If you have a cat or a dog, you’re probably fighting a daily battle with the pet hair that gets deposited in the oddest places. The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 was designed specifically to deal with that issue, and to keep the bedding and other pet areas in your home as clean as they can get with a regular 5-minute vacuuming pass.
This vacuum is intended just for the one demanding job of capturing pet hair – a task it excels at – though its performance tends to suffer for other kinds of mess. Built with simplicity and utility in mind, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 is short on attachments and a little heavy on the motor. Rave reviews from verified buyers on Amazon, however, paint a picture of an amazing tool for doing the one job it’s designed for.
Reading about a handheld vacuum cleaner is all well and good, but there’s really no substitute for getting firsthand reports from owners about what it’s really like to use the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1. To get a feel for that, I looked over scores of reviews authenticated buyers left on the Amazon page for this vacuum cleaner and developed a synopsis of what it’s like to own and use this powerful pet hair eraser.
- Cord Type: Corded
- Bag Type: Bagless
- Floor Type: Upholstery, auto, stairs
- Product Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 8 inches
- Item Weight: 4.2 pounds
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
- Manufacturer: Bissell
- Item Model Number: 33A1
- Battery: N/A (corded)
- Customer Reviews: 4.4 of 5 Stars
Multi-layer filtration – The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 passes air through two separate filters to cut way down on the amount of allergens that get back out into the air around your pet areas.
Contour nozzle – The hard rubberized nozzle attachment has small nodes for digging in and dislodging stubborn pet hair that defies other handheld vacuums.
Powerful cyclonic motor – The large motor in this Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 develops a powerful suction that strips clumps of fur and pet hair away from surfaces with a single pass.
As is the case with any piece of technology, there are the official reports from the manufacturer, and then there are the things people who’ve bought the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 say about it in user reviews. It turns out this bagless handheld is, as it were, a mixed bag. The reviews posted online show a surprising regularity in how owners describe the 33A1’a performance – by far the majority say this machine is a miracle worker for pet hair, and mediocre to not good for almost everything else. Considering that pet hair is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1’s only stated target, this may not be surprising. The reviews for that task, however, rave like excited concertgoers over the way it handles pet fur.
The ergonomics of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 can be a little tricky to get the hang of, but once you’re comfortable holding this vacuum by its scorpion-tail handle, which curves over the body of the unit in a graceful arc, it gets a lot easier to use. Weighing in at a substantial 5 pounds, this is not a go-anywhere vacuum cleaner, though it can be used anywhere there’s electricity.
Speaking to the ergonomics issues with this unit, one anonymous user reported the 33A1 is:
“[E]rgonomically poor. Heavy in the hand. Doesn’t move well. It’s only a glorified dust buster which has it’s uses but Not a vacuum. Poor ergonomics.”
This could be a single user’s opinion, and this particular review did note that the specific device being reviewed had a faulty motor, which could color the perception a bit. The difficult handle, however, did come in for more mentions. One user, who goes by the handle Special K, wrote at the end of a 5-star review:
“The ONLY thing I would say is that it’s kind of hard to hold, the handle can use a little work to make it more ergonomic. I have a giant couch and my hand is truly worn out in the end. It’s not a big enough gripe to knock off a star though. If you are on the fence, jump off and grab this little vacuum.”
The only real attachment that comes with this budget-model handheld pet vacuum is the rubberized mount to the front of the nozzle. That one feature, though, seems to make all the difference for some users in how it does in scraping fur off of upholstered and fabric furniture. One verified buyer wrote, under a banner headline that ran “3 Shedding Beasts (aka Dogs) and a New Couch”:
“I’ve had this for a week, but assuming it continues working as well as it has these first few days, I’ll be on cloud nine!! I can clean my couch in less than 5 minutes flat, without a single stray dog hair left in sight! This hearty little devil even sucks up those annoyingly long, spikey hairs that weave themselves into the fabric.”
“This vacuum is a dream! I hope it continues to work this well. I can’t tell you what a gift it has been. No more hairy blankets, no more hair assaulted clothing or frustrated house guests. Seriously, I could not recommend this vacuum for pet hair any higher. ”
At 5 pounds, you’d expect the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 to put a lot of power down on the spot you’re cleaning up. That it does, albeit with the cost of forcefully blowing stale air out both sides of the base unit under the curved handle. Tap the red on/off button at the end of that handle, and the electric motor whirrs to life, creating a dramatic inflow of air inside and a passable suction effort at the point of the nozzle.
One user, who identified himself as both a dog and a cat owner, stated:
“It worked flawlessly! I love this thing! I feel my house is much cleaner, and more presentable. It has replaceable filters, easy to clean, and empty. It’s corded, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing batteries. I love it, and [it] is a great purchase.”
As a corded handheld vacuum cleaner, the Bissel Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 doesn’t carry onboard batteries. This somewhat limits its mobility, though not by much, since it can be used anyplace there’s a spot to plug into, even in the car. The AC electric motor is also free to grow larger and more robust than most handheld vacuum engines, since it runs directly off of the mains. Of this lack of mobility, one user said:
“I also use it to do stairs, furniture, pillows, sweaters, fleece, and other frustrating items. It comes with a dust-buster type attachment too which comes in handy when I change my pet rat’s bedding or need to pick up some spilled cereal. Since it is a corded vacuum it’s very powerful, much more than anything running on battery power.”
Ease of Cleaning
Whenever you’re dealing with a daily mess like pet hair, cleanup is going to be an issue. Fortunately, the reviews for this Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 are uniformly of the opinion that detaching the tank and cleaning it out are tremendously easy to do. One typically positive review stated:
“I was skeptical that the rubber brush attachment was a good idea – wouldn’t it collect hair and resist the suction? Nope. This thing powers through couch hair. Often, only a single swipe is needed, which makes for a quick job. There was hardly any hair stuck to the brush – all of it ended up inside the dust container, which is super easy to detach, empty, and clean.”
Conclusion for Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum
Perhaps due to its limited intended scope, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum 33A1 comes in near the bottom of the price tiers for handhelds. The reviews almost all drive the point home that this otherwise powerful vacuum is only really serviceable as a pet hair remover, and that it has a tendency to come up short when cleaning up other kinds of mess. That may be frustrating if you’re looking for an all-purpose vac, but it does help keep Amazon’s price for this unit to under $20.
The 33A1 is not light, though it partly makes up for that shortcoming with power commensurate with its heft. This vacuum weighs in at 5 pounds, which is up to twice the weight of similarly sized vacuums. Most of that mass is in its overbuilt electric motor, which is capable of taking AC electricity directly from the house circuit and pushing it through the hefty all-metal motor. This extravagance of design does deliver quite a strong flow-through of air from the surface being cleaned to the exit ports, which some users described as blowing exceptionally hard.
Many of the users of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 complained that it was a bit bulky and awkward to handle at first. Most of those reviewers who stuck with it, however, came to appreciate the unorthodox curved handle that bends in an arc over the body of the vacuum. Almost all of the 33A1’s weight sits right under that point of contact, which helps keep perceived weight to a minimum, though it’s definitely still there.
In the realm of pet hair removal, there doesn’t seem to be a better choice than this model 33A1. All the reviews make that clear, and not a single credible dissent could be found. Many others tried to use this unit for something – anything – other than simple pet hair, and they came up short. If you have pets, or if you wind up with animals in your car, you can’t do better than the Bissel 33A1. If you tend to spill cereal, however, you might want to look elsewhere.