The Bissell PowerFresh SlimSteam 2234E claims to have three separate cleaning functions in one, meaning that you should be able to steam anywhere in your house in order to get a deeper clean. This is also a particularly lightweight model, weighing less than 2kg, meaning that getting around your house with it should be painless, and with the swivel head, you should also be able to get under furniture more adeptly when you're using this mop in the upright mode.
This cleaner is suitable for use on hardwood, ceramic, linoleum, granite and marble, which is all part of the versaility of this model, as you can use it on both your bathroom tiles and your kitchen floors to get them back to pristine condition.
In the battle of the best steam cleaners, this model is marketed as great for those who want the power of steam without the rigamarole of a heavy unit, thanks to its versatility and small size. Here's what we found when we tested all three functions (upright mode, the extended wand and handheld tools) out at home.
Specifications of the Bissell PowerFresh SlimSteam 2234E
- Model number: 2234E
- Capacity: 0.35L
- Cord length: 7.6m
- Weight: 1.86kg
- Accessories: Extension wand, large foot, 2 cleaning pads (soft & scrubby) extension wand, filter, 4 tools, wall mount & mesh storage bag.
- RRP: £129.99
Note: We tested the Bissell PowerFresh SlimSteam 2234E, which is the model available in the UK. In the US, there is a very similar model available, the PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop, 2075A. While the main body of the unit remains the same, the attachments featured are different, with the US equivalent featuring the following: Fabric Steamer, Bristle Tools, Angle Concentrator Tool, Grout Tool, On-Board Tool Kit, Wall Mount Bonus Tools: Flat Surface Tool, Red Bristle Scrub Brush, Clothing Steamer Tool.
Unboxing the Bissell PowerFresh SlimSteam 2234E
With a name like the Bissell PowerFresh SlimSteam 2234E, there was a certain expectation for this box to be less sizable than the other steam cleaners I've tested out. This cleaner passed that first test with flying colors, it has a slim box and is nice and lightweight, meaning it wasn't at all difficult to carry up my stairs. I'm currently testing a number of steam and spot cleaners, and I can't tell you how glad I was that this box was a little less imposing, as it meant it only took up a small corner of my living room.
Another tick for this cleaner was that there wasn't too much excess packaging as I unboxed everything, even though there are plenty of attachments included in your purchase. With this cleaner, you'll receive an extension wand, a large cleaning head, two cleaning pads (one soft and one for scrubbing), four tools (a flat scraper, a grout brush, a circular brush and an angular tool) and a wall mount. There's also a mesh storage bag to keep things organised, which is great if you're trying to organise your vacuum and steam cleaner parts in the same cupboard.
Who will the Bissell PowerFresh SlimSteam 2234E suit?
The lightweight design of this cleaner should make it appealing to those who have issues holding cleaning tools for even short periods of time, such as those suffering from arthritis. The swivel cleaning head can help those who don't want to (or can't) bend down to get to particular corners or underneath furniture. The extended wand does the same, and allows for floor to ceiling cleaning.
With this cleaner you can bag a steam mop, a handheld cleaner and the help of the extended wand all in one. Whilst these are great functionalities to have, it has to be said that plenty other steam cleaners also boast this 3in1 ability for a similar RRP, like the Shark Floor and Handheld Steam Cleaner S6005UK, so it's not a selling point exclusive to this cleaner.
What's it like to use this cleaner?
The first step after you've worked through the assembly is to fill up your tank. With some cleaners this can be a bit tricky, as you have to wrestle the tank out of the main body, and then ensure nothing leaks as you transfer the tank back. There's none of that here, as you simply use the included cup to transfer water, and then make sure the rubber seal is fully engaged on the unit.
This cleaner prioritises detergent-free cleaning, meaning there's no need to add anything but water. This will appeal to some especially as it means no repurchasing a particular solution, but personally I like knowing that there's that extra level of sanitsation, as you get with the Vax SteamFresh PowerPlus steam cleaner, that you get with adding detergent.
With the tank filled up, I first tried the main mop head attachment out, which clicked satisfyingly into place with no issues. A blue flashing light then appeared on the control pad, which indicated that I needed to wait 30 seconds until the steam element was ready. There are then two buttons which show the two modes: low and high steam.Once you've selected the level, you need to recline the cleaner backwards and press down the trigger in order to get steam to release. You'll hear a knocking sound as the water starts to flow, and then a solid flow of steam will appear, and you can get to cleaning your floors.
