Bissell is the oldest brand making vacuum cleaners for over 100 years but came into robot vacuum industry for just over two.
That said, The Bissell SmartClean 1974 is an affordable, programmable, vacuum that offers virtual wall for sectioning off areas of your home.
It works well on different floor types including tile and wood floors. However, struggles with raised flooring and area rugs. It’s an ideal choice for small spaces, but if you want the best bang for your buck, Eufy RoboVac 11 is a more versatile option for you.
Bissell SmartClean 1974 Review
Let’s discuss the Bissell SmartClean 1974 Review in details.
Design and Components
The SmartClean features a futuristic design and sturdy build, having a grey bumper at front with an IR receiver, while everything else is the teal border. The top contains a tessellated sticker above an LCD touch control panel.
Cleaning and maintenance with SmartClean are much easier. You need to press the cover near the Bissell logo and it’ll pop open to reveal the dustbin, which comes with an ergonomic handle to remove the bin easily.
The side brushes, roller, and battery compartments are secure as well as easy to remove. The most attractive robot vacuum is none other than Dyson 360 Eye.
Its circular shape has a diameter of 13.0 inches and it’s 3.4 inches tall. But Eufy RoboVac 11 still wins with 13.0 diameter and 3.0 inches height. However, the Roomba 690 has also 13.0 inches diameter and 3.7 inches height. That said, SmartClean can clean everything except low-clearance furniture.
The SmartClean brings it’s charging dock along with it. It also sports virtual wall which is backed by two pairs of AA batteries and are sold separately. The vacuum lacks Wi-Fi, which isn’t surprising for the price but also lacks remote and other spare parts. So be prepared to spend some bucks on side brushes, extra filters, remote, door covers, docking stations.
Setup and Control
The SmartClean is easy to set up. You only have to need to install the battery. Then, push down the side brushes onto their holders. Now charge the vacuum initially which means you have to leave the vacuum on the dock for few hours. You can charge the SmartClean using a direct adapter from any power switch. After four to five hours the vacuum will be fully charged and you can plug the adapter into the docking station and charge that way.
There are two ways to start a cleaning session. First, either you schedule the cleaning while the robot is on the docking station. This involves three settings to the left: Clock, Schedule, Run. Slide the switch to the Clock and vacuum will be ready for current hour and day, then move it to Schedule to set it up on specific day and time you desire. You have five different types: weekly, daily, weekdays, weekends, or Monday through Saturday.
Similarly, there’s an LCD touch panel on the vacuum which allows you to control the bot. The middle button allows you to pick cleaning time out of eight different settings. The first four settings will return the vacuum to its dock after a specific period of time you have set. The fifth return it back without cleaning. Similarly, the last three just have the robot clean for 30, 45, or 60 minutes without sending the machine back. On the left, a plus-minus button allows you to toggle between Normal and Turbo cleaning power.
You can switch between different cleaning modes using the Mode button with diver different cleaning styles: Auto, Along the Wall, Diagonal Path, Spiral, and Z Formation.
Spiral and Along the Wall both cleaning modes are similar to spot and edge cleaning type. Z Formation and Diagonal Path are new patterns by Bissell. The Z Formation moves in on a zig-zag pattern, while the Diagonal Path moves it in diagonal lines but it hits obstacles. Finally, the Auto mode combines all the modes mentioned above.
For performance, the SmartClean works best on tile and hardwood floors but struggles on area rugs and transitions between rooms. It can still work on carpets but doesn’t face any problem with dark flooring which many robots with infrared struggle.
It has strong suction power, but the roller is very short, but it can still manage to pick up a decent amount of hair, dust, and detritus.
For noise, the SmartClean is quieter than the high-end Dyson 360 Eye while used at maximum power, But it’s reasonably loud even when it’s working in a different room. It’s much quieter than the traditional stick vacuums. That said, the Eufy Robovac 11 still tops to be the quietest robot vacuum cleaner around.
Navigation-wise, you can get good results in Z Formation or Along the Wall modes. In Auto mode, it ping-pong across the room without rhyme or reason.
Smaller homes or apartments will find this suitable. Similarly, you can use a virtual wall to cordon off some areas to avoid vacuum from getting tangled in cords or other problem areas.
Using the virtual wall is not a problem, simply turn it on and place where you want the vacuum not to cross further.
The vacuum doesn’t face any trouble returning back to its dock. Sometimes it can struggle and will end up dead while getting back to its dock, but it’s rare.
The SmartClean offers 90 minutes of impressive battery life which is enough to clean a decent chunk of kitchen, hallway, living room, in this small price.
The SmartClean is an affordable vacuum which is $100 less expensive than the entry-level Roomba 690.
Overall, The Bissell SmartClean 1974 is an excellent robot that offers all bells and whistles but only struggles to navigate in larger areas.