The Power and Efficiency of Bissell PowerForce Helix Bagless 1700


Bissell Powerforce Helix Bagless 1700: Put You on the Right Track

Aug 28, 2023

If you want to maintain a neat and clean home, it can be a daunting task. Gone are the days when you’d have to be bent over a broom and dustpan all over your floors and carpets. Today, we have vacuum cleaners of various brands, models, and configurations to get our work done. But you have pets that are always shedding fur.

How are you going to approach the problem of pet hair all over the house every single day? It can be frustrating, indeed. Suppose you have read Bissell Powerforce Helix reviews. In that case, you will realize that there is a series of vacuum cleaners available that are specially designed to tackle pet hair removal problems.

In this review, we take a close look at the successor to the Bissell 1700, the Bissell Powerforce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum 2191. Can this machine come to your rescue? Will it be able to solve your problem of pet hair scattered all over your floors, furniture, and carpets in your home? Is Bissell a good vacuum cleaner? Let’s find out if it can deliver the goods!


Value for money
Light weight
Suction power
For stairs

Introducing the Bissell Powerforce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum 2191

As we mentioned above, the Bissell Powerforce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum 2191 is an improvement on the Bissell 1700. It facilitates deep cleaning to loosen and lift dirt and human and pet hair, embedded in crevices and carpets. It is a lightweight vacuum and offers adequate maneuverability.

This vacuum cleaner from Bissell uses “Helix Dirt Separation” technology. It enhances and extends the process of picking up debris. The machine itself has sufficiently powerful suction, enabling it to pick up stubborn fur, hair, and assorted debris from around the house.

Thanks to the five height adjustments, the machine effectively picks up grime that has been ground into carpets and floors, leaving your surfaces spotless. Another great feature of the Bissell Powerforce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum 2191 is the high-capacity dirt canister, enabling you to empty the canister less frequently.

Bissell Powerforce Helix: A Cheap but Powerful Option

Bissell Powerforce Helix: A Cheap but Powerful Option Via: Amazon

The vacuum has a unique dirt separation system so that you don't have to wash your filters that frequently. The cleaning tools that come with this vacuum cleaner help you efficiently clean edges, corners, and other difficult-to-reach areas like baseboards and furniture. Less particulate dirt means less allergic reactions.

Although you only get three attachments, the machine's powerful suction manages all your cleaning tasks quite nicely. You can easily cover hard floors and carpets with ease with this model from Bissell. The vacuum comes with a two-year limited warranty.


  • Inexpensive

  • Rotating brush roll

  • Powerful suction

  • Lightweight design

  • Two-year warranty


  • Not very efficient in lifting heavy debris

  • Complaints received about the condition of the product on delivery

  • Hose is of Inferior quality

Bissell Powerforce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum 2191: Key Features

#1- Setting it Up

The Bissell Powerforce Helix is a robust machine, which is just as well because the packaging of the device leaves much to be desired. Many customers complained about repacked contents and those contents that had been quite carelessly repacked.

Out of The Box, The Vacuum Cleaner Is Fairly Easy to Set Up

Out of The Box, The Vacuum Cleaner Is Fairly Easy to Set Up

On receipt, you receive two screws that you need for assembling the handle. Sometimes these screws may be missing on receipt of the appliance, so you would end up procuring a couple from your local hardware store.

Out of the box, the vacuum cleaner is relatively easy to set up. There have been some issues with what came in the box for some customers. Hence, you would do well to take stock at what you have received. Also, you need you may or may not receive a paper instruction manual – no issues there as it's all in the online user guide.

There are some explicit instructions for assembling the vacuum cleaner on receipt. The handle needs to be attached to be base, and the power cord and hose also have to be set up. Other than needing to screw the handle onto the base, all the different parts can be put together quite easily without using any specialized tools.

An essential point to note is that the appliance's power cord has a "polarized" plug. It means that the power plug's blades are of unequal sizes for the "hot" and "neutral" points. Hence, you can only insert the plug in one position. If the plug doesn’t fit, reverse the position. If the problem persists, contact an electrician to help you out.

    ➜ RELATED: How To Clean A Carpet - Top 9 Cleaning Carpet Tips

#2- Design

The Product Comes in A Pleasing Shade of Blue with Robust, Plastic Parts

The Product Comes in A Pleasing Shade of Blue with Robust, Plastic Parts Via: Amazon

The Bissell Powerforce Helix is an improved version of the Bissell 1700. If you have used any of the previous Bissell models, you will easily make out the difference. Added features like five-stage height adjustment and the Helix Dirt Separation system set this product apart from its predecessors.

Another useful feature that you will find convenient is the fact that the filter is washable. That way, you will not have to chase for buying spare filters, although there are a few other parts like a brush roll belt. In a rare instance, if you have been using the machine for several years, you may need to get your brush roll replaced.

