically scored based on how effectively each vacuum cleaned out a sliding window track and on how far it could reach under various sized gaps, similar to if you were cleaning under home furniture, like a sofa, end table, or other kitchen appliance. This Pet Hair Eraser had its most mediocre showing in this metric.
The Eraser did rather well at cleaning out a window track, easily sucking up all of the mess with its crevice tool. However, it didn't perform as well at reaching deep into narrow slots. It could only reach about 7" into a 3" wide slot, which was a shorter than average reach for products in this lineup. It did a little better with a narrower 1.25" slot, able to clean up to 5.75" underneath — just a bit further than the group average of 4.6".
Our next metric compared the battery life of each handheld vacuum. We started each vacuum with a full battery, then ran them until they quit.
This vacuum lasted for 20 minutes and 42 seconds before dying without the motorized brush head, which is better than most in our lineup. When using the brush tool, its run time decreased to 17 minutes. Still, this is an impressive showing for handheld vacuums.
Our next series of evaluations ranked and scored each contender for various ease of use qualities. We assessed device weight, noise level, ease of storing the different attachments, and the level of effort required to empty the collection bin. Compared to the lineup, the Pet Hair Eraser did well.
This vacuum weighs about average, weighing 3 pounds with its heaviest tool attached and 2.6 pounds without tools. It is also quieter, though it has a slight whine that can be annoying.
We like that the Pet Hair Eraser has a larger than average collection bin, which is relatively easy to empty. However, we wish this vacuum had a convenient way to store and manage all its tools, such as its main base.
If you have a pet at home, there's a good chance you will frequently be cleaning pet debris, and we think it's important to know if the handheld vacuum you select is up for the challenge. To test the competition, we scattered donated pet hair from a local dog groomer on a cushion and a section of carpet, then attempted to clean it as best we could with each vacuum. As its name suggests, the Pet Hair Eraser finished our testing process with a strong showing in this metric.
The Pet Hair Eraser did a phenomenal job in both tests, collecting over 99% of the hair from each test patch with only a strand or two remaining after two passes.
Should You Buy the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser?
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is an excellent option if your main priority is getting fur off your chairs and couches. It holds its own against much more expensive and premium cleaning products for cleaning up tough messes and pet debris but struggles with small areas and narrow slots.
What Other Handheld Vacuums Should You Consider?
If vacuuming pet hair will be part of your cleaning routine but not the main concentration, as you'd like to tackle other areas and messes around your home, we suggest purchasing the award-winning Black+Decker Flex Vac BDH2020FL. This handheld vacuum is a more well-rounded machine than the Pet Hair Eraser. Most notably, it's considerably better at cleaning hard-to-reach areas, a facet of our testing where the Pet Hair Eraser struggled.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise
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