A great option for those on a tight budget, the Bissell Zing earned a Best Buy award for its reasonable performance at an economical price. This little bagged canister vacuum did quite well across the board, only faltering when tasked with picking up pet hair. This is an excellent choice for those that want to spend less than a hundred bucks, or those without pets shopping on a budget.
Since our review period with the Bissell Zing, a newer model has been released. Though in many ways similar to the product we tested, there are a few tweaks:
The hose is 1 foot longer on the new version, but the power cord is 1 foot shorter.
The power rating has decreased from 10amps to 9amps.
The dirt cup capacity has increased from 2L to 2.5L.
The latest Zing is pictured above and we are linking to it in this review; however, be aware that the review below only pertains to the previous model we intially tested.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Zing by Bissell is a surprisingly capable little canister vacuum, scoring above average in every rating metric except one. This model was defeated by pet hair, but you can't go wrong with the Zing if you live in a pet-free home. It's light, easy to move, handles well and won't clean out your wallet.
To score these products, we devised five weighted rating metrics — Ease of Use, Handling, Carpet Cleaning, Hard Surface Cleaning, and Pet Hair — each with different tasks to test the vacuums side-by-side. After buying the top models and putting them through this exhaustive testing process, we scored each model from 0-100 and were ready to select the winners. The following sections provide more detail on how the Zing performed, where it excelled and where it failed to impress.
Comprising the largest portion of the overall score — 35% — our Carpet Cleaning metric consisted of eight different tests. We used rice, oatmeal, flour, and cereal as our different types of sample messes, evaluating how well each vacuum did at collecting these on both flat and fluffy carpets. The Bissell Zing earned a 6 out of 10 for its above average performance, comparing decently well with the other vaccums in the group.
The Zing did about average at collecting rice, worse on the flat carpet and better on the fluffy carpet. It took over four passes on the flat carpet and always seemed to miss some of the debris, performing slightly worse than the Eureka. The Zing did get the upper hand on the Eureka in the fluffy carpet test, doing a better job at collecting the rice, though the brush head would still trap some grains before they made it to the collection bin, meaning they would fall out later.
The performance of the Bissell Zing did improve when it came to our flour collection tests, surpassing that of the Eureka. This model did decent on the flat carpet, but tied for second place overall when it came to the fluffy carpet flour cleanup, right behind the Kenmore, our top pick for cleaning carpets.
When it came to collecting Cheerios, the Bissell Zing did quite well. You did need to lift up the front a tiny bit to provide sufficient clearance for the Cheerios on the flat carpet, but the Zing didn't crush them up and create any additional mess, like other models did. It took about three passes to satisfactorily clean the flat carpet. This model also did well on the fluffy carpet, mainly collecting the cereal and not pushing it around.
The Zing finished out this metric with an average performance in out oatmeal collection test. The Bissell Zing simply couldn't get all of the oatmeal in some areas of the flat carpet, leaving behind residual oats after over 13 passes. In addition, a ton of oats fell out when we turned the vacuum off and tapped it on the ground. It did about the same on the fluffy carpet, doing a decent job after 10 passes. However, there were still oats trapped deep in the fibers of the carpet that the Bissell Zing lacked the suction power to collect.
Ease of Use
Moving on to our next metric — Ease of Use — we compared how easy it was to transition between different floor types, clean under furniture and in close to edges, as well as testing the maximum reach of each vacuum and comparing the noise levels. The Bissell Zing delivered a decent performance, earning a 6 out of 10 for this metric. This puts it in the upper half of the group.
The Zing makes it very easy to switch from soft to hard floors, only requiring you to step on a button on the brush head. This will cause two sets of bristles that will engage, preventing the vacuum from completely suctioning down to hard floors and scratching them. Hitting the button again will cause the bristles to retract.
The Bissell Zing did fine in our edging test, picking up most of the debris, but a fair amount of rice became trapped in the front brush area. However, it was easier to collect the rice with the Zing than the Dyson Cinetic.
This model did do an excellent job at cleaning under our simulated sofa, reaching all of the way, though it did have a slight curve action.
The Zing did do subpar in our reach test, only making it 27' from the outlet. This does not compare very favorably with the rest of the vacuums, demonstrated below.
Finally, the Zing was one of the quietest vacuums of the bunch, measuring in at 72.5 dBa on the SPL meter, with our judges noting no particularly annoying tones emitted.
The Handling metric accounted for 20% of the entire score for each vacuum. This metric was made up of three test: cleaning a flight of stairs, pushing and pulling effort, and maneuverability. The Zing scored quite well, meriting a 7 out of 10 for its great performance. The following graphic shows how the Zing compared to the rest of the group.
The model has a decent reach when it came to cleaning stairs, making it up 7 stairs before requiring you to move the main unit. This was an easy task, as the Zing is one of the lightest models of the entire test, weighing in at 10.6 lbs. The following graphic shows how this compares with the rest of the group.
To test maneuvering, we cleaned a test course filled with typical furniture, noting what areas proved problematic for each vacuum. The Bissell Zing was alright, but wasn't our favorite. This model was the most difficult to maneuver of all the canister vacuums, with something just feeling off about it. Whether it was simply harder to drag with more rolling resistance or the articulation of the cleaning head, it felt inferior to the other canister models. However, this model still wasn't that difficult to push or pull — much less work than many of the larger upright models.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Accounting for 10% of the overall score, our Hard Surface Cleaning metric consisted of the same four tests from carpet cleaning, just conducted on a section of hardwood floor. The Zing performed above average, earning it a 6 out of 10, with the following chart showing how this compares to the rest of the pack.
This model did quite well at collecting rice, only taking two passes to collect the vast majority of it. However, the brush head does seem to trap rice and grains will fall out when the power is turned off. It would also push the rice around a bit before actually collecting it. The Zing continued its solid performance into our flour test, even getting flour out of the cracks between boards if the bristles were pushed in sufficiently hard.
Moving on to our cereal test, the Zing once again did reasonably well. Matching the performance of the Eureka, the Zing only took two passes to collect the Cheerios. However, there was not sufficient clearance on either of these vacuums to actually collect them without lifting the brush head slightly. The Zing did fall a little flat in our oatmeal test, performing worse than the Eureka. It didn't really collect the oats, pushing them around instead. Even worse, the ones it did collect would fall out of the brush head and usually make a larger mess than we started with.
Our fifth and final rating metric — Pet Hair — was not particularly kind to the Zing. It scored very poorly, only earning a 3 out of 10 for its efforts.
We tasked each vacuum with collecting 5 grams of pet hair from a section of medium-pile carpet. The hair was evenly distributed and pressed in, with scores being based on the amount collected. The Zing only picked up 33% of the hair, substantially worse than the 96% collected by the top model.
While deficient at collecting pet hair, the Bissell Zing is an excellent value. This is the best of the models under a $100 and the best pick for those on a tight budget.
The Bissell Zing is a surprisingly robust and capable little canister vacuum. This model delivered a reasonable performance across the board and handles particularly well. This model is a great choice for those that don't want to spend a ton of cash and don't mind a reduced performance.
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