The product comes in a pleasing shade of blue. It has a surprisingly lightweight design, and the construction is straightforward. The manufacturers have made extensive use of plastic in designing the parts, from the power switch and hose to the handle and the filter housing.

Do not be too put off by the heavy use of plastic in this vacuum because it is quite robust. If you don't use this machine too roughly, the plastic is of reasonably high quality, and the parts will last you for a considerable number of years.

Bissell has also focused on functionality with this product. Although the number of accessories is limited, they have more than made up for it in terms of efficiency. The lightweight construction and ergonomically-advanced design make this vacuum easy to move around and maneuver over multiple floors.

You may need to look elsewhere if you have high-pile carpets in your home, as the manufacturer mentions specifically that the vacuum is designed for the surface types of “Low Pile Carpet, Stairs, Upholstery, and Carpet.” We shall review the performance of the Bissell Powerforce Helix on different surfaces further down.

#3- Attachments

You can detach the air hose from the canister, enabling you to use the attachment directly or in combination with the extension wand. The hose's material is quite stiff, and the length is five feet, which makes it a bit short when you have to reach under furniture. The absence of swivel action impacts maneuverability somewhat.

Coming to the attachments, you get three cleaning heads, the brush roll, crevice tool, and dusting brush. You also get an extension wand, but be warned that you aren't going to be able to touch the ceiling with this one. A handy feature is the onboard storage facility to keep your accessories at reach whenever you need them.

#4- Performance on Pet Hair

We always tend to link performance to warranty, and in this aspect, the Bissell Powerforce Helix seems to do well with the two-year warranty that comes with it. But we need to get into the finer details of performance with this vacuum from Bissell. Would its bulkiness and lack of a swivel head get in the way? Let’s try to find out:

If you own pets, your primary requirement from a vacuum cleaner should be that it can deal efficiently with pet hair. The Bissell Helix does not make any tall claims about handling pet hair. Nor does the name of the model suggest anywhere that it is designed thus. However, the machine has adequate suction to do a good job.

You will see the words "pet inspired" printed on the carton, which could suggest that the design includes taking care of pet hair. Users who own multiple pets observed a considerable quantity of pet hair being picked up by the vacuum after only a few minutes.

Specific tests for using the vacuum against pet hair revealed satisfactory results. In the first instance, the Bissell Helix was used to pick up dog hair embedded into medium-pile carpeting. The number of passes required to remove all the pet hair was counted. The Powerforce Helix managed the job in the least amount of passes compared to other brands and models.

In another test, white cat fur was scattered over a dark velvet couch. The vacuum picked up the hair with the dusting brush quite efficiently. It proves on one count that the machine seems to have adequate suction for picking up pet fur, and on the other, the dusting brush is the go-to attachment for such tasks.

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#5- Performance on Hard Floors

How did the vacuum fare in cleaning hard flooring? To simulate fine dust, its capacity to pick up flour sprinkled on the floor was tested. The Bissell Helix was able to pick up most of the flour in just a few passes. It proves that the vacuum has a reasonable ability to pick up fine dust from hard floors.

But what about more massive debris on hard floors? To simulate this condition, more massive debris like cereal was scattered across the floor. The machine faced a bit of difficulty picking up the debris, and half of the time seemed to fling it about instead of picking it up. It appears to be a common issue among the low-budget vacuums on the market.

#6- Performance on Carpets and Rugs

The Powerforce Helix Does Well on Low Pile Carpeting

The Powerforce Helix Does Well on Low Pile Carpeting

After the performance on pet hair, a vacuum cleaner's next critical function is usually considered how it deals with carpets. In the course of its testing, the Bissell Powerforce Helix was used on a variety of different types of carpeting like different types of rugs, varieties of shag rugs, and different levels of the pile in carpets.

It's annoying to bend down for adjusting the brush roll height, but it's handy to have five different settings for adjusting against various types of surfaces. The Powerforce Helix did pretty fine on some of the rugs and low-pile carpeting. It exhibited inefficiency when it came to shag rugs and high-pile carpets.

It was also difficult to push it over these surfaces, probably due to the flimsy plastic wheels not providing adequate support. A slightly higher roller adjustment may have helped.

   ➜ RELATED: Bissell Spot Clean Pro - An Excellent Portable Vacuum Cleaner For Carpet Spots And Stains

#7- Filtration

Cleaning the Filters is Easy

Cleaning the Filters is Easy Via: Amazon

The filtration system of the Bissell Helix vacuum cleaner is quite simple but not very useful. They are made of sponge, and one rests above the dirt tank and the other within the machine. You can easily remove the filters. There are two filters, post-motor, and pre-motor filters. They need to be washed after every few uses.