The light is handy for knowing which mode you're in, and this cleaner was the most lightweight I had tried, with a springiness to it that made maneuvering easy. You could turn it a little easier than other models too. I've used this model a few times on my floors, and I think it's one of the most straightforward to get going with and gives you a nice shine, which is why I've been reaching for it more often. I really liked that there was a choice of two mopheads too, with the scrubber option having more of a coarse texture for marks and stains.
Satisfied with the state of my floors, I wanted to see how easy it was to navigate turning this cleaner handheld. I really liked the addition of a foot pedal so you can take the extended wand out with ease, and you can simply add whichever nozzle you want onto the main body of the cleaner to enable the handheld mode. I also loved how the different nozzles come in a little case, as I feel there's a serious problem with attachments like this getting lost in the ether. You have a flat scraper, a grout brush, a circular brush and an angled tool.
After taking a look at each of them, I began with the grout brush in my bathroom, as steam cleaning is a great alternative to having to learn how to clean grout by scrubbing and that sounds like a good deal to me. Even though there's no detergent in the mix, I found that cleaning my tiles and the grout was very easy. My next stop was using the concentrated nozzle on the glass divider in my bathroom, as it's so prone to stains, and I'd read that this tool was suitable for use on glass. I was really impressed with the results, and it lifted the marks that I hadn't been able to get off with a spray and wipe down. I used the same attachments to give my hob a once-over too, and found that it came up gleaming.
Cleaning and maintenance
I'm always looking for quick ways to clean up after using a steam cleaner, and with this model, all you need to do in the upright mode is throw your chosen mop head into the washing machine. Leave your head to dry thoroughly before reattaching, and you're all done. The smaller nozzle attachments can be rinsed in water in order to get the dirt out of them (if there is any), which I did before returning them to their case.
Another thing I really like about this cleaner is the option of wall-mounting it, as cleaning cupboards can get so easily cramped. Even though it is a slimline model, if you've got the space to mount it to your wall in your home, then you won't have to worry about finding another spot for it ever again.
How does it rate online?
This model has a 3.8 star rating out of 5 on Amazon, from 151 reviews. Like I found in my testing, lots of reviewers love how lightweight this cleaner is, and the bonus of the bracket for storage. The attachments also get a lot of praise for how wide ranging and useful they are, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. This cleaner is less popular with some users due to the knocking sound that you get as you activate the steam, and the fact that the instructions come in the form of graphics, rather than written instructions, which some found unclear.
How does it compare to similar models?
The selling point of this model is the easy to use design and the fact that it's slim enough to pack away compactly. The same can be said of the Karcher SC3 Steam Cleaner, which we gave a rare 5 stars in our review. It's a similarly lightweight model too, though it does have a more sizable price tag, with an RRP of £159.99 compared to £129.99 for the Bissell.
The PowerFresh SlimSteam has more of an emphasis on attachments that you can use around the home, which might be a winning element if you're looking to secure value for money. In our review, we also found that the Karcher cord could have been longer for convenience, but at 7.6 metres, this is definitely not a complaint we had with the Bissell model.
On an organisational level, the Bissell will also probably be easier to store, thanks to the wall mount. Both of these models importantly only use water, meaning they are detergent-free, which some people will be looking for specifically. If you would prefer to be able to sanitise with cleaning products, something like the Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus (with its confusingly similar name) will be more suitable.
Is the Bissell PowerFresh Slim steam cleaner worth it?
I really enjoyed testing out the Bissell PowerFresh Slim steam cleaner, and I've been plotting ways ever since to use it around my house. From cleaning my washing machine drawers to even a stained pair of shoes, I think there is so much you can do with this cleaner and all of those versatile attachments. The price (£129.99) for that versatility is good, and it's often an item that gets marked down even further in sales events. You can get the deep clean you need with this steam cleaner, especially with the smaller nozzles, making it a great investment if you can look past its quirks, like the somewhat difficult-to-use trigger and the knocking sound whilst its in use.
About this review, and this reviewer
Molly is the Ecommerce Writer across Homes shopping content, spending time reviewing products to see if they can earn a place in buying guides. She regularly tests cleaning products and machines in order to see if they're up to standard.
This steam cleaner was tested in her home, as you'll see from the photos. This cleaner was also available to keep, allowing for this review to be updated over time, to see how the tool holds up.