Few things are more frustrating than when you power up your vacuum, clean over a hard floor, and most of the dirt or pet fur is still on the floor. You go over the spot again and again, but the vacuum just doesn’t want to suck up the mess.
You won’t have that kind of problem when you choose from any of the three Bissell PowerForce Helix vacuums. Whether you need a powerhouse (1797 model), a mid-level pick (1700 model), or a tinier, lightweight option (1701 model), all three vacuums suit each respective need.
These vacuums come packed with great Bissell technology, such as the Easy Empty Dirt Cup in lieu of a bag, the TurboBrush and other handy removable attachments, and filters for controlling odors and allergens.
With so many great options, how can you choose? This review is intended to help you find a Bissell vacuum that works for your budget and lifestyle.
#1 Bissell PowerForce Helix Turbo Rewind 1797 Bagless Vacuum Review
The Bissell PowerForce Helix 1797 is a dependable, affordable vacuum. Additionally, the vacuum is bagless which a big selling point is. If you can learn to live without an air force indicator, brush on/off switch, variable suction control, and a soft bumper, you’ll get a lot of use out of this vacuum.
Designs and Features:
- A retractable 25-foot cord
- Four removable attachments, including the extension wand, the TurboBrush, a dusting brush, and a crevice tool for removing dust and dirt from even the hardest-to-reach corners and crevices
- A lightweight design (it’s less than 15 pounds total) so you can easily transport it from room to room and even up and down flights of stairs
- An 8-amp motor that runs at 60 hertz and 120 volts
- Included Febreze filter for odor control in the house
- Wide Cleaning Path technology for quickly cleaning hair and dirt off surfaces
- The Helix dirt separation system means dirt does not slow down the vacuum, allowing you to clean more for longer
- Can clean a variety of surfaces, including upholstery, stairs, low-pile carpet, and regular carpeting
- With the included Easy Empty Dirt Cup, Bissell 1797 can hold 1.0L of dirt to be dumped after vacuuming, and all without a bag!
- Comes with a carry handle for simple portability
- The 1797 is bagless, which is one of its biggest and most defining features.
- There’s no need to deal with the hassle of emptying out a bag of dust and dirt, especially when you’re in the middle of cleaning due to the Easy Empty Dirt Cup.
- The Easy Empty Dirt Cup can hold 1.0L of dirt. You still have to dump this out in between cleaning sessions, but you can probably get through almost the entire house before dumping.
- The ChaCha lime accents against the black base make the 1797 one cleaning device you’ll be happy to show off.
- The Powerforce 1797 lacks a swivel head and a dirt sensor, so that makes cleaning kind of tough.
- It also does not have a soft bumper, so you have to be careful when you clean. If the vacuum collides with too many couches or table legs, it could look beat-up very quickly.
Curious about how the Bissell 1797 can perform? Here are some quickfire specs:
- Includes an eight-foot hose
- Has multi-level filtration
- Can perform dual-edge cleaning
- Includes a 25-foot power cord with automatic cord rewind
- Has a rotating clear window brush system
- Can clean a path that’s 15 inches wide
- Includes five surface height settings
- Has an extension wand for cleaning items at a tall height
- Is known for its maneuverability
#2 Bissell PowerForce Helix 1700 Bagless Vacuum Review
Like the little cousin of the 1797 bagless vacuum, if you were intrigued by that model, then the Bissell PowerForce 1700 is another great option to consider. This vacuum weighs less and generally costs less. Although it doesn’t improve on the flaws found in the 1797 vacuum (such as lack of air flow indicator, brush on/off switch, and variable suction control), this is a great vacuum for cleaning the whole house.
Designs and Features:
- Weighs a slim 12 pounds, which is even lighter than the 1797 vacuum
- The Bissell 1700 vacuum is bagless, which again saves you time and hassle when vacuuming the house
- Includes the Bissell Helix cleaning system for a consistent clean every time you use the vacuum
- Runs on 8 amps of power
- Can vacuum a variety of surfaces, such as stairs, carpet, upholstery, and low-pile carpet
- Has a cleaning path of 13 inches wide, again like the 1797
- Uses multi-level filtration so air can travel throughout the vacuum effortlessly
- Boasts two rows of rotating brushes as part of its brush system
- Has a 23-foot Power Cord and a five-foot hose (when stretched at its longest)
- Includes the Easy Empty Dirt Cup, just like the 1797, that’s capable of holding up to 1L of dirt
- Boasts Dual Edge Cleaning and five surface height settings for tall cabinets, dressers, and bookcases
- Includes a soft bumper and carry handle
- The Powerforce 1700 has plenty of handy bonus tools (although not as many as the 1797), such as the extension wand for a longer reach as well as the dusting brush and crevice tool for deeper, more efficient cleaning
- The 1700 model isn’t too different from the Bissell 1797, so if you liked that model but wanted an alternative, this is it.
- This model is lighter by about two pounds, which can be significant for some people.
- The color choices are a combination of Baha Blue and black and are quite nice.
- A lot of the features, designs, and specs are nearly identical from the model 1797. For instance, this vacuum, having no bag, is instead equipped with the Easy Empty Dirt Cup. That cup’s capabilities are no different than the 1797’s.
- The 1700 runs on 8 amps, has a 13-inch cleaning path, has a Power Cord, uses multiple brushes, and comes with several cleaning tools.
- While the 1797 lacked a soft bumper, the Bissell 1700 has it. This vacuum will take less damage than over time and should last longer.
- The 1700 vacuum cleaner doesn’t have an airflow indicator, brush on/off switch, or variable suction control.
- This model also doesn’t have automatic cord rewind, so you’re going to have to spend time manually winding the cord back up each time you vacuum. Considering the cord is 23 feet long, this can be moderately time-consuming.
So how does the Bissell 1700 vacuum perform, especially when stacked up against the 1797 model? Here are some of its best stats:
- The 1700 upright vacuum is the updated version of the 1240 vacuum, one of Bissell’s most popular vacuum models
- Can clean tile and laminate floors as well as carpet, sucking up dirt, dust, and other messes
- The included dirt separation system allows for better cleaning and improved suction
- Control allergens in the house with the included separation system and HEPA media exhaust filter
- The filters in this vacuum can be taken out, cleaned, and then replaced, saving you money
- Has a transparent plastic base so you can see the 1700’s filtration and dirt separation systems in action
#3 Bissell PowerForce Helix Turbo 1701 Bagless Vacuum Review
By far the lightest and almost the cheapest of the three, if your budget doesn’t allow you to spend more than $100 on your vacuum, the Bissell PowerForce 1701 is your best bet. If you live in a small home or apartment, this streamlined vacuum can be easily stashed away. With its great cleaning system, Easy Empty Dirt Cup, and its lengthy cord, this is a reliable vacuum.
Designs and Features:
- Weighs 12 pounds, just like the 1700 model.
- Like all three Bissell vacuums, the 1701 runs at 8 amps of power
- Has an extended cleaning path width of 15 inches
- Uses the Helix cleaning system for better removal of dirt, dust, crumbs, and more
- The Bissell 1701 can clean low pile carpet, upholstery, regular carpeting, and stairs, which is no different than the other two vacuums
- Has a 25-foot Power Cord
- Includes a cleaning hose that can stretch to eight feet
- Boasts a two-row rotating brush system for your cleanest clean yet
- Included multi-level filtration system
- The Easy Empty Dirt Cup is an already-mentioned alternative to a vacuum bag; this can hold 1L of dirt and dust and is part of the 1701’s Helix cleaning system
- Includes dual edge cleaning for baseboards so these look as good as new
- Has five surface height settings as well as an extension wand for those nooks and crannies you normally can’t reach
- The TurboBrush tool, dusting brush tool, and crevice tool can be switched out any time
- Includes a soft bumper and a carry handle for convenience
- The available color scheme for the Bissell Powerforce 1701 is Euro Red or black with silver accents
- Since it’s just one number off, the 1700 and the 1701 share plenty of similarities. For instance, they both have the same power rating, the same cleaning path width, and they both are the same weight.
- Their cords are the same length, too, although the 1701’s hose can stretch an extra few inches. Sometimes, when trying to squeeze into tight places, those last few inches make all the difference.
- With its focus on multi-level filtration, the Bissell 1701 vacuum does stand out from the pack. Out of the three, this is the slimmest-looking vacuum, with few extra bells and whistles.
- Like the 1700, the 1701 is plagued with some less-than-desirable features, such as no automatic cord rewind, no air flow indicator, no brush on/off switch, and no variable suction control. While none of these features are must-haves, all three Bissell models lack them.
- You can’t quite see into the vacuum like you can with the 1700 because the transparent plastic front panel is a lot smaller on the 1701.
- There’s no retractable cord. Again, you have to do it all yourself.
The 1700 and 1701 may be closely related in many ways, but performance-wise, there are some key differences. These include:
- This vacuum is renowned for its lower noise levels, so if you live in an apartment, you won’t annoy your neighbors
- Is lauded for its ability to clean hardwood and other hard flooring surfaces
- Includes more specialty tools than the Bissell 1701 that aid in cleaning couches, shelves, cabinets, floors, and more
- Even without a swivel head, the 1701 is maneuverable, and with its soft bumper, you don’t need to worry about taking it into tight places
- Is known to pick up pet fur exceptionally well on a variety of carpeting surfaces