You need to clean the filters with warm water and leave them to dry overnight. Once the filters are dry, replace them in their receptacle. If you are prone to allergies, you would probably need to look elsewhere, because the system is not airtight, and the machine tends to release a fair amount of dust back into the atmosphere.

#8- Dirt Canister

The Dust Forms in a Helix

The Dust Forms in a Helix Via: Amazon

Another useful feature of the Bissell Powerforce Helix is the transparent dirt canister. It enables you to see directly the quantity of debris collected. When the machine is running, the debris flies about in a helix pattern, giving the name “Helix” to this model. It helps to keep the dust contained within the dust canister, preventing it from clogging other parts.

It’s easy to detach the canister for emptying with the touch of a button. The debris gets ejected through a trap door at the bottom of the canister. Although all the debris should fall into the trashcan below, a lot remains inside the helix, so you need to remove the residual dust by hand, which is a bit inconvenient, to say the least.

Another downside with the Powerforce Helix, which is common to many other bagless vacuums, is the cloud of dust that forms while emptying the dirt canister. If you have dust allergy issues, then you may do better with a bagged version.

#9- Size and Maneuverability

The last point to note about the Bissell Powerforce Helix's performance is that it lacks stability in terms of balance. The short and stiff hose somewhat restricts movement, and it makes the machine prone to tipping over, which can be quite annoying.

When you receive the Bissell Powerforce Helix, the first thing you observe will be how light it is. It weighs about 12 lbs, making it comparatively lighter than many other similar models of the same capacity.

This vacuum cleaner's lightweight design adds to the maneuverability and makes it easy to carry around the house. It is just half a pound heavier than another Bissell model the Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro and much lighter than the Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet upright bagless vacuum cleaner.

Regarding the overall size of this vacuum cleaner, it is bulky. The absence of a swiveling head makes it even more cumbersome than if it had a swiveling head. It results in the vacuum occupying more closet space.

#10- Maintenance

Many manufacturers advertise “maintenance-free” products but don't be misled with that misnomer. There is nothing such as a maintenance-free product, and the same applies to vacuum cleaners.

You don't want to be spending more time maintaining than actually using your vacuum. Let us consider how much maintenance you need to do on the Bissell Powerforce Helix and how frequently.

The brush roll of this vacuum does not use an independent motor to run. It runs with the help of a belt, which may need occasional adjustment. In case of failure of the brush roll to move, the likely cause is a broken belt which means that you would need to replace the Bissell Powerforce Helix belt. But this seems to be an infrequent occurrence.

The design of the brush roll is such that hair entanglement is reduced to a minimum. It is a big plus for this vacuum cleaner because having to regularly stop work to remove entangled hair from the brush roll can prove quite a nuisance.

A regular maintenance job is the cleaning of the filters. Although having to wash these filters regularly can be tedious, you can wash them whenever you empty the dust canister, which may ultimately become a routine task for you. You are spared of having to get involved in replacing bags regularly because the vacuum is bagless.

Given that you need to remove clogs in the air hose no more than with other vacuum cleaners, we can conclude that the Bissel Powerforce Helix does not present too many maintenance issues.

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Alternative Options

If you are not convinced that the Bissell Powerforce Helix is the ideal choice for you, we have featured a few alternative options, one of the same brand and two of other brands that you might like to consider.

Other options by Bissell are the Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro and the Bissel Helix Turbo Rewind. The Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro is an all-in-one wet and dry vacuum, and the Helix Turbo Rewind features a powerful rewind function of the power cord.

But we will take our review one step further and feature vacuums from two other top brands, Eureka and Hoover, to give you even more comprehensive options:

Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, Green, 2252 (Cost-Effective Option)

The Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner 2252

The Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner 2252 Via: Amazon

The Bissell Clean View Swivel Pet, as the name suggests, has been designed to provide cleaning solutions to pet owners. The company has gone to great lengths to produce a vacuum cleaner that performs well but comes at a reasonable price. You will find some excellent pet tools and features aimed at handling pet hair.

First, the "Triple Action" brush roll performs the functions of lifting, loosening, and removing pet hair embedded in carpets and crevices of hard floors. The soft, silky bristles of the brush roll ensure that your hardwood floors don’t get scratched. “Scatter-Free” technology further increases the cleaning efficiency.

If you had maneuverability issues with the Bissell Powerforce Helix regarding the absence of swivel action, Bissell has taken care of it in this model. The swivel steering helps you to clean comfortably under furniture and around obstacles strewn across the floor.

The Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner provides better "edge-to-edge" cleaning, allowing the machine to pick up more debris with each pass.

Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Pet Turbo (For Enhanced Pet Hair Removal)

The Eureka PowerSpeed Pet Turbo Vacuum Cleaner

The Eureka PowerSpeed Pet Turbo Vacuum Cleaner Via: Amazon

Moving on to our list of alternatives for the Bissell Powerforce Helix, we bring you the Eureka PowerSpeed Pet Turbo. This vacuum cleaner is a good option if pet hair removal is your prime concern. Not to say that it doesn’t perform well in all other aspects – it does. Let’s take a look at what we get for its incredible price.

First, when you pick it up, it feels light to the touch because it weights less than 10 lbs. It is easy to maneuver under furniture and around obstacles. And, in case you are working on multiple surfaces like moving from hard floors to carpets of various thicknesses, you have five different height adjustments.

You can make height adjustment with the flick of your foot on the base of a knob on the base, saving you from reaching down every time you need to adjust the height. We felt this to be a very thoughtful design consideration.  

The washable filter and extra-large dust canister are also a couple of convenient features. Emptying the dust canister is also a quick and straightforward process. There's nothing spectacular with the three attachments, the crevice, upholstery tools, and dusting brush. But the space provided for storing them is a good idea.

There are a few pitfalls to mention. The first thing that you will notice about this vacuum cleaner is the high-pitched, almost unbearable whine. Yes, it is a noisy machine. You may also find the suction a bit too high on the lowest setting. Another thing is that this vacuum tends to get quite hot and could even result in damaging your furnishings.

In retrospect, the noise factor is the most significant negative point of this vacuum cleaner. If you can get by that hurdle, then the Eureka PowerSpeed Pet Turbo vacuum is a good option considering the low price.

Hoover Pet Max Complete Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, UH74110 (High-End Option)

The Hoover Pet Max Complete Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, UH74110

The Hoover Pet Max Complete Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, UH74110 Via: Amazon

The final entry in our list of options to the Bissell Powerforce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum 2191 is the Hoover Pet Max Complete Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, UH74110. It is a high-end option that you can go for if you are ready to spend a substantial amount of money. Is this vacuum worth the price? Let’s find out!

First off, customers were pleased with this vacuum cleaner's strong suction, which picks up pet hair and human hair. It is helpful that hair doesn't get very entangled in the brush roll. The facility for turning on and off the brush roll when required is also a well-received feature.

The filtration system is another feature worth mentioning. The pre-motor stage contains a washable filter. The post-motor stage includes a HEPA filter that benefits allergy sufferers. The HEPA filter is not washable, but it should last for up to a year before being replaced. But the HEPA filter is handy if you have pets.

Regarding the drawbacks that this vacuum cleaner seems to have, many customers complained about its unwieldiness, particularly on carpets. Then, the lack of flexibility of the hose is next on the list of grievances.

There were also several reports of the vacuum switching itself off in mid-operation, possibly due to the overload protector kicking in. In such a case, it would just need to be reset.

All in all, the Hoover Pet Max Complete Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, UH74110 is an expensive machine. However, for the price, you get a fully-loaded product. As in most vacuum cleaners, this one has its share of drawbacks. But to coin a phrase, you get a “bang for your buck” with this one.

Our Take

Let's take stock of what we have with the Bissell Powerforce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum 2191. This vacuum's first impression is sometimes not very positive, considering that all contents aren’t received in shipshape condition.

We have established that the accessories are rather flimsy. The question here is, what are we getting for the price? The machine is bulky and a bit cumbersome to move around. There have also been reports that it doesn’t perform very well with heavy debris. And, it also has issues in handling high-pile carpets.

The last point that we would like to bring up here is the vacuum's tendency to spew dust back into the surrounding air. Hence, allergy sufferers should probably look elsewhere!

But to be fair, we need to look at the positive side as well. The first point is the price, which is something that will universally impress customers. Moreover, for the price, Bissell has packed quite a few excellent features into their product. The consensus about the suction is that it is pretty satisfactory.

The Bissell Powerforce Helix has proved to be quite an excellent performer on hard floors and is exceptionally efficient at lifting pet hair. Although the vacuum is not fitted with a HEPA filter, the advantage is that the filters are easily removable and washable. And, the Helix Dirt Separation system helps.

Also, the five different height adjustments add to the benefits. It’s also handy that you can adjust the height by pushing the knob with your foot. Even though the machine is bulky, it is lightweight, making up for the bulky design. And emptying the dirt canister is a quick and easy process.

In retrospect, we can conclude that you get a fair enough deal with the Bissell Powerforce Helix for the money you spend. If you are on a budget but are looking for something that can at least get your cleaning jobs done, then it is something that you can consider.

But if you can spend a bit more, then there are some alternative models you can consider. That is why we have highlighted another Bissell model and models from a couple of other brands taking things one step further than other Bissell Powerforce Helix reviews.

In line with Bissell’s social commitment, a percentage from every product you buy supports the Bissell Pet Foundation.

Happy vacuuming!

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