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Bissell PowerGlide Lift-Off Pet Plus 20431 Review

The PowerGlide Lift-Off Pet Plus has most of the features we felt were missing in the CleanView Series, and our test unit was nearly the same price as the most expensive CleanView vacuum.

What are those features?

  • Brushroll Control – turning off the brushroll allows us to vacuum bare floors with no issues.
  • Better belt positioning on the brushroll – less “dead” zone for suction
  • SmartSeal Allergen System for better filtration

The ability to turn off the brushroll is a big deal, as the CleanView vacuums are a disaster on bare floors.  With the PowerGlide, you don’t have to worry about debris getting thrown behind the vacuum.  Also, on extra-thick carpet and rugs, you can turn the brushroll off and not worry about damaging either the vacuum or carpet.

Pros
  • Brushroll On/Off Control
  • SmartSeal Allergen System
  • Washable Filter
  • Swivel Steering
  • Better brushroll belt placement
  • Lift-Off 2-in-1 vacuum design
  • 5-year Limited Warranty
  • 0.75 liter dustbin
Cons
  • No height adjustments for cleaner head
  • Heavy and bulky
  • We wish the hose was 8′ instead of 6′
  • Hose handle is bulky when trying to vacuum tight areas like vehicle interiors

We paid $171.06, including taxes, for our test unit.

Upright Mode
Lift-Off Mode

You’re In The Right Place

If you’re interested in looking at how other vacuums from Bissell perform, then check out our Bissell Vacuum Overview for a summary of all Bissell vacuums and links to our other reviews.

How We Feel About the PowerGlide 20431

The Bissell PowerGlide Lift-Off offers some significant improvements over the Bissell CleanView Series uprights and is a good bang for your buck.  

Perhaps the biggest disappointment with the PowerGlide 20431 is the lack of height adjustment on the cleaner head.  With the CleanView Series, height adjust was all you had when it comes to adjusting for different floor types.  From our testing, we’ve found height adjustments make a big difference on bare floors and high-pile carpet, the two extremes.  As you’ll see from our performance demonstrations, the lack of height adjustment on the PowerGlide doesn’t have much of an effect on the bare floor test, but on our high-pile carpet test, the vacuum was tough to use.

In our opinion, if we had to pick brushroll control over height adjustment, then we would choose brushroll control.  First, high-pile carpet isn’t very common in most modern homes as people tend toward low-pile or medium-pile carpet in bedrooms and bare flooring in the rest of the home.  Secondly, though there isn’t height adjustment, you have the option to turn off the brushroll, and this feature is the saving grace when it comes to vacuuming on bare floors.  With the CleanView uprights, it just wasn’t worth it as debris gets thrown behind the vacuum due to the blazing speed of the brushroll.

It just would have been nice to have that extra flexibility of being able to change the cleaner head height.

The Lift-Off feature is something we’ve seen from both Shark and Bissell, and allows you to turn your upright vacuum into a canister vacuum that you can carry around.  Shark’s “Powered Lift-Away” system is more robust than Bissell’s “Lift-Off” design and is included with just about every upright vacuum they make.  If the Lift-Off feature was what drew you to the PowerGlide, then we highly recommend you check out our overview of Shark’s vacuums to get a better idea of what’s available in the 2-in-1 upright category.

With that said, the PowerGlide Lift-Off Pet Plus has a lot to offer with the Lift-Off feature and is a great budget 2-in-1 upright.

Comparison Table

Bissell CleanView with OnePass (9595a)Bissell CleanView with OnePass (1831)Bissell CleanView Swivel Rewind Pet (2254)Bissell PowerGlide Lift-Off Pet Plus (20431)
Bissell CleanView 9595aBissell CleanView 1831Bissell CleanView 2254 Bissell PowerGlide Lift-Off Pet Plus 20431
Hose Length6'6'8'6'
Cord Length25'25'27'30'
Weight15 lbs15.4 lbs19.45 lbs18.25 lbs
Auto Cord Rewind
Edge-to-edge Suction
Dustbin Capacity2 liter2 liter1 liter0.75 liter
Swivel Steering
Turbobrush Tool
Pet TurboEraser Tool
Brushroll On/Off Switch
SmartSeal Allergen System
Lift-Off Canister
Warranty2-Year Limited2-Year Limited4-Year Limited5-Year Limited
View at AmazonView at AmazonView at AmazonView at Amazon
View at Best Buy

Design

The big feature of the PowerGlide 20431 is the Lift-Off canister.  The main point of the Lift-Off canister is to give you the ability to reach areas that are otherwise inconvenient or impossible to vacuum with the upright alone.  Vacuuming stairs, vehicle interiors, furniture, ceiling fans, or other above the floor areas that accumulate dust are much easier with the Lift-Off Canister

Unboxing the Bissell PowerGlide 20431

How Does the Lift-Off Feature Work?

The guts of the vacuum detach from the upright vacuum frame leaving you with just the cleaner head and the spine of the vacuum.  Once detached the hose is where all the vacuuming work is done.  You can use any of the attachments with the Lift-Off canister, but they are still stored on the upright frame.  So you just have to grab the one you need.

Push the big green button to release the Lift-Off canister
Upright frame (left), Lift-Off Canister (right)

Total Weight:

15 lbs

Lift-Off Canister Weight:

8.6 lbs

Upright Frame Weight:

6.4 lbs

The main advantage of the Lift-Off canister is that it’s easy to carry and you can better position yourself to make full use of the hose and attachments when you don’t have a large, heavy upright vacuum on the other end.  It’s always annoying to try and vacuum your car’s interior when the hose is too short and you can’t exactly put the entire vacuum inside the car to reach where you need to go.

Lift-Off canister with dustbin removed
Lift-Off Canister with dustbin removed

The hose on the PowerGlide is 6 feet long which is passable, but we really would have liked to have the 8′ hose.  However, it’s not as simple as just snapping on a longer hose and calling it a day.  There has to be somewhere to put all that extra hose length, and the PowerGlide 20431 just can’t accommodate such a long hose.

Using the Attachments with the Lift-Off Canister

You get four attachments with the PowerGlide 20431.  Each attachment is used on the standard vacuum hose.

  • Pet TurboEraser – a tool with an air-driven brushroll for cleaning stairs, upholstery, or pet bedding
  • Pet Hair Eraser – another tool that specializes in picking up large amounts of pet hair
  • Combination Tool – a crevice tool with a dusting brush that slides up or down when needed
  • Extension Wand – a simple hose extension to increase the vacuum’s reach
Pet TurboEraser Attachment on Lift-Off canister
Pet TurboEraser Attachment
Standard Hose with No Attachments on Lift-Off canister
Standard Hose with No Attachments

We mentioned earlier that the Shark Lift-Away system is more robust than the Bissell Lift-Off.  The reason for that is Shark’s “Powered Lift-Away” feature lets you use the vacuum’s full-size cleaner head with the Lift-Away canister hose.  In other words, it’s more like a traditional canister vacuum where the vacuum’s primary cleaner head is powered by the hose itself and you can swap it out for any of the available attachments.

Now, the Powered Lift-Away system is only available on some Shark vacuums, while others have a system exactly like the Bissell Lift-Off feature and only use non-powered attachments.

The Bissell’s air-driven turbobrush is a great solution for cleaning small areas such as stairs or a couch and does that job really well.

Pet Turbo Eraser Tool
Pet Turbo Eraser Tool
Combination Tool - crevice and dusting brush
Combination Tool – crevice and dusting brush
Pet Hair Eraser Tool
Pet Hair Eraser Tool
Extendsion Wand - adds 11 inches of reach
Extendsion Wand – adds 11 inches of reach

The hose on the PowerGlide has a handle that makes it easier to hold and detach it from the canister when you need it.  The center of the handle sits roughly 14″ from the end of the hose and with the addition of the extension wand attachment you have a total reach of about 8 feet from the Lift-Off canister.

It's roughly 14" from the end of the hose to the middle of the handle
It’s roughly 14″ from the end of the hose to the middle of the handle

Variable Suction Control on the Handle

The gray band around the hose in the picture above is for controlling the suction power.  You can decrease the suction power by twisting the band until the holes are “open” and this will divert some of the suction power away from the end of the hose.

This can be especially useful if you’re trying to vacuum fabric that otherwise might get pulled into the hose if there’s too much airflow.  This is one of the small details that improve our overall satisfaction with the PowerGlide as none of the CleanView Series vacuums had this feature.

How Does the PowerGlide Pet Plus Filter Air?

The PowerGlide 20431 has the SmartSeal Allergen System which helps trap allergens inside the vacuum when you’re using either the upright mode or canister mode.  Additionally, you can use Febreze Pet Odor Elminator filters instead of the standard filter.  One Febreze filter is included with the PowerGlide in addition to the standard filter shown below.

Removing the filter cover just after detaching the dustbin
Removing the filter cover just after detaching the dustbin

The filters are housed just below the dustbin.  To gain access you must first detach the dustbin and then remove the cover plate.  The cover plate was somewhat difficult to remove, but became easier after the first try.

The foam filters should be washed every few weeks while the post-motor filter should be replaced 

Removing the pre-motor filter
Removing the pre-motor filter
Pre-motor Filter (Left), Post-Motor Filter (Right)
Pre-motor Filter (Left), Post-Motor Filter (Right)

The pre-motor filter should be washed every couple of weeks or more depending on how frequently you vacuum and how big the messes are.  Home with a lot of pets or a big family needs more cleaning than a one or two-person household.

The post-motor filter can be shaken off if it starts to accumulate dust, but it’s not meant to be washed.  You can use another vacuum to clean it off and get more life out of it.  Eventually, it will need to be replaced.

Bissell Replacement Post-Motor Filter

View at Amazon

The Cleaner Head Design

The PowerGlide cleaner head design is an improvement over the CleanView, in our opinion.  The brushroll belt on the CleanView vacuums is positioned roughly 3/4 of the way across the cleaner head width and obstructs suction and agitation for a large portion of the cleaner head.

As you can see, the PowerGlide has the belt on the right side, and the suction hose is nearly centered, which provides a more even suction across the brushroll.

The PowerGlide’s cleaner head is 12.5″ wide, and the suction area is roughly 10.25″ wide.  This is a significant improvement over the CleanView Series in our opinion, as the total area with direct suction is wider on the PowerGlide.

Removing the Cover plate from cleaner head

How do you Control the Brushroll?

The vacuum’s main power and brushroll control buttons are on the left side, if you’re standing behind the vacuum.  There are no speed settings, but you can turn the brushroll on or off depending on the floor type you’re vacuuming on.

For bare floors, you certainly need the brushroll off in most cases as it will throw debris behind the vacuum and cause more trouble than its worth.  Having the brushroll off is also recommended for thick carpet with a pile height over one inch.  This vacuum doesn’t have any height adjustment controls so we highly recommend avoiding thick area rugs and carpet unless you have the brushroll off.

Power button and brushroll control on side of PowerGlide
Brushroll On/Off Button (Top), Main Power Button (Bottom)

Performance

Our vacuum tests are done on 4 types of flooring: bare floor (tile or concrete), low-pile carpet, medium-pile carpet, and high-pile carpet.

The Bissell PowerGlide has brushroll on/off control but lacks a height adjustment knob on the cleaner head.

The results of our tests with the PowerGlide are much better than what we saw with the CleanView Series, especially on bare flooring.  We would rather have the ability to control the brushroll than be able to adjust the height of the vacuum if we had to choose.  However, by doing so, you trade the vacuum performance on the high-pile carpet for significantly better performance on bare flooring.

Ultimately, the CleanView Series just couldn’t handle bare floors because the brushroll aggressively throws debris behind the vacuum.  The spinning brushroll overpowers the suction and oats and rice go flying behind the vacuum.  We’re glad to say the PowerGlide blows the CleanView Series away with respect to bare floors.

The lack of height adjustment does mean Bissell had to take a “one size fits all” approach to deciding precisely what the height of the brushroll should be.  Overall, the height works fine for carpet on the higher end of the medium-pile carpet range.  For carpet with a pile height of 0.75″ or higher, we don’t recommend the PowerGlide, unless you intend to vacuum with the brushroll off.  For soft, thick carpet with a pile height above one inch, you shouldn’t even be using a brushroll in the first place.

Test Debris

oats used for vacuum tests
Oats

Oat pieces come in a variety of sizes and shapes.  Their rough texture causes them to cling to carpet fibers, which makes for a great way to test a vacuum’s suction and brushroll agitation.

rice used for vacuum tests
Rice

Rice is relatively heavy and smooth.  It tends to sink down into carpet which helps us judge a vacuum’s suction.  Additionally, when rice goes flying behind a vacuum on bare floors, we know we’ve got a failure.

dog food used for vacuum tests
Dog Food

Large pieces often get pushed around instead of suctioned up, so dog food is a great way to test the limits of what size debris a vacuum can handle.

Bare Floor Test

Partial Pass

We did this test with the brushroll turned off. The PowerGlide did a decent job at picking up the rice and oats but took several passes. The larger pieces of dog food were pushed forward into a pile, but we were able to ultimately pick it up..

This test went better than any of the Bissell CleanView upright tests we’ve done.  Being able to turn off the brushroll on the PowerGlide turns this test from a complete failure into a passing performance.

We expected the PowerGlide to have some trouble with the dog food as it comes down to each piece being able to fit under the front of the cleaner head.  It went surprisingly well, but some pieces were pushed forward into a pile.  You can either tilt the vacuum back and set the cleaner head down or use the vacuum hose to pick up larger debris.  

Tilting the vacuum back usually isn’t an option unless you can slow the brushroll down because it will cause debris to get thrown behind the vacuum.  

Using height adjustments to compensate for large debris isn’t possible with this vacuum, but even if you could, you likely wouldn’t want to.  The reason is increasing the distance of the cleaner head from the floor reduces the effectiveness of the suction.  For this test, the suction does all the work since we have the brushroll off.  Using the hose or making a few extra passes to pick up the debris is a simple solution.

For the PowerGlide, this test went very well, and we recommend this upright for bare floors.

Before Bare Floor Test
After Bare Floor Test

Low-pile Carpet Test

Pass

This was the easiest test for the Bissell PowerGlide. It made short work of all the debris and didn’t struggle to pick up the larger pieces of dog food.

We have absolutely nothing bad to say about this test, and it was the easiest test for the PowerGlide.  There are no carpet fibers for debris to fall between and the cleaner head height and suction worked great in quickly picking up the smaller debris as well as the large dog food.

Before Low-pile Carpet Test
After Low-pile Carpet Test

Medium-pile Carpet Test

Pass

This is where most Bissell upright vacuum shine. The PowerGlide was comfortable to push on our medium-pile carpet and had no trouble picking up all debris types.

Most homes have medium-pile carpet, so this test is more relevant to the average user than the other carpet tests.  The suction and agitation worked great to pick up all the debris types quickly.  We only had to make two passes to get up 99% of the debris.  Some of the dog food was pushed forward by the cleaner head but was ultimately picked up with no trouble.

The lack of height adjustment for the cleaner head didn’t have a negative impact on the performance of the vacuum during this test.

High-pile Carpet Test

Pass

Picking up the debris was no problem, but the lack of height adjustment on the cleaner head really stood out in this test. Pushing and pulling the vacuum was more difficult than any of the Bissell CleanView uprights we’ve tested.

Turning off the brushroll is a solution to the difficulty we had in using this vacuum on our thick carpet.  For many types of thicker carpet and rugs, there isn’t another option.  Using a brushroll is not safe of carpet or rugs with a pile height greater than one inch.  The lack of agitation means debris between the carpet fibers is more difficult to pick up and requires more passes to get all of the surface debris up.

The good news is that carpet this thick isn’t typical in modern homes and rugs can be cleaned through other means.

Without a doubt this has been one of the best performing Bissell uprights that we’ve used, so we don’t want to be unreasonably harsh on this test.


Maintenance

The maintenance task you’ll need to perform most often is cleaning the filters.

The pre-motor filter is a washable foam filter that should be cleaned at least once every couple of weeks, or more depending on how frequently you vacuum and how big the messes are.  The post-motor filter can’t be washed, but you can shake it off if dust starts to accumulate.  You can also use another vacuum to clean the post-motor filter if you have one handy.

Be sure to let the pre-motor filter dry for at least 24 hours after washing it.

Below you’ll find some more common tasks you may need to perform to keep your PowerGlide working properly.

How to Replace the Brushroll Belt

The belt on the PowerGlide is positioned on the right side of the cleaner head if you’ve laid the vacuum down as pictured.  The cover plate is held on by 8 screws that can easily be removed by a screwdriver.  

PowerGlide Cleaner Head Bottom
PowerGlide Cleaner Head Bottom
Remove the 8 screws holding the cover plate
Remove the 8 screws holding the cover plate

Once you’ve removed the cover plate you can easily slide the brushroll out of the cleaner head and remove what’s left of your failed belt.  The belt on the PowerGlide is smaller than the one on CleanView Series vacuums and is tight.  You may need to rotate the brushroll until it fits back into the grooves on the cleaner head once you’re ready to place it back inside.

Remove the brushroll for cleaning
Remove the brushroll and replace the belt located on the right side (as pictured)
Bissell PowerGlide Belt 1601961
Bissell PowerGlide Belt 1601961

How to Clean the Pet Turbo Eraser Tool

Thankfully, Bissell planned for cleaning the Turbo Eraser Tool and made it easy to take apart.

The Turbo Eraser will gather hair around the brushroll over time.  Given that it is powered by the air flowing through the vacuum, it’s important to keep it clear of obstructions to get the best results from the tool.  If you allow hair or other debris to build up inside the tool then it could potentially create resistance for the brushroll.

Rotate the gray collar until the notch opening is centered on top
Rotate the gray collar until the notch opening is centered on top
Lift the cover plate and adjust he notch until the tab easily comes through
Lift the cover plate and adjust the notch until the tab easily comes through

Taking the tool apart only requires you to rotate the gray collar until the notch opening is centered over the tab on the cover plate.  You can then lift the cover off and clean the tool.  Do be careful and make sure the belt is returned to its original position and isn’t off the track.

Remove any debris or tangled hair from the brushroll or surrounding parts
Remove any debris or tangled hair from the brushroll or surrounding parts

How to Clean the Pet Hair Eraser Tool

At first glance, this tool looks strange, but it does a great job at removing pet hair from furniture fabric or pet bedding.  To clean it, all you need to do is press the tab on the front of the tool and pull it open.  As you rock the tool back and forth on a fabric surface the pet hair will cling to the red brush material and get suctioned into the vacuum as one side of the brush enters the suction chamber.

If you have large amounts of pet hair to deal with, some hair may collect in the tool and you’ll need to empty it along with the dustbin.

Opening the Pet Hair Eraser for cleaning
Opening the Pet Hair Eraser for cleaning

Bissell PowerGlide 20431 Specifications

Cord Length30'
Hose Length6'
Cleaning Path12.5" (10.25" with suction)
Height44"
Power10 amps
Total Weight15 lbs
Lift-Off Canister Weight8.6 lbs
Lift-Off Canister Height23"
Dustbin Capacity0.75 liters
FiltrationSmartSeal Allergen System
Brushroll On/Off
Automatic Cord Rewind
Turbobrush Tool
Crevice Tool
Extension Wand
Dusting Brush
Part ReplacementBelt, Post-motor filter
Warranty5-Year Limited

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, the Bissell PowerGlide Lift-Off Pet Plus has some significant improvements over the CleanView Series.

Here are a few that make the PowerGlide really stand out.

  • Brushroll Controls
  • Brushroll belt is positioned to one side of the cleaner head
  • Variable suction on the hose
  • Lift-Off canister that gives you more reach and versatility
  • SmartSeal Allergen System for improved filtration
  • Handle on the hose makes it easier to use
  • Pet Hair Eraser tool makes dealing with large amounts of hair easier

The PowerGlide is one of the best value vacuums that we’ve seen from Bissell so far, and we highly recommend it if you’re looking for a versatile upright that can handle bare floors, medium-pile carpet, and a lot of pets.