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Bissell AirRam Review

This middle-of-the-road vacuum performed well in our tests and would be a good value pick if you can find it on sale
Bissell AirRam
Credit: Bissell
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Price:   $250 List | $267.79 at Amazon
Pros:  Very easy to use, solid performance on hard floors, battery lasts a long time
Cons:  A little pricey, heavy
Manufacturer:   BISSELL
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 28, 2021
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 14
  • Convenience - 35% 6
  • Hard Surface Cleaning - 30% 6
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7
  • Carpet Cleaning - 15% 5

Our Verdict

On the whole, the Bissell AirRam did very well in our tests, scoring above-average in most of our metrics. It is very easy and convenient to use, didn't disappoint in our cleaning tests, and has an impressively long battery life. It also does a great job at cleaning under furniture, though it is on the heavy side. However, no aspect of its performance was quite enough to merit an award, and there are definitely other vacuums out there that we would more readily recommend.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Bissell AirRam
This Product
Bissell AirRam
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $250 List
$267.79 at Amazon
$330 List
$299.99 at Amazon
$115 List$40 List
$34.99 at Amazon
$32 List
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65
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Star Rating
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Pros Very easy to use, solid performance on hard floors, battery lasts a long timeConvenient to use, great at cleaningGreat value, convenient, does well with hard floorsDecent at cleaning hard surfaces, inexpensiveInexpensive
Cons A little pricey, heavyA bit loudCould be better at carpetHarder to use, loudPoor carpet cleaning ability, harder to use, less convenient
Bottom Line This middle-of-the-road vacuum performed well in our tests and would be a good value pick if you can find it on saleIf you are looking for the absolute best of the best when it comes to stick vacuums, this is one of our all-time favoritesIf you are shopping for a stick vacuum and don't want to break the bank, then we think this is a great optionThis inexpensive model cleans decently, especially when it comes to hard surfacesThis lightweight vacuum may be super cheap, but don't expect much in terms of performance
Rating Categories Bissell AirRam Shark Rocket Pet Pro Moosoo XL-618A VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik
Convenience (35%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
4.0
Hard Surface Cleaning (30%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
Carpet Cleaning (15%)
5.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
3.0
Specs Bissell AirRam Shark Rocket Pet Pro Moosoo XL-618A VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik
Weight 8.1 lbs 7.8 lbs 5.1 lbs 4.5 lbs 3.4 lbs
Cordless Battery Life 34:52 min:sec 20:37
min:sec
22:40 min:sec n/a n/a
Maximum Corded Reach n/a n/a n/a 21 ft 17.5 ft
Measured Charge Time 200 min 150 min 340 min n/a n/a
Noise Level 74.2 dBa 73 dBa 67 dBa 77 dBa 73.5 dBa
Model Number 1984 IZ163H XL-618A EPT2 SD20000RED
Battery Type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion Lithium-ion n/a n/a
Measured Cleaning Path Width 10.75" 10.25" 7.75" 8.75" 9"
Variable Suction Control No Yes Yes No No
Brush On/Off Switch? No Slows the brush for hard floor No n/a n/a
Storage Stands up; retractable handle Freestanding in MultiFLEX storage mode Wall mount only Stands up; falls over easily Stands up; falls over easily
Bag Type Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless
Swivel Head? Yes Yes Yes No No
Soft Bumper? No No Yes No No
Cordless? Yes Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Bissell AirRam is good but not great, and its price point is inching toward too high for the performance level. It would be a great vacuum if its price was reduced to compete with other budget-minded models, but there are definitely more attractive alternatives on the market for now.

Performance Comparison


The AirRam by Bissell.
The AirRam by Bissell.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Convenience


The entire point of a stick vacuum is to provide a more convenient option than a conventional vacuum. Because of this, our convenience metric accounts for the largest portion of the overall score at 35%. We based the score for each product on how well it could clean other parts of the home besides the floor, how much it weighed, whether or not it was corded or cordless — and correspondingly, its maximum reach or battery life — and how convenient it is to store each vacuum. The AirRam gave a solid showing in this category.

The AirRam is decently convenient.
The AirRam is decently convenient.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The AirRam is restricted to vacuuming floors, hurting its score slightly. While other models can transform into a handheld vacuum, this one lacks any transformative abilities. It is also a little on the heavier side, costing it a few more additional points. However, it is stable enough to stand on its own, and the handle retracts to make it even more convenient to store.

The retractable handle makes it easy to store this vacuum.
The retractable handle makes it easy to store this vacuum.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

This cordless stick vacuum distinguished itself by having an exceptional battery life, lasting for a total of 35 minutes before calling it quits in our tests. It also charges relatively quickly, only taking about 3 hours and 20 minutes to top off the battery completely. These stats are among the best in our entire lineup.

Hard Surface Cleaning


Next, we assessed how well the AirRam did at cleaning hard flooring. To do this, we spread out rice, flour, cereal, oatmeal, and pet hair on a section of laminate wood floor, then evaluated how well everything was picked up. The AirRam started off with a rather unimpressive performance in our rice test, flinging a non-trivial amount of rice about the room as it cleaned. However, it did a much better job at collecting flour, only taking two passes to get all of the flour — even stuff between the cracks in the boards, an area that many vacuums miss. The strong performance continued in our pet hair and cereal collection challenges, with the AirRam sucking up all of the debris without any sign of a struggle. This metric finished out with a solid performance at collecting oats, though some got flung across the room inadvertently.

The AirRam excelled at cleaning flour from hard floors.
The AirRam excelled at cleaning flour from hard floors.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Ease of Use


This metric, worth 20% of the total score, ranked each vacuum on how easy it is to use, focusing on its noise level and cleaning options, as well as how well each product cleaned close to the edges of a room and under furniture. The AirRam scored very well here.

It is very easy to use the AirRam.
It is very easy to use the AirRam.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

This vacuum does an average job at cleaning along a wall, leaving just a little bit of debris along the edge and in front of the vacuum.

This product collected most of the debris when cleaning along an...
This product collected most of the debris when cleaning along an edge, but did leave some behind.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The AirRam also did exceptionally well at cleaning under furniture, satisfactorily cleaning under our simulated sofa in its entirety, reaching over 37 inches. Very impressive.

It is very easy to clean under furniture with this vacuum.
It is very easy to clean under furniture with this vacuum.
Credit: Austin Palmer

This vacuum has swivel steering, though it isn't the most agile when it comes to maneuvering. Additionally, it only has a single cleaning mode, with no option to adjust it for different floor types.

The swivel steering on this product is quite good, but it is...
The swivel steering on this product is quite good, but it is definitely inferior to a couple of other models that scored higher.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Carpet Cleaning


Accounting for the remaining 15% of the total score, this metric assessed each vacuum at how well it could keep soft floors sparkling. We again used rice, oats, flour, cereal, and pet hair, this time testing on both low-pile flat carpet and medium-pile fluffy carpet.

The AirRam had a similar problem to the hard floor metric when collecting rice from a flat carpet, flinging some of it around. However, it did much better on fluffier carpet, collecting all of the rice without issue.

The Bissell got most of the rice, but did fling some out of view of...
The Bissell got most of the rice, but did fling some out of view of the photo while cleaning.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The AirRam didn't particularly impress us at collecting flour, leaving behind a decent amount. However, it redeemed itself by doing an excellent job at collecting Cheerios, requiring minimal effort on both flat and fluffy carpets, with no noticeable residue. It sucked up oats quite well also, only launching a few flakes across the room. However, this vacuum delivered a poor performance at picking up pet hair, leaving tons behind on the carpet. This will undoubtedly be a deal-breaker if you have pets, and you should probably consider an alternative product.

Value


The AirRam isn't a terribly good value. It felt slightly overpriced relative to its performance in our tests.

Conclusion


All in all, the Bissell AirRam is a solid stick vacuum. While it didn't deliver a stellar performance, we didn't overly dislike it — there are just better options available.

David Wise and Austin Palmer