If you’ve been thinking that the Bissell Icon 25V cordless vacuum cleaner might just be the machine for you with its promise of avoiding hair wrap round the rollers, as well as plenty of cord-free cleaning power, we know you’ll want the lowdown. And that’s where we come in. We’ve put this Bissell vacuum through its paces so you can use our review to decide if it’s the machine to get your home clean.
I tested a wide selection of the best vacuum cleaners on carpet, parquet, tiles, stairs and upholstery, and challenged them with mud, fluff, light debris and pet hair to give you the lowdown on how efficiently they’ll do the job, how easy they are to use, and how much space they’ll take up in your cupboard.
Bissell Icon Specifications
- Maximum power: 25V
- Cable length: Not applicable
- Dimensions: H112.5 x W28 x D19.7cm
- Weight: 3.18kg
- Noise: 81dB
- Energy ratings: no rating for cordless vacuum cleaners
- Dustbag capacity: 0.4 litres
Who will the Bissell Icon 25V suit?
Homes where cleaning up long hair – whether pet or human – has proved a challenge. Owners of larger homes will benefit from the cleaning time possible on one charge.
What is the Bissell Icon 25V like to use?
This cleaner’s pretty intuitive to put together when you first get it as well as when you’re cleaning and emptying the dust container.
Hard flooring, carpets and stairs
The Bissell Icon 25V proved itself a hard worker on all the floor surfaces it had to clean up in my home. Some vacuums seem to have the edge on carpet, but this machine appeared to get equal results whether it was doing its job on carpet pile or hard flooring, so it might recommend itself if you’ve got a half and half split between the different types in your home.
For me, tackling stairs was best done with the handheld as the machine has a generously sized floorhead that didn’t fit easily along the treads in my house. The benefit of the floorhead showed itself in covering large areas of both parquet, tiles and carpet speedily, and it had no trouble getting right to the edges.
Moving the machine under furniture on both hard flooring and carpet was very easy as it angles right down flat, so there was no excuse for leaving dust bunnies under the far reaches of the bed.
If your view on attachments is that you don’t need a whole lot as long as they work, then the Bissell Icon won’t disappoint. It comes with a crevice tool that has a retractable dusting brush and slots on to the handheld. The benefit? You won’t have a cupboard full of bits to keep track of. The two-in-one tool has its own storage on the wall mount, too. The negative? You may feel you’ve missed out on the benefits of a dedicated upholstery tool.
Having said that, though, I found the attachment coped effectively with the hair left behind by the smallest and furriest occupants of my house, so I didn’t feel the lack. I also appreciated the fact that the crevice tool has LED illumination making the job of getting every crumb up from the sofa easier.
Power and debris removal
The Bissell Icon 25V promises up to 50 minutes of fade-free cordless cleaning after a charging period of four hours, depending on the cleaning mode and attachment you’re using. I certainly tackled a lot of floors and jobs in one go with no power fade.
You should note that the machine starts off at maximum power when you switch on, and I found I needed to get into the habit of reducing this where it wasn’t required to avoid running down the battery sooner than it needed to be. There are three power levels on offer, and the choice proved a useful one depending on the state of the surface I was cleaning.
The machine picked up well from both carpet and hard flooring with the usual unalluring combination of hair, fur, dust and other debris making its way to the dust container despite the individual floors not appearing to be immensely dirty.
When I tested light debris and mud pick up on both carpet and hard flooring, there was some scatter of both and to a similar (not huge) extent. However, neither proved too much of a problem to go back over and eliminate from the floor and the size and easy swivel of the floorhead helped put paid to the muck.
I’d definitely give full marks for the ease with which the dust container can be taken off the vac. Unlike some bagless designs, this container doesn’t have a button to pop it open over the bin; I simply removed the lid and tipped to empty. I think whether this is a pro or a con is down to personal preference, but I’d say the design made it easy to get rid of what I’d vacuumed up, and I wouldn’t quibble with it. Slotting the dust container back on to the machine was as easy as taking it off, too.
The cordless vacuum cleaner has a Smart Seal allergen system, and a filter that can be washed under the tap. Bissell recommends checking it on a regular basis, but how often you need to wash it will depend on how frequently you vacuum, and will undoubtedly be influenced by whether you share your home with children and/or pets.
As well as the LED illumination for the crevice tool, the Bissell Icon 25V has LEDs on the floorhead, which did make seeing the debris and hair on my floor surfaces much easier and really helped when it came to cleaning under furniture and the beds.
Maximum points from me, though, come for the tangle free brush roll, which really lived up to its name. The brushes didn’t end up wrapped in hair from the bedroom floor, which was a welcome feature. My hair isn’t the 8 inches that the vac promises to cope with but it’s long enough to be annoying once it has got itself around the brushes and it was great to skip the chore of removing it. Should this happen, however, you can take out the brush roll and get rid of the offending strands.
The machine was also no hassle to put together in the first place, and converting from cordless stick to handheld was without fuss as well.
The Bissell Icon 25V comes with a wall mount that allows you to stash it off the floor in a cupboard or behind a door. The floorhead hangs down rather than being perpendicular, meaning the machine is fairly flat to the wall aside from at the top where the dust container and handle are. As mentioned above, the crevice tool and brush has its own place on the stand, which is a neat idea.
If you have a socket where you store this machine you can put the charging lead in place on the mount, and plug in there, but if you don’t have this happy combination, you can prop the vac up and charge it where you need to.
The Bissell Icon 25V certainly isn’t weighty, but I did find it harder work to move across the floor than some of the other vacs I’ve tested with similar headline weights. I also found it more awkward to carry up and down stairs than some others I’ve reviewed. The floorhead hangs down as you carry it, and therefore I had to lift it higher to clear the stairs (but of course the positive of this design is that the floorhead doesn’t protrude when it’s on the charging stand). Likewise, the handheld felt heavier to use than some I’ve tested, which you’ll want to bear in mind if weight is of the essence for you when you’re cleaning.
When it comes to actually moving the vac where you want it, though, it was a winner for me and the floorhead swivelled with ease.
How does it rate online?
This machine is a brand new model, so there aren’t many reviews as yet. For those who have already tested it via Amazon, it’s a 4.7 out of five star rating overall. Appreciated were the way the machine allows cleaning into nooks and crannies, the way the design avoids becoming tangled with pet hair, and how easy it is to use. For these vacuumers, the downsides were few, but included the fact that the charging stand does need to be screwed to the wall.
Customers who used the vac via Argos gave an average score of 4.5 out of five. These users liked the lights on the floorhead and crevice tool, were happy with the running time of the battery on the lowest of the three power settings, and admired its performance on hard floor and carpet. Negatives included the slightly heavier than expected weight, and, for one, emptying the dust container was fiddly.
How does it rate against vacuum cleaners?
Cordless sticks come at a wide range of price points and the Bissell Icon 25V is towards the pricer end of the category. For your hard-earned pounds, however, you will get a running time that’s approaching some of its more costly competitors and welcome features like the LED lights and stand that should make it a definite for your shortlist.
About our review – and our reviewer
Sarah Warwick has specialised in homes and interiors for over 20 years. She was Executive Editor of Ideal Home magazine, and has written for nationals, magazines and websites including Real Homes, Homebuilding & Renovating, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, Houzz, The Guardian, House Beautiful and Country Homes & Interiors.
She put the vacuums through their paces all round the house, on all sorts of dirt and debris, and a variety of flooring and surfaces.