Cleaning is an unavoidable task, no matter how much you want to put it off, eventually you’re going to have to face it, but fortunately today we have a range of products filled with features and gadgets that are designed to make the job easier, more convenient, and quicker than ever before.
If you’re one of the 72% of Americans who own a pet, you know that they may be our best friends, but they don’t have such a positive impact on our floors, and they tend to make cleaning a far bigger, and much more regular task, So it’s good to know that Bissell have created the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum exactly for that everyday situation, and today I’m going to take a look at it to see if it can really deal with the kind of messy problems that our animals frequently cause. In particularly I’ve looked at how well it’s constructed, how well the various features work, and most importantly whether the cleaning ability of the product lives up to the manufacturers claims.
The Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum by Bissell
Bissell is a well known and trusted name in the floor care market, in fact since 2009, when they overtook Hoover, they have been the number one provider of floor care products in North America with an impressive 20% of the market overall. The company was founded by Melvin Bissell way back in 1876, when he patented one of the first carpet sweeping machines in order to keep his crockery shop floor free from sawdust.
From those humble beginnings, Melvin went on to open his first manufacturing plant in 1883, and fast forward to the 1950’s and Bissell were moving into vacuum cleaners and carpet shampooers. In 2005 Bissell launched their first cleaner designed specifically for pet messes, the Spotbot portable deep cleaner, and since then the company, headed today by Melvin’s great-grandson, Mark Bissell have focused on cleaning for pet owners, backing up their love for our furry friends with over $1 in annual charitable donations from the Bissell Pet Foundation, used to support animal shelters throughout the US.
So Bissell have a long established pedigree with cleaning products, but exactly how does the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum match up to the task at hand? Read on to find out.
- Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum body
- Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum head
- Washable Microfiber Soft Mop Pad
- Washable Microfiber Scrubby Mop Pad
- Carpet Glider
- Scent Disks
- Steamboost Tray
- Disposable Steamboost Mop Pads
Full instructions on how to assemble the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum are provided in the user manual, which you can view on Amazon. Initial assembly is as easy as locking the head of the product onto the body, and full instructions are given for changing the various pads, filters and filling the water tank. There are also full instructions on how to maintain and take care of your Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum for the best use, as well as details about the 2 year warranty offered with this product.
The Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum really is two cleaning products in one, a vacuum cleaner for everyday cleaning, but with the added functionality of a steam cleaner to make stubborn stains, and those familiar animal messes, such as dirt, hair, and the occasional accident, easy and convenient to clean up. The vacuum cleaner, and the steam facility, can be operated independently of each other, or together, in order to give you effectiveness in a variety of cleaning situations.
The steam mechanism is operated by means of a trigger within the handle. Many users found the ability to turn the steam on and off so easily particularly useful, and the steam is also controllable, able to be reduced for light staining and turned right up for ground in dirt, however Bissell do warn users that at the highest setting, the steam may damage the varnish on your hardwood floor. It’s worth noting at this point that the Steam Mop makes this product unsuitable for unsealed floors, so if you have an unvarnished wooden floor, the moisture from the steam function could well end up damaging your floor in the long run, particularly if you’re using it on the highest setting.
Bissell’s ‘Drop-it tank’, the storage section that contains all the hair, fluff and grime that the cleaner picks up is an innovative device that separates the hair from the moisture, and it also has a gadget that allows you to empty it without getting your hands dirty, and many users found this feature particularly useful. The Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum has a variety of filters, a water filter for the water storage container, and also a scent disc that can be used in the mop head to ensure that your floor is left smelling fresh after cleaning, although removing and replacing these filters involve removing parts of the product, the user manual does cover both operations in detail, and many users remarked that it was a fairly simple process.
The Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum is equipped with microfiber pads, our recommended pad type. They are super absorbent and perfectly suited to tiled surfaces. Two pads are included, one of which is standard, and another one is ‘scrubby’, featuring raised abrasive patches that provide some extra friction for more stubborn stains. Virtually all reviewers found the pads to be well-made, extremely durable and still completely effective even after extended use. The pads are machine washable, and Bissell state they can be washed hundreds of times. Many users also found that cleaning them in warm soapy water was just as effective after they had been used. Most users also remarked how effective they were in picking up dirt and water spills straight away.
The Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum has a total of 980 customer reviews on Amazon, and 69% of them are positive, with either four or five stars. Many reviewers were highly impressed, with users considering the product to be highly effective in both of its major functions, vacuum, and steam, cleaning, however there are also 24% of reviews that are generally negative with either one or two stars, and although a wide range of issues were noted throughout them, one particular problem was noted by several users.
The steam function of the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum did appear in several cases to become defective after a fairly short period of time, well inside the two year warranty limit. Many users noted that the steam function failed to work entirely, with several others noting that the water storage section began to leak within a few months. Several reviewers found the steam function to be insufficient for their needs, however, most agreed that the vacuum cleaner did generate enough suction to deal with the common problems of hair shedding, fluff and dust.
It’s worth noting at this point that the two year warranty is ‘limited’, which could best be explained as covering only damage that occurs through ‘reasonable wear and tear’, however if it is determined that damage to the product has been caused by misuse or poor maintenance then the product may not be eligible for free replacement or repair. Another aspect of the repair service that was noted by several unhappy reviewers was that in order to repair the product, it needed to be sent or delivered to an approved repair shop. Considering that most negative reviews concerned problems that had occurred well within the two year warranty period, it may be worthwhile to read the user manual on Amazon, which contains full details of the warranty, and the limitations on it, before you make a decision to buy this product.
Overall the majority of users found this product to be well-made, sturdy and generally effective. Although some reviewers were less than impressed with either the steam function, or the power of the vacuum cleaner, most were highly impressed with both. With the exception of problems with the steam function working less efficiently over time, no issues appeared to be common to more than one or two of the negative reviewers, and overall the response from Bissell, who clearly do make an effort to assist unhappy customers on Amazon, appeared to be extremely good customer service.
Does it Clean Well?
Many of the positive reviews of the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum considered the product to be highly efficient and impressive. Many pet owners did consider it to be a superior product that was entirely adequate for their needs. In particular, one reviewer with 15 dogs called it a ‘lifesaver’, and still able to deal with huge amounts of hair and dirt even after over a year of use.
Several other users noted that although the steam function was not as effective as other steam cleaners, with the variable steam control, even ground in dirt could be lifted from floors with a few runs over it. Bissell have designed this product specifically for sealed surfaces, namely varnished hardwood floors, tiled floors, ceramics, granite, marble and linoleum, and virtually all users of those floor types were entirely satisfied with the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum’s cleaning ability.
A fairly small minority of users found the amount of suction generated to be insufficient to their needs, and noted that excessive dog hair was not picked up until the vacuum had been run over a surface several times, yet most other users considered the suction more than equal to the task. A troubleshooting guide within the manual offers remedies for all of the common problems that will be experienced, and several reviewers remarked that they had found the suction was improved, once they had emptied the dirt container and cleaned or replaced the filters.
A carpet glider, which lifts the mop head slightly off the ground is included, so you can use this product to clean carpets, and many users found it highly effective on this surface type. You may want to turn the steam function down to the lowest setting when doing so, to avoid causing excessive dampness in your carpet, and some users with thick or deep-pile carpets found the mop pads would become tangled in the carpet fabric.
One of the limitations on the warranty is that it only applies to personal use, and not a commercial service, so if you are intending to use this product in a professional animal care business, such as a kennels, it may be worth contacting Bissell first to see if the two year warranty will still be valid.
Overall, most users found the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum a highly effective, dual use cleaner that was sturdy, durable and versatile on a range of surfaces, as long as it was well maintained and looked after. Several reviewers who reported problems appeared to be unaware about the need to change filters on the product, and this may have been the underlying cause of their issues. If you’re prepared to spend time keeping the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum in optimum condition after every few uses, it’s likely that you will find it more than capable of dealing with your cleaning needs.
Cost & Pricing Information
The Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum costs $144.12 altogether. Although this is obviously more expensive than other cleaning systems, the product is overall far more sturdy and reliable than many other products. Once again I would stress that it will require maintenance from time to time to keep it operating at full efficiency, so if you’re looking for a cleaner that can just be stored away after use until the next time you use it, then you may prefer a cheaper alternative, but if you want quality and are prepared to look after your cleaner, this is one of the better products on the market.
A pack of two replacement microfiber mop pads containing a plain one, and one ‘scrubby’ one, which contains raised ridges for extra friction, can be purchased for $14.98 currently on Amazon. The pads that you receive with the cleaner can be washed hundreds of times, and I found no customers complaining that they had worn out, even after more than a year of use, so it is unlikely that you will need to buy replacement pads very often.
To see the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum with all currently available discounts and promotions on Amazon.com, click here.
Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum – Is It Worth It?
MicroFiber Mop Head (Our Recommended Type)
Durable and long-lasting, as long as it's maintained with care
Highly effective for animal hairs and messes on a variety of sealed surfaces
Product does require regular maintenance to keep it fully effective
Not suitable for unsealed floor surfaces
Two Year Warranty does have some limitations
The Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum is one of the more expensive cleaners on the market, but it is well-made, durable and highly efficient, as long is it is properly maintained. Although unsuitable for unsealed floors, pet owners with tiled, stone or hardwood floors looking for a superior dual use cleaner may find this the perfect tool for their cleaning needs.