Detachable canister (Lift Off Pod) and wand
Different settings for different types of flooring
Performance on hard floors is underwhelming
Dust canister needs frequent emptying
BISSELL MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet Vacuum
We purchased the BISSELL MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet Vacuum so our reviewer could put it to the test in her home. Keep reading for our full product review.
Any pet owner knows that a good vacuum is a necessity. If your vacuum isn’t strong enough, you’re left with pet fur everywhere. And even worse, if your vacuum is prone to clogging, you’ll spend way too much time trying to pull fur out of the brush roll. As a pet mom of five—two large breed dogs and three cats (two of which are long-haired)—I know the struggle of trying to keep carpets clean all too well. Sometimes, I just want to wave my white flag and give up on the battle, but when I see a cleaning tool like the BISSELL MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet Vacuum, a vacuum that promises to swiftly remove pet hair and trap 99.97 percent of the dander and allergens that come with it, I need to try it for myself.
It just so happens that my previous vacuum is in the shop getting a belt replaced after it got clogged one too many times, so when this one showed up on my doorstep, I immediately got to work putting it together. It arrived separated into three main parts: the foot, the Lift-Off Pod, and the handle. Putting it together took about 30 seconds—all I had to do was place the Lift-Off Pod on top of the foot and click it into place, and then place the handle into the designated slot and secure that too. The last step is to attach the hose from the top of the handle to the opening of the canister of the Lift-Off Pod, and I was ready to go.
As far as operation goes, the vacuum is pretty standard. It has an on/off button on top of the canister and a toggle switch on the wand’s handle that lets you change between low carpet and plush carpet. I didn’t need to quickly change between plush and low-pile carpet, but the positioning would be really convenient if you have to move from plush carpet to an area rug and didn’t want to interrupt your vacuuming flow.
There’s another button next to the on/off switch that allows you to turn the brush roll on and off. According to BISSELL, the brush roll should be turned off when vacuuming on wood floors or tile and left on when working through any carpet, so it was nice to be able to make those changes quickly when switching between different types of flooring.
Thanks to the tangle-free design of the brush roll, this vacuum was able to suck up my hair like a champ.
I started cleaning on my second floor, which has about 900 square feet of plush carpet, and the BISSELL handled it well. It has incredible suction power and a swivel steering mechanism that made it really easy to maneuver around corners and furniture. The vacuum also lies back pretty flat, so I was able to clean under the bed without moving any furniture.
What I was most impressed with is the lack of clogging and stalling. In addition to five pets, I have really long hair that sheds beyond belief. I’ve had to take apart every vacuum I’ve ever owned to cut my hair off the brush. In worst-case scenarios (like my current situation), I’ve had to get the belt replaced.
Thanks to the tangle-free design of the brush roll, this vacuum was able to suck up my hair like a champ. While there were some pieces that I had to pull out, the brush remained mostly clean. I haven’t had it long enough to determine whether or not it will need a premature belt replacement, but based on performance so far, I have high hopes.
At 0.75 liters, the dust canister is quite small. I had to empty it once during cleaning and once right after. Admittedly, it had been longer than I would have liked between cleanings since my vacuum has been in the shop for a couple of weeks, so there was probably an abnormal accumulation of pet fur (remember, I have five pets). Still worth mentioning though, since other vacuums in this category have dust canisters that have a capacity of more than 2 liters.
Fortunately, emptying the dust canister is really straightforward and only takes a few seconds. There’s a tank release button right on top of the handle. All you have to do is push the button and lift the canister out. The bottom of the canister has a release latch that drops a door and allows all of the contents to spill out. My previous vacuum had the same system, and normally I’m not a huge fan of emptying it since dust gets all over the place. But I noticed that there was less of a dust cloud when emptying this one. I attributed it to the HEPA filter, which is designed to capture debris and dander, so that was a nice feature.
After I emptied the dust canister for the second time, I moved on to cleaning the hardwood floors on my first floor, and I was mostly underwhelmed. I turned the brush roll off, as recommended by the manufacturer, and it did an okay job, but there was definitely dirt and debris left behind. In my experience, most vacuums don’t perform well on hardwood floors, so I wasn’t really surprised, but I was still a little disappointed that this vacuum wasn’t the whole house cleaning solution that I was hoping for.
Where the BISSELL MultiClean Pet Vacuum really shines is the Lift-Off Pod and the hose, or wand as it’s labeled on the machine. The Lift-Off Pod is the official name for the vacuum’s canister, which completely detaches from the foot. You can carry the Lift-Off Pod around and use the wand to reach inconvenient areas, like corners or in between couch cushions, or out-of-reach objects, like ceiling fans. The wand is also excellent for sucking up cobwebs or the dust that inevitably collects in the corners of your ceilings.
It has incredible suction power and a swivel steering mechanism that made it really easy to maneuver around corners and furniture.
But my favorite use was as a quick clean-up for the stray litter that finds its way all over my floors. I have a Litter Robot in the corner of one of my rooms, and it was easier to grab the Lift-Off Pod and vacuum up the litter around and behind it, than it is to sweep, which I had been doing previously. The wand was also a convenient way to clean cat towers and pet beds. I attached the Pet TurboEraser to the end of the wand, and it sucked up pet fur really well, although this one did get clogged with my hair on occasion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the BISSELL MultiClean Pet Vacuum come with any attachments?
The BISSELL MultiClean Pet Vacuum includes a Pet TurboEraser Tool and a 2-in-1 Dusting Brush and Crevice Tool. Both of these tools fit on the end of the wand and the stretch hose. There’s also a place to store each tool on the vacuum body so you can keep everything neatly together.
Does it work on hardwood floors?
In theory, yes. There’s a toggle that allows you to turn the brush roll off so that you can use the vacuum on hardwood floors, tile, or low-pile carpet. However, in my experience, the vacuum didn’t do an excellent job cleaning debris off harder floors.
Are the filters washable?
The BISSELL Lift-Off Vacuum has three major inner parts—the Inner Cyclone Separator, the Pre-Motor Filter, and the Post-Motor Filter. The Inner Cyclone Separator and the Pre-Motor Filter are both washable, but the Post-Motor Filter must be replaced every six months (depending on usage). You can clean debris off the Post-Motor Filter to optimize its performance, but you can’t wash it.
Is it easy to clean the filters?
The washable filters are simple to remove and clean. All you have to do is open the top of the canister, pull them out and wash them in the sink with mild detergent and water. When you do clean the filters, you must allow at least 24 hours for them to dry completely before putting them back in the vacuum and using it, so you’ll have to make sure to plan accordingly.
Competition: Bissell MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet Vacuum vs. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is almost identical in price (they both retail around $200) and features, but its larger capacity dust bin and better performance on hard floors, like wood and tile, give it a slight edge. It’s also just about 2 pounds lighter, so it’s easier to carry and maneuver.
It will work for most people.
There may be other higher-end vacuums out there that outperform this one, but the BISSELL MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet Vacuum is a good mid-range vacuum for most people. It’s easy to maneuver, handles pet hair well, and has a Lift-Off Pod that allows you to reach higher areas without getting on a chair or stepladder. There’s not much more you could need.
- Product Name MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet Vacuum
- Product Brand BISSELL
- Price $220
- Weight 15.7 lbs.
- What’s included Combination Crevice Tool Dusting Brush, Pet TurboEraser Tool
- Warranty Five year limited warranty