Bissell PowerFresh Review
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|Pros||Built-in scrub brush, stands unsupported, articulating head||Powerful, maneuverable, great scrubbing brush, reasonably priced||Handy accessories, reasonable price||Specialized attachments, removable handle, can clean rugs||Simple, lightweight, competitive price|
|Cons||Limited accessories, designed for floors only, scrub brush is a bit small||No hands-free cleaning pad changing, few accesorries||Poor heavy-stain removal, no trigger lock||Struggles with heavy debris, short cord, mediocre maneuverability||Lacks steam adjustability, poor heavy stain performance, flimsy-feeling|
|Bottom Line||A simple, easy-to-operate, highly effective steam-cleaning device with a motivating price tag||The best, most effective model we've tested at an impeccably fair price||Helpful accessories and average cleaning performance make this a decent budget option but not our top recommendation||This versatile machine will cost you a little more time cleaning but will save you money for the effort||A straightforward and budget-friendly option that unfortunately lacks the steam for the heavy duty jobs|
|Rating Categories||Bissell PowerFresh||Bissell PowerFresh...||Hoover Steam Comple...||PurSteam 10-in-1||Shark S1000|
|Cleaning Performance (40%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Specs||Bissell PowerFresh||Bissell PowerFresh...||Hoover Steam Comple...||PurSteam 10-in-1||Shark S1000|
|Steam Adjustability||Low, med, high||Low, high||Dial||Dial (manufacturer claims 3 settings)||No|
|Water Tank Capacity||455 ml||474 ml||379 ml||380 ml (manual)
340 ml (website)
|Water Fill Opening Diameter||1"||1"||.5" and 1"||1"||1"|
|Additional Mop Head?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Additional Accessories Included||Microfiber soft pad, microfiber scrubby pad, spring breeze fragrance discs and a carpet glider||Built-in scrubber||Steam connector and hose, XS & XL plastic brush, steel wire brush, grout brush, hard surface squeegee, upholstery cloth, angled, crevice tool, steam and scraper tool, carpet glider, 2 mop pads, tool storage bag||Steamer jet, window squeeqee, small brush, scraper, angled nozzle, big brush, double brush, small plastic cup and funnel for filling water tank||2 dirt grip pads, removeable water tank|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The PowerFresh stands apart from the competition on account of its simple, effective, and easy-to-use design. It cleans well on various hard surface types, busts tough stains, and has useful accessories.
Cleaning performance is what one expects from a steam mop — otherwise, why replace the old bucket and mop combo? A steam mop allows you to break up caked-on substances and stains that have had time to set up, and it penetrates porous material like grout and tile. The PowerFresh delivered a cleaning performance that met all these expectations. Our testing revealed that, no matter the medium, this mop busted through the grime, dirt, and goop, leaving behind a shiny surface. In addition, testers reported that the mop was enjoyable to use due to its thoughtful, practical design and satisfactory cleaning outcomes.
Our cleaning performance testing consists of multiple surface types, including synthetics (laminate and vinyl), tile, and stone. Additionally, we simulate two types of messes to clean. In the first case, we used a mud slurry sloshed on the floor and trod upon to emulate someone walking through the house with muddy boots. The tracks were allowed to dry, and then we went to work. The second mess was a mixture of ketchup and coffee grounds painted on the surface — also allowed to dry. The PowerFresh did exceedingly well on all surface types but stood out for its performance on synthetic flooring, displaying a smooth glide across the mud-caked material. The more suborn stains produced with the ketchup and coffee grounds concoction were effectively removed, albeit with more work, higher steam settings, and the use of the mophead's convenient fold-down scrub brush.
The PowerFresh excelled at synthetic surfaces and also did quite well on tile and stone. However, testers had to resort to the high steam setting and go a bit slower to allow the steam to penetrate the surface material, especially when tackling our dried ketchup concoction. In this latter case, the mop pad required cleaning as it had absorbed so much ketchup and coffee gunk. Swapping the pads was a bit of a pain but a good sign that the mop was doing its job. All told, the PowerFresh delivered a very impressive cleaning performance, leaving behind squeaky clean surfaces no matter the mess it faced.
Ease of Use
Our ease of use metric assesses design and performance as it pertains to the user experience. It's great if a mop gets a floor clean. However, who wants to do the work if it's a bother? Steam mops promise to be easier and more effective than the traditional mop and bucket system. As such, we are happy to report that the PowerFresh meets this expectation.
We look at various features when assessing the ease of use of a steam mop. More than making a simple assessment, we log several hours mopping so that we have a thorough handle on how the device will perform in various situations. The PowerFresh has several good features (and a few bad ones) affecting its ease of use. We like that this mop stands up independently, thus eliminating the need to prop it in a corner. We also appreciate that the water tank is removable, transparent, and has a decent capacity of 455 ml. However, when connected to the mop, the water level in the tank is no longer visible. That said, tank removal, filling, and reconnection are about as easy as it gets.
Heat-up and steam control selection on the PowerFresh are quick, easy, and effective. The mop must be plugged in and given about 30 seconds to heat the water. After these initial steps, just select the steam setting you need by pressing one of the buttons on the handle.
Clean-up of the device is also straightforward. The cleaning pads covering the mop are thick and shaggy, making them great at absorbing moisture and holding dirt. The pads secure to the mop head with an elastic band, making them a cinch to attach and remove. Additionally, the PowerFresh comes with two cleaning pads that are washable and, thus, reusable.
Maneuverability might not be the first thing one thinks about when shopping for a steam mop. Still, it immediately becomes evident when mopping that this is an important consideration. To analyze maneuverability, we look at how well the mop glides over various flooring surfaces, how well it cleans along the edge of a surface like a baseboard, and other restrictions to mobility, like the power cord length. While the performance of the PowerFresh is well above average in this metric, it fell short of the top marks it garnered in the previous metrics. The main issue here is that the mop head's curved backside makes it more difficult to work along edges in certain situations.
The PowerFresh has a dual swiveling head allowing a wide range of manipulation. As such, testers found it easy to fit into common nooks and crannies, such as under a dishwasher and cabinet overhangs. The thick mop head pad also compresses into corners, allowing it to work into spaces that the ridged head otherwise could not. Moreover, we found that the 23-foot power cord was adequate for all but the largest rooms, thus making switching outlets a rare affair. All told, we found the PowerFresh to be quite maneuverable and effective in all but a few edge cases.
This metric assesses the extras items that come with the steam mop, such as extra mop heads and attachments. Some will appreciate the simplicity of a device like the PowerFresh. However, its limited features hurt it in this evaluation. Yet, the mop has the essential features and accessories to make it a completely effective and convenient device.
The PowerFresh comes with an extra mop head and pads, a plastic carpet gliding attachment, and a cleaning brush. However, it lacks a hose or any attachments that would make it useful for cleaning furniture or counters. The mop does include some "fragrance disks" that fit into a pocket on the inside of the mop pad. Finally, while it's not a traditional "attachment," we like the fold-down scrub brush on the back of the mop head for working over tough stains.
Should You Buy the Bissell PowerFresh?
Yes. Few products check so many boxes in our evaluation as neatly as the PowerFresh. This steam mop is simple, effective, and easy to use. Additionally, the price point is very competitive.
What Other Steam Mops Should You Consider?
If you're looking for a steam mop that can do more than clean the floor, the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet has many attachments and a lift-off head for spot cleaning. It also specializes in tackling the unique messes that only a pet can create. On the other hand, if you want a mop that will stand up to cleaning outdoor spaces, check out the McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe. This mop has a huge tank that pumps out pressurized steam and has a host of specialized attachments to clean various tough surfaces.